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Title: Cornish Saints and Sinners
Author: Harris, J. Henry
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Cornish Saints and Sinners" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

    Cornish Saints and Sinners

    _By the Same Author_


    Crown 8vo.

[Illustration: THE SMUGGLERS.]



    [Illustration: THE ARMS OF CORNWALL.]





  THE SMUGGLERS                              _Frontispiece_

  THE ARMS OF CORNWALL                            _page_   1

  FATHER JOHN AND THE CIDER                _facing_  "     6

  PADDLING                                           "     9

  ST. MICHAEL'S MOUNT                                "    10

  ST. MICHAEL AND THE CONGER               _facing_  "    16

  THE KEIGWIN ARMS, MOUSEHOLE                        "    19

  DOLLY PENTREATH                          _facing_  "    22

  LAND'S END                                         "    27

  LIGHT WINDS                                        "    35

  ASHORE                                             "    36

  THE VILLAGE SHOP, MOUSEHOLE              _facing_  "    36

  SMUGGLERS                                          "    43

  A SHORT CUT                              _facing_  "    48

  LANYON QUOIT                                       "    55

  PADSTOW                                  _facing_  "    60

  COTTAGE, ST. IVES                                  "    63

  KING TEWDRIG AND THE SAINTS              _facing_  "    64

  ST. IA                                       "     "    66

  ST. AGNES                                          "    75

  THE SMUGGLERS' CAVE                                "    76

  THE LEGEND OF THE CHEESE-WRING           _facing_  "    82

  TRURO CATHEDRAL                                    "    84

  "TAKING SNUFF AND LOOKING LEXICONS"      _facing_  "    88

  THE PORCH, LAUNCESTON CHURCH                 "     "    92

  SMILER'S PIOUS CAT                                 "    94

  A CORNISH FISH-WIFE                      _facing_  "    98

  A SIDE STREET                                      "   100

  OLD COINAGE STREET, PENZANCE                       "   114

  BOSCASTLE HARBOUR                        _facing_  "   118

  BRETON ONION-BOY                                   "   122

  MEVAGISSEY                               _facing_  "   126

  A FISH-HAWKER                                      "   136

  TWO COTTAGES, MEVAGISSEY                 _facing_  "   144

  AN OLD CORNER, ST. IVES                            "   147

  ON THE SANDS                                       "   156

  THE PILLORY, LOOE                                  "   157

  MAKING CRAB POTS                         _facing_  "   158

  A TAIL-PIECE                                       "   167

  AN ALLEY                                           "   168

  OLD NEWLYN                               _facing_  "   168

  A CORNISH INTERIOR                                 "   178

  THE OLD MILL                             _facing_  "   178

  PERRAN PORTH                                       "   187

  GORRAN HARBOUR                                     "   188

  HOMEWARD BOUND                                     "   197


  POLPERRO                                           "   205

  CARN BREA                                          "   212

  THE CHAPEL ROCK, BUDE                    _facing_  "   216

  HIGH AND DRY                                       "   222

  "KNACKED BALS" (_disused mines_)                   "   223

  MORWENSTOW CLIFFS                        _facing_  "   226

  THE MANACLES                                       "   232

                                           _facing_  "   234

  THE ROCHE ROCK                                     "   237

  NEWQUAY SANDS                                      "   238

  NEWQUAY                                  _facing_  "   240

  "THE SOUL OF TREGEAGLE IN PAIN"          _facing_  "   244

  FRONT DOORS                                        "   248

  A FAIR PROSPECT                                    "   254

  JOHN BURTON                                        "   255

  BARRACKS HOPP, FALMOUTH                  _facing_  "   256

  THE PENRYN STOCKS                                  "   263

  ST. GOELAND AND THE SEA-GULL             _facing_  "   268

  THE DOG-FISH                                       "   271

  THREE MINUTES WITH A DOG-FISH            _facing_  "   274

  A STREET CORNER, ST. IVES                          "   280


  TINTAGEL                                           "   291

  YSEULT AND TRISTAN                       _facing_  "   294

  THE DIGEY                                          "   298

  KING ARTHUR'S CASTLE                     _facing_  "   298

  A CORNISH STILE                                    "   309

  LOW TIDE                                           "   312

[Illustration: THE ARMS OF CORNWALL.]



We were three.

Guy Moore, who had scraped through his "final," and eaten his call
dinner, and talked sometimes of full-bottomed wigs and woolsacks.

George Milner, surnamed the "Bookworm."


It was an old arrangement between Guy and myself to go somewhere as
soon as the Long Vacation commenced, and the Bookworm, a relation of
Guy's, was included on account of his health. The doctor told him that
if he did not take a timely rest now he'd never read all the books in
the British Museum library, which he had set himself to do before going
to Paris to read there, and then some other place, and so on. Bookworms
are like that. Our mutual friend was an earnest young man, and had the
reader's look about the eyes; and when he went to bed he read unknown
books in his sleep. The doctor said, "Get him away--plenty of air,
plenty of walking, no books."

We met in Guy's chambers, and talked Cornwall; but the trouble was with
the Bookworm, who wanted to take a truck-load of books with him.

We decided on going to Penzance, and then rambling just where we would.
A visit to the land of a lost language attracted the Bookworm, who at
once added a few score books to be read on the spot.

Guy was appointed guardian of the common purse, and empowered to make
all arrangements.

The books were left behind.

       *       *       *       *       *

A splendid day in August we had for our run westward. The Bookworm
had a corner, and by-and-by the spirit of wonder crept over him as
he looked at the blue skies and the green grass. There was a world
outside of books, after all.

"Here's the briny! Out with your head, man, and suck it all in; it's
the wine of life," shouted Guy.

Up went all the blinds, and down went all the windows, and every one
who could gazed upon the blue sea shoaling into green with white-flaked
edging on the frizzling sands. It is the custom to pay this homage to
the sea for being good enough to be just where it is, between Starcross
and Teignmouth. Right and left, the Bookworm saw heads thrust out and
faces in ecstasy, as though the whole human freight of the flying
train was in rapt adoration. White handkerchiefs waved, and the pure
voices of children trilled spontaneous anthems whenever the vexatious
tunnels permitted them to gaze upon old England's symbol of power and
freedom. It was a new experience to the Bookworm, and it surprised him
that anything not printed and stitched and bound should stir so much
emotion. It was Nature's book in red sandstone and blue sea illuminated
by the sun, on which his tired eyes rested for a few moments; he felt
refreshed by the mere vision, his pulses throbbing with new sensations.
And when the vision passed in the broad valley of the Teign, he asked

"Is there more of this?"

"Plenty," said Guy, promptly.

According to Guy's account, we were to have just whatever we liked,
when we liked, and where we liked. Seascape and moorscape, hill and
vale, sailing and fishing, riding and driving, and golfing, and all
that sort of thing. And then there were certain mysterious regions
where we were to find tracks of the fairies, and come across odds and
ends of things, and people too. We were not to have any guide-books; he
insisted on that. What was the good of guide-books to fellows on their
rambles? Who cared how many yards he was from anywhere, or how many
miles it was from one place to another? All that was worth remembering
could be picked up on the spot, and then there wouldn't be any danger
of everything running into one blurred outline of travel, just as
happened to a fellow after tramping for weeks through picture-galleries
and curio-shops, and all that sort of thing. Guy said he knew a fellow
who did the whole county most thoroughly guide-book in hand. He started
from Bude, and did the north coast; and then he turned around and did
the south coast. He scored his guide-book like a chart of navigation,
and his marginal notes played leap-frog all over the show. When he got
to Plymouth he lost the precious book, and if it wasn't for railway
labels and hotel bills, he wouldn't have known where he'd been.

A commercial man, having totted up his accounts, seemed greatly
interested in Guy's remarks, and glided into the conversation. He told
us he hadn't had a holiday for thirty years, and never expected another
in this life. He became quite confidential, and gave us his views
about happiness in the world to come. He never intended going "on the
road" again for a living in the next world, he said, if there were any
telephones about. He didn't like telephones when the boss was always at
the other end.

We ran through the apple country, and the commercial man said these
orchards were simply nothing to be compared with those a few miles
away, where the real Devon cider was made. He told some funny
stories about cider and its makers--the way in which sweet cider was
discovered, and the hand that Old Nick had in the matter.

"It's a short story," said he, good-naturedly. "Old John Bowden had
the finest orchard land in South Devon, and it appears that in the
olden times the land was the property of Tavistock Abbey, and the good
Fathers used to come over every season to make cider and have a frolic.
Sometimes the good old cider, being no respecter of persons, got into
the good Fathers' heads. Now, you must know that the best of cider is
a trifle sharp to the palate--the natives call it 'rough'--and the
Fathers were in the habit of toning some rare good stuff, reserved for
high days and holidays, in empty wine-casks. One season, the wine-casks
falling short, the Abbot of Tavistock drew up a sort of prize
competition, like the magazines do now, offering something tasty to the
inventor of a process for making 'rough' cider sweet without the use of
wine, which, I suppose, worked out expensive, and, moreover, encouraged
more drinking than was allowed under the tippling act. I must now tell
you that, for a very long time, things hadn't gone on smoothly between
the monks of Tavistock Abbey and Old Nick, who was constantly prowling
about the premises, picking up little bits of information, and making
the good Fathers uncomfortable. Well, he chanced upon this prize
competition notice on an old door covered over with cast horse-shoes
and vermin nailed up for 'good luck' and to keep his satanic majesty
off the premises. However, there he was, and read the notice.


"A very obliging little old man turned up at the orchards one season,
and offered his services, and was taken in to do odd jobs about the
pound-house, and as he wasn't particular about his bed, he was allowed
to curl himself up in one of the big empty cider-casks. In truth, after
the work was over for the day, the good Fathers had other fish to fry,
and thought no more about him; but the strange workman was most busy
when he was supposed to be sound asleep.

"Of all the Fathers of the Abbey, Brother John was the keenest on
winning the prize for turning 'rough' cider into sweet, and he spent
hours in the pound-house alone, spoiling good stuff, without getting
one foot forrarder. 'Dang my old buttons!' said he, after another

"It wasn't so much the language as the temper of Brother John which
attracted the notice of the little old man who slept in the cask,
and he whispered something which made the good brother turn pale and
tremble in his shoes. He was not above temptation, it is true, but
he was a brave man for all that, and dissimulated so well that the
stranger was so off his guard as to sleep in his cask and leave one
of his cloven feet sticking out of the bung-hole. Brother John bided
his time and covered the bung-hole, and then arranged for such a flow
of cider into the cask upon the sleeping stranger as to settle his
hash, unless it was the very old Nick himself. Old Nick it was, and
when he awoke to the situation he was so hot with passion that the
cider bubbled in the cask, and he disappeared, leaving the strongest
of strong smell of brimstone behind. Brother John kept the secret to
himself, not knowing what might come of it; but when he tasted the
cider his eyes sparkled, for it was as sweet as honey, and when sweet
cider was wanted at the Abbey, he used to pour it 'rough' upon the
fumes of burning sulphur, and, lo and behold! it became sweet. It was
Old Nick who gave away the secret to Brother John, who was smart enough
to learn it. A Devon man calls sweet cider 'matched,' on account of its
connection with old Brimstone."

"Did Brother John patent the process?" asked Guy.

"No, he didn't, though Old Nick tempted him; but Brother John was
too wide awake to have his fingers burnt by patent lawyers and their

"Is that story in print?" asked the Bookworm, preparing to make a note
for future reference.

"I should say not. It's just one of those trifles you pick up on the
road. Plenty about when Old Nick is concerned. They say his majesty
didn't cross the Tamar in olden days; or, if he did, then he hopped
back again in double-quick time. That may be, but he's a season
ticket-holder now, and has good lodgings, and I ought to know, for I do
business all through the country," said the man of samples, stepping
out of the carriage.

"A trifle rough on us lawyers," said Guy. "Poor beggar has suffered, I

Across the bridge, and we are in the land of pasties and cream--the
land of a lost language, of legend and romance, where the old seems new
and the new seems old, and the breath of life everywhere.


[Illustration: PADDLING.]

[Illustration: ST. MICHAEL'S MOUNT]


The proper thing to do when you awake at Penzance is to run down to
the sea and bathe. We were told all about it in the smoking-room. It
is a sort of ceremony with something belonging to it. When once you've
bathed in the sea you're free of the country, like the Israelites,
after swimming the Jordan. Everybody asks his neighbour, "Have you
bathed?" If you have, it's all right.

We missed the Bookworm soon after breakfast, but Guy said we would soon
find him if we drew the libraries. Guy supposed that reading was like
dram-drinking to a fellow who had got himself into the Bookworm's
condition, and it would be just as well to let him have a dose
occasionally. We decided to "do" Penzance on our own account.

There's nothing much to "do." All the streets run down to the sea, and
then run up again. It is a capital arrangement and saves one asking
questions. It is humiliating for a Londoner to be seen asking his way
about, and takes the fine bloom off his swagger not to be able to find
his way to the next street, in a town all the inhabitants of which
could be put into one corner of the Crystal Palace. Guy said he'd
rather walk miles than ask such a silly question.

Penzance had a reputation long before any modern rivals were heard of,
and was the Madeira of England before the Riviera made its _début_ as
a professional beauty in the sunny south. Professional beauties want
"touching up" sometimes, and Penzance has been doing a little in that
way lately, though without destroying the charm which draws admirers,
and keeps them. It is one of those towns in which you seem to be always
walking in the shadow of a long yesterday. Go into the market, and buy
a rib of beef, and you are brought face to face with an ancient cross
whose age no man can surely tell. You buy a fish, still panting, from
the creel of a wrinkled specimen of human antiquity which takes snuff,
and bargains in unfamiliar words. Shops with modern frontages are
filled with dark serpentine, which carries you back to geologic time;
and at the photographers, the last professional beauty on the stage is
surrounded by monuments in stone, weathered and hoary before the Druids
used them for mystic rites. And the names are strange. A sound of
bitter wailing is in Marazion, and Market Jew brings to mind the lost
ten tribes. You learn in time that Market Jew has nothing to do with
Jewry, nor Marazion with lamentation; but all this comes gradually, and
there is ever the sensation of having an old and vanished past always
with you. You may step from Alverton Street, Pall Mall and Piccadilly
rolled into one, with its motor-cars and bikes, knickers and chiffons,
into Market Jew, reminding you of antiquity and gabardines, or _vice
versâ_, just as you happen to be taking your walks abroad.

Penzance has one "lion"--Sir Humphry Davy. Sir Humphry and his little
lamp is a story with immortal youth, like that of Washington and
his little hatchet. Sir Humphry meets you at unexpected places and
times--there was something _à la_ Sir Humphry on the breakfast menu.
We heard about him soon after our arrival, from an American tourist of
independent views. He said that Sir Humphry would not be a boss man
now because he didn't know a good thing when he had it, and gave away
his invention in a spirit of benevolence, which was destructive of all
sound commercial principles. Then he figured out how many millions,
in dollars, Sir Humphry might have made, if only he had patented his
little lamp and run the show himself.

Sir Humphry is a sort of patron saint, and some people feel all the
better for looking at his statue in marble outside the Market House.
He was born here, but his bones rest in peace at Geneva. They may
be brought over at the centenary of his death, and canonized by the
miners, whose saint he is, and God reward him for placing science at
the service of humanity.

We found ourselves in the Morrab Gardens; the Public Library is there,
and Guy said we might surprise the Bookworm if he came out to breathe.
We didn't see him, but we saw the gardens--a little paradise with
exotic blooms, and fountains playing, and the air laden with perfume.
We sat down, but didn't feel like talking--a delicious, do-nothing sort
of feeling was over us. We didn't know then what it was, but found that
it was the climate--the restful, seductive climate.

A couple of fishwomen with empty baskets passed us, and they talked
loud enough, but it might have been Arabic for all we knew. The letters
of the alphabet seemed to be waltzing with the s's and z'z to the old
women's accompaniment, and words reached us from a distance like the
hum of bees. We were inclined to sleep, so moved on; but the feeling
while it lasted was delicious. It may be only coincidence, but the
Bookworm discovered that Morrab is a Semitic word, and means "the place
of the setting sun." The Morrab Gardens face the west; and to sit in a
library in a miniature garden of Eden with an Arabic name is, in his
opinion, the height of human enjoyment. The natives think a lot of the

Serpentine and saints are common--the former is profitable; but there
was an over-production of the latter a long time ago, and the market is
still inactive. Some parishes had more than one saint, and some saints
had more than one _alias_, to the great confusion of all saint lovers.
The memory of saints, however, will last as long as the Mount stands.
The Mount, dedicated to St. Michael, makes one curious about the early
history of the good people who came here long ago, when the sea was
salt enough to float millstones. The cheapest way of coming across in
those days from the "distressful country," was to sit on a millstone
and wait for a fair breeze. The saints were quite ready to grind any
other man's corn as soon as they landed, and the millstones were
convenient for that purpose. The rights of aliens to eat up natives
were articles of belief and practice.

Penzance appeared on the saints' charts as the "Holy Headland," which
was a mark to steer by; but St. Michael, it appears, drifted out of his
course, and landed at the Mount, where the giant lived, and thereby
hangs a tale.


There are more St. Michaels than one, but the hero of this story landed
at the Mount in a fog. The Mount was then the marine residence of
an ancient giant, well known as keeping a sharp look-out for saints
through a telescope, which he stole from an unfortunate Phoenician
ship laden with tin and oysters. The giant had an evil reputation, but
did nothing by halves. He was asleep when St. Michael landed; and when
he slept, he snored, and when he snored, the Mount shook.

The poor saint was in a terrible funk, wandering about for days,
reading the notices which the giant posted up warning saints not to
land, unless they wished to be cooked in oil, after the manner of
sardines. There was nothing to be picked up just then but seaweed, and
the dry bones which the giant threw away--and there wasn't enough on
the bones to support a saint after he had done with them. St. Michael
had got rid of the very last drop of the best LL. whisky, and sat on
the empty keg, and dreamed of his own peat fire at Ballyknock, and the
little shebeen where a drop was to be had for the asking. It was fear
of the fierce giant above which alone kept him from singing the poem
which he had composed about "Home, sweet home."

The saint was very sad, and had almost given up hope, when something in
the sea attracted his attention, and he saw a great conger rise, tail
first, and stretch itself, until the tail topped the rock. Its head
remained in the sea. The giant was snoring, and the Mount shook. St.
Michael was the gold medallist of his college, and could put two and
two together with the help of his fingers. "A sign," said he, girding
on his sword, and putting on his best pair of spurs. The conger was to
be for him a Jacob's ladder.

So he dug his spurs well into the fish's side, and climbed and
climbed until he reached the top, and, with one mighty stroke, cut
off the giant's head. There wasn't much personal estate--only the
telescope--and the saint took that, but forgot to send a "return" to
Somerset House, and pay death duties. The conger wagged his tail, by
way of saying he was tired and wanted to be off, so the saint slipped
down quite easily--so easily that he found the earth hard when he
touched bottom. Those who have eyes to see may see the mark to this day.


Then the conger disappeared in the sea, but returned again, this time
head first, and licked the saint's hand, who blessed it. Now the
conger is very fine and large, and abundant in its season, and the
white scars down its sides are the marks of the saint's spurs, which
tell the story of the climb. There are some who say it was a bean-stalk
which grew in the night for the saint to climb, and those who believe
it, may.

The giant's blood flowed over the cliff, and a church sprung up, which
St. Michael dedicated to himself, and then went away, for the Mount was
not inhabited in those days.[A]

  [A] Story-books, please copy. No rights reserved.

This was the beginning of the war between the saints and giants, which
continued for centuries, and might have lasted until now, only the
saints came out on top.

Saint Michael crops up in various places, and, for convenience, I may
add here what is known of him. He became the patron saint of the county
after meeting with the arch-enemy at Helston. There was no time to
advise the newspapers, and get special correspondents on the spot, but
it was reported that the battle was tough and long. The enemy carried a
red-hot boulder under his arm, and hurled it at the saint; but he was
out of practice, and the ball went wide. Then the saint got in with his
trusty blackthorn, and basted the enemy so well that he couldn't fly
away fast enough for comfort.

N.B.--The boulder was picked up when cool, and is still on view at the
Angel Hotel.

Saint Michael, having now done enough for mere reputation, grew
ambitious, and turned author, and that finished him. He wrote "The
Story of my Life," but the publishers returned the manuscript with
compliments; and when he found he had to pay double postage on the
unstamped parcels, his great heart broke.

The Bookworm got back in time for dinner. He had been to all the
libraries, and made friends of all the curators, and was going to have
a good time.

We met the American gentleman in the smoking-room, and he gave us more
opinions. He said this part of the world was a durned sight too slow
for the twentieth century. It was, say, two hundred years behind the
age. He expected that an American citizen would come across one day,
and just show the people what to do, and how to do it. This Cornwall
was a big show for the man who knew how to handle it. He took a special
interest in the matter, because of the Gulf Stream, and he wasn't sure
whether or no this part of the old country came within the Monroe
doctrine. If it's England where the British flag waves, then isn't
it America where American water runs? And if the Gulf Stream wasn't
America, what was? He told us frankly that he, John B. Bellamy, Kansas
City, Mo., U.S.A., had ideas.



Dolly Pentreath, the fishwife of Mousehole, had a reputation as wide,
but different, as Sir Humphry's. Her portrait is sold in Penzance,
wherein Dolly is only a name now. She belonged to the adjoining parish
of Paul, and so there is no statue to her in the Market-place, where
she sold fish, and talked the old Cornish with the real twenty-two
carat stamp upon it. The Bookworm said Dolly's fame had done a good
deal towards advertising the land of a lost language. He showed us the
portrait of a determined-looking, passionate old party in short skirts,
and a creel on her back. We had seen already several ancient dames
carrying fish quite as capable of taking care of themselves, which
indicated that if the language is lost, the race survives. It's a nice
walk along the shore to Mousehole. We might have lingered at Newlyn,
only the Bookworm wanted to get upon classic ground, where old Dolly
used to smoke her pipe, and drink her flagon of beer with the best, and
talk Cornish--the real old lingo, hot, sweet, and strong, so that those
who heard her once never forgot it. Dolly lived to one hundred and
two, and then departed, carrying with her, in her queer old brain, the
completest vocabulary of the Cornish language upon earth. This is the
legend, to which is to be added that she had the reputation of being
a "witch." There exists an ancient corner in the village where Dolly
would be at home again if she could come back; and the Bookworm walked
up and down, and in and out, touching the stones and rubbing shoulders
against the pillars, as though he expected to feel an electric shock,
or receive the straight tip from the old lady that he'd touched the
spot, like Homocea. He may have passed over it, but he was happy. If he
could only have found an old clay pipe that Dolly had smoked!

An old man sitting on a post watched us out of a corner of his eye. He
knew what we were up to, and that there was a trifle at the end of it.
Guy tackled him.

"Dolly Pentreath? Oh yes; she died poor, and was buried in the parish
churchyard of Paul. People came in shoals to see her monument and read
the inscription."

"Had anybody got anything belonging to her?"

Not that he knew by. "She might have had a Bible or a hymn-book, but
she wasn't given that way much. So many people wanted 'relics,' and if
there ever were any, they would have been sold long ago."

All this was straight enough, and his blue eye looked as clear as the
well of truth. We stood around him as an oracle, and he began his story.

"Dolly Pentreath was a fine woman, with a voice that you could hear
to Newlyn. She had the heart of a lion, and it was told of her that
when a press-gang landed in search of men for the navy, Dolly took up
a hatchet and fought them back to their boats, and so cursed them in
old Cornish that that crew never ventured to come again.[B] And she was
artful as well as brave, and saved a man, 'wanted' by the law for the
purpose of hanging, by hiding him in her chimney. Dolly lived in an old
house overlooking the quay, the walls of which were thick, and in the
chimney was a cavity in which a man could stand upright, and it was a
convenient hiding-place for many things. 'Back along' Mousehole was one
family, and the ties of blood spoke eloquently; so, when a man rushed
into Dolly's cottage, saying the officers were after him, and would
hang him to the yardarm of the ship out in the bay, from which he had
taken French leave the week before, he did not appeal in vain.

[B] The old lady's eloquence in her native tongue did not run greatly
to swear-words, of which, according to Carew, there were only "two or
three natural." "But then," saith Carew, "this want is relieved with a
flood of most bitter curses and spiteful nicknames." The mouth hath its
pearls; and our Dolly's was well filled, when her blood was stirred.

"There was no time to lose, and Dolly rose to the occasion. Up the
chimney she popped the man; then, taking an armful of dried furze, she
made a fire in the wide open grate, and filled the crock with water.
Into the middle of the kitchen she pulled a 'keeve,' which she used for
washing, and when the naval officer and his men burst into the kitchen,
Dolly was sitting on a stool, with her legs bare, and her feet dangling
over the 'keeve.' This was the situation.

[Illustration: DOLLY PENTREATH.]

"'A man, indeed!' quoth Dolly; 'and me washing my feet!' She was only
waiting for the water to 'het,' and they might all wash their own, if
they liked. Search? Of 'coose' they might, and be sugared. (This was
old Cornish, of course.) Would they like to look into the crock, and
see if a man was boiling there?

"Search they did, and found no man; but Dolly found her tongue, and
let them have it; and then she found her thick shoes and let them
fly; and then she made for the chopper, and that cleared the house.
Dolly made the most noise when she heard the poor man cough in his
hiding-place. The aromatic smoke from the burning furze tickled his
throat, and though life depended on silence, he could not keep it.
Then Dolly gave tongue, and old Cornish--the genuine article--rattled
amongst the rafters, like notes from brazen trumpets blown by tempests.
She threw wide her door, and, with bare legs and feet, proclaimed to
all the world the mission of the young lieutenant and his men, who now
saw anger in all eyes, and made good their retreat whilst in whole
skins. Then Dolly liberated the man in the chimney. In the dark night a
fishing lugger stole out of Mousehole with the deserter on board, and
made for Guernsey, which, in those days, was a sort of dumping-ground
for all who were unable to pay their debts at home, or were 'wanted'
for the hangman."

The old man, with true blue eyes, turned a quid in his mouth, and said,
with the simplicity of a child, "And that man was my mother's father."

Guy was preparing to cross-examine the man of truth, but we would
not have it. It was his own witness. He had found him sitting on an
iron stump, and was bound to treat him as a witness of truth. Why
shouldn't his own mother's father have been a deserter from the king's
ship, and been saved by Dolly Pentreath? Guy agreed; but, said he, it
was suspicious that that man should have been sitting on that very
stump, at the very right moment, and have the right story on the tip
of his tongue for the right people to listen to. There was too much
"coincidence." We let it go at that.

The Bookworm had the old man with the truthful blue eyes all to himself
for a time, and discovered the very room in the Keigwin Arms in which
Dolly was wont to take her pint and her pipe at her ease, and the
window out of which she would thrust her hard old face and shout to
the fishers when they came to the landing-place. The old lady was keen
on her bargains, and when she had bought her "cate," she trudged into
Penzance with "creel" on back, and spoiled the Egyptians, according
to the rules of art. The costume of the fishwife is the same now as
then--the short skirt, the turned-up sleeves, the pad for resting the
creel. Newhaven fishwives, but with less colour.

The Bookworm tried some old Cornish, which he had picked up the
previous day, upon the old man with the truthful blue eyes, but he
shook his head mournfully. "_Karenza whelas karenza_," repeated the
Bookworm; but the old man looked blank, and did not blush at not
knowing the family language. The finest chords of his heart were
untouched; but he brightened up when the Bookworm sought his hand
furtively, and left something there. Guy said he was perpetuating

The old fellow offered to go with us to Paul, and show us Dolly's
monument, but Guy said the place was consecrated ground, and something
tragic might happen if he refreshed his memory too largely on the spot.
The truthful-looking eyes were unabashed.

"I don't care," said the Bookworm, as we walked along the road--"I
don't care; we have received from the old fellow the impressions which
he received from those who saw Dolly Pentreath in life--her passionate
self-will and pluck, her artfulness, her readiness of tongue, and
quickness in making a situation. What could be more dramatic in a
cottage with only a fireplace, a wash-tray, and a stool in it for
accessories? I don't care how much is invention--the living impression
is that Dolly would have done this under the circumstances, and so the
true woman has been presented to us."

"I wish you joy of her, only I'm glad she doesn't cook my dinner," said
Guy. "Let us reckon up her virtues--she snuffed, she smoked, she took
her pint, and she cussed upon small provocation; these are the four
cardinal virtues in your heroine. I wonder how often she was before
her betters for assault and battery, and using profane language in an
unknown tongue?"

We saluted the monolith in the churchyard in memory of Dolly Pentreath,
but no one can say for certain that it covers the ashes of that ancient
volcano in petticoats. Guy said he could not thrill unless he was sure
the old lady was there, and the Bookworm ought to do all the thrilling
for the party.

We were glad to have seen the monument, and the Bookworm said it was a
sign of the _bonne entente_ which is to be. "The Republic of Letters is
superior to public prejudices and racial antipathies," he added, with a
magnificent wave of the hand.

We saluted, the monument, including the shades of Dolly and Prince
Lucian, if they happened to be around, and departed with the conviction
that we had behaved very nicely towards the lost language and the
"Republic of Letters."

[Illustration: LAND'S END.]


The American citizen was not very interested in our doings. He thought
that one language was good enough for the whole earth, and that was
English, improved by the United States. There were languages still
spoken in America which, he guessed, wouldn't be missed if they died
out, as well as the people who spoke them. He wasn't gone on lost
languages, or lost trades, or lost anything, but was a living man, and
wanted people about him to show life. He had been told to take back
some "relics" of the late King Arthur, because there was money in them,
and he was going to Tintagel to look round--a button, or shoe-lace, or
lock of hair picked up on the spot would fetch something considerable.
There was a market for "relics" on the other side. We told him we
weren't keen on "relics" for commercial purposes, and were going the
other way first, so he would have it all his own way as far as we were

We reached the Land's End at the lowest of low water, and touched the
very last bit of rock visible, so as to be able to say we'd touched the
very last stone of dry England. We left it there for future generations
to touch.

Cornwall is a tract of land with one-third in pickle, and what can't
be walked over can be sailed over. When you sail far enough you reach
the Scilly Isles, which is a sort of knuckle-end to the peninsula which
once was land. There isn't very much to be found out in books about the
land under the sea. Of course it is there, or water wouldn't be on top.

The Cornwall under the sea is the land of romance, where, some say,
King Arthur was born. There is no getting away from this land under the
sea, for the old fairies rise from it still, and spread enchantment.
We were told that every little boy and girl born in the peninsula is
breathed over by the fairies, and in after-life, wherever they may be,
they turn their faces in sleep towards the west, and dream. From under
the sea there rises, morn and eve, the sound of bells, telling their
own tale with infinite charm. The stranger who comes into the county
must hear these sounds and thrill, and see in sunshine and shadow,
on hill and in coombe, on moor and fen, the fluttering of impalpable
wings; for if he hears and sees them not, he will depart the stranger
he came, though he live a lifetime in the land. In Cornwall everything
is alive--the mine, the moor, the sea, the deep pools, the brooks, the
groves, the sands, the caves; everything has its moan and harmony and
inspiration. And the land under the sea, which is called Lyonesse by
the poets, was a fairy zone, and some say it sank in the night, and
some say other things harder to believe.

Cornwall under the sea has been there a long time. Some people, who
like to be accurate above all things, say it disappeared in the year
1089, and contained 140 parish churches, and God wot how many chapels,
and baptistries, and holy wells, and places. The only survivor was a
Trevelyan, of Basil, near Launceston, who was on the back of a swimming
horse. As it is not improbable that the inhabitants of Lyonesse traded
with somebody elsewhere and owed them money, it is wonderful that the
bad debts should have been wiped out without a murmur, and that no
entry has been found in any court, or in the accounts and deeds of
abbeys and priories of any interest in the 140 parish churches, and
chapels, and holy wells, and baptistries. The Trevelyans seem to have
been a larkish family, for when one of them was arrested for debt, he
fetched a beehive and presented it to the bailiffs, who ran away from
honey and honeycomb as fast as they could. The chimes which rise from
the 140 parish churches under the sea are very beautiful to those who
hear them. The square-set man who tacked himself on to us smiled when
we asked him to say honestly if he had heard them. He had heard people
say that they had. Some people are wonderfully quick at hearing.

The fact remains that from Land's End to Scilly is blue water, and from
Scilly to Sandy Hook is blue water also. There are some other facts
of almost equal interest, if one cares about them; but the first and
foremost fact is, that every one standing for the first time upon the
bluff, perpendicular cliffs at the Land's End, turns his face seawards,
and says, "There's nothing between me and America." Many people also
think that the waves breaking on the dark rocks travel all the way from
Sandy Hook without stopping for the privilege of dying on English soil.
Wherever they come from they're welcome, and so also are the winds
laden with Atlantic brine, which certainly have touched no land since
they left the other side. No American tourist ever comes as far west as
Penzance without rushing to the Land's End to get a lung-full of home
air, as pure and unadulterated as it can be got in this old country.

Guy was particularly interested in the Gulf Stream, which we found was
another matter of unfailing interest to everybody, and at all times and
seasons. Some things may be explained every hour of the day without
being explained away, like the sun's light, or a rainbow, or a new
baby's eyes. Guy wanted to have the Gulf Stream pointed out to him,
just as though it were painted red on the chart, or sent up clouds of
steam. There wasn't much fun in looking for the Gulf Stream, only,
being on the spot, one was obliged to do it. We had heard such a lot
about it at the hotel, and the square-set man told us that people
always made a dash for the Gulf Stream when they came here. His story
of the old lady bringing eggs with her to cook in the Stream kept us
in good temper when we found for ourselves that the water was just
the same as any other sea-water, as far as we could tell, and that we
should not have suspected the Gulf Stream of being near if we hadn't
been told. Guy said it was a fine thing to know it was somewhere about,
even if we couldn't see it, because it was a sort of link between the
old world and the new, and made it easy to understand why Mr. Choate
was made a Bencher. Guy promised to think the matter out, and put it in
another way if we couldn't quite understand the reference.

The square-set man said he was sure there was a Gulf Stream, because
foreign seaweed was picked up sometimes; and if it wasn't for the
Stream, early potatoes and broccoli wouldn't be early, and the flowers
at Scilly would be just the same as at other places. It's a long way
for a stream to come, and the square-set man told us that at one time
it must have been stronger than now, for it carried away the mainland
between us and Scilly; but when Guy cross-examined him on what he
called a question of fact, he broke down, and finished off by saying
that that was what "people said." Guy was willing that there should
be a Gulf Stream, but he bristled when told that the peninsula was
snapped off like a carrot, and carried away by a stream from the Gulf
of Mexico. His English pride was hurt, and he declared that he'd rather
do without early potatoes and broccoli and flowers from Scilly for
the rest of his life than that foreign water should ever be said to
have carried away English acres, and so many of them. The invasion of
England by the Gulf Stream indeed! Then where were the Navy League,
and the Coast Defence Committee, and Mr. Balfour's great speech in the
House of Commons?

There was one spot that we must see and stand upon, and the square-set
man was sure of himself this time. We must go and stand upon the rock
where Wesley stood before composing the hymn, "Lo, on a narrow neck
of land." People come from all quarters of the universe for this
privilege, and some people actually go away and compose hymns and send
copies to the square-set man. He did not say what he did with them, but
he did not talk respectfully of an absent lady who mailed him a poem
from New York and forgot the postage stamps.

It was Guy's idea to stay where we were. He put it very nicely to the
Bookworm about "communing with Nature, the great unwritten book, and
all that sort of thing, you know." Guy was afraid that he would make a
bee-line for the library if we returned to Penzance, and that we should
have to dig him out again. "We'll keep him in the open, and let the
square-set man stuff him with pre-historic monuments--something solid,
you know, after the Gulf Stream." Guy's mind was constantly running on
the Gulf Stream. He didn't care a fig for the stream, he said, in the
course of the evening, and it was welcome to travel where it would; but
when it came to taking away English soil, he wouldn't hear it; no, not
if all the scientists in the universe were against him.

Most people carry away something--pebbles, or blooms, or bits of
seaweed, or something of that sort--and there's plenty left; and all
seem to carry away "impressions." The guide-books don't help the
impressionists much, for everything appears different to every other
person, as though the local fairies had a hand in it.

The square-set man called upon us in the evening, and told us stories
of people whom he had conducted around the cliffs, and from monument to
monument. The cliffs, we found, were "grand," "sublime," or "terrible;"
and the rest was summed up in "charming," "queer," "fantastic,"
"unaccountable," "odd," "sweet," and the like. Specialists, of course,
had their own pet phrases; but our friend was particularly struck
with the fancy of the gentleman who saw in the cliffs only admirable
situations for solving the great mystery. The higher the point, the
more he seemed delighted. "Now, this is what I call a grand place
for committing suicide," he finished off by saying, and "tipped" so
liberally that Mr. Square-set is on the look-out for his return. An
emotion once so deeply stirred will surely need be stirred again, he

When we asked Square-set to sit down and chat a bit, he said he'd be
very pleased to "tich-pipe;" and when I passed him my pouch, he said he
hadn't smoked since he was a young man.

"What you want to touch-a-pipe for if you don't smoke, I can't
imagine," said Guy; and then we found that "tich-pipe" had nothing to
do with the weed, but simply meant an interval of rest.

The Bookworm made a note.

[Illustration: LIGHT WINDS.]

[Illustration: ASHORE.]


No one ever comes here without inquiring for "wreckers"--Cornish
wreckers are in demand. Guy put artful questions artfully, but could
get no admissions beyond that--that he had "heard tell" that in ancient
days things were done which no honest, God-fearing man should do. He
was always being asked about wreckers and their doings, and a real,
live sample on show would be a fortune to any man. What was called
"wrecking" now was simply picking up and carrying away little odds and
ends which the sea threw up high and dry upon the beaches. And why not?
Who had a better title to them?


Guy said he supposed it was all right; and he remembered there was
authority for saying that the king is rex because all wrecks belong to
him. If so, then wreckers are rexers in their own right, and can
do no wrong. Mr. Square-set was not impressed, but he assured us that
the double-dyed villain of Cornish romances innumerable was extinct
now, and Mr. Carnegie's millions could not purchase a specimen for the
British Museum. It was a disappointment not to find a "wrecker"--the
bold, bad man who tied lanterns to cows' tails, and sent up false
lights to lure passing ships to destruction. We wanted to shake hands
with one and stand him drinks, and make notes of his bushy eyebrows and
the colour of his eyes, and then turn him inside out to discover what
his secret thoughts were when hatching diabolical plans. Our faith in
Cornish romances received a great shock just then, and Guy's cherished
ambition to write "The Chronicles of Joseph Penruddock, Wrecker,"
suffered frost-bite. The world will never know more.

Of deeds of derring-do for the saving of life our square-set friend was
full. This was another picture--a picture of black night and tempest,
and noble souls wrestling with death and destruction, with scarce one
faint chance in their favour. He told us of a man who hung over the
precipitous cliff which we had stood on that morning, shuddering as we
looked down in the full light of day, and the sea calm as the surface
of a mirror; he told us of a man who descended that cliff by a rope
when a storm was raging, and the sea "boiling" beneath him, and how he
brought back in his arms a burden, battered, but still living, and
how, in mid-air, the strands of the rope were chafed, so that those
above trembled as they hauled. And as he spoke an inward glow spread
over the man's face and revealed him. Guy seized the man's hands in
both his own and wrung them, saying, "Great Scott! and you are the
man who did this thing!" He told us afterwards that he couldn't help
himself, and wasn't the least ashamed of being a bit "soft" just then.
To think that this hero was the man we picked up scratching himself
against a cromlech and looking for a job!

We couldn't get away from the sea now, and Mr. Square-set told us how
differently sailors in misfortune were treated now than formerly--how
they were fed and clothed and sent from one end of the country to the
other, wherever they wished to go--in fact, by rail. In his young
days it was not so, and a shipwrecked mariner was compelled to tramp
wherever he chose to go, either to his own home or to the next port, in
the hope of getting a berth. But a tramp in fine weather, sleeping in
the fields and outhouses at night, and begging at decent houses by day,
was very much enjoyed by the men, who became heroes when they returned
home. He told us the story of


who hailed from Cornwall, and once found themselves stranded in the
port of London, with little but what they stood upright in. They were
young men and merry-hearted, and stood by each other in fair weather or
foul, as shipmates should. They hailed from the same fishing village,
and wished to be home during the "feast" week, which was near at hand.
Failing to find a coasting vessel bound west, they started to walk,
and part of their arrangement was to take it in turns to call at
gentlemen's houses and ask for assistance. They preferred not to go to
the same house together, but to leave one on the look-out, in case of
"squalls." They got on well enough for some days, sleeping where they
could, and telling yarns of peril and disaster, most likely, in their
opinion, to melt the hearts of hearers. And the story went like this--

"They came to a great gentleman's house, and it was Tommy Hingston's
turn to go in, and Bill Baron's to watch outside. Tommy went up, as
bold as brass, and asked for the gentleman, who was at home, and
received him very kindly; and when he found he had come from London, he
asked him for the latest news.

"'There's fine news, sure 'nuff,' says Tom.

"'Then let me have it, my man.'

"'Haven't 'ee heard it, yer honour? Haven't 'ee heard that London was
as black as night at noon-day?'

"'Most remarkable,' said the gentleman; 'and can you tell me what
caused the darkness?'

"'Sartin sure I can. A monstrous great bird flew over the town, and
shut out the sun with his wings.'

"'That is astonishing. And did you hear anything else?'

"'Ess; they've a-turned Smithfield Market into a kitchen, and all the
people are to be fed upon whitepot.'

"'You really mean it?'

"'I tasted it, yer honour,' replied Tom.

"'And was there anything else worthy of notice?'

"Tom scratched his head. 'There was something else,' he added, in a
sort of hardly-worth-talking-about style. 'The River Thames catched on

"'Ah,' said the gentleman, rising and ringing the bell; 'and I have
"catched" a rank imposter, and, being a magistrate, will commit you
forthwith to prison as a rogue and a vagabond.'

"Billy Baron was keeping watch outside, and as his mate did not return,
he grew uneasy. By-and-by he marched up and 'faced the brass knocker,'
and was brought before the gentleman, who was now writing out a
committal order, and Tom he saw standing, bolt upright, by the side of
a man who had charge of him.

"Billy was a soft-hearted man, and burst into tears. Then the gentleman
told Billy, in very straight terms, what he thought of his mate--a
lying imposter, whom he was sending to prison.

"'Never!' said Billy, firmly. 'I'll lay my life on him.'

"'Very well; then, tell me, did you see a great bird fly over London,
so large as to hide the light of the sun with its wings?'

"'No, sir,' replied Billy. 'I didn't see the bird, but I seed four
horses dragging an egg, which people said a great bird had laid.'

"'You _are_ a truthful man,' said the gentleman.

"'I hope so,' said Billy, with one eye on his mate.

"'I hope so, too. Then, tell me, did you eat some whitepot at
Smithfield Market?'

"'No, I didn't, yer honour, but I seed a store full of gurt horn

"'He told me something else, and I'm sure you'll answer truthfully. He
told me he saw the River Thames on fire.'

"'However cud 'ee have said that, Tom?' blurted out Billy,
reproachfully. 'He never seed the river on fire, but what we did see
was waggon and waggon-loads of fish carted away with burnt fins and

"'And they would have been taken from the burning river?'

"'I do not doubt it; but, mind, I dedn't zee it,' said Billy, with the
air of a martyr to the truth.

"The gentleman, no longer able to contain himself, sent Tom and Billy
down to the kitchen, and gave them the best 'blaw out' they had on the
journey. And, when they left, he told them, by way of compliment, that
they were 'real Cornish diamonds, and the best pair of liars' he had
ever known.

"And they were hard to beat," said Mr. Square-set.

[Illustration: SMUGGLERS.]


Our square-set friend owned up to smuggling as one of the virtues of
his countrymen. The real thing is getting scarce now. One evening he
brought an old acquaintance with him, introducing him crisply as "Uncle
Bill." We saw a good deal of Uncle Bill afterwards, who was ninety
next birthday, and ready and willing to "fight, wrassel, or run" with
any man of his age in this country or the next. We did not doubt him,
for his blue eye was clear, he moved easily, and his pink finger-tips
and filbert-shaped nails showed breed. Uncle Bill looked as though
he intended to carry out his bat for a century or more. He was, he
said, as sound as a bell, except that he was a bit "tiched on the
wind" when walking against a hill. Never took "doctor's traade," as he
contemptuously called physic, and his cure for all ills was a pipe of
'bacca to smoke and a pen'ard of gin mixed with a pen'ard of porter.
He said he had done a little smuggling, in the old-fashioned way, in
a small lugger, running for dear life across the Channel in a gale of
wind when the King's cutters were all snug in harbour, and then landing
the tubs of spirits and parcels of lace and other things under the
very noses of the preventive men. "They dedn't prevent we," said Uncle
Bill, his face all a-glow with the pleasures of memory. He told us that
he settled down to fishing when his "calling," and that of his father
before him, was interfered with; but the dash and peril and the fame of
successful smuggling suited him, and warmed up the cockles of his heart
now only to think about. He spoke of himself as an injured man because
he received no compensation for disturbance.

