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I was forced to submit. The wind brought me no sound, and I did not know the country ; so I trotted along as leisurely as my companion. An hour passed, and I fancieil I heard the hnunds. I remarked so to P
“ I was sure of it; this way."
The sounds became more distinct; but I was rather surprised to hear the bay of not more than eight or nine dogs, instead of five-an:forty; and said so.
“All right; the animal has got ahead of the main body. Now is the time for action.”
In an instant we were at the top of a little hill, at the opposite slope of which we saw, in a field of broom, the wild boar, no longer able to rua, facing with angry impetuosity some dozen dogs which held him at bay. Beyond, at a much greater distance than ourselves, was the whole hunting party, dashing with all the haste possible towards the animal. We reached the spot before the rest; then came Racot; and when in a short time the whole party were united, the Marquis de Vitry, our president, was invited to finish the boar with a rifle shot, and, an instant after, a dozen deep-mouthed horns sounded a peel of victory.
“That devil of a P is like nobody else," said the Marquis of Macmahon, the master of the hunt: “no one sees him during the hunt, and he is always in at the death."
P- smiled, and triumphed demurely, as all clever people do. Our return was magnificent: at the moment we mounted the hill which, a few minutes before, we had descended, the sun was setting in a cloud of purple and gold, and its last rays illumined the summits of the mountains; while the deep shadows of twilight spread over the valleys. The air was sharp, vivifying, and pure; the forests, just now so noisy, were again silent; and we calm, as good taste should ever make conquerors feel, allowed the reins of our horses to float, and we thought already of the victories of the morrow. We reached Fours altogether, when every one dispersed to his own apartment to dress--a very necessary matter with me, thanks to the bog! At six we were in the granıle sulle of the auberge de la porte, kept by old Saclier. I will not
the dinner was good, but I will affirm it was gay; if the fowls were bad the appetites were excellent, and the quantity of chanpagne soon caused its quality to be forgotten.
Next day it rained as it only rains in the Morvan in November ; but, as we were quite as good philosophers as hunters, we resigned ourselves to the trial without a murmur, only the cotelletles of the père Saclier appeared more tough, and his wine less authentic, than ile day before. In fine, it cleared up, and for one whole week we ransacked the neighbourhood; and when we separated, it was with a sincere determination of meeting there again the same time next year. Et ainsi soit-il.
II.--A MATCII-LOCK SHOOTING IN 1843. One of my particular and special friends over the water was last year summoned before the tribunal of Saint Quentin, to pay a fine for sporting over ground from which the harvest had not been clearedi
My friend was counting out the money, when a new victim of the law of 1790 presented himself. This nian was condemned to the confiscation of liis gun, and he presented to the clerk an old m:atch-lock, which had doubtless done iis duty at Saint Barthélemy.
“ What old iron is this?" said the clerk.
“Sir, it is my gun, since the tribunal will bave it so. Apparently you can't afford to buy guns, that you rob poor devils like me of theirs."
“ But, my good fellow, you never hunted with this ?”
“ Did'nt I though—but its too hard—the fine, the costs, the gun that's more than a double—it's a treble shot. The judges are better slots than I.”
“ I can't take this for a gun—this rusty lump of iron can't be yonr fowling-piece; you must bring inc a fusil raisonnable (these were the clerk's words) or fifty francs.'
“ Fifty fraues ! where am I to get them ?" " That's none of my business.'
“ If both parties are agreeable,” observed my friend, " I buy this gun.
“Good," said the poor hunter, “and Monsieur Houdetot is not vête; you will see next time he turns out, lie will kill more than any other sportsman."
It was at breakfast, on the first of January, 1813, that my friend related the above circumstance.
“ So the poor fellow thought you bought the cannon to fowl with,” said one of the guests.
“ Certainly, though to be sure it is rather heavy; it weighis four times one of ours.”
Why not take it out; it would have been rare sport to see you miss every shot.”
" And who told you I should miss ?" “ I think it probable.”
