Puslapio vaizdai

Come to thy God in time!'

when he published his work,

“ the whole conThus saith the ocean-chime.

stituent body of the borough of Bossiney, alias Storm, billow, whirlwind past,

Tintagel!” The same magical number of elecCome to thy God at last.'"

tors appears to have constituted the corporation

some thirty years before, when eight of them In the deep caverns which undermine this were disqualified from voting by reason of their coast, numbers of seals are taken during the sum- being revenue officers belonging to the custommer by the Boscastle fishermen. A little farther house at Padstow; and thus it was left to one on we reached the headland of Willapark, and solitary individualArthur Wade—to exercise gazed into the dreary chasm known by the name the important function of choosing two members of “The Black Pit,” in which the rock is so dark of Parliament ! The patrons of the borough as to be easily mistaken for coal. We were in- were the Earl of Mount Edgecombe and J. A. formed by our guide that we were that moment Stuart-Wortley, Esq. It is rather difficult to standing upon a spot interesting to geologists, point out how the little body of nine self-apwhere two great formations meet—the carbon- pointed electors was acted upon by the patrons aceous and graywacke groups—which are re- or their nominees; but, as eight of them bespectively characteristic of Devonshire and Corn- longed to one family, it may be easily conceived wall. Immediately to our west we observed a how they kept the secret! slate-quarry, worked in the face of the graywacke The precept for the election used to be pubcliff. Our guide again informed us that the guide- lished by the Mayor from the summit of a green chains, by which the stone was raised, were fast- tumulus or barrow, opposite the Wortley Arms; ened to the bottom of the sea, an almost incredi- and many a joke is still afloat in the neighborble fact on such a wild and impracticable shore. hood connected with the jovial festivities which

Proceeding onward, we presently, descended marked the elections. On one occasion the reinto a picturesque valley, at the bottom of which turning officer, who was the Mayor, was no man flowed a clear stream. Had we had time to fol- of letters, and proceeded to give the accustomed low its windings upward, through bush and brake, notice from memory, aided by the prompting of we heard that we should have found ourselves in some more learned clerk, who stood at his wora romantic spot called “St. Knighton's Keeve,” ship’s elbow. It was humbly suggested by a bywhere a waterfall dashes from a considerable stander that the precept was held upside down, height into a natural basin or keeve below. This upon which the Mayor turned to him with a look place, like others, has its legend, namely, that of withering scorn: two forlorn maidens took refuge here, and lived And pray, sir, may not the Mayor of Bosfor a considerable time in such strict retirement siney read it upside down if he chooses ?” that even the curiosity of the neighbors failed to On the summit of a towering precipice, which discover their names. Their only means of sub- starts out in bold sublimity amid the waters of this sistence was said to be snails, which are unusu- northern coast, stand the venerable ruins of Tinally plentiful; and in this lonely spot it was their tagel Castle, " the rude remains of high antiquitragic fate “to live forgotten and die forlorn." ty." The mossed and moldering strength of its

The picturesque water-mill in this little val- shattered towers strikes with appalling distinctley, named Trevillet, has been already made fa- ness against the sky as one gazes at them from a miliar to us by the pencil of Creswick in his pic- little distance, and from the sea-level. Turret ture “The Valley Mill.” Once more mounting upon turret is massed almost all round what the cliffs, we caugkt sight of the hamlet of Bos- seemed to us a small circular bay at a fearful siney, which, consisting as it does of a few mean height, the walls rising up straight from the precottages, yet boasts of having sent to Parliament cipitous sides of the bay. It is as if the bay had such members as Sir Francis Drake and Sir once been one huge rocky formation which some Francis Cottington. This village, or hamlet, is convulsion had thrown up in wild, perpendicular in the parish of Tintagel, and its status, before blocks on the inmost precipice, a heap of ruins it was disfranchised by the Reform Bill, was a vast and hoar. Its surly grandeur is simply incurious and interesting illustration of English describable, and no one painting could convey representation of even a recent time. A select an adequate idea of the Titanic, chaotic dimennumber of freeholders of Tintagel, who assumed sions of the whole mass. As we looked, the sea the name of burgesses, claimed the right of elect--notwithstanding the fine weather—was seething two members of Parliament. Oldfield, in ing and raving against the rocks on all hands his “ Representative History of Great Britain with tremendous force; and just at the head of and Ireland," styles them “ a self-created corpo- the bay, and firmly pinnacled on a spike of shelvration,” and prints the names of nine persons ing rock, a wreck of considerable size, disman(eight of whom were of one family), forming, tled and water-logged, was receiving the full brunt of the waters, while thousands of scream- and the boundless expanse of deep-blue sea, the ing sea-birds were wheeling up and down, and picturesque line of coast on the left, with the through every fissure in the battlements. The pleasant break of waves upon the opposite shore scene was inconceivably wild, and I thought, as from the cavern, and the soothing ripple of the I stood there entranced, that the same view in a receding water, allured us to a long rest upon stormy sunset would fill any man's ideal of the the short, dry turf that crowns the summit of utterly awful and solemn.

