The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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210                   THE SUSSEX COAST
countryman yet wears a smock, the sails of a few windmills are yet blown round, but as a rule it is rather in the minds of our people than in what is more apparent to the passing motorist that the traditions of the past yet live.
J. J. Hissey has written: " Sleepy or stupid the Sussex folk are not, according to my experience, though quiet mannered and slow of speech— perhaps more given to thinking than talking, for which I esteem them." This is well illustrated by a story that Henry Maiden, of Windlesham House School, Brighton, used to tell against himself. Once on the Downs he got into conversation with an old Sussexian who was digging flints.
" 'Now, my good man,' he remarked, 'I dare say you think these flints grow here where you find them.'
"'I doan't think nothing at all about it, I knows they does,' was the reply.
" ' Well, then, you keep a flint on your chimney-piece through the year and see how much it has grown by the end of the time.' "
" The old man was somewhat impatient over the challenge, and rather tartly rejoined : ' Well, you put a tater on your chimney and see how much it grows there.'"
The following, again to quote J. C. Egerton, may be rude and may even verge on being libellous to the honoured rulers of our land, but stupid it is certainly not. " Many years ago" (will the reader kindly notice the approximate date) "I heard from a parishioner an opinion of politics which, whoever was its author, had in my ears a true Sussex ring about it, and which I felt to be no mere secondhand cynicism, but the genuine belief, however much mistaken, of some
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