Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/328

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HAMPSHIRE FOLKLORE.

BY D. H. MOUTRAY READ.

{Read at Meeting, February i$t/i, 19 ii.)

/. Topographical Conditions.

When I was first asked to put together a paper on Hamp- shire Folklore the initial difficulty that presented itself was how the very miscellaneous mass of notes on the subject, that were the outcome of four years' reading, talking, and touring about the county, was to be marshalled into some- thing more than a mere list. In the end I have ordered them for you mainly after the fashion that I came by them, as adjuncts of the country-side itself, — for this paper does not pretend to be other than a rough scaffold that may serve to aid more expert workers to build a fair structure of the folklore of a county hitherto singularly neglected in such collections.

It is probable that topographical conditions have no little to answer for in this connection. There is a marked diversity to be found in the Hampshire people, in its scenery, vegetation, and geology. The north-east corner falls within the area of the Thames Valley, the London Basin. From south-east to north-west stretch the great backbone and ribs of the chalk Downs, shelving in the south to the alluvial mud-flats of the coast and the gravels of the Southampton Basin. These conditions give us furze and heather-clad moorland, pine-growing country, grassy uplands with beech woods hanging on their rounded flanks, and the varied moor and woodland of the New Forest. In