The Four Men: A Farrago
The Thirtieth of October 1902, p.16.

  Myself. "We are well met, Sailor, you and 
Grizzlebeard and I in this parish of Bright-
ling, which, though it lies so far from the 
most and the best of our county, is in a way 
a shrine of it."
  Grizzlebeard. "This I never heard of
Brightling, but of Hurstmonceaux." 
  Myself. "There may be shrines and shrines 
on land, and sanctities of many kinds. 

For you will notice, Grizzlebeard, or rather
 you should have noticed already, having lived 
so long, that good things do not jostle."
  The Sailor. "But why do you say this of 
Brightling? It is perhaps because of these
great folds of woods which are now open to
the autumn and make a harp to catch the 
wind? Certainly if I'd woken here from 
illness or long sleep I should know by the 
air and by the trees in what land I was."
  Grizzlebeard. "No, he was thinking of 
the obelisk which draws eyes to itself from 
Sussex all around."
  Myself." I was thinking of something far
 more worthy, and of the soul of a man.  
For do you not note the sign of this inn 
by which it is known?"
  The Sailor. "Why, it is called 'The 
Fuller's Arms'; there being so many sheep 
I take it, and therefore so much wool and 
therefore fulling."
  Myself. "No, it is not called so for such 
a reason, but after the arms or the name of 
one Fuller, a squire of these parts, who had
 in him the Sussex heart and blood, as had

p. 18.
Earl Godwin and others famous in history.
And indeed this man Fuller deserves to be
famous and to be called, so to speak, the
very demigod of my county, for he spent
all his money in a roaring way, and lived
in his time like an immortal being conscious
of what was worth man's while during his
little passage through the daylight.  I have
heard it said that Fuller of Brightling, being
made a Knight of the Shire for the County 
of Sussex in the time when King George 
the Third was upon the throne, had himself
drawn to Westminster in a noble great
coach, with six huge, hefty and determined
horses to draw it, but these were not of 
the Sussex breed, for there is none.  And
he "
  Grizzlebeard.  "You say right that they 
were not 'Sussex horses,' for there are only
two things in Sussex which Sussex deigns
to give its name to, and the first is the
spaniel, and the second is the sheep.  Note
you, many kingdoms and counties and lands
are prodigal of their names, because their
names are of little account and in no way

p. 19.
sacred, so that one will give its name to a 
cheese and another to a horse, and another
to some kind of ironwork or other, and
another to clotted cream or to butter, and 
another to something ridiculous, as to a cat
with no tail.  But it is not so with Sussex,
for our name is not a name to be used like
a label and tied on to common things, seeing
that we were the first place to be crated
when the word was made, and we shall 
certainly be the last to remain, regal and
at ease when all the rest is very miserably
perishing on the Day of Judgment by a 
horrible great rain of fire from Heaven/
Which will fall, if I am not mistaken, upon
the whole earth, and strike all round the 
edges of the county, consuming Tonbridge,
and Appledore (but not Rye), and Horley,
and Ockley, and Hazelmere, and very cer-
tainly Petersfield and Havant, and there
shall be an especial woe for Hayling Island;
but one one hair of the head of Sussex shall
be singed, it has been so ordained from the
beginning, and that in spite of Burwash and
those who dwell therein."

 Myself. "Now you have stopped me in
the midst of what I was saying about Fuller,
that noble great man sprung from this noble
great land."
  The Sailor. "You left him going up to 
Westminster in a coach with six great horses,
to sit in Parliament and be a Knight of the
  Myself. "That is so, and, God willing as
he went ha sang the song 'Golier ! Golier!'
and I make little doubt that until he came
to the Marches of the county, and entered
the barbarous places outside, great crowds
gathered at his passage and cheered him as
such a man should be cheered, for he was a 
most noble man, and very free with all good
things.  Nor did he know what lay before
him, having knowledge of nothing so evils as
Westminster, nor anything so stuffy so
vile has her most detestable Commons House,
where men sit palsied and glower, hating
each other and themselves: but he know
nothing yet except broad Sussex.
 "Well then, when he had come to West-
minster, very soon there was a day in which

