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Why could not such an excessive thirst be more frequently made use of, in places? I am of course aware that Kulkyne suf fered much, and had no green herb on it. But when there is a will there is a way. A few dishes of water inside of a small paddock of an acre, with a trapped wireproof fence, would occasionally do wonders.

do not enter the burrows as the rabbits out to one of the back stations to see do; with their acute sense of smell they if the various four-hundred-gallon tanks, can, from the surface, fix upon the spot which were placed at intervals along the beneath which the rabbit-nest is, and, dig- back-country roads, were all right—that ging down to it, seize the young rabbits. means, all to the fore and with water in The burrows which the rabbits find ready- them. He came to one which had water made for them are much more difficult to in it, and which water the rabbits about deal with. These are excavations in had smelt. They had crowded to the tank, rocky, gravelly, limestone hillocks, origi- and were piled up dead, one on the top nally made by a small species of kangaroo of the other, half-way up the sides of the not much larger than a rabbit. On the tank. He estimated their numbers to be Darling back blocks I have heard them six or seven hundred. I believe him imstyled bilbies—their aboriginal name, I plicitly, and so would every one who was presume. What the direct reason may aware of all the circumstances. be is unknown- whether the destined time for their removal had come, or whether the rabbits had forcibly ejected them or not, the fact remains, that these little bilbies have all disappeared, and the rabbits have taken possession of their warrens. I do not think that this has merely happened. I think that it is a direct decree from that Almighty Being who rules the universe. I have observed a somewhat similar law decreed on another occasion. Without staying to inquire in what manner it was brought about, or how we have dealt with the aborigines of Australia, the fact remains that the Anglo-Saxon has taken possession of Riverina, and that aboriginal tribes have disappeared. The principal flesh-meat of these aborigines was that of the opossum; under the changed circumstances these animals were no longer required, and they have disappeared. Where, ten years ago, they were to be found in swarms, hardly one can be discovered. The same law has left the bilbie-warrens to the rabbits.

Now the rabbits in these warrens or burrows can be dealt with in two ways directly dealt with, I mean. They must be either surrounded by wire netting and cleared out by ferrets, as in Britain, or they must be smothered by sulphur or other gas fumes. The choice lies with the sheep-farmer; I think the smothering the preferable plan. The ground around is generally too rocky to allow of digging the rabbits out; ferrets are troublesome to handle, and are dangerous at all times.

It would require a goodly-sized volume to enumerate all the cases which might occur in dealing with the rabbits. I will only cite one more case, which is to a certain extent within my own knowledge. A young gentleman at Euston Station, who had formerly been in the employment of Mr. Miller at Kulkyne, informed me that during one dry summer he had been seen

The pitfalls, of course, must have zinc bottoms, with a little earth on them, and a few green boughs - the sides lined with zinc. The falls of the little trap doorways must have great attention paid to them. All these minutiæ require the employment of a superior class of men-handy and teachable; such men are not easily obtainable anywhere. The handy, intelligent all-round men amongst the agricultural classes in Britain, I am everywhere told, are a thing of the past. I don't believe it. It only requires circumstances to bring them to the front; and that has been abundantly proved again and again in Australia. They are not going to let miserable creatures like rabbits beat them. With all its little cunning it is a stupid animal.

I part from the subject with one word of comfort to my Australian friends. I hear a great deal about the rabbit's increase, but none about the cat's. Here it is. Making the same allowances against the increase as I did in the rabbit case, I find that in the fifth year, from one pair of cats, there might well be twenty-five thousand, of which twelve thousand would be breeders. Allowing that each cat kills only two rabbits a week-that is, say, one hundred a year the rabbits killed by cats would amount to twenty-five hun. dred thousand in one year. Á good return-on paper-no doubt. But the rabbits are up to their calculation, why should not the cats be so also?


From St. James's Gazette.

CONSIDERING how long the hare has been known, there has been more un-natural history written about it than any other British animal. It is said to produce two young ones at a birth; but observant sportsmen know that from three to five leverets are not unfrequently found. Even by some writers in what are called "standard" works it is stated that the hare breeds twice or at most thrice a year. Any one, however, who has daily observed the habits of hares knows that there are but few months in which leverets are not born. In mild winters young hares have been found in January and February, whilst by March they have become common. They may be seen right on through summer and autumn, and even now leverets apparently about a month old are not at all unfrequent. Of course the exceptional season through which we have passed may account for this in some measure, but the same set of facts applies to ordinary years. Does shot in October are sometimes found to be giving milk; and even now old hares are frequently noticed in the same patch of cover. These facts would seem to point to the conclusion that the hare propagates its species almost the whole year round—a startling piece of information to the older naturalists. Add to this, that hares pair when a year old and that gestation lasts only thirty days, and it may be seen how prolific an animal the hare may be. The young are born covered with fur and with their eyes open, and after about a month they leave their mother and seek their own subsistence.