the headland. At the water's edge, on this side, The history of this fortress, like that of other the sea was of the most brilliant emerald-green Cornish castles, is wrapped in impenetrable ob- tint we ever remember to have observed, and of scurity; and the nature of its masonry appears to such pellucid clearness that every stone and weed be the only principle from which we are to trace was visible for a considerable distance. its origin. Dr. Borlase is of opinion that the an- On the right of the wicket-gate by which we cient Britons had here a place of defense before entered we were shown two rooms of a good the invasion of the Romans. But the present height, one above the other, the chimneys of remains are now pretty clearly ascertained to be each being visible. We presumed them to have of Roman workmanship. Norden, who sur- been occupied by the guard or porter. The veyed these buildings when in a less ruinous buildings within the area seem to have been nustate, observes that." it was some time a state- merous, and walls are to be traced in every dilye, impregnable seat, now rent and ragged by rection to the very edge of the cliff. On the force of time and tempestes; her ruins testify highest part, toward the north, are the remains her pristine worth, the view whereof, and due of a building fifty-six by fifty-eight feet, with an observation of her situation, shape, and condi- entrance to the southwest. A little farther to tion in all partes, may move commiseration that the south we were shown the remains of the such a statelye pile should perish for want of chapel, said to have been dedicated to St. Uliane, honourable presence. Nature has fortified, and and measuring fifty-four feet long by twelve feet art dyd once beautifie it, in such sort as it leaveth wide. unto this age wonder and imitation, for the mor- At the northwest corner of the island, which tar and cement, wherewith the stones of this is the most exposed, are the remains of a small castle were layde, excelleth in fastness and obdu- building eight feet square, with two openings to ritye the stones themselves; and neither time the right of the entrance, which had apparently nor force of hands can easelye sever the one been windows once. The walls are about six from the other."

feet high. In the center of the room is a sculpThe whole of these buildings were formed of tured moor-stone four feet four inches by two slate, and the cement consisted principally of hot and a half, the top covered with letters orcharlime. They occupied a considerable space partly acters no longer legible. It is undoubtedly a on the mainland, and partly on what is called the sepulchral monument, and as we were informed island—the sea having worn away a cavern quite —thought by some to mark the tomb of John across the promontory, and the cavern being so Northampton, Lord Mayor of London, who for narrow at one end as to give a spectator at a abuse of his office was committed to this castle little distance the impression of its being a cir- a prisoner for life, by order of King Richard II. cuitous bay. Above this passage, on the eastern It appears not improbable that in this melanside, is a considerable gap, supposed to have choly cell the unhappy captive—whoever he may been purposely cut for the security of the inhabi- have been-lingered out his days, to rest at last tants in time of danger, and over it was formerly beneath a monument of his own carving. On thrown a drawbridge, which was destroyed in this northern side, too, there is an excellent the reign of Henry VIII. and its place supplied spring of water, and about twenty fathoms with elm-trees. The only passage now to the thence is a subterraneous cavern or passage cut island is by a narrow path over dangerous cliffs through the solid rock for the space of twenty on the western side, where the least slip of the feet, but now so choked with earth that it is no foot would send the passenger at once into the longer penetrable. Some have described it as a sea. At the end of this path we entered the hermit's cave, but to us it seemed most likely island through a wicket-gate, the arch of which that it was the unsuccessful expedient of some is still to be seen. We climbed the rude and prisoner to escape. dizzy staircase that had been cut in the rock, and Owing to some peculiarity in the stone, the presently we found ourselves standing on the constant wear of wind and weather has worn it very rock where once had stood the spotless into innumerable pools and basins, which are King" and his fair but faithless Guinevere. called by the villagers “King Arthur's Cups and

