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Traditions and Hearthside Stories of West Cornwall

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Author Topic: Traditions and Hearthside Stories of West Cornwall  (Read 413 times)
Tristan
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« Reply #60 on: August 25, 2009, 01:26:28 pm »

For answer king Hannibal called his wife Penelope (or Pee as he mostly called her to save his breath), and told her all about Tom's luck, and how Jack wanted something good to make bettermost garments for Tom's wife and daughter. The dame, who was as good-natured as her fat husband, had great store of silks. velvet, cloth of gold, and silver tissue, shawls, and other rich fabrics from the East, which were often taken from the merchant captains in exchange for the tin, and these goods were sold by the dame to rich persons who came to Market-jew and the Mount from the most distant parts of the country. She chose out four pieces, to make as many dresses for Joan and Genevra (two were of the richest purple silk, flowered with gold, for the lady of the castle, two of the clearest blue, sewn with silver sprigs of dainty needlework, for Genevra), besides many yards of ordinary cloth for common wear, and some shawls, which looked like a flowery mead, many yards square, yet of so fine a texture that the largest might be drawn through a finger-ring. The lady also sent gold and silver lace for garniture, thread, and everything else which was required, besides her last new gown for a pattern.

The wain-load of drink had been despatched long before Jack was ready to start for home, after having agreed with king Honney to bring him down, by the time a merchant-ship was expected at the Mount, so much tin as would make a larger smelting than he ever had before. The smelting-day, according to ancient custom, was to be a grand feast, when Tom and all his family were to come down and meet the other great folks who had plenty of tin in their ground. Jack placed on his horse the bales of rich things the lady sent, with her love, to Joan and Genevra,

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« Reply #61 on: August 25, 2009, 01:26:42 pm »

and a charge to have them made against the smelting feast, when their best wain should be sent up for Joan and the children.

The next job was to find Tom Vean, who had gone off with the brewer's children to see the wonders of the town. The crier was sent round to find them: they heard the crier's horn from the Mount, and came over just in time to save the tide. After kisses all round and promises to see them again soon, Jack and the boy Tom jogged away back to the hills.

About halfways home they met the brewer's wain coming back, with Tom and Genevra on the road to meet them. Tom was mad to know the news, and what was in the bales which Jack carried with so much care before him. "The devil a word," says Jack, "shall either you or Genevra get out of me before we get home to Joan and the children, to shew you all together what we have brought for the women, as well as drink for you, my dear old daddy Tom."

When the bales of rich cloths, and other things for the children which Jack hadn't seen put in, were opened out before Tom, Joan, and Genevra, the two women fairly cried as if they had their gizzards split, and even great Tom blubbered like a baby for company to the rest. One can't tell how their joy, or surprise, or something, made them act so like fools; yet, no, not like fools, for all the time they were laughing and crying by turns they felt ready to burst with joy and love for those who had shown them such kindness.—They felt that all outside the castle wasn't to be despised—that intercourse and fellowship with some of the rest of the world would add to their pleasures and content.

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« Reply #62 on: August 25, 2009, 01:27:03 pm »

"Now go to bed, Tom, my son," says Jack, "after he had told him more than a score times how the mayor and his wife looked, and what they said; then he took a large brass jew's-harp from his pocket for Tom (the only instrument he ever played), and several smaller ones and whistles for the children. Whilst the women were still admiring the beautiful fabrics spread out before them, the tinkard went to the tower for his harp. As he entered the castle-hall Tom rose, to act the herald's part, calling "a hall, a hall, for the harper!" Joan entering into the spirit of the hour, gaily called to her daughter, "plaece the red wine and sweet mead on the board to cheer the minstrel's heart before he sings." A barrel of ale was then broached, wine poured into the silver goblets, and with one accord they all drank to the health of their good friends in Market-jew; then, in the fulness of their joy, all rose at once, took their brimming beakers and flagons to the castle-court, and cheered with such a heart that the shout they made on Towednack hills was echoed by Trink and Trecroben; and the Mount, taking up the joyous sound, sent it to the fireside and hearths of their good friends in Market-jew: and, when the shades of evening fell on the hills, a bonfire was made on the Garrack zans

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[paragraph continues] (holy rock) before the door, around which they danced hand-in-hand whilst the tinkard harped and sang,


"Thou art lord of the world, bright tin!"