Guy worked at the subject, and came to the conclusion that Cornwall
was as intended by Nature for smuggling as the inhabitants were for
carrying it on. Every little bay and creek and cavern, villages
and farmhouses, even the tombs in the parish churches, could tell
tales. And the women, they were hand in glove with their husbands and
sweethearts, fathers and brothers; and all that made life worth living
then was made dependent on a successful "run" from a little French port
with goods honestly bought and paid for, but--the sorrow and shame of
it!--made contraband the moment they touched English soil.

"Bad laws made smugglers," said the Bookworm, provokingly, to Guy, who
always fires up with professional wrath when he hears of anything bad
in connection with the law.

"Bad fiddlesticks! People smuggled because they liked it--just as you
liked it when you smuggled those nice little Tauchnitz editions last
year, and without thinking of the poor devil of an author in England
that you were robbing," replied Guy.

"That never occurred to me," said the Bookworm, meekly.

"Of course not. You are only a petty smuggler, but a smuggler all the
same. And do you mean to tell me that 'bad laws,' forsooth, made you
smuggle the books? Not a bit of it. You liked the game, and you know

There is a grandeur about the old smuggler which increases with age.
He put his little all upon a venture--nothing of the limited liability
principle about him. The lugger which left a Cornish fishing cove
was, as a rule, family property, owned by father and sons, or by two
or three brothers. The family capital was put into one purse, carried
away, and converted into honest brandy, wines, and other articles
of commerce. Then the struggle commenced between the individual who
pitted his own cunning and frail boat against the King's cruisers and
all the resources of a mighty State. He was surrounded by "spies" from
the moment his cargo was on board until he was ready to slip from his
moorings. He could trust no man. And then his voyage across the Channel
was a race for life--in fog, in tempest, when only a madman would run
the risk, the old smuggler would "up sail and off;" and if a King's
officer liked to follow, then all he'd see would be the drippings from
the smuggler's keel. The god of storms was the smuggler's divinity,
and he loved his little craft, which was, for the time, a thing of
life fleeing from pursuit, from imprisonment, and even death when
cannon-balls flew about. How the old smuggler prayed for storm and
night, for any peril which would enable him to show courage and
mastery over the elemental forces which should drive his pursuers to

And how he would fight when brought to bay! When becalmed, the King's
cutter would send a boat alongside to board the lugger, every man
armed with pistol and cutlass, and wearing the uniform of authority.
Then the smuggler would fight for property and life, cast off the
grappling-irons, and cut down the man who ventured to set foot upon his
little craft. And all the while the old man at the helm looked fixedly
at the heavens and across the water to see if, perchance, a "breath of
wind" was stirring--only a breath might be his salvation when he was
too far inshore for the King's cutter to venture, and his men fighting
off the cutters crew like heroes. Then a puff, and the sail draws; then
more wind, and, inch by inch, the lugger sails away from cutter and
cutter's crew, only, perhaps, to fall in with another enemy which has
to be out-sailed, or out-manoeuvred, or fought off, as best serves
the purpose. No surrender when boat and cargo is the bread of the

Then the old smuggler reaches home, and every shadow may spell ruin;
and all that is done is done in fear, and he has to be cunning always,
and ready to fight to the death. The old smuggler belonged to the
heroic age, and in all genuine stories he bulks colossal against a
midnight sky black with tempest. The race has not disappeared; the
conditions have changed, that is all. Uncle Bill told us that he could
find a crew to-morrow if there was but a fair prospect of making five
hundred pounds on the venture. And "I'd be one," said he.

If Nature intended a county for smuggling, it is Cornwall, which seems
somehow to have been caught when cooling between two seas and pressed
inward and upward, so that it is full of little bights and bays and
caverns, which might have been vents for the gases to escape when the
sea pressure at the sides became unbearable, and the earth groaned like
the belle of the season in tight corsets. The caverns are given up to
bats and otters and slimy things now, but in the "good old days!" The
women, by all accounts, took kindly to smuggling, and stood shoulder to
shoulder with their men when there was a fight with the preventive men,
and ran off with the "tubs" of spirit and whatever they could carry,
whilst the men held the King's officers in check. A young man who was
content with a "living wage" on sea or on land wasn't thought much of
by the black-haired, black-eyed damsels of the coast, who were up to
snuff in the free-trade principles of their day and generation. The
children were taught to look upon the sea as their own, and to regard
smuggling as an honourable calling, and thousands of infant tongues
prayed at night for God's blessing on smuggling ventures. And the
Church was with the people, and blessed them, and shared their profits
when there was no danger of being found out. "Nothing venture, nothing
have" was the good old motto bound upon the smugglers' arms and
hearts like phylacteries, and was to them as prayer.

[Illustration: A SHORT CUT.]

Uncle Bill had a pen'ard of gin in his beer to clear his pipes one
evening, and told us some yarns which he had heard from his father, who
was called Enoch, who died in his bed at the age of ninety-six, and
would have lived longer, only he "catched a cauld dru washing his feet
in fresh water."

Uncle Bill was a young man, but not too young to go courting when
his father made his last run across the Channel for a cargo of
spirits. It came about in this way. Enoch and his family possessed
five hundred one-pound notes issued by a bank which had failed, and
so were practically worthless. This was a serious matter, and Enoch
proposed, at the family council, to run across to Brittany and exchange
the worthless notes for tubs of good brandy. Everything was done in
secrecy and in hot haste to prevent suspicion, and to get the cargo
of contraband on board before news of the bank's failure reached the
French merchants. Had they been members of the Japanese Intelligence
Department they could not have kept the secret better. They had a
splendid run, landed the cargo all serene, and cleared cent. per cent.

"I have often blessed God that there were no telegraphs in those days,"
said Uncle Bill, fervently.

"What became of the notes?" asked Guy.

"I don't know," replied Uncle Bill, with a lively wink. "All I know is
we had the brandy."

"Is this genuine, or only make-up?" asked Guy.

"As true as the Gospel," replied Uncle Bill.

He told us many other stories, but we thought this best worth
preserving, as it showed native cunning, promptness, and audacity.

"And I have lived to hear a man bless God that there were no such
things as electric telegraphs," said the Bookworm, realizing that he
was now in an England of a century ago.

Uncle Bill was a good old sort, and once when he came to see us he
pulled a medicine-bottle from the folds of his knitted frock, and,
taking out the cork, invited us to taste. It was pure cognac, and its
flavour was what the old man called "rich." The spirit had not been
coloured, and had a history, which the old man told with relish. News
was one day brought to the coastguard station by a boatman that a cask
was stranded on an adjacent beach, and the coastguard officer, who
loved his joke and good company, summoned numerous good men and true
(Uncle Bill being one) to go to the beach, and there hold an inquest
upon the said cask and its contents.

"My men," said the coastguard officer, "I summon you in the name of the
Queen (God bless her) to come with me to Treganna beach, and to taste
the contents of a cask which we shall find there. I think it's a brandy
cask," he added, "and you are to act as Queen's tasters. Now, my men,
if you declare that the contents of the cask are wines or spirits, then
the same will be seized on behalf of the Crown, and the Excise will
claim it; and if you further declare that the contents taste of salt
water, then the cask will be staved in, and the contents run out upon
the beach. You are the jurors, and meet me here in half an hour. If any
of 'ee have a tin can it might be handy" said he, with a wink.

When the jurors met again, they all had something in their hands in the
shape of tin cans or pitchers; and there were men upon this jury who
had not tasted spirits at their own expense for many years, and they
carried the largest pitchers.

The coastguard officer produced a gimlet, and broached the cask, and
every man tasted.

"The smell of it was enough for me," said Uncle Bill; "but I tasted,
like the rest. It went down 'ansum, sure nuff. And some of us tasted
again, to make sure for sartin."

Says the coastguard officer, "What is it, my men?"


"So say you all?"

"One and all, for sure."

"Then I seize the cask, in the Queen's name."

He took out a bit of chalk, and marked the broad arrow upon it; but our
jugs were empty. The best of the game was to come.

"Now, my men, tell me, as good men and true, whether the brandy has
been touched with salt water."

So we all tasted again, and said it was sickly, and brackish, and made
such faces that you might think we were poisoned.

"And so say you all?"

"Ess, one and all."

"And your verdict is that the cask of brandy, seized in the Queen's
name, is brackish?"

"That is our verdict."

"Then I order the cask to be stove in and its contents run upon the

And when the head was stove in, he turned his back upon us, and every
can and jug and pitcher was filled, and, if we'd only known, we'd have
had more pails and buckets and pitchers.

"I've got a drop still left, and 'tis precious," said Uncle Bill.

This medicine-bottle was his gift to us, and we now knew the flavour of
cognac cast upon the shore, which had never paid the Queen's penny.

"I don't wonder that smuggling was popular," said Guy.

Smuggling made the sort of sailor that Nelson loved, a man who could
fight and forgive when worsted, like the old smuggler of Talland, who
had it recorded on his tombstone that he prayed God to pardon those
wicked preventive men who shed his innocent blood.

It was in the Lizard district that smuggling reached its zenith. The
Bookworm put a copy of the "Autobiography of a Smuggler" into his
pocket when he tramped over to Prussia Cove, a place which Nature and
a little art intended for an emporium for smugglers. Blind harbours,
blind caves, hidden galleries, mysterious inlets and exits form a
delicate network of safety and concealment. Only a century ago, the
man who lived here was the king of Cornish smugglers and privateers,
and defended himself with his own cannon.[C] Now the fine caves are
fern-arched, and the water drips, drips, drips upon nothing precious.
The smugglers borrowed these caves from the piskies who have re-entered
into possession, for here are the piskie sands and piskie caves.

"Here, in cool grot, the piskies dwell," hummed Guy.

  [C] All ranks engaged in smuggling. Mr. Philip Hawkins, M.P.
  for Grampound, left £600 to the King as "conscience" money. But
  privateering was a royal game, and men made money rapidly at the
  expense of the enemies of England. People used, it is said, to
  measure their gold in pint pots, instead of counting it.

The caves seemed none the worse for having been smugglers' storehouses;
but the gingerbeer and sandwich man left his trail, as usual. What he
couldn't reach or cut down, he left alone, but broken glass he left

Guy ran across a gentleman anxious to tell us things. He was a
"pensioner." The man with a pension is a common object by the seashore.
After a time, you get to know him as a superior sort of being reduced
from his high estate, and only making the two ends meet by the grace
of God. "Get a pension, and don't worry" is very good advice when
the pension is big enough; but generally the pension-man is a trifle
seedy--his pension won't spread all over him, but leaves him minus
gloves, with patched shoes, and short everywhere. This honest old
gentleman was Guy's find, and he was so eager to tell all he knew, and
more on top of it, that Guy was glad, at last, to get rid of him with
some excuse covered deftly with a small consideration.

[Illustration: LANYON QUOIT.]


There is a good deal of history in Cornwall. Some may be read in
stones, and some in books. The stone reading is very interesting to
those who like it, and affords a good scope for imagination. Without
imagination, stone reading is a trifle dull. Stones are everywhere at
the Land's End and Lizard--some are stationary, and some "rock," and
all are weather-worn. The Bookworm had a trick of running his hands
over the surfaces of pre-historic monuments, like a blind man reading.
It was just a fancy of his that he was shaking hands with antiquity.
Our Mr. Square-set put his pencil mark in our Murray against what is
called the "show-stones," and he couldn't tell us much more than we
could find out for ourselves. We thought it best to let ancient stone
history alone until we had a dull Sunday, or a wet day; and look out
for what was nearer our own times.

We found that the Cornishman's motto is "One and All," and that
"One" comes first, so he says, "I and the King;" and, when he speaks
geographically, it is Cornwall first, then England, and then the rest.
Formerly, everything outside of England was Cornwall, but he is not so
sure now. However, he always takes a bit of the old county with him
when he travels, so that the piskies may find him. A Cornishman abroad
is given to "wishtness," and so he gets up clubs in London and other
places, and talks of pasties and cream, blue skies and sapphire seas,
and sings "Trelawney," and dances the "Flurry" dance, and One and All's
it generally.

The Cornish had their own kings and queens--and as the kings were
liberal to themselves in the matter of queens, they were not always
happy. The Bookworm helped us a good deal at times, and told us that
the ancient kings were not much given to diplomatic correspondence, nor
to the keeping of "memorials of the reign," so that modern historians
had a pretty free hand. The kings, however, must have been numerous at
one time, as there was a king at Gweek and another at Marazion--as
thick as tenants on a gentleman's estate. Cornish history had, however,
been worked up by poets, and the characters of the old kings drawn
by Tennyson and Kingsley were not too amiable. There was Tennyson's
Cornish king, who had an uncomfortable way of sneaking round on tiptoe
and striking a man in the back. The poet had not made allowance for
the fact that King Modred lived in days before private inquiry offices
were invented, and so was obliged to do his own dirty work, instead
of employing a professional spy at per hour and expenses. For real
knowledge of Cornish kings, Kingsley whips creation. Listen!

"Fat was the feasting, and loud was the harping, in the halls of Alef,
King of Gweek." There was going to be a wedding, so that may pass. Then
we come to details worthy of the poet historian: "Savory was the smell
of fried pilchard and hake; more savory still that of roast porpoise;
most savory of all that of fifty huge squab pies, built up of layers of
apples, bacon, onions, and mutton, and at the bottom of each a squab,
or young cormorant, which diffused both through the pie and through
the ambient air, a delicate odour of mingled guano and polecat." There
was a little toddy, of course, to wash it down, and a few songs with
harp accompaniment, and the bride, being properly elated with the
perfume of "guano and polecat," was very civil, and, being a princess
in her own right, and queen of Marazion, gave the vocalist a ring to
remember her by. The next morning the newly-wedded pair start off on
their honeymoon, and this is what happens. The King of Marazion grips
his bride's arm until she screams, and says, "And you shall pass your
bridal night in my dog-kennel, after my dog-whip has taught you not to
give rings again to wandering harpers."

Tennyson and Kingsley have been read pretty generally by men and
women of the Anglo-Saxon race, and some people may even think that
the Cornish kings were like these portraits, and fed upon "guano
and polecat" flavoured pies, and whipped their brides to sleep in
dog-kennels in their bridal garments. Poets have always been privileged.

There were Cornish "kings," of course, just as there were Cornish
"saints" and a Cornish language, and all three played their little
parts, and went off the stage, without even the lights being turned
down for them. With regard to the kings, this seemed to have happened:
when the local rates and taxes were getting too high, and trouble was
brewing about the Education Act, the kings saw that they must go under,
and gave way to a Duke. Edward the Black Prince, having won his spurs
in the Crusades, the kings asked him to take over what they could no
longer keep, or didn't want, and so, "like a Cornishman's gift, what he
does not want for himself" became a proverb. The proverb may be relied
on as authentic. The Prince of Wales has been the Duke of Cornwall
ever since, so the Cornish people have had a very close connection
with royalty from pre-historic times, as the Bookworm discovered; then
through Kingsley's "guano and polecat" period, and then from Edward the
Black Prince down to the present, which we can verify for ourselves
every year, when the Duchy accounts are published, and the ancient
tribute passes into the noble Duke's banking account. History loses
much of its charm for poets and romantic souls when it enters the
prosaic region of banker's ledger and cheque book, but this sort of
prose has advantages.

The Cornish had a long way to walk when they wanted just to talk
matters over with their sovereign. They went in their thousands to
London on several occasions when things were not to their liking, and
the late Queen was the first sovereign of the realm to come into the
county and "God bless" the people on their own doorsteps. Charles I.
came into the county under very peculiar circumstances, and, though he
was qualifying for martyrdom, he found time to write a very handsome
letter of thanks "to the Inhabitants of the county of Cornwall" for
giving the Cromwelliams more than they bargained for, or wanted even,
on several occasions. This letter is still to be found painted on
boards in parish churches, and as conspicuously placed as the Lord's
Prayer or the Ten Commandments. The practice of reading the letter in
churches and chapels has long been discontinued, but the testimony to
unselfish devotion and gallant defence of a sovereign whose star was
setting in blood remains.

Good Queen Bess rather liked Cornishmen, or said she did, which
answered the same purpose. She said that "Cornish gentlemen were all
born courtiers, with a becoming confidence," two qualities which
naturally attracted her as woman and lady. Climate probably has
something to do with native politeness, and that is why the Eastern
races are so civil to one another.

The people are like Japs for politeness to one another on a deal. When
a man is drawing the long bow and coming it too strong, the other
fellow will say, "I wonder if it is so," with the slightest possible
accent of suspicion in his tone. We were present when two men were
trying to make a deal in horseflesh, "halter for halter," as the
saying is. The owner of a weedy-looking chestnut wished to swop with
the owner of a useful black cob, and his rhetoric was florid. Sometimes
he drew on his imagination in praise of the chestnut, and the owner
of the black cob would say, "I wonder now," just by way of note of
admiration. Then the chestnut's owner, growing bolder and more vigorous
in his style, garnished his language with many fancy words, and wound
up by asking, "Doan't 'ee believe me?" And the other man replied, as
politely as a Chesterfield, "I'll believe 'ee to oblige 'ee." The
Foreign Office couldn't beat it.

[Illustration: PADSTOW.]

The Bookworm discovered that Cornwall had somehow linked itself with
great names in history, or, rather, that some great names had linked
themselves with Cornwall, using her as a gallant for a season, and
then passing out of her life. Camelford had three successful wooers in
Lord Lansdowne, Lord Brougham, and "Ossian" Macpherson; Lostwithiel
was wooed and won by Joseph Addison; then Horace Walpole, jilted at
Callington, made up to East Looe, still attractive, when the great Lord
Palmerston came along with a buttonhole in his coat and the blarney.
Then John Hampden found a first love in Grampound, and Sir Francis
Drake a soft place in the bosom of Bossiney, a mere village close to
the angry roar of Tintagel's sea. But all these seats were mere lights
o' love, and some were swept away on account of their dissoluteness
before the great Reform Bill, and then the rest went, and none were
remembered on account of their gallant political lovers. Guy said it
didn't make a bit of difference what the constituency was, or where, so
long as the man was right. He saw a great many advantages in the old
pocket borough; and if he ever went into Parliament (which he might) as
a stepping-stone to the Woolsack (like the veteran Lord Chancellor, who
found comfortable quarters at Launceston), he'd like to have the fewest
number of constituents, and those all of one mind. But the Bookworm
would not have it that way, and stuck to his guns that it was the
constituency which really had a seat in Parliament, and constituency
and member were one and indivisible; and when not, there was failure
somewhere in first principles. The Bookworm always takes these things
so seriously, Guy says.

[Illustration: COTTAGE, ST IVES.]


Most of the saints came into Cornwall, dropping little bits of fame
and reputation as they travelled from parish to parish, and from holy
well to holy well. Old Fuller says they were born under a travelling
planet, "neither bred where born, nor beneficed where bred, nor buried
where beneficed," but wandering ever. Cornwall is known as the "Land
of Saints," and county teams are usually "Saints." "The Saints _v_.
Week-enders. Six goals to three. Five to one on Saints." It sounds a
bit curious, but you get used to it.

The true story of the saints is a little mixed; the giants and the
piskies come in, and wherever the saints went there was sure to be
trouble. We picked up a few stories, not all in one place, but here and
there. Those already published we weeded out, together with some which
appeared doubtful. Some needed a little patching up in places, and the
Bookworm said the most imperfect were the most genuine. The following
were thought worthy of survival.



Irish saints swarmed as thick as flies in summer in the reign of
Tewdrig the King, who built his castle on the sands at Hayle, wherein
it now is, only the X-rays are not strong enough to make it visible.
This Tewdrig was a good old sort, and was called Theodore by the saints
as long as he had anything to give. But the saints letting it be known
in the distressful land that they had struck oil, their friends and
relatives swarmed across the Channel in such crowds that the King was
in danger of being eaten out of house and home. He summoned the Keeper
of the Victuals, and asked for a report. He had it; and it was short
and sad--as sad in its way as an army stores inquiry. Every living
thing in air and field and wood had been devoured. All the salted meats
in the keeves had disappeared, "and if you don't stop this immigration
of Irish saints," said the unhappy official, "we shall be eaten up
alive." The good King became serious. Whilst they were talking, a
messenger came with the news that a great batch of saints had come
ashore. The King and his Keeper of the Victuals--when there were any
to keep--looked at each other solemnly. "Put the castle in mourning,"
said the King. When the new arrivals danced up to the gate, with teeth
well set for action and stomachs empty, the Keeper of the Victuals
spoke sadly. "The good King died," he said, "the moment he heard that
more saints had arrived. Those who came first ate all his substance and
emptied his keeves, and there was nothing left of him now but bones.
The last words of the good King were, 'Give them my bones.'" The Keeper
of the Victuals turned, as though to fetch the good King's bones for
the saints to feast on; but they one and all departed and spread the
story. The King played the game and ordered his own funeral; and when
the time came, he got up and looked through a peep-hole to see the
procession. "The saints," said he, "have spared my bones, but they will
surely come and see the last of me." But he was mistaken. The story
that all the keeves were empty spread, and there wasn't a "saint" left
in the land on the morrow. Then the King showed himself to his own
people, and a law was passed, intituled "An Act against Alien Saints'
Immigration." The country recovered its ancient prosperity, and the
Keeper of the Victuals filled the keeves with salted meats, and there
were wild birds in the air, and beasts in the field, and the King once
more feasted in his own hall.

St. Ia came across the Channel on a cabbage leaf, and the wind and tide
carried her gaily to King Tewdrig's shore, but when the Customs asked
her what she had to declare, she only held up the cabbage leaf. As she
was a princess in her own right, and good-looking for an emigrant,
the Customs officers were sad, but showed her a printed paper, rule
xli, which stated that "foreigners without luggage, or visible means
of subsistence, must not be allowed to land." The saint pointed to
the cabbage leaf, and argued that it was "luggage" and "visible means
of subsistence," and would have made good her point but for the
King's Chancellor, who said that the cabbage leaf, being "pickled,"
was a manufactured article, and liable to duty under the new fiscal
regulations. St. Ia always left her purse at home when she travelled,
so she was unable to pay the duty. Once more she committed herself to
the mercies of the sea on her cabbage leaf, and was carried to St.
Ives, where she landed, and was made much of. She stayed there for
a time, planted her leaf, and was blessed with a wonderful crop of
pickled cabbages, the like of which had never before been seen or heard
of. But she revenged herself upon King Tewdrig by writing to all the
papers, and the saints, who deserted the King when they had almost
eaten him up, made a fine how-de-doo, and an "Irish grievance," and the
bad name which they gave the King stuck to him. The saints wrote the
books in those days, and those who came after repeated what they wrote,
until the people believed, and called it "history."

[Illustration: ST. IA.]

Guy said it was very unconstitutional to lay the fault upon the King,
who, it was well known, could do no wrong. It was the duty of the
Prime Minister to bear all faults, and it was noticeable that many
prime ministers were round-shouldered, so that they might carry faults


The saints and piskies had a battle-royal at St. Breage. A three-line
whip was sent over to Ireland, and as soon as it was known that there
was a little fighting to do, and a cracked skull almost certain, for
the glory of God, the saints sent up a shout, straightened their
blackthorns, and came across the water in whole battalions. The cause
was popular. St. Patrick had driven the snakes into the sea, and why
not the saints drive the piskies out of Cornwall? Hooroo! Paddy's blood
was up, and he was spoiling for a bit of fun. The saints had the best
of it, but so much blood was spilt on both sides that the sand was
turned into stone. There is no other such stone in the district, and
St. Breage had a block carved into a cross, and set up as a memorial,
which may be seen to this day, only it has a hole in it which was made
by the Giant Golons, who wore it on his watchchain until the date of
his conversion.

"When anything has to be accounted for in this land, put it down to the
saints, or the piskies, or Old Artful, and you're sure to be right.
Nothing ever took place in the ordinary course of things. A month of
Cornwall would be enough to drive a modern scientist stark, staring
mad," said Guy.

"It would be curious to speculate what sort of world we should be
living in to-day if things really happened, as they are said to
have happened, between fairies and piskies, saints and giants, each
possessing supernatural powers. And yet law and custom grew out of
beliefs in the invisible-visible," said the Bookworm.


There were women as well as men saints, and when a woman came to the
front she made a sensation. St. Agnes was a woman. She was not born
a saint, but became one. She was christened Ann, plain Ann, and was a
good little girl, with blue eyes, and light brown hair much given to
curl into love locks. She stayed at home until she grew up, and became
restless, and wanted to see the world for herself. She did not complain
more than other girls that her dresses were not tailor-made, and she
had no particular grievance, only she felt that she must have a change.
She wrote a dear little note, and enclosed one of her love locks to
her dear and loving parents, freely forgiving them all the trouble and
expense she had been to them, and went on her own.

She was supposed to be delicate on the chest, and Cornwall having a
great reputation, she made all haste to get there. In those days there
were a good many pilgrims on the road who used to entertain one another
with stories of many lands and their adventures therein, and delicate
little Agnes heard in this way about a famous Cornish giant, named
Bolster. Mr. Bolster was in many respects a monster, and his story had
great interest for little Agnes, because it was said he changed his
wife every New Year's Day. He was called "Bolster" because he used to
smother the old ones. Agnes wanted an adventure, and as her saint-like
qualities developed, she felt more and more drawn towards Mr. Bolster,
until she determined to try her hand upon him. It was a bold thing;
but Agnes was bold, and when she felt at all timid she said aloud,

Mr. Bolster was a very fine fellow, the Colossus of his age. When his
right foot rested on the summit of one hill his left foot rested on the
summit of another, and the only thing that troubled him was corns, and
when the weather changed, sometimes he had such twinges that he often
thought he had a "conscience," and wished to get rid of it. At other
times his conscience was "passive." Agnes heard about the corns, and a
light played in her eyes of heavenly blue. She had an idea.

New Year was approaching, and Mr. Bolster was on the look-out for a
fresh partner of his joys. When Agnes sighted him he was standing
with one foot on Carn Brea and the other on Beacon, looking at the
little virgins round about playing at "touch." His habit was to make
a selection, watch the young lady home, and then, at New Years dawn,
to carry her off just when she was busiest dreaming of mince-pies.
Agnes guessed that the psychological moment had come, so she walked up
Carn Brea and tickled Mr. Bolster's right foot with a bramble, quite
close to his pet corn. Mr. Bolster, thinking that conscience was at
him again, lifted his foot angrily; but, happily for Agnes, saw her
kneeling at his foot.

"Hulloa!" he shouted.

Agnes presented her card.

  |           BEAUTIFUL FOR EVER!               |
  |                                             |
  |               MISS AGNES.                   |
  |                                             |
  |   _Corns Extracted, Bunions Attended to._   |

Beauty at his feet, and the New Year near. Corns extracted. Was there
ever such luck? So he took the little maiden up in his arms and
promised, then and there, that she should be the next Mrs. Bolster.
"Not long to wait," he added with a chuckle, the present Mrs. B. not
having turned out to his liking.

Mr. Bolster had neglected his personal appearance very much lately, and
when he sat Agnes on his knee in the gloaming, she began his education.
"Beautiful for Ever!" was her trade mark. If Bolster only wore curls,
what a head! Hyacinthine locks, what an Apollo! Bolster looked at her
dear little love locks, and then put his great hand over his own hair,
which was long and matted, and began to think that, after all, short,
crisp curls would be an improvement. He did not surrender at once,
but Agnes said she couldn't, she really couldn't, be the next Mrs.
Bolster and trim his pet corns unless he had hyacinthine locks, like
an up-to-date hero in a novel. She found a bit of chalk and drew on
a blackboard the head of a Hercules with Apollo's locks. Mr. Bolster
was touched in a weak spot, and to keep him soft, Agnes vowed that she
would never be Mrs. Bolster until he was such a man--such a curled

Mr. Bolster's hair was long and matted, and Agnes got a rake, and
combed and combed until it all came off, and there was none to curl.
New Year came, and Mrs. Bolster in possession went the way of all the
giant's wives, and Agnes sat upon Bolster's knee and wept because of
her vow which she must keep--no curls, no Agnes. She stroked his bald
pate, saying the new hair was sprouting already, and it would curl so
sweet when short that his own mother wouldn't know him. Then Agnes
put him on health diet to make him young again, and when his hair
really began to grow she became afraid, for she caught him heating the
curling-tongs in secret, as though he meant business at an early date.

Agnes sat upon his knee and wept. He was so stout. She could not clasp
his manly waist. He must reduce--he must, he must. The tears were in
her beautiful eyes. Once more she touched the spot, and Mr. Bolster,
the Colossus, was soft. He'd do anything, and then he took an oath at
which the stars trembled.

There was a little basin in the rock which the giant used for
shaving-water now he had become a dandy. Water trickled down the
crevice into the sea when the cork plug was removed. Agnes prescribed
a little blood-letting--for she was skilled in phlebotomy--"just a
basinful, you know," said she, with great pleading eyes of heavenly
blue. Mr. Bolster threw his mighty arm carelessly across the basin.

"Only a basinful this time," said Agnes, pulling out the plug.

"Wake me up when it's full," said Bolster.

He slept and slept, dreaming of Agnes, and the vital stream flowed and
ran down the crevice into the sea. And Agnes looked over the cliff and
saw the sea blush, and blush deeper still.

"Is it nearly full?" asked Bolster, in a tone of lazy happiness.

"Not yet--not yet, my love," said Agnes, stroking his bald head where
the curls were to grow.

So he slept and woke again, and asked, "Is it nearly full?"

"Yet a little more; it runs so slowly now," said Agnes.

And Bolster slept again.

Agnes looked over the cliff and the sea was deeply dyed, so great a
stream had flowed from the mighty form, smiling in sleep, but pale in

He woke and tried to rise, but Agnes soothed him, saying--

"But a little more, 'tis nearly to the brim."

And his last vision was of Agnes.

So the land was rid of Bolster; but the people were not so thankful to
Agnes as they might have been, so she "skipped." She led a wandering
life, making and selling an ointment which people rubbed over their
eyes to make them see clearer, and her fame followed her, so people
began to praise and dedicate churches to her. The place where Bolster
was slain became St. Agnes, and the basin into which his life's blood
flowed may be seen to this day. A pebble thrown in finds its way to the
sea if there is nothing to prevent it.

Guy said he liked to hear stories told on the spot, things seemed
so real. Here was the very basin which held Bolster's shaving-water
before it became the receiver for his blood. Just as good being here as
reading an illustrated article in a magazine.

The Bookworm said the story was only one of a class, and it was quite
easy to separate fact from fiction when we once knew how. In this case,
Bolster was not a real person, but a snow-god, to whom the people
offered a virgin every New Year to make him melt and let the earth
bring forth her increase. St. Agnes made the people see the error of
their ways--that was the ointment which she made for giving people
clearer vision--and so it was said that she had slain Bolster. She
was, no doubt, artful, and was all the more popular in consequence, it
becoming a saying that "an artful maid is stronger than Bolster."

Guy said he liked the story best as it was, and had no patience with
the Bookworm's treatment of it as a myth. He'd put money on Agnes, he
said, to make her way in the world as well as any twentieth-century

[Illustration: ST. AGNES.]

[Illustration: THE SMUGGLER'S CAVE.]


A liking for stories of the saints grows with the supply. The Bookworm
discovered in them the makings of history, and Guy mere love for the
marvellous and dramatic situations. He thought St. Agnes would work
up splendidly. It is well that saints catch on, because one can't get
away from them. No sooner is one out of the parish of St. A., than
he's into the parish of St. B., and from St. B. to St. C., and so on
through the alphabet. It must have been a sore trial to the aborigines
to see so many foreign saints upon the soil without visible means of
subsistence, yet claiming exemption from income tax.

Wherever there was a well a saint took possession of it. The votive
offerings of the natives to the bright, sparkling divinity dwelling
in springs of water passed into their hands, the water cures became
"miracles," and chapels and baptistries were built over the wells.
Chapels and hermits' cells abound. There is one spring which insures a
man from hanging if he is but christened with its water in childhood.
There is another, in which a madman may be ducked until he is cured;
there is another, in which a maiden may see her "future;" and there are
others which can cure sad souls and sadder bodies.

As things are reckoned now, the best of the saints did not have a
good time. The ruined chapel in the Saints' Valley was at one time
the residence of a holy man, who never saw human form, or heard human
voice, unless some one in distress needed his good offices to heal
or console the sick or dying. It was a dark and dreary cell, with
two slits in the walls for light and air, and a thin stream trickled
through, and fell into a rocky basin outside, now green with fern and
lichen. This feeble stream cut a channel in the rock, so we thought the
cell must be pretty old; but there was no niche, or anything to show
that lamp or image swung from the roof, or nestled somewhere to cheer
the poor man. Whoever he was, he left no trace, not even a scratch in
the rock recording his name. We would not have been much the wiser,
after all, even if we had known the name of the poor human who endured
torture here, and had the courage to live, and not throw himself to the
first wolves who came howling around.

The ideas conjured up were unpleasant, and Guy gave a shout when he
got outside, just to be sure that he was himself. He was sure, he
said, no penal settlement in the world possessed a solitary system
so depressingly solitary as this. He was quite prepared to take an
affidavit neither now, nor at any time, to go in for honours in

The Bookworm said stories of the saints made what we saw much more
interesting than if we merely looked at them through the eyes of
guide-books. There was the "Cheese-wring." What did Murray say? Just

 "This remarkable object consists of tabular blocks of granite heaped
 one upon the other, after the manner of cheeses, to the height of
 twenty-four feet, but has probably acquired its name from its supposed
 resemblance to the press employed in the preparation of cider....
 It derives its extraordinary appearance from the circumstance of
 the stones at the base being less than half the size of those they
 support, which are ten or twelve feet in diameter. Hence, the shape
 of the pile is that of a huge fungus, with a stalk so slenderly
 proportioned for the weight of the head, that the spectator will find
 it hard to divest himself of the idea of its instability."

He had, he said, made notes of a short story which accounted for the
fantastic mass of weathered granite in quite a different way, and made
of the stone a lasting memorial of the triumph of the saints over the
early giants in the land--faith against strength.


The story opened at a period when the saints had been some time in the
land, and the people took kindly to them, and brought them fish on
Fridays. The giants grew jealous, and resolved on holding a conference,
and when they were all assembled, Uther was voted to the chair, because
he had the broadest shoulders and the best headpiece of all the race
from the Tamar to Pol-Pedyn. The question was, What shall we do with
the saints? Various methods had been already tried--boiling, baking,
and grilling were no use. The giants were not a united family, and were
fond of hurling rocks at one another, and fighting and wrestling for
fun or glory, just as the humour prompted. Uther, the president, put
the matter before them in a statesmanlike way. First of all, he counted
six up, and then he counted half a dozen; then he said, if you take
six from six, there's nothing, but if you wipe out six, six remains.
The speech was so precise and clear, that it was pencilled down on a
half-sheet of notepaper, and, in time, became the model for future
prime ministers. It was certainly very well received. Then there was
a discussion, and some said one thing, and some another, and when all
spoke at once, it was very difficult to know what was said or meant.
The president tried to keep order, but was just as helpless as Mr.
Speaker in modern days. Fortunately it was an open-air meeting, and the
sky was not cracked.

Saint Tue had a little well all to himself, but was a small and weakly
man, who took cod-liver oil fasting; but he was young and full of zeal.
The conference was held in what he called his "sphere of influence,"
and when he heard the mighty shouts, he looked upwards and saw a
sign. Then he hastened to the conference, and, by dodging in and out
between the giants' legs, he managed to reach the president, who was
threatening to leave the chair unless better order was kept.

"Pick me up," said St. Tue.

So Uther picked him up and showed him to the assembly; and, being a
strong man himself, he admired pluck.

"What do you want here, my little man?" asked Uther, thinking into
which pocket he should pop him to ensure his safety.

"I want to challenge you to a trial of strength; but let me speak to
the giants," replied the saint.

Uther stood St. Tue on the palm of his hand and held out his arm,
so that he might speak, which he did in a loud voice, telling them
solemnly that they were warring against heaven and one mightier than
they, and finished by challenging the mightiest to a contest of
rock-hurling. If he were beaten, all the saints would leave the land;
but if he won, then the giants were to cease their persecution and be
baptized with the sign of the cross.

Now, Uther was a champion rock-hurler, and it was a pastime with him
to throw rocks like quoits, and so truly as to balance them one over
the other, the top being the largest. The game was no child's play; and
the assembly said if Uther would accept the challenge, they would abide
by the result. When they looked at St. Tue and the rocks to be hurled,
they laughed mockingly.

There were twelve rocks in all. They had been used before, and were
fairly round. The smallest was hurled first, and Uther pitched it one
hundred feet. St Tues knees shook. What if his faith should fail now?
He cast his eyes upwards, and then, oh, blessed miracle! the rock was
as a feather in his hand, and he hurled it with such precision that it
capped number one as though it grew there.

So the game went on, and the pile grew more and more like a mushroom.
The giants shouted mightily when Uther's rock capped the saint's; but
when the saint's capped Uther's, they groaned aloud, and showed temper.

It was the saint's turn to hurl the last rock, which, being the
heaviest and largest, and having to be thrown the highest, required the
greatest skill and judgment and strength. The slightest error, and the
pile would topple over. The silence was so great that a grasshopper was
heard to chirp. True as a die the rock settled on the rest, and the
whole mass swayed upon its stem, but fell not.

The victory was not yet, and a thirteenth rock was brought, and so huge
was it that the giant knew it was beyond his powers to hurl; but he
raised it with both hands and threw it with all his might and strength,
and fell prone to earth, exhausted. The rock fell short, and was rolled
back to where St. Tue stood, trembling once again. Would Heaven fail
him now? But no. His eyes were opened, and he saw an angelic host raise
the stone to his hand, carry it through the air, and place it as a
crown upon the "wring," that man might wonder at for evermore. But
the giants were blind with rage, and saw not.


Then Uther bowed his head in humility and confessed his sins, and was
baptized; and some followed his example, but more returned to their
castles and did what scathe they could. But the saints rejoiced when
they heard what St. Tue had done, and were made free of the land; and
made so free with it that all the best they took to themselves, and
so pursued the giants with soap and water and Sunday clothes, and so
trimmed their beards and nails, that the race dwindled and dwindled
and died out. So the saints triumphed, and the Cheese-wring is their

St. Tue founded the "Union of Saints," and then his troubles began in
such earnest that he had to increase his doses of cod-liver oil in
order to bear them. He was nursed in his last days by the good St.
Keyne, who came over from Wales for the purpose. An elm, an oak, and
an ash tree grew over his grave, whose roots formed an arch, and under
the arch a spring of pure water gushed forth. So St. Keyne lived by the
well, and Cornish brides, drinking first of the water, wear divided
skirts, and feed their husbands with long spoons.

Guy said he thought we had had enough of saints, both he and she, for
the present.

[Illustration: TRURO CATHEDRAL.]


The Cornish taste has not hitherto rioted in "graven images." Ancient
monuments were so plentiful that it may have been thought quite
unnecessary to add to the number in any shape or form, especially when
it was known that the finest monoliths were split up and carted away
for gate-posts for cattle to rub against; or, worse than all, be burnt
for lime. However, graven images are rare in the county. A good citizen
of Edinburgh or Glasgow would put all the statuary in the county in his
back garden. Sir Humphry Davy stands outside the market at Penzance,
and Richard Lander, the plucky African traveller, is skied on a Doric
column on the top of a hill in Truro. Foote, the comedian, Polwhele,
county historian, and Henry Martyn, the sainted missionary, over whose
barren love story and early death rivers of salt tears have flowed,
were all born in Truro; but we didn't see any graven images recording
the fact. Guy sought information from an intelligent policeman, who
said he knew Henry Martyn well, and a quiet man he was, when sober!
There are some capital sites in the city for a few statues to Cornish
worthies, and the effigy of the sainted Martyn would, at all events,
help to preserve his memory from sad imputations. There is a Cornish
flavour about the great Earl of Chatham, who should have been born at
the family mansion at Boconnoc instead of at Westminster, where his
mother happened to be; and a Cornish flavour, too, about the gifted
Lady Hester Stanhope, who did not forget to speak well of Cornish
miners, "on account of their race," in her Syrian home. Cousin Jack
might remember this, and shell out liberally, if the public fancy
runs one day towards statues. The Molesworths have a claim to be set
up in marble, and so has Richard Trevithick, the Camborne miner, and
so also John Couch Adams, the discoverer of the planet Neptune. These
are a few worthies to go on with, and by the time their statues are
unveiled some, now living, may be ripe for immortality in stone. The
few modern monuments are not remarkable, as such. The Gilbert monument,
at Bodmin, outgrew its strength, and is not likely to startle remote
posterity as a nineteenth-century antiquity. Once upon a time there was
a battle at Stamford Hill, not far from Bude, when Sir Bevill Grenvill
and his stalwarts gave the Roundheads a fair drubbing. Then a monument
was erected to record the historic event, and it tumbled down. Sir
Bevill Grenvill had a giant servant, named Anthony Payne, and the great
Kneller painted his portrait, and the canvas has a place of honour in
the museum of the Royal Institution. The Bookworm remarked that it was
not at all singular that the county had turned out no sculptors, when
public bodies did so little to encourage art, and that what they did
was done so badly.

Truro is not the capital of the county, though many people think it
ought to be. It has a cathedral now, which counts for something, and
is the home of the "classy" people, which counts for a great deal when
the question is one of capital with a big C. Every few years there is
a battle-royal over the capital question, and the archæologists and
the antiquarians dust each other with seals and charters, Domesday
Books and inquisitions, and all the rest of it. The grand tournament is
between Bodmin and Launceston, which latter possesses an old castle,
or what is left of one, and was anciently the place for the hanging
of criminals for capital offences. But as the judges were served with
small beer at dinner, and their beds were not properly aired, they
moved on to Bodmin, where the beer was stronger, and the bed-linen
better looked after. Besides, the tallow candles gave better light in
the Bodmin than in the Launceston lodgings, which was important to
judges on circuit, when they had to sit up late and read papers, and
"note up" evidence badly written with their own hand and bad pens.
The Launceston people didn't seem to care much about their privileges
at the time of losing them. In fact, they were just then feeling sore
at having lost one member of Parliament under the Reform Bill, and
the market was flat for honours which didn't mean cash in hand. Then
Bodmin took on the assizes, and the hangings, and became the capital
with a big C, and built a lunatic asylum and a jail, up to date. The
question now is whether our Gracious Lord the King would hold out a
little finger to the Mayor of Launceston or to the Mayor of Bodmin as
most truly representing the capital of Cornwall. The point has to be
settled. Then Truro comes in and laughs at both, and, pointing to its
cathedral, says, "If you want a capital with a big C, look here," which
pleases all the "classy" people, and sets the rest laughing, except the
ancient Britons of Penzance, who swagger about climate, also with a big
C. As climate and capital both begin with C, it is easy to argue that
they are very much alike. Bodmin and Launceston tilt in rusty armour,
and Truro and Penzance with bodkins, and no harm is done.

The Bookworm made a tour of the libraries and museums, and somewhere
met a "kindred soul," which so pleased him that he pronounced Truro the
literary town in the duchy. Certainly, the city has a professorial air,
which is native. If ever there is a Cornish university it will come to
Truro, if it walk upon crutches to get there. Caps and gowns taking
snuff and looking lexicons coming out of the shadow of Church Lane
would be as natural as life; and then the undergrads swelling Boscawen
Street in term! They are not there just now, but the place looks as
though cut out for academic maternity. The professorial air belonged
to the place before the cathedral was dreamt of--perhaps the cathedral
came because the place had the right sort of style about it. There is
a county look about the shops in Boscawen Street, which is all its
own. Some of the shops just put up wire blinds, with a legend painted
on them, discouraging to the vulgar looking for bargains and misfits.
"Nothing of the sort here; our customers write cheques, you know."
There are other shops with "discount for cash" writ large all over
them, but they seem out of place, somehow. There was always this sort
of county family style about the town and people, who were always
fond of sports, and had a cock-pit.


