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off in another direction, as if affected by currents of air. This was watched during several evenings, and the members of his family were wont as darkness fell to go out and observe it. The meadows are on deep alluvial soil, formerly marsh, and were drained perhaps sixty years ago.

The same gentleman saw a similar flame in the form of a ball some forty years previously in the low and then marshy valley between Tor Abbey gateway and the Paignton road, near where is now the Devon Rosery. The valley was then undrained. The gas generated, which catches fire on rising to the surface, is phosphoretted hydrogen, and is certainly evolved by decay of animal matter in water; if occasionally seen in churchyards it is probably after continued rain, when the graves have become sodden.

Jack-o'-lantern is called in Yorkshire Peggy-wi'-t'-wisp; consequently the treacherous, misleading character is there attributed to a sprite of that sex which has misled man from the first moment she appeared on earth—who never rested till she had led him out of the terrestrial paradise into one of her own making.

I was talking about this one evening in a little tavern, over the fire, to a Cornishman, when he laughed and volunteered a song. It was one, he said, that was employed as a test to see whether a man were sober enough to be able to repeat the numbers correctly that followed at the close of each stanza.[1]

  1. I have had to considerably tone down the original, which was hardly presentable if given verbatim.