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Title: Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth, Vol. I (of 2)
Author: Wordsworth, Dorothy, 1771-1855
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth, Vol. I (of 2)" ***

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  VOL. I

[Illustration: _Dorothy Wordsworth_]



  VOL. I

  [Illustration: Rock of Names. Thirlmere.]


  _All rights reserved_


     PREFATORY NOTE                                         vii

       (FROM 20TH JANUARY TO 22ND MAY 1798)                   1

       HAMBURGH IN SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER 1798                19

       GRASMERE (14TH MAY TO 21ST DECEMBER 1800)             29

       DECEMBER 1801)                                        61

       1802)                                                 77

       GRASMERE (9TH JULY 1802 TO 11TH JANUARY 1803)        139

       (A.D. 1803)                                          159


The Journals written by Dorothy Wordsworth, and her reminiscences of
Tours made with her brother, are more interesting to posterity than her

A few fragments from her Grasmere Journal were included by the late
Bishop of Lincoln in the _Memoirs_ of his uncle, published in 1850. The
_Recollections of a Tour made in Scotland_ in 1803, were edited in full
by the late Principal Shairp in the year 1874 (third edition 1894). In
1889, I included in my _Life of William Wordsworth_ most of the Journal
written at Alfoxden, much of that referring to Hamburg, and the greater
part of the longer Grasmere Journal. Some extracts from the Journal of a
Tour on the Continent made in 1820 (and of a similar one written by Mrs.
Wordsworth), as well as short records of subsequent visits to Scotland
and to the Isle of Man, were printed in the same volume. None of these,
however, were given in their entirety; nor is it desirable now to print
them _in extenso_, except in the case of the _Recollections of a Tour
made in Scotland_ in 1803. All the Journals contain numerous trivial
details, which bear ample witness to the "plain living and high
thinking" of the Wordsworth household--and, in this edition, samples of
these details are given--but there is no need to record all the cases in
which the sister wrote, "To-day I mended William's shirts," or "William
gathered sticks," or "I went in search of eggs," etc. etc. In all cases,
however, in which a sentence or paragraph, or several sentences and
paragraphs, in the Journals are left out, the omission is indicated by
means of asterisks. Nothing is omitted of any literary or biographical
value. Some persons may think that too much has been recorded, others
that everything should have been printed. As to this, posterity must
judge. I think that many, in future years, will value these Journals,
not only as a record of the relations existing between Wordsworth and
his sister, his wife, her family and his friends, but also as an
illustration of the remarkable literary brotherhood and sisterhood of
the period.

Coming now to details.


I do not know of any Journal written at Racedown, and I do not think
that Dorothy kept one while she and her brother lived in Dorsetshire. In
July 1797 they took up their residence at Alfoxden; but, so far as is
known, it was not till the 20th of January 1798 that Dorothy began to
write a Journal of her own and her brother's life at that place. It was
continued uninterruptedly till Thursday, 22nd May 1798. It gives
numerous details as to the visits of Coleridge to Alfoxden, and the
Wordsworths' visits to him at Nether-Stowey, as well as of the
circumstances under which several of their poems were composed. Many
sentences in the Journal present a curious resemblance to words and
phrases which occur in the poems; and there is no doubt that, as brother
and sister made use of the same note-book--some of Wordsworth's own
verses having been written by him in his sister's journal--the
copartnery may have extended to more than the common use of the same MS.

The archaic spellings which occur in this Journal are retained; but
inaccuracies--such as Bartelmy for Bartholemew, Crewkshank for
Cruikshank--are corrected. In the edition of 1889 the words were printed
as written in MS.; but it is one thing to reproduce the _bona fide_ text
of a journal, or the _ipsissima verba_ of a poet, and quite another to
reproduce the incorrect spellings of his sister.


From the Journal of the days spent at Hamburg in 1798--when the
Wordsworths were on their way to Goslar, and Coleridge to
Ratzeburg--only a few extracts are given, dating from 14th September to
3rd October of that year. These explain themselves.


Of the Grasmere Journals much more is given, and a great deal that was
omitted from the first volume of the _Life of Wordsworth_ in 1889, is
now printed. To many readers this will be by far the most interesting
section of all Dorothy Wordsworth's writings. It not only contains
exquisite descriptions of Grasmere and its district--a most felicitous
record of the changes of the seasons and the progress of the year,
details as to flower and tree, bird and beast, mountain and lake--but it
casts a flood of light on the circumstances under which her brother's
poems were composed. It also discloses much as to the doings of the
Wordsworth household, of the visits of Coleridge and others, while it
vividly illustrates the peasant life of Westmoreland at the beginning of
this century. What I have seen of this Journal extends from 14th May to
21st December 1800, and from 10th October 1801 to 16th January 1803. It
is here printed in four sections.


When the late Principal Shairp edited the _Recollections of a Tour made
in Scotland_ in 1803, he inserted an elaborate and valuable
introduction, with a few explanatory and topographical notes. With the
consent of Mrs. Shairp, and of the Principal's son, Sheriff J. C.
Shairp, many of them are now reproduced, with the initials J. C. S.
appended. As some notes were needed at these places, and I could only
have slightly varied the statements of fact, it seemed better for the
reader, and more respectful to the memory of such a Wordsworthian as the
late Principal was, to record them as his. I cordially thank Mrs.
Shairp, and her son, for their kindness in this matter. It should be
added that Dorothy Wordsworth's archaic spelling of many of the names of
places, such as--Lanerk, Ulswater, Strath Eyer, Loch Ketterine,
Inversneyde, etc., are retained.

These Recollections of the Tour made in Scotland were not all written
down at the time during the journey. Many of them were "afterthoughts."
The Alfoxden and Grasmere Journals were "diaries," in the sense
that--except when the contrary is stated--they were written down day by
day; but certain portions of the Scottish Journal suggest either that
they were entirely written after the return to Grasmere, or were then
considerably expanded. I have not seen the original MS. Dorothy
transcribed it in full for her friend Mrs. Clarkson, commencing the work
in 1803, and finishing it on 31st May 1805 (see vol. ii. p. 78). This
transcript I have seen. It is the only one now traceable.

It should be mentioned that Dorothy Wordsworth was often quite incorrect
in her dates, both as to the day of the week and the month. Minute
accuracy on these points did not count for much at that time; and very
often a mistake in the date of one entry in her Journal brought with it
a long series of future errors. The same remark applies to the Grasmere
Journal, and to the record of the Continental Tour of 1820.

Many friends and students of Wordsworth regretted the long delay in the
publication of the Tour made in Scotland in 1803. In the _Recollections
of the Table-Talk of Samuel Rogers_ (1856), p. 208, we find the
following: "I do indeed regret that Wordsworth has printed only
fragments of his sister's journal; it is most excellent, and ought to
have been published entire." It will always hold a place of honour in
itinerary literature. It possesses a singular charm, and has abiding
interest, not only as a record of travel, but also as a mirror of
Scottish life and character nearly a hundred years ago.


The Journal of a Mountain Ramble, by William and Dorothy Wordsworth in
November 1805, calls for no special remark. The ramble was from Grasmere
by Rydal and Kirkstone Pass to Patterdale and Ullswater, thence to the
top of Place Fell, at the foot of which Wordsworth thought of
buying--and did afterwards buy--a small property near the Lake, thence
to Yanworth, returning to Grasmere by Kirkstone again. The story of this
"ramble," written by Dorothy, was afterwards incorporated in part by
William Wordsworth in his prose _Description of the Scenery of the
Lakes_--another curious instance of their literary copartnery.


In 1820 the poet, his wife, and sister, along with Mr. and Mrs.
Monkhouse, and Miss Horrocks (a sister of Mrs. Monkhouse), spent more
than three months on the Continent. They left Lambeth on the 10th of
July, and returned to London in November. Starting from Dover on 11th
July, they went by Brussels to Cologne, up the Rhine to Switzerland,
were joined by Henry Crabb Robinson at Lucerne, crossed over to the
Italian Lakes, visited Milan, came back to Switzerland, and passed
through France to Paris, where they spent a month. Dorothy Wordsworth
wrote a minute and very careful Journal of this tour, taking notes at
the time, and extending them on her return to Westmoreland. Mrs.
Wordsworth kept a shorter record of the same journey. Crabb Robinson
also wrote a diary of it. Wordsworth recorded and idealised his tour in
a series of poems, named by him "Memorials of a Tour on the Continent,
1820," very few of which were written on the spot; and when, in the
after-leisure of Rydal Mount, he set to work upon them, it is evident
that he consulted, and made frequent use of, the two family Journals,
particularly the one written by his sister. In a letter to Mrs. Clarkson
from Coblentz, dated 22nd July, Dorothy said: "Journals we shall have in
abundance; for all, except my brother and Mrs. Monkhouse, keep a
journal. Mine is nothing but notes, unintelligible to any one but
myself. I look forward, however, to many a pleasant hour's employment at
Rydal Mount in filling up the chasms."

The originals of these two Journals still exist, and it is hard to say
whether the jottings taken at the time by the wife, or the extended
Journal afterwards written by the sister, is the more admirable, both as
a record of travel and as a commentary on the poet's work. Dorothy's MS.
is nearly as long as her Recollections of the Scottish Tour of 1803.
Extracts from both Journals were published in the library edition of the
Poems in 1884, and in the _Life of William Wordsworth_ in 1889; but
these were limited to passages illustrative of the Poems.

It is not expedient to print either Journal in full. There are,
however, so many passages of interest and beauty in each--presenting a
vivid picture of the towns and countries through which the Wordsworths
passed, and of the style of continental travelling in those days--that
it seems desirable to insert more numerous extracts from them than those
which have been already printed. They will be found to illustrate much
of the state of things in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France in the
first quarter of the present century; while they afford an interesting
contrast to that which meets the eye of the traveller, and ministers to
his wants, at the present day. In the 80 pages extracted from Dorothy's
Journal alone, it is such passages that have, in the main, been

In October 1821, Mr. Robinson was a visitor at Rydal Mount; and after
reading over the Journals of Mrs. and Dorothy Wordsworth, he wrote thus
in his _Diary_:--

     "_2nd Oct. '21._--I read to-day part of Miss, and also Mrs. W.'s
     Journal in Switzerland. They put mine to shame.[1] They had adopted
     a plan of journalising which could not fail to render the account
     amusing and informing. Mrs. W., in particular, frequently
     described, as in a panorama, the objects around her; and these were
     written on the spot: and I recollect her often sitting on the
     grass, not aware of what kind of employment she had. Now it is
     evident that a succession of such pictures must represent the face
     of the country. Their Journals were alike abundant in observation
     (in which the writers showed an enviable faculty), and were sparing
     of reflections, which ought rather to be excited by than obtruded
     in a book of travels. I think I shall profit on some future
     occasion by the hint I have taken."

       [Footnote 1: Perhaps the most interesting entry in Henry Crabb
       Robinson's Journal of the tour is the following: "_26th June
       1820._--I made some cheap purchases: if anything _not wanted_
       can be cheap."]

Again, in November 1823, Robinson wrote:--

     "Finished Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal. I do not know when I have felt
     more humble than in reading it. It is so superior to my own. She
     saw so much more than I did, though we were side by side during a
     great part of the time."

Robinson advised Dorothy Wordsworth to publish her Journal of this
Continental Tour, and she replied to him, 23rd May 1824:--

     "... Your advice respecting my Continental Journal is, I am sure,
     very good, provided it were worth while to make a book of it,
     _i.e._ provided I _could_ do so, and provided it were my wish; but
     it is not. 'Far better,' I say, 'make another tour, and write the
     Journal on a different plan!' In recopying it, I should, as you
     advise, omit considerable portions of the description.... But,
     observe, my object is not to make a book, but to leave to my niece
     a neatly-penned memorial of those few interesting months of our


In 1822, Dorothy Wordsworth went with Joanna Hutchinson to Scotland, for
change of air and scene. She wrote of this journey:--

     "I had for years promised Joanna to go with her to Edinburgh--that
     was her object; but we planned a little tour, up the Forth to
     Stirling, thence by track-boat to Glasgow; from Dumbarton to Rob
     Roy's cave by steam; stopping at Tarbet; thence in a cart to
     Inverary; back again to Glasgow, down Loch Fyne, and up the Clyde;
     thence on the coach to Lanark; and from Lanark to Moffat in a cart.
     There we stopped two days, my companion being an invalid; and she
     fancied the waters might cure her, but a bathing-place which nobody
     frequents is never in order; and we were glad to leave Moffat,
     crossing the wild country again in a cart, to the banks of the
     river Esk. We returned to Edinburgh for the sake of warm baths. We
     were three weeks in lodgings at Edinburgh. Joanna had much of that
     sort of pleasure which one has in first seeing a foreign country;
     and in our travels, whether on the outside of a coach, on the deck
     of a steamboat, or in whatever way we got forward, she was always
     cheerful, never complaining of bad fare, bad inns, or anything

It was a short excursion, but was memorialised in the usual way by
Dorothy's ever ready pen.


In the following year, 1823, Wordsworth and his wife left Lee Priory,
"for a little tour in Flanders and Holland," as he phrased it in a
letter to John Kenyon. He wrote 16th May:--

     "We shall go to Dover, with a view to embark for Ostend to-morrow,
     unless detained by similar obstacles. From Ostend we mean to go to
     Ghent, to Antwerp, Breda, Utrecht, Amsterdam--to Rotterdam by
     Haarlem, the Hague, and Leyden--thence to Antwerp by another route,
     and perhaps shall return by Mechlin, Brussels, Lille, and Ypres to
     Calais--or direct to Ostend as we came. We hope to be landed in
     England within a month. We shall hurry through London homewards,
     where we are naturally anxious already to be, having left Rydal
     Mount so far back as February...."

The extracts taken from Mary Wordsworth's Journal show how far they
conformed to, and how far they departed from, their original plan of
travel. In them will be found the same directness and simplicity, the
same vividness of touch, as are seen in her Journal of the longer tour
taken in 1820.


In 1828, Dorothy Wordsworth went to the Isle of Man, accompanied by
Mrs. Wordsworth's sister Joanna, to visit her brother Henry Hutchinson.
This was a visit, earlier by five years than that which the poet took
with his sister to the Isle of Man, before proceeding to Scotland, a
tour which gave rise to so many sonnets. Of the later tour she kept no
Journal, but of the earlier one some records survive, from which a few
extracts have been made.

In conclusion, I must mention the special kindness of the late Mrs.
Wordsworth, the daughter-in-law of the poet, and of Mr. Gordon
Wordsworth his grandson, in granting free access to all the Journals and
MSS. they possessed, and now possess. Without their aid the publication
of these volumes would have been impossible.





  [Footnote 2: In the original MS. there is no title. The above is a
  descriptive one, given by the editor.--ED.]

Alfoxden, _January 20th 1798_.--The green paths down the hill-sides are
channels for streams. The young wheat is streaked by silver lines of
water running between the ridges, the sheep are gathered together on the
slopes. After the wet dark days, the country seems more populous. It
peoples itself in the sunbeams. The garden, mimic of spring, is gay with
flowers. The purple-starred hepatica spreads itself in the sun, and the
clustering snow-drops put forth their white heads, at first upright,
ribbed with green, and like a rosebud when completely opened, hanging
their heads downwards, but slowly lengthening their slender stems. The
slanting woods of an unvarying brown, showing the light through the thin
net-work of their upper boughs. Upon the highest ridge of that round
hill covered with planted oaks, the shafts of the trees show in the
light like the columns of a ruin.

_21st._ Walked on the hill-tops--a warm day. Sate under the firs in the
park. The tops of the beeches of a brown-red, or crimson. Those oaks,
fanned by the sea breeze, thick with feathery sea-green moss, as a grove
not stripped of its leaves. Moss cups more proper than acorns for fairy

_22nd._--Walked through the wood to Holford. The ivy twisting round the
oaks like bristled serpents. The day cold--a warm shelter in the
hollies, capriciously bearing berries. Query: Are the male and female
flowers on separate trees?

_23rd._--Bright sunshine, went out at 3 o'clock. The sea perfectly calm
blue, streaked with deeper colour by the clouds, and tongues or points
of sand; on our return of a gloomy red. The sun gone down. The crescent
moon, Jupiter, and Venus. The sound of the sea distinctly heard on the
tops of the hills, which we could never hear in summer. We attribute
this partly to the bareness of the trees, but chiefly to the absence of
the singing of birds, the hum of insects, that noiseless noise which
lives in the summer air.[3] The villages marked out by beautiful beds of
smoke. The turf fading into the mountain road. The scarlet flowers of
the moss.

  [Footnote 3: Compare Keats, _Miscellaneous Poems_--

                                   There crept
       A little noiseless noise amongst the leaves
       Born of the very sigh that silence heaves.  ED.

  And Coleridge, _The Æolian Harp_--

       The stilly murmur of the distant sea
       Tells us of silence.  ED.]

_24th._--Walked between half-past three and half-past five. The evening
cold and clear. The sea of a sober grey, streaked by the deeper grey
clouds. The half dead sound of the near sheep-bell, in the hollow of the
sloping coombe, exquisitely soothing.

_25th._--Went to Poole's after tea. The sky spread over with one
continuous cloud, whitened by the light of the moon, which, though her
dim shape was seen, did not throw forth so strong a light as to chequer
the earth with shadows. At once the clouds seemed to cleave asunder, and
left her in the centre of a black-blue vault. She sailed along, followed
by multitudes of stars, small, and bright, and sharp. Their brightness
seemed concentrated, (half-moon).

_26th._--Walked upon the hill-tops; followed the sheep tracks till we
overlooked the larger coombe. Sat in the sunshine. The distant
sheep-bells, the sound of the stream; the woodman winding along the
half-marked road with his laden pony; locks of wool still spangled with
the dewdrops; the blue-grey sea, shaded with immense masses of cloud,
not streaked; the sheep glittering in the sunshine. Returned through the
wood. The trees skirting the wood, being exposed more directly to the
action of the sea breeze, stripped of the net-work of their upper
boughs, which are stiff and erect, like black skeletons; the ground
strewed with the red berries of the holly. Set forward before two
o'clock. Returned a little after four.

_27th._--Walked from seven o'clock till half-past eight. Upon the whole
an uninteresting evening. Only once while we were in the wood the moon
burst through the invisible veil which enveloped her, the shadows of the
oaks blackened, and their lines became more strongly marked. The
withered leaves were coloured with a deeper yellow, a brighter gloss
spotted the hollies; again her form became dimmer; the sky flat,
unmarked by distances, a white thin cloud. The manufacturer's dog makes
a strange, uncouth howl, which it continues many minutes after there is
no noise near it but that of the brook. It howls at the murmur of the
village stream.

_28th._--Walked only to the mill.

_29th._--A very stormy day. William walked to the top of the hill to see
the sea. Nothing distinguishable but a heavy blackness. An immense bough
riven from one of the fir trees.

_30th._--William called me into the garden to observe a singular
appearance about the moon. A perfect rainbow, within the bow one star,
only of colours more vivid. The semi-circle soon became a complete
circle, and in the course of three or four minutes the whole faded away.
Walked to the blacksmith's and the baker's; an uninteresting evening.

_31st._--Set forward to Stowey at half-past five. A violent storm in
the wood; sheltered under the hollies. When we left home the moon
immensely large, the sky scattered over with clouds. These soon closed
in, contracting the dimensions of the moon without concealing her. The
sound of the pattering shower, and the gusts of wind, very grand. Left
the wood when nothing remained of the storm but the driving wind, and a
few scattering drops of rain. Presently all clear, Venus first showing
herself between the struggling clouds; afterwards Jupiter appeared. The
hawthorn hedges, black and pointed, glittering with millions of diamond
drops; the hollies shining with broader patches of light. The road to
the village of Holford glittered like another stream. On our return, the
wind high--a violent storm of hail and rain at the Castle of Comfort.
All the Heavens seemed in one perpetual motion when the rain ceased; the
moon appearing, now half veiled, and now retired behind heavy clouds,
the stars still moving, the roads very dirty.

_February 1st._--About two hours before dinner, set forward towards Mr.
Bartholemew's.[4] The wind blew so keen in our faces that we felt
ourselves inclined to seek the covert of the wood. There we had a warm
shelter, gathered a burthen of large rotten boughs blown down by the
wind of the preceding night. The sun shone clear, but all at once a
heavy blackness hung over the sea. The trees almost _roared_, and the
ground seemed in motion with the multitudes of dancing leaves, which
made a rustling sound, distinct from that of the trees. Still the asses
pastured in quietness under the hollies, undisturbed by these
forerunners of the storm. The wind beat furiously against us as we
returned. Full moon. She rose in uncommon majesty over the sea, slowly
ascending through the clouds. Sat with the window open an hour in the

  [Footnote 4: Mr. Bartholemew rented Alfoxden, and sub-let the house to

_2nd._--Walked through the wood, and on to the Downs before dinner; a
warm pleasant air. The sun shone, but was often obscured by straggling
clouds. The redbreasts made a ceaseless song in the woods. The wind rose
very high in the evening. The room smoked so that we were obliged to
quit it. Young lambs in a green pasture in the Coombe, thick legs, large
heads, black staring eyes.

_3rd._--A mild morning, the windows open at breakfast, the redbreasts
singing in the garden. Walked with Coleridge over the hills. The sea at
first obscured by vapour; that vapour afterwards slid in one mighty mass
along the sea-shore; the islands and one point of land clear beyond it.
The distant country (which was purple in the clear dull air), overhung
by straggling clouds that sailed over it, appeared like the darker
clouds, which are often seen at a great distance apparently motionless,
while the nearer ones pass quickly over them, driven by the lower winds.
I never saw such a union of earth, sky, and sea. The clouds beneath our
feet spread themselves to the water, and the clouds of the sky almost
joined them. Gathered sticks in the wood; a perfect stillness. The
redbreasts sang upon the leafless boughs. Of a great number of sheep in
the field, only one standing. Returned to dinner at five o'clock. The
moonlight still and warm as a summer's night at nine o'clock.

_4th._--Walked a great part of the way to Stowey with Coleridge. The
morning warm and sunny. The young lasses seen on the hill-tops, in the
villages and roads, in their summer holiday clothes--pink petticoats and
blue. Mothers with their children in arms, and the little ones that
could just walk, tottering by their side. Midges or small flies spinning
in the sunshine; the songs of the lark and redbreast; daisies upon the
turf; the hazels in blossom; honeysuckles budding. I saw one solitary
strawberry flower under a hedge. The furze gay with blossom. The moss
rubbed from the pailings by the sheep, that leave locks of wool, and the
red marks with which they are spotted, upon the wood.

_5th._--Walked to Stowey with Coleridge, returned by Woodlands; a very
warm day. In the continued singing of birds distinguished the notes of a
blackbird or thrush. The sea overshadowed by a thick dark mist, the land
in sunshine. The sheltered oaks and beeches still retaining their brown
leaves. Observed some trees putting out red shoots. Query: What trees
are they?

_6th._--Walked to Stowey over the hills, returned to tea, a cold and
clear evening, the roads in some parts frozen hard. The sea hid by mist
all the day.

_7th._--Turned towards Potsdam, but finding the way dirty, changed our
course. Cottage gardens the object of our walk. Went up the smaller
Coombe to Woodlands, to the blacksmith's, the baker's, and through the
village of Holford. Still misty over the sea. The air very delightful.
We saw nothing very new, or interesting.

_8th._--Went up the Park, and over the tops of the hills, till we came
to a new and very delicious pathway, which conducted us to the Coombe.
Sat a considerable time upon the heath. Its surface restless and
glittering with the motion of the scattered piles of withered grass, and
the waving of the spiders' threads. On our return the mist still hanging
over the sea, but the opposite coast clear, and the rocky cliffs
distinguishable. In the deep Coombe, as we stood upon the sunless hill,
we saw miles of grass, light and glittering, and the insects passing.

_9th._--William gathered sticks....

_10th._--Walked to Woodlands, and to the waterfall. The adder's-tongue
and the ferns green in the low damp dell. These plants now in perpetual
motion from the current of the air; in summer only moved by the
drippings of the rocks. A cloudy day.

_11th._--Walked with Coleridge near to Stowey. The day pleasant, but

_12th._--Walked alone to Stowey. Returned in the evening with Coleridge.
A mild, pleasant, cloudy day.

_13th._--Walked with Coleridge through the wood. A mild and pleasant
morning, the near prospect clear. The ridges of the hills fringed with
wood, showing the sea through them like the white sky, and still beyond
the dim horizon of the distant hills, hanging as it were in one
undetermined line between sea and sky.

_14th._--Gathered sticks with William in the wood, he being unwell and
not able to go further. The young birch trees of a bright red, through
which gleams a shade of purple. Sat down in a thick part of the wood.
The near trees still, even to their topmost boughs, but a perpetual
motion in those that skirt the wood. The breeze rose gently; its path
distinctly marked, till it came to the very spot where we were.

_15th._--Gathered sticks in the further wood. The dell green with moss
and brambles, and the tall and slender pillars of the unbranching oaks.
I crossed the water with letters; returned to Wm. and Basil. A shower
met us in the wood, and a ruffling breeze.

_16th._--Went for eggs into the Coombe, and to the baker's; a hail
shower; brought home large burthens of sticks, a starlight evening, the
sky closed in, and the ground white with snow before we went to bed.

_17th._--A deep snow upon the ground. Wm. and Coleridge walked to Mr.
Bartholemew's, and to Stowey. Wm. returned, and we walked through the
wood into the Coombe to fetch some eggs. The sun shone bright and clear.
A deep stillness in the thickest part of the wood, undisturbed except by
the occasional dropping of the snow from the holly boughs; no other
sound but that of the water, and the slender notes of a redbreast, which
sang at intervals on the outskirts of the southern side of the wood.
There the bright green moss was bare at the roots of the trees, and the
little birds were upon it. The whole appearance of the wood was
enchanting; and each tree, taken singly, was beautiful. The branches of
the hollies pendent with their white burden, but still showing their
bright red berries, and their glossy green leaves. The bare branches of
the oaks thickened by the snow.

_18th._--Walked after dinner beyond Woodlands.[5] A sharp and very cold
evening; first observed the crescent moon, a silvery line, a thready
bow, attended by Jupiter and Venus in their palest hues.

  [Footnote 5: This house was afterwards John Kenyon's,--to whom
  _Aurora Leigh_ is dedicated,--and was subsequently the residence
  of the Rev. William Nichols, author of _The Quantocks and their

_19th._--I walked to Stowey before dinner; Wm. unable to go all the way.
Returned alone; a fine sunny, clear, frosty day. The sea still, and
blue, and broad, and smooth.

_20th._--Walked after dinner towards Woodlands.

_21st._--Coleridge came in the morning, which prevented our walking. Wm.
went through the wood with him towards Stowey; a very stormy night.

_22nd._--Coleridge came in the morning to dinner. Wm. and I walked after
dinner to Woodlands; the moon and two planets; sharp and frosty. Met a
razor-grinder with a soldier's jacket on, a knapsack upon his back, and
a boy to drag his wheel. The sea very black, and making a loud noise as
we came through the wood, loud as if disturbed, and the wind was silent.

_23rd._--William walked with Coleridge in the morning. I did not go out.

_24th._--Went to the hill-top. Sat a considerable time overlooking the
country towards the sea. The air blew pleasantly round us. The landscape
mildly interesting. The Welsh hills capped by a huge range of tumultuous
white clouds. The sea, spotted with white, of a bluish grey in general,
and streaked with darker lines. The near shores clear; scattered farm
houses, half-concealed by green mossy orchards, fresh straw lying at the
doors; hay-stacks in the fields. Brown fallows, the springing wheat,
like a shade of green over the brown earth, and the choice meadow plots,
full of sheep and lambs, of a soft and vivid green; a few wreaths of
blue smoke, spreading along the ground; the oaks and beeches in the
hedges retaining their yellow leaves; the distant prospect on the land
side, islanded with sunshine; the sea, like a basin full to the margin;
the dark fresh-ploughed fields; the turnips of a lively rough green.
Returned through the wood.

_25th._--I lay down in the morning, though the whole day was very
pleasant, and the evening fine. We did not walk.

_26th._--Coleridge came in the morning, and Mr. and Mrs. Cruikshank[6];
walked with Coleridge nearly to Stowey after dinner. A very clear
afternoon. We lay sidelong upon the turf, and gazed on the landscape
till it melted into more than natural loveliness. The sea very uniform,
of a pale greyish blue, only one distant bay, bright and blue as a sky;
had there been a vessel sailing up it, a perfect image of delight.
Walked to the top of a high hill to see a fortification. Again sat down
to feed upon the prospect; a magnificent scene, _curiously_ spread out
for even minute inspection, though so extensive that the mind is afraid
to calculate its bounds. A winter prospect shows every cottage, every
farm, and the forms of distant trees, such as in summer have no
distinguishing mark. On our return, Jupiter and Venus before us. While
the twilight still overpowered the light of the moon, we were reminded
that she was shining bright above our heads, by our faint shadows going
before us. We had seen her on the tops of the hills, melting into the
blue sky. Poole called while we were absent.

  [Footnote 6: Of Nether-Stowey, the agent of the Earl of Egmont.--ED.]

_27th._--I walked to Stowey in the evening. Wm. and Basil went with me
through the wood. The prospect bright, yet _mildly_ beautiful. The sea
big and white, swelled to the very shores, but round and high in the
middle. Coleridge returned with me, as far as the wood. A very bright
moonlight night. Venus almost like another moon. Lost to us at Alfoxden
long before she goes down the large white sea.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_March 1st._--We rose early. A thick fog obscured the distant prospect
entirely, but the shapes of the nearer trees and the dome of the wood
dimly seen and dilated. It cleared away between ten and eleven. The
shapes of the mist, slowly moving along, exquisitely beautiful; passing
over the sheep they almost seemed to have more of life than those quiet
creatures. The unseen birds singing in the mist.[7]

  [Footnote 7: Compare _The Recluse_, 1. 91--

       Her Voice was like a hidden Bird that sang.  ED.]

_2nd._--Went a part of the way home with Coleridge in the morning.
Gathered fir apples afterwards under the trees.

_3rd._--I went to the shoemaker's. William lay under the trees till my
return. Afterwards went to the secluded farm house in search of eggs,
and returned over the hill. A very mild, cloudy evening. The rose trees
in the hedges and the elders budding.

_4th._--Walked to Woodlands after dinner, a pleasant evening.

_5th._--Gathered fir-apples. A thick fog came on. Walked to the baker's
and the shoemaker's, and through the fields towards Woodlands. On our
return, found Tom Poole in the parlour. He drank tea with us.

_6th._--A pleasant morning, the sea white and bright, and full to the
brim. I walked to see Coleridge in the evening. William went with me to
the wood. Coleridge very ill. It was a mild, pleasant afternoon, but the
evening became very foggy; when I was near Woodlands, the fog overhead
became thin, and I saw the shapes of the Central Stars. Again it closed,
and the whole sky was the same.

_7th._--William and I drank tea at Coleridge's. A cloudy sky. Observed
nothing particularly interesting--the distant prospect obscured. One
only leaf upon the top of a tree--the sole remaining leaf--danced round
and round like a rag blown by the wind.[8]

  [Footnote 8: Did this suggest the lines in _Christabel_?--

       The one red leaf, the last of its clan,
       That dances as often as dance it can,
       Hanging so light, and hanging so high,
       On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky.  ED.]

_8th._--Walked in the Park in the morning. I sate under the fir trees.
Coleridge came after dinner, so we did not walk again. A foggy morning,
but a clear sunny day.

_9th._--A clear sunny morning, went to meet Mr. and Mrs. Coleridge. The
day very warm.

_10th._--Coleridge, Wm., and I walked in the evening to the top of the
hill. We all passed the morning in sauntering about the park and
gardens, the children playing about, the old man at the top of the hill
gathering furze; interesting groups of human creatures, the young
frisking and dancing in the sun, the elder quietly drinking in the life
and soul of the sun and air.

_11th._--A cold day. The children went down towards the sea. William and
I walked to the top of the hills above Holford. Met the blacksmith.
Pleasant to see the labourer on Sunday jump with the friskiness of a cow
upon a sunny day.

_12th._--Tom Poole returned with Coleridge to dinner, a brisk, cold,
sunny day; did not walk.

_13th._--Poole dined with us. William and I strolled into the wood.
Coleridge called us into the house.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_15th._--I have neglected to set down the occurrences of this week, so I
do not recollect how we disposed of ourselves to-day.

_16th._--William, and Coleridge, and I walked in the Park a short time.
I wrote to ----. William very ill, better in the evening; and we called
round by Potsdam.

_17th._--I do not remember this day.

_18th._--The Coleridges left us. A cold, windy morning. Walked with
them half way. On our return, sheltered under the hollies, during a
hail-shower. The withered leaves danced with the hailstones. William
wrote a description of the storm.[9]

  [Footnote 9: See "A whirl-blast from behind the hill" in the "Poetical
  Works," vol. i. p. 238.--ED.]

_19th._--Wm. and Basil and I walked to the hill-tops, a very cold bleak
day. We were met on our return by a severe hailstorm. William wrote some
lines describing a stunted thorn.[10]

  [Footnote 10: See _The Thorn_, "Poetical Works," vol. i. p. 239.--ED.]

_20th._--Coleridge dined with us. We went more than half way home with
him in the evening. A very cold evening, but clear. The spring seemingly
very little advanced. No green trees, only the hedges are budding, and
looking very lovely.

_21st._--We drank tea at Coleridge's. A quiet shower of snow was in the
air during more than half our walk. At our return the sky partially
shaded with clouds. The horned moon was set. Startled two night birds
from the great elm tree.

_22nd._--I spent the morning in starching and hanging out linen; walked
_through_ the wood in the evening, very cold.

_23rd._--Coleridge dined with us. He brought his ballad finished.[11] We
walked with him to the Miner's house. A beautiful evening, very starry,
the horned moon.

  [Footnote 11: The ballad was finished by February 18, 1798. See _Early
  Recollections_, etc., by Joseph Cottle, vol. i. p. 307 (1837).--ED.]

_24th._--Coleridge, the Chesters, and Ellen Cruikshank called. We
walked with them through the wood. Went in the evening into the Coombe
to get eggs; returned through the wood, and walked in the park. A duller
night than last night: a sort of white shade over the blue sky. The
stars dim. The spring continues to advance very slowly, no green trees,
the hedges leafless; nothing green but the brambles that still retain
their old leaves, the evergreens, and the palms, which indeed are not
absolutely green. Some brambles I observed to-day budding afresh, and
those have shed their old leaves. The crooked arm of the old oak tree
points upwards to the moon.

_25th._--Walked to Coleridge's after tea. Arrived at home at one
o'clock. The night cloudy but not dark.

_26th._--Went to meet Wedgwood at Coleridge's after dinner. Reached home
at half-past twelve, a fine moonlight night; half moon.

_27th._--Dined at Poole's. Arrived at home a little after twelve, a
partially cloudy, but light night, very cold.

_28th._--Hung out the linen.

_29th._--Coleridge dined with us.

_30th._--Walked I know not where.


_April 1st._--Walked by moonlight.

_2nd._--A very high wind. Coleridge came to avoid the smoke; stayed all
night. We walked in the wood, and sat under the trees. The half of the
wood perfectly still, while the wind was making a loud noise behind us.
The still trees only gently bowed their heads, as if listening to the
wind. The hollies in the thick wood unshaken by the blast; only, when it
came with a greater force, shaken by the rain drops falling from the
bare oaks above.

_3rd._--Walked to Crookham, with Coleridge and Wm., to make the appeal.
Left Wm. there, and parted with Coleridge at the top of the hill. A very
stormy afternoon....

_4th._--Walked to the sea-side in the afternoon. A great commotion in
the air, but the sea neither grand nor beautiful. A violent shower in
returning. Sheltered under some fir trees at Potsdam.

_5th._--Coleridge came to dinner. William and I walked in the wood in
the morning. I fetched eggs from the Coombe.

_6th._--Went a part of the way home with Coleridge. A pleasant warm
morning, but a showery day. Walked a short distance up the lesser
Coombe, with an intention of going to the source of the brook, but the
evening closing in, cold prevented us. The Spring still advancing very
slowly. The horse-chestnuts budding, and the hedgerows beginning to look
green, but nothing fully expanded.

_7th._--Walked before dinner up the Coombe, to the source of the brook,
and came home by the tops of the hills; a showery morning, at the
hill-tops; the view opened upon us very grand.

_8th._--Easter Sunday. Walked in the morning in the wood, and half way
to Stowey; found the air at first oppressively warm, afterwards very

_9th._--Walked to Stowey, a fine air in going, but very hot in
returning. The sloe in blossom, the hawthorns green, the larches in the
park changed from black to green in two or three days. Met Coleridge in

_10th._--I was hanging out linen in the evening. We walked to Holford. I
turned off to the baker's, and walked beyond Woodlands, expecting to
meet William, met him on the hill; a close warm evening ... in bloom.

_11th._--In the wood in the morning, walked to the top of the hill, then
I went down into the wood. A pleasant evening, a fine air, the grass in
the park becoming green, many trees green in the dell.

_12th._--Walked in the morning in the wood. In the evening up the
Coombe, fine walk. The Spring advances rapidly, multitudes of primroses,
dog-violets, periwinkles, stitchwort.

_13th._--Walked in the wood in the morning. In the evening went to
Stowey. I staid with Mr. Coleridge. Wm. went to Poole's. Supped with Mr.

_14th._--Walked in the wood in the morning. The evening very stormy, so
we staid within doors. Mary Wollstonecraft's life, etc., came.

_15th._--Set forward after breakfast to Crookham, and returned to
dinner at three o'clock. A fine cloudy morning. Walked about the
squire's grounds. Quaint waterfalls about, about which Nature was very
successfully striving to make beautiful what art had deformed--ruins,
hermitages, etc. etc. In spite of all these things, the dell romantic
and beautiful, though everywhere planted with unnaturalised trees.
Happily we cannot shape the huge hills, or carve out the valleys
according to our fancy.

_16th._--New moon. William walked in the wood in the morning. I
neglected to follow him. We walked in the park in the evening....

_17th._--Walked in the wood in the morning. In the evening upon the
hill. Cowslips plentiful.

_18th._--Walked in the wood, a fine sunny morning, met Coleridge
returned from his brother's. He dined with us. We drank tea, and then
walked with him nearly to Stowey....

_19th._-- ...

_20th._--Walked in the evening up the hill dividing the Coombes. Came
home the Crookham way, by the thorn, and the "little muddy pond." Nine
o'clock at our return. William all the morning engaged in wearisome
composition. The moon crescent. _Peter Bell_ begun.

_21st_, _22nd_, _23rd_.-- ...

_24th._--Walked a considerable time in the wood. Sat under the trees, in
the evening walked on the top of the hill, found Coleridge on our return
and walked with him towards Stowey.

_25th._--Coleridge drank tea, walked with him to Stowey.

_26th._--William went to have his picture taken.[12] I walked with him.
Dined at home. Coleridge and he drank tea.

  [Footnote 12: This was the earliest portrait of Wordsworth by W.
  Shuter. It is now in the possession of Mrs. St. John, Ithaca,

_27th._--Coleridge breakfasted and drank tea, strolled in the wood in
the morning, went with him in the evening through the wood, afterwards
walked on the hills: the moon, a many-coloured sea and sky.

_28th, Saturday._--A very fine morning, warm weather all the week.

_May 6th, Sunday._--Expected the painter, and Coleridge. A rainy
morning--very pleasant in the evening. Met Coleridge as we were walking
out. Went with him to Stowey; heard the nightingale; saw a glow-worm.

_7th._--Walked in the wood in the morning. In the evening, to Stowey
with Coleridge who called.

_8th._--Coleridge dined, went in the afternoon to tea at Stowey. A
pleasant walk home.

_9th._-- ... Wrote to Coleridge.

_Wednesday, 16th May._--Coleridge, William, and myself set forward to
the Chedder rocks; slept at Bridgewater.

_22nd, Thursday._[13]--Walked to Chedder. Slept at Cross.

  [Footnote 13: It is thus written in the MS., but the 22nd May 1798
  was a _Tuesday_. If the entry refers to a _Thursday_, the day of the
  month should have been written 24th. Dorothy Wordsworth was not exact
  as to dates.--ED.]




  [Footnote 14: This is not Dorothy's own title. Her Journal has no

Quitted London, Friday, 14th September 1798. Arrived at Yarmouth on
Saturday noon, and sailed on Sunday morning at eleven o'clock. Before we
heaved the anchor I was consigned to the cabin, which I did not quit
till we were in still water at the mouth of the Elbe, on Tuesday morning
at ten o'clock. I was surprised to find, when I came upon deck, that we
could not see the shores, though we were in the river. It was to my eyes
a still sea. But oh! the gentle breezes and the gentle motion!... As we
advanced towards Cuxhaven the shores appeared low and flat, and thinly
peopled; here and there a farm-house, cattle feeding, hay-stacks, a
cottage, a windmill. Some vessels were at anchor at Cuxhaven, an ugly,
black-looking place. Dismissed a part of our crew, and proceeded in the
packet-boat up the river.

Cast anchor between six and seven o'clock. The moon shone upon the
waters. The shores were visible rock; here and there a light from the
houses. Ships lying at anchor not far from us. We[15] drank tea upon
deck by the light of the moon. I enjoyed solitude and quietness, and
many a recollected pleasure, hearing still the unintelligible jargon of
the many tongues that gabbled in the cabin. Went to bed between ten and
eleven. The party playing at cards, but they were silent, and suffered
us to go to sleep. At four o'clock in the morning we were awakened by
the heaving of the anchor, and till seven, in the intervals of sleep, I
enjoyed the thought that we were advancing towards Hamburgh; but what
was our mortification on being told that there was a thick fog, and that
we could not sail till it was dispersed. I went on to the deck. The air
was cold and wet, the decks streaming, the shores invisible, no hope of
clear weather. At ten however the sun appeared, and we saw the green
shores. All became clear, and we set sail. Churches very frequent on the
right, with spires red, blue, sometimes green; houses thatched or tiled,
and generally surrounded with low trees. A beautiful low green island,
houses, and wood. As we advanced, the left bank of the river became more

  [Footnote 15: _i.e._ William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Coleridge, and

The houses warm and comfortable, sheltered with trees, and neatly
painted. Blankenese, a village or town scattered over the sides of three
hills, woody where the houses lie and sleep down below, the houses
half-concealed by, and half-obtruding themselves from, the low trees.
Naked boats with masts lying at the bare feet of the Blankenese hills.
Houses more and more frequent as we approach Hamburgh. The banks of the
Elbe more steep. Some gentlemen's seats after the English fashion. The
spires of Altona and Hamburgh visible a considerable time. At Altona we
took a boat, and rowed through the narrow passages of the Elbe, crowded
with vessels of all nations. Landed at the Boom House, where we were
received by porters, ready to carry our luggage to any part of the town.
William went to seek lodgings, and the rest of the party guarded the
luggage. Two boats were about to depart. An elegant English carriage was
placed in one, and presently a very pretty woman, conducted by a
gentleman, seated herself in it, and they rowed off. The other contained
a medley crew of all ages. There was an old woman, with a blue cap
trimmed with broad silver lace, and tied under her chin. She had a short
coloured cloak, etc. While we stood in the street, which was open on one
side to the Elbe, I was much amused by the various employments and
dresses of the people who passed before us.... There were Dutch women
with immense straw bonnets, with flat crowns and rims in the shape of
oyster shells, without trimming, or with only a plain riband round the
crown, and literally as large as a small-sized umbrella. Hamburgher
girls with white caps, with broad overhanging borders, crimped and
stiff, and long lappets of riband. Hanoverians with round borders,
showing all the face, and standing upright, a profusion of riband....
Fruit-women, with large straw hats in the shape of an inverted bowl, or
white handkerchiefs tied round the head like a bishop's mitre. Jackets
the most common, often the petticoat and jacket of different colours.
The ladies without hats, in dresses of all fashions. Soldiers with
dull-looking red coats, and immense cocked hats. The men little
differing from the English, except that they have generally a pipe in
their mouths. After waiting about an hour we saw Wm. appear. Two porters
carried our luggage upon a sort of wheelbarrow, and we were conducted
through dirty, ill-paved streets to an inn, where, with great
difficulty, and after long seeking, lodgings had been procured for us.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

Breakfasted with Mons. de Loutre. Chester and I went to the promenade.
People of all ranks, and in various dresses, walking backwards and
forwards. Ladies with small baskets hanging on their arms, long shawls
of various colours thrown over their shoulders. The women of the lower
order dressed with great modesty.... Went to the French theatre in the
evening.... The piece a mixture of dull declamation and unmeaning rant.
The ballet unintelligible to us, as the story was carried on in singing.
The body of the house very imperfectly lighted, which has a good effect
in bringing out the stage, but the acting was not very amusing....

_Sunday._--William went in the boat to Harburgh. In our road to the boat
we looked into one of the large churches. Service was just ended. The
audience appeared to be simply composed of singing boys dressed in large
cocked hats, and a few old women who sat in the aisles.... Met many
bright-looking girls with white caps, carrying black prayer-books in
their hands.... Coleridge went to Ratzeberg at five o'clock in the
diligence. Chester accompanied me towards Altona. The streets wide and
pleasant in that quarter of the town. Immense crowds of people walking
for pleasure, and many pleasure-waggons passing and repassing. Passed
through a nest of Jews. Were invited to view an exhibition of waxwork.
The theatres open, and the billiard-tables attended. The walks very
pleasing between Hamburgh and Altona. A large piece of ground planted
with trees, and intersected by gravel walks. Music, cakes, fruit,
carriages, and foot-passengers of all descriptions. A very good view of
the shipping, and of Altona and the town and spires of Hamburgh. I could
not but remark how much the prospect would have suffered by one of our
English canopies of coal smoke. The ground on the opposite side of the
Elbe appears marshy. There are many little canals or lines of water.
While the sun was yet shining pleasantly, we were obliged to blink
perpetually to turn our eyes to the church clock. The gates are shut at
half-past six o'clock, and there is no admittance into the city after
that time. This idea deducts much from the pleasure of an evening walk.
You are haunted by it long before the time has elapsed....

_Wednesday._--Dined with Mr. Klopstock. Had the pleasure of meeting his
brother the poet, a venerable old man, retaining the liveliness and
alertness of youth, though he evidently cannot be very far from the
grave.... The party talked with much interest of the French comedy, and
seemed fond of music. The poet and his lady were obliged to depart soon
after six. He sustained an animated conversation with William during the
whole afternoon. Poor old man! I could not look upon him, the benefactor
of his country, the father of German poetry, without emotion....

During my residence in Hamburgh I have never seen anything like a
quarrel in the streets but once, and that was so trifling that it would
scarcely have been noticed in England.... In the shops (except the
established booksellers and stationers) I have constantly observed a
disposition to cheat, and take advantage of our ignorance of the
language and money....

_Thursday, 28th September._--William and I set forward at twelve o'clock
to Altona.... The Elbe in the vicinity of Hamburgh is so divided, and
spread out, that the country looks more like a plain overflowed by heavy
rain than the bed of a great river. We went about a mile and a half
beyond Altona: the roads dry and sandy, and a causeway for
foot-passengers.... The houses on the banks of the Elbe, chiefly of
brick, seemed very warm and well built....

The small cottage houses seemed to have little gardens, and all the
gentlemen's houses were surrounded by gardens quaintly disposed in beds
and curious knots, with ever-twisting gravel walks and bending poplars.
The view of the Elbe and the spreading country must be very interesting
in a fine sunset. There is a want of some atmospherical irradiation to
give a richness to the view. On returning home we were accosted by the
first beggar whom we have seen since our arrival at Hamburgh.

_Friday, 29th._--Sought Coleridge at the bookseller's, and went to the
Promenade.... All the Hamburghers full of Admiral Nelson's victory.

Called at a baker's shop. Put two shillings into the baker's hands, for
which I was to have had four small rolls. He gave me two. I let him
understand that I was to have four, and with this view I took one
shilling from him, pointed to it and to two loaves, and at the same time
offering it to him. Again I took up two others. In a savage manner he
half knocked the rolls out of my hand, and when I asked him for the
other shilling he refused to return it, and would neither suffer me to
take bread, nor give me back my money, and on these terms I quitted the
shop. I am informed that it is the boast and glory of these people to
cheat strangers, that when a feat of this kind is successfully performed
the man goes from the shop into his house, and triumphantly relates it
to his wife and family. The Hamburgher shopkeepers have three sorts of
weights, and a great part of their skill, as shopkeepers, consists in
calculating upon the knowledge of the buyer, and suiting him with scales

_Saturday, 30th September._--The grand festival of the Hamburghers,
dedicated to Saint Michael, observed with solemnity, but little
festivity. Perhaps this might be partly owing to the raininess of the
evening. In the morning the churches were opened very early. St.
Christopher's was quite full between eight and nine o'clock. It is a
large heavy-looking building, immense, without either grandeur or
beauty; built of brick, and with few windows.... There are some
pictures, ... one of the Saint fording the river with Christ upon his
back--a giant figure, which amused me not a little.... Walked with
Coleridge and Chester upon the promenade.... We took places in the
morning in the Brunswick coach for Wednesday.

_Sunday, 1st October._--Coleridge and Chester went to Ratzeberg at
seven o'clock in the morning.... William and I set forward at half-past
eleven with an intention of going to Blankenese.... The buildings all
seem solid and warm in themselves, but still they look cold from their
nakedness of trees. They are generally newly built, and placed in
gardens, which are planted in front with poplars and low shrubs, but the
possessors seem to have no prospective view to a shelter for their
children. They do not plant behind their houses. All the buildings of
this character are near the road which runs at different distances from
the edge of the bank which rises from the river. This bank is generally
steep, scattered over with trees which are either not of ancient growth,
or from some cause do not thrive, but serve very well to shelter and
often conceal the more humble dwellings, which are close to the sandy
bank of the river.... We saw many carriages. In one of them was
Klopstock, the poet. There are many inns and eating-houses by the
roadside. We went to a pretty village, or nest of houses about a league
from Blankenese, and beyond to a large open field, enclosed on one side
with oak trees, through which winds a pleasant gravel walk. On the other
it is open to the river.... When we were within about a mile and a half
or two miles of Altona, we turned out of the road to go down to the
river, and pursued our way along the path that leads from house to
house. These houses are low, never more than two storeys high, built of
brick, or a mixture of brick and wood, and thatched or tiled. They have
all window-shutters, which are painted frequently a grey light green,
but always painted. We were astonished at the excessive neatness which
we observed in the arrangement of everything within these houses. They
have all window curtains as white as snow; the floors of all that we saw
were perfectly clean, and the brass vessels as bright as a mirror.... I
imagine these houses are chiefly inhabited by sailors, pilots,
boat-makers, and others whose business is upon the water.

