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Title: Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth, Vol. II (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. II (of 2)" ***

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[Illustration: _William Wordsworth after Margaret Gillies_]




  [Illustration: _Grasmere Church and Churchyard._]


  _All rights reserved_


        (A.D. 1803)--_Continued_                              1

        1805                                                151

        OF A TOUR ON THE CONTINENT, 1820                    161

        SCOTLAND, 1822                                      261

        A TOUR IN BELGIUM IN 1823                           269

        THE ISLE OF MAN, 1828                               281


  (A.D. 1803)


=Third Week=

  DAY                                                PAGE

  14.  Left Loch Ketterine                              5
       Garrison House--Highland Girls                   6
       Ferry-House at Inversneyde                       7
       Poem to the Highland Girl                       11
       Return to Tarbet                                13

  15.  Coleridge resolves to go home                   14
       Arrochar--Loch Long                             15
       Parted with Coleridge                           17
       Glen Croe--The Cobbler                          18
       Glen Kinglas--Cairndow                          20

  16.  Road to Inverary                                21
       Inverary                                        22

  17.  Vale of Arey                                    27
       Loch Awe                                        29
       Kilchurn Castle                                 33
       Dalmally                                        34

  18.  Loch Awe                                        36
       Taynuilt                                        38
       Bunawe--Loch Etive                              39
       Tinkers                                         43

  19.  Road by Loch Etive downwards                    45
       Dunstaffnage Castle                             47
       Loch Creran                                     49
       Strath of Appin--Portnacroish                   51
       Islands of Loch Linnhe                          52
       Morven                                          52
       Lord Tweeddale                                  53
       Strath of Duror                                 55
       Ballachulish                                    56

  20.  Road to Glen Coe up Loch Leven                  57
       Blacksmith's house                              58
       Glen Coe                                        62
       Whisky hovel                                    65
       King's House                                    65

=Fourth Week=

  21.  Road to Inveroran                               70
       Inveroran--Public-house                         71
       Road to Tyndrum                                 72
       Tyndrum                                         73
       Loch Dochart                                    74

  22.  Killin                                          75
       Loch Tay                                        76
       Kenmore                                         77

  23.  Lord Breadalbane's grounds                      80
       Vale of Tay--Aberfeldy--Falls of Moness         81
       River Tummel--Vale of Tummel                    82
       Fascally--Blair                                 83

  24.  Duke of Athol's gardens                         84
       Falls of Bruar--Mountain-road to Loch Tummel    87
       Loch Tummel                                     88
       Rivers Tummel and Garry                         90
       Fascally                                        91

  25.  Pass of Killicrankie--Sonnet                    92
       Fall of Tummel                                  93
       Dunkeld                                         94
       Fall of the Bran                                95

  26.  Duke of Athol's gardens                         96
       Glen of the Bran--Rumbling Brig                 96
       Narrow Glen--Poem                               97
       Crieff                                          99

  27.  Strath Erne                                     99
       Lord Melville's house--Loch Erne               100
       Strath Eyer--Loch Lubnaig                      101
       Bruce the Traveller--Pass of Leny--
       Callander                                      102

=Fifth Week=

  28.  Road to the Trossachs--Loch Vennachar          103
       Loch Achray--Trossachs--Road up Loch
       Ketterine                                      104
       Poem: "Stepping Westward"                      105
       Boatman's hut                                  106

  29.  Road to Loch Lomond                            106
       Ferry-House at Inversneyde                     107
       Walk up Loch Lomond                            108
       Glenfalloch                                    109
       Glengyle                                       111
       Rob Roy's Grave--Poem                          112
       Boatman's hut                                  116

  30.  Mountain-Road to Loch Voil                     117
       Poem: "The Solitary Reaper"                    118
       Strath Eyer                                    119

  31.  Loch Lubnaig                                   121
       Callander--Stirling--Falkirk                   122

  32.  Linlithgow--Road to Edinburgh                  123

  33.  Edinburgh                                      123
       Roslin                                         125

  34.  Roslin--Hawthornden                            126
       Road to Peebles                                127

=Sixth Week=

  35.  Peebles--Neidpath Castle--Sonnet               127
       Tweed                                          129
       Clovenford                                     130
       Poem on Yarrow                                 131

  36.  Melrose--Melrose Abbey                         133

  37.  Dryburgh                                       136
       Jedburgh--Old Woman                            138
       Poem                                           140

  38.  Vale of Jed--Ferniehurst                       142

  39.  Jedburgh--The Assizes                          144
       Vale of Teviot                                 145
       Hawick                                         147

  40.  Vale of Teviot--Branxholm                      147
       Moss Paul                                      148
       Langholm                                       148

  41.  Road to Longtown                               149
       River Esk--Carlisle                            150

  42.  Arrival at home                                150



_Sunday, August 28th._--We were desirous to have crossed the mountains
above Glengyle to Glenfalloch, at the head of Loch Lomond, but it rained
so heavily that it was impossible, so the ferryman engaged to row us to
the point where Coleridge and I had rested, while William was going on
our doubtful adventure. The hostess provided us with tea and sugar for
our breakfast; the water was boiled in an iron pan, and dealt out to us
in a jug, a proof that she does not often drink tea, though she said she
had always tea and sugar in the house. She and the rest of the family
breakfasted on curds and whey, as taken out of the pot in which she was
making cheese; she insisted upon my taking some also; and her husband
joined in with the old story, that it was "varra halesome." I thought it
exceedingly good, and said to myself that they lived nicely with their
cow: she was meat, drink, and company. Before breakfast the housewife
was milking behind the chimney, and I thought I had seldom heard a
sweeter fire-side sound; in an evening, sitting over a sleepy, low-burnt
fire, it would lull one like the purring of a cat.

When we departed, the good woman shook me cordially by the hand, saying
she hoped that if ever we came into Scotland again, we would come and
see her. The lake was calm, but it rained so heavily that we could see
little. Landed at about ten o'clock, almost wet to the skin, and, with
no prospect but of streaming rains, faced the mountain-road to Loch
Lomond. We recognised the same objects passed before,--the tarn, the
potato-bed, and the cottages with their burnies, which were no longer,
as one might say, household streams, but made us only think of the
mountains and rocks they came from. Indeed, it is not easy to imagine
how different everything appeared; the mountains with mists and torrents
alive and always changing: but the low grounds where the inhabitants had
been at work the day before were melancholy, with here and there a few
haycocks and hay scattered about.

Wet as we were, William and I turned out of our path to the Garrison
house. A few rooms of it seemed to be inhabited by some wretchedly poor
families, and it had all the desolation of a large decayed mansion in
the suburbs of a town, abandoned of its proper inhabitants, and become
the abode of paupers. In spite of its outside bravery, it was but a poor
protection against "the sword of winter, keen and cold." We looked at
the building through the arch of a broken gateway of the courtyard, in
the middle of which it stands. Upon that stormy day it appeared more
than desolate; there was something about it even frightful.

When beginning to descend the hill towards Loch Lomond, we overtook two
girls, who told us we could not cross the ferry till evening, for the
boat was gone with a number of people to church. One of the girls was
exceedingly beautiful; and the figures of both of them, in grey plaids
falling to their feet, their faces only being uncovered, excited our
attention before we spoke to them; but they answered us so sweetly that
we were quite delighted, at the same time that they stared at us with an
innocent look of wonder. I think I never heard the English language
sound more sweetly than from the mouth of the elder of these girls,
while she stood at the gate answering our inquiries, her face flushed
with the rain; her pronunciation was clear and distinct: without
difficulty, yet slow, like that of a foreign speech. They told us we
might sit in the ferry-house till the return of the boat, went in with
us, and made a good fire as fast as possible to dry our wet clothes. We
learnt that the taller was the sister of the ferryman, and had been left
in charge with the house for the day, that the other was his wife's
sister, and was come with her mother on a visit,--an old woman, who sate
in a corner beside the cradle, nursing her little grand-child. We were
glad to be housed, with our feet upon a warm hearth-stone; and our
attendants were so active and good-humoured that it was pleasant to have
to desire them to do anything. The younger was a delicate and
unhealthy-looking girl; but there was an uncommon meekness in her
countenance, with an air of premature intelligence, which is often seen
in sickly young persons. The other made me think of Peter Bell's
"Highland Girl:"

     As light and beauteous as a squirrel,
     As beauteous and as wild![1]

       [Footnote 1: See _Peter Bell_, part iii. stanza 31.--ED.]

She moved with unusual activity, which was chastened very delicately by
a certain hesitation in her looks when she spoke, being able to
understand us but imperfectly. They were both exceedingly desirous to
get me what I wanted to make me comfortable. I was to have a gown and
petticoat of the mistress's; so they turned out her whole wardrobe upon
the parlour floor, talking Erse to one another, and laughing all the
time. It was long before they could decide which of the gowns I was to
have; they chose at last, no doubt thinking that it was the best, a
light-coloured sprigged cotton, with long sleeves, and they both laughed
while I was putting it on, with the blue linsey petticoat, and one or
the other, or both together, helped me to dress, repeating at least half
a dozen times, "You never had on the like of that before." They held a
consultation of several minutes over a pair of coarse woollen stockings,
gabbling Erse as fast as their tongues could move, and looked as if
uncertain what to do: at last, with great diffidence, they offered them
to me, adding, as before, that I had never worn "the like of them." When
we entered the house we had been not a little glad to see a fowl stewing
in barley-broth; and now when the wettest of our clothes were stripped
off, began again to recollect that we were hungry, and asked if we could
have dinner. "Oh yes, ye may get that," the elder replied, pointing to
the pan on the fire.

Conceive what a busy house it was--all our wet clothes to be dried,
dinner prepared and set out for us four strangers, and a second cooking
for the family; add to this, two rough "callans," as they called them,
boys about eight years old, were playing beside us; the poor baby was
fretful all the while; the old woman sang doleful Erse songs, rocking it
in its cradle the more violently the more it cried; then there were a
dozen cookings of porridge, and it could never be fed without the
assistance of all three. The hut was after the Highland fashion, but
without anything beautiful except its situation; the floor was rough,
and wet with the rain that came in at the door, so that the lasses' bare
feet were as wet as if they had been walking through street puddles, in
passing from one room to another; the windows were open, as at the other
hut; but the kitchen had a bed in it, and was much smaller, and the
shape of the house was like that of a common English cottage, without
its comfort; yet there was no appearance of poverty--indeed, quite the
contrary. The peep out of the open door-place across the lake made some
amends for the want of the long roof and elegant rafters of our
boatman's cottage, and all the while the waterfall, which we could not
see, was roaring at the end of the hut, which seemed to serve as a
sounding-board for its noise, so that it was not unlike sitting in a
house where a mill is going. The dashing of the waves against the shore
could not be distinguished; yet in spite of my knowledge of this I
could not help fancying that the tumult and storm came from the lake,
and went out several times to see if it was possible to row over in

After long waiting we grew impatient for our dinner; at last the pan was
taken off, and carried into the other room; but we had to wait at least
another half hour before the ceremony of dishing up was completed; yet
with all this bustle and difficulty, the manner in which they, and
particularly the elder of the girls, performed everything, was perfectly
graceful. We ate a hearty dinner, and had time to get our clothes quite
dry before the arrival of the boat. The girls could not say at what time
it would be at home; on our asking them if the church was far off they
replied, "Not very far"; and when we asked how far, they said, "Perhaps
about four or five miles." I believe a Church of England congregation
would hold themselves excused for non-attendance three parts of the
year, having but half as far to go; but in the lonely parts of Scotland
they make little of a journey of nine or ten miles to a preaching. They
have not perhaps an opportunity of going more than once in a quarter of
a year, and, setting piety aside, have other motives to attend: they
hear the news, public and private, and see their friends and neighbours;
for though the people who meet at these times may be gathered together
from a circle of twenty miles' diameter, a sort of neighbourly connexion
must be so brought about. There is something exceedingly pleasing to my
imagination in this gathering together of the inhabitants of these
secluded districts--for instance, the borderers of these two large lakes
meeting at the deserted garrison which I have described. The manner of
their travelling is on foot, on horseback, and in boats across the
waters,--young and old, rich and poor, all in their best dress.

If it were not for these Sabbath-day meetings one summer month would be
like another summer month, one winter month like another--detached from
the goings-on of the world, and solitary throughout; from the time of
earliest childhood they will be like landing-places in the memory of a
person who has passed his life in these thinly peopled regions; they
must generally leave distinct impressions, differing from each other so
much as they do in circumstances, in time and place, etc.,--some in the
open fields, upon hills, in houses, under large rocks, in storms, and in
fine weather.

But I have forgotten the fireside of our hut. After long waiting, the
girls, who had been on the look-out, informed us that the boat was
coming. I went to the water-side, and saw a cluster of people on the
opposite shore; but being yet at a distance, they looked more like
soldiers surrounding a carriage than a group of men and women; red and
green were the distinguishable colours. We hastened to get ourselves
ready as soon as we saw the party approach, but had longer to wait than
we expected, the lake being wider than it appears to be. As they drew
near we could distinguish men in tartan plaids, women in scarlet cloaks,
and green umbrellas by the half-dozen. The landing was as pretty a sight
as ever I saw. The bay, which had been so quiet two days before, was all
in motion with small waves, while the swoln waterfall roared in our
ears. The boat came steadily up, being pressed almost to the water's
edge by the weight of its cargo; perhaps twenty people landed, one after
another. It did not rain much, but the women held up their umbrellas;
they were dressed in all the colours of the rainbow, and, with their
scarlet cardinals, the tartan plaids of the men, and Scotch bonnets,
made a gay appearance. There was a joyous bustle surrounding the boat,
which even imparted something of the same character to the waterfall in
its tumult, and the restless grey waves; the young men laughed and
shouted, the lasses laughed, and the elder folks seemed to be in a
bustle to be away. I remember well with what haste the mistress of the
house where we were ran up to seek after her child, and seeing us, how
anxiously and kindly she inquired how we had fared, if we had had a
good fire, had been well waited upon, etc. etc. All this in three
minutes--for the boatman had another party to bring from the other side
and hurried us off.

The hospitality we had met with at the two cottages and Mr. Macfarlane's
gave us very favourable impressions on this our first entrance into the
Highlands, and at this day the innocent merriment of the girls, with
their kindness to us, and the beautiful figure and face of the elder,
come to my mind whenever I think of the ferry-house and waterfall of
Loch Lomond, and I never think of the two girls but the whole image of
that romantic spot is before me, a living image, as it will be to my
dying day. The following poem[2] was written by William not long after
our return from Scotland:--

  [Footnote 2: _To a Highland Girl_, in "Memorials of a Tour in
  Scotland, 1803."--ED.]

     Sweet Highland Girl, a very shower
     Of beauty is thy earthly dower!
     Twice seven consenting years have shed
     Their utmost bounty on thy head:
     And these grey rocks; this household lawn;
     These trees, a veil just half withdrawn;
     This fall of water, that doth make
     A murmur near the silent Lake;
     This little Bay, a quiet road
     That holds in shelter thy abode;
     In truth together ye do seem
     Like something fashion'd in a dream;
     Such forms as from their covert peep
     When earthly cares are laid asleep!
     Yet, dream and vision as thou art,
     I bless thee with a human heart:
     God shield thee to thy latest years!
     I neither know thee nor thy peers;
     And yet my eyes are filled with tears.

     With earnest feeling I shall pray
     For thee when I am far away:
     For never saw I mien or face,
     In which more plainly I could trace
     Benignity and home-bred sense
     Ripening in perfect innocence.
     Here, scattered like a random seed,
     Remote from men, thou dost not need
     Th' embarrass'd look of shy distress
     And maidenly shamefacedness;
     Thou wear'st upon thy forehead clear
     The freedom of a mountaineer:
     A face with gladness overspread!
     Sweet smiles, by human-kindness bred!
     And seemliness complete, that sways
     Thy courtesies, about thee plays;
     With no restraint but such as springs
     From quick and eager visitings
     Of thoughts that lie beyond the reach
     Of thy few words of English speech:
     A bondage sweetly brook'd, a strife
     That gives thy gestures grace and life!
     So have I, not unmoved in mind,
     Seen birds of tempest-loving kind,
     Thus beating up against the wind.

     What hand but would a garland cull
     For thee, who art so beautiful?
     O happy pleasure! here to dwell
     Beside thee in some heathy dell;
     Adopt your homely ways and dress,
     A Shepherd, thou a Shepherdess!
     But I could frame a wish for thee
     More like a grave reality:
     Thou art to me but as a wave
     Of the wild sea: and I would have
     Some claim upon thee, if I could,
     Though but of common neighbourhood.
     What joy to hear thee and to see!
     Thy elder brother I would be,
     Thy father--anything to thee.

     Now thanks to Heaven! that of its grace
     Hath led me to this lonely place!
     Joy have I had; and going hence
     I bear away my recompence.
     In spots like these it is we prize
     Our memory, feel that she hath eyes:
     Then why should I be loth to stir?
     I feel this place is made for her;
     To give new pleasure like the past
     Continued long as life shall last.
     Nor am I loth, though pleased at heart,
     Sweet Highland Girl, from thee to part;
     For I, methinks, till I grow old,
     As fair before me shall behold
     As I do now, the Cabin small,
     The Lake, the Bay, the Waterfall,
     And thee, the Spirit of them all.

We were rowed over speedily by the assistance of two youths, who went
backwards and forwards for their own amusement, helping at the oars, and
pulled as if they had strength and spirits to spare for a year to come.
We noticed that they had uncommonly fine teeth, and that they and the
boatman were very handsome people. Another merry crew took our place in
the boat.

We had three miles to walk to Tarbet. It rained, but not heavily; the
mountains were not concealed from us by the mists, but appeared larger
and more grand; twilight was coming on, and the obscurity under which we
saw the objects, with the sounding of the torrents, kept our minds alive
and wakeful; all was solitary and huge--sky, water, and mountains
mingled together. While we were walking forward, the road leading us
over the top of a brow, we stopped suddenly at the sound of a
half-articulate Gaelic hooting from the field close to us. It came from
a little boy, whom we could see on the hill between us and the lake,
wrapped up in a grey plaid. He was probably calling home the cattle for
the night. His appearance was in the highest degree moving to the
imagination: mists were on the hillsides, darkness shutting in upon the
huge avenue of mountains, torrents roaring, no house in sight to which
the child might belong; his dress, cry, and appearance all different
from anything we had been accustomed to. It was a text, as William has
since observed to me, containing in itself the whole history of the
Highlander's life--his melancholy, his simplicity, his poverty, his
superstition, and above all, that visionariness which results from a
communion with the unworldliness of nature.

When we reached Tarbet the people of the house were anxious to know how
we had fared, particularly the girl who had waited upon us. Our praises
of Loch Ketterine made her exceedingly happy, and she ventured to say,
of which we had heard not a word before, that it was "bonnier to _her_
fancy than Loch Lomond." The landlord, who was not at home when we had
set off, told us that if he had known of our going he would have
recommended us to Mr. Macfarlane's or the other farm-house, adding that
they were hospitable people in that vale. Coleridge and I got tea, and
William and the drawing-master chose supper; they asked to have a
broiled fowl, a dish very common in Scotland, to which the mistress
replied, "Would not a 'boiled' one do as well?" They consented,
supposing that it would be more easily cooked; but when the fowl made
its appearance, to their great disappointment it proved a cold one that
had been stewed in the broth at dinner.

_Monday, August 29th._--It rained heavily this morning, and, having
heard so much of the long rains since we came into Scotland, as well as
before, we had no hope that it would be over in less than three weeks at
the least, so poor Coleridge, being very unwell, determined to send his
clothes to Edinburgh and make the best of his way thither, being afraid
to face much wet weather in an open carriage. William and I were
unwilling to be confined at Tarbet, so we resolved to go to Arrochar, a
mile and a half on the road to Inverary, where there is an inn
celebrated as a place of good accommodation for travellers. Coleridge
and I set off on foot, and William was to follow with the car, but a
heavy shower coming on, Coleridge left me to shelter in a hut and wait
for William, while he went on before. This hut was unplastered, and
without windows, crowded with beds, uncomfortable, and not in the
simplicity of the ferryman's house. A number of good clothes were
hanging against the walls, and a green silk umbrella was set up in a
corner. I should have been surprised to see an umbrella in such a place
before we came into the Highlands; but umbrellas are not so common
anywhere as there--a plain proof of the wetness of the climate; even
five minutes after this a girl passed us without shoes and stockings,
whose gown and petticoat were not worth half a crown, holding an
umbrella over her bare head.

We turned at a guide-post, "To the New Inn," and, after descending a
little, and winding round the bottom of a hill, saw, at a small
distance, a white house half hidden by tall trees upon a lawn that
slopes down to the side of Loch Long, a sea-loch, which is here very
narrow. Right before us, across the lake, was the Cobbler, which
appeared to rise directly from the water; but, in fact, it overtopped
another hill, being a considerable way behind. The inn looked so much
like a gentleman's house that we could hardly believe it was an inn. We
drove down the broad gravel walk, and, making a sweep, stopped at the
front door, were shown into a large parlour with a fire, and my first
thought was, How comfortable we should be! but Coleridge, who had
arrived before us, checked my pleasure: the waiter had shown himself
disposed to look coolly upon us, and there had been a hint that we could
not have beds;--a party was expected, who had engaged all the beds. We
conjectured this might be but a pretence, and ordered dinner in the hope
that matters would clear up a little, and we thought they could not have
the heart to turn us out in so heavy a rain if it were possible to lodge
us. We had a nice dinner, yet would have gladly changed our roasted lamb
and pickles, and the gentleman-waiter with his napkin in his pocket, for
the more homely fare of the smoky hut at Loch Ketterine, and the good
woman's busy attentions, with the certainty of a hospitable shelter at
night. After dinner I spoke to the landlord himself, but he was not to
be moved: he could not even provide one bed for me, so nothing was to be
done but either to return to Tarbet with Coleridge, or that William and
I should push on the next stage, to Cairndow. We had an interesting
close view from the windows of the room where we sate, looking across
the lake, which did not differ in appearance, as we saw it here, from a
fresh-water lake. The sloping lawn on which the house stood was prettily
scattered over with trees; but we had seen the place to great advantage
at our first approach, owing to the mists upon the mountains, which had
made them seem exceedingly high, while the strange figures on the
Cobbler appeared and disappeared, like living things; but, as the day
cleared we were disappointed in what was more like the permanent effect
of the scene: the mountains were not so lofty as we had supposed, and
the low grounds not so fertile; yet still it is a very interesting, I
may say beautiful, place.

The rain ceased entirely, so we resolved to go on to Cairndow, and had
the satisfaction of seeing that our landlord had not told us an untruth
concerning the expected company; for just before our departure we saw,
on the opposite side of the vale, a coach with four horses, another
carriage, and two or three men on horseback--a striking procession, as
it moved along between the bare mountain and the lake. Twenty years ago,
perhaps, such a sight had not been seen here except when the Duke of
Argyle, or some other Highland chieftain, might chance to be going with
his family to London or Edinburgh. They had to cross a bridge at the
head of the lake, which we could not see, so, after disappearing about
ten minutes, they drove up to the door--three old ladies, two
waiting-women, and store of men-servants. The old ladies were as gaily
dressed as bullfinches in spring-time. We heard the next day that they
were the renowned Miss Waughs of Carlisle, and that they enjoyed
themselves over a game of cards in the evening.

Left Arrochar at about four o'clock in the afternoon. Coleridge
accompanied us a little way; we portioned out the contents of our purse
before our parting; and, after we had lost sight of him, drove heavily
along. Crossed the bridge, and looked to the right, up the vale, which
is soon terminated by mountains: it was of a yellow green, with but few
trees and few houses; sea-gulls were flying above it. Our road--the same
along which the carriages had come--was directly under the mountains on
our right hand, and the lake was close to us on our left, the waves
breaking among stones overgrown with yellow sea-weed; fishermen's boats,
and other larger vessels than are seen on fresh-water lakes were lying
at anchor near the opposite shore; sea-birds flying overhead; the noise
of torrents mingled with the beating of the waves, and misty mountains
enclosed the vale;--a melancholy but not a dreary scene. Often have I,
in looking over a map of Scotland, followed the intricate windings of
one of these sea-lochs, till, pleasing myself with my own imaginations,
I have felt a longing, almost painful, to travel among them by land or
by water.

This was the first sea-loch we had seen. We came prepared for a new and
great delight, and the first impression which William and I received, as
we drove rapidly through the rain down the lawn of Arrochar, the objects
dancing before us, was even more delightful than we had expected. But,
as I have said, when we looked through the window, as the mists
disappeared and the objects were seen more distinctly, there was less of
sheltered valley-comfort than we had fancied to ourselves, and the
mountains were not so grand; and now that we were near to the shore of
the lake, and could see that it was not of fresh water, the wreck, the
broken sea-shells, and scattered sea-weed gave somewhat of a dull and
uncleanly look to the whole lake, and yet the water was clear, and might
have appeared as beautiful as that of Loch Lomond, if with the same pure
pebbly shore. Perhaps, had we been in a more cheerful mood of mind we
might have seen everything with a different eye. The stillness of the
mountains, the motion of the waves, the streaming torrents, the
sea-birds, the fishing-boats were all melancholy; yet still, occupied as
my mind was with other things, I thought of the long windings through
which the waters of the sea had come to this inland retreat, visiting
the inner solitudes of the mountains, and I could have wished to have
mused out a summer's day on the shores of the lake. From the foot of
these mountains whither might not a little barque carry one away? Though
so far inland, it is but a slip of the great ocean: seamen, fishermen,
and shepherds here find a natural home. We did not travel far down the
lake, but, turning to the right through an opening of the mountains,
entered a glen called Glen Croe.

Our thoughts were full of Coleridge, and when we were enclosed in the
narrow dale, with a length of winding road before us, a road that seemed
to have insinuated itself into the very heart of the mountains--the
brook, the road, bare hills, floating mists, scattered stones, rocks,
and herds of black cattle being all that we could see,--I shivered at
the thought of his being sickly and alone, travelling from place to

The Cobbler, on our right, was pre-eminent above the other hills; the
singular rocks on its summit, seen so near, were like ruins--castles or
watch-towers. After we had passed one reach of the glen, another opened
out, long, narrow, deep, and houseless, with herds of cattle and large
stones; but the third reach was softer and more beautiful, as if the
mountains had there made a warmer shelter, and there were a more gentle
climate. The rocks by the river-side had dwindled away, the mountains
were smooth and green, and towards the end, where the glen sloped
upwards, it was a cradle-like hollow, and at that point where the slope
became a hill, at the very bottom of the curve of the cradle, stood one
cottage, with a few fields and beds of potatoes. There was also another
house near the roadside, which appeared to be a herdsman's hut. The
dwelling in the middle of the vale was a very pleasing object. I said
within myself, How quietly might a family live in this pensive solitude,
cultivating and loving their own fields! but the herdsman's hut, being
the only one in the vale, had a melancholy face; not being attached to
any particular plot of land, one could not help considering it as just
kept alive and above ground by some dreary connexion with the long
barren tract we had travelled through.

The afternoon had been exceedingly pleasant after we had left the vale
of Arrochar; the sky was often threatening, but the rain blew off, and
the evening was uncommonly fine. The sun had set a short time before we
had dismounted from the car to walk up the steep hill at the end of the
glen. Clouds were moving all over the sky--some of a brilliant yellow
hue, which shed a light like bright moonlight upon the mountains. We
could not have seen the head of the valley under more favourable

The passing away of a storm is always a time of life and cheerfulness,
especially in a mountainous country; but that afternoon and evening the
sky was in an extraordinary degree vivid and beautiful. We often stopped
in ascending the hill to look down the long reach of the glen. The road,
following the course of the river as far as we could see, the farm and
cottage hills, smooth towards the base and rocky higher up, were the
sole objects before us. This part of Glen Croe reminded us of some of
the dales of the north of England--Grisdale above Ulswater, for
instance; but the length of it, and the broad highway, which is always
to be seen at a great distance, a sort of centre of the vale, a point of
reference, gives to the whole of the glen, and each division of it, a
very different character.

At the top of the hill we came to a seat with the well-known
inscription, "Rest and be thankful." On the same stone it was recorded
that the road had been made by Col. Wade's regiment. The seat is placed
so as to command a full view of the valley, and the long, long road,
which, with the fact recorded, and the exhortation, makes it an
affecting resting-place. We called to mind with pleasure a seat under
the braes of Loch Lomond on which I had rested, where the traveller is
informed by an inscription upon a stone that the road was made by Col.
Lascelles' regiment. There, the spot had not been chosen merely as a
resting-place, for there was no steep ascent in the highway, but it
might be for the sake of a spring of water and a beautiful rock, or,
more probably, because at that point the labour had been more than
usually toilsome in hewing through the rock. Soon after we had climbed
the hill we began to descend into another glen, called Glen Kinglas. We
now saw the western sky, which had hitherto been hidden from us by the
hill--a glorious mass of clouds uprising from a sea of distant
mountains, stretched out in length before us, towards the west--and
close by us was a small lake or tarn. From the reflection of the crimson
clouds the water appeared of a deep red, like melted rubies, yet with a
mixture of a grey or blackish hue: the gorgeous light of the sky, with
the singular colour of the lake, made the scene exceedingly romantic;
yet it was more melancholy than cheerful. With all the power of light
from the clouds, there was an overcasting of the gloom of evening, a
twilight upon the hills.

We descended rapidly into the glen, which resembles the lower part of
Glen Croe, though it seemed to be inferior in beauty; but before we had
passed through one reach it was quite dark, and I only know that the
steeps were high, and that we had the company of a foaming stream; and
many a vagrant torrent crossed us, dashing down the hills. The road was
bad, and, uncertain how we should fare, we were eager and somewhat
uneasy to get forward; but when we were out of the close glen, and near
to Cairndow, as a traveller had told us, the moon showed her clear face
in the sky, revealing a spacious vale, with a broad loch and sloping
corn fields; the hills not very high. This cheerful sight put us into
spirits, and we thought it was at least no dismal place to sit up all
night in, if they had no beds, and they could not refuse us a shelter.
We were, however, well received, and sate down in a neat parlour with a
good fire.

_Tuesday, August 30th._--Breakfasted before our departure, and ate a
herring, fresh from the water, at our landlord's earnest
recommendation--much superior to the herrings we get in the north of
England.[3] Though we rose at seven, could not set off before nine
o'clock; the servants were in bed; the kettle did not boil--indeed, we
were completely out of patience; but it had always been so, and we
resolved to go off in future without breakfast. Cairndow is a single
house by the side of the loch, I believe resorted to by gentlemen in the
fishing season: it is a pleasant place for such a purpose; but the vale
did not look so beautiful as by moonlight--it had a sort of sea-coldness
without mountain grandeur. There is a ferry for foot-passengers from
Cairndow to the other side of the water, and the road along which all
carriages go is carried round the head of the lake, perhaps a distance
of three miles.

  [Footnote 3: I should rather think so!--J. C. S.]

After we had passed the landing-place of the ferry opposite to Cairndow
we saw the lake spread out to a great width, more like an arm of the sea
or a great river than one of our lakes; it reminded us of the Severn at
the Chepstow passage; but the shores were less rich and the hills
higher. The sun shone, which made the morning cheerful, though there was
a cold wind. Our road never carried us far from the lake, and with the
beating of the waves, the sparkling sunshiny water, boats, the opposite
hills, and, on the side on which we travelled, the chance cottages, the
coppice woods, and common business of the fields, the ride could not but
be amusing. But what most excited our attention was, at one particular
place, a cluster of fishing-boats at anchor in a still corner of the
lake, a small bay or harbour by the wayside. They were overshadowed by
fishermen's nets hung out to dry, which formed a dark awning that
covered them like a tent, overhanging the water on each side, and
falling in the most exquisitely graceful folds. There was a monastic
pensiveness, a funereal gloom in the appearance of this little company
of vessels, which was the more interesting from the general liveliness
and glancing motions of the water, they being perfectly still and silent
in their sheltered nook.

When we had travelled about seven miles from Cairndow, winding round the
bottom of a hill, we came in view of a great basin or elbow of the lake.
Completely out of sight of the long track of water we had coasted, we
seemed now to be on the edge of a very large, almost circular, lake, the
town of Inverary before us, a line of white buildings on a low
promontory right opposite, and close to the water's edge; the whole
landscape a showy scene, and bursting upon us at once. A traveller who
was riding by our side called out, "Can that be the Castle?"
Recollecting the prints which we had seen, we knew it could not; but the
mistake is a natural one at that distance: it is so little like an
ordinary town, from the mixture of regularity and irregularity in the
buildings. With the expanse of water and pleasant mountains, the
scattered boats and sloops, and those gathered together, it had a truly
festive appearance. A few steps more brought us in view of the Castle, a
stately turreted mansion, but with a modern air, standing on a lawn,
retired from the water, and screened behind by woods covering the sides
of high hills to the top, and still beyond, by bare mountains. Our road
wound round the semicircular shore, crossing two bridges of lordly
architecture. The town looked pretty when we drew near to it in
connexion with its situation, different from any place I had ever seen,
yet exceedingly like what I imaged to myself from representations in
raree-shows, or pictures of foreign places--Venice, for
example--painted on the scene of a play-house, which one is apt to fancy
are as cleanly and gay as they look through the magnifying-glass of the
raree-show or in the candle-light dazzle of a theatre. At the door of
the inn, though certainly the buildings had not that delightful outside
which they appeared to have at a distance, yet they looked very
pleasant. The range bordering on the water consisted of little else than
the inn, being a large house, with very large stables, the county gaol,
the opening into the main street into the town, and an arched gateway,
the entrance into the Duke of Argyle's private domain.

We were decently well received at the inn, but it was over-rich in
waiters and large rooms to be exactly to our taste, though quite in
harmony with the neighbourhood. Before dinner we went into the Duke's
pleasure-grounds, which are extensive, and of course command a variety
of lively and interesting views. Walked through avenues of tall
beech-trees, and observed some that we thought even the tallest we had
ever seen; but they were all scantily covered with leaves, and the
leaves exceedingly small--indeed, some of them, in the most exposed
situations, were almost bare, as if it had been winter. Travellers who
wish to view the inside of the Castle send in their names, and the Duke
appoints the time of their going; but we did not think that what we
should see would repay us for the trouble, there being no pictures, and
the house, which I believe has not been built above half a century, is
fitted up in the modern style. If there had been any reliques of the
ancient costume of the castle of a Highland chieftain, we should have
been sorry to have passed it.

Sate after dinner by the fireside till near sunset, for it was very
cold, though the sun shone all day. At the beginning of this our second
walk we passed through the town, which is but a doleful example of
Scotch filth. The houses are plastered or rough-cast, and washed
yellow--well built, well sized, and sash-windowed, bespeaking a
connexion with the Duke, such a dependence as may be expected in a small
town so near to his mansion; and indeed he seems to have done his utmost
to make them comfortable, according to our English notions of comfort:
they are fit for the houses of people living decently upon a decent
trade; but the windows and door-steads were as dirty as in a dirty
by-street of a large town, making a most unpleasant contrast with the
comely face of the buildings towards the water, and the ducal grandeur
and natural festivity of the scene. Smoke and blackness are the wild
growth of a Highland hut: the mud floors cannot be washed, the
door-steads are trampled by cattle, and if the inhabitants be not very
cleanly it gives one little pain; but dirty people living in two-storied
stone houses, with dirty sash windows, are a melancholy spectacle
anywhere, giving the notion either of vice or the extreme of

Returning through the town, we went towards the Castle, and entered the
Duke's grounds by a porter's lodge, following the carriage-road through
the park, which is prettily scattered over with trees, and slopes gently
towards the lake. A great number of lime-trees were growing singly, not
beautiful in their shape, but I mention them for the resemblance to one
of the same kind we had seen in the morning, which formed a shade as
impenetrable as the roof of any house. The branches did not spread far,
nor any one branch much further than another; on the outside it was like
a green bush shorn with shears, but when we sate upon a bench under it,
looking upwards, in the middle of the tree we could not perceive any
green at all; it was like a hundred thousand magpies' nests clustered
and matted together, the twigs and boughs being so intertwined that
neither the light of the mid-day sun nor showers of hail or rain could
pierce through them. The lime-trees on the lawn resembled this tree both
in shape and in the manner of intertwisting their twigs, but they were
much smaller, and not an impenetrable shade.

The views from the Castle are delightful. Opposite is the lake, girt
with mountains, or rather smooth high hills; to the left appears a very
steep rocky hill, called Duniquoich Hill, on the top of which is a
building like a watch-tower; it rises boldly and almost perpendicular
from the plain, at a little distance from the river Arey, that runs
through the grounds. To the right is the town, overtopped by a sort of
spire or pinnacle of the church, a thing unusual in Scotland, except in
the large towns, and which would often give an elegant appearance to the
villages, which, from the uniformity of the huts, and the frequent want
of tall trees, they seldom exhibit.

In looking at an extensive prospect, or travelling through a large vale,
the Trough of the Clyde for instance, I could not help thinking that in
England there would have been somewhere a tower or spire to warn us of a
village lurking under the covert of a wood or bank, or to point out some
particular spot on the distant hills which we might look at with kindly
feelings. I well remember how we used to love the little nest of trees
out of which Ganton spire rose on the distant Wolds opposite to the
windows at Gallow Hill. The spire of Inverary is not of so beautiful a
shape as those of the English churches, and, not being one of a class of
buildings which is understood at once, seen near or at a distance, is a
less interesting object; but it suits well with the outlandish trimness
of the buildings bordering on the water; indeed, there is no one thing
of the many gathered together in the extensive circuit of the basin or
vale of Inverary, that is not in harmony with the effect of the whole
place. The Castle is built of a beautiful hewn stone, in colour
resembling our blue slates. The author-tourists have quarrelled with the
architecture of it, but we did not find much that we were disposed to
blame. A castle in a deep glen, overlooking a roaring stream, and
defended by precipitous rocks, is, no doubt, an object far more
interesting; but, dropping all ideas of danger or insecurity, the
natural retinue in our minds of an ancient Highland chieftain,--take a
Duke of Argyle at the end of the eighteenth century, let him have his
house in Grosvenor Square, his London liveries, and daughters glittering
at St. James's, and I think you will be satisfied with his present
mansion in the Highlands, which seems to suit with the present times and
its situation, and that is indeed a noble one for a modern Duke of the
mountainous district of Argyleshire, with its bare valleys, its rocky
coasts, and sea lochs.

There is in the natural endowments of Inverary something akin to every
feature of the general character of the county; yet even the very
mountains and the lake itself have a kind of princely festivity in their
appearance. I do not know how to communicate the feeling, but it seemed
as if it were no insult to the hills to look on them as the shield and
enclosure of the ducal domain, to which the water might delight in
bearing its tribute. The hills near the lake are smooth, so smooth that
they might have been shaven or swept; the shores, too, had somewhat of
the same effect, being bare, and having no roughness, no woody points;
yet the whole circuit being very large, and the hills so extensive, the
scene was not the less cheerful and festive, rejoicing in the light of
heaven. Behind the Castle the hills are planted to a great height, and
the pleasure-grounds extend far up the valley of Arey. We continued our
walk a short way along the river, and were sorry to see it stripped of
its natural ornaments, after the fashion of Mr. Brown,[4] and left to
tell its tale--for it would not be silent like the river at Blenheim--to
naked fields and the planted trees on the hills. We were disgusted with
the stables, out-houses, or farm-houses in different parts of the
grounds behind the Castle: they were broad, out-spreading, fantastic,
and unintelligible buildings.

  [Footnote 4: "Capability" Brown.--J. C. S.]

Sate in the park till the moonlight was perceived more than the light
of day. We then walked near the town by the water-side. I observed that
the children who were playing did not speak Erse, but a much worse
English than is spoken by those Highlanders whose common language is the
Erse. I went into the town to purchase tea and sugar to carry with us on
our journey. We were tired when we returned to the inn, and went to bed
directly after tea. My room was at the very top of the house--one flight
of steps after another!--but when I drew back the curtains of my window
I was repaid for the trouble of panting up-stairs by one of the most
splendid moonlight prospects that can be conceived: the whole circuit of
the hills, the Castle, the two bridges, the tower on Duniquoich Hill,
and the lake with many boats--fit scene for summer midnight festivities!
I should have liked to have seen a bevy of Scottish ladies sailing, with
music, in a gay barge. William, to whom I have read this, tells me that
I have used the very words of Browne of Ottery, Coleridge's

     As I have seen when on the breast of Thames
     A heavenly bevy of sweet English dames,
     In some calm evening of delightful May,
     With music give a farewell to the day,
     Or as they would (with an admired tone)
     Greet night's ascension to her ebon throne.

     BROWNE'S _Britannia's Pastorals_.

_Wednesday, August 31st._--We had a long day's journey before us,
without a regular baiting-place on the road, so we breakfasted at
Inverary, and did not set off till nine o'clock, having, as usual, to
complain of the laziness of the servants. Our road was up the valley
behind the Castle, the same we had gone along the evening before.
Further up, though the plantations on the hills are noble, the valley
was cold and naked, wanting hedgerows and comfortable houses. We
travelled several miles under the plantations, the vale all along
seeming to belong almost exclusively to the Castle. It might have been
better distinguished and adorned, as we thought, by neater farm-houses
and cottages than are common in Scotland, and snugger fields with warm
hedgerows, at the same time testifying as boldly its adherence to the

At that point of the valley where the pleasure-grounds appear to end, we
left our horse at a cottage door, and turned a few steps out of the road
to see a waterfall, which roared so loud that we could not have gone by
without looking about for it, even if we had not known that there was
one near Inverary. The waterfall is not remarkable for anything but the
good taste with which it has been left to itself, though there is a
pleasure-road from the Castle to it. As we went further up the valley
the roads died away, and it became an ordinary Scotch glen, the poor
pasturage of the hills creeping down into the valley, where it was
little better for the shelter, I mean little greener than on the
hill-sides; but a man must be of a churlish nature if, with a mind free
to look about, he should not find such a glen a pleasing place to travel
through, though seeing little but the busy brook, with here and there a
bush or tree, and cattle pasturing near the thinly-scattered dwellings.
But we came to one spot which I cannot forget, a single green field at
the junction of another brook with the Arey, a peninsula surrounded with
a close row of trees, which overhung the streams, and under their
branches we could just see a neat white house that stood in the middle
of the field enclosed by the trees. Before us was nothing but bare
hills, and the road through the bare glen. A person who has not
travelled in Scotland can scarcely imagine the pleasure we have had from
a stone house, though fresh from the workmen's hands, square and sharp;
there is generally such an appearance of equality in poverty through the
long glens of Scotland, giving the notion of savage ignorance--no house
better than another, and barns and houses all alike. This house had,
however, other recommendations of its own; even in the fertile parts of
Somersetshire it would have been a delicious spot; here, "'Mid mountain
wild set like a little nest," it was a resting-place for the fancy, and
to this day I often think of it, the cottage and its green covert, as an
image of romance, a place of which I have the same sort of knowledge as
of some of the retirements, the little valleys, described so livelily by
Spenser in his _Fairy Queen_.

We travelled on, the glen now becoming entirely bare. Passed a miserable
hut on a naked hill-side, not far from the road, where we were told by a
man who came out of it that we might refresh ourselves with a dram of
whisky. Went over the hill, and saw nothing remarkable till we came in
view of Loch Awe, a large lake far below us, among high mountains--one
very large mountain right opposite, which we afterwards found was called
Cruachan. The day was pleasant--sunny gleams and a fresh breeze; the
lake--we looked across it--as bright as silver, which made the islands,
three or four in number, appear very green. We descended gladly, invited
by the prospect before us, travelling downwards, along the side of the
hill, above a deep glen, woody towards the lower part near the brook;
the hills on all sides were high and bare, and not very stony: it made
us think of the descent from Newlands into Buttermere, though on a wider
scale, and much inferior in simple majesty.

After walking down the hill a long way we came to a bridge, under which
the water dashed through a dark channel of rocks among trees, the lake
being at a considerable distance below, with cultivated lands between.
Close upon the bridge was a small hamlet,[5] a few houses near together,
and huddled up in trees--a very sweet spot, the only retired village we
had yet seen which was characterized by "beautiful" wildness with
sheltering warmth. We had been told at Inverary that we should come to
a place where we might give our horse a feed of corn, and found on
inquiry that there was a little public-house here, or rather a hut
"where they kept a dram." It was a cottage, like all the rest, without a
sign-board. The woman of the house helped to take the horse out of
harness, and, being hungry, we asked her if she could make us some
porridge, to which she replied that "we should get that," and I followed
her into the house, and sate over her hearth while she was making it. As
to fire, there was little sign of it, save the smoke, for a long time,
she having no fuel but green wood, and no bellows but her breath. My
eyes smarted exceedingly, but the woman seemed so kind and cheerful that
I was willing to endure it for the sake of warming my feet in the ashes
and talking to her. The fire was in the middle of the room, a crook
being suspended from a cross-beam, and a hole left at the top for the
smoke to find its way out by: it was a rude Highland hut, unadulterated
by Lowland fashions, but it had not the elegant shape of the ferry-house
at Loch Ketterine, and the fire, being in the middle of the room, could
not be such a snug place to draw to on a winter's night.

  [Footnote 5: Cladich.--J. C. S.]

We had a long afternoon before us, with only eight miles to travel to
Dalmally, and, having been told that a ferry-boat was kept at one of the
islands, we resolved to call for it, and row to the island, so we went
to the top of an eminence, and the man who was with us set some children
to work to gather sticks and withered leaves to make a smoky fire--a
signal for the boatman, whose hut is on a flat green island, like a
sheep pasture, without trees, and of a considerable size: the man told
us it was a rabbit-warren. There were other small islands, on one of
which was a ruined house, fortification, or small castle: we could not
learn anything of its history, only a girl told us that formerly
gentlemen lived in such places. Immediately from the water's edge rose
the mountain Cruachan on the opposite side of the lake; it is woody
near the water and craggy above, with deep hollows on the surface. We
thought it the grandest mountain we had seen, and on saying to the man
who was with us that it was a fine mountain, "Yes," he replied, "it is
an excellent mountain," adding that it was higher than Ben Lomond, and
then told us some wild stories of the enormous profits it brought to
Lord Breadalbane, its lawful owner. The shape of Loch Awe is very
remarkable, its outlet being at one side, and only about eight miles
from the head, and the whole lake twenty-four miles in length. We looked
with longing after that branch of it opposite to us out of which the
water issues: it seemed almost like a river gliding under steep
precipices. What we saw of the larger branch, or what might be called
the body of the lake, was less promising, the banks being merely gentle
slopes, with not very high mountains behind, and the ground moorish and

The children, after having collected fuel for our fire, began to play on
the green hill where we stood, as heedless as if we had been trees or
stones, and amused us exceedingly with their activity: they wrestled,
rolled down the hill, pushing one another over and over again, laughing,
screaming, and chattering Erse: they were all without shoes and
stockings, which, making them fearless of hurting or being hurt, gave a
freedom to the action of their limbs which I never saw in English
children: they stood upon one another, body, breast, or face, or any
other part; sometimes one was uppermost, sometimes another, and
sometimes they rolled all together, so that we could not know to which
body this leg or that arm belonged. We waited, watching them, till we
were assured that the boatman had noticed our signal.--By the bye, if we
had received proper directions at Loch Lomond, on our journey to Loch
Ketterine, we should have made our way down the lake till we had come
opposite to the ferryman's house, where there is a hut, and the people
who live there are accustomed to call him by the same signal as here.
Luckily for us we were not so well instructed, for we should have missed
the pleasure of receiving the kindness of Mr. and Mrs. Macfarlane and
their family.

A young woman who wanted to go to the island accompanied us to the
water-side. The walk was pleasant, through fields with hedgerows, the
greenest fields we had seen in Scotland; but we were obliged to return
without going to the island. The poor man had taken his boat to another
place, and the waters were swollen so that we could not go close to the
shore, and show ourselves to him, nor could we make him hear by
shouting. On our return to the public-house we asked the woman what we
should pay her, and were not a little surprised when she answered,
"Three shillings." Our horse had had a sixpenny feed of miserable corn,
not worth threepence; the rest of the charge was for skimmed milk,
oat-bread, porridge, and blue milk cheese: we told her it was far too
much; and, giving her half-a-crown, departed. I was sorry she had made
this unreasonable demand, because we had liked the woman, and we had
before been so well treated in the Highland cottages; but, on thinking
more about it, I satisfied myself that it was no scheme to impose upon
us, for she was contented with the half-crown, and would, I daresay,
have been so with two shillings, if we had offered it her at first. Not
being accustomed to fix a price upon porridge and milk, to such as we,
at least, when we asked her she did not know what to say; but, seeing
that we were travelling for pleasure, no doubt she concluded we were
rich, and that what was a small gain to her could be no great loss to

When we had gone a little way we saw before us a young man with a bundle
over his shoulder, hung on a stick, bearing a great boy on his back:
seeing that they were travellers, we offered to take the boy on the car,
to which the man replied that he should be more than thankful, and set
him up beside me. They had walked from Glasgow, and that morning from
Inverary; the boy was only six years old, "But," said his father, "he
is a stout walker," and a fine fellow he was, smartly dressed in tight
clean clothes and a nice round hat: he was going to stay with his
grandmother at Dalmally. I found him good company; though I could not
draw a single word out of him, it was a pleasure to see his happiness
gleaming through the shy glances of his healthy countenance. Passed a
pretty chapel by the lake-side, and an island with a farm-house upon it,
and corn and pasture fields; but, as we went along, we had frequent
reason to regret the want of English hedgerows and English culture; for
the ground was often swampy or moorish near the lake where comfortable
dwellings among green fields might have been. When we came near to the
end of the lake we had a steep hill to climb, so William and I walked;
and we had such confidence in our horse that we were not afraid to leave
the car to his guidance with the child in it; we were soon, however,
alarmed at seeing him trot up the hill a long way before us; the child,
having raised himself up upon the seat, was beating him as hard as he
could with a little stick which he carried in his hand; and when he saw
our eyes were on him he sate down, I believe very sorry to resign his
office: the horse slackened his pace, and no accident happened.

When we had ascended half-way up the hill, directed by the man, I took a
nearer footpath, and at the top came in view of a most impressive scene,
a ruined castle on an island almost in the middle of the last
compartment of the lake, backed by a mountain cove, down which came a
roaring stream. The castle occupied every foot of the island that was
visible to us, appearing to rise out of the water; mists rested upon the
mountain side, with spots of sunshine between; there was a mild
desolation in the low grounds, a solemn grandeur in the mountains, and
the castle was wild, yet stately, not dismantled of its turrets, nor the
walls broken down, though completely in ruin. After having stood some
minutes I joined William on the high road, and both wishing to stay
longer near this place, we requested the man to drive his little boy on
to Dalmally, about two miles further, and leave the car at the inn. He
told us that the ruin was called Kilchurn Castle, that it belonged to
Lord Breadalbane, and had been built by one of the ladies of that family
for her defence during her Lord's absence at the Crusades, for which
purpose she levied a tax of seven years' rent upon her tenants;[6] he
said that from that side of the lake it did not appear, in very dry
weather, to stand upon an island; but that it was possible to go over to
it without being wet-shod. We were very lucky in seeing it after a great
flood; for its enchanting effect was chiefly owing to its situation in
the lake, a decayed palace rising out of the plain of waters! I have
called it a palace, for such feeling it gave to me, though having been
built as a place of defence, a castle or fortress. We turned again and
reascended the hill, and sate a long time in the middle of it looking on
the castle and the huge mountain cove opposite, and William, addressing
himself to the ruin, poured out these verses:[7]--

  [Footnote 6: Not very probable.--J. C. S.]

  [Footnote 7: _Address to Kilchurn Castle, upon Loch Awe._--ED.]

     Child of loud-throated War! the mountain stream
     Roars in thy hearing; but thy hour of rest
     Is come, and thou art silent in thy age.

We walked up the hill again, and, looking down the vale, had a fine view
of the lake and islands, resembling the views down Windermere, though
much less rich. Our walk to Dalmally was pleasant: the vale makes a turn
to the right, beyond the head of the lake, and the village of Dalmally,
which is, in fact, only a few huts, the manse or minister's house, the
chapel, and the inn, stands near the river, which flows into the head of
the lake. The whole vale is very pleasing, the lower part of the
hill-sides being sprinkled with thatched cottages, cultivated ground in
small patches near them, which evidently belonged to the cottages.

We were overtaken by a gentleman who rode on a beautiful white pony,
like Lilly, and was followed by his servant, a Highland boy, on another
pony, a little creature, not much bigger than a large mastiff, on which
were slung a pair of crutches and a tartan plaid. The gentleman entered
into conversation with us, and on our telling him that we were going to
Glen Coe, he advised us, instead of proceeding directly to Tyndrum, the
next stage, to go round by the outlet of Loch Awe to Loch Etive, and
thence to Glen Coe. We were glad to change our plan, for we wanted much
to see more of Loch Awe, and he told us that the whole of the way by
Loch Etive was pleasant, and the road to Tyndrum as dreary as possible;
indeed, we could see it at that time several miles before us upon the
side of a bleak mountain; and he said that there was nothing but moors
and mountains all the way. We reached the inn a little before sunset,
ordered supper, and I walked out. Crossed a bridge to look more nearly
at the parsonage-house and the chapel, which stands upon a bank close to
the river, a pretty stream overhung in some parts by trees. The vale is
very pleasing; but, like all the other Scotch vales we had yet seen, it
told of its kinship with the mountains and of poverty or some neglect on
the part of man.

_Thursday, September 1st._--We had been attended at supper by a civil
boy, whom we engaged to rouse us at six o'clock, and to provide us each
a basin of milk and bread, and have the car ready; all which he did
punctually, and we were off in good time. The morning was not
unpleasant, though rather cold, and we had some fear of rain. Crossed
the bridge, and passed by the manse and chapel, our road carrying us
back again in the direction we had come; but on the opposite side of the
river. Passed close to many of the houses we had seen on the hill-side,
which the lame gentleman had told us belonged to Lord Breadalbane, and
were attached to little farms, or "crofts," as he called them. Lord
Breadalbane had lately laid out a part of his estates in this way as an
experiment, in the hope of preventing discontent and emigration. We were
sorry we had not an opportunity of seeing into these cottages, and of
learning how far the people were happy or otherwise. The dwellings
certainly did not look so comfortable when we were near to them as from
a distance; but this might be chiefly owing to what the inhabitants did
not feel as an evil--the dirt about the doors. We saw, however--a sight
always painful to me--two or three women, each creeping after her single
cow, while it was feeding on the slips of grass between the
corn-grounds. Went round the head of the lake, and onwards close to the
lake-side. Kilchurn Castle was always interesting, though not so grand
as seen from the other side, with its own mountain cove and roaring
stream. It combined with the vale of Dalmally and the distant hills--a
beautiful scene, yet overspread with a gentle desolation. As we went
further down we lost sight of the vale of Dalmally. The castle, which we
often stopped to look back upon, was very beautiful seen in combination
with the opposite shore of the lake--perhaps a little bay, a tuft of
trees, or a slope of the hill. Travelled under the foot of the mountain
Cruachan, along an excellent road, having the lake close to us on our
left, woods overhead, and frequent torrents tumbling down the hills. The
distant views across the lake were not peculiarly interesting after we
were out of sight of Kilchurn Castle, the lake being wide, and the
opposite shore not rich, and those mountains which we could see were not

Came opposite to the village where we had dined the day before, and,
losing sight of the body of the lake, pursued the narrow channel or
pass,[8] which is, I believe, three miles long, out of which issues the
river that flows into Loch Etive. We were now enclosed between steep
hills, on the opposite side entirely bare, on our side bare or woody;
the branch of the lake generally filling the whole area of the vale. It
was a pleasing, solitary scene; the long reach of naked precipices on
the other side rose directly out of the water, exceedingly steep, not
rugged or rocky, but with scanty sheep pasturage and large beds of small
stones, purple, dove-coloured, or red, such as are called Screes in
Cumberland and Westmoreland. These beds, or rather streams of stones,
appeared as smooth as the turf itself, nay, I might say, as soft as the
feathers of birds, which they resembled in colour. There was no building
on either side of the water; in many parts only just room for the road,
and on the other shore no footing, as it might seem, for any creature
larger than the mountain sheep, and they, in treading amongst the
shelving stones, must often send them down into the lake below.

