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could inspire ! Who is not devout in the wide
expanse of Nature ? Who is not grateful, in the
midst of her bounty who is not amended by the
sublime luxuriance with which Nature everywhere
abounds ?

1 6 -// Ramble on the Coast of Sussex.

Yes when yon lucid Orb is dark,

And darting from on high ;
My soul, a more celestial spark,

8hall keep her native sky.

Fann'd by the light the lenient breeze,

My limbs refreshment find ;
And moral rhapsodies like these,

Give vigour to the mind !

\Cnnninghawis. Contemplatist.


In the afternoon, while my friend was otherwise
engaged at home, I went to Bowen's where I acci-
dentally saw the Life of Lord Herbert of Cherbury,
written by himself. Its character had long given
me a strong inclination to read it, and the present
leisure favoured me.

It is a relic presented to the world by Mr.
Horace Walpole. It is the life of a real Knight of
La Mancha if any Reader is fond of a series of
the most romantic Adventures, or takes delight in
true Quixotism, he will find in this book as true a
son of Amadis de Gaul, as ever with renowned
flame of valour encountered a windmill, or vented
fury on a flock of sheep.

We know very well in what sense to take
Cervantes' wit but when we are gravely told in a
formidable preface that the whole history is no less

A Ramble on the Coast of Sussex. \ j

true than it is extraordinary I confess, for my own
part, I have compassion for the object of so much
sensibility, so much sympathy, and so much
heroism !


While my friend was catering for our evening
repast, I took my hat in order to stroll, or rather, as
it is the fashion, to lounge up one street and down
another when I accidentally overtook a homespun
party, one of whose faces I had discovered, leaning
back, at the window of the Brighton coach, and the
servant maid in the basket they thought, they
should appear to have travelled in style, with their
woman with them. The party consisted of the
mother, her friend, two daughters, and the servant.

The older part of the train had passed the age
of pleasures and the eldest daughter had become
prudent enough to teach her younger sister, who
was just begun to grow round the necessary walk
of propriety.

The daughters led the way, in stiff silence, and
the mother and her friend were engaged in conver-
sation on the goodness of the one, her dutifulness
and propriety and the promising hopes they enter-
tained of the other, who was rising into notice under
the sisterly care of the former. Like the very
essence of a family party, this seemed to have begun

1 8 A Ramble on the Coast of Sussex.

just before^ I came up with them, and having now
concluded, a solemn silence prevailed.

Of all things I shun a family party each one
knows the others tale, as it were, each feels him-
self deadened by the idea that the other would not
pay attention to his conversation and therefore says
nothing : it is the same cause which places a man
and his wife at different parts of the room in com-
pany and when they walk out together with their
neighbours, makes them divide alternately that
each may pick up something new for their evening
chat This is owing, in England, to a cold taci-
turnity in foreign nations, perhaps, to something

I walked. slowly on the opposite side of the street,
to observe them they frequently turned in seeming
search for somebody, or else to see who was admiring
them they were all females ; at length, " there he
is" said the youngest Miss - and was springing
forwards to meet a young man who had just turned
the corner of Middle Street but her sister caught
her by the sleeve and told her how rude it was to
express any joy or surprise, and more especially to
run ! then looking round to her mother and her
aunt for approbation they smiled upon her, and
the mother said " Clary is always so observant and
so clever oh, she was brought up at a very good
school in town."

A Ramble on the Coast of Sussex. 1 9

The young man having joined them, I could
easily see that he was the hopes of the family, whom
the younger part of it were taught to look up to as
the repertory of all that is knov/ing.

I was interrupted in my further observance of
them, by the clock 'striking seven, and I knew my
friend would be waiting impatiently for his tea so
I took my leave of this party without much regret,
and so will the reader ; though I met them again
the day following, walking on the Clift inNhe same
marshalled parade somewhat embellished, by the
young hopeful who led the van.


In the days of chivalry, when the soul of
valor animated every thought, when the field was

marked with the sanguine streams of fatal feud

and female honor was entrusted to the Hero's care

then was the beauteous form of woman familiar-
ized to noble deeds, and graced with her presence,
and her smiles the feats of valiant Arms ; such
were my exclamations at a party which we met,
near Preston, on the following day.

At a small distance, though the bushy trees,
we could discover a lady mounted on a tall white
palfrey, and -ever and anon she nodded her lofty
plumes, in confidence of Jull command she pre-
ceded, in the pace of g/andeur, a high phaeton, or

2O A Ramble on the Coast of Sussex.

lofty char, which bore the semblance of a mighty
lord, and two fair damsels of a courtly mien.

