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WHO can dare question such an authority as John Milton? In his "History of Britain, that part especially now called England. From the first Traditional beginning continued to the Norman Conquest. Collected out of the antientest and best authors thereof." he gives us the story of Brutus and of Corineus, "who with the battele Ax which he was wont to manage against the Tyrrhen Giants, is said to have done marvells." With the adventures of these heroes in Africa and in Aquitania we have little concern. They suffer severe defeats; and then "Brutus, finding now his powers much lessn'd, and this not yet the place foretold him, leaves Aquitain, and with an easy course arriving at Totness in Dev'nshire, quickly perceivs heer to be the promis'd end of his labours." The following matters interest us more closely: [a]--

"The Iland, not yet Britain, but Albion, was in a manner desert and inhospitable, kept only by a remnant of Giants, whose excessive Force and Tyrannie had consumed the rest. Them Brutus destroies, and to his people divides the land, which, with some reference to his own name, he thenceforth calls Britain. To Corincus, Cornwall, as now we call it, fell by lot; the rather by him lik't, for that the hugest Giants in Rocks and Caves were said to lurk still there; which kind of Monsters to deal with was his old exercise.

"And heer, with leave bespok'n to recite a grand fable, though dignify'd by our best Poets: While Brutus, on a certain Festival day, solemnly kept on that shoar where he first landed (Totness), was with the People in great jollity and mirth, a crew of these savages, breaking in upon them, began on the sudden another sort of Game than at such a meeting was expected. But at length by many hands overcome, Goemagog, the hugest, in hight twelve cubits, is reserved alive; that with him Corineus, who desired nothing more, might try his strength, whom in a Wrestle the Giant catching aloft, with a terrible bugg broke three of his Ribs: Nevertheless Corineus, enraged, heaving him up by main force, and on his shoulders bearing him to the next high rock, threw him hedlong all shatter'd into the sea, and left his name on the cliff, called ever since Langoemagog, which is to say, the Giant's Leap." The same story has been somewhat differently told, although there is but little variation in the main incidents. When Brutus and Corineus, with their Trojan hosts, landed at Plymouth, these chiefs wisely sent parties into the interior to explore the country, and to learn something of the people. At the end of the first day, all the soldiers who had been sent out as exploring parties, returned in great terror, pursued by several terrific giants. Brutus and Corineus were not, however, to be terrified by the immense size of their enemies, nor by the horrid noises which they made, hoping to strike terror into the armed hosts. These chieftains rallied their hosts and marched to meet the giants, hurling their spears and flinging their darts against their huge bodies. The assault was so unexpected that the giants gave way, and eventually fled to the hills of Dartmoor. Gogmagog, the captain of the giants, who was sadly wounded in the leg, and, unable to proceed, hid himself in a bog; but there, by the light of the moon, he was found by the Trojan soldiers, bound with strong cords, and carried back to the Hoe at Plymouth, where the camp was. Gogmagog was treated nobly by his victors, and his wounds were speedily healed. Brutus desired to make terms with the giants; and it was at length proposed by Gogmagog to try a fall with the strongest in the host, and that whoever came off the conqueror should be proclaimed king of Cornwall, and hold possession of all the western land. Corineus at once accepted the challenge of the monster. Notwithstanding, the giant,

"Though bent with woes,
Full eighteen feet in height he rose;
His hair; exposed to sun and wind,
Like wither'd heath, his head entwined,"

and that Corineus was but little above the ordinary size of man, the Trojan chief felt sure of a victory. The day for the wrestling was fixed. The huge Gogmagog was allowed to send for the giants, and they assembled on one side of a cleared space on Plymouth Hoe, while the Trojan soldiers occupied the other. All arms were thrown aside; and fronting each other, naked to the waist, stood the most lordly of the giants, and the most noble of men. The conflict was long, and it appeared for sometime doubt ful. Brute strength was exerted on one side, and trained skill on the other. At length Corineus succeeded in seizing Gogmagog by the girdle, and by regularly-repeated impulses he made the monster undulate like a tree shaken by a winter storm, until at length, gathering all his strength into one effort, the giant was forced to his back on the ground, the earth shaking with his weight, and the air echoing with the thunder of his mighty groan, as the breath was forced from his body by the terrible momentum of his fall. There lay the giant, and there were all the other giants, appalled at the power which they could not understand, but which convinced them that there was something superior to mere animal strength. Corineus breathed for a minute, then he rushed upon his prostrate foe, and seizing him by the legs, he dragged him to the edge of the cliff; and precipitated him into the sea. The giant fell on the rocks below, and his body was broken into fragments by the fall; while the

"Fretted flood
Roll'd frothy waves of purple blood."

"Gogmagog's. Leap" has been preserved near the spot which now presents a fortress to the foes of Britain; and there are those "who say that, at the last digging on the Haw for the foundation of the citadel of Plymouth, the great jaws and teeth therein found were those of Gogmagog." [b]

[a] For a discussion of the question relative to Brutus, see Cough's "Camden's Britannia." vol. i., pp. xlix. to iv.

[b] See Appendix B for the "Poem of the Wrestling," &c.

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