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with the bloodhounds every lingering victim, and even if by a miracle they escaped them, they must infallibly perish at last of hunger and thirst.
Amongst those who had thus concealed themselves were the young couple, who, but a few days before, had fancied they beheld the dawning of a long bright existence of love and joy for them. Spiro and Xanthi crouched down, trembling in every limb, beneath the wall of the Turkish Aga's tower, entirely concealed by the brushwood which grew around it-a position that for the moment had a certain degree of security, from its very proximity to the danger, as it was here that the Bey was to pass the
night when the chase was over, and his men could scarcely imagine that any one could have the temerity to approach a spot where, with the first dawn of light, they must inevitably be discovered. Clasped tightly in each other's arms, they sat for a long time, listening to their own throbbing pulses, and to the awful cries that were ringing through the olive grove, but these gradually ceased, as the darkness became complete; and the Turks, ready to resume their sport as soon as it was day, gathered together in front of the tower, which their master had already entered, and sat smoking and talking round the watchfire.
THE ENGLISH LAKES.
Two or three seasons ago, we were amused by some light sketches, done à la Boz, if not by the great master himself, the object of which was to classify the community according to the leading characteristics of its members. First came the Young Ladies, who were zoologically divided into a dozen orders, embracing with Cuvierian precision every known peculiarity of that very interesting species. Next, and most suitably, followed the Young Gentlemen, who were distributed also into classes, that omitted none whom we have either known or heard of. Lastly, and as a natural result, we had Young Couples, in which the idea was brought to its close, and the effect on both of the tendresse of matrimony attempted to be pourtrayed.
not know that any classification has been made of travellers and their books; yet few things are easier than to characterize both parent and offspring. We could have the sentimental tourist, a poor revival of Sterne, with his copious interjections and strong predisposition to hysterics. Then, as a shifting of the characters, we might offer the eléves of Titmarsh's school, lively and mocking as
the others were saturnine and stupid. Next might come the historical traveller, and the poetical, and the political; and then we might introduce the man who rambles to spend his money; and he who rambles to make money; and, as belonging to either class, the man who illustrates himself, and the man who has his artist to illustrate for him.
If we are to find Dr. Mackay's place for him, we must range him among the poetical, or romantic, of our category; and by doing so, we admit that his book fulfils the promise of its title-page-to illustrate the "poetry" of the lakes in conjunction with their "scenery." For the latter he is dependent on the aid of others; but the higher purpose, of furnishing the literary associations of the district, has been well conceived and executed by himself, with no feeble hand. No ordinary reader needs now to learn how well the localities which our author visited, merit the title of classic ground. Consecrated as many of them have been hitherto by historical associations, arising from their vicinage to the Border, and haunted, therefore, by the wild legend or quaint old ballad,
"The Scenery and Poetry of the English Lakes. A Summer Ramble." By Charles Mackay, LL.D. London: Longman and Co. 1846.
within our own day a deeper interest has been linked to each from the minstrelsy of Wordsworth, Southey, Wilson, and Coleridge; and more espe cially of the first-named. With a purpose which through a long lifetime has never once flagged, the Laureate has devoted himself to the dear office of celebrating in song every memorable object in the region where he first drew breath, and where his years have passed from their prime of manhood to the withered hairs of age. have our thousands of professed admirers of his poetry; but it is they alone who have become his reverential students that know how intimately connected with all the bard's inmost feel ings are the humblest and least notable scenes of his beloved Westmoreland. The majority will call to mind his "Duddon" sonnets; his "Tintern Abbey" his poems about the Yarrow river; and will have learned from these effusions how willingly Wordsworth's muse becomes "local" in its strains. But the poet's efforts cannot escape the ken of the more laborious investigator, to introduce in his verse all the remarkable objects around his home, and give them permanency by recording their names and associations. His diligence has been great, and has attained a corresponding success. With his poems
in hand, the tourist may now traverse the fairest district of England; and find an interest poured over each retired mountain-pass, and solitary tarn, from their names being familiar to him as household words. His leading impression will be the delight of surprize at the minuteness of the poet's observation, extending as it does not only to the farstretching landscape or castle-crested hill, but to the old memorable rocks and trees and waterfalls. We chiefly value Dr. Mackay's work, because in it he has undertaken to point out to his readers all such memorable localities. Avoiding the tiresome tameness of guide-book manufacturers, he has followed in the footsteps of the great poet, and has gleaned the romanee of the lakes without inflicting on us empty laudations of their scenic attractions. His book in this way may be deemed a commentary on Wordsworth's poetry—or at least, on those numberless minor pieces, wherein allusions, express or implied, are
made to those scenes the poet loves so well to draw as an opening scene. Our readers will be interested with Dr. Mackay's account of his visit to Rydal Mount, and the more so because it is given without that hateful eaves-dropping so repulsive to every feeling of honour and propriety.
