Grenville Mellen, an American poet, born in Biddeford, Me., June 19, 1799, died in New York, Sept. 5,1841. He graduated at Harvard college in 1818, studied law in Portland, and removed in 1823 to North Yarmouth, where he engaged in practice. In 1826 he pronounced in Portland before the peace society of Maine a poem on "The Rest of Empires." In 1827 he published a satire entitled " Our Chronicle of Twenty-Six;" in 1828 delivered a poem before a society of Bowdoin college on the "Light of Letters;" and in 1829 issued a volume of prose entitled "Glad Tales and Sad Tales." "The Martyr's Triumph, Buried Valley, and other Poems" was published at Boston in 1833. He resided about five years in Boston, and in New York in 1839 he began a "Monthly Miscellany," which was discontinued after a few numbers. His health was always feeble, and he died of consumption after a voyage to Cuba in 1840.
Gretna Green , a small village of Dumfriesshire, Scotland, 9 m. N. W. of Carlisle, famous for the celebration of irregular marriages until December, 1856, from which date, by the act passed July 29, such marriages were declared invalid, unless one of the parties had been for 21 days a resident of Scotland. The ceremony consisted in an admission before witnesses by the parties that they were husband and wife, this being sufficient, according to the law of Scotland, to constitute a valid marriage. After the ceremony, the officiating functionary (who was often a blacksmith) signed a certificate of marriage, which was also signed by two witnesses, and then the union became perfect and indissoluble. When they were English, the marriage service of the church of England was sometimes used. The number of these marriages celebrated at Gretna and the other border villages has been said to have averaged about 500 a year.
Greytown ,.See San Juan de Nicaragua.
Griffin , a fabulous monster, half bird, half beast, that dwelt in the Rhipaean mountains, and guarded the gold of the Hyperborean regions from the one-eyed Arimaspians. Griffins were also supposed to watch over the treasures of India, and the fable probably originated in i the East. The fabulists and poets of antiquity represent it with the body of a lion, the head and wings of an eagle, the ears of a horse, and '. a comb of fishes' tins.
Griffin City , the capital of Spalding co., Georgia, at the junction of the Savannah, Griffin, and North Alabama railroad with the Macon and Western line, 35 m. S. of Atlanta; pop. in 1870, 3,421, of whom 1,588 were colored. It has a healthy situation, is well built, and carries on an active trade. It has a female college, founded in 1848, a daily, a semi-weekly, and three weekly newspapers, a bank, and several churches.
Grimes , an E. county of Texas, bounded W. by Navasoto and Brazos rivers; area, 902 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 13,218, of whom 7,921 were colored. The surface is rolling and occupied by prairies and forests. Much of the soil is a rich black loam. The county is traversed by the Houston and Texas Central railroad. The chief productions in 1870 were 336,690 bushels of Indian corn, 80,966 of sweet potatoes, and 10,025 bales of cotton. There were 3,569 horses, 1.305 mules and asses, 5,779 milch cows, 4,765 working oxen, 17,814 other cattle, 3,794 sheep, and 15,913 swine; 3 saw mills, and 3 carriage factories. Capital, Anderson.