Imatges de pàgina

derived from the Western British who peopled that province of France. The old Cornish has many Latin words, but few or none of Saxon derivation. The last person who could speak in Cornish was named William Bodener, living on the shore of Mount's Bay; he died in 1794.

The Cornish is remarkable for several “miracle plays" still extant in that tongue; the more recent is entitled the “Creation and the Deluge,” written in 1611 by William Jordan. In the Bodleian Library, Oxford, are two MSS. in Cornish ;-one Jordan's, written upon paper; and another upon parchment; the last containing three interludes, -"The Creation,” the “Holy Passion," and “the Resurrection.” These, with another entitled “ Mount Calvary," very ancient, were translated by Mr. Keigwin about 1680, but unfortunately the translations, except those of Jordan's MS, and“ Mount Calvary,” are lost. A translation of a small portion of “ The Creation” has been preserved by Borlase—it is supposed to be of the date of the reign of Richard III. The “ Mount Calvary" is probably much older, as not a single Saxon word is found throughout, but many of Latin ; nor could those who spoke the language of the county in 1680, read the older dialect,-a proof of its being of a date anterior to the corruptions of the Cornish by the interpolation of Saxon words. In the “ Mount Calvary" there is no allusion to monastic orders, nor to the old bards. Christ is always “ Chrest,” as more anciently spelled, all savouring of remoter antiquity. The Bishops, too, are treated with little ceremony. The piece called “ The Creation" occupies the whole of time to the erection of Solomon's Temple; and though the diction is excellent, the plot sets all dramatic rule at defiance, as well as the order of dates. A Christian Bishop is set over the Temple of Solomon, and estates well known by similar names in Cornwall now, are divided as wages among the workmen. During the building of the temple, “The Martyrdom of Maximilla," a legend, is introduced; in which proceeding, a Bishop, crozier-bearer, four torturers, a messenger, Maximilla, Gebel, and Amelek are actors; and the Bishop rewards the torturers with three Cornish estates. Solomon dismisses the audience in propria personé.

“ The Creation," by Jordan, is a work of less merit than “ Mount Calvary;" but in that we have the stage directions, which are curious ; God the Father is to appear, then Lucifer, and Angels belonging to both. At one part it is directed that “ Hell should gape.” Adam and Eve are in another “ to come on in white leather.” Paradise is to be represented with “ fruits, flowers, a fountain, and tree.” A serpent is introduced with “ a virgin's head and yellow hair.” The stage manager seems to have been designated as the “ Conveyer.” These plays were performed in what are now called “ Rounds," being regular amphitheatres of turf or stone, called in Cornish Plaen an Guare. Several of these are still in tolerable preservation; the steps or seats are generally seven in number. The whole circle at the bottom was, no doubt, occupied by the actors; and an excavation in the ground, running up on one side until it breaks the continuity of the steps or seats, seems to have been the place where the stage machinery was organized.

* The Lord's Prayer runs thus in each dialect; they may easily be compared with the Welsh, by any reader curious on the subject. Ancient Cornish. “An Taz ny es yn nef, bethens thy hannow ugbelles, gwrenz

doz thy gulasker, bethen thy voth gwreiz yn oar kepare

hag yn ner." Modern ditto. "Agan Taz leb ez en nêr, benigas beth do hanno gurra de

gulas keth deoz, de voth beth gwrez en oar pokar en ner.

Jordan's play begins by God's declaring his intention of creating the world. Lucifer addresses the Angels, vaunting his power; and these, faithful to their duty, rebuke him. The Father appears and chides the rebel, who replies, and vents his rancour against man, whom the Maker is about to create. Michael is commanded to expel him from Heaven, and a fight ensues. Lucifer expelled, terminates the first act. The second begins with man's creation; Lucifer tempts Eve, and she her husband. Adam sins, because if he does not he shall lose the love of Eve. The serpent disgorges Lucifer, who had entered into it, and he is sent to hell. Death appears in the third act; and Cain and Abel are born. Cain's parents curse him. Mr. Redding has turned some portion of this part into measure. Cain answers his parents

- I am enough accursed,
There is no need that you should curse me more;
I cannot bear what you have dealt to me,
And my own mother, too, from her whole heart.
I will fiy far from hence before I rest!
So thick the curses heaped upon my head,

I doubt if earth hath e'er a dwelling for me!
In the fourth act Cain and Adam die; the former, slain by Lamech,
is borne away by devils. This passage runs in metre.
Cain. I am deformed; covered with hair:

I've lived continually now burned with heat,
Now chilled with hoary frost; ay, day and night!
The sons of men I never will’d to see;
For beasts were my companions! 'Twas that I

Kill'd the churl Abel made my suffering.
Lamech. And wherefore didst thou kill him?

