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Title: A Journey Made in the Summer of 1794, through Holland and the Western Frontier of Germany, with a Return Down the Rhine, Vol. II (of 2) - To Which Are Added Observations during a Tour to the Lakes of Lancashire, Westmoreland, and Cumberland; Second Edition
Author: Radcliffe, Ann Ward
Language: English
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                       A JOURNEY

              MADE IN THE SUMMER OF 1794,




                  TO WHICH ARE ADDED


                     THE LAKES OF


                    IN TWO VOLUMES.

                        VOL. II.

                    SECOND EDITION.

                   BY ANN RADCLIFFE.




Is an antient Imperial city and the capital of the Brisgau. Its name
alludes to the privileges granted to such cities; but its present
condition, like that of many others, is a proof of the virtual
discontinuance of the rights, by which the Sovereign intended to
invite to one part of his dominions the advantages of commerce. Its
appearance is that, which we have so often described; better than
Cologne, and worse than Mentz; its size is about a third part of the
latter city. On descending to it, the first distinct object is the
spire of the great church, a remarkable structure, the stones of which
are laid with open interstices, so that the light appears through its
tapering sides. Of this sort of stone fillagree work there are said to
be other specimens in Germany. The city was once strongly fortified,
and has endured some celebrated sieges. In 1677, 1713, and 1745 it
was taken by the French, who, in the latter year, destroyed all the
fortifications, which had rendered it formidable, and left nothing but
the present walls.

Being, however, a frontier place towards Switzerland, it is provided
with a small Austrian garrison; and the business of permitting, or
preventing the passage of travellers into that country is entrusted to
its officers. The malignity, or ignorance of one of these, called the
Lieutenant de Place, prevented us from reaching it, after a journey of
more than six hundred miles; a disappointment, which no person could
bear without severe regret, but which was alloyed to us by the reports
we daily heard of some approaching change in Switzerland unfavourable
to England, and by a consciousness of the deduction which, in spite
of all endeavours at abstraction, encroachments upon physical comfort
and upon the assurance of peacefulness make from the disposition to
enquiry, or fancy.

We had delivered at the gate the German passport, recommended to us
by M. de Schwartzkoff, and which had been signed by the Commandant
at Mentz; the man, who took it, promising to bring it properly
attested to our inn. He returned without the passport, and, as we
afterwards found, carried our voiturier to be examined by an officer.
We endeavoured in vain to obtain an explanation, as to this delay
and appearance of suspicion, till, at supper, the Lieutenant de Place
announced himself, and presently shewed, that he was not come to
offer apologies. This, man, an illiterate Piedmontese in the Austrian
service, either believed, or affected to do so, that our name was not
Radcliffe, but something like it, with a German termination, and that
we were not English, but Germans. Neither my Lord Grenville's, or M.
de Schwartzkoff's passports, our letters from London to families in
Switzerland, nor one of credit from the Messrs. Hopes of Amsterdam to
the Banking-house of Porta at Lausanne, all of which he pretended to
examine, could remove this discerning suspicion as to our country.
While we were considering, as much as vexation would permit, what
circumstance could have afforded a pretext for any part of this
intrusion, it came out incidentally, that the confirmation given
to our passport at Mentz, which we had never examined, expressed
"returning to England," though the pass itself was for Basil, to which
place we were upon our route.

Such a contradiction might certainly have justified some delay, if we
had not been enabled to prove it accidental to the satisfaction of
any person desirous of being right. The passport had been produced at
Mentz, together with those of two English artists, then on their return
from Rome, whom we had the pleasure to see at Franckfort. The Secretary
inscribed all the passports alike of England, and M. de Lucadou, the
Commandant, hastily signed ours, without observing the mistake, though
he so well knew us to be upon the road to Switzerland, that he politely
endeavoured to render us some service there. Our friends in Mentz being
known to him, he desired us to accept an address from himself to M. de
Wilde, Intendant of salt mines near Bec. We produced to Mr. Lieutenant
this address, as a proof, that the Commandant both knew us, and where
we were going; but it soon appeared, that, though the former might
have honestly fallen into his suspicions at first, he had a malignant
obstinacy in refusing to abandon them. He left us, with notice that we
could not quit the town without receiving the Commandant's permission
by his means; and it was with some terror, that we perceived ourselves
to be so much in his power, in a place where there was a pretext for
military authority, and where the least expression of just indignation
seemed to provoke a disposition for further injustice.

The only relief, which could be hinted to us, was to write to the
Commandant at Mentz, who might re-testify his knowledge of our
destination; yet, as an answer could not be received in less than
eight days, and, as imagination suggested not only all the possible
horrors of oppression, during that period, but all the contrivances, by
which the malignant disposition we had already experienced, might even
then be prevented from disappointment, we looked upon this resource as
little better than the worst, and resolved in the morning to demand
leave for an immediate return to Mentz.

There being then some witnesses to the application, the Lieutenant
conducted himself with more propriety, and even proposed an
introduction to the Commandant, to whom we could not before hear of
any direct means of access; there being a possibility, he said, that
a passage into Switzerland might be permitted. But the disgust of
Austrian authority was now so complete, that we were not disposed to
risk the mockery of an appeal. The Lieutenant expressed his readiness
to allow our passage, if we should choose to return from Mentz with
another passport; but we had no intention to be ever again in his
power, and, assuring him that we should not return, left Friburg
without the hope of penetrating through the experienced, and present
difficulties of Germany, into the far-seen delights of Switzerland.

As those, who leave one home for another, think, in the first part
of their journey, of the friends they have left, and, in the last,
of those, to whom they are going; so we, in quitting the borders of
Switzerland, thought only of that country; and, when we regained the
eminence from whence the tops of its mountains had been so lately
viewed with enthusiastic hope, all this delightful expectation occurred
again to the mind, only to torture it with the certainty of our loss;
but, as the distance from Switzerland increased, the attractions of
home gathered strength, and the inconveniences of Germany, which had
been so readily felt before, could scarcely be noticed when we knew
them to lie in the road to England.

We passed Offenburg, on the first day of our return, and, travelling
till midnight, as is customary in Germany during the summer, traversed
the unusual space of fifty miles in fourteen hours. Soon after passing
Appenweyer we overtook the rear-guard of the army, the advanced party
of which we had met at that place three nights before. The troops
were then quartered in the villages near the road, and their narrow
waggons were sometimes drawn up on both sides of it. They had probably
but lately separated, for there were parties of French ladies and
gentlemen, who seemed to have taken the benefit of moon-light to be
spectators, and some of the glow-worms, that had been numerous on the
banks, now glittered very prettily in the hair of the former.

At Biel, a small town, which we reached about midnight, the street was
rendered nearly impassable by military carriages, and we were surprised
to find, that every room in the inn was not occupied by troops; but one
must have been very fastidious to have complained of any part of our
reception here. As to lodging, though the apartment was as bare as is
usual in Germany, there was the inscription of "Chambre de Monsieur"
over the door, and on another near it "Chambre de Condé le Grand";
personages, who, it appeared, had once been accommodated there, for the
honour of which the landlord chose to retain their inscriptions. Their
meeting here was probably in 1791, soon after the departure of the
former from France.

The second day's journey brought us again to Schwetzingen, from whence
we hoped to have reached Manheim, that night; but the post horses were
all out, and none others could be hired, the village being obliged to
furnish a certain number for the carriage of stores to the Austrian
army. Eighteen of these we had met, an hour before, drawing slowly in
one waggon, laden with cannon balls. We stayed the following day at
Manheim, and, on the next, reached Mentz, where our statement of the
obstruction at Friburg excited less surprise than indignation, the want
of agreement between the Austrian and Prussian officers being such,
that the former, who are frequently persons of the lowest education,
are said to neglect no opportunity of preying upon accidental mistakes
in passports, or other business, committed by the Prussians. Before our
departure we were, however, assured, that a proper representation of
the affair had been sent by the first estaffette to the Commandant at

Further intelligence of the course of affairs in Flanders, was now
made known in Germany; and our regrets, relative to Switzerland, were
lessened by the apparent probability, that a return homeward might in a
few months be rendered difficult by some still more unfortunate events
to the allies. Several effects of the late reverses and symptoms of
the general alarm were indeed already apparent at Mentz. Our inn was
filled with refugees not only from Flanders, but from Liege, which the
French had not then threatened. Some of the emigrants of the latter
nation, in quitting the places where they had temporarily settled,
abandoned their only means of livelihood, and several parties arrived
in a state almost too distressful to be repeated. Ladies and children,
who had passed the night in fields, came with so little property, and
so little appearance of any, that they were refused admittance at
many inns; for some others, it seemed, after resting a day or two,
could offer only tears and lamentations, instead of payment. Our good
landlord, Philip Bolz, relieved several, and others had a little
charity from individuals; but, as far as we saw and heard, the Germans
very seldom afforded them even the consolations of compassion and
tender manners.

Mentz is the usual place of embarkment for a voyage down the Rhine,
the celebrated scenery of whose banks we determined to view, as some
compensation for the loss of Switzerland. We were also glad to escape
a repetition of the fatigues of travel by land, now that these were to
be attended with the uncertainties occasioned by any unusual influx of
travellers upon the roads.

The business of supplying post-horses is here not the private
undertaking of the innkeepers; so that the emulation and civility,
which might be excited by their views of profit, are entirely wanting.
The Prince de la Tour Taxis is the Hereditary Grand Post-master of the
Empire, an office, which has raised his family from the station of
private Counts, to a seat in the College of Princes. He has a monopoly
of the profits arising from this concern, for which he is obliged to
forward all the Imperial packets gratis. A settled number of horses and
a post-master are kept at every stage; where the arms of the Prince,
and some line entreating a blessing upon the post, distinguish the door
of his office. The post-master determines, according to the number of
travellers and the quantity of baggage, how many horses must be hired;
three persons cannot be allowed to proceed with less than three horses,
and he will generally endeavour to send out as many horses as there are

The price for each horse was established at one florin, or twenty pence
per post, but, on account of the war, a florin and an half is now paid;
half a florin is also due for the carriage; and the postillion is
entitled to a trinkgeld, or drink-money, of another half florin; but,
unless he is promised more than this at the beginning of the stage, he
will proceed only at the regulated pace of four hours for each post,
which may be reckoned at ten or twelve English miles. We soon learned
the way of quickening him, and, in the Palatinate and the Brisgau,
where the roads are good, could proceed nearly as fast as we wished,
amounting to about five miles an hour.

If the post-master supplies a carriage, he demands half a florin
per stage for it; but the whole expence of a chaise and two horses,
including the tolls and the _trinkgeld_, which word the postillions
accommodate to English ears by pronouncing it _drinkhealth_, does not
exceed eight pence per mile. We are, however, to caution all persons
against supposing, as we did, that the chaises of the post must be
proper ones, and that the necessity of buying a carriage, which may
be urged to them, is merely that of shew; these chaises are more
inconvenient and filthy, than any travelling carriage, seen in England,
can give an idea of, and a stranger should not enter Germany, before
he has purchased a carriage, which will probably cost twenty pounds in
Holland and sell for fifteen, at his return. Having neglected this, we
escaped from the _chaises de poste_ as often as possible, by hiring
those of voituriers, whose price is about half as much again as that of
the post.

The regular drivers wear a sort of uniform, consisting of a yellow
coat, with black cuffs and cape, a small bugle horn, slung over the
shoulders, and a yellow sash. At the entrance of towns and narrow
passes, they sometimes sound the horn, playing upon it a perfect and
not unpleasant tune, the music of their order. All other carriages
give way to theirs, and persons travelling with them are considered
to be under the protection of the Empire; so that, if they were
robbed, information would be forwarded from one post-house to another
throughout all Germany, and it would become a common cause to
detect the aggressors. On this account, and because there can be no
concealment in a country so little populous, highway robberies are
almost unknown in it, and the fear of them is never mentioned. The
Germans, who, in summer, travel chiefly by night, are seldom armed,
and are so far from thinking even watchfulness necessary, that most
of their carriages, though open in front, during the day-time, are
contrived with curtains and benches, in order to promote rest. The
post-masters also assure you, that, if there were robbers, they would
content themselves with attacking private voituriers, without violating
the sacredness of the post; and the security of the postillions is so
strictly attended to, that no man dare strike them, while they have
the yellow coat on. In disputes with their passengers they have,
therefore, sometimes been known to put off this coat, in order to shew,
that they do not claim the extraordinary protection of the laws.

These postillions acknowledge no obligation to travellers, who
usually give double what can be demanded, and seem to consider them
only as so many bales of goods, which they are under a contract with
the post-master to deliver at a certain place and within a certain
time. Knowing, that their slowness, if there is no addition to their
_trinkgeld_, is of itself sufficient to compel some gratuity, they do
not depart from the German luxury of incivility, and frequently return
no answer, when they are questioned, as to distance, or desired to call
the servant of an inn, or to quit the worst part of a road. When you
tell them, that they shall have a good _drinkhealth_ for speed, they
reply, "Yaw, yaw;" and, after that, think it unnecessary to reply to
any enquiry till they ask you for the money at the end of a stage. They
are all provided with tobacco boxes and combustible bark, on which they
stop to strike with a flint and steel, immediately after leaving their
town; in the hottest day and on the most dusty road, they will begin
to smoke, though every whiff flies into the faces of the passengers
behind; and it must be some very positive interference, that prevents
them from continuing it.

As long as there are horses not engaged at any post-house, the people
are bound to supply travellers, within half an hour after their
arrival; but all the German Princes and many of their Ministers are
permitted to engage the whole stock on the road they intend to pass;
and it frequently happens, that individuals may be detained a day, or
even two, by such an order, if there should be no voiturier to furnish
them with others. At Cologne and Bonn, when we were first there, all
the horses were ordered for the Emperor, who passed through, however,
with only one carriage, accompanied by an Aide-de-camp and followed
by two servants, on horseback. It happens also frequently, that a
sudden throng of private travellers has employed the whole stock of the
post-masters; and the present emigrations from Liege and Juliers, we
were assured, had filled the roads so much, that we might be frequently
detained in small towns, and should find even the best overwhelmed with
crowds of fugitives.

During a stay of five days at Mentz, we often wandered amidst the
ruins of the late siege, especially on the site of the Favorita, from
whence the majestic Rhine is seen rolling from one chain of mountains
to another. Near this spot, and not less fortunately situated, stood
a Carthusian convent, known in English history for having been the
head-quarters of George the Second, in the year 1743, soon after
the battle of Dettingen. The apartments, used by this monarch, were
preserved in the state, in which he left them, till a short time
before the late siege, when the whole building was demolished, so that
scarcely a trace of it now remains.

By our enquiries for a passage vessel we discovered the unpleasant
truth, that the dread of another invasion began now to be felt at
Mentz, where, a fortnight before, not a symptom of it was discernible.
Several of the inhabitants had hired boats to be in readiness for
transporting their effects to Franckfort, if the French should approach
much nearer to the Rhine; and our friends, when we mentioned the
circumstance, confessed, that they were preparing for a removal to
Saxony. The state of the arsenal had been lately enquired into, and
a deficiency, which was whispered to have been discovered in the
gunpowder, was imputed to the want of cordiality between the Austrians
and Prussians, of whom the latter, being uncertain that they should
stay in the place, had refused to replenish the stores, at their own
expence, and the former would not spare their ammunition, till the
departure of the Prussians should leave it to be guarded by themselves.
The communication with the other shore of the Rhine, by the bridge and
the fortifications of Cassel, secured, however, to a German garrison
the opportunity of receiving supplies, even if the French should occupy
all the western bank of the river.

VOYAGE down the RHINE.

The boats, to be hired at Mentz, are awkward imitations of the Dutch
trechtschuyts, or what, upon the Thames, would be called House-boats;
but, for the sake of being allowed to dispose of one as the varieties
of the voyage should seem to tempt, we gave four louis for the use of a
cabin, between Mentz and Cologne; the boatmen being permitted to take
passengers in the other part of the vessel. In this we embarked at six
o'clock, on a delightful morning in the latter end of July, and, as
we left the shore, had leisure to observe the city in a new point of
view, the most picturesque we had seen. Its principal features were the
high quays called the Rheinstrasse, the castellated palace, with its
gothic turrets, of pale red stone, the arsenal, the lofty ramparts,
far extended along the river, and the northern gate; the long bridge of
boats completed the fore-ground, and some forest hills the picture.

We soon passed the wooded island, called _Peters-au_, of so much
consequence, during the siege, for its command of the bridge; and,
approaching the mountains of the Rheingau to the north, the most
sublime in this horizon, saw their summits veiled in clouds, while the
sun soon melted the mists, that dimmed their lower sides, and brought
out their various colouring of wood, corn and soils. It was, however,
nearly two hours before the windings of the Rhine permitted us to
reach any of their bases. Meanwhile the river flowed through highly
cultivated plains, chiefly of corn, with villages thickly scattered on
its banks, in which are the country houses of the richer inhabitants of
Mentz, among pleasant orchards and vineyards. Those on the right bank
are in the dominions of the Prince of Nassau Usingen, who has a large
chateau in the midst of them, once tenanted, for a night, by George the
Second, and the Duke of Cumberland.

The Rhine is here, and for several leagues downward, of a very noble
breadth, perhaps wider than in any other part of its German course; and
its surface is animated by many islands covered with poplars and low
wood. The western shore, often fringed with pine and elms, is flat;
but the eastern begins to swell into hillocks near Wallauf, the last
village of Nassau Usingen, and once somewhat fortified.

Here the _Rheingau_, or the country of the vines, commences, and we
approached the northern mountains, which rise on the right in fine
sweeping undulations. These increased in dignity as we advanced, and
their summits then appeared to be darkened with heath and woods, which
form part of the extensive forest of _Landeswald_, or, _Woodland_.
Hitherto the scenery had been open and pleasant only, but now the
eastern shore began to be romantic, starting into heights, so abrupt,
that the vineyards almost overhung the river, and opening to forest
glens, among the mountains. Still, however, towns and villages
perpetually occurred, and the banks of the river were populous, though
not a vessel besides our own appeared upon it.

On the eastern margin are two small towns, Ober- and Nieder-Ingelheim,
which, in the midst of the dominions of Mentz, belong to the Elector
Palatine. On this shore also is made one of the celebrated wines of the
Rhine, called Markerbrunner, which ranks next to those of Johannesberg
and Hockheim. At no great distance on the same shore, but beneath a
bank somewhat more abrupt, is the former of these places, alienated
in the sixteenth century from the dominions of Mentz, to those of the
Abbot, now Prince Bishop of Fulde.

The wine of the neighbouring steeps is the highest priced of all the
numerous sorts of Rhenish; a bottle selling upon the spot, where it is
least likely to be pure, for three, four, or five shillings, according
to the vintages, the merits and distinctions of which are in the memory
of almost every German. That of 1786 was the most celebrated since
1779; but we continually heard that the heat of 1794 would render this
year equal in fame to any of the others.

Behind the village is the large and well-built abbey of Johannesberg,
rich with all this produce, for the security of which there are immense
cellars, cut in the rock below, said to be capable of containing
several thousand tons of wine. The abbey was founded in 1105; and
there is a long history of changes pertaining to it, till it came into
the possession of the Abbot of Fulde, who rebuilt it in its present
state. This part of the Rheingau is, indeed, thickly set with similar
edifices, having, in a short space, the nunnery of Marienthal, and the
monasteries of Nothgottes, Aulenhausen, and Eibingen.

Further on is the large modern chateau of Count Ostein, a nobleman of
great wealth, and, as it appears, of not less taste. Having disposed
all his nearer grounds in a style for the most part English, he has
had recourse to the ridge of precipices, that rise over the river,
for sublimity and grandeur of prospect. On the brink of these woody
heights, several pavilions have been erected, from the most conspicuous
of which Coblentz, it is said, may be distinguished, at the distance
of forty miles. The view must be astonishingly grand, for to the
south-east the eye overlooks all the fine country of the Rheingau to
Mentz; to the west, the course of the Moselle towards France; and, to
the north, the chaos of wild mountains, that screen the Rhine in its
progress to Coblentz.

So general was the alarm of invasion, that Count Ostein had already
withdrawn into the interior of Germany, and was endeavouring to dispose
of this charming residence, partly protected as it is by the river,
at the very disadvantageous price now paid for estates on the western
frontier of the Empire.

The vineyards, that succeed, are proofs of the industry and skill to
which the Germans are accustomed in this part of their labours, the
scanty soil being prevented from falling down the almost perpendicular
rocks, by walls that frequently require some new toil from the careful
farmer. Every addition, made to the mould, must be carried in baskets
up the steep paths, or rather stair-cases, cut in the solid rock.
At the time of the vintage, when these precipices are thronged
with people, and the sounds of merriment are echoed along them, the
spectacle must here be as striking and gay as can be painted by fancy.


About eleven o'clock, we reached Bingen, a town of which the antiquity
is so clear, that one of its gates is still called Drusithor, or, the
gate of Drusus. Its appearance, however, is neither rendered venerable
by age, or neat by novelty. The present buildings were all raised in
the distress and confusion produced in 1689, after Louis the Fourteenth
had blown up the fortifications, that endured a tedious siege in the
beginning of the century, and had destroyed the city, in which Drusus
is said to have died.

It has now the appearance, which we have often mentioned is
characteristic of most German towns, nearly every house being covered
with symptoms of decay and neglect, and the streets abandoned to a
few idle passengers. Yet Bingen has the advantage of standing at the
conflux of two rivers, the Nahe making there its junction with the
Rhine; and an antient German book mentions it as the central place of
an hundred villages, or chateaux, the inhabitants of which might come
to its market and return between sun-rise and sun-set.

Since the revolution in France, it has occasionally been much the
residence of emigrants; and, in a plain behind the town, which was
pointed out to us, the King of Prussia reviewed their army before the
entrance into France in 1792. A part of his speech was repeated to
us by a gentleman who bore a high commission in it; "Gentlemen, be
tranquil and happy; in a little time I shall conduct you to your homes
and your property."

Our companion, as he remembered the hopes excited by this speech,
was deeply affected; an emigrant officer, of whom, as well as of an
Ex-Nobleman of the same nation, with the latter of whom we parted here,
we must pause to say, that had the old system in France, oppressive as
it was, and injurious as Englishmen were once justly taught to believe
it, been universally administered by men of their mildness, integrity
and benevolence, it could not have been entirely overthrown by all the
theories, or all the eloquence in the world.

Soon after this review, the march commenced; the general effect of
which it is unnecessary to repeat. When the retreat was ordered, the
emigrant army, comprising seventy squadrons of cavalry, was declared by
the King of Prussia to be disbanded, and not any person was allowed
to retain an horse, or arms. No other purchasers were present but
the Prussians, and, in consequence of this order, the finest horses,
many of which had cost forty louis each, were now sold for four or
five, some even for one! It resulted accidentally, no doubt, from this
measure, that the Prussian army was thus reprovided with horses almost
as cheaply as if they had seized them from Dumourier.

Bingen was taken by the French in the latter end of the campaign of
1792, and was then nearly the northernmost of their posts on the Rhine.
It was regained by the Prussians in their advances to Mentz, at the
commencement of the next campaign, and has since occasionally served
them as a depôt of stores.

This town, seated on the low western margin, surrounded with its old
walls, and overtopped by its ruined castle, harmonizes well with the
gloomy grandeur near it; and here the aspect of the country changes
to a character awfully wild. The Rhine, after expanding to a great
breadth, at its conflux with the Nahe, suddenly contracts itself, and
winds with an abrupt and rapid sweep among the dark and tremendous
rocks, that close the perspective. Then, disappearing beyond them, it
leaves the imagination to paint the dangers of its course. Near the
entrance of this close pass, stands the town of Bingen, immediately
opposite to which appear the ruins of the castle of Ehrenfels, on a
cliff highly elevated above the water, broken, craggy and impending,
but with vines crawling in narrow crevices, and other rocks still
aspiring above it. On an island between these shores, is a third ruined
castle, very antient, and of which little more than one tower remains.
This is called Mausthurm, or, The Tower of the Rats, from a marvellous
tradition, that, in the tenth century, an Archbishop Statto was
devoured there by these animals, after many cruelties to the poor, whom
he called Rats, that eat the bread of the rich.


Ehrenfels is synonymous to Majestic, or Noble Rock; and Fels, which is
the present term for rock in all the northern counties of England, as
well as in Germany, is among several instances of exact similarity, as
there are many of resemblance, between the present British and German
languages. A German of the southern districts, meaning to enquire
what you would have, says, "_Was woll zu haben?_" and in the north
there is a sort of Patois, called _Plat Deutsche_, which brings the
words much nearer to our own. In both parts the accent, or rather
tone, is that, which prevails in Scotland and the adjoining counties
of England. To express a temperate approbation of what they hear, the
Germans say, "So--so;" pronouncing the words slowly and long; exactly
as our brethren of Scotland would. In a printed narrative of the siege
of Mentz there is this passage, "_Funfzehn hundert menschen, meistens
weiber und kinder ... wanderten mit dem bundel under dem arm uber
die brucke_;"--Fifteen hundred persons, mostly wives and children,
wandered, with their bundles under their arms, upon the bridge. So
permanent has been the influence over our language, which the Saxons
acquired by their establishment of more than five centuries amongst
us; exiling the antient British tongue to the mountains of Scotland
and Wales; and afterwards, when incorporated with this, resisting the
persecution of the Normans; rather improving than yielding under their
endeavours to extirpate it. The injuries of the Bishop of Winchester,
who, in Henry the Second's time, was deprived of his fee for being "_an
English ideot, that could not speak French_," one would fondly imagine
had the effect due to all persecutions, that of strengthening, not
subduing their objects.

After parting with some of the friends, who had accompanied us
from Mentz, and taking in provision for the voyage, our oars were
again plyed, and we approached Bingerloch, the commencement of that
tremendous pass of rocky mountains, which enclose the Rhine nearly as
far as Coblentz. Bingerloch is one of the most dangerous parts of the
river; that, being here at once impelled by the waters of the Nahe,
compressed by the projection of its boundaries, and irritated by hidden
rocks in its current, makes an abrupt descent, frequently rendered
further dangerous by whirlpools. Several German authors assert, that
a part of the Rhine here takes a channel beneath its general bed,
from which it does not issue, till it reaches St. Goar, a distance of
probably twenty miles. The force and rapidity of the stream, the aspect
of the dark disjointed cliffs, under which we passed, and the strength
of the wind, opposing our entrance among their chasms, and uniting
with the sounding force of the waters to baffle the dexterity of the
boatmen, who struggled hard to prevent the vessel from being whirled
round, were circumstances of the true sublime, inspiring terror in some
and admiration in a high degree.

Reviewing this now, in the leisure of recollection, these nervous lines
of Thomson appear to describe much of the scene:

        The rous'd up river pours along;
  Resistless, roaring, dreadful, down it comes
  From the rude mountain, and the mossy wild,
  Tumbling thro' rocks abrupt, and sounding far,
  ... ... ... ... again constrain'd
  Between two meeting hills, it bursts away,
  Where rocks and woods o'erhang the turbid stream;
  There gathering triple force, rapid, and deep,
  It boils, and wheels, and foams, and thunders through.

Having doubled the sharp promontory, that alters the course of the
river, we saw in perspective sometimes perpendicular rocks, and then
mountains dark with dwarf-woods, shooting their precipices over the
margin of the water; a boundary which, for many leagues, was not
broken, on either margin, except where, by some slight receding, the
rocks embosomed villages, lying on the edge of the river, and once
guarded them by the antient castles on their points. A stormy day,
with frequent showers, obscured the scenery, making it appear dreary,
without increasing its gloomy grandeur; but we had leisure to observe
every venerable ruin, that seemed to tell the religious, or military
history of the country. The first of these beyond Bingen, is the old
castle of Bauzberg, and, next, the church of St. Clement, built in
a place once greatly infested by robbers. There are then the modern
castle of Konigstein, in which the French were besieged in 1793,
and the remains of the old one, deserted for more than two hundred
years. Opposite to these is the village of Assmans, or Hasemanshausen,
celebrated for the flavour of its wines; and near them was formerly a
warm bath, supplied by a spring, now lost from its source to the Rhine,
notwithstanding many expensive searches to regain it. About a mile
farther, is the antient castle of Falkenburg, and below it the village
of Drechsen; then the ruins of an extensive chateau, called Sonneck,
beneath which the Rhine expands, and encircles two small islands, that
conclude the district of the Rheingau.

After passing the small town of Lorrich, on the eastern bank, the Rhine
is again straightened by rocky precipices, and rolls hastily past the
antient castle of Furstenberg, which gives its name to one of the
dearest wines of the Rhine.

We now reached Bacharach, a town on the left bank of the river, forming
part of the widely scattered dominions of the Elector Palatine, who has
attended to its prosperity by permitting the Calvinists and Lutherans
to establish their forms of worship there, under equal privileges with
the Roman Catholics.

It has a considerable commerce in Rhenish wine; and its toll-house,
near which all vessels are compelled to stop, adds considerably to the
revenues of the Palatinate. For the purpose of enforcing these, the
antient castle called Stahleck, founded in 1190, was probably built;
for Bacharach is the oldest town of the Palatinate, and has scarcely
any history between the period when it was annexed to that dominion and
the departure of the Romans, who are supposed to have given it the name
of _Bacchi ara_, and to have performed some ceremonies to that deity
upon a stone, said to be still concealed in the Rhine. In the year
1654, 1695, 1719, and 1750, when the river was remarkably low, this
stone is recorded to have been seen near the opposite island of Worth,
and the country people have given it the name of the _Aelterstein_. As
this extreme lowness of the waters never happens but in the hottest
years, the sight of the Aelterstein is earnestly desired, as the
symptom of a prosperous vintage. The river was unusually low when we
passed the island, but we looked in vain for this stone, which is
said to be so large, that five-and-twenty persons may stand upon its

Bacharach is in the list of places, ruined by Louis the Fourteenth in
1689. The whole town was then so carefully and methodically plundered
that the French commander, during the last night of his stay, had
nothing to sleep on but straw; and, the next day, this bedding was
employed in assisting to set fire to the town, which was presently
reduced to ashes.


About a mile lower is the island of Pfaltz, or Pfalzgrafenstein, a
place of such antient importance in the history of the Palatinate,
that it has given its name to the whole territory in Germany called
Pfaltz. It was probably the first residence of the Counts, the
peaceable possession of which was one means of attesting the right to
the Palatinate; for, as a sign of such possession, it was antiently
necessary, that the heir apparent should be born in a castle, which
still subsists in a repaired state upon it. This melancholy fortress
is now provided with a garrison of invalids, who are chiefly employed
in guarding state prisoners, and in giving notice to the neighbouring
toll-house of Kaub, of the approach of vessels on the Rhine. Being much
smaller than is suitable to the value placed upon it, it is secured
from surprise by having no entrance, except by a ladder, which is drawn
up at night.


Kaub, a Palatine town on the right bank of the river, is also
fortified, and claims a toll upon the Rhine, notwithstanding its
neighbourhood to Bacharach; an oppression, of which the expence is
almost the least inconvenience, for the toll-gatherers do not come to
the boats, but demand, that each should stop, while one at least of
the crew goes on shore, and tells the number of his passengers, who
are also sometimes required to appear. The officers do not even think
it necessary to wait at home for this information, and our boatmen
had frequently to search for them throughout the towns. So familiar,
however, is this injustice, that it never appeared to excite surprise,
or anger. The boatman dares not proceed till he has found and
satisfied the officers; nor has he any means of compelling them to be
punctual. Ours was astonished when we enquired, whether the merchants,
to whom such delays might be important, could not have redress for

The stay we made at Kaub enabled us, however, to perceive that fine
slate made a considerable part of its traffic.

The Rhine, at Bacharach and Kaub, is of great breadth; and the dark
mountains, that ascend from its margin, form a grand vista, with
antient chateaux still appearing on the heights, and frequent villages
edging the stream, or studded among the cliffs.

Though the district of the Rheingau, the vines of which are the most
celebrated, terminated some miles past, the vineyards are scarcely
less abundant here, covering the lower rocks of the mountains, and
creeping along the fractures of their upper crags. These, however,
sometimes exhibit huge projecting masses and walls of granite, so
entire and perpendicular, that not an handful of soil can lodge for the
nourishment of any plant. They lie in vast oblique strata; and, as in
the valley of Andernach, the angles of the promontories on one shore of
the river frequently correspond with the recesses on the other.


Is another town, supported by the manufacture and trade of wines, which
are, however, here shared by too many places to bestow much wealth
singly upon any. Wine is also so important a production, that all the
Germans have some degree of connoisseurship in it, and can distinguish
its quantities and value so readily, that the advantage of dealing
in it cannot be great, except to those, who supply foreign countries.
The merits of the different vineyards form a frequent topic of
conversation, and almost every person has his own scale of their rank;
running over with familiar fluency the uncouth names of Johannesberg,
Ammanshausen, Hauptberg, Fuldische Schossberg, Rudesheim, Hockheim,
Rodtland, Hinterhauser, Markerbrunner, Grafenberg, Laubenheim,
Bischeim, Nierstein, Harscheim and Kapellgarren; all celebrated
vineyards in the Rheingau. The growth and manufacture of these wines
are treated of in many books, from one of which we translate an
account, that seems to be the most comprehensive and simple.


The strongest and, as they are termed, fullest-bodied wines, those,
of course, which are best for keeping, are produced upon mountains
of a cold and strong soil; the most brisk and spirited on a warm and
gravelly situation. Those produced near the middle of an ascent are
esteemed the most wholesome, the soil being there sufficiently watered,
without becoming too moist; and, on this account, the vineyards
of Hockheim are more esteemed than some, whose produce is better
flavoured; on the contrary, those at the feet of hills are thought so
unwholesome, on account of their extreme humidity, that the wine is
directed to be kept for several years, before it is brought to table.
The finest flavour is communicated by soils either argillaceous, or
marly. Of this sort is a mountain near Bacharach, the wines of which
are said to have a Muscadine flavour and to be so highly valued, that
an Emperor, in the fourteenth century, demanded four large barrels of
them, instead of 10,000 florins, which the city of Nuremberg would have
paid for its privileges.

A vineyard, newly manured, produces a strong, spirited and well
flavoured, but usually an unwholesome wine; because the manure contains
a corrosive salt and a fat sulphur, which, being dissolved, pass with
the juices of the earth into the vines. A manure, consisting of street
mud, old earth, the ruins of houses well broken, and whatever has been
much exposed to the elements, is, however, laid on, once in five or six
years, between the vintage and winter.

The sorts of vines, cultivated in the _Rheingau_, are the low ones,
called the _Reistinge_, which are the most common and ripen the first;
those of _Klebroth_, or red Burgundy, the wine of which is nearly
purple; of Orleans and of Lambert; and lastly the tall vine, raised
against houses, or supported by bowers in gardens. The wines of the two
first classes are wholesome; those of the latter are reputed dangerous,
or, at least, unfit to be preserved.

The vintagers do not pluck the branches by hand, but carefully cut
them, that the grapes may not fall off; in the Rheingau and about
Worms the cultivators afterwards bruise them with clubs, but those
of Franckfort with their feet; after which the grapes are carried to
the press, and the wine flows from them by wooden pipes into barrels
in the cellar. That, which flows upon the first pressure, is the most
delicately flavoured, but the weakest; the next is strongest and most
brisk; the third is sour; but the mixture of all forms a good wine. The
skins are sometimes pressed a fourth time, and a bad brandy is obtained
from the fermented juice; lastly, in the scarcity of pasturage in this
part of Germany, they are given for food to oxen, but not to cows,
their heat being destructive of milk.

To these particulars it may be useful to add, that one of the surest
proofs of the purity of Rhenish is the quick rising and disappearance
of the froth, on pouring it into a glass: when the beads are formed
slowly and remain long, the wine is mixed and factitious.


