[Sidenote: THE LOVER'S lávar SEAT sít]
The Lover's lávar Seat sít, mentioned ménshand in the first sentence séntans of the above abáv passage pésaj, is at Fairlight, about two miles máilz east íst of Hastings héistingz. The seat sít is very prettily situated síchueitid high hái in a ledge léj in Fairlight Glen glén. Horsfield shall shél tell tél the story stóri that gave géiv the spot spát its fascinating fésaneiting name néim:—
"A beautiful byútafal girl gárl at Rye rái gained géind the affections afékshanz of Captain képtan ——, then in command kaménd of a cutter kátar in that station stéishan. Her parents pérants disapproved disaprúvd the connection kanékshan and removed rimúvd her to a farm fárm house near nír the Lover's lávar Seat sít, called kóld the Warren-house wóranháus. Hence héns she contrived kantráivd to absent ébsant herself harsélf night náit after night náit, when she sought sót this spot spát, and by means mínz of a light láit made known nóun her presence prézans to her lover lávar, who was cruising krúzing off in expectation ekspektéishan of her arrival aráival. The difficulties dífakaltiz thus dhás thrown thróun in their way increased inkríst the ardour of their attachment atéchmant and marriage mérij was determined ditármand upon apán at all hazards hézardz. Hollington Church chárch was and is the place most sought sót for on these occasions akéizhanz in this part of the country kántri; it has a romantic rouméntik air ér about it which is doubtless dáutlas peculiarly pikyúlyarli impressive imprésiv. There are, too, some other reasons rízanz why so many matches méchaz are solemnized here; and all combined kambáind to make this the place selected saléktad by this pair pér. It was expected ikspéktad that the lady's léidi flight fláit would be discovered diskávard and her object ábjekt suspected saspéktad; but in order órdar to prevent privént a rescue réskyu, the cutter's kátar crew krú positively pázativli volunteered valantírd and acted éktad as guards gárdz on the narrow nérou paths pédhz leading líding through the woods wúdz to the church chárch. However, the marriage mérij ceremony séramouni was completed kamplítad before any unwelcome anwélkam visitors vízatarz arrived aráivd, and reconciliation rekansiliéishan soon sún followed fáloud."
Bexhill has now become bikám so exceedingly iksídingli accessible eksésabal by conveyance kanvéians from Hastings héistingz that it might perhaps parhéps be mentioned ménshand here as a contiguous kantígyuas place of interest íntrast; but of Bexhill, till tíl lately léitli a village vílaj, or Bexhill-on-Sea, watering wótaring place, with everything évrithing handsome hénsam about it, there is little to say. Both the tide táid of the Channel chénal and of popularity papyalérati seem sím to be receding risíding. Inland ínlend there is some pretty príti country kántri.
CHAPTER chéptar XXXVII
BATTLE bétal ABBEY ébi
Le la Souvenir suvanír Normande—The Battle bétal of Hastings héistingz—Normans and Saxons séksanz on the eve ív—Taillefer—The battle bétal cries kráiz—The death déth of Harold hérald—Harold's hérald body bádi: three stories stóriz—The field fíld of blood blád—Building bílding the Abbey ébi—The Abbot's ébat privileges prívlajaz—Royal róial visitors vízatarz—A great feast físt—The suppression sapréshan of the Abbey ébi—Present-day prézant-déi Battle bétal—An incredible inkrédabal butler bátlar—Ashburnham—The last forge fórj—Ninfield—Crowhurst.
The principal prínsapal excursion ikskárzhan from Hastings héistingz is of course kórs to Battle bétal, whither wídhar a company of discreetly diskrítli satisfied sétasfaid Normans—Le la Souvenir suvanír Normande—recently rísantli travelled trévald, to view vyú with tactfully téktfali chastened chéisand enthusiasm inthúziezam the scene sín of the triumph tráiamf of 1066; to erect irékt a memorial mamórial; and to perplex parpléks the old ladies léidiz of Battle bétal who provide praváid tea tí. Except iksépt on one day of the week wík visitors vízatarz to Battle bétal must content kántent themselves dhemsélvz with tea tí (of which there is no stint stínt) and a view vyú of the gateway géitwei, for the rule rúl of showing shóuing the Abbey ébi only on Tuesdays túzdeiz is strictly stríktli enforced enfórst by the American amérakan gentleman jéntalman who now resides rizáidz on this historic histórik site sáit. But the gateway géitwei could hardly hárdli be finer fáinar.
[Sidenote: BATTLE bétal CRIES kráiz]
The battle-field bétalfíld was half héf a mile máil south sáuth of the Abbey ébi, on Telham hill híl, where in Harold's hérald day was a hoary hóri apple épal tree trí. We have seen sín William wílyam landing lénding at Pevensey on September septémbar 28, 1066: thence dhéns he marched márcht to Hastings héistingz "to steal stíl food fúd," and thence dhéns, after a delay diléi of a fortnight fórtnait (to some extent ikstént spent spént in fortifying fórtifaiing Hastings héistingz, and also in burning bárning his boats bóuts), he marched márcht to Telham hill híl. That was on October aktóubar 13. On the same day Harold hérald reached rícht the neighbourhood, with his horde hórd of soldiers sóuljarz and armed ármd rustics, and both armies ármiz encamped inkémpt that night náit only a mile máil apart apárt, waiting wéiting for the light láit to begin bigín the fray fréi. The Saxons séksanz were confident kánfadant and riotous ráiatas; the Normans hopeful hóupfal and grave gréiv. According akórding to Wace wéis, "all night náit the Saxons séksanz might be seen sín carousing karáuzing, gambolling, and dancing dénsing and singing sínging: bublie they cried kráid, and wassail, and laticome and drinkheil and drink-to-me drínktúmí!"
At daybreak déibreik in the Norman nórman camp kémp Bishop bíshap Odo celebrated sélabreitad High hái Mass més, and immediately imídiatli after was hurried hárid into his armour ármar to join jóin the fight fáit. As the Duke dúk was arming árming an incident ínsadant occurred akárd but for which Battle bétal Abbey ébi might never have been built bílt. His suit sút of mail méil was offered ófard him wrong róng side sáid out. The superstitious suparstíshas Normans standing sténding by looked lúkt sideways sáidweiz at each other with sinking sínking misgiving misgíving. They deemed dímd it a bad béd omen óuman. But William's wílyam face féis betrayed bitréid no fear fír. "If we win wín," he said, "and God gád send sénd we may, I will found an Abbey ébi here for the salvation selvéishan of the souls sóulz of all who fall fól in the engagement engéijmant." Before quitting kwíting his tent tént, he was careful kérfal that those relics réliks on which Harold hérald had sworn swórn never to oppose apóuz his efforts éfarts against England's íngland throne thróun should be hung háng around his neck nék.
So the two armies ármiz were ready rédi—the mounted máuntad Normans, with their conical kánikal helmets hélmats gleaming glíming in the hazy héizi sunlight sánlait, with kite-shaped káit-shéipt shields shíldz, huge hyúj spears spírz and swords sórdz; the English ínglish, all on foot fút, with heavy hévi axes éksiz and clubs klábz. But theirs dhérz was a defensive difénsiv part; the Normans had to begin bigín. It fell fél to the lot lát of a wild wáild troubadour trúbador named néimd Taillefer to open óupan the fight fáit. He galloped gélapt from the Norman nórman lines láinz at full fúl speed spíd, singing sínging a song sóng of heroes hírouz; then checked chékt his steed stíd and tossed tóst his lance léns thrice thráis in the air ér, thrice thráis catching kéching it by the point. The opposing apóuzing lines láinz silently sáilantli wondered wándard. Then he flung fláng it at a luckless láklas Saxon séksan with all the energy énarji of a madman médmen, spitting spíting him as a skewer skyúar spits spíts a lark lárk. Taillefer had now only his sword sórd left. This also he threw thrú thrice thráis into the air ér, and then seizing sízing it with the grip gríp of death déth he rode róud straight stréit at the Saxon séksan troops trúps, dealing díling blows blóuz from left to right, and so was lost lóst to view vyú.
Thus dhás the Battle bétal of Hastings héistingz began bigén. "On them in God's gád name néim," cried kráid William wílyam, "and chastise chestáiz these English ínglish for their misdeeds misdídz." "Dieu aide éid," his men mén screamed skrímd, spurring spáring to the attack aték. "Out, Out!" barked bárkt the English ínglish, "Holy hóuli Cross krós! God gád Almighty olmáiti!" The carnage kárnij was terrific tarífik. It seemed símd for long that the English ínglish were prevailing privéiling; and they would, in all likelihood láiklihud, have prevailed privéild in the end had they kept képt their position pazíshan. But William wílyam feigned féind a retreat ritrít, and the English ínglish crossed króst their vallum in pursuit parsút. The Normans at once wáns turned tárnd their horses hórsaz and pursued parsúd and butchered búchard the unprepared anpripérd enemy énami singly síngli in the open óupan country kántri. A complete kamplít rout ráut followed fáloud. The false fóls step stép was decisive disáisiv.
[Sidenote: THE DEATH déth OF HAROLD hérald]
Not till tíl night náit, however, did Harold hérald fall fól. He upheld aphéld his standard sténdard to the last, hedged héjd about by a valiant vélyant bodyguard bádigard who resisted rizístid the Normans till tíl every sign sáin of life was battered bétard out of them. The story stóri of the vertically-discharged vártikli-dischárjd arrows érouz is a myth míth. An eye-witness áiwítnas thus dhás described diskráibd Harold's hérald death déth: "An armed ármd man," said he, "came in the throng thróng of the battle bétal and struck strák him on the ventaille of the helmet hélmat and beat bít him to the ground gráund; and as he sought sót to recover rikávar himself himsélf a knight náit beat bít him down again, striking stráiking him on the thick thík of the thigh thái down to the bone bóun." So died dáid Harold hérald, on the exact igzékt site sáit of the high hái altar óltar of the Abbey ébi, and so passed pést away awéi the Saxon séksan kingdom kíngdam.
That night náit, William wílyam, who was unharmed anhármd, though dhóu three horses hórsaz were killed kíld under him, had his tent tént set up in the midst mídst of the dead déd, and there he ate éit and drank drénk. In the morning mórning the Norman nórman corpses kórpsaz were picked píkt out and buried bérid with due dú rites ráits; the Saxons séksanz were left to rot rát. According akórding to the Carmen kárman William wílyam I. had Harold's hérald body bádi wrapped répt in purple párpal linen línan and carried kérid to Hastings héistingz, where it was buried bérid on the cliff klíf beneath biníth a stone stóun inscribed inskráibd with the words wárdz: "By the order órdar of the Duke dúk, you rest rést here, King kíng Harold hérald, as the guardian gárdian of the shore shór and the sea sí." Mr. Lower lóuar was convinced kanvínst of the truth trúth of that story stóri; but William wílyam of Malmesbury says séz that William wílyam sent sént Harold's hérald body bádi to his mother mádhar the Countess káuntas Gytha jáidha, who buried bérid it at Waltham wóltham, while a third thárd account akáunt shows shóuz us Editha édidha of the Swan swán Neck nék, Harold's hérald wife wáif, wandering wándaring through the blood-stained blád-stéind grass grés, among amáng the fallen fálan English ínglish, until she found the body bádi of her husband házband, which she craved kréivd leave lív to carry kéri away awéi. William wílyam, this version várzhan adds édz, could not deny dinái her.
