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RAMBLES ALONG SHORE.

BY PISCATOR.

On the first of September some years since-no matter how manywe took up our abode in a portion of a roomy old mansion, at that time converted into a farm-house, situate in the midst of a pleasant village in a thinly inhabited district on the northern coast of Cornwall, and not above a quarter of a mile from the sea-shore. Now we do not intend to tax the patience of our readers with a long narrative of the storms and dangers that we underwent ere we arrived at the happy termination of our journey-not because sufficient incidents did not occur during our travels, and which were performed by sea as well as land-to fill a large portion of a volume, or at least half a dozen numbers of any modern periodical, if made the most of according to the modern style of book-making, but from the simple fact that those occurrences all took place before our rambles along shore commenced, and can therefore have nothing at all to do with our present subject. But the place where we took up our temporary abode most certainly has; for though, like restless sea-gulls, we wandered much abroad by day, we took good care to roost at home by night. To be brief, therefore, our apartments were sufficient for our wants, and clean and comfortably furnished; we had a spare bed or two for a friend, and above all, the sea-beach was within a quarter of a mile of

us.

There are few shores that afford a more romantic appearance than those of the northern side of Cornwall, presenting in many parts a precipitous iron-bound coast, whose rugged cliffs rise perpendicularly from the sea to a considerable height, and whose base is unceasingly lashed by the waves of the vast Atlantic; in others the scene is varied by projecting headlands and deeply indented bays, in some of which a few snug little coves may be found that afford shelter for the fishing-boats and small trading vessels; yet along the whole range of sea coast, there is not one single port that a vessel can run for in a gale of wind, and several ships are yearly lost in making the attempt, that probably might have been saved had they persevered in their efforts to keep to sea. Few coasts, indeed, are there that present a more terrible aspect as you approach from seaward. Here you view dark thunder-rent cliffs, still rough and jagged, and where the mighty convulsion first tore them asunder; there you see immense fragments of broken masses piled in magnificent confusion upon each other, amidst which the roaring waves, lashed into foam, white as the driven snow, unceasingly exhaust their fury even in the calmest weather; whilst on every side you perceive deep rent fissures, whose dark overhanging recesses the eye in vain attempts to penetrate, ge

nerally terminating in vast caverns-affording an asylum to the seals that abound in those parts-within whose depths the hollow booming of the waves may be heard at a considerable distance, even when the sea is in the most tranquil state, and if a heavy swell breaks on the coast, the subterranean crash that thunders forth within is grand beyond description.

The picturesque effect of these shores is also considerably enhanced by a number of craggy rocks of different sizes that stand boldly forth amidst the foaming surges that frequently break over them; some of these, though of limited extent, are of a considerable height, outtopping in some places even the lofty cliffs upon the main land. These are thickly inhabited by numerous sea-fowl that breed there in great abundance; and as these spots can only be approached when the sea is in a very tranquil state, it not unfrequently happens that they pass safely through the breeding season, and hatch and rear their young unmolested by the hand of man. But it is not always that they are thus fortunate; yet for all this many kinds contrive to make their nests in such inaccessible places that the most hardy dare not venture to approach them; but the poor simple gulls possess no such prudence or foresight, always building in places the most easy of access, ranging their nests, which consist only of a slight hollow in the soil, if the rock affords any, as close as they can to each other in the most sociable and neighbourly manner possible, so that neither skill or activity is required to get at them. Their great protection is that their eggs are to be met with in abundance during the time of incubation, and as few wish to have embryo chickens within them, the practice with all experienced bird-nesters is never to take an egg where there is more than one in the nest. Gulls usually lay three and sometimes four eggs, about the size of those of a hen, and of a greenish cast, streaked and spotted with dark brown, particularly at the thicker end. Cormorants and murs seldom lay more than one egg each; the former is small for the size of the bird, being of an oblong shape and of a dirty white colour, but the latter is remarkably large; for though the body of the bird, independently of the feathers, is certainly not greater in bulk than that of the wood pigeon, the egg is as large as that of a duck, and something of the same colour as that of the sea gull. This egg the bird lays upon the bare rock without any nest whatever, and the way in which these birds preserve the egg from rolling over, which they do with their little stumpy tail, before they bounce off the rock and dive down into the water beneath, is a matter truly wonderful; in fact many who have displaced these eggs have been unable to replace them in such a manner as to prevent their instantly rolling off, and becoming smashed to

atoms.

