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Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 132.djvu/581

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THE "DREADFUL PEOPLE" WHO GO TO COURT.

Australians, when accustomed to the work — which they soon are — second to none in cleverness in the field, entering heartily into the sport Like their brethren in stock-riding, in their own native land, their wonderful power of "turning on a sixpence" (as old stock-riders say) is invaluable for this kind of chase. A well-bred Caboolee is also a good little beast. A friend had one, which, when he neared his pig, always tried his best to bite it.

The Bengal spear or lance is held (in action) differently to what it is in Madras. The Bengalee holds it short, by the leaded end, and "jobs" his pig. The haft or shaft being about eight feet, one end is heavily loaded with a big knob of lead, to give the stroke force. It must, however, be borne in mind as very unsportsmanlike to lose your spear. This is difficult to avoid at times, both from the pace you may be going, and the weight of your loaded spear. I have seen spears sent almost through a beast, in which position it was impossible to recover them, and if not put in well behind the shoulders, or in a vital spot, the boar will carry away a good number before he gives in. The Madrassee handle is longer, and is not so heavily shod with lead. The spear is held in that presidency (when sticking) more as a lancer carries it, couched under the right arm. Much depends on the spear-head, which must be of the best steel. The boar has big bones, which would soon damage soft or bad metal. The haft is made of "male bamboo," that which is grown on some ranges in lower Bengal, near Bhagelpore, I think, being considered the best. Not having tried both ways of holding the spear, I am not in a position to say which is the best for real work. The Bengal man swears by his, those of the southern presidency admire their own.




From Truth.

THE "DREADFUL PEOPLE" WHO GO TO COURT.

There are two sorts of people whom levées en masse offend. There are, firstly, those people who once had the pleasure of imagining that the world consisted of a thin layer of rich cream, below which lay unimportant depths of blue milk, about whose value and destination it did not become the cream to concern itself. We believe that enconomical dairy-maids, who look to quantity rather than quality, not only allow milk to stand a greater number of hours than is compatible with obtaining the finest and purest cream, but return once, twice, and even thrice, and get fresh "skimmings" every time from the bowl. It is naturally very offensive to the cream of the cream to be treated in this fashion; and the esoteric circle which used formerly to bask in what we believe it is correct to speak of as the sunshine of the court, have been horrified to find that "anybody" can obtain what was once an exclusive, and therefore inestimable privilege. How can Smythe be expected any longer to enjoy what he suddenly finds can be enjoyed also by Smith? Shelley says, —

True love in this differs from gold and clay,
That to divide is not to take away.

But as there is nothing particularly loving about court privileges, to divide them is to take them away with a vengeance. Hence the real original members of levées and drawing-rooms are scandalized beyond expression at "these dreadful people" who now get presented. "Where do they all come from?" is the scornful question with which their arrival is greeted. But the cry is still they come. The second class of persons, who are shocked by this upheaval of the new couches sociales, are those humble individuals who are too far removed from courts for it ever to enter their heads that they may some day possibly go there, and who, though they dearly love that there should be a crowned head, and court, and an aristocracy, like to see this last as aristocratic and exclusive as possible. To see its ranks invaded by those only just above themselves, is peculiarly offensive to them. It is the old dislike of the peasant or the mechanic for the roturier.

But whilst we can appreciate the feelings of these jealous guardians of the honor of the crown, we have just as little difficulty in entering into the motives of the "dreadful people" by whom these feelings are outraged. They perceive that the one indispensable basis of aristocracy in England in these days is wealth, and that a poor lord is of no more account than a poor commoner. No doubt a rich lord is more important, cæteris paribus, than a rich commoner; but again, the rich commoner, if rich enough, may aspire to be transformed into a rich nobleman by mere virtue of his opulence. There is no service which persons, of what used to be called gentle birth, can render either to the crown or to the State which cannot be