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bang!" I go--genewally miss--because the birds don't give one time, you know; and all those keepers and beaters, anü fellows loading your gun and cawying the game and the luncheon-they disturb your aim, and put a fellah out.
But I know something more howid still, and that's pheasant-shooting, among those howid hazel bushes that switch back in a fellah's face and howid bwambles that tear your coat, and oak boughs that knock your hat off, and the sharp stakes that wun into a fellah's boots; and pwesently in the middle of this up gets a pheasant like a squib going off, and off he goes like a special twain with wings, and so quick that no fellah can get a shot at him.
Then there's thnipe-shooting-howid difficult-might as well go out shooting with pistol-bullets at humble bees-ha, ha !--I say, thath a good idea. A thnipe doesn't, you know, fly stwait, like any wational bird ought to fly, but he dodges like a lawyer-a sort of bawister bird the thnipe is, and it takth several weeks to hit him.
And that weminds me of a good story Talboys—Talboys, of Suffolk-told me about a thnipe a fwiend of his had down in Cambwidgeshire. He, Talboys' fwiend's fwiend, had a fwiend (I want to be clear, you know,) down to Cambwidgeshire to shoot. First day he goes out, Talboys'fwiend's fwiend fires at a thnipe in a water meadow, and kills him. Upon which Talboys' fwiend gets vewy wild, and th wearth, and thwows down his gun. “Why," says he,“ drat it, if you haven't shot the thnipe that has amused me the whole year!” Thath not a bad stowy, I think, about that iwational bird, the thnipe.
As for hunting, I don't see the p-p-pull of it-except you want to induce a welation to bweak his neck in order that you may come into his pwoperty. I don't want to bweak my collar-bone or my wibs at “b-b-bull-finches” and “waspers;" or dwown myself at water-leaps; or bweak my legs at double fences-and that's what it comes to-and be tumbled upon in ditches by horse-jobbers and farmers, and get un and find your horse thwee miles off, and a monster with a pitchfork pursuing you, as the only one left, for twespassing. Oh, no hunting for me, thank you!
Of all countwy amusements, I think fishing is after all pewaps the most aboininable. It bores a fellow more than any other. You go out in a punt with a large hamper of luncheon, to keep it steady, I suppose, and an old keeper who takes too kuch beer, to make it unsteady again, which is widiculous, you know. Then the keeper takes some howid wiggling wed worms out of a dirty bag of wet moss, and tortures the poor cweatures howibly by putting them on your hook, smiling all the time as if he was doing a mewitowious action, the old wuffian! Then you sit on your chair under an osier bed by the hour together, the bulrushes bobbing while you bob, till you get quite giddy looking at them, and the weeping willows weeping away like anything. Pwesently, after about an hour, just as you are half asleep and beginning to enjoy it, you see your wed float moving in a most extwaordinary way, as if it was curtsying. Then suddenly there comes a dwag that nearly pulls you off your chair. “A bite, sir, a bite,” cwies the old keeper, seizing the opportunity to take another lift at the beer-jug. Then you pull, and out on to the top of your hat Hies a gwate monster of a perch, howid cweature, with wed gold fins, stawing eyes, back a wegular fan of pwickles, a wet flabby tail, and gills like the leaves of a wed pincushion. And so it goes on, till you get all wet and dirty; and sometimes an eеl dwags your wod away, and the old keeper, ky this time nearly drunk, has to swim after it; and sometimes you miss the stwoke, and catch a willow twee, which no fellah can land. And the only good time is when you put the wod and line down and go to luncheon.
But there is one thing I like-that is, widing. I like to be ast wide a horse-if he is not vicious or too fast, and if a fellah can manage him. I like sketching, too; only the twees will get so like cauliflowers, and the gwass like spinach-and the blue sky will wun, and get all over the paper.
