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refrained from firing, in order that I might
keep a wary and an anxious eye upon the
gentleman who had just shot the dog. My
relief was inexpressible, when one of the
keepers told me that he could do no farther
harm, precaution having been taken to load
his gun with powder only, and not to put in
very much of that.

My next care was to persuade our sportsmen
to leash up their dogs, or at least to send
them to the rear; for, as the hares came
down, the dogs immediately ran at them and
gave chase, so that for some time there
was no shooting to be had. One gentleman,
who established an acquaintance by asking me
whether I came "from England out." warned
off the game by his stentorian hunting songs;
others broke the line, and ran into the circle,
thereby exposing their limbs to the attack
of small shot; others flogged their dogs,
who responded with discordant yells; and
all had horns or whistles, into which they
blew with lamentable perseverance, when
they were not otherwise employed. I grew
at last accustomed to this mode of sport. As
the kreis or circle included only too much
game, by the time our lines closed we had
killed one hundred and forty-five hares, and
twenty-three brace of birds.

It was now about three o'clock in the afternoon;
for we had begun late, and with one
delay or another the day had almost slipped
out of our hands. The keener sportsmen of
our party were very anxious, therefore, to
make the best use of our remaining time.
But the appearance of a bevy of ladies
wandering towards us through the distant fields,
with a few symptoms of lunch, gave us now
reason to expect a rest of some duration. So
it turned out. Our quarter-master had
pitched upon a pleasant nook in one of those
elegant little patches of ground, half wood,
half shrubbery, which is the favourite resort
of pheasants. There, disembarrassing
ourselves of our guns, which had been slung over
the shoulder, after German fashion, we sat
down upon the grass. The afternoon had
cleared again, and the day now felt to us
quite warm after our exercise. The ladies
hung their bonnets on the boughs of trees,
and lucky beaux obtained the care of shawls
and parasols. We grouped ourselves
unconsciously into a Watteau picture, and enjoyed
one of the pleasantest of luncheons. The
light wavy foliage of some young trees
formed a bower overhead; a glorious hill-
country, with the peaks of the Schneeberg,
bounded the view before us in the distance.
Pleasant words and merry tales went round
with the good wine, and before long a vagrant
fiddle and a strolling flute had been attracted
by the distant music of our laughter. The
fiddle and the flute made it quite certain to
the meanest comprehension that our shooting
for the day was over. So we yielded
ourselves gladly to a dance.

The peeping of the stars admonished us
at last to wander homeward. We departed
through the fields and vineyards, singing as
we came; for Germans breathe an
atmosphere of music. The clear bell-like voices
of the young girls sounded very sweetly
in the still air of the evening, as we
trooped pleasantly along. Of one voice I still
remember the soft, liquid, pleading tones; the
songstress looked so placid and so gentle,
that one felt angels to be possible even on
this side of the stars.

And so our shooting party ended.


OCTOBER is the time for the late traveller
in the Lake District to wonder why little
parties of men are roaming at mid-day on
the hill-sides, leaving their business below
just as the daylight hours are becoming
precious. October is the time for residents in
the district to look up anxiously to these
hillsides, and to peep into the recesses of the
mountains, to see what woods are to fall this
year under the axe. October is the time when
the gentleman checks his horse under the
great sycamore in the village, or before the
market-cross in the little towns, and reads,
over the heads of the group on foot, the
handbills, nailed up, or stuck on, which tell what
lots of coppice-wood are on view for sale
during the latter days of the month. October
is the time when the land agent, well-booted,
makes his way through moss, bog, brambles,
and underwood, into every corner of certain
plantations, followed by a labourer, who
carries a great pot of white or red paint, and
a brush, wherewith he marks the wood that is
doomed. October is the time when the cooper,
and the hooper, and the field-carpenter, and
the bobbin-maker, come up from town and
village to the mountain side, to inspect the
timber and coppice that are to be sold. These
are the little parties that the late tourist
watches from below. They are not leaving
their business in the shortening days. They
come here in the course of business, to
measure, and inspect, and calculate, and make
up their minds how high to go, in bidding on
the auction day. It does not follow that they
have no pleasure, because they come upon
business. It is probable that the weather is
delicious. It usually is so towards the end of
October, in this region. The air is probably so
still that the wet is heard to drop before the
intruders reach the hazels, and the acorn to
fall as they pass the larger oaks. The bulrush
is as still on the brink of the tarn, as the
grey rock which juts into it; and both are
reflected, sharp and clear, by waters which
are not disturbed by the wing of fly above, or
the fin of fish from below.

In that looking-glass, too, may perhaps be
seen the first party of wild swans, arriving in
good time from the north, and now looking
down from their lofty flight, to see where they

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