Cormorants usually build their nests, which are formed of coarse grass and roots, in the most inaccessible parts of the most perpendicular cliffs; but even here they are not always safe, for if within a stone's throw from any neighbouring spot that is accessible, it is usually the fate of the poor hen bird to be stoned to death in her nest by some of the idle boys of the neighbourhood-particularly those of the fishermen, between whom and the cormorants a deadly feud has

existed from time immemorial. We ourselves cannot but feel some degree of sympathy for the poor bird, who, with unceasing fortitude, maintains her post amidst a merciless shower of stones, pelted down upon her on all sides, merely averting her head to avoid the missiles as they fly rattling too fiercely about her ears, but with her poor bruised body fixed firm as the rocks around her, she shields her embryo young from harm, well knowing that blows far less violent than her remorseless enemies are thus wantonly inflicting upon her would utterly annihilate them; and so she stays unflinchingly on till, stunned and overcome with repeated bruises, she drops her head and expires in the nest; and yet, at other times, this timid and wary bird will fly off in alarm the moment she sees you approach within a hundred yards of her.

But, notwithstanding the fishermen have such an animosity to the cormorants, they seem to place the gulls under their especial protection; for although they do not scruple now and then to rob their nests of a few eggs, still they never kill the birds themselves, nor do they willingly permit others to do so; in fact, it was not long since that a stranger, who amused himself with firing at these birds from the pier-head of a fishing cove, very narrowly escaped some rough treatment in consequence, and which he certainly would have received had he persisted in his attempts. The sea-gull to the Cornish fisherman is like the robin with the rest of mankind, and is styled the "fisherman's friend," from the information they furnish by hovering and skimming about in flocks over shoals of the migratory fishes as they approach the shores; which, from the peculiar manner of hovering around, and the unceasing clamour they keep up all the time, afford a certain indication of the valuable booty beneath them. Gulls are often kept tame in gardens, where they are exceedingly useful in destroying slugs and other things that are injurious to vegetation. This, by the way, brings to my recollection a curious anecdote of a tame gull, that for many years frequented the gardens appertaining to the mansion house at Harlyn, which is close to the sea. This bird had been taken young, and having had one of his wings clipped, according to the usual practice, to prevent his flying off, was turned out in the kitchen-garden to shift for himself. On the following spring, however, his wing feathers grew out, and one day away he flew, and remained away for several months, being doubtless engaged in some love affair among the rocks in the neighbourhood, the duties of which filled up all that lapse of time; at the expiration of which he returned as tame and familiar as ever. As he made himself quite at home in his former abode, no attempts were made to clip his wing; and so, on the following spring, away he went as before, and returned again after about the same interval of absence; and this he continued to do for several years. At last it was found that he had not returned at his usual time, and it was supposed that some accident had befallen him, but after some further time had elapsed he was seen to make his appearance in the garden, yet in a very weak state, and accompanied by another of his kind, whom he seems to have designed as his successor, for after putting the latter in quiet possession of his territory, he flew slowly off and was never seen afterwards.

His successor often alighted in and foraged about the gardens, but was always shy, and flew off when any one approached him; so that he soon became an object of very little notice or attention, and his absence or times of return very soon became to be disregarded.

