Page:Highways and Byways in Sussex.djvu/257

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CH. XXIV
229
NOBILITY AND THE ALTAR

Force of Love," is to be played, for the benefit of Mrs. P. Varanes by Mr. P., "who will strive as far as possible to support the character of this fiery Persian Prince, in which he was so much admired and applauded at Hastings, Arundel, Petworth, Midhurst, Lewes, &c." The attraction of the next announcement is the precise converse: "Theodosius, by a young gentleman from the University of Oxford, who never appeared on any stage."

The play-bill continues with a delicate hint: "Nothing in Italy can exceed the altar in the first scene of the play. Nevertheless, should any of the nobility or gentry wish to see it ornamented with flowers, the bearer will bring away as many as they choose to favour him with." Finally: "N.B.—The great yard dog that made so much noise on Thursday night during the last act of King Richard the Third, will be sent to a neighbour's over the way."

The Sussex Martyrs, to whom a memorial, as we shall see, has recently been raised above Lewes, are usually associated with that town; but on July 18, 1556, Thomas Dungate, John Forman, and Anne, or Mother, Tree, were burned for conscience' sake at East Grinstead.

Between East Grinstead and Forest Row, on the east, just under the hill and close to the railway, are the remains of Brambletye House, a rather florid ruin, once the seat of the great Sussex family of Lewknor. In its heyday Brambletye must have been a very fine place. Horace Smith's romance which bears its name, and for which Horsfield, in his History of Sussex, predicted a career commensurable with that of the Waverley novels, is now, I fear, justly forgotten. The slopes of Forest Row, which was of old a settlement of hunting lodges belonging to the great lords who took their pleasure in Ashdown Forest, are now bright with new villas. From Forest Row, Wych Cross and Ashdown Forest are easily gained; but of this open region of dark heather more in a later chapter.

Between Kingscote and West Hoathly, a short distance to