Page:A book of the west; being an introduction to Devon and Cornwall.djvu/25

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3
ETHNOLOGY

beasts, and in a severer climate became somewhat stunted.

It is possible—I do not say that it is more than possible—that the dark men and women found about Land's End, tall and handsome, found also in the Western Isles of Scotland and in West Ireland, may be the last relics of this infusion of blood.

But next to this doubtful element comes one of which no doubt at all exists. The whole of England, as of France, and as of Spain, was at one time held by a dusky, short-built race, which is variously called Iberian, Ivernian, and Silurian, of which the Basque is the representative so far as that he still speaks a very corrupted form of the original tongue. In France successive waves of Gaul, Visigoth, and Frank have swept over the land and have dominated it. But the fair hair and blue eyes and the clear skin of the conquering races have been submerged by the rising and overflow of the dusky blood of the original population. The Berber, the Kabyle are of the same race; dress one of them in a blue blouse, and put a peaked cap on his head, and he would pass for a French peasant.

The Welsh have everywhere adopted the Cymric tongue, they hug themselves in the belief that they are pure descendants of the ancient Britons, but in fact they are rather Silurians than Celts. Their build, their coloration, are not Celtic. In the fifth century Cambria was invaded from Strathclyde by the sons of Cunedda; fair-haired, white-skinned Britons, they conquered the North and penetrated a certain way South; but the South was already occupied by a