What strikes the stranger first is the inexhaustible water supply.
Miniature canals ripple along on both sides of the streets--clear,
bright, fresh water, which would be worth no end of money in a thirsty
land. Ripple, ripple, ripple, all day long, and all the year through,
never overflowing, never drying up, a thing of beauty and a joy for
ever. Hydrophobia is unknown amongst dogs, and is only observable
amongst the higher animals--generally on pay days and holidays. The
inhabitants, however, pay water taxes quite cheerfully, and are not
extravagant users in their houses. It is a reproach to Londoners, who
are so extravagant with water, to see how thrifty the people are. The
people of Helston are blessed with water running free in the same way.

Cornish people do not live much in towns; they seem to prefer living
amongst the rocks and trees, upon the downs, amongst the shadows of
they know not what, and sounds which are as echoes from long ago. A
very small town elsewhere fills the untravelled with amazement; and
stories are told of the cunning which was shown by an old man who
carried a piece of chalk in his pocket and placed a mark on the corner
of every street he turned, and so made his way plain when he wished
to return; but the poor fellow was sadly puzzled when a joker rubbed
out his marks and put facsimiles in wrong places. But, in truth,
Cornish towns are not very puzzling to an ordinary pavement trotter,
and the houses are not much to look at. Solid walls pierced with holes
and covered by a roof is a "house." There are whole streets like this
in all the towns, and most of the shops have the appearance of being
private houses "accommodated." In a land where the Phoenician and
Greek came, and the Roman dwelt; where Spaniard, Frenchman, and Fleming
settled, leaving their names and blood behind, one might expect to
find specimens of the architecture of many periods and countries; but
it is no use looking for what does not exist. The Cornish never seem
to have invited the envy and hatred of others by the outward beauty
of their dwellings. The Fore Street of a town, however ancient and
celebrated for riches and commerce, never gives one the idea that
merchant princes dwelt here, and loved to dwell in earthly tabernacles
with polished beams, and hanging galleries, and oriel windows, painted,
decorated, and varnished, as we see in many a High Street, in many
a town in the rest of England. The Cornish genius had no great turn
for architecture--its municipal buildings are plain and thrifty, like
the dwelling-houses. To be "wind and water tight" is the native idea
of comfort; and then plenty of whitewash and a little paint. There
must have been native artists in abundance during the centuries, but
they were seldom employed with chisel and brush in decorating private
dwellings or corporation buildings. The county turned out one little
painter who "mixed his colours with brains," and so became the rage
for a London season; but when you come to a town, don't inquire, "What
artist was born here?" The old people didn't throw away money on
decorative art. If there is a bit to be found anywhere, it is generally
in or about a church, and stranger fingers executed it.

On the moors, and on the coast, the idea of a dwelling is that of a
stone hut with window and chimney, not so very much in advance of the
dwellings of the Palæolithic Age, which shows how slow the evolution of
one idea may be whilst others are travelling at motor pace. Where stone
abounds the dwelling is a cave above the ground; where stone is scarce
the yellow earth is mixed with a little chopped straw, and makes a wall
as much like the neighbouring soil as peas in a pod. This is "cob"
wall, and, when covered with thatch and half hidden with flowering
creepers, cob-wall cottages are pleasant to look at. Specimens of
stone dwellings with thatched roofs abound in the Lizard district, and
cob-wall cottages, more or less in ruins, are almost everywhere. Men
and women are in the habit of leaving their boots and clogs outside
their dwellings, and when the doors are open there is a great display
of old crockery and china ornaments in stiff-looking cupboards with
glass doors. Very like a painting by a Dutch artist is the interior of
a Cornish cottage on a moor.

Old fishing towns which have not yet been too much "improved" show the
practical side of the Cornishman's mind in the matter of dwellings. The
idea of a street never occurred to him. What he wanted was a place on
shore in which to store his nets and fishing gear, sails and spars, and
over that a loft, which he divided into rooms fitted up with "lockers,"
like the cuddy of his boat, or the cabin of a ship, and that was his
castle. He reached the ground by means of stone or wooden steps, having
the appearance on land of steps let down from the gangway of a ship.
In fact, the idea of a dwelling was that of a ship in stone, and the
similarity was the greater when a "hatch" was lifted up in the kitchen
and descent made into the cellar below, just as one would descend into
the hold of a ship through the open hatchway. The Cornish fisher's idea
of comfort was snugness. His dwelling overlooked the harbour, and he
could see his boat lying to her moorings, and open his window and talk
to the men as they passed, and consult the sky and clouds. He could do
a lot from his window, his chin resting on his arms, with the least
possible trouble to himself. When a fisher cannot live so as to see the
harbour from his window, he lives as near the harbour as he can,
so as to be out of his boat and into his bed in the shortest time. He
detests walking one step further than he can help after he lands, so
the idea of regular streets never dawned upon the original builders of
Newlyn and St. Ives, Polperro and Looe, Fowey and Mevagissey. A street
is an accident, unless it is modern--the ancient builders of the old
towns deeming it sufficient to leave a gangway between the houses, as
at Polperro, where a man with broad shoulders can block up the whole
thoroughfare. In the villages and coves at the Lizard and the Land's
End, the fishers' dwellings have a physiognomy in common, and tell of
struggle and endurance; and in favoured places, jasmine and myrtle,
fuchsia, geranium, and roses step in and cover all the weather-beaten
stone and shabby lintels with glory and perfume.


[Illustration: SMILER'S PIOUS CAT.]

Chapter XI

St. Ives is small for its age, but is growing now. The town divides
itself into two parts, the new and the old. The new is new, and the
old is fragrant. The history of St. Ives also divides itself into two,
the ancient and the modern; and the ancient goes back to the time of
the saints. It was a woman who founded St. Ives. It is well to keep
this in mind, because the well-known St. Ives was a lawyer, and so
honest that he was never once struck off the rolls. Some of the piety
of the ancient lady is said to linger about the town. It was she who
introduced a new breed of cats, and the old town is still famous for
cats. There are Manx cats and Persian cats and St. Ives cats. The St.
Ives cat is "at home" in the streets, and may be found in corners
and on doorsteps, or stretched at full length across the roads, and
sidewalks when there are any. St. Ives is apparently owned by cats, so
respectful are the inhabitants, and so careful not to tread on their
tails or toes. If a cat is stretched out enjoying the sunshine, a man
will drive his cart around it, to the danger of humans paying rates
and taxes. The St. Ives cat has a well-to-do, lascivious-looking air,
and is only properly awake at nights. In the daytime the animal slinks
along courts and side streets, and rubs itself against water-butts and
tar-barrels and fish-flaskets, until it has an odour of mixed scents
as strong as a distillery of perfumes. Nothing can beat pilchard oil
mixed with garbage, which the St. Ives cat loves. When the boats return
in the early hours of the morning, the cats make tracks for the quay,
and every cat knows its own boat, and waits for the men to come ashore,
and then purrs and purrs, and rubs its scented fur against the men's
long-boots. The men belong to the cats, every cat a man and every man a
cat. Women and mice don't count much with St. Ives cats--it's men and
fish for them.


"Ded 'ee ever hear th' story of Smiler's cat? No? Well, then, I'll
tell 'ee," said a man, gutting a fish upon an iron post, and throwing
tid-bits to a long lanky tabby with one mild blue eye and one a dark
grassy green. "He wadn't a fighter, egcept he was provoked, and then
he was game; but he was a most orderly cat and pious. Now you may
laugh, but ef iver there was a pious cat, 'twas Smiler's. Smiler wadn't
pious, but Bob was. Bob was black with a white tie round his neck, so
he had a respectable appearance, and was looked up to by all the cats
in the parish. Bob knew when Smiler had a good week, and knew where to
find him when he'd had enough and 'twas time to go home. Smiler was a
peaceful man at all times, and when he'd had full 'lowance, and more,
he'd sit down and talk over old times, and his father and mother, and
begin to cry. Then Bob would rub against his legs and make for the
door, and Smiler would follow 'zackly like a cheeld--ess he would. When
'twas dark Bob 'ud walk back-'ards and show Smiler the way by the light
of es eyes--starboard and port, port and starboard--till Smiler got
home. Bob was that pious he wouldn't eat no vish on a Sunday, and he
was so looked up to by all the cats that not one would run down to the
quay on a Saturday or a Sunday night--not sure 'nuff--not if all the
boats came in chock-vull of vish. 'No Sunday vish for St. Ives!' was
the motto with Bob, and all the cats followed. Smiler was that happy on
Saturdays that he cudn't rise on Sundays, and Bob used to keep watch
and listen to the Salvation Army services which he cud hear quite plain
through the open window. Bob got to like the music and grew serious,
and tuk to followin' th' band. People tuk notice, and said 'twas
Smiler's Bob, and expected to see Smiler foller the cat, as he did at
nights when he was well 'bowsed.'

"Bob was going after Smiler one night, as usual, after 'sharing,' and,
as ill fortune would have it, he met an old friend in the cat-line,
and they went off together, which was sad for Smiler, who went wrong,
and slipped into the water, without being seen or heard. Bob went
about like a mazed cat, and never rested till he sniffed out Smiler,
caught by a mooring chain. It was wonderful to see Bob follerin' at the
funeral, and many would have taken care ov him, but he had a 'call,'
and follered the Salvation Army, and to the last day of his innocent
life would eat no vish on a Sunday--not no vish even caught on a
Saturday; no risks for Bob. If some people was only as good as some
cats," said the man, resuming work and throwing a morsel to the long
lanky tabby, "why, then I say there'd be no call for bad blood between
East and West on the score of Sunday fishing and Sunday markets."

"How do you account for this uncommon piety in a cat?" asked Guy.

"'Twas bred in him, s'poase. Anyhow, he was uncommon pious, and his
good example is follered. Thiccy theer cat wud no more ate vish catched
on Sunday than he'd fly. Wad'ee, Tom?"

Tom purred.

"I knawed it," said the man, washing the fish and pushing his
forefinger through its gills.

       *       *       *       *       *

The St. Ives women always enjoyed the reputation of being well endowed
with tongue. Some people think their old vivacity is the result of
foreign blood, but it is singular that the "gift" of tongue should
follow only in the female line. A St. Ives man is quiet enough until
his blood is up, and then he wants to hit something, or throw something
overboard, and make a big noise in the open air. There is the story of
three young women slipping into their pattens and going to the well
with their pitchers for water. Their husbands were at sea. The young
women began to talk, and they talked on and on until their husbands
returned, and found them just at the beginning of an argument. So they
off to sea once more, and back again, and the three women were still
at the well, and getting interested in the argument. Then the three
men took a long voyage, and returning with well-lined purses found
their wives, now grown white, still at the well, but on the point of
adjourning till the morrow to take up the thread of the old argument.

[Illustration: A CORNISH FISH-WIFE.]

The St. Ives woman, however, has a turn for business. What her man
catches she sells, and pays his bills for nets and barking and repairs.
On land she's "boss," and has a "sharing cake" once a week when she
settles accounts. The "sharing cake" is an ancient institution, and
must be respected. It has its ceremonial, too, and must be broken with
the fingers, not cut with a knife, because cold steel would bring bad
luck. The customs of women are very different in the North and South.
Like Newlyn, St. Ives is the home of artists of world-wide reputation.

[Illustration: A SIDE STREET.]


A Cornish Sunday to a man of cities is a weariness to the flesh, and a
temptation to pray for Monday to come quickly; but for the natives it
is a blessed day--a day of feathers and soft down, a day for chewing
the cud and being lazy without reproach. The fishermen rarely fish on
Saturdays because the sacred idleness of the Sunday may be broken by
the salesmen and railway porters--so the day of rest is made to stretch
over as much of two days as is worth the having. Farmers are not so
well off as fishers, but do what they can in the resting line, and that
is something. When we walked through any of the villages on a Sunday
we found the people mostly looking over their garden gates, casting
glances "up-along," or "down-along," or "athwart," just to see what was
going on, and who was moving. They don't like cycles or cyclists on
Sundays, and when one comes along all the men in their shirt-sleeves,
and all the women helping them to do nothing, squirm as though wounded
in a tender place. Every time it is the same--the same inward shrinking
from activity on a day of rest. Those who do nothing all the week
feel just the same, and lie about, and squat about, indoors, when not
outside resting their ample chins upon ample arms upon gates and walls,
staring "up-along," and "down-along," and "athwart," watching one

Whatever can sleep, sleeps, and the people don't seem properly awake
until after tea, when the women make ready for chapel, and the men go
after them. The men wouldn't stir but for the women, and the women make
a bee-line for chapel. Sunday is given up to preaching and preachers.
If you see a man driving on a Sunday, you may put him down for a
"local" brother, who works at his trade all the week and is preacher
on Sundays. You may know him by a certain smile of goodness that
plays around his mouth, for he is going to have a good time. The lay
preacher is a by-product of Methodism, and a valuable one in large and
scattered circuits too poor for anything but a little chapel of four
walls and a brush of whitewash. The Methodist clergy live in the towns
and work around the circuit, so the people in the villages see their
minister sometimes. The ordained minister is a "rounder," because of
his travelling round. The lay, or "local," brothers come in and fill up
gaps, and they travel from place to place according to a "plan"--a sort
of calendar and time-table combined. It is a system, and it works, and
congregations are not wearied with the same face and voice two Sundays
in succession. It is good for the lay brother, who can run one sermon
for three months without much fear of being bowled out.

The lay preacher is almost a professional once a week, and goes so far
as to wear a clerical bowler, but the white necktie is reserved, as a
rule, for his betters. There is no written law upon the subject, but it
is understood that the white necktie is for the professional "rounder."
The lay brother has privileges, and may drive proudly through the land
of saints on Sundays and be welcomed, though no one else may let or
hire a trap for love or money. The lay brother may not ride a bicycle,
which is a pity, looked at from the side of horseflesh.

"I'll drive 'ee to plaize 'ee, but I'd rather not," said a
good-tempered landlord, one Sunday, when we wished to pay respects to
an ancient monument.

"Why would you rather not?"

"People talk so, and say nasty things to the children."

"But some one has just driven past, and every one smiled and
how-de-doo'd him."

"That's oal right. He's goin' to praich."

"But the pony looked tired."

"I shud zay so. Six mile and stiffish hills, and not wance ded ee git
out ov th' trap."

"Do you mean that a preacher of the Gospel over-drives his horse?"

"I mane that ef a hill is as stiff as a house a praicher won't never
walk on a Zunday--not wan inch of th' way."

Now the vent-peg was out, our host's eloquence ran freely, and much
he said of the over-driving and under-feeding of hired horses by lay
preachers on Sundays, and of the reluctance which people had to take
on the "horse hire" contracts for the Sunday work, because the men
who walked the hills fast enough in their weekday clothes would not
walk an inch in their Sunday clothes when "planned" for preaching. A
false standard of dignity this, which made men cruel. And then the
under-feeding? There is no excuse for this. The lay brother is served
with all the luxuries of the season at the tables of the brethren
on whom he is billeted as a soldier of the cross, and should not
forget the hard-working little animal which has dragged him the whole
distance, and will have to drag him back again, and the worse the
weather the quicker the pace.

Lay preaching is the homely fare of Sunday congregations, who thrive
on it because it suits them and sticks in their memories. The "higher
criticism" is not wanted by them. Here are a few specimens, picked up
in various places.

"You'll never want friends whilst you've God and your victuals."

"Some people's religion is like badly baked dough--put in with the
bread and took out with the cakes."

"What the Bible says is true, as true as I've a-got specketty stockings

"I do pity the poor ould devil, he lost such a good plaace oal dru
catching a cold en es faith. Ess, my dears, he was like some folks
along weth we, who get boilin' hot when they'm convarted, and then
catch chill dru sittin' en a draught."

"There was wance a great man who gave a great supper to a braave lot
of guests. And ded'm come? Not for sure, but they all sent excuses.
Wan said, 'I've boughten a piece of land, an' must go an' try et;' an'
another said, 'I've boughten vive yoke of oxen, an' must try they;' an'
another said, 'I've married a wife, an' must stap to home to try she.'"

"Cast your bread upon the waters, and doan't 'ee luk fust to see
whichee way th' wind es blawing. Aw, my dears, there's many a man
wean't trust the Loard weth a penny loaf, and so they lose the
blessing, like ould Timothy Tack, who spent sixpence to find thrupence."

"Love your neighbour, that is a commandment; but ef you b'lieve in him
he's sure to do 'ee!"

"Some people say, 'You can't believe a thing unless you can see and
feel it;' but I say you can. Look 'ee now. Here's my hand--fowr fingers
an' a thum'. Well, that's fact, edn't et? Now then" (hiding his hand
from view), "my hand has got fowr fingers an' a thum', but you can't
see'm. Well, that's b'leef. Never say, then, you can't b'lieve what you
can't see and feel."

"When I was a boy, a man used to come round crying 'Bellows to mend,'
and the schoolmaster our way put up a sign, 'Manners to mend.' Now, I
think we might put up that sign in chapels where people come on Sundays
trapesing in as though they were going by train, and quattin' down, and
spittin' on th' floor, for oal th' world 'twas a tiddly-wink. Them's
manners to mend, sure 'nuff, an' would be th' better for mendin', like
Jakey Luney's britches, ragged behind."

Sometimes the local brother's homily is very pointed, but no offence
is taken. The preacher is one of themselves, and they will take a lot
from him in good part. If a stranger were to take the same liberty
there would be trouble. Here is a specimen from an address spoken from
the pulpit in the free-and-easy manner of every-day conversation.

"You wean't get into heaven just because you've a pious mother or a
pious father. Not for sure. Now, I'll tell 'ee a story about a man
who deceived moast everybody when he was in the flesh, and he liked
chateing so much that he al'ys prayed loudest after he'd tooked in
somebody--an' there's more like'n down along weth we now. We'll just
give him a name, an' call him Jim Tresidder. He was on the 'plan,' like
me, and people said 'twas good to hear him hold forth, and I s'poase
'twas. Jim put a bold face upon it when he marched up to the golden
gate, and rapped weth his knuckles upon the little shutter, till Peter
looked out. 'Who ar'ee?' asks Peter. 'Doan't 'ee knaw me? Why, I'm Jim
Tresidder.' Then he tunied up a bit, and began to sing, 'Heaven is my
home.' Now, Peter must have liked the look of Jim--he had sich a pious
look weth un, for he stretched forth his hand for the key hanging
over his head to open the gate weth. 'I'm oal right now,' thinks Jim,
singing louder and louder. 'Avoor I let 'ee in,' says Peter, 'I'll have
a look at the book,' and he turned over the leaves till he came to
the T's. 'You'm Jim Tresidder of Trevalsa,' ses he. 'Ess,' says Jim.
'Then I'm sorry for 'ee,' says Peter, hanging up the key wance more.
Then he showed Jim the book through the peep-hole, and when he seed
oal the people he'd chated, and the evil he had caused, his heart sank
into his shoes. 'I'll live in a dark corner, anywhere, if you'll only
let me in. My poor mother is waiting for me. She was called Jane, an'
was pious--now do 'ee lev me in, there's a dear man,' ses he, the great
tears rolling down his chacks. 'Your mother is here weth the shining
ones,' says Peter, 'but you caan't come in because of she, no, f'y, you
caan't, for up here every fish do hang by his own gills. And you will
hang too--on the outside.'"

The county is honeycombed with dissent, and the fat of the land is
labelled "Wesleyan." The beneficed clergy are beautifully housed, with
gardens and stables, and all the appointments of gentlemen; but the
"livings" are not fat. Some country clergy take "paying guests," and
some let their houses in the summer. The orthodox Wesleyan ministers
are fairly well off, and live rent free; and the others live as best
they can, and get commissions on the sale of books and periodicals. One
of the brethren left a record of thirty thousand teeth drawn during
his professional career. As a rule, they "draw" well, and will draw
coin from the most unlikely places. A child having swallowed a piece of
silver, the doctor, in despair, sent for the minister, saying the case
was hopeless if he failed to get it. The coin was recovered.[D]

There is a good deal of "religion" to be met with, and not so much need
for Salvation Army music as in some places. There are certain times
when people want to feel good, but they don't all feel the same way at
the same time, which saves monotony. They say that at St. Agnes the
people start being good when the cold weather sets in, and the feeling
lasts until potato-planting time, and then, somehow, the good feeling
sloughs off. I don't know what becomes of it, only it is put on one
side for the next season, just like a boy puts on one side his bag of
marbles and brings out tops. It's the same boy, but a new game. In
the summer it's a struggle to be good anywhere, there's so many fairs
and feasts and frolics, and the young men and maidens are so fond of
courting on the cliffs and downs. It's the custom of the country and
suits well enough, so strangers may turn their heads on one side--it's
none of their business. In the autumn the good feeling comes again and
extends along the coast, especially when the fishing is "slight." The
young men get tired of the maidens about this time, and want to be
good for evermore, and the want grows with the badness of the season.
One sign of goodness in the country is thrift. The man who neither
chews, nor smokes, nor drinks beer, and who never spends a copper
without looking on both sides of it, is sure to be good.

  [D] An ex-President of the Wesleyan Conference told this story.

You always know when the good season is coming on by the people
singing. They are pretty good, in spots, at singing, but the "gift," as
they call it, is not universal. A gift is supposed to run in families,
and a man with the voice of a crow will insist on singing because his
great-grandfather once played the double bass in a church choir. There
is a musical zone in the West, and the young women who work in the open
air have very sweet voices. These are the "bal" maidens, and work on
the dressing-floors of the mines. When the time comes round for them
to feel good they "tuney up" a bit, and take the young men who work
underground along with them to the love-feasts and prayer-meetings in
the little Bethels scattered all about the moors.

They call themselves "Weslums" when they are not something ending in
"ists" or "ite," and are bursting with goodness every Whit-Monday, just
as sure as the day comes round. Why Whit-Monday more than any other day
in the year would puzzle any one who did not know that on a certain day
the cuckoo must sing. It's a sort of something which makes the bird
sing, and it's a sort of something which makes the "Weslums" feel good
on Whit-Monday, and draws them with invisible bands towards Gwennap
Pit. Whit-Monday is the anniversary of an occasion when John Wesley,
_the_ John Wesley, _our_ John Wesley preached in the pit--- not the pit
as it is, but the pit as it was.

John Wesley wouldn't know the pit, or the people who flock there now
on Whit-Mondays. The old pit was an abandoned mine of no particular
shape, but inclined to be round, like a bowl warped in the firing.
Then the miners came with pickaxe and shovel, and cut terraces against
the land, and made the ring quite round, with its terraces rising one
above another, until it became a sort of county monument to which the
"Weslums" are drawn in their tens of thousands as to a shrine. John
Wesley is a "Saint" in Cornwall, and all those who went before him
have to take back seats; and Whit-Monday, at the Pit, is now a sort of
religious carnival, with picnic combined, at which Saint John would
have shied when in the flesh, like good St. Anthony at a Pleasant
Sunday Afternoon, with fiddles and a ballet. When Wesley first came
among the people they had an unpleasant trick of throwing stones and
turves at him, and hustling him out of one parish into another, and
then out upon the downs, where he might live upon frosty turnips
when there were no blackberries. "Starring" in the country was not
pleasant at times; and cold, wet, and starving, the little-great man
often had the appearance of a scarecrow riding upon a tough little
nag as starved as himself. But he caught on, and emptied the cock-pit
and wrestling ring, and provided entertainments wherein were mighty
wrestlings with the invisible for immortal stakes. So he reached the
natural cravings of a dramatic people for excitement and scenic change,
and made them actors, with the blue heavens above, the earth trembling,
and the hill-sides lined with living faces, wet and radiant. Greater
than he have tramped the county since, but conditions have altered,
and only _one_ Wesley is possible. And that is why people are drawn
as to a shrine to Gwennap Pit, and the feeling comes upon them every
Whit-Monday that they must go there, for there is a troubling of the
waters then, and they may be healed. The old spirit of votive offerings
survives in the land of saints and holy wells.

The Cornish must have been a very well-meaning folk at one time,
estimated by the number of churches which they built. They built little
else, perhaps, but they did build good and substantial churches,
mostly with square towers and four pinnacles, to be seen of men far
and near. In the parish of Paul, near Penzance, the towers of fifteen
parish churches may be counted from one spot, and, though not so
thick everywhere, the minds of the people centred around the churches
for more reasons than one. In the old days, when roads were few and
detestably bad, people reckoned church towers as guides, and calculated
distances from church tower to church tower. Every man who ventured
far from home knew the church towers by sight and the bells by sound;
they were marks at sea as well, and mariners knew them and their bells
as well as now they know bell-buoys and lighthouses upon the charts.
A hamlet with a church became a "town," so a man says he's going to
Church-town, and still measures the distance between places by saying
it is so far from one church tower to the other.

Then came the little chapel, four-square and whitewashed, with plain
glass windows, winking and blinking in the daytime, but a place of joy.
Some people measure distances as from Bethel to Zion, and then no other
question is needed on the point of worship. It's all there, when the
chapel comes before the church. The day of bitterness is passing, but
the preference comes out accidentally.

Now there is a third building seen from far and seen everywhere, and
that is the school which has been raised by the people with more
hardship and self-denial than in the rest of the kingdom, because of
the smallness of means, which often makes the dividing line with
downright poverty very fine indeed. Only the thrift of the people
would have enabled them to uprear schools finer in every respect than
chapels, and first and foremost amongst the buildings of the county.
The schools rank next the churches, and are usually built where they
may be seen.

The parsons had to fight tooth and nail for their tithes of cows
and calves and pigs and other things, and had to look sharp that
butter and cheese were not palmed off on them as of like value. The
Vicar of Zennor made a note in the parish register that three of his
tithe-paying parishioners had planted butter and cheese in the chancel
of the church, where he let it stay until it became too ripe for
endurance, and then he ordered the churchwardens to remove it, which
they did; and the three smart farmers lost their produce, and the vicar
got his tithe of living animals, after all. A vicar wanted knowledge
not included in university curricula to make the two ends meet in a
Cornish parish in the good old times. They have to struggle now to hold
their own and make a bit, which some say they are doing, and some shake
their heads, so one may think what he likes.



The Cornish are born actors and actresses, but the natural talent is
suppressed early, and it is not considered respectable to do or say
anything like a "play-actor." But the talent breaks bounds and shows
itself even in the last moments of the aged, composing their features,
so as to "look 'ansum" after death.

The county has no theatre, no vaudeville, nothing in which to develop
the dramatic instincts of a dramatic people. Now and again a travelling
company, or piece of one, gives a performance in a hall licensed
for dramatic presentations; but the people have become shy of being
seen with uncovered faces at plays not labelled "sacred." Susannah,
with realistic touches, would be popular, if the Lord Chamberlain
could see his way to license the performance. When away from home
the people patronize theatres and music-halls, and, on their return,
sing favourite hymns to comic opera. Dancing is prohibited in places,
and is "taboo" even when winked at; but some of the day schools are
now teaching children how to use their feet and legs to music, under
the head of "exercises" or "physical instruction." When an Italian
organ-grinder comes into a village, the children dance as though they
like it. The Flora, or Flurry, dance has some claim to be Cornish, and
in time may be danced well again in the open air at fairs and feasts.

The Cornish are imaginative, vivacious, quick to realize situations.
When there is any difficulty about words, a man or woman will get over
it by acting the part. Watch the men disputing, and you see unrehearsed
comedy--and very good comedy in its way. The old Cornish were very fond
of mysteries and miracle-plays, which were performed in the open, and
for the love of the thing. If one may believe, tens of thousands of
people used to tramp over the pathless downs to see a miracle-play, or
a series of plays, performed in some natural amphitheatre. The plays
speak for themselves. Some still exist, and we have only to fancy
the tens of thousands standing and squatting around, gazing rapt and
full-eyed upon the stage hour after hour, and then day by day, until
the mysteries were finished for the season. Men, women, and children
all "trapsed" to these plays, and, like the Japs of to-day, never left
the scene as long as there was anything to see. The performances were
realistic enough, and angels and devils took their parts in a manner
to upset any respectable system of theology. The actors learned their
parts, and the prompter, book in hand, followed the actors and told
them what to say when they were at a loss. The prompter was known as
the "ordinary," and on one occasion the ordinary, being a pleasant
conceited gentleman, played "a merry prank" with a poor actor who was
not well up in his part. The story runs: "His turn came: quoth the
ordinary, 'Go forth, man, and show thyself.' The gentleman steps out
upon the stage, and, like a bad clerk in Scripture matters, cleaving
more to the letter than the sense, pronounced those words aloud. 'Oh,'
says the fellow softly in his ear, 'you mar all the play.' And with
this his passion the actor makes the audience in like sort acquainted.
Hereon the prompter falls to flat railing and cursing in the bitterest
terms he could devise; which the gentleman with a set gesture and
countenance still soberly related, until the ordinary, driven at last
into mad rage, was fain to give all over; which trousse, though it
break off the interlude, yet defrauded not the beholders, but dismissed
them with a great deal more sport and laughter than twenty such guaries
could have afforded."[E]

  [E] This is the only indigenous stage story in existence, and is
  preserved by Carew.

In former times, Midsummer Eve festivities were celebrated with much
joyousness and dancing through the streets, and the lighting of
bonfires at night, so that, seen from the sea, the coast-line showed a
blaze of light. This was originally a pagan celebration of the summer
solstice, and the Romish Church took it over and rechristened it,
calling the rejoicing the festivals of St. John and St. Peter. The
Reformed Church took over the festivals as a legacy, and they lingered
on in the land until dissent brought out their fire brigades and at
last extinguished them. There is another "pagan" celebration which will
not die. The public May-time rejoicings were nearly extinguished once,
but are active again, and the good people of Helston dress up, and sing
and dance from morn to night, because the spring has come again, and
the land may once more be made beautiful with flower and corn. At one
time the Church encouraged these public rejoicings, and gave them as
much of a religious appearance as possible, but now there is nothing
to suggest religion except the "collection" which the dancers make for
their own benefit.

When the Cornish language fell into disuse, fell also all prospect of
a drama indigenous to a land of which one can never say how much is
real. The sad autumn leaves fell upon the literary remembrances of the
people when old Dolly Pentreath died, and as some one must have been
the last to speak the language, as well Dolly as another, and better,
perhaps, as we can see her portrait and her monolith. The old popular
performances under the blue sky died out with the tongue, and then
followed the travelling showman and the lady in tights and spangles,
and then the old Christmas mummers with their diabolrie and three-men
songs. The English drama in no form has any hold in the county now, and
even Shakespeare is caviare to the general. Only one Cornishman made
his mark upon the stage, and of no great credit he, so we let him pass;
but the county is foster-mother to Sir Henry Irving, fittest of all men
to have been a son, so well he "loved the fancies and legends of the

  [F] When Sir Henry died, it was remembered that he whose soul was all
  Cornish, had never acted in the county.

"There are comedies and tragedies with scenes laid in Cornwall in
plenty, but no Cornish drama or dramatist," said the Bookworm. And yet
there might have been.

[Illustration: BOSCASTLE HARBOUR.]

Tregeagle is the Cornish Faust. The story took a few centuries
to develop, and there is nothing to be added now to heighten its
dramatic effect. Tregeagle was a young man of ambition, with a vein
of discontent running through his composition. One day, when brooding
over what he was, and what he would be, seeing all things in false
perspective, Old Artful made his acquaintance, and there was the usual
bargain, signed, sealed and delivered. "This is my act and deed,"
said Tregeagle, putting his finger on the red seal drawn from his own
veins. Tregeagle was to live in airy-fairy palaces, and have the run
of every man's preserves until such time as Old Artful choose, and
then--well, what was left of his tissue-paper soul would be wanted in
another place. Old Artful behaved in the handsomest manner, and Mr.
Tregeagle lived in a palace in up-to-date splendour, with men-servants
and maid-servants, and every one took off his hat or curtsied as he
passed, and he was as hard to the poor as a landlord's agent, and rode
roughshod over whom he would. In fact, he couldn't be a greater swell
before the days of motors. All went gaily with him, until, one day, he
consulted his diary and found that his lease under the contract had
nearly expired, and then he became "hurried in his mind," and lost
appetite, and cast about to see if he could save himself, and pay no
forfeit. Now, Old Artful was a good judge of character and knew his
man, so, when the time was up, he let the fairy palace, with all its
beautiful gardens and stables and greenhouses, sink into the earth,
and covered them over with water so deep that some said no plummet
could find bottom. Having trapped his man so nicely, Old Artful was in
good humour, and gave Tregeagle a limpet-shell with a hole in it, and
told him he might work out his redemption by emptying the lake; for,
said he, "you can't expect to have all the good things of this world
without paying for them, either in money or marbles." Tregeagle looked
at the limpet-shell, so small that a thimbleful of water would overflow
it, and then at the hole in the bottom, but he cared little for that
as he could stop it up with his finger. It was a hopeless task, yet
he was comforted by the thought that in the matter of the hole, by
stopping it with his finger, he would score one off Old Artful. Then
he commenced baling the water from the lake; and when he would rest,
Old Artful's imps spurred him on and on until he shrieked and roared,
so that all the people round about him shook in their shoes. "To roar
like Tregeagle," became a saying when one was groaning under deserved
punishment. The unhappy man is still working at his task, and it is
said there is not so much water in the lake as aforetime.

"Then Old Artful will have outwitted himself after all, for he gave the
fellow a task intended to be endless," said Guy.

"There is hope; and that is where the Cornish story differs from many
variations of Faust," said the Bookworm.

"I like the Cornish all the better for that," said Guy.

[Illustration: BRETON ONION-BOY.]


We always removed our hats before entering a church: it is the custom
of the country, and we were without prejudices. If we saw a clergyman
wondering at the rapid growth of nettles and docks and wild heliotrope
over his little freehold, we took off our hats to him. I don't mention
this in a vain-glorious spirit, only once or twice we were looked on
with suspicion, and shown dirty finger-marks upon walls, and scratches
made with knives upon monuments, and detestable rhymes scribbled in
pencil, where they could be seen. We were shown some writing which was
discovered pinned to the altar after a strange "gentleman and lady"
had made the round of the church, and gone away. The verger apologized
when showing us the writing, which he did only in order to justify his
looking upon us with some degree of suspicion. We felt sorry for the
"lady and gentleman," and they might have been sorry for themselves, if
we could have talked to them for a few minutes in a convenient place.

The vicar came in and insisted on showing us his "treasures." They were
not many, and we wished them more, for his sake, he was so anxious to
make us forget having been told that a "gentleman" with a soft cap,
and a "lady" with no cap at all, should have been guilty of pinning an
indecent writing to God's altar. He pitied them; and Guy felt that he
would like to have the chance of pitying the gentleman with the soft
cap after a strictly private interview.

The vicar tapped the Bookworm, and would have us stay to luncheon.
They exchanged views, and talked book catalogues, and dry goods like
that. We got out into the grounds, which were a little paradise.
Something from all quarters of the world grew there, and in the open,
too--nothing to hurt them, winter or summer, in this charming place. We
got away from books and dry stuff at last, and found that our genial
vicar could talk other things.

"The _bien entente_, or _entente cordiale_, or whatever you like to
call it, which startled Europe, is so old a thing amongst us, that we
were set laughing when told of the new discovery--the diplomatic radium
of the hour," said the vicar, laughing.

"I thought you Cornish were very alarmed at French invasions, and hated
Frenchmen like the lost archangel holy water. What were the popular
stories with which you sent children sobbing to bed, about the Great
Napoleon?" asked the Bookworm.

"Stories innumerable, and they served a purpose. A thousand such
stories might be invented to-morrow, and some would be believed, with
a German, a Russian, or a yellow bug-a-boo for figurehead. But, let
me tell you, there has always been a link between England and France,
and that is the Cornu-Breton link. Cornish boats were often safe in
French harbours when Napoleon was fitting out his great Armada, and
Nelson driving Frenchmen from the seas. We wanted brandy and silks,
and the French merchants wanted money, so the _bien entente_ was all
serene. Then we wanted salt for curing, and there was nothing more
common in our harbours than French _chasse-marées_ laden with sea-salt;
and who more popular than the Breton sailor in a Cornish port, in
blue blouse and sabots, and pockets stuffed full of prunes, which he
shook out as he walked, followed by a queue of children singing, 'How
do you do, Johnny Crapaud?' And then, most touching, when Frenchy
and the little _mousse_, trusting themselves alone in Cornish lanes,
gathered bucketfuls of esculent snails for soup. The _bien entente_
was all right still, though there were wars and rumours of wars. The
Cornu-Breton link held fast when Cornwall raised its volunteers when
Napoleon the Third sent a thrill of fear through the land, when Fashoda
was a burning word, and when the Paris journals made the English blood
boil during the Boer war. And what was the Cornu-Breton link?"

The vicar paused, and then added: "The link is here. It is knocking at
my gate."

There was a chubby-faced youngster at the back door, in blue smock and
knitted cap, bending under the weight of the onions he was carrying
suspended from a pole on his shoulder.

"This is the Cornu-Breton link--onions followed salt, and salt brandy.
These chubby-faced boys invade us every year and 'dump' all the spare
onions they grow in their little gardens at home. It is their harvest,
and the brave little hearts, trudging in a strange land, with raw
shoulders, are welcomed everywhere, whatever the party passions of the
hour. It is a small link, but it is steel, and when London and Paris
were drinking champagne to the new sensation, we were buying our onions
off our little Breton friends, giving them milk to drink, and sharing
pasties, and giving them ointments with which to rub their poor little
raw shoulders, and then resting them in barns so that they might be up
and off with sunrise to sell their onions."

The vicar beckoned to the boy, who came and told us of his home at
Paimpol; this was his second season here, and next year he would not
come because he was conscript, and would serve on board a man-of-war.
His eyes glistened when he talked of meeting British ships, and the
Cornish bluejackets who knew him as a little onion boy. And they would
be friends!

Guy tipped the boy when no one was looking, and so did his best to keep
the Cornu-Breton link intact.

I do believe the good vicar was sorry when we went.

       *       *       *       *       *

The people are not given to "hustle;" if the word has reached the
county, the thing hasn't in any great quantity. There is still a
blessed refuge in the world for men and women tired of "hustle" in all
its moods and tenses. Being on time at a railway station is genuine
distress to natives until they get used to it, and the language is
not strong in equivalents for "hustle." To make moderate haste is to
"hurry-all," to be in a genuine hurry is to be "stark-staring-mad." The
idea of smoothness resulting from leisure suits the Cornish genius
at home, and he has a pleasing word for it in "suant." When everything
is as "suant as oil," it is perfection itself. "Who carries the broth
must go suant," gives the idea of abundance of time in which to perform
an errand without mishap. To be too slow for anything is only to be
"asleep"--there is no anger in the reproach, just a gentle reminder,
that is all. Anything mouldy and vinewed is said to be "sleeping"--in
a delicious state of rest which it would be a pity to disturb. A
Cornishman only does one job at a time; when he talks he rests from all
other work.

[Illustration: MEVAGISSEY.]

Guy said he must have his hair cut; the Bookworm might please himself;
it might suit his style of beauty to be mistaken for an ancient bard.
The first town we came to we looked out for the striped pole, and there
was one outside a tobacco shop. It was afternoon when we entered the
shop with a partition running through it, so one half was sacred to the
"weed," and the other half to the performance of ancient rites. A green
curtain divided the double shop from the rear. The shop was empty,
but the curtain was half drawn, and we saw a man polishing his boots.
This was the barber, who finished his job, and met us, smiling. Guy
induced the Bookworm to take the chair first, because his hair being
darker would not show the illustrative finger-marks so clearly as his
own. Guy talked to the barber about boot-polish, and so interested him
that he stopped operations and talked. A man came in and propped up the
partition with a shoulder, and Mr. Figaro left his job and served a
packet of cigarettes. Then the new-comer began a story about one Billy
Tregarne who, falling down a clay-pit, was mistaken for the miller
by his own wife, who turned him to doors with much abuse and a "scat
in the chacks." It was all very interesting, but took time, and the
Bookworm was only half trimmed. The new-comer suddenly remembered that
he had left his shop open with no one to "mind" it, and walked away
as leisurely as he came. Then Mr. Figaro worked away, only stopping
occasionally to enjoy an inward chuckle; and when Guy went off without
being operated on, he seemed quite glad at having no more to do just

In towns, tradesmen spend a good deal of time in their shop doors,
looking "up-along" and "down-along," or across the street, and hold
conversations with each other in their several shop doors.

The inhabitants live long and die leisurely. When one is a trifle
over-anxious people tell him not to worry, for "you'll live till you
die, like Nicketty Booth."

The man in the highway never misses a chance for a gossip, and will
give old nuts for news, to any extent.

"Holloa! my man; which is the way to Church-town?" Guy shouted to a
labourer, who seemed to be doing his best to prop up a hedge.

The man struck work at once and came forward leisurely. He eyed us up
and down, making a mental register of our marks. Then he seemed to take
an interest in us and our business.

"Going Church-town, art a?"

"Yes, and which is the way?"

"Want to see Farmer? Well, then, a ed'n home. Farmer had fine field
of wheat in ten-acre field, sure 'nuff, and he's gone to market. He
was drashing yesterday, and the drashing machine cut off Tom Curnow's
fingers. Ess sure, 'e ded."

"We don't want Farmer," said Guy, cutting in.

"Well, then, Tom Trebilcock? Tom's cow calved last week, and she's a
good milker. Didn't know Tom was going to sell."

"Never mind Tom; tell us the road, the way, the
what-you-like-to-call-it, to Church-town."

"There's passun's house close by the church, and passun's little mare
is a good un to travel. They do say----"

"How do we get there?"

"Ef so be you'm in a hurry you need'n go, cos Farmer's drivin' mare to

"We'd like to get there in daylight," said Guy, gravely.

"Sartinly;" and then the man gathered himself together for a supreme
effort. "You do go through meadow-close, and plain-close, and then into
high-lane, and volly on, an' there you be, sure."

"But where is meadow-close?"

"Oh, back along."

"But where?"

"Back along to stile."

"Thanks very much, my good man, and may your shadow never grow less."

We left the man apparently wondering what sort of animals there were
at large who didn't know the way to Church-town. Gradually he unbent
himself, and went back to prop up the hedge.

In conversation a good deal of ground is covered in a non-committal
sort of way by illustrations well understood by the parties, but Greek
to any stranger. A worthy person who does mischief with the best
intentions is said to be like "Aunt Gracie's vear"--which means that
the little pig, with the best intentions in the world, sucked the old
sow to death. Few would suspect that "Betsy Bowden's leg" tells a
tragedy, but it does:--

    "Old age and sorrows did she decay,
    And her bad leg carried she away."

To have "Betsy Bowden's leg" is a very serious matter to those who
understand what it means.

"It's as well to leave high English at home," said the local doctor,
whom Guy picked up in his rambles. "I was asked by a woman on leaving
the house of a patient the other day what the matter was? and, in a
moment of forgetfulness, I said it was a case of 'strangulated hernia.'
'My dear life!' said the woman, opening her eyes wide, 'that's a very
different story to what I heard.' 'And what did you hear?' 'Why, I
heard that the man had a kink in his innards.' We meant the same
thing; but you must live amongst people really to understand and be

Sometimes a humorous situation is created, and the incident lives.
An officer inspecting volunteers wished to dismiss them. "Stand at
ease! Attention! Disperse!" The men stood still with wonder in their
eyes. "Disperse!" repeated the officer, and still the men stood still.
The sergeant saluted. "May I give the order?" "Certainly." Then the
sergeant: "Stand at ease! Attention! Scat up!" And every man went his
way, and the corps are the "Scat-ups" to this day.

A coastguard told us the story of a young officer of the kid-glove type
giving an order to the men in the maintop. "Maintop, ahoy!" "Aye, aye,
sir." "Extinguish the illuminator." "No such rope, sir." Then the
boatswain: "Maintop, ahoy!" "Aye, aye, sir." "Douse the glim." Light
goes out.

A bargain is dear to the soul of a Cornishman; only send round the
crier with the bell, announcing a sale, and he'll be there, and pay
cheerfully more than the things are worth, if only he's told that he's
getting a bargain. To get something for next to nothing is to be happy.
A man will walk two miles to ride one, and build his house out of shape
rather than remove a bit of rock which can be worked into the wall.
Much ingenuity is shown in using up odds and ends of things. A sailor
will tell you that any man can make a sail if he has plenty of canvas
to cut from, but the man for his money is the man who "makes do what
won't do." To throw anything on the scrap-heap as long as there's wear
or use in it, would make an average man turn green, and wish for the
better land. He's thrifty in the wrong place, and can't help it; but
once get him away from home and he develops and does well, as times go.
We were told that Bryant, of blacking and match fame, and Pears, of
soap fame, are not only Cornish, but hail from neighbouring parishes;
and Ralph Allen, the lucky, was born at St. Blazey. Ralph was a man
of many parts. He brought some order and method into our country mail
services, ran the Bath theatre, married a beautiful wife, and made
£16,000 a year out of a Government contract. Once outside the charmed
circle of his native land, a Cornishman gets on just as well as a
Scotchman, and is as thrifty as need be.

