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Essays, Sketches and Illustrations of bygone Sussex

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THE SUSSEX MUSE.                          237
Shelley was drowned ; Otway died destitute, even if not of starvation ; Fletcher perished by the plague ; and Collins passed away under a cloud of mental darkness.*
Of the five poets whom Mr. Dalmon has chosen as the representatives of the Sussex Muse, Realf, the latest is the war singer, Fletcher the earliest is the poet of pastoral, Otway has great dramatic power, and Collins has beauty and sublimity, but all these " pale their ineffectual fires " before the mighty shade of Shelley.
The name of Richard Realf is riot very familiar, but the record of his life is one of tragic interest. He was born at Framfield, near Lewes, 14 June, 1834, and at the age of fifteen began to write verses, and was employed as an amaneunsis by a Brighton lady. Specimens of his poetry fell into the hands of a travelling phrenologist, who
* Equally unfortunate was another son of the Sussex Muse, William Pattison. He was born at Peasemarsh near Rye in 1706, and by the patronage of Lord Thanet, who was the landlord of his father's farm, he was educated at Appleby School, and became a Sizar of Sidney, Sussex College, Cambridge, in 1724, but two years later removed his name off the book, in order, it is said, to prevent the authorities from taking the same course. He went up to London with sanguine hopes of fame and fortune, and associated with the wits at Button's coffee-house, but his money was soon gone, and he passed his nights on a bench in St. James' Park, until he was taken into the house of Curll, the publisher. Here he did not long endure the miseries of a booksellei's hack, but died of small pox, nth July, 1727,óbefore he had completed his twenty-first year.
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