In Cornwall, it is quite possible to take a stride from the richest vegetation into the abomination of desolation. It has been said in mockery that Cornwall does not grow wood enough to make coffins for the people.
English churchmen have long gazed with love on the primitive church as the ideal of Christian perfection, the Eden wherein the first fathers of their faith walked blameless before God and passionless towards each other.
The whole of society is like a cabbage-stalk covered with caterpillars, and none is satisfied till it has crawled to the top.
Cornwall, peopled mainly by Celts, but with an infusion of English blood, stands and always has stood apart from the rest of England, much, but in a less degree, as has Wales.
In art, S. Bridget is usually represented with her perpetual flame as a symbol, sometimes with a column of fire, said to have been seen above her head when she took the veil.
The fame of Maria Foote's beauty and charm of manner had reached London, and in May 1814, she made her first appearance at Covent Garden Theatre and personated Amanthis in 'The Child of Nature' with such grace and effect that the manager complimented her with an immediate engagement.
There is nothing so striking to the eye on a return to England from the Continent as the stateliness of our trees. I do not know of any trees in Europe to compare with ours.
In ancient British times, the whole country belonged to tribes, and the tribes owned their several districts. At the head of each tribe was the chief.
Cyder was anciently the main drink of the country people in the West of England.
Mankind progresses not smoothly, as by a sliding carpet ascent, but by rugged steps broken by gaps. He halts long on one stage before taking the next. Often he remains stationary, unable to form resolution to step forward – sometimes even has turned round and retrograded.
In North Germany, a troublesome ghost is bagged, and the bag emptied in some lone spot or in the garden of a neighbour against whom a grudge is entertained.
The Welsh have everywhere adopted the Cymric tongue; they hug themselves in the belief that they are pure descendants of the ancient Britons, but in fact, they are rather Silurians than Celts.
Happiness is only attained by the free will agreeing in its freedom to accord with the will of God.
The universal practice of closing the eyes of the dead may be thought to have originated in the desire that he might be prevented from seeing his way.
The fold is that place where He keeps His flock shut behind the hurdles of the Ten Commandments. Every now and then, a sheep leaps one of these hurdles or pushes his way between them and runs away into forbidden pastures. Then the Good Shepherd goes after the erring sheep and brings it back.
The stream of civilisation flows on like a river: it is rapid in mid- current, slow at the sides, and has its backwaters. At best, civilisation advances by spirals.
In 1559, Duke Frederick III was summoned before the Emperor Ferdinand I at Breslau to answer the accusations of extravagance and oppression brought against him by the Silesian Estates and was deposed, imprisoned, and his son Henry XI given the Ducal crown instead.
A family may be ruined by extravagance, but it is not always through ruin that the representatives in a family are to be found in humble or comparatively humble circumstances, but that the junior members of a gentle family went into trade.
My own conviction is, confirmed by a very close study of parochial registers, that some of the very best blood in England is to be found among the tradesmen of our county towns.
Ireland was, of old, called the Isle of Saints because of the great number of holy ones of both sexes who flourished there in former ages or who, coming thence, propagated the faith amongst other nations.
In the depths of the moor, the peat may be seen riven like floes of ice, and the rifts are sometimes twelve to fourteen feet deep, cut through black vegetable matter, the product of decay of plants through countless generations.
The Saints are the elect children of the spouse of Christ, the precious fruit of her body; they are her crown of glory. And when these dear children quit her to reap their eternal reward, the mother retains precious memorials of them and holds up their example to her other children to encourage them to follow their glorious traces.
The north coast of Brittany is eaten into bays from which the sea retreats to considerable distances, and is fringed with reefs and islands. It is a favourite resort of Parisians throughout its stretch, from Dinard to Plestin.
The charm of Brittany is to be found in the people and in the churches. The former, with their peculiar costumes and their customs, are full of interest, and the latter are of remarkable beauty and quaintness.
Saint Ignatius was a convert and disciple of S. John the Evangelist. He was appointed by S. Peter to succeed Evodius in the see of Antioch, and he continued in his bishopric full forty years.
