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Sketches by Seymour - Volume 04

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WATTY WILLIAMS was a studious youth, with a long nose and a short pair of trowsers; his delight was in the green fields, for he was one of those philosophers who can find sermons in stones, and good in everything. One day, while wandering in a meadow, lost in the perusal of Zimmerman on Solitude, he was suddenly aroused from his reverie by a loud "Moo!" and, turning about, he descried, to his dismay, a curly-fronted bull making towards him.

Now, Watt., was so good-humoured a fellow, that he could laugh at an Irish bull, and withal, so staunch a Protestant, that a papal bull only excited a feeling of pity and contempt; but a bull of the breed which was careering towards him in such lively bounds, alarmed him beyond all bounds; and he forthwith scampered over the meadow from the pugnaceous animal with the most agile precipitation imaginable; for he was not one of those stout-hearted heroes who could take the bull by the horns—especially as the animal appeared inclined to contest the meadow with him; and though so fond of beef (as he naturally was), he declined a round upon the present occasion.

Seeing no prospect of escape by leaping stile or hedge, he hopped the green turf like an encaged lark, and happily reached a pollard in the midst of the meadow.

Climbing up with the agility of a squirrel, he seated himself on the knobby summit of the stunted willow.

Still retaining his Zimmerman and his senses, he looked down and beheld the corniferous quadruped gamboling playfully round his singular asylum.

"Very pleasant!" exclaimed he; "I suppose, old fellow you want to have a game at toss!—if so, try it on with your equals, for you must see, if you have any gumption, that Watty Williams is above you. Aye, you may roar!—but if I sit here till Aurora appears in the east, you won't catch me winking. What a pity it is you cannot reflect as well as ruminate; you would spare yourself a great deal of trouble, and me a little fright and inconvenience."

The animal disdainfully tossed his head, and ran at the tree—and

"Away flew the light bark!"

in splinters, but the trunk remained unmoved.

"Shoo! shoo!" cried Watty, contemptuously; but he found that shoo'ing horns was useless; the beast still butted furiously against the harmless pollard.

"Hallo!" cried he to a dirty boy peeping at a distance—"Hallo!" but the lad only looked round, and vanished in an instant.

"The little fool's alarmed, I do believe!" said he; "He's only a cow-boy, I dare say!" And with this sapient, but unsatisfactory conclusion, he opened his book, and read aloud, to keep up his courage.

The bull hearing his voice, looked up with a most melancholy leer, the corners of his mouth drawn down with an expression of pathetic gravity.

Luckily for Watty, the little boy had given information of his dilemma, and the farmer to whom the bull belonged came with some of his men, and rescued him from his perilous situation.

"The gentleman will stand something to drink, I hope?" said one of the men.

"Certainly" said Watty.

"That's no more than right," said the farmer, "for, according to the New Police Act, we could fine you."

"What for?"

"Why, we could all swear that when we found you, you were so elevated you could not walk!"

Hereupon his deliverers set up a hearty laugh.

Watty gave them half-a-crown; saying, with mock gravity—

"I was on a tree, and you took me off—that was kind! I was in a fright, and you laughed at me; that was uncharitable....