Hunting the young gulls in a boat is no bad sport, nor is it so easy to catch them, even if they can fly ever so little, as they effect many artful dodges and dives just as you are about to lay hold of them; whilst a flock of old ones keep flying around you, vociferating most loudly, and evincing their displeasure in a very singular manner, as the garments of those engaged in the pursuit always afford the strongest evidence of. Sport for destructive gunners may also be obtained in abundance amidst the flocks of anks or puffins, murs, and guilemots, that swarm around the larger rocky islets, affording no bad practice, as they fly very swiftly, and are by no means so easily knocked over as inexperienced persons are apt to imagine. Still we must not confound these with widgeon, teel, and other edible wildfowl; being, in fact, all of them mere carrion, which no art or skill can render fit for the table in any shape or form whatever. In some of the high cliffs also several species of hawks are found to breed, particularly the kestrel. The Cornish chough, or red-billed daw, is also found in companies at intervals all along the coast. These generally prefer some sequestered nook in some narrow cove, where, like their dark-billed and blue-headed relatives, they form themselves into colonies, and by their noisy uproar never fail to betray the place of their retreat. They are seldom, however, molested by the natives; strangers who require them for stuffed specimens find little difficulty in shooting them by waiting under the roosting places, and firing at them as they fly in and out. Many of the deep recesses amongst the cliffs also afford a place of refuge for the foxes, which would be exceedingly abundant were it not that they are often trapped in the neighbouring warrens, where their trespasses are sure to meet with condign punishment; but in spite of all this, they are still very numerous, and we have often witnessed with pleasure the sportive gambols of the old foxes and their cubs, leaping and jumping over each other in the most elegant and sportive manner possible, wholly unawed by our presence in a boat not twenty yards from the base of the cliffs on which they were carrying on their frolics, but which they were foxes enough to know the inaccessible nature of, though it does not seem that the danger of powder and shot was taken into their calculation; but firing at a fox is an act of turpitude that, amongst all our numerous transgressions or even evil thoughts, we never felt the slightest inclination to commit. And now, lest I should fatigue my readers by spinning them too long a story at one time, I must defer my further observations to the next number of this periodical.

ON TRAINING THE RACE-HORSE.

BY COTHERSTONE.

It is much more easy to prevent a horse from playing his tricks than it is to sit on his back when once he has commenced and obtained the full liberty of his limbs. Many which are not resolute and confirmed vicious kickers, may be controlled by holding their heads fast; it must be observed that their heels cannot go up without the head is suffered to go down; thus, by drawing the snaffle sharply across the mouth, and at the same time raising the hand, the object will most frequently be obtained. But when a horse is actually kicking with a desire to dislodge his rider, if possible, it is a mistaken notion for the rider to throw himself too far back; by doing so the weight of his body falls entirely on the seat of the saddle, where it sustains the jerk occasioned by the lash of the loins and hind quarters; the utmost efforts of the animal therefore combine in throwing the rider forward, and in all probability succeeds in dislodging the clip of his knees, and the bearing of the calves of his legs: thus, all power being lost, the succeeding lash dismounts him, and the fallen hero enjoys the unbounded pleasure of sprawling in the dust. The most secure plan is to sit rather off the saddle, firmly adhering to the pigskin with the united efforts of the thighs, knees, and calves of the legs; at the same time using every exertion to prevent the body from being thrown too forward, and yet in some measure yielding to the motion of the horse. A sharp stripe down the shoulders will very frequently produce a good effect; but the use of the spurs is to be avoided-they will very frequently produce this vice, and some horses will be induced to kick if they are struck with a whip or stick down the thigh; if such is their temper, that practice should be avoided, unless when they are galloping, so that they cannot well throw out, and it is thought advisable to let them know that you have the power of hitting them where you please. Under those circumstances it may be desirable to let them feel the influence of the stick, but care must be taken that it is not improperly repeated, or it may sour the temper eventually, producing much inconvenience and rebellion: the animal's disposition must dictate the propriety or impropriety of such treatment.

So much depends upon the manner and position in which a horse carries his head, as to where the hands ought occasionally to be placed, that practice and observation alone will enable a person to become acquainted with this necessary piece of horsemanship. Snaffle bridles are principally used for the purpose of exercise; the assistance of a martingale is also generally required, and even with that auxiliary some horses will endeavour to get their heads up. Much

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