Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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V                                     COWPER IN SUSSEX                                   43
benevolent vivacity of blooming youth thus continually labour­ing for the ease, health, and amusement of disabled age."
The poet and Mrs. Unwin, after much trepidation and doubt, had left Weston Underwood on August 1, 1792 ; they slept at Barnet the first night, Ripley the next, and were at Eartham by ten o'clock on the third. They stayed till September. Cowper describes Hayley's estate as one of the most delightful pleasure grounds in the world. " I had no conception that a poet could be the owner of such a paradise, and his house is as elegant as his scenes are charming." The poet, apart from his
rapid treatment of Adamo, did not succeed independently in attaining to Hayley's fluency among these surroundings. " I am in truth so unaccountably local in the use of my pen," he wrote to Lady Hesketh, " that, like the man in the fable, who could leap well nowhere but at Rhodes, I seem incapable of writing at all except at Weston." Hence the only piece that he composed in our county was the epitaph on Fop, a dog belonging to Lady Throckmorton. But while he was at Eartham Romney drew his portrait in crayons.
Cowper always looked back upon his visit with pleasure, but, as he remarked, the genius of Weston Underwood suited
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