HAVING refreshed ourselves, and our horses, after a fatiguing morning, we proceeded along the vale of Buter­mer; and following the course of the river, as far as the inequalities of the ground would admit, we soon came to another lake, still more beautiful, than that we had left above. The two lakes bear a great resemblance to each other. Both are oblong: both wind [Page 2] round promontories; and both are surrounded by mountains. But the lower lake is near a mile longer, than the upper; the lines it forms are much easier; and tho it has less wood on it's banks, the loss is compensated by a richer display of rocky scenery. The forms of these rocks are in general, beautiful; most of them being broken into grand square surfaces. This species, as we have already observed*, are in a greater style, than the cragg, which is shattered into more diminu­tive parts.

With this rocky scenery much hilly ground is intermixed. Patches of meadow also, here and there, on the banks of the lake, improve the variety. Nothing is wanting but a little more wood, to make this lake, and the vale in which it lies, a very inchanting scene; or rather a succession of inchanting scenes: for the hills and rising grounds, into which it every where swells, acting in due subordina­tion to the grand mountains, which inviron the whole vale, break and separate the area of it into smaller parts. Many of these form [Page 3] themselves into little vallies, and other re­cesses, which are very picturesque.

Not far from the lake the mountain of Grasmer appears rising above all the moun­tains in it's neighbourhood. A lake of this name we had already seen in our road between Ambleside, and Keswick; but there is no connection between the lake, and the moun­tain.

This mountain forms rather a vast ridge, than a pointed summit: and is connected with two or three other mountains of inferior dignity: itself is said to be equal to Skiddaw; which is the common gage of altitude through the whole country; and therefore may be supposed the highest. No mountain aspires to be higher than Skiddaw: some boast an equal height: but two or three only have real pretensions.

Grasmer, and the mountains in it's neigh­bourhood, form the eastern boundary of the vale, which we now traversed; a vale at least five miles in length, and one third of that space in breadth. Our road carried us near [Page 4] the village of Brackenthwait, which lies at the bottom of Grasmer.

Here we had an account of an inundation occasioned by the bursting of a water-spout. The particulars, which are well authenticated, are curious. But it will be necessary first to exhibit the geography of the mountain.

In that part, where Grasmer is connected with the other high lands in it's neighbour­hood, three little streams take their origin; of which the Lissa is the least inconsiderable. The course of this stream down the moun­tain is very steep, and about a mile in length. It's bed, which is a deep gully, and the sides of the mountain all around, are profusely spread with loose stones, and gravel. On leaving the mountain, the Lissa divides the vale, through which we now passed; and, after a course of four or five miles, joins the Cocker.

On the 9th of September 1760, about mid­night, the water-spout fell upon Grasmer, nearly, as was conjectured, where the three little streams, just mentioned, issue from their fountains.

[Page 5]At first it swept the whole side of the moun­tain, and charging itself with all the rubbish it found there, made it's way into the vale, following chiefly the direction of the Lissa. At the foot of the mountain it was received by a piece of arable ground; on which it's violence first broke. Here it tore away trees, soil, and gravel; and laid all bare, many feet in depth, to the naked rock. Over the next ten acres it seems to have made an immense roll; covering them with so vast a bed of stones; that no human art can ever again restore the soil

When we saw the place, tho twelve years after the event, many marks remained, still flagrant, of this scene of ruin. We saw the natural bed of the Lissa, a mere contracted rivulet; and on it's banks the vestiges of a stony channel, spreading far and wide, almost enough to contain the waters of the Rhine, or the Danube. It was computed from the flood-marks, that in many parts the stream must have been five or six yards deep; and near a hundred broad; and if it's great velo­city be added to this weight of water, it's moment will be found equal to almost any effect.

[Page 6]On the banks of this stony channel, we saw a few scattered houses, a part of the village of Brackenthwait, which had a won­derful escape. They stood at the bottom of Grasmer, rather on a rising ground; and the current, taking it's first direction towards them, would have undermined them in a few moments, (for the soil was instantly laid bare) had not a projection of native rock, the in­terior stratum, on which the houses had un­knowingly been founded, resisted the current, and given it a new direction. Unless this had intervened, it is probable, these houses, and all the inhabitants of them (so instan­taneous was the ruin) had been swept away together.

In passing farther along the vale, we saw other marks of the fury of the inundation; where, bridges had been thrown down, houses carried off, and woods rooted up. But it's effects upon a stone-causeway were thought the most surprizing. This fabric was of great thickness; and supported, on each side, by an enormous bank of earth. The memory of man could trace it, unaltered in any particular, near a hundred years: but by the soundness and firmness of it's parts and texture, it seemed [Page 7] as if it had stood for ages. It was almost a doubt, whether it were a work of nature, or of art. This massy mole the deluge not only carried off; but, as if it turned it into sport, made it's very foundations the channel of it's own stream.

Having done all this mischief, not only here, but in many other parts, the Lissa threw all it's waters into the Cocker, where an end was put to it's devastation: for tho the Cocker was unable to contain so immense an increase; yet as it flows through a more level country, the deluge spread far and wide, and wasted it's strength in one vast, stagnant inundation.

Having passed through the vale of Buter­mer, we entered another beautiful scene, the vale of Lorton.

This vale, like all the past, presents us with a scene intirely new. No lakes, no rocks are here, to blend the ideas of dignity, and grandeur with that of beauty. All is simplicity, and repose. Nature, in this scene, lays totally aside her majestic frown, and wears only a lovely smile.

[Page 8]The vale of Lorton is of the extended kind, running a considerable way between mountains, which range at about a mile's distance. They are near enough to screen it from the storm; and yet not so impending as to exclude the sun. Their sides, tho not smooth, are not much diversified. A few knolls and hollows just give a little variety to the broad lights and shades, which over­spread them.

This vale, which enjoys a rich soil, is in general a rural, cultivated scene; tho in many parts the ground is beautifully broken, and abrupt. A bright stream, which might almost take the name of a river, pours along a rocky channel; and sparkles down number­less little cascades. It's banks are adorned with wood; and varied with different objects; a bridge; a mill; a hamlet; a glade over-hung with wood; or some little sweet recess; or natural vista, through which the eye ranges, between irregular trees, along the windings of the stream.

Except the mountains, nothing in all this scenery is great; but every part is filled with those sweet engaging passages of nature, which [Page 9] tend to sooth the mind, and instill tranquil­lity.

—The passions to divine repose
Persuaded yield: and love and joy alone
Are waking: love and joy, such as await
An angel's meditation—

Scenes of this kind, (however pleasing) in which few objects occur, either of grandeur or peculiarity, in a singular manner elude the powers of verbal description. They al­most elude the power of colours. The soft and elegant form of beauty is hard to hit: while the strong, harsh feature is a mark, which every pencil can strike.

But tho a peculiar difficulty attends the verbal description of these mild, and quiet haunts of nature; yet undoubtedly all her scenery is ill-attempted in language.

Mountains, rocks, broken ground, water, and wood, are the simple materials, which she employs in all her beautiful pictures: but the variety and harmony, with which she employs them, are infinite. In description these words stand only for general ideas: on her charts each is detailed into a thousand [Page 10] varied forms. Words may give the great outlines of a scene. They can measure the dimensions of a lake. They can hang it's sides with wood. They can rear a castle on some projecting rock: or place an island near this, or the other shore. But their range extends no farther. They cannot mark the characteristic distinctions of each scene —the touches of nature—her living tints—her endless varieties, both in form and colour. —In a word, all her elegant peculiarities are beyond their reach. Language is equally unable to convey these to the eye; as the eye is to convey the various divisions of sound to the ear.

The pencil, it is true, offers a more per­fect mode of description. It speaks a language more intelligible; and describes the scene in stronger, and more varied terms. The shapes, and hues of objects it delineates, and marks, with more exactness. It gives the lake the louring shade of tempest; or the glowing blush of sun-set. It spreads a warmer, or a colder tint on the tufts of the forest. It adds form to the castle; and tips it's shattered battlements with light.—But all this, all that words can express, or even the pencil describe, [Page 11] are gross, insipid substitutes of the living scene*. We may be pleased with the de­scription, and the picture: but the soul can feel neither, unless the force of our own imagination aid the poet's, or the painter's art; exalt the idea; and picture things unseen.

Hence it perhaps follows, that the perfec­tion of the art of painting is not so much attained by an endeavour to form an exact resemblance of nature in a nice representation of all her minute parts, which we consider as almost impracticable, ending generally in flat­ness, and insipidity; as by aiming to give those bold, those strong characteristic touches, which excite the imagination; and lead it to form half the picture, itself. Painting is the art of deceiving; and it's great perfection lies in the exercise of this art.

Hence it is that genius, and knowledge are as requisite in surveying a picture, as in [Page 12] painting one. The cold, untutored eye, (tho it may enjoy the real scene, (be it history,* landscape, or what it will) is unmoved at the finest representation. It does not see an exact resemblance of what it sees abroad; and having no internal pencil, if I may so speak, to work within; it is utterly unable to ad­minister a picture to itself. Whereas the learned eye, versed equally in nature, and [Page 13] art, easily compares the picture with it's archetype: and when it finds the characteristic touches of nature, the imagination immediately takes fire; and glows with a thousand beau­tiful ideas, suggested only by the canvas. When the canvas therefore is so artificially wrought, as to suggest these ideas in the strongest manner, the picture is then most perfect. This is generally best done by little [Page 14] labour, and great knowledge. It is know­ledge only, which inspires that free, that fear­less, and determined pencil, so expressive in a skilful hand. As to the minutiae of nature, the picturesque eye will generally suggest them better itself; and yet give the artist, as he deserves, the credit of the whole.

We sometimes indeed see pictures highly finished, and yet full of spirit. They will bear a nice examination at hand, and yet lose nothing of their distant effect. But such pic­tures are so exceedingly rare, that I should think, few painters would in prudence at­tempt a laboured manner. Indeed, as pictures are not designed to be seen through a micros­cope, but at a proper distance, it is labour thrown away*.

Hence it is that even a rough sketch, by the hand of a master, will often strike the imagination beyond the most finished work. [Page 15] I have seen the learned eye pass unmoved along rows of pictures by the cold, and in­animate pencil of such a master as Carlo Marat; and start astonished, when it came to a sketch of Rubens. In one case the painter endea­vouring in vain to administer every thing by giving the full roundness, and smoothness to every part, instead of the bold, characteristic touches of nature, had done too much: in the other, tho the work was left unfinished, yet many of the bold characteristic touches being thrown in, enough was done to excite the imagination of the spectator, which could easily supply the rest.

A very ingenious writer * indeed gives an­other reason for our being better pleased with a sketch, than with a finished piece. The imagination, says he, is entertained with the promise of something more; and does not ac­quiesce in the present object of the sense. But this observation, I think, is scarce founded on truth. It is true the imagination does not ac­quiesce in the present object of the sense: but, I should suppose, not because it is entertained [Page 16] with a promise of something more; but because it has the power, of creating something more itself. If a promise of something more, were the cause of this pleasure, it should seem, that a sketch, in it's rudest form, would be more pleasing, than when it is more advanced: for the imagination must have still higher enter­tainment in proportion to the largeness of the promise. But this is not the case. The sketch, in it's naked chalk-lines, affects us little in comparison. The instrument must be tuned higher, to excite vibrations in the imagination.

Again, on the same supposition, one would imagine, that the rude beginning, or rough plan of a house, would please us more than the compleat pile; for the imagination is enter­tained with the promise of something more. But, I believe, no one was ever so well pleased with an unfinished shell, amidst all it's rubbish of scaffolding, paper-windows, and other de­formities; as with a structure compleat in all it's members, and set off with all it's proper decorations.—But on the supposition I have ventured to suggest, we see why the sketch may please beyond the picture; tho the unfinished fabric disappoints. An elegant house is a [Page 17] compleat object. The imagination can rise no higher. It receives full satisfaction. But a picture is not an object itself; but only the representation of an object. We may easily therefore conceive, that it may fall below it's archetype; and also below the imagination of the spectator, whose fancy may be more picturesque, than the hand of the artist, who composed the picture. In this case, a sketch may afford the spectator more pleasure, as it gives his imagination freer scope; and suffers it to compleat the artist's imperfect draught from the fund of it's own richer, and more perfect ideas.

The variety of scenes, which nature ex­hibits; and their infinite combinations, and peculiarities, to which neither language, nor colours, unaided by imagination, can, in any degree, do justice; gave occasion to these remarks, which have carried me perhaps too far into digression.

We had to regret, that we saw the vale of Lorton only in half it's beauty. It was at too late an hour; and the evening besides was dark. The morning had been cloudy; [Page 18] in some part of it rather tempestuous; and we thought ourselves then very happy in the disposition of the weather: for as we had before seen the mountains in a clear atmos­phere; it was a desirable variety to see the grand effects they produced in a storm. A mountain is an object of grandeur; and it's dig­nity receives new force by mixing with the clouds; and arraying itself in the majesty of darkness. Here the idea of infinity * pro­duces strongly the sublime. But the chearful scenes of such a vale as this, pretend not to dignity: they are mere scenes of tranquillity. The early blush of dawn, the noon-tide shade, or evening-glow, are the circumstances, in which they most rejoice: a storm, in any shape, will injure them. Here therefore we might have dispensed with more light, and sunshine. Or at the close of day we might have wished for a quiet, tranquil hour, when the glimmering surfaces of things are some­times perhaps more pleasing—at all times certainly more soothing, than images of the brightest hue:

[Page 19]
When through the dusk obscurely seen
Sweet evening-objects intervene.

The evening, which grew more tempestu­ous, began to close upon us, as we left the more beautiful parts of the vale of Lorton. We were still about six miles from Keswick; and had before us a very wild country, which probably would have afforded no great amuse­ment even in full day: but amid the obscurity, which now overspread the landscape, the ima­gination was left at large; and painted many images, which perhaps did not really exist, upon the dead colouring of nature. Every great and pleasing form, whether clear, or obscure, which we had seen during the day, now played, in strong imagery before the fancy: as when the grand chorus ceases, ideal music vibrates in the ear.

In one part, a view pleased us much; tho perhaps, in stronger light, it might have escaped notice. The road made a sudden dip into a little, winding valley; which being too abrupt for a carriage, was eased by a [Page 20] bridge: and the form of the arch appeared to be what we commonly find in Roman aquaducts. The winding road; the woody valley, and broken ground below; the moun­tain beyond; the form of the bridge, which gave a classic air to the scene; and the ob­scurity, which melted the whole into one harmonious mass; made all together a very pleasing view.

But it soon grew too dark even for the imagination to roam. It was now ten o'clock: and tho in this northern climate, the twilight of a clear summer-evening affords even at that late hour, a bright effulgence; yet now all was dark.

—A faint, erroneous ray
Glanced from th' imperfect surfaces of things,
Threw half an image on the straining eye.
While wavering woods, and villages, and streams,
And rocks, and mountain-tops, that long retained
Th' ascending gleam, were all one swimming scene,
Uncertain if beheld—

We could just discern, through the dim­ness of the night, the shadowy forms of the mountains, sometimes blotting out half the [Page 21] sky, on one side; and sometimes winding round, as a gloomy barrier on the other.

Often too the road would appear to dive into some dark abyss, a cataract roaring at the bottom: while the mountain-torrents on every side rushed down the hills in notes of various cadence, as their quantities of water, the declivities of their fall, their distances, or the intermission of the blast, brought the sound fuller, or fainter to the ear; which organ became now more alert, as the imagi­nation depended rather on it, than on the eye for information.

These various notes of water-music, an­swering each other from hill to hill, were a kind of translation of that passage in the psalms, in which one deep is represented calling another because of the noise of the water-pipes.

Among other images of the night, a lake (for the lake of Bassenthwait was now in view) appeared through the uncertainty of the gloom, like something of ambiguous tex­ture, spreading a lengthened gleam of wan, dead light under the dark shade of the in­cumbent mountains: but whether this light [Page 22] was owing to vapours arising from the valley; or whether it was water—and if water, whe­ther it was an arm of the sea, a lake, or a river—to the uninformed traveller would ap­pear matter of great uncertainty. Whatever it was, it would seem sufficient to alarm his apprehensions; and to raise in his fancy, (now in quest of dangers,) the idea of something, that might stop his farther progress.

A good turnpike-road, on which we en­tered near the village of Lorton, and a know­ledge of the country, set at naught all such ideas with us: but it may easily be conceived, that a traveller, wandering in the midst of a stormy night, in a mountainous country, un­known, and unbeaten by human footsteps, might feel palpitations of a very uneasy kind.

We have in Ossian some beautiful images, which accompany a night-storm in such a country as this. I shall subjoin, with a few alterations, an extract from them; as it will illustrate the subject before us. It is con­tained in a note on Croma; in which several bards are introduced entertaining their patron with their respective descriptions of the night.

[Page 23]The storm gathers on the tops of the moun­tains; and spreads it's black mantle before the moon. It comes forward in the majesty of darkness, moving upon the wings of the blast. It sweeps along the vale, and nothing can withstand it's force. The lightning from the rifted cloud flashes before it: the thunder rolls among the mountains in its rear.

All nature is restless, and uneasy.

The stag lies wakeful on the mountain-moss: the hind close by his side. She hears the storm roaring through the branches of the trees. She starts—and lies down again.

The heath-cock lifts his head at intervals; and returns it under his wing.

The owl leaves her unfinished dirge; and sits ruffled in her feathers in a cleft of the blasted oak.

The famished fox shrinks from the storm, and seeks the shelter of his den.

The hunter alarmed, leaps from his pallet in the lonely hut. He raises his decaying fire. His wet dogs smoke around him. He half-opens his cabin-door, and looks out: but he instantly retreats from the terrors of the night.

[Page 24]For now the whole storm descends. The mountain-torrents join their impetuous streams. The growing river swells.

The benighted traveller pauses as he en­ters the gloomy dell. The glaring sky dis­covers the terrors of the scene. With a face of wild despair he looks round. He recol­lects neither the rock above, nor the preci­pice below. Still he urges his bewildered way. His steed trembles at the frequent flash. The thunder bursts over his head—The tor­rents roar aloud.—He attempts the rapid ford.—Heard you that scream?—It was the shriek of death.

How tumultuous is the bosom of the lake! The waves lash it's rocky sides. The boat is brimful in the cove. The oars are dashed against the shore.

What melancholy shade is that sitting un­der the tree on the lonely beach?—I just discern it faintly shadowed out by the pale beam of the moon, passing through a thin-robed cloud.—It is a female form.—Her eyes are fixed upon the lake. Her dische­velled hair floats loose around her arm, which supports her pensive head.—Ah! mourn­ful [Page 25] maid! dost thou still expect thy lover over the lake?—Thou sawest his distant boat, at the close of day, dancing upon the feathery waves.—Thy breast throbs with suspence: but thou knowest not yet, that he lies a corpse upon the shore.


AFTER a wet, and stormy night we re­joiced to see the morning arise with all the signs of a calm and splendid day. We wished for the opportunity of surveying Ulles­water in serene, bright weather. This was the next scene we proposed to visit; and with which we intended to close our views of this picturesque country.

From Keswick we mounted a hill, on the great turnpike road to Penrith. At the sum­mit we left our horses; and went to examine a Druid temple, in a field on the right. The diameter of this circle is thirty-two paces; which, as nearly as could be judged from so inaccurate a mode of mensuration, is the diameter of Stonehenge; which I once mea­sured [Page 28] in the same way. But the structures are very different; tho the diameters may be nearly equal. The stones here are diminutive in comparison with those on Salisbury-Plain. If Stonehenge were a cathedral in it's day; this circle was little more than a country church.

These structures, I suppose, are by far the most ancient vestiges of architecture (if we may call them architecture) which we have in England. Their rude workmanship hands down the great barbarity of the times of the Druids: and furnishes strong proof of the savage nature of the religion of these heathen priests. Within these magical circles we may conceive any incantations to have been per­formed; and any rites of superstition to have been celebrated. It is history, as well as poetry, when Ossian mentions the circles of stones, where our ancestors, in their nocturnal orgies, invoked the spirits which rode upon the winds—the awful forms of their deceased forefathers; through which, he sublimely tells us, the stars dimly twinkled.

[Page 29]As singular a part as the Druids make in the ancient history, not only of Britain, but of other countries, I know not, that I ever saw any of their transactions introduced as the subject of a capital picture. That they can furnish a fund of excellent imagery for poetry we know: and I see not why the scenes of Caractacus might not be as well suited to picturesque, as dramatic representation.—And yet there is a difference. The drama depends at least as much on sentiment, as on repre­sentation. Whereas the picture depends in­tirely on the latter. The beautiful sentiments of the poet are lost; and the spectator must make out the dialogue, as he is able, from the energetic looks of the figures.—Hence therefore it follows, that the same subjects are not equally calculated to shine in poetry, and in painting.

Those subjects, no doubt, are best adapted to the pencil, which tell themselves by action. In general, however, all animated stories, which admit either of strong action, or passion, are judiciously chosen. Unanimated subjects have little chance of producing an effect; parti­cularly [Page 30] love-stories; which, of all others, I could wish to exclude from canvas. The language of love is so difficult to translate, that I know not that I ever saw a represen­tation of lovers, who were not strongly marked with the character of simpletons.

But besides such subjects, as admit of strong action, or passion, there are others of a more inanimate cast, which, through the peculi­arity of the characters, of which they consist, can never be mistaken. Such is the settle­ment of Pensylvania, painted by Mr. West. From the mixture of English, and Indian characters, and a variety of apposite appen­dages, the story is not only well told; but, as every picturesque story should be told, it is obvious at sight.

Among subjects of this kind, are those, which occasioned this digression—druidical subjects. I know few of the less animated kind, which would admit more picturesque embellishment, than a Druid-sacrifice. The peculiar character, and savage features of these barbarous priests—their white, flowing vest­ments—the branch of misleto, which they hold—the circular stones (if they could be brought into composition)—the spreading oak [Page 31] —the altar beneath it—and the milk-white steer—might all together form a good pic­ture.

I have often admired an etching by Teipolo, which I have always conceived to be a repre­sentation of this subject*. He does not in­deed introduce all the circumstances of a Druid-sacrifice, which I have here enume­rated: but the characters are such, as exactly suit the subject; and the whole seems to be an excellent illustration of it.

After we left the temple of the Druids, we met with little which engaged our attention, till we came to the vale of St. John. This scene appeared from the stand, where we viewed it, to be a circular area, of about six, or seven miles in circumference. It is sur­rounded intirely by mountains; and is watered by a small river, called the Grata.

The vale of St. John is esteemed one of the most celebrated scenes of beauty in the country: but [Page 32] it did not answer our expectation. The ground, consisting of patches of fenced meadow, adorn­ed with farm-houses, and clumps of trees, was beautifully tumbled about in many parts: but the whole was rather rich, than pictu­resque: and on this account, I suppose, it hath obtained it's celebrity. It's circular form, every where within the scope of the eye, wanted that variety, which the winding vale affords; where one part is continually rece­ding from another in all the pleasing grada­tions of perspective*.

The kind of scenery here, is much the same, as in the vale of Lorton: both are composed of rural objects; but these objects are differently presented. In the vale of Lor­ton, the houses, and hamlets, seated on a wandering stream, are confined to the same level; and appear of course, one after another, as so many little separate scenes. Here they are scattered about the inequalities of the ground, through the area of a vale, circular at least in appearance; and offer the eye too much at once—a confusion, rather than a suc­cession, [Page 33] of scenery. I speak however only of the general appearance of the vale: it contains undoubtedly many beautiful scenes, if we had had time to explore them.

The plan, or ground-plot, of the vale of Tempe was somewhat similar to this of St. John. Nature seems in both to have wrought on the same model; excepting only that the furniture of that very celebrated scene of an­tiquity was more picturesque.

The vale of Tempe, like this, was circular, and incompassed with mountains. But it's area was composed of level lawns, (at least, we suppose, not rising uniformly before the eye,) interspersed with wood; which in many parts was thick, and close; and must every where have intercepted some portion of the mountain-line, and broken the regularity of a circular shape.

The mountains too in Tempe were of a more beautiful structure; abrupt, hung with rock, and finely adorned with wood.—At the head of the vale was a grand, rocky chasm, shaded with a profusion of woody scenery; through which the whole weight of [Page 34] the river Peneus forced it's way, with a tre­mendous sound; and having been dashed into foam and vapours by the fall, reunited it's strength at the bottom, and poured through the vale in a wild, impetuous torrent, roaring over rocks and shelves, till it found an exit, through the folding of the mountains on the opposite side.

Elian indeed tells us, that the stream was smooth: but as Ovid's description is more picturesque, the reader will give me leave to consider his authority as more decisive. His view of Tempe is very noble: but as he meant principally to describe the palace of a river god, which lay among the caverns, and re­cesses of the rocky chasm at the entrance of the vale, his subject naturally led him to dwell chiefly on the cascade, which was undoubtedly the greatest ornament of the place.

Est nemus Aemoniae, praerupta quod undique claudit
Silva: vocant Tempe: per quae Peneus ab imo
Effusus Pindo, spumosis volvitur undis;
Dejectuque gravi tenues agitantia fumos
Nubila conducit; summasque aspergine silvas
Impluit: & sonitu plus quam vicina fatigat.
Haec domus, hae sedes, haec sunt penetralia magni
Amnis: in hoc residens facto de cautibus antro,
Undis jura dabat.—

[Page 35]A vale thus circumstanced is so pleasing, that other poets have seized the idea in their descriptions. I could multiply quotations: but I shall select two, in which the same subject is treated in a different manner. In one the natural grandeur of the scene is soft­ened by little circumstances of chearfulness: in the other, it strikes in the full majesty of the sublime. The former is more the vale of St. John: the latter approaches nearer the idea of the Thessalian vale.

