Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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Sussex Poets.                             237
As it was, he sank, at the age of 34, into a nameless grave— his remains were interred in a vault under the Church of St. Clement Danes—and it is only within the last 30 years that a tribute to his memory has been erected (by W. Jolliffe, Esq.) in his birth-place, in the shape of a brass-plate let into the wall of the Parish Church at Trotton, and bearing the following inscription:—
" Hoc monumentum, quantumvis simplex,
Memoria sacratum sit
THOMAS OTWAY, Armigeri,
Poetaram Tragicorum qui in Britannia enotuerunt,
Facile Princeps.
Hoc Pago natus anno 1651.
Eheu ! egestate acerrima gravatus
Naturae concessit 1685.
Abi, Lector Amice !
Et vicibus praecellentis ingenii prospectis,
Quamcunque Deus tibi fortunaverit horam,
ŁEternitatem cogita."
The third great name on our Sussex roll of poets is that of William Collins. He also belongs to the western part of the county. He was a native of Chichester, and, like Otway, a Winchester boy, and a graduate of St. Magdalen's, Oxford. But here the parallel ends. The family of Collins, though of the trading class, were in good circumstances; his father was thrice Mayor of Chichester, and, when he died, his brother-in-law, Lieut.-Colonel Martyn, a distinguished officer in the army, took his nephew, William, under his protection. At his uncle's invitation, after taking his degree as a Bachelor of Arts, Collins went over to Flanders, where Col. Martyn was then serving with his regiment—it is a curious coincidence that both Otway and Collins should have had a taste of that unpoetical country, Flanders—but he was pronounced "too indolent" for a military life, and was sent back to England to see if a clerical one would suit him better. For this, too, he was either disinclined, or "there was metal more attractive." Indeed, his tastes from early youth were strongly towards literature; and having, by the death of his mother, become the owner of a little property and the master of his own actions, he gave the bent to his inclination, and became a
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