Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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118               Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
old picture-frame, and he talked like a page out of Boswell's " Life of Dr. Johnson." He was an original man at all times, even in an age when men were more original than they are now, and, as men looking and thinking like himself dropped off, he became a representative man of a by-gone age and extinct class—a strong age and a sturdy class, with more of iron in it, and less of tinsel, than the present; who had to contend as freemen with real dangers to liberty, of which we know nothing, and were prepared to "champion" their principles " to the outrance," though they led to the scaffold. Exile and imprisonment, if not worse, were always in the probabilities of the " old Radical"—Clio had undergone both —and for words and acts which now enter into our daily life. So no wonder they were a little stern and sour, and looked, as Clio did, with a certain contempt on the Radicals of a later age, who had never known a Pitt or Castlereagh, nor faced an Ellenborough! More of the Roman had these men in them than our later race of Englishmen: and, looking back to Clio Rickman, as I do still, with something of a boy­like affection—for I never knew him but as a boy, as a Triton among the minnows—I would not question his title to have inscribed upon his tomb-stone the Brutus-like epitaph, " Ultimus Romanorum"
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