There is an ingrained dislike amongst the Cornish towards mean-looking
things, and things ugly or deformed. A well set-up man, with head
thrown back defiantly, and arms swinging, is forgiven much on account
of his appearance of strength and general can-take-care-of-myselfness.
A weak-looking man with a mean face must walk warily if he's to get
credit at all for the good that is actually in him. An elegant woman,
well-dressed, is immaculate; and a woman with an eye generous and
passionate has her sins condoned almost before they are committed.
But let a woman squint and be anæmic, short in nose, and long in
chin, a bit "hunchy" and out of shape, and goodness becomes an added
offence to her sin of living. "A poor, wakely thing," and "a wisht,
old-fashioned maid," are offences to the community, and are willingly
parted with. Downright ugliness in man or woman is looked on as the
devil's hall-mark;--"mark you the man whom nature marks," is a proverb.
The first question asked about a stranger is, what does he, or she,
look like? A great deal depends on the answer--a good-looking and
fair-spoken person may travel far and suffer no hunger in the land. The
devil is sin, and sin the father of ugliness, hence an ugly person has
the devil for father, and is treated accordingly.

The Cornish are a very hopeful race. Bad times depress, but there is
always to-morrow to look forward to, and to-morrow may be better than
to-day. Without this bank of hope to draw upon, the two main industries
of the county, mining and fishing, would have caved in long, long ago.
Contentment is another sign by which you may know the Cornishman at
home. If a man meets with misfortune, or a friend has gone under, he
sums it all up by saying, "Well, there 'tis." The phrase "there 'tis,"
is like a plaister of figs covering a sore, hiding much, but giving
rise to hope that a healing process may be going on.

"How be gettin' on, Jim, without the ould woman?" asks a man of his
fellow who has buried his wife. "Slight, sure 'nuff, at first, but
there 'tis;" and then he goes on about his work, as though the last
word was said upon the matter. Equally content is another aged pilgrim
who has lost the partner of his joys. "Do 'ee miss her, Bill?" "Ess,
sure." "Lonely, s'poase?" "Ess, tes lonely, but tes quiet." Bill was
content. "When the cyder is rinned away every drap, 'tis too late to
be thinkene of plugging the tap," is a little bit of old proverbial
philosophy which escaped Martin Tupper. The same spirit is in the
words, "Well, there 'tis," whether the cyder cask runs dry, or a mine
is "knocked," or a ship is wrecked, or a pitcher is broken. "Well,
there 'tis," says the victim, with the beautiful serenity of fatalism.
"There 'tis," and hope springs up amongst the ruins of shattered
hopes, and the Cornishman goes on his way again, trundling his own
wheelbarrow, without appealing to the heavens and the earth and all
that therein is to listen to his misfortunes. When he has a stroke of
good luck he's very quiet about it.

"I knaw he 'ave a chate somebody, he's so quiet," one man will say of
another on a market day.

[Illustration: A FISH-HAWKER.]


Tickle a Cornishman, and he'll smile. He likes it; and when you have
rested, begin again, and he'll still smile. Some people want different
handling, like Kaffirs in mines, who only smile nicely after being
knocked down with a crowbar. "Going! And I'm just beginning to like
'ee," is a common form of regret towards a civil-tongued stranger who
has found out the way to tickle. Cornishmen abroad tickle one another
at their annual dinners, when all that's fair and lovely to the sight
"belongs" to the land of pasties and cream.

There are some dialects which make people restless, and some which make
people tearful, and some to want to go to theatres and operas, and some
to churches, and some--well, elsewhere. An Irish M.P., on the wrongs
of Ireland, is sure to make you tearful; and a Scotchman, mellow, is
certain to cry himself when eloquent on Bobby Burns; but the ordinary
Englishman is not moved to tears by ordinary English. His language is
very good for getting about with in trains and tramcars, and finding
out the prices of things, and making profits from the Equator to
the Pole. A hard-hearted sort of a language, that wants filing and
sand-papering a bit to reach the heart--like French, just by way of
making a comparison, which will not be odious now the _bien entente_ is
on the carpet.

One should come into the duchy to hear how the English language may
acquire a languorous ease, which makes one want to sit still at the
first milestone, and never to go any further. At first, Guy wanted
everything "sharp"--boots "sharp," breakfast "sharp," everything to the
minute, and every one on the alert. The Cornish constitution wasn't
made to work that way in Cornish air. A woman was selling fruit at a
street corner, and Guy bought some. A small boy was sent to change a
coin, and Guy grew tired and impatient of waiting. Then he murmured,
and talked of calling again at Christmas, if the boy was likely to be
back by then. The woman was sweetly placid, and asked Guy if he was
in a hurry? Guy said he wasn't suffering from that complaint, only he
liked to see boys smart, and things done quickly, and so help the world
to spin.

"I hate to be kept waiting," said he.

"It doan't sim long to we," said the woman, counting the coppers
slowly, one by one, into Guy's impatient palm, when the boy did return.

It doesn't seem long to the native to "quat," and listen to another
telling a yarn of endless length which might all be packed into a
sixpenny "wire." The stranger has to get rid of irritable impatience
before the restful influences of the words, and the manner of speaking
them, lay hold of him; and when they do he is in a peaceful oasis.
A bustling commercial man never dreams of opening his samples until
he's inquired about all the family, down to the third generation; and
in villages he has to remember that his customer's cow was bad last
journey, that his black minorca hen hatched out fifteen eggs, and that
the rats carried away ten in a single night. Then he has to see the
missus, and talk babies, and corns, and indigestion; and then, when no
one is looking, he undoes his samples, and business is introduced as
though by accident.

Who can be in a hurry when he finds that to get to a place three or
four miles away he must take the road to Trevalsamin, then cross the
town place at Ponsandain, which brings you to the stile at Hallywiden,
leave Ventongimps to the right, and the church-town of Trevespanvean
will come in view, then down by Trebarva well, and you will reach your
destination? Imagine this direction given in a zigzag fashion, with
comments and sketches of scenery thrown in, and the story of a man who
tackled a bull down by Trannack-Treneer bottom, and was carried home
on a gate, and then lived----. You can't get away from the man until a
sense of peace has fallen upon you; and you don't care if you take the
journey now, or put it off until to-morrow.

The old people who invented these names were in no humour for hurry,
and names are as thick as blackberries, for every field, and brake, and
bottom has its own particular name, which is always repeated in full in
conversation, no odds how often it occurs. A farmer knows his fields
by their names, just as he knows his children by theirs. The English
language shows its restful side in Cornwall.

Since our first parents were turned out of Eden, there has been no
paradise for children more perfect than Cornwall. We didn't know it
until we were told so by an old man hobbling along by the side of a
donkey with panniers on its back, and in the panniers fresh fish to
sell in the villages through which we were to pass. The old man was
in trouble on account of the school children jumping on his donkey's
back, and riding off at their own sweet wills. Then a boat came in with
a little "cate" of fish, which the old man bought to sell to country,
but nowhere could the donkey be found. Then he went about seeking,
until, at last, he ran the animal to earth in a quarry in a brake,
where the children had hidden it in order to ride back again in triumph
after school. This was the old man's grievance, and he called heaven
and earth to witness that there was no place under the sun where the
rising generation better deserved hanging than in this parish; or where
parents more deserved hanging for bringing up such varmints.

Guy tried his hand at a little friendly examination, and we learnt that
things were different when the old man was young; when his very own
father would have thought no more of cutting him down with a shovel, or
stretching him stiff with a hammer, if he went leastways contrary, than
he would have of eating a pasty. Well, if he did not like it he had to
put up with it, like the rest, and it taught him how children ought to
be trained. But now----

The old man was too full of words to speak for a time, but a passage
cleared itself, and then we found it was all the fault of the school,
and the rates, that children were varmints, and ought to be nailed up
to barn doors, like weasels and wants, and sich-like. "Lay a finger
upon a cheeld now, and the wimmen'll screech murder, marbleu! just as
ef the French was coming. An' th' men's no better, tes oal, 'Coom here,
Johnny, my son, an' plaise doan'ee break th' cloam, an' plaise doan'ee
make a malkin ov yersel'; an' plaise doan'ee stale Tom Cobbledick's
jackass, and hide'n away, when he do waant to go to country weth vish.'
I'd 'plaise' em, th' varmints; I'd scat th' brains ov'm out!"

The old man told us frankly that the maidens were a tarnation sight
worse than the boys under the new order of things. They didn't steal
away his donkey, but they were the cause of quarrels among the women,
and the women egged on the men, until there was neither rest nor peace
in the parish. "There's that maid of Nancy Golley's," said he, "an'
you'd s'poase she was the quietest maid in the country to see her on
a Sunday, with a feather in her hat a yard long, and oal the fashions
on her back. An' so she es quiet till she do see another maid come
down along weth something on her back which she thinks would suit her
beauty better. Then what do she do but go over to the other maid, oal
artful-like, an' begin to purr round, and find out what it cost, and
what tallyman her mother got it from; and then she rounds and says,
ted'n paid for, and she ought to be ashamed to wear it, when her old
granny is eating parish bread. Then the two wimmen begin upon their own
account, and rip up each other, an' set th' men on; and they'd have
killed one t'other, only the parish com'd in and tooked sides, and
fout till they cud'n blaw nor strike. And this trubble oal becase the
maidens were dressed up, and sent to school to learn bukes, instead of
goin' to work. I'd giv' it to th' varmints, ess, sure I wud," said he,
with a sing-song drawl, but all his ill-temper gone.

The old man turned down a by-lane to sell a fish at a farmhouse, first
telling us how to find Church-town and Mrs. Tregarthen's inn, where
there was "a drap of good beer" on tap, and we could pay for a pint for
him to drink when he came along.

Guy said it was refreshing to hear higher criticism of this sort; and
wondered what the Education Department would think did they but know
what a man of the soil thought of their strenuous efforts to spoil the
rod and teach the "varmints" to have it their own way? The Bookworm
wouldn't be provoked into saying anything, and so we reached the inn,
and found a very good larder there.

There was a pleasant hum of talk outside the inn, where a knot of young
miners were chatting over what concerned them most. The corner of the
building seemed to be the favourite spot in the whole village, and
the young men took turns to scratch themselves between the shoulders
against the corner-stones. It soothed them, and when they'd all
scratched in turns, they did a sort of jig with heel and toe, kicking
the wall with the heels of their boots. They never came inside; and
this was their way of showing that they had no animosity to the
institutions of their country. Our window was open, and Guy said this
would be a good opportunity for studying the language of the district.
"When people are together they talk it pure," said he, arousing the
Bookworm's attention.

Picking up a dialect in this way is not so easy; everybody seems
talking at once, and there's no full-stops, and the commas, when there
are any, seem to be in the wrong places. After a time, we captured a
few syllables, and the Bookworm wrote down phonetically a conversation
with two voices only--

"Say-yu, whatkoorarta?"

"Laastkoor b'nite."


We all heard it, and there was no doubt about the sounds; every
shorthand writer would be sure on that point. Then we called in Mrs.
Tregarthen's husband and read over the transcript, and he said it was
all right, and we might take away as much of the dialect as we pleased
in the same way. He spoke slowly, and it came out like this--

"Say you, what coor art thou?"

"Last coor by night."

"A durned coor that."

A "coor" is a turn, or shift, in mine work, and the last shift by night
is not popular. Guy asked the Bookworm how long he thought it would
take him to pick up the dialect? and suggested leaving him behind, and
calling for him later. The Bookworm was used to this sort of thing from

We picked up a dialect story, and preserved a sentence or two,
warranted to be genuine.

"Giv' me a kiss, me aul' dear," said Phil Pentreath, fisherman, just
home from a cruise, throwing his arms around his wife, who has got
herself up for the occasion, and does not want to be rumpled. She
flushes, and is in a great rage, but can't get over the ground quicker
than this--

"Taake yer baastlie wristeses awah fr'm me neck, you stinken',
ravishen' aythen! Lemmego! I waan't kiss'ee, and you oall auver
sunken' grease-oil an' tar. My sawl an' bawdee! I shud be fitty parfit
ashaamed, ef I was you, kissen' your wife in broad daalight, an'
daown-steers, too." An East End girl would cut half across London in
the time.


Cornish maids don't like cool lovers, and you may kiss early and
often, and be thought none the worse of by the maid you are sweet on.
If nothing comes of it the kissing part will be all right, and can be
wiped out, or carried forward, at pleasure. Kissing is a mode of
salutation in some districts where the population is stationary and
all the families somehow connected, and a strange kiss is welcome as
varying the flavour. It is a sign of religious communion among the
Methodists--the old people enjoy it at their love-feasts, and the young
take kindly to the godly example. There is no such county on earth for
"kiss-in-the-ring" at teas and picnics--old and young, rich and poor,
pastors and flock, run after one another, chasing and doubling and
tumbling, and then "smack, smack," and the captives are led back with
eyes sparkling and lips watering for more runs and more kisses. Pious
elders see their young ministers dashing after the maidens, lifting
up their chins, and kissing them on the lips, and holding them in
tight embrace the while, and they just nod to one another and smile,
as who should say, "Bless the dear lambs, lev 'em enjoy themselves
while they'm young." But only say "dance," and the dear old faces are
troubled with visions of the "pit" yawning beneath their feet. There
are different ways of kissing in different parishes, so a young man
may tell in the dark what parish a girl comes from by the way she
acts, if only he has had sufficient practice. It all comes to the same
thing, though the maidens think themselves slighted if not kissed often
enough. As a rule they get on very well.

The common furze which blooms perpetually has, on that account, got
mixed up with kissing; and when a girl is asked, "When is kissing out
of season?" her ready answer is, "When the furze is out of bloom;" that
is to say, never. The rich chrome yellow is very seductive, but the

In the south, when a maid is disappointed in love she takes to her
bed, and is waited upon by the rest of the family, just as though she
were passing through a sickness known to the pharmacopæia. It is a
matter of public interest; and the maid is said to be "wisht" about it,
and going into a "decline." Generally, it comes all right again, and
the maid gets up and walks out with her young man, and receives the
congratulations of the parish. Then things are hurried up, and the end

[Illustration: AN OLD CORNER, ST IVES.]


The girls learn early that "it is not good for man to live alone," and
never forget it. It is the one text that sticks, and they make the
running early for the boys, who are a shy and awkward lot, and want
encouragement at first. Then the boys wake up, and the girls catch
them, as they intended to do when they first started; and the boys
grow into men, and are never "alone" any more. Marriages may be made
in heaven for other folks, but the Cornish maidens like them better on
earth, and please themselves pretty much in the matter. Misfits will
happen sometimes, but they have a nice, soft, easy way of their own,
and slip through life "as well as moast, and better'n some."

The women make very good wives, and seldom become acquainted with the
learned president of the Divorce Court; and if they don't believe
the men are "saints," they wink the other eye and say little. A
country-woman, tired of her bargain, inquired of a solicitor where she
could get a bottle of the "drops" for the dissolution of her marriage,
apparently thinking that nothing weaker than legal aquafortis, or Dutch
drops, would be any good to dissolve the bond. Very few Cornish women
have figured in the Divorce Court, which stands to their credit, so
many being the wives of sailors at sea nine months out of the year,
or of miners in foreign lands, whom they may not see for years after
a brief honeymoon. In the Cornish version of the old mystery play of
the Deluge, willing obedience to the husband is shown in the dialogue
between Noah and his spouse. Noah says it is time to get into the ark,
and the lady says, "Oh, master dear! I will do everything like as thou
wishest." In the Chester play on the same subject the wife of Noah is a
perverse, wilful, passionate woman, who will not go into the ark unless
every one of her "gossipes" go with her. And when her sons get her in
by superior force, she gives poor Noah a slap in the face, saying,
"Have that for thy note!" The unknown Cornish translator changed
the note to suit his audience. A married woman makes the best of her
bargain, and finds "Oh, master dear!" better than fisticuffs.

  |      NOTICE.       |
  |   ALL WHO WANT     |
  |   A HAPPY HOME,    |
  |     TRY CORNWALL.  |

The women take a pride in doing little things for their
husbands--polishing their Sunday boots, brushing and putting away
their clothes, and turning them out spick-and-span, like dandies. A
man isn't allowed to look after anything but his sea-boots and oileys,
if he's a fisher; or his working togs, if some other trade. When there
are girls in a family the boys are "tended" like little princes; and
when the girls marry they look after their husbands so carefully that
they seldom stray far away. Ladies who write social conundrums to
the newspapers, and ask how it is that they only get a bit of their
husbands, and that bit not worth the having, should live in a Cornish
village for a season, and keep their eyes open. Not very exciting, to
be sure, but, if all is true, worth the experiment. The beautiful
influence of climate comes in, "and so it is; and you must put up with
it, my dear," is the grease-box which makes the wheels run smoothly.

The women keep shop in the small towns and villages whilst the men
go to sea, or fishing, or whatever work they profess to do. A bell
tinkles when you open the door, and, by-and-by, the missus comes into
view, wiping her hands on her apron. She may have what's wanted, but
generally she's "run out," and is expecting it within a week or so. She
goes on wiping her hands, and looks as contented as though she had sold
something. Then the little shops look like a dry-goods store after an
earthquake, and if the thing wanted isn't on top it is not much good
looking for it.[G] It's just their way, and the business flourishes
like a plant in native soil. Sometimes the post-office is mixed up
with the "business," and a dear little cherub sits up aloft somewhere
and watches over the property of the Postmaster-General. Letters and
parcels muddle through, somehow, which is proof positive that the age
of miracles is not over and done with.

  [G] An enterprising huckster exhibited the following signboard:--

                          BY I. W. NINNIS.

For the spectator a wedding is a very dull and slow affair now, even
in out-of-the-way districts and in the fishing coves and villages,
where the old customs have struggled hard to live. Young people are
married all the same, but much of the joy at the life that is to be has
been gradually elbowed out of the ceremony, and all that belongs to it.
It used to be a very different sort of thing when the people were more
prone to dancing and fiddling and feasting, and only half enjoyed a
thing unless all their world enjoyed with them. The Bookworm chanced on
some faded letters describing some of the merry-makings not more than a
century ago, when a wedding was an event, not for John and Mary merely,
but for the whole parish. The fiddler skipped before the happy pair
to church, and every one, not in the procession with wedding favours,
lined up, and made nice little speeches, as the spirit moved them;
and the spirit moved them so often that the bride had few blushes to
spare when she reached the chancel steps. And then the feast and dance
and mystic rites, concluding with the bedding of the bride. Then more
dancing for the guests; and more young couples vowed that day to marry
within the year than on any other occasion. It was a "quiet" wedding
which finished up with a three days' rejoicing.

If John and Mary lived on a farm, or were servants at the "big house,"
then there were high jinks in the great kitchen and squire's hall, and
no one merrier than parson and clerk, who led the revels with voice
and flute, and the schoolmaster brought his fiddle, if he had one. A
wedding was a very human affair, and everybody's business, not so very
long ago. In the fishing villages there was more colour and boisterous
mirth than elsewhere, for the men dressed their boats, and made sport,
and sang and danced, and got drunk and sober, and then drunk again,
until the morn broke. And the next day, and the next to that, the pot
was kept a-boiling, and then the women captured their men and toddled
them home, and hid away their boots, until the delirium of the wedding
march had passed away.

No more feasting and fiddling now. The "day" is kept secret, and the
"happy pair" arrive, somehow, before a registrar, and are hitched up,
according to law. Mary may marry John now, and no one be the wiser--a
cold, cheerless, colourless thing is this sort of wedding.

A funeral is still an event, and touches hidden springs, which must
gush forth, and will take no denial. The people have a superstitious
reverence for the dead. The doors and windows of the chamber are thrown
open for the unfettered spirit to escape, and, one by one, neighbours
and friends take a last look at familiar features. To be "a 'ansum
corpse, white as a lily and light as cobwebs," is a consolation to an
old rip, when looking at his wasted hands. A village funeral is a long
procession with sacred hymns. Then a cup of tay and a bit of curranty
cake amongst the women, who talk and sigh, and tell each other of their
own complaints, and the complaints which carried off their friends.
Widow-women are great at funerals, which freshen up their memories. "My
man was teeled a year agone, an' I do miss 'un," says number one. "Ess,
fath, my dear, and no wan do knaw what tes like them that's lonely,"
says number two. "Tes bitter cauld in winter, an' I tells my maid her
poor father would be weth me now ef 'twadn't for want of bref. Tes a
wisht complaint, that," continues number one, sighing. "'Twadn't like
that weth my man, fur he had es bref up to the last," replies number
two, triumphantly vindicating the superior merits of her dear departed.

Widow-women don't often change their names. If without money they
are not tempted; and if they have enough they may tempt, but seldom
yield. The next-of-kin are very watchful over the shekels; and the man
who marries a widow with relations does not always enter paradise. A
widow-woman is looked on in the light of an investment. Here is a short
story. Mrs. Treloar was a widow-woman with a bit of property--just
comfortable, as times go. She was no great beauty, but the chapel
steward cast a longing eye towards her, and wished to lose no time.
Said he: "We doan't want to go coorting, do us? Waste of precious time
for us who are both old enuf to know our own minds." Said she: "You
knaw, s'poase, ef I do marry agen, boy Tom'll have the property?" Then
he: "Why, es that so? Then you won't sell at that price, I'm thinkin'.
Good day, my dear." No harm done.

Guy made the observation that the people we saw about were not much
given to frills. He supposed they had them packed up somewhere, but
there being no swagger concerts, and bands on swagger piers, with
swagger subscription tickets for the season, no one unpacked them. It
would be too absurd to go about freshly dollied up, three times daily,
to show one's self to sea-cliffs, and sea-sands, moss-grown monoliths,
and British tumuli, and all that sort of thing. The piskies would
laugh. The Bookworm remembered a French professor writing that when he
visited the Acropolis at Athens he removed his rings and watchchain
as being too much out of keeping with his surroundings. He said he
smiled at the confession at the time as "too Frenchy," but it had a new
meaning for him here. Wherever we went no one we met seemed to want
to show off their "frills" to one another, or to the hoary fragments
of antiquity permitted to survive--one would just as soon think of
dressing up and showing off in a museum of extinct animals. It must
take a lot off a woman's brain, Guy said, to know that she need not
unpack her things; and he supposed that was one reason why so many
took their fresh air and sunshine treatment now on Cornish moors and
beaches, instead of crowding stuffy old German spas, where it was the
rule to put in time in showing new "frills" to one another.

The curiosity of the people inhabiting highways, byways, and villages
as to the going and coming of strangers has been so gratified of late,
that little short of a dancing bear would cause a woman to run to her
door, and stare wide-eyed and open-mouthed. The advent of the hatless
one in many colours, making the sun to blush, or in oilskins in wet
weather, seemingly satisfied the native, and made every other vagary,
hats or no hats, clothes or none, not only possible, but something to
be looked for amongst strangers. A tall, thin lady, showing much wrist
and leg, swinging a stick, and wearing her hair short, passed along the
road, taking it easy at five miles an hour. She was a new arrival at a
whitewashed house with thatched roof at the end of the village. We were
chatting to an old woman in a big blue sunbonnet (called a "gook"), who
had rested her basket on the top step of the market cross.

"Stranger?" asked Guy.

"Iss, sure; we doan't grow that soart in this soil, but they may wan
day, for I do mind when they ded'n grow mangel-wuzzels. What do I caal
'em? Why, I do caal 'em great he-shees--they'm spoiled fur women, and
bain't vitty fur men."

This was a wayside verdict on a choice variety of the sort.

[Illustration: ON THE SANDS.]

[Illustration: THE PILLORY, LOOE.]


Cornish humour has its practical side with a tang. "To curing your old
cow till she died," is native. A candidate for Parliamentary honours
once sent the freemen of the borough a silver teapot, as a prize to be
sailed for at the forthcoming regatta. The freemen returned it with
the remark that "the taypot do not draw well enuf." The teapot came
back again filled with golden guineas, which so improved its "drawing"
powers that the freemen kept it. A Cornishman likes a story about some
one who comes out on top by a trick; or one which hides his meaning by
a play of words, until the situation is revealed in a flash. We picked
up a few specimens.


Two brothers went a-fishing, and one was a scholar, with a reputation
beyond his attainments, which, in fact, were limited to reading and
writing, after a fashion, and reckoning with his head. The other was
a man of simple and trustful nature, and was often puzzled, but let
things go without inquiring deeply into them. The scholar was called
Hugh, and as he managed to come out on top on most occasions, he was
considered both cunning and wise, and people encouraged their children
to cram themselves with book-learning in order to become "as deep as
old Hugh;" and "deep as old Hugh" became a proverb which he locally
shared with old Nick, who, up to this time, had the monopoly. The
simple brother was Dick. Hugh and Dick were partners in a small boat
and nets, and earned a poor living by their trammels, and drag-nets,
and crab-pots. What they caught they equally divided, but Hugh always
had the best half, which puzzled Dick; but scratch his head as he
might, he could never get to the bottom of the mystery, everything
being so fair and aboveboard, and done in the light of day. One day
they were out and caught six mackerel and six scads. Now, scads are
of small value, and yet Dick got them all, and Hugh all the mackerel.
Hugh did the sharing: "Here's a mackerel for me, and a scad for you,"
said he, making a division; "and a scad for you, and a mackerel for me;
and a mackerel for me and a scad for you," and so on, until _all_ the
scads fell to Dick, and _all_ the mackerel to himself. Hugh's system
was perfect, and, if it could be adapted, might be depended on to break
the bank of Monte Carlo every night. "How is it that I've got all the
scads?" asked Dick. "It's all right," replied Hugh, pleasantly. "And if
you don't think so, I'll do it over again--here's a mackerel for me and
a scad for you, and a scad for you and a mackerel for me," and so on to
the end, until Dick got _all_ the scads as before.

[Illustration: MAKING CRAB POTS.]

"He would have settled the fiscal question in no time," said Guy. "'A
mackerel for me and a scad for you'--a fair motto for protectionists."
The game was played in the Far East with the Mikado, but the Czar got
the scads. It's safest played with the blind.


Guy wanted something done to a shoe, and walked into a room where a
man was sitting, waxing a long thread, and whistling to the thrushes
and blackbirds hung around in cages. The fellow was most obliging,
Guy told us, and put aside the work he was doing, and asked several
questions about himself--where he came from; where he was going; how
long he intended to stay; and whether his father and mother were
living? Then the cobbler told him about himself, and how many of the
Tremains--he being called Reuben Tremain--lay in the parish churchyard.
All this time Guy's shoe rested on his apron. Just a few stitches
were all that was wanted, and Mr. Tremain got in one when he started
talking of London, what a "braave plaace" it must be, and what a "pure
few" people it contained, all being true that he had heard. Guy forgot
about his shoe, and gave an entertaining sketch of a London crowd
in Fleet Street on Lord Mayor's Day, and the Lord Mayor's show was
described in his best style. And then the Crystal Palace on a fête
day, and on a Handel Festival day, and the Houses of Parliament, and
Madame Tussaud's! Guy made the Arabian Nights' Entertainments look
small, and he began to fear that Reuben Tremain would be paralyzed with
admiration, and unable to put in another stitch. All the morning was
gone, and Guy still sat on a low three-legged stool, with one shoe off,
as happy as any Lord Chancellor on the Woolsack. He really was enjoying
himself with the simple Reuben.

"Ded 'ee ever hear tell ov a man up to Lunnon who slept with a
badger?" asked the cobbler, at length piercing the shoe with his awl
for another stitch.

"A real, live badger?"

"Ess, sure, live enough."

"Never," said Guy, turning up his nose.

"Why, a badger----" And he put his thumb and finger to his nostrils,
with a sign which meant more than words.

"I knaw a man," said the cobbler, confidentially, "who have slept with
a badger for ten year, come next Michaelmas Fair goose day. And he got
so accustomed to it that he cudn't sleep apart. Would 'ee like to see
the badger?"

"Very much."

"And the man?"

"Oh, certainly. One of Nature's freaks."

"Two ov em!" said Reuben, solemnly, putting in the last stitch, and
handing the shoe to Guy.

"You'd like to see what's to be seen, s'poase?"

The cobbler whistled shrilly whilst untying his apron, and a woman with
dark hazel eyes, and a face aquiline and refined, appeared. Guy made
his best bow.

"The gentleman do want to see the badger that the man slept with," said
Reuben, slowly.

"And the man, I should like to see the man who had such extraordinary
taste," added Guy, saying something just to enable him to look at the
woman without being rude.

The woman reddened, and her eyes sparkled.

"Tell un, my dear, what name you owned to avoor you was married," said
the cobbler.

"Badger; and too good for you," replied the lady.

"That's the badger, and this is the man," said the cobbler, with a

Guy was very cross when he told the story. Only to think that he had
painted London town and London wit in such colours; and then to be
dropped on by a simple cobbler before a handsome woman! But he wasn't
cross long, and he went out and bought a pretty chain, and gave it to
the cobbler to lead his "badger" with. So Guy and the cobbler cried


To be able to do a "clane off trick" is to be the hero in a parish
for generations, and Parson Arscott was quoted at all the fairs as
a masterpiece for doing the thing clane off at a horse deal. The
story goes that the reverend gentleman attended Summercourt Fair,
which is famed throughout the land. If you can't get what you want at
Summercourt Fair, you must be hard to please, for the lame and the
blind are there, the young and the aged, the sound and unsound, and
you buy on your own judgment and without warranty. Parson Arscott knew
a good horse when he saw it, and went early and looked about him. In
the thick of the fair the parson went and examined the horses' tails,
and so attracted attention to himself, for every one knows that to tell
a horse's age you must open its mouth, and look at its teeth. And the
curious part of the business was that the parson knew as much about
the animal he was handling by lifting its tail as other people did by
opening its mouth. At length, parson came to a nice little cob that
suited him, and the deal began. It was a weary deal, but parson was
firm. "I've looked at his tail, and I know he's rising five," said he;
and he was right,--whatever the parson said about the cob was right,
and yet he never once looked at its mouth. There was a trifle of five
pounds between them when the shades of evening began to fall, and no
hope of any advance on the part of the parson. At last the dealer
said, "Tell me how you know a horse's age by his tail, and you shall
have the cob." The parson counted down the guineas, and whispered, "I
looked into his mouth beforehand." "Parson Arscott's deal" makes a
horse-dealer shiver to this day.


But sharp as the parson was at the fair, he was no match for a woman
on her own ground. Parson was round collecting his tithes, and came
to a farm whereon the farmer's wife presented her husband with a tenth
child, and an old sow littered ten years.

"Passun es out in the town plaace, and es coom vur th' tithe pig. Which
shall us giv'm?" asked the farmer of his better half, sitting in the
kitchen suckling her baby.

"Tithe pig, es et? What next, I wonder? I'll tithe pig'n," says Mrs.
Farmer, rising and taking the infant with her.

The parson was very polite, of course, to Mrs. Farmer and number ten,
and asked about the christening.

"That's vur you to zay, passun," says the lady, holding out number ten.
"He do belong to you."

The parson flushed. This was not in his line.

"Ess sure 'e do--tes the tithing cheeld, and now you take un."

Farmer made his appearance with the weakliest of the ten vears
squealing in his arms, and the parson made towards him, but the woman
was equal to the occasion and stood between them, shouting, "No cheeld,
no vear," and that time she had her way, and saved the little pig.

So there arose a saying in the parish that a parson might cheat the
devil, but a woman could cheat a parson.

"Every one to his trade," said Guy.

       *       *       *       *       *

To be "sure for sartin" is an averment of absolute knowledge, but a
Cornishman is not often willing to speak to anything in so pronounced
a fashion. To be "sure as can be" admits of a loophole and many
explanations in the event of error. Something non-committal in the
shape of speech suits him best. Things of no consequence become
mysterious when screened with secrecy. An ordinary conversation is like

"Where are you going?"

"Down along."

"Where to?"

"Past the corner."

"How far?"

"A pure bit."

"Will you be long?"


"Say an hour?"

"If you like."

"Or two?"

"Shudn't wonder."

And so on, and so on, until the questioner is tired of asking further
questions. The people don't notice anything peculiar about this want of
directness in reply to the simplest questions. To tell the truth, and
yet to mislead, is looked on as an accomplishment which may be turned
to profit without scandal, as by the man who sold a blind horse as free
from vice. "To be blind is a misfortune and not a vice," replied the
seller, when charged with deceit.

Cornish diamonds are hard to beat on a deal. We chanced upon a couple
one market day chaffering about a pig in a tap-room.

"Twenty score weight, and fippence a pound."

"Fourpence ha'penny, and I'll take the head and oal ov'm."

"An' barley eighteen shillin' a bushel! I'll see to it."

One hour already by the clock had been consumed by the little farmer
who had a pig to sell, and the little pork-butcher who wanted to buy
one, and there was this ha'penny between them. Friendly customers
chaffed a bit and threw in a word between drinks, and it seemed that
the jobber who could keep a stiff upper lip and his temper longest
would come out on top. The unfortunate pig was haggled over with and
without the hams, with and without the bacon fat, with one ham only,
with its head, without its head, with only half its head, and every
cunning offer of the little pork-butcher was resisted with a fineness
of perception of self-interest that would have done credit to the peace
plenipotentiaries at Portsmouth.

Another hour passed, and the butcher advanced one farthing--fourpence
three-farthings, but without the head, and then there was the "luck
penny." At last the whole carcase was sold, head and all, at fourpence
three-farthings, and the "luck penny" was "spent out." It was a hard
deal, and neither seemed too well pleased. Only the customers all said
it was a fair bargain, and seemed pleased when the men shook hands over

[Illustration: A TAIL-PIECE.]

[Illustration: AN ALLEY.]


Life on a farm by the roar of the sea approaches the ideal upon earth.
It isn't quite the ideal, because the ideal is always round the corner;
but it is near it, and that is something to be thankful for. Mrs.
Andrawartha ran the farm, and she had two tall, strapping sons and a
daughter. Mrs. Andrawartha was what is called a "comfortable" woman;
and "comfort" is the one virtue prized above rubies in these parts.

[Illustration: OLD NEWLYN.]

It was through accident that we struck the farm one afternoon, the
fact being that the Bookworm was limping, having slightly sprained his
ankle. There wasn't much to recommend us at first sight--three dusty
wayfarers, with small knapsacks, and no warts or other indications
of royal lineage upon either of us. The farmhouse was situated in an
old-fashioned garden, and a good, roomy porch, with seats on either
side, offered hospitality. Open windows were visible through luxuriant
fuchsias and creepers, but what the walls were built of no one could
tell, so completely covered were they with flowering plants. It was a
sort of place which wanted to be looked at again and again, something
fresh coming into view each time; and the oftener you looked at it the
more you liked it.

The Bookworm rapped modestly with his knuckles upon the thick door, but
no one came. We could hear voices, and an aromatic perfume filled the
passage. The Bookworm tried again, and only hurt his knuckles. Then
Guy said he'd negociate, and if he got into trouble we were there to
help him. The smell of burning furze and brambles guided him to the
great kitchen, and he winked again and coughed as the smoke from the
wide open fireplace filled his eyes. There was a little maid heaping
up the thorns and brambles, and somewhere in the blue haze he saw the
supple outline of a young girl, with her arms bare. They were heating
the brick oven for bread-baking. A very sweet voice floated through the
film of blue, aromatic smoke. A sudden draught cleared the smoke, and
Guy stood face to face with the owner of the voice; and a nice face
it was, now radiant with the heat from the burning brambles. The bare
arms were dimpled, and the whole figure was cased in a white wrapper,
showing to perfection the clear skin, and brown hair, and light hazel
eyes of the young girl. This was Miss Andrawartha.

Mrs. Andrawartha was in the "living-room" (and a nice room it was),
overlooking much of the farm land, the sea beyond, and the great
cliffs, rising sheer from the yellow sands, playing hide-and-seek
between them. The lady was portly, and sat in a chair made for comfort
before the open window, and Guy, ushered into the presence of such
homely dignity, wished to stammer an excuse, and back out. Remembrance
of the sprained foot alone restrained him.

"You can stop here as long as you've a mind to, if only you behave
yourselves," said the lady in the chair.

"Three of us?" queried Guy.

"The house is big enough," said the lady.

Guy made a rush for the porch. "Come in, you beggars," said he;
"there's a queen inside, and a divinity in the kitchen."

At the evening meal we were incorporated with the family. Mrs.
Andrawartha, in her chair of comfort, presided, supported by her two
tall sons, then us, then the farm servants, and the daughter of the
house at the other end of the table.

Our presence made no difference to the social economy of the farm,
except that Mrs. Andrawartha presided over a late breakfast in the
living-room. This was quite a personal compliment, and never could
woman look more "comfortable" than the widow Andrawartha at table.

"If this is farm life, I'm a convert for ever," said Guy, chipping an
egg and catching the white cream in his spoon.

The bread, just perfumed with the aroma of the burning furze with which
the clome oven was heated, was delicious by itself, but with the butter
thick upon it, the palate rose to the occasion and was satisfied. The
home-cured ham in front of the comfortable widow would take no denial,
and must be tasted. The cream, with its sheen of gold, and the honey,
winking wickedly at the cream, would not be put aside; so there was
nothing for it but to mix them both in holy matrimony upon the perfumed
bed of bread. There was such a blend of delicate flavours and sightly
delicacies that our eyes would shut, so that nothing might interfere
with the joys of taste. Only a few flowers were on the table, but
through the open window floated the scents of the garden, and the bees
hummed and waltzed, and there was room for all, and to spare, at the
table of the comfortable widow.

"Great Scott!" said Guy. "I shall never forget. Such everything! Only
the worst of it is, I shall never like anything again for evermore.
Fancy shop eggs, and 'best Dosset,' and alumed bread, and stale ham
after this feast of the gods, when they lived among men. There's one
saint still in Cornwall--the saint of good things at the shrine of the
comfortable widow."

We left the Bookworm to himself and the odd volumes of the _Arminian
Magazine_, and suchlike food for such as he, and he seemed as pleased
as Punch at the thought of being alone with anything musty, fusty, and
out of date.

"Incurable," said Guy. "This reading habit sticks to a fellow of his
sort, like dram-drinking to a tramp."

Guy was in the seventh heaven of delight when the daughter of the house
told him that in an orchard, through which the brook ran to the sea,
there were some trout. Her father used to bring home "a fine passul"
sometimes, and his rod and lines were all in the house, for the boys
never troubled the fish. So Guy went a-fishing, his heart full of
content with his breakfast, and susceptible to the diviner impressions
which the daughter of the house in blue print and white apron might
make upon him. The boys called her "Phil," but her name was Phyllis;
he had got so far as that, when the widow's voice awoke him from
contemplation of eyes and hair, and all the points which young men like
to study at chance meetings.

He found the brook, and then the orchard. The water was as bright as
glass, and the sun-motes danced upon it between the shadows. Trout
there were in the stream, but they had not tasted a worm for a month,
except by chance, and the flies were not to their liking. Guy walked
up stream to where the brook was fed by two trickling rills, where
there was some depth of water, and an old, overhanging bank, and
current enough for his fly to sail downward, temptingly, to the eyes of
adventurous trout wanting to see life. At the deepest part the stream
was shadowed by a large apple tree, and here Guy changed his flies, and
cast deftly towards the spot where he felt sure the king of the stream
must linger, if, indeed, it had a king. Presently, a melodious splash
above his own fly told its secret, and Guy's hopes rose until he caught
a little beauty, and then another, and another, and laid them on the
grass, covering them with dock leaves with loving tenderness. Small fry
that he would have been thankful for on other days he returned to the
stream with words of advice.

Breakfast doesn't last for ever, and Guy began to feel peckish, but
he wasn't going to give up yet, not he. He'd take home a fry of trout
which would send an incense above the farm to the blue heavens, and
make all invisible spirits envious. Presently he heard dry branches
breaking under a light footstep, and the daughter of the farm stood by
him, a ministering angel, with a pasty and a bottle of milk in a basket
covered with a cloth of purest white. This was what she used to do for
her father, who wouldn't leave off until he had a dish to his liking;
and mother, thinking all men who fished for trout were the same,
sent her with the basket of "croust" to keep off the pangs. So the
dainty messenger. Then Guy uncovered his spoil, and Phyllis played him
artlessly, so that he, in his turn, rose and bolted the sweet bait, and
turned to go down stream again, only to know that he was in the toils,
unless the fair angler should let him go.

She must go herself now, and Guy, who could not get away on his own
account, felt grieved that release must come. It was sudden, but
irresistible, and the thrilling exquisite. Then came the shock. "I am
bespoke already, sir." The line parted.

Guy fished and fished until after sunset, but joy of capture was gone.
He had himself been captured, and felt pity. Still he brought home a
fine basket, and the comfortable widow served them up for breakfast,
whole, and still beautiful.

The Bookworm, nursing his slight sprain, enjoyed himself in his own
fashion, and, rummaging at the back of the open book-case, unearthed
a book, bound in parchment, which commenced with farm accounts, and
ended with "Receipts and Charms for the Cure of Man and Beastes."
The pages were undated, but were written a hundred years ago by one
Andrawartha, grandfather of the comfortable widow's husband. The
document bore the following preface:--

"Lest I forget what has been told to me, I commit to paper charms and
other devices for the cure of men and beastes. My forbears used these
charms for more years than I can tell, and those who use them must have
faith in them that they will work their work, or they labour in vain.
And I pray God that I commit no sin in handing down what I have been
taught, but that it may be counted merit in me to preserve what has
been found out with much labour, and hath spared man and beast great
and grievous sufferings in the flesh, and saved much money, when it
could ill be spent, as, God wot, is the case on farms in this country.

    "'Mortal are we and subject to diseases,
    We all must die even when and how God pleases!
    Into the world but one way we do come,
    A thousand ways from hence we are sent home.'"

Some of the receipts would offend moderns, but all were seemingly set
down in good faith; and the Bookworm copied many, with permission.

"A tooth from a dead man's mouth carried in the pocket is an infallible
charm against toothache."

"The eighth psalm read three times a day, three days running, cures the

"To keep away evil spirits from cattle, nail four horse-shoes in the
form of a cross against the door."

"A church key applied to a wound stops bleeding."

"Bore a hole in a nutmeg and tie round your neck, and nibble nine
mornings fasting, and boils will disappear in spring and autumn."

"Breathe over a newly made grave, and cure a cough."

"Take spoonful of earth from grave of newly interred virgin, dissolve
in water, and drink fasting, to cure 'decline.'"

"Toad's liver fried is good for rheumatism, so also are adders' tails;
the adders must be killed whilst dew is on them."

"The sign of the cross drawn on wood, stone, or metal, and bound over a
wound, stops bleeding in man or beast."

For toothache was this formula: "Upon a rock St. Peter stood, towards
Jerusalem. And Peter prayed, 'Lord, forgive me my sins, and I shall
be free. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
Ghost.--Amen.' Say three times a day, three days running, and drink
powdered brimstone water between whiles."

To cure heartache: "Sleep with key of church door around your neck."

"Water taken from church font is good for children with rickets, and
will straighten bow-legged children, and children with 'wobbles.'"

"Black spiders dried and powdered cure heart-burn." There were many
other cures for heart-burn, and all of them nasty, so nasty that
spider-powder sprinkled in water was dainty by comparison.

Meteorolites and curious stones when ground to powder will cure men or
beasts of all common diseases, and blue snake-stones are infallible in
case of snake-bite.

There were love philtres innumerable, and it appeared that a deserted
maid had only to steal her lover's jacket, turn the sleeves inside out,
bury it at midnight in a churchyard, and then, presto! the lover's
heart would turn, and turn, as the jacket rotted in the ground, until
he came back repentant to his ancient flame.

The Bookworm made notes of many other things which would do for the
curious in such matters, and remarked as singular that, in all the
book, there was no reference to saints or invocations to saints, which,
he said, was very strange in the land of saints. Guy confessed that
the matter was beyond him, and said he did not care if he never heard
the word "saint" again. Saint this, and saint that, and saint the
other--there was too much of it in one small county, to his taste.

[Illustration: A CORNISH INTERIOR.]


