Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/345

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Hampshire Folklore. 309

on the extreme boundaries of the county, the Long Stone on the edge of the Downs above Brixton in the Island, — which consists of two rough blocks, and is said to be an old Mote stone, — and the Imp Stone at Silchester, thrown, legend says, by the Devil, — and, if you doubt it, go and look at the impression of his fingers !

The Devil has nominal ownership of much property in the county of Southampton. He has a Dancing Ground on the Downs; at Newton Valence a copse is known as " the Devil's Pleasure," and at Bighton there is a Devil Acres Coppice. If his great Punchbowl at Hindhead is just over the border, he has other smaller ones within it, such as that on Cheeseford Down. He haunts the Roman Roads, — the Devil's Highways. If, as Sir Laurence Gomme has shown, he inherited all these from the fairies, those "surviving memories of the short dark Iberian," ^^ I take this to be indirect evidence of the age of some of our traffic routes, for, when the Roman Roads were made, there were no Iberians in Hants, hardly as slaves in remote corners even, and why should the Devil be connected with roads and tracks if they were, — comparatively, — modern, unless the original tracks were the pre-Christian elves' paths .•* The Devil, in fact, is a very recent owner, and has not entirely ousted his predecessors.

One great earthwork on the Dorset-Wilts border com- bines not only Grim and the Devil but Dyke and Ditch, for it is known equally as Grim's Dyke, Grim's Ditch, Devil's Dyke or Ditch ; and " Grim and the Devil," as Mr. Allcroft points out, " are TuUy and Cicero." The same writer notes that " where the Devil is the owner it is almost always a vallum that is thought of," ^^ and, as an instance, though the Devil is credited with the possession of most dykes, one in the vicinity of Andover, with very little vallum and a deep fosse, is known, so far as I am

    • The Handbook of Folklore, p. 32.

^A. H. Allcroft, Earthwork of England, Prehistoric etc., p. 495.