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Cornwall's Wonderland   By: (1866-1924)

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E text prepared by Lionel Sear

CORNWALL'S WONDERLAND

by

MABEL QUILLER COUCH.

1914 This e text was prepared from a version published in 1914.

PREFACE.

With a vivid recollection of the keen enjoyment I myself found in the strange and wonderful Romances and Legends of Old Cornwall, now so rapidly being forgotten; with a remembrance too of the numerous long and involved paragraphs even pages that I skipped, as being prosy or unintelligible, written as they were in a dialect often untranslatable even by a Cornish child, I have here tried to present a few of these tales in simpler form, to suit not only Cornish children, but those of all parts.

M.Q.C.

CONTENTS.

HOW CORINEUS FOUGHT THE CHIEF OF THE GIANTS.

THE GIANT OF ST. MICHAEL'S MOUNT.

THE LEGEND OF THE TAMAR, THE TAVY, AND THE TAW.

THE STRANGE STORY OF CHERRY HONEY.

THE FAIRIES ON THE GUMP.

THE FAIRY OINTMENT.

THE EXCITING ADVENTURE OF JOHN STURTRIDGE.

THE TRUE STORY OF ANNE AND THE FAIRIES.

BARKER AND THE BUCCAS.

LUTEY AND THE MERMAID.

THE WICKED SPECTRE.

THE STORY OF THE LOVERS' COVE.

THE SILVER TABLE.

CRUEL COPPINGER, THE DANE.

MADGE FIGGY, THE WRECKER.

HOW MADGE FIGGY GOT HER PIG.

THE STORY OF SIR TRISTRAM AND LA BELLE ISEULT.

HOW CORINEUS FOUGHT THE CHIEF OF THE GIANTS

Long, long ago, when Cornwall was almost a desert land, cold, bleak, and poor, and inhabited only by giants, who had destroyed and eaten all the smaller people, Brutus and Corineus came with a large Trojan army intending to conquer England, or Albion as it was then called, and landed at Plymouth for that purpose.

These two valiant chiefs had heard strange tales of the enormous size of the people in that part of the island, so, like wise generals, before venturing inland themselves, they sent parties of their men to explore, and find out what they could of the inhabitants. The soldiers, who had never heard anything about the giants, went off very full of glee, and courage, thinking, from the miserable look of the country, that they had only some poor half starved, ignorant savages to hunt out, and subdue.

That was how they started out. They returned nearly scared to death, rushing into camp like madmen, pursued by a troop of hideous monsters all brandishing clubs as big as oak trees, and making the most awful noises you can possibly imagine.

When, though, Brutus and Corineus saw these great creatures they were not in the least frightened, for, you see, they had already heard about them. So they quietly and quickly collected their army, reassured the terrified men, and, before the giants knew what was happening, they marched upon them, and assailed them vigorously with spears and darts.

The giants, who were really not at all brave men, were so frightened at this attack, and at the pain caused by the arrows and spears, weapons they had never seen before, that they very soon turned tail and ran for their lives. They made direct for the Dartmoor hills, where they hoped to find shelter and safe hiding places, and indeed, all did manage to escape except one, and that was the great Gogmagog, the captain, who was so badly injured that he could not run.

When Gogmagog saw his cowardly companions all running away, and leaving him to do the best he could for himself, he bellowed and bellowed with rage and fear until the birds nearly dropped down from the sky with fright. After a while, though, he began to think he had better stop drawing attention to himself, and look about for a means of escape, and this was no slight task, for he could scarcely move a step, and his great big body was not at all easy to conceal. Indeed, the only means he could see open to him was to lie down in one of the great ditches which lay here and there all over the land, and trust to the darkness concealing him until the soldiers had returned to camp... Continue reading book >>




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