“ Well I will bet with you, we will shoot together; you shall have your Devisme, I my arquebuss of the days or Charles I X., and I lay I killas much as you."
“ Done: a dinner at discretion for the whole company."
6. Yes: the winner to select the materials---- he shall have carte blanche.”
“ By the by, there is our excellent anglo-gallic friend whose studies in gastronomy have been both regular and profound ; we'll leave the selection of the banquet to him.
“Very well,” replied I:“ in eight days be it so. I will write to Paris to-morrow. Thanks to the progress of civilization, the number of venders of comestibles increases every day, and I shall have all I desire in no time. My bead lias carved out the dishes alreadymonstrous turbot, a giant salnion, a fabulous trout; game of course - fowls such as were never seen ; it isn't the season of truffles-but, thanks to late inventions, there are no seasons. The wine shall be delicious, the dessert sublime. I have carte Blanche-loser beware of your pocket.”
Both were sure of winning.
“ But,” said I, “ you have bet that one will kill more than the other. If neither kills anything?"
“If I kill nothing," said Houdetot, “ I have lost."
On returning from the day's hunt, Houdetot ordered his servant to sit up all night cleaning the old gun; next day it was in tolerable order, with a bundle of lighted rope-yarns for a match.
“Before we risk anything," said I, “ let us try him in the garden."
I I put in a double charge of powder and lead; I rammed hard ; placed the gun against a tree, fastened it, and with a pole fired it. six-pounder would have made less noise and effect; a portion of the garden wall fell in; the whole populace were in agitation. If in St. Quentin there had been a powder-mill, the inhabitants would have believed it blown up; but as there is no powder-mill, it would have required a Yaukee power of imagination to believe one bad blown up.
“The gun is good,” said I, "but beware of your shoulders; see how the stock has ploughed up the ground; if your cheek and humerus suffer thus, you will be in bed before night.”
“ Never mind—I'll take care; to the rendezvous.”
Two umpires accompanied each to decide on their relative merits, and two men walked bearind Houdetot, carrying his gun.
“You ought to carry your own gun," said his antagonist.
I counted upon that." “ I appeal to our friends. The terms of the wager oblige me to kill as much game as you, or to kill one if you kill none—that is its extent.”
The fields reached, they separated, the crowd following Houdedot, and betting on his great gun. At St. Quentin they are devoured by the mania of betting; they wager, when hunting, their powder-horns, dog, waistcoat, pantaloons, payable at sight, so that more than one sportsman has been seen coming home in a coach, in default of other coveriny. We followed Houdedot some twenty yards behind, while he with his two porters advanced, preceded by his bitch Finette; she sets; Houdetot seizes the arquebuss; two old partridges flew up: he pulls the trigger, and when the birds were about a quarter of a mile off, the piece went off. What a report! We were in the neighbourhood of the military school of La Fere-doubtless it was thought they had fired a salute.
“ Well,” said I, “ the cheek and the humerus."
off half an hour after the partridges have disappeared.”
“Why, there was a lump of cinders at the end of the match, that won't occur again.”
“ Fire directly Finette sets, and perhaps chance may have it, the shot will go off at the same time as the partridges.'
The rest declared he would lose his bet.
6. But your gun goes
“Safe not to, gentlemen; I will take two to one with any of you.”
Twenties, fifties, hundreds of francs, were voluntered and accepted; the gun was loaded, and we proceeded. We were in a field of clover, Finette gave the signal, Houdetot seized the gun, approached the match to his lips, blew off the cinders, the covey rose, a spark fell on the pan, the gun went off, and five partridges fell dead; the gun fell also from the fowler's hands.
« Victoire-I have won. B-, my friend, I make you responsible for the dinner; if it is not magnificent your reputation is lost.”.
"You have not yet won,” said one of the betters, “ if M kills more than you.”
" He never killed three in a day-howbeit I shoot no more with this."
“Quite right,” said I,“ two such shots don't happen in one day.”