Mrs. Andrawartha took kindly to the Bookworm; he was the lame duck of
the party, and so she took a motherly interest in him, and got him to
talk about himself and his sleepless, restless nights, until he came
into this land wherein Nature was at rest, beautifying herself after
passionate upheavals. And then she told him fairy stories about piskies
with half-shy credulity, and sorrow in her face and voice that the old
order had changed and given place to new. In her young days a pedlar
with a big dog used to travel from farmhouse to farmhouse, and always
got hospitality in exchange for news. At night all the household
crowded around the pedlar to hear him fiddle and sing, and tell stories
of the piskies, and of men who listened to the songs of mermaids, and
disappeared from family and life. This pedlar--"Uncle" Anthony he was
called--was a poet, and his piskies were real, as real as sunshine and
shadow and the music of the birds. He knew them by name and talked to
them, and met them by moonlight on the moors, and what "Uncle" Anthony
said was gospel truth.

[Illustration: THE OLD MILL.]

There was an old miller, living at an old mill not so very far away,
who had the reputation of knowing more about piskies than any man
breathing. It was only a walking distance for the Bookworm, and Guy
took his rod with him, having been told that below the mill he might
cast a fly with some prospect of sport. Whipping a stream is something,
and Guy said he'd rather cast at shadows than hang about a dusty old
mill, listening to a foolish old man prating about foolish things. In
fact, he was a little strong in his language, as he usually was when
talking about people or things which did not interest him very much.

The old piskie man at the mill was, in fact, the Bookworm's "find,"
which was quite enough, as a rule, to put Guy in opposition, and
incline him to use epigrammatic language touched with red.

We reached the mill, the like of which is hardly to be found again
within the four corners of the kingdom. It was a one-story building,
and that so low that we had to be careful when inside not to knock
our heads against the beams, and the machinery was as primitive as
the process of grinding corn between revolving stones driven by water
power. The ancient hopper was being slowly consumed by worms, and the
"bolting" cloths hung limp and dusty, like the cloths sent home from
Egyptian tombs. We first spied the miller looking through a ventilation
hole, which served as a window. When we entered the mill he was sitting
on the lid of a thick oak chest, which had outlived the centuries, and
seemed quite capable of lasting for ever.

The miller was withered, like the chest, and might have been believed
if he said he was as old as the mill, only his eyes were bright and
ferrety as they took stock of us through the flour dust accumulated
on his eyebrows and lashes--a sort of flour mummy outside of his
grave-clothes out for an airing, he looked. The machinery was in motion
when we entered, and a fine dust soon settled upon us, and then set us
coughing and choking, so that we made a hasty retreat through the door,
the top half of which was already open.

The miller's cottage was a thatched dwelling tacked on to the mill,
which was also thatched, but nothing was visible of the cottage but
windows, on account of the clustering roses and myrtles and fuschias
which clung to the old "cob" walls, and crept along the eaves, and
scrambled along the thatch.

The old miller followed us out into the open, and stopped the wheel by
turning off the water; and then we noticed that the dripping wheel was
festooned with lichen, and was half-hidden under the shadow of a huge
flowering laurel. There were only three other cottages in the village,
and these were all flower-laden; and now the clat, clat, clatter of
the old wheel was stopped, the air was musical with the hum of insect
symphonies. And then the perfume!

We looked at one another and wondered.

"Quiet like," said the old man; and that was all he had to say about
this antique gem in a garden of myrtles and roses. "Quiet like,"
indeed! Surely men may live in beauty until they cease to see it.

We were out piskie-hunting to-day, all except Guy, who already had his
eye upon the stream which passed the old mill, then broadened where
it could be seen glistening in the sunshine. He wasn't long before
he deserted us, and we were not sorry, being sure that if he once
commenced questioning the miller in his off-hand manner, the old man
would dry up quickly, and we should hear little.

The Bookworm took the old man's fancy by telling him about a new
process for grinding flour between rollers so hard that they could only
be cut by diamonds, and then, with many windings, got on the track
of the piskies. He took a lot of starting, it is true, but when once
started he covered a good deal of ground. He would take his own course,
and a crooked one it was, but capable of being straightened out, which
is more than can truly be said of the discourses of some very learned

He was as "sure and sartin" that piskies were real beings, and existed
even now, as that "water was wet," and he ought to know, because there
was a piskie which belonged to the old mill. There was some trouble one
day at the mill about the non-delivery of "grist," the miller being
charged with taking unfair toll, and he shifted the responsibility on
to his wife, who thereupon transferred the blame to the piskie, as the
person least likely to suffer in consequence. It so happened that the
piskie got to know of the slander, and he came to the mill in a great
rage, and swore an oath binding in fairyland, not to do another stroke
of work in the old mill for two generations.

"When I was a boy," said the old man, "I used to see the piskie that
belonged to the mill sitting on the stones when they were grinding as
comfortable as a fly would rest upon a turning wheel. And why not?
When my father went to market, and stopped away days, when there was no
need, the work was done all the same. My father liked that very well,
only the piskie would give too good 'tummels' when he filled the sacks;
and when my father took too much toll, then he would tickle the palm of
his hand, and make it itch, to remind him that he was cheating. When
a miller is honest, a tuft of hair grows in the middle of his palm;
but it didn't ever sprout in my fathers, which made him poor-tempered
sometimes. The piskie was in the shape of a man--very dark,
black-haired, and cross-eyed. He could work best, the old folks said,
when not seen; only his voice was large for his size, and made people
know when he was about. He was the spirit of the mill, and belonged to
it, so there was no question of payment; and the children grew knowing
he was there, and were not afraid. Why should they be? When the piskie
said he would do no more work for two generations, my father stuck to
work himself, which was better for him in the long run; and I've had to
stick to it, and shall stick to it till I die, and then the piskie will
be free to come again."

"And are there piskies now?"

"Why not?"

"I don't know. But do people believe in them?" asked the Bookworm.

The old miller seemed to resent the question, and was so long in
replying that we thought we had made a mess of it. It, however,
appeared that he was only thinking; and at last he said--

"For sartin sure they do. You can't make butter if the piskies turn the
cream against the sun, and every dairymaid will tell 'ee so. If the
piskie up to Barton farm has a spite against a new maid, he'll spoil
her baking of bread, so that the bread will come out of the oven full
of 'piskie-spits,' and he'll play her tricks until she is turned out of
the house. When I was a boy, the piskies used to have fine fun with the
maidens up to Barton on winter nights when all the work was done. They
used to blaw out the candles and kiss the maids, and the maids would
screech and find fault with the boys, and 'scat their chacks' for being
too free in the dark. The piskies were full of fun, and would whisper
in a maid's ear when she was sleeping, and tickle her nose to wake her
when she had bad dreams. When the maids were courting they'd lead 'em a
pretty dance, and drive 'em to quarrel with their sweethearts, and then
help 'em to make it up again."

But the old man did not think they were as plentiful as they used to
be, for the simple reason that people had learnt to do without them.
What would be the good of the piskies in the harvest-field now, when
everything was done by machinery; or in dairies, where butter was made
in churns; or in flour-mills, where corn was broken between rollers
so hard that a diamond could only scratch them? The old man found it
as hard to swallow the Bookworm's description of roller mills as we
found it to swallow his stories, and his were much more inviting. The
ancient miller rambled on and on, telling us of tricks played upon his
very own grandfather, who, returning from market with more brandy toddy
under his belt than his weak head could carry, dared to cross a piskie
ring on the moor without first turning his pockets inside out by way of
homage. The poor man was pinched black and blue, was bound with bonds
innumerable, no thicker than spiders' webs, and then, to tantalize him,
his eyes were "struck" with magic unguent, and he was able to see the
feasting and rioting going on all around him, without being able to
enjoy the situation--all of which he did most steadfastly believe.

"Blow the piskies!" said Guy, rejoining us without warning. "Blow the
piskies! Did you ever catch one, Master Miller?"

A look of horror passed over the withered old face, which made it look
uncanny. Catch a piskie, indeed! Had he been asked whether he'd ever
robbed a church, he might have taken it less seriously.

"Never mind," said Guy, airily, seeing that he'd been guilty of
something--"never mind; if you never have, you still may. Specimens
getting scarcer, suppose, and a bit expensive; only, you just pin one
on to a card and send it to me registered, for safety, and I'll come
down handsomely."

The old man never recovered power of speech while we were with him, and
he shook hands with the Bookworm and me automatically. We left him with
eyes wide open, staring before him. I don't think he quite understood
Guy's humour. The idea of catching a piskie and pinning it to a card,
like small boys do cockchafers, came too suddenly upon him. Then to
register a piskie and send it through the post-office--deporting an
ancient divinity under a postage stamp--set up ideas which wanted
thinking out.

I told Guy I feared the shock would be too much for the old man; but he
only laughed, and said--

"Blow the piskie, and look at my beauty!"

He had managed to catch a trout too small for anything, and he patted
himself on the back, and talked about it until he really believed he
had done something deserving the world's gratitude.

"After all," said the Bookworm, when tired of listening to Guy and
"fly" this or "fly" the other--"after all, there's no great difference
between Guy and the miller. Guy's little trout has become a fairy
already, and to-morrow will be even more wonderful than the miller's
piskies. The mind's receptivity must----"

I know I lost a great deal, and ought to be sorry for it, I dare say;
but the word "receptivity" was too much, and I managed to escape that

[Illustration: PERRAN PORTH.]

[Illustration: GORRAN HARBOUR.]


There was a queer, dried stick of a man at the farm whom we never heard
speak except to say "Ess, maister," and "zackly." His name was Jacob,
and he was famous for having given a shrewd answer on one occasion
when asked how he knew when he had had enough to eat. "When I do feel
my buttons," said he; and people then said that Jacob was wiser than
he looked, which was, no doubt, true, for he did not look very wise.
The old boy had a trick of wandering about at nights, and was credited
with having seen strange things which he was "a nation sight too artful
to talk about." After the evening meal Mrs. Andrawartha induced him
to stay with us, and tell us the story of something which happened at
a neighbouring farm. Jacob was reared on the place, and so knew all
about it. The widow translated as he went along, and the story ran like


A farmer, Nicholas Annear by name, was known far and wide as Ould
Hurry-all. Every one about him was always glad to see his back turned,
so as to have "a bit" of peace and quietness in the house. His wife
was just the opposite, and took things easy, and when Nickey was going
to drive to market in his cart, he nearly drove every one on the place
mazed. 'Twas hurry, hurry, hurry all the time; and one day he was worse
than ever, and broke all the clome dishes in his tantrums. The poor
woman threw her apron over her head, and began to weep and sob so as to
be heard a mile off.

Now, you must know, there's a little man piskie which belonged to
the Missus's family, and came with her to her new home when she was
married. He used to do odd jobs for her to make things go smooth when
Nickey was taisey-like, which was every day now, for he got worse with

"What's the matter, Missus?" asks the little man.

"I wish I was dead," says Missus. "That Nickey'll drive me as mad as a
curly, an' I'm only a shadder now."

She weighed ten score, but she thought she was failing.

"I'll give'm a lesson," says the little man.

Now, what did the piskie do? He hopped on to the cart by the side of
Nickey, only Nickey couldn't see him, and he made a picture right
before his very eyes so that he saw the church tower standing in the
market-place as large as life. And he drove and he drove, hurry, hurry
all the time, and he'd scarce give himself time to speak a civil word
to people as he passed along. He drove, and he drove, and he drove, and
there was the church tower before him. The pigs in the cart squealed
louder and louder as they got more and more famished, and the horse
began to fail, and Nickey got madder and madder. Evening began to fall,
and still the church tower was in front of him; and then night came,
and the pigs were quiet through hunger, and the horse could scarcely
put one leg before the other.

And what did the little man do? Oh, he was artful. When the market was
all over, and night came, he removed the picture of the church tower in
the market-place from Nickey's eyes, and, lo and behold! the horse was
standing, dead tired and ready to drop, outside of the very gate which
it had been driven from in the morning.

Nicholas Annear was a reformed man after that, and was no more in a
hurry over things than his neighbours. But the story got about, of
course, and the people have a saying now that "a man in a hurry will be
late to market."

       *       *       *       *       *

The Early Church seems to have had a great deal of trouble with
piskies, and every effort was made to put the people out of love with
them. It was said that they were the souls of unbaptized infants and
servants of "Old Artful," and for that reason they would neither enter
a church nor come within sound of church bells. But Mrs. Andrawartha
told us of a legend which goes back further, namely, that piskies are
the children of Adam and Eve, who wouldn't be washed on Saturday nights
before going to bed. Those who could get away did, to avoid having
their eyes filled with soap, and two hid away so effectually that they
were never found again, although Adam and Eve sent the crier round, and
then cried themselves until they were tired. These wandering children
lived upon fern-seed, mixed with dew flavoured with sunbeams, until
they acquired the power of becoming invisible, and then they returned
home, and did household work, and other things, for the family; but
they were like the famous soap that wouldn't wash. The old people
used to tell children that they would be turned into piskies if they
wouldn't have their Saturday-night tubbing and say their prayers and go
to bed.

There is a little brown moth called the "piskie," and children are now
told that if they are not good these piskie-moths will play them tricks
in their sleep. The School Boards have wrestled with the piskie and
failed, and now the County Council is in the ring. Still the piskie,
visible and invisible, lives.

The Bookworm was on his legs again, and we all were sorry to leave
the farm and the comfortable widow. Guy managed to linger behind and
get a last word with Phyllis, the daughter of the house, and exchange
photographs, or, perhaps, something dearer to romance. The two tall
sons walked with us "a pure distance," and told us the names of the
farms round about, names which none but a native could ever remember.
They told us that the Andrawarthas had farmed this land, from father
to son, for over three centuries. The eldest son was going to marry
soon and bring home his wife, but would not dispossess his mother
during her lifetime. Only the other son would go afield--Australia or
Canada--and set up for himself; and Phyllis was to be married soon to
a neighbouring farmer, who would follow his own father by-and-bye.
Everything seemed so orderly as they talked, as though the currents of
life flowed strong and deep, and the idea of home was never disturbed.
The young people did not stay at home dividing and subdividing lands
and chattels until there was nothing to divide, but went abroad and set
up new homesteads, calling them by the old names. Young Andrawartha
said, whether he settled in Canada or Australia, he'd call his farm
after the old place. If he couldn't have anything else he'd have the
name to comfort him. Many of the young men did that, he said, when they
settled in a new place.

The Bookworm said Cornwall was a bigger place than it looked, or than
could be gripped between the arms of the Atlantic, because of the
tributaries it sent all over the world, every man taking with him a bit
of Cornish earth and love, and setting up a new colony beyond the seas,
just as the old Greeks carried with them some of the fire from the
ancient hearths.

Guy said he would remember the name of the farm for the rest of his
life, and he tramped along with laggard steps, and would have given
much for an excuse to run back and find a dropped handkerchief, and
shake hands over again with the comfortable widow, on the chance of
seeing Phyllis the bespoke. When we got off the estate, and the young
men left us, he wanted to know whether it was possible to fancy the
dainty Phyllis as "comfortable" in days to come as her portly mother?

We turned round just to take a last look at the farmhouse wherein
we had been so well treated. The dwelling and all the outhouses
made a goodly show, and, at a distance, the yellow lichen--a poor,
poverty-looking thing enough--covering the roofs, had the appearance of
burnished gold. Nature here will insist on dressing herself out in most
unlikely places, and has a trick of her own for covering up ugliness.
A flash of sunshine, a breath of air, a pinch of dust kissed with dew,
and flat slates on ugly roofs are covered with cloth of gold for the
tired feet of winged spirits of the air. This was the last view that
three tramps had, and the remembrance remains with them.

A Cornishman seldom travels without a pasty. When small, a pasty
is a snack; when large, it's a meal. Mrs. Andrawartha gave each of
us a pasty to keep us from fainting by the way, just the same as a
considerate hostess elsewhere would slip a packet of dainty sandwiches
into the hands of departing guests. "You'll find'm good," said she,
with honest pride; and we did.

The home of the pasty is Cornwall. It may be met with in Devon, and is
possible in Yorkshire, but Cornwall is its home now. In a sense the
pasty is Cornish. There are other dishes, but the pasty comes first,
the making of which is handed down from generation to generation.
Every created thing that may be eaten goes into a pasty--fish, flesh,
or fowl, and the herb of the field, whether sweet or sour, to say
nothing of fruits and humble potatoes and turnips. When a woman has a
rage for pasty-making, nothing comes amiss when the strip of dough is
ready. There's a knack in turning out a shapely pasty no longer than
one's hand, or big enough for a family to carve at and come again. All
pasties are alike on the outside; and the cable-twist running from end
to end, delicately tapering from the centre towards the points, is a
work of art to look at. As the pasty goes to the oven, so it comes out,
puffed up a little with self-conscious pride at having gone through
the fiery trial and come out a generous brown, with every cable-twist
intact, and every curve swelling with inward importance. The origin
of the pasty is lost with the language, but the thing is universal,
and the friend of all. The workman takes it in his bag, the traveller
pops it in his pocket, the family sit around it. No knife, no fork,
no tablecloth is wanted; out comes the pasty, and the feast begins.
A pasty fresh from the oven sends up an incense which makes a hungry
man thankful to be alive. A man will call at a friend's house with his
pasty in his pocket, and the good woman will warm it for him, and he'll
join the family circle without any one thinking it an intrusion. Tea
is the drink with a pasty. Anything else will do, from white wine to
cider; but tea is the drink for choice.

A pie is another Cornish dish, and lends itself to the racial aptitude
for secrecy. Almost anything under the sun may be put into a pie, and
no one be the wiser, for the crust puts on a brave face and hides
the poverty (should there be poverty) underneath. No end of stories
have been told of pies. A person in a sarcastic mood has been known
to send a neighbour a pie with a halter in it; but the piskies did
something better than that, and sent the barren wife of the Earl of
Cornwall a pie which, when opened, was filled with sweet herbs and wild
flowers, in the midst of which a little heir lay smiling. And then, as
a set-off, Old Nick comes in and watches a woman make an "all-sorts"
pie, in which nothing seemed out of place; and so afraid was he that
his own dear self would be included that he skipped out of the county.
The pie, like the pasty, is a mystery until it is opened, unless the
crust is decorated with the foot of a duck, or some other indication of
contents. The heads of pilchards peeping through the crust suggested
the name of "star-gazey pie;" but a stranger in the land may never see
it--indeed, he may never see many things.

[Illustration: HOMEWARD BOUND.]


Through August and down to the middle of September is the season for
blackberries, and wherever the bramble can grow, there the black,
luscious fruit hangs ripe and tempting. The Bookworm hazarded the
guess, as we tramped along, that the plant followed the Celtic
immigration in Cornwall and Brittany. The Bretons make money of the
fruit, but here whoever is minded may pick and eat and carry away; and
no one was ever prosecuted for wandering over fields in search of the
fruit, and pulling down bits of hedges to secure it. During the season,
blackberry parties go out with crook-sticks and baskets, and faces
as clean as usual, and return tired and torn, with hands and lips and
faces dyed all over with the dark juice. Some say it was the blackberry
juice which the ancient inhabitants used for frightening away the
Roman legions; but nothing positive is now known. It is, however, the
fact that the Cornish dye just as much of themselves as is visible
with blackberry juice once a year; and this may be a survival of an
ancient custom. Just for a wonder, it was neither saint nor piskie who
was quoted in connection with blackberries, but Old Nick himself, who
ate so many one thirteenth of September that he felt real ill, and
he cursed the fruit with such a terrible curse that, after the fatal
thirteenth, the fruit is said to be unfit for food, and is allowed to
rot where it grows.

If the blackberry isn't a native, it ought to be, considering the
impudent way in which it takes possession of the hedges and fences,
scrambling over everything, and sucking in all the sunshine which comes
out of the sky. Anywhere, everywhere it grows, even along the bleak
sea-cliffs washed with sea-spray and ruffled with bitter winds; but the
fruit is most sweet and generous when growing in sheltered spots on
moor and in valley. We were told to be sure to have blackberry pie, and
we had it at the farm; and if the immortals didn't envy us when eating
blackberry pie, smothered with Mrs. Andrawartha's cream, it's proof
positive that they don't know about one good thing in the eating line.

The Wesleyans are especially fond of blackberries. Of course there's
a reason for it. The Bookworm stumbled on it, as usual, and we went
to the circuit minister, who said he was quite right, and it was the
fruit which kept John Wesley alive on St. Hilary downs. The story is
all right, and can be verified in print. Here it is: "One day we had
been preaching on St. Hilary down. As we returned, John Wesley stopped
his horse to pick the blackberries, saying, 'Brother Nelson, we ought
to be thankful that there are plenty of blackberries, for this is the
best county I ever saw for getting a stomach, and the worst I ever saw
for getting food.'" Guy said there ought to be a blackberry day as well
as a primrose day. Why not? White roses and orchids are consecrated to
other illustrious persons, and why not blackberries to John Wesley?

Of course the blackberry has its legend, and this is one as it was told
to us.


The fairest princess in Cornwall, as every one knew, was the daughter
of Bran Dhu, and it was the surprise of every one that his daughter
should be so fair when he was so dark, dark as his own black heart;
and that was dark enough, in all conscience. More golden was her hair
than the flower of the furze, and her skin was whiter than the foam of
the wave. A twin sister she had who favoured their father, and she was
as dark as a thunder-cloud, and as passionate as the other was gentle.
The twins grew up, and got on very well together, until the son of
the king stopped at Bran Dhu's castle and received a cup of milk from
the hand of the fair princess, who was called Olwen, when he ought to
have received it from Gertha, she of the flashing eyes and heart of
fire. Bran Dhu had made other arrangements for his fair daughter, whom
he removed the very next day to the dwelling of a herdsman whose wife
was a witch, and who had strict orders not to let the young prince see
the fair princess, even if he should chance upon her whereabouts. It
wasn't long before the young prince came again, and this time Gertha
handed him a cup of milk; but he had no eyes for her, and rode away.
Whenever he came he only saw Gertha, and rode away disappointed, which
so wounded her vanity that she ended by hating her sister of the
yellow hair and sea-foam skin. The young prince went to his father,
who commanded Bran Dhu to come and see him, bringing the fair Olwen
with him. Now, Bran Dhu was a subtle man, and told lies as naturally
as other great people, and he said that Olwen went on a visit in the
country and died, and was buried by the old herdsman and his wife. He
didn't mind telling where Olwen really was, because the herd's wife
had orders to turn the fair young princess into a bramble whenever the
king or young prince came in search of her. The young prince was very
much in love, and rode off to the herd's house, and the herd's wife
showed him the clothes which Olwen had worn, and the mound covering
her, and the bramble thick with blossom festooning the hedge. He was so
sorrowful that he did not notice that the bloom was out of season. He
came again and again and talked to the herd's wife, for his heart was
sore, and there was always the bramble in full bloom.

Now, at the King's court there was a "wise man," who smelt a rat as
soon as ever he heard about the bramble being in bloom, in season
and out of season, whenever the prince happened to be there; so he
turned the young prince into a chough, and told him to fly over to the
herdsman's house and look around. The Cornish chough was common enough
in those days, and the old witch took no notice of the black bird with
red beak hopping about the garden, its head on one side, and one eye on
Olwen the fair.

The "wise man," when he knew that Olwen was really in the flesh, took
in the whole situation.

The young prince flew over to the herdsman's house and hopped around,
and followed his lady love until she got into a wood, when he resumed
his proper shape and told his love, sweet and strong, and stayed so
late that the old witch caught him at it, and told Bran Dhu, who became
as mad as a hatter, and told Gertha, who became madder than he. And
they went over to the herdsman's and ordered the witch to turn Olwen
into a bramble, and pour some magic drops upon her fair blooms so that
she should become green and red and black in turns, sour to the taste,
and ugly to look upon.

Then the "wise man" anointed the beak of the chough, saying, "Fly away
and kiss the bloom, and your love shall become sweet and more sweet,
and when the berry is sweetest to your taste, pluck it and bring it to

And so he did. Then the "wise man" broke the spell, and prince
and princess were married; but the bramble flourished and spread
everywhere, and all the people marvelled when they ate of it or turned
it into wine, as they do to this day.

And all true lovers know that sweetest is the love which has been
hard to get, and has passed through its sour and bitter stages and is
plucked when ripest.


We saw a Cornish chough during our tramp; but it is getting scarce now,
and tens of thousands of people may come and go without ever seeing
one. When the bird "with vermeil-tinted legs and bright red beak" has
quite vanished from its old haunts, it will probably be held in
the highest esteem, like it once was when it lived in the odour of
sanctity. The chough was at one time a sacred bird in Cornwall, just
as the long-legged ibis on the banks of the Nile, and, according to
the story, had secret relations with Old Nick, just as its cousin, the
raven, had in Wales. An odour of sulphur may have been the consequence;
but as even birds may reform, the chough cut its old acquaintance,
and was selected as the future habitation for the spirit of King
Arthur. When a Cornishman sees a chough he raises his hat, if he has
one, or pulls his forelock if he hasn't, which means the same thing,
namely, that the chough is of sainted lineage, and worthy of the very
highest respect. It is not so easy to see a chough now outside of a

The chough is of very aristocratic appearance, and, in consequence,
all poor and ragamuffin and envious relations of the crow tribe are
doing their best to get rid of him by any means. No doubt dynamite
would be used if the crow socialists knew how to handle it. It was an
unfortunate day for the chough when Shakespeare advertised it as the
"russet-pated chough," and that might not have been so very bad, only
it set some people saying that Shakespeare did not know what he was
talking about, which provoked others to reply, and so the newspapers
debated whether Shakespeare should be criticized. Then all Cornwall
was ransacked for choughs, to see whether he was "russet-pated." If
"pate" means "head," then he isn't, but if "pate" means "foot," then
he is "russet-patted," or footed. Those who held that the poet knew
what he was writing about, scored one; but the discussion cost the
chough dear, so many people finding it necessary to shoot every chough
they saw. Every year King Arthur visits his own tomb in the form of a
chough, and some people hope that _one_ chough will be allowed to live
in the land just so long as the old King likes to revisit his own grave
and attend to its weeding. It would be a pity for an old tradition to
die out for want of a bird to carry it on.

[Illustration: POLPERRO.]


A Cornish "van" is a miracle on wheels; but we're told that the real,
genuine article, like Penaluna's, which still covers its five miles in
one hour and a quarter, is getting rarer and more rare. Penzance and
Helston, Truro and Redruth, and most of the market towns are visited
on market days by newly-painted antiquities on wheels. They line up a
street, or a square, for a few hours, and then disappear again until
the next market day. The better class machine is a "Royal Mail," or a
"Standard," a "Comet," or some such swagger thing; but "Penaluna's van"
has a first-grade certificate in the miracle line. Rail and motor-cars
have thinned out this ancient sort of vehicle pretty considerably.

Mrs. Penaluna runs a refreshment house six miles from a market town,
and Mr. Penaluna is the carrier by descent. For three generations
the Penalunas carried whatever there was to carry, and it seems that
when one machine wore out, another was built after the same pattern,
and then another, and another, so that Penaluna's van is now pretty
much the same as its predecessors, and the type has been preserved in
spite of steam and petrol. Mr. Penaluna's van went to the market town
twice a week, and Mr. Penaluna's motto was to look after his parcels,
and let passengers take care of themselves. Our traps were amongst
the rest of the bales and boxes and parcels, "stowed away" according
to the carrier's idea of the fitness of things. We looked inside,
and said we'd walk to the town later in the day. We didn't see much
accommodation for passengers. We were mistaken. One woman after another
got into the van with baskets of dairy produce and things, and settled
themselves somehow. The van was canvas-covered, and its sides bulged,
so we thought it must be full. We didn't understand. People came along
with more baskets and got in, so Guy said they must be sticking to the
roof, feet upwards, like flies. Every moment we expected to see the van
come apart, and let its contents into the road; but it didn't, and held
together by force of habit, we supposed. Time was up, and we thought
the good Mr. Penaluna would start, but he was in no hurry; there was
a regular customer to come, and she always came last. Somebody did
come--a crowning glory of twenty stun--with a girl by her side carrying
things. The "regular" waddled up, and said it was warmish, and hands
were spread out to take in things and help the lady when she was ready,
and Mr. Penaluna was behind to give a helpful push. The lady with
liberal breadth of beam and no featherweight disappeared, inch by inch,
and we stood by expecting to hear shrieks from the inside victims. Only
nothing of the sort happened, and Mr. Penaluna closed the door with a
bang and the proud air of a railway porter, and the living purgatory on
wheels waltzed away. Mr. Penaluna got up on a swinging knifeboard, and
cracked his whip in a professional way about the ears of the wiry pair
of horses in front.

Guy asked Mrs. Penaluna whether she thought that the women inside would
come out alive? which seemed to amuse her. She said Penaluna might
hap to pick up one or two more on the road. "There's always room for
one more in Penaluna's van," said she, with a grand sweep of the arm,
indicating that a good slice of creation might be carried to market
twice a week, and no mistake about it.

The Bookworm was under a promise not to go past the first milestone,
but to sit on it, and wait until we overtook him. Guy said we needn't
hurry, as he saw him sneak a book into his pocket, and he wouldn't know
how the time passed until the sun went down.

"If the little beggar can lose himself, he will," said Guy, jumping
on a hedge and looking round. Then he shouted "Coo-e-e-e-y!" and an
answer came a few yards off, where the Bookworm was sitting on a heap
of stones chatting to a man with his sleeves turned up, and who was
the parish stonebreaker. This Mr. Stonebreaker worked in a disused
quarry, wherein he was sheltered from all winds, and had for company
a sleek-looking donkey, which he rode to and fro morning and evening.
The Bookworm struck the place just about luncheon-time. The man had
taken off his wire goggles, pulled out his pasty, and the donkey's head
rested on his shoulder, waiting for the two ends of the pasty to be put
into its mouth. Mr. Stonebreaker rolled up his jacket for the Bookworm
to sit on, and offered him a bit of pasty; and when we joined the party
of three, they made a very pretty picture. The man was a droll fellow
and set the Bookworm laughing, and the animal joined in in its very
best style. The Bookworm rose and shook hands with his newly-found

"Wasting the poor devil's time, and never tipped him, I'll bet," said
Guy, with an air of disgust.

"I couldn't," replied the Bookworm, the idea that Guy thought him mean
creeping over him. "The man treated me as an equal, and played the
host, and how could I tip him?"

"You have sold the good name of every tourist for evermore," said Guy,
hastily; and before we knew what he was up to, he bolted back to the
old quarry.

"Catch!" shouted he, spinning a coin towards the man.

"Thank'ee kindly, but what be un vur?"

Then Guy made a speech, and the man laughed, and returned the coin,
without any sign of displeasure.

"I'll be hanged if a coin ever came back to me in this way before. I
shall keep it for luck," said Guy.

"Ef you bain't in a hurry I'll tell 'ee a story," said the man, as
leisurely as though he were lord of the manor.

"I shall be taking up your valuable time," said Guy.

"Never mind me: we can afford it, caan't us, old 'un?" (stroking the
donkey's head). "Us can al'ys find time when we do work by the day."
Then he began.

"You doan't know our Passun, s'poase? Well, then, tedn't 'bout he, but
the wan avoor, who had a purty field ov corn wan year, sure 'nuff,
and he hired Jim Tredinnick to come over and drash un. Now, Passun was
writing es sarmon, and could heer Jim's drashal going wan, du, dre,
like a church bell tolling for a burying. 'This will never do,' saith
Passun to hisself, and down he goes to the barn, and Jim was there
making believe to sweat a leak, and the ould drashal was going wan, du,
dre, like the church bell. 'The man'll eat up the vally of the corn in
the drashing ov it,' said Passun, as he went back to his room. Now,
whether Passun falled asleep, or dramed weth his eyes wide open, or
whether it was rale, I dunno, but the piskie that used to belong to the
place stood avoor him weth es drashdals over his shoulder. Now Passun
wasn't proud, and telled him about Jim Tredinnick, how he was hired by
the day and his meat to drash the corn in the barn, and 'I shall be ate
out ov house and home,' said Passun, 'he is that slow.'

"Then the little man laughed, and took the drashels off his shoulders,
and began to beat on the floor, stroke by stroke with Jim Tredinnick
in the barn, and he made a tune ov it, like this: 'By the day, by the
day, by the day-day-day. By the day, by the day, by the day-day-day.'
'Twas slow music, sure; but 'twas what Jim Tredinnick was making in the
barn. Then the little man changed it, and worked his drashels lively,
and the tune he made was like this: 'By the job, by the job, by the
job-job-job; by the job, by the job, by the job,' as quick as you
plaise. Then Passun rubbed es eyes, and went over to the barn, and made
a fresh bargain with Jim Tredinnick, and his corn was oal drashed that
very night."

"Well?" said Guy, interrogatively.

"If I had been breaking these stones by the job you wouldn't have heard
this story," said the man, with a humorous twist of his mouth.

"You're a genius," said Guy, shying a shilling at him, and running away
at top speed.

"The fellow is a millionaire," said Guy, overtaking us. "I shall never
be able to say I haven't met a rich man. I had to shy the coin at him,
and I don't know now whether he'll trouble to pick it up."

"He's a gentleman, and his donkey knows it," said the Bookworm; and it
was his last word on the subject.

[Illustration: CARN BREA.]


Three occupations are followed--farming, mining, and fishing, but the
Cornish are a handy race, and it is not an uncommon thing for a man to
cultivate a farm, work in a mine, and fish in the sea. A "wheelbarrow
farm" is a small holding which a man may get along with, with the
assistance of a wheelbarrow, and is common enough in the mining
districts. When a mine is near the sea, the wheelbarrow farmer has
a boat, and puts in time fishing when not underground. There are no
factories, as understood elsewhere, and if you see smoke afar off, it's
just some farmer burning weeds, or a railway engine puffing along.
There's never smoke enough in any one place to soil a butterfly's wing,
and some medical men have already made note of the fact.

In _the_ mining district people talk tin and copper, and dream about
little else, though it's tin for choice. Redruth is the reputed
headquarters of the tin worship. When we reached the town, everybody
seemed to be in the street, talking at once. We thought some great
calamity had happened, but found out that it was only the usual when
men came in from Camborne, and round about. There is an inner temple,
called an Exchange, but most of the exchanging seems to be done in the
street. Men talk together, and then out come little note-books. It
looks like street-betting, but the policeman takes no notice, so, of
course, it's something else. Millions sterling have changed hands in
this way, and in this street, but we were told that times were dull
now. People were lively enough, and whether they win or lose, they go
on talking and dreaming of tin.

It has been a wonderful land, this, and the stories told of fortunes
made in tin and copper give fairy tales a back seat; but then, for
every fortune made, a fortune is lost; and the way to get ten shillings
worth of tin is to melt twenty shillings worth of gold, we were told.
Of course, there's the other side, but we hadn't time to go into it--it
was too much like fiscal politics.

The people about here are prosperous to look at, but we were told
that they were ruined regularly once a week or fortnight, as the case
may be. Strangers may make mistakes when they see ruined people for
the first time, but they get to know that when a tin man looks most
prosperous, he's most ruined. A copper man may be afflicted in the same
way, but tin was uppermost when we were in the place.

The great men in these parts are captains--mine captains. A Newmarket
horse-trainer and jockey combined is not more looked up to on the heath
than a mine captain here. He is the man who knows, and can put a friend
on to a good thing; people always think a mine captain has a good thing
up his sleeve, and you must be civil to him, to make him shake it out.
They are modest men, however, and live in small houses to check any
tendency to pride, and on Sundays Cap'n Jack and Cap'n Jose, and the
best samples, go preaching. The kingdom of heaven is very much like a
mine to a miner, and if she "cuts rich" he wants to be there.

A mine is "she," and has many wooers when rich, or reputed to have
great expectations. Mines in these parts are also feminine in the
coquettish way in which they show just sufficient of their attractions
at one time to lure men on and on, and then--nothing! The caprices of
a season's beauty are not greater than those of a mine, nor is the
condition of a Derby favourite more closely watched and canvassed. A
mine may look well, or be in a bad way, and all the men crowd around
Wheal This and Wheal That as though her breath were perfumed, and then
turn their backs upon her when old age and wrinkles come, and her "eyes
are picked out," and she's neglected, and left to grow dropsical, and
pass from memory. Sometimes a pet Wheal over-runs the constable, and
ruins all her lovers, and then no secret is made of her wicked little
ways; but no professional beauty is more run after and talked about
when she's in her prime.

Guy was relieved to find that the Gulf Stream was not held responsible
for tin. We had heard so much of the Gulf Stream, how it made the
'taties grow, and the flowers bloom, and the air warm, and the wind
cool, and the skies blue, and the rain wet; but no one here said it had
anything to do with the making of tin. You may stream for tin, but that
is only one way of getting it; and the Gulf Stream doesn't come in, and
there are tin crystals in streams, but this is a detail known mostly to

Miners call themselves "Cousin Jacks," and a Cornish miner in any
part of the universe answers to "Cousin Jack." The Bookworm tried
to find the origin of the name from a man "tending the engine" at a
mine, who replied, "S'poase Adam gave it out when he named t'other
animals." This was a good beginning. The men change their clothes in
the engineroom; they call it "shifting," and a shift is worth the
trouble, for a miner coming up from the bowels of the earth with a
bit of tallow candle in his cap looks a clay-gnome of bad character,
and gentle manners only increase prejudice, for why should such a
forbidding-looking animal be gentle?

He was not in the least surprised to see us, but when he had shifted,
we were surprised to see him. He was no longer gnome, but man, and
good at that. Was there anything we would like to see or hear about?
He was entirely at our disposal. He showed us crystals of pure tin,
colourless, and flashing like diamonds. He supposed that tin might be
manufactured the same as diamonds, but wasn't sure, and thought that
Nature must have taken a lot of trouble when making tin. Would not be
surprised if the pressure of the two seas had much to do with it. It
was very singular that Cornwall was the richest spot in the universe
in tin stone. There was plenty of tin elsewhere, but not Cornish tin,
oh, dear, no! Tin was known in the days of Moses, and where could it
have come from but here? As a commercial commodity, tin certainly
first came from Cornwall, and so, first of all, brought Britain under
the influence of the older civilizations. Cæsar no more discovered
Britain than Columbus America, and Cornish miners were gentlemen in
manners, and hospitable in the days of Diodorus Siculus, who attributed
their advance in civilization to their frequent intercourse with Greeks
and Phoenicians. It was on record that a Phoenician merchant,
finding that he was followed, ran his ship ashore rather than let
another into the secret of getting tin. Mr. Chamberlain could have done
no better, could he?

[Illustration: THE CHAPEL ROCK, BUDE.]

Mining was a science now, more or less exact, and very exacting. We
were in the centre of a great school of mines, and students came here
from all parts to learn their business and get diplomas. He told
us something of superstitions common to miners. Science explains
everything, of course; but can't get rid of old beliefs in a hurry.
A mine's reputation was sometimes her weak point, just like a fine
lady's, and when it was blown upon, then, good-day and good-bye! Get a
chat, when you can, with an underground mine captain.

South Africa is a sort of outlying farm for the mining division, and
when things are brisk every mail brings twenty or thirty thousand
pounds sterling for wives and families and the old folks at home. Every
market night is an object-lesson in political economy. When the Boer
War was on, most of the shops were in mourning, and people went about
with hunger in their eyes. Cousin Jack goes abroad to make money, and
what he saves he sends home. On his return his delight is to get a
wheelbarrow farm, and come into Redruth market, and talk tin. Cousin
Jack likes to come home to die and be buried. He's like a Chinaman in
his love for native dust.

Some Cornishmen live where they are born, but, as a rule, they drift
to all quarters of the world, and look longingly homewards, like the
Jew towards Jerusalem. The most conservative of all men is the fisher,
whose little all can be put on board his boat, and who is seldom far
from the smoke of his own chimney. The miners are restless, and always
ready to strike their tent and march. Only, wherever they go overseas,
their children are Cornish--the saints and piskies, the nuggies and
buccas, are all drummed into them, and there's no sun so bright, no
sea so blue, no air so soft in all the world, as in the dear old
county which they "belong" to, and shall see one day. There spring up
melodies in the little hearts over the seas, until they are Cornish in
every beat and throb. A youngster was posting a letter in Sydney, New
South Wales, and a friend of the family asked, "Where's that letter
going, sonnie?" "Home." "Where's home?" "Why, Cornwall, to be sure."[H]
Outside of itself the county has a large population containing a
goodly percentage of the salt of the earth.

[H] I believe this story was told by the Rev. Mark Guy Pearse; if not,
it might have been, it's so like him.

Redruth is under the shadow of Carn Brea, the home of paleolithic man.
The "Castle" doesn't count for much now the Druids have been played
out. The Bookworm told us that enough rubbish had been written about
the Druids to build a respectable beacon fire, and what was worth
preserving would go in a watch-pocket. However, there is Carn Brea,
and those who wish to see the Druids' altars may, without let or
hindrance. The Carn looks over the mines, and you may see the sea on
the north and the sea on the south, winking like two eyes of heavenly
blue. The guide-books recommend a clear day for preference. It is said
that underneath this bare and poverty-looking ridge of rocks there is
mineral wealth enough to buy up King Solomon's mines. It's nice to know
that the riches of the world are under one's feet, and all poor people
on the tramp who like the sensation can have it here free of charge.
In fact, there is no charge for anything--you may drink at the holy
wells, visit the churches, see the antiquities, go down the mines, walk
through museums, and "do" everything with a smile and a civil tongue.
No charge; tip as you please. A cheerful giver has his reward.

It was somewhere under the shadow of Carn Brea that "Baron Munchausen"
was born in the lively brain of one Rudolph Eric Rasp, a fugitive
Hanoverian, at one time Assay-master and store-keeper at Dolcoath
Mine. Herr Rasp, Professor of Archæology, and Curator of the Museum at
Cassel, and member of the Royal Society, England, appropriated some
precious medals under his charge, and skipped. He hadn't learnt the
tenth commandment properly, and forgot the eighth. People in places of
trust are better educated now, but this was one hundred and fifty years
ago. The Bookworm told us that Baron Munchausen was a real man, and
Herr Rasp wrote his wonderful "adventures." No one knows the house in
which Herr Rasp lived, but the Bookworm insisted on looking at every
cottage and barn with the touch of antiquity upon it, within a radius
of three miles from Dolcoath. He liked to do it, and was satisfied.
The invention of coal gas as an illuminant took place at Redruth, and
a tablet commemorating the discovery is actually placed outside the
house in which William Murdoch, the inventor, lived. Murdoch was not
a Cornishman, hence the tablet. The Bookworm touched the walls of
the house, the door-handle, and the knocker, but we didn't see that
anything special came of it. Camborne is also in the mining division,
and has wider streets and fewer shops than Redruth; but, then, it
has gone in for brains, and young men wishful to learn mining come
here now, and go through a course of lectures in class-rooms, and go
underground and work. "The Oxford of mining students" is Camborne, only
the students live where they like, and have latch-keys. Joshua Cristall
was born here, so also was Richard Trevithick, the first to apply steam
to locomotives. We did not see any public monument to either.

The people in this division are "Weslums," and great on chapels, but
"fall from grace" when there is a political election. It is sad, but
politics stir up the old Adam worse than a drop in the price of tin.
Candidates for parliamentary honours are only accepted by insurance
offices at extra-risk premiums. Guy intends going in for Parliament one
day, and studied the matter on the spot. He thinks he knows a softer

A good deal of woman-labour is employed in mines. They are the
bal-maidens, and work on the dressing-floors. Work agrees with them,
and Professor Sandow wouldn't find much room for developing the muscles
of a bal-maiden. We saw some at work from the train, and heard them
singing. We saw others nearer, and they were singing also. It's just
part of the business to sing, and more hymns are sung over Cornish tin
than over all the rest of the minerals raised in the world. One girl
starts singing, and the rest join in; and very sweet singing it is when
heard in the open. The surface men catch on, and there's just sweet
harmony, whilst the stamps are dancing, and the great bob is going up
and down, pumping out water. Nothing stops when the orchestra is in
full swing. The men generally sing, too, when going and coming, and
they like a hymn with a good, rousing march tune. After the night and
early morning shifts, the hills and valleys are tuneful, and people
hearing know what hour it is, as the shifts are regular. There are four
shifts in the twenty-four hours. A shift is called a "coor."

[Illustration: HIGH AND DRY.]