[Sidenote: THE FIELD fíld OF BLOOD blád]
Fuller fúlar writes ráits in the Worthies wárdhiz, concerning kansárning the wonders wándarz of Sussex sásiks:—"Expect ikspékt not here I should insert insárt what William wílyam of Newbury núberi writeth (to be recounted rikáuntid rather rédhar amongst amángst the Untruths antrúths than Wonders wándarz); viz. 'That in this County káunti, not far fár from Battail-Abby, in the Place where so great a slaughter slótar of the Englishmen englíshman was made, after any shower sháuar, presently prézantli sweateth forth fórth very fresh frésh blood blád out of the Earth árth, as if the evidence évadans thereof dheráv did plainly pléinli declare diklér the voice vóis of Bloud there shed shéd, and crieth still from the Earth árth unto ántu the Lord lórd.' This is as true trú, as that in white wáit chalky Countries kántriz (about Baldock béldak in Hertfordshire) after rain réin run rán rivolets of Milk mílk; Neither nídhar being anything énithing else éls than the Water wótar discoloured, according akórding to the Complexion kampékshan of the Earth árth thereabouts dherabáuts."
The Conqueror kánkarar was true trú to his vow váu, and the Abbey ébi of St strít. Martin mártan was quickly kwíkli begun bigán. At first there was difficulty dífakalti about the stone stóun, which was brought brót all the way from Caen kén quarries kwóriz, until, according akórding to an old writer ráitar, a pious páias matron méitran dreamed drímd that stone stóun in large lárj quantities kwántatiz was to be found near nír at hand hénd. Her vision vízhan leading líding to the discovery diskávari of a neighbouring quarry kwóri, the work proceeded prasídad henceforward with exceeding iksíding rapidity rapídati.
[Sidenote: ST strít. MARTIN'S mártan ABBEY ébi]
Although the first Abbot ébat was appointed apóintad in 1076, William wílyam the Conqueror kánkarar did not live láiv to see the Abbey ébi finished fínisht. Sixty síksti monks mánks of the Order órdar of St strít. Benedict bénadikt came to Battle bétal from the Abbey ébi of Marmontier in Normandy nórmandi, to form fórm its nucleus núklias. It was left to William wílyam Rufus rúfas to preside prizáid over the consecration kansakréishan of Battle bétal, which was not until February fébyaweri, 1095, when the ceremony séramouni was performed parfórmd amid amíd much pomp pámp. William wílyam presented prizéntad to the Abbey ébi his father's fádhar coronation koranéishan robe róub and the sword sórd he had wielded wíldid in the battle bétal. Several sévral wealthy wélthi manors ménarz were attached atécht and the country kántri round ráund was exempted igzémptid from tax téks; while the Abbots were made superior supíriar to episcopal ipískapal control kantróul, and were endowed endáud with the right to sit sít in Parliament párlamant and a London lándan house to live láiv in during the session séshan. Indeed indíd nothing náthing was left undone andán that could minister mínastar to the pride práid and power páuar of the new house of God gád.
The Abbey ébi of St strít. Martin mártan was quadrangular, standing sténding in the midst mídst of a circle sárkal nine náin miles máilz round ráund. Within this were vineyards vínyardz, stew stú ponds pándz and rich rích land lénd. Just without was a small street strít of artisans ártazanz' dwellings dwélingz, where were manufactured menyafékchard all things requisite rékwazat for the monks mánks' material matírial well-being wélbíing. The church chárch was the largest lárjast in the country kántri, larger lárjar even than Canterbury kéntarberi. It was also a sanctuary sénkchueri, any sentenced séntanst criminal krímanal who succeeded saksídad in sheltering shéltaring therein dherín receiving rasíving absolution ebsalúshan from the Abbot ébat. The high hái altar óltar, as I have said, was erected iréktad precisely prisáisli on the spot spát where Harold hérald fell fél: a spot spát on which one may now stand sténd and think of the past pést.
Battle bétal Abbey ébi was more than once wáns visited vízatad by kings kíngz. In 1200 John ján was there, shaking shéiking like a quicksand kwíksend. He brought brót a piece pís of our Lord's lórd sepulchre, which had been wrested réstid from Palestine pélastain by Richard ríchard the Lion láian Heart hárt, and laid léid it with tremulous trémyalas hands héndz on the altar óltar, hoping hóuping that the magnificence of the gift gíft might close klóus Heaven's hévan eyes áiz towards tawórdz sins sínz of his own. In 1212, he was at Battle bétal Abbey ébi again, and for the last time in 1213, seeking síking, maybe méibi, to find in these silent sáilant cloisters klóistarz some forgetfulness of the mutterings mátaringz of hate héit and scorn skórn that everywhere évriwer followed fáloud him.
[Sidenote: KINGS kíngz AT BATTLE bétal]
Just before the Battle bétal of Lewes, Henry hénri III. galloped gélapt up, attended aténdad by a body-guard bádigárd of overbearing óuvarbéring horsemen hórsman, and levied lévid large lárj sums sámz of money máni to assist asíst him in the struggle strágal. After the battle bétal he returned ritárnd, a weary wíri refugee réfyuji, but still rapacious rapéshis.
These visits vízats were not welcome wélkam. It was different when Edward édward II. slept slépt there on the night náit of August ágast 28th, 1324. Alan élan de dí Ketbury, the Abbot ébat, was bent bént on showing shóuing loyalty lóialti at all cost kást, while the neighbouring lords lórdz and squires skwáiarz were hardly hárdli less lés eager ígar. The Abbot's ébat contribution kantrabyúshan to the kitchen kíchan included inklúdad twenty twénti score skór and four loaves lóuvz of bread bréd, two swans swánz, two rabbits rébats, three fessantes, and a dozen dázan capons; William wílyam de dí Echingham sent sént three peacocks píkaks, twelve twélv bream brím, six síks muttons, and other delicacies délikasiz; and Robert rábart Acheland four rabbits rébats, six síks swans swánz, and three herons héranz.
In 1331, Abbot ébat Hamo and his monks mánks kept képt at bay béi a body bádi of French frénch marauders maródarz, who had landed léndad at Rye rái, until the country kántri gentlemen jéntalmin could assemble asémbal and repulse ripáls them utterly átarli.
Then followed fáloud two peaceful písfal centuries sénchariz; but afterwards éftarwardz came disaster dizéstar, for, in 1558, Thomas támas Cromwell krámwal sent sént down two commissioners kamíshanarz to examine igzémin into the state stéit of the Abbey ébi and report ripórt thereon dherón to the zealous zélas Defender diféndar of the Faith féith. The Commissioners kamíshanarz found nineteen náintín books búks in the library láibreri, and rumours rumarz of monkish debauchery dabóchari without the walls wólz. "So beggary a house," wrote róut one of the officers ófasarz, "I never see." Battle bétal Abbey ébi was therefore dhérfor suppressed saprést and presented prizéntad to Sir sár Anthony énthani Browne bráun, upon apán whom húm, as we saw só in the first chapter chéptar, the "Curse kárs of Cowdray" was pronounced pranáunst by the last departing dipárting monk mánk.
To catalogue kétalog the present prézant features fícharz of Battle bétal Abbey ébi is to vulgarise it. One comes kámz away awéi with confused kanfyúzd memories mémariz of grey gréi walls wólz embraced embréist by white wáit clematis klématis and red réd rose róuz; gloomy glúmi underground ándargraund caverns kévarnz with double dábal rows róuz of arches árchaz, where the Brothers brádharz might not speak spík; benignant cedars sídarz blessing blésing the turf tárf with extended iksténdad hands héndz; fragrant fréigrant limes láimz waving wéiving their delicate délakat leaves lívz; an old rose róuz garden gárdan with fantastic fentéstik beds bédz; a long yew yú walk wók where the Brothers brádharz might meditatively pace péis—turning tárning, perhaps parhéps, an epigram épagrem, regretting rigréting, perhaps parhéps, the world. Nothing náthing now remains riméinz of the Refectory, where, of old, forty fórti monks mánks fed féd like one, except iksépt the walls wólz. It once wáns had a noble nóubal roof rúf of Irish áirish oak óuk, but that was taken téikan to Cowdray and perished périsht in the fire fáiar there, together tagédhar with the Abbey ébi roll róul. One of the Abbey's ébi first charms chármz is the appropriateness apróupriatnas of its gardens gárdanz; they too are old. In the cloisters klóistarz, for instance ínstans, there are wonderful wándarfal box báks borders bórdarz.
[Sidenote: TURNER'S tárnar PICTURE píkchar]
Turner tárnar painted péintad "Battle bétal Abbey ébi: the spot spát where Harold hérald fell fél," with a greyhound gréihaund pressing présing hard hárd upon apán a hare hér in the foreground fórgraund, and a Scotch skách fir fár Italianated into a golden góuldan bough báu.
The town táun of Battle bétal has little interest íntrast. In the church chárch is a brass brés to Thomas támas Alfraye and his wife wáif Elizabeth ilízabath—Thomas támas Alfraye "whose húz soul sóul" according akórding to his epitaph épatef,
In active éktiv strength strénkth did passe peséi As nere was found his peere.
One would like to know more of this Samson sémsan. The tomb túm of Sir sár Anthony énthani Browne bráun is also here; but it is not so imposing impóuzing as that of his son sán, the first Viscount vískaunt Montagu mántagyu, which we saw só at Easebourne. In the churchyard chárchyard is the grave gréiv of Isaac áizak Ingall, the oldest óuldast butler bátlar on record rakórd, who died dáid at the age éij of one hundred hándrad and twenty twénti, after acting ékting as butler bátlar at the Abbey ébi for ninety-five náinti-fáiv years.
From Battle bétal one may reach rích easily ízali Normanhurst, the seat sít of the Brasseys, and Ashburnham Park párk, just to the north nórth of it, a superb supárb undulating ánjaleiting domain douméin, with lakes léiks, an imposing impóuzing mansion ménshan, an old church chárch, brake bréik fern fárn, magnificent megnífasant trees tríz and a herd hárd of deer dír, all within its confines kánfainz. Of the church chárch, however, I can say nothing náthing, for I was there on a very hot hát day, the door dór was locked lákt, and the key kí was at the vicarage, ten tén minutes mínats' distant dístant, at the top táp of a hill híl. Churches chárchaz that are thus dhás controlled kantróuld must be neglected nagléktad.
Ashburnham Place once wáns contained kantéind some of the finest fáinast books búks in England íngland and is still famous féimas for its relics réliks of Charles chárlz I.; but strangers stréinjarz may not see them. The best bést Sussex sásiks iron áiarn was smelted at Ashburnham Furnace fárnas, north nórth of the park párk, near nír Penhurst. Ashburnham Forge fórj was the last to remain riméin at work in the county káunti; its last surviving sarváiving labourer of the neighbourhood died dáid in 1883. He remembered rimémbard the extinguishing ikstíngwishing of the fire fáiar in 1813 (or 1811), the casting késting of fire-backs fáiarbéks being the final fáinal task tésk. Penhurst, by the way, is one of the most curiously kyúriasli remote rimóut villages vílajaz in east íst Sussex sásiks, with the oddest ádast little church chárch.