In a few days, more tin-sacks were made out of anything they could contrive, and many more horses brought from the hills to carry the tin to Market-jew. An ox-dray was also sent up by king Honney (the mayor), to get the tin down sooner. Tom had, more than once, been down, with Jack and the boys, that he might help to keep the horses in the tracks, and to reload the sacks, which often fell off as the horses passed over the rocky hills. The jolly old mayor, in his joy to see his man Tom as big as a lord, always made him take so much of his best drink, that he had to be taken home on the brewer's dray, to which he was fastened with all the ropes they could muster, for fear of accidents, because he could never see, stand, nor go, nor lie on the ground without holding—when he left Market-jew for the hills.

In a few weeks, more tin was taken from the piles in the giant's castle-court to the smelting-house yard than king Hannibal ever saw there before; yet there was but a very small hole made in the heaps which surrounded Tom's castle; besides which, the purest of all—the stream-tin, in the castle caves—had never been touched.

Great preparations had been made by Joan and Genevra, in order that they, and all the family, might appear so well rigged out that the kind mayor and his wife might not be ashamed to present their high-country acquaintances to the rest of their friends. When the day for the smelting feast came, by the time the first signs of dawn appeared in the sky, all the household were down at the brook taking their morning wash: they had all scoured themselves as bright as gard and clear water could make their skins rosy, before the thrushes and blackbirds, in the hawthorn and honeysuckle brakes which overhung the steam, began to sing to the music which the water made in rippling round the rocks. The ladies of the castle didn't think it best to display the richest jewels found in the giant's locker: Joan only placed a few strings of amber and crystal beads around her neck, and a gold chain; to which necklet were fastened a bloodstone and glennadder, to protect her from adders and other harm, and these hung over her robe of purple and gold, which last was seen through the transparent folds of the shawl which she wore as a veil over her head and shoulders. Genevra merely hung a few strings of pearls around her neck, clasped a pair of massive gold and diamond bracelets on her arms, and placed hoop-shaped rings, hung with choice pearls, in her ears. A circlet of gold and diamonds kept in place the folds of a silk gauze scarf, starred and fringed with silver, which, flowing over her shoulders and rich wavy black hair, reached below her waist. The men and boys were all in their new buff coats; and, before sunrise, the

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« Reply #63 on: August 25, 2009, 01:27:17 pm »

brewer's wain, drawn by the finest oxen in the mayor's possession, was at the castle-gates: a few bundles of straw, tightly bound, were placed across the wain to make a comfortable seat for the lady and her youngest children. Tom and the tinkard, with Genevra and the elder boys, were all on horseback. Joan turned the skirts of her rich gown up over her shoulders, and tied up the shawls and other fine things (which she and Genevra intended to put on when they came to Market-jew bridge) in a nackan, that they mightn’e be foused (rumpled). As the cavalcade passed through the outer gateway, the tame nurse-goats (who considered themselves important members of the family), to show that they had no intention of being left behind, sprung over the hedge, followed by the pet lambs. Cows, pigs, and calves—seeing all, the family going off—wanted to go to. The hobby colts got out, in spite of everything, and off they trotted by the side of their dams, followed by the goats and dogs: the lambs had to be taken on the wain with Joan and the children. Genevra's doves flew along for many miles over the road, often alighting on her head and shoulders. The old watch-dogs howled, the pigs screeched as if their hearts were breaking, and the cows bleated as if they never expected to see the rest of the family any more. Joan had much to do to harden her heart so as to leave the poor sorrowing beasts for a few hours; but pride came to her aid when she thought how, only a few years ago, she and Tom went to the hills, poor and unknown; yet now, through the almighty power of Tin, they were going out in grand state, to make merry cheer, and feast with the highest in the land.

