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and its scenery for sketches delicious. It is a village, built nearly all of wood; the
but inuch more beautiful than I can show in a small sketch. They are delicately clean, and mostly have fine vines and plenty of grapes about them. The stones on the roof are to keep the wood from being blown off. Then the people dress so well, and all look so happy, that it is a pleasure to be among them. I cannot understand a word they say, and yet they are all civil and obliging. If any children happen to see me drawing out of doors, they always run to fetch a chair for me The women are dressed in this manner.
houses are the prettiest things I ever saw : they are in this way,
only that I observe on a Sunday they wear white nightcaps: every man that I can see now out of my window has one on; and they are all playing at ball and nine-pins, just as they do in France. There is another kind of cap worn here made of silk; this is limp, and does not look so well. They have also a flat straw hat.
The women work much more than the men; they even row the boats on the lakes. All the Swiss, however, are very industrious; and I like Switzerland altogether exceedingly. I leave this place tomorrow, and am going on to the beautiful valley of Sornen, (there was a view of it in the Diorama,) and then to the lake of the four cantons, or lake of Lucerne, and round the canton of the Valais to Geneva, and from thence for the lakes of Italy. If you examine a map for these places, it will be an amusement for you.
The poor people and ladies are in the same style exactly: the caps are made of horsehair, and the hair dressed quite plain in front, and plaited behind almost to the ground with black ribbons. They wear silver chains from each side of the bosom, to pass under the arms, and fasten on the back. They are not all pretty, but they are particularly clean and neat. There is nothing remarkable in the mer.'s dress,
Lady Byron has been here for two days; she is making a tour of Switzerland. There are several English passing through. I can scarcely give you a better notion of the situation of this beautiful little village, than by saying that it is in a valley between two lakes, and that there are the most charming walks you can imagine to the eminences on the river side, and along the borders of the lakes. There are more goats here than in Wales: they all wear a little bell round their neck; and the sheep and cows being similarly distinguished, the movement of the flocks and herds keep an incessant tinkling, and relieve the stillness of the beauteous scenery.
Gretna Green Marriages. quaintness of phraseology, and occasion
ally convulsed the court with laughter.
Why, I live in Springfield.
Well, what did you do in this affair? Why, I was sent for to Linton's, where I found two gentlemen, as it may be, and one lady.
On Friday, March 23, at Lancaster Lent assizes 1827, before Mr. baron Hullock, tame on the trial of an indictment against Edward Gibbon Wakefield and William Wakefield, (brothers,) Edward Thevenot, (their servant,) and Frances the wife of Edward Wakefield, (father of the brothers,) for conspiring by subtle stratagems and false representations to take and carry away Ellen Turner, a maid, unmarried, and within the age of sixteen years, the only child and heiress of William Turner, from the care of the Misses Daulby, who had the education and governance of Miss Turner, and causing her to contract matrimony with the said Edward Gibbon Wakefield, without the knowledge and consent of her father, to her great disparagement, to her father's discomfort, and against the king's peace. Thevenot was acquitted; the other defendants were found" guilty," and the brothers stood committed to Lancaster-castle.
To a second indictment, under the statute of 4 and 5 Philip and Mary, against the brothers, for the abduction of Miss Turner, they withdrew their plea of "not guilty," and pleaded guilty" to the fifth count.
In the course of the defence to the first indictment, David Laing, the celebrated blacksmith of Gretna-green, was examined; and, indeed, the trial is only mentioned in these pages, for the purpose of sketching this anomalous character as he appeared in the witness-box, and represented his own proceedings, according to The Times' report:-viz.
In appearance this old man was made to assume a superiority over his usual companions. Somebody had dressed him in a black coat, and velvet waistcoat and breeches of the same colour, with a shining pair of top boots-the shape of his hat, too, resembled the clerical fashion. He seemed a vulgar fellow, though not without shrewdness and that air of familiarity, which he might be supposed to have acquired by the freedom necessarily permitted by persons of a better rank of life, to one who was conscious he had the power of performing for them a guilty, but important ceremony.
On entering the witness-box, he leaned forward towards the counsel employed to examine him, with a ludicrous expression of gravity upon his features, and accompanied every answer with a knitting of his wrinkled brow, and significant nodding of his head, which gave peculiar force to his
Did you know them?
I did not.
Where did she get the note?
What did the gentleman say to you?
