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had assumed, somewhat checked his ardour. The accused (certainly the most sober of the two, although neither could be said to be actually drunk), stepped a few paces back, and, flourishing his long pole or crook over his head, prepared to give his insulter a warm reception.

That one or other of the parties would obtain a broken head was now very evident. Those around us seemed to consider such a result a matter of necessity after such an altercation as that which had taken place. There was no use for any interference, therefore, on our part. In the Landes, as in other parts of the civilized world, individual honour must be satisfied by means of deadly shots or broken heads; and the principals had, besides, no fear of a reprimand from the priesthood for their conduct on the occasion. To it, then, the gentlemen went in right earnest, and played as pretty a game at quarterstaff as ever was seen in merry England.

The parties seemed very equally matched in regard to strength, and were proficients in the science of attack and defence; it appeared very doubtful, therefore, who should be the victor. For some time the blows fell thick and hard on both sides; several of them taking effect, but most of them being parried with great adroitness. As usual, however, at such bouts, he that could bear the hardest thumps without losing his temper triumphed. A hit somewhat sharper than ordinary told with good effect on the left shoulder of him who fought for his "shoe tie." To return it with interest, if possible, was now his sole ob. ject, and furiously he endeavoured to discharge the obligation. The blows were now all on his part; his opponent now skilfully stepping aside to avoid them; now grasping the centre of his pole, and whirling it round and round his head, with such velocity as completely to protect his person.

It was easy to decide in whose favour the odds now were; although the assailant's weapon was plied with an energy and power which appeared resistless. The accused (unjustly, as it was afterwards ascertained) pursuing the same system of defence, never offered to return the blows of his opponent; in fact, he seemed determined not to strike until fatigue and passion had wrought powerfully in his favour. At length the efforts of the assailant became relaxed, his blows descended with less rapidity, and the time for finishing the contest was at hand. Watching, therefore, his opportunity, as the wearied arm of his adver. sary, with somewhat of its original vigour, dealt forth a blow which might have felled an ox, the injured party leaped aside, and escaping it, in an instant, and before his opponent could recover his guard, returned the blow with all his force on the unprotected shoulders of his opponent. The pole flew to pieces with the violence of the shock, and the originator of the dispute pitched head-foremost to the ground.

Such scenes are of common occurrence in the Landes; and, with the exception of some severe thwacks given and received, it is seldom that serious injury is sustained by either party. I recollect, however, a conflict between two French Basques in the vicinity of Pau, which terminated fatally. The Basques invariably carry a long walking-stick, generally knotted at the ends; and, when they chance to quarrel, they do not hesitate in using it pretty freely. Two of them thus armed having quarrelled and fought, one of them received a blow over the temple which killed him on the spot. This was, however, a very rare occurrence; and the shilelah* of the Basque must, nevertheless, be

Query for Irish Antiquaries-"Does not the familiar use of the “shilelah” by the Basques,-the oldest nation on the continent,-strengthen the opinion of Irish descent from the Spanish or French people, who bear that name?

considered as a far better arbiter of disputes than the long knife of his brethren over the frontier.

On the present occasion the injury sustained by the beaten party was considered of no importance, and did not in the slightest degree interrupt the hilarity of the assembly. Everything was now prepared for the race, and the competitors, in number about two dozen, being drawn up in line, and the signal for starting given, off they went in fine style. One of the hunters had been posted on a rising ground, about five hundred yards distant; round him those engaged in the race were to turn, and G---- had taken care that, in placing this individual, no attention should be paid to the state of the ground over which the racers should pass.

For the first hundred yards the race was neck and neck, all in line, and no one jostling the other. This, however, was the only level part of the course. A hollow, with a brook running through it, was now to be passed, and we could distinguish a very considerable derangement in the ranks of the little band as they passed it. Still all held on, and one after another passed the pivot without accident of any kind. Some there were now who had gained considerably on the others; these were mostly running together, each determined to win: and as, among those who were behind them, each was determined not to be last, the utmost vigour and activity of the party were put forth.

As the competitors approached, the shouts of the spectators were incessant. "Pierre le gagnera!"-" Joseph le gagnera!" resounded as the heads of one or other of the "favourites" first appeared above the unequal surface of the course: and, as they descended into the hol. low which we have noticed, it was apparent that either one or other of the favourites would prove the victor. This time, however, the brook was not so easily crossed; and, by one mishap or other, several were left in it, some of whom had hitherto been among the foremost, so that when the others topped the bank near the winning-post, they formed nearly as compact a body as when they started. Neither the whip, nor spur, nor the betting-book were in requisition, yet the contest now became really animating. There was not nearly so great a disparity of fleetness as might have been expected among such a number; and it was very evident that whoever gained the race would not have a great superiority to boast of. On they came over the level piece of sward, amid the redoubled shouts of the spectators. In a few seconds it was crossed, and Joseph was the victor by a few feet. Of course, on the presentation of the prize, Gfound it necessary to say something; but, being unaccustomed to "public speaking," and still less capable of speaking in French, he bethought him that some of his schoolboy recitations might avail him on the occasion. address of Sempronius to the Roman senate was the first which came to mind; so, turning towards Joseph, and commencing with

"My voice is still for war:

Gods! can a Roman senate long debate," &c.

The

he delivered a portion of it with all the action and energy which a eulogium on the merits of the successful racer might be supposed to require. Shouts followed every cadence of the speaker, and the scene concluded amid "thunders of applause."

508

THE ABBOT'S OAK.

A LEGEND OF MONEY-HUTCH LANE.

