KIPLING'S SUSSEX - online book

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

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194                   KIPLING'S SUSSEX
by Charles Fleet (1882)—a book which may be found at the Worthing Library. It is curious that one member of this family of shepherds became a schoolmaster at Lewes after living as a shepherd to his twenty-third year. He took it into his head to keep a diary, and this is perhaps one of the best chronicles of the life of a shepherd we have at this date. His name was John Dudeney, and he was a native of Rottingdean. He was born in 1782. Space forbids quotation from his diary, and I must refer the reader to Fleet's book on the subject.
Nobody has written with more insight about the Sussex Downs than Mr. W. H. Hudson, and I take this beautiful passage from his essay, " The Living Garment of the Downs " :
" Here one may see the corn reaped with sickles in the ancient way; and, better still, the wheat carried from the field in wains drawn by two or three couples of great, long-horned, black oxen. One wonders which of the three following common sights of the Sussex Downs carries us further back in time; the cluster of cottages, with church and farm buildings that form the village nestling in the valley, and seen from above appearing as a mere red spot in the prospect; the grey-clad shepherd, crook in hand, standing motionless on some vast green slope, his grey, rough-haired sheep-dog resting at his feet; or the team of coal-black, long-horned oxen draw­ing the plough or carrying the corn.
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