Waugh: Rambles in the Lake Country (3)

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SEASIDE LAKES AND MOUNTAINS
OF CUMBERLAND.
――――♦――――

CHAPTER THE FIRST.


"Here, rivers in the sea are lost;
 There, mountains to the skies are tost
 Here, tumbling billows mark the coast
          With surging foam."   B
URNS.


OF all our English lake scenery no part is less known than that which skirts the sea, from the ruins of Peel in Furness, to Whitehaven in Cumberland; and there is none which less deserves neglect.  Shut out on the east by England's wildest mountains, and on the west by the Irish Channel, this region was, till lately, more difficult of approach than any other quarter of that picturesque land.  Tourists have made fitful trips to its retired lakes and glens, but have seldom wandered far there, or remained long enough to drink in the spirit spirit of its varied scenery.  Taking the beaten track of imitative sight-seers, they have climbed out of Borrowdale into Buttermere; and after eating char at the "Fish," and talking over the legend of the vale, they have gone in a boat across Crummock Water, to look at Scale Force—the lady of English waterfalls.  They have followed mountain guides over craggy wildernesses down to the lone hamlet at Wastdale Head; from whence they have, perhaps, ascended Scawfell.  The mountain tops have shewn green valleys winding to westward, lighted here and there by the glimmer of a clear river's "sweet meander," with the blue sea heaving beyond; but, after a hasty glance at some of the great features mentioned in guide-books, they have generally turned again to more familiar haunts of tourist life, content to believe that what they were leaving unexplored must be uninteresting, because comparatively little known.  But he who wanders lovingly in that cabinet land between the mountains and the main, will find it full of natural variety, from the wildest mountain sublimity to soft pastoral vales whose beauty melts into the sea.  One charm peculiar to this remote part of the Lake District is, that the ocean lips its western border, stretching grandly to the horizon's edge, save where the outlines of Mona's historic isle stand out from the waves.  The voice of the sea floats up its green valleys, as if to woo their wandering waters home.  Some of these rivers are of rare beauty, such as the Duddon—that darling stream of Wordsworth's lay—the Esk, the Irt, the Ehen, and the Calder,—whose tranquil murmurs mingled so long with the monastic chants of its secluded vale.  I do not know a better clue to the finest features of the district than its water-courses afford.  They abound in scenes delightful to the painter's eye.  From the shore, where they glide into the sea, they lead through green holms and vales; under shady woods; by quaint hamlets and bowery nooks; between craggy banks, festooned with greenery; now stealing silently over level sands; but mostly, in glittering frolic, among picturesque beds of mossed rock: till they come to where lone lakes lie among savage mountains, down whose steeps tributary cascades leap from their wild birthplace.

    This district is no less remarkable for the associations of history than for its natural charms, its mineral wealth, and its interest to men of science.  Furness Abbey, Peel Castle, and Gleaston Castle, although on the Lancashire side of the Duddon, naturally belong to this sea-coast part of lake-land.  In addition to these, it has, for its extent, a more than common share of the relics of antiquity.  The beautiful ruin of Calder Abbey, in its monastic vale; the old conventual church of St. Bees; the Runic crosses of Beckermont and Gosforth; the remains of Egremont and Millom Castles; the legendary hall of Muncaster, looking down from its shady height upon lovely Eskdale's stream; Broughton Tower, and many others of less note.  From the time when Druid priests worshipped in the temple at Swinside, and Roman soldiers marched from camp to camp among these hills, till now, this tract of country possesses interesting relics of every race which has left a name in our history.

    Since the opening of the new line from Ulverstone to Whitehaven this district has been gradually becoming better known.  The train from Ulverstone calls at Furness Abbey; then crossing the Duddon estuary, winds round the base of Black Coomb up to Ravenglass; after which it clips the sea so closely for more than ten miles, that one might fling a stone from the carriage window into the waves at high water.  At St. Bees the line quits the shore, and shoots through a fertile valley to the port of Whitehaven.  To an inland man, this is a singularly interesting journey.  On the one hand the open sea, with here and there a spot—as at Seascale—which seems destined by nature to become a favourite bathing place; on the other hand, the grand outlines of the mountains, always in sight, yet always changing in relative appearance as we roll along.

    As a sequel to my recent wanderings in Cartmel and Furness, I propose now to lead the reader with me through some parts of this district, where I rambled last year, first in summer, then at the fall of the leaf, when vegetation, like the setting sun, puts on its grandest robe to die in.  My first trip was in summer, from Ulverstone to Black Coomb, the general character and position of which is finely described in the following lines from a poem called "The Minstrels of Windermere":—


"Close to the sea, lone sentinel,
     Black Coomb his forward station keeps:
 He breaks the sea's tumultuous swell,—
     And ponders o'er the level deeps.
 He listens to the bugle-horn
     Where Eskdale's lovely valley bends;
 Eyes Walneye's early fields of corn;
     Sea-birds to Holker's woods he sends.
 Beneath his feet the sunk ship rests
     In Duddon Sands, its masts all bare."


    It was one of those cool bright mornings that give the heart a pleasant fillip.  The quaint town of Ulverstone was yet asleep; and, as I looked out of my bedroom window, some public clock chimed a quarter past six, in tones which rang through the streets, and died away upon Leven Sands.  There had been a great storm of wind and rain during the night, but now, everything from the sky to the ground looked fresh and glad; and the old market-place was all still as a cloister, except where a few pigeons pecked and cradled about the cobble pavement, or a red-hued iron miner went whistling through the sunshine, on his way to work.  At the station, I met my two friends, whom, for the nonce, I will call "Buckland" and "Sedgwick."  Stepping into the carriage we startled a bird, which had just flown in, but evidently had no desire to go any further by rail.  Half-past six.  We are off towards Black Coomb.  The handle of Buckland's geological hammer stuck out of his brown swinger, and he had a strong hempen wallet over his shoulder.  Sedgwick shiny case for botanical specimens hung jauntily from a strap which crossed his breast; and he was accompanied by a most innocent-looking dog, of undefinable breed, called "Jack;" who seemed to take the rumble of the wheels for the growls of a thousand invisible enemies, whose close neighbourhood frightened him into silence.  Away through the smiling fields; past Lindal, the scene of a tussle in the Parliamentary War; past ancient Dalton, with its squat old tower upon the steep; through the green vale of Deadly Nightshade, to Furness Abbey, where a full choir of birds were making the ruins ring with their matin songs.  Before we could satisfy ourselves with this beautiful scene, the train turned back a little to get upon the Whitehaven line, and, in a quarter of an hour, we were rolling along the southern shore of Duddon estuary, where the cool sea-breeze came freshly over tumbling waves. Leaving Kirby, with its great slate quarries on the moor side, we stop at Foxfield, and a few travellers get out to go forward on the Coniston line.  Yonder is the bold peak of the Old Man.  And here, a little to the right hand, is the town of Broughton, on a sunny slope.  But our line clings to the sea.  We rattle over the Duddon viaduct, and by two or three stations, in a quiet green country, where hamlets and scattered white cottages shew themselves upon the landscape.  Black Coomb has been long in sight; and now, "Out here for Silecroft!" which brings us to the very foot of that bold outpost of the mountains.