Into a forest far they thence him led,
Where was their dwelling in a pleasant glade,
With mountains round about invironed,
And mighty woods that did the valley shade,
And like a stately theatre it made,
Spreading itself into a spacious plain.
And in the midst a little river played
Amongst the pumy stones, which seemed to plain,
With gentle murmur that his course they did restrain.
—The hills
Of Aeta, yielding to a fruitful vale,
Within their range half-circling had inclosed
A fair expanse in verdure smooth. The bounds
Were edged by wood, o'erhung by hoary cliffs,
Which from the clouds bent frowning. Down a rock,
Above the loftiest summit of the grove,
[Page 36]A tumbling torrent wore the shagged stone;
Then gleaming through the intervals of shade,
Attained the valley, where the level stream
Diffused refreshment—

The vale of St. John was, some years ago, the scene of one of those terrible inun­dations, which wasted lately the vale of Brack­enthwait. I shall relate the circumstances of it, as they were given to me on the spot: but as we had them not perhaps on the best au­thority, they may, in some particulars, be overcharged.

It was on the 22d of August 1749, that this disaster happened. That day, which had been preceded by weather uncommonly close and sultry; set in with a gloomy aspect. The blackness gathered, more, and more, from every quarter. The air was hot beyond suf­ferance. The whole atmosphere, and every thing around was in a state of perfect stag­nation. Not a leaf was in motion.

In the mean time, the inhabitants of the vale heard a strange noise in various parts around them: but whether it was in the air, or whether it arose from the mountains, they could not ascertain. It was like the hollow [Page 37] murmur of a rising wind, among the tops of trees. This noise (which in a smaller degree is not an uncommon prelude to a storm) continued without intermission about two hours; when a tempest of wind, and rain, and thunder, and lightning succeeded; which was violent, beyond any thing, remembered in former times; and lasted, without pause, near three hours.

During this storm the cataract fell upon the mountain, on the north of the vale; or as some people thought, tho I should sup­pose without any probability, burst from the bowels of it. The side of that mountain is a continued precipice, through the space of a mile. This whole tract, we were told, was covered, in an instant, with one conti­nuous cascade of roaring torrent (an appearance, which must have equalled the fall of Niagara) sweeping all before it from the top of the mountain to the bottom. There, like that other inundation, it followed the channel of the brooks it met with; and shewed similar effects of it's fury.

One of these effects was astonishing. The fragments of rock, and deluges of stone, and sand, which were swept from the mountain [Page 38] by the torrent, choked one of the streams, which received it at the bottom. The water, thus pent up, and receiving continually vast accession of strength, after rolling sullenly about that part of the vale in frightful whirl­pools, at length forced a new channel through a solid rock, which we were informed, it disjointed in some fractured crevice, and made a chasm at least ten feet wide. Many of the fragments were carried to a great distance; and some of them were so large, that a dozen horses could scarce move them. We were sorry afterwards, that we had not seen this remarkable chasm: but we had not time to go in quest of it.

From the vale of St. John we ascended a steep hill, called Branthwait-cragg; where being obliged to leave the great road in our way to Ulleswater, and investigate a pathless desert over the mountains, which invironed us; we put ourselves under the conduct of a guide.

These mountains were covered with a pro­fusion of huge stones, and detached rocks; among which we found many old people, [Page 39] and children, from the neighbouring villages, gathering a species of white lychen, that grows upon the craggs; and which we heard had been found very useful in dying a mur­ray-colour.

Among the difficulties of our rout over these mountains, the bogs and morasses we met with, were the most troublesome. We were often obliged to dismount; and in some parts the surface could hardly bear a man. Where rushes grew, our guide informed us, the ground was firmest. We endeavoured therefore, as much as possible, to make the little tussocks of these plants the basis of our footsteps. But as we could not convey this intelligence to our horses, they often plunged very deep.

In several parts of our ride, we had a view of that grand cluster of mountains, which forms a circle in the heart of Cumberland; and makes a back ground to the central views from almost every part of the extremities of that county. These mountains unite on the south with those of Westmoreland. The side next us was composed of Skiddaw—Threlkate-fell, [Page 40] a part of which is called Saddle-back— and Grisedale-fell. As we rode nearer the northern limit of this chain, Skiddaw, which is by much the highest mountain, appeared, in perspective, the least. Behind these moun­tains arise, in order, Mosedale-fell—Carric— and Caudbeck—the tops of which we some­times saw, from the higher grounds, peering, in their blue attire, over the concave parts of the browner mountains, which stood nearer the eye.

Between us, and this circular chain, which occupied the whole horizon on the left, was spread a very extensive vale; stretching from side to side hardly less than seven or eight miles; and in length winding out of sight. It is a scene of little beauty, except what arises from the gradation of distance: but it suggests an idea of greatness; which space, and grand boundaries, however unadorned, will always suggest.

This idea hath sometimes misled the tastless improver of little scenes. He has heard, that space gives beauty; but not knowing how to accommodate the rule to circumstances, he [Page]


[Page 41] often shews all that is to be seen; when, in fact, he should have hid half of it, as a deformity. Mere space gives the idea of grandeur, rather than of beauty. Such an idea the ocean presents. But a little scene cannot present it. Grandeur therefore is not attained by attempting it; while beauty is often lost.

Along this vale ran the great road we had just left; which was no little ornament to it. The mazy course of a river is a still nobler object of the same kind: but a great road is no bad substitute; and is in some respects superior. The river being on a level, and contained within banks, is generally too much hid, unless it be viewed from an ele­vated point: but the road following the ine­qualities of the ground, is easily traced by the eye, as it winds along the several eleva­tions and depressions it meets with; and has therefore more variety in it's course.

On the right, forming the other side of this extensive vale, arise several very high [Page 42] mountains; among which Hara-side, and White-pike are the most magnificent. At the bottom of these, verging towards the skirts of the vale, are other hills less formidable: but two of them, called the Mell-fells, are very remarkable; being shaped like earthen graves, in a country church-yard.

A little before we approached the Mell-fells, the path we pursued, led us under a towering rocky hill, which is known by the name of Wolf's-cragg, and is probably one of the monuments of this animal remaining in Britain. It is a fortress intirely adapted to a garrison of wolves; from whence they might plunder the vale, which was spread before them; and make prey of every thing, as far as the eye could reach. Such a scene, in painting, would be highly characterized by such appendages. It would have pleased Ridinger. If that picturesque naturalist had been in quest of a wolf-scene, he could not have found a better.

[Page 43]When we had passed this range of moun­tains, we got more into a beaten path, lead­ing to the village of Matterdale, about a mile only from Ulleswater; which was still intirely excluded from our sight by high grounds. Here we dismissed our guide, and were directed into Gobray-park, which is the northern boundary of the lake.

This part of the country we found well inhabited; and the roads, at this season, much frequented. It was about the time of a statute-fair; when the young people of the country leave their old services, and go to their new: and we were not a little en­tertained with the simplicity, and variety of the several groups and figures we met, both on horseback, and on foot.

These are the picturesque inhabitants of a landscape. The dressed-out figures, and gaudy carriages, along the great roads of the capital, afford them not. The pencil rejects with indignation the splendor of art. In grand scenes, even the peasant cannot be admitted, [Page 44] if he be employed in the low occupations of his profession: the spade, the scythe, and the rake are all excluded.

Moral, and picturesque ideas do not al­ways coincide. In a moral light, cultivation, in all it's parts, is pleasing; the hedge, and the furrow; the waving corn field, and the ripened sheaf. But all these, the picturesque eye, in quest of scenes of grandeur, and beauty, looks at with disgust. It ranges after nature, untamed by art, and bursting wildly into all it's irregular forms.

—Juvat arva videre
Non rastris hominum, non ulli obnoxia curae.

It is thus also in the introduction of figures. In a moral view, the industrious mechanic is a more pleasing object, than the loitering peasant. But in a picturesque light, it is otherwise. The arts of industry are rejected; and even idleness, if I may so speak, adds dignity to a character. Thus the lazy cow­herd resting on his pole; or the peasant lol­ling on a rock, may be allowed in the grandest scenes; while the laborious mechanic, with his impliments of labour, would be repulsed. [Page 45] The fisherman, it is true, may follow his calling upon the lake: but he is indebted for this privilege, not to his art; but to the picturesque apparatus of it—his boat, and his nets, which qualify his art. They are the objects: he is but an appendage. Place him on the shore, as a single figure, with his rod, and line; and his art would ruin him. In a chearful glade, along a purling brook, near some mill, or cottage, let him angle, if he please: in such a scene the picturesque eye takes no offence. But let him take care not to introduce the vulgarity of his employment in a scene of grandeur.

At the same time, we must observe, that figures, which thus take their importance merely from not mixing with low, mechanic arts, are at best only picturesque appendages. They are of a negative nature, neither adding to the grandeur of the idea, nor taking from it. They merely and simply adorn a scene.

The characters, which are most suited to these scenes of grandeur, are such as impress us with some idea of greatness, wildness, or ferocity; all which touch on the sublime.

[Page 46]Figures in long, folding draperies; gypsies; banditti; and soldiers,—not in modern regi­mentals; but as Virgil paints them, ‘—longis adnixi hastis, et scuta tenentes;’ are all marked with one or other of these characters: and mixing with the magnificence, wildness, or horror of the place, they pro­perly coalesce; and reflecting the same images, add a deeper tinge to the character of the scene.

For the truth of all these remarks I might appeal to the decisive judgment of Salvator Rosa; who seems to have thoroughly studied propriety in figures, especially in scenes of grandeur. His works are a model on this head. We have a book of figures, particu­larly composed for scenery of this kind, and etched by himself. In this collection there is great variety, both in the characters, groups, and dresses: but I do not remember, either there, or in any other of his works, a low, mechanic character. All his figures are either of (what I have called) the negative kind; or marked with some trait of greatness, wild­ness, or ferocity. Of this last species his [Page 47] figures generally partook: his grand scenes being inhabited chiefly by banditti.

I met with a passage, not a little illustra­tive of these remarks on figures, in the tra­vels of Mr. Thickness through Spain.

"The worst sort of beggars, says he, in Spain are the troops of male, and female gypsies. They are of the genuine breed, and differ widely from all other gypsies; and I may say, from all other human beings. I often met troops of these people; and when an interview happens in roads very distant from towns, or dwellings, it is not very plea­sing: for they ask, as if they knew they were not to be refused; and I dare say often com­mit murders, when they can commit them by surprize. They are extremely swarthy, with hair as black as jet; and form very pic­turesque groups under the shade of the rocks and trees of the Pyraenean mountains, where they spend their evenings: and live suitably to the climate; where bread, and water, and idleness, are preferable to better fare, and hard-labour."


ON descending the hill from Matterdale, before we came to the lake, we had a beautiful specimen (as the naturalists speak) of what in this country is called a gill. The road carried us along the edge of one of it's precipices: but the chasm was so intirely filled with wood, that when we looked down, we could not see into it. Even the sun-beams, unable to enter, rested only on the tufted foliage of the trees, which grew from the sides.—But though the eye was excluded, the ear was soothed by the harmony of an invisible torrent; whose notes, sounding along innu­merable broken falls, and softened by ascending through the trees, were very melodious.

A winding road brought us to the bottom; where the torrent tumbling out of the wood, received us. We had a short view into the [Page 50] deep recesses of the scene, through the branches of the trees, which stretched over the stream; but we had not time, to penetrate the alluring shade.

Having passed over more high grounds, we came at length in view of the lake. The first catch of it was thus presented.

A road occupied the nearest part of the landscape, winding around a broken cliff; which rose considerably on the left. A portion of a distant mountain appeared on the right, with a small part of the lake at it's foot. The fore-ground was well-disposed; and the distant mountain, which fell into the lake, beautifully tinted. The composition, as far as it went, was very correct: but we yet saw only enough to excite our curiosity; and to give us, from the bearing of the land, a general idea of the lake.

Ulleswater is the largest lake in this coun­try, except Windermere; being eight miles long; and about two broad in the widest part; tho, in general, it rarely exceeds a mile in [Page]


[Page 51] breadth. It points nearly north, and south; as most of these lakes do; but being placed at an extremity of the barrier-mountains, it af­fords a greater variety than is exhibited by such lakes, as are invironed by them. These hav­ing few accompaniments, receive their character chiefly from the surrounding desolation. Such a lake is Wyburn. Windermere, on the other hand, Keswick, Butermer, and Ulles­water may all be called boundary-lakes. One end of each participates more of the rugged country; and the other of the cultivated: tho each end participates, in some degree, of both. A few traits of romantic scenery are added to the tameness of one end; and the native horror of the other is softened by a few chearful appendages.

The form of Ulleswater resembles a Z; only there is no angular acuteness in it's line. It spreads every where in an easy curve; beau­tifully broken in some parts by promontories. —The middle reach contains in length near two thirds of the lake. The southern side is mountainous; and becomes more so, as it verges towards the west. As the mountains approach the north, they glide (as we have seen is usual in boundary-lakes) into meadows [Page 52] and pastures. The northern and western sides contain a great variety of woody and rocky scenes; but these also, as they approach the east, become smooth and fertilized. At the southern point, under impending mountains, lies the village of Patterdale.—With this ge­neral idea of Ulleswater, let us return to the descent from Matterdale, where we caught the first view of it.

As we descended a little further, the whole scene of the lake opened before us; and such a scene, as almost drew from us the apostrophe of the inraptured bard, ‘Visions of glory, spare my aching sight!’

Among all the visions of this inchanting country, we had seen nothing so beautifully sublime, so correctly picturesque as this.— And yet I am averse to make comparisons; especially on seeing a country but once. Much depends on the circumstances of light, and weather. I would wish therefore only to say, that I was more pleased with Ulleswater, than with any lake I had seen; adding, at the same time, that we were fortunate in a concurrence [Page 53] of incidents, that aided it's beauty. We had hitherto seen all the lakes we had visited, under a rough, or cloudy sky: and tho their dignity was certainly increased by that circumstance; yet the beauty of a lake in splendid, serene weather, aided, at this time, by the powers of contrast, made a wonderful impression on the imagination.

"The effect of the sublime, Mr. Burke in­forms us, is astonishment; and the effect of beauty, is pleasure: but when the two ingre­dients mix, the effect, he says, is in a good measure destroyed in both. They constitute a species something different both from the sub­lime and beautiful, which I have before called fine: but this kind, I imagine, has not such a power on the passions, either as vast bodies have, which are endowed with the correspond­ent qualities of the sublime; or as the qualities of beauty have, when united in a small object. The affection produced by large bodies, adorned with the spoils of beauty, is a tention conti­nually [Page 54] relieved; which approaches to the nature of mediocrity*."

This refined reasoning does not seem intirely grounded on experience.—I do not remember any scene in which beauty and sublimity, ac­cording to my ideas, are more blended than in this: and tho Mr. Burke's ideas of beauty are perhaps more exceptionable, than his ideas of the sublime; yet it happens, that most of the qualities, which he predicates of both, unite also in this scene. Their effect therefore, according to his argument, should be destroyed. But the feelings of every lover of nature, on viewing these scenes, I dare be bold to say, would revolt from such reasoning.

The fore-ground of the grand view before us, is a part of Gobray-park, which belongs to the duke of Norfolk; rough, broken, and woody. Among the old oaks, which inriched it, herds of deer, and cattle grazed in groups. Beyond this is spread an extensive reach of the lake, winding round a rocky promontory on the left; [Page]


[Page 55] which is the point of a mountain, called Mar­tindale-fell, or Place-fell; the southern boun­dary of the lake. This promontory uniting with the mountain, lets it easily down into the water, as by a step. An hesitation, if I may so call it, of this kind, eases greatly the heaviness of a line. In a distance, it is of less consequence: but in all the nearer grounds, it is necessary. I speak chiefly however of those scenes, in which beauty, and grandeur are combined. In those of simple grandeur, and sublimity, as in that of Penmanmaur, for instance, in north Wales, the heavy line, which is very remarkable in that scene, per­haps strengthens the effect.

Martindale-fell is intirely unplanted: but it's line, and surface are both well varied. Num­berless breaks (little vallies, and knolls) give it a lightness, without injuring it's simplicity.

Such was the disposition of the objects, on the left of the lake: on the right, two woody promontories, pursuing each other in perspec­tive, made a beautiful contrast with the smooth continuity of Martindale-fell.

In front, the distance was composed of mountains, falling gently into the lake; near [Page 56] the edge of which lies the village of Patter­dale.

We took this view at a point, which had just so much elevation, as to give a variety to the lines of the lake. As we descended to the water, the view was still grand, and beautiful, but had lost some of it's more picturesque beauties: it had lost the fore-ground: it had lost the sweeping line round the mountain on the left: and it had lost the recess between the two woody promontories on the right. The whole margin of the lake was nearly reduced to one straight line.—The beauty of a view, especially in lake-scenery, we have be­fore observed*, depends greatly on the nice position of it's point.

Having spent some time in examining this very inchanting scene, we skirted the lake towards Patterdale, on a tolerable road, which runs from one end of it to the other: on the south it is continued to Ambleside; on the north, to Penrith. I call it a tolerable road; but I mean only for horses. It has not the [Page 57] quartering and commodious width of a car­riage road.

As we lest Gobray-park, we took our rout along the margin of the first of those woody promontories on the right. We were carried by the side of the lake, through close lanes, and thick groves: yet not so thick, but that we had every where, through the openings of the trees, and windings of the road, views in front, and on the right, into woody re­cesses; some of which were very pleasing: and on the left, the lake, and all it's distant furniture, broke frequently upon us.

After skirting the first wooded promontory, which carried us about a mile, the road turned suddenly to the right, and led us round into the second, rising a considerable height above the water.—In this promontory, a new scene opened: the woods became intermixed with rock; and a great variety of very beautiful fore-grounds were produced. The rocks, through which the road was sometimes cut, were chiefly on our right.—In this promon­tory [Page 58] also, as well as in the other, we were amused with catches of the lake, and of Mar­tindale-fell, through the trees.

Scenes, like these, are adapted to every state of the sky. They were beautiful in the calm season, in which we saw them; and in which indeed we wished to see them. But they would have received peculiar advantages also from a storm. The objects are all in that great style, which is suited to the vio­lences of nature. The imagination would have risen with the tempest, and given a double grandeur to every awful form.—The trees, in the mean time, which rear them­selves stage above stage, upon the moun­tain's brow, and spread down to the very road, would have made a noble instrument for the hollow blast to sound, consisting of various notes: while the surges of the lake, resounding among the caverns, and dashing against the rocks, many fathoms below, would have aided the concert with new notes of ter­rific harmony.

[Page 59]
—There is a mood,
(I sing not to the vacant and the young)
There is a kindly mood of melancholy,
That wings the soul, and points her to the sky.
While winds, and tempests sweep the various lyre,
How sweet the diapason!—

The mind is not always indeed in unison with such scenes, and circumstances, as these. When it does not happen to be so, no effect can be produced. Sometimes indeed the scene may draw the mind into unison; if it be not under the impression of any strong passion of an opposite kind; but in a sort of neutral state. The effect however will always be strongest, when the mind happens to be pos­sessed of ideas congenial to the scene—when, in a kindly mood of melancholy, it feels itself soothed by the objects around.

But besides the music of winds and tem­pests, the ecchoes, which are excited in dif­ferent parts of this lake, are still more grand, and affecting. More or less they accompany all lakes, that are circumscribed by lofty, and rocky screens. We found them on Winder­mere; we found them on Derwentwater. But [Page 60] every lake, being surrounded by rocks and mountains of a structure peculiar to itself, forms a variety of instru [...] and, of course, a variety of sounds. The ecchoes therefore of no two lakes are alike; unless they are mere monotonists.

We took notice of a very grand eccho on the western shores of the great island in Win­dermere: but the most celebrated ecchoes are said to be found on Ulleswater; in some of which the sound of a cannon is distinctly reverberated six, or seven times. It first rolls over the head in one vast peal.—Then sub­siding a few seconds, it rises again in a grand, interrupted burst, perhaps on the right.— Another solemn pause ensues. Then the sound arises again on the left.—Thus thrown from rock to rock, in a sort of aerial perspective, it is caught again perhaps by some nearer promontory; and returning full on the ear, surprizes you, after you thought all had been over, with as great a peal as at first.

But the grandest effect of this kind is pro­duced by a successive discharge of cannon*; [Page 61] at the interval of a few seconds between each discharge. The effect of the first is not over, when the ecchoes of the second, the third, or perhaps of the fourth, begin. Such a va­riety of awful sounds, mixing, and commix­ing, and at the same moment heard from all sides, have a wonderful effect on the mind; as if the very foundations of every rock on the lake were giving way; and the whole scene, from some strange convulsion, were falling into general ruin.

These sounds, which are all of the terrific kind, are suited chiefly to scenes of grandeur during some moment of wildness, when the lake is under the agitation of a storm. In a calm, still evening, the gradations of an eccho, dying away in distant thunder, are certainly heard with most advantage. But that is a different idea. You attend then only to the ecchoes themselves. When you take the scene into the combination; and attend to the effect of the whole together; no doubt such sounds, as are of the most violent kind, are best suited to moments of the greatest uproar.

But there is another species of ecchoes, which are as well adapted to the lake in all it's stillness, and tranquillity, as the others [Page 62] are to it's wildness, and confusion: and which recommend themselves chiefly to those feel­ings, which depend on the gentler move­ments of the mind. Instead of cannon, let a few French-horns, and clarionets be intro­duced. Softer music than such loud wind-instruments, would scarce have power to vi­brate. The effect is now wonderfully changed. The sound of a cannon is heard in bursts. It is the music only of thunder. But the continuation of musical sounds forms a continua­tion of musical ecchoes; which reverberating around the lake, are exquisitely melodious in their several gradations; and form a thousand symphonies, playing together from every part. The variety of notes is inconceivable. The ear is not equal to their innumerable combi­nations. It listens to a symphony dying away at a distance; when other melodious sounds arise close at hand. These have scarce attracted the attention; when a different mode of harmony arises from another quarter. In short, every rock is vocal, and the whole lake is transformed into a kind of magical scene; in which every promontory seems peopled by aerial beings, answering each other in celestial music.

[Page 63]
—How often from the steep
Of ecchoing hill, or thicket, have we heard
Celestial voices to the midnight air,
Sole, or responsive each to other's note,
Singing their great Creator? Oft in bands
While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk,
With heavenly touch of instrumental sounds,
In full harmonic number joined, their songs
Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to heaven.

We had now almost skirted the two woody promontories in our rout to Patterdale. The conclusion is the grandest part of the whole scenery. It is a bold projection of rock finely marked, and adorned with hanging woods; under the beetling summit of which the road makes a sudden turn. This is the point of the second promontory; and, I be­lieve, is known by the name of Stibray-cragg.

The trees which compose the whole sce­nery through both these promontories, are in general, oak.

From hence through lanes of the same kind, though less superbly decorated, we came to the village of Patterdale; situated on rising grounds, among two or three little [Page 64] rivers, or branches of a river, which feed the lake. It lies in a cove of mountains, open in front to the southern reach of the lake; beyond which appear the high and woody lands of Gobray-park. The situation is magnificent.

Among the cottages of this village, there is a house, belonging to a person of some­what better condition; whose little estate, which he occupies himself, lies in the neigh­bourhood. As his property, inconsiderable as it is, is better than that of any of his neighbours, it has gained him the title of King of Patterdale, in which his family name is lost. His ancestors have long enjoyed the title before him. We had the honour of seeing this prince, as he took the diversion of fishing on the lake; and I could not help thinking, that if I were inclined to envy the situation of any potentate in Europe, it would be that of the king of Patterdale. The pride of Windsor and Versailles would shrink in a comparison with the magnificence of his do­minions.

[Page 65]The great simplicity of this country, and that rigid temperance, and economy, which necessity injoins to all it's inhabitants, may be exemplified by the following little history.

A clergyman, of the name of Mattison, was minister of this place sixty years; and died lately at the age of ninety. During the early part of his life, his benefice brought him in only twelve pounds a year. It was afterwards increased, (I suppose by the queen's bounty,) to eighteen; which it never ex­ceeded. On this income he married—brought up four children—lived comfortably among his neighbours—educated a son, I believe, at college—and left upwards of 1000£. be­hind him.

With that singular simplicity, and inatten­tion to forms which characterize a country like this; he himself read the burial-service over his mother; he married his father to a second wife; and afterwards buried him also. He published his own banns of mar­riage in the church, with a woman, whom he had formerly christened; and himself mar­ried all his four children.

[Page 66]From this specimen, the manners of the country may easily be conceived. At a dis­tance from the refinements of the age, they are at a distance also from it's vices. Many sage writers, and Montesquieu * in particular, have supposed these rough scenes of nature to have a great effect on the human mind: and have found virtues in mountainous coun­tries, which were not the growth of tamer regions. Many opinions perhaps have passed current among mankind, which have less foundation in truth. Montesquieu is in quest chiefly of political virtue—liberty—bravery— and the arts of bold defence: but, I believe, private virtue is equally befriended by these rough scenes. It is some happiness indeed to these people, that they have no great roads among them; and that their simple villages, on the sides of lakes, and mountains, are in no line of communication with any of the busy haunts of men. Ignorance is sometimes called the mother of vice. I apprehend it to be as often the nurse of innocence.

[Page 67]Much have those travellers to answer for, whose casual intercourse with this innocent, and simple people tends to corrupt them; disseminating among them ideas of extrava­gance, and dissipation—giving them a taste for pleasures, and gratifications, of which they had no ideas—inspiring them with dis­content at home—and tainting their rough, industrious manners with idleness, and a thirst after dishonest means.

