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pared for the stranger; and when dressed, shaved, and arrayed in fur and scarlet, they recognised him at once as a prince, whom they would have driven as a beggar from the door.

Rohant now declares his whole history to King Mark, and, at considerable length, discloses that monarch's relationship to Tristrem, and, corroborating his statement by the gold ring formerly adorning the hapless Blanche-Fleur, a general kissing takes place for the benefit of the newly-discovered nephew, in which a lady and knight and maiden bright," and all the servants in the hall, seem to take part.

Tristrem, now for the first time made acquainted with his birth and parentage, resolves to punish his hereditary enemy, Duke Morgan; and to that end, having first received knighthood at the King's hand, embarks with a thousand lances for his own kingdom of “Ermonie." Here, accompanied by fifteen champions, he appears in disguise at Duke Morgan's palace, joining somewhat unceremoniously in his Grace's banquet, and bearing, as does each of his retinue, á boar's head, wherewith to garnish the entertainment. When the feast is at the highest, he declares himself in pretty strong language. The Duke rejoins by throwing a loaf at him, with such good aim as to cause the blood from his nose to flow “ adown his breast,” to which argument the young champion replies by drawing his sword; and a battle-royal takes place, the gallant fifteen being fortunately reinforced by the forethought of Sir Rohant, who has brought up the rear with the flower of his arny. Of course, Duke Morgan is slain, all his castles, towns, and stone-built cities taken, while the people fall at the feet of Tristrém, and a bow to his hand."

For two years he reigns over " Álmain" and "Ermonie," at the end of which period he abandons his government to Sir Rohant, and proceeds to England, for the affectionate purpose of visiting his uncle, or, as he naively expresses it, “ Mark mark mine em to see."

Sir Tristrem accordingly embarks in a fair ship, and sails prosperously to Cornwall, where he finds great lamentations pervading the country, and “many men weeping sore.” The cause of all this grief is shortly explained to him, as the disagreeable necessity under which the inhabitants labour of paying a tribute to Ireland, consisting of three hundred pounds in gold, a like sum in silver, also in “latoun” (probably a species of alloyed copper), and, to crown all, three hundred free-born children. Moraunt, the champion of Ireland, a very giant in fight, has stepped over to collect these sundries; and woe to the knight who should dare to dispute a claim so supported ! Sir Tristrem disem. barks, and hastens to his uncle, who informs him, in doleful accents, of his wrongs; our doughty heró replying, with unmoved countenance, “ Moraunt, that man of might, he shall not have his wille."

The Privy Council, however, have not courage to back Bir Tristrem in his dauntless refusal. Save himself, no knight of mortal frame dare cope with the redoubtable Irishman; and, without more ado, he confronts Moraunt before them all, and informs him shortly that “we owe thee nothing." The ambassador retorts at once with the lie direct, and, according to knightly custom, offers to prove it with his body before the King. So confident is he of his prowess, that he wages a ring on his success, Tristrem--a thorough sportsman-accepting the wager as readily as the challenge.

The champions, in separato boats, make for an island, Moraunt securing his bark to the shore, while Tristrem turns his adrift, with this mischief-meaning observation : “As only one of us shall survive, one boat will be enough.”

After such a remark, we may conclude they went to work with a will; and the island affording scope enough to “run a course" and “couch a spear," they shiver their lances gallantly, and, drawing their swords,

“Hewed on their helmets bright,

Hand to hand.
God help Tristrem the Knight!

He fought for England:" The bard now revels in his description of the duel-doubtless, in his warlike time, always the most popular portion of a romance. He details at length how Moraunt's lance smote Tristrem in the “Lion” (probably the armorial bearing on his crest), who returned a welldelivered thrust that bore right through the dragon on his opponent's shield. He fought, says his chronicler, “ like a mad wolf," and dealt Moraunt such gaping wounds as caused his blood to flow through the crevices in his armour. At the latter's greatest need, from some unexplained cause, his steed's back “ brake in two."

“ Get down, Tristrem," cried the dismounted champion ; “ thou hast slain my steed, and shalt fight afoot.”. .“ As God shall help me,” replied Sir Tristrem, “I am as willing as thou !"

So once more the swordsmen closed, haud to hand and foot to foot, in knightly encounter. Moraunt, summoning all his strength, dealt a sweeping blow, which severed the half of his adversary's shield, but received such a stroke in requital as well-nigh “quelled” him. King Mark, viewing the combat at a safe distance, could not forbear expressing his astonishment.

