PROBUS AND GRACE.
EVERY one is acquainted with the beautiful tower of Probus' Church. If they are not, they should lose no time in visiting it. Various are the stories in connection with those two saints, who are curiously connected with the church, and one of the fairs held in the Church-town. A safe tradition tells us that St Probus built the church, and failing in the means of adding a tower to his building, he petitioned St Grace to aid him. Grace was a wealthy lady, and she resolved at her own cost to build a tower, the like of which should not be seen in the "West Countrie." Regardless of the expense, sculptured stone was worked by the most skilful masons, and the whole put together in the happiest of proportions. When the tower was finished, St Probus opened his church with every becoming solemnity, and took to himself all the praise which was lavished on the tower, although he had built only a plain church. When, however, the praise of Probus was at the highest, a Voice was heard slowly and distinctly exclaiming,
"Saint Probus and Grace,
Not the first, but the last;"
and thus for ever have Probus and Grace been united as patron saints of this church.
Mr Davies Gilbert remarks, however, in his "Parochial History:" "Few gentlemen's houses in the west of Cornwall were without the honour of receiving Prince Charles during his residence in the county about the middle part of the civil wars; and he is said to have remained for a time longer than usual with Mr Williams, who, after the Restoration, waited on the king with congratulations from the parish; and, on being complimented by him with the question whether he could do anything for his friends, answered that the parish would esteem themselves highly honoured and distinguished by the grant of a fair, which was accordingly done for the 17th of September. This fair coming the last in succession after three others, has acquired for itself a curious appellation, derived from the two patron saints, and from the peculiar pronunciation in that neighbourhood of the word 'last,' somewhat like latest,--
'Saint Probus and Grace,
Not the first, but the last,'--
and from this distinction it is usually called Probus and Grace Fair." We are obliged, therefore, to lean on the original tradition for the true meaning of this couplet.