Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

conspicuous over the rest—the long ate the beauty which in good truth is vale of Troutbeck, with its pictur- floating there forever on the bosom esque cottages, in “numbers with of nature. out number, numberless," and all That description, perhaps, is not its sable pines and sycamores-on so very much amiss ; but sbould you the farther side, that most silvan of think otherwise, be so good as to all silvan mountains, where lately give us a better. Meanwhile let us the Hemans warbled her native descend from The Station, and its wood-notes wild in her poetic bow- stained windows-stained into seter, fitly called Dovenest, and be- ting sunlight-frost and snow-the yond, Kirkstone Fells and Rydal purpling autumn-and the first saint Head, magnificent giants looking vernal green--and re-embark at the westward to the Langdale Pikes, Ferry-house pier. Berkshire Island (here unseen)

is fair—but we have always looked

at it with an evil eye since unable “ The last that parley with the setting sun."

to weather it in our old schooner, Immediately in front, the hills are one day when the Victory, on the low and lovely, sloping with gentle same tack, shot by it to windward undulations down to the lake, here like a salmon. But now we are grove-girdled along all its shores. half-way between Storr's Point and The elm-grove that overshadows Rawlinson’s Nah—so, my dear Garthe Parsonage is especially conspi- net, down with the helm and let us cuous - stately and solemn in a put about for a fine front view of green

old age—and though now si- the Grecian edifice. It does honor lent, in spring and early summer to the genius of Gandy—and say clamorous with rooks in love or what people choose of a classic alarm, an ancient family, and not to clime, the light of a Westmoreland be expelled from their hereditary sky falls beautifully on that marbleseats. Following the line of shore like stone, which, whether the heato the right, and turning your eyes vens be in gloom or glory, "shines unwillingly away from the bright well where it stands,” and flings and breezy Belfield, they fall on the across the lake a majestic shadow. elegant architecture of Storr's-hall, Methought there passed along the gleaming from a glade in the thick lawn the image of one now in his woods—and still looking southward, tomb! The memory of that bright they see a serene series of the same day returns, when Windermere glitforest scenery, along the heights of tered with all her sails in honor of Gillhead and Gummer's-How, till the great Northern Minstrel, and of Windermere is lost, apparently nar- him the Eloquent, whose lips are rowed into a river, beyond Town- now mute in the dust. Methinks head and Fellfoot, where the pros- we see his smile benign—that we pect is closed by a beaconed 'emi- hear his voice silver-sweet ! nence clothed with shadowy trees “ But away with melancholy, to the very base of the Tower. The Nor doleful changes ring points and promontories jutting into as such thoughts came like shadows, the lake from these and the opposite like shadows let them depart--and shores—which are of a humbler, spite of that which happeneth to all though not tame character—are all men, “this one day we give to merplaced most felicitously—and as the riment.' Pull, Billy, pull-or we lights and shadows keep shifting on will turn you round-and in that the water, assume endless varieties case there is no refreshment nearer of relative position to the eye, so than Newby-bridge. The Naiad that often during one short hour, feels the invigorated impulse-ant you might think you had been gaz- her cut-water murmurs to the tue ing on Windermere with a kaleidos- of six knots through the tiny catacopical eye that had seemed to cre- ract foaming round her boss. The

woods are all running down the then of the lake along whose banks lake—and at this rate, by two post you are traveling, especially if durmeridiem will be in the sea. ing separation you become a Druid.

Commend us-on a Tour — to The water woos you at your return lunch and dinner in one. 'Tis a with her bluest smile, and her saving both of time and money

