Imágenes de páginas

say that such shall be totally waterproof without being very cumbersome and heavy, would be exceeding the truth; at all events, as far as my own experience extends. Neither do I conceive a really waterproof boot by any means a desirable acquisition. A circumstance occurred in the hunting-field to a friend of mine last winter, which fully corroborates this opinion. He wore a pair of the black waterproof hunting-boots, and, falling into a brook, got them full of water. He emptied them as well as he was able; but when he put them on again after the lapse of more than a week, during which period every means were used to dry them, they were so damp and uncomfortable that he was obliged to take them off, and although he resorted to the plan of burning brown paper in them, he could not make them dry, nor did they become so for a considerable time. So it is with shooting-boots: they may be in themselves virtually waterproof, but they cannot be so made unless they are cut to come up very high. If they will permit water to enter them, the difficulty of having them thoroughly dried is considerable: even the perspiration of the foot will create a dampness; and the unpleasantness, not to say risk, of taking cold from wearing damp boots or shoes, is very great-far worse than getting the feet wet when in exercise. A well made boot or shoe of the ordinary materials, frequently dressed with curriers' dubbing, or, when that cannot be procured, with tallow, is the most convenient and agreeable wear, and that method the most effective of keeping them soft, and causing them to resist the wet, although many combinations of tallow, wax, resin, turpentine, and such-like ingredients have been recommended. It may not be amiss to suggest the propriety of having nails in the shoes, not merely for the sake of making them wear longer, but they conduce so much to the comfort of walking, especially when the ground is hilly or slippery.

I think in general too little regard is had to the colour of a shooter's dress. It certainly must be important that it should be of such a hue as not to be attractive to the eye; but to this very few persons pay any attention, deeming it more essential that some becoming contrast should adorn the person: thus, a black velveteen jacket accompanies a pair of white or other light-coloured trousers. Drab or brown, being less easily distinguished than other colours, decidedly deserves the preference, and is suitable to all seasons of the


In order to protect the legs as much as possible from wet, I know nothing more effectual than a pair of well-made lace-boots, with leggings of stout cloth, and the old-fashioned knee-breeches. They certainly bear a superiority over trousers, although the latter garments are very commonly worn.

Whoever is really determined to enjoy the amusement of shooting to the utmost extent, will take some pains to get himself into condition before the season commences; for without the sacrifice of some time, and the consequent loss of several days' sport, he cannot do it afterwards; my reasons for which assertion I will explain as I proceed. When the various pursuits of the summer season have passed away, the condition or state in which most persons find themselves

when the twelfth of August or the first of September arrives, is seldom that which will enable them to undergo continuous exertion without feeling fatigue and inconvenience, unless it may be some few who, having lived in the country, resorted to the game of cricket or some similar strong exercise to keep their muscles in action. Only conceive, for example, a man who has been luxuriating in London during the summer, indulging in the enticements of the dinner-table and convivial society, keeping late hours, and taking very little, if any, exercise; for that portion of pedestrianism which scarcely produces appetite sufficient to enjoy the delicacies with which the metropolis abounds, cannot be denominated exercise sufficient to keep the constitution in a vigorous state; and let him commence operations on the first of September without any preparation, and it will soon be manifest how incapable he is of performing any exertion, and, consequently, how very little enjoyment he will experience compared to one who is in strong work.

The system, when overcharged with plethoric properties, is evidently incapable of undergoing active exertion without a probability of dangerous consequences: the first consideration should therefore be directed to such a course as will relieve the constitution from those evils; and as the condition of the blood is of the utmost importance, attention to its state is essential. If from the effects of too good living and want of exercise it has become too rich, thick, and incapable of passing through the vessels with the case required when its circulation is accelerated, laxative medicines and a few days of abstemious probation will be found the most effectual and the quickest means of obtaining the end sought after. On the other hand, if a man commences the shooting season without some preparation, having passed several months in idleness, after the first day or two of exertion he finds himself hot, feverish, and inordinately fatigued. He is compelled to rest a day or two, or if he persists in shooting day after day, he goes out with reluctance, the excitement and gratification of the sport not being in reality commensurate with the pain he experiences from exhaustion. When labour is carried on to excess, the constitution not having been previously accustomed to it, fever ensues, which is not on all occasions readily subdued without recourse to rest, and very frequently the assistance of medicine.