[Illustration: "KNACKED BALS." (_disused mines_)]


The man in soft felt hat, and brown canvas bag slung across his side,
with wicked-looking little hammer-head peeping out, is a common object.
Specimens enough have been taken out of the county to metal a turnpike
road, and yet the scientific stone-man comes and tumbles over the
refuse-heaps once again, and chips little bits on his own account, and
carries them off. To find sermons in stones is his reward, and there
are sermons enough, in all conscience, in a county which is mostly
stone, or something harder. When a man of science in a soft felt hat is
missing, the first idea is that he's fallen down an old mine shaft, and
that his stone treasures have taken him safely to the bottom, a hundred
fathoms or so under water. It is well to beware of one's steps, and
not to take short cuts in the dark across moors and downs which are

We were told we might amuse ourselves by turning over the
rubbish-heaps, and, for reward, pick up a few specimens of ore,--no one
would interfere with us; and we might wander at will in and about the
ruins of square towers and "count-houses," which people fancy, at first
sight, are baronial castles in ruins. They are ruins, right enough,
and the money sunk in the engine shafts would have built castles and
pyramids. These ruins look best at a distance, with big bundles of
broom shivering and rotting in sunshine and storm. There is something
weird and uncanny about the look of these ruins, with broom-bundles,
like black things of misfortune, hung about them. The Bookworm said
that broom was a sign or symbol of bad luck. We didn't find fortunes
in turning over stones on rubble-heaps, and only secured a few tin and
mundic and copper specimens of no value to the owner. Guy said they
would look swagger when labelled, "Tin found on Scatmoor, Cornwall."
The beginnings of a museum were in his pockets, he said, when they
began to bulge out.

There were some small houses scattered about, and every house was in
a garden. None were empty; but as all the mines around were idle,
we began to wonder what the population lived on. There must be work
somewhere, but a long way off, we thought; so far, indeed, that the
men would tire morning and night when going and coming. The houses were
low, two-storied dwellings, built of moor-stone, and roofed with thick
turves kept in place by flat, heavy stones. The people we saw were
mostly aged, or women with young children.

We came across an old fellow sitting on a big stone, blinking with
watery eyes at an old ruined mine engine-house. He made us welcome, and
offered us the whole of the stone he was sitting on; but we squatted
on the turf, and let the green lizards run over us--we said we liked
it like that. Very soon we were interested in the old boy, who told us
he was Jim Tregedga, the son of Jim Tregedga before him, and he cited
Tregedgas sufficient to reach back to the days of the Deluge. The house
he lived in he built himself "out of coor," that is to say, in spare
time, and he fenced in the bit of garden, ditto. It was moor land,
and no one said him nay, so he took what he wanted, and the rest did
the same. All the houses were built like that, and every man his own
landlord. All the mines around were working then, and at every shift
hundreds of young men poured out of these stone hives and went to work
underground or upon "grass." And all the maidens rose early and went to
work upon the dressing-floors, singing like thrushes. The mine was the
soul of the moor, and the pumps and stamps its music. The young men
now are spread over South Africa and Australia, South America and the
regions of Klondike; and the old people and young wives and children
were left at home, dependent for daily bread upon the love of kindred
whom they might never see again.

Things were so different in the old days, when Cousin Jack was full
of money, and spent it like a king, and then went to work again with
a good heart, and always ready to kiss the maidens, or "wrassle" and
break a head on paydays. In fact, Cousin Jack wouldn't go home without
a fight, unless he was poorly. This old man knew the names of all the
mines round about, and their histories; when they "cut rich," and when
they "cut out" and were shut down, and the broom hoisted to tell all
the world that another bal had gone wrong.

[Illustration: MORWENSTOW CLIFFS.]

Every mine had its own particular spirit, or family of spirits, called
"nuggies." Every household was brought up in a firm faith in nuggies,
and the good or bad fortune of a mine depended on the temper of the
nuggies. Men working on "tribute" were very careful not to offend
the spirits of the mine, and they had to be careful, or they would
earn little, and were sometimes lucky to reach grass alive. These
spirits had underground workshops, wherein they worked upon silver
anvils, and the walls sparkled with crystals of pure tin and virgin
silver. These workshops were called "parlours," and, as they were
not always willing to be disturbed, they misled the miners, making
them believe that the tinkling upon the silver anvils was in the very
opposite direction:--such was their power. Or they would cease working
altogether, and then the men would become disheartened, and say the
nuggies had forsook the bal, and she might as well be "knacked" at
once, for all the profit she would yield. But the nuggies were good to
poor tributers sometimes, after they had been working for weeks and
months on starvation wages. Months and months of work and no sound
through the gloomy corridors but the tap, tap, of the steel-edged
tools, and the fall of rock, barren and unprofitable; and then, all at
once, the music on the silver anvils, and falling water, indicating
the presence of the precious lode. If a man worked underground he was
bound to believe in nuggies; and if he did not believe, and said so,
then he was sure to be punished, for the nuggies had a way of leading
men into trouble. A favourite way was to hide danger from a man until
he was on the brink of it, and then, if stubborn and would not take
warning, they'd let him fall over a precipice, or down an old shaft,
and be heard of no more in the land of the living. What they gave, they
gave freely, and took no toll--they wanted none, all the minerals in
the universe belonging to the nuggie family; only they would have men
civil, and civility brought rich rewards.

The talk was rambling, and Guy put many questions. Had deponent ever
seen a nuggie? Well, he believed he had. He was working on Wheal Rose,
first coor by night, and he saw a flash at the end of the stope, and
Jan Trebilcock slapped his hand over his (deponent's) mouth so that
he shouldn't screech. That was a nuggie going into his parlour, and
Jan Trebilcock followed the lead and came upon a lode as rich as King
Solomon's mines whilst it lasted. And he'd heard old men say----

But Guy wouldn't have hearsay. Then deponent said he had heard the
tinkling upon silver anvils, and beautiful it was, like the melody of
church bells on a summer eve. The nuggies always took their anvils
with them when they gave up possession of a workshop--they were wanted

"Provoking," said Guy. "Whenever we get very near to something it
vanishes in this land of piskies and fairies and other enchantments."

A little lizard crawling over Guy turned brilliant colours, which, the
old miner observing, said there was a "thunder planet" passing, and
wished us to come into his cottage. We had wandered five miles, but
thought we could return before the storm burst, in which, however, we
were mistaken, for we had hardly trotted a couple of miles when it
burst with sub-tropical fury. Had it been night, the sight would have
been splendid; but we had to dart for cover into a man's house, like
three drowned rats. There was no ceremony about our entrance, and none
was wanted. An old man and woman were the only occupants, and they made
us welcome, but our clothes stuck to us. We drank some hot tea and ate
the remains of our pasties to the accompaniment of celestial artillery,
which put to shame the battle of Mukden. Still it poured, and the
cottage trembled sometimes when the thunder was loudest. The two old
people were quite tranquil, and the only apparent trouble they had in
the world was our wet clothes. The little rivulets which ran from us
were dried up, but might be traced on the stone floor, making zigzag
courses towards the door.

Then came the old man's hour for reading a Psalm, and he opened the
"big book" without any apparent thought of strangers being present.

"'Th' Loard es ma sheper; I shall not waant'--no fath, I shaant.

"'He maaketh me to lie down en green pastures'--ez, that 'e do, th'
precious dear."

And so, until he finished, and shut the book. "Now we will zay a few
words, for th' dear Loard is with us;" and without more to do, he went
down upon his knees and spread out his hands, and his face shone. If
there was a soul in happiness in the universe, it was this one; and
he did not forget the strangers under his roof. "Ef'm be out in th'
wilderness, Loard, guide'm like a good sheper; and ef'm be cauld, warm
'em en Thy buzum, and turn 'em out to lie down en green pastures."

The rain stopped suddenly, and the thunder grew more distant, and the
lightning less vivid, and when we were once more upon the downs a
strange feeling crept over us.

"I never thought I should have found myself kneeling in a miner's hut,
saying my prayers," said Guy. "This would just have suited Softie
Smith, who's in Orders now--going to be a bishop, or something. At
school, Softie was always longer at his devotions than the rest, and
we used to shy things at him to remind him that the dormitory was
waiting. Sometimes the boys made extra good shots at Softie and got
him waxy; and one night he suddenly rose from his knees, shouting,
'Amen-who-shied-that-boot?' It was a shout, by Jove! and the captain
on his rounds heard it; but we were little angels when he came to us,
and Softie got a wigging for making a row. After that we dropped the
'Softie,' and re-named him 'Amen-who-shied-that-boot?' which will sound
splendidly when he's a bishop. 'My lord Amen-who-shied-that-boot,
from Lower Egypt, then addressed the meeting,' will look well in the
papers. The name'll push him on in the world, and that he'll owe to us."

The Bookworm wouldn't be drawn, and we walked, one on each side of him,
until we reached the road, and then kept to it carefully, to avoid
tumbling down some old, disused mine shaft. He gave our hands an extra
grip before retiring, saying, "I shall never forget."

"I hope the little beggar isn't going to be ill," said Guy. "I don't
like a fellow to talk solemnly, and grip your hands, and all that,
after he's been wet to the skin."

But no harm came of it.

[Illustration: THE MANACLES.]


A pick and shovel brigade, with or without hats, might do some good
work on the north coast, where the sand has buried towns and churches.
People speak of places having been "drowned in sand," which they
certainly were. The sands of Hayle, like those of great deserts, shift
with storm and tempest, and have encroached from century to century.
The sand-hills are called "towans" at Hayle, and very weary walking we
found it in places where coarse, fibrous grasses have not covered the
surface. What splendid results might follow the efforts of a pick and
shovel brigade from Perran to Newquay! Two churches are known to have
been buried at Perranporth, and one at Gwithian, near Hayle. These
have been discovered, so there is no mistake about them, and they are
said to be the earliest Christian monuments visible in Britain. There
isn't much to see now. There was an oratory at St. Gwithian, and the
altar was built into a cowshed. Guy said it did not seem that people
cared very much for antiquities until they were destroyed, or belonged
to some other country, like Egypt, for example.

The fine, dry sands here are splendid preservatives, and the Bookworm
became enamoured of his idea of a pick and shovel brigade undertaking
scientific exploration. Why not? There were exploration societies in
Italy and Greece, and why not in Cornwall, wherein there is a lost
history and a lost language to recover? Guy was sure that lots of
fellows would put in a few weeks' digging and sifting and sorting if
somebody would only take the matter in hand in a business-like way. If
legend can be believed, there is at Crantock a Cornish Pompeii waiting
to be uncovered. The ancient Crantock was reputed to have been a large
and important sea-port with seven churches, and the place was literally
"drowned" in a deluge of sand, brought upon the wings of the wind. The
buried chronicles of Crantock (all in the Cornish language, of course)
would be a splendid discovery. The present church was allowed to fall
into decay, but is one of the show-churches in the north, and is now
famous for the newspaper crusade against hatless women fingering
their prayer-books within its walls. The "living" is said to be worth
eighteen shillings per week. Fat livings do not abound--"a house, a
glebe, a pound a day" does not fall to the lot of all parsons hereabout.

The Bookworm remarked that his Satanic Majesty was not held responsible
for sand-storms, although Hell's mouth was on this coast. His Majesty
is familiarly known as "Old Artful;" and people speak of one another
as "artful" by way of compliment. There is at present a good deal of
confusion in the stories told about Old Artful and his doings in this
part of the world. It is said that he never crossed the Tamar, and the
question may only be answered satisfactorily when spirits are summoned
from the vasty deep and examined before a royal commission. The
Bookworm took the matter in hand, with the following results in favour
of Old Artful's presence:--

When the Phoenicians traded here for tin, Old Artful set up a
smelting-house, and taught the tinners some tricks, which they
afterwards improved on.

That St. Michael drove him away, and, out of pure spite, he cursed the
blackberry, which is not now eaten after St. Michael's Day.

  "One day the devil, having nothing to do,
  Built a great hedge from Lerrin to Looe"]

That when visiting "Cheese-wring" he saw an old woman making a conger
pie, and inquired what she put inside, and the old woman, smelling
brimstone, said, "If you don't take yourself off pretty quick, I'll
clap you inside, and then we shall have a devilled pie," which threat
so alarmed him that he gave a hop, skip, and jump, and landed at
Devil's Point in the sister county.

That Old Artful had a turn for housekeeping, and was pretty much at
home at the Lizard, and left behind as memorials his "frying-pan" at
Cadgwith and his "bellows" at Kynance. Then he had a post-office, the
earliest on record, and no end of "devil's footsteps," "ovens," and
"caves" are to be found in the peninsula.

That Old Artful, finding himself lonely and amongst the out-of-works,
built a stone fence about seven miles in length, hence the couplet--

    "One day the devil, having nothing to do,
    Built a great hedge from Lerrin to Looe."

And very good workmanship it was, for it is still there. In this way
the problem of employing the unemployed was solved.

That Old Artful took a great interest in the building of churches,
sometimes altering the architect's plans, and sometimes choosing a
site. Whenever a church is built in an inconvenient place, it is said
that Old Artful would have it there and nowhere else, and paintings
on the walls often recorded the fact, showing him removing at night
the courses which the masons laid down during the day. Many of these
paintings were whitewashed by pious Covenanters, but little bits have
been restored. It is said that St. Mewan wanted a high tower to his
church, and there was a battle-royal between him and Old Artful, who
prevailed. The "cloven hoof" may be seen on a stone gate-post, a very
short distance from the church. At Towednack, near St. Ives, Old Artful
would not allow pinnacles to be put to the church tower.

That at Ladock Old Artful changed himself into a raven, and made an
inspection of the church tower; but the babies brought to be christened
made such a row that he flew away.

"How can all these things have happened if Old Artful never crossed the
Tamar?" asked the Bookworm, triumphantly.

Sailors say that Old Artful was never able to learn navigation
properly, or find his sea-legs on board ship; and there is an idea that
he does not take kindly to blue water, and was never able to swim.
It is well known that Lloyd's underwriters will not insure a ship
with Old Artful on board. He never interferes with the building of a
ship, or does anything but provide a "locker"--called "Davy Jones's
locker"--where poor Jack rigs himself out before dancing with the
mermaids on "Fiddlers' Green."

Guy came to the conclusion that the Cornish climate was too restful
for "sabbathless, restless Satan," who is never supposed elsewhere to
be happy except in the wearing, tearing, raging, whirligig of pleasure
and vice. Hence the idea of his not crossing the Tamar.

[Illustration: THE ROCHE ROCK.]

[Illustration: NEWQUAY SANDS.]


Newquay is in Cornwall without being Cornish, and is one of the few
towns which has no "saint" belonging to it. Most of the towns in
the peninsula date back to the days of saints and giants, and then
crystallize somehow. Newquay didn't grow that way, and was content
to remain until quite recently the habitation of a score of fisher
families, who lived by beach-combing and pilchard-seining. If the town
of to-day were wiped out, there would remain the old fish-cellars, a
few weather-beaten cottages, and the "Huer's hut" on the Headland.
Newquay town is a modern creation, and lies between Padstow and St.
Ives, which are rich in saints and antiquities, and stand apart and
distinct from everything modern, crystallizing around and about, but
receiving little of the old life and tones. The original name of the
place was Towan Blistra, which sounds genuine. The growth of Newquay is
no miracle. People who went there for their health got better, and then
the "faculty" said, "Try Newquay;" then the Great Western Railway took
up the cry, and shouted, "Try Newquay;" and that's all the process.

The sea and rocks, and sands and caves, are all genuine. The fine
hotels are fine hotels, and fine hotels after their style are new in
this part of the world. The houses have a hurried, built-by-contract
look about them, and the whole place wants to be built over again,
and built differently. Most of the inhabitants now are Cornish in a
transition state, so you don't know quite where you are. The hotel
porter was regal; the man in charge of the lift was imported with the
machine, and when asked, said he thought a "piskie" was a new crank, or
something like that, for working the lift. Newquay is like that now.
You go there for the air, and you get it until every nerve is braced,
and you get rid of the dismals, and eat and drink and sleep, until you
find that the one pleasure of life is living, simply that. Even Cornish
people come to Newquay to be toned. The Bookworm lost his restlessness
at night entirely here, and no longer read strange books in his sleep.

If you want to talk with a real Newquay man, you will find him on the
Headland, looking at the sea. We scraped acquaintance with one watching
his nets dry on the grass. He told us he hadn't heard about piskies
lately. When he was a boy, and fish was cured in the old cellars, and
the Headland was the Headland, and no mistake about it, and when a
fisherman was a fisherman, and everything was as it ought to be, and
had been from time "back along," why, then, there were piskies, of
course. Everything was different now, and he would not be surprised if
piskies were never heard of any more. Guy said gently that that might
be a good thing, but the man ironed out all intelligence from his face
and said nothing. He did not wish to have old memories stirred just

[Illustration: NEWQUAY.]

The old men wandering about the Headland always looked seaward when
talked to, as though they were sure of the sea, and the rocks, and
the beaches; all else, round and about, was slipping from them--new
houses, new streets, crowds of people in strange garments, and such
faces! worn and wisht! why did they pitch upon this place? Guy said
these old grumblers were very ungrateful. A fine town had sprung up,
money poured into the place, and nothing was taken from it, and the old
boys were not thankful. The Bookworm took the side of the native,
and said no one liked the place which he called his own, and had grown
to love, to be transformed by strange hands so suddenly. What did the
ancient Briton think of the Roman villa with tesselated floors, and
hot and cold baths, and clothes mended on the while-you-wait system?
Much better, no doubt, than British huts and blue paint, but not to the
native taste. A diet of Chablis and oysters disagreed at first with a
stomach used to whelks and gingerbeer.

Variety is one of the attractions of the county. For a tourist who
rides a bike or a motor, the variety is perpetual, and he must pull
up even now and again and ask himself what has become of the last
sensation. If you can rely upon your legs, you had best walk from
village to village until you are where you wish to be. To lose one's
self is an advantage sometimes; and you can't go very far wrong. When
at Newquay, breathing in the Atlantic on the north, you are only twenty
miles from your friends breathing in the soft airs of the sunny south.
The tramp across the country, from north to south, is simply delicious.
First of all, there are the moors, springy to the foot, restful to the
eye, and the "coombes" running seawards and catching sunbeams, so that
you get opposing lines of light and shadow, and charm everywhere.

We made our way from Newquay to Roche, one of the portals to the land
of the white men--a wonderful land, producing the white clay which is
shipped to all quarters of the globe. The heathen Chinee has found it
out, and buys it in lumps. At first, he used to buy it by the yard in
his calico. The Lancashire merchant bought the white clay and worked
it into his inferior cotton goods, and John Chinaman paid extra for
the loaded yarn. The heathen learnt the secret in the course of time,
imported the clay, loaded his own yarn, and put the profit into his own
pocket. Then the "Yellow peril" was talked about.

All the white patches in the hills and valleys visible from here spell
"kaolin," or "china clay," and everything that china clay touches is
white; white waggons piled up with square white blocks travel along
white, dusty roads, drawn by white-powdered horses, driven by men as
white as ghosts in the last stages of galloping consumption.

"Fish, tin, and copper," was the old commercial toast; but china clay
has come in and taken a front seat. It is only a hundred and fifty
years ago since a long-nosed Quaker found out that the stuff was good
for pottery; and then chemists came in and found there was money in it
for manufacturers of cotton and paper; and now the society beauty may
have the satisfaction of knowing that her fair cheek is made fairer
still by honest china clay most delicately perfumed. The men and
women who handle the clay get the same stuff for nothing, and do well
enough without the perfume. China clay, being a modern industry in this
land of ancients, has no piskie, or nuggie, or bucca connected with
it, and Guy took kindly to it on that account, saying it represented
the practical, hard-headed twentieth century. Who would buy Cornwall
for its legends, he would like to know! Whereas all the world was
buying mountains of china clay. He supposed if this long-nosed old
Quaker had lived a thousand or two years ago he would have been turned
into a piskie, and a fine crop of legends would have sprung up. We
failed to trace any legend or folk-lore about china clay. It was all
modern--modern discovery, modern uses, modern shipments; the only thing
fabulous seemed to be the inexhaustible supply and the value of certain
spots free from impurities. One might almost fancy legend at work--the
wicked giant and the sainted virgin crumbling into kaolin rather than
be the heroine of the romance with wedding bell accompaniment.

We came to a rock where there is a well which is said to ebb and flow
with the tide; only it doesn't. The water is said to be brackish, which
it probably is; but a reverend canon, writing on the spot, warned
visitors against tasting it on that account. All brackish water does
not come from the sea. However, this was a holy well once on a time,
and young people even now drop bent pins into it and wish. It is very
simple, and costs nothing. Then there is the cell in which St. Roche
lived until he died, and then, the apartment being light and airy, and
680 feet above the sea, was occupied by successive saints. At present
the apartment is unoccupied, but the parish is taking care of it.
This is the cell wherein the damned soul of Tregeagle tried to find
sanctuary when pursued by the fiends from Dozmary Pool. The inhabitants
of the wild and desolate region between Roche and Dozmary hear the
hell-hounds pursuing the shrieking soul on dark tempestuous nights,
and on Christmas Eve the hunt is said to be on a grand scale. The
inhabitants of the moors keep indoors after dark. The story is told in--



    When the snow lay on the moor, brown moor,
    And frost hung crystals on bracken and tree,
    Gehenna and Sheöl and Blackman's whelp
    Shook themselves free with deep-mouthed bay
    To hunt a poor soul in pain.
      A soul in pain, a notable soul,
      The soul of Tregeagle, a deathless soul,
      Burning in winter in Dozmary Pool,
      Freezing in summer in Dozmary Pool,
        The soul of Tregeagle in pain.

    The Black hunter's horn rang clear, rang clear,
    And the pack gave music, yap, yap, yap;
    Gehenna and Sheöl led straight to the Pool,
    Followed hot-foot by Blackman's whelp.
    The wonderful pack runs strong in the night
    To hunt a poor soul in pain.
      A soul in pain, a notable soul;
      The soul of Tregeagle, a deathless soul,
      Flies from the Pool with a shriek, a shriek;
      In terror there flies with a shriek
        The soul of Tregeagle in pain.

    The Black hunter's horn rings clear, rings clear,
    And the hungry pack, the hellish pack,
    Gehenna and Sheöl and Blackman's whelp,
    Scent the poor soul now from the Pool,
    Free from the pool on the snow-clad moor,
    Free to escape its terrible doom.
      Tally-ho! A soul in pain, in pain!
      The dark soul of Tregeagle in pain,
      Flies in black night across the moor,
      The desolate moor in snow and ice,
        The soul of Tregeagle in pain.

    Runs the Hunter's horse with hoofs on fire,
    The terrible, howling pack breathe fire,
    And yap, yap, yap, along the white track,
    Follow the poor soul in pain, in pain--
    Race the poor soul in terror and pain--
    Gehenna still leading the pack.
      To a light! a light! the hunted soul,
      The soul of Tregeagle in pain,
      Flies to a light on a rock, a rock--
      Flies to a light on Roche Rock,
        The soul of Tregeagle in pain.

    The scent, the fiendish scent, lies well,
    On snow-white moor and frosted fern;
    The keen wind blows it back to the pack,
    The Black hunter's pack with eyes of fire--
    Gehenna and Sheöl and Blackman's whelp,
    Yap, yap, yap! Hunting a soul in pain.
      Mile upon mile, o'er cairn and crag,
      O'er perilous ways in combe and hill;
      In sight of dead spectres abroad to-night
      Flies the scared soul in pitiless pain,
        The soul of Tregeagle in pain.

    A holy saint, a saint prays there:
    He hears the cry of a soul in pain;
    He knows the bark of the hellish pack,
    Gehenna and Sheöl and Blackman's whelp
    Hunting a soul in pain, in pain,
    Hunting a soul in deathless pain.
      The window is shut: no room, no room!
      Gehenna and Sheöl and Blackman's whelp
      Breathe liquid fire with nostrils wide;
      The saint prays lusty for himself,
        Not for Tregeagle in pain.

    Back o'er the moor, the frozen moor,
    Flies the curst soul to Dozmary Pool.
    With gleaming fangs and eyes aflame,
    The pack, the pack, the hellish pack
    Race by his side, yap, yap, yap--
    Race by the side of the soul in pain.
      Back to the Pool, the frozen pool,
      The burning soul, the notable soul,
      Flies to its prison of tears, hot tears,
      Flies to its cursed prison of tears,
        The soul of Tregeagle in pain.

    And the pack, the loathsome, hellish pack,
    Gehenna and Sheöl and Blackman's whelp,
    Were baulked of their prey this time, this time.
    But still they wait on the lonesome moor,
    To hunt the poor soul in pain, in pain--
    The soul of Tregeagle in pain.

There is a lot of moorland about here, and a Cornish moor, with its
poor soil and windswept bracken, turning brown and golden before its
time, its gallant heaths struggling amongst the rocks, or blooming
grandly in sheltered patches, tells its tale of hardship. There is not
much to be seen generally but rough ponies running wild, and rabbits
and wild birds innumerable. A moor is not much of a place for a lonely
man with sad indigestion bad upon him.

This was our first real experience of a Cornish moor, and we walked
along gaily enough for a time; but conversation languished, for each
was impressed in his own way by the immense void upon the earth.
Whichever way we looked, there was nothing beyond speaking of limit
to rolling moorland--the hills were only gaunt sentinels to a greater
silence. To come from a city with millions treading on the heels of
millions, and people in despair of getting breathing room, and then
to find one's self upon a moor, is to experience a new sensation. Guy
suddenly sent up a shout, sprinted a hundred yards and back again, and
then wanted the Bookworm to "tuck in his tup'ny"--the loneliness had
got upon his nerves, but he felt better after this performance. The
story of Tregeagle hunted by hell-hounds had its origin in a locality
more desolate than this, and the Bookworm said he was convinced that
locality had much to do with the making and colouring of myths.

[Illustration: FRONT DOORS.]


The capital of Clayland is St. Austell; but, as usual, nobody is very
sure about the saint. If you say "Saintauzel" through the nose, you may
be taken for a native. The church is in the centre of the town, and
the narrow, crooked thoroughfares radiate from there. The town seems
to have grown as wanted, every house pushing its neighbour towards
the centre. The wealth of Ophir in black, glittering tin is said to
underlie the town, and there is no doubt about the tin being there, for
the nuggies may be heard working on their silver anvils, and bright
lights dance upon the surface during autumnal mists. Any tinner will
tell you the meaning of these mysterious illuminations; but the mines
are not worked now, because the hills above and around are composed of
the white clay which all the world wants.

"Saintauzel" is a Friday town. Most things are reckoned as from Friday
to Friday, which is market day, and the inhabitants put on their Friday
faces and Friday clothes. When it isn't Friday the inhabitants delight
in watching the clay-waggons pass their shops, or in dodging them in
the narrow, crooked labyrinths called streets. Everything gives way
to the clay teams--butcher-boys and motor-drivers screw themselves
into nothingness, or back down side-streets when the clay-man is
in view, driving his horses in single file, all straining at their
chains. An endless procession of heavy waggons rumbles through the
narrow streets--waggons laden with powdered clay in barrels, or with
square, white, glistening lumps uncovered; and the drivers, stiffened
up with clay, like loaded yarn, crack their long whips and keep
their teams at it. These drivers, born upon the hills, look a race
to themselves--straight-backed, upright, and hard as nails. The clay
which they absorb year by year doesn't hurt them. The amount which they
swallow with their pasties must be fatal to microbes, as they seldom
think of dying until tired of throwing about barrels of clay which
would break an ordinary labourer's heart to handle. The old county is
sent away in ships as fast as they can carry it, but there is some left.

Guy fancied that there was not so much "expression" in the faces
and dramatic action with the people we met here as in other places,
and hazarded a guess that this was a result of looking at so much
inexpressionless clay. There is not much in clay to lay hold of the
imagination, except its whiteness, and the purer the blanker it is;
but, then, smirches in clay would cause a sensation, like the entrance
of a lady with a past into a party of sweet young things playing at
goodness in a social comedy. There is little in the article suggestive
of anything but money. The people here are said to be very rich in
comparison with those in other towns, and they need three banks to take
care of their cash. The chief amusement at night is to walk around the
banks, just to see that the doors are closed. The Bookworm made a few
inquiries about libraries and art galleries, and that sort of thing,
but there were none. He felt sad; he couldn't help it, he said, when he
found people with money without books and pictures, and things of that
sort. Samuel Drew was born here, so also was John William Colenso, the
man who "made an epoch in criticism by his straightforwardness," and
there is plenty of room for a statue to each. The old bull-ring is in

The hill on which the town stands stretches away a mile or so, and the
further you go the better the view of the white, glistening patches,
and the rills of white water trickling down the valleys seawards.
"Milk!" is the one idea, milk flowing through the land--milk enough and
to spare for all the condensed milk factories in the world. It's only
an illusion--it's clay in solution, which by-and-by will show itself in
the sea, like a white apron upon the shore, until it loses itself in
the eternal blue. We stand here on what is a sort of terminus of the
hilly backbone of the country--eastward, it is black and rugged, moor
and mountain with white scars, and ruined engine-houses of abandoned
mines; then westward, and there is paradise in green stretching towards
the cathedral city. Down again to Clayopolis and the throb of arterial
life--clay and money, money and clay.

China clay has no fairy of its own, like tin. It came upon the
scene too late; and fairies can't be made at will, but must grow of
themselves, and take time. Fishing, agriculture, and mining have their
tutelar spirits, able to work and dematerialize at will, and every
desolate cave, and cairn, and moor, and pool has its gnome and fairy;
but when we come across anything modern there is one thing wanting.
Lightning comes from fairyland until it is put in lamps and sold per
metre. China clay, unknown to the fairies and unblessed by the saints,
has to make its own way in the world, on merits, like any modern
youngster turned out of a Board School. And it does very well.

This is one of the few towns in which a theatrical company can pay
expenses. The people are musical and dramatic, they can't help it; and
though a "theatre" would be "taboo," a drama in Public Rooms is all
right. Sports do very well, and you may race anything, from lame ducks
to donkeys, bikes and motors, men, women, and children, but not horses.
A horse-race is--well, not to be mentioned.

The game of "hurling," peculiar to the county, is not played here now,
though it is kept up at St. Columb and Helston and other places, and
we saw it played at Newquay in a very mild sort of way. The origin of
the game is pre-historic. When a paleolithic gentleman had a nice bone
which another paleolithic gentleman tried to grab, a tussle commenced,
and the best man got the bone, and kept it. The evolution of the game
out of a scrimmage for a bone is so natural that the best-informed
antiquarians have missed it.

A hurler should be able to run like a hare, hide like a rabbit, leap
like a kangaroo, and climb like a monkey. Then he should be able to
box like a pugilist, wrestle like a champion, and sky a ball like
an All-England cricketer. These are essentials. Then, if he escapes
drowning, and comes alive out of a "scrum," he may make a good hurler.
It is a fair game, and may be played by selected teams, like football,
or town against country, with an unlimited number. A silvered ball
is the trophy. The ball is thrown into the air, and the man catching
it runs for his goal, and when the game is too hot for him he skies
the ball, and another fellow starts with the whole pack after him,
until he's tripped up and buried under a living heap of players; then
some one steals away with the ball, wrestles with the first man who
catches him, and then there's another "scrum," which gives points to
Rugby. And so on, backwards and forwards, from goal to goal, until
"time" is called, or someone insured against broken bones and sudden
death manages to touch his goal with the ball in his hand. Carew says
the game was played in his days so that players returned home "with
bloody pates, bones broken and out of joint, and such bruises as serve
to shorten their days, _and all in good play_, and never attorney nor
coroner troubled for the matter." If this was the legitimate play,
what could the other have been? The game as played on Newquay sands
was quite another affair, and, if revived with "Newquay rules," might
extend from Cornwall to the country. Porpoises play a game in the sea
something like hurling, only instead of a ball they throw a live conger
into the air, and the one who catches dodges about until made to throw
it up again, and so on, until time is called. An exciting game is on
record, but the sensations of the conger are unknown. A good fish story
usually leaves a trifle to the imagination.

[Illustration: A FAIR PROSPECT.]

[Illustration: JOHN BURTON.]


The south coast differs from the north. Lord Beaconsfield came to
Falmouth in his dandy days, and wrote: "It is one of the most charming
places I ever saw--I mean the scenery and around." The scenery is still
there, and the town is turning it to account and learning to live on
it. Falmouth is very much like the lady who has seen "better days,"
and is reduced to put up the sign "Lodgings to Let." There was a time
when the ships of the King's Navy and the Mail Packets came here, and
the riches of the world were landed on its quays. Disraeli came here
_en route_ for the East, when Falmouth was queen in her own right, if
wealth and commerce and beauty can make a queen. Then things changed
and changed, and ships and commerce found other ports; but the beauty
is there, and is all its own. Some people say more might be made of it
in a commercial sense. There is a literary and refined air about the
place which delighted the Bookworm, who found out the Libraries and Art
Galleries, Polytechnic and Observatory.

Honest John Burton was the Bookworm's delight; and after picking
up a first edition of Chatterton in the twopenny box, there was no
keeping him away from the premises. It was a rare pick-up, and honest
John wouldn't take more than twopence, not he! We rambled over the
premises, and found heathen gods enough stocked away to fill a temple
in Thibet. The Bookworm said there was nothing so rich and rare in the
whole collection as old Burton himself, a dose of whom would banish
melancholy. We took his word, for more good things were pumped into him
than he could afterwards remember.

Falmouth is linked in Parliamentary matrimony with Penryn, an ancient
borough so ashamed of its age that it sold its parish stocks, and other
antiquities, "for a song." The boroughs are an ill-assorted pair, and
the political marriage was not made in heaven.


Falmouth has its scenery and climate, two inalienable possessions,
costing nothing, yet sources of unsuspected wealth if only made the
most of. We came across the track of the American citizen, John B.
Bellamy, whom we met at Penzance. He left his card with honest John
Burton, with an order to send him along any available relics of the
late King Arthur. He may get some, who knows? He left behind him also
the opinion, that if the "durned old place" was only on the other side
of the Atlantic, the harbour might be filled up with the gold that
would flow into it every season. Tired Yanks would find paradise, and
pay accordingly. The garden of acclimatation speaks of the climate in
the bloom and perfume and variety of plants, all of which speak the
truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

There is no place in the county so well catered for in the matter of
water excursions. The river Fal is marked as one of the beauty spots
of the county, and some compare it favourably even with the Dart and
the Wye. It may lose or gain by comparison, but it is good enough "on
its own." The best way to see the Fal is to sail from the open into
the fjord-like inlet of Falmouth, and then up the valley, sinuous and
well-wooded, narrowing as you go, and increasing its natural beauty
every mile. The Helford river should be seen in a similar way--come in
from the open with the sea and fancy, if you can, the mighty rush of
waters boring its way through rocks, carving out the miniature creeks,
right and left, until its earth-hunger is spent. The scenery from
Helford to Gweek is bolder than that of the Fal, and some prefer it on
that account. There is a lot of fishing done in the creeks, and most of
the yachts we passed had nets and lines hanging over the bows or lying
about the decks. The oysters have a good reputation, but there is no
considerable trade done in pearls.

Rivers are scarce, though the clouds are generous. Some say there are
no real rivers, and that Cornwall has only the predominant partner
interest in the Tamar, and two brooks, Camel and Fowey, which you can
leap over anywhere with a long pole, until you come to salt water. The
Fal and Helford are really estuaries. The upper moorland reaches of the
Camel and Fowey abound in delicious little spots where one can sit and
listen dreamily to the stream fretting amongst boulders, and swirling
in sunshine and shadow amongst ferns and wild flowering shrubs, with
effects incomparably beautiful.

The Lizard end of the peninsula is a sort of receiving house for
the news of the world. The secrets of many lands arrive here first,
breathless and palpitating, after their long runs on the ocean cables.
Marconi has his stations here; and at unlooked-for places we come
across notices reminding all whom it concerns not to foul the cables.
There are secrets of which we know nothing--secrets of peace and war,
ruin and success, love and hate, which we would give our ears to have
an inkling of, vibrating under water and in the air.

The peninsula has always been a sort of receiving office for the
nation. At first, when foes came sailing along, the Cornishmen spied
them and sent up a flare, and then the beacon fires flashed out the
news in the dark night, so that all men might read in letters of flame.
A fire lit high on St. Michael's Mount travelled with speed around the
coasts of Britain. Hensbarrow, called the "Archbeacon" of the county,
could tell its story in fire from the Lizard to the Tamar, and set
men's blood tingling, and hearts throbbing, as no "wire" or "cable" or
printed word can do.

It was "wireless," and the British admiral keeping watch upon the
French fleet at Brest informed my lords of the Admiralty of their
movements by means of signals from frigate to frigate stationed across
the Channel, and received at the Dodman by the sleepless watcher. Then
the news travelled by semaphore from headland to headland--from Dodman
to the Blackhead, to the Gribben, to Polruan, to Polperro, to Maker
Heights, to the Commander-in-Chief. Very little time was lost, even in
the old days, when there was anything to tell, and Cornwall was the
eye, and ear, and tongue.

The Dodman, the highest headland in the county, is one of those places
of solitude where depression will not stay. Hour after hour one may
pass upon the bluff headland without seeing a human soul or hearing a
human voice, and yet feel one's spirits elated in the silence. With a
mere half-turn of the head one can see the whole Cornish coast, from
the Lizard to the Rame, and beyond, and all the ocean traffic passing
up and down. Then below, a sheer fall of four hundred feet, are the
little crabbing boats, mere specks upon the blue, shoaling into green
and breaking into foam upon the dark, weathered rocks. And then the
wind, blow which way it will, must sweep this headland, bringing with
it the scents of heather and wild flower untainted, as though in all
the world there were no such things as smoke, and factories, and areas
of pollution. For miles the cliffs are covered with tall bracken, green
in summer, but quickly touched with brown and gold. These cliffs teem
with life which we cannot see but know to be there; but feathered life
is abundant and everywhere in evidence, flying in air, clustering on
the rocks, or diving and swimming when fish abound. And then there come
up from the shore the rhythmic sounds of spent energy--

      "Hush me to sleep with the soft wave song,
    Wash all the cares away, wash all the strife away,
      All the old pains that to living belong."

Every sense is filled with thrills, and depression is impossible.
People say the country is one vast sanatorium; and I think that
open-air treatment on the Dodman would be delightful. The "faculty"
are welcome to the hint.

The headland is occupied only by a small shelter for the
coastguardsmen, and a modern granite cross, which can be seen, soon
after passing the Lizard, by persons on board ship. To those who think
it, this fine monument is the symbol of the new life rampant over a
buried past, for it stands on the legendary playground of the giants,
who laid waste the whole district, and heaped the bones of their
victims, pile upon pile, until the headland rose majestic.

A giant once dwelt here who willed his "quoits" to his relatives,
who, however, never claimed them, so they became part and parcel of
the lord's inheritance and may be seen to this day. Then footsteps
of the Vikings are plainly visible in stone encampments, telling of
another age, still violent, but of "derring-do;" and to the west we
touch Arthurian romance once more, for Geraint of the Round Table lies
there, interred with Christian rites in a boat of gold, which was rowed
across the sea with silver oars. All this, and more, within sight and
sound of the Dodman cross, bearing the following inscription: "In the
firm hope of the Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and for the
encouragement of those who strive to serve Him, this Cross is erected.
A.D. 1896." The old order and the new rest peacefully on this headland

The finest beaches on the south are here, right and left of the Dodman,
and are seldom visited save by stragglers, like ourselves, or picnic
parties from a distance. The Bookworm chanced upon the fact that
Cornwall had some little share in the production of Lord Byron, his
grandmother being a Trevanion of Caerhays, only a short distance from
here.[I] Admiral Byron, the grandfather, was known to contemporaries as
"Foul-weather Jack," so storm-pursued was he, and the poet's passionate
love of the sea was not a mere "sport," after all.

[I] Caerhays Castle passed from the Trevanion family by purchase to
that of the present owner--Mr. J. C. Williams, formerly M.P. for the
Truro division. The castle was built in 1805 from the designs of Mr.
Nash, architect of Buckingham Palace and Regent Street.

[Illustration: THE PENRYN STOCKS.]


The coastguard station, with whitewashed walls gleaming and flagstaff
with halyards all taut, makes a good mark along this coast, which
is certainly not thickly populated now, to judge by the number of
crumbling houses and villages partially deserted. The fishing coves
hold their own, but the cry of "back to the land" has not been much
heeded in these parts.

The man in blue uniform, with spy-glass under his arm, is always an
attractive personage; he is so human, though official; so fresh and
breezy, so ready to help the passing ship in danger, and do grand
deeds in storm and tempest. England's watchfulness and strength is
writ large upon the coastguard station, and the men are uniformly
intelligent and good-mannered. A strange mixture of blood--Great
Britain in epitome--may be found in one small station we halted at,
namely, two Irish, one Scotch, one Novocastrian, and one Devonian--not
a dash of Cornish blood at a Cornish station. A native might wink the
other eye if his own flesh and blood did a bit of free trading in
spirits and tobacco, and only run with his "two left legs" after a
culprit related to himself. The men, as a rule, have seen the world,
read a great deal, and pass their time in thinking--not very much else
to do when on duty but watch and think.

If you'll be good enough to listen, the coast-guardsman will talk. The
sea-gulls are very chummy with the men, know the uniform, and like to
come and help them in their garden patches. Guy told a man one day that
the gulls were a bit out of favour just now with Londoners because
they had a weakness for sparrows, feathers and all; but the coastguard
wasn't surprised at the gull, only at the sparrow. He thought that
London sparrows were too artful to be picked up in that way by a simple
sea bird. He told us some stories about sea-gulls. They are fond of
young kittens and puppies that nobody wants and throws into the water.
The fur increases the luxury of the _bonne bouche_. Then rabbits. Woe
to the young thing that they tap with their powerful bills! A gull will
kill a rabbit caught in a gin and feast on its eyes. Then they are
famous poachers, stealing the eggs of birds nesting in the cliffs, and
carrying off the newly hatched. But ravens and crows take reprisals
and make the gull sorry at times. Our coastguard told us this little

"There was a gull sitting on a rock below this station, and I watched
the pair day by day. The male bird is very attentive, and feeds the
hen, and watches over her, and takes her place on the nest when she
takes an airing. A pair of ravens took an interest in the proceedings,
and one day, when the male bird was away foraging, they executed a
scheme for robbing the sea-gull's eggs. It was very neat in its way.
The ravens flew round and round the sitting hen, screaming defiance;
but the hen only sat the tighter. Then they circled closer and closer,
and flapped their black wings in the hen's face. This insult was too
much. The gull's blood was up, and she rose from her nest. Then the
ravens separated, and whilst the gull chased number one, number two
picked up an egg in its bill and flew back to quarters, where number
one joined it, and the two shared the stolen egg. Some people say birds
have no reason. Well, I'd like to see cunning strategy better carried
out. The little Japs couldn't do better."

The silver-grey gull is in paradise in the fishing villages, and takes
possession of the boats, and quays, and roofs of houses, and helps
itself out of the "flaskets" filled with fish, or from the heaps lying
on the stones. A bigger thief does not live and escape punishment. If
anything floats on the water in the harbour, the gull swoops down upon
it and it is gone; if anything is left unprotected, the gull has it.
What a gull will eat, and want no liver pill, would make any other
respectable bird on the wing bilious; but the gull is always bright
and cheerful, and ready for another gorge, and its natural store of
gastric juice would set up a chemical factory. When fish is scarce the
gull goes inland and feeds upon the fields, or joins the noble army of
poachers over gentlemen's preserves.

On the wing the gull is the spirit of poetry, and in storm the spirit
of the tempest; the fishers look on it as a friend, because it hovers
over the "schools" of fish swimming in the sea, and warns them of
approaching storm. The gull is the link between the fisher and his
home, flies after the boats when they go out, and heralds their return.
The women look out of their windows in the early morn, and see the gull
resting and waiting for the offal to be thrown away when the boats land
their catches. Then they know the boats are near, and that the men
will be home soon, with fish strung upon their fingers for the morning
meal. The gull is the household bird by adoption, and the women don't
begrudge it what it steals.

The dark rocks outside the fishing towns swarm with
sea-gulls--specketty-brown gulls, grey and white gulls with
ebony-tipped wings, gulls with brown and gulls with yellow beaks, gulls
flying, gulls swimming, gulls sleeping, gulls on outpost duty. Without
these birds the rocks would be very tame. A swarm of gulls in the air
is one of the prettiest sights in nature; and then the cry of the gull
is the cry of a human soul in agony, which perhaps it is.


In the days when Lyonesse was land, a poor hermit dwelt upon a rock,
whereon he had built for himself a chapel, which was but a shelter of
rude stones to protect him, but it was called a "chapel" because it
had been signed with the sign of the cross, and he said his prayers
therein. The rock was storm-swept, and was at the head of a bay,
beautiful in summer, but terrible in winter, and the bay was only a
trap to poor mariners, and every rock could tell its tragedy. St.
Goeland was a Breton, born in a fishing village, and when he came
across there flew after him a sea-gull, which he had befriended. It
was all the same to the sea-bird where it dwelt if the sea was but
there, and the bird wished to be with St. Goeland.

