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A BILLIARD LESSON.

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WAS pleasant on the winter nights,
To see beneath the shaded lights

Her classic head bent low;

And watch her snowy fingers make A clever stroke, and count each “break

Of such a gentle foe.
And though she said it was a sin
To beat her, I could always win

To hear such pretty blame ;
While 'mid the winning strokes I made,
It seem'd to me as if I play'd-

A very losing gaine.
There's kvoos in the rattling strokes,
You make amid the fire of jokes

From chaffing fellow men ;
And

yet when beauty turns away And pouts at your superior play,

You've other feelings then.
No “hazard” that my cunning cue
With all my greatest care could do,

Or lucky "fluke" might get,
Could ever equal that I ran
In playing-miserable man!

With such a flirting pet.
And though I lost such heaps of gloves
In betting with her, when one loves

Such losing bets are blest ;
And since she teased me night and day,
I only got at billiard-play,

The chances of a “rest."

The “cannon on the table green
Will to a Canon come I ween,

Who'll tie me to a wife;
And she with backers not a few-
Will quietly put on the “screw,"
And "pocket” me for life.

H. SAVILE CLARKE.

IN THE ROYAL ACADEMY.

Hugh (on furlough). HELEN (his cousin).

HELEN.
HEY have not come! And ten is past,

Unless, by chance, my watch is fast;
-Aunt Mabel surely told us “ten.”

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HUGH.
I doubt if she can do it, then.
In fact, their train ..

HELEN.

That is,—you knew. How could you be so treacherous, Hugh?

HUGH.

Nay;—it is scarcely mine, the crime,
One can't account for railway-time!
Where shall we sit? Not here, I vote ;-
At least, there's nothing here of note.

HELEN.

Then here we'll stay, please. Once for all,
I bar all artists,-great and small!
From now until we go in June
I shall hear nothing but this tune :

Whether I like Long's “Vashti,” or
Like Leslie’s “ Naughty Kitty” more ;
With all that critics, right or wrong,
Have said of Leslie and of Long ..
No. If you value my esteem,
I beg you'll take another theme ;
Paint me some pictures, if you will,
But spare me these, for good and i11....

HUGH.

“ Paint you some pictures !” Come, that's kind! You know I'm nearly colour-blind.

HELEN
Paint then, in words. You did before :
Scenes at—where was it ? Dustypoor ?
You know...

Hugh (with an inspiration).

I'll try.

HELEN.

But mind they're pretty.

Not “hog hunts.”

HUGH.

You shall be Committee, And say if they are "out” or “in."

HELEN.

I shall reject them all. Begin.

HUGH.

Here is the first. An antique Hall
(Like Chanticlere) with panelled wall.
A boy, or rather lad. A girl,
Laughing with all her rows of pearl

Before a portrait in a ruff.
He meanwhile watches.

HELEN.

That's enough,
It wants “ verve," " brio,"" breadth," "design,'

”. Besides it's English. I decline.

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HUGH.

This is the next. 'Tis finer far:
A foaming torrent (say Braemar).
A pony, grazing by a boulder,
Then the same pair, a little older,
Left by some lucky chance together.
He begs her for a sprig of heather.

HELEN.

“ Which she accords with smile seraphic.” I know it,-it was in the " Graphic." Declined.

HUGH.

Once more, and I forego All hopes of hanging, high or low: Behold the hero of the scene, In bungalow and palankeen. ...

HELEN.

What!—all at once! But that's absurd ;-
Unless he's Sir Boyle Roche's bird !

HUGH.

Permit me—'Tis a Panorama,
In which the person of the drama,
Mid orientals dusk and tawny,
Mid warriors drinking brandy pawnee,

Mid scorpions, dowagers, and griffins,
In morning rides, at noon-day tiffins,
In every kind of place and weather,
Is solaced .... by a sprig of heather.

(More seriously).
He puts that faded scrap before
The “Rajah," or the “Koh-i-noor.”...
He would not barter it for all
Benares, or the Taj-Mahal, .
It guides,—directs his every act,
And word and thought-In short-in fact-
I mean

(Opening bis locket).

Look, Helen, that's the heather! (Too late! Here come both Aunts together.).

HELEN.

What heather, Sir ?

(After a pause.)

And why : too late ?”) -Aunt Dora, how you've made us wait! Don't

you agree that it's a pity Portraits are hung by the Committee ?

AUSTIN DOBSON.

PORTRAIT OF A LADY

IN THE EXHIBITION OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY.

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W

HAT are you, Lady ?—nought is here

To tell us of your name or story,
To claim the gazer's smile or tear,
To dub you Whig, or damn you

Tory;

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