    The journey had taken about an hour, and the morning air was cool.  There was a new inn near the station.  The front door was not yet open; but, seeing a red-armed girl cleaning steps at a side entrance, we asked her if we could have breakfast.  Putting her floor-cloth down, she rose from her knees, looked at us wistfully, then wiped her hands on her apron, and said she would go and see.  Whilst she was upstairs, we peeped into the front rooms.  In one, the relics of a night carousal lay strewn about, looking sickly in the sunshine; the other was a clean little parlour, with pictures, music books, and a piano in it.  Here we waited till the girl brought word that breakfast would be ready in half an hour, and said we might stay in that room if we liked.  In a few minutes, footsteps were heard overhead; the landlady came down stairs; and all the household began to stir.  We opened the window, and the morning air brought in sweet smells from gardens over the way.  On the mountain side, right opposite, we could see the gray line of our path up Black Coomb.  Sedgwick played the "Ranz des Vaches" from Rossini's "William Tell;" and here I may say that I do not know any bit of music that so beautifully breathes the spirit of the mountains.  We listened to it over and over again on that sunny morning, at the foot of Black Coomb, till it tuned our hearts to the pleasant business of the day.  After this, we went into the garden, and talked with villagers who were lounging about, till the girl called out that breakfast was ready.  Our meal was good, and the charge moderate.  When it was over, we took time, and had another tune from our friend before starting.  I see from Mr. Linton's book, that there are some interesting druidical remains below Black Coomb, "lying scattered about in the vicinity of Annaside and Gutterby, near the sea-shore;" and, at Selkirk's Bay, about a mile from the beach, "it was said that the remains of several vessels or galleys could be seen until about the end of the last century, having according to tradition, been sunk and left there on some invasion of the Romans."  The limited time did not admit of our exploring these things; but it is as well to mention them for the sake of those that come after.

    The greatest part of Silecroft is opposite the hotel, in a hollow which divides the railway line from the first slope of Black Coomb.  There was nothing remarkable in its irregular white cottages, though they looked pleasant that morning, with flowerpots in the windows here and there.  We walked through the village; and, about half a mile on the road beyond, struck over the left hand fields, to reach the path we had seen from the inn.  Droves of sheep and lambs were wending slowly up from different points; and about a quarter of an hour's ascent brought an interesting pastoral scene in view.  A glittering streamlet came tumbling down the mountain, and, in a dinge of the steep, its waters were dammed up by a rude stone enclosure, known in moorland districts as a "sheep-wash."  At one end of this enclosure, a bleating crowd of sheep and lambs huddled in the shade of a stone field-wall.  These were let into the watery enclosure, one at a time, through a little square opening, where they were soused, and scrubbed, and swilled by the sturdy washers inside, and then let out, panting, frightened, and clean, through a similar opening on the opposite side.


"Heavy, and dripping, to the breezy brow
 Slow move the harmless race; where, as they spread
 Their swelling treasures to the sunny ray,
 Inly disturbed, and wondering what this wild
 Outrageous tumult means, their loud complaints
 The country fill: and toss'd from rock to rock,
 Incessant bleatings run around the hills."


As this went on, the water was continually refreshed by the in-flowing stream; and a little outlet at the lower end carried away its impurities.  Shouts and laughter of herdsmen, and the barking of dogs, came cheerily up the hill side; and the air was vocal with tremulous complainings of sheep and lambs, which, having passed through the "wash," wandered wildly about the heathy steep, chased to and fro by dogs.  The clear stream leaping by our pathway; the majestic mountain high above us; the beautiful bowery vale below; the blue sea hard by; the splendour of the morning; the stillness all around, save where this pastoral tumult rose; it was a scene that kept us gazing with delight.  But we had Black Coomb to climb, so we toiled slowly up the rough way, oft pausing to look back at the landscape.  This is the steepest part of the ascent from Silecroft; but our tricksy streamlet kept us pleasant company till about a thousand feet above the sea.  Here we came upon a bleak platform, where silent desolation reigned.  A better road now took a circuit over the expanse, afterwards making a white and winding line up to the summit.  From this point each chose a path which he thought would lead soonest to the top; and, half an hour's climbing found us together at a pile of stones left by the government surveyors.  All around us was a sombre wilderness strewn with slabs and splinters of Skiddaw slate.  No bird, nor bee, nor buzz of summer life was there.  When the cold strong wind lay still for a minute, the only sound heard was a low murmur of the sea breaking against the coast below.  There was nothing astir, but here and there a black-faced moorland tup, staring fiercely, as if half-inclined to dispute our strange intrusion.  Sometimes a cloud sailed overhead, putting us into gloomy shadow, and making the wilderness look wilder.  It was a strange sight, then, to watch the play of sun and shade upon the lower slopes, and to see the strong sunlight sleeping serenely on the green vale below.  The following lines may be interesting to the reader.  They were written by Wordsworth, with a slate pencil, upon a stone, on the side of this mountain:


"Stay, bold adventurer; rest awhile thy limbs
 On this commodious seat! for much remains
 Of hard ascent before thou reach the top
 Of this huge eminence—from blackness named—
 And, to far-travelled storms of sea and land,
 A favourite spot of tournament and war!
 But thee may no such boist'rous visitants
 Molest; may gentle breezes fan thy brow:
 And neither cloud conceal, nor misty air
 Bedim, the grand terraqueous spectacle,
 From centre to circumference unveil'd!
 Know, if thou grudge not to prolong thy rest,
 That, on the summit whither thou art bound,
 A geographic labourer pitch'd his tent,
 With books supplied and instruments of art,
 To measure height and distance; lonely task
 Week after week pursued!  To him was given
 Full many a glimpse (but sparingly bestowed
 On timid man), of nature's processes
 Upon the exalted hills.  He made report
 That once, while there he plied his studious work
 Within that canvas dwelling, suddenly
 The many-coloured map before his eyes
 Became invisible; for all around
 Had darkness fallenunthreaten'd, unproclaimed,—
 As if the golden day itself had been
 Extinguished in a moment; total gloom,
 In which he sate alone, with unclosed eyes,
 Upon the blinded mountain's silent top!"


