Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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Self-Educated Sussex Men.               147
of the reporter and less of the speaker in them—to the great improvement of the speeches and not to the loss of the reader.
But Simes was not merely a litterateur. He had other and refined tastes. He was an enthusiastic lover of music; and here he had the advantage of Richardson. (It is curious how the two men differed!) Whilst the latter laboured in vain over " La ci darem," and murdered " Nott' e giorno" in particular, and the music of Mozart in general, Simes, with a rich mellow voice, could take a part in all the glees, madrigals, and part-songs which are the glory of our English School. He understood, too, something of thorough bass, and could put together a few bars of music. He threw himself into the Mainzer movement, and a work of his (taken from the columns of the Brighton Herald), on the management of the voice, had a considerable sale. Then he was a good fencer, at a time when fencing was a rare accomplishment; could swim I don't know how far (not quite over the Channel, certainly!), did something with the gloves, and was generally an adept in athletics, and physically, as well as intellectually, a fine speci­men of an Englishman. His face—and here, too, he had the superiority over his contemporary—was a very handsome one, with a strong resemblance to that of the first Napoleon in his later years: of classical mould and clearly cut, with curved mouth, straight nose, and well-rounded brow. He was surely intended by Nature for greater things than he ever accom­plished. Had Fortune been kinder to him—could he have concentrated his powers, he might have left something behind him that the world " would not willingly let die," or, with his robust intellect, he might have sat on the Judicial Bench or been another Warburton in theology. But the common wants of life—the bread and cheese necessities—always pressed too closely on him. He could not wait for his powers to ripen: he wrote to demand; the Printer's devil was ever at his elbow. " It is a work," he once said to the writer of these reminis­cences, "which pulverises the brain." It exhausted his, and brought him to the grave before his time, with nothing to
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