The rock on which the saint built his chapel was known as the Gull
Rock, and there was nothing living visible but solemn shags resting by
night, and sea-birds on the wing at all times; no human dwelling or
habitation disturbed the pious meditations of the saint, who feasted
when snails were in season, and on Fridays fresh fish was always
brought to him by his devoted gull. At other times the gull brought
sea-birds' eggs, and laid them down outside the chapel door. Fresh
sea-birds' eggs are simply delicious when boiled.

St. Goeland did not live a useless life, for outside his chapel there
was a cage which he filled with dry sticks, lighting it when there was
fog about, and then hoisting it aloft to warn mariners to keep clear
of the treacherous bay. "St. Goeland's lantern" became known, far and
wide. One day the saint picked up a bell which had been washed ashore;
so he built a rude belfry and hung it, and then "St. Goeland's Bell"
was heard by mariners at sea whenever there was danger of being caught
upon a lee shore. When the wind veered round to danger point the old
gull used to give the saint a note of warning, and the saint would rise
from his soundest sleep and pull on the rope, so the sound of the bell
was carried down the wind, and mariners gave the treacherous coast
a wide berth. The saint never knew the good he did, but did it, not
knowing. Now, what with cutting and stacking faggots for the "lantern,"
and ringing the bell, St. Goeland was sometimes very busy, and he
and his gull grew old together. The silver-grey feathers were almost
as white as the saint's silver hair. When the saint was troubled he
talked to the bird, which was saddened when he said, "We have grown old
together, and what will happen to the poor mariners when there is no
one to light the lantern and sound the bell?"


It came to pass that a ship filled with pilgrims was making for the
land, and would have come and anchored in the bay when the wind veered,
and the old gull gave its note of warning; but St. Goeland was too
feeble to rise, and the tears came into his eyes. The pilgrim ship was
sailing joyously towards destruction, and the bell was silent! The gull
cried louder; the wind rose, and the ship was on her way; soon she
would be on a lee shore, and then----

St Goeland made a supreme effort, and clutched the rope. "My God!" he
shrieked, and fell, and the bell sounded. But the gull heard the shriek
and the bell's note mingled, and carried it against the wind; and those
on board the pilgrim ship heard, and drew off the land, saying, it was
"St. Goeland's warning," which it was, only they did not know that the
saint passed away when the bell pealed his requiem.

From that time the sea-gull's cry is that of a human soul in agony
mingled with the note of a "passing bell." All mariners, and fishers,
and dwellers by the sea, know it well, and woe to the man who lays
finger on a gull, except in kindness!

"The sea-gull," said Guy, "is an utterly unproductive animal, fit for
nothing but to look at. What it destroys is incalculable, and yet some
yarn like this, invented Heaven knows when, makes it almost a sacred

The Bookworm had little to say, except that people were more influenced
by sentiment than they knew or suspected.

Guy pooh-poohed "sentiment," and said he'd wring a couple of gulls'
necks the next morning before breakfast.

He went out with that idea, but a warning voice reached him. Then he
tried to "negociate" a purchase, and a big fist brought down in the
man's palm warned him that the transaction was, in diplomatic language,
"delicate." Guy owned up that there was something, after all, in

Sea-gulls are privileged in this part of the world.

[Illustration: THE DOG-FISH.]


Fishing villages look charming from the sea, the houses rising one
above another against the hills, with green fields and windswept trees
for background; and they are very picturesque when looked upon from
hilltops, with all their boats riding to their moorings, or sailing
about in the offing. This is the home of the pilchard in summer and
autumn, and the industry is important. When confectioned in oil, and
tinned, the pilchard is "sardine." One of the most beautiful sights on
the coast is the united fleets from Mevagissey, Polperro, and Looe,
"drifting" on a clear, dark night, with their riding-lights twinkling.
So peaceful, and not a sound reaches the shore, for deep-sea fishing is
a silent occupation. Fish are supposed to be very sensitive to sounds,
and it is one of the deadly sins to whistle or sing on board a boat
when her nets are in the water. These places live for the most part on
Wesley and pilchards. Speak well of both, and you may be happy.

Pickled pilchards are exported to Italy in casks; and the abusers of
the Pope and all his works wax fat. The man who ventures to say a good
word for his Holiness needs courage; but those who make faces now
would feel bad without Lent and fish days in the Roman calendar. Guy
argued that it showed a fine spirit to feed poor benighted Italians
who crossed themselves, and pouch a hundred thousand sterling a year
for the trouble. Pickled pilchards he looked on as a bond of union
between the two countries. Pilchards feed bodies, the Pope souls, and
the shekels come here. Long live the pilchard! Commerce is the fifth
gospel, and Rashleigh puts it in a nutshell--Father Prout couldn't do

    "Here's to the health of the Pope! May he live to repent,
    And add just six months to the term of his Lent,
    And tell all his vassals from Rome to the Poles,
    There's nothing like _pilchards_ for saving their souls."

The incense of fish, fried and grilled, ascends to high heaven, or as
far as it can reach in that direction, morning and evening; and when
there's no incense times are hard. The sign is said to be infallible.

Pilgrims sometimes fancy that fish is cheap where it is caught, but
this is one of the fallacies of the day. Soles go to Billingsgate when
they die, and so do most fish of good table reputation. A visitor may
sometimes secure a sole when landed, but only the millionaire class
can do so often. The Bookworm tried the experiment, and Guy told him
he should have known better; but he was carried away with excitement
at seeing a real live sole flap its fins and gape. People standing
around told him the fish was alive, but would be iced with the rest,
and sent to Billingsgate. The Bookworm thought he would like to buy it,
and there was a sudden lull in the business going on on the quay. The
sole belonged to a man in a blue flannel shirt, and every one crowded
round and stared at him, and listened attentively when he was asked
to name a price. The man seemed sorry to part with the fish in this
way, and then he asked a price which might have affected the price of
"stocks" had it been reported. The Bookworm brought home his capture in
triumph. Guy studied the question afterwards, and found that the people
liked to pack fish in ice, and pay cartage, and railway charges, and
commissions, and make bad debts, all for the honour of selling fish at
Billingsgate at a lower price than they would sell it on the spot. "The
nearer the sea the further from fish," is the working motto, but it
loses its strangeness after a time.

Fisher people eat fish, but prefer flesh at the midday meal. We found
the man in a blue flannel shirt sitting on a post, smoking a short clay
as black as ebony, and he told us that his boy Tom wouldn't even ask a
blessing on "no vish" when it was served for dinner. "I shaan't ask no
blessing over no vish, nor nothing but butchers maate," says young Tom;
and the man in the blue shirt told us he thought this thankless spirit
resulted from too much schooling!

A deep-sea fisher, with a boat of his own, is the most independent man
in the universe, having no landlord, paying no rent, burdened with no
tax on boat and gear, going and coming as he pleases. He reaps without
sowing, and is "protected" within the three-mile limit by gunboats
in a land of "free trade." A blue-water fisher is not ashamed of his
calling, hiding himself under the title of "artist" in shrimps, or
"purveyor" of lobsters, or "merchant" in mackerel, and the rest. A
fisherman, honest fisherman, is not too proud to be called what he is.
The art of fishing is as old as humanity, and it has been discovered
that a fish diet can produce a great nation in the Far East.[J] [J]
The Japs dwell complacently on the tradition that they were once only
a community of humble fishermen; and it is the custom to send with all
presents a _piece of dried fish_, that their origin may be kept in
perpetual remembrance.

Guy wanted to know why fishers are always called "poor," and why
sentimental tears were shed over their hard lot? Fish cost nothing
to feed, yet fetch about twice as much as beef and mutton for the
table, and so somebody made a good thing if the fisherman was poor. If
the calling was a hard one, one must go to some other part of the world
to discover it; and as for danger, cases of drowning at sea here are
very rare. The moan of the "Three Fishers" doesn't suit the part in
this place.


(_The net is cut by the spines on the dorsal fins._)]

Fish "charms" are comparatively rare, but fish oil is said to be good
for weak vision, and the smoke from burning fish is a protection
against evil spirits. The eating of skate accounts for large families,
and a dogfish secures an heir male, if eaten in the month of May. Kings
and queens, and all persons worried on this subject, please note.

The curative effects of sea-water drunk fasting are believed
in. Some of the old people say they have never taken any other
medicine. A master mariner told us that, at sea, sailors would drink
sea-water instead of coming to him for a dose of "traade" out of the
medicine-chest. The Bookworm said a medical journal had recently
drawn attention to the subject, and recommended it to people who
rose bad-tempered in the morning. Certainly the ocean wouldn't
miss a few bucketfuls, and mothers-in-law and M.P.'s, studying the
questions of the day, might go in strongly for the ocean cure. What a
sweet-tempered world to live in then, and plenty of water for fish to
swim in left!

A deep-sea fisher has a good eye for colour, and every shade and tint
upon the face of the sea and heavens he knows as well as any artist.
Fish colours he knows to a shade of a shade, and when the sky has a
queer look, he likens it to "mackerel" tints, and every tint is an omen
to him.

How many hours a day a fisherman passes looking at the sea has never
been counted. There is, perhaps, some unknown fascination for eye and
ear, something calling which will not be denied. We noticed an old man
who seemed glued to a stump in a nice sunny corner, out of the way of
the wind, and the old man took possession of it. The view from this
post was seaward, of course, and when the old man wasn't gazing at
the sea and clouds, he took off his sou'wester and looked inside of
that. Sometimes he put something inside his sou'wester, and then took
something out and popped it in his mouth. The lining of his sou'wester
was his storehouse of unexhausted tobacco-quids. This was "Uncle Tom"
and "Uncle Tom's post," and the men, in passing, would hail him, "How
ar'ee to-day, Uncle Tom?" to which he would reply, "Toll-loll." It
wasn't much, but Guy, taking it as evidence that he could speak, laid
in a stock of black, rank Irish roll tobacco, fit for chewing, and
scraped an acquaintance.

Did he ever tire of looking at the sea? Not that he was aweer on. The
vish was in the zay, an' th' wind was in the clouds, and what else was
there in this world worth looking at? Man and boy, he had followed the
sea till his hair was white, until he knew its coquetries and passions,
and generation after generation before him were sailor-fishers, until
"the salt was in his blood." The old man's eyes were wild-violet-blue,
and a mystic light came into them when he said that at times the sea
"called" to him, and "ef zo be I had my way, I'd die at zay, and be
buried in salt watter, like Jan Tregose."

Guy paid court to the old sea-dog, until his sou'wester was full
of fresh quids, and wormed out the story of Jan Tregose, who, it
appeared, was one of the good old sort in the good old times, who
could sing a song, and swear a swear, and loved a fiddle, and a maid,
and brandy-toddy with the best. Now, when Jan found his timbers so
shaken that he had to take to his bed, a longing came over him to die
at sea, and be buried in deep water. The sea-spirit came to him in his
dreams--the same spirit, tall and diaphanous, that used to come to
him when a young man and tell him what was going on at home whilst he
was on his voyages. The sea-spirit had not troubled him since he had
remained ashore, until now, and it was a sign to him.

Jan Tregose called his sons together, and made them swear that never,
whilst breath was in them, should he be laid in a coffin, or buried
in the earth. Then the sea-spirit came again, and told him that when
the tide turned that night she would receive him. The old man called
his sons again, and they carried him on board their lugger, and sailed
away in the calm night, with the stars alone for witnesses. The spare
lugsail was spread over the nets, and upon it Jan lay, his long, thin
white hair gently lifting in the breeze; and there was nothing heard
but the sea-splash against the boat, and nothing seen but a long-necked
gannet on the wing.

The boat was far enough from land when the tide turned. The sons
looked, and there was a mist before their eyes, but it went "like
a flash," and the old man lay stark. Then the sons knew it was the
sea-spirit they had seen as mist.

The sons kept their oath, and wrapped their father in the old lugsail,
and watched him disappear in thirty fathoms of water, ten miles from
the Stone. And many a man has declared that he has heard Jan Tregose
fiddling and singing before a storm. Those who are wise put back when
they hear "Jan's tune" at sea, for there is "sartin to be a coose time."

"The salt is in the blood of these children of the sea, and has
developed a strange mysticism," said the Bookworm. "Of course, I don't
understand it," he added quickly, seeing Guy brace himself up and put
on his cross-examining air. "It's there all the same, and the sea has
voices and prophecies for them which we landsmen miss; and why not? The
sea is as a human face to them, and they know when it is troubled with
the spirit of passionate unrest. It may be that, like the fishes, they
have a sixth sense, and can see dark shadows fluttering under cloudless
skies, and hear voices from afar preluding passionate symphonies."

"These fellows are always looking on the sea, and no doubt spot things
before we should. Wonder if they didn't; but why this high-falutin?"
asked Guy.

"It may be magnetic phenomena, and these men unconsciously receive
messages; but it is none the less mystical to me," said the Bookworm,

"I see; kind of receiving officers to the Clerk of the Weather. The
newspapers will come out with this sort of thing in the near future:
'Our special correspondent writes that a change may be expected
soon--he feels it in the marrow of his bones;' or, 'Our infallible
predicter at the Land's End heard sea-voices last night, and recommends
umbrellas and mackintoshes for the next week.' Take out a patent in
time and make a fortune; ideas are money just now," rejoined Guy,
holding out the red flag.

The Bookworm was provokingly unconscious.

[Illustration: A STREET CORNER, ST. IVES.]


Cornwall has a fascination for artists, and it is said that Newlyn and
St. Ives have many more reputations to make. On the south coast, where
studios are few, we often saw artists of the unflinching, realistic
school painting directly from Nature, their models standing patiently
enough in exposed places. And such models! There are grand heads and
faces among these fisher-folk, and one can get models for saints or
Vikings. A collection of sketches made between Polperro and the
Dodman was shown us, which would do splendidly for every character
in a Passion-play. Judas was there, who would, and did, receive his
pieces of silver before sitting for his "effigy" to be drawn. He looked
the part to perfection. And the sketches of women were splendid also,
which is not remarkable, as they possess, in these parts, much of the
languorous grace of their Southern sisters, the eyes being incomparably

The sea is the mother of life and beauty, and that is why Venus rose
from the waves. The birthplace of the goddess might have been here,
long ago, when the short, stiff galleys of Greek and Phoenician
rowed along the coast, marvelling at its beauty, after the pulseless
shores of the tideless Mediterranean. Here were the dark cliffs and the
sapphire waters falling on the golden sands. And in the early morn a
soft, diaphanous mist was borne onwards by the breakers, so those who
saw said, loveliness rose from the foam, and they called the vision
Aphrodite--the awakening of Nature into beauty. The mariners took the
vision home, and Aphrodite, the life and movement of the sea, became
the guardian of mariners--the morning and the evening star.

The Beach is the shy maiden, seeking always the shadow of rocks and
cliffs, and running into caves to hide from the light of day, when
adorning herself with sea-shells, and rainbow medusæ, and deep-tinted
anemones, and all the treasures which the ardent sea casts into her
lap. And the Sea is the wooer, restless and masterful, wooing ever and
in every mood, and making his lovesong in sweet lullaby, and plaintive
moan, and martial beat as of ten thousand drums heralding the march of
grand battalions.

When you see a girl in a boat you may write her down "stranger," and
if you see her handling a pair of sculls, you may be sure of it.[K]
The mothers of the blue-water men have as little as possible to do
with the sea, and are content to admire its greens and blues shot with
flaming sky tints, and dream of "heavenly costumes" in like shades, at
so much halfpenny per yard. Strong prejudices exist in places against
women having anything to do with boats; but custom differs greatly on
the north and south coasts as to what a woman may or may not do, when
the men come ashore. That women and cats, hares and rabbits, bring "bad
luck" is a very general superstition; so a woman never goes out with
her husband fishing, and seldom steps into a rowboat. Where public
sentiment is weak, and they can if they like, they don't like; and,
in places, the art of making and mending nets is entirely lost to the
women, though formerly, to make and mend nets, of all sizes, was a part
of every girl's technical education; and in a fisher's family her
fingers were never idle in making good the rents made by rocks and the
sharp teeth of the voracious dogfish.

  [K] Fowey is an exception.

Guy said it was probably the fault of the men that the women left their
boats and gear alone. On rivers and lakes, where girls were encouraged,
they took to boating like anything, and if there was a prettier picture
than a girl sculling, or a girl eight, he'd like to see it. The men had
no doubt frightened the women in the course of centuries with stories
of sea-monsters and fairies, and no wonder they threw over net making
and mending at the earliest moment.

The sea has its "bucca," just as the land has its piskie, and there is
the same uncertainty as to the origin of the one as of the other. We
picked up a story, and the Bookworm called it


It is known to all fishermen living at the Cove, and fishing with
crab-pots, long lines, spilters, and drag-nets, that Bucca could
bring good luck or bad luck just as he was minded, but that he never
interfered with any man who owned a big boat, or went far away to sea
with drift-nets for the capture of pilchard, herrings, and mackerel, in
their season. Bucca did not move with the times, and got out of the way
of great trawlers, and craft worked by steam and motors, churning up
the sea when it was restful, and defying wind and tide; but was content
to lord it over those who went in and out in little boats, and left him
his share of "luck" upon the beach, when they landed. The fisherman
often saw him, when the water was clear, working in and out amongst
the crabs and lobsters, half-hidden with sea-weeds; and it was always
counted as good luck to see Bucca at work, because he who saw was sure
to have a fine catch. Sometimes he was seen, when the mists rolled up,
sitting amongst the shags upon the rocks, holding court amongst them,
and the noise which the birds made was taken for song, so the fishermen
of the Cove called the mist "music," and they say to one another that
the "music" is coming off the land, when the mist is rising and rolling
away in clouds.

Bucca was not always Bucca, but a young prince who loved a maid, "tall
as a lyllye refreshed by a showere," but, alas! shut up in a convent
to be out of his reach. Then he grew desperate, and bribed a "wise
woman" to change him into a pigeon, so that he could come and go, and
the maiden took the pigeon into her cell, and hid it in her bosom. The
prince won the maiden's heart, and she grew more lovely and contented,
which was her undoing, for the Lady Superior thought something must be
wrong when a maiden under her charge was happy; so she sent secretly
to the holy monk living near by, who caught the pigeon in the cell, and
loosened the spell of the "wise woman," when the prince stood confessed
the maiden's lover in his human shape. The maiden clung to him, and he
was bold and used bold threats, so the doors flew wide open, and they
would have fled, but the holy monk cursed him with a curse, and turned
him into a Bucca for a thousand years, or until such time as he should
win woman's love.


A Bucca is not fair to see, being human but in form, with a dark face,
like weather-beaten rock, and big head with tangled masses of fine
seaweed for hair; but he has power to change at will into fish or bird,
though not into anything with a human soul. So when the maiden looked
upon the prince, she shrank from a thing so loathsome, and he rushed
down the nearest cliff and into the sea, and sought companionship
with fishes, until he learnt the ways of a Bucca, and could exercise
dominion in his new element. He could neither drown in the sea, nor die
upon land, for a thousand years, or until such time as he might win
woman's love.

The prince became Bucca of a cove wherein there were but few dwellers,
and the fishermen became accustomed to see him sitting amongst the
seaweed, and on the rocks amongst the sea-birds, and noticed that he
was always sad and lonely, so they had compassion in their hearts, and
spoke him fair. Bucca rewarded them by filling their crab and lobster
pots, in season, and driving the fish into their nets; and when a storm
arose he'd lift their little craft over the waves, and guide them home
in safety in the thickest fog. Generation after generation came and
went; and the little children heard of Bucca, and what he could do for
those who spoke him fair, and of the terrible things which happened
to those who mocked him because of his dark skin, and big head, and
seaweed curls. People who treated him badly he punished by driving the
crabs and lobsters from their pots, and the fishes from their nets, and
would let them drown in storms.

One of the Cove fishers was Uncle Malachi, who, when he was old, was
left with a little maid, a grandchild, to bring up; and he took her in
his boat with him, teaching her all he knew. People laughed, and said
it was unlucky to have a maid on board a boat; and it seemed so, for
Uncle Malachi went out and returned with empty pots and nets. One day
the little maid fell into the sea, but Bucca held her up until Uncle
Malachi reached his gaff, and gaffed her in. From that day he never
wanted luck when he took his little maid with him; and "Malachi's luck"
became a saying in the Cove for a good catch.

For centuries the Bucca lived at the Cove, lording it over fishes and
fishermen, and never thought to cut short the term of his punishment
by winning woman's love; but when he held up the little maid in the sea
until Uncle Malachi gaffed her, an idea came into his head, and his
heart throbbed.

The little maid grew beautiful and her lovers were many, but she
gave her love to Seth Barton, who was as dark as she was fair, and
passionate as he was dark, and none of the fisher-lads dared so much as
lift their eyes to Uncle Malachi's little maid when he was near. Seth
was a crabber, and took over all the old man's pots and gear and boat
when he was laid to rest, and he was married to the little maid, and
they lived in the old house with the windows looking on the beach. In
the linhay at the back Seth placed all his gear wanting mending, and
Grace was deft with the "needle," having been taught by Malachi to make
nets and mend them, to bait the long lines, and do all that a boy might
do on the boat or on shore. Only Seth would not take Grace out with
him, for there was a saying, "A woman in a boat is a devil afloat," and
he was a fisher, and feared bad luck if a married woman put foot over
the gunwale.

Now, when Seth Barton was at sea, Bucca would come into the linhay
and make and mend the nets and gear, so that Grace had little to
do. By-and-by she grew accustomed to Bucca, who came and went as he
pleased; and when he pleased no one could see him, so it was no good
for Grace to shut the door and say he should not come. Bucca, in fact,
was often with her when she did not know it, and in her dreams she was
wooed by a handsome young prince, who took her thoughts from Seth,
and filled her with passionate longings, so she was never so happy as
when asleep and dreaming dreams. When she awoke there was only Bucca
with his seaweed hair and ugliness, so she had no idea that the lover
of her dreams was Bucca, the prince of olden days, when the soul of
a man beamed in his eyes. In time, the sight of the ugly Bucca grew
distasteful, and she would rather mend the nets and bait the hooks
than have him about with his flat fishy eyes, in which no human light
beamed. And Seth, when he heard of the visions, grew jealous; and Grace
held her peace, but was rude to Bucca, telling him, in scorn, that if
he were but as her dream-lover, she'd follow him over sea and land.

Then Bucca knew he'd never win woman's love, and he must abide his
thousand years.

One night, however, Grace dreamt a dream, in which her prince-lover
pressed her lips and eyes, and whispered softly, so that she rose in
sleep and followed the vision, which passed over the sea. She unmoored
Seth's boat and took the oars, but Bucca was there, and lifted their
weight, and drew back the waves that scarcely touched, so that the
boat travelled fast, and Grace still slept. When the boat was far from
land the vision changed, and the prince became a Bucca, who knelt
before her, his sea-locks dripping, imploring for a woman's love to
restore him to his lost estate. There was pity in her soul, and the
fishes swam round and round the boat to witness the strange wooing, and
wonder what would happen if their Bucca won a woman's love. The night
was dark, and the stars shone, so that the sea was jewelled. Grace,
under the enchantment of a spell, lifted Bucca's head and looked into
his eyes, but they were poor and flat, with no light in them like the
light in the eyes of men.

Then she took fear and awoke, and the spell was broken.

The men of the Cove heard a woman's scream, and rushed down to the
beach, where Seth was looking for his boat. Afar off, a mere speck,
they saw a woman rowing, but the boat glided over the sea impelled by
invisible power, and when its keel grated on the sand, the men saw
Bucca leave the stern, and disappear.

The fishers praised Bucca for bringing the boat to shore in safety;
only Grace knew, and kept her secret, as a Cornish woman can, until she
grew old, and then she told it to her children.

Those who have the right sort of eyes may see the Bucca, whose thousand
years of doom are running out, and no woman's love has come to shorten
it. But the little boats are disappearing from the Cove, and big boats
go to and fro, churning up the blue water, and sounding steam whistles,
and Bucca has told the sea-birds and all the fishes, the crabs and the
lobsters, that when he disappears there will be none to rule over them.

The Cove maidens are not taught to row and handle boats, and you may go
there and never see a woman touch a boat or mend a net, for fear that
Bucca may take a fancy to them, and "slock" them out to sea. And they
don't need the warning twice.

[Illustration: TINTAGEL.]


The "good" King Arthur left some tracks, on the north coast mostly.
We heard nothing of him on the south. Tennyson followed the northern
trail, and we followed Tennyson, for a while; and we started in
comfort, which any one may do now the Tintagel hotel is running. The
King himself was never so well accommodated on the spot. The Arthur
zone is somewhat limited for mere holiday pilgrims. The Lyonesse is out
of it now, so the area is about from Bude to Camelford, and back again,
following the lines of desolation and tumuli. The anniversary of the
King's birthday is still celebrated by the ringing of bells under the
sea between Bude and Boscastle. We didn't hear them, but some people
say they have.

We had a wet Sunday--a day of pitiless rain and gloom, a day to be
remembered as long as human sensation of the dismal lasts. Everybody
took to letter-writing and addressing post-cards. So the morning
passed, and it was cheerful to hear some one say it would be all right
after twelve--it was always all right then. We struggled on, and
still it poured. There was some wind, but it was the rain which took
possession of us; and Guy suggested that the Gulf Stream had gone wrong
this time, and was pouring out of the clouds. We explored the hotel,
and tried smoking and sleeping, and sleeping and smoking, until we were
awake again, and began to take an interest in our fellow-pilgrims.

The Bookworm talked King Arthur in the drawing-room when only a few
were present, but the news somehow spread through the house, and he
soon had an audience, and everybody a Tennyson in pocket. Guy said the
little beggar must have been grinding secretly in order to surprise us
one day. The surprise came now to all who had been reading up Tennyson
with the view of following in the footsteps of Arthur from battle-field
to battle-field, from cradle to grave, and all within the borders of
the Duchy, to find that Arthurs were plentiful, and that there was one
at least for each kingdom in Great Britain, and one across the water.
The mythical Arthur, the historical Arthur, and the Tennysonian Arthur
were "reviewed."

A lady visitor in spectacles said Arthur was her ideal. One reason--she
might almost say _the_ one reason--for her coming into Cornwall was to
visit Tintagel, his birthplace, and pay homage to his sepulchre, if she
could find it.

Guy said her sentiments were exalted, and sustained one on a wet
Sunday. He was sorry that he did not know as much as his learned friend
the Bookworm, but he had a sort of impression that Arthur was not happy.

The lady sighed, and put all the fault upon Queen Jenefer. Arthur was
her ideal, but, alas! he allowed the Queen to have too much of her own
way, and should have interfered when she broke the china and threw her
jewels into the river. Guy confessed himself interested in this free
handling of the subject, and learnt the lady's views on the subjection
of women (within limitations, of course) to the men who found them in
bread-and-butter and pocket-money.

A young lady interrupted conversation by giving a recitation, and
everybody pulled out Tennyson, and read marked passages to one another,
and so the evening slipped away. Still it rained; but we didn't mind
it now, especially as we had been informed on good authority that it
always cleared after a downpour!

The Bookworm enjoyed himself most when button-holed by an antiquarian,
who listened with an ear-trumpet whilst he explained that it was of no
consequence whatever whether King Arthur ever existed, because he was
an idea. The deaf gentleman begged leave to make a note of so original
a remark; and made more notes whilst the Bookworm aired his conviction
that Arthur represented a phase--a passing phase--of civilization in
Britain, and that the legends which grew around his name served to show
how little society was prepared for the higher standards of life, known
well enough, but, alas! not followed.

The Bookworm told a little story which, he said, was not very well
known, not having been unearthed by the Historical MSS. Commissioners
until Tennyson had finished his great Arthurian romances.


The King sat in his hall with his knights, and every one else was there
who could be there of right, and many who had no privilege wrote to the
King for tickets; the stable-boys and scullions fought for places round
the door, and climbed the high windows and peeped through, for the
word had gone round that the King would hear a matrimonial cause. The
King looked troubled when he took his seat, because he had been obliged
to refuse places to so many fair ladies who promised to lace in extra
tight so as to take up the least possible room. But accommodation was
limited, and every refusal made him an enemy. Such is greatness; and
the King was troubled.

[Illustration: YSEULT AND TRISTAN.]

But there was more trouble to come, as he well knew, whenever he sat as
President for the trial of matrimonial causes; and his prophetic soul
told him that he would be outwitted in the end, because there was no
King's Proctor, all ears, by his side. The case was that of Mark, King
of Cornwall, whose wife Yseult, the Helen of the day, had been carried
off by Tristan, second to none in love and war. All the parties were of
blue blood, and the fugitives had only yielded to the law by force of
arms, so the case was not wanting in interest for the upper crust.

Mark opened the proceedings by saying he wanted his wife home again,
where things were sixes and sevens, and dinner served anyhow; but
Yseult refused to return because Mark was bilious at times, and said
bilious things much better left unsaid, and, moreover, she liked
Tristan best, and would stick to him, for aye and always. There was
a fluttering of fans and applause in Court, which made the President
sad, so that he threatened to have it cleared on repetition. There
were no counsel learned in the law practising in those days before the
King, so the parties said their say and argued as they pleased; and
when Tristan sidled up to Yseult and patted her on the back, saying,
"Cheer up!" the whole assembly hurrahed, and the King made believe
not to hear it, but turned to Jenefer, his Queen, who whispered to
Lancelot, who was a sort of friend of the parties all round; but what
they said was not audible to the reporters.

The King was troubled. There were no precedents in law for a case like
this, so he made a little speech to Mark, telling him he'd be better
without an unwilling wife; but Mark was bilious, and extra obstinate,
and would have his wife, his whole wife, and nothing but his wife.
Then King Arthur changed his note, and tried his cunning upon Tristan,
who said love was above law, and he'd have his love. There was, then,
nothing for the King to do but to pronounce judgment, which he did,
dividing Yseult between the two; and the order which he made was that
she should stay with the one when the trees were in leaf, and with
the other when they were bare, and to Mark, as husband, he gave first

The trial was in the autumn, and Mark was no fool, so he elected to
take Yseult when trees were bare, saying to himself, "She will come
now, and let me but get her home, and the trees will never be in leaf
for Tristan!" But he was no match for Yseult, who threw herself into
the arms of her lover, saying--

    "There are three trees of constant hue,
    The ivy, the holly, and the yew;
    They bear leaves summer and winter;
    Tristan! I am thine for ever."

"A woman drove three chariots abreast through Temple Bar that time,"
said Guy, laughing. "If women practised at the bar to-day, it would be
a bit awkward for the judges, for they'd make holes in judgments as
wise as Solomon's."

We had a gentle reminder that it was time for all lights to be out, and
the last impression everybody had was that the right thing to do in
Cornwall was to make a pilgrimage to Tintagel.

[Illustration: THE DIGEY.]


That enlightened citizen of the United States, Mr. John B. Bellamy,
left his name, writ large, in the visitors' book. He was keen as ever
on collecting relics of the late King, and inquired if the holy grail
was yet on view at the castle? King Arthur's tables, plates, and
punch-bowls not being what he wanted, he chipped some and left the
rest. The hotel clerk told us that the gentleman left some opinions
on things in general behind him; and the impression on the clerk's
mind was that if this citizen from the States ran the show at Tintagel,
things would be a "durned sight different" in two shakes of a duck's

[Illustration: KING ARTHUR'S CASTLE.]

Sea and land and sky were deliciously clear when we started for the
ruins; and the atmosphere was so buoyant that we could not bear it more
so when walking without flying off into space.

"I don't suppose it makes much difference to a fellow where he's born,
but I'd like a more cheerful place to live in," said Guy, throwing
himself on the turf, and pulling his hat over his eyes.

A stiff climb up slippery stone steps, with samphire growing perilously
near, brought us to the "fortress," and what there was in stone
suggested little by way of poetry or romance. Guy had made up his mind
beforehand to see something quite different--Tintern Abbey, or Warwick
Castle, or something. But this! As he couldn't see what he wished for,
he would see nothing; so tilted his hat over his eyes to keep off the
sun and hide disappointment. We left him where he lay, and rambled.

A fine bit of rock scenery, even in Cornwall, and worth looking at, is
this. If there had only been a tempest, and all the elements at war,
their chorus of thunders drowning the sea-birds' cries! But to-day it
was sunshine and peace, and nothing to tell of war but sharp-pointed
rocks and landslips and slides telling their own tale, writ large.

"This is the very place in which Arthur should have been born," said
the Bookworm, when Guy, tired of his own discontent, joined us.

"I don't see any reason for it," said Guy.

"No! When Arthur first opened his eyes upon this rock, what impression
do you think he received? This was a fit cradle for great things in a
great mind, and this man was great."

"Never lived at all, perhaps."

"I don't care. This was a fit cradle for an allegory of war between
What Is and What Should be, and Arthur is as the light shining in

"Have it your own way," said Guy; "but wouldn't some other place do
just as well?"

"Quite, if the first impressions of the newly born were of eternal
struggle. Arthur was born for the world, and not for a parish."

"I think we'd better clear," said Guy, sharply. "Here's the lady in
specs., and the antiquarian with the trumpet, and the whole crew.
They've all got their Tennysons, and I can't go over it again. If the
place was only a bit like it, I wouldn't mind."

       *       *       *       *       *

Dozmary Pool is a cheerless place at its best; it is situated in a
sad-coloured region, wherein stones grow best, and everything that
has life struggles for existence. This is the place that Tennyson
selected for the King's death, and the mysterious disappearance of his
famous sword "Excalibur." In Arthur's time the mere was better worth
calling a lake than now, but the stones and barren lands and hills and
general "wishtness" of the place are pretty much the same. The locality
is marked as about one thousand feet above sea-level, and in winter
the place is said to be more breezy than pleasant. They have been
draining the pool a bit lately, but no trace has yet been discovered of
"Excalibur"--one day a syndicate may be formed to dredge the mere. An
arm "clothed in white samite, mystic, beautiful," holding King Arthur's
sword with jewelled hilt, and every jewel worth a king's ransom, would
be worth a trifle, and make the poet's reputation as an historian. Some
people are never satisfied until they can see and handle things.

Guy touched the water of the silent pool, and, finding it real, was
encouraged to sit down and discuss things in a matter-of-fact sort of
way. He said we could start with facts here, for here was a mere, and
the water was wet. Then, there were rushes growing on the margin of
the pool, and when the wind blew, no doubt they made rush music--sad,
mournful music--a sort of place where a fellow who had had a good
licking in battle would come and hide, and die, if he could, and no
one to see him do it.

"I like this story: there's something human about it, and it was a bit
rough on Sir Bedivere to be told to chuck away the only thing King
Arthur had got. I feel for him. Only fancy being told to throw away the
only available asset to pay funeral expenses! It was very human on the
part of Sir Bedivere to want to keep Excalibur, and I don't suppose
that any of Arthur's friends and next-of-kin believed him when he said
he threw it into the mere. He said he did, and we'll let it go at that;
and if it should be dredged up one day, why, of course, the good Sir
Bedivere will leave the court without a stain upon his character."

The sun was westerning; a slight breeze ruffled the waters of the mere
and the dry reeds rustled. The Bookworm said it must have been a fit
place for a great temptation, and he was glad that Tennyson made it
appear that Sir Bedivere was a man of honour. A chough skimmed across
the water, and the Bookworm said this was a strange coincidence--we
were talking about King Arthur, and the very bird which legend said his
soul inhabited came upon the scene. This was only wanted to make the
wild place a sanctuary.

"Nothing but legend," said Guy, quickly. "Wherever you are in this
county, its nothing but legend. You walk on legend, and just breathe
it all the time."

"Perhaps you never heard this one," said the Bookworm. "There's time to
tell it."

"Go ahead, old man," said Guy. "Another added to the number won't count


Well, then, you know, said the Bookworm, that King Arthur was married
to one Jenefer (sometimes called Guinevere, which is the same thing),
and that Merlin was present at the wedding. Everybody was having a
good time, and Merlin slipped out and consulted the stars. He had a
monopoly in that business, and was paid special fees by all the swagger
people who wanted to know what trouble they'd be likely to get into if
they but went the right way to work about it. Well, Merlin slipped out
of the castle, and ran against a young gentleman singing, "The night
is clear, and I am all alone," underneath the royal bridal chamber.
"You'd better go and sing indoors," said Merlin, making a note of the
fact that this was Launcelot, a young sprig of nobility who thought no
small beer of himself in those days. He was an army man, and fond of
poaching. Merlin read something in the stars that night which he told
an old chough, who knew more of the black art than any other bird.
This chough Merlin gave the King as a wedding present. The bird was as
black as a raven in those days, and used to live so long that it was
only at its prime at a hundred years.

Queen Jenefer was much written about in the chronicles of her time; and
so the poets know what she did, and what she wore, and how she looked,
and what she said at all the grand tournaments whereat she distributed
blue ribands and prizes to knights of high degree.

The King was a busy man, so busy that in the end mischief came of
it, for when garden parties and jousts and things were going on, he
was wont to say to Launcelot, his aide-de-camp in chief: "Just you
look after the Queen this afternoon." Now this suited Launcelot full
well, for he was a born Squire of dames and a gallant man as well as
a fighter of renown. Sometimes the King sighed when he saw his Queen
riding away gaily by the side of Launcelot; but he was a fond husband,
and it was not in his heart to say her nay when she would a-hawking go,
or watch the young knights a-hurling for a silver ball.

So the habit grew as the King got busier and busier. And though
Launcelot liked more and more to wait upon the Queen and learned to put
up with her tempers, the Queen was not happy at home, where she had it
all her own way, but would look in the mirror and pity herself, for
that being plump and fair to look upon there was no Arthur at hand
to pinch her cheeks and tell her so. At times she even grew weary at
hearing how good Arthur was, and would exclaim in her tantrums--

    "What care I how good he be!"

And to her little waiting maid she would say: "By my faith, I could do
with less goodness abroad and more comfort at home."

The old chough which Merlin gave the King was the wireless messenger
between the King and Queen, and carried messages to and fro. Launcelot
was left behind, as usual now, when the King went on a fighting tour in
Wales. He had, however, a fit of the "blues" just then, and the Queen
put him on milk and soda and dry biscuit diet, so he soon got well, and
trouble began. They played hide-and-seek, and found each other in the
gardens, and quarrelled and made it up again, until the Queen had fond
eyes for none but Launcelot; and the old chough hopped about the Court,
and was kept waiting for a return message which, when he got it, wasn't
worth the carrying, so light of love the words were. The old chough had
a friend at Court, a dwarf, who played the fool, and skipped about like
a withered leaf, and learnt a good deal more than people wot of. One
day he tied a paper around the chough's leg, which opened the King's
eyes when he read it; and he whispered something to the chough, which
made him turn red about the beak.

The King was still in Wales, and his sword ran crimson. A council of
war broke up in confusion, all through one Murdock, a bosom friend
of Launcelot's, putting his spoke in all the King's plans. It was
Murdock's turn to sleep on the mat outside the King's chamber, and the
old chough, acting on information received, kept his eye on Murdock.
The King was sweetly dreaming of home and Jenefer, his Queen, when the
chough woke him.

"What's up?" asked the King.

"Come and see," croaked the chough, hopping towards the door.

Then King Arthur noticed that the old chough was crimson about the
feet and legs, and great drops of blood stained the floor, and he soon
found the reason, for the chough had slain Murdock in his sleep, and so
saved the life of the King, as was proved by correspondence in secret
cypher found in the traitor's breast-pocket. Then the King called all
the Court together, and in their presence knighted the chough; and from
that day the chough family have had red beaks and legs.

When King Arthur died, his soul entered into the body of Sir Chough,
his old familiar and preserver, and now, whenever he visits the scenes
of past shame and glory, it is in the body of a chough, and that is
why the Cornish would not kill a chough in the old days, when this
story was fresh in their minds.

"Now the chough is protected by Act of Parliament," said Guy.

"Ill-protected," replied the Bookworm. "What Act of Parliament is so
effective as a feeling of reverence consecrated by centuries? You
destroy tradition at your own peril."

"All right; the story isn't bad," said Guy. "I thought we were going to
have something tasty about Queen Jenefer and Launcelot."

"No, the story is only concerned with showing how and why a black
chough got a red beak and legs, and transmitted the distinction to the
whole family of choughs. If you want the story of the whitewashing of
Jenefer, you must go to Tennyson."

"I know--the Queen and the little maid that in convent did dwell. It is
very nice reading, even if you don't believe it," said Guy.

The popular fancy buried King Arthur in a long mound in the Camelford
district--about the bleakest and most sterile in the county. There is
an ancient British fortification here, and here the old people thought
a fit and proper place for the resting-place of a King for ever at
war against men and the age he lived in. But no legend seems to have
fastened on this spot as the centre of mystic visitation by red-legged
choughs, or the shadowy repentant forms of Jenefer and Launcelot, and
all those who failed to keep the oaths of chastity and the higher life.
Only here and all around--a land of mountain, bog, and moor, bleak and
inhospitable--is a vast burial-ground of ancient Britons in kist and
tumuli, rude dwellings and entrenchments. Here King Arthur may lie and
sleep as soundly as in the "Vale of Avalon," the poet's paradise for a
grand soul born before its time; but when legend is so silent, history
is doubtful in this land.

We reached Camelford, and at night the piskies sealed our eyes in sleep
too restful even for the shadow of a dream.

[Illustration: A CORNISH STILE.]

Chapter XXXIV

We knew the voice. Our American friend, John B. Bellamy, was in form,
and held a select audience interested in the smoke-room of the Royal at
Plymouth. This is what we heard him say--

"Why, gentlemen, the people of this old country don't know a good thing
when they've got it. What is it, all of it, from the Tamar to the
Land's End? A nice little estate in size for a cattle ranch out West,
with everything on it for making a pile. Why, gentlemen, every breath
of air is worth dollars, your skies are worth dollars, your seas are
worth dollars, all your old piskies and saints and giants are worth
dollars--just ask John B. Bellamy to run the show.

"Why, gentlemen, we, in America, make dollars; we can't help it. Then
we get tired, but must go on because we have nothing else to do. A man
may make dollars in the States faster than he can give'm away. I know
a man who has charity-cheques signed by an electric machine, and still
his pile grows, and he says it'll pay to give away all he possibly can
now, rather than let his heirs pay death duties, which will be quite a
sum on his little concern; for he is a small man compared with some.
These are the men who want a place like this to come to when tired of
pile-raising. You may say, gentlemen, some other place your side of
the pond will do just as well; but it won't. You _can't_ work in this
country; John B. Bellamy has tried it. Why, gentlemen, in the States
you _must_ work; and when the day ends, you don't know you've finished,
but go to bed looking for a job; but here, there's something in the
air, and you just don't want to work, and don't care if the whole
durned sub-lunary universe tumbles into space. That's how I feel.

"Just put up a big board, gentlemen, and advertise 'CORNWALL TO LET:
leases of life renewed to men with dollar-piles and tired of trying to
be tired.' You'll have'm tumbling over in shiploads, for it'll suit
their complaint, just like Lancashire air suits cotton. It'll just
suit the Cornish complaint for them to come, now that 'fish, tin, and
copper' aren't all flourishing.

"I don't want to work here. I tell you honestly, I don't want to work.
When I return, I'll tell my friends that I've located the place in
which I don't want to work; and all the gold bugs and pile-drivers will
come round and want the receipt. I'll just tell them it's the Cornish
air, and Cornish skies, and Cornish cream, and Cornish everything--the
place where Old Nick built churches, just for want of something to do.
That'll be a new sensation in the States for men with piles wanting an
extension of time to look around before the next-of-kin pay the death

"No, gentlemen, no thanks, if you please. These are the honest opinions
of John B. Bellamy, citizen, U.S.A., and if you want a man to run the
show, why, that address will find him."

       *       *       *       *       *

Paddington once more.

"Evening papers--Extra Specials. Autumn Sessions. Panic on Stock
Exchange. Revolutions. Anarchies!"

"Great Scott! Where on earth have we been living?" said Guy, excitedly.

"Hi! Boy! Papers! All of'm?"

[Illustration: LOW TIDE.]



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They collaborate in a blend of comic opera and musical comedy. Their
music is clever and tuneful, but the libretto, alas, brings them to
grief. There is plenty of feminine interest in the book and some
clever sketches of "women who do things."

