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tionally protected by a screen of hurdles, that some of the early potatoes are raised, which bring half-a-crown a pound in Covent Garden market. As at Portland, you see a porch to nearly every house; the closed side towards the prevalent blasts. And the thatch of the out-buildings is only kept from driving away before the furious winds by strong pegs and interlacing bands of straw, and being kept within the edge of the wall. The productiveness of the fields is seen in the broad swathes of grass in the hayfields, and the vigorous appearance of the grain and root crops, clothing the slopes with refreshing verdure. Sea-wrack is the principal manure; and when dried, some of the Islanders burn it as fuel. The average of really calm days is said to be not more than six in the year; and damp and wind are the prevailing characteristics of the climate. At times the Gulf Stream makes its influence felt. In 1845 the water was as warm around Scilly as it is off the coast of Portugal; and the summer and autumn were remarkable for an elevation of temperature.
Along the cliff again: down to the patch of crystalline sand at Porth Minich; up to Blue Carn, the most southerly point of the Isle, where in the masses of granite are more rock-basins in process of formation. Then to the Giant's Castle, a triple-ringed intrenchment on the edge of the cliff, supposed to be of Danish origin. Near it is a huge logan stone, estimated to weigh fortyfive tons, which will rock, with a little pushing. Now you are on Sallakee Down, overlooking a fine range of fields sloping inland; and Porthhellick-the Cove of Willows—and the fatal rocks on which Sir Cloudesley Shovel was wrecked in 1707, with four of his ships and two thousand men. Henry Trelawny, a son of the bishop whose imprisonment inspired the famous song, was among the drowned. The body of the admiral was picked up and buried on the shore of the cove; but afterwards removed to Westminster Abbey. The strong current produced by the indraught of St. George's Channel, drifting the ships out of their course, was doubtless the cause of the catastrophe. The strength of this current is such as to interfere with the regular action of the tides at the Isles: with a twelve hours' flood there is but a four hours' ebb.
I had scarcely entered the cove than there came driving in from the sea one of those horizontal rainstorms so frequent in these latitudes. How it hissed across the straggling grass, and through the crevices of the rocks! I lay down under a projecting ledge, which was so thickly covered with byssus, old man's beard, that it felt warm as a blanket. The view was speedily contracted to a circle of a few yards; I waited in hope of a change, but no change came; so, thinking that time might be economised by dining during the rain, I made a short cut across the country back to Hugh Town, and arrived uncomfortably saturated.
Evening approached, and still the rain fell. I went to the Wesleyan chapel, desirous to hear with what sort of spiritual teaching the remote community was edified. Empty pews were more numerous than the congregation. The sermon, delivered apparently with great effort, was one of the poorest it has ever been my lot to listen to. That the hearers went to sleep was not surprising; and that the fall of a drowsy boy was improved into a warning, strengthened by an allusion to the fate of Eutychus, seemed hardly fair. The burden of the discourse was that the garden of the Lord did not flourish in the Isles. No wonder, I thought, with such a watering-pot. Preachers of that stamp are as little honourable to the society which sends them forth, as unprofitable to those who sit under them. Wishing to know whether the people were sensible of their starvation, I made inquiries, and found a unanimous perception of the fact; and as unanimous a satisfaction that the preacher had only two or three Sundays more to stay. I hope he is replaced by one more capable.
The weather had brightened again by the conclusion of the service; something more might yet be seen before nightfall, and I started for Holy Vale—a pleasant hollow in the middle of the Isle, embowered by elms and sycamores, among which are scattered a few cottages. A pretty scene; one that takes you by surprise where trees are so rare, and a happy proof of the effect of shelter. Then up Maypole Hill, which commands views of the Isle under another aspect; soft and luxuriant compared with those seen from the headlands. You can see to various points of the shore: the Druid's Chair, and round to Inisidgen Point. Then to the Telegraph Hill, the highest summit, crowned by its tall circular tower, from the top of which you can survey the whole extent of St. Mary's. The sun had gone down, and the Isles around and the countless rocks looked beautiful against the crimson and gold of the distant west, and amid the slowly fading splendours of the gleaming waves.
I was up early the next morning, and went to look at the preparation of stones for the lighthouse now in course of erection on the Bishop Rock, the westernmost of the dark hummocks seen from the hill. An attempt
to erect a tower of iron failed by all the works being washed away; and now considerable progress has been made in replacing it by a substantial edifice of stone. Only for a month or two in the very finest part of the season can the works be carried
for and storm are jealous of their dominion; and when complete, Bishop Rock Lighthouse will be one of the greatest triumphs of lighthouse-building. Farther from the mainland than any other edifice of the kind, in a wild situation rarely blessed by calm, it will indeed be “ Tadmor of the wave" to cheer the mariner coming from the great ocean, and warn him of dangers. The stones are prepared on a platform adjoining the pier, and are carried out to the Rock with all other supplies by the Trinity House steamer which I saw at anchor in the Pool.
Then up to Star Castle, past the guard-house at the gate, where you may have a chat with the half-dozen invalids who constitute the garrison. Their duties do not appear to be onerous; among them are hauling the Union Jack up and down, and ringing the bell every three hours, from six in the morning till nine at night. Over the entrance to the Castle are the initials of the queen in whose reign it was built, E. R., and the date 1593. It is a queer little place; an eight-pointed star, with guns and embrasures at every point, and all sorts of little angular courts connected by crooked passages. During the civil war it was a place of imprisonment for a few noted characters; and a refuge for others. Certain of the Royalists exiled themselves hither rather than remain in a land made painful to them by bitter reverses: Prince Charles, some of the Godolphins, and other eminent Cavaliers. There must have been a touch of the right sort of patriotism in the heart of the governor
Sir John Granville, who, when Van Tromp came with his fleet and tempting offers for the surrender of the Isles, rejected all terms with the foreigner, preferring to yield to the Parliamentary commanders. Lady Fanshawe, too, came here in 1646, as she tells us in a passage of her Memoirs, which, while it reveals her own privations, conveys an idea of the wretched condition of the Isle at that time. While on the passage from the Land's End, at the beginning of April, with her family, the crew broke open and plundered her baggage. “Next day,” she writes, “after having been pillaged, and extremely sick, and big with child, I was set on shore, almost dead, in the Island of Scilly. When we had got to our quarters, near the Castle, where the Prince lay, I went to bed, which was so vile, that my footman ever lay in a better, and we had but three in the whole house, which consisted of four rooms, or rather partitions, two low rooms and two little lofts, with a ladder to go up; in one of these they kept dried fish, which was his trade, and in this my husband's two clerks lay; one there was for my sister, and one for myself, and one amongst the rest of the servants. But when I waked in the morning, I was so cold I knew not what to do; but the daylight discovered that my bed was near swimming with the sea, which the owner told us afterwards it never did so but at spring-tide. With this we were destitute of clothes, and meat, and fuel; for half the Court to serve them a month was not to be had in the whole Island, and truly we begged our daily bread of God, for we thought every meal our last.” For three weeks did the unhappy lady endure these discomforts, before departing for Jersey.
Here, again, you have memories of Cromwell. A