_Monday, October 2nd._--William called at Klopstock's to inquire the
road into Saxony. Bought Burgher's poems, the price 6 marks. Sate an
hour at Remnant's. Bought Percy's ancient poetry, 14 marks. Walked on
the ramparts; a very fine morning.


  (14TH MAY TO 21ST DECEMBER 1800)


_May 14th, 1800._--Wm. and John set off into Yorkshire after dinner at
half-past two o'clock, cold pork in their pockets. I left them at the
turning of the Low-wood bay under the trees. My heart was so full that I
could hardly speak to W. when I gave him a farewell kiss. I sate a long
time upon a stone at the margin of the lake, and after a flood of tears
my heart was easier. The lake looked to me, I knew not why, dull and
melancholy, and the weltering on the shores seemed a heavy sound. I
walked as long as I could amongst the stones of the shore. The wood rich
in flowers; a beautiful yellow (palish yellow) flower, that looked
thick, round, and double--the smell very sweet (I supposed it was a
ranunculus), crowfoot, the grassy-leaved rabbit-looking white flower,
strawberries, geraniums, scentless violets, anemones, two kinds of
orchises, primroses, the heckberry very beautiful, the crab coming out
as a low shrub. Met an old man, driving a very large beautiful bull, and
a cow. He walked with two sticks. Came home by Clappersgate. The valley
very green; many sweet views up to Rydale, when I could juggle away the
fine houses; but they disturbed me, even more than when I have been
happier; one beautiful view of the bridge, without Sir Michael's.[16]
Sate down very often, though it was cold. I resolved to write a journal
of the time, till W. and J. return, and I set about keeping my resolve,
because I will not quarrel with myself, and because I shall give William
pleasure by it when he comes home again. At Rydale, a woman of the
village, stout and well dressed, begged a half-penny. She had never she
said done it before, but these hard times! Arrived at home, set some
slips of privet, the evening cold, had a fire, my face now
flame-coloured. It is nine o'clock. I shall now go to bed.... Oh that I
had a letter from William.

  [Footnote 16: _i.e._ Rydal Hall, the residence of Sir Michael le

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Friday Morning, 16th._--Warm and mild, after a fine night of rain....
The woods extremely beautiful with all autumnal variety and softness. I
carried a basket for mosses, and gathered some wild plants. Oh! that we
had a book of botany. All flowers now are gay and deliciously sweet. The
primrose still prominent; the later flowers and the shiny foxgloves very
tall, with their heads budding. I went forward round the lake at the
foot of Loughrigg Fell. I was much amused with the busyness of a pair of
stone-chats; their restless voices as they skimmed along the water,
following each other, their shadows under them, and their returning back
to the stones on the shore, chirping with the same unwearied voice.
Could not cross the water, so I went round by the stepping-stones....
Rydale was very beautiful, with spear-shaped streaks of polished
steel.... Grasmere very solemn in the last glimpse of twilight. It calls
home the heart to quietness. I had been very melancholy. In my walk back
I had many of my saddest thoughts, and I could not keep the tears within
me. But when I came to Grasmere I felt that it did me good. I finished
my letter to M. H....

_Saturday._--Incessant rain from morning till night.... Worked hard,
and read _Midsummer Night's Dream_, and ballads. Sauntered a little in
the garden. The blackbird sate quietly in its nest, rocked by the wind,
and beaten by the rain.

_Sunday, 18th._--Went to church, slight showers, a cold air. The
mountains from this window look much greener, and I think the valley is
more green than ever. The corn begins to shew itself. The ashes are
still bare. A little girl from Coniston came to beg. She had lain out
all night. Her step-mother had turned her out of doors; her father could
not stay at home "she flights so." Walked to Ambleside in the evening
round the lake, the prospect exceeding beautiful from Loughrigg Fell. It
was so green that no eye could weary of reposing upon it. The most
beautiful situation for a home, is the field next to Mr. Benson's. I was
overtaken by two Cumberland people who complimented me upon my walking.
They were going to sell cloth, and odd things which they make
themselves, in Hawkshead and the neighbourhood.... Letters from
Coleridge and Cottle. John Fisher[17] overtook me on the other side of
Rydale. He talked much about the alteration in the times, and observed
that in a short time there would be only two ranks of people, the very
rich and the very poor, "for those who have small estates," says he,
"are forced to sell, and all the land goes into one hand." Did not reach
home till ten o'clock.

  [Footnote 17: Their neighbour at Town-End, who helped Wordsworth to
  make the steps up to the orchard, in Dove Cottage garden.--ED.]

_Monday._--Sauntered a good deal in the garden, bound carpets, mended
old clothes, read _Timon of Athens_, dried linen.... Walked up into the
Black Quarter.[18] I sauntered a long time among the rocks above the
church. The most delightful situation possible for a cottage, commanding
two distinct views of the vale and of the lake, is among those rocks....
The quietness and still seclusion of the valley affected me even to
producing the deepest melancholy. I forced myself from it. The wind rose
before I went to bed....

  [Footnote 18: I think that this name was given to a bit of the valley
  to the north-east of Grasmere village; but Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's
  opinion is that "'The Black Quarter' was simply the family nickname
  for Easedale. The phrase seems to disappear from the Journals as they
  got more accustomed to local names. It is an excellent description of
  the usual appearance of these fells, and makes a contrast to the name
  of the White Moss, which lay behind Dove Cottage; as Easedale lay in
  front, and was equally in their thoughts."--ED.]

_Tuesday Morning._--A fine mild rain.... Everything green and
overflowing with life, and the streams making a perpetual song, with the
thrushes, and all little birds, not forgetting the stone-chats. The post
was not come in. I walked as far as Windermere, and met him there.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Saturday, May 24th._--Walked in the morning to Ambleside. I found a
letter from Wm. and one from Mary Hutchinson. Wrote to William after
dinner, worked in the garden, sate in the evening under the trees.

_Sunday._-- ... Read _Macbeth_ in the morning; sate under the trees
after dinner.... I wrote to my brother Christopher.... On my return
found a letter from Coleridge and from Charles Lloyd, and three papers.

_Monday, May 26th._-- ... Wrote letters to J. H., Coleridge, Col. Ll.,
and W. I walked towards Rydale, and turned aside at my favourite field.
The air and the lake were still. One cottage light in the vale, and so
much of day left that I could distinguish objects, the woods, trees, and
houses. Two or three different kinds of birds sang at intervals on the
opposite shore. I sate till I could hardly drag myself away, I grew so
sad. "When pleasant thoughts," etc.[19]...

  [Footnote 19: Compare _Lines written in Early Spring_, "Poetical
  Works," vol. i. p. 269--

       In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
       Bring sad thoughts to the mind.  ED.]

_Tuesday, 27th._--I walked to Ambleside with letters ... only a letter
from Coleridge. I expected a letter from Wm. It was a sweet morning, the
ashes in the valley nearly in full leaf, but still to be distinguished,
quite bare on the higher ground....

_Wednesday._--In the morning walked up to the rocks above Jenny
Dockeray's. Sate a long time upon the grass; the prospect divinely
beautiful. If I had three hundred pounds, and could afford to have a bad
interest for my money, I would buy that estate, and we would build a
cottage there to end our days in. I went into her garden and got white
and yellow lilies, etc., periwinkle, etc., which I planted. Sate under
the trees with my work. Worked between 7 and 8, and then watered the
garden. A beautiful evening. The crescent moon hanging above Helm Crag.

_Thursday._--In the morning worked in the garden a little. Read _King
John_. Miss Simpson, and Miss Falcon, and Mr. S. came very early. Went
to Mr. Gill's boat. Before tea we fished upon the lake, and amongst us
caught 13!...

_Friday._--In the morning went to Ambleside, forgetting that the post
does not come till the evening. How was I grieved when I was so
informed. I walked back, resolving to go again in the evening. It rained
very mildly and sweetly in the morning as I came home, but came on a wet
afternoon and evening, and chilly. I caught Mr. Olliff's lad as he was
going for letters. He brought me one from Wm. and 12 papers. I planted
London Pride upon the wall, and many things on the borders. John sodded
the wall. As I came past Rydale in the morning, I saw a heron swimming
with only its neck out of water. It beat and struggled amongst the
water, when it flew away, and was long in getting loose.

_Saturday._--A sweet mild rainy morning. Grundy the carpet man called. I
paid him £1: 10s. Went to the blind man's for plants. I got such a load
that I was obliged to leave my basket in the road, and send Molly for

_Sunday, June 1st._--Rain in the night. A sweet mild morning. Read
ballads. Went to church. Singers from Wytheburn. Walked upon the hill
above the house till dinner time. Went again to church. After tea, went
to Ambleside, round the Lakes. A very fine warm evening. Upon the side
of Loughrigg my heart dissolved in what I saw: when I was not startled,
but called from my reverie by a noise as of a child paddling without
shoes. I looked up, and saw a lamb close to me. It approached nearer and
nearer, as if to examine me, and stood a long time. I did not move. At
last, it ran past me, and went bleating along the pathway, seeming to be
seeking its mother. I saw a hare on the high road....

_Monday._--A cold dry windy morning. I worked in the garden, and planted
flowers, etc. Sate under the trees after dinner till tea time.... I went
to Ambleside after tea, crossed the stepping-stones at the foot of
Grasmere, and pursued my way on the other side of Rydale and by
Clappersgate. I sate a long time to watch the hurrying waves, and to
hear the regularly irregular sound of the dashing waters. The waves
round about the little Island seemed like a dance of spirits that rose
out of the water, round its small circumference of shore. Inquired about
lodgings for Coleridge, and was accompanied by Mrs. Nicholson as far as
Rydale. This was very kind, but God be thanked, I want not society by a
moonlit lake. It was near eleven when I reached home. I wrote to
Coleridge, and went late to bed.

_Wednesday._-- ... I walked to the lake-side in the morning, took up
plants, and sate upon a stone reading ballads. In the evening I was
watering plants, when Mr. and Miss Simpson called, and I accompanied
them home, and we went to the waterfall at the head of the valley. It
was very interesting in the twilight. I brought home lemon-thyme, and
several other plants, and planted them by moonlight. I lingered out of
doors in the hope of hearing my brother's tread.

_Thursday._--I sate out of doors great part of the day, and worked in
the garden. Had a letter from Mr. Jackson, and wrote an answer to
Coleridge. The little birds busy making love, and pecking the blossoms
and bits of moss off the trees. They flutter about and about, and
beneath the trees as I lie under them.[20] I would not go far from home,
expecting my brother. I rambled on the hill above the house, gathered
wild thyme, and took up roots of wild columbine. Just as I was returning
with my load, Mr. and Miss Simpson called. We went again upon the hill,
got more plants, set them, and then went to the blind man's, for London
Pride for Miss Simpson. I went up with them as far as the blacksmith's,
a fine lovely moonlight night.

  [Footnote 20: Compare _The Green Linnet_, in the "Poetical Works,"
  vol. ii. p. 367.--ED.]

_Friday._--Sate out of doors reading the whole afternoon, but in the
morning I wrote to my aunt Cookson. In the evening I went to Ambleside
with Coleridge's letter. It was a lovely night as the day had been. I
went by Loughrigg and Clappersgate and just met the post at the
turnpike. He told me there were two letters but none for me, so I was in
no hurry and went round again by Clappersgate, crossed the
stepping-stones and entered Ambleside at Matthew Harrison's. A letter
from Jack Hutchinson, and one from Montagu, enclosing a £3 note. No
William! I slackened my pace as I came near home, fearing to hear that
he was not come. I listened till after one o'clock to every barking dog,
cock-fighting, and other sports. Foxgloves just coming into blossom.

_Saturday._--A very warm cloudy morning, threatening to rain. I walked
up to Mr. Simpson's to gather gooseberries. It was a very fine
afternoon. Little Tommy came down with me. We went up the hill, to
gather sods and plants; and went down to the lake side, and took up
orchises, etc. I watered the garden and weeded. I did not leave home, in
the expectation of Wm. and John, and sitting at work till after 11
o'clock I heard a foot at the front of the house, turn round, and open
the gate. It was William! After our first joy was over, we got some tea.
We did not go to bed till 4 o'clock in the morning, so he had an
opportunity of seeing our improvements. The buds were staying; and all
looked fresh, though not gay. There was a greyness on earth and sky. We
did not rise till near 10 in the morning. We were busy all day in
writing letters to Coleridge, Montagu, etc. Mr. and Miss Simpson called
in the evening. The little boy carried our letters to Ambleside. We
walked with Mr. and Miss S. home, on their return.... We met John on our
return home.

_Monday 9th._--In the morning W. cut down the winter cherry tree. I
sowed French beans and weeded. A coronetted landau went by, when we were
sitting upon the sodded wall. The ladies (evidently tourists) turned an
eye of interest upon our little garden and cottage. Went round to Mr.
Gill's boat, and on to the lake to fish. We caught nothing. It was
extremely cold. The reeds and bullrushes or bullpipes of a tender soft
green, making a plain whose surface moved with the wind. The reeds not
yet tall. The lake clear to the bottom, but saw no fish. In the evening
I stuck peas, watered the garden, and planted brocoli. Did not walk, for
it was very cold. A poor girl called to beg, who had no work, and was
going in search of it to Kendal. She slept in Mr. Benson's ... and went
off after breakfast in the morning with 7d. and a letter to the Mayor of

_Tuesday 10th._--A cold, yet sunshiny morning. John carried letters to
Ambleside. Wm. stuck peas. After dinner he lay down. John not at home. I
stuck peas alone. Cold showers with hail and rain, but at half-past
five, after a heavy rain, the lake became calm and very beautiful. Those
parts of the water which were perfectly unruffled lay like green islands
of various shapes. William and I walked to Ambleside to seek lodgings
for C. No letters. No papers. It was a very cold cheerless evening. John
had been fishing in Langdale and was gone to bed.

A very tall woman, tall much beyond the measure of tall women, called
at the door. She had on a very long brown cloak and a very white cap,
without bonnet. Her face was excessively brown, but it had plainly once
been fair. She led a little bare-footed child about two years old by the
hand, and said her husband, who was a tinker, was gone before with the
other children. I gave her a piece of bread. Afterwards on my way to
Ambleside, beside the bridge at Rydale, I saw her husband sitting by the
roadside, his two asses feeding beside him, and the two young children
at play upon the grass. The man did not beg. I passed on and about a
quarter of a mile further I saw two boys before me, one about 10, the
other about 8 years old, at play chasing a butterfly. They were wild
figures, not very ragged, but without shoes and stockings. The hat of
the elder was wreathed round with yellow flowers, the younger whose hat
was only a rimless crown, had stuck it round with laurel leaves. They
continued at play till I drew very near, and then they addressed me with
the begging cant and the whining voice of sorrow. I said "I served your
mother this morning." (The boys were so like the woman who had called at
... that I could not be mistaken.) "O!" says the elder, "you could not
serve my mother for she's dead, and my father's on at the next
town--he's a potter." I persisted in my assertion, and that I would give
them nothing. Says the elder, "Let's away," and away they flew like
lightning. They had however sauntered so long in their road that they
did not reach Ambleside before me, and I saw them go up to Matthew
Harrison's house with their wallet upon the elder's shoulder, and
creeping with a beggar's complaining foot. On my return through
Ambleside I met in the street the mother driving her asses, in the two
panniers of one of which were the two little children, whom she was
chiding and threatening with a wand which she used to drive on her
asses, while the little things hung in wantonness over the pannier's
edge. The woman had told me in the morning that she was of Scotland,
which her accent fully proved, but that she had lived (I think at
Wigtoun), that they could not keep a house and so they travelled.[21]

  [Footnote 21: Compare the poem _Beggars_, in the "Poetical Works" vol.
  ii. pp. 276-281.--ED.]

_Wednesday, 13th June._[22]--A very cold morning. We went on the lake to
set pike floats with John's fish. W. and J. went ... alone. Mr. Simpson
called, and I accompanied him to the lake side. My brothers and I again
went upon the water, and returned to dinner. We landed upon the island
where I saw the whitest hawthorn I have seen this year, the generality
of hawthorns are bloomless. I saw wild roses in the hedges. Wm. and John
went to the pike floats. They brought in two pikes. I sowed kidney beans
and spinnach. A cold evening. Molly stuck the peas. I weeded a little.
Did not walk.

  [Footnote 22: This and the two following dates are incorrectly given.
  They should be "Wednesday 11th, Thursday 12th, and Friday 13th

_Thursday, 14th June._--William and I went upon the water to set pike
floats. John fished under Loughrigg. We returned to dinner, two pikes
boiled and roasted. A very cold air but warm sun. W. and I again went
upon the water. We walked to Rydale after tea, and up to potter's. A
cold night, but warmer.

_Friday, 15th June._--A rainy morning. W. and J. went upon the lake.
Very warm and pleasant, gleams of sunshine. Caught a pike 7-1/2 lbs.
Went upon the water after tea, Mr. Simpson trolling.

_Saturday._--A fine morning but cloudy. W. and John went upon the lake.
I staid at home. We drank tea at Mr. Simpson's. Stayed till after 10

_Sunday._--John walked to Coniston. W. and I sauntered in the garden.
Afterwards walked by the lake side. A cold air. We pushed through the
wood. Walked behind the fir grove, and returned to dinner. The farmer
and the blacksmith from Hawkshead called.

_Monday._--Wm. and I went to Brathay by Little Langdale and Collath, and
... It was a warm mild morning with threatening rain. The vale of Little
Langdale looked bare and unlovely. Collath was wild and interesting,
from the peat carts and peat gatherers. The valley all perfumed with the
gale and wild thyme. The woods about the waterfall bright with rich
yellow broom. A succession of delicious views from ... to Brathay. We
met near ... a pretty little boy with a wallet over his shoulder. He
came from Hawkshead and was going to sell a sack of meal. He spoke
gently and without complaint. When I asked him if he got enough to eat,
he looked surprised, and said Nay. He was 7 years old but seemed not
more than 5. We drank tea at Mr. Ibbetson's, and returned by Ambleside.
Lent £3: 9s. to the potter at Kendal. Met John on our return home at
about 10 o'clock. Saw a primrose in blossom.

_Tuesday._--We put the new window in. I ironed, and worked about a good
deal in house and garden. In the evening we walked for letters. Found
one for Coleridge at Rydale, and I returned much tired.

_Wednesday._--We walked round the lake in the morning and in the evening
to the lower waterfall at Rydale. It was a warm, dark, lowering evening.

_Thursday._--A very hot morning. W. and I walked up to Mr. Simpson's. W.
and old Mr. S. went to fish in Wytheburn water. I dined with John and
lay under the trees. The afternoon changed from clear to cloudy, and to
clear again. John and I walked up to the waterfall, and to Mr.
Simpson's, and with Miss Simpson. Met the fishers. W. caught a pike
weighing 4-3/4 lbs. There was a gloom almost terrible over Grasmere
water and vale. A few drops fell but not much rain. No Coleridge, whom
we fully expected.

_Friday._--I worked in the garden in the morning. Wm. prepared pea
sticks. Threatening for rain, but yet it comes not. On Wednesday evening
a poor man called--a hatter. He had been long ill, but was now
recovered. The parish would not help him, because he had implements of
trade, etc. etc. We gave him 6d.

_Saturday._--Walked up the hill to Rydale lake. Grasmere looked so
beautiful that my heart was almost melted away. It was quite calm, only
spotted with sparkles of light; the church visible. On our return all
distant objects had faded away, all but the hills. The reflection of the
light bright sky above Black Quarter was very solemn....

_Sunday._-- ... In the evening I planted a honeysuckle round the yew
tree.... No news of Coleridge....

_Monday._--Mr. Simpson called in the morning. W. and I went into
Langdale to fish. The morning was very cold. I sate at the foot of the
lake, till my head ached with cold. The view exquisitely beautiful,
through a gate, and under a sycamore tree beside the first house going
into Loughrigg. Elter-water looked barren, and the view from the church
less beautiful than in winter. When W. went down to the water to fish, I
lay under the wind, my head pillowed upon a mossy rock, and slept about
10 minutes, which relieved my headache. We ate our dinner together, and
parted again.... W. went to fish for pike in Rydale. John came in when I
had done tea and he and I carried a jug of tea to William. We met him in
the old road from Rydale. He drank his tea upon the turf. The setting
sun threw a red purple light upon the rocks, and stone walls of Rydale,
which gave them a most interesting and beautiful appearance.

_Tuesday._--W. went to Ambleside. John walked out. I made tarts, etc.
Mrs. B. Simpson called and asked us to tea. I went to the view of
Rydale, to meet William. W. and I drank tea at Mr. Simpson's. Brought
down lemon-thyme, greens, etc. The old woman was very happy to see us,
and we were so in the pleasure we gave. She was an affecting picture of
patient disappointment, suffering under no particular affliction.

_Wednesday._--A very rainy day. I made a shoe. Wm. and John went to
fish in Langdale. In the evening I went above the house, and gathered
flowers, which I planted, foxgloves, etc. On Sunday[23] Mr. and Mrs.
Coleridge and Hartley came. The day was very warm. We sailed to the foot
of Loughrigg. They staid with us three weeks, and till the Thursday
following, from 1st till the 23rd of July.[24] On the Friday preceding
their departure, we drank tea at the island. The weather was delightful,
and on the Sunday we made a great fire, and drank tea in Bainriggs with
the Simpsons. I accompanied Mrs. C. to Wytheburne, and returned with W.
to tea at Mr. Simpson's. It was exceedingly hot, but the day after,
Friday 24th July,[25] still hotter. All the morning I was engaged in
unpacking our Somersetshire goods. The house was a hot oven. I was so
weary, I could not walk: so I went out, and sate with Wm. in the
orchard. We had a delightful half-hour in the warm still evening.

  [Footnote 23: Coleridge arrived at Grasmere on Sunday 29th June.--ED.]

  [Footnote 24: The dates here given are confusing. S. T. C. says he was
  ill at Grasmere, and stayed a fortnight. In a letter to Tom Poole he
  says he arrived at Keswick on 24th July, which was a Thursday.--ED.]

  [Footnote 25: That Friday was the 25th July. The two next dates were
  incorrectly entered by Dorothy.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Saturday, 26th._--Still hotter. I sate with W. in the orchard all the
morning, and made my shoe....

_Sunday, 27th._--Very warm.... I wrote out _Ruth_ in the afternoon. In
the morning, I read Mr. Knight's _Landscape_.[26] After tea we rowed
down to Loughrigg Fell, visited the white foxglove, gathered wild
strawberries, and walked up to view Rydale. We lay a long time looking
at the lake; the shores all dim with the scorching sun. The ferns were
turning yellow, that is, here and there one was quite turned. We walked
round by Benson's wood home. The lake was now most still, and reflected
the beautiful yellow and blue and purple and grey colours of the sky. We
heard a strange sound in the Bainriggs wood, as we were floating on the
water; it _seemed_ in the wood, but it must have been above it, for
presently we saw a raven very high above us. It called out, and the dome
of the sky seemed to echo the sound. It called again and again as it
flew onwards, and the mountains gave back the sound, seeming as if from
their centre; a musical bell-like answering to the bird's hoarse voice.
We heard both the call of the bird, and the echo, after we could see him
no longer....[27]

  [Footnote 26: _The Landscape: a Didactic Poem in three Books._ By
  Richard Payne Knight. 1794.--ED.]

  [Footnote 27: Compare _The Excursion_, book iv. II. 1185-1195.--ED.]

_Monday._--Received a letter from Coleridge enclosing one from Mr. Davy
about the _Lyrical Ballads_. Intensely hot.... William went into the
wood, and altered his poems....

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Thursday._--All the morning I was busy copying poems. Gathered peas,
and in the afternoon Coleridge came. He brought the 2nd volume of
Anthology. The men went to bathe, and we afterwards sailed down to
Loughrigg. Read poems on the water, and let the boat take its own
course. We walked a long time upon Loughrigg. I returned in the grey
twilight. The moon just setting as we reached home.

_Friday, 1st August._--In the morning I copied _The Brothers_. Coleridge
and Wm. went down to the lake. They returned, and we all went together
to Mary Point, where we sate in the breeze, and the shade, and read
Wm.'s poems. Altered _The Whirlblast_, etc. We drank tea in the orchard.

_Saturday Morning, 2nd._--Wm. and Coleridge went to Keswick. John went
with them to Wytheburn, and staid all day fishing, and brought home 2
small pikes at night. I accompanied them to Lewthwaite's cottage, and on
my return papered Wm.'s rooms.... About 8 o'clock it gathered for rain,
and I had the scatterings of a shower, but afterwards the lake became of
a glassy calmness, and all was still. I sate till I could see no longer,
and then continued my work in the house.

_Sunday Morning, 3rd._-- ... A heavenly warm evening, with scattered
clouds upon the hills. There was a vernal greenness upon the grass, from
the rains of the morning and afternoon. Peas for dinner.

_Monday 4th._--Rain in the night. I tied up scarlet beans, nailed the
honeysuckles, etc. etc. John was prepared to walk to Keswick all the
morning. He seized a returned chaise and went after dinner. I pulled a
large basket of peas and sent to Keswick by a returned chaise. A very
cold evening. Assisted to spread out linen in the morning.

_Tuesday 5th._--Dried the linen in the morning. The air still cold. I
pulled a bag full of peas for Mrs. Simpson. Miss Simpson drank tea with
me, and supped, on her return from Ambleside. A very fine evening. I
sate on the wall making my shifts till I could see no longer. Walked
half-way home with Miss Simpson.

_Wednesday, 6th August._-- ... William came home from Keswick at eleven

_Thursday Morning, 7th August._-- ... William composing in the wood in
the morning. In the evening we walked to Mary Point. A very fine sunset.

_Friday Morning._--We intended going to Keswick, but were prevented by
the excessive heat. Nailed up scarlet beans in the morning.... Walked
over the mountains by Wattendlath.... A most enchanting walk.
Wattendlath a heavenly scene. Reached Coleridge's at eleven o'clock.

_Saturday Morning._--I walked with Coleridge in the Windy Brow woods.

_Sunday._--Very hot. The C.'s went to church. We sailed upon Derwent in
the evening.

_Monday Afternoon._--Walked to Windy Brow.

_Tuesday._-- ... Wm. and I walked along the Cockermouth road. He was
altering his poems.

_Wednesday._--Made the Windy Brow seat.

_Thursday Morning._--Called at the Speddings. In the evening walked in
the wood with W. Very very beautiful the moon.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Sunday, 17th August._-- ... William read us _The Seven Sisters_.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Saturday, 23rd._--A very fine morning. Wm. was composing all the
morning. I shelled peas, gathered beans, and worked in the garden till
1/2 past 12. Then walked with Wm. in the wood.... The gleams of
sunshine, and the stirring trees, and gleaming boughs, cheerful lake,
most delightful.... Wm. read _Peter Bell_ and the poem of _Joanna_,
beside the Rothay by the roadside.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Tuesday, 26th._-- ... A very fine solemn evening. The wind blew very
fierce from the island, and at Rydale. We went on the other side of
Rydale, and sate a long time looking at the mountains, which were all
black at Grasmere, and very bright in Rydale; Grasmere exceedingly dark,
and Rydale of a light yellow green.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Friday Evening_ [29th August].--We walked to Rydale to inquire for
letters. We walked over the hill by the firgrove. I sate upon a rock,
and observed a flight of swallows gathering together high above my head.
They flew towards Rydale. We walked through the wood over the
stepping-stones. The lake of Rydale very beautiful, partly still. John
and I left Wm. to compose an inscription; that about the path. We had a
very fine walk by the gloomy lake. There was a curious yellow reflection
in the water, as of corn fields. There was no light in the clouds from
which it appeared to come.

_Saturday Morning, 30th August._-- ... William finished his Inscription
of the Pathway,[28] then walked in the wood; and when John returned, he
sought him, and they bathed together. I read a little of Boswell's _Life
of Johnson_. I went to lie down in the orchard. I was roused by a shout
that Anthony Harrison was come. We sate in the orchard till tea time.
Drank tea early, and rowed down the lake which was stirred by breezes.
We looked at Rydale, which was soft, cheerful, and beautiful. We then
went to peep into Langdale. The Pikes were very grand. We walked back to
the view of Rydale, which was now a dark mirror. We rowed home over a
lake still as glass, and then went to George Mackareth's to hire a horse
for John. A fine moonlight night. The beauty of the moon was startling,
as it rose to us over Loughrigg Fell. We returned to supper at 10
o'clock. Thomas Ashburner brought us our 8th cart of coals since May

  [Footnote 28: Professor Dowden thinks that this refers to the poem on
  John's Grove. But a hitherto unpublished fragment will soon be issued
  by the Messrs. Longman, which may cast fresh light on this
  "Inscription of the Pathway."--ED.]

_Sunday, 31st._-- ... A great deal of corn is cut in the vale, and the
whole prospect, though not tinged with a general autumnal yellow, yet
softened down into a mellowness of colouring, which seems to impart
softness to the forms of hills and mountains. At 11 o'clock Coleridge
came, when I was walking in the still clear moonshine in the garden. He
came over Helvellyn. Wm. was gone to bed, and John also, worn out with
his ride round Coniston. We sate and chatted till half-past three, ...
Coleridge reading a part of _Christabel_. Talked much about the
mountains, etc. etc....

_Monday Morning, 1st September._--We walked in the wood by the lake. W.
read _Joanna_, and the _Firgrove_, to Coleridge. They bathed. The
morning was delightful, with somewhat of an autumnal freshness. After
dinner, Coleridge discovered a rock-seat in the orchard. Cleared away
brambles. Coleridge went to bed after tea. John and I followed Wm. up
the hill, and then returned to go to Mr. Simpson's. We borrowed some
bottles for bottling rum. The evening somewhat frosty and grey, but very
pleasant. I broiled Coleridge a mutton chop, which he ate in bed. Wm.
was gone to bed. I chatted with John and Coleridge till near 12.

_Tuesday, 2nd._--In the morning they all went to Stickle Tarn. A very
fine, warm, sunny, beautiful morning.... The fair-day.... There seemed
very few people and very few stalls, yet I believe there were many cakes
and much beer sold. My brothers came home to dinner at 6 o'clock. We
drank tea immediately after by candlelight. It was a lovely moonlight
night. We talked much about a house on Helvellyn. The moonlight shone
only upon the village. It did not eclipse the village lights, and the
sound of dancing and merriment came along the still air. I walked with
Coleridge and Wm. up the lane and by the church, and then lingered with
Coleridge in the garden. John and Wm. were both gone to bed, and all the
lights out.

_Wednesday, 3rd September._--Coleridge, Wm., and John went from home,
to go upon Helvellyn with Mr. Simpson. They set out after breakfast. I
accompanied them up near the blacksmith's.... I then went to a funeral
at John Dawson's. About 10 men and 4 women. Bread, cheese, and ale. They
talked sensibly and cheerfully about common things. The dead person, 56
years of age, buried by the parish. The coffin was neatly lettered and
painted black, and covered with a decent cloth. They set the corpse down
at the door; and, while we stood within the threshold, the men, with
their hats off, sang, with decent and solemn countenances, a verse of a
funeral psalm. The corpse was then borne down the hill, and they sang
till they had passed the Town-End. I was affected to tears while we
stood in the house, the coffin lying before me. There were no near
kindred, no children. When we got out of the dark house the sun was
shining, and the prospect looked as divinely beautiful as I ever saw it.
It seemed more sacred than I had ever seen it, and yet more allied to
human life. The green fields, in the neighbourhood of the churchyard,
were as green as possible; and, with the brightness of the sunshine,
looked quite gay. I thought she was going to a quiet spot, and I could
not help weeping very much. When we came to the bridge, they began to
sing again, and stopped during four lines before they entered the
churchyard.... Wm. and John came home at 10 o'clock.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Friday, 12th September._-- ... The fern of the mountains now spreads
yellow veins among the trees; the coppice wood turns brown. William
observed some affecting little things in Borrowdale. A decayed house
with the tall, silent rocks seen through the broken windows. A sort of
rough column put upon the gable end of a house, with a ball stone,
smooth from the river-island, upon it for ornament. Near it, a stone
like it, upon an old mansion, carefully hewn.

_Saturday, 13th September._--Morning. William writing his
Preface[29]--did not walk. Jones, and Mr. Palmer came to tea....

  [Footnote 29: The Preface to the second edition of _Lyrical

_Sunday morning, 14th._-- ... A lovely day. Read Boswell in the house in
the morning, and after dinner under the bright yellow leaves of the
orchard. The pear trees a bright yellow. The apple trees still green. A
sweet lovely afternoon.... Here I have long neglected my Journal. John
came home in the evening, after Jones left. Jones returned again on the
Friday, the 19th September. Jones stayed with us till Friday, 26th
September. Coleridge came in.

_Tuesday, 23rd._--I went home with Jones. Charles Lloyd called on
Tuesday, 23rd.

_Sunday, 28th._--We heard of the Abergavenny's arrival....

_Monday, 29th._--John left us. Wm. and I parted with him in sight of
Ullswater. It was a fine day, showery, but with sunshine and fine
clouds. Poor fellow, my heart was right sad. I could not help thinking
we should see him again, because he was only going to Penrith.

_Tuesday, 30th September._--Charles Lloyd dined with us. We walked
homewards with him after dinner. It rained very hard. Rydale was
extremely wild, and we had a fine walk. We sate quietly and comfortably
by the fire. I wrote the last sheet of Notes and Preface.[30a] Went to bed
at twelve o'clock.

  [Footnote 30a: _i.e._ of the Notes and Preface to the second edition of
  _Lyrical Ballads_.--ED.]

_Wednesday, 1st October._--A fine morning, a showery night. The lake
still in the morning; in the forenoon flashing light from the beams of
the sun, as it was ruffled by the wind. We corrected the last sheet.[30]

  [Footnote 30: _i.e._ of the Notes and Preface to the second edition of
  _Lyrical Ballads_.--ED.]

_Thursday, 2nd October._--A very rainy morning. We walked after dinner
to observe the torrents. I followed Wm. to Rydale. We afterwards went to
Butterlip How. The Black Quarter looked marshy, and the general prospect
was cold, but the _force_ was very grand. The lichens are now coming out
afresh. I carried home a collection in the afternoon. We had a pleasant
conversation about the manners of the rich; avarice, inordinate desires,
and the effeminacy, unnaturalness, and unworthy objects of education.
The moonlight lay upon the hills like snow.

_Friday, 3rd October._--Very rainy all the morning. Wm. walked to
Ambleside after dinner. I went with him part of the way. He talked much
about the object of his essay for the second volume of "L. B." ... Amos
Cottle's death in the _Morning Post_.

_N.B._--When William and I returned from accompanying Jones, we met an
old man almost double. He had on a coat, thrown over his shoulders,
above his waistcoat and coat. Under this he carried a bundle, and had an
apron on and a night-cap. His face was interesting. He had dark eyes and
a long nose. John, who afterwards met him at Wytheburn, took him for a
Jew. He was of Scotch parents, but had been born in the army. He had had
a wife, and "she was a good woman, and it pleased God to bless us with
ten children." All these were dead but one, of whom he had not heard for
many years, a sailor. His trade was to gather leeches, but now leeches
were scarce, and he had not strength for it. He lived by begging, and
was making his way to Carlisle, where he should buy a few godly books to
sell. He said leeches were very scarce, partly owing to this dry season,
but many years they have been scarce. He supposed it owing to their
being much sought after, that they did not breed fast, and were of slow
growth. Leeches were formerly 2s. 6d. per 100; they are now 30s. He had
been hurt in driving a cart, his leg broken, his body driven over, his
skull fractured. He felt no pain till he recovered from his first
insensibility. It was then late in the evening, when the light was just
going away.[31]

  [Footnote 31: Compare _Resolution and Independence_, in the "Poetical
  Works," vol. ii. p. 312.--ED.]

_Saturday, 4th October 1800._--A very rainy, or rather showery and
gusty, morning; for often the sun shines. Thomas Ashburner could not go
to Keswick. Read a part of Lamb's Play.[32] The language is often very
beautiful, but too imitative in particular phrases, words, etc. The
characters, except Margaret, unintelligible, and, except Margaret's, do
not show themselves in action. Coleridge came in while we were at
dinner, very wet. We talked till twelve o'clock. He had sate up all the
night before, writing essays for the newspaper.... Exceedingly delighted
with the second part of _Christabel_.

  [Footnote 32: _Pride's Cure._ The title was afterwards changed to
  _John Woodvill_.--ED.]

_Sunday Morning, 5th October._--Coleridge read _Christabel_ a second
time; we had increasing pleasure. A delicious morning. Wm. and I were
employed all the morning in writing an addition to the Preface. Wm. went
to bed, very ill after working after dinner. Coleridge and I walked to
Ambleside after dark with the letter. Returned to tea at 9 o'clock. Wm.
still in bed, and very ill. Silver How in both lakes.

_Monday._--A rainy day. Coleridge intending to go, but did not go off.
We walked after dinner to Rydale. After tea read _The Pedlar_.
Determined not to print _Christabel_ with the L. B.

_Tuesday._--Coleridge went off at eleven o'clock. I went as far as Mr.
Simpson's. Returned with Mary.

_Wednesday._--Frequent threatening of showers. Received a £5 note from
Montagu. Wm. walked to Rydale. I copied a part of _The Beggars_ in the
morning.... A very mild moonlight night. Glow-worms everywhere.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Friday, 10th October._--In the morning when I arose the mists were
hanging over the opposite hills, and the tops of the highest hills were
covered with snow. There was a most lively combination at the head of
the vale of the yellow autumnal hills wrapped in sunshine, and overhung
with partial mists, the green and yellow trees, and the distant
snow-topped mountains. It was a most heavenly morning. The Cockermouth
traveller came with thread, hardware, mustard, etc. She is very healthy;
has travelled over the mountains these thirty years. She does not mind
the storms, if she can keep her goods dry. Her husband will not travel
with an ass, because it is the tramper's badge; she would have one to
relieve her from the weary load. She was going to Ulverston, and was to
return to Ambleside Fair.... The fern among the rocks exquisitely
beautiful.... Sent off _The Beggars_, etc., by Thomas Ashburner....
William sat up after me, writing _Point Rash Judgment_.

_Saturday, 11th._--A fine October morning. Sat in the house working all
the morning. William composing.... After dinner we walked up Greenhead
Gill in search of a sheepfold. We went by Mr. Olliff's, and through his
woods. It was a delightful day, and the views looked excessively
cheerful and beautiful, chiefly that from Mr. Olliff's field, where our
own house is to be built. The colours of the mountains soft, and rich
with orange fern; the cattle pasturing upon the hilltops; kites sailing
in the sky above our heads; sheep bleating, and feeding in the water
courses, scattered over the mountains. They come down and feed, on the
little green islands in the beds of the torrents, and so may be swept
away. The sheepfold is falling away. It is built nearly in the form of a
heart unequally divided. Looked down the brook, and saw the drops rise
upwards and sparkle in the air at the little falls. The higher sparkled
the tallest. We walked along the turf of the mountain till we came to a
track, made by the cattle which come upon the hills....

_Sunday, October 12th._--Sate in the house writing in the morning while
Wm. went into the wood to compose. Wrote to John in the morning; copied
poems for the L. B. In the evening wrote to Mrs. Rawson. Mary Jameson
and Sally Ashburner dined. We pulled apples after dinner, a large basket
full. We walked before tea by Bainriggs to observe the many-coloured
foliage. The oaks dark green with yellow leaves, the birches generally
still green, some near the water yellowish, the sycamore crimson and
crimson-tufted, the mountain ash a deep orange, the common ash
lemon-colour, but many ashes still fresh in their peculiar green, those
that were discoloured chiefly near the water. Wm. composing in the
evening. Went to bed at 12 o'clock.

_Monday, October 13th._--A grey day. Mists on the hills. We did not walk
in the morning. I copied poems on the Naming of Places. A fair at
Ambleside. Walked in the Black Quarter at night.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Wednesday._--A very fine clear morning. After Wm. had composed a
little, I persuaded him to go into the orchard. We walked backwards and
forwards. The prospect most divinely beautiful from the seat; all
colours, all melting into each other. I went in to put bread in the
oven, and we both walked within view of Rydale. Wm. again composed at
the sheepfold after dinner. I walked with Wm. to Wytheburn, and he went
on to Keswick. I drank tea, and supped at Mr. Simpson's. A very cold
frosty air in returning. Mr. and Miss S. came with me. Wytheburn looked
very wintry, but yet there was a foxglove blossoming by the roadside.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Friday, 17th._--A very fine grey morning. The swan hunt.... I walked
round the lake between 1/2 past 12, and 1/2 past one.... In my walk in
the morning, I observed Benson's honey-suckles in flower, and great
beauty. I found Wm. at home, where he had been almost ever since my
departure. Coleridge had done nothing for the L. B. Working hard for
Stuart.[33] Glow-worms in abundance.

  [Footnote 33: The editor of _The Morning Post_.--ED.]

_Saturday._--A very fine October morning. William worked all the morning
at the sheepfold, but in vain. He lay down in the afternoon till 7
o'clock, but could not sleep.... We did not walk all day....

_Sunday Morning._--We rose late, and walked directly after breakfast.
The tops of Grasmere mountains cut off. Rydale very beautiful. The
surface of the water quite still, like a dim mirror. The colours of the
large island exquisitely beautiful, and the trees, still fresh and
green, were magnified by the mists. The prospects on the west side of
the Lake were very beautiful. We sate at the "two points"[34] looking up
to Parks. The lowing of the cattle was echoed by a hollow voice in the
vale. We returned home over the stepping-stones. Wm. got to work....

  [Footnote 34: Mary Point and Sarah Point.--ED.]

_Monday, 20th._--William worked in the morning at the sheepfold. After
dinner we walked to Rydale, crossed the stepping-stones, and while we
were walking under the tall oak trees the Lloyds called out to us. They
went with us on the western side of Rydale. The lights were very grand
upon the woody Rydale hills. Those behind dark and tipped with clouds.
The two lakes were divinely beautiful. Grasmere excessively solemn, the
whole lake calm, and dappled with soft grey ripples. The Lloyds staid
with us till 8 o'clock. We then walked to the top of the hill at Rydale.
Very mild and warm. Beheld 6 glow-worms shining faintly. We went up as
far as the Swan. When we came home the fire was out. We ate our supper
in the dark, and went to bed immediately. William was disturbed in the
night by the rain coming into his room, for it was a very rainy night.
The ash leaves lay across the road.

_Tuesday, 21st._-- ... Wm. had been unsuccessful in the morning at the
sheepfold. The reflection of the ash scattered, and the tree stripped.

_Wednesday Morning._-- ... Wm. composed without much success at the
sheepfold. Coleridge came in to dinner. He had done nothing. We were
very merry. C. and I went to look at the prospect from his seat.... Wm.
read _Ruth_, etc., after supper. Coleridge read _Christabel_.

_Thursday, 23rd._--Coleridge and Stoddart went to Keswick. We
accompanied them to Wytheburn. A wintry grey morning from the top of the
Raise. Grasmere looked like winter, and Wytheburn still more so.... Wm.
was not successful in composition in the evening.

_Friday, 24th._--A very fine morning. We walked, before Wm. began to
work, to the top of the Rydale hill. He was afterwards only partly
successful in composition. After dinner we walked round Rydale lake,
rich, calm, streaked, very beautiful. We went to the top of Loughrigg.
Grasmere sadly inferior.... The ash in our garden green, one close to it
bare, the next nearly so.

_Saturday._--A very rainy day. Wm. again unsuccessful. We could not
walk, it was so very rainy. We read Rogers, Miss Seward, Cowper, etc.

_Sunday._--Heavy rain all night, a fine morning after 10 o'clock. Wm.
composed a good deal in the morning....

_Monday, 27th October._-- ... Wm. in the firgrove. I had before walked
with him there for some time. It was a fine shelter from the wind. The
coppices now nearly of one brown. An oak tree in a sheltered place near
John Fisher's, not having lost any of its leaves, was quite brown and
dry.... It was a fine wild moonlight night. Wm. could not compose much.
Fatigued himself with altering.

_Tuesday, 28th._-- ... We walked out before dinner to our favourite
field. The mists sailed along the mountains, and rested upon them,
enclosing the whole vale. In the evening the Lloyds came. We played a
rubber at whist....

_Wednesday._--William worked at his poem all the morning. After dinner,
Mr. Clarkson called.... Played at cards.... Mr. Clarkson slept here.

_Thursday._--A rainy morning. W. C. went over Kirkstone. Wm. talked all
day, and almost all night, with Stoddart. Mrs. and Miss H. called in the
morning. I walked with them to Tail End.[35]

  [Footnote 35: On the western side of Grasmere Lake.--ED.]

_Friday Night._-- ... W. and I did not rise till 10 o'clock.... A very
fine moonlight night. The moon shone like herrings in the water.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Tuesday._-- ... Tremendous wind. The snow blew from Helvellyn
horizontally like smoke....

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Thursday, 6th November._-- ... Read _Point Rash Judgment_....

_Friday, 7th November._-- ... I working and reading _Amelia_. The
Michaelmas daisy droops, the pansies are full of flowers, the ashes
still green all but one, but they have lost many of their leaves. The
copses are quite brown. The poor woman and child from Whitehaven drank

_Saturday, 8th November._--A rainy morning. A whirlwind came that tossed
about the leaves, and tore off the still green leaves of the ashes. Wm.
and I walked out at 4 o'clock. Went as far as Rothay Bridge.... The
whole face of the country in a winter covering.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Monday._-- ... Jupiter over the hilltops, the only star, like a sun,
flashed out at intervals from behind a black cloud.

_Tuesday Morning._-- ... William had been working at the sheepfold....
Played at cards. A mild night, partly clouded, partly starlight. The
cottage lights. The mountains not very distinct.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Thursday._--We sate in the house all the morning. Rainy weather, played
at cards. A poor woman from Hawkshead begged, a widow of Grasmere. A
merry African from Longtown....

_Friday._--Much wind, but a sweet mild morning. I nailed up trees....
Two letters from Coleridge, very ill. One from Sara H....

_Saturday Morning._--A terrible rain, so prevented William from going
to Coleridge's. The afternoon fine.... We both set forward at five
o'clock. A fine wild night. I walked with W. over the Raise. It was
starlight. I parted with him very sad, unwilling not to go on. The
hills, and the stars, and the white waters, with their ever varying yet
ceaseless sound, were very impressive. I supped at the Simpsons'. Mr. S.
walked home with me.

_Sunday, 16th November._--A very fine warm sunny morning. A letter from
Coleridge, and one from Stoddart. Coleridge better.... One beautiful ash
tree sheltered, with yellow leaves, one low one quite green. A noise of
boys in the rocks hunting some animal. Walked a little in the garden
when I came home. Very pleasant now. Rain comes on. Mr. Jackson called
in the evening, brought me a letter from C. and W.

_Monday Morning._--A fine clear frosty morning with a sharp wind. I
walked to Keswick. Set off at 5 minutes past 10, and arrived at 1/2 past
2. I found them all well.

On _Tuesday_ morning W. and C. set off towards Penrith. Wm. met Sara
Hutchinson at Threlkeld. They arrived at Keswick at tea time.

_Wednesday._--We walked by the lake side and then went to Mr. Denton's.
I called upon the Miss Cochyns.

_Thursday._--We spent the morning in the town. Mr. Jackson and Mr. Peach
dined with us.

_Friday._--A very fine day. Went to Mrs. Greaves'. Mrs. C. and I called
upon the Speddings. A beautiful crescent moon.

_Saturday Morning._--After visiting Mr. Peach's Chinese pictures we set
off to Grasmere. A threatening and rather rainy morning. Arrived at G.
Very dirty and a little wet at the closing in of evening.

_Sunday._--Wm. not well. I baked bread and pie for dinner.

_Monday._--A fine morning. Sara and I walked to Rydale. After dinner we
went to Lloyd's, and drank tea, and supped. A sharp cold night, with
sleet and snow.

_Tuesday._--Read _Tom Jones_.

_Wednesday._-- ... Wm. very well. We had a delightful walk up into
Easedale. The tops of the mountains covered with snow, frosty and sunny,
the roads slippery. A letter from Mary. The Lloyds drank tea. We walked
with them near to Ambleside. A beautiful moonlight night. Sara and I
walked home. William very well, and highly poetical.

_Thursday, 27th November._--Wrote to Tom Hutchinson to desire him to
bring Mary with him. A thaw, and the ground covered with snow. Sara and
I walked before dinner.

_Friday._--Coleridge walked over. Miss Simpson drank tea with us.
William walked home with her. Coleridge was very unwell. He went to bed
before Wm.'s return.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Sunday, 30th November._--A very fine clear morning. Snow upon the
ground everywhere. Sara and I walked towards Rydale by the upper road,
and were obliged to return, because of the snow. Walked by moonlight.

_Monday._--A thaw in the night, and the snow was entirely gone.
Coleridge unable to go home. We walked by moonlight.

_Tuesday, 2nd December._--A rainy morning. Coleridge was obliged to set
off. Sara and I met C. Lloyd and S. turned back with him. I walked round
the 2 lakes with Charles, very pleasant. We all walked to Ambleside. A
pleasant moonlight evening, but not clear. It came on a terrible
evening. Hail, and wind, and cold, and rain.

_Wednesday, 3rd December._--We lay in bed till 11 o'clock. Wrote to
John, and M. H. William and Sara and I walked to Rydale after tea. A
very fine frosty night. Sara and W. walked round the other side.

_Thursday._--Coleridge came in, just as we finished dinner. We walked
after tea by moonlight to look at Langdale covered with snow, the Pikes
not grand, but the Old Man[36] very expressive. Cold and slippery, but
exceedingly pleasant. Sat up till half-past one.

  [Footnote 36: Coniston 'Old Man.'--ED.]

_Friday Morning._--Terribly cold and rainy. Coleridge and Wm. set
forward towards Keswick, but the wind in Coleridge's eyes made him turn
back. Sara and I had a grand bread and cake baking. We were very merry
in the evening, but grew sleepy soon, though we did not go to bed till
twelve o'clock.