    The views from Black Coomb are of the grandest imaginable kind, both in variety and extent.  The sea fills all the west, and the mountain seems to rise sheer from its waves.  Eastward, a storm of mighty hills closes the scene.  outhward, and just under the eye, the woodland ridge of Millom shuts in a rich valley which fringes the base of Black Coomb with verdant beauty.  Immediately beyond, the estuary stretches wide, where


"Majestic Duddon, over smooth flat sands,
 Glides on in silence, with unfetter'd sweep."


Farther south, green hills, rich vales, towns, towers, and gleaming rivers, as far as the eye can go.  Grand as our views were, the day was too hazy to see all that can be seen thence, when the atmosphere is favourable.  Further of the prospects this glorious eminence commands let Wordsworth speak once more, in a manner worthy of the theme:—


"This height a ministering angel might select;
 For from the summit of Black Coomb (dread name
 Derived from clouds and storms!) the amplest range
 Of unobstructed prospect may be seen
 Which British ground commands; low dusky tracts,
 Where Trent is nursed, far southward!  Cambrian hills
 To the south-west, a multitudinous show.
 And in a line of eye-sight linked with these
 The hoary peaks of Scotland, that give birth
 To Teviot's stream, to Annan, Tweed, and Clyde;
 Crowding the quarter whence the sun comes forth,
 Gigantic mountains, rough with crags; beneath,
 Right at the imperial station's western base,
 Main ocean, breaking audibly, and stretch'd
 Far into silent regions, blue and pale;
 And visibly engirding Mona's Isle,
 That, as we left the plain, before our sight
 Stood like a lofty mount, uplifting slowly
 (Above the convex of the watery globe)
 Into clear view the cultured fields that streak
 Its habitable shores; but now appears
 A dwindled object, and submits to lie
 At the spectator's feet.  Yon azure ridge,
 Is it a perishable cloud—or there
 Do we behold the frame of Erin's coast?
 Land sometimes by the roving shepherd swain
 (Like the bright confines of another world)
 Not doubtfully perceived.  Look homeward now!
 In depth, in height, in circuit, how serene
 The spectacle—how pure!  Of nature's works,
 In earth, and air, and earth-embracing sea,
 A revelation infinite it seems;
 Display august of man's inheritance,
 Of Britain's calm felicity and power."


    After lingering on the summit till the keen wind began to make us chill, we went round by the southern edge of the mountain, and, on the east side, came to a most impressive scene, called "The Screes,"—a vast craggy amphitheatre, which geologists say is the crater of an ancient volcano.  With some difficulty we made way into the swampy hollow of this immense basin.  High up in an inaccessible part of the rocks, ravens were screaming, and wheeling about their wild eyrie.  That lofty sweep of blackened crags seemed to frown the landscape into silence, as I stood, lost in the gloomy profound, listening to the geological conversation of my two friends.  A curious, cone-shaped mound rises in the centre of the hollow.  The lower side, or lip of the great basin, is broken off; and an extensive porphyry dike runs down into the southward vale.  In the same direction, the narrow gorge, through which we descended to the valley, is watered by a wild stream, called "Witcham Beck," which fills the pass with turbulent glee, as it dashes over the rocks.  By the side of this stream, a good road brought us down to "Witcham Mill," a building quaintly worn with age, and sheltered deep in a nook by the water side, below "White Hall Knot."  Somehow, a corn mill seems to belong, naturally, to quietness and the green country; and the sounds that arise therefrom mingle better with songs of wild birds and leafy rustlings of the woods than with the tumults of town life.  Sedgwick knew the miller well, so we walked about the building, in and out, with the cheerful old corn-crusher, whilst Buckland splashed through "Witcham Beck," and clambered about the ferny crags, in search of some rare plant that he knew of.  It was now long past noon.  Threatening clouds hung over us, and rain began to fall.  There was a little public-house a mile over the eastward fields, and we made haste to its friendly shade.  The house is kept by a staid old widow, who supplied us with bread and cheese, milk and butter—all her humble larder could afford—but it was very good.  The distance from this place to the druidical temple, at Swinside, is about four miles.  The shower soon ended, and all was bright again.  We took a path which winds about the south side of "White Hall Knot," and then through the hollow of a deep glen to the east, where a handsome lad was whipping small trout from the stream almost as fast as he could put bait on hook.  Leaving this road, Sedgwick led up the hills, where there was no trodden footing;—now through green swamps, that often turned us back; now through rough tracks of heather; now over stone walls, that rattled after us as we leaped down; now splashing through a watercourse; now labouring up a craggy steep; till at last, men and horses at work, and the gables of a farm-house came in sight on the distant hill-side.  The temple is near this lonely farm-house.  We had to climb a lofty wall into the great enclosure where it stands.  The day was glorious; and we sat down upon dry moss within the circle, resting our backs against one of its gray stones.  The temple is 285 feet in circumference; and consists of fifty-four moss-grown stones, some of which are prostrate, a few still nearly upright, and all slanting more or less in different directions.  Through a cleft in one of the largest blocks, a fine young rowan-tree or mountain ash, has pushed its way from the ground, spreading its branches over the venerable stone.  This sylvan hermit prefers the unsheltered hills to crowded woods and forests. It was interesting to find this tree, which has been associated with the wildest superstitions of our island from time immemorial, hanging here so fresh and green, over the relics of the ancient temple.  From the "Forest Trees of Britain" I cull these words about it: "Lightfoot and Gilpin are both of opinion that the mountain ash was held in high estimation by the Druids.  The former says, 'It may be observed to grow more frequently than any other tree in the neighbourhood of those druidical circles of stones so often seen in the north of Britain; and the superstitious still continue to retain a great veneration for it, which was undoubtedly handed down to them from early antiquity.'  Often, at this day, a stump of it is found in some old burying place, or near the circle of a Druid temple, whose rites it formerly invested with its sacred shade."  An ancient song says


             "Witches have no power
 Where there is roan-tree wood."


