2io KIPLING'S SUSSEX
always on the chalk hills—and little specks of red which are called musky stork's bill. Mr. Hudson points out that many of the flowers which grow in other parts of England in rich soil scarcely look like the same species growing in the close herbage of the Downs. Here they change their habits :
" The luxury of long stems, the delight of waving in the wind, and the ambition to overtop their neighbours, would here be fatal. Their safety lies in nestling down amid the lowly grass, keeping so close to the earth as to be able to blossom and ripen their seed in spite of the ever nibbling sheep—the living lawn mowers perpetually mowing over them."
The faint purple round leafed mint; rest-harrow and woodruffe are to be found everywhere.
Once on the Downs we escape from the intensity of life, and the " tinkling silence," as Rudyard Kipling calls it, lulls us into a gentle coma of satisfaction. The immense slumbrous sunshine enters the blood and ennobles the brain. We return like prodigals to the earth that bore us. There is silence and repose here, and deep in the very chalk beneath the feet we have that " thickish mutter " which Kipling mentions in the " Knife and the Naked Chalk." It is good to lay out on the naked chalk, for in our zeal to do many things we may forget sometimes the importance of doing