echoes of a vanished world and of other centuries, and his years and humour have raised him to the position of an absolute autocrat in his own department. He has many stories of bygone days, and it is a pleasure to hear the antiquated words and phrases he employs in the telling of them. Many a word which when found in Shakespeare is rudely classed by annotators as " obsolete " are common in the cottage homes of Sussex.
My friend does not appear to be cutting and laying the hedge in the usual way, but, with a long-handled hack-hook, he chops off the loose and untidy branches. This, he tells me, is called pleaching, an operation evidently well known to Shakespeare, and we recall such lines as :
" Her vine, the merry cheerer of the heart, Unpruned dies ; her hedges even pleached, Like prisoners wildly overgrown with hair, Put forth disordered twigs."
(Henry V., Act V., sc. 2.)
" I reckon you are giving work a miss this grand morning and having a miche round," is one of his first observations. This recalls a well-known passage of Shakespeare when Prince Hal turning to Falstaff asks, " Shall the blessed sun of