whitest murmur. Some of the and of all the dinner-lunches that finest trees in all the Rayrig woods ever were set upon a sublunary ta- have had the good sense to grow by ble, the facile principes are the din- the roadside, where they can see ner-lunches you may devour in the all that is passing, and make their White Lion, Bowness. Take a own observations on us deciduous walk-and a seat on the green that plants. Few of them seem to be overlooks the village, almost on a very old-and they wear well, level with the lead-roof of the vene- trunk sound to the core, arms with rable church—while Hebe is laying a long sweep, and head in fine prothe cloth for a repast fit for Jove, portions of cerebral development, Juno, and the other heathen gods fortified against all storms—perfect and goddesses—and if you must pictures of oaks in their prime. have politics—why, call for the You may see one--without looking Standard or Sun, and devote a few for it-near a farm-house called hurried and hungry moments to the Miller-ground-himself a grove. new French Revolution. Why, His trunk is clothed in a tunic of the Green of all Greens—often moss, which shows the ancient Siltraced by us of yore beneath the van to great advantage--and it midnight moonlight—till a path was would be no easy matter to give worn along the edge of the low him a fall. Should you wish to see wall, still called “North’s Walk” Windermere in all her glory, you -is absolutely converted into a have but to enter a gate a few reading-room, and our laking party yards on this side of his shade, and into a political club. There is ascend an eminence called by us Louisa with the Leeds Intelligencer, Green-bank-but you had as well and Matilda with the Morning He- leave your red mantle in the carrald—and Harriet with that York riage, for an enormous white, longpaper worth them all put together- horned Lancashire bull has for for it tel's of Priam, and the Cardi- some years established his headnal, and St. Nicholas,—but, hark ! quarters there, and you would not a soft footstep! And then a soft wish your wife to become a widow, voice-no dialect or accent plea- with six fatherless children. But santer than the Westmoreland - the royal road of poetry is often the whispers that the dinner-lunch is on most splendid-and by keeping the the table-and no leading article turnpike, you soon find yourself on like a cold round of beef-or a veal- a terrace to which there was nopie! Let the Parisians settle their thing to compare in the hanging garConstitution as they will-mean- dens of Babylon. There is the while let us strengthen ours-and widest breadth of water-the richafter a single glass of Madeira, est foreground of wood—and the and a horn of home-brewed—let us most magnificent back-ground of off on foot-on horseback-in gig mountains-not only in Westmore-car—and chariot-to Troutbeck. land, but-believe us—in all the

It is about a couple of miles, we world. That blue roof is Calgarth should think, from Bowness to --and no traveller ever pauses on Cook's House-along the turnpike this brow without giving it a blessroad-half the distance lying em- ing--for the sake of the Illustrious bowered in the Rayrig woods—and Dead—for there long dwelt in the half open to lake, cloud, and sky. body Bishop Watson, the Defender It is pleasant to lose sight now and of the Faith, and there within the

shadow of his memory still dwell in his breast, and through alder and those dearest on earth to his beati- willow banks murmurs away his life fied spirit. So pass along in high in the Lake. and solemn thought, till you lose Yes—that is Troutbeck Chapel sight of Calgarth in the lone-road -one of the smallest—and to our that leads by St. Catherines, and eyes the very simplest-of all the then relapse into pleasant fancies chapels among the hills. Yet will and picturesque dreams

This is it be remembered when more prethe best way by far of approaching tending edifices are forgottenTroutbeck. No ups and downs in just like some mild, sensible, but this life were ever more enlivening perhaps somewhat too silent pers. --not even the ups and downs of a son, whose acquaintanceship-nay, bird learning to fly. Sheep-fences, friendship—we feel a wish to cultiseven feet high, are admirable con vate—we scarce know why-except trivances for shutting out scenery ; that he is mild, sensible, and silent and by shutting out much scenery, whereas we would not be civil to why, you confer an unappreciable the brusque, upsetting, and loquavalue on the little that remains visi- cious puppy at his elbow, whose ble, and feel as if you could hug it information is as various as it is to your heart. But sometimes one profound, were one word or look of does feel tempted to shove down a courtesy to save him from the few roods of intercepting stone-wall flames. For heaven's sake, Louihigher than the horse-hair on a sa, don't sketch Troutbeck Chapel ! cuirassier's casque—though sheep There is nothing but a square should eat the suckers and scions, tower—a horizontal roof-and soine protected as they there shoot, at the perpendicular walls. The outlines price of the concealment of the pic- of the mountains here have no speturesque and the poetical from cific character. That bridge is but beauty-searching eyes. That is a a poor feature—and the