To avoid their unpleasant consequences two or three doses of aperient medicines must first of all be taken; but as most persons are accustomed to some particular recipe, it appears quite unnecessary to prescribe. Any of the numerous combinations of family pills so strongly recommended by their various proprietors for their universal success in curing all the disorders to which the human subject "is heir to," may with propriety be sought after, unless the simple but not therefore the less effective dose of salts and senna be preferred. Walking exercise after the course of medicine follows in due order; and unless the person be of a lean habit, some additional garments in the form of flannel waistcoats and drawers, to increase the flow of perspiration, will be not only exceedingly salutary, but will very materially promote the object. After walking in additional clothes, carę

[ocr errors]

not to take cold is a caution which appears scarcely requisite; nor is there, with moderate precaution, that danger which many persons imagine. A man not accustomed to exercise will perspire very freely with very little excitement, and will often content himself to remain in the clothes which he has worn a considerable time after his walk is completed-frequently in a shirt which has been thoroughly saturated with perspiration, allowing it to become dry on his back. In such cases there certainly is something to apprehend from taking cold, and yet that result does not very commonly happen. Some persons naturally perspire very freely, and are, therefore, often exposed to the danger which is supposed to attend a cessation of exercise, if the clothes damp from this cause are allowed to remain on the body. When, however, a person has been walking in extra clothes to promote perspiration, with a view to health and condition, he will, as a matter of course, on his return home, having rested a sufficient time for the circulation of the blood to assume its ordinary rate, change his clothes for those which are dry. The luxury attendant upon this is a sufficient inducement to many who have experienced it to put it into effect more frequently than those who have not tried it would imagine. The effusion of perspiration, and the attendant relief to the system, with a naturally healthy constitution, produces a feeling of alacrity, sprightliness, and vigour, that cannot be arrived at by any other means. If two or three such walks be taken at a brisk pace, with extra flannels, each walk being a distance of six or eight miles, the result will thoroughly repay any person who will undergo the ordeal. At the same time some restriction should be laid upon the diet, which should be plain and cooling.

If there be one thing more decidedly in opposition to a man's good condition and his best energies in the field than any other, I believe it to be that of drinking spirits. Some persons take spirits to cool them, others to warm them, others to allay their thirst, and others because they like them: now, if the whole were combined in the latter, and their excuses expunged, I believe we should have a tolerably correct conclusion. But I am quite certain the less a man drinks of them the better he will be able to walk and undergo fatigue, and the better he will be able to shoot. However, I am no teetotaller. I cannot go so far as to say a man shall not have a glass of grog with his companion or friend at night, and also his cigar if he likes it, because if we are to refrain from all the enjoyments of this life, simply for the sake of one pursuit, I am doubtful if the latter can be equivalent with the forbearance; but let the exhilarating effects of the glass of grog and the cigar be so kept in subjection as not to interfere with the health, and consequently destroy the recreation which is sought for in the field; for I will defy any man to enjoy himself if he be not in perfect health and condition. The practice which many adopt of drinking weak brandy-and-water when thirst prevails during the day, I believe, is very bad. Sherry-and-water is no doubt much better; but I would prefer many of the home-made wines mixed with water, to any other beverage. Well do I remember the red gooseberry wine, made bv a worthy old aunt of mine, some years

since, who is now no more, which she would, when in her most amiable moods, send to me unexpectedly in the field, and which, coming unexpectedly, rendered more grateful the grateful beverage. Many of my friends who have partaken of it with me will, no doubt, recollect some of these occasions, as I know they read these pages, and, as I often do, will wish they could sip it o'er again.