  [Footnote 8: The Pass of Awe.--J. C. S.]

After we had wound for some time through the valley, having met neither
foot-traveller, horse, nor cart, we started at the sight of a single
vessel, just as it turned round the point of a hill, coming into the
reach of the valley where we were. She floated steadily through the
middle of the water, with one large sail spread out, full swollen by the
breeze, that blew her right towards us. I cannot express what romantic
images this vessel brought along with her--how much more beautiful the
mountains appeared, the lake how much more graceful. There was one man
on board, who sate at the helm, and he, having no companion, made the
boat look more silent than if we could not have seen him. I had almost
said the ship, for on that narrow water it appeared as large as the
ships which I have watched sailing out of a harbour of the sea. A little
further on we passed a stone hut by the lake-side, near which were many
charcoal sacks, and we conjectured that the vessel had been depositing
charcoal brought from other parts of Loch Awe to be carried to the
iron-works at Loch Etive. A little further on we came to the end of the
lake, but where exactly it ended was not easy to determine, for the
river was as broad as the lake, and we could only say when it became
positively a river by the rushing of the water. It is, indeed, a grand
stream, the quantity of water being very large, frequently forming
rapids, and always flowing very quickly; but its greatness is
short-lived, for, after a course of three miles, it is lost in the great
waters of Loch Etive, a sea loch.

Crossed a bridge, and climbing a hill towards Taynuilt, our
baiting-place, we saw a hollow to the right below us, through which the
river continued its course between rocks and steep banks of wood.
William turned aside to look into the dell, but I was too much tired. We
had left it, two or three hundred yards behind, an open river, the
hills, enclosing the branch of the lake, having settled down into
irregular slopes. We were glad when we reached Taynuilt, a village of
huts, with a chapel and one stone house, which was the inn. It had begun
to rain, and I was almost benumbed with the cold, besides having a bad
headache; so it rejoiced me to see kind looks on the landlady's face,
and that she was willing to put herself in a bustle for our comfort; we
had a good fire presently, and breakfast was set out--eggs, preserved
gooseberries, excellent cream, cheese, and butter, but no wheat bread,
and the oaten cakes were so hard I could not chew them. We wished to go
upon Loch Etive; so, having desired the landlady to prepare a fowl for
supper, and engaged beds, which she promised us willingly--a proof that
we were not in the great road--we determined to find our way to the lake
and endeavour to procure a boat. It rained heavily, but we went on,
hoping the sky would clear up.

Walked through unenclosed fields, a sort of half-desolate country; but
when we came to the mouth of the river which issues out of Loch Awe, and
which we had to cross by a ferry, looking up that river we saw that the
vale down which it flowed was richly wooded and beautiful.

We were now among familiar fireside names. We could see the town of
Bunawe, a place of which the old woman with whom William lodged ten
years at Hawkshead used to tell tales half as long as an ancient
romance. It is a small village or port on the same side of Loch Etive on
which we stood, and at a little distance is a house built by a Mr. Knott
of Coniston Water-head, a partner in the iron-foundry at Bunawe, in the
service of whose family the old woman had spent her youth. It was an
ugly yellow-daubed building, staring this way and that, but William
looked at it with pleasure for poor Ann Tyson's sake.[9] We hailed the
ferry-boat, and a little boy came to fetch us; he rowed up against the
stream with all his might for a considerable way, and then yielding to
it, the boat was shot towards the shore almost like an arrow from a bow.
It was pleasing to observe the dexterity with which the lad managed his
oars, glorying in the appearance of danger--for he observed us watching
him, and afterwards, while he conveyed us over, his pride redoubled; for
my part, I was completely dizzy with the swiftness of the motion.

  [Footnote 9: The village dame with whom he lived when a school-boy at

We could not have a boat from the ferry, but were told that if we would
walk to a house half a mile up the river, we had a chance of getting
one. I went a part of the way with William, and then sate down under the
umbrella near some houses. A woman came out to talk with me, and pressed
me to take shelter in her house, which I refused, afraid of missing
William. She eyed me with extreme curiosity, asking fifty questions
respecting the object of our journey. She told me that it rained most
parts of the year there, and that there was no chance of fine weather
that day; and I believe when William came to tell me that we could have
a boat, she thought I was half crazed. We went down to the shore of the
lake, and, after having sate some time under a wall, the boatman came to
us, and we went upon the water. At first it did not rain heavily, and
the air was not cold, and before we had gone far we rejoiced that we had
not been faint-hearted. The loch is of a considerable width, but the
mountains are so very high that, whether we were close under them or
looked from one shore to the other, they maintained their dignity. I
speak of the higher part of the loch, above the town of Bunawe and the
large river, for downwards they are but hills, and the water spreads out
wide towards undetermined shores. On our right was the mountain
Cruachan, rising directly from the lake, and on the opposite side
another mountain, called Ben Durinish,[10] craggy, and exceedingly
steep, with wild wood growing among the rocks and stones.

  [Footnote 10: Duirinnis.--ED.]

We crossed the water, which was very rough in the middle, but calmer
near the shores, and some of the rocky basins and little creeks among
the rocks were as still as a mirror, and they were so beautiful with the
reflection of the orange-coloured seaweed growing on the stones or
rocks, that a child, with a child's delight in gay colours, might have
danced with joy at the sight of them. It never ceased raining, and the
tops of the mountains were concealed by mists, but as long as we could
see across the water we were contented; for though little could be seen
of the true shapes and permanent appearances of the mountains, we saw
enough to give us the most exquisite delight: the powerful lake which
filled the large vale, roaring torrents, clouds floating on the mountain
sides, sheep that pastured there, sea-birds and land birds. We sailed a
considerable way without coming to any houses or cultivated fields.
There was no horse-road on either side of the loch, but a person on
foot, as the boatman told us, might make his way at the foot of Ben
Durinish, namely on that side of the loch on which we were; there was,
however, not the least track to be seen, and it must be very difficult
and laborious.

We happened to say that we were going to Glen Coe, which would be the
journey of a long day and a half, when one of the men, pointing to the
head of the loch, replied that if we were there we should be but an
hour's walk from Glen Coe. Though it continued raining, and there was no
hope that the rain would cease, we could not help wishing to go by that
way: it was an adventure; we were not afraid of trusting ourselves to
the hospitality of the Highlanders, and we wanted to give our horse a
day's rest, his back having been galled by the saddle. The owner of the
boat, who understood English much better than the other man, his helper,
said he would make inquiries about the road at a farm-house a little
further on. He was very ready to talk with us, and was rather an
interesting companion; he spoke after a slow and solemn manner, in book
and sermon language and phrases:

                           A stately speech,
     Such as grave livers do in Scotland use.[11]

       [Footnote 11: See _Resolution and Independence_, stanza xiv.--ED.]

When we came to the farm-house of which the man had spoken, William and
he landed to make the necessary inquiries. It was a thatched house at
the foot of the high mountain Ben Durinish--a few patches or little beds
of corn belonging to it; but the spot was pastoral, the green grass
growing to the walls of the house. The dwelling-house was distinguished
from the outer buildings, which were numerous, making it look like two
or three houses, as is common in Scotland, by a chimney and one small
window with sash-panes; on one side was a little woody glen, with a
precipitous stream that fell into the bay, which was perfectly still,
and bordered with the rich orange-colour reflected from the sea-weed.
Cruachan, on the other side of the lake, was exceedingly grand, and
appeared of an enormous height, spreading out two large arms that made a
cove down which fell many streams swoln by the rain, and in the hollow
of the cove were some huts which looked like a village. The top of the
mountain was concealed from us by clouds, and the mists floated high and
low upon the sides of it.

William came back to the boat highly pleased with the cheerful
hospitality and kindness of the woman of the house, who would scarcely
permit him and his guide to go away without taking some refreshment. She
was the only person at home, so they could not obtain the desired
information; but William had been well repaid for the trouble of
landing; indeed, rainy as it was, I regretted that I had not landed
also, for I should have wished to bear away in my memory a perfect image
of this place,--the view from the doors, as well as the simple Highland
comforts and contrivances which were near it. I think I never saw a
retirement that would have so completely satisfied me, if I had wanted
to be altogether shut out from the world, and at the same time among the
grandest of the works of God; but it must be remembered that mountains
are often so much dignified by clouds, mists, and other accidents of
weather, that one could not know them again in the full sunshine of a
summer's noon. But, whatever the mountains may be in their own shapes,
the farm-house with its pastoral grounds and corn fields won from the
mountain, its warm out-houses in irregular stages one above another on
the side of the hill, the rocks, the stream, and sheltering bay, must at
all times be interesting objects. The household boat lay at anchor,
chained to a rock, which, like the whole border of the lake, was edged
with sea-weed, and some fishing-nets were hung upon poles,--affecting
images, which led our thoughts out to the wide ocean, yet made these
solitudes of the mountains bear the impression of greater safety and
more deep seclusion.

The rain became so heavy that we should certainly have turned back if we
had not felt more than usual courage from the pleasure we had enjoyed,
which raised hope where none was. There were some houses a little higher
up, and we determined to go thither and make further inquiries. We
could now hardly see to the other side of the lake, yet continued to go
on, and presently heard some people pushing through a thicket close to
us, on which the boatman called out, "There's one that can tell us
something about the road to Glen Coe, for he was born there." We looked
up and saw a ragged, lame fellow, followed by some others, with a
fishing-rod over his shoulder; and he was making such good speed through
the boughs that one might have half believed he was the better for his
lame leg. He was the head of a company of tinkers, who, as the men told
us, travel with their fishing-rods as duly as their hammers. On being
hailed by us the whole company stopped; and their lame leader and our
boatmen shouted to each other in Erse--a savage cry to our ears, in that
lonely and romantic place. We could not learn from the tinker all we
wished to know, therefore when we came near to the houses William landed
again with the owner of the boat. The rain was now so heavy that we
could see nothing at all--not even the houses whither William was going.

We had given up all thought of proceeding further at that time, but were
desirous to know how far that road to Glen Coe was practicable for us.
They met with an intelligent man, who was at work with others in a hay
field, though it rained so heavily; he gave them the information they
desired, and said that there was an acquaintance of his between that
place and Glen Coe, who, he had no doubt, would gladly accommodate us
with lodging and anything else we might need. When William returned to
the boat we shaped our course back again down the water, leaving the
head of Loch Etive not only unvisited, but unseen--to our great regret.
The rain was very heavy; the wind had risen, and both wind and tide were
against us, so that it was hard labour for the boatmen to push us on.
They kept as close to the shore as they could, to be under the wind; but
at the doubling of many of the rocky points the tide was so strong that
it was difficult to get on at all, and I was sometimes afraid that we
should be dashed against the rocks, though I believe, indeed, there was
not much danger.

Came down the same side of the lake under Ben Durinish, and landed at a
ferry-house opposite to Bunawe, where we gave the men a glass of whisky;
but our chief motive for landing was to look about the place, which had
a most wild aspect at that time. It was a low promontory, pushed far
into the water, narrowing the lake exceedingly; in the obscurity
occasioned by the mist and rain it appeared to be an island; it was
stained and weatherbeaten, a rocky place, seeming to bear no produce but
such as might be cherished by cold and storms, lichens or the
incrustations of sea rocks. We rowed right across the water to the mouth
of the river of Loch Awe, our boat following the ferry-boat which was
conveying the tinker crew to the other side, whither they were going to
lodge, as the men told us, in some kiln, which they considered as their
right and privilege--a lodging always to be found where there was any
arable land--for every farm has its kiln to dry the corn in: another
proof of the wetness of the climate. The kilns are built of stone,
covered in, and probably as good a shelter as the huts in which these
Highland vagrants were born. They gather sticks or heather for their
fire, and, as they are obstinate beggars, for the men said they would
not be denied, they probably have plenty of food with little other
trouble than that of wandering in search of it, for their smutty faces
and tinker equipage serve chiefly for a passport to a free and careless
life. It rained very heavily, and the wind blew when we crossed the
lake, and their boat and ours went tilting over the high waves. They
made a romantic appearance; three women were of the party; two men rowed
them over; the lame fellow sate at one end of the boat, and his
companion at the other, each with an enormous fishing-rod, which looked
very graceful, something like masts to the boat. When we had landed at
the other side we saw them, after having begged at the ferry-house,
strike merrily through the fields, no doubt betaking themselves to their
shelter for the night.

We were completely wet when we reached the inn; the landlady wanted to
make a fire for me upstairs, but I went into her own parlour to undress,
and her daughter, a pretty little girl, who could speak a few words of
English, waited on me; I rewarded her with one of the penny books bought
at Dumfries for Johnny, with which she was greatly delighted. We had an
excellent supper--fresh salmon, a fowl, gooseberries and cream, and
potatoes; good beds; and the next morning boiled milk and bread, and
were only charged seven shillings and sixpence for the whole--horse,
liquor, supper, and the two breakfasts. We thought they had made a
mistake, and told them so--for it was only just half as much as we had
paid the day before at Dalmally, the case being that Dalmally is in the
main road of the tourists. The landlady insisted on my bringing away a
little cup instead of our tin can, which she told me had been taken from
the car by some children: we set no little value on this cup as a
memorial of the good woman's honesty and kindness, and hoped to have
brought it home....

_Friday, September 2nd._--Departed at about seven o'clock this morning,
having to travel eight miles down Loch Etive, and then to cross a ferry.
Our road was at first at a considerable distance from the lake, and out
of sight of it, among undulating hills covered with coppice woods,
resembling the country between Coniston and Windermere, but it
afterwards carried us close to the water's edge; and in this part of our
ride we were disappointed. We knew that the high mountains were all at
the head of the lake, therefore had not expected the same awful grandeur
which we beheld the day before, and perceived by glimpses; but the
gentleman whom we met with at Dalmally had told us that there were many
fine situations for gentlemen's seats on this part of the lake, which
had made us expect greater loveliness near the shores, and better
cultivation. It is true there are pleasant bays, with grounds prettily
sloping to the water, and coppice woods, where houses would stand in
shelter and sun, looking on the lake; but much is yet wanting--waste
lands to be ploughed, peat-mosses drained, hedgerows reared; and the
woods demand a grant of longer life than is now their privilege.

But after we had journeyed about six miles a beautiful scene opened upon
us. The morning had been gloomy, and at this time the sun shone out,
scattering the clouds. We looked right down the lake, that was covered
with streams of dazzling sunshine, which revealed the indentings of the
dark shores. On a bold promontory, on the same side of the loch where we
were, stood an old castle, an irregular tall building, not without
majesty; and beyond, with leagues of water between, our eyes settled
upon the island of Mull, a high mountain, green in the sunshine, and
overcast with clouds,--an object as inviting to the fancy as the evening
sky in the west, and though of a terrestrial green, almost as visionary.
We saw that it was an island of the sea, but were unacquainted with its
name; it was of a gem-like colour, and as soft as the sky. The shores of
Loch Etive, in their moorish, rocky wildness, their earthly bareness, as
they lay in length before us, produced a contrast which, with the pure
sea, the brilliant sunshine, the long distance, contributed to the
aërial and romantic power with which the mountain island was invested.

Soon after, we came to the ferry. The boat being on the other shore, we
had to wait a considerable time, though the water was not wide, and our
call was heard immediately. The boatmen moved with surly tardiness, as
if glad to make us know that they were our masters. At this point the
lake was narrowed to the breadth of not a very wide river by a round ear
or promontory on the side on which we were, and a low ridge of
peat-mossy ground on the other. It was a dreary place, shut out from
the beautiful prospect of the Isle of Mull, and Dunstaffnage Castle--so
the fortress was called. Four or five men came over with the boat; the
horse was unyoked, and being harshly driven over rough stones, which
were as slippery as ice, with slimy seaweed, he was in terror before he
reached the boat, and they completed the work by beating and pushing him
by main force over the ridge of the boat, for there was no open end, or
plank, or any other convenience for shipping either horse or carriage. I
was very uneasy when we were launched on the water. A blackguard-looking
fellow, blind of one eye, which I could not but think had been put out
in some strife or other, held him by force like a horse-breaker, while
the poor creature fretted, and stamped with his feet against the bare
boards, frightening himself more and more with every stroke; and when we
were in the middle of the water I would have given a thousand pounds to
have been sure that we should reach the other side in safety. The tide
was rushing violently in, making a strong eddy with the stream of the
loch, so that the motion of the boat and the noise and foam of the waves
terrified him still more, and we thought it would be impossible to keep
him in the boat, and when we were just far enough from the shore to have
been all drowned he became furious, and, plunging desperately, his
hind-legs were in the water, then, recovering himself, he beat with such
force against the boat-side that we were afraid he should send his feet
through. All the while the men were swearing terrible oaths, and cursing
the poor beast, redoubling their curses when we reached the
landing-place, and whipping him ashore in brutal triumph.

We had only room for half a heartful of joy when we set foot on dry
land, for another ferry was to be crossed five miles further. We had
intended breakfasting at this house if it had been a decent place; but
after this affair we were glad to pay the men off and depart, though I
was not well and needed refreshment. The people made us more easy by
assuring us that we might easily swim the horse over the next ferry. The
first mile or two of our road was over a peat-moss; we then came near to
the sea-shore, and had beautiful views backwards towards the Island of
Mull and Dunstaffnage Castle, and forward where the sea ran up between
the hills. In this part, on the opposite side of the small bay or elbow
of the sea, was a gentleman's house on a hillside,[12] and a building on
the hill-top which we took for a lighthouse, but were told that it
belonged to the mansion, and was only lighted up on rejoicing days--the
laird's birthday, for instance.

  [Footnote 12: Lochnell House.--J. C. S.]

Before we had left the peat-moss to travel close to the sea-shore we
delighted ourselves with looking on a range of green hills, in shape
like those bordering immediately upon the sea, abrupt but not high; they
were, in fact, a continuation of the same; but retiring backwards, and
rising from the black peat-moss. These hills were of a delicate green,
uncommon in Scotland; a foaming rivulet ran down one part, and near it
lay two herdsmen full in the sun, with their dogs, among a troop of
black cattle which were feeding near, and sprinkled over the whole range
of hills--a pastoral scene, to our eyes the more beautiful from knowing
what a delightful prospect it must overlook. We now came under the
steeps by the sea-side, which were bold rocks, mouldering scars, or
fresh with green grass. Under the brow of one of these rocks was a
burying-ground, with many upright grave-stones and hay-cocks between,
and fenced round by a wall neatly sodded. Near it were one or two
houses, with out-houses under a group of trees, but no chapel. The
neatness of the burying-ground would in itself have been noticeable in
any part of Scotland where we have been; but it was more interesting
from its situation than for its own sake--within the sound of the
gentlest waves of the sea, and near so many quiet and beautiful
objects. There was a range of hills opposite, which we were here first
told were the hills of Morven, so much sung of by Ossian. We consulted
with some men respecting the ferry, who advised us by all means to send
our horse round the loch, and go ourselves over in the boat: they were
very civil, and seemed to be intelligent men, yet all disagreed about
the length of the loch, though we were not two miles from it: one said
it was only six miles long, another ten or fifteen, and afterwards a man
whom we met told us it was twenty.

We lost sight of the sea for some time, crossing a half-cultivated
space, then reached Loch Creran, a large irregular sea loch, with low
sloping banks, coppice woods, and uncultivated grounds, with a
scattering of corn fields; as it appeared to us, very thinly inhabited:
mountains at a distance. We found only women at home at the ferry-house.
I was faint and cold, and went to sit by the fire, but, though very much
needing refreshment, I had not heart to eat anything there--the house
was so dirty, and there were so many wretchedly dirty women and
children; yet perhaps I might have got over the dirt, though I believe
there are few ladies who would not have been turned sick by it, if there
had not been a most disgusting combination of laziness and coarseness in
the countenances and manners of the women, though two of them were very
handsome. It was a small hut, and four women were living in it: one, the
mother of the children and mistress of the house; the others I supposed
to be lodgers, or perhaps servants; but there was no work amongst them.
They had just taken from the fire a great pan full of potatoes, which
they mixed up with milk, all helping themselves out of the same vessel,
and the little children put in their dirty hands to dig out of the mess
at their pleasure. I thought to myself, How light the labour of such a
house as this! Little sweeping, no washing of floors, and as to scouring
the table, I believe it was a thing never thought of.

After a long time the ferryman came home; but we had to wait yet another
hour for the tide. In the meanwhile our horse took fright in consequence
of his terror at the last ferry, ran away with the car, and dashed out
umbrellas, greatcoats, etc.; but luckily he was stopped before any
serious mischief was done. We had determined, whatever it cost, not to
trust ourselves with him again in the boat; but sending him round the
lake seemed almost out of the question, there being no road, and
probably much difficulty in going round with a horse; so after some
deliberation with the ferryman it was agreed that he should swim over.
The usual place of ferrying was very broad, but he was led to the point
of a peninsula at a little distance. It being an unusual
affair,--indeed, the people of the house said that he was the first
horse that had ever swum over,--we had several men on board, and the
mistress of the house offered herself as an assistant: we supposed for
the sake of a share in eighteen-pennyworth of whisky which her husband
called for without ceremony, and of which she and the young lasses, who
had helped to push the boat into the water, partook as freely as the
men. At first I feared for the horse: he was frightened, and strove to
push himself under the boat; but I was soon tolerably easy, for he went
on regularly and well, and after from six to ten minutes' swimming
landed in safety on the other side. Poor creature! he stretched out his
nostrils and stared wildly while the man was trotting him about to warm
him, and when he put him into the car he was afraid of the sound of the
wheels. For some time our road was up a glen, the banks chiefly covered
with coppice woods, an unpeopled, but, though without grandeur, not a
dreary tract.

Came to a moor and descended into a broad vale, which opened to Loch
Linnhe, an arm of the sea, the prospect being shut in by high mountains,
on which the sun was shining among mists and resting clouds. A village
and chapel stood on the opposite hill; the hills sloped prettily down
to the bed of the vale, a large level area--the grounds in general
cultivated, but not rich. We went perhaps half a mile down the vale,
when our road struck right across it towards the village on the
hill-side. We overtook a tall, well-looking man, seemingly about thirty
years of age, driving a cart, of whom we inquired concerning the road,
and the distance to Portnacroish, our baiting-place. We made further
inquiries respecting our future journey, which he answered in an
intelligent manner, being perfectly acquainted with the geography of
Scotland. He told us that the village which we saw before us and the
whole tract of country was called Appin. William said that it was a
pretty, wild place, to which the man replied, "Sir, it is a very bonny
place if you did but see it on a fine day," mistaking William's praise
for a half-censure; I must say, however, that we hardly ever saw a
thoroughly pleasing place in Scotland, which had not something of
wildness in its aspect of one sort or other. It came from many causes
here: the sea, or sea-loch, of which we only saw as it were a glimpse
crossing the vale at the foot of it, the high mountains on the opposite
shore, the unenclosed hills on each side of the vale, with black cattle
feeding on them, the simplicity of the scattered huts, the
half-sheltered, half-exposed situation of the village, the imperfect
culture of the fields, the distance from any city or large town, and the
very names of Morven and Appin, particularly at such a time, when old
Ossian's old friends, sunbeams and mists, as like ghosts as any in the
mid-afternoon could be, were keeping company with them. William did all
he could to efface the unpleasant impression he had made on the
Highlander, and not without success, for he was kind and communicative
when we walked up the hill towards the village. He had been a great
traveller, in Ireland and elsewhere; but I believe that he had visited
no place so beautiful to his eyes as his native home, the strath of
Appin under the heathy hills.

We arrived at Portnacroish soon after parting from this man. It is a
small village--a few huts and an indifferent inn by the side of the
loch. Ordered a fowl for dinner, had a fire lighted, and went a few
steps from the door up the road, and turning aside into a field stood at
the top of a low eminence, from which, looking down the loch to the sea
through a long vista of hills and mountains, we beheld one of the most
delightful prospects that, even when we dream of fairer worlds than
this, it is possible for us to conceive in our hearts. A covering of
clouds rested on the long range of the hills of Morven, mists floated
very near to the water on their sides, and were slowly shifting about:
yet the sky was clear, and the sea, from the reflection of the sky, of
an ethereal or sapphire blue, which was intermingled in many places, and
mostly by gentle gradations, with beds of bright dazzling sunshine;
green islands lay on the calm water, islands far greener, for so it
seemed, than the grass of other places; and from their excessive beauty,
their unearthly softness, and the great distance of many of them, they
made us think of the islands of the blessed in the _Vision of Mirza_--a
resemblance more striking from the long tract of mist which rested on
the top of the steeps of Morven. The view was endless, and though not so
wide, had something of the intricacy of the islands and water of Loch
Lomond as we saw them from Inch-ta-vannach; and yet how different! At
Loch Lomond we could never forget that it was an inland lake of fresh
water, nor here that it was the sea itself, though among multitudes of
hills. Immediately below us, on an island a few yards from the shore,
stood an old keep or fortress;[13] the vale of Appin opened to the
water-side, with cultivated fields and cottages. If there were trees
near the shore they contributed little to the delightful effect of the
scene: it was the immeasurable water, the lofty mist-covered steeps of
Morven to the right, the emerald islands without a bush or tree, the
celestial colour and brightness of the calm sea, and the innumerable
creeks and bays, the communion of land and water as far as the eye could
travel. My description must needs be languid; for the sight itself was
too fair to be remembered. We sate a long time upon the hill, and
pursued our journey at about four o'clock. Had an indifferent dinner,
but the cheese was so excellent that William wished to buy the
remainder; but the woman would not consent to sell it, and forced us to
accept a large portion of it.

  [Footnote 13: Castle Stalker.--J. C. S.]

We had to travel up the loch, leaving behind us the beautiful scene
which we had viewed with such delight before dinner. Often, while we
were climbing the hill, did we stop to look back, and when we had gone
twenty or thirty yards beyond the point where we had the last view of
it, we left the car to the care of some children who were coming from
school, and went to take another farewell, always in the hope of bearing
away a more substantial remembrance. Travelled for some miles along a
road which was so smooth it was more like a gravel walk in a gentleman's
grounds than a public highway. Probably the country is indebted for this
excellent road to Lord Tweeddale,[14] now a prisoner in France. His
house stands upon an eminence within a mile of Portnacroish, commanding
the same prospect which I have spoken of, except that it must lose
something in not having the old fortress at the foot of it--indeed, it
is not to be seen at all from the house or grounds.

  [Footnote 14: George, seventh Marquis of Tweeddale, being in France in
  1803, was detained by Bonaparte, and died at Verdun, 9th August
  1804.--J. C. S.]

We travelled under steep hills, stony or smooth, with coppice-woods and
patches of cultivated land, and houses here and there; and at every
hundred yards, I may almost venture to say, a streamlet, narrow as a
ribbon, came tumbling down, and, crossing our road, fell into the lake
below. On the opposite shore, the hills--namely, the continuation of the
hills of Morven--were stern and severe, rising like upright walls from
the water's edge, and in colour more resembling rocks than hills, as
they appeared to us. We did not see any house, or any place where it was
likely a house could stand, for many miles; but as the loch was broad we
could not perhaps distinguish the objects thoroughly. A little after
sunset our road led us from the vale of the loch. We came to a small
river, a bridge, a mill, and some cottages at the foot of a hill, and
close to the loch.

Did not cross the bridge, but went up the brook, having it on our left,
and soon found ourselves in a retired valley, scattered over with many
grey huts, and surrounded on every side by green hills. The hay grounds
in the middle of the vale were unenclosed, which was enough to keep
alive the Scottish wildness, here blended with exceeding beauty; for
there were trees growing irregularly or in clumps all through the
valley, rocks or stones here and there, which, with the people at work,
hay-cocks sprinkled over the fields, made the vale look full and
populous. It was a sweet time of the evening: the moon was up; but there
was yet so much of day that her light was not perceived. Our road was
through open fields; the people suspended their work as we passed along,
and leaning on their pitchforks or rakes, with their arms at their
sides, or hanging down, some in one way, some in another, and no two
alike, they formed most beautiful groups, the outlines of their figures
being much more distinct than by day, and all that might have been harsh
or unlovely softened down. The dogs were, as usual, attendant on their
masters, and, watching after us, they barked aloud; yet even their
barking hardly disturbed the quiet of the place.

I cannot say how long this vale was; it made the larger half of a
circle, or a curve deeper than that of half a circle, before it opened
again upon the loch. It was less thoroughly cultivated and woody after
the last turning--the hills steep and lofty. We met a very tall stout
man, a fine figure, in a Highland bonnet, with a little girl, driving
home their cow: he accosted us, saying that we were late travellers, and
that we had yet four miles to go before we should reach Ballachulish--a
long way, uncertain as we were respecting our accommodations. He told us
that the vale was called the Strath of Duror, and when we said it was a
pretty place, he answered, Indeed it was, and that they lived very
comfortably there, for they had a good master, Lord Tweeddale, whose
imprisonment he lamented, speaking earnestly of his excellent qualities.
At the end of the vale we came close upon a large bay of the loch,
formed by a rocky hill, a continuation of the ridge of high hills on the
left side of the strath, making a very grand promontory, under which was
a hamlet, a cluster of huts, at the water's edge, with their little
fleet of fishing-boats at anchor, and behind, among the rocks, a hundred
slips of corn, slips and patches, often no bigger than a garden such as
a child, eight years old, would make for sport: it might have been the
work of a small colony from China. There was something touching to the
heart in this appearance of scrupulous industry, and excessive labour of
the soil, in a country where hills and mountains, and even valleys, are
left to the care of nature and the pleasure of the cattle that feed
among them. It was, indeed, a very interesting place, the more so being
in perfect contrast with the few houses at the entrance of the strath--a
sea hamlet, without trees, under a naked stony mountain, yet perfectly
sheltered, standing in the middle of a large bay which half the winds
that travel over the lake can never visit. The other, a little bowery
spot, with its river, bridge, and mill, might have been a hundred miles
from the sea-side.

The moon was now shining, and though it reminded us how far the evening
was advanced, we stopped for many minutes before we could resolve to go
on; we saw nothing stirring, neither men, women, nor cattle; but the
linen was still bleaching by the stony rivulet, which ran near the
houses in water-breaks and tiny cataracts. For the first half mile
after we had left this scene there was nothing remarkable; and
afterwards we could only see the hills, the sky, the moon, and moonlight
water. When we came within, it might be, half a mile of Ballachulish,
the place where we were to lodge, the loch narrowed very much, the hills
still continuing high. I speak inaccurately, for it split into two
divisions, the one along which we went being called Loch Leven.

The road grew very bad, and we had an anxious journey till we saw a
light before us, which with great joy we assured ourselves was from the
inn; but what was our distress when, on going a few steps further, we
came to a bridge half broken down, with bushes laid across to prevent
travellers from going over. After some perplexity we determined that I
should walk on to the house before us--for we could see that the bridge
was safe for foot-passengers--and ask for assistance. By great good
luck, at this very moment four or five men came along the road towards
us and offered to help William in driving the car through the water,
which was not very deep at that time, though, only a few days before,
the damage had been done to the bridge by a flood.

I walked on to the inn, ordered tea, and was conducted into a
lodging-room. I desired to have a fire, and was answered with the old
scruple about "giving fire,"--with, at the same time, an excuse "that it
was so late,"--the girl, however, would ask the landlady, who was
lying-in; the fire was brought immediately, and from that time the girl
was very civil. I was not, however, quite at ease, for William stayed
long, and I was going to leave my fire to seek after him, when I heard
him at the door with the horse and car. The horse had taken fright with
the roughness of the river-bed and the rattling of the wheels--the
second fright in consequence of the ferry--and the men had been obliged
to unyoke him and drag the car through, a troublesome affair for
William; but he talked less of the trouble and alarm than of the
pleasure he had felt in having met with such true goodwill and ready
kindness in the Highlanders. They drank their glass of whisky at the
door, wishing William twenty good wishes, and asking him twice as many
questions,--if he was married, if he had an estate, where he lived, etc.
etc. This inn is the ferry-house on the main road up into the Highlands
by Fort-William, and here Coleridge, though unknown to us, had slept
three nights before.

_Saturday, September 3rd._--When we have arrived at an unknown place by
moonlight, it is never a moment of indifference when I quit it again
with the morning light, especially if the objects have appeared
beautiful, or in any other way impressive or interesting. I have kept
back, unwilling to go to the window, that I might not lose the picture
taken to my pillow at night. So it was at Ballachulish: and instantly I
felt that the passing away of my own fancies was a loss. The place had
appeared exceedingly wild by moonlight; I had mistaken corn-fields for
naked rocks, and the lake had appeared narrower and the hills more steep
and lofty than they really were.

We rose at six o'clock, and took a basin of milk before we set forward
on our journey to Glen Coe. It was a delightful morning, the road
excellent, and we were in good spirits, happy that we had no more
ferries to cross, and pleased with the thought that we were going among
the grand mountains which we saw before us at the head of the loch. We
travelled close to the water's edge, and were rolling along a smooth
road, when the horse suddenly backed, frightened by the upright shafts
of a roller rising from behind the wall of a field adjoining the road.
William pulled, whipped, and struggled in vain; we both leapt upon the
ground, and the horse dragged the car after him, he going backwards down
the bank of the loch, and it was turned over, half in the water, the
horse lying on his back, struggling in the harness, a frightful sight!
I gave up everything; thought that the horse would be lamed, and the car
broken to pieces. Luckily a man came up in the same moment, and assisted
William in extricating the horse, and, after an hour's delay, with the
help of strings and pocket-handkerchiefs, we mended the harness and set
forward again, William leading the poor animal all the way, for the
regular beating of the waves frightened him, and any little gushing
stream that crossed the road would have sent him off. The village where
the blacksmith lived was before us--a few huts under the mountains, and,
as it seemed, at the head of the loch; but it runs further up to the
left, being narrowed by a hill above the village, near which, at the
edge of the water, was a slate quarry, and many large boats with masts,
on the water below, high mountains shutting in the prospect, which stood
in single, distinguishable shapes, yet clustered together--simple and
bold in their forms, and their surfaces of all characters and all
colours--some that looked as if scarified by fire, others green; and
there was one that might have been blasted by an eternal frost, its
summit and sides for a considerable way down being as white as
hoar-frost at eight o'clock on a winter's morning. No clouds were on the
hills; the sun shone bright, but the wind blew fresh and cold.

When we reached the blacksmith's shop, I left William to help to take
care of the horse, and went into the house. The mistress, with a child
in her arms and two or three running about, received me very kindly,
making many apologies for the dirty house, which she partly attributed
to its being Saturday; but I could plainly see that it was dirt of all
days. I sat in the midst of it with great delight, for the woman's
benevolent, happy countenance almost converted her slovenly and lazy way
of leaving all things to take care of themselves into a comfort and a

It was not a Highland hut, but a slated house built by the master of the
quarry for the accommodation of his blacksmith,--the shell of an
English cottage, as if left unfinished by the workmen, without plaster,
and with floor of mud. Two beds, with not over-clean bedclothes, were in
the room. Luckily for me, there was a good fire and a boiling kettle.
The woman was very sorry she had no butter; none was to be had in the
village: she gave me oaten and barley bread. We talked over the fire; I
answered her hundred questions, and in my turn put some to her. She
asked me, as usual, if I was married, how many brothers I had, etc. etc.
I told her that William was married, and had a fine boy; to which she
replied, "And the man's a decent man too." Her next-door neighbour came
in with a baby on her arm, to request that I would accept of some fish,
which I broiled in the ashes. She joined in our conversation, but with
more shyness than her neighbour, being a very young woman. She happened
to say that she was a stranger in that place, and had been bred and born
a long way off. On my asking her where, she replied, "At Leadhills"; and
when I told her that I had been there, a joy lighted up her countenance
which I shall never forget, and when she heard that it was only a
fortnight before, her eyes filled with tears. I was exceedingly affected
with the simplicity of her manners; her tongue was now let loose, and
she would have talked for ever of Leadhills, of her mother, of the
quietness of the people in general, and the goodness of Mrs. Otto, who,
she told me, was a "varra discreet woman." She was sure we should be
"well put up" at Mrs. Otto's, and praised her house and furniture;
indeed, it seemed she thought all earthly comforts were gathered
together under the bleak heights that surround the villages of
Wanlockhead and Leadhills: and afterwards, when I said it was a wild
country thereabouts, she even seemed surprised, and said it was not half
so wild as where she lived now. One circumstance which she mentioned of
Mrs. Otto I must record, both in proof of her "discretion," and the
sobriety of the people at Leadhills, namely, that no liquor was ever
drunk in her house after a certain hour of the night--I have forgotten
what hour; but it was an early one, I am sure not later than ten.

The blacksmith, who had come in to his breakfast, was impatient to
finish our job, that he might go out into the hay-field, for, it being a
fine day, every plot of hay-ground was scattered over with hay-makers.
On my saying that I guessed much of their hay must be spoiled, he told
me no, for that they had high winds, which dried it quickly,--the people
understood the climate, "were clever at the work, and got it in with a
blink." He hastily swallowed his breakfast, dry bread and a basin of
weak tea without sugar, and held his baby on his knee till he had done.

The women and I were again left to the fireside, and there were no
limits to their joy in me, for they discovered another bond of
connexion. I lived in the same part of England from which Mr. Rose,
the superintendent of the slate-quarries, and his wife, had come.
"Oh!" said Mrs. Stuart--so her neighbour called her, they not giving
each other their Christian names, as is common in Cumberland and
Westmoreland,--"Oh!" said she, "what would not I give to see anybody
that came from within four or five miles of Leadhills?" They both
exclaimed that I must see Mrs. Rose; she would make much of me--she
would have given me tea and bread and butter and a good breakfast. I
learned from the two women, Mrs. Stuart and Mrs. Duncan--so the other
was called--that Stuart had come from Leadhills for the sake of better
wages, to take the place of Duncan, who had resigned his office of
blacksmith to the quarries, as far as I could learn, in a pet, intending
to go to America, that his wife was averse to go, and that the scheme,
for this cause and through other difficulties, had been given up. He
appeared to be a good-tempered man, and made us a most reasonable charge
for mending the car. His wife told me that they must give up the house
in a short time to the other blacksmith; she did not know whither they
should go, but her husband, being a good workman, could find employment
anywhere. She hurried me out to introduce me to Mrs. Rose, who was at
work in the hay-field; she was exceedingly glad to see one of her
country-women, and entreated that I would go up to her house. It was a
substantial plain house, that would have held half-a-dozen of the common
huts. She conducted me into a sitting-room up-stairs, and set before me
red and white wine, with the remnant of a loaf of wheaten bread, which
she took out of a cupboard in the sitting-room, and some delicious
butter. She was a healthy and cheerful-looking woman, dressed like one
of our country lasses, and had certainly had no better education than
Peggy Ashburner, but she was as a chief in this secluded place, a Madam
of the village, and seemed to be treated with the utmost respect.

In our way to and from the house we met several people who interchanged
friendly greetings with her, but always as with one greatly superior.
She attended me back to the blacksmith's, and would not leave me till
she had seen us set forward again on our journey. Mrs. Duncan and Mrs.
Stuart shook me cordially, nay, affectionately, by the hand. I tried to
prevail upon the former, who had been my hostess, to accept of some
money, but in vain; she would not take a farthing, and though I told her
it was only to buy something for her little daughter, even seemed
grieved that I should think it possible. I forgot to mention that while
the blacksmith was repairing the car, we walked to the slate-quarry,
where we saw again some of the kind creatures who had helped us in our
difficulties the night before. The hovel under which they split their
slates stood upon an outjutting rock, a part of the quarry rising
immediately out of the water, and commanded a fine prospect down the
loch below Ballachulish, and upwards towards the grand mountains, and
the other horn of the vale where the lake was concealed. The blacksmith
drove our car about a mile of the road; we then hired a man and horse
to take me and the car to the top of Glen Coe, being afraid that if the
horse backed or took fright we might be thrown down some precipice.

But before we departed we could not resist our inclination to climb up
the hill which I have mentioned as appearing to terminate the loch. The
mountains, though inferior to those of Glen Coe, on the other side are
very majestic; and the solitude in which we knew the unseen lake was
bedded at their feet was enough to excite our longings. We climbed steep
after steep, far higher than they appeared to us, and I was going to
give up the accomplishment of our aim, when a glorious sight on the
mountain before us made me forget my fatigue. A slight shower had come
on, its skirts falling upon us, and half the opposite side of the
mountain was wrapped up in rainbow light, covered as by a veil with one
dilated rainbow: so it continued for some minutes; and the shower and
rainy clouds passed away as suddenly as they had come, and the sun shone
again upon the tops of all the hills. In the meantime we reached the
wished-for point, and saw to the head of the loch. Perhaps it might not
be so beautiful as we had imaged it in our thoughts, but it was
beautiful enough not to disappoint us,--a narrow deep valley, a perfect
solitude, without house or hut. One of the hills was thinly sprinkled
with Scotch firs, which appeared to be the survivors of a large forest:
they were the first natural wild Scotch firs we had seen. Though thinned
of their numbers, and left, comparatively, to a helpless struggle with
the elements, we were much struck with the gloom, and even grandeur, of
the trees.

Hastened back again to join the car, but were tempted to go a little out
of our way to look at a nice white house belonging to the laird of Glen
Coe, which stood sweetly in a green field under the hill near some tall
trees and coppice woods. At this house the horrible massacre of Glen Coe
began, which we did not know when we were there; but the house must
have been rebuilt since that time. We had a delightful walk through
fields, among copses, and by a river-side: we could have fancied
ourselves in some part of the north of England unseen before, it was so
much like it, and yet so different. I must not forget one place on the
opposite side of the water, where we longed to live--a snug white house
on the mountain-side, surrounded by its own green fields and woods, the
high mountain above, the loch below, and inaccessible but by means of
boats. A beautiful spot indeed it was; but in the retired parts of
Scotland a comfortable white house is itself such a pleasant sight, that
I believe, without our knowing how or why, it makes us look with a more
loving eye on the fields and trees than for their own sakes they

At about one o'clock we set off, William on our own horse, and I with my
Highland driver. He was perfectly acquainted with the country, being a
sort of carrier or carrier-merchant or shopkeeper, going frequently to
Glasgow with his horse and cart to fetch and carry goods and
merchandise. He knew the name of every hill, almost every rock; and I
made good use of his knowledge; but partly from laziness, and still more
because it was inconvenient, I took no notes, and now I am little better
for what he told me. He spoke English tolerably; but seldom understood
what was said to him without a "What's your wull?" We turned up to the
right, and were at the foot of the glen--the laird's house cannot be
said to be _in_ the glen. The afternoon was delightful,--the sun shone,
the mountain-tops were clear, the lake glittered in the great vale
behind us, and the stream of Glen Coe flowed down to it glittering among
alder-trees. The meadows of the glen were of the freshest green; one
new-built stone house in the first reach, some huts, hillocks covered
with wood, alder-trees scattered all over. Looking backward, we were
reminded of Patterdale and the head of Ulswater, but forward the
greatness of the mountains overcame every other idea.

The impression was, as we advanced up to the head of this first reach,
as if the glen were nothing, its loneliness and retirement--as if it
made up no part of my feeling: the mountains were all in all. That which
fronted us--I have forgotten its name--was exceedingly lofty, the
surface stony, nay, the whole mountain was one mass of stone, wrinkled
and puckered up together. At the second and last reach--for it is not a
winding vale--it makes a quick turning almost at right angles to the
first; and now we are in the depths of the mountains; no trees in the
glen, only green pasturage for sheep, and here and there a plot of
hay-ground, and something that tells of former cultivation. I observed
this to the guide, who said that formerly the glen had had many
inhabitants, and that there, as elsewhere in the Highlands, there had
been a great deal of corn where now the lands were left waste, and
nothing fed upon them but cattle. I cannot attempt to describe the
mountains. I can only say that I thought those on our right--for the
other side was only a continued high ridge or craggy barrier, broken
along the top into petty spiral forms--were the grandest I had ever
seen. It seldom happens that mountains in a very clear air look
exceedingly high, but these, though we could see the whole of them to
their very summits, appeared to me more majestic in their own nakedness
than our imaginations could have conceived them to be, had they been
half hidden by clouds, yet showing some of their highest pinnacles. They
were such forms as Milton might be supposed to have had in his mind when
he applied to Satan that sublime expression--

     His stature reached the sky.

The first division of the glen, as I have said, was scattered over with
rocks, trees, and woody hillocks, and cottages were to be seen here and
there. The second division is bare and stony, huge mountains on all
sides, with a slender pasturage in the bottom of the valley; and towards
the head of it is a small lake or tarn, and near the tarn a single
inhabited dwelling, and some unfenced hay-ground--a simple impressive
scene! Our road frequently crossed large streams of stones, left by the
mountain-torrents, losing all appearance of a road. After we had passed
the tarn the glen became less interesting, or rather the mountains, from
the manner in which they are looked at; but again, a little higher up,
they resume their grandeur. The river is, for a short space, hidden
between steep rocks: we left the road, and, going to the top of one of
the rocks, saw it foaming over stones, or lodged in dark black dens;
birch-trees grew on the inaccessible banks, and a few old Scotch firs
towered above them. At the entrance of the glen the mountains had been
all without trees, but here the birches climb very far up the side of
one of them opposite to us, half concealing a rivulet, which came
tumbling down as white as snow from the very top of the mountain.
Leaving the rock, we ascended a hill which terminated the glen. We often
stopped to look behind at the majestic company of mountains we had left.
Before us was no single paramount eminence, but a mountain waste,
mountain beyond mountain, and a barren hollow or basin into which we
were descending.

We parted from our companion at the door of a whisky hovel, a building
which, when it came out of the workmen's hands with its unglassed
windows, would, in that forlorn region, have been little better than a
howling place for the winds, and was now half unroofed. On seeing a
smoke, I exclaimed, "Is it possible any people can live there?" when at
least half a dozen, men, women, and children, came to the door. They
were about to rebuild the hut, and I suppose that they, or some other
poor creatures, would dwell there through the winter, dealing out whisky
to the starved travellers. The sun was now setting, the air very cold,
the sky clear; I could have fancied that it was winter-time, with hard
frost. Our guide pointed out King's House to us, our resting-place for
the night. We could just distinguish the house at the bottom of the
moorish hollow or basin--I call it so, for it was nearly as broad as
long--lying before us, with three miles of naked road winding through
it, every foot of which we could see. The road was perfectly white,
making a dreary contrast with the ground, which was of a dull earthy
brown. Long as the line of road appeared before us, we could scarcely
believe it to be three miles--I suppose owing to its being unbroken by
any one object, and the moor naked as the road itself, but we found it
the longest three miles we had yet travelled, for the surface was so
stony we had to walk most of the way.

The house looked respectable at a distance--a large square building,
cased in blue slates to defend it from storms,--but when we came close
to it the outside forewarned us of the poverty and misery within. Scarce
a blade of grass could be seen growing upon the open ground; the
heath-plant itself found no nourishment there, appearing as if it had
but sprung up to be blighted. There was no enclosure for a cow, no
appropriated ground but a small plot like a church-yard, in which were a
few starveling dwarfish potatoes, which had, no doubt, been raised by
means of the dung left by travellers' horses: they had not come to
blossoming, and whether they would either yield fruit or blossom I know
not. The first thing we saw on entering the door was two sheep hung up,
as if just killed from the barren moor, their bones hardly sheathed in
flesh. After we had waited a few minutes, looking about for a guide to
lead us into some corner of the house, a woman, seemingly about forty
years old, came to us in a great bustle, screaming in Erse, with the
most horrible guinea-hen or peacock voice I ever heard, first to one
person, then another. She could hardly spare time to show us up-stairs,
for crowds of men were in the house--drovers, carriers, horsemen,
travellers, all of whom she had to provide with supper, and she was, as
she told us, the only woman there.

Never did I see such a miserable, such a wretched place,--long rooms
with ranges of beds, no other furniture except benches, or perhaps one
or two crazy chairs, the floors far dirtier than an ordinary house could
be if it were never washed,--as dirty as a house after a sale on a rainy
day, and the rooms being large, and the walls naked, they looked as if
more than half the goods had been sold out. We sate shivering in one of
the large rooms for three-quarters of an hour before the woman could
find time to speak to us again; she then promised a fire in another
room, after two travellers, who were going a stage further, had finished
their whisky, and said we should have supper as soon as possible. She
had no eggs, no milk, no potatoes, no loaf-bread, or we should have
preferred tea. With length of time the fire was kindled, and, after
another hour's waiting, supper came,--a shoulder of mutton so hard that
it was impossible to chew the little flesh that might be scraped off the
bones, and some sorry soup made of barley and water, for it had no other

After supper, the woman, having first asked if we slept on blankets,
brought in two pair of sheets, which she begged that I would air by the
fire, for they would be dirtied below-stairs. I was very willing, but
behold! the sheets were so wet, that it would have been at least a
two-hours' job before a far better fire than could be mustered at King's
House,--for, that nothing might be wanting to make it a place of
complete starvation, the peats were not dry, and if they had not been
helped out by decayed wood dug out of the earth along with them, we
should have had no fire at all. The woman was civil, in her fierce, wild
way. She and the house, upon that desolate and extensive Wild, and
everything we saw, made us think of one of those places of rendezvous
which we read of in novels--Ferdinand Count Fathom, or Gil Blas,--where
there is one woman to receive the booty, and prepare the supper at
night. She told us that she was only a servant, but that she had now
lived there five years, and that, when but a "young lassie," she had
lived there also. We asked her if she had always served the same master,
"Nay, nay, many masters, for they were always changing." I verily
believe that the woman was attached to the place like a cat to the empty
house when the family who brought her up are gone to live elsewhere. The
sheets were so long in drying that it was very late before we went to
bed. We talked over our day's adventures by the fireside, and often
looked out of the window towards a huge pyramidal mountain[15] at the
entrance of Glen Coe. All between, the dreary waste was clear, almost,
as sky, the moon shining full upon it. A rivulet ran amongst stones near
the house, and sparkled with light: I could have fancied that there was
nothing else, in that extensive circuit over which we looked, that had
the power of motion.

  [Footnote 15: Buchail, the Shepherd of Etive.--J. C. S.]

In comparing the impressions we had received at Glen Coe, we found that
though the expectations of both had been far surpassed by the grandeur
of the mountains, we had upon the whole both been disappointed, and from
the same cause: we had been prepared for images of terror, had expected
a deep, den-like valley with overhanging rocks, such as William has
described in these lines, speaking of the Alps:--

                                       Brook and road
     Were fellow-travellers in this gloomy Pass,
     And with them did we journey several hours
     At a slow step. The immeasurable height
     Of woods decaying, never to be decayed!
     The stationary blasts of waterfalls;
     And everywhere along the hollow rent
     Winds thwarting winds, bewilder'd and forlorn;
     The torrents shooting from the clear blue sky,
     The rocks that mutter'd close upon our ears,
     Black drizzling crags that spake by the way-side
     As if a voice were in them; the sick sight
     And giddy prospect of the raving stream;
     The unfetter'd clouds, and region of the heavens,
     Tumult and peace, the darkness and the light,
     Were all like workings of one mind, the features
     Of the same face, blossoms upon one tree,
     Characters of the great Apocalypse,
     The Types and Symbols of Eternity,
     Of first, and last, and midst, and without end.[16]

       [Footnote 16: See _The Simplon Pass_, in "Poetical Works,"
       vol. ii. p. 69.--ED.]

The place had nothing of this character, the glen being open to the eye
of day, the mountains retiring in independent majesty. Even in the upper
part of it, where the stream rushed through the rocky chasm, it was but
a deep trench in the vale, not the vale itself, and could only be seen
when we were close to it.


_Sunday, September 4th._--We had desired to be called at six o'clock,
and rose at the first summons. Our beds had proved better than we
expected, and we had not slept ill; but poor Coleridge had passed a
wretched night here four days before. This we did not know; but since,
when he told us of it, the notion of what he must have suffered, with
the noise of drunken people about his ears all night, himself sick and
tired, has made our discomfort cling to my memory, and given these
recollections a twofold interest. I asked if it was possible to have a
couple of eggs boiled before our departure: the woman hesitated; she
thought I might, and sent a boy into the out-houses to look about, who
brought in one egg after long searching. Early as we had risen it was
not very early when we set off, for everything at King's House was in
unison--equally uncomfortable. As the woman had told us the night
before, "They had no hay and that was a loss." There were neither stalls
nor bedding in the stable, so that William was obliged to watch the
horse while it was feeding, for there were several others in the stable,
all standing like wild beasts, ready to devour each other's portion of
corn: this, with the slowness of the servant and other hindrances, took
up much time, and we were completely starved, for the morning was very
cold, as I believe all the mornings in that desolate place are.

When we had gone about a quarter of a mile I recollected that I had left
the little cup given me by the kind landlady at Taynuilt, which I had
intended that John should hereafter drink out of, in memory of our
wanderings. I would have turned back for it, but William pushed me on,
unwilling that we should lose so much time, though indeed he was as
sorry to part with it as myself.

Our road was over a hill called the Black Mount. For the first mile, or
perhaps more, after we left King's House, we ascended on foot; then came
upon a new road, one of the finest that was ever trod; and, as we went
downwards almost all the way afterwards, we travelled very quickly. The
motion was pleasant, the different reaches and windings of the road were
amusing; the sun shone, the mountain-tops were clear and cheerful, and
we in good spirits, in a bustle of enjoyment, though there never was a
more desolate region: mountains behind, before, and on every side; I do
not remember to have seen either patch of grass, flower, or flowering
heather within three or four miles of King's House. The low ground was
not rocky, but black, and full of white frost-bleached stones, the
prospect only varied by pools, seen everywhere both near and at a
distance, as far as the ground stretched out below us: these were
interesting spots, round which the mind assembled living objects, and
they shone as bright as mirrors in the forlorn waste. We passed neither
tree nor shrub for miles--I include the whole space from Glen Coe--yet
we saw perpetually traces of a long decayed forest, pieces of black
mouldering wood.

Through such a country as this we had travelled perhaps seven and a half
miles this morning, when, after descending a hill, we turned to the
right, and saw an unexpected sight in the moorland hollow into which we
were entering, a small lake bounded on the opposite side by a grove of
Scotch firs, two or three cottages at the head of it, and a lot of
cultivated ground with scattered hay-cocks. The road along which we were
going, after having made a curve considerably above the tarn, was seen
winding through the trees on the other side, a beautiful object, and,
luckily for us, a drove of cattle happened to be passing there at the
very time, a stream coursing the road, with off-stragglers to the
borders of the lake, and under the trees on the sloping ground.

