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-congenital ; and so I believe it tinued to be
tinued to be an average good to be with half the bad shots in the rabbit-shot ever afterwards. Now world. It is no use adřising them what was the secret of this sudto do this or that they can't. den change, which occurred, on my
I remember, too, that after I had honour, exactly as I have described become a good shot at winged it ? Can Mr Lancaster explain game, I still remained a bad shot that? I often asked the giver of at ground game, and the art of kill- the shooting what made him tell ing rabbits seemed to come to me the keeper I should shoot well that quite as suddenly as that of killing day, but he could never give any partridges. I had been invited by satisfactory answer. Oh, I a very old friend to join the two thought you would,” was all he days rabbit - shooting which he could say. '
The prediction, of always had the week before
course, was in reality a mere fluke. Christmas, in order to distributo But the fact remains to be acthe rabbits among the labourers counted for, and is in my judgbefore Christmas Day. He want- ment wholly inconsistent with the ed to kill a certain number, and theory that we teach ourselves told his keeper he intended shooting by degrees — that is, by
, to do it. “Well, sir,” said the the conscious and continued obman, we might, no doubt; but servance of certain fixed rules, as a there's Mr
he can't kill man learns arithmetic or grammar. rabbits." “Oh, he'll kill 'em well Finally, there is another kind of enough to-day, you'll see,” was the missing on which Mr Lancaster answer. I have often thought this might have given us a word or two. one of the most curious things in There are some men, I believe, so all my experience of shooting. fortunately constituted, both in My rabbit aim had been just as mind and body, as to be virtually bad as ever down to that date. ignorant of either mental or bodThe last time my host saw me ily disorder. Nothing puts them shoot I had missed nine out of out; nothing disagrees with them. ten. But, strange to relate, on that They may sit up smoking and day I did " kill 'em well enough.” drinking till three o'clock in the At the first go-off I was standing morning, or go to bed at eleven outside a long narrow plantation with only a pint of claret under which was full of rabbits. Dogs their belts, and at breakfast-time and beaters went in. A great they will be just the same, with yelping and shouting arose in- clear eyes, clear heads, a healthy stantaneously. In another minute appetite, and not a symptom of two rabbits bolted together on my malaise about them.
The post side, one running down the side may bring them disagreable letters, of the spinney, the other taking they may have quarrelled with straight across the field at right their wives or their servants, but angles to it. I knocked the first nothing disturbs the even tenor of into the ditch just as he turned their way; and the vast majority back into the cover, and swinging of men of this stamp will never round rolled over the second dead vary in their shooting from one at five-and-forty yards. And so I week to another. Others who are went on. I killed sixteen couple more easily affected by such cirwith very few bad misses, and cumstances find their nerves or their the corner once turned, I main tempers all wrong when they start tained my advantage, and con- in the morning, and shoot fifty
per cent worse than usual.
whether any of my readers have the two men went into the tur- experienced this sensation. It nips," writes Mr Trollope, “and arises when you begin to feel that oach swore at his luck as he missed the birds are thoroughly masters his birds; and there are some of you, and that it doesn't matter frames of mind,” he adds, “in where or how they get up. You which
man can neither shoot shoot just as if you had no shot in partridges, nor play billiards, nor your gun, and the best plan is to recollect a card at whist.” give it up at once to an attendant, other words, most men are liable to as no amount of “pulling himself
" have their "bad days,” which, how- together” will ever restore a man ever, are easily accounted for by who has fallen into this state any one of the above misfortunes. of hopeless imbecility. The next But there are bad days which can- day my cousin and myself went not be so explained, and these it is out again and shot as well as ever, which have often caused me great and as we drove home in the cool perplexity. I will give an instance, of the evening through those
Some years ago I went to shoot beautiful Hampshire woods, on with a relation in Hampshire the skirts of the New Forest, fresh early in September. It was a and green, and bathed in the mellow forward season; the harvest was sunlight of September, we specuall in, and the birds were strong. lated much on this great mystery. There only he and I, What could be the secret of the and the first day we killed, over sudden paralysis which had seized dogs, twenty brace and a half; the us on the preceding day, and totally second, sixteen brace; and the disappeared by the next morning ? third day we took a rest. We This, however, was not a solitary were neither of us knocked up: experience in my own case. I have we were young, in good health, been incapacitated in this strange free from care, had only one bottle and sudden manner some three or of claret between us after diner, four times in my life, and am as far and one whisky-and-soda in the from an explanation of it as ever. smoking-room at night. We were Part II. of Mr Lancaster's book both in bed, I should say, by half- is taken up with matter to which past eleven at the very latest, and I do not propose to devote further woke up each morning as fresh as space.