I walked wókt to Ashburnham from Ninfield, a clean klín breezy brízi village vílaj on the hill híl overlooking óuvarluking Pevensey Bay béi, with a locked lákt church chárch, and iron áiarn stocks stáks by the side sáid of the road róud. It is stated stéitad somewhere sámwer that at "that corner kórnar of Crouch kráuch Lane léin that leads lídz to Lunford Cross krós, and so to Bexhill and Hastings héistingz," was buried bérid a suicide súasaid in 1675. At how many cross krós roads róudz in Sussex sásiks and elsewhere élswer does one stand sténd over such graves gréivz?
One may return ritárn to Hastings héistingz by way of Catsfield, which has little interest íntrast, and Crowhurst, famous féimas for the remains riméinz of a beautiful byútafal manor ménar house and a yew yú tree trí supposed sapóuzd to be the oldest óuldast in Sussex sásiks. It is curious kyúrias that Crowhurst in Surrey sári is also known nóun for a great yew yú.
CHAPTER chéptar XXXVIII
WINCHELSEA AND RYE rái
Medieval midíval Sussex sásiks—The suddenness sádannas of Rye rái—The approach apróuch by night náit—Cities sítiz of the plain pléin—Old Winchelsea—The freakish sea sí—New Winchelsea—The eternal itárnal French frénch problem práblam—Modern mádarn Winchelsea—The Alard alárd tombs túmz—Denis dénis Duval duvél and the Westons—John ján Wesley wésli—Old Rye rái—John ján Fletcher fléchar—The Jeakes'—An unknown annóun poet póuat—Rye rái church chárch—The eight éit bells bélz—Rye's rái streets stríts—Rye rái ancient éinchant and modern mádarn—A Rye rái ceramist—Pett pét—Icklesham's accounts akáunts—A complacent kampléisant epitaph épatef—Iden áidan and Playden—Udimore's church chárch—Brede bríd Place—The Oxenbridges—Dean dín Swift swíft as a baby béibi.
In the opinion apínyan of many good judges jájiz Sussex sásiks has nothing náthing to offer ófar so fascinating fésaneiting as Winchelsea and Rye rái; and in certain sártan reposeful moods múdz, when the past pést seems símz to be more than the present prézant or future fyúchar, I can agree agrí with them. We have seen sín many ancient éinchant towns táunz in our progress prágres through the county káunti—Chichester chíchestar around her cathedral kathídral spire spáir, Arundel érandal beneath biníth her grey gréi castle késal, Lewes among amáng her hills hílz—but all have modern mádarn blood blád in their veins véinz. Winchelsea and Rye rái seem sím wholly hóuli of the past pést. Nothing náthing can modernise them.
Rye rái approached apróucht from the east íst is the suddenest thing thíng in the world. The traveller trévalar leaves lívz Ashford éshfard, in a South sáuth Eastern ístarn train tréin, amid amíd all the circumstances sárkamstensaz of ordinary órdaneri travel tréval; he passes pésaz through the ordinary órdaneri scenery sínari of Kent ként; the porters pórtarz call kól Rye rái, and in a moment móumant he is in the middle mídal ages éijaz.
Rye rái is only a few yards yárdz from its station stéishan: Winchelsea, on the other hand hénd, is a mile máil from the line láin, and one has time on the road róud to understand andarsténd one's surroundings saráundingz. It is important impórtant that the traveller trévalar who wishes wíshiz to experience ikspírians the right medieval midíval thrill thríl should come to Winchelsea either ídhar at dusk dásk or at night náit. To make acquaintance akwéintans with any new town táun by night náit is to double dábal one's pleasure plézhar; for there is a first joy jói in the curious kyúrias half-seen héfsín strangeness stréinjnas of the streets stríts and houses háusaz, and a further fárdhar joy jói in correcting karékting by the morrow's márou light láit the distorted distórtad impressions impréshanz gathered gédhard in the dark dárk.
[Sidenote: APPROACH apróuch AT DUSK dásk]
To come for the first time upon apán Winchelsea at dusk dásk, whether wédhar from the station stéishan or from Rye rái, is to receive rasív an impression impréshan almost ólmoust if not quite unique yuník in England íngland; since there is no other town táun throned like this upon apán a green grín hill híl, to be gained géind only through massive mésiv gateways géitweiz. From the station stéishan one would enter éntar at the Pipewell Gate géit; from Rye rái, by the Strand strénd Gate géit. The Strand strénd approach apróuch is perhaps parhéps a shade shéid finer fáinar and more romantically rouméntikali unreal anríl.
[Sidenote: THE FREAKISH SEA sí]
Winchelsea and Rye rái are remarkable rimárkabal in being not only perched párcht each upon apán a solitary sálateri hillock hílak in a vast vést level léval or marsh mársh, but in being hillocks in themselves dhemsélvz. In the case of Winchelsea there are trees tríz and green grín spaces spéisaz to boot bút, but Rye rái and its hillock hílak are one; every inch ínch is given over to red réd brick brík and grey gréi stone stóun. They are true trú cities sítiz of the plain pléin. Between them are three miles máilz of flat flét meadow médou, where, among amáng thousands tháuzandz of sheep shíp, stands sténdz the grey gréi rotundity of Camber kémbar Castle késal. All this land lénd is polder póuldar, as the Dutch dách call kól it, yet yét not reclaimed rikléimd from the sea sí by any feat fít of engineering énjaníring, as about the Helder héldar, but presented prizéntad by Neptune néptun as a free frí and not too welcome wélkam gift gíft to these ancient éinchant boroughs bárouz—possibly pásabli to equalise his theft théft of acres éikarz of good park párk at Selsey. Once wáns a Cinque sínk Port pórt of the first magnitude mégnatud, Winchelsea is now an inland ínlend resort rizórt of the antiquary and the artist ártast. Where fishermen físharmin once wáns dropped drápt their nets néts, shepherds shépardz now watch wách their sheep shíp; where the marauding maróding French frénch were wont wóunt to rush rásh in with sword sórd and torch tórch, tourists túrasts now toil tóil with camera kémara and guide-book gáidbúk.
The light láit above abáv the sheep shíp levels lévalz changes chéinjaz continually kantínyuali: at one hour áuar Rye rái seems símz but a stone's stóun throw thróu from Winchelsea; at another she is miles máilz distant dístant; at a third thárd she looms lúmz twice twáis her size sáiz through the haze héiz, and Camber kémbar is seen sín as a fortress fórtras of old romance rouméns.
Rye rái stands sténdz where it always stood stúd: but the original aríjanal Winchelsea is no more. It was built bílt two miles máilz south-south-east sáuth-sáuth-íst of Rye rái, on a spot spát since covered kávard by the sea sí but now again dry drái land lénd. At Old Winchelsea William wílyam the Conqueror kánkarar landed léndad in 1067 after a visit vízat to Normandy nórmandi; in 1138 Henry hénri II. landed léndad there, while the French frénch landed léndad often ófan, sometimes samtáimz disastrously dizéstrasli and sometimes samtáimz not. In those days déiz Winchelsea had seven sévan hundred hándrad householders háushouldarz and fifty fífti inns ínz. In 1250, however, began bigén her downfall dáunfol. Holinshed writes ráits:—"On the first day of October aktóubar (1250), the moon mún, upon apán her change chéinj, appearing apíring exceeding iksíding red réd and swelled swéld, began bigén to show shóu tokens tóukanz of the great tempest témpast of wind wínd that followed fáloud, which was so huge hyúj and mightie, both by land lénd and sea sí, that the like had not been lightlie knowne, and seldome, or rather rédhar never heard hárd of by men mén then alive aláiv. The sea sí forced fórst contrarie to his natural nécharal course kórs, flowed flóud twice twáis without ebbing ébing, yeelding such a rooring that the same was heard hárd (not without great woonder) a farre distance dístans from the shore shór. Moreover moróuvar, the same sea sí appeared apírd in the darke dárk of the night náit to burne bárn, as it had been on fire fáiar, and the waves wéivz to strive stráiv and fight fáit togither after a marvellous sort sórt, so that the mariners méranarz could not devise diváiz how to save séiv their ships shíps where they laie at anchor énkar, by no cunning káning or shift shíft which they could devise diváiz. At Hert-burne hártbárn three tall-ships tólshíps perished périsht without recoverie, besides bisáidz other smaller smólar vessels vésalz. At Winchelsey, besides bisáidz other hurte that was doone, in bridges bríjaz, milles, breakes, and banks bénks, there were 300 houses háusaz and some churches chárchaz drowned dráund with the high hái rising ráizing of the water wótar course kórs."
[Sidenote: WINCHELSEA'S VICISSITUDES visísitudz]
The Winchelsea people, however, did not abandon abéndan their town táun. In 1264 Henry hénri III. was there on his way to the Battle bétal of Lewes, and later léitar, Eleanor élanor, wife wáif of Henry's hénri conqueror kánkarar, de dí Montfort mántfart, was there too, and encouraged enkárijd by her kindness káindnas to them the Winchelsea men mén took túk to active éktiv sea sí piracy páirasi, which de dí Montfort mántfart encouraged enkárijd. In 1266, however, Prince príns Edward édward, who disliked disláikt piracy páirasi, descended diséndad upon apán the town táun and chastised chestáizd it bloodily; while on February fébyaweri 4, 1287, a greater gréitar punishment pánishmant came, for during another storm stórm the town táun was practically préktakli drowned dráund, all the flat flét land lénd between Pett pét and Hythe being inundated ínandeitid. New Winchelsea, the Winchelsea of to-day túdéi, was forthwith fórthwíth begun bigán under royal róial patronage pétranij on a rock rák near nír Icklesham, the north nórth and east íst sides sáidz of which were washed wásht by the sea sí. A castle késal was set there, and gates géits, of which three still stand sténd—Pipewell, Strand strénd and New—rose róuz from the earth árth. The Grey gréi Friars fráiarz monastery mánasteri and other religious rilíjas houses háusaz were reproduced ripradúst as at Old Winchelsea, and a prosperous prásparas town táun quickly kwíkli existed igzístad.
New Winchelsea was soon sún busy bízi. In 1350 a battle bétal between the English ínglish and Spanish spénish fleets flíts was waged wéijd off the town táun, an exciting iksáiting spectacle spéktakal for the Court kórt, who watched wácht from the high hái ground gráund. Edward édward III., the English ínglish king kíng, when victory víktari was his, rode róud to Etchingham for the night náit. In 1359, 3,000 Frenchmen frénchmen entered éntard Winchelsea and set fire fáiar to it; while in 1360 the Cinque sínk Ports pórts navy néivi sailed séild from Winchelsea and burned bárnd Luce lús. Such were the reprisals ripráizalz of those days déiz. In 1376 the French frénch came again and were repulsed ripálst by the Abbot ébat of Battle bétal, but in 1378 the Abbot ébat had to run rán. In 1448 the French frénch came for the last time, the sea sí having héving become bikám very shallow shélou; and a little later léitar the sea sí receded rasídad altogether oltagédhar, Henry hénri VIII. suppressed saprést the religious rilíjas houses háusaz, and Winchelsea's heyday héidei was over.
