Passages in the Life of an Unsuccessful Man. by the Author of “Digby Grand” [I.E. G. J. Whyte Melville]
THE next „morning saw me trotting merrily along, after a due study of the map and observation of the signposts, on high thoughts intent. I was screwed up to the sticking-place, and meant mischief. The morning was as if ordered expressly : there had been a slight frost, but the day was clouding over; and the wind, though scarcely perceptible, had that keenness which so often accompanies fine scenting weather. I had started early, to avoid the companionship of men with whom I had not yet the honour of being acquainted, and many of whom I did not know even by sight, though their names were familiar to my ear and honoured in my heart. Nimrod’s book, The Hard Riders of England, had taught me, as a boy, to look upon “a good man over a country” with a most reverential feeling; and I had really never quite got over this sort of hero-worship. It would be the height of injustice to deny that many of those whose names my boyhood honoured solely for their well-known success as sportsmen, have been equally distinguished in the more important pursuits of life. Witness the court, the camp, and the bar ; the desert and the ocean, the plains of the Punjaub and the walls of St. Stephen’s.