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« Reply #64 on: August 25, 2009, 01:27:24 pm »

It was tedious travelling in olden times, when the few roads were all carried over the hills, as all the low grounds were then a wilderness of thorns, briars, and scrubby trees, which gave shelter to wolves, wild boars, and many other noxious animals. The old folks say that down to much later times, the moors and cleared ground of the lowlands were so infested with adders that they were not only uninhabitable, but that it was unsafe for cattle to leave the hills during the summer months;—this may be' the principal reason why the most ancient habitations are generally found high on the bleak hill-sides. However, the brewer's wain, with its motley freight of the lady, children, and lambs, was got safely over the rocky hills, and on Tregerthen moors they were met by king Hannibal and his wife Penelope, who came, accompanied by men and fresh oxen, to help the convoy over the boggy moors between the hills and the town. Penelope, after kissing Genevra, mounted on the wain with Joan, gave her and the children a dram, whilst king Honney and his men made the rest take a drink all round, and yoked the relay of oxen to the wain. Long before arriving at Market-jew bridge, they were regaled with merry minstrelsy, and saw many dancing to the shrill sound of tinkling harps around the fires where oxen were being roasted whole—their bellies stuffed with all sorts of small game. Mutton, and many other kinds of meat, were seething and boiling in large crocks, over turf fires made on the beach, where many savoury pies were also baking. When the

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« Reply #65 on: August 25, 2009, 01:27:38 pm »

mayor's lady had taken Joan and her daughter into the house (which was also the hostelry as well as royal palace of the tinsmelter king), she didn't know which to admire most—the modest beauty of Genevra, or the simple honesty and good nature of Joan, who presented Penelope with some of the rarest jewels found in the giant's locker, as some return for the rich stuffs, and more valued kindness, of the brewer's dame, or mayor's lady, or Honney's queen (call her which you will).

By the time the women had fixed their dresses to their mind, and given and exchanged jewels as keepsakes, the crier had been round the town with his horn summoning high and low to the feast. The long and strong tables, placed under the shade of spreading trees on the green, were groaning under the weight of the great pewter platters of roast, boiled, and baked, flagons of wine, and jacks of beer. Many great lords and ladies of the neighbourhood were waiting at the high board to receive Penelope and her guests, who, preceded by harpers and minstrels, and followed by the townsfolk, were placed at the cross-board, which was raised as a table of dais on a terrace of green turf, and canopied by broad-spreading oaks.

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« Reply #66 on: August 25, 2009, 01:27:48 pm »

They say that in the olden times (when Tom of Towednack lived in his castle), kings even were glad to be invited to the smelting-feasts. There were persons just as grand at the board with Tom and Joan; among others the merchant captains, who were often royal princes, and the lords of Godalwin, Tregonan, and Pengersec. The latter was the most noted of the guests—not so much for the great riches he had acquired in the East, many years ago, as for his skill in the magical arts which he learned in that part of the world where all the overwise men come from. High and low brought their own knives and wooden spoons;—as for forks, those substitutes for fingers hadn't yet been thought of.

The grand folks were regaled with venison and beef-steaks, which, cooked on the slowly-congealing blocks of molten tin, were always regarded as a dainty dish. The enchanter of Pengersec made much of Tom, and drank his health so often that Tom, in returning the courtesy, soon became as drunk as a lord, and lay stretched, with many more in the same condition, under the board.

The dinner wasn't over at the lower tables, among all the Curnows, Corins, and Laitys, who came in droves from all the country round, when Joan wanted to return;—she heard, or fancied she heard, the cows, on the hills, miles away, bleating to call her home. The oxen were yoked to the wain to take her and the children over the moors, and the mayor's lady went with them as far as the foot of the hills, where, after many expressions of love and regard, they parted,—Joan not choosing to ride any farther, as she, with the children, kids, and lambs, could skip over the hills much faster than the oxen could wind along the road among the rocks and cairns. Jack and Genevra saw Tom put to bed

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« Reply #67 on: August 25, 2009, 01:28:03 pm »

all right in the mayor's hostelry, then mounted their horses to take their way to the hills.

