RAMBLES ABOUT BURWASH 23
of the Downs with the little winds from sea, and the hum of insects in the thyme, comes to the reader. Dudeney, the old shepherd living in a flint village on the bare windy Chalk Down, tells the children to press their faces down and smell the turf:
" That's Southdown thyme which makes our Southdown mutton beyond compare, and, my mother told me, 'twill cure anything except broken necks or hearts, I forget which."
The love of the South Downs is in the old shepherd's blood; he is possessed with what Swinburne has called " the dark unconscious instinct of primitive nature-worship." It is only on this particular soil that the shepherd can breathe freely, and he speaks with contempt of some one who went off to live " among them messy trees in the Weald." The more emphatically Dan and Una defend the Weald with its brooks, where you can " paddle in hot weather," the more decisively does Dudeney speak of the dangers of brooks flooding, and the trouble which follows—the shifting of the sheep, and " foot-rot afterward." Brooks are treacherous. The Southdown shepherd puts his faith in dew-ponds.
In Kipling's " Weland's Sword " we read how " Dan and Una go out towards the close of one