If travellers would frequent this country with a view to examine it's grandeur, and beauty—or to explore it's varied, and curious regions with the eye of philosophy—or, if that could be hoped, to adore the great Crea­tor in these his sublimer works—if, in their passage through it, they could be content with such fare as the country produces; or, at least reconcile themselves to it by manly exercise, and fatigue (for there is a time, when the stomach, and the plainest food will be found in perfect harmony)—if they could thus, instead of corrupting the manners of an innocent people; learn to amend their own, [Page 68] by seeing in how narrow a compass the wants of human life may be compressed—a journey through these wild scenes might be attended perhaps with more improvement, than a jour­ney to Rome, or Paris. Where manners are polished into vicious refinement, simplifying is the best mode of improving; and the ex­ample of innocence is a more instructive lesson, than any that can be taught by artists, and literati.

But these scenes are too often the resort of gay company, who are under no impressions of this kind—who have no ideas, but of ex­tending the sphere of their amusements—or, of varying a life of dissipation. The grandeur of the country is not taken into the ques­tion: or, at least it is no otherwise considered, than as affording some new mode of plea­surable enjoyment. Thus even the diversions of Newmarket are introduced—diversions, one would imagine, more foreign to the na­ture of this country, than any other. A number of horses are carried into the middle of a lake in a flat boat. A plug is drawn from the bottom: the boat sinks, and the horses are left floating on the surface. In dif­ferent [Page 69] directions they make to land; and the horse, which soonest arrives, secures the prize.

Strenua nos exercet inertia: navibus atque
Quadrigis petimus bene vivere. Quod petis, hic est:
Est Ulubris; animus si te non deficit aequus.


HAVING spent two hours at Patterdale, in refreshing our horses, and in survey­ing the beauty of it's situation; we left it with regret, and set out for Penrith.

We had now the whole length of the lake to skirt; part of which we had already tra­versed in our rout from Gobray-park: but we felt no reluctance at taking a second view of it.

As we traversed the two woody promon­tories, which we had passed in the morning, we had a grand exhibition of the middle reach of the lake; which, I have observed, is by far the longest. Martindale-fell, shooting into the water, which before adorned the left [Page 72] of the landscape, now took it's station on the right. The left was composed of the high woody grounds about Gobray-park.—In the center, the hills gently declining, formed a boundary at the bottom of the lake; stretching far to the east.—As a fore-ground, we had the woods, and rocks of the two promontories, through which we passed.

Such were the outlines, and composition of the view before us; but it's colouring was still more exquisite.

The sun was now descending low, and cast the broad shades of evening athwart the land­scape: while his beams, gleaming with yellow lustre through the vallies, spread over the inlightened summits of the mountains, a thou­sand lovely tints—in sober harmony, where some deep recess was faintly shadowed—in splendid hue, where jutting knolls, or pro­montories received the fuller radiance of the diverging ray. The air was still: the lake, one vast expanse of crystal mirror. The mountain-shadows, which sometimes give the water a deep, black hue (in many circumstan­ces, extremely picturesque;) were softened here [Page 73] into a mild, blue tint, which swept over half the surface. The other half received the fair impression of every radiant form, that glowed around. The inverted landscape was touched in fainter colours, than the real one. Yet it it was more than laid in. It was almost finished. The last touches alone were want­ing.

What an admirable study for the pallet is such a scene as this! infinitely beyond the camera's contracted bounds. Here you see nature in her full dimensions. You are let into the very mystery—into every artifice, of her pencil. In the reflected picture, you see the ground she lays in—the great effects pre­served—and that veil of expressive obscurity thrown over all, in which what is done, is done so exquisitely, that if you wish the finish­ing touches, you wish them only by the same inimitable hand that gave the sketch. Turn from the shadow to the reality, and you have them. There the obscurity is detailed. The picture, and the sketch reflect mutual graces on each other.

I dwell the longer on this scene, because during five days, which we spent in this ro­mantic country, where we took a view of so [Page 74] many lakes, this was the only moment, in which we were so fortunate, as to see the water in a pure, reflecting state. Partial ex­hibitions of this kind we had often met with: but here we were presented with a scene of the utmost magnificence.

Having examined this very lovely landscape, so perfect both in composition, and in colour­ing, we proceeded in our rout along the lake.

We now re-entered Gobray-park; which afforded us, for near three miles, a great va­riety of beautiful scenes on the left, composed of rocky, and broken-ground, forest-trees, copse-wood, and wooded-hills: while the lake, and mountains, whose summits were now glowing with the full splendor of an evening sun, were a continued fund of varied entertainment on the right. The eye was both amused, and relieved by surveying the two different modes of scenery in succession: the broad shades, and bright diversified tints, of the distant mountains, on one side; and the beautiful forms, and objects of the fore-ground, on the other.

[Page 75]One part of the fore-ground was marked with singular wildness. It was a kind of rocky pass near the margin of the lake; known, I believe, by the name of Yew-cragg. If Caesar had seen it, it would have struck him in a military light; and he would have described it as a defile, "angustum, & dif­ficile, inter montem, & lacum; quo vix singuli carri ducerentur. Mons altissimus impendebat; ut facile perpauci transitum pro­hibere possent*."

But our imaginations were more amused with picturesque, than military ideas. It struck us therefore merely as an object of beauty.—It's features were these.

At a little distance from the lake, the broken side of a mountain falls abruptly to the ground in two noble tiers of rock; both which are shattered in every direction. This rocky scene was ornamented in the richest manner with wood. The road skirted the lake; and between it and the rocks, all was rough, broken-ground, intangled with brakes, and impassible. Among the rocks arose a grove of forest-trees [Page 76] of various height, according to the inequality of the ground. Here and there, a few scat­tered oaks, the fathers of the forest, reared their peeled, and withered trunks across the glade; and set off the vivid green of the more luxuriant trees. The deer starting from the brakes, as the feet of our horses approached, added new wildness to the native character of the view; while the screams of a hernery (the wildest notes in nature) allowed the ear to participate in the scene.

The illumination of this grand mass of rock was as interesting, as the composition of it. It was overspread, when we saw it, with a deep evening-shadow, with many a darker tint in the closer recesses. A mild ray, just tinged with the blush of a setting sun, tipped the summits of the trees:

While, rushing through the branches, rifted cliffs
Dart their white heads, and glitter through the gloom.

Were a man disposed to turn hermit, I know not where he could fix his abode more agree­ably than here. The projecting rocks would [Page 77] afford a sheltered situation for his cell; which would open to a scene every way fitted for meditation. He might wander along the bot­tom of a mountain; and by the side of a lake, almost unfrequented, except by the foot of curiosity, or of some hasty shepherd, seeking for the stragglers of his flock. Here he might enjoy the contemplation of nature in all her simplicity and grandeur. This single scene, the mere invirons of his cell, under all the varieties of light, and shade—sun-shine, and storm—morning, and evening, would itself afford an inexhausted fund of entertainment: while the ample tome expanded daily before his eye, would banish the littleness of life; and naturally impress his mind with great ideas.

From this wild scene we soon entered ano­ther of a different cast. It was a circular plain, about half a mile in diameter; sur­rounded by mountains, with an opening to the lake. The plain was smooth, but varied: the mountains, rather low, but rugged.

[Page 78]A valley, like this, considered as a whole, has little picturesque beauty. But a pictu­resque eye will find it's objects even here. It will investigate the hills, and pick out such portions, as are most pleasing. These it will form into back-grounds, and inrich the fore-ground (which can only be a plain) with cattle, trees, or other objects.—Even such simple scenes, by the aid of judicious lights, may form pictures.

We had the same kind of scene, soon after, repeated,—a circular valley, surrounded with mountains, tho varied in many particulars from the other. Both however were equally unadorned; and as both were capable, by a few well-chosen accompaniments, of being formed into good pictures; so likewise both were capable of being made delightful scenes in nature, by a little judicious planting; tho we must still have wished this planting to have had the growth of a century.

[Page 79]It is remarkable, that we find scarce any disposition of ground, that belongs to a moun­tainous country, of which Virgil has not taken notice. The scenes we now examined, he exactly describes: only he has given his hills the ornament of wood, which he knew was their most picturesque dress.

Gramineum in campum, quem collibus undique curvis
Cingebant sylvae, mediaque in valle theatri
Circus erat.—

Not far from these circular plains appears Gobray-hall; once the capital of these do­mains; but now a neglected mansion. If situation can recommend a place, this seems to enjoy one in great perfection. It stands on high ground, with higher still behind it. We did not ride up to the house; but it seemed to command a noble view of the lake, and of the scenery around it.

Nearly at the point where Ulleswater makes it's last curve, stands the village of Water-Mullock; [Page 80] situated rather within the land. Through this place the road carried us to the last reach of the lake; which is the least beautiful part. Here the hills grow smooth, and lumpish; and the country, at every step, loses some of the wild strokes of nature; and degenerates, if I may so speak, into cultiva­tion.

At the end of the lake stands Dunmallet, a remarkable hill, which overlooks the last reach; but is itself rather a disgusting object. Shaped with conic exactness; planted uni­formly with Scotch firs; and cut as uniformly into walks verging to a center, it becomes a vile termination of a noble scene.—Once probably it was more interesting; when the Roman eagle was planted, as it formerly was, upon it's summit—when it's bold, rough sides were in unison with the objects around—and a noble castle frowned, from it's precipices over the lake. This fortress, whose ram­parts may yet easily be traced, must once have been of considerable importance, as it commanded all the avenues of the country.

[Page 81]We had now finished our view of Ulles­water, which contains a wonderful variety of grand, and picturesque scenes, compressed within a very narrow compass.—In one part, not far from Water-Mullock, the road carried us to the higher grounds, from whence we had a view of the whole lake, and all it's vast accompaniments together—a troubled sea of mountains; a broken scene—amusing, but not picturesque.

In our evening's ride, we had skirted only one side of the lake; and wished our time would have allowed us to skirt the other also. It is probable the southern coast might have afforded very noble distant views of the woods, and rocks of Gobray-park, and the adjacent lofty grounds.

We could have wished also to have navi­gated the lake: for though views from the water, are in general less beautiful, than the same views from the land, as they want the [Page 82] advantage of a fore-ground, and also bring the horizon too low*; yet it is probable the grand reaches of this lake, and the woody promontories, round which the water winds, would have displayed many beautiful passages from a boat.

One view from the water, we heard much commended, that of the last reach of the lake, towards the conic hill of Dunmallet. The sides of the lake—it's gliding away into the river Eamot, which carries it off—Pooly-bridge, which is thrown over that river, at the bottom of the lake—and the country beyond—were all much extolled: but we could not conceive, that any views, at this end of the lake, could be comparable to what we had seen near the shores of Patterdale: especially any views, in which the regular form of Dunmallet made so considerable a part.

It would have added also to our amusement, to have taken a view of the lake by moon­light. [Page 83] For tho it is very difficult in painting to manage so feeble an effusion of light in such a manner, as, at the same time, to illumine objects, and produce an effect; yet the reality, in such scenes as these, is attended often with a wonderful solemnity and grandeur. That shadowy form of great objects, which is sometimes traced out by a silver thread, and sometimes by a kind of bright obscurity on a darker ground, almost oppresses the imagination with sublime ideas. Great effects also we sometimes see of light and shade, tho only faintly marked. In the absence of colour, the clair-obscur is more striking;

—one expanded sheet of light
Diffusing: while the shades from rock to rock
Irregularly thrown, with solemn gloom
Diversify the whole.—

I cannot leave the scenes of Ulleswater, without taking notice of an uncommon fish, which frequents it's waters; and which is equally the object of the naturalist, and of the epicure. It is of the trout-species; beau­tifully clad in scales of silver; firm, and finely [Page 84] flavoured; and of such dimensions, that it has sometimes been known to weigh between thirty, and forty pounds.

Having now past the limits of the lake, we traversed a very pleasant country in our road to Penrith, keeping the Eamot com­monly within view on our right; and leaving on the left, the ruins of Dacre-castle, the ancient seat of the noble family of that name.

No part of Cumberland is more inhabited by the genteeler families of the county, than this. Within the circumference of a few miles stand many of their houses; some of which have formerly been castles: but the road carried us in view only of two or three of them.

Before we arrived at Penrith, one of these fortresses, which is known by the name of Penrith-castle, presented us with a very noble ruin; and under the most interesting circum­stances. The sun, which, through the length [Page]


[Page 85] of a summer-day, had befriended us with all his morning, noon, and evening powers; preparing now, with farewell sweet, to take his leave, gave us yet one more beautiful exhibition.

A grand broken arch presented itself first in deep shadow. Through the aperture ap­peared a part of the internal structure, thrown into perspective to great advantage; and illu­mined by the departing ray. Other fragments of the shattered towers, and battlements were just touched with the splendid tint: but the body of light rested on those parts, which were seen through the shadowed arch.

In the offskip, beyond the castle, arose a hill, in shadow likewise; on the top of which stood a lonely beacon. The windows answer­ing each other, we could just discern the glowing horizon through them—a circum­stance, which however trivial in description, has a beautiful effect in landscape.

This beacon is a monument of those tumul­tuous times, which preceded the union; and the only monument of the kind now remain­ing in these parts; though such beacons were formerly stationed over the whole country; [Page 86] and could spread intelligence, in a few seconds, from one end of it to the other.

At this later day these castles and posts of alarm, adorning the country, they once defended, raise pleasing reflections on a com­parison of present times with past—those tur­bulent times, when no man could sleep in safety unless secured by a fortress. In war he feared the invasion of an open enemy: and in peace a mischief still more formidable, the ravages of banditti; with whom the country was always at that time infested. These wretches were composed of the outlaws from both nations; and inhabiting the fastnesses of the bogs, and mountains, used to sally out, and plunder in all directions.

Penrith is a neat town, situated not un­pleasantly, under mountains; and in the neigh­bourhood of lakes.

In the church-yard we saw an ancient mo­nument, which has occasioned much specu­lation among antiquarians. It consists of two rough pillars, with four semicircular stones, fixed in the ground between them. Dr. Todd, an antiquarian of the last age, found out four [Page 87] wild-boars, and other ingenious devices, on the different parts of this monument. We examined it with attention: but could not find even the most distant resemblance of any form in nature. The whole surface seemed to be nothing more than a piece of rough chissel work.—In the church, which is a handsome, plain structure, is placed a stone, recording the ravages of the plague among the several towns of this neighbourhood, in the year 1598.

As we leave Penrith, which is within twenty miles of Carlisle, we enter that vast waste, called Inglewood-forest, through which we rode at least nine miles; in all which space there is scarce a tree to be seen: and yet were it well planted, as it once probably was, many parts of it might be admired: for the ground makes bold and noble swells; the back scenery is composed of a grand sweep of mountains; and on the left, are dis­tant views into a cultivated country.

The mountains, which adorn these scenes, are the same we saw, as we left Keswick; only the more northern part of that circular [Page 88] chain is now turned towards us. In this view, the ridge of Saddle-back assumes that shape, from which it derives it's appellation.

That part of Inglewood-forest, which lies nearest the town, is known by the name of Penrith-fell, consisting of rough, and hilly grounds. One of the highest hills is occu­pied by the beacon, of which we had a dis­tant view, as we examined the ruins of Pen­rith-castle.

On this spot, in the year 1715, the Cum­berland militia assembled to oppose the re­bels in their march to the south. But a mi­litia without discipline, is never formidable. The whole body fled, as the van of the re­bels appeared marching round an opposite hill.

Nicolson, bishop of Carlisle, a strenuous man, who had been very instrumental in bringing them together, and now attended their march; was so chagrined, and mortified at their behaviour, that in a fit of obstinate vexation, he would not quit the field. The [Page 89] enemy was coming on apace. His servants rode up to the coach for orders. The bishop sat mute with indignation. All thoughts of himself were lost in the public disgrace. His coachman however, whose feelings were less delicate, thinking the management of affairs, in this interruption of government, now de­volved upon him, lashed his horses, and car­ried his master off the field.

On the verge of the forest, at a place called Plumpton, a large Roman station (or stative camp) runs a quarter of a mile, on the right. You trace the ground broken variously, where tents, kitchens, and earthen tables probably stood, not unlike the vestiges of a modern encampment. On the left appear the lines of a fort of considerable dimensions, about one hundred and fifty yards square, which was once the citadel of this military colony. The ramparts, and ditches may easily be traced on every side.

The great road indeed, which we travelled, is intirely Roman; and is laid almost by a line over the forest. You seldom see a winding road of Roman construction. Their survey­ors, [Page 90] and pioneers had no idea of the line of beauty; nor stood in reverence of any inclo­sures; but always took the shortest cut; making the Appian way the model of all their provincial roads.

At Ragmire, about a mile farther, where the road crosses a bog, large wooden frame­works, yet uninjured by time, were lately dug up; which the Romans had laid, as a foundation for their causey, over that un­stable surface.

On leaving Inglewood-forest, the road en­ters an enclosed country, in which is little variety, and scarce an interesting object, till we arrive at Carlisle.

The approach to that city, from the rising ground, near the little village of Hereby, is grand. The town, which terminates a vista of a mile in length, takes a very compact form; in which no part is seen, but what makes a handsome appearance. The square, and massy tower of the castle rises on the right: in the middle, the cathedral rises still [Page 91] higher; and contiguous to it, on the left, appear the round towers of the citadel; which was built by Henry VIII, in the form of all his castles on the Hampshire, and Kentish coasts.

The beauty however of this approach is soon lost. As we descend the hill from Hereby, the town sinks into the insignificance of it's invirons.

The entrance is still beautiful; the road winding to the gate round the towers of the citadel.


FEW towns offer a fairer field to an anti­quary, than Carlisle. It's origin, and history, are remote, curious and obscure. It was unquestionably a place of consequence in Roman times. Severus's wall just includes it in the British pale. The vestiges of that barrier run within half a mile of it's gates; and it probably figured first under the charac­ter of a fortress, on that celebrated rampart.

In after ages it had it's share successively in the history of Saxons, Danes, and Scots; and during the revolutions of these several nations, was the scene of every vicissitude of war. It hath been frequently besieged, pil­laged, burnt, and rebuilt. Once it lay buried in it's ruins for the space of two centuries. Rufus brought it again into existence. The present town is founded on the vestiges of [Page 94] former towns; which in many parts have raised the ground within, nearly to the height of the walls. The foundations of a house are rarely dug without disturbing the ruins of some other house. It has been the residence; and it has been the prison of kings. An old ash­tree is still shewn, near the gate of the castle; which is said to have been planted by the unfortunate Mary of Scotland, who spent a part of her captivity in this fortress; whither she was soon brought, after her landing at Workington. Many princes also have shed their royal favours on this ancient town; and made it's fortifications their care.

Now all it's military honours are disgraced. Northern commotions are no longer dreaded. It's gates stand always open; and it's walls, the object of no farther attention, are falling fast into ruin. The firing of a morning and an evening gun from the castle, which was the last garrison-form that remained, hath been discontinued these six years, to the great regret of the country around, whose hours of labour it regulated.

[Page 95]But I mean not to enter into the history of Carlisle: it concerns me only as an object of beauty. Within it's walls indeed it contains little that deserves notice. The castle is heavy in all it's parts, as these fabrics commonly are. It is too perfect to afford much pleasure to the picturesque eye; except as a remote object, softened by distance. Hereafter, when it's shattered towers, and buttresses, give a light­ness to it's parts, it may adorn some future landscape.

The cathedral deserves still less attention. It is a heavy, Saxon pile; and there is nothing about it, that is beautiful; except the east-window, which is a rich, and very elegant piece of Gothic ramification.

The fratry, as it is called, or chapter-house, in the abbey, is the only building that de­serves notice. On one side, where it has formerly been connected with the cloysters, it has little beauty: but on the other, next the deanery, it's proportions and ornaments are elegant. It seems to be of that style of archi­tecture, which prevailed rather before the two later Henries.

[Page 96]But though Carlisle furnishes little amuse­ment within it's walls; yet it adds great beauty, as a distant object, to the country around. Few towns enjoy a better situation. It stands on a rising ground, in the midst of meadows, watered by two considerable rivers; which flowing on different sides of the city, unite a little below it; and form the whole ground-plot, on which it stands, into a kind of peninsula. Beyond the meadows, the ground rises, in almost all parts, at different distances.

The meadows around it, especially along the banks of the river Eden, want only a little more wood to make them very beautiful. In high floods, which happen two or three times in the course of a winter, they exhibit a very grand scene. The town appears stand­ing out, like a promontory in the midst of a vast lake.

The short siege which Carlisle sustained in the rebellion of the year 1745, together with some awkward circumstances that attended it, threw [Page 97] a general odium upon the town; and many be­lieved, among whom was the late duke of Cum­berland, that it was very ill-affected to the go­vernment. No suspicion was ever more unjust. I dare take upon me to say, there were scarce half a dozen people in the whole place, who wished well to the rebellion.

The following anecdote, known but to few; and totally unknown, till many years after the event, will throw some light on it's hasty surrender; which brought it into such dis­grace.

When the rebels came before it, it was garrisoned only by two companies of invalids; and two raw, undisciplined regiments of mi­litia. General Wade lay at Newcastle with a considerable force: and the governor of Carlisle informing him, how unprovided he was, begged a reinforcement. The single hope of this relief, enabled the gentlemen of the country, who commanded the militia, to keep their men under arms.

In the mean time the rebels were known to be as ill-prepared for an attack, as the town was for a defence. They had now lain a week before it; and found it was impracticable, for [Page 98] want of artillery, to make any attempt. They feared also an interruption from general Wade: and besides, were unwilling to delay any longer their march towards London. Under these difficulties, they had come to a resolution to abandon their design.

At this critical time the governor of Carlisle received a letter from general Wade, informing him, he was so circumstanced, that he could not possibly send the reinforcement that had been desired. This mortifying intelligence, tho not publickly known, was however communicated to the principal officers; and to some others; among whom was a busy at­torney, whose name was H—s.

H—s was then addressing a young lady, the daughter of Mr. F—r, a gentleman of the country; and to assist his cause, and give himself consequence with his intended father in law, he whispered to him, among his other political secrets, the disappointment from ge­neral Wade.

The whisper did not rest here. F—r frequented a club in the neighbourhood; where observing (in the jollity of a chearful evening) that only friends were present, he gave his company the information, he had just received from H—s.

[Page 99]There was in that company, one S—d, a gentleman of some fortune near Carlisle, who, tho a known papist, was however at that time, thought to be of very intire affection to the government. This man, possessed of such a secret, and wishing for an opportunity to serve a cause, which he favoured in his heart, took horse that very night, after he left the club-room, and rode directly to the rebel-camp; which he found under orders to break up the next morning. He was carried imme­diately to the Duke of Perth, and others of the rebel leaders, to whom he communicated his intelligence; and assured them, they might expect a mutiny in the town, if they conti­nued before it, one day longer. Counter orders were immediately issued; and the next day the Cumberland and Westmoreland militia, being under no discipline, began to mutiny, and dis­perse; and the town defended now only by two companies of invalids, was thought no longer tenable. The governor was tried by a court-martial; and acquitted: and nobody supposed that either the militia-officers, or their men, were impressed by any motive worse than fear.

[Page 100]In so variegated a country, as England, there are few parts, which do not afford many pleasing, and picturesque scenes. The most probable way of finding them, as I observed a little above, is to follow the course of the rivers. About their banks we shall generally find the richest scenery, which the country can produce. This rule we followed in the few excursions which we had time to make from Carlisle: and first we took a view of the river Cauda.

Near the town this river is broken into so many streams; and throws up, every where, so many barren beds of pebbles, that there is no great beauty in this part of it's course. But above, where higher banks confine it's impetu­osity, it becomes more interesting. The vales of Sebergham and Dalston, we heard much commended. The former we did not visit▪ the latter we followed with great pleasure, along it's winding course, for many miles; and found ourselves often in the midst of very beau­tiful scenes; the river being shut up sometimes [Page 101] by close, and lofty banks, and sometimes flow­ing through meadows edged with wood.

Among other situations on the Cauda we were much pleased with that of Rose-castle, the seat of the bishop of Carlisle; which stands on a gentle rise, in a wide part of the vale; the river winding round it, in a semi-circular form, at about half a mile's distance. The ground between the castle, and the river, con­sists of beautiful meadows; and beyond the river, the lofty bank, which winds with it, is well-planted; and forms a sweep of hanging wood. The castle composed of square towers, tho no object on the spot, is a good orna­ment to the scene.

Between Rose-castle and Wigton the coun­try abounds with the relicks of Roman in­campments. At a place, called Chalk-cliff (which, by the way, is a cliff of red stone) this legionary inscription is engraved in the native rock.


[Page 102]From the Cauda, our next excursion was along the Eden. On the banks of this river, we were informed of many interesting scenes. At Kirkoswal, and Nunnery particularly, the country was represented as very engaging; but Corby-castle, about five miles from Carlisle, was the only place above the town, which we had time to visit.

At Wetherall we ferried over the river; and landed under the castle, which stands on the edge of a lofty bank. This bank stretches at least three miles along the course of the river, partly below, but chiefly above, the castle. I give it it's ancient title; tho it is now a mere modern house, without the least vestige of it's primeval dignity. Below the castle, the bank is rocky, and falls precipitately into the water: above, it makes a more gentle descent; and leaves an edging, which, in some parts, spreads into little winding meads, and where it is nar­rowest, is broad enough for a handsome walk. The whole bank, both above, and below the castle, is covered with wood; large oak, and ash; and in many places the scenery is rocky also. But the rocks are not of the grey kind, [Page 103] stained with a variety of different tints—the saxa circumlita musco; but incline rather to a sandy red, which is not the most coalescing hue. They give however great spirit, and beauty to the scene.

The bank of the river, opposite to the castle, is likewise high; in many parts woody; in others affording an intermixture of wood, and lawn. Here stand the ruins of Wetherall-abbey; tho little more of it is left, than a square tower, which is some ornament, tho no very picturesque one, to the scene. These ruins were once extensive, and, I have heard, beau­tiful; but the dean and chapter of Carlisle, to whom the place belongs, some years ago car­ried off the stones, with more oeconomy than taste, to build a prebendal house.

