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he gave “Merlin” his head, and laid into him out of pure devilry. The horse was always a speedy thing, and being now in racing condition, he pressed the buck so hard, that, after going a couple of miles, my brother conceived the idea of trying to ride him down, and began to run cunning, gaining all he could at every swerve the antelope made.
But I must describe the remainder of this remarkable chase in his own words.
“After the first two miles, I gained upon him rapidly. The antelope went less collected, his gallop lost its springy bound, and he began to turn short, his flanks heaving like a pair of bellows.
“I now felt that if I did not blow my horse I must kill him. Merlin was still fresh, and although his tail shook a little, he felt strong under me, and his stroke was nearly as quick as ever.
“ Two to one against the buck! His tongue 'is out, and his tail wagging.'
“ I took a hard pull at my horse's head, drove in the spurs, and pressing the antelope to do his best for a few yards further, I fairly burst him, and down he went with the spear through his heart.
“I confess I feel proud of my little horse, for having done what is generally considered impossible, and may never be done again ; and it would require a long price now to tempt me to part with him. I must have blood for my fast work, and would rather ride a well-bred horse on three leys, than a brute without a heart that you may spur to death in a close-contested run, without getting an additional yard out of him,
“ It is in the field that the indomitable courage of the true Arab shows itself; and when you find what the blood of your horse enables him to do, you learn to appreciate that undying spirit which marks the difference between the breeds of India and the Desert.
“R- and I examined the buck carefully, and could discover nothing the matter with him, except a slight scar on one knee. He was a fine old buck, in high condition, with twenty-inch horns, and his having been ridden down by a single horse is one of those unaccountable things, which seldom happen twice in a lifetime.”
From these extracts it will be seen that antelope-shooting, although looked upon as a second-rate sport in India, requires some skill and patience in the sportsman, and is by no means deficient in excitement, particularly when riding must be resorted to, to secure your game. The nature of the animal, as well as that of its haunts, and the long ranges at which you are obliged to shoot, render it particularly well adapted for displaying the beauties of the grooved barrel to advantage.
The long, clear, standing shots at antelope on a plain, are the most perfect that can be imagined. The unbroken level, leaving the outline of your mark so clearly defined against the sky-the ineans you possess of ascertaining the exact range of your shots-the repeated opportunities of retrieving misses—the ever-varying circumstances under which you fire—and the facility afforded by the nature of the ground for riding down and spearing a wounded animal,--all tend to render this a most enticing sport, for an enthusiast in rifle-shooting, like myself; and yet, with all these advantages, it falls far short, in my estimation, of the exciting sport of deer-stalking in the jungles.
But we have had quite enough of rifle-shooting for one chapter, and must reserve a description of this noble sport for some future opportunity.
Dharwar, May 15.-My brother and I were amusing ourselves during the heat of the day, by playing a rubber of billiards with the officers in the fort, when a breathless native rushed in, and announced a tiger, marked down within a mile of Dharwar.
The news spread like wildfire, and the cantonment presented the appearance of a disturbed nest of hornets. The proximity of the enemy induced every owner of a gun to turn out-military men and civilians, sportsmen and no sportsmen, all were under arms in a few minutes-rifles and smooth guns, blunderbusses, old muskets, and even horse-pistols were put in requisition; and one man, a harebrained Irishman, who possessed no more deadly weapon, came forth, armed for the fray, with the butt-end of a billiard-cue.
We were soon at the ground, and having disposed ourselves upon trees and rocks, and other eminences, the beating commenced.
After a great deal of shouting, yelling, beating tomtoms, and other approved methods of rousing a tiger in the absence of an elephant or fireworks, something was observed to move in the nullah where the animal was said to be lying. The thickness of the tangled brushwood, and the darkness of the ravine prevented our distinguishing what it was, till a lash of its long tail in turning round the corner of a den, where it had taken refuge, proved it to be not a royal tiger, but a panther. There he was safe enough, although within five yards of twenty guns, for he clung to the shelter of the cave, and his growling alone marked his position.
