Page:Highways and Byways in Sussex.djvu/313

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XXX
285
GODLY WIVES

great Quaker thus took to wife the daughter of a soldier. When Gulielma Penn died, at the age of fifty, her husband wrote of her: "She was a Publick, as well as Private Loss; for she was not only an excellent Wife and Mother, but an Entire and Constant Friend, of a more than common Capacity, and greater Modesty and Humility; yet most equal and undaunted in Danger. Religious as well as Ingenuous, without Affectation. An easie Mistress, and Good Neighbour, especially to the Poor. Neither lavish nor penurious, but an Example of Industry as well as of other Vertues: Therefore our great Loss tho' her own Eternal Gain."

In Ringmer Church, I might add, is a monument to Mrs. Jeffray (née Mayney), wife of Francis Jeffray of South Malling, with another beautiful testimony to the character of a good wife:—

Wise, modest, more than can be marshall'd heere,
(Her many vertues would a volume fill)
For all heaven's gifts—in many single sett—
In Jeffray's Maney altogether mett.


Ringmer was long famous for its mud and bad roads. Defoe (or another) says in the Tour through Great Britain:—"I travelled through the dirtiest, but, in many respects, the richest and most profitable country in all that part of England. The timber I saw here was prodigious, as well in quantity as in bigness; and seemed in some places to be suffered to grow only because it was so far from any navigation, that it was not worth cutting down and carrying away. In dry summers, indeed, a great deal is conveyed to Maidstone and other places on the Medway; and sometimes I have seen one tree on a carriage, which they call in Sussex a tug, drawn by twenty-two oxen; and, even then, it is carried so little a way, and thrown down, and left for other tugs to take up and carry on, that sometimes it is two or three years before it gets to Chatham. For, if once the rain comes on, it stirs no more that year, and sometimes a whole summer is not dry enough to