In conning over our many wanderings I shall never forget the gentle
pleasure with which we greeted the lake of Inveroran and its few grey
cottages: we suffered our horse to slacken his pace, having now no need
of the comfort of quick motion, though we were glad to think that one of
those cottages might be the public-house where we were to breakfast. A
forest--now, as it appeared, dwindled into the small grove bordering the
lake--had, not many years ago, spread to that side of the vale where we
were: large stumps of trees which had been cut down were yet remaining
undecayed, and there were some single trees left alive, as if by their
battered black boughs to tell us of the storms that visit the valley
which looked now so sober and peaceful. When we arrived at the huts, one
of them proved to be the inn, a thatched house without a sign-board. We
were kindly received, had a fire lighted in the parlour, and were in
such good humour that we seemed to have a thousand comforts about us;
but we had need of a little patience in addition to this good humour
before breakfast was brought, and at last it proved a disappointment:
the butter not eatable, the barley-cakes fusty, the oat-bread so hard I
could not chew it, and there were only four eggs in the house, which
they had boiled as hard as stones.

Before we had finished breakfast two foot-travellers came in, and seated
themselves at our table; one of them was returning, after a long
absence, to Fort-William, his native home; he had come from Egypt, and,
many years ago, had been on a recruiting party at Penrith, and knew many
people there. He seemed to think his own country but a dismal land.

There being no bell in the parlour, I had occasion to go several times
and ask for what we wanted in the kitchen, and I would willingly have
given twenty pounds to have been able to take a lively picture of it.
About seven or eight travellers, probably drovers, with as many dogs,
were sitting in a complete circle round a large peat-fire in the middle
of the floor, each with a mess of porridge, in a wooden vessel, upon his
knee; a pot, suspended from one of the black beams, was boiling on the
fire; two or three women pursuing their household business on the
outside of the circle, children playing on the floor. There was nothing
uncomfortable in this confusion: happy, busy, or vacant faces, all
looked pleasant; and even the smoky air, being a sort of natural indoor
atmosphere of Scotland, served only to give a softening, I may say
harmony, to the whole.

We departed immediately after breakfast; our road leading us, as I have
said, near the lake-side and through the grove of firs, which extended
backward much further than we had imagined. After we had left it we came
again among bare moorish wastes, as before, under the mountains, so that
Inveroran still lives in our recollection as a favoured place, a flower
in the desert.

Descended upon the whole, I believe very considerably, in our way to
Tyndrum; but it was a road of long ups and downs, over hills and through
hollows of uncultivated ground; a chance farm perhaps once in three
miles, a glittering rivulet bordered with greener grass than grew on the
broad waste, or a broken fringe of alders or birches, partly concealing
and partly pointing out its course.

Arrived at Tyndrum at about two o'clock. It is a cold spot. Though, as I
should suppose, situated lower than Inveroran, and though we saw it in
the hottest time of the afternoon sun, it had a far colder aspect from
the want of trees. We were here informed that Coleridge, who, we
supposed, was gone to Edinburgh, had dined at this very house a few days
before, in his road to Fort-William. By the help of the cook, who was
called in, the landlady made out the very day: it was the day after we
parted from him; as she expressed it, the day after the "great speet,"
namely, the great rain. We had a moorfowl and mutton-chops for dinner,
well cooked, and a reasonable charge. The house was clean for a Scotch
inn, and the people about the doors were well dressed. In one of the
parlours we saw a company of nine or ten, with the landlady, seated
round a plentiful table,--a sight which made us think of the fatted calf
in the alehouse pictures of the Prodigal Son. There seemed to be a whole
harvest of meats and drinks, and there was something of festivity and
picture-like gaiety even in the fresh-coloured dresses of the people and
their Sunday faces. The white table-cloth, glasses, English dishes,
etc., were all in contrast with what we had seen at Inveroran: the
places were but about nine miles asunder, both among hills; the rank of
the people little different, and each house appeared to be a house of

We were I think better pleased with our treatment at this inn than any
of the lonely houses on the road, except Taynuilt; but Coleridge had not
fared so well, and was dissatisfied, as he has since told us, and the
two travellers who breakfasted with us at Inveroran had given a bad
account of the house.

Left Tyndrum at about five o'clock; a gladsome afternoon; the road
excellent, and we bowled downwards through a pleasant vale, though not
populous, or well cultivated, or woody, but enlivened by a river that
glittered as it flowed. On the side of a sunny hill a knot of men and
women were gathered together at a preaching. We passed by many droves of
cattle and Shetland ponies, which accident stamped a character upon
places, else unrememberable--not an individual character, but the soul,
the spirit, and solitary simplicity of many a Highland region.

We had about eleven miles to travel before we came to our lodging, and
had gone five or six, almost always descending, and still in the same
vale, when we saw a small lake before us after the vale had made a
bending to the left; it was about sunset when we came up to the lake;
the afternoon breezes had died away, and the water was in perfect
stillness. One grove-like island, with a ruin that stood upon it
overshadowed by the trees, was reflected on the water. This building,
which, on that beautiful evening, seemed to be wrapped up in religious
quiet, we were informed had been raised for defence by some Highland
chieftain. All traces of strength, or war, or danger are passed away,
and in the mood in which we were we could only look upon it as a place
of retirement and peace. The lake is called Loch Dochart. We passed by
two others of inferior beauty, and continued to travel along the side of
the same river, the Dochart, through an irregular, undetermined
vale,--poor soil and much waste land.

At that time of the evening when, by looking steadily, we could discover
a few pale stars in the sky, we saw upon an eminence, the bound of our
horizon, though very near to us, and facing the bright yellow clouds of
the west, a group of figures that made us feel how much we wanted in not
being painters. Two herdsmen, with a dog beside them, were sitting on
the hill, overlooking a herd of cattle scattered over a large meadow by
the river-side. Their forms, looked at through a fading light, and
backed by the bright west, were exceedingly distinct, a beautiful
picture in the quiet of a Sabbath evening, exciting thoughts and images
of almost patriarchal simplicity and grace. We were much pleased with
the situation of our inn, where we arrived between eight and nine
o'clock. The river was at the distance of a broad field from the door;
we could see it from the upper windows and hear its murmuring; the moon
shone, enlivening the large corn fields with cheerful light. We had a
bad supper, and the next morning they made us an unreasonable charge;
and the servant was uncivil, because, forsooth! we had no wine.

_N.B._--The travellers in the morning had spoken highly of this inn.[17]

  [Footnote 17: Suie.--J. C. S. _Quære_, Luib.--ED.]

_Monday, September 5th._--After drinking a basin of milk we set off
again at a little after six o'clock--a fine morning--eight miles to
Killin--the river Dochart always on our left. The face of the country
not very interesting, though not unpleasing, reminding us of some of the
vales of the north of England, though meagre, nipped-up, or shrivelled
compared with them. There were rocks, and rocky knolls, as about
Grasmere and Wytheburn, and copses, but of a starveling growth; the
cultivated ground poor. Within a mile or two of Killin the land was
better cultivated, and, looking down the vale, we had a view of Loch
Tay, into which the Dochart falls. Close to the town, the river took up
a roaring voice, beating its way over a rocky descent among large black
stones: islands in the middle turning the stream this way and that; the
whole course of the river very wide. We crossed it by means of three
bridges, which make one continued bridge of a great length. On an island
below the bridge is a gateway with tall pillars, leading to an old
burying-ground belonging to some noble family.[18] It has a singular
appearance, and the place is altogether uncommon and romantic--a remnant
of ancient grandeur: extreme natural wildness--the sound of roaring
water, and withal, the ordinary half-village, half-town bustle of an
every-day place.

  [Footnote 18: The burial-place of Macnab of Macnab.--J. C. S.]

The inn at Killin is one of the largest on the Scotch road: it stands
pleasantly, near the chapel, at some distance from the river Dochart,
and out of reach of its tumultuous noise; and another broad, stately,
and silent stream, which you cannot look at without remembering its
boisterous neighbour, flows close under the windows of the inn, and
beside the churchyard, in which are many graves. That river falls into
the lake at the distance of nearly a mile from the mouth of the Dochart.
It is bordered with tall trees and corn fields, bearing plentiful crops,
the richest we had seen in Scotland.

After breakfast we walked onwards, expecting that the stream would lead
us into some considerable vale; but it soon became little better than a
common rivulet, and the glen appeared to be short; indeed, we wondered
how the river had grown so great all at once. Our horse had not been
able to eat his corn, and we waited a long time in the hope that he
would be better. At eleven o'clock, however, we determined to set off,
and give him all the ease possible by walking up the hills, and not
pushing beyond a slow walk. We had fourteen miles to travel to Kenmore,
by the side of Loch Tay. Crossed the same bridge again, and went down
the south side of the lake. We had a delightful view of the village of
Killin, among rich green fields, corn and wood, and up towards the two
horns of the vale of Tay, the valley of the Dochart, and the other
valley with its full-grown river, the prospect terminated by mountains.
We travelled through lanes, woods, or open fields, never close to the
lake, but always near it, for many miles, the road being carried along
the side of a hill, which rose in an almost regularly receding steep
from the lake. The opposite shore did not much differ from that down
which we went, but it seemed more thinly inhabited, and not so well
cultivated. The sun shone, the cottages were pleasant, and the
goings-on of the harvest--for all the inhabitants were at work in the
corn fields--made the way cheerful. But there is an uniformity in the
lake which, comparing it with other lakes, made it appear tiresome. It
has no windings: I should even imagine, although it is so many miles
long, that, from some points not very high on the hills, it may be seen
from one end to the other. There are few bays, no lurking-places where
the water hides itself in the land, no outjutting points or
promontories, no islands; and there are no commanding mountains or
precipices. I think that this lake would be the most pleasing in
spring-time, or in summer before the corn begins to change colour, the
long tracts of hills on each side of the vale having at this season a
kind of patchy appearance, for the corn fields in general were very
small, mere plots, and of every possible shade of bright yellow. When we
came in view of the foot of the lake we perceived that it ended, as it
had begun, in pride and loveliness. The village of Kenmore, with its
neat church and cleanly houses, stands on a gentle eminence at the end
of the water. The view, though not near so beautiful as that of Killin,
is exceedingly pleasing. Left our car, and turned out of the road at
about the distance of a mile from the town, and after having climbed
perhaps a quarter of a mile, we were conducted into a locked-up
plantation, and guessed by the sound that we were near the cascade, but
could not see it. Our guide opened a door, and we entered a dungeon-like
passage, and, after walking some yards in total darkness, found
ourselves in a quaint apartment stuck over with moss, hung about with
stuffed foxes and other wild animals, and ornamented with a library of
wooden books covered with old leather backs, the mock furniture of a
hermit's cell. At the end of the room, through a large bow-window, we
saw the waterfall, and at the same time, looking down to the left, the
village of Kenmore and a part of the lake--a very beautiful prospect.


The transcript of the First Part of this Journal, and the Second as far
as page 43, were written before the end of the year 1803. I do not know
exactly when I concluded the remainder of the Second Part, but it was
resumed on the 2nd of February 1804. The Third Part was begun at the end
of the month of April 1805, and finished on the 31st of May.[19]

  [Footnote 19: It is difficult to know what the Author meant by the
  First, Second, and Third "Parts" of her Journal; as it is divided into
  separate "Weeks" throughout. It is not of much consequence however,
  and the above short "Memorandum"--inserted in the course of the
  transcript--has a special interest, as showing that the work of
  copying her Journal was carried on by Dorothy Wordsworth from 1803 to

On resuming her work of copying, the author wrote:--

_April 11th, 1805._--I am setting about a task which, however free and
happy the state of my mind, I could not have performed well at this
distance of time; but now, I do not know that I shall be able to go on
with it at all. I will strive, however, to do the best I can, setting
before myself a different object from that hitherto aimed at, which was,
to omit no incident, however trifling, and to describe the country so
minutely that you should, where the objects were the most interesting,
feel as if you had been with us. I shall now only attempt to give you an
idea of those scenes which pleased us most, dropping the incidents of
the ordinary days, of which many have slipped from my memory, and others
which remain it would be difficult, and often painful to me, to
endeavour to draw out and disentangle from other thoughts. I the less
regret my inability to do more, because, in describing a great part of
what we saw from the time we left Kenmore, my work would be little more
than a repetition of what I have said before, or, where it was not so, a
longer time was necessary to enable us to bear away what was most
interesting than we could afford to give.

_Monday, September 5th._--We arrived at Kenmore after sunset.

_Tuesday, September 6th._--Walked before breakfast in Lord Breadalbane's
grounds, which border upon the river Tay. The higher elevations command
fine views of the lake; and the walks are led along the river's banks,
and shaded with tall trees: but it seemed to us that a bad taste had
been at work, the banks being regularly shaven and cut as if by rule and
line. One or two of such walks I should well have liked to see; but they
are all equally trim, and I could not but regret that the fine trees had
not been left to grow out of a turf that cattle were permitted to feed
upon. There was one avenue which would well have graced the ruins of an
abbey or some stately castle. It was of a very great length, perfectly
straight, the trees meeting at the top in a cathedral arch, lessening in
perspective,--the boughs the roof, the stems the pillars. I never saw so
beautiful an avenue. We were told that some improver of pleasure-grounds
had advised Lord B. to cut down the trees, and lay the whole open to the
lawn, for the avenue is very near his house. His own better taste, or
that of some other person, I suppose, had saved them from the axe. Many
workmen were employed in building a large mansion something like that of
Inverary, close to the old house, which was yet standing; the situation,
as we thought, very bad, considering that Lord Breadalbane had the
command of all the ground at the foot of the lake, including hills both
high and low. It is in a hollow, without prospect either of the lake or
river, or anything else--seeing nothing, and adorning nothing. After
breakfast, left Kenmore, and travelled through the vale of Tay, I
believe fifteen or sixteen miles; but in the course of this we turned
out of our way to the Falls of Moness, a stream tributary to the Tay,
which passes through a narrow glen with very steep banks. A path like a
woodman's track has been carried through the glen, which, though the
private property of a gentleman, has not been taken out of the hands of
Nature, but merely rendered accessible by this path, which ends at the
waterfalls. They tumble from a great height, and are indeed very
beautiful falls, and we could have sate with pleasure the whole morning
beside the cool basin in which the waters rest, surrounded by high rocks
and overhanging trees. In one of the most retired parts of the dell, we
met a young man coming slowly along the path, intent upon a book which
he was reading: he did not seem to be of the rank of a gentleman, though
above that of a peasant.

Passed through the village of Aberfeldy, at the foot of the glen of
Moness. The birks of Aberfeldy are spoken of in some of the Scotch
songs, which no doubt grew in the stream of Moness; but near the village
we did not see any trees that were remarkable, except a row of
laburnums, growing as a common field hedge; their leaves were of a
golden colour, and as lively as the yellow blossoms could have been in
the spring. Afterwards we saw many laburnums in the woods, which we were
told had been "planted"; though I remember that Withering speaks of the
laburnum as one of the British plants, and growing in Scotland. The
twigs and branches being stiff, were not so graceful as those of our
garden laburnums, but I do not think I ever before saw any that were of
so brilliant colours in their autumnal decay. In our way to and from
Moness we crossed the Tay by a bridge of ambitious and ugly
architecture. Many of the bridges in Scotland are so, having eye-holes
between the arches, not in the battlements but at the outspreading of
the pillar of the arch, which destroys its simplicity, and takes from
the appearance of strength and security, without adding anything of
lightness. We returned, by the same road, to the village of Weem, where
we had left our car. The vale of Tay was very wide, having been so from
within a short distance of Kenmore: the reaches of the river are long;
and the ground is more regularly cultivated than in any vale we had yet
seen--chiefly corn, and very large tracts. Afterwards the vale becomes
narrow and less cultivated, the reaches shorter--on the whole resembling
the vale of Nith, but we thought it inferior in beauty.

One among the cottages in this narrow and wilder part of the vale fixed
our attention almost as much as a Chinese or a Turk would do passing
through the vale of Grasmere. It was a cottage, I believe, little
differing in size and shape from all the rest; but it was like a
visitor, a stranger come into the Highlands, or a model set up of what
may be seen in other countries. The walls were neatly plastered or
rough-cast, the windows of clean bright glass, and the door was
painted--before it a flower-garden, fenced with a curiously-clipped
hedge, and against the wall was placed the sign of a spinning-wheel. We
could not pass this humble dwelling, so distinguished by an appearance
of comfort and neatness, without some conjectures respecting the
character and manner of life of the person inhabiting it. Leisure he
must have had; and we pleased ourselves with thinking that some
self-taught mind might there have been nourished by knowledge gathered
from books, and the simple duties and pleasures of rural life.

At Logierait, the village where we dined, the vale widens again, and the
Tummel joins the Tay and loses its name; but the Tay falls into the
channel of the Tummel, continuing its course in the same direction,
almost at right angles to the former course of the Tay. We were sorry to
find that we had to cross the Tummel by a ferry, and resolved not to
venture in the same boat with the horse. Dined at a little public-house,
kept by a young widow, very talkative and laboriously civil. She took me
out to the back-door, and said she would show me a place which had once
been very grand, and, opening a door in a high wall, I entered a ruinous
courtyard, in which was a large old mansion, the walls entire and very
strong, but the roof broken in. The woman said it had been a palace of
one of the kings of Scotland. It was a striking and even an affecting
object, coming upon it, as I did, unawares,--a royal residence shut up
and hidden, while yet in its strength, by mean cottages; there was no
appearance of violence, but decay from desertion, and I should think
that it may remain many years without undergoing further visible change.
The woman and her daughter accompanied us to the ferry and crossed the
water with us; the woman said, but with not much appearance of honest
heart-feeling, that she could not be easy to let us go without being
there to know how we sped, so I invited the little girl to accompany
her, that she might have a ride in the car. The men were cautious, and
the horse got over with less alarm than we could have expected. Our way
was now up the vale, along the banks of the Tummel, an impetuous river;
the mountains higher than near the Tay, and the vale more wild, and the
different reaches more interesting.

When we approached near to Fascally, near the junction of the Garry with
the Tummel, the twilight was far advanced, and our horse not being
perfectly recovered, we were fearful of taking him on to
Blair-Athole--five miles further; besides, the Pass of Killicrankie was
within half a mile, and we were unwilling to go through a place so
celebrated in the dark; therefore, being joined by a traveller, we
inquired if there was any public-house near; he said there was; and that
though the accommodations were not good, we might do well enough for one
night, the host and his wife being very honest people. It proved to be
rather better than a common cottage of the country; we seated ourselves
by the fire, William called for a glass of whisky, and asked if they
could give us beds. The woman positively refused to lodge us, though we
had every reason to believe that she had at least one bed for me; we
entreated again and again in behalf of the poor horse, but all in vain;
she urged, though in an uncivil way, that she had been sitting up the
whole of one or two nights before on account of a fair, and that now she
wanted to go to bed and sleep; so we were obliged to remount our car in
the dark, and with a tired horse we moved on, and went through the Pass
of Killicrankie, hearing only the roaring of the river, and seeing a
black chasm with jagged-topped black hills towering above. Afterwards
the moon rose, and we should not have had an unpleasant ride if our
horse had been in better plight, and we had not been annoyed, as we were
almost at every twenty yards, by people coming from a fair held that day
near Blair--no pleasant prognostic of what might be our accommodation at
the inn, where we arrived between ten and eleven o'clock, and found the
house in an uproar; but we were civilly treated, and were glad, after
eating a morsel of cold beef, to retire to rest, and I fell asleep in
spite of the noisy drunkards below stairs, who had outstayed the fair.

_Wednesday, September 7th._--Rose early, and went before breakfast to
the Duke of Athol's gardens and pleasure-grounds, where we completely
tired ourselves with a three-hours' walk. Having been directed to see
all the waterfalls, we submitted ourselves to the gardener, who dragged
us from place to place, calling our attention to, it might be,
half-a-dozen--I cannot say how many--dripping streams, very pretty in
themselves, if we had had the pleasure of discovering them; but they
were generally robbed of their grace by the obtrusive ornaments which
were first seen. The whole neighbourhood, a great country, seems to
belong to the Duke of Athol. In his domain are hills and mountains,
glens and spacious plains, rivers and innumerable torrents; but near
Blair are no old woods, and the plantations, except those at a little
distance from the house, appear inconsiderable, being lost to the eye in
so extensive a circuit.

The castle stands on low ground, and far from the Garry, commanding a
prospect all round of distant mountains, a bare and cold scene, and,
from the irregularity and width of it, not so grand as one should
expect, knowing the great height of some of the mountains. Within the
Duke's park are three glens, the glen of the river Tilt and two others,
which, if they had been planted more judiciously, would have been very
sweet retirements; but they are choked up, the whole hollow of the
glens--I do not speak of the Tilt, for that is rich in natural
wood--being closely planted with trees, and those chiefly firs; but many
of the old fir-trees are, as single trees, very fine. On each side of
the glen is an ell-wide gravel walk, which the gardener told us was
swept once a week. It is conducted at the top of the banks, on each
side, at nearly equal height, and equal distance from the stream; they
lead you up one of these paths, and down the other--very wearisome, as
you will believe--mile after mile! We went into the garden, where there
was plenty of fruit--gooseberries, hanging as thick as possible upon the
trees, ready to drop off; I thought the gardener might have invited us
to refresh ourselves with some of his fruit after our long fatigue. One
part of the garden was decorated with statues, "images," as poor Mr.
Gill used to call those at Racedown, dressed in gay painted clothes; and
in a retired corner of the grounds, under some tall trees, appeared the
figure of a favourite old gamekeeper of one of the former Dukes, in the
attitude of pointing his gun at the game--"reported to be a striking
likeness," said the gardener. Looking at some of the tall larches, with
long hairy twigs, very beautiful trees, he told us that they were among
the first which had ever been planted in Scotland, that a Duke of Athol
had brought a single larch from London in a pot, in his coach, from
which had sprung the whole family that had overspread Scotland. This,
probably, might not be accurate, for others might afterwards have come,
or seed from other trees. He told us many anecdotes of the present Duke,
which I wish I could perfectly remember. He is an indefatigable
sportsman, hunts the wild deer on foot, attended by twelve Highlanders
in the Highland dress, which he himself formerly used to wear; he will
go out at four o'clock in the morning, and not return till night. His
fine family, "Athol's honest men, and Athol's bonny lasses," to whom
Burns, in his bumpers, drank health and long life, are dwindled away: of
nine, I believe only four are left: the mother of them is dead in a
consumption, and the Duke married again. We rested upon the heather seat
which Burns was so loth to quit that moonlight evening when he first
went to Blair Castle, and had a pleasure in thinking that he had been
under the same shelter, and viewed the little waterfall opposite with
some of the happy and pure feelings of his better mind. The castle has
been modernized, which has spoiled its appearance. It is a large
irregular pile, not handsome, but I think may have been picturesque, and
even noble, before it was docked of its battlements and whitewashed.

The most interesting object we saw at Blair was the chapel, shaded by
trees, in which the body of the impetuous Dundee lies buried. This quiet
spot is seen from the windows of the inn, whence you look, at the same
time, upon a high wall and a part of the town--a contrast which, I know
not why, made the chapel and its grove appear more peaceful, as if kept
so for some sacred purpose. We had a very nice breakfast, which we
sauntered over after our weary walk.

Being come to the most northerly point of our destined course, we took
out the map, loth to turn our backs upon the Highlands, and, looking
about for something which we might yet see, we fixed our eyes upon two
or three spots not far distant, and sent for the landlord to consult
with him. One of them was Loch Rannoch, a fresh-water lake, which he
told us was bordered by a natural pine forest, that its banks were
populous, and that the place being very remote, we might there see much
of the simplicity of the Highlander's life. The landlord said that we
must take a guide for the first nine or ten miles; but afterwards the
road was plain before us, and very good, so at about ten o'clock we
departed, having engaged a man to go with us. The Falls of Bruar, which
we wished to visit for the sake of Burns, are about three miles from
Blair, and our road was in the same direction for two miles.

After having gone for some time under a bare hill, we were told to leave
the car at some cottages, and pass through a little gate near a brook
which crossed the road. We walked upwards at least three quarters of a
mile in the hot sun, with the stream on our right, both sides of which
to a considerable height were planted with firs and larches
intermingled--children of poor Burns's song; for his sake we wished that
they had been the natural trees of Scotland, birches, ashes,
mountain-ashes, etc.; however, sixty or seventy years hence they will be
no unworthy monument to his memory. At present, nothing can be uglier
than the whole chasm of the hill-side with its formal walks. I do not
mean to condemn them, for, for aught I know, they are as well managed as
they could be; but it is not easy to see the use of a pleasure-path
leading to nothing, up a steep and naked hill in the midst of an
unlovely tract of country, though by the side of a tumbling stream of
clear water. It does not surely deserve the name of a pleasure-path. It
is three miles from the Duke of Athol's house, and I do not believe that
one person living within five miles of the place would wish to go twice
to it. The falls are high, the rocks and stones fretted and gnawed by
the water. I do not wonder at the pleasure which Burns received from
this stream; I believe we should have been much pleased if we had come
upon it as he did. At the bottom of the hill we took up our car, and,
turning back, joined the man who was to be our guide.

Crossed the Garry, and went along a moor without any road but straggling
cart-tracks. Soon began to ascend a high hill, and the ground grew so
rough--road there was none--that we were obliged to walk most of the
way. Ascended to a considerable height, and commanded an extensive
prospect bounded by lofty mountains, and having crossed the top of the
fell we parted with our guide, being in sight of the vale into which we
were to descend, and to pursue upwards till we should come to Loch
Rannoch, a lake, as described to us, bedded in a forest of Scotch pines.

When left to ourselves we sate down on the hillside, and looked with
delight into the deep vale below, which was exceedingly green, not
regularly fenced or cultivated, but the level area scattered over with
bushes and trees, and through that level ground glided a glassy river,
not in serpentine windings, but in direct turnings backwards and
forwards, and then flowed into the head of the Lake of Tummel; but I
will copy a rough sketch which I made while we sate upon the hill,
which, imperfect as it is, will give a better idea of the course of the
river--which I must add is more curious than beautiful--than my
description. The ground must be often overflowed in winter, for the
water seemed to touch the very edge of its banks. At this time the scene
was soft and cheerful, such as invited us downwards, and made us proud
of our adventure. Coming near to a cluster of huts, we turned thither, a
few steps out of our way, to inquire about the road; these huts were on
the hill, placed side by side, in a figure between a square and a
circle, as if for the sake of mutual shelter, like haystacks in a
farmyard--no trees near them. We called at one of the doors, and three
hale, stout men came out, who could speak very little English, and
stared at us with an almost savage look of wonder. One of them took much
pains to set us forward, and went a considerable way down the hill till
we came in sight of the cart road, which we were to follow; but we had
not gone far before we were disheartened. It was with the greatest
difficulty William could lead the horse and car over the rough stones,
and to sit in it was impossible; the road grew worse and worse,
therefore we resolved to turn back, having no reason to expect anything
better, for we had been told that after we should leave the untracked
ground all would be fair before us. We knew ourselves where we stood to
be about eight miles distant from the point where the river Tummel,
after having left the lake, joins the Garry at Fascally near the Pass of
Killicrankie, therefore we resolved to make our way thither, and
endeavour to procure a lodging at the same public-house where it had
been refused to us the night before. The road was likely to be very bad;
but, knowing the distance, we thought it more prudent than to venture
farther with nothing before us but uncertainty. We were forced to unyoke
the horse, and turn the car ourselves, owing to the steep banks on
either side of the road, and after much trouble we got him in again, and
set our faces down the vale towards Loch Tummel, William leading the car
and I walking by his side.

For the first two or three miles we looked down upon the lake, our road
being along the side of the hill directly above it. On the opposite side
another range of hills rose up in the same manner,--farm-houses thinly
scattered among the copses near the water, and cultivated ground in
patches. The lake does not wind, nor are the shores much varied by
bays,--the mountains not commanding; but the whole a pleasing scene. Our
road took us out of sight of the water, and we were obliged to procure a
guide across a high moor, where it was impossible that the horse should
drag us at all, the ground being exceedingly rough and untracked: of
course fatiguing for foot-travellers, and on foot we must travel. After
some time, the river Tummel again served us for a guide, when it had
left the lake. It was no longer a gentle stream, a mirror to the sky,
but we could hear it roaring at a considerable distance between steep
banks of rock and wood. We had to cross the Garry by a bridge, a little
above the junction of the two rivers; and were now not far from the
public-house, to our great joy, for we were very weary with our
laborious walk. I do not think that I had walked less than sixteen
miles, and William much more, to which add the fatigue of leading the
horse, and the rough roads, and you will not wonder that we longed for
rest. We stopped at the door of the house, and William entered as
before, and again the woman refused to lodge us, in a most inhuman
manner, giving no other reason than that she would not do it. We pleaded
for the poor horse, entreated, soothed, and flattered, but all in vain,
though the night was cloudy and dark. We begged to sit by the fire till
morning, and to this she would not consent; indeed, if it had not been
for the sake of the horse, I would rather have lain in a barn than on
the best of feather-beds in the house of such a cruel woman.

We were now, after our long day's journey, five miles from the inn at
Blair, whither we, at first, thought of returning; but finally resolved
to go to a public-house which we had seen in a village we passed
through, about a mile above the ferry over the Tummel, having come from
that point to Blair, for the sake of the Pass of Killicrankie and Blair
itself, and had now the same road to measure back again. We were obliged
to leave the Pass of Killicrankie unseen; but this disturbed us little
at a time when we had seven miles to travel in the dark, with a poor
beast almost sinking with fatigue, for he had not rested once all day.
We went on spiritless, and at a dreary pace. Passed by one house which
we were half inclined to go up to and ask for a night's lodging; and
soon after, being greeted by a gentle voice from a poor woman, whom,
till she spoke, though we were close to her, we had not seen, we
stopped, and asked if she could tell us where we might stay all night,
and put up our horse. She mentioned the public-house left behind, and we
told our tale, and asked her if she had no house to which she could take
us. "Yes, to be sure she had a house, but it was only a small cottage";
and she had no place for the horse, and how we could lodge in her house
she could not tell; but we should be welcome to whatever she had, so we
turned the car, and she walked by the side of it, talking to us in a
tone of human kindness which made us friends at once.

I remember thinking to myself, as I have often done in a stage-coach,
though never with half the reason to prejudge favourably, What sort of
countenance and figure shall we see in this woman when we come into the
light? And indeed it was an interesting moment when, after we had
entered her house, she blew the embers on the hearth, and lighted a
candle to assist us in taking the luggage out of the car. Her husband
presently arrived, and he and William took the horse to the
public-house. The poor woman hung the kettle over the fire. We had tea
and sugar of our own, and she set before us barley cakes, and milk which
she had just brought in; I recollect she said she "had been west to
fetch it." The Highlanders always direct you by east and west, north and
south--very confusing to strangers. She told us that it was her business
to "keep the gate" for Mr. ----, who lived at ----, just below,--that
is, to receive messages, take in letters, etc. Her cottage stood by the
side of the road leading to his house, within the gate, having, as we
saw in the morning, a dressed-up porter's lodge outside; but within was
nothing but the naked walls, unplastered, and floors of mud, as in the
common huts. She said that they lived rent-free in return for their
services; but spoke of her place and Mr. ---- with little respect,
hinting that he was very proud; and indeed her appearance, and subdued
manners, and that soft voice which had prepossessed us so much in her
favour, seemed to belong to an injured and oppressed being. We talked a
great deal with her, and gathered some interesting facts from her
conversation, which I wish I had written down while they were fresh in
my memory. They had only one child, yet seemed to be very poor, not
discontented but languid, and willing to suffer rather than rouse to any
effort. Though it was plain she despised and hated her master, and had
no wish to conceal it, she hardly appeared to think it worth while to
speak ill of him. We were obliged to sit up very late while our kind
hostess was preparing our beds. William lay upon the floor on some hay,
without sheets; my bed was of chaff; I had plenty of covering, and a
pair of very nice strong clean sheets,--she said with some pride that
she had good linen. I believe the sheets had been of her own spinning,
perhaps when she was first married, or before, and she probably will
keep them to the end of her life of poverty.

_Thursday, September 8th._--Before breakfast we walked to the Pass of
Killicrankie. A very fine scene; the river Garry forcing its way down a
deep chasm between rocks, at the foot of high rugged hills covered with
wood, to a great height. The Pass did not, however, impress us with awe,
or a sensation of difficulty or danger, according to our expectations;
but, the road being at a considerable height on the side of the hill, we
at first only looked into the dell or chasm. It is much grander seen
from below, near the river's bed. Everybody knows that this Pass is
famous in military history. When we were travelling in Scotland an
invasion was hourly looked for, and one could not but think with some
regret of the times when from the now depopulated Highlands forty or
fifty thousand men might have been poured down for the defence of the
country, under such leaders as the Marquis of Montrose or the brave man
who had so distinguished himself upon the ground where we were
standing. I will transcribe a sonnet suggested to William by this place,
and written in October 1803:--

     Six thousand Veterans practised in War's game,
     Tried men, at Killicrankie were array'd
     Against an equal host that wore the Plaid,
     Shepherds and herdsmen. Like a whirlwind came
     The Highlanders; the slaughter spread like flame,
     And Garry, thundering down his mountain road,
     Was stopp'd, and could not breathe beneath the load
     Of the dead bodies. 'Twas a day of shame
     For them whom precept and the pedantry
     Of cold mechanic battle do enslave.
     Oh! for a single hour of that Dundee
     Who on that day the word of onset gave:
     Like conquest might the men of England see,
     And her Foes find a like inglorious grave.

We turned back again, and going down the hill below the Pass, crossed
the same bridge we had come over the night before, and walked through
Lady Perth's grounds by the side of the Garry till we came to the
Tummel, and then walked up to the cascade of the Tummel. The fall is
inconsiderable, scarcely more than an ordinary "wear"; but it makes a
loud roaring over large stones, and the whole scene is grand--hills,
mountains, woods, and rocks. ---- is a very pretty place, all but the
house. Stoddart's print gives no notion of it. The house stands upon a
small plain at the junction of the two rivers, a close deep spot,
surrounded by high hills and woods. After we had breakfasted William
fetched the car, and, while we were conveying the luggage to the outside
of the gate, where it stood, Mr. ----, _mal apropos_, came very near to
the door, called the woman out, and railed at her in the most abusive
manner for "harbouring" people in that way. She soon slipped from him,
and came back to us: I wished that William should go and speak to her
master, for I was afraid that he might turn the poor woman away; but she
would not suffer it, for she did not care whether they stayed or not. In
the meantime, Mr. ---- continued scolding her husband; indeed, he
appeared to be not only proud, but very ignorant, insolent, and
low-bred. The woman told us that she had sometimes lodged poor
travellers who were passing along the road, and permitted others to cook
their victuals in her house, for which Mr. ---- had reprimanded her
before; but, as she said, she did not value her place, and it was no
matter. In sounding forth the dispraise of Mr. ----, I ought not to omit
mentioning that the poor woman had great delight in talking of the
excellent qualities of his mother, with whom she had been a servant, and
lived many years. After having interchanged good wishes we parted with
our charitable hostess, who, telling us her name, entreated us, if ever
we came that way again, to inquire for her.

We travelled down the Tummel till it is lost in the Tay, and then, in
the same direction, continued our course along the vale of Tay, which is
very wide for a considerable way, but gradually narrows, and the river,
always a fine stream, assumes more dignity and importance. Two or three
miles before we reached Dunkeld, we observed whole hill-sides, the
property of the Duke of Athol, planted with fir-trees till they are lost
among the rocks near the tops of the hills. In forty or fifty years
these plantations will be very fine, being carried from hill to hill,
and not bounded by a visible artificial fence.

Reached Dunkeld at about three o'clock. It is a pretty, small town, with
a respectable and rather large ruined abbey, which is greatly injured by
being made the nest of a modern Scotch kirk, with sash windows,--very
incongruous with the noble antique tower,--a practice which we
afterwards found is not uncommon in Scotland. Sent for the Duke's
gardener after dinner, and walked with him into the pleasure-grounds,
intending to go to the Falls of the Bran, a mountain stream which here
joins the Tay. After walking some time on a shaven turf under the shade
of old trees, by the side of the Tay, we left the pleasure-grounds, and
crossing the river by a ferry, went up a lane on the hill opposite till
we came to a locked gate by the road-side, through which we entered into
another part of the Duke's pleasure-grounds bordering on the Bran, the
glen being for a considerable way--for aught I know, two miles--thridded
by gravel walks. The walks are quaintly enough intersected, here and
there by a baby garden of fine flowers among the rocks and stones. The
waterfall, which we came to see, warned us by a loud roaring that we
must expect it; we were first, however, conducted into a small
apartment, where the gardener desired us to look at a painting of the
figure of Ossian, which, while he was telling us the story of the young
artist who performed the work, disappeared, parting in the middle,
flying asunder as if by the touch of magic, and lo! we are at the
entrance of a splendid room, which was almost dizzy and alive with
waterfalls, that tumbled in all directions--the great cascade, which was
opposite to the window that faced us, being reflected in innumerable
mirrors upon the ceiling and against the walls. We both laughed
heartily, which, no doubt, the gardener considered as high commendation;
for he was very eloquent in pointing out the beauties of the place.

We left the Bran, and pursued our walk through the plantations, where we
readily forgave the Duke his little devices for their sakes. They are
already no insignificant woods, where the trees happen to be oaks,
birches, and others natural to the soil; and under their shade the walks
are delightful. From one hill, through different openings under the
trees, we looked up the vale of Tay to a great distance, a magnificent
prospect at that time of the evening; woody and rich--corn, green
fields, and cattle, the winding Tay, and distant mountains. Looked down
the river to the town of Dunkeld, which lies low, under irregular hills,
covered with wood to their rocky summits, and bounded by higher
mountains, which are bare. The hill of Birnam, no longer Birnam "wood,"
was pointed out to us. After a very long walk we parted from our guide
when it was almost dark, and he promised to call on us in the morning to
conduct us to the gardens.

_Friday, September 9th._--According to appointment, the gardener came
with his keys in his hand, and we attended him whithersoever he chose to
lead, in spite of past experience at Blair. We had, however, no reason
to repent, for we were repaid for the trouble of going through the large
gardens by the apples and pears of which he gave us liberally, and the
walks through the woods on that part of the grounds opposite to where we
had been the night before were very delightful. The Duke's house is
neither large nor grand, being just an ordinary gentleman's house, upon
a green lawn, and whitewashed, I believe. The old abbey faces the house
on the east side, and appears to stand upon the same green lawn, which,
though close to the town, is entirely excluded from it by high walls and

We had been undetermined respecting our future course when we came to
Dunkeld, whether to go on directly to Perth and Edinburgh, or to make a
circuit and revisit the Trossachs. We decided upon the latter plan, and
accordingly after breakfast set forward towards Crieff, where we
intended to sleep, and the next night at Callander. The first part of
our road, after having crossed the ferry, was up the glen of the Bran.
Looking backwards, we saw Dunkeld very pretty under the hills, and
surrounded by rich cultivated ground, but we had not a good distant view
of the abbey.

Left our car, and went about a hundred yards from the road to see the
Rumbling Brig, which, though well worth our going out of the way even
much further, disappointed us, as places in general do which we hear
much spoken of as savage, tremendous, etc.,--and no wonder, for they are
usually described by people to whom rocks are novelties. The gardener
had told us that we should pass through the most populous glen in
Scotland, the glen of Amulree. It is not populous in the usual way, with
scattered dwellings; but many clusters of houses, hamlets such as we had
passed near the Tummel, which had a singular appearance, being like
small encampments, were generally without trees, and in high
situations--every house the same as its neighbour, whether for men or
cattle. There was nothing else remarkable in the glen. We halted at a
lonely inn at the foot of a steep barren moor, which we had to cross;
then, after descending considerably, came to the narrow glen, which we
had approached with no little curiosity, not having been able to procure
any distinct description of it.

At Dunkeld, when we were hesitating what road to take, we wished to know
whether that glen would be worth visiting, and accordingly put several
questions to the waiter, and, among other epithets used in the course of
interrogation, we stumbled upon the word "grand," to which he replied,
"No, I do not think there are any gentlemen's seats in it." However, we
drew enough from this describer and the gardener to determine us finally
to go to Callander, the Narrow Glen being in the way.

Entered the glen at a small hamlet at some distance from the head, and
turning aside a few steps, ascended a hillock which commanded a view to
the top of it--a very sweet scene, a green valley, not very narrow, with
a few scattered trees and huts, almost invisible in a misty gleam of
afternoon light. At this hamlet we crossed a bridge, and the road led us
down the glen, which had become exceedingly narrow, and so continued to
the end: the hills on both sides heathy and rocky, very steep, but
continuous; the rocks not single or overhanging, not scooped into
caverns or sounding with torrents: there are no trees, no houses, no
traces of cultivation, not one outstanding object. It is truly a
solitude, the road even making it appear still more so: the bottom of
the valley is mostly smooth and level, the brook not noisy: everything
is simple and undisturbed, and while we passed through it the whole
place was shady, cool, clear, and solemn. At the end of the long valley
we ascended a hill to a great height, and reached the top, when the sun,
on the point of setting, shed a soft yellow light upon every eminence.
The prospect was very extensive; over hollows and plains, no towns, and
few houses visible--a prospect, extensive as it was, in harmony with the
secluded dell, and fixing its own peculiar character of removedness from
the world, and the secure possession of the quiet of nature more deeply
in our minds. The following poem was written by William on hearing of a
tradition relating to it, which we did not know when we were there:--

     In this still place remote from men
     Sleeps Ossian, in the Narrow Glen,
     In this still place where murmurs on
     But one meek streamlet, only one.
     He sung of battles and the breath
     Of stormy war, and violent death,
     And should, methinks, when all was pass'd,
     Have rightfully been laid at last
     Where rocks were rudely heap'd, and rent
     As by a spirit turbulent;
     Where sights were rough, and sounds were wild,
     And everything unreconciled,
     In some complaining, dim retreat
     Where fear and melancholy meet;
     But this is calm; there cannot be
     A more entire tranquillity.

     Does then the bard sleep here indeed?
     Or is it but a groundless creed?
     What matters it? I blame them not
     Whose fancy in this lonely spot
     Was moved, and in this way express'd
     Their notion of its perfect rest.
     A convent, even a hermit's cell
     Would break the silence of this Dell;
     It is not quiet, is not ease,
     But something deeper far than these;
     The separation that is here
     Is of the grave; and of austere
     And happy feelings of the dead:
     And therefore was it rightly said
     That Ossian, last of all his race,
     Lies buried in this lonely place.

Having descended into a broad cultivated vale, we saw nothing
remarkable. Observed a gentleman's house,[20] which stood pleasantly
among trees. It was dark some time before we reached Crieff, a small
town, though larger than Dunkeld.

  [Footnote 20: Monzie probably.--J. C. S.]

_Saturday, September 10th._--Rose early, and departed without breakfast.
We were to pass through one of the most celebrated vales of Scotland,
Strath Erne. We found it a wide, long, and irregular vale, with many
gentlemen's seats under the hills, woods, copses, frequent cottages,
plantations, and much cultivation, yet with an intermixture of barren
ground; indeed, except at Killin and Dunkeld, there was always something
which seemed to take from the composure and simplicity of the cultivated
scenes. There is a struggle to overcome the natural barrenness, and the
end not attained, an appearance of something doing or imperfectly done,
a passing with labour from one state of society into another. When you
look from an eminence on the fields of Grasmere Vale, the heart is
satisfied with a simple undisturbed pleasure, and no less, on one of the
green or heathy dells of Scotland, where there is no appearance of
change to be, or having been, but such as the seasons make. Strath Erne
is so extensive a vale that, had it been in England, there must have
been much inequality, as in Wensley Dale; but at Wensley there is a
unity, a softness, a melting together, which in the large vales of
Scotland I never perceived. The difference at Strath Erne may come
partly from the irregularity, the undefined outline, of the hills which
enclose it; but it is caused still more by the broken surface, I mean
broken as to colour and produce, the want of hedgerows, and also the
great number of new fir plantations. After some miles it becomes much
narrower as we approach nearer the mountains at the foot of the lake of
the same name, Loch Erne.

Breakfasted at a small public-house, a wretchedly dirty cottage, but the
people were civil, and though we had nothing but barley cakes we made a
good breakfast, for there were plenty of eggs. Walked up a high hill to
view the seat of Mr. Dundas, now Lord Melville--a spot where, if he have
gathered much wisdom from his late disgrace or his long intercourse with
the world, he may spend his days as quietly as he need desire. It is a
secluded valley, not rich, but with plenty of wood: there are many
pretty paths through the woods, and moss huts in different parts. After
leaving the cottage where we breakfasted the country was very pleasing,
yet still with a want of richness; but this was less perceived, being
huddled up in charcoal woods, and the vale narrow. Loch Erne opens out
in a very pleasing manner, seen from a hill along which the road is
carried through a wood of low trees; but it does not improve afterwards,
lying directly from east to west without any perceivable bendings: and
the shores are not much broken or varied, not populous, and the
mountains not sufficiently commanding to make up for the deficiencies.
Dined at the head of the lake. I scarcely know its length, but should
think not less than four or five miles, and it is wide in proportion.
The inn is in a small village--a decent house.

Walked about half a mile along the road to Tyndrum, which is through a
bare glen,[21] and over a mountain pass. It rained when we pursued our
journey again, and continued to rain for several hours. The road which
we were to take was up another glen, down which came a stream that fell
into the lake on the opposite side at the head of it, so, after having
crossed the main vale, a little above the lake, we entered into the
smaller glen. The road delightfully smooth and dry--one gentleman's
house very pleasant among large coppice woods. After going perhaps three
miles up this valley, we turned to the left into another, which seemed
to be much more beautiful. It was a level valley, not--like that which
we had passed--a wide sloping cleft between the hills, but having a
quiet, slow-paced stream, which flowed through level green grounds
tufted with trees intermingled with cottages. The tops of the hills were
hidden by mists, and the objects in the valley seen through misty rain,
which made them look exceedingly soft, and indeed partly concealed them,
and we always fill up what we are left to guess at with something as
beautiful as what we see. This valley seemed to have less of the
appearance of barrenness or imperfect cultivation than any of the same
character we had passed through; indeed, we could not discern any traces
of it. It is called Strath Eyer. "Strath" is generally applied to a
broad vale; but this, though open, is not broad.

  [Footnote 21: Glen Ogle.--J. C. S.]

We next came to a lake, called Loch Lubnaig, a name which signifies
"winding." In shape it somewhat resembles Ulswater, but is much narrower
and shorter, being only four miles in length. The character of this lake
is simple and grand. On the side opposite to where we were is a range of
steep craggy mountains, one of which--like Place Fell--encroaching upon
the bed of the lake, forces it to make a considerable bending. I have
forgotten the name of this precipice: it is a very remarkable one, being
almost perpendicular, and very rugged.

We, on the other side, travelled under steep and rocky hills which were
often covered with low woods to a considerable height; there were one or
two farm-houses, and a few cottages. A neat white dwelling[22] on the
side of the hill over against the bold steep of which I have spoken, had
been the residence of the famous traveller Bruce, who, all his travels
ended, had arranged the history of them in that solitude--as deep as any
Abyssinian one--among the mountains of his native country, where he
passed several years. Whether he died there or not we did not learn; but
the manner of his death was remarkable and affecting,--from a fall
down-stairs in his own house, after so many dangers through which
fortitude and courage had never failed to sustain him. The house stands
sweetly, surrounded by coppice-woods and green fields. On the other
side, I believe, were no houses till we came near to the outlet, where a
few low huts looked very beautiful, with their dark brown roofs, near a
stream which hurried down the mountain, and after its turbulent course
travelled a short way over a level green, and was lost in the lake.

  [Footnote 22: Ardhullary.--J. C. S.]

Within a few miles of Callander we come into a grand region; the
mountains to a considerable height were covered with wood, enclosing us
in a narrow passage; the stream on our right, generally concealed by
wood, made a loud roaring; at one place, in particular, it fell down the
rocks in a succession of cascades. The scene is much celebrated in
Scotland, and is called the Pass of Leny. It was nearly dark when we
reached Callander. We were wet and cold, and glad of a good fire. The
inn was comfortable; we drank tea; and after tea the waiter presented us
with a pamphlet descriptive of the neighbourhood of Callander, which we
brought away with us, and I am very sorry I lost it.


_Sunday, September 11th._--Immediately after breakfast, the morning
being fine, we set off with cheerful spirits towards the Trossachs,
intending to take up our lodging at the house of our old friend the
ferryman. A boy accompanied us to convey the horse and car back to
Callander from the head of Loch Achray. The country near Callander is
very pleasing; but, as almost everywhere else, imperfectly cultivated.
We went up a broad vale, through which runs the stream from Loch
Ketterine, and came to Loch Vennachar, a larger lake than Loch Achray,
the small one which had given us such unexpected delight when we left
the Pass of the Trossachs. Loch Vennachar is much larger, but greatly
inferior in beauty to the image which we had conceived of its neighbour,
and so the reality proved to us when we came up to that little lake, and
saw it before us in its true shape in the cheerful sunshine. The
Trossachs, overtopped by Benledi and other high mountains, enclose the
lake at the head; and those houses which we had seen before, with their
corn fields sloping towards the water, stood very prettily under low
woods. The fields did not appear so rich as when we had seen them
through the veil of mist; but yet, as in framing our expectations we had
allowed for a much greater difference, so we were even a second time
surprised with pleasure at the same spot.

Went as far as these houses of which I have spoken, in the car, and then
walked on, intending to pursue the road up the side of Loch Ketterine
along which Coleridge had come; but we had resolved to spend some hours
in the neighbourhood of the Trossachs, and accordingly coasted the head
of Loch Achray, and pursued the brook between the two lakes as far as
there was any track. Here we found, to our surprise--for we had expected
nothing but heath and rocks like the rest of the neighbourhood of the
Trossachs--a secluded farm, a plot of verdant ground with a single
cottage and its company of out-houses. We turned back, and went to the
very point from which we had first looked upon Loch Achray when we were
here with Coleridge. It was no longer a visionary scene: the sun shone
into every crevice of the hills, and the mountain-tops were clear. After
some time we went into the pass from the Trossachs, and were delighted
to behold the forms of objects fully revealed, and even surpassing in
loveliness and variety what we had conceived. The mountains, I think,
appeared not so high; but on the whole we had not the smallest
disappointment; the heather was fading, though still beautiful.

Sate for half-an-hour in Lady Perth's shed, and scrambled over the rocks
and through the thickets at the head of the lake. I went till I could
make my way no further, and left William to go to the top of the hill,
whence he had a distinct view, as on a map, of the intricacies of the
lake and the course of the river. Returned to the huts, and, after
having taken a second dinner of the food we had brought from Callander,
set our faces towards the head of Loch Ketterine. I can add nothing to
my former description of the Trossachs, except that we departed with our
old delightful remembrances endeared, and many new ones. The path or
road--for it was neither the one nor the other, but something between
both--is the pleasantest I have ever travelled in my life for the same
length of way,--now with marks of sledges or wheels, or none at all,
bare or green, as it might happen; now a little descent, now a level;
sometimes a shady lane, at others an open track through green pastures;
then again it would lead us into thick coppice-woods, which often
entirely shut out the lake, and again admitted it by glimpses. We have
never had a more delightful walk than this evening. Ben Lomond and the
three pointed-topped mountains of Loch Lomond, which we had seen from
the Garrison, were very majestic under the clear sky, the lake
perfectly calm, the air sweet and mild. I felt that it was much more
interesting to visit a place where we have been before than it can
possibly be the first time, except under peculiar circumstances. The sun
had been set for some time, when, being within a quarter of a mile of
the ferryman's hut, our path having led us close to the shore of the
calm lake, we met two neatly dressed women, without hats, who had
probably been taking their Sunday evening's walk. One of them said to us
in a friendly, soft tone of voice, "What! you are stepping westward?" I
cannot describe how affecting this simple expression was in that remote
place, with the western sky in front, yet glowing with the departed sun.
William wrote the following poem long after, in remembrance of his
feelings and mine:--

     "What! you are stepping westward?" Yea,
     'Twould be a wildish destiny
     If we, who thus together roam
     In a strange land, and far from home,
     Were in this place the guests of chance:
     Yet who would stop, or fear to advance,
     Though home or shelter he had none,
     With such a sky to lead him on?

     The dewy ground was dark and cold,
     Behind all gloomy to behold,
     And stepping westward seem'd to be
     A kind of heavenly destiny;
     I liked the greeting, 'twas a sound
     Of something without place or bound;
     And seem'd to give me spiritual right
     To travel through that region bright.

     The voice was soft; and she who spake
     Was walking by her native Lake;
     The salutation was to me
     The very sound of courtesy;
     Its power was felt, and while my eye
     Was fix'd upon the glowing sky,
     The echo of the voice enwrought
     A human sweetness with the thought
     Of travelling through the world that lay
     Before me in my endless way.

We went up to the door of our boatman's hut as to a home, and scarcely
less confident of a cordial welcome than if we had been approaching our
own cottage at Grasmere. It had been a very pleasing thought, while we
were walking by the side of the beautiful lake, that, few hours as we
had been there, there was a home for us in one of its quiet dwellings.
Accordingly, so we found it; the good woman, who had been at a preaching
by the lake-side, was in her holiday dress at the door, and seemed to be
rejoiced at the sight of us. She led us into the hut in haste to supply
our wants; we took once more a refreshing meal by her fireside, and,
though not so merry as the last time, we were not less happy, bating our
regrets that Coleridge was not in his old place. I slept in the same bed
as before, and listened to the household stream, which now only made a
very low murmuring.

_Monday, September 12th._--Rejoiced in the morning to see the sun
shining upon the hills when I first looked out through the open
window-place at my bed's head. We rose early, and after breakfast, our
old companion, who was to be our guide for the day, rowed us over the
water to the same point where Coleridge and I had sate down and eaten
our dinner, while William had gone to survey the unknown coast. We
intended to cross Loch Lomond, follow the lake to Glenfalloch, above the
head of it, and then come over the mountains to Glengyle, and so down
the glen, and passing Mr. Macfarlane's house, back again to the
ferry-house, where we should sleep. So, a third time we went through the
mountain hollow, now familiar ground. The inhabitants had not yet got in
all their hay, and were at work in the fields; our guide often stopped
to talk with them, and no doubt was called upon to answer many
inquiries respecting us two strangers.

At the ferry-house of Inversneyde we had not the happy sight of the
Highland girl and her companion, but the good woman received us
cordially, gave me milk, and talked of Coleridge, who, the morning after
we parted from him, had been at her house to fetch his watch, which he
had forgotten two days before. He has since told me that he questioned
her respecting the miserable condition of her hut, which, as you may
remember, admitted the rain at the door, and retained it in the hollows
of the mud floor: he told her how easy it would be to remove these
inconveniences, and to contrive something, at least, to prevent the wind
from entering at the window-places, if not a glass window for light and
warmth by day. She replied that this was very true, but if they made any
improvements the laird would conclude that they were growing rich, and
would raise their rent.