It was in vain that the excited beaters pelted and shouted, and overwhelmed him with abuse, calling him “ the son of an unchaste mother,"—" spitting on his beard," —" defiling his father's grave,” and daring hin for an “unclean Caffer,” to come forth and “ eat bullets;" he was proof against foul language, and could not be induced to quit his stronghold.
Our patience was wellnigh exhausted, and the more pacific members of the party were for abandoning the enterprise, and leaving the sulky brute alone; others proposed sending off for fireworks; almost every one had a different plan to propose, when my brother, ever foremost in danger, cut the matter short, by springing from the tree on which he was seated, and announcing his determination of descending into the ravine and shooting the panther in his den. We, of course, remonstrated loudly against so foolhardy an attempt, and made use of every argument we could think of, to dissuade him from his purpose, but in vain.
Before I could descend a tree, at some distance, and reach the spot, he had snatched a sword from one of the beaters, to clear his way through the tangled brushwood, and disappeared in the gloomy ravine.
I could distinctly hear the low, savage growl of the panther, and a certain impatient switching of the tail, which I too well knew denoted an inclination to charge. I was debating with myself, whether I should best serve my brother by following him into the ravine, or by remaining above, to cover him with my fire in the event of the animal springing upon him, when a terrific roar rang in my earsa shot was discharged in the bed of the ravine, and, through a cloud of smoke, the panther sprang out, so close to me as almost to knock me down, while in the act of staggering backwards, I discharged both barrels of my rifle, but without effect.
By the time the panther had cleared the bushes, he was so directly in the line of our horses and horsekeepers, that no one could fire without running a great risk of hitting them he was therefore allowed to go upwards of a hundred yards before a shot was discharged.
Then came a tremendous volley, and a shower of bullets knocked up the dust on every side of him; but the panther appeared untouched, and was bounding along with undiminished speed, when a single shot was discharged from behind me, and he rolled over, tearing up the earth with his teeth and claws.
How shall I describe my joy and gratitude, when, on turning round to ask who had fired the first successful shot, I confronted my beloved brother, whom I had given up for lost, standing like one risen from the dead, and grasping his discharged rifle, while a smile of triumph played round his pale but firm lips.
There was no time for words. A look, a warm pressure of the hand, assured me that all was well, and we rushed forward to despatch the wounded panther. The ball had passed through his loins, completely paralyzing his hind-quarters, so that although he still presented a formidable appearance, and made frantic efforts to reach us, he was no longer dangerous. He was accordingly quickly despatched, receiving his last blow from the knight of the billiard-cue!!
We had now time to hear my brother's account of his escape, and providential indeed it was. On descending into the ravine, he immediately discovered the panther's cave, the entrance to which was raised several feet above the ground, so as to be almost on a level with his head. He could hear the brute growling; but his eyes, dazzled by the glare of light above, had not yet become sufficiently accustomed to the darkness to distinguish objects, when the panther, uttering a roar, sprang out in his face.
He instinctively threw himself backwards to avoid the stroke of his paw, discharging one barrel of his rifle as he fell. The panther flew over him like a flash of lightning, and dashed up
the opposite bank. And my brother, immediately recovering himself, scrambled out of the ravine just in time to administer the fatal shot before the brute was out of reach.
So much for good nerve, presence of mind, and coolness in the hour of danger.
It was with grateful hearts, and after having returned fervent thanks to the Almighty, that we retired that night to rest.
ON THE CHINESE TREATY.
OUR wars are ended-foreign battles cease,-
THE ADVERTISEMENT LITERATURE OF THE AGE. The advertisement has long since become an independent department of literature, subject to its own canons of criticism, having its own laws of composition, and conducted by a class of writers, who though they may (we do not assert that they do) acknowledge their inferiority to the great historians, poets, or novelists of the day, would nevertheless consider themselves deeply injured were we to hesitate to admit them into the corporation of the “gens de lettres."
A needy varlet, with his coat out of the elbows, accosted Garrick once upon a time, and to enforce his suit for relief reminded the great player that they had formerly acted together on the boards of old Drury. Garrick's memory was at fault, and he begged to know upon what occasion he had had that honour.
* Don't you recollect,"answered the poor devil, “ when you played Hamlet, I used to play the cock!"
