Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

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

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'Paper,' says the exciseman, 'why, that's a permit,' says he; ' why didn't you show me that when I took the hollands ?' 'Oh,' says Nick, as saucy as Hinds, 'why, if I had done that,' says he, 'you wouldn't a carried my tub for me all this way, would you ? ' "
The story, at the end of Chapter XIX, of the clerk in Old Shoreham church, whose loyalty was too much for his ritualism, may be capped by that of a South Down clerk in the east of the county, whose seat in church commanded a view of the neighbourhood. During an afternoon service one Sunday a violent gale was raging which had already unroofed several barns. The time came, says Mr. Lower, for the psalm before the sermon, and the clerk rose to announce it. " Let us sing to the praise and glo—Please, sir, Mas' Cinderby's mill is blowed down !"
Another word on Sussex millers. John Oliver, the Heryey of Highdown Hill, had a companion in eccentricity in William Coombs of Newhaven, who, although active as a miller to the end, was for many years a stranger to the inside of his mill owing to a rash statement one night that if what he asseverated was not true he would never enter his mill again. It was not true and henceforward, until his death, he directed his business from the top step—such is the Sussex tenacity of purpose.
Coombs was married at West Dean, but not fortunately. On the way to the church a voice from heaven called to him, " Will-yam Coombs ! Will-yam Coombs ! if so be that you
marry Mary ------------ you'll always be a miserable man."
Coombs, who had no false shame, often told the tale, adding, " And I be a miserable man."
Coombs' inseparable companion was a horse which bore him and his merchandise to market. In order to vary the monotony of the animal's own God-given hue, he used to paint it different colours, one day yellow and the next pink, one day green and the next blue, and so on. But this
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