Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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CHAPTER XVII
BRIGHTON
A decline in interest—The storied past of Brighton—Dr. Russell's discovery—The First Gentleman in Europe—The resources of the Steyne— Promenade Grove—A loyal journalist—The Brighton bathers—Smoaker and Martha Gunn—The Prince and cricket—The Nonpareil at work— Byron at Brighton—Hazlitt's observation—Horace Smith's verses—Sidney Smith on the M.C.—Captain Tattersall—Pitt and the heckler—Dr. John­son in the sea—Mrs. Pipchin and Dr. Blimber—The Brighton fishermen— Richard Jefferies on the town—The Cavalier—Mr. Booth's birds—Old Pottery.
Brighton is interesting only in its past. To-day it is a suburb, a lung, of London ; the rapid recuperator of Londoners with whom the pace has been too severe; the Mecca of day-excursionists, the steady friend of invalids and half-pay officers. It is vast, glittering, gay ; but it is not interesting.
To persons who care little for new towns the value of Brighton lies in its position as the key to good country. In a few minutes one can travel by train to the Dyke, and leaving booths and swings behind, be free of miles of turfed Down or cultivated Weald; in a few minutes one can reach Hassocks, the station for Wolstonbury and Ditchling Beacon ; in a few minutes one can gain Falmer and plunge into Stanmer Park ; or, travelling to the next station, correct the effect of Brighton's hard brilliance amid the soothing sleepinesses of Lewes ; in a few minutes on the western line one can be at Shoreham, amid ship-builders and sail-makers, or on the ramparts of Bramber Castle, or among the distractions of Steyning cattle market, with Chanctonbury
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