The account of which has been interrupted by this digression, is the
first town of the Electorate of Treves, on this side, to which it has
belonged since 1312, when its freedom as an imperial city, granted by
the Emperor, Frederic the Second, was perfidiously seized by Henry the
Seventh, and the town given to him by his brother Baldwin, the then
Elector. The new Sovereign enriched it with a fine collegiate church,
which still dignifies the shore of the river. If he used any other
endeavours to make the prosperity of the place survive its liberties,
they appear to have failed; for Oberwesel now resembles the other
towns of the Electorate, except that the great number of towers and
steeples tell what it was before its declension into that territory.
The Town-house, rendered unnecessary by the power of Baldwin, does not
exist to insult the inhabitants with the memory of its former use; but
is in ruins, and thus serves for an emblem of the effects, produced by
the change.

Between Oberwesel and St. Goar, the river is of extraordinary breadth,
and the majestic mountains are covered with forests, which leave space
for little more than a road between their feet and the water. A group
of peasants, with baskets on their heads, appeared now and then along
the winding path, and their diminutive figures, as they passed under
the cliffs, seemed to make the heights shew more tremendous. When they
disappeared for a moment in the copses, their voices, echoing with
several repetitions among the rocks, were heard at intervals, and with
good effect, as our oars were suspended.

Soon after passing the island of Sand, we had a perspective view of
St. Goar, of the strong fortress of Rhinfels, on the rocks beyond,
and of the small fortified town of Goarhausen, on the opposite bank.
The mountains now become still more stupendous, and many rivulets, or
_becks_, which latter is a German, as well as an English term, descend
from them into the river, on either hand, some of which, in a season
less dry than the present, roar with angry torrents. But the extreme
violence, with which the Rhine passes in this district, left us less
leisure than in others to observe its scenery.


We soon reached St. Goar, lying at the feet of rocks on the western
shore, with its ramparts and fortifications spreading far along the
water, and mounting in several lines among the surrounding cliffs, so
as to have a very striking and romantic appearance. The Rhine no where,
perhaps, presents grander objects either of nature, or of art, than
in the northern perspective from St. Goar. There, expanding with a
bold sweep, the river exhibits, at one coup d'œil, on its mountainous
shores, six fortresses or towns, many of them placed in the most wild
and tremendous situations; their antient and gloomy structures giving
ideas of the sullen tyranny of former times. The height and fantastic
shapes of the rocks, upon which they are perched, or by which they are
overhung, and the width and rapidity of the river, that, unchanged by
the vicissitudes of ages and the contentions on its shores, has rolled
at their feet, while generations, that made its mountains roar, have
passed away into the silence of eternity,--these were objects, which,
combined, formed one of the sublimest scenes we had viewed.

The chief of the fortresses is that of Rhinfels, impending over St.
Goar, on the west shore, its high round tower rising above massy
buildings, that crown two rocks, of such enormous bulk and threatening
power, that, as we glided under them, it was necessary to remember
their fixed foundations, to soften the awe they inspired. Other
fortifications extend down the precipices, and margin the river, at
their base. Further on in the perspective, and where the east bank of
the Rhine makes its boldest sweep, is the very striking and singular
castle of Platz, a cluster of towers, overtopped by one of immense
height, that, perched upon the summit of a pyramidal rock, seems ready
to precipitate itself into the water below. Wherever the cliffs beneath
will admit of a footing, the sharp angles of fortifications appear.

On another rock, still further in the perspective, is the castle of
Thumberg, and, at its foot, on the edge of the water, the walled tower
of Welmick. Here the Rhine winds from the eye among heights, that close
the scene.

Nearly opposite to St. Goar, is Goarshausen, behind which the rocks
rise so suddenly, as scarcely to leave space for the town to lie
between them and the river. A flying bridge maintains a communication
between the two places, which, as well as the fortress of Rhinfels, are
under the dominion of the Prince of Hesse Cassel.

The number of fortresses here, over which Rhinfels is in every respect
paramount, seem to be the less necessary, because the river itself,
suddenly swoln by many streams and vexed by hidden rocks, is a sort
of natural fortification to both shores, a very little resistance
from either of which must render it impassable. Whether the water
has a subterraneous passage from Bingen hither or not,--there are
occasionally agitations in this part, which confound the skill of
naturalists; and the river is universally allowed to have a fall. Near
St. Goar, a sudden gust of wind, assisted by the current, rendered our
boat so unmanageable, that, in spite of its heaviness and of all the
efforts of the watermen, it was whirled round, and nearly forced upon
the opposite bank to that, on which they would have directed it.

St. Goar is a place of great antiquity. A dispute about the etymology
of its name is remarkable for the ludicrous contrariety of the two
opinions. One author maintains, that it is derived from an hermit
named Goar, who, in the sixth century, built a small chapel here.
Another supposes that Gewerb, the name of a neighbouring fall in the
Rhine, has been corrupted to Gewer, and thence to Goar; after which,
considering that there is an island called _Sand_ in the river, and
that a great quantity of that material is hereabouts thrown up, he
finds the two words combine very satisfactorily into a likeness of the
present denomination. The former opinion is, however, promoted by this
circumstance, which the advocates of the latter may complain of as a
partiality, that a statue of St. Goar is actually to be seen in the
great church, founded in 1440; and that, notwithstanding the robberies
and violences committed in the church by a Spanish army, the following
inscription is still entire:

  OBIIT 611.

St. Goar is one of the largest places we had yet passed, and has a
considerable share of the commerce carried on by the Rhine. Having
in time of war a numerous garrison, and being a little resorted to
on account of its romantic situation, it has an air of somewhat more
animation than might be expected, mingling with the gloom of its walls,
and the appearance of decay, which it has in common with other German
towns. We were here required to pay the fifth toll from Mentz, and
were visited by a Hessian serjeant, who demanded, that our names and
condition should be written in his book. These being given, not in the
Saxon, but the Roman character, he returned to require another edition
of them in German; so that his officer was probably unable to read any
other language, or characters. This being complied with, it seemed,
that the noble garrison of St. Goar had no further fears concerning us,
and we were not troubled by more of the precautions used,

  "Lest foul invasion in disguise approach."

The fortress of Rhinfels, which commands St. Goar, is frequently
mentioned in the histories of German wars. In the year 1255 it endured
forty assaults of an army, combined from sixty towns on the Rhine. In
1692, the French General Tallard besieged it in vain, retreating with
the loss of four thousand men, and nearly two hundred officers; but,
in 1758, the Marquis de Castries surprised it with so much ingenuity
and vigour, that not a life was lost, and it remained in possession of
the French till 1763, when it was restored by the treaty of peace.


We next reached the dismal old town of Boppart, once an imperial city,
still surrounded with venerable walls, and dignified by the fine
Benedictine nunnery and abbey of Marienberg, perched upon a mountain
above; an institution founded in the eleventh century, for the benefit
of noble families only, and enriched by the donations of several
Emperors and Electors. Boppart, like many other towns, is built on
the margin of the Rhine, whence it spreads up the rocks, that almost
impend over the water, on which the clustered houses are scarcely
distinguishable from the cliffs themselves. Besides the Benedictine
abbey, here is a convent of Carmelites, and another of Franciscans; and
the spot is such as suited well the superstition of former times, for

  --"O'er the twilight groves, and dusky caves,
  Long-sounding aisles, and intermingled graves,
  Black Melancholy sits, and round her throws
  A death-like silence, and a dread repose;
  Her gloomy presence saddens all the scene,
  Shades every flower, and darkens every green,
  Deepens the murmur of the sailing floods,
  And breathes a browner horror o'er the woods."

The river, expanding into a vast bay, seems nearly surrounded by
mountains, that assume all shapes, as they aspire above each other;
shooting into cliffs of naked rock, which impend over the water, or,
covered with forests, retiring in multiplied steeps into regions
whither fancy only can follow. At their base, a few miserable cabins,
and half-famished vineyards, are all, that diversify the savageness of
the scene. Here two Capuchins, belonging probably to the convent above,
as they walked along the shore, beneath the dark cliffs of Boppart,
wrapt in the long black drapery of their order, and their heads
shrowded in cowls, that half concealed their faces, were interesting
figures in a picture, always gloomily sublime.


Passing the town of Braubach and the majestic castle of Marksberg,
which we had long observed, above the windings of the stream, on a
steep mountain, we came to Rense, a small town, remarkable only for its
neighbourhood to a spot, on which the elections of kings of the Romans,
or, at least, the meetings preliminary to them, are believed to have
antiently taken place. This is distinguished at present by the remains
of a low octagonal building, open at top, and accessible beneath by
eight arches, in one of which is a flight of steps. Within, is a stone
bench, supposed to be formed for the Electors, who might ascend to it
by these steps. In the centre of the pavement below is a thick pillar,
the use of which, whether as a tribune for the new king, or as a table
for receiving the attestations of the electors, is not exactly known.
That the building itself, now called Koningstuhl, or King's Throne,
was used for some purposes of election, appears from several German
historians, who mention meetings there in the fourteenth and fifteenth
centuries, and impute them to antient customs.


Nearly opposite to _Rense_ is the small town of _Oberlahnstein_,
which belongs to the Elector of Mentz, though separated from his
other dominions by those of several Princes. To such intersections
of one territory with another the individual weakness of the German
Princes is partly owing; while their collected body has not only
necessarily the infirmities of each of its members, but is enfeebled
by the counteraction arising from an arrangement, which brings persons
together to decide a question, according to a common interest, who are
always likely to have an individual one of more importance to each than
his share in the general concern.

The banks of the Rhine afford many instances of this disjunction of
territory. The Elector of Cologne has a town to the southward of nearly
all the dominions of Treves; the Elector Palatine, whose possessions
on the east bank of the Rhine are intersected by those of five or six
other Princes, crosses the river to occupy some towns between the
Electorates of Mentz and Treves; the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel does
the same to his fortress of Rhinfels; and the Elector of Mentz, in
return, has a strip of land and his chief country residence, between
the dominions of the two houses of Hesse.

That this intermixture of territory exists, without producing domestic
violences, is, however, obviously a proof, that the present state
of the Germanic body, weak as it may be, with respect to foreign
interests, is well formed for the preservation of interior peace.
The aggrandizement of the Houses of Austria and Prussia, which has
been supposed dangerous to the constitution of the Empire, tends
considerably to secure its domestic tranquillity, though it diminishes
the independence of the lesser Sovereigns; for the interests of the
latter are known to be ranged on one, or the other side; and, as the
House, to which each is attached, is likely to interfere, upon any
aggression against them, the weaker Princes are with-held from contests
among themselves, which would be accompanied by wars, so very extensive
and so disproportionate to their causes.

Nor is the Chamber of Wetzlaar, or the Court for deciding the causes
of Princes, as well as all questions relative to the constitution, to
be considered as a nullity. The appointment of the Judges by the free
but secret votes of all Princes, subject to their decrees, is alone
wanting to make its purity equal to its power. In minute questions,
the chief Princes readily receive its decision, instead of that of
arms, which, without it, might sometimes be adopted; and the other
Sovereigns may be compelled to obey it, the Chamber being authorised
to command any Prince to enforce its decrees by his army, and to
take payment of the expences out of the dominions of his refractory
neighbour. An instance of such a command, and of its being virtually
effectual, notwithstanding the ridicule, with which it was treated,
occurred, during the reign of the late Frederic of Prussia; the story
is variously told, but the following account was confirmed to us by an
Advocate of the Chamber of Wetzlaar.

The Landgrave of Hesse Cassel had disobeyed several injunctions of
the Chamber, relative to a question, which had been constitutionally
submitted to them. At length, the Judges had recourse to their power
of calling out what is called the _Armée Exécutrice de l'Empire_,
consisting of so many troops of any Prince, not a party in the cause,
as may be sufficient for enforcing submission. The Sovereign of Hesse
Cassel was not to be conquered by any of his immediate neighbours,
and they were induced to direct their order to the King of Prussia,
notwithstanding the probability, that so unjust a monarch would shew
some resentment of their controul.

Frederic consented to the propriety of supporting the Chamber, but did
not choose to involve himself with the Landgrave, on their account. He,
therefore, sent him a copy of their order, accompanied by a letter,
which, in his own style of courteous pleasantry, yet with a sufficient
shew of some further intentions, admonished him to obey them. The
Landgrave assured him of his readiness to conform, and the two Princes
had privately settled the matter, when the King of Prussia resolved
to obey and to ridicule the Chamber of Wetzlaar. He sent, by a public
diligence, a serjeant of foot, who, at the first Hessian garrison,
delivered a paper to the captain of the guard, declaring himself to
be the commander of the _Armée Exécutrice_, set on foot by order of
the Chamber; and the army consisted of two corporals, who waited at
the door! The Judges of Wetzlaar did not shew, that they knew the
disrespect, and were contented that the King of Prussia had reduced the
Landgrave of Hesse Cassel to obedience.

To this Court subjects may make appeals from the orders of their
immediate sovereigns, when the question can be shewn to have any
general, or constitutional tendency. Such a cause we heard of in
Germany, and it seemed likely to place the Chamber in somewhat a
delicate situation. The Elector of Treves had banished a magistrate,
for having addressed himself to Custine, during the invasion of the
French, in 1792, and requested to know whether he might remain on a
part of his property, near their posts, and perform the duties of his
office, as usual. The magistrate appealed to Wetzlaar; admitted the
facts charged; and set forth, that, in this part of his conduct, he had
exactly followed the example of the Chamber itself, who, though at a
greater distance, had made a similar application.

       *       *       *       *       *

Soon after leaving Oberlahnstein, we passed the mouth of the Lahn, a
small river, which descends from the mountains of Wetteravia on the
right, and washes silver and lead mines in its course. It issues from
one of those narrow and gloomy forest-glens, which had continually
occurred on the eastern bank since we left Boppart, and which were once
terrible for more than their aspect, having been the haunt of robbers,
of whose crimes some testimonies still remain in the tombs of murdered
travellers near the shore. In the ruins of castles and abandoned
fortresses within the recesses of these wild mountains, such banditti
took up their abode; and these are not fancied personages, for, in
the year 1273, an Elector of Mentz destroyed the deserted fortress of
Rheinberg, because it had been a rendezvous for them.

Towards sun-set, the rain, which had fallen at intervals during the
day, ceased; a fiery flush from the west was reflected on the water,
and partially coloured the rocks. Sometimes, an oblique gleam glanced
among these glens, touching their upper cliffs, but leaving their
depths, with the rivulets, that roared there, in darkness. As the boat
glided by, we could now and then discover on the heights a convent, or
a chateau, lighted up by the rays, and which, like the pictures in a
magic lanthorn, appeared and vanished in a moment, as we passed on the

But the shores soon begin to wear a milder aspect; the mountains of
the western bank soften into gradual heights; and vineyards, which had
disappeared near Boppart, again climb along them. The eastern shore
is more abrupt, still bearing on its points some antient buildings,
till, opposite to Coblentz, it shoots up into that enormous mass, which
sustains the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein.

Having passed a Benedictine convent, seated on the island of
Oberworth, we reached Coblentz as the moon began to tint the rugged
Ehrenbreitstein, whose towers and pointed angles caught the light. Part
of the rock below, shaded by projecting cliffs, was dark and awful, but
the Rhine, expanding at its feet, trembled with radiance. There the
flying-bridge, and its sweeping line of boats, were just discernible.
On the left, the quay of Coblentz extended, high and broad, crowned
with handsome buildings; with tall vessels lying along its base.


We were now somewhat more pleasantly lodged than before, at an inn
near the Rhine, almost opposite to the fortress, the importance of
which had, in the mean time, greatly increased by the approach of the
French armies. The strength of it was somewhat a popular topic. Being
considered as one of the keys of Germany towards France, the Governor
takes the oaths not only to the Elector of Treves, but to the Emperor
and the Empire. As it can be attacked but on one side, and that is
not towards the Rhine, a blockade is more expected than a siege; and
there are storehouses in the rock for preserving a great quantity of
provisions. The supply of water has been provided for so long since
as the fifteenth century, when three years were passed in digging,
with incredible labour, a well through the solid rock. An inscription
on a part of the castle mentions this work, and that the rock was
hewn to the depth of two hundred and eighty feet. The possession of
the fortress was confirmed to the Elector of Treves by the treaty of
Westphalia in 1650.

In the morning, our boatmen crossed the river from Coblentz, to pass
under the walls of Ehrenbreitstein, perhaps an established symptom
of submission. The river is still of noble breadth, and, after the
junction with the Moselle, which immediately fronts the old palace,
flows with great, but even rapidity. Its shores are now less romantic,
and more open; spreading on the left into the plains of Coblentz, and
swelling on the right into retiring mountains.


But our attention was withdrawn from the view, and our party in the
cabin this day increased, by a circumstance, that occurred to our
emigrant friend. Having found a large sabre, which he thought was of
French manufacture, he was enquiring for the owner, when it was claimed
by a gentleman, whom he recognised to be an old friend, but with whose
escape from France he was unacquainted; so that he had supposed, from
his rank, he must have fallen there. The meeting, on both sides, was
very affecting, and they shed some tears, and embraced again and again,
with all the ardour of Frenchmen, before the stranger was introduced to
us, after which we had the pleasure of his company as far as Cologne.

This gentleman, a Lieutenant-Colonel before the Revolution, had made
his escape from France so lately as May last, and his conversation
of course turned upon his late condition. There were in most towns
many persons who, like himself, were obnoxious for their principles,
yet, being unsuspected of active designs, and unreached by the private
malice of Roberspierre's agents, were suffered to exist out of prison.
They generally endeavoured to lodge in the houses of persons favourable
to the Revolution; went to no public places; never visited each other;
and, when they met in the street, passed with an hasty or concealed
salutation. Their apartments were frequently searched; and those,
who had houses, took care to have their cellars frequently dug for

With respect to the prospect of any political change, they had little
hopes, and still less of being able, by remaining in France, to give
assistance to the Combined Powers. They expected nothing but some
chance of escape, which in general they would not attempt, without
many probabilities in their favour, knowing the sure consequences of
being discovered. It was impossible for them to pass by the common
roads, being exposed to examination at every town, and by every patrol;
but, in the day-time, they might venture upon tracts through forests,
and, at night, upon cultivated ground; a sort of journey, to which
they were tempted by the successes of others in it, but which could
not be performed, without experienced guides. It will be heard with
astonishment, that, notwithstanding the many difficulties and dangers
of such an employment, there were persons, who obtained a living
by conducting others to the frontiers, without passing any town,
village, or military post; who, having delivered one person, returned,
with his recommendation, to another, and an offer to escort him for
a certain sum. Our companion had waited several months for a guide,
the person, whom he chose to trust, being under prior engagements,
in all of which he was successful. They set out, each laden with his
share of provisions, in the dress of peasants; and, without any other
accident than that of being once so near the patrols as to hear their
conversation, arrived in the Electorate of Treves, from whence this
gentleman had been to Rastadt, for the purpose of presenting himself to
M. de Condé.

It was remarkable, that some of these guides did not share the
principles of those, whom they conducted; yet they were faithful to
their engagements, and seemed to gratify their humanity, as much as
they served their interests. Considering the many contrivances, which
are behind almost every political transaction, it seems not improbable,
that these men were secretly encouraged by some of the rulers, who
wished to be disencumbered from their enemies, without the guilt of a
massacre, or the unpopularity of appearing to assist them.

The attachment to the new principles seemed to be increased, when any
circumstances either of signal disadvantage, or success, occurred
in the course of a campaign. The disasters of an army, it was said,
attracted sympathy; their victories aroused pride. Such a change of
manners and of the course of education had taken place, that the
rising generation were all _enragées_ in favour of the Revolution;
of which the following was a remarkable instance: Two young ladies,
the daughters of a baron, who had remained passively in the country,
without promoting, or resisting the Revolution, were then engaged in
a law-suit with their father, by which they demanded a maintenance,
separate from him, "he being either an Aristocrat, or a Neutralist,
with whom they did not choose to reside." They did not pretend to any
other complaint, and, it was positively believed, had no other motive.
Yet these ladies had been previously educated with the nicest care,
by the most accomplished instructors, and, in fact, with more expence
than was suitable to their father's income, having been intended for
places at the Court. The children of the poorer classes were equally
changed by education, and those of both sexes were proficients in all
the Revolutionary songs and catechisms.

This conversation passed while we were floating through the vale of
Ehrenbreitstein, where the river, bending round the plains of Coblentz,
flows through open and richly cultivated banks, till it enters the
valley of Andernach, where it is again enclosed among romantic rocks.
The places, washed by it in its passage thither, are the villages of
Neuralf, Warschheim, Nerenberg, Malter, the old castle of Malterberg,
the village of Engus, the fine electoral palace of Schonbornust, the
neat town and palace of Neuwied, and the chateau of Friedrichstein,
called by the country people the Devil's Castle, from that love of the
wonderful, which has taught them to people it with apparitions.


Was now the head-quarters of a legion raised by the Prince of Salm, for
the pay of Great Britain; and a scarlet uniform, somewhat resembling
the English, was frequent on the quay. We heard of several such _corps_
in Germany, and of the facility with which they are raised, the English
pay being as eight-pence to two-pence better than those of Austria and
Prussia. Recruits receive from one to two crowns bounty: whether it
is equally true, that the officers are, notwithstanding, allowed ten
pounds for each, we cannot positively assert; but this was said within
the hearing of several at Cologne, and was not contradicted. _La solde
d'Angleterre_ is extremely popular in Germany; and the great wealth of
the English nation begins to be very familiarly known.


Was occupied by Imperial troops; and, as we entered the gorge of its
rocky pass, it was curious to observe the appearances of modern mixed
with those of antient warfare; the soldiers of Francis the Second lying
at the foot of the tower of Drusus; their artillery and baggage waggons
lining the shore along the whole extent of the walls.

In this neighbourhood are three celebrated mineral springs, of which
one rises in the domain of the Carmelite monastery of Jonniesstein;
the second, called Ponterbrunnen, is so brisk and spirited, that the
labourers in the neighbouring fields declare it a remedy for fatigue as
well as thirst; and a third, called Heilbrunnen, has so much fixed air,
as to effervesce slightly when mixed with wine.

The interesting valley of Andernach has been already described. Its
scenery, viewed now from the water, was neither so beautiful, or
so striking, as from the road, by which we had before passed. The
elevation of the latter, though not great, enabled the eye to take a
wider range, and to see mountains, now screened by the nearer rocks of
the shore, which added greatly to the grandeur of the scene. The river
itself was then also a noble object, either expanding below, or winding
in the distance; but, now that we were upon its level, its appearance
lost much both in dignity and extent, and even the rocks on its margin
seemed less tremendous, when viewed from below. Something, however,
should be allowed in this last respect to our having just quitted
wilder landscapes; for, though the banks of the Rhine, in its course
from Bingen to Coblentz, are less various and beautiful, than in its
passage between Andernach and Bonn, they are more grand and sublime.

But the merits of the different situations for the view of river
scenery have been noticed and contended for by the three persons most
authorised by their taste to decide upon them; of whom GRAY has left
all his enthusiasm, and nearly all his sublimity, to his two surviving
friends; so that this opinion is to be understood only with respect
to the scenery of the Rhine, and does not presume to mingle with the
general question between them. The Rhine now passes by the village and
castle of Hammerstein, which, with those of Rheineck, were nearly laid
waste by Louis the Fourteenth, the castle of Argendorff and the towns
of Lintz and Rheinmagen, all exhibiting symptoms of decay, though Lintz
is called a commercial town.

ROLAND's Castle appears soon after, and, almost beneath it, the island,
that bears Adelaide's convent, called Rolands Werth, or the Worth of

We were now again at the base of the Seven Mountains, whose summits had
long aspired in the distance, and, as we passed under the cliffs of
Drakenfels, hailed the delightful plain of Goodesberg, though much of
it was concealed by the high sedgy bank of the Rhine on the left. The
spreading skirts of these favourite mountains accompanied us nearly to
Bonn, and displayed all their various charms of form and colouring in
this our farewell view of them.

The town and palace of Bonn extend with much dignity along the western
bank, where the Rhine makes a very bold sweep; one wing of the former
overlooking the shore, and the want of uniformity in the front, which
is seen obliquely, being concealed by the garden groves; the many tall
spires of the great church rise over the roof of the palace, and appear
to belong to the building.

After leaving Bonn, the shores have little that is interesting,
unless in the retrospect of the Seven Mountains, with rich woodlands
undulating at their feet; and when these, at length, disappear, the
Rhine loses for the rest of its course the wild and sublime character,
which distinguishes it between Bingen and Bonn. The rich plain, which
it waters between the latter place and Cologne, is studded, at every
gentle ascent, that bounds it, with abbeys and convents, most of them
appropriated to the maintenance of noble Chapters.

Of these, the first is the Ladies Chapter of Vilich, founded in the
year 1190, by Megiegor, a Count and Prince of Guelderland, who endowed
it richly, and made his own daughter the first abbess; a lady, who had
such excellent, notions of discipline, that, when any nuns neglected
to sing in the choir, she thought a heavy blow on the cheek the best
means of restoring their voices. This Chapter is one of the richest in
Germany, and is peculiarly valuable to the nobility of this Electorate
from its neighbourhood to Bonn, where many of the ladies pass great
part of the year with their families. On the other side of the river
is the Benedictine abbey of Siegberg, appropriated also to nobles,
and lying in the midst of its own domains, of which a small town, at
the foot of its vineyards, is part. Admission into this society is
an affair of the most strict and ceremonious proof, as to the sixteen
quarterings in the arms of the candidate, each of which must be
unblemished by any plebeian symptoms. Accompanied by his genealogy,
these quarterings are exposed to view for six weeks and three days,
before the election; and, as there is an ample income to be contended
for, the candidates do not hesitate to impeach each others' claims by
every means in their power. The prelate of this abbey writes himself
Count of Guls, Strahlen and Neiderpleis, and has six provostships
within his jurisdiction.

Besides this, and similar buildings, the Rhine passes not less than
twenty villages in its course from Bonn to Cologne, a distance of
probably five-and-twenty English miles.


Now began to experience the inconveniences of its neighbourhood to
the seat of war, some of which had appeared at Bonn from the arrival
of families, who could not be lodged in the former place. We were no
sooner within the gates, than the throng of people and carriages in a
city, which only a few weeks before was almost as silent as gloomy,
convinced us we should not find a very easy welcome. The sentinels,
when they made the usual enquiry as to our inn, assured us, that there
had been no lodgings at the Hotel de Prague for several days, and one
of them followed us, to see what others we should find. Through many
obstructions by military and other carriages, we, however, reached
this inn, and were soon convinced that there could be no room, the
landlord shewing us the chaises in which some of his guests slept, and
his billiard table already loaden with beds for others. There was so
much confusion meanwhile in the adjoining square, that, upon a slight
assurance, we could have believed the French to be within a few miles
of the city, and have taken refuge on the opposite bank of the Rhine.

At length, our host told us, that what he believed to be the worst
room in the place was still vacant, but might not be so half an hour
longer. We followed his man to it, in a distant part of the city, and
saw enough in our way of parties taking refreshment in carriages, and
gentlemen carrying their own baggage, to make us contented with a
viler cabin than any person can have an idea of, who has not been
out of England. The next morning we heard from the mistress of it
how fortunately we had been situated, two or three families having
passed the night in the open market-place, and great numbers in their

The occasion of this excessive pressure upon Cologne was the entry
of the French into Brussels, their advances towards Liege, and the
immediate prospect of the siege of Maestricht, all which had dispeopled
an immense tract of territory of its wealthier inhabitants, and
driven them, together with the French emigrants, upon the confines of
Holland and Germany. The Austrian hospitals having been removed from
Maestricht, five hundred waggons, laden with sick and wounded, had
passed through Cologne the day before. The carriages on the roads from
Maestricht and Liege were almost as close as in a procession, and at
_Aix la Chapelle_, where these roads meet, there was an obstruction for
some hours. While we were at Cologne, another detachment of hospital
waggons arrived, some hundreds of which we had the misfortune to see,
for they passed before our window. They were all uncovered, so that
the emaciated figures and ghastly countenances of the soldiers, laid
out upon straw in each, were exposed to the rays of a burning sun, as
well as to the fruitless pity of passengers; and, as the carriages had
no springs, it seemed as if these half-sacrificed victims to war would
expire before they could be drawn over the rugged pavement of Cologne.
Any person, who had once witnessed such a sight, would know how to
estimate the glories of war, even though there should be a mercenary
at every corner to insult his unavoidable feelings and the eternal
sacredness of peace, with the slander of disaffection to his country.

We had some thoughts of resuming our course by land from this place,
but were now convinced, that it was impracticable, seeing the number
of post-horses, which were engaged, and judging of the crowds of
travellers, that must fill the inns on the road. Our watermen from
Mentz were, however, not allowed to proceed lower, so that we had to
comply with the extortions of others, and to give nine louis for a boat
from Cologne to Nimeguen. Having, not without some difficulty, obtained
this, and stored it with provisions, we again embarked on the Rhine,
rejoicing that we were not, for a second night, to make part of the
crowd on shore.

Cologne, viewed from the river, appears with more of antient majesty
than from any other point. Its quays, extending far along the bank,
its lofty ramparts, shaded with old chesnuts, and crowned by many massy
towers, black with age; the old gateways opening to the Rhine, and the
crowd of steeples, overtopping all, give it a venerable and picturesque
character. But, however thronged the city now was, the shore without
was silent and almost deserted; the sentinels, watching at the gates
and looking out from the ramparts, or a few women gliding beneath,
wrapt in the nun-like scarf, so melancholy in its appearance and so
generally worn at Cologne, were nearly the only persons seen.

The shores, though here flat, when compared with those to the
southward, are high enough to obstruct the view of the distant
mountains, that rise in the east; in the south, the wild summits of
those near Bonn were yet visible, but, after this faint glimpse, we saw
them no more.

About two miles below Cologne, the west bank of the Rhine was covered
with hospital waggons and with troops, removed from them, for the
purpose of crossing the river, to a mansion, converted by the Elector
into an hospital. About a mile lower, but on the opposite bank, is
Muhleim, a small town in the dominions of the Elector Palatine, which,
in the beginning of the present century, was likely to become a rival
of Cologne. A persecution of the Protestant merchants of the latter
place drove them to Muhleim, where they erected a staple, and began to
trade with many advantages over the mother city; but the pusillanimity
of the Elector Palatine permitted them to sink under the jealousy of
the Colonese merchants; their engines for removing heavy goods from
vessels to the shore were ordered to be demolished; and the commerce of
the place has since consisted chiefly in the exportation of grain.

The shores are now less enlivened by villages than in the _Rheingau_
and other districts to the southward, where the cultivation and produce
of the vineyards afford, at least, so much employment, that six or
seven little towns, each clustered round its church, are frequently
visible at once. The course of the river being also wider and less
rapid, the succession of objects is slower, and the eye is often
wearied with the uniform lowness of the nearer country, where the
antient castle and the perched abbey, so frequent in the Rheingau,
seldom appear. Corn lands, with a slight intermixture of wood, border
the river from hence to Dusseldorff, and the stream flows, with
an even force, through long reaches, scarcely distinguished from
each other by any variety of the country, or intervention of towns.
Those, which do occur, are called Stammel, Niel, Flietert, Merkenich,
Westdorff, Langelt, and Woringen; in which last place, the burgesses
of Cologne, at the latter end of the thirteenth century, stood a siege
against their Archbishop, and, by a successful resistance, obtained
the enjoyment of some commercial rights, here so rare as to be called
privileges. After Dormagen, a small town very slightly provided with
the means of benefiting itself by the river, we came opposite to Zons,
the fortifications of which are so far preserved, as that the boatmen
on the Rhine are required to stop before them and give an account of
their cargoes.

We were listening to an old French song, and had almost forgotten the
chance of interruption from any abuses of power, when the steersman
called to us in a low, but eager voice, and enquired whether we would
permit him to attempt passing the castle, where, if we landed, we
might probably be detained an hour, or, if the officer was at supper,
for the whole night. By the help of twilight and our silence, he
thought it possible to glide unnoticed under the opposite bank, or
that we should be in very little danger, if the sentinels should obey
their order for firing upon all vessels that might attempt to pass.
The insolent tediousness of a German customhouse, and the probable
wretchedness of inns at such a placed as this, determined us in favour
of the man's proposal; we were silent for a quarter of an hour; the men
with-held their oars; and the watchful garrison of Zons saw us not, or
did not think a boat of two tons burthen could be laden with an army
for the conquest of Germany.

The evening was not so dark as entirely to deny the view of either
shore, while we continued to float between both, and to trace the
features of three or four small towns upon them. Neuss, being at some
little distance from the river, was concealed; but we had an accurate
remembrance of its hideousness, and, recognizing it for the model of
many towns since seen, were pleased with a mode of travelling, which
rendered us independent of them. The same mode, however, prevented
us from visiting Dusseldorff, which we did not reach, till after the
shutting of the gates; so that, had we stayed, we must have passed
the night in our boat on the outside, a sacrifice of too much time
to be made, while an army was advancing to the opposite shore. Being
compelled to remain in the boat, we thought it desirable to be, at
the same time, proceeding with the stream, and suffered the steersman
to attempt passing another garrison, by whom, as he said, we should
otherwise be inevitably detained for the night. He did not effect this,
without being noticed by the sentinels, who called and threatened
to fire; but, as the boatmen assured us this would scarcely be done,
without leave from an officer, who might not be immediately at hand,
we yielded to their method of pressing forward as hastily as possible,
and were presently out of sight of Dusseldorff, of which we had seen
only the walls and the extensive palace, rising immediately above the
water. In the next reach, the boatmen stopped to take breath, and
then confessed, that, though we had escaped being detained, as they
had said, they had saved some florins due for tolls here and at Zons;
which saving was their motive for running the risk. Though we would
not have encouraged such a purpose, had we been aware of it, since the
neglect of an unjust payment might produce an habitual omission of a
just one, it did not seem necessary to say much, in behalf of a toll on
the Rhine, for which there is no other pretence and no other authority
than the power to enforce it.

The loss of Dusseldorff, we were assured, was the less, because the
pictures of the celebrated gallery had been carried off to meet those
of Manheim, at Munich.

It was now dark for two or three hours, but we did not hear of any town
or view worth waiting to observe. The first object in the dawn was the
island of Kaiserwerth, on which there is a small town, twice besieged
in the wars of Louis the Fourteenth, and now in the condition, to which
military glory has reduced so many others. One of the mines in the last
siege blew so large a part of the walls over the island into the Rhine,
that the navigation of the river was, for some time, obstructed by
them. The dominion of this island, for which the Elector of Cologne and
the Elector Palatine contended, was decided so lately as 1768 by the
authority of the Chamber of Wetzlaar, who summoned the King of Prussia
to assist them with his troops, as the _Armée exécutrice de l'Empire_,
and the Elector Palatine was put in possession of it, notwithstanding
the remonstrances of his rival.

As the morning advanced, we reached the villages of Kreuzberg,
Rheinam and Einingen; and, at five, stopped at Urdingen, a town on
the west bank of the Rhine, at which the Elector of Cologne takes his
northernmost toll, and a place of more commerce than we had expected to
see short of Holland. Great part of this is in timber, which it adds
to the floats annually sent to that country; a sort of expedition so
curious and useful, that we shall make no apology for introducing the
following account of it.


These are formed chiefly at Andernach, but consist of the fellings of
almost every German forest, which, by streams, or short land carriage,
can be brought to the Rhine. Having passed the rocks of Bingen and
the rapids of St. Goar in small detachments, the several rafts are
compacted at some town not higher than Andernach, into one immense
body, of which an idea may be formed from this list of dimensions.

The length is from 700 to 1000 feet; the breadth from 50 to 90; the
depth, when manned with the whole crew, usually seven feet. The trees
in the principal rafts are not less than 70 feet long, of which ten
compose a raft.