There is a kind of recess, or avenue, on the east side of the temple, composed of two stones on each side.  Buckland searched about till he found a curious fibrous plant, called "Druid's hair," of which we brought some specimens away.  The sunset was glorious among those lonely mountains, as we came down, by another route, startling the red grouse from its heathery nest.  A delightful walk of a mile and a half brought us to a fine old farmhouse, called "Crag Hall."  It was milking-time; but we rested a few minutes, and were kindly refreshed in that hospitable homestead; after which we set out again as the farewell light began to blend with evening shades, to the village of Green, through which a beautiful stream runs close by the highway.  The best way to the temple at Swinside is to get off at Green Station, and go through the village, up to Crag Hall, where vehicles may be left; from whence a good road leads up a mile and a half, to the druidical circle.  As we came through Green, a strong sulky-looking dog rushed from under a passing cart, and seizing our poor canine friend "Jack," shook him like a rat.  But for the timely aid of a friendly cudgel or two, the poor brute would have been "nowhere" in a few minutes.  The station is a mile from the village.  We took the train here; and so returned to Ulverstone, well pleased with our day's excursion to Black Coomb and the temple at Swinside.


 
CHAPTER THE SECOND.


"A realm of mountain, forest haunt, and fell,
         And fertile valleys, beautifully lone;
 Where fresh and far romantic waters roam,
 Singing a song of peace by many a cottage home."

J. C. PRINCE.


IT was autumn, the evening of the year, and summer's green had begun to pay its annual tribute to decay.  I set my mind on a stroll through that part of the lordship of Millom which occupies the north bank of Duddon estuary, and forms the southern point of Cumberland.  Near the shore it looks rather bleak, but there is a charm about the sea which never palls; and here, at the foot of a glorious mountain land, the spirits rise breezily in barometrical sympathy with nature.  As we go eastward, the country is all picturesque ups and downs, and pleasant nooks of rural life, and the land is richer and better wooded.  I chose this route partly because I wished to see Millom Castle, the ruined fortress of the Boyvilles and Huddlestones, lords of great power there in ancient times.  The nearest station from Ulverstone to the castle is Holborn Hill, from whence there is a picturesque road along the estuary to Broughton-in-Furness, about seven miles distant.  The view from Buckman's Hall, the highest point of this road, is worth the journey.

    I had been spending two hours of midday with a friend at Furness Abbey, where he had shewn me that the finest view of that noble ruin is from the summit of the valley's eastern bank; up to which neat gravel walks lead, with rustic resting places by the way.  At two we left for Holborn Hill, on the Whitehaven line.  When we came to Duddon Sands the air was unusually clear, and the heather flower in full glow along the line.  From the station, Millom Castle is visible among a clump of trees about a mile eastward.  The high road goes by it.  The village of Holborn Hill was a little on the left, and, from what I could see, it is simply one street of rural cottages, mostly whitewashed.  There is something instructive about the old names of places in England, but the new title given to this village is far away from the character of the place and the scenery around.  As we drew near the gray walls of Millom, all was sunny and still, and a few tall trees threw their shadows across the road.  There was a little round-faced lad loitering by the hedge with a switch in his hand.  We asked him what house that was.  "It's t' castle," said he.  "What castle?"  "Aa dinnet knaa."  "Who lives at it?"  "Yon man, yonder," replied he, pointing to a stout farmer who was watching his men in a neighbouring field.  The happy lad then played with his switch again, and loitered by the ancient castle as if it was a ruined cow-shed.  So much for the changes time brings round.  This lad might be descended from a serf of these old feudal lords of Millom who ruled over a country eighteen miles long, and, in some places, eight miles broad.  They were endowed with extraordinary a privileges, for theirs was a jurisdiction into privileges the sheriff of the county could not enter.  They had power of life and death, and "enjoyed" jury regalia in six parishes.  "Mr. Denton, writing in 1688, says that the gallows stood on a hill near the castle, on which criminals had been executed within the memory of persons then living."  But times are strangely altered since Henry the First was king, when de Boyville, lord of Millom, gave "all the parishes between the Esk and Millom to the Abbey of St. Mary, at York," and gave, also, the churches of Bootle and Witcham, and the land called "Monk Force," to the Abbey of Furness, reserving only "the harts and hinds, wild boars and their kinds, and all aeries of hawks therein."  The first lords of Millom are associated with the ancient legend of "the Horn of Egremont Castle," and they bore the horn andhattrell in their escutcheon. [Note B]


"Horn it was which none could sound,
 No one upon living ground,
 Save he who came as rightful heir
 To Egremont's domains and castle fair."


Their names are now almost forgotten in their own land.  The castle was embattled in 1335, by Sir John Huddleston.  In ancient times it was surrounded by a fine park, of which there are some scanty remains on a ridge to the north.  The great square tower is still habitable, though its old battlements are gone.  The castle was invested during the parliamentary war, and the old vicarage house was pulled down at the same time, "lest the rebels should take refuge there."  There are traces of the ancient moat still visible.  We turned in between the broken pillars of an old gateway, and up a deserted avenue, to the front of the ruin, which, though not of great extent, presents a fine specimen of the decayed pomp of feudal times.  The walls of the court-yard were all weather-stained and worn; and, here and there, delicate beds of moss have crept over them, year after year, so long, that the moist old stones are now mantled with hues of great beauty.  The front of the castle is roofless, and some parts of its massive walls are thickly clothed with ivy, in which the wild birds were flitting out and in to their nests.  Even in ruin this part of the castle has a noble appearance.  A fine flight of worn steps leads up through the frowning archway, to the great tower, in the inner court.  Above this archway a stone shield bears the decayed heraldries of the Huddleston family; and these arms appear, also, on a slab in the garden wall, and in other parts of the buildings.  Whilst we roamed about the inner court, the front entrance of the great tower stood open, and we caught sight of a fine old carved staircase, which led me to suppose that the interior may retain many of its ancient characteristics.  That part of the moat which remains below the walls of the western tower is mostly filled with weeds and brushwood; and it divides the castle from the ancient parish church, which stands upon a knoll, overlooking the fields.  The church is a venerable building, with its quaint little turret, containing two bells.  Near the east window is an octagon stone font, ornamented with quatrefoils, and a shield charged with the arms of Huddleston.  "The church contains an ancient mural tablet to the memory of the Huddleston family, and near to it is an altar-tomb ornamented with Gothic tracery, on which recline the effigies of a knight and his lady, but in a very mutilated state."  Peeping through a corner window we saw this altar-tomb, with its recumbent figures, close to the wall.  In the churchyard, the, sculptured shaft of an ancient cross, charged with four shields, still stands erect.  A plaintive tone of decay was over all the works of man about us, in spite of the smiling fields; and the rooks, cawing above the tree-tops which shade the ruin, were quite in keeping with the spirit of the scene.  In the burial-ground all was hoary and old.  The worn steps leading to the fields; the dim sun-dial; the mossy walls; the fragments of ancient sculpture reared against the church; the head-stones, leaning decrepidly in irregular ways; the weed-grown grave-stones, mottled with decayed verdure, and trodden by long footing, till almost illegible.  Fit companion, this eloquent old bedchamber of the dead, for the mouldering fortress whose pride it had seen, and whose decline it was sharing.  There was nobody about; but a faint buzz came from the new school-house, a little northward.  We knocked at the inner door, and a stout young man with a mild face came out to us.  He was too shy to talk much, but he told us that there was a fine view from the top of a knoll, three fields off, westward.  A footpath from the church stile led to it, and, when we came there, it was as he had said.  The rippling estuary, filled with the top of the tide, and all glorious with sunshine, was in sight, spreading out to the open sea.  Close to, on the north-west, Black Coomb looked solemnly down upon us.  Going eastward, the eye wandered over the Coniston range; till, on the morning side of the horizon, the sky was wild with mountains behind mountains reared, among whose summits the sun was trailing his golden lines in graceful change, as if trying to weave a garment fit for such a royal scene.  At the foot of the knoll there was a charming contrast in the silent fields, the church, and the ruined castle half-concealed by trees.