The ferryman happened to be just ready at the moment to go over the lake
with a poor man, his wife and child. The little girl, about three years
old, cried all the way, terrified by the water. When we parted from this
family, they going down the lake, and we up it, I could not but think of
the difference in our condition to that poor woman, who, with her
husband, had been driven from her home by want of work, and was now
going a long journey to seek it elsewhere: every step was painful toil,
for she had either her child to bear or a heavy burthen. _I_ walked as
she did, but pleasure was my object, and if toil came along with it,
even _that_ was pleasure,--pleasure, at least, it would be in the

We were, I believe, nine miles from Glenfalloch when we left the boat.
To us, with minds at ease, the walk was delightful; it could not be
otherwise, for we passed by a continual succession of rocks, woods, and
mountains; but the houses were few, and the ground cultivated only in
small portions near the water, consequently there was not that sort of
variety which leaves distinct separate remembrances, but one impression
of solitude and greatness. While the Highlander and I were plodding on
together side by side, interspersing long silences with now and then a
question or a remark, looking down to the lake he espied two small rocky
islands, and pointing to them, said to me, "It will be gay[23] and
dangerous sailing there in stormy weather when the water is high." In
giving my assent I could not help smiling, but I afterwards found that a
like combination of words is not uncommon in Scotland, for, at
Edinburgh, William being afraid of rain, asked the ostler what he
thought, who, looking up to the sky, pronounced it to be "gay and dull,"
and therefore rain might be expected. The most remarkable object we saw
was a huge single stone, I believe three or four times the size of
Bowder Stone. The top of it, which on one side was sloping like the roof
of a house, was covered with heather. William climbed up the rock, which
would have been no easy task but to a mountaineer, and we constructed a
rope of pocket-handkerchiefs, garters, plaids, coats, etc., and measured
its height. It was _so_ many times the length of William's
walking-stick, but, unfortunately, having lost the stick, we have lost
the measure. The ferryman told us that a preaching was held there once
in three months by a certain minister--I think of Arrochar--who engages,
as a part of his office, to perform the service. The interesting
feelings we had connected with the Highland Sabbath and Highland worship
returned here with double force. The rock, though on one side a high
perpendicular wall, in no place overhung so as to form a shelter, in no
place could it be more than a screen from the elements. Why then had it
been selected for such a purpose? Was it merely from being a central
situation and a conspicuous object? Or did there belong to it some
inheritance of superstition from old times? It is impossible to look at
the stone without asking, How came it hither? Had then that obscurity
and unaccountableness, that mystery of power which is about it, any
influence over the first persons who resorted hither for worship? Or
have they now on those who continue to frequent it? The lake is in front
of the perpendicular wall, and behind, at some distance, and totally
detached from it, is the continuation of the ridge of mountains which
forms the vale of Loch Lomond--a magnificent temple, of which this spot
is a noble Sanctum Sanctorum.

  [Footnote 23: This is none other than the well-known Scottish word
  "_gey_,"--indifferently, tolerable, considerable.--J. C. S.]

We arrived at Glenfalloch at about one or two o'clock. It is no village;
there being only scattered huts in the glen, which may be four miles
long, according to my remembrance: the middle of it is very green, and
level, and tufted with trees. Higher up, where the glen parts into two
very narrow ones, is the house of the laird; I daresay a pretty place.
The view from the door of the public-house is exceedingly beautiful; the
river flows smoothly into the lake, and the fields were at that time as
green as possible. Looking backward, Ben Lomond very majestically shuts
in the view. The top of the mountain, as seen here, being of a pyramidal
form, it is much grander than with the broken outline, and stage above
stage, as seen from the neighbourhood of Luss. We found nobody at home
at the inn, but the ferryman shouted, wishing to have a glass of whisky,
and a young woman came from the hay-field, dressed in a white bed-gown,
without hat or cap. There was no whisky in the house, so he begged a
little whey to drink with the fragments of our cold meat brought from
Callander. After a short rest in a cool parlour we set forward again,
having to cross the river and climb up a steep mountain on the opposite
side of the valley. I observed that the people were busy bringing in the
hay before it was dry into a sort of "fauld" or yard, where they
intended to leave it, ready to be gathered into the house with the first
threatening of rain, and if not completely dry brought out again. Our
guide bore me in his arms over the stream, and we soon came to the foot
of the mountain. The most easy rising, for a short way at first, was
near a naked rivulet which made a fine cascade in one place. Afterwards,
the ascent was very laborious, being frequently almost perpendicular.

It is one of those moments which I shall not easily forget, when at that
point from which a step or two would have carried us out of sight of the
green fields of Glenfalloch, being at a great height on the mountain, we
sate down, and heard, as if from the heart of the earth, the sound of
torrents ascending out of the long hollow glen. To the eye all was
motionless, a perfect stillness. The noise of waters did not appear to
come this way or that, from any particular quarter: it was everywhere,
almost, one might say, as if "exhaled" through the whole surface of the
green earth. Glenfalloch, Coleridge has since told me, signifies the
Hidden Vale; but William says, if we were to name it from our
recollections of that time, we should call it the Vale of Awful Sound.
We continued to climb higher and higher; but the hill was no longer
steep, and afterwards we pursued our way along the top of it with many
small ups and downs. The walk was very laborious after the climbing was
over, being often exceedingly stony, or through swampy moss, rushes, or
rough heather. As we proceeded, continuing our way at the top of the
mountain, encircled by higher mountains at a great distance, we were
passing, without notice, a heap of scattered stones round which was a
belt of green grass--green, and as it seemed rich, where all else was
either poor heather and coarse grass, or unprofitable rushes and spongy
moss. The Highlander made a pause, saying, "This place is much changed
since I was here twenty years ago." He told us that the heap of stones
had been a hut where a family was then living, who had their winter
habitation in the valley, and brought their goats thither in the summer
to feed on the mountains, and that they were used to gather them
together at night and morning to be milked close to the door, which was
the reason why the grass was yet so green near the stones. It was
affecting in that solitude to meet with this memorial of manners passed
away; we looked about for some other traces of humanity, but nothing
else could we find in that place. We ourselves afterwards espied another
of those ruins, much more extensive--the remains, as the man told us, of
several dwellings. We were astonished at the sagacity with which our
Highlander discovered the track, where often no track was visible to us,
and scarcely even when he pointed it out. It reminded us of what we read
of the Hottentots and other savages. He went on as confidently as if it
had been a turnpike road--the more surprising, as when he was there
before it must have been a plain track, for he told us that fishermen
from Arrochar carried herrings regularly over the mountains by that way
to Loch Ketterine when the glens were much more populous than now.

Descended into Glengyle, above Loch Ketterine, and passed through Mr.
Macfarlane's grounds, that is, through the whole of the glen, where
there was now no house left but his. We stopped at his door to inquire
after the family, though with little hope of finding them at home,
having seen a large company at work in a hay field, whom we conjectured
to be his whole household--as it proved, except a servant-maid, who
answered our inquiries. We had sent the ferryman forward from the head
of the glen to bring the boat round from the place where he left it to
the other side of the lake. Passed the same farm-house we had such good
reason to remember, and went up to the burying-ground that stood so
sweetly near the water-side. The ferryman had told us that Rob Roy's
grave was there, so we could not pass on without going up to the spot.
There were several tomb-stones, but the inscriptions were either
worn-out or unintelligible to us, and the place choked up with nettles
and brambles. You will remember the description I have given of the
spot. I have nothing here to add, except the following poem[24] which it
suggested to William:--

  [Footnote 24: See _Rob Roy's Grave_, in "Poetical Works," vol. ii. p.

     A famous Man is Robin Hood,
     The English Ballad-singer's joy,
     And Scotland boasts of one as good,
         She has her own Rob Roy!

     Then clear the weeds from off his grave,
     And let us chaunt a passing stave
         In honour of that Outlaw brave.

     Heaven gave Rob Roy a daring heart
     And wondrous length and strength of arm,
     Nor craved he more to quell his foes,
         Or keep his friends from harm.

     Yet Robin was as wise as brave,
     As wise in thought as bold in deed,
     For in the principles of things
         He sought his moral creed.

     Said generous Rob, "What need of books?
     Burn all the statutes and their shelves:
     They stir us up against our kind,
         And worse, against ourselves.

     "We have a passion; make a law,
     Too false to guide us or control:
     And for the law itself we fight
         In bitterness of soul.

     "And puzzled, blinded thus, we lose
     Distinctions that are plain and few:
     These find I graven on my heart:
         That tells me what to do.

     "The Creatures see of flood and field,
     And those that travel on the wind!
     With them no strife can last; they live
         In peace, and peace of mind.

     "For why? Because the good old rule
     Suffices them, the simple plan
     That they should take who have the power,
         And they should keep who can.

     "A lesson which is quickly learn'd,
     A signal this which all can see!
     Thus nothing here provokes the strong
         To tyrannous cruelty.

     "And freakishness of mind is check'd;
     He tamed who foolishly aspires,
     While to the measure of their might
         All fashion their desires.

     "All kinds and creatures stand and fall
     By strength of prowess or of wit,
     'Tis God's appointment who must sway,
         And who is to submit.

     "Since then," said Robin, "right is plain,
     And longest life is but a day;
     To have my ends, maintain my rights,
         I'll take the shortest way."

     And thus among these rocks he lived
     Through summer's heat and winter's snow;
     The Eagle, he was lord above,
         And Rob was lord below.

     So was it--would at least have been
     But through untowardness of fate;
     For polity was then too strong:
         He came an age too late.

     Or shall we say an age too soon?
     For were the bold man living now,
     How might he flourish in his pride
         With buds on every bough?

     Then Rents and Land-marks, Rights of chase,
     Sheriffs and Factors, Lairds and Thanes,
     Would all have seem'd but paltry things
         Not worth a moment's pains.

     Rob Roy had never linger'd here,
     To these few meagre vales confined,
     But thought how wide the world, the times
         How fairly to his mind.

     And to his Sword he would have said,
     "Do thou my sovereign will enact
     From land to land through half the earth;
         Judge thou of law and fact.

     "'Tis fit that we should do our part;
     Becoming that mankind should learn
     That we are not to be surpass'd
         In fatherly concern.

     "Of old things all are over old,
     Of good things none are good enough;
     I'll shew that I can help to frame
         A world of other stuff.

     "I, too, will have my Kings that take
     From me the sign of life and death,
     Kingdoms shall shift about like clouds
         Obedient to my breath."

     And if the word had been fulfill'd
     As might have been, then, thought of joy!
     France would have had her present Boast,
         And we our brave Rob Roy.

     Oh! say not so, compare them not;
     I would not wrong thee, Champion brave!
     Would wrong thee nowhere; least of all
         Here, standing by thy Grave.

     For thou, although with some wild thoughts,
     Wild Chieftain of a savage Clan,
     Hadst this to boast of--thou didst love
         The Liberty of Man.

     And had it been thy lot to live
     With us who now behold the light,
     Thou wouldst have nobly stirr'd thyself,
         And battled for the right.

     For Robin was the poor man's stay;
     The poor man's heart, the poor man's hand,
     And all the oppress'd who wanted strength
         Had Robin's to command.

     Bear witness many a pensive sigh
     Of thoughtful Herdsman when he strays
     Alone upon Loch Veol's heights,
         And by Loch Lomond's Braes.

     And far and near, through vale and hill,
     Are faces that attest the same;
     Kindling with instantaneous joy
         At sound of Rob Roy's name.

Soon after we saw our boat coming over the calm water. It was late in
the evening, and I was stiff and weary, as well I might, after such a
long and toilsome walk, so it was no poor gratification to sit down and
be conscious of advancing in our journey without further labour. The
stars were beginning to appear, but the brightness of the west was not
yet gone;--the lake perfectly still, and when we first went into the
boat we rowed almost close to the shore under steep crags hung with
birches: it was like a new-discovered country of which we had not
dreamed, for in walking down the lake, owing to the road in that part
being carried at a considerable height on the hill-side, the rocks and
the indentings of the shore had been hidden from us. At this time, those
rocks and their images in the calm water composed one mass, the surfaces
of both equally distinct, except where the water trembled with the
motion of our boat. Having rowed a while under the bold steeps, we
launched out further when the shores were no longer abrupt. We hardly
spoke to each other as we moved along receding from the west, which
diffused a solemn animation over the lake. The sky was cloudless; and
everything seemed at rest except our solitary boat, and the
mountain-streams,--seldom heard, and but faintly. I think I have rarely
experienced a more elevated pleasure than during our short voyage of
this night. The good woman had long been looking out for us, and had
prepared everything for our refreshment; and as soon as we had finished
supper, or rather tea, we went to bed. William, I doubt not, rested
well, and, for my part, I slept as soundly on my chaff bed as ever I
have done in childhood after the long day's playing of a summer's

_Tuesday, 13th September._--Again a fine morning. I strolled into the
green field in which the house stands while the woman was preparing
breakfast, and at my return found one of her neighbours sitting by the
fire, a feeble paralytic old woman. After having inquired concerning our
journey the day before, she said, "I have travelled far in my time," and
told me she had married an English soldier who had been stationed at the
Garrison; they had had many children, who were all dead or in foreign
countries; and she had returned to her native place, where now she had
lived several years, and was more comfortable than she could ever have
expected to be, being very kindly dealt with by all her neighbours.
Pointing to the ferryman and his wife, she said they were accustomed to
give her a day of their labour in digging peats, in common with others,
and in that manner she was provided with fuel, and, by like voluntary
contributions, with other necessaries. While this infirm old woman was
relating her story in a tremulous voice, I could not but think of the
changes of things, and the days of her youth, when the shrill fife,
sounding from the walls of the Garrison, made a merry noise through the
echoing hills. I asked myself, if she were to be carried again to the
deserted spot after her course of life, no doubt a troublesome one,
would the silence appear to her the silence of desolation or of peace?

After breakfast we took a final leave of our hostess, and, attended by
her husband, again set forward on foot. My limbs were a little stiff,
but the morning being uncommonly fine I did not fear to aim at the
accomplishment of a plan we had laid of returning to Callander by a
considerable circuit. We were to go over the mountains from Loch
Ketterine, a little below the ferry-house on the same side of the water,
descending to Loch Voil, a lake from which issues the stream that flows
through Strath Eyer into Loch Lubnaig. Our road, as is generally the
case in passing from one vale into another, was through a settling
between the hills, not far from a small stream. We had to climb
considerably, the mountain being much higher than it appears to be,
owing to its retreating in what looks like a gradual slope from the
lake, though we found it steep enough in the climbing. Our guide had
been born near Loch Voil, and he told us that at the head of the lake,
if we would look about for it, we should see the burying-place of a part
of his family, the MacGregors, a clan who had long possessed that
district, a circumstance which he related with no unworthy pride of
ancestry. We shook hands with him at parting, not without a hope of
again entering his hut in company with others whom we loved.

Continued to walk for some time along the top of the hill, having the
high mountains of Loch Voil before us, and Ben Lomond and the steeps of
Loch Ketterine behind. Came to several deserted mountain huts or shiels,
and rested for some time beside one of them, upon a hillock of its green
plot of monumental herbage. William here conceived the notion of writing
an ode upon the affecting subject of those relics of human society found
in that grand and solitary region. The spot of ground where we sate was
even beautiful, the grass being uncommonly verdant, and of a remarkably
soft and silky texture.

After this we rested no more till we came to the foot of the mountain,
where there was a cottage, at the door of which a woman invited me to
drink some whey: this I did, while William went to inquire respecting
the road at a new stone house a few steps further. He was told to cross
the brook, and proceed to the other side of the vale, and that no
further directions were necessary, for we should find ourselves at the
head of the lake, and on a plain road which would lead us downward. We
waded the river and crossed the vale, perhaps half a mile or more. The
mountains all round are very high; the vale pastoral and unenclosed, not
many dwellings, and but few trees; the mountains in general smooth near
the bottom. They are in large unbroken masses, combining with the vale
to give an impression of bold simplicity.

Near the head of the lake, at some distance from us, we discovered the
burial-place of the MacGregors, and did not view it without some
interest, with its ornamental balls on the four corners of the wall,
which, I daresay, have been often looked at with elevation of heart by
our honest friend of Loch Ketterine. The lake is divided right across by
a narrow slip of flat land, making a small lake at the head of the large
one. The whole may be about five miles long.

As we descended, the scene became more fertile, our way being pleasantly
varied--through coppices or open fields, and passing farm-houses,
though always with an intermixture of uncultivated ground. It was
harvest-time, and the fields were quietly--might I be allowed to say
pensively?--enlivened by small companies of reapers. It is not uncommon
in the more lonely parts of the Highlands to see a single person so
employed. The following poem was suggested to William by a beautiful
sentence in Thomas Wilkinson's _Tour in Scotland_:[25]

  [Footnote 25: See _The Solitary Reaper_, in "Poetical Works," vol. ii.
  p. 397, with note appended.--ED.]

     Behold her single in the field,
     Yon solitary Highland Lass,
     Reaping and singing by herself--
     Stop here, or gently pass.
     Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
     And sings a melancholy strain.
     Oh! listen, for the Vale profound
     Is overflowing with the sound.

     No nightingale did ever chaunt
     So sweetly to reposing bands
     Of travellers in some shady haunt
     Among Arabian Sands;
     No sweeter voice was ever heard
     In spring-time from the cuckoo-bird
     Breaking the silence of the seas
     Among the farthest Hebrides.

     Will no one tell me what she sings?
     Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
     For old unhappy far-off things,
     And battles long ago;--
     Or is it some more humble lay--
     Familiar matter of to-day--
     Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain
     That has been, and may be again?

     Whate'er the theme, the Maiden sung
     As if her song could have no ending;
     I saw her singing at her work,
     And o'er the sickle bending;
     I listen'd till I had my fill,
     And as I mounted up the hill
     The music in my heart I bore
     Long after it was heard no more.

Towards the foot of the lake, on the opposite side, which was more
barren than that on which we travelled, was a bare road up a steep hill,
which leads to Glen Finlas, formerly a royal forest. It is a wild and
rocky glen, as we had been told by a person who directed our notice to
its outlet at Loch Achray. The stream which passes through it falls into
that lake near the head. At the end of Loch Voil the vale is wide and
populous--large pastures with many cattle, large tracts of corn. We
walked downwards a little way, and then crossed over to the same road
along which we had travelled from Loch Erne to Callander, being once
again at the entrance of Strath Eyer. It might be about four or five
o'clock in the afternoon; we were ten miles from Callander, exceedingly
tired, and wished heartily for the poor horse and car. Walked up Strath
Eyer, and saw in clear air and sunshine what had been concealed from us
when we travelled before in the mist and rain. We found it less woody
and rich than it had appeared to be, but, with all deductions, a very
sweet valley.

Not far from Loch Lubnaig, though not in view of it, is a long village,
with two or three public-houses, and being in despair of reaching
Callander that night without over-fatigue we resolved to stop at the
most respectable-looking house, and, should it not prove wretched
indeed, to lodge there if there were beds for us: at any rate it was
necessary to take some refreshment. The woman of the house spoke with
gentleness and civility, and had a good countenance, which reconciled me
to stay, though I had been averse to the scheme, dreading the dirt usual
in Scotch public-houses by the way-side. She said she had beds for us,
and clean sheets, and we desired her to prepare them immediately. It was
a two-storied house, light built, though in other respects no better
than the huts, and--as all the slated cottages are--much more
uncomfortable in appearance, except that there was a chimney in the
kitchen. At such places it is fit that travellers should make up their
minds to wait at least an hour longer than the time necessary to prepare
whatever meal they may have ordered, which we, I may truly say, did with
most temperate philosophy. I went to talk with the mistress, who was
baking barley cakes, which she wrought out with her hands as thin as the
oaten bread we make in Cumberland. I asked her why she did not use a
rolling-pin, and if it would not be much more convenient, to which she
returned me no distinct answer, and seemed to give little attention to
the question: she did not know, or that was what they were used to, or
something of the sort. It was a tedious process, and I thought could
scarcely have been managed if the cakes had been as large as ours; but
they are considerably smaller, which is a great loss of time in the

This woman, whose common language was the Gaelic, talked with me a very
good English, asking many questions, yet without the least appearance of
an obtrusive or impertinent curiosity; and indeed I must say that I
never, in those women with whom I conversed, observed anything on which
I could put such a construction. They seemed to have a faith ready for
all; and as a child when you are telling him stories, asks for "more,
more," so they appeared to delight in being amused without effort of
their own minds. Among other questions she asked me the old one over
again, if I was married; and when I told her that I was not, she
appeared surprised, and, as if recollecting herself, said to me, with a
pious seriousness and perfect simplicity, "To be sure, there is a great
promise for virgins in Heaven"; and then she began to tell how long she
had been married, that she had had a large family and much sickness and
sorrow, having lost several of her children. We had clean sheets and
decent beds.

_Wednesday, September 14th._--Rose early, and departed before breakfast.
The morning was dry, but cold. Travelled as before, along the shores of
Loch Lubnaig, and along the pass of the roaring stream of Leny, and
reached Callander at a little past eight o'clock. After breakfast set
off towards Stirling, intending to sleep there; the distance eighteen
miles. We were now entering upon a populous and more cultivated country,
having left the mountains behind, therefore I shall have little to tell;
for what is most interesting in such a country is not to be seen in
passing through it as we did. Half way between Callander and Stirling is
the village of Doune, and a little further on we crossed a bridge over a
pleasant river, the Teith. Above the river stands a ruined castle of
considerable size, upon a woody bank. We wished to have had time to go
up to the ruin. Long before we reached the town of Stirling, saw the
Castle, single, on its stately and commanding eminence. The rock or
hill rises from a level plain; the print in Stoddart's book does indeed
give a good notion of its form. The surrounding plain appears to be of a
rich soil, well cultivated. The crops of ripe corn were abundant. We
found the town quite full; not a vacant room in the inn, it being the
time of the assizes: there was no lodging for us, and hardly even the
possibility of getting anything to eat in a bye-nook of the house.
Walked up to the Castle. The prospect from it is very extensive, and
must be exceedingly grand on a fine evening or morning, with the light
of the setting or rising sun on the distant mountains, but we saw it at
an unfavourable time of day, the mid-afternoon, and were not favoured by
light and shade. The Forth makes most intricate and curious turnings, so
that it is difficult to trace them, even when you are overlooking the
whole. It flows through a perfect level, and in one place cuts its way
in the form of a large figure of eight. Stirling is the largest town we
had seen in Scotland, except Glasgow. It is an old irregular place; the
streets towards the Castle on one side very steep. On the other, the
hill or rock rises from the fields. The architecture of a part of the
Castle is very fine, and the whole building in good repair: some parts
indeed, are modern. At Stirling we bought Burns's Poems in one volume,
for two shillings. Went on to Falkirk, ten or eleven miles. I do not
recollect anything remarkable after we were out of sight of Stirling
Castle, except the Carron Ironworks, seen at a distance;--the sky above
them was red with a fiery light. In passing through a turnpike gate we
were greeted by a Highland drover, who, with many others, was coming
from a fair at Falkirk, the road being covered all along with horsemen
and cattle. He spoke as if we had been well known to him, asking us how
we had fared on our journey. We were at a loss to conceive why he should
interest himself about us, till he said he had passed us on the Black
Mountain, near King's House. It was pleasant to observe the effect of
solitary places in making men friends, and to see so much kindness,
which had been produced in such a chance encounter, retained in a crowd.
No beds in the inns at Falkirk--every room taken up by the people come
to the fair. Lodged in a private house, a neat clean place--kind
treatment from the old man and his daughter.

_Thursday, September 15th._--Breakfasted at Linlithgow, a small town.
The house is yet shown from which the Regent Murray was shot. The
remains of a royal palace, where Queen Mary was born, are of
considerable extent; the banks of gardens and fish-ponds may yet be
distinctly traced, though the whole surface is transformed into smooth
pasturage where cattle graze. The castle stands upon a gentle eminence,
the prospect not particularly pleasing, though not otherwise; it is bare
and wide. The shell of a small ancient church is standing, into which
are crammed modern pews, galleries, and pulpit--very ugly, and
discordant with the exterior. Nothing very interesting till we came to
Edinburgh. Dined by the way at a small town or village upon a hill, the
back part of the houses on one side overlooking an extensive prospect
over flat corn fields. I mention this for the sake of a pleasant hour we
passed sitting on the bank, where we read some of Burns's poems in the
volume which we had bought at Stirling.

Arrived at Edinburgh a little before sunset. As we approached, the
Castle rock resembled that of Stirling--in the same manner appearing to
rise from a plain of cultivated ground, the Firth of Forth being on the
other side, and not visible. Drove to the White Hart in the Grassmarket,
an inn which had been mentioned to us, and which we conjectured would
better suit us than one in a more fashionable part of the town. It was
not noisy, and tolerably cheap. Drank tea, and walked up to the Castle,
which luckily was very near. Much of the daylight was gone, so that
except it had been a clear evening, which it was not, we could not have
seen the distant prospect.

_Friday, September 16th._--The sky the evening before, as you may
remember the ostler told us, had been "gay and dull," and this morning
it was downright dismal: very dark, and promising nothing but a wet day,
and before breakfast was over the rain began, though not heavily. We set
out upon our walk, and went through many streets to Holyrood House, and
thence to the hill called Arthur's Seat, a high hill, very rocky at the
top, and below covered with smooth turf, on which sheep were feeding. We
climbed up till we came to St. Anthony's Well and Chapel, as it is
called, but it is more like a hermitage than a chapel,--a small ruin,
which from its situation is exceedingly interesting, though in itself
not remarkable. We sate down on a stone not far from the chapel,
overlooking a pastoral hollow as wild and solitary as any in the heart
of the Highland mountains: there, instead of the roaring of torrents, we
listened to the noises of the city, which were blended in one loud
indistinct buzz,--a regular sound in the air, which in certain moods of
feeling, and at certain times, might have a more tranquillizing effect
upon the mind than those which we are accustomed to hear in such places.
The Castle rock looked exceedingly large through the misty air: a cloud
of black smoke overhung the city, which combined with the rain and mist
to conceal the shapes of the houses,--an obscurity which added much to
the grandeur of the sound that proceeded from it. It was impossible to
think of anything that was little or mean, the goings-on of trade, the
strife of men, or every-day city business:--the impression was one, and
it was visionary; like the conceptions of our childhood of Bagdad or
Balsora when we have been reading the Arabian Nights' Entertainments.
Though the rain was very heavy we remained upon the hill for some time,
then returned by the same road by which we had come, through green flat
fields, formerly the pleasure-grounds of Holyrood House, on the edge of
which stands the old roofless chapel, of venerable architecture. It is a
pity that it should be suffered to fall down, for the walls appear to be
yet entire. Very near to the chapel is Holyrood House, which we could
not but lament has nothing ancient in its appearance, being
sash-windowed and not an irregular pile. It is very like a building for
some national establishment,--a hospital for soldiers or sailors. You
have a description of it in Stoddart's Tour, therefore I need not tell
you what we saw there.

When we found ourselves once again in the streets of the city, we
lamented over the heavy rain, and indeed before leaving the hill, much
as we were indebted to the accident of the rain for the peculiar
grandeur and affecting wildness of those objects we saw, we could not
but regret that the Firth of Forth was entirely hidden from us, and all
distant objects, and we strained our eyes till they ached, vainly trying
to pierce through the thick mist. We walked industriously through the
streets, street after street, and, in spite of wet and dirt, were
exceedingly delighted. The old town, with its irregular houses, stage
above stage, seen as we saw it, in the obscurity of a rainy day, hardly
resembles the work of men, it is more like a piling up of rocks, and I
cannot attempt to describe what we saw so imperfectly, but must say
that, high as my expectations had been raised, the city of Edinburgh far
surpassed all expectation. Gladly would we have stayed another day, but
could not afford more time, and our notions of the weather of Scotland
were so dismal, notwithstanding we ourselves had been so much favoured,
that we had no hope of its mending. So at about six o'clock in the
evening we departed, intending to sleep at an inn in the village of
Roslin, about five miles from Edinburgh. The rain continued till we were
almost at Roslin; but then it was quite dark, so we did not see the
Castle that night.

_Saturday, September 17th._--The morning very fine. We rose early and
walked through the glen of Roslin, past Hawthornden, and considerably
further, to the house of Mr. Walter Scott at Lasswade. Roslin Castle
stands upon a woody bank above a stream, the North Esk, too large, I
think, to be called a brook, yet an inconsiderable river. We looked down
upon the ruin from higher ground. Near it stands the Chapel, a most
elegant building, a ruin, though the walls and roof are entire. I never
passed through a more delicious dell than the glen of Roslin, though the
water of the stream is dingy and muddy. The banks are rocky on each
side, and hung with pine wood. About a mile from the Castle, on the
contrary side of the water, upon the edge of a very steep bank, stands
Hawthornden, the house of Drummond the poet, whither Ben Jonson came on
foot from London to visit his friend. We did hear to whom the house at
present belongs, and some other particulars, but I have a very
indistinct recollection of what was told us, except that many old trees
had been lately cut down. After Hawthornden the glen widens, ceases to
be rocky, and spreads out into a rich vale, scattered over with
gentlemen's seats.

Arrived at Lasswade before Mr. and Mrs. Scott had risen, and waited some
time in a large sitting-room. Breakfasted with them, and stayed till two
o'clock, and Mr. Scott accompanied us back almost to Roslin, having
given us directions respecting our future journey, and promised to meet
us at Melrose two days after.[26]

  [Footnote 26: See Lockhart's _Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter
  Scott_, vol. i. pp. 402-7, for an account of this visit. Lockhart
  says, "I have drawn up the account of this meeting from my
  recollection, partly of Mr. W.'s conversation, partly from that of his
  sister's charming 'Diary,' which he was so kind as to read to me on
  the 16th May 1836."--ED.]

We ordered dinner on our return to the inn, and went to view the inside
of the Chapel of Roslin, which is kept locked up, and so preserved from
the injuries it might otherwise receive from idle boys; but as nothing
is done to keep it together, it must in the end fall. The architecture
within is exquisitely beautiful. The stone both of the roof and walls is
sculptured with leaves and flowers, so delicately wrought that I could
have admired them for hours, and the whole of their groundwork is
stained by time with the softest colours. Some of those leaves and
flowers were tinged perfectly green, and at one part the effect was most
exquisite: three or four leaves of a small fern, resembling that which
we call adder's tongue, grew round a cluster of them at the top of a
pillar, and the natural product and the artificial were so intermingled
that at first it was not easy to distinguish the living plant from the
other, they being of an equally determined green, though the fern was of
a deeper shade.

We set forward again after dinner. The afternoon was pleasant. Travelled
through large tracts of ripe corn, interspersed with larger tracts of
moorland--the houses at a considerable distance from each other, no
longer thatched huts, but farm-houses resembling those of the farming
counties in England, having many corn-stacks close to them. Dark when we
reached Peebles; found a comfortable old-fashioned public-house, had a
neat parlour, and drank tea.


_Sunday, September 18th._--The town of Peebles is on the banks of the
Tweed. After breakfast walked up the river to Neidpath Castle, about a
mile and a half from the town. The castle stands upon a green hill,
overlooking the Tweed, a strong square-towered edifice, neglected and
desolate, though not in ruin, the garden overgrown with grass, and the
high walls that fenced it broken down. The Tweed winds between green
steeps, upon which, and close to the river-side, large flocks of sheep
pasturing; higher still are the grey mountains; but I need not describe
the scene, for William has done it better than I could do in a sonnet
which he wrote the same day; the five last lines, at least, of his poem
will impart to you more of the feeling of the place than it would be
possible for me to do:[27]--

  [Footnote 27: See in the "Memorials of a Tour in Scotland, 1803," the
  _Sonnet composed at ---- Castle_.--ED.]

     Degenerate Douglas! thou unworthy Lord
     Whom mere despite of heart could so far please,
     And love of havoc (for with such disease
     Fame taxes him) that he could send forth word
     To level with the dust a noble horde,
     A brotherhood of venerable trees,
     Leaving an ancient Dome and Towers like these
     Beggar'd and outraged! Many hearts deplored
     The fate of those old Trees; and oft with pain
     The Traveller at this day will stop and gaze
     On wrongs which Nature scarcely seems to heed;
     For shelter'd places, bosoms, nooks, and bays,
     And the pure mountains, and the gentle Tweed,
     And the green silent pastures yet remain.

_I_ was spared any regret for the fallen woods when we were there, not
then knowing the history of them. The soft low mountains, the castle,
and the decayed pleasure-grounds, the scattered trees which have been
left in different parts, and the road carried in a very beautiful line
along the side of the hill, with the Tweed murmuring through the
unfenced green pastures spotted with sheep, together composed an
harmonious scene, and I wished for nothing that was not there. When we
were with Mr. Scott he spoke of cheerful days he had spent in that
castle not many years ago, when it was inhabited by Professor Ferguson
and his family, whom the Duke of Queensberry, its churlish owner, forced
to quit it. We discovered a very fine echo within a few yards of the

The town of Peebles looks very pretty from the road in returning: it is
an old town, built of grey stone, the same as the castle. Well-dressed
people were going to church. Sent the car before, and walked ourselves,
and while going along the main street William was called aside in a
mysterious manner by a person who gravely examined him--whether he was
an Irishman or a foreigner, or what he was; I suppose our car was the
occasion of suspicion at a time when every one was talking of the
threatened invasion. We had a day's journey before us along the banks of
the Tweed, a name which has been sweet to my ears almost as far back as
I can remember anything. After the first mile or two our road was seldom
far from the river, which flowed in gentleness, though perhaps never
silent; the hills on either side high and sometimes stony, but excellent
pasturage for sheep. In some parts the vale was wholly of this pastoral
character, in others we saw extensive tracts of corn ground, even
spreading along whole hill-sides, and without visible fences, which is
dreary in a flat country; but there is no dreariness on the banks of the
Tweed,--the hills, whether smooth or stony, uncultivated or covered with
ripe corn, had the same pensive softness. Near the corn tracts were
large farm-houses, with many corn-stacks; the stacks and house and
out-houses together, I recollect, in one or two places upon the hills,
at a little distance, seemed almost as large as a small village or
hamlet. It was a clear autumnal day, without wind, and, being Sunday,
the business of the harvest was suspended, and all that we saw, and
felt, and heard, combined to excite one sensation of pensive and still

Passed by several old halls yet inhabited, and others in ruin; but I
have hardly a sufficiently distinct recollection of any of them to be
able to describe them, and I now at this distance of time regret that I
did not take notes. In one very sweet part of the vale a gate crossed
the road, which was opened by an old woman who lived in a cottage close
to it; I said to her, "You live in a very pretty place!" "Yes," she
replied, "the water of Tweed is a bonny water." The lines of the hills
are flowing and beautiful, the reaches of the vale long; in some places
appear the remains of a forest, in others you will see as lovely a
combination of forms as any traveller who goes in search of the
picturesque need desire, and yet perhaps without a single tree; or at
least if trees there are, they shall be very few, and he shall not care
whether they are there or not.

The road took us through one long village, but I do not recollect any
other; yet I think we never had a mile's length before us without a
house, though seldom several cottages together. The loneliness of the
scattered dwellings, the more stately edifices decaying or in ruin, or,
if inhabited, not in their pride and freshness, aided the general effect
of the gently varying scenes, which was that of tender pensiveness; no
bursting torrents when we were there, but the murmuring of the river was
heard distinctly, often blended with the bleating of sheep. In one place
we saw a shepherd lying in the midst of a flock upon a sunny knoll, with
his face towards the sky,--happy picture of shepherd life.

The transitions of this vale were all gentle except one, a scene of
which a gentleman's house was the centre, standing low in the vale, the
hills above it covered with gloomy fir plantations, and the appearance
of the house itself, though it could scarcely be seen, was gloomy. There
was an allegorical air--a person fond of Spenser will understand me--in
this uncheerful spot, single in such a country,

     "The house was hearsed about with a black wood."

We have since heard that it was the residence of Lord Traquair, a Roman
Catholic nobleman, of a decayed family.

We left the Tweed when we were within about a mile and a half or two
miles of Clovenford, where we were to lodge. Turned up the side of a
hill, and went along sheep-grounds till we reached the spot--a single
stone house, without a tree near it or to be seen from it. On our
mentioning Mr. Scott's name the woman of the house showed us all
possible civility, but her slowness was really amusing. I should suppose
it is a house little frequented, for there is no appearance of an inn.
Mr. Scott, who she told me was a very clever gentleman, "goes there in
the fishing season"; but indeed Mr. Scott is respected everywhere: I
believe that by favour of his name one might be hospitably entertained
throughout all the borders of Scotland. We dined and drank tea--did not
walk out, for there was no temptation; a confined barren prospect from
the window.

At Clovenford, being so near to the Yarrow, we could not but think of
the possibility of going thither, but came to the conclusion of
reserving the pleasure for some future time, in consequence of which,
after our return, William wrote the poem which I shall here

  [Footnote 28: See in "Memorials of a Tour in Scotland, 1803," _Yarrow

     From Stirling Castle we had seen
     The mazy Forth unravell'd,
     Had trod the banks of Clyde and Tay,
     And with the Tweed had travell'd.
     And when we came to Clovenford,
     Then said my winsome Marrow,
     "Whate'er betide we'll turn aside
     And see the Braes of Yarrow."

     "Let Yarrow Folk frae Selkirk Town,
     Who have been buying, selling,
     Go back to Yarrow:--'tis their own,
     Each Maiden to her dwelling.
     On Yarrow's banks let herons feed,
     Hares couch, and rabbits burrow,
     But we will downwards with the Tweed,
     Nor turn aside to Yarrow.

     "There's Gala Water, Leader Haughs,
     Both lying right before us;
     And Dryburgh, where with chiming Tweed
     The lintwhites sing in chorus.
     There's pleasant Teviot Dale, a land
     Made blithe with plough and harrow,
     Why throw away a needful day,
     To go in search of Yarrow?

     "What's Yarrow but a river bare,
     That glides the dark hills under?
     There are a thousand such elsewhere,
     As worthy of your wonder."
     Strange words they seem'd of slight and scorn,
     My true-love sigh'd for sorrow,
     And look'd me in the face to think
     I thus could speak of Yarrow.

     "Oh! green," said I, "are Yarrow's Holms,
     And sweet is Yarrow flowing,
     Fair hangs the apple frae the rock,
     But we will leave it growing.
     O'er hilly path and open Strath
     We'll wander Scotland thorough,
     But though so near we will not turn
     Into the Dale of Yarrow.

     "Let beeves and home-bred kine partake
     The sweets of Burnmill Meadow,
     The swan on still St. Mary's Lake
     Float double, swan and shadow.
     We will not see them, will not go,
     To-day nor yet to-morrow;
     Enough if in our hearts we know
     There's such a place as Yarrow.

     "Be Yarrow stream unseen, unknown,
     It must, or we shall rue it,
     We have a vision of our own,
     Ah! why should we undo it?
     The treasured dreams of times long past,
     We'll keep them, 'winsome Marrow,'
     For when we're there, although 'tis fair,
     'Twill be another Yarrow.

     "If care with freezing years should come,
     And wandering seem but folly,
     Should we be loth to stir from home,
     And yet be melancholy,
     Should life be dull and spirits low,
     'Twill sooth us in our sorrow
     That earth hath something yet to show--
     The bonny Holms of Yarrow."

The next day we were to meet Mr. Scott, and again join the Tweed. I wish
I could have given you a better idea of what we saw between Peebles and
this place. I have most distinct recollections of the effect of the
whole day's journey; but the objects are mostly melted together in my
memory, and though I should recognise them if we revisit the place, I
cannot call them out so as to represent them to you with distinctness.
William, in attempting in verse to describe this part of the Tweed, says
of it,

     More pensive in sunshine
     Than others in moonshine,

which perhaps may give you more power to conceive what it is than all I
have said.

_Monday, September 19th._--We rose early, and went to Melrose, six
miles, before breakfast. After ascending a hill, descended, and
overlooked a dell, on the opposite side of which was an old mansion,
surrounded with trees and steep gardens, a curious and pleasing, yet
melancholy spot; for the house and gardens were evidently going to
decay, and the whole of the small dell, except near the house, was
unenclosed and uncultivated, being a sheep-walk to the top of the hills.
Descended to Gala Water, a pretty stream, but much smaller than the
Tweed, into which the brook flows from the glen I have spoken of. Near
the Gala is a large modern house, the situation very pleasant, but the
old building which we had passed put to shame the fresh colouring and
meagre outline of the new one. Went through a part of the village of
Galashiels, pleasantly situated on the bank of the stream; a pretty
place it once has been, but a manufactory is established there; and a
townish bustle and ugly stone houses are fast taking place of the
brown-roofed thatched cottages, of which a great number yet remain,
partly overshadowed by trees. Left the Gala, and, after crossing the
open country, came again to the Tweed, and pursued our way as before
near the river, perhaps for a mile or two, till we arrived at Melrose.
The valley for this short space was not so pleasing as before, the hills
more broken, and though the cultivation was general, yet the scene was
not rich, while it had lost its pastoral simplicity. At Melrose the vale
opens out wide; but the hills are high all round--single distinct
risings. After breakfast we went out, intending to go to the Abbey, and
in the street met Mr. Scott, who gave us a cordial greeting, and
conducted us thither himself. He was here on his own ground, for he is
familiar with all that is known of the authentic history of Melrose and
the popular tales connected with it. He pointed out many pieces of
beautiful sculpture in obscure corners which would have escaped our
notice. The Abbey has been built of a pale red stone; that part which
was first erected of a very durable kind, the sculptured flowers and
leaves and other minute ornaments being as perfect in many places as
when first wrought. The ruin is of considerable extent, but
unfortunately it is almost surrounded by insignificant houses, so that
when you are close to it you see it entirely separated from many rural
objects, and even when viewed from a distance the situation does not
seem to be particularly happy, for the vale is broken and disturbed, and
the Abbey at a distance from the river, so that you do not look upon
them as companions of each other. And surely this is a national
barbarism: within these beautiful walls is the ugliest church that was
ever beheld--if it had been hewn out of the side of a hill it could not
have been more dismal; there was no neatness, nor even decency, and it
appeared to be so damp, and so completely excluded from fresh air, that
it must be dangerous to sit in it; the floor is unpaved, and very rough.
What a contrast to the beautiful and graceful order apparent in every
part of the ancient design and workmanship! Mr. Scott went with us into
the gardens and orchards of a Mr. Riddel, from which we had a very sweet
view of the Abbey through trees, the town being entirely excluded. Dined
with Mr. Scott at the inn; he was now travelling to the assizes at
Jedburgh in his character of Sheriff of Selkirk, and on that account, as
well as for his own sake, he was treated with great respect, a small
part of which was vouchsafed to us as his friends, though I could not
persuade the woman to show me the beds, or to make any sort of promise
till she was assured from the Sheriff himself that he had no objection
to sleep in the same room with William.

_Tuesday, September 20th._--Mr. Scott departed very early for Jedburgh,
and we soon followed, intending to go by Dryburgh to Kelso. It was a
fine morning. We went without breakfast, being told that there was a
public-house at Dryburgh. The road was very pleasant, seldom out of
sight of the Tweed for any length of time, though not often close to it.
The valley is not so pleasantly defined as between Peebles and
Clovenford, yet so soft and beautiful, and in many parts pastoral, but
that peculiar and pensive simplicity which I have spoken of before was
wanting, yet there was a fertility chequered with wildness which to many
travellers would be more than a compensation. The reaches of the vale
were shorter, the turnings more rapid, the banks often clothed with
wood. In one place was a lofty scar, at another a green promontory, a
small hill skirted by the river, the hill above irregular and green, and
scattered over with trees. We wished we could have brought the ruins of
Melrose to that spot, and mentioned this to Mr. Scott, who told us that
the monks had first fixed their abode there, and raised a temporary
building of wood. The monastery of Melrose was founded by a colony from
Rievaux Abbey in Yorkshire, which building it happens to resemble in the
colour of the stone, and I think partly in the style of architecture,
but is much smaller, that is, has been much smaller, for there is not at
Rievaux any one single part of the ruin so large as the remains of the
church at Melrose, though at Rievaux a far more extensive ruin remains.
It is also much grander, and the situation at present much more
beautiful, that ruin not having suffered like Melrose Abbey from the
encroachments of a town. The architecture at Melrose is, I believe,
superior in the exactness and taste of some of the minute ornamental
parts; indeed, it is impossible to conceive anything more delicate than
the workmanship, especially in the imitations of flowers.

We descended to Dryburgh after having gone a considerable way upon high
ground. A heavy rain when we reached the village, and there was no
public-house. A well-dressed, well-spoken woman courteously--shall I say
charitably?--invited us into her cottage, and permitted us to make
breakfast; she showed us into a neat parlour, furnished with prints, a
mahogany table, and other things which I was surprised to see, for her
husband was only a day-labourer, but she had been Lady Buchan's
waiting-maid, which accounted for these luxuries and for a noticeable
urbanity in her manners. All the cottages in this neighbourhood, if I am
not mistaken, were covered with red tiles, and had chimneys. After
breakfast we set out in the rain to the ruins of Dryburgh Abbey, which
are near Lord Buchan's house, and, like Bothwell Castle, appropriated to
the pleasure of the owner. We rang a bell at the gate, and, instead of a
porter, an old woman came to open it through a narrow side-alley cut in
a thick plantation of evergreens. On entering, saw the thatch of her hut
just above the trees, and it looked very pretty, but the poor creature
herself was a figure to frighten a child,--bowed almost double, having a
hooked nose and overhanging eyebrows, a complexion stained brown with
smoke, and a cap that might have been worn for months and never washed.
No doubt she had been cowering over her peat fire, for if she had
emitted smoke by her breath and through every pore, the odour could not
have been stronger. This ancient woman, by right of office, attended us
to show off the curiosities, and she had her tale as perfect, though it
was not quite so long a one, as the gentleman Swiss, whom I remember to
have seen at Blenheim with his slender wand and dainty white clothes.
The house of Lord Buchan and the Abbey stand upon a large flat
peninsula, a green holm almost covered with fruit-trees. The ruins of
Dryburgh are much less extensive than those of Melrose, and greatly
inferior both in the architecture and stone, which is much mouldered
away. Lord Buchan has trained pear-trees along the walls, which are
bordered with flowers and gravel walks, and he has made a pigeon-house,
and a fine room in the ruin, ornamented with a curiously-assorted
collection of busts of eminent men, in which lately a ball was given;
yet, deducting for all these improvements, which are certainly much less
offensive than you could imagine, it is a very sweet ruin, standing so
enclosed in wood, which the towers overtop, that you cannot know that it
is not in a state of natural desolation till you are close to it. The
opposite bank of the Tweed is steep and woody, but unfortunately many of
the trees are firs. The old woman followed us after the fashion of other
guides, but being slower of foot than a younger person, it was not
difficult to slip away from the scent of her poor smoke-dried body. She
was sedulous in pointing out the curiosities, which, I doubt not, she
had a firm belief were not to be surpassed in England or Scotland.

Having promised us a sight of the largest and oldest yew-tree ever seen,
she conducted us to it; it was a goodly tree, but a mere dwarf compared
with several of our own country--not to speak of the giant of Lorton. We
returned to the cottage, and waited some time in hopes that the rain
would abate, but it grew worse and worse, and we were obliged to give up
our journey, to Kelso, taking the direct road to Jedburgh.

We had to ford the Tweed, a wide river at the crossing-place. It would
have been impossible to drive the horse through, for he had not
forgotten the fright at Connel Ferry, so we hired a man to lead us.
After crossing the water, the road goes up the bank, and we had a
beautiful view of the ruins of the Abbey, peering above the trees of the
woody peninsula, which, in shape, resembles that formed by the Tees at
Lickburn, but is considerably smaller. Lord Buchan's house is a very
neat, modest building, and almost hidden by trees. It soon began to rain
heavily. Crossing the Teviot by a stone bridge--the vale in that part
very wide--there was a great deal of ripe corn, but a want of trees, and
no appearance of richness. Arrived at Jedburgh half an hour before the
Judges were expected out of Court to dinner.

We gave in our passport--the name of Mr. Scott, the Sheriff--and were
very civilly treated, but there was no vacant room in the house except
the Judge's sitting-room, and we wanted to have a fire, being
exceedingly wet and cold. I was conducted into that room, on condition
that I would give it up the moment the Judge came from Court.[29] After
I had put off my wet clothes I went up into a bedroom, and sate
shivering there, till the people of the inn had procured lodgings for us
in a private house.

  [Footnote 29: Compare Lockhart's _Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter
  Scott_, vol. i. p. 403.--ED.]

We were received with hearty welcome by a good woman, who, though above
seventy years old, moved about as briskly as if she was only seventeen.
Those parts of the house which we were to occupy were neat and clean;
she showed me every corner, and, before I had been ten minutes in the
house, opened her very drawers that I might see what a stock of linen
she had; then asked me how long we should stay, and said she wished we
were come for three months. She was a most remarkable person; the
alacrity with which she ran up-stairs when we rung the bell, and guessed
at, and strove to prevent, our wants was surprising; she had a quick
eye, and keen strong features, and a joyousness in her motions, like
what used to be in old Molly when she was particularly elated. I found
afterwards that she had been subject to fits of dejection and
ill-health: we then conjectured that her overflowing gaiety and strength
might in part be attributed to the same cause as her former dejection.
Her husband was deaf and infirm, and sate in a chair with scarcely the
power to move a limb--an affecting contrast! The old woman said they had
been a very hard-working pair; they had wrought like slaves at their
trade--her husband had been a currier; and she told me how they had
portioned off their daughters with money, and each a feather-bed, and
that in their old age they had laid out the little they could spare in
building and furnishing that house, and she added with pride that she
had lived in her youth in the family of Lady Egerton, who was no high
lady, and now was in the habit of coming to her house whenever she was
at Jedburgh, and a hundred other things; for when she once began with
Lady Egerton, she did not know how to stop, nor did I wish it, for she
was very entertaining. Mr. Scott sate with us an hour or two, and
repeated a part of the Lay of the Last Minstrel. When he was gone our
hostess came to see if we wanted anything, and to wish us good-night. On
all occasions her manners were governed by the same spirit: there was no
withdrawing one's attention from her. We were so much interested that
William, long afterwards, thought it worth while to express in verse the
sensations which she had excited, and which then remained as vividly in
his mind as at the moment when we lost sight of Jedburgh:[30]--

  [Footnote 30: See in "Memorials of a Tour in Scotland, 1803," _The
  Matron of Jedborough and her Husband_.--ED.]

     Age! twine thy brows with fresh spring flowers,
     And call a train of laughing Hours;
     And bid them dance, and bid them sing,
     And Thou, too, mingle in the Ring!
     Take to thy heart a new delight!
     If not, make merry in despite
     That one should breathe who scorns thy power.
     --But dance! for under Jedborough Tower
     A Matron dwells who, tho' she bears
     Our mortal complement of years,
     Lives in the light of youthful glee,
     And she will dance and sing with thee.

     Nay! start not at that Figure--there!
     Him who is rooted to his Chair!
     Look at him, look again; for He
     Hath long been of thy Family.
     With legs that move not, if they can,
     And useless arms, a Trunk of Man,
     He sits, and with a vacant eye;
     A Sight to make a Stranger sigh!
     Deaf, drooping, such is now his doom;
     His world is in that single room--
     Is this a place for mirthful cheer?
     Can merry-making enter here?

     The joyous Woman is the Mate
     Of him in that forlorn estate;
     He breathes a subterraneous damp;
     But bright as Vesper shines her lamp,
     He is as mute as Jedborough Tower,
     She jocund as it was of yore
     With all its bravery on, in times
     When all alive with merry chimes
     Upon a sun-bright morn of May
     It roused the Vale to holiday.

     I praise thee, Matron! and thy due
     Is praise, heroic praise and true.
     With admiration I behold
     Thy gladness unsubdued and bold:
     Thy looks, thy gestures, all present
     The picture of a life well spent;
     This do I see, and something more,
     A strength unthought of heretofore.
     Delighted am I for thy sake,
     And yet a higher joy partake:
     Our human nature throws away
     Its second twilight, and looks gay,
     A Land of promise and of pride
     Unfolding, wide as life is wide.

     Ah! see her helpless Charge! enclosed
     Within himself as seems, composed;
     To fear of loss and hope of gain,
     The strife of happiness and pain--
     Utterly dead! yet in the guise
     Of little Infants when their eyes
     Begin to follow to and fro
     The persons that before them go,
     He tracks her motions, quick or slow.
     Her buoyant spirits can prevail
     Where common cheerfulness would fail.
     She strikes upon him with the heat
     Of July suns; he feels it sweet;
     An animal delight, though dim!
     'Tis all that now remains for him!

     I look'd, I scann'd her o'er and o'er,
     And, looking, wondered more and more:
     When suddenly I seem'd to espy
     A trouble in her strong black eye,
     A remnant of uneasy light,
     A flash of something over-bright!
     Not long this mystery did detain
     My thoughts. She told in pensive strain
     That she had borne a heavy yoke,
     Been stricken by a twofold stroke;
     Ill health of body, and had pined
     Beneath worse ailments of the mind.

     So be it!--but let praise ascend
     To Him who is our Lord and Friend!
     Who from disease and suffering
     As bad almost as Life can bring,
     Hath call'd for thee a second Spring;
     Repaid thee for that sore distress
     By no untimely joyousness;
     Which makes of thine a blissful state;
     And cheers thy melancholy Mate!

_Wednesday, September 21st._--The house where we lodged was airy, and
even cheerful, though one of a line of houses bordering on the
churchyard, which is the highest part of the town, overlooking a great
portion of it to the opposite hills. The kirk is, as at Melrose, within
the walls of a conventual church; but the ruin is much less beautiful,
and the church a very neat one. The churchyard was full of graves, and
exceedingly slovenly and dirty; one most indecent practice I observed:
several women brought their linen to the flat table-tombstones, and,
having spread it upon them, began to batter as hard as they could with a
wooden roller, a substitute for a mangle.

After Mr. Scott's business in the Courts was over, he walked with us up
the Jed--"sylvan Jed" it has been properly called by Thomson--for the
banks are yet very woody, though wood in large quantities has been
felled within a few years. There are some fine red scars near the river,
in one or two of which we saw the entrances to caves, said to have been
used as places of refuge in times of insecurity.

Walked up to Ferniehurst, an old hall, in a secluded situation, now
inhabited by farmers; the neighbouring ground had the wildness of a
forest, being irregularly scattered over with fine old trees. The wind
was tossing their branches, and sunshine dancing among the leaves, and I
happened to exclaim, "What a life there is in trees!" on which Mr. Scott
observed that the words reminded him of a young lady who had been born
and educated on an island of the Orcades, and came to spend a summer at
Kelso and in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh. She used to say that in the
new world into which she was come nothing had disappointed her so much
as trees and woods; she complained that they were lifeless, silent, and,
compared with the grandeur of the ever-changing ocean, even insipid. At
first I was surprised, but the next moment I felt that the impression
was natural. Mr. Scott said that she was a very sensible young woman,
and had read much. She talked with endless rapture and feeling of the
power and greatness of the ocean; and with the same passionate
attachment returned to her native island without any probability of
quitting it again.[31]

  [Footnote 31: Compare Lockhart's _Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter
  Scott_, vol. i. p. 404.--ED.]

