66 KIPLING'S SUSSEX
A sweetie thing is love,
It rules both heart and mind ;
There is no comfort in the world, To women that are kind."
Winchelsea is a healthy spot in spite of being so near to the ague-bringing marshes. The shepherds call the ague " Old Johnny " and the " Bailiff o' the Marshes," and wear a charm against it—a three-cornered piece of paper, suspended round the neck, and inscribed :
" Ague, I thee defy :
Three days shiver, Three days shake, Make me well for Jesu's sake."
The marsh on the outskirts is so criss-crossed
with dykes that unless with some one of the
marshes who knows the path it is best for the
stranger not to try the foot-path way. As Tom
Shoesmith says in Kipling's story of " Dymchurch
" The Marsh is just riddle with diks an' sluices, an' tide-gates, an' water-lets. You can hear 'em bubblin' an' grummelin' when the tide works in 'em, an' then you hear the sea rangin' left an' right-handed all up along the wall. You've seen how flat she is—the Marsh ? You'd think nothin' easier than to walk end-on across her ? Ah, but the diks an' the water-lets they twists the roads about as ravelly as witch-yarn on the spindles. So ye get all turned round in broad day-light."