Mr Lancaster is a gunpaint. Now, how was it that on maker, and very naturally, and the fourth day of my visit, after without any impropriety that I can an interval of repose, when we see, recommends his own guns, his went to shoot with a neighbour we own ideas of measurement, and his both utterly disgraced ourselves, own principles of teaching. This and I myself in particular? In the is done by means of testimonials morning I shot badly; and in the in the shape of letters which he afternoon, when we had got a thirty- has received from customers and acre turnip-field, full of birds, I pupils, all of course of a highly couldn't touch a feather. The field satisfactory character. There may was made up of little knolls and be a little too much of this. But hollows, where the birds lay splen- as every one who writes a book didly; but in a little time I be- necessarily advertises himself more came positively afraid of them, or less, and recommends his own and prayed that none might get ideas, we see no reason to find fault up within shot of me. I wonder with Mr Lancaster on this score.
There has been a good deal peachable, to which, together with written of late years on what is the comments I have heard upon called in the trade “cast-off”; but it, I wish to call particular attenit seems to me that this is only tion. The writer, while main& new name for what has long taining the superiority of the been understood by all persons higher-priced guns, and generally conversant with guns. It only condemning the cheaper ones as means, after all, that crook in the not to be relied upon at all, makes stock which all guns have more or one notable exception in favour less. If the stock was absolutely of “the keeper's gun," originally straight, you could not draw å designed and sold by Mr Bland, straight line from the eye to the who has hardly let a year pass muzzie, unless the butt rested on without effecting some little imthe cheek, or even then. As it provements in it. The best keeprests on the shoulder, the stock er's gun can now be bought for has to be deflected a little towards ten guineas, and, according to the eye, so as to bring the barrels Lord Walsingham, it is as good in a line with it. It is then said a gun for a certain number of to be cast-off --- cast-off, that is, years as if it cost four times the from the line of sight; and each money. Its inferiority consists individual, no doubt, may require only in its inability to stand the to have the cast-off adjusted to same amount of wear and tear his own figure. But that is only a more expensive one. The saying he should be measured for sportsman who is satisfied with a his gun; and I confess I do not thousand shots in the season, will understand the reason why so find the keeper's gun all that he many columns should have been requires. But if he fires ten written on the subject.
thousand, he will find it unequal On the price of guns Mr Lan- to the strain-that is, for more than caster has little to add to what a very few seasons. On pointing has already appeared in the “ Bad- this out to Mr Bland, I was met by
I minton Library.” The best guns the somewhat pertinent inquiry are the best. That is a maxim whether anybody had ever tried the which I do not believe it is experiment. Gentlemen, he said, possible to controvert. But it is who fire ten thousand shots a season, with guns as with other articles wouldn't buy a keeper's gun. And of merchandise. The vendor is as gentlemen who fire only a thousatisfied with smaller profits on a sand don't very often do so either, greater number, and consequent. I daresay Mr Bland was right. ly can, in
some cases, sell But the dictum of Lord Walsingvery good gun at a price which, ham may in turn lead a great many to the uninitiated, seems neces- people to reconsider their previous sarily to imply a very bad one. ideas on the question of what & To what extent the reduction of gun should cost. And I confess, price thus made possible may be as a mere matter of curiosity, I carried, I am unable to say with should like to see the keeper's gun any confidence, as I have found have a fair trial in the hands of some gunmakers rather reserved on this impartial judge. subject. But there is a passage
so much for the Art of Shootin the “Badminton Library," writ- ing. But what of its prospects ten by Lord Walsingham, whose and its developments ? Shades Authority, I presume, is unim- of Fawkes and Markland, good old
sporting parsons, of whom Mr with partridge-shooting then; and Gilfil, with his old brown setter, it is quite clear, from the eclogue was the legitimate descendant, written by the worthy vicar of “ Magnanimi heroes, nati melioribus Orpington, that in those happy annis,”