Did you give them a certificate?
was a printed register, at the top of which was a rudely executed woodcut, apparently of the royal arms ] Did the gentleman and lady converse freely with you?
O, yes; he asked me what sort of wine they had in Linton's house, and I said they had three kinds, with the best of Shumpine (Champagne.) He asked me which I would take, and I said Shumpine, and so and so; while they went into another room to dine, I finished the wine, and then off I came. I returned, and saw them still in the very best of comfortable spirits.
Mr. SCARLETT.-We have done with you, Laing.
Mr. BROUGHAM.-But my turn is to come with you, my gentleman. What did you get for this job besides the Shumpine? Did you get money as well as Shumpine? Yes, sure I did, and so and so. Well, how much?
I followed many occupations
What else were you then?
Why, I was a merchant once.
That is a travelling vagrant pedlar, as I understand your term? Yes, may be.
Were you ever any thing else in the way of calling? Never.
Come back now to what you call the marriage. Do you pretend to say that it was done after the common old form of the church of Scotland? Is not the general way by a clergyman?
That is not the general way altogether.
Do you mean that the common ordinary way in Scotland is not to send for a clergyman, but to go a hunting after a fellow like you?
Scotland is not in the practice altogether of going after clergymen. Many does no go that way at all.
Do you mean to swear, then, that the regular common mode is not to go before a clergyman?
I do not say that, as it may be.
Answer me the question plainly, or else you shall not so easily get back to this good old work of yours in Scotland as you think?
I say as it may be, the marriages in Scot land an't always done in the churches.
I know that as well as you do, for the clergyman sometimes attends in private houses, or it is done before a justice depute; but is this the regular mode?
I say it ent no wrong mode-it is law. Re-examined by Mr. SCARLETT. Well, is it the irregular mode? No, not irregular, but as it may be unregular, but its right still.
You mean your own good old unregular mode?
Yes; I have been both in the courts of Edinburgh and Dublin, and my marriages have always been held legal.
What form of words do you use? Why, you come before me, and sayMr. SCARLETT.-No, I will not, for I do not want to be married; but suppose a man did who called for your services, what is he to do?
Why, it is I that do it. Surely I ask them, before two witnesses, do you take one and other for man and wife, and they say they do, and I then declare them to be man and wife for ever more, and so and so, in the Scotch way you observe.
The COURT-Mr. Attorney, (addressing Mr. Scarlett, who is attorney-general for the county palatine,) is it by a fellow like this, that you mean to prove the custom of the law of Scotland as to valid marriage?
Here the blacksmith's examination ter'minated.
Oh, how delightful to the soul of man, How like a renovating spirit comes,
Fanning his cheek, the breath of infant Spring!
Of lovely clouds, their edges tipped with gold;
The birds hymn forth a song of gratitude
To him who sheltered, when the storms were deep, And fed them through the winter's cheerless gloom.
Beside the garden path, the crocus now Puts forth its head to woo the genial breeze, And finds the snowdrop, hardier visitant, Already basking in the solar ray. Upon the brook the water-cresses float More greenly, and the bordering reeds exalt Higher their speary summits. Joyously, From stone to stone, the ouzel fits along, Startling the linnet from the hawthorn bough; While on the elm-tree, overshadowing deep The low-roofed cottage white, the blackbird sits Cheerily hymning the awakened year.
Turn to the ocean-how the scene is changed. Behold the small waves melt upon the shore With chastened murmur! Buoyantly on high The sea-gulls ride, weaving a sportive dance, And turning to the sun their snowy plumes. With shrilly pipe, from headland or from cape, Emerge the line of plovers, o'er the sands Fast sweeping; while to inland marsh the hern, With undulating wing scarce visible, Far up the azure concave journies on! Upon the sapphire deep, its sails unfurl'd, Tardily glides along the fisher's boat, Its shadow moving o'er the moveless tide; The bright wave flashes from the rower's oar, Glittering in the sun, at measured intervals; And, casually borne, the fisher's voice, Floats solemnly along the watery waste; 'The shepherd boy, enveloped in his plaid, On the green bank, with blooming furze o'ertopped, Listens, and answers with responsive note.
