Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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i68
EXTINCT COURTESY
CHAP.
Yet here, as elsewhere, death impartial reigns,
Visits alike the cot and the Pavilion, And for a bribe with equal scorn disdains
My half a crown, and Baring s half a million.
Alas ! how short the span of human pride !
Time flies, and hope's romantic schemes, are undone ; Cosweller's coach, that carries four inside,
Waits to take back the unwilling bard to London.
Ye circulating novelists, adieu !
Long envious cords my black portmanteau tighten : Billiards, begone ! avaunt, illegal loo !
Farewell old Ocean's bauble, glittering Brighton.
Long shalt thou laugh thine enemies to scorn, Proud as Phoenicia, queen of watering places !
Boys yet unbieech'd, and virgins yet unborn,
On thy bleak downs shall tan their blooming faces.
I believe that the phrase " Queen of Watering Places " was first used in this poem.
An odd glimpse of a kind of manners (now extinct) in Brighton visitors in its palmy days is given in Hazlitt's Notes of a Journey through France and Italy. Hazlitt, like his friends the Lambs, when they visited Versailles in 1822, embarked at Brighton. That was in 1824. He reached the town by coach in the evening, in the height of the season, and it was then that the incident occurred to which I have referred. In Hazlitt's words:" A lad offered to conduct us to an inn. ' Did he think there was room ? ' He was sure of it. ' Did he belong to the inn ? ' ' No,' he was from London. In fact, he was a young gentleman from town, who had been stopping some time at the White-horse Hotel, and who wished to employ his spare time (when he was not riding out on a blood-horse) in serving the house, and relieving the perplexities of his fellow-travellers. No one but a Londoner would volunteer his assistance in this way. Amiable land of Cockayne, happy in itself, and in making others happy ! Blest exuberance of self-
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