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mountains. There was the royal peak of Helvellyn, soaring in the azure distance above the craggy multitude. We were revelling in the beautiful!
The beautiful! Be it a lovely landscape, a perfect human form, or an incomparable bijou wrought by the invisible Creator, through the instrumentality of human art,—everywhere the beautiful is an uneffaced relic of the work of God's SPIRIT, once manifested in Eden! Surely some among us forget this; else we should not so often find the beautiful classed amid the "pomps and vanities of this wicked world." It were high time man better understood the destiny of his being. Nay, thou lowbowed spirit, bent beneath the Cross of chastening because of sin, quench not thou the longing for the beautiful, implanted in thy soul by a FATHER's tender mercy to oasis thy desert path! Rather, cultivate thine admiration, and cherish thy taste for "whatsoever things are lovely." Dost thou not know that, when thy SAVIOUR cometh, "out of Zion He will shine, in the perfection of beauty" (Psalm 1. 2;) and, lifting the Cross from off the shoulders of His poor and afflicted ones, whose nature He hath rescued from defacement, will give "beauty for ashes," (Isa. lxi. 3,) not only to the long-stricken human race, but likewise to all creature-kind, whether animate or inanimate? For His glory will be the consummation of the beautiful, even the "joy of the whole earth." (Ps. xlviii. 2.)
The peculiarity of the shape of Ulleswater, renders a leisurely progress along its margin a succession of unexpected tableaux,-ever shifting, ever varied: each fresh "dissolving view" surpassing its predecessor in sublimity and Alpine grandeur. The extent of lake first seen, does not exceed three miles; behind, the Vale of Eamont seems already shut off by Dunmallet, the tree-feathered pyramid which closes in the foot of the lake. On either side, the lower declivities of the fells are softened by woodlands and pastures. A little further, Swarth Fell rises massively on the opposite shore; whilst in front, the prospect is terminated by the impending promontories of Hallin Fell and Shelley Neb. But soon after, winding above the lovely house and grounds known as
Halsteads, the road suddenly turns an angle, and a second panorama, bounded by mountains of yet more gigantic dimensions, bursts upon the sight. Here, the scarred cliffs on the left shore (anciently part of the Forest of Martindale,) rear their frowning fronts immediately above the stream. On the right, the rough hillocks of Dacre Common, and the romantic fern-clad steeps of Gowbarrow Park, o'ershadowed by many a gnarled oak, mountain ash, or weeping birch, and peopled by herds of fallow deer, form the charming foreground, through which the road undulates.
On a lofty knoll in Gowbarrow Park, is perched Lyulph's Tower; a hunting box, built by a Duke of Norfolk, and so named in remembrance of Lyulf, the first Baron of Greystoke, to "whom the lake did belong." This Lyulf, or Ulfe, is said to have lived in the time of the Saxons, and is supposed by some writers to have given his name, "Ulfeswater," to the lake. Other authors, however, consider the name "Ullswater," merely signifies "water of the lake :" just as "Helbeck," denotes "water of the beck;" "Ellesmere,' water of the mere ; or "Helgill," "water of the gill." I confess, I think the former derivation wears the best guise of probability; and Sir Walter Scott appears to have entertained a similar opinion, to judge from the appellation, " Ulfo's lake," by which, in the "Bridal of Triermain," he distinguishes this noble sheet of water.
It is customary for carriages to pause at the foot of the eminence crested by Lyulph's tower, in order that tourists may mount the height, and enjoy the splendid prospects commanded by the tower. But, as our route on the morrow was destined to carry us over the selfsame range, by the road which branches from Ulleswater to Keswick, at a very short distance beyond the pathway pointing to Lyulph's Tower, we resolved to defer our enjoyment of the view, together with a possible bird's-eye glance at Aira Force (a noble waterfall in Gowbarrow Park, by many esteemed one of the finest cascades in the
1 Dr. Burn, Mr. Mackel.
2 El, Hel, Ul, Hul, Wel, and Elv, or Elf, all signify "water."
lake districts,) until the morning's ascent should take us up by the carriage.
