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ped so late at the fair some miles from home, that he did not reach the place till the clock was on the point of striking the hour of midnight. On reaching Cow-leas corner he attempted to urge his horse to greater speed, when something passed like a flash of lightning rapidly before his eyes. He had no time to observe its form, in consequence of the swiftness of its motiov. A loud noise followed, and the ghost, (for such no doubt it was,) glided backwards and forwards with the speed of light and the intangibility of a vapour, through the cart of the astonished higler, as if he would cut it in pieces. It is not surprising that the horse, frightened at these doings, took to his heels, and soon extricated his master from this fearful collision with the beings of another world. The next morning the higler remembered that he had been out in a thunder-storm, but he would never allow that he had been guilty of insobriety, or that he had not been also attacked by the ghost in the formidable manner before described.
But there are persons still alive, who testify that they have seen this same apparition. One of these, a respectable tradesman of the town, about 35 years ago, when he 15 was returning home between the hours of ten and eleven at night, and had proceeded some distance beyond the usual locality of the ghost, when he suddenly saw before him an old man, as it appeared, dressed in a low-crowned hat and a light-coloured foul-weather great-coat, such as the shepherds of this neighbourhood are known to wear whilst attending on their flocks in winter or at night. Our traveller, taking it for Joseph Hitchcock, a shepherd who was known to wear such a costume, called out and advanced towards him : but as the one advanced, the other receded, so as to keep always the same distance between them. This line of conduct denoted something more than a visitor of pastoral habits, and caused no little fear in the mind of the young
years old, man. But, like Hamlet, he determined to follow and see the last of the adventure : so he continued to dodge his companion until they arrived nearly to the grounds belonging to Bampton Manor-house. Here the old gentleman turned through a gateway into a field on the left hand side of the road, and the young man, looking into the field after him, was astonished to see nothing in it but a calf:--the ghost had entirely vanished! The catastrophe had such an effect on him, that he made the best of his way home, and for a week or more could hardly recover from the shock which he had received.
f 18. OP THE TRADE AND OCCUPATION OF THE INHABI
Tradition--and probably the memory of some of our oldest inhabitants—tells as that Bampton was once as famous as Woodstock, for the manufacture of leathern gloves, gaiters, and other articles fabricated of the same material.
This tradition is strongly supported by the following narrative.
Mr. Robins, an old and respectable inhabitant of Bampton, informs me that, about 20 years ago, he excavated some land lying at the back of his house, for the purpose of forming a garden. In the course of this operation, the labourers discovered as many as 40 or 50 tan-pits, most of which were still full of tan; there were, also, several bullock's horns, which fell to powder after they had been exposed for some time to the air. This fact proved not only that an extensive tanning-business was carried on at Bampton, but also that perhaps 200 years have elapsed since those lan-pits were blocked up. Thus Time, which has been favourable to the staple manufactures of other places, has almost destroyed that of Bampton: for the glovetrade, formerly so thriving, is now reduced within the narrow
est limits; a single manufacturer of these articles still resides in the town, but he is obliged, in order to secure a maintenance for himself and his family, to travel to a considerable distance round the country, to procure purchasers for the commodity in which he deals.
It may, therefore, briefly be stated that agriculture, - that most necessary of all trades and occupations, - engages the attention of nine-tenths of the population of Bampton; and not without reason, for though nearly all the inhabitants manage to pass through life without wearing gloves, there is not one of them, though too often driven towards such a fate by necessity, which is the Mother of Invention, that has yet acquired the ability to do without bread and cheese.
$ 19. Aston.
The principal village in the parish of Bampton, next to the town itself, is Aston, situated about two miles between Bampton and Brighthampton. It is a humble and primeval looking place, with nothing, of interest, to attract the notice of the traveller. A few years ago a church was erected here, partly by subscription, and partly by other means. The building is cruciform and commodious, but the architect seems to have been content that his work should not rise greatly above the mediocrity, which is impressed on all the architectural features of the village : it contains no ornamental details whatever. One corner of the north transept is boarded off to form a small vestry-room. On the front of the partition, which parts the little vestry from the church, is the following inscription :
This chapel was erected in the year 1839: it contains 500 sittings, and, in consequence of a grant from the incorporated society for promoting the enlargement, building and repairing of churches and cha