_Saturday._--Wm. accompanied Coleridge to the foot of the Raise. A very
pleasant morning. Sara and I accompanied him half-way to Keswick.
Thirlemere was very beautiful, even more so than in summer. William was
not well, had laboured unsuccessfully.... A letter from M. H.

_Sunday._--A fine morning. I read. Sara wrote to Hartley, Wm. to Mary, I
to Mrs. C. We walked just before dinner to the lakeside, and found out a
seat in a tree. Windy, but very pleasant. Sara and Wm. walked to the
waterfalls at Rydale.

_Monday, 8th December._--A sweet mild morning. I wrote to Mrs. Cookson,
and Miss Griffith.

_Tuesday, 9th._--I dined at Lloyd's. Wm. drank tea. Walked home. A
pleasant starlight frosty evening. Reached home at one o'clock. Wm.
finished his poem to-day.

_Wednesday, 10th._--Walked to Keswick. Snow upon the ground. A very fine
day. Ate bread and ale at John Stanley's. Found Coleridge better. Stayed
at Keswick till Sunday 14th December.

_Wednesday._--A very fine day. Writing all the morning for William.

_Thursday._--Mrs. Coleridge and Derwent came. Sweeping chimneys.


_Saturday._--Coleridge came. Very ill, rheumatic fever. Rain

_Monday._--S. and Wm. went to Lloyd's. Wm. dined. It rained very hard
when he came home.




_Saturday, 10th October 1801._--Coleridge went to Keswick, after we had
built Sara's seat.

_Thursday, 15th._-- ... Coleridge came in to Mr. Luff's while we were at
dinner. William and I walked up Loughrigg Fell, then by the

_Saturday, 24th._--Attempted Fairfield, but misty, and we went no
further than Green Head Gill to the sheepfold; mild, misty, beautifully
soft. Wm. and Tom put out the boat....

_Sunday, 25th._--Rode to Legberthwaite with Tom, expecting Mary.... Went
upon Helvellyn. Glorious sights. The sea at Cartmel. The Scotch
mountains beyond the sea to the right. Whiteside large, and round, and
very soft, and green, behind us. Mists above and below, and close to us,
with the sun amongst them. They shot down to the coves. Left John
Stanley's[37] at 10 minutes past 12. Returned thither 1/4 past 4, drank
tea, ate heartily. Before we went on Helvellyn we got bread and cheese.
Paid 4/ for the whole. Reached home at nine o'clock. A soft grey
evening; the light of the moon, but she did not shine on us. Mary and I
sate in C.'s room a while.

  [Footnote 37: The landlord of Wytheburn Inn.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Tuesday, 10th_ [_November_].--Poor C. left us, and we came home
together. We left Keswick at 2 o'clock and did not arrive at Grasmere
till 9 o'clock. I burnt myself with Coleridge's aquafortis. C. had a
sweet day for his ride. Every sight and every sound reminded me of
him--dear, dear fellow, of his many talks to us, by day and by night, of
all dear things. I was melancholy, and could not talk, but at last I
eased my heart by weeping--nervous blubbering says William. It is not
so. O! how many, many reasons have I to be anxious for him.

_Wednesday, 11th._-- ... Put aside dearest C.'s letters, and now, at
about 7 o'clock, we are all sitting by a nice fire. Wm. with his book
and a candle, and Mary writing to Sara.

_November 16th._-- ... Wm. is now, at 7 o'clock, reading Spenser. Mary
is writing beside me. The little syke[38] murmurs.[39a] We are quiet and
happy, but poor Peggy Ashburner coughs, as if she would cough her life
away. I am going to write to Coleridge and Sara. Poor C.! I hope he was
in London yesterday....

  [Footnote 38: A Cumberland word for a rillet.--ED.]
  [Footnote 39a: Probably some of the lines afterwards included in _The

_Tuesday, 17th._--A very rainy morning. We walked into Easedale before
dinner. The coppices a beautiful brown. The oaks many, a very fine leafy
shade. We stood a long time to look at the corner birch tree. The wind
was among the light thin twigs, and they yielded to it, this way and

_Wednesday, 18th._--We sate in the house in the morning reading
Spenser. Wm. and Mary walked to Rydale. Very pleasant moonlight. The
lakes beautiful. The church an image of peace. Wm. wrote some lines upon
it.[40] Mary and I walked as far as the Wishing Gate before supper. We
stood there a long time, the whole scene impressive. The mountains
indistinct, the Lake calm and partly ruffled. A sweet sound of water
falling into the quiet Lake.[39] A storm was gathering in Easedale, so
we returned; but the moon came out, and opened to us the church and
village. Helm Crag in shade, the larger mountains dappled like a sky. We
stood long upon the bridge. Wished for Wm....

  [Footnote 39: Compare _To a Highland Girl_, 1. 8--

       A murmur near the silent lake.  ED.]

  [Footnote 40: Probably some of the lines afterwards included in _The

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Friday, 20th._--We walked in the morning to Easedale. In the evening we
had cheerful letters from Coleridge and Sara.

_Saturday, 21st._--We walked in the morning, and paid one pound and 4d.
for letters. William out of spirits. We had a pleasant walk and spent a
pleasant evening. There was a furious wind and cold at night. Mr.
Simpson drank tea with us, and helped William out with the boat. Wm. and
Mary walked to the Swan, homewards, with him. A keen clear frosty night.
I went into the orchard while they were out.

_Sunday, 22nd._--We wrote to Coleridge.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Tuesday, 24th._-- ... It was very windy, and we heard the wind
everywhere about us as we went along the lane, but the walls sheltered
us. John Green's house looked pretty under Silver How. As we were going
along we were stopped at once, at the distance perhaps of 50 yards from
our favourite birch tree. It was yielding to the gusty wind with all its
tender twigs. The sun shone upon it, and it glanced in the wind like a
flying sunshiny shower. It was a tree in shape, with stem and branches,
but it was like a spirit of water. The sun went in, and it resumed its
purplish appearance, the twigs still yielding to the wind, but not so
visibly to us. The other birch trees that were near it looked bright and
cheerful, but it was a creature by its own self among them.... We went
through the wood. It became fair. There was a rainbow which spanned the
lake from the island-house to the foot of Bainriggs. The village looked
populous and beautiful. Catkins are coming out; palm trees budding; the
alder, with its plum-coloured buds. We came home over the
stepping-stones. The lake was foamy with white waves. I saw a solitary
butter-flower in the wood.... Reached home at dinner time. Sent Peggy
Ashburner some goose. She sent me some honey, with a thousand thanks.
"Alas! the gratitude of men has," etc.[41] I went in to set her right
about this, and sate a while with her. She talked about Thomas's having
sold his land. "I," says she, "said many a time he's not come fra London
to buy our land, however." Then she told me with what pains and industry
they had made up their taxes, interest, etc. etc., how they all got up
at 5 o'clock in the morning to spin and Thomas carded, and that they had
paid off a hundred pounds of the interest. She said she used to take
much pleasure in the cattle and sheep. "O how pleased I used to be when
they fetched them down, and when I had been a bit poorly I would gang
out upon a hill and look over't fields and see them, and it used to do
me so much good you cannot think." Molly said to me when I came in,
"Poor body! she's very ill, but one does not know how long she may last.
Many a fair face may gang before her." We sate by the fire without work
for some time, then Mary read a poem of Daniel.... Wm. read Spenser, now
and then, a little aloud to us. We were making his waistcoat. We had a
note from Mrs. C., with bad news from poor C.--very ill. William went to
John's Grove. I went to find him. Moonlight, but it rained.... He had
been surprised, and terrified, by a sudden rushing of winds, which
seemed to bring earth, sky, and lake together, as if the whole were
going to enclose him in. He was glad he was in a high road.

  [Footnote 41: See, in the "Poetical Works," _Simon Lee_, II. 95, 96,
  vol. i. p. 268.--ED.]

In speaking of our walk on Sunday evening, the 22nd November, I forgot
to notice one most impressive sight. It was the moon and the moonlight
seen through hurrying driving clouds immediately behind the Stone-Man
upon the top of the hill, on the forest side. Every tooth and every edge
of rock was visible, and the Man stood like a giant watching from the
roof of a lofty castle. The hill seemed perpendicular from the darkness
below it. It was a sight that I could call to mind at any time, it was
so distinct.

_Wednesday, 25th November._--It was a showery morning and threatened to
be a wettish day, but the sun shone once or twice. We were engaged to
Mr. Lloyd's and Wm. and Mary were determined to go that it might be
over. I accompanied them to the thorn beside Rydale water. I parted from
them first at the top of the hill, and they called me back. It rained a
little, and rained afterwards all the afternoon. I baked bread, and
wrote to Sara Hutchinson and Coleridge. I passed a pleasant evening, but
the wind roared so, and it was such a storm that I was afraid for them.
They came in at nine o'clock, no worse for their walk, and cheerful,
blooming, and happy.

_Thursday, 26th._--Mr. Olliff called before Wm. was up to say that they
would drink tea with us this afternoon. We walked into Easedale, to
gather mosses, and to fetch cream. I went for the cream, and they sate
under a wall. It was piercing cold.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Thursday, 3rd December 1801._--Wm. walked into Easedale. Hail and
snow.... I wrote a little bit of my letter to Coleridge....

_Friday, 4th._-- ... Wm. translating _The Prioress's Tale_. William and
Mary walked after tea to Rydale. I finished the letter to Coleridge, and
we received a letter from him and Sara. C.'s letter written in good
spirits. A letter of Lamb's about George Dyer with it.[42]

  [Footnote 42: An unprinted letter.--ED.]

_Saturday, 5th._-- ... Wm. finished _The Prioress's Tale_, and after tea
Mary and he wrote it out....

_Sunday, 6th._--A very fine beautiful sunshiny morning. Wm. worked a
while at Chaucer, then we set forward to walk into Easedale.... We
walked backwards and forwards in the flat field, which makes the second
course of Easedale, with that beautiful rock in the field beside us, and
all the rocks and the woods and the mountains enclosing us round. The
sun was shining among them, the snow thinly scattered upon the tops of
the mountains. In the afternoon we sate by the fire: I read Chaucer
aloud, and Mary read the first canto of _The Fairy Queen_. After tea
Mary and I walked to Ambleside for letters.... It was a sober starlight
evening. The stars not shining as it were with all their brightness when
they were visible, and sometimes hiding themselves behind small greying
clouds, that passed soberly along. We opened C.'s letter at Wilcock's
door. We thought we saw that he wrote in good spirits, so we came
happily homewards where we arrived 2 hours after we left home. It was a
sad melancholy letter, and prevented us all from sleeping.

_Monday Morning, 7th._--We rose by candlelight. A showery unpleasant
morning, after a downright rainy night. We determined, however, to go to
Keswick if possible, and we set off a little after 9 o'clock. When we
were upon the Raise, it snowed very much; and the whole prospect closed
in upon us, like a moorland valley, upon a moor very wild. But when we
were at the top of the Raise we saw the mountains before us. The sun
shone upon them, here and there; and Wytheburn vale, though wild, looked
soft. The day went on cheerfully and pleasantly. Now and then a hail
shower attacked us; but we kept up a good heart, for Mary is a famous
jockey.... We reached Greta Hall at about one o'clock. Met Mrs. C. in
the field. Derwent in the cradle asleep. Hartley at his dinner. Derwent
the image of his father. Hartley well. We wrote to C. Mrs. C. left us at
1/2 past 2. We drank tea by ourselves, the children playing about us.
Mary said to Hartley, "Shall I take Derwent with me?" "No," says H., "I
cannot spare my little brother," in the sweetest tone possible, "and he
can't do without his mamma." "Well," says Mary, "why can't I be his
mamma? Can't he have more mammas than one?" "No," says H. "What for?"
"Because they do not love, and mothers do." "What is the difference
between mothers and mammas?" Looking at his sleeves, "Mothers wear
sleeves like this, pulling his own tight down, and mammas" (pulling them
up, and making a bustle about his shoulders) "so." We parted from them
at 4 o'clock. It was a little of the dusk when we set off. Cotton mills
lighted up. The first star at Nadel Fell, but it was never dark. We rode
very briskly. Snow upon the Raise. Reached home at seven o'clock.
William at work with Chaucer, _The God of Love_. Sate latish. I wrote a
letter to Coleridge.

_Tuesday, 8th December 1801._--A dullish, rainyish morning. Wm. at work
with Chaucer. I read Bruce's _Lochleven_.... William worked at _The
Cuckoo and the Nightingale_ till he was tired....

_Wednesday Morning, 9th December._-- ... I read _Palemon and
Arcite_.... William writing out his alteration of Chaucer's _Cuckoo and
Nightingale_.... When I had finished a letter to C., ... Mary and I
walked into Easedale, and backwards and forwards in that large field
under George Rawson's white cottage. We had intended gathering mosses,
and for that purpose we turned into the green lane, behind the tailor's,
but it was too dark to see the mosses. The river came galloping past the
Church, as fast as it could come; and when we got into Easedale we saw
Churn Milk Force, like a broad stream of snow at the little foot-bridge.
We stopped to look at the company of rivers, which came hurrying down
the vale, this way and that. It was a valley of streams and islands,
with that great waterfall at the head, and lesser falls in different
parts of the mountains, coming down to these rivers. We could hear the
sound of the lesser falls, but we could not see them. We walked
backwards and forwards till all distant objects, except the white shape
of the waterfall and the lines of the mountains, were gone. We had the
crescent moon when we went out, and at our return there were a few stars
that shone dimly, but it was a grey cloudy night.

_Thursday, 10th December._-- ... We walked into Easedale to gather
mosses, and then we went ... up the Gill, beyond that little waterfall.
It was a wild scene of crag and mountain. One craggy point rose above
the rest irregular and rugged, and very impressive it was. We were very
unsuccessful in our search after mosses. Just when the evening was
closing in, Mr. Clarkson came to the door. It was a fine frosty evening.
We played at cards.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Saturday, 12th._-- ... Snow upon the ground.... All looked cheerful
and bright. Helm Crag rose very bold and craggy, a Being by itself, and
behind it was the large ridge of mountain, smooth as marble and snow
white. All the mountains looked like solid stone, on our left, going
from Grasmere, _i.e._ White Moss and Nab Scar. The snow hid all the
grass, and all signs of vegetation, and the rocks showed themselves
boldly everywhere, and seemed more stony than rock or stone. The birches
on the crags beautiful, red brown and glittering. The ashes glittering
spears with their upright stems. The hips very beautiful, and so good!!
and, dear Coleridge! I ate twenty for thee, when I was by myself. I came
home first. They walked too slow for me. Wm. went to look at Langdale
Pikes. We had a sweet invigorating walk. Mr. Clarkson came in before
tea. We played at cards. Sate up late. The moon shone upon the waters
below Silver How, and above it hung, combining with Silver How on one
side, a bowl-shaped moon, the curve downwards, the white fields,
glittering roof of Thomas Ashburner's house, the dark yew tree, the
white fields gay and beautiful. Wm. lay with his curtains open that he
might see it.

_Sunday, 13th._--Mr. Clarkson left us, leading his horse.... The boy
brought letters from Coleridge, and from Sara. Sara in bad spirits about

_Monday, 14th December._--Wm. and Mary walked to Ambleside in the
morning to buy mouse-traps.... I wrote to Coleridge a very long letter
while they were absent. Sate by the fire in the evening reading.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Thursday, 17th._--Snow in the night and still snowing.... Ambleside
looked excessively beautiful as we came out--like a village in another
country; and the light cheerful mountains were seen, in the long
distance, as bright and as clear as at mid-day, with the blue sky above
them. We heard waterfowl calling out by the lake side. Jupiter was very
glorious above the Ambleside hills, and one large star hung over the
corner of the hills on the opposite side of Rydale water.

_Friday, 18th December 1801._--Mary and Wm. walked round the two lakes.
I staid at home to make bread. I afterwards went to meet them, and I met
Wm. Mary had gone to look at Langdale Pikes. It was a cheerful glorious
day. The birches and all trees beautiful, hips bright red, mosses green.
I wrote to Coleridge.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Sunday, 20th December._--It snowed all day. It was a very deep snow.
The brooms were very beautiful, arched feathers with wiry stalks pointed
to the end, smaller and smaller. They waved gently with the weight of
the snow.

_Monday 21st_ being the shortest day, Mary walked to Ambleside for
letters. It was a wearisome walk, for the snow lay deep upon the roads
and it was beginning to thaw. I stayed at home. Wm. sate beside me, and
read _The Pedlar_. He was in good spirits, and full of hope of what he
should do with it. He went to meet Mary, and they brought four
letters--two from Coleridge, one from Sara, and one from France.
Coleridge's were melancholy letters. He had been very ill. We were made
very unhappy. Wm. wrote to him, and directed the letter into
Somersetshire. I finished it after tea. In the afternoon Mary and I

_Tuesday, 22nd._-- ... Wm. composed a few lines of _The Pedlar_. We
talked about Lamb's tragedy as we went down the White Moss. We stopped a
long time in going to watch a little bird with a salmon-coloured breast,
a white cross or T upon its wings, and a brownish back with faint
stripes.... It began to pick upon the road at the distance of four yards
from us, and advanced nearer and nearer till it came within the length
of W.'s stick, without any apparent fear of us. As we came up the White
Moss, we met an old man, who I saw was a beggar by his two bags hanging
over his shoulder; but, from half laziness, half indifference, and
wanting to _try_ him, if he would speak, I let him pass. He said
nothing, and my heart smote me. I turned back, and said, "You are
begging?" "Ay," says he. I gave him something. William, judging from his
appearance, joined in, "I suppose you were a sailor?" "Ay," he replied,
"I have been 57 years at sea, 12 of them on board a man-of-war under Sir
Hugh Palmer." "Why have you not a pension?" "I have no pension, but I
could have got into Greenwich hospital, but all my officers are dead."
He was 75 years of age, had a freshish colour in his cheeks, grey hair,
a decent hat with a binding round the edge, the hat worn brown and
glossy, his shoes were small thin shoes low in the quarters, pretty
good. They had belonged to a gentleman. His coat was frock shaped,
coming over his thighs. It had been joined up at the seams behind with
paler blue, to let it out, and there were three bell-shaped patches of
darker blue behind, where the buttons had been. His breeches were either
of fustian, or grey cloth, with strings hanging down, whole and tight.
He had a checked shirt on, and a small coloured handkerchief tied round
his neck. His bags were hung over each shoulder, and lay on each side of
him, below his breast. One was brownish and of coarse stuff, the other
was white with meal on the outside, and his blue waistcoat was whitened
with meal.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

We overtook old Fleming at Rydale, leading his little Dutchman-like
grandchild along the slippery road. The same face seemed to be natural
to them both--the old man and the little child--and they went hand in
hand, the grandfather cautious, yet looking proud of his charge. He had
two patches of new cloth at the shoulder-blades of his faded
claret-coloured coat, like eyes at each shoulder, not worn elsewhere. I
found Mary at home in her riding-habit, all her clothes being put up. We
were very sad about Coleridge.... We stopped to look at the stone seat
at the top of the hill. There was a white cushion upon it, round at the
edge like a cushion, and the rock behind looked soft as velvet, of a
vivid green, and so tempting! The snow too looked as soft as a down
cushion. A young foxglove, like a star, in the centre. There were a few
green lichens about it, and a few withered brackens of fern here and
there upon the ground near, all else was a thick snow; no footmark to
it, not the foot of a sheep.... We sate snugly round the fire. I read to
them the Tale of Constance and the Syrian monarch, in the _Man of Lawe's
Tale_, also some of the _Prologue_....

_Wednesday, 23rd._-- ... Mary wrote out the Tales from Chaucer for
Coleridge. William worked at _The Ruined Cottage_ and made himself very
ill.... A broken soldier came to beg in the morning. Afterwards a tall
woman, dressed somewhat in a tawdry style, with a long checked muslin
apron, a beaver hat, and throughout what are called good clothes. Her
daughter had gone before, with a soldier and his wife. She had buried
her husband at Whitehaven, and was going back into Cheshire.

_Thursday, 24th._--Still a thaw. Wm., Mary, and I sate comfortably
round the fire in the evening, and read Chaucer. Thoughts of last year.
I took out my old Journal.

_Friday, 25th._--_Christmas Day._ We received a letter from Coleridge.
His letter made us uneasy about him. I was glad I was not by myself when
I received it.

_Saturday, 26th._-- ... We walked to Rydale. Grasmere Lake a beautiful
image of stillness, clear as glass, reflecting all things. The wind was
up, and the waters sounding. The lake of a rich purple, the fields a
soft yellow, the island yellowish-green, the copses red-brown, the
mountains purple, the church and buildings, how quiet they were! Poor
Coleridge, Sara, and dear little Derwent here last year at this time.
After tea we sate by the fire comfortably. I read aloud _The Miller's
Tale_. Wrote to Coleridge.... Wm. wrote part of the poem to

  [Footnote 43: See _Stanzas, written in my Pocket Copy of Thomson's
  Castle of Indolence_, "Poetical Works," vol. ii. p. 305.--ED.]

_Sunday, 27th._--A fine soft beautiful mild day, with gleams of
sunshine. William went to take in his boat. I sate in John's Grove a
little while. Mary came home. Mary wrote some lines of the third part of
his poem, which he brought to read to us, when we came home....

_Monday, 28th of December._--William, Mary, and I set off on foot to
Keswick. We carried some cold mutton in our pockets, and dined at John
Stanley's, where they were making Christmas pies. The sun shone, but it
was coldish. We parted from Wm. upon the Raise. He joined us opposite
Sara's rock. He was busy in composition, and sate down upon the wall. We
did not see him again till we arrived at John Stanley's. There we
roasted apples in the room. After we had left John Stanley's, Wm.
discovered that he had lost his gloves. He turned back, but they were
gone. Wm. rested often. Once he left his Spenser, and Mary turned back
for it, and found it upon the bank, where we had last rested.... We
reached Greta Hall at about 1/2 past 5 o'clock. The children and Mrs. C.
well. After tea, message came from Wilkinson, who had passed us on the
road, inviting Wm. to sup at the Oak. He went. Met a young man (a
predestined Marquis) called Johnston. He spoke to him familiarly of the
L. B. He had seen a copy presented by the Queen to Mrs. Harcourt. Said
he saw them everywhere, and wondered they did not sell. We all went
weary to bed....

_Tuesday, 29th._--A fine morning. A thin fog upon the hills which soon
disappeared. The sun shone. Wilkinson went with us to the top of the
hill. We turned out of the road at the second mile stone, and passed a
pretty cluster of houses at the foot of St. John's Vale. The houses were
among tall trees, partly of Scotch fir, and some naked forest trees. We
crossed a bridge just below these houses, and the river winded sweetly
along the meadows. Our road soon led us along the sides of dreary bare
hills, but we had a glorious prospect to the left of Saddleback,
half-way covered with snow, and underneath the comfortable white houses
and the village of Threlkeld. These houses and the village want trees
about them. Skiddaw was behind us, and dear Coleridge's desert home. As
we ascended the hills it grew very cold and slippery. Luckily, the wind
was at our backs, and helped us on. A sharp hail shower gathered at the
head of Martindale, and the view upwards was very grand--wild cottages,
seen through the hurrying hail-shower. The wind drove, and eddied about
and about, and the hills looked large and swelling through the storm. We
thought of Coleridge. O! the bonny nooks, and windings, and curlings of
the beck, down at the bottom of the steep green mossy banks. We dined at
the public-house on porridge, with a second course of Christmas pies. We
were well received by the landlady, and her little Jewish daughter was
glad to see us again. The husband a very handsome man. While we were
eating our dinner a traveller came in. He had walked over Kirkstone,
that morning. We were much amused by the curiosity of the landlord and
landlady to learn who he was, and by his mysterious manner of letting
out a little bit of his errand, and yet telling nothing. He had business
further up in the vale. He left them with this piece of information to
work upon, and I doubt not they discovered who he was and all his
business before the next day at that hour. The woman told us of the
riches of a Mr. Walker, formerly of Grasmere. We said, "What, does he do
nothing for his relations? He has a sickly sister at Grasmere." "Why,"
said the man, "I daresay if they had any sons to put forward he would do
it for them, but he has children of his own."

(_N.B._--His fortune is above £60,000, and he has two children!!)

The landlord went about a mile and a half with us to put us in the
right way. The road was often very slippery, the wind high, and it was
nearly dark before we got into the right road. I was often obliged to
crawl on all fours, and Mary fell many a time. A stout young man whom we
met on the hills, and who knew Mr. Clarkson, very kindly set us into the
right road, and we inquired again near some houses and were directed, by
a miserable, poverty-struck, looking woman, who had been fetching water,
to go down a miry lane. We soon got into the main road and reached Mr.
Clarkson's at tea time. Mary H. spent the next day with us, and we
walked on Dunmallet before dinner, but it snowed a little. The day
following, being New Year's Eve, we accompanied Mary to Howtown Bridge.


  (FROM 1ST JANUARY 1802 TO 8TH JULY 1802)

TO 8TH JULY 1802)

_New Year's Day._--We walked, Wm. and I, towards Martindale.

_January 2nd._--It snowed all day. We walked near to Dalemain in the

_January 3rd._--Sunday. Mary brought us letters from Sara and Coleridge
and we went with her homewards to ... Parted at the stile on the Pooley
side. Thomas Wilkinson dined with us and stayed supper.

I do not recollect how the rest of our time was spent exactly. We had a
very sharp frost which broke on Friday the 15th January, or rather on
the morning of Saturday 16th.

On Sunday the 17th we went to meet Mary. It was a mild gentle thaw.
She stayed with us till Friday, 22nd January. On Thursday we dined at
Mr. Myers's, and on Friday, 22nd, we parted from Mary. Before our
parting we sate under a wall in the sun near a cottage above Stainton
Bridge. The field in which we sate sloped downwards to a nearly level
meadow, round which the Emont flowed in a small half-circle as at
Lochleven.[44] The opposite bank is woody, steep as a wall, but not
high, and above that bank the fields slope gently, and irregularly down
to it. These fields are surrounded by tall hedges, with trees among
them, and there are clumps or grovelets of tall trees here and there.
Sheep and cattle were in the fields. Dear Mary! there we parted from
her. I daresay as often as she passes that road she will turn in at the
gate to look at this sweet prospect. There was a barn and I think two or
three cottages to be seen among the trees, and slips of lawn and
irregular fields. During our stay at Mr. Clarkson's we walked every day,
except that stormy Thursday. We dined at Thomas Wilkinson's on Friday
the 15th, and walked to Penrith for Mary. The trees were covered with
hoar-frost--grasses, and trees, and hedges beautiful; a glorious sunset;
frost keener than ever. Next day thaw. Mrs. Clarkson amused us with many
stories of her family and of persons whom she had known. I wish I had
set them down as I heard them, when they were fresh in my memory....
Mrs. Clarkson knew a clergyman and his wife who brought up ten children
upon a curacy, sent two sons to college, and he left £1000 when he died.
The wife was very generous, gave food and drink to all poor people. She
had a passion for feeding animals. She killed a pig with feeding it over
much. When it was dead she said, "To be sure it's a great loss, but I
thank God it did not die _clemmed_" (the Cheshire word for starved). Her
husband was very fond of playing back-gammon, and used to play whenever
he could get anybody to play with him. She had played much in her youth,
and was an excellent player; but her husband knew nothing of this, till
one day she said to him, "You're fond of back-gammon, come play with
me." He was surprised. She told him she had kept it to herself, while
she had a young family to attend to, but that now she would play with
him! So they began to play, and played every night. Mr. C. told us many
pleasant stories. His journey from London to Wisbeck on foot when a
schoolboy, knife and stick, postboy, etc., the white horse sleeping at
the turnpike gate snoring, the turnpike man's clock ticking, the burring
story, the story of the mastiff, bull-baiting by men at Wisbeck.

  [Footnote 44: This refers probably to Loch Leven in Argyll, but its
  point is not obvious, and Dorothy Wordsworth had not then been in

On Saturday, January 23rd, we left Eusemere at 10 o'clock in the
morning, I behind Wm. Mr. Clarkson on his Galloway.[45] The morning not
very promising, the wind cold. The mountains large and dark, but only
thinly streaked with snow; a strong wind. We dined in Grisdale on ham,
bread, and milk. We parted from Mr. C. at one o'clock. It rained all the
way home. We struggled with the wind, and often rested as we went along.
A hail shower met us before we reached the Tarn, and the way often was
difficult over the snow; but at the Tarn the view closed in. We saw
nothing but mists and snow: and at first the ice on the Tarn below us
cracked and split, yet without water, a dull grey white. We lost our
path, and could see the Tarn no longer. We made our way out with
difficulty, guided by a heap of stones which we well remembered. We were
afraid of being bewildered in the mists, till the darkness should
overtake us. We were long before we knew that we were in the right
track, but thanks to William's skill we knew it long before we could see
our way before us. There was no footmark upon the snow either of man or
beast. We saw four sheep before we had left the snow region. The vale of
Grasmere, when the mists broke away, looked soft and grave, of a yellow
hue. It was dark before we reached home. O how happy and comfortable we
felt ourselves, sitting by our own fire, when we had got off our wet
clothes. We talked about the Lake of Como, read the description, looked
about us, and felt that we were happy....

  [Footnote 45: A Galloway pony.--ED.]

_Sunday, 24th._--We went into the orchard as soon as breakfast was
over. Laid out the situation for our new room, and sauntered a while.
Wm. walked in the morning. I wrote to Coleridge....

_Monday, 25th January._-- ... Wm. tired with composition....

_Tuesday, 26th._-- ... We are going to walk, and I am ready and waiting
by the kitchen fire for Wm. We set forward intending to go into
Easedale, but the wind being loudish, and blowing down Easedale, we
walked under Silver How for a shelter. We went a little beyond the syke;
then up to John's Grove, where the storm of Thursday has made sad
ravages. Two of the finest trees are uprooted, one lying with the turf
about its root, as if the whole together had been pared by a knife. The
other is a larch. Several others are blown aside, one is snapped in two.
We gathered together a faggot. Wm. had tired himself with working.... We
received a letter from Mary with an account of C.'s arrival in London. I
wrote to Mary before bedtime.... Wm. wrote out part of his poem, and
endeavoured to alter it, and so made himself ill. I copied out the rest
for him. We went late to bed. Wm. wrote to Annette.[46]

  [Footnote 46: See the "Poetical Works," vol. ii. p. 335.--ED.]

_Wednesday, 27th._--A beautiful mild morning; the sun shone; the lake
was still, and all the shores reflected in it. I finished my letter to
Mary. Wm. wrote to Stuart. I copied sonnets for him. Mr. Olliff called
and asked us to tea to-morrow. We stayed in the house till the sun shone
more dimly and we thought the afternoon was closing in, but though the
calmness of the Lake was gone with the bright sunshine, yet it was
delightfully pleasant. We found no letter from Coleridge. One from Sara
which we sate upon the wall to read; a sweet long letter, with a most
interesting account of Mr. Patrick. We cooked no dinner. Sate a while by
the fire, and then drank tea at Frank Raty's. As we went past the Nab I
was surprised to see the youngest child amongst them running about by
itself, with a canny round fat face, and rosy cheeks. I called in. They
gave me some nuts. Everybody surprised that we should come over
Grisdale. Paid £1: 3: 3 for letters come since December 1st. Paid also
about 8 shillings at Penrith. The bees were humming about the hive.
William raked a few stones off the garden, his first garden labour this
year. I cut the shrubs. When we returned from Frank's, Wm. wasted his
mind in the Magazines. I wrote to Coleridge, and Mrs. C., closed the
letters up to Samson. Then we sate by the fire, and were happy, only our
tender thoughts became painful.[47] Went to bed at 1/2 past 11.

  [Footnote 47: Compare, in _Lines written in Early Spring_, vol. i.
  p. 269--

       In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
       Bring sad thoughts to the mind.  ED.]

_Thursday, 28th._--A downright rain. A wet night. Wm. wrote an epitaph,
and altered one that he wrote when he was a boy. It cleared up after
dinner. We were both in miserable spirits, and very doubtful about
keeping our engagements to the Olliffs. We walked first within view of
Rydale then to Lowthwaite, then we went to Mr. Olliff. We talked a
while. Wm. was tired. We then played at cards. Came home in the rain.
Very dark. Came with a lantern. Wm. out of spirits and tired. He called
at 1/4 past 3 to know the hour.

_Friday, 29th January._--Wm. was very unwell. Worn out with his bad
night's rest. I read to him, to endeavour to make him sleep. Then I came
into the other room, and I read the first book of _Paradise Lost_. After
dinner we walked to Ambleside.... A heart-rending letter from Coleridge.
We were sad as we could be. Wm. wrote to him. We talked about Wm.'s
going to London. It was a mild afternoon. There was an unusual softness
in the prospects as we went, a rich yellow upon the fields, and a soft
grave purple on the waters. When we returned many stars were out, the
clouds were moveless, and the sky soft purple, the lake of Rydale calm,
Jupiter behind. Jupiter at least _we_ call him, but William says we
always call the largest star Jupiter. When we came home we both wrote to
C. I was stupefied.

_Saturday, January 30th._--A cold dark morning. William chopped wood. I
brought it in a basket.... He asked me to set down the story of Barbara
Wilkinson's turtle dove. Barbara is an old maid. She had two turtle
doves. One of them died, the first year I think. The other continued to
live alone in its cage for nine years, but for one whole year it had a
companion and daily visitor--a little mouse, that used to come and feed
with it; and the dove would carry it and cover it over with its wings,
and make a loving noise to it. The mouse, though it did not testify
equal delight in the dove's company, was yet at perfect ease. The poor
mouse disappeared, and the dove was left solitary till its death. It
died of a short sickness, and was buried under a tree, with funeral
ceremony by Barbara and her maidens, and one or two others.

On _Saturday, 30th_, Wm. worked at _The Pedlar_ all the morning. He kept
the dinner waiting till four o'clock. He was much tired....

_Sunday, 31st._--Wm. had slept very ill. He was tired. We walked round
the two lakes. Grasmere was very soft, and Rydale was extremely
beautiful from the western side. Nab Scar was just topped by a cloud
which, cutting it off as high as it could be cut off, made the mountain
look uncommonly lofty.[48] We sate down a long time with different
plans. I always love to walk that way, because it is the way I first
came to Rydale and Grasmere, and because our dear Coleridge did also.
When I came with Wm., 6 and 1/2 years ago, it was just at sunset. There
was a rich yellow light on the waters, and the islands were reflected
there. To-day it was grave and soft, but not perfectly calm. William
says it was much such a day as when Coleridge came with _him_. The sun
shone out before we reached Grasmere. We sate by the roadside at the
foot of the Lake, close to Mary's dear name, which she had cut herself
upon the stone. Wm. cut at it with his knife to make it plainer.[49] We
amused ourselves for a long time in watching the breezes, some as if
they came from the bottom of the lake, spread in a circle, brushing
along the surface of the water, and growing more delicate as it were
thinner, and of a _paler_ colour till they died away. Others spread out
like a peacock's tail, and some went right forward this way and that in
all directions. The lake was still where these breezes were not, but
they made it all alive. I found a strawberry blossom in a rock. The
little slender flower had more courage than the green leaves, for _they_
were but half expanded and half grown, but the blossom was spread full
out. I uprooted it rashly, and I felt as if I had been committing an
outrage, so I planted it again. It will have but a stormy life of it,
but let it live if it can. We found Calvert here. I brought a
handkerchief full of mosses, which I placed on the chimneypiece when
Calvert was gone. He dined with us, and carried away the encyclopædias.
After they were gone, I spent some time in trying to reconcile myself to
the change, and in rummaging out and arranging some other books in their
places. One good thing is this--there is a nice elbow place for Wm., and
he may sit for the picture of John Bunyan any day. Mr. Simpson drank tea
with us. We paid our rent to Benson....

  [Footnote 48: Compare the poem _To the Clouds_, vol. viii. p. 142, and
  the Fenwick note to that poem.--ED.]

  [Footnote 49: This still exists, but is known to few.--ED.]

_Monday, February 1st._--Wm. slept badly. I baked bread. William worked
hard at _The Pedlar_, and tired himself.... There was a purplish light
upon Mr. Olliff's house, which made me look to the other side of the
vale, when I saw a strange stormy mist coming down the side of Silver
How of a reddish purple colour. It soon came on a heavy rain.... A box
with books came from London. I sate by W.'s bedside, and read in _The
Pleasures of Hope_ to him, which came in the box. He could not fall

_Tuesday, 2nd February._-- ... Wm. went into the orchard after
breakfast, to chop wood. We walked into Easedale.... Walked backwards
and forwards between Goody Bridge and Butterlip How. William wished to
break off composition, but was unable, and so did himself harm. The sun
shone, but it was cold. William worked at _The Pedlar_. After tea I read
aloud the eleventh book of _Paradise Lost_. We were much impressed, and
also melted into tears. The papers came in soon after I had laid aside
the book--a good thing for my Wm....

_Wednesday, 3rd._--A rainy morning. We walked to Rydale for letters.
Found one from Mrs. Cookson and Mary H. It snowed upon the hills. We
sate down on the wall at the foot of White Moss. Sate by the fire in the
evening. Wm. tired, and did not compose. He went to bed soon, and could
not sleep. I wrote to Mary H. Sent off the letter by Fletcher. Wrote
also to Coleridge. Read Wm. to sleep after dinner, and read to him in
bed till 1/2 past one.

_Thursday, 4th._-- ... Wm. thought a little about _The Pedlar_. Read
Smollet's life.

_Friday, 5th._--A cold snowy morning. Snow and hail showers. We did not
walk. Wm. cut wood a little. Sate up late at _The Pedlar_.

_Saturday, 6th February._-- ... Two very affecting letters from
Coleridge; resolved to try another climate. I was stopped in my writing,
and made ill by the letters.... Wrote again after tea, and translated
two or three of Lessing's _Fables_.

_Sunday, 7th._--A fine clear frosty morning. The eaves drop with the
heat of the sun all day long. The ground thinly covered with snow. The
road black, rocks black. Before night the island was quite green. The
sun had melted all the snow. Wm. working at his poem. We sate by the
fire, and did not walk, but read _The Pedlar_, thinking it done; but W.
could find fault with one part of it. It was uninteresting, and must be
altered. Poor Wm.!

_Monday Morning, 8th February 1802._--It was very windy and rained hard
all the morning. William worked at his poem and I read a little in
Lessing and the grammar. A chaise came past.

After dinner (_i.e._ we set off at about 1/2 past 4) we went towards
Rydale for letters. It was a "_cauld clash_." The rain had been so cold
that it hardly melted the snow. We stopped at Park's to get some straw
round Wm.'s shoes. The young mother was sitting by a bright wood fire,
with her youngest child upon her lap, and the other two sate on each
side of the chimney. The light of the fire made them a beautiful sight,
with their innocent countenances, their rosy cheeks, and glossy curling
hair. We sate and talked about poor Ellis, and our journey over the
Hawes. Before we had come to the shore of the Lake, we met our patient
bow-bent friend, with his little wooden box at his back. "Where are you
going?" said he. "To Rydale for letters." "I have two for you in my
box." We lifted up the lid, and there they lay. Poor fellow, he
straddled and pushed on with all his might; but we outstripped him far
away when we had turned back with our letters.... I could not help
comparing lots with him. He goes at that slow pace every morning, and
after having wrought a hard day's work returns at night, however weary
he may be, takes it all quietly, and, though perhaps he neither feels
thankfulness nor pleasure, when he eats his supper, and has nothing to
look forward to but falling asleep in bed, yet I daresay he neither
murmurs nor thinks it hard. He seems mechanised to labour. We broke the
seal of Coleridge's letters, and I had light enough just to see that he
was not ill. I put it in my pocket. At the top of the White Moss I took
it to my bosom,--a safer place for it. The sight was wild. There was a
strange mountain lightness, when we were at the top of the White Moss. I
have often observed it there in the evenings, being between the two
valleys. There is more of the sky there than any other place. It has a
strange effect. Sometimes, along with the obscurity of evening, or
night, it seems almost like a peculiar sort of light. There was not much
wind till we came to John's Grove, then it roared right out of the
grove, all the trees were tossing about. Coleridge's letter somewhat
damped us. It spoke with less confidence about France. Wm. wrote to him.
The other letter was from Montagu, with £8. Wm. was very unwell, tired
when he had written. He went to bed and left me to write to M. H.,
Montagu, and Calvert, and Mrs. Coleridge. I had written in his letter to
Coleridge. We wrote to Calvert to beg him not to fetch us on Sunday. Wm.
left me with a little peat fire. It grew less. I wrote on, and was
starved. At 2 o'clock I went to put my letters under Fletcher's door. I
never felt such a cold night. There was a strong wind and it froze very
hard. I gathered together all the clothes I could find (for I durst not
go into the pantry for fear of waking Wm.). At first when I went to bed
I seemed to be warm. I suppose because the cold air, which I had just
left, no longer touched my body; but I soon found that I was mistaken. I
could not sleep from sheer cold. I had baked pies and bread in the
morning. Coleridge's letter contained prescriptions.

_N.B._--The moon came out suddenly when we were at John's Grove, and a
star or two besides.

_Tuesday._--Wm. had slept better. He fell to work, and made himself
unwell. We did not walk. A funeral came by of a poor woman who had
drowned herself, some say because she was hardly treated by her husband;
others that he was a very decent respectable man, and _she_ but an
indifferent wife. However this was, she had only been married to him
last Whitsuntide and had had very indifferent health ever since. She had
got up in the night, and drowned herself in the pond. She had requested
to be buried beside her mother, and so she was brought in a hearse. She
was followed by some very decent-looking men on horseback, her
sister--Thomas Fleming's wife--in a chaise, and some others with her,
and a cart full of women. Molly says folks thinks o' their mothers. Poor
body, _she_ has been little thought of by any body else. We did a little
of Lessing. I attempted a fable, but my head ached; my bones were sore
with the cold of the day before, and I was downright stupid. We went to
bed, but not till Wm. had tired himself.

_Wednesday, 10th._--A very snowy morning.... I was writing out the poem,
as we hoped for a final writing.... We read the first part and were
delighted with it, but Wm. afterwards got to some ugly place, and went
to bed tired out. A wild, moonlight night.

_Thursday, 11th._-- ... Wm. sadly tired and working at _The Pedlar_....
We made up a good fire after dinner, and Wm. brought his mattress out,
and lay down on the floor. I read to him the life of Ben Jonson, and
some short poems of his, which were too interesting for him, and would
not let him go to sleep. I had begun with Fletcher, but he was too dull
for me. Fuller says, in his _Life of Jonson_ (speaking of his plays),
"If his latter be not so spriteful and vigorous as his first pieces, all
that are old, and all who desire to be old, should excuse him therein."
He says he "beheld" wit-combats between Shakespeare and Jonson, and
compares Shakespeare to an English man-of-war, Jonson to a great Spanish
galleon. There is one affecting line in Jonson's epitaph on his first

     Here lies to each her parents ruth,
     Mary the daughter of their youth.
     At six months' end she parted hence,
     In safety of her innocence.

Two beggars to-day. I continued to read to Wm. We were much delighted
with the poem of _Penshurst_.[50] Wm. rose better. I was cheerful and
happy. He got to work again.

  [Footnote 50: By Ben Jonson.--ED.]

_Friday, 12th._--A very fine, bright, clear, hard frost. Wm. working
again. I recopied _The Pedlar_, but poor Wm. all the time at work.... In
the afternoon a poor woman came, she said, to beg, ... but she has been
used to go a-begging, for she has often come here. Her father lived to
the age of 105. She is a woman of strong bones, with a complexion that
has been beautiful, and remained very fresh last year, but now she looks
broken, and her little boy--a pretty little fellow, and whom I have
loved for the sake of Basil--looks thin and pale. I observed this to
her. "Aye," says she, "we have all been ill. Our house was nearly
unroofed in the storm, and we lived in it so for more than a week." The
child wears a ragged drab coat and a fur cap. Poor little fellow, I
think he seems scarcely at all grown since the first time I saw him.
William was with me when we met him in a lane going to Skelwith Bridge.
He looked very pretty. He was walking lazily, in the deep narrow lane,
overshadowed with the hedgerows, his meal poke hung over his shoulder.
He said he "was going a laiting." Poor creature! He now wears the same
coat he had on at that time. When the woman was gone, I could not help
thinking that we are not half thankful enough that we are placed in that
condition of life in which we are. We do not so often bless God for
this, as we wish for this £50, that £100, etc. etc. We have not,
however, to reproach ourselves with ever breathing a murmur. This
woman's was but a common case. The snow still lies upon the ground. Just
at the closing in of the day, I heard a cart pass the door, and at the
same time the dismal sound of a crying infant. I went to the window, and
had light enough to see that a man was driving a cart, which seemed not
to be very full, and that a woman with an infant in her arms was
following close behind and a dog close to her. It was a wild and
melancholy sight. Wm. rubbed his tables after candles were lighted, and
we sate a long time with the windows unclosed, and almost finished
writing _The Pedlar_; but poor Wm. wore himself out, and me out, with
labour. We had an affecting conversation. Went to bed at 12 o'clock.

_Saturday, 13th._--It snowed a little this morning. Still at work at
_The Pedlar_, altering and refitting. We did not walk, though it was a
very fine day. We received a present of eggs and milk from Janet
Dockeray, and just before she went, the little boy from the Hill brought
us a letter from Sara H., and one from the Frenchman in London. I wrote
to Sara after tea, and Wm. took out his old newspapers, and the new ones
came in soon after. We sate, after I had finished the letter, talking;
and Wm. read parts of his _Recluse_ aloud to me....

_Sunday, 14th February._--A fine morning. The sun shines out, but it
has been a hard frost in the night. There are some little snowdrops that
are afraid to put their white heads quite out, and a few blossoms of
hepatica that are half-starved. Wm. left me at work altering some
passages of _The Pedlar_, and went into the orchard. The fine day pushed
him on to resolve, and as soon as I had read a letter to him, which I
had just received from Mrs. Clarkson, he said he would go to Penrith, so
Molly was despatched for the horse. I worked hard, got the writing
finished, and all quite trim. I wrote to Mrs. Clarkson, and put up some
letters for Mary H., and off he went in his blue spencer, and a pair of
new pantaloons fresh from London.... I then sate over the fire, reading
Ben Jonson's _Penshurst_, and other things. Before sunset, I put on my
shawl and walked out. The snow-covered mountains were spotted with rich
sunlight, a palish buffish colour.... I stood at the wishing-gate, and
when I came in view of Rydale, I cast a long look upon the mountains
beyond. They were very white, but I concluded that Wm. would have a very
safe passage over Kirkstone, and I was quite easy about him. After
dinner, a little before sunset, I walked out about 20 yards above
Glow-worm Rock. I met a carman, a Highlander I suppose, with four carts,
the first three belonging to himself, the last evidently to a man and
his family who had joined company with him, and who I guessed to be
potters. The carman was cheering his horses, and talking to a little
lass about ten years of age who seemed to make him her companion. She
ran to the wall, and took up a large stone to support the wheel of one
of his carts, and ran on before with it in her arms to be ready for him.
She was a beautiful creature, and there was something uncommonly
impressive in the lightness and joyousness of her manner. Her business
seemed to be all pleasure--pleasure in her own motions, and the man
looked at her as if he too was pleased, and spoke to her in the same
tone in which he spoke to his horses. There was a wildness in her whole
figure, not the wildness of a Mountain lass, but of the Road lass, a
traveller from her birth, who had wanted neither food nor clothes. Her
mother followed the last cart with a lovely child, perhaps about a year
old, at her back, and a good-looking girl, about fifteen years old,
walked beside her. All the children were like the mother. She had a very
fresh complexion, but she was blown with fagging up the steep hill, and
with what she carried. Her husband was helping the horse to drag the
cart up by pushing it with his shoulder. I reached home, and read German
till about 9 o'clock. I wrote to Coleridge. Went to bed at about 12
o'clock.... I slept badly, for my thoughts were full of Wm.

_Monday, 15th February._--It snowed a good deal, and was terribly cold.
After dinner it was fair, but I was obliged to run all the way to the
foot of the White Moss, to get the least bit of warmth into me. I found
a letter from C. He was much better, this was very satisfactory, but his
letter was not an answer to Wm.'s which I expected. A letter from
Annette. I got tea when I reached home, and then set on reading German.
I wrote part of a letter to Coleridge, went to bed and slept badly.

_Tuesday, 16th._--A fine morning, but I had persuaded myself not to
expect Wm., I believe because I was afraid of being disappointed. I
ironed all day. He came just at tea time, had only seen Mary H. for a
couple of hours between Eamont Bridge and Hartshorn Tree. Mrs. C.
better. He had had a difficult journey over Kirkstone, and came home by
Threlkeld. We spent a sweet evening. He was better, had altered _The
Pedlar_. We went to bed pretty soon. Mr. Graham said he wished Wm. had
been with him the other day--he was riding in a post-chaise and he heard
a strange cry that he could not understand, the sound continued, and he
called to the chaise driver to stop. It was a little girl that was
crying as if her heart would burst. She had got up behind the chaise,
and her cloak had been caught by the wheel, and was jammed in, and it
hung there. She was crying after it, poor thing. Mr. Graham took her
into the chaise, and her cloak was released from the wheel, but the
child's misery did not cease, for her cloak was torn to rags; it had
been a miserable cloak before, but she had no other, and it was the
greatest sorrow that could befall her. Her name was Alice Fell.[51] She
had no parents, and belonged to the next town. At the next town, Mr. G.
left money with some respectable people in the town, to buy her a new

  [Footnote 51: See the poem _Alice Fell_, in the "Poetical Works," vol.
  ii. p. 273.--ED.]

_Wednesday, 17th._--A miserable nasty snowy morning. We did not walk,
but the old man from the hill brought us a short letter from Mary H. I
copied the second part of _Peter Bell_....

_Thursday, 18th._--A foggy morning. I copied new part of _Peter Bell_
in W.'s absence, and began a letter to Coleridge. Wm. came in with a
letter from Coleridge.... We talked together till 11 o'clock, when Wm.
got to work, and was no worse for it. Hard frost.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Saturday, 20th._-- ... I wrote the first part of _Peter Bell_....

_Sunday, 21st._--A very wet morning. I wrote the 2nd prologue to _Peter
Bell_.... After dinner I wrote the 1st prologue.... Snowdrops quite out,
but cold and winterly; yet, for all this, a thrush that lives in our
orchard has shouted and sung its merriest all day long ...