She is now a quiet kwáiat, aloof alúf settlement sétalmant of pleasant plézant houses háusaz and gardens gárdanz, prosperous prásparas and idle áidal. Rye rái might be called kóld a city síti of trade tréid, Winchelsea of repose ripóuz. She spreads sprédz her hands héndz to the sun sán and is content kántent.
[Sidenote: THE ALARD alárd TOMBS túmz]
Winchelsea's church chárch stands sténdz, as a church chárch should, in the midst mídst of its green grín acre éikar, fully fúli visible vízabal from every side sáid—the very antipodes of Rye rái. Large lárj as it now is, it was once wáns far fár larger lárjar, for only the chancel and side sáid aisles áilz remain riméin. The glory glóri of the church chárch is the canopied tomb túm of Gervase gárvas Alard alárd, Admiral édmaral of the Cinque sínk Ports pórts, and that of his grandson gréndsan Stephen stívan Alard alárd, also Admiral édmaral, both curiously kyúriasli carved kárvd with grotesque groutésk heads hédz. The roof rúf beams bímz of the church chárch, timber tímbar from wrecked rékt or broken bróukan ships shíps, are of an integrity intégrati so thorough thárou that a village vílaj carpenter kárpantar who recently rísantli climbed kláimd up to test tést them blunted blántad all his tools túlz in the enterprise éntarpraiz.
[Sidenote: THE WESTONS]
All that remains riméinz of the Grey gréi Friars fráiarz monastery mánasteri may now be seen sín (on Mondays mándiz only) in the estate istéit called kóld The Friars fráiarz: the shell shél of the chapel's chépal choir kwáiar, prettily covered kávard with ivy áivi. Here once wáns lived láivd, in the odour of perfect parfékt respectability rispektabíliti, the brothers brádharz Weston wéstan, who, country kántri gentlemen jéntalmin of quiet kwáiat habit hébat at home, for several sévral years ravaged révijd the coach kóuch roads róudz elsewhere élswer as highwaymen, and were eventually ivénchawali hanged héngd at Tyburn. Their place in literature lítarachar is, of course kórs, Denis dénis Duval duvél, which Thackeray thékari wrote róut in a house on the north nórth of the churchyard chárchyard, and which is all of Winchelsea and Rye rái compact kámpekt, as the author's óthar letters létarz to Mr. Greenwood grínwud, editor édatar of Cornhill, detailing ditéiling the plot plát (in the person pársan of Denis dénis himself himsélf) go to show shóu. Thus dhás:—
"I was born bórn in the year 1764, at Winchelsea, where my father fádhar was a grocer gróusar and clerk klárk of the church chárch. Everybody évribadi in the place was a good deal díl connected kanéktad with smuggling smágling.
"There used to come to our house a very noble nóubal French frénch gentleman jéntalman, called kóld the COUNT káunt DE dí LA lá MOTTE mát, and with him a German járman, the BARON béran DE dí LUeTTERLOH. My father fádhar used to take packages pékajaz to Ostend and Calais kaléi for these two gentlemen jéntalmin, and perhaps parhéps I went to Paris péris once wáns, and saw só the French frénch Queen kwín.
"The squire skwáir of our town táun was SQUIRE skwáir WESTON wéstan of the Priory práiari, who, with his brother brádhar, kept képt one of the genteelest houses háusaz in the country kántri. He was churchwarden of our church chárch, and much respected rispéktid. Yes, but if you read réd the Annual ényual Register réjistar of 1781, you will find that on the 13th July julái the sheriffs shérafs attended aténdad at the TOWER táuar OF LONDON lándan to receive rasív custody kástadi of a De dí la lá Motte mát, a prisoner prízanar charged chárjd with high hái treason trízan. The fact fékt is, this Alsatian elséishan nobleman nóubalman being in difficulties dífakaltiz in his own country kántri (where he had commanded kaméndad the Regiment réjamant Soubise), came to London lándan, and under pretence of sending sénding prints prínts to France fréns and Ostend, supplied sapláid the French frénch Ministers mínastarz with accounts akáunts of the movements múvmants of the English ínglish fleets flíts and troops trúps. His go-between góubitwín was Luetterloh, a Brunswicker, who had been a crimping-agent krímping-éijant, then a servant sárvant, who was a spy spái of France fréns and Mr. Franklin frénklin, and who turned tárnd king's kíng evidence évadans on La lá Motte mát, and hanged héngd him.
"This Luetterloh, who had been a crimping-agent krímping-éijant for German járman troops trúps during the American amérakan war wór, then a servant sárvant in London lándan during the Gordon górdan riots ráiats, then an agent éijant for a spy spái, then a spy spái over a spy spái, I suspect saspékt to have been a consummate kánsamat scoundrel skáundral, and doubly dábli odious óudias from speaking spíking English ínglish with a German járman accent aksént.
"What if he wanted wántad to marry méri THAT CHARMING chárming GIRL gárl, who lived láivd with Mr. Weston wéstan at Winchelsea? Ha há! I see a mystery místari here.
"What if this scoundrel skáundral, going to receive rasív his pay péi from the English ínglish Admiral édmaral, with whom húm he was in communication kamyunakéishan at Portsmouth pórtsmath, happened hépand to go on board bórd the Royal róial George jórj the day she went down?
"As for George jórj and Joseph jóusaf Weston wéstan, of the Priory práiari, I am ém sorry sári to say they were rascals réskalz too. They were tried tráid for robbing rábing the Bristol brístal mail méil in 1780; and being acquitted akwítad for want of evidence évadans, were tried tráid immediately imídiatli after on another indictment indáitmant for forgery fórjari—Joseph jóusaf was acquitted akwítad, but George jórj was capitally convicted kanvíktad. But this did not help hélp poor púr Joseph jóusaf. Before their trials tráialz, they and some others ádharz broke bróuk out of Newgate núgeit, and Joseph jóusaf fired fáiard at, and wounded wúndad, a porter pórtar who tried tráid to stop stáp him, on Snow snóu Hill híl. For this he was tried tráid and found guilty gílti on the Black blék Act ékt, and hung háng along alóng with his brother brádhar.
"Now, if I was an innocent ínasant participator in De dí la lá Motte's mát treasons, and the Westons' forgeries fórjariz and robberies rábariz, what pretty príti scrapes skréips I must have been in.
"I married mérid the young yáng woman wúman, whom húm the brutal brútal Luetterloh would have had for himself himsélf, and lived láivd happy hépi ever évar after."
[Sidenote: DENIS dénis DUVAL'S duvél BOYHOOD bóihud]
"My grandfather's gréndfadhar name néim was Duval duvél; he was a barber bárbar and perruquier by trade tréid, and elder éldar of the French frénch Protestant prátastant church chárch at Winchelsea. I was sent sént to board bórd with his correspondent koraspándant, a Methodist méthadast grocer gróusar, at Rye rái.
"These two kept képt a fishing-boat físhing-bóut, but the fish físh they caught kát was many and many a barrel béral of Nantz nénts brandy bréndi, which we landed léndad—never mind máind where—at a place to us well known nóun. In the innocence ínasans of my heart hárt, I—a child cháild—got leave lív to go out fishing físhing. We used to go out at night náit and meet mít ships shíps from the French frénch coast kóust.
"I learned lárnd to scuttle skátal a marlinspike, reef ríf a lee-scupper lískápar, keelhaul a bowsprit
as well as the best bést of them. How well I remember rimémbar the jabbering of the Frenchmen frénchmen the first night náit as they handed héndad the kegs kégz over to us! One night náit we were fired fáiard into by his Majesty's méjasti revenue révanu cutter kátar Lynx línks. I asked éskt what those balls bólz were fizzing in the water wótar, etc etsétara.
"I wouldn't go on with the smuggling smágling; being converted kanvártid by Mr. Wesley wésli, who came to preach prích to us at Rye rái—but that is neither nídhar here nor nór there...."
[Sidenote: JOHN ján WESLEY wésli]
It was under the large lárj tree trí of the west wést wall wól of the churchyard chárchyard that in 1790 John ján Wesley wésli preached prícht his last outdoor áutdor sermon sárman, afterwards éftarwardz walking wóking through "that poor púr skeleton skélatan of ancient éinchant Winchelsea," as he called kóld it.
Rye rái, like Winchelsea, has had a richer ríchar history hístari than I can cope kóup with. She was an important impórtant seaport síport from the earliest árliast times táimz; and among amáng other of our enemies énamiz who knew nú her value vélyu were the Danes déinz, two hundred hándrad and fifty fífti of whose húz vessels vésalz entered éntard the harbour hárbar in the year 893. Later léitar the French frénch continually kantínyuali menaced ménast her, hardly hárdli less lés than her sister sístar Cinque sínk Port pórt, but Rye rái bore bór so little malice mélas that during the persecutions parsakyúshans in France fréns in the sixteenth sikstínth century sénchari she received rasívd hundreds hándradz of Huguenot hyúganat refugees réfyujiz, whose húz descendants diséndants still live láiv in the town táun. Many monarchs mánarks have come hither hídhar, among amáng them Queen kwín Elizabeth ilízabath, in 1573, dubbing dábing Rye rái "Rye rái Royal róial" and Winchelsea "Little London lándan."
[Sidenote: THE THREE JEAKES]
Rye rái has had at least líst one notable nóutabal son sán, John ján Fletcher fléchar the dramatist drámatist, associate asóusiat of Francis frénsas Beaumont bóumont and perhaps parhéps of Shakespeare shéikspir, and author óthar of "The Faithful féithfal Shepherdess." Fletcher's fléchar father fádhar was vicar víkar of Rye rái. The town táun also gave géiv birth bárth to a curious kyúrias father fádhar, son sán, and grandson gréndsan, all named néimd Samuel sémyul Jeake. The first, born bórn in 1623, the author óthar of "The Charters chártarz of the Cinque sínk Ports pórts," 1728, was a lawyer lóyar, a bold bóuld Nonconformist nankanfórmist, a preacher príchar, an astrologer astrálajar and an alchemist élchamist, whose húz library láibreri contained kantéind works wárks in fifteen fiftín languages léngwajaz but no copy kápi of Shakespeare shéikspir or Milton míltan. He left a treatise trítas on the Elixir ilíksar of Life. The second, at the age éij of nineteen náintín, was "somewhat sámwát acquainted akwéintid with the Latin létan, Greek grík, and Hebrew híbru, rhetoric rétarik, logic lájik, poetry póuatri, natural nécharal philosophy falásafi, arithmetic erithmétik, geometry jiámatri, cosmography, astronomy astránami, astrology astrálaji, geography jiágrafi, theology thiálaji, physics fíziks, dialling, navigation névagéishan, caligraphy, stenography, drawing dróing, heraldry héraldri and history hístari." He also drew drú horoscopes hóraskoups, wrote róut treatises trítasaz on astrology astrálaji and other sciences sáiansaz, suffered sáfard, like his father fádhar, for his religion rilíjan, and when he was twenty-nine twénti-náin married mérid Elizabeth ilízabath Hartshorne hárcharn, aged éijd thirteen thártín and a half héf. They had six síks children. The third thárd Samuel sémyul Jeake was famous féimas for constructing kanstrákting a flying fláiing machine mashín, which refused rafyúzd to fly flái, and nearly nírli killed kíld him.