    We returned by the avenue again, taking the road thence to Broughton-in-Furness.  The way was full of variety; now down between trees, and by an old farmstead; now meandering high about the unshaded upland, overlooking Duddon, and in sight of the hills.  About three miles on the road we came into a shady dell—a sylvan cup—where the wheel of Thwaites's mill is turned by a mountain stream, and the trees make "a kind of checkered night and day."  There seemed to be just room for the mill, the house, the bridge, the road, the trees, and the restless little river, whose lulling murmur awakened "dreams that wave before the half-shut eye."  We asked for a drink of milk at the miller's door, and were invited into a room, where the goodwife and her daughter were lining bed quilts with wadding upon a wooden frame.  We rested, and talked with them awhile; and when we rose to go, the old lady seemed half-offended that we should ask what there was to pay.  At Buckman's Hall, which, I suppose, takes its name from the old house close by, we gained the highest point of the road, and a sharp turn brought in sight a splendid prospect of the upper part of the estuary and the country around it.  The mountains seen from this height are nearly the same as seen from the knoll near Millom Church, but here they look grander, and present a different aspect, through change of position.  This fine view is before us most of the way down Buckman's Brow, a long steep, ending in a shady avenue of trees as we draw near Duddon Bridge.  The day had travelled by while we had lingered, and twilight was now closing over the scene.  Before we were across Duddon it began to rain.  We hurried over the green level, and up the hill, from the top of which the rain-loaded blast pelted us gallantly into the old King's Arms, at Broughton, a very comfortable shelter, especially at such a time.  Tea, with good trimmings, was set out for us in a cosy parlour, where several trunks were piled in a nook.  Here we talked of what we had seen during the day, and of the next day's ramble up Duddon Vale.  It wanted an hour and a half to the time for the last train to Ulverstone; so we agreed to run down there for the night, and return to Broughton early in the morning.  The remainder of our time was passed in the kitchen, with the landlord and a thin-faced young man, whom we had taken at first for a boozy cobbler; but he soon convinced us we were wrong.  His manner was shy and hesitating; but on the commonest theme his language was choice and appropriate.  He evinced an ardent love of nature and a well-stored mind.  When we inquired about Duddon Vale, his eyes lighted up as he spoke of his rambles there, and of Wordsworth's sonnets in its praise.  We spent an interesting hour with him till train time; and after ordering breakfast for eight o'clock next morning, we rolled down to Ulverstone through the rainy night.  As we parted in the market place, my friend said, "Half-past six in the morning, at the station.  Good night!"  "Good night!—but stop; how if one should sleep too long?"  "Well then, th' titter co' th' latter up.  Good night!"

    Next morning was fine again, and we were back at the King's Arms, in Broughton, half an hour before breakfast time.  Let us open the window and see what we can see.  Our parlour looks upon a kind of square opposite the hotel.  About six yards from the corner there is a little grocery shop, up two worn steps, where women and children are going in and out with loaves, and ounces of tea, and butter wrapped in copybook leaves.  Across the square a brown-faced man, in corduroy, is leaning against a doorway, smoking, and quietly stroking his chin, as if he thought it was about time to get shaved, if he only had the penny.  Blue smoke is curling up lazily in the clear air from cottage chimneys; now it flies away on a gust of wind from the sea; and now it curls up lazily again.  Doves are cooing and strutting yonder; sparrows are chirping noisily about the roofs; and hens are pecking on the road below.  But now the town is getting busy, for two men saunter into the square, talking together.  One is filling a short pipe, and the other carries a long rough stick, such as cow jobbers delight in.  The man with the short pipe strikes a match on the bowl, turns his back to the wind, gets a light, pushes in the tobacco with his finger, puffs carefully half-a-dozen times, and then calls out "Good morning" to somebody at a window over our heads.  Now a young greyhound bounds like a four-legged arrow into the sunny space, and begins to gambol about alone, as if playing with an invisible friend.  Here comes another dog, a little frisky fellow, of no particular breed.  This one barks a great deal, in a good-tempered way, and the two begin to sniff and frolic to and fro, as dogs do when they are "thick together."  What is he that comes next upon this little sunlit stage of country life?  A very short, double-jointed fellow, with an enormous head and a most antique visage, that reminds me of something I have seen at the end of a spout on an old church wall.  His age seems to have parted company with his growth about half way up the usual height, in an untimely way.  He is talking to himself, and smiling about something, reckless of all observers, as he paddles across the square with a great pitcher in his hands.  Which is the pitcher and which is the man? for though evidently a man in age, he doesn't look as if he would hold more than two gallons or so, if he was fairly cleared out to make room for it.  What if he should stumble now, and fall into the pitcher?  Hold! he has turned the corner.  May peace lead him kindly by the hand through this uncertain world.  The clock in the little shop is striking eight, and a chubby lad trails by.  His hands are deep in his pockets, and his nose looks cold, and moist.  A slate hangs on his arm by a string, as he goes, with wandering steps, and slow, sulkily kicking bits of stone on the road, and "creeping like snail unwillingly to school."  Suddenly a woman's voice calls out, "Come now, gang thi ways, or I'll warm thee, my gentleman!"  The lad starts, takes his hands out of his pockets, and makes haste off at the house-end; after which,—he mutters and loiters again.  Yonder, right before us, at the head of the steep main street, a private carriage road leads up the wooded hill to the tower of the Broughtons, of Broughton.  But that must wait; for "neat-handed Phillis" is laying the cloth, and our friend of last night trickles in, with a mild salute, to join us at the morning meal.  Over breakfast we talked about the route for the day: and our friend gave us some valuable hints anent it.  The way we chose was up Duddon Vale, by Seathwaite, to Cockley Beek.  Then, over Wrynose into Little Langdale; returning by Yewdale to Coniston, and so home by rail.  After breakfast we walked up to Broughton Tower, which crowns a woody eminence, at the head of the town.  It commands a fine view over the town and estuary out to sea; and eastward, of Furness Fells.  The exterior has been somewhat modernised; and the old battlements have been replaced by a plain parapet.  This tower is associated with a remarkable adventure in our history, which led to the downfall of its ancient owners.  Mr. West says of the Droughtons, in his "Antiquities of Furness," "This was an Anglo-Saxon family of high antiquity, in whose possession the manor of Broughton had remained from time immemorial, and whose chief seat was at Broughton till the reign of Henry VII.  At this period the power and interest of Sir Thomas Broughton was so considerable, that the Duchess of Burgundy relied on him as one of the principal confederates in the attempt to subvert the government of Henry VII. by the pretensions of Lambert Simnel."  What the fate of that adventure was is well known.  "Sir Thomas is said to have fallen in the field of battle; but there remains a tradition that he returned, and lived many years amongst his tenants at Witherslack, in Westmorland, and was interred in the chapel there."  With this unfortunate gentleman the family was extinguished in Furness; and the manor was granted to the Earl of Derby.  For nearly two centuries it has been the property of the Sawrey family.  Broughton may be called the capital of Upper Furness.  It is about six miles from the summit of Black Coomb, and that mountain may be approached by the high-road as far as Broadgate, from whence there is a hill-side way onward.  Broughton is the nearest point by rail to the beautiful vale of Duddon, which begins about a mile north of the town.