On this sort of floating island, five hundred labourers of different
classes are employed, maintained and lodged, during the whole voyage;
and a little street of deal huts is built upon it for their reception.
The captain's dwelling and the kitchen are distinguished from the other
apartments by being somewhat better built.

The first rafts, laid down in this structure, are called the
foundation, and are always either of oak, or fir-trees, bound together
at their tops, and strengthened with firs, fastened upon them crossways
by iron spikes. When this foundation has been carefully compacted, the
other rafts are laid upon it, the trees of each being bound together in
the same manner, and each _stratum_ fastened to that beneath it. The
surface is rendered even; storehouses and other apartments are raised;
and the whole is again strengthened by large masts of oak.

Before the main body proceed several thin and narrow rafts, composed
only of one floor of timbers, which, being held at a certain distance
from the float by masts of oak, are used to give it direction and
force, according to the efforts of the labourers upon them.

Behind it, are a great number of small boats, of which fifteen or
sixteen, guided by seven men each, are laden with anchors and cables;
others contain articles of light rigging, and some are used for
messages from this populous and important fleet to the towns, which
it passes. There are twelve sorts of cordage, each having a name used
only by the float-masters; among the largest are cables of four hundred
yards long and eleven inches diameter. Iron chains are also used in
several parts of the structure.

The consumption of provisions on board such a float is estimated for
each voyage at fifteen or twenty thousand pounds of fresh meat,
between forty and fifty thousand pounds of bread, ten or fifteen
thousand pounds of cheese, one thousand or fifteen hundred pounds of
butter, eight hundred or one thousand pounds of dried meat, and five or
six hundred tons of beer.

The apartments on the deck are, first, that of the pilot, which is near
one of the magazines, and, opposite to it, that of the persons called
masters of the float: another class, called masters of the valets, have
also their apartment; near it is that of the valets, and then that of
the sub-valets; after this are the cabins of the _tyrolois_, or last
class of persons, employed in the float, of whom eighty or an hundred
sleep upon straw in each, to the number of more than four hundred in
all. There is, lastly, one large eating-room, in which the greater part
of this crew dine at the same time.

The pilot, who conducts the fleet from Andernach to Dusseldorff, quits
it there, and another is engaged at the same salary, that is, five
hundred florins, or 42 l.; each has his sub-pilot, at nearly the same
price. About twenty tolls are paid in the course of the voyage, the
amount of which varies with the size of the fleet and the estimation
of its value, in which latter respect the proprietors are so much
subject to the caprice of customhouse officers, that the first signal
of their intention to depart is to collect all these gentlemen from the
neighbourhood, and to give them a grand dinner on board. After this,
the float is sounded and measured, and their demands upon the owners

On the morning of departure, every labourer takes his post, the rowers
on their benches, the guides of the leading rafts on theirs, and each
boat's crew in its own vessel. The eldest of the valet-masters then
makes the tour of the whole float, examines the labourers, passes them
in review, and dismisses those, who are unfit. He afterwards addresses
them in a short speech; recommends regularity and alertness; and
repeats the terms of their engagement, that each shall have five crowns
and a half, besides provisions, for the ordinary voyage; that, in case
of delay by accident, they shall work three days, gratis; but that,
after that time, each shall be paid at the rate of twelve creitzers,
about four pence, per day.

After this, the labourers have a repast, and then, each being at his
post, the pilot, who stands on high near the rudder, takes off his hat
and calls out, "Let us all pray." In an instant there is the happy
spectacle of all these numbers on their knees, imploring a blessing on
their undertaking.

The anchors, which were fastened on the shores, are now brought on
board, the pilot gives a signal, and the rowers put the whole float in
motion, while the crews of the several boats ply round it to facilitate
the departure.

Dort in Holland is the destination of all these floats, the sale of
one of which occupies several months, and frequently produces 350,000
florins, or more than 30,000 l.


Has a neat market-place and some symptoms of greater comfort than are
usual in the towns of the Electorate of Cologne; but it is subject to
violent floods, so much so, that at the inn, which is, at least, an
hundred and fifty yards from the shore, a brass plate, nailed upon the
door of the parlour, relates, that the river had risen to that height;
about five feet from the ground.

After resting here, five hours, we returned to our little bark, with
the spirits inspired by favourable weather, and were soon borne away on
the ample current of the Rhine.

Large Dutch vessels, bound to Cologne, now frequently appeared,
and refreshed us once again with the shew of neatness, industry and
prosperity. The boatmen learned, that several of these were from
Rotterdam, laden with the effects of Flemish refugees, brought thither
from Ostend; and others were carrying military stores for the use,
as they said, of the Emperor. The ordinary trade of the Dutch with
Germany, in tea, coffee, English cloths and English hardware, which we
had heard at Mentz was slackened by the expected approach of armies,
now seemed to be exchanged for the conveyance of property from scenes
of actual distress to those not likely to be long exempted from it.

A little beyond Urdingen, the town of Bodberg marks the northern
extremity of the long and narrow dominions of Cologne, once so far
connected with Holland, as that the Archbishop had jurisdiction over
the Bishop of Holland, and the Chapter of Utrecht. But Philip the
Second, before the States had resisted his plundering, obtained of
the Pope, that they should not be subject to any foreign see; and the
Bishop had a residence assigned to him at Haerlem.

The Rhine is now bounded on the left by the country of Meurs; and,
having, after a few miles, part of the Duchy of Cleves on the right,
it becomes thus enclosed by the territories of the King of Prussia,
under whose dominion it rolls, till the States of Guelderland repose
upon one bank, and, soon after, those of Utrecht, on the other. We were
here, of course, in the country of tolls; and our waterman could not
promise how far we should proceed in the day, since it was impossible
to estimate the delays of the collectors. Meurs has no place, except
small villages, near the river; but, at the commencement of the Duchy
of Cleves, the influx of the Ruhr into the Rhine makes a small port,
at which all vessels are obliged to stop, and pay for a Prussian pass.
Some Dutch barks, of probably one hundred and twenty tons burthen,
we were assured would not be dismissed for less than fifty ducats,
or twenty guineas each. The town is called the Ruhort, and we had
abundance of time to view it, for the Collector would not come to the
boat, but ordered that we should walk up, and make our appearance
before him.

It is a small place, rendered busy by a dock-yard for building vessels
to be employed on the Rhine, and has somewhat of the fresh appearance,
exhibited by such towns as seem to be built for present use, rather
than to subsist because they have once been erected. In the dock, which
opens to the Ruhr, two vessels of about sixty tons each were nearly
finished, and with more capital, many might no doubt be built for the
Dutch, timber and labour being here much cheaper than in Holland.

After the boatman had satisfied the Collector, we resumed our voyage,
very well contented to have been detained only an hour. The woody
heights of Cleves now broke the flat monotony of the eastern shore, the
antiquity of whose forests is commemorated by Tacitus in the name of
_Saltus Teutoburgensis_, supposed to have been bounded here by the town
now called Duisbourg:

     ... ... ... "_haud procul Teutoburgensi saltu, in quo reliquiæ
     Vari legionumque insepultæ dicebantur_"--

    "Unburied remain,
  Inglorious on the plain."

These forests were also celebrated for their herds of wild horses; and
the town of Duisbourg, having been rendered an University in 1655, is
thus panegyrized by a German poet:

  _Dis ist die Deutsche Burg, vor langst gar hochgeehrt_
  _Von vielen König und auch Kaiserlichen Kronen:_
  _Der schöne Musenthron, wo kluge Leute wohnen;_
  _Und wo die Kaufmannschaft so manchen Bürger nährt._

  This is the German town, that's fam'd so long
  By throned Kings, and gentle Muses' song;
  Where learned folks live well on princely pay,
  And commerce makes so many Burghers gay.

Of the commerce there were still some signs in half a dozen vessels,
collected on the beach. Whether the University also subsists, or is
any thing more than a free school, which is frequently called an
University in Germany, we did not learn.


After five or six small towns, or villages, more, the Rhine reaches
the well known fortified town and state prison of Wesel; a place,
not always unfavourable to freedom, for here RAPIN, driven from the
district now called La Vendée in France, by Louis the Fourteenth's
persecution of Protestants, retired to write his History; recollecting,
perhaps, that it had before sheltered refugees from the tyranny of the
Duke of Alva, and our sanguinary Mary.

The towers and citadel of Wesel give it the appearance of a military
place, and it is frequently so mentioned; but the truth is, that the
late King of Prussia, with the same fear of his subjects, which was
felt by Joseph the Second in Flanders, demolished all the effectual
works, except those of the citadel; a policy not very injurious to
the Monarch in this instance, but which, in Flanders, has submitted
the country to be twice over-run in three years, and has in fact been
the most decisive of passed events in their influence upon present

The reformed worship is exercised in the two principal churches, but
the Catholics have two or three monasteries, and there is a Chapter
of Noble Ladies, of whom two thirds are Protestants, and one third
Catholic; an arrangement which probably accounts for their having no
settled and common residence.

Opposite to Wesel is Burick, the fortifications of which remain, and
are probably intended to serve instead of the demolished works of
the former place, being connected with it by a flying-bridge over
the Rhine. A little lower are the remains of the old chateau of
Furstemberg, on a hill where the ladies of the noble Cistercian nunnery
of Furstemberg had once a delightful seat, now deserted for the society
of Xanten.

Xanten, the first place at which we had stopped in Germany, and the
last, for a long tract, which we had seen with pleasure, Xanten, now
distinguishable, at a small distance from the river, by its spires,
reminded us of the gay hopes we had formed on leaving it; with a new
world spread out before us, for curiosity, and, as we thought, for
admiration; yet did not render the remembrance of disappointment, as
to the last respect, painful, for even the little information we had
gained seemed to be worth the labour of acquiring it.

The exchange of indefinite for exact ideas is for ever desirable.
Without this journey of eleven or twelve hundred miles we should have
considered Germany, as its position in maps and description in books
represent it, to be important, powerful and prosperous; or, even if
it had been called wretched, the idea would have been indistinct, and
the assertion, perhaps, not wholly credited. The greatest and, as it
is reasonable to believe, the best part of Germany we have now seen,
and, in whatever train of reasoning it is noticed, have an opinion how
it should be valued. Those, who cannot guess at causes, may be sure of
effects; and having seen, that there is little individual prosperity
in Germany, little diffusion of intelligence, manners, or even of the
means for comfort, few sources of independence, or honourable wealth,
and no examples of the poverty, in which there may be pride, it was
not less perceptible, that there can be no general importance, no
weight in the balance of useful, that is, peaceful power, and no place,
but that of an instrument, even in the desperate exercises of politics.

A respect for the persons of learning, or thought, who live, as the
impertinence of high and the ignorance of low society forces them to
live, in a strict and fastidious retirement, cannot alter the general
estimation of the country, in any respect here considered; their
conversation with each other has no influence upon the community;
their works cannot have a present, though they will have a general and
a permanent effect. The humbler classes, from whom prosperity should
result in peace, and strength in war, give little of either to Germany;
and man is very seldom negatively stationed; when not useful to his
fellow-creatures, he is generally somewhat injurious. The substantial
debasement of the German peasantry, that is, their want of ordinary
intelligence, re-acts upon the means that produced it, and, continuing
their inferiority, continues many injurious effects upon the rest of

That Germany should be thus essentially humble, perhaps, none would
have ventured to foresee. The materialist could not have found it
in the climate. The politician might hastily expect it from the
arbitrary character of the governments, but must hesitate, when he
recollects how France advanced in science and manufactures, under
the dominion of Louis the Fourteenth, greatly more despotic than the
usual administrations in Germany. Perhaps, the only solution for this
difference of effects from apparently similar causes is, that the
greater extent of his territory, as well as the better opportunities
of his subjects for commerce, enabled Louis to gratify his taste
for splendour, at the same time that they shewed his ambition a
means of indulgence, by increasing the means of his people. Germany,
frittered into several score of sovereignties, has no opulent power;
no considerable income, remaining after the payment of its armies;
few wealthy individuals. The Emperor, with fifty-six titles, does
not gain a florin by his chief dignity; or Granvelle, the Minister
of Charles the Fifth, would have been contradicted when he said so
in the Chamber of Princes. The Elector Palatine is almost the only
Prince, whose revenue is not absorbed by political, military and
household establishments; and though, in an advanced state of society,
or in opulent nations, what is called patronage is seldom necessary,
and must, perhaps, be as injurious to the happiness as it is to
the dignity of those who receive it, nothing is more certain than
that there have been periods in the history of all countries, when
the liberality of the Prince, or the more independent protection of
beneficed institutions, was necessary to the existence of curiosity and
knowledge. At such times, a large expenditure, if directed by taste,
or even by vanity, afforded a slow recompense for the aggressions,
that might support it, by spreading a desire of distinction for some
intellectual accomplishment, as the claim to notice from the court; and
the improvement of mind circulated, by more general encouragement, till
every town and village had its men of science. Thus it was that the
despotism of Louis the Fourteenth had a different effect from that of
his contemporary German Princes, who, by no oppressions, could raise a
sufficient income, to make their own expenditure the involuntary means
of improving the intellectual condition of their people.

From the neighbourhood of Xanten, in which we were induced thus to
estimate what had been gained, since we saw it last, and from a shore
that gradually rises into the many woody heights around Calcar and
Cleves, the Rhine speedily reaches Rees, a town on the right bank,
built advantageously at an angle, made by a flexure of the river to the

We landed to view this place, and were soon persuaded, by the
Dutch-like cleanliness and civility of the people at the inn, to remain
there for the night, rather than to attempt reaching Emmerick.

Rees is near enough to Holland to have some of its advantages;
and, whatever contempt it may be natural for English travellers,
at the commencement of their tour, to feel for Dutch dullness and
covetousness, nothing but some experience of Germany is necessary
to make them rejoice in a return to the neatness, the civility, the
comforts, quietness, and even the good humour and intelligence to be
easily found in Holland. Such, at least, was the change, produced in
our minds by a journey from Nimeguen to Friburg. The lower classes of
the Dutch, and it is the conduct of such classes, that every where has
the chief influence upon the comforts of others, are not only without
the malignant sullenness of the Germans, and, therefore, ready to
return you services for money, but are also much superior to them in
intelligence and docility. Frequent opportunities of gain, and the
habit of comparing them, sharpen intellects, which might otherwise
never be exercised. In a commercial country, the humblest persons
have opportunities of profiting by their qualifications; they are,
therefore, in some degree, prepared for better conditions, and do not
feel that angry envy of others, which arises from the consciousness of
some irremediable distinction.

The inhabitants of Rees speak both Dutch and German; and it was
pleasing to hear at the inn the sulky _yaw_ of the latter exchanged for
the civil _Yaw well, Mynheer_, of the Dutch. The town is built chiefly
of brick, like those in Holland; the streets light; the market-place
spacious, and the houses well preserved. It is of no great extent,
but the space within the walls is filled, though this must have been
sometimes partly cleared by the sieges, to which Rees was subject in
the war of Philip the Second upon the Dutch. A few emigrants from
Brussels and Maestricht were now sheltered in it; but there was no
garrison and no other symptom of its neighbourhood to the scenes of
hostilities, than the arrival of a Prussian commissary to collect
hay and corn. We were cheered by the re-appearance of prosperity in a
country, where it is so seldom to be seen, and passed a better evening
in this little town, than in any other between Friburg and Holland.

In the morning, having no disgust to impel us, we were somewhat tardy
in embarking; and the boatmen, who had found out the way of reviving
our impatience, talked of the great distance of Holland, till they had
us on board. Five or six well-looking villages presently appear after
leaving Rees, the next port to which is Emmerick, once an Hanseatic
town, and still a place of some dignity, from spires and towers, but
certainly not of much commerce, for we could not see more than two
vessels on the beach.

This is the town, at which a Governor and General, appointed by
Philip the Second, with probably half a dozen titles, asserting his
excellence, serenity and honour, gave an instance of baseness, scarcely
ever exceeded even by Philip himself. Approaching the place, which
was then neutral, the inhabitants went out to him with an entreaty,
that he would not send troops into it, and, probably by something more
than entreaty, obtained his promise, that they should be spared. In
spite of this promise, of the remonstrances of the inhabitants, and
of the representations of a clergyman, that the Spanish assurances of
having engaged in the war chiefly for the interests of the Catholic
religion could not be credited, if acts, contrary to the precepts of
all religion, were daily perpetrated; in spite of these, Mendoza,
the Spanish commander, sent in four hundred troops, but with another
promise, that their number should not be increased, and with this
consolation for the burgesses, that the Spanish Colonel of the
detachment was directed to swear in their presence, to admit no more,
even if they should be offered to him.

Mendoza had estimated this man's heart by his own, and considered his
oath only as a convenient delusion for preventing the resistance of the
inhabitants. He accordingly sent other troops to him, under the command
of a foreign hireling, and with a peremptory order for their admission;
but the honest Spaniard gave him this reply, "Though the General has
set the example, I will not violate my faith."

Passing Emmerick with much pleasure, we speedily came to the point
at which the Rhine, dividing itself into two streams, loses its name
immediately in the one, and presently after in the other. Some writer
has compared this merging to the voluntary surrender of exertions
and views, by which affectionate parents lose themselves in their
children. The stream, which bends to the west, takes the name of the
Waal; that, which flows in the general direction of the river, retains
its name, for a few miles, when another stream issues to the northward,
and takes that of the Yssel. The old river is still recognized, after
this separation, and the town of Rhenen takes its name from it; but,
about a mile lower, it yields to the denomination of the Leck, which,
like that of the Waal, does not long enjoy its usurped distinction. The
Waal, or Wahl, being joined by the Maas, as the Dutch, or the Meuse,
as the French call it, near Bommel, takes the name of that river, and,
soon after, the Leck merges in their united stream, which carries the
title of the Maas by Rotterdam, Schiedam and Flaarding, into the German

We did not yield to this artificial distinction, so far as to think
ourselves taking leave of the Rhine, or losing the stream, that had
presented to us, at first, features of the boldest grandeur, mingled
with others of the sweetest beauty, and then borne us safely past a
shore, pressed by the hasty steps of distress, as well as threatened by
those of ravage from a flying and a pursuing army. Nor does the river
change the character it has lately assumed; but still passes with an
even, wide and forceful current between cultivated or pastoral levels,
bounded, at some distance, by gradual, woody ascents.

Among these heights and woods, Cleves is visible to the left, and
those, who see it only at this distance, may repeat the dictionary
descriptions of its grandeur and consequence as a capital. Soon
after, Schenckenkanze, a small fort, built on the point of the long
island, round which the Rhine and the Waal flow, occurs; and then the
southern extremity of the province of Utrecht. We were glad to see this
commencement of the dominions of the United States, though the shore
opposite to them was still Prussian; and, telling the boatmen, if they
had occasion to stop at any town, to touch only upon the free bank,
they humoured us so far as to row out of the current for the sake of
approaching it; in short, we stepped no more upon German land; and,
within a few miles, were enveloped, on both sides, by the prospering,
abounding plains of the Dutch provinces. _Italiam! Italiam!_

       *       *       *       *       *

Early in the afternoon, the lofty tower of the Belvidere, or
prospect-house at Nimeguen, came in sight; then the bright pinnacles
of the public buildings, and the high, turf-coloured angles of the
fortifications. The town was thronged with fugitives from Flanders,
but we found sufficient accommodation, as before, at the inn in the
market-place, and were not in a tone of spirits to be fastidious about
any thing, heightened as the appearance of prosperity was to us by
contrast, and happy as even the refugees appeared to be at finding
peace and safety. The mall before the Prince of Orange's house was
filled with parties of them, as gay as if they had left their homes in
Flanders but for an holiday excursion.

We were at the Belvidere till evening, lingering over the rich prospect
of probably forty miles diameter, from Arnheim and Duisbourg in the
north to Cleves and Guelders in the south, with an eastern view over
half the forests of Guelderland to those of Westphalia. Such an extent
of green landscape, richly varied with towns, villages and woods,
spreading and gradually ascending to the horizon, was now almost as
novel to us, as it was placidly beautiful. On the east, the blue
mountainous lines of Germany broke in upon the reposing character of
the scene.

In the Waal below, two or three vessels bore the Emperor's flag, and
were laden, as it was said, with some of his _regalia_ from Flanders.
Near them, several bilanders, the decks of which were covered with
awnings, had attracted spectators to the opposite bank, for to that
side only they were open; and the company in all were objects of
curiosity to the Dutch, being no less than the sisterhood of several
Flemish convents, in their proper dresses, and under the care of their
respective abbesses. These ladies had been thus situated, for several
days and nights, which they had passed on board their vessels. They
were attended by their usual servants, and remained together, without
going on shore, being in expectation, as we were told, of invitations
to suitable residences in Germany; but it was then reported at
Nimeguen, that Prince Cobourg was re-advancing to Brussels, and these
societies had probably their misfortunes increased by the artifices
of a political rumour. We could not learn, as we wished, that they
had brought away many effects. Their plate it was needless to enquire
about; the contributions of the preceding spring had no doubt swallowed
up that. Having dismissed our Cologne watermen, we embarked upon the
Waal, the next day, in a public boat for Rotterdam; a neat schuyt,
well equipped and navigated, in which, for a few florins, you have the
use of the cabin. Our voyage, from the want of wind, was slow enough
to shew as much as could be seen of the Waal; which, at Nimeguen,
runs almost constantly downward, but is soon met by the tide, and
overcome, or, at least, resisted by it. The breadth, which varies but
little above Bommel, is, to our recollection, not less than that of the
Thames, at Fulham; the depth, during the beginning of the same space,
is probably considerable, in the stream, for, even upon the shore, our
dextrous old steersman found water enough to sweep the rushy bank at
almost every tack, with a boat, drawing about five feet. The signs of
activity in commerce are astonishing. A small hamlet, one cannot call
any place in Holland contemptible, or miserable, a hamlet of a dozen
houses has two or three vessels, of twenty tons each; a village has a
herring boat for almost every house, and a trading vessel for Rotterdam
two or three times a week. Heavy, high rigged vessels, scarcely
breasting the stream, and fit only for river voyages, we frequently
met; many of them carrying coals for the nearer part of Germany, such
as we saw on the banks between Rees and Nimeguen, and, with much
pleasure, recognized for symptoms of neighbourhood to England.

The first town from Nimeguen, on the right bank of the Waal, is Thiel,
which we had only time to see was enclosed by modern fortifications,
and was not inferior in neatness to other Dutch towns, at least not so
in one good street, which we were able to traverse. A sand bank before
the port has much lessened the trade of the place, which, in the tenth
century, was considerable enough to be acknowledged by the Emperor
Otto, in the grant of several privileges.

About a league lower, on the opposite side of the Waal, or rather on
the small island of Voorn, stood formerly a fort, called Nassau, which
the French, in 1672, utterly destroyed. Near its site, at the northern
extremity of the island of Bommel, which lies between the Maas and the
Waal, a fort, built by Cardinal Andrew of Austria, still subsists,
under the name of _Fort St. André_. The founder, who built it upon the
model of the citadel of Antwerp, had no other view than to command by
it the town of Bommel; but, in the year 1600, Prince Maurice of Nassau
reduced the garrison, after a siege of five weeks, and it has since
contributed to protect what it was raised to destroy, the independence
of the Dutch commonwealth.

In the evening, we came opposite to the town of Bommel, where we were
put on shore to pass the night and the next day, being Sunday; the boat
proceeded on the voyage for Rotterdam, but could not reach it before
the next morning.

Bommel is a small town on the edge of the river, surrounded by wood
enough to make it remarkable in Holland; light, neat and pretty.
The two principal streets cross each other at right angles, and are
without canals. Being at some distance from the general roads, it is
ill provided with inns; but one of them has a delightful prospect,
and there is no dirt, or other symptom of negligence within. The
inhabitants are advanced enough in prosperity and intelligent curiosity
to have two _Sociétés_, where they meet to read new publications; a
luxury, which may be found in almost every Dutch town. At the ends of
the two principal streets are gates; that towards the water between
very old walls; those on the land side modern and stronger with
drawbridges over a wide fosse, that nearly surrounds the town.

On the other side of this ditch are high and broad embankments, well
planted with trees, and so suitable to be used as public walks, that
we supposed them to have been raised partly for that purpose, and
partly as defences to the country against water. They are, however,
greater curiosities, having been thrown up by Prince Maurice in
1599, chiefly because his garrison of four thousand foot and two
thousand horse were too numerous for the old works; and between these
intrenchments was made what is thought to have been the first attempt
at a covered way, since improved into a regular part of fortifications.
This was during the ineffectual siege of three weeks, in which Mendoza
lost two thousand men, Maurice having then a constant communication
with the opposite bank of the Waal by means of two bridges of boats,
one above, the other below the town.

Bommel was otherwise extremely important in the struggle of the
Dutch against Philip. It was once planned to have been delivered by
treachery, but, that being discovered, the Earl of Mansfeldt, Philip's
commander, raised the siege. It adhered to the assembly at Dort, though
the Earl of March, the commander of the first armed force of the
Flemings, had committed such violences in the town, that the Prince of
Orange found it necessary to send him to prison. In the campaign of
1606, when Prince Maurice adopted defensive operations, this was one of
the extreme points of his line, which extended from hence to Schenck.

The natural honesty of mankind is on the side of the defensive party,
and it is, therefore, that in reading accounts of sieges one is always
on the side of the besieged. The Dutch, except when subject to some
extraordinary influence, have been always defensive in their wars; from
their first astonishing resistance to Philip, to that against the
petty attack, which Charles the Second incited the Bishop of Munster
to make, who had the coolness to tell Sir WILLIAM TEMPLE, that he had
thought over the probabilities of his enterprise, and, if it failed,
he should not care, for he could go into Italy and buy a Cardinal's
cap; but that he had first a mind to make some figure in the world. The
territory of the United Provinces is so small, that, in these wars, the
whole Dutch Nation has been in little better condition, than that of a
people, besieged in one great town; and Louis the Fourteenth, in the
attempt, which Charles the Second's wicked sister concerted between the
two Monarchs, sent, for the first time, to a whole people, a threat,
similar to those sometimes used against a single town. His declaration
of the 24th of June, 1672, after boasting how his "just designs" and
undertakings had prospered, since his arrival in the army, and how he
would treat the Dutch, if, by submission, they would "deserve his great
goodness," thus proceeds:

     "On the contrary, all of whatever quality and condition,
     who shall refuse to comply with these offers, and shall
     resist his Majesty's forces, either by the inundation of
     their dyke, or otherwise, shall be punished with the utmost
     rigour. At present, all hostilities shall be used against
     those, who oppose his Majesty's designs; and, when the ice
     shall open a passage on all sides, his Majesty will not
     give any quarter to the inhabitants of such cities, but
     give order, that their goods be plundered and their houses

It is pleasant, in every country, to cherish the recollections, which
make it a spectacle for the mind as well as the eye, and no country
is enriched by so many as Holland, not even the West of England, where
patriotism and gratitude hover in remembrance over the places, endeared
by the steps of our glorious WILLIAM.

Bommel is built on a broad projection of the island of the same name
into the Waal, which thus flows nearly on two sides of its walls, and
must be effectually commanded by them. But, though it is therefore
important in a military view, and that the French were now so near to
Breda, as to induce families to fly from thence, whom we saw at Bommel,
yet the latter place was in no readiness for defence. There was not a
cannon upon the walls, or upon the antient outworks, which we mistook
for terraces, and not ten soldiers in the place; a negligence, which
was, however, immediately after remedied.

The Dutch tardiness of exertion has been often blamed, and, in such
instances, deservedly; but, as to the influence of this sparingness in
their general system of politics and in former periods, a great deal
more wit than truth has been circulated by politicians. The chief value
of power is in the known possession of it. Those who are believed to
have exerted it much, will be attacked, because the exertion may be
supposed to have exhausted the power. The nation, or the individual,
that attempts to rectify every error and punish every trivial offence
of others, may soon lose, in worthless contests, the strength, that
should be preserved for resisting the most positive and unequivocal

Ministers have appeared in Holland, who could plan unnecessary
contests, and meditate the baseness, falsely called ambition, of
putting the whole valour and wealth of a nation into exercise, for
the purpose of enforcing whatever they may have once designed, or
said; and, as there is, perhaps, no country in Europe, which cannot
justly allege some injury against another, they have exaggerated the
importance of such injuries, for the purpose of impelling their own
country, by aggravated anger, or fear, into precipitate hostilities.
But the Dutch, accustoming themselves to as much vigilance, as
confidence, have with-held encouragement from such artifices, and hence
that general tardiness in beginning wars, which every politician,
capable of an inflammatory declamation, thinks it wisdom to ridicule.

We left Bommel at seven in the morning, in a stout, decked sea-boat,
well rigged, and, as appeared, very dextrously navigated. The wind was
directly contrary, and there are sometimes islands, sometimes shoals
in the Waal, which narrowed the channel to four or five times the
length of the vessel; yet there was not any failure in tacking, and
the boom was frequently assisted to traverse by the reeds of the bank,
which it swept. The company in the cabin were not very numerous, but
there was amongst them at least one lamentable group; the minister of
a Protestant church at Maestricht, an aged and decrepid gentleman,
flying with his wife and two daughters from the approaching siege of
that place; himself laid on pillows upon the floor of the cabin; his
daughters attending him; all neglected, all victims to the glories of

The boat soon passed Louvenstein, on the left bank of the Maese,
a brick castellated building apparently about two centuries old,
surrounded by some modern works, which render it one of the defences
of the river. Count Byland, the late commander of Breda, was then
imprisoned in this fortress, which has been long used for state
purposes. Here those friends of Barneveldt were confined, who derived
from it, and left to their posterity the name of the Louvenstein party;
and hence Grotius, who was of the number, made his escape, concealed
in a trunk, which the sentinels had so often seen filled with Arminian
books, that his wife persuaded them they carried nothing more than
their usual cargo.

From Louvenstein, near which the Waal unites with the Maese, and
assumes the name of that river, we soon reached Gorcum, where the short
stay of the boat permitted us only to observe the neatness of the town,
and that the fortifications had the appearance of being strong, though
small, and seemed to be in most exact repair. This, indeed, is one
of the forts chiefly relied upon by the province of Holland; for, in
1787, their States made Gorcum and Naarden the extreme points of their
line of defence, and ordered a dyke to be thrown across the Linge,
which flows into the Maese at the former place, for the purpose of
overflowing the surrounding country.

The next town in the voyage is Dort, formerly one of the most
considerable in Holland, and still eminent for its wealth, though the
trade is diminished by that of Rotterdam. This is the town, which
Dumourier strove to reach, in the invasion of 1792, and forty thousand
stand of arms were found to have been collected there for him. Our boat
passed before one quarter, in which the houses rise immediately over a
broad bay of the Maese, with an air of uncommon gaiety and lightness;
but the evenness of the town prevented us from seeing more than the
part directly nearest.

In the bay was one of those huge timber floats, the construction of
which has been before described. It was crowded with visitors from
the town; and the wooden huts upon it, being ornamented with flags,
had the appearance of booths at a fair. Large as this was, it had
been considerably diminished, since its arrival at Dort, and several
hundreds of the workmen had departed.

A little further on, and within sight of this joyous company, was
the melancholy reverse of nearly an hundred ladies, driven from some
convent in Flanders, now residing, like those near Nimeguen, in
bilanders moored to the bank. Their vessels being open on the side
towards the water, we caught as full a view of them as could be had
without disrespect; and saw that they still wore their conventual
dresses, and were seated, apparently according to their ages, at
some sort of needle-work. It might have been censured, a few years
since, that mistakes, or deceptions, as to religious duties, should
have driven them from the world; but it was certainly now only to be
lamented, that any thing short of the gradual and peaceful progress of
reason should have expelled them from their retirement.

We reached Rotterdam, in the evening, and stayed there, the next day,
to observe whether the confidence of the Dutch in their dykes and
fortresses was sufficient to preserve their tranquillity in a place
almost within hearing of the war, the French being then besieging
Sluys. There was no perceptible symptom of agitation, or any diminution
of the ordinary means for increasing wealth. The persons, with whom
we conversed, and they were not a few, spoke of the transactions of
the campaign with almost as much calmness and curiosity, as if these
had been passing in India. They could not suppose it possible, that
the French might reach the city; or, if they did, seemed to rely upon
the facility, with which their property could be removed by the canals
through Leyden and Haerlem, to the shore of the Zuyder Zee, then across
it by sailing barges, and then again by the canals as far as Groningen,
whither the French would certainly not penetrate. So valuable was water
thought in Holland, not only as a means of opulence in peace, but of
defence, or preservative flight in war. An excessive selfishness, which
is the vice of the Dutch, appeared sometimes to prevent those, who
could fly, from thinking of their remaining countrymen.

An intention of dispensing with the customary fair was the only
circumstance, which distinguished this season from others at Rotterdam,
and that was imputed to the prudence of preventing any very numerous
meetings of the populace.

About three weeks sooner than was necessary, for it was so long before
a convenient passage occurred, we went from hence to Helvoetsluys, and
there remained, a fortnight, watching an inflexible north-westerly
wind, and listening to accounts but too truly certified of French
frigates and privateers, almost unopposed in those latitudes. Lloyd's
List brought the names of five, or seven, French ships, then known to
be cruising in the north; and one packet was delayed in its voyage by
the sight of several Dutch vessels, set on fire within a few leagues
of _Goree_. The Dutch lamented, that the want of seamen crippled the
operations of their Admiralty Board: an Englishman, who was proud to
deny, that any such want, or want in such a degree, existed, as to his
country, was reduced to silence and shame, when it was enquired: Why,
then, have these seas been, for twelve months, thus exposed to the
dominion of the French?

At length, a convoy arrived for a noble family, and we endeavoured
to take the benefit of it by embarking in a packet, which sailed at
the same time; but the sloop of war was unable to pass over what are
called the Flats, and our captain had resolved to proceed without it,
notwithstanding the contrarieties of the wind; when, with much joy,
we discerned a small boat, and knew it to be English by the skilful
impetuosity of the rowers. Having induced the people of the packet
to make a signal, by paying them for the passage to Harwich, we were
fortunately taken on board this boat, at the distance of about three
leagues from Helvoetsluys, and soon re-landed at that place; the packet
proceeding on her voyage, which, supposing no interruption from the
French vessels, was not likely to be made in less than three days. We
rejoiced at the release from fatigue and from fear, at least, if not
from danger; and, seeing little probability of an immediate passage,
returned, the next day, to Rotterdam, with the hope of finding some
neutral vessel, bound to an English port.

We were immediately gratified by the promise of an American captain
to meet us with his vessel at Helvoetsluys, and, the next day, had a
delightful voyage thither, in a hired yacht, partly by the Maese, and
partly by channels inaccessible to large vessels.


The Maese presently brought us opposite to this small port, the
metropolis of the herring fishers; rendered interesting by the patient
industry and useful courage of its inhabitants. We landed at it, but
saw only what was immediately open for observation. Like most of the
Dutch towns, on the banks of rivers, it is protected from floods by
standing at the distance of three or four hundred yards from the shore,
and communicates with the stream only by a narrow, but deep canal.
The best street is built upon the quays of this channel, on which the
herring boats deposit their cargoes before the doors of the owners. We
did not see more than fifty, a great number being then at sea. Except
the business in this street, and the smell of herrings, which prevailed
every where, there was nothing to shew that we were in a place
supported solely by the industry of fishermen; no neglected houses, no
cottages, no dirty streets, no inferiority, in point of neatness and
brightness, to the other towns of Holland.

