THE WELL OF ST CONSTANTINE.
IN the parish of St Merran, or Meryn, near Padstow, are the remains of the Church of St Constantine, and the holy well of that saint. It had been an unusually hot and dry summer, and all the crops were perishing through want of water. The people inhabiting the parish had grown irreligious, and many of them sadly profane. The drought was a curse upon them for their wickedness. Their church was falling into ruin, their well was foul, and the arches over it were decayed and broken. In their distress, the wicked people who had reviled the Word of God, went to their priest for aid.
"There is no help for thee, unless thou cleansest the holy well."
They laughed him to scorn.
The drought continued, and they suffered want.
To the priest they went again.
"Cleanse the well," was his command, "and see the power of the blessing of the first Christian emperor." That cleansing a dirty well should bring them rain, they did not believe. The drought continued, the rivers were dry, the people suffered thirst.
"Cleanse the well--wash, and drink," said the priest, when they again went to him.
Hunger and thirst made the people obedient. They went to the task. Mosses and weeds were removed, and the filth cleansed. To the surprise of all, beautifully clear water welled forth. They drank the water and prayed, and then washed themselves, and were refreshed. As they bathed their bodies, parched with heat, in the cool stream which flowed from the well, the heavens clouded over, and presently rain fell, turning all hearts to the true faith.