The hare would certainly become abundant were it not beset by so many enemies. But the balance could always be kept adjusted prior to the legislation of 1880; since when, however, hares have had no protection whatever. A shy and timid animal, it is worried through every month of the year. It does not retire to burrow, and has not the natural protection of the rabbit. Although the color of its fur allows it to conform in a marvellous way to the dead grass and herbage among which it lies, yet it starts from its form at the approach of danger, and from its size offers an easy mark. It is not unfrequently "chopped" by sheep-dogs, and in certain months hundreds of leverets per ish in this way. They are also destroyed by wholesale during the mowing of grass |

and the reaping of wheat. For a short time in summer young hares seek this kind of cover especially, and farmers or their laborers kill great numbers with dog and gun; and this at a time when they are quite unfit for food. In addition to these causes of scarcity, there are others known to sportsmen, who have the remedy in their own hands. When harriers hunt late in the season, as they invariably do nowadays, many leverets are sacrificed without affording the least sport. Some of these are "chopped " in their forms; and for every hare that goes away probably three are killed in the manner indicated. At least that is the teaching of one pretty wide experience. When hunting continues through March, master and huntsman assert that this havoc is necessary, in order to kill off superabundant jack-hares and so preserve the balance of the stock. And doubtless there was reason in the argument before the present scarcity; but now it hardly holds good. March, too, is a general breeding-month, and the hunting of does in young entails the grossest cruelty. Coursing is confined within no fixed limits, and is often prolonged unusually late. With some modifications, what has been said of hunting applies to coursing; and these things sportsmen can remedy if they please. There is probably more unwritten law in connection with field sport than any other pastime; and it obviously might be added to with advantage. If something is not done the hare will assuredly become extinct before very long. To prevent this result a "close time" is, in the opinion of most sportsmen, absolutely necessary. And the dates between which the animal would be best protected are probably the 1st of March and the 1st of August.

Poaching is almost if not quite as prevalent now as it has ever been; and the recent relaxation of the law has done something to encourage it. Poachers find pretexts for being on and about land which before were of no avail, and to the "moucher" accurate observation by day is one of the essentials to success. This is especially true in the case of hares and partridges. Each of these kinds of game is local in its haunts and habits, and only needs to be closely watched to be easily captured. As a rule, the village poacher knows the whereabouts of every hare in his parish; not only the field in which it lies, but the very clump of herbage in which is its form. But in speaking of the poacher who makes hares his specialty, it

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is necessary to speak of his constant com- | fellows, he will have a certain number, panion the lurcher. Lurchers are pure varying in individual cases, of words and crosses between greyhound and sheep-dog. phrases and turns of speech which reflect The produce from these have the speed his personality. Sometimes these amount, of the one and the "nose" and intelligence in families and intimate circles, to a reguof the other. Such dogs never bark, and, lar lingo, often bewildering to the outsider. being rough-coated, are able to stand the Thus, a friend told the present writer how, exposure of cold nights. They take long when lunching out one day, he was electo train, but when perfected are invalua- trified on hearing his hostess- a particuble. The most successful poacher is the larly ladylike and refined woman remark one who makes the greatest number of to the footman, "John, take down that leg mental notes. In his walks abroad he of mutton and sit upon it until the master watches the hares feeding or at play, and comes in," to sit upon being the not takes in their every twist and double. He very elegant cant phrase obtaining in that examines all gaps, gates, and "smoots" family for to keep a thing hot. This anecthrough which they pass; and, so that he dote has always seemed to us to illustrate may leave no scent of hand or print of very pointedly the danger of using a lingo foot, he always approaches these spots in mixed society. With some people it laterally. The poacher looks out upon the takes the form of intentionally mispronight from his cottage, and when the time nouncing words, or employing malaprops is favorable he starts, striking right across which, when used in the presence of perthe land. Frequented roads or by-paths sons not belonging to the family or circle in he avoids. In a likely hedgerow he sets question, and consequently not possessed a couple of snares, not more than a yard of that particular "comprehension" on apart; and if the field to be ranged holds which Tolstoi comments so acutely in his a hare, he knows that it will take one of Souvenirs," are set down to ignorance. the snares. A dog is then sent to range Thus, we know a lady who never misses the field, and the poacher has arranged a chance of saying of a conspicuous object that the wind shall blow from the dog or person that it or he is "the sinecure of across the hare's seat. This at once every eye," and we confess to having been alarms the animal, and she comes lopping guilty, on the first occasion we heard her towards the fence. Something must be use it, of the conviction - since corrected added to her speed, however, to make the - that she spoke in innocence, and not snare effective, and this the dog supplies with malice prepense. Similarly, in the by closing in. Behind his snares the writer's own family, several Irish malapoacher, with hands on knees and still as props- of which one, "as white as the death, waits for her coming. There is a drivelling show," may serve as an example rustle in the leaves, a faint squeal; the - have established themselves so firmly in wire has tightened round her neck. At common use, that it requires a conscious gaps and gates a wide net is substituted effort to overcome the habit and say the for the snare, and often proves an engine right word. The worst and most intolof more wholesale destruction. These are erable form of lingo is that almost univer the two common methods employed by sally prevalent among young men about the poacher, and his harvest is usually town, who eke out their own inanity by the greatest in February and March, when "gag" of the music-halls-scraps and hares are found in company. Keepers shreds of popular songs a dialect the and others interested in the preservation essence of which is that it must be comof hares ought to remember that a hare prehended of the vulgar. The nuisance once netted can never be retaken in the of this system is that the most simple and same manner. The moral of this is, that every-day expressions are seized upon where poachers are troublesome every and debased by constant association with hare on an estate ought to be taken in the a vulgar context. manner indicated and then turned loose.

