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FIRE ISLAND ANA ;*
A WEEK AT THE FIRE ISLANDS.
FROM THE UNPUBLISHED JOURNAL OF A SPORTSMAN.
It was during an Indian-summer week of hearty, brown October, that Oliver Paul, Ned Locus, and I, once made a shooting party, and drove Ned's sorrel mares to Jim Smith's, at Scio, and thence bent canvass for the Fire Islands, to try the brant.
Before going on with my story, it may, perhaps, be dutiful in me, and desirable on behalf of people who have never studied geography, to specify the condition of the said Islands. We will accomplish this cheerful office, straightway. In brief, then, they made their first appearance in the country, after a hard earthquake, some five or six hundred years ago, on the
* Private NOTE TO THE EDITORS.-Good sirs : I cannot deny to you the right to require a declaration of the identities of the place, and persons, touching which I have heretofore told familiar anecdotes in your monthly; since, you say, scandal is afloat, and the wrong men are pointed at. I give you, therefore, herewith part of the andro-and-geo-graphy solicited. Should you hear any thing more, please address me, through the post-office, to the care of my uncle, Jeremiah Cypress, porter of the Pearl-street Bank.
J. C. Jr."
southern coast of Matowacs, latitude forty degrees and forty minutes north ; longitude, seventy-three degrees and one minute west ; near the occidental end of Raccoon beach. They are two in number, and contain in the whole, at low water, about fifty acres of marsh and mud, disposed with irregular and careless grace, and scalloped into jutting points and circling bays. The principal inhabitants are gulls, and meadow-hens. The climate is saline and salubrious. The chief products of the soil are, sedge-grass, birds' eggs, and clams. Yet, not unknown to “human face divine," nor ignorant of the lofty enterprise, and gentle mercies, of trade, do those points and bays lie profitless. For, there John Alibi salutes the fading morning star, and the coming sun, with the heavy vollies of his yet cherished flint lock muskets; and the tumbling wild fowl, splashing into the midst of his stool, bleed out their murdered lives, while he, reloading, counts the profits of his eager shot, and sees, with his mind's eye, the gasping victims already picked, and stalled in Fulton market. Hence, live and flourish, all the little Alibis ; and hence, the princess widow, gentle mistress of the soil, rejoices in a welcome rev
Brother sportsmen, let me introduce to your judicious afsection, my friend and comrade, Oliver Paul.-Oliver, the people. He is a plain unpretending tiller, and a lord, moreover, of the land; a Quaker, you see-regular Hicksite—and like all friends that I ever yet knew, he is sometimes wet and sometimes dry. Still, he is semper idem-always the same and has been such for fifty years—in hot, and in cold—in total abstinence, and in generous imbibition. As Oliver is warm-hearted, I love him ; as he is a good shot, I honor him; and as he can pull a discreet oar, foretell, to a certainty, where the wind is going to be on the morrow, and mark down
a crippled bird more truly than any man in the republic, I always get him to go with me upon my shooting expeditions. Oliver has but few eccentric qualities. His religion is as the religion of Hicksites “in general :" his philosophy is comprised in the sententious apothegm, which is applied upon all occasions and occurrences, some pork will boil that way :" his morals —; he is a bachelor, and though of a most unmatrimonial composition, he is incessantly talking of taking a wife, or, as he terms it, “ flying in” with a woman. Though from principle, and the rules of his creed, opposed to both national and individual wars, yet, strike him, and he will not turn to you his other cheek, for a repetition of the temptation. He may not strike back, but—as they do at yearly meeting, when friends cannot agree upon the choice of a clerk-he will most certainly shove you, as he would say,“ like rotten.” His most characteristic trait is his superintendence of the morals and manners of his neighbors. So bountiful is his benevolence, that to protect the reputation of a friend, he scruples not to unlace and scarify his own. Walk out with him, and meet a ruddy-cheeked Rosina, with a coquettish eye, that puts the very devil into you,“ don't look, don't look, boys,” he'll cry, and dig his elbows into your side to enforce obedience to the precept, while he himself is staring into her face, until the morning-tint vermilion of her virgin-blushes is lost in the scarlet-and-and-confusion-and-somebody finish that;-and then, he'll drain the last drop of liquor from the jug, for the sole, charitable purpose of preserving his brother sportsman's nerves steady. You know him now, and I have nothing more to say, except to warn you, as a friend, if you should ever be out with him in the bay, on a cold November day, on short allowance, watch your fluids.
Ned Locus.-Ned is a young gentleman, who spends his