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From Blackwood's Magazine. ere civilization had reduced society to one ProTHE BELLS OF BOTREAUX.
crustean standard-a group of men were as
sembled in the skittle-alley of the village inn. THERE are spots and nooks in the world, so It was a long thatched shed, open at the end wild and isolated, so set in contrast by oddness and one side, and having benches all around of position with the general order and economy, for the spectators. It was a wild, strange that they seem accidents, freaks or after-thoughts group. There were the hard-lined, weatherof nature. Such is the little harbor of Bos- beaten faces, and strong, stalwart, toil-hardened castle, on the north coast of Comwall. It was forms of pilots and fishermen, clad in the thick an after-thought. There the sea has made for heavy boots, the large woolen frocks hanging in itself an inlet betwixt the bold headlands of the folds round their waists, and the fur cap or oilrocky shore, where it tides, boils, and surges in skin hat, which seems as peculiar to the class a little cove, surrounded by dark walls of cliff as his skin is to the bear; of quarrymen, heavy, and jutting points, expending its force against dull, and clay-stained, and of sturdy, homely. the small pier, which forms a confined and par- looking yeomen. In the midst, with a sort of tial shelter for the few ships trading thither. A half-acknowledged anthority and precedence, sat deep narrow valley, through which a tiny a large, stout, muscular man of herculean streamlet runs over a stony shelving bed, be- build, but whose giant proportions were contwixt the sloping sides of grassy furze-clad fused and lost by his loose mode of sitting the steeps, leads inland to a few straggling houses, face was broad and ruddy, the brow wide and scattered along the foot of the hills, and con- open. This was old John Truscott, a famous nected by a rude bridge. Here were the few wrestler, who had not only carried off the hats, stores, shops, and yards which the trade and purses, and other prizes at the neighboring traffic of the place required; here were the games, but had actually “gone foreign ” to houses of the wild seamen and fishers, who show his prowess—that is, had gone into the battled through life with the storms and surfs, next county to meet the challenge of a man the perils and difficulties of that rock-bound who claimed the championship of the kingdom; coast: and here the rudo quarrymen from a had there and then thrown him in a fair ring, neighboring district laid their heads, took their winning the supremacy for his own county ; chance meals, their chance rests and recreations. and had come back to live and move among Amid this hard-bred, hard-living, rough-tutored his own people, surrounded with a little halo commonalty, moved a small and well-graduated of hero-worship. aristocracy of craftsmen, shipwrights, clerks, Seldom were surnames heard in this assemand merchants. The houses were simple and blage. Men were known chiefly by patronymcommonplace enough, but the shadows of the ics, synonyms, and nicknames. Smuggler overhanging hills, now dark with cloud-gloom, Tom," “Pilot Joe,” “ Champion John," and now rich and mellow with the bloom of furze.
Fancy Sam,” were the terms and titles banand heath, and the distant roar of the surf and died about from mouth to mouth. At the time the glimpses of spray and foam, gave to the we enter, the interest is all centred on two place a wild picturesqueness which toned well players. The one was a tall, lithe, sinewy with the life of the people. At times, too, man, quick, rapid, and impulsive in his action when the storms arosc, when the waves, surged and gestures. The face was handsome, but its loudly and heavily against the shore, and the beauty was of the kind which bordered on the winds swept up the valley with a drear and fearful. The features and expression were fine sullen boom, and the storm-shades fell darkly and strongly marked, but stern and unsoftened and wildly, the vale-head, with its cluster of as though they had been impressed in lava, or home-steads, was raised into sublimity. How burnt in by the heat of sun and passion. The often does nature thus clothe the homeliness of eye was fierce and restless, and flashed ever man with its own beauty and grandeur! How and anon with furtive and vengeful glances. often, again, does man invest its common-Around his brown brawny neck a colored kerplaces with a sacredness and a glory! This chief was wound loosely, and fastened in front spot was, however, but the outskirt, the offset by a gold ring; his jacket was full and trimmed of the town, which lay strewn on the face of with braid; little filigree buttons held his waistthe hill in clumps and heaps of houses, missed coat together; a cap, with hanging tassel and like boulders or tors along the side of a steep gold band, sat lightly on his short dark carls, and tortuous road, which led down towards the and round his waist was bound a red sash. harbor.