Rye rái also possessed pazést an unknown annóun poet póuat. On a blank blénk leaf líf in an old book búk in the town's táun archives árkaivz is written rítan this poem póuam, in the hand hénd of Henry hénri VIII.'s time:—
What greater gréitar gryffe may hape Trew trú lovers lávarz to anoye, Then absente for to sepratte them From ther desiered joye jói?
What comforte reste them then To ease íz them of ther smarte, But for to thincke and myndful bee bí Of them they love láv in harte hárt?
And eicke that they assured ashúrd bee bí Etche toe tóu another in harte hárt, That nothinge shall shél them seperate Untylle deathe doe dóu them parte párt?
And thoughe the dystance of the place Doe dóu severe savír us in twayne, Yet yét shall shél my harte hárt thy dhái harte hárt imbrace Tyll we doe dóu meete agayne.
[Sidenote: THE SANGUINARY BUTCHER búchar]
The church chárch, the largest lárjast in Sussex sásiks, dominates dámaneits Rye rái from every point, and so tightly táitli are the houses háusaz compressed kamprést that from the plain pléin the spire spáir seems símz to be the completion kamplíshan not only of the church chárch but of the town táun too. The building bílding stands sténdz in what is perhaps parhéps the quietest kwáiatast and quaintest church chárch square skwér in England íngland, possessing pazésing beyond biánd all question kwéschan the discreetest of pawnbroker's shops sháps, marked márkt by three brass brés balls bólz that positively pázativli have charm chárm. The church chárch is cool kúl and spacious spéishas, with noble nóubal plain pléin windows wíndouz (and one very pretty príti little one by Burne-Jones bárnjóunz), and some very interesting íntrasting architectural arkatékcharal features fícharz. Too little care kér seems símz, however, to have been spent spént upon apán it at some previous prívias time. The verger shows shóuz with a pride práid little short shórt of proprietary prapráiateri a mahogany mahágani altar óltar said to have been taken téikan from one of the vessels vésalz of the Armada armáda (and therefore dhérfor oddly ádli inappropriate inapróupriit for a Church chárch of England íngland service sárvas), and the tomb túm of one Alan élan Grebell, who, happening hépaning one night náit in 1742 to be wearing wéring the cloak klóuk of his brother-in-law brádhar-in-ló the Mayor méiar, was killed kíld in mistake mistéik for him by a "sanguinary butcher búchar" named néimd Breeds brídz. Breeds brídz, who was hanged héngd in chains chéinz for his crime kráim, remains riméinz perhaps parhéps the most famous féimas figure fígyar in the history hístari of Rye rái.
Externally ikstárnali Rye rái church chárch is magnificent megnífasant, but the pity píti of it is that its encroaching inkróuching square skwér deprives dipráivz one of the power páuar to study stádi it as a whole hóul. Among amáng the details ditéilz, however, are two admirable édmarabal flying fláiing buttresses bátrasaz. The clock klák over the beautiful byútafal north nórth window wíndou, which is said to have been given to the town táun by Queen kwín Elizabeth ilízabath, is remarkable rimárkabal for the two golden góuldan cherubs chérabz that strike stráik the hours áuarz, and the pendulum pénjalam that swings swíngz in the central séntral tower táuar of the church chárch, very nigh nái the preacher's príchar head héd.
[Sidenote: EIGHT éit BELLS bélz]
Rye's rái eight éit bells bélz bear bér the following fálouing inscription inskrípshan:—
To honour both of God gád and King kíng Our voices vóisaz shall shél in concert kánsart ring ríng.
May heaven hévan increase inkrís their bounteous store stór And bless blés their souls sóulz for evermore évarmor.
Whilst wáilst thus dhás we join jóin in joyful jóifal sound sáund May love láv and loyalty lóialti abound abáund.
Ye yí people all who hear hír me ring ríng Be faithful féithfal to your God gád and King kíng.
Such wondrous wándras power páuar to music's myúzik given It elevates élaveits the soul sóul to heaven hévan.
If you have a judicious judíshas ear ír You'll own my voice vóis is sweet swít and clear klír.
Our voices vóisaz shall shél with joyful jóifal sound sáund Make hills hílz and valleys véliz echo ékou round ráund.
In wedlock wédlak bands béndz all ye yí who join jóin, With hands héndz your hearts hárts unite yúnait; So shall shél our tuneful túnfal tongues tángz combine kámbain To laud lód the nuptial nápchal rite ráit.
Ye yí ringers ríngarz, all who prize práiz Your health hélth and happiness hépinas, Be sober sóubar, merry méri, wise wáiz, And you'll the same possess pazés.
Hardly hárdli less lés interesting íntrasting than the church chárch are the by-streets báistríts of Rye rái, so old and simple símpal and quiet kwáiat and right; particularly partíkyalarli perhaps parhéps Mermaid mármeid Street strít, with its beautiful byútafal hospital háspital. In the High hái Street strít, which is busier bíziar, is the George jórj Inn ín, the rare rér possessor pazésar of a large lárj assembly asémbli room rúm with a musicians myuzíshanz' gallery gélari. One only of Rye's rái gates géits is standing sténding—the Landgate; but on the south sáuth rampart of the town táun is the Ypres Tower táuar (called kóld Wipers wáiparz by the prosaic prouzéiik inhabitants inhébatants), a relic rélik of the twelfth twélfth century sénchari, guarding gárding Rye rái once wáns from perils péralz by sea sí and now from perils péralz by land lénd. Standing sténding by the tower táuar one may hear hír below bilóu shipbuilders shípbildarz busy bízi at work and observe abzárv all the low-pulsed life of the river rívar. A mile máil or so away awéi is Rye rái Harbour hárbar, and beyond biánd it the sea sí; across akrós the intervening intarvíning space spéis runs ránz a little train tréin with its freight fréit of golf gálf players pléiarz. In the east íst stretches stréchaz Romney rámni Marsh mársh to the hills hílz of Folkestone.
Extremes ekstrímz meet mít in Rye rái. When I was last there the passage pésaj of the Landgate was made perilous péralas by an approaching apróuching Panhard; the monastery mánasteri of the Augustine ágastin friars fráiarz on Conduit kánduit Hill híl had become bikám a Salvation selvéishan Army ármi barracks béraks; and in the doorway dórwei of the little fourteenth-century fórtínth-sénchari chapel chépal of the Carmelites, now a private práivat house, in the church chárch square skwér, a perambulator waited wéitad. Moreover moróuvar, in the stately stéitli red réd house at the head héd of Mermaid mármeid Street strít the author óthar of The Awkward ákward Age éij prosecutes prásikyuts his fascinating fésaneiting analyses anélasiz of twentieth-century twéntiath-sénchari temperaments témpramants.
[Sidenote: RYE rái POTTERY pátari]
Among amáng the industries índastriz of Rye rái is the production pradákshan of an ingenious injínyas variety varáiati of pottery pátari achieved achívd by affixing afíksing to ordinary órdaneri vessels vésalz of earthenware árthanwer a veneer vanír of broken bróukan pieces písaz of china cháina—usually yúzhawali fragments frégmants of cups káps and saucers sósarz—in definite défanat patterns pétarnz that sometimes samtáimz reach rích a magnificence almost ólmoust Persian párzhan. For the most part the result rizált is not perhaps parhéps beautiful byútafal, but it is always gay géi, and the Rye rái potter pátar who practises the art árt deserves dizárvz encouragement enkárijmant. I saw só last summer sámar a piece pís of similar símalar ware wér in a cottage kátaj on the banks bénks of the Ettrick, but whether wédhar it had travelled trévald thither from Rye rái, or whether wédhar Scotch skách artists ártists work in the same medium mídiam, I do not know. Mr. Gasson, the artificer (the dominating dámaneiting name néim of Gasson is to Rye rái what that of Seiler sáilar is to Zermatt), charges chárjaz a penny péni for the inspection inspékshan of the four rooms rúmz of his house in which his pottery pátari, his stuffed stáft birds bárdz and other curiosities kyuriásatiz are collected kaléktad. The visit vízat must be epoch-making épak-méiking in any life. Never again will a broken bróukan tea-cup tíkáp be to any of Mr. Gasson's patrons péitranz merely mírli a broken bróukan tea-cup tíkáp. Previously príviasli it may have been that and nothing náthing more; henceforward it is valuable vélyabal material matírial which, having héving completed kamplítad one stage stéij of existence egzístans, is, like the good Buddhist búdast, entering éntaring upon apán another of increased inkríst radiance réidians. More, broken bróukan china cháina may even become bikám the symbol símbal of Rye rái.
[Sidenote: PETT pét AND ICKLESHAM]
Between Hastings héistingz and Winchelsea are the villages vílajaz of Guestling, Pett pét, and Icklesham, the last two on the edge éj of the Level léval. Of these, Icklesham is the most interesting íntrasting, Guestling having héving recently rísantli lost lóst its church chárch by fire fáiar, and Pett pét church chárch being new. Pett pét stands sténdz in a pleasant plézant position pazíshan at the end of the high hái ground gráund, with nothing náthing in the east íst but Pett pét Level léval, and the sea sí only a mile máil away awéi. At very low lóu tide táid the remains riméinz of a submerged sabmárjd forest fórast were once wáns discernible disárnabal, and may still be.
Icklesham also stands sténdz on the ridge ríj further fárdhar north nórth, overlooking óuvarluking the Level léval and the sea sí, with Winchelsea not two miles máilz distant dístant in the east íst. The church chárch is a very fine fáin one, with a most interesting íntrasting Norman nórman tower táuar in its midst mídst. The churchwardens accounts akáunts contain kantéin some quaint kwéint entries éntriz:
[Sidenote: CHURCHWARDENS' ACCOUNTS akáunts]
1732. Paid péid for ye yí Stokes stóuks [stocks stáks] L4 10s. 8-3/4d.
1735. January jényueri ye yí 13 pd for a pint páint of wine wáin and for eight éit pound páund of mutton mátan for Good[man] Row róu and Good[man] Winch wínch and Goody gúdi Sutors for their being with Goody gúdi in her fitts fíts 3s.
1744. Fevery ye yí 29 paid péid Gudy Tayler téilar for going to Winshelse for to give her Arthor Davy déivi [affidavit efadéivat] 1s. 6d.
1746. April éipral 26 gave géiv the Ringers ríngarz for Rejoycing when ye yí Rebels rébalz was beat bít 15s. (This refers rafárz to Culloden. There are two sides sáidz in every battle bétal; how do Burns's bárnz lines láinz run rán?—
Drumossie moor múr—Drumossie day— A waefu' day it was to me! For there I lost lóst my father fádhar dear dír, My father fádhar dear dír, and brethren brédhran three.)
One of the Icklesham gravestones gréivstounz, standing sténding over the grave gréiv of James jéimz King kíng, who died dáid aged éijd seventeen sévantín, has this complacent kampléisant couplet:
God gád takes téiks the good—too good on earth árth to stay stéi, And leaves lívz the bad béd—too bad béd to take away awéi.
