Page:Highways and Byways in Sussex.djvu/286

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local sarcasm credits Piddinghoe people with the habit of shoeing their magpies.



The Downs when we saw them first, between Midhurst and Chichester, formed an inland chain parallel with the shore: here, and eastward as far as Beachy Head, where they suddenly cease, their southern slopes are washed by the Channel. This companionship of the sea lends them an additional wildness: sea mists now and then envelop them in a cloud; sea birds rise and fall above their cliffs; the roar or sigh of the waves mingles with the cries of sheep; the salt savour of the sea is borne on the wind over the crisp turf. It was, I fancy, among the Downs in this part of Sussex that Mrs. Marriott-Watson wrote the intimately understanding lines which I take the liberty of quoting: