KIPLING'S SUSSEX - online book

An illustrated descriptive guide, to the places mentioned in
the writings of Rudyard Kipling.

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INTRODUCTION                          II
Kipling shows us that the real lover is the real topographer, and it is in such poems as "A Charm " that he moves the heart in no light way :
" Take of English earth as much
As either hand may rightly clutch. *             *             *             *             *
Lay that earth upon thy heart, And thy sickness shall depart."
It is impossible to spend a few weeks in Sussex without being impressed with the air of antiquity which pervades that county, and it seems like a mist half to conceal and half to light up every one of its bostels and valleys. It seems impossible to pass by any pile of stones, or any wall, or pillar, or gateway, without asking oneself the question: " Is this old, or is this new ? Is it the work of Roman or of Saxon ? " Sometimes one feels tempted to ask: " Is this the work of nature or of man ? "
When the pilgrim stands in such a building as the old Star Inn at Alfriston, it is not merely the felicitous architecture, or the historic memories that possess him, but the spirit of the place, which is a subtle compound of both. A King once remarked about Oxford, that in it everything old seemed new, and everything new seemed old,
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