The dress was foreign, and Richard Curgenven, On a Christmas Eve, some time in the be the wearer-or Brazilian Dick, as he was faginning of this century-when men still wore miliarly called —had been a wanderer in many thoir singularities and their individualism, and 'lands, had shared (it was said) in some strange
exploits on the Spanish Main ; bad worked in the friendly grasp. Now they take their grip. the mines of Brazil, and acted many another To the uninitiated, the Brazilian has out and phase of wild and adventurous life. He was out the best of it. He works and turns and now come to his native land, well-to-do, it twists apparently according to his pleasure; seemed; was liberal, even lavish, of his means, but the connoisseur sees that his adversary is nd bad a dash and recklessness in all he said gradually drawing him closer and closer with nd did, which was taking with the many, but the steady force of calm power. They are close nad a strong repulsion for the staid stay-at- now, breast to breast, and Phil's right arm is home natures of patriarchs and elders. The thrown over the shoulder , his right leg twined rival player was Phil Rounsval, a young yeo- round that of the Brazilian, who perforce seizes man, the descendant of yeomen who had lived him now round the waist. “ A hitch, a hitch,” on the same farm since the time of the Domes is the shout. “He hath got ’un now," mutters day Book without altering their landmarks, and old John Truscott. had gone on man after man tilling the same For a minute they stand thus, still and statuacres, housing their cattle in the same steads, esque, either afraid to lose his balance. Phil sitting by the same hearthstone, and being borne makes play; fails'; rescues himself; grows to the same churchyard on the cliff, where the wary. The Brazilian loses patience; makes a burial-mounds of the race were heaped like sudden effort; fails. A sudden touch of Phil's molehills. He was young, and comely to look heel, a quick turn of the whole body, and down upon. The character of his countenance was goes his adversary fairly on his back, not heavi
to the Cornish-massive, yet | ly, but with the elastic bound of an India-rubber finely turned-not heavy or inexpressive, but | ball. rarely lit or excited; his form was slouching “ A faall—a faall!” is the cry. or slovenly, until some gymnastic action threw The men rise and glare at each other, and it into an attitude of firm and graceful strength. words are muttered such as these-"Next time The game was one of skill, and was at a turn- we will have a sharper tuzzle.”—“Ay, ay, and ing-point. The men were “lobbing”-that is, perhaps thee may then have a heavier fall.” throwing the bowl home to the pins, not bowl- There is a general breaking up and dispering or trundling it. Brazilian Dick had made sion to the different homes now for the Christsome brilliant and dashing throws, which had mas Eve. somewhat posed the steady play of his antago- “ There is ill blood atween those lads,” says nist. There were now three pins standing, and old Joe Treherne the pilot; “and 'tis all along Farmer Phil had to bring down these in one of old miller Rosevear's lass.” throw. Slowly the bowl was poised, swiftly “ Ah!” says old Truscott, “ there's a lass in and surely it flow, just touching the bellying the case, is there? I misdoubted somewhat, point of the outer pin, and bounding to the Farmer Phil played so wilful.” other two, laying all on the ground. The game “ Yes, sure,” rejoined the pilot, “he cremed was won. A little uproar of shouts, opinions, l'un cruel hard, and looked so vengeful at one and acclaim closed around the players, and it time, that I thought he was going to give 'un was soon evident that the principals themselves the Flying Mare.” were at high words.
“I am glad he didn't-glad he didn't.” "Let 'em fight it out!” was the general cry, Why, John? you know none but the best and seemed the mutual meaning.
men can play that hitch.” Presently old John Truscott's form was seen, “None but the best men can play it, and the and his voice heard in the midst. “No fight- best men never do it except when the blood is ing—no fighting here!” he said. “If the lads
up. I never played it but once, and I am sorry want to know who is best man, let 'em try a for it now-always have been.” turn of wrastling. A kindly grip and a faall “ Tell us all about it, Champion Jan,” was don't leave the ill blood of a black eyo or a the cry of
voices. bruise. I have knowed many fellows better
“Well; you know, lads, how I went up to friends after a good hearty tuzzle.”
Plymouth to wrastle the Devonshire champion. “A second Daniel come to judgment,” was He were a good man—as good a man as e'er I the thought, though not the speech of the Crr- had a turn with. Well, he kicked and kicked nishmen. The sentence was received with
me cruel, till my leg was all black and plummed general assent. A ring was speedily formed
from knee to ankle. But I didn't mind this the men strip, and are all attired in the wrest- much, for I gave 'un a creme (a grip) for every ling-jackets, always ready on such occasions; kick; and at last he put forth his foot vengethey shake hands, according to custom, though fully, and took my toe-nail clean off. I was in the wilful look of the eye, dark and flashing cruel pain-very nigh mad, and I closed in on with one, calm and steady with the other, belie''un, took the old hitch, gave 'un the hoist, and
away he went Aying over my shoulder, and fell ( of goodliness and satisfaction. We have seen flat on the ground like a sack of wheat." millers certainly, meagre, sombro, and dismal
“Didst kill 'un, Jan ?-didst break his enough to have done honor to a conventicle ; bones?”