The valley of the Jed is very solitary immediately under Ferniehurst; we
walked down the river, wading almost up to the knees in fern, which in
many parts overspread the forest-ground. It made me think of our walks
at Alfoxden, and of _our own_ park--though at Ferniehurst is no park at
present--and the slim fawns that we used to startle from their
couching-places among the fern at the top of the hill. We were
accompanied on our walk by a young man from the Braes of Yarrow, an
acquaintance of Mr. Scott's,[32] who, having been much delighted with
some of William's poems which he had chanced to see in a newspaper, had
wished to be introduced to him; he lived in the most retired part of the
dale of Yarrow, where he had a farm: he was fond of reading, and
well-informed, but at first meeting as shy as any of our Grasmere lads,
and not less rustic in his appearance. He had been in the Highlands, and
gave me such an account of Loch Rannoch as made us regret that we had
not persevered in our journey thither, especially as he told us that the
bad road ended at a very little distance from the place where we had
turned back, and that we should have come into another good road,
continued all along the shore of the lake. He also mentioned that there
was a very fine view from the steeple at Dunkeld.

  [Footnote 32: William Laidlaw.--ED.]

The town of Jedburgh, in returning along the road, as it is seen through
the gently winding narrow valley, looks exceedingly beautiful on its low
eminence, surmounted by the conventual tower, which is arched over, at
the summit, by light stone-work resembling a coronet; the effect at a
distance is very graceful. The hills all round are high, and rise
rapidly from the town, which though it stands considerably above the
river, yet, from every side except that on which we walked, appears to
stand in a bottom.

We had our dinner sent from the inn, and a bottle of wine, that we might
not disgrace the Sheriff, who supped with us in the evening,--stayed
late, and repeated some of his poem.

_Thursday, September 22nd._--After breakfast, the minister, Dr.
Somerville, called upon us with Mr. Scott, and we went to the manse, a
very pretty house, with pretty gardens, and in a beautiful situation,
though close to the town. Dr. Somerville and his family complained
bitterly of the devastation that had been made among the woods within
view from their windows, which looked up the Jed. He conducted us to the
church, which under his directions has been lately repaired, and is a
very neat place within. Dr. Somerville spoke of the dirt and other
indecencies in the churchyard, and said that he had taken great pains to
put a stop to them, but wholly in vain. The business of the assizes
closed this day, and we went into Court to hear the Judge pronounce his
charge, which was the most curious specimen of old woman's oratory and
newspaper-paragraph loyalty that was ever heard. When all was over they
returned to the inn in procession, as they had come, to the sound of a
trumpet, the Judge first, in his robes of red, the Sheriffs next, in
large cocked hats, and inferior officers following, a show not much
calculated to awe the beholders. After this we went to the inn. The
landlady and her sister inquired if we had been comfortable, and
lamented that they had not had it in their power to pay us more
attention. I began to talk with them, and found out that they were from
Cumberland: they knew Captain and Mrs. Wordsworth, who had frequently
been at Jedburgh, Mrs. Wordsworth's sister having married a gentleman of
that neighbourhood. They spoke of them with great pleasure. I returned
to our lodgings to take leave of the old woman, who told me that I had
behaved "very discreetly," and seemed exceedingly sorry that we were
leaving her so soon. She had been out to buy me some pears, saying that
I must take away some "Jeddered" pears. We learned afterwards that
Jedburgh is famous in Scotland for pears, which were first cultivated
there in the gardens of the monks.

Mr. Scott was very glad to part from the Judge and his retinue, to
travel with us in our car to Hawick; his servant drove his own gig. The
landlady, very kindly, had put up some sandwiches and cheese-cakes for
me, and all the family came out to see us depart. Passed the monastery
gardens, which are yet gardens, where there are many remarkably large
old pear-trees. We soon came into the vale of Teviot, which is open and
cultivated, and scattered over with hamlets, villages, and many
gentlemen's seats, yet, though there is no inconsiderable quantity of
wood, you can never, in the wide and cultivated parts of the Teviot, get
rid of the impression of barrenness, and the fir plantations, which in
this part are numerous, are for ever at war with simplicity. One
beautiful spot I recollect of a different character, which Mr. Scott
took us to see a few yards from the road. A stone bridge crossed the
water at a deep and still place, called Horne's Pool, from a
contemplative schoolmaster, who had lived not far from it, and was
accustomed to walk thither, and spend much of his leisure near the
river. The valley was here narrow and woody. Mr. Scott pointed out to us
Ruberslaw, Minto Crags, and every other remarkable object in or near the
vale of Teviot, and we scarcely passed a house for which he had not some
story. Seeing us look at one, which stood high on the hill on the
opposite side of the river, he told us that a gentleman lived there who,
while he was in India, had been struck with the fancy of making his
fortune by a new speculation, and so set about collecting the gods of
the country, with infinite pains and no little expense, expecting that
he might sell them for an enormous price. Accordingly, on his return
they were offered for sale, but no purchasers came. On the failure of
this scheme, a room was hired in London in which to exhibit them as a
show; but alas! nobody would come to see; and this curious assemblage of
monsters is now, probably, quietly lodged in the vale of Teviot. The
latter part of this gentleman's history is more affecting:--he had an
only daughter, whom he had accompanied into Spain two or three years ago
for the recovery of her health, and so for a time saved her from a
consumption, which now again threatened her, and he was about to leave
his pleasant residence, and attend her once more on the same errand,
afraid of the coming winter.

We passed through a village, whither Leyden, Scott's intimate friend,
the author of _Scenes of Infancy_,[33] was used to walk over several
miles of moorland country every day to school, a poor barefooted boy. He
is now in India, applying himself to the study of Oriental literature,
and, I doubt not, it is his dearest thought that he may come and end his
days upon the banks of Teviot, or some other of the Lowland streams--for
he is, like Mr. Scott, passionately attached to the district of the

  [Footnote 33: The full title was _Scenes of Infancy, descriptive of
  Teviotdale_, published in 1803.--ED.]

Arrived at Hawick to dinner; the inn is a large old house with walls
above a yard thick, formerly a gentleman's house. Did not go out this

_Friday, September 23rd._--Before breakfast, walked with Mr. Scott along
a high road for about two miles, up a bare hill. Hawick is a small town.
From the top of the hill we had an extensive view over the moors of
Liddisdale, and saw the Cheviot Hills. We wished we could have gone with
Mr. Scott into some of the remote dales of this country, where in almost
every house he can find a home and a hearty welcome. But after breakfast
we were obliged to part with him, which we did with great regret: he
would gladly have gone with us to Langholm, eighteen miles further. Our
way was through the vale of Teviot, near the banks of the river.

Passed Branxholm Hall, one of the mansions belonging to the Duke of
Buccleuch, which we looked at with particular interest for the sake of
the Lay of the Last Minstrel. Only a very small part of the original
building remains: it is a large strong house, old, but not ancient in
its appearance--stands very near the river-side; the banks covered with

A little further on, met the Edinburgh coach with several passengers,
the only stage-coach that had passed us in Scotland. Coleridge had come
home by that conveyance only a few days before. The quantity of arable
land gradually diminishes, and the plantations become fewer, till at
last the river flows open to the sun, mostly through unfenced and
untilled grounds, a soft pastoral district, both the hills and the
valley being scattered over with sheep: here and there was a single
farm-house, or cluster of houses, and near them a portion of land
covered with ripe corn.

Near the head of the vale of Teviot, where that stream is but a small
rivulet, we descended towards another valley, by another small rivulet.
Hereabouts Mr. Scott had directed us to look about for some old stumps
of trees, said to be the place where Johnny Armstrong was hanged; but
we could not find them out. The valley into which we were descending,
though, for aught I know, it is unnamed in song, was to us more
interesting than the Teviot itself. Not a spot of tilled ground was
there to break in upon its pastoral simplicity; the same soft yellow
green spread from the bed of the streamlet to the hill-tops on each
side, and sheep were feeding everywhere. It was more close and simple
than the upper end of the vale of Teviot, the valley being much
narrower, and the hills equally high and not broken into parts, but on
each side a long range. The grass, as we had first seen near
Crawfordjohn, had been mown in the different places of the open ground,
where it might chance to be best; but there was no part of the surface
that looked perfectly barren, as in those tracts.

We saw a single stone house a long way before us, which we conjectured
to be, as it proved, Moss Paul, the inn where we were to bait. The
scene, with this single dwelling, was melancholy and wild, but not
dreary, though there was no tree nor shrub; the small streamlet
glittered, the hills were populous with sheep; but the gentle bending of
the valley, and the correspondent softness in the forms of the hills,
were of themselves enough to delight the eye. At Moss Paul we fed our
horse;--several travellers were drinking whisky. We neither ate nor
drank, for we had, with our usual foresight and frugality in travelling,
saved the cheese-cakes and sandwiches which had been given us by our
countrywoman at Jedburgh the day before. After Moss Paul, we ascended
considerably, then went down other reaches of the valley, much less
interesting, stony and barren. The country afterwards not peculiar, I
should think, for I scarcely remember it.

Arrived at Langholm at about five o'clock. The town, as we approached,
from a hill, looked very pretty, the houses being roofed with blue
slates, and standing close to the river Esk, here a large river, that
scattered its waters wide over a stony channel. The inn neat and
comfortable--exceedingly clean: I could hardly believe we were still in

After tea walked out; crossed a bridge, and saw, at a little distance up
the valley, Langholm House, a villa of the Duke of Buccleuch: it stands
upon a level between the river and a steep hill, which is planted with
wood. Walked a considerable way up the river, but could not go close to
it on account of the Duke's plantations, which are locked up. When they
ended, the vale became less cultivated; the view through the vale
towards the hills very pleasing, though bare and cold.

_Saturday, September 24th._--Rose very early and travelled about nine
miles to Longtown, before breakfast, along the banks of the Esk. About
half a mile from Langholm crossed a bridge. At this part of the vale,
which is narrow, the steeps are covered with old oaks and every variety
of trees. Our road for some time through the wood, then came to a more
open country, exceedingly rich and populous; the banks of the river
frequently rocky, and hung with wood; many gentlemen's houses. There was
the same rich variety while the river continued to flow through Scottish
grounds; but not long after we had passed through the last turnpike gate
in Scotland and the first in England--but a few yards asunder--the vale
widens, and its aspect was cold, and even dreary, though Sir James
Graham's plantations are very extensive. His house, a large building,
stands in this open part of the vale. Longtown was before us, and ere
long we saw the well-remembered guide-post, where the circuit of our six
weeks' travels had begun, and now was ended.

We did not look along the white line of the road to Solway Moss without
some melancholy emotion, though we had the fair prospect of the
Cumberland mountains full in view, with the certainty, barring
accidents, of reaching our own dear home the next day. Breakfasted at
the Graham's Arms. The weather had been very fine from the time of our
arrival at Jedburgh, and this was a very pleasant day. The sun "shone
fair on Carlisle's walls" when we first saw them from the top of the
opposite hill. Stopped to look at the place on the sand near the bridge
where Hatfield had been executed. Put up at the same inn as before, and
were recognised by the woman who had waited on us. Everybody spoke of
Hatfield as an injured man. After dinner went to a village six miles
further, where we slept.

_Sunday, September 25th, 1803._--A beautiful autumnal day. Breakfasted
at a public-house by the road-side; dined at Threlkeld; arrived at home
between eight and nine o'clock, where we found Mary in perfect health,
Joanna Hutchinson with her, and little John asleep in the clothes-basket
by the fire.


  [Footnote 34: See "Memorials of a Tour in Scotland, 1803," "Fly, some
  kind Harbinger, to Grasmere-dale!"--ED.]

  SEPTEMBER 25th, 1803

     Fly, some kind spirit, fly to Grasmere Vale!
     Say that we come, and come by this day's light.
     Glad tidings!--spread them over field and height,
     But, chiefly, let one Cottage hear the tale!
     There let a mystery of joy prevail,
     The kitten frolic with unruly might,
     And Rover whine as at a second sight
     Of near-approaching good that will not fail:
     And from that Infant's face let joy appear;
     Yea, let our Mary's one companion child,
     That hath her six weeks' solitude beguiled
     With intimations manifold and dear,
     While we have wander'd over wood and wild--
     Smile on its Mother now with bolder cheer!


  NOVEMBER 7TH TO 13TH, 1805


  [Footnote 35: This title is given by the editor. There is none in the
  original MS.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

_Wednesday, November 7th._--On a damp and gloomy morning we set forward,
William on foot, and I upon the pony, with William's greatcoat slung
over the saddle crutch, and a wallet containing our bundle of
"needments." As we went along the mist gathered upon the valleys, and it
even rained all the way to the head of Patterdale; but there was never a
drop upon my habit larger than the smallest pearls upon a lady's ring.
The trees of the larger island upon Rydale Lake were of the most
gorgeous colours; the whole island reflected in the water, as I remember
once in particular to have seen it with dear Coleridge, when either he
or William observed that the rocky shore, spotted and streaked with
purplish brown heath, and its image in the water, together were like an
immense caterpillar, such as, when we were children, we used to call
_Woolly Boys_, from their hairy coats.... As the mist thickened, our
enjoyments increased, and my hopes grew bolder; and when we were at the
top of Kirkstone (though we could not see fifty yards before us) we were
as happy travellers as ever paced side by side on a holiday ramble. At
such a time and in such a place every scattered stone the size of one's
head becomes a companion. There is a fragment of an old wall at the top
of Kirkstone, which, magnified yet obscured as it was by the mist, was
scarcely less interesting to us when we cast our eyes upon it, than the
view of a noble monument of ancient grandeur has been--yet this same
pile of stones we had never before observed. When we had descended
considerably, the fields of Hartsop, below Brotherswater, were first
seen like a lake, coloured by the reflection of yellow clouds. I mistook
them for the water; but soon after we saw the lake itself gleaming
faintly with a grey, steely brightness; then appeared the brown oaks,
and the birches of splendid colour, and, when we came still nearer to
the valley, the cottages under their tufts of trees and the old Hall of
Hartsop with its long irregular front and elegant chimneys....

_Thursday, November 8th._--Incessant rain till eleven o'clock, when it
became fair, and William and I walked to Blowick. Luff joined us by the
way. The wind was strong, and drove the clouds forward along the side of
the hill above our heads; four or five goats were bounding among the
rocks; the sheep moved about more quietly, or cowered in their
sheltering-places. The two storm-stiffened black yew-trees on the crag
above Luff's house were striking objects, close under or seen through
the flying mists.... When we stood upon the naked crag upon the common,
overlooking the woods and bush-besprinkled fields of Blowick, the lake,
clouds, and mists were all in motion to the sound of sweeping winds--the
church and cottages of Patterdale scarcely visible from the brightness
of the thin mist. Looking backwards towards the foot of the water, the
scene less visionary. Place Fell steady and bold as a lion; the whole
lake driving down like a great river, waves dancing round the small
islands. We walked to the house. The owner was salving sheep in the
barn; an appearance of poverty and decay everywhere. He asked us if we
wanted to purchase the estate. We could not but stop frequently, both
in going and returning, to look at the exquisite beauty of the woods
opposite. The general colour of the trees was dark-brown, rather that of
ripe hazel-nuts; but towards the water there were yet beds of green, and
in some of the hollow places in the highest part of the woods the trees
were of a yellow colour, and through the glittering light they looked
like masses of clouds as you see them gathered together in the west, and
tinged with the golden light of the sun. After dinner we walked with
Mrs. Luff up the vale; I had never had an idea of the extent and width
of it, in passing through along the road, on the other side. We walked
along the path which leads from house to house; two or three times it
took us through some of those copses or groves that cover every little
hillock in the middle of the lower part of the vale, making an intricate
and beautiful intermixture of lawn and woodland. We left William to
prolong his walk, and when he came into the house he told us that he had
pitched upon the spot where he should like to build a house better than
in any other he had ever yet seen. Mrs. Luff went with him by moonlight
to view it. The vale looked as if it were filled with white light when
the moon had climbed up to the middle of the sky; but long before we
could see her face a while all the eastern hills were in black shade,
those on the opposite side were almost as bright as snow. Mrs. Luff's
large white dog lay in the moonshine upon the round knoll under the old
yew-tree, a beautiful and romantic image--the dark tree with its dark
shadow, and the elegant creature as fair as a spirit.

_Friday, November 9th._--It rained till near ten o'clock; but a little
after that time, it being likely for a tolerably fine day, we packed up,
and with Luff's servant to help to row, set forward in the boat. As we
proceeded the day grew finer, clouds and sunny gleams on the mountains.
In a grand bay under Place Fell we saw three fishermen with a boat
dragging a net, and rowed up to them. They had just brought the net
ashore, and hundreds of fish were leaping in their prison. They were all
of one kind, what are called Skellies. After we had left them the
fishermen continued their work, a picturesque group under the lofty and
bare crags; the whole scene was very grand, a raven croaking on the
mountain above our heads. Landed at Sanwick, the man took the boat home,
and we pursued our journey towards the village along a beautiful summer
path, at first through a copse by the lake-side, then through green
fields. The village and brook very pretty, shut out from mountains and
lake; it reminded me of Somersetshire. Passed by Harry Hebson's house; I
longed to go in for the sake of former times. William went up one side
of the vale, and we the other, and he joined us after having crossed the
one-arched bridge above the church; a beautiful view of the church with
its "base ring of mossy wall" and single yew-tree. At the last house in
the vale we were kindly greeted by the master.... We were well prepared
to face the mountain, which we began to climb almost immediately.
Martindale divides itself into two dales at the head. In one of these
(that to the left) there is no house to be seen, nor any building but a
cattle-shed on the side of a hill which is sprinkled over with wood,
evidently the remains of a forest, formerly a very extensive one. At the
bottom of the other valley is the house of which I have spoken, and
beyond the enclosures of this man's farm there are no other. A few old
trees remain, relics of the forest; a little stream passes in serpentine
windings through the uncultivated valley, where many cattle were
feeding. The cattle of this country are generally white or
light-coloured; but those were mostly dark-brown or black, which made
the scene resemble many parts of Scotland. When we sat on the hillside,
though we were well contented with the quiet everyday sounds, the lowing
of cattle, bleating of sheep, and the very gentle murmuring of the
valley stream, yet we could not but think what a grand effect the sound
of the bugle-horn would have among these mountains. It is still heard
once a year at the chase--a day of festivity for all the inhabitants of
the district, except the poor deer, the most ancient of them all. The
ascent, even to the top of the mountain, is very easy. When we had
accomplished it we had some exceedingly fine mountain views, some of the
mountains being resplendent with sunshine, others partly hidden by
clouds. Ulswater was of a dazzling brightness bordered by black hills,
the plain beyond Penrith smooth and bright (or rather _gleamy_) as the
sea or sea-sands. Looked into Boar Dale above Sanwick--deep and bare, a
stream winding down it. After having walked a considerable way on the
tops of the hills, came in view of Glenridding and the mountains above
Grisdale. Luff then took us aside, before we had begun to descend, to a
small ruin, which was formerly a chapel or place of worship where the
inhabitants of Martindale and Patterdale were accustomed to meet on
Sundays. There are now no traces by which you could discover that the
building had been different from a common sheepfold; the loose stones
and the few which yet remain piled up are the same as those which lie
about on the mountain; but the shape of the building being oblong is not
that of a common sheepfold, and it stands east and west. Whether it was
ever consecrated ground or not I know not; but the place may be kept
holy in the memory of some now living in Patterdale; for it was the
means of preserving the life of a poor old man last summer, who, having
gone up the mountain to gather peats, had been overtaken by a storm, and
could not find his way down again. He happened to be near the remains of
the old chapel, and, in a corner of it, he contrived, by laying turf and
ling and stones from one wall to the other, to make a shelter from the
wind, and there he lay all night. The woman who had sent him on his
errand began to grow uneasy towards night, and the neighbours went out
to seek him. At that time the old man had housed himself in his nest,
and he heard the voices of the men, but could not make _them_ hear, the
wind being so loud, and he was afraid to leave the spot lest he should
not be able to find it again, so he remained there all night; and they
returned to their homes, giving him up for lost; but the next morning
the same persons discovered him huddled up in the sheltered nook. He was
at first stupefied and unable to move; but after he had eaten and drunk,
and recollected himself a little, he walked down the mountain, and did
not afterwards seem to have suffered.[36] As we descend, the vale of
Patterdale appears very simple and grand, with its two heads, Deep Dale,
and Brotherswater or Hartsop. It is remarkable that two pairs of
brothers should have been drowned in that lake. There is a tradition, at
least, that it took its name from two who were drowned there many years
ago, and it is a fact that two others did meet that melancholy fate
about twenty years since....

  [Footnote 36: Compare the account given of this incident in _The
  Excursion_, towards the close of book ii.; also in the Fenwick note to
  _The Excursion_.--ED.]

_Saturday, November 10th._--A beautiful morning. When we were at
breakfast we heard suddenly the tidings of Lord Nelson's death and the
victory of Trafalgar. Went to the inn to make further inquiries.
Returned by William's rock and grove, and were so much pleased with the
spot that William determined to buy it if possible, therefore we
prepared to set off to Parkhouse that William might apply to Thomas
Wilkinson to negotiate for him with the owner. We went down that side of
the lake opposite to Stybarrow Crag. I dismounted, and we sat some time
under the same rock as before, above Blowick. Owing to the brightness of
the sunshine the church and other buildings were even more concealed
from us than by the mists the other day. It had been a sharp frost in
the night, and the grass and trees were yet wet. We observed the
lemon-coloured leaves of the birches in the wood below, as the wind
turned them to the sun, sparkle, or rather flash, like diamonds. The day
continued unclouded to the end.

_Monday, November 12th._--The morning being fine, we resolved to go to
Lowther.... Crossed the ford at Yanworth. Found Thomas Wilkinson at work
in one of his fields; he cheerfully laid down the spade and walked by
our side with William. We left our horses at the mill below Brougham,
and walked through the woods till we came to the quarry, where the road
ends--the very place which has been the boundary of some of the happiest
of the walks of my youth. The sun did not shine when we were there, and
it was mid-day; therefore, if it had shone, the light could not have
been the same; yet so vividly did I call to mind those walks, that, when
I was in the wood, I almost seemed to see the same rich light of evening
upon the trees which I had seen in those happy hours....

_Tuesday, November 13th._--A very wet morning; no hope of being able to
return home. William read in a book lent him by Thomas Wilkinson. I read
_Castle Rackrent_. The day cleared at one o'clock, and after dinner, at
a little before three, we set forward.... Before we reached Ullswater
the sun shone, and only a few scattered clouds remained on the hills,
except at the tops of the very highest. The lake perfectly calm. We had
a delightful journey.... The trees in Gowborough Park were very
beautiful, the hawthorns leafless, their round heads covered with rich
red berries, and adorned with arches of green brambles; and eglantine
hung with glossy hips; many birches yet tricked out in full foliage of
bright yellow; oaks brown or leafless; the smooth branches of the ashes
bare; most of the alders green as in spring. At the end of Gowborough
Park a large troop of deer were moving slowly, or standing still, among
the fern. I was grieved when our companions startled them with a
whistle, disturbing a beautiful image of grave simplicity and thoughtful
enjoyment, for I could have fancied that even they were partaking with
me a sensation of the solemnity of the closing day. I think I have more
pleasure in looking at deer than any other animals, perhaps chiefly from
their living in a more natural state. The sun had been set some time,
though we could only just perceive that the daylight was partly gone,
and the lake was more brilliant than before.... A delightful evening;
the Seven Stars close to the hill-tops in Patterdale; all the stars
seemed brighter than usual. The steeps were reflected in Brotherswater,
and above the lake appeared like enormous black perpendicular walls. The
torrents of Kirkstone had been swollen by the rains, and filled the
mountain pass with their roaring, which added greatly to the solemnity
of our walk. The stars in succession took their stations on the
mountain-tops. Behind us, when we had climbed very high, we saw one
light in the vale at a great distance, like a large star, a solitary
one, in the gloomy region. All the cheerfulness of the scene was in the
sky above us....[37]

  [Footnote 37: A curious _recast_ of this journal by his sister was
  published by Wordsworth, in his _Description of the Scenery of the


  OF A


_Monday, July 10th, 1820._--We--William, Mary, and Dorothy
Wordsworth--left the Rectory House, Lambeth, at a quarter to eight
o'clock. Had the "Union" coach to ourselves, till within two stages of
Canterbury, when two young ladies demanded inside places.... The
Cathedral of Canterbury, described by Erasmus as lifting itself up in
"such majesty towards heaven, that it strikes religion into the
beholders from a distance," looks stately on the plain, when first seen
from the gently descending road, and appeared to me a much finer
building than in former times; and I felt, as I had often done during my
last abode in London, that, whatever change, tending to melancholy,
twenty years might have produced, they had called forth the capacity of
enjoying the sight of ancient buildings to which my youth was,
comparatively, a stranger. Between London and Canterbury the scenes are
varied and cheerful; first Blackheath, and its bordering villas, and
shady trees; goats, asses, sheep, etc., pasturing at large near the
houses. The Thames glorious; ships like castles, cutting their way as
through green meadows, the river being concealed from view; then it
spreads out like a wide lake, scattered over with vessels.

_Dover, Tuesday, July 11th._--We walked to the Castle before breakfast.
The building, when you are close to it, appears even _sublime_, from
its immense height and bulk; but it is not rich or beautiful in
architecture. The old warder stood in waiting upon the hill to lead us
forward. After ascending above a hundred stone steps, we were greeted by
the slender tinkling of a bell, a delicately wild sound in that place.
It is fixed at the top of a pillar, on which is inscribed a poetical
petition in behalf of the prisoners confined above in the Castle.

_Calais, Tuesday, July 11th._--Landed on the shores of France at
half-past one. What shall I say of Calais? I looked about for what I
remembered, and looked for new things, and in both quests was
gratified.... On my bedroom door is inscribed "Sterne's Room," and a
print of him hangs over the fireplace. The walls painted in panels,
handsome carpets, chimney-piece marble-coloured, hearth red,
bed-curtains white, sheets coarse, coverlet a mixture of cotton and
woollen, beautifully white; but how clumsy all contrivances of braziers
and smiths! The bell hangs on the outside of the wall, and gives a
single, loud, dull stroke when pulled by the string, so that you must
stand and pull four or five times, as if you were calling the people to

_Calais, Wednesday, July 12th._--We rose at five; sunshine and clear,
but rather cold air. The Cathedral, a large edifice, not finely wrought;
but the first effect is striking, from the size of the numerous pillars
and arches, though they are paltry in the finishing, merely whitewashed
and stuck over with bad pictures and tawdry images; yet the whole view
at the entrance was affecting. Old men and women--_young_ women and
girls kneeling at their silent prayers, and some we espied, in obscure
recesses, before a concealed crucifix, image, or altar. One grey-haired
man I cannot forget, whose countenance bore the impression of worldly
cares subdued, and peace in heavenly aspiration.... Another figure I
must not leave unnoticed, a squalid, ragged woman. She sate alone upon
some steps at the side of the entrance to the quire. There she sate,
with a white dog beside her; no one was near, and the dog and she
evidently belonged to each other, probably her only friend, for never
was there a more wretchedly forlorn and miserable-looking human being.
She did not notice us; but her rags and her sickly aspect drew a penny
from me, and the change in the woman's skinny, doleful face is not to be
imagined: it was brightened by a light and gracious smile--the effect
was almost as of something supernatural--she bowed her body, waved her
hand, and, with a politeness of gesture unknown in England in almost any
station of life, beckoned that we might enter the church, where the
people were kneeling upon chairs, of which there might be a
thousand--_two_ thousand--I cannot say how many--piled up in different
parts of the Cathedral....

_9 o'clock, Inn-yard, Calais._--Off we drove, preceded by our friends,
each postilion smacking his whip along the street with a dexterity truly
astonishing. Never before did I know the power of a clumsy whip, in
concert with the rattling of wheels upon rough pavement! The effect was
certainly not less upon the spectators, and we jolted away as merry as
children--showed our passports--passed the gateways, drawbridges, and
shabby soldiers, and, fresh to the feeling of being in a foreign land,
drove briskly forward, watchful and gay. The country for many miles
populous; this makes it amusing, though sandy and flat; no trees worth
looking at singly _as_ trees....

_Half-past 10._--The party gone to bed. This _salle_, where I sit, how
unlike a parlour in an English inn! Yet the history of a sea-fight, or a
siege, painted on the walls, with the costumes of Philip the Second, or
even of our own time, would have better suited my associations, with the
names of Gravelines and Dunkirk, than the story of Cupid and Psyche now
before my eyes, as large as life, on French paper! The paper is in
panels, with big mirrors between, in gilt frames. With all this taste
and finery, and wax candles,[38] and Brussels carpets, what a mixture of
troublesome awkwardness! They brought us a ponderous teapot that would
not pour out the tea; the latches (with metal enough to fasten up a
dungeon) can hardly, by unpractised hands, be made to open and shut the
doors! I have seen the diligence come into the yard and unload--heavy,
dirty, dusty--a lap-dog walking about the top, like a panther in its
cage, and viewing the gulf below. A monkey was an outside passenger when
it departed.

  [Footnote 38: A charge was made for wax candles.--D. W.]

_Furnes, July 13th, Thursday, 5 o'clock._--I will describe this Square.
Houses yellow, grey, white, and _there_ is a green one! Yet the effect
is not gaudy--a half Grecian church, with Gothic spire; storks have
built their nests, and are sitting upon the venerable tower of another
church, a sight that pleasingly reminds us of our neighbourhood to
Holland. The interior of that which outwardly mimics the Grecian is
Gothic, and rather handsome in form, but whitewashed, and bedaubed with
tinsel, and dolls, and tortured images.... Bells continually tinkling.
_There_ goes a woman to her prayers, in a long black cloak, and bright
blue stockings; _here_ comes a nicely-dressed old woman, leaning on her
staff! Surely it is a blessing to the aged in Roman Catholic countries
to have the churches always open for them, if it were only that it makes
a variety in the course of a long day! How soothing, how natural to the
aged, thus to withdraw from the stir of household cares, and occupations
in which they can no longer take a part! and I must say (little as I
have yet seen of this mode of worshipping God) I never beheld more of
the expression of piety and earnest feeling than in some of the very old
people in these churches. Every avenue of the square of this town
presents some picturesque continuation of buildings. All is old, and
old-_fashioned_; nothing to complain of but a want of Dutch cleanliness,
yet it does not obtrude on the eye, out of doors, and the exterior is
grave, decent, and quiet....

The priests in their gaudy attire, with their young white-robed
attendants, made a solemn appearance, while clouds of incense were
ascending over their heads to the large crucifix above the altar; and
the "pealing organ" sounded to the "full-voiced quire." There was a
beautiful nun in a grey garment with a long black scarf, white forehead
band, belt, and rosary. Intent upon her devotions, she did not cast an
eye towards us, and we stood to look at her. The faces of many of the
women are handsome, but the steady grace, the chastened motions of their
persons, and the mild seriousness of their countenances, are _most_

From Furnes to Bruges we had travelled through a flat country, yet with
an endless variety, produced by the various produce of a beautiful soil
carefully cultivated. We had been told that the country between Ghent
and Bruges was much of the same kind, only not so interesting, therefore
we were not sorry to interpose the variety of the packet-boat to
Ghent.... And, when all was ready, took our places on the deck of the
vessel. The tinkling of a bell, the signal for departure; and we glided
gently away with motion only perceptible by the _eye_, looking at the
retreating objects on the shore.... Two nuns and a priest (his
prayer-book in his hand), an English dandy, a handsome lady-like Flemish
girl, dressed in an elegant gauze mob-cap with flowers, and robe _à la
française_, were the most noticeable people.... The groups under the
awning would make a lively picture. The priest, in his cocked hat,
standing at his prayers, the pretty maiden in her cap and flowers, and
_there_ are the nuns. My brother and the nuns are very merry. _They_
seem to have left their prayer-books at home, and one of them has a
pamphlet in her hand that looks like a magazine. Low cottages, pretty
and clean, close to the bank; a woman scouring a copper vessel, in white
jacket, red cap, blue petticoat, and clean sailcloth apron; the flat
country to be seen over the low banks of the canal, spires and towers,
and sometimes a village may be descried among trees; many little
public-houses to tempt a landing; near one I see a pleasant arbour, with
seats aloft for smoking.... The nuns are merry; so is the priest, in his
spectacles; the dandy recommends shoes, in preference to boots, as more
convenient. "There is nobody that can clean either on the Continent."
For my part, I think they clean _them_ as well as anything else, except
their vessels for cookery! they cannot get the dust out of a chair, or
_rub_ a table!... William and I remained till the carriages were safely
landed, amid a confusion of tongues, French, German, and English, and
inarticulate shoutings, such as belong to all nations.... Canals round
the town, rows of trees, fortifications converted into pleasure-grounds.
We pass through old and picturesque streets, with an intermixture of
houses of a later date, and showy shops; an appearance of commerce and
bustle, which makes the contrast with Bruges the more striking, as the
architecture of the ancient houses is of the same kind. William and I,
with our English lady, reached first the appointed inn, though our
friends had left the boat long before us....

_Ghent._--After tea, walked through the city. The buildings, streets,
squares, all are picturesque. The houses, green, blue, pink, yellow,
with richest ornaments still varying. Strange it is that so many and
such strongly-contrasted colours should compose an undiscordant whole.
Towers and spires overlook the lofty houses, and nothing is wanting of
venerable antiquity at Ghent to give to the mind the same melancholy
composure, which cannot but be felt in passing through the streets of
Bruges--nothing but the impression that no change is going on, except
through the silent progress of time. _There_ the very dresses of the
women might have been the same for hundreds of years. _Here_, though the
black cloak is prevalent, we see a mixture of all kinds, from the dress
of the English or French belle to that of the poorest of our poor in a
country town....

_Saturday, July 15th._--The architecture is a mixture of Gothic and
Grecian. Three orders of pillars, one above another, the Gothic part
very rich.... Multitudes of swallows were wheeling round the roof,
regardless of carts and hammers, or whatever noise was heard below, and
the effect was indescribably interesting. The restless motions and
plaintive call of those little creatures seemed to impart a stillness to
every other object, and had the power to lead the imagination gently on
to the period when that once superb but now decaying structure shall be
"lorded over and possessed by nature."...

_Arrival at Brussels._--Light and shade very solemn upon the drawbridge.
Passing through a heavy gateway, we entered the city, and drove through
street after street with a pleasure wholly new to us. Garlands of fresh
boughs and flowers in festoons hung on each side, and the great height
of the houses, especially in the narrow streets (lighted as they were),
gave a beautiful effect to the exhibition. Some of the streets were very
steep, others long or winding; and in the triangular openings at the
junction of different streets there was generally some stately ornament.
For instance, in one place a canopy, with white drapery attached to the
centre, and suspended in four inverted arches by means of four pillars
at the distance of six or seven yards from the centre.

_Sunday, July 16th._--_Brussels._--After breakfast, proceeded through
the park, a very large open space with shady walks, statues, fountains,
pools, arbours, and seats, and surrounded by palaces and fine houses--to
the Cathedral, which, though immensely large, was so filled with people
that we could scarcely make our way so as, by standing upon chairs (for
which we paid two sous each), to have a view of the building over the
multitudes of heads. The priests, at high mass, could not be seen; but
the melody of human voices, accompanied by the organ, pierced through
every recess--then came bursts of sound like thunder; and, at times, the
solemn rousing of the trumpet. Powerful as was the effect of the music,
the excessive heat and crowding after a short while overcame every other
feeling, and we were glad to go into the open air. Our _laquais de
place_ conducted us to the house of a shopkeeper, where, from a room in
the attics, we might view the procession. It was close to one of the
triangular openings with which most of the streets of Brussels
terminate. To the right, we looked down the street along which the
procession was to come, and, a little to the left below us, overlooked
the triangles, in the centre of which was a fountain ornamented with
three marble statues, and a pillar in the midst, topped by a golden
ball--the whole decorated with festoons of holly, and large roses made
of paper, alternately red and yellow. In like manner the garlands were
composed in all the streets through which the procession was to pass;
but in some parts there were also young fir-trees stuck in the pavement,
leaving a foot-way between them and the houses. Paintings were hung out
by such as possessed them, and ribands and flags. The street where we
were was lined with people assembled like ourselves in expectation, all
in their best attire. Peasants to be distinguished by their short
jackets, petticoats of scarlet or some other bright colour (in
contrast), crosses, or other ornament of gold or gilding; the
bourgeoises, with black silk scarfs overhead, and reaching almost to
their feet; ladies, a little too much of the French or English; little
girls, with or without caps, and some in elegant white veils. The
windows of all the houses open, and people seen at full length, or
through doorways, sitting, or standing in patient expectation. It amused
us to observe _them_, and the arrangements of their houses--which were
even splendid, compared with those of persons of like condition in our
own country--with an antique cast over all. Nor was it less amusing to
note the groups or lines of people below us. Whether standing in the hot
sunshine, or the shade, they appeared equally contented. Some approached
the fountain--a sacred spot!--to drink of the pure waters, out of which
rise the silent statues. The spot is sacred; for there, before the
priests arrived in the procession, incense was kindled in the urns, and
a pause was made with the canopy of the Host, while they continued
chanting the service. But I am going too fast.

The procession was, in its beginning, military, and its approach
announced by sound of trumpets. Then came a troop of cavalry, four
abreast, splendidly accoutred, dressed in blue and gold, and accompanied
by a full band of music; next, I think, the magistrates and constituted
authorities. But the order of the procession I do not recollect; only
that the military, civil, and religious authorities and symbols were
pleasingly combined, and the whole spectacle was beautiful. Long before
the sound of the sacred service reached our ears, the martial music had
died away in the distance, though there was no interruption in the line
of the procession. The contrast was very pleasing when the solemn
chaunting came along the street, with the stream of banners; priests and
choristers in their appropriate robes; and not the least pleasing part
of it was a great number of young girls, two and two, all dressed in
white frocks. It was a day made on purpose for this exhibition; the sun
seemed to be feasting on the gorgeous colours and glittering banners;
and there was no breeze to disturb garland or flower. When all was
passed away, we returned to the Cathedral, which we found not so crowded
as much to interrupt our view: yet the whole effect of the interior was
much injured by the decorations for the fête--especially by stiff
orange-trees in tubs, placed between the pillars of the aisles. Though
not equal to those of Bruges or Ghent, it is a very fine Gothic
building, massy pillars and numerous statues, and windows of painted
glass--an ornament which we have been so accustomed to in our own
cathedrals that we lamented the want of it at Ghent and Bruges.

_Monday, July 17th._--_Brussels._--Brussels exhibits in its different
quarters the stateliness of the ancient and the princely splendour of
modern times, mixed with an uncouth irregularity, resembling that of the
lofty tiers of houses at Edinburgh; but the general style of building in
the old streets is by no means so striking as in those of Ghent or

_Waterloo._--Waterloo is a mean village; straggling on each side of the
broad highway, children and poor people of all ages stood on the watch
to conduct us to the church. Within the circle of its interior are found
several mural monuments of our brave soldiers--long lists of naked names
inscribed on marble slabs--not less moving than laboured epitaphs
displaying the sorrow of surviving friends.... Here we took up the very
man who was Southey's guide (Lacoste), whose name will make a figure in
history. He bowed to us with French ceremony and liveliness, seeming
proud withal to show himself as a sharer in the terrors of that time
when Buonaparte's confusion and overthrow released him from unwilling
service. He had been tied upon a horse as Buonaparte's guide through the
country previous to the battle, and was compelled to stay by his side
till the moment of flight....

_Monday, July 17th._--_Brussels._--The sky had been overshadowed by
clouds during most of our journey, and now a storm threatened us, which
helped our own melancholy thoughts to cast a gloom over the open
country, where few trees were to be seen except forests on the distant
heights. The ruins of the severely contested chateau of Hougomont had
been ridded away since the battle, and the injuries done to the
farm-house repaired. Even these circumstances, natural and trivial as
they were, suggested melancholy thoughts, by furnishing grounds for a
charge of ingratitude against the course of things, that was thus
hastily removing from the spot all vestiges of so momentous an event.
Feeble barriers against this tendency are the few frail memorials
erected in different parts of the field of battle! and we could not but
anticipate the time, when through the flux and reflux of war, to which
this part of the Continent has always been subject, or through some turn
of popular passion, _these_ also should fall; and "Nature's universal
robe of green, humanity's appointed shroud," enwrap them:--and the very
names of those whose valour they record be cast into shade, if not
obliterated even in their own country, by the exploits of recent
favourites in future ages.

_Tuesday, July 18th._--_Namur._--Before breakfast we went to the church
of the Jesuits; beautiful pillars of marble, roof of pumice-stone
curiously wrought, the colour chaste and sombre. The churches of Ghent
and Bruges are injured by being whitewashed: that of Brussels is of a
pale grey, or stone-colour, which has a much better effect, though
nothing equal to the roof of the Jesuits' church at Namur; yet in one
point (_i.e._ the painted windows) the Cathedral of Brussels surpasses
all the churches we have yet seen.... Several women passed us who had
come thither to attend upon the labourers employed in repairing and
enlarging the fortifications. Their dresses were neat and gay; and, in
that place of which we had so often read in histories of battles and
sieges, their appearance, while they struggled cheerfully with the
blustering wind, was wild and romantic. The fondness for flowers appears
in this country wherever you go. Nothing is more common than to see a
man, driving a cart, with a rose in his mouth. At the very top of our
ascent, I saw one at work with his spade, a full-blown rose covering his
lips, which he must have brought up the hill,--or had some favourite
lass there presented it to him?...

_Wednesday, July 19th._--_Liége._--My first entrance into the
market-place brought a shock of cheerful sensation. It was like the
bursting into life of a Flemish picture. Such profusion of fruit! such
outspreading of flowers! and heaps of vegetables! and such variety in
the attire of the women! A curious and abundant fountain, surrounded
with large stone basins, served to wash and refresh the vegetables.
Torrents of voices assailed us while we threaded our way among the fruit
and fragrant flowers; bouquets were held out to us by half a score of
sunburnt arms at once. The women laughed--_we_ laughed, took one
bouquet, and gave two sous, our all.... Left Liége about 9 o'clock--were
recognised and greeted by many of the women at their stalls as we passed
again through the market-place.... Ascended a very steep hill, on the
top of which stands the ruined convent of the Chartreuse, and there we
left our carriages to look back upon the fine view of the city,
spreading from the ridge of the crescent hill opposite to us (which is,
however, somewhat unpleasingly scarified by new fortifications), and
over the central plain of the vale, to the magnificent river which,
split into many channels, flows at the foot of the eminence where we
stood.... Still, as we proceed, we are reminded of England--the fields,
even the cottages, and large farm-houses, are English-like; country
undulating, and prospects extensive, yet continually some pretty little
spot detains the eye; groups of cottages, or single ones, green to the
very door.[39]

  [Footnote 39: Compare in _Tintern Abbey_, ll. 16, 17--

                     "these pastoral farms,
       Green to the very door."  ED.]

_Thursday, July 20th._--_Aix-la-Chapelle._--I went to the Cathedral, a
curious building, where are to be seen the chair of Charlemagne, on
which the Emperors were formerly crowned, some marble pillars much older
than _his_ time, and many pictures; but I could not stay to examine any
of these curiosities, and gladly made my way alone back to the inn to
rest there. The market-place is a fine old square; but at
Aix-la-Chapelle there is always a mighty preponderance of poverty and
dulness, except in a few of the showiest of the streets, and even there,
a flashy meanness, a slight patchery of things falling to pieces, is
everywhere visible....

_Road to Cologne._--At the distance of ten miles we saw before us, over
an expanse of open country, the Towers of Cologne. Even at this distance
they appeared very tall and bulky; and Mary pointed out that one of them
was a ruin, which no other eyes could discover. To the left was a range
of distant hills; and, to the right, in front of us, another
range--rather a _cluster_--which we looked at with peculiar interest, as
guardians and companions of the famous river Rhine, whither we were
tending, and (sick and weary though I was) I felt as much of the glad
eagerness of hope as when I first visited the Wye, and all the world was
fresh and new. Having travelled over the intermediate not interesting
country, the massy ramparts of Cologne, guarded by grotesque turrets,
the bridges, and heavy arched gateways, the central towers and spires,
rising above the concealed mass of houses in the city, excited something
of gloomy yet romantic expectation.

_Friday, July 21st._--_Cologne._--I busied myself repairing garments
already tattered in the journey, at the same time observing the traffic
and business of the river, here very wide, and the banks low. I was a
prisoner; but really the heat this morning being oppressive, I felt not
even a wish to stir abroad, and could, I believe, have been amused more
days than one by the lading and unlading of a ferry-boat, which came to
and started from the shore close under my window. Steadily it floats on
the lively yet smooth water, a square platform, not unlike a section cut
out of a thronged market-place, and the busy crowd removed with it to
the plain of water. The square is enclosed by a white railing. Two
slender pillars rise from the platform, to which the ropes are attached,
forming between them an inverted arch, elegant enough. When the boat
draws up to her mooring-place, a bell, hung aloft, is rung as a signal
for a fresh freight. All walk from the shore, without having an inch to
rise or to descend. Carts with their horses wheel away--rustic, yet not
without parade of stateliness--the foreheads of the meanest being
adorned with scarlet fringes. In the neighbourhood of Brussels (and
indeed all through the _Low Countries_), we remarked the large size and
good condition of the horses, and their studied decorations, but near
Brussels those decorations were the _most_ splendid. A scarlet net
frequently half-covered each of the six in procession. The frock of the
driver, who paces beside the train, is often handsomely embroidered, and
its rich colour (Prussian blue) enlivens the scarlet ornaments of his
steeds. But I am straying from my ferry-boat. The first debarkation
which we saw early in the morning was the most amusing. Peasants, male
and female, sheep, and calves; the women hurrying away, with their
cargoes of fruit and vegetables, as if eager to be beforehand with the
market. But I will transcribe verbatim from my journal, "written at
mid-day," the glittering Rhine spread out before me, in width that
helped me to image forth an American lake.

       *       *       *       *       *

"It has gone out with a fresh load, and returned every hour; the comers
have again disappeared as soon as landed; and now, the goers are
gathering together. Two young ladies trip forward, their dark hair
_basketed_ round the crown of the head, green bags on their arms, two
gentlemen of their party; next a lady with smooth black hair stretched
upward from the forehead, and a skull-cap at the top, like a small dish.
The gentry passengers seem to arrange themselves on one side, the
peasants on the other;--how much more picturesque the peasants! _There_
is a woman in a sober dark-coloured dress; she wears no cap. Next, one
with red petticoat, blue jacket, and cap as white as snow. Next, one
with a red handkerchief over her head, and a long brown cloak. There a
smart female of the bourgeoise--dark shawl, white cap, blue dress. Two
women (now seated side by side) make a pretty picture: their attire is
scarlet, a pure white handkerchief falling from the head of each over
the shoulders. They keep watch beside a curiously constructed basket,
large enough to contain the marketing of a whole village. A girl crosses
the platform with a handsome brazen ewer hanging on her arm. Soldiers--a
dozen at least--are coming in. They take the centre. Again two women in
scarlet garb, with a great fruit basket. A white cap next; the same with
a green shawl. _There_ is a sunburnt daughter of toil! her olive skin
whitens her white head-dress, and she is decked in lively colours. One
beside her, who, I see, counts herself of higher station, is
distinguished by a smart French mob. I am brought round to the gentry
side, which is filled up, as you may easily fancy, with much less
variety than the other. A cart is in the centre, its peasant driver, not
to be unnoticed, with a polished tobacco-pipe hung over his cleanly blue
frock. Now they float away!"

_Cologne, Friday, July 21st._--Before I left the interior of the
Cathedral, I ought to have mentioned that the side-chapels contain some
superb monuments. There is also a curious picture (marvellously rich in
enamel and colouring) of the Three Kings of Cologne, and of a small
number of the eleven thousand virgins, who were said, after shipwreck,
to have landed at this city in the train of St. Ursula. The Huns, who
had possession of the city, became enamoured of their beauty; and the
fair bevy, to save themselves from persecution, took the veil; in
commemoration of which event the convent of St. Ursula was founded, and
within the walls of that church an immense number of their skulls
(easily turned into eleven thousand), are ranged side by side dressed in
green satin caps. We left these famous virgins (though our own
countrywomen), unvisited, and many other strange sights; and what
wonder? we had but one day; and _I_ saw nothing within gate or door
except the Cathedral--not even Rubens's famous picture of the
Crucifixion of St. Peter, a grateful offering presented by him as an
altar-piece for the church in which he was baptized, and had served as a
chorister. Among the outrages committed at Cologne during the
Revolution, be it noted that the Cathedral, in 1800, was used as a
granary, and that Buonaparte seized on the picture bestowed on his
parish church by Rubens, and sent it to Paris. The Three Kings shared
the same fate.

The houses of Cologne are very old, overhanging, and uncouth; the
streets narrow and gloomy in the cheerfulest of their corners or
openings; yet oftentimes pleasing. Windows and balconies make a pretty
show of flowers; and birds hang on the outside of houses in cages. These
sound like cheerful images of active leisure; but with such feeling it
is impossible to walk through these streets. Yet it is pleasing to note
how quietly a dull life may be varied, and how innocently; though, in
looking at the plants which yearly put out their summer blossoms to
adorn these decaying walls and windows, I had something of the
melancholy which I have felt on seeing a human being gaily dressed--a
female tricked out with ornaments, while disease and death were on her

_Cologne, Saturday, July 22nd._--Upon a bright sunny morning, driven by
a civil old postilion, we turned our backs upon the cathedral tower of
Cologne, an everlasting monument of riches and grandeur, and I fear of
devotion passed away; of sublime designs unaccomplished--remaining,
though not wholly developed, sufficient to incite and guide the dullest

     Call up him who left half-told
     The story of Cambuscan bold![40]

       [Footnote 40: See _Il Penseroso_, ll. 109, 110.--ED.]

Feelingly has Milton selected this story, not from a preference to the
subject of it (as has been suggested), but from its paramount accordance
with the musings of a melancholy man--in being left _half_-told--

                     Foundations must be laid
     In Heaven; for, 'mid the wreck of _is_ and _was_,
       Things incomplete and purposes betrayed
     Make sadder transits o'er truth's mystic glass
       Than noblest objects utterly decayed.[41]

       [Footnote 41: Compare the sonnet _Malham Cove_, in "Poetical Works,"
       vol. vi. p. 185.--ED.]

_Bonn._--The great area of the vale here is a plain, covered with corn,
vines, and fruit-trees: the impression is of richness, profusion,
amplitude of space. The hills are probably higher than some of our own
which we call mountains; but on the spot we named them hills. Such they
appeared to our eyes; but when objects are all upon a large scale there
is no means of comparing them accurately with others of their kind,
which do not bear the same proportions to the objects with which they
are surrounded. Those in the neighbourhood of Bonn are of themselves
sufficiently interesting in shape and variety of surface: but what a
dignity does the form of an ancient castle or tower confer upon a
precipitous woody or craggy eminence! Well might this lordly river spare
one or two of his castles,--which are too numerous for the most romantic
fancy to hang its legends round each and all of them,--well might he
spare, to our purer and more humble streams and lakes, one solitary ruin
for the delight of our poets of the English mountains! To the right
(but let him keep this to himself, it is too grand to be coveted by us)
is the large ruined castle of Gottesberg, far-spreading on the summit of
the hill--very light and elegant, with one massy tower....

For some miles, the traveller goes through the magnificent plain which
from its great width, appears almost circular. Though _unseen_, the
River Rhine, we never can forget that it is there! When the vale becomes
narrower, one of the most interesting and beautiful of prospects opens
on the view from a gentle rising in the road. On an island stands a
large grey Convent--sadly pensive among its garden walls and embowering
wood. The musket and cannon have spared that sanctuary; and we were told
that, though the establishment is dissolved, a few of the Nuns still
remain there, attached to the spot;--or probably having neither friends
or other home to repair to. On the right bank of the river, opposite to
us, is a bold precipice, bearing on its summit a ruined fortress which
looks down upon the Convent; and the warlike and religious edifices are
connected together by a chivalrous story of slighted, or luckless love,
which caused the withdrawing of a fair damsel to the island, where she
founded the monastery. Another bold ruin stands upon another eminence
adjoining; and all these monuments of former times combine with villages
and churches, and dells (between the steeps) green or corn-clad, and
with the majestic river (here spread out like a lake) to compose a most
affectingly beautiful scene, whether viewed in prospect or in
retrospect. Still we rolled along (ah! far too swiftly! and often did I
wish that I were a youthful traveller on foot)--still we rolled
along--meeting the flowing river, smooth as glass, yet so rapid that the
stream of motion is always perceptible, even from a great distance. The
riches of this region are not easily to be fancied--the pretty
paths--the gardens among plots of vineyard and corn--cottages peeping
from the shade--villages and spires--in never-ending variety. The
trees, however, in the whole of the country through which we have
hitherto passed, are not to be compared with the trees of England,
except on the banks of the Meuse. On the Rhine they are generally small
in size; much of the wood appears to be cut when young, to spring again.
In the little town of Remagan where we changed horses, crowds of people
of all ages gathered round us; the beggars, who were indefatigable in
clamour, might have been the only inhabitants of the place who had any
work to do....

_Andernach._--Departed at about five o'clock. Andernach is an
interesting place, both at its entrance from Cologne, and its outlet
towards Coblentz. There is a commanding desolation in the first
approach; the massy square tower of defence, though bearded by green
shrubs, stands, as it were, untameable in its strength, overlooking the
half-ruined gateway of the ramparts. Close to the other gate, leading to
Coblentz, are seen many picturesque fragments and masses; and the
ancient walls shelter and adorn fruitful gardens, cradled in the
otherwise now useless trenches. The town itself appears so dull--the
inhabitants so poor, that it was almost surprising to observe walks for
public use and pleasure, with avenues and arbours on the level adjoining
the ramparts. The struggle between melancholy and cheerfulness, fanciful
improvements, and rapid decay, leisure and poverty, was very
interesting. We had a fine evening; and the ride, though, in comparison
with the last, of little interest--the vale of the Rhine being here wide
and level, the hills lowered by distance--was far from being a dull one,
as long as I kept myself awake. I was roused from sleep in crossing the
bridge of the Moselle near Coblentz.

