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Keswick, and its Lake.-Lodore times slept in their carriages. Ac
Waterfall.-Ascent of Skiddaw. From the same, Vol. II.
From Penrith to Keswick is four leagues and a half; and as we were told there was no place where we could breakfast upon the way, we lay in bed till a later hour than would otherwise have beseemed pedestrians. The views were unin teresting after such scenery as we bad lately passed, yet as we were returning to the mountainous country, they improved as we advanced. Our road laid under one very fine mountain called Saddleback, and from every little eminence we be held before us in the distance the great boundaries of the vale of Keswick. At length, after walking five hours, we ascended the last hill, and saw the vale below us with its lake and town, girt round with mountains even more varied in their outline, and more remarkably grouped than any which we had left behind. It was beginning to rain, and to confess the truth we derived more satisfaction from the sight of the town, than from the wonders around it. Joyfully we reached the in to which our trunks bad been directed from Ambleside, but our joy was in no slight degree damped by the unwelcome intelligence that the house was full. Was there another inn ?-that was full also; the town was crowded with company-but if we would walk in they would endeavour to procure us beds. In a few minutes word was brought us that they had pro. cured one bed, if we had no objection to sleep together, and if we had it seemed there was no alternative. We were assured for our comfort that strangers had some
cordingly we were conducted to our apartment, which proved to be at the house of the barber.
The barber in England is not the important personage he is in our country; Le meddles with no sur gical instruments, and the few who draw teeth practise exclusively among the poor, and are considered as degrading the profession ;-still the barber is a person of importance every where. Our host was as at tentively civil as a man could be, and partly out of compliment to him, partly from a fancy to be shaved in the English fashion, I sub mitted my chin to him. Barbers. basons it seems are as obsolete here as helmets, and Don Quixote must in this country have found some other pretext for attacking a poor shaver. Instead of rubbing the soap upon the face, he used a brush; this mode of operating is not so cleanly as our own, but it is more expeditious. We find him of great use, in
directing our movements here. He has been a sailor; w in the famous action against the Comte de Grasse, and after having been in all parts of the world, re turned at last to his native place, to pass the remainder of his days in this humbler but more gainful em ployment. His wife was as active as himself in serving us; our trunks were presently brought up -the table laid,-dinner brought from the inn ;-and though we might have wished for a larger apart ment, which was not to serve for bed-room as well, yet the beha viour of these people was so unlike that of inn waiters, and had s much the appearance of real hospi tality, that the gratification of see ing it was worth some little incon
venience. The room is very neat, and bears marks of industrious frugality;-it has a carpet composed of shreds of list of different colours, and over the chimney-piece is the portrait of one of the admirals under whom our host had served.
It rained all night, and we were congratulated upon this, because the waterfall of Lodore, the most famous in all this country, would be in perfection. As soon as we had breakfasted a boat was ready for us, and we embarked on the lake, about half a mile from the town. A taste for the picturesque, if I may so far flatter myself as to reason upon it from self observation, differs from a taste for the arts in this remarkable point, that in. stead of making us fastidious, it produces a disposition to receive delight, and teaches us to feel more pleasure in discovering beauty, than connoiseurs enjoy in detecting a fault. I have oftentimes been satiated with works of art; a collection of pictures fatigues me, and I have regarded them at last rather is a task than as a pleasure. Here, on the contrary, the repetition of such scenes as these heightens the enjoyment of them. Every thing grows upon me. I become daily nore and more sensible of the height of the mountains, observe their forms with a more discrininating eye, and watch with inreased pleasure the wonderful changes they assume under the
ffect of clouds or of sunshine.
The Lake of Keswick has this lecided advantage over the others which we have seen, that it immeliately appears to be what it is. Winandermere and Ulswater might se mistaken for great rivers, nor in. feed can the whole extent of either
be seen at once; here you are on a land-locked bason of water, a league in length, and about half as broad,-you do not wish it to be larger, the mirror is in perfect pro portion to its frame. Skiddaw, the highest and most famous of the English mountains, forms its northern boundary, and seems to rise almost immediately from its shore, though it is at the nearest point half a league distant, and the town intervenes. One long mountain, along which the road forms a fine terrace, reaches nearly along the whole of its western side; and through the space between this and the next mountain, which in many points of view appears like the lower segment of a prodigious circle, a lovely vale is seen which runs up among the hills. But the pride of the Lake of Keswick is the head, where the mountains of Borrowdale bound the prospect, in a wilder and grand
manner than words can adequately describe. The cataract of Lodore thunders down its eastern side through a chasm in the rocks, which are wooded with birch and ash trees. It is a little river, flowing from a small lake upon the mountains about a league distant. water, though there had been heavy rains, was not adequate to the channel; indeed it would require a river of considerable magnitude to fill it, yet it is at once the finest work and instrument of rock and water that I have ever seen or heard. At a little public-house near where the key of the entrance is kept, they have a cannon to display the echo; it was discharged for us, and we heard the sound rolling round from hill to hill,-but for this we pay four shillings, which are very nearly a peso duro. So that En3 U 2
glish echoes appear to be the most expensive luxuries in which a traveller can indulge. It is true there was an inferior one which would have cost only two shillings and sixpence; but when one buys an echo, who would be content for the sake of saving eighteen pence, to put up with the second best, instead of ordering at once the super-extradouble-superfine?
