80 KIPLING'S SUSSEX
cepted." The town gave birth to the remarkable family of the Jeakes. The first, born in 1623, was the historian of the Cinque Ports, and builder of the family house in Mermaid Street. He was an astrologer and an alchemist, who left a store of books in fifteen languages, but no copy of " Shakespeare." He left a " Treatise on the Elixir of Life," and a note in his diary states that he laid the foundation-stone of his house " under a position of heaven." The astrologically curious should observe the curious figured stone (if it has not been removed) in the front wall. The second Jeake drew horoscopes, wrote on astrology and the other secret and hidden things, and at the age of twenty-nine married Elizabeth Hartshorne, aged thirteen and a half. The third Jeake—they were all called Samuel—goes down in the book of fame for constructing a flying machine, which would do anything else but soar up to the skies, and which in the end nearly killed him. They were a queer cranky family, and one may trace the same whimsical disposition in many of Kipling's Sussex characters, especially in " Widow Whitgift," who was concerned in the flight of the fairies in " Dymchurch Flit," and Tom Shoesmith in the same story.
But as Kipling remarks, Rye is but the edge of