_Coblentz, Sunday, July 23rd._--_Cathedral._--The music at our entrance
fixed us to our places. The swell was solemn, even _aweful_, sinking
into strains of delicious sweetness; and though the worship was to us
wholly unintelligible, it was not possible to listen to it without
visitings of devotional feeling. Mary's attention was entirely absorbed
till the service ceased, and I think she never stirred from her seat.
After a little while I left her, and drew towards the railing of the
gallery, to look round on the congregation, among whom there appeared
more of the old-fashioned gravity, and of antique gentility, than I have
seen anywhere else; and the varieties of costume were infinite.... The
area of the Cathedral, upon which we looked down from the crowded
gallery, was filled with old, middle-aged, and young persons of both
sexes; and at Coblentz, even the male dress, especially that of boys and
youths, has a pleasing cast of antiquity, reminding one of old
pictures--of assemblies in halls,--or of banquets as represented by the
Flemish masters. The figure of a young girl tightly laced up in bodice
and petticoat, with adornings of gold clasps and neck-chain, beside a
youth with open throat and ornamented shirt-collar falling upon the
shoulders of a coat of antique cut, especially when there chanced to be
near them some matron in her costly robe of seventy years;--these,
together, made an exhibition that even had I been a good Catholic, yet
fresh from England, might have interfered with my devotions; but where
all except the music was an unmeaning ceremony, what wonder that I
should be amused in looking round as at a show!... All that we witnessed
of bustle or gaiety was near the river, facing the fortress of
Ehrenbreitstein; and upon the wide wooden bridge which we crossed in our
way to the fortress. Fruit-women were seated on the bridge, and
peasants, gentry, soldiers, continually passing to and fro. All but the
soldiers paid toll. The citadel stands upon a very lofty bare hill, and
the walk was fatiguing; but I beguiled my weariness with the company of
a peasant lass, who took pains to understand my broken German, and
contrived to make me acquainted with no small part of her family
history.... This bonny maiden's complexion was as fresh as a rose,
though no kerchief screened it from the sunshine. Many a fierce breeze,
and many a burning sun must she have struggled with in her way from the
citadel to the town; and, on looking at her, I fancied there must be a
stirring and invigorating power in the wind to counteract the cankering
effect of the sun, which is so noticeable in the French peasantry on
their hot dry plains. No sooner do you set foot in the neighbourhood of
Calais than you are struck with it; and, at the same time, with the
insensibility of young and old to discomfort from glaring light and
heat. Whatever slender shade of willows may be at the door of a hut on
the flats between Calais and Gravelines, the female peasants, at their
sewing or other work, choose it not, but seat themselves full in the
sunshine. Thence comes a habit of wrinkling the cheeks and forehead, so
that their faces are mostly ploughed with wrinkles before they are fifty
years old. In this country, and all through the Netherlands, the
complexions of the people are much fresher and fairer than in France,
though _they_ also are much out of doors. This may perhaps be, in part,
attributed to the greater quantity of wood scattered over the country,
and to the shade of garden and orchard trees.... The view from the
summit of the hill of Ehrenbreitstein is magnificent. Beneath, on a
large, flat angle, formed by the junction of the Rhine and the Moselle,
stands the city, its purple-slated roofs surrounded by many tall
buildings--towers and spires, and big palaces among trees. The vale of
the Moselle is deep and green, formed by vine-clad steeps, among which
the eye, from the heights where we stood, espies many a pleasant
village. That of the Rhine is more varied and splendid--with towns that,
from their size, the irregularity of their buildings, and the numerous
towers and spires, give dignity to the proud river itself, and to the
prodigally scattered hills. Downwards we looked through the plain, along
which we had travelled the evening before from the town of Andernach,
which stands, as Coblentz does, upon a low bank of the Rhine: and there
is no eminence between the two towns to obstruct the view. The course
of the road, which is widely parted from that of the river, may be seen
in a straight line for many miles. We behold below us the junction of
the two great rivers; how steady and quiet is their meeting! A little
while each goes in his own distinct path, side by side, yet one stream;
and they slowly and by degrees unite, each lost in the other--happy type
of a tranquil meeting, and joining together in the journey of life!

       *       *       *       *       *

Coblentz, as every one knows, was for a long time the headquarters of
the French _noblesse_, and other emigrants, during the Revolution; and
it is surprising that in the exterior of manners and habits there should
be so little to remind the passing traveller of the French. In Ghent and
Brussels, it is impossible to forget that you are in towns _not_ making
a part of France; yet, in both those places, the French have sown seeds
which will never die--their manners, customs, and decorations are
everywhere struggling with the native stiffness of the Flemish: but in
_Coblentz_ it is merely incidentally that the French courtier or
gentleman is brought to mind; and shops, houses, public buildings, are
all of the soil where they have been reared--so at least they appeared
to us, in our transient view.

_St. Goar, Monday, July 24th._-- ... The town, seen from the heights, is
very beautiful, with purple roofs, two tall spires, and one tower. On
the opposite side of the river we peep into narrow valleys, formed by
the lofty hills, on which stand two ruins called, as we were told by our
lively attendant, the Katzen and Mausen Towers (_i.e._ the Towers of the
Cat and the Mouse). They stare upon each other at safe distance, though
near neighbours; and, across the river, the greater fortress of
Rheinfels defies them both. A lovely dell runs behind one of the hills;
at its opening where it pours out its stream into the Rhine we espied a
one-arched Borrowdale bridge, and behind the bridge a village almost
buried between the abruptly-rising steeps.... I will transcribe the few
words I wrote in my memorandum-book, dated "Beside the Rhine, St.
Goar":--"How shall I describe this soothing, this elegant place! The
river flows on. I see it flow, yet it is like a lake--the bendings of
the hills enclosing it at each end. Here I sit, half-way from the centre
of the curve. At the turning of that semi-circular curve stands our Inn;
near it is the Post-House, both rather handsome buildings. The town,
softened white and purple, the green hills rising abruptly above it.
Behind me (but I cannot see it) is the Castle of Rheinfels. On the
opposite banks of the river, the vine-clad steeps appear as if covered
with fern. It is a sweep of hills that from this point appear
_even_-topped. At the foot of one of the dells which we noticed from the
Castle eminence, there is a purple roofed town with one spire, and one
church or convent tower; and I see the Borrowdale bridge beside the
lowly hamlet in the cleft of the other dell. A ferry-boat has been
approaching its landing-place with a crew of peasants. They come now
slowly up from the shore, a picturesque train in grey attire--no showy
colours; and at this moment I can fancy that even that circumstance
gives a sweeter effect to the scene, though I have never wished to expel
the crimson garments, or the blue, from any landscape." Here let me
observe that grey clothing--the pastoral garb of _our_ mountains--does,
when it is found on the banks of the Rhine, only look well at a certain
distance. It seems not to be worn from choice, but poverty; and in this
day's journey we have met with crowds of people whose dress was
accordant with the appearance close at hand of their crumbling houses
and fortifications.

_Bingen, Tuesday, July 25th._--Most delightful to the imagination was
our journey of yesterday, still tempting to hope and expectation! Yet
wherever we passed through a village or small town the veil of romance
was withdrawn, and we were compelled to think of human distress and
poverty--their causes how various in a country where Nature has been so
bountiful--and, even when removed from the immediate presence of painful
objects, there is one melancholy thought which will attend the traveller
along the ever-winding course of the Rhine--the thought that of those
buildings, so lavishly scattered on the ridges of the heights or lurking
in sheltering corners, many _have_ perished, all _are_ perishing, and
_will entirely_ perish! Buildings that link together the Past and the
Present--times of war and depredation, of piracy, of voyages by stealth
and in fear, of superstitious ceremonies, of monastic life, of quiet,
and of retreat from persecution! Yet some of the strongest of the
fortresses may, for aught I know, endure as long as the rocks on which
they have been reared, deserted as they are, and never more be tenanted
by pirate, lord, or vassal. The parish churches are in bad repair, and
many ruinous....

_Mayence._--I thought of some thriving friar of old times; but last
night,[42] in reading Chaucer's Prologue to the _Canterbury Tales_, mine
host of the _Tabard_ recalled to my memory our merry master in the
dining-room at Mayence.

  [Footnote 42: This was when writing out her Journal, begun two months
  after her return to Rydal Mount.--ED.]

     A seemly man our Hoste was with alle
     To han bene a Marshal in an Halle;
     A large man he was--bold of his speech.

_Frankfort, Wednesday, July 26th._--The town is large, though you do not
feel as if you were walking in a large town. Standing on a perfect level
you see no further than the street in which you are, or the one that
leads to it; and there is little stirring of people. Two huge palaces
are going to ruin. One of these (the Episcopal Palace) of red stone is
very handsome in its style of heavy architecture, and there are many
public buildings by the river-side. The quay is a cheerful and busy
place. After driving a short way on the shore below those lofty
buildings, we crossed a bridge of boats; and now (had we proceeded in
the same direction as before) we should have had the Rhine on our right
hand; but we turned back again, _i.e._ downwards, and still had it on
our left for two miles (more or less), not close to us; but always in
view broad and majestic, scattered over with vessels of various kinds.
Large rafters piled with wood were by the shore, or floating with the
stream; and a long row of mills (for grinding corn I suppose) made a
curious appearance on the water. We had a magnificent prospect downwards
in the _Rheingaw_ (stretching towards Bingen), a district famed for
producing finer vines than any other country of the Rhine.[43] The broad
hills are enlivened by hamlets, villas, villages, and churches. After
about two miles, the road to Wisbaden turns from the river (to the
right), and with regret did we part from our majestic companion to meet
no more till we should rejoin him for one short day among the rocks of
Schaffhausen.... We went to the Cathedral, a very large, but not
otherwise remarkable building, in the interior. The people assembled at
prayers, sate on benches as in our country churches, and accompanied by
the organ were chaunting, and making the responses. We ascend the Tower.
It is enormously high; and after an ascent of above five hundred steps,
we found a family living in as neatly-furnished a set of apartments as
need be seen in any street in Frankfort. A baby in the cradle smiled
upon us, and played with the Kreutzers which we gave her. The mother was
alert and cheerful--nay, she seemed to glory in her contentment, and in
the snugness of her abode. I said to her, "but when the wind blows
fiercely how terrible!" and she replied, "Oh nein! es thut nichts." "Oh
no! it does no harm." The view from the Cathedral is very extensive. The
windings of the river Maine; vessels in their harbours, or smoothly
gliding, plains of corn, of forest, of fruit-trees, chateaus, villages,
towns, towers and spires; the expanse irregularly bounded by distinct

  [Footnote 43: Hockheim on the right bank of the Rhine, nearly opposite

In the winding staircase, while descending from the Tower, met different
people, who seemed to be going to make neighbourly visits to the family
above. Passed through the market-place, very entertaining, and nowhere a
greater variety of people and of head-dresses than there. The women's
caps were high. My eye was caught by a tightly-clad, stiff-waisted lady
who wore a gold cap (almost as lofty as a grenadier's) with long lappets
of riband behind. I saw no reason why that cap (saving its silken
ornaments) might not have belonged to her great grandmother's
grandmother. The _Maison de Ville_ stands on one side of a handsome
square, in the centre of which is a noble fountain, that used to flow
with wine at the crowning of the Emperors. Oxen were roasted in the
square, and, in memory of the same, two heads, with their horns, are
preserved under the outside of a window of an old church adjoining the
_Maison de Ville_.

_Heidelberg, Thursday, July 27th._--After dinner, Mary, Miss H., and I
set off towards the castle.... The ascent is long and steep, the way
plain, and no guide needed, for the castle walks are free; and
there--among treasures of art, decaying and decayed, and the magnificent
bounties of nature--the stranger may wander the day through. The
building is of various dates: it is not good in architecture _as a
whole_, though very fine in parts. There is a noble round tower, and the
remains of the chapel, and long ranges of lofty and massy wall, often
adorned with ivy, the figure of a saint, a lady, or a warrior looking
safely from their niches under the ivy bower. The moats, which must long
ago have been drained, retain their shape, yet have now the wild
luxuriance of sequestered dells. Fruit and forest trees, flowers and
grass, are intermingled. I now speak of the more ruinous and the most
ancient part of the castle.... We walked upon a platform before the
windows, where a band of music used to be stationed, as on the terrace
at Windsor--a fine place for festivals in time of peace, and to keep
watch in time of war.... From the platform where we stood, the eye
(overlooking the city, bridge, and the deep vale, to the point where the
Neckar is concealed from view by its winding to the left) is carried
across the plain to the dim stream of the Rhine, perceived under the
distant hills. The pleasure-grounds are the most delightful I ever
beheld; the happiest mixture of wildness, which no art could overcome,
and formality, often necessary to conduct you along the ledge of a
precipice--whence you may look down upon the river, enlivened by boats,
and on the rich vale, or to the more distant scenes before mentioned.
One long terrace is supported on the side of the precipice by arches
resembling those of a Roman aqueduct; and from that walk the view of the
Castle and the Town beneath it is particularly striking. I cannot
imagine a more delightful situation than Heidelberg for a
University--the pleasures, ceremonies, and distractions of a Court being
removed. Parties of students were to be seen in all quarters of the
groves and gardens. I am sorry, however, to say that their appearance
was not very scholarlike. They wear whatever wild and coarse apparel
pleases them--their hair long and disorderly, or rough as a water-dog,
throat bare or with a black collar, and often no appearance of a shirt.
Every one has his pipe, and they all talk loud and boisterously....

Never surely was any stream more inviting! It flows in its deep
bed--stately, yet often turbulent; and what dells, cleaving the green
hills, even close to the city! Looking down upon the purple roofs of
Heidelberg variously tinted, the spectacle is curious--narrow streets,
small squares, and gardens many and flowery. The main street, long and
also narrow, is (though the houses are built after no good style) very
pretty as seen from the heights, with its two gateways and two towers.
The Cathedral (it has an irregular spire) overtops all other edifices,
which, indeed, have no grace of architecture, and the University is even
mean in its exterior; but, from a small distance, _any_ city looks well
that is not modern, and where there is bulk and irregularity, with
harmony of colouring. But we did not enter the cathedral, having so much
to see out of doors.

_Heidelberg, Friday, July 28th._-- ... The first reach of the river for
a moment transported our imagination to the Vale of the Wye above
Tintern Abbey. A single cottage, with a poplar spire, was the central
object.... As we went further, villages appeared. But Mr. P. soon
conducted us from the river up a steep hill, and, after a long ascent,
he took us aside to a cone-shaped valley, a pleasure-dell--I call it
so--for it was terminated by a rural tavern and gardens, seats and
alcoves, placed close beside beautiful springs of pure water, spread out
into pools and distributed by fountains. A grey stone statue, in its
stillness, is a graceful object amid the rushing of water!... Our road
along the side of the hill, that still rose high above our heads, led us
through shady covert and open glade, over hillock or through hollow; at
almost every turning convenient seats inviting us to rest, or to linger
in admiration of the changeful prospects, where wild and cultivated
grounds seemed equally the darlings of the fostering sun. Many of the
hills are covered with forests, which are cut down after little more
than thirty years' growth; the ground is then ploughed, and sown with
buck-wheat, and afterwards with beech-nuts. The forests of _firs_
(numerous higher up, but not so here) are sown in like manner. Immense
quantities of timber are floated down the river. Sometimes in our
delightful walk we were led through tracts of vines, all belonging to
the Grand Duke. They are as free as the forest thickets and flowery
glades, and separated from them by no distinguishable boundary.
Whichever way the eye turned, it settled upon some pleasant sight....
Passed through the walled town of Durlach (about two miles from
Carlesrhue), the palace deserted by the Duke. Coffee-houses all full,
windows open, billiards, wine and smoking, finery, shabbiness and
idleness. Large pleasure gardens beyond the barrier-walls, and we enter
an avenue of tall poplars, continued all the way to Carlesrhue. After a
little while nothing was to be seen but the poplar stems in shape of
columns on each side, the leafy part of the trees forming a long black
wall above them, so lofty that it appeared to reach the sky, that pale
blue roof of the Gothic aisle still contracting in the distance, and
seemingly of interminable length. Such an avenue is truly a noble
approach to the favoured residence of a _grand_ Duke.

_Baden-Baden, July 29th (Saturday)._-- ... Met with old-fashioned
civility in all quarters. This little town is a curious compound of
rural life, German country-townishness, watering-place excitements,
court stateliness, ancient mouldering towers, old houses and new, and a
life and cheerfulness over all.... A bright reflection from the evening
sky powdered with golden dust that distant vapoury plain, bounded by the
chain of purple mountains. We quitted this spectacle with regret when it
faded in the late twilight, struggling with the light of the moon.

_Road to Homburg._--_Sunday, July 30th._--We were continually reminded
of the vales of our own country in this lovely winding valley, where
seven times we crossed the clear stream over strong wooden bridges; but
whenever in our travels the streams and vales of England have been most
called to mind there has been something that marks a difference. Here it
is chiefly observable in the large brown wood houses, and in the
people--the shepherd and shepherdess gaiety of their dress, with a sort
of antiquated stiffness. Groups of children in rustic flower-crowned
hats were in several places collected round the otherwise solitary
swine-herd.... The sound of the stream (if there be any sound) is a
sweet, unwearied, and unwearying under-song, to detain the pious
passenger, which he cannot but at times connect with the silent object
of his worship.

_Road to Schaffhausen._--A part of the way through the uncleared forest
was pleasingly wild; juniper bushes, broom, and other woodland plants,
among the moss and flowery turf. Before we had finished our last ascent,
the postilion told us what a glorious sight we _might_ have seen, in a
few moments, had we been here early in the morning or on a fine evening;
but, as it was mid-day, nothing was to be expected. That glorious sight
which _should_ have been was no less than the glittering prospect of the
mountains of Switzerland. We did burst upon an extensive view; but the
mountains were hidden; and of the Lake of Constance we saw no more than
a vapoury substance where it lay among apparently low hills. This first
sight of that country, so dear to the imagination, though then of no
peculiar grandeur, affected me with various emotions. I remembered the
shapeless wishes of my youth--wishes without hope--my brother's
wanderings thirty years ago,[44] and the tales brought to me the
following Christmas holidays at Forncett, and often repeated while we
paced together on the gravel walk in the parsonage garden, by moon or
star light.[45] ... The towers of Schaffhausen appear under the shelter
of woody and vine-clad hills, but no greetings from the river Rhine,
which is not visible from this approach, yet flowing close to the
town.... But at the entrance of the old city gates you cannot but be
roused, and say to yourself, "Here is something which I have not seen
before, yet I hardly know what." The houses are grey, irregular, dull,
overhanging, and clumsy; streets narrow and crooked--the walls of houses
often half-covered with rudely-painted representations of the famous
deeds of the defenders of this land of liberty.... In place of the
splendour of faded aristocracy, so often traceable in the German towns,
there is a character of ruggedness over all that we see.... Never shall
I forget the first view of the stream of the Rhine from the bank, and
between the side openings of the bridge--rapid in motion, bright, and
green as liquid emeralds! and wherever the water dashed against tree,
stone, or pillar of the bridge, the sparkling and the whiteness of the
foam, melting into and blended with the green, can hardly be imagined by
any one who has not seen the Rhine, or some other of the great rivers of
the Continent, before they are sullied in their course.... The first
visible indication of our approach to the cataracts was the sublime
tossing of vapour above them, at the termination of a curved reach of
the river. Upon the woody hill, above that tossing vapour and foam, we
saw the old chateau, familiar to us in prints, though there represented
in connection with the falls themselves; and now seen by us at the end
of the rapid, yet majestic, sweep of the river; where the ever-springing
tossing clouds are all that the eye beholds of the wonderful commotion.
But an awful sound ascends from the concealed abyss; and it would almost
seem like irreverent intrusion if a stranger, at his first approach to
this spot, should not pause and listen before he pushes forward to seek
the revelation of the mystery.... We were gloriously wetted and stunned
and deafened by the waters of the Rhine. It is impossible even to
remember (therefore, how should I enable any one to imagine?) the power
of the dashing, and of the sounds, the breezes, the dancing dizzy
sensations, and the exquisite beauty of the colours! The whole stream
falls like liquid emeralds--a solid mass of translucent green hue; or,
in some parts, the green appears through a thin covering of snow-like
foam. Below, in the ferment and hurly-burly, drifting snow and masses
resembling collected snow mixed with sparkling green billows. We walked
upon the platform, as dizzy as if we had been on the deck of a ship in a
storm. Mary returned with Mrs. Monkhouse to Schaffhausen, and William
recrossed in a boat with Mr. Monkhouse and me, near the extremity of the
river's first sweep, after its fall, where its bed (as is usual at the
foot of all cataracts) is exceedingly widened, and larger in proportion
to the weight of waters. The boat is trusted to the current, and the
passage, though long, is rapid. At first, when seated in that small
unresisting vessel, a sensation of helplessness and awe (it was not
fear) overcame me, but that was soon over. From the centre of the stream
the view of the cataract in its majesty of breadth is wonderfully
sublime. Being landed, we found commodious seats, from which we could
look round at leisure, and we remained till the evening darkness
revealed two intermitting columns of fire, which ascended from a forge
close to the cataract.

  [Footnote 44: His first visit to the Alps, with Robert Jones, in

  [Footnote 45: Compare Dorothy Wordsworth's letters written at Forncett
  rectory in 1790-91.--ED.]

_Monday, July 31st._--_Hornberg._--After this, over the wide country to
_Villengen_, a walled town upon the treeless waste, the way unvaried
except by distant views of remnants of the forest, and towns or
villages, shelterless, and at long distances from each other. They are
very striking objects: they stand upon the waste in disconnection with
everything else, and one is at a loss to conceive how any particular
town came to be placed in _this_ spot or _that_, nature having framed no
allurement of valley shelter among the undulations of the wide expanse.
Each town stands upon its site, as if it might have been wheeled
thither. There is no sympathy, no bond of connection with surrounding
fields, not a fence to be seen, no woods for _shelter_, only the dreary
black patches and lines of forest, used probably for fuel, and often far
fetched. In short, it is an unnatural-looking region. In comparison with
the social intermixture of towns, villages, cottages, fruit-trees, corn
and meadow land, which we had so often travelled through, the feeling
was something like what one has in looking at a dead yet gaudy picture
painted by an untutored artist, who first _makes_ his country, then
claps upon it, according to his fancy, such buildings as he thinks will
adorn it.

_Thursday, August 3rd._--_Zurich._--At a little distance from Zurich we
remarked a very fine oak tree. Under its shade stood a little building
like an oratory, but as we were not among the Roman Catholics it puzzled
us. In front of the tree was an elevated platform, resembling the
_Mount_ at Rydal, to be ascended by steps. The postilion told us the
building was a Chapel whither condemned criminals retired to pray, and
there had their hair cut off; and that the platform was the place of

_August 4th._--_Lenzburg_.... At six o'clock we caught a glimpse of the
castle walls glittering in sunshine, a hopeful sign, and we set forward
through the fog. The ruin stands at the brink of a more than
perpendicular, an overhanging rock, on the top of a green hill, which
rises abruptly from the town. The steepest parts are ascended by
hundreds of stone steps, worn by age, often broken, and half-buried in
turf and flowers. These steps brought us to a terrace bordered by
neatly-trimmed vines; and we found ourselves suddenly in broad sunshine
under the castle walls, elevated above an ocean of vapour, which was
bounded on one side by the clear line of the Jura Mountains, and out of
which rose at a distance what seemed an island, crested by another
castle. We then ascended the loftiest of the towers, and the spectacle
all around was magnificent, visionary--I was going to say endless, but
on one side was the substantial barrier of the Jura. By degrees (the
vapours settling or shifting) other castles were seen on island
eminences; and the tops of bare or woody hills taking the same island
form; while trees, resembling ships, appeared and disappeared, and
rainbow lights (scarcely more visionary than the mimic islands) passed
over, or for a moment rested on the breaking mists. On the other side
the objects were more slowly developed. We looked long before we could
distinguish the far-distant Alps, but by degrees discovered them,
shining like silver among masses of clouds. The intervening wide space
was a sea of vapour, but we stayed on the eminence till the sun had
mastery of all beneath us, after a silent process of change and
interchange--of concealing and revealing. I hope we were not ungrateful
to the memory of past times when (standing on the summit of Helvellyn,
Scaw Fell, Fairfield, or Skiddaw) we have felt as if the world itself
could not present a more sublime spectacle....

_Herzogenboschee._--At length we dropped asleep, but were soon roused by
a fitful sound of gathering winds, heavy rain followed, and vivid
flashes of lightning, with tremendous thunder. It was very awful. Mary
and I were sitting together, alone, in the open street; a strange
situation! yet we had no personal fear. Before the storm began, all the
lights had been extinguished except one opposite to us, and another at
an inn behind, where were turbulent noises of merriment, with singing
and haranguing, in the style of our village politicians. These ceased;
and, after the storm, lights appeared in different quarters; pell-mell
rushed the fountain; then came a watchman with his dismal recitative
song, or lay; the church clock telling the hours and the quarters, and
house clocks with their silvery tone; one scream we heard from a human
voice; but no person seemed to notice _us_, except a man who came out
upon the wooden gallery of his house right above our heads, looked down
this way and that, and especially towards the _voitures_.... The beating
of the rain, and the rushing of that fountain were continuous, and with
the periodical and the irregular sounds (among which the howling of a
dog was not the least dismal), completed the wildness of the awful
scene, and of our strange situation; sheltered from wet, yet in the
midst of it--and exposed to intermitting blasts, though struggling with
excessive heat--while flashes of lightning at intervals displayed the
distant mountains, and the wide space between; at other times a blank

_Berne._--The fountains of Berne are ornamented with statues of William
Tell and other heroes. There is a beautiful order, a solidity, a gravity
in this city which strikes at first sight, and never loses its effect.
The houses are of one grey hue, and built of stone. They are large and
sober, but not heavy or barbarously elbowing each other. On each side is
a covered passage under the upper stories, as at Chester, only wider,
much longer, and with more massy supporters.... In all quarters we
noticed the orderly decency of the passengers, the handsome public
buildings, with appropriate decorations symbolical of a love of liberty,
of order, and good government, with an aristocratic stateliness, yet
free from show or parade.... The green-tinted river flows below--wide,
full, and impetuous. I saw the snows of the Alps burnished by the sun
about half an hour before his setting. After that they were left to
their wintry marble coldness, without a farewell gleam; yet suddenly the
city and the cathedral tower and trees were singled out for favour by
the sun among his glittering clouds, and gilded with the richest light.
A few minutes, and that glory vanished. I stayed till evening gloom was
gathering over the city, and over hill and dale, while the snowy tops of
the Alps were still visible.

_Sunday, August 6th._--Upon a spacious level adjoining the cathedral are
walks planted with trees, among which we sauntered, and were much
pleased with the great variety of persons amusing themselves in the same
way; and how we wished that one, at least, of our party had the skill to
sketch rapidly with the pencil, and appropriate colours, some of the
groups or single figures passing before us, or seated in sun or shade.
Old ladies appeared on this summer parade dressed in flycaps, such as
were worn in England fifty years ago, and broad-flowered chintz or
cotton gowns; the bourgeoises, in grave attire of black, with tight
white sleeves, yet seldom without ornament of gold lacing, or chain and
ear-rings, and on the head a pair of stiff transparent butterfly wings,
spread out from behind a quarter of a yard on each side, which wings are
to appearance as thin as gauze, but being made of horse-hair, are very
durable, and the larger are even made of wire. Among these were seen
peasants in shepherdess hats of straw, decorated with flowers and
coloured ribands, pretty little girls in grandmother's attire, and
ladies _à la française_. We noticed several parties composed of persons
dressed after these various modes, that seemed to indicate very
different habits and stations in society--the peasant and the lady, the
petty shopkeeper and the wealthy tradesman's wife, side by side in
friendly discourse. But it is impossible by words to give a notion of
the enlivening effect of these little combinations, which are also
interesting as evidences of a state of society worn out in England. Here
you see formality and simplicity, antiquated stateliness and decent
finery brought together, with a pervading spirit of comfortable equality
in social pleasures.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Monday, August 7th._--I sate under an elm tree, looking down the woody
steep to the lake, and across it, to a rugged mountain; no villages to
be seen, no houses; the higher Alps shut out. I could have forgotten
Switzerland, and fancied myself transported to one of the lonesome
lakes of Scotland. I returned to my open station to watch the setting
sun, and remained long after the glowing hues had faded from those
chosen summits that were touched by his beams, while others were
obscurely descried among clouds in their own dark or snowy mantle....
Met with an inscription on a grey stone in a little opening of the wood,
and would have copied it, for it was brief, but could not see to read
the letters, and hurried on, still choosing the track that seemed to
lead most directly downwards, and was indeed glad when I found myself
again in the public road to the town.... Late as it was, and although
twilight had almost given place to the darkness of a fine August night,
I was tempted aside into a broad flat meadow, where I walked under a row
of tall poplars by the river-side. The castle, church, and town appeared
before us in stately harmony, all hues of red roofs and painting having
faded away. Two groups of giant poplars rose up, like Grecian temples,
from the level between me and the mass of towers and houses. In the
smooth water the lingering brightness of evening was reflected from the
sky; and lights from the town were seen at different heights on the

_Thun, Tuesday, August 8th._--The Lake of Thun is essentially a lake of
the Alps. Its immediate visible boundary, third or fourth-rate
mountains; but overtopping these are seen the snowy or dark summits of
the Jungfrau, the Eiger, the Stockhorn, the Blumlis Alp, and many more
which I cannot name; while the Kander, and other raging streams, send
their voices across the wide waters. The remains of a ruined castle are
sometimes seen upon a woody or grassy steep--pleasing remembrances of
distant times, but taking no primary place in the extensive landscape,
where the power of nature is magisterial, and where the humble villages
composed of numerous houses clustering together near the lake, do not
interfere with the impressions of solitude and grandeur. Many of those
villages must be more than half-deserted when the herdsmen follow their
cattle to the mountains. Others of their numerous inhabitants find
subsistence by fishing in the lake. We floated cheerfully along, the
scene for ever changing. On the eastern side, to our left, the shores
are more populous than on the western; one pretty village succeeded
another, each with its spire, till we came to a hamlet, all of brown
wood houses, except one large white dwelling, and no church. The
villages are not, as one may say, in close neighbourhood; but a
substantial solitary house is sometimes seen between them. The eminences
on this side, as we advance, become very precipitous, and along the
ridge of one of them appears a wall of rocks with turrets, resembling a
mighty fortification. The boatmen directed our ears to the sound of
waterfalls in a cleft of the mountain; but the _sight_ of them we must
leave to other voyagers....

The broad pyramidal mountain, Niesen, rising directly from the lake on
the western side towards the head, is always a commanding object. Its
_form_ recalled to my remembrance some of the stony pyramids of Glencoe,
but _only_ its form, the surface being covered with green pasturage.
Sometimes, in the course of the morning, we had been reminded of our own
country; but transiently, and never without a sense of characteristic
difference. Many of the distinctions favourable to Switzerland I have
noticed; and it seems as if I were ungrateful to our own pellucid lakes,
those darlings of the summer breezes! But when floating on the Lake of
Thun we did not forget them. The greenish hue of its waters is much less
pleasing than the cerulean or purple of the lakes of Cumberland and
Westmoreland; the reflections are less vivid; shore and water do not so
delicately blend together; hence a coasting voyage cannot be accompanied
with an equal variety of minute objects. And I might add many other
little circumstances or incidents that enliven the banks of our lakes.
For instance, in a summer forenoon, the troops of cattle that are seen
solacing themselves in the cool waters within the belt of a pebbly
shore; or, if the season do not drive them thither, how they beautify
the pastures, and rocky unenclosed grounds! While on the Lake of Thun we
did not see a single group of cattle of any kind. I have not spoken of
that _other_ sky, "received into the bosom" of our lakes, on tranquil
summer evenings; for the time of day prevented our being reminded in
the same degree of what we have so often beheld at such times; but it
is obvious that, though the reflections from _masses_ of brilliant
clouds must often be very grand, the clouds in their delicate hues and
forms cannot be seen, in the same soft distinctness, "bedded in another

In this pleasing valley we whirled away, again (as to the first sound of
a Frenchman's whip in the streets of Calais) as blithe as children; when
all at once, looking through a narrow opening of green and craggy
mountains, the Jungfrau (the Virgin) burst upon our view, dazzling in
brightness, which seemed rather heightened than diminished by a mantle
of white clouds floating over the bosom of the mountain. The effect was
indescribable. We had before seen the snows of the Alps at a distance,
propped, as I may say, against the sky, or blending with, and often
indistinguishable from it; and now, with the suddenness of a pantomimic
change, we beheld a great mountain of snow, very near to us as it
appeared, and in combination with hills covered with flourishing trees,
in the pride of summer foliage. Our mirth was checked; and, awe-struck
yet delighted, we stopped the car for some minutes.

Soon after we discovered the town of Unterseen, which stands right under
the hill, and close to the river Aar, a most romantic spot, the large,
ancient wooden houses of the market-place joining each other, yet placed
in wondrous disregard of order, and built with uncouth and grotesque
variety of gallery and pent-house. The roofs are mostly secured from
the wind by large rough stones laid upon them. At the end of the town we
came to a bridge which we were to pass over; and here, almost as
suddenly, was the river Aar presented to our view as the maiden-mountain
in her resplendent garb had been before. Hitherto the river had been
concealed by, or only partially seen through, the trees; but at
Unterseen it is imperious, and will be heard, seen, and felt. In a fit
of rage it tumbles over a craggy channel, spreading out and dividing
into different streams, crossed by the long, ponderous wooden bridge,
that, steady and rugged, adds to the wild grandeur of the spectacle....
I recollect one woody eminence far below us, about which we doubted
whether the object on its summit was rock or castle, and the point
remained undecided until, on our way to Lauterbrunnen, we saw the same
above our heads, on its perpendicular steep, a craggy barrier fitted to
war with the tempests of ten thousand years. If summer days had been at
our command we should have remained till sunset upon our chosen
eminence; but another, on the opposite side of the vale, named the
Hohlbuhl, invited us, and we determined to go thither. Yet what could be
looked for more delightful than the sights which, by stirring but a few
yards from our elastic couch on the crags, we might see all round us? On
one side, the river Aar streaming through the verdant vale; on the
other, the pastoral, walnut-tree plain, with its one chapel and
innumerable huts, bounded by varied steeps, and leading the eye, and
still more the fancy, into its recesses and to the snowy barrier of the
Jungfrau. We descended on the side opposite to that by which we climbed
the hill, along an easy and delightful track, cut in the forest among
noble trees, chiefly beeches. Winding round the hill, we saw the bridge
above the inn, which we must cross to reach the foot of the other
eminence. We hurried along, through fields, woody lanes, and beside
cottages where children offered us nosegays gathered from their shady
gardens. Every image, every object in the vale was soothing or
cheerful: it seemed a paradise cradled in rugged mountains. At many a
cottage door we could have loitered till daylight was gone. The way had
appeared short at a distance, but we soon found out our want of skill in
measuring the vales of Switzerland, and long before we had reached the
foot of the hill, perceived that the sun was sinking, and would be gone
before our labour was ended. The strong pushed forward; and by patience
_I_ too, at last gained the desired point a little too late; for the
brilliance had deserted all but the highest mountains. They presented a
spectacle of heavenly glory; and long did we linger after the rosy
lights had passed away from their summits, and taken a station in the
calm sky above them.[46] It was ten o'clock when we reached the inn.

  [Footnote 46: After the sunshine has left the mountain-tops the sky
  frequently becomes brighter, and of the same hue as if the light from
  the hills had retreated thither.--D. W.]

_Brienz, Wednesday, August 9th._-- ... There was something in the
exterior of the people belonging to the inn at Brienz that reminded one
of the ferry-houses in the Highlands--a sort of untamed familiarity with
strangers, and an expression of savage fearlessness in danger. While we
were waiting at the door, a company of females came up, returning from
harvest labours in the Vale of Berne to their homes at the head of the
lake. They gathered round, eyeing us steadily, and presently a girl
began to sing, another joined, a third, a fourth, and then a fifth,
their arms gracefully laid over each other's shoulders. Large black or
straw hats shaded their heads, undecked with ribands, and their attire
was grey; the air they sang was plaintive and wild, without sweetness,
yet not harsh. The group collected round that lonely house on the
river's edge would have made a pretty picture.... The shore of Brienz,
as far as we saw it, is much richer in intricate graces than the shores
of the Lake of Thun. Its little retiring bays and shaggy rocks reminded
me sometimes of Loch Ketterine.

Our minstrel peasants passed us on the water, no longer singing
_plaintive_ ditties, such as inspired the little poem which I shall
transcribe in the following page; but with bursts of merriment they
rowed lustily away. The poet has, however, transported the minstrels in
their gentle mood from the cottage door to the calm lake.

     "What know we of the Blest above
     But that they sing and that they love?"
     Yet if they ever did inspire
     A mortal hymn, or shaped the choir,
     Now, where those harvest Damsels float
     Homeward in their rugged Boat
     (While all the ruffling winds are fled,
     Each slumbering on some mountain's head)
     Now, surely, hath that gracious aid
     Been felt, that influence display'd.
     Pupils of Heaven, in order stand
     The rustic Maidens, every hand
     Upon a Sister's shoulders laid,--
     To chant, as Angels do above,
     The melodies of Peace, in love![47]

       [Footnote 47: See the "Poetical Works," vol. vi. p. 315, in
       "Memorials of a Tour on the Continent, 1820," _Scene on the
       Lake of Brientz_.--ED.]

_Interlachen, Thursday, August 10th._--Many a streamlet crossed our way,
after tumbling down the hills--sometimes as clear as the springs of our
Westmoreland mountains, but the instant they touched the glacier river
of the valley their pure spirit was lost--annihilated by its angry
waters. I have seen a muddy and a transparent streamlet at a few yards'
distance hurrying down the same steep; in one instance the two joined at
the bottom, travelled side by side in the same track, remaining distinct
though joined together, as if each were jealous of its own character.
Yielding to mild necessity, they slowly blended, ere both, in turbulent
disrespect, were swallowed up by the master torrent.

The Jungfrau (till then hidden except a small portion of its summit)
burst upon our view, covered with snow from its _apparent_ base to its
highest pike. We had been ascending nearly four hours; and all at once
the wintery mountain appeared before us; of majestic bulk, though but a
small part of that mass springing from the same foundation, some of the
pikes of which are seen far and wide from every quarter of the compass;
and we, after all this climbing, seemed not nearer to the top than when
we had viewed what _appeared_ to be the highest summits from below. We
were all on foot, and (at the moment when, about to turn to our left and
coast along the side of the hill which, sloping down to the base of the
snowy mountain, forms a hollow between) suddenly we heard a tremendous
noise--loud like thunder; and all stood still. It was the most awful
sound which had ever struck upon our ears. For some minutes, we did not
utter a single word:--and when the sound was dying away exclaimed, "It
is an avalanche!" eagerly asking "where?" and whence it had come. The
guide pointed to a very small and almost perpendicular _rivulet_ (as it
appeared to us) perfectly white--and dashing down the mountains--"That,"
said he, "is the Avalanche!" We could not _believe_ that such mighty
tumult had proceeded from a little rill (to _our eyes_ it was nothing
else, though composed of falling masses of snow, and probably ice), and
I suspect we were loth to leave the mystery explained: however, we were
compelled to yield to our guide's experience, seeing a few minutes
after, the motion of the little white rill or torrent gradually settle
till all was gone, and perfect silence succeeded, silence more awful
even than the noise which had preceded it. The hollow alongside of which
our course lay might be in length half a league. On our right was the
Jungfrau in stillness of deepest winter; and the opposite hill, the
Wengern, was carpeted with green grass and flowers. _These_ heights
were pastured by cattle, and we began to hear the tinkling of their
bells, and shouts from boys at a distance; but no other stirring till we
reached a single hut near the end of the sloping hollow, the only one
visible hereabouts. At the door of the hut, our steeds were let loose to
pasture, and we entered. Two or three young men and boys displayed the
stores of their cupboard--one little piece of wheaten bread to help out
the small supply which we had brought, plenty of cheese, and milk in
abundance. It was not better than a savage shelter; and the youths
looked as if they had had no valley culture; simple goodwill, however,
cheerful smiles and stores proffered without reserve made all
delightful, and had a shower and a wintry blast visited us from the
Jungfrau we should have rejoiced in the comfort of that shelter; but the
sun shone with _peculiar_ brightness, enriching the soft green ground,
and giving dazzling brilliancy to the snow. We desired our attendants to
bring their stores into the open air, and seated ourselves on the turf
beside the _household_ spring (so let me call it, though but a child of
summer at the foot of the icy mountain), the warm sun shone upon us; the
air invigorated our spirits and we were as gay as larks, that soar in a
region far below _ours_ on that happy afternoon. Again we heard the
thunder of avalanches, and saw them bursting out, fresh foaming springs.
The sound is loud as thunder, but more metallic and musical. It also may
be likened to the rattling of innumerable chariots passing over rocky
places.... Soon the vale lay before us, with its two glaciers, and--as
it might seem--its thousand cabins sown upon the steeps. The descent[48]
became so precipitous that all were obliged to walk. Deep we go into the
broad cradle-valley, every cottage we passed had its small garden, and
cherry-trees sprinkled with leaves, bearing half-grown, half-ripe
fruit. In plunging into this vale I was overcome with a sense of
melancholy pervading the whole scene--not desolation, or dreariness. It
is not the melancholy of the Scotch Highlands, but connected with social
life in loneliness, not less than with the strife of all the seasons....
The sunshine had long deserted the valley, and was quitting the summits
of the mountains behind the village; but red hues, dark as the red of
rubies, settled in the clouds, and lingered there after the mountains
had lost all but their cold whiteness, and the black hue of the crags.
The gloomy grandeur of this spectacle harmonised with the melancholy of
the vale; yet it was _heavenly glory_ that hung over those cold

  [Footnote 48: From the Wengern Alp.--D. W.]

_Grindelwald, Friday, August 11th._--_Scheideck to Meiringen._--To our
right, looking over the green cradle of the vale, we saw the glacier,
with the stream issuing from beneath an arch of solid ice--the small
pyramids around it of a greyish colour, mingled with vitriol green. The
bed of icy snow above looked sullied, so that the glacier itself was not
beautiful, like what we had read of; but the mass of mountains behind,
their black crags and shadows, and the awful aspect of winter
encroaching on the valley-domain (combinations so new to us) made ample
amends for any disappointment we might feel.... The rain came on in
heavy drops, but did not drive us to the closer shelter of the house. We
heeded not the sprinkling which a gust of wind sometimes sent in upon
us. Good fortune had hitherto favoured us; and, even if we had been
detained at that house all night, the inconvenience would have been
trifling. Our spirits were uplifted, and we felt as if it would be a
privilege to be admitted to a near acquaintance with Alpine storms. This
at least was my feeling, till the threatenings were over; and then, by
happy transition, I gladly hailed the bursting light of the sun that
flashed upon the crags, seen by glimpses between the dispersing clouds.
The interior of the house was roomy and warm; and, though the floors
were of the bare soil, everything looked cleanly; the wooden vessels
were pretty, ladles and spoons curiously carved, and all neatly arranged
on shelves. Three generations, making a numerous family, were there
living together in the summer season, with their cattle on the rough
pastures round them:[49] no doubt the main support of the household, but
the gains from travellers must be considerable. We were surprised at
being asked if we chose coffee. Hardly should we have deserved our
welcome shelter had we not preferred the peasant's fare--cheese, milk,
and cream, with the addition of bread fetched from the vale; and I must
not omit a dish of fruit--bilberries--here very fine. Indeed most of our
mountain plants, except the branchy fern and the common daisy (which we
rarely saw), grow in lavish beauty, and many others unknown to us, that
enamel the turf like gems. The monkshood of our gardens, growing at a
great height on the Alps, has a brighter hue than elsewhere. It is seen
in tufts, that to my fancy presented fairy groves upon the green grass,
and in rocky places, or under trees.

  [Footnote 49: All these Alps are occupied by owners of land in the
  valleys, who have a right in common according to the quantity of
  their land. The cheeses, like the rest of the produce, are the
  property of all, and the distribution takes place at the end of the
  season.--D. W.]

The storm over, we proceeded, still in the forest, which led us through
different compartments of the vale, each of itself a little valley of
the loveliest greenness, on all sides skirted with pine-trees, and often
sprinkled with huts, the summer dwellings of the herdsmen. Sometimes
(seen through a lateral opening) a meadow glade, not much larger than a
calf-garth, would have its single dwelling; but the memory of one
particular spot--the perfect image of peace and pastoral
seclusion--remains with me as vividly as when, apart from my companions,
I travelled over its soft carpet of turf. That valley-reach might be in
length a quarter of a mile or more, and of proportionate width,
surrounded by hills covered with pines, overtopped by craggy mountains.
It was an apparently level plain, as smooth as velvet, and our course
through the centre. On our right flowed the grey stream from the
glaciers, with chastened voice and motion; and, on the other, were many
cabins in an almost formal line, separated from each other, and elevated
upon wooden pillars, the grass growing round and under them. There was
not a sound except of the gushing stream; no cattle to be seen, nor any
living creature.

       *       *       *       *       *

Our way continued through interchange of pastoral and forest ground.
Crossed a bridge, and then had the stream to our left in a rocky gulf
overhung with trees, chiefly beeches and elms; sawing-mills on the river
very picturesque. It is impossible to imagine a more beautiful descent
than was before us to the vale of Hasli. The roaring stream was our
companion; sometimes we looked down upon it from the edge of a lofty
precipice; sometimes descended towards it, and could trace its furious
course for a considerable way. The torrent bounded over rocks, and still
went foaming on, no pausing-places, no gentle windings, no pools under
the innumerable smaller cataracts; the substance and the grey hue still
the same, whether the stream rushed in one impetuous current down a
regularly rough part of its steep channel, or laboured among rocks in
cloud-shaped heavings, or in boisterous fermentation.... We saw the
cataract[50] through an open window. It is a tremendous one, but,
wanting the accompaniments of overhanging trees, and all the minor
graces which surround our waterfalls--overgrowings of lichen, moss,
fern, and flowers--it gives little of what may be called pleasure. It
was astonishment and awe--an overwhelming sense of the powers of nature
for the destruction of all things, and of the helplessness of man--of
the weakness of his will if prompted to make a momentary effort against
such a force. What weight and speed of waters! and what a tossing of
grey mist! Though at a considerable distance from the fall, when
standing at the window, a shower of misty rain blew upon us.

  [Footnote 50: The Fall of the Reichenbach.--ED.]

_Meiringen, Saturday, August 12th._--Again crossed the river; then up a
bare precipice, and along a gallery hewn out of the rock. Downwards to
the valley more bare and open; a sprinkling of pines, among which the
peasants were making hay. Hamlets and single huts not far asunder: no
thought of dreariness crossed my mind; yet a pensiveness was spread over
the long valley, where, year by year, the same simple employments go on
in succession, and where the tempests of winter are patiently endured,
and thoughtfully guarded against.... The _châlet_ at Handek is large;
four long apartments, in one of which our mules rested. Several men were
living there for the summer season, but no women. They served us with
the same kindliness we had experienced on the Wengern and Scheidegg
Alps, but with slowness and gravity. These men were very tall, and had a
sedate deportment, generally noticed I find by travellers in Ober Hasli,
where the race has for centuries been distinguished by peculiar customs,
manners, and habits.... From the brink of a rock we looked down the
falls, and along the course of the torrent. The spectacle was
tremendous, and, from that point, not less beautiful. The position of
the sun here favoured us; and we beheld the arch of a bright rainbow,
steadily poised on the cloud of vapour below us that burst out of the
terrific waters. We looked down with awe upon

                         the river, throwing
     His giant body o'er the steep rock's brink,

yet at first hardly without personal fear. The noise was so great we
could not help fancying it shook the very rock on which we stood. That
feeling passed away.... While I lay on my bed, the terrible solitudes of
the Wetterhorn were revealed to me by fits--its black chasms, and snowy,
dark, grey summits. All night, and all day, and for ever, the vale of
Meiringen is sounding with torrents.

_Meiringen, Sunday, August 13th._--Rain over, and the storm past away,
long before the sunshine had touched the top of any other mountain, the
snow upon the Wetterhorn shone like silver, and its grey adamantine
towers appeared in a soft splendour all their own. I looked in vain for
the rosy tints of morning, of which I had so often heard; but they could
not have been more beautiful than the silvery brightness....

_Lake of Lungern._--At an upper window of one of a cluster of houses at
the foot of the valley, a middle-aged man, with a long beard, was
kneeling with a book in his hand. He fixed his eyes upon us, and, while
his devotions were still going on, made me a bow. I passed slowly, and
looked into that house with prying eyes, it was so different from any
other, and so much handsomer. The wooden ceiling of the room, where the
friar or monk (such I suppose him to be) knelt at his prayers, was
curiously inlaid and carved, and the walls hung with pictures. The
picturesque accompaniments of the Roman Catholic religion, the elegant
white chapels on the hills, the steady grave people going to church, and
the cheerfulness of the valley, had put me into good humour with the
religion itself; but, while we were passing through this very hamlet,
and close to the mansion of the godly man, Mr. M. having lost the cork
of a little flask, I asked the guide to buy or beg for us another at one
of the cottages, and he shook his head, assuring me they would neither
give nor sell anything to us Protestants, except in the regular way of
trade. They would do nothing for us out of goodwill. I had been too
happy in passing through the tranquil valley to be ready to trust my
informer, and, having first obliged him to make the request, I asked
myself at two respectable houses, and met with a refusal, and no very
gracious looks....

_Sarnen, Monday, August 14th._--The road to the monastery is marked by
small pillars of grey stone, not more than a quarter of a mile asunder.
At the top of each pillar is a square cupboard, as I may call it, or it
more resembles the head of a clock, where, secure from the rain, are
placed paintings of the history of our Saviour from His birth to His
ascension. Some of the designs are very pretty (taken, no doubt, from
better pictures) and they generally tell their tale intelligibly. The
pillars are in themselves pleasing objects in connection with the
background of a crag or overhanging tree--a streamlet, or a bridge--and
how touchingly must their pictured language have spoken to the heart of
many a weary devotee! The ascent through the forest was interesting on
every account. It led us sometimes along the brink of precipices, and
always far above the boisterous river. We frequently met, or were
overtaken, by peasants (mostly bearing heavy burthens). We spoke to each
other; but here I could not understand three words of their language,
nor they of mine.

_Engelberg, Mount Titlis, Tuesday, August 15th._--We breakfasted in view
of the flashing, silver-topped Mount Titlis, and its grey crags, a sight
that roused William's youthful desires; and in spite of weak eyes, and
the weight of fifty winters, he could not repress a longing to ascend
that mountain.... But my brother had had his own visions of glory, and,
had he been twenty years younger, sure I am that he would have trod the
summit of the Titlis. Soon after breakfast we were warned to expect the
procession, and saw it issuing from the church. Priests in their white
robes, choristers, monks chanting the service, banners uplifted, and a
full-dressed image of the Virgin carried aloft. The people were divided
into several classes; the men, bareheaded; and maidens, taking
precedency of the married women, I suppose, because it was the festival
of the Virgin.

The procession formed a beautiful stream upon the green level, winding
round the church and convent. Thirteen hundred people were assembled at
Engelberg, and joined in this service. The unmarried women wore straw
hats, ornamented with flowers, white bodices, and crimson petticoats.
The dresses of the elder people were curious. What a display of
neck-chains and ear-rings! of silver and brocaded stomachers! Some old
men had coats after the mode of the time of _The Spectator_, with worked
seams. Boys, and even young men, wore flowers in their straw hats. We
entered the convent; but were only suffered to go up a number of
staircases, and through long whitewashed galleries, hung with portraits
of saints, and prints of remarkable places in Switzerland, and
particularly of the vale and convent of Engelberg, with plans and charts
of the mountains, etc. There are now only eighteen monks; and the abbot
no longer exists: his office, I suppose, became extinct with his
temporal princedom.... I strolled to the chapel, near the inn, a pretty
white edifice, entered by a long flight of steps. No priest, but several
young peasants, in shepherdess attire of jackets, and showy petticoats,
and flowery hats, were paying their vows to the Virgin. A colony of
swallows had built their nests within the cupola, in the centre of the
circular roof. They were flying overhead; and their voices seemed to me
an harmonious accompaniment to the silent devotions of those rustics.

_Lucerne, Wednesday, August 16th._--Lucerne stands close to the shore at
the foot of the lake of the four cantons. The river Reuss, after its
passage from the mountain of St. Gothard, falls into that branch called
the Lake of Uri, and issues out of another branch at Lucerne, passing
through the town. The river has three long wooden bridges; and another
bridge, 1080 feet in length, called the Cathedral Bridge, crosses a
part of the lake, and leads to the Cathedral. Thither we repaired,
having first walked the streets, and purchased a straw hat for 12
francs, at the shop of a pleasant talkative milliner, on whose counter,
taking up a small pamphlet (a German magazine), we were surprised at
opening upon our own name, and, still more, surprised to find it in
connection with my brother's poem on the Duddon, so recently published.

But I was going to lead you to the end of the long bridge under a dark
roof of wood, crossed and sustained by heavy beams, on each of which, on
both sides--so that they face you both in going and returning--some
portion of Scripture history is represented; beginning with Adam and
Eve, and ending with the resurrection and ascension of Christ. These
pictures, to the number of 230--though, to be sure, woful things as
works of art--are by no means despicable daubs; and, while I looked at
them myself, it pleased me much more to see the peasants, bringing their
burthens to the city, often stay their steps, with eyes cast upwards.
The lake is seen through the openings of the bridge; pleasant houses,
not crowded, on its green banks.... It was dark when we reached the inn.
We took tea at one end of the unoccupied side of the table in the
_salle-à-manger_; while, on the other side, a large party were at
supper. Before we had finished, a bustle at the door drew our attention
to a traveller; rather an odd figure appeared in a greatcoat. Mary said,
"He is like Mr. Robinson." He turned round while talking German, with
loud voice, to the landlord; and, all at once, we saw that it was Mr.
Robinson himself. Our joy cannot be expressed. If he had brought the
half of old England along with him, we could not have been more glad. We
started up with one consent; and, no doubt, all operations at the
supper-table were suspended; but we had no eyes for that. Mr. Robinson
introduced two young men, his companions, an American and a
Scotchman--genteel, modest youths, who (the ceremony of introduction
over) slipped away to the supper-table, wishing to leave us to
ourselves. We were indeed happy--and Mr. Robinson was not less so. He
seemed as if he had in one moment found two homes, his English home, and
his home in Germany, though it were in the heart of Switzerland.

_Lucerne, Friday, August 18th._--Merrily we floated between the soft
banks of the first reach of the lake, keeping near the left shore.[51]
Plots of corn interspersed among trees and green slopes, with pleasant
houses, not neighbouring one another, as at Zurich, nor yet having a
character of loneliness. Then we come to low shaggy rocks, forming
pretty little bays, and a singular rock appears before us in the water,
the terminating point of the promontory. That point passed, the Kusnach
branch opening out on our left hand, we are soon on the body of the
lake, from which the four smaller branches of Lucerne, Winkel, Alpnach,
and Kusnach may be said to proceed. The lake is full and stately; the
mountains are magnificent. The town of Lucerne, its red roofs softened
(even in the sunshine of this bright day) by distance, is an elegant
termination of its own compartment, backed by low hills. Rowing round
the rocky point, we lose sight of that quarter: the long Reach of
Kusnach is before us, bordered by soft shores with thinly-scattered
villages, and but few detached cottages. Behind us, the lake stretches
out to Mount Pilatus, dark, rugged, and lofty--the Sarnen and Meiringen
mountains beyond; and the summits surrounding the hidden valley of
Engelberg in the opposite quarter.

  [Footnote 51: Which is in fact the _right_ bank as we were going _up_
  the Lake.--D. W.]

_Top of Rigi, Saturday, August 19th._--At Goldau the valley desolation
begins. It bears the name of the former village buried in ruins; and is
now no more than three or four houses and a church built on the same
site. Masses of barren rubbish lie close to the houses, where but a few
years past, nothing was seen but fruitful fields. We dined at the inn,
and were waited on by the landlady, whose head-dress was truly
surprising. She wore from the back of the neck to the forehead a cap
shaped like a one-arched bridge with high parapets of stiff muslin; the
path of the bridge covered with artificial flowers--wonderously
unbecoming; for she was a plain woman--not young--and her hair (I think
powdered) was drawn tight up from the forehead. She served us with very
small fish, from the lake, excellently cooked, boiled milk, eggs, an
omelet, and dessert. From the room where we dined we had a view of the
Lake of Zong, formerly separated from the small Lake of Lowertz only by
_fertile_ grounds, such as we now beheld stretching down to its shores.
Yes! from a window in that house on its desolate site we beheld this
lovely prospect; and nothing of the desolation.