The inhabitants are remarkable for adhering to the dress, as well as
the employments of their ancestors; so much so, that their clothing is
mentioned in other towns as the representation of the antient national
dress, common throughout all the provinces two centuries since; and it
is certain, that their appearance is exactly such as is delineated in
pictures of that date.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some miles further, we entered the old Maese, a channel in several
parts very narrow, and evidently preserved by art, but in others nobly
expansive, and filled almost to the level of the luxuriant pastures and
groves that border it. In one part, where the antient stream takes a
circuitous course, a canal has been cut, that shortens the voyage, for
light vessels, by several miles, and barks in one channel are sometimes
visible from the other, their sails swelling over fields, in which, at
a distance, no water is discernible. Neat and substantial farmhouses,
with meadows flaming from them to the river, frequently occurred; and
there were more appearances of the careful labours, peculiar to the
Dutch, than in the great Maese itself, the banks being occasionally
supported, like their dykes, by a compact basket-work of flags and

Passing many small villages, or hamlets, we came, at sun-set, to
the large branch of the sea, which spreads from Williamstadt to
Helvoetsluys, and from thence to the German ocean. The former fortress
was faintly visible at a great distance over the water; and, while
we were straining our sight towards it, there was proof enough of a
nearness to the present theatre of war, the sounds of the siege of
Sluys coming loudly and distinctly in the breeze. The characters of
evening had fallen upon the scene in mild and deep solemnity; but the
glories of nature were unfelt, while a dreadful estimation of the
miseries, produced at each return of the sullen roar, pressed almost
exclusively upon the mind; considerations, which were soon after
prolonged by the melancholy view of several English transports, filled
with wounded soldiers, whose blythe music, now at the firing of the
evening gun, was rendered painful by its contrast to the truth of their

At Helvoetsluys, nothing was to be heard, but accounts, derived from
many respectable officers, on their way to England, of the unexampled
difficulties borne, cheerfully borne, by the British army, within the
last three months, and deservedly mentioned, not as complaints, but
as proofs of their firmness. There were, however, mingled with these,
many reports as to the contrary conduct even of those continental
troops, which still kept the field with us; of their tardiness,
their irregularity, of the readiness with which they permitted the
British to assume all the dangers of attacks, and of their little
co-operation even in the means of general resistance. _Brave Anglois!
Brave Anglois!_ was the constant shout of these troops, when they had
recourse to the British to regain the posts themselves had just lost,
or to make some assault, which they had refused, or had attempted
with ineffectual formality. They would then follow our troops, and,
when an advantage was gained, seemed to think they had share enough
of the victory, if they were at hand to continue the slaughter of the
retreating, and to engross all the plunder of the dead.

We were as glad to escape from such considerations, as from the crowded
inns of Helvoetsluys, now little more convenient than ships; and, the
next morning, embarked on board the American vessel, then arrived from
Rotterdam. A fair wind soon wafted us out of sight of the low coast of
Holland; but we were afterwards becalmed, and carried by tides so far
towards the Flemish shore as to have the firing before Sluys not only
audible, but terribly loud. For part of three days, we remained within
hearing of this noise; but did not, therefore, think ourselves very
distant from the English coast, knowing that the fire, at the preceding
siege of Nieuport, had been heard as far as the Downs; Nieuport,
the wretched scene of so many massacres, and of distress, which, in
Holland, had been forcibly described to us by eye-witnesses.

So keenly, indeed were the horrors of this place conceived by those,
who personally escaped from them, that of the emigrants, rescued
by the intrepidity of our seamen, many suppressed all joy at their
own deliverance by lamentations for the fate of their brethren.
One gentleman was no sooner on board a ship, then exposed to the
batteries on shore, than he climbed the shrouds and remained aloft,
notwithstanding all entreaties, till a severe wound obliged him to
descend. Another, who had been saved from the beach by a young sailor,
was unable to swim so far as the ship; and the honest lad, having taken
him upon his back, struggled hard amidst a shower of balls to save both
their lives. At length, he, too, began to falter; and the weakness of
his efforts, not his complaints, seemed to shew his companion, that
one, or both of them, must perish: the latter nobly asked the lad,
whether he could save his own life, if left to himself; and, receiving
a reluctant reply, that probably he might do so, but that he would
strive for both, the emigrant instantly plunged into the ocean and was
seen no more. The glorious sailor reached his ship, just as he began
again to sail, and was saved.

The calm continued during the day, and the sun set with uncommon
grandeur among clouds of purple, red and gold, that mingling with the
serene azure of the upper sky, composed a richness and harmony of
colouring which we never saw surpassed. It was most interesting to
watch the progress of evening and its effect on the waters; streaks of
light scattered among the dark western clouds, after the sun had set,
and gleaming in long reflection on the sea, while a grey obscurity was
drawing over the east, as the vapours rose gradually from the ocean.
The air was breathless; the tall sails of the vessel were without
motion, and her course upon the deep scarcely perceptible; while,
above, the planet Jupiter burned with steady dignity, and threw a
tremulous line of light on the sea, whose surface flowed in smooth
waveless expanse. Then, other planets appeared, and countless stars
spangled the dark waters. Twilight now pervaded air and ocean, but the
west was still luminous, where one solemn gleam of dusky red edged the
horizon, from under heavy vapours.

It was now that we first discovered some symptoms of England; the
lighthouse on the South-Foreland appeared like a dawning star above the
margin of the sea.

The vessel made little progress during the night. With the earliest
dawn of morning we were on deck, in the hope of seeing the English
coast; but the mists veiled it from our view. A spectacle, however,
the most grand in nature, repaid us for our disappointment, and we
found the circumstances of a sun-rise at sea, yet more interesting than
those of a sun-set. The moon, bright and nearly at her meridian, shed
a strong lustre on the ocean, and gleamed between the sails upon the
deck; but the dawn, beginning to glimmer, contended with her light,
and, soon touching the waters with a cold grey tint, discovered them
spreading all round to the vast horizon. Not a sound broke upon the
silence, except the lulling one occasioned by the course of the vessel
through the waves, and now and then the drowsy song of the pilot, as he
leaned on the helm; his shadowy figure just discerned, and that of a
sailor pacing near the head of the ship with crossed arms and a rolling
step. The captain, wrapt in a sea-coat, lay asleep on the deck, wearied
with the early watch. As the dawn strengthened, it discovered white
sails stealing along the distance, and the flight of some sea-fowls, as
they uttered their slender cry, and then, dropping upon the waves, sat
floating on the surface. Meanwhile, the light tints in the east began
to change, and the skirts of a line of clouds below to assume a hue
of tawny red, which gradually became rich orange and purple. We could
now perceive a long tract of the coast of France, like a dark streak
of vapour hovering in the south, and were somewhat alarmed on finding
ourselves within view of the French shore, while that of England was
still invisible.

The moon-light faded fast from the waters, and soon the long beams of
the sun shot their lines upwards through the clouds and into the clear
blue sky above, and all the sea below glowed with fiery reflections,
for a considerable time, before his disk appeared. At length he rose
from the waves, looking from under clouds of purple and gold; and as he
seemed to touch the water, a distant vessel passed over his disk, like
a dark speck.

       *       *       *       *       *

We were soon after cheered by the faintly seen coast of England, but
at the same time discovered, nearer to us on the south-west, the high
blue headlands of Calais; and, more eastward, the town, with its large
church and the steeples of two others, seated on the edge of the sea.
The woods, that fringe the summits of hills rising over it, were
easily distinguished with glasses, as well as the national flag on
the steeple of the great church. As we proceeded, Calais cliffs, at a
considerable distance westward of the town, lost their aërial blue, and
shewed an high front of chalky precipice, overtopped by dark downs.
Beyond, far to the south-west, and at the foot of a bold promontory,
that swelled above all the neighbouring heights, our glasses gave us
the towers and ramparts of Boulogne, sloping upward from the shore,
with its tall lighthouse on a low point running out into the sea; the
whole appearing with considerable dignity and picturesque effect. The
hills beyond were tamer, and sunk gradually away in the horizon. At
length, the breeze wafting us more to the north, we discriminated the
bolder features of the English coast, and, about noon, found ourselves
nearly in the middle of the channel, having Picardy on our left and
Kent on the right, its white cliffs aspiring with great majesty over
the flood. The sweeping bay of Dover, with all its chalky heights,
soon after opened. The town appeared low on the shore within, and the
castle, with round and massy towers, crowned the vast rock, which,
advancing into the sea, formed the eastern point of the crescent, while
Shakespeare's cliff, bolder still and sublime as the eternal name it
bears, was the western promontory of the bay. The height and grandeur
of this cliff were particularly striking, when a ship was seen sailing
at its base, diminished by comparison to an inch. From hence the cliffs
towards Folkstone, though still broken and majestic, gradually decline.
There are, perhaps, few prospects of sea and shore more animated and
magnificent than this. The vast expanse of water, the character of the
cliffs, that guard the coast, the ships of war and various merchantmen
moored in the Downs, the lighter vessels skimming along the channel,
and the now distant shore of France, with Calais glimmering faintly,
and hinting of different modes of life and a new world, all these
circumstances formed a scene of pre-eminent combination, and led to
interesting reflection.

Our vessel was bound to Deal, and, leaving Dover and its cliffs on the
south, we entered that noble bay, which the rich shores of Kent open
for the sea. Gentle hills, swelling all round from the water, green
with woods, or cultivation, and speckled with towns and villages,
with now and then the towers of an old fortress, offered a landscape
particularly cheering to eyes accustomed to the monotonous flatness of
Dutch views. And we landed in England under impressions of delight more
varied and strong than can be conceived, without referring to the joy
of an escape from districts where there was scarcely an home for the
natives, and to the love of our own country, greatly enhanced by all
that had been seen of others.

Between Deal and London, after being first struck by the superior
appearance and manners of the people to those of the countries we had
been lately accustomed to, a contrast too obvious as well as too often
remarked to be again insisted upon, but which made all the ordinary
circumstances of the journey seem new and delightful, the difference
between the landscapes of England and Germany occurred forcibly to
notice. The large scale, in which every division of land appeared in
Germany, the long corn grounds, the huge stretches of hills, the vast
plains and the wide vallies could not but be beautifully opposed by
the varieties and undulations of English surface, with gently swelling
slopes, rich in verdure, thick enclosures, woods, bowery hop-grounds,
sheltered mansions, announcing the wealth, and substantial farms, with
neat villages, the comfort of the country. English landscape may be
compared to cabinet pictures, delicately beautiful and highly finished;
German scenery to paintings for a vestibule, of bold outline and
often sublime, but coarse and to be viewed with advantage only from a

Northward, beyond London, we may make one stop, after a country, not
otherwise necessary to be noticed, to mention Hardwick, in Derbyshire,
a seat of the Duke of Devonshire, once the residence of the Earl of
Shrewsbury, to whom Elizabeth deputed the custody of the unfortunate
Mary. It stands on an easy height, a few miles to the left of the
road from Mansfield to Chesterfield, and is approached through shady
lanes, which conceal the view of it, till you are on the confines of
the park. Three towers of hoary grey then rise with great majesty among
old woods, and their summits appear to be covered with the lightly
shivered fragments of battlements, which, however, are soon discovered
to be perfectly carved open work, in which the letters E. S. frequently
occur under a coronet, the initials, and the memorials of the vanity,
of Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, who built the present edifice.
Its tall features, of a most picturesque tint, were finely disclosed
between the luxuriant woods and over the lawns of the park, which,
every now and then, let in a glimpse of the Derbyshire hills. The
scenery reminded us of the exquisite descriptions of Harewood,

  "The deep embowering shades, that veil Elfrida;"

and those of Hardwick once veiled a form as lovely as the ideal graces
of the Poet, and conspired to a fate more tragical than that, which
Harewood witnessed.

In front of the great gates of the castle court, the ground, adorned
by old oaks, suddenly sinks to a darkly shadowed glade, and the view
opens over the vale of Scarsdale, bounded by the wild mountains of the
Peak. Immediately to the left of the present residence, some ruined
features of the antient one, enwreathed with the rich drapery of ivy,
give an interest to the scene, which the later, but more historical
structure heightens and prolongs. We followed, not without emotion,
the walk, which Mary had so often trodden, to the folding doors of the
great hall, whose lofty grandeur, aided by silence and seen under the
influence of a lowering sky, suited the temper of the whole scene. The
tall windows, which half subdue the light they admit, just allowed
us to distinguish the large figures in the tapestry, above the oak
wainscoting, and shewed a colonnade of oak supporting a gallery
along the bottom of the hall, with a pair of gigantic elk's horns
flourishing between the windows opposite to the entrance. The scene of
Mary's arrival and her feelings upon entering this solemn shade came
involuntarily to the mind; the noise of horses' feet and many voices
from the court; her proud yet gentle and melancholy look, as, led by my
Lord Keeper, she passed slowly up the hall; his somewhat obsequious,
yet jealous and vigilant air, while, awed by her dignity and beauty, he
remembers the terrors of his own Queen; the silence and anxiety of her
maids, and the bustle of the surrounding attendants.

From the hall a stair-case ascends to the gallery of a small chapel,
in which the chairs and cushions, used by Mary, still remain, and
proceeds to the first story, where only one apartment bears memorials
of her imprisonment, the bed, tapestry and chairs having been worked
by herself. This tapestry is richly embossed with emblematic figures,
each with its title worked above it, and, having been scrupulously
preserved, is still entire and fresh.

Over the chimney of an adjoining dining-room, to which, as well as to
other apartments on this floor, some modern furniture has been added,
is this motto carved in oak:

     "There is only this: To fear God and keep his Commandments."

So much less valuable was timber than workmanship, when this mansion
was constructed, that, where the stair-cases are not of stone, they
are formed of solid oaken steps, instead of planks; such is that from
the second, or state story to the roof, whence, on clear days, York and
Lincoln Cathedrals are said to be included in the extensive prospect.
This second floor is that, which gives its chief interest to the
edifice. Nearly all the apartments of it were allotted to Mary; some of
them for state purposes; and the furniture is known by other proofs,
than its appearance, to remain as she left it. The chief room, or that
of audience, is of uncommon loftiness, and strikes by its grandeur,
before the veneration and tenderness arise, which its antiquities, and
the plainly told tale of the sufferings they witnessed, excite.

The walls, which are covered to a considerable height with tapestry,
are painted above with historical groups. The chairs are of black
velvet, nearly concealed by a raised needle-work of gold, silver and
colours, that mingle with surprising richness, and remain in fresh
preservation. The upper end of the room is distinguished by a lofty
canopy of the same materials, and by steps which support two chairs;
so that the Earl and Countess of Shrewsbury probably enjoyed their
own stateliness here, as well as assisted in the ceremonies practised
before Mary. A carpeted table, in front of the canopy, was, perhaps,
the desk of Commissioners, or Secretaries, who here recorded some of
the proceedings concerning her; below which, the room breaks into a
spacious recess, where a few articles of furniture are deposited, not
originally placed in it; a bed of state, used by Mary, the curtains of
gold tissue, but in so tattered a condition, that its original texture
can scarcely be perceived. This and the chairs, which accompany it, are
supposed to have been much earlier than Mary's time.

A short passage leads from the state apartment to her own chamber, a
small room, overlooked from the passage by a window, which enabled her
attendants to know, that she was contriving no means of escape through
the others into the court. The bed and chairs of this room are of black
velvet, embroidered by herself; the toilet of gold tissue; all more
decayed than worn, and probably used only towards the conclusion of her
imprisonment here, when she was removed from some better apartment, in
which the antient bed, now in the state-room, had been placed. The date
1599 is once or twice inscribed in this chamber; for no reason, that
could relate to Mary, who was removed hence in 1584, and fell, by the
often-blooded hands of Elizabeth, in 1587.

These are the apartments, distinguished by having been the residence
of so unhappy a personage. On the other side of the mansion, a grand
gallery occupies the length of the whole front, which is 165 feet, and
contains many portraits, now placed carelessly on chairs, or the floor;
amongst them an head of Sir Thomas More, apparently very fine; heads
of Henries the Fourth, Seventh and Eighth; a portrait of Lady Jane
Gray, meek and fair, before a harpsichord, on which a psalm-book is
opened; at the bottom of the gallery, Elizabeth, slyly proud and meanly
violent; and, at the top, Mary, in black, taken a short time before
her death, her countenance much faded, deeply marked by indignation
and grief, and reduced as if to the spectre of herself, frowning with
suspicion upon all who approached it; the black eyes looking out from
their corners, thin lips, somewhat aquiline nose and beautiful chin.

What remains of the more antient building is a ruin, which, standing
nearly on the brink of the glade, is a fine object from this. A few
apartments, though approached with difficulty through the fragments of
others, are still almost entire, and the dimensions of that called the
Giant's Chamber are remarkable for the beauty of their proportion.

From Hardwick to within a few miles of Middleton, the beauty of the
country declines, while the sublimity is not perfected; but, from
the north-west brow of Brampton Moor, the vast hills of Derbyshire
appear, in wild and ghastly succession. Middleton, hewn out of the grey
rocks, that impend over it, and scarcely distinguishable from them, is
worth notice for its very small and neat octagon church, built partly
by brief and partly by a donation from the Duke of Devonshire. The
valley, or rather chasm, at the entrance of which it stands, is called
Middleton Dale, and runs, for two miles, between perpendicular walls
of rock, which have more the appearance of having been torn asunder by
some convulsive rent of the earth, than any we have elsewhere seen.
The strata are horizontal, and the edges of each are often distinct
and rounded; one of the characteristics of granite. Three grey rocks,
resembling castles, project from these solid walls, and, now and then,
a lime-kiln, round like a bastion, half involves in smoke a figure,
who, standing on the summit, looks the Witch of the Dale, on an edge of
her cauldron, watching the workings of incantation.

The chasm opened, at length, to a hill, whence wild moorish mountains
were seen on all sides, some entirely covered with the dull purple of
heath, others green, but without enclosures, except sometimes a stone
wall, and the dark sides of others marked only by the blue smoke of
weeds, driven in circles near the ground.

Towards sun-set, from a hill in Cheshire, we had a vast view over part
of that county and nearly all Lancashire, a scene of fertile plains
and gentle heights, till some broad and towering mountains, at an
immense distance, were but uncertainly distinguished from the clouds.
Soon after, the cheerful populousness of the rich towns and villages
in Lancashire supplied objects for attention of a different character;
Stockport first, crowded with buildings and people, as much so as
some of the busiest quarters in London, with large blazing fires in
every house, by the light of which women were frequently spinning,
and manufacturers issuing from their workshops and filling the steep
streets, which the chaise rolled down with; dangerous rapidity; then
an almost continued street of villages to Manchester, some miles
before which the road was busy with passengers and carriages, as well
as bordered by handsome country houses; and, finally for this day,
Manchester itself; a second London; enormous to those, who have not
seen the first, almost tumultuous with business, and yet well proved
to afford the necessary peacefulness to science, letters and taste.
And not only for itself may Manchester be an object of admiration, but
for the contrast of its useful profits to the wealth of a neighbouring
place, immersed in the dreadful guilt of the Slave Trade, with the
continuance of which to believe national prosperity compatible, is to
hope, that the actions of nations pass unseen before the Almighty,
or to suppose extenuation of crimes by increase of criminality, and
that the eternal laws of right and truth, which smite the wickedness
of individuals, are too weak to struggle with the accumulated and
comprehensive guilt of a national participation in robbery, cruelty and

From Manchester to Lancaster the road leads through a pleasant and
populous country, which rises gradually as it approaches the huge hills
we had noticed in the distance from the brow of Cheshire, and whose
attitudes now resembled those of the Rheingau as seen from Mentz.
From some moors on this side of Lancaster the prospects open very
extensively over a rich tract fading into blue ridges; while, on the
left, long lines of distant sea appear, every now and then, over the
dark woods of the shore, with vessels sailing as if on their summits.
But the view from a hill descending to Lancaster is pre-eminent for
grandeur, and comprehends an extent of sea and land, and a union of the
sublime in both, which we have never seen equalled. In the green vale
of the Lune below lies the town, spreading up the side of a round hill
overtopped by the old towers of the castle and the church. Beyond,
over a ridge of gentle heights, which bind the west side of the vale,
the noble inlet of the sea, that flows upon the Ulverston and Lancaster
sands, is seen at the feet of an amphitheatre formed by nearly all the
mountains of the Lakes; an exhibition of alpine grandeur, both in form
and colouring, which, with the extent of water below, compose a scenery
perhaps faintly rivalling that of the Lake of Geneva. To the south and
west, the Irish Channel finishes the view.

The antient town and castle of Lancaster have been so often and so
well described, that little remains to be said of them. To the latter
considerable additions are building in the Gothic style, which,
when time shall have shaded the stone, will harmonize well wish the
venerable towers and gatehouse of the old structure. From a turret
rising over the leads of the castle, called John o' Gaunt's Chair,
the prospect is still finer than from the terrace of the church-yard
below. Overlooking the Lune and its green slopes, the eye ranges to the
bay of the sea beyond, and to the Cumberland and Lancashire mountains.
On an island near the extremity of the peninsula of Low Furness, the
double point of Peel Castle starts up from the sea, but is so distant
that it resembles a forked rock. This peninsula, which separates the
bay of Ulverston from the Irish Channel, swells gradually into a
pointed mountain called Blackcomb, thirty miles from Lancaster, the
first in the amphitheatre, that binds the bay. Hence a range of lower,
but more broken and forked summits, extends northward to the fells
of High Furness, rolled behind each other, huge, towering and dark;
then, higher still, Langdale Pikes, with a confusion of other fells,
that crown the head of Windermere and retire towards Keswick, whose
gigantic mountains, Helvellyn and Saddleback, are, however, sunk in
distance below the horizon of the nearer ones. The top of Skiddaw may
be discerned when the air is clear, but it is too far off to appear
with dignity. From Windermere-Fells the heights soften towards the
Vale of Lonsdale, on the east side of which Ingleborough, a mountain
in Craven, rears his rugged front, the loftiest and most majestic in
the scene. The nearer country, from this point of the landscape, is
intersected with cultivated hills, between which the Lune winds its
bright but shallow stream, falling over a weir and passing under a very
handsome stone bridge at the entrance of the town, in its progress
towards the sea. A ridge of rocky eminences shelters Lancaster on the
east, whence they decline into the low and uninteresting country, that
stretches to the Channel.

The appearance of the northern Fells is ever changing with the weather
and shifting lights. Sometimes they resemble those evening clouds on
the horizon, that catch the last gleams of the sun; at others, wrapt in
dark mist, they are only faintly traced, and seem like stormy vapours
rising from the sea. But in a bright day their appearance is beautiful;
then, their grand outlines are distinctly drawn upon the sky, a vision
of Alps; the rugged sides are faintly marked with light and shadow,
with wood and rock, and here and there a cluster of white cottages, or
farms and hamlets, gleam at their feet along the water's edge. Over the
whole landscape is then drawn a softening azure, or sometimes a purple
hue, exquisitely lovely, while the sea below reflects a brighter tint
of blue.


Leaving Lancaster, we wound along the southern brow of the vale of
the Lune, which there serpentizes among meadows, and is soon after
shut up between steep shrubby banks. From the heights we had some fine
retrospects of Lancaster and the distant sea; but, about three miles
from the town, the hills open forward to a view as much distinguished
by the notice of Mr. GRAY, as by its own charms. We here looked down
over a woody and finely broken fore-ground upon the Lune and the vale
of Lonsdale, undulating in richly cultivated slopes, with Ingleborough,
for the back-ground, bearing its bold promontory on high, the very
crown and paragon of the landscape. To the west, the vale winds from
sight among smoother hills; and the gracefully falling line of a
mountain, on the left, forms, with the wooded heights, on the right, a
kind of frame for the distant picture.

The road now turned into the sweetly retired vale of Caton, and by the
village church-yard, in which there is not a single gravestone, to
Hornby, a small straggling town, delightfully seated near the entrance
of the vale of Lonsdale. Its thin toppling castle is seen among wood,
at a considerable distance, with a dark hill rising over it. What
remains of the old edifice is a square grey building, with a slender
watch-tower, rising in one corner, like a feather in a hat, which joins
the modern mansion of white stone, and gives it a singular appearance,
by seeming to start from the centre of its roof.

In front, a steep lawn descends between avenues of old wood, and the
park extends along the skirts of the craggy hill, that towers above.
At its foot, is a good stone bridge over the Wenning, now shrunk in
its pebbly bed, and, further on, near the castle, the church, shewing
a handsome octagonal tower, crowned with battlements. The road then
becomes extremely interesting, and, at Melling, a village on a brow
some miles further, the view opens over the whole vale of Lonsdale.
The eye now passes, beneath the arching foliage of some trees in
the fore-ground, to the sweeping valley, where meadows of the most
vivid green and dark woods, with white cottages and villages peeping
from among them, mingle with surprising richness, and undulate from
either bank of the Lune to the feet of hills. Ingleborough, rising
from elegantly swelling ground, overlooked this enchanting vale, on
the right, clouds rolling along its broken top, like smoke from a
cauldron, and its hoary tint forming a boundary to the soft verdure
and rich woodlands of the slopes, at its feet. The perspective was
terminated by the tall peeping heads of the Westmoreland fells, the
nearer ones tinged with faintest purple, the more distant with light
azure; and this is the general boundary to a scene, in the midst
of which, enclosed between nearer and lower hills, lies the vale
of Lonsdale, of a character mild, delicate and reposing, like the
countenance of a Madona.

Descending Melling brow, and winding among the perpetually-changing
scenery of the valley, we approached Ingleborough; and it was
interesting to observe the lines of its bolder features gradually
strengthening, and the shadowy markings of its minuter ones becoming
more distinct, as we advanced. Rock and grey crags looked out from
the heath, on every side; but its form on each was very different.
Towards Lonsdale, the mountain is bold and majestic, rising in abrupt
and broken precipices, and, often impending, till, at the summit,
it suddenly becomes flat, and is level for nearly a mile, whence it
descends, in along gradual ridge, to Craven in Yorkshire. In summer,
some festivities are annually celebrated on this top, and the country
people, as they "drink the freshness of the mountain breeze[1]," look
over the wild moorlands of Yorkshire, the rich vales of Lancashire, and
to the sublime mountains of Westmoreland.

[1] Mrs. Barbauld.

Crossing a small bridge, we turned from Ingleborough, and passed very
near the antient walls of Thirlham Castle, little of which is now
remaining. The ruin is on a green broken knoll, one side of which is
darkened with brush-wood and dwarf-oak. Cattle were reposing in the
shade, on the bank of a rivulet, that rippled through what was formerly
the castle ditch. A few old trees waved over what was once a tower,
now covered with ivy.

Some miles further, we crossed the Leck, a shrunk and desolate stream,
nearly choked with pebbles, winding in a deep rocky glen, where trees
and shrubs marked the winter boundary of the waters. Our road, mounting
a green eminence of the opposite bank, on which stands Overborough, the
handsome modern mansion of Mr. FENWICK, wound between plantations and
meadows, painted with yellow and purple flowers, like those of spring.
As we passed through their gentle slopes, we had, now and then, sweet
views between the foliage, on the left, into the vale of Lonsdale, now
contracting in its course, and winding into ruder scenery. Among these
catches, the best picture was, perhaps, where the white town of Kirby
Lonsdale shelves along the opposite bank, having rough heathy hills
immediately above it, and, below, a venerable Gothic bridge over the
Lune, rising in tall arches, like an antient aqueduct; its grey tint
agreeing well with the silvery lightness of the water and the green
shades, that flourished from the steep margin over the abutments.

The view from this bridge, too, was beautiful. The river, foaming
below among masses of dark rock, variegated with light tints of grey,
as if touched by the painter's pencil, withdrew towards the south in
a straight channel, with the woods of Overborough on the left. The
vale, dilating, opened a long perspective to Ingleborough and many
blue mountains more distant, with all the little villages we had
passed, glittering on the intervening eminences. The colouring of some
low hills, on the right, was particularly beautiful, long shades of
wood being overtopped with brown heath, while, below, meadows of soft
verdure fell gently towards the river bank.

Kirby Lonsdale, a neat little town, commanding the whole vale, is on
the western steep. We staid two hours at it, gratified by witnessing,
at the first inn we reached, the abundance of the country and the
goodwill of the people. In times, when the prices of necessary articles
are increasing with the taste for all unnecessary display, instances
of cheapness may be to persons of small incomes something more than
mere physical treasures; they have a moral value in contributing to
independence of mind.

Here we had an early and, as it afterwards appeared, a very
exaggerated specimen of the dialect of the country. A woman talked,
for five minutes, against our window, of whose conversation we could
understand scarcely a word. Soon after, a boy replied to a question,
"_I do na ken_," and "_gang_" was presently the common word for _go_;
symptoms of nearness to a country, which we did not approach, without
delighting to enumerate the instances of genius and worth, that adorn

Leaving Kirby Lonsdale by the Kendal road, we mounted a steep hill,
and, looking back from its summit upon the whole vale of Lonsdale,
perceived ourselves to be in the mid-way between beauty and desolation,
so enchanting was the retrospect and so wild and dreary the prospect.
From the neighbourhood of Caton to Kirby the ride was superior, for
elegant beauty, to any we had passed; this from Kirby to Kendal is of
a character distinctly opposite. After losing sight of the vale, the
road lies, for nearly the whole distance, over moors and perpetually
succeeding hills, thinly covered with dark purple heath flowers, of
which the most distant seemed black. The dreariness of the scene was
increased by a heavy rain and by the slowness of our progress, jostling
amongst coal carts, for ten miles of rugged ground. The views over the
Westmoreland mountains were, however, not entirely obscured; their vast
ridges were visible in the horizon to the north and west, line over
line, frequently in five or six ranges. Sometimes the intersecting
mountains opened to others beyond, that fell in deep and abrupt
precipices, their profiles drawing towards a point below and seeming to
sink in a bottomless abyss.

On our way over these wilds, parts of which are called Endmoor and
Cowbrows, we overtook only long trains of coal carts, and, after
ten miles of bleak mountain road, began to desire a temporary home,
somewhat sooner than we perceived Kendal, white-smoking in the dark
vale. As we approached, the outlines of its ruinous castle were just
distinguishable through the gloom, scattered in masses over the top
of a small round hill, on the right. At the entrance of the town, the
river Kent dashed in foam down a weir; beyond it, on a green slope, the
gothic tower of the church was half hid by a cluster of dark trees;
gray fells glimmered in the distance.

We were lodged at another excellent inn, and, the next morning,
walked over the town, which has an air of trade mingled with that of
antiquity. Its history has been given in other places, and we are not
able to discuss the doubt, whether it was the Roman _Brocanonacio_, or
not. The manufacture of cloth, which our statute books testify to have
existed as early as the reign in which _Falstaff_ is made to allude to
it, appears to be still in vigour, for the town is surrounded, towards
the river, with dyeing-grounds. We saw, however, no shades of "Kendal
green," or, indeed, any but bright scarlet.

The church is remarkable for three chapels, memorials of the antient
dignity of three neighbouring families the Bellinghams, Stricklands and
Parrs. These are enclosures, on each side of the altar, differing from
pews chiefly in being large enough to contain tombs. Mr. Gray noticed
them minutely in the year 1769. They were then probably entire; but
the wainscot or railing, which divided the chapel of the Parrs from
the aisle, is now gone. Of two stone tombs in it one is enclosed with
modern railing, and there are many remnants of painted arms on the
adjoining windows. The chapel of the Stricklands, which is between this
and the altar, is separated from the church aisle by a solid wainscot,
to the height of four feet, and after that by a wooden railing with
broken fillagree ornaments. That of the Bellinghams contains an antient
tomb, of which the brass plates, that bore inscriptions and arms, are
now gone, but some traces of the latter remain in plaistered stone at
the side. Over it, are the fragments of an helmet, and, in the roof,
those of armorial bearings, carved in wood. On a pillar, near this, is
an inscription, almost obliterated, in which the following words may
yet be traced:

  "Dame Thomasim Thornburgh
  Wiffe of Sir William Thornburgh Knyght
  Daughter of Sir Robert Bellingham
  Gentle Knyght: the ellventhe of August
  On thousand fyue hundreth eightie too."

       *       *       *       *       *

The Saxon has been so strongly engrafted on our language, that, in
reading old inscriptions, especially those, which are likely to have
been spelt, according to the pronunciation, one is frequently reminded
by antient English words of the modern German synonyms. A German of the
present day would say for eleven, eilf, pronounced long like eilve, and
for five, funf, pronounced like fuynf.

Over the chief seat in the old pew of the Bellinghams is a brass plate,
engraved with the figure of a man in armour, and, on each side of it, a
brass escutcheon, of which that on the right has a motto thus spelled,
_Ains. y L'est_. Under the figure is the following inscription, also
cut in brass:

     Heer lyeth the bodye of Alan Bellingham esquier who
     maryed Catheryan daughter of Anthonye Ducket esquier by
     whom he had no children after whose decease he maryed
     Dorothie daughter of Thomas Sanford esquier of whom he had
     ---- sonnes & eight daughters, of which five sonnes & 7
     daughters with the said Dorothie ar yeat lyving, he was
     threescore and one yares of age & dyed ye 7 of Maye
     Ao dni 1577.

The correctness of inserting the unpronounced consonants in the words
Eight and Daughters, notwithstanding the varieties of the other
orthography in this inscription, is a proof of the universality of the
Saxon mode of spelling, with great abundance and even waste of letters;
a mode, which is so incorporated with our language, that those, who
are for dispensing with it in some instances, as in the final k in
"publick" and other words, should consider what a general change they
have to effect, or what partial incongruities they must submit to.

Kendal is built on the lower steeps of a hill, that towers over the
principal street, and bears on one of its brows a testimony to the
independence of the inhabitants, an obelisk dedicated to liberty and
to the memory of the Revolution in 1688. At a time, when the memory
of that revolution is reviled, and the praises of liberty itself
endeavoured to be suppressed by the artifice of imputing to it the
crimes of anarchy, it was impossible to omit any act of veneration to
the blessings of this event. Being thus led to ascend the hill, we had
a view of the country, over which it presides; a scene simple, great
and free as the spirit revered amidst it.


Of two roads from Kendal to Bampton one is through Long Sleddale,
the other over Shap-fell, the king of the Westmoreland mountains; of
which routes the last is the most interesting for simple sublimity,
leading through the heart of the wildest tracts and opening to such
vast highland scenery as even Derbyshire cannot shew. We left Kendal by
this road, and from a very old, ruinous bridge had a full view of the
castle, stretching its dark walls and broken towers round the head of a
green hill, to the southward of the town. These reliques are, however,
too far separated by the decay of large masses of the original edifice,
and contain little that is individually picturesque.

The road now lay through shady lanes and over undulating, but gradually
ascending ground, from whence were pleasant views of the valley, with
now and then a break in the hills, on the left, opening to a glimpse
of the distant fells towards Windermere, gray and of more pointed form
than any we had yet seen; for hitherto the mountains, though of huge
outline, were not so broken, or alpine in their summits as to strike
the fancy with surprise. After about three miles, a very steep hill
shuts up the vale to the North, and from a gray rock, near the summit,
called Stone-cragg, the prospect opens over the vale of Kendal with
great dignity and beauty. Its form from hence seems nearly circular;
the hills spread round it, and sweep with easy lines into the bottom,
green nearly to their summits, where no fantastic points bend over it,
though rock frequently mingles with the heath. The castle, or its
low green hill, looked well, nearly in the centre of the landscape,
with Kendal and its mountain, on the right. Far to the south, were
the groves of Leven's park, almost the only wood in the scene, and,
over the heights beyond, blue hills bounded the horizon. On the west,
an opening in the near steeps discovered clusters of huge and broken
fells, while other breaks, on the east, shewed long ridges stretching
towards the south. Nearer us and to the northward, the hills rose dark
and awful, crowding over and intersecting each other in long and abrupt
lines, heath and crag their only furniture.