The effect which this procession had, moving
in quick regularity through the chequered shade,
could not fail to produce the ideas above described,
and when they drew near, we were no less charmed
with the~ extraordinary beauty of their fair leader,
than we had already suffered in our imagination.

If such a sight produced this effect on us, it
may be judged how it affected the villagers " the
hammer and the flail stood still " the distaff forgot
its order and infancy stood aghast ! -


As we come to the entrance of a forest, there
were two gates very near together, which I got out
of our chaise to open having passed through one
of them I was surprised at the rude appearance of a
man tending a large herd of swine. I accosted

" What place d'ye call this ; honest friend ?" he
answered with a gutteral sound as if he did not
understand me I asked him a second time and he
bawled to his hogs.

There is such a difference in dialect that it
may perhaps, thought I, be a reason why he should
not understand me, so attempting the rough

A Ramble on the Coast of Sussex. 21

What place is this ?

Fors Fiel, answered he, by seeing the adja-
cent forest, and looking round and finding we were
in a field, I construed his lingo into " Forest Field."

His countenance was a mixture of spleen,
costive sourness, and rustic ignorance no doubt he
passed many and many a day without seeing or
speaking to any human creature (for I am positive
he could not be a husband) and had no other con-
versation or ideas, but those which were engaged
by his brutal herd.

It afforded some entertainment to us, on our
way, to fancy his uplifted hands at the gay proces-
sion we had just met.

I could not have supposed it possible to find
such ignorance.

Our Excursion afforded us every rural satisfac-
tion, and our ideas framed a suitable conversation to
the pleasure we enjoyed.


After our return while Mr. N. was engaged in
ordering the dinner, and I had finished my duty as
Groom of the Stable I took a lounge into North
Street, where the doors of the Theatre were open
for a rehearsal. I ^penetrated behind the scenes
where I stood as long as my patience would permit,
to hear Mr. B * blunder over his part of in

*Query ? Mr. Brunton, sen.

22 A Ramble on the Coast of Sussex.

The Way to Keep Him in a small room below stairs,
there was a collection of Ladies and Gentlemen
who were all equal in dramatic merit.

I perceived I was too late for a full rehearsal
but as I stood at the door, the following scene
presented itself.

I think I could imitate Smith, in Richard, says
a tall thin raw-boned Scotchman, whose shirt came
slily peeping- through his ragged elbows.

" I think you could my dear," says his fat wife,
with her arms akimbo. " Come let's see," says a
fiddler in the corner, who complained of a whitlow on
his thumb.

A circle was made, and the great King came
running forwards, brandishing a crabstick, and in a
hoarse voice that betrayed his country.

" Ma hoorse, ma hoorse, ma kendom for ma
hoorse." You're wrong says another, " Its a horse
my kingdom for a horse." The Scotchman defended
his error, the quarrel rose high, for the other was
a Genius and this was a Scot, till Mr. B. sent down
word that he was not perfect in his part, and^^gged
they would make no more noise to interrupt mm.

Mrs. Baddeley was to hav performed Mrs.
Lovemore in The Way to Keep Him her indisposi-
tion was to prevent her appearance, and Mrs.
Wilmot was desirecUto try if she could not sing the
song. Three times she began the first line while

A Ramble on the Coast of Sussex. 23

the fiddler without a thumb was only playing the
symphony once she was too low, then she was too
high, then she was too hoarse she was angry with
herself, and declared "she would not sing it;" asimple
Strephon whose eyes had never beheld any other
object, since I had been at the door, bent down
upon one knee, and taking one of her hands
" Implored her to sing it, for she sung it so sweetly
last night." "Go you foolish dog," said she, and gave
him a swinging box of the ear ; there was a general
laugh, and the two lovers took themselves off.
This produced a general break up, and I was not a
little entertained to hear the large wife of the Scots-
man declare she was now quite perfect in her part,
and would play Ariel in the Tempest next Saturday.