strearn long lane, it is said, which has ne- here very common-place. Put ver a turning ; so, this must be a them not on paper. Yet alive-is short one, which has a hundred. not the secluded scene felt to be You have turned your back on most beautiful ? It has a soul. Windermere--and our advice to The pure spirit of the pastoral age you is, to keep your face to the is breathing here—in this utter mountains. Troutbeck is a jewel noiselessness there is the oblivion -a diamond of a stream—but Bob- of all turmoil—and as the bleating bin-mills have exhausted some of of flocks comes on the ear, along the most lustrous pools, changing the fine air, from the green pastures them into shallows, where the min- of the Kentmere range of soft unnows rove. Deep dells are his de- dulating hills, the stilled heart whislight--and he loves the rugged pers to itself“ this is peace !" scaurs that intrench his wooded The worst of it is, that of all the banks—and the fantastic rocks that people that on earth do dwell, your tower-like hang at intervals over Troutbeck statesmen are the most his winding course, and seem some- litigious — and most quarrelsome times to block it up—but the miner about straws. Not a footpath in works his way out beneath galleries all the parish that has not cost a and arches in the living stone hundred pounds in lawsuits. The sometimes silent—sometimes sing- most insignificant stile is referred ing—and sometimes roaring like to a full bench of magistrates. thunder—till subsiding into a placid That gate was carried to the Quarspirit, ere he reaches the wooden- ter Sessions. No branch of a tree bridge in the bonny holms of Cal- can shoot six inches over a marchgarth, he glides graceful as the wall without being indicted for swan that sometimes sees its image trespass. And should a frost

loosened stone tumble from some Windermere are seen in their most skrees down upon a neighbor's field, majestic shape—and from nowhere he will be served with a notice to else is the long-withdrawing Langquit before next morning. Many dale so magnificently closed by of the small properties hereabouts mountains. There at sunset hangs have been mortgaged over head and “ Cloudland, Gorgeousland, ” to ears to fee rascally attorneys. Yet gaze on which for an hour might the last hoop of apples will go to the almost make a Sewell Stokes a land-sharks — and the statesman, Poetaster. Who said that Winderdriven at last from his paternal mere was too narrow? The same fields, will sue for something or critic who thinks the full harvest another in formâ pauperis, were it moon too round—and despises the but the worthless wood and second- twinkling of the evening star. It hand nails that may be destined for is all the way down—from head to his coffin. This is a pretty picture foot-from the Brathay to the Leof pastoral life—but we must take ven-of the proper breadth precisepastoral life as we find it. Nor ly—to a quarter of an inch.

Were have we any doubt that things were the reeds in Poolwyke Bay—on every whit as bad in the time of the which the birds love to balance Patriarchs—else, whence the sati- themselves—at low or high water, rical sneer,

“sham Abraham ?” to be visibly longer or shorter than Yonder is the Village straggling what they have always been in the away up along the hillside, till the habit of being on such occasions, farthest house seems a rock fallen since first we brushed them with an with trees from the mountain. The oar, when landing in our skiff from cottages stand for the most part in the Endeavor,—the beauty of the clusters of twos or threes- with whole of Windermere would be im here and there what in Scotland we paired—so exquisitely adapted is shonld call a clachan-many a sma’ that pellucid gleam to the lips of its toun within the ae long toun—but silvan shores! True, there are where in all braid Scotland is a flaws in the diamond—but only mile-long scattered congregation of when the squalls come-and as the rural dwellings, all dropt down blackness sweeps by, that diamond where the Painter and the Poet of the first water is again sky-bright would have wished to plant them, and sky-blue, as an angel's eyes. op knolls, and in dells, and on banks Lowood Bay—we are now embarka and braes, and below tree-crested ed in Mr. Jackson's prettiest pinrocks, and all bound together in nace—when the sun is westeringpicturesque confusion, by old groves which it now is—surpasses all other of ash, oak, and sycamore, and by bays in fresh-water Mediterraneans. flower-gardens and fruit-orchards, Eve loves to see her pensive face rich as those of the Hesperides? reflected in that serencst mirror.