The cool Atlantic breeze was exquisitely Saucers." Our guide exhibited, in entire good grateful and refreshing after our mid-day walk, faith, the gigantic impression of a foot, which is said to be King Arthur's footprint, left when he

O'er his brow, with whispers bland, strode across the chasm that separates the penin

Twice she waved an opiate wand, sula from the mainland. It did not appear to

And to soft music's airy sound have occurred to him that, from the position of

Her magic curtains closed around. the footprint, the King must have stepped back

There, renewed the vital spring, ward across the yawning gulf. No doubt the

Again he reigns a mighty king, idea owes its origin to the tradition of his ex

And many a fair and fragrant clime

Blooming in immortal prime, traordinary stature which has descended to us.

By gales of Eden ever fanned, We made our way into a rude rock-seat, called

Owns the monarch's high command : " King Arthur's Chair,” and tried, as in duty

Thence to Britain shall return bound, to recall the days so long gone by. But (If right prophetic rôles I learn), the records of King Uther Pendragon were too

Borne on Victory's spreading plume slender and various, and even the birth of his

His ancient scepter to resume ; son too much shrouded in mystery, to enable us

Once more, in old heroic pride, to conjure up any distinct imagery of the past.

His barbed courser to bestride, That the latter was born and bred at Tintagel

His knightly table to restore, does not seem to have been discredited many

And have the tournament of yore." centuries ago, as appears from the verses of Jo- After the Norman Conquest, Tintagel Castle seph Iscanus (a priest of the Cathedral of Exe- became the occasional residence of several of ter), who accompanied Richard I. to the Holy the English princes; and here Richard, Earl of Land:

Cornwall—otherwise known as King of the RoFrom this blest place immortal Arthur sprung, mans-entertained his nephew David, Prince of

Whose wondrous deeds shall be for ever sung- Wales, when in rebellion against the King in Sweet music to the ear, sweet honey to the 1245. In Doomsday-Book Tintagel is mentioned tongue,

as “ Dunchine," or “Chain Castle.” It was kept The only Prince that hears the just applause

in good repair, and occasionally used as a prison Greatest that e'er shall be, and best that ever until the reign of Elizabeth, when it was allowed was."

to fall into ruins, which are now the property of Lord Bacon says of King Arthur, that his the duchy—the Duke of Cornwall being the story "contains truth enough to make him fa- Prince of Wales. mous, besides what is fabulous.” Milton, in his We were fortunate enough to find a speciverses to his friend Mausus, hints that he had men of Trifolium stellatum in our descent, and once designed to celebrate King Arthur, but the more samphire than we cared to gather. In the British hero was reserved for another destiny, to pretty rivulet that runs through the valley from be victimized in an epic poem of twelve books, Trevalga were growing luxuriant plants of mimuwhich is now forgotten, by the muse of Sir Rich- lus, a mass of golden blossom; and, although it ard Blackmore. Bishop Heber, too, left us a was the end of July, we discovered a full-blown fragment of a poem upon the “ Morte d'Arthur.” primrose in a shady corner, which we carried off But, of course, of all existing Arthurian ro- as a memorial of Tintagel. The parish church of mances, none can boast of such refinement and Tintagel stands on an elevated spot west of the purity as the sweet fancies of the author of the castle, and many curious epitaphs we found in “ Idylls,” who has invested the pure King and the churchyard, and, did our space permit, we his court with a beauty and interest they never should have liked to amuse the reader with a few before possessed. Warton, in his “Grave of of them. Tintagel, indeed, is a study in more King Arthur,” alludes so pleasingly to the tradi- respects than one. To the geologist its charms tional belief in his eventual return to govern his are substantial, for its quarries afford quartz, people, that we are fain to transcribe the pas- rock-crystals of great transparency and beauty, sage:

calcareous spar, chlorite, and in some instances “ When he fell, an elfin queen,

adularia. The slate bears a near resemblance to All in secret and unseen,

that of Snowdon, and, like it, presents the imO'er the fainting hero threw

pression of bivalve shells. Her mantle of ambrosial blue ;

Few spots in any country more deserve a And bade her spirits bear him far,

visit than this remarkable ruin, standing as it In Merlin's agate-axled car,

does in the midst of the wildest and most roTo her green isle's enameled steep,

mantic scenery. The whole coast and neighborFar in the bosom of the deep.

