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was cast on to feed their brightness. By the light of these fires, I could farther perceive, that the road itself was thronged with artillery and tumbrils; whilst the glaring atmosphere above the wood showed that it too was fully tenanted, and that its occupants were, like ourselves, reposing in an attitude of watchfulness. To complete the picture, the night chanced to be uncommonly dark. Neither moon nor stars were out, and though no rain fell, a considerable fog was in the air, which, hindering the flames from ascending beyond a certain height, caused them to shed a stronger colouring upon the surrounding objects. Then the knowledge that the enemy was at hand, and that we only waited for the dawn of to-morrow, to renew the combat; the whole of these circumstances combined, gave so deep an interest to our situation, that it was long ere I was able to follow the example of my comrades, and lie down. Fatigue, however, at length prevailed over enthusiasm; and having heartily partaken of the meal which our faithful Francisco brought up, I wrapped my cloak about me, and taking my station, like the rest, with my feet towards the fire, I soon fell fast asleep, Anon.
A FOX CHASE ON THE SCOTTISH
On their return to the house, where the good wife presided over an ample breakfast, she heard news of the proposed fox-hunt, not indeed with approbation, but without alarm or surprise. "Dand!VOL. III. L L
ye're the auld man yet—naething will make ye take warning till ye're brought hame some day wi' your feet foremost."
"Tut, lass! ye ken yoursell, I am never a prin the waur o' my rambles."
So saying, he exhorted Brown to be hasty in dispatching his breakfast, as " the frost having given way, the scent would lie this morning primely."
Out they sallied, accordingly, for Otterscopescaurs, the farmer leading the way. They soon quitted the little valley, and involved themselves among hills as steep as they could be without being precipitous. The sides often presented gullies, down which, in the winter season, or after heavy rains, the torrents descended in great fury. Some dappled mists still floated along the peaks of the hills, the remains of the morning clouds, for the frost had broken up with a smart shower. Through these fleecy screens were seen a hundred little temporary streamlets, or rills descending the sides of the mountains like silver threads. By small sheep-tracks along these steeps, over which Dinmont trotted with the most fearless confidence, they at length drew near the scene of sport, and began to see other men, both on horse and foot, making towards the place of rendezvous. Brown was puzzling himself to conceive how a fox-chase could take place among hills, where it was barely possible for a pony, accustomed to the ground, to trot along, but where quitting the track for half a yard's breadth, the rider might be either bogged, or precipitated down the bank. This wonder was not diminished when he came to the place of action.
They had gradually ascended very high, and now found themselves on a mountain-ridge overhanging a glen of great depth, but extremely narrow. Here the sportsmen had collected, with an apparatus which would have shocked a member of the Pychely Hunt; for the object being the removal of a noxious and destructive animal, as well as the pleasures of the chase, poor reynard was allowed much less fair play than when pursued in form through an open country. The strength of his habitation, however, and the nature of the ground by which it was surrounded on all sides, supplied what was wanting in the courtesy of his pursuers. The sides of the glen were broken banks of earth, and rocks of rotten stone, which sunk sheer down to the little winding stream below, affording here and there a tuft of scattered brush-wood, or a patch of furze. Along the edges of this ravine, which, as we have said, was very narrow, but of profound depth, the hunters on horse and foot ranged themselves; almost every farmer had with him at least a brace of large and fierce greyhounds, of the race of those deer-dogs which were formerly used in that country, but greatly lessened in size from being crossed with the common breed. The huntsman, a sort of provincial officer of the district, who receives a certain supply of meal, and a reward for every fox he destroys, was already at the bottom of the dell, whose echoes thundered to the chiding of two or three brace of fox hounds. Terriers, including the whole generation of Pepper and Mustard, were also in attendance, having been sent forward under the care of a shepherd. Mongrel, whelp, and cur of low degree filled up the burthen of the chorus. The spectators on the brink of the ravine, or glen, held their greyhounds in leash, in readiness to slip them at the fox, as soon as the activity of the party below should force him to abandon his cover.
The scene, though uncouth to the eye of a professed sportsman, had something in it wildly captivating. The shifting figures on the mountain-ridge, having the sky for their background, appeared to move in the air. The dogs, impatient of their restraint, and maddened with the baying beneath, sprung here and there, and strained at the slips which prevented them from joining their companions. Looking down, the view was equally striking. The thin mists were not totally dispersed in the glen, so that it was often through their gauzy medium that the eye strove to discover the motions of the hunters below. Sometimes a breath of wind made the scene visible, the blue rill glittering as it twined itself through its rude and solitary dell. They then could see the shepherds springing with fearless activity from one dangerous point to another, and cheering the dogs on the scent; the whole so diminished by depth and distance, that they looked like pigmies. Again the mists close over them, and the only signs of their continued exertions are the halloos of the men, and the clamours of the hounds, ascending, as it were, out of the bowels of the earth. When the fox, thus persecuted from one strong hold to another, was at length obliged to abandon his valley, and to break away for a more distant retreat, those who watched his motions from the top slipped their greyhounds, which, excelling the fox in swiftness, and equalling him in ferocity and spirit, soon brought the plunderer to his life's end.
In this way, without any attention to the ordinary rules and decorums of sport, but apparently as much to the gratification both of bipeds and quadrupeds as if all had been followed, four foxes were killed on this active morning; and even Brown himself, though he had seen the principal sports of India, and ridden a tigerhunting upon an elephant with the nabob of Arcot, professed to have received a morning's excellent amusement. When the sport was given up for the day, most of the sportsmen, according to the established hospitality of the country, went to dine at Charlies-hope. Sir W. Scott.
NICE AND ITS ENVIRONS.
£iA Luc and his little party travelled slowly on, sunk in pensive silence—a silence too pleasingly sad to be soon relinquished, and which they indulged without fear of interruption. The solitary grandeur of the scenes through which they passed, and the soothing murmur of the pines that waved above, aided this soft luxury of meditation.
They proceeded by easy stages; and, after travelling for some days among the romantic mountains and green valleys of Piedmont, they