Two miles máilz to the west wést of Icklesham, at Snaylham, close klóus to the present prézant railway réilwei, once wáns stood stúd the home of the Cheyneys, a family fémali that maintained meintéind for many years a fierce fírs feud fyúd with the Oxenbridges of Brede bríd, whither wídhar we soon sún shall shél come. A party of Cheyneys once wáns succeeded saksídad in catching kéching an Oxenbridge asleep aslíp in his bed béd, and killed kíld him. Old Place farm fárm, a little north nórth of Icklesham, between the village vílaj and the line láin, marks márks the site sáit of Old Place, the mansion ménshan of the Fynches, earls árlz of Winchelsea.
[Sidenote: PLAYDEN AND IDEN áidan]
The mainland méinlend proper prápar begins bigínz hard hárd by Rye rái, on the other side sáid of the railway réilwei, where Rye rái Hill híl carries kériz the London lándan road róud out of sight sáit. This way lie lái Playden, Iden áidan, and Peasmarsh: Playden, with a slender sléndar spire spáir, of a grace gréis not excelled ikséld in a county káunti notable nóutabal, as we have seen sín, for graceful gréisfal spires spáirz, but a little overweighted ouvarwéitid perhaps parhéps by its cross krós, within whose húz church chárch is the tomb túm of a Flemish flémish brewer brúar, named néimd Zoctmanns, calling kóling for prayers prérz for his soul sóul; Iden áidan, with a square skwér tower táuar and a stair stér turret tárat, a village vílaj taking téiking its name néim from that family fémali of which Alexander elagzéndar Iden áidan, slayer sléiar of Jack jék Cade kéid, was a member mémbar, its home being at Mote móut, now non-existent nán-egzístant; and Peasmarsh, whose húz long modest mádast church chárch, crowned kráund by a squat skwát spire spáir, may be again seen sín, like the swan swán upon apán St strít. Mary's méri Lake léik, in the water wótar at the foot fút of the churchyard chárchyard. At Peasmarsh was born bórn a poor púr artificial artafíshal poet póuat named néimd William wílyam Pattison pétisan, in whose húz works wárks I have failed féild to find anything énithing of interest íntrast.
The two most interesting íntrasting spots spáts in the hilly híli country kántri immediately imídiatli north nórth of the Brede bríd valley véli (north nórth of Winchelsea) are Udimore and Brede bríd. Concerning kansárning Udimore church chárch, which externally ikstárnali has a family fémali resemblance rizémblans to that of Steyning, it is told tóuld that it was originally aríjanali planned plénd to rise ráiz on the other side sáid of the little river rívar Ree rí. The builders bíldarz began bigén their work, but every night náit saw só the supernatural suparnécharal removal rimúval of the stones stóunz to the present prézant site sáit, while a mysterious mistírias voice vóis uttered átard the words wárdz "O'er the mere mír! O'er the mere mír!" Hence héns, says séz the legend léjand, the present prézant position pazíshan of the fane féin, and the beautiful byútafal name néim Udimore, or "O'er the mere mír," which, of course kórs, becomes bikámz Uddymer among amáng the villagers vílijarz.
[Sidenote: BREDE bríd PLACE]
From Udimore one reaches ríchaz Brede bríd by turning tárning off the high hái road róud about two miles máilz to the east íst. But it is worth wárth while to keep kíp to the road róud a little longer lóngar, and entering éntaring Gilly gíli Wood wúd (on the right) explore iksplór as wild wáild and beautiful byútafal a ravine ravín as any in the county káunti. And, on the Brede bríd by-road báiróud, it is worth wárth while also to turn tárn aside asáid again in order órdar to see Brede bríd Place. This house, like all the old mansions ménchanz (it is of the fifteenth fiftínth and sixteenth sikstínth centuries sénchariz), is set in a hollow hálou, and is sufficiently safíshantli gloomy glúmi in appearance apírans and surroundings saráundingz to lend lénd colour to the rumour rumar that would have it haunted hóntad—a rumour rumar originally aríjanali spread spréd by the smugglers smáglarz who for some years made the house their headquarters hédkwortarz. An underground ándargraund passage pésaj is said to lead léd from Brede bríd Place to the church chárch, a good part of a mile máil distant dístant; but as is usual yúzhawal with underground ándargraund passages pésajaz, the legend léjand has been held héld so dear dír that no one seems símz to have ventured vénchard upon apán the risk rísk of disproving it. Amid amíd these medieval midíval surroundings saráundingz the late léit Stephen stívan Crane kréin, the American amérakan writer ráitar, conceived kansívd some of his curiously kyúriasli modern mádarn stories stóriz.
One of the original aríjanal owners óunarz (the Oxenbridges) like Col. Lunsford lánsfard of East íst Hoathly was credited krédatad by the country kántri people with an appetite épatait for children. Nothing náthing could compass kámpas his death déth but a wooden wúdan saw só, with which after a drunken dránkan bout báut the villagers vílijarz severed sévard him in Stubb's Lane léin, by Groaning gróuning Bridge bríj. Not all the family fémali, however, were bloodthirsty bládtharsti, for at least líst two John ján Oxenbridges of the sixteenth sikstínth century sénchari were divines, one a Canon kénan of Windsor wínzar, the other a "grave gréiv and reverent révarant preacher príchar."
[Sidenote: DEAN dín SWIFT'S swíft CRADLE kréidal]
The present prézant vicar víkar of Brede bríd, the village vílaj on the hill híl above abáv Brede bríd Place, has added édad to the natural nécharal antiquities entíkwatiz of his church chárch several sévral alien éilian curiosities kyuriásatiz, chief chíf among amáng them being the cradle kréidal in which Dean dín Swift swíft was rocked rákt. It is worth wárth a visit vízat to Brede bríd church chárch to be persuaded parswéidad that that matured matyúrd Irishman áirishman ever évar was a baby béibi.
CHAPTER chéptar XXXIX
Horace hóras Walpole wólpoul in difficulties dífakaltiz—A bibliophile's threat thrét—Salehurst—Bodiam—Northiam—Queen kwín Elizabeth's ilízabath dinner dínar and shoes shúz—Brightling—Jack jék Fuller fúlar—Turner tárnar in East íst Sussex sásiks—The Burwash country kántri—Sussex sásiks superstitions suparstíshanz—Sussex sásiks Folk fóuk and Sussex sásiks Ways wéiz—Liberals líbaralz and Conservatives kansárvativz—The Sussex sásiks character kériktar—Independent indipéndant bellringers—"Silly síli Sussex sásiks"—Burwash at Cricket kríkat—James jéimz Hurdis—A donkey dánki race réis—"A hint hínt to great and little men mén"—Henry hénri Burwash—Etchingham—Sir sár John ján Lade léid and the Prince príns—Ticehurst and Wadhurst.
Robertsbridge is not in itself itsélf a particularly partíkyalarli attractive atréktiv place; but it has a good inn ín, and many interesting íntrasting villages vílajaz may be reached rícht from it, the little light láit railway réilwei that runs ránz from the town táun to Tenterden, along alóng the Rother róthar valley véli, making méiking the exploration eksplaréishan of this part of Sussex sásiks very simple símpal.
Horace hóras Walpole wólpoul came to difficulties dífakaltiz hereabout hírabaut during his Sussex sásiks journey járni. His sprightly spráitli and heightened háitand account akáunt is in one of the letters létarz: "The roads róudz grew grú bad béd beyond biánd all badness bédnas, the night náit dark dárk beyond biánd all darkness dárknas, our guide gáid frightened fráitand beyond biánd all frightfulness. However, without being at all killed kíld, we got up, or down—I forget fargét which, it was so dark dárk,—a famous féimas precipice présapas called kóld Silver sílvar Hill híl, and about ten tén at night náit arrived aráivd at a wretched réchid village vílaj called kóld Rotherbridge. We had still six síks miles máilz hither hídhar, but determined ditármand to stop stáp, as it would be a pity píti to break bréik our necks néks before we had seen sín all we had intended inténdad. But, alas alés! there was only one bed béd to be had: all the rest rést were inhabited inhébatad by smugglers smáglarz, whom húm the people of the house called kóld mountebanks; and with one of whom húm the lady léidi of the den dén told tóuld Mr. Chute shút he might lie lái. We did not at all take to this society sasáiati, but, armed ármd with links línks and lanthorns, set out again upon apán this impracticable impréktikabal journey járni. At two o'clock in the morning mórning we got hither hídhar to a still worse wárs inn ín, and that crammed krémd with excise eksáis officers ófasarz, one of whom húm had just shot shát a smuggler smáglar. However, as we were neutral nútral powers páuarz, we have passed pést safely séifli through both armies ármiz hitherto hídhartú, and can give you a little farther fárdhar history hístari of our wandering wándaring through these mountains máuntanz, where the young yáng gentlemen jéntalmin are forced fórst to drive dráiv their curricles with a pair pér of oxen áksan. The only morsel mórsal of good road róud we have found, was what even the natives néitivz had assured ashúrd us were totally tóutali impracticable impréktikabal; these were eight éit miles máilz to Hurst hárst Monceaux mansóu."
[Sidenote: FOR BOOK búk BORROWERS bárouarz]
A pretty príti memento miméntou of the Cistercian sistárshan Abbey ébi here, of which small traces tréisaz remain riméin on the bank bénk of the river rívar, has wandered wándard to the Bodleian, in the shape shéip of an old volume vályum containing kantéining the inscription inskrípshan: "This book búk belongs bilóngz to St strít. Mary méri of Robertsbridge; whoever huévar shall shél steal stíl or sell sél it, let lét him be Anathema anéthama Maranatha!" Since no book búk was ever évar successfully saksésfali protected pratéktad by anything énithing less lés tangible ténjabal than a chain chéin, it came into other hands héndz, underneath andarníth being written rítan: "I John ján Bishop bíshap of Exeter éksitar know not where the aforesaid afórsed house is; nor nór did I steal stíl this book búk, but acquired akwáiard it in a lawful lófal way." On the suppression sapréshan of the Abbey ébi of Robertsbridge by Henry hénri VIII. the lands léndz passed pést to Sir sár William wílyam Sidney sídni, grandfather gréndfadhar of Sir sár Philip fílap.
Salehurst, just across akrós the river rívar from Robertsbridge, has a noble nóubal church chárch, standing sténding among amáng trees tríz on the hill híl side sáid—the hill híl which Walpole wólpoul found so precipitous prisípitas. Within, the church chárch is not perhaps parhéps quite so impressive imprésiv as without, but it has monuments mányamants appertaining probably prábabli to the Culpepers, once wáns a far-reaching fár-ríching aristocratic aristakrétik Sussex sásiks family fémali, which we met mét first at Ardingly, and which is now extinct ikstínkt or existent egzístant only among amáng the peasantry pézantri.