but these are the failures: as a class, they are “No, no; he wasn't that hurt. The wind generally fat and well-liking, mirthful and chip. was out of ’un for a whilo; but he was game, ing, fond of jest, and feast, and song. regular game, and got up and stood another Old Hugh looked like a man who was about turn; but I have heard that he was never his to feast, and who liked the idea. There was own man again. No, no, lads, never play in feasting in the twinkle of his eyes, in the folds passion-never give the Flying Mare.”
of his double-chin, and the quiet smile playing Except when your toe-nail's kicked off,” about his mouth. He was alone as yet. From insinuates pilot Joe.
a heap of turf and wood on the wide open Old Truscott answered not, but went his way, hearth the fire flashed fitfully, throwing a broad shaking his head, thinking and feeling evidently bright gleam on the stone floor, but only half that that angry action was a blot on his man- lighting the beams and rafters, from which hung hood, and had placed a withered leaf in his pieces of bacon, bags of herbs, and the first champion's chaplet
handful of last year's harvest bound with a withered garland, and the dark recesses where
the wood was stored, and where the clock and DEEP in one of those glens which everywhere the dressers . stood, all bedecked now with little in Cornwall vein the land with lines of beauty bits of laurel and holly. On the shelves pewter and sublimity, coursing through and vivifying plates and dishes shone like silver shields. Old even bleakness and barrenness with touches of Hugh had an aversion to delf, or clome as he the picturesque and romantic, stood an old mill. called it, and made very merry at times with his Built in a hollow of the rock, it seemed almost wife's Cheeny vagaries—the good lady's tastes a projection of it, save where the fitful lights of in that line being humbly developed in a couple a wintry sky struck out dimly and partially the of spotted cows with tails turned over their outline of its thick thatched roof with its heavy backs, and a shepherd and shepherdess very mild overhanging eaves, its broad gable with latticed
and pastoral. windows, doors, and hatches, and the huge
From behind the settle, ever and anon, & wheel resting like a black jagged shadow in the the oven was opened, came a goodly savor of darkness. In front brawled a tiny brook, which
newly-baked bread, cakes, and pies. Female had no right, from its size, to make the noise it forms fitted to and fro, sending a pleasant look did. It was almost the only thing which woke or a pleasant word to the old man as he sat up or enlivened the solitudes and wastes
waiting his guests. Their coming was anticithrough which it passed. It made the life of pated in the presence of horn-cups on the table the little glen as it tumbled, and foamed, and before him, and a large brown Toby Fill-pot gurgled in its rocky course, fretting in eddies jug, the only earthern thing ho used, that he over the loose stones, lying darkly in deep had been inveigled into buying by a Cheappools, from which it swept over ridges and John, who held it before him, and said, “There, lcdges in tiny cascades—rushing through chan-miller, take this, and whenever you pour out nels it had worn for itself—running in a wavy your beer, you may see yourself without a line through a dark tunnel of cliff—and then, at looking-glass.” The conceit tickled the old fellast, sparkling and dancing in the open space, low, and he always chuckled when, at his erenwhere it met the breakers of the great sea. It was cver alight, too, even in the dark places, of the jolly toper.
ing draughts, he was confronted by the figure with sun or moon gleams; and, by day or
Pleasant were the old man's musings as he night, its waters glanced and shone like bright sat basking in the fire-light; many a low spots in the gloom and shadows of the glen.
