HERSTMONCEUX AND BEXHILL 323
deplore. For instance, Drayton's Polyolbion wails thus:—
'' These Forrests as I say, the daughters of the Weald (That in their heavie breasts, had long their greefs con-
ceal'd) Foreseeing their decay each howre so fast came on, Vnder the axes stroak, fetcht many a grievous grone, When as the anviles weight, and hammers dreadfull sound, Even rent the hollow Woods and shook the queachy
* * * * *
loves Oke, the warlike Ash, veyn'd Elme, the softer Beech, Short Hazell, Maple-plaine, light Aspe, the bending Wych, Tough Holly, and smooth Birch, must altogether burne : What should the Builder serve, supplies the Forgers turn ; When under publike good, base private gaine takes holde, And we poor woefull Woods, to mine lastly solde."
Foreign competition was severely felt by the ironworkers during the seventeenth century, and a petition to Charles II. proposed what we should now call Tariff Reform as a remedy : " Now forasmuch as some Northerne Countryes beyond Sea, are so extraordinarily abounding in woods iron mine and other conveniencyes for making Iron, and especially by ye cheapnes of theyr mens labor who work as Slaves (nor wth that liberty wh the meanest of yr Maties subjects comfortably enjoy) that of late years (having erected greater store of iron works than they had formerly) they are thereby enabled to send vast quantities of that commodity to other Nacions, and particularly since the yeare * into this kingdome and dayly more and more continue to doe eaven from wares ready wrought to the undoing of our Smiths and
* Apparently the year was never filled in.