The rough knolls around us and the dark mountain above gave force to
the verdant beauty and tranquillity of the vale below, and seemed
especially to shelter from the storms of the north some white farms
and cottages, scattered among enclosures in the hollows. Soon after
reaching the summit of the mountain itself

  "A vale appear'd below, a deep retir'd abode,"

and we looked down on the left into Long Sleddale, a little scene of
exquisite beauty, surrounded with images of greatness. This narrow
vale, or glen, shewed a level of the brightest verdure, with a few
cottages scattered among groves, enclosed by dark fells, that rose
steeply, yet gracefully, and, at their summits, bent forward in masses
of shattered rock. An hugely pointed mountain, called Keintmoor-head,
shuts up this sweet scene to the north, rising in a sudden precipice
from the vale, and heightening, by barren and gloomy steeps, the
miniature beauty, that glowed at its feet. Two mountains, called
Whiteside and Potter's-fell, screen the perspective; Stone-crag is at
the southern end, fronting Keintmoor-head. The vale, seen beyond the
broken ground we were upon, formed a landscape of, perhaps, unexampled
variety and grace of colouring; the tender green of the lowland, the
darker verdure of the woods ascending the mountains, the brown rough
heath above them, and the impending crags over all, exhibit their
numerous shades, within a space not more than two miles long, or half a
mile in breadth.

From the right of our road another valley extended, whose character is
that of simple sublimity, unmixed with any tint of beauty. The vast,
yet narrow perspective sweeps in ridges of mountains, huge, barren
and brown, point beyond point, the highest of which, Howgill-fell,
gives its name to the whole district, in which not a wood, a village,
or a farm appeared to cheer the long vista. A shepherd boy told us
the names of almost all the heights within the horizon, and we are
sorry not to have written them, for the names of mountains are seldom
compounded of modern, or trivial denominations, and frequently are
somewhat descriptive of their prototypes. He informed us also, that
we should go over eight miles of Shap-fell, without seeing a house;
and soon after, at Haw's-foot, we took leave of the last on the road,
entering then a close valley, surrounded by stupendous mountains of
heath and rock, more towering and abrupt than those, that had appeared
in moorlands on the other side of Kendal. A stream, rolling in its
rocky channel, and crossing the road under a rude bridge, was all that
broke the solitary silence, or gave animation to the view, except the
flocks, that hung upon the precipices, and which, at that height,
were scarcely distinguishable from the gray round stones, thickly
starting from out the heathy steeps. The Highlands of Scotland could
scarcely have offered to OSSIAN more images of simple greatness, or
more circumstances for melancholy inspiration. Dark glens and fells,
the mossy stone, the lonely blast, descending on the valley, the roar
of distant torrents every where occurred; and to the bard the "song of
spirits" would have swelled with these sounds, and their fleeting forms
have appeared in the clouds, that frequently floated along the mountain

The road, now ascending Shap-fell, alternately climbed the steeps and
sunk among the hollows of this sovereign mountain, which gives its name
to all the surrounding hills; and, during an ascent of four miles, we
watched every form and attitude of the features, which composed this
vast scenery. Sometimes we looked from a precipice into deep vallies,
varied only with shades of heath, with the rude summer hut of the
shepherd, or by streams accumulating into torrents; and, at others,
caught long prospects over high lands as huge and wild as the nearer
ones, which partially intercepted them.

The flocks in this high region are so seldom disturbed by the footsteps
of man, that they have not learned to fear him; they continued to graze
within a few feet of the carriage, or looked quietly at it, seeming to
consider these mountains as their own.

Near the summit of the road, though not of the hill, a retrospective
glance gave us a long view over the fells, and of a rich distance
towards Lancaster, rising into blue hills, which admitted glimpses
of sparkling sea in the bay beyond. This gay perspective, lighted up
by a gleam of sunshine, and viewed between the brown lines of the
nearer mountains, shewed like the miniature painting of a landscape,
illuminated beyond a darkened fore-ground.

At the point of every steep, as we ascended, the air seemed to become
thinner, and, at the northern summit of Shap-fell, which we reached
after nearly two hours' toil, the wind blew with piercing intenseness,
making it difficult to remain as long as was due to our admiration
of the prospect. The scene of mountains, which burst upon us, can be
compared only to the multitudinous waves of the sea. On the northern,
western and eastern scope of the horizon rose vast ridges of heights,
their broken lines sometimes appearing in seven or eight successive
ranges, though shewing nothing either fantastic or peaked in their
forms. The autumnal lights, gleaming on their sides, or shadows
sweeping in dark lines along them, produced a very sublime effect;
while summits more remote were often misty with the streaming shower,
and others glittered in the partial rays, or were coloured with the
mild azure of distance. The greater tract of the intervening hills and
Shap-fell itself were, at this time, darkened with clouds, while Fancy,
awed by the gloom, imaged the genius of Westmoreland brooding over it
and directing the scowling storm.

A descent of nearly four miles brought us to Shap, a straggling
village, lying on the side of a bleak hill, feebly sheltered by
clumps of trees. Here, leaving the moorlands, we were glad to find
ourselves again where "bells have knolled to church," and in the midst
of civilized, though simple life. After a short rest, at a cleanly
little inn, we proceeded towards Bampton, a village five miles further
in a vale, to which it gives its name, and one mile from Hawswater,
the lake, that invited us to it. As the road advanced, the fells of
this lake fronted it, and, closing over the southern end of Bampton
vale, were the most interesting objects in the view. They were of a
character very different from any yet seen; tall, rocky, and of more
broken and pointed form. Among them was the high blue peak, called
Kidstow-pike; the broader ridge of Wallow-crag; a round and still
loftier mountain--Ickolm-moor, beyond, and, further yet, other ranges
of peaked summits, that overlook Ullswater.

In a hollow on the left of the road, called the Vale of Magdalene, are
the ruins of Shap-abbey, built in the reign of John, of which little
now appears except a tower with pointed windows. The situation is
deeply secluded, and the gloom of the surrounding mountains may have
accorded well with monastic melancholy.

Proceeding towards Bampton we had a momentary peep into Hawswater,
sunk deep among black and haggard rocks, and overtopped by the towering
fells before named, whose summits were involved in tempest, till the
sun, suddenly breaking out from under clouds, threw a watery gleam
aslant the broken top of Kidstow-pike; and his rays, struggling with
the shower, produced a fine effect of light, opposed to the gloom, that
wrapt Ickolm-moor and other huge mountains.

We soon after looked down from the heights of Bampton upon its open
vale, checquered with corn and meadows, among which the slender Lowther
wound its way from Hawswater to the vale of Eden, crossing that of
Bampton to the north. The hills, enriched here and there with hanging
woods and seats, were cultivated nearly to their summits, except where
in the south the rude heights of Hawswater almost excluded the lake
and shut up the valley. Immediately below us Bampton grange lay along
the skirt of the hill, and crossed the Lowther, a gray, rambling and
antient village, to which we descended among rough common, darkened by
plantations of fir, and between corn enclosures.

The interruption, which enclosed waters and pathless mountains give to
the intercourse and business of ordinary life, renders the district,
that contains the lakes of Lancashire, Westmoreland and Cumberland,
more thinly inhabited than is due to the healthiness of the climate
and, perhaps, to the richness of the vallies. The roads are always
difficult from their steepness, and in winter are greatly obstructed
by snow. That over Shap-fell to Kendal was, some years since, entirely
impassable, till the inhabitants of a few scattered towns subscribed
thirty pounds, and a way was cut wide enough for one horse, but so
deep, that the snow was, on each side, above the rider's head. It is
not in this age of communication and intelligence, that any person will
be credulously eager to suppose the inhabitants of one part of the
island considerably or generally distinguished in their characters from
those of another; yet, perhaps, none can immerge themselves in this
country of the lakes, without being struck by the superior simplicity
and modesty of the people. Secluded from great towns and from examples
of selfish splendour, their minds seem to act freely in the sphere of
their own affairs, without interruption from envy or triumph, as to
those of others. They are obliging, without servility, and plain but
not rude, so that, when, in accosting you, they omit the customary
appellations, you perceive it to be the familiarity of kindness, not of
disrespect; and they do not bend with meanness, or hypocrisy, but shew
an independent well meaning, without obtrusiveness and without the hope
of more than ordinary gain.

Their views of profit from strangers are, indeed, more limited than we
could have believed, before witnessing it. The servants at the little
inns confess themselves, by their manner of receiving what you give, to
be almost as much surprised as pleased. A boy, who had opened four or
five gates for us between Shap and Bampton, blushed when we called to
him to have some halfpence; and it frequently happened, that persons,
who had looked at the harness, or rendered some little services of
that sort on the road, passed on, before any thing could be offered
them. The confusion of others, on being paid, induced us to suppose, at
first, that enough had not been given; but we were soon informed, that
nothing was expected.

The inns, as here at Bampton, are frequently humble; and those, who are
disposed to clamour for luxuries, as if there was a crime in not being
able to supply them, may confound a simple people, and be themselves
greatly discontented, before they go. But those, who will be satisfied
with comforts, and think the experience of integrity, carefulness and
goodwill is itself a luxury, will be glad to have stopped at Bampton
and at several other little villages, where there is some sort of
preparation for travellers.

Nor is this secluded spot without provision for the mind. A beneficed
grammar school receives the children of the inhabitants, and sends, we
believe, some to an University. Bishop GIBSON received his education
at it. Bishop LAW, who was born at Bampton, went daily across one, or
two of the rudest fells on the lake to another school, at Martindale;
an exercise of no trifling fatigue, or resolution; for among the
things to be gained by seeing the lakes is a conception of the extreme
wildness of their boundaries. You arrive with a notion, that you can
and dare rove any where amongst the mountains; and have only to see
three to have the utmost terror of losing your way.

The danger of wandering in theses regions without a guide is increased
by an uncertainty, as to the titles of heights; for the people of each
village have a name for the part of a mountain nearest to themselves,
and they sometimes call the whole by that name. The circumference of
such heights is also too vast, and the flexures too numerous to admit
of great accuracy. Skiddaw, Saddleback and Helvellyn, may, however
be certainly distinguished. There are others, a passage over which
would save, perhaps, eight or ten miles out of twenty, but which are
so little known, except to the shepherds, that they are very rarely
crossed by travellers. We could not trust to any person's knowledge of
Harter-fell, beyond the head of Hawswater.


This is a lake, of which little has been mentioned, perhaps because it
is inferior in size to the others, but which is distinguished by the
solemn grandeur of its rocks and mountains, that rise in very bold and
awful characters. The water, about three miles long, and at the widest
only half a mile over, nearly describes the figure 8, being narrowed in
the centre by the projecting shores; and, at this spot, it is said to
be fifty fathom deep.

Crossing the meadows of Bampton vale and ascending the opposite
heights, we approached the fells of Hawswater, and, having proceeded
for a mile along the side of hills, the views over the vale and of the
southern mountains changing with almost every step, the lake began to
open between a very lofty ridge, covered with forest, and abrupt fells
of heath, or naked rock. Soon after, we looked upon the first expanse
of the lake. Its eastern shore, rising in a tremendous ridge of rocks,
darkened with wood to the summit, appears to terminate in Wallow-crag,
a promontory of towering height, beyond which the lake winds from view.
The finely broken mountains on the west are covered with heath, and the
tops impend in crags and precipices; but their ascent from the water
is less sudden than that of the opposite rocks, and they are skirted
by a narrow margin of vivid green, where cattle were feeding, and
tufted shrubs and little groves overhung the lake and were reflected
on its dark surface. Above, a very few white cottages among wood broke
in upon the solitude; higher still, the mountain-flocks were browsing,
and above all, the narrow perspective was closed by dark and monstrous

As we wound along the bank, the rocks unfolded and disclosed the second
expanse, with scenery yet more towering and sublime than the first.
This perspective seemed to be terminated by the huge mountain called
Castle-street; but, as we advanced, Harter-fell reared his awful
front, impending over the water, and shut in the scene, where, amidst
rocks, and at the entrance of a glen almost choked by fragments from
the heights, stands the chapel of Martindale, spoken by the country
people Mardale. Among the fells of this dark prospect are Lathale,
Wilter-crag, Castle-crag and Riggindale, their bold lines appearing
beyond each other as they fell into the upper part of the lake, and
some of them shewing only masses of shattered rock. Kidstow-pike is
pre-eminent among the crowding summits beyond the eastern shore, and
the clouds frequently spread their gloom over its point, or fall in
showers into the cup within; on the west High-street, which overlooks
the head of Ullswater, is the most dignified of the mountains.

Leaving the green margin of the lake, we ascended to the Parsonage, a
low, white building on a knoll, sheltered by the mountain and a grove
of sycamores, with a small garden in front, falling towards the water.
From the door we had a view of the whole lake and the surrounding
fells, which the eminence we were upon was just raised enough to shew
to advantage. Nearly opposite to it the bold promontory of Wallow-crag
pushed its base into the lake, where a peninsula advanced to meet it,
spread with bright verdure, on which the hamlet of Martindale lay
half concealed among a grove of oak, beech and sycamore, whose tints
contrasted with the darker one of the spiry spruce, or more clumped
English fir, and accorded sweetly with the pastoral green beneath. The
ridge of precipices, that swept from Wallow-crag southward, and formed
a bay for the upper part of the lake, was despoiled of its forest; but
that, which curved northward, was dark with dwarf-wood to the water's
brim, and, opening distantly to Bampton vale, let in a gay miniature
landscape, bright in sunshine. Below, the lake reflected the gloom of
the woods, and was sometimes marked with long white lines, which, we
were told, indicated bad weather; but, except when a sudden gust swept
the surface, it gave back every image on the shore, as in a dark mirror.

The interior of the Parsonage was as comfortable as the situation
was interesting. A neat parlour opened from the passage, but it was
newly painted, and we were shewn into the family room, having a large
old-fashioned chimney corner, with benches to receive a social party,
and forming a most enviable retreat from the storms of the mountains.
Here, in the winter evening, a family circle, gathering round a blazing
pile of wood on the hearth, might defy the weather and the world. It
was delightful to picture such a party, happy in their home, in the
sweet affections of kindred and in honest independence, conversing,
working and reading occasionally, while the blast was struggling
against the casement and the snow pelting on the roof.

The seat of a long window, overlooking the lake, offered the delights
of other seasons; hence the luxuriance of summer and the colouring
of autumn successively spread their enchantments over the opposite
woods, and the meadows that margined the water below; and a little
garden of sweets sent up its fragrance to that of the honeysuckles,
that twined round the window. Here, too, lay a store of books, and,
to instance that an inhabitant of this remote nook could not exclude
an interest concerning the distant world among them was a history of
passing events. Alas! to what scenes, to what display of human passions
and human suffering did it open! How opposite to the simplicity, the
innocence and the peace of these!

The venerable father of the mansion was engaged in his duty at his
chapel of Martindale, but we were hospitably received within, and heard
the next day how gladly he would have rendered any civilities to

On leaving this enviable little residence, we pursued the steeps of
the mountain behind it, and were soon amidst the flocks and the crags,
whence the look-down, upon the lake and among the fells was solemn and
surprising. About a quarter of a mile from the Parsonage, a torrent of
some dignity rushed past us, foaming down a rocky chasm in its way to
the lake. Every where, little streams of crystal clearness wandered
silently among the moss and turf, which half concealed their progress,
or dashed over the rocks; and, across the largest, sheep-bridges of
flat stone were thrown, to prevent the flocks from being carried away
in attempting to pass them in winter. The gray stones, that grew among
the heath, were spotted with mosses of so fine a texture, that it was
difficult to ascertain whether they were vegetable; their tints were
a delicate pea-green and primrose, with a variety of colours, which it
was not necessary to be a botanist to admire.

An hour, passed in ascending, brought us to the brow of Bampton vale,
which sloped gently downward to the north, where it opened to lines
of distant mountains, that extended far into the east. The woods of
Lowther-park capped two remote hills, and spread luxuriantly down their
sides into the valley; and nearer, Bampton-grange lay at the base of a
mountain, crowned with fir plantations, over which, in a distant vale,
we discovered the village of Shap and long ridges of the highland,
passed on the preceding day.

One of the fells we had just crossed is called Blanarasa, at the
summit of which two gray stones, each about four feet high, and placed
upright, at the distance of nine feet from each other, remain of four,
which are remembered to have been formerly there. The place is still
called Four Stones; but tradition does not relate the design of the
monument; whether to limit adjoining districts, or to commemorate a
battle, or a hero.

We descended gradually into the vale, among thickets of rough oaks, on
the bank of a rivulet, which foamed in a deep channel beneath their
foliage, and came to a glade so sequestered and gloomily overshadowed,
that one almost expected see the venerable arch of a ruin, peeping
between the branches. It was the very spot, which the founder of a
monastery might have chosen for his retirement, where the chantings
of a choir might have mingled with the soothing murmur of the stream,
and monks have glided beneath the solemn trees in garments scarcely
distinguishable from the shades themselves.

This glade, sloping from the eye, opened under spreadings oaks to a
remote glimpse of the vale, with blue hills in the distance; and on the
grassy hillocks of the fore-ground cattle were every where reposing.

We returned, about sun-set, to Bampton, after a walk of little more
than four miles, which had exhibited a great variety of scenery,
beautiful, romantic and sublime. At the entrance of the village, the
Lowther and a nameless rivulet, that runs from Hawswater, join their
waters; both streams were now sunk in their beds; but in winter they
sometimes contend for the conquest and ravage of the neighbouring
plains. The waters have then risen to the height of five or six feet
in a meadow forty yards from their summer channels. In an enclosure
of this vale was fought the last battle, or skirmish, with the
Scots in Westmoreland; and it is within the telling of the sons of
great-grandfathers, that the contest continued, till the Scots were
discovered to fire only pebbles; the villagers had then the folly to
close with them and the success to drive them away; but such was the
simplicity of the times, that it was called a victory to have made one
prisoner. Stories of this sort are not yet entirely forgotten in the
deeply inclosed vales of Westmoreland and Cumberland, where the greater
part of the present inhabitants can refer to an ancestry of several
centuries, on the same spot.

We thought Bampton, though a very ill-built village, an enviable spot;
having a clergyman, as we heard, of exemplary manners, and, as one
of us witnessed, of a most faithful earnestness in addressing his
congregation in the church; being but slightly removed from one of the
lakes, that accumulates in a small space many of the varieties and
attractions of the others; and having the adjoining lands distributed,
for the most part, into small farms, so that, as it is not thought
low to be without wealth, the poor do not acquire the offensive and
disreputable habits, by which they are too often tempted to revenge, or
resist the ostentation of the rich.


The ride from Bampton to Ullswater is very various and delightful. It
winds for about three miles along the western heights of this green and
open vale, among embowered lanes, that alternately admit and exclude
the pastoral scenes below, and the fine landscapes on the opposite
hills, formed by the plantations and antient woods of Lowther-park.
These spread over a long tract, and mingle in sweet variety with the
lively verdure of lawns and meadows, that slope into the valley, and
sometimes appear in gleams among the dark thickets. The house, of white
stone with red window-cases, embosomed among the woods, has nothing in
its appearance answerable to the surrounding grounds. Its situation
and that of the park are exquisitely happy, just where the vale of
Bampton opens to that of Eden, and the long mountainous ridge and peak
of Cross-fell, aspiring above them all, stretch before the eye; with
the town of Penrith shelving along the side of a distant mountain, and
its beacon on the summit; the ruins of its castle appearing distinctly
at the same time, crowning a low round hill. The horizon to the north
and the east is bounded by lines of mountains, range above range,
not romantic and surprising, but multitudinous and vast. Of these,
Cross-fell, said to be the highest mountain in Cumberland, gives its
name to the whole northern ridge, which in its full extent, from the
neighbourhood of Gillsland to that of Kirkby-Steven, is near fifty
miles. This perspective of the extensive vale of Eden has grandeur
and magnificence in as high a degree as that of Bampton has pastoral
beauty, closing in the gloomy solitudes of Hawswater. The vale is
finely wooded, and variegated with mansions, parks, meadow-land, corn,
towns, villages, and all that make a distant landscape rich. Among the
peculiarities of it, are little mountains of alpine shape, that start
up like pyramids in the middle of the vale, some covered with wood,
others barren and rocky. The scene perhaps only wants a river like the
Rhine, or the Thames, to make it the very finest in England for union
of grandeur, beauty and extent.

Opposite Lowther-hall, we gave a farewell look to the pleasant vale of
Bampton and its southern fells, as the road, winding more to the west,
led us over the high lands, that separate it from the vale of Emont.
Then, ascending through shady lanes and among fields where the oat
harvest was gathering, we had enchanting retrospects of the vale of
Eden, spreading to the east, with all its chain of mountains chequered
by the autumnal shadows.

Soon after, the road brought us to the brows of Emont, a narrow
well-wooded vale, the river, from which it takes its name, meandering
through it from Ullswater among pastures and pleasure-grounds, to meet
the Lowther near Brougham Castle. Penrith and its castle and beacon
look up the vale from the north, and the astonishing fells of Ullswater
close upon it in the south; while Delemain, the house, and beautiful
grounds of Mr. Hassel, Hutton St. John, a venerable old mansion, and
the single tower called Dacre-castle adorn the valley. But who can
pause to admire the elegancies of art, when surrounded by the wonders
of nature? The approach to this sublime lake along the heights of Emont
is exquisitely interesting; for the road, being shrouded by woods,
allows the eye only partial glimpses of the gigantic shapes, that are
assembled in the distance, and, awakening high expectation, leaves the
imagination, thus elevated, to paint the "forms of things unseen." Thus
it was, when we caught a first view of the dark broken tops of the
fells, that rise round Ullswater, of size and shape most huge, bold,
and awful; overspread with a blue mysterious tint, that seemed almost
supernatural, though according in gloom and sublimity with the severe
features it involved.

Further on, the mountains began to unfold themselves; their outlines,
broken, abrupt and intersecting each other in innumerable directions,
seemed, now and then, to fall back like a multitude at some supreme
command, and permitted an oblique glimpse into the deep vales. A close
lane then descended towards Pooly-bridge, where, at length, the lake
itself appeared beyond the spreading branches, and, soon after, the
first reach expanded before us, with all its mountains tumbled round
it; rocky, ruinous and vast, impending, yet rising in wild confusion
and multiplied points behind each other.

This view of the first reach from the foot of Dunmallet, a pointed
woody hill, near Pooly-bridge, is one of the finest on the Jake, which
here spreads in a noble sheet, near three miles long, and almost two
miles broad, to the base of Thwaithill-nab, winding round which it
disappears, and the whole is then believed to be seen. The character
of this view is nearly that of simple grandeur; the mountains, that
impend over the shore in front, are peculiarly awful in their forms
and attitudes; on the left, the fells soften; woodlands, and their
pastures, colour their lower declivities, and the water is margined
with the tenderest verdure, opposed to the dark woods and crags above.
On the right, a green conical hill slopes to the shore, where cattle
were reposing on the grass, or sipping the clear wave; further, rise
the bolder rocks of Thwaithill-nab, where the lake disappears, and,
beyond, the dark precipices and summits of fells, that crown the second

Winding the foot of Dunmallet, the almost pyramidal hill, that shuts
up this end of Ullswater, and separates it from the vale of Emont, we
crossed Barton bridge, where this little river, clear as crystal,
issues from the lake, and through a close pass hurries over a rocky
channel to the vale. Its woody steeps, the tufted island, that
interrupts its stream, and the valley beyond, form altogether a picture
in fine contrast with the majesty of Ullswater, expanding on the other
side of the bridge.

We followed the skirts of a smooth green hill, the lake, on the other
hand, flowing softly against the road and shewing every pebble on the
beach beneath, and proceeded towards the second bend; but soon mounted
from the shore among the broken knolls of Dacre-common, whence we had
various views of the first reach, its scenery appearing in darkened
majesty as the autumnal shadows swept over it. Sometimes, however, the
rays, falling in gleams upon the water, gave it the finest silvery tone
imaginable, sober though splendid. Dunmallet at the foot of the lake
was a formal unpleasing object, not large enough to be grand, or wild
enough to be romantic.

The ground of the common is finely broken, and is scattered sparingly
with white cottages, each picturesquely shadowed by its dark grove;
above, rise plantations and gray crags which lead the eye forward to
the alpine forms, that crown the second reach, changing their attitudes
every instant as they are approached.

Ullswater in all its windings, which give it the form of the letter S,
is nearly nine miles long; the width is various, sometimes nearly two
miles and seldom less than one; but Skelling-nab, a vast rock in the
second reach, projects so as to reduce it to less than a quarter of a
mile. These are chiefly the reputed measurements, but the eye loses
its power of judging even of the breadth, confounded by the boldness
of the shores and the grandeur of the fells, that rise beyond; the
proportions however are grand, for the water retains its dignity,
notwithstanding the vastness of its accompaniments; a circumstance,
which Derwentwater can scarcely boast.

The second bend, assuming the form of a river, is very long, but
generally broad, and brought strongly to remembrance some of the
passes of the Rhine beyond Coblentz: though, here, the rocks, that
rise over the water, are little wooded; and, there, their skirts
are never margined by pasture, or open to such fairy summer scenes
of vivid green mingling with shades of wood and gleams of corn, as
sometimes appear within the recesses of these wintry mountains. These
cliffs, however, do not shew the variety of hue, or marbled veins, that
frequently surprise and delight on the Rhine, being generally dark
and gray, and the varieties in their complexion, when there are any,
purely aërial; but they are vast and broken; rise immediately from
the stream, and often shoot their masses over it; while the expanse
of water below accords with the dignity of that river in many of its
reaches. Once too, there were other points of resemblance, in the ruins
of monasteries and convents, which, though reason rejoices that they no
longer exist, the eye may be allowed to regret. Of these, all which now
remains on record is, that a society of Benedictine monks was founded
on the summit of Dunmallet, and a nunnery of the same order on a point
behind Sowlby-fell; traces of these ruins, it is said, may still be

Thus grandeur and immensity are the characteristics of the left shore
of the second reach; the right exhibits romantic wildness in the rough
ground of Dacre-common and the craggy heights above, and, further
on, the sweetest forms of reposing beauty, in the grassy hillocks and
undulating copses of Gowbarrow-park, fringing the water, sometimes over
little rocky eminences, that project into the stream, and, at others,
in shelving bays, where the lake, transparent as crystal, breaks upon
the pebbly bank, and laves the road, that winds there. Above these
pastoral and sylvan landscapes, rise broken precipices, less tremendous
than those of the opposite shore, with pastures pursuing the crags to
a considerable height, speckled with cattle, which are exquisitely
picturesque, as they graze upon the knolls and among the old trees,
that adorn this finely declining park.

Leaving the hamlet of Watermillock at some distance on the left, and
passing the seat of Mr. Robinson, sequestered in the gloom of beech and
sycamores, there are fine views over the second reach, as the road
descends the common towards Gowbarrow. Among the boldest fells, that
breast the lake on the left shore, are Holling-fell and Swarth-fell,
now no longer boasting any part of the forest of Martindale, but
shewing huge walls of naked rock, and scars, which many torrents have
inflicted. One channel only in this dry season retained its shining
stream; the chasm was dreadful, parting the mountain from the summit
to the base; and its waters in winter, leaping in foam from precipice
to precipice, must be infinitely sublime; not, however, even then from
their mass, but from the length and precipitancy of their descent.

The perspective as the road descends into Gowbarrow-park is perhaps
the very finest on the lake. The scenery of the first reach is almost
tame when compared with this, and it is difficult to say where it
can be equalled for Alpine sublimity, and so effecting wonder and
awful elevation. The lake, after expanding at a distance to great
breadth, once more loses itself beyond the enormous pile of rock
called Place-fell, opposite to which the shore, seeming to close upon
all further progress, is bounded by two promontories covered with
woods, that shoot their luxuriant foliage to the water's edge. The
shattered mass of gray rock, called Yew-crag, rises immediately over
these, and, beyond, a glen opens to a chaos of mountains more solemn
in their aspect, and singular in their shapes, than any which have
appeared, point crowding over point in lofty succession. Among these
is Stone-cross-pike and huge Helvellyn, scowling over all; but, though
this retains its pre-eminence, its dignity is lost in the mass of alps
around and below it. A fearful gloom involved them; the shadows of
a stormy sky upon mountains of dark rock and heath. All this is seen
over the woody fore-ground of the park, which, soon shrouding us in its
bowery lanes, allowed the eye and the fancy to repose, while venturing
towards new forms and assemblages of sublimity.

Meantime, the green shade, under which we passed, where the sultry low
of cattle, and the sound of streams hurrying from the heights through
the copses of Gowbarrow to the lake below, were all that broke the
stillness; these, with gleamings of the water, close on the left,
between the foliage, and which was ever changing its hue, sometimes
assuming the soft purple of a pigeon's neck, at others the silvery
tint of sunshine--these circumstances of imagery were in soothing and
beautiful variety with the gigantic visions we had lost.

The road still pursuing this border of the lake, the copses opened to
partial views of the bold rocks, that form the opposite shore, and many
a wild recess and solemn glen appeared and vanished among them, some
shewing only broken fells, the sides of others shaggy with forests,
and nearly all lined, at their bases, with narrow pastures of the
most exquisite verdure. Thus descending upon a succession of sweeping
bays, where the shades parted, and admitted the lake, that flowed even
with us, and again retreating from it over gentle eminences, where it
glittered only between the leaves; crossing the rude bridges of several
becks, rapid, clear and foaming among dark stones, and receiving a
green tint from the closely shadowing trees, but neither precipitous
enough in their descent, nor ample enough in their course, to increase
the dignity of the scene, we came, after passing nearly three miles
through the park, to Lyulph's Tower. This mansion, a square, gray
edifice, with turreted corners, battlements and windows in the Gothic
style, has been built by the present Duke of Norfolk in one of the
finest situations of a park, abounding with views of the grand and
the sublime. It stands on a green eminence, a little removed from the
water, backed with wood and with pastures rising abruptly beyond, to
the cliffs and crags that crown them. In front, the ground falls finely
to the lake's edge, broken, yet gentle, and scattered over with old
trees, and darkened with copses, which mingle in fine variety of tints
with the light verdure of the turf beneath. Herds of deer, wandering
over the knolls, and cattle, reposing in the shade, completed this
sweet landscape.

The lake is hence seen to make one of its boldest expanses, as it
sweeps round Place-fell, and flows into the third and last bend of
this wonderful vale. Lyulph's Tower looks up this reach to the south,
and to the east traces all the fells and curving banks of Gowbarrow,
that bind the second; while, to the west, a dark glen opens to a
glimpse of the solemn alps round Helvellyn; and all these objects are
seen over the mild beauty of the park.

Passing fine sweeps of the shore and over bold headlands, we came
opposite to the vast promontory, called Place-fell, that pushes its
craggy foot into the lake, like a lion's claw, round which the waters
make a sudden turn, and enter Patterdale, their third and final
expanse. In this reach, they lose the form of a river, and resume
that of a lake, being closed, at three miles distance, by the ruinous
rocks, that guard the gorge of Patterdale, backed by a multitude of
fells. The water, in this scope, is of oval form, bounded on one side
by the precipices of Place-fell, Martindale-fell, and several others,
equally rude and awful that rise from its edge, and shew no lines of
verdure, or masses of; wood, but retire in rocky bays, or projects
in vast promontories athwart it. The opposite shore is less severe
and more romantic; the rocks are lower and richly wooded, and, often
receding from the water, leave room for a tract of pasture, meadow land
and corn, to margin their ruggedness. At the upper end, the village
of Patterdale and one of two white farms, peep out from among trees
beneath the scowling mountains, that close the scene; pitched in a
rocky nook, with corn and meadow land, sloping gently in front to the
lake, and, here and there, a scattered grove. But this scene is viewed
to more advantage from one of the two woody eminences, that overhang
the lake, just at the point where it forms its last angle, and, like
an opened compass, spreads its two arms before the eye. These heights
are extremely beautiful, viewed from the opposite shore, and had
long charmed us at a distance. Approaching them, we crossed another
torrent, Glencoyn-beck, or Airey-force, which here divides not only the
estates of the Duke of Norfolk and Mr. Hodgkinson, but the counties of
Westmoreland and Cumberland; and all the fells beyond, that enclose
the last bend of Ullswater, are in Patterdale. Here, on the right, at
the feet of awful rocks, was spread a gay autumnal scene, in which the
peasants were singing merrily as they gathered the oats into sheafs;
woods, turfy hillocks, and, above all, tremendous crags, abruptly
closing round the yellow harvest. The figures, together with the whole
landscape, resembled one of those beautifully fantastic scenes, which
fable calls up before the wand of the magician.

Entering Glencoyn woods and sweeping the boldest bay of the lake, while
the water dashed with a strong surge upon the shore, we at length
mounted a road frightful from its steepness and its crags, and gained
one of the wooded summits so long admired. From hence the view of
Ullswater is the most extensive and various, that its shores exhibit,
comprehending its two principal reaches, and though not the most
picturesque, it is certainly the most grand. To the east, extends the
middle sweep in long and equal perspective, walled with barren fells
on the right, and margined on the left with the pastoral recesses and
bowery projections of Gowbarrow park. The rude mountains above almost
seemed to have fallen back from the shore to admit this landscape
within their hollow bosom, and then, bending abruptly, appear, like
Milton's Adam viewing the sleeping Eve, to hang over it enamoured.

Lyulph's Tower is the only object of art, except the hamlet of
Watermillock, seen in the distant perspective, that appears in the
second bend of Ullswater; and this loses much of its effect from the
square uniformity of the structure, and the glaring green of its
painted window-cases. This is the longest reach of the lake.

Place-fell, which divides the two last bends, and was immediately
opposite to the point we were on, is of the boldest form. It projects
into the water, an enormous mass of gray crag, scarred with dark hues;
thence retiring a little it again bends forward in huge cliffs, and
finally starts up into a vast perpendicular face of rock. As a single
object, it is wonderfully grand; and, connected with the scene, its
effect is sublime. The lower rocks are called Silver-rays, and not
inaptly; for, when the sun shines upon them, their variegated sides
somewhat resemble in brightness the rays streaming beneath a cloud.

The last reach of Ullswater, which is on the right of this point,
expands into an oval, and its majestic surface is spotted with little
rocky islets, that would adorn a less sacred scene; here they are
prettinesses, that can scarcely be tolerated by the grandeur of its
character. The tremendous mountains, which scowl over the gorge of
Patterdale; the cliffs, massy, broken and overlooked by a multitude
of dark summits, with the grey walls of Swarth and Martindale fells,
that upheave themselves on the eastern shore, form altogether one of
the most grand and awful pictures on the lake; yet, admirable and
impressive as it is, as to solemnity and astonishment, its effect with
us was not equal to that of the more alpine sketch, caught in distant
perspective from the descent into Gowbarrow-park.

In these views of Ullswater, sublimity and greatness are the
predominating characters, though beauty often glows upon the western
bank. The mountains are all bold, gloomy and severe. When we saw them,
the sky accorded well with the scene, being frequently darkened by
autumnal clouds; and the equinoctial gale swept the surface of the
lake, marking its blackness with long white lines, and beating its
waves over the rocks to the foliage of the thickets above. The trees,
that shade these eminences, give greater force to the scenes, which
they either partially exclude, or wholly admit, and become themselves
fine objects, enriched as they are with the darkest moss.

From hence the ride to the village of Patterdale, at the lake's head,
is, for the first part, over precipices covered with wood, whence you
look down, on the left, upon the water, or upon pastures stretching
to it; on the right, the rocks rise abruptly, and often impend their
masses over the road; or open to narrow dells, green, rocky and
overlooked by endless mountains.

About half way to the village of Patterdale, a peninsula spreads from
this shore into the lake, where a white house, peeping from a grove and
surrounded with green enclosures, is beautifully placed. This is an
inn, and, perhaps the principal one, as to accommodation; but, though
its situation on a spot which on each side commands the lake, is very
fine, it is not comparable, in point of wildness and sublimity, to
that of the cottage, called the King's Arms, at Patterdale. In the way
thither, are enchanting catches of the lake, between the trees on
the left, and peeps into the glens, that wind among the alps towards
Helvellyn, on the right. These multiply near the head of Ullswater,
where they start off as from one point, like radii, and conclude in
trackless solitudes.