We walked once more at evening to the Lake side. Immediately opposite the quay is a little island with a dwelling house upon it. A few years ago it was hideously disfigured with forts and batteries, a sham church, and a new drudical temple, and except a few fir-trees the whole was bare. The present owner has done all which a man of taste could do in removing these deformities: the church is converted into a tollhouse, the forts demolished, the batteries dismantled, the stones of the drudical temple employed in form. ing a bank, and the whole island planted. There is something in this place more like the scenes of enchantment in the books of chivalry than like any thing in our ordinary world,-a -a building the exterior of which promised all the conveniences and elegancies of life, surrounded with all ornamental trees, in a little island the whole of which is one garden, and that in this lovely lake, girt round on every side with these awful mountains. Immediately behind it is the long dark western mountain called Brandelow: the contrast between this and the island which seemed to be the palace and garden of the lady of the lake, produced the same sort of pleasure that a tale of enchantment excites, and we beheld it under circumstances which heightened its wonders, and gave
the scene something like the unres. lity of a dream. It was a bright evening, the sun shining, and a few white clouds hanging motionless in the sky. There was not a breath of air stirring, not a ware,—a rip. ple or wrinkle on the lake, so that it became like a great mirror, and represented the shores, mountains, sky and clouds so vividly, that there was not the slighest appearance of water. The great mountain-oper ing being reversed in the shadow be came a huge arch, and through the magnificent portal the long vale wa seen between mountains and bound. ed by mountain beyond mountain, all this in the water, the distance perfect as in the actual scene,single houses standing far up in the vale, the smoke from their chimneys
every thing the same, the shado and the substance joining at their bases, so that it was impossible to distinguish where the reality ended and the image began. As we stood on the shore, heaven and the clouds and the sun seemed lying under we were looking down into a s as heavenly and as beautiful as that overhead, and the range of mou tains, having one line of summit der our feet and another above were suspended between two firmi. ments.
rupted ascent, on the side of a green declivity. At the northern end of the vale there is another lake called Bassenthwaite closed in like a wedge between two mountains, and bounding the view; the vale with both its lakes opened upon us as we ascended. The second stage was infinitely more laborious, being so steep, though still perfectly safe, that we were many times forced to halt for breath, and so long that before we had completed it the first ascent seemed almost levelled with the vale. Having conquered this, the summit appeared before us, but an intervening plain, about a mile across, formed the third stage of the journey; this was easy tra velling over turf and moss. The last part was a ruder ascent over loose stones with gray moss growing between them,-on the immediate summit there is no vegetation. We sat down on a rude seat formed by a pile of the stones, and enjoyed a boundless prospect, that is, one which extended as far as the reach of the human eye, but the distance was dim and indistinct. We saw the sea through a hazy atmosphere, and the smoke of some towns upon the coast about six leagues off, when we were directed where to look for them the Scotch mountains appeared beyond like clouds, and the Isle of Man, we were told, I would have been visible had the weather been clearer. The home scene of mountains was more impressive, and in particular the lake of Bassenthwaite lying under a precipice beneath us. They who visit the summit usually scratch their names upon one of the loose stones which form the back to this rude seat. We felt how natural and how vain it was to leave behind us these rude memorials, which
After dinner, as the rain still continued, and we could not go further from home, we went to see an exhibition of pictures of the lakes, a few doors distant. There were several views of one called Was. water, which is so little visited that our book of directions is silent concerning it. It seemed to us however to be of so striking a character, and so different from all which we have yet seen, that we consulted with our host concerning the distance and the best mode of getting there, and have accordingly planned a route which is to include it, and which we shall commence to
The people here wear shoes with wooden soles. D., who had never seen any thing of the kind before, was inclined to infer from this that the inhabitants were behind the rest of England in improvement; till I asked him whether in a country so subject to rain as by experience we knew this to be, a custom which kept the feet dry ought not to be imputed to experience of its utility rather than to ignorance ; and if, instead of their following the fashions of the south of England, the other peasantry would not do wisely in imitating them. 3 U 3 POETRY.
ODE for the NEW YEAR, 1806.
By HENRY JAMES PYE, Esq. Poet Laureat.
W holy flame,
HEN ardent zeal for virtuous fame,
Sit on the gen rous warrior's sword,
And weak the boldest flight of Fancy's wing :--
Upborne by worth th' immortal chief shall rise,
Of seraphs, list'ning from th' empyreal sphere,
For though the Muse in all unequal strain
Sung of the wreaths that Albion's warriors bore
From Gaul Iberia, and Batavia won ;
Th' Egyptian coast, while Albion's genius guides
* Alluding to a poem called Naucratia, written by the author, and dedicated by permission to his majesty.