"I found the Bard of the 'Excursion' walking in his garden when I arrived at the Mount; and long and fervently did I admire the beauty of the scene from the lawn before his window, and the calm philosophy and true love of nature that had led him to make choice of such a place, and keep himself in such happy and such long seclusion from the busy world.
"The view of Windermere from his door was the finest I had yet seen; and at another part of his grounds, the view of Rydal water was combined with that of Windermere, forming, with Loughrigg in front, amid the encircling hills on every side, a landscape of extreme beauty. It is no part of the plan of this little book to record the conversation of Mr. Wordsworth during the two hours that I had the pleasure and advantage of his society. Interesting as the record might be, and often as the bad example has been set of repeating conversations never meant to be repeated, and of perpetuating in print the unstudied expressions of confidential intercourse, the practice is unwarrantable. When a great man has departed from amongst us; when there is no longer the possibility of hearing his voice in his own familiar haunts; and when every reminiscence, however trifling, becomes of value, these records of conversations are like so many treasures recovered from the yawning depths of oblivion; but in the life-time of a great man, publication is an offence against him, and against society. If he have been informed that his words are to be taken down, and that he is speaking to the public through the medium of his interlocutor, the case is different; but as neither Mr. Wordsworth nor myself had any such notion, our long conversation upon poets, poetry, criticism, hill-climbing, autograph-hunting, and various other matters must remain untold. An exception in the case of one portion of our talk may, however, be made with advantage, as it does honour to the illus trious dead, and is a topic of much interest to all students, and to all the drudges of literature. In speaking of the lamented Southey, whose name is so intimately associated with his own, and whose friendship and society he enjoyed for so many years, he dwelt with much
emphasis upon the long-continued and systematic economy of his time, by which he was enabled to vary his studies from history to philosophy, from philosophy to politics, from politics to poetry, and do more work in each than would have sufficed to make the reputation of half-a-dozen even of inferior attainments. At the period of his death, and indeed long before, it was the general opinion that he had tasked his brain too severely by study; that his intellect had become overclouded from excess of mental toil, and that he had laboured not wisely, but too well.' Mr. Wordsworth. however, upon my putting the question to him, denied that such was the case. Though Southey's labours were almost superhuman, and were varied in a wonderful manner, they seemed, he said, rather to refresh and strengthen, than to weary and weaken his mind. He fell a victim, not to literary toil, but to his strong affection for his first wife, which led him night after night, when his labours of the day were ended, to watch with sleepless anxiety over her sick-bed. The strongest mind, as he observed, will ultimately give way under the long-continued deprivation of the natural refreshment of the body. No brain can remain in permanent health that has been overtasked by nightly vigils, still more than by daily labour. When such vigils are accompanied by the perpetually-recurring pain of beholding the sufferings of a beloved object, and the as perpetually-recurring fear of losing it, they became doubly and trebly injurious; and the labour that must be done, becomes no longer the joy and the solace that it used to be. It is transformed from a pleasure into a pain, from a friend into an enemy, from a companion into a fearful monster, crying like the daughter of the horseleech, give! give! It is then that the fine and delicate machinery of the mind is deranged. It is then that it snaps; then that the sweet bells are jangled and out of tune;' that the light is extinguished, and the glory hidden under a cloud, that Eternity may lift, but not Time, Such, it appears, was the case with the amiable Robert Southey; the grand, if not the great poet; the accomplished scholar, and the estimable man in every relation of life. So was it, also, in the more recent fate of the equally amiable and estimable Laman Blanchard, whose sad story I recalled to Mr. Wordsworth's recollection, as a parallel case. To the free mind, untouched by domestic grief, literary toil, however great, is scarcely a burden; but when one engrossing sorrow comes, and the brain must work in spite of it, the conflict begins, in which sorrow not only gains the mastery, but destroys
the battlefield, and blasts its fruits in this life, for ever."