"In the parish of Redgrave, skirting the Park, is a narrow bye-road, which has from time immemorial borne the name of Money-Hutch Lane. Tradition says that it derived its appellation from a treasure buried in its immediate neighbour. hood, at the time of the suppression of the monasteries, one of which, a small off. shoot from the great parent stem of St. Edmondsbury, stood in its vicinity. It is added, that though deposited under the guardianship of spell and sigil, it may yet be recovered by any one who bides the happy minute."-Collect. for Hist. of Suffolk.

THE Abbot sat by his glimmering lamp,
His brow was wrinkled with care,
And his anxious look was fix'd on his book,
With a sad and a mournful air;

And ever anon,

As the night wore on,

He would slowly sink back in his oaken chair,
While his visage betray'd, from the aspect it bore,
That his studies perplex'd him more and more.

On that Abbot's brow the furrows were deep,
His hair was scant and white,

And his glassy eyes had known no sleep
For many a live-long night.

His lips, so thin, had let nothing in

Save brown bread and water, untemper'd by gin,
During his sojourn there:

His hopes of succeeding at all with his reading
Seem'd to rest on his firmly abstaining from feeding,
And sticking like wax to his chair.

One would think, from the pains which he took with his diet, he
Meant to establish a Temperance Society.

His fasting, in short, equall'd that of those mighties,
St. Romald, Dun Scotus, and Simon Stylites-
No wonder his look

On that black-letter book

Had a sad and a mournful air.

But oh! what pleasure now gleams from his eyes,

As he gazes around his cell!

The Abbot springs up in delight and surprise,
"I have it! I have it! I have it!" he cries,
"I have found out the mystic spell!"
"Twas a wonderful thing for so aged a man
To hop, skip, and jump, and to run as he ran,
But something had tickled him sore.
He just stay'd to sing

Out, for some one to bring

His best suit of robes, and his crosier and ring,
While his mitre, which hung by a peg on the door,
In his hurry he popp'd on the hind side before,
And then, though 'twas barely dawn of day,
He summon'd a council without delay,

With a hint that he'd something important to say,
And commenced his address in the following way —

"Unaccustom'd, my brethren, as I am to speaking,
To keep you long waiting is not my intention;
I'll merely observe, that the charm I've been seeking
I've found out at length in a book I won't mention.-
Yes, my brethren, I've found

Where to hide our riches vast,
Buried deep in holy ground,

I've found the spell that binds them fast.
The proud, the profane,

Will search all in vain,

If they hunt for them over and over again.
One day in the year

Was tarnish'd, I fear,

By some trifling faux pas in our Patron's career;
That's the time, and that's the hour,

When fails our Saint's protecting power,

Gallant hearts and steady hands

Then, and then only, may burst the bands,

Our treasures may win, if their patience but lets them; As for Harry the Eighth, I'm-"—he cough'd-" if he gets them.

And now, my brethren, all to bed;

We'll consider our early matins as said;
And if by good luck into any one's head
A better device or more feasible plan
To bother that corpulent horrid old man,

And that rascally renegade Cromwell, than this come;
The morning will show it,

Then let me know it.

I'm sleepy just now-so good night-Pax vobiscum!"

It's pretty well known what way the Eighth Harry,
When wearied of Catherine, he wanted to marry
Miss Boleyn, he'd other points also to carry,-
Applied to the Pope for his aid;

Which not being granted

As soon as he wanted,

The hot-headed monarch right solemnly said,
For bulls and anathemas feeling no dread,
That the Pope might go

To Jericho,

And, instead of saluting his Holiness' toes,
He'd pull, without scruple, his Holiness' nose;-
That way he brought the affair to a close.
Things being thus,
Without any fuss,

He kicks out the monks from their pleasant locations;
To their broad lands he sends

His most intimate friends,

And bestows their domains on his needy relations;

VOL. IV.

34

And, sad to relate,

As we are bound to confess it is,
Pockets their plate

For his private necessities:

And whenever his Majesty finds a fresh dun arise,
Gives him a cheque on the abbeys and nunneries.
So you'll not be surprised that the very next morning,
As the Abbot his person was gravely adorning,
A note by express

Put all notions of dress

Instanter to flight by its terrible warning.
I say by express,

Though you'll probably guess

That no gentlemen deck'd in gold, scarlet, and blue,
Walk'd round in those days, as at present they do,
Charging eightpence for billets which shouldn't cost two-
(The reason they say for folks writing so few).
But a change, we are told, will be made in a trice,
And epistles of all sorts be brought to one price,
Despite the predictions of Mr. Spring Rice.
We shall not for any

Pay more than a penny,

No matter how great the dimensions or distance.
An excellent plan for the public; for then 'tis his
Own fault if any one spurns such assistance,
Nor writes every day to his fellow-apprentices!
All laud to Hill

For this levelling bill,

Which will make, by the aid of the Whigs, its abettors,
The General Post a Republic of Letters.

As it's everywhere voted remarkably rude
Into other folks' secrets to peep and intrude,
My Muse, for the present, shall so play the prude,
As not to let out

What this note was about,

Or what it was stagger'd an Abbot so stout.

The result's all we care to make public in this story,
And to that we've a right, as mere matter of history.

On the night of that ill-omen'd day

A band of Monks pursued their way
From the postern-gate of that Abbey grey,
To the churchyard damp and drear,
They bore three "hutches,”-

In Suffolk such is

The word they use, as lately I've read

In Johnson, for boxes in which folks make bread.
The aged men totter'd with toil and with pain,

As to carry their burthen they strove might and main
The Abbot march'd first in that slow-going train,

The Sexton brought up the rear.

Near a newly-made vault
They came to a halt,

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