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due to Mrs. White, a niece of our author, and the present representative of the family in Selborne, and to her niece Miss Georgiana; to both of whom my brother was indebted during his residence in the village for much kind assistance. By the latter the remains of the old tortoise, so often mentioned in the succeeding pages, were rescued from obscurity, and an opportunity afforded of paying a well-merited compliment to the memory of her relative, by the dedication of it to his name, which it is hoped will stand the test of future investigation. These remains, and the painting by Elmer of the supposed hybrid pheasant, which has been the subject of so much discussion, are almost the only personal relics of Gilbert White that are now preserved in his former habitation.
From two other members of the family, resident in the immediate neighbourhood, my brother also met with much polite attention: the Rev. Edmund White, Vicar of Newton-Valence, who is referred to by his uncle in the following pages as "Mr. White of Newton," which living he held for some years previous to his uncle's death; and the Rev. Thomas Bissland, Rector of Hartley Maudytt, and author of a Volume of Sermons lately published, who is married to a grand-niece of our author, and takes a great interest in every thing connected with his name.
Among the residents of Selborne to whom my brother was particularly indebted, the Rev. W. R. Cobbold, the present Vicar, is entitled to an especial acknowledgment for his kind and unwearied attentions, as well as for the warm interest which
he took in my brother's views, and the ready zeal with which he assisted in promoting them. From many other inhabitants of the village and its neighbourhood my brother also received numerous testimonies of their good feeling towards himself and the objects which he had in view.
A month has not elapsed since I had fondly anticipated that this Preface would have been written by the hand of him who prepared the volume for the press. To the last his interest in the work continued unabated: the corrections to the earlier printed sheets of the "Antiquities" were made by me at his bed-side and under his directions; and only three or four sheets remained unrevised at the time of his death. His last instructions to me on any subject of worldly interest had reference to the distribution of certain copies of the book. I may therefore perhaps be excused for having dwelt so long on topics of no great interest to the world at large, and for giving way in some degree to feelings which, although I may strive to moderate, I cannot altogether repress. The time may come when I may be able to write more calmly on the subject, and when I may attempt to pay a fitting tribute to the memory of one who from infancy upwards was my best and truest guide, counsellor, and friend.
I. J. B.
Sept. 15, 1836.
TO THOMAS PENNANT, ESQUIRE.
THE parish of SELBORNE lies in the extreme eastern corner of the county of Hampshire, bordering on the county of Sussex, and not far from the county of Surrey; is about fifty miles south-west of London, in latitude 51, and near midway between the towns of
Alton and Petersfield. Being very large and extensive, it abuts on twelve parishes, two of which are in Sussex, viz. Trotton and Rogate. If you begin from the south and proceed westward, the adjacent parishes are Emshot, Newton Valence, Faringdon, Harteley Mauduit1, Great Ward le ham, Kingsley, Hedleigh, Bramshot, Trotton, Rogate, Lysse, and Greatham. The soils of this district are almost as various and diversified as the views and aspects. The high part to the south-west consists of a vast hill of chalk, rising three hundred feet above the village; and is divided into a sheep down, the high wood, and a long hanging wood called The Hanger. The covert of this eminence is altogether beech, the most lovely of all forest trees, whether we consider its smooth rind or bark, its glossy foliage, or graceful pendulous boughs. The down, or sheep-walk, is a pleasing park-like spot, of about one mile by half that space, jutting out on the verge of the hill-country, where it begins to break down into the plains, and commanding a very engaging view, being an assemblage of hill, dale, woodlands, heath, and water. The prospect is bounded to the south-east and east by the vast range of mountains called the Sussex Downs, by Guild Down near Guildford, and by the Downs round Dorking and Ryegate in Surrey, to the north-east; which, altogether, with the country
In the parochial registers the orthography is Harteley Maudytt. Mauduit, used by Gilbert White, is, however, a more usual reading of Malduith, the name of the earliest Norman lord; which was used subsequently to the Conquest as an adjunct to the Saxon appellation, for the purpose of distinguishing this Harteley from the other Hartleys in the same county to the north of it.-E. T. B.
2 The orthography in the text, though formal in appearance, was deliberately adopted by the author, who, in his first edition, inserted all deviations from it as errata: it is, consequently, preserved throughout. Wordlam is a pronunciation of it not unfrequently used in the neighbourhood: but Worldham is the more ordinary name. And in this case I suspect that the vulgar are right; Werildeham, the oldest name which I find for it, belonging to an era prior to the erection in England of Norman castles.-E. T. B.