KIPLING'S SUSSEX - online book

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

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they settle and pack round the iron-tipped hills, and then you know how the moon must look to an in­habitant of it. At twilight, again, the beaten-down ridges and laps and folds of the uplands take on the likeness of wet sand—some huge and melancholy beach at the world's end—and when day meets night it is all goblin country. To westward, the last of the spent day—rust red and pearl, illimitable levels of shore waiting for the tide to turn again. To eastward, black night among the valleys, and on the rounded hill slopes a hard glaze that is not so much light as snail-slime from the moon.'
" And this is by no means the finest piece of descrip­tion in the book ! ' A hard glaze that is not so much light as snail-slime from the moon—' in that sentence vividness and beauty have at last blended."
In Kipling's Sussex stories we are constantly feeling the sense of what Wordsworth called " the light that never was on sea or land," of what he himself calls " Time's Everlasting Beyond." The power to clothe that emotion in adequate words is a very rare gift ; let anyone who doubts that Kipling possesses it consider the story called " Dymchurch Flit " in " Puck of Pook's Hill." Examine the craftsmanship of the sentence in which he presents the Bee Boy, " who is not quite right in the head, though he can do anything with bees." And again, note the perfection of the compression of the character sketch of Hobden,
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