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view (though he wont allow it), lic scoms very much to realize the spirit
of its lines :-
" Oh! give me a haunch of good back to eat, and a glass of Madeira old;

And a gentle wife to rest with, and in my arms to fold :
An Arabic book to study, a Norfolk cob to ride,
And a house to live in shaded with trees, and close by a river side.
With blessings like these around me, and blest with good health withal,
Were I to live for a hundred years, I never for death should call."

His doctrine as to sermons is, that no man can make more than one good one in the week ; and hence he chooses his text on a Monday, and arranges his thoughts throughout the week. Unless some very urgent parish duty calls him out, the whole of Saturday is spent in one silent and absorbed vigil, in his study, as he has not only to write out his sermon, but also to set up a skeleton of an extempore one for the afternoon. I don't say that he can bring the congregation gradually on to their legs with them, as Robert Hall was wont to do ; but I should describe them in Rowland Hill's fashion, as good brown-bread sermons,” preached with a quiet emphasis and feeling, which, when backed up by practice, makes men church-goers who scarcely ever went before, and brings dissenters once a day at least. They were generally half an hour, or exactly three hours shorter than Dr. Barrow's. Till, however, he had won his way to their hearts through his sermons, he was not a little baffled in the calls which he conscientiously made at every house in his parish. One old woman told him she was "a bit of a nonconformity, and would thank him not to bother her,” Another declared that she wanted nothing from the parsonage but a few apples and a little civility.” And when he remonstrated with a third, upon her language about her husband, and quietly suggested that the husband ought to be the “ head of the wife," the old lady declared, in the most oracular tones-" Weel, but that's just where Paul and I differ!" Once, too, he almost felt inclined to throw up the cards in despair, when a woman would not give up her scouring for one instant to listen to him, but simply looked up, and said with a face of astonishment, when he spoke of the death of his great Master —“And is that grate mon deed ? I heard nae tell of it. Our Tom, he niver taks in nae payper, and yen hears nout." I give these specimens in no spirit of ridicule-far be it from me to do so -but simply to illustrate the dense ignorance and prejudice with which & liegeman of the cross has too often to do battle at the outset of his career. There was not, however, one drop of lazy blood in Gilcrux, and he and his parishioners soon understood each other. He made himself gradually acquainted with their habits, and had always a kind word and enquiry for each of them when they met. Even the two poor idiots of the village, who hated each other most bitterly, and mutually rejected, with the subtle instinct of that race, all the lads' hints as to their becoming one, on the ground that “ Johnny's soft” and “ Sally's not sharp,” agreed in one thing, viz., in a most profound reverence for Gilcrux, Sally appeared at church the first Sunday in a head-dress nearly two feet high, composed of the seven years' accumulation of cast-off Brawl finery ; and Johnny did equal honour to the occasion, by descending on the choir (where he had sung every Sunday morning and eyening since he could creep up the gallery stairs) like a scarlet apparition, in all the glories of a coat which he had begged of the Ainsford huntsman. IIe was so much offended at the titter of the parish minstrels, that, between services, he walked to Brawl Wood, and stuffed it, to Charley Clinker's intense disgust, down one of the best fox-earths, and thus kept “ Van Tromp” without food for nearly two days. Sally, on the contrary, walked up to the parsonage next morning, in full dress, to make a formal call, and ascertain Gilcrux's opinion generally upon her chances of marrying an adjacent nobleman. The farmers were also uncommonly fond of him, because he was “ SÒ free like,” and gave him many a hearty grip of the hand, as he came striding over the fields to have a quiet crack with them at haymaking or harvest times. When he had gained their ear, he soon got their hearts ; and right able and liberal lieutenants they proved to him in his new Coal, Clothing, and Reading Clubs. In fact, without any convulsive, ill-conditioned efforts to seize it as his right as a successor of the apostles, he insensibly found himself in his legitimate position as head of the parish, and every one only too happy to act urder, or rather with him. No man knew better how to say the right thing at the right time. He would drop in on the party at a harvest supper, and get home to the hearts of the feasters with a few thoughtful words appropriate to the fall of the year, which were never forgotten and never resented. The schools, too, which his predecessor had thrown up in disgust, because the master, backed by the whole parish, had flatly refused to introduce a Puseyite catechism into them, soon grew to a great height under his management. He called on the master " to consult with him," as he wisely said, a few days after his “ reading in ;' and hence that functionary soon deluded himself into a belief that all the changes emanated from himself, and worked them with intense zeal in consequence. In fact, he quite flattered himself that he was “teaching Mr. Gilcrux a trick or two in tuition.” With the mistress of the girls' school he was equally fortunate ; and the villagers at last began to wink and hint that he liked going there none the worse because Marion was the lady superintendent and founder of it.

