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corner, many went to the butts again and again, and, through difficulties of wind and sun and all sorts of botheration, won their First Class, or even attained the honour of being Marksmen. And still the attractions of Rifle-Shooting as an amusement and an exercise continue undiminished ; and the numbers of those who, to their own surprise, betake themselves to this amusement increase steadily; and in every district over the country the “ crack crack" of practice in the Rifle-ground has become a sound familiar to the natives. The very language and thought of the nation have been affected by the prevalence of the new pastime. Travelling in railway carriages, plain passengers of purely commercial mind find themselves bewildered with talk going on all round them of outers and centres and bull's eyes ; friends will sit together by the halfhour recounting their splendid scores, exulting in their yesterday's three centres running at five hundred, and, in fact, running the risk of lying and boasting awfully before they are aware of it; and already a whole host of images, metaphors, and turns of thinking, drawn from the circumstance of the Rifleground, has become imbedded in our conversation and literature.

From the very first it was highly desirable that direction and organization should be given by some central management to an enthusiasm so widely spread, and a form of pastime so popular and important; and from the very first such direction and organization were admirably given by the National Rifle Association. Under the auspices of this body there was brought together at Wimbledon in 1860 that great Congress of the picked shots of the whole land which resulted in the recognition of young Ross as Champion Shot or Rifleman Laureate. Then, after much work in the interim, came the second year's Demonstration and Congress, when Jopling was the man. It is the proceedings of this last meeting, together with all the related Statistics of British Rifle-Shooting during the year 1861,

of prizemen and competitors, that the Association have now published. May the publication be as annual as the Almanack! The Wimbledon meeting of this year, the year of the new International Exhibition-ought to be the grandest and most successful of any yet. Already, in this second year's Report of the Association, there is proof that the national skill in the use of the Rifle has improved as well as extended itself

that Great Britain has now as good a little army of Rifle Shots as there is in the world, and could, on occasion, protect her inland hedgerows, or tuft her line of seadowns and cliffs, with choice marksmen, the white puffs from whose rifles would be the calm sign of sure bullets and be followed by the leap of death.

A t the same time never was truer word spoken than that of Colonel M‘Murdo the other day, when he impressed upon one of the best shooting regiments in our whole Volunteer force, that Rifleshooting, dissociated from Drill, or not resting on Drill as a solid and permanent basis, would really be little more than the amusement which its votaries find it, and an agreeable periodical indulgence in cracks and puffs of smoke. The regiment to which he said this, we believe, is itself a well-drilled one ; and he intended his advice for Volunteers all over the country. For Volunteering is now at its critical stage amongst us. The first novelty of the thing is over, and it remains to be seen whether it will be kept up. Colonel M‘Murdo 'himself was hopeful on this point; and his information that, by the last returns, the Volunteer force was larger than everamounting, we believe, now to some 170,000 men—was very gratifying. But, on general grounds, as well as from the experience of some particular corps, there is an anxiety in some quarters as to the prospects of Volunteering in the year now begun. In other words, a question now going among those who are interested in Volunteering is, “Will the men still come to their Drill ?”.

To begin a thing of this sort, and afterwards to give it up, except for very

in the habit of using one, an absurdity. our now established toast at public Almost in an instant this state of things dinners, of “The Army, the Navy, was changed. By a mere stroke of the and the Volunteers.” And, as the Vopen on the part of Authority at a suitable lunteer system burst out of the prior moment, there was effected perhaps the state of public feeling, so out of the most important, and certainly the most Volunteer System burst the new British sudden, change in the system of our Art of Rifle-Shooting. In due time, when national manners which this generation our effective Volunteers had, in the has seen. It became lawful, and was course of their drill, learnt the manual even declared desirable by the Crown, and platoon exercises, and so got accusthat all over England and Scotland the tomed to the feel and the weight of that inhabitants should form themselves, in awful thing, the rifle, a considerable proa regular manner, into companies and portion of them, not unwilling to know regiments of Volunteer soldiers. It more of the creature, were passed in seemed that a strong demand for this squads through Position Drill, and so change, as a matter of necessity and made free of the Rifle-ground, where right, was already pent up in the na- they could satisfy themselves of her tional breast; for the response was more dangerous capabilities, and of their immediate. Our streets in cities and own fitness to have such a pet. On towns, our village-greens and commons, raw spring mornings, in fine summer burst at once into a bloom of uniforms afternoons, and at other times and sea-- light-grey, dark-grey, dark-green, red, sons, men would be gathered together and so on-worn by men who had never in tens or scores, in waste out-of-theworn uniform before, and had thought way places, like conventicles of Coveto descend into their graves without nanters, or troopers in search of such, ever having done such a thing. It save that their occupation was in gazing was not merely our very young men, in at white targets, with black spots in the quest of novelty, excitement, and exer- middle of them, placed against distant cise, that so appeared as Volunteers, but banks of earth. Some of these assemour men also of more staid age and bled aspirants were confident in their habits in even greater proportion—men former experience as shots against birds who almost reluctantly incurred the and hares; others were very much in trouble of thus personally showing how doubt what would happen when it came heartily they approved of the movement, to their turn to step out, and whether, and who for some time spent no end of when the rifle was at their shoulder, and half-crowns in cabs, out of sheer horror they had to pull the trigger, it might not at being seen in their uniforms, and be best to shut their eyes and bid the only gradually learnt to walk in them world farewell. Miraculous it was, but the unabashed. Among the mixed motives fact, that many of these utter novices did that drew the Volunteers together as well as the experienced shots, or even there was none that was not innocent; better. A centre, perhaps, for the first most were laudable ; and at the heart shot at a hundred and fifty yards made of all, we believe, to give dignity and one think that possibly after all there endurance to the others, was a conviction was a lurking faculty of shooting in one, if entertained by thousands that in the it could be brought out; or, at all events, Volunteer System a noble addition had the respectable achievement of promotion been made, not a bit too soon, to the to the Second Class on the first day institutions of the freest country in the out, put one in heart. And so out of world, and that, in personally supporting the crowds who went so far, and who, it, one would be exercising a real privi- contracting a natural affection for the lege, and discharging a real duty.

