Page:Highways and Byways in Sussex.djvu/448
ROBERTSON OF BRIGHTON
loved also the hills above Rottingdean. Robertson, says Arnold's memoir, "would walk any man 'off his legs,' as the saying goes. He not only walked; he ran, he leaped, he bounded. He walked as fast and as incessantly as Charles Dickens, and, like Dickens, his mind was in a state of incessant activity all the time. There was not a bird of the air or a flower by the wayside that was not known to him. His knowledge of birds would have matched that of the collector of the Natural History Museum in his favourite Dyke Road."
Robertson often journeyed into Sussex on little preaching or lecturing missions (he found the auditors of Hurstpierpoint "very bucolic"), and his family were fond of the retirement of Lindfield. On one occasion Robertson brought them back himself, writing afterwards to a friend that in that village he "strongly felt the beauty and power of English country scenery and life to calm, if not to purify, the hearts of those whose lives are habitually subjected to such influences."
Mr. Arnold's book, I might add, has some pleasant pages about Sussex and Brighton in Robertson's day, with glimpses of Lady Byron, his ardent devotee, and, at Old Shoreham, of Canon Mozley.
And here I might mention that for a very charming account of a still earlier Brighton, though not the earliest, the reader should go to a little story called Round About a Brighton Coach Office, which was published a few years ago. It has a very fragrant old-world flavour.
To Chichester, I should have recorded, belongs a Sussex saint, Saint Richard, Bishop of Chichester in the thirteenth century, and a great man. In 1245 he found the Sussex see an Augæan stable; but he was equal to the labour of cleansing it. He deprived the corrupt clergy of their benefices with an unhesitating hand, and upon their successors and those that remained he imposed laws of comeliness and simplicity. His reforms were many and various: he restored hospitality to its high place among the duties of rectors; he punished ab-