No man was a better sportsman at heart, or had more enjoyed a good burst over the Fitzwilliam country with Sebright, or a gallop over to Newmarket, and a trip to Doncaster in his college and lawyer days ; but he gave them both up, when he entered the church. I feel sure it was a great sacrifice ; but he made no parade of his self-denial, and never presumed to blame those of his cloth who did otherwise. Two brother clergymen called in a gig, to offer him a packet of tracts, and a roll of huge text placards, for the most prominent trees in his parish, and to get him to join an anti-race league ; but they found that they had mistaken their man. He simply told them that human nature must have a vent somewhere ; and that if a sport which so many millions joined in innocently was destroyed, it would only be succeeded by some kind of excitement in which no one could join without real contamination. Here, he further remarked, is a sport rooted in the very hearts of Englishmen : if they're at Doncaster, Gibraltar, Australia, or Madras, races they will have; and therefore it is clearly our duty not to throw words to the wind by preaching against them, but to try and make the enjoyment of them by our parishioners as innocent as possible. The tracts, he told them, would do no good, as they merely prosed on in a sort of religious slang, and destroyed their own aim by their gross exaggerations, and their style of uncharitably huddling together and denouncing mere harmless holiday-makers with those who only frequent racecourses (as they do every place else) for the purposes of crime. As to the placards, he warned them that, after hearing the blasphemous parodies which they gave rise to, when he had walked in old days at Doncaster down the race-course road, such was his conviction of their tendency, that he should request all the tree-owners in his parish to pull them off forthwith. All this was most quietly spoken by Gilcrux in a milder phase ; but the two divines cut him as a man of unclean lips ever after. Still he had good reason to know that his kind, gentle allusions from the pulpit the Sunday before York races, were not thrown away on his hearers.

His heart was so much taken up with his parish and his study, that a few afternoons with a rod and a book by the side of the Brawl, and a few walks to see the Ainsford hounds find, whenever they had a fixture within two or three miles, made up the sum total of his sporting performances in the year. At home, quoits was his favourite game ; and he had perfectly endless “ ends” during the summer evenings in the parsonage field, along with Ironmould and Indigo. Barring Charley Clinker, Indigo was the best player in the parish, and attributed his proficiency to his early dislike of braces, which he considered had given more freedom to his muscles generally. The three often stepped down to the cricket field, and joined the Brawl Club, which pretty nearly consisted of young farmers, with Ironmould as president, and Indigo as secretary. Gilcrux was a remarkably neat batter, and loved, above all things, to go in with Indigo, whose action always elicited the very loudest applause from the spectators. He was never in condition-a fact which Tom Bronze, as a trainer, deeply deplored ; and after three or four overs, he might be seen paddling between the wickets, using his bat like a walking stick, with his face like a damp mangel wurzel, and blowing like a grampus. Of course he was always run out, and at last he became so disgusted, that he appointed himself perpetual scorer, and dwelt in a tent, patriarch fashion, throughout the whole of the game. Besides the young farmers, there were not a few parish “ characters” in this club, including Nathan NUTBROWN, the publican, who was a tremendous under-bowler, and the little doctor, who once delivered a ripper, and caught it on its return between wickets in such resolute style, that the whole village were anxious to insert an account of the feat in Bell's Life. They must, however, bide their time. We have got them all in the cricket ground on a fine July evening, and there they must stay for another month.



CHAP. III. THE CHASE OF THE ROEBUCK-A RETREAT BY TORCHLIGHT. The Château of Sully, which is now inhabited by the Marquis de Mac-Mahon, is only distant about five or six leagues from the one which I lived at; nevertheless, my intimacy with the proprietor of that place was confined to an exchange of civil speeches upon our meeting each other in the fashionable circles in Paris. Our fathers were upon terms of greater intimacy formerly ; but the times, and other circumstances, besides an inequality in their fortunes, had caused a kind of breach, without exactly destroying their acquaintance, for they still invariably met each other with pleasure. It only waited, then, for their children to meet with a good opportunity, to become intimate again ; and the following is the way in which it was brought about.

