Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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xvii                          THE LORD OF THE TIDES                           169
satisfaction, that overflows upon others ! Delightful imperti­nence, that is forward to oblige them ! "
Brighton's decline as a fashionable resort came with the rail­way. Coaches were expensive and few, and the number of visitors which they brought to the town wras negotiable; but when trains began to pour crowTds upon the platforms the dis­tinction of Brighton was lost. Society retreated, and the last Master of Ceremonies, Lieut. Col. Eld, died. It was of this admirable aristocrat that Sydney Smith wrote so happily in one of his letters from Brighton: "A gentleman attired point device, walking down the Parade, like Agag, ' delicately.' He pointed out his toes like a dancing-master; but carried his head like a potentate. As he passed the stand of flys, he nodded approval, as if he owned them all. As he approached the little goat carriages, he looked askance over the edge of his starched neckcloth and blandly smiled encouragement. Sure that in following him, I was treading in the steps of greatness, I went on to the Pier, and there I was confirmed in my conviction of his eminence ; for I observed him look first over the right side and then over the left, with an expres­sion of serene satisfaction spreading over his countenance, which said, as plainly as if he had spoken to the sea aloud, 1 That is right. You are low-tide at present; but never mind, in a couple of hours I shall make you high-tide again.' "
Beyond its connection with George IV. Brighton has played but a small part in history, her only other monarch being Charles II., who merely tarried in the town for awhile on his way to France, in 1651, as we have seen. The King's Head, in West Street, claims to be the scene of the merry monarch's bargain with Captain Nicholas Tattersall, who conveyed him across the Channel-; but there is good reason to believe that the inn was the George in Middle Street, now demolished, but situated on the site of No. 44. . The epitaph on Tattersall in Brighton old parish church contains the following lines :—
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