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foliage of the stately oaks from which these relics of the storm depend; all else speaks of tranquility; not a breath of air, no restlessness of insects, and not a moving object perceptible, except the clouds gliding in the depth of the lake, or the traveller passing along, an inverted image, whose motion seems governed by the quiet of a time to which its archetype, the living person, is perhaps insensible; or it may happen that the figure of one of the larger birds—a raven or a heron—is crossing silently among the reflected clouds, while the voice of the real bird, from thc clcmcnt alost, gently awakens in the spectator the recollection of appetites and instincts, pursuits and occupations, that deform and agitate the world, yet have no power to prevent Nature from putting on an aspect capable of satisfying the most intense cravings for the tranquil, the lovely, and the perfect, to which man, the noblest of her creatures, is subject.”

His description of the Cumbrian cottages—

“Clustered like stars some few, but single most, .
And lurking dimly in their shy retreats,
Or glancing on each other cheerful looks,
Like separated stars with clouds between—”

is exceedingly happy. “The dwelling-houses and contiguous outhouses are, in many instances, of the colour of the native rock, out . of which they have been built; but frequently the dwelling or fire-house, as it is ordinarily called, has been distinguished from the barn or byre by rough-cast and whitewash, which, as the inhabitants are not hasty in

renewing it, in a few years acquires, by the influence of weather, a tint at once sober and variegated. As these houses have been, from father to son, inhabited by persons engaged in the same occupations, yet necessarily with changes in their circumstances, they have received without incongruity additions and accommodations adapted to the needs of each successive occupant, who, being for the most part proprietor, was at liberty to follow his own fancy; so that these humble dwellings remind the contemplative spectator of a production of Nature, and may (using a strong cypression) rather be said to have grown than to have been erected—to have risen, by an instinct of their own, out of the native rock—so little is there of formality, such is their wildness and beauty. Among the numerous recesses and projections in the walls, and in the different stages of their roofs, are seen bold and harmonious effects of contrasted sunshine and shadow. It is a favourable circumstance that the strong winds which sweep down the valleys induced the inhabitants, at a time when the materials for building were easily procured, to furnish many of these dwellings with substantial porches; and such as have not this defence are seldom unprovided with a projection of two large slates over their thresholds. Nor will the singular beauty of the chimneys escape the eye of the attentive traveller. Sometimes a low chimney, almost upon a level with the roof, is overlaid with a slate, supported upon four slender pillars, to prevent the wind from driving the smoke down the chimney. Others are of a quadrangular shape, rising one or two feet above the roof; which low


square is often surmounted by a tall cylinder, giving to the cottage chimney the most beautiful shape in which

it is ever seen. Nor will it be too fanciful or

refined to remark that there is a pleasing harmony between a tall chimney of this circular form, and the living column of smoke, ascending from it through the still air. These dwellings, mostly built, as has been said, of rough unhewn stone, are roofed with slates,

which were rudely taken from the quarry before the

present art of splitting them was understood; and are, therefore, rough and uneven in their surface, so that both the coverings and sides of the houses have furnished places of rest for the seeds of lichens, mosses, ferns, and flowers. Hence buildings, which in their very form call to mind the processes of Nature, do thus, clothed in part with a vegetable garb, appear to be received into the bosom of the living principle of things, as it acts and exists among the woods and fields; and, by their colour and their shape, affectingly direct the thoughts to that tranquil course of Nature and simplicity, along which the humble-minded inhabitants have, through so many generations been led. Add the little garden with its shed for beehives, its small bed of pot-herbs, and its borders and patches of flowers for Sunday posies, with sometimes a choice few too much prized to be plucked; an orchard of proportioned size; a cheese-press, often supported by some tree near the door; a cluster of embowering sycamores for summer shade; with a tall fir through which the winds sing when other trees are leafless; the little rill, or household spout, murmuring in all seasons; combine these incidents and

mages together, and you have the representative idea
of a mountain cottage in this country so beautifully
formed in itself, and so richly adorned by the hand of
“Till within the last sixty years” there was no com-
munication between any of these vales by carriage-roads;
all bulky articles were transported on pack-horses.

Owing, however, to the population not being concen

trated in villages, but scattered, the valleys themselves
were intersected, as now, by innumerable lanes and
pathways leading from house to house and from field to
field. These lanes, where they are fenced by stone
walls, are mostly bordered with ashes, hazels, wild roses,
and beds of tall fern, at their base; while the walls
themselves, if old, are overspread with mosses, small
ferns, wild strawberries, the geranium, and lichens; and
if the wall happen to rest against a bank of earth, it is
sometimes almost wholly concealed by a rich facing of
stone-fern. It is a great advantage to a traveller or
resident, that these numerous lanes and paths, if he be a
zealous admirer of Nature, will lead him on into all the
recesses of the country, so that the hidden treasures of
its landscapes may, by an ever-ready guide, be laid open
to his eyes.”
A much more recent writer, Mrs. E. Lynn Linton,
in her charming work, full of graceful description and

exquisite poetry, thus writes of the scenery of one of the lakes after a storm —

“The woods glittered and sparkled in the sun, each dripping branch a spray of golden light, and the light

* This was written in 1810.

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was married to the loud music of the birds flowing out in rivulets of song. Countless flies shot through the air, and vibrated on the water; and the fish leaped up to catch them, dimpling the shining surface with concentric ripples, and throwing up small jets of light in the smooth black bays. Every crag and stone, and line of wall, and tuft of gorse, was visible on the nearer hills, where the colouring was intense and untranslatable ; and on the more distant mountains, we could see, as through a telescope, the scars on the steeps, the slaty shingles, and the straight cleavings down the sides, the old grey watercourses, threaded now like a silver line— those silver lines, after the storm, over all the craggy faces everywhere; we could see each green knoll set like an island among the grey boulders, each belt of mountain wood, each purple rift, each shadowed pass, slope and gully, and ghyll and scaur—we could count them all glistening in the sun, or clear and tender in the shade; while the sky was of a deep, pure blue above, and the cumulus clouds were gathered into masses white and dazzling as marble, and almost as solidlooking. “And over all, and on all, and lying in the heart of everything, warming, creating, fashioning the dead matter into all lovely forms, and driving the sweet juices ike blood through the veins of the whole of earth, shone the glad sun, free, boundless, loving—life of the world's life, glory of its glory, shaper and creator of its brightest beauty. Silver on the lake, gold in the wood, purple over the hills, white and lazuli in the heavens— what infinite splendour hanging through this narrow

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