Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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56                 Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
advantageous marriage and fine offspring, remained a bachelor all his life. But it was not by reason of indifference to the sex. Ex. gr.: " I set out for Frantfield Fair with a roast pig for my sister Stone. Came to her, and there drank tea with the incomparable Miss Foster."
We are rather surprised that we do not hear any more of "the incomparable Miss Foster!" But she passes out of sight like a fairy vision, or
Like a snow-flake on the river,
One moment seen—then lost for ever.
Admiration of a single lady might be allowed to the Mayfield Dominie even by "old Kent;" whereas it was scarcely fair to rouse the jealousy of a fellow-pedagogue, and he, too, so estimable a character as John Grover, of Brighthelmstone. Yet, by the following entry, Walter Gale seems to have been "guilty of as great a sin:"—
" I set off for Brighthelmstone and came at noon to Mailing-street and went to the Dolphin. Kennard told me that Burton's successor had had a great many scholars, but that their number began to decrease by reason of his sottishness, and he offered, if their dislike of him should increase, to let me know of it. The rain clearing off at three o'clock I set out for Brighthelmstone, passing through Southover, but being advanced on the hills the rain returned and drove me for shelter under a thin hawthorn hedge, and I was obliged to return to Grover's, where I drank tea and discoursed merrily, but innocently, with his wife, notwithstanding which, Grover was so indiscreet as to shew some distaste at it and to have great difficulty to keep his temper."
It did not take much to draw Master Gale from his school duties. Thus, " Left off school at 2 o'clock, having heard the spellers and readers a lesson a piece, to attend a cricket match of the gamesters of Mayfield against those of Lindfield and Chailey." This is a singular application of the word "gamesters."
No small part of the diary is taken up with jaunts to fairs, &c, and convivial meetings, in which not a little beer, brandy, milk, punch, cherry brandy, elderberry wine, &c, is consumed, and Mr. Gale is none the better for it in health or reputation. There is not a total absence of reference to books; but the literary taste of Mr. Gale was not of so high a character as
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