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Furze the Cruel   By: (1870-)

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First Page:

FURZE THE CRUEL

BY

JOHN TREVENA

AUTHOR OF "A PIXY IN PETTICOATS" AND "ARMINEL OF THE WEST"

LONDON

ALSTON RIVERS, LTD.

BROOKE ST., HOLBORN BARS, E.C.

1907

Almost everywhere on Dartmoor are Furze, Heather, and Granite. The Furze seems to suggest Cruelty, the Heather Endurance, and the Granite Strength. The Furze is destroyed by fire, but grows again; the Heather is torn by winds, but blossoms again; the Granite is worn away imperceptibly by the rain. This work is the first of a proposed trilogy, which the author hopes to continue and complete with "Heather" and "Granite."

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTORY

I. ABOUT THE TAVY FAMILY II. ABOUT BRIGHTLY III. ABOUT PASTOR AND MASTER IV. ABOUT BEETLES V. ABOUT THOMASINE VI. ABOUT VOCAL AND INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC VII. ABOUT FAIRYLAND VIII. ABOUT ATMOSPHERE IX. ABOUT A KNAVE AND A FOOL X. ABOUT THE VIGIL OF ST. GOOSE XI. ABOUT THE FEAST OF ST. GOOSE XII. ABOUT THE OCTAVE OF ST. GOOSE XIII. ABOUT VARIOUS EMOTIONS XIV. ABOUT A STRUGGLE AT THE GATE OF FAIRYLAND XV. ABOUT JUSTICE XVI. ABOUT WITCHCRAFT XVII. ABOUT PASTIMES XVIII. ABOUT AUTUMN IN FAIRYLAND XIX. ABOUT THE GOOD RIGHT HAND OF FELLOWSHIP XX. ABOUT THE PASSOVER OF THE BRUTE XXI. ABOUT WINTER IN REAL LIFE XXII. ABOUT THE PINCH XXIII. ABOUT A HOUSE ON THE HIDDEN LANES XXIV. ABOUT BANKRUPTS XXV. ABOUT SWALING FIRES XXVI. ABOUT "DUPPENCE" XXVII. ABOUT REGENERATION AND RENUNCIATION

FURZE THE CRUEL

INTRODUCTORY

ABOUT RAINDROPS

The river of Tavy is a great mountain carver. From its mud holes of Cranmere to the walls of Tavistock it is a hewer of rocks. Thenceforth it becomes a gardener, raising flowers and herbs; it becomes idyllic. It goes into Arcadia. And at last it floats ships of war.

There is a story in Hebrew literature of a king called Solomon, a man reputed wise, although a fool with women, who desired to build a temple to his God. There was a tradition which forbade the use of hammer or chisel in the erection of a place of worship, because, according to the Mischna, "Iron is used to shorten life, the altar to prolong it." The stones were not to be hewn. The temple was to be built noiselessly. The narrative suggests that Solomon had the stones cut and shaped at some distance from the building site, which was a decidedly Jesuitical way of solving the problem. Myth suggests that the king sought the aid of Asmodeus, chief of the devils, who told him where he could discover a worm which would split the toughest rock. The introduction of the devil to assist in the building of the temple was no doubt of Persian origin, since Persian thought influenced Hebrew literature just as Grecian thought was later to influence that of Rome. The idea of noiseless building, of an altar created by supernatural powers, of burrowing for minerals and metals without tools, is common to the literature of every country. It is one of the stock tales of folk lore found everywhere. In one place it is a worm which shatters the mountains; in another a black stone; and in another a herb, such as the innocent forget me not, and the various saxifrages of the cottage garden. All the stories agree upon three points: the name of the rock shatterer signifies irresistible force; it is invariably a small and insignificant object; and it is brought to mankind by a bird. That bird is the cloud; and the worm, pebble, or herb, which shatters mountains is the raindrop.

This is the story of the river Tavy, its tors and cleave, just as the pixy grandmother told it to the little round eyed ones on a stormy night, when the black winged raven cloud was bringing the rain over Great Kneeset, and the whist hounds were yip yip yipping upon the "deads"

"It all happened a long time ago, my impets, a very long time ago, and perhaps I shan't be telling you the story quite right. They say the dates are cut upon the Scorhill Rocks... Continue reading book >>




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