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familiarly, the Man and his Man, and under the Head the detached mass of Carn Golla, and to the north-east Cligga Head shuts in the view. Here again the sea is clouded with the waste water, and the cliffs show streaks and stains of red. But seen in the light of the setting sun, all these discolorations produced a magical effect. The great arch of crimson and amber in the west, that seemed a portal glowing with remoter splendours, sent a stream of gorgeous light across the heaving waters, and lit the cliffs with glories not their own. All too soon to fade. Slowly the radiance crept from base to summit, and anon the cold grey crags resumed their stern expression.
What ingenuity can do when compelled by necessity is well exemplified in the harbours along this northern coast, where, for want of better, mere creeks, that seem fit only for fishing-boats, admit ships of two hundred tons burden. If surprised at St. Agnes, you will be still more surprised some days hence in the vicinity of Tintagel. After looking at the little port, I mounted to the top of the cliff on the opposite side, where the ground has been so ransacked that it may be said to be literally turned inside out, and pits and holes on every side impose watchfulness and a wary footstep. In returning to the town along the bottom of the ravine, some portions of it reminded me of the view of Noss. Though the mines are out of sight over the brow of the hill, you are informed of their existence by the measured jerk of pumping-rods stretched down the slope to lower levels. At nightfall, when so little could be seen, there was something mysterious in the half-minute thud-thud of the plungers.
Returned to the hotel, I was invited into the little
room behind the bar; the young Scotchmen were there, and a few of the townsfolk. I inquired for Harmony Cot, the house in which Opie was born, and got for
“ It isn't in the church-town. You must go two miles on the road to Perran Porth if you want to see it.” My veneration for the painter was not equal to that excursion. A miscellaneous conversation ensued; about abstraction of the coast-guard for the Baltic fleet; only two men being left to watch ten miles of shore: about the geology of the district, and not without ability; and about mining shares. A steady undercurrent of thought was evidently running on the latter subject, and it often broke out inadvertently. One of the company wished to know how he could send a parcel from a place in the neighbourhood to Penzance, and was told "a butcher's cart went once a week;" a reply that took you back to the early times, and seemed to account for the cacophonous vernacular.
A travelling music-master enlivened us from time to time by an air on the accordion, played in a style surpassing all I had ever heard on that instrument. His Old Towler was wonderful. To hear how the “ Hark forward! tantivy,” rose and fell; now echoing a mile distant; farther and farther, fainter and fainter; then with a sudden swell circling round within a few yards, called forth a burst of admiration, and a unanimous encore, Then something was said about a steam-boat excursion to take place the next morning from Truro to St. Just, near Falmouth ; tickets only a shilling. I had contemplated a ramble out to the sandy wastes around Perranzabuloe; a church dedicated to the saint who floated.over from Ireland on a millstone, and lived two hundred years afterwards. But the excursion would be something living; the other was lifeless; and having once walked over miles of sand-hills on the coast of Holland, I preferred to see a gathering of Cornish folk, and the Truro river.
I rose early; and was half-way to Truro before the sun had enticed the dewdrops from the glistening beds of heath. One after another I heard the stamping-mills begin their thunderous employment, resounding afar in the calm morning air. Quietness must be doubly blessed to all the dwellers round about. I arrived in good time at the Red Lion, had breakfast, brushed up my exterior, and went out to buy a ticket for the excursion, not without some misgivings that my walking attire and thick boots would be considered a disqualification. But no objection was made. The vessel was to start from a quay about a mile from the river. I walked to the place at the hour appointed, and witnessed a curious process of embarkation. The steam-tug, for such it was, lay a boat's length from the shore, and you had to walk from one end of this boat to the other, stepping over the seats to get on board, and to pay a penny besides. Murmurs were grumbled at this arrangement: one rather loud remonstrant, who thought it was making people risk their lives, was silenced by the reminder that there was always plenty more coming into the world. The captain justified the inconvenience on the ground that the tug having been newly decorated, “ he didn't want his paint scratched by people walking on board at the paddle-boxes.” Considering that the vessel was in half-mourning—A warm slate-colour picked out with streaks of tar—the justification seemed to me hardly reasonable. However, in time, all the company, some six or eight score, had
contrived to get on board, and we steamed from our moorings. The tug being one of those little vessels that appear to be all boiler, with a hot deck, and a scorching atmosphere, it was not easy to find a cool place, except at the bow, where I got a seat on the rail. At once a demand sprung up for bottled porter, and pasties and sandwiches came into request; and thirsty folk called for water to mingle with their brandy. There was none on board except a quart or two at the bottom of a small cask, and no means of getting it out except by tilting up and pouring from the bunghole. Never mind! Cornish folk are not particular.
The scenery on either bank soon becomes forest-like; the river winds among rounded hills thickly covered with trees, which, in the deeper hollows, form grand amphitheatres of foliage. You almost forget that the unromantic mines—the works at Carnon Creek—and Perran Wharf are within so short a distance of the umbrageous screen. Malpas—or Mopus, in the debased pronunciation of the neighbourhood—and its creek are: pleasantly embowered. We made closer acquaintance with it before our trip was over. Then, on the same side, the rich woods of Tregothnan Park: then Trelissic on the opposite shore, and always the same ample woods; here and there a glimpse of a bare hill-top in the background, and the river itself, enlivened by the white sails of ships. Shooting round a point we came suddenly into Carrick Road, where the receding shores leave the view open all through Falmouth Harbour to Pendennis Castle. Seen from the water, with the numerous vessels at anchor, and the green shadow of the shores reflected all round the margin, you find more beauty in the “intricate bay" than when looked at from the land. Presently, rounding Mesack Point, we steered into St. Just Pool, on the left, and anchored off the village, St. Just in Roseland, our destination. Immediately a fleet of boats put off from the shore, and our landing brought a little fortune of pennies to the competing crews of men and boys.
The object of the excursion was to aid the fund being raised to pay for the sea-wall built at St. Mawes, not far from St. Just. A bazaar had been opened at Falmouth for the same purpose, and the unsold goods now stocked a minor bazaar in the vicar's garden on this side of the water. We found flags flying; gay devices and decorations; and fair damsels at the stalls. The managers evidently knew their business. The garden itself, on the slope of a hill, with its flower-beds swelling from the undulating turf, with its shady walks and high-arched grove, and fuschias growing up to the very roof of the house, threw a charm over the arrangements which added materially to their effect. The worthy vicar took an active part in the proceedings, and was ready with abundant provisions. Groups seated themselves where they would, and ate and drank to their hearts' content. After a time the damsels presiding at the bazaar opened a lottery for the most expensive articles, and proved themselves expert in collecting sixpenny subscriptions. Then the band played, and there was a dance on the soft, smooth turf. Then an auction was got up to clear out the bazaar; and the auctioneer, playing his part with tact and humour, sold the lots as fast as they were offered. The last twenty went in a scramble, at sixpence a lot-cakes, gingerbread, and amateur drawings. Then more dancing.
I strolled away for a couple of hours to a hay-field,