When the Ludgvan hurlers and young men of Market-jew were going down to the green, as fast as the silver ball could be cast from hand to hand, Jack and Genevra following as far as their road lay, half-way to Chyandour, their gallopping steeds could scarcely keep pace with the swift-footed hurlers. At the same time, there were wrestling-matches and many other games taking place on the green.

By the time Joan had milked the cows and goats, finished her other evening work, and put the children to bed, daylight had left the sky;—she then took her supper outside and sat to eat it on the stone bench beside the door. Whilst she was looking down on Market-jew (which was all alight with the fires on the green at which the cooking was still going on), and wishing that all the rest of her family were safe within the castle, Genevra and Jack walked into the court, having turned their horses into the moors below.

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« Reply #68 on: August 25, 2009, 01:28:14 pm »

"Oh! I am glad you're come, but where's Tom?" said Joan, as they placed themselves beside her; "you should never have come home and left him behind with the conjuror. Ah! how often I have wished this day that the tin had never been seen. Who wouln’t rather be sitting here in a homespun petticoat, bedgown, and towser (wrapper), eating barley bread and honey, and drinking new milk at one's ease, than be perched at the mayor's grand board as stiff as a stake, decked out in purple and gold, afraid to move lest the gay gown should be foused." Then, turning to Genevra (whose silk and silver dress was glittering in the starlight, and the jewels on her neck, breast, and arms, shining like the stars above), she said, "Throw away the strings of pearls, child, which bind thy glossy black hair, for neither they, nor the chains of clear crystal, amber, and gold can make thee more lovely; and the heavy bracelets of red gold and glittering jewels only burthen thy arms."

They were all tired; yet they had no inclination to sleep, but sat in silence—Genevra resting her head on her mother's bosom. Jack leant against the wall, listening to the chatter of the tame birds, nestled in the ivy which hung overhead. Here, beside the old blinking owls were perched a pair of restless noisy magpies—Joan's favourites, that would talk with her by the hour, and carry off everything that struck their fancy to their nests, where her thimble and thread were mostly to be found. Close by the owls as they could well get, on the other side, were a pair of choughs, that took great pleasure in being with Tom;—wherever he went, hedging or digging, the birds would be near him, often calling, "Tom, Tom," in a voice so like Joan's that, every now and then, he would be running in at the call of the birds. And now all the birds—talking and croaking together, in the most doleful tone—often repeated the name of Tom.

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« Reply #69 on: August 25, 2009, 01:28:28 pm »

"Ah, me!" says Joan, "hear the dogs howling and the birds grieving for Tom; they know, better than we do, the bad luck that's in store for him. I would give ten times the tin and treasure to have Tom as contented as he was a few weeks agone."

Jack assured her that the mayor's lady would take all the care in life of him—that Penelope gave Tom a cordial as soon as she returned from seeing Joan and the children off to the hills.

This speech wasn't the least bit of comfort to Joan, who, knowing better than the tinkard the weakness of female hearts, and seeing how the ladies of Market-jew admired the burly build, health, and strength of her giant Tom, who was still in his prime, with his easy good nature, feared that the blandishments of the gay dames of the town would lead him oftener to stray outside his fences than the spells of the conjuror Pengersec.