In the evening we went to the play. The
company consisted of a few smart women a silk

'THE THEATRE at this period was in North Street, a remnant of which,
until very recently, stood at the back of premises now occupied by Mr. Cunditt,
jeweller, its erection dating back to 1774. But owing to the. rapid increase of
the population and visitors, another Theatre was erected in 1778 at the upper
part of Duke Street, of which Mrs. Thrale, writing to Miss F. Burney from
" Brighthelmstone, Wednesday, July 19, 1780," says : "The players this year
are rather better than last ; but the Theatre is no bigger than a band-box,
which is a proper precaution, I think, as here are not folks to fill even that.
The shops are almost all shut still, and a dearth of money complained of that is
lamentable. " It must be borne in mind that even in 1 780 July was early in
the season, which did not commence until August. The town went on in-
creasing in its importance that in 1807 the Duke Street "band -box" of Mrs.

24 -A Ramble on the Coast of Sussex.

man from Cheapside and his family, a couple of
rakes, who had lost their money and their wits, in
the Boxes servants in the Gallery and ourselves
and other such in the Pit.

A Comedy at a Country Theatre always proves
the worst entertainment and the most sublime
passages of Tragedy never fails to produce the most
immoderate bursts of laughter an oh / groan in
Tragedy or an ah ! sigh in Comedy, certainly
spring from the same source of pathos and
therefore have similar effects to call Heaven and
Earth to witness by fetching down the Sun with
the right hand, and raising Satan with the left are
energies of the tragic Muse that cannot fail to aid
the cause of her younger sister ; or to thunder out
the vengeance of Fury, haste, and fear in the broad
emphasis of provincial dialect is a most noble
source of the gay-sublime.

But my attention was wholly absorbed, during
the Play and the Farce, of the latter of which I have
totally forgot the name, upon a lady who sat near
me, and whom I must introduce to the Reader.

THE THEATRE The Fair Inconnue.
Her complexion was as fair as delicacy might
be and agreeably accompanied with a dress of com-

Thrale had to yield in its turn to another Theatre, and on a much more
extensive scale, erected in the New Road in 1807 on the site of the pcesentand
fourth Brighton Theatre, the property of Mr. Henry Nye Chart.

A Ramble on the Coast of Sussex. 2 5

plete white her countenance was animated only by
the meliorating tenderness of soft sorrow her eyes
spoke the language of a throbbing heart, and ever
and anon, she pressed her hand with ardour to her
bosom, as if to stifle by compression some infelt
pang ; and whenever she could catch a soft note from
the orchestra, or a tender expression from the
stage her cheek glowed like a fair lily tinged with

The effects of sympathy are as certain as they
are poignant and to meet with another who seems
to undergo our own sensations, always sets a value
on the object, and constrains our esteem before we
can be informed of its merit, we fancy, or choose to
see, a merit that is obscured to other eyes and we
pass into a chain of reflection, which while it softens
the rude hardihood of man, ennobles and refines the

I confessed that this was the first instance in
which I had ever been charmed at first sight, I felt
a foolish pain, which, though I knew it was my duty
to dispel, I was loath to part with, and anxious to
encourage. My friend expressed his surprise that I
was dull ' I was only reflecting ' answered I
' Reflect another time,' said he ' Here's to Lord

26 A Ramble on the Coast of Sussex.


On the morning of the following day, I went
down to the beach to bathe.

Another machine accompanied mine into the
sea, and the doors of each were opened together

BATHING. Sea-bathing may justly be said to have laid the founda-
tion of Brighton's prosperity. It was the primary cause which induced so
many distinguished visitors to resort here, some for health, and some for
pleasure, and ultimately secured for it the honour of being chosen as a Royal
residence. In the present day, when other elements of attraction exert their
influence our unrivalled marine drives and promenades, the unlimited accom-
modation obtainable in the palatial residences and magnificent hotels which
adorn our sea frontage, the fashionable society always to be found here, &c.,
bathing, though indulged in as much as formerly, has become a subsidiary
attraction, or, rather, it is merged in the general combination of local
attractions, and has lost that prominence which formerly attached to it. Still,
as connected with the " Past," and being so intimately associated with the early
history of the town, some particulars respecting it will not, perhaps, be deemed

It will be needless to go back to any primaeval epoch to ascertain when
Brighton was first resorted to as a bathing-place. The pretty fishing village
had, doubtless, acquired a reputation, though necessarily a limited one, for its
bathing facilities. There is every reason to believe that such was the case.
In what otheV place would be found such a glorious sweep of sea, where
the water is always clear, and, as an old writer says, " without any mixture of
ooze, or of muddy fresh streams," running into it. The shore, too, was
deemed "most commodiously adapted for sea-bathing ; the bottom is sandy \
and as its descent is gradual, the tides do not rise so suddenly as to render
bathing dangerous."

