Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Shakespeare on life in the High Weald

We live in the shadow of the High Weald, a great wood stretching across Kent and East Sussex in England, dating back to ancient times. Below are precious lines which I read for the first time today. They perfectly express our own situation. Interestingly, they were written by the hand of "comprehensive" Shakespeare, four hundred years ago, about living in a place like this.

They are spoken by Alexander Iden in "Henry VI Part II, Act IV, Scene X" and may refer to Heathfield or Iden, both in the High Weald:

"Lord, who would live turmoiled in the court;
And may enjoy such quiet walks as these?
This small inheritance my father left me
Contenteth me, and worth a monarchy.
I seek not to wax great by others' waning,
Or gather wealth, I care not with what envy:
Sufficeth that I have maintained my state,
And send the poor well-pleased from my gate".

Marvellous Shakespeare.....

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