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had there and then thrown him in a man tilling the same acres, housing fair ring, winning the supremacy for their cattle in the same steads, sitting his own county ; and had come back by the same hearthstone, and being to live and move among his own borne to the same churchyard on the people, surrounded with a little halo cliff, where the burial-mounds of the of hero-worship.
race were heaped like molehills. He Seldom were surnames heard in was young, and comely to look upon. this assemblage. Men were known The character of his countenance was chiefly by patronymics, synonyms, one common to the Cornish-massive, and nicknames. Smuggler Tom, yet finely turned—not heavy or in“Pilot Joe,” “ Champion John,” and expressive, but rarely lit or excited ; “Fancy Sam,” were the terms and his form was slouching or slovenly, titles bandied about from mouth to until some gymnastic action threw it mouth. At the time we enter, the into an attitude of firm and graceful interest all centred on two players. strength. The game was one of skill, The one was a tall, lithe, sinewy man, and was at a turning - point. The quick, rapid, and impulsive in his ac men were “lobbing”--that is, throwtion and gestures. The face was hand- ing the bowl home to the pins, not some, but its beauty was of the kind bowling or trundling it. Brazilian which bordered on the fearful. The Dick had made some brilliant and features and expression were fine and dashing throws, which had somestrongly marked, but stern and un what posed the steady play of his softened as though they had been antagonist. There were now three impressed in lava, or burnt in by the pins standing, and Farmer Phil had heat of sun and passion. The eye to bring down these in one throw. was fierce and restless, and flashed Slowly the bowl was poised, swiftly ever and anon with furtive and yenge- and surely it flew, just touching the ful glances. Around his brown bellying point of the outer pin, and brawny neck a coloured kerchief bounding to the other two, laying all was wound loosely, and fastened in on the ground. The game was won. front by a gold ring; his jacket was A little uproar of shouts, opinions, full
, and trimmed with braid ; little and acclaim closed around the players, filigree buttons held his waistcoat and it was soon evident that the together; a cap, with hanging tassel principals themselves were at high and gold band, sat lightly on his words. short dark curls, and round his “Let 'em fight it out !” was the waist was bound a red sash. The general cry, and seemed the mutual dress was foreign, and Richard Cur- meaning. genven, the wearer or Brazilian Presently old John Truscott's form Dick, as he was familiarly called was seen, and his voice heard in the had been a wanderer in many lands, midst. No fighting — no fighting had shared (it was said) in some here!” he said. “If the lads want strange exploits on the Spanish Main; to know who is best man, let 'em try had worked in the mines of Brazil, a turn of wrastling. A kindly grip and acted many another phase of and a faall don't leave the ill blood wild and adventurous life. He was of a black eye or a bruise. I have now come to his native land, well-knowed many fellows better friends to-do, it seemed; was liberal, even after a good hearty tuzzle.” lavish, of his means, and had a “A second Daniel come to judgdash and recklessness in all he ment,” was the thought, though not said and did, which was taking the speech, of the Cornishmen. The with the many, but had a strong re sentence was received with general pulsion for the staid stay-at-home assent. A ring was speedily formed natures of patriarchs and elders. --the men strip, and are all attired The rival player was Phil Rounsval, in the wrestling-jackets, always ready a young yeoman, the descendant of
on such occasions; they shake hands, yeomen who had lived on the same according to custom, though the wilfarm since the time of the Domesday ful look of the eye, dark and flashing Book without altering their land- with one, calm and steady with the marks, and had gone on man after other, belie the friendly grasp. Now
they take their grip. To the un- thought he was going to give 'un the initiated, the Brazilian has out and Flying Mare." out the best of it. He works and "I am glad he didn't-glad he turns and twists apparently accord- didn't.” ing to his pleasure; but the con · Why, John l you know none but noisseur sees that his adversary is the best men can play that hitch.” gradually drawing him closer and “ None but the best men can play closer with the steady force of calm it, and the best men never do it power. They are close now, breast except when the blood is up. I to breast, and Phil's right arm is never played it but once, and I am thrown over the shoulder, his right sorry for it now-always have been.” leg twined round that of the Bra Tell us all about it, Champion zilian, who perforce seizes him now Jan,” was the cry of many voices. round the waist. “A hitch, a hitch," Well; you know, lads, how I is the shout. “ He hath got 'un went up to Plymouth to wrastle the now," mutters old John Truscott. Devonshire champion. He were a
For a minute they stand thus, still good man-as good a man as e'er I and statuesque, either afraid to lose had a turn with. Well, he kicked his balance. Phil inakes play; fails; and kicked me cruel, till my leg was rescues himself ; grows wary. The all black and plummed up, from Brazilian loses patience ; makes a knee to ankle. But I didn't mind sudden effort; fails. A sudden touch this much, for I gave 'un a creme of Phil's heel, a quick turn of the (a grip) for every kick; and at last whole body, and down goes his ad- he put forth his foot vengefully, and versary fairly on his back, not heavi- took my toe-nail clean off. I was in ly, but with the elastic bound of an cruel pain-very nigh mad, and I india-rubber ball.