These natural advantages were undoubtedly strong recommendations to
Brighton as a resort for bathing ; but they would probably have failed to secure
for it that pre-eminence which it ultimately attained had it not been for
Dr. Russell. To that justly esteemed and highly gifted man, Brighton is
indebted for its position as the " Baiae of England." He had long before seen
the great advantages resulting from sea bathing in scrofulous and other diseases,
and his work, entitled " A Dissertation on the Use of Sea Water," in which

A Ramble on the Coast of Sussex. 2 7

when to my jocular surprise out jumped a man of
extraordinary size, whose back which stood towards

numerous cures were cited, soon attracted the attention of the Faculty.
Patients were accordingly sent here from all parts of England ; and as the
scanty accommodation which the town then afforded was soon absorbed, houses
began to "increase and multiply," especially in proximity to the sea-front.

Among the visitors to Brighton at this period (1775-85) were Mr. and Mrs.
Thrale and their family, who occupied the house (removed when the Grand
Concert Hall was built) immediately opposite the King's Head, in West-
street. It is interesting to learn that Mrs. Thrale and her daughers were
ardent devotees to sea-bathing ; it was, doubtless, the chief reason why they
came to reside here. Among the papers, &c. , disposed of at the sale of the
effects in October, 1857, of the late Mrs. Mostyn (of Sillwood Lodge, Brighton,
and the last surviving daughter of Mr. Thrale) was a letter from Mrs. Thrale
to Dr. Johnson, in which she gives the " leviathan," who was ill at the time, a
cordial invitation to come to Brighton, for the express purpose of sea-bathing.
This very characteristic letter was as follows :

"Brighton, 2nd October, 1777.

" Dear Sir, Here we are, not very elegantly accommodated, but wishing
sincerely for you to share either our pleasure, or our distresses. 'Tis fine
bathing with rough breakers, and my Master longs to see you exhibit vour
strength in opposing them, and bids me press you to come, for he is tired of
living so long without you ; and Burney says if you don't come soon he shall

be gone, and he does love you, or he is a vile . But one woman in the


" Una et haec audax

" Was your most faithful and obliged,

Johnson, it is well known, though he derived some pleasurable results
from sea-bathing, did not like Brighton. He considered Mr. Thrale's house
down here at "the world's end;" and as to the town itself and the Downs
{over which, by the bye, he delighted to gallop, when his health permitted), he
said it was a " country so truly desolate, that if one had a mind to hang one's
self for desperation at being obliged to live there it would be difficult to find a
tree on which to fasten the rope." Despite all his prejudices, however, the
Doctor came to Brighton it needed sterner stuff than even he was made of to
-tesist Mrs. Thrale's charming invitation though he came a month later than
it was wished, and stayed here but three days.

Still stronger evidence of the pleasure which Mrs. Thrale and her
daughters took in sea-bathing a pleasure which was shared in by Frances

28 A Ramble on the Coast of Sussex.

me was as broad as the machine he had just stepped
out of it was something like the dolphin and the
sprat swimming together he withstood every wave
with the sturdy boldness of a first-rate.

1 Why don't you go and bathe in the German
Ocean/ squeaked I ' Why so,' said he, in a voice
which suited his muscles.

' Because you want room here' He was a
good natured man and so we laughed at one

Burney herself is afforded by the following letter, quoted from the " Diary
and Letters of Mdme. D'Arblay :"

"Wednesday, Nov. 2Oth, [1782]. Mrs. and the three Miss Thrales and
myself ail arose at six o'clock iu the morning, and "by the pale blink of the
moon" we went to the sea-side, where we had bespoke the bathing-women to
be rctidy for us, and into the cccan we plunged. It was cold, but pleasant. I
have bathed so often as to lose my dread of the operation, which now gives me
nothirg but animation and vigour. We then returned home, and dressed by
candid-light, and, as soon as we could get Dr. Johnson ready, we set out upon
our journey in a coach and a chaise, and arrived in Argyll-street at dinner

What a graphic picture of ladies bathing in the olden time does this
mteresting letter give us. Fancy Mrs. Thrale and her charming daughters,
accompanied by their gifted guest, going down to bathe " by the pale blink of
the moon" at six o'clock on a November morning, and returning home to
dress by candle-light ! How many ladies of 1872 are there to be found wha
would take pleasure in emulating the bathing tastes of their fair sisters of
1782 !