On leaving Gowbarrow Park, the next object which attracts peculiar attention is a huge mass, almost overhanging the road, called Stybarrow Crag, which performs its share of closing in this middle and longest reach of the lake, in conjunction with Place Fell, an enormous grey mountain, streaked by many a sombre hue; round whose rugged foot, "pushed into the lake like a lion's claw," a bold expanse of Ulleswater by a sudden curve sweeps into Patterdale. Sharply turning to the left at the mouth of the dark glen into which we had hitherto seemed to be advancing, the glen that had admitted us to a glimpse of the "solemn Alps around Helvellyn,' our enchanted gaze embraced the third and smallest, but most exquisitely lovely division of the lake, studded with its three fairy-bowered islets,-Cherry Holm, Wall Holm, and House Holm. The rent and shattered rocks, jutting across our foreground, or pinnacled at our side, now became bolder and more numerous. Stybarrow Crag and Yew Crag we had, indeed, left behind us; but Raven Crag, Dove Crag, and a multitude of minor craglets, were bristling beside our way, canopied by the pendent and graceful foliage-now of some hoary forest tree, venerable as the everlasting hills, or, anon, of a dappled. grove, down-dipping to the water's edge. Across the lake, Place Fell, ponderous and grand, stood like a mighty barrier outshutting the far-off world; the narrowing lake seemed losing itself at the feet of a host of other such giants, closing around the retreating defile, and even here and there o'erlapping their impenetrable walls, as though to forbid egress from amid their awful precincts. Presently, we found ourselves passing Glenridding House, the beautiful retreat of the Rev. Askew. Then one or two distant cottages might be seen, peering from among the umbrageous foliage; two or three groups of lingering pedestrians were soon after espied. On the right, another lovely glen began to reveal its magnificence; the little bridge across Glenridding Beck was
crossed; the humble village church (solitary, save for its faithful guardian yew,) was passed; an occasional dotting hut began to dimple the wild scenery; a capacious garden-circled house, alive with tourists, broke upon the view; we were entering the open gate, we had drawn up before the inn at Patterdale.
Two or three carriages were scattered around, occupied by visitants, apparently either in the act of taking their departure, or else unable to obtain admission to the hotel; which, by the cheerful faces at many of the windows, and the occasional loiterers straying about the garden, was proven to be already overflowing with guests. We had heard how often travellers find their comforts disarranged through the mountain inns being full on their arrival; and, to obviate the probability of such a mischance befalling ourselves, as well as for the sake of a long evening in the dale, we had fixed our departure from Penrith at an hour which might enable us to reach Patterdale so early as four o'clock in the afternoon. We were, therefore, quite unprepared for the announcement made by the landlord, that, "the house was so full, it was impossible to admit any new arrivals!" What was
to be done? The landlord coolly suggested," Go on to Ambleside-only ten miles!" But Elephant had already performed an ample distance for one stage; and Elephant's indulgent master protested loudly against this addenda, involving, as it would, a transit across Kirkstone (a great mountain between Patterdale and Ambleside,) by a road which performs an ascent and descent of 1,000 and 1,300 yards respectively, passing during its course by the most loftily situated house in England.
Besides, ours was an entirely different scheme. We did not intend to cross Kirkstone at all, but had planned to take the route leading from Ulleswater, viâ Saddleback, to Keswick, the following morning,-a distance of more than twenty miles; and therefore much too long to attempt as a supplementary stage, where the shades of evening must needs fall ere the journey could reach its close. In this dilemma, at last the landlord told us there was a cottage in the village where superfluous guests
could sometimes be accommodated with beds, &c.; and he did not seem very well pleased because we were so far actuated by a distrust of Westmoreland mountain cottages, that we demanded an inspection of our proposed quarters before we consented to adopt his recommendation. What, then, was our delight, after retracing on foot our way back through the village for about a quarter of a mile, at discovering that the lodging to which we were conducted was one of the neatest, cleanest, prettiest little cottages imaginable! The rural quietness of the simple parlour; the snowy whiteness of the bed-hangings; and, above all, the civility, and evident adroitness of Mrs. Dobson, the landlady, left no room for a moment's further hesitation; and we joyfully trudged back to the inn, to announce the satisfactory result, and to direct immediate remittance of our goods and chattels to the cottage for the night.
But, amid all these unforeseen hindrances, our "long afternoon at Patterdale" was perceptibly dwindling away. So, as the rest of the party did not seem inclined for any rambling before tea, I resolved to avoid losing time, by setting off alone on an exploring expedition up the dale. Some one at the inn told me that, by pursuing the road for a short distance along the beginning of the gorge, I should presently come to a path leading across a rustic bridge, which would at length bring me round to the cottage by a circuit of exceeding beauty. Thus I soon tripped gaily away, exhilarated by the loveliness, yet awed by the grandeur of the scenery around me.
road seemed scalloped into a perpetual zigzag by the projecting feet of the heights which soared abruptly by my side, and only a strip of narrow stream-parted meadow land intervened between these and the opposite fells. Before me, narrow and yet narrower grew the pass, as it penetrated the gigantic range, threatening to bar much further progress. Silence reigned around, and I was alone. Surely my spirit was fanned by unutterable breathings, emitted only by creations so reflective of the Hand of GOD, that mortal tool can neither mar their na tive grandeur, nor add fashioning to their glory! I was in an amphitheatre of mountains!