Self-Educated Sussex Men. 143
They roamed all day, through creek and bay,
And traversed the ocean deep, And at night they sank, on a coral bank,
In its fairy bowers to sleep.
And the monsters vast, of ages past,
They beheld in their ocean caves, And saw them ride, in their power and pride,
And sink in their billowy graves.
Thus hand in hand, from strand to strand,
They sailed in mirth and glee, Those fancy shells, with their crystal cells,
Twin creatures of the sea.
But they came at last to a sea long past,
And, as they reached its shore, The Almighty's breath spake out in death,
And the Ammonite lived no more.
And the Nautilus now, in its shelly prow,
As o'er the deep it strays, Still seems to seek, in bay and creek,
Its companion of former days.
And thus do we, on life's stormy sea,
As we roam from shore to shore, While tempest-toss'd, seek the loved—the lost,
But to find them on earth no more!
This and many more of his poetical effusions found a place in the best periodicals of the day, and were also published in a volume that is to be found in the Public Library of his native town.
But in the case of George Richardson, as in so many others, the truth of the saying was exemplified, that "a prophet is not honoured in his own country." George Richardson got little honour in Brighton, and less profit. His habits, indeed, were not formed for business. His spirit revolted against the selling of silks and satins behind a counter. I do not think he could always have been very pleasant to his customers. On one occasion, I know, he was not. A lady whom he was serving made an uncomplimentary remark upon his face or figure—in French or German— ignorant of the Admirable Crichton who was rolling out the goods; and Richardson, in his pride or vexation, replied to her in the same language, and, doubtless, with a much purer accent, and in much better grammar. Of course, that lady,