KING ARTHUR'S STONE.
IN the western part of Cornwall, all the marks of any peculiar kind found on the rocks are referred either to the giants or the devil. In the eastern part of the county such markings are almost always attributed to Arthur. Not far from the Devil's Coit in St Columb, on the edge of the Gossmoor, there is a large stone, upon which are deeply-impressed marks, which a little fancy may convert into the marks of four horse-shoes. This is "King Arthur's Stone," and these marks were made by the horse upon which the British king rode when he resided at Castle Denis, and hunted on these moors. King Arthur's beds, and chairs, and caves, are frequently to be met with. The Giant's Coits,--and many traditions of these will be found in the section devoted to the giant romances--are probably monuments of the earliest types of rock mythology. Those of Arthur belong to the period when the Britons were so far advanced in civilisation as to war under experienced rulers; and those which are appropriated by the devil are evidently instances of the influence of priestcraft on the minds of an impressible people. [a]
[a] Another example of like stories in Wales may be interesting --
"Five juvenile saints, on their pilgrimage to the celebrated shrine of St David, emaciated with hunger, and exhausted with fatigue. here reclined themselves to rest, and reposed their weary heads on this ponderous pillow; their eyes were soon closed by the powerful hand of sleep, and they were no longer able to resist, by the force of prayer, the artifices of their foes. The sky was suddenly overwhelmed with clouds--the thunder rolled--the lightning flashed, and the lain poured in torrents. The storm increased in vehemence; all nature became chilled with cold, and even Piety and Charity felt its effects. The drops of rain were soon congealed into enormous hailstones, which, by the force of the wind, were driven with no much violence against the heads of the weary pilgrims an to affix them to their pillow, and the vestiges they left are still discernible. Being borne away in triumph by the malignant sorcerer who inhabits the hollows of these hills, they were concealed in the innermost recesses of his cavern, where they are destined to remain asleep, bound in the irrefragable chain of enchantment until that happy period shall arrive when the diocese shall be blessed with a pious bishop, for when that happens, no doubt Merlin himself, the enemy of malignant sorcerers, will be disenchanted, and he will come and restore to liberty the dormant saints, when they will immediately engage in the patriotic work of reforming the Welsh."--From the English Works of the late Rev.. Eleazor Williams, quoted by Warington W. Smyth, MA. Memoirs of the Geological Survey, vol. i. p. 480.