It is difficult to spread varied pictures of such scenes before the
imagination. A repetition of the same images of rock, wood and water,
and the same epithets of grand, vast and sublime, which necessarily
occur, must appear tautologous, on paper, though their archetypes in
nature, ever varying in outline, or arrangement, exhibit new visions to
the eye, and produce new shades of effect on the mind. It is difficult,
also, where these delightful differences have been experienced, to
forbear dwelling on the remembrance, and attempting to sketch the
peculiarities, which occasioned them. The scenery at the head of
Ullswater is especially productive of such difficulties, where a wish
to present the picture, and a consciousness of the impossibility of
doing so, except by the pencil, meet and oppose each other.

Patterdale itself is a name somewhat familiar to recollection, from the
circumstance of the chief estate in it having given to its possessors,
for several centuries, the title of Kings of Patterdale. The last
person so distinguished was richer than his ancestors, having increased
his income, by the most ludicrous parsimony, to a thousand pounds a
year. His son and successor is an industrious country gentleman, who
has improved the sort of farming mansion, annexed to the estate, and,
not affecting to depart much from the simple manners of the other
inhabitants, is respectable enough to be generally called by his own
name of Mounsey, instead of the title, which was probably seldom given
to his ancestors, but in some sort of mockery.

The village is very humble, as to the conditions and views of
the inhabitants; and very respectable, as to their integrity and
simplicity, and to the contentment, which is proved by the infrequency
of emigrations to other districts. It straggles at the feet of fells,
somewhat removed from the lake and near the entrance of the wild vale
of Glenridding. Its white church is seen nearly from the commencement
of the last reach, rising among trees, and in the church-yard are the
ruins of an antient yew, of remarkable size and venerable beauty; its
trunk, hollowed and silvered by age, resembles twisted roots; yet the
branches, that remain above, are not of melancholy black, but flourish
in rich verdure and flaky foliage.

The inn is beyond the village, securely sheltered under high crags,
while enormous fells, close on the right, open to the gorge of
Patterdale; and Coldrill-beck, issuing from it, descends among the
corn and meadows, to join the lake at little distance. We had a happy
evening at this cleanly cottage, where there was no want, without its
recompense, from the civil offices of the people. Among the rocks, that
rose over it, is a station, which has been more frequently selected
than any other on the lake by the painter and the lover of the _beau
idée_, as the French and Sir JOSHUA REYNOLDS expressively term what Mr.
BURKE explains in his definition of the word _fine_. Below the point,
on which we stood, a tract of corn and meadow land fell gently to the
lake, which expanded in great majesty beyond, bounded on the right
by the precipices of many fells, and, on the left, by rocks finely
wooded, and of more broken and spiry outline. The undulating pastures
and copses of Gowbarrow closed the perspective. Round the whole of
these shores, but particularly on the left, rose clusters of dark
and pointed summits, assuming great variety of shape, amongst which
Helvellyn was still pre-eminent. Immediately around us, all was vast
and gloomy; the fells mount swiftly and to enormous heights, leaving at
their bases only crags and hillocks, tufted with thickets of dwarf-oak
and holly, where the beautiful cattle, that adorned them, and a few
sheep, were picking a scanty supper among the heath.

From this spot glens open on either hand, that lead the eye only to
a chaos of mountains. The profile of one near the fore-ground on the
right is remarkably grand, shelving from the summit in one vast sweep
of rock, with only some interruption of craggy points near its base,
into the water. On one side, it unites with the fells in the gorge of
Patterdale, and, on the other, winds into a bold bay for the lake.
Among the highlands, seen over the left shore, is Common-fell, a large
heathy mountain, which appeared to face us. Somewhat nearer, is a
lower one, called Glenridding, and above it the Nab. Grassdale has
Glenridding and the Nab on one side towards the water, and Birks-fell
and St. Sunday's-crag over that, on the other. The points, that rise
above the Nab, are Stridon-edge, then Cove's head, and, over all, the
precipices of dark Helvellyn, now appearing only at intervals among the

Not only every fell of this wild region has a name, but almost every
crag of every fell, so that shepherds sitting at the fire-side can
direct each other to the exact spot among the mountains, where a stray
sheep has been seen.

Among the rocks on the right shore, is Martindale-fell, once shaded
with a forest, from which it received its name, and which spreading
to a vast extent over the hills and vallies beyond, even as far as
Hawswater, darkened the front of Swarth-fell and several others, that
impend over the first and second reach of Ullswater. Of the mountains,
which tower above the glen of Patterdale, the highest are Harter's
fell, Kidstow-pike, and the ridge, called the High-street; a name,
which reminded us of the German denomination, _Berg-strasse_.

The effect of a stormy evening upon the scenery was solemn. Clouds
smoked along the fells, veiling them for a moment, and passing on to
other summits; or sometimes they involved the lower steeps, leaving the
tops unobscured and resembling islands in a distant ocean. The lake was
dark and tempestuous, dashing the rocks with a strong foam. It was a
scene worthy of the sublimity of Ossian, and brought to recollection
some touches of his gloomy pencil. "When the storms of the mountains
come, when the north lifts the waves on high, I sit by the sounding
shore, &c."

A large hawk, sailing proudly in the air, and wheeling among the stormy
clouds, superior to the shock of the gust, was the only animated object
in the upward prospect. We were told, that the eagles had forsaken
their aeries in this neighbourhood and in Borrowdale, and are fled to
the isle of Man; but one had been seen in Patterdale, the day before,
which, not being at its full growth, could not have arrived from a
great distance.

We returned to our low-roofed habitation, where, as the wind swept in
hollow gusts along the mountains and strove against our casements, the
crackling blaze of a wood fire lighted up the cheerfulness, which,
so long since as Juvenal's time, has been allowed to arise from the
contrast of ease against difficulty. _Suave mari magno, turbantibus
aquora ventis_; and, however we might exclaim,

  ---- ---- ---- "be my retreat
  Between the groaning forest and the shore,
  Beat by the boundless multitude of waves!"

it was pleasant to add,

  "Where ruddy fire and beaming tapers join
  To cheer the gloom."


The next morning, we proceeded from Ullswater along the vale of
Emont, so sweetly adorned by the woods and lawns of Dalemain, the
seat of Mr. Hassel, whose mansion is seen in the bottom. One of the
most magnificent prospects in the country is when this vale opens to
that of Eden. The mountainous range of Cross-fell fronted us, and its
appearance, this day, was very striking, for the effect of autumnal
light and shade. The upper range, bright in sunshine, appeared to rise,
like light clouds above the lower, which was involved in dark shadow,
so that it was a considerable time before the eye could detect the
illusion. The effect of this was inexpressibly interesting.

Within view of Emont bridge, which divides the counties of Cumberland
and Westmoreland, is that memorial of antient times, so often described
under the name of Arthur's Round Table; a green circular spot of forty
paces diameter, enclosed by a dry ditch, and, beyond this, by a bank;
each in sufficient preservation to shew exactly what has been its
form. In the midst of the larger circle is another of only seven paces
diameter. We have no means of adding to, or even of corroborating
any of the well known conjectures, concerning the use of this rude
and certainly very antient monument. Those not qualified to propose
decisions in this respect may, however, suffer themselves to believe,
that the bank without the ditch and the enclosure within it were places
for different classes of persons, interested as parties, or spectators,
in some transactions, passing within the inner circle; and that
these, whether religious, civil, or military ceremonies, were rendered
distinct and conspicuous, for the purpose of impressing them upon the
memory of the spectators, at a time when memory and tradition were the
only preservatives of history.

Passing a bridge, under which the Lowther, from winding and romantic
banks, enters the vale of Eden, we ascended between the groves of
Bird's Nest, or, as it is now called, Brougham Hall; a white mansion,
with battlements and gothic windows, having formerly a bird painted
on the front. It is perched among woods, on the brow of a steep, but
not lofty hill, and commands enchanting prospects over the vale.
The winding Emont; the ruins of Brougham Castle on a green knoll of
Whinfield park, surrounded with old groves; far beyond this, the
highlands of Cross-fell; to the north, Carleton-hall, the handsome
modern mansion of Mr. Wallace, amidst lawns of incomparable verdure
and luxuriant woods falling from the heights; further still, the
mountain, town and beacon of Penrith; these are the principal features
of the rich landscape, spread before the eye from the summit of the
hill, at Bird's Nest.

As we descended to Brougham Castle, about a mile further, its ruined
masses of pale red stone, tufted with shrubs and plants, appeared
between groves of fir, beach, oak and ash, amidst the broken ground of
Whinfield park, a quarter of a mile through which brought us to the
ruin itself. It was guarded by a sturdy mastiff, worthy the office of
porter to such a place, and a good effigy of the Sir Porter of a former
age. Brougham Castle, venerable for its well-certified antiquity and
for the hoary masses it now exhibits, is rendered more interesting by
having been occasionally the residence of the humane and generous Sir
Philip Sydney; who had only to look from the windows of this once noble
edifice to see his own "Arcadia" spreading on every side. The landscape
probably awakened his imagination, for it was during a visit here, that
the greatest part of that work was written.

This edifice, once amongst the strongest and most important of the
border fortresses, is supposed to have been founded by the Romans;
but the first historical record concerning it is dated in the time of
William the Conqueror, who granted it to his nephew, Hugh de Albinois.
His successors held it, till 1170, when Hugh de Morville, one of the
murderers of Thomas a Becket, forfeited it by his crime. Brougham
was afterwards granted by King John to a grandson of Hugh, Robert de
Vipont, whose grandson again forfeited the estate, which was, however,
restored to his daughters, one of whom marrying a De Clifford, it
remained in this family, till a daughter of the celebrated Countess of
Pembroke gave it by marriage to that of the Tuftons, Earls of Thanet,
in which it now remains.

This castle has been thrice nearly demolished; first by neglect, during
the minority of Roger de Vipont, after which it was sufficiently
restored to receive James the First, on his return from Scotland, in
1617; secondly, in the civil wars of Charles the First's time; and
thirdly, in 1728, when great part of the edifice was deliberately
taken down, and the materials sold for one hundred pounds. Some of
the walls still remaining are twelve feet thick, and the places are
visible, in which the massy gates were held to them by hinges and bolts
of uncommon size. A fuller proof of the many sacrifices of comfort
and convenience, by which the highest classes in former ages were
glad to purchase security, is very seldom afforded, than by the three
detached parts still left of this edifice; but they shew nothing of the
magnificence and gracefulness, which so often charm the eye in gothic
ruins. Instead of these, they exhibit symptoms of the cruelties, by
which their first lords revenged upon others the wretchedness of the
continual suspicion felt by themselves. Dungeons, secret passages and
heavy iron rings remain to hint of unhappy wretches, who were, perhaps,
rescued only by death from these horrible engines of a tyrant's will.
The bones probably of such victims are laid beneath the damp earth of
these vaults.

A young woman from a neighbouring farm-house conducted us over broken
banks, washed by the Emont, to what had been the grand entrance of
the castle; a venerable gothic gateway, dark and of great depth,
passing under a square tower, finely shadowed by old elms. Above, are a
cross-loop and two tier of small pointed windows; no battlements appear
at the top; but four rows of corbells, which probably once supported
them, now prop some tufts of antient thorn, that have roots in their

As we passed under this long gateway, we looked into what is still
called the Keep, a small vaulted room, receiving light only from
loops in the outward wall; Near a large fire-place, yet entire, is a
trap door leading to the dungeon below; and, in an opposite corner, a
door-case to narrow stairs, that wind up the turret where, too, as well
as in the vault, prisoners were probably secured. One almost saw the
surly keeper descending through this door-case, and heard him rattle
the keys of the chambers above, listening with indifference to the
clank of chains and to the echo of that groan below, which seemed to
rend the heart it burst from.

This gloomy gateway, which had once sounded with the trumpets and
horses of James the First, when he visited the Earl of Cumberland,
this gateway, now serving only to shelter cattle from the storm,
opens, at length, to a grassy knoll, with bold masses of the ruin
scattered round it and a few old ash trees, waving in the area. Through
a fractured arch in the rampart some features in the scenery without
appear to advantage; the Emont falling over a weir at some distance,
with fulling-mills on the bank above; beyond, the pastured slopes and
woodlands of Carleton park, and Cross-fell sweeping the back-ground.

Of the three ruinous parts, that now remain of the edifice, one large
square mass, near the tower and gateway, appears to have contained
the principal apartments; the walls are of great height, and, though
roofless, nearly entire. We entered what seemed to have been the great
hall, now choaked with rubbish and weeds. It was interesting to look
upwards through the void, and trace by the many window-cases, that
appeared at different heights in the walls, somewhat of the plan of
apartments, whose floors and ceilings had long since vanished; majestic
reliques, which shewed, that here, as well as at Hardwick, the chief
rooms had been in the second story. Door-cases, that had opened to
rooms without this building, with remains of passages within the walls,
were frequently seen, and, here and there, in a corner at a vast
height, fragments of a winding stair-case, appearing beyond the arch of
a slender door-way.

We were tempted to enter a ruinous passage below, formed in the great
thickness of the walls; but it was soon lost in darkness, and we were
told that no person had ventured to explore the end of this, or of
many similar passages among the ruins, now the dens of serpents and
other venomous reptiles. It was probably a secret way to the great
dungeon, which may still be seen, underneath the hall; for the roof
remains, though what was called the Sweating Pillar, from the dew,
that was owing to its damp situation and its seclusion from outward
air, no longer supports it. Large iron rings, fastened to the carved
heads of animals, are still shewn in the walls of this dungeon. Not a
single loop-hole was left by the contriver of this hideous vault for
the refreshment of prisoners; yet were they insulted by some display
of gothic elegance, for the pillar already mentioned, supporting the
centre of the roof, spread from thence into eight branches, which
descended the walls, and terminated at the floor in the heads, holding
the iron rings.

The second mass of the ruin, which, though at a considerable distance
from the main building, was formerly connected with it, shews the walls
of many small chambers, with reliques of the passages and stairs,
that led to them. But, perhaps, the only picturesque feature of the
castle is the third detachment; a small tower finely shattered, having
near its top a flourishing ash, growing from the solid walls, and
overlooking what was once the moat. We mounted a perilous stair-case,
of which many steps were gone, and others trembled to the pressure;
then gained a turret, of which two sides were also fallen, and, at
length, ascended to the whole magnificence and sublimity of the

To the east, spread nearly all the rich vale of Eden, terminated by the
Stainmore hills and other highlands of Yorkshire; to the north-east,
the mountains of Cross-fell bounded the long landscape. The nearer
grounds were Whinfield-park, broken, towards the Emont, into shrubby
steeps, where the deep red of the soil mingled with the verdure of
foliage; part of Sir Michael le Fleming's woods rounding a hill on the
opposite bank, and, beyond, a wide extent of low land. To the south,
swelled the upland boundaries of Bampton-vale, with Lowther-woods,
shading the pastures and distantly crowned by the fells of Hawswater;
more to the west, Bird's Nest, "bosomed high in tufted trees;" at its
foot, Lowther-bridge, and, a little further, the neat hamlet and bridge
of Emont. In the low lands, still nearer, the Lowther and Emont united,
the latter flowing in shining circles among the woods and deep-green
meadows of Carleton-park. Beyond, at a vast distance to the west and
north, rose all the alps of all the lakes! an horizon scarcely to be
equalled in England. Among these broken mountains, the shaggy ridge of
Saddleback was proudly pre-eminent; but one forked top of its rival
Skiddaw peeped over its declining side. Helvellyn, huge and misshapen,
towered above the fells of Ullswater. The sun's rays, streaming from
beneath a line of dark clouds, that overhung the west, gave a tint of
silvery light to all these alps, and reminded us of the first exquisite
appearance of the mountains, at Goodesberg, which, however, in grandeur
and elegance of outline, united with picturesque richness, we have
never seen equalled.

Of the walls around us every ledge, marking their many stories, was
embossed with luxuriant vegetation. Tufts of the hawthorn seemed to
grow from the solid stone, and slender saplings of ash waved over the
deserted door-cases, where, at the transforming hour of twilight,
the superstitious eye might mistake them for spectres of some early
possessor of the castle, restless from guilt, or of some sufferer
persevering from vengeance.


Having pursued the road one mile further, for the purpose of visiting
the tender memorial of pious affection, so often described under
the name of Countess' Pillar, we returned to Emont-bridge, and from
thence reached Penrith, pronounced Peyrith, the most southern town of
Cumberland. So far off as the head of Ullswater, fourteen miles, this
is talked of as an important place, and looked to as the store-house of
whatever is wanted more than the fields and lakes supply. Those, who
have lived chiefly in large towns, have to learn from the wants and
dependencies of a people thinly scattered, like the inhabitants of all
mountainous regions, the great value of any places of mutual resort,
however little distinguished in the general view of a country. Penrith
is so often mentioned in the neighbourhood, that the first appearance
of it somewhat disappointed us, because we had not considered how
many serious reasons those, who talked of it, might have for their
estimation, which should yet not at all relate to the qualities, that
render places interesting to a traveller.

The town, consisting chiefly of old houses, straggles along two sides
of the high north road, and is built upon the side of a mountain, that
towers to great height above it, in steep and heathy knolls, unshaded
by a single tree. Eminent, on the summit of this mountain, stands the
old, solitary beacon, visible from almost every part of Penrith, which,
notwithstanding its many symptoms of antiquity, is not deficient of
neatness. The houses are chiefly white, with door and window cases of
the red stone found in the neighbourhood. Some of the smaller have over
their doors dates of the latter end of the sixteenth century. There
are several inns, of which that called Old Buchanan's was recommended
to us, first, by the recollection, that Mr. Gray had mentioned it, and
afterwards by the comfort and civility we found there.

Some traces of the Scottish dialect and pronunciation appear as far
south as Lancashire; in Westmoreland, they become stronger; and, at
Penrith, are extremely distinct and general, serving for one among
many peaceful indications of an approach, once notified chiefly by
preparations for hostility, or defence. Penrith is the most southern
town in England at which the guinea notes of the Scotch bank are
in circulation. The beacon, a sort of square tower, with a peaked
roof and openings at the sides, is a more perfect instance of the
direful necessities of past ages, than would be expected to remain in
this. The circumstances are well known, which made such watchfulness
especially proper, at Penrith; and the other traces of warlike habits
and precautions, whether appearing in records, or buildings, are too
numerous to be noticed in a sketch, which rather pretends to describe
what the author has seen, than to enumerate what has been discovered
by the researches of others. Dr. Burn's History contains many curious
particulars; and there are otherwise abundant and satisfactory
memorials, as to the state of the debateable ground, the regulations
for securing passes or fords, and even to the public maintenance of
slough dogs, which were to pursue aggressors with hot trod, as the
inhabitants were to follow them by horn and voice. These are all
testimonies, that among the many evils, inflicted upon countries by
war, that, which is not commonly thought of, is not the least; the
public encouragement of a disposition to violence, under the names
of gallantry, or valour, which will not cease exactly when it is
publicly prohibited; and the education of numerous bodies to habits of
supplying their wants, not by constant and useful labour, but by sudden
and destructive exertions of force. The mistake, by which courage is
released from all moral estimation of the purposes, for which it is
exerted, and is considered to be necessarily and universally a good
in itself, rather than a means of good, or of evil, according to its
application, is among the severest misfortunes of mankind. Tacitus has
an admirable reproof of it--

     "Ubi manu agitur, modestia et probitas nomina superioris

Though the situation of Penrith, looking up the vales of Eden and
Emont, is remarkably pleasant, that of the beacon above is infinitely
finer, commanding an horizon of at least an hundred miles diameter,
filled with an endless variety of beauty, greatness and sublimity.
The view extends over Cumberland, parts of Westmoreland, Lancashire,
Yorkshire, and a corner of Northumberland and Durham. On a clear day,
the Scottish high lands, beyond Solway Firth, may be distinguished,
like faint clouds on the horizon, and the steeples of Carlisle are
plainly visible. All the intervening country, speckled with towns and
villages, is spread beneath the eye, and, nearly eighty miles to the
eastward, part of the Cheviot-hills are traced, a dark line, binding
the distance and marking the separation between earth and sky. On the
plains towards Carlisle, the nearer ridges of Cross-fell are seen to
commence, and thence stretch their barren steeps thirty miles towards
the east, where they disappear among the Stainmore-hills and the huge
moorlands of Yorkshire, that close up the long landscape of the vale
of Eden. Among these, the broken lines of Ingleborough start above all
the broader ones of the moors, and that mountain still proclaims itself
sovereign of the Yorkshire heights.

Southward, rise the wonders of Westmoreland, Shapfells, ridge over
ridge, the nearer pikes of Hawswater, and then the mountains of
Ullswater, Helvellyn pre-eminent amongst them, distinguished by the
grandeur and boldness of their outline, as well as the variety of
their shapes; some hugely swelling, some aspiring in clusters of
alpine points, and some broken into shaggy ridges. The sky, westward
from hence and far to the north, displays a vision of Alps, Saddleback
spreading towards Keswick its long shattered ridge, and one top of
Skiddaw peering beyond it; but the others of this district are inferior
in grandeur to the fells of Ullswater, more broken into points, and
with less of contrast in their forms. Behind Saddleback, the skirts of
Skiddaw spread themselves, and thence low hills shelve into the plains
of Cumberland, that extend to Whitehaven; the only level line in the
scope of this vast horizon. The scenery nearer to the eye exhibited
cultivation in its richest state, varied with pastoral and sylvan
beauty; landscapes embellished by the elegancies of art, and rendered
venerable by the ruins of time. In the vale of Eden, Carleton-hall,
flourishing under the hand of careful attention, and Bird's Nest,
luxuriant in its spiry woods, opposed their cheerful beauties to the
neglected walls of Brougham Castle, once the terror, and, even in
ruins, the pride of the scene, now half-shrouded in its melancholy
grove. These objects were lighted up by partial gleams of sunshine,
which, as they fled along the valley, gave magical effect to all they

The other vales in the home prospect were those of Bampton and Emont;
the first open and gentle, shaded by the gradual woods of Lowther-park;
the last closer and more romantic, withdrawing in many a lingering
bend towards Ullswater, where it is closed by the pyramidal Dunmallard,
but not before a gleam of the lake is suffered to appear beyond the
dark base of the hill. At the nearer end of the vale, and immediately
under the eye, the venerable ruins of Penrith Castle crest a round
green hill. These are of pale red stone, and stand in detached masses;
but have little that is picturesque in their appearance, time having
spared neither tower, or gateway, and not a single tree giving shade,
or force, to the shattered walls. The ground about the castle is broken
into grassy knolls, and only cattle wander over the desolated tract.
Time has also obscured the name of the founder; but it is known, that
the main building was repaired, and some addition made to it by Richard
the Third, when Duke of Gloucester, who lived here, for five years,
in his office of sheriff of Cumberland, promoting the York interest
by artful hospitalities, and endeavouring to strike terror into the
Lancastrians. Among the ruins is a subterraneous passage, leading to a
house in Penrith, above three hundred yards distant, called Dockwray
Castle. The town lies between the fortress and the Beacon-hill,
spreading prettily along the skirts of the mountain, with its many
roofs of blue slate, among which the church rises near a dark grove.

Penrith, from the latter end of the last century, till lately, when
it was purchased the Duke of Devonshire, belonged to the family of
Portland, to whom it was given by William the Third; probably instead
of the manors in Wales, which it was one of William's few faulty
designs so have given to his favourite companion, had not Parliament
remonstrated, and informed him, that the Crown could not alienate
the territories of the Principality. The church, a building of red
stone, unusually well disposed in the interior, is a vicarage of small
endowment; but the value of money in this part of the kingdom is so
high, that the merit of independence, a merit and a happiness which
should always belong to clergymen, is attainable by the possessors of
very moderate incomes. What is called the Giant's Grave in the church
yard is a narrow spot, inclosed, to the length of fourteen or fifteen
feet, by rows of low stones, at the sides, and, at the ends, by two
pillars, now slender, but apparently worn by the weather from a greater
thickness. The height of these is eleven or twelve feet; and all the
stones, whether in the borders, at the sides, or in these pillars,
bear traces of rude carving, which shew, at least, that the monument
must have been thought very important by those that raised it, since
the singularity of its size was not held a sufficient distinction. We
pored intently over these traces, though certainly without the hope of
discovering any thing not known to the eminent antiquarians, who have
confessed their ignorance concerning the origin of them.


The Graystock road, which we took for the first five or six miles,
is uninteresting, and offers nothing worthy of attention, before the
approach to the castle, the seat of the Duke of Norfolk. The appearance
of this from the road is good; a gray building, with gothic towers,
seated in a valley among lawns and woods, that stretch, with great
pomp of shade, to gently-rising hills. Behind these, Saddleback,
huge, gray and barren, rises with all its ridgy lines; a grand and
simple back-ground, giving exquisite effect to the dark woods below.
Such is the height of the mountain, that, though eight or ten miles
off, it appeared, as we approached the castle, almost to impend over
it. Southward from Saddleback, a multitude of pointed summits crowd
the horizon; and it is most interesting, after leaving Graystock, to
observe their changing attitudes, as you advance, and the gradual
disclosure of their larger features. Perhaps, a sudden display of the
sublimest scenery, however full, imparts less emotion, than a gradually
increasing view of it; when expectation takes the highest tone, and
imagination finishes the sketch.

About two miles beyond Graystock, the moorlands commence, and, as far
as simple greatness constitutes sublimity, this was, indeed, a sublime
prospect; less so only than that from Shap-fell itself, where the
mountains are not so varied in their forms and are plainer in their
grandeur. We were on a vast plain, if plain that may be called, which
swells into long undulations, surrounded by an amphitheatre of heathy
mountains, that seem to have been shook by some grand convulsion of
the earth, and tumbled around in all shapes. Not a tree, a hedge, and
seldom even a stone wall, broke the grandeur of their lines; what was
not heath was only rock and gray crags; and a shepherd's hut, or his
flocks, browsing on the steep sides of the fells, or in the narrow
vallies, that opened distantly, was all that diversified the vast
scene. Saddleback spread his skirts westward along the plain, and then
reared himself in terrible and lonely majesty. In the long perspective
beyond, were the crowding points of the fells round Keswick,
Borrowdale, and the vales, of St. John and Leyberthwaite, stretching
away to those near Grasmere. The weather was in solemn harmony with
the scenery; long shadows swept over the hills, followed by gleaming
lights. Tempestuous gusts alone broke the silence. Now and then, the
sun's rays had a singular appearance; pouring, from under clouds,
between the tops of fells into some deep vale, at a distance, as into a

This is the very region, which the wild fancy of a poet, like
Shakespeare, would people with witches, and shew them at their
incantations, calling spirits from the clouds and spectres from the

On the now lonely plains of this vast amphitheatre, the Romans had two
camps, and their Eagle spread its wings over a scene worthy of its
own soarings. The lines of these encampments may still be traced on
that part of the plain, called Hutton Moor, to the north of the high
road; and over its whole extent towards Keswick a Roman way has been
discovered. Funereal urns have also been dug up here, and an altar of
Roman form, but with the inscription obliterated.

Nearer Saddleback, we perceived crags and heath mingling on its
precipices, and its base broken into a little world of mountains,
green with cultivation. White farms, each with its grove to shelter it
from the descending gusts, corn and pastures of the brightest verdure
enlivened the skirts of the mountain all round, climbing towards
the dark heath and crags, or spreading downwards into the vale of
Threlkeld, where the slender Lowther shews his shining stream.

Leaving Hutton Moor, the road soon began to ascend the skirts of
Saddleback, and passed between green hillocks, where cattle appeared
most elegantly in the mountain scene, under the crags, or sipping at
the clear stream, that gushed from the rocks, and wound to the vale
below. Such crystal rivulets crossed our way continually, as we rose
upon the side of Saddleback, which towers abruptly on the right,
and, on the left, sinks as suddenly into the vale of Threlkeld, with
precipices sometimes little less than tremendous. This mountain is
the northern boundary of the vale in its whole length to Keswick, the
points of whose fells close the perspective. Rocky heights guard it
to the south. The valley between is green, without wood, and, with
much that is grand, has little beautiful, till near its conclusion;
where, more fertile and still more wild, it divides into three narrower
vallies, two of which disclose scenes of such sublime severity as even
our long view of Saddleback had not prepared us to expect.

The first of these is the vale of St. John, a narrow, cultivated spot,
lying in the bosom of tremendous rocks, that impend over it in masses
of gray crag, and often resemble the ruins of castles. These rocks
are overlooked by still more awful mountains, that fall in abrupt
lines, and close up the vista, except where they also are commanded
by the vast top of Helvellyn. On every side, are images of desolation
and stupendous greatness, closing upon a narrow line of pastoral
richness; a picture of verdant beauty, seen through a frame of rock
work. It is between the cliffs of Threlkeld-fell and the purple ridge
of Nadale-fell, that this vale seems to repose in its most silent
and perfect peace. No village and scarcely a cottage disturbs its
retirement. The flocks, that feed at the feet of the cliffs, and the
steps of a shepherd, "in this office of his mountain watch," are all,
that haunt the "dark sequestered nook."

The vale of Nadale runs parallel with that of St. John, from which it
is separated by the ridge of Nadale-fell, and has the same style of
character, except that it is terminated by a well wooded mountain.
Beyond this, the perspective is overlooked by the fells, that terminate
the vale of St. John.

The third valley, opening from the head of Threlkeld, winds along the
feet of Saddleback and Skiddaw to Keswick, the approach to which, with
all its world of rocky summits, the lake being still sunk below the
sight, is sublime beyond the power of description. Within three miles
of Keswick, Skiddaw unfolds itself, close behind Saddleback; their
skirts unite, but the former is less huge and of very different form
from the last; being more pointed and seldomer broken into precipices,
it darts upward with a vast sweep into three spiry summits, two of
which only are seen from this road, and shews sides dark with heath and
little varied with rock. Such is its aspect from the Penrith road; from
other stations its attitude, shape and colouring are very different,
though its alpine terminations are always visible.

Threlkeld itself is a small village, about thirteen miles from Penrith,
with a very humble inn, at which those, who have passed the bleak sides
of Saddleback, and those, who are entering upon them, may rejoice to
rest. We had been blown about, for some hours, in an open chaise,
and hoped for more refreshment than could be obtained; but had the
satisfaction, which was, indeed, general in these regions, of observing
the good intentions, amounting almost to kindness, of the cottagers
towards their guests. They have nearly always some fare, which less
civility than theirs might render acceptable; and the hearth blazes in
their clean sanded parlours, within two minutes after you enter them.
Some sort of preserved fruit is constantly served after the repast,
with cream, an innocent luxury, for which no animal has died.

It is not only from those, who are to gain by strangers, but from
almost every person, accidentally accosted by a question, that this
favourable opinion will be formed, as to the kind and frank manners
of the people. We were continually remarking, between Lancaster and
Keswick, that severe as the winter might be in these districts, from
the early symptoms of it then apparent, the conduct of the people would
render it scarcely unpleasant to take the same journey in the depths of

In these countries, the farms are, for the most part, small, and the
farmers and their children work in the same fields with their servants.
Their families have thus no opportunities of temporary insight into the
society, and luxuries of the great, and have none of those miseries,
which dejected vanity and multiplied wishes inflict upon the pursuers
of the higher ranks. They are also without the baseness, which such
pursuers usually have, of becoming abject before persons of one class,
that by the authority of an apparent connection with them, they may
be insolent to those of another; and are free from the essential
humiliation of shewing, by a general and undistinguishing admiration
of all persons richer than themselves, that the original distinctions
between virtue and vice have been erased from their minds by the habit
of comparing the high and the low.

The true consciousness of independence, which labour and an
ignorance of the vain appendages, falsely called luxuries, give to
the inhabitants of these districts, is probably the cause of the
superiority, perceived by strangers in their tempers and manners,
over those of persons, apparently better circumstanced. They have
no remembrance of slights, to be revenged by insults; no hopes from
servility, nor irritation from the desire of unattainable distinctions.
Where, on the contrary, the encouragement of artificial wants has
produced dependence, and mingled with the fictitious appearance of
wealth many of the most real evils of poverty, the benevolence of the
temper flies with the simplicity of the mind. There is, perhaps, not
a more odious prospect of human society, than where an ostentatious,
manœuvring and corrupted peasantry, taking those, who induce them to
crimes, for the models of their morality, mimic the vices, to which
they were not born, and attempts the coarse covering of cunning and
insolence for practices, which it is a science and frequently an object
of education to conceal by flagitious elegancies. Such persons form in
the country a bad copy of the worst London society; the vices, without
the intelligence, and without the assuaging virtues.


After passing the very small, but neatly furnished church of Threlkeld,
the condition of which may be one testimony to the worthiness of the
neighbourhood, and rising beyond the vales before described, we came
to the brow of a hill, called Castle Rigg, on which, to the left of
the road, are the remains of one of those circular monuments, which,
by general consent, are called Druids' Temples. This is formed of
thirty-seven stones, placed in a circle of about twenty-eight yards
diameter, the largest being not less than seven feet and a half high,
which is double the height of the others. At the eastern part of this
circle, and within it, smaller stones are arranged in an oblong of
about seven yards long, and, at the greatest breadth, four yards wide.
Many of those round the circle appear to have fallen and now remain at
unequal distances, of which the greatest is towards the north.

Whether our judgment was influenced by the authority of a Druid's
choice, or that the place itself commanded the opinion, we thought
this situation the most severely grand of any hitherto passed. There
is, perhaps, not a single object in the scene, that interrupts the
solemn tone of feeling, impressed by its general characters of profound
solitude, greatness and awful wildness. Castle Rigg is the central
point of three vallies, that dart immediately under it from the eye,
and whose mountains form part of an amphitheatre, which is completed by
those of Derwentwater, in the west, and by the precipices of Skiddaw
and Saddleback, close on the north. The hue, which pervades all these
mountains, is that of dark heath, or rock; they are thrown into every
form and direction, that Fancy would suggest, and are at that distance,
which allows all their grandeur to prevail; nearer than the high lands,
that surround Hutton Moor, and further removed than the fells in the
scenery of Ullswater.

To the south open the rocks, that disclose the vale of St. John, whose
verdant beauty bears no proportion to its sublimity; to the west, are
piled the shattered and fantastic points of Derwentwater; to the north,
Skiddaw, with its double top, resembling a volcano, the cloudy vapours
ascending from its highest point, like smoke, and sometimes rolling
in wreaths down its sides; and to the east, the vale of Threlkeld,
spreading green round the base of Saddleback, its vast side-skreen,
opened to the moorlands, beyond which the ridge of Cross-fell
appeared; its dignity now diminished by distance. This point then is
surrounded by the three grand rivals of Cumberland; huge Helvellyn,
spreading Saddleback and spiry Skiddaw.

Such seclusion and sublimity were, indeed, well suited to the deep
and wild mysteries of the Druids. Here, at moon-light, every Druid,
summoned by that terrible horn, never awakened but upon high occasions,
and descending from his mountain, or secret cave, might assemble
without intrusion from one sacrilegious footstep, and celebrate a
midnight festival by a savage sacrifice--

  ----"rites of such strange potency
  As, done in open day, would dim the sun,
  Tho' thron'd in noontide brightness."


Here, too, the Bards,

  "Rob'd in their flowing vests of innocent white,
  Descend, with harps, that glitter to the moon,
  Hymning immortal strains. The spirits of air,
  Of earth, of water, nay of heav'n itself,
  Do listen to their lay; and oft, 'tis said,
  In visible shapes, dance they a magic round
  To the high minstrelsy."

As we descended the steep mountain to Keswick, the romantic fells round
the lake opened finely, but the lake itself was concealed, deep in
its rocky cauldron. We saw them under the last glow of sun-set, the
upward rays producing a misty purple glory between the dark tops of
Cawsey-pikes and the bending peaks of Thornthwaite fells. Soon after,
the sun having set to the vale of Keswick, there appeared, beyond
breaks in its western mountains, the rocks of other vallies, still
lighted up by a purple gleam, and receiving strong rays on shaggy
points, to which their recesses gave soft and shadowy contrast. But the
magical effect of these sunshine rocks, opposed to the darkness of the
nearer valley, can scarcely be imagined.

