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different complexion. He is a gruff, rough, tough, and dry old humourist, with a lank parchment face, of such a morose and wintry aspect, that it would almost give one chilblains to look at it. Appendaged to this vinegar visage, is a coppice of thick black hair, fitting tight to the cerebellum, like a pound of shag tobacco, waxed on to a turnip. To this shrubbery, our man of war invariably refers, in full reliance on the old truth, that the quantity of a man's brains may be estimated by the thickness of his hair. "Fruits," says he, "always spring up quickest on the best land;" from whence he naturally infers, that his own superabundance of brush-wood, attests the richness and fertility of its soil.*
It would do the heart good to see this belligerent humourist, pacing up and down his cottage garden, like an officer on a field day. He has parcelled the land into whole armies of fruits and weeds; to each of which is assigned its technical appellative. Here are batallions of cabbages, flanked by Grenadiers of stinging-nettles, and Irish Regiments of
* Of a verity this is an exceeding cunning and ingenious truth, and is doubtless the reason why our Judges and Bishops (God bless them) wear wigs.-Note by the Editor.
potatoes, attached to a Highland corps of thistles. Sometimes, however, these inoffensive vegetables encounter the worst extremities of war; for it was but the other day that he was seen murdering a round dozen of cauliflowers, in order to show a friend how the battle of Waterloo should have been fought.
In company, the Lieutenant is grave and sententious: averse to argument, his only answer to any puzzling question, being that very convincing one, "I'll see you d―d first," which made the schoolmaster observe, that though he did not say much, yet it was always to the point. Sometimes however, he has been known to indulge in divers grim jokes touching his Indian campaigns, on which occasion, he has got a knack of pulling up his breeches with incredible ferocity.
Of mine old chum, David Tuckwell, I have not much to say. He is a short squat man like Dr. Breechem; with this difference, that the one is dry and muscular, the other, ripe, porous, and oily. His sole satisfaction appears to consist in his palate, and it is one of his principal boasts, that his ancestor, David-ap-noodle-ap-doodle-apTuckwell, ate himself to death, in honor of Llewellyn's victory over the English.
In addition to this dignified triumvirate, we had for some months a young gentleman from London with a face so exceedingly thin, that the schoolmaster in a fit of unusual jocoseness, bor rowed it to mend a pen with. As however, he was sometimes caught writing verses and such like abominations, the company concluded that he must be either a poet, a conjuror, or the devil (they were not quite certain which) and held him in utter respect and abhorrence. Finding this to be the general opinion, the young gentleman one day girt up his loins and fled; but such was the hurry of his flight, that he actually left his character behind him.
The legends and traditional anecdotes of Llangadock, are to the full as characteristic as its inhabitants, and often afford an evening's entertainment to our club at the Red Lion. Dr. Breechem is an admirable hand at a ghost-story, and when warmed with his subject has got a knowing way shaking his pericranium; "which proves," as the Lieutenant says, "that he must be a clever fellow, for who would shake his head if he thought that there was nothing to shake out of it?" His account of the dæmon of Llynn-y-Van, is in particular most diabolically delightful, and he has much to say upon
the wizard oak of Glansevin, which makes a very polite bow before the parlour windows, when any of the family of the Lloyds feel inclined to die. But the most famous of all his legends, is the "weird hop" of Carrick-Southey, where a set of hobgoblins meet, and dance quadrilles in the moonlight. A short time ago, on his return from Killgwyn, he caught three dozen of them at their saltatory ovations, and took an accurate survey from behind a bush. The men, he says, were drest in brimstone breeches, the women, in short sulphureous petticoats, and their harper had on a full bottomed wig, with black silk stockings and clocks, which by striking the hour against the calves of his legs, produced a howl of agony, to which the whole assembly capered.
Glansevin and Mandinham, are two estates in the neighborhood of Llangadock, in the possession of the hospitable family of the Lloyds. Of the supernatural and bowing accomplishments of the oak, I have heard at least a hundred times, and at every recital, have always testified the requisite quantity of astonishment. Its predictions of impending calamity have of late been falsified; Mr. Lloyd having gained the troublesome law-suit in which he was engaged.
The corpse-candles form another singular feature in the superstitions of Llangadock. They are small gentleman-like marsh-lights, and the Doctor is of opinion, that by good treatment, they might be so far tamed, as to form an excellent substitute for gas-lights. Impressed with this notion, he once entered into a speculation with an oilman at Carmarthen; but unfortunately before the goblin-candles could be caught, his partner had an awkward accident with the whipping-post, so the affair was dropped. I could indite divers marvels touching another ghost of the oldest family in Wales; but as his pedigree is locked up in Tophet, I should be sorry from any idle curiosity to intrude myself into so sultry a climate.
Besides these superstitions which keep up, as it were, the stimulus of society, the fairs are subjects of great importance to the neighborhood. On this grand occasion, the club at the Red Lion dress in their newest apparel, and the civilities exchanged between them is truly touching. All Llangadock is in a giggle; the maid-servants buy gingerbread, stuck full of Cupids, for their sweethearts; and the country girls wear shoes and stockings, which are carefully put by for the next jubilee.
But the Leet courts are the principal objects of attraction. For a week previous, the nose of Mistress