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retorted John Bull, “ mais il ne joue jamais de la flute.” Query, in which act would a sovereign look most like a king—surrounded by a princely retinue and a Royal pack of staghounds, or distorting his mouth like a fifer on a flute? Let him do both, but don't let the fifer pretend to ridicule a more kingly and manly pursuit.
But to answer the supposed French observation, “ We do not hunt.” I know you do not; and look what blessedly dreary places your provinces are. Take the whole country of the north of France-I know it well, and had the misfortune to be quartered in different parts of it-a man might as well be in Siberia. Why is this? Because there is no resident country gentry. Why is there not? Because there is no hunting ; there being none, the French of course have no idea of its joys; and having none, of course there is no inducement to live in the country. In another half century, if London amusements usurp the place of country ones among our gentry, our provinces will be somewhat like the French ones. It may then be “merrie” London, but it will no longer be “ merrie England.” Why was it called so ? Because the whole country beamed with “ merrie” faces. The country had its numberless amusements—its stag-hunting, fox, hare, and otter-hunting ; its coursing, shooting, fishing, races, fairs, statutes, riding, driving, dinners, and visits. The presence of the gentry kept these up, and these existing kept the gentry in the country. It is not for me to enter into the statistics of any country, or the animus of its people ; but this I know, that Englishmen patronizing field sports made England a smiling country throughout ; while most other countries, where such was not the case, showed like a man laughing on one side of his face and crying on the other.
France has always been considered a gay country. Now the truth is it is only partially so. The Court was gay; 80 was the Palais-Royal (perhaps a little too gay). All Paris was comparatively gay ; but put a gentleman into a country-house a mile or two from St. Pol, or quarter him for three winter months at Bailleul : if he would call France gay, be must be a philosopher of the crying order, or so truly of the laughing one that he would laugh anywhere. It is nonsense to call that a happy country where gaiety is only to be found in its metropolis ; it may do for other countries, but will never do for England. It is every being resident in it having his amusement, that has produced an unanimity of feeling and purpose that has made Englishmen in their small island a nation wondered at. Field sports ever have been the vitality of the Englishman : suffer them to dwindle away, he will become no longer truly English, and then
“ My native land, adieu."
THE OLD MARE.
BY ROBERT H. BROWN.
She droops her head-her limbs her stiff
Her breath comes hard and fast ;
Have come to this at last !
That boasts its lineage high,
And thou shalt never die!
Once more upon thy pastures wide,
Within thy native bounds,
At sound of horn and hounds.
Thy fair repose to break ;
But age hath made thee weak.
Oft have I seen thy eager pace
Impatient for the start;
Like lightning from the heart.
Thy mettle staunch and true ;
The deeds thy will would do.
Start not, it is in vain, my steed!
Start not at horn and hound !
In vain the bugle sound !
Like tints of evening sky,
Then leave the day to die.
Wakefield, Nov., 1851.
A MILE FROM HOME.
“THE GREY FOR A PONY !"
WITH FULL PARTICULARS BY A. SOFTUN, ESQ.
When I was a very young man—and that is not such an extraordinary time back either-I had the peculiarly good fortune to pass my state of transition under the immediate care of the very reverend as well as learned Dr. Gradus. This happy era in life's journey every one must have some recollection of-the time when you are not quite responsible for your own acts, but feeling quite equal, nevertheless, to go with the best of them.
The Doctor's domestic circle was limited, which of course went to imply that his terms were not. In fact, things were done altogether with rather a high hand; and so, when my good mother ventured to hint soinewhat nervously that horse-exercise would tend much to increase my bodily health, as well as materially add to my appetite for Greek Play, not the slightest objection was offered to so reasonable a suggestion. The Doctor had a capital stable, a groom who had lived some years with “Sir Richard,” and perfectly understood his business-in a word, there was every disposition to make us both comfortable; and on the same night I took possession of my bed-room, my "riding-horse”-as he was modestly designated-look possession of his box.
He was rather an imposing-looking hack, too---fifteen three good, well furnished throughout, legs as clean as a foal's, and seven off. My own experience, too, went to assure me that he was something more than a hack; and after I had cut in once or twice with the harriers, there were plenty of others willing to believe as much. Indeed, I heard one oracle, of rather a serious turn of mind, acknowledge the fact with a “ what a pity!” kind of commentary-meaning, of course, what a sad thing it was that so good a horse should come to be rattled about by a young gentleman of such primitive notions as myself. I can't say, though, that I saw the thing altogether in this light.
Within a fair walk of the vicaraye there had been providentially provided a good-sized country town, whither we went to buy sticks, post letters, have our hair cut, and get through any other trifling business of a bye-day. By the end of the first season my horse's reputation was in very strong bloom here; and when, in accordance with the especial spirit of the times, a steeple-chase fever broke out amongst the inhabitants, they registered a half-promise from me that my nag should " make one." I was very young at the time-a fact which any gentleman who may bave the "what a pity!” conclusion again ready for use, will be kind enough to remember.
The attempt prospered: the cheque of a decidedly sporting banker