Every year, about the time of the anniversary of St. John, the town of Châlons-sur-Saône is the theatre of a fair which is celebrated in that part of the country, and which attracts, not only from that neighbourhood, but from all the districts round, an immense company of holiday folks. People who may have horses to purchase, as well as those who may have them to sell (and that is generally the greatest number); country men and women ; idlers, who are always ready to change their place of abode, if for ever so short a period -- all these arrive from every quarter, and cram to overflowing three or four little country inns, and pass their holiday, varying from a day to a week, in lounging, intriguing, applauding the rope-dancers, or perhaps eating ices, of which the mean temperature varied between five and six degrees rather above zero than below it. People who had no chance of seeing each other at any other time met there ; those who only nodded upon other occasions, shook hands most cordially upon meeting here ; everybody seemed gay, happy, and in good humour with each other : this was, in one word, a kind of golden age, during which all the world seemed united in one feeling, and that was in trying to promote each other's happiness. Such pleasures as these had the greatest attraction for me ; and I should have looked upon any circumstance, however propitious it might have been in other respects, as a great misfortune, if it had hindered me from showing myself at this general and joyous rendezvous. When good reasons failed me, I coined a pretext in lieu of them ; in fact, either about the first or fifteenth of June, it mattered not, I declared that my horses were good for nothing, and that I must and would change them for others. The Marquis Mac-Mahon and I had one common friend, who often went to stay at one time with him, at others with me, and it did not seem at all agreeable to him if we could not meet all together as friends in common at the same time. The fair at Châlons was an excellent opportunity for him to carry out his wishes ; and our being naturally predisposed to such a measure, the thing was arranged without the least difficulty.

After eight-and-forty hours passed in the same inn, I made an engagement with the Marquis and his brother to pay me a visit upon their way home. To effect that, they were obliged to go out of their way some few miles; but what would not a man do for the pleasure of making a new acquaintance? They arrived, then ; I gave them a tolerably good breakfast, offered in all hospitality, and we did not separate until the Marquis had promised me that he would return on the 20th of September with his hunting establishment, and stay with me a week at least. I had heard many accounts, which seemed to me almost fabulous, as to the style in which the Marquis de Mac-Mahon hunted ; such as wild-boars hunted to bay in two hours ; roedeer regularly choked in forty minutes ; hounds as swift as greyhounds, and as full of tongue as beagles. I also heard tell of a certain piqueur who lived with him, named Ragot, who was allowed to surpass in address, in intelligence and determination, all the celebrated characters of his class. Ilow prone human nature is to allow with difficulty the great superiority of any one man over another! and like the rest of my jealous species, I seemed anxious to wait the moment when I should be able to say, “I knew well it was, after all, an exaggeration !".

On the 19th of September, in the year of grace 1834, at about five o'clock in the afternoon of splendid weather, a phaeton and pair of posthorses rattled along up the avenue leading to my château : it conveyed the Marquis Charles de Mac-Mahon, Count Joseph, his brother, and last, not least, the common friend who had so amiably brought us both together. Behind the phaeton galloped two servants, leading four horses. The pack, composed of twenty couples of hounds bred between French and English crossed, took up, about the same time, their quarters at the village inn, under the superintendence of the great Ragot, whose renown made him appear to me almost of as great importance as Aristides was to the Athenians. I had invited, to meet the party, a small réunion of old friends, who were boon companions and determined sportsmen, amongst whom were Count Baussancourt, Count Pracontal, the Baron St. Pierre, Gustave de Larifaudière, and several others whose names do not recur to me at this moment. The evening passed off gaily ; we talked of everything excepting the chase ; for real sportsmen, like true and faithful lovers, never talk of the object of their passion ; they are content to adore it in the silent depth of their own hearts.

The rendezvous on the following day was at a place called Le Chêne Egraffiné, and we all met there at nine o'clock in the morning. There we found MM. Charles and Arthur de Vaublanc, two country neighbours, to whom I had sent word the night before, and Monsieur Gustave de Beuverard, an old friend, whom I always cherished, and still do, as a brother. The two first were mounted upon Danish coach-horses, who would have been enchanted if my doubts about the swiftness of these half-bred English hounds had proved to be realities. The pack were there waiting for us, at the same time impatient, but docile ; and I must declare that at first sight their appearance was not much in their favour. There were some as big as giants, that looked like the greyhounds of Siberia ; others were quite dwarfs, like beagles : some had

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