' CHAPTER IV.
FABULOUS ORIGIN OF HELSTON - THE FIELD IN CORNISH LEGENDS - TREGEAGLE - THE FURRY - CAPE LIZARD - APPEARANCE OF THE CELTIC RACE - THE PRIMITIVE LANGUAGE OF CORNWALL - TRACES OF SPANISH ORIGIN - A FISHERMAN'S STORY - QUEEN ZENOBIA - ARE THE INHABITANTS OF CORNWALL DESCENDED FROM THE PHOENICIANS? - LIZARD FISHERY COVE - KYNANCE COVE - THE PROMONTORIES AND ROCKS - THE CAVERNS - THE DEVIL'S FRYING-PAN - DOLOR HUGO - COMPOSITION OF THE KOCKS - SERPENTINE - THE LAND'S END - JOHN WESLEY AND TURNER - ARCHITECTURE OF THE ROCKS - DR. JOHNSON - SCUNEN - THE SCHOOL - SHIPWRECKS - THE FIRST AND LAST INN IN ENGLAND - THE THREE KINGS.
I WENT to Cape Lizard from Helston, a small town near the mines, in a semi-industrial, semi-agricultural district. If tradition may be believed, the name of this town sufficiently indicates that it owes its origin to the infernal regions. One day, says the legend, the devil wished to make one of his favourite excursions over hill and dale through Cornwall. Finding the mouth of the pit entirely closed by a huge stone, he carried it off in his hand, and began playing with it like a pebble across country. En route, however, he met the archangel Michael, the patron of Helston; a combat ensued between the two adversaries, and the devil, after he had been beaten in the fight, let the stone fall, thus laying the foundation for the town..
I saw the identical stone at the Angel Hotel in Helston, and affirm that it is quite black enough to come from the infernal regions. The devil, by the way, is the hero of more than adventure in the popular mythology of Cornwall; traces of him are found in most of the names given to the abysses and caverns of the county. If his visits to the interior of the county are at the present day much less frequent than formerly, he is restrained, so it is said, by the very legitimate fear of being eaten. The Cornish people are so greedy for pastry that they would catch him and put him in a pie. I may also remark here that in England the feeling for the marvellous is modified by the geological conditions of the provinces. In low and marshy regions, the mysterious personage who plays the chief part in the legends is the Will-o'-the-wisp; in mountainous countries, like Wales, where the mist assumes aerial and transparent forms round savage gorges, Fairies reign; in Cornwall, the country of mines, precipices, and rocks, the devil and the giants are supposed to have had a hand in these gloomy prodigies.
Referring to the intervention of supernatural beings the phenomena which we now attribute to natural forces, is a fact belonging to the childhood of races; but it must be allowed that in Cornwall.... '
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