Dartmoor proper consists of that upland region of granite, rising to nearly 2,000 feet above the sea, and actually shooting above that height at a few points, which is the nursery of many of the rivers of Devon.
I gave up the notion of writing the life of Joan of Arc, as I found that there was absolutely no new material to be gleaned on her history – in fact, she had been thrashed out.
The Devonian and Cornishman will be found by the visitor to be courteous and hospitable. There is no roughness of manner where unspoiled by periodic influx of strangers; he is kindly, tender-hearted, and somewhat suspicious.
No man need go blindly to destruction, for God has given him guidance and power of seeing whither he goes.
I look back with the greatest pleasure to the kindness and hospitality I met with in Yorkshire, where I spent some of the happiest years of my life.
Connected with the fall of Satan is his lameness. The devil is represented in art and in legion as limping on one foot; this was occasioned by his having broken his leg in his fall.
In the beginning, before the creation of Heaven and Earth, God made the angels; free intelligences and free wills; out of His love He made them, that they might be eternally happy. And that their happiness might be complete, He gave them the perfection of a created nature; that is, He gave them freedom.
The love of Louis XVI for mechanical works is well known. He had a little workshop at Versailles where he amused himself making locks, assisted by Francois Gamain, to whom he was much attached and with whom he spent many hours in projecting and executing mechanical contrivances.
As a boy, I had an uncle, T. G. Bond, who lived near Moreton Hampstead and who was passionately devoted to Dartmoor. He inspired me with the same love.
The tribal system from which the Celt never freed himself entirely was the curse of the Celtic race, predooming it to ruin.
When the British became Christian, Christianity in no way altered their political organisation.
The original settlers in Iceland were the nobles of Norway who left their native land to avoid the tyranny of Harold Fairhair, who tried to crush their power so as to make himself a despotic king in the land.
Saint Mochua was the son of a certain Cronan, of noble race, and spent his youth in fighting. At the age of thirty, he laid aside his arms and burnt a house, with all its contents, which had been given to him by his uncle, saying that a servant of Christ should take nothing from sinners.
Many traditions date the existence of angels and demons from a remote period before the creation of the world, but some connect the fall of Satan and his host with the creation of man.
On many accounts, Cornwall may be regarded as one of the most interesting counties of England, whether we regard it for its coast scenery, its products, or its antiquities.
In Ireland, the tribes are called after the founder, as the Hy Conaill, Hy Fiachra, or sons of Conal, sons of Fiech, through grand, great-grand, and great-great-grandchildren.
Man, double-faced by nature, is placed by Revelation under a sharp, precise external rule, controlling his actions and his thoughts.
Incontestably, the great centres of population in the primeval ages were the chalklands, and next to them those of limestone. The chalk first, for it furnished man with flints, and the limestone next when he had learned to barter.
The Dumnonii, whose city or fortress was at Exeter, were an important people. They occupied the whole of the peninsula from the River Parret to Land's End. East of the Tamar was Dyfnaint, the Deep Vales; west of it Corneu, the horn of Britain.
In the primitive church, it was customary for the Holy Eucharist to be celebrated on the anniversary of the death of a martyr – if possible, on his tomb.
Brittany can hardly claim the attention of the tourist as a superlatively beautiful country. The way in which trees are clipped and tortured out of shape disfigures the sylvan landscape; and of mountain scenery, there is none.
I went to Iceland in 1861 and went over nearly every bit of the ground made famous by the adventures of Grettir.
In winter, the Icelanders told the tales of the brave men of old in their families, and so the tradition was handed on from father to son, the same stories told every winter, till all the particulars became well known.
Among the old Norse, it was the custom for certain warriors to dress in the skins of the beasts they had slain, and thus to give themselves an air of ferocity, calculated to strike terror into the hearts of their foes.
It is somewhat remarkable that Cornwall has produced no musical genius of any note, and yet the Cornishman is akin to the Welshman and the Irishman.
