This old gentleman, who was rather eccentric and a bachelor and a thorough sportsman, who still kept a few beagles, was very fond of children, some of whom, now "in the sere and yellow leaf," will recollect him as "Uncle Tom Marchant." I was a favourite with him, and he implanted in me the love of field sports which I have always retained. He believed himself, and I almost think correctly, for I can account for it in no other way, that when about or over seventy, he cut a new set of teeth. What the real explana-tion may be I know not, but I do know that, whereas he had at one time few or none, in the course of a few months he had a good set, of which he was not a little proud, and I have seen him frequently crack nuts to show how strong they were. My mother, who saw a good deal of Mr. Marchant's mother, told me that when very advanced in years, she cut a beautiful white tooth, from its situation in the jaw, I believe, a molar. He had "no opinion of parsons," and often said that when he died, he hoped he should have a "view halloo" over his grave. I was at his funeral some years after at Edburton Church, which is situated some two or three hundred yards from the foot of the Downs. During the service a hare, hard pressed by the Brighton hounds, came over the front of the hills and squatted about half-way down them, and perhaps a quarter of a mile to the east of the Church. As the coffin was being lowered into the grave the huntsman and hounds appeared over the top of the hill; he gave the view-halloo, the hounds ran the hare in view to about a quarter of a mile to the west of the Church, where she was killed exactly as the service ended. So the old man had his wish.
|<< Previous - Old Rectors||Contents||Nelson's "Victory" - Next >>|