_Monday, 22nd._--Wm. brought me 4 letters to read--from Annette and
Caroline,[52] Mary and Sara, and Coleridge.... In the evening we walked
to the top of the hill, then to the bridge. We hung over the wall, and
looked at the deep stream below. It came with a full, steady, yet a very
rapid flow down to the lake. The sykes made a sweet sound everywhere,
and looked very interesting in the twilight, and that little one above
Mr. Olliff's house was very impressive. A ghostly white serpent line, it
made a sound most distinctly heard of itself. The mountains were black
and steep, the tops of some of them having snow yet visible.

  [Footnote 52: See "Poetical Works," vol. ii. p. 335.--ED.]

_Tuesday, 23rd._-- ... When we came out of our own doors, that dear
thrush was singing upon the topmost of the smooth branches of the ash
tree at the top of the orchard. How long it had been perched on that
same tree I cannot tell, but we had heard its dear voice in the orchard
the day through, along with a cheerful undersong made by our winter
friends, the robins. As we came home, I picked up a few mosses by the
roadside, which I left at home. We then went to John's Grove. There we
sate a little while looking at the fading landscape. The lake, though
the objects on the shore were fading, seemed brighter than when it is
perfect day, and the island pushed itself upwards, distinct and large.
All the shores marked. There was a sweet, sea-like sound in the trees
above our heads. We walked backwards and forwards some time for dear
John's sake, then walked to look at Rydale. Wm. now reading in Bishop
Hall, I going to read German. We have a nice singing fire, with one
piece of wood....

_Wednesday, 24th._--A rainy morning. William returned from Rydale very
wet, with letters. He brought a short one from C., a very long one from
Mary. Wm. wrote to Annette, to Coleridge.... I wrote a little bit to
Coleridge. We sent off these letters by Fletcher. It was a tremendous
night of wind and rain. Poor Coleridge! a sad night for a traveller such
as he. God be praised he was in safe quarters. Wm. went out. He never
felt a colder night.

_Thursday, 25th._--A fine, mild, gay, beautiful morning. Wm. wrote to
Montagu in the morning.... I reached home just before dark, brought some
mosses and ivy, and then got tea, and fell to work at German. I read a
good deal of Lessing's Essay. Wm. came home between 9 and 10 o'clock. We
sat together by the fire till bedtime. Wm. not very much tired.

_Friday, 26th._--A grey morning till 10 o'clock, then the sun shone
beautifully. Mrs. Lloyd's children and Mrs. Luff came in a chaise, were
here at 11 o'clock, then went to Mrs. Olliff. Wm. and I accompanied them
to the gate. I prepared dinner, sought out _Peter Bell_, gave Wm. some
cold meat, and then we went to walk. We walked first to Butterlip How,
where we sate and overlooked the dale, no sign of spring but the red
tints of the woods and trees. Sate in the sun. Met Charles Lloyd near
the Bridge.... Mr. and Mrs. Luff walked home, the Lloyds stayed till 8
o'clock. Wm. always gets on better with conversation at home than
elsewhere. The chaise-driver brought us a letter from Mrs. H., a short
one from C. We were perplexed about Sara's coming. I wrote to Mary. Wm.
closed his letter to Montagu, and wrote to Calvert and Mrs. Coleridge.
Birds sang divinely to-day. Wm. better.

_Sunday, 28th February._--Wm. employed himself with _The Pedlar_. We got
papers in the morning.

_Monday._--A fine pleasant day, we walked to Rydale. I went on before
for the letters, brought two from M. and S. H. We climbed over the wall
and read them under the shelter of a mossy rock. We met Mrs. Lloyd in
going. Mrs. Olliff's child ill. The catkins are beautiful in the hedges,
the ivy is very green. Robert Newton's paddock is greenish--that is all
we see of Spring; finished and sent off the letter to Sara, and wrote to
Mary. Wrote again to Sara, and Wm. wrote to Coleridge. Mrs. Lloyd called
when I was in bed.

_Tuesday._[53]--A fine grey morning.... I read German, and a little
before dinner Wm. also read. We walked on Butterlip How under the wind.
It rained all the while, but we had a pleasant walk. The mountains of
Easedale, black or covered with snow at the tops, gave a peculiar
softness to the valley. The clouds hid the tops of some of them. The
valley was populous and enlivened with streams....

  [Footnote 53: March 2nd.--ED.]

_Wednesday._--I was so unlucky as to propose to rewrite _The Pedlar_.
Wm. got to work, and was worn to death. We did not walk. I wrote in the

_Thursday._--Before we had quite finished breakfast Calvert's man
brought the horses for Wm. We had a deal to do, pens to make, poems to
put in order for writing, to settle for the press, pack up; and the man
came before the pens were made, and he was obliged to leave me with only
two. Since he left me at half-past 11 (it is now 2) I have been putting
the drawers into order, laid by his clothes which he had thrown here and
there and everywhere, filed two months' newspapers and got my dinner, 2
boiled eggs and 2 apple tarts. I have set Molly on to clean the garden a
little, and I myself have walked. I transplanted some snowdrops--the
Bees are busy. Wm. has a nice bright day. It was hard frost in the
night. The Robins are singing sweetly. Now for my walk. I _will_ be
busy. I _will_ look well, and be well when he comes back to me. O the
Darling! Here is one of his bitter apples. I can hardly find it in my
heart to throw it into the fire.... I walked round the two Lakes,
crossed the stepping-stones at Rydale foot. Sate down where we always
sit. I was full of thought about my darling. Blessings on him. I came
home at the foot of our own hill under Loughrigg. They are making sad
ravages in the woods. Benson's wood is going, and the woods above the
River. The wind has blown down a small fir tree on the Rock, that
terminates John's path. I suppose the wind of Wednesday night. I read
German after tea. I worked and read the L. B., enchanted with the _Idiot
Boy_. Wrote to Wm. and then went to bed. It snowed when I went to bed.

_Friday._--First walked in the garden and orchard, a frosty sunny
morning. After dinner I gathered mosses in Easedale. I saw before me
sitting in the open field, upon his pack of rags, the old Ragman that I
know. His coat is of scarlet in a thousand patches. When I came home
Molly had shook the carpet and cleaned everything upstairs. When I see
her so happy in her work, and exulting in her own importance, I often
think of that affecting expression which she made use of to me one
evening lately. Talking of her good luck in being in this house, "Aye,
Mistress, them 'at's low laid would have been proud creatures could they
but have seen where I is now, fra what they thought wud be my doom." I
was tired when I reached home. I sent Molly Ashburner to Rydale. No
letters. I was sadly mortified. I expected one fully from Coleridge.
Wrote to William, read the L. B., got into sad thoughts, tried at
German, but could not go on. Read L. B. Blessings on that brother of
mine! Beautiful new moon over Silver How.

_Friday Morning._--A very cold sunshiny frost. I wrote _The Pedlar_,
and finished it before I went to Mrs. Simpson's to drink tea. Miss S. at
Keswick, but she came home. Mrs. Jameson came in and stayed supper.
Fletcher's carts went past and I let them go with William's letter. Mr.
B. S. came nearly home with me. I found letters from Wm., Mary, and
Coleridge. I wrote to C. Sat up late, and could not fall asleep when I
went to bed.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Sunday Morning._--A very fine, clear frost. I stitched up _The Pedlar_;
wrote out _Ruth_; read it with the alterations, then wrote Mary H. Read
a little German, ... and in came William, I did not expect him till
to-morrow. How glad I was. After we had talked about an hour, I gave him
his dinner. We sate talking and happy. He brought two new stanzas of

_Monday Morning._--A soft rain and mist. We walked to Rydale for
letters. The Vale looked very beautiful in excessive simplicity, yet, at
the same time, in uncommon obscurity. The Church stood alone--mountains
behind. The meadows looked calm and rich, bordering on the still lake.
Nothing else to be seen but lake and island....

On Friday evening the moon hung over the northern side of the highest
point of Silver How, like a gold ring snapped in two, and shaven off at
the ends. Within this ring lay the circle of the round moon, as
distinctly to be seen as ever the enlightened moon is. William had
observed the same appearance at Keswick, perhaps at the very same
moment, hanging over the Newland Fells. Sent off a letter to Mary H.,
also to Coleridge, and Sara, and rewrote in the evening the alterations
of _Ruth_, which we sent off at the same time.

_Tuesday Morning._--William was reading in Ben Jonson. He read me a
beautiful poem on Love.... We sate by the fire in the evening, and read
_The Pedlar_ over. William worked a little, and altered it in a few

_Wednesday._-- ... Wm. read in Ben Jonson in the morning. I read a
little German. We then walked to Rydale. No letters. They are slashing
away in Benson's wood. William has since tea been talking about
publishing the Yorkshire Wolds Poem with _The Pedlar_.

_Thursday._--A fine morning. William worked at the poem of _The Singing
Bird_.[54] Just as we were sitting down to dinner we heard Mr.
Clarkson's voice. I ran down, William followed. He was so finely mounted
that William was more intent upon the horse than the rider, an offence
easily forgiven, for Mr. Clarkson was as proud of it himself as he well
could be....

  [Footnote 54: First published in 1807, under the title of _The
  Sailor's Mother_.--ED.]

_Friday._--A very fine morning. We went to see Mr. Clarkson off. The sun
shone while it rained, and the stones of the walls and the pebbles on
the road glittered like silver.... William finished his poem of _The
Singing Bird_. In the meantime I read the remainder of Lessing. In the
evening after tea William wrote _Alice Fell_. He went to bed tired, with
a wakeful mind and a weary body....

_Saturday Morning._--It was as cold as ever it has been all winter, very
hard frost.... William finished _Alice Fell_, and then wrote the poem of
_The Beggar Woman_, taken from a woman whom I had seen in May (now
nearly two years ago) when John and he were at Gallow Hill. I sate with
him at intervals all the morning, took down his stanzas, etc.... After
tea I read to William that account of the little boy belonging to the
tall woman, and an unlucky thing it was, for he could not escape from
those very words, and so he could not write the poem. He left it
unfinished, and went tired to bed. In our walk from Rydale he had got
warmed with the subject, and had half cast the poem.

_Sunday Morning._--William ... got up at nine o'clock, but before he
rose he had finished _The Beggar Boy_, and while we were at breakfast
... he wrote the poem _To a Butterfly_! He ate not a morsel, but sate
with his shirt neck unbuttoned, and his waistcoat open while he did it.
The thought first came upon him as we were talking about the pleasure we
both always felt at the sight of a butterfly. I told him that I used to
chase them a little, but that I was afraid of brushing the dust off
their wings, and did not catch them. He told me how he used to kill all
the white ones when he went to school because they were Frenchmen.... I
wrote it down and the other poems, and I read them all over to him....
William began to try to alter _The Butterfly_, and tired himself....

_Monday Morning._--We sate reading the poems, and I read a little
German.... During W.'s absence a sailor who was travelling from
Liverpool to Whitehaven called, he was faint and pale when he knocked at
the door--a young man very well dressed. We sate by the kitchen fire
talking with him for two hours. He told us interesting stories of his
life. His name was Isaac Chapel. He had been at sea since he was 15
years old. He was by trade a sail-maker. His last voyage was to the
coast of Guinea. He had been on board a slave ship, the captain's name
Maxwell, where one man had been killed, a boy put to lodge with the pigs
and was half eaten, set to watch in the hot sun till he dropped down
dead. He had been away in North America and had travelled thirty days
among the Indians, where he had been well treated. He had twice swam
from a King's ship in the night and escaped. He said he would rather be
in hell than be pressed. He was now going to wait in England to appear
against Captain Maxwell. "O he's a Rascal, Sir, he ought to be put in
the papers!" The poor man had not been in bed since Friday night. He
left Liverpool at 2 o'clock on Saturday morning; he had called at a farm
house to beg victuals and had been refused. The woman said she would
give him nothing. "Won't you? Then I can't help it." He was excessively
like my brother John.

_Tuesday._-- ... William went up into the orchard, ... and wrote a part
of _The Emigrant Mother_. After dinner I read him to sleep. I read
Spenser.... We walked to look at Rydale. The moon was a good height
above the mountains. She seemed far distant in the sky. There were two
stars beside her, that twinkled in and out, and seemed almost like
butterflies in motion and lightness. They looked to be far nearer to us
than the moon.

_Wednesday._--William went up into the orchard and finished the poem. I
went and sate with W. and walked backwards and forwards in the orchard
till dinner time. He read me his poem. I read to him, and my Beloved
slept. A sweet evening as it had been a sweet day, and I walked quietly
along the side of Rydale lake with quiet thoughts--the hills and the
lake were still--the owls had not begun to hoot, and the little birds
had given over singing. I looked before me and saw a red light upon
Silver How as if coming out of the vale below,

     There was a light of most strange birth,
     A light that came out of the earth,
     And spread along the dark hill-side.

Thus I was going on when I saw the shape of my Beloved in the road at a
little distance. We turned back to see the light but it was
fading--almost gone. The owls hooted when we sate on the wall at the
foot of White Moss; the sky broke more and more, and we saw the moon now
and then. John Gill passed us with his cart; we sate on. When we came in
sight of our own dear Grasmere, the vale looked fair and quiet in the
moonshine, the Church was there and all the cottages. There were huge
slow-travelling clouds in the sky, that threw large masses of shade upon
some of the mountains. We walked backwards and forwards, between home
and Olliff's, till I was tired. William kindled, and began to write the
poem. We carried cloaks into the orchard, and sate a while there. I left
him, and he nearly finished the poem. I was tired to death, and went to
bed before him. He came down to me, and read the poem to me in bed. A
sailor begged here to-day, going to Glasgow. He spoke cheerfully in a
sweet tone.

_Thursday._--Rydale vale was full of life and motion. The wind blew
briskly, and the lake was covered all over with bright silver waves,
that were there each the twinkling of an eye, then others rose up and
took their place as fast as they went away. The rocks glittered in the
sunshine. The crows and the ravens were busy, and the thrushes and
little birds sang. I went through the fields, and sate for an hour
afraid to pass a cow. The cow looked at me, and I looked at the cow, and
whenever I stirred the cow gave over eating.... A parcel came in from
Birmingham, with Lamb's play for us, and for C.... As we came along
Ambleside vale in the twilight, it was a grave evening. There was
something in the air that compelled me to various thoughts--the hills
were large, closed in by the sky.... Night was come on, and the moon was
overcast. But, as I climbed the moss, the moon came out from behind a
mountain mass of black clouds. O, the unutterable darkness of the sky,
and the earth below the moon, and the glorious brightness of the moon
itself! There was a vivid sparkling streak of light at this end of
Rydale water, but the rest was very dark, and Loughrigg Fell and Silver
How were white and bright, as if they were covered with hoar frost. The
moon retired again, and appeared and disappeared several times before I
reached home. Once there was no moonlight to be seen but upon the
island-house and the promontory of the island where it stands. "That
needs must be a holy place," etc. etc. I had many very exquisite
feelings, and when I saw this lofty Building in the waters, among the
dark and lofty hills, with that bright, soft light upon it, it made me
more than half a poet. I was tired when I reached home, and could not
sit down to reading. I tried to write verses, but alas! I gave up,
expecting William, and went soon to bed.

_Friday._--A very rainy morning. I went up into the lane to collect a
few green mosses to make the chimney gay against my darling's return.
Poor C., I did not wish for, or expect him, it rained so.... Coleridge
came in. His eyes were a little swollen with the wind. I was much
affected by the sight of him, he seemed half-stupefied. William came in
soon after. Coleridge went to bed late, and William and I sate up till
four o'clock. A letter from Sara sent by Mary. They disputed about Ben
Jonson. My spirits were agitated very much.

_Saturday._-- ... When I awoke the whole vale was covered with snow.
William and Coleridge walked.... We had a little talk about going
abroad. After tea William read _The Pedlar_. Talked about various
things--christening the children, etc. etc. Went to bed at 12 o'clock.

_Sunday._--Coleridge and William lay long in bed. We sent up to George
Mackareth's for the horse to go to Keswick, but we could not have it.
Went with C. to Borwick's where he left us. William very unwell. We had
a sweet and tender conversation. I wrote to Mary and Sara.

_Monday._--A rainy day. William very poorly. 2 letters from Sara, and
one from poor Annette. Wrote to my brother Richard. We talked a good
deal about C. and other interesting things. We resolved to see Annette,
and that Wm. should go to Mary. Wm. wrote to Coleridge not to expect us
till Thursday or Friday.

_Tuesday._--A mild morning. William worked at _The Cuckoo_ poem. I
sewed beside him.... I read German, and, at the closing-in of day, went
to sit in the orchard. William came to me, and walked backwards and
forwards. We talked about C. Wm. repeated the poem to me. I left him
there, and in 20 minutes he came in, rather tired with attempting to
write. He is now reading Ben Jonson. I am going to read German. It is
about 10 o'clock, a quiet night. The fire flickers, and the watch ticks.
I hear nothing save the breathing of my Beloved as he now and then
pushes his book forward, and turns over a leaf....

_Wednesday._--It was a beautiful spring morning, warm, and quiet with
mists. We found a letter from M. H. I made a vow that we would not leave
this country for G. Hill.[55] ... William altered _The Butterfly_ as we
came from Rydale....

  [Footnote 55: Gallow Hill, Yorkshire.--ED.]

_Thursday._-- ... No letter from Coleridge.

_Friday._-- ... William wrote to Annette, then worked at _The
Cuckoo_.... After dinner I sate 2 hours in the orchard. William and I
walked together after tea, to the top of White Moss. I left Wm. and
while he was absent I wrote out poems. I grew alarmed, and went to seek
him. I met him at Mr. Olliff's. He has been trying, without success, to
alter a passage--his _Silver How_ poem. He had written a conclusion just
before he went out. While I was getting into bed, he wrote _The

_Saturday._--A divine morning. At breakfast William wrote part of an
ode.... We sate all day in the orchard.

_Sunday._--We went to Keswick. Arrived wet to the skin....

_Monday._--Wm. and C. went to Armathwaite.

_Tuesday, 30th March._--We went to Calvert's.

_Wednesday, 31st March._-- ... We walked to Portinscale, lay upon the
turf, and looked into the Vale of Newlands; up to Borrowdale, and down
to Keswick--a soft Venetian view. Calvert and Wilkinsons dined with us.
I walked with Mrs. W. to the Quaker's meeting, met Wm., and we walked in
the field together.

_Thursday, 1st April._--Mrs. C, Wm. and I went to the How. We came home
by Portinscale.

_Friday, 2nd._--Wm. and I sate all the morning in the field.

_Saturday, 3rd._--Wm. went on to Skiddaw with C. We dined at

_Sunday, 4th._--We drove by gig to Water End. I walked down to
Coleridge's. Mrs. Calvert came to Greta Bank to tea. William walked down
with Mrs. Calvert, and repeated his verses to them....

_Monday, 5th._--We came to Eusemere. Coleridge walked with us to

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Monday, 12th._-- ... The ground covered with snow. Walked to T.
Wilkinson's and sent for letters. The woman brought me one from William
and Mary. It was a sharp, windy night. Thomas Wilkinson came with me to
Barton, and questioned me like a catechiser all the way. Every question
was like the snapping of a little thread about my heart. I was so full
of thought of my half-read letter and other things. I was glad when he
left me. Then I had time to look at the moon while I was thinking my own
thoughts. The moon travelled through the clouds, tinging them yellow as
she passed along, with two stars near her, one larger than the other.
These stars grew and diminished as they passed from, or went into, the
clouds. At this time William, as I found the next day, was riding by
himself between Middleham and Barnard Castle....

_Tuesday, 13th April._--Mrs. C. waked me from sleep with a letter from
Coleridge.... I walked along the lake side. The air was become still,
the lake was of a bright slate colour, the hills darkening. The bays
shot into the low fading shores. Sheep resting. All things quiet. When I
returned _William_ was come. The surprise shot through me....

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Thursday, 15th._--It was a threatening, misty morning, but mild. We
set off after dinner from Eusemere. Mrs. Clarkson went a short way with
us, but turned back. The wind was furious, and we thought we must have
returned. We first rested in the large boathouse, then under a furze
bush opposite Mr. Clarkson's. Saw the plough going in the field. The
wind seized our breath. The lake was rough. There was a boat by itself
floating in the middle of the bay below Water Millock. We rested again
in the Water Millock Lane. The hawthorns are black and green, the
birches here and there greenish, but there is yet more of purple to be
seen on the twigs. We got over into a field to avoid some cows--people
working. A few primroses by the roadside--woodsorrel flower, the
anemone, scentless violets, strawberries, and that starry, yellow flower
which Mrs. C. calls pile wort. When we were in the woods beyond
Gowbarrow Park we saw a few daffodils close to the water-side. We
fancied that the sea had floated the seeds ashore, and that the little
colony had so sprung up. But as we went along there were more and yet
more; and at last, under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was
a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country
turnpike road. I never saw daffodils so beautiful. They grew among the
mossy stones about and above them; some rested their heads upon these
stones, as on a pillow, for weariness; and the rest tossed and reeled
and danced, and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind, that
blew upon them over the lake; they looked so gay, ever glancing, ever
changing. This wind blew directly over the lake to them. There was here
and there a little knot, and a few stragglers higher up; but they were
so few as not to disturb the simplicity, unity, and life of that one
busy highway. We rested again and again. The bays were stormy, and we
heard the waves at different distances, and in the middle of the water,
like the sea.... All was cheerless and gloomy, so we faced the storm. At
Dobson's I was very kindly treated by a young woman. The landlady looked
sour, but it is her way.... William was sitting by a good fire when I
came downstairs. He soon made his way to the library, piled up in a
corner of the window. He brought out a volume of Enfield's _Speaker_,
another miscellany, and an odd volume of Congreve's plays. We had a
glass of warm rum and water. We enjoyed ourselves, and wished for Mary.
It rained and blew, when we went to bed.

_Friday, 16th April_ (_Good Friday_).--When I undrew curtains in the
morning, I was much affected by the beauty of the prospect, and the
change. The sun shone, the wind had passed away, the hills looked
cheerful, the river was very bright as it flowed into the lake. The
church rises up behind a little knot of rocks, the steeple not so high
as an ordinary three-story house. Trees in a row in the garden under the
wall. The valley is at first broken by little woody knolls that make
retiring places, fairy valleys in the vale, the river winds along under
these hills, travelling, not in a bustle but not slowly, to the lake. We
saw a fisherman in the flat meadow on the other side of the water. He
came towards us, and threw his line over the two-arched bridge. It is a
bridge of a heavy construction, almost bending inwards in the middle,
but it is grey, and there is a look of ancientry in the architecture of
it that pleased me. As we go on the vale opens out more into one vale,
with somewhat of a cradle bed. Cottages, with groups of trees, on the
side of the hills. We passed a pair of twin children, two years old.
Sate on the next bridge which we crossed--a single arch. We rested again
upon the turf, and looked at the same bridge. We observed arches in the
water, occasioned by the large stones sending it down in two streams. A
sheep came plunging through the river, stumbled up the bank, and passed
close to us. It had been frightened by an insignificant little dog on
the other side. Its fleece dropped a glittering shower under its belly.
Primroses by the road-side, pile wort that shone like stars of gold in
the sun, violets, strawberries, retired and half-buried among the grass.
When we came to the foot of Brothers Water, I left William sitting on
the bridge, and went along the path on the right side of the lake
through the wood. I was delighted with what I saw. The water under the
boughs of the bare old trees, the simplicity of the mountains, and the
exquisite beauty of the path. There was one grey cottage. I repeated
_The Glow-worm_, as I walked along. I hung over the gate, and thought I
could have stayed for ever. When I returned, I found William writing a
poem descriptive of the sights and sounds we saw and heard.[56] There
was the gentle flowing of the stream, the glittering, lively lake, green
fields without a living creature to be seen on them; behind us, a flat
pasture with forty-two cattle feeding; to our left, the road leading to
the hamlet. No smoke there, the sun shone on the bare roofs. The people
were at work ploughing, harrowing, and sowing; ... a dog barking now and
then, cocks crowing, birds twittering, the snow in patches at the top of
the highest hills, yellow palms, purple and green twigs on the birches,
ashes with their glittering stems quite bare. The hawthorn a bright
green, with black stems under the oak. The moss of the oak glossy. We
went on. Passed two sisters at work (they first passed us), one with two
pitchforks in her hand, the other had a spade. We had come to talk with
them. They laughed long after we were gone, perhaps half in wantonness,
half boldness. William finished his poem.[56] Before we got to the foot
of Kirkstone, there were hundreds of cattle in the vale. There we ate
our dinner. The walk up Kirkstone was very interesting. The becks among
the rocks were all alive. William showed me the little mossy streamlet
which he had before loved when he saw its bright green track in the
snow. The view above Ambleside very beautiful. There we sate and looked
down on the green vale. We watched the crows at a little distance from
us become white as silver as they flew in the sunshine, and when they
went still further, they looked like shapes of water passing over the
green fields. The whitening of Ambleside church is a great deduction
from the beauty of it, seen from this point. We called at the Luffs, the
Roddingtons there. Did not go in, and went round by the fields. I pulled
off my stockings, intending to wade the beck, but I was obliged to put
them on, and we climbed over the wall at the bridge. The post passed us.
No letters. Rydale Lake was in its own evening brightness: the Island,
and Points distinct. Jane Ashburner came up to us when we were sitting
upon the wall.... The garden looked pretty in the half-moonlight,
half-daylight, as we went up the vale....

  [Footnote 56: See "The Cock is crowing," etc., vol. ii. p. 293.--ED.]

_Saturday, 17th._--A mild warm rain. We sate in the garden all the
morning. William dug a little. I transplanted a honey-suckle. The lake
was still. The sheep on the island, reflected in the water, like the
grey-deer we saw in Gowbarrow Park. We walked after tea by moonlight. I
had been in bed in the afternoon, and William had slept in his chair. We
walked towards Rydale backwards and forwards below Mr. Olliff's. The
village was beautiful in the moonlight. Helm Crag we observed very
distinct. The dead hedge round Benson's field bound together at the top
by an interlacing of ash sticks, which made a chain of silver when we
faced the moon. A letter from C. and also one from S. H. I saw a robin
chasing a scarlet butterfly this morning.

_Sunday, 18th._--Again a mild grey morning, with rising vapours. We sate
in the orchard. William wrote the poem on _The Robin and the
Butterfly_.[57] ... William met me at Rydale ... with the conclusion of
the poem of the Robin. I read it to him in bed. We left out some lines.

  [Footnote 57: See vol. ii. p. 295.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Tuesday, 20th._--A beautiful morning. The sun shone. William wrote a
conclusion to the poem of the Butterfly:--

     I've watched you now a full half-hour.[58]

  [Footnote 58: Published as a separate poem.--ED.]

I was quite out of spirits, and went into the orchard. When I came in,
he had finished the poem. It was a beautiful afternoon. The sun shone
upon the level fields, and they grew greener beneath the eye. Houses,
village, all cheerful--people at work. We sate in the orchard and
repeated _The Glow-worm_ and other poems. Just when William came to a
well or trough, which there is in Lord Darlington's park, he began to
write that poem of _The Glow-worm_; ... interrupted in going through the
town of Staindrop, finished it about 2 miles and a half beyond
Staindrop. He did not feel the jogging of the horse while he was
writing; but, when he had done, he felt the effect of it, and his
fingers were cold with his gloves. His horse fell with him on the other
side of St. Helens, Auckland. So much for _The Glow-worm_. It was
written coming from Middleham on Monday, 12th April 1802.... On Tuesday
20th, when we were sitting after tea, Coleridge came to the door. I
startled him with my voice. C. came up fatigued, but I afterwards found
he looked well. William was not well, and I was in low spirits.

_Wednesday, 21st._--William and I sauntered a little in the garden.
Coleridge came to us, and repeated the verses he wrote to Sara. I was
affected with them, and in miserable spirits.[59] The sunshine, the
green fields, and the fair sky made me sadder; even the little happy,
sporting lambs seemed but sorrowful to me. The pile wort spread out on
the grass a thousand shiny stars. The primroses were there, and the
remains of a few daffodils. The well, which we cleaned out last night,
is still but a little muddy pond, though full of water.... Read
Ferguson's life and a poem or two....

  [Footnote 59: Can these "Verses" have been the first draft of
  _Dejection, an Ode_, in its earliest and afterwards abandoned form? It
  is said to have been written on 2nd April 1802.--ED.]

_Thursday, 22nd._--A fine mild morning. We walked into Easedale. The sun
shone. Coleridge talked of his plan of sowing the laburnum in the woods.
The waters were high, for there had been a great quantity of rain in the
night. I was tired and sate under the shade of a holly tree that grows
upon a rock, and looked down the stream. I then went to the single holly
behind that single rock in the field, and sate upon the grass till they
came from the waterfall. I saw them there, and heard William flinging
stones into the river, whose roaring was loud even where I was. When
they returned, William was repeating the poem:--

     I have thoughts that are fed by the sun.

It had been called to his mind by the dying away of the stunning of the
waterfall when he got behind a stone....

_Friday, 23rd April 1802._--It being a beautiful morning we set off at
11 o'clock, intending to stay out of doors all the morning. We went
towards Rydale, and before we got to Tom Dawson's we determined to go
under Nab Scar. Thither we went. The sun shone, and we were lazy.
Coleridge pitched upon several places to sit down upon, but we could not
be all of one mind respecting sun and shade, so we pushed on to the foot
of the Scar. It was very grand when we looked up, very stony, here and
there a budding tree. William observed that the umbrella yew tree, that
breasts the wind, had lost its character as a tree, and had become
something like to solid wood. Coleridge and I pushed on before. We left
William sitting on the stones, feasting with silence; and Coleridge and
I sat down upon a rocky seat--a couch it might be under the bower of
William's eglantine, Andrew's Broom. He was below us, and we could see
him. He came to us, and repeated his poems[60] while we sate beside him
upon the ground. He had made himself a seat in the crumbling ground.
Afterwards we lingered long, looking into the vales; Ambleside vale,
with the copses, the village under the hill, and the green fields;
Rydale, with a lake all alive and glittering, yet but little stirred by
breezes; and our dear Grasmere, making a little round lake of nature's
own, with never a house, never a green field, but the copses and the
bare hills enclosing it, and the river flowing out of it. Above rose the
Coniston Fells, in their own shape and colour--not man's hills, but all
for themselves, the sky and the clouds, and a few wild creatures. C.
went to search for something new. We saw him climbing up towards a rock.
He called us, and we found him in a bower--the sweetest that was ever
seen. The rock on one side is very high, and all covered with ivy, which
hung loosely about, and bore bunches of brown berries. On the other side
it was higher than my head. We looked down on the Ambleside vale, that
seemed to wind away from us, the village lying under the hill. The
fir-tree island was reflected beautifully. About this bower there is
mountain-ash, common-ash, yew-tree, ivy, holly, hawthorn, grasses, and
flowers, and a carpet of moss. Above, at the top of the rock, there is
another spot. It is scarce a bower, a little parlour only, not enclosed
by walls, but shaped out for a resting-place by the rocks, and the
ground rising about it. It had a sweet moss carpet. We resolved to go
and plant flowers in both these places to-morrow. We wished for Mary and
Sara. Dined late. After dinner Wm. and I worked in the garden. C.
received a letter from Sara.

  [Footnote 60: See _The Waterfall and the Eglantine_, and _The Oak and
  the Broom_, vol. ii. pp. 170, 174.--ED.]

_Saturday, 24th._--A very wet day. William called me out to see a
waterfall behind the barberry tree. We walked in the evening to Rydale.
Coleridge and I lingered behind. C. stopped up the little runnel by the
road-side to make a lake. We all stood to look at Glow-worm Rock--a
primrose that grew there, and just looked out on the road from its own
sheltered bower.[61] The clouds moved, as William observed, in one
regular body like a multitude in motion--a sky all clouds over, not one
cloud.[62] On our return it broke a little out, and we saw here and
there a star. One appeared but for a moment in a pale blue sky.

  [Footnote 61: See _The Primrose of the Rock_, vol. vii. p. 274.--ED.]

  [Footnote 62: Compare _To the Clouds_, vol. viii. p. 142.--ED.]

_Sunday, 25th April._--After breakfast we set off with Coleridge towards
Keswick. Wilkinson overtook us near the Potter's, and interrupted our
discourse. C. got into a gig with Mr. Beck, and drove away from us. A
shower came on, but it was soon over. We spent the morning in the
orchard reading the _Epithalamium_ of Spenser; walked backwards and

_Monday, 26th._--I copied Wm.'s poems for Coleridge....

_Tuesday, 27th._--A fine morning. Mrs. Luff called. I walked with her to
the boat-house. William met me at the top of the hill with his
fishing-rod in his hand. I turned with him, and we sate on the hill
looking to Rydale. I left him, intending to join him, but he came home,
and said his loins would not stand the pulling he had had. We sate in
the orchard. In the evening W. began to write _The Tinker_; we had a
letter and verses from Coleridge.

_Wednesday, 28th April._-- ... I copied _The Prioress's Tale_. William
was in the orchard. I went to him; he worked away at his poem.... I
happened to say that when I was a child I would not have pulled a
strawberry blossom. I left him, and wrote out _The Manciple's Tale_. At
dinner time he came in with the poem of _Children gathering
Flowers_,[63] but it was not quite finished, and it kept him long off
his dinner. It is now done. He is working at _The Tinker_. He promised
me he would get his tea, and do no more, but I have got mine an hour and
a quarter, and he has scarcely begun his. We have let the bright sun go
down without walking. Now a heavy shower comes on, and I guess we shall
not walk at all. I wrote a few lines to Coleridge. Then we walked
backwards and forwards between our house and Olliff's. We called upon T.
Hutchinson, and Bell Addison. William left me sitting on a stone. When
we came in we corrected the Chaucers, but I could not finish them

  [Footnote 63: See _Foresight_, vol. ii. p. 298.--ED.]

_Thursday, 29th._-- ... After I had written down _The Tinker_, which
William finished this morning, Luff called. He was very lame, limped
into the kitchen. He came on a little pony. We then went to John's
Grove, sate a while at first; afterwards William lay, and I lay, in the
trench under the fence--he with his eyes shut, and listening to the
waterfalls and the birds. There was no one waterfall above another--it
was a sound of waters in the air--the voice of the air. William heard me
breathing, and rustling now and then, but we both lay still, and unseen
by one another. He thought that it would be so sweet thus to lie in the
grave, to hear the peaceful sounds of the earth, and just to know that
our dear friends were near. The lake was still; there was a boat out.
Silver How reflected with delicate purple and yellowish hues, as I have
seen spar; lambs on the island, and running races together by the
half-dozen, in the round field near us. The copses greenish, hawthorns
green, ... cottages smoking. As I lay down on the grass, I observed the
glittering silver line on the ridge of the backs of the sheep, owing to
their situation respecting the sun, which made them look beautiful, but
with something of strangeness, like animals of another kind, as if
belonging to a more splendid world.... I got mullins and pansies....

_Friday, April 30th._--We came into the orchard directly after
breakfast, and sate there. The lake was calm, the day cloudy.... Two
fishermen by the lake side. William began to write the poem of _The
Celandine_.[64] ... Walked backwards and forwards with William--he
repeated his poem to me, then he got to work again and would not give
over. He had not finished his dinner till 5 o'clock. After dinner we
took up the fur gown into the Hollins above. We found a sweet seat, and
thither we will often go. We spread the gown, put on each a cloak, and
there we lay. William fell asleep, he had a bad headache owing to his
having been disturbed the night before, with reading C.'s letter. I did
not sleep, but lay with half-shut eyes looking at the prospect as on a
vision almost, I was so resigned[65] to it. Loughrigg Fell was the most
distant hill, then came the lake, slipping in between the copses. Above
the copse, the round swelling field; nearer to me, a wild intermixture
of rocks, trees, and patches of grassy ground. When we turned the corner
of our little shelter, we saw the church and the whole vale. It is a
blessed place. The birds were about us on all sides. Skobbies, robins,
bull-finches, and crows, now and then flew over our heads, as we were
warned by the sound of the beating of the air above. We stayed till the
light of day was going, and the little birds had begun to settle their
singing. But there was a thrush not far off, that seemed to sing louder
and clearer than the thrushes had sung when it was quite day. We came in
at 8 o'clock, got tea, wrote to Coleridge, and I wrote to Mrs. Clarkson
part of a letter. We went to bed at 20 minutes past 11, with prayers
that William might sleep well.

  [Footnote 64: See vol. ii. p. 300.--ED.]

  [Footnote 65: "Resigned" is curiously used in the Lake District. A
  woman there once told me that Mr. Ruskin was "very much resigned to
  his own company."--ED.]

_Saturday, May 1st._--Rose not till half-past 8, a heavenly morning. As
soon as breakfast was over, we went into the garden, and sowed the
scarlet beans about the house. It was a clear sky.

I sowed the flowers, William helped me. We then went and sate in the
orchard till dinner time. It was very hot. William wrote _The
Celandine_.[66] We planned a shed, for the sun was too much for us.
After dinner, we went again to our old resting-place in the Hollins
under the rock. We first lay under the Holly, where we saw nothing but
the holly tree, and a budding elm tree mossed, with the sky above our
heads. But that holly tree had a beauty about it more than its own,
knowing as we did when we arose. When the sun had got low enough, we
went to the Rock Shade. Oh, the overwhelming beauty of the vale below,
greener than green! Two ravens flew high, high in the sky, and the sun
shone upon their bellies and their wings, long after there was none of
his light to be seen but a little space on the top of Loughrigg Fell.
Heard the cuckoo to-day, this first of May. We went down to tea at 8
o'clock, and returned after tea. The landscape was fading: sheep and
lambs quiet among the rocks. We walked towards King's, and backwards and
forwards. The sky was perfectly cloudless. _N.B._ it is often so. Three
solitary stars in the middle of the blue vault, one or two on the points
of the high hills.

  [Footnote 66: Doubtless the second of the two poems, beginning thus--

       Pleasures newly found are sweet.  ED.]

_Tuesday, 4th May._--Though William went to bed nervous, and jaded in
the extreme, he rose refreshed. I wrote out _The Leech Gatherer_ for
him, which he had begun the night before, and of which he wrote several
stanzas in bed this morning. [They started to walk to Wytheburn.] It was
very hot.... We rested several times by the way,--read, and repeated
_The Leech Gatherer_.... We saw Coleridge on the Wytheburn side of the
water; he crossed the beck to us. Mr. Simpson was fishing there. William
and I ate luncheon, and then went on towards the waterfall. It is a
glorious wild solitude under that lofty purple crag. It stood upright by
itself; its own self, and its shadow below, one mass; all else was
sunshine. We went on further. A bird at the top of the crag was flying
round and round, and looked in thinness and transparency, shape and
motion like a moth.... We climbed the hill, but looked in vain for a
shade, except at the foot of the great waterfall. We came down, and
rested upon a moss-covered rock rising out of the bed of the river.
There we lay, ate our dinner, and stayed there till about four o'clock
or later. William and Coleridge repeated and read verses. I drank a
little brandy and water, and was in heaven. The stag's horn is very
beautiful and fresh, springing upon the fells; mountain ashes, green. We
drank tea at a farm house.... We parted from Coleridge at Sara's crag,
after having looked for the letters which C. carved in the morning. I
missed them all. William deepened the X with C.'s pen-knife. We sate
afterwards on the wall, seeing the sun go down, and the reflections in
the still water. C. looked well, and parted from us cheerfully, hopping
upon the side stones. On the Raise we met a woman with two little girls,
one in her arms, the other, about four years old, walking by her side, a
pretty little thing, but half-starved.... Young as she was, she walked
carefully with them. Alas, too young for such cares and such travels.
The mother, when we accosted her, told us how her husband had left her,
and gone off with another woman, and how she "_pursued_" them. Then her
fury kindled, and her eyes rolled about. She changed again to tears. She
was a Cockermouth woman, thirty years of age--a child at Cockermouth
when I was. I was moved, and gave her a shilling.... We had the crescent
moon with the "auld moon in her arms." We rested often, always upon the
bridges. Reached home at about ten o'clock.... We went soon to bed. I
repeated verses to William while he was in bed; he was soothed, and I
left him. "This is the spot" over and over again.

_Wednesday, 5th May._--A very fine morning, rather cooler than
yesterday. We planted three-fourths of the bower. I made bread. We sate
in the orchard. The thrush sang all day, as he always sings. I wrote to
the Hutchinsons, and to Coleridge. Packed off _Thalaba_. William had
kept off work till near bed-time, when we returned from our walk. Then
he began again, and went to bed very nervous. We walked in the twilight,
and walked till night came on. The moon had the old moon in her arms,
but not so plain to be seen as the night before. When we went to bed it
was a boat without the circle. I read _The Lover's Complaint_ to William
in bed, and left him composed.

_Thursday, 6th May._--A sweet morning. We have put the finishing stroke
to our bower, and here we are sitting in the orchard. It is one o'clock.
We are sitting upon a seat under the wall, which I found my brother
building up, when I came to him.... He had intended that it should have
been done before I came. It is a nice, cool, shady spot. The small birds
are singing, lambs bleating, cuckoos calling, the thrush sings by fits,
Thomas Ashburner's axe is going quietly (without passion) in the
orchard, hens are cackling, flies humming, the women talking together at
their doors, plum and pear trees are in blossom--apple trees
greenish--the opposite woods green, the crows are cawing, we have heard
ravens, the ash trees are in blossom, birds flying all about us, the
stitchwort is coming out, there is one budding lychnis, the primroses
are passing their prime, celandine, violets, and wood sorrel for ever
more, little geraniums and pansies on the wall. We walked in the evening
to Tail End, to inquire about hurdles for the orchard shed.... When we
came in we found a magazine, and review, and a letter from Coleridge,
verses to Hartley, and Sara H. We read the review, etc. The moon was a
perfect boat, a silver boat, when we were out in the evening. The birch
tree is all over green in _small_ leaf, more light and elegant than when
it is full out. It bent to the breezes, as if for the love of its own
delightful motions. Sloe-thorns and hawthorns in the hedges.

_Friday, 7th May._--William had slept uncommonly well, so, feeling
himself strong, he fell to work at _The Leech Gatherer_; he wrote hard
at it till dinner time, then he gave over, tired to death--he had
finished the poem. I was making Derwent's frocks. After dinner we sate
in the orchard. It was a thick, hazy, dull air. The thrush sang almost
continually; the little birds were more than usually busy with their
voices. The sparrows are now full fledged. The nest is so full that they
lie upon one another; they sit quietly in their nest with closed mouths.
I walked to Rydale after tea, which we drank by the kitchen fire. The
evening very dull; a terrible kind of threatening brightness at sunset
above Easedale. The sloe-thorn beautiful in the hedges, and in the wild
spots higher up among the hawthorns. No letters. William met me. He had
been digging in my absence, and cleaning the well. We walked up beyond
Lewthwaites. A very dull sky; coolish; crescent moon now and then. I had
a letter brought me from Mrs. Clarkson while we were walking in the
orchard. I observed the sorrel leaves opening at about nine o'clock.
William went to bed tired with thinking about a poem.

_Saturday Morning, 8th May._--We sowed the scarlet beans in the orchard,
and read _Henry V._ there. William lay on his back on the seat, and
wept.... After dinner William added one to the orchard steps.

_Sunday Morning, 9th May._--The air considerably colder to-day, but the
sun shone all day. William worked at _The Leech Gatherer_ almost
incessantly from morning till tea-time. I copied _The Leech Gatherer_
and other poems for Coleridge. I was oppressed and sick at heart, for he
wearied himself to death. After tea he wrote two stanzas in the manner
of Thomson's _Castle of Indolence_, and was tired out. Bad news of

_Monday, 10th May._--A fine clear morning, but coldish. William is
still at work, though it is past ten o'clock; he will be tired out, I am
sure. My heart fails in me. He worked a little at odd things, but after
dinner he gave over. An affecting letter from Mary H. We sate in the
orchard before dinner.... I wrote to Mary H.... I wrote to Coleridge,
sent off reviews and poems. Went to bed at twelve o'clock. William did
not sleep till three o'clock.

_Tuesday, 11th May._--A cool air. William finished the stanzas about C.
and himself. He did not go out to-day. Miss Simpson came in to tea,
which was lucky enough, for it interrupted his labours. I walked with
her to Rydale. The evening cool; the moon only now and then to be seen;
the lake purple as we went; primroses still in abundance. William did
not meet me. He completely finished his poem, I finished Derwent's
frocks. We went to bed at twelve o'clock....

_Wednesday, 12th May._--A sunshiny, but coldish morning. We walked into
Easedale.... We brought home heckberry blossom, crab blossom, the
anemone nemorosa, marsh marigold, speedwell,--that beautiful blue one,
the colour of the blue-stone or glass used in jewellery--with the
beautiful pearl-like chives. Anemones are in abundance, and still the
dear dear primroses, violets in beds, pansies in abundance, and the
little celandine. I pulled a bunch of the taller celandine. Butterflies
of all colours. I often see some small ones of a pale purple lilac, or
emperor's eye colour, something of the colour of that large geranium
which grows by the lake side.... William pulled ivy with beautiful
berries. I put it over the chimney-piece. Sate in the orchard the hour
before dinner, coldish.... In the evening we were sitting at the table
writing, when we were roused by Coleridge's voice below. He had walked;
looked palish, but was not much tired. We sate up till one o'clock, all
together, then William went to bed, and I sate with C. in the
sitting-room (where he slept) till a quarter past two o'clock. Wrote to
M. H.

_Thursday, 13th May._--The day was very cold, with snow showers.
Coleridge had intended going in the morning to Keswick, but the cold and
showers hindered him. We went with him after tea as far as the
plantations by the roadside descending to Wytheburn. He did not look
well when we parted from him....

_Friday, 14th May._--A very cold morning--hail and snow showers all
day. We went to Brothers wood, intending to get plants, and to go along
the shore of the lake to the foot. We did go a part of the way, but
there was no pleasure in stepping along that difficult sauntering road
in this ungenial weather. We turned again, and walked backwards and
forwards in Brothers wood. William tired himself with seeking an epithet
for the cuckoo. I sate a while upon my last summer seat, the mossy
stone. William's, unoccupied, beside me, and the space between, where
Coleridge has so often lain. The oak trees are just putting forth yellow
knots of leaves. The ashes with their flowers passing away, and leaves
coming out; the blue hyacinth is not quite full blown; gowans are coming
out; marsh marigolds in full glory; the little star plant, a star
without a flower. We took home a great load of gowans, and planted them
about the orchard. After dinner, I worked bread, then came and mended
stockings beside William; he fell asleep. After tea I walked to Rydale
for letters. It was a strange night. The hills were covered over with a
slight covering of hail or snow, just so as to give them a hoary winter
look with the black rocks. The woods looked miserable, the coppices
green as grass, which looked quite unnatural, and they seemed half
shrivelled up, as if they shrank from the air. O, thought I! what a
beautiful thing God has made winter to be, by stripping the trees, and
letting us see their shapes and forms. What a freedom does it seem to
give to the storms! There were several new flowers out, but I had no
pleasure in looking at them. I walked as fast as I could back again with
my letter from S. H.... Met William at the top of White Moss.... Near
ten when we came in. William and Molly had dug the ground and planted
potatoes in my absence. We wrote to Coleridge; sent off bread and frocks
to the C.'s. Went to bed at half-past eleven. William very nervous.
After he was in bed, haunted with altering _The Rainbow_.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Saturday, 15th._--A very cold and cheerless morning. I sate mending
stockings all the morning. I read in Shakespeare. William lay very late
because he slept ill last night. It snowed this morning just like
Christmas. We had a melancholy letter from Coleridge at bedtime. It
distressed me very much, and I resolved upon going to Keswick the next

(The following is written on the blotting-paper opposite this date:--)

                       S. T. Coleridge.
           Dorothy Wordsworth. William Wordsworth.
              Mary Hutchinson. Sara Hutchinson.
                  William. Coleridge. Mary.
                        Dorothy. Sara.
                           16th May
                       John Wordsworth.

_Sunday, 16th._--William was at work all the morning. I did not go to
Keswick. A sunny, cold, frosty day. A snowstorm at night. We were a good
while in the orchard in the morning.

_Monday, 17th May._--William was not well, he went with me to Wytheburn
water, and left me in a post-chaise. Hail showers, snow, and cold
attacked me. The people were graving peats under Nadel Fell. A lark and
thrush singing near Coleridge's house. Bancrofts there. A letter from M.

_Tuesday, 18th May._--Terribly cold, Coleridge not well. Froude called,
Wilkinsons called, C. and I walked in the evening in the garden. Warmer
in the evening. Wrote to M. and S.

_Wednesday, 19th May._--A grey morning--not quite so cold. C. and I set
off at half-past nine o'clock. Met William near the six-mile stone. We
sate down by the road-side, and then went to Wytheburn water. Longed to
be at the island. Sate in the sun. We drank tea at John Stanley's. The
evening cold and clear. A glorious light on Skiddaw. I was tired.
Brought a cloak down from Mr. Simpson's. Packed up books for Coleridge,
then got supper, and went to bed.

_Thursday, 20th May._--A frosty, clear morning. I lay in bed late.
William got to work. I was somewhat tired. We sate in the orchard
sheltered all the morning. In the evening there was a fine rain. We
received a letter from Coleridge telling us that he wished us not to go
to Keswick.

_Friday, 21st May._--A very warm gentle morning, a little rain. William
wrote two sonnets on Buonaparte, after I had read Milton's sonnets to
him. In the evening he went with Mr. Simpson with Borwick's boat to
gather ling in Bainrigg's. I plashed about the well, was much heated,
and I think I caught cold.

_Saturday, 22nd May._--A very hot morning. A hot wind, as if coming
from a sand desert. We met Coleridge. He was sitting under Sara's rock.
When we reached him he turned with us. We sate a long time under the
wall of a sheep-fold. Had some interesting, melancholy talk, about his
private affairs. We drank tea at a farmhouse. The woman was very kind.
There was a woman with three children travelling from Workington to
Manchester. The woman served them liberally. Afterwards she said that
she never suffered any to go away without a trifle "sec as we have." The
woman at whose house we drank tea the last time was rich and
senseless--she said "she never served any but their own poor." C. came
home with us. We sate some time in the orchard.... Letters from S. and
M. H.

_Sunday._--I sat with C. in the orchard all the morning.... We walked in
Bainrigg's after tea. Saw the juniper--umbrella shaped. C. went to the
Points,[67] joined us on White Moss.

