Deerhound

A passionate little blog started by a deerhound dog in Scotland called Rogue ‘Brylach’ MacAllister and Passed to Rascal ‘Logan’ Dorrator Heath

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Published 1860 by The London Printing and Publishing Company come these interesting engravings, from an era that could be considered the Golden age of England’s fascination with Scotland and the Scots, especially amongst London Society (thanks to Queen Victoria’s period of mourning and HRH’s purchase and withdrawl to Balmoral Castle.

These aforementioned factors may have contributed to the following work. The wonder of the highlands and it’s wilderness, the Society dress of our Lady, the hunting with deerhounds, the morbidity of death and, including a touched upon aspect of history with the mention of the Forty-five and Prince Charles Edward Stewart.

View the printed art plates read the excerpts and form your own opinion but most of all . . . enjoy!

The Faithful Stag-hound

“No, Oscar! no; your young master is deer-stalking to-day. Don't you hear the gun, which has startled Jessy so wofully? He does not want you just now, Oscar. His view, before firing that startling nin, which, wo is me! will have more than frightened the poor, pretty deer; for Allan is such a shot, that he seldom misses his aim, his view, before he frightened Jessy, and awakened the echoes and brought down the red deer with that sudden shot, was to creep towards them quietly and stealthily. He does not want the good hound, Oscar, to day! Oscar must stay with his mistress.” And as the lovely Agnes Macdonald spoke coaxingly these coaxing words, her small, fair hand thrown around Oscar’s neck, as he stood beside her, the noble animal looked up in her face with his bright intelligent eyes, delighting in the sweetness of the voice, comprehending, or seeming to comprehend, the meaning of the words, and acquiescing most contentedly in her decision. There was, certainly, no great hardship in standing at the side of Agnes Macdonald, the beautiful and the kind; and with looks that spoke, as plainly as looks could speak, his affection and his gratitude, her honest and faithful favourite (somewhat of the largest and roughest for a lady’s pet), lay down in calm and quiet happiness at her feet. Her fair companion, the high-born and graceful Jessy Stewart, who, startled, as Agnes had truly said, at the sudden sound of Allan Macdonald’s gun, had been standing in some dismay behind her friend, now that the shock was passed, advanced smilingly, and found a seat upon the bank beside her. “How fond you are, Agnes, of that huge dog! What would the exquisites who hovered round you in London and in Paris say, if they saw you, in full dress too, not as I am, snooded and plaided like a Highland lassie, with your jewelled hand resting upon that shaggy head, and his long, rough body reclined upon the satin skirt! What would they say to that, ‘my dainty leddy,’ as old Annot is wont to call you?” “And what matters what they say or think, Jessy?” responded the warm-hearted maiden, kindling into a dignity of youthful beauty and unconscious stateliness, pure, delicate, and graceful as the attitude of a swan upon mountain or lake, or the station of a doe amongst her native glens. “What care I for the exquisites of Paris or of London? Not half as much as for the mountain posy which you have been collecting the harebell, and the heather-sprig, and our own elegant and abundant Scottish rose.”


The Highlander’s Dog

THEY who have had a favourite dog—and who has not? who have felt the solace of his mute sympathy in affliction, and the animation and gaiety which his gambols throw around our happier hours, will not disdain to participate in the grief of the humble family of Angus Cameron, as they gazed upon the faithful creature, who, after lifting up his head, and looking in his master's face for the last time, sank patiently down, and, whilst poor little Jeanie flung herself beside him, stroking his stiffening neck, and mixing her fast-falling tears with the life-blood that dabbled his shaggy coat, stretched out his limbs, gave two or three convulsive twitches, and died. Jeanie would not believe that Luath was dead, and even her grandfather, although contradicting her assertion that he still lived, with the irritability of sorrow, deepened by indignation, raised the body of his favourite, with a half hope that life was not extinct, and when it fell back a heavy weight upon the clay floor of their cabin, broke into bitter denunciations upon the cowardly tyrant who had slain, in wantonness of anger and power, the best and bravest dog that ever trod the braes of Glendorroch.

The peculiar circumstances of the people and the time lent a double force to the old clansman's malediction. It was about twenty years after the Forty-five, in which unhappy insurrection the chief of that branch of the Camerons, together with many chieftains of that brave and ancient house, had adhered to the last to the fortunes of Charles Edward, had been attainted and forfeited, and had died broken-hearted and in exile. His only son, too young at the time of the rebellion to partake of his father’s guilt (the old retainer did not give that name to the part his leader, Glendorroch, took in that remarkable rising), was deprived of his inheritance, whilst the large property from which he derived his territorial title was bestowed upon a Campbell, the sworn enemy of the clan, who had intermarried with a distant kinswoman of the Camerons. He, too, was dead, leaving only a daughter, reared and educated in England, whilst an Englisher, or, at the best a lowland Scot, an Elliott of the debateable land, was placed by the Campbells, her father's kindred, as agent, looker, factor (whichever was the obnoxious word for a most obnoxiotis office), over the estates and vassals of the young heiress. He it was, a keen sportsman, and a hot and fiery man who already deeply unpopular amongst the clan, with whose language and manners he was anacquainted, and whom he at once mistrusted and despised—he it was, this very Gilbert Elliott, who had now filled up the measure of his sins, by shooting Luath.

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