There they sat, sad and weary, till past the turn of the night. Then the waning moon arose, which reminded Joan that it had only to measure another week to the new harvest-moon, when Genevra would leave her to become the tinkard's bride. At last they went to bed, and the sun was high in the heavens, the next day, when the lowing of the cows, impatient to be milked, and the bleating of the sheep wanting to be let out of the folds to their pastures on the hills, awakened Joan from her uneasy slumbers. Dinner-time was nearly come before their breakfast was over. During the morning meal, Joan said she heartily wished that the giants of old, who collected so much tin in the castle-court, had left all the stuff down in Trewe bottom, whence she supposed it had been brought, as everybody said that the old bals thereabout had been worked before the flood; yet, whenever these bottoms were streamed, though they had been worked over and over again, they alway found more tin.—Nancledrea bottom, too, was handy by for old Denbras and his giant forefathers. Besides, they had a moor-house on Embla green, which is still called the Giant's House; that distance of a few miles was nothing for them to stride from hill to hill with their sacks of tin; and, by all accounts, in old times, any quantity of tin-stones might be picked up from the face of the ground, all over the high-country hills.

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« Reply #70 on: August 25, 2009, 01:28:41 pm »

"But I can't rest," she continued, "for thinking of Tom, the great bucca, like all the rest of the giants, with more strength than knowledge, to be made drunk so soon with that crafty conjuror when he would often drink gallon after gallon at home, without being more stupid than usual: surely the enchanter must have mixed some of his magic powder in Tom's drink: they say, he can by that means send any person's spirit out of their body to wander in such realms of delight as were never seen by mortal eye, and when they return they are never more like their former selves, but discontented ever. Neither I nor Genevra could look round to see what was going on, without encountering the piercing black eyes of the

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swarthy sea-captains and their tawny crews, who looked as if ready to devour us. I went away from the castle very happy and proud, but during the day often wished myself home in the hills."

Penelope, too, whilst they sat at the board, had whispered fearful things of the maidens of Market-jew who had sometimes been wedded by the eastern seamen;—of others taken away, and never more heard of; but the sailors always left their wives behind; and all they ever gave their brats, besides their hot blood and swarthy skin, was their own grand outlandish names. In the drive over the moor she had also told Joan how the enchanter of Pengersec could, with equal ease, raise the devil or the dead; and how the old giant of the Mount was even afraid to show out of his cavern ever since one night the Pengersec, by his spells, bound him to a rock, where he was lashed by the sea till morning. The old giant, being hard-up for food, waded from the Mount over to Pengersec lands to get a young bullock for his supper: the conjuror, by his books, or by the aid of his familiars, found out what the giant was up to, and allowed him to catch a young bull, tie his four feet together, and drag him on to the edge of the cliff, so that he might, when standing on the beach below, slip his head between the tied legs and the belly of the bleating beast. When he got the legs over his head he sat down on a rock, surrounded by the rising tide, that he might fix the bull on his shoulders, comfortable like, before he waded off to the Mount, but when he tried to rise he found that he could neither stand, nor move hand or foot; no more could he get the bellowing bull from his shoulders;—there the poor old giant had to remain all night with the foaming waves lashing round his head, into his mouth, and over him: he could scarcely keep his head above water. If the old giant hadn't been hard of hearing the bleating of the bull and the roaring of the waves would have made him deaf before the morning, when the enchanter, thinking that he had punished him enough, raised the spell and let him go, bull and all; yet not before he and his servants had the fun of seeing him on the rock, the water up to his lips, with the bull floating round his neck, and of pelting him well with pebbles they flung from the beach, as he waded off home. Since that time neither the old giant nor any of his brood have ever ventured to the main land.

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« Reply #71 on: August 25, 2009, 01:28:53 pm »

But that's nothing to what they say of Pengersec's magic glass, with which he can draw fire from the sun, and set the whole country in a blaze, or of his making gold (by the aid of the devils who come at his call) out of clay and common stones, which he burns in a furnace, placed in a tower that none but himself and spirits of darkness, ever enter. The fire and brimstone is ever seen blazing within; yet but little is known of what takes place there, because the few strangers who make up his household are bound, by dreadful oaths, never to disclose the secrets of the magician's abode.

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"Now go, Jack, my son," says Joan to the tinkard, "and see whatever can be keeping Tom so long from home, and don't come back without him."