  [Footnote 67: Mary Point and Sara Point; the "two heath-clad rocks"
  referred to in one of the "Poems on the Naming of Places."--ED.]

_Monday, 24th May._--A very hot morning. We were ready to go off with
Coleridge, but foolishly sauntered, and Miss Taylor and Miss Stanley
called. William and Coleridge and I went afterwards to the top of the

I had sent off a letter to Mary by C. I wrote again, and to C.

_Tuesday, 25th._-- ... Papers and short note from C.; again no sleep for

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Friday, 28th._-- ... William tired himself with hammering at a passage.

... We sate in the orchard. The sky cloudy, the air sweet and cool. The
young bullfinches, in their party-coloured raiment, bustle about among
the blossoms, and poise themselves like wire-dancers or tumblers,
shaking the twigs and dashing off the blossoms.[68] There is yet one
primrose in the orchard. The stitchwort is fading. The vetches are in
abundance, blossoming and seeding. That pretty little wavy-looking
dial-like yellow flower, the speedwell, and some others, whose names I
do not yet know. The wild columbines are coming into beauty; some of the
gowans fading. In the garden we have lilies, and many other flowers. The
scarlet beans are up in crowds. It is now between eight and nine
o'clock. It has rained sweetly for two hours and a half; the air is very
mild. The heckberry blossoms are dropping off fast, almost gone;
barberries are in beauty; snowballs coming forward; May roses

  [Footnote 68: Compare _The Green Linnett_, vol. ii. p. 367.--ED.]

_Saturday, 29th._-- ... William finished his poem on going for Mary. I
wrote it out. I wrote to Mary H., having received a letter from her in
the evening. A sweet day. We nailed up the honeysuckles, and hoed the
scarlet beans.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Monday, 31st._-- ... We sat out all the day.... I wrote out the poem on
"Our Departure," which he seemed to have finished. In the evening Miss
Simpson brought us a letter from M. H., and a complimentary and critical
letter to W. from John Wilson of Glasgow.[69]...

  [Footnote 69: Christopher North.--ED.]

_Tuesday._--A very sweet day, but a sad want of rain. We went into the
orchard after I had written to M. H. Then on to Mr. Olliff's intake....
The columbine was growing upon the rocks; here and there a solitary
plant, sheltered and shaded by the tufts and bowers of trees. It is a
graceful slender creature, a female seeking retirement, and growing
freest and most graceful where it is most alone. I observed that the
more shaded plants were always the tallest. A short note and
gooseberries from Coleridge. We walked upon the turf near John's Grove.
It was a lovely night. The clouds of the western sky reflected a saffron
light upon the upper end of the lake. All was still. We went to look at
Rydale. There was an Alpine, fire-like red upon the tops of the
mountains. This was gone when we came in view of the lake. But we saw
the lake from a new and most beautiful point of view, between two little
rocks, and behind a small ridge that had concealed it from us. This
White Moss, a place made for all kinds of beautiful works of art and
nature, woods and valleys, fairy valleys and fairy tarns, miniature
mountains, alps above alps.

_Wednesday, 2nd June._--In the morning we observed that the scarlet
beans were drooping in the leaves in great numbers, owing, we guess, to
an insect.... Yesterday an old man called, a grey-headed man, above
seventy years of age. He said he had been a soldier, that his wife and
children had died in Jamaica. He had a beggar's wallet over his
shoulders; a coat of shreds and patches, altogether of a drab colour; he
was tall, and though his body was bent, he had the look of one used to
have been upright. I talked a while, and then gave him a piece of cold
bacon and some money. Said he, "You're a fine woman!" I could not help
smiling; I suppose he meant, "You're a kind woman." Afterwards a woman
called, travelling to Glasgow. After dinner we went into Frank's field,
crawled up the little glen, and planned a seat; ... found a beautiful
shell-like purple fungus in Frank's field. After tea we walked to
Butterlip How, and backwards and forwards there. All the young oak tree
leaves are dry as powder. A cold south wind, portending rain....

_Thursday, 3rd June 1802._--A very fine rain. I lay in my bed till ten
o'clock. William much better than yesterday. We walked into Easedale....
The cuckoo sang, and we watched the little birds as we sate at the door
of the cow-house. The oak copses are brown, as in autumn, with the late
frosts.... We have been reading the life and some of the writings of
poor Logan since dinner. There are many affecting lines and passages in
his poem, _e.g._

     And everlasting longings for the lost.

... William is now sleeping with the window open, lying on the window
seat. The thrush is singing. There are, I do believe, a thousand buds on
the honeysuckle tree, all small and far from blowing, save one that is
retired behind the twigs close to the wall, and as snug as a bird nest.
John's rose tree is very beautiful, blended with the honeysuckle.

Yesterday morning William walked as far as the Swan with Aggy Fisher,
who was going to attend upon Goan's dying infant. She said, "There are
many heavier crosses than the death of an infant;" and went on, "There
was a woman in this vale who buried four grown-up children in one year,
and I have heard her say, when many years were gone by, that she had
more pleasure in thinking of those four than of her living children, for
as children get up and have families of their own, their duty to their
parents _wears out and weakens_. She could trip lightly by the graves of
those who died when they were young ... as she went to church on a

... A very affecting letter came from M. H., while I was sitting in the
window reading Milton's _Penseroso_ to William. I answered this letter
before I went to bed.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Saturday, 5th._--A fine showery morning. I made both pies and bread;
but we first walked into Easedale, and sate under the oak trees, upon
the mossy stones. There were one or two slight showers. The gowans were
flourishing along the banks of the stream. The strawberry flower hanging
over the brook; all things soft and green. In the afternoon William sate
in the orchard. I went there; was tired, and fell asleep. William began
a letter to John Wilson.

_Sunday, 6th June._--A showery morning. We were writing the letter to
John Wilson when Ellen came.... After dinner I walked into John Fisher's
intake with Ellen. He brought us letters from Coleridge, Mrs. Clarkson,
and Sara Hutchinson....

_Monday, 7th June._--I wrote to Mary H. this morning; sent the C.
"Indolence" poem. Copied the letter to John Wilson, and wrote to my
brother Richard and Mrs. Coleridge. In the evening I walked with Ellen
to Butterlip How.... It was a very sweet evening; there was the cuckoo
and the little birds; the copses still injured, but the trees in general
looked most soft and beautiful in tufts.... I went with Ellen in the
morning to Rydale Falls....

_Tuesday, 8th June._--Ellen and I rode to Windermere. We had a fine
sunny day, neither hot nor cold. I mounted the horse at the quarry. We
had no difficulties or delays but at the gates. I was enchanted with
some of the views. From the High Ray the view is very delightful, rich,
and festive, water and wood, houses, groves, hedgerows, green fields,
and mountains; white houses, large and small. We passed two or three
new-looking statesmen's houses. The Curwens' shrubberies looked pitiful
enough under the native trees. We put up our horses, ate our dinner by
the water-side, and walked up to the Station. We went to the Island,
walked round it, and crossed the lake with our horse in the ferry. The
shrubs have been cut away in some parts of the island. I observed to the
boatman that I did not think it improved. He replied: "We think it is,
for one could hardly see the house before." It seems to me to be,
however, no better than it was. They have made no natural glades; it is
merely a lawn with a few miserable young trees, standing as if they were
half-starved. There are no sheep, no cattle upon these lawns. It is
neither one thing nor another--neither natural, nor wholly cultivated
and artificial, which it was before. And that great house! Mercy upon
us! if it _could_ be concealed, it would be well for all who are not
pained to see the pleasantest of earthly spots deformed by man. But it
_cannot_ be covered. Even the tallest of our old oak trees would not
reach to the top of it. When we went into the boat, there were two men
standing at the landing-place. One seemed to be about sixty, a man with
a jolly red face; he looked as if he might have lived many years in Mr.
Curwen's house. He wore a blue jacket and trousers, as the people who
live close by Windermere, particularly at the places of chief resort....
He looked significantly at our boatman just as we were rowing off, and
said, "Thomas, mind you take the directions off that cask. You know what
I mean. It will serve as a blind for them. _You_ know. It was a blind
business, both for you, and the coachman, ... and all of us. Mind you
take off the directions. 'A wink's as good as a nod with some folks;'"
and then he turned round, looking at his companion with an air of
self-satisfaction, and deep insight into unknown things! I could hardly
help laughing outright at him. The laburnums blossom freely at the
island, and in the shrubberies on the shore; they are blighted
everywhere else. Roses of various sorts now out. The brooms were in full
glory everywhere, "veins of gold" among the copses. The hawthorns in the
valley fading away; beautiful upon the hills. We reached home at three
o'clock. After tea William went out and walked and wrote that poem,

     The sun has long been set, etc.

He ... walked on our own path and wrote the lines; he called me into the
orchard, and there repeated them to me....

_Wednesday, 9th June._-- ... The hawthorns on the mountain sides like
orchards in blossom....

_Thursday, 10th June._-- ... Coleridge came in with a sack full of
books, etc., and a branch of mountain ash. He had been attacked by a
cow. He came over by Grisdale. A furious wind....

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Saturday, 12th June._--A rainy morning. Coleridge set off before
dinner. We went with him to the Raise, but it rained, so we went no
further. Sheltered under a wall. He would be sadly wet, for a furious
shower came on just when we parted....

_Sunday, 13th June._--A fine morning. Sunshiny and bright, but with
rainy clouds. William ... has been altering the poem to Mary this
morning.... I wrote out poems for our journey.... Mr. Simpson came when
we were in the orchard in the morning, and brought us a beautiful
drawing which he had done. In the evening we walked, first on our own
path.... It was a silent night. The stars were out by ones and twos, but
no cuckoo, no little birds; the air was not warm, and we have observed
that since Tuesday, 8th, when William wrote, "The sun has long been
set," that we have had no birds singing after the evening is fairly set
in. We walked to our new view of Rydale, but it put on a sullen face.
There was an owl hooting in Bainrigg's. Its first halloo was so like a
human shout that I was surprised, when it gave its second call tremulous
and lengthened out, to find that the shout had come from an owl. The
full moon (not quite full) was among a company of shady island clouds,
and the sky bluer about it than the natural sky blue. William observed
that the full moon, above a dark fir grove, is a fine image of the
descent of a superior being. There was a shower which drove us into
John's Grove before we had quitted our favourite path. We walked upon
John's path before we went to view Rydale....

_Monday, 14th._-- ... William wrote to Mary and Sara about _The Leech
Gatherer_, and wrote to both of them in one ... and to Coleridge
also.... I walked with William ... on our own path. We were driven away
by the horses that go on the commons; then we went to look at Rydale;
walked a little in the fir grove; went again to the top of the hill, and
came home. A mild and sweet night. William stayed behind me. I threw him
the cloak out of the window. The moon overcast. He sate a few minutes in
the orchard; came in sleepy, and hurried to bed. I carried him his bread
and butter.

_Tuesday, 15th._--A sweet grey, mild morning. The birds sing soft and
low. William has not slept all night; it wants only ten minutes of ten,
and he is in bed yet. After William rose we went and sate in the orchard
till dinner time. We walked a long time in the evening upon our
favourite path; the owls hooted, the night hawk sang to itself
incessantly, but there were no little birds, no thrushes. I left William
writing a few lines about the night hawk and other images of the
evening, and went to seek for letters....

_Wednesday, 16th._--We walked towards Rydale for letters.... One from
Mary. We went up into Rydale woods and read it there. We sate near the
old wall, which fenced a hazel grove, which William said was exactly
like the filbert grove at Middleham. It is a beautiful spot, a sloping
or rather steep piece of ground, with hazels growing "tall and erect" in
clumps at distances, almost seeming regular, as if they had been
planted.... I wrote to Mary after dinner, while William sate in the
orchard.... I spoke of the little birds keeping us company, and William
told me that that very morning a bird had perched upon his leg. He had
been lying very still, and had watched this little creature. It had come
under the bench where he was sitting.... He thoughtlessly stirred
himself to look further at it, and it flew on to the apple tree above
him. It was a little young creature that had just left its nest, equally
unacquainted with man, and unaccustomed to struggle against the storms
and winds. While it was upon the apple tree the wind blew about the
stiff boughs, and the bird seemed bemazed, and not strong enough to
strive with it. The swallows come to the sitting-room window as if
wishing to build, but I am afraid they will not have courage for it; but
I believe they will build in my room window. They twitter, and make a
bustle, and a little cheerful song, hanging against the panes of glass
with their soft white bellies close to the glass and their forked
fish-like tails. They swim round and round, and again they come.... I do
not now see the brownness that was in the coppices. The bower hawthorn
blossoms passed away. Those on the hills are a faint white. The wild
guelder-rose is coming out, and the wild roses. I have seen no
honey-suckles yet.... Foxgloves are now frequent.

_Thursday, 17th._-- ... When I came home I found William at work
attempting to alter a stanza in the poem on our going for Mary, which I
convinced him did not need altering. We sate in the house after dinner.
In the evening walked on our favourite path. A short letter from
Coleridge. William added a little to the Ode he is writing.[70]

  [Footnote 70: Doubtless the _Ode, Intimations of Immortality_.--ED.]

_Friday, 18th June._--When we were sitting after breakfast ... Luff came
in. He had rode over the Fells. He brought news about Lord Lowther's
intention to pay all debts, etc., and a letter from Mr. Clarkson. He saw
our garden, was astonished at the scarlet beans, etc. etc. etc. When he
was gone, we wrote to Coleridge, M. H., and my brother Richard about the
affair. William determined to go to Eusemere on Monday....

_Saturday, 19th._--The swallows were very busy under my window this
morning.... Coleridge, when he was last here, told us that for many
years, there being no Quaker meeting at Keswick, a single old Quaker
woman used to go regularly alone every Sunday to attend the
meeting-house, and there used to sit and perform her worship alone, in
that beautiful place among those fir trees, in that spacious vale, under
the great mountain Skiddaw!!!... On Thursday morning Miss Hudson of
Workington called. She said, "... I sow flowers in the parks several
miles from home, and my mother and I visit them, and watch them how they
grow." This may show that botanists may be often deceived when they find
rare flowers growing far from houses. This was a very ordinary young
woman, such as in any town in the North of England one may find a score.
I sate up a while after William. He then called me down to him. (I was
writing to Mary H.) I read Churchill's _Rosciad_. Returned again to my
writing, and did not go to bed till he called to me. The shutters were
closed, but I heard the birds singing. There was our own thrush,
shouting with an impatient shout; so it sounded to me. The morning was
still, the twittering of the little birds was very gloomy. The owls had
hooted a quarter of an hour before, now the cocks were crowing, it was
near daylight, I put out my candle, and went to bed....

_Sunday, 20th._-- ... We were in the orchard a great part of the
morning. After tea we walked upon our own path for a long time. We
talked sweetly together about the disposal of our riches. We lay upon
the sloping turf. Earth and sky were so lovely that they melted our very
hearts. The sky to the north was of a chastened yet rich yellow, fading
into pale blue, and streaked and scattered over with steady islands of
purple, melting away into shades of pink. It was like a vision to me....

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Tuesday morning._-- ... I walked to Rydale. I waited long for the post,
lying in the field, and looking at the distant mountains, looking and
listening to the river. I met the post. Letters from Montagu and
Richard. I hurried back, forwarded these to William, and wrote to
Montagu. When I came home I wrote to my brother Christopher. I could
settle to nothing.... I read the _Midsummer Night's Dream_, and began
_As You Like It_.

_Wednesday, 23rd June._-- ... A sunshiny morning. I walked to the top
of the hill and sate under a wall near John's Grove, facing the sun. I
read a scene or two in _As You Like It_.... Coleridge and Leslie came
just as I had lain down after dinner. C. brought me William's letter. He
had got well to Eusemere. Coleridge and I accompanied Leslie to the
boat-house. It was a sullen, coldish evening, no sunshine; but after we
had parted from Leslie a light came out suddenly that repaid us for all.
It fell only upon one hill, and the island, but it arrayed the grass and
trees in gem-like brightness. I cooked Coleridge's supper. We sate up
till one o'clock.

_Thursday, 24th June._--I went with C. half way up the Raise. It was a
cool morning.... William came in just when M. had left me. It was a
mild, rainy evening.... We sate together talking till the first dawning
of day; a happy time.

_Friday, 25th June._-- ... I went, just before tea, into the garden. I
looked up at my swallow's nest, and it was gone. It had fallen down.
Poor little creatures, they could not themselves be more distressed than
I was. I went upstairs to look at the ruins. They lay in a large heap
upon the window ledge; these swallows had been ten days employed in
building this nest, and it seemed to be almost finished. I had watched
them early in the morning, in the day many and many a time, and in the
evenings when it was almost dark. I had seen them sitting together side
by side in their unfinished nest, both morning and night. When they
first came about the window they used to hang against the panes, with
their white bellies and their forked tails, looking like fish; but then
they fluttered and sang their own little twittering song. As soon as the
nest was broad enough, a sort of ledge for them, they sate both mornings
and evenings, but they did not pass the night there. I watched them one
morning, when William was at Eusemere, for more than an hour. Every now
and then there was a motion in their wings, a sort of tremulousness, and
they sang a low song to one another.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

... It is now eight o'clock; I will go and see if my swallows are on
their nest. Yes! there they are, side by side, both looking down into
the garden. I have been out on purpose to see their faces. I knew by
looking at the window that they were there.... Coleridge and William
came in at about half-past eleven. They talked till after twelve.

_Wednesday, 30th June._-- ... We met an old man between the Raise and
Lewthwaites. He wore a rusty but untorn hat, an excellent blue coat,
waistcoat, and breeches, and good mottled worsted stockings. His beard
was very thick and grey, of a fortnight's growth we guessed; it was a
regular beard, like grey _plush_. His bundle contained Sheffield ware.
William said to him, after we had asked him what his business was, "You
are a very old man?" "Aye, I am eighty-three." I joined in, "Have you
any children?" "Children? Yes, plenty. I have children and
grand-children, and great grand-children. I have a great grand-daughter,
a fine lass, thirteen years old." I then said, "Won't they take care of
you?" He replied, much offended, "Thank God, I can take care of myself."
He said he had been a servant of the Marquis of Granby--"O he was a good
man; he's in heaven; I hope he is." He then told us how he shot himself
at Bath, that he was with him in Germany, and travelled with him
everywhere. "He was a famous boxer, sir." And then he told us a story of
his fighting with his farmer. "He used always to call me bland and
sharp." Then every now and then he broke out, "He was a good man! When
we were travelling he never asked at the public-houses, as it might be
there" (pointing to the "Swan"), "what we were to pay, but he would put
his hand into his pocket and give them what he liked; and when he came
out of the house he would say, Now, they would have charged me a
shilling or tenpence. God help them, poor creatures!" I asked him again
about his children, how many he had. Says he, "I cannot tell you" (I
suppose he confounded children and grand-children together); "I have one
daughter that keeps a boarding-school at Skipton, in Craven. She teaches
flowering and marking. And another that keeps a boarding-school at
Ingleton. I brought up my family under the Marquis." He was familiar
with all parts of Yorkshire. He asked us where we lived. At Grasmere.
"The bonniest dale in all England!" says the old man. I bought a pair of
slippers from him, and we sate together by the road-side. When we parted
I tried to lift his bundle, and it was almost more than I could do....
After tea I wrote to Coleridge, and closed up my letter to M. H. We went
soon to bed. A weight of children a poor man's blessing!...

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Friday, 2nd July._--A very rainy morning.... I left William, and wrote
a short letter to M. H. and to Coleridge, and transcribed the
alterations in _The Leech Gatherer_.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Sunday, 4th July._-- ... William finished _The Leech Gatherer_ to-day.

_Monday, 5th July._--A very sweet morning. William stayed some time in
the orchard.... I copied out _The Leech Gatherer_ for Coleridge, and for
us. Wrote to Mrs. Clarkson, M. H., and Coleridge....

_Tuesday, 6th July._-- ... We set off towards Rydale for letters. The
rain met us at the top of the White Moss, and it came on very heavily
afterwards. It drove past Nab Scar in a substantial shape, as if going
to Grasmere was as far as it could go.... The swallows have completed
their beautiful nest....

_Wednesday, 7th._-- ... Walked on the White Moss. Glow-worms. Well for
them children are in bed when they shine.

_Thursday, 8th._-- ... When I was coming home, a post-chaise passed
with a little girl behind in a patched, ragged cloak. In the afternoon,
after we had talked a little, William fell asleep. I read the _Winter's
Tale_; then I went to bed, but did not sleep. The swallows stole in and
out of their nest, and sate there, _whiles_ quite still, _whiles_ they
sung low for two minutes or more, at a time just like a muffled robin.
William was looking at _The Pedlar_ when I got up. He arranged it, and
after tea I wrote it out--280 lines.... The moon was behind. William
hurried me out in hopes that I should see her. We walked first to the
top of the hill to see Rydale. It was dark and dull, but our own vale
was very solemn--the shape of Helm Crag was quite distinct, though
black. We walked backwards and forwards on the White Moss path; there
was a sky-like white brightness on the lake. The Wyke cottage right at
the foot of Silver How. Glow-worms out, but not so numerous as last
night. O, beautiful place! Dear Mary, William. The hour is come ... I
must prepare to go. The swallows, I must leave them, the wall, the
garden, the roses, all. Dear creatures! they sang last night after I was
in bed; seemed to be singing to one another, just before they settled to
rest for the night. Well, I must go. Farewell.[71]

  [Footnote 71: Several of the poems, referred to in this Journal, are
  difficult, if not impossible, to identify. _The Inscription of the
  Pathway_, finished on the 28th of August 1800; _The Epitaph_, written
  on the 28th January 1801; _The Yorkshire Wolds poem_, referred to on
  March 10th, 1802; also _The Silver Howe poem_, and that known in the
  Wordsworth household as _The Tinker_. It is possible that some of them
  were intentionally suppressed. The _Inscription of the Pathway_ and
  _The Tinker_ will, however, soon be published.--ED.]


  (9TH JULY 1802 TO 11TH JANUARY 1803)


On Friday morning, July 9th, William and I set forward to Keswick on
our road to Gallow Hill. We had a pleasant ride, though the day was
showery.... Coleridge met us at Sara's Rock.... We had been told by a
handsome man, an inhabitant of Wytheburn, with whom he had been talking
(and who seemed, by the bye, much pleased with his companion), that C.
was waiting for us. We reached Keswick against tea-time. We called at
Calvert's on the Saturday evening.... On Monday, 12th July, we went to
Eusemere. Coleridge walked with us six or seven miles. He was not well,
and we had a melancholy parting after having sate together in silence by
the road-side. We turned aside to explore the country near Hutton-John,
and had a new and delightful walk. The valley, which is subject to the
decaying mansion that stands at its head, seems to join its testimony to
that of the house, to the falling away of the family greatness, and the
hedges are in bad condition. The land wants draining, and is overrun
with brackens; yet there is a something everywhere that tells of its
former possessors. The trees are left scattered about as if intended to
be like a park, and these are very interesting, standing as they do upon
the sides of the steep hills that slope down to the bed of the river, a
little stony-bedded stream that spreads out to a considerable breadth at
the village of Dacre. A little above Dacre we came into the right road
to Mr. Clarkson's, after having walked through woods and fields, never
exactly knowing whether we were right or wrong. We learnt, however, that
we had saved half-a-mile. We sate down by the river-side to rest, and
saw some swallows flying about and under the bridge, and two little
schoolboys were loitering among the scars seeking after their nests. We
reached Mr. Clarkson's at about eight o'clock after a sauntering walk,
having lingered and loitered and sate down together that we might be
alone. Mr. and Mrs. C. were just come from Luff's. We spent Tuesday, the
13th of July, at Eusemere; and on Wednesday morning, the 14th, we walked
to Emont Bridge, and mounted the coach between Bird's Nest and Hartshorn
Tree.... At Greta Bridge the sun shone cheerfully, and a glorious ride
we had over Gaterly Moor. Every building was bathed in golden light. The
trees were more bright than earthly trees, and we saw round us miles
beyond miles--Darlington spire, etc. etc. We reached Leeming Lane at
about nine o'clock: supped comfortably, and enjoyed our fire.

On Thursday morning, at a little before seven, being the 15th July, we
got into a post-chaise and went to Thirsk to breakfast. We were well
treated, but when the landlady understood that we were going to _walk_
off, and leave our luggage behind, she threw out some saucy words in our
hearing. The day was very hot, and we rested often and long before we
reached the foot of the Hambledon Hills, and while we were climbing
them, still oftener.... We were almost overpowered with thirst, when I
heard the trickling of a little stream of water. I was before William,
and I stopped till he came up to me. We sate a long time by this water,
and climbed the hill slowly. I was footsore; the sun shone hot; the
little Scotch cattle panted and tossed fretfully about. The view was
hazy, and we could see nothing from the top of the hill but an
undistinct wide-spreading country, full of trees, but the buildings,
towns, and houses were lost. We stopped to examine that curious stone,
then walked along the flat common.... Arrived very hungry at Rivaux.
Nothing to eat at the Millers, as we expected, but at an exquisitely
neat farm-house we got some boiled milk and bread. This strengthened us,
and I went down to look at the ruins. Thrushes were singing; cattle
feeding among green-grown hillocks about the ruins. The hillocks were
scattered over with _grovelets_ of wild roses and other shrubs, and
covered with wild flowers. I could have stayed in this solemn quiet spot
till evening, without a thought of moving, but William was waiting for
me, so in a quarter of an hour I went away. We walked upon Mr.
Duncombe's terrace and looked down upon the Abbey. It stands in a larger
valley among a brotherhood of valleys, of different length and
breadth,--all woody, and running up into the hills in all directions. We
reached Helmsly just at dusk. We had a beautiful view of the castle from
the top of the hill, and slept at a very nice inn, and were well
treated; floors as smooth as ice. On Friday morning, 16th July, we
walked to Kirby. Met people coming to Helmsly fair. Were misdirected,
and walked a mile out of our way.... A beautiful view above
Pickering.... Met Mary and Sara seven miles from G. H. Sheltered from
the rain; beautiful glen, spoiled by the large house; sweet church and
churchyard. Arrived at Gallow Hill at seven o'clock.

_Friday Evening, 16th July._-- ... Sara, Tom, and I rode up Bedale.
Wm., Mary, Sara, and I went to Scarborough, and we walked in the Abbey
pasture, and to Wykeham; and on Monday, the 26th, we went off with Mary
in a post-chaise. We had an interesting ride over the Wolds, though it
rained all the way. Single thorn bushes were scattered about on the
turf, sheep-sheds here and there, and now and then a little hut.
Swelling grounds, and sometimes a single tree or a clump of trees.... We
passed through one or two little villages, embosomed in tall trees.
After we had parted from Mary, there were gleams of sunshine, but with
showers. We saw Beverley in a heavy rain, and yet were much pleased with
the beauty of the town. Saw the minster--a pretty, clean building, but
injured very much with Grecian architecture. The country between
Beverley and Hull very rich, but miserably flat--brick houses,
windmills, houses again--dull and endless. Hull a frightful, dirty,
brickhousey, tradesmanlike, rich, vulgar place; yet the river--though
the shores are so low that they can hardly be seen--looked beautiful
with the evening lights upon it, and boats moving about. We walked a
long time, and returned to our dull day-room but quiet evening one, to

_Tuesday, 20th._--Market day. Streets dirty, very rainy, did not leave
Hull till four o'clock, and left Barton at about six; rained all the way
almost. A beautiful village at the foot of a hill with trees. A
gentleman's house converted into a lady's boarding-school.... We left
Lincoln on Wednesday morning, 27th July, at six o'clock. It rained
heavily, and we could see nothing but the antientry of some of the
buildings as we passed along. The night before, however, we had seen
enough to make us regret this. The minster stands at the edge of a hill
overlooking an immense plain. The country very flat as we went along;
the day mended. We went to see the outside of the minster while the
passengers were dining at Peterborough; the west end very grand....

On Thursday morning, 29th, we arrived in London. Wm. left me at the
Sun.... After various troubles and disasters, we left London on Saturday
morning at half-past five or six, the 31st of July. We mounted the Dover
coach at Charing Cross. It was a beautiful morning. The city, St.
Paul's, with the river, and a multitude of little boats, made a most
beautiful sight as we crossed Westminster Bridge. The houses were not
overhung by their cloud of smoke, and they were spread out endlessly,
yet the sun shone so brightly, with such a fierce light, that there was
even something like the purity of one of nature's own grand

  [Footnote 72: Compare the sonnet _Composed upon Westminster Bridge,
  September 3, 1802_, in vol. ii. p. 328.--ED.]

We rode on cheerfully, now with the Paris diligence before us, now
behind. We walked up the steep hills, a beautiful prospect everywhere,
till we even reached Dover. At first the rich, populous, wide-spreading,
woody country about London, then the River Thames, ships sailing, chalk
cliffs, trees, little villages. Afterwards Canterbury, situated on a
plain, rich and woody, but the city and cathedral disappointed me. Hop
grounds on each side of the road some miles from Canterbury; then we
came to a common, the race ground, an elevated plain, villages among
trees in the bed of a valley at our right, and, rising above this
valley, green hills scattered over with wood, neat gentlemen's houses.
One white house, almost hid with green trees, which we longed for, and
the parson's house, as neat a place as could be, which would just have
suited Coleridge. No doubt we may have found one for Tom Hutchinson and
Sara, and a good farm too. We halted at a half-way house--fruit carts
under the shade of trees, seats for guests, a tempting place to the
weary traveller. Still, as we went along, the country was beautiful and
hilly, with cottages lurking under the hills, and their little plots of
hop ground like vineyards. It was a bad hop year. A woman on the top of
the coach said to me, "It is a sad thing for the poor people, for the
hop-gathering is the woman's harvest; there is employment about the hops
for women and children."

We saw the castle of Dover, and the sea beyond, four or five miles
before we reached it. We looked at it through a long vale, the castle
being upon an eminence, as it seemed, at the end of this vale, which
opened to the sea. The country now became less fertile, but near Dover
it seemed more rich again. Many buildings stand on the flat fields,
sheltered with tall trees. There is one old chapel that might have been
there just in the same state in which it now is when this vale was as
retired, and as little known to travellers as our own Cumberland
mountain wilds thirty years ago. There was also a very old building on
the other side of the road, which had a strange effect among the many
new ones that are springing up everywhere. It seemed odd that it could
have kept itself pure in its ancientry among so many upstarts. It was
near dark when we reached Dover. We were told that a packet was about to
sail, so we went down to the custom-house in half-an-hour--had our
luggage examined, etc. etc., and then we drank tea with the Honourable
Mr. Knox and his tutor. We arrived at Calais at four o'clock on Sunday
morning, the 31st of July. We stayed in the vessel till half-past seven;
then William went for letters at about half-past eight or nine. We found
out Annette and C. chez Madame Avril dans la Rue de la Tête d'or. We
lodged opposite two ladies, in tolerably decent-sized rooms, but badly
furnished.... The weather was very hot. We walked by the sea-shore
almost every evening with Annette and Caroline, or William and I alone.
I had a bad cold, and could not bathe at first, but William did. It was
a pretty sight to see as we walked upon the sands when the tide was low,
perhaps a hundred people bathing about a quarter of a mile distant from
us. And we had delightful walks after the heat of the day was
passed--seeing far off in the west the coast of England like a cloud
crested with Dover castle, which was but like the summit of the
cloud--the evening star and the glory of the sky,[73] the reflections in
the water were more beautiful than the sky itself, purple waves brighter
than precious stones, for ever melting away upon the sands. The fort, a
wooden building, at the entrance of the harbour at Calais, when the
evening twilight was coming on, and we could not see anything of the
building but its shape, which was far more distinct than in perfect
daylight, seemed to be reared upon pillars of ebony, between which
pillars the sea was seen in the most beautiful colours that can be
conceived. Nothing in romance was ever half so beautiful. Now came in
view, as the evening star sunk down, and the colours of the west faded
away, the two lights of England, lighted up by Englishmen in our country
to warn vessels off rocks or sands. These we used to see from the pier,
when we could see no other distant objects but the clouds, the sky, and
the sea itself--all was dark behind. The town of Calais seemed deserted
of the light of heaven, but there was always light, and life, and joy
upon the sea. One night I shall never forget--the day had been very hot,
and William and I walked alone together upon the pier. The sea was
gloomy, for there was a blackness over all the sky, except when it was
overspread with lightning, which often revealed to us a distant vessel
near, as the waves roared and broke against the pier, and they were
interfused with greenish fiery light. The more distant sea always black
and gloomy. It was also beautiful, on the calm hot night, to see the
little boats row out of harbour with wings of fire, and the sail boats
with the fiery track which they cut as they went along, and which closed
up after them with a hundred thousand sparkles, and streams of glow-worm
light. Caroline was delighted.

  [Footnote 73: Compare the sonnet ("Poetical Works," vol. ii. p. 330)

       Fair Star of evening, Splendour of the west.  ED.]

On Sunday, the 29th of August, we left Calais at twelve o'clock in the
morning, and landed at Dover at one on Monday the 30th.... It was very
pleasant to me, when we were in the harbour at Dover, to breathe the
fresh air, and to look up, and see the stars among the ropes of the
vessel. The next day was very hot. We ... bathed, and sate upon the
Dover Cliffs, and looked upon France with many a melancholy and tender
thought. We could see the shores almost as plain as if it were but an
English lake. We mounted the coach, and arrived in London at six, the
30th August. It was misty, and we could see nothing. We stayed in London
till Wednesday the 22nd of September, and arrived at Gallow Hill on

_September 24th._--Mary first met us in the avenue. She looked so fat
and well that we were made very happy by the sight of her; then came
Sara, and last of all Joanna. Tom was forking corn, standing upon the
corn cart. We dressed ourselves immediately and got tea. The garden
looked gay with asters and sweet peas. Jack and George came on Friday
evening, 1st October. On Saturday, 2nd, we rode to Hackness, William,
Jack, George, and Sara single. I behind Tom. On Sunday 3rd, Mary and
Sara were busy packing.

On Monday, 4th October 1802, my brother William was married to Mary
Hutchinson.[74] I slept a good deal of the night, and rose fresh and
well in the morning. At a little after eight o'clock, I saw them go down
the avenue towards the church. William had parted from me upstairs. When
they were absent, my dear little Sara prepared the breakfast. I kept
myself as quiet as I could, but when I saw the two men running up the
walk, coming to tell us it was over, I could stand it no longer, and
threw myself on the bed, where I lay in stillness, neither hearing nor
seeing anything till Sara came upstairs to me, and said, "They are
coming." This forced me from the bed where I lay, and I moved, I knew
not how, straight forward, faster than my strength could carry me, till
I met my beloved William, and fell upon his bosom. He and John
Hutchinson led me to the house, and there I stayed to welcome my dear
Mary. As soon as we had breakfasted, we departed. It rained when we set
off. Poor Mary was much agitated, when she parted from her brothers and
sisters, and her home. Nothing particular occurred till we reached
Kirby. We had sunshine and showers, pleasant talk, love and
cheerfulness. We were obliged to stay two hours at K. while the horses
were feeding. We wrote a few lines to Sara, and then walked out; the sun
shone, and we went to the churchyard after we had put a letter into the
post-office for the _York Herald_. We sauntered about, and read the
grave-stones. There was one to the memory of five children, who had all
died within five years, and the longest lived had only lived four

  [Footnote 74: It may not be a too trivial detail to note that
  Coleridge's _Dejection, an Ode_, appeared in _The Morning Post_ on
  Wordsworth's marriage day.--ED.]

We left Kirby at about half-past two. There is not much variety of
prospect from K. to Helmsley, but the country is very pleasant, being
rich and woody, and Helmsley itself stands very sweetly at the foot of
the rising grounds of Duncombe Park, which is scattered over with tall
woods; and, lifting itself above the common buildings of the town,
stands Helmsley Castle, now a ruin, formerly inhabited by the gay Duke
of Buckingham. Every foot of the road was of itself interesting to us,
for we had travelled along it on foot, William and I, when we went to
fetch our dear Mary, and had sate upon the turf by the roadside more
than once. Before we reached Helmsley, our driver told us that he could
not take us any further, so we stopped at the same inn where we had
slept before. My heart danced at the sight of its cleanly outside,
bright yellow walls, casements overshadowed with jasmine, and its low,
double gavel-ended front.... Mary and I warmed ourselves at the kitchen
fire. We then walked into the garden, and looked over a gate, up to the
old ruin which stands at the top of the mount, and round about it the
moats are grown up into soft green cradles, hollows surrounded with
green grassy hillocks, and these are overshadowed by old trees, chiefly
ashes. I prevailed upon William to go up with me to the ruins.... The
sun shone, it was warm and very pleasant. One part of the castle seems
to be inhabited. There was a man mowing nettles in the open space which
had most likely once been the castle-court. There is one gateway
exceedingly beautiful. Children were playing upon the sloping ground. We
came home by the street. After about an hour's delay, we set forward
again; had an excellent driver, who opened the gates so dexterously that
the horses never stopped. Mary was very much delighted with the view of
the castle from the point where we had seen it before. I was pleased to
see again the little path which we had walked upon, the gate I had
climbed over, and the road down which we had seen the two little boys
drag a log of wood, and a team of horses struggle under the weight of a
great load of timber. We had felt compassion for the poor horses that
were under the governance of oppression and ill-judging drivers, and for
the poor boys, who seemed of an age to have been able to have dragged
the log of wood merely out of the love of their own activity, but from
poverty and bad food they panted for weakness, and were obliged to fetch
their father from the town to help them. Duncombe house looks well from
the road--a large building, though I believe only two-thirds of the
original design are completed. We rode down a very steep hill to Rivaux
valley, with woods all round us. We stopped upon the bridge to look at
the Abbey, and again when we had crossed it. Dear Mary had never seen a
ruined abbey before except Whitby. We recognised the cottages, houses,
and the little valleys as we went along. We walked up a long hill, the
road carrying us up the cleft or valley with woody hills on each side of
us. When we went to G. H. I had walked down the valley alone. William
followed me.

Before we had crossed the Hambledon Hill, and reached the point
overlooking Yorkshire, it was quite dark. We had not wanted, however,
fair prospects before us, as we drove along the flat plain of the high
hill. Far far off from us, in the western sky, we saw shapes of castles,
ruins among groves, a great spreading wood, rocks, and single trees, a
minster with its tower unusually distinct, minarets in another quarter,
and a round Grecian Temple also; the colours of the sky of a bright
grey, and the forms of a sober grey, with a dome. As we descended the
hill there was no distinct view, but of a great space; only near us we
saw the wild (and as the people say) bottomless tarn in the hollow at
the side of the hill. It seemed to be made visible to us only by its own
light, for all the hill about us was dark. Before we reached Thirsk we
saw a light before us, which we at first thought was the moon, then
lime-kilns; but when we drove into the market-place it proved a large
bonfire, with lads dancing round it, which is a sight I dearly love. The
inn was like an illuminated house--every room full. We asked the cause,
and were told by the girl that it was "Mr. John Bell's birthday, that he
had heired his estate." The landlady was very civil. She did not
recognise the despised foot-travellers. We rode on in the dark, and
reached Leeming Lane at eleven o'clock....

The next morning we set off at about half-past eight o'clock. It was a
cheerful, sunny morning.... We had a few showers, but when we came to
the green fields of Wensley, the sun shone upon them all, and the Ure in
its many windings glittered as it flowed along under the green slopes of
Middleham Castle. Mary looked about for her friend Mr. Place, and
thought she had him sure on the contrary side of the vale from that on
which we afterwards found he lived. We went to a new built house at
Leyburn, the same village where William and I had dined on our road to
Grasmere two years and three-quarters ago, but not the same house. The
landlady was very civil, giving us cake and wine, but the horses being
out we were detained at least two hours, and did not set off till two
o'clock. We paid for thirty-five miles, _i.e._ to Sedbergh, but the
landlady did not encourage us to hope to get beyond Hawes.... When we
passed through the village of Wensley my heart melted away, with dear
recollections--the bridge, the little waterspout, the steep hill, the
church. They are among the most vivid of my own inner visions, for they
were the first objects that I saw after we were left to ourselves, and
had turned our whole hearts to Grasmere as a home in which we were to
rest. The vale looked most beautiful each way. To the left the bright
silver stream inlaid the flat and very green meadows, winding like a
serpent. To the right, we did not see it so far, it was lost among trees
and little hills. I could not help observing, as we went along, how much
more varied the prospects of Wensley Dale are in the summer time than I
could have thought possible in the winter. This seemed to be in great
measure owing to the trees being in leaf, and forming groves and
screens, and thence little openings upon recesses and concealed
retreats, which in winter only made a part of the one great vale. The
beauty of the summer time here as much excels that of the winter, as the
variety (owing to the excessive greenness) of the fields, and the trees
in leaf half concealing, and--where they do not conceal--softening the
hard bareness of the limey white roofs. One of our horses seemed to grow
a little restive as we went through the first village, a long village on
the side of a hill. It grew worse and worse, and at last we durst not go
on any longer. We walked a while, and then the post boy was obliged to
take the horse out, and go back for another. We seated ourselves again
snugly in the post-chaise. The wind struggled about us and rattled the
window, and gave a gentle motion to the chaise, but we were warm and at
our ease within. Our station was at the top of a hill, opposite Bolton
Castle, the Ure flowing beneath. William has since written a sonnet on
this our imprisonment. Hard was thy durance, poor Queen Mary! compared
with ours....[75]

  [Footnote 75: This sonnet was not thought worthy of being

We had a sweet ride till we came to a public-house on the side of a
hill, where we alighted and walked down to see the waterfalls. The sun
was not set, and the woods and fields were spread over with the yellow
light of evening, which made their greenness a thousand times more
green. There was too much water in the river for the beauty of the
falls, and even the banks were less interesting than in winter. Nature
had entirely got the better in her struggles against the giants who
first cast the mould of these works; for, indeed, it is a place that did
not in winter remind one of God, but one could not help feeling as if
there had been the agency of some "mortal instruments," which Nature had
been struggling against without making a perfect conquest. There was
something so wild and new in this feeling, knowing, as we did in the
inner man, that God alone had laid his hand upon it, that I could not
help regretting the want of it; besides, it is a pleasure to a real
lover of Nature to give winter all the glory he can, for summer _will_
make its own way, and speak its own praises. We saw the pathway which
William and I took at the close of evening, the path leading to the
rabbit warren where we lost ourselves. Sloe farm, with its holly hedges,
was lost among the green hills and hedgerows in general, but we found it
out, and were glad to look at it again. William left us to seek the

At our return to the inn, we found new horses and a new driver, and we
went on nicely to Hawes, where we arrived before it was quite dark....
We rose at six o'clock--a rainy morning.... There was a very fine view
about a mile from Hawes, where we crossed a bridge; bare and very green
fields with cattle, a glittering stream, cottages, a few ill-grown
trees, and high hills. The sun shone now. Before we got upon the bare
hills, there was a hunting lodge on our right, exactly like Greta Hill,
with fir plantations about it. We were very fortunate in the day, gleams
of sunshine, passing clouds, that travelled with their shadows below
them. Mary was much pleased with Garsdale. It was a dear place to
William and me. We noted well the public-house (Garsdale Hall) where we
had baited, ... and afterwards the mountain which had been adorned by
Jupiter in his glory when we were here before. It was midday when we
reached Sedbergh, and market day. We were in the same room where we had
spent the evening together in our road to Grasmere. We had a pleasant
ride to Kendal, where we arrived at two o'clock. The day favoured us. M.
and I went to see the house where dear Sara had lived.... I am always
glad to see Staveley; it is a place I dearly love to think of--the first
mountain village that I came to with William when we first began our
pilgrimage together.... Nothing particular occurred till we reached Ings
chapel. The door was open, and we went in. It is a neat little place,
with a marble floor and marble communion table, with a painting over it
of the last supper, and Moses and Aaron on each side. The woman told us
that "they had painted them as near as they could by the dresses as they
are described in the Bible," and gay enough they are. The marble had
been sent by Richard Bateman from Leghorn. The woman told us that a man
had been at her house a few days before, who told her he had helped to
bring it down the Red Sea, and she believed him gladly!... We ...
arrived at Grasmere at about six o'clock on Wednesday evening, the 6th
of October 1802.... I cannot describe what I felt.... We went by candle
light into the garden, and were astonished at the growth of the brooms,
Portugal laurels, etc. etc. etc. The next day, Thursday, we unpacked the
boxes. On Friday, 8th, ... Mary and I walked first upon the hill-side,
and then in John's Grove, then in view of Rydale, the first walk that I
had taken with my sister.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Monday, 11th._--A beautiful day. We walked to the Easedale hills to
hunt waterfalls. William and Mary left me sitting on a stone on the
solitary mountains, and went to Easedale tarn.... The approach to the
tarn is very beautiful. We expected to have found Coleridge at home, but
he did not come till after dinner. He was well, but did not look so.

_Tuesday, 12th October._--We walked with Coleridge to Rydale.

_Wednesday, 13th._--Set forwards with him towards Keswick, and he
prevailed us to go on. We consented, Mrs. C. not being at home. The day
was delightful....

_Thursday, 14th._--We went in the evening to Calvert's. Moonlight.
Stayed supper.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Saturday, 16th._--Came home, Mary and I. William returned to Coleridge
before we reached Nadel Fell. Mary and I had a pleasant walk. The day
was very bright; the people busy getting in their corn. Reached home at
about five o'clock....

_Sunday, 17th._--We had thirteen of our neighbours to tea. William came
in just as we began tea.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Saturday, 30th October._--William is gone to Keswick. Mary went with
him to the top of the Raise. She is returned, and is now sitting near me
by the fire. It is a breathless, grey day, that leaves the golden woods
of autumn quiet in their own tranquillity, stately and beautiful in
their decaying. The lake is a perfect mirror.

William met Stoddart at the bridge at the foot of Legberthwaite dale....
They surprised us by their arrival at four o'clock in the afternoon....
After tea, S. read Chaucer to us.

_Monday, 31st October._[76]-- ... William and S. went to Keswick. Mary
and I walked to the top of the hill and looked at Rydale. I was much
affected when I stood upon the second bar of Sara's gate. The lake was
perfectly still, the sun shone on hill and vale, the distant birch trees
looked like large golden flowers. Nothing else in colour was distinct
and separate, but all the beautiful colours seemed to be melted into one
another, and joined together in one mass, so that there were no
differences, though an endless variety, when one tried to find it out.
The fields were of one sober yellow brown....

  [Footnote 76: This should have been entered 1st November.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Tuesday, 2nd November._--William returned from Keswick.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Friday, 5th._-- ... I wrote to Montagu, ... and sent off letters to
Miss Lamb and Coleridge....

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Sunday, 7th._--Fine weather. Letters from Coleridge that he was gone to
London. Sara at Penrith. I wrote to Mrs. Clarkson. William began to
translate Ariosto.

_Monday, 8th._--A beautiful day. William got to work again at Ariosto,
and so continued all the morning, though the day was so delightful that
it made my very heart long to be out of doors, and see and feel the
beauty of the autumn in freedom. The trees on the opposite side of the
lake are of a yellow brown, but there are one or two trees opposite our
windows (an ash tree, for instance) quite green, as in spring. The
fields are of their winter colour, but the island is as green as ever it
was.... William is writing out his stanzas from Ariosto.... The evening
is quiet. Poor Coleridge! Sara is at Keswick, I hope.... I have read one
canto of Ariosto to-day....

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_24th December._--Christmas Eve. William is now sitting by me, at
half-past ten o'clock. I have been ... repeating some of his sonnets to
him, listening to his own repeating, reading some of Milton's, and the
_Allegro_ and _Penseroso_. It is a quick, keen frost.... Coleridge came
this morning with Wedgwood. We all turned out ... one by one, to meet
him. He looked well. We had to tell him of the birth of his little girl,
born yesterday morning at six o'clock. William went with them to
Wytheburn in the chaise, and M. and I met W. on the Raise. It was not an
unpleasant morning.... The sun shone now and then, and there was no
wind, but all things looked cheerless and distinct; no meltings of sky
into mountains, the mountains like stone work wrought up with huge
hammers. Last Sunday was as mild a day as I ever remember.... Mary and I
went round the lakes. There were flowers of various kinds--the topmost
bell of a foxglove, geraniums, daisies, a buttercup in the water (but
this I saw two or three days before), small yellow flowers (I do not
know their name) in the turf. A large bunch of strawberry blossoms....
It is Christmas Day, Saturday, 25th December 1802. I am thirty-one years
of age. It is a dull, frosty day.

... On Thursday, 30th December, I went to Keswick. William rode before
me to the foot of the hill nearest K. There we parted close to a little
watercourse, which was then noisy with water, but on my return a dry
channel.... We stopped our horse close to the ledge, opposite a tuft of
primroses, three flowers in full blossom and a bud. They reared
themselves up among the green moss. We debated long whether we should
pluck them, and at last left them to live out their day, which I was
right glad of at my return the Sunday following; for there they
remained, uninjured either by cold or wet. I stayed at Keswick over New
Year's Day, and returned on Sunday, the 2nd January.... William was
alarmed at my long delay, and came to within three miles of Keswick....
Coleridge stayed with us till Tuesday, January 4th. W. and I ... walked
with him to Ambleside. We parted with him at the turning of the lane, he
going on horseback to the top of Kirkstone. On Thursday 6th, C.
returned, and on Friday, the 7th, he and Sara went to Keswick. W.
accompanied them to the foot of Wytheburn.... It was a gentle day, and
when William and I returned home just before sunset, it was a heavenly
evening. A soft sky was among the hills, and a summer sunshine above,
and blending with this sky, for it was more like sky than clouds; the
turf looked warm and soft.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

_Monday, January 10th 1803._--I lay in bed to have a drench of sleep
till one o'clock. Worked all day.... Ominously cold.

_Tuesday, January 11th._--A very cold day, ... but the blackness of the
cold made us slow to put forward, and we did not walk at all. Mary read
the Prologue to Chaucer's tales to me in the morning. William was
working at his poem to C. Letter from Keswick and from Taylor on
William's marriage. C. poorly, in bad spirits.... Read part of _The
Knights Tale_ with exquisite delight. Since tea Mary has been down
stairs copying out Italian poems for Stuart. William has been working
beside me, and here ends this imperfect summary....