[Sidenote: BODIAM CASTLE késal]
The first station stéishan on the Rother róthar valley véli light láit railway réilwei is Bodiam, only a few steps stéps from Bodiam Castle késal sitting síting serenely sarínali like a bird bárd on the waters wótarz of her moat móut. This building bílding in appearance apírans and form fórm fulfils most of the conditions kandíshanz of the castle késal, and by retaining ritéining water wótar in its moat móut perhaps parhéps wins wínz more respect rispékt than if it had stood stúd a siege síj. (Local tradition tradíshan indeed indíd credits krédits it with that mark márk of active éktiv merit mérat, but history hístari is silent sáilant.) It was built bílt in the fourteenth fórtínth century sénchari by Sir sár Edward édward Dalyngruge, a hero hírou of Cressy krési and Poictiers. It is now a ruin rúan within, but (as Mr. Griggs grígz' drawing dróing shows shóuz) externally ikstárnali in fair fér preservation prezarvéishan and a very interesting íntrasting and romantic rouméntik spectacle spéktakal.
Below bilóu Bodiam is Ewhurst, and a little farther fárdhar east íst, close klóus to the Kentish border bórdar, Northiam. Ewhurst has no particular partíkyalar interest íntrast, but Northiam is a village vílaj apart apárt. Knowing nóuing what we do of Sussex sásiks speech spích we may be certain sártan that Northiam is not pronounced pranáunst by the native néitiv as it is spelt. Norgem is its local style stáil, just as Udiham is Udgem and Bodiam Bodgem. But though dhóu he will not give Northiam its pleasant plézant syllables sílabalz, the Northiam man is proud práud of his village vílaj. He has a couplet:
Oh rare rér Northiam, thou dháu dost dást far fár exceed iksíd Beckley békli, Peasmarsh, Udimore and Brede bríd.
Northiam's superiority supirióriti to these pleasant plézant spots spáts is not absolute ébsalut; but there are certain sártan points póints in which the couplet is sound sáund. For example igzémpal, although Brede bríd Place has no counterpart káuntarpart in Northiam, and although beside bisáid Udimore's lovely lávli name néim Northiam has an uninspired aninspáiard prosaic prouzéiik ring ríng, yet yét Northiam is alone alóun in the possession pazéshan of Queen kwín Elizabeth's ilízabath Oak óuk, the tree trí beneath biníth which that monarch mánark, whom húm we have seen sín on a progress prágres in West wést Sussex sásiks, partook in 1573 of a banquet bénkwat, on her way to Rye rái. The fare fér came from the kitchen kíchan of the timbered house hard hárd by, then the residence rézidans of Master méstar Bishopp. During the visit vízat her Majesty méjasti changed chéinjd her shoes shúz, and the discarded diskárdid pair pér is still treasured trézhard at Brickwall, the neighbouring seat sít of the Frewens, the great family fémali of Northiam for many generations jenaréishanz. The shoes shúz are of green grín damask démask silk sílk, with heels hílz two and a half héf inches ínchaz high hái and pointed póintad toes tóuz. The Queen kwín was apparently apérantli so well satisfied sétasfaid with her repast that on her return ritárn journey járni three days déiz later léitar she dined dáind beneath biníth the oak óuk once wáns more. But she changed chéinjd no more shoes shúz.
Brickwall, which is occasionally akéizhanali shown shóun, is a noble nóubal old country kántri mansion ménshan, partly pártli Elizabethan elizabíthan and partly pártli Stuart stúart. In the church chárch are many Frewen frúan memorials mamórialz, the principal prínsapal of which are in the Frewen frúan mausoleum mosalíam, a comparatively kampérativli new erection irékshan. Accepted ekséptid Frewen frúan, Archbishop árchbíshap of York yórk, was from Northiam.
[Sidenote: A DANISH déinish VESSEL vésal]
In a field fíld near nír the Rother róthar at Northiam was discovered diskávard, in the year 1822, a Danish déinish vessel vésal, which had probably prábabli sunk sánk in the ninth náinth century sénchari in some wide wáid waterway wótarwei now transformed trensfórmd to land lénd or shrunk shránk to the dimensions diménshanz of the present prézant stream strím. Her preservation prezarvéishan was perfect parfékt. Horsfield thus dhás describes diskráibz the ship shíp: "Her dimensions diménshanz were, from head héd to stern stárn, 65 feet fít, and her width wídth 14 feet fít, with cabin kéban and forecastle; and she appears apírz to have originally aríjanali had a whole hóul deck dék. She was remarkably rimárkabli strongly stróngli built bílt; her bill bíl pieces písaz and keels kílz measuring mézharing 2 feet fít over, her cross krós beams bímz, five in number, 18 inches ínchaz by 8, with her other timbers tímbarz in proportion prapórshan; and in her caulking kóking was a species spíshiz of moss mós peculiar pakyúlyar to the country kántri in which she was built bílt. In the cabin kéban and other parts párts of the vessel vésal were found a human hyúman skull skál; a pair pér of goat's góut horns hórnz attached atécht to a part of the cranium kréiniam; a dirk dárk or poniard, about half héf an inch ínch of the blade bléid of which had wholly hóuli resisted rizístid corrosion karóuzhan; several sévral glazed gléizd and ornamental ornaméntal tiles táilz of a square skwér form fórm; some bricks bríks which had formed fórmd the fire fáiar hearth hárth; several sévral parts párts of shoes shúz, or rather rédhar sandals séndalz, fitting fíting low lóu on the foot fút, one of which was apparently apérantli in an unfinished anfínisht state stéit, having héving a last remaining riméining in it, all of them very broad bród at the toes tóuz; two earthern jars járz and a stone stóun mug mág, all of very ancient éinchant shape shéip, a piece pís of board bórd exhibiting igzíbiting about thirty thárdi perforations parfaréishanz, probably prábabli designed dizáind for keeping kíping the lunar lúnar months mánths, or some game géim or amusement amyúzmant; with many other antique entík relics réliks."
[Sidenote: OLD JACK jék FULLER fúlar]
Four miles máilz west wést of Robertsbridge, up hill híl and down, is Brightling, whose húz Needle nídal, standing sténding on Brightling Down, 646 feet fít high hái, is visible vízabal from most of the eminences émanansiz in this part of Sussex sásiks. The obelisk, together tagédhar with the neighbouring observatory abzárvatori, was built bílt on the site sáit of an old beacon bíkan by the famous féimas Jack jék Fuller fúlar—famous féimas no longer lóngar, but in his day (he died dáid in 1834 aged éijd seventy-seven sévanti-sévan) a character kériktar both in London lándan and in Sussex sásiks. He was big bíg and bluff bláf and wealthy wélthi and the squire skwáir of Rose róuz Hill híl. He sat sét for Sussex sásiks from 1801 to 1812, and was once wáns carried kérid from the House by the Sergeant sárjant at Arms ármz and his minions mínyanz, for refusing rafyúzing to give way in a debate dabéit and calling kóling the Speaker spíkar "the insignificant insignyífikant little fellow félou in a wig wíg." His election ilékshan cost kást him L20,000 plus plás L30,000 subscribed sabskráibd by the county káunti. When Pitt pít offered ófard him a peerage píraj he said no: "I was born bórn Jack jék Fuller fúlar and Jack jék Fuller fúlar I'll die dái." When he travelled trévald from Rose róuz Hill híl to London lándan Mr. Fuller's fúlar progresses prágresaz were almost ólmoust regal rígal. The coach kóuch was provisioned as if for arctic árktik exploration eksplaréishan and coachman kóuchman and footmen alike aláik were armed ármd with swords sórdz and pistols pístalz. ("Honest ánast Jack jék," as Mr. Lower lóuar remarks rimárks, put a small value vélyu upon apán the honesty ánasti of others ádharz.) Mr. Fuller fúlar had two hobbies hábiz, music myúzik and science sáians. He founded fáundad the Fullerian professorships prafésarships (which he called kóld his two children), and contributed kantríbyutid liberally líbarali to the Royal róial Institution institúshan; and his musical myúzikal parties pártiz in London lándan were famous féimas. But whether wédhar it is true trú that when the Brightling choir kwáiar dissatisfied disétasfaid him he presented prizéntad the church chárch with nine náin bassoons, I cannot kénat say.
[Sidenote: TURNER tárnar IN SUSSEX sásiks]
John ján Fuller fúlar has a better bétar claim kléim to be remembered rimémbard in Sussex sásiks by his purchase párchas of Bodiam Castle késal, when its demolition demalíshan was threatened thrétand, and by his commission kamíshan to Turner tárnar to make pictures píkcharz in the Rape réip of Hastings héistingz, five of which were engraved ingréivd and published páblisht in folio form fórm, in 1819, under the title táital Views vyúz in Sussex sásiks. One of these represents reprazénts the Brightling Observatory abzárvatori as seen sín from Rosehill Park párk. As a matter métar of fact fékt, the observatory abzárvatori, being of no interest íntrast, is almost ólmoust invisible invízabal, although Mr. Reinagle, A.R.A., who supplies sapláiz the words wárdz to the pictures píkcharz, calls kólz it the "most important impórtant point in the scene sín." Furthermore fárdharmor, he says séz that the artist ártast has expressed iksprést a shower sháuar proceeding prasíding "from the left corner kórnar." Another picture píkchar is the Vale véil of Ashburnham, with the house in the middle mídal distance dístans, Beachy bíchi Head héd beyond biánd, and in the foreground fórgraund woodcutters carrying kériing wood wúd in an ox áks waggon. "The whole hóul," says séz Mr. Reinagle, A.R.A., "is happily hépali composed kampóuzd, if I may use the term tárm." He then adds édz: "The eye ái of the spectator spékteitar, on looking lúking at this beautifully byútafli painted péintad scene sín, roves with an eager ígar delight diláit from one hill híl to another, and seems símz to play pléi on the dappled woods wúdz till tíl arrested aréstad by the seat sít of Lord lórd Ashburnham." Other pictures píkcharz in the folio are "Pevensey Bay béi from Crowhurst Park párk," a very beautiful byútafal scene sín, "Battle bétal Abbey ébi," and "The Vale véil of Heathfield," painted péintad from a point above abáv the road róud, with Heathfield House on the left, the tower táuar on the right, the church chárch in the centre séntar in the middle mídal distance dístans, and the sea sí on the horizon haráizan: an impressive imprésiv but not strictly stríktli veracious landscape léndskeip.
In Brightling church chárch is a bust bást to John ján Fuller fúlar, with the motto mátou: "Utile nihil quod non nán honestum." A rector réktar in Fuller's fúlar early árli days déiz was William wílyam Hayley héili, who died dáid in 1789, a zealous zélas antiquary. His papers péiparz relating riléiting to the history hístari of Sussex sásiks, are now, like those of Sir sár William wílyam Burrell barél, in the British brítish Museum myuzíam.
Our next village vílaj is Burwash, three miles máilz in the north nórth, built bílt, like all the villages vílajaz in this switchback district dístrikt, on a hill híl. We are now, indeed indíd, well in the heart hárt of the fatiguing fatíging country kántri which we touched tácht at Mayfield méifild, where one eminence émanans is painfully péinfali won wán only to reveal rivíl another. One can be as parched párcht on a road róud in the Sussex sásiks hop háp country kántri as in the Arabian aréibian desert dézart. The eye ái, however, that is tired táiard of hop háp poles póulz and hills hílz can find sweet swít gratification gretafakéishan in the cottages kátijiz. Sussex sásiks has charming chárming cottages kátijiz from end to end of her territory téritori, but I think the hop háp district dístrikt on the Kentish side sáid has some of the prettiest prítiast. Blackberries blékberiz too may be set down among amáng the riches ríchaz of the sand-hill séndhíl villages vílajaz.
