“It wor last week, sorr; and I wor up the river be meself, an’ I had thirty illigant fish thrailin’ undher the boat comin’ down. It wor just where they are I seen two boats full of gintlemen, an’ I dhropped alongside. They wor swells, sure. They had patint rods, an’ patint reels, an’ patint flies, an’ patint boots, an’ patint coats, an’ patint hats, an’ the divil knows what. Bedad! they wor so fine that sez I to meself, sez I, ’Bedad! if I wor a bass I’d say, “Gintlemen, don’t go to no throuble on my account: I’ll git into the boat this minit."‘—’Been fishin’, me man?’ sez one of them to me. ‘Sorra much, yer honor,’ sez I.—’It’s very strange, you know,’ sez he, ’that they don’t bite at all to-day. You haven’t caught any, have you?’—’Well, sorr,’ sez I, ’I did dhrop on a few little ones as I come down.’—’Oh, did you, really?’ sez another one, puttin’ a glass in his eye and standin’ up excited like. ‘Why, my good man,’ sez he, ’be good enough to ’old them up, you know. We’d like so much to see them!’—Wid that, sorr, I up wid the sthring as high as I could lift it, an’ it weighin’ nigh onto a hundred pound. Well, they were that wild they didn’t know what to make of it. One of them sez, sez he, ’The beggar’s been a hauling of a net, he has.’—’Divvle a bit more than yerself,’ sez I. ’There’s me impliments, an’, what’s more, if ye wor to stay here till next week the sorra fish can ye ketch, because, bedad! ye dunno how.’ Wid that they put their heads together, and swore it ud disgrace them to go home to Washington without a fish, you know; an’ how much would I take for the lot? Sez I, ’I have twenty-five more down here in a creel in the river: that’s fifty-five,’ sez I. ‘Ye can have the lot for twinty dollars.’—’It’s a go,’ sez he; an’ ever since that there’s letters comin’ up from Washington askin’ if the wather is in good ordher, and what is the accommodations? Bedad! I’m wondherin’ if them as we passed wouldn’t be likin’ a dozen or two on the same terms?”
Nothing finishes up a day’s bass-fishing better than a good hot supper of broiled bass, country sausage, fried ham and eggs, and coffee. The cooking can generally be managed, and the appetite is guaranteed. Experto crede.
W. MACKAY LAFFAN.
THE CHRYSALIS OF A BOOKWORM.
I read, O friend, no pages
of old lore,
Which I loved well, and yet the winged days,
That softly passed as wind through green spring ways
And left a perfume, swift fly as of yore,
Though in clear Plato’s stream I look no more,
Neither with Moschus sing Sicilian lays.
Nor with bold Dante wander in amaze,
Nor see our Will the Golden Age restore.
I read a book to which old books are new,
And new books old. A living book is mine—
In age, two years: in it I read no lies—
In it to myriad truths I find the clew—
A tender, little child; but I divine
Thoughts high as Dante’s in its clear blue eyes.