Page:A book of the west; being an introduction to Devon and Cornwall.djvu/37

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15
LOVE OF FUNERALS

exercise an extraordinary fascination on the Western mind, and that which concerns the moribund person at the last is not how to prepare the soul for the great change, but how to contrive to have a "proper grand buryin'." "Get away, you rascal!" was the address of an irate urchin to another, "if you gie' me more o' your saace you shan't come to my buryin'." "Us 'as enjoyed ourselves bravely," says a mourner, wiping the crumbs from his beard and the whiskey-drops from his lips; and no greater satisfaction could be given to the mourners than this announcement.

On the other hand a wedding wakes comparatively little interest; the parents rarely attend.

The looks of Devonshire and Cornish lasses are proverbial. This is not due to complexion alone, which is cream and roses, but to the well-proportioned limbs, the litheness of form, uprightness of carriage, and to the good moulding of the features. The mouth and chin are always well shaped, and the nose is straight; in shape the faces are a long oval.

I am not sure that West Country women ever forget that they were once comely. An old woman of seventy-five was brought forward to be photographed by an amateur: no words of address could induce her to speak till the operation was completed; then she put her finger into her mouth: "You wouldn't ha' me took wi' my cheeks failed in? I just stuffed the Western Marnir' News into my mouth to fill 'n out."

Although both in Devon and Cornwall there is great independence and a total absence of that