Much inconvenience frequently arises from the feet, either from corns or blisters; and which of the two to describe as being the worst, I scarcely know; perhaps the latter, so long as they are in existence. The best remedy that I know of, to prevent blisters, is to wear two pairs of stockings, or rather, one pair of stockings and one pair of socks, and to rub the feet and inside of the stockings with yellow soap; but after any lengthened rest, that is, when you have not been accustomed to walking, from illness or any other cause, it is almost a hopeless case to recommend a preventive. I shall never forget the pain which I once endured during a pedestrian trip to South Wales, after having taken very little or no exercise for a period of five or six weeks previously. The weather was intensely hot; and on the conclusion of the second day's tour, having accomplished a distance of about fifty-five miles, the bottoms of both feet were blistered; that of the right foot to such a degree as to render me totally unable to proceed any further until rest had restored the affected part. I had recourse to cold poultices, which relieved me wonderfully, for the heat was dreadful; and, contrary to the advice of many persons, I opened the blisters to let out the fluid contained in them. This is a subject upon which many people differ; but I have always experienced the greatest relief from passing a needle through them, so as to permit the escape of the fluid, but not to make so large an orifice as to create a wound, or permit the skin underneath to be exposed-the cause, I have no doubt, why many who have done so should condemn the custom of opening blisters. Washing the feet after walking is another very important habit, not merely as being conducive to cleanliness and comfort, but it will very materially tend to prevent the rising of blisters. The general state of the feet must, in a great measure, dictate the treatment which they require. Some persons perspire so freely from those parts as to render their feet constantly damp. On the other hand, there are some whose feet are always hot and dry. The former may be relieved by occasionally moistening them with vinegar and water: the latter will be kept in better order by the application of a little spermacetti, white wax, and sweet oil melted together. Those who have experienced the pain created by sore feet will cheerfully bestow the trouble which is entailed upon the use of any preventive.

(To be continued).



The curse of a country is a Bifron's Janus, or, to speak more plainly, the man that carries two faces under one hat; but more especially so if from property he occupy an influential position in his neighbourhood. The following adventures, somewhat ludicrous in their detail, but serious in their consequence, took place among the community in the month of October just past. Were Cervantes alive I would ride a thousand miles to retain his pen, to describe the former; and for the latter, I would raise Judge Jeffreys himself from the dead, with a jury of Meynells and Wyndhams, to sit in judgment on the culprit.

The facts are these:- -An established pack of foxhounds met at Covers to draw for a fox; the owner being a subscriber to the hounds, a regular man in the field twice a week, and a professed foxpreserver, has a fine estate, and lives in the heart of the country, though not of his hunt. The hounds are thrown into cover; whenproh pudor! my hair stands on end in recounting the tragedy-a fox is found writhing in the iron jaws of gin; the poor brute is liberated but cannot go, and the very hounds turn up their noses at him, as much as to say, "Dog wont eat dog; he is a domestic animal, and has none of the wild flavour we esteem." 66 Sorry for it, sir," says the keeper, addressing the gallant captain, whose features had assumed the expression of the Saracen one sees painted over a pot-house door; (6 sorry for it, sir, but it is an accident."


Again the sound of "Hoick in, hoick!" resounds through a cover adjoining the house; "a whimper is heard," a crash succeeds, and a fox is viewed away. "Go-o-ne away," and the captain shakes his horn with the ecstacy of Jem Hill; "go-o-ne away." gone very far," shouts a countryman, "for there he goes into the stable-yard." And so he did, and went farther too; he went into the saddle-room, jumped over the bars of the grate, where there was actually a fire, up the chimney-and, with his head peeping out from the pot, would have said, if he could, "All's up" (ay, all's up; not in a Pickwickian sense, nor in the sense of the chimney sweep, but), "all's up with your sport if you have many such cover-owners as my worthy master." The fox had too great a regard for his own safety, and too little for the squire's reputation, to come down and give them a run; for he had an inward presentiment that he should s6 go to pot" in earnest if he did, like the tailor of Samarcand's pebble; but attached to his home, and selfishly preferring to remain there, he brought conviction home to the door of those who had fed

« AnteriorContinuar »