On this side of the river also, an object presents itself, known by the name of Wetherall-safeguard, which is esteemed a great curiosity. It consists of three chambers cut in the solid rock, which being in this part, almost a pre­cipice, the access to these chambers is very difficult. It is supposed to have been an ap­pendage of the abbey; where the monks, in times of disorder, secreted their wealth. Some antiquarians suppose it to have been [Page 104] inhabited by a religious devotee, and call it St. Constantine's cell. It is rather a curious place, than any great ornament to the scene.

To the natural advantages of the scenery about Corby-castle, the improvements of art have added little. The late proprietor, who had seen nothing himself; and imagined from the resort of strangers to see the beauty of his situation, that they admired his taste, resolved to make Corby one of the most sumptuous places in Europe. With this view, he scooped his rocks into grottos—fabricated a cascade, consisting of a lofty flight of regular stone steps —cut a straight walk through his woods, along the banks of the river; at the end of which he reared a temple: and being resolved to add every ornament, that expence could procure, he hired an artist of the country, at four-pence a day (for labour was then cheap) to make statues. Numberless were the works of this genius. Diana, Neptune, Polyphemus, Nymphs and Satyrs in abundance, and a variety of other figures, became soon the ornaments of the woods; and met the eye of the spectator wherever he turned. A punster, who was re­markable for making only one good pun in his life, made it here. Pointing to one of these [Page 105] strange figures, he called it a satyr upon the place.

But the taste of the present age hath destroyed the pride of the last. The present proprietor hath done little; but what he hath done, is done well. The rocks indeed scooped into holes, can never be restored to their native simplicity, and grandeur. Their bold projec­tions are for ever effaced. Nor could a century restore those trees which were rooted up to form the vista. But the statues, like the ancient sculpture of the Egyptians, are now no more. The temple is going fast into ruins; and the cascade (so frivolous, if it had even been good in it's kind, on the banks of a great, and rapid river) is now overgrown with thic­kets. The old line of the walk could not easily be effaced: but a new one, beyond the temple, is carried on, which follows naturally the course of the river. And indeed this part of the walk admits more beauty, than any other; for the varieties of ground are greater; the bank, and edging of meadow, are more irregular; and the river more sinuous.

[Page 106]The path having conducted us along the river, through these pleasing irregulariti [...] about two miles from the castle, climbs [...] higher grounds, and returns through [...] and beautiful sheep walks, which lie on [...] sides, and summit of the bank.

Through the whole of this walk, both at the top, and bottom, are many pleasant views; but they are all of the more confined kind.

Many parts of this walk were wrought by the manual labour of the priest of the family, which is a popish branch of the Howards. He belongs to an order, which injoins it's members to work in the ground so many hours a day; laying them, with admirable wisdom, under the wholesome necessity of acquiring health and spirits. I am persuaded, that if a studious man were obliged to dig three or four hours a day, he would study the better, during the remaining part of it. We had been re­commended to the civilities of this ecclesiastic (the family being then in France,) and found him at work in the garden. He received us politely; and discovered the manners of a gen­tleman, under the garb of a day-labourer, without the least apology for his dress, and occupation. There is something very pleasing [Page 107] in the simplicity and manliness of not being ashamed of the necessary functions of any state, which we have made our option in life.—This ecclesiastic succeeded Father Walsh, who has lately engaged the attention of the public.— I have dwelt the longer on this scene, as it is the most admired one in Cumberland.

From Corby-castle to Warwick, which lies about two miles nearer Carlisle, on the banks of the same river, the road is beautiful. Many admire the situation of Warwick also. It seems to be a sweet, retired scene; but we had not time to view it.

The antiquarian's eye is immediately caught here by the parish-church; the chancel of which, forming the segment of a circle, and being pierced with small lancet-windows, shews at once, that it is of Norman origin. Tho every other mark were obliterated, he will tell you, that this is evidence sufficient of it's an­tiquity.




HAVING seen as much of the river Eden, above Carlisle, as our time would al­low, we made our next excursion towards it's mouth, where Brugh-marsh attracted our at­tention. In our way we had many pleasing river views.

Brugh-marsh lies at the extremity of the English border; running up as far as Solway­frith, which, in this part, divides England from Scotland. It is a vast extended plain, flat as the surface of a quiet ocean. I do not remember that land, ever gave me before so vast an idea of space. The idea of this kind, which such scenes as Salisbury-Plain suggests, is much less pure. The inequality of the ground there, sets bounds to the idea. It is [Page 110] the ocean in a storm; in which the idea of extension is greatly broken, and intercepted by the turbulence of the waves. Brugh-marsh indeed gives us the idea of solid water, rather than of land, if we except only the colour:

—Interminable meads,
And vast savannahs, where the wandering eye
Unfixt, is in a verdant ocean lost.

Brugh-marsh is one of those extended plains, (only more extensive, than such plains com­monly are) from which the sea, in a course of ages, hath retired. It is difficult to com­pute it's limits. It ranges many leagues, in every direction, from a centre (for space so diffuse assumes of course a circular appearance) without a hedge, or even a bush, to inter­cept it's bounds; till it softens into the azure mountains of the horizon. Nothing indeed, but mountains, can circumscribe such a scene. All inferior boundaries of woods, and rising grounds are lost. On the English side it is bounded by that circular chain, in the heart of Cumberland, in which Skiddaw is pre­eminent. Nothing intermediate appears. On the Scotch side it's course is interrupted, through the space of a few leagues, by Solway­frith; [Page 111] which spreads, when the tide is at ebb, into a vast stretch of sand. The plain however is still preserved: and having passed this sandy obstruction, it changes it's hue again into vivid green, and stretches far and wide into the Scotch border, till it's progress at length is stopped by the mountains of Galloway, and Niddsdale. This extension is as much as the eye can well comprehend. Had the plain been boundless, like an Arabian desert, I know not whether it would not have lost that idea of space, which so vast a cir­cumscription gives it.

The whole area of Brugh-marsh, (which from it's denomination we should suppose to be swampy,) is every where perfectly firm; and the turf, soft, bright, and pure. Scarce a weed rears it's head. Nothing appears of statelier growth, than a mushroom, which spreads here in very luxuriant knots.

This vast plain is far from being a desert waste. Innumerable herds of cattle pasture at large in it's rich verdure, and range, as in a state of nature.

[Page 112]But tho the primary idea, which this scene presents, arises purely from space, and is therefore an idea rather grand than pictu­resque; yet is it not totally incapable of pic­turesque embellishment. It is true, it wants almost every ingredient of landscape; on the fore-ground, it wants objects to preserve the keeping; and in the offskip, that profusion of little parts, which in a scene of cultivation gives richness to distance. In treating there­fore a subject of this kind on canvas, recourse must be had to adventitious objects. Cattle come most naturally to hand; which being stationed, in various groups, at different dis­tances, may serve both as a fore-ground to the landscape, and as a gage to the perspective.

Brugh-marsh is farther remarkable for having been the scene of one of the greatest catas­trophes of the English history—the death of Edward the I. Here, after the third revolt of Scotland, that prince, drew together the most puissant army, which England had ever seen. The Scots from their borders, saw the whole plain whitened with tents: but they [Page 113] knew not how nearly their deliverance ap­proached. The greatest events generally arrive unlooked for. They saw a delay; and after­wards a confusion in the mighty host before them; but they heard not, till three days after, that the soul, and spirit of the enter­prize was gone; and that their great adver­sary lay breathless in his camp.

Edward had been taken ill at Carlisle; where he had met his parliament. But nei­ther disease, nor age (for he was now near seventy) could repress his ardour. Tho he could not mount his horse, he ordered him­self to be carried in a litter to the camp; where the troops received him with accla­mations of joy. But it was short-lived. The motion had irritated his disorder into a vio­lent dysentery; which immediately carried him off.

The English borderers long revered the memory of a prince, who had so often chastised an enemy, they hated: and in gratitude reared a pillar to his name; which still testifies the spot, on which he died. It stands rather on [Page 114] the edge of the marsh, and bears this simple inscription.


Among other places in the neighbourhood of Carlisle, we made an excursion into Gills­land, with an intention chiefly to see Na­worth-castle, the vale and ruins of the Abbey of Lanercost; and the ruins of Scaleby-castle.

As we leave Carlisle, along the great mili­tary road to Newcastle, the view of the river Eden from Stanwix-bank, is very pleasing. The curve it describes; the beautiful mea­dows it winds through; and the mountains, which close the scene, make all together a very amusing combination of objects. Wood only is wanting.

[Page 115]On crossing the river Irthing, about seven miles from Carlisle, the country, which was before unpleasing, becomes rich, and interest­ing. Here we enter the barony of Gillsland, an extensive district, which consists, in this part, of a great variety of hill, and dale. The hills are sandy, bleak, and unpleasant: but the vallies, which are commonly of the contracted kind, are beautiful. They are ge­nerally woody, and each of them watered by some little busy stream.—From these vallies, or gills, (as the country-people call them,) with which the whole barony abounds, Camp­den supposes it to have taken the name of Gillsland.

On a delightful knoll, gently gliding into a sinuous gill, surrounded with full-grown oak, and overlooking the vale of Lanercost, stands Naworth-castle. The house, which consists of two large square towers, united by a main body, is too regular to be beauti­ful, unless thrown into perspective. It was formerly one of those fortified places, in which [Page 116] the nobility and gentry of the borders were obliged to live, in those times of confusion, which preceded the union. And indeed the whole internal contrivance of this castle ap­pears calculated either to keep an enemy out; or to elude his search, if he should happen to get in. The idea of a comfortable dwell­ing has been totally excluded. The state-rooms are few, and ordinary: but the little apartments, and hiding holes, accessible only by dark passages, and blind stair-cases, are innumerable. Many of the close recesses, which it contains, are probably at this time, unknown. Nothing indeed can mark in stronger colours the fears, and jealousies, and caution of those times, than the internal struc­ture of one of these castles.

Naworth-castle was formerly the capital mansion of the barons of Gillsland; who, at so great a distance from court, and seated in a country, at that time, untamed by law, are said to have exercised very extraordinary powers. The Lord William Howard, who is remembered by the name of bald Willy, is still the object of invective for his acts of tyranny. His prisons are shewn; and the site of his gibbets; where, in the phrase of [Page 117] the country, he would head, and hang [...] out judge, or jury.—But it is probable, that his memory is injured. He acted under a standing commission of oyer, and terminer from Elizabeth; and was one of those bold spirits, which are necessary to repress the vio­lence of lawless times. Many acts of power undoubtedly he committed: but his difficult situation compelled him. This part of the kingdom was most harrassed by those troops of mischievous banditti; whom I have just had occasion to mention. They were a nu­merous, and not an ill-regulated, body; act­ing under leaders, whom a spirit of enter­prize raised to power. These miscreants, in times even of profoundest peace, called for all the wariness and activity of the chiefs of the country. Sometimes they would plunder in large bodies; and sometimes in little pilfering bands. When they were taken in the fact; or, as it was called, by the bloody hand, they were put to instant death. In other cases a jury was impannelled.

The active chief, who gave occasion to this digression, seems to have lived in as much terror himself, as he spread among others. He had contrived a sort of citadel in his own [Page 118] castle; a room, which is still shewn, with an iron door, where he constantly slept, and where his armour lies rusting to this day. From him the earls of Carlisle are descended; and have been, in succession, the proprietors of Naworth-castle.

As we left this old fortress, and descended the hill towards the ruins of the abbey of Lanercost, which lie about two miles farther, the whole vale, in which they are seated, opened before us. It is esteemed one of the sweetest scenes in this country; and indeed we found it such. It's area is about half a mile in breadth, and two or three miles in length, consisting of one ample sweep. The sides, which are gentle declivities, are covered thick with wood, in which larger depreda­tions have been lately made, than are con­sistent with picturesque beauty.—At the distant end of the vale, where the woods appear to unite, the river Irthing enters; which is con­siderable enough, tho divided into two channels, to be fully adequate to the scene.— The banks of the river, and indeed the whole area of the vale, are sprinkled with clumps, [Page 119] and single trees; which have a good effect in breaking the lines, and regular continuity of the side-screens; and in hiding, here and there, the course of the river; and especially the bridges, which would otherwise be too bare and formal.

Near that extremity of the vale, which is opposite to Naworth-castle, lies the abbey. At a distance it forms a good object, rising among the woods. As you approach, it be­gins to raise a disappointment: and on the spot, it is but an unpleasing ruin. The whole is a heavy, Saxon pile; compressed together without any of that airy lightness, which accompanies the Gothic. Scarce one detached fragment appears in any point of view. The tower is low, and without either form, or ornament; and one of the great ailes is mo­dernized into an awkward parish-church. The only beautiful part of the whole is the east end. It is composed of four broken ailes; every wall of which consists of two tiers of arches, affording, a very unusual appearance; and at the same time a very amusing confu­sion, from the uncommon multiplication of so many arches, and pillars.—This part of the abbey seems to have been a separate [Page 120] chapel; or perhaps an oratory belonging to the noble family of Dacre, which had once possessions in these parts. Here lie the re­mains of several ancient chiefs of that house; whose sepulchral honours are now almost in­tirely obliterated. Their blazoned arms, and Gothic tombs, many of which are sumptuous, are so matted with briars, and thistles, that even the foot of curiosity is kept at a distance.

Except these remains of the abbey-church no other parts of this ancient monastery are now left; except an old gateway; and a square building, patched into a farm-house, which has no beauty.

In returning to Carlisle we passed through the valley of Cambeck, which contains some pleasing scenery; and a very considerable Roman station, on a high bank at Castle-steeds.

Rivers often present us with very moral analogies; their characters greatly resembling those of men. The violent, the restless, the [...], the active, the sluggish, the gentle, [...], and many other epithets, be­ [...] [...] to both. The little stream, [Page]


[Page 121] which divides the valley of Cambeck, sug­gested the analogy. It's whole course is marked with acts of violence. In every part you see heaps of barren sand, and gravel, which in it's furious moods it has thrown up, some­times on one side, and sometimes on another; destroying every where the little scenes of beauty, and plots of cultivation.

About three miles further stand the ruins of Scaleby-castle. This was another of those fortified houses, which are so frequent in this country.

It stands, as castles rarely do, on a flat; and yet, tho it's site be ill-adapted to any modes of defence, it has been a place of more than ordinary strength. Rocks, knolls, and bold, projecting promontories, on which castles usually stand, suggest various advan­tages of situation; and generally determine the kind of structure. On a flat, the engi­neer was at liberty to choose his own. Every part was alike open to assault.

He first drew two circular motes round the spot he designed to fortify: the circumfe­rence of the outward circle was about a mile. [Page 122] The earth, thrown out of these two motes, which were broad and deep, seems to have been heaped up at the centre, where there is a considerable rise. On this was built the castle, which was entered by two draw-bridges; and defended by a high tower, and a very lofty wall.

At present, one of the motes only remains. The other is filled up; but may still be traced. The castle is more perfect, than such build­ings commonly are. The walls are very in­tire; and great part of the tower, which is square, is still left. It preserved it's perfect form, till the civil wars of the last century; when the castle, in too much confidence of it's strength, shut it's gates against Cromwell, then marching into Scotland; who made it a monument of his vengeance.

What share of picturesque genius Crom­well might have, I know not. Certain how­ever it is, that no man, since Henry the eighth, has contributed more to adorn this country with picturesque ruins. The differ­ence between these two masters lay chiefly in the style of ruins, in which they composed. Henry adorned his landscapes with the ruins of abbeys; Cromwell, with those of castles. [Page 123] I have seen many pieces by this master, executed in a very grand style; but seldom a finer monument of his masterly hand than this. He has rent the tower, and demolished two of it's sides; the edges of the other two he has shattered into broken lines. The chasm discovers the whole plan of the internal struc­ture—the vestiges of the several stories—the insertion of the arches, which supported them —the windows for speculation; and the breast-work for assault.

The walls of this castle are uncommonly magnificent. They are not only of great height, but of great thickness; and defended by a large bastion; which appears to be of more modern workmanship. The greatest part of them is chambered within, and wrought into secret recesses. A massy port­cullis gate leads to the ruins of what was once the habitable part of the castle, in which a large vaulted hall is the most re­markable apartment; and under it, are dark, and capacious dungeons.

The area within the mote, which consists of several acres, was originally intended to support the cattle, which should be driven thither in times of alarm. When the house [Page 124] was inhabited, (whose chearful and better days are still remembered,) this area was the garden; and all around, on the outside of the mote stood noble trees, irregularly planted, the growth of a century. Beneath the trees ran a walk round the castle; to which the situation naturally gave that pleasing curve, which in modern days hath been so much the object of art. This walk might admit of great embellishment. On one hand, it com­mands the ruins of the castle in every point of view; on the other, a country, which, tho flat, is not unpleasing; consisting of extensive meadows, (which a little planting would turn into beautiful lawns,) bounded by lofty mountains.

This venerable pile has now undergone a second ruin. The old oaks and elms, the ancient natives of the scene, are felled. Weeds, and spiry grass have taken possession of the courts, and obliterated the very plan of a garden: while the house itself, (whose hos­pitable roof deserved a better fate,) is now a scene of desolation. Two wretched families, the only inhabitants of the place, occupy the two ends of the vaulted hall; the fragment of a tattered curtain, reaching half was to [Page 125] the top, being the simple boundary of their respective limits. All the rest is waste: no other part of the house is habitable. The chambers unwindowed, and almost unroofed, fluttering with rags of ancient tapestry, are the haunt of daws, and pigeons; which burst out in clouds of dust, when the doors are opened: while the floors, yielding to the tread, make curiosity dangerous. A few pictures, heir-looms of the wall, which have long deserved oblivion, by I know not what fate, are the only appendages of this dissolving pile, which have triumphed over the injuries of time.

Shakespear's castle of Macbeth could not be more the haunt of swallows and martins, than this. You see them every where about the ruins; either twittering on broken coins; threading some fractured arch; or pursuing each other, in screaming circles, round the walls of the castle*.


OUR last expedition, in the neighbourhood of Carlisle, was to see the improvements of Mr. Graham of Netherby; and the scene of desolation, occasioned by the late overflowing of Solway-moss.

Mr. Graham's improvements are not con­fined to a garden, or the space of a mile or two around his house. The whole country is changed; and from a barren waste, hath assumed the face—if not of beauty, at least of fertility.

The domain of Netherby lies on the very skirts of the English border. The Romans considered it as a part of Caledonia; and shut it from the British pale. In after ages the district around it assumed the name of the [Page 128] Debateable-land, and was the great rendez­vous of those crews of outlawed banditti, who, under the denomination of Moss-troopers, plun­dered the country. We have already had occasion to mention them. In this neighbour­hood were the strong holds of many of their chiefs; particularly of Johnny Armstrong of famous memory; the moted ruins of whose castle are still extant.

Among these people the arts of tillage were unknown. It was absurd to be at the trouble of sowing land themselves, when they could so easily plunder the lands of others.

Tho the union of the two kingdoms put an end to these ravages on the borders; yet the manners of the inhabitants, in some respects, suffered little change. Their native laziness, and inattention to all the arts of husbandry, remained. They occupied large tracts of ex­cellent land at easy rates: but having no idea of producing yearly crops from the same soil by culture; they ploughed their patches of ground alternately, leaving them to recover their fer­tility by fallows. An indolent and scanty maintenance was all they wished; and this they obtained from a small portion of their land, with a small portion of their labour. Their [Page 129] lords in the mean time, never lived on the spot; and knew little of the state either of the country, or of it's inhabitants.

Mr. Graham immediately set himself to alter this state of things. He built a noble mansion for himself; which makes a grand appearance, rising on the ruins of a Roman station. With­out the presence of the lord, he knew it was in vain to expect reformation. He divided his lands into moderate farms; and built com­modious farm-houses. As his lands improved, he raised his rents: and his tenants in proportion found it necessary to increase their labour. Thus he has doubled his own income, and intro­duced a spirit of industry into the country. These indolent inhabitants of the borders begin now to work like other labourers; and notwithstanding they pay higher rents, live more comfortably: for idleness can never be attended with the comforts of industry.

To bring about this great change, Mr. Graham thinks it necessary to rule his subjects with a rod of iron. While he makes them labourers, he keeps them slaves.—Perhaps indeed the rough manners of the people in [Page 130] those parts, could not easily be moulded by the hand of tenderness.

The feudal idea of vassalage, which has long disappeared in all the internal parts of England, remains here in great force; and throws a large share of power into the hands of the land­holder. Mr. Graham's estates, which are very extensive, contain about six hundred tenants; all of whom, with their families, lie in a manner at his mercy for their subsistence. Their time and labour he commands, by their mode of tenure, whenever he pleases. Under the denomination of boon-days, he expects, at any time, their personal service; and can, in a few hours, muster the strength of five or six hundred men and horses.

Once he had occasion to call them together on military service. On a supposed injury, * which, about two years ago, he had done the [Page 131] Scotch-borderers, by intercepting the salmon in the Esk, a body of three hundred of these people marched down upon him with an in­tention to destroy his works. He had intelli­gence of their design, and issuing his precepts, mustered, in a few hours, above four hundred men before his gates, armed as the exigence would allow: and if the Scotch, on finding such superiority, had not retreated, Mr. Gra­ham, who told us the story himself, said he believed, that all the spirit and animosity of ancient times would have revived on this occasion.

In a civil light he acts on as large a scale. His manor-courts are kept with great strict­ness; in which his attorney, with a jury, sits regularly to try causes; and the tenants are injoined, at the hazard of being turned out of their farms, to bring into these courts every suit under the value of five pounds. Thus he prevents much ill-blood among them, by bring­ing their disputes to a speedy issue; and giving the quarrel no time to rankle. He saves them also much expence: for a suit, which in the [Page 132] king's courts would at least cost five or six pounds; may in his, be carried through all it's forms for eight-pence.—At Patterdale we found a nominal king. Here we found almost a king in reality.

The works on the Esk, which gave so much offence to the Scotch-borderers, deserve more notice. They consisted of a massy head thrown across the river, constructed, at a great ex­pence, of hewn stone. This mole was formed at right angles with the bank; but the floods of the ensuing winter swept it away. It was attempted a second time on the same plan; but was a second time destroyed. Mr. Brindley was then sent for, whose works near Manches­ter had given him so high a reputation. He changed the plan; and instead of carrying the mole in a direct line across the river, formed it in a curve, arching against the stream: so that it resists the current, as a bridge does the incumbent weight. This work has stood several very great floods, and seems sufficiently [Page 133] firm *. From the curvature of it's form the fall of the water appears also to more advantage. It now forms a semi-circular cove, which has a fine effect.

The chief end which this work had in view, was a fishery. At this place salmon-coops are placed; where all the fish, which enter the Esk, are taken. But besides this, and other purposes of utility, it adds great beauty to the neighbourhood. The Esk, which was before in comparison, a shallow stream, gliding unseen beneath it's banks, is now a noble piece of water, raised to a level with them, and seen to great advantage from the house, and every part of the ground.

It was in this part of the country where that dreadful inundation, from the over-flowing of [Page 134] Solway-moss, destroyed lately so large a district. To see the effects of this, was the object of our next expedition.

Solway-moss is a flat area, about seven miles in circumference. The substance of it is a gross fluid, composed of mud, and the putrid fibres of heath, diluted by internal springs, which arise in every part. The sur­face is a dry crust, covered with moss, and rushes; offering a fair appearance over an unsound bottom—shaking under the least pres­sure. Cattle by instinct know, and avoid it. Where rushes grow, the bottom is soundest. The adventrous passenger therefore, who some­times, in dry seasons, traverses this perilous waste to save a few miles, picks his cautious way over the rushy tussocks, as they appear before him. If his foot slip, or if he venture to desert this mark of security, it is possible he may never more be heard of.

At the battle of Solway, in the time of Henry VIII, Oliver Sinclair was imprudently set over the Scotch army, which had no con­fidence in him. A total rout ensued; when an unfortunate troop of horse, driven by their fears, plunged into this morass, which in­stantly closed upon them. The tale, which [Page 135] was traditional; was generally believed; but is now authenticated. A man and horse in compleat armour were lately found by the peat-diggers, in the place, where it was always supposed the affair had happened; and are preserved at the house of a Scotch baronet, if I mistake not, of the name of Maxwell; as we were informed by a gentleman * of the borders, who assured us he had seen them himself. The skeleton of each was well pre­served; and the different parts of the armour easily distinguished.

Solway-moss is bounded on the south by a cultivated plain, which declines gently, through the space of a mile, to the river Esk. This plain is rather lower than the moss itself, being separated from it by a breastwork formed by digging peat, which makes an irregular, tho perpendicular, line of low, black boundary.

It was the bursting of the moss through this peat breastwork, over the plain between it and the Esk, which occasioned that dreadful ruin, the effects of which we came hither to explore. —The more remarkable circumstances, re­lating [Page 136] to this calamitous event, as we had them on the best authority, were these.

On the 16th of November, 1771, in a dark tempestuous night, the inhabitants of the plain were alarmed with a dreadful crash, which they could in no way account for. Many of them were then abroad in the fields, watching their cattle; lest the Esk, which was rising violently in the storm, should carry them off. None of those miserable people could conceive the noise they heard to proceed from any cause, but the overflowing of the river in some shape, tho to them unaccountable. Such indeed, as lived nearer the source of the eruption, were sensible, that the noise came in a different direction; but were equally at a loss for the cause.

In the mean time the enormous mass of fluid substance, which had burst from the moss, moved slowly on, spreading itself more and more, as it got possession of the plain. Some of the inhabitants, through the terror of the night, could plainly discover it advanc­ing, like a moving hill. This was in fact the case; for the gush of mud carried before it, [Page 137] through the first two or three hundred yards of it's course, a part of the breastwork; which, tho low, was yet several feet in perpendicular height. But it soon deposited this solid mass; and became a heavy fluid. One house after another, it spread round—filled—and crushed into ruin; just giving time to the terrified inhabitants to escape. Scarce any thing was saved; except their lives: nothing of their furniture: few of their cattle. Some people were even surprized in their beds, and had the additional distress of flying naked from the ruin.

