It educated mid-level functionaries and soldiers for service in the British Empire- and lots and lots of priests. Also Evelyn Waugh and- so recently that I remember him as a nervy, god-like prefect- the leftist playwright David Hare.
The Downs above Lancing are a great place for thinking big thoughts. The wind blows hard. On a clear day you can see beyond Brighton to the Seven Sisters- the great white cliffs that defied Napoleon. And the sea is simply huge.
Over there, among the trees, the Romans had a temple. Some 19th century landowner planted the trees. He planted them in a clump or "ring" because he thought it looked "druidic". In the mid-twentieth century a coven of witches used to hold their meetings there.
Like I said- a great place for thinking Big Thoughts.
And one of mine was that we needed a World Government. No more disputes among nations, no more war but, in stirring Tennysonese, "the Parliament of Man, the Federation of the World."
O lucky me- forty years on my wish has come true. We have our World Government. It's called the Government of the United States of America.
What happens today in the Presidential election is of far greater importance to me- and the rest of us islanders and, indeed, the bulk of the world's population- than anything that might transpire in our cute and quaint little national elections.
And dammit, I don't have a vote.
I'm not wingeing. Not really. I can see the advantages of the present arrangement as well as the drawbacks. Maybe this is a first step on the way to a World Government- something I still believe in (I think).
We'll get there, we'll get there. It's a steep old path.
You know what an optimist I am.
Meanwhile, O citizens of the New Rome, enjoy your privilege and use it wisely.
Good morning, America- and have a nice day!