Altogether, take my word for it, the countwy ith a mithtake-it wants impwoving-it is only fit for wedfathed people who thell corn. One twee is like another--one wiver can't be distinguished from another till you look at it on a map, and then, of course, any fellah can tell a wiver. Partwiges are much better woasted than on the wing, and people only pwetend to like shooting them. And as for lambs, they're i-i-idiotic little things, withont mint-sance, and there's no mint-sauce in the countwy. It is dwedful solitary in the countwy, when you 're alone, I mean-of course, not wit!: plenty of people. And one can't play billiards alone, and you can't have people in from the plough, you know, to play with a fellah, because it stops work. So if you think, oli fellah. of going in the countwy to get a bwicky wel color, take ny .dvice-as Lord B-Bacon or somebody said to a fellah who was what they call thpoony (foolish thing to be thpoony,) on a girl, and going to marry her--and a capital thing it was to say–ha, ra!“Don't.”
THE DYING ACTOR.-Edgar FAWCETT.
Why, then I should be at the theatre soon.
Has set my intellect out of tune.
Thank God, I have savings left me still!
To die without paying the doctor's bill.
That bitter torment with wasted health ;
How I seem to have flung away my wealth!
In times when my looks were a thing to laud,
On the morning after I played in Claude !
As to what had made me the people's choice!
And a sort of throb in my mellow voice;
And I charmeil them whether they would or no;
When the whole honse rang to my Romeo!
While the fame I won was most broadly spread;
It is certain they never turneil my head.
That truth is my life's one spotless page;
I am talking here on an einpty stage!
"Tis a sombre end for so bright a piece,
This dull fifth act of the parting soul, Ere the last sad exit has brought release,
And the great green curtain begins to roll! Yet, though they have left me, those trusted friends,
I cannot but fancy their absence means That they wait outside till my own part ends,
And will join me somewhere behind the scenes. I see them here while I dream and doze
There was Ralph, too reckless and wild by half, With his ludicrous Punchinello nose,
And his full, superb light comedy laugh! There was chubby Larry, with flaxen hair,
Who secretly longed to be dark and slight,
But was better in Falstaff any night.
Who could govern an audience by his wink;
His leaky purse and his love for drink; And then there was rosy old Robert, too,
With whom bitter fortunes were hard at strife,
Had been handing in letters all his life.
True, generous, brave, and her own worst foe,
From the bad little husband who wronged her soi Poor Kate! she would call to her lovely face
That radiant smile, in the nights long fled, And act Lady Teazle with dazzling grace,
While the heart in her bosom ached and bled ! And one
O Amy, I dare not own Your love as a friend's love, weak of worth, Though we swore the most sacred promise known,
And were bound by the strongest bond on earth' Ah, me! at the summons of Death's weird spell,
I can see you while pangs of memory start, In the waiting-maid roles you did so well,
Pirouetting with sweet unconscious art. I remember the play where first we met
How your glad eyes haunted me from afar
While I was a grave, majestic “star!"
The dawn of the troubles, the scandals coarse,
The last mad, passionate interview,
The wrangle of lawyers, the stern divorce.
Those dear, lost friends, they have grouped afresh
In the green-room quite as they used to do, And Ralph has been laughing at Larry's flesh,
And Peter is growling a joke to Hugh, And Robert complains of his lowly lot,
And Emily gossips with Kate - Ah, well, You may all be shadow, but I am not,
While I listen here for the Prompter's bell.
LITTLE ROCKET'S CHRISTMAS.
To Rocket-10, you never met him,
Although 'tis possible you've let him
A gamin, dirty, torn, and tattered,
The Bowery gallery; there it matered
A mother on the Island staying,
And gratify a taste for straying Through crowded streets. "I was there he found Companionship and grew renowned. An ash-box served him for a bed
As good, at least, as Moses' rushesAnd for his daily meat and bread,
He earned them with his box and brushes. An Arab of the city's slums,
With ready tongue and empty pocket, Unaided left to solve life's sums,
But plucky always-that was Rocket!