_Seewen, August 20th, Sunday._--A small white Church, with a graceful
Tower, mitre-topped and surmounted by a slender spire, was in prospect,
upon an eminence in the Vale, and thitherward the people led us. Passing
through the small village of Engelbole, at the foot of that green
eminence, we ascended to the churchyard, where was a numerous assemblage
(you must not forget it was Sunday) keeping festival. It was like a
_Fair_ to the eye; but no squalls of trumpets or whistles--no battering
of children's drums--all the people quiet, yet cheerful--cakes and fruit
spread abundantly on the churchyard wall.

A beautiful prospect from that spot--new scenes to tempt us forward! We
descended, by a long flight of steps, into the Vale, and, after about
half a mile's walking, we arrived at _Brunnen_. Espied Wm. and M. upon a
crag above the village, and they directed us to the Eagle Inn, where I
instantly seated myself before a window, with a long Reach of the Lake
of Uri[52] before me, the magnificent commencement to our _regular_
approach to the St. Gothard Pass of the Alps. My first feeling was of
extreme delight in the excessive _beauty_ of the scene;--I had expected
something of a more awful impression from the Lake of Uri; but nothing
so _beautiful_.

  [Footnote 52: The head Branch of the Lake of the Four Cantons.--D. W.]

It was a moonlight night;--rather a night of fitful moonshine; for large
clouds were driving rapidly over the narrow arch of sky above the town
[Altorf]. A golden cross, upon one of the steeples, shone forth at times
as bright as a star in heaven, against the black mountain-wall, while
the transient touchings of the moonlight produced a most romantic effect
upon the many-coloured paintings on the wall of the old Tower. I sate a
long time at my window keeping watch, and wishing for a companion, that
I might walk. At length, however, when I was preparing to go to bed
(after ten o'clock) Mr. R. tapped at my door to tell me that Mr. M. was
going out. I hastily re-dressed myself, and we two then sallied forth
together. A fierce hot wind drove through the streets, whirling aloft
the dust of the ruins, which almost blinded our eyes. We got a hasty
glimpse of the moon perched on the head of a mountain pike--a moment and
it was gone--then passed through the long street. Houses and ruins
picturesque in the uncertain light--with a stateliness that does not
belong to them by day--hurried on to the churchyard, which, being on an
eminence, gave us another view of the moon wandering among clouds, above
the jagged ridges of the steeps:--thence homewards struggling with the
hot wind. _Some_ matters are curiously managed on the Continent, a
folding door, the sole entrance to my chamber, only separated it from
the salon where, at my return, guests were at supper. I heard every word
they spoke as distinctly as if I had been of the party, though without
understanding more than that a careful father was travelling with his
two boys, to whom he talked incessantly; but so kindly and pleasantly
that I hardly wished to get rid of his voice. We had broad flashes of
lightning after I was in bed, but no thunder. This reminds me that we
could have no fresh bread for breakfast in the morning, the bakers
having, as we were told, been prohibited (since the destructive fire)
under a heavy penalty, from heating their ovens except when the air is
calm. I think it must often be the lot of the good people of Altorf to
gnaw a hard crust; for these mountains are fine brewing-places for the
winds; and the vale a very trough to receive and hold them fast.

A smart young maiden was to introduce us to the interior of the ivied
Tower, so romantic in its situation above the roaring stream, at the
mouth of the glen, which, behind, is buried beneath overhanging woods.
We ascended to the upper rooms by a blind staircase that might have
belonged to a turret of one of our ancient castles, which conducted us
into a Gothic room, where we found neither the ghost nor the armour of
William Tell; but an artist at work with the pencil; with two or three
young men, his pupils, from Altorf. No better introduction to the favour
of one of those young men was required than that of our sprightly female
attendant. From this little academy of the arts, drawings are dispersed,
probably, to every country of the continent of Europe. Mr. M. selected
two from a very large collection.

_Monday, August 20th._[53]--_Altorf._--We found our own comfortable Inn,
THE OX, near the fountain of William Tell. The buildings here are
fortunately disposed--with a pleasing irregularity. Opposite to our Inn
stands the Tower of the Arsenal, built upon the spot where grew the
Linden-tree to which Tell's son is reported to have been bound when the
arrow was shot. This tower was spared by the fire which consumed an
adjoining building, _happily_ spared, if only for the sake of the rude
paintings on its walls. I studied them with infinite satisfaction,
especially the face of the innocent little boy with the apple on his
head. After dinner we walked up the valley to the reputed birthplace of
Tell: it is a small village at the foot of a glen, rich yet very wild. A
rude unroofed modern bridge crosses the boisterous river, and, beside
the bridge, is a fantastic mill-race constructed in the same rustic
style--uncramped by apprehensions of committing waste upon the woods. At
the top of a steep rising directly from the river, stands a square tower
of grey stone, partly covered with ivy, in itself rather a striking
object from the bridge; even if not pointed out for notice as being
built on the site of the dwelling where William Tell was born. Near it,
upon the same eminence, stands the white church, and a small chapel
called by Tell's name, where we again found rough paintings of his
exploits, mixed with symbols of the Roman Catholic faith. Our walk from
Altorf to this romantic spot had been stifling; along a narrow road
between old stone walls--nothing to be seen above them but the tops of
fruit trees, and the imprisoning hills. No doubt when those walls were
built, the lands belonged to the churches and monasteries. Happy were we
when we came to the glen and rushing river, and still happier when,
having clomb the eminence, we sate beside the churchyard, where kindly
breezes visited us--the warm breezes of Italy! We had here a volunteer
guide, a ragged child, voluble with his story trimmed up for the
stranger. He could tell the history of the Hero of Uri and declare the
import of each memorial;--while (not neglecting the saints) he proudly
pointed out to our notice (what indeed could not have escaped it) a
gigantic daubing of the figure of St. Christopher on the wall of the
church steeple. But our smart young maiden was to introduce us to the
interior of the ivied Tower, so romantic in its situation above the
roaring stream, at the mouth of the glen, which, behind, is buried
beneath overhanging woods. We ascended to the upper rooms by a blind
staircase that might have belonged to a turret of one of our ancient
castles, which conducted us into a gothic room, where we found neither
the ghost nor the armour of William Tell; but an artist at work with the
pencil; with two or three young men, his pupils, from Altorf--no better
introduction to the favour of one of those young men was required than
that of our sprightly female attendant. From this little academy of the
arts, drawings are dispersed, probably, to every country of the
continent of Europe.

  [Footnote 53: There is a mistake here as to the date, which renders
  all subsequent ones inaccurate.--ED.]

_Wednesday, August 22nd._--_Amsteg._--After Wasen our road at times very
steep;--rocky on both sides of the glen; and fewer houses than before.
We had left the forest, but smaller fir-trees were thinly sprinkled on
the hills. Looking northward, the church tower on its eminence most
elegant in the centre of the glen backed by the bare pyramid of Meisen.
Images by the wayside though not frequent, I recollect a poor idiot
hereabouts, who with smiles and uncouth gestures placed himself under
the Virgin and Child, pleading so earnestly that there was no resisting
him. Soon after, when I was lingering behind upon a stone, beside a
little streamlet of clear water, a procession of mules approached, laden
with wine-casks--forty at least--which I had long seen winding like a
creeping serpent along the side of the bare hill before me, and heard
the stream of sound from their bells. Two neatly-dressed Italian women,
who headed the cavalcade, spoke to me in their own sweet language; and
one of them had the kindness to turn back to bring me a glove, which I
had left on the stone where I had been sitting. I cannot forget her
pretty romantic appearance--a perfect contrast to that of the poor
inhabitants of her own sex in this district, no less than her soft
speech! She was rather tall, and slender, and wore a small straw hat
tied with coloured riband, different in shape from those worn in
Switzerland. It was the first company of muleteers we had seen, though
afterwards we met many. Recrossed the Reuss, and, ascending a very long
and abrupt hill covered with impending and shattered crags, had again
that river on our left, but the hill carried us out of sight of it. I
was alone--the first in the ascent. A cluster of mountain masses, till
then unseen, appeared suddenly before me, black--rugged--or covered with
snow. I was indeed awe-struck; and, while I sate for some minutes,
thought within myself, now indeed we are going among the terrors of the
Alps; for the course of the Reuss being hidden, I imagined we should be
led towards those mountains. Little expecting to discover traces of
human habitations, I had gone but a little way before I beheld,
stretching from the foot of the savage mountains, an oblong valley
thickly strewn over with rocks, or, more accurately speaking, huge
stones; and among them huts of the same hue, hardly to be distinguished,
except by their shape. At the foot of the valley appeared a village
beside a tall slender church tower;--every object of the same hue except
the foaming glacier stream and the grassy ground, exquisitely green
among the crags. The hills that flanked the dismal valley told its
history:--their precipitous sides were covered with crags, mostly in
detached masses, that seemed ready to be hurled down by avalanches.
Descending about half a mile we were at the village,[54] and turning
into the churchyard to the left, sate there, overlooking the pass of the
torrent. Beside it lay many huge fragments of rock fallen from above,
resembling one of still more enormous size, called the Devil's stone,
which we had passed by on the right-hand side of the road near the
entrance of the village. How lavishly does nature in these desolate
places dispense _beautiful_ gifts! The craggy pass of the stream coming
out of that valley of stones was decorated with a profusion of gorgeous
bushes of the mountain ash, with delicate flowers, and with the richest
mosses. And, even while looking upon the valley itself, it was
impossible, amid all its images of desolation, not to have a mild
pleasure in noticing the harmonious beauty of its form and proportions.
Two or three women came to us to beg; and all the inhabitants seemed to
be miserably poor. No wonder! for they are not merely _summer_ tenants
of the village:--and who, that could find another hold in the land,
would dwell there the year through? Near the church is a picturesque
stone bridge, at the further end spanned by the arch of a ruined gateway
(no gate is _there_ now), and its stone pillars are crested with flowers
and grass. We cross the bridge; and, winding back again, come in sight
of the Reuss far below, to our left, and were in that part of the pass
especially called by Ebel the valley of Schöllenen,[55] so well known
for its dangers at the time of the dissolving of the snow, when the
muleteers muffle their bells and do not venture to speak a word, lest
they should stir some loose masses overhead by agitating the air. Here
we passed two muleteers stretched at ease upon a plot of verdant turf,
under a gigantic crag, their mules feeding beside them. The road is now,
almost continuously very steep--the hills rugged--often ruinous--yet
straggling pine-trees are seen even to their summits; and goats
fearlessly browsing upon the overhanging rocks. The distance from
Ghestinen to the vale of Urseren is nearly two leagues. After we had
been long ascending, I perceived on the crags on the opposite side of
the glen two human figures. They were at about the same elevation as
ourselves; yet looked no bigger than a boy and girl of five years'
growth, a proof that, narrow as the glen appears to be, its width is
considerable:--and this shows how high and steep must be the mountains.
Those people carried each a large burthen, which we supposed to be of
hay; but where was hay to be procured on these precipices? A little
further--and the mystery was solved, when we discovered a solitary mower
among slips of grass on the almost perpendicular side of the mountain.
The man and woman must have been bearing their load to the desolate
valley. Such are the summer labours of its poor inhabitants. In winter,
their sole employment out of their houses and cattle-sheds must be the
clearing away of snow, which would otherwise keep the doors barred up.
But even at that season, I believe, seldom a week passes over their
heads without tidings from the top of St. Gothard or the valley of
Altorf, winter being the season when merchandise is constantly passing
upon sledges between Italy and Switzerland:--and Ghestinen is one of the
halting-places. The most dangerous time of travelling is the spring. For
_us_ there were no dangers. The excellent paved road of granite masters
all difficulties even up the steepest ascents; and from safe bridges
crossing the torrents we looked without trepidation into their gulfs, or
pondered over their hasty course to the Reuss. Yet in the Gorge of
Schoellenen it is not easy to forget the terrors which visit that
houseless valley. Frequent memorials of deaths on the spot are
discovered by the way-side,--small wooden crosses placed generally under
the shelter of an overhanging stone. They might easily be passed
unnoticed; and are so slightly put together that a child might break
them to pieces:--yet they lie from year to year, as safe as in a

  [Footnote 54: Named Göschenen. It is 2100 feet above the lake of
  Waldstelles and 3282 above the level of the Vierwaldstädtersee.
  --D. W.]

  [Footnote 55: Ramond gives this name to the whole valley from Amsteg
  to the entrance of Ursern. Ebel gives to it, altogether, the name of
  the Haute-Reuss; and says that it is called by the inhabitants the
  Graccenthal--Göschenen.--D. W.]

_Thursday, August 23rd._--_Hopital._[56]--Mary and I were again the
first to depart. Our little Trager had left us and we proceeded with
another (engaged also for 9 francs the distance to Airola, one league
less). Turned aside into one of the little chapels at the outskirts of
the town. Two Italians were refreshing and repainting the Saints and
Angels; we traced something of the style of their country (very
different from what is seen in Switzerland) in the ornaments of the
Chapel. Next we were invited to view a collection of minerals: and,
avowing ignorance in these matters, passed on. The ascent is at once
very steep. The sun shone full upon us, but the air was clear and cool,
though perfectly calm. Straying from the paved road we walked on soft
grass sprinkled with lowly flowers, and interwoven with the
ground-loving thyme which (hardly to be discovered by the eye in
passing) sent out gushes of aromatic odour. The Reuss rapidly descending
in a rocky channel between green hills, hillocks, or knolls was on our
left hand--not close to the road. Our first resting-place was beside a
little company of its small cataracts--foaming and sparkling--such as we
might have met with in the _ghyll_ of a Westmoreland mountain--scantily
adorned with bushes, and liberally with bright flowers--cattle wandering
on the hills; their bells made a soft jingling. The ascent becomes less
steep. After ascending half a league, or more, having passed several
painted oratories, but neither cottage nor cattle-shed--we came to a
wide long hollow, so exactly resembling the upper reaches of our vales,
especially Easedale, that we could have half believed ourselves there
before the April sun had melted the snow on the mountain-tops, the clear
river Reuss, flowing over a flat, though stony bed in the centre. M. and
I were still alone with our guide; and here we met a French traveller,
of whom Mr. R. told us he had afterwards inquired if he had seen two
ladies, to which he rudely answered that he _had met two women_ a little
above. This reminded me of an unwilling inclination of the head when I
had spoken to this Frenchman in passing, as I do to all whom I meet in
lonely places. He did not touch his hat: no doubt an intentional
incivility, for, on the Continent, that mark of respect towards
strangers is so general as to be often troublesome. Our
fellow-travellers overtook us before we had ascended from the
Westmoreland hollow, which had appeared to them, as to us, with the face
of an old friend. No more bushes now to be seen--and not a single house
or hut since we left Hopital. The ascent at times very rapid--hill
bare--and very rocky. The Reuss (when seen at our right hand) was taking
an open course, like a common mountain torrent, having no continuous
glen of its own. Savage pikes in all directions:--but, altogether, the
mountain ascent from Urseren not to be compared in awfulness and
grandeur with the valley pass from Amsteg. I recollect no particular
incidents by the way, except that, when far behind in discourse with a
lame, and therefore slow-paced, foot-traveller (who intended to halt for
the night at the Hospital of St. Gothard), he pointed out to me a patch
of snow on the left side of the road at a distance, and a great stone on
the right, which he told me was the spot where six travellers had been
overwhelmed by an avalanche last February--they and the huge stone
buried beneath the snow, I cannot say how many feet deep. I found our
party examining the spot. The hill, from which the avalanche had fallen,
was neither precipitous nor, to appearance, very lofty, nor was anything
to be seen which could give the notion of peculiar hazard in that place;
and this gave us, perhaps, a more vivid impression of what must be the
dangers of the Alps, at one season of the year, than the most fearful
crags and precipices. A wooden cross placed under the great stone by the
brother of one of the deceased (an Italian gentleman) recorded the time
and manner of his death. We tasted the cold snow near this spot, the
first we had met with by the way-side, no doubt a remnant of the
avalanche that had buried those unfortunate travellers. At the top of
the ascent of St. Gothard a wide basin--a dreary valley of rocky
ground--lies before us.

  [Footnote 56: Hospenthal.--ED.]

An oratory, where no doubt thanksgivings have been often poured out for
preservation from dangers encountered on a road which we had travelled,
so gaily, stands beside a large pool of clear water, that lies just
below us; and another pool, or little lake, the source of the Reuss, is
discovered between an opening in the mountains to the right. The
prospect is savage and grand; yet the grandeur chiefly arises from the
consciousness of being on ground so elevated and so near to the sources
of two great rivers, taking their opposite courses to the German Ocean,
and the Mediterranean Sea: for the mountain summits which rise all
round--some covered with snow--others of bare granite, being viewed from
a base so lofty are not so commanding as when seen from below; and the
_valley country_ is wholly hidden from view.--Unwilling to turn the
mountain, I sate down upon a rock above the little lake; and thence saw
(a quarter of a mile distant) the Hospital, or Inn, and, beside it, the
ruins of a convent, destroyed by the French. A tinkling of bells
suddenly warned me to look about, and there was a troop of goats; some
of them close at hand among the crags and slips of turf; nor were there
wanting, even here, a few bright lowly flowers. Entering into my
brother's youthful feelings of sadness and disappointment when he was
told unexpectedly that the Alps were crossed--the effort accomplished--I
tardily descended towards the Hospital.

I found Mary sitting on the lowest of a long flight of steps. She had
lost her companions (my brother and a young Swiss who had joined us on
the road). We mounted the steps; and, from within, their voices answered
our call. Went along a dark, stone, _banditti_ passage, into a small
chamber little less gloomy, where we found them seated with food before
them, bread and cheese, with sour red wine--no milk. Hunger satisfied,
Mary and I hastened to warm ourselves in the sunshine; for the house
was as cold as a dungeon. We straightway greeted with joy the infant
TESSINO which has its sources in the pools above. The gentlemen joined
us, and we placed ourselves on a sunny bank, looking towards Italy; and
the Swiss took out his flute, and played, and afterwards sang, the _Ranz
des Vaches_, and other airs of his country. We, and especially our
sociable friend R. (with his inexhaustible stock of kindness, and his
German tongue) found him a pleasant companion. He was from the
University of Heidelberg, and bound for Rome, on a visit to a brother,
in the holidays; and, our mode of travelling, for a short way, being the
same, it was agreed we should go on together: but before we reached
Airola he left us, and we saw no more of him.

_Friday, August 24th._--_Airola_ (3800 feet above the sea).--I walked
out; but neglected to enter the church, and missed a pleasure which W.
has often spoken of. He found a congregation of Rustics chanting the
service--the men and women alternately--unaccompanied by a priest....
Cascades of pure unsullied water, tumble down the hills in every
conceivable variety of form and motion--and never, I think, distant from
each other a quarter of a mile in the whole of our course from Airola.
Sometimes, those cascades are seen to fall in one snow-white line from
the highest ridge of the steep; or, sometimes, gleaming through the
woods (no traceable bed above them) they seem to start out at once from
beneath the trees, as from their source, leaping over the rocks. One
full cataract rose up like a geyser of Iceland, a silvery pillar that
glittered, as it seemed, among lightly-tossing snow. Without remembering
that the Tessino (of monotonous and muddy line) was seldom out of sight,
it is not possible to have even a faint notion of the pleasure with
which we looked at those bright rejoicing rivulets. The morning was
sunny; but we felt no oppression from heat, walking leisurely, and
resting long, especially at first, when expecting W. and R., who at
length overtook us, bringing a comfort that would have cheered a
_dreary_ road--letters from England.

_Sunday, August 26th._--_Locarno._--We had resolved to ascend St.
Salvador before sunrise; and, a contrary wind having sprung up, the
boatmen wished to persuade us to stay all night at a town upon a low
point of land pushed far into the Lake, which conceals from our view
that portion of it, where, at the head of a large basin or bay, stands
the town of Lugano. They told us we might thence ascend the mountain
with more ease than from Lugano, a wile to induce us to stay; but we
called upon them to push on. Having weathered this point, and left it
some way behind, the place of our destination appears in view--(like
Locarno and Luvino) within the semicircle of a bay--a wide basin of
waters spread before it; and the reach of the lake towards Porlezza
winding away to our right. That reach appeared to be of more grave and
solemn character than any we had passed through--grey steeps enclosing
it on each side. We now coasted beneath bare precipices at the foot of
St. Salvador--shouted to the echoes--and were answered by travellers
from the road far above our heads. Thence tended towards the middle of
the basin; and the town of Lugano appeared in front of us, low green
woody hills rising above it. Mild lightning fluttered like the northern
lights over the steeps of St. Salvador, yet without threatening clouds;
the wind had fallen; and no apprehensions of a storm disturbed our
pleasures. It was 8 o'clock when we reached the Inn, where all things
were on a large scale--splendid yet shabby. The landlord quite a fine
gentleman. His brother gone to England as a witness on the Queen's
trial. We had soon an excellent supper in a small salon where her
present Majesty of England and Count Bergami had often feasted together.
Mary had the honour of sleeping in the bed allotted to her Majesty, and
I in that of which she herself had made choice, not being satisfied
with her first accommodations. The boatman told us she was _una
bravissima Principessa_ and spent much money. The lightning continued;
but without thunder. We strayed again to the water-side while supper was
in preparation. Everybody seems to be living out of doors; and long
after I was in bed, I heard people in the streets singing, laughing,
talking, and playing on the flute.

_Monday, August 27th._--_Lugano._--Roused from sleep at a quarter before
4 o'clock, the moon brightly shining. At a quarter _past_ four set off
on foot to ascend Mount St. Salvador. Though so early, people were
stirring in the streets; our walk was by the shore, round the fine
bay--solemn yet cheerful in the morning twilight. At the beginning of
the ascent, passed through gateways and sheds among picturesque old
buildings with overhanging flat roofs--vines hanging from the walls with
the wildness of brambles or the untrained woodbine. The ascent from the
beginning is exceedingly steep and without intermission to the very
summit. Vines spreading from tree to tree, resting upon walls, or
clinging to wooden poles, they creep up the steep sides of the hill, no
boundary line between _them_ and the wild growth of the mountain, with
which, at last, they are blended till no trace of cultivation appears.
The road is narrow; but a path to the shrine of St. Salvador has been
made with great pains, still trodden once in the year by crowds
(probably, at this day, chiefly of peasantry) to keep the Festival of
that Saint, on the summit of the mount. It winds along the declivities
of the rocks--and, all the way, the views are beautiful. To begin with,
looking backward to the town of Lugano, surrounded by villas among
trees--a rich vale beyond the town, an ample tract bright with
cultivation and fertility, scattered over with villages and spires--who
could help pausing to look back on these enchanting scenes? Yet a still
more interesting spectacle travels _with us_, at our side (but how far
beneath us!) the Lake, winding at the base of the mountain, into which
we looked from craggy forest precipices, apparently almost as steep as
the walls of a castle, and a thousand times higher. We were bent on
getting start of the rising sun, therefore none of the party rested
longer than was sufficient to recover breath. I did so frequently, for a
few minutes; it being my plan at all times to climb up with my best
speed for the sake of those rests, whereas Mary, I believe, never once
sate down this morning, perseveringly mounting upward. Meanwhile, many a
beautiful flower was plucked among the mossy stones. One,[57] in
particular, there was (since found wherever we have been in Italy). I
helped Miss Barker to plant that same flower in her garden brought from
Mr. Clarke's hot-house. In spite of all our efforts the sun was
beforehand with us. _We_ were two hours in ascending. W. and Mr. R. who
had pushed on before, were one hour and forty minutes. When we stood on
the crown of that glorious Mount, we seemed to have attained a spot
which commanded pleasures equal to all that sight could give on this
terrestrial world. We beheld the mountains of Simplon--two brilliant
shapes on a throne of clouds--_Mont Blanc_ (as the guide told us[58])
lifting his resplendent forehead above a vapoury sea--and the Monte Rosa
a bright pyramid, how high up in the sky! The vision did not _burst_
upon us suddenly; but was revealed by slow degrees, while we felt so
satisfied and delighted with what lay distinctly outspread around us,
that we had hardly begun to look for objects less defined, in the
far-distant horizon. I cannot describe the green hollows, hills, slopes,
and woody plains--the towns, villages, and towers--the crowds of
secondary mountains, substantial in form and outline, bounding the
prospect in other quarters--nor the bewitching loveliness of the lake of
Lugano lying at the base of Mount Salvador, and thence stretching out
its arms between the bold steeps. My brother said he had never in his
life seen so extensive a prospect at the expense only of two hours'
climbing: but it must be remembered that the whole of the ascent is
almost a precipice. Beyond the town of Lugano, the hills and wide vale
are thickly sprinkled with towns and houses. Small lakes (to us their
names unknown) were glittering among the woody steeps, and beneath lay
the broad neck of the Peninsula of St. Salvador--a tract of hill and
valley, woods and waters. Far in the distance on the other side, the
towers of Milan might be descried. The river Po, a ghostly serpent-line,
rested on the brown plains of Lombardy; and there again we traced the
Tessino, departed from his mountain solitudes, where we had been his
happy companions.

  [Footnote 57: Cyclamen.--D. W.]

  [Footnote 58: It was _not_ Mont Blanc. He was mistaken, or wanted to
  deceive us to give pleasure; but however we might have wished to
  believe that what he asserted was true, we could not think it
  possible.--D. W.]

But I have yet only looked _beyond_ the mount. There is a house beside
the Chapel, probably in former times inhabited by persons devoted to
religious services--or it might be only destined for the same use for
which it serves at present, a shelter for them who flock from the
vallies to the yearly Festival. Repairs are going on in the Chapel,
which was struck with lightning a few years ago, and all but the altar
and its holy things, with the image of the Patron Saint, destroyed.
Their preservation is an established miracle, and the surrounding
peasantry consider the memorials as sanctified anew by that visitation
from heaven.

_Tuesday, August 28th._--_Menaggio._--We took the opposite (the eastern)
side of the lake, intending to land, and ascend to the celebrated source
of the _Fiume Latte_ (River of Milk). Following the curves of the shore
came to a grey-white village, and landed upon the rocky bank (there is
no road or pathway along this margin of the lake; and every village has
its own boats). Mounting by a flight of rugged steps, we were at once
under a line of houses fronting the water; and after climbing up the
steep, walked below those houses, the lake beneath us on our left. All
at once, from that sunny spot we came upon a rugged bridge; shady all
round--cool breezes rising up from the rocky cleft where in twilight
gloom (so it appears to eyes saturated with light) a copious stream--the
_Fiume Latte_--is hurrying with leap and bound to the great lake. Our
object, as I have said, was the fountain of that torrent. We mounted up
the hill by rocky steeps, and pathways, in some places almost
perpendicular, the precipice all the way being built up by low walls
hung with vines. The earth thus supported is covered with melons,
pumpkins, Indian corn, chestnut-trees, fig-trees, and trees now
scattering ripe plums. The ascent was truly laborious. On the lake we
had never been oppressed by the heat; _here_ it was almost too much even
for _me_: but when we reached the desired spot, where the torrent drops
from its marble cavern, as clear as crystal, how delicious the coolness
of the breeze! The water issues silently from the cold cavern, slides
but a very little way over the rock, then bounds in a short cataract,
and rushes rapidly to the lake. The evergreen Arbutus and the
prickly-leaved Alaturnus grow in profusion on the rocks bordering the
Fiume Latte; and there, in remembrance of Rydal Mount, where we had been
accustomed to see one or two bushes of those plants growing in the
garden, we decked our bonnets, mingling the glossy leaves of those
evergreen shrubs with that beautiful lilac flower first seen in the
ascent of St. Salvador. An active youth was our guide, and a useful one
in helping us over the rocks. A woman, too, had joined the train; but
Mary and I showing her that she was neither useful nor welcome, she
began to employ her time in plucking the bunches of Indian corn, laying
them in a heap. We could have lingered a whole summer's day over the
cascades and limpid pools of the Fiume Latte.

_Saturday, September 1st._--_Milan._--Our object this morning was to
ascend to the roof, where I remained alone, not venturing to follow the
rest of the party to the top of the giddy, central spire, which is
ascended by a narrow staircase twisted round the outside. Even W. was
obliged to trust to a hand governed by a steadier head than his own. I
wandered about with space spread around me, on the roof on which I trod,
for streets and even squares of no very diminutive town. The floor on
which I trod was all of polished marble, intensely hot, and as dazzling
as snow; and instead of moving figures I was surrounded by groups and
stationary processions of silent statues--saints, sages, and angels. It
is impossible for me to describe the beautiful spectacle, or to give a
notion of the delight I felt; therefore I will copy a sketch in verse
composed from my brother's recollections of the view from the central

_Sunday, September 2nd._--_Milan._--A grand military Mass was to be
administered at eight o'clock in the _Place d'Armes_, Buonaparte's field
for reviewing his troops. Hitherward we set out at seven; but arrived a
little too late. The ceremony was begun; and it was some time before we
could obtain a better situation than among the crowds pressed together
in the glaring sunshine, as close as they could come to the building
where the temporary altar was placed. The ground being level nothing was
to be seen but heads of people, and a few of the lines of soldiers, and
their glittering fire-arms; but we could perceive that at one time they
dropped down on their knees. At length, having got admittance into the
building (le Palais des Rois), near which we stood, almost stifled with
heat, we had a complete view from a balcony of all that remained to be
performed of the ceremonies, military and religious; but of the latter,
that part was over in which the soldiers took any visible share, though
the service was still going on, at the altar below us, as was proclaimed
by the sound of sacred music, which upon minds unfamiliarised to such
scenes had an irresistible power to solemnise a spectacle more
distinguished by parade, glitter, and flashy colours, than anything
else. The richly caparisoned prancing steeds of the officers, their
splendid dresses, the numerous lines of soldiers standing upon the green
grass (though not of mountain hue it looked _green_ in contrast with
their habiliments), and the immense numbers of men, women, and children
gathered together upon a level space--where space was _left_ for
thousands and tens of thousands more--all these may easily be
imagined:--with the full concert of the military band, when the _sacred_
music ceased--the marching of the troops off the field--Austrians,
Hungarians, and Italians--and, last of all, the cavalry with the
heart-stirring blast of their trumpets. Before we left the field, the
crowd was gone, the tinselled altar and other fineries taken down--and
we saw people busied in packing them up, very much like a company of
players with their paraphernalia.

Went also to the Convent of Maria della Grazia to view that most famous
picture of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, painted on the wall at
one end of the Refectory, a very large hall, hung along the sides with
smaller pictures and, at the other end, that painting of the crucifixion
of which we had seen a copy at Lugano. This Refectory was used in the
days of Buonaparte as a military storehouse, and the mark of a
musket-ball, fired in wantonness by a French soldier, is to be seen in
one part of the painting of Leonardo da Vinci. Fortunately the ball hit
where the injury was as small as it could have been; and it is only
marvellous that this fine work was not wholly defaced during those times
of military misrule and utter disregard of all sacred things.[59]
Little conversant in pictures, I cannot take upon me to describe this,
which impressed my feelings and imagination more than any picture I ever
saw, though some of the figures are so injured by damp that they are
only just traceable. The most important are, however, happily the least
injured; and that of Our Saviour has only suffered from a general fading
in the colours, yet, alas! the fading and vanishing must go on year
after year till, at length, the whole group must pass away. Through the
cloisters of the monastery, which are shattered and defaced, pictures
are found in all parts, and there are some curious monuments.

  [Footnote 59: It is perfectly notorious that this picture suffered
  more from the negligence of the monks than from the scorn of the
  French. A hole was broken thro' the lower part of the centre of
  the picture to admit hot dishes from the Kitchen into the Refectory.
  --H. C. R.]

_Wednesday, September 5th._--_Cadenabbia._--Bent our course toward
Fuentes--and after a wearisome walk through damp and breathless heat (a
full league or more) over a perfect level, we reached the foot of the
eminence, which from the lake had appeared to be at a small distance,
but it seemed to have retreated as we advanced. We had left the high
road, and trudged over the swampy plain, through which the road must
have been made with great expense and labour, as it is raised
considerably all the way. The picturesque ruins of the Castle of Fuentes
are at the top of the eminence--wild vines, the bramble and the clematis
cling to the bushes; and beautiful flowers grow in the chinks of the
rocks, and on every bed of grass. A _tempting_ though rugged ascent--yet
(with the towers in sight above our heads, and two-thirds of the labour
accomplished) Mary and I (Wm. having gone before to discover the nearest
and least difficult way for us) sate down determined not to go a step
further. We had a grand prospect; and, being exhausted by the damp heat,
were willing for once to leave our final object unattained. However,
while seated on the ground, two stout hard-laboured peasants chancing
to come close to us on the path, invited us forward, and we could not
resist--they led the way--two rough creatures. I said to Mary when we
were climbing up among the rocks and bushes in that wild and lonely
place, "What, you have no fear of trusting yourself to a pair of Italian
Banditti?" I knew not their occupation, but an accurate description of
their persons, would have fitted a novel-writer with ready-made
attendants for a tribe of robbers--good-natured and kind, however, they
were, nay, even polite in their rustic way as others tutored to city
civility. _Cultivated_ vines grew upon the top of the hill; and they
took pains to pluck for us the ripest grapes. We now had a complete view
up the great vale of the Adda, to which the road that we had left
conducts the traveller. Below us, on the other side, lay a wide green
marshy plain, between the hill of Fuentes and the shores of the lake;
which plain, spreading upwards, divides the lake; the upper small reach
being called Chiavenna. The path which my brother had travelled, when
bewildered in the night thirty years ago, was traceable through some
parts of the forest on the opposite side:--and the very passage through
which he had gone down to the shore of the lake--then most dismal with
thunder, lightning, and rain. I hardly can conceive a place of more
solitary aspect than the lake of Chiavenna: and the whole of the
prospect on that direction is characterised by melancholy sublimity. We
rejoiced, after our toil, at being favoured with a distinct view of
those sublime heights, not, it is true, steeped in celestial hues of
_sunny glory_, yet in communion with clouds, floating or
stationary:--scatterings from heaven. The ruin itself is very
interesting, both in the mass and in detail--an inscription is lying on
the ground which records that the Castle was built by the Count of
Fuentes in the year 1600, and the Chapel about twenty years after by one
of his descendants. Some of the gateways are yet standing with their
marble pillars, and a considerable part of the walls of the Chapel. A
smooth green turf has taken the place of the pavement; and we could see
no trace of altar or sacred image, but everywhere something to remind
one of former grandeur and of destruction and tumult, while there was,
in contrast with the imaginations so excited, a melancholy pleasure in
contemplating the wild quietness of the present day. The vines, near the
ruin, though ill tended, grow willingly, and rock, turf, and fragments
of the stately pile are alike covered or adorned with a variety of
flowers, among which the rose-coloured pink was in great beauty. In our
descent we found a fair white cherub, uninjured by the explosion which
had driven it a great way down the hill. It lay bedded like an infant in
its cradle among low green bushes--W. said to us, "Could we but carry
this pretty Image to our moss summer-house at Rydal Mount!" yet it
seemed as if it would have been a pity that any one should remove it
from its couch in the wilderness, which may be its own for hundreds of

_Thursday, September 6th._--_Cadenabbia._--After a night of heavy rain,
a bright morning. W., M., and I set off toward Menaggio along the
terrace bordering the water, which led us to the bay at the foot of the
rocky green hill of the Church of our Lady; and there we came upon the
track of the old road, the very _same_ which my brother had paced! for
there was no other, nor the possibility of one. That track, continued
from the foot of the mountain, leads behind the town of Cadenabbia,
cutting off the bending of the shore by which we had come to this point.
From the bare precipice, we pass through shade and sunshine, among
spreading vines, slips of green turf, or gardens of melons, gourds,
maize, and fig-trees among the rocks; it was but for a little space, yet
enough to make our regret even more lively than before that it had not
been in our power to coast one reach at least of the lake on foot. We
had been overtaken by a fine tall man, who somewhat proudly addressed us
in English. After twenty years' traffic in our country he had been
settled near his native place on the Banks of Como, having purchased an
estate near Cadenabbia with the large sum of two thousand pounds,
acquired by selling barometers, looking-glasses, etc. He had been used
to return to his wife every third year in the month of October. He made
preparations during the winter for fresh travels in the spring; at the
same time working with her on the small portion of land which they then
possessed. Portsmouth and Plymouth were the grand marts for his wares.
He amused us with recitals of adventures among the sailors, who used to
bully him with, "Come, you rogue, you get your money easily enough;
spend it freely!" and he did not care if he got rid of a guinea or two;
for he was sure to have it back again after one of the frolics--and much
more. They would often clear away his whole stock of nick-nacks. This
industrious trader used to travel on foot at the rate of from thirty to
forty miles a day, and his expenses from London to Como were but three
guineas, though it cost him one-third of that sum to get to Calais. He
said he liked England because the people were _honest_, and told us some
stories illustrative of English honesty and Italian over-reaching in
bargains. This amusing and, I must say, interesting companion, turned
from us by a side-path before we reached Menaggio, saying he would meet
us again, as our road would lead us near his cottage on the heights, and
he should see us from the fields. He had another dwelling on his estate
beside Cadenabbia, where the land produced excellent wine. The produce
of his farm on the _hills_ was chiefly hay, which they were then
gathering in.

_Sunday, September 9th._--_Domo d'Ossola._--We rose at 5 o'clock. The
morning clear and very cold. Mr. M., R. and G. intended to take the
diligence; W., Mary, and I to walk; for, having been so much gratified
with our journey over St. Gothard, we had determined to cross the
Simplon also on foot. M. set forward first; I followed a few minutes
after defended from cold by my woollen cloak. W. was left to dispose of
the luggage, which (except a small bundle carried by each) we intended
to send by the diligence. Shops already open. Bought some bread, and
made my way directly through the town. At the end of it, looked back
upon its towers and large houses, prettily situated, as on a plain,
under steep hills--some of them separate mounts, distinct in form. I
could not but regret that we might not linger half a day, and ascend to
the Chapel of Mount Calvary, still much resorted to for its peculiar
sanctity. The view from that commanding eminence would have enabled us
to bear away more distinct remembrances than _I_, at least, have done,
of a town well deserving to be remembered, for it must for ages back
have been of importance, as lying at the foot of this pass of the Alps.
After a mile's quick walking I grew a little uneasy at not having
overtaken Mary. Behind and before, Buonaparte's broad, unshaded road was
stretched out in a right line. However convenient such roads for
conquest or traffic, they are, of all others, the least pleasant to the
foot-traveller, whose labours seem no nearer to their end till some
natural impediment must be submitted to, and the road pursues another
course. Looking forward I could see nothing of Mary, and the way being
sprinkled with passengers, I was more perplexed, thinking it probable
that her figure before me, or behind, might be undiscoverable among
them, but my pace (to warm myself in the nipping air) had been so quick,
it seemed more likely that she had not advanced so far; therefore I sate
down: and glad I was, after some time, to espy her blue gown among the
scatterings of women in scarlet garments. She had missed her way in the
town and gone back in quest of me. The fresh morning air helped us
cheerfully over the long line of road; and passengers whom we
continually met amused us. Some were travellers from the Alps; but they
were much more frequently peasants bent on Sunday's devotion and
pleasure, chiefly women, awkward in appearance, short of stature, and
deformed by their manner of fastening the full round petticoat lifted up
almost to the shoulders.

It pleased me now to review our course from Bavena, where this our
second ascent of the Alps may be said to begin; the princely reach of
the Lake then before us, with its palaces and towns, thence towards the
mountains and the vale of Tusa, solitary churches on the
steeps--ruins--embowered low stone cottages--vineyards and extensive
lawns--cattle with their bells, and peasants tending them. The romantic
village of Vergogne, its ruined fortress overlooking the narrow dell and
torrent's bed--inhabited houses as grey with age as the ruin
itself--and, upon the level below, how delightful was it, in our hour of
rest and sauntering, to quit the sunshine, and walk under roofs of
vines! Further on, the vale more wide and open--large meadows without
trees. Hay-makers--straggling travellers on the outstretched road.
Villages under green mountains--snowy mountains gilded by the light of
the setting sun!

_Now_, from Domo d'Ossola we were proceeding on the same unbending road,
up the same vale, a scene of desolation and fertility, vines by the
wayside, the grapes hardly ripening. Having ascended a long hill to
_Crevola_, where there is a small public-house, at which we had thought
of stopping to breakfast, the road crosses a remarkably high and massy
bridge, over the chasm of Val di Vedro, whence the river Vedro takes its
course down to the vale of Tusa, now below us on our right hand, where,
towards the centre of the vale, the village of Crevola stands on an
eminence, whence the morning sound of bells was calling the people
together. We turned to the left, up the shady side of Val di Vedro; at
first, the road led us high above the bed of the torrent. Being now
enclosed between the barriers of that deep dell, we had left all traces
of vineyards, fruit-trees, and fields. Beeches climb up among the crags
to the summit of the steeps. The road descends; traces of the ancient
track visible near a bridge of one lofty arch, no longer used by the
traveller crossing the Alps, yet I went to the centre to look down on
the torrent. Traces of the foundation of a former bridge remain in the
chasm. Met a few peasants going to the vale below, and sometimes a
traveller. Again we climb the hill, all craggy forest. At a considerable
height from the river's bed an immense column of granite lies by the
wayside, as if its course had been stopped there by tidings of
Napoleon's overthrow. It was intended by him for his unfinished
triumphal arch at Milan; and I wish it may remain prostrate on the
mountain for ages to come. His bitterest foe could scarcely contrive a
more impressive record of disappointed vanity and ambition. The sledge
upon which it has been dragged from the quarry is rotted beneath it,
while the pillar remains as fresh and sparkling as if hewn but
yesterday. W., who came after us, said he had named it the "weary stone"
in memory of that immense stone in the wilds of Peru, so called by the
Indians because after 20,000 of them had dragged it over heights and
hollows it tumbled down a precipice, and rested immovable at the bottom,
where it must for ever remain. Ere long we come to the first passage
_through_ the rocks, near the river's bed, and "Road and River" for some
time fill the bottom of the valley. We miss the bright torrents that
stream down the hills bordering the Tessino; but here is no want of
variety. We are in closer neighbourhood with the crags; hence their
shapes are continually changing, and their appearance is the more
commanding; and, wherever an old building is seen, it is overspread with
the hues of the natural crags, and is in form of accordant irregularity.
The very road itself, however boldly it may bestride the hills or pierce
the rocks, is yet the slave of nature, its windings often being governed
as imperiously as those of the Vedra within the chasm of the glen.
Suddenly the valley widens, opening out to the right in a semicircle. A
sunny village with a white church appears before us, rather I should say
numerous hamlets and scattered houses. Here again were vines, and grapes
almost full grown, though none ripening. Leaving the sunshine, we again
are enclosed between the steeps, a small ruined Convent on the right,
the painting on the outside nearly effaced by damp. We come to the
second passage, or gallery, through the rocks. It is not long, but very
grand, especially viewed in combination with the crags, woods, and
river, here tumbling in short cascades, its channel strewn with enormous
ruins. W. had joined us about a league before we reached this point; and
we sate long in admiration of the prospect up the valley, seen beyond
the arch of the gallery which is supported by a pillar left in the rock
out of which the passage has been hewn. A brown hamlet at the foot of
the mountains terminates this reach of the valley, which has again
widened a little. A steep glen to the left sends down a boisterous
stream to the Vedra. We had walked three leagues; and were told we were
near the Inn, where we were to breakfast, and, having left the gallery
200 yards behind, saw more of the village (called Isella) and a large,
square, white building appeared, which proved to be a military station
and the post-house, near which was our Inn.... Leaving now the
Piedmontese dominions, we make our last entrance into the country of the
Swiss. Deciduous trees gradually yield to pine-trees and larches, and
through these forests, interspersed with awful crags, we pass on, still
in cool shade, accompanied by the turbulent river. Here is hardly a slip
of pasturage to be seen, still less a plot of tillage (how different
from the Pass of the Ticino!) all is rocks, precipices, and forests. We
pass several places of _Refuge_, as they are named, the word _refuge_
being inscribed upon their walls in large characters. They are small,
square, white, unpicturesque buildings (erected by Buonaparte). The old
road is not unfrequently traceable for a short way--Mary once detected
it by noticing an Oratory above our heads that turned its back towards
us, now neglected and facing the deserted track.

_Sunday, September 9th._--_Domo d'Ossola._--Soon after, we perceive a
large and very striking building terminating a narrow reach of the
valley. A square tower at the further end of the roof; and, towards us,
a lofty gable front, step-like on each steeply-sloping side, in the
style of some of our old roofs in the north of England.[60] The building
is eight stories high, and long and broad in proportion. We perceived at
once that it must be a Spittal of the old times; and W., who had been
lingering behind, when he came up to us, pronounced it to be the very
same where he and his companion had passed an awful night. Unable to
sleep from other causes, their ears were stunned by a tremendous torrent
(then swollen by rainy weather) that came thundering down a chasm of the
mountain on the opposite side of the glen. That torrent, still keeping
the same channel, was now, upon this sunny clear day, a brisk rivulet,
that cheerfully bounded down to the Vedro. A lowly Church stands within
the shade of the huge Spittal, beside a single dwelling-house; small,
yet larger than the Church. We entered that modest place of worship; and
were charmed with its rustic splendours and humble neatness. Here were
two very pretty well-executed pictures in the _Italian_ style, so much
superior to anything of the kind in the country churches of Switzerland.
Rested some while beside the Church and cottage, looking towards the
Spittal on the opposite side of the road, the wildest of all harbours,
yet even stately in its form, and seemingly fitted to war with the
fiercest tempests. I now regret not having the courage to pass the
threshold alone. I had a strong desire to see what was going on within
doors for the sake of tales of thirty years gone by: but could not
persuade W. to accompany me. Several foot or mule travellers were
collected near the door, I bought some _poor_ peaches (very refreshing
at that time) from a man who was carrying them and other things, to the
village of Simplon--three sous the pound. Soon after leaving the
Spittal, our path was between precipices still more gloomy and awful
than before (what must they have been in the time of rain and vapour
when my brother was here before--on the narrow track instead of our
broad road that smooths every difficulty!) Skeletons of tall pine-trees
beneath us in the dell, and above our heads,--their stems and shattered
branches as grey as the stream of the Vedra or the crags strewn at their
feet. The scene was truly sublime when we came in view of the finest of
the galleries. We sate upon the summit of a huge precipice of stone to
the left of the road--the river raging below after having tumbled in a
tremendous cataract down the crags in front of our station. On entering
the Gallery we cross a clear torrent pent up by crags. While pausing
here, a step or two before we entered, a carriage full of gentlemen
drove through: they just looked aside at the torrent; but stopped not; I
could not but congratulate myself on our being on foot; for a hundred
reasons the pleasantest mode of travelling in a mountainous country.
After we had gone through the last, and least interesting, though the
longest but one of the galleries, the vale (now grassy among scattered
rocks, and wider--more of a hollow) bends to the left; and we see on the
hill, in front of us, a long doubling of the road, necessary, from the
steepness of the hill, to accomplish an easy ascent. At the angle,
where, at the foot of the hill, this doubling begins, M. and I, being
before W., sate and pondered. A foot-path leads directly upwards,
cutting off at least a mile, and we perceived one of our young
fellow-travellers climbing up it, but could not summon the courage to
follow him, and took the circuit of Buonaparte's road. The bed of the
river, far below to our left (wide and broken up by torrents), is
crossed by a long wooden bridge from which a foot-path, almost
perpendicular, ascends to a hamlet at a great height upon the side of
the steep. A female crossing the bridge gave life and spirit to a scene
characterised, in comparison with _other_ scenes, more by wildness than
grandeur; and though presided over by a glacier mountain and craggy and
snowy pikes (seemingly at the head of the hollow vale) less impressive,
and less interesting to the imagination than the narrow passes through
which we had been travelling. After some time the curve of the road
carries us again backward on the mountain-side, _from_ the valley of the
Tusa. Our eyes often turned towards the bridge and the upright path,
little thinking that it was the same we had so often heard of, which
misled my brother and Robert Jones in their way from Switzerland to
Italy. They were pushing right upwards, when a peasant, having
questioned them as to their object, told them they had no further ascent
to make;--"The Alps were crossed!" The ambition of youth was
disappointed at these tidings; and they remeasured their steps with
sadness. At the point where our fellow-travellers had rejoined the road,
W. was waiting to show us the track, on the green precipice. It was
impossible for me to say how much it had moved him, when he discovered
it was the very same which had tempted him in his youth. The feelings of
that time came back with the freshness of yesterday, accompanied with a
dim vision of thirty years of life between. We traced the path together,
with our eyes, till hidden among the cottages, where they had first been
warned of their mistake.

  [Footnote 60: In Troutbeck Valley especially.--D. W.]

Hereabouts, a few peasants were on the hills with cattle and goats. In
the narrow passage of the glen we had, for several miles together, seen
no moving objects, except chance travellers, the streams, the clouds,
and trees stirred sometimes by gentle breezes. At this spot we watched a
boy and girl with bare feet running as if for sport, among the sharp
stones, fearless as young kids. The round hat of the Valais tied with a
coloured riband, looked shepherdess-like on the head of another, a
peasant girl roaming on craggy pasture-ground, to whom I spoke, and was
agreeably surprised at being answered in German (probably a barbarous
dialect), but we contrived to understand one another. The valley of the
Vedro now left behind, we ascend gradually (indeed the whole ascent is
gradual) along the side of steeps covered with poor grass--an undulating
hollow to the right--no trees--the prospect, in front, terminated by
snow mountains and dark pikes. The air very cold when we reached the
village of Simplon. There is no particular grandeur in the situation,
except through the accompanying feeling of removal from the world and
the near neighbourhood of summits so lofty, and of form and appearance
only seen among the Alps. We were surprised to find a considerable
village. The houses, which are of stone, are large, and strong built,
and gathered together as if for shelter. The air, nipping even at this
season, must be dreadfully cold in winter; yet the inhabitants weather
all seasons. The Inn was filled with guests of different nations and of
various degrees, from the muleteer and foot-traveller to those who loll
at ease, whirling away as rapidly as their companion, the torrent of the
Vedro. Our party of eleven made merry over as good a supper in this
naked region (five or six thousand feet above the level of the sea) as
we could have desired in the most fertile of the valleys, with a dessert
of fruit and cakes. We were summoned out of doors to look at a living
chamois, kept in the stable, more of a treat than the roasted flesh of
one of its kind which we had tasted at Lucerne. Walked with some of the
gentlemen about half a mile, after W. and M. were retired to rest. The
stars were appearing above the black pikes, while the snow on others
looked as bright as if a full moon were shining upon it. Our beds were
comfortable. I was not at all fatigued, and had nothing to complain of
but the cold, which did not hinder me from falling asleep, and sleeping
soundly. The distance from Domo d'Ossola six leagues.

_Monday, September 10th._--_Simplon._--Rose at five o'clock, as cold as
a frosty morning in December. The eleven breakfasted together, and were
ready--all but the lame one,--to depart on foot to Brieg in the Haut
Valais (seven leagues). The distance from the village of Simplon to the
highest point of the Pass is nearly two leagues. We set forward
together, forming different companies--or sometimes solitary--the
peculiar charm of pedestrian travelling, especially when the party is
large--fresh society always ready--and solitude to be taken at will. In
the latter part of the Pass of St. Gothard, on the Swiss side, the
grandeur diminishes--and it is the same on the Italian side of the Pass
of Simplon; yet when (after the gradual ascent from the village, the
last inhabited spot) a turning of the road first presents to view in a
clear atmosphere, beneath a bright blue sky (so we were favoured), the
ancient _Spittal_ with its ornamented Tower standing at the further end
of a wide oblong hollow, surrounded by granite pikes, snow pikes--masses
of granite--cool, black, motionless shadows, and sparkling sunshine, it
is not possible for the dullest imagination to be unmoved. When we found
ourselves within that elevated enclosure, the eye and the ear were
satisfied with perfect stillness. We might have supposed ourselves to be
the only visible moving creatures; but ere long espied some cows and
troops of goats which at first we could not distinguish from the
scattered rocks! but by degrees tracked their motions, and perceived
them in great numbers creeping over the yellow grass that grows among
crags on the declivities above the Spittal and in the hollow below it;
and we then began to discover a few brown _châlets_ or cattle-sheds in
that quarter. The Spittal, that dismal, yet secure sheltering-place
(inhabited the winter through), is approached by a side track from the
present road; being built as much out of the way of storms as it could
have been. Carts and carriages of different kinds (standing within and
near the door of a shed, close to the road) called to mind the stir and
traffic of the world in a place which might have been destined for
perpetual solitude--where the thunder of heaven, the rattling of
avalanches, and the roaring of winds and torrents seemed to be the only
_turbulent_ sounds that had a right to take place of the calm and
silence which surrounded us.

_Wednesday, September 12th._--_Baths of Leuk._--Rose at 5 o'clock. From
my window looked towards the crags of the Gemmi, then covered with
clouds. Twilight seemed scarcely to have left the valley; the air was
sharp, and the smoking channel of hot water a comfortable sight in the
cold gloom of the village. But soon, with promise of a fine day, the
vapours on the crescent of crags began to break, and its yellow towers,
touched by the sunshine, gleamed through the edges of the floating
masses; or appeared in full splendour for a moment, and were again

After six o'clock, accompanied by a guide (who was by trade a shoemaker,
and possessed a small stock of mountain cattle), we set forward on our
walk of eight leagues, the turreted barrier facing us. Passed along a
lane fenced by curiously crossed rails,--thence (still gently ascending)
through rough ground scattered over with small pine-trees, and stones
fallen from the mountains. No wilder object can be imagined than a
shattered guidepost at the junction of one road with another, which had
been placed there because travellers, intending to cross the Gemmi, had
often been misled, and some had perished, taking the right-hand road
toward the snow mountain, instead of that to the left. Even till we
reached the base of that rocky rampart which we were to climb, the track
of ascent, in front of us, had been wholly invisible. Sometimes it led
us slanting along the bare side of the crags:--sometimes it was scooped
out of them, and over-roofed, like an outside staircase of a castle or
fortification: sometimes we came to a level gallery--then to a twisting
ascent--or the path would take a double course--backwards and
forwards,--the dizzy height of the precipices above our heads more awful
even than the gulfs beneath us! Sometimes we might have imagined
ourselves looking from a parapet into the inner space of a gigantic
castle--a castle a thousand times larger than was ever built by human
hands; while above our heads the turrets appeared as majestic as if we
had not climbed a step nearer to their summits. A small plot or two of
turf, never to be cropped by goat or heifer, on the ledge of a
precipice; a bunch of slender flowers hanging from a chink--and one
luxuriant plot of the bright blue monkshood, lodged like a little garden
amid the stone-work of an Italian villa--were the sole marks of
vegetation that met our eyes in the ascent, except a few distorted
pine-trees on one of the summits, which reminded us of watchmen, on the
look-out. A weather-beaten, complex, wooden frame, something like a
large sentry-box, hanging on the side of one of the crags, helped out
this idea, especially as we were told it had been placed there in
troublesome times to give warning of approaching danger. It was a very
wild object, that could not but be noticed; and _when_ noticed the
question must follow--how came it there? and for what purpose? We were
preceded by some travellers on mules, who often shouted as if for their
own pleasure; and the shouts were echoed through the circuit of the
rocks. Their guide afterwards sang a hymn, or pensive song: there was an
aërial sweetness in the wild notes which descended to our ears. When
_we_ had attained the same height, _our_ guide sang the same air, which
made me think it might be a customary rite, or practice, in that part of
the ascent. The Gemmi Pass is in the direct road from Berne to the Baths
of Leuk. Invalids, unable to walk, are borne on litters by men, and
frequently have their eyes blinded that they may not look down; and the
most hardy travellers never venture to descend on their horses or mules.
Those careful creatures make their way safely, though it is often like
descending a steep and rugged staircase: and there is nothing to fear
for foot-travellers if their heads be not apt to turn giddy. The path is
seldom traceable, either up or down, further than along one of its
zig-zags; and it will happen, when you are within a yard or two of the
line which is before you, that you cannot guess what turning it shall
make. The labour and ingenuity with which this road has been constructed
are truly astonishing. The canton of Berne, eighty years ago, furnished
gunpowder for blasting the rocks, and labourers were supplied by the
district of the Valais. The former track (right up an apparently almost
perpendicular precipice between overhanging crags) must have been
utterly impassable for travellers such as we, if any such had travelled
in those days, yet it was, even now, used in winter. The peasants ascend
by it with pikes and snowshoes, and on their return to the valley slide
down, an appalling thought when the precipice was before our eyes; and I
almost shudder at the remembrance of it!...