As they looked out of the door, two horsemen were seen approaching the outer gate.

"Speak of the devil and see his horns," says the tinkard; "behold our great bucca Tom, bringing the enchanter into his castle: no one can mistake the Lord of Pengersec, on that fiery steed, which seems to tread the air and spurn the ground.—Some say that his horse is no animal of flesh and blood, but a mean devil or under fiend he has broken in, and bound to serve him."

"Genevra, child vean," says Joan, "keep to the chamber in the farther tower, and I will prepare the supper alone: the dinner-hour is passed now, but supper must be got; for if the Old One himself came to the castle, one's bound to treat him to the best cheer the place affords; and perhaps, after all, neither the devil nor his mate is so bad as they are made out to be."

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« Reply #72 on: August 25, 2009, 01:29:03 pm »

The ladies of the castle left the tinkard to receive Tom and his guest, and to place bread and wine before them when they enter the hall. Tom took the visitor over his lands to see all his flocks and herds, except the sheep, goats, and young cattle, which his children watched, whilst they pastured on the distant hills: these sheep, goats, and young cattle were all brought home at night, and folded near the castle or shut up securely in a strong-walled bowjey (sheep fold and house) among the hills, if at a distance; because all the northern hills and the forests of Ludgvan were then swarming with wolves. Pengersec's admiration of Tom's hedges and praise of his cattle won his heart, and Jack, in spite of a natural dislike, for which he could give no reason, could not help being charmed, at times, by the agreeable discourse and easy courtesy of the great lord. Joan, assisted by some of the younger children, who were not of the age nor size to be of much note yet, did the milking, prepared the supper, and dressed herself and Genevra in a way to show respect to their guest; and, for all the devilish black character of the enchanter, they could not help admiring him when he entered the hall and saluted them with the air of a prince: at the first glance they thought him the handsomest man they ever saw: his dark complexion wasn't of the tinkard's healthy bright brown, but of a sallow hue, tinged with black, which made him appear rather grim when he stood in the clear sunshine, yet the lightning-glance on his eye, the curling black hair, flowing beard, and stately mien, made him appear such as women admire; besides, his long flowing mantle gave him the look of a king in his royal robes.

Joan rejoiced to see Tom home again, safe and sound, and was charmed with the lord of Pengersec, when he praised the beauty of her

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« Reply #73 on: August 25, 2009, 01:29:14 pm »

children and the order of her house, just the same as his admiration of Tom's hedges, cattle, and tin had sent the sleepy giant off to a fool's paradise. Genevra feared the man, she knew not why; his glance, when directed towards her, held her spellbound like a bird before an adder. He tried the glamor of his fine speeches on the tinkard too, but when their glances met it was like the flashing of forked lightning on an iron-stone rock, or diamond cut diamond; yet there was music in the tones of the enchanter's voice which charmed the senses in spite of reason. Joan placed before her lordly guest such a repast as would please a king. The healths of all were often drunk and returned, in the richest wines and strongest beer, by all but Jack, and the night quickly passed on in revelry and song.

The boys were unable to get the sheep and cattle near the castle until Jack drove the visitor's horse away down the hill. The colts, cows, and other cattle gathered around the tinkard, trembling and moaning, as they will often flock round a person they know during a violent thunderstorm. When Jack came back from folding the sheep, Pengersec's horse was nowhere to be seen: he told their strange guest that his horse was gone out of sight, but it could’nt get over the hedges. "You dont know that. Yet, never mind," the lord replied, "if he were as far away as Tregonan hill (ten miles or more) I've only to whistle, and he would be at the door in one minute."

