Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

An illustrated appreciation, of the most interesting districts in Sussex.

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426                                     THE PHARISEES                                 chap.
not more than a foot high, and used to be uncommon fond of dancing. They jound1 hands and formed a circle, and danced upon it till the grass came three times as green there as it was anywhere else. That's how these here rings come upon the hills. Leastways so they say ; but I don't know nothing about it, in tye,2 for I never seen none an 'em; though to be sure it's very hard to say how them rings do come, if it is'nt the Pharisees that makes 'em. Besides there's our old song that we always sing at harvest supper, where it comes in— ' We'll drink and dance like Pharisees.' Now I should like to know why it's put like that 'ere in the song, if it a'nt true."
Master Fowington's story of the fairy's revenge runs thus :— " An ol' brother of my wife's gurt gran'mother see some Pharisees once, and 'twould a been a power better if so be he hadn't never seen 'em, or leastways never offended 'em. I'll tell ye how it happened. Teems Meppom—dat was his naiim— Jeems was a liddle farmer, and used to thresh his own corn. His barn stood in a very elenge lonesome place, a goodish bit from de house, and de Pharisees used to come dere a nights and thresh out some wheat and wuts for him, so dat de hep o' threshed corn was ginnerly bigger in de morning dan what he left it overnight. Well, ye see, Mas' Meppom thought dis a liddle odd, and didn't know rightly what to make ant. So bein' an out-and-out bold chep, dat didn't fear man nor devil, as de saying is, he made up his mind dat he'd goo over some night to see how 'twas managed. Well accordingly he went out rather airly in de evenin', and laid up behind de mow, for a long while, till he got rather tired and sleepy, and thought 'twaunt no use a watchin' no longer. It was gittin' pretty handy to midnight, and he thought how he'd goo home to bed. But jest as he was upon de move he heerd a odd sort of a soun' comin' toe-ards the barn, and so he stopped to see what it was. He looked out of de strah, and what should he catch
1  This is the Sussex preterite of the verb " to join."
2  In tye—not I.
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