He was, I think, quite right. Some men are born to be sportsmen; others are not. To any one who has the instinct of the chase, the first salmon, probably caught at a time when his nature was most impressionable, is an undying influence. It was a unique event It was a surprise, something wholly different from any other experience. It was a successful effort of a peculiarly personal kind. His was the skill that raised the fish; his the nerve that fought and vanquished. Even the first ride to hounds, however glorious, is not equal to one's first salmon. It is the dogs, not we ourselves, who hunt; in good truth, though it may seem otherwise amid the glee with which the merry god Pan fills his children, we are onlookers rather than actors. It is we alone who fish, however ; we really, not in appearance only; and in fishing, more, perhaps, than in any other sport, we "find ourselves." Sometimes, with the first salmon, the discovery is amid perceptions that in after years acquire an amusing fixity of tenure. That was my own case. In a rough part of the Fife Eden, during a Lammas flood, my phantom minnow, wielded by a trout rod, was arrested. I struck, expecting a trout, and seemed to be fast in a rock. That was only for a few seconds. Something of unusual weight and resolution moved across the pool, and then tore down-stream with a ferocity never before known. Up the high bank I scrambled while the reel whirled, and was off after the fish at a speed outpacing the wind. Across the stubble between a mill lead and the main stream, a boy, rod in hand, came flying to my assistance. On the other side of the river a white-haired gentleman in unworldly orders, out for a walk, quickened his steps towards a plank bridge a hundred yards off. When at length we were able to see the salmon, the boy, representing that the want of a gaff was a grave drawback, generously proposed to insert his tackle and grapple the fish by the tail. That would make sure, he said. The minister, beside us by this time, supported the suggestion; but my silence was not taken as consent. I felt that if the fish got off the disaster would be great; yet I was equally unwilling to have only a share in its capture. After much agitation, that salmon, not a large one, lay safely on the bank. Then the minister, who had been very pleasant in his remarks during the struggle, lifted up his voice and his silver-topped cane, and delivered an address. Upon my word, he did. I was to take a solemn lesson from what had happened. Patience and perseverance. They had overcome that salmon. They would overcome all the difficulties of life. Care, diligence, assiduity; no undue haste, which would always defeat its purpose. Even as I was to be a devoted servant of duty, so, in duty accomplished, I was always to be temperate in satisfaction. This discourse, to which I listened with downcast eyes, was strangely discomposing. It awoke, as if with a tug at the roots of thought, the analytic and critical spirit. It fanned dim dubiety into reason. The chastening could not have been more severe if I had lost the salmon. There seemed to be something wrong in the doctrine. I could not understand how any one could be reasonably held up as an example to himself. It was not, however, a sense of injustice that perturbed me most. What did that was a feeling of something weird, something neither human nor divine, in moral solicitude on an occasion such as that. Was there no happiness in this world that could do without " improving" ? When the minister went away, the other boy laughed heartily and made grimaces, which was a natural and not unwise way of taking the incident; but I question whether he could have acted so had he been the hero and penitent of the hour. To myself, whose nerves and mind had by the struggle with the salmon been toned up into a state of acute per-ceptiveness, the incident was neither amusing nor evanescent. The white-haired gentleman wore a wideawake hat. Ever since then his school of thought and his type of head-dress have been depressing things, from which I have been inclined to flee.