Joan and Genevra sang many old songs which the guest much admired; then Pengersec took the harp: he was said to be such a cunning minstrel that he could make the harp speak, and that he often used his minstrelsy for the purpose of his magic art. Now, when he first ran his fingers over the strings, the harp seemed to screech and cry in agony, as if to drown the shrill whistle, echoing from hill to hill, which he sent after his horse, and which was answered by the neighing of the steed from Godalwin hill ten miles away: the cows, and other cattle near the castle, were so frightened that they all galloped off, bellowing and bleating, to the carns and cliffs. Pengersec stood up, and, running his fingers over the strings, he sang many sweet melodies, learned from the eastern princess he had brought to Pengersec, to be the mistress of his castle; though the words were all unknown, yet the melody of voice and harp even charmed Jack into forgetfulness of the minstrel's evil fame: when the music ceased a moment, Jack went out to see the time of night by the rising and southing of the noted stars which served as clocks in those times;—the height of certain stars, and the remnant of the waning moon glimmering over the carns on the hill of Trencrom, told him that midnight was passed: on looking through the court-yard doorway he saw the enchanter's steed standing near the heaving-stock, in the shadow of the wall;—the eyeballs of the beast shone like coals of fire, and the breath from its nostrils looked like the blue flames of brimstone;—then Jack entered the hall, and saw Pengersec standing in the midst of clouds of smoke or vapour, which spread throughout the castle with an intoxicating

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« Reply #74 on: August 25, 2009, 01:29:26 pm »

perfume. A metal band, set with seven precious stones, for the planetary signs, encircled the magician's head; his mantle, spread wide, showed round his waist the broad leather girdle, on which were many strange magical figures; on his breast hung the magic pentagram; in his hand he grasped the conjuring-stick which he was waving over Tom, Joan, and the rest, who, all but Genevra, were laid on the ground as dead as the stones on which they lay.

Jack was nearly overcome with the intoxicating fumes of the incense which rose around the enchanter;—everything seemed to shimmer and swim before his dazzled vision when he looked at the conjuror waving his wand in the midst of the curling clouds of smoke. The tinkard was so entranced that, when he saw Genevra, unable to speak or rise, stretch out her hands towards him, he was powerless to move, and unable to hinder the magician from taking Genevra into his arms; but when he saw her, like one dead, hanging on Pengersec's shoulder, as he bore her to his horse, the lover's heart moved again and awakened him from the magic trance. The enchanter, bearing the helpless Genevra, passed out. Jack sprung after them into the castle-court, but only to see the enchanter place the maiden on his horse, spring into the saddle, and gallop off, leaving a train of blue fire to mark their track, all down the hillside from the castle-court to the lower gate. Now, here the enchanter stopped a moment; whether the demon-steed was unable to rise off the earth with the innocent maiden, or Pengersec feared to take the leap with his precious burthen, he did not attempt to spring his horse over the iron spikes which the tinkard had placed on the top of the gate, but tried in vain when he lifted the latch to push open the gate, because, you remember, the gate was secured by a lock of the tinkard's contrivance, which could not be opened by anyone unacquainted with the secret of its construction. At the instant the magician bore off Genevra, Jack felt the charm-stone or amulet (which had been hung on his neck when a child, to protect him from the spirits of darkness, sorcery, and witchcraft) leaping on his breast like a thing alive, as much as to say, "Try my virtue when everything else has failed!" Jack had thought but little, and believed less, of what his mammy had told him about the virtue which abode in the bit of ironstone she hung on his breast. Yet now, quick as thought, he followed her directions, by first touching his forehead and mouth with the stone; then, when he placed it on his breast near his heart, he felt the courage of a lion; his lips were unsealed to speak a word which broke the spell, and his brain told him to use his bow;—Jack aimed his arrow at the enchanter's naked left hand, stretched out to pull the bobbin that lifted the latch. "There, catch that, devilskin," says Jack, as the bowstring twanged, and the arrow flew;—and Pengersec did catch it too, for the arrow went right through his open left hand and nailed it to the oaken gate: just as quickly as the arrow flew, Jack arrived, hammer in hand. With the first blow of his hammer he broke the enchanter's right arm;

p. 40

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"The rain in Spain brings madness & mediocrity."
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