This unfortunate being, well known by the designation of "the poor poet," was born at Soham, in Cambridgeshire, in 1748, where his father was a leather-seller, but having been unfortunate in business, and marrying a second wife, disputes and family broils arose. It was probably from this discomfort in his paternal dwelling-place, that he left home never to return. At first, and for an uncertain period, he was a maker and seller of nets and some small wares. Afterwards, he composed verses on birthdays and weddings, acrostics on names, and such like matters. Naturally mild and unassuming in his manners, he attracted the attention and sympathy of many, and by this means lived, or, rather, suffered life! That his mind was diseased there can be no doubt, for no sane being would have preferred an existence such as his. What gave the first morbid turn to his feelings is perhaps unknown. His sharp, lively, sparkling eye might have conveyed an idea that he had suffered disappointment in the tender passion; while, from the serious tendency of many of his compositions, it may be apprehended that religion, or false notions of religion, in his very young days, operated to increase the unhappiness that distressed his faculties. Unaided by education of any kind, he yet had attained to write, although his MSS. were scarcely intelligible to any but himself; he could spell correctly, was a very decent grammarian, and had even acquired a smattering of Latin and Greek.
From the age of sixteen to seventy years, poor Chambers travelled about the county of Suffolk, a sort of wandering bard, gaining a precarious subsistence by selling his own effusions, of which he had a number printed in cheap forms. Among the poorer people of the country, he was mostly received with a hearty welcome; they held him in great estimation as a poet, and sometimes bestowed on him a small pecuniary recompense for the ready adaptation of his poetical qualities, in the construction of verses on certain occasions suitable to their taste or wishes. Compositions of this nature were mostly suggested to him by his muse during the stillness of night, while reposing in some friendly barn or hay-loft. When so inspired, he would immediately arise and commit the effusion to paper. His memory was retentive, and, to amuse his hearers, he would repeat most of his pieces by heart.
He wandered for a considerable time in the west of Suffolk, particularly at Haverhill; and Mr. John Webb, of that place, in his poem entitled "Haverhill," thus Lotices him:
An hapless outcast, on whose natal day
No star propitious beam'd a kindly ray.
Meek, unassuming, modest shade! forgive
About four years before his death, while sojourning in Woodbridge, sleeping in a miserable hut on the barrack ground, and daily wandering about the town, with every visible mark of misery to distress the eye, his condition became a libel upon the feelings of the inhabitants of the place; a few gentlemen determined he should no longer wander in such a state of wretchedness, offered to clothe and cleanse him, and provide a comfortable room, bed, &c. and a person to shave him and wash for him; and they threatened, if he would not comply, to take him home to where he belonged.
His aversion to a poor-house amounted to horror: he expresses somewhat to that effect in one of his poems
'Mongst Belial's sons of contention and strife, To breathe out the transient remains of my life! This dread operated in behalf of those
who desired to assist him. His wretched hovel was emptied, its miserable accumulations were consigned to the flames, and he was put into a new habitation, clothed from head to foot, and so metamorphosed, that but few knew him at first sight. A bedstead and bedding, a chair, table, and necessary crockery were provided for his comfort, but the poor creature was often heard to exclaim, of the cleansing and burning, that "it was the worst day's work he ever met with." After a few short weeks he left this home, and a shilling a week allowed him by a gentleman, besides some weekly pence, donations from ladies in the town, for a life of wandering privation and, at times, of absolute want, until the closing scene of his weary pilgrimage. He breathed his last on the 4th of January, 1827, in an unoccupied farm-house belonging to Mr. Thurston of Stradbroke, where he had been permitted the use of two rooms. Within a few days before, he had been as well as usual, but he suddenly became ill, and had the attention of two women, neighbours, who provided him warm gruel, and a few things his situation required. Some one had given him a warm blanket, and when he died there was food in the house, with tenpence halfpenny in money, a few scraps of poetry, and a bushel of wheat which he had gleaned in the harvest. A decent coffin and shroud were provided, and he was buried in Stradbrook churchyard.*
Chambers was literally one of the poor at all times; and hence his annals are short and simple. Disregard of personal appearance was natural to his poverty-stricken circumstances and melancholy disposition; for the wheel of his fortune was fixed by habit, as by a nail in a sure place, to constant indigence. Neglected in his youth, and without fixed employment, he brooded throughout life on his hopeless condition, without a friend of his own rank who could participate in his sorrows. He was a lonely man, and a wanderer, who had neither act nor part in the common ways of the world.
A DRAMATIC SKETCH.
Characters-Mr. Greenfat, Mrs. Greenfat,
• The Ipswich Journal, January 31, 1827.