chuckle did he utter, and many a time might be This spot was called the Rocky Valley, and was a short distance only from the town of Bos
“ The slow wise smile that round about castle. Here lived old Hugh Rosevear the
His dusty forehead drily curl'd, miller. He and his mill were both at rest now, Seem'd half within and half without, keeping holiday. He was the very picture of And full of dealings with the world." holiday rest as he sat in a huge oaken settle Pleasantly were they interruped after a whilo before the fire-the very type of a jolly miller. by the presence of a young girl, who came Why millers should necessarily be jolly, or why softly round the settle, and stood before him 01 their vocation should nurture this characteristic, the hearth. is not very clear, save that the plenty which “Ah! Grace, lass, 'art dressed a’ready? passes by them sheds on their nature a reflection Thee doesn't want much bedizening, and that
thee know'st right well.” And the old man's | Dick Curgenven, was always a-roving and aeyes laughed softly with pride and satisfaction rambling, a-trying this and that, Jack-of-allas they lighted on the pleasant beauty and trades and master of none; and what was the comely proportions of his daughter. Grace end of it? Why, he almost come to the parish Roseveär was indeed pleasant to look upon. afore he died. Noa, noa, give me a staid, Hers was the half Celtic half Saxon beauty- | kindly lad, like Phil Rounsval, who can be gay not rare in Cornwall—of the dark-grey eye; enough at feasting-time and revels, but was - bright and gladsome, the oval face, the clear never away from tilling, or hoeing, or haymakcomplexion touched with a healthful ruddiness, ing, or harvest-home. He's a good man, too, the light-brown hair, soft and rich, rippling in in the ring and at hurling. Old Champion Jan wavy folds around the forehead, and falling says, he never saw a 'likelier onc; and he's a loosely in two long curls adown the neck. The good man, too, on his own hearthstone." charm of face and feature, however, were as Could old Rosevear have seen the light flush nought to the brightness and kindliness which which the name of Phil called up, he would played over them like a sunny gleam. Her fig. have dismissed any misgivings he might have ure was fall and light, yet well rounded, and of Grace's hankering for the rover, and have swelled fairly beneath tho tight-fitting boddice seen that her defence of him was a little wilfuland the full petticoat. Not refined, perhaps, ness and caprice. was Grace, nor did she rejoice in the white “I wonder, father, you favor Phil's gallivanthand or arched foot, but she was winsome and ings to the wrestlings and the feasts, when you winning. Her only ornament tonight was a are so hard upon another lad for roving and breast-knot of cherry-colored ribbons. As his straying." eye glanced on this, old Hugh laughed heartily. “It's a different thing—a different thing
“Ah ! lass,” he said, “I am glad to see thee entirely. A man must show hisself a man, hast not forgotten thee fairing. On a night and should see what the lads of other parishes like this, a lad hath a right to see thee favor his be like, and what be their ways and games, token. I am right glad, too, that thee doesn't and he will settle down better afterwards to wear the gimcrack that fellow Rich Curgenven his own town-place. 'Tis furreigners I object
There's no good in 'em. Old Pilot Joe "Come, father, it is no gimcrack that broach, will tell ye
the same. Ah! here he comes.” but the purest gold from the mines ; so Dick He had entered at the moment, bringing with told me, and the lad himself is well enough, and him a smell of sea-weed and tarred rope. With hath a good favor and a glib tongue.”
him was cld John Truscott, burly ever, and “Gold or no gold, I care not. I mislike the bravely attired now in top-boots and brecches, chap, glib as he is. I never could take kindly a buff waistcoat, and a blue coat, very scant to a man who couldn't look me in the face, and and short in the waist. Another of the guests is always glowering askew. Besides, I doan't was old Jack Philp, the auctioneer, whose put any faith in a gad-about, who never knaws outer man was ever the same. No mortal, save his own parish, and goes tramping about from perhaps the wife of his bosom, ever saw it replace to placc, furgathering with furreigners, presented otherwise than by Hessian boots, and such like. I hope that I shall never see cords, a cut-away coat, and a hat which was a thee take on with a fellow who gocth trapsing kind of compromise between a carter's and a and tinkering about the country.'
dean’s, such as became one who surveyed land At the moment, in the height of his preju- and gathered tithes, and whose vocation was a dices against wanderers, he saw his daughter in sort of neutral ground betwixt tho plough and highlows and a black velvet bonnet, with a the vestry. Whether he was ever divested of bundle of sticks and umbrellas under her arm, these externals, or how they were changed or following her spouse from house to house, or renewed, tho partner of his privacy alone could with a tambourine in her hand going from win- tell. He was a cheery old fellow, with a dow to window, whilst ho juggled with balls on wrinkled, weather-beaten facs, ruddy withal, an extemporized arena, or exhibited Punch. like an old apple, and was as famous for his
"Well, father, if a rolling stone gathers no prowess and hard-headedness at drinking-bouts, moss, a stay-at-home is always homely, and I as old Truscott was for his wrestling. With likes to hear all his romancings about the these came other worthics; and the two young strange people and the strange sights he hath men followed shortly after, — Phil greeting the seen; and he tells it all, brave and spirity, like miller with a hearty grip, and making a sort of the player-folk at the show.”
