[TO THE EDITOR OP THE "SPECTATOR. " ]
SIR,—As a contribution towards this discussion, I send an extract from the Rev. F. B. Zincke's delightful book about Wherstead, near Ipswich, where Edward FitzGerald spent some of his young time. The book contains sketches of the views described.
"It is no inconsiderable gain for the inhabitants of so large and busy a town [Ipswich] to have within an easy and pleasant walk the most charming view in the Eastern Counties. It commands almost the whole of the Orwell and of its banks. On the left it looks up to and upon Ipswich, and on the right down to Levington, at the head of the last reach towards Harwich. All the five parks on its banks are before you—Stoke, Wherstead, Woolverstone, Orwell, and Nacton or Broke Hall. At high water the river has more the appearance of a long lake with well-wooded shores than of a river. As you look down upon it from a height of some hundred and fifty feet on a bright day, its sheeny surface faithfully reflects the blue of the sky, and in the further distance the golden light. In the days, now fifty years ago, before railways had completely superseded the four-horse coach, I happened to be passing the Carter Fell, on the Scotch border between Jedburgh and Newcastle. A. gentleman by whose side was seated, and who I found, though then a Newcastle banker, had once been in business in Ipswich, remarked to me that we had both been to Scotland in quest of scenery, but that there was a scene in the much-decried Eastern Counties which, in his opinion, was superior to anything he had seen in Scotland.' It is the view,' he continued, from a quiet, unknown country church- yard.' Where ? ' I asked. Oh,' he replied ; it is a placepo one has ever heard of. It is near Ipswich, on the banks of the Orwell. The place is called Wherstead.' To me, at all events, it was not so unknown as he had supposed, for I was at that time curate of Wherstead."
FitzGerald's father lived at Wherstead Park till he went to Boulge Hall after Elie death of a certain old lady who had, I think, a life interest in the property. She was a very eccentric person about whom there were curious stories. One was that on one occasion her husband, with whom she did not get on very well, told her he was expecting some friends and wished her to provide a " light supper." She agreed, and later on said, "He wants a light supper, does he ; well, he shall have one," and when it appeared she had stuck a lighted candle in each dish. As the Last Minstrel said, " I say the tale as 'twas said to me."—I am, Sir, &c., J. W. R.