The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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HASTINGS                              345
chiefs, and listening to my friend Hodgson's raptures about a pretty wife-elect of his, and walking on cliffs and tumbling down hills, and making the most of the dolce far niente of the last fortnight."
Charles Lamb (Essays of Elia) is distinctly rude to the Sussex watering places, " dull at Worthing one summer, duller at Brighton another, and dullest at Eastbourne a third " he proceeded to do " dreary penance " at Hastings. " It is a place of fugitive resort, an heterogeneous assemblage of seamews and stockbrokers, Amphitrites of the town, and misses that coquet with the ocean. If it were what it was in its primitive shape it were something. I could abide to dwell with Mescheck; to assort with fisher swains and smugglers. I like a smuggler. He is the only honest thief."
To pass by Pelham Crescent from the old Cinque Port to the modern watering place gives something of the same impression as when one walks from the native city to the European settlement in some Asiatic port. The whole atmosphere seems to change. There are fine parks and squares and wide streets and modern Gothic churches (one of which commemorates the old Augustinian priory of the Trinity) and beautiful houses and gardens, but all these add rather to the amenity than to the interest of life. There is little to be said about them unless in local guides. Proceeding westward one soon glides imperceptibly into St. Leonards, originally a chapelry of Hollington.
St. Leonards on Sea takes its name from a sixth-century French hermit whose godfather was King Clovis himself, and who, taking up his abode near Limoges in the heart of a forest, instituted a religious house and devoted himself particularly to
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