History Of Brighton And Environs - Online Book

From The Earliest Known Period To The Present Time.

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69
heard to threaten me severely, behind my back, on the preceding day. I preferred meeting them, and hearing the worst they could say, to secret calumny ; which, as it could not be encountered, could not be repelled. This fiend was busily at work, inflaming many against me who had never seen or heard me. Every one knows how things are unintentionally exaggerated when they become topics of conversation in the convivial hour, and when an emulation prevails of making a display of spirit or inge­nuity. Saucer-eyed phantoms of sedition began to flit before disturbed imaginations. Old women, dreaming of chimeras dire, stimulated their husbands to buckle on the helmet and the shield, and take the spear, and go forth against the giant sedition, which appeared to their dim eyes in the form of a windmill.
" The important hour at length approached. • The anger of my enemies was nothing indeed in duration to the wrath of Achilles; but yet it appears to have been of a durable nature.- The offence of Sunday morning was to be revenged on Tuesday evening. My friend, who was to return to London on the next day, proposed that some of my family and myself should accompany him to the Theatre. I had no desire to go ; but as 1 had determined to decline no opportunity of meeting those who now, it seems, expressed themselves with great rancour against me, I consented immediately. Accordingly Mrs Knox, my eldest son (a boy of fourteen years), and my daughter (a year or two younger), set out with my friend for the Theatre. As we walked up North Street, several persons stopped and spoke to each other, in the hearing of myself and family, in terms of the highest approbation of the last Sunday's sermon. Near the door of the Theatre, Major Toraine and a young Lieutenant of the East Middlesex overtook me; they were not going to the Theatre; but they accompanied me a little way, and behaved with great politeness ; the Major inviting me to
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