A glacier mountain appears on our left, the haunt of chamois, as our
guide told us; he said they might often be seen on the brow of the Gemmi
barrier in the early morning. We felt some pride in treading on the
outskirts of the chamois' play-ground--and what a boast for us, could we
have espied one of those light-footed creatures bounding over the crags!
But it is not for them who have been laggards in the vale till 6 o'clock
to see such a sight.

The total absence of all _sound_ of living _creature_ was very striking:
silent moths in abundance flew about in the sunshine, and the muddy Lake
weltered below us; the only sound when we checked our voices to listen.
Hence we continued to journey over rocky and barren ground till we
suddenly looked down into a warm, green nook, into which we must
descend. Twelve cattle were there enclosed by the crags, as in a field
of their own choosing. We passed among them, giving no disturbance, and
again came upon a tract as barren as before. After about two leagues
from the top of the Gemmi crags, the summer chalet, our promised
resting-place, was seen facing us, reared against the stony mountain,
and overlooking a desolate round hollow. Winding along the side of the
hill (that deep hollow beneath us to the right) a long half-mile brought
us to the platform before the door of the hut. It was a scene of wild
gaiety. Half-a-score of youthful travellers (military students from the
College of Thun) were there regaling themselves. Mr. Robinson became
sociable; and we, while the party stood round us talking with him, had
our repast spread upon the same table where they had finished theirs.
They departed; and we saw them winding away towards the Gemmi on the
side of the precipice above the dreary hollow--a long procession, not
less interesting than the group at our approach. But every object
connected with animated nature (and human life especially) is
interesting on such a road as this; we meet no one with a stranger's
heart! I cannot forget with what pleasure, soon after leaving the hut,
we greeted two young matrons, one with a child in her arms, the other
with hers, a lusty babe, ruddy with mountain air, asleep in its wicker
cradle on her back. Thus laden they were to descend the Gemmi Rocks, and
seemed to think it no hardship, returning us cheerful looks while we
noticed the happy burthens which they carried. Those peasant travellers
out of sight, we go on over the same rocky ground, snowy pikes and
craggy eminences still bounding the prospect. But ere long we approach
the neighbourhood of trees, and overlooking a long smooth level covered
with poor yellowish grass, saw at a distance, in the centre of the
level, a group of travellers of a different kind--a party of gentry,
male and female, on mules. On meeting I spoke to the two ladies in
English, by way of trying their nation, and was pleased at being
answered in the same tongue. The lawn here was prettily embayed, like a
lake, among little eminences covered with dwarf trees, aged or blighted;
thence, onward to another open space, where was an encampment of cattle
sheds, the large plain spotted with heaps of stones at irregular
distances, as we see lime, or manure, or hay-cocks in our cultivated
fields. Those heaps had been gathered together by the industrious
peasants to make room for a scanty herbage for their cattle. The turf
was very poor, yet so lavishly overspread with close-growing flowers it
reminded us of a Persian carpet. The _silver_ thistle, as we then named
it, had a singularly beautiful effect; a glistering star lying on the
ground, as if enwrought upon it. An avalanche had covered the surface
with stones many years ago, and many more will it require for nature,
aided by the mountaineers' industry, to restore the soil to its former
fertility. On approaching the destined termination of our descent, we
were led among thickets of Alpine Shrubs, a rich covering of
berry-bearing plants overspreading the ground. We followed the ridge of
this wildly beautiful tract, and it brought us to the brink of a
precipice. On our right, when we looked into the savage valley of
Gastron--upwards toward its head, and downwards to the point where the
Gastron joins the Kandor, their united streams thence continuing a
tumultuous course to the Lake of Thun. The head of the _Kandor Thal_ was
concealed from us, to our left, by the ridge of the hill on which we
stood. By going about a mile further along the ridge to the brow of its
northern extremity, we might have seen the junction of the two rivers,
but were fearful of being overtaken by darkness in descending the Gemmi,
and were, indeed, satisfied with the prospect already gained. The river
Gastron winds in tumult over a stony channel, through the apparently
level area of a grassless vale, buried beneath stupendous mountains--not
a house or hut to be seen. A roaring sound ascended to us on the
eminence so high above the vale. How _awful_ the tumult when the river
carries along with it the spring tide of melted snow! We had long viewed
in our journey a snow-covered pike, in stateliness and height surpassing
all the other eminences. The whole mass of the mountain now appeared
before us, on the same side of the Gastron vale on which we were. It
seemed very near to us, and as if a part of its base rose from that
vale. We could hardly believe our guide when he told us that pike was
one of the summits of the Jungfrau, took out maps and books, and found
it could be no other mountain. I never before had a conception of the
space covered by the bases of these enormous piles. After lingering as
long as time would allow, we began to remeasure our steps, thankful for
the privilege of again feeling ourselves in the neighbourhood of the
Jungfrau, and of looking upon those heights that border the Lake of
Thun, at the feet of which we had first entered among the inner windings
of Switzerland. Our journey back to the chalet was not less pleasant
than in the earlier part of the day. The guide, hurrying on before us,
roused the large house-dog to give us a welcoming bark, which echoed
round the mountains like the tunable voices of a full pack of hounds--a
heart-stirring concert in that silent place where no waters were heard
at that time--no tinkling of cattle-bells; indeed the barren soil offers
small temptation for wandering cattle to linger there. In a few weeks
our rugged path would be closed up with snow, the hut untenanted for the
winter, and not a living creature left to rouse the echoes--echoes which
our Bard would not suffer to die with us.

_Friday, September 14th.--Martigny._--Oh! that I could describe,--nay,
that I could _remember_ the sublime spectacle of the pinnacles and
towers of Mont Blanc while we were travelling through the vale, long
deserted of the sunshine that still lingered on those summits! A large
body of moving clouds covered a portion of the side of the mountain.
The pinnacles and towers above them seemed as if they stood in the
sky;--of no soft aërial substance, but appearing, even at that great
distance, as they really are, huge masses of solid stone, raised by
Almighty Power, and never, but by the same Power, to be destroyed. The
village of Chamouny is on the opposite (the north-western) side of the
vale; in this part considerably widened. Having left the lanes and
thickets, we slanted across a broad unfenced level, narrowing into a
sort of village green, with its maypole, as in England, but of giant
stature, a pine of the Alps. The collected village of Chamouny and large
white Church appeared before us, above the river, on a gentle elevation
of pasture ground, sloping from woody steeps behind. Our walk beside the
suburban cottages was altogether new, and very interesting:--a busy
scene of preparation for the night! Women driving home their goats and
cows,--labourers returning with their tools,--sledges (an unusual sight
in Alpine valleys) dragged by lusty men, the old looking on,--young
women knitting; and ruddy children at play,--(a race how different from
the languishing youth of the hot plains of the Valais!)--Cattle bells
continually tinkling--no silence, no stillness here,--yet the bustle and
the various sounds leading to thoughts of quiet, rest, and silence. All
the while the call to the cattle is heard from different quarters; and
the rapid Arve roars through the vale, among rocks and stones (its
mountain spoils)--at one time split into divers branches--at another
collected into one rough channel.

Passing the turn of the ascent, we come to another cross (placed there
to face the traveller ascending from the other side) and, from the brow
of the eminence, behold! to our left, the huge Form of Mont
Blanc--pikes, towers, needles, and wide wastes of everlasting snow in
dazzling brightness. Below, is the river Arve, a grey-white line,
winding to the village of Chamouny, dimly seen in the distance. Our
station, though on a height so commanding, was on the lowest point of
the eminence; and such as I have sketched (but how imperfectly!) was the
scene uplifted and outspread before us. The higher parts of the mountain
in our neighbourhood are sprinkled with brown chalets. So they were
thirty years ago, as my brother well remembered; and he pointed out to
us the very quarter from which a boy greeted him and his companion with
an Alpine cry--

     The Stranger seen below, the Boy
     Shouts from the echoing hills with savage joy.[61]

       [Footnote 61: _Descriptive Sketches._--W. W.]

_Sunday, September 16th._--_Chamouny._--There is no carriage road
further than to Argentière.--When, having parted with our car and guide,
we were slowly pursuing our way to the foot-path, between the mountains,
which was to lead us to the Valorsine, and thence, by the Tète-noire, to
Trient, we heard from the churchyard of Argentière, on the opposite side
of the river, a sound of voices chanting a hymn, or prayer, and, turning
round, saw in the green enclosure a lengthening procession--the priest
in his robes, the host, and banners uplifted, and men following, two and
two;--and, last of all, a great number of females, in like order; the
head and body of each covered with a white garment. The stream continued
to flow on for a long time, till all had paced slowly round the church,
the men gathering close together, to leave unencumbered space for the
women, the chanting continuing, while the voice of the Arve joined in
accordant solemnity. The procession was grave and simple, agreeing with
the simple decorations of a village church:--the banners made no
glittering show:--the females composed a moving girdle round the church;
their figures, from head to foot, covered with one piece of white cloth,
resembled the small pyramids of the Glacier, which were before our
eyes; and it was impossible to look at one and the other without
fancifully connecting them together. Imagine the _moving_ figures, like
a stream of pyramids--the white Church, the half-concealed Village, and
the Glacier close behind among pine-trees,--a pure sun shining over all!
and remember that these objects were seen at the base of those enormous
mountains, and you may have some faint notion of the effect produced on
us by that beautiful spectacle. It was a farewell to the Vale of
Chamouny that can scarcely be less vividly remembered twenty years hence
than when (that wondrous vale being just out of sight) after ascending a
little way between the mountains, through a grassy hollow, we came to a
small hamlet under shade of trees in summer foliage. A very narrow clear
rivulet, beside the cottages, was hastening with its tribute to the
Arve. This simple scene transported us instantly to our vallies of
Westmoreland. A few quiet children were near the doors, and we
discovered a young woman in the darkest, coolest nook of shade between
two of the houses, seated on the ground, intent upon her prayer-book.
The rest of the inhabitants were gone to join in the devotions at
Argentière. The top of the ascent (not a long one) being gained, we had
a second cheering companion in our downward way, another Westmoreland
brook of larger size, as clear as crystal; open to the sun, and
(bustling but not angry) it coursed by our side through a tract of
craggy pastoral ground. I do not speak of the needles of Montanvert,
behind; nor of other pikes up-rising before us. Such sights belong not
to Westmoreland; and I could fancy that I then paid them little regard,
it being for the sake of Westmoreland alone that I like to dwell on this
short passage of our journey, which brought us in view of one of the
most interesting of the vallies of the Alps. We descended with our
little stream, and saw its brief life in a moment cut off, when it
reached the _Berard_, the River of Black Water, which is seen falling,
not in _black_ but _grey_ cataracts within the cove of a mountain that
well deserves the former epithet, though a bed of _snow_ and glacier ice
is seen among its piky and jagged ridges. Below those bare summits, pine
forests and crags are piled together, with lawns and cottages between.

We enter at the side of the valley, crossing a wooden bridge--then,
turning our backs on the scene just described, we bend our course
downward with the river, that is hurrying away, fresh from its glacier
fountains; how different a fellow-traveller from that little rivulet we
had just parted from, which we had seen--still bright as silver--drop
into the grey stream! The descending vale before us beautiful--the high
enclosing hills interspersed with woods, green pasturage, and cottages.
The delight we had in journeying through the Valorsine is not to be
imagined--sunshine and shade were alike cheering; while the very
numerousness of the brown wood cottages (descried among trees, or
outspread on the steep lawns), and the people enjoying their Sabbath
leisure out of doors, seemed to make a quiet spot more quiet.

_Wednesday, September 19th._--_Lausanne._--We met with some pleasant
Englishmen, from whom we heard particulars concerning the melancholy
fate of our young friend, the American, seen by us for the last time on
the top of the Righi. The tidings of his death had been first
communicated, but a few hours before, by Mr. Mulloch. We had the comfort
of hearing that his friend had saved himself by swimming, and had paid
the last duties to the stranger, so far from home and kindred, who lies
quietly in the churchyard of Küsnacht on the shores of Zurich.

_Saturday, September 29th._--_Fontainbleau._--In the very heart of the
Alps, I never saw a more wild and lonely spot--yet _curious_ in the
extreme, and even _beautiful_. Thousands of white bleached rocks, mostly
in appearance not much larger than sheep, lay on the steep declivities
of the dell among bushes and low trees, heather, bilberries, and other
forest plants. The effect of loneliness and desert wildness was
indescribably increased by the remembrance of the Palace we had left not
an hour before. The spot on which we stood is said to have been
frequented by Henry the IVth when he wished to retire from his court and
attendants. A few steps more brought us in view of fresh ranges of the
forest, hills, plains, and distant lonely dells. The sunset was
brilliant--light clouds in the west, and overhead a spotless blue dome.
As we wind along the top of the steep, the views are still changing--the
plain expands eastward, and again appear the white buildings of
Fontainbleau, with something of romantic brightness in the _fading_
light; for we had tarried till a star or two reminded us it was time to
move away. In descending, we followed one of the long straight tracks
that intersect the forest in all directions. Bewildered among those
tracks, we were set right by a party of wood-cutters, going home from
their labour.

_Monday, October 29th._--_Boulogne._--We walked to Buonaparte's Pillar,
which, on the day when he harangued his soldiers (pointing to the shores
of England whither he should lead them to conquest), he decreed should
be erected in commemoration of the Legion of Honour.[62] The pillar is
seen far and wide, _unfinished_, as the intricate casing of a
_scaffolding, loftier than itself, shows at whatever distance_ it is
seen. It is said the Bourbons intend to complete the work, and give it a
new name; but I think it more probable that the scaffolding may be left
to fall away, and the pile of marble remain strewn round, as it is, with
unfinished blocks, an undisputed monument of the Founder's vanity and
arrogance; and _so_ it may stand as long as the brick towers of
Caligula have done, a remnant of which yet appears on the cliffs. We
walked on the ground which had been covered by the army that dreamt of
conquering England, and were shown the very spot where their Leader made
his boastful speech.

  [Footnote 62: Then established.--D. W.]

On the day fixed for our departure from Boulogne, the weather being
boisterous and wind contrary, the _Packet_ could not sail, and we
trusted ourselves to a small vessel, with only one effective sailor on
board. Even _Mary_ was daunted by the breakers outside the Harbour, and
_I_ descended into the vessel as unwillingly as a criminal might go to
execution, and hid myself in bed. Presently our little ship moved; and
before ten minutes were gone she struck upon the sands. I felt that
something disastrous had happened; but knew not what till poor Mary
appeared in the cabin, having been thrown down from the top of the
steps. There was again a frightful beating and grating of the bottom of
the vessel--water rushing in very fast. A young man, an Italian, who had
risen from a bed beside mine, as pale as ashes, groaned in agony,
kneeling at his prayers. My condition was not much better than his; but
I was more quiet. Never shall I forget the kindness of a little Irish
woman who, though she herself, as she afterwards said, was much
frightened, assured me even cheerfully that there was no danger. I
cannot say that her words, as assurances of safety, had much effect upon
me; but the example of her courage made me become more collected; and I
felt her human kindness even at the moment when I believed that we might
be all going to the bottom of the sea together; and the agonising
thoughts of the distress at home were rushing on my mind.




_Friday, 14th September 1822._--Cart at the door at nine o'clock with
our pretty black-eyed boy, Leonard Backhouse, to drive the old grey
horse.... Scene at Castlecary very pretty.... Nothing which we English
call comfort within doors, but much better, civility and kindness. Old
woman bringing home her son to die; left his wife, she will never see
him again. [They seem to have gone by the Forth and Clyde Canal.] Scene
at the day's end very pretty. The fiddler below,--his music much better
there. A soldier at the boat's head; scarlet shawls, blue ribbons,
something reminding me of Bruges; but we want the hum, and the fruit,
and the Flemish girl with her flowers. The people talk cheerfully, and
all is quiet; groups of cottages. Evening, with a town lying in view.
Lassies in pink at the top of the bank; handsome boatman throws an apple
to each; graceful waving of thanks.

_Thursday morning [on the Clyde]._--Now we come to Lord Blantyre's
house, as I remember it eighteen years ago.... Gradually appears the
Rock of Dumbarton, very wild, low water, screaming birds, to me very
interesting from recollections. Entrance to Loch Lomond grand and
stately. Large hills before us, covered with heather, and sprinkled all
over with wood. Deer on island, in shape resembling the isle at
Windermere. Further on an island, of large size, curiously scattered
over with yew-trees--more yews than are to be found together in Great
Britain--wind blowing cold, waves like the sea. I could not find out our
cottage isle. The bay at Luss even more beautiful than in imagination,
thatched cottages, two or three slated houses. The little chapel, the
sweet brook, and the pebbly shore, so well remembered.

Ferry-house at Inversnaid just the same as before, excepting now a glass
window. A girl now standing at the door, but her I cannot fancy our
"Highland girl"; and the babe, while its granddame worked, now twenty,
grown up to toil, and perhaps hardship; or, is it in a quiet grave? The
whole waterfall drops into the lake as before. The tiny bay is calm,
while the middle of the lake is stirred by breezes; but we have long
left the sea-like region of Balloch. Our Highland musician tunes his
pipes as we approach Rob Roy's cave. Grandeur of Nature, mixed with
stage effect. Old Highlanders, with long grey locks, cap, and plaid;
boys at different heights on the rocks. All crowd to Rob Roy's cave, as
it is called, and pass under in interrupted succession, for the cave is
too small to contain many at once. They stoop, yet come out all covered
with dirt. We were wiser than this; for they seem to have no motive but
to say they have been in Roy's cave, because Sir Walter has written
about it.

_Evening._--Now sitting at Cairndhu Inn after a delightful day. The
house on the outside just the same as eighteen years ago--I suppose they
new-whitewash every year--but within much smarter; carpets on every
floor (that is the case everywhere in Scotland), even at that villainous
inn at Tarbet, which we have just escaped from, which for scolding, and
dirt, and litter, and damp, surely cannot be surpassed through all
Scotland. Yet we had a civil repast; a man waited. People going to
decay, children ill-managed, daughter too young for her work, father
lamed, mother a whisky-drinker, two or three black big-faced
servant-maids without caps, one barefoot, the other too lazy or too
careless to fasten up her stockings, ceilings falling down, windows that
endangered the fingers, and could only be kept open by props; and what a
number of people in the kitchen, all in one another's way! We peeped
into the empty rooms, unmade beds, carpeted floors, damp and dirty. They
sweep stairs, floors, passages, with a little parlour hearth-brush;
waiter blew the dust off the table before breakfast. I walked down to
the lake; sunny morning; in the shady wood was overtaken by a woman. Her
sudden coughing startled me. She was going to her day's work, with a
bottle of milk or whey. "It's varra pleesant walkin' here." It was our
first greeting. The church, she said, was at Arrochar.... After
breakfast, we set off on our walk to Arrochar. The air fresh, sunshine
cheerful, and Joanna seemed to gain strength, as she walked along
between the steep hilly trough. The cradle-valley not so deep to the eye
as last night, and not so quiet to the ear through the barking of dogs.
These echoed through the vale, when I passed by some reapers, making
haste to end their day's work. Gladly did I bend my course from this
passage between the hills to Arrochar, remembering our descent in the
Irish car. My approach now slower, and I was glad, both for the sake of
past and present times. Wood thicker than then, and some of the gleaming
of the lake shut out by young larch-trees. Sun declining upon the
mountains of Glencroe, shining full on Cobbler. No touch of melancholy
on the scene, all majesty and solemn grandeur, with loveliness in
colouring, golden and green and grey crags. On my return to Loch Lomond,
the sunlight streaming a veil of brightness, with slanting rays towards
Arrochar, where I sate on the steeps opposite to Ben Lomond; and on Ben
Lomond's top a pink light rested for a long time, till a cloud hid the
pyramid from me. I stayed till moonlight was beginning....

_Friday morning._--The gently descending smooth road, the sea-breezes,
the elegant house, with a foreign air, all put Joanna[63] into
spirits and strength. "Cobbler," like a waggoner, his horse's head
turned round from us, the waggon behind with a covered top.... Chapel
like a neglected Italian chapel, a few melancholy graves and
burial-places--pine-trees round. Fishermen's nets waving in the breeze;
sombrous, yellow belt of shore, yellowish even in the mid-day light....
At the inn, went into the same parlour where William and I dined, after
parting with Coleridge....

  [Footnote 63: Joanna Hutchinson.--ED.]

In Glencroe[64] huge stones scattered over the glen; one hut in first
reach, none in second, white house in third; last reach rocky, green,
deep.... When we came to the turning of the glen, where several waters
join, formerly not seen distinctly, but heard very loud, the stream in
the middle of the glen, a long winding line, was rosy red, the former
line of Loch Restal. A glorious sky before us, with dark clouds, like
islands in a sea of fire, purple hills below. Behind two _smooth_
pyramids. Soon they were cowled in white, long before the redness left
the sky. After Glenfinlas, the road not so long, nor dreary, nor
prospect so wild as at our first approach; uncertain whither tending.
Church to right with steeple (surely more steeples in Scotland than
formerly). Reached Cairndhu, excellent fire in kitchen, great kindness,
still an unintelligible number of women, but all quiet....

  [Footnote 64: They drove over from Arrochar to Cairndhu.--ED.]

_Saturday morning._--Men, women, and children amongst the corn by the
wayside, children's business chiefly play. Passed the church; the bridge
like a Roman ruin--how grand in its desolation, the parapet on one side
broken, the way across it grown over, like a common, with close grass
and grunsel, only a faint foot-track on one side. Met a well-looking
mother with bonny bairns. Spoke to her of them. "They would be weel
eneuch," said she, "if they were weel skelpit!" The father seemed
pleased, and left his work (running) to help us over the bridge. A
shower; shelter under a bridge; sun and shadows on a smooth hill at head
of loch; at a distance a single round-headed tree. Tree gorgeous yellow,
and soft green, and many shadows. Now comes a slight rainbow. Towards
Inveraray strong sunbeams, white misty rain, hills gleaming through it.
Now I enter by the ferry-house, Glenfinlas opposite....

How quiet and still the road, now and then a solitary passenger. No
sound but of the robins continually singing; sometimes a distant oar on
the waters, and now and then reapers at work above on the hills. Barking
dog, at empty cottage, chid us from above. The lake so still I cannot
hear it, nor any sound of water, but at intervals rills trickling. I
hasten on for boat for Inveraray; view splendid as Italy, only wanting
more boats. There is a pleasure in the utter stillness of calm water.
Sitting together on the rock, we hear the breeze rising; water now
gently weltering.... How continually Highlanders say, "Ye're varra

"This is more like an enchanted castle than anything we've seen," so
says Joanna, now that we are seated, with one candle, in a large room,
with black door, black chimney-piece, black moulding.... We enter, as
abroad, into a useless space, turn to left, and a black-headed lass,
with long hair and dirty face, meets us. We ask for lodgings, and she
carries us from one narrow passage to another, and up a narrow
staircase, and round another as narrow, only not so high as the broad
ones at T----, just to the top of the house. We enter a large room with
two beds, walls damp, no bell.... Reminded of foreign countries, as I
walked along the shore; beside dirty houses. Long scarlet cloaks, women
without caps; a mother on a log of wood in the sunshine, her face as
yellow as gold, dress ragged; she holds her baby standing on the
ground, while it laughs and plays with the bristles of a pig eating its
breakfast.... Came along an avenue, one and a half miles at least, all
beeches, some very fine, cathedral-fluted pillars.



    [Footnote 65: The MS. is headed "Minutes collected from Mem. Book,
    etc., taken during a Tour in Holland, commenced May 16th, 1823."--ED.]


Left Lee. (I now transcribe what was dictated by William.) ... Dover, as
interesting as ever, and the French coast very striking as we descended.
Walked under Shakespear's Cliff by moonlight. Met several sailors, none
of whom had ever asked himself the height of the cliff. I cannot think
it can be more than 400 feet at the utmost; how odd that the description
in Lear should ever have been supposed to have been meant for a reality.
I know nothing that more forcibly shows the little reflection with which
even men of sense read poetry. "How truly," exclaims the historian of
Dover, "has Shakespear described the precipice." How much better would
he (the historian) have done had he given us its actual elevation! The
sky looked threatening, a wheel at a great distance round the moon,
ominous according to our westland shepherds. The furze in full

_Ostend, half-past 8 o'clock, Sunday morning._-- ... We were driven at a
fierce rate before the wind.... We proceeded till about four o'clock,
when we were--had the same wind continued--within two hours of Ostend.
But now, overhead was a bustle of quick steps, trailing and heaving of
ropes, with voices in harmony. Below me, the vessel _slashed_ among the
waters, quite different from the sound and driving motion I had become
accustomed to.... The phosphorous lights from the oars were beautiful;
and when we approached the harbour, these, in connection with the steady
pillar streaming across the water from the lighthouse, upon the pier;
and afterwards, still more beautiful, when these faded before a
brilliant spectacle (caused by a parcel of carpenters and sailors
burning the tar from the hulk of a large vessel under repair), upon the
beach. I thought if we were to see nothing more this exhibition repaid
us for our day of suffering. But we wished for the painter's skill to
delineate the scene, the various objects illuminated by the burning
ship, the glowing faces of the different figures--among which was a
dog--the ropes, ladders, sands, and sea, with the body of intense bright
fire spreading out and fading among the dim stars in the grey mottled
sky.... Ostend looks well as to houses compared with one of our English
towns of like importance. The tall windows, and the stature of the
buildings, give them a dignity nowhere found with us; but it has no
public buildings of interest. Climbing an oblique path which led up to
the ramparts, a little boy called out in broken English, "Stop, or the
soldiers will put you in prison." Not a living creature to be seen on
that airy extensive walk, everybody cooped in the sultry flat.
Melancholy enough at all times, but particularly so on this great day of
annual celebration. But the joy, if any there is, is strictly confined
to the doing of nothing. A few idle people were playing at a game of
chance, under the green daisy-clad ramparts. I got a glimpse of the
country by climbing the steps to a wind-mill, "snatching a fearful
_joy_" I cannot call it, for the view was tame; the sun however shone
bright on the fields, some of which were yellow as furze in blossom,
with what produce I know not....

_Bruges, Hôtel de la Fleur de Blé; Monday, May 19th._-- ... Bruges loses
nothing of its attractions upon a second visit as far as regards
buildings, etc., but a bustling Fair is not the time to feel the
natural sentiment of such a place. We crept about the shady parts, and
among the booths, and traversed the cool extensive vault under the Hôtel
de Ville, where the butcher's market is held (a thousand times the most
commodious shambles I ever saw), and the bazaars above, and made some

_Tuesday 20th._-- ... The thought of Bruges upon the Fair-day never can
disturb the image of that spiritualised city, seen in 1820, under the
subdued light and quiet of a July evening and early morning.... Nothing
can be more refreshing than to flout thus at ease, the awning screening
us from the sun, and the pleasant breezes fanning our temples; ...
cottages constantly varying the shores, which are particularly gay at
this season, interspersed with fruit-tree blossom and the broom flower;
goats tethered on the grassy banks, under the thin line of elms; a
village with a pretty church, midway on the journey; ... the air
delightfully refreshed by the rain; the banks, again low, allow the eye
to stretch beyond the avenue; corn looking well, rich daisy-clad
pastures, and here alive with grasshoppers; large village on both sides
of the canal, bridge between, from which letters are dropped into the
barge, as we pass, by means of a shoe. A sale at a Thames-like chateau;
we take on purchasers with their bargains--chests of drawers, bed and
chamber furniture of all sorts--barge crowded; Catholic priests do not
scruple to interlard their conversation with oaths; the three Towers of
Ghent, seen through the misty air in the distance under the arch of the
canal bridge, give a fine effect to this view; drawing nearer and
gliding between villages and chateaux, the architecture looks very

_Ghent, Thursday 22nd._--Left Ghent at 7 o'clock by diligence.... Paved
road between trees; elms with scattered oaks; square fields divided by
sluices, some dry, others with water bordered by willows, etc., thin
and low; neat houses and villages, English-looking, only the windows and
window-shutters gaily painted; labourers upon their knees weeding flax;
some corn, very short, but shot into ear; broom here and there in
flower, else a perfect uniformity of surface....

_Antwerp._-- ... Disappointed by the first view of Antwerp standing in
nakedness.... Few travellers have been more gratified than we were
during our two days' residence in this fine city, which we left, after
having visited the Cathedral, and feasted our eyes on those magnificent
pictures of Rubens, over and over again; and often was this great
pleasure heightened almost to rapture, when, during mass, the full organ
swelled and penetrated the remotest corners of that stately
edifice--here we were never weary of lingering; but none of the churches
did we leave unvisited; that of St. James was the next in interest to
us, which contained Rubens' family monument; a chapel or _recess_ railed
off, as others are, in which hung a beautiful painting by the great
master himself bearing date 23rd May, --64; a mother presenting a child
to an old man, said to be Rubens' father; three females behind the old
man, and R. himself, in the character of St. George, holding a red flag
among a group of angels hovering over the living child. The drapery of
the principal female figure is a rich blue. R.'s three wives are
represented in this exquisite picture. Besides the several churches, so
rich in fine paintings, we spent much time in the museum--formerly the
Convent des Recollects--an extremely interesting place, independent of
the treasure now contained in it.... The picture by which _I_ was most
impressed was a Christ on the Cross, by Van Dyck; there was a chaste
simplicity about this piece which quite riveted me; the principal figure
in the centre, St. Dominique in an attitude of contemplation; the St.
Catherine embracing the foot of the Cross, and lifting a countenance of
deep searching agony, which, compared with the expression of patient
suffering in that of the Saviour, was almost too much to look upon, yet
once seen it held me there....

_Saturday 24th._--At 9 o'clock we left Antwerp by the diligence....
Breda looked well by moonlight, crossed by steamboat the _Bies
Bosch_ near Dort, which town we reached by half-past six on Sunday
morning, May 26th. We are now in the country of many waters.... Mounted
the tower, which bore the date 1626; an interesting command of
prospect--Stad-house, Bourse, winding streets, trees and rivers (the
Meuse) intermingled; walks, screened by trees, look cool. The eye
follows five streams from different parts of the handsome town into the
country; vessels moving upon them in all directions....

_Rotterdam._--Walked to the "Plantation," a sort of humble Vauxhall.
About sunset, seated upon the banks of the Meuse; sails gliding down,
white and red; the dark tower of the Cathedral; a glowing line of
western sky, with twelve windmills as grand as castles, most of them at
rest, but the arms of some languidly in motion, crimsoned by the setting
sun. A file of grey clouds run southward from the Cathedral tower. The
birds, which were faintly warbling in the pleasure-ground behind us when
we sate down, have now ceased. Three very slender spires, one of which
we know to be the Hôtel de Ville, denote, together with the Cathedral
tower, the neighbourhood of a large town.

_Tuesday 27th._-- ... Left Rotterdam at ten o'clock. As we crossed the
bridge, the fine statue of Erasmus, rising silently, with eyes fixed
upon his book, above the noisy crowd gathered round the booths and
vehicles, which upon the market-day beset him, and backed by buildings
and trees, intermingled with the fluttering pennons from vessels
unloading their several cargoes into the warehouses, produced a curious
and very striking contrast.... The stately stream down which we floated
took us to the royal town of the Hague. Arriving there at five o'clock,
we immediately walked to the wood, in which stands the Palace; charming
promenades, pools of water, swans, stately trees, birds warbling,
military music--the _Brae Bells_; the streets similar to those at Delf;
screens of trees, sometimes on one side, but generally on both sides of
the canal; bridges at convenient distances across.... Looked with
interest upon the ground where the De Wits were massacred, to which we
were conducted by a funny old man, of whom we purchased a box. The spot
is a narrow space, passing from one square to another, if I recollect
right, near to the public building, whence the brothers had been dragged
by the infuriated rabble. Horse-chestnut trees in flower everywhere.

_Wednesday 28th._-- ... Looked into the fine room where the lottery is
kept, which interested us, as well as the countenances of those who were
working at fortune's wheel, and those who were eagerly gaping for her
favours. Above all, the King's Gallery most attracted us with its
magnificent collection of pictures....

_Leyden, Thursday 29th._--Arose, and found that our commodious chamber
looked upon pleasure-walks, which we at once determined must be the
University garden, naturally giving to this place the sort of
accommodations found in our own seats of learning, but no such luxury
belongs to the students of Leyden. The ground with its plantations
through which these walks are carried, and upon which the sun now so
cheerfully shone, was formerly covered with buildings that were
destroyed, together with the inhabitants, by an explosion which took
place in a barge of gunpowder in 1806, then lying in the neighbouring

There are no colleges, or separate dwellings, in Leyden, for the
students; they are lodged with different families in the town. Our
guide had three at his house from England, as he told us. A wandering
sheep lying at the threshold, as we passed a good-looking house in the
street; were told that this was a pensioner upon the public, that it
would lie there till it was fed, and then would pass on to some other
door. This animal had been brought up the pet of a soldier once
quartered at Leyden, and when he changed his situation his favourite was
sent into the fields, but preferring human society, it could not be
confined amongst its fellows, but ever returned to the town, and,
begging its daily food, it passed from door to door of those houses
which its old master had frequented, obstinately keeping its station
until an alms was bestowed--bread, vegetables, soup, nothing came wrong,
and as soon as this was received, the patient mendicant walked quietly

_Haarlem._-- ... Reached Haarlem at five o'clock; went directly to the
Cathedral, mounted the tower, an hour too early for the sunset; a
splendid and interesting view beyond any we have seen. Looking eastward,
the canal seen stretching through houses and among the trees, to the
spires of Amsterdam in the distance. A little to the right, the Mere of
Haarlem spotted with vessels, the river Spaaren winding among trees
through the town; steeple towers of Utrecht beyond the Mere. The Boss, a
fine wood and elegant mansion built by ---- Hope, now a royal residence;
new kirk, fine tower; the sea, and sand-hills beyond the flats glowing
under a dazzling western sky. The winding Spaaren again among green
fields brings the eye round to the Amsterdam canal, up which we shall

_Friday 30th._-- ... We were floating between stunted willows towards
Amsterdam, the birds sweetly warbling, but the same unvaried course
before us. I have, however, a basket at my feet containing pots of
fragrant geranium, and a beautiful flowering fern, brought, I suppose,
from the market where we saw the commodities offered for sale. The
groups of figures, with their baskets and stalls of vegetables, ranged
along the shady avenues, have often a striking effect; the fanciful
architecture towering above, as seen from the end of one of the market
streets, especially if the view be terminated by a spire or a lofty
tower.... The spires of Amsterdam, and different spires and shipping,
rise beyond the flat line of the water. The same cold north wind is
breathing in the sunshine, now that we are not within the screen of the
trees. The plains are scattered with cattle, and a broken line of Dutch
farm-houses, which we have hitherto in vain looked for, stretch at a
field's distance from the canal. Having now resumed our seats, reeds and
pools diversify our course; and drawing nearer Amsterdam, I must put
away my book, to look after the pleasure-houses and gardens; the first
presents a bed of full-blown China roses.

_Amsterdam, Saturday 31st_.... _Brock._--After walking one hour and five
minutes by the side of the canal, upon a good road, through a tract of
peat-mossy rich pasturage, besprinkled with cattle, and bounded by a
horizon broken by spires, steeple-towers, villages, scattered farms, and
the unfailing windmill--seen single or in pairs, or clustered, at short
distances everywhere--we are now seated beneath the shelter of a
friendly windmill; the north wind bracing us, and the swallows
twittering under a cloudless grey sky above our heads.... After
twenty-six minutes' further walk, the canal spreads into a circular
basin, upon the opposite margin of which stands the quaintly dressed
little town of Brock. The church spire rises from amid elegantly neat
houses, chiefly of wood, much carved and ornamented, and covered with
glazed tiles.... In each of these houses is a certain elaborately
ornamented door by which at their wedding the newly-married pair, and
perhaps their friends, enter. It is then closed, and never opened again
until the man or his wife is carried out a corpse.... The streets are
paved with what are called Dutch tiles, but certainly not the polished
slabs we have been accustomed to give this name to--more like our
bricks, of various colours arranged in patterns, as Mr. B. would like
the floors of his sheds, etc., to be. A piece of white marble often
forms the centre to some device; where the flooring in a garden happens
to be uniform in colour, a pattern is formed by a sprinkling of sand,
which seems to lie as a part of the flooring unmoved under a fresh
blowing wind....

_Saardam, Sunday evening, June 1st._--We have had a delightful trip
to-day to Saardam, another North Holland town. Visited the hut, and
workshop, in which Peter the Great wrought as a carpenter....

_Monday, June 2nd._--Am thankful to rest before we depart from
Amsterdam, in which I would not live to be Queen of Holland; yet she is
mistress of the most magnificent palace I ever saw, furnished
substantially, and in excellent taste, by Louis Buonaparte. The edifice
formerly belonged to the city, the Stad-house, and was presented to him
as a compliment upon his elevation to the throne.... At five this day we
are to depart for Utrecht, most happy to turn our faces homeward, and to
leave this watery country, where there is not a drop fit to drink....

_Antwerp, June 5th._--Arose at seven, and have revisited most, indeed
all, that best pleased us before--and accomplished our wish to mount the
Cathedral tower, and under favourable skies; a glorious sunset upon the
Scheldt; the clouds, the shadow of the spire, the spire itself, the town
below, the country around, our own enjoyments--these we shall ever
remember, but we are to be off to Malines, at seven o'clock in the

_Wednesday 11th._-- ... Adventures we have had few; William's eyes
being so much disordered, and so easily aggravated, naturally made him
shun society, and crippled us in many respects; but I trust we have
stored up thoughts, and images, that will not die.




_Thursday, June 26th, 1828._--Called at half-past two, and breakfasted
by kitchen fire. Walked to the end of gravel terrace;[66] grey calm, and
warbling birds; sad at the thought of my voyage, cheered only by the end
of it. Sat long at Morris's door; grey and still; coach full, and sour
looks within, for I made a fifth; won my way by civility, and
communicating information to a sort of gentleman fisher going to
Wytheburn. English manners ungracious: he left us at Nag's Head without
a bow or good wish. Morning still foggy. Wytheburn, cliffs and trees.
Stayed inside till reached an inn beside Bassenthwaite; only another
lady in coach, so had a good view of the many cloudy summits and
swelling breastworks of Skiddaw, and was particularly struck with the
amplitude of style and objects, flat Italian foreground, large fields,
and luxuriant hedges,--a perfect garden of Eden, rich as ivory and
pearls. Dull and barish near Cockermouth. Town surprised me with its
poor aspect. Old market-house to be pulled down. Sorry I could not study
the old place. Life has gone from my Father's Court.[67] View from
bridge beautiful. Ruin, castle, meadows with hay-cocks.... Again cold
and dreary after river goes. Dorrington very dreary, yet fine trees.
Dropped Mr. Lowther's sons from school. Busy-looking fresh-coloured
aunt, looks managing and well satisfied with herself, but kind to the
boys; little sister very glad, and brothers in a bustle of pleasure....
Workington very dismal; beautiful approach to Whitehaven; comfortless
inn, but served by a German waiter; Buckhouse's daughter; a hall, a
church; the sea, the castle; dirty women, ragged children; no shoes, no
stockings; fine view of cliffs and stone quarry; pretty, smokeless,
blue-roofed town; castle and inn a foreign aspect. Embarked at ten. Full
moon; lighthouse; summer sky; moved away; and saw nothing till a distant
view of Isle of Man. Hills cut off by clouds. Beautiful approach to
Douglas harbour; wind fallen. Harry met me at inn; surprised with gay
shops and store-houses; walk on the gardens of the hills; decayed
houses, divided gardens; luxuriant flowers and shrubs, very like a
French place; an Italian lady, the owner; air very clear, though hazy in
Cumberland. Very fine walk after tea on the cliff; sea calm, and as if
enclosed by haze; fishes sporting near the rocks; a few sea-birds to
chatter and wail, but mostly silent rocks; two very grand masses in a
little bay, a pellucid rivulet of sea-water between them; the hills
mostly covered with cropped gorse, a very rich dark green. This gorse
cropped in winter, and preserved for cattle fodder. The moon rose large
and dull, like an ill-cleaned brass plate, slowly surmounts the haze,
and sends over the calm sea a faint bright pillar. In the opposite
quarter Douglas harbour; illuminated boats in motion, dark masts and
eloquent ropes; noises from the town ascend to the commanding airy
steeps where we rested.

  [Footnote 66: At Rydal Mount.--ED.]

  [Footnote 67: The house at Cockermouth where William and Dorothy
  Wordsworth were born. Compare _The Prelude_, book i.--ED.]

_Saturday, 28th June._--Lovely morning; walked with Henry[68] to the
nunnery; cool groves of young trees and very fine old ones. General
Goulding has built a handsome house near the site of the old nunnery, on
which stands a modern house (to be pulled down). The old convent bell,
hung outside, is used as a house-bell; the valley very pretty, with a
mill stream, and might be beautiful, if properly drained. The view of
the nunnery charming from some points.

  [Footnote 68: Henry Hutchinson, Mrs. Wordsworth's brother, the
  "retired mariner" of the 9th Sonnet, composed during Wordsworth's
  subsequent tour in 1833.--ED.]

Walked on to the old church, Kirk Bradden; handsome steeple.
Burial-ground beautifully shaded, and full of tombstones. Tombstone or
obelisk to the memory of a son of the Duke of Athole, commander of the
Manx Fencibles.

Douglas market very busy. Women often with round hats, like the Welsh;
and girls without shoes and stockings, though otherwise not ill dressed.
Panniers made of matted straw; country people speak more Manx than
English; the sound is not hoarse nor harsh. Cliffs picturesque above
Mona Castle; a waterfall (without water); the castle of very white stone
from Scotland, after the style of Inveraray. How much handsomer and
better suited to its site would be the native dark grey rock. The
nunnery house is as it should be; and the castle, with stronger towers
in the same style, would have been a noble object in the bay.... Road
and flat sandy space to the sea; a beautiful sea residence for the
solitary; pleasant breezes, and sky clear of haziness.

_Sunday, 29th June._--A lovely bright morning; walk with H.; a fine view
over the sky-blue sea; breezy on the heights. At Mr. Browne's church.
Text from Isaiah, the "Shadow of a great Rock," etc., applied to our
Saviour and the Christian dispensation. Marketplace and harbour
cheerful, and, compared with yesterday, quiet. Gay pleasure-boats in
harbour, from Liverpool and Scotland, with splendid flags. During
service the noises of children and sometimes of carriages distressing.
Mr. Browne a sensible and feeling, yet monotonous and weak-voiced,
reader. His iron shoes clank along the aisle--the effect of this very
odd. Called in the Post Office lane at the postmaster's, narrow as an
Italian street, and the house low, cool, old-fashioned and cleanly.
Stairs worn down with much treading, and everything reminding one of
life at Penrith forty years back. A cheerful family of useful-looking,
well-informed daughters; English father and Scotch mother. Crowds
inquiring for letters. To Kirk Bradden, one and a half miles; arrived at
second lesson. Funeral service for two children; the coffins in the
church. Mr. Howard a fine-looking man and agreeable preacher. The
condition of the righteous and of the ungodly after death was the
subject. Groups sitting on the tombstones reminded me of the Continent.
The churchyard shady and cool, a sweet resting-place. We lingered long,
and walked home through the nunnery grounds. The congregation rustic,
but very gay. There seems to be no room for the very poor people in
either church, and in Douglas great numbers were about in the streets
during service. Mr. Putman called, a gentlemanly man, faded, and
delicate-looking; brought up at Dublin College for the bar, took to the
stage, married a hotel lady, disapproved by her friends, gave lectures
on elocution, had profits, but obliged to desist, having broken a
blood-vessel; now living on a very small income at Douglas in lodgings;
sighing for house-keeping, and they have bought the house we visited
last night on the sands. After tea walked with Joanna on pier--a very
gay and crowded scene. Saw the steam-packet depart for Liverpool. Ladies
in immense hats, and as fine as millinery and their own various tastes
can make them. Beauish tars; their pleasure-boats in harbour, with
splendid flags; two or three worthy suitors in bright blue jackets,
their badges on their breast, their hats trimmed with blue ribands. For
the first time I saw the Cumberland hills; but dimly. Sea very bright;
talked with old sailor and tried his spectacles. Went to the Douglas
Head, very fine walk on the turf tracks among the horns gorse, bright
green, studded with yellow flowers in bunches, the ladies'-bed-straw;
the green sea-weed with the brown bed of the river produces a beautiful
effect of colouring, and the numbers of well-dressed, or rather
_showily_-dressed, people is astonishing, gathered together in the
harbour, and sprinkled over the heights. Fine view of rocks below us on
the lower road; lingered till near ten. Lovely moonlight when I went to
bed; amused with Miss Fanny Buston, her conceit, her long, nose, her
painted cheeks, _not_ painted but by nature.

_Tuesday, July 1st._--With Joanna[69] to the shore, and alone on the
pier. Very little air even there, but refreshing; and the water of the
bay clear, and green as the Rhine; close and hot in the streets; but the
sun gets out when the tide comes in; a breeze, and all is refreshed.

  [Footnote 69: Joanna Hutchinson.--ED.]

_Wednesday morning, July 2nd._--In evening walked to Port-a-shee (the
harbour of peace); foggy, and hills invisible, but stream very pretty.
Shaggy banks; varied trees; splendid rosebushes and honeysuckles.
Returned by sands; a beautiful playfield for children. The rocks of
gorgeous colours--orange, brown, vivid green, in form resembling models
of the Alps. The foggy air not oppressive.

_Thursday, July 3rd._--A fine morning, but still misty on hills. On
Douglas heights, the sea-rocks tremendous; wind high; a waterfowl
sporting on the roughest part of the sea; flocks of jackdaws, very
small; a few gulls; two men reclined at the top of a precipice with
their dogs; small boats tossing in the eddy, and a pleasure-boat out
with ladies; misery it would have been for me; guns fired from the ship,
a fine echo in the harbour; saw the flash long before the report. Sir
Wm. Hilary saved a boy's life to-day in the harbour. He raised a
regiment for Government, and chose his own reward--a Baronetcy!

_Friday, 4th July._--Walked with Henry to the Harbour of Peace, and up
the valley; very pretty overarched bridge; neat houses, and hanging
gardens, and blooming fences--the same that are so ugly seen from a
distance: the wind sweeping those fences, they glance and intermingle
colours as bright as gems.

_Saturday._--Very bright morning. Went to the Duke's gardens, which are
beautiful. I thought of Italian villas, and Italian bays, looking down
on a long green lawn adorned with flower-beds, such as ours, at one end;
a perfect level, with grand walks at the ends, woods rising from it up
the steeps; and the dashing sea, boats, and ships, and ladies struggling
with the wind; veils and gay shawls and waving flounces. The gardens
beautifully managed,--wild, yet neat enough for plentiful produce;
shrubbery, forest trees, vegetables, flowers, and hot-houses, all
connected, yet divided by the form of the ground. Nature and art hand in
hand, tall shrubs, and Spanish chestnut in great luxuriance. Lord
Fitzallan's children keeping their mother's birthday in the strawberry
beds. Loveliest of evenings. Isle perfectly clear, but no Cumberland;
the sea alive with all colours, the eastern sky as bright as the west
after sunset.

_Monday, 7th July._--Departed for Castletown. Nothing very interesting
except peeps of the sea. Well peopled and cultivated, yet generally
naked. Earth hedges, yet thriving trees in white rows; descent of a
little glen or large cliff very pleasing, with its small tribute to the
ocean. One cottage, and a corn enclosure, wild-thyme, _sedum_, etc.;
brilliant and dark-green gorse; the bay lovely on this sweet morning;
narrow flowery lanes, wild sea-view, low peninsula of Long Ness, large
round fort and ruined church: bay and port, cold, mean, comfortless; low
walk at Castletown, drawbridge, river and castle, handsome strong
fortress, soldiers pacing sentinel, officers and music, groups of women
in white caps listening, very like a town in French Flanders, etc. etc.
Civility, large rooms, no neatness.

_Tuesday, 8th July._--Rose before six. Pleasant walk to Port Mary Kirk,
along the bay before breakfast; well cultivated, very populous, but
wanting trees; outlines of hills pleasing. Port Mary, harbour for Manx
fleet; pretty green banks near the port, neat huts under those rocks,
with flower-garden, fishing-nets, and sheep, really beautiful; a wild
walk and beautiful descent to Port Erin; a fleet of nearly forty sails
and nets in the circular rocky harbour, white houses at different
heights on the bank. Then across the country past Castle Rushen--a white
church, and standing low; cheerful country, a few good houses, but
seldom pretty in architecture; children coming from school, schools very
frequent: now we drag up the hill, an equal ascent; turf, and not bad
road, but a weary way.

But I ought to have before described our passage from Port Mary to Port
Erin, over Spanish Head, to view the Calf, a high island, forty acres,
partly cultivated, and peopled with rabbits--rent paid therewith; a
stormy passage to the Calf, a boat hurrying through with tide, another
small isle adjoining, very wild; I thought of the passage between Loch
Awe and Loch Etive. To return to the mountain ascent from Castle Rushen:
peat stacks all over, and a few warm snow huts; thatches secured by
straw ropes, and the walls (in which was generally buried one window)
cushioned all over with thyme in full blow, low _sedum_, and various
other flowers. Called on Henry's friend beside the mountain gate; her
house blinding with smoke. I sate in the doorway. She was affectionately
glad to see Henry, shook hands and blessed us at parting--"God be with
you, and prosper you on your journey!" Descend: more cottages, like
waggon roofs of straw, chance-directed pipes of chimneys and flowery
walls, not a shoe or a stocking to be seen. Dolby Glen, beautiful
stream, and stone cottages, and gardens hedged with flowery elder, and
mallows as beautiful as geraniums in a greenhouse.

_Wednesday, 9th, Peele._--Morning bright, and all the town busy.
Yesterday the first of the herring fishing, and black baskets laden with
silvery herrings were hauled through the town, herrings in the hand on
sticks, and huge black fish dragged through the dust. Sick at the sight,
ferried across the harbour to the Island Castle, very grand and very
wild, with cathedral, tower, and extensive ruins, and tombstones of
recent date: several of shipwrecked men. Our guide showed us the place
where, as Sir Walter Scott tells us, Captain Edward Christian was
confined, and another dungeon where the Duchess of Gloucester was shut
up fifteen years, and there died, and used to appear in the shape of a
black dog; and a soldier who used to laugh at the story vowed he would
speak to it and died raving mad. The Castle was built before artillery
was used, and the walls are so thin that it is surprising that it has
stood so long. The grassy floor of the hill delightful to rest on
through a summer's day, to view the ships and sea, and hear the dashing
waves, here seldom gentle, for the entrance to this narrow harbour is
very rocky. Fine caves towards the north, but it being high water, we
could not go to them. Our way to Kirk Michael, a delightful terrace; sea
to our left, cultivated hills to the right, and views backwards to Peele
charming. The town stands under a very steep green hill, with a
watch-tower at the top, and the castle on its own rock in the sea--a sea
as clear as any mountain stream. Fishing-vessels still sallying forth.
Visited the good Bishop Wilson's grave, and rambled under the shade of
his trees at Bishop's Court, a mile further. The whole country pleasant
to Ramsey; steep red banks of river. The town close to the sea, within
a large bay, formed to the north by a bare red steep, to the south by
green mountain and glen and fine trees, with houses on the steep. Ships
in harbour, a steam-vessel at a distance, and sea and hills bright in
the evening-time. Pleasant houses overlooking the sea, but the
cottage[70] all unsuspected till we reach a little spring, where it
lurks at the foot of a glen, under green steeps. A low thatched white
house dividing the grassy pleasure plot, adorned with flowers, and above
it on one side a hanging garden--flowers, fruit, vegetables
intermingled, and above all the orchard and forest trees; peeps of the
sea and up the glen, and a full view of the green steep; a little stream
murmuring below. We sauntered in the garden, and I paced from path to
path, picked ripe fruit, ran down to the sands, there paced, watched the
ships and steamboats--in short, was charmed with the beauty and novelty
of the scene: the quiet rural glen, the cheerful shore, the solemn sea.
To bed before day was gone.

  [Footnote 70: The house in which they were to stay at Ramsey.--ED.]

_Thursday._--Rose early. Could not resist the sunny grass plot, the
shady woody steeps, the bright flowers, the gentle breezes, the soft
flowing sea. Walked to Manghold Head, and Manghold Kirk: the first where
the cross was planted. The views of Ramsey Bay delightful from the Head:
a fine green steep, on the edge of which stands the pretty chapel, with
one bell outside, an ancient pedestal curiously carved, Christ on the
cross, the mother and infant Jesus, the Manx arms, and other devices;
near it the square foundation surrounded with steps of another cross, on
which is now placed a small sundial, the whole lately barbarously
whitewashed, with church and roof--a glaring contrast to the grey
thatched cottages, and green trees, which partly embower the church.
Numerous are the grave-stones surrounding that neat and humble
building: a sanctuary taken from the waste, where fern and heath grow
round, and _over_-grow the graves. I sate on the hill, while Henry
sought the Holy Well, visited once a year by the Manx men and women,
where they leave their offering--a pin, or any other trifle. Walked
leisurely back to Ramsey; fine views of the bay, the orange-coloured
buoy, the lovely town, the green steeps. The town very pretty seen from
the quay as at the mountain's foot; rich wood climbing up the mountain
glen, and spread along the hillsides.


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

Transcriber's Note

Footnotes have been moved below the paragraph to which they relate.

There is a paragraph on Page 218 that is partially repeated on Page 219.
Since there are minor differences to the text, I have left the two

"=" 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:

  - Period removed after "Church" on main title page
  - "Ferry house" changed to "Ferry-House" on Page 3
  - "Crerar" changed to "Creran" on Page 3
  - "Ferryhouse" changed to "Ferry-House" on Page 4
  - Period added after "38" on Page 4
  - "t" changed to "it" on Page 49
  - Period added after "shade" on Page 127
  - Hyphen changed to a dash after "pain" on Page 141
  - Period added after "ED" on Footnote 36
  - "Ullswater" changed to "Ulswater" on Page 157
  - Quote removed after "Switzerland." on Page 215

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