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from which there was a fine view of Falmouth, and the two miles of water between. The day was one of those in which the season combines all its loveliness; when to bask on sweet-smelling hay in the sunshine, and gaze over land and sea, is enjoyment enough; when every movement, every breath, is pleasure; when the warmth infuses life into every limb; and the gentle breeze, as it frolics with your hair, seems but the odorous breath of Summer herself, murmuring faintly of birds, and bees, and flowers.
The company, increased by new arrivals, were at tea when I went back to the garden : all so talkative and good-humoured. There were, however, signs of mischief. The doorkeepers had ceased to be vigilant, and any who would coming in without tickets, the flower-beds suffered: one was entirely obliterated by the trampling. Then more dancing. Then an adjournment to the church for a concert, in which the choir from Truro showed they knew how to sing. The sun went down. Still no signs of return. I went off to the steamer. It
dark. The stars shone out. At last a burst of fireworks from the garden indicated a conclusion; and boat succeeded boat, bringing parties from the shore. Late as it was, I heard no expression of illhumour; and no slang; though some few wished we had started earlier. Whether from choice or necessity, our progress up the river was slow, and when we arrived off “ Mopus,” the vessel stopped ; the water was too low, we were told, for further advance. My impression was that the captain was in haste to
back and tow up a vessel from Falmouth. What were we to do. We raised a shout, and waited. We shouted again. A solitary boat appeared emerging from the gloom, and in this, a few at a time, the passengers began to disembark. After a while, a second boat, and I got on shore with the last load. Then we had to walk two miles to Truro, where we did not arrive till past midnight.
From the day's experiences I concluded that the Cornish folk like their pleasure rather overcrowded; that they can go out to be amused without going home uproarious or sulky; and that they have yet something to learn in the science of excursions.
The Hotel-A Stage-Coach Journey-Tregoss Moors-St. Columb Major -Wadebridge-A Foreign Town-A Slow Coach-Camelford-A Halt for Lunch-Coupled Sheep-Parish and Church Town-Bowithic Slate Quarries-Nothing but Slate-Cornish Diamonds-Trewarnet-The Ravine-Tintagel-The bare Ruin-The Screaming Gull-King Arthur and his Knights-Tintagel Island-The Zigzag Path-View of the Cliffs-The Cavern-Rush of the Waves-Trevena-Bossiney-Longbridge-The Valley-St. Nighton's Keeve-The Two Cascades-The Romantic Dell-Why the Water makes a Noise-The Dismal RuinThe Labourer-Twelve Shillings a Week, and a Camelford BushelForrabury Church-The Lost Bells-Boscastle-The Marvellous Harbour-Singing in the Smithy-Local Gossip.
THE Red Lion at Truro is one of those very comfortable hotels where you have to take a solemn breakfast in a room by yourself—and pay two shillings for it; as is the use and custom in many houses of entertainment. My inclination is for something less formal; and, as a rule, I stipulate for the "Commercial Room ;" and, if refused, seek other quarters. Of all the inns I sojourned at during my ramble, the one that combined most of comfort with reasonable charges was the King's Arms at Penryn.
A coach to Exeter, by the northern road, starts from the Red Lion; and to save time, I took a place for Camelford, distant thirty-five miles. The road for many miles traverses the great central wastes of the county, and dismal, indeed, must the ride be in bad weather; but the morning was again bright and breezy, and even sombre landscapes are beautified by sunlight. We
started at eight; and it was interesting to note the gradual change from green to brown, as, after the first few miles, we rose upon the moors on the northern edge of that same granite district which produces the chinaclay. Wide and ever-shifting were the views we got, inspiring a sense of freedom, as we rose and fell on the inequalities of the route. No more delightful mode of travelling than on the outside of a coach on a fine day; except, indeed, you have unlimited time for walking. The open prospect on all sides, to the blue sky above as well as the earth below--the rate of motion, quick enough for pleasure, yet not detrimental to observationthe views of the road, where every bend reveals a new scene, and the cheerful clatter of the horses' hoofs-all conspire to promote enjoyment.
Not a whiff of mist was there to hide the hill-tops the Cornish mountains. While crossing Tregoss Moors we saw the rocky summits on our right, Belovely Beacon and Castle an Dinas; and on our left the merging of the moorland into the fields. You need not look twice to see the difference between the northern and southern slopes of the county: here the bare and harsh landscape shows fewer signs of the softening influence of summer.
St. Columb Major, pleasantly situate on a hill-side, looked all the pleasanter after the naked scenery. There was something about it that reminded me of a French town. On again, past the Nine Maidens, St. Issey Beacon, the Druids' Altar and tumuli, and across the desolate wilds known as St. Breock Downs, to Wadebridge—a town which has still more of a foreign aspect. Write French names over the doors, and you might fancy yourself stopping to change horses at some outof-the-way place in France, so narrow and irregular are the streets, so unaccustomed the aspect of the houses and queer little shops, while there is the same air of being left to take care of itself. The old bridge of seventeen arches across the estuary, which once had a flourishing fig-tree growing from one of its piers, has been replaced by a more commodious, though less picturesque structure. From the hills above the town the view extends to the sea, and down the crooked estuary to Padstow. At this port a harbour of refuge is to be constructed, which, to those who navigate the Bristol Channel, will be of incalculable advantage, as at present there is no harbour accessible at all times of the tide to which a ship may run for shelter on this side of Cornwall.
Our coach was fully laden and piled with luggage when we left Truro; but more passengers and more luggage were packed on at each of the towns where we stopped; and now one was perched on the foot-board between my feet and the coachman's, so, what with the increased burden, which must have given our vehicle the appearance of a baggage-wagon, and the steep hills, we had to put on an extra horse. Even with five we could only travel slowly, which was, perhaps, in our favour, considering the top weight. It was a living illustration of what one had almost forgotten: the occasional deficiency between supply and demand, which was one of the faults of the stage-coach system. There were four more passengers, the coachman said, to get up at Camelford ; and, as I was the only one to get off, he was, perhaps, cogitating a way of taking them on. Already the man who did duty as guard lay stretched across the top of the luggage, clinging to the strap.
After passing Wadebridge we had the first of the Cornish mountainous granite districts on our right.