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riding Barrier against Auckland, on the same royal heath; the Rockingham and Charles XII. races, at Goodwood. Every spot we turn to has some great feat associated with his name. How well we remember some of them, and how far back, too! That nursing of the great, fineformed, but tender-spirited, Caravan, with the white jacket of Isaac Day, actually taking off the Ascot prize ; or, farther back still, when as boys from school two or three of us were first treated to Goodwood Beiram breaking down, Rockingham in his plain snaffle winning the Cup;
old Brown, the trainer, crying for joy, and rumour asserting that Mr. Theobald, the owner, had died before the race. We have it all be. fore us as if it were yesterday, and Jem Robinson, again, as the winning man. It was at this very meeting indeed, Goodwood 1835, and on the following day, that, with a taste of his own bye-gone trick upon Buckle, Robinson again, on Rockingham, with of course high odds in his favour, was cleverly slipped by poor little Twitchett, one of Forth's favourite lads. The race was for Her Majesty's guineas, and the plater Lucifer the winner of them. What a scene it was, and how ready were people, as usual, to think the worst !
We are justified, however, in saying that no one could better afford to stand up against a mistake of this kind than James Robinson. Censured we know he has been, but too often without cause or consideration. Fortunately abuse of such character can do little permanent injury; and the respect which Robinson so long commanded by his conduct in or out of his profession, he enjoys still. Years since his Royal Highness the Duke of York insisted on the owner of a large string of horses publicly apologizing to Robinson for having hastily and unjustly censured him; and we are quite sure there are many noblemen would stand as firmly by him now. During his late severe illness nearly all the leading members of the turf, titled and commoners, have continued to visit him in person, and to show in the most marked manner their solicitude and esteem.
The cause of his retirement is too well known, but it may be briefly stated here. On the Monday, in the first spring meeting of 1852, he was riding Feramorz, a two-year-old of Lord Clifden's, in a match, when, almost immediately after starting, the brute swerved, and Robinson's stirrup-leather breaking he fell and broke his thigh. An accident of so serious a nature, the more particularly to a man of his age, naturally created much alarm as to the consequences ; and we regret to add that these are such as to preclude his ever riding again. The injured limb is found to have been set four inches shorter than the other. The fact that the most eminent of our practitioners can rarely depend upon the manner in which a boken thigh may set shall stay us from condemning a gentleman who, we believe, gave every attention in his power to his patient. We can only wish that his efforts had been more successful.
The loss will be great indeed ; but to none more so than to poor Robinson and his family. In all the relations of private life we repeat he has a character as high as ever he has enjoyed in public. Highminded and liberal in the greatest degree, we are only afraid that his consideration for others may have at times been more than strict prudence would have warranted. James Robinson never had “a turn but his relations shared it; and as a son, a brother, and a husband, there is many and many an act of ready kindness and generosity that will ever speak to his credit,
Our portrait is taken in the colours of his Grace the Duke of Rutland, one of Robinson's first masters and most steadfast friends. A likeness has already appeared of him in those of Sir John Shelley, and there are many others he might show in with equal justice—the striped jacket of my Lord Jersey ; the pure white of the late Sir Mark Wood, for whom he did so much with Camarine and Lucetta ; the blue and white of Lord Exeter ; or the straw-colour of Lord Clifden, in whose service his career came to so premature a close. May every comfort attend him in his retirement : as a man he has many qualities that deserve it, while as a jockey, to take the brief record of The Quarterly, “HE WAS PERFECT.”
afford to you
In observance of the time-honoured custom, I commence these pages by wishing you a happy new year-yea, many of them; and I will add may you long continue your support to the pages of this periodical, and may it be found always worthy of your patronage, and the amusement you
desire. You have, I trust, had a merry Christmas--the mince pies were, I hope, excellent, and the turkey a splendid bird. You burnt the yule log, concocted the wassail-bowl, in short, omitted none of the ancient honours due to the festive season. All friends were summoned and reminded that
" To-morrow is merry Christmas,
And when night descends
There will be mirth and music." The old year was seen out, and the new one in, and the whole shall be concluded with Twelfth-night, and “ King and Queen.” If such is to your mind we shall travel along smoothly together, for I am a staunch supporter of the good old customs, and I put on sable and sadness for
Ι every one that is lost.
