Page:A Book of Dartmoor.djvu/48

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forefathers considerably. By means of this second process the wolfram, or tungsten as it is also called, is got rid of.

Now, it is a curious fact that the tin of Dartmoor is of extraordinary purity; it has little or none of this abominable wolfram associated with it, so that it is by no means improbable that the value of tin as a metal was discovered on Dartmoor, or in some as yet unknown region where it is equally unalloyed.

In Cornwall all the tin is mixed with tungsten. Now this material has been hitherto regarded as worthless; it has been sworn at by successive generations of miners since mining first began. But all at once it has leaped into importance, for it has been discovered to possess a remarkable property of hardening iron, and is now largely employed for armour-plated vessels. From being worth nothing it has risen to a rapidly rising value, as we are becoming aware that we shall have to present impenetrable sides to our Continental neighbours.

Dartmoor comprises the "forest" and the surrounding commons, as extensive together as the forest itself. "What have you got on you, little girl?" asked a good woman of a shivering child. "Please, mem, first there's a jacket, then a gownd, and then comes Oi." So with Dartmoor. First come the venville parishes, next their extensive commons, and "then comes Oi," the forest itself.

The venville parishes are all moorland parishes—Belstone, Throwleigh, Gidleigh, Chagford, North Bovey, Manaton, Widdecombe, Holne, Buckfastleigh, Dean Prior, South Brent, Shaugh, Meavy,