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don't know! I don't! but it's a capital phrase!),
the welkin rings with shouts of delight. A
prime favourite Harrison, evidently. Doubtless
a buffo singer, short, fat, broad, genial, and
jolly, as all comic men should be. No! Harrison
is a slim handsome fellow of middle height, with
a bright eye, a mellow voice, and a lithe agile
figure. "Capital fellow," says the man of the
Victorias next to me, "tre-mendous favourite
here, sings like a lark, talks like a book, and
starts next week to join his regiment in India!"
Bravo, Harrison! Well sung, young friend!
After Harrison has sung his song he gives us
(being loudly encored) an imitation of a "stump
oration," which, truth to tell, is a dull affair.
At its conclusion, to our astonishment, Lord
Echo calls upon General MacMortar for a song.
We think it is a joke, and have no idea that the
gallant Inspector is among us. But lo! like the
ghost of Banquo, the well-known form of General
MacMortar rises amidst the smoke, and the
well-known voice commences. Not a song! no!
a speech! The old story of volunteers being
descended from those old English bowmen (who
have done such enormous service to writers and
speakers on this matter), and of pluck, and
valour, and of being called upon to resist an
enemy; and, in fact, a choice selection from the
speeches which the good general has delivered
at inspections for the last three years. This is
a damper! Men begin to scuffle off, ladies shiver
and clasp their cloaks tighter round them, the
evening is evidently finished thanks to General

Off we go then, making towards the road as
best we may; one minute's halt at the
Grimgribber tent, for what is known as a "nip;"
and then home in my friend's dog-cart, with a
very happy reminiscence of the day's loitering,
and the night's camp-fire.


SCATTERED about the islands and coast to the
north-west of the Gulf of Riga, is a population
of Swedes, which has frequently attracted the
attention of the antiquaries of the Baltic.
Ages have passed since their last settlement,
the date of which nobody knows, and it is a
singular fact that, small in number and living in
the midst, or, rather, on the edge of races
totally distinct from their own, they have
preserved to the present day their Scandinavian
nationality. That the Eibo-boll, as they are
called, will preserve this nationality much longer,
is very doubtful. In an ethnological map of
the part of the Baltic connected with this
subject which was published at Revel in
1855, the spots inhabited by this exceptional
race are coloured blue, while those which they
once occupied, but in which they have been
supplanted by the Esthonians, are coloured red.
The blue and red together, covering the whole
extent of country as occupied by the Eibo-boll,
make up but a small area, and in 1855 the red
had got terribly ahead of the blue. Once they
had several settlements in the comparatively
large island Oesel, and on the southern coast
of Esthonia, but these have all disappeared; and
in a map, which is already eight years old, we only
light upon them in a few very small islands,
and on the northern extremity of the coast.
Moreover, from a statistical table which accompanies
the map, we gather that in a population
of 1,629,555, which is chiefly Littis and
Esthonian, but which contained upwards of
21,000 Jews, the Eibo-boll only counted for
5519. Their pursuits are exclusively maritime,
and in their latter days they seem to have been
more confined to the sea than we, and to cling
more to the water's edge, as the proverbial
drowning man clutches at a straw.

That all sorts of superstitions are rife among
this primitive people is a matter of course.
Wolves and serpents play an important part in
their legends, but more curious than any of
them is the Skrata fiery dragon of a very
liberal disposition. Ordinary dragons guard
treasures, and have not the slightest notion of
parting with the value of a shilling if they can
help it, but the Skrat actually takes the trouble
of bringing wealth to those who have earned its

The Skrat commonly appears as a huge fiery
shape with a long tail; but it has no objection
to put on the appearance of a cat, a fowl, or
even a man. It floats about in the evening
close to the surface of the earth, and sometimes
eludes the sight by slipping down a chimney.
A ruined edifice will, however, answer its
purpose, and it has been known to vanish from a
field without any perceptible place of retirement
whatever. Not unfrequently its
disappearance is followed by a loud noise like the
report of a gun, and a rattling sound, as of falling

Don't imagine that the Skrat is a past
institution, with which you have nothing to do, like
the witches and furies of the middle ages. If
you go paddling about the Gulf of Riga, you are
very likely to meet a Skrat now. It was only
in the year 1846, that two fishermen, quietly
returning home to Hapsal from the neighbouring
island Nucko, saw a fiery form approaching
them from the shore, which they rightly
concluded was the Skrat. The monster filled their
boat with fire, and brooded over them so
affectionately, that they could feel the heat through
the fur cloaks with which they covered their
heads. Probably the Skrat expected some
remonstrance, for when they had remained silent
some minutes, it rose up into the air, and went
off in a northernly direction; but not before it
had well singed their cloaks.

In the year 1847, the Skrat showed that it
had clear notions of right and wrong, and could
assume, on occasion, the character of a terrible
avenger. Two fishermen from Oesel, by far the
largest island in the Gulf, came to the little islet
Kumara, upon which there is only one beer-
shop. They had brought smuggled goods from
Finland, and in the plenitude of their innocence
for smuggling is no crime, according to Eibo