He was thy brother! 'Twas a wicked deed !
Cain. He did control me. I was born before him;

Yet he ne'er reverenced me before the world.
Enraged, I suddenly did slay my brother;
Nor sorrow bear I for it: but the curses !
The curse of God, of mother and of sire;
These are upon me for that act alone!
My heart is proud as ever. Though close by
Death stands, I will not ask forgiveness,
Doubting of mercy for my bygone deeds.
I know that God, relentless, will not pardon.
Ob, I am dying! I'll not forgive e'en thee.
My soul turns hellward to its natural dwelling,

Winter and Summer tide there to inhabit! (Dies.) Adam sends Seth to Paradise, where the future is revealed to him, and he returns and relates it to Adam, soon after which the last dies, and the devils come to take him; but Lucifer forbids them, Adam being ordered to rest in Limbo. Two pillars are erected, and books put into them, we presume the antediluvian history. The ark is now built, and the Scripture account closely imitated, until, the flood being over, some “good church songs” are sung, and the whole concludes with an appropriate epilogue, which invites the spectators for the next day, and finishes by desiring the music to play up.

The traces of a connection at some period with the natives of the South of Europe may be inferred from many local names. The custom of calling old people “uncle” and “aunt," is, in England, we believe, peculiar to Cornwall, but is observed in the South of Spain ; and many words and names of persons and things seem derived from foreign intercourse.

The scenery is described as naked, wild, often magnificent,—some of the bays are very beautiful. The coast along the northern side, where the hero of romance for all time is said to have been born, is bleak, craggy, and grand, beyond conception. The beautiful harbours on the south shore, and every spot endeared by legendary lore, are noted down. There are the most perfect tables at the conclusion which we ever saw attached to a county work, particularly those relative to the church, the poor law unions, and the population. The engravings on copper, from drawings by Creswick, are in that artist's best style, and the wood illustrations, of which there are about a hundred and fifty, exhibit some pleasing and very picturesque scenes.

We have only room to add that in Cornwall, in all probability, live in obscurity on the banks of the Tamar, as boat or fishermen, the last of the descendants of the Emperors of the West, the sovereigns of Byzantium,-such is the melancholy termination of human grandeur ! The church of Landulph stands in a pretty and secluded spot, two or three miles above Saltash; and in that parish is an old house called Clyfton yet remaining, once inhabited by him to whom in the church is the following inscription :

“ Here lieth the body of Theodore Paleologus, of Pesaro, in Italy, descended from the imperial line of the last Christian Emperors of Greece, being the son of Prosper, the son of Theodore, the son of John, the son of Thomas, second brother of Constantine Paleologus, the eighth of that name, and last of the line that reigned in Constantinople, till subdued by the Turks, who married with Mary, the daughter of William Balls, of Hadley, in Suffolk, Gent., and had issue five children, Theodore, John, Ferdinando, Maria, and Dorothy. He departed this life at Clyfton, the 21st of January, 1636."

· The history of two sons of this descendant from one, of whom Mahomet II. declared, he had found many slaves in Peloponnesus, but no man save him,' is unknown; but Dorothy, the younger daughter, was married, at Landulph, to William Arundell, in 1636, and died in 1681. Mary, who died unmarried, was buried in the same church in 1674. About twenty years ago, the vault in which Paleologus was interred was accidentally opened; and curiosity prompted the listing of the lid. The coffin was entire, made of oak. The body was sufficiently perfect to show that the dead man exceeded the common stature. The head was a long oval, and the nose believed to have been aquiline. A long white beard reached low down the breast. Theodore, the elder son of Paleologus, was a sailor; and died on board the Charles II., as is proved by bis will, dated 1693. He appears to have possessed landed property, and to have left a

widow named Martha. The marriage of Theodore's sister, already mentioned, is entered in the register, * Dorothea Paleologus de Stirpe

Imperatorum. In Landulph, then, it is probable, rest the last survivors of a great dynasty, descended from the race of Comneni, the sovereigns of Byzantium.”