half-bashful, half-familiar salutation to Grace; Romancing! Yes, half of 'em lies, and Curgenven sliding in almost unseen and unwhat good has ever como of all this gadding noticed, until he had reached her side, and beand sight-secing. The father before 'im, old gun to make his advances in his usual dashing
style, softening, however, his recklessness by an never was one of the breed yet that turned from insinuating air of courtesy and gallantry—when a fair challenge. We ben't good at the knife his eye caught sight of the simple ribbon lying or the back-stroke, but face to face with the fist where his gift should have been, and then shot or the hug, we never feared a man yet." towards his rival a glance fierce, vengeful, and “Never mind about stay-at-homes, or strap. threatening as a snake's. Dame Rosevear, fat, abroads,” struck in champion Truscott.. "If a hearty, and comely, as she ought in right to be, man hath got the heart in ’im, he'll show it, had meanwhile joined the circle, and passed whether he be working slate in Delabole quarry, compliments with her husband's cronies. She or digging gold in a Portuguese mine.” Then saw that glance, and interpreted it with a wo- changing the drift of the conversation, he man's readiness.
turned to old pilot Treherne. “ So Joe, thee The company were all seated now around thinkest that the seafaring men are the best in the fire, pipes were lighted, horns were filled, all countries; nothing like sticking up for one's and pieces of saffron and currant cake handed own trade.” about on platters.
“Good right too with me; for as long as the “I was saying when you come in,” began Rounsvals have been ploughing the farm at the old Hugh, “that I never knowed any good Keeve, have we Trehernes, faythers and sons, come of mixing with furreigners, and that I been going down to the sea in ships. Men never heard any good of most of 'em. You and boys, for generations, have wo been occacant give 'em any great character, I think, pying our business in the great waters, and Joe Treherne.”
lived from the time we were born, a’most to our “God forbid that I should wrong 'em,” an- graves, amid the wonders of the deep. Most swered the old pilot, “ for I've met as true men on us, too, have met our graves there. Three among 'em, especially the fishermen in the grown men only of us all have been carr'd to French waters, as ever cast a net or worked a the old Botreaux churchyard, or had the prayers ship; but I never do feel quite comfortable or read o’er 'em.” social with 'em somehow, for they'ern mostly “ That's the worst of the calling," chimed cruel, oncertain, and wilful; not hearty and in Jack Philp. ' It must be oncommon cold straight-for’ard as we be, but will carry their lying down at the bottom of the sca, upon the grudges in their hearts for years, and gie a sand and shells, with the waves washing over man a stab or a shot, without word or warn- one, and the weeds twining around, and the ing.”
great fish a-swimming about and looking at one. “ What of that?” cried Brazilian Dick. I must own that I shud like to be tucked in "Give me the wild brave life in the countries comfortable in a coffin, and have made my old where men's hearts are warmed by the sunshine, dummun promise that I shud be laid in a fourand woman's eyes flash brightly. What if wall grave, snug and cozy-like.” there be sometimes a flashing knife or a death- “ Sure thee doesn't think that it matters grip-and if a man be found lying stabbed where our poor bones be put to, maister Philp,” under a window, or falls dead and bloody under says dame Rosevear., “ Thee doesn't believe a gambling-table? There is some spirit in the that the speret ever comes back to 'em. I dashing, rollicking life they lead there ; and 'tis never troubles my head much with sich docbetter living, after all, than slouching about the trines. I thinks very much like old saxton same fields all one's days, with the clay clogging Will. When Irish Kitty threatened to hannt one's feet, and with scarce heart enough to look l 'im if he didn't bury her under the ould yev. over the next fonce.”
tree, he tould the parson o' it. Well,' said “God keep us from such a life," murmured the parson, 'I ain't afraid ; are you?' 'No,' dame Rosevear; and Grace's cheek grew pale says Will, 'I ben't afcard; for if her goeth to a as she heard the rover speak so lightly of blood good place, her won't want to come back; and and murder.
if her gocth to the bad one, they won't let “A man may be bold enough,” rejoined her.'” Phil, “who never went abroad from his own “Natheless,” answered the pilot, “it would town-place, and ha’o speret enough to hold his be a comfort to know that I should ha’e to lie own, if his blood ben't heated with a blazing at last in the ould ground at Botreaux, with
The ould stone down in the four-acre the winds from tho furzy down blowing over it, field by the “ Keeve” has never been moved and the sun lighting upon the turf, and the for hundreds of years, and the Rounsvals for waves rippling ngin the rocks nigh at hand. as long have stood on the same harth-stone, and God knows, though, whether my cheeld will crossed the same threshold; though the roof ever be able to tell where his fayther lieth. It and walls may have been changed. But there is curious, though, that one of the few on us