Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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he was then to return the hat to the perpendicular, still hold­ing the hat by the brim, then to throw the cup into the air, and reversing the hat, to catch the cup in it as it fell. If he failed to perform this operation, the fellow workmen who were closely watching him, made an important alteration in the last line of their chant, which in that case ran thus :
The liquor's drink'd up and the cup aint turned over.
" The cup was then refilled and the unfortunate drinker was compelled to go through the same ceremony again. Every one at the table took the cup and ' turned it over' in succession, the chief shepherd keeping the pail constantly supplied with beer. The parlour guests were of course invited to turn the cup over with the guests of the kitchen, and went through the ordeal with more or less of success. For my own part, I con­fess that I failed to catch the cup in the hat at the first trial and had to try again ; the chairman, however, mercifully gave me only a small quantity of beer the second time."
The civic life of Hastings would seem to encourage literature, for I find also in one of the Archaeological Society's volumes, the following pretty lines by John Collier—Mayor of Hastings in 1719, 22, 30, 37, and 41—on his little boy's death:
Ah, my poor son ! Ah my tender child,
My unblown flower and now appearing sweet,
If yet your gentle soul flys in the air
And is not fixt in doom perpetual,
Hover about me with your airy wings
And hear your Father's lamentation.
Hastings has two advantages over both Brighton and Eastbourne: it can produce a genuine piece of antiquity, and seen from the sea it has a picturesque quality that neither of those towns possesses. Indeed, under certain conditions of light, Hastings is magnificent, with the craggy Castle Hill in its midst surmounted by its imposing ruin. The smoke of the town, rising and spreading, shrouds the modernity of the sea
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