In the same manner one of our professional advertisement.writers may be supposed to address such an author as Sir Edward Bulwer,
When you wrote the Last Days of Pompeii,' it was I that puffed it in the journal."
The advertisement-writer, however, claims kindred with genius of all sorts, and considers himself entitled to a share in the glory of all undertakings under the sun, from the Thames Tunnel to the manufacture of a razor-strop. In fact he is to the artist, or the shopkeeper, what Homer was to Achilles, Tasso to Godfrey, Camoens to Gama, or Milton to Cromwell. Without him, what would his strops avail a Mechi, his XX a Guinness, his pills a Cockle, his Chesterfields a Doudney, his locks a Chubb, or his envelopes a Stocken?
He knows the charms
Whatever clime the sun's bright circle warms. The advertisement literature of the day is therefore always worthy of some notice and record. Once a year, at least, it is well to glance at it, remark such changes as it may have undergone, and illustrate its actual state by a few random examples. Looking back over the registers of the past year, we observe in the first place a decline of poetry in the announcements of our merchants and traders. Few London shops appear at present to keep poets. Warren himself rarely treats us to an ode, and this scarcity of verse is the more surprising when we consider the enormous quantity of the commodity produced by the booksellers, the authors of most of which could not more appropriately employ their poetic powers than in singing the praises of spermaceti candles, or jet blacking.
Over-production is indeed nowhere more conspicuous than in the manufacture of rhymes. We trust the opening of the trade with China may afford a vent for this as well as other branches of our native industry, as it certainly will, if the people of the celestial empire stand as much in need of fustian as of broadcloth. We could spare " the central flowery land" a legion of bards, and where could that flowery fraternity-out of work at home with even the doors of No. 20, Strand, closed against them,-more appropriately seek a Mecænas and a meal ?
But if the spirit of song is dead in our trading circles,-if there has been in our shops a counter-revolution against the lady muses-we have the satisfaction of perceiving that no decline in prose composition is visible as yet in the same department. We are not going to quote George Robins ; it is sufficiently gratifying to remark that the powers of this capital writer continue unimpaired, and that he still remains the undisputed head of his own department, and the greatest composer of an auction-bill in this or any other country. A few specimens of advertising genius in a lower degree will, however, be not amiss. We shall take
them at random from a few newspapers that happen to lie on the table.
How promptly has the author of the following availed himself of the recent triumphs of the British arms in the East :
“THE CHINESE BAND MARCH, as performed on the glorious ratification of peace with Great Britain, concluded by Sir Henry Pottinger, with a splendid Lithographic frontispiece, containing a distant View of Nankin.”
The anticipation here is a fine stroke of art, the peace in question not having been ratified up to the last advices from China. It reminds one of the brilliant hit made by Demades in Timon.
Dem.--Hear, my human Jupiter, the decree I have written conceroing thee before the Areopagistes: “Whereas Timon, a champion and wrestler, was in one day victor of both in the Olympic games.”
Tim.-But I ne'er saw the Olympic games.
Dem.- What of that? That makes no matter, thou shalt see them hereafter. *
The tea-dealers, of course, consider China as their own property. Their organs are particularly eloquent just now. One has the following burst :
“ The trade with Canton being now quite open, the public, who suffered so much by the late speculations, have a right to reap the full benefit of the present depression. They shall reap it.""
This is Demosthenic.
Another is rather Ciceronian, and expatiates more copiously on the same theme :
The glorious news from the East is every where bailed with delight and gratitude. In consequence of the highly important announcement of peace with China, we take the earliest opportunity of making known to the public—that we have commenced selling all descriptions of tea much cheaper."
Our next specimen is no less than a discovery of a new species of liberty, for which the chartists and Miss Mary Anne Walker will, of course, be duly grateful :
“Morisonian Prizes for the three best Essays on the Medical Liberty of the Subject. For particulars apply to the Medical Dissenter office, &c. ?"
We have long had political liberty, civil liberty, religious liberty, commercial liberty, and now medicul liberty is added to the number, so that there is reason to fear that liberty will become a drug !
Timon, edited by the Rev. A. Dyce. For the Shaksperian Society.