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POLITICAL GOSSIP. .

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THE ARTS, LITERATURE, &e.

SPORTS AND PASTIMES.

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SPORTS AND PASTIMES. THE Moons.-The Scotsman of the 5th of August says :—The shooting season opens on Monday, the 12th; but in consequence of the sad ravages made among grouse by disease in the spring months, the pros- pects of sportsmen in many districts of Perthshire have not been so discouraging for a long series of years. The distemper appears to have been most destructive in the Blairgowrie and Crieff districts of the county, and has on numerous moors completely cleared the stock of grouse, and in other places the birds are so scarce that there will be no shooting this season. In Rannoch and the north-west districts of the shire, however, there is a fair stock of grouse, and the young broods are rapidly improving in size and condition with the recent fine warm weather; but complaints are pretty general in regard to many broods being composed of small and late birds, and it will be at least the end of August before shooting can be commenced on several moors. In the Crieff district alone there are about 80,000 acres of unlet shootings. In the month of March one proprietor refused X600 of rent for a small moor, and immediately after disease broke out, and consequently the grounds would not let. Black game are abundant, and have suffered little from disease compared with grouse. The broods, though much later than usual, are improving fast, and, by the time the shooting opens, will afford excellent sport. Plover, snipe, &c., are plentiful, and the birds appear strong, healthy, and in fine condition. All descriptions of low country game are swarming, and more especially partridges, hares, wild duck, roe- deer and if there be a deficiency of sport on the hills this season, the prospects of sportsmen in the low country have seldom been so encouraging. In the pre- serves, pheasants are numerous—the young broods, which number from 10 to 14 birds each, are large and well-grown. In the Blackmount, Glenartney, and Tur- lem forests the herds of deer are numerous, and the animals have seldom at this season been seen in such fine condition. There are already to be seen numerous stags with splendid heads. Previous t8 the breaking out of disease among grouse the greater part of the Perthshire moors were let to tenants, and in many instances at nearly double the former rents but we understand that many of the proprietors have relieved tenants of their leases, for if shooting on many moors is to be prosecuted or persevered in this season the whole stock of grouse will be extinguished. There are good prospects for the sportsmen on the 12th in Caithness- shire. The keepers have seen no symptoms of disease, and report the birds plentiful and strong on the wing. PEDESTRIANISM. Upwards of 2,000 persons were present at the Royal Oak-park Grounds, Manchester, on Saturday, to witness a foot race, distance one mile and a half, between John Fleet, of Manchester, James Sanderson, of Whitworth, near Rochdale, and Robert M'Instray, of Glasgow, for a champion gold challenge cup and X75, the competitors having staked .£25 each. The cup was presented for competition by Mr. Cooper, the proprietor of the grounds, on the 23rd of February last, when it was won by Fleet, who held possession of it until last Saturday. One of the conditions was that the winner must hold possession of the cup for 18 months before it became his actual property, and be prepared to defend it during that period for £ 25 a side, on receiving six weeks' notice. The amount of speculation was not very extensive but Sanderson was the favourite at evens, 5 to 4 against Fleet, and 3 and 4 to 1 against M'Instray. The latter was thought by many to have a very remote chance of winning, having been defeated by Fleet by nine yards, a fortnight since, for the one mile champion challenge cup. An excellent start took place, when Sanderson immediately took the lead, Fleet second, and BlInstray third, about a yard separating each, in which position they passed the stand the first time round. On going down the back of the course the second time, M'Instray passed Fleet and went in pursuit of Sanderson, who was leading by about six yards. A short distance before reaching the turn into the straight, and when about 1,000 yards had been covered, the cham- pion of Scotland went to the front and increased the pace. On going down the back stretch of the course in the fourth and last lap, M'Instray was leading by 20 yards, and evidently running very fresh. About 200 yards from the finish Fleet resigned and when fairly in the straight, Sanderson, finding he had no chance of success, also ceased running, and' M'lnstrav won at his leisure. Time First quarter of a mile; 1m. 4sec.; half, 2m. [ lllsec. three-quarters, 3m. 15sec.; mile, 4m. 30sec. mile and a quarter, 5m. 39sec. mile and a half, I m. 2ilesec.-A race, distance 150 yards, was also run be- tween John Daniel and John Mason, both of Manchester, the latter receiving one yard start. The favourite (Mason) increased the distance as they proceeded, and won by two yards.—At the Copenhagen Grounds, New- ton-heath, J. Eckersley, of Tyldesley, and William Manchester, of Preston, met .to contend in a 440 yards race, for X10 a side. The betting was 2 to 1 on Manchester. Eckersley led until 100 yards from the finish, when Manchester passed him, and won easily by ten yards.—At the City Grounds, Bradford, near Manchester, the deciding heats of Mr. Waddacor s 110 yards handicap were contested, the opening heats of which were run on the previous Saturday. There were thirteen competitors, who ran in three heats. The deciding heat resulted thus J. Lee, Newton-moor, 15 yards start, 1; J. Ashworth, Hyde, 11, 2 W. Burke, Salford, 10, 3; J. Thirsk, Hulme, 13, 4. Betting Even on Lee, 4 to 1 any other. First prize, X5 second, zEl and third, 10s.

FACTS AND FACETIAE. .

HINTS UPON GARDENING. +i

AGRICULTURE. *

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