If you have no objections—our To flatter such a divinity is impospretty dears—we shall return to sible—but sure she never wears a Bowness by Lowood. Let us form smile so divine as when adjusting a straggling line of march—so that her dusky tresses in that truest of we niay one and all indulge in our all glasses, set in the chastest of all own silent fancies—and let not a rich frames. Pleased she retires word be spoken-virgins-under-with a wavering motion--and the penalty of two kisses for one casting “ many a longing, lingering syllable—till we crown the height look behind ”—fades indistinctly above Briary-Close. Why, there away among the Brathay woods ; it is already—and we hear our mu- while Night, her elder sister, or rasical friend's voice-accompanied ther her younger--we really know guitar. From the front of his cot- not which-takes her place at the tage, the head and shoulders of darkening mirror, till it glitters with

her crescent-moon coronet, wreath- ty—the Royal Families of Flowers. ed perhaps with a white cloud, and This definition-or description rajust over the silver bow the lustre ther-of human female beauty, may of one large yellow star.

appear to some, as indeed it appears As none of the party complain of to us--something vague ; but all hunger-let us crack among us a profound truths-out of the exact single bottle of our worthy host's sciences—are something vague; choice old Madeira-and then haste and it is manifestly the design of a in the barouche (ha ! here it is to benign and gracious Providence, Bowness. It is right now to laugh that they should be so till the end —and sing-and recite poetry—and of time—till mortality has put on talk all manner of nonsense. Didn't immortality—and earth is heaven. ye hear something crack ? Can it be Vagueness, therefore, is no fault in a spring-or merely the axletree ? philosophy—any more than in the Our clerical friend from Chester dawn of morning, or the gloaming assures us 'twas but a string of his of eve. Enough, if each clause of guitar-so no more shrieking-and the sentence that seeks to elucidate after coffee we shall have

a confessed mystery, has a meaning “Rise up, rise up, Xarifa, lay your golden barmonious with all the meanings cushion down!

in all the other clauses—and that the And then we two, my dear sir, must effect of the whole taken together have a contest at chess—at which, is musical—and a tune. Then it is if you beat us, we shall leave our

Truth. For all Falsehood is dissobed at midnight, and murder you in nant--and verity is concent. It is your sleep. But where," murmurs

our faith, that the souls of some Matilda, are we going ?" To women are angelic--or nearly soOresthead, love,-and Elleray—for by nature and the Christian religion you must see a sight these sweet

-and that the faces and persons of eyes of thine never saw before-a some women are angelic-or nearly Sunser.

80—whose souls, nevertheless, are We have often wondered if there seen to be far otherwise-and, on be in the world one woman indis- that discovery, beauty fades or dies, putably and undeniably the most But may not soul and body-spirit beautiful of all women-or if, in- and matter—meet in perfect union deed, our first Mother were is the —at birth ; and grow together into loveliest of her daughters, Eve.” a creature, though of spiritual mould, What human female beauty is, all

“ beautiful exceedingly,” as Eve men feel-but few men know-and before the Fall ? Such a creature none can tell-farther than that it —such creatures-may have been is perfect spiritual health, breathing- but the question is--did you ever ly embodied in perfect corporeal see one? We almost think that we flesh and blood, according to certain have; but god-framed adaptations of form and

“ She is dedde, hue, that, by a familiar, yet inscru

Gone to her death-bedde

All under the willow-tree,” table mystery, to our senses and our souls express sanctity and purity of and it may be that her image in the the immortal essence enshrined with moonlight of memory and imaginain, by aid of all associated percep- tion, may be more perfectly beautitions and emotions that the heartful than she herself ever was, when and the imagination can agglomerate « Upgrew that living flower beneath our eye.” round them as instantly and as unhesitatingly as the faculties of thought Yes'tis thus that we form to ourand feeling can agglomerate round a selves-incommunicably within our lily or a rose, for example, the percep- souls-what we choose to call Ideal tions and emotions that make them Beauty-that is, a life-in-death by divine right of inalienable beau- image or Eidolon of a Being whase

« НазадПродовжити »