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Piccolo's shop; the carriages drive away to
the park; the professionals go home to dinner
or to dress for evening concerts; and as I
saunter away, and listen to the strains ot a
German band in Beak Street, mingling with
the jarring minstrelsy of some Ethiopian
Serenaders in Golden Square, I am obliged to
confess that the cursory view I have taken of
the musical world, is but an opuscular one after
allthat I have but described a worldling
having a dozen worlds within it.


"LOBSTERS!" There is a wide-mouthed
fellow crying them before my door at this
moment. How little does he know what
lobsters really are! All he thinks of is the
profit he shall get if he succeeds in selling a
few of the stale, flaccid, water-logged, long-
tailed crustaceans that fill his basket. And
yet he has the face to call them "Fine
Norroway lobsters!"

"The remembrance of a good dinner," says
a great French gastronomer, "atones for twenty
fasts." This is mere enthusiasm. The
more I recall one good dinner the more I
desire to have another. Having breakfasted,
lunched, and suppedI had almost said dined
on hot lobsters, at Mr. Plumbly's comfortable
little inn at Freshwater, it is no satisfaction to
me to think of that happy time when the
fellow at my door displays his unsavoury
wares. So far from deriving consolation
from the remembrance, this rogue's present
demonstration adds poignancy to my regret,
and I exclaim with Dante,

                              The greatest of all woes
     Is to remind us of our happy days
     In misery.

I should be guilty of hypocrisy if I
were to pretend to care for lobsters on any
ground but such as are purely appetitic.
Morally, I look upon lobsters as occupying
a very low grade in the scale of animals.
They are a kind of marine Muscovites,
bristling with rage against every one, — fierce,
hard, horny, and pugnacious, always tearing
and rending something, and losing their
limbs with as much indifference as if they
belonged to some salt-water Czar. Then,
they not only get into rows themselves, but
are often the cause (brandy and water
combining), of other people getting into
rows. If you wish for evidence of their
pugnacity, look at their claws. One of them
is always a great deal smaller than the
other. Observe the left claw with which the
lobster (like a human being sparring) wards
off the blows aimed at him! Examine the
right, or striking claw! That which now
garnishes the dexter limb is not the real,
original cheliform, but a supplementary pair
of pincers, thrown off long ago in some
midnight submarine brawl. In case of
emergency your thoroughbred lobster parts with
a claw with as little concern as a man tearing
the tail of his coat in a hedge when a mad
bull is after him. The late Sir Isaac Coffin,
who used to tell a great number of odd stories,
was once witness, he said, to a terrific battle
between two armies of lobsters in the harbour
of Halifax, in Nova Scotia. They fought, he
declared, with so much fury that the sea-
shore was strewn with their claws. Sir Isaac
was the admiral on the station, and ever
afterwards, when he saw a lobster, he pointed
to the disparity between the claws in
corroboration of his story. Having mentioned that
locality, in connection with lobsters, let me
describe how I have assisted in catching them

About three miles south, of the town of
Halifax, on the western side of the harbour,
a creek indents the land, which is called the
North-west Arm. Owing to its rocky bottom,
lobsters resort there in vast numbers, and
the shallowness of the water makes the
creek a complete preserve, where you
are always sure of game. The ordinary
trap, a lobster-pot, is not used in Nova
Scotia, a far speedier mode of capture being
adopted. On a cloudy summer's night,
when the tide is at the full, and the lobsters
are close in-shore, you put out your boat and
coast along in four or five feet water. Each
fisherman is armed with a long pole, like a
clothes-prop, perfectly straight, with a prong
about six inches deep at one extremity. In
the bow of the boat is a huge gridiron, upon
which a coarse kind of sheathing, called
shingle, commonly employed in the interior of
cottage rooting, is set on fire; burning slowly,
and giving out a strong, red light. It is held
firmly over the side; the boat being a good deal
tilted towards the shore, and every eye cast
downward to penetrate the water. The
light in the grating reveals hundreds of
lobsters scudding along the rocky floor
in their shining black armour. The
fisherman carefully inserts his weapon in the
water, and continues to lower it till the
prong is only a few inches above the back
of the lobster he has selected; he then
drives the pole down with all his might, and
if he has not been deceived in his aim, in
which case his arm is jarred up to the
shoulder blade for his painssucceeds in
irrevocably jamming his prey in the
groove and lifting it into the boat. With
a good light, a quick eye, a steady hand,
and a little dexterity, a fisherman need
seldom miss his mark; and so numerous are
the lobsters that I have seen as many as from
forty to fifty caught in this manner in the
course of an hour. Indeed, to catch a boat-
load in the course of an evening's sport
is no uncommon event, and I recollect that
one night, being very heavily laden, we got
tired of carrying our prize any further, and
gave them in charge of a sentry outside the
garrison, desiring him to let the captain of the
guard know that we had left him a sentry-
box full of lobsters for his breakfast. That

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