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land, there are few in these northern counties which equal it, and none perhaps in any part of the kingdom which forms a finer object from the surrounding country.

Scarcely a quarter of a mile distant there stood, some few years ago, a little grove of firs, the loss of which is one of the many injuries that the vale has suffered since I became one of its inhabitants. They stood by the road side just at an elbow of the river Greta, covering a mean and deserted building, which had formerly been a Quakers' Meeting House, and is now converted to the better purpose of a National School for girls. It is seldom that any common plantation adds a grace to the country, though to the ease with which it may deform it, some of these mountains bear lamentable witness; but these fir trees, planted as they were merely because the nook of ground whereon they stood between the road and the river was not worth cultivating, could not have been more happily placed by the most judicious hand. From whatever side you looked over the landscape they were conspicuous; in summer by their darker hue, in winter by their only verdure. Standing about midway between the town and the church, they were a spot on which the eye rested, and many a sketch book will have preserved them as one of the features of the vale.

An injury of the same kind was committed some few years earlier, at the upper end of Derwentwater, near Lodore.

There was a birch grove there which covered a small piece of flat worthless ground, and which had manifestly been planted by some one of gentle spirit, who feeling how greatly such a grove in that place would embellish one of the loveliest scenes in England, prepared for those who should come after him a pleasure which he could partake only in anticipation. No stranger who had any real perception of those beauties which so many strangers come here to behold, ever noticed that grove without an expression of delight. The trees were in their full growth,.. perhaps of four-score years standing ; the bark rent and rugged as that of the cork tree, at the lower part of their trunks, and silvery all above. They reached to the water's edge, in a little level bay which is overspread with water-lilies and reeds. From the lake you saw their light and graceful heads between you and the crags : on the shore they formed a grateful and refreshing shade in a sultry day, which I have frequently enjoyed, for the road lay through them. In the whole circuit of Derwentwater there was not a more beautiful spot than that bay while the grove was standing; and I believe no one who remembers what it was ever passes it now, without breathing something like a malediction upon those by whose orders it was felled. This was more vexatious than the destruction of the fir grove, because the pecuniary value of the trees could have been of no consequence to the absent proprietor, and if he had known their value as they stood, it may be believed, no consideration would have induced him to sacrifice them, · The Church was built in an age when durability was regarded as an important consideration in such structures. It is a large, unornamented, substantial edifice, with buttresses, battlements, and a square tower; and having stood for centuries, by God's blessing it may stand for centuries to come. On a nearer view, you perceive that it has suffered something by the substitution of slates for lead upon the roof, an alteration which was made some few years ago, when the building underwent a repair. Alice de Romley, heiress of Egremont and Skipton, who, in the reign of Stephen, or of his successor, married the Lord of Allerdale, gave it to Fountains Abbey, and is supposed to have been the person by whom it was founded and

endowed. It was soon afterwards appropriated to that monastery, the collation being reserved to the Bishops of Carlisle. William Fitz Duncan, the husband of this Alice, was son to the Earl of Murray, and brother to David King of Scotland; and this may perhaps explain why the church was dedicated to the Scotch St. Kentigern, Bishop of Glasgow, and patron saint of that cathedral, a personage now utterly forgotten here, in the parish where, during so many generations, his festival used to be celebrated on the 13th of January. Here followeth his legend, .. it is a better word than history for such tales. Hagiologists have related it without scruple, and during many ages it was believed without hesitation.

The Saint in question was, as the romance says of Merlin, son of the Devil, a gentleman on his mother's side : his mother Thametes, or Thenis, being the daughter of King Lot of Lowthean and Orkenay, (a personage well known in the annals of the Round Table,) by Anna, daughter to Uther Pendragon, and half sister to King Arthur. A more illustrious stock could hardly be found in chivalrous genealogy. The time of his birth has been fixed in the year 514, and his nativity, “ admirable for the strangeness of it,” says Father Cressy, has been celebrated by many ancient writers. King Lot it seems was at that time a Pagan, and his Queen little better, for their daughter grew up in idolatry; she had opportunity, however, of hearing frequent sermons, and, becoming a convert, observed the precepts of Christianity as diligently as if she had been baptized.

The young Princess was a person of singular beauty, and more singular devotion. Of all that she heard from her religious teacher, there was nothing which so strongly impressed her imagination as the maternity of the Blessed Virgin; insomuch that, (in the words* of the legend,) with a presumptuous boldness and a womanish temerity, she desired and longed to resemble her in this, and even made it the object of her prayers. After awhile she found unequivocal symptoms that her desire had been accomplished. How, or when, or by whom

*Mariæ Virginis integritatem fæcundam venerando admirans et diligens, præsumptuosâ audaciá et quadam temeritate feminiá, in conceptu et partu illi assimilari, et eam imitari desiderans, assiduis precibus Regem cælorum et Dominum super hoc deprecari sæpius cæpit. Elapso demum temporis spatio inventa est illa in utero habens ; et magnificans Deum, desiderium suum adimpletum esse simpliciter credebat. Quod enim in natum est, de compleru humano suscepit, sed ipsa multoties usseruit, et juramento constrinxit, quod a quo, vel quando, aut quomodo conceperit, in conscientiâ non habebat."Acta SS. Jan, t. i. p. 816.

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