Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/146

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130 Folklore of the Azores.

years ago, peasants in digging near the spot found a large iron bolt, some say a bell, and a rude mill-stone. These were far too sacred relics to be put to common use, and were therefore buried near the lake.

The Seven Cities.

[The above legend of the ' Nun's Field' is the only one relating to the ' Seven Cities ' given by Mrs. Seemann, nor does Braga give the full legend. He simply says, under the heading ' Submersion of Cities ' (vol. ii., p. 162) : " In the island of S. Miguel there is a Lake of the Seven Cities. The tradition of the submersion of towns in lakes is of frequent occurrence in the Spanish peninsula, and is explained by the following formula : ' Our Lady went to the town of Valverde in poor attire, and begged for alms ; as she was harshly dealt with, Valverde was drowned in the Lake of Carregal.' "

This, however, does not apply to the Lake of the Seven Cities, the legend of which is told by the Visconde de Ervedal de Beira. His narrative is derived from the story told him by a country girl on the spot, and is evidently a genuine legend in substance. It is, however, not told in popular language, but in a rather florid literary style. I therefore give here only the outline of the story, and not a translation of the whole. — M. L. D.]

This country once formed part of a great kingdom, most of which is now covered by the sea. It was ruled over by a king named Brancopardo, whose one grief was that he had no heir. He was a very good king, but excessively proud. His queen, Brancaroza, often entreated him to moderate his pride, but in vain. One day the queen went down on her knees to the king to entreat him to yield, and he at last agreed on condition that she should obtain from her guardian genius an heir to the throne. The genius ap- peared to them, touched the queen's forehead with his