Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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The Sussex Diarists.
GREAT changes—material, political, social—are easily seen. They stand out on the surface. Every body can discern the difference between a railway and a highway; between Fielding's Squire Western and the modern country gentle­man. But there are other changes, scarcely less important, which are not so easily to be noted: for instance, between the men who carry on the general trade of country-places in the present day and those who carried it on, say ioo years ago. That such a class as this has participated in the changes which have been going on all over the country, who will deny ? But who is to note the change ? Who to describe it ? Who to draw the portrait of " the general trader" at one end of the century and compare it with the lineal successor of the same individual at the other? How rarely do we get a correct delineation of such classes as these, or, indeed, of any classes in country places. A Fielding will draw the Squire and Parson, the fast young man and poacher and barber of his day, and a Thackeray will do something in the same way in his; but they select different classes and points of view. The one takes the country—the other the town.-- We still miss the point of comparison. In fact, the country is passing more and more out of the range of vision of
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