Page:A book of the west; being an introduction to Devon and Cornwall.djvu/44

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20
THE WESTERN FOLK

blend into one another, and may even be found in the same family. The Anglo-Saxon stranger, who has yet had no time to distinguish them, and who comes, let us say, from a typically English county like Lancashire, still finds much that is unfamiliar in the people he meets. They strike him as rather a dark race, lithe in movement, and their hands and feet are small. Their hair has a tendency to curl, and their complexions, even those of the men, are often incomparable. The last character is due to the extremely moist climate of Cornwall, swept on both sides by the sea-laden Atlantic. More than by this, however, the stranger accustomed to the heavy, awkward ways of the Anglo-Saxon clodhopper will be struck by the bright, independent intelligence and faculty of speech which he finds here. No disguise can cover the rusticity of the English rustic; on Cornish roads one may often meet a carman whose clearcut face, bushy moustache, and general bearing might easily add distinction to Pall Mall."


There are parts of Devon and of Cornwall where the dark type prevails. "A black grained man" is descriptive of one belonging to the Veryan district, and dark hair and eyes, and singular beauty are found about the Newlyn and St. Ives districts. The darkest type has been thrust into corners. In a fold of Broadbury Down in Devon, in the village of Germansweek, the type is mainly dark; in that of North Lew, in another lap of the same down, it is light. It has been noticed that a large patch of the dusky race has re- mained in Bedfordshire.

The existence of the dark eyes and hair and fine profiles has been attempted to be explained by the fable that a Spanish vessel was wrecked now here, now there, from the Armada, and that the sailors