p. 21.
the Big-wigs would have a debate, all empty
and worthless upon Hot Air, or the value
of nothingness; and the man who took most
money there out of the taxes, and his first
cousin who sat opposite and to whom he
had promised the next wad of public wealth
and his brother-in-law and his parasite and
all the rest of the thieves had begun their
pompous folly, when great Fuller arose in
his place, full of the South, and said that
he had not come to the Commons House
to talk any such balderdash, then and there,
to give them an Eulogy upon the County of 
Sussex, from which he had come and which 
was the captain ground and head county of 
the whole world.
  "This Eulogy he very promptly and power-
fully began, using his voice as a healthy
man should, who will drown all opposition
and who can call a dog to heel from half a 
mile away.  And indeed though a storm rose
round him from all those lesser men, who 
had come to Westminster, not for the praise
or honour of their land, but to fill their. 

p. 22.
pockets, he very manfully shouted and was
heard above it all, so that the Sergeant-at-
Arms grew sick with fear, and the Clerk at
the Table wished he had never been born.
But the Speaker, whose business it is to keep
the place inane (I do not remember his name,
for such men are not famous after death),
stood up in is gown and called to Fuller
that he was our of order.  And since Fuller
would not yield, every man I the House 
called out 'Order!" eight or nine hundred 
times. But when they were exhausted, the
great Fuller, Fuller of Brightling, cried out
over them all; ' Do you think I care for you , you 
in significant little man in the wig?  Take
that!'  And with these words he snapped
his fingers in the face of the bunch of them,
and walked out of the Commons House, and 
got into his great coach with its six powerful
horses, and ordering their heads to be set
southwards he at last regained his own land,
where he was received as such a man should
be, with bells ringing and gins firing, little
boys cheering, and all ducks, hens, and

p. 23.
pigs flying form before his approach to the
left and to the right of the road.  Ever
since that day it has been held a singular
honour and one surpassing all others to be
a squire of Brightling, but no honour what-
soever to be a member of the Commons
House.  He spent all his great fortune upon
the poor of Sussex and of his own parish,
bidding them drink deep and ear hearty as 
being habits the best preservative of life,
until at last he also died.  There is the 
story of Fuller of Brightling, and may we
all deserve as well as he".

Joseph-Pierre Hilaire Belloc was born in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France to a French father and British mother. He was a very versatile writer who penned poetry, essays, children's fiction and historical works. A Catholic apologist, he was a close friend of G.K. Chesterton. He was a Liberal member of Parliament for South Salford (1906 to 1910). Belloc died on July 16, 1953, at Guildford, Surrey.

The Four Men: A Farrago was first conceived in 1902 and published in 1912. The term farrago means an assortment or a medley; a hodgepodge. This novel follows the adventures of Grizzlebeard, the sailor, the poet and "Myself" during a four day, ninety-mile trek across East and West Sussex from Robertsbridge to South Harting. The tale is peppered with creative anachronisms including a level crossing at the "Battle of Battle". 

Obviously, Belloc did not know Jack Fuller personally, as he was born 36 years after Fuller's death. It is certain that Fuller had, by Belloc's time, been immortalized through local folklore. This work of fiction is often cited by those researching Fuller's life but cannot be relied upon. Fuller was never made a "knight of the shire" in fact he famously turned down the peerage offered by Pitt the younger. 

Belloc makes it seem like the House of Commons was a foreign place to Fuller when in fact he had been 9 years a Member of Parliament for Sussex (and a Member for Southampton prior to that) when the famed incident in the House took place. Nevertheless, this amusing and colourful depiction of the Squire of Brightling pays homage to the legendary Honest John Fuller.

John 'Mad Jack' Fuller
Hilaire Belloc - Writer 1870 -1953