Another such assault now brought the Irishman to the ground; and, though game to the last, he wounded Tristrem in the haunch as he went down, a portion of the latter's sword remained in his skull, and he never moved again. The conqueror, in his exultation, forgets, for the only time in his life, one of the first principles of chivalry, and triumphs over his fallen foe in the following words, as the bard remarks, with a slight touch of sarcasm, “ somewhat akin to pride :"

“Folk of Ireland side,

Your mirror here you see;
More that hither will ride,

Thus dealt with shall they be." Better feelings, however, soon succeed this short-lived gasconade ; and he offers on the altar the weapons with which he won his victory; his uncle's grateful vassals entering, at the same time, into a solemn agreement that, should he survive Mark, he shall succeed to the crown and kingdom of Cornwall. The contingency is, alas! but doubtful. Moraunt's sword has left a deadly gash in the hero's haunch, which leeches, with all their salves and drinks, are unable to heal or alleviate. The wound begins to stink, so that none can bear to approach le sufferer ; and the conclusion of “fiytte the firet” juaves Sir Tristrem, apparently, to die the death of a dog, forsaken of all men save his faithful servant, Governail.

(To be continued.)



« Vocat ingenti clamore Cithæron Taygetique canes, domitrixque Epidaurus equorum; Et vox assensu nemorum ingeminata remugit.”


The frost-The new year-Russian influences Hunt clubs—Sir Roger de Coverley

--Ancient clubs-Dialogue between two sportsmen-Effects of long frost on hunters-Roaring; causes which produce roaring.

The commencement of a frost is the signal for those jovial spirits who delight in the chase to trace their steps to the metropolis, where they can beguile their leisure moments so long as they are debarred from the enjoyment of their venatic amusements. It is a time-honoured observance which our forefathers indulged in, many of whom scarcely thought of visiting London on other occasions. A doubtful, uncertain condition of the temperature was, in the olden time, a subject of some consideration, when a gentleman sportsman could not transport his imperial person, in the event of a sudden thaw, to the scene of action, the space of some five score miles intervening, with sufficient celerity to avail himself of the first open day. Moreover, London is a deceptive place with respect to the state of the atmosphere: it may lead to the flattering hope that the country is in a practicable state to ride over ; but that hope is dispelled ere the grass grounds of Harrow are gained. The new year was ushered in with a frost of unequivocal intensity ; and as wild fowl were seen to move their quarters in great numbers to the warmest lakes and marshes, and as the young moon found the earth thickly clad in a garment of snow, with sundry other indications of severe weather, the cognoscenti in such matters predicted a long continuance of the freezing powers. Human predictions are at the best but futile, and in nothing more so than on subjects connected with the elenients. Hunting operations were suspended from the eve of Christmas-day. The 29th of December, and the 3rd of January, ran very nearly a dead heat for the honour of distinction at the shrine of the frozen regions. It would seem as if the communications we have been maintaining with Russia have had some influence in assimilating our climate with that; but if the frost were capable of being conveyed like an epidemic, all negociations ought to undergo quarantine. It is what some people are pleased to call a specimen of an old-fashioned English winter, which they look back upon with some delight, as recalling to mind the occurrences of their boyish days. Much as I am disposed to regard with zealous pleasure many of my juvenile amusements, I had much rather their reminiscences were produced by something less severe than the present season ; and I firmly believe, with the exception of skaters and sliders, the greater majority would prefer a winter of more modern pretensions. Up to the middle of January it was said to have been the hardest winter we have experienced

for nearly 40 years, that of 1814 being the only parallel; but that lasted till somewhere about the end of March, and we will earnestly hope the temperature of Russia, and the temperament of the Emperor, will exhibit more genial and propitiatory influences, so far as England is affected, long before the vernal quarter commences. If we are to be visited by frost and snow, there is no time when it is so graciously received as at Christmas, and this year it was an unequivocal attendant during that festival.

Albeit the custom has prevailed for many years, with hunting men, of taking a trip to London during a frost, it has never been the origin of a Metropolitan or National Foxhunting Club; yet every other condition of social life is represented by an exclusive coterie. Clubs must have been established many years since ; but by whom, or under what circumstances, I am not aware. We find them facetiously noticed in the "Spectator," in connection with that humorously-drawn character, Sir Roger de Coverley ; and the Everlasting Club is described as sitting continuously, night and day, from one end of the year to the other, no party presuming to rise till relieved by those who were in course to succeed. The same authority relates that their orgies extended to the smoking of fifty tons of tobacco, and the drinking of thirty thousand buts of ale, one thousand hogsheads of port, two hundred barrels of brandy, and a kilderkin of small beer, of which last beverage they appear to have been virtuously abstemnious. How long they were engaged in consuming the aforesaid quantities of tobacco and fluids is not hinted at, but it is stated that a member would smoke one hundred pipes at a sitting. This throws the admirers of the nicotian weed of modern days quite in the shade, prone as we are to regard this as the era of smoke.

