Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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illustrations to Hayley's works, and painted eighteen heads for Hayley's library—among them, Shakespeare, Homer, and Hayley himself; but all have vanished, the present owner knows not where.
In some verses which Blake addressed to Anna Flaxman, the wife of the sculptor, in September, 1800, a few days before moving from London to the Sussex coast, he says :—
This song to the flower of Flaxman's joy ; To the blossom of hope, for a sweet decoy; Do all that you can and all that you may To entice him to Felpham and far away.
Away to sweet Felpham, for Heaven is there ; The ladder of Angels descends through the air, On the turret its spiral does softly descend, Through the village then winds, at my cot it does end.
Blake's house still stands, a retired, thatched cottage, facing the sea, but some distance from it. In a letter to Flaxman a little later, he says, " Felpham is a sweet place for study, be­cause it is more spiritual than London. Heaven opens here on all sides its golden gates; the windows are not obstructed by vapours; voices of celestial inhabitants are more distinctly heard, their forms more distinctly seen; and my cottage is also a shadow of their houses." Beside the sea Blake communed with the spirits of Dante and Homer, Milton and the Hebrew Prophets.
Blake's sojourn at Felpham ended in 1803. A grotesque and annoying incident marred its close, the story of which, as told by the poet in a letter to Mr. Butler, certainly belongs to the history of Sussex. It should, however, first be stated that an ex-soldier in the Royal Dragoons, named John Scholfield, had accused Blake of uttering seditious words. The letter runs :— " His enmity arises from my having turned him out of my garden, into which he was invited as an assistant by a gardener at work therein, without my knowledge that he was so invited. I desired him, as politely as possible, to go out of the garden;
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