closed in on ’un, took the old hitch, “ A faall—a faall !” is the cry. gave ’un the hoist, and away he went
The men rise and glare at each flying over my shoulder, and fell flat other, and words are muttered such on the ground like a sack of wheat.” as these-“Next time we will have “Didst kill’un, Jan didst break a sharper tuzzle.” – Ay, ay, and his bones ?” perhaps thee may then have a heavier No, no; he wasn't that hurt. fall."
The wind was out of ’un for a while; There is a general breaking up and but he was game, regular game, and dispersion to the different homes now got up and stood another turn; but for the Christmas Eve.
I have heard that he was never his “ There is ill blood atween those own man again. No, no, lads, never lads," says old Joe Treherne the play in passion-never give the Flypilot; " and 'tis all along of olding
Mare.” miller Rosevear's lass.”
Except when your toe - nail's “Ah !” says old Truscott,“ there's kicked off," insinuates pilot Joe. a lass in the case, is there? I mis Old Truscott answered not, but doubted somewhat, Farmer Phil went his way, shaking his head, played so wilful.”
thinking and feeling evidently that « Yes, sure," rejoined the pilot, that angry action was a blot on his “he cremed’un cruel hard, and look- manhood, and had placed a withered ed so vengeful at one time, that I leaf in his champion's chaplet.
Deep in one of those glens which almost a projection of it, save where everywhere in Cornwall vein the the fitful lights of a wintry sky struck land with lines of beauty and sub- out dimly and partially the outline limity, coursing through and vivify- of its thick thatched roof with its ing even bleakness and barrenness heavy overhanging eaves, its broad with touches of the picturesque and gable with latticed windows, doors, romantic, stood an old mill." Built and hatches, and the huge wheel in a hollow of the rock, it seemed resting like a black jagged shadow
in the darkness. In front brawled a handful of last year's harvest bound tiny brook, which had no right, from with a withered garland, and the its size, to make the noise it did. dark recesses where the wood was It was almost the only thing which stored, and where the clock and the woke up or enlivened the solitudes dressers stood, all bedecked now with and wastes through which it passed. little bits of laurel and holly. On It made the life of the little glen the shelves pewter plates and dishes as it tumbled, and foamed, and gur- shone like silver shields. Old Hugh gled in its rocky course, fretting in had an aversion to delf, or clome as eddies over the loose stones, lying he called it, and made very merry at darkly in deep pools, from which it times with his wife's Cheeny vagaries swept over ridges and ledges in tiny -the good lady's tastes in that line cascades—-rushing through channels being humbly developed in a couple it had worn for itself-running in a of spotted cows with tails turned over wavy line through a dark tunnel of their backs, and a shepherd and shepcliff--and then, at last, sparkling and herdess very mild and pastoral. dancing in the open space, where it From behind the settle, ever and met the breakers of the great sea. anon, as the oven was opener, came It was ever alight, too, even in the a'goodly savour of newly-baked bread, dark places, with sun or moon gleams; cakes, and pies. Female forms flitted and, by day or night, its waters to and fro, sending a pleasant look glanced and shone like bright spots or a pleasant word to the old man as in the gloom and shadows of the he sat waiting his guests. Their glen.