 
CHAPTER THE THIRD.


"In glens which resound to the waterfall's song,
 My spirit shall play the wild echoes among:
 I'll climb the dark steep to my lone mountain home,
 And heartsome and poor o'er the solitude roam:
 And the keen winds that harp on the heathery lea
 Shall sing the grand anthem of freedom to me."

 THE MOORLANDS.


    Now we set out for the solitary vale and stream which Wordsworth loved and sung.  By ten o'clock that bright forenoon we had crossed the hill north of Broughton town, and were walking over a green holm through which the pretty "Little" runs babbling and dancing, like a child dressed for a holiday, to go with Duddon to the sea.  Leaving the Bootle road near Duddon Bridge, we turned off at the end of a blacksmith's shop, taking the right hand road, which leads between tall hedge-rows up into the vale.  This road soon quits the green level, and begins to soar winningly between the trees, by little plots of sloping garden, and cottages perched like bird-nests in leafy nooks, high above the narrow entrance of the vale.  The river is deep below, hidden by the woods rising from its margin.  The tree-shaded banks by our wayside were often thick with ferns and lichens, and tangled bushes of the dear old wild bramble, "whose fruit full well the schoolboy knows."  Its prickly stalks were loaded with luscious berries, and we stopped to pick a handful now and then.  On the opposite side, the spreading shades of Duddon Grove mantled the lower slope of the mountain with rich autumnal foliage.  There, below, green lawns, trim paths, and cultivated grounds marked the influence of wealth and taste; above, Stoneside Fell rose proud and poor, and sternly free.  Now we lost sight of the landscape, as we came into a cool, shady dingle, where the checkered pattern of overhanging leaves played quietly upon the sunny road; and the unseen river wooed us thenceforth with its quiet song.  The hills begin to rise wilder before us—Cornet Fell, Stainton Fell, Hest Fell, and Barker Fell.  About a mile and a half from the entrance of the vale, we emerge upon a common.  Here, the mansion of Duddon Grove, its rich grounds and plumy woods are left behind; and cultivated beauty gives place to the wild charms of untrimmed nature.  "The wilderness is rich with liberty."  Yon patch of sunshine, gliding across the dark breast of Stainton Fell, seems to slacken in its journey, as if it had met with a spot that pleased it there.  A smell of wood fires is about us; and mottle-faced lambs skip away up the ferny slope, bleating tremulously, and turning round to look back now and then.  Here the solitary vale is almost treeless; and the road freaks in and out, so near the stream, that we are continually halting in wonder and admiration as some reach, more beautiful than the last, steals into sight.  These mountain rivers obey the moods of the weather with great alacrity; hence the local proverb, "Up with a shower, and down in an hour."  But Duddon was in its glory on that sunny day, after the recent rains.  Grand as those wild fells are, all purpled with autumnal splendour, the speciality, the very genius of that valley's charm, is the varied loveliness of its stream.  I have roamed by many a pleasant moorland river, but I never saw one so full of delightful change as the Duddon.  Every turn of it brings a new picture to the eye.  Now, wildly-glad, it leaps down from the rocky hills; now, almost silent, it glides by in "liquid lapse serene;" now it meanders, prinked into a thousand silvery shapes of beauty, where moss-clad stones lie strewn about its bed in nature's careless taste, and where its water seems to complain "with gentle murmur, that its course they do restrain."  For three or four miles the road lies more or less near the stream, and we trailed by thorough its enchanting sights and sounds.  At Ulpha Kirk, "to the pilgrim's eye as welcome as a star," there is a small hamlet near the bridge; and on a knoll close by, the little church stands, of which Wordsworth says:—


"How sweet were leisure! could it yield no more
 Than 'mid that wave-washed churchyard to recline,
 From pastoral graves extracting thoughts divine
 Or there to pace, and mark the summits hoar
 Of distant moonlit mountains faintly shine,
 Soothed by the unseen river's gentle roar."


Whilst we lingered on the bridge, from whence the stream is more wildly charming than before, a tall gentleman, with a fishing basket slung his from shoulder, rode quietly up on a fine horse.  He stopped, and we got into talk about the beauty of the river at this place.  He pointed out some of the most striking features of the scene; and we learned in the course of conversation, that he was an enthusiastic botanist, and author of "The Natural History of Redcap."  A little beyond Alpha Kirk we came to another bridge, which a passing dalesman called "T' Aad Mill Bridge."  Here the clear green-tinged stream, flowing deep between thick woods, over mossy rocks, is worth stopping to look at.  A little farther, we pass a tiny chapel, with a marble slab over the door, on which is graven,


"To Thee, O Lord, whose goodness crowns our days,
     Our thankful hearts this humble temple raise:
 Blest Jesus, by thy Spirit teach our youth,
     And sanctify our age with heavenly truth."


