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destroyed by a violent tempest. Large fragments of stone and timber that formed the foundation are still visible at low water. Boat building and the herring and mackarel fishery form the chief support of the poorer inhabitants. The length of the esplanade here is not more than five hundred feet, so that to achieve the distance of a mile it must be traversed from one end to another and back again five times, a mode of measuring a morning walk which we give as a hint to those who like to take exercise by rule. At the east end of the parade is a small but strong fort, which, in the time of the last war, mounted eleven guns, and might have done stalwart service on emergency. A few years ago the Castle hill, having become loose and dangerous in front, was cut away to a depth of about eighty feet, where it now forms a wall of the strongest solidity. On this a terrace, ascended by a handsome flight of steps, was erected, and is now Pelham-crescent, the houses assuming a style of comfort and convenience rarely surpassed.
The Town Hall, with its market-place underneath, was erected in 1823, and here a liberal supply of commodities at a reasonable rate can always be obtained. The streets are narrow and not exceedingly remarkable for architectural elegance, but in Pelham-arcade the shops are of a more refined description, and, with their superadded attractions of raffles and music, form pleasant evening lounges. Readingrooms and circulating libraries are of the usual number and variety.
To dispose at once of the dry details of local description before we touch upon the lighter portions, we may just inform the reader that the principal hotels are the Albion, on the Parade; the Marine Hotel, in Pelham-place; and the Castle, a very comfortable one, together with the Swan and the Crown, and others of minor importance. The bank is in High-street, and the post-office adjacent. There are four places of dissenting worship and several institutions, whilst the poor of the town are not neglectfully regarded. A singular instance of unostentatious benevolence occurs here in the case of a person who conveyed to the corporation about fifty-six acres of land and concealed his name.
The bathing establishments may vie with any in the kingdomn for excellence of arrangement. The Pelham baths, in Pelham-place, deserve especial notice, and the Marine baths are also much frequented. What more could a visitor require? We have thus briefly but comprehensively glanced at the present aspect of the place; let us now turn to a more fertile theme-the poetry of its associations. Who that has passed beneath the crumbling cliff on which still stand the ruins of the ancient castle, and wandered westward on the beach, can forget the spot near Bulverhithe, pointed out as the Conqueror's table? Although the stone itself has been removed to the public gardens of St. Leonard's, the stirring associations still remain. There—so runneth the legend--the daring Norman killed by a single blow from his mailed hand one of his own followers, because, less ardent than himself, he had hinted at what appeared to him an insurmountable obstacle that stood frowning defiance at their puny efforts; and therefore, though safely landed, counselled retreat from the well-manned battlements of the castle, then commanding every available path leading to the interior, as well as all the ocean within bowshot of its site, threatening alike the adventurous band that had polluted the soil of England, and the mariners who had conveyed them from St. Vallery. Great was the stake played
for by the daring duke; and, like a true gamester, he determined to deserve, by the boldness of his venture, the smiles of that treacherous jade, Fortune. The life of a friend—the services of a faithful follower-became but a feather in the scale compared with the spreading of that fear manifested by one of his chosen commanders; and thus, sacrificing the adviser of an instant re-embarkation to the expediency of the moment, William of Normandy instantly promoted a more sanguine spirit to the command, and boldly advanced his standard to Epiton, now called Battle, where he won from Harold the fair and broad lands of England.
Upon the daring soldier who so well supplied the place of his equally courageous but less rash companion in arms were bestowed, as a reward, the governorship of Hastings, its castle, and the beauteous territory encircled by its surrounding districts.
The castle of Hastings for a time was the favourite residence of the Conqueror. Here, in commemoration of his coronation, was held the first tournament in England, at which the fair Adela, his daughter, was chosen Queen of Beauty. The Lord of Hastings, not content with the possessions he had already acquired, aimed at the still greater prize of the lovely maiden, and, inspired by his hopes, vanquished every rival that appeared in the field against him. At last came Stephen the then Earl of Blois—and, causing the first duel recorded in English annals, he challenged the ambitious Lord of Hastings, and, proving the victor, obliged the daring soldier to forego his claims, and resign the beauteous princess to himself—not, if the gossips of the period speak sooth, much against the will and inclination of the charming Adela herself.
Hastings and its castle passed into the possession of various hands without any event occurring that need be chronicled in our pages, until the reign of Henry VIII., when a lady, anxious to escape from the illicit importunities of that unscrupulous monarch, threw herself from the northern turret of the castle, and was dashed to pieces on the beach below.
The next possessor was Edgar, a jealous earl and a great favourite with the king. He had married one of the ladies of the court, but, ardently as he loved, was doomed to think it unreturned. Watching with suspicious eye every movement of his bride, the unjustly suspected lady appealed to the king, who peremptorily ordered the earl to supply her with money, and provide her, during her life, with apartments in the castle.
Obeying the mandate of his sovereign with reluctance, he resolved to watch her with more circumspection than before, and one day, suddenly entering her apartment where she was giving orders to her falconer, he not only slew the unfortunate domestic immediately, but placing his innocent wife in the custody of his guard, he ordered a blazing fire to be prepared in the outer yard for the instant immolation of herself and her infant son.
Stricken with amazement at the unnatural order, his retainers obeyed them with great reluctance, but when the preparations were completed, and their fair and unblemished mistress was dispensing her last gifts to those around, a thrill of horror ran through the whole assembly, whilst a malignant smile of revenge only illumined the satanic features of the earl. The flames were no sooner kindled than they ascended with furious power. The whistling wind, joined with the piercing shricks of the helpless mother and her infánt, became so heart
rending that they seemed at last to make an impression on even the brutal mind of the instigator of the cruelty, when an alarm was given that the castle was in flames. Every one now directed their attention to the saving of the stupendous structure, but in a few hours, despite all the exertions that were made, nothing remained but a black and smouldering mass of ruined walls. Tormented by the smitings of his conscience, fearful of the king's displeasure, and hesitating, when summoned to appear at that court, whence he had taken the fairest ornament, the earl caused the ashes of his wife and child to be placed in a stone coffin, and quitted the country never to return again. From this period the castle of Hastings has remained a mass of magnificent ruins; its towers, bastions, and ancient walls forming an object truly picturesque, as seen from any point of view, but looking even grand in their sombre desolation, as meeting the eye of the pedestrian when ascending the eminence leading to Fairlight Downs. · A few years back the visitors to the castle were shown two coffins, a small one and a larger one, which they were assured contained the ashes of the mother and infant. These have been lately removed, and the space of ground enclosed by the walls which used to shelter such vestiges of a more barbarous age is now employed by a market gardener to administer to the culinary wants of the townsfolk. of Hastings and St. Leonard's.
The approach to Hastings Castle is from the further extremity of Wellington-square, and with the perpendicular cliff that fronts the sea for its base, the outer walls appear originally to have had the form of a triangle with rounded angles. The wall on the east side was about three hundred feet in length; that on the north-western side is about one hundredi