_Morning Post_--"The most considerable piece of work Mr. Caine has
yet given us. 'Hoffman's Chance' would have been worth writing merely
for the presentation of Orde the Ass and Psyche the Cat--especially
the actress, whose portraiture is one of the most vivid and effective
presentations of cattiness that has ever come our way."


  =THE SIMPLE LIFE, LIMITED.=  Crown 8vo.  6/-

[asterism] This novel has a very decided quality of satire which is
inspired by the convention of the unconventional. Evidently Mr.
Chaucer knows the Simple Life from the inside, and his reflections
will both amuse and amaze those who know it only from casual
allusions. Many well-known figures will be recognized, though not
in all cases under their proper names, and, as in the case of Mr.
Mallock's "New Republic," Society will be busy dotting the "i's" and
crossing the "t's."

  =THE NEW HUMPTY DUMPTY.=  Crown 8vo.  6/-

_Globe_--"Brilliant entertainment ... there is an extraordinary
feeling for plot and incident, and an irresistible sense of satiric

_Pall Mall Gazette_--"The pseudonymous author of 'The Simple Life'
gives us in 'The New Humpty Dumpty' a volume still more brilliant; so
brilliant is it, with such a range of first-class experience, that
there will be keen curiosity to know who has written these works."


  =FIRE AND FROST.=      A Novel.      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] Fire is an Egyptian Prince and Frost is an English girl
living in Florence. The impetuous and passionate temperament of the
Oriental is matched against the steadfast rational nature of the
heroine. The uncompromising desire of the former is to make the
English girl his wife, and the circumstances under which she is
reluctantly brought to consent are original but entirely convincing.
Thenceforth the struggle is on the woman's part, as she finds herself
pitted against the fierce vacillating will of her husband, and the
jealous intrigues of a mercenary little Florentine marchesa--a
character brilliantly drawn--and her satellites. The outcome of this
battle of temperaments is deeply interesting. The natures of East and
West in conflict have been employed as material for fiction already,
but it can safely be said that never have the dramatic possibilities
of the subject been treated with such judgment as in this novel. The
author makes full use of her power of characterization in conveying
the action of the story to the reader with a force only to be found in
the work of a really accomplished writer.


  Crown 8vo.      6/-

"It is only when a man does things for which he is not intended that
his experiences become really interesting. For example, supposing
that Sir Herbert Tree had gone to the South Polar regions instead of
Sir Ernest Shackleton, what a delightful book would have resulted! So
with me. Although I cannot claim any moral for my story it may not be
without amusement. The adventures of a square peg in a round hole are
always delightful, except, perhaps, to the square peg.

"So I start to relate the life of Fennimore Slavington, who had
greatness thrust upon him much against his will and much to the
discomfort of himself and many others."--EXTRACT FROM THE PROLOGUE.


  =THE BOUNTIFUL HOUR.=      A Novel.      Crown 8vo.      6/-

  Author of "The Hand of the North."

[asterism] This is the story of a girl's life in the final years of
the eighteenth century, the background of the plot lying around Olney
in the time of Cowper and Newton, with the contrasted atmosphere
of London in the days of the Prince Regent. With all of these the
heroine, Charlotte Hume, comes in contact.

The shadow which is cast across the plot is the outcome of a promise,
given by Howard Luttrell in his younger days to a woman of easy
reputation, of whom he soon tired, but to whom he had passed his word
that whilst she lived he would never marry. In later life he meets
Charlotte Hume, with whom, almost unconsciously, he falls in love. On
awakening fully to the fact, and finding the other woman still living,
he brings the solving of the problem to the girl herself. Luttrell is
the last of a long line of men and women, who, whatever they may or
may not have done, never broke their word. The way in which Charlotte
cuts the knot most be left to the patience of the reader to find out.

The book does not pretend to being an historical novel, but a
portrayal of certain aspects of middle-class life some hundred or more
years ago.


  Edited by FREDERIC CHAPMAN.      Demy 8vo.      6/-


 =ON LIFE AND LETTERS.= A Translation by A. W. EVANS. Vols. 2, 3 & 4.


  _Already Published._

 =MY FRIEND'S BOOK.= A Translation by J. LEWIS MAY.






 =MOTHER OF PEARL.= A Translation by the EDITOR.




 =BALTHASAR.= A Translation by Mrs. JOHN LANE.

 =THAÏS.= A Translation by ROBERT B. DOUGLAS.

 =THE WHITE STONE.= A Translation by C. E. ROCHE.

 =PENGUIN ISLAND.= A Translation by A. W. EVANS.





  =THE BARMECIDE'S FEAST.=      Crown 8vo.      3/6 net

  With Illustrations by Arthur Penn.

[asterism] A book which will delight lovers of humour.

_Daily News and Leader_--"A book which MR. BALFOUR WOULD ENJOY."


  =MRS. GRAMERCY PARK.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_World_--"In the language of the heroine herself, this, her story, is
delightfully 'bright and cute.'"

_Observer_--"Fresh and amusing."

  =THE LASS WITH THE DELICATE AIR.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] In his new novel Mr. Goring-Thomas relates the history of
a young girl whose beautiful face is a mask that allures. Round the
history of "The Lass with the Delicate Air" is woven the story of the
Hicks family. Mrs. Hicks keeps a lodging house in Chelsea, and has
theatrical ambitions. The author has keen powers of observation and a
faculty of "getting inside a woman's mind" and the same witty dialogue
that was so commented upon in "Mrs. Gramercy-Park" is again seen in
the new work. The scene of the book is laid partly in London and
partly in Paris.

  =WAYWARD FEET.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] This book is a departure on the part of Mr. Goring-Thomas, and
is a brilliant piece of work. The scene of the book alternates between
St. Wulphyturmer a mediæval fortified town in the Pas-de-Calais, and
Paris. The two heroines Toinette Moreau and Joan Dombray, both come
from St. Wulphy and both go to Paris. Their histories contrive a sharp
contrast: one being by character sweet, yielding and affectionate,
while the other is combative, rebellious and intellectual. The
character drawing, as in Mr. Goring-Thomas' other books, is notably
clear and interesting. His already celebrated wit, his original
humour, and insight into character again illuminate his latest book.
The history of Joan Dombray, especially, is a strong, original, and
striking piece of work.


  =THE CARDINAL'S SNUFF BOX.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-
  Illustrated by G. C. Wilmhurst.      165th. Thousand.

_Academy_--"The drawings are all excellent in style and really
illustrative of the tale."

_Saturday Review_--"Wholly delightful."

_Pall Mall Gazette_--"Dainty and delicious."

_Times_--"A book among a thousand."

_Spectator_--"A charming romance."

  =MY FRIEND PROSPERO.=      Crown 8vo.      Third Edition.      6/-

_Times_--"There is no denying the charm of the work, the delicacy and
fragrancy of the style, the sunny play of the dialogue, the vivacity
of the wit, and the graceful flight of the fancy."

_World_--"The reading of it is a pleasure rare and unalloyed."

 =THE LADY PARAMOUNT.=      Crown 8vo.      55th Thousand.      6/-

_Times_--"A fantastic, delightful love-idyll."

_Spectator_--"A roseate romance without a crumpled rose leaf."

_Daily Mail_--"Charming, dainty, delightful."

  =COMEDIES AND ERRORS.=      Crown 8vo.      Third Edition.      6/-

Mr. HENRY JAMES, in _Fortnightly Review_--"Mr. Harland has clearly
thought out a form.... He has mastered a method and learned how to
paint.... His art is all alive with felicities and delicacies."

  =GREY ROSES.=      Crown 8vo.      Fourth Edition.      3/6 net

_Daily Telegraph_--"'Grey Roses' are entitled to rank among the
choicest flowers of the realms of romance."

_Spectator_--"Really delightful. 'Castles near Spain' is as near
perfection as it could well be."

_Daily Chronicle_--"Charming stories, simple, full of freshness."

  =MADEMOISELLE MISS.=      Crown 8vo.      Third Edition.      3/6

_Speaker_--"All through the book we are pleased and entertained."

_Bookman_--"An interesting collection of early work. In it may be
noted the undoubted delicacy and strength of Mr. Harland's manner."


  =HENRIETTA TAKING NOTES.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] Henrietta is the eleven year old daughter of a dramatic
critic, who, with her delightful younger brother, Cyrus, are worthy of
a place beside "Helen's Babies" or "Elizabeth's Children." They cause
the "Olympians" many anxious and anguished moments, yet their pranks
are forgiven because of the endearing charm of their generous natures.
Miss Heath writes of children with the skill that comes of a thorough
understanding of the child mind.


  =PICKANOCK=: A Tale of Settlement Days in Olden Canada.
  Crown 8vo.      6/-


  =APRIL PANHASARD.=      A Novel.      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] Lady Essendine is reluctantly compelled to divorce her
unfaithful husband, who has developed into a dipsomaniac. She is
naturally distressed by the scandal her action carries, and flies to
Coddle-in-the-Dale, where she hopes to hide her identity under the
name of April Panhasard--a name chosen casually from the titles of
three novels at a railway station bookstall, "Young April," "Peter
Pan," "The Hazard of the Die." In the quiet village she moves a sweet
and gracious figure, serenely indifferent to the curiosity of those
who try to penetrate the mystery that surrounds her. Only Boris
Majendie, who poses as her cousin, is in her confidence. Her quiet is
speedily disturbed. A young American, to whom she is strangely drawn,
makes her a proposal of marriage. Boris runs more than a little wild,
although he leaves her his larger devotion. Finally her divorced
husband turns up, and she is left in an intensely compromising
situation, for the necessary six months have not yet elapsed to make
the decree absolute. How she frees herself from this curious tangle
must be left for the reader to find out.

The book is alive with incident, but it has the rare quality of
restraint, which prevents it from ever merging into the melodramatic,
and the characters are all drawn with rare artistic skill.

  =HALF IN EARNEST.=      Second Edition.      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] Derrick Kilmarney, the secretary of a famous politician,
is a young man with the disposition to take the best that life offers
him, and shirk the responsibilities. He falls in love with a girl,
but shudders at the idea of the bondage of marriage. His love is
emancipated, unfettered. He is ambitious, politically, allows himself
to become entangled with his chief's wife, and is too indolent to
break with her even in justice to the girl he loves. Eventually there
comes a time when all the threads have to be gathered together, when
love has to be weighed with ambition, and in Kilmarney's case the
denounement is unexpected and startling.

  =EARTH.=      Second Edition.      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] Muriel Hine's previous novel "Half in Earnest" achieved a
considerable success, "Earth" seems likely to achieve a greater. The
story deals with the awakening of a pure young girl to the realities
of life and what they mean. With a proper understanding of human
nature comes sympathy: to know all is to pardon all. "Earth" is a
society novel with a society atmosphere that is convincing.


  =OUTSIDE THE ARK.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] This is an attractively told story with many outstanding
features. Hugh Inskip, a prominent man of letters, marries a young
wife, whom he does not understand, because she is continually posing
and never her natural self. She is also jealous of the beautiful but
incapacitated actress, Margaret Stair, for whom Inskip is writing
a play, and makes use of an ingenious and shady trick to spy upon
her husband's motives. But Iris, the young wife, is not entirely a
malignant figure, for her frail beauty and helplessness make a tender
appeal for sympathy. The scene of the novel changes at times from
the hub of London life to the peaceful quiet of a country vicarage,
whither the father of Iris--a charming scholar--lets fall honeyed
words of wisdom and advice or gently chides his over-zealous curate.
The author has a strong sense of humour, as well as a great power of
dramatic presentment.

  =THE VALLEY OF REGRET.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] Betty Feverell's childhood is full of pathos. For the
best reason in the world she is unable to capture the sympathy of
her supposed father, and runs away to make an imprudent marriage
with a very charming but rather weak young man who is addicted to
"drink." Fastidious to a degree, this failing does not seem to spoil
the gentleness and refinement of his disposition, until, enraged by
an insult to his wife, he kills a man in a fit of alcoholic frenzy.
With her husband sentenced to penal servitude for seven years, the
problem of Betty's life is full of difficulty. After five years a
second man, John Earle, wins her love, knowing little or nothing of
the obstacles in the way of its fulfilment. Finally, news arrives that
the convict will return in a few weeks, and the story ends suddenly
and unexpectedly. This is a delightful novel. It has incident and
freshness; and the directness of the style gives the book a remarkably
artistic impression of life.


  =KITWYK.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

A Story with numerous illustrations by HOWARD PYLE, ALBERT STERNER and

_Times_--"Mrs. Lane has succeeded to admiration, and chiefly by reason
of being so much interested in her theme that she makes no conscious
effort to please.... Everyone who seeks to be diverted will read
'Kitwyk' for its obvious qualities of entertainment."

  =THE CHAMPAGNE STANDARD.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Morning Post_--"The author's champagne overflows with witty sayings
too numerous to recite."

_Pall Mall Gazette_--"Mrs. Lane's papers on our social manners and
foibles are the most entertaining, the kindest and the truest that
have been offered us for a long time.... The book shows an airy
philosophy that will render it of service to the social student."

  =ACCORDING TO MARIA.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Daily Chronicle_--"This delightful novel, sparkling with humour....
Maria's world is real.... Mrs. Lane is remarkably true to life in that
world.... Maria is priceless, and Mrs. Lane is a satirist whose life
may be indefatigably joyous in satiric art. For her eyes harvest the
little absurdities, and her hand makes sheaves of them.... Thackeray
might have made such sheaves if he had been a woman."

  =BALTHASAR AND OTHER STORIES.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

  Translated by Mrs. JOHN LANE from the French of Anatole France.

_Daily Graphic_--"The original charm and distinction of the author's
style has survived the difficult ordeal of appearing in another
language.... 'The Cure's Mignonette' is as perfect in itself as some
little delicate flower."

  =TALK O' THE TOWN.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] Mrs. John Lane's new book, "Talk of the Town," is on the
same lines as "The Champagne Standard," that sparkling and brilliantly
witty study of English and American life, and has the delightful
and refreshing humour we have a right to expect of the author of
"According to Maria," and that power of observation and keen insight
into everyday life which made "The Champagne Standard" one of the most
successful and one of the most quoted books of the season, both in
England and America.


  =LITERARY LAPSES.=      Third Edition.      Crown 8vo.      3/6 net

_Spectator_--"This book is a happy example of the way in which the
double life can be lived blamelessly and to the great advantage of
the community. The book fairly entitles Mr. Leacock to be considered
not only a humourist but a benefactor. The contents should appeal to
English readers with the double virtue that attaches to work which is
at once new and richly humorous."

  =NONSENSE NOVELS.=      Third Edition.      Crown 8vo.      3/6 net

_Pall Mall Gazette_--"He certainly bids fair to rival the immortal
Lewis Carroll."

_Punch_--"Delightful spontaneity. There is genuine gold here on every

_Daily Graphic_--"'Guido, the Gimlet of Ghent' set us in a roar. His
last tale, 'The Asbestos Man,' is the best."

  Crown 8vo.      3/6 net

_Evening Standard_--"We have never laughed more often."

_Canada_--"A whole storehouse of sunshine. Of the same brand as
'Literary Lapses' and 'Nonsense Novels.' It is the surest recipe for
enjoying a happy holiday."

_Daily Telegraph_--"Irresistibly comical. Mr. Leacock strikes us as
a sort of Americanised W. W. Jacobs. Like the English humorist, the
Canadian one has a delightfully fresh and amusing way of putting

_Times_--"His real hard work--for which no conceivable emolument would
be a fitting reward--is distilling sunshine. This new book is full
of it--the sunshine of humour, the thin keen sunshine of irony, the
mellow evening sunshine of sentiment."


  =STELLA MARIS.=      A Novel.      Crown 8vo.      6/-

  With 8 Illustrations by Frank Wiles.

[asterism] Mr. Locke's astonishing fertility of invention has never
yet been seen to as great advantage as in this story. It has all
the picturesque bravery of the "Beloved Vagabond," all the tender
sentiment of "Marcus Ordeyne," all the quixotic spirit of "Clementina
Wing." And yet it is like none of these. Infinitely tender, infinitely
impressive, is the story of Stella Maris, the wonder child, who has
never moved from her couch, who receives her impressions of the
outside world from her gentle spirit and the gold-clad tales of her
loving friends and the secrets of the seagulls that flit so near her
window. And then Stella, grown to a woman, recovers; to take her
place, not in the world of beauty she had pictured from the stillness
of her couch, but the world of men and women.

From the first page the reader falls under a spell. For all its
wistful delicacy of texture Mr. Locke's humanity, broad and strong,
vibrates with terror just as it soothes with its sense of peace. This
is Mr. Locke's finest achievement.

  Crown 8vo.      6/-

  With Illustrations by Alec Bull.

  _Daily Telegraph_--"In 'Aristide Pujol' Mr. W. J. Locke has given life
  to one of the most fascinating creatures in modern fiction."

  _Morning Post_--"We do not know when Mr. Locke was more happily

  [A]=DERELICTS.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Daily Chronicle_--" Mr. Locke tells his story in a very true, very
moving, and very noble book. If anyone can read the last chapter with
dry eyes we shall be surprised. 'Derelicts' is an impressive and
important book."

_Morning Post_--"Mr. Locke's clever novel. One of the most effective
stories that have appeared for some time past."

  [A]=IDOLS.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Daily Telegraph_--"A brilliantly written and eminently readable book."

_Daily Mail_--"One of the most distinguished novels of the present
book season."

_Punch_--"The Baron strongly recommends Mr. W. J. Locke's 'Idols'
to all novel readers. It is well written. No time is wasted in
superfluous descriptions; there is no fine writing for fine writing's
sake, but the story will absorb the reader.... It is a novel that,
once taken up, cannot willingly be put down until finished."

  [A]=A STUDY IN SHADOWS.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Daily Chronicle_--"Mr. Locke has achieved a distinct success in this
novel. He has struck many emotional chords and struck them all with a
firm sure hand."

_Athenæum_--"The character-drawing is distinctly good. All the
personages stand well defined with strongly marked individualities."

  [A]=THE WHITE DOVE.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Times_--"An interesting story, full of dramatic scenes."

_Morning Post_--"An interesting story. The characters are strongly
conceived and vividly presented, and the dramatic moments are
powerfully realised."

  [A]=THE USURPER.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_World_--"This quite uncommon novel."

_Spectator_--"Character and plot are most ingeniously wrought, and the
conclusion, when it comes, is fully satisfying."

_Times_--"An impressive romance."

  _THE DEMAGOGUE AND LADY PHAYRE._      Cr. 8vo.      3/6

  [A]=AT THE GATE OF SAMARIA.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Daily Chronicle_--"The heroine of this clever story attracts our
interest.... She is a clever and subtle study.... We congratulate Mr.

_Morning Post_--"A cleverly written tale ... the author's pictures of
Bohemian life are bright and graphic."

  [A]=WHERE LOVE IS.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

Mr. JAMES DOUGLAS, in _Star_--"I do not often praise a book with
this exultant gusto, but it gave me so much spiritual stimulus and
moral pleasure that I feel bound to snatch the additional delight of
commending it to those readers who long for a novel that is a piece of
literature as well as a piece of life."

_Standard_--"A brilliant piece of work."

_Times_--"The author has the true gift; his people are alive."

  [A]=THE MORALS OF MARCUS ORDEYNE.=      Cr. 8vo.      6/-

Mr. C. K. SHORTER, in _Sphere_--"A book which has just delighted my

_Truth_--"Mr. Locke's new novel is one of the best artistic pieces of
work I have met with for many a day."

_Daily Chronicle_--"Mr. Locke succeeds, indeed, in every crisis of
this most original story."

  =THE BELOVED VAGABOND.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Truth_--"Certainly it is the most brilliant piece of work Mr. Locke
has done."

_Evening Standard_--"Mr. Locke can hardly fail to write beautifully.
He has not failed now."

  =SIMON THE JESTER.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] The central figure of Mr. Locke's new novel is one Simon
de Gex, M.P., who having met life with a gay and serene philosophy is
suddenly called upon to face Death. This he does gallantly and jests
at Death until he discovers to his confusion that Destiny is a greater
jester than he. Eventually by surrendering his claims he attains
salvation. The heroine is Lola Brandt, an ex-trainer of animals, and
an important figure in the story is a dwarf, Professor Anastasius
Papadopoulas, who has a troupe of performing cats. The scene of the
novel is laid in London and Algiers.

  =THE GLORY OF CLEMENTINA WING.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Observer_--"Mr. Locke's best.... Clementina Wing and Dr. Quixtue
are the two most adorable characters that Mr. Locke has ever brought
together in holy wedlock. The phrases are Locke's most debonairly

[A] Also Bound in Cloth with Illustrated paper wrapper 1/-net.


  =A QUESTION OF LATITUDE.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] The author of "A Question of Latitude" takes an English
girl from the comfortable stateliness of a country house in the Old
Country, and places her in a rough and ready environment in Australia.
The girl finds her standard of values undergoing a change. She learns
to distinguish between English snobbery and Colonial simplicity and
manliness, she also learns how to wash up dishes, and that Australia
is not all kangaroos and giant cricketers. The atmosphere of the story
is convincing, and there are many vivid pictures of Melbourne life.
The book depicts Australia as it really is, its strength and its
weakness, its refinement and its vulgarity.


  =ARTHUR'S.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Times_--"Not only a very entertaining and amusing work, but a very
kindly and tolerant work also. Incidentally the work is a mirror of a
phase of the low London life of to-day as true as certain of Hogarth's
transcripts in the eighteenth century, and far more tender."

_Punch_--"Mr. Neil Lyons seems to get right at the heart of things,
and I confess to a real admiration for this philosopher of the

  =SIXPENNY PIECES.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Pall Mall Gazette_--"It is pure, fast, sheer life, salted with a
sense of humour."

_Evening Standard_--"'Sixpenny Pieces' is as good as 'Arthur's,' and
that is saying a great deal. A book full of laughter and tears and
hits innumerable that one feels impelled to read aloud. 'Sixpenny
Pieces' would be very hard indeed to beat."

  =COTTAGE PIE.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] Mr. Lyons' former books dealt with East London characters.
Now he draws the varying types of a small country community. The
humour of the whole is enforced, inimitable, and there is the
underlying note of tragedy never wholly absent from the lives of the
poorer classes.

W. J. LOCKE, in _Outlook_--" ... That book of beauty, truth, and

EDWIN PUGH, in _Outlook_--"I have never missed an opportunity to
express my admiration for his inimitable talent."

  Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Manchester Guardian_--"Mr. Lyons writes about life in the slums with
a great deal of penetrative sympathy for human nature as it shows

_Daily Graphic_--"Clara is a type, the real thing, and we know of
no-one else who could have created her."


  =THE EAGLE'S NEST.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Athenæum_--"We should describe the book as a brilliant _tour de
force_.... The story is spirited and interesting. The love interest
also is excellent and pathetic."

_Spectator_--"This is one of those illuminating and stimulating
romances which set people reading history."

  =BEGGARS AND SORNERS.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] "Beggars and Sorners" is a novel which deals with what
may be called the back-wash of the "Forty Five." It commemorates
the _débâcle_ of a great romance, and in describing the lives, the
struggles, the make-shifts, the intrigues and the crimes of a small
circle of Jacobite exiles in Holland between the years 1745 and 1750,
it strives to show the pathos of history while revealing its seamy
side. The characters are imaginary (with one important exception);
they have imaginary names and commit imaginary actions, for the story
is not confined to, but only founded on, fact. If some readers of
Jacobite history find among their number some old friends with new
faces, this need not detract from the interest of others to whom all
the characters are new--actors in a drama drawn from the novelist's
fancy. To English readers it may have to be explained what the word
Sorner means--but the story makes this sufficiently plain. The novel
is of a lighter character than those previously written by this
author, and it is not without sensational elements. In spite of
adverse circumstances, grim characters, and all the sorrows of a lost
cause, it contrives to end happily. The scene is laid in Amsterdam.


  =THE DANGEROUS AGE.=      Crown 8vo.      3/6 net

  Translated from the Danish.

  This book has been:--

(1) Sold to the extent of 100 editions in 6 months in Germany.

(2) Translated into 11 languages.

(3) Translated into French by the great MARCEL PREVOST, who says in
his introduction to the English Edition--"It is the feminine soul,
and the femininal soul of all that is revealed in these extraordinary
documents. Here indeed is a strange book."

  =ELSIE LINDTNER.=      A Sequel.      Crown 8vo.      3/6 net

  =THE GOVERNOR.=      Crown 8vo.      3/6 net


  =SEKHET.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] Sekhet deals with that topic of unwearying interest to
readers of romance--the adventures and struggles of an exquisitely
lovely woman upon whom the hand of Fate is laid heavily. From the
days of her beautiful girlhood when her Guardian himself proves her
tempter, Evarne has good reason to believe herself one of the victims
of "Sekhet," the ancient Egyptian Goddess of Love and Cruelty. Even
though the main theme of this story is the tragic outcome of a too
passionate love, portions of Evarne's experiences, such as those with
the bogus Theatrical manager, are full of humour, and throughout there
is a relieving lightness of touch in the writing. The book grows in
interest as it proceeds, and the final portion--a long duel between
Evarne and the evil genius of her life--is dramatic in the extreme.
The result remains uncertain till the last page or two, and though
decidedly ghastly is entirely original and unforeseen.


  =THE UNBEARABLE BASSINGTON.=      A Novel.      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] The keynote of this book is struck in an early chapter
where one of the school-masters at the school "Comus Bassington" is
sent to, remarks, "There are just a few, and Bassington is one of
them, who are Nature's highly-finished products. They are in the
schoolboy stage, and we who are supposed to be moulding raw material
are quite helpless when we come in contact with them." "Comus
Bassington" has no father, and a mother of a very uncommon type. After
leaving school he runs loose for a time in London, bear-led a little
by a clever young M.P., falls in love with the most wonderful match of
the season, gets deeply in debt, and even when at the absolute end of
his tether fascinates the reader with his store of spontaneous gaiety.

_Observer_--"ANYONE COULD DINE out for a year and pass for a wit after
reading this book if only the hosts and the guests would promise not
to read it too. This is one of the wittiest books, not only of the
year, but of the decade. It is not even only witty; it has a deepening
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pathos. It will be a dull public that can pass over such a book as

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_English Review_--"A collection of short stories printed from various
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notably 'The Great Weep' and 'Sredni Vashtar,' are very clever indeed.
Mr. Monro conceals pills of cleverness in a sugar-coating of wit--real
wit--and the result is a chuckle provoking book, except on the
occasions when its author was touched to grim realism and wrote his


  =POMANDER WALK.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

  Author of "Rosemary," etc. With numerous Illustrations by
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[asterism] Novelised by the author of the delightful play of the
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the United States. A picture of one of the quaint out-of-the-way
corners of London of the olden times. The volume contains a tinted
frontispiece and title page, and numerous other charming illustrations.

_Daily Telegraph_--"Mr. Parker has turned a delightful comedy into
a still more delightful story ... in every way a charming, happy
romance, beautifully told and irresistibly sentimental."


  =OTHER LAWS.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] This book is distinctly the outcome of the latest
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African explorer. During a holiday in England he falls in love with
and captivates Caroline Blackwood, a woman of strong personality.
Circumstances prevent him from entering upon a formal engagement, and
he departs again for Africa, without proposing marriage. Caroline
and Hawkins correspond fitfully for some time; but then a startling
combination of events causes Hawkins to penetrate further and further
into the interior; a native village is burned, and a report, based
apparently upon fact, is circulated of his death. Not until seven
months have elapsed is he able to return to England. He finds Caroline
married to a man who has found her money useful. Here the story,
strong and moving throughout, moves steadily to the close, describing
delicately and analytically the soul conflict of a man and a woman,
sundered and separate, with a yearning for each other's love.


  =THE SNAKE.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] For countless generations the soul of Peasant India has
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some loathsome, all strangely fascinating. Though the main theme of
this story is the unhappy love of a beautiful, evil woman, and the
brutal frankness with which she writes of her uncontrolled passions
in her diary, yet the whole tale hinges on some of the most gruesome
superstitions of the East. This book should appeal to all who take an
interest in the strange beliefs--not of the educated classes--but of
the simple-minded and ignorant peasants of Behar.


  =LOVE AND THE IRONMONGER.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Daily Telegraph_--"Since the gay days when Mr. F. Anstey was writing
his inimitable series of humourous novels, we can recall no book of
purely farcical imagination so full of excellent entertainment as
this first effort of Mr. F. J. Randall. 'Love and the Ironmonger' is
certain to be a success."

_Times_--"As diverting a comedy of errors as the reader is likely to
meet with for a considerable time."

Mr. CLEMENT SHORTER, in _The Sphere_--"I thank the author for a
delightful hour's amusement."

  =THE BERMONDSEY TWIN.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] A humourous story of the reappearance of a twin brother,
who is supposed to be dead. Prosperous, respected, and well satisfied
with himself, a suburban tradesman is contemplating matrimony and the
realisation of his ambitions, when the twin brother appears. He is
thrown into a state of panic, for not only is his fortune thus reduced
by half and his marriage prospects endangered, but the twin is to all
appearance a disreputable character, whose existence threatens to
mar the tradesman's respectability. The good man's attempts to hide
this undesirable brother make amusing reading, and the pranks of the
unwelcome twin serve to complicate matters, for the brothers are so
much alike as to be easily mistaken one for the other. The new arrival
is really a man of integrity, his depravity being assumed as a joke.
Having played the farce out he is about to "confess," when the tables
are turned upon him by accident, and he is forced to pay heavily for
his fun in a series of humiliating adventures.


  =A FAIR HOUSE.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

  Author of "A Boy's Marriage," "The Way Things Happen," "The
  Strongest Plume."

[asterism] The outstanding idea of Mr. Hugh de Sélincourt's new novel
is the possibility of absolute love and confidence between father and
daughter. It is the main thread of the story and all the incidents
are subordinated to it. The book falls naturally into three sections.
The first opens with the birth of the daughter and the death of the
mother, the father's utter despair, until an idea comes to him, to
make the child his masterpiece and to see how much one human being can
mean to another. The second deals with the growth of the child from
five to fifteen. In the third, the girl becomes a woman. Her first
experience of love is unhappy and threatens to destroy the confidence
between father and daughter. But she is enabled to throw herself heart
and soul into stage-work, and in the excitement of work she finds
herself again. And the end of the book leaves her with the knowledge
that one love does not necessarily displace another, and that a
second, happier love has only strengthened the bond between her father
and herself.


  =WIND ON THE HEATH.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] No paragraph or descriptive note can give an idea of Miss
Essex Smith's story. It depends upon style, psychology, woodland
atmosphere, and more than anything else upon originality of outlook.
It will make a direct appeal to that public that has a taste for the
unusual. There is underlying it a tone of passion, the passion of a
fantastic Richard Jefferies.


  =TOPHAM'S FOLLY.= A Novel. Crown 8vo.  6/-

[asterism] This novel has the curious charm of a tale that might
be told to you by your own mother or grandmother, a homeliness
and simplicity which is never overweighted by the writer's very
considerable skill in presenting his story. The scene is laid in a
small town in the West Riding of Yorkshire--fortunately there is
practically no dialect. What the narrator presents to us is supposed
to be the incidents of the lives of various members of the Topham
family and their kinsfolk seen largely through the eyes of Mary Ann.
Mary Ann's mother was a woman of good family, who in her early teens
eloped with her father's groom, and although in consequence of her
act she endured many hardships, she never repented it. When Mary Ann
was just growing into young womanhood she discovered an advertisement
in a newspaper enquiring for the heirs of Thomas Morton Bagster, and
pointed it out to her mother. They consult Mr. Topham, the lawyer,
who undertakes to make enquiries for them. Topham is at this time
very short of cash, and cannot complete a grand new house for himself
and his family, over whom he rules as a petty domestic tyrant. From
now on the financial fortunes of the Tophams prosper, and the house,
which has begun to be known as "Topham's Folly," is completed and
occupied. And in this tempestuous household lives Mary Ann as a humble
servant--a kind of angel in a print dress. When the youngest boy is
about twenty he suddenly discovers by the purest chance the whole
fraud upon which the family fortunes have been erected. There are
innumerable side issues, every one of them fascinatingly human and
delightfully told.


  =THE SONG OF SONGS= (Das Hohe Lied). Crown 8vo. 6/-

  A new Translation by Beatrice Marshall.

[asterism] The first English translation of this work, published
under the title of "The Song of Songs," proved to be too American for
the taste of the British public, and was eventually dropped. But it
was felt that the work was too great an one not to be represented in
the English language, and accordingly this entirely new translation
has been made, which it is hoped will fairly represent the wonderful
original without unduly offending the susceptibilities of the British
public. In this colossal novel, Sudermann has made a searching and
masterly study of feminine frailty. The character and career of
Lily Czepanck are depicted with such pitiless power and unerring
psychological insight, that the portrait would be almost intolerable
in its realism, if it were not for its touches of humour and
tenderness. In these pages too may be found some of Sudermann's most
characteristic and charming passages descriptive of country life,
while his pictures of Berlin Society in all its phases, the glimpses
he gives us into what goes on beneath the tinsel, spick and span
surface of the great modern capital are drawn with Tolstoyan vigour
and colour.

  =THE INDIAN LILY= and other Stories. Crown 8vo. 6/-

  Translated by Ludwig Lewisohn, M.A.

[asterism] A series of characteristic stories by the great German
Master which exhibit his art in every phase. Sudermann is chiefly
known in this country as a writer of novels and of plays, but this
volume will place him in a new light for English readers--as a writer
of short stories of the first rank. In fact he may with justice be
termed the German Maupassant.


  =ALSO AND PERHAPS.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

  Author of "Unaddressed Letters," "British Malaya," etc.

_Punch_--"'Dodo Island' contains a long quotation of such genuine
humour that to have rescued it is an achievement in itself. Although
in this sketch Sir Frank apologises almost humbly for mentioning
history in 'Tamarin' and 'Ile de la Passe,' he becomes an historian
unashamed, and a most attractive one. 'The Kris Incarnadine' provided
me with a more grizzly sensation than I have been able to conjure up
for many years, and 'Disbelief in the Unseen' ought to be read aloud
daily to those obnoxious people who cannot bring themselves to believe
in anything that does not take place within a stone's throw of their
parish pump."


  =THE SHADOW OF LOVE.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

  Translated from the French by A. R. Allinson, M.A.

[asterism] Of the newer French novelists Marcelle Tinayre is perhaps
the best known. Her work has been crowned by the French Academy, and
she possesses a very large public in Europe and in America. The story
deals with a girl's love and a heroic sacrifice dictated by love.
"The Shadow of Love" is a book of extraordinary power, uncompromising
in its delineation of certain hard, some might say repulsive facts
of life, yet instinct all through with an exquisitely tender and
beautiful passion of human interest and human sympathy.


  =THE LIFTED LATCH=: A Novel.      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] "The Lifted Latch" is a story of strong situations. The
hero is the son of an Italian attaché and a girl of whose frailty he
takes advantage. The mother decides to hide her shame by handing the
child over to a foster-mother together with a sum of money for its
maintenance. When the boy grows up he becomes by a curious sequence
of events and circumstances reunited to his parents, and a series
of plots and counterplots follow. The scene is set principally in
diplomatic circles in Rome.

  =THE LOVE DREAM.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] In this book we meet some Sicilians of old lineage and
considerable wealth settled in a gloomy manor in England. The
family consists of an aged and partly demented Princess, obsessed
by a monomania for revenge, her grandson, an attaché of the Italian
Embassy to the Court of St. James, and his half sister, a fascinating,
winning, wayward and fickle creature. This girl captures the heart
of Lord Drury--whose father murdered the Principe Baldassare di
Monreale--son of the old Princess. The contrast between these
Southerners and their English neighbours is strongly accentuated. Don
Siorza and his half sister Donna Giacinta are no mere puppets with
Italian names; they give the reader the impression of being people
the author has met and drawn from life. The tragedy in which they are
involved strikes one as inevitable. Poor Lord Drury, in his utter
inexperience, has taken a beautiful chimæra for reality and starts
in the pursuit of happiness when it was all the time within his
grasp. The love-interest never flags to the last page when the hero's
troubles come to an end. The glimpses of diplomatic circles in London
are obviously not written by an outsider.

_Truth_--"Well constructed ... thrilling scenes and situations fit
naturally and consequently into the framework of its elaborate plot."


  =THE SON OF HIS MOTHER.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

  Translated by H. Raahauge.

[asterism] When Paul and Kate Schlieben leave their home in Berlin
and start on their wanderings, they have no idea of how momentous an
occasion this will be for them--and another. A devoted couple, there
is one thing wanting to complete their happiness, and Kate at least
can never forget that they are childless. Afterwards, when they have
adopted a son, she learns too late that all the care that has been
expended on him is a poor substitute for the ties that bind mother and
child, and is forced to acknowledge that the son of her adoption is
and always must be the son of his mother.

  =ABSOLUTION.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Times_--"There is considerable strength in 'Absolution.' ... As a
realistic study the story has much merit."

_Daily Telegraph_--"The tale is powerfully told ... the tale will
prove absorbing with its minute characterisation and real passion."

  =OUR DAILY BREAD.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Athenæum_--"The story is not only of great human interest, but
also extremely valuable as a study of the conditions in which a
large section of the poorer classes and small tradespeople of German
cities spend their lives. Clara Viebig manipulates her material with
extraordinary vigour.... Her characters are alive."


  =THE TOMBOY AND OTHERS.=      Crown 8vo.      3/6 net

  Author of "Galloping Dick."


  =THE NEW MACHIAVELLI.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

  Also Bound in Cloth with Illustrated paper wrapper 1/- net.

[asterism] _The New Machiavelli_ is the longest, most carefully and
elaborately constructed and most ambitious novel that Mr. Wells
has yet written. It combines much of the breadth and variety of
_Tono-Bungay_ with that concentrated unity of effect which makes _Love
and Mr. Lewisham_, artistically, his most satisfactory work. It has
the autobiographical form which he has already used so effectively
in _Tono-Bungay_, but this time the hero who surveys and experiences
the vicissitudes of our modern world is not a commercial adventurer
but a Trinity man, who directs very great ambitions and abilities to
political ends, who is wrecked in mid-career and driven into exile
by a passionate love adventure. From his retirement in Italy he
reviews and discusses his broken life. The story he tells opens amidst
suburban surroundings, and the first book gives a series of vivid
impressions and criticisms of English public school and university
life. Thence, after an episode in Staffordshire, it passes to the
world of Westminster and the country house. The narrator recounts
his relations with the varying groups and the forces in contemporary
parliamentary life and political journalism in London, and the growth
and changes in his own opinion until the emotions of his passionate
entanglement sweep the story away to its sombre and touching
conclusion. In addition to the full-length portraits of Margaret,
the neglected wife--perhaps the finest of Mr. Wells's feminine
creations--Isabel Rivers, and Remington, there are scores of sharply
differentiated characters, sketched and vignetted: Remington the
father, Britten, the intriguing Baileys, the members of the Pentagram
Circle, Codger the typical don, and Mr. Evesham the Conservative
leader. It is a book to read and read again, and an enduring picture
of contemporary English conditions.


  =ELIZABETH'S CHILDREN.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Daily Telegraph_--"The book is charming ... the author ... has a
delicate fanciful touch, a charming imagination ... skilfully suggests
character and moods ... is bright and witty, and writes about children
with exquisite knowledge and sympathy."

  =HELEN ALLISTON.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Pall Mall Gazette_--"The book has vivacity, fluency, colour, more
than a touch of poetry and passion.... We shall look forward with
interest to future work by the author of 'Helen Alliston.'"

  =THE YOUNG O'BRIENS.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Saturday Review_--"Delightful ... the author treats them (the Young
O'Briens) very skilfully."

  =PHYLLIS IN MIDDLEWYCH.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] It is some years since "Elizabeth's Children" was published
and immediately ran through edition after edition. In her new book
the author shows that same sympathetic touch and sure knowledge of
the real child that stamped "Elizabeth's Children" as a live book.
The doings and misdoings of Phyllis are told with understanding and
with numerous and deft touches the little idiosyncracies of the
Middlewichites are admirably hit off.

 =ELIZABETH IN RETREAT.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Ladies' Field_--"Margaret Westrup has never written a more
interesting novel than 'Elizabeth in Retreat.'"

_Punch_--"All the superstition having long ago been used up and
squandered among the undeserving, it is difficult to hit upon such an
expression of praise as the reading public will take without a pinch
of salt. But the character of Evelyn Winkfield is a stroke of genius.
Believe me or not as you please, but this is the best novel of the
year that has come my way."


  =THE RED LANTERN=: Being the Story of the Goddess of the
  Red Light.      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] The most exciting novel of recent years. It deals with the
Rebellion in China and is of extraordinary anticipation. Sun Yat Sen
is vividly depicted under the name of Sam Wang in Miss Edith Wherry's
startling novel.


  =ZOË THE DANCER.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

[asterism] The scene of the story is laid in Brussels, where
Zoë, little more than a child, shows her remarkable aptitude for
dancing. Her wonderful yellow hair secures for her a position in a
hairdresser's window to the constant delight of the good citizens.
Chance leads to her adoption of dancing as a profession. The book is
full of comedy and tragedy, and yet it is the charm and originality of
the telling which holds the reader throughout.


  =WIDDICOMBE.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Evening Standard_--"Wonderfully alive and pulsating with a curious
fervour which brings round the reader the very atmosphere which the
author describes.... A fine, rather unusual novel.... There are some
striking studies of women."

_Truth_--"A first novel of most unusual promise."

_Queen_--"An unusually clever book."

  =THE WINGLESS VICTORY.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Times_--"Such books are worth keeping on the shelves even by the
classics, for they are painted in colours that do not fade."

_Daily Telegraph_--"A novel of such power as should win for its author
a position in the front rank of contemporary writers of fiction."

  =A MAN OF GENIUS.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Daily Telegraph_--"'Widdicombe' was good, and 'The Wingless Victory'
was perhaps better, but in 'A Man of Genius' the author has given
us something that should assure her place in the front rank of our
living novelists. In this latest novel there is so much of character,
so much of incident, and to its writing has gone so much insight
and observation that it is not easy to praise it without seeming

_Punch_--"There is no excuse for not reading 'A Man of Genius' and
making a short stay in the 'seventh Devon of delight.'"


  =THE WAY UP.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Daily Mail_--"It is admirably done.... Evidently worth reading,
full of extremely clever characterisation, of sharp and picturesque
contrasts in personality ... a merciless exhibition of almost all the
follies known as modern thought."

  =WINGS OF DESIRE.=      Crown 8vo.      6/-

_Daily Telegraph_--"Excellent as are her earlier novels, Miss
Willcocks has given us nothing else so good, so full at once of
character, thought, and observation."

_Observer_--"All these are haunting people, memorable and uncommon."


  =MYLES CALTHORPE, I.D.B.=    A Novel.    Crown 8vo.    6/-

[asterism] Miss Young again takes South Africa as a background for her
rigorous work. Myles Calthorpe is a man of original will power and
somewhat perverted strength of character, which is apt to land him
into quixotic difficulties. To him is applied the title of I.D.B., the
South African abbreviation for Illicit Diamond Buyer. Nevertheless he
is not guilty of the crime, but is trapped unconsciously into acting
as go-between. Caught red-handed by the Government authorities, he is
sentenced to three years' imprisonment because he will not purchase
his acquittal by throwing a smirch on the good name of the brother
of the lady who has won his heart. After serving his unjust sentence
Myles is face to face with ruin, and how eventually he emerges from
the highways and byeways of disgrace clean-hearted and with his hands
stained by nothing more shameful than hard work, forms the subject of
a picturesque and life-pulsating romance.

  =GRIT LAWLESS.=    A Novel.    Crown 8vo.    6/-

_Sunday Times_--"One of the most thrilling stories of adventure we
have come across this season ... four excellent studies of character
... all interesting persons palpitating alive."

_Westminster Gazette_--"Vigorous and full of exciting incident."

  =SAM'S KID.=            A Novel.    Crown 8vo.    6/-

  =MISTAKEN MARRIAGE.=    A Novel.    Crown 8vo.    6/-

  =CHIP.=                 A Novel.    Crown 8vo.    6/-

  =ATONEMENT.=            A Novel.    Crown 8vo.    6/-


Bound in Cloth with Illustrated Coloured Wrapper.

Crown 8vo. 1/-net.




       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes

Variations in spelling and punctuation are as in the original except in
obvious cases of typographical error.

Variations in hyphenation within the body of the text have been
rationalised, however variations within the Catalogue have been retained.

Italics are represented thus _italics_ and underlining thus =underline=.

The original did not include a Table of Contents, this has been added.

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