In the present month the foxhunter is frequently frozen up, and the same may be said of the disciple of the rod ; but the sportsman attached to la chasse au fusil now finds full employment, and that of the most exciting nature, for woodcocks, snipes, and wild fowl abound, and the harder the weather the greater is the fun. Whilst the foxhunter is sighing for the frost to break, and the angler is solacing himself by repairing his tackle, and dressing flies to tempt therewith the trout in the ensuing spring, the Ramrod is hard at work, health gives a bloom to his cheek, and exercise that appetite which Soyer's sauce would fail to produce.
“ Better in fields to seek for health unbought,
Than fee the doctor for a nauseous draught." Well it is for the M.D.'s that these lines are not always acted upon ; if they were, those gentry must exclaim
“My vocation is gone."
At present they flourish, as do the lawyers-when do the latter not bloom? but to them may the rest of mankind address these words
“What is fun to you is death to us.” Some great prince from foreign parts, upon seeing our wigged ones in the courts of law, is said to have exclaimed, “ What are those grizzly forms I see ?” and upon being told that they were lawyers, he went on
Lawyers, why in all my realms I have but three, and when I return, one of those three”—he did not finish telling what it was his intention to do when he returned home, but we are led to believe that he did not consider, with Rory O'More, that “there is luck in odd numbers.'' However, as our business is with sportsmen and not with lawyers, we will leave the latter to take care of themselves, which no doubt they will do, their modesty not standing in the way of their merit.
Cover shooting in January is delightful, the weather is then seasonable, the trees are divested of leaves, and all is as the sportsman can wish.
At one moment the gun is presented at the feathered long bill, the next it has laid low the gaudy pheasant, which made the woods echo with the noise of its wing as it rose from the brake: now it is directed against poor pussy, and then against the rabbit, till the bag growing heavy, and night approaching, warns the sportsman that he has had enough, and cheerily he returns home, perchance to a smiling wife, a comfortable fire, and a good dinner.
“ He loves at break of day with his faithful dog to roam
Night comes, he finds again a cheerful welcome home.” At this period of the season I have had some very pretty sport with woodcocks in the hedgerows, especially if they had a ditch running down them containing a warm soak. The plan in this case to be adopted is, for two persons to go, one on each side the hedge, and let them take, not a team of noisy spaniels, but a couple of old steady setters or pointers, the former I prefer. If the hedges run up to a cover, commence beating at the cover side : the advantage of so doing is, that should there be an old cock pheasant in the hedge-row, his retreat being cut off, he will be forced to rise; if you do not take this precaution he will most likely give you the slip by running up the ditch, and so regaining the cover will live to run another day. After much wet the pheasant will leave the wood and take to the hedge-rows, as they have a great objection to the droppings from the trees ; indeed, no kind of game will remain where there is much wet, whether it be under or over them.
The hare in the month of January is in excellent condition; during the summer she may be fatter, but the flavour of her flesh is not so good. That she will run much faster at this time every keeper of long tails is aware ; and this is easily accounted for, as her food becomes more scarce, and is divested of much of its succulency-in fact, at this time she goes into training.
In January and February the foxhounds frequently get clipping runs, for at these times they often find a dog fox a good distance from his home, and then woe to the man who cannot get a good start, or who having got it does not know how to keep it. On these occasions, out of a field of say a hundred, how many see the end of a brilliant thing,
and how many
are no-where"? Those are greatly to be envied who see the thing out, from the “away!” to the “ who-hoop!” We trust, dear reader, you are often one of the select few who do, and that you may live to see many of them, and though you live to see the death of the fox, you may never live to see the death of for-hunting.
Partridges in January have become so wild that it is hardly worth the sportsman's while to go after them, though they are in excellent condition for the table, especially if hung for some days before being dressed.
I will here mention that Mr. Gilbert has invented a portable kite and hawk, for making birds lie when wild. The apparatus when folded occupies the space of a fishing rod, and is elevated in a few moments, after which the birds will not rise till put up by the sportsman. Mr. Gilbert's address is, I believe, 12, Soho-square. I have known partridges lie well after a hawk had flown over a field in which they were, when before they had been as “ wild as a howk,” as the saying has it ; therefore I think it probable Mr. Gilbert's invention may prove of service to the sportsman, at any rate if the cost is not great it will be worth a trial.
