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authors and poets among us who are worthy
to be mentioned with any who have gone
before them. But we have too much fact, and
too little fancy; too much mere Railway-art of
literature, and too little respect for a work of
Art. Every man who has learned Greek and
Latin, and made himself acquainted with
heathen mythology, is sensiblethough
perhaps he can scarcely explain howof possessing
an intellectual power derived from those
branches of study. So, a similar power, a similar
cultivation of the intellect and the understanding,
is derived from an early acquaintance with
fairy tales, with romances of chivalry, and with
those pure and simple works of fiction such as
Goldsmith's Vicar, which have been exemplars
to all the greatest of the modern writers. It is
not, perhaps, a good thing to frighten children
with ghosts; but it is not altogether a good sign
when children wake in the night to explain on
scientific principles the moving shadow which
their nurse has taken for a beneficent Fairy. Give
children printing-presses, retorts, and chemicals,
to play with, by all means; but don't let them
skip the Arabian Nights. Let them wear out
at least one jacket. Let us have had experience
of Blue Beard, when we come to have a beard
of our own. Let us have known a talking
wolf, through Little Red Riding Hood, as well
as the speechless wolf in the Zoological Gardens.
The last navigator will be none the worse for
having believed in Sindbad the Sailor; and I
wager a thousand pounds to a shilling that my
dear PROFESSOR OWEN has had faith in the Roc.


THERE are few of us who like shooting and
have not at some time of our lives "done a
little bit of poaching." Of course I refer to
gentlemanly poaching. I am a J.P. now, and
of course, Justly Particular. Still I have done
one or two things of the sort one might be had
up for, even since I have sustained magisterial
honours. For instance, one night I made one
of a party netting partridges, using the identical
net which had been taken a week before from
a poacher who was caught in the fact, and to
whom I gave three weeks' hard labour. But, let
me add, I used the net on my own land, and with
my own keepers, for I wished to settle the point
whether a "well-bushed" field really offered
any impediments to netting, and found that
it got so inextricably hampered, that the
partridges were safe.

But it is not of my peccadilloes at home
that I am about to make confession. I fear
there is scarce a country in Europe wherein I
have not infringed the game laws; and, if the
heinousness of the crime bears any direct
proportion to the size of the animal unlawfully
slain, I have been a poacher of the very utmost
magnitude. For I have been, I confess it, an elk
poacher, and an elk is an animal standing some
seventeen or eighteen hands high, and weighing
a good bit more than half a ton.

I was spending the summer in Norway. It
was the year ('fifty-eight) of that terribly hot
summer when the sheep died by scores in the
parks, and became roast mutton as they lay upon
the grass: so you may imagine what it was in
a country where the sun was almost as hot at
midnight as at noon. It was getting towards the
end of July, and I was looking forward to the
first of August with all the zest of an old grouse
shooter. One day a young Norwegian student
happened to put up at the same "station"
where I was staying. He, too, was going to
spend his vacation on the Fjelds, but disdaining
such small fry as grouse and ptarmigan,
soared at red-deer, reindeer, and elk. It was to
our mutual interests. I, for instance, had a good
stock of English powder, an unlimited supply
of "Bristol bird's eye," and a brace of first-rate
setters. He would not only be an agreeable
companion, but would act as my interpreter.

A few remarks on the law relating to the
preservation of elk are due in this place. It
runs thus: "Any one shooting an elk before
August 1st, or after October 31st, is liable to a
penalty of forty dollars, half of which goes to
the informer, and half to the poor-box of the
district." Doubtless, in some respects, an
excellent provision, as in a wild country like
Norway, with its boundless forests and trackless
Fjelds, it would be a sheer impossibility for any
native game preserver to keep such a staff of
employés as to render the poacher's avocation
at all dangerous. By offering a bribe to the
informer, the government hit on an ingenious
and inexpensive scheme for the promotion of its
object. But now mark the weak side! Say
that the eatable portion of an elk weighs
800 lbs. In the matter of food therefore, alone,
there will be a tolerable supply of meat through
the winter. Then there is the hide, and
the antlers, into the bargain. On the lowest
computation, an elk is well worth thirty dollars.
It is easy enough, therefore, for two persons to
conspire against an elk, and while one of them
does the poaching, his comrade acts as informer,
and, by recovering half the penalty, both profit by
the transaction.

We had just arrived at our quarters, after
a long and dusty journey across the Dovre
mountains. The house at which we put up lay
on the borders of a large lake of surpassing
loveliness. It looked so temptingly cool that
we determined to enjoy the luxury of a bath,
before going in to sup upon a dish of fresh
caught char, which was in course of preparation.
Never was bath more refreshing; and certainly
never was tobacco more fragrant than when we
laid down afterwards on the grass to be soothed
by it. All was still; the lake as smooth as a
looking-glass, and the sun just setting behind a
snow-capped mountain in the distance. But
the silence suddenly was broken by the sound of
distant voices, and the splash of oars; and in a
few minutes we could plainly discern two boats
emerging from under the dark shadow of some
rocky hills on the other side, apparently racing
against each other. I pulled out my "binocular,”
and soon discovered what I should have taken