We have no intention to "do" the topography of the district for our readers; but having thus introduced our author and his volume, we shall so far lend our assistance as to mention that Lancaster is the usual starting-place -that thence the visitor has a choice of two routes to Windermere-the first and more direct one by Kendal and Ambleside, and the other across the Ulverstone Sands by Furness. Dr. Mackay chose the former, the easier of the two we deem the latter a nobler approach to the lakes, for the reason that the wildness and stern sublimity of the sea-shore lend their aid, if only by force of contrast, and form what Wordsworth himself calls "a majestic barrier" round the region. Following, however, our author, we may passingly mention that a railroad is in contemplation, if not by this time in actual progress between Kendal and Windermere, against which Wordsworth has entered his poetical protest; and that the calm bosom of that loveliest loch is ruffled continually by the plashings of the Lady of the Lake's paddles. Whither
will not steam henceforth come? From Ambleside, where the traveller can leave the Kendal coach, and perhaps best fix his own head-quarters, a short walk leads to Grasmere; the beauties of which are fully appreciated by our enthusiastic author. With high dreams of poetry and the poets weaving their mystic spell around him, he for the first time beholds this placid mere :
"In the midst of thoughts something like these, I arrived at Grasmere, with its green and solitary, but beautiful island in the middle; and began to conjure up recollections of a certain Wishing-gate, which poets had sung of. Lovely is the vale of Grasmere: worthy is it of all its renown; and holy will it ever be in the lays of the bards who have delighted to sing of it, and in the recollections of those who love the bards. The lake is of an oval shape, about a mile in length, and something less than half-a-mile in breadth. It is completely surrounded by mountains, the chief of which are Silver How, Butterlip How, Seat Sandal, and Helm Crag-the latter [last?] famous for the rugged stones on its top, which bear a fantastic resemblance to an aged woman,' or, as some say, to a lion couchant,' and, as others say, to a lion and a lamb.' At the further extremity is seen the road to Keswick, stretching high above the
"When I had gazed, perhaps two minutes' space, Joanna, looking in my eyes, beheld
That ravishment of mine, and laughed aloud.
"A portentous laugh for a lady, but, nevertheless, very beautiful to read of. The descent from Langdale into the Vale of Grasmere has been described very accurately by Mr. Wordsworth in another poem; and Professor Wilson, in his City of the Plague,' has also described the Church of Grasmere and the surrounding scenery. The laureate says, with all the graces of poetry, and with much truth of description :
"So we descend, and, winding round a rock, Attained a point that showed the valley,
In length before us, and not distant far,
Fair dwellings, single or in social knots, Some scattered o'er the level, others perched On the hill-side; a cheerful, quiet scene, Now in its morning purity arrayed.' "Professor Wilson's daguerreotype is slightly different :
"There is a little churchyard on the side
Of a low hill that hangs o'er Grasmere lake.
"The latter part of this description must, of course, in such a climate as that of England, be taken as a mere poetical heightening of the effect which the writer intended to produce, but not strictly true. On my visit, however, it tallied remarkably well, for the sunlight streamed over the simple and beautiful churchtower, and lighted up the whole surface of the lake in a blaze of glory.
The church of Grasmere is dedicated to St. Oswald, and has been very celebrated, not only for the beauty of its position, and its neighbourhood, but for the annual celebration of the ceremony of rush-bearing. This ceremony has
long been known in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Westmoreland, and Cumberland, and even further north. St. Oswald's Day is on the Sunday nearest to the first of August, and upon this day the rush-bearing, as I am informed, annually takes place in Grasmere, and I believe in Ambleside and other places. Anciently, when the floors of churches in England were neither paved nor boarded, rushes were indispensable articles of comfort to church-going people; but with the progress of elegance in architecture, it became rare to find unpaved churches, and the ceremony of strewing the rushes fell, consequently, into disuse. rush-bearing at Grasmere generally takes place in the evening, when the children of the village, chiefly girls, parade through the street to the church, preceded by a band of music, bearing garlands of wild flowers, as well as bundles of rushes; the latter of which they deposit on the altar, or strew about the floor of the church."