There is no myth relative to the manners and customs of the English that in my experience is more tenaciously held by the ordinary Frenchman than that the sale of a wife in the market-place is an habitual and an accepted fact in English life.
The martyrologies are catalogues in which are to be found the names of the saints with the days and places of their deaths and, generally, with the distinctive character of their sanctity and with an historic summary of their lives.
Each man seeks his own interest, not the general interest. Let his own selfish interests be touched, and all concord is at an end.
A residence of many years in Yorkshire, and an inveterate habit of collecting all kinds of odd and out-of-the-way information concerning men and matters, furnished me, when I left Yorkshire in 1872, with a large amount of material, collected in that county, relating to its eccentric children.
The great majority of the nobility and gentry of England clung to the doctrine and ceremonies of the ancient church, and yet were united in determination to oppose the papal claims.
History, whether sacred or profane, hides her teaching from those who study her through coloured glasses. She only reveals truth to those who look through the cold clear medium of passionless inquiry, who seek the Truth without determining first the masquerade in which alone they will receive it.
The prime feature in Cornish geology is the upheaval of the granite, distorting, folding back, and altering the superincumbent beds.
Black was not the universal hue of mourning in Europe. In Castile, white obtained on the death of its princes.
The Celtic Church as we know it, till gradually brought under Roman discipline, was purely monastic. The monasteries were the centres whence the ministry of souls was exercised.
Should the time come when the county family will be taken away, then the parish will feel for some time like a mouth from which a molar has been drawn – there will be a vacancy that will cause unrest and discomfort.
Mediaeval mythology, rich and gorgeous, is a compound like Corinthian brass, into which many pure ores have been fused, or it is a full turbid river drawn from numerous feeders, which had their sources in remote climes.
In France, successive waves of Gaul, Visigoth, and Frank have swept over the land and have dominated it. But the fair hair and blue eyes and the clear skin of the conquering races have been submerged by the rising and overflow of the dusky blood of the original population.
I have wandered over Europe, have rambled to Iceland, climbed the Alps, been for some years lodged among the marshes of Essex – yet nothing that I have seen has quenched in me the longing after the fresh air, and love of the wild scenery, of Dartmoor.
The Breton peasant is said to have a hard head. He is obstinate and resists outside pressure to alter his creed or his customs.
At the English Revolution, when William of Orange came to the throne, the introduction of French wines into the country was prohibited, and this gave a great impetus to the manufacture of cyder and care in the production of cyder of the best description.
Cornish wrestling was very different from that in Devon – it was less brutal, as no kicking was allowed.
According to Celtic law, all sons equally divided the inheritance and principalities of their father.
The history of the Welsh, the Irish, the Highlanders, is just the same as that of the Gauls, one of internecine feud, no political cohesion, no capacity for merging private interests, forgetting private grudges for a patriotic cause.
About two hundred or two hundred and fifty years after the death of Grettir, his history was committed to writing, and then it became fixed – nothing further was added to it, and we have his story after having travelled down over two hundred years as a tradition.
Cornwall bears a certain resemblance to Italy: each is like a leg or boot, but Italy stands a-tiptoe to the south, whereas Cornwall is thrust out to the west. But, whereas Italy is kicking Sicily as a football, Cornwall has but the shattered group of the Scilly Isles at its toe.
At the Norman Invasion, the Saxon thanes were themselves humbled in turn; the manors were given a more legal character and transferred to favourites of William the Conqueror.
We are accustomed in England to chalk in rolling downs, except where bitten into by the sea, but elsewhere it is riven and presents cliffs, and these cliffs are not at all like that of Shakespeare at Dover but overhang, where hard beds alternate with others that are friable.
One of the great advantages of the study of old Norse or Icelandic literature is the insight given by it into the origin of world-wide superstitions. Norse tradition is transparent as glacier ice, and its origin is as unmistakable.
Verdiana was the child of poor though well-born parents, and her knowledge of the sufferings of the poor from her own experience in early years made her ever full of pity for those in need.