Still as we descended, the lake of Derwentwater was screened from our
view; but the rich level of three miles wide, that spreads between it
and Bassenthwaite-water in the same vale, lay, like a map, beneath
us, chequered with groves and cottages, with enclosures of corn and
meadows, and adorned by the pretty village of Crossthwaite, its
neat white church conspicuous among trees. The fantastic fells of
Derwentwater bordered this reposing landscape, on the west, and the
mighty Skiddaw rose over it, on the east, concealing the lake of

The hollow dashings of the Greta, in its rocky channel, at the foot of
Skiddaw, and in one of the most wizard little glens that nature ever
fancied, were heard long before we looked down its steep woody bank,
and saw it winding away, from close inaccessible chasms, to the vale of
Keswick, corn and meadows spread at the top of the left bank, and the
crags of Skiddaw scowling over it, on the right.

At length, we had a glimpse of the north end of Derwentwater, and soon
after entered Keswick, a small place of stone houses, lying at the foot
of Castle Rigg, near Skiddaw, and about a quarter of a mile from the
lake, which, however, is not seen from the town.

We were impatient to view this celebrated lake, and immediately walked
down to Crow-park, a green eminence at its northern end, whence it
is generally allowed to appear to great advantage. Expectation had
been raised too high: Shall we own our disappointment? Prepared for
something more than we had already seen, by what has been so eloquently
said of it, by the view of its vast neighbourhood and the grandeur of
its approach, the lake itself looked insignificant; and, however rude,
or awful, its nearer rocks might have appeared, if seen unexpectedly,
they were not in general so vast, or so boldly outlined, as to retain a
character of sublimity from comparison. Opposed to the simple majesty
of Ullswater, the lake of Derwent was scarcely interesting. Something
must, indeed, be attributed to the force of first impressions; but
with all allowance for this, Ullswater must still retain an high
pre-eminence for grandeur and sublimity.

Derwentwater, however, when more minutely viewed, has peculiar charms
both from beauty and wildness, and as the emotions, excited by
disappointed expectation, began to subside, we became sensible of
them. It seems to be nearly of a round form, and the whole is seen
at one glance, expanding within an amphitheatre of mountains, rocky,
but not vast, broken into many fantastic shapes, peaked, splintered,
impending, sometimes pyramidal, opening by narrow vallies to the view
of rocks, that rise immediately beyond and are again overlooked by
others. The precipices seldom overshoot the water, but are arranged
at some distance, and the shores swell with woody eminences, or sink
into green, pastoral margins. Masses of wood also frequently appear
among the cliffs, feathering them to their summits, and a white cottage
sometimes peeps from out their skirts, seated on the smooth knoll of a
pasture, projecting to the lake, and looks so exquisitely picturesque,
as to seem placed there purposely to adorn it. The lake in return
faithfully reflects the whole picture, and so even and brilliantly
translucent is its surface, that it rather heightens, than obscures
the colouring. Its mild bosom is spotted by four small islands, of
which those called Lords' and St. Herbert's are well wooded, and adorn
the scene, but another is deformed by buildings, stuck over it, like
figures upon a twelfth-cake.

Beyond the head of the lake, and at a direct distance of three or
four miles from Crow-park, the pass of Borrowdale opens, guarded by
two piles of rock, the boldest in the scene, overlooked by many rocky
points, and, beyond all, by rude mountain tops which come partially
and in glimpses to the view. Among the most striking features of the
eastern shore are the woody cliffs of Lowdore; then, nearer to the
eye, Wallow-crags, a title used here as well as at Hawswater, of dark
brown rock, loosely impending; nearer still, Castle-hill, pyramidal
and richly wooded to its point, the most luxuriant feature of the
landscape. Cawsey-pike, one of the most remarkable rocks of the western
shore, has its ridge scolloped into points as if with a row of corbells.

The cultivated vale of Newland slopes upward from the lake between
these and Thornthwaite fells. Northward, beyond Crow-park, rises
Skiddaw; at its base commences the beautiful level, that spreads
to Bassenthwaite-water, where the rocks in the west side of the
perspective soon begin to soften, and the vale becomes open and

Such is the outline of Derwentwater, which has a much greater
proportion of beauty, than Ullswater, but neither its dignity, nor
grandeur. Its fells, broken into smaller masses, do not swell, or
start, into such bold lines as those of Ullswater; nor does the size
of the lake accord with the general importance of the rocky vale, in
which it lies. The water is too small for its accompaniments; and
its form, being round and seen entirely at once, leaves nothing for
expectation to pursue, beyond the stretching promontory, or fancy to
transform within the gloom and obscurity of the receding fell; and
thus it loses an ample source of the sublime. The greatest breadth
from east to west is not more than three miles. It is not large enough
to occupy the eye, and it is not so hidden as to have the assistance
of the imagination in making it appear large. The beauty of its banks
also, contending with the wildness of its rocks, gives opposite
impressions to the mind, and the force of each is, perhaps, destroyed
by the admission of the other. Sublimity can scarcely exist, without
simplicity; and even grandeur loses much of its elevating effect,
when united with a considerable portion of beauty; then descending to
become magnificence. The effect of simplicity in assisting that high
tone of mind, produced by the sublime, is demonstrated by the scenery
of Ullswater, where very seldom a discordant object obtrudes over the
course of thought, and jars upon the feelings.

But it is much pleasanter to admire than to examine, and in
Derwentwater is abundant subject for admiration, though not of so high
a character as that, which attends Ullswater. The soft undulations
of its shores, the mingled wood and pasture, that paint them, the
brilliant purity of the water, that gives back every landscape on its
bank, and frequently with heightened colouring, the fantastic wildness
of the rocks and the magnificence of the amphitheatre they form; these
are circumstances, the view of which excites emotions of sweet, though
tranquil admiration, softening the mind to tenderness, rather than
elevating it to sublimity. We first saw the whole beneath such sober
hues as prevailed when

          "the gray hooded Even,
  Like a sad votarist, in Palmer's weed,
  Rose from the hindmost wheels of Phœbus' wain."

The wildness, seclusion, and magical beauty of this vale, seem, indeed,
to render it the very abode for Milton's Comus, "deep skilled in all
his mother's witcheries;" and, while we survey its fantastic features,
we are almost tempted to suppose, that he has hurled his

            "dazzling spells into the air,
  Of power to cheat the eye with blear illusion
  And give it false presentments,"

Nay more, to believe

  "All the sage poets, taught by th' heavenly muse,
  Storied of old, in high immortal verse,
  Of dire chimæras and enchanted isles;"

and to fancy we hear from among the woody cliffs, near the shore,

                "the sound
  Of riot and ill manag'd merriment,"

succeeded by such strains as oft

    "in pleasing slumbers lull the sense,
  And, in sweet madness, rob it of itself."


On the following morning, having engaged a guide, and with horses
accustomed to the labour, we began to ascend this tremendous mountain
by a way, which makes the summit five miles from Keswick. Passing
through bowery lanes, luxuriant with mountain ash, holly, and a variety
of beautiful shrubs, to a broad, open common, a road led us to the foot
of Latrigg, or, as it is called by the country people, Skiddaw's Cub,
a large round hill, covered with heath, turf and browsing sheep. A
narrow path now wound along steep green precipices, the beauty of which
prevented what danger there was from being perceived. Derwentwater was
concealed by others, that rose above them, but that part of the vale
of Keswick, which separates the two lakes, and spreads a rich level of
three miles, was immediately below; Crossthwaite-church, nearly in the
centre, with the white vicarage, rising among trees. More under shelter
of Skiddaw, where the vale spreads into a sweet retired nook, lay the
house and grounds of Dr. Brownrigg.

Beyond the level, opened a glimpse of Bassenthwaite-water; a lake,
which may be called elegant, bounded, on one side, by well-wooded
rocks, and, on the other, by Skiddaw.

Soon after, we rose above the steeps, which had concealed Derwentwater,
and it appeared with all its enamelled banks, sunk deep amidst a chaos
of mountains, and surrounded by ranges of fells, not visible from
below. On the other hand, the more cheerful lake of Bassenthwaite
expanded at its entire length. Having gazed a while on this
magnificent scene, we pursued the path, and soon after reached the
brink of a chasm, on the opposite side of which wound our future track;
for the ascent is here in an acutely zig-zag direction. The horses
carefully picked their steps along the narrow precipice, and turned the
angle, that led them to the opposite side.

At length, as we ascended, Derwentwater dwindled on the eye to the
smallness of a pond, while the grandeur of its amphitheatre was
increased by new ranges of dark mountains, no longer individually
great, but so from accumulation; a scenery to give ideas of the
breaking up of a world. Other precipices soon hid it again, but
Bassenthwaite continued to spread immediately below us, till we turned
into the heart of Skiddaw, and were enclosed by its steeps. We had now
lost all track even of the flocks, that were scattered over these
tremendous wilds. The guide conducted us by many curvings among the
heathy hills and hollows of the mountain; but the ascents were such,
that the horses panted in the slowest walk, and it was necessary to
let them rest every six or seven minutes. An opening to the south,
at length, shewed the whole plan of the narrow vales of St. John and
of Nadale, separated by the dark ridge of rock, called St. John's
rigg, with each its small line of verdure at the bottom, and bounded
by enormous gray fells, which we were, however, now high enough to

A white speck, on the top of St. John's rigg, was pointed out by the
guide to be a chapel of ease to Keswick, which has no less than five
such, scattered among the fells. From this chapel, dedicated to St.
John, the rock and the vale have received their name, and our guide
told us, that Nadale was frequently known by the same title.

Leaving this view, the mountain soon again shut out all prospect, but
of its own vallies and precipices, covered with various shades of turf
and moss, and with heath, of which a dull purple was the prevailing
hue. Not a tree, or bush appeared on Skiddaw, nor even a stone wall any
where broke the simple greatness of its lines. Sometimes, we looked
into tremendous chasms, where the torrent, heard roaring long before
it was seen, had worked itself a deep channel, and fell from ledge
to ledge, foaming and shining amidst the dark rock. These streams
are sublime from the length and precipitancy of their course, which,
hurrying the sight with them into the abyss, act, as it were, in
sympathy upon the nerves, and, to save ourselves from following, we
recoil from the view with involuntary horror. Of such, however, we
saw only two, and those by some departure from the usual course up the
mountain; but every where met gushing springs, till we were within two
miles of the summit, when our guide added to the rum in his bottle what
he said was the last water we should find in our ascent.

The air now became very thin, and the steeps still more difficult of
ascent; but it was often delightful to look down into the green hollows
of the mountain, among pastoral scenes, that wanted only some mixture
of wood to render them enchanting.

About a mile from the summit, the way was, indeed, dreadfully sublime,
laying, for nearly half a mile, along the ledge of a precipice, that
passed, with a swift descent, for probably near a mile, into a glen
within the heart of Skiddaw; and not a bush, or a hillock interrupted
its vast length, or, by offering a mid-way check in the descent,
diminished the fear it inspired. The ridgy steeps of Saddleback, formed
the opposite boundary of the glen, and, though really at a considerable
distance, had, from the height of the two mountains, such an appearance
of nearness, that it almost seemed as if we could spring to its side.
How much too did simplicity increase the sublime of this scenery, in
which nothing but mountain, heath and sky appeared!

But our situation was too critical, or too unusual, to permit the just
impressions of such sublimity. The hill rose so closely above the
precipice as scarcely to allow a ledge wide enough for a single horse.
We followed the guide in silence, and, till we regained the more open
wild, had no leisure for exclamation. After this, the ascent appeared
easy and secure, and we were bold enough to wonder, that the steeps
near the beginning of the mountain had excited any anxiety.

At length, passing the skirts of the two points of Skiddaw, which are
nearest to Derwentwater, we approached the third and loftiest, and then
perceived, that their steep sides, together with the ridges, which
connect them, were entirely covered near the summits with a whitish
shivered slate, which threatens to slide down them with every gust of
wind. The broken state of this slate makes the present summits seem
like the ruins of others; a circumstance as extraordinary in appearance
as difficult to be accounted for.

The ridge, on which we passed from the neighbourhood of the second
summit to the third, was narrow, and the eye reached; on each side,
down the whole extent of the mountain, following, on the left, the
rocky precipices, that impend over the lake of Bassenthwaite, and
looking, on the right, into the glens of Saddleback, far, far below.
But the prospects, that burst upon us from every part of the vast
horizon, when we had gained the summit, were such as we had scarcely
dared to hope for, and must now rather venture to enumerate, than to

We stood on a pinnacle, commanding the whole dome of the sky. The
prospects below, each of which had been before considered separately
as a great scene, were now miniature parts of the immense landscape.
To the north, lay, like a map, the vast tract of low country, which
extends between Bassenthwaite and the Irish Channel, marked with the
silver circles of the river Derwent, in its progress from the lake.
Whitehaven and its white coast were distinctly seen, and Cockermouth
seemed almost under the eye. A long blackish line, more to the west,
resembling a faintly formed cloud, was said by the guide to be the Isle
of Man, who, however, had the honesty to confess, that the mountains of
Down in Ireland, which have been sometimes thought visible, had never
been seen by him in the clearest weather.

Bounding the low country to the north, the wide Solway Firth, with its
indented shores, looked like a gray horizon, and the double range of
Scottish mountains, seen dimly through mist beyond, like lines of dark
clouds above it. The Solway appeared surprisingly near us, though at
fifty miles distance, and the guide said, that, on a bright day, its
shipping could plainly be discerned. Nearly in the north, the heights
seemed to soften into plains, for no object was there visible through
the obscurity, that had begun to draw over the furthest distance; but,
towards the east, they appeared to swell again, and what we were told
were the Cheviot hills dawned feebly beyond Northumberland. We now
spanned the narrowest part of England, looking from the Irish Channel,
on one side, to the German Ocean, on the other, which latter was,
however, so far off as to be discernible only like a mist.

Nearer than the county of Durham, stretched the ridge of Cross-fell,
and an indistinct multitude of the Westmoreland and Yorkshire
highlands, whose lines disappeared behind Saddleback, now evidently
pre-eminent over Skiddaw, so much so as to exclude many a height
beyond it. Passing this mountain in our course to the south, we saw,
immediately below, the fells round Derwentwater, the lake itself
remaining still concealed in their deep rocky bosom. Southward
and westward, the whole prospect was a "turbulent chaos of dark
mountains." All individual dignity was now lost in the immensity of
the whole, and every variety of character was overpowered by that of
astonishing and gloomy grandeur.

Over the fells of Borrowdale, and far to the south, the northern end of
Windermere appeared, like a wreath of gray smoke, that spreads along
the mountain's side. More southward still, and beyond all the fells of
the lakes, Lancaster sands extended to the faintly seen waters of the
sea. Then to the west, Duddon sands gleamed in a long line among the
fells of High Furness. Immediately under the eye, lay Bassenthwaite,
surrounded by many ranges of mountains, invisible from below. We
overlooked all these dark mountains, and saw green cultivated vales
over the tops of lofty rocks, and other mountains over these vales in
many ridges, whilst innumerable narrow glens were traced in all their
windings and seen uniting behind the hills with others, that also
sloped upwards from the lake.

The air on this summit was boisterous, intensely cold and difficult to
be inspired, though the day was below warm and serene. It was dreadful
to look down from nearly the brink of the point, on which we stood,
upon the lake of Bassenthwaite and over a sharp and separated ridge of
rocks, that from below appeared of tremendous height, but now seemed
not to reach half way up Skiddaw; it was almost as if

      "the precipitation might down stretch
  Below the beam of sight."

Under the lee of an heaped up pile of slates, formed by the customary
contribution of one from every visitor, we found an old man sheltered,
whom we took to be a shepherd, but afterwards learned was a farmer
and, as the people in this neighbourhood say, a 'statesman'; that is,
had land of his own. He was a native and still an inhabitant of an
adjoining vale; but, so laborious is the enterprise reckoned, that,
though he had passed his life within view of the mountain, this was his
first ascent. He descended with us, for part of our way, and then wound
off towards his own valley, stalking amidst the wild scenery, his large
figure wrapt in a dark cloak and his steps occasionally assisted by a
long iron pronged pike, with which he had pointed out distant objects.

In the descent, it was interesting to observe each mountain below
gradually re-assuming its dignity, the two lakes expanding into
spacious surfaces, the many little vallies, that sloped upwards from
their margins, recovering their variegated tints of cultivation, the
cattle again appearing in the meadows, and the woody promontories
changing from smooth patches of shade into richly tufted summits. At
about a mile from the top, a great difference was perceptible in the
climate, which became comparatively warm, and the summer hum of bees
was again heard among the purple heath.

We reached Keswick, about four o'clock, after five hours passed in this
excursion, in which the care of our guide greatly lessened the notion
of danger. Why should we think it trivial to attempt some service
towards this poor man? We have reason to think, that whoever employs,
at Keswick, a guide of the name of Doncaster, will assist him in
supporting an aged parent.


In a gray autumnal morning, we rode out along the western bank of
Bassenthwaite to Ouse Bridge, under which the river Derwent, after
passing through the lake, takes its course towards the Sea. The road
on this side, being impassable by carriages, is seldom visited, but
it is interesting for being opposed to Skiddaw, which rises in new
attitudes over the opposite bank. Beyond the land, that separates the
two lakes, the road runs high along the sides of hills and sometimes at
the feet of tremendous fells, one of which rises almost spirally over
it, shewing a surface of slates, shivered from top to bottom. Further
on, the heights gradually soften from horror into mild and graceful
beauty, opening distantly to the cheerful country that spreads towards
Whitehaven; but the road soon immerges among woods, which allow only
partial views of the opposite shore, inimitably beautiful with copses,
green lawns and pastures, with gently sweeping promontories and bays,
that receive the lake to their full brims.

From the house at Ouse Bridge the prospect is exquisite up the
lake, which now losing the air of a wide river, re-assumes its true
character, and even appears to flow into the chasm of rocks, that
really inclose Derwentwater. Skiddaw, with all the mountains round
Borrowdale, form a magnificent amphitheatrical perspective for this
noble sheet of water; the vallies of the two lakes extending to one
view, which is, therefore, superior to any exhibited from Derwentwater
alone. The prospect terminates in the dark fells of Borrowdale,
which by their sublimity enhance the beauty and elegance, united to a
surprising degree in the nearer landscape.

Beyond Ouse Bridge, but still at the bottom of the lake, the road
passes before Armithwaite-house, whose copsy lawns slope to the margin
of the water from a mansion more finely situated than any we had
seen. It then recedes somewhat from the bank, and ascends the skirt
of Skiddaw, which it scarcely leaves on this side of Keswick. On the
opposite shore, the most elegant features are the swelling hills,
called Wythop-brows, flourishing with wood from the water's edge; and,
below the meadows of the eastern bank, by which we were returning, two
peninsulæ, the one pastoral, yet well wooded and embellished by a white
hamlet, the other narrow and bearing only a line of trees, issuing
far into the lake. But the shores of Bassenthwaite, though elegant
and often beautiful, are too little varied to be long dwelt upon; and
attention is sometimes unpleasantly engaged by a precipice, from which
the road is not sufficiently secured; so that the effect of the whole
upon the imagination is much less than might be expected from its
situation at the foot of Skiddaw, and its shape, which is more extended
than that of Derwentwater.


A serene day, with gleams of sunshine, gave magical effect to the
scenery of Derwentwater, as we wound along its eastern shore to
Borrowdale, under cliffs, parts of which, already fallen near the
road, increased the opinion of danger from the rest; sometimes near
the edge of precipices, that bend over the water, and, at others,
among pleasure-grounds and copses, which admit partial views over the
lake. These, with every woody promontory and mountain, were perfectly
reflected on its surface. Not a path-way, not a crag, or scar, that
sculptured their bold fronts, but was copied and distinctly seen even
from the opposite shore in the dark purple mirror below. Now and
then, a pleasure-boat glided by, leaving long silver lines, drawn to a
point on the smooth water which, as it gave back the painted sides and
gleaming sail, displayed a moving picture.

The colouring of the mountains was, this day, surprisingly various
and changeful, surpassing every thing of the same nature, that we had
seen. The effect of the atmosphere on mountainous regions is sometimes
so sublime, at others so enchantingly beautiful, that the mention
of it ought not to be considered as trivial, when their aspect is
to be described. As the sun-beams fell on different kinds of rock,
and distance coloured the air, some parts were touched with lilac,
others with light blue, dark purple, or reddish brown, which were
often seen, at the same moment, contrasting with the mellow green of
the woods and the brightness of sunshine; then slowly and almost
imperceptibly changing into other tints. Skiddaw itself exhibited much
of this variety, during our ride. As we left Keswick, its points were
overspread with pale azure; on our return, a tint of dark blue softened
its features, which were, however, soon after involved in deepest

Winding under the woods of Barrowside, we approached Lowdore, and heard
the thunder of his cataract, joined by the sounds of others, descending
within the gloom of the nearer rocks and thickets. The retrospective
views over the lake from Barrowside are the finest in the ride; and,
when the road emerges from the woods, a range of rocks rises over
it, where many shrubs, and even oaks, ash, yew, grow in a surprising
manner among the broken slates, that cover their sides. Beyond, at
some distance from the shore, appear the awful rocks, that rise over
the fall of Lowdore; that on the right shooting up, a vast pyramid of
naked cliff, above finely wooded steeps; while, on the opposite side
of the chasm, that receives the waters, impends Gowdar-crag, whose
trees and shrubs give only shagginess to its terrible masses, with
fragments of which the meadows below are strewn. There was now little
water at Lowdore; but the breadth of its channel and the height of the
perpendicular rock, from which it leaps, told how tremendous it could
be; yet even then its sublimity is probably derived chiefly from the
cliff and mountain, that tower closely over it.

Here Borrowdale begins, its rocks spreading in a vast sweep round
the head of the lake, at the distance, perhaps, of half a mile from
the shore, which bears meadow land to the water's brink. The aspect
of these rocks, with the fragments, that have rolled from their
summits, and lie on each side of the road, prepared us for the scene
of tremendous ruin we were approaching in the gorge, or pass of
Borrowdale, which opens from the centre of the amphitheatre, that binds
the head of Derwentwater. Dark rocks yawn at its entrance, terrific
as the wildness of a maniac; and disclose a narrow pass, running up
between mountains of granite, that are shook into almost every possible
form of horror. All above resembles the accumulations of an earthquake;
splintered, shivered, piled, amassed. Huge cliffs have rolled down into
the glen below, where, however, is still a miniature of the sweetest
pastoral beauty, on the banks of the river Derwent; but description
cannot paint either the wildness of the mountains or the pastoral and
sylvan peace and softness, that wind at their base.

Among the most striking of the fells are Glaramara, shewing rock on
rock; and Eagle-crag, where, till lately, that bird built its nest;
but the depredations, annually committed on its young, have driven it
from the place. Hence we pursued the pass for a mile, over a frightful
road, that climbs among the crags of a precipice above the river,
having frequently glimpses into glens and chasms, where all passage
seemed to be obstructed by the fallen shivers of rock, and at length
reached the gigantic stone of Bowther, that appears to have been
pitched into the ground from the summit of a neighbouring fell, and is
shaped, like the roof of a house reversed.

This is one of the spectacles of the country. Its size makes it
impossible to have been ever moved by human means; and, if it fell from
the nearest of the rocks, it must have rolled upon the ground much
further than can be readily conceived of the motion of such a mass.
The side towards the road projects about twelve feet over the base,
and serves to shelter cattle in a penn, of which it is made to form
one boundary. A small oak plant and a sloe have found soil enough to
flourish in at the top; and the base is pitched on a cliff over the
river, whence a long perspective of the gorge is seen, with a little
level of bright verdure, spreading among more distant fells and winding
away into trackless regions, where the mountains lift their ruffian
heads in undisputed authority. Below, the shrunk Derwent serpentized
along a wide bed of pebbles, that marked its wintry course, and left a
wooded island, flourishing amidst the waste. The stillness around us
was only feebly broken by the remote sounds of many unseen cataracts,
and sometimes by the voices of mountaineer children, shouting afar off,
and pleasing themselves with rousing the echoes of the rocks.

In returning, the view opened, with great magnificence, from the jaws
of this pass over the lake to Skiddaw, then seen from its base, with
the upper steeps of Saddleback obliquely beyond, and rearing itself
far above all the heights of the eastern shore. At the entrance of the
gorge, the village or hamlet of Grange lies picturesquely on the bank
of the Derwent among wood and meadows, and sheltered under the ruinous
fell, called Castle-crag, that takes its name from the castle, or
fortress, which from its crown once guarded this important pass.

Borrowdale abounds in valuable mines, among which some are known to
supply the finest wadd, or black lead, to be found in England. Iron,
slate, and free stone of various kinds, are also the treasures of these


The road from Keswick to Ambleside commences by the ascent of
Castle-rigg, the mountain, which the Penrith road descends, and which,
on that side, is crowned by a Druid's temple. The rise is now very
laborious, but the views it affords over the vale of Keswick are not
dearly purchased by the fatigue. All Bassenthwaite, its mountains
softening away in the perspective, and terminating, on the west, in the
sister woods of Wythop-brows, extends from the eye; and, immediately
beneath, the northern end of Derwentwater, with Cawsey-pike,
Thornthwaite-fell, the rich upland vale of Newland peeping from between
their bases, and the spiry woods of Foepark jutting into the lake
below. But the finest prospect is from a gate about halfway up the
hill, whence you look down upon the head of Derwentwater, with all the
alps of Borrowdale, opening darkly.

After descending Castle-rigg and crossing the top of St. John's vale,
we seemed as going into banishment from society, the road then leading
over a plain, closely surrounded by mountains so wild, that neither a
cottage, or a wood soften their rudeness, and so steep and barren, that
not even sheep appear upon their sides. From this plain the road enters
Legberthwaite, a narrow valley, running at the back of Borrowdale,
green at the bottom, and varied with a few farms, but without wood,
and with fells of gray precipices, rising to great height and nearly
perpendicular on either hand, whose fronts are marked only by the
torrents, that tumble from their utmost summits, and perpetually
occur. We often stopped to listen to their hollow sounds amidst the
solitary greatness of the scene, and to watch their headlong fall down
the rocky chasms, their white foam and silver line contrasting with the
dark hue of the clefts. In sublimity of descent these were frequently
much superior to that of Lowdore, but as much inferior to it in mass of
water and picturesque beauty.

As the road ascended towards Helvellyn, we looked back through this
vast rocky vista to the sweet vale of St. John, lengthening the
perspective, and saw, as through a telescope, the broad broken steeps
of Saddleback and the points of Skiddaw, darkly blue, closing it to
the north. The grand rivals of Cumberland were now seen together; and
the road, soon winding high over the skirts of Helvellyn, brought us
to Leathes-water, to which the mountain forms a vast side-skreen,
during its whole length. This is a long, but narrow and unadorned lake,
having little else than walls of rocky fells, starting from its margin.
Continuing on the precipice, at some height from the shore, the road
brought us, after three miles, to the poor village of Wythburn, and
soon after to the foot of Dunmail Rays, which, though a considerable
ascent, forms the dip of two lofty mountains, Steel-fell and Seat
Sandle, that rise with finely-sweeping lines, on each side, and shut up
the vale.

Beyond Dunmail Rays, one of the grand passes from Cumberland into
Westmoreland, Helm-crag rears its crest, a strange fantastic summit,
round, yet jagged and splintered, like the wheel of a water-mill,
overlooking Grasmere, which, soon after, opened below. A green
spreading circle of mountains embosoms this small lake, and, beyond, a
wider range rises in amphitheatre, whose rocky tops are rounded and
scolloped, yet are great, wild, irregular, and were then overspread
with a tint of faint purple. The softest verdure margins the water, and
mingles with corn enclosures and woods, that wave up the hills; but
scarcely a cottage any where appears, except at the northern end of
the lake, where the village of Grasmere and its very neat white church
stand among trees, near the shore, with Helm-crag and a multitude of
fells, rising over it and beyond each other in the perspective.

The lake was clear as glass, reflecting the headlong mountains, with
every feature of every image on its tranquil banks; and one green
island varies, but scarcely adorns its surface, bearing only a rude
and now shadeless hut. At a considerable height above the water, the
road undulates for a mile, till, near the southern end of Grasmere,
it mounts the crags of a fell, and seemed carrying us again into such
scenes of ruin and privation as we had quitted with Legberthwaite and
Leathes-water. But, descending the other side of the mountain, we
were soon cheered by the view of plantations, enriching the banks of
Rydal-water, and by thick woods, mingling among cliffs above the narrow
lake, which winds through a close valley, for about a mile. This lake
is remarkable for the beauty of its small round islands, luxuriant with
elegant trees and shrubs, and whose banks are green to the water's
edge. Rydal-hall stands finely on an eminence, somewhat withdrawn from
the east end, in a close romantic nook, among old woods, that feather
the fells, which rise over their summits and spread widely along the
neighbouring eminences. This antient white mansion looks over a rough
grassy descent, screened by groves of oak and majestic planes, towards
the head of Windermere, about two miles distant, a small glimpse of
which is caught beyond the wooded steeps of a narrow valley. In the
woods and in the disposition of the ground round Rydal-hall there is a
charming wildness, that suits the character of the general scene; and,
wherever art appears, it is with graceful plainness and meek subjection
to nature.

The taste, by which a cascade in the pleasure-grounds, pouring under
the arch of a rude bridge, amidst the green tint of woods, is shewn
through a darkened garden-house, and, therefore, with all the effect,
which the opposition of light and shade can give, is even not too
artificial; so admirably is the intent accomplished of making all the
light, that is admitted, fall upon the objects, which are chiefly meant
to be observed.

The road to Ambleside runs through the valley in front of Rydal-hall,
and for some distance among the grounds that belong to it, where again
the taste of the owner is conspicuous in the disposition of plantations
among pastures of extraordinary richness, and where pure rivulets are
suffered to wind without restraint over their dark rocky channels.
Woods mantle up the cliffs on either side of this sweet valley, and,
higher still, the craggy summits of the fells crowd over the scene. Two
miles among its pleasant shades, near the banks of the murmuring Rotha,
brought us to Ambleside, a black and very antient little town, hanging
on the lower steeps of a mountain, where the vale opens to the head of


Which appeared at some distance below, in gentle yet stately beauty;
but its boundaries shewed nothing of the sublimity and little of the
romantic wildness, that charms, or elevates in the scenery of the other
lakes. The shores, and the hills, which gradually ascend from them, are
in general richly cultivated, or wooded, and correctly elegant; and
when we descended upon the bank the road seemed leading through the
artificial shades of pleasure-grounds. It undulates for two miles over
low promontories and along spacious bays, full to their fringed margin
with the abundance of this expansive lake; then, quitting the bank, it
ascends gradual eminences, that look upon the vast plain of water,
and rise amidst the richest landscapes of its shores. The manners of
the people would have sufficiently informed us that Windermere is
the lake most frequented; and with the great sublimity of the more
sequestered scenes, we had to regret the interesting simplicity of
their inhabitants, a simplicity which accorded so beautifully with the
dignified character of the country. The next day, we visited several of
the neighbouring heights, whence the lake is seen to great advantage;
and, on the following, skirted the eastern shore for six miles to the

Windermere, above twelve miles long and generally above a mile broad,
but sometimes two, sweeps like a majestic river with an easy bend
between low points of land and eminences that, shaded with wood and
often embellished with villas, swell into hills cultivated to their
summits; except that, for about six miles along the middle of the
western shore, a range of rocky fells rise over the water. But these
have nothing either picturesque or fantastic in their shape; they
are heavy, not broken into parts, and their rudeness softens into
insignificance, when they are seen over the wide channel of the lake;
they are neither large enough to be grand, or wooded enough to be
beautiful. To the north, or head of Windermere, however, the tameness
of its general character disappears, and the scene soars into grandeur.
Here, over a ridge of rough brown hills above a woody shore, rise, at
the distance of a mile and half, or two miles, a multitude of finely
alpine mountains, retiring obliquely in the perspective, among which
Langdale-pikes, Hardknot and Wry-nose, bearing their bold, pointed
promontories aloft, are pre-eminent. The colouring of these mountains,
which are some of the grandest of Cumberland and Westmoreland, was this
day remarkably fine. The weather was showery, with gleams of sunshine;
sometimes their tops were entirely concealed in gray vapours, which,
drawing upwards, would seem to ascend in volumes of smoke from their
summits; at others, a few scattered clouds wandered along their sides
leaving their heads unveiled and effulgent with light. These clouds
disappearing before the strength of the sun, a fine downy hue of light
blue overspread the peeping points of the most distant fells, while
the nearer ones were tinged with deep purple, which was opposed to the
brown heath and crag of the lower hills, the olive green of two wooded
slopes that, just tinted by autumn, seemed to descend to the margin,
and the silver transparency of the expanding water at their feet.
This view of Windermere appears with great majesty from a height above
Culgarth, a seat of the Bishop of Landaff; while, to the south, the
lake after sweeping about four miles gradually narrows and disappears
behind the great island, which stretches across the perspective.

At the distance of two or three miles beyond Culgarth, from a hill
advancing towards the water, the whole of Windermere is seen; to the
right, is the white mansion at Culgarth, among wood, on a gentle
eminence of the shore, with the lake spreading wide beyond, crowned
by the fells half obscured in clouds. To the south, the hills of the
eastern shore, sloping gradually, run out in elegant and often well
wooded points into the water, and are spotted with villas and varied
above with enclosures. The opposite shore is for about a mile southward
a continuation of the line of rock before noticed, from which
Rawlinson's-nab pushes a bold headland over the lake; the perspective
then sinks away in low hills, and is crossed by a remote ridge, that
closes the scene.

The villages of Rayrig and Bowness, which are passed in the way to the
Ferry, both stand delightfully; one on an eminence commanding the whole
lake, and the other within a recess of the shore, nearly opposite the
large island. The winding banks of Windermere continually open new
landscapes as you move along them, and the mountains, which crown its
head, are as frequently changing their attitudes; but Langdale-pikes,
the boldest features in the scene, are soon lost to the eye behind the
nearer fells of the western shore.

The ferry is considerably below Christian's island, and at the
narrowest span of the lake, where two points of the shore extend
to meet each other. This island, said to contain thirty acres,
intermingled with wood, lawn and shrubberies, embellishes, without
decreasing the dignity of the scene; it is surrounded by attendant
islets, some rocky, but others, beautifully covered with wood, seem to
coronet the flood.

In crossing the water the illusions of vision give force to the
northern mountains, which viewed from hence appear to ascend from its
margin and to spread round it in a magnificent amphitheatre. This was
to us the most interesting view on Windermere.

On our approaching the western shore, the range of rocks that form it,
discovered their cliffs, and gradually assumed a consequence, which
the breadth of the channel had denied them; and their darkness was
well opposed by the bright verdure and variegated autumnal tints of
the isles at their base. On the bank, under shelter of these rocks, a
white house was seen beyond the tall boles of a most luxuriant grove
of plane-trees, which threw their shadows over it, and on the margin
of the silver lake spreading in front. From hence the road ascends the
steep and craggy side of Furness-fell, on the brow of which we had a
last view of Windermere, in its whole course; to the south, its tame
but elegant landscapes gliding away into low and long perspective,
and the lake gradually narrowing; to the north, its more impressive
scenery; but the finest features of it were now concealed by a
continuation of the rocks we were upon.