P. S. We learn from Inspector Terry that at the present time there are in
front of Brighton alone (irrespective of those at Hove) no less than 254 bathing
machines : 145 ladies', and 109 gentlemen's. ^ Peep into the Past Brighton,
from the Brighton Herald of June 29. 1872.

A Ramble on the Coast of Sussex. 29

BRIGHTON The Discovery)

It was the last ten minutes we could spare at
this place. My friend met me at the corner of a

1 THE DISCOVERY ofFroissart's Chronicles, there were two early editions
published, each in two vols. folio, i5 2 3-5- But as the "treasure" which our
author rescued from " an old sugar hogshead" only weighed six pounds, the
copy must have been very much multilated, or he only obtained one volume,
and that, as he admits "multilated." The following from Lowndes' Biblio-
grapher's Manual of English Literature, gives a description of Froissart, together
with the prices realized for different copies that have been sold by Auction :

FROISSART, Sir John. The Cronicles of Englande, Fraunce, Spayne,
Portyn^ale, Scotlatide, Bretayne, Flauders : and other Places adioynynge,
translated out of Frencke into our maternall Englysshe Tonge, by John
Bourchier Knight Lorde Berners. Lond. by Richard Pynson, 1523-5. folio.
2 vols.

Middleton's edition is frequently mistaken for the present one, and
the latter part of Pynson's is often perfected by leaves of Middleton's impression.
Constable, 574, date 1525, 22 J. IDs. Alchorne, 102, two leaves reprinted
261. 155. 6d. again, Sotheby, June 1856, 2"jl. Towneley, pt. i. 651, 42^,
Roxburghe, 7988, date 1525, morocco, 6^1. Hibbert, 3135, 32^. Puttick,
June 1858, 40^. Collation,. Vol. I. comprises ccc. li chapters, and cccxxi
leaves, numbered besides title, preface of Lord Berners, and table, 10 leaves
not numbered. On the recto of the last leaf is Pynson's colophon, and on the
reverse a woodcut, Vol. II. comprising the second and third books, ends at
fol. cccxx. (paged wrong) cccxix. At the commencement is the title, a preface
by Lord Berners, and a table, 8 leaves.

FROISSART, Sir John. The Cronycles, &c. Lond. by W. Myddylton and
R. Pynson, 1525. folio. 2 vols.

Jadis, 207, I2l. I2s. Steevens, . 1698, 17^. Inglis, 797, iSl. 7s. 6d.
Dent, pt. i. 1314, russia, 2ol. White Knights, 1583, morocco, by Roger
Payne, 34^. 2s. 6d. Stanley, russia, by Roger Payne, 38 J. 173. resold Sir M.
M. Skyes, pt. I. 1240, 42^. Collatwn. Vol. I. Lond. by William
Myddylton, fol. cccxxii. besides title, preface and a table of the contents of
CCCCLi chapters. Voi. II. The third and fourth Book. Lond. by Richard
Pynson, 1525, fol. cccxx (by mistake numbered cccxix) beside title and a table

30 A Ramble on the Coast of Sussex.

street, and directed me to a shop, where I should
see a curious book.

I found a mutilated copy of the famed
Chronicle of Froissart translated from the French
by the order of Henry the 8th of England. It was
condemned, with a large number of others of equal
value, to be lugged awkwardly from the mouth of
an old sugar hogshead, to the last slavery of
folding up threads, tapes, sugar-plumbs, and rappee !
I put on the Hero and resolved to rescue this victim
from so merciless a fate it had been purchased at
the rate of two pence per pound. I ordered it to
be instantly put into the scale, and upon, its weighing
only six pounds, carried off a treasure in triumph,
on paying down One Shilling.

Oh ! could the shades of great men look up
from their peaceful fields, and see the hard lot which
their labours share, they would tell a lesson to sur-
viving Genius, that even daily example has not
been able to teach it ! There would the shade of
Froissart reproach the barbarous hand of vulgar
Ignorance and here too would mighty Camden
1 harrow up the Soul ' pointing to his torn Britannia,

of the contents of the ccxlix chapters. There appears to have been three
editions of Froissart's Chronicle, one by Pynson himself: another with Pynson's
name, but supposed to be a pirated edition ; and a third by W. Middleton.
Copies are frequently found made up from the three editions. Mr. Utterson,
in his reprint of Pynson's edition, says ' Middleton's impression is line for li*e
with Pynson's.'

A Ramble on the Coast of Sussex. 3 r

as it hung in piecemeal suspended on a nail, for the
like or baser purposes !


Leaving the villages of Tarring and Little-

2 4

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