By sojourning at Ambleside, the tourist finds himself placed within easy distance of all the chief attractions of Westmoreland. Three excursions are generally made hence, which, diverging into separate routes, bring before the visitor their peculiar assemblages of interesting objects. The first is to the vales of Great and Little Langdale; the second, to Patterdale and Ulleswater; and the third, to Ulverstone and Furness Abbey. In Lesser Langdale is Blea Tarn, whose lonely site is painted in the "Excursion" with minute faithfulness :
*It is hardly necessary to add, for our readers' information, that Force, in the vernacular of the lake district, means, "waterfall," and Ghyll (not Gill, as written by our author) a valley with a stream running through it.
It is a spot which you may see If ever you to Langdale go; Into a chasm a mighty block
Hath fallen, and made a bridge of rock:
And, in a basin black and small,
Ulleswater is the second lake in the scale of importance, being one mile shorter than Windermere. It, however, yields nothing in point of beauty. "Nothing in Windermere," writes Dr. Mackay, "lovely as that lake is, exceeds in beauty the scenery of mountain and water, which is here spread in rich profusion before the eyes of the lover of nature. There are several small islands at the head of the lake, between the two places abovementioned (Patterdale and Lyulph's Tower); and a sail amongst them, on a clear summer's day, with a mind free from care, and an imagination watchful for every beauty that may be offered to it, is recompense for a month's toil and trouble to procure it." Its depth is very great, averaging thirty fathoms, and this body of water is constantly maintained by numerous streamlets bursting forth from the rugged sides of Helvellyn. Some of these rivulets become dry during the heats of summer; but on heavy falls of rain, they spring forth afresh, and renew their tributary offerings to the graces of Ulleswater.
Helvellyn is generally ascended from the Patterdale side. Our author, notwithstanding his anxiety to be enrolled among the successful pedestrians who have scaled its summit, was unfortunate in the weather; and wisely forbore making an attempt, which must have been unprofitable, if not even hazard
"I had a great desire to ascend Helvellyn. The mountain was sacred to my recollections of Coleridge, with whose name and genius I had somehow or other cause to associate it-principally, I believe, from that beautiful little fragment of his, entitled The Knight's Tomb,' at least I have been unable to discover any other reason for it. Its melody had long haunted me, and I had unconsciously repeated it to myself, I knew not how many times, as soon as I found myself within sight of the mountain.
Where is the grave of Sir Arthur O'Kellyn?
By the side of a spring, on the breast of Helvellyn,
And his good sword rust;
His soul is with the saints, I trust."*
"The morning I had set apart for the purpose, dawned dull and misty; but as the day wore on, I still indulged the hope of sufficient sunshine to make the attempt. My hopes were disappointed; and I was not so enthusiastic in my love for the mountain, as to scale its heights amid the clouds of vapour that obscured all surrounding objects; the more especially, as my recent experiences in hillclimbing had given me but small encouragement for mountain rambles amid mist and rain. I was therefore obliged to relinquish the idea, and to give the following account of the mountain from such sources of information as books afforded me. According to the ordnance survey, Helvellyn is 3055 feet above the level of the sea; and from its summit, extensive views are obtained of the most beautiful portions of the lake district. The ascent is sometimes made from the opposite side, at Wythburn, on the road from Ambleside to Keswick, the distance being much less from that point than from other places; but travellers who like the assistance of horses or ponies for the first half of the work, prefer to start from Patterdale. persons are bold enough, in making the ascent, to traverse the giddy and dangerous height of Striding Edge, but this road, says the Bard of the Lakes, 'ought not to be taken by any one with weak nerves,' as the top, in many places, scarcely affords room to plant the foot, and is beset with awful precipices on either side. The place, he adds, derives
a melancholy interest from the fate of a young man, a stranger, who perished in the spring of 1805, by falling down the rocks, in his attempt to cross over from Wythburn to Patterdale. His remains were not discovered, as we learn from an introduction to a poem by Sir Walter Scott, until three months afterwards, when they were found guarded by a faithful terrier bitch, his constant attendant during frequent solitary rambles through the wilds of Cumberland and Westmoreland.
It appears from the same note, that the stranger, whose name was Gough, was a young gentleman of talent, and of a most amiable disposition. Both Sir Walter Scott and Mr. Wordsworth have written poems on the
We transcribe the fragment as Coleridge wrote it, Dr. Mackay having misnamed the knight, and made some minor alterations in the verses; owing, no doubt, to his quoting from memory.