We now followed the other fortune-hunter, who was blazing away on all sides. We came up, examined his bag—it was empty.
"Not at all,” said he, “I have a young partridge.” We examined again, and found an unlucky juvenile of the breed al“ That can't count,” observed I.
“Certainly it does,” said Houdetot; "it ought to count, and shall count. Kill four more and I am beat M- -; but as I wish to amuse myself, I shall take my fowling-piece and fire after you, and will lay another dinner I kill three to one.”
“ I would rather be excused—the first was enough.”
I shall spare my readers the rest of the episode. Our friend did slay another old and venerable partridge, predestined to die that day; and when night came we returned to St. Quentin, the victor with two and a half brace, the vanquished with three quarters of a pair.
The dinner was magnificent-I spared nothing--since I had two motives to impel me—my gastronomic reputation, and the gastric juices; and, believe me, none enjoyed it better than ihe caterer.
LITERATURE AND THE FINE ARTS.
Quique sui memores alios fecêre merendo,
“ You should be women,
The reader has, six-score of times during the last six months, inquired of himself-insisted upon an answer from hiniself to his question—“How is it the Sporting Reviewer hath laid aside his craft?” We heard it as plainly as if we had been Fine Ear of the fairy tale. For half a year we have writ no criticism, for the which we could assign many goodly reasons; but we deem it necessary only to offer one (as satisfactory, probably, as a thousand)-ne had none io norite.
The paper panic of 1825, and the paper panic of 1843, shall long render those seasons memorable for tlie depression of
rags. Where, ten years ago, the busy inonths poured forth their centenaries of volumes; where--good, bad, and indifferent—the annual publishing season issuell its epic and its trage:ly, its poems and novels, its travels and researches, its countless memoirs and correspondences, its essays and sermons, its scientific treatises, and its geological tracis; the press seems now with difficulty parturient of an odd production or two, fashioned without care or thought; servile copies, in nothing original, save perlaps, the want of intrinsic merit, and the utter absence of wit and humour and learning; offspring of the brain, without the hands and feet, the eyes and the cars, and the faculties to preserve thein from perishing; books, tric-siniles of those that had gone before, only without their gist—like accurately repeated jests in all but the point; Minervas, not born cap-a-pic, alas! but who pilfer from their progenitors every weapon they wield. Most of us can recall the period when literature was the most exciting problem of the day; the current coin of conversation at the noon-day call, or evening's reunion. We remember when the certain theme of speculation was Scott's coming novel, Byron's last canto, Rogers's revival of the system of illustrated works; when the poems of the latter, and Campbell's, and Southey's, and Wordsworth's, were discussed as part of the morning meal; and the subtleties of Coleridge, or Godwin's latest theorem of the mind, or Jeffries's biting critiques, or Charles Lamb's gentle essays, were ever startling or delighting the neophytes of learning; when Leigh Hunt's fairy-land optimism welled through the walls of the King's Bench prison, and Jeremy Bentham's splenetic exposition of legal fallacies thundered from his octogenarian bed-chamber; when Cobbett and Colman were sell in popular favour; when publishers, in short, waxed munificent, and became more proud of their anthors than these of their works. It was then that readers gave three times the price of the hire for the privilege of cutting the wet sheets of the Ballantyne-press novel, and were sure to be recompensed a thousand-fold by its perusal. The demand for literary food was an almost insane cry, and printer and publisher, writer and reader, joined in the common frenzy. Then was invented the high-pressure engine on brain; in the operation of which health and common sense were sacrificed to avarice, and the intellect was treated like a mail-coach when additional horses are put on to increase its speed. The reaction is now in progress; we have fallen upon the evil days of the press, the second childishness of authorship. We have writers withont books, lukewarm booksellers, unenthusiastic readers. Literature is now a stagnant pool, where once its sparkling waters flowed direct from Helicon. It' it is not a defunct profession, it is engolphed in the gigantic whirlpool of journalism. Authors have turned old women, and repeat themselves to an