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breast; the bee fainted in the desert for want of honey-dew, and the ground-cells of industry were hushed below the heather; cattle lay lean on the barrenness of a hundred hills, and the hoof of the red-deer lost its fleetness. Along the shores of lochs great stones appeared, within what for centuries had been the lowest water-mark; and whole bays, once bright and beautiful with reed-pointed wavelets, became swamps, cracked and seamed, or rustling in the aridity with a useless crop, to the sough of the passing wind. On the shore of the sea alone you behold no change. The tides ebbed and flowed as before; the small billows racing over the silver sands to the same goal of shells, or climbing up to the same wild flowers that bathe the foundation of some old castle belonging to the ocean.
"But the windows of heaven were opened; and, like giants refreshed with mountain dew, the rains flung themselves over the cliffs with roars of thunder. The autumnal woods are fresher than those of summer. The mild harvest-moon will yet repair the evil done by the outrageous sun; and, in the gracious after-growth, the green earth far and wide rejoices as in spring. Like people that have hidden themselves in caves when their native land is oppressed, out gush the torrents, and descend with songs to the plain. The hill-country is itself again when it hears the voice of streams. Magnificent army of mists, whose array encompasses islands of the sea, and who still, as thy glorious vanguard keeps deploying among the glens, rollest on in silence more sublime than the trampling of the feet of horses, or the sound of the wheels of chariots, to the heath-covered mountains of Scotland, we bid thee hail!
"In all our wanderings through the Highlands, towards night we have always found ourselves at home. What, though no human dwelling was at hand? We cared not; for we could find a bed-room among the casual inclinations of rocks, and of all curtains the wild briar forms itself into the most tastefully-festooned draperies, letting in green light alone from the intercepted stars. Many a cave we know of—cool by day and warm by night, how they happen to be so we cannot tell—where no man but ourselves ever slept, or ever will sleep; and sometimes on startling a doe at evening in a thicket, we have lain down in her lair, and in our slumbers heard the rain pattering on the roofing birk tree, and felt not one drop on our face, till at dawning we struck a shower of diamonds from the fragrant tresses.
"The dawn is softly, slowly, stealing upon day; for the uprisen sun, though here the edge of his disc as yet be invisible, is diffusing abroad the sweet hour of prime, and all the eastern region is tinged with crimson, faint and fine as that which sleeps within the wreaths of the air-sounding shells. Hark! the eagle's earliest cry, yet in his eyrie. Another hour, and he and his giant mate will be seen spirally ascending the skies, in many a glorious gyration, tutoring their offspring to dally with the sunshine, that when their plumes are stronger, they may dally with the storm. Oh, Forest of Dalness! how sweet is thy name! Hundreds of red-deer are now lying half-asleep among the fern and heather, with their antlers, could our eyes have beheld them, as motionless as the birch-tree branches with which they are blended in their lair. At the signal-belling of their king, a hero unconquered in a hundred fights, the whole herd rises at once like a grove, and with their stately heads lifted aloft on the weather-gleam, snuff the sweet scent of the morning air, far and wide surcharged with the honeydew yet unmelting on the heather, and eye with looks of liberty the glad daylight that marbles the Black Mount with a many-coloured garment. Ha! the first plunge of the salmon in the Rowan-tree Pool. There again he shoots into the air, white as silver, fresh run from the sea! For Loch Etive, you must know, is one of the many million arms of the ocean, and bright now are rolling in the billows of the far heaving tide. Music sweet for such a morn and such mountains. Straight stretches the glen for leagues, and then bending through the blue gloom, seems to wind away with one sweep into infinitude. The great glen of Scotland, G-len More, is not grander.* * * Sweetly sung, thou small brown moorland bird, though thy song be but a twitter! And true to thy time, even to a balmy minute, art thou, with thy velvet tunic of black striped with yellow, as thou windest thy small but not sullen horn—by us called in our pride, humble-bee; but not, methinks, so very humble, while booming high in air in oft-repeated circles,
and then, as the smell of some far-off darling heather-bud had touched thy finest instinct, away thou fliest straight southward to that rich flower-store, unerringly as the carrier-pigeon wafting to distant lands some love-message on its wings. Tet humble, after all, thou art; for all day long, making thy industry thy delight, thou returnest at shut of day, cheerful even in thy weariness, to thy groundcell within the knoll, where, as Fancy dreams, the fairies dwell—a silent people in the land of Peace.