days you might even walk through what would you say, could you a man's standing beans without wake up suddenly to the 1st of its ever occurring to him to turn September or the 1st of October, Dissenter in consequence. Now, new style, and witness the deadly however, though game is preparations that are made for the abundant, guns much improved, slaughter of game? If you pro- miss-fires unknown, and the fatigue posed to go pheasant-shooting in of shooting much lessened, we are the “misty bright” month, when too often reminded by it of the the woods and copses are in all their stalled ox, and look back with reglory, as gorgeous even as the long- gret to the more humble sport of tails themselves in their full plum- our forefathers, when no good or age, you would be laughed at. If you kindly feeling was destroyed by it. talked of “charging " or “prim- The more we study books like Mr ing" you would be unintelligible. Lancaster's, the more we feel driven But, in spite of the fact that your to ask ourselves what will be the bag at the end of the day could use of all this elaborate advice a only show one brace for every ten generation hence? What is to be brought home by Mr Lancaster the future of game in this country? and his friends,—in spite of bad If the game laws are abolished, and flints, foul touch-holes, damp pow. shooting given up to the tenants, der, and all the various contributo- pheasants and partridges will soon ries to a miss-fire, from which you follow in the wake of hares, and so frequently suffered,—you had no sport at all will be left for any in many respects the advantage man who is rich enough to buy Mr over ourselves, with all our appa- Lancaster's guns. Grouse and deer ratus of breech-loaders, hammerless are threatened in the north as much locks, and double, yea even four as other kinds of game in the south, barrelled, guns. You enjoyed your and the time may come when all sport quite as much, and you pur English gentlemen, if any still sued it under pleasanter conditions. survive in this country, will In those days when " qualified” have to seek their sport abroad, persons only were allowed to shoot, and no more on their paternal there were so few guns afield that acres. It is a painful reflection. there was enough game for every. But it is impossible to read such a body; and in the pre-scientific age book as Mr Lancaster's without of agriculture, the damage done to being pricked by it. But changes crops was never thought of. The of this kind are not accomplished yeoman shot upon his own ground, in a day; and those who are conand the tenant-farmer accepted tented with thinking that the prewithout a murmur the doctrine sent system will last their time, that the game on the land belong. may interest themselves in Mr ed to the owner of it, and that Lancaster's diagrams, without spoil. only owners, therefore, could law- ing their appetites for dinner, or fully shoot it. There was no bitter- having any bad dreams after it. or heartburning connected
T. E. KEBBEL.
1 This was never the strict law in England, as it is, or was, in Scotland.
ST DYFRIG'S CITY.
WAEN King Henry VIII. pushed or Menevia. And as Liverpool back the Welsh border westward, and the mouth of the Mersey in making Monmouthshire an Eng- the north-west, and as Glasgow lish county, he included in it not and the mouth of the Clyde in the only the old Gwentland between farther north, and as London and the Wye and the Usk, but also the mouth of the Thames in the that portion of the old Morganwg south-east, so are Cardiff and the or Morganland which lay between mouth of the Severn in this souththe Usk and the Rhymney. It western district of our island—a was distinctly a part of Wales, but vast organ through which our Briit was thenceforth to be a part of tain absorbs the food and breathes England. The process which was the air of its commercial life. implied in this arbitrary act of the Here the portion of the Roman king is one which still continues Way which crosses the town has by the natural force of events, and developed into a broad modern the new Glamorganshire which street, skirted on either side with Henry VIII, formed between the cottages of the humbler inhabitants Rhymney and the Loughor is a and villas of the wealthier, graduWelsh county, in which the ma- ally changing into a dense line of jority of the population is English. shops and offices as it reaches the So impossible is it at the present centre. The town lies to the south time to mark out a line of distinc of the street, and on the north is tion between the two nationalities. the castle, having in old days a
The foremost position of import- religious house of no great mark ance in this borderland of Wales on either side of it—that of the and England is occupied by the White Friars on the east, and that great settlement of nearly a hun- of the Black Friars on the west. dred thousand human beings, in These have passed away; but the which Llandaff and Cardiff form parish church of St John, which the leading elements. Llandaff is was contemporary' with a them, & village taking rank as one of the stands on the opposite side of the smallest of cities, and Cardiff is a way, near the site of the east gate, borough taking rank as one of the in a wide open space lately cleared largest of towns; and from these of the encumbrance of old builda network of new townships is con- ings .which once hemmed it in. stantly being spread, and the ad- The church is a fine specimen of jacent hamlets are gradually being medieval architecture, rendered absorbed, to form the component still finer by the additions and inparts of one vast city for future sertions of recent times; the lofty days. Cardiff was the Castra arcades of its nave preserving their Didii of the Romans, the camp of ancient dignity; the chancel surAulus Didius, who held it as a mounted by a modern clerestory, station on the Via Julia next be- and its roof resting on corbel-heads yond Caerleon-upon-Usk; and in which portray the faces of St the provincial language it was Dyfrig, the first, and Dr Richard known as Caerdydd; whence it Lewis, the latest, of the bishops became Cardiff, just as Mynydd at of Llandaff
, and including Bishop the end of the route became Meneff Hooper, the Marian martyr of