Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

An illustrated appreciation, of the most interesting districts in Sussex.

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

interesting. At the Halnaker Arms in 1902 was a landlady whom few cooks could teach anything in the matter of pastry.
The next village on Stane Street, or rather a little south of it, about two miles beyond Halnaker, is Eartham; which brings to mind William Hayley, the friend and biographer of Cowper and the author of The Triumphs of Temper, perhaps the least read of any book that once was popular. Hayley succeeded his father as squire of Eartham; here he entertained Cowper and other friends; here Romney painted. When need came for retrenchment, Hayley let Eartham to Huskisson, the states­man, and moved to Felpham, on the coast, where we shall meet with him again. Cowper's occupations upon this charm­ing Sussex hillside are recorded in Hayley's account of the visit: " Homer was not the immediate object of our attention while Cowper resided at Eartham. The morning hours that we could bestow on books were chiefly devoted to a complete revisal and correction of all the translations, which my friend had finished, from the Latin and Italian poetry of Milton ; and we generally amused ourselves after dinner in forming together a rapid metrical version of Andreini's Adamo. But the constant care which the delicate health of Mrs. Unwin required rendered it impossible for us to be very assiduous in study, and perhaps the best of all studies was to promote and share that most singular and most exemplary tenderness of attention with which Cowper incessantly laboured to counteract every infirmity, bodily and mental, with which sickness and age had conspired to load this interesting guardian of his afflicted life. . . . The air of the south infused a little portion of fresh strength into her shattered frame, and to give it all possible efficacy, the boy, whom I have mentioned, and a young associate and fellow student of his, employed themselves regularly twice a day in drawing this venerable cripple in a commodious garden-chair round the airy hill of Eartham. To Cowper and to me it was a very pleasing spectacle to see the
Previous Contents Next