coming was anticipated in the preThis spot was called the Rocky sence of horn-cups on the table
before Valley, and was a short distance him, and a large brown Toby Fill-pot only from the town of Boscastle. jug, the only earthern thing he used, Here lived old Hugh Rosevear the that he had been inveigled into buymiller. He and his mill were both ing by a Cheap-John, who held it at rest now, keeping holiday. He before him, and said, “There, miller, was the very picture of holiday rest take this, and whenever you pour as he sat in a huge oaken settle be- out your beer, you may see yourself fore the fire-the very type of a jolly without a looking-glass.” The conmiller. Why millers should neces ceit tickled the old fellow, and he sarily be jolly, or why their vocation always chuckled when, at his evenshould nurture this characteristic, is ing draughts, he was confronted by not very clear, save that the plenty the figure of the jolly toper. which passes by them sheds on their Pleasant were the old man's musnature a reflection of goodliness and ings as he sat basking in the firesatisfaction. We have seen muillers light; many a low chuckle did he certainly, meagre, sombre, and dis- utter, and many a time might be mal enough to have done honour to a conventicle ; but these are the “ The slow wise smile that round about failures : as a class, they are generally His dusty forehead drily curl'd, fat and well-liking, mirthful and
Seem'd half within and half without, chirping, fond of jest, and feast, and
And full of dealings with the world.” song.
Pleasantly were they interrupted after Old Hugh looked like a man who a while by the presence of a young was about to feast, and who liked girl, who came softly around the the idea. There was feasting in the settle, and stood before him on the twinkle of his eyes, in the folds of hearth. his double-chin, and the quiet smile “Ah! Grace, lass, art dressed playing about his mouth. He was a'ready? Thee doesn't want much alone
as yet. From a heap of turf bedizening, and that thee know'st and wood on the wide open hearth right well.' And the old man's eyes the fire flashed fitfully, throwing a laughed softly with pride and satisbroad bright gleam on the stone floor, faction as they lighted on the pleabut only halt lighting the beams and sant beauty and comely proportions rafters, from which hung pieces of of his daughter. Grace Rosevear bacon, bags of herbs, and the first was indeed pleasant to look upon.
Hers was the half Celtic half Saxon “Well, father, if a rolling stone beauty-not rare in Cornwall-of the gathers no moss, a stay-at-home is dark-grey eye, bright and gladsome, always homely, and I likes to hear the oval face, the clear complexion all his romancings about the strange touched with a healthful ruddiness, people and the strange sights he hath the light-brown hair, soft and rich, seen ; and he tells it all
, brave and rippling in wavy folds around the spirity, like the player-fólk at the forehead, and falling loosely in two show. long curls adown the neck. The “Romancing ! Yes, half of 'em lies, charm of face and feature, however, and what good has ever come of all were as nought to the brightness this gadding and sight-seeing. The and kindliness which played over father before 'im, old Dick Curgenthem like a sunny gleam. Her figure ven, was always a-roving and awas tall and light, yet well rounded, rambling, a-trying this and that, and swelled fairly beneath the tight- Jack-of-all - trades and master of fitting boddice and the full petticoat. none ; and what was the end of it? Not refined, perhaps, was Grace, nor Why, he almost come to the parish did she rejoice in the white hand or afore he died. Noa, noa, give me a arched foot, but she was winsome staid, kindly lad, like Phil Rounsval, and winning. Her only ornament who can be gay enough at feastingto-night was a breast-knot of cherry, time and revels, but was never away coloured ribbons. As his eye glanced from tilling, or hoeing, or haymakon this, old Hugh laughed heartily. ing, or harvest-home. He's a good
“Ah! lass,” he said, “I am glad man, too, in the ring and at hurling. to see thee hast not forgotten thee Old Champion Jan says, he never fairing. On a night like this, a lad saw a likelier one ; and he's a good hath a right to see thee favour his man, too, on his own hearthstone." token. I am right glad, too, that Could old Rosevear have seen the thee doesn't wear the gimcrack that light flush which the name of Phil fellow Rich Curgenven gave thee." called up, he would have dismissed
“Come, father, it is no gimcrack any misgivings he might have of that broach, but the purest gold Grace's hankering for the rover, and from the mines; so Dick told me, have seen that her defence of him and the lad himself is well enough, was a little wilfulness and caprice. and hath a good favour and a glib “I wonder, father, you 'favour tongue."
Phil's gallivantings to the wrestlings "Gold or no gold, I care not. I and the feasts, when you are so hard mislike the chap, glib as he is. I upon another lad for roving and never could take kindly to a man straying.” who couldn't look me in the face, "'Tis a different thing--a different and is always glowering askew. thing entirely. A man must show Besides, I doan't put any faith in a hisself a man, and should see what gad-about, who never knaws his own the lads of other parishes be like, parish, and goes tramping about and what be their ways and games, from place to place, furgathering and he will settle down better afterwith furreigners, and such like. I wards to his own town-place. 'Tis hope that I shall never see thee take furreigners I object to. There's no on with a fellow who goeth trapsing good in 'em. Old Pilot Joe will tell and tinkering about the country”. ye the same. Ah! here he comes.”