Hunt clubs are of very ancient standing : Quorndon Hall, in Leicestershire, was devoted to that purpose previously to the occupation of it by the celebrated Mr. Meynell, and that must have been in existence nearly, if not quite, a century ago. That a Foxhunting Club, if established in London, would be found a great convenience to sportsmen during those periods when they are debarred from the enjoyment of the sports of the field by frost and snow, and again in the spring during the London season, no doubt can exist. It would be an union of the most delightful social character, where foxhunters from various and distant hunts would congregate, to discuss those subjects concerning which they are most interested. The first step towards its establishment appears to be the only obstacle.

During the hard frost of the past Christmas, two old school-fellows, like two sea-birds driven in land by stress of weather, happened to meet, having gone to town to while away the time, each of whom is a devoted courtier of the Goddess of the Chase, though they each woo their patroness in a different style. To avoid personality, I shall designate one Tom Holegate, and the other Captain Bucknal, between whom the following colloquy took place :

It was one of those ambiguous mornings, when it was difficult to decide whether it was a determined thaw or not. After a protracted silence, each watching with evident earnesthess the indications of the weather, the taciturnity was broken by

Captain Bucknal. Well, Tom, so you are bound for Melton again as soon as you imagine that the frost will admit of hunting ; but why not go with me to Brighton? I will ensure you lots of amusement besides hunting.

Tom Holegate. Ah, of course I must return to my old quarters ; there is no place in England to equal Melton ; besides which, my horses are there, and I should recommend you to come with me. Who ever heard of hunting at Brighton ?

Captain Bucknal. Indeed there is a first-rate pack of hounds, called the South Down, kopt by an excellent sportsman, Mr. Freeman Thomas, at Ratton, near Lewes. Their fame may not have been spread very widely ; but they only require to be seen to be admired, and they have capital sport. They were established some years since, soon after the Old East Sussex were given up; they hunt five days in a fortnight, and a portion of their country is quite near enough to so populous a town as Brighton. Then there is the rail to Lewes, which is within reach of their best fixtures ; and the directors are trumps, for they convey the hounds free of expense, and take horses at a very reasonable charge. They ought to be patronised. The gallant master of the pack goes brilliantly over the country, and so do his brothers ; three better men need not be ; and there is another good man, and a most jolly fellow he is-Captain Henry Bethune-concerning whom, and for the honour of Sussex, I will tell you an anecdote, when he was in Leicestershire, three ago. The hounds met at Barkby Hall, and had a good hunting run, during which he met with Dick Webster, à hard-riding farmer, and some little rivalry took place between them ; but the run not being sufficiently severe to determine the merits of the two, a little larking eventually took place, when Webster, selecting the biggest place he could find, rode at it, at the same time turning round to ask his rival if he was prepared for a fall. They both got well over, and no further essay was made to pound the representative of the South Downs. The most influential noblemen in the country preserve for Mr. Thomas, and are members of the hunt. You will admit that he is well supported when I name the Earl of Sheffield, Viscount Gage, the Hon. H. Brand, Captains Hobhouse and H. Bethune, Messrs. Donovan, Ingram, Blencoe, Ellman, Staples, Shepherd, Taylor, Nash, Ballard, and many others. There is plenty of strong fencing in the Weald of Sussex, especially in the neighbourhood of Firle Park, where there is a district of about twelve miles square, which holds some good wild foxes, After Christmas they often afford clipping runs. Their fashionable propensities are apt to bring them towards Brighton, on visits to their fair friends; and after a night probably of some little dissipation, a travelling old fox is often met with, which leads the pack a merry dance back into his territory, when a brilliant and bruising run ensues, requiring a good performer and a firstrate hunter to go in the first flight. The pace hounds can go over the downs with a scent is wonderful ; the most provoking part of it is, that on the hills you require a thorough-bred horse in racing trim, and in the weald you require a hunter with first-rate fencing qualifications and great power. We do not aspire to the Leicestershire fashion of second horses, otherwise it would be a capital plan to have one for the downs and another for the vale. To give you a correct idea how the sports of

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