The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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186                   THE SUSSEX COAST
of fishing, robust in their bodies, laborious, skilled in all nautical crafts, and, as it is said, terrible cheats of the custom-house officers.
" Departing therefore to the inn, like the heroes of Homer after a battle, so did we perform our part most manfully, and then turned to bed, in­tending to sleep; but this sweet lulling of the senses was begrudged us by some sailors arriving all night long, and in the middle of their drink, singing out with their barbarous voices, clapping and making all manner of noises. The women also disturbed us, quarrelling and fighting about their fish.
1 Nor lacked there in the house Mud-footed Thetis with her briny friends.' "
Dr. Burton had his own theory of Sussex mud —such jokes were once new. " Come now, my friends, I will set before you a sort of problem in Aristotle's fashion : Why is it that the oxen, the swine, the women, and all other animals, are so long-legged in Sussex? May it be from the difficulty of pulling the feet out of so much mud by the strength of the ankle, that the muscles get stretched, as it were, and the bones lengthened ? "
From a Lewes paper of October 12, 1771 (p. 114), we have an interesting account of an occasion when the Custom House officers were not cheated. " A few days ago some Frenchmen came on shore from aboard a packet, at Brighthelmston, one of whom, preferring his own country bread before that of the English, brought with him a large loaf, which he had under his arm, when he was seen by Mr. Mucklebury, whose curiosity led him to know the difference, when, upon his breaking
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