At the moment, in the height of He had entered at the moment, his prejudices against wanderers, he bringing with him a smell of seasaw his daughter in highlows and a weed and tarred rope. With him black velvet bonnet, with a bundle was old John Truscott, burly ever, of sticks and umbrellas under her and bravely attired now in top-boots arm, following her spouse from house and breeches, a buff waistcoat, and to house, or with a tambourine in a blue coat, very scant and short in her hand going from window to win- the waist. Another of the guests dow, whilst he juggled with balls on was old Jack Philp, the auctioneer, an extemporised arena, or exhibited whose outer man was ever the same. Punch.
No mortal, save perhaps the wife of
his bosom, ever saw it represented fortable or social with 'eni somehow, otherwise than by Hessian boots, for they'ern mostly cruel, oncertain, cords, a cut-away coat, and a hat and wilful; not hearty and straightwhich was a kind of compromise be for’ard as we be, but will carry their tween a carter's and a dean's, such grudges in their hearts for years, and as became one who surveyed land and gie a man a stab or a shot, without gathered tithes, and whose vocation word or warning.” was a sort of neutral ground betwixt “ What of that ? " cried Brazilian the plough and the vestry. Whether Dick. “Give me the wild brave life he was ever divested of these exter- in the countries where men's hearts nals, or how they were changed or are warmed by the sunshine, and renewed, the partner of his privacy women's eyes flash brightly. What alone could tell. He was a cheery if there be sometimes a flashing knife old fellow, with a wrinkled weather or a death-grip-and if a man be beaten face, ruddy withal, like an found lying stabbed under a window, old apple, and was as famous for or falls dead and bloody under a his prowess and hard-headedness at gambling-table? There is some spirit drinking-bouts, as old Truscott was in the dashing, rollicking life they lead for his wrestling. With these came there'; and 'tis better living, after all, other worthies; and the two young than slouching about the same fields men followed shortly after,-- Phil all one's days, with the clay clogging greeting the miller with a hearty one's feet, and with scarce heart grip, and making a sort of half-bash enough to look over the next fence." ful, half-familiar salutation to Grace; “God keep us from such a life," Curgenven sliding in almost unseen murmured dame Rosevear; and and unnoticed, until he had reached Grace's cheek grew pale as she heard her side, and begun to make his ad the rover speak so lightly of blood vances in his usual dashing style, and murder. softening, however, his recklessness “A man may be bold enough,” by an insinuating air of courtesy rejoined Phil, who never went and gallantry-when his eye caught abroad from his own town-place, sight of the simple ribbon lying and ha'e speret enough to hold his where his gift should have been, and own, if his blood ben't heated with a then shot towards his rival a glance blazing sun. The ould stone down fierce, vengeful, and threatening as in the four-acre field by the “Keeve” a snake's.
Dame Rosevear, fat, has never been moved for hundreds hearty, and comely, as she ought in of years, and the Rounsvals for as right to be, had meanwhile joined long have stood on the same harththe circle, and passed compliments stone, and crossed the same threshwith her husband's cronies. She old ; though the roof and walls may saw that glance, and interpreted it have been changed. But there never with a woman's readiness.
was one of the breed yet that turned The company were all seated now from a fair challenge. We ben't good around the fire, pipes were lighted, at the knife or the back-stroke, but horns were filled, and pieces of face to face with the fist or the hug, saffron and currant cake handed we never feared a man yet." about on platters.
“Never mind about stay-at-homes, “I was saying when you come in,” or stray-abroads,” struck in champion began old Hugh,
“that I never
Truscott. “If a man hath got the knowed any good come of mixing heart in 'im, he'll show it, whether with furreigners, and that I never he be working slate in Delabole heard any good of most of 'em. You quarry, or digging gold in a Portucant give 'em any great character, I guese mine.” Then changing the drift think, Joe Treherne."
of the conversation, he turned to old “God forbid that I should wrong pilot Treherne. “So Joe, thee think'em,” answered the old pilot, "for est that the seafaring men are the I've met as true men among 'em, best in all countries; nothing like especially the fishermen in the French sticking up for one's own trade.” waters, as ever cast a net or worked “Good right too with me; for as a ship; but I never do feel quite com- long as the Rounsvals have been