Half a mile beyond this chapel, on the northern slope of the road, the country opens before us, and, as "Black's Guide" says, "The finest coup d'œil in the whole valley presents itself."  We are now what is called "Low, in Ulpha," and the mountains begin to gather wildly around, Cove, Blakerigg, Walna Scar, Seathwaite Fell, and Dow Crag; and right ahead, the rugged mass of Wallabarrow Crag is a remarkable feature.  A tall dalesman was striding in our direction, and we fell into company with him, taking two steps for his one.  He knew the valley very well, and had roamed the fells more than thirty years.  Pointing to Wallabarrow Crag he said, "That's a rough clim, now, when yan comes tull it."  We asked him how far Seathwaite was off.  "Oh," said he, pointing up the vale, "Seathut's just therr."  "But what distance is it?"  "Wheea, mebby three mile, or so."  We found that "mebby," and "or so," are such elastic elements of measure that there is no calculating their exact value.  They have only vague notions of distance in these dales.  Sometimes, the place we were travelling to seemed to get farther off the more we went towards it, so that it appeared as if the best way to reach our destination would be to turn our backs upon it, and walk the other way.  As we drew near Seathwaite we began to talk about Robert Walker, the famous old minister there.  He thought him one of the greatest men that ever lived, if he "hedn't hed to scat sea sair for a living'.  I' Wonderful Walker' time," said he, "Seeathut parson gat varra lile money, an' hed to mak oot wi' a lock o' odds an' ends, sek as he could get hod on.  Amang udder things, t' farmers all gev him a cleanse o' woo, an' a sheet o' hay a piece yance a year.  T' hay were to be as mich as he could carry fra t' field, in a blanket.  An' aa've heeard t' aad standards o' Seeathut say," continued he, "that sometimes he packed t' blanket seea full that he couldn't trail it neea way; an' he hed to tak a lock on it oot afore he could manish to gan. * *  * Bud what, he was a varra good giver, an' a varra good man, poor as he was."  By this time, we were low down in the vale, near Duddon side again, at a place which he called "Hall Bridge, i' Pendle Holme," about a mile from Seathwaite.  Here he advised us to leave the high road, and take a bye-path up the left-hand side of the river, "ower t' Hippin Steans," and through the wood to Seathwaite Chapel.  This route reveals, especially at the Hipping Stones, a beautiful part of the stream, and is very little farther than by the high road to Seathwaite.  Here we parted with our rustic friend, who was "gannin' on by Wallabarraw Crag, efter some sheep."  The great beauty of the Duddon held us at the Hipping Stones a few minutes.  Wordsworth says of these Hipping Stones, that they


                                                 "Seem a zone
 Chosen for ornament—stone matched with stone
 In studied symmetry, with interspace
 For the clear waters to pursue their race
 Without restraint."


After this we made our way through the wood on the other side, and over a broken wood bridge, to Seathwaite Chapel.  In the burial-ground, we sat down upon a large slab, supported by two upright stones, looking at the modest edifice, and thinking of the primitive old pastor who laboured there through most of last century; [Note C]


"Whose good works formed an endless retinue:
     Such priest as Chaucer sang in fervent lays;
 Such as the heaven-taught skill of Herbert drew;
     And tender Goldsmith crowned with deathless praise!"


    The slab we sat on was graven with these words:--"In memory of the Rev. Robert Walker, who died on the 25th of June 1802, in the 93d year of his age, and 67th year of his curacy at Seathwaite.  Also of Ann, his wife, who died the 28th of January 1800, in the 93d year of her age.  Also Elizabeth Robinson, their eldest daughter, who died 3d of February 1820, aged 81 years."  There was a world of eloquence in this simple record.  It was full of scenes of quiet, unsophisticated life, and serene decay.  Peace be to the venerable sleepers.  We seldom find a father, mother, and daughter, lying in one grave, whose three ages amount to two hundred and sixty-seven years.  On another gravestone was this epitaph:


"Time was I stood where thou dost now,
     And viewed the dead as thou dost me:
 Ere long thou'lt lie as low as I,
     And others stand to look at thee."


In Seathwaite Chapel-yard, where the Duddon runs close by, murmuring its "one smooth story for all years," a man might well feel that there are


"Tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
 Sermons in stones, and good in everything."


    We are now about five miles from Cockley Beck, and, a little beyond the chapel, Duddon comes over the rocks in a succession of beautiful little falls.  After this the road crosses the stream from Seathwaite Tarn, at Nettleslack Bridge.  Near this bridge the two roads meet, and a guide-post points one way to Coniston, and the other to Langdale.  The Langdale road, on the left, is ours.  This upper part of the vale is wildly grand.  The Langdale road goes up through a narrow defile, between Harter Fell and Grey Friars, where the stream is heard rushing deep below, overfrowned by precipitous crags.  Emerging from this pass, it is worth while to linger a few minutes at Birk Brig.  There, the stream comes down in a narrow channel, where the rocks are worn into quaint arches, and fantastic shapes, that might be the ruins of some water-spirit's palace.  The river settles here in pools of clear green-tinged water, beautiful as liquid emerald.  Some of these pools, or "pots," are ten feet deep.  Above this bridge the stream narrows rapidly, and the valley becomes a scene of almost unrelieved desolation, with Grey Friars on the right, Harter Fell and Hardknot on the left, and rocky Wrynose shutting in the scene ahead.  Here, "cloud-born" Duddon steals down the wild vale as if afraid to disturb its loneness.  Wordsworth says of the young stream, that the whistling blast chants its birth, and desolation is its patron saint.  We began to think that Cockley Beck ought to be near, and yet there was no visible habitation in the silent glen.  At last we spied a shepherd stalking along the hill with a lame sheep on his shoulders; and a clump of stunted trees came in sight, by the streamlet side.  Our path led up to the trees, and we found a rude farmstead partly sheltered by them.  It certainly didn't look promising at first.  Could this be Cockley Beck that we had heard of so oft?  We knocked, and inquired.  The good-wife came to the door, and said, with a smile, "This is t' pleeàce.  There's neea udder hoose i't daàl.  Will ye cum in?"  We sat down in a low-roofed room, at the front.  The smoky rafters were hung with hams, and shrunken legs of cured mutton ; and, on a long Ion shelf near the ceiling there were little cheeses, dried herbs, staves, jars, and a tattered book or two.  By the Ingle, a tall, grey-haired man, in clogs, corduroy breeches, and a rough light-blue woollen jacket, of home-made cloth, was quietly watching the wood fire, and keeping it up by laying sticks on from a pile before him.  He was eighty-three years of age, and very deaf.  Stealing a look at us occasionally, he turned away again, and went on feeding the fire, with a countenance as calm as if he was a statue of contented age.  Evening was drawing on, and they told us we could stay all night, so we doffed our satchels, and began to be at home.  The good-wife bustled about in her blue bedgown; and a low babble of children came from a room behind, which was half-filled with eilding for the winter.  Looking out at the window, on the other side of the narrow vale, Hardknot rose bleak and craggy to the skies.  Between its summit and that of Harter Fell, a lofty pass leads into Eskdale.  About half-way down the Eskdale side are the ruins of a Roman camp, called Hardknot Castle, "whose guardians bent the knee to Jove and Mars."  In the opening between Hardknot and Wrynose, Scawfell was pointed out, "with a lile mist a-top on it."