Windermere is distinguished from all the other lakes of this country by
its superior length and breadth, by the gentle hills, cultivated and
enclosed nearly to their summits, that generally bind its shores, by
the gradual distance and fine disposition of the northern mountains,
by the bold sweeps of its numerous bays, by the villas that speckle and
rich plantations, that wind them, and by one large island, surrounded
by many islets, which adds dignity to its bosom. On the other lakes
the islands are prettinesses, that do not accord with the character
of the scene; they break also the surface of the water where vast
continuity is required; and the mind cannot endure to descend suddenly
from the gigantic sublimity of nature to her fairy sports. Yet, on the
whole, Windermere was to us the least impressive of all the lakes.
Except to the north, where the retiring mountains are disposed with
uncommon grandeur of outline and magnificence of colouring, its scenery
is tame, having little of the wild and nothing of the astonishing
energy that appears on the features of the more sequestered districts.
The characters of the three great lakes may, perhaps, be thus

Windermere: Diffusiveness, stately beauty, and, at the upper end,

Ullswater: Severe grandeur and sublimity; all that may give ideas of
vast power and astonishing majesty. The effect of Ullswater is, that,
awful as its scenery appears, it awakens the mind to expectation still
more awful, and, touching all the powers of imagination, inspires that
"fine phrensy" descriptive of the poet's eye, which not only bodies
forth unreal forms, but imparts to substantial objects a character
higher than their own.

Derwentwater: Fantastic wildness and romantic beauty, but inferior to
Ullswater in greatness, both of water and rocks; for, though it charms
and elevates, it does not display such features and circumstances of
the sublime, or call up such expectation of unimaged and uncertain
wonder. A principal defect, if we may venture to call it so, of
Derwentwater is, that the water is too small in proportion for the
amphitheatre of the valley in which it lies, and therefore loses much
of the dignity, that in other circumstances it would exhibit. The fault
of Windermere is, perhaps, exactly the reverse; where the shores,
not generally grand, are rendered tamer by the ample expanse of the
lake. The proportions of Ullswater are more just, and, though its
winding form gives it in some parts the air of a river, the abrupt and
tremendous height of its rocks, the dark and crowding summits of the
fells above, the manner in which they enclose it, together with the
dignity of its breadth, empower it constantly to affect the mind with
emotions of astonishment and lofty expectation.


After ascending the laborious crags and precipices of Furness-fell,
enlivened, however, by frequent views of the southern end of
Windermere, the road immediately descends the opposite side of the
mountain, which shuts out the beautiful scenery of the lake; but
the prospect soon after opens to other mountains of Furness, in the
distance, which revive the expectation of such sublimity as we had
lately regretted, and to Esthwait-water in the valley below. This is
a narrow, pleasant lake, about half a mile broad and two miles long,
with gradual hills, green to their tops, rising round the margin; with
plantations and pastures alternately spreading along the easy shores,
and white farms scattered sparingly upon the slopes above. The water
seems to glide through the quiet privacy of pleasure-grounds; so fine
is the turf on its banks, so elegant its copses, and such an air of
peace and retirement prevails over it. A neat white village lies at the
feet of the hills near the head of the lake; beyond it is the gray town
of Hawkshead, with its church and parsonage on an eminence commanding
the whole valley. Steep hills rise over them, and, more distant, the
tall heads of the Coniston-fells, dark and awful, with a confusion of
other mountains.

Hawkshead, thus delightfully placed, is an antient, but small town,
with a few good houses, and a neat town-house, lately built by
subscriptions, of which the chief part was gratefully supplied by
London merchants, who had been educated at the free school here; and
this school itself is a memorial of gratitude, having been founded by
Archbishop Sandys for the advantage of the town, which gave him birth.
Near Hawkshead are the remains of the house, where the Abbot of Furness
"kept residence by one or more monks, who performed divine service
and other parochial duties in the neighbourhood." There is still a
court-room over the gateway, "where the bailiff of Hawkshead held
court, and distributed justices in the name of the abbot."

From the tremendous steeps of the long fell, which towers over
Hawkshead, astonishing views open to the distant vales and mountains of
Cumberland; overlooking all the grotesque summits in the neighbourhood
of Grasmere, the fells of Borrowdale in the furthest distance,
Langdale-pikes, and several small lakes, seen gleaming in the bosom of
the mountains. Before us, rose the whole multitude of Coniston-fells;
of immense height and threatening forms, their tops thinly darkened
with thunder mists, and, on the left, Furness-fells sinking towards the
bay, which Ulverston sands form for the sea.

As we advanced, Coniston-fells seemed to multiply, and became still
more impressive, till, having reached at length the summit of the
mountain, we looked down upon Thurston-lake immediately below, and saw
them rising abruptly round its northern end in somewhat of the sublime
attitudes and dark majesty of Ullswater. A range of lowers rocks,
nearer to the eye, exhibited very peculiar and grotesque appearance,
coloured scars and deep channels marking their purple sides, as if they
had been rifted by an earthquake.

The road descends the flinty steeps towards the eastern bank of the
lake, that spreads a surface of six miles in length and generally three
quarters of a mile in breadth, not winding in its course, yet much
indented with bays, and presenting nearly its whole extent at once to
the eye. The grandest features are the fells, that crown its northern
end, not distantly and gradually, like those of Windermere, nor varied
like them with magnificent colouring, but rising in haughty abruptness,
dark, rugged and stupendous, within a quarter of a mile of the margin,
and shutting out all prospect of other mountain-summits. At their feet,
pastures spread a bright green to the brim of the lake. Nearly in
the centre of these fells, which open in a semicircle to receive the
lake, a cataract descends, but its shining line is not of a breadth
proportioned to the vastness of its perpendicular fall. The village
of Coniston is sweetly seated under shelter of the rocks; and, at a
distance beyond, on the edge of the water, the antient hall, or priory,
shews its turret and ivyed ruins among old woods. The whole picture is
reflected in the liquid mirror below. The gay, convivial chorus, or
solemn vesper, that once swelled along the lake from these consecrated
walls, and awakened, perhaps, the enthusiasm of the voyager, while
evening stole upon the scene, is now contrasted by desolation and
profound repose, and, as he glides by, he hears only the dashing of his
oars, or the surge beating on the shore.

This lake appeared to us one of the most charming we had seen. From
the sublime mountains, which bend round its head, the heights, on
either side, decline towards the south into waving hills, that form
its shores, and often stretch in long sweeping points into the water,
generally covered with tufted wood, but sometimes with the tender
verdure of pasturage. The tops of these woods were just embrowned
with autumn, and contrasted well with other slopes, rough and heathy,
that rose above, or fell beside them to the water's brink, and added
force to the colouring, which the reddish tints of decaying fern, the
purple bloom of heath, and the bright golden gleams of broom, spread
over these elegant banks. Their hues, the graceful undulations of the
marginal hills and bays, the richness of the woods, the solemnity of
the northern fells and the deep repose, that pervades the scene, where
only now and then a white cottage or a farm lurks among the trees, are
circumstances, which render Thurston-lake one of the most interesting
and, perhaps, the most beautiful of any in the country.

The road undulates over copsy hills, and dips into shallow vallies
along the whole of the eastern bank, seldom greatly elevated above
the water, or descending to a level with it, but frequently opening
to extensive views of its beauties, and again shrouding itself in
verdant gloom. The most impressive pictures were formed by the fells,
that crowd over the upper end of the lake, and which, viewed from a
low station, sometimes appeared nearly to enclose that part of it. The
effect was then astonishingly grand, particularly about sun-set, when
the clouds, drawing upwards, discovered the utmost summits of these
fells, and a tint of dusky blue began to prevail over them, which
gradually deepened into night. A line of lower rocks, that extend
from these, are, independently of the atmosphere, of a dull purple,
and their shaggy forms would appear gigantic in almost any other
situation. Even here, they preserve a wild dignity, and their attitudes
somewhat resemble those at the entrance of Borrowdale; but they are
forgotten, when the eye is lifted to the solemn mountains immediately
above. These are rich in slate quarries, and have some copper mines;
but the latter were closed, during the civil wars of the last century,
having been worked, as we are told in the descriptive language of the
miners, from _the day to the evening end_, forty fathom, and to the
_morning end_ seven score fathom; a figurative style of distinguishing
the western and eastern directions of the mine. The lake, towards the
lower end, narrows and is adorned by one small island; but here the
hills of the eastern shore soar into fells, some barren, craggy and
nearly perpendicular, others entirely covered with coppice-wood. Two of
these, rising over the road, gave fine relief to each other, the one
shewing only precipices of shelving rock, while its rival aspired with
woods, that mantled from the base to the summit, consisting chiefly of
oak, ash and holly. Not any lake, that we saw, is at present so much
embellished with wood as Thurston. All the mountains of _High_ and the
vallies of _Low Furness_ were, indeed, some centuries ago, covered with
forests, part of which was called the Forest of Lancaster; and these
were of such entangled luxuriance as to be nearly impenetrable in many
tracts. Here, wolves, wild boars, and a remarkably large breed of deer,
called Leghs, the heads of which have frequently been found buried at
a considerable depth in the soil, abounded. So secure an asylum did
these animals find in the woods of High Furness, that, even after the
low lands were cleared and cultivated, shepherds were necessary to
guard the flocks from the ravages of the wolves. Towards the end of the
thirteenth century, the upper forests also were nearly destroyed.

In winter, the shepherds used to feed their stocks with the young
sprouts of ash and holly, a custom said to be still observed; the sheep
coming at the call of the shepherd and assembling round the holly-tree
to receive from his hand the young shoots cropped for them [2]. Whenever
the woods are felled, which is too frequently done, to supply fuel for
the neighbouring furnaces, the holly is still held sacred to the flocks
of these mountains.

[2] West's "Antiquities of Furness."

Soon after passing the island, the road enters the village of
Nibthwaite, rich only in situation; for the cottages are miserable. The
people seemed to be as ignorant as poor; a young man knew not how far
it was to Ulverston, or as he called it Ulson, though it was only five

On the point of a promontory of the opposite shore, embosomed in
ancient woods, the chimnies and pointed roof of a gray mansion look
out most interestingly. The woods open partially to the north, and
admit a view of the _Swiss_ scenery at the head of the lake, in its
fine position. On the other sides, the oaks so embower the house and
spread down the rocks, as scarcely to allow it a glimpse of the water
bickering between the dark foliage below.

At Nibthwaite, the lake becomes narrow and gradually decreases, till it
terminates at Lowick-bridge, where it glides away in the little river
Crake, which descends to Ulverston sands. We stopped upon the bridge to
take a last view of the scene; the distant fells were disappearing in
twilight, but the gray lake gleamed at their base. From the steeps of
a lofty mountain, that rose near us on the right, cattle were slowly
descending for the night, winding among the crags, sometimes stopping
to crop the heath, or broom, and then disappearing for a moment behind
the darker verdure of yews, that grew in knots upon the cliffs.

It was night before we reached Ulverston. The wind sounded mournfully
among the hills and we perceived our approach to the sea only by the
faint roaring of the tide, till from a brow, whence the hills open on
either hand with a grand sweep, we could just discern the gray surface
of the sea-bay, at a distance below, and then, by lights that glimmered
in the bottom, the town of Ulverston, lying not far from the shore and
screened on the north by the heights, from which we were to descend.

Ulverston is a neat but ancient town, the capital and chief port of
Furness. The road from it to the majestic ruin of Furness Abbey lies
through Low Furness, and loses the general wildness and interest of
the country, except where now and then the distant retrospect of the
mountains breaks over the tame hills and regular enclosures, that
border it.

About a mile and a half on this side of the Abbey, the road passes
through Dalton, a very ancient little town, once the capital of Low
Furness, and rendered so important by its neighbourhood to the Abbey,
that Ulverston, the present capital, could not then support the weekly
market, for which it had obtained a charter. Dalton, however, sunk
with the suppression of its neighbouring patrons, and is now chiefly
distinguished by the pleasantness of its situation, to which a church,
built on a bold ascent, and the remains of a castle, advantageously
placed for the command of the adjoining valley, still attach some
degree of dignity. What now exists of the latter is one tower, in a
chamber of which the Abbot of Furness held his secular Court; and the
chamber was afterwards used as a gaol for debtors, till within these
few years, when the dead ruin released the living one. The present
church-yard and the scite of this castle are supposed to have been
included within the limits of a _castellum_, built by Agricola, of the
fosse of which there are still some faint vestiges.

Beneath the brow, on which the church and tower stand, a brook flows
through a narrow valley, that winds about a mile and a half to the
Abbey. In the way thither we passed the entrance of one of the very
rich iron mines, with which the neighbourhood abounds; and the deep red
tint of the soil, that overspreads almost the whole country between
Ulverston and the monastery, sufficiently indicates the nature of the
treasures beneath.

In a close glen, branching from this valley, shrouded by winding banks
clumped with old groves of oak and chesnut, we found the magnificent
remains of


The deep retirement of its situation, the venerable grandeur of its
gothic arches and the luxuriant yet ancient trees, that shadow this
forsaken spot, are circumstances of picturesque and, if the expression
may be allowed, of sentimental beauty, which fill the mind with solemn
yet delightful emotion. This glen is called the Vale of Nightshade, or,
more literally from its ancient title Bekangs-gill, the "glen of deadly
nightshade," that plant being abundantly found in the neighbourhood.
Its romantic gloom and sequestered privacy particularly adapted it
to the austerities of monastic life; and in the most retired part of
it King Stephen, while Earl of Mortaign and Bulloign, founded, in the
year 1127, the magnificent monastery of Furness, and endowed it with
princely wealth and almost princely authority, in which it was second
only to Fontain's-abbey in Yorkshire.

The windings of the glen conceal these venerable ruins, till they are
closely approached, and the bye road, that conducted us, is margined
with a few ancient oaks, which stretch their broad branches entirely
across it, and are finely preparatory objects to the scene beyond. A
sudden bend in this road brought us within view of the northern gate of
the Abbey, a beautiful gothic arch, one side of which is luxuriantly
festooned with nightshade. A thick grove of plane-trees, with some
oak and beech, overshadow it on the right, and lead the eye onward
to the ruins of the Abbey, seen through this dark arch in remote
perspective, over rough but verdant ground. The principal features
are the great northern window and part of the eastern choir, with
glimpses of shattered arches and stately walls beyond, caught between
the gaping casements. On the left, the bank of the glen is broken
into knolls capped with oaks, which in some places spread downwards
to a stream that winds round the ruin, and darken it with their rich
foliage. Through this gate is the entrance to the immediate precincts
of the Abbey, an area said to contain sixty-five acres, now called the
Deer-park. It is enclosed by a stone wall, on which the remains of many
small buildings and the faint vestiges of others, still appear; such
as the porter's lodge, mills, granaries, ovens and kilns that once
supplied the monastery, some of which, seen under the shade of the fine
old trees, that on every side adorn the broken steeps of this glen,
have a very interesting effect.

Just within the gate, a small manor house of modern date, with its
stables and other offices, breaks discordantly upon the lonely grandeur
of the scene. Except this, the character of the deserted ruin is
scrupulously preserved in the surrounding area; no spade has dared to
level the inequalities, which fallen fragments have occasioned in the
ground, or shears to clip the wild fern and underwood, that overspread
it; but every circumstance conspires to heighten the solitary grace of
the principal object and to prolong the luxurious melancholy, which
the view of it inspires. We made our way among the pathless fern and
grass to the north end of the church, now, like every other part of
the Abbey, entirely roofless, but shewing the lofty arch of the great
window, where, instead of the painted glass that once enriched it, are
now tufted plants and wreaths of nightshade. Below is the principal
door of the church, bending into a deep round arch, which, retiring
circle within circle, is rich and beautiful; the remains of a winding
stair-case are visible within the wall on its left side. Near this
northern end of the edifice are seen one side of the eastern choir,
with its two slender gothic window frames, and on the west a remnant of
the nave of the Abbey and some lofty arches, which once belonged to the
belfry, now detached from the main building.

To the south, but concealed from this point of view, are the
chapter-house, some years ago exhibiting a roof of beautiful gothic
fretwork, and which was almost the only part of the Abbey thus
ornamented, its architecture having been characterised by an air
of grand simplicity rather than by the elegance and richness of
decoration, which in an after date distinguished the gothic style in
England. Over the chapter-house were once the library and scriptorium,
and beyond it are still the remains of cloisters of the refectory, the
locutorium, or conversation-room, and the calefactory. These, with the
walls of some chapels, of the vestry, a hall, and of what is believed
to have been a school-house, are all the features of this noble edifice
that can easily be traced: winding stair-cases within the surprising
thickness of the walls, and door-cases involved in darkness and
mystery, the place abounds with.

The abbey, which was formerly of such magnitude as nearly to fill up
the breadth of the glen, is built of a pale-red stone, dug from the
neighbouring rocks, now changed by time and weather to a tint of dusky
brown, which accords well with the hues of plants and shrubs that
every where emboss the mouldering arches.

The finest view of the ruin is on the east side, where, beyond the
vast, shattered frame that once contained a richly-painted window, is
seen a perspective of the choir and of distant arches, remains of the
nave of the abbey, closed by the woods. This perspective of the ruin
is[3] said to be two hundred and eighty-seven feet in length; the choir
part of it is in width only twenty-eight feet inside, but the nave is
seventy: the walls, as they now stand, are fifty-four feet high and in
thickness five. Southward from the choir extend the still beautiful,
though broken, pillars and arcades of some chapels, now laid open to
the day; the chapter-house, the cloisters, and beyond all, and detached
from all, is the school-house, a large building, the only part of the
monastery that still boasts a roof.

[3] "Antiquities of Furness."

As, soothed by the venerable shades and the view of a more venerable
ruin, we rested opposite to the eastern window of the choir, where
once the high altar stood, and, with five other altars, assisted the
religious pomp of the scene; the images and the manners of times,
that were past, rose to reflection. The midnight procession of monks,
clothed in white and bearing lighted tapers, appeared to the "mind's
eye" issuing to the choir through the very door-case, by which such
processions were wont to pass from the cloisters to perform the matin
service, when, at the moment of their entering the church, the deep
chanting of voices was heard, and the organ swelled a solemn peal. To
fancy, the strain still echoed feebly along the arcades and died in the
breeze among the woods, the rustling leaves mingling with the close.
It was easy to image the abbot and the officiating priests seated
beneath the richly-fretted canopy of the four stalls, that still remain
entire in the southern wall, and high over which is now perched a
solitary yew-tree, a black funereal memento to the living of those who
once sat below.

Of a quadrangular court on the west side of the church, three hundred
and thirty-four feet long and one hundred and two feet wide, little
vestige now appears, except the foundation of a range of cloisters,
that formed its western boundary, and under the shade of which the
monks on days of high solemnity passed in their customary procession
round the court. What was the belfry is now a huge mass of detached
ruin, picturesque from the loftiness of its shattered arches and the
high inequalities of the ground within them, where the tower, that
once crowned this building, having fallen, lies in vast fragments, now
covered with earth and grass, and no longer distinguishable but by the
hillock they form.

The school-house, a heavy structure attached to the boundary wall on
the south, is nearly entire, and the walls, particularly of the portal,
are of enormous thickness, but, here and there, a chasm discloses the
stair-cases, that wind within them to chambers above. The school-room
below, shews only a stone bench, that extends round the walls, and a
low stone pillar in the eastern corner, on which the teacher's pulpit
was formerly fixed. The lofty vaulted roof is scarcely distinguishable
by the dusky light admitted through one or two narrow windows placed
high from the ground, perhaps for the purpose of confining the
scholar's attention to his book.

These are the principal features, that remain of this once magnificent
abbey. It was dedicated to St. Mary, and received a colony of monks
from the monastery of Savigny in Normandy, who were called Gray Monks,
from their dress of that colour, till they became Cistercians, and,
with the severe rules of St. Bernard, adopted a white habit, which
they retained till the dissolution of monastic orders in England. The
original rules of St. Bernard partook in several instances of the
austerities of those of La Trapp, and the society did not very readily
relinquish the milder laws of St. Benedict for the new rigours imposed
upon them by the parent monastery of Savigny. They were forbidden to
taste flesh, except when ill, and even eggs, butter, cheese and milk,
but on extraordinary occasions; and denied even the use of linen
and fur. The monks were divided into two classes, to which separate
departments belonged.--Those, who attended the choir, slept upon
straw in their usual habits, from which, at midnight, they rose and
passed into the church, where they continued their holy hymns, during
the short remainder of the night. After this first mass, having
publicly confessed themselves, they retired to their cells, and the
day was employed in spiritual exercises and in copying or illuminating
manuscripts. An unbroken silence was observed, except when, after
dinner, they withdrew into the locutorium, where for an hour, perhaps,
they were permitted the common privilege of social beings. This class
was confined to the boundary wall, except that, on some particular
days, the members of it were allowed to walk in parties beyond it, for
exercise and amusement; but they were very seldom permitted either to
receive, or pay visits. Like the monks of La Trapp, however, they
were distinguished for extensive charities and liberal hospitality;
for travellers were so scrupulously entertained at the Abbey, that it
was not till the dissolution that an inn was thought necessary in this
part of Furness, when one was opened for their accommodation, expressly
because the monastery could no longer receive them.

To the second class were assigned the cultivation of the lands, and the
performance of domestic affairs in the monastery.

This was the second house in England, that received the Bernardine
rules, the most rigorous of which were, however, dispensed with in
1485 by Sixtus the Fourth, when, among other indulgences, the whole
order was allowed to taste meat on three days of the week. With the
rules of St. Benedict, the monks had exchanged their gray habit for a
white cassock with a white caul and scapulary. But their choir dress
was either white or gray, with caul and scapulary of the same, and a
girdle of black wool; over that a mozet, or hood, and a rochet[4]. When
they went abroad they wore a caul and full black hood.

[4] "Antiquities of Furness."

The privileges and immunities, granted to the Cistercian order in
general, were very abundant; and those, to the Abbey of Furness were
proportioned to its vast endowments. The abbot, it has been mentioned,
held his secular court in the neighbouring castle of Dalton, where
he presided with the power of administering not only justice but
injustice, since the lives and property of the villain tenants of the
lordship of Furness were consigned by a grant of King Stephen to the
disposal of my lord abbot! The monks also could be arraigned, for
whatever crime, only by him. "The military establishment of Furness
likewise depended on the abbot. Every mesne lord and free homager, as
well as the customary tenants, took an oath of fealty to the abbot,
to be true to him against all men, excepting the king. Every mesne
lord obeyed the summons of the abbot, or his steward, in raising his
quota of armed men, and every tenant of a whole tenement furnished a
man and horse of war for guarding the coast, for the border-service,
or any expedition against the common enemy of the king and kingdom.
The habiliments of war were a steel coat, or coat of mail, a falce,
or falchion, a jack, the bow, the bill, the cross-bow and spear. The
Furness legion consisted of four divisions:--one of bowmen horsed
and harnessed; bylmen horsed and harnessed; bowmen without horse and
harness; bylmen without horse and harness[5]."

[5] "Antiquities of Furness."

The deep forests, that once surrounded the Abbey, and overspread all
Furness, contributed with its insulated situation, on a neck of land
running out into the sea, to secure it from the depredations of the
Scots, who were continually committing hostilities on the borders. On
a summit over the Abbey are the remains of a beacon, or watch-tower,
raised by the society for their further security. It commands extensive
views over Low Furness and the bay of the sea immediately beneath;
looking forward to the town and castle of Lancaster, appearing faintly
on the opposite coast; on the south, to the isles of Wanley, Foulney,
and their numerous islets, on one of which stands Peel-castle;
and, on the north, to the mountains of High Furness and Coniston,
rising in grand amphitheatre round this inlet of the Irish Channel.
Description can scarcely suggest the full magnificence of such a
prospect, to which the monks, emerging from their concealed cells
below, occasionally resorted to sooth the asperities, which the severe
discipline of superstition inflicted on the temper; or, freed from the
observance of jealous eyes, to indulge, perhaps, the sigh of regret,
which a consideration of the world they had renounced, thus gloriously
given back to their sight, would sometimes awaken.

From Hawcoat, a few miles to the west of Furness, the view is still
more extensive, whence, in a clear day, the whole length of the Isle of
Man may be seen, with part of Anglesey and the mountains of Caernarvon,
Merionethshire, Denbighshire and Flintshire, shadowing the opposite
horizon of the channel.

The sum total of all rents belonging to the Abbey immediately before
the dissolution, was 946l. 2s. 10d. collected from Lancashire,
Cumberland, and even from the Isle of Man; a sum, which considering the
value of money at that period; and the woods, meadows, pastures, and
fisheries, retained by the society in their own hands; the quantity of
provisions for domestic use brought by the tenants instead of rent,
and the shares of mines, mills, and salt-works, which belonged to the
Abbey, swells its former riches to an enormous amount.

Pyle, the last abbot, surrendered with twenty-nine monks, to Henry the
Eighth, April the 9th 1537, and in return was made Rector of Dalton,
a situation then valued at thirty-three pounds six shillings and
eight-pence a year.


From the Abbey we returned to Ulverston, and from thence crossed the
sands to Lancaster, a ride singularly interesting and sublime. From
the Carter's house, which stands on the edge of the Ulverston sands,
and at the point, whence passengers enter them, to Lancaster, within
the furthest opposite shore, is fifteen miles. This noble bay is
interrupted by the peninsula of Cartmel, extending a line of white
rocky coast, that divides the Leven and Ulverston sands from those of
Lancaster. The former are four miles over; the latter seven.

We took the early part of the tide, and entered these vast and desolate
plains before the sea had entirely left them, or the morning mists
were sufficiently dissipated to allow a view of distant objects; but
the grand sweep of the coast could be faintly traced, on the left, and
a vast waste of sand stretching far below it, with mingled streaks of
gray water, that heightened its dreary aspect. The tide was ebbing fast
from our wheels, and its low murmur was interrupted, first, only by
the shrill small cry of seagulls, unseen, whose hovering flight could
be traced by the sound, near an island that began to dawn through the
mist; and then, by the hoarser croaking of sea-geese, which took a
wider range, for their shifting voices were heard from various quarters
of the surrounding coast. The body of the sea, on the right, was still
involved, and the distant mountains on our left, that crown the bay,
were also viewless; but it was sublimely interesting to watch the heavy
vapours beginning to move, then rolling in lengthening volumes over
the scene, and, as they gradually dissipated, discovering through their
veil the various objects they had concealed--fishermen with carts and
nets stealing along the margin of the tide, little boats putting off
from the shore, and, the view still enlarging as the vapours expanded,
the main sea itself softening into the horizon, with here and there
a dim sail moving in the hazy distance. The wide desolation of the
sands, on the left, was animated only by some horsemen riding remotely
in groups towards Lancaster, along the winding edge of the water, and
by a muscle-fisher in his cart trying to ford the channel we were

The coast round the bay was now distinctly, though remotely, seen,
rising in woods, white cliffs and cultivated slopes towards the
mountains of Furness, on whose dark brows the vapours hovered. The
shore falls into frequent recesses and juts out in promontories, where
villages and country seats are thickly strewn. Among the latter,
Holker-hall, deep among woods, stands in the north. The village and
hall of Bardsea, once the site of a monastery, with a rocky back-ground
and, in front, meadows falling towards the water; and Conishead priory,
with its spiry woods, the paragon of beauty, lie along the western
coast, where the hills, swelling gently from the isle of Walney, nearly
the last point of land visible on that side the bay, and extending
to the north, sweep upwards towards the fells of High Furness and
the whole assemblage of Westmoreland mountains, that crown the grand
boundary of this arm of the sea.

We set out rather earlier than was necessary, for the benefit of the
guide over part of these trackless wastes, who was going to his
station on a sand near the first ford, where he remains to conduct
passengers across the united streams of the rivers Crake and Leven,
till the returning tide washes him off. He is punctual to the spot
as the tides themselves, where he shivers in the dark comfortless
midnights of winter, and is scorched on the shadeless sands, under
the noons of summer, for a stipend of ten pounds a year! and he said
that he had fulfilled the office for thirty years. He has, however,
perquisites occasionally from the passengers. In early times the Prior
of Conishead, who established the guide, paid him with three acres of
land and an annuity of fifteen marks; at the dissolution, Henry the
Eighth charged himself and his successors with the payment of the guide
by patent.

Near the first ford is Chapel Isle, on the right from Ulverston, a
barren sand, where are yet some remains of a chapel, built by the monks
of Furness, in which divine service was daily performed at a certain
hour, for passengers, who crossed the sands with the morning tide. The
ford is not thought dangerous, though the sands frequently shift, for
the guide regularly tries for, and ascertains, the proper passage. The
stream is broad and of formidable appearance, spreading rapidly among
the sands and, when you enter it, seeming to bear you away in its
course to the sea. The second ford is beyond the peninsula of Cartmel,
on the Lancaster sands, and is formed by the accumulated waters of
the rivers, Ken and Winster, where another guide waits to receive the

The shores of the Lancaster sands fall back to greater distance and are
not so bold, or the mountains beyond, so awful, as those of Ulverston;
but they are various, often beautiful, and Arnside-fells have a higher
character. The town and castle of Lancaster, on an eminence, gleaming
afar off over the level sands and backed by a dark ridge of rocky
heights, look well as you approach them. Thither we returned and
concluded a tour, which had afforded infinite delight in the grandeur
of its landscapes and a reconciling view of human nature in the
simplicity, integrity, and friendly disposition of the inhabitants.



  Amsterdam, approach to it,           i.
    The streets and canals,            i.
    The Stadthouse,                    i.
    The port,                          i.
    City government,                   i.
    Public coaches,                    i.

  Andernach, valley of,                i.
    Town of,                           i. ii.

  André St., fort of,                     ii.

  Appenweyer,                          i.

  Arthur's table,                         ii.

  Austrian troops,                     i.


  Bacharach,                              ii.

  Bampton grange,                         ii.
    Vale,                                 ii.

  Bassenthwaite water,                    ii.

  Bergstrasse,                         i.

  Biel,                                   ii.

  Bingen,                                 ii.

  Bingerloch,                             ii.

  Bommel,                                 ii.

  Bonn,                                i. ii.
    The palace,                        i.

  Boppart,                                ii.

  Borrowdale,                             ii.

  Bowther stone,                          ii.

  Brougham castle,                        ii.
    Hall,                                 ii.


  Carlsruhe, forest of,                i.
    The palace and gardens,            i.

  Cassel,                              i.

  Cleves, approach to it,              i.
    The city,                          i.

  Coblentz,                            i.
    Flying bridge,                     i.

  Cologne, appearance of the city,     i. ii.
    Government,                        i.
    The fort,                          i.
    Convent of Clarisse,               i.
    Churches,                          i.
    The Elector,                       i.
    Fugitives there,                      ii.

  Coniston-fells,                         ii.


  Dalton,                                 ii.

  Delft, its extent,                   i.

  Delft, the Doolen,                   i.
    Palace of WILLIAM I.               i.
    His tomb,                          i.

  Derwentwater,                           ii.

  Dort,                                   ii.

  Dover, straights of,                    ii.

  Dress of the Dutch,                  i.

  Druidical Monument,                     ii.

  Duisbourg,                              ii.

  Dykes in Holland,                    i.


  Ehrenbreitstein,                     i. ii.

  Esthwait water,                         ii.


  Flaarding,                              ii.

  France, conversation relative to,       ii.

  Franckfort, the liberties
    and independence of,               i.
    The surrender and
    re-capture of the city in 79,      i.
    Cabinet Literaire,                 i.
    Theatre,                           i.

  Franckenthal,                        i.

  French prisoners,                    i.

  Friburg,                                ii.

  Furness Abbey,                          ii.


  Gardens in Holland,                   i.

  German territories, intermixture of,    ii.

  Germany, condition of,                  ii.

  Goar, St.                               ii.

  Goodesberg,                          i.
    The castle and hill of,            i.

  Gorcum,                                 ii.

  Government of the United Provinces,  i.

  Grasmere,                               ii.

  Graystock, neighbourhood of,            ii.


  Haarlem, voyage thither from Leyden, i.
    The great church,                  i.
    The city,                          i.

  Haerlemer Maer,                      i.

  Hardwick,                               ii.

  The Hague, palace there,             i.
    Apartments of the States General,  i.
    Grand Voorhout,                    i.
    Maison du Bois,                    i.

  Half Wegen Sluice,                   i.

  Hawkshead,                              ii.

  Hawswater,                              ii.

  Helvoetsluys,                        i.

  Hockheim,                            i.

  Hoogstrass,                          i.

  Hornby,                                 ii.


  Ingleborough,                           ii.

  Johannesberg,                           ii.


  Kaub,                                   ii.

  Kendal,                                 ii.

  Kirby Lonsdale,                         ii.

  Koningstuhl,                            ii.

  Kostheim,                            i.


  Lancaster castle, views from,           ii.
    Sands,                                ii.

    of England and Germany compared,      ii.

  Leek, river,                         i.

  Leyden, the Fair,                    i.
    The University,                    i.

  Limbourg,                            i.

  Long Sleddale,                          ii.

  Lonsdale vale,                          ii.

  Louvenstein,                            ii.


  Manchester, neighbourhood of,           ii.

  Manheim, appearance of the City,     i.

  Manheim, the Palace,                 i.
    The surrounding country,           i.
    Electoral Establishments,          i.

  Mentz, approach to it,               i.
    Ruins made by the siege,           i.
    La Favorita,                       i.
    Forts,                             i.
    The Siege,                         i.
    The City,                          i.
    The Noble Chapter,                 i.

  Middleton,                              ii.
    Dale,                                 ii.

  Military Press in Germany,           i.

  Montabaur,                           i.

  Muhlheim,                               ii.


  Neuss,                               i.

  Neuwiedt,                            i.

  Nieuport, anecdote of the siege of,     ii.

  Nimeguen,                            i.
    Bridge of boats,                   i.
    The Belvidere,                        ii.


  Oberwesel,                              ii.

  Offenburg,                           i.

  Oggersheim,                          i.

  Oppenheim,                           i.

  Oudenkirk,                           i.


  Parties in Holland,                  i.

  Patterdale,                             ii.

  Penrith, town of,                       ii.
    Beacon of,                            ii.

  Pfaltz,                                 ii.

  Poppelsdorff, the palace of,         i.

  Post, German,                           ii.

  Prince of Orange,                    i.

  Provisions in Holland,               i.


  Rastadt,                             i.

  Rees,                                   ii.

  Rheinberg,                           i.

  Rheingau,                               ii.

  Rhinfels,                               ii.

  Rotterdam, road and voyage to,
    from Helvoetsluys,                 i.
    Its appearance from the Maese,     i.
    The city,                          i.

  Rydal Hall,                             ii.


  Saardam,                             i.

  Saddleback,                             ii.

  Sanctæ Crucis, the convent and hill, i.

  Schevening and the vista,            i.

  Schwetzingen,                        i.

  Selters,                             i.

  Seven Mountains,                     i. ii.

  St. John, vale of                       ii.

  Skiddaw,                                ii.
    Ascent of                             ii.

  Sunset and rise at sea,                 ii.


  Taxes in Holland,                    i.

  Thiel,                                  ii.

  Threlkeld,                              ii.

  Thurston Lake,                          ii.

  Timber, floats of, on the Rhine,        ii.

  Trechtschuyts,                       i.


  Ullswater, road thither,                ii.
    Lake,                                 ii.

  Ulverston,                              ii.

  Urdingen,                               ii.

  Utrecht,                             i.
    Canal from Amsterdam thither,      i.
    View from the tower
      of the cathedral,                i.


  Vineyards in Germany,                i.


  Waal, river,                         i. ii.

  Wesel,                                  ii.

  Wetzlaar, chamber of,                   ii.

  Windermere,                             ii.

  Worms,                               i.

  Wyk de Duerstede,                    i.


  Xanten,                              i.


  Zons, castle of,                        ii.


      *      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber's note:

The book cover image was made by the transcriber and is placed in the
public domain.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Journey Made in the Summer of 1794, through Holland and the Western Frontier of Germany, with a Return Down the Rhine, Vol. II (of 2) - To Which Are Added Observations during a Tour to the Lakes of Lancashire, Westmoreland, and Cumberland; Second Edition" ***

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