creature that had wakened in them such Well, the thing succeeded; the Vo sensations on the first day's real acquaintlunteer system did become an institu- ance, took her home and cleaned her corner, many went to the butts again of prizemen and competitors, that the and again, and, through difficulties of Association have now published. May wind and sun and all sorts of bothera- the publication be as annual as the tion, won their First Class, or even Almanack! The Wimbledon meeting attained the honour of being Marksmen. of this year—the year of the new InterAnd still the attractions of Rifle-Shoot- national Exhibition-ought to be the ing as an amusement and an exercise grandest and most successful of any yet. continue undiminished ; and the num- Already, in this second year's Report of bers of those who, to their own surprise, the Association, there is proof that the betake themselves to this amusement national skill in the use of the Rifle increase steadily; and in every district has improved as well as extended itself over the country the “crack crack" of —that Great Britain has now as good a practice in the Rifle-ground has become little army of Rifle Shots as there is in the a sound familiar to the natives. The world, and could, on occasion, protect her very language and thought of the nation inland hedgerows, or tuft her line of seahave been affected by the prevalence of downs and cliffs, with choice marksmen, the new pastime. Travelling in rail- the white puffs from whose rifles would way carriages, plain passengers of purely be the calm sign of sure bullets and be commercial mind find themselves bewil. followed by the leap of death. dered with talk going on all round them A t the same time never was truer word of outers and centres and bull's eyes ; spoken than that of Colonel M.Murdo friends will sit together by the half- the other day, when he impressed upon hour recounting their splendid scores, one of the best shooting regiments in exulting in their yesterday's three cen- our whole Volunteer force, that Rifletres running at five hundred, and, in shooting, dissociated from Drill, or not fact, running the risk of lying and boast resting on Drill as a solid and permanent ing awfully before they are aware of it; basis, would really be little more than and already a whole host of images, me- the amusement which its votaries find taphors, and turns of thinking, drawn it, and an agreeable periodical indulgence from the circumstance of the Rifle- in cracks and puffs of smoke. The reground, has become imbedded in our giment to which he said this, we believe, conversation and literature.

is itself a well-drilled one; and he inFrom the very first it was highly tended his advice for Volunteers all over desirable that direction and organization the country. For Volunteering is now should be given by some central manage- at its critical stage amongst us. The ment to an enthusiasm so widely spread, first novelty of the thing is over, and it and a form of pastime so popular and remains to be seen whether it will be important; and from the very first such kept up. Colonel M‘Murdo 'himself direction and organization were ad- was hopeful on this point; and his inmirably given by the National Rifle formation that, by the last returns, the Association. Under the auspices of Volunteer force was larger than everthis body there was brought together amounting, we believe, now to some at Wimbledon in 1860 that great Con- 170,000 men—was very gratifying. But, gress of the picked shots of the whole on general grounds, as well as from the land which resulted in the recognition of experience of some particular corps, there young Ross as Champion Shot or Rifle- is an anxiety in some quarters as to the man Laureate. Then, after much work prospects of Volunteering in the year in the interim, came the second year's now begun. In other words, a question Demonstration and Congress, when now going among those who are inJopling was the man. It is the pro- terested in Volunteering is, “Will the ceedings of this last meeting, together men still come to their Drill ?". with all the related Statistics of British To begin a thing of this sort, and Rifle-Shooting during the year 1861, afterwards to give it up, except for very in the habit of using one, an absurdity. our now established toast at public Almost in an instant this state of things dinners, of “The Army, the Navy, was changed. By a mere stroke of the and the Volunteers." And, as the vopen on the part of Authority at a suitable lunteer system burst out of the prior moment, there was effected perhaps the state of public feeling, so out of the most important, and certainly the most Volunteer System burst the new British sudden, change in the system of our Art of Rifle Shooting. In due time, when national manners which this generation our effective Volunteers had, in the has seen. It became lawful, and was course of their drill, learnt the manual even declared desirable by the Crown, and platoon exercises, and so got accusthat all over England and Scotland the tomed to the feel and the weight of that inhabitants should form themselves, in awful thing, the rifle, a considerable proa regular manner, into companies and portion of them, not unwilling to know regiments of Volunteer soldiers. It more of the creature, were passed in seemed that a strong demand for this squads through Position Drill, and so change, as a matter of necessity and made free of the Rifle-ground, where right, was already pent up in the na- they could satisfy themselves of her tional breast; for the response was more dangerous capabilities, and of their immediate. Our streets in cities and own fitness to have such a pet. On towns, our village-greens and commons, raw spring mornings, in fine summer burst at once into a bloom of uniforms afternoons, and at other times and sea

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