The morning-light explained the cause of this amazing scene of terror; and shewed the calamity in it's full extent: and yet, among all the conjectures of that dreadful night, the mischief which really happened, had never been supposed. Who could have imagined, that a breastwork, which had stood for ages, should at length give way? or that those sub­terraneous floods, which had been bedded in darkness, since the memory of man, should ever burst from their black abode?

[Page 138]This dreadful inundation, tho the first shock of it was the most tremendous, continued still spreading for many weeks, till it covered the whole plain—an area of five hundred acres; and, like molten metal poured into a mould, filled all the hollows of it, lying in some parts thirty or forty feet deep, reducing the whole to one level surface. The overplus found it's way into the Esk; where it's quantity was such, as to annoy the fish; no salmon, during that season, venturing into the river. We were assured also, that many lumps of earth, which had floated out at sea, were taken up, some months after, at the isle of Man.

As we descended from the higher grounds to take a nearer view of this scene of horror, it exhibited a very grand appearance. The whole plain was covered by a thick smoke, occasioned by a smothering fire set to it in various parts, with a view to consume it; and brought before us that simple, and sublime idea of the smoke of a country going up like the smoke of a furnace.

[Page 139]When we came to the plain on that side, which is next the Esk, it had so forbidding an aspect, as far as we could discover through the smoke, that we almost despaired of crossing to the chasm, as we had intended. On horse­back it was impossible; and when we had alighted, we stood hesitating on the brink, whether it were prudent, even on foot, to attempt so dangerous a march.

While we remained in this situation, we observed several groups of peasants working in the ruins: and beckoning to the nearest, one of the group came forward. He was an el­derly man, strengthening his steps with a long measuring wand. His features, and gait, tho hard and clownish, were marked with an air of vulgar consequence. As he approached, one of our company, who knew him, accosted him by the name of Wilson; and we found he was the person who conducted the works which were set on foot to clear the soil of this melancholy incumbrance.

On informing him of our difficulties, and asking, whether we might venture across the plain; he bad us, like Caesar, with an air of assurance, follow him, and fear nothing. From one tussock to another we followed, [Page 140] sometimes stepping—sometimes leaping—and sometimes hesitating, whether to go on, or to return. In very difficult places, our guide condescended to lay us a plank. In the midst of our perplexity, one of our company, stray­ing a step from the right path, fell in; but the mud being shallow in that part, he sank only to the knees. Mr. Wilson helped him out; but reprimanded his carelessness. The reproof and the example having a good effect upon us all, we followed our guide, like pack-horses in a string, and at length compleated our undertaking.

When we got to the gulph, from whence all this mischief had issued, the spectacle was hideous. The surface of the moss itself had suffered little change. Near the chasm it appeared indented, through a space of several yards: but not in any degree, as one would have expected from so vast a discharge. The mouth of the chasm was heaped round by monstrous piles of ruin, formed by the broken breastwork, and shell of the moss, on the first great burst; and a black, mossy tincture continued still to issue from it. If this con­tinue to run, as it probably will, it may be a fortunate circumstance; and save the country [Page 141] from any farther mischief, by draining this bloated mass through a perpetual discharge.

As we stood on the higher ground, and got to windward of the smoke, we obtained a clear idea of the plain, and of the course of the irruption over it. Many fragments of a very large size, which had been carried away in the first full stream of the discharge, appeared thrown to a considerable distance. These were what made that moving bulwark, which some of the inhabitants had seen in the night. Fragments of a smaller size, (and yet many of these considerable) appeared scattered over the plain, as the heavy torrent was able to carry them. The interstices between the fragments, which had been filled with fluid moss, were now baked by the heat of the sun, and crusted over like the great surface of the moss itself. Here and there, along this surface, the broken rafters of a house, or the top of a blasted tree were seen; and made an odd appearance, rising as it were, out of the ground. But through the whole waste, there was not the least sign left of any culture; tho this plain had once been the pride of the country. Lands, which [Page 142] in the evening would have let for twenty shillings an acre, by the morning-light were not worth six-pence.

On this well cultivated plain twenty-eight families had their dwellings, and little farms; every one of which, except perhaps a few, who lived near the skirts of it, had the world totally to begin again.— Mr. Graham, agree­ably to the prudential maxims he has ever observed, affords them little assistance himself; and discourages the bounty of others. — He seems to wish his dominions should thrive by industry alone; and would have his subjects depend on this great virtue for the supply of every want, and the reparation of every loss. If the maxim, in so full an extent, be good; it requires at least, a great hardiness of resolu­tion to carry it into practice.

Whether the immense work of clearing this plain can ever totally be effected, is a doubt with many. It is attempted however with great spirit, through the united force of the two powerful elements of fire and water.

[Page 143]All the skirts, and other parts of it which are drier than the rest, are reduced by fire; which occasioned the great smoke from the plain, as we descended into it; and which, at that distance, appeared to arise from the whole area.

But this method is not found very effectual; as it reaches only a little below the surface. Much more is expected from the application of water; which is the part our guide Mr. Wilson has undertaken.—How well qualified he is for the undertaking, and in what manner he proposes to accomplish it, may be conceived from the following story.

Mr. Graham's house stands on an eminence, with higher grounds above it. A little on one side of the front, stood a knoll, which made a disagreeable appearance before his windows.— Being desirous therefore of removing it, he sent to Newcastle for a person accustomed to works of this kind. The undertaker came, surveyed the ground, and estimated the expence at thir­teen hundred pounds.

While the affair was in agitation, Mr. Gra­ham heard, that Wilson had said, the earth [Page 144] might be removed at a much easier rate. He was examined on the subject; and his answers appeared so rational, that he was set to work. He had already surveyed the higher grounds, where he first collected all the springs he found, into two large reservoirs; from which he cut a precipitate channel, pointed at an abrupt corner of the knoll. He cut also a channel of communication between his two reservoirs. These being both filled, he opened his sluices, and let out such a continued torrent of water, (the upper pool feeding the lower) that he very soon carried away the corner of the knoll, against which he had pointed his artillery. He then charged again, and levelled against another part with equal success. In short, by a few efforts of this kind, he carried away the whole hill; and told Mr. Graham, with an air of triumph, that, if he pleased, he would carry away his house next. The work was compleated in a few days; and Mr. Gra­ham himself informed us, that the whole expence did not amount to twenty pounds.

This man, with so much genius about him, lives in the lowest stile of life; and works for the lowest wages. When we regretted, that he was paid so inadequately to his worth, we [Page 145] were assured, as his appearance indeed testified, that he had no higher idea of happiness, than to get drunk after his day's labour: and that better wages would only destroy him sooner.

I have since heard, that one hundred and fifty acres of the plain are now cleared by the ingenuity of this man; and that there is reason to believe, he will in time clear a considerable part of it. From the reservoirs formed by a little stream at the highest part of the over­flowed ground, he cut channels in various directions to the Esk: and when the water was let off, he placed numbers of men by the side of the stream, who rolled into it large masses of mossy earth, which were hardened by the sun.


HAVING seen such parts of the country on the borders of England, as were most curious; we set out on our return. But, instead of taking the Keswick-road, we proposed to vary our rout, by the mountains of Brugh*.

At Penrith the road divides. We turned to the left, towards Appelby; and soon fell into a rich, and beautiful vale, in which the river Lowther, gliding under lofty woody banks, bore us company a considerable way.

When we crossed that river, the situation of Brougham-castle, one of the seats of the [Page 148] celebrated countess of Pembroke, attracted our notice. It had not escaped the notice of the Romans; who fixed here a station to com­mand the country. It appears as great, at this time, in a picturesque light, as it did formerly in a military one. But we had not time to ride up to it; contenting ourselves with viewing it only as the ornament of a second distance.

At Clifton the road opens again into a wild scene. Here we examined the spot, where, in the year 1745, the rebels entering an in­closed country, made a stand; and lined the hedges to retard the duke of Cumberland's pursuit. Sir Joseph York, in his road from Ireland, had been there, we found, a few days before. He had accompanied the duke in his expedition against the rebels; and stopped a little at Clifton to review the scene. He left the people, we were informed, much pleased with his remembering a gallant action, which had been achieved, about that time, by a heroine of the country, who had carried a letter across the fire of the rebels, when no other messenger could be obtained.

[Page 149]From Clifton, we turned a little aside to see Lowther-hall, the seat of lord Londsdale. It is only a temporary house, the old mansion having been burnt in the time of the late lord. But materials are now collecting for a grand structure. It is situated in an exten­sive park, which contains a great variety of beautiful scenery.

From Lowther-hall, we pursued our rout to Appelby, keeping on our left that vast tract of barren country, called Wingfield-forest.

The situation of Appelby-castle, which be­longs to the earl of Thanet, is magnificent. It stands on a rocky eminence, falling preci­pitately into the river Eden; which half in­circles it. The banks of the river, and the sides of the precipice, are finely hung with wood. The castle is still in good repair; and is a noble pile. But, in a picturesque light, it loses half it's beauty, from it's being broken into two parts. A smaller break from a grand pile removes heaviness; and is a source [Page 150] of beauty. We have seen the principle ex­emplified in mountains, and other objects*. But here the whole is divided into two parts, of such equal dimensions, that each aspires to pre-eminence. Each therefore becomes a separate whole: and both together distract the eye. The detached part should always observe a due inferiority.

We had not time to take a view from the castle; which must command a very beautiful distance, over the woody vale of Eden, and the mountains, which arise beyond it.

Appelby-castle was the Apallaba of the Romans; and preserves it's origin clearer in it's etymology, than the generality of Roman stations.

This castle was formerly the favourite man­sion of Ann, countess of Pembroke, Dorset, and Montgomery. As this very extraordinary lady is still the object of great veneration in these parts; as her history is curious, and less known than it ought to be; and as it is so [Page 151] intimately connected with all this country; the reader will excuse the following digression.

She was the daughter of George Clifford, earl of Cumberland; one of the heroes of the gallant age of Elizabeth. This noble person distinguished himself chiefly by his naval ex­peditions; on which he was suffered, in those frugal times, to expend a great portion of his patrimony. In return for his patriotism, he was appointed by his royal mistress, her champion in all tilts and tournaments; where the grace, and dignity of his behaviour, and his skill and address in arms, were equally admired. The rich armour he wore, on these occasions, is still shewn in this castle.

Lady Ann Clifford was only ten years of age, when her father died. But her educa­tion was conducted by two excellent women— her mother, a daughter of the earl of Bedford— and afterwards by her aunt the countess of Warwick.

In her early youth she married lord Buck­hurst, earl of Dorset; with whom during a few years she lived very happily. But he soon leaving her a widow; she married, six years after, Philip earl of Pembroke, and Montgomery.

[Page 152]This nobleman, through the favour of James I, as a reward for his great skill in the arts of hunting, and hawking, possessed a prodigious estate; not less, at that time, than eighteen thousand pounds a year. His manner of living was sumptuous beyond ex­ample; and his apparatus for field-sports magnificent beyond belief. His dog-kennels were superb; and his stables vied with pa­laces. But his falconry was his chief pride; which he had furnished, at a wonderful ex­pence, with birds of game; and proper per­sons to manage, train, and exercise them.

Here ends the history of Philip earl of Pembroke—unless we add, that in private life, he was vicious, ignorant, and unlettered in a surprizing degree; and that his public character was stained with ingratitude, and tergiversation, by the noble historian of those unfortunate times.

With this worthless man his unhappy lady lived near twenty years. During the latter part of his life indeed he became so dissolute, that she was obliged to leave him.

[Page 153]About the time of his death she found her­self possessed of a very ample fortune. For, it seems, her immediate succession to the large estates of her ancestors in the north, had been disputed by an uncle, who inherited the title: and an award had been given against her by James I, to which indeed she would never submit. The uncle, and his son however both dying, the great estates of the Cliffords, tho considerably impaired by her father's generosity, came to her without any farther molestation. She had besides two great jointures. That which she re­ceived from her first husband, was between three, and four thousand, a year; and that from the earl of Pembroke was nearly equal to it.

On the event of the earl of Pembroke's death, she immediately laid out the whole plan of her future life; determining to retire into the north; and spend it on her own estate.

[Page 154]In ancient times the earls of Cumberland possessed five noble castles in the three coun­ties of Yorkshire, Westmoreland, and Cum­berland—Skipton—Pendragon—Appelby— Brougham—and Brugh. The tower of Bar­don also was another fortified seat, where they sometimes resided. But all these castles had suffered in the late civil wars; and were reduced, more or less, to a state of great decay.

The countess of Pembroke however deter­mined, on her coming into the north, to repair and furnish them all. This great work she compleated during the years 1657, and 1658; and placed over the gate of each castle the following inscription:


[Page 155]Oliver Cromwell was, at this time, at the head of affairs; whose hypocrisy and villany the countess of Pembroke detested: and as she had too much spirit to conceal her sen­timents, it is probable, the protector was enough informed, how little she esteemed him. Her friends therefore, knowing the jealousy of his temper, advised her not to be so profuse in building; as they were well assured that as soon as she had built her castles, he would order them to be destroyed. But she answered with great spirit, "Let him destroy them if he will: but he shall surely find, that as often as he destroys them, I will rebuild them, while he leaves me a shilling in my pocket."

She shewed her contempt for Cromwell, and her own high spirit, on another occasion. Her uncle had left her affairs so involved, that she found herself under a necessity of re­covering some of her rights by a tedious law­suit. The affair being represented to Crom­well by the opposite party, he offered his mediation. But she answered loftily, she would never accept it, while there was any [Page 156] law to be found in England. "What! said she, does he imagine, that I, who refused to submit to king James, will submit to him?"

But, notwithstanding her spirit, neither her castles, nor her estates were injured. Some ascribed this lenity to Cromwell's re­verence of her virtue; which is very im­probable: others, to her numerous friends, with whom the protector wished to keep fair; which, it is most likely, was the truth.

Her dislike to Cromwell was not founded on party; but on principle. She had the same dislike to Charles, when she became acquainted with the spirit of his government. On being pressed by her friends, sometime after the restoration, to go to court; "By no means, said she; unless I may be allowed to wear blinkers*."

Besides her castles, she found likewise in ruins, almost all the churches, belonging [Page 157] to the several villages on her estates. The spire of one had been beaten down: another had been turned into a magazine: a third into a hospital. Seven of them were in this ruinous condition: each of which she either built from the ground, or repaired; furnish­ing them all with decent pews; that her tenants, in every part of her estates, might have churches in their neighbourhood.

Her several buildings, and repairs, at her first coming into the north, did not cost her less, than forty thousand pounds.

At each of her castles she resided a part of every year; regularly moving from one to the other; thus over-looking the whole of her vast estates; and blessing the country, wherever she went. For she was every where the common patroness of all, who were dis­tressed. Her heart was as large, as her abi­lity: and misery of every kind, that could get it's story fairly represented to her, was sure of relief.

[Page 158]Nor was she content with occasional acts of charity; but made many of her charitable intentions permanent by endowments. The greatest of these works were two hospitals, which she founded.

One little pleasing monument of this kind stands by the side of the road, between Pen­rith and Appelby. It is a monument indeed rather of her filial piety, than of her charity. On this spot, in her early youth, she had parted with her beloved mother; whom she never afterwards saw. She always remem­bered this parting-scene with the tenderest feelings: and, when she came into West­moreland, among her other buildings, she raised a pillar to record it; with a stone-table at it's base. The pillar, which is still known in the country by the name of Countess-pillar, is decorated with her arms; a sun­dial, for the benefit or travellers; and the following inscription.


Her very house-hold was a noble charity. Her servants were generally the children of her tenants; and were sure of a provision, if they behaved well. Her women-servants had always little portions given them, to begin the world with, if they married to please her.

[Page 160]The calamities of the times also, during Cromwell's government, particularly the dis­tressed situation of several ejected ministers of the church, furnished her with ample op­portunities of exerting her generosity. Among others, she was particularly kind to King, afterwards bishop of Chichester; and Duppa, and Morley, both afterwards bishops of Win­chester. To each of these she allowed 40£. a year; and when, in their distresses abroad, they informed her, that a sum of money would be of more service to them, than the annuities she was pleased to give them; she remitted a thousand pounds to be divided among them.

She was a lady of uncommon prudence in the management of her affairs. Bishop Rain­bow sums up her character on this head, in two words, by calling her a perfect mistress of forecast, and aftercast.

For the numberless acts of bounty, that flowed from her she depended on two things— [Page 161] her exactness in keeping accounts; and her great economy.

With regard to the former, in whatever castle she resided, an office was kept, in which all her receipts, and disbursements were en­tered with commercial punctuality. Of her private charities, she kept an account herself: but was so exact, that, at any time by com­paring it with her public accounts, she had, at once, a compleat view of the situation of her affairs.

Her economy was equal to her exactness. Nothing was spent in vanity. Nothing was trifled away. All her family-expences were under the article of necessaries: and the very form of regularity, in which they constantly ran, made one year a check upon another.

The spirit, which she shewed in defend­ing her rights, may perhaps be mentioned also among her plans of economy. It was a spirit not often exerted; but when it was raised, it always carried her vigorously to the end of the question; and, no doubt, secured her from many contentions, which might otherwise have disturbed her, in the midst of so complex a property; and in those dubious [Page 162] days, when legal rights were so much un­hinged. I have mentioned her spirit, in one suit, with regard to an affair of consequence. We have an account of another of less impor­tance.

It was a custom, on all her estates, for each tenant to pay, besides his rent, an an­nual boon-hen, as it was called. This had ever been acknowledged a just claim; and is, I believe, to this day, paid on many of the great estates in the north; being gene­rally considered as a steward's perquisite.

It happened, that a rich clothier from Ha­lifax, one Murgatroyd, having taken a tene­ment near Skipton, was called upon by the steward of the castle for his boon-hen. On his refusal to pay it, the countess ordered a suit to be commenced against him. He was obstinate; and she determined; so it was car­ried into length. At last she recovered her hen; but at the expence of 200£.—It is said, that after the affair was decided, she invited Mr. Murgatroyd to dinner; and draw­ing the hen to her, which was served up as the first dish, "Come, said she, Mr. Mur­gatroyd, let us now be good friends: Since [Page 163] you allow the hen to be dressed at my table, we'll divide it between us."

She had a mind improved, and cultivated in many parts of learning. Dr. Donn, in his humourous manner, used to say, she knew how to converse of every thing; from predesti­nation to slea-silk *. But history seems to have been her chief amusement; to the study of which she was probably first led, by examin­ing the history of her own ancestors. This indeed comprehended, in a great degree, the history of England from the times of the conquest: for there were few scenes of public life, in which her progenitors, the Veteriponts and the Cliffords, an active race of men, were not deeply engaged.

She seems to have entertained a design of collecting materials for a history of these two potent northern families. At a great expence she employed learned men to make collections, for this purpose, from the records in the tower; the rolls; and other depositaries of [Page 164] public papers; which being all fairly tran­scribed, filled three large volumes. This work, which contains a great variety of ori­ginal characters, exerting themselves on very important occasions, is still among the family-records at Appelby-castle.

While she was thus careful to preserve the honour of her ancestors; she instituted a very severe historical restraint, if I may so call it, on herself. In a large folio volume, which made a part of her equipage, when she tra­velled from one castle to another, she ordered an entry to be made, under her own inspection, of the transactions of every day. To what particulars this journal extended, I have not learned. But if it was kept, as it probably was, by a confidential secretary, it might have included very minute particulars. What an interesting collection of valuable anecdotes might be furnished from the incidents of such a life! What a satyr would it be on the vanity, the dissipation, and frivolous employ­ments of the generality of the great! This work, I am informed, is still extant; and in the hands of the earl of Thanet.

[Page 165]But the most conspicuous part of the cha­racter of this illustrious lady, was her piety, and great attachment to religion. No doubt the amiable instructors of her youth had given her disposition, which was naturally serious, a proper direction: but perhaps the best school, in which she had learned to think justly, was, that school of affliction, the house of her second husband, the earl of Pembroke; whose dissi­pated, abandoned life taught her, more than any thing else, the vanity of all earthly things, unless used for the purposes they were given.

Few divines were better versed in scripture, than she was. She could quote it pertinently on all occasions; and never failed to read a portion of it every day; or have it read to her, in the latter part of her life.

The new testament was her principal study. Next to it she was particularly fond of the psalms of David; and had those appointed for the day, read regularly to her.

She had been bred up in the church of England from her youth; and tho she could not, in the fanatical times of the usurpation, attend any public service; yet in the worst [Page 166] of those times she never failed to hear the church-service in her own private chapels, which she had been careful to fit up in all her castles. Many menaces of sequestrations she received from the ruling powers, if she persisted in that practice. But she shewed the same spirit on this occasion, which she had before shewn on many others. She con­tinued her practice; and left them to do as they pleased. No attempts however were made against her.

She had no idea of pomp, and grandeur. With regard to herself, her mode of living was rather parsimonious. Amidst all the ob­jects of her generosity, herself was the only person forgotten. In her diet she was even abstemious; and would sometimes pleasantly boast, that she had scarce ever tasted wine, or physick; during her whole life. Of the elegance of dress she had never been fond; but in her latter life she laid it intirely aside; wearing nothing, for many years, but a close habit of plain, black serge; which occasioned many pleasant mistakes between her, and her attendants.

Her retinue was merely for use, not parade. Besides her common domesticks, she had al­ways [Page 167] two ladies of education, who lived with her. Many hours she spent alone: at other times, they read to her, and were her com­panions.

Her chief expence, as far as concerned her­self, was in books. Her library was stored with all the best writers in the English lan­guage. She knew no other.

Such was the life of this excellent lady; equally suited to any station, in which God had pleased to place her. It was a life of no more indulgence, than the most abridged circumstances would have allowed. Her abi­lity in doing good, was that only, in which she exceeded others.

She lived twenty-six years, after the death of her second husband: Providence lengthen­ing out her life, as a blessing to the country, beyond her eightieth year. The 23d of March 1675 was the day of her dissolution—one of the most melancholy days the northern coun­ties ever experienced.

In her ended the noble family of the Clif­fords. Her daughter Margaret, by the earl of Dorset (her sole surviving heiress) marry­ing [Page 168] the earl of Thanet, carried the Clifford estates into the Tufton family*.


FROM Appelby-castle we soon approach the barrier-mountains: but we approach them, in the usual order of nature, by regular progress. The ground is first high, before it becomes mountainous; and tillage appears in scanty plots, before cultivation ceases.

A little to the north of Brugh, the ground on the left, makes a singular appearance. A hill, on which a fair is annually held, forms an exact, semi-circular convex. Scarce a knoll, or bush break the regularity of the line. Be­yond this, but without any intervening ground, rises a range of distant mountains. These wore a light purple hue, when we saw them— the circular hill, a deep green. Perhaps no disposition of ground was ever more totally [Page 170] unpicturesque: and yet even this (such is the force of contrast) if it be only bisected, and in a small degree adorned, is not wholly dis­agreeable.

At the commencement of the mountains stand the town, and castle of Brugh, not unpleasantly seated. The castle which con­sists, like that at Appelby, of two parts, seems to have been a very strong place. Since the time of it's last noble inhabitant, the countess of Pembroke, it has been falling fast into ruin; but we found it no easy matter, even yet, to scale the out-works of it's earthen mounds: so strong a fortress hath it once been.—Some parts of it, especially a shattered round tower, are very picturesque.

We had not the opportunity of seeing this castle in so advantageous a light, as had fa­voured us, when we saw the castle of Penrith. We saw them both in the evening; but here we had no bright beam of sun-set to illumine the ruins. And yet the effect was grand. The castle and landscape around, were in deep shadow; under the influence of a retiring storm, which had hung a settled gloom on all [Page 171] the upper regions of the sky. The sun was invisible; but had fired the whole western horizon with a deep red. We viewed the castle from the east; and had therefore the ruddy part of the hemisphere as a back-ground to the grey tints, and strong shadows of the towers, and battlements, which intervened. These, with the deep solemnity of the gloom, were a suffi­cient balance to the glowing red of the horizon, which would otherwise have been too glaring. But the whole was in perfect harmony; and had a fine effect.—Indeed nature's colouring is rarely without harmony. If the lights be glowing, the shades are proportionably deep: on the contrary, if the lights decay, the sha­dows decay with them; and as light is also the source of colour, the landscape wears always one uniform hue. Either the sober colouring prevails, or one vivid tint supports another. In composition, * we have found, that nature may be improved; but in the beauty, and proportion of her tints, in the harmony [Page 172] of her colouring, she is an undeviating model of perfection.

The square tower, which made the grand part of the castle, conveyed, as we looked into it, a very horrid idea. Most of these old structures have suffered great external dilapi­dations. But here the shell was intire; and all the internal parts were gone—the roof, the stories, and even the vault over the dun­geon. The whole was a mere excavation. I know not, that I was ever struck with a more horrid idea of the kind. The eye, confined within the walls of a vast tower, open to the sky above, which loured with unusual black­ness, looked down with hideous contrast, deep into a dungeon below.

The whole road, over the mountains of Stainmore, from Brugh-castle to Bowes-castle, which is about thirteen miles, is the most unpleasant that can be conceived; and the more so, as it reminded us of the sublime scenes, which we had passed, in another part of this chain, between Ambleside and Keswick. [Page 173] In the mountains of Stainmore, the parts are neither sufficiently ample to be grand; nor rich and varied, to be beautiful. We did not even find what we have elsewhere called a mere scene of mountains *. In such a scene, the parts are beautiful, tho there is no whole; but here, in a picturesque view, there is neither whole nor parts.

