Page:A book of the west; being an introduction to Devon and Cornwall.djvu/36

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14
THE WESTERN FOLK

The Devonian and Cornishman will be found by the visitor to be courteous and hospitable. There is no roughness of manner where unspoiled by periodic influx of strangers ; he is kindly, tenderhearted, and somewhat suspicious. There is a lack of firmness of purpose such as characterises the Scotchman; and a lively imagination may explain a slackness in adhesion to the truth. He is prone to see things as he would like them to be rather than as they are. On the road passers-by always salute and have a bit of a yarn, even though personally unacquainted; and to go by in the dark without a greeting is a serious default in good manners. A very marked trait especially noticeable in the Cornish is their independence. Far more intimately than the inhabitants of any other part of England, they are democrats. This they share with the Welsh; and, like the Welsh, though politically they are Radicals, are inherently the most conservative of people.

It is a peculiarity among them to address one another by the Christian name, or to speak of a man by the Christian name along with the surname, should there be need to distinguish him from another. The term "Mr." is rarely employed. A gentleman is "Squire So-and-so," but not a mister; and the trade is often prefixed to the name, as Millard Horn, or Pass'n John, or Cap'n Zackie.

There is no form of enjoyment more relished by a West Country man or woman than a "buryin." Business occupations are cast aside when there is to be a funeral. The pomp and circumstance of woe