Deer-stalking.—" Let us away far up the great glen— let us stalk the red-deer. In that chase or forest the antlers lay not thick, as now they lie on the Athol braes; they were still a rare sight—and often and often had Godfrey and we gone up and down the glen, without a single glimpse of buck or doe rising up among the heather. But as the true angler will try every cast on the river, miles up and down, if he has reason to know that but one single fish has run up from the sea—so we, a true hunter, neither grudged nor wearied to stand for hours, still as the heron by the stream, hardly in hope, but satisfied with the possibility that a deer may pass by us in the desert. Steadiest and strongest is self-fed passion springing in spite of circumstance. When blows the warm showery south-west wind the trouts turn up their yellow sides at every dropping of the fly on the curling water —and the angler is soon sated with the perpetual play. But once, twice, thrice, during a long blustering day, the sullen plunge of a salmon is sufficient for that day's joy. Still, therefore, still as a cairn that stands for ever on the hill, or rather as the shadow on a dial, that, though it moves, is never seen to move, day after day were we on one station in the Great Glen. A loud, wild, wrathful, and savage cry from some huge animal made our heart leap up to our mouths and bathed our forehead in sweat. We looked up, and a red-deer—a stag of ten, the king of the forest, stood with all his antlers, snuffing the wind, but yet blind to our figure, overshadowed by a rock. The rifle-ball pierced his heart, and leaping up far higher than our head, he tumbled in terrific death and lay stone-dead before our starting eyes amid the rustling of the strong-branched heather! There we stood surveying him for a long triumphing hour. Ghastly were his glazed eyes, and ghastlier his long bloody tongue, bitten through at the very root in agony. The branches of his antlers pierced the sward like swords. His bulk seemed mightier in death even than when it was crowned with that kingly head snuffing the north-wind. In other two hours we were down at Moor Edge and up again with an eager train to the head of the Great Glen, coming and going a distance of a dozen long miles. A hay wagon forced its way through the bogs and over the braes, and on our return into the inhabited country, we were met by a shoal of peasants, men, women, and children, bragging over the prey; for not for many years—never since the funeral of the old lord—had the antlers of a red-deer been seen by them trailing along the heather."
The mushroom tribe are now very numerous, constituting the first link in the great chain of vegetable life which connects organised bodies with organic matter. Their seeds are so light as to be easily dispersed by the air, and fasten on every kind of decaying matter. The kinds most popularly known are the truffle, the morel, and the mushroom— so called par excellence—which is used for making catsup —but these fungi appear in a variety of shapes; the Boleti, the Puff-Bails, the Blight and Smut of wheat, the tinging matter of the celebrated Northern Red Snow, all belong to the same class; and, so far from being of one uniform
dull colour, some of them present the brightest hues in the vegetable kingdom, rivalling in grace and brilliance even the rose and the lily.
"I must not omit," says an author we have very frequently quoted, "the great variety of fungi which flourish this month. These are of every size, shade, and hue, according to species and situation, from the slender filament of scarlet or yellow upon some decaying stump, to the bold, broad agaric of a foot in height and diameter, standing in the forest as a fitting table for King Oberon. No production of nature but is endowed with some portion of that beauty so lavishly diffused through creation; and these humble and despised vegetables, which the clown kicks away with his foot, will certainly appear to an attentive eye not destitute of their share. In roaming the ancient wilds of Sherwood Forest in the autumn of 1827, I was particularly struck with their varying character; some broad, tabular, and flaked with brown; some in the shade of trees, of a pearly whiteness; others of a brilliant rose-colour; some white, delicate surfaces studded with dark embossments, some fashioned like a Chinese parasol, others gibbous and grotesque; the mossy puff-ball, which, before it becomes dry, has been known to weigh several pounds; the pestilent, scented, and ginger mushrooms, for all the world the exact resemblance of a simnel-cake."
SOMETHING ABOUT FIELD SPORTS.
On the first day of September (except when it falls on a Sunday) the shooting of partridges becomes lawful, and is joyfully entered on by a vast number of persons throughout the country. It generally forms the young shooter's first lesson at game, and in order to be successful he carefully notes the habits of the bird at different seasons, and under different sorts of weather, &c.
In the zeal for destruction which seems to pervade all ranks and classes of society at this particular period, it may seem out of place to speak of the usefulness of the animals which form the special object of the pursuit, or to offer a recommendation in their behalf, that the war against the species