Nothing remains of Bowes-castle, but one heavy, square tower, much defaced, and ruin­ed; tho the stone-work appears to have been excellent. This fortress seems originally to have been intended as a defence at the southern end of the mountains; as Brugh-castle was at the northern.

From the position of these castles, it seems probable, that formerly the road over the mountains of Stainmore was the only road into Cumberland, that was passable, and of course necessary to be defended. The Keswick moun­tains, [Page 174] till lately, were imp [...]rvious; and the mountains of Shap are much fuller of defiles and dangerous passes, than those of Stainmore, which are the most level, and the most pene­trable part of this vast chain.

As we leave the mountains, a very rich and extensive view opens before us into Yorkshire. We had not seen such a view for many days. For tho in Cumberland, we had many very extensive prospects, yet they extended chiefly over barren country.

At Grata we found much devastation from the late high floods. The bridge was beaten down; and large fragments of it carried away, through the violence of the stream, many hundred yards. With these, and huge stones torn from the adjoining cliffs, the bed of the river was choaked. Nothing could have a more ruinous appearance. A broken bridge impresses one of the strongest emblems of desolation, from the idea of cutting off all intercourse among men.

[Page 175]Here Sir Thomas Robinson has a house,* situated in a pleasant park; one side of which is bounded by the river.

The road from Grata-bridge leads through a rich country, but open, and unpleasing; unless in distance.

The middle of Gatherly-moor commands a most extensive view in every direction. Hambledon-hills bound the prospect in front. On the right stretches an extent of country towards Richmond. A distance still more remote opens, on the left, into the bishopric of Durham; and behind rise the mountains of Westmoreland, as a back-ground to all the wild scenes we had left.

Few places afford a situation, where a painter may see, at once, so many modes of distance: [Page 176] or where he may better compare, at one glance, their several beauties and imperfections.

The wild, unwooded waste, when thrown into distance, hath neither variety, nor rich­ness. It is one uniform, dark, and dreary spread: unless it be happily inlightened; or consist of hilly ground broken into large parts.

The intermixture of tracts of woodland, adds a pleasing variety to distance; and is adapted to receive the sweetest effects of light.

But the cultivated country forms the most amusing distance.* Meadows, corn-fields, hedge-rows, spires, towns, and villages, tho lost as single objects, are all melted together into the richest mass of variegated surface; over which the eye ranges with delight; and following the flitting gleams of sun-shine, catches a thousand dubious objects, as they arise; and creates as many more, which do not really exist. But such a country will not bear a nearer approach; especially if it be over-built, which is the case of most of the rich distances about London: the parts assume too much consequence, and the whole becomes a scene of confusion.

[Page 177]When the death of Elizabeth called James to the crown of England, he took this road from Scotland; and on Gatherly-moor, we are told, he stopped to take a view around him; with which he is said to have been greatly delighted. The spot, where this royal survey was taken, is still shewn—the summit of a Roman station.—It is not likely, that picturesque thoughts engaged his princely attention at that time. It is rather probable, that he began here to measure the length of his new sceptre—for here his wistful eyes were blessed with the first fair prospect of the pro­mised land.

From Gatherly-moor we entered Leeming­lane; grieved to leave so much fine country on both sides unseen. Within a few miles the Tees pouring through a rocky channel, forms some of the most romantic scenery in England; and boasts, at Winston-bridge, a more magnificent single arch, than perhaps any English river can produce.—Within a few miles, in another direction, lie the beautiful, [Page 178] and varied grounds about Richmond; which among other noble scenes, exhibit the magni­ficent ruins of a castle, on the summit of a lofty rock, over-hanging the Swale.—All these beautiful scenes we were obliged to leave behind, and enter Leeming-lane, which ex­tends near thirty miles, in a straight line, shut up between hedges; being a part of a great Roman causey. And yet the whole is so well planted, that we found it less disgusting, than we expected. The smallest turn, where the wood hung loosely over the lane, especially when there was any variety in the ground, broke the lines, and destroyed much of the disagreeable regularity of the road.

We left the lane however abruptly, and went to Norton Conyers, near Rippon, the seat of Sir Bellingham Graham; from whence we proposed to visit the neighbouring scenes of Studley, and Hackfall.


THE most improved part of the gardens at Studley, and what is chiefly shewn to strangers, is a valley, nearly circular, sur­rounded by high woody grounds, which slope gently into it in various directions. The cir­cumference of the higher grounds includes about one hundred and fifty acres; the area, at the bottom, consists of eight. The higher parts present many openings into the country. The lower, of course, are more confined; but might afford many pleasing woody scenes, and solitary retreats. A considerable stream runs through the valley: and on the banks of this stream, in another valley, contiguous to the circular one, stand the ruins of Fountain's abbey; the grandest, and most beautiful, except perhaps those of Glastonbury, which the kingdom can produce.

[Page 180]The idea, which such a scene naturally suggests, is that of retirement—the habitation of chearful solitude. Every object points it out; all tending to sooth and amuse; but not to rouse and transport; like the great scenes of nature.

Sometimes indeed the recluse may be more enamoured of the great scenes of nature, and wish to fix his abode, where his eye may be continually presented with sublime ideas. But, in general, we observe (from the whole history of monastic life) that he wishes rather to sequester himself in some tranquil scene: and this in particular was chosen as a quiet recess, consecrated to retirement.

Solitude therefore being the reigning idea of the scene, every accompaniment should tend to impress it. The ruins of the abbey, which is the great object of the place, certainly do. The river and the paths should wind carelesly through the lawns and woods, with little decoration. Buildings should be sparingly introduced. Those which appear, should be as simple as possible—the mere retreats of solitude. The scene allows no more; and the [Page 181] neighbourhood of so noble a ruin renders every other decoration, in the way of building, either trivial, or offensive.

Instead of these ideas, which the scenes of Studley naturally suggest, the whole is a vain ostentation of expence; a mere Timon's villa; decorated by a taste debauched in it's concep­tions, and puerile in it's execution. Not only the reigning idea of the place is forgotten; but all the great master-strokes of nature, in every shape are effaced. Every part is touched and retouched with the insipid sedulity of a Dutch master: ‘—Labor improbus omnia vincit.’

What a lovely scene might a person of pure taste have made at Studley, with one tenth part of the expence, which hath been laid out in deforming it.

Fresh shadows fit to shroud from sunny ray;
Fair lawns to take the sun in season due;
Sweet springs, in which a thousand nymphs did play;
Soft, tumbling brooks, that gentle slumber drew;
High reared mounts, the lands about to view;
[Page 182]Low-winding dales, disloigned from common gaze;
Delightful bowers to solace lovers true.

Such might have been the scenes of Studley: but such is the whimsical channel of human operations, that we sometimes see the pencil of Reubens employed on a country wake; and that of Teniers disgracing the nuptials of an emperor.

On the whole, it is hard to say, whether nature has done more to embellish the scenes of Studley; or art to deform them. Much indeed is below criticism. But even, where the rules of more genuine taste have been adopted, they are for the most part unhappily misapplied. In the point of opening views, for instance, few of the openings here are simple, and natural. The artifice is apparent. The marks of the sheers, and hatchet, are conspicuous in them all. Whereas half the beauty of a thing consists in the easiness of it's introduction. Bring in your story awk­wardly; and it offends. It is thus in a view. The eye roving at large in quest of objects, cannot bear prescription. Every thing forced [Page 183] upon it, disgusts; and when it is apparent, that the view is contrived; the effect is lost.

The valley, in which Fountain's abbey stands, is not of larger dimensions, than the other, we have just described: but instead of the circular form, it winds (in a more beautiful proportion) into length. It's sides are com­posed of woody hills sloping down in varied declivities; and uniting with the trees at the bottom, which adorn the river.

At one end of this valley stand the ruins of the abbey, which formerly overspread a large space of ground. Besides the grand remains of ruin, there appeared in various parts, among the trees and bushes, detached fragments, which were once the appendages of this great house. One of these, which was much ad­mired, seemed evidently to have been a court of justice.

Such was the general idea of this beautiful valley, and of the ruins which adorned it, before they fell into the hands of the present proprietor. Long had he wished to draw them [Page 184] within the circle of his improvements: but some difficulties of law withstood. At length they were removed; and the time came (which every lover of picturesque beauty must lament) when the legal possession of this beautiful scene was yielded to him; and his busy hands were let loose upon it. He found it indeed some­what ruder, than even picturesque beauty required; and a little might have been well done. But his improvements have had no bounds. He has pared away all the bold roughness, and freedom of the scene, and given every part a trim polish.

A few fragments lying scattered around the body of a ruin are proper, and picturesque. They are proper, because they account for what is defaced: and they are picturesque, because they unite the principal pile with the ground; on which union the beauty of com­position, in a good measure, depends.* But here they were thought rough and unsightly; and fell a sacrifice to neatness. Even the court of justice was not spared; tho a [Page 185] fragment, probably as beautiful, as it was curious.

In the room of these detached fragments, which were the proper, and picturesque em­bellishments of the scene, a gaudy temple is erected, and other trumpery wholly foreign to it.—It is a difficult matter, at the sight of such monstrous absurdities, to keep resent­ment within decent bounds. I hope I have not exceeded.

But not only the scenery is defaced, and the outworks of the ruin violently torn away; the main body of the ruin itself, is, at this very time, under the alarming hand of decoration.

The remains of this pile are very magnifi­cent. Almost the intire skeleton of the abbey-church is left, which is a beautiful piece of Gothic architecture. The tower seems wholly to have escaped the injuries of time. It's mouldering lines only are softened. Near the church stand a double row of cloysters; which are singularly curious from the pointed arches, which do the office of columns, in supporting the roof. At the end of these cloysters stand the abbot's apartments; which open into a court, called the Monk's-garden. On one [Page 186] side of this court is the hall, a noble room; which communicates, in the spirit of hospi­tality, with the kitchen. There are besides a few other detached parts.

When the present proprietor made his pur­chase, he found this whole mass of ruin, the cloysters, the abbey-church, and the hall, choaked with rubbish. His first work there­fore was to clear, and open. And something in this way, as I have just observed, might have been done with propriety. For we see ruins sometimes so choaked, that no view of them can be obtained.

To this business succeeded the great work of restoring, and ornamenting. This required a very delicate touch. Among the ruins were found scraps of Gothic windows; small, mar­ble columns; tiles of different colours; and a variety of other ornamental fragments. These the proprietor has picked from the rubbish with great care; and with infinite industry is now restoring to their old situation. But in vain; for the friability of the edges of every fracture makes any restoration of parts an awkward patchwork.

[Page 187]Indeed the very idea of giving a finished splendor to a ruin, is absurd. How unnatural, in a place, evidently forlorn and deserted by man, are the recent marks of human industry! —Besides, every sentiment, which the scene suggests, is destroyed. Instead of that sooth­ing melancholy, on which the mind feeds in contemplating the ruins of time; a sort of jargon is excited by these heterogeneous mix­tures: as if, when some grand chorus had taken possession of the soul—when the sounds in all their sublimity, were yet vibrating on the ear—a light jig should strike up.

But the restoration of parts is not enough: ornaments must be added: and such incon­gruous ornaments, as disgraced the scene, are disgracing also the ruin. The monk's garden is turned into a trim parterre, and planted with flowering shrubs: a view is opened, through the great window, to some ridiculous figure, (I know not what; Ann Bolein, I think, they called it) that is placed in the valley; and in the central part of the abbey-church, a circular pedestal is raised out of the fragments of the [Page 188] old pavement; on which is erected—a muti­lated heathen statue!!!

A legal right the proprietor [...] has to deform his ruin, as he [...] he fear no indictment in the [...] must expect a very severe [...] court of taste. The refined code of [...] does not consider an elegant ruin [...] property, on which he may exercise [...] [...]ill the irregular sallies of a wanton imagination: but as a deposit, of which he is only the guardian, for the amusement and admiration of posterity.—A ruin is a sacred thing. Root­ed for ages in the soil; assimilated to it; and become, as it were, a part of it; we consider it as a work of nature, rather than of art. Art cannot reach it. A Gothic window, a fretted arch, some trivial peculiarity may have been aimed at with success: but the magnifi­cence of ruin was never attained by any modern attempt.

What reverence then is due to these sacred relics; which the rough hand of temerity, and caprice dare mangle without remorse? The least error is irretrievable. Let us pause a [Page 189] moment—A Goth may deform: but it ex­ceeds the power of art to amend.

The scenes of Studley, which I have here described, are confined to the two contiguous vallies. The improvements of the place extend considerably farther: but we had neither time, nor inclination, to examine more. We had seen enough.

About the close of the last century, a piece of human antiquity existed in the neighbour­hood of this abbey, still more curious, than the abbey itself—that venerable instance of longevity, Henry Jenkins. Among all the events, which, in the course of a hundred and sixty-nine years, had fastened upon the memory of this singular man, he spoke of nothing with so much emotion, as the ancient state of Foun­tain's abbey. If he were ever questioned on that subject, he would be sure to inform you, "What a brave place it had once been;" and would speak with much feeling of the clamour, which it's dissolution occasioned in the coun­try. [Page 190] *. "About a hundred and thirty years ago, he would say, when I was butler to lord Conyers, and old Marmaduke Bradley, now dead and gone, was lord-abbot, I was often sent by my lord to inquire after the lord-abbot's health; and the lord abbot would always send for me up into his chamber, and would order me roast-beef; and wassel; which, I remem­ber well, was always brought in a black-jack." —From this account we see what it was that rivetted Fountain's abbey so distinctly in the old man's memory. The black-jack, I doubt not, was a stronger idea, than all the splendor of the house, or all the virtues of the lord-abbot.


FROM Studley we visited the scenes of Hackfall. These own the same pro­prietor; and are adorned with equal taste.

It is a circumstance of great advantage, when you are carried to this grand exhibition (as you always should be) through the close lanes of the Rippon road. You have not the least intimation of a design upon you; nor any suggestion, that you are on high grounds; till the folding-doors of the building at Mow­bray-point being thrown open, you are struck with one of the grandest, and most beautiful bursts of country, that the imagination can form.

Your eye is first carried many fathoms pre­cipitately down a bold, woody steep, to the river Ewer, which forms a large semi-circular [Page 192] curve below; winding to the very foot of the precipice, on which you stand. The trees of the precipice over-hang the central part of the curve.

In other parts too the river is intercepted by woods; but enough of it is discovered to leave the eye at no uncertainty in tracing it's course. At the two opposite points of the curve, two promontories shoot into the river, in contrast with each other: that on the right is woody, faced with rock, and crowned with a castle: that, on the left, rises smooth from the water, and is scattered over with a few clumps. The peninsular part, and the grounds also at some distance beyond the isthmus, con­sist of one intire woody scene; which ad­vancing boldly to the front of the precipice, unites itself with it.

This woody scenery on the banks of the river may be called the first distance. Beyond this lies a rich, extensive country—broken into large parts—decorated with all the ob­jects, and diversified with all the tints of distant landscape—retiring from the eye, scene after scene—till at length every vivid hue fading gradually away, and all distinction of parts being lost, the country imperceptibly [Page 193] melts into the horizon; except in some parts, where the blue hills of Hambledon close the view.

Through the whole extent of this grand scene—this delightful gradation of light and colours—nature has wrought with her broadest, and freest pencil. The parts are ample: the composition perfectly correct. She hath ad­mitted nothing disgusting, or even trivial. I scarce remember any where an extensive view so full of beauties, and so free from faults. The fore-ground is as pleasing as the back­ground; which it never can be, when plots of cultivation approach the eye: and it is rare to find so large an extent of near-ground, covered by wood, or other surface, whose parts are alike grand, and beautiful.

The vale, of which this view is composed, hath not yet intirely lost it's ancient name— the vale of Mowbray; so called from Mow­bray-castle now no longer traced even in it's ruins; but once supposed to be the capital mansion of these wide domains. This vale extends from York almost to the confines of Durham; is adorned by the Swale, and the Ewer, both considerable rivers; and is cer­tainly [Page 194] one of the noblest tracts of country of the kind in England.

Hackfall is as much a contrast to Studley, as the idea of magnificence is to that of solitude. It requires of course a different mode of or­nament. A banqueting house, inriched with every elegance of architecture, in the form perhaps of a Grecian temple, might be a proper decoration at Mowbray-point; which at Studley would be superfluous, and absurd. The ruins of a castle too, if they could be ex­ecuted with veri-similitude and grandeur, might adorn the rocky promontory on the right with propriety. The present ruin is a paltry thing. Any other ornamental building, besides these two, I should suppose unnecessary. These might sufficiently adorn every part of the scenery, both in the higher, and in the lower grounds. If the expence, which is generally laid out, in our great gardens, on a variety of little buildings, was confined to one or two capital objects, the general effect would be better. A profusion of buildings is one of the extravagances of false taste. One ob­ject is a proper ornament in every scene: more [Page 195] than one, at least on the fore-grounds, distract it. Particular circumstances indeed may add a propriety to a greater number of objects: as at Kew; where a specimen is given of dif­ferent kinds of religious structures: or at Chis­wick; where it is intended to exhibit an idea of various modes of architecture. But it is unity of design, not of picturesque composition, which pleases us in these scenes. As far as this is concerned, one handsome object is enough.

Having examined the whole of this very extraordinary burst of landscape from Mow­bray-point, we descended to the bottom, where a great variety of grand, and pleasing views are exhibited; particularly a view of Mow­bray-point from Limus-hill; and another of the promontory with the castle upon it, from the tent: and it must be acknowledged, that many of these scenes are opened in a very natural, and masterly manner. If any art hath been used, it hath been used with dis­cretion.

At the same time, amidst all this profusion of great objects, and all this grandeur of de­sign [Page 196] (for nature has here not only brought her materials together, but has composed them likewise) the eye is every where called aside from the contemplation of them by some tri­vial object—an awkward cascade—a fountain— a view through a hole cut in a wood—or some other ridiculous specimen of absurd taste.

It is a great happiness however, that the improver of these scenes had less in his power at Hackfall, than he had at Studley. The vallies there, and home-views were all with­in the reach of his spade, and axe. Here he could only contemplate at a distance what glorious scenes he might have displayed, if his arm could have extended to the horizon. Some of the nearer grounds of this grand ex­hibition, (I believe all beyond the Ewer,) are the property of another person. So that the whole peninsular part, and the grounds immediately beyond it, continue sacred, and untouched: and these are the scenes, which form the grand part of the view from Mow­bray-point. In surveying these, the eye over­looks the puerilities of improvement at the bottom of the precipice.

[Page 197]The banks of rivers are so various, that I know not any two river-views of any celebrity, which at all resemble each other in the detail; though in the general cast, and outlines of the scene, they agree. Thus at Studley, and at * Corby, the materials of the scenery are, in both places, the same. Each hath it's woody banks—it's river—and the ruins of an abbey. In each also the beauties of the scene are in a great measure shut up within itself; and the idea of solitude is impressed on both. Notwith­standing this similarity, two scenes can hardly be more different. At Corby, the woody bank is grander than that at Studley, border­ing rather on the sublime. At Studley, the form and contrast of the vallies, and great variety of the ground, is more pleasing. In the former scene the river is superior: in the latter, the ruins. In one, you wander about the mazes of a circular woody bank: in the other, the principal part of the walk is con­tinued along the margin of the river; the [Page 198] woody bank, which is too steep to admit a path, serving only as a skreen.

There is the same union and difference be­tween the scenes of Persfield*, and Hackfall. Both are great and commanding situations. The river, in both, forms a sweeping curve. Both are adorned with rocks, and woods: and sublimity is the reigning idea of each. Not­withstanding all these points of union, they are wholly unlike. Persfield, though the country is open before it, depends little on it's beauties. It's own wild, winding banks supply an endless variety of rocky scenery; which is sufficient to engage the attention. The banks of Hackfall are less magnificent; tho it's river is more picturesque, and it's woods more beautiful. But it's views into the country are it's pride; and beyond any com­parison, grander and more inchanting, than those at Persfield.

From Hackfall we returned to our hospi­table quarters at Norton Conyers, which is [Page 199] situated in a pleasant park-scene; but too flat to admit much variety.

In the time of the civil wars, the owner of this mansion was Sir Richard Graham; of whom we heard an anecdote in the family, which is worth relating; as it is not only curious in itself, but throws a very strong, and yet natural shade, on the character of Cromwell.

When the affairs of Charles I. were in their wane in all the southern counties; the marquiss of Newcastle's prudence gave them some credit in the north. His residence was at York, where he engaged two of the gen­tlemen of the country to act under him as lieutenants. Sir Richard Graham was one; whose commission under the marquiss is still in the hands of the family. As Sir Richard was both an active man, and much attached to the royal cause; he entered into it with all that vigour, which ability; inspired by in­clination, could exert; and did the king more effectual service, than perhaps any private gentleman in those parts.

[Page 200]On that fatal day, when the precipitancy of prince Rupert, in opposition to the sage advice of the marquiss, led the king's forces out of York against Cromwell, who waited for them on Marsden-moor, Sir Richard Gra­ham had a principal command; and no man did more than he, to end an action with suc­cess, which had been undertaken with teme­rity.

When the day was irretrievably lost; and nothing remained, but for every man to seek the best means of security that offered, Sir Richard fled, with twenty-six bleeding wounds upon him, to his own house at Norton Con­yers, about fifteen miles from the field. Here he arrived in the evening; and being spent with loss of blood, and fatigue, he was car­ried into his chamber; where taking a last farewell of his disconsolate lady, he expired.

Cromwell, who had ever expressed a pecu­liar inveteracy against this gentleman, and thought a victory only half obtained, if he escaped; pursued his flight in person, with a troop of horse.

When he arrived at Norton, his gallant enemy was dead; having scarce lived an hour. [Page 201] after he was carried into his chamber: and Cromwell found his wretched lady weeping over the mangled corpse of her husband, yet scarce cold.

Such a sight, one would have imagined, might have given him—not indeed an emo­tion of pity—but at least a satiety of revenge. The inhuman miscreant still felt the vengeance of his soul unsatisfied; and turning round to his troopers, who had stalked after him into the sacred recesses of sorrow, he gave the sign of havoc; and in a few moments the whole house was torn in pieces: not even the bed was spared, on which the mangled body was extended: and every thing was destroyed, which the hands of rapine could not carry off.

In this country we met with another cu­rious memorial of the battle of Marsden-moor. A carpenter, about two years ago, bought some trees, which had grown there. But when the timber was brought to the saw-pit, it was found very refractory. On examining it with more attention, it appeared, that great [Page 202] numbers of leaden bullets were in the hearts of several of the trees; which thus recorded the very spot, where the heat of the battle had raged.


FROM Norton we proposed to take our rout, through Yorkshire into Derby­shire; and so through the other midland counties into the south of England.

The town of Rippon makes a better ap­pearance, as you approach it, than the gene­rality of country towns. The church is a large building; and gives a consequence to the place.

From Rippon the road is not unpleasant; passing generally through a woody country, till we entered Knaresborough-forest, where all wood ceased. Like other royal chases, it hath now lost all it's sylvan honours, and is a wild, bleak, unornamented tract of country.

[Page 204]Near the close of the forest, lies Harrogate, in the dip of a hill; a cheerless, unpleasant village. Nor does the country make any change for the better; till we cross the ri­ver Wharf.

From hence, leaving the ruins of Hare­wood-castle on the left, and Harewood-house on the right, the ancient, and modern seats of the family of Lascelles, we ascended, by degrees, a tract of high ground, and had an extensive view which was illumined, when we saw it, by those gleaming, cursory lights, which are so beautiful in distant landscape; and so common, when the incidents of a bright sun, a windy sky, and floating clouds co­incide. It is amusing, under these circum­stances, to pursue the flitting gleams, as they spread, decay, and vanish—then rise in some other part; varied by the different surfaces, over which they spread.

We have this appearance beautifully de­tailed in an old Erse poem, the title of which is Dargo. The bard poetically, and pictu­resquely [Page 205] compares the short transitions of joy in the mind, to these transitory gleams of light.

"The tales of the years that are past, are beams of light to the soul of the bard. They are like the sun-beams, that travel over the heaths of Morven. Joy is in their course, tho darkness dwells around. Joy is in their course; but it is soon past: the shades of darkness pursue them: they overtake them on the mountains; and the footsteps of the chearful beam are no longer discovered.—Thus the tale of Dargo travels over my soul like a beam of light, tho the gathering of the clouds is behind."

We should have been glad to have ex­amined Harewood-house, as it is a sumptuous pile; but it is shewn only on particular days; and we happened to be there on a wrong one.

We regretted also another misfortune of the same kind, for which we had only our­selves to blame; and that was the omission of Kirkstall-abbey. In the precipitancy of [Page 206] an early morning, and through an unaccount­able error in geography, we passed it; and did not recollect the mistake, till we were half a day's journey beyond it.

Around Leeds the soil wears an unpleasant hue; owing in part to the dirtiness of the surface; within a few yards of which, coal is every where found.—The country however changes greatly for the better, before we ar­rive at Wakefield, which lies in the midst of beautiful scenery. The river Calder makes a fine appearance, as we leave the town; and it's banks are adorned by a Gothic cha­pel, now in ruins, dedicated, by Edward IV, to the memory of the duke of York, his fa­ther, and the other chiefs of his party, who fell at the battle of Wakefield. It is built in the elegant proportion of ten by six; plain on the sides; but richly adorned on the front; and finished with a small octagon turret at the east end.—This little edifice serves both to ascertain the history of architecture, which appears to have been near it's meridian; and to illustrate an important part of the English story. It's whimsical situation by the side [Page 207] of a bridge, was intended probably to mark the spot, where some principal part of the action happened: tho at the entrance of great towns it was not unusual, in popish times, to place chapels on bridges; that travellers might immediately have the benefit of a mass. There was, for this purpose, a chapel formerly in one of the piers of London-bridge.

