Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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xx                            SMUGGLER AND EXEMPLAR                              199
a hundred years ago, and also as an example of the truth which is only half a truth :
Sacred to the memory of Daniel Scales, who was unfortunately shot on Thursday Evening, Nov. 7, 1796.
Alas ! swift flew the fatal lead
Which pierced through the young man's head,
He instant fell, resigned his brealh,
And closed his languid eyes in death.
All ye who do this stone draw near,
Oh ! pray let fall the pitying tear.
From the sad instance may we all
Prepare to meet Jehovah's call.
The facts of the case bear some likeness to the death of Mr. Bardell and Serjeant Buzfuz's reference to that catastrophe. Daniel Scales was a desperate smuggler who, when the fatal lead pierced him, was heavily laden with booty. He was shot through the head only as a means of preventing a similar fate befalling his slayer.
Just beyond Patcham, as we approach Brighton, is the narrow chalk lane on the left which leads to the Lady's Mile, the beginning of a superb stretch of turf around an amphitheatre in the hills by which one may gallop all the way to the Clayton mills. The grass ride extends to Lewes.
Preston, once a village with an independent life, is now Brighton; but nothing can harm its little English church, noticeable for a fresco of the murder of Thomas a Becket, a representation dating probably from the reign of Edward I.
This, however, is a digression, and we must return to Pyecombe in order to climb Wolstonbury—the most mountainous of the hills in this part, and indeed, although far from the highest, perhaps the noblest in mien of the whole range, by virtue of its isolation and its conical shape. The earthworks on Wolston­bury, although supposed to be of Celtic origin, were probably utilised by the Romans for military purposes. More than any of the Downs does Wolstonbury bring before one the Roman occupation of our country.
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