William Collins—The Smiths of Chichester—Hardham's snuff—C. R. Leslie's reminiscence—The headless Ravenswood—Chichester Cathedral—Roman Chichester—Mr. Spershott's recollections—A warning to swearers—The prettiest alms-house in England.
I have already quoted some lines by Collins on Otway; it is time to come to Collins himself.
When Music, heavenly maid, was young,
While yet in early Greece she sung,
The Passions oft, to hear her shell,
Throng'd around her magic cell—
The perfect ode which opens with these unforgettable lines belongs to Chichester, for William Collins was born there on Christmas Day, 1721, and educated there, at the Prebendal school, until he went to Winchester. William Collins was the son of the Mayor of Chichester, a hatter, from whom Pope's friend Caryll bought his hats. I have no wish to tell here the sad story of Collins' life; it is better to remember that few as are his odes they are all of gold. He died at Chichester in 1759, and was buried in St. Andrew's Church.
With eyes up-raised, as one inspired,
Pale Melancholy sat retired;
And, from her wild sequester'd seat,
In notes by distance made more sweet,
Pour'd through the mellow horn her pensive soul:
And, dashing soft from rocks around
Bubbling runnels join'd the sound;