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century, and to have been buried on the shore of the Severn sea, fifteen miles from Padstow, and twenty-five from Mousehole, a locality exactly answering to that of this ruined oratory
The present church of Perran-zabuloe is quite a modern structure, having been erected within memory, to replace an earlier edifice, which, from the style of its architecture, as well as for other reasons, could not have been erected until the early part of the fifteenth century; so that the first church is still unaccounted for. But the singular history of this second church adumbrates that of the first; for some of the parishioners, still alive, remember and describe the fearful advances of the sand upon this building, to such an extent as to bury the porch entirely in one night; and it is well-known that it was removed farther inland to prevent the destruction which threatened it. This fact would therefore direct us to look for the original church in the quarter whence these sandy billows directed their inroads upon the later structure; and there a ruined oratory has at last been found, possessing all the characteristic features of that rude and remote age to which the origin of the first church has been referred. Nor is this all: Piran, the founder of this first church, is recorded to have been buried within its walls, and a skeleton dis. covered beneath the altar, the usual burial-place of such persons, has been identified as his, in a manner as singular as it is conclusive. It was headless; the head having been proved in the clearest and most satisfactory manner by the will of Sir John Arundel, of Trerice, to have been deposited in the second church in 1433, he having left forty shillings to the parish for its better guardianship.
In the majority of antiquarian controversies, such an argument would have been regarded as conclusive, but it is by no means the only one brought forward by Mr. Haslam. The very name of the parish, originally called Church Piran; but subsequently Perran-zabuloe, is indicative of the fate of the first church, the word zabuloe being, as our author observes, “ derived from sabulum, 'fine sand ;' and doubtless added in allusion to the destructive element which had overwhelmed the sanctuary and burialplace of St. Piran; for at the time it was adopted, it could have been applicable but to the very small portion of this large parish, which contained the venerated relics of its patron saint.” It is indeed recorded by three trustworthy historians, the earliest of whom wrote nearly three centuries ago, that the first church had been long buried in the sands. We regret that our limits will not permit us to recapitulate the remaining evidences brought forward in the work referred to, and shall therefore content ourselves by quoting Mr. Haslam's description of this interesting relic.
“ Centuries have elapsed,—the shifting nature of these sands discloses the long lost relic of other days. Once it slept beneath a lofty hill; and now, behold a valley, and a lake! Human efforts have hastened the work of exhumation. In 1835 the sanctuary was restored, perfect as the day in which it was overwhelmed. There, too, was the spring, the well of St. Piran, and his baptistery: the sand has choked its course; and in the winter, when it swells, the water forms a lake, and rises within the church to the height of six feet. Accordingly for eight or nine months in the year the floors and seats of the church are under water, and always under sand, for it is impossible to keep it out. Beside the baptistery is a little rude cell, a few yards to the south-east of the church. The words of Spenser do not inaptly describe the group before us :
• A litle lowly hermitage it was,
Wherein the hermite dewly wont to say
Long after this church was overwhelmed, hundreds were buried in the hill which covered it, in preference to the cemetery of the second church. The remains of all these have been scattered to the winds. Gilbert, who visited this spot thirty years since, thus describes the melancholy scene : On the south side is the burialground, where there are scattered thousands of teeth and other human bones. Even whole skeletons lie exposed, in regular order; and, strange as it may appear, the showers of sand that are continually wafted over this desolate spot scarcely ever alight on these melancholy relics of mortality.' Hundreds and hundreds of skeletons have been exposed-destroyed by the shifting of the sands. The valley is full of remnants of bones and teeth ; they whiten the sand round the church; and, instead of commanding some pity and regard, they seem but to incite visitors to tear up more, which are too easily found, so plentiful are they; and they are torn up from their restingplace of ages, to gratify mere wanton curiosity. Often disjointed in the attempt, they are left scattered on the surface of the sand, dishonoured and insulted—a sad spectacle in a Christian land.”
THE PARSON'S CHOICE MEMORIES.
CHAP. IV.—THE FATHER'S SMILE. “The circumstance to which I was adverting,” resumed our friend who had promised the next narrative, "touched me much at the time; and like all the others hitherto related, it tends to prove that the word of God never fails in accomplishing that which the Lord pleaseth.
“Before I obtained my present benefice, I resided for some years on a small living very far from this neighbourhood; by which circumstance I am left more at liberty to tell my story than I should be if it were likely that the family of which I must speak, would be recognized.
“There was in my parish, a large old manor house which had long been in a family of the name of Melton. The present possessor was an exceedingly kind and generous man, but one of those easy-going persons who let things take their own course to a blameable extent. If he were a man of sense, as some doubted, he was wholly without any idea of order and arrangement, and was constitutionally indolent to a great degree ; and yet he was a man as generally beloved, as his lady was disliked. I will say the less of her, because I never liked her : in the course of my little narrative her character must however develop itself.
“This couple had a very large family, which according to the old saying, were better fed than taught,' though they had both governess and tutor ; but as Mrs. Melton never suffered any rule but her own to be exercised in her own domain, none but the veriest hirelings could accept these situations.
“It happened one summer, that the tutor being obliged to absent himself at the very time that the governess was lying ill, Mr. Melton, at the suggestion of his lady, asked me, as a favor, to attend the boys, and give them a few lessons every day. I made no objection, for I had no particular dislike to the merry broadfaced little rebels; and I had a real regard for their father. Moreover, being an inexperienced sort of person at the time, I flattered myself that I should be enabled to introduce order, where order had never been before, by the various sagacious methods which I had already devised before the squire had concluded his expressions of gratitude for my acquiescence in his lady's wishes.
“It was two months before I was set at liberty from my thraldom, for thraldom it was; and before it was half over, I was pretty well convinced that my moral rules, and regulations, and exhortations, and sagacious reasonings, were just about as efficacious as it would be to read a code of laws to a pack of hounds.
It was part of the duty which I had taken upon myself to take
my young charge out walking, and then truly it was more than I could do to prevent mishaps of some sort, so wildly gay and boisterous were these children. I make no exception for the girls, for though I had not undertaken nor even expected it, the young ladies always contrived to trouble me with their company on these occasions ; for as I said before, their governess was ill. I do not say that the Misses Melton could equal their brothers in daring and dangerous feats, but they were certainly the most prompt in suggesting them; and there was a little round blooming girl, called Madeline, who, as far as her strength went, was first and foremost in all mischief-the most daring little person I ever had to deal with ; and what made her the more difficult to manage, was, that she was subject to violent paroxysms of passion, frequently followed by long fits of sullenness.
“There was a wide dry common near Melton Court, which I chose as the safest place for recreation for my little tyrants ; a tumble into a furze bush being the principal danger which the place presented ; but even there I was under the necessity of being on the alert with my eyes wide open, and my voice in incessant exercise.
“One morning I was overtaken in the midst of these labors, by an old and excellent clergyman of the neighbourhood; a man of quaint manners and humble habits, but a true and faithful
'Good day! brother,' he said, as he drew up in a line with me; “I see you are in trouble ; I wish you well through your perplexities.'
There is nothing more provoking to a young man, such as I then
was, than to have evils which are weighing heavily at the moment, alluded to in a smiling way; for such the old clergyman had used. In reply, therefore, I broke out into vehement lamentations ; spoke of the children as they deserved, and gave some account of the various efforts I had made to establish order by the exhibition of what rectitude of conduct should be ; and (as I had no power myself of chastising) of the certain consequences of offending God by not obeying his commands.
“And with what effect have you done this ?' enquired my friend.
“On the whole,' I replied, “I think that the little rebels are more determined in mischief, the more I lay down the law to them.'