From The Spectator.

BEYOND and above the vocabulary which a person uses in common with his

What we have in our mind, however, is something very different from the borrowed buffoonery of the gilded youth. It is that peculiar coloring to be found in Irish speech, that mixture of picturesqueness, exaggeration, and confusion which lends such a charm to the conversation of Irishmen and Irishwomen, gentle and simple. Whatever may be said in

lage as the "methropolis." Some friends
of the writer recently moved a family from
a dilapidated hovel to a new cottage. The
mother was half crazy, and her sister who
lived with them deaf and nearly blind.
But she had not lost her wits, as her de-
scription of their troubles will prove. She
said they were desthroyed from that ould
castle- their former domicile — bailing
it out all night. 'Twas that fabric made
her hard of hearing, and upset her sister's
mind. And, again, pointing to her sister,
"Look at her now, and she was the grace-
fullest girl in the place, and as honest
as the pope, until that fabric upset her
mind." What makes the foregoing ex-
pressions so characteristically Irish is the
incongruity of the words "fabric" and
"castle." So, again, when a Munsterman
spoke of a horse being "as handy with
his hind legs as any pugilist," it was in
the choice of the word "pugilist," quite
as much as in the bull, that the mental
habit of the race revealed itself. But in-
asmuch as in the Irish bull, the three
traits that we have insisted on above-
picturesqueness, confusion, and inaccu-
racy -
-are best exemplified, we may con-
clude this short paper with a few speci-
mens of that admirable figure of speech.
Finance is not a subject specially calcu
lated to promote the growth of flowers of
rhetoric, and yet it was in connection with
finance that two of the best bulls we
know of were perpetrated. In the first
instance, the speaker alluded to a sum as
"a nest-egg for us to take our stand upon;
in the other case a projected economy was
described as "a mere flea-bite in the ocean
of Indian debt." For the following we
are indebted to an Irish medical man, who
assures us that it was the creation of a
colleague. Some change was contem.
plated in reference to which he expressed
himself in terms of the most vehement
disapproval, declaring that it would have
the effect of throwing "an apple of dis
cord in their midst, which, if not nipped
in the bud, would burst out into a flame
that would inundate the whole country."
Nothing, however, for condensed confu-
sion of thought can surpass the celebrated
remark of the man who asserted that the
state of affairs was "enough to make a
man commit suicide, or perish in the at-

disparagement of the Irish gentry, it must | jest no doubt, allude to a neighboring vil at least be conceded that they have the keenest appreciation for the humor of the Irish peasantry, a fact which is amply proved by their habit of adopting and employing such peasant colloquialisms. As to the origin of the word "fatigue," signifying a fuss, or state of impatience or excitement, we are not prepared to speak authoritatively, but it has always seemed to us admirably expressive. Irishmen have a delightful way of using the word "dint" which cannot be too highly commended. Thus, a Kerry friend remarked to the writer, on a very black night, as they were stumbling along a wooded path, "Sure, we'll be desthroyed with the dint of the darkness." Extravagant behavior is generally described as being "beyond the beyonds," while the most effective way of laying stress on the rarity of a thing is to say that it happens "once in a blue moon." What a characteristic phrase, again, is the Irish variant for cockcrow, "the screech of dawn"! To jump is expanded into "to throw a leap," and to behave properly into "to have conduct." The foregoing are all expressions in frequent use, and into the origin of them it is not our purpose to inquire. But in the coining of new phrases just the same picturesqueness is observable. Thus, it was an Irish lady who once amused her auditors greatly by remarking in a rueful tone, in the course of a conversation on the size of feet, "My feet are fearfully big, regular cubic feet." At the risk of spoiling a good anecdote, we are fain to record the following fragments of a description of the wonderful adventures of a horsedealer at Punchestown. He was craning over on to the course at the side of the big jump, when the barrier gave way, and before he could recover himself, the whole field were on top of him. "I declare to ye most solemnly," continued the narrator, "that seventeen horses changed their feet in the small of his back." The sequel went on to tell how the very next day he was seen selling horses at a fair in another part of the county; "but then, he was a man of an iron constitution!" A certain exaggeration is no doubt often observable in these Irish anecdotes, and has led us to speculate whether the element of exaggeration so characteristic of Transatlantic humor may not be traceable to this source. A wild, “mountainy" gossoon will, half in

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