Page:Highways and Byways in Sussex.djvu/453

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XLII
425
GRANDMOTHER FOWINGTON


King George:
     Stab or stabs, the least is my fear;
     Point me the place
     And I will meet you there.
Noble Captain:
     The place I 'point is on the ground
     And there I will lay your body down
     Across the water at the hour of five.
King George:
     Done, sir, done! I will meet you there,
     If I am alive I will cut you, I will slay you,
     All for to let you know that I am King George over Great Britain O!
     [Fight: King George wounds the Noble Captain.]

Until the close is almost reached the West Wittering Tipteers preserve the illusion of mediæval mummery. But the concluding song transports us to the sentiment of the modern music hall. Its chorus runs, with some callousness:—

"We never miss a mother till she's gone,
Her portrait's all we have to gaze upon,
     We can fancy see her there,
     Sitting in an old armchair;
We never miss a mother till she's gone."

Mark Antony Lower's Contributions to Literature, 1845, contains a pleasant essay on the South Downs which I overlooked when I was writing this book, but from which I now gladly take a few passages. It gives me, for example, a pendent to William Blake's description of a fairy's funeral on page 64, in the shape of a description of a fairy's revenge, from the lips of Master Fowington, a friend of Mr. Lower, who was one that believed in Pharisees (as Sussex calls fairies) as readily and unreservedly as we believe in wireless telegraphy. Mas' Fowington had, indeed, two very good reasons for his credulity. One was that the Pharisees are mentioned in the Bible and therefore must exist; the other was that his grandmother, "who was a very truthful woman," had seen them with her own eyes "time and often." "They was liddle folks