There are some days when we find partridges rise the moment a foot is set on the field ; and I have seen occasions when the mere breaking of a twig at one end of the field, which perhaps contained ten or fifteen acres, would cause the covey to rise at the opposite end-at such times Mr. Gilbert's invention would perhaps be a boon to the gunner.
Late in the season when I require birds for any particular purpose, I adopt the plan of only bcating the turnip fields, for I find they there lie better than on the stubbles ; and I likewise at such times load with large shots lightly, which enables me to get long shots. After the month of November most shots obtained are long ones, that is to say at partridges; and killing one then is a very different thing to doing so in September, when the greatest muff that ever existed can knock down what nine times in ten is only a half-grown bird.
I should be very glad to see an alteration in the game laws, to the effect that the opening day for partridge shooting be postponed till the first day of October. By such an alteration not only would the pothunter be prevented killing partridges before they can fly, but pheasants would likewise be preserved. As the law now stands numerous young pheasants are killed on the first of September, in potatoes and turnips, at which time they are designated by the knowing ones “ Prussian birds.” A full-grown cock pheasant is in my opinion a remarkably handsome fellow, therefore it is a great pity it should be killed before it has arrived at perfection ; but I fear we shall be long getting pot-hunters to agree in this our opinion.
An endeavour was made during last spring to revive the ancient falconry; but I do not think the attempt made much way—nor will it, for the present enclosed state of the country operates against it, added to which the taste and inclination of people have so changed, that I imagine the inclination of the sporting community does not lean towards hawking.
I believe it is not generally known that in the time of Henry the Eighth, common kites were numerous in London streets ; they were attracted by the offal of the butchers' and poulterers' shops, and were of great service in removing such nuisances ; consequently they were en
couraged, and the authorities would not allow them to be destroyed ; it is said that they at length became so fearless as to actually mingle with the passengers, and take their prey in the greatest crowds : this is strange when we recollect how shy and wild these birds are at the present time.
Falconry was in the middle ages the favorite field-sport : it was an amusement patronised by royalty, and nobles were painted in life with their lawks seated on their wrist ; and even after death were these birds sculptured on the tombs, thus marking the very great esteem in which they were held. The favourite kinds were the falcon proper and the ger-falcon, the gos-hawk and the sparrow-hawk ; the next preferred were the hobby, the kestral, the merlin, and buzzard.
Heron-hawking was most esteemed; but partridge-hawking must be very tame work ; it has been practised of late years, that is to say since the attempt has been made to revive the sport. Brook-hawking, in my opinion, must have been the finest sport, as presenting a greater variety. Dogs were employed to move the birds, and then the hawks were cast off. Sometimes the prey was a mallard, then perhaps a heron, next a teal, and so on : a heron or a mallard would require two hawks, while a teal or snipe would only engage one, Fine as the sport was then considered, we shall never see it indulged in again, to any extent at least. The gun has now become so familiar to the Englishman that he will not easily be induced to forego the use of it ; and it would be a source of regret if such should be the caso, since it has been brought to so high a state of perfection. Whether or no he will have, after a few years, any game to fire at, is a matter of opinion : certain it is that it is decreasing everywhere, and in many places where there were formerly many pheasants there is now not one. In opposition to this opinion, however, we read that the Earl of Stamford and Warrington has had some extraordinary sport, one day with five guns killing 262 partridges, 24 hares, and 10 rabbits. Let it be observed that the number of hares and rabbits is small, and it is those sorts of game which the nonpreserving community chiefly object to ; partridges are seldom or never à source of complaint they are very easily netted. Can this have any thing to do with the peaceful feeling exhibited towards then ?- What think you, good reader ?
The partridge is so exceedingly prolific that I am of opinion no persecution will ever exterminate them ; so much, however, cannot be said for the pheasant, which is a most stupid bird, and easily killed. Numbers are taken every season by poachers, whose instrument of destruction is chiefly the wire. Sometimes they go in large marauding parties; but as this is attended with danger to their safety, the former mode is mostly adopted by the poacher who makes a practice and trade of taking game.
A novice in the matter would be surprised how knowing these gentry are in their profession. The following instance I was an eye-witness to :-A keeper found a pheasant in a wire, which he foolishly took out, examined, and then placed again (as he thought) in the same position ; having done this he waited in ambush to pounce upon the offender when taking the bird from out of the wire. But no, he was not so easily to be caught, for upon coming to the pheasant he looked at it without stopping, and at the same time giving an involuntary shake of the head,