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selves that it was under the sea; or perhaps that what they saw there was not the promise of what should be but the wreck of what had been.
The sea is a mirror as well as a window. It repeats the curves of shore and sky and all that is between-cornfields, and grazing cattle, and the burden of orchards, and cottage smoke, and the loom of church towers. Here is an underworld, though it be but the simple magic of light upon smooth water. There is a subtler magic of mist and water and uncertain sun gleams when one stands on the west coast of Ireland and looks seaward through the eyes of a people in whom wonder never flickered down in doubt.
Dwelling alone on the outer coast of the world as the ancients knew it, these folk had beheld strange things in the great waters that roared along their cliffs. Shadowy islands showed them. selves in thick weather, and, though no trace of them remained when the cloud bank lifted, these were no tricks of mirage wrought by fog and muffled sunlight. They were isles of enchantment that might have floated out of sight, but more likely had sunk beneath the wave, not to emerge again until another seven years were gone. The glints of splendor upon the distant sea were not the track of the sun in broken water. They came from the golden roofs and spires of a sunken city.
So out of things seen-as in a glass darkly—upon, above, and under the billow, and out of things imagined or hoped for, men have wrought the legend of cities that sleep beneath the ocean. The tale of Atlantis is the oldest form of the legend. But the tales of lost cities are not legend altogether and the tale of Atlantis may not be legend altogether. There are submerged ruins on which romance bases itself as upon reality, there are authentic historical happenings, and there are local traditions which, it may be, retain the memory of cities that were upon islands or coasts engulfed by the sea.
Along the Italian coast the columns of sunken Roman villas have given rise to stories of drowned cities. The ruins of towns lie under the Zuyder Zee. Some inroad of the deep may be preserved in the legend of Vineta, the fabled city beneath the Baltic near the Holstein coast. There have been subsidences within historical time in the waters about the British Isles, and
the ocean has taken toll of the English coast itself. The Channel shoal called the Goodwin Sands, and Seal Rock, fragment of the Irish island of Inis Fitæ which was split into three pieces in the eighth century, are tokens of these subsidences. In the Azores group, scene of the Atlantis legend, four islands appeared in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and sank again. Expedition Island, northwest of Australia, which Dutch naturalists visited within a generation, lies under seven fathoms of water. The populous island of Torca in the Indian Ocean went out of sight in a sheet of flame in 1693. Tuanaki, an island in South Polar waters, has not been seen in ninety years. The cloud bank which Peary called Crocker Land has been removed from maps of the Arctic region. Three new islands have been born in the Aleutian group, one of them as late as 1909. The strange stone images on Easter Island have given rise to conjecture that it might be the remnant of a continent and a civilization lost beneath the Pacific.
Thus there is a broad basis of fact for the legends of sunken cities. Some of these are of great beauty. Whether the product of pagan or Christian brooding, the sound of church bells is in them-peals that come floating solemnly to the surface from towers through which deep waters are moving. When the sunshine falls upon calm seas, so fisherman say, they can discern these towers, and rising about them the peaked roofs of houses like those of the Middle Ages.
Beyond all others the Celts are the people of the lost lands. These seem part of the Celtic heritage of defeat and dreams. The legends of Wales tell of a fair land sunken by the folly of a drunken prince. The lost Lyonesse, a great promontory of Cornwall, was such another land, and the Scilly Islands are the remnants. Tennyson and Swinburne have rescued its memory from oblivion and Walter de la Mare pictures a scene in seacold Lyonesse, when the Sabbath eve shafts down on the roofs, walls and belfries of the foundered town.' The story of Is, the vanished Breton capital, has been told in folk-song, in poetry, in stately music. It is one of the haunting fables of men, and back of it, as of so many tales of ruin and overthrow, is the figure of a beautiful and wicked woman.
The city of Is lay far in the west of France, where the coast of Brittany makes its great thrust into the Atlantic. Peasants point out the blocks, visible at low tide in the Bay of Douarnenez, which they say are its foundations. The city was builded in a wide plain below the level of the sea, and strong walls, controlled by sluice gates, defended it from the encroaching waves. It was an habitation of vice and pleasure, and it had a king as blameless as Arthur, and he a daughter as cruel, as lustful, and as fair of face as Arthur's sister, Morgan le Fay. King Gradlon and Princess Dahut are the central figures in the drama of Is.
Dahut dwelt in a tower, where she entertained a long train of lovers, drowning each as she tired of him. To please a paramour she stole from her father's neck in his sleep the silver key which unlocked the sluice gates and let in the sea. Awakened by the warning tumult of the waters, Gradlon mounted a horse and fled, bearing his daughter with him. But the floods moved after him and a voice bade him sacrifice to the sea the beau. tiful demon who rode with him. Dahut fell to her death in the waves, and their course was stayed. At Quimper the king rebuilt his seat, but Is was lost forever beneath the Atlantic. Though it happened fifteen centuries ago, there are Bretons who say that the faint chime of bells still comes to them when wind and tide move shoreward together.
Nine is the number of islands under the sea to the west of Erin. They appear above the surface once in seven years. Though a man may descry them from the coast, yet might he go toward them in a currach for two days and not come up with them. Some of them are larger than Ireland itself. They have been seen by trustworthy observers,—Otway, for example. In a paper read before the Royal Irish Society, Westropp describes O Brasile, the best known of these, as he saw it in 1872: “It was a clear evening with a fine golden sunset, when, just as the sun went down, a dark island suddenly appeared far out to sea, but not on the horizon. It had two hills, one wooded; between these, from a low plain, rose towers and curls of smoke. My mother, brother, and several friends saw it at the same time. One cried out that he could see New York!” Illusion, but for thousands of years
eyes have beheld these phantom islands lift and fade in the west, and the Celtic glamour is in the legends that tell them. “Lost Kilsapheen,”