  (A.D. 1803)


=First Week=

  DAY                                                PAGE

   1.  Left Keswick--Grisdale--Mosedale--Hesket
       Newmarket--Caldbeck Falls                      163

   2.  Rose Castle--Carlisle--Hatfield--Longtown      164

   3.  Solway Moss--Enter Scotland--Springfield--
       Gretna Green--Annan--Dumfries                  165

   4.  Burns's Grave                                  166
       Ellisland--Vale of Nith                        168
       Brownhill                                      169
       Poem to Burns's Sons                           171

   5.  Thornhill--Drumlanrigg--River Nith             171
       Turnpike house                                 172
       Sportsman                                      173
       Vale of Menock                                 174
       Wanlockhead                                    175
       Leadhills                                      178
       Miners                                         178
       Hopetoun mansion                               179
       Hostess                                        180

   6.  Road to Crawfordjohn                           183
       Douglas Mill                                   187
       Clyde--Lanerk                                  189
       Boniton Linn                                   191

=Second Week=

   7.  Falls of the Clyde                             193
       Cartland Crags                                 197
       Fall of Stonebyres--Trough of the Clyde        200
       Hamilton                                       201

   8.  Hamilton House                                 202
       Baroncleugh--Bothwell Castle                   204
       Glasgow                                        208

   9.  Bleaching ground (Glasgow Green)               209
       Road to Dumbarton                              211

  10.  Rock and Castle of Dumbarton                   213
       Vale of Leven                                  217
       Smollett's Monument                            218
       Loch Lomond                                    218
       Luss                                           221

  11.  Islands of Loch Lomond                         225
       Road to Tarbet                                 230
       The Cobbler                                    231
       Tarbet                                         231

  12.  Left Tarbet for the Trossachs                  233
       Rob Roy's Caves                                235
       Inversneyde Ferryhouse and Waterfall           235
       Singular building                              236
       Loch Ketterine                                 238
       Glengyle                                       240
       Mr. Macfarlane's                               241

  13.  Breakfast at Glengyle                          243
       Lairds of Glengyle--Rob Roy                    244
       Burying-ground                                 246
       Ferryman's hut                                 246
       Trossachs                                      248
       Loch Achray                                    252
       Return to Ferryman's hut                       253



William and I parted from Mary on Sunday afternoon, August 14th 1803;
and William, Coleridge, and I left Keswick on Monday morning, the 15th,
at twenty minutes after eleven o'clock. The day was very hot; we walked
up the hills, and along all the rough road, which made our walking half
the day's journey. Travelled under the foot of Carrock, a mountain
covered with stones on the lower part; above, it is very rocky, but
sheep pasture there; we saw several where there seemed to be no grass to
tempt them. Passed the foot of Grisdale and Mosedale, both pastoral
valleys, narrow, and soon terminating in the mountains--green, with
scattered trees and houses, and each a beautiful stream. At Grisdale our
horse backed upon a steep bank where the road was not fenced, just above
a pretty mill at the foot of the valley; and we had a second threatening
of a disaster in crossing a narrow bridge between the two dales; but
this was not the fault of either man or horse. Slept at Mr.
Younghusband's public-house, Hesket Newmarket. In the evening walked to
Caldbeck Falls, a delicious spot in which to breathe out a summer's
day--limestone rocks, hanging trees, pools, and water-breaks--caves and
caldrons which have been honoured with fairy names, and no doubt
continue in the fancy of the neighbourhood to resound with fairy revels.

_Tuesday, August 16th._--Passed Rose Castle upon the Caldew, an ancient
building of red stone with sloping gardens, an ivied gateway, velvet
lawns, old garden walls, trim flower-borders with stately and luxuriant
flowers. We walked up to the house and stood some minutes watching the
swallows that flew about restlessly, and flung their shadows upon the
sunbright walls of the old building; the shadows glanced and twinkled,
interchanged and crossed each other, expanded and shrunk up, appeared
and disappeared every instant; as I observed to William and Coleridge,
seeming more like living things than the birds themselves. Dined at
Carlisle; the town in a bustle with the assizes; so many strange faces
known in former times and recognised, that it half seemed as if I ought
to know them all, and, together with the noise, the fine ladies, etc.,
they put me into confusion. This day Hatfield was condemned. I stood at
the door of the gaoler's house, where he was; William entered the house,
and Coleridge saw him; I fell into conversation with a debtor, who told
me in a dry way that he was "far over-learned," and another man observed
to William that we might learn from Hatfield's fate "not to meddle with
pen and ink." We gave a shilling to my companion, whom we found out to
be a friend of the family, a fellow-sailor with my brother John "in
Captain Wordsworth's ship." Walked upon the city walls, which are broken
down in places and crumbling away, and most disgusting from filth. The
city and neighbourhood of Carlisle disappointed me; the banks of the
river quite flat, and, though the holms are rich, there is not much
beauty in the vale from the want of trees--at least to the eye of a
person coming from England, and, I scarcely know how, but to me the
holms had not a _natural_ look; there was something townish in their
appearance, a dulness in their strong deep green. To Longtown--not very
interesting, except from the long views over the flat country; the road
rough, chiefly newly mended. Reached Longtown after sunset, a town of
brick houses belonging chiefly to the Graham family. Being in the form
of a cross and not long, it had been better called Crosstown. There are
several shops, and it is not a very small place; but I could not meet
with a silver thimble, and bought a half-penny brass one. Slept at the
Graham's Arms, a large inn. Here, as everywhere else, the people seemed
utterly insensible of the enormity of Hatfield's offences; the ostler
told William that he was quite a gentleman, paid every one genteelly,
etc. etc. He and "Mary" had walked together to Gretna Green; a heavy
rain came on when they were there; a returned chaise happened to pass,
and the driver would have taken them up; but "Mr. Hope's" carriage was
to be sent for; he did not choose to accept the chaise-driver's offer.

_Wednesday, August 17th._--Left Longtown after breakfast. About half a
mile from the town a guidepost and two roads, to Edinburgh and Glasgow;
we took the left-hand road, to Glasgow. Here saw a specimen of the
luxuriance of the heath-plant, as it grows in Scotland; it was in the
enclosed plantations--perhaps sheltered by them. These plantations
appeared to be not well grown for their age; the trees were stunted.
Afterwards the road, treeless, over a peat-moss common--the Solway Moss;
here and there an earth-built hut with its peat stack, a scanty growing
willow hedge round the kail-garth, perhaps the cow pasturing near,--a
little lass watching it,--the dreary waste cheered by the endless
singing of larks.

We enter Scotland by crossing the river Sark; on the Scotch side of the
bridge the ground is unenclosed pasturage; it was very green, and
scattered over with that yellow flowered plant which we call grunsel;
the hills heave and swell prettily enough; cattle feeding; a few corn
fields near the river. At the top of the hill opposite is Springfield, a
village built by Sir William Maxwell--a dull uniformity in the houses,
as is usual when all built at one time, or belonging to one individual,
each just big enough for two people to live in, and in which a family,
large or small as it may happen, is crammed. There the marriages are
performed. Further on, though almost contiguous, is Gretna Green, upon a
hill and among trees. This sounds well, but it is a dreary place; the
stone houses dirty and miserable, with broken windows. There is a
pleasant view from the churchyard over Solway Firth to the Cumberland
mountains. Dined at Annan. On our left as we travelled along appeared
the Solway Firth and the mountains beyond, but the near country dreary.
Those houses by the roadside which are built of stone are comfortless
and dirty; but we peeped into a clay "biggin" that was very "canny," and
I daresay will be as warm as a swallow's nest in winter. The town of
Annan made me think of France and Germany; many of the houses large and
gloomy, the size of them outrunning the comforts. One thing which was
like Germany pleased me: the shopkeepers express their calling by some
device or painting; bread-bakers have biscuits, loaves, cakes, painted
on their window-shutters; blacksmiths horses' shoes, iron tools, etc.
etc.; and so on through all trades.

Reached Dumfries at about nine o'clock--market-day; met crowds of people
on the road, and every one had a smile for us and our car.... The inn
was a large house, and tolerably comfortable; Mr. Rogers and his sister,
whom we had seen at our own cottage at Grasmere a few days before, had
arrived there that same afternoon on their way to the Highlands; but we
did not see them till the next morning, and only for about a quarter of
an hour.

_Thursday, August 18th._--Went to the churchyard where Burns is buried.
A bookseller accompanied us. He showed us the outside of Burns's house,
where he had lived the last three years of his life, and where he died.
It has a mean appearance, and is in a bye situation, whitewashed; dirty
about the doors, as almost all Scotch houses are; flowering plants in
the windows.

Went on to visit his grave. He lies at a corner of the churchyard, and
his second son, Francis Wallace, beside him. There is no stone to mark
the spot; but a hundred guineas have been collected, to be expended on
some sort of monument. "There," said the bookseller, pointing to a
pompous monument, "there lies Mr. Such-a-one"--I have forgotten his
name,--"a remarkably clever man; he was an attorney, and hardly ever
lost a cause he undertook. Burns made many a lampoon upon him, and there
they rest, as you see." We looked at the grave with melancholy and
painful reflections, repeating to each other his own verses:--

     Is there a man whose judgment clear
     Can others teach the course to steer,
     Yet runs himself life's mad career
                      Wild as the wave?--
     Here let him pause, and through a tear
                      Survey this grave.

     The poor Inhabitant below
     Was quick to learn, and wise to know
     And keenly felt the friendly glow
                      And softer flame;
     But thoughtless follies laid him low,
                      And stain'd his name.

The churchyard is full of grave-stones and expensive monuments in all
sorts of fantastic shapes--obelisk-wise, pillar-wise, etc. In speaking
of Gretna Green, I forgot to mention that we visited the churchyard. The
church is like a huge house; indeed, so are all the churches, with a
steeple, not a square tower or spire,--a sort of thing more like a
glass-house chimney than a Church of England steeple; grave-stones in
abundance, few verses, yet there were some--no texts. Over the graves of
married women the maiden name instead of that of the husband, "spouse"
instead of "wife," and the place of abode preceded by "in" instead of
"of." When our guide had left us, we turned again to Burns's house. Mrs.
Burns was gone to spend some time by the sea-shore with her children. We
spoke to the servant-maid at the door, who invited us forward, and we
sate down in the parlour. The walls were coloured with a blue wash; on
one side of the fire was a mahogany desk, opposite to the window a
clock, and over the desk a print from the _Cotter's Saturday Night_,
which Burns mentions in one of his letters having received as a present.
The house was cleanly and neat in the inside, the stairs of stone,
scoured white, the kitchen on the right side of the passage, the parlour
on the left. In the room above the parlour the poet died, and his son
after him in the same room. The servant told us she had lived five years
with Mrs. Burns, who was now in great sorrow for the death of "Wallace."
She said that Mrs. Burns's youngest son was at Christ's Hospital.

We were glad to leave Dumfries, which is no agreeable place to them who
do not love the bustle of a town that seems to be rising up to wealth.
We could think of little else but poor Burns, and his moving about on
that unpoetic ground. In our road to Brownhill, the next stage, we
passed Ellisland at a little distance on our right, his farmhouse. We
might there have had more pleasure in looking round, if we had been
nearer to the spot; but there is no thought surviving in connexion with
Burns's daily life that is not heart-depressing. Travelled through the
vale of Nith, here little like a vale, it is so broad, with irregular
hills rising up on each side, in outline resembling the old-fashioned
valances of a bed. There is a great deal of arable land; the corn ripe;
trees here and there--plantations, clumps, coppices, and a newness in
everything. So much of the gorse and broom rooted out that you wonder
why it is not all gone, and yet there seems to be almost as much gorse
and broom as corn; and they grow one among another you know not how.
Crossed the Nith; the vale becomes narrow, and very pleasant; corn
fields, green hills, clay cottages; the river's bed rocky, with woody
banks. Left the Nith about a mile and a half, and reached Brownhill, a
lonely inn, where we slept. The view from the windows was pleasing,
though some travellers might have been disposed to quarrel with it for
its general nakedness; yet there was abundance of corn. It is an open
country--open, yet all over hills. At a little distance were many
cottages among trees, that looked very pretty. Brownhill is about seven
or eight miles from Ellisland. I fancied to myself, while I was sitting
in the parlour, that Burns might have caroused there, for most likely
his rounds extended so far, and this thought gave a melancholy interest
to the smoky walls. It was as pretty a room as a thoroughly dirty one
could be--a square parlour painted green, but so covered over with smoke
and dirt that it looked not unlike green seen through black gauze. There
were three windows, looking three ways, a buffet ornamented with
tea-cups, a superfine largeish looking-glass with gilt ornaments
spreading far and wide, the glass spotted with dirt, some ordinary
alehouse pictures, and above the chimney-piece a print in a much better
style--as William guessed, taken from a painting by Sir Joshua
Reynolds--of some lady of quality, in the character of Euphrosyne. "Ay,"
said the servant-girl, seeing that we looked at it, "there's many
travellers would give a deal for that, it's more admired than any in the
house." We could not but smile; for the rest were such as may be found
in the basket of any Italian image and picture hawker.

William and I walked out after dinner; Coleridge was not well, and
slept upon the carriage cushions. We made our way to the cottages among
the little hills and knots of wood, and then saw what a delightful
country this part of Scotland might be made by planting forest trees.
The ground all over heaves and swells like a sea; but for miles there
are neither trees nor hedgerows, only "mound" fences and tracts; or
slips of corn, potatoes, clover--with hay between, and barren land; but
near the cottages many hills and hillocks covered with wood. We passed
some fine trees, and paused under the shade of one close by an old
mansion that seemed from its neglected state to be inhabited by farmers.
But I must say that many of the "gentlemen's" houses which we have
passed in Scotland have an air of neglect, and even of desolation. It
was a beech, in the full glory of complete and perfect growth, very
tall, with one thick stem mounting to a considerable height, which was
split into four "thighs," as Coleridge afterwards called them, each in
size a fine tree. Passed another mansion, now tenanted by a
schoolmaster; many boys playing upon the lawn. I cannot take leave of
the country which we passed through to-day, without mentioning that we
saw the Cumberland mountains within half a mile of Ellisland, Burns's
house, the last view we had of them. Drayton has prettily described the
connexion which this neighbourhood has with ours when he makes Skiddaw

                                  Scurfell[77] from the sky,
     That Anadale[78] doth crown, with a most amorous eye,
     Salutes me every day, or at my pride looks grim,
     Oft threat'ning me with clouds, as I oft threat'ning him.

       [Footnote 77: Criffel.--J. C. S.]

       [Footnote 78: Annandale.--J. C. S.]

These lines recurred to William's memory, and we talked of Burns, and
of the prospect he must have had, perhaps from his own door, of Skiddaw
and his companions, indulging ourselves in the fancy that we _might_
have been personally known to each other, and he have looked upon those
objects with more pleasure for our sakes. We talked of Coleridge's
children and family, then at the foot of Skiddaw, and our own new-born
John a few miles behind it; while the grave of Burns's son, which we had
just seen by the side of his father, and some stories heard at Dumfries
respecting the dangers his surviving children were exposed to, filled us
with melancholy concern, which had a kind of connexion with ourselves.
In recollection of this, William long afterwards wrote the following
Address to the sons of the ill-fated poet:--

     Ye now are panting up life's hill,
     'Tis twilight time of good and ill,
     And more than common strength and skill
                  Must ye display,
     If ye would give the better will
                  Its lawful sway.

     Strong-bodied if ye be to bear
     Intemperance with less harm, beware,
     But if your Father's wit ye share,
                  Then, then indeed,
     Ye Sons of Burns, for watchful care
                  There will be need.

     For honest men delight will take
     To shew you favour for his sake,
     Will flatter you, and Fool and Rake
                  Your steps pursue,
     And of your Father's name will make
                  A snare for you.

     Let no mean hope your souls enslave,
     Be independent, generous, brave;
     Your Father such example gave,
                  And such revere,
     But be admonished by his grave,
                  And think and fear.

_Friday, August 19th._--Open country for a considerable way. Passed
through the village of Thornhill, built by the Duke of Oueensberry; the
"brother-houses" so small that they might have been built to stamp a
character of insolent pride on his own huge mansion of Drumlanrigg,
which is full in view on the opposite side of the Nith. This mansion is
indeed very large; but to us it appeared like a gathering together of
little things. The roof is broken into a hundred pieces, cupolas, etc.,
in the shape of casters, conjuror's balls, cups, and the like. The
situation would be noble if the woods had been left standing; but they
have been cut down not long ago, and the hills above and below the house
are quite bare. About a mile and a half from Drumlanrigg is a turnpike
gate at the top of a hill. We left our car with the man, and turned
aside into a field where we looked down upon the Nith, which runs far
below in a deep and rocky channel; the banks woody; the view pleasant
down the river towards Thornhill, an open country--corn fields,
pastures, and scattered trees. Returned to the turnpike house, a cold
spot upon a common, black cattle feeding close to the door. Our road led
us down the hill to the side of the Nith, and we travelled along its
banks for some miles. Here were clay cottages perhaps every half or
quarter of a mile. The bed of the stream rough with rocks; banks
irregular, now woody, now bare; here a patch of broom, there of corn,
then of pasturage; and hills green or heathy above. We were to have
given our horse meal and water at a public-house in one of the hamlets
we passed through, but missed the house, for, as is common in Scotland,
it was without a sign-board. Travelled on, still beside the Nith, till
we came to a turnpike house, which stood rather high on the hill-side,
and from the door we looked a long way up and down the river. The air
coldish, the wind strong.

We asked the turnpike man to let us have some meal and water. He had no
meal, but luckily we had part of a feed of corn brought from Keswick,
and he procured some hay at a neighbouring house. In the meantime I went
into the house, where was an old man with a grey plaid over his
shoulders, reading a newspaper. On the shelf lay a volume of the Scotch
Encyclopædia, a History of England, and some other books. The old man
was a caller by the way. The man of the house came back, and we began to
talk. He was very intelligent; had travelled all over England, Scotland,
and Ireland as a gentleman's servant, and now lived alone in that
lonesome place. He said he was tired of his bargain, for he feared he
should lose by it. And he had indeed a troublesome office, for
coal-carts without number were passing by, and the drivers seemed to do
their utmost to cheat him. There is always something peculiar in the
house of a man living alone. This was but half-furnished, yet nothing
seemed wanting for _his_ comfort, though a female who had travelled half
as far would have needed fifty other things. He had no other meat or
drink in the house but oat bread and cheese--the cheese was made with
the addition of seeds--and some skimmed milk. He gave us of his bread
and cheese, and milk, which proved to be sour.

We had yet ten or eleven miles to travel, and no food with us. William
lay under the wind in a corn-field below the house, being not well
enough to partake of the milk and bread. Coleridge gave our host a
pamphlet, "The Crisis of the Sugar Colonies"; he was well acquainted
with Burns's poems. There was a politeness and a manly freedom in this
man's manners which pleased me very much. He told us that he had served
a gentleman, a captain in the army--he did not know who he was, for none
of his relations had ever come to see him, but he used to receive many
letters--that he had lived near Dumfries till they would let him stay no
longer, he made such havoc with the game; his whole delight from morning
till night, and the long year through, was in field sports; he would be
on his feet the worst days in winter, and wade through snow up to the
middle after his game. If he had company he was in tortures till they
were gone; he would then throw off his coat and put on an old jacket not
worth half-a-crown. He drank his bottle of wine every day, and two if he
had better sport than usual. Ladies sometimes came to stay with his
wife, and he often carried them out in an Irish jaunting-car, and if
they vexed him he would choose the dirtiest roads possible, and spoil
their clothes by jumping in and out of the car, and treading upon them.
"But for all that"--and so he ended all--"he was a good fellow, and a
clever fellow, and he liked him well." He would have ten or a dozen
hares in the larder at once, he half maintained his family with game,
and he himself was very fond of eating of the spoil--unusual with true
heart-and-soul sportsmen.

The man gave us an account of his farm where he had lived, which was so
cheap and pleasant that we thought we should have liked to have had it
ourselves. Soon after leaving the turnpike house we turned up a hill to
the right, the road for a little way very steep, bare hills, with sheep.

After ascending a little while we heard the murmur of a stream far below
us, and saw it flowing downwards on our left, towards the Nith, and
before us, between steep green hills, coming along a winding valley. The
simplicity of the prospect impressed us very much. There was a single
cottage by the brook side; the dell was not heathy, but it was
impossible not to think of Peter Bell's Highland Girl.

We now felt indeed that we were in Scotland; there was a natural
peculiarity in this place. In the scenes of the Nith it had not been the
same as England, but yet not simple, naked Scotland. The road led us
down the hill, and now there was no room in the vale but for the river
and the road; we had sometimes the stream to the right, sometimes to the
left. The hills were pastoral, but we did not see many sheep; green
smooth turf on the left, no ferns. On the right the heath-plant grew in
abundance, of the most exquisite colour; it covered a whole hill-side,
or it was in streams and patches. We travelled along the vale without
appearing to ascend for some miles; all the reaches were beautiful, in
exquisite proportion, the hills seeming very high from being so near to
us. It might have seemed a valley which nature had kept to herself for
pensive thoughts and tender feelings, but that we were reminded at every
turning of the road of something beyond by the coal-carts which were
travelling towards us. Though these carts broke in upon the tranquillity
of the glen, they added much to the picturesque effect of the different
views, which indeed wanted nothing, though perfectly bare, houseless,
and treeless.

After some time our road took us upwards towards the end of the valley.
Now the steeps were heathy all around. Just as we began to climb the
hill we saw three boys who came down the cleft of a brow on our left;
one carried a fishing-rod, and the hats of all were braided with
honeysuckles; they ran after one another as wanton as the wind. I cannot
express what a character of beauty those few honeysuckles in the hats of
the three boys gave to the place: what bower could they have come from?
We walked up the hill, met two well-dressed travellers, the woman
barefoot. Our little lads before they had gone far were joined by some
half-dozen of their companions, all without shoes and stockings. They
told us they lived at Wanlockhead, the village above, pointing to the
top of the hill; they went to school and learned Latin, Virgil, and some
of them Greek, Homer, but when Coleridge began to inquire further, off
they ran, poor things! I suppose afraid of being examined.

When, after a steep ascent, we had reached the top of the hill, we saw
a village about half a mile before us on the side of another hill, which
rose up above the spot where we were, after a descent, a sort of valley
or hollow. Nothing grew upon this ground, or the hills above or below,
but heather, yet round about the village--which consisted of a great
number of huts, all alike, and all thatched, with a few larger slated
houses among them, and a single modern-built one of a considerable
size--were a hundred patches of cultivated ground, potatoes, oats, hay,
and grass. We were struck with the sight of haycocks fastened down with
aprons, sheets, pieces of sacking--as we supposed, to prevent the wind
from blowing them away. We afterwards found that this practice was very
general in Scotland. Every cottage seemed to have its little plot of
ground, fenced by a ridge of earth; this plot contained two or three
different divisions, kail, potatoes, oats, hay; the houses all standing
in lines, or never far apart; the cultivated ground was all together
also, and made a very strange appearance with its many greens among the
dark brown hills, neither tree nor shrub growing; yet the grass and the
potatoes looked greener than elsewhere, owing to the bareness of the
neighbouring hills; it was indeed a wild and singular spot--to use a
woman's illustration, like a collection of patchwork, made of pieces as
they might have chanced to have been cut by the mantua-maker, only just
smoothed to fit each other, the different sorts of produce being in such
a multitude of plots, and those so small and of such irregular shapes.
Add to the strangeness of the village itself, that we had been climbing
upwards, though gently, for many miles, and for the last mile and a half
up a steep ascent, and did not know of any village till we saw the boys
who had come out to play. The air was very cold, and one could not help
thinking what it must be in winter, when those hills, now "red brown,"
should have their three months' covering of snow.

The village, as we guessed, is inhabited by miners; the mines belong to
the Duke of Queensberry. The road to the village, down which the lads
scampered away, was straight forward. I must mention that we met, just
after we had parted from them, another little fellow, about six years
old, carrying a bundle over his shoulder; he seemed poor and half
starved, and was scratching his fingers, which were covered with the
itch. He was a miner's son, and lived at Wanlockhead; did not go to
school, but this was probably on account of his youth. I mention him
because he seemed to be a proof that there was poverty and wretchedness
among these people, though we saw no other symptom of it; and afterwards
we met scores of the inhabitants of this same village. Our road turned
to the right, and we saw, at the distance of less than a mile, a tall
upright building of grey stone, with several men standing upon the roof,
as if they were looking out over battlements. It stood beyond the
village, upon higher ground, as if presiding over it,--a kind of
enchanter's castle, which it might have been, a place where Don Quixote
would have gloried in. When we drew nearer we saw, coming out of the
side of the building, a large machine or lever, in appearance like a
great forge-hammer, as we supposed for raising water out of the mines.
It heaved upwards once in half a minute with a slow motion, and seemed
to rest to take breath at the bottom, its motion being accompanied with
a sound between a groan and "jike." There would have been something in
this object very striking in any place, as it was impossible not to
invest the machine with some faculty of intellect; it seemed to have
made the first step from brute matter to life and purpose, showing its
progress by great power. William made a remark to this effect, and
Coleridge observed that it was like a giant with one idea. At all
events, the object produced a striking effect in that place, where
everything was in unison with it--particularly the building itself,
which was turret-shaped, and with the figures upon it resembled much one
of the fortresses in the wooden cuts of Bunyan's _Holy War_.

After ascending a considerable way we began to descend again; and now
we met a team of horses dragging an immense tree to the lead mines, to
repair or add to the building, and presently after we came to a cart,
with another large tree, and one horse left in it, right in the middle
of the highway. We were a little out of humour, thinking we must wait
till the team came back. There were men and boys without number all
staring at us; after a little consultation they set their shoulders to
the cart, and with a good heave all at once they moved it, and we passed
along. These people were decently dressed, and their manners decent;
there was no hooting or impudent laughter. Leadhills, another mining
village, was the place of our destination for the night; and soon after
we had passed the cart we came in sight of it. This village and the
mines belong to Lord Hopetoun; it has more stone houses than
Wanlockhead, one large old mansion, and a considerable number of old
trees--beeches, I believe. The trees told of the coldness of the
climate; they were more brown than green--far browner than the ripe
grass of the little hay-garths. Here, as at Wanlockhead, were haycocks,
hay-stacks, potato-beds, and kail-garths in every possible variety of
shape, but, I suppose from the irregularity of the ground, it looked far
less artificial--indeed, I should think that a painter might make
several beautiful pictures in this village. It straggles down both sides
of a mountain glen. As I have said, there is a large mansion. There is
also a stone building that looks like a school, and the houses are
single, or in clusters, or rows as it may chance.

We passed a decent-looking inn, the Hopetoun Arms; but the house of
Mrs. Otto, a widow, had been recommended to us with high encomiums. We
did not then understand Scotch inns, and were not quite satisfied at
first with our accommodations, but all things were smoothed over by
degrees; we had a fire lighted in our dirty parlour, tea came after a
reasonable waiting; and the fire with the gentle aid of twilight,
burnished up the room into cheerful comfort. Coleridge was weary; but
William and I walked out after tea. We talked with one of the miners,
who informed us that the building which we had supposed to be a school
was a library belonging to the village. He said they had got a book into
it a few weeks ago, which had cost thirty pounds, and that they had all
sorts of books. "What! have you Shakespeare?" "Yes, we have that," and
we found, on further inquiry, that they had a large library, of long
standing, that Lord Hopetoun had subscribed liberally to it, and that
gentlemen who came with him were in the habit of making larger or
smaller donations. Each man who had the benefit of it paid a small sum
monthly--I think about fourpence.

The man we talked with spoke much of the comfort and quiet in which they
lived one among another; he made use of a noticeable expression, saying
that they were "very peaceable people considering they lived so much
under-ground";--wages were about thirty pounds a year; they had land for
potatoes, warm houses, plenty of coals, and only six hours' work each
day, so that they had leisure for reading if they chose. He said the
place was healthy, that the inhabitants lived to a great age; and indeed
we saw no appearance of ill-health in their countenances; but it is not
common for people working in lead mines to be healthy; and I have since
heard that it is _not_ a healthy place. However this may be, they are
unwilling to allow it; for the landlady the next morning, when I said to
her "You have a cold climate," replied, "Ay, but it is _varra
halesome_." We inquired of the man respecting the large mansion; he told
us that it was built, as we might see, in the form of an H, and belonged
to the Hopetouns, and they took their title from thence,[79] and that
part of it was used as a chapel. We went close to it, and were a good
deal amused with the building itself, standing forth in bold
contradiction of the story which I daresay every man of Leadhills tells,
and every man believes, that it is in the shape of an H; it is but half
an H, and one must be very accommodating to allow it even _so_ much, for
the legs are far too short.

  [Footnote 79: There is some mistake here. The Hopetoun title was not
  taken from any place in the Leadhills, much less from the house shaped
  like an H.--J. C. S.]

We visited the burying-ground, a plot of land not very small, crowded
with graves, and upright grave-stones, over-looking the village and the
dell. It was now the closing in of evening. Women and children were
gathering in the linen for the night, which was bleaching by the
burn-side;--the graves overgrown with grass, such as, by industrious
culture, had been raised up about the houses; but there were bunches of
heather here and there, and with the blue-bells that grew among the
grass the small plot of ground had a beautiful and wild appearance.

William left me, and I went to a shop to purchase some thread; the woman
had none that suited me; but she would send a "_wee_ lad" to the other
shop. In the meantime I sat with the mother, and was much pleased with
her manner and conversation. She had an excellent fire, and her cottage,
though very small, looked comfortable and cleanly; but remember I saw it
only by firelight. She confirmed what the man had told us of the quiet
manner in which they lived; and indeed her house and fireside seemed to
need nothing to make it a cheerful happy spot, but health and good
humour. There was a bookishness, a certain formality in this woman's
language, which was very remarkable. She had a dark complexion, dark
eyes, and wore a very white cap, much over her face, which gave her the
look of a French woman, and indeed afterwards the women on the roads
frequently reminded us of French women, partly from the extremely white
caps of the elder women, and still more perhaps from a certain gaiety
and party-coloured appearance in their dress in general. White bed-gowns
are very common, and you rarely meet a young girl with either hat or
cap; they buckle up their hair often in a graceful manner.

I returned to the inn, and went into the kitchen to speak with the
landlady; she had made a hundred hesitations when I told her we wanted
three beds. At last she confessed she _had_ three beds, and showed me
into a parlour which looked damp and cold, but she assured me in a tone
that showed she was unwilling to be questioned further, that all _her_
beds were well aired. I sat a while by the kitchen fire with the
landlady, and began to talk to her; but, much as I had heard in her
praise--for the shopkeeper had told me she was a varra discreet woman--I
cannot say that her manners pleased me much. But her servant made
amends, for she was as pleasant and cheerful a lass as was ever seen;
and when we asked her to do anything, she answered, "Oh yes," with a
merry smile, and almost ran to get us what we wanted. She was about
sixteen years old: wore shoes and stockings, and had her hair tucked up
with a comb. The servant at Brownhill was a coarse-looking wench,
barefoot and bare-legged. I examined the kitchen round about; it was
crowded with furniture, drawers, cupboards, dish-covers, pictures, pans,
and pots, arranged without order, except that the plates were on
shelves, and the dish-covers hung in rows; these were very clean, but
floors, passages, staircase, everything else dirty. There were two beds
in recesses in the wall; above one of them I noticed a shelf with some
books:--it made me think of Chaucer's Clerke of Oxenforde:--

     Liever had he at his bed's head
     Twenty books clothed in black and red.

They were baking oat-bread, which they cut into quarters, and half-baked
over the fire, and half-toasted before it. There was a suspiciousness
about Mrs. Otto, almost like ill-nature; she was very jealous of any
inquiries that might appear to be made with the faintest idea of a
comparison between Leadhills and any other place, except the advantage
was evidently on the side of Leadhills. We had nice honey to breakfast.
When ready to depart, we learned that we might have seen the library,
which we had not thought of till it was too late, and we were very sorry
to go away without seeing it.

_Saturday, August 20th._--Left Leadhills at nine o'clock, regretting
much that we could not stay another day, that we might have made more
minute inquiries respecting the manner of living of the miners, and been
able to form an estimate, from our own observation, of the degree of
knowledge, health, and comfort that there was among them. The air was
keen and cold; we might have supposed it to be three months later in the
season and two hours earlier in the day. The landlady had not lighted us
a fire; so I was obliged to get myself toasted in the kitchen, and when
we set off I put on both grey cloak and spencer.

Our road carried us down the valley, and we soon lost sight of
Leadhills, for the valley made a turn almost immediately, and we saw two
miles, perhaps, before us; the glen sloped somewhat rapidly--heathy,
bare, no hut or house. Passed by a shepherd, who was sitting upon the
ground, reading, with the book on his knee, screened from the wind by
his plaid, while a flock of sheep were feeding near him among the rushes
and coarse grass--for, as we descended we came among lands where grass
grew with the heather. Travelled through several reaches of the glen,
which somewhat resembled the valley of Menock on the other side of
Wanlockhead; but it was not near so beautiful; the forms of the
mountains did not melt so exquisitely into each other, and there was a
coldness, and, if I may so speak, a want of simplicity in the surface of
the earth; the heather was poor, not covering a whole hill-side; not in
luxuriant streams and beds interveined with rich verdure; but patchy and
stunted, with here and there coarse grass and rushes. But we soon came
in sight of a spot that impressed us very much. At the lower end of this
new reach of the vale was a decayed tree, beside a decayed cottage, the
vale spreading out into a level area which was one large field, without
fence and without division, of a dull yellow colour; the vale seemed to
partake of the desolation of the cottage, and to participate in its
decay. And yet the spot was in its nature so dreary that one would
rather have wondered how it ever came to be tenanted by man, than lament
that it was left to waste and solitude. Yet the encircling hills were so
exquisitely formed that it was impossible to conceive anything more
lovely than this place would have been if the valley and hill-sides had
been interspersed with trees, cottages, green fields, and hedgerows. But
all was desolate; the one large field which filled up the area of the
valley appeared, as I have said, in decay, and seemed to retain the
memory of its connexion with man in some way analogous to the ruined
building; for it was as much of a field as Mr. King's best pasture
scattered over with his fattest cattle.

We went on, looking before us, the place losing nothing of its hold upon
our minds, when we discovered a woman sitting right in the middle of the
field, alone, wrapped up in a grey cloak or plaid. She sat motionless
all the time we looked at her, which might be nearly half an hour. We
could not conceive why she sat there, for there were neither sheep nor
cattle in the field; her appearance was very melancholy. In the meantime
our road carried us nearer to the cottage, though we were crossing over
the hill to the left, leaving the valley below us, and we perceived that
a part of the building was inhabited, and that what we had supposed to
be _one_ blasted tree was eight trees, four of which were entirely
blasted; the others partly so, and round about the place was a little
potato and cabbage garth, fenced with earth. No doubt, that woman had
been an inhabitant of the cottage. However this might be, there was so
much obscurity and uncertainty about her, and her figure agreed so well
with the desolation of the place, that we were indebted to the chance of
her being there for some of the most interesting feelings that we had
ever had from natural objects connected with man in dreary solitariness.

We had been advised to go along the _new_ road, which would have
carried us down the vale; but we met some travellers who recommended us
to climb the hill, and go by the village of Crawfordjohn as being much
nearer. We had a long hill, and after having reached the top, steep and
bad roads, so we continued to walk for a considerable way. The air was
cold and clear--the sky blue. We walked cheerfully along in the
sunshine, each of us alone, only William had the charge of the horse and
car, so he sometimes took a ride, which did but poorly recompense him
for the trouble of driving. I never travelled with more cheerful spirits
than this day. Our road was along the side of a high moor. I can always
walk over a moor with a light foot; I seem to be drawn more closely to
nature in such places than anywhere else; or rather I feel more strongly
the power of nature over me, and am better satisfied with myself for
being able to find enjoyment in what unfortunately to many persons is
either dismal or insipid. This moor, however, was more than commonly
interesting; we could see a long way, and on every side of us were
larger or smaller tracts of cultivated land. Some were extensive farms,
yet in so large a waste they did but look small, with farm-houses,
barns, etc., others like little cottages, with enough to feed a cow, and
supply the family with vegetables. In looking at these farms we had
always one feeling. Why did the plough stop there? Why might not they as
well have carried it twice as far? There were no hedgerows near the
farms, and very few trees. As we were passing along, we saw an old man,
the first we had seen in a Highland bonnet, walking with a staff at a
very slow pace by the edge of one of the moorland corn-fields; he wore a
grey plaid, and a dog was by his side. There was a scriptural solemnity
in this man's figure, a sober simplicity which was most impressive.
Scotland is the country above all others that I have seen, in which a
man of imagination may carve out his own pleasures. There are so many
_inhabited_ solitudes, and the employments of the people are so
immediately connected with the places where you find them, and their
dresses so simple, so much alike, yet, from their being folding
garments, admitting of an endless variety, and falling often so

After some time we descended towards a broad vale, passed one
farm-house, sheltered by fir trees, with a burn close to it; children
playing, linen bleaching. The vale was open pastures and corn-fields
unfenced, the land poor. The village of Crawfordjohn on the slope of a
hill a long way before us to the left. Asked about our road of a man who
was driving a cart; he told us to go through the village, then along
some fields, and we should come to a "herd's house by the burn side."
The highway was right through the vale, unfenced on either side; the
people of the village, who were making hay, all stared at us and our
carriage. We inquired the road of a middle-aged man, dressed in a shabby
black coat, at work in one of the hay fields; he looked like the
minister of the place, and when he spoke we felt assured that he was so,
for he was not sparing of hard words, which, however, he used with great
propriety, and he spoke like one who had been accustomed to dictate. Our
car wanted mending in the wheel, and we asked him if there was a
blacksmith in the village. "Yes," he replied, but when we showed him the
wheel he told William that he might mend it himself without a
blacksmith, and he would put him in the way; so he fetched hammer and
nails and gave his directions, which William obeyed, and repaired the
damage entirely to his own satisfaction and the priest's, who did not
offer to lend any assistance himself; not as if he would not have been
willing in case of need; but as if it were more natural for him to
dictate, and because he thought it more fit that William should do it
himself. He spoke much about the propriety of every man's lending all
the assistance in his power to travellers, and with some ostentation of
self-praise. Here I observed a honeysuckle and some flowers growing in a
garden, the first I had seen in Scotland. It is a pretty
cheerful-looking village, but must be very cold in winter; it stands on
a hillside, and the vale itself is very high ground, unsheltered by

Left the village behind us, and our road led through arable ground for
a considerable way, on which were growing very good crops of corn and
potatoes. Our friend accompanied us to show us the way, and Coleridge
and he had a scientific conversation concerning the uses and properties
of lime and other manures. He seemed to be a well-informed man; somewhat
pedantic in his manners; but this might be only the difference between
Scotch and English.[80]

  [Footnote 80: Probably the Rev. John Aird, minister of the parish,
  1801-1815.--J. C. S.]

Soon after he had parted from us, we came upon a stony, rough road over
a black moor; and presently to the "herd's house by the burn side." We
could hardly cross the burn dry-shod, over which was the only road to
the cottage. In England there would have been stepping-stones or a
bridge; but the Scotch need not be afraid of wetting their bare feet.
The hut had its little kail-garth fenced with earth; there was no other
enclosure--but the common, heathy with coarse grass. Travelled along the
common for some miles, before we joined the great road from Longtown to
Glasgow--saw on the bare hill-sides at a distance, sometimes a solitary
farm, now and then a plantation, and one very large wood, with an
appearance of richer ground above; but it was so very high we could not
think it possible. Having descended considerably, the common was no
longer of a peat-mossy brown heath colour, but grass with rushes was its
chief produce; there was sometimes a solitary hut, no enclosures except
the kail-garth, and sheep pasturing in flocks, with shepherd-boys
tending them. I remember one boy in particular; he had no hat on, and
only had a grey plaid wrapped about him. It is nothing to describe, but
on a bare moor, alone with his sheep, standing, as he did, in utter
quietness and silence, there was something uncommonly impressive in his
appearance, a solemnity which recalled to our minds the old man in the
corn-field. We passed many people who were mowing, or raking the grass
of the common; it was little better than rushes; but they did not mow
straight forward, only here and there, where it was the best; in such a
place hay-cocks had an uncommon appearance to us.

After a long descent we came to some plantations which were not far from
Douglas Mill. The country for some time had been growing into
cultivation, and now it was a wide vale with large tracts of corn; trees
in clumps, no hedgerows, which always make a country look bare and
unlovely. For my part, I was better pleased with the desert places we
had left behind, though no doubt the inhabitants of this place think it
"a varra bonny spot," for the Scotch are always pleased with their own
abode, be it what it may; and afterwards at Edinburgh, when we were
talking with a bookseller of our travels, he observed that it was "a
fine country near Douglas Mill." Douglas Mill is a single house, a large
inn, being one of the regular stages between Longtown and Glasgow, and
therefore a fair specimen of the best of the country inns of Scotland.
As soon as our car stopped at the door we felt the difference. At an
English inn of this size, a waiter, or the master or mistress, would
have been at the door immediately, but we remained some time before
anybody came; then a barefooted lass made her appearance, but she only
looked at us and went away. The mistress, a remarkably handsome woman,
showed us into a large parlour; we ordered mutton-chops, and I finished
my letter to Mary; writing on the same window-ledge on which William had
written to me two years before.

After dinner, William and I sat by a little mill-race in the garden. We
had left Leadhills and Wanlockhead far above us, and now were come into
a warmer climate; but there was no richness in the face of the country.
The shrubs looked cold and poor, and yet there were some very fine trees
within a little distance of Douglas Mill, so that the reason, perhaps,
why the few low shrubs and trees which were growing in the gardens
seemed to be so unluxuriant, might be, that there being no hedgerows,
the general appearance of the country was naked, and I could not help
seeing the same coldness where, perhaps, it did not exist in itself to
any great degree, for the corn crops are abundant, and I should think
the soil is not bad. While we were sitting at the door, two of the
landlady's children came out; the elder, a boy about six years old, was
running away from his little brother, in petticoats; the ostler called
out, "Sandy, tak' your wee brither wi' you"; another voice from the
window, "Sawny, dinna leave your wee brither"; the mother then came,
"Alexander, tak' your wee brother by the hand"; Alexander obeyed, and
the two went off in peace together. We were charged eightpence for hay
at this inn, another symptom of our being in Scotland. Left Douglas Mill
at about three o'clock; travelled through an open corn country, the
tracts of corn large and unenclosed. We often passed women or children
who were watching a single cow while it fed upon the slips of grass
between the corn. William asked a strong woman, about thirty years of
age, who looked like the mistress of a family--I suppose moved by some
sentiment of compassion for her being so employed,--if the cow would eat
the corn if it were left to itself: she smiled at his simplicity. It is
indeed a melancholy thing to see a full-grown woman thus waiting, as it
were, body and soul devoted to the poor beast; yet even this is better
than working in a manufactory the day through.

We came to a moorish tract; saw before us the hills of Loch Lomond, Ben
Lomond and another, distinct each by itself. Not far from the roadside
were some benches placed in rows in the middle of a large field, with a
sort of covered shed like a sentry-box, but much more like those boxes
which the Italian puppet-showmen in London use. We guessed that it was a
pulpit or tent for preaching, and were told that a sect met there
occasionally, who held that toleration was unscriptural, and would have
all religions but their own exterminated. I have forgotten what name the
man gave to this sect; we could not learn that it differed in any other
respect from the Church of Scotland. Travelled for some miles along the
open country, which was all without hedgerows, sometimes arable,
sometimes moorish, and often whole tracts covered with grunsel.[81]
There was one field, which one might have believed had been sown with
grunsel, it was so regularly covered with it--a large square field upon
a slope, its boundary marked to our eyes only by the termination of the
bright yellow; contiguous to it were other fields of the same size and
shape, one of clover, the other of potatoes, all equally regular crops.
The oddness of this appearance, the grunsel being uncommonly luxuriant,
and the field as yellow as gold, made William laugh. Coleridge was
melancholy upon it, observing that there was land enough wasted to rear
a healthy child.

  [Footnote 81: Ragweed.--J. C. S.]

We left behind us, considerably to the right, a single high
mountain;[82] I have forgotten its name; we had had it long in view. Saw
before us the river Clyde, its course at right angles to our road, which
now made a turn, running parallel with the river; the town of Lanerk in
sight long before we came to it. I was somewhat disappointed with the
first view of the Clyde: the banks, though swelling and varied, had a
poverty in their appearance, chiefly from the want of wood and
hedgerows. Crossed the river and ascended towards Lanerk, which stands
upon a hill. When we were within about a mile of the town, William
parted from Coleridge and me, to go to the celebrated waterfalls.
Coleridge did not attempt to drive the horse; but led him all the way.
We inquired for the best inn, and were told that the New Inn was the
best; but that they had very "genteel apartments" at the Black Bull, and
made less charges, and the Black Bull was at the entrance of the town,
so we thought we would stop there, as the horse was obstinate and weary.
But when we came to the Black Bull we had no wish to enter the
apartments; for it seemed the abode of dirt and poverty, yet it was a
large building. The town showed a sort of French face, and would have
done much more, had it not been for the true British tinge of
coal-smoke; the doors and windows dirty, the shops dull, the women too
seemed to be very dirty in their dress. The town itself is not ugly; the
houses are of grey stone, the streets not very narrow, and the
market-place decent. The New Inn is a handsome old stone building,
formerly a gentleman's house. We were conducted into a parlour, where
people had been drinking; the tables were unwiped, chairs in disorder,
the floor dirty, and the smell of liquors was most offensive. We were
tired, however, and rejoiced in our tea.

  [Footnote 82: Tinto.--J. C. S.]

The evening sun was now sending a glorious light through the street,
which ran from west to east; the houses were of a fire red, and the
faces of the people as they walked westward were almost like a
blacksmith when he is at work by night. I longed to be out, and meet
with William, that we might see the Falls before the day was gone. Poor
Coleridge was unwell, and could not go. I inquired my road, and a little
girl told me she would go with me to the porter's lodge, where I might
be admitted. I was grieved to hear that the Falls of the Clyde were shut
up in a gentleman's grounds, and to be viewed only by means of lock and
key. Much, however, as the pure feeling with which one would desire to
visit such places is disturbed by useless, impertinent, or even
unnecessary interference with nature, yet when I was there the next
morning I seemed to feel it a less disagreeable thing than in smaller
and more delicate spots, if I may use the phrase. My guide, a sensible
little girl, answered my inquiries very prettily. She was eight years
old, read in the "Collection," a book which all the Scotch children whom
I have questioned read in. I found it was a collection of hymns; she
could repeat several of Dr. Watts'. We passed through a great part of
the town, then turned down a steep hill, and came in view of a long
range of cotton mills,[83] the largest and loftiest I had ever seen;
climbed upwards again, our road leading us along the top of the left
bank of the river; both banks very steep and richly wooded. The girl
left me at the porter's lodge. Having asked after William, I was told
that no person had been there, or could enter but by the gate. The night
was coming on, therefore I did not venture to go in, as I had no hope of
meeting William. I had a delicious walk alone through the wood; the
sound of the water was very solemn, and even the cotton mills in the
fading light of evening had somewhat of the majesty and stillness of the
natural objects. It was nearly dark when I reached the inn. I found
Coleridge sitting by a good fire, which always makes an inn room look
comfortable. In a few minutes William arrived; he had heard of me at the
gate, and followed as quickly as he could, shouting after me. He was
pale and exceedingly tired.

  [Footnote 83: New Lanark, Robert Owen's mills.--J. C. S.]

After he had left us he had taken a wrong road, and while looking about
to set himself right had met with a barefooted boy, who said he would go
with him. The little fellow carried him by a wild path to the upper of
the Falls, the Boniton Linn, and coming down unexpectedly upon it, he
was exceedingly affected by the solemn grandeur of the place. This fall
is not much admired or spoken of by travellers; you have never a full,
breast view of it; it does not make a complete self-satisfying place, an
abode of its own, as a perfect waterfall seems to me to do; but the
river, down which you look through a long vista of steep and ruin-like
rocks, the roaring of the waterfall, and the solemn evening lights, must
have been most impressive. One of the rocks on the near bank, even in
broad daylight, as we saw it the next morning, is exactly like the
fractured arch of an abbey. With the lights and shadows of evening upon
it, the resemblance must have been much more striking.

William's guide was a pretty boy, and he was exceedingly pleased with
him. Just as they were quitting the waterfall, William's mind being full
of the majesty of the scene, the little fellow pointed to the top of a
rock, "There's a fine slae-bush there." "Ay," said William, "but there
are no slaes upon it," which was true enough; but I suppose the child
remembered the slaes of another summer, though, as he said, he was but
"half seven years old," namely, six and a half. He conducted William to
the other fall, and as they were going along a narrow path, they came to
a small cavern, where William lost him, and looking about, saw his
pretty figure in a sort of natural niche fitted for a statue, from which
the boy jumped out laughing, delighted with the success of his trick.
William told us a great deal about him, while he sat by the fire, and of
the pleasure of his walk, often repeating, "I wish you had been with
me." Having no change, he gave the boy sixpence, which was certainly, if
he had formed any expectations at all, far beyond them; but he received
it with the utmost indifference, without any remark of surprise or
pleasure; most likely he did not know how many halfpence he could get
for it, and twopence would have pleased him more. My little girl was
delighted with the sixpence I gave her, and said she would buy a book
with it on Monday morning. What a difference between the manner of
living and education of boys and of girls among the lower classes of
people in towns! she had never seen the Falls of the Clyde, nor had ever
been further than the porter's lodge; the boy, I daresay, knew every
hiding-place in every accessible rock, as well as the fine "slae bushes"
and the nut trees.


_Sunday, August 21st._--The morning was very hot, a morning to tempt us
to linger by the water-side. I wished to have had the day before us,
expecting so much from what William had seen; but when we went there, I
did not desire to stay longer than till the hour which we had prescribed
to ourselves; for it was a rule not to be broken in upon, that the
person who conducted us to the Falls was to remain by our side till we
chose to depart. We left our inn immediately after breakfast. The lanes
were full of people going to church; many of the middle-aged women wore
long scarlet cardinals, and were without hats: they brought to my mind
the women of Goslar as they used to go to church in their silver or gold
caps, with their long cloaks, black or coloured.