hood abound in picturesque spots and legendary O'er his wounds she sprinkled dew From flowers that in Arabia grew

lore, and for ourselves we had to regret that we On a rich enchanted bed

had not time to carry our investigations further. She pillowed his majestic head




E complain that the Continent is used up, try; provincials go to Paris, and Parisians go to

and that one finds the same people and their campagne, or to the seaside, or to visit the same dishes and the same prices on the other a friend in the country, and certain classes of side the Channel as we are familiar with on this Frenchmen travel on business; but it needs only side. Quite true, if we stick to the Rhine and to compare any French guide-book with the the Oberland, or to Baden and Paris; but, if we works of the great Bädeker to perceive how enwill go a little out of the beaten track, there are tirely absent from the French mind is that love districts, even within a day's journey of Charing of wandering, whether on a larger or smaller Cross, which are as simple and unspoiled as they scale, which in the German is so prominent. were when the flood of tourists first began to I had not been in Germany, except in passing spread its fertilizing but corrupting waves over rapidly through, since the Franco-German war; the Continent, and where a man with twenty and, though I did not notice that deterioration days, twelve pounds, a pair of serviceable legs, in the German character which is sometimes said and a conversational knowledge of German at to have been the consequence of the war, I did his command, may enjoy, not of course Alpine observe one very significant symptom of its rescenery and Alpine perils, but much quiet beauty sults. It has always been the practice at the enand much simplicity of life and habits. Such trance of a town or village, usually on the first districts are to be found in the Vosges, the Black house, to write up the name of the place with Forest, the Odenwald, the Taunus, and the vol- the Kreis and Regierungs-Bezirk, the larger and canic district between the Rhine, the Moselle, smaller civil district, the county and union as we and the Ahr, called the Eifel. To the geologist might say, to which it belonged. Now, however, this latter region, with its extinct volcanoes and the name of the place is followed by the regiment its lava-streams, is of the highest interest and and the battalion in which its fighting males are importance; but even to the ordinary traveler it enrolled, the civil division following in humble presents, not indeed grand, but very striking sce- inferiority to the military. Whether this is the nery: a high plateau, some twelve hundred feet case throughout Germany, I know not; I can above the Rhine, broken by conical hills with only speak for a large district of Rhine-Prussia ; flattened tops; lovely deep-blue circular lakes, but, in any case, it is a striking symptom of the wooded to the water's edge, filling up the cen- development of militarism-an evil word newly ters of ancient volcanoes; wide sweeps of land- come into use to denote an evil thing—which lies scape, stretching beyond the Rhine and away like an incubus upon Germany. No doubt Gertoward Lorraine; and clean country inns, where many has a difficult position to maintain : until the Fräulein wishes you “Guten Appetit ” as she France has thoroughly mastered the lesson which serves your supper of fresh trout and veal-cutlets. She has got to learn—the lesson of abstinence

It is probably because the idea of a walking from aggressive warfare and of sedulous devotion tour is altogether foreign to a Frenchman's habits to the arts of peace-Germany can not place her and tastes, whereas with Germans of all classes army on a peace footing; and, on the other side, it is the established way of spending a holiday, the condition of Austria obliges her to be vigilant. that the country inns in France are so inferior to Yet none the less it is a calamity for Europe that those in Germany. In both North and South the nation which, for the first three quarters of Germany, in every village of any size, you may the century, has been in the van of the intellecreckon upon finding at least one inn where clean tual movement, should now have been forced, or and comfortable, if humble, accommodation may should have forced herself, into the position of be found; but he would require to have “robur the great military power of Europe. It can et æs triplex circum pectus,” and indeed round hardly be doubted, unless the stream of tendency all parts of his body, who should intrust himself is to flow back again, that the reign of brute to a village auberge in any part of France, from force is destined, slowly perhaps, but surely, to Picardy to Provence. Even in the larger pro- come to an end, and that the day will come when vincial towns, to which the ecclesiological traveler royal personages will no longer of necessity array may be attracted by the beauty of their churches, themselves in military costume on all solemn ocnotably in Auxerre, Sens, Chartres, and the like, casions, as the only raiment befitting their digthe hotels, though often more pretentious, are nity.* Already wars of wanton aggression are usually much inferior to those of far less impor- * Since this was written, France has done herself tant towns in Germany. The fact is, that the honor by taking for her chief ruler “Un Président en French, as a rule, do not explore their own coun- habit noir."

