THE SUSSEX DOWNS 205
soon have become confusion, he described the downs fronting the paleness of early dawn, and then their arch and curve and dip against the pearly grey of the half glow ; and then among their hollows, io, the illumination of the East all around, and up and away, and a gallop for miles along the turfy, thymy rolling billows, land to left, sea to right, below you."
The study of nature and humanity in the Downs has inspired much of the work of Mr. W. H. Hudson. The " fairy flora and the fairy fauna " of the chalk hills have never been so truly painted before. Listen to this excellently descriptive study of the carousing humble-bees :
" Walking about on the downs in the fading light you will find the belated reveller half buried in the purple disc, clasping it affectionately to his bosom; and, however stupefied with nectar he may seem, you will observe that he still continues to thrust at the smaller tubular florets with his proboscis, although probably with a very uncertain aim. If you compassionately touch him with a finger-tip to remind him of the lateness of the hour, he will lurch over to one side and put out one or two of his anterior legs or arms to make a gesture waving you off. And if your ears were tuned to catch the small inaudible sounds of nature, you would doubtless hear him exclaiming with indistinct utterance, ' Go 'way; for goo'ness sake don't 'sturb me ; lemme be—I'm a'right.' "
" It is noticeable that even in his cups he never wholly loses the characteristic dignity of manner coupled with gentleness we so greatly admire in him. There may be in