The banks of the Clyde from Lanerk to the Falls rise immediately from
the river; they are lofty and steep, and covered with wood. The road to
the Falls is along the top of one of the banks, and to the left you have
a prospect of the open country, corn fields and scattered houses. To the
right, over the river, the country spreads out, as it were, into a plain
covered over with hills, no one hill much higher than another, but hills
all over; there were endless pastures overgrown with broom, and
scattered trees, without hedges or fences of any kind, and no distinct
footpaths. It was delightful to see the lasses in gay dresses running
like cattle among the broom, making their way straight forward towards
the river, here and there as it might chance. They waded across the
stream, and, when they had reached the top of the opposite bank, sat
down by the road-side, about half a mile from the town, to put on their
shoes and cotton stockings, which they brought tied up in
pocket-handkerchiefs. The porter's lodge is about a mile from Lanerk,
and the lady's house--for the whole belongs to a lady, whose name I have
forgotten[84]--is upon a hill at a little distance. We walked, after we
had entered the private grounds, perhaps two hundred yards along a
gravel carriage-road, then came to a little side gate, which opened upon
a narrow gravel path under trees, and in a minute and a half, or less,
were directly opposite to the great waterfall. I was much affected by
the first view of it. The majesty and strength of the water, for I had
never before seen so large a cataract, struck me with astonishment,
which died away, giving place to more delightful feelings; though there
were some buildings that I could have wished had not been there, though
at first unnoticed. The chief of them was a neat, white, lady-like
house,[85] very near to the waterfall. William and Coleridge however
were in a better and perhaps wiser humour, and did not dislike the
house; indeed, it was a very nice-looking place, with a moderate-sized
garden, leaving the green fields free and open. This house is on the
side of the river opposite to the grand house and the pleasure-grounds.
The waterfall Cora Linn is composed of two falls, with a sloping space,
which _appears_ to be about twenty yards between, but is much more. The
basin which receives the fall is enclosed by noble rocks, with trees,
chiefly hazels, birch, and ash growing out of their sides whenever there
is any hold for them; and a magnificent resting-place it is for such a
river; I think more grand than the Falls themselves.

  [Footnote 84: Lady Mary Ross.--J. C. S.]

  [Footnote 85: Corehouse.--J. C. S.]

After having stayed some time, we returned by the same footpath into
the main carriage-road, and soon came upon what William calls an
ell-wide gravel walk, from which we had different views of the Linn. We
sat upon a bench, placed for the sake of one of these views, whence we
looked down upon the waterfall, and over the open country, and saw a
ruined tower, called Wallace's Tower, which stands at a very little
distance from the fall, and is an interesting object. A lady and
gentleman, more expeditious tourists than ourselves, came to the spot;
they left us at the seat, and we found them again at another station
above the Falls. Coleridge, who is always good-natured enough to enter
into conversation with anybody whom he meets in his way, began to talk
with the gentleman, who observed that it was a _majestic_ waterfall.
Coleridge was delighted with the accuracy of the epithet, particularly
as he had been settling in his own mind the precise meaning of the words
grand, majestic, sublime, etc., and had discussed the subject with
William at some length the day before. "Yes, sir," says Coleridge, "it
_is_ a majestic waterfall." "Sublime and beautiful," replied his friend.
Poor Coleridge could make no answer, and, not very desirous to continue
the conversation, came to us and related the story, laughing heartily.

The distance from one Linn to the other may be half a mile or more,
along the same ell-wide walk. We came to a pleasure-house, of which the
little girl had the key; she said it was called the Fog-house, because
it was lined with "fog," namely moss. On the outside it resembled some
of the huts in the prints belonging to Captain Cook's Voyages, and
within was like a hay-stack scooped out. It was circular, with a
dome-like roof, a seat all round fixed to the wall, and a table in the
middle,--seat, wall, roof, and table all covered with moss in the
neatest manner possible. It was as snug as a bird's nest; I wish we had
such a one at the top of our orchard, only a great deal smaller. We
afterwards found that huts of the same kind were common in the
pleasure-grounds of Scotland; but we never saw any that were so
beautifully wrought as this. It had, however, little else to recommend
it, the situation being chosen without judgment; there was no prospect
from it, nor was it a place of seclusion and retirement, for it stood
close to the ell-wide gravel walk. We wished we could have shoved it
about a hundred yards further on, when we arrived at a bench which was
also close to the walk, for just below the bench, the walk elbowing out
into a circle, there was a beautiful spring of clear water, which we
could see rise up continually, at the bottom of a round stone basin full
to the brim, the water gushing out at a little outlet and passing away
under the walk. A reason was wanted for placing the hut where it is;
what a good one would this little spring have furnished for bringing it
hither! Along the whole of the path were openings at intervals for views
of the river, but, as almost always happens in gentlemen's grounds, they
were injudiciously managed; you were prepared for a dead stand--by a
parapet, a painted seat, or some other device.

We stayed some time at the Boniton Fall, which has one great advantage
over the other falls, that it is at the termination of the
pleasure-grounds, and we see no traces of the boundary-line; yet, except
under some accidental circumstances, such as a sunset like that of the
preceding evening, it is greatly inferior to the Cora Linn. We returned
to the inn to dinner. The landlord set the first dish upon the table, as
is common in England, and we were well waited upon. This first dish was
true Scottish--a boiled sheep's head, with the hair singed off;
Coleridge and I ate heartily of it; we had barley broth, in which the
sheep's head had been boiled. A party of tourists whom we had met in the
pleasure-grounds drove from the door while we were waiting for dinner; I
guess they were fresh from England, for they had stuffed the pockets of
their carriage with bundles of heather, roots and all, just as if
Scotland grew no heather but on the banks of the Clyde. They passed away
with their treasure towards Loch Lomond. A party of boys, dressed all
alike in blue, very neat, were standing at the chaise-door; we
conjectured they were charity scholars; but found on inquiry that they
were apprentices to the cotton factory; we were told that they were well
instructed in reading and writing. We had seen in the morning a flock of
girls dressed in grey coming out of the factory, probably apprentices

After dinner set off towards Hamilton, but on foot, for we had to turn
aside to the Cartland Rocks, and our car was to meet us on the road. A
guide attended us, who might almost in size, and certainly in activity,
have been compared with William's companion who hid himself in the niche
of the cavern. His method of walking and very quick step soon excited
our attention. I could hardly keep up with him; he paddled by our side,
just reaching to my shoulder, like a little dog, with his long snout
pushed before him--for he had an enormous nose, and walked with his head
foremost. I said to him, "How quick you walk!" he replied, "_That_ was
_not_ quick walking," and when I asked him what he called so, he said
"Five miles an hour," and then related in how many hours he had lately
walked from Lanerk to Edinburgh, done some errands, and returned to
Lanerk--I have forgotten the particulars, but it was a very short
time--and added that he had an old father who could walk at the rate of
four miles an hour, for twenty-four miles, any day, and had never had an
hour's sickness in his life. "Then," said I, "he has not drunk much
strong liquor?" "Yes, enough to drown him." From his eager manner of
uttering this, I inferred that he himself was a drinker; and the man who
met us with the car told William that he gained a great deal of money as
an errand-goer, but spent it all in tippling. He had been a shoe-maker,
but could not bear the confinement on account of a weakness in his

The neighbourhood of Lanerk is exceedingly pleasant; we came to a sort
of district of glens or little valleys that cleave the hills, leaving a
cheerful, open country above them, with no superior hills, but an
undulating surface. Our guide pointed to the situation of the Cartland
Crags. We were to cross a narrow valley, and walk down on the other
side, and then we should be at the spot; but the little fellow made a
sharp turn down a footpath to the left, saying, "We must have some
conversation here." He paddled on with his small pawing feet till we
came right opposite to a gentleman's house on the other side of the
valley, when he halted, repeating some words, I have forgotten what,
which were taken up by the most distinct echo I ever heard--this is
saying little: it was the most distinct echo that it is possible to
conceive. It shouted the names of our fireside friends in the very tone
in which William and Coleridge spoke; but it seemed to make a joke of
me, and I could not help laughing at my own voice, it was so shrill and
pert, exactly as if some one had been mimicking it very successfully,
with an intention of making me ridiculous. I wished Joanna had been
there to laugh, for the echo is an excellent laugher, and would have
almost made her believe that it was a true story which William has told
of her and the mountains. We turned back, crossed the valley, went
through the orchard and plantations belonging to the gentleman's house.
By the bye, we observed to our guide that the echo must bring many
troublesome visitors to disturb the quiet of the owner of that house,
"Oh no," said he, "he glories in much company." He was a native of that
neighbourhood, had made a moderate fortune abroad, purchased an estate,
built the house, and raised the plantations; and further, had made a
convenient walk through his woods to the Cartland Crags. The house was
modest and neat, and though not adorned in the best taste, and though
the plantations were of fir, we looked at it with great pleasure, there
was such true liberality and kind-heartedness in leaving his orchard
path open, and his walks unobstructed by gates. I hope this goodness is
not often abused by plunderers of the apple-trees, which were hung with
tempting apples close to the path.

At the termination of the little valley, we descended through a wood
along a very steep path to a muddy stream running over limestone rocks;
turned up to the left along the bed of the stream, and soon we were
closed in by rocks on each side. They were very lofty--of limestone,
trees starting out of them, high and low, overhanging the stream or
shooting up towards the sky. No place of the kind could be more
beautiful if the stream had been clear, but it was of a muddy yellow
colour; had it been a large river, one might have got the better of the
unpleasantness of the muddy water in the grandeur of its roaring, the
boiling up of the foam over the rocks, or the obscurity of its pools.

We had been told that the Cartland Crags were better worth going to see
than the Falls of the Clyde. I did not think so; but I have seen rocky
dells resembling this before, with clear water instead of that muddy
stream, and never saw anything like the Falls of the Clyde. It would be
a delicious spot to have near one's house; one would linger out many a
day in the cool shade of the caverns, and the stream would soothe one by
its murmuring; still, being an old friend, one would not love it the
less for its homely face. Even we, as we passed along, could not help
stopping for a long while to admire the beauty of the lazy foam, for
ever in motion, and never moved away, in a still place of the water,
covering the whole surface of it with streaks and lines and ever-varying
circles. Wild marjoram grew upon the rocks in great perfection and
beauty; our guide gave me a bunch, and said he should come hither to
collect a store for tea for the winter, and that it was "varra
halesome": he drank none else. We walked perhaps half a mile along the
bed of the river; but it might _seem_ to be much further than it was,
owing to the difficulty of the path, and the sharp and many turnings of
the glen. Passed two of Wallace's Caves. There is scarce a noted glen in
Scotland that has not a cave for Wallace or some other hero. Before we
left the river the rocks became less lofty, turned into a wood through
which was a convenient path upwards, met the owner of the house and the
echo-ground, and thanked him for the pleasure which he had provided for
us and other travellers by making such pretty pathways.

It was four o'clock when we reached the place where the car was waiting.
We were anxious to be off, as we had fifteen miles to go; but just as we
were seating ourselves we found that the cushions were missing. William
was forced to go back to the town, a mile at least, and Coleridge and I
waited with the car. It rained, and we had some fear that the evening
would be wet, but the rain soon ceased, though the sky continued
gloomy--an unfortunate circumstance, for we had to travel through a
beautiful country, and of that sort which is most set off by sunshine
and pleasant weather.

Travelled through the Vale or _Trough_ of the Clyde, as it is called,
for ten or eleven miles, having the river on our right. We had fine
views both up and down the river for the first three or four miles, our
road being not close to it, but above its banks, along the open country,
which was here occasionally intersected by hedgerows.

Left our car in the road, and turned down a field to the Fall of
Stonebyres, another of the falls of the Clyde, which I had not heard
spoken of; therefore it gave me the more pleasure. We saw it from the
top of the bank of the river at a little distance. It has not the
imposing majesty of Cora Linn; but it has the advantage of being left to
itself, a grand solitude in the heart of a populous country. We had a
prospect above and below it, of cultivated grounds, with hay-stacks,
houses, hills; but the river's banks were lonesome, steep, and woody,
with rocks near the fall.

A little further on, came more into company with the river; sometimes
we were close to it, sometimes above it, but always at no great
distance; and now the vale became more interesting and amusing. It is
very populous, with villages, hamlets, single cottages, or farm-houses
embosomed in orchards, and scattered over with gentlemen's houses, some
of them very ugly, tall and obtrusive, others neat and comfortable. We
seemed now to have got into a country where poverty and riches were
shaking hands together; pears and apples, of which the crop was
abundant, hung over the road, often growing in orchards unfenced; or
there might be bunches of broom along the road-side in an interrupted
line, that looked like a hedge till we came to it and saw the gaps.
Bordering on these fruitful orchards perhaps would be a patch, its chief
produce being gorse or broom. There was nothing like a moor or common
anywhere; but small plots of uncultivated ground were left high and low,
among the potatoes, corn, cabbages, which grew intermingled, now among
trees, now bare. The Trough of the Clyde is, indeed, a singular and very
interesting region; it is somewhat like the upper part of the vale of
Nith, but above the Nith is much less cultivated ground--without
hedgerows or orchards, or anything that looks like a rich country. We
met crowds of people coming from the kirk; the lasses were gaily
dressed, often in white gowns, coloured satin bonnets, and coloured silk
handkerchiefs, and generally with their shoes and stockings in a bundle
hung on their arm. Before we left the river the vale became much less
interesting, resembling a poor English country, the fields being large,
and unluxuriant hedges.

It had been dark long before we reached Hamilton, and William had some
difficulty in driving the tired horse through the town. At the inn they
hesitated about being able to give us beds, the house being
brim-full--lights at every window. We were rather alarmed for our
accommodations during the rest of the tour, supposing the house to be
filled with _tourists_; but they were in general only regular
travellers; for out of the main road from town to town we saw scarcely a
carriage, and the inns were empty. There was nothing remarkable in the
treatment we met with at this inn, except the lazy impertinence of the
waiter. It was a townish place, with a great larder set out; the house
throughout dirty.

_Monday, August 22nd._--Immediately after breakfast walked to the Duke
of Hamilton's house to view the picture-gallery, chiefly the famous
picture of Daniel in the Lions' Den, by Rubens. It is a large building,
without grandeur, a heavy, lumpish mass, after the fashion of the
Hopetoun H,[86] only five times the size, and with longer legs, which
makes it gloomy. We entered the gate, passed the porter's lodge, where
we saw nobody, and stopped at the front door, as William had done two
years before with Sir William Rush's family. We were met by a little
mean-looking man, shabbily dressed, out of livery, who, we found, was
the porter. After scanning us over, he told us that we ought not to have
come to that door. We said we were sorry for the mistake, but as one of
our party had been there two years before, and was admitted by the same
entrance, we had supposed it was the regular way. After many
hesitations, and having kept us five minutes waiting in the large hall,
while he went to consult with the housekeeper, he informed us that we
could not be admitted at that time, the housekeeper being unwell; but
that we might return in an hour: he then conducted us through long
gloomy passages to an obscure door at the corner of the house. We asked
if we might be permitted to walk in the park in the meantime; and he
told us that this would not be agreeable to the Duke's family. We
returned to the inn discontented enough, but resolved not to waste an
hour, if there were anything else in the neighbourhood worth seeing. The
waiter told us there was a curious place called Baroncleugh, with
gardens cut out in rocks, and we determined to go thither. We had to
walk through the town, which may be about as large as Penrith, and
perhaps a mile further, along a dusty turnpike road. The morning was
hot, sunny, and windy, and we were half tired before we reached the
place; but were amply repaid for our trouble.

  [Footnote 86: The house belonging to the Earls of Hopetoun at
  Leadhills, not that which bears this name about twelve miles from
  Edinburgh.--J. C. S.]

The general face of the country near Hamilton is much in the ordinary
English style; not very hilly, with hedgerows, corn fields, and stone
houses. The Clyde is here an open river with low banks, and the country
spreads out so wide that there is no appearance of a regular vale.
Baroncleugh is in a beautiful deep glen through which runs the river
Avon, a stream that falls into the Clyde. The house stands very sweetly
in complete retirement; it has its gardens and terraces one above
another, with flights of steps between, box-trees and yew-trees cut in
fantastic shapes, flower-borders and summer-houses; and, still below,
apples and pears were hanging in abundance on the branches of large old
trees, which grew intermingled with the natural wood, elms, beeches,
etc., even to the water's edge. The whole place is in perfect harmony
with the taste of our ancestors, and the yews and hollies are shaven as
nicely, and the gravel walks and flower-borders kept in as exact order,
as if the spirit of the first architect of the terraces still presided
over them. The opposite bank of the river is left in its natural
wildness, and nothing was to be seen higher up but the deep dell, its
steep banks being covered with fine trees, a beautiful relief or
contrast to the garden, which is one of the most elaborate old things
ever seen, a little hanging garden of Babylon.

I was sorry to hear that the owner of this sweet place did not live
there always. He had built a small thatched house to eke out the old
one: it was a neat dwelling, with no false ornaments. We were
exceedingly sorry to quit this spot, which is left to nature and past
times, and should have liked to have pursued the glen further up; we
were told that there was a ruined castle; and the walk itself must be
very delightful; but we wished to reach Glasgow in good time, and had to
go again to Hamilton House. Returned to the town by a much shorter road,
and were very angry with the waiter for not having directed us to it;
but he was too great a man to speak three words more than he could help.

We stopped at the proper door of the Duke's house, and seated ourselves
humbly upon a bench, waiting the pleasure of the porter, who, after a
little time, informed us that we could not be admitted, giving no reason
whatever. When we got to the inn, we could just gather from the waiter
that it was not usual to refuse admittance to strangers; but that was
all: he could not, or would not, help us, so we were obliged to give it
up, which mortified us, for I had wished much to see the picture.
William vowed that he would write that very night to Lord Archibald
Hamilton, stating the whole matter, which he did from Glasgow.

I ought to have mentioned the park, though, as we were not allowed to
walk there, we saw but little of it. It looked pleasant, as all parks
with fine trees must be, but, as it seemed to be only a large, nearly
level, plain, it could not be a particularly beautiful park, though it
borders upon the Clyde, and the Avon runs, I believe, through it, after
leaving the solitude of the glen of Baroncleugh.

Quitted Hamilton at about eleven o'clock. There is nothing interesting
between Hamilton and Glasgow till we came to Bothwell Castle, a few
miles from Hamilton. The country is cultivated, but not rich, the fields
large, a perfect contrast to the huddling together of hills and trees,
corn and pasture grounds, hay-stacks, cottages, orchards, broom and
gorse, but chiefly broom, that had amused us so much the evening before
in passing through the Trough of the Clyde. A native of Scotland would
not probably be satisfied with the account I have given of the Trough of
the Clyde, for it is one of the most celebrated scenes in Scotland. We
certainly received less pleasure from it than we had expected; but it
was plain that this was chiefly owing to the unfavourable circumstances
under which we saw it--a gloomy sky and a cold blighting wind. It is a
very beautiful district, yet there, as in all the other scenes of
Scotland celebrated for their fertility, we found something which gave
us a notion of barrenness, of what was not altogether genial. The new
fir and larch plantations, here as in almost every other part of
Scotland, contributed not a little to this effect.

Crossed the Clyde not far from Hamilton, and had the river for some
miles at a distance from us, on our left; but after having gone, it
might be, three miles, we came to a porter's lodge on the left side of
the road, where we were to turn to Bothwell Castle, which is in Lord
Douglas's grounds. The woman who keeps the gate brought us a book, in
which we wrote down our names. Went about half a mile before we came to
the pleasure-grounds. Came to a large range of stables, where we were to
leave the car; but there was no one to unyoke the horse, so William was
obliged to do it himself, a task which he performed very awkwardly,
being then new to it. We saw the ruined castle embosomed in trees,
passed the house, and soon found ourselves on the edge of a steep brow
immediately above and overlooking the course of the river Clyde through
a deep hollow between woods and green steeps. We had approached at right
angles from the main road to the place over a flat, and had seen nothing
before us but a nearly level country terminated by distant slopes, the
Clyde hiding himself in his deep bed. It was exceedingly delightful to
come thus unexpectedly upon such a beautiful region.

The Castle stands nobly, overlooking the Clyde. When we came up to it I
was hurt to see that flower-borders had taken place of the natural
overgrowings of the ruin, the scattered stones and wild plants. It is a
large and grand pile, of red freestone, harmonizing perfectly with the
rocks of the river, from which, no doubt, it has been hewn. When I was a
little accustomed to the unnaturalness of a modern garden, I could not
help admiring the excessive beauty and luxuriance of some of the plants,
particularly the purple-flowered clematis, and a broad-leaved creeping
plant without flowers, which scrambled up the castle wall along with the
ivy, and spread its vine-like branches so lavishly that it seemed to be
in its natural situation, and one could not help thinking that, though
not self-planted among the ruins of this country, it must somewhere have
its natural abode in such places. If Bothwell Castle had not been close
to the Douglas mansion we should have been disgusted with the
possessor's miserable conception of "adorning" such a venerable ruin;
but it is so very near to the house that of necessity the
pleasure-grounds must have extended beyond it, and perhaps the neatness
of a shaven lawn and the complete desolation natural to a ruin might
have made an unpleasing contrast; and besides, being within the
precincts of the pleasure-grounds, and so very near to the modern
mansion of a noble family, it has forfeited in some degree its
independent majesty, and becomes a tributary to the mansion; its
solitude being interrupted, it has no longer the same command over the
mind in sending it back into past times, or excluding the ordinary
feelings which we bear about us in daily life. We had then only to
regret that the castle and house were so near to each other; and it was
impossible _not_ to regret it; for the ruin presides in state over the
river, far from city or town, as if it might have had a peculiar
privilege to preserve its memorials of past ages and maintain its own
character and independence for centuries to come.

We sat upon a bench under the high trees, and had beautiful views of
the different reaches of the river above and below. On the opposite
bank, which is finely wooded with elms and other trees, are the remains
of an ancient priory, built upon a rock: and rock and ruin are so
blended together that it is impossible to separate the one from the
other. Nothing can be more beautiful than the little remnants of this
holy place; elm trees--for we were near enough to distinguish them by
their branches--grow out of the walls, and overshadow a small but very
elegant window. It can scarcely be conceived what a grace the castle and
priory impart to each other; and the river Clyde flows on smooth and
unruffled below, seeming to my thoughts more in harmony with the sober
and stately images of former times, than if it had roared over a rocky
channel, forcing its sound upon the ear. It blended gently with the
warbling of the smaller birds and chattering of the larger ones that had
made their nests in the ruins. In this fortress the chief of the English
nobility were confined after the battle of Bannockburn. If a man is to
be a prisoner, he scarcely could have a more pleasant place to solace
his captivity; but I thought that for close confinement I should prefer
the banks of a lake or the sea-side. The greatest charm of a brook or
river is in the liberty to pursue it through its windings; you can then
take it in whatever mood you like; silent or noisy, sportive or quiet.
The beauties of a brook or river must be sought, and the pleasure is in
going in search of them; those of a lake or of the sea come to you of
themselves. These rude warriors cared little perhaps about either; and
yet if one may judge from the writings of Chaucer and from the old
romances, more interesting passions were connected with natural objects
in the days of chivalry than now, though going in search of scenery, as
it is called, had not then been thought of. I had heard nothing of
Bothwell Castle, at least nothing that I remembered, therefore, perhaps,
my pleasure was greater, compared with what I received elsewhere, than
others might feel.

At our return to the stables we found an inferior groom, who helped
William to yoke the horse, and was very civil. We grew hungry before we
had travelled many miles, and seeing a large public-house--it was in a
walled court some yards from the road--Coleridge got off the car to
inquire if we could dine there, and was told we could have nothing but
eggs. It was a miserable place, very like a French house; indeed we
observed, in almost every part of Scotland, except Edinburgh, that we
were reminded ten times of France and Germany for once of England.

Saw nothing remarkable after leaving Bothwell, except the first view of
Glasgow, at some miles distance, terminated by the mountains of Loch
Lomond. The suburbs of Glasgow extend very far, houses on each side of
the highway,--all ugly, and the inhabitants dirty. The roads are very
wide; and everything seems to tell of the neighbourhood of a large town.
We were annoyed by carts and dirt, and the road was full of people, who
all noticed our car in one way or other; the children often sent a
hooting after us.

Wearied completely, we at last reached the town, and were glad to walk,
leading the car to the first decent inn, which was luckily not far from
the end of the town. William, who gained most of his road-knowledge from
ostlers, had been informed of this house by the ostler at Hamilton; it
proved quiet and tolerably cheap, a new building--the Saracen's Head. I
shall never forget how glad I was to be landed in a little quiet
back-parlour, for my head was beating with the noise of carts which we
had left, and the wearisomeness of the disagreeable objects near the
highway; but with my first pleasant sensations also came the feeling
that we were not in an English inn--partly from its half-unfurnished
appearance, which is common in Scotland, for in general the deal
wainscots and doors are unpainted, and partly from the dirtiness of the
floors. Having dined, William and I walked to the post-office, and after
much seeking found out a quiet timber-yard wherein to sit down and read
our letter. We then walked a considerable time in the streets, which are
perhaps as handsome as streets can be, which derive no particular effect
from their situation in connexion with natural advantages, such as
rivers, sea, or hills. The Trongate, an old street, is very
picturesque--high houses, with an intermixture of gable fronts towards
the street. The New Town is built of fine stone, in the best style of
the very best London streets at the west end of the town, but, not being
of brick, they are greatly superior. One thing must strike every
stranger in his first walk through Glasgow--an appearance of business
and bustle, but no coaches or gentlemen's carriages; during all the time
we walked in the streets I only saw three carriages, and these were
travelling chaises. I also could not but observe a want of cleanliness
in the appearance of the lower orders of the people, and a dulness in
the dress and outside of the whole mass, as they moved along. We
returned to the inn before it was dark. I had a bad headache, and was
tired, and we all went to bed soon.

_Tuesday, August 23rd._--A cold morning. Walked to the
bleaching-ground,[87] a large field bordering on the Clyde, the banks of
which are perfectly flat, and the general face of the country is nearly
so in the neighbourhood of Glasgow. This field, the whole summer
through, is covered with women of all ages, children, and young girls
spreading out their linen, and watching it while it bleaches. The scene
must be very cheerful on a fine day, but it rained when we were there,
and though there was linen spread out in all parts, and great numbers of
women and girls were at work, yet there would have been many more on a
fine day, and they would have appeared happy, instead of stupid and
cheerless. In the middle of the field is a wash-house, whither the
inhabitants of this large town, rich and poor, send or carry their linen
to be washed. There are two very large rooms, with each a cistern in the
middle for hot water; and all round the rooms are benches for the women
to set their tubs upon. Both the rooms were crowded with washers; there
might be a hundred, or two, or even three; for it is not easy to form an
accurate notion of so great a number; however, the rooms were large, and
they were both full. It was amusing to see so many women, arms, head,
and face all in motion, all busy in an ordinary household employment, in
which we are accustomed to see, at the most, only three or four women
employed in one place. The women were very civil. I learnt from them the
regulations of the house; but I have forgotten the particulars. The
substance of them is, that "so much" is to be paid for each tub of
water, "so much" for a tub, and the privilege of washing for a day, and,
"so much" to the general overlookers of the linen, when it is left to be
bleached. An old man and woman have this office, who were walking about,
two melancholy figures.

  [Footnote 87: Glasgow Green.--J. C. S.]

The shops at Glasgow are large, and like London shops, and we passed by
the largest coffee-room I ever saw. You look across the piazza of the
Exchange, and see to the end of the coffee-room, where there is a
circular window, the width of the room. Perhaps there might be thirty
gentlemen sitting on the circular bench of the window, each reading a
newspaper. They had the appearance of figures in a fantoccine, or men
seen at the extremity of the opera-house, diminished into puppets.

I am sorry I did not see the High Church: both William and I were tired,
and it rained very hard after we had left the bleaching-ground; besides,
I am less eager to walk in a large town than anywhere else; so we put it
off, and I have since repented of my irresolution.

Dined, and left Glasgow at about three o'clock, in a heavy rain. We
were obliged to ride through the streets to keep our feet dry, and, in
spite of the rain, every person as we went along stayed his steps to
look at us; indeed, we had the pleasure of spreading smiles from one end
of Glasgow to the other--for we travelled the whole length of the town.
A set of schoolboys, perhaps there might be eight, with satchels over
their shoulders, and, except one or two, without shoes and stockings,
yet very well dressed in jackets and trousers, like gentlemen's
children, followed us in great delight, admiring the car and longing to
jump up. At last, though we were seated, they made several attempts to
get on behind; and they looked so pretty and wild, and at the same time
so modest, that we wished to give them a ride, and there being a little
hill near the end of the town, we got off, and four of them who still
remained, the rest having dropped into their homes by the way, took our
places; and indeed I would have walked two miles willingly, to have had
the pleasure of seeing them so happy. When they were to ride no longer,
they scampered away, laughing and rejoicing. New houses are rising up in
great numbers round Glasgow, citizen-like houses, and new plantations,
chiefly of fir; the fields are frequently enclosed by hedgerows, but
there is no richness, nor any particular beauty for some miles.

The first object that interested us was a gentleman's house upon a
green plain or holm, almost close to the Clyde, sheltered by tall trees,
a quiet modest mansion, and, though white-washed, being an old building,
and no other house near it, or in connexion with it, and standing upon
the level field, which belonged to it, its own domain, the whole scene
together brought to our minds an image of the retiredness and sober
elegance of a nunnery; but this might be owing to the greyness of the
afternoon, and our having come immediately from Glasgow, and through a
country which, till now, had either had a townish taint, or at best
little of rural beauty. While we were looking at the house we overtook a
foot-traveller, who, like many others, began to talk about our car. We
alighted to walk up a hill, and, continuing the conversation, the man
told us, with something like a national pride, that it belonged to a
Scotch Lord, Lord Semple; he added, that a little further on we should
see a much finer prospect, as fine a one as ever we had seen in our
lives. Accordingly, when we came to the top of the hill, it opened upon
us most magnificently. We saw the Clyde, now a stately sea-river,
winding away mile after mile, spotted with boats and ships, each side of
the river hilly, the right populous with single houses and
villages--Dunglass Castle upon a promontory, the whole view terminated
by the rock of Dumbarton, at five or six miles' distance, which stands
by itself, without any hills near it, like a sea-rock.

We travelled for some time near the river, passing through clusters of
houses which seemed to owe their existence rather to the wealth of the
river than the land, for the banks were mostly bare, and the soil
appeared poor, even near the water. The left side of the river was
generally uninhabited and moorish, yet there are some beautiful spots:
for instance, a nobleman's house,[88] where the fields and trees were
rich, and, in combination with the river, looked very lovely. As we went
along William and I were reminded of the views upon the Thames in Kent,
which, though greatly superior in richness and softness, are much
inferior in grandeur. Not far from Dumbarton, we passed under some
rocky, copse-covered hills, which were so like some of the hills near
Grasmere that we could have half believed they were the same. Arrived at
Dumbarton before it was dark, having pushed on briskly that we might
have start of a traveller at the inn, who was following us as fast as he
could in a gig. Every front room was full, and we were afraid we should
not have been admitted. They put us into a little parlour, dirty, and
smelling of liquors, the table uncleaned, and not a chair in its place;
we were glad, however, of our sorry accommodations.

  [Footnote 88: No doubt Erskine House, the seat of Lord Blantyre.
  --J.C. S.]

While tea was preparing we lolled at our ease, and though the
room-window overlooked the stable-yard, and at our entrance there
appeared to be nothing but gloom and unloveliness, yet while I lay
stretched upon the carriage cushions on three chairs, I discovered a
little side peep which was enough to set the mind at work. It was no
more than a smoky vessel lying at anchor, with its bare masts, a clay
hut and the shelving bank of the river, with a green pasture above.
Perhaps you will think that there is not much in this, as I describe it:
it is true; but the effect produced by these simple objects, as they
happened to be combined, together with the gloom of the evening, was
exceedingly wild. Our room was parted by a slender partition from a
large dining-room, in which were a number of officers and their wives,
who, after the first hour, never ceased singing, dancing, laughing, or
loud talking. The ladies sang some pretty songs, a great relief to us.
We went early to bed; but poor Coleridge could not sleep for the noise
at the street door; he lay in the parlour below stairs. It is no
uncommon thing in the best inns of Scotland to have shutting-up beds in
the sitting-rooms.

_Wednesday, August 24th._--As soon as breakfast was over, William and I
walked towards the Castle, a short mile from the town. We overtook two
young men, who, on our asking the road, offered to conduct us, though it
might seem it was not easy to miss our way, for the rock rises singly by
itself from the plain on which the town stands. The rock of Dumbarton is
very grand when you are close to it, but at a little distance, under an
ordinary sky, and in open day, it is not grand, but curiously wild. The
castle and fortifications add little effect to the general view of the
rock, especially since the building of a modern house, which is
white-washed, and consequently jars, wherever it is seen, with the
natural character of the place. There is a path up to the house, but it
being low water we could walk round the rock, which we resolved to do.
On that side next the town green grass grows to a considerable height up
the rock, but wherever the river borders upon it, it is naked stone. I
never saw rock in nobler masses, or more deeply stained by time and
weather; nor is this to be wondered at, for it is in the very eye of
sea-storms and land-storms, of mountain winds and water winds. It is of
all colours, but a rusty yellow predominates. As we walked along, we
could not but look up continually, and the mass above being on every
side so huge, it appeared more wonderful than when we saw the whole

We sat down on one of the large stones which lie scattered near the base
of the rock, with sea-weed growing amongst them. Above our heads the
rock was perpendicular for a considerable height, nay, as it seemed, to
the very top, and on the brink of the precipice a few sheep, two of them
rams with twisted horns, stood, as if on the look-out over the wide
country. At the same time we saw a sentinel in his red coat, walking
backwards and forwards between us and the sky, with his firelock over
his shoulder. The sheep, I suppose owing to our being accustomed to see
them in similar situations, appeared to retain their real size, while,
on the contrary, the soldier seemed to be diminished by the distance
till he almost looked like a puppet moved with wires for the pleasure of
children, or an eight years' old drummer in his stiff, manly dress
beside a company of grenadiers. I had never before, perhaps, thought of
sheep and men in soldiers' dresses at the same time, and here they were
brought together in a strange fantastic way. As will be easily
conceived, the fearlessness and stillness of those quiet creatures, on
the brow of the rock, pursuing their natural occupations, contrasted
with the restless and apparently unmeaning motions of the dwarf soldier,
added not a little to the general effect of this place, which is that of
wild singularity, and the whole was aided by a blustering wind and a
gloomy sky. Coleridge joined us, and we went up to the top of the rock.

The road to a considerable height is through a narrow cleft, in which a
flight of steps is hewn; the steps nearly fill the cleft, and on each
side the rocks form a high and irregular wall; it is almost like a long
sloping cavern, only that it is roofed by the sky. We came to the
barracks; soldiers' wives were hanging out linen upon the rails, while
the wind beat about them furiously--there was nothing which it could set
in motion but the garments of the women and the linen upon the rails;
the grass--for we had now come to green grass--was close and smooth, and
not one pile an inch above another, and neither tree nor shrub. The
standard pole stood erect without a flag. The rock has two summits, one
much broader and higher than the other. When we were near to the top of
the lower eminence we had the pleasure of finding a little garden of
flowers and vegetables belonging to the soldiers. There are three
distinct and very noble prospects--the first up the Clyde towards
Glasgow--Dunglass Castle, seen on its promontory--boats, sloops, hills,
and many buildings; the second, down the river to the sea--Greenock and
Port-Glasgow, and the distant mountains at the entrance of Loch Long;
and the third extensive and distant view is up the Leven, which here
falls into the Clyde, to the mountains of Loch Lomond. The distant
mountains in all these views were obscured by mists and dingy clouds,
but if the grand outline of any one of the views can be seen, it is
sufficient recompense for the trouble of climbing the rock of Dumbarton.

The soldier who was our guide told us that an old ruin which we came to
at the top of the higher eminence had been a wind-mill--an inconvenient
station, though certainly a glorious place for wind; perhaps if it
really had been a wind-mill it was only for the use of the garrison. We
looked over cannons on the battery-walls, and saw in an open field below
the yeomanry cavalry exercising, while we could hear from the town,
which was full of soldiers, "Dumbarton's drums beat bonny, O!" Yet while
we stood upon this eminence, rising up so far as it does--inland, and
having the habitual old English feeling of our own security as
islanders--we could not help looking upon the fortress, in spite of its
cannon and soldiers, and the rumours of invasion, as set up against the
hostilities of wind and weather rather than for any other warfare. On
our return we were invited into the guard-room, about half-way down the
rock, where we were shown a large rusty sword, which they called
Wallace's Sword, and a trout boxed up in a well close by, where they
said he had been confined for upwards of thirty years. For the pleasure
of the soldiers, who were anxious that we should see him, we took some
pains to spy him out in his black den, and at last succeeded. It was
pleasing to observe how much interest the poor soldiers--though
themselves probably new to the place--seemed to attach to this
antiquated inhabitant of their garrison.

When we had reached the bottom of the rock along the same road by which
we had ascended, we made our way over the rough stones left bare by the
tide, round the bottom of the rock, to the point where we had set off.
This is a wild and melancholy walk on a blustering cloudy day: the naked
bed of the river, scattered over with sea-weed; grey swampy fields on
the other shore; sea-birds flying overhead; the high rock perpendicular
and bare. We came to two very large fragments, which had fallen from the
main rock; Coleridge thought that one of them was as large as
Bowder-Stone,[89] William and I did not; but it is impossible to judge
accurately; we probably, without knowing it, compared them with the
whole mass from which they had fallen, which, from its situation, we
consider as one rock or stone, and there is no object of the kind for
comparison with the Bowder-Stone. When we leave the shore of the Clyde
grass begins to show itself on the rock; go a considerable way--still
under the rock--along a flat field, and pass immediately below the white
house, which wherever seen looks so ugly.

  [Footnote 89: A rock in Borrowdale, Cumberland.--ED.]

Left Dumbarton at about eleven o'clock. The sky was cheerless and the
air ungenial, which we regretted, as we were going to Loch Lomond, and
wished to greet the first of the Scottish lakes with our cheerfullest
and best feelings. Crossed the Leven at the end of Dumbarton, and, when
we looked behind, had a pleasing view of the town, bridge, and rock; but
when we took in a reach of the river at the distance of perhaps half a
mile, the swamp ground, being so near a town, and not in its natural
wildness, but seemingly half cultivated, with houses here and there,
gave us an idea of extreme poverty of soil, or that the inhabitants were
either indolent or miserable. We had to travel four miles on the banks
of the "Water of Leven" before we should come to Loch Lomond. Having
expected a grand river from so grand a lake, we were disappointed; for
it appeared to me not to be very much larger than the Emont, and is not
near so beautiful; but we must not forget that the day was cold and
gloomy. Near Dumbarton it is like a river in a flat country, or under
the influence of tides; but a little higher up it resembles one of our
rivers, flowing through a vale of no extreme beauty, though prettily
wooded; the hills on each side not very high, sloping backwards from the
bed of the vale, which is neither very narrow nor very wide; the
prospect terminated by Ben Lomond and other mountains. The vale is
populous, but looks as if it were not inhabited by cultivators of the
earth; the houses are chiefly of stone; often in rows by the river-side;
they stand pleasantly, but have a tradish look, as if they might have
been off-sets from Glasgow. We saw many bleach-yards, but no other
symptom of a manufactory, except something in the houses that was not
rural, and a want of independent comforts. Perhaps if the river had been
glittering in the sun, and the smoke of the cottages rising in distinct
volumes towards the sky, as I have seen in the vale or basin below
Pillsden in Dorsetshire, when every cottage, hidden from the eye,
pointed out its lurking-place by an upright wreath of white smoke, the
whole scene might have excited ideas of perfect cheerfulness.

Here, as on the Nith, and much more than in the Trough of the Clyde, a
great portion of the ground was uncultivated, but the hills being less
wild, the river more stately, and the ground not heaved up so
irregularly and tossed about, the imperfect cultivation was the more to
be lamented, particularly as there were so many houses near the river.
In a small enclosure by the wayside is a pillar erected to the memory of
Dr. Smollett, who was born in a village at a little distance, which we
could see at the same time, and where, I believe, some of the family
still reside. There is a long Latin inscription, which Coleridge
translated for my benefit. The Latin is miserably bad[90]--as Coleridge
said, such as poor Smollett, who was an excellent scholar, would have
been ashamed of.

  [Footnote 90: The inscription on the pillar was written by Professor
  George Stuart of Edinburgh, John Ramsay of Ochtertyre and Dr. Samuel
  Johnson; for Dr. Johnson's share in the work see Croker's Boswell, p.
  392.--J. C. S.]

Before we came to Loch Lomond the vale widened, and became less
populous. We climbed over a wall into a large field to have a better
front view of the lake than from the road. This view is very much like
that from Mr. Clarkson's windows: the mountain in front resembles
Hallan; indeed, is almost the same; but Ben Lomond is not seen standing
in such majestic company as Helvellyn, and the meadows are less
beautiful than Ulswater. The reach of the lake is very magnificent; you
see it, as Ulswater is seen beyond the promontory of Old Church, winding
away behind a large woody island that looks like a promontory. The
outlet of the lake--we had a distinct view of it in the field--is very
insignificant. The bulk of the river is frittered away by small alder
bushes, as I recollect; I do not remember that it was reedy, but the
ground had a swampy appearance; and here the vale spreads out wide and
shapeless, as if the river were born to no inheritance, had no
sheltering cradle, no hills of its own. As we have seen, this does not
continue long; it flows through a distinct, though not a magnificent
vale. But, having lost the pastoral character which it had in the
youthful days of Smollett--if the description in his ode to his native
stream be a faithful one--it is less interesting than it was then.

The road carried us sometimes close to the lake, sometimes at a
considerable distance from it, over moorish grounds, or through
half-cultivated enclosures; we had the lake on our right, which is here
so wide that the opposite hills, not being high, are cast into
insignificance, and we could not distinguish any buildings near the
water, if any there were. It is however always delightful to travel by a
lake of clear waters, if you see nothing else but a very ordinary
country; but we had some beautiful distant views, one in particular,
down the high road, through a vista of over-arching trees; and the near
shore was frequently very pleasing, with its gravel banks, bendings, and
small bays. In one part it was bordered for a considerable way by
irregular groups of forest trees or single stragglers, which, although
not large, seemed old; their branches were stunted and knotty, as if
they had been striving with storms, and had half yielded to them. Under
these trees we had a variety of pleasing views across the lake, and the
very rolling over the road and looking at its smooth and beautiful
surface was itself a pleasure. It was as smooth as a gravel walk, and of
the bluish colour of some of the roads among the lakes of the north of

Passed no very remarkable place till we came to Sir James Colquhoun's
house, which stands upon a large, flat, woody peninsula, looking towards
Ben Lomond. There must be many beautiful walks among the copses of the
peninsula, and delicious views over the water; but the general surface
of the country is poor, and looks as if it ought to be rich and well
peopled, for it is not mountainous; nor had we passed any hills which a
Cumbrian would dignify with the name of mountains. There was many a
little plain or gently-sloping hill covered with poor heath or broom
without trees, where one should have liked to see a cottage in a bower
of wood, with its patch of corn and potatoes, and a green field with a
hedge to keep it warm. As we advanced we perceived less of the coldness
of poverty, the hills not having so large a space between them and the
lake. The surface of the hills being in its natural state, is always
beautiful; but where there is only a half cultivated and half peopled
soil near the banks of a lake or river, the idea is forced upon one that
they who do live there have not much of cheerful enjoyment.

But soon we came to just such a place as we had wanted to see. The road
was close to the water, and a hill, bare, rocky, or with scattered
copses rose above it. A deep shade hung over the road, where some little
boys were at play; we expected a dwelling-house of some sort; and when
we came nearer, saw three or four thatched huts under the trees, and at
the same moment felt that it was a paradise. We had before seen the lake
only as one wide plain of water; but here the portion of it which we saw
was bounded by a high and steep, heathy and woody island opposite, which
did not appear like an island, but the main shore, and framed out a
little oblong lake apparently not so broad as Rydale-water, with one
small island covered with trees, resembling some of the most beautiful
of the holms of Windermere, and only a narrow river's breadth from the
shore. This was a place where we should have liked to have lived, and
the only one we had seen near Loch Lomond. How delightful to have a
little shed concealed under the branches of the fairy island! the
cottages and the island might have been made for the pleasure of each
other. It was but like a natural garden, the distance was so small; nay,
one could not have forgiven any one living there, not compelled to daily
labour, if he did not connect it with his dwelling by some feeling of
domestic attachment, like what he has for the orchard where his children
play. I thought, what a place for William! he might row himself over
with twenty strokes of the oars, escaping from the business of the
house, and as safe from intruders, with his boat anchored beside him, as
if he had locked himself up in the strong tower of a castle. We were
unwilling to leave this sweet spot; but it was so simple, and therefore
so rememberable, that it seemed almost as if we could have carried it
away with us. It was nothing more than a small lake enclosed by trees at
the ends and by the way-side, and opposite by the island, a steep bank
on which the purple heath was seen under low oak coppice-wood, a group
of houses over-shadowed by trees, and a bending road. There was one
remarkable tree, an old larch with hairy branches, which sent out its
main stem horizontally across the road, an object that seemed to have
been singled out for injury where everything else was lovely and
thriving, tortured into that shape by storms, which one might have
thought could not have reached it in that sheltered place.

We were now entering into the Highlands. I believe Luss is the place
where we were told that country begins; but at these cottages I would
have gladly believed that we were there, for it was like a new region.
The huts were after the Highland fashion, and the boys who were playing
wore the Highland dress and philabeg. On going into a new country I seem
to myself to waken up, and afterwards it surprises me to remember how
much alive I have been to the distinctions of dress, household
arrangements, etc. etc., and what a spirit these little things give to
wild, barren, or ordinary places. The cottages are within about two
miles of Luss. Came in view of several islands; but the lake being so
very wide, we could see little of their peculiar beauties, and they,
being large, hardly looked like islands.

Passed another gentleman's house, which stands prettily in a bay,[91]
and soon after reached Luss, where we intended to lodge. On seeing the
outside of the inn we were glad that we were to have such pleasant
quarters. It is a nice-looking white house, by the road-side; but there
was not much promise of hospitality when we stopped at the door: no
person came out till we had shouted a considerable time. A barefooted
lass showed me up-stairs, and again my hopes revived; the house was
clean for a Scotch inn, and the view very pleasant to the lake, over the
top of the village--a cluster of thatched houses among trees, with a
large chapel in the midst of them. Like most of the Scotch kirks which
we had seen, this building resembles a big house; but it is a much more
pleasing building than they generally are, and has one of our rustic
belfries, not unlike that at Ambleside, with two bells hanging in the
open air. We chose one of the back rooms to sit in, being more snug, and
they looked upon a very sweet prospect--a stream tumbling down a cleft
or glen on the hill-side, rocky coppice ground, a rural lane, such as we
have from house to house at Grasmere, and a few out-houses. We had a
poor dinner, and sour ale; but as long as the people were civil we were

  [Footnote 91: Camstraddan House and bay.--J. C. S.]

Coleridge was not well, so he did not stir out, but William and I
walked through the village to the shore of the lake. When I came close
to the houses, I could not but regret a want of loveliness correspondent
with the beauty of the situation and the appearance of the village at a
little distance; not a single ornamented garden. We saw potatoes and
cabbages, but never a honeysuckle. Yet there were wild gardens, as
beautiful as any that ever man cultivated, overgrowing the roofs of some
of the cottages, flowers and creeping plants. How elegant were the
wreaths of the bramble that had "built its own bower" upon the riggins
in several parts of the village; therefore we had chiefly to regret the
want of gardens, as they are symptoms of leisure and comfort, or at
least of no painful industry. Here we first saw houses without windows,
the smoke coming out of the open window-places; the chimneys were like
stools with four legs a hole being left in the roof for the smoke, and
over that a slate placed upon four sticks--sometimes the whole leaned as
if it were going to fall. The fields close to Luss lie flat to the lake,
and a river, as large as our stream near the church at Grasmere, flows
by the end of the village, being the same which comes down the glen
behind the inn; it is very much like our stream--beds of blue pebbles
upon the shores.

We walked towards the head of the lake, and from a large pasture field
near Luss, a gentle eminence, had a very interesting view back upon the
village and the lake and islands beyond. We then perceived that Luss
stood in the centre of a spacious bay, and that close to it lay another
small one, within the larger, where the boats of the inhabitants were
lying at anchor, a beautiful natural harbour. The islands, as we look
down the water, are seen in great beauty. Inch-ta-vannach, the same that
framed out the little peaceful lake which we had passed in the morning,
towers above the rest. The lake is very wide here, and the opposite
shores not being lofty the chief part of the permanent beauty of this
view is among the islands, and on the near shore, including the low
promontories of the bay of Luss, and the village; and we saw it under
its dullest aspect--the air cold, the sky gloomy, without a glimpse of

On a splendid evening, with the light of the sun diffused over the whole
islands, distant hills, and the broad expanse of the lake, with its
creeks, bays, and little slips of water among the islands, it must be a
glorious sight.

Up the lake there are no islands; Ben Lomond terminates the view,
without any other large mountains; no clouds were upon it, therefore we
saw the whole size and form of the mountain, yet it did not appear to me
so large as Skiddaw does from Derwent-water. Continued our walk a
considerable way towards the head of the lake, and went up a high hill,
but saw no other reach of the water. The hills on the Luss side become
much steeper, and the lake, having narrowed a little above Luss, was no
longer a very wide lake where we lost sight of it.

Came to a bark hut by the shores, and sate for some time under the
shelter of it. While we were here a poor woman with a little child by
her side begged a penny of me, and asked where she could "find quarters
in the village." She was a travelling beggar, a native of Scotland, had
often "heard of that water," but was never there before. This woman's
appearance, while the wind was rustling about us, and the waves breaking
at our feet, was very melancholy: the waters looked wide, the hills
many, and dark, and far off--no house but at Luss. I thought what a
dreary waste must this lake be to such poor creatures, struggling with
fatigue and poverty and unknown ways!

