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as the pool of Bethesda. Higher still, and then the stone fences and scrubby surface of a wild moor, with Carn Galva in the distance, its peaks cheating you
into the idea of its being a far-remote mountain ridge. The soft landscape below, and the glimpses of Mount's Bay, are the more pleasing by contrast. A little farther and we alighted to look at Lanyon Quoit, an ancient cromlech, standing a few yards to the right of the road. It is a massive, weather-beaten slab, more than forty feet long and twelve wide, resting on three large unequal stones, that might be taken for rocks protruding from the soil: one of those monuments still as mysterious as when the inquiry first arose, Who made them? and what was their use ? Borlase describes it as high enough for a man to sit underneath on horseback, and some guide-books repeat his statement; but a large deduction must be made; for I, who am not more than five feet eight, could not stand under it without stooping. We examined the ground; and the Geologist, whose opinion carries weight, could discover no appearance of artificial elevation.
Descending from the moor by a different route 'we soon exchanged it for views of pleasanter landscape on the east: there was Gulval; then Hea, where a rock, on which John Wesley stood to preach, is built into the wall of the chapel; and segments of the Bay always in the distance. Then the trees and hedges again; and now you see how the slopes towards Penzance are protected by higher ground to the north and west, round to Newlyn. Beyond this village the wood becomes scanty, and soon disappears, as may be seen when sailing past it. We were upon that remarkable belt of land which surrounds Penzance with most satisfactory proofs of what may be done by cultivation under favourable circumstances. The soil is a decomposed greenstone, of such fertility that the thousand acres it includes have for many years produced an annual rental of 10,0001. Here are grown the “carly kidneys” so much in request in the London market, where they arrive as soon as those raised by forcing. The first crop produces three hundred, and the second, four hundred bushels to the acre. Brocoli are fit for the table at Christmas, cabbage in February, turnips in March, and peas in May; and all, be it remembered, without forcing. Here, too, plants from Australia and New Zealand flourish in the open air, which at Kew will grow only under glass. To protect the early crops from the effect of hoar-frost, it is usual to allow the smoke of a low fire to drift across the surface of the field, the current thereby established being found to prevent the deposit of the chilly rime.
The “perpetual spring" which some writers attribute to our south-western counties has something to do with this productiveness. From the Orkneys down to Cornwall there is an increase of one degree of temperature for every one hundred and eleven miles; the mean of the year being 46° in the north, and 52° at Penzance. From east to west the increase is one degree for every sixty-six miles; and while the winter temperature of Greenwich is 35o, that of Penzance is 42°. This part of Cornwall has thus a winter less cold by many degrees than any other part of the kingdom. The first traces of vegetation appear earlier in this county, as already mentioned, than on the opposite side of the Channel, or in the north of Italy. But there are modifying circumstances; and unless these are taken into account, the idea
suggested by "perpetual spring" will prove fallacious. Owing to the narrowness of the county, and its position between two seas, the Cornish summer is not so hot as in counties three or four hundred miles nearer the north; the harvest is later; and the air, loaded with damp, while it retards the ripening of grain, produces on some constitutions a feeling of languor and depression unknown in a drier atmosphere. Though the difference of temperature between the two seasons be much less than in other places, approaching to equability; and though the winter be mild, it is wet, and the summer is cool and humid. These are considerations not to be lost sight of in discussing the important question of change of air. Whether on the cliffs of Devonshire or Cornwall, there were few days on which I did not find my overcoat acceptable, and the evenings were almost invariably chilly.
Another modifying influence is the quantity of rain. The average yearly rain-fall in Cornwall is 44 inches; in Middlesex it is 24 inches. The popular saying that “ Cornwall will take a shower every day in the week, and two on Sundays,” is thus seen to have had a substantial origin. More, however, falls in other places. Round Dartmoor the quantity is 53 inches; at Princeton, on the top of the moor, it amounts to 72 inches; while at Seath waite, in Cumberland, it is 146 inches. The fall in Cornwall is least in April and most in November, with gradual increase and decrease in the two periods. In 1847-48 rain fell at Penzance every day for nine months. In the winter months the sea is from 4° to go warmer than the land; hence the little snow that falls is soon melted along the borders of the coast. At times a gusty drizzle sets in and lasts for two
or three weeks, making everything miserable out of doors, and damp within. That misty rain which saturated me at the Lizard, happily but for a few hours, was a specimen. The valleys, too, are subject to fogs. A remarkable visitation occurred in 1847 on the northern coast, where, during the summer, a fog, miles in length and width, crept in over the land at night, and in the day retreated far to seawards, where it could be seen resting, a dense, unbroken cloud. Then there are the terrific winds in the early months of the year, which carry the salt spray ten miles inland, so that it may be tasted on window-panes and the blade of corn. At times it destroys whole acres of young wheat in the fields near the sea. You will see some of the old manor-houses built facing the east or south-east, regardless of the view from the front windows; the builders having preferred a site where the rear of the house would be sheltered by a low hill and a belt of trees.
But the Cornish winter is not a cheerless season. Quite the reverse. Dwellers in Middlesex and the neighbouring counties have not unfrequently to lament that in some of the autumn and winter months the sky is covered with thick, leaden clouds, through which the sun never pierces for weeks. Such a state of things rarely occurs in Cornwall: if there be much rain, there is also much sunshine; more than falls to our share here in the east. Except on the extraordinary occasions referred to, the rain seldom lasts beyond a few hours, and for one-half of the day the sun will be so bright and warm, that it is only by observing the vegetation you are reminded of January. Such a winter, as some think, more than compensates for the deficiencies of the summer; and we see
that rain every day for nine months does not necessarily imply constant gloomy weather.
Exposed to all these influences, Cornwall, while producing potatoes and various kinds of vegetables in abundance, fails to produce such fruits as require a high degree of heat and continuous dry weather for their ripening. Gooseberries and black currants are plentiful round Penzance, and strawberries may often be bought at sixpence the gallon. Notwithstanding the damp, the climate is not unfavourable to health and longevity, as existing records sufficiently prove. These few remarks on the climate of Cornwall
may help towards the understanding of some of the phenomena of its vegetation as seen by one who walks along its cliffs and across its moors; and to indicate to others what they may expect to witness. My own experiences are favourable; for during my sojourn in the Duchy I had breezy, sunshiny weather, and saw but three showers.
But to our excursion. We stopped at the end of a lane, and ran down the steep hill to Barlowena Bottom to look at an old inscribed stone, which for many years served as the foot-bridge over the stream, by which it now stands erect, showing its obscure sculpture and inscription to the passer-by, and testifying of its rescuers, and of QUENATAVUS ICDINUI FILIUS. Then on again; still on the fertile land, catching glimpses of country mansions; to the suburb of Chyandour, a name which smacks of the East in sound and orthography, and so to Penzance. The town improves on acquaintance; you remark signs of growth and vitality. The shambling thoroughfare, Market-Jew Street, has a few touches of the olden time about it. On the right, near the Town-Hall, is the house where Sir Humphry Davy was born ; but with a modern front.
The town, more