    There was about an hour and a half of daylight left; and, as it was "nobbut a mile an' a hauf, mobby," to Hardknot Castle, we agreed to go there whilst tea was preparing.  It was strange to see a little girl of thirteen put on her best clothes to go with us as guide.  The sun had set before we reached the head of the pass, and the wind blew keen across.  The ruins lie about half-way down the opposite side,—a great square of fallen stones, on a commanding platform, looking over Eskdale out to the sea,—a very beautiful prospect.  Around the ruins mighty mountains frowned, Skawfell, Hardknot, and Harter Fell, all savage desolation.  That wild scene must have changed very little since Roman trumpets woke its echoes.  Skawfell saw those warriors come and go, like the mists on his summit; and he still looks proudly upon their scattered camp, untameable by aught but Him who reared his head so high.  We had only a few minutes to wander in this ruined eyrie of the Roman eagle.  The shades of evening were making green Eskdale dim, and we hastened up the pass again.

    By the time we reached John Tyson's house, candles were burning inside; clouds were gathering gloomily, and it began to rain.  A white cloth was on the table, and a bright wood fire filled the room with ruddy light.  The goodwife spread our board with ham and eggs, and steaks of cured mutton; brown bread, white bread, and spice cakes; cheese, preserves, strong tea, and cream—such as cities seldom get to see.  John Tyson had come in from the fells, and he sat on a long wood bench under the window, very quiet.  A great sheep-dog lay asleep on the hearth.  It had a stony look about the eyes, and I thought it old, and perhaps blind.  Cockley Beck was rushing by the front of the house, and the wind and rain filled the lone glen with a wild roaring.  Sitting comfortably by the solitary farmer's fire, there was a strange charm in listening to the elementary war that raged in darkness around us.  By way of getting into talk, I asked Tyson how old the dog was.  He said it was only three years old.  Dogs didn't last so long among those fells.  They had a hard life of it.  We noticed the wood fire; and he told us that brush-wood and turf was all they had to burn.  Coals were too far off, and would cost too much for carriage.  "What," said he, "we're verra nee oot o' t' warld, ye see; for Cocklo' Beck's seb'm mile fra a mill, five mile fra a shop, an' aboon fower mile fra a church —an' hard roads tull it, as ye'll hev sin."  He said they made their own candles of the pith of rushes dipped in mutton fat.  They made as many in two days as lasted the whole year.  These rush dips are not much thicker than a strong knitting-needle, and give but a dreary light to people accustomed to gas.  But they seemed to think the light very good; beside, they went to bed soon o' nights.  An iron clip, somethings like a pair of curling tongs, hung from the ceiling by a string; and in this clip the rushlight was stuck aslant, and shifted as it burnt away.  Leather for the family's shoes was bought whilst at market, in Broughton or Whitehaven; and the shoes were made in their own house, by a wandering son of Crispin, who went from farm to farm among the fells, getting his meat and lodging, and, as I understood, about two shillings a pair, for his work.  It was the same with clothing.  A tailor came up the glen at certain times, and folding his legs upon the long table under the window for a few days, he ate and drank with the rest, and chatted and stitched away, till they were clothed for the year.  Being among such a way of life as this felt like living three hundred years ago; and, somehow, the place reminded me of the highland bothy at Aberfoyle, where Bailie Nicol Jarvie singed the chieftain's tartan with a red hot poker.  Tyson's wife told us that tourists rarely went by the house without calling.  "An' sometimes," she said, " thooar tramps ca's, i' threes an' fowers; an' sometimes mair nor that.  Here was yan cam refight in bi hissel' yaa day, an' steeád upo' t' harstan, an' aa gev him tuppence; an' then he wad hev some bread an' cheese. Seeá, aa tell't him he mud gang to t' deár.  An' seen, when he gat ootside, aa whipt deár tulle, an' barred it.  Bud, my word, hoo he dud cample.  Aa rayley thought for a while he was like to brak in ageán.  *  *  *  Well, anudder time, here was six cam tegidder, when oor men was away amang t' fells, efter sheep.  Aa gat a wap on 'em cummin' doors t' beck-side: sea aa fasten't t' hoose up, an' crape oot o' seet wi' t' childer.  Bud, my word, didn't aa tremmle sair i' t' neuk; for they was a gay lang time afear they wad gang away; an' they tried to get in everywheers, but they couldn't manish.  Aa was terrible fain when oor men gat heám that day.  T' heál o' that lot was teán up, efter, at Ammleside, for summat or anudder."  It was clear that these mendicant robbers did not always beg there because they were hungry, for she said that "Girt dozzles o' bread an' cheese at hed bin gan tulle 'em was fand sometimes hudden amang t' steáns bi t' road side."  When tea was over we drew round the fire, and I pulled out an old Examiner and Times to light a pipe with.  "Neap, neah," said Tyson, "whativver are ye baan to du, bairn?  Dinnet rive that, hooivver!  What, aa'll find ye a leet.  What is't?  A newspapper, belike!  We mud gang a lang ways to get yan o' thame at Cocklo' Beck.  What, here's plenty o' leets widdout brunnin' t' news, sart'ny.  Ye'll mebby read us a lile bit."  I read part of the news from Italy.  "Aye, aye," said he; "What, here's gay rough deed amang 'em, then!  Well, well.  Disto hear, lass!  What, they're baggin' kings and girt folk, an' killing' yan shudder leeák mad i'—wheer is't, dud ye say?"  "Italy,"  "Italy!  That's owner t' water somewheres.  Well, well.  Its terrible wark, bairn; terrible wark!  An' what isn't all aboot?"  I read on a little, and explained the thing as well as I could; after which he folded the paper up, and put it carefully out of harm's way.  We talked on a little while, but he couldn't understand this "terrible work."  Every body seemed tired, and we crept to bed early.  At the foot of the stairs there was a rude gate, "to kep' t' dogs fra gannin up."  Our little bedroom looked against the steep of "Grey Friars;" but all was wild and dark outside, and we fell asleep hearkening the stormy wind.  Next morning the weather was fine.  We crossed Wrynose Pass into Little Langdale; thence, over by Yewdale, to Coniston, and so home by rail.



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