We ordered tea when we reached the inn, and desired the girl to light
us a fire; she replied, "I dinna ken whether she'll gie fire," meaning
her mistress. We told her we did not wish her mistress to give fire, we
only desired her to let _her_ make it and we would pay for it. The girl
brought in the tea-things, but no fire, and when I asked if she was
coming to light it, she said "her mistress was not varra willing to gie
fire." At last, however, on our insisting upon it, the fire was lighted:
we got tea by candlelight, and spent a comfortable evening. I had seen
the landlady before we went out, for, as had been usual in all the
country inns, there was a demur respecting beds, notwithstanding the
house was empty, and there were at least half-a-dozen spare beds. Her
countenance corresponded with the unkindness of denying us a fire on a
cold night, for she was the most cruel and hateful-looking woman I ever
saw. She was overgrown with fat, and was sitting with her feet and legs
in a tub of water for the dropsy,--probably brought on by
whisky-drinking. The sympathy which I felt and expressed for her, on
seeing her in this wretched condition--for her legs were swollen as
thick as mill-posts--seemed to produce no effect; and I was obliged,
after five minutes' conversation, to leave the affair of the beds
undecided. Coleridge had some talk with her daughter, a smart lass in a
cotton gown, with a bandeau round her head, without shoes and stockings.
She told Coleridge with some pride that she had not spent all her time
at Luss, but was then fresh from Glasgow.

It came on a very stormy night; the wind rattled every window in the
house, and it rained heavily. William and Coleridge had bad beds, in a
two-bedded room in the garrets, though there were empty rooms on the
first floor, and they were disturbed by a drunken man, who had come to
the inn when we were gone to sleep.

_Thursday, August 25th._--We were glad when we awoke to see that it was
a fine morning--the sky was bright blue, with quick-moving clouds, the
hills cheerful, lights and shadows vivid and distinct. The village
looked exceedingly beautiful this morning from the garret windows--the
stream glittering near it, while it flowed under trees through the level
fields to the lake. After breakfast, William and I went down to the
water-side. The roads were as dry as if no drop of rain had fallen,
which added to the pure cheerfulness of the appearance of the village,
and even of the distant prospect, an effect which I always seem to
perceive from clearly bright roads, for they are always brightened by
rain, after a storm; but when we came among the houses I regretted even
more than last night, because the contrast was greater, the slovenliness
and dirt near the doors; and could not but remember, with pain from the
contrast, the cottages of Somersetshire, covered with roses and myrtle,
and their small gardens of herbs and flowers. While lingering by the
shore we began to talk with a man who offered to row us to
Inch-ta-vannach; but the sky began to darken; and the wind being high,
we doubted whether we should venture, therefore made no engagement; he
offered to sell me some thread, pointing to his cottage, and added that
many English ladies carried thread away from Luss.

Presently after Coleridge joined us, and we determined to go to the
island. I was sorry that the man who had been talking with us was not
our boatman; William by some chance had engaged another. We had two
rowers and a strong boat; so I felt myself bold, though there was a
great chance of a high wind. The nearest point of Inch-ta-vannach is not
perhaps more than a mile and a quarter from Luss; we did not land there,
but rowed round the end, and landed on that side which looks towards our
favourite cottages, and their own island, which, wherever seen, is still
their own. It rained a little when we landed, and I took my cloak, which
afterwards served us to sit down upon in our road up the hill, when the
day grew much finer, with gleams of sunshine. This island belongs to Sir
James Colquhoun, who has made a convenient road, that winds gently to
the top of it.

We had not climbed far before we were stopped by a sudden burst of
prospect, so singular and beautiful that it was like a flash of images
from another world. We stood with our backs to the hill of the island,
which we were ascending, and which shut out Ben Lomond entirely, and all
the upper part of the lake, and we looked towards the foot of the lake,
scattered over with islands without beginning and without end. The sun
shone, and the distant hills were visible, some through sunny mists,
others in gloom with patches of sunshine; the lake was lost under the
low and distant hills, and the islands lost in the lake, which was all
in motion with travelling fields of light, or dark shadows under rainy
clouds. There are many hills, but no commanding eminence at a distance
to confine the prospect, so that the land seemed endless as the water.

What I had heard of Loch Lomond, or any other place in Great Britain,
had given me no idea of anything like what we beheld: it was an
outlandish scene--we might have believed ourselves in North America. The
islands were of every possible variety of shape and surface--hilly and
level, large and small, bare, rocky, pastoral, or covered with wood.
Immediately under my eyes lay one large flat island, bare and green, so
flat and low that it scarcely appeared to rise above the water, with
straggling peat-stacks and a single hut upon one of its out-shooting
promontories--for it was of a very irregular shape, though perfectly
flat. Another, its next neighbour, and still nearer to us, was covered
over with heath and coppice-wood, the surface undulating, with flat or
sloping banks towards the water, and hollow places, cradle-like valleys,
behind. These two islands, with Inch-ta-vannach, where we were standing,
were intermingled with the water, I might say interbedded and
interveined with it, in a manner that was exquisitely pleasing. There
were bays innumerable, straits or passages like calm rivers, landlocked
lakes, and, to the main water, stormy promontories. The solitary hut on
the flat green island seemed unsheltered and desolate, and yet not
wholly so, for it was but a broad river's breadth from the covert of the
wood of the other island. Near to these is a miniature, an islet covered
with trees, on which stands a small ruin that looks like the remains of
a religious house; it is overgrown with ivy, and were it not that the
arch of a window or gateway may be distinctly seen, it would be
difficult to believe that it was not a tuft of trees growing in the
shape of a ruin, rather than a ruin overshadowed by trees. When we had
walked a little further we saw below us, on the nearest large island,
where some of the wood had been cut down, a hut, which we conjectured to
be a bark hut. It appeared to be on the shore of a little forest lake,
enclosed by Inch-ta-vannach, where we were, and the woody island on
which the hut stands.

Beyond we had the same intricate view as before, and could discover
Dumbarton rock with its double head. There being a mist over it, it had
a ghost-like appearance--as I observed to William and Coleridge,
something like the Tor of Glastonbury from the Dorsetshire hills. Right
before us, on the flat island mentioned before, were several small
single trees or shrubs, growing at different distances from each other,
close to the shore, but some optical delusion had detached them from the
land on which they stood, and they had the appearance of so many little
vessels sailing along the coast of it. I mention the circumstance,
because, with the ghostly image of Dumbarton Castle, and the ambiguous
ruin on the small island, it was much in the character of the scene,
which was throughout magical and enchanting--a new world in its great
permanent outline and composition, and changing at every moment in every
part of it by the effect of sun and wind, and mist and shower and cloud,
and the blending lights and deep shades which took the place of each
other, traversing the lake in every direction. The whole was indeed a
strange mixture of soothing and restless images, of images inviting to
rest, and others hurrying the fancy away into an activity still more
pleasing than repose. Yet, intricate and homeless, that is, without
lasting abiding-place for the mind, as the prospect was, there was no
perplexity; we had still a guide to lead us forward.

Wherever we looked, it was a delightful feeling that there was
something beyond. Meanwhile, the sense of quiet was never lost sight of;
the little peaceful lakes among the islands might make you forget that
the great water, Loch Lomond, was so near; and yet are more beautiful,
because you know that it is so: they have their own bays and creeks
sheltered within a shelter. When we had ascended to the top of the
island we had a view up to Ben Lomond, over the long, broad water
without spot or rock; and, looking backwards, saw the islands below us
as on a map. This view, as may be supposed, was not nearly so
interesting as those we had seen before. We hunted out all the houses on
the shore, which were very few: there was the village of Luss, the two
gentlemen's houses, our favourite cottages, and here and there a hut;
but I do not recollect any comfortable-looking farm-houses, and on the
opposite shore not a single dwelling. The whole scene was a combination
of natural wildness, loveliness, beauty, and barrenness, or rather
bareness, yet not comfortless or cold; but the whole was beautiful. We
were too far off the more distant shore to distinguish any particular
spots which we might have regretted were not better cultivated, and near
Luss there was no want of houses.

After we had left the island, having been so much taken with the beauty
of the bark hut and the little lake by which it appeared to stand, we
desired the boatman to row us through it, and we landed at the hut.
Walked upon the island for some time, and found out sheltered places for
cottages. There were several woodmen's huts, which, with some scattered
fir-trees, and others in irregular knots, that made a delicious
murmuring in the wind, added greatly to the romantic effect of the
scene. They were built in the form of a cone from the ground, like
savages' huts, the door being just large enough for a man to enter with
stooping. Straw beds were raised on logs of wood, tools lying about, and
a forked bough of a tree was generally suspended from the roof in the
middle to hang a kettle upon. It was a place that might have been just
visited by new settlers. I thought of Ruth and her dreams of romantic

     And then he said how sweet it were,
     A fisher or a hunter there,
     A gardener in the shade,
     Still wandering with an easy mind,
     To build a household fire, and find
     A home in every glade.[92]

       [Footnote 92: See _Ruth_, stanza xiii.--ED.]

We found the main lake very stormy when we had left the shelter of the
islands, and there was again a threatening of rain, but it did not come
on. I wanted much to go to the old ruin, but the boatmen were in a hurry
to be at home. They told us it had been a stronghold built by a man who
lived there alone, and was used to swim over and make depredations on
the shore,--that nobody could ever lay hands on him, he was such a good
swimmer, but at last they caught him in a net. The men pointed out to us
an island belonging to Sir James Colquhoun, on which were a great
quantity of deer.

Arrived at the inn at about twelve o'clock, and prepared to depart
immediately: we should have gone with great regret if the weather had
been warmer and the inn more comfortable. When we were leaving the door,
a party with smart carriage and servants drove up, and I observed that
the people of the house were just as slow in their attendance upon them
as on us, with one single horse and outlandish Hibernian vehicle.

When we had travelled about two miles the lake became considerably
narrower, the hills rocky, covered with copses, or bare, rising more
immediately from the bed of the water, and therefore we had not so often
to regret the want of inhabitants. Passed by, or saw at a distance,
sometimes a single cottage, or two or three together, but the whole
space between Luss and Tarbet is a solitude to the eye. We were reminded
of Ulswater, but missed the pleasant farms, and the mountains were not
so interesting: we had not seen them in companies or brotherhoods rising
one above another at a long distance. Ben Lomond stood alone, opposite
to us, majestically overlooking the lake; yet there was something in
this mountain which disappointed me,--a want of massiveness and
simplicity, perhaps from the top being broken into three distinct
stages. The road carried us over a bold promontory by a steep and high
ascent, and we had a long view of the lake pushing itself up in a narrow
line through an avenue of mountains, terminated by the mountains at the
head of the lake, of which Ben Lui, if I do not mistake, is the most
considerable. The afternoon was showery and misty, therefore we did not
see this prospect so distinctly as we could have wished, but there was a
grand obscurity over it which might make the mountains appear more

I have said so much of this lake that I am tired myself, and I fear I
must have tired my friends. We had a pleasant journey to Tarbet; more
than half of it on foot, for the road was hilly, and after we had
climbed one small hill we were not desirous to get into the car again,
seeing another before us, and our path was always delightful, near the
lake, and frequently through woods. When we were within about half a
mile of Tarbet, at a sudden turning looking to the left, we saw a very
craggy-topped mountain amongst other smooth ones; the rocks on the
summit distinct in shape as if they were buildings raised up by man, or
uncouth images of some strange creature. We called out with one voice,
'That's what we wanted!' alluding to the frame-like uniformity of the
side-screens of the lake for the last five or six miles. As we
conjectured, this singular mountain was the famous Cobbler, near
Arrochar. Tarbet was before us in the recess of a deep, large bay, under
the shelter of a hill. When we came up to the village we had to inquire
for the inn, there being no signboard. It was a well-sized white house,
the best in the place. We were conducted up-stairs into a sitting-room
that might make any good-humoured travellers happy--a square room, with
windows on each side, looking, one way, towards the mountains, and
across the lake to Ben Lomond, the other.

There was a pretty stone house before (_i.e._ towards the lake) some
huts, scattered trees, two or three green fields with hedgerows, and a
little brook making its way towards the lake; the fields are almost
flat, and screened on that side nearest the head of the lake by a hill,
which, pushing itself out, forms the bay of Tarbet, and, towards the
foot, by a gentle slope and trees. The lake is narrow, and Ben Lomond
shuts up the prospect, rising directly from the water. We could have
believed ourselves to be by the side of Ulswater, at Glenridden, or in
some other of the inhabited retirements of that lake. We were in a
sheltered place among mountains; it was not an open joyous bay, with a
cheerful populous village, like Luss; but a pastoral and retired spot,
with a few single dwellings. The people of the inn stared at us when we
spoke, without giving us an answer immediately, which we were at first
disposed to attribute to coarseness of manners, but found afterwards
that they did not understand us at once, Erse being the language spoken
in the family. Nothing but salt meat and eggs for dinner--no potatoes;
the house smelt strongly of herrings, which were hung to dry over the
kitchen fire.

Walked in the evening towards the head of the lake; the road was steep
over the hill, and when we had reached the top of it we had long views
up and down the water. Passed a troop of women who were resting
themselves by the roadside, as if returning from their day's labour.
Amongst them was a man, who had walked with us a considerable way in the
morning, and told us he was just come from America, where he had been
for some years,--was going to his own home, and should return to
America. He spoke of emigration as a glorious thing for them who had
money. Poor fellow! I do not think that he had brought much back with
him, for he had worked his passage over: I much suspected that a bundle,
which he carried upon a stick, tied in a pocket-handkerchief, contained
his all. He was almost blind, he said, as were many of the crew. He
intended crossing the lake at the ferry; but it was stormy, and he
thought he should not be able to get over that day. I could not help
smiling when I saw him lying by the roadside with such a company about
him, not like a wayfaring man, but seeming as much at home and at his
ease as if he had just stepped out of his hut among them, and they had
been neighbours all their lives. Passed one pretty house, a large
thatched dwelling with out-houses, but the prospect above and below was

The sun had long been set before we returned to the inn. As travellers,
we were glad to see the moon over the top of one of the hills, but it
was a cloudy night, without any peculiar beauty or solemnity. After tea
we made inquiries respecting the best way to go to Loch Ketterine; the
landlord could give but little information, and nobody seemed to know
anything distinctly of the place, though it was but ten miles off. We
applied to the maid-servant who waited on us: she was a fine-looking
young woman, dressed in a white bed-gown, her hair fastened up by a
comb, and without shoes and stockings. When we asked her about the
Trossachs she could give us no information, but on our saying, "Do you
know Loch Ketterine?" she answered with a smile, "I _should_ know that
loch, for I was bred and born there." After much difficulty we learned
from her that the Trossachs were at the foot of the lake, and that by
the way we were to go we should come upon them at the head, should have
to travel ten miles to the foot[93] of the water, and that there was no
inn by the way. The girl spoke English very distinctly; but she had few
words, and found it difficult to understand us. She did not much
encourage us to go, because the roads were bad, and it was a long way,
"and there was no putting-up for the like of us." We determined,
however, to venture, and throw ourselves upon the hospitality of some
cottager or gentleman. We desired the landlady to roast us a couple of
fowls to carry with us. There are always plenty of fowls at the doors of
a Scotch inn, and eggs are as regularly brought to table at breakfast as
bread and butter.

  [Footnote 93: This distinction between the foot and head is not very
  clear. What is meant is this: They would have to travel the whole
  length of the lake, from the west to the east end of it, before they
  came to the Trossachs, the pass leading away from the east end of the
  lake.--J. C. S.]

_Friday, August 26th._--We did not set off till between ten and eleven
o'clock, much too late for a long day's journey. Our boatman lived at
the pretty white house which we saw from the windows: we called at his
door by the way, and, even when we were near the house, the outside
looked comfortable; but within I never saw anything so miserable from
dirt, and dirt alone: it reminded one of the house of a decayed weaver
in the suburbs of a large town, with a sickly wife and a large family;
but William says it was far worse, that it was quite Hottentotish.

After long waiting, and many clumsy preparations, we got ourselves
seated in the boat; but we had not floated five yards before we
perceived that if any of the party--and there was a little Highland
woman who was going over the water with us, the boatman, his helper, and
ourselves--should stir but a few inches, leaning to one side or the
other, the boat would be full in an instant, and we at the bottom;
besides, it was very leaky, and the woman was employed to lade out the
water continually. It appeared that this crazy vessel was not the man's
own, and that _his_ was lying in a bay at a little distance. He said he
would take us to it as fast as possible, but I was so much frightened I
would gladly have given up the whole day's journey; indeed not one of us
would have attempted to cross the lake in that boat for a thousand
pounds. We reached the larger boat in safety after coasting a
considerable way near the shore, but just as we were landing, William
dropped the bundle which contained our food into the water. The fowls
were no worse, but some sugar, ground coffee, and pepper-cake seemed to
be entirely spoiled. We gathered together as much of the coffee and
sugar as we could and tied it up, and again trusted ourselves to the
lake. The sun shone, and the air was calm--luckily it had been so while
we were in the crazy boat--we had rocks and woods on each side of us, or
bare hills; seldom a single cottage, and there was no rememberable place
till we came opposite to a waterfall of no inconsiderable size, that
appeared to drop directly into the lake: close to it was a hut, which we
were told was the ferry-house. On the other side of the lake was a
pretty farm under the mountains, beside a river, the cultivated grounds
lying all together, and sloping towards the lake from the mountain
hollow down which the river came. It is not easy to conceive how
beautiful these spots appeared after moving on so long between the
solitary steeps.

We went a considerable way further, and landed at Rob Roy's Caves, which
are in fact no caves, but some fine rocks on the brink of the lake, in
the crevices of which a man might hide himself cunningly enough; the
water is very deep below them, and the hills above steep and covered
with wood. The little Highland woman, who was in size about a match for
our guide at Lanerk, accompanied us hither. There was something very
gracious in the manners of this woman; she could scarcely speak five
English words, yet she gave me, whenever I spoke to her, as many
intelligible smiles as I had needed English words to answer me, and
helped me over the rocks in the most obliging manner. She had left the
boat out of good-will to us, or for her own amusement. She had never
seen these caves before; but no doubt had heard of them, the tales of
Rob Roy's exploits being told familiarly round the "ingles" hereabouts,
for this neighbourhood was his home. We landed at Inversneyde, the
ferry-house by the waterfall, and were not sorry to part with our
boatman, who was a coarse hard-featured man, and, speaking of the
French, uttered the basest and most cowardly sentiments. His helper, a
youth fresh from the Isle of Skye, was innocent of this fault, and
though but a bad rower, was a far better companion; he could not speak a
word of English, and sang a plaintive Gaelic air in a low tone while he
plied his oar.

The ferry-house stood on the bank a few yards above the landing-place
where the boat lies. It is a small hut under a steep wood, and a few
yards to the right, looking towards the hut, is the waterfall. The fall
is not very high, but the stream is considerable, as we could see by the
large black stones that were lying bare, but the rains, if they had
reached this place, had had little effect upon the waterfall; its noise
was not so great as to form a contrast with the stillness of the bay
into which it falls, where the boat, and house, and waterfall itself
seemed all sheltered and protected. The Highland woman was to go with us
the two first miles of our journey. She led us along a bye foot-path a
shorter way up the hill from the ferry-house. There is a considerable
settling in the hills that border Loch Lomond, at the passage by which
we were to cross to Loch Ketterine; Ben Lomond, terminating near the
ferry-house, is on the same side of the water with it, and about three
miles above Tarbet.

We had to climb right up the hill, which is very steep, and, when close
under it, seemed to be high, but we soon reached the top, and when we
were there had lost sight of the lake; and now our road was over a moor,
or rather through a wide moorland hollow. Having gone a little way, we
saw before us, at the distance of about half a mile, a very large stone
building, a singular structure, with a high wall round it, naked hill
above, and neither field nor tree near; but the moor was not overgrown
with heath merely, but grey grass, such as cattle might pasture upon. We
could not conjecture what this building was; it appeared as if it had
been built strong to defend it from storms; but for what purpose?
William called out to us that we should observe that place well, for it
was exactly like one of the spittals of the Alps, built for the
reception of travellers, and indeed I had thought it must be so before
he spoke. This building, from its singular structure and appearance,
made the place, which is itself in a country like Scotland nowise
remarkable, take a character of unusual wildness and desolation--this
when we first came in view of it; and afterwards, when we had passed it
and looked back, three pyramidal mountains on the opposite side of Loch
Lomond terminated the view, which under certain accidents of weather
must be very grand. Our Highland companion had not English enough to
give us any information concerning this strange building; we could only
get from her that it was a "large house," which was plain enough.

We walked about a mile and a half over the moor without seeing any other
dwelling but one hut by the burn-side, with a peat-stack and a
ten-yards-square enclosure for potatoes; then we came to several
clusters of houses, even hamlets they might be called, but where there
is any land belonging to the Highland huts there are so many
out-buildings near, which differ in no respect from the dwelling-houses
except that they send out no smoke, that one house looks like two or
three. Near these houses was a considerable quantity of cultivated
ground, potatoes and corn, and the people were busy making hay in the
hollow places of the open vale, and all along the sides of the becks. It
was a pretty sight altogether--men and women, dogs, the little running
streams, with linen bleaching near them, and cheerful sunny hills and
rocks on every side. We passed by one patch of potatoes that a florist
might have been proud of; no carnation-bed ever looked more gay than
this square plot of ground on the waste common. The flowers were in very
large bunches, and of an extraordinary size, and of every conceivable
shade of colouring from snow-white to deep purple. It was pleasing in
that place, where perhaps was never yet a flower cultivated by man for
his own pleasure, to see these blossoms grow more gladly than elsewhere,
making a summer garden near the mountain dwellings.

At one of the clusters of houses we parted with our companion, who had
insisted on bearing my bundle while she stayed with us. I often tried to
enter into conversation with her, and seeing a small tarn before us, was
reminded of the pleasure of fishing and the manner of living there, and
asked her what sort of food was eaten in that place, if they lived much
upon fish, or had mutton from the hills; she looked earnestly at me, and
shaking her head, replied, "Oh yes! eat fish--no papists, eat
everything." The tarn had one small island covered with wood; the stream
that runs from it falls into Loch Ketterine, which, after we had gone a
little beyond the tarn, we saw at some distance before us.

Pursued the road, a mountain horse-track, till we came to a corner of
what seemed the head of the lake, and there sate down completely tired,
and hopeless as to the rest of our journey. The road ended at the shore,
and no houses were to be seen on the opposite side except a few widely
parted huts, and on the near side was a trackless heath. The land at the
head of the lake was but a continuation of the common we had come along,
and was covered with heather, intersected by a few straggling

Coleridge and I were faint with hunger, and could go no further till we
had refreshed ourselves, so we ate up one of our fowls, and drank of the
water of Loch Ketterine; but William could not be easy till he had
examined the coast, so he left us, and made his way along the moor
across the head of the lake. Coleridge and I, as we sate, had what
seemed to us but a dreary prospect--a waste of unknown ground which we
guessed we must travel over before it was possible for us to find a
shelter. We saw a long way down the lake; it was all moor on the near
side; on the other the hills were steep from the water, and there were
large coppice-woods, but no cheerful green fields, and no road that we
could see; we knew, however, that there must be a road from house to
house; but the whole lake appeared a solitude--neither boats, islands,
nor houses, no grandeur in the hills, nor any loveliness in the shores.
When we first came in view of it we had said it was like a barren
Ulswater--Ulswater dismantled of its grandeur, and cropped of its lesser
beauties. When I had swallowed my dinner I hastened after William, and
Coleridge followed me. Walked through the heather with some labour for
perhaps half a mile, and found William sitting on the top of a small
eminence, whence we saw the real head of the lake, which was pushed up
into the vale a considerable way beyond the promontory where we now
sate. The view up the lake was very pleasing, resembling Thirlemere
below Armath. There were rocky promontories and woody islands, and, what
was most cheering to us, a neat white house on the opposite shore; but
we could see no boats, so, in order to get to it we should be obliged to
go round the head of the lake, a long and weary way.

After Coleridge came up to us, while we were debating whether we should
turn back or go forward, we espied a man on horseback at a little
distance, with a boy following him on foot, no doubt a welcome sight,
and we hailed him. We should have been glad to have seen either man,
woman, or child at this time, but there was something uncommon and
interesting in this man's appearance, which would have fixed our
attention wherever we had met him. He was a complete Highlander in
dress, figure, and face, and a very fine-looking man, hardy and
vigorous, though past his prime. While he stood waiting for us in his
bonnet and plaid, which never look more graceful than on horseback, I
forgot our errand, and only felt glad that we were in the Highlands.
William accosted him with, "Sir, do you speak English?" He replied, "A
little." He spoke however, sufficiently well for our purpose, and very
distinctly, as all the Highlanders do who learn English as a foreign
language; but in a long conversation they want words; he informed us
that he himself was going beyond the Trossachs, to Callander, that no
boats were kept to "let"; but there were two gentlemen's houses at this
end of the lake, one of which we could not yet see, it being hidden from
us by a part of the hill on which we stood. The other house was that
which we saw opposite to us; both the gentlemen kept boats, and probably
might be able to spare one of their servants to go with us. After we had
asked many questions, which the Highlander answered with patience and
courtesy, he parted from us, going along a sort of horse-track, which a
foot-passenger, if he once get into it, need not lose if he be careful.

When he was gone we again debated whether we should go back to Tarbet,
or throw ourselves upon the mercy of one of the two gentlemen for a
night's lodging. What we had seen of the main body of the lake made us
little desire to see more of it; the Highlander upon the naked heath, in
his Highland dress, upon his careful-going horse, with the boy following
him, was worth it all; but after a little while we resolved to go on,
ashamed to shrink from an adventure. Pursued the horse-track, and soon
came in sight of the other gentleman's house, which stood on the
opposite side of the vale, a little above the lake. It was a white
house; no trees near it except a new plantation of firs; but the fields
were green, sprinkled over with hay-cocks, and the brook which comes
down the valley and falls into the lake ran through them. It was like a
new-made farm in a mountain vale, and yet very pleasing after the
depressing prospect which had been before us.

Our road was rough, and not easy to be kept. It was between five and
six o'clock when we reached the brook side, where Coleridge and I
stopped, and William went up towards the house, which was in a field,
where about half a dozen people were at work. He addressed himself to
one who appeared like the master, and all drew near him, staring at
William as nobody could have stared but out of sheer rudeness, except in
such a lonely place. He told his tale, and inquired about boats; there
were no boats, and no lodging nearer than Callander, ten miles beyond
the foot of the lake. A laugh was on every face when William said we
were come to see the Trossachs; no doubt they thought we had better have
stayed at our own homes. William endeavoured to make it appear not so
very foolish, by informing them that it was a place much celebrated in
England, though perhaps little thought of by them, and that we only
differed from many of our countrymen in having come the wrong way in
consequence of an erroneous direction.

After a little time the gentleman said we should be accommodated with
such beds as they had, and should be welcome to rest in their house if
we pleased. William came back for Coleridge and me; the men all stood at
the door to receive us, and now their behaviour was perfectly courteous.
We were conducted into the house by the same man who had directed us
hither on the other side of the lake, and afterwards we learned that he
was the father of our hostess. He showed us into a room up-stairs,
begged we would sit at our ease, walk out, or do just as we pleased. It
was a large square deal wainscoted room, the wainscot black with age,
yet had never been painted: it did not look like an English room, and
yet I do not know in what it differed, except that in England it is not
common to see so large and well-built a room so ill-furnished: there
were two or three large tables, and a few old chairs of different sorts,
as if they had been picked up one did not know how, at sales, or had
belonged to different rooms of the house ever since it was built. We sat
perhaps three-quarters of an hour, and I was about to carry down our wet
coffee and sugar and ask leave to boil it, when the mistress of the
house entered, a tall fine-looking woman, neatly dressed in a
dark-coloured gown, with a white handkerchief tied round her head; she
spoke to us in a very pleasing manner, begging permission to make tea
for us, an offer which we thankfully accepted. Encouraged by the
sweetness of her manners, I went down-stairs to dry my feet by the
kitchen fire; she lent me a pair of stockings, and behaved to me with
the utmost attention and kindness. She carried the tea-things into the
room herself, leaving me to make tea, and set before us cheese and
butter and barley cakes. These cakes are as thin as our oat-bread, but,
instead of being crisp, are soft and leathery, yet we, being hungry, and
the butter delicious, ate them with great pleasure, but when the same
bread was set before us afterwards we did not like it.

After tea William and I walked out; we amused ourselves with watching
the Highlanders at work: they went leisurely about everything, and
whatever was to be done, all followed, old men, and young, and little
children. We were driven into the house by a shower, which came on with
the evening darkness, and the people leaving their work paused at the
same time. I was pleased to see them a while after sitting round a
blazing fire in the kitchen, father and son-in-law, master and man, and
the mother with her little child on her knee. When I had been there
before tea I had observed what a contrast there was between the mistress
and her kitchen; she did not differ in appearance from an English
country lady; but her kitchen, roof, walls, and floor of mud, was all
black alike; yet now, with the light of a bright fire upon so many happy
countenances, the whole room made a pretty sight.

We heard the company laughing and talking long after we were in bed;
indeed I believe they never work till they are tired.[94] The children
could not speak a word of English: they were very shy at first; but
after I had caressed the eldest, and given her a red leather purse, with
which she was delighted, she took hold of my hand and hung about me,
changing her side-long looks for pretty smiles. Her mother lamented they
were so far from school, they should be obliged to send the children
down into the Lowlands to be taught reading and English. Callander, the
nearest town, was twenty miles from them, and it was only a small place:
they had their groceries from Glasgow. She said that at Callander was
their nearest church, but sometimes "got a preaching at the Garrison."
In explaining herself she informed us that the large building which had
puzzled us in the morning had been built by Government, at the request
of one of the Dukes of Montrose, for the defence of his domains against
the attacks of Rob Roy. I will not answer for the truth of this; perhaps
it might have been built for this purpose, and as a check on the
Highlands in general; certain it is, however, that it was a garrison;
soldiers used to be constantly stationed there, and have only been
withdrawn within the last thirteen or fourteen years. Mrs. Macfarlane
attended me to my room; she said she hoped I should be able to sleep
upon blankets, and said they were "fresh from the fauld."

  [Footnote 94: She means that they stop work before they are

_Saturday, August 27th._--Before I rose, Mrs. Macfarlane came into my
room to see if I wanted anything, and told me she should send the
servant up with a basin of whey, saying, "We make very good whey in this
country"; indeed, I thought it the best I had ever tasted; but I cannot
tell how this should be, for they only make skimmed-milk cheeses. I
asked her for a little bread and milk for our breakfast, but she said it
would be no trouble to make tea, as she must make it for the family; so
we all breakfasted together. The cheese was set out, as before, with
plenty of butter and barley-cakes, and fresh baked oaten cakes, which,
no doubt, were made for us: they had been kneaded with cream, and were
excellent. All the party pressed us to eat, and were very jocose about
the necessity of helping out their coarse bread with butter, and they
themselves ate almost as much butter as bread. In talking of the French
and the present times, their language was what most people would call
Jacobinical. They spoke much of the oppressions endured by the
Highlanders further up, of the absolute impossibility of their living in
any comfort, and of the cruelty of laying so many restraints on
emigration. Then they spoke with animation of the attachment of the
clans to their lairds: "The laird of this place, Glengyle, where we
live, could have commanded so many men who would have followed him to
the death; and now there are none left." It appeared that Mr.
Macfarlane, and his wife's brother, Mr. Macalpine, farmed the place,
inclusive of the whole vale upwards to the mountains, and the mountains
themselves, under the lady of Glengyle, the mother of the young laird, a
minor. It was a sheep-farm.

Speaking of another neighbouring laird, they said he had gone, like the
rest of them, to Edinburgh, left his lands and his own people, spending
his money where it brought him not any esteem, so that he was of no
value either at home or abroad. We mentioned Rob Roy, and the eyes of
all glistened; even the lady of the house, who was very diffident, and
no great talker, exclaimed, "He was a good man, Rob Roy! he had been
dead only about eighty years, had lived in the next farm, which belonged
to him, and there his bones were laid."[95] He was a famous swordsman.
Having an arm much longer than other men, he had a greater command with
his sword. As a proof of the length of his arm, they told us that he
could garter his tartan stockings below the knee without stooping, and
added a dozen different stories of single combats, which he had fought,
all in perfect good-humour, merely to prove his prowess. I daresay they
had stories of this kind which would hardly have been exhausted in the
long evenings of a whole December week, Rob Roy being as famous here as
ever Robin Hood was in the Forest of Sherwood; _he_ also robbed from the
rich, giving to the poor, and defending them from oppression. They tell
of his confining the factor of the Duke of Montrose in one of the
islands of Loch Ketterine, after having taken his money from him--the
Duke's rents--in open day, while they were sitting at table. He was a
formidable enemy of the Duke, but being a small laird against a greater,
was overcome at last, and forced to resign all his lands on the Braes of
Loch Lomond, including the caves which we visited, on account of the
money he had taken from the Duke and could not repay.

  [Footnote 95: There is a mistake here. His bones were laid about
  fifteen or twenty miles from thence, in Balquhidder kirkyard. But it
  was under the belief that his "grave is near the head of Loch
  Ketterine, in one of those pinfold-like burial grounds, of neglected
  and desolate appearance, which the traveller meets with in the
  Highlands of Scotland," that the well-known poem on _Rob Roy's Grave_
  was composed.--J. C. S.]

When breakfast was ended the mistress desired the person whom we took
to be her husband to "return thanks." He said a short grace, and in a
few minutes they all went off to their work. We saw them about the door
following one another like a flock of sheep, with the children after,
whatever job they were engaged in. Mrs. Macfarlane told me she would
show me the burying-place of the lairds of Glengyle, and took me to a
square enclosure like a pinfold, with a stone ball at every corner; we
had noticed it the evening before, and wondered what it could be. It was
in the middle of a "planting," as they call plantations, which was
enclosed for the preservation of the trees, therefore we had to climb
over a high wall: it was a dismal spot, containing four or five graves
overgrown with long grass, nettles, and brambles. Against the wall was a
marble monument to the memory of one of the lairds, of whom they spoke
with veneration: some English verses were inscribed upon the marble,
purporting that he had been the father of his clan, a brave and good
man. When we returned to the house she said she would show me what
curious feathers they had in their country, and brought out a bunch
carefully wrapped up in paper. On my asking her what bird they came
from, "Oh!" she replied, "it is a great beast." We conjectured it was an
eagle, and from her description of its ways, and the manner of
destroying it, we knew it was so. She begged me to accept of some of the
feathers, telling me that some ladies wore them in their heads. I was
much pleased with the gift, which I shall preserve in memory of her
kindness and simplicity of manners, and the Highland solitude where she

We took leave of the family with regret: they were handsome, healthy,
and happy-looking people. It was ten o'clock when we departed. We had
learned that there was a ferry-boat kept at three miles' distance, and
if the man was at home he would row us down the lake to the Trossachs.
Our walk was mostly through coppice-woods, along a horse-road, upon
which narrow carts might travel. Passed that white house which had
looked at us with such a friendly face when we were on the other side;
it stood on the slope of a hill, with green pastures below it, plots of
corn and coppice-wood, and behind, a rocky steep covered with wood. It
was a very pretty place, but the morning being cold and dull the
opposite shore appeared dreary. Near to the white house we passed by
another of those little pinfold squares, which we knew to be a
burying-place; it was in a sloping green field among woods, and within
sound of the beating of the water against the shore, if there were but a
gentle breeze to stir it: I thought if I lived in that house, and my
ancestors and kindred were buried there, I should sit many an hour under
the walls of this plot of earth, where all the household would be
gathered together.

We found the ferryman at work in the field above his hut, and he was at
liberty to go with us, but, being wet and hungry, we begged that he
would let us sit by his fire till we had refreshed ourselves. This was
the first genuine Highland hut we had been in. We entered by the
cow-house, the house-door being within, at right angles to the outer
door. The woman was distressed that she had a bad fire, but she heaped
up some dry peats and heather, and, blowing it with her breath, in a
short time raised a blaze that scorched us into comfortable feelings. A
small part of the smoke found its way out of the hole of the chimney,
the rest through the open window-places, one of which was within the
recess of the fireplace, and made a frame to a little picture of the
restless lake and the opposite shore, seen when the outer door was open.
The woman of the house was very kind: whenever we asked her for anything
it seemed a fresh pleasure to her that she had it for us; she always
answered with a sort of softening down of the Scotch exclamation,
"Hoot!" "Ho! yes, ye'll get that," and hied to her cupboard in the
spence. We were amused with the phrase "Ye'll get that" in the
Highlands, which appeared to us as if it came from a perpetual feeling
of the difficulty with which most things are procured. We got oatmeal,
butter, bread and milk, made some porridge, and then departed. It was
rainy and cold, with a strong wind.

Coleridge was afraid of the cold in the boat, so he determined to walk
down the lake, pursuing the same road we had come along. There was
nothing very interesting for the first three or four miles on either
side of the water: to the right, uncultivated heath or poor
coppice-wood, and to the left, a scattering of meadow ground, patches of
corn, coppice-woods, and here and there a cottage. The wind fell, and it
began to rain heavily. On this William wrapped himself in the boatman's
plaid, and lay at the bottom of the boat till we came to a place where I
could not help rousing him.

We were rowing down that side of the lake which had hitherto been
little else than a moorish ridge. After turning a rocky point we came to
a bay closed in by rocks and steep woods, chiefly of full-grown birch.
The lake was elsewhere ruffled, but at the entrance of this bay the
breezes sunk, and it was calm: a small island was near, and the opposite
shore, covered with wood, looked soft through the misty rain. William,
rubbing his eyes, for he had been asleep, called out that he hoped I had
not let him pass by anything that was so beautiful as this; and I was
glad to tell him that it was but the beginning of a new land. After we
had left this bay we saw before us a long reach of woods and rocks and
rocky points, that promised other bays more beautiful than what we had
passed. The ferryman was a good-natured fellow, and rowed very
industriously, following the ins and outs of the shore; he was delighted
with the pleasure we expressed, continually repeating how pleasant it
would have been on a fine day. I believe he was attached to the lake by
some sentiment of pride, as his own domain--his being almost the only
boat upon it--which made him, seeing we were willing gazers, take far
more pains than an ordinary boatman; he would often say, after he had
compassed the turning of a point, "This is a bonny part," and he always
chose the bonniest, with greater skill than our prospect-hunters and
"picturesque travellers"; places screened from the winds--that was the
first point; the rest followed of course,--richer growing trees, rocks
and banks, and curves which the eye delights in.

The second bay we came to differed from the rest; the hills retired a
short space from the lake, leaving a few level fields between, on which
was a cottage embosomed in trees: the bay was defended by rocks at each
end, and the hills behind made a shelter for the cottage, the only
dwelling, I believe, except one, on this side of Loch Ketterine. We now
came to steeps that rose directly from the lake, and passed by a place
called in the Gaelic the Den of the Ghosts,[96] which reminded us of
Lodore; it is a rock, or mass of rock, with a stream of large black
stones like the naked or dried-up bed of a torrent down the side of it;
birch-trees start out of the rock in every direction, and cover the hill
above, further than we could see. The water of the lake below was very
deep, black, and calm. Our delight increased as we advanced, till we
came in view of the termination of the lake, seeing where the river
issues out of it through a narrow chasm between the hills.

  [Footnote 96: Goblins' Cave.--J. C. S.]

Here I ought to rest, as we rested, and attempt to give utterance to our
pleasure: but indeed I can impart but little of what we felt. We were
still on the same side of the water, and, being immediately under the
hill, within a considerable bending of the shore, we were enclosed by
hills all round, as if we had been upon a smaller lake of which the
whole was visible. It was an entire solitude; and all that we beheld was
the perfection of loveliness and beauty.

We had been through many solitary places since we came into Scotland,
but this place differed as much from any we had seen before, as if there
had been nothing in common between them; no thought of dreariness or
desolation found entrance here; yet nothing was to be seen but water,
wood, rocks, and heather, and bare mountains above. We saw the mountains
by glimpses as the clouds passed by them, and were not disposed to
regret, with our boatman, that it was not a fine day, for the near
objects were not concealed from us, but softened by being seen through
the mists. The lake is not very wide here, but appeared to be much
narrower than it really is, owing to the many promontories, which are
pushed so far into it that they are much more like islands than
promontories. We had a longing desire to row to the outlet and look up
into the narrow passage through which the river went; but the point
where we were to land was on the other side, so we bent our course right
across, and just as we came in sight of two huts, which have been built
by Lady Perth as a shelter for those who visit the Trossachs, Coleridge
hailed us with a shout of triumph from the door of one of them, exulting
in the glory of Scotland. The huts stand at a small distance from each
other, on a high and perpendicular rock, that rises from the bed of the
lake. A road, which has a very wild appearance, has been cut through the
rock; yet even here, among these bold precipices, the feeling of
excessive beautifulness overcomes every other. While we were upon the
lake, on every side of us were bays within bays, often more like tiny
lakes or pools than bays, and these not in long succession only, but all
round, some almost on the broad breast of the water, the promontories
shot out so far.

After we had landed we walked along the road to the uppermost of the
huts, where Coleridge was standing. From the door of this hut we saw
Benvenue opposite to us--a high mountain, but clouds concealed its top;
its side, rising directly from the lake, is covered with birch-trees to
a great height, and seamed with innumerable channels of torrents; but
now there was no water in them, nothing to break in upon the stillness
and repose of the scene; nor do I recollect hearing the sound of water
from any side, the wind being fallen and the lake perfectly still; the
place was all eye, and completely satisfied the sense and the heart.
Above and below us, to the right and to the left, were rocks, knolls,
and hills, which, wherever anything could grow--and that was everywhere
between the rocks--were covered with trees and heather; the trees did
not in any place grow so thick as an ordinary wood; yet I think there
was never a bare space of twenty yards: it was more like a natural
forest where the trees grow in groups or singly, not hiding the surface
of the ground, which, instead of being green and mossy, was of the
richest purple. The heather was indeed the most luxuriant I ever saw; it
was so tall that a child of ten years old struggling through it would
often have been buried head and shoulders, and the exquisite beauty of
the colour, near or at a distance, seen under the trees, is not to be
conceived. But if I were to go on describing for evermore, I should give
but a faint, and very often a false, idea of the different objects and
the various combinations of them in this most intricate and delicious
place; besides, I tired myself out with describing at Loch Lomond, so I
will hasten to the end of my tale. This reminds me of a sentence in a
little pamphlet written by the minister of Callander, descriptive of the
environs of that place. After having taken up at least six
closely-printed pages with the Trossachs, he concludes thus, "In a word,
the Trossachs beggar all description,"--a conclusion in which everybody
who has been there will agree with him. I believe the word Trossachs
signifies "many hills": it is a name given to all the eminences at the
foot of Loch Ketterine, and about half a mile beyond.

We left the hut, retracing the few yards of road which we had climbed;
our boat lay at anchor under the rock in the last of all the
compartments of the lake, a small oblong pool, almost shut up within
itself, as several others had appeared to be, by jutting points of rock;
the termination of a long out-shooting of the water, pushed up between
the steps of the main shore where the huts stand, and a broad promontory
which, with its hillocks and points and lesser promontories, occupies
the centre of the foot of the lake. A person sailing through the lake up
the middle of it, would just as naturally suppose that the outlet was
here as on the other side; and so it might have been, with the most
trifling change in the disposition of the ground, for at the end of this
slip of water the lake is confined only by a gentle rising of a few
yards towards an opening between the hills, a narrow pass or valley
through which the river might have flowed. The road is carried through
this valley, which only differs from the lower part of the vale of the
lake in being excessively narrow, and without water; it is enclosed by
mountains, rocky mounds, hills and hillocks scattered over with
birch-trees, and covered with Dutch myrtle and heather, even surpassing
what we had seen before. Our mother Eve had no fairer, though a more
diversified garden, to tend, than we found within this little close
valley. It rained all the time, but the mists and calm air made us ample
amends for a wetting.

At the opening of the pass we climbed up a low eminence, and had an
unexpected prospect suddenly before us--another lake, small compared
with Loch Ketterine, though perhaps four miles long, but the misty air
concealed the end of it. The transition from the solitary wildness of
Loch Ketterine and the narrow valley or pass to this scene was very
delightful: it was a gentle place, with lovely open bays, one small
island, corn fields, woods, and a group of cottages. This vale seemed to
have been made to be tributary to the comforts of man, Loch Ketterine
for the lonely delight of Nature, and kind spirits delighting in beauty.
The sky was grey and heavy,--floating mists on the hill-sides, which
softened the objects, and where we lost sight of the lake it appeared so
near to the sky that they almost touched one another, giving a visionary
beauty to the prospect. While we overlooked this quiet scene we could
hear the stream rumbling among the rocks between the lakes, but the
mists concealed any glimpse of it which we might have had. This small
lake is called Loch Achray.

We returned, of course, by the same road. Our guide repeated over and
over again his lamentations that the day was so bad, though we had often
told him--not indeed with much hope that he would believe us--that we
were glad of it. As we walked along he pulled a leafy twig from a
birch-tree, and, after smelling it, gave it to me, saying, how "sweet
and halesome" it was, and that it was pleasant and very halesome on a
fine summer's morning to sail under the banks where the birks are
growing. This reminded me of the old Scotch songs, in which you
continually hear of the "pu'ing the birks." Common as birches are in the
north of England, I believe their sweet smell is a thing unnoticed among
the peasants. We returned again to the huts to take a farewell look. We
had shared our food with the ferryman and a traveller whom we had met
here, who was going up the lake, and wished to lodge at the ferry-house,
so we offered him a place in the boat. Coleridge chose to walk. We took
the same side of the lake as before, and had much delight in visiting
the bays over again; but the evening began to darken, and it rained so
heavily before we had gone two miles that we were completely wet. It was
dark when we landed, and on entering the house I was sick with cold.

The good woman had provided, according to her promise, a better fire
than we had found in the morning; and indeed when I sate down in the
chimney-corner of her smoky biggin, I thought I had never been more
comfortable in my life. Coleridge had been there long enough to have a
pan of coffee boiling for us, and having put our clothes in the way of
drying, we all sate down, thankful for a shelter. We could not prevail
upon the man of the house to draw near the fire, though he was cold and
wet, or to suffer his wife to get him dry clothes till she had served
us, which she did, though most willingly, not very expeditiously. A
Cumberland man of the same rank would not have had such a notion of what
was fit and right in his own house, or if he had, one would have accused
him of servility; but in the Highlander it only seemed like politeness,
however erroneous and painful to us, naturally growing out of the
dependence of the inferiors of the clan upon their laird; he did not,
however, refuse to let his wife bring out the whisky-bottle at our
request: "She keeps a dram," as the phrase is; indeed, I believe there
is scarcely a lonely house by the wayside in Scotland where travellers
may not be accommodated with a dram. We asked for sugar, butter,
barley-bread, and milk, and with a smile and a stare more of kindness
than wonder, she replied, "Ye'll get that," bringing each article

We caroused our cups of coffee, laughing like children at the strange
atmosphere in which we were: the smoke came in gusts, and spread along
the walls and above our heads in the chimney, where the hens were
roosting like light clouds in the sky. We laughed and laughed again, in
spite of the smarting of our eyes, yet had a quieter pleasure in
observing the beauty of the beams and rafters gleaming between the
clouds of smoke. They had been crusted over and varnished by many
winters, till, where the firelight fell upon them, they were as glossy
as black rocks on a sunny day cased in ice. When we had eaten our supper
we sate about half an hour, and I think I had never felt so deeply the
blessing of a hospitable welcome and a warm fire. The man of the house
repeated from time to time that we should often tell of this night when
we got to our homes, and interposed praises of this, his own lake, which
he had more than once, when we were returning in the boat, ventured to
say was "bonnier than Loch Lomond."

Our companion from the Trossachs, who it appeared was an Edinburgh
drawing-master going during the vacation on a pedestrian tour to John o'
Groat's House, was to sleep in the barn with William and Coleridge,
where the man said he had plenty of dry hay. I do not believe that the
hay of the Highlands is often very dry, but this year it had a better
chance than usual: wet or dry, however, the next morning they said they
had slept comfortably. When I went to bed, the mistress, desiring me to
"go ben," attended me with a candle, and assured me that the bed was
dry, though not "sic as I had been used to." It was of chaff; there were
two others in the room, a cupboard and two chests, on one of which stood
the milk in wooden vessels covered over; I should have thought that milk
so kept could not have been sweet, but the cheese and butter were good.
The walls of the whole house were of stone unplastered. It consisted of
three apartments,--the cow-house at one end, the kitchen or house in the
middle, and the spence at the other end. The rooms were divided, not up
to the rigging, but only to the beginning of the roof, so that there was
a free passage for light and smoke from one end of the house to the

I went to bed some time before the family. The door was shut between
us, and they had a bright fire, which I could not see; but the light it
sent up among the varnished rafters and beams, which crossed each other
in almost as intricate and fantastic a manner as I have seen the
under-boughs of a large beech-tree withered by the depth of the shade
above, produced the most beautiful effect that can be conceived. It was
like what I should suppose an underground cave or temple to be, with a
dripping or moist roof, and the moonlight entering in upon it by some
means or other, and yet the colours were more like melted gems. I lay
looking up till the light of the fire faded away, and the man and his
wife and child had crept into their bed at the other end of the room. I
did not sleep much, but passed a comfortable night, for my bed, though
hard, was warm and clean: the unusualness of my situation prevented me
from sleeping. I could hear the waves beat against the shore of the
lake; a little "syke" close to the door made a much louder noise; and
when I sate up in my bed I could see the lake through an open
window-place at the bed's head. Add to this, it rained all night. I was
less occupied by remembrance of the Trossachs, beautiful as they were,
than the vision of the Highland hut, which I could not get out of my
head. I thought of the Fairyland of Spenser, and what I had read in
romance at other times, and then, what a feast would it be for a London
pantomime-maker, could he but transplant it to Drury Lane, with all its
beautiful colours!


_Printed by_ R. & R. CLARK, LIMITED, _Edinburgh_.

Transcriber's Note

Footnotes have been moved below the paragraph to which they relate.
Both Footnote 30 on Page 50 and Footnote 39 on Page 65 refer to two
items rather than one. I have repeated these footnotes below their
respective paragraphs in order to accommodate the repetition.

"=" is used in the text to indicate that a fancy font was used.

Inconsistencies have been retained in spelling, hyphenation, formatting,
punctuation, and grammar, except where indicated in the list below:

  - Comma added after "wife" on Page viii
  - Period removed after "III" on Page ix
  - Comma removed after "Mrs." on Page xiv
  - Comma changed to a period after "Ed" on Page 21
  - Period added after "us" on Page 23
  - Period added after "morning" on Page 27
  - "pen-knive" changed to "pen-knife" on Page 117
  - "w th" changed to "with" on Page 134
  - Footnote number was missing and has been added for Footnote 77
  - Footnote anchor added to "glade" on Page 229
  - "he" changed to "the" on Page 251
  - Apostrophe changed to a comma after "biggin" on Page 253

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