[Sidenote: SUPERSTITIONS suparstíshanz]
In Richard ríchard Jefferies jéfriz' essay eséi, "The Country-side kántri-sáid: Sussex sásiks" (in Field fíld and Hedgerow), describing diskráibing this district dístrikt of the country kántri, is an amusing amyúzing passage pésaj touching táching superstitions suparstíshanz of these parts párts, picked píkt up during hopping háping:
"In and about the kiln kíln I learned lárnd that if you smash smésh a frog frág with a stone stóun, no matter métar how hard hárd you hit hít him, he cannot kénat die dái till tíl sunset sánset. You must be careful kérfal not to put on any new article ártakal of clothing klóudhing for the first time on a Saturday sétardi, or some severe savír punishment pánishmant will ensue insú. One person pársan put on his new boots búts on a Saturday sétardi, and on Monday mándi broke bróuk his arm árm. Some still believe bilív in herbs árbz, and gather gédhar wood-betony for herb árb tea tí, or eat ít dandelion déndalaian leaves lívz between slices sláisaz of dry drái toast tóust. There is an old man living líving in one of the villages vílajaz who has reached rícht the age éij of a hundred hándrad and sixty síksti years, and still goes góuz hop-picking háppíking. Ever évar so many people had seen sín him, and knew nú all about him; an undoubted andáutid fact fékt, a public páblik fact fékt; but I could not trace tréis him to his lair lér. His exact igzékt whereabouts wérabauts could not be fixed fíkst. I live láiv in hopes hóups of finding fáinding him in some obscure abskyúr 'Hole hóul' yet yét (many little hamlets hémlats are 'Holes hóulz,' as Froghole, Foxhole fákshoul). What an exhibit igzíbit for London lándan! Did he realise his own value vélyu, he would soon sún come forth fórth. I joke jóuk, but the existence egzístans of this antique entík person pársan is firmly fármli believed bilívd in."
Burwash is one of the few Sussex sásiks villages vílajaz that has been made the subject sabjékt of a book búk. The Rev rév. John ján Coker kóukar Egerton's égartan Sussex sásiks Folk fóuk and Sussex sásiks Ways wéiz (from which I have already olrédi occasionally akéizhanali quoted kwóutid) was written rítan here, around materials matírialz collected kaléktad during the author's óthar period píriad as rector réktar of Burwash. Mr. Egerton égartan was curate kyúrat of Burwash from 1857 to 1862, and from 1865 to 1867, when he became bikéim rector réktar and remained riméind in the living líving until his death déth in 1888. His book búk is a kindly káindli collection kalékshan of the shrewd shrúd and humorous hyúmaras sayings séiingz of his Sussex sásiks parishioners paríshanarz, anecdotes énakdouts of characteristic keraktarístik incidents ínsadants, records rakórdz of old customs kástamz now passing pésing or passed pést away awéi—the whole hóul fused fyúzd by the rector's réktar genial jínyal personality parsanéliti.
[Sidenote: PARTY POLITICS pálatiks]
It is to Burwash and Mr. Egerton égartan that we owe óu some characteristic keraktarístik scraps skréps of Sussex sásiks philosophy falásafi. Thus dhás, Mr. Egerton égartan tells télz of an old conservative kansárvativ whose húz advice edváis to young yáng men mén was this: "Mind máind you don't never have nothing náthing in no way to do with none nán of their new-fangled núféngald schemes skímz." Another Sussex sásiks cynic sínik defined difáind party government with grim grím impartiality imparshiéliti: "Politics pálatiks are about like this: I've got a sow sáu in my yard yárd with twelve twélv little uns, and they little uns can't all feed fíd at once wáns, because there isn't room rúm enough ináf; so I shut shát six síks on 'em ém out of the yard yárd while tother six síks be sucking sáking, and the six síks as be shut shát out, they just do make a hem hém of a noise nóiz till tíl they be let lét in; and then they be just as quiet kwáiat as the rest rést."
The capacity kapésati of the Sussex sásiks man to put his foot fút down and keep kíp it there, is shown shóun in the refusal rafyúzal of Burwash to ring ríng the bells bélz when George jórj IV., then Prince príns of Wales wéilz, passed pést through the village vílaj on his return ritárn to Brighton bráitan from a visit vízat to Sir sár John ján Lade léid at Etchingham; the reason rízan given being that the First Gentleman jéntalman in Europe yúrap when rung ráng in on his way to Sir sár John's ján had said nothing náthing about beer bír. This must have been during one of the Prince's príns peculiarly pikyúlyarli needy nídi periods píriadz, for the withholding withhóulding of strong stróng drink drínk from his friends fréndz was never one of his failings féilingz. Another Burwash radical rédakal used to send sénd up to the rectory réktari with a message mésaj that he was about to gather gédhar fruit frút and the rector réktar must send sénd down for the tithe táidh. The rector's réktar man would go down—and receive rasív one gooseberry gúsberi from a basket béskat of ten tén: all that was to be gathered gédhard that day.
Another Burwash man posed póuzd his vicar víkar more agreeably and humorously hyúmarasli in another manner ménar. Finding fáinding him a little in liquor líkar the pastor péstar would have warned wórnd him against the habit hébat, but the man was too quick kwík. How was it, he asked éskt the vicar víkar with well affected aféktad or real ríl concern kansárn, that whenever wenévar he had had too much to drink drínk he felt félt more religious rilíjas than at any other time?
The Burwash records rakórdz indeed indíd go far fár to redeem ridím Sussex sásiks men mén from the epithet épathet "silly síli," which is traditionally tradíshanali theirs dhérz. Concerning kansárning this old taunt tónt, I like the rector's réktar remarks rimárks in Idlehurst. The phrase fréiz, he says séz, "is better bétar after all than 'canny kéni owd Cummerlan'' or calling kóling ourselves auarsélvz 'free frí and enlightened enláitand citizens sítazanz' or 'heirs érz to all the ages éijaz.' But suppose sapóuz Sussex sásiks as silly síli as you like, the country kántri wants wánts a large lárj preserve prazárv of fallow félou brains bréinz; you can't manure manúr the intellect íntalekt for close klóus cropping kráping. Isn't it Renan who attributes étrabyuts so much to solid sálad Breton brétan stupidity stupíditi in his ancestors énsestarz?" I notice nóutas that Mr. H. G. Wells wélz, in his very interesting íntrasting book búk, Mankind ménkáind in the Making méiking, is in support sapórt of this suggestion sagjéschan. The Idlehurst rector réktar, in contrasting kantrésting Londoners lándanarz with Sussex sásiks folk fóuk, continues kantínyuz: "The Londoner lándanar has all his strength strénkth in the front fránt line láin: one can never tell tél what reserves rizárvz the countryman kántriman may not deploy diplói in his slow slóu way." (Some old satirist sétarast of the county káunti had it that the crest krést of the true trú Sussex sásiks peasant pézant is a pig píg couchant, with the motto mátou "I wunt be druv." I give this for what it is worth wárth.)
[Sidenote: SUSSEX sásiks RESERVES rizárvz]
It is to be doubted dáutid if any county káunti has a monopoly manápali of silliness sílinas. The fault fólt of Sussex sásiks people rather rédhar is to lack lék reserves rizárvz, not of wisdom wízdam but of effort éfart. You see this in cricket kríkat, where although the Sussex sásiks men mén have done dán some of the most brilliant brílyant things in the history hístari of the game géim (even before the days déiz of their Oriental oriéntal ally élai), they have probably prábabli made a greater gréitar number of tame téim attempts atémpts to cope kóup with difficulties dífakaltiz than any other eleven ilévan. For the "staying stéiing of a rot rát" Sussex sásiks has had but few qualifications kwalafakéishanz. The cricket kríkat test tést is not everything évrithing: but character kériktar tells télz there just as in any other employment emplóimant. Burwash, however, must be exempted igzémptid from this particular partíkyalar charge chárj, for, whatever watévar its form fórm may be now, its eleven ilévan had once wáns a terrible térabal reputation repyatéishan. I find in the county káunti paper péipar for 1771 an advertisement advártazmant to the effect ifékt that Burwash, having héving "challenged chélajd all its neighbours without effect ifékt," invites inváits a match méch with any parish pérish whatsoever watsouévar in all Sussex sásiks.
[Sidenote: THE DONKEY dánki RACE réis]
Mr. Egerton égartan was not the first parson pársan to record rakórd the manners ménarz of the Burwash parishioner paríshanar. The Rev rév. James jéimz Hurdis, curate kyúrat there towards tawórdz the end of the preceding prisíding century sénchari, and afterwards éftarwardz Professor prafésar of Poetry póuatri at Oxford áksfard (we saw só his grave gréiv at Bishopstone), had written rítan a blank blénk verse várs poem póuam in the manner ménar of Cowper káupar, with some of the observation abzarvéishan of Crabbe kréb, entitled entáitald "The Village vílaj Curate kyúrat," which is a record rakórd of his thoughts thóts and impressions impréshanz in his Burwash days déiz. One could hardly hárdli say that "The Village vílaj Curate kyúrat" would bear bér reprinting riprínting at the present prézant time; we have moved múvd too far fár from its pensiveness, and an age éij that does not read réd "The Task tésk" and only talks tóks about Crabbe kréb is hardly hárdli likely láikli to reach rích out for Hurdis. But within its limits límats "The Village vílaj Curate kyúrat" is good, alike aláik in its description diskrípshan of scenery sínari, its reflections riflékshanz and its satire sétaiar. The Burwash donkey dánki race réis is capital képatal:—
Then comes kámz the ass-race ésréis. Let lét not wisdom wízdam frown fráun, If the grave gréiv clerk klárk look on, and now and then Bestow bistóu a smile smáil; for we may see, Alcanor, In this untoward antuórd race réis the ways wéiz of life. Are we not asses ésaz all? We start stárt and run rán, And eagerly ígarli we press prés to pass pés the goal góul, And all to win wín a bauble bóbal, a lac'd hat hét. Was not great Wolsey wóulsi such? He ran rén the race réis, And won wán the hat hét. What ranting rénting politician palatíshan, What prating lawyer lóyar, what ambitious embíshas clerk klárk, But is an ass és that gallops for a hat hét? For what do Princes prínsaz strive stráiv, but golden góuldan hats héts? For diadems, whose húz bare bér and scanty skénti brims Will hardly hárdli keep kíp the sunbeam sánbim from their eyes áiz. For what do Poets póuats strive stráiv? A leafy lífi hat hét, Without or crown kráun or brim brím, which hardly hárdli screens skrínz The empty émpti noddle from the fist físt of scorn skórn, Much less lés repels ripélz the critic's krítik thund'ring arm árm. And here and there intoxication intaksakéishan too Concludes kanklúdz the race réis. Who wins wínz the hat hét, gets géts drunk dránk. Who wins wínz a laurel lóral, mitre mítri, cap kép, or crown kráun, Is drunk dránk as he. So Alexander elagzéndar fell fél, So Haman héiman, Caesar sízar, Spenser spénsar, Wolsey wóulsi, James jéimz.