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meas far as sight and hearing could ascertain,
nothing human was near. I was absolutely
tete-a-tete with my gun. Meanwhile,
the hour advanced, and the moon (which I
did not expect to see, so contracted was
my horizon) began to scatter around me a sort of
half-light which I accepted with gratitude.
It might be eleven o'clock, and I began to be
surprised at having to wait so long, when I
thought I heard something walking in the
wood. Little by little the sounds grew more
distinct there was no possibility of doubting
they were caused by several large animals.
I soon perceived beneath the branches some
moving luminous points, which cast a reddish
gleam. I had no difficulty in recognising the
family of lions, walking in single file in the
direction of the ford where I had posted
myself. Instead of five, I counted only three;
and, when they stopped at fifteen paces' distance
from the river's brink, I thought that
the one who came first, although more than
respectable in stature and physiognomy, could
not be the seigneur with the large head
whose description had been given me, and
whom the cheik recommended so warmly to
my notice.

"There they were, all three at a stand-still,
regarding me with looks of astonishment.
Following out my plan of attack, I aimed at
the middle of the shoulder of the first, and
fired. A terrible roar of agony replied to my
shot, and, when the smoke allowed me to see,
I distinguished two of the lions slowly re-
entering the wood, and the third, with both his
shoulders broken, dragging himself on his
belly to make for me. I immediately
comprehended that the papa and the mamma did
not belong to the party, a circumstance which
I did not regret one single instant. Feeling
now reassured respecting the intentions of
those whom their brother's fall had induced
to depart, I devoted my whole attention to
him. I had just reloaded my barrel with
powder, when, with an effort that made him
roar with pain, he arrived within three paces
of myself, showing me every tooth in his
head. My second ball, like the first, sent
him rolling in the river's bed. Thrice he
returned to the charge. The third ball,
put point blank into his eye, stretched him

"The lion whom I had just killed was an
animal about three years old, very fat and
plump, and armed like a veteran. After
having made sure that he was worth all the
powder I had burnt on his account, and that
the Arabs on beholding him would salute
him with respectful satisfaction, I remembered
the beacon pile, and soon made an
illumination on the mountain ridge. The echoes
brought me a distant detonation; the signal
of the victory which the chiek transmitted to
nil the dollars of the Mahouna, who responded
to it in their turn. At daybreak, more than
two hundred Arabs, men, women, and children,
arrived from all quarters to contemplate
and insult at their ease the common
enemy. The cheik was amongst the first to
appear. He informed me that whilst I was
killing this lion, the seigneur with the big
head, accompanied by his better half, had
carried off another of his bullocks for their
midnight revel."

Now, reader, if you are a sportsman, you
may have sometimes expressed, after dinner,
a wish to kill a lion. You may have even
said, " I am sure that I could kill a lion." If
the desire is in your heart, and not on your
lips merely, here is the clue to the secret of
doing so. But no, I had better stop short.
You can go and take lessons of the lion-killing
lieutenant himself.


THERE was to be seen till lately in the Palace
at Hampton Court, a fine full-length portrait
of a beardless young man (intentionally
beardless), in armour, with a broad and
vigorous expression of face, with large eyes
that betray a fixed determination of purpose,
and, I must add, a liking for strong drinks.
I refer to the portrait of Peter the Great,
which Sir Godfrey Kneller painted for King
William the Third during the brief visit of
three months which the Czar paid to England
in the exceeding sharp and cold season of
the year sixteen hundred and ninety-eight.
Kneller was never happier than in this picture.
He knew his strength; and in the background
a sea-scape (as painters affect to call
such things)— he obtained the assistance of
the younger Valdervelde, a master in the
treatment of maritime matters. This picture
is now, I believe, at Buckingham Palace.
Prince Albert took it away during the visit
to England of the late Emperor Nicholas;
but his royal highness, now that the case is
altered, may perhaps think proper to return
it to its old quarters.

Peter was in his twenty-sixth year when
he first set foot in England. He had been
learning ship-building at Amsterdam, and
his visit to England was for no other avowed
purpose than that of improving his
mechanical skill by steady labour in our naval
dockyards. He came among us with the
approbation of King William the Third:
houses were hired for him and his rough
retinue, and paid for by the king.

His first London lodging was in Norfolk
Street, in the Strand, then a newly-built
street, and one of the best inhabited streets
in London. Some red-brick houses of Peter's
time still exist. His second houseI might
almost call it his country housewas at
Saye's Court, in Deptford, on the banks of
the Thames, contiguous to the Royal Dockyard
then in the tenancy of Evelyn, author
of the Sylva (now better known by his
Memoirs), but recently sub-let by him to no
less a person than the bluff and brave Admiral