A friend of mine, now no more, Captain Medwin, was once looking with me at a beautiful landscape painting through a glass. At last he put aside the glass, saying: ’You may say what you like, S—, but the best landscape I know is a fine black partridge falling before my Joe Manton.’
The following lines of Walter Scott, in his Rokeby, have always struck me as very beautiful:-
As yet the conscious pride
Had steel’d him in his treacherous part;
A powerful spring of force unguessed
That hath each gentler mood suppressed,
And reigned in many a human breast;
From his that plans the rude campaign,
To his that wastes the woodland reign, &c.
Among the people of India it is very different. Children do not learn to exercise their powers either in discovering and robbing the nests of birds, or in knocking them down with stones and staves; and, as they grow up, they hardly ever think of hunting or shooting for mere amusement. It is with them a matter of business; the animal they cannot eat they seldom think of molesting.
Some officers were one day pursuing a jackal, with a pack of dogs, through my grounds. The animal passed close to one of my guard, who cut him in two with his sword, and held up the reeking blade in triumph to the indignant cavalcade; who, when they came up, were ready to eat him alive. ‘What have I done’, said the poor man, ’to offend you?’ ‘Have you not killed the jackal?’ shouted the whipper-in, in a fury.
‘Of course I have; but were you not all trying to kill him?’ replied the poor man. He thought their only object had been to kill the jackal, as they would have killed a serpent, merely because he was a mischievous and noisy beast.