branded by the public opinion of civilized Eu- has been the work of modern Europe to pile up rope ; even the Napoleons, uncle and nephew, with much labor and to cement with much blood. felt obliged to put forward some colorable pre- Setting aside Great Britain, as having her bountext for their attacks on their neighbors. But a daries fixed for her by nature, and Austria as an still further elevation of international morality is altogether abnormal and portentous growth, it seriously postponed by the military spirit which may fairly be questioned whether, for instance, at present seems to pervade the ruling classes in the unification of Germany will have been a benGermany. And if this spirit is a hindrance to efit or an injury to Europe, if it causes her, by the progress of Europe, still more is it an ele- maintaining a vast military establishment, to crush ment of danger to Germany herself. Nowhere her restless masses into despair, and to keep her else, probably, in Europe are the mediæval and neighbors' armaments at their present overgrown the modern spirit, the spirit of authority and scale. It is at least among the possibilities of militarism, and the spirit of liberty and industry, the distant future, that a federation of small reto be found ranged against each other in such publics, united closely for purposes of defense force. Nowhere else is an aristocracy, feudal in and of commerce and intercourse, but otherwise ideas if not in power, confronted so directly by independent, may take the place of the enormous a proletariat leavened with the ideas and aspira- monarchies which now overshadow Europe. tions which the late Pope summed up under the At present, however, Germany is great, and term “the Revolution.” And therefore those will remain great so long as her rulers can hold who are fostering the military spirit and painting her together. But it is amusing to notice how up the regiment and the battalion before the civil neither the infinitely great nor the infinitely little organization are, in fact, sitting on the safety- is beyond the notice of the Government. At the valve, purchasing present force and movement little town of Altenahr, I was surprised to notice at the cost of an imminent explosion. The de- the figures 23 legibly painted on the lintel of the sire of all who believe in the future progress of church door. Apparently, an edict had gone the race should be that, without any great con- forth from the Home Office that every house in vulsion or cataclysm, modern ideas may, as men every town should be numbered consecutively, are able to bear them, supersede those of bar- and accordingly, the church being the twentybarism and feudalism; that the age of armies third house in Altenahr, it was numbered 23. and privileged classes may pass—as it must pass Fancy if Westminster Abbey were known to the -peacefully and gradually into the age of free official mind only as No. 57 Parliament Street ! industrial development and equal rights and “la But the home government of Germany is concarrière ouverte aux talents.” In France, indeed, ducted on a policy of." peddling and meddling”. the accumulated evils of many generations had (to paraphrase a celebrated epigrammatic saying), so wrought themselves into the very life and sys- which a born German accepts as his natural heritem of the nation, that they could not be driven tage, but which to any other nation would be inout without a terrible paroxysm of revolution ; tolerable. Not long ago—very likely they are but in Germany, the mother of inquirers and there still—there were to be read in the carriages thinkers, it might be hoped that the change of a German railway the following regulations : should be a peaceful and a natural process. If Only one window of this compartment may be however, the present apparent predominance of open at one time, and that only on the side from the military spirit is more than a mere passing which the wind does not blow, and that only with symptom, if Germany is to continue to be, in the the expressed consent of all the travelers in the happy phrase of M. Rénan, “crushed beneath compartment.” So that if on the hottest day the the weight of her own armor”-if, instead of fos- travelers are unanimous in wishing to put down tering industry and commerce, the ruling classes both windows, or the window on the windward are bent upon developing the present system of side, a paternal government interposes its veto, and bloated armaments and of unproductive expen- says: “Not so, my children. I know what is best diture of the people's earnings upon guns and for you. You will get cricks in your necks and drums and villainous saltpetre—then it can hardly •rheumatic pains in your shoulders, and will be be doubted that a terrible day of reckoning will unable to fight for the Fatherland. One window come at last, and that the force of the ultimate only, and that on the leeward side.” The maxexplosion will be in proportion to the weight of im of English lawyers, “De minimis non curat repression.

lex,” might be exactly adapted to German usage In truth, the present policy of Europe seems by the omission of the negative. Any one who calculated to force on the question whether, after may have chanced to take lodgings in a German all, smaller states are not better suited for the city some five-and-twenty years ago—it may be growth and maintenance of liberty than these vast so now very likely—will remember with awe the and sometimes heterogeneous empires which it form which on the very first day of his entry

« AnkstesnisTęsti »