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Friday, November 9. — Rain, as yesterday, till ten o'clock, when we took a boat to row down the lake. The day improved; clouds and sunny gleams on the mountains. In the large bay under Place Fell three fishermen were dragging a net-picturesque group beneath the high and large crags. A raven was seen aloft; not hovering like the kite, for that is not the habit of the bird, but passing on with a straightforward perseverance, and timing the motion of its wings to its own croaking. The waters were agitated, and the iron tone of the raven's voice, which strikes upon the ear at all times as the more dolorous from its regularity, was in fine keeping with the wild scene before our eyes. This carnivorous bird is a great enemy to the lambs of these solitudes. The fishermen drew their net ashore, and hundreds of fish were leaping in their prison. They were all of the kind called skellies, a sort of fresh water herring, shoals of which may sometimes be seen dimpling or rippling the surface of the lake in calm weather. This species is not found, I believe, in any other of these lakes; nor, as far as I know, is the chevin, that spiritless fish (though I am loath to call it so, for it was a prime favorite with Izaac Walton), which must frequent Ullswater, as I have seen a large shoal passing into the lake from the river Eamont. Here are no pike, and the char are smaller than those of the other lakes, and of inferior quality ; but the gray trout attains a very large size, sometimes weighing above twenty pounds. This lordly creature seems to know that “ retiredness is a piece of majesty," for it is scarcely ever caught, or even seen, except when it quits the depths of the lake in the spawning season, and runs up into the streams, where it is too often destroyed in disregard of the law of the land and of nature.
Quitted the boat in the bay of Sandwyke, and pursued our way towards Martindale, along a pleasant path — at first through a coppice bordering the lake, then through green fields — and came to the village (if village it may be called, for the houses are few, and separated from each other), a scattered spot, shut out from the view of the lake. Crossed the onearched bridge, below the chapel, with its bare ring of mossy wall and single yew tree. At the last house in the dale we were greeted by the master, who was sitting at his door, with a flock of sheep collected round him, for the purpose of smearing them with tar (according to the custom of the season) for protection against the winter's cold. He invited us to enter and view a room, built by Mr. Hasell, for the accommodation of his friends at the annual chase of red deer in his forests, at the head of these dales. The room is fitted up in the sportsman's style, with a cupboard for bottles and glasses, strong chairs, and a dining-table; and ornamented with the horns of the stags caught at these hunts for a succession of years
- the length of the last race each had run being recorded under his spreading antlers. The good woman treated us with oaten cake, new and crisp ; and after this welcome refreshment and rest, we proceeded on our return to Patterdale by a short cut over the mountains. On leaving the fields of Sandwyke, while ascending up a gentle slope along the valley of Martindale, we had occasion to observe that in thinly-peopled glens of this character the general want of wood gives a peculiar interest to the scattered cottages embowered in sycamore. Towards its head this valley splits into two parts; and in one of these (that to the left) there is no house nor any building to be seen but a cattle-shed on the side of a hill, which is sprinkled over with trees, evidently the remains of an extensive forest. Near the entrance of the other division stands the house where we were entertained, and beyond the enclosures of that farm there are no other. A few old trees remain
— relics of the forest; a little stream hastens, though with serpentine windings, through the uncultivated hollow where many cattle were pasturing. The cattle of this country are generally white, or light-colored ; but these were dark brown or black, which heightened the resemblance this scene bears to many parts of the Highlands of Scotland.
While we paused to rest on the hill-side, though well contented with the quiet every-day sounds - the lowing of cattle, bleating of sheep, and the very gentle murmuring of the valley stream — we could not but think what a grand effect the music of the bugle-horn would have among these mountains. It is still heard once every year at the chase I have spoken of-a day of festivity for the inhabitants of this district, except the poor deer, the most ancient of them all. Our ascent even to the top was very easy. When it was accomplished we had exceedingly fine views, some of the lofty fells being resplendent with sunshine, and others partly shrouded by clouds. Ullswater, bordered by black steeps, was of dazzling brightness ; the plain beyond Penrith smooth and bright, or rather gleamy, as the sea or sea-sands. Looked down into Boardale, which, like Skybarrow, has been named from the wild swine that formerly abounded here ; but it has now no sylvan covert, being smooth and bare, a long, narrow, deep, cradle-shaped glen lying so sheltered, that one would be pleased to see it planted by human hand, there being a sufficiency of soil; and the trees would be sheltered, almost like shrubs in a green-house. After having walked some way along the top of the hill, came in view of Glenridding, and the mountains at the head of Grisedale. — Before we began to descend, we turned aside to a small ruin, called at this day the chapel, where it is said the inhabitants of Martindale and Patterdale were accustomed to assemble for worship. There are now no traces from which you could infer for what use the building had been erected; the loose stones, and the few that yet continued piled up, resemble those which lie elsewhere on the mountain ; but the shape of the building having been oblong, its remains differ from those of the common sheep-fold ; and it has stood east and west. Scarcely did the Druids, when they fled to these fastnesses, perform their rites in any situation more exposed to disturbance from the elements. One cannot pass by without being reminded that the rustic psalmody must have had the accompaniment of many a wildly-whistling blast; and what dismal storms must have often drowned the voice of the preacher !
As we ascend, Patterdale opens upon the eye in grand simplicity, screened by mountains, and proceeding from two heads — Deepdale and Hartshopwhere lies the little lake of Brothers Water, named in old maps Broader Water, and probably rightly so ; for Bassenthwaite Mere at this side is familiarly called Broad Water ; but the change in the appellation of this small lake or pool (if it be a corruption) may have been assisted by some melancholy incident, similar to what happened about twenty years ago, when two brothers were drowned there, having gone out to take their holiday-pleasure upon the ice on a New Year's Day.
A rough and precipitous peat-track brought us down to our friend's house. Another fine moonlight night; but a thick fog rising from the neighboring river enveloped the rocky and wood-crested knoll on which our fancy cottage had been erected ; and, under the damp cast upon my feelings, I consoled myself with moralizing on the folly of hasty decisions in matters of importance, and the necessity of having at least one's knowledge of a place before you realize airy suggestions in solid stone.
Saturday, November 10. — At the breakfast-table, tidings reached us of the death of Lord Nelson, and of the victory of Trafalgar. Sequestered as we were from the sympathy of a crowd, we were shocked to hear that the bells had been ringing joyously at Penrith, to celebrate the triumph. In the rebellion of the year 1745, people fled with their valuables from the