With this extract we must close, feeling tempted to quote numerous portions of the volume had we room, particularly some of the interesting stories connected with particular localities. The writer seems to have been constrained for space arising out of the copiousness of his subject, which is to be lamented. For the table of the drawingroom, and for communicating to young persons, in particular, a knowledge of their native land, county by county, we have as yet had no work so well adapted as this—the portion of a more extended design. The engravings and typography are indeed splendid.



BLESSINGS be thine, and a less hard old sofa,
Thou poor apartment, rich in pleasant memories,
Old-fashioned inn-room! may no insincere
Heart enter thee, nor any sigh remember,
Except for tenderness; and may thy lambs,
And shepherd and shepherdess, in pink and green,
Pointing their toes out (a French golden age),
Perk on thy too tall mantel-piece for ever.

O rester of the tired, welcome's embracer,
Promptest apparitor of meal on table,
Encloser of sweet after-dinner talk,
Loud mostly, sometimes low, then sweeter far,
O pest, antipodean to all ceremony,
For that alone can we, and do we, enter thee
With bows at heart, and blest tormenting boots,

And with a sigh of bliss, flop in thy chairs.
Reader. Truly, a high apostrophe, and deserved!

Your room, it must be owned, is the “right thing;"
A snug one to ourselves, and not too good,
Nor yet a sordid. Good old spacious chairs;
Two tables, one a circular, turning up;
Item, a casement, honeysuckled ; item,
Two dimity curtains, large enough to make
One good one; mantel-piece aforesaid, hardly
Too broad; item, a crack'd looking-glass,
For ladies to adjust their curls in ; portraits

# Concluded from page 240.

Of Wellington and Nelson, cherry-lipped ;
And then a bell-pull, with an egg-like handle,

Easy as wishing.

Thou art fit to have been
Truth's auctioneer, or Gerard Douw's.

Here enters,
Not a male waiter, -nor the landlady,
Who sits below, in the full bloom of fifty,
Filling the tap-room window,—but a niece,
With grave, good face (may no one make it graver),
And asks “ our pleasures.” Now our pleasures are,
Not a beef-steak, (as our last Canto's line
Might have prefigured,) but, the month being June,
A lamb chop and a salad, with cold tart
Of gooseberry (youngest fruit-cry of the year,
Bringing the little boys about their mothers),
And such good drink as pewter makes still better,-
Liquidest freshness become solid bliss,-
Pure quench, and heart's ease, and swillid bosom-joy,
Follow'd with a king's “ Hah!" Whales, gasping southward,
And coming on a fairy sea of malt,
Would gulf it in, and count it Fishes' Paradise.

Lo! the white table-cloth-lo! knives and forks-
Lo! glasses-lo! the salt-lo! thick square“ breads "-
Lo! plates for two-lo! covers-lo! the salad-
Lo! table drawn to the open window-lo!
Two chairs drawn too-lo! prospect out and in ;-
Lo! we.

The door is shut; the fresh malt coming.
Now sticketh fork in flesh, and the chops vanish :-
Now, by the gods! we speak not for five seconds ;-
Now meat is hot, and the crisp salad cold
And it's in basins ;-deep ;-we fork it up,
Like haycocks; and the first attempted words
Are mums and mutterings, stifled in the bliss;
Beautiful, ill-bred smotherments of munch.

The clear good utterance at length leaps forth ;-
“ Fine!
.“ Is not this the thing?"

« The right one."

« Hah! Nothing like hunger, ease, and an inn-room. But you eat nothing."

“Oh!-excuse me there; 'Tis you eat nothing."

“Pardon me ;—you lie." Thus banter we, with laughter and loud joy, And extreme words (from sense of the reverse),

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