It was at Littlehampton in September, 1817, that Coleridge met Cary, the translator of Dante. Cary was walking on the beach, reciting Homer to his son. Up came a noticeable man with large grey eyes: "Sir, yours is a face I should know. I am Samuel Taylor Coleridge."
The county paper for February 27, 1796, has this paragraph: "On Monday last a duel was fought betwixt Mr. R——n and Lieut. B——y, both of Littlehampton, in a field near that place, which, after the discharge of each a pistol, terminated without bloodshed. The dispute, we understand, originated about a pew in the parish church."
A local proverb says that if you eat winkles in March it is as good as a dose of medicine; which reminds me that Sussex has many wise sayings of its own. Here is a piece of Sussex counsel in connection with the roaring month:—
If from fleas you would be free,
On the first of March let all your windows closed be.
I quote two other rhymes:—
If you would wish your bees to thrive
Gold must be paid for every hive;
For when they're bought with other money
There will be neither swarm nor honey.
The first butterfly you see,
Cut off his head across your knee,
Bury the head under a stone
And a lot of money will be your own.
On Whit Sunday the devout Sussex man eats roast veal and gooseberry pudding. A Sussex child born on Sunday can neither be hanged nor drowned.
West of Littlehampton is an architectural treasure, in the shape of Climping church, which no one should miss. The way is over the ferry and along the road to the first signboard, when one strikes northward towards Ford, and comes suddenly upon this squat and solid fane. A Saxon church stood here,