Not far from Wakefield we rode past a piece of water, which takes the humble name of a mill-pond; but is in fact a beautiful little lake, being near two miles in circum­ference, and containing some pleasing scenery, along it's little woody shores, and promon­tories.

From Bank-top we had a good descending view of Wentworth-castle—of the grounds, which inviron it—and the country, which surrounds it. The scene all together is grand. The eminence, on which we stood, is adorned with a great profusion of something, in the way of an artificial ruin. It is possible it may have an effect from the castle below: [Page 208] but on the spot, it is certainly no orna­ment. We found some difficulty in passing through lord Strafford's park; and proceeded therefore to Wentworth-house; which is a superb; and is esteemed, an elegant pile: but there seems to be a want of simplicity about it. The front appears broken into too many parts; and the inside, incumbered. A sim­ple plan has certainly more dignity. Such, for instance, is lord Tinley's house at Wan­stead, where the whole is intelligible at sight. The hall at lord Rockingham's is a cube of sixty feet. The gallery is what they call a shelf. For myself, I saw nothing offensive in it, tho it is undoubtedly a more masterly contrivance to raise a gallery upon a wall, than to affix one to it. The long gallery is a noble apartment; and the interception of a breakfast room from it by pillars, and an oc­casional curtain, gives a pleasant combined idea of retirement, and company. The li­brary also is grand.

There are few good pictures at Wentworth: the original of lord Strafford, and his secre­tary is said to be here. It's pretensions are disputed; tho I think it has merit enough to maintain them any where.—There is an­other [Page 209] good portrait by Vandyke of the same nobleman. He rests his hand upon a dog; and his head in this picture is perhaps supe­rior to that of the other.—Here is also, by Vandyke, a son of the same earl, with his two sisters. The management of the whole displeases; but the boy is delightfully painted.

Wentworth-house stands low. It's front commands an extensive plain, and a flat dis­tant country; which are seen betwixt a ri­sing wood on the left; and a variety of cross­ing lawns on the right. On the whole, I was not much pleased with any thing I saw here.


FROM Wentworth-house the same plea­sant face of country continues to Sheffield. But it soon begins to change, as we approach Derbyshire. The rising grounds become in­sensibly more wild: rocks start every where from the soil; and a new country comes on apace. For we now approached that great central tract of high lands; which arising in these parts, form themselves into moun­tains; and spreading here, and there, run on without interruption, as far as Scotland * Before we reach Middleton, the whole face of the land has suffered change; and we see nothing around us, but wildness, and desola­tion.

[Page 212]About two miles short of Middleton we are cheared again by a beautiful valley; which participates indeed of the wildness of the coun­try; but is both finely wooded, and watered. In a recess of this valley stands Middleton, a very romantic village; beyond which the valley still continues two miles farther.

It is this continuation of it, which is known by the name of Middleton-dale; and is esteemed one of the most romantic scenes of the country. It is a narrow, winding chasm; hardly broader than to give space for a road. On the right, it is rocky; on the left, the hills wear a smoother form. The rocks are grey, tinged in many parts with plots of ver­dure insinuating themselves, and running among them. Some of these rocks assume a peculiar form, rearing themselves like the round towers, and buttresses of a ruined castle; and their upper strata running in parallel directions, take the form of cornices. The turriti scopuli of Virgil cannot be illustrated better.

When we leave Middleton-dale the wastes of Derbyshire open before us; and wear the same face as those we had left behind, on the [Page 213] borders of Yorkshire. They are tracts of coarse, moorish pasturage, forming vast con­vex sweeps, without any intersection of line, or variation of ground; divided into portions by stone walls, without a cottage to diversisy the scene, or a tree to enliven it. Middleton­dale is the pass, which unites these two dreary scenes.

Having travelled several miles in this high country, in our way to Castleton, we came at length to the edge of a precipice; down which ran a long, steep descent. From the brow an extensive vale lay before us. It's name is Hopedale. It is a wide, open scene of cultivation; the sides of which, tho moun­tainous, are tilled to the top. The village of Hope stands at one end of it, and Castleton at the other. In a direction towards the middle of this vale we descended. The object of our pursuit, was that celebrated chasm, near Castleton, called the Devil's cave.

A descent of two miles brought us to it.— A combination of more horrid ideas is rarely [Page 214] found, than this place affords. It exceeded our liveliest imagination.

A rocky mountain rises to a great height: in most parts perpendicular; in some, beetling over it's base. As it ascends, it divides; forming at the top, two rocky summits.

On one of these summits stands an old castle; the battlements of which appear to grow out of the rock. It's situation, on the edge of a precipice, is tremendous. Looking up from the bottom, you may trace a narrow path, formed merely by the adventrous foot of cu­riosity, winding here and there round the walls of the castle; which, as far as appears, is the only road, which leads to it.

The other rock reserves it's terrors for the bottom. There it opens into that tremendous chasm, called the Devil's cave. Few places have more the air of the poetical regions of Tartarus.

The combination of a castle, and a cave, which we have here in reality, Virgil feigns— with a view perhaps of giving an additional terror to each.

—Aeneas arces, quibus altus Apollo
Praesidet, horrendaeque procul secreta Sibyllae,
Antrum immane, petit—

[Page 215] The poet does not give the detail of his antrum immane: if he had, he could not have con­ceived more interesting circumstances, than are here brought together.

A towering rock hangs over you; under which you enter an arched cavern, twelve yards high, forty wide, and near a hundred long. So vast a canopy of unpillared rock stretching over your head, gives you an involuntary shud­der. A strong light at the mouth of the cave, displays all the horrors of the entrance in full proportion. But this light decaying, as you proceed, the imagination is left to explore it's deeper caverns by torch-light, which gives them additional terror. At the end of the first cavern runs a river, above forty feet wide, over which you are ferried into a seeond, of dimensions vaster than the first. It is known by the name of the Cathedral. The height of it is horribly discovered by a few spiracles at the top; through which you see the light of the day, without being able, at such a distance, to enjoy the least benefit from it. Beyond this cavern flows another branch of the same river, which becomes the boundary of other caverns still more remote. But this was farther than we chose to proceed. I never found any pictu­resque [Page 216] beauty in the interior regions of the earth; and the idea growing too infernal, we were glad to return.

—coeli melioris ad auras.

The inhabitants of these scenes are as savage as the scenes themselves. We were reminded by a disagreeable contrast of the pleasing sim­plicity and civility of manners, which we found among the lakes and mountains of Cumberland. Here a wild, uninformed stare, through matted, dishevelled locks, marks every feature; and the traveller is followed, like a spectacle, by a croud of gazers. Many of these miserable people live under the tremendous roof we have just described; where a manufacture of rope-yarn is carried on. One poor wretch has erected a hut within it's verge, where she has lived these forty years. A little straw suffices for a roof, which has only to resist the drop­pings of unwholesome vapour from the top of the cavern.

The exit from Hope-dale, in our road to Buxton, is not inferior to the scene we had [Page 217] left. We ascend a straining steep, ornamented on each side, with bold projecting rocks, most of which are picturesque; tho some of them are rather fantastic.

As we leave this pass, on our right appears Mam-tor, surnamed the Shivering mountain. A part of it's side has the appearance of a cas­cade; down which it continually discharges the flaky substance, of which it is composed.

On the confines of this mountain, and but a little below the surface, is found that curious, variegated mineral, which is formed into small ornamental obelisks, urns and vases. It is supposed to be a petrifaction; and is known in London by the name of the Derbyshire drop. But on the spot it is called Blue John, from the beautiful blue veins, which overspread the finest parts of it. Where it wears a yellowish hue, the vein is coarsest: in many parts it is beautifully honeycombed, and transparent. The proprietors of the marble works at Ash­ford farmed the quarry of this curious mineral, [Page 218] last year, at ninety-five pounds; and it is thought have nearly exhausted it.

From Hope-dale to Buxton, the country is dreary, and uncomfortable. The eye ranges over bleak wastes, such as we had seen before, divided every where by stone walls. The pas­turage in many parts seems good, as the fields were stocked with cattle; but hardly a tree, or a house appears through the whole district.

In a bottom, in this uncomfortable country, lies Buxton, surrounded with dreary, barren hills; and streaming, on every side, with offen­sive lime-kilns. Nothing, but absolute want of health, could make a man endure a scene so wholly disgusting.

Near Buxton we visited another horrid cave, called Pool's hole; but it wants those magni­ficent accompaniments of external scenery, which we found at the Devil's cave.

[Page 219]The same dreary face of country continues from Buxton to Ashford. Here we fall into a beautiful vale fringed with wood, and watered by a brilliant stream, which recalled to our memory the pleasing scenes of this kind we had met with among the mountains of Cum­berland.

At Ashford is carried on a manufactory of marble dug on the spot; some of which, curiously incrusted with shells, is very beau­tiful.

The vale of Ashford continues with little interruption to Bakewell, where it enters another sweet vale—the vale of Haddon; so called from Haddon-hall, a magnificent old mansion, which stands in the middle of it, on a rocky knoll, incompassed with wood.

This princely structure, scarce yet in a state of ruin, is able, it is said, to trace it's origin into times before the conquest. It then wore a military form. In after ages, it became [Page 220] possessed by different noble families; and about the beginning of this century was inhabited by the dukes of Rutland. Since that time, it has been neglected. Many fragments of it's ancient grandeur remain—sculptured chim­nies; fretted cornices; patches of costly ta­pestry; ‘Auratasque trabes, veterum decora alta parentum.’

Not far from hence lies Chatsworth, in a situation naturally bleak; but rendered not unpleasant by it's accompaniments of well-grown wood.

Chatsworth was the glory of the last age, when trim parterres, and formal water-works were in fashion. It then acquired a celebrity, which it has never lost; tho it has now many rivals. A good approach has been made to it; but in other respects, when we saw it, it's invirons had not kept pace with the improve­ments of the times. Many of the old formali­ties remained. But a dozen years, no doubt, have introduced much improvement.

The house itself would have been no way striking; except in the wilds of Derbyshire. The chapel is magnificent. It is adorned, on [Page]


[Page 221] the whole of one side, by a fresco, representing Christ employed in works of charity.

There are few pictures in the house. A portrait of the late duke of Cumberland by Reynolds was the best. But there is much exquisite carving by the hand of Gibbons. We admired chiefly the dead fowl of various kinds, with which the chimney of one of the state rooms is adorned. It is astonishing to see the downy softness of feathers given to wood. The particulars however alone are admirable: Gib­bons was no adept at composition.

From Chatsworth, through Darley-dale, a sweet, extensive scene, we approached Matlock.

The rocky scenery about the bridge is the first grand specimen of what we were to expect.

As we advanced towards the boat-house, the views became more interesting.

Soon after the great Torr appeared, which is a most magnificent rock, decorated with wood, and stained with various hues, yellow, green, and grey.—On the opposite side, the rocks, contracting the road, slope diagonally.

These straits open into the vale of Matlock; a romantic, and most delightful scene, in which [Page 222] the ideas of sublimity and beauty are blended in a high degree. It extends about two miles in length; and in the widest parts is half a mile broad. The area consists of much irre­gular ground. The right hand bank has little consequence, except that of shaping the vale. It is the left hand bank which ennobles the scene. This very magnificent rampart, rising in a semi-circular form, is divided into four ample faces of rock, with an interruption of wood between each. The first, which you approach, is the highest; but of least extent: the next spreads more; and the third most of all. A larger interruption succeeds; and the last, in comparison of the others, seems but a gentle effort. The whole vast rampart is beautifully shaded with wood; which in some places, grows among the cliffs, garnishing the rocks— in others, it grows wildly among those breaks, and interruptions, which separate their several faces. The summit of the whole semi-circular range is finely adorned with scattered trees, which often break the hard lines of the rock; and by admitting the light, give an airiness to the whole.

[Page 223]The river Derwent, which winds under this semi-circular screen, is a broken, rapid stream. In some places only, it is visible: in others, delving among rocks, and woody projections, it is an object only to the ear.

It is impossible to view such scenes as these, without feeling the imagination take fire. Little fairy scenes, where the parts, tho trifling, are happily disposed; such, for instance, as the cascade-scene * in the gardens at the Leasowes, please the fancy. But this is scenery of a dif­ferent kind. Every object here, is sublime, and wonderful. Not only the eye is pleased; but the imagination is filled. We are carried at once into the fields of fiction, and romance. Enthusiastic ideas take possession of us; and we suppose ourselves among the inhabitants of fa­bled times.—The transition indeed is easy and natural, from romantic scenes to romantic inhabitants,

[Page 224]
—Sylvis scena coruscis
Desuper, horrentique atrum nemus imminet umbra;
Nympharum domus—

The woods here are subject to one great inconvenience—that of periodical lopping. About seven years ago, I had the mortification to see almost the whole of this scenery display­ing one continued bald face of rock. It is now,* I should suppose, in perfection. More wood would cover, and less would dismantle it.

The exit of this bold romantic scene, which from the south is the entrance into it, like the exit from Hope-dale, is equal to the scene itself. Grand rocks arise on each side, and dismiss you through a winding barrier, which lengthens out the impression of the scene, like the vibration of a sound. In some parts the solid stone is cut through; ‘Admittitque viam sectae per viscera rupis.’

[Page 225]From hence to Ashburn the road is pleasant, after the first steeps. The ground is varied, and adorned with wood; and we lose all those wild scenes, which we met with in the Peak. When nature throws her wild scenes into beautiful composition; and decorates them with great, and noble objects; they are, of all scenes, the most engaging. But as there is little of this decoration in the wild scenes of the Peak, we left them without regret.




FROM Ashburn, which is among the larger villages, and stands sweetly, we made an excursion to Dove-dale.

Dove-dale is the continuation of another similar dale, which is sometimes called Bun­ster-dale; tho I believe both parts of the valley are known, except just on the spot, by the general name of Dove-dale.

Bunster-dale opens with a grand craggy mountain on the right. As you look up to the cliffs, which form the irregular sides of this precipice, your guide will not fail to tell you the melancholy fate of a late digni­tary of the church, who riding along the top of it with a young lady, a Miss Laroche, behind him, and pursuing a track, which [Page 228] happened to be only a sheep-path, and led to a declivity; fell in attempting to turn his horse out of it. He was killed: but the young lady was caught by a bush, and saved. —A dreadful story is an admirable introduc­tion to an awful scene. It rouses the mind; and adds double terror to every impending rock.

The bare sides of these lofty craggs on the right, are contrasted by a woody mountain on the left. In the midst of the wood, a sort of rocky-wall rises perpendicular from the soil. These detached rocks are what chiefly characterize the scene.—A little be­yond them, we enter, what is properly called, Dove-dale.

From the description given of Dove-dale, even by men of taste, we had conceived it to be a scene rather of curiosity, than of beauty. We supposed the rocks were formed into the most fantastic shapes; and expected to see a gigantic display of all the conic sections. But we were agreeably deceived. The whole composition is chaste, and picturesquely beau­tiful, in a high degree.

[Page 229]On the right, you have a continuation of the same grand, craggy mountain, which ran along Bunster-dale; only the mountain in Dove-dale is higher, and the rocks still more majestic, and more detached.

On the lest, is a continuation also of the same hanging woods, which began in Bun­ster-dale. In the midst of this woody sce­nery arises a grand, solitary, pointed rock, the characteristic feature of the whole scene; which by way of eminence is known by the name of Dove-dale-church. It consists of a large face of rock, with two or three little spiry heads, and one very large one: and tho the form is rather peculiar, yet is it pleasing. It's rising a single object among surrounding woods takes away the fantastic idea; and gives it sublimity. It is the multiplicity of these spiry heads, which makes them dis­gusting: as when we see several of them adorning the summits of alpine mountains*. But a solitary rock, tho spiry, has often a good effect. A picturesque ornament of this kind, marks a beautiful scene, at a place [Page 230] called the New-Weir, on the banks of the Wye*.

The colour of all these rocks is grey; and harmonizes agreeably with the verdure, which runs in large patches down their channelled sides. Among all the picturesque accompa­niments of rocks there is nothing which has a finer effect in painting, than this variation and contrast of colour, between the cold, grey hue of a rocky surface, and the rich tints of herbage.

The valley of Dove-dale is very narrow at the bottom, consisting of little more than the channel of the Dove, which is a consi­derable stream; and of a foot-path along it's banks. When the river rises, it swells over the whole area of the valley; and has a fine effect. The grandeur of the river is then in full harmony with the grandeur of it's banks.

[Page 231]Dove-dale is a calm, sequestered scene; and yet not wholly the haunt of solitude, and con­templation. It is too magnificent, and too interesting a piece of scenery, to leave the mind wholly disengaged.

The late Dr. Brown, comparing the sce­nery here, with that of Keswick*, tells us, that of the three circumstances, beauty, horror, and immensity (by which last he means gran­deur) of which Keswick consists, the second alone is found in Dove-dale.

In this description he seems, in my opinion, just to have inverted the truth. It is difficult to conceive, why he should either rob this scene of beauty, and grandeur; or fill it with horror. If beauty consist in a pleasing arrange­ment of pleasing parts, Dove-dale has cer­tainly a great share of beauty. If grandeur consist in large parts, and large objects, it has certainly grandeur also. But if horror [Page 232] consist in the vastness, of those parts, it cer­tainly predominates less here, than in the re­gions of Keswick. The hills, the woods, and the rocks of Dove-dale are sufficient to raise the idea of grandeur; but not to impress that of horror.

On the whole, Dove-dale is perhaps one of the most pleasing pieces of scenery of the kind we any where meet with. It has some­thing in it peculiarly characteristic. It's de­tached, perpendicular rocks stamp it with an image intirely it's own: and for that rea­son it affords the greater pleasure. For it is in scenery, as in life; we are most struck with the peculiarity of an original character; provided there is nothing offensive in it.

From Dove-dale we proceeded to Ilam; which is also a very characteristic scene.

Ilam stands on a hill, which slopes gently in front; but is abrupt, and broken behind, where it is garnished with rock, and hanging wood. Round this hill sweeps a semi-cir­cular valley; the area of which is a flat mea­dow, [Page 233] nearly a quarter of a mile in breadth, and twice as much in circumference. At the extremity of the meadow winds the channel of a river, considerable in it's dimensions; tho penuriously supplied with water: and be­yond all, sweeps a grand, woody bank, which forms a barrier to all the scenery behind the house; and yet, in the front, admits a view of distant mountains; particularly of that square-capt hill, called Thorp-cloud, which stands near the entrance of Dove-dale.

Besides the beauty of the scene, we are presented with a great curiosity. The river Manifold formerly ran in that channel under the woody bank, which we observed to be now so penuriously supplied.—It has deserted it's ancient bed; and about seven miles from Ilam, enters gradually the body of a moun­tain; under which it forces a way, and con­tinues it's subterraneous rout as far as the hill, on which Ilam stands. There it rises from the ground, and forms a river in a burst. The channel under the bank is a sort of waste-pipe to it; carrying off the superfluity of water, which in heavy rains cannot enter the mountain.

[Page 234]Curious this river certainly is: but were it mine, I should wish much to check it's subterraneous progress, and throw it into it's old channel. The o [...]zy bed, which is now a deformity, would then be an object of beauty, circling the meadow with a noble stream.—Another deformity also would be avoided, that of cutting the meadow with two channels.—Or perhaps all ends might be answered, if the waste-stream could be diverted. Then both the curiosity; and, in a good degree, the beauty, would remain.

On the whole, we have few situations so pleasingly romantic, as Ilam. The rocky hill it stands on; the ample lawn, which incir­cles it; the bold, woody bank, which in­virons the whole (where pleasing walks might be formed) the bold incursion of the river; the views into the country; and the neigh­bourhood of Dove-dale, which lies within the distance of a summer-evening walk, bring together such a variety of uncommon, and beautiful circumstances, as are rarely to be found in one place.

[Page 235]Very little had been done, at Ilam, when we saw it, to improve it's natural situation; tho it is capable of great improvement; par­ticularly in the front of the house. There the ground, which is now a formal flower-garden, might easily be united with the other parts of the scenery in it's neighbourhood. It is now totally at variance with it.

In the higher part of the garden, under a rock, is a seat dedicated to the memory of Congreve; where, you are told by your con­ductor, he composed several of his plays.

From Ilam we went to Oakover to see the holy family by Raphael. As this picture is very celebrated, we gave it a minute examina­tion.

Whether it be an original, I am not critic enough in the works of Raphael to deter­mine. I should suppose, it is; and it were a pity to rob it of it's greatest merit. No­thing, I think, but the character of the master could give it the reputation it holds. If it be examined by the rules of painting, [Page 236] it is certainly deficient. The manner is hard, without freedom; and the colouring black, without sweetness. Neither is there any har­mony in the whole. What harmony can arise from a conjunction of red, blue, and yellow, of which the draperies are composed, almost in raw tints? Nor is the deficiency in the colouring, compensated by any har­mony in the light and shade.

But these things perhaps we are not led to expect in the works of Raphael. In them we seek for grace, drawing, character, and ex­pression. Here however they are not found*. The virgin, we allow to be a sweet, and lovely figure: but Joseph is inanimate; the boys are grinning satyrins; and with regard to drawing, the right arm of Christ, I should suppose, is very faulty*.

On the whole, a holy family is a subject but indifferently adapted to the pencil. Un­less [Page 237] the painter could give the mother that celestial love; and the child, that divine com­posure, and sweetness, (which, I take it for granted, no painter can give,) the subject immediately degenerates into a mother, and a child. The actions of our Saviour's life may be good subjects for a picture: for altho the divine energy of the principal figure cannot be expressed; yet the other parts of the story being well told, may supply that deficiency. But in a holy family there is no action—no story told—the whole consists in the expres­sion of characters and affections, which we must suppose beyond conception. So that if these are not expressed, the whole is nothing.

In the same room hang three or four pic­tures, any of which I should value more than the celebrated Raphael. There is a small picture, by Rubens, representing the angels appearing to the women in the garden, which pleased me. The angels indeed are clumsey figures; and dressed like choiristers: but every other part of the picture, and the management of the whole, is good.

[Page 238]In a large picture also of the unjust steward, the family in distress is well described: but on the whole, it is one of those ambiguous pictures, on which we cannot well pronounce at sight. One half of it seems painted by Rubens; of the other half we doubted.

There are also in the same room two very capital Vanderveldts—a calm, and a storm. Both are good: but the former pleased me better, than almost any picture by that master, I have any where seen.


FROM Ashburn, to which we returned from Oakover, we went, the next day, through a chearful, woody country, to Ked­dleston, the seat of lord Scarsdale.

The situation of Keddleston, participates little of the romantic country, on which it borders. The house stands in a pleasant park, rather bare of wood; but the deficiency is in a great degree compensated by the beauty of the trees; some of which are large, and noble. A stream, by the help of art, is changed into a river, over which the road conducts you obliquely to the house; forming a good ap­proach.

The architecture of Keddleston, as far as I could judge, is a composition of elegance, and grandeur. The main body of the house, which you enter by a noble portico, is joined, by a corridore on each side, to a handsome [Page 240] wing. In the back front, the saloon, which is a rotunda, appears to advantage. From the hall lead the state rooms, which are not many. The rest of the house consists of excellent offices, and comfortable apartments; and the plan of the whole is easy, and intelligible.

The hall is perhaps one of the grandest, and most beautiful private rooms in England. The roof is supported by very noble columns; some of which are intire blocks of marble, dug, as we were informed, from lord Scars­dale's own quarries. It is rather indeed a spurious sort of marble; but more beautiful, at least in colour, than any that is imported. There is a richness, and a variety in it, that pleases the eye exceedingly: the veins are large, and suited to columns; and a rough polish, by receiving the light in one body, gives a noble swell to the column; and adds much to it's beauty.

When I saw this grand room, I thought it wanted no farther decoration. All was simple, great, and uniform, as it ought to be. Since that time I have heard the doors, and windows have been painted, and varnished in the cabinet style. I have not seen these alterations; and cannot pronounce on their merit: but I am [Page 241] at a loss to conceive, that any further embel­lishment could add to the effect.

The entrance of a great house, should, in my opinion, consist only of that kind of beauty, which arises merely from simplicity and gran­deur. These ideas, as you proceed in the apart­ments, may detail themselves into ornaments of various kinds; and, in their proper places, even into prettinesses. Alien, misplaced, am­bitious ornaments, no doubt, are every where disgusting: but in the grand entrance of a house, they should particularly be avoided. A false taste, discovered there, is apt to pursue you through the apartments; and throw it's colours on what may happen to be good.—I should be unwilling however to suppose, that any improper decorations are added to the hall at Keddleston; as the ornaments of the house, in general, when I saw it, seemed to be under the conduct of a chast and elegant taste. Tho every thing was rich; I do not recollect, that any thing was tawdry, trifling, or affected.

The pictures, of which there is a consider­able collection, are chiefly, what may be called good furniture pictures *. A Rembrandt is [Page 242] the first in rank; and is indeed a valuable piece. It represents Daniel interpreting Bel­teshazzar's dream. There is great amusement in this picture. It is highly finished; and the heads are particularly excellent. For the rest, it is a scattered piece, without any idea of composition.

In the drawing-room are two large uprights by Benedetto Lutti; one representing the last supper; the other the death of Abel. They are painted in a singular manner with strong lights. The former has a good effect. The death of Abel is likewise a shewy picture; but has nothing very striking in it, except the figure of Cain.

In the dead game by Snyders, there is a good fawn; but the picture is made disagree­able by the glaring tail of a peacock.

In the dead game and dogs, by Fyt, there are good passages, but no whole.

The woman of Samaria, and St. John in the wilderness, by B. Stiozzi, are good pictures.

There is also a large Coyp, well-painted; but badly composed.

[Page 243]At Derby, which lies within three miles of Keddleston, we were immediately struck with the tower of the great church, which is a very beautiful piece of Gothic architecture.

The object of the china-works there is merely ornament; which is particularly unhappy, as they were, at the time we saw them, under no regulation of taste. A very free hand we found employed in painting the vases; and the first colours were laid in with spirit: but in the finishing, they were so richly daubed, that all freedom was lost in finery.—It may now be otherwise.

The gaudy painters however of such works, have the example of a great master before them, even Raphael himself; whose paintings in the pottery way, tho highly esteemed in the cabi­nets of the curious, seem generally to be daubed in a manner fit only ad captandum vulgus. It is said, that Raphael fell in love with a potter's daughter; and that to please her, he painted [Page 244] her father's dishes. It is probable therefore, that he suited them to her taste; which ac­counts for the gaudy colouring they display.— How much more simple, elegant, and beautiful is the painting of the old Etruscan vases, many of which Mr. Wedgewood has so happily imi­tated? There we see how much better an effect is produced by chast colours on a dark ground; than by gaudy colours, on a light one.

A person curious in machinery would be much amused by the silk-mill at Derby, in which thirty thousand little wheels are put in motion by one great wheel. The various parts, tho so complicated in appearance, are yet so distinct in their movements; that I was told, any one workman has the power of stopping that part of the machinery, which is under his direction, without interrupting the motion of the rest.

The country between Derby and Leicester is flat. Quardon-wood, a little beyond Lough­borough, rising on the right, makes an agree­able variety, amidst such a continuation of [Page 245] uniformity. Mount Sorrel also has the same effect.

The approach to Leicester gives it more con­sequence than it really has. The town itself, old and incumbered, has little beauty: but it abounds with fragments of antiquity.

Behind St. Nicholas's church is a piece of Roman architecture; one of the only pure pieces perhaps in England. We see many towers, which go by the name of Caesar; and boast of Roman origin. I doubt, whether any of them can boast it with truth. And what few remnants we have, it is thought, have all been retouched in after times. This fragment seems to have suffered no alteration. It's insignificance has secured it. Little more is left, than a wall, with four double arches on it's face, retiring, but not perforated. And yet in this trifling remnant there is a simplicity and dignity, which are very pleasing. It is possible however that prejudice may in part, be the source of it's beauty. Through an asso­ciation [Page 246] of ideas, we may here be pleased with what we have admired in Italian views.

This wall is built of brick; tho it has pro­bably been faced with better materials. For what purpose it was constructed, does not appear: nor whether it was intended for the end, or side of a building. The idea of the country is, that it has been a temple, from the great number of bones of animals, which have been found near it: from whence it takes the name of Holy-bones.

The church of St. Nicholas, which stands opposite to it, seems to have been built out of it's ruins, from the many Roman bricks with which it abounds. Indeed the style of building, in the body of the church, is not unlike it.

At Leicester also we were put on the pursuit of another Roman fragment—a curious piece of sculpture; which we found at last in a cel­lar. It is a scrap of tessulated pavement, on which three figures are represented; a stag; a woman leaning over it; and a boy shooting [Page 247] with a bow. It may be a piece of Roman antiquity; but it is a piece of miserable work­manship.

In this ancient town are found also many vestiges of British antiquity.—From so rich an endowment as the abbey of Leicester for­merly possessed, we expected many beautiful remains; as it is still in a kind of sequestered state: but in that expectation we were disap­pointed. Not the least fragment of a Gothic window is left: not the merest mutilation of an arch. It's present remains afford as little beauty, as the ruins of a common dwelling. And in all probability the present ruin is no­thing better, than a common dwelling; built from the materials of the ancient abbey. Such at least is the tradition of the place. It be­longed formerly, we were told, to the family of Hastings; and was lost at play to the earl of Devonshire: but before the conveyance was prepared; the owner, in the spirit of revenge, and mortification, sent private orders to have it burnt.—Many a black tale might be un­folded in most old houses, if walls could speak.

[Page 248]But the great story of this abbey has a vir­tuous tendency. Within it's walls was once exhibited a scene more humiliating to human ambition, and more instructive to human grandeur, than almost any, which history hath produced. Here the fallen pride of Woolsey retreated from the insults of the world. All his visions of ambition were now gone; his pomp; and pageantry; and crouded levees. On this spot he told the listening monks, the sole attendants of his dying hour, as they stood around his pallet, that he was come to lay his bones among them: and gave that pathetic testimony to the truth, and joys of religion, which preaches beyond a thousand lectures. "If I had served God as faithfully as I served the king, he would not thus have forsaken my old age."

The death of Woolsey would make a fine moral picture; if the hand of any master could give the pallid features of the dying statesman that chagrin, that remorse, those pangs of [Page 249] anguish, which, in these last bitter moments of his life, possessed him.

The point might be taken, when the monks are administring the comforts of religion, which the despairing prelate cannot feel. The subject requires a gloomy apartment; which a ray through a Gothic window might just en­lighten; throwing it's force chiefly on the principal figure; and dying away on the rest. The appendages of the piece need only be few, and simple; little more than the crozier, and red hat, to mark the cardinal, and tell the story.

This is not the only piece of English history, which is illustrated in this ancient town.— Here the house is still shewn, where Richard III passed the night, before the battle of Bos­worth: and there is a story of him, still preserved in the corporation-records, as we were informed by our conductor, (who did not however appear to be a man of deep eru­dition) which illustrates the caution and dark­ness of that prince's character.—It was his custom to carry, among the baggage of his camp, a cumbersome, wooden bed, which he [Page 250] pretended was the only bed he could sleep in. Here he contrived a secret receptacle for his treasure, which lay concealed under a weight of timber. After the fatal day, on which Richard fell, the earl of Richmond entered Leicester with his victorious troops. The friends of Richard were pillaged; but the bed was neglected by every plunderer, as useless lumber.—The owner of the house afterwards discovering the hoard, became suddenly rich, without any visible cause. He bought lands; and at length (as our intelligencer informed us) arrived at the dignity of being mayor of Leicester. Many years afterwards, his widow, who had been left in great affluence, was murdered for her wealth by a servant maid, who had been privy to the affair: and at the trial of this woman, and her accomplices, the whole transaction came to light.




FROM Leicester the country still conti­nues flat and woody; stretching out into meadows, pastures, and common fields. The horizon, on every side, is generally terminated by spires. Oftener than once we were able to count six, or seven adorning the limits of one circular view.

Of all the countries in England, this is the place for that noble species of diversion, to which the inventive genius of our young sports­men hath given the name of steeple-hunting. In a dearth of game, the chassieurs draw up in a body, and pointing to some conspicuous steeple, set off, in full speed towards it, over hedge and ditch. He who is so happy, as to arrive first, receives equal honour, it is said, [Page 252] as if he had come in foremost, at the death of the fox.

In these plains, as rich, as they are unpic­turesque, we had nothing to observe, but the numerous herds of cattle, and flocks of sheep, which graze them: and in the deficiency of other objects, we amused ourselves with the various forms of these animals, and their most agreeable combinations.

The horse, in itself, is certainly a nobler animal, than the cow. His form is more elegant; and his spirit gives fire and grace to his actions. But in a picturesque light the cow has undoubtedly the advantage; and is every way better suited to receive the graces of the pencil.

In the first place, the lines of the horse are round and smooth; and admit little va­riety: whereas the bones of the cow are high, and vary the line, here and there, by a square­ness, which is very picturesque. There is a greater proportion also of concavity in them; the lines of the horse being chiefly convex.



[Page 253]But is not the lean, worn-out horse, whose bones are staring, as picturesque as the cow? In a degree it is; but we do not with plea­sure admit the idea of beauty into any deficient form. Prejudice, even in spite of us, rather revolts against such an admission, however picturesque.

Nor are the lines only of the cow more picturesque, it has the advantage also in the filling up of those lines. If the horse be sleek especially, and have, what the jockies call, a fine coat, the smoothness of the sur­face is not so well adapted to receive the spirited touches of the pencil, as the rougher form and coat of the cow. The very action of licking herself, which is so common among cows, throws the hair, when it is long, into different feathery flakes; and gives it those strong touches, which are indeed the very touches of the pencil.—Cows are commonly the most picturesque in the months of April, and May, when the old hair is coming off. There is a contrast between the rougher, and [Page 254] smoother parts of the coat; and often also a pleasing variety of greyish tints, blended with others of a richer hue. We observe this too in colts, when we see them in a state of nature.

But the cow is not only better adapted to receive the spirited touches of the pencil, it is better adapted also to receive the beauties of light. The horse, like a piece of smooth garden-ground, receives it in a gradual spread: the cow, like the abruptness of a rugged country, receives it in bold catches. And tho in large objects a gradation of light is one of the great sources of beauty; yet, in a small object, it has not commonly so pleasing an effect, as arises from smart, catching lights.

The colour of the cow also is often more picturesque. That of the horse is generally uniform. Whereas the tints of the cow fre­quently play into each other; a dark head melting into lighter sides; and these again being still darker than the hinder parts. Those are always the most beautiful, which are thus [Page]


[Page 255] tinted with dark colours, harmoniously steal­ing into lighter. Here and there a few small white spots may add a beauty; but if they run into large blotches, and make a harsh termi­nation between the dark, and light colour, they are disagreeable. The full black also, and full red, have little variety in themselves; tho in a group all this unpleasant colouring may harmonize.

In the character, and general form of cows, as well as of horses, there are many degrees of beauty and deformity.

The character of the cow is marked chiefly in the head. An open, or contracted fore­head; a long or a short visage; the twist of a horn; or the colour of an eyebrow; will totally alter the character, and give a sour, or an agreeable air to the countenance. Nor is the head of this animal more characteristic, than it is adapted to receive all the graces of the pencil.

With regard to the general form of the cow, we are not indeed so exact, as in that of the horse. The points and proportions of the horse are studied, and determined with [Page 256] so much exactness, that a small deviation strikes the eye. In the form of the cow, we are not so learned. If deformity be avoided, it is enough. There are two faults particu­larly in the line of a cow, a hog-back, and a sinking rump, which are it's most usual ble­mishes. If it be free from these, and have an harmonious colouring, and a pleasant cha­racter, it cannot well be disagreeable.

The bull and the cow differ more in character and form, than the horse and the mare. They are cast in different moulds. The sourness of the head; the thickness and convexity of the neck; the heaviness of the chest, and shoul­ders; the smoothness of the hip-bones; and the lightness of the hind-quarters, are always found in the bull; and rarely in the cow.

The sheep is as beautiful an animal, as the cow; and as well adapted to receive the graces of painting. Tho it want the variety of co­louring; yet there is a softness in it's fleece, a richness, a delicacy of touch, and a sweet [Page 257] tenderness of shadow, which make it a very pleasing object.

The sheep is beautiful in every state, except just when it has past under the sheers. But it soon recovers it's beauty; and in a few weeks loses it's furrowed sides, and appears again in a picturesque dress. It's beauty continues, as the wool increases. What it loses in shape, it gains in the feathered flaki­ness of it's fleece. Nor is it the least beau­tiful, when it's sides are a little ragged— when part of it's shape is discovered, and part hid beneath the wool. Berghem de­lights to represent it in this ragged form.

In the characters, and forms of sheep we observe little difference. We sometimes see an unpleasing visage; and sometimes the dis­agreeable rounding line, which we have just called the hog-back: but in an animal so small, the eye is less apt to investigate parts: it rather rests on the whole appearance; and the more so, as sheep, being particularly gre­garious, are generally considered as objects in a group.

[Page 258]The observations I have made with regard to the beauty of these animals, are confirmed by the practice of all the great masters in ani­mal life, Berghem, Coyp, Potter and others; who always preferred them to horses and deer, in adorning their rural scenes.—It is an ad­ditional pleasure therefore, that such animals, as are the most useful, are likewise the most ornamental.

Having thus examined the forms of these picturesque animals, we spent some time also in examining their most agreeable combina­tions.

Cattle are so large, that when they orna­ment a fore-ground, a few are sufficient. Two will hardly combine. Three make a good group—either united—or when one is a little removed from the other two. If you increase the group beyond three; one, or more, in proportion, must necessarily be a little detached. This detachment prevents hea­viness, and adds variety. It is the same prin­ciple [Page]




[Page 259] applied to cattle, which we before ap­plied to mountains, and other objects*.

The same rules in grouping may be applied to distant cattle; only here you may introduce a greater number.

In grouping, contrasted attitudes should be studied. Recumbency should be opposed to a standing posture; fore-shortened figures, to lengthened; and one colour, to another. White blotches may inliven a group, tho in a single animal, we observed, they are offen­sive.

Sheep come under the same rules; only the fore-ground, as well as the distance, ad­mits a larger number of these smaller ani­mals. In pastoral subjects sheep are often ornamental, when dotted about the sides of distant hills. Here little more is necessary, than to guard against regular shapes—lines; circles; and crosses; which large flocks of sheep sometimes form. In combining them however, or, rather scattering them, the [Page 260] painter may keep in view the principle, we have already so often inculcated. They may be huddled together, in one, or more large bodies; from which little groups of different sizes, in proportion to the larger, should be detached.

In favour of the doctrine I have here ad­vanced of the subordinate group, I cannot forbear adding the authority of a great master, whose thorough acquaintance with every part of painting hath often, in the course of this work, been observed.

Aeneas, on his landing upon the coast of Africa, sees from the higher ground a herd of deer feeding in a valley; and Virgil, who, in the slightest instance, seems ever to have had before his eyes, ideas of picturesque beauty, introduces the herd, just as a painter would have done. From the larger group he de­taches a subordinate one:

Tres litore cervos
Prospicit errantes; hos tota armenta sequuntur
A tergo. —

I need not conceal, that some commentators have found in these three stags, which the [Page]




[Page 261] followed, the poet's inclination to aristo­cracy; and that others have supposed, he meant a compliment to the triumvirate. It is the commentator's business to find out a recondite meaning: common sense is satisfied with what is most obvious.

It may be observed further, that cattle and sheep mix very agreeably together; as also young animals, and old. Lambs and calves fill up little interstices in a group, and assist the com­bination.—I may add, that human figures also combine very agreeably with animals. Indeed they generally give a grace to a group, as they draw it to an apex.

I scarce need to apologize for this long digression, as it is so naturally suggested by the country, through which we passed; and so closely connected with the subject, which we treat. He who studies landscape, will find himself very deficient, if he hath not paid great attention to the choice, and com­bination, both of animal and human figures.


LEAVING the plains of Leicestershire, we entered the county of Northampton, which assumes a new face. The ground begins to rise and fall, and distances to open.

Lord Strafford's gardens, extending a con­siderable way on the left, are a great ornament to the country.

Lord Hallifax's improvements succeed. They make little appearance from the road: but the road itself is so beautiful, that it requires no aid. It passes through spacious lanes, adorned on each side by a broad, irregular border of grass; and winds through hedge-rows of full-grown oak, which the several turns of the [Page 264] road form into clumps. You have both a good fore-ground, and beautiful views into a fine country, through the boles of the trees. The undressed simplicity, and native beauty, of such lanes as these, exceed the walks of the most finished garden.

From Newport-Pagnel the country still continues pleasant. Before we reach Wooburn, we have a good view of Wooburn-abbey, and of the surrounding woods; which deco­rate the landscape.

Wooburn-park is an extensive woody scene, and capable of much improvement. We rode through it: but could not see the duke of Bedford's house; which is shewn only on particular days.—But the disappointment was not great. The furniture of all fine houses is much the same; and as for pictures (such is the prevalence of names, and fashion) that sometimes what are called the best collections, scarce repay the ceremonies you are obliged to go through in getting a sight of them.

[Page 265]After we leave Wooburn, the views con­tinue still pleasant; till we meet the chalky hills of Dunstable. These would disfigure the loveliest scene. But when we have passed these glaring heights, the country revives: the rising grounds are covered with wood, and verdure; and the whole looks pleasing. About Redburn particularly the country is beautiful; and is thrown into distance by large oaks, which over-hang the road.

St. Albans' church, and the ruins about it, make an immense pile; of which some parts are picturesque. There is a mixture too of brick and stone in the building, which often makes a pleasing contrast in the tints. Tho there are many remains of beautiful Gothic in this church; there are more deformities of Saxon architecture; particularly the tower, which is heavy, and disagreeably ornamented. The little spire, which arises from it, is very absurd.—Within the church is a monument near the altar, of very curious Gothic work­manship.

[Page 266]Among the numerous inhabitants of the subterraneous regions of this church, lies that celebrated prince, remembered by the name of good duke Humphrey; the youngest bro­ther of Henry V. He was put to death by a faction, in the succeeding reign; and was buried somewhere in this abbey; but his grave was unknown. Having lain concealed near three centuries, he came again to light, not many years ago. By an accident, a large vault was discovered, in which he was found sole tenant; wrapped in lead, and immersed in a pickle, which had preserved him in tole­rable order.

Leaving St. Alban's, we past the ruins of Verulam; which was raised in Roman times, and destroyed in Saxon. As it was never restored, very little now remains of that ancient town. In one part, about a quarter of a mile from the road, a fragment has the appearance of an old castle; but the vestiges of the wall run at least a mile.

[Page 267]Beyond Verulam the country grows pleasant. Soon after you pass Barnet, the road enters Finchley-common. The distance is woody, intersected by an extensive plain, which is connected with it by a sprinkling of scattered trees. The parts are large; and the scenery not unpicturesque.

The first view of Highgate-hill would make a good distance, if it were properly supported by a fore-ground. The view from it, is very grand; but is distracted by a multiplicity of objects.

After this, the country is gone. London comes on apace; and all those disgusting ideas, with which it's great avenues abound—brick-kilns steaming with offensive smoke—sewers and ditches sweating with filth—heaps of col­lected soil, and stinks of every denomination— clouds of dust, rising and vanishing, from agi­tated wheels, pursuing each other in rapid mo­tion—or taking stationary possession of the [Page 268] road, by becoming the atmosphere of some cumbersome, slow-moving waggon—villages without rural ideas—trees, and hedge-rows without a tinge of green—and fields and mea­dows without pasturage, in which lowing bullocks are crouded together, waiting for the shambles; or cows penned, like hogs, to feed on grains.—It was an agreeable relief to get through this succession of noisome objects, which did violence to all the senses by turns: and to leave behind us the busy hum of men; stealing from it through the quiet lanes of Surry; which leading to no great mart, or general rendezvous, afford calmer retreats on every side, than can easily be found in the neighbourhood of so great a town.




  • PAGE 39. THIS view of Warwick-castle, is inserted chiefly as an illustration of what hath been advanced in the preface (see page xxv) that a faithful portrait is rarely in every part beautiful. Nothing can be more disagreeable to the eye, than the cap represented here upon the round tower; and the squareness, and for­mality of the remoter parts of the building: tho in other situations Warwick-castle affords many pleasing views; some of which, with a little [Page ii] alteration on the fore-grounds (see preface, page xxvii) would be very picturesque.
  • PAGE 69. A specimen of the elegant mode, in which handles are adapted to Tuscan vases; and the awkward manner in which they are commonly affixed to those of modern construction.
  • PAGE 83. An explanation of the shapes and lines of mountains. They are left unshadowed, that their forms may be more conspicuous.
  • PAGE 95. An illustration of the appearance, which the shores of a lake form, when seen from its sur­face, in a boat. The promontories, and bays, unless very large, lose all their indentations; and the whole boundary of the lake becomes a mere thread. When you stand upon the shore, if your situ­ation be, in any degree, elevated, the promon­tories appear to come forward; and all the indentations are distinct. These two modes of viewing may be compared by turning from this print to page 55, vol. II; [Page iii] in which is represented a lake seen from the shore. This latter mode of viewing a lake is generally the most pleasing; unless indeed the stand be taken too high, which elevates the horizon too much.
  • PAGE 99. This print is meant to exemplify those beau­tiful reflections, which are sometimes formed on the surface of a lake; and broken by it's tremulous motion; as explained in page 100.
  • PAGE 113. The contracted valley may be considered as a species of fore-ground. The valley here repre­sented, opens rather too abruptly. There is more beauty in this kind of landscape, when the removed screen folds more behind the front one; and the distance appears over the inter­secting point. These scenes are generally deco­rated with a river; but sometimes only with a road. Of this latter kind is Middleton-dale, described in the 212th page of the IId vol. The contracted valley is contrasted by the open, extended vale; a scene of which kind is represented in the 41st page of the IId vol.
  • [Page iv]PAGE 123. An illustration of the effect of light; which is so great, as to give consequence even where there are no objects. A setting sun; or a storm, (as here represented) are most favourable to an exhibition of this kind.
  • PAGE 135. This plan of Windermere is not geographi­cally exact; but enough so to give the reader an idea of it's shape, and the situation of the several places mentioned on it's shores.
  • PAGE 135. This view of the middle part of Windermere, is taken from the grounds a little to the north of Bowness. The distance, as the reader will observe from the plan, is composed of that country, which shoots away towards the south. The high grounds make a part of Furness-fell; which is described, in page 143, stretching along the western shores of the lake towards the north.—Below Furness-fell appear some of the islands of the lake, particularly the great island; which is the most southern of them.
  • [Page v]PAGE 157. This is a view of that part of Furness-abbey, which is called the school; and which is one of the most beautiful fragments of that elegant ruin.
  • PAGE 163. An illustration of that kind of wild country, of which we saw several instances, as we en­tered Cumberland. In general, the mountains make the most considerable part of these scenes. But when any of them is furnished with a distant view of a lake, the landscape is greatly inriched.
  • PAGE 179. This plan of Keswick-lake means only to express the general shape of it; and the relative situation of it's several parts.
  • PAGE 187. The character of that sort of rocky scenery is here given, which is not uncommonly found on the banks of lakes, particularly of Keswick lake; the shores of which exhibit several in­stances of these detached rocks.
  • [Page vi]PAGE 193. An illustration of that sort of country, which composes the narrower parts of the straits of Borrodale. They consist of rocky, or craggy mountains on each side; with a stream, or, in some parts (where the stream may be hid) a road, in the middle. But it is difficult to give any idea of these tremendous scenes, in so small a compass, as they are here exhibited: for as their terror consists greatly in their immensity, it is not easy to persuade the eye to conceive highly of their grandeur from these diminutive representations.—Mr. Farrington has given us, on a larger scale, a fine portrait, and I think, a very exact one, of the entrance into these straits at the village of Grange.
  • PAGE 227. This print was intended to give some idea of that kind of rocky scenery, of which Gates­garth-dale is composed; and of that solemnity, which it assumed, when we saw the sweeping clouds pass over it's summits: but I am sorry to say, it does not express the idea so well as I could wish. The proofs of this print escaped me too soon. Indeed I thought it had been [Page vii] brought nearer my idea, than I find it is. The clouds are ill made-out: the distant rocks are worse; and the figures, as a scale to the perspective, are twice as large as they ought to be.—With these hints, however, I hope the imagination of the spectator may not be misled by the deficiences of the print.


  • PAGE 41. AN illustration of that beautiful species of landscape, produced by an extensive vale. Gradation is among the first principles of pic­turesque beauty. A graduating light, a gradu­ating shade, or a graduating distance, are all beautiful. When the vale therefore does not exceed such a proportion, as is adapted to the eye, it is pleasing to see it fading away gradu­ally, from the fore-ground, into the obscurity of distance. It presents indeed only one uniform idea; which, tho often grand, is not generally so pleasing, as the variety, and intricacy of a country broken into parts, and yet harmoni­ously combined.
  • [Page x]PAGE 51. This plan of Ulleswater, like the others, is not very exact; but enough so, to give an idea of it's general shape, and the relative situation of the several places on it's shores.
  • PAGE 55. This print illustrates that kind of scenery, which is presented by Ulleswater. It is, by no means, a portrait: but it gives some idea of the view towards Patterdale, in which the rocky promontory on the left, and the two woody promontories on the right, are conspi­cuous features.
  • PAGE 85. This view has more the air of Dacre-castle, than of any of the other old castles we met with: but it is chiefly introduced to shew the beautiful effect which some of these ruins had, when seen, under a gloomy hemisphere, in­lightened by the rays of a setting sun.
  • PAGE 121. A view of Scaleby-castle, in which the old tower, part of the walls, and the bastion, are represented.
  • [Page ix]PAGE 169. An illustration of the force of contrast, in a piece of regular ground, bisected.
  • PAGE 221. This print is meant to give some idea of that kind of continuation of rocky scenery, which is found at Matlock, along the banks of the Derwent: but it is not so good an illus­tration, as might be wished.
  • PAGE 227. This view of Dovedale, represents that beau­tiful scene in a more naked state, than it is described. The stratum of it only is here represented, which the spectator's imagination must cloath with wood, to give it compleat beauty.—The fact is, a little gain unluckily arises from dismantling it periodically of it's wood; and this drawing was made, just after the axe had been at work.
  • PAGE 251. An illustration of that kind of flat country, which we meet with in Leicestershire. The horizon is generally bounded by a distance, [Page xii] and yet seldom an extensive one; as there is rarely a rising ground, that can command it. The country is uninteresting, and wants ad­ventitious objects to set it off. If the distance happen to be spread with light under a dark cloud, it is a happy circumstance; and has a good effect. Sometimes, on the middle grounds, a gentle rise, adorned with a spire; or a shep­herd attending his flock, may relieve the eye. Such circumstances are all we can expect. In defect of these, we must wait, till we can find a few cattle on the fore-ground, which may turn the landscape into an appendage; and give us one of the pictures of Coyp.
  • PAGE 253. This print exhibits a comparison between the lines of the horse and the cow, as objects of picturesque beauty.
  • PAGE 255. And this exhibits the same mode of com­parison between the bull, and the cow.
  • PAGE 259. These two prints are meant to explain the doctrine of grouping larger cattle. Two will [Page xiii] hardly combine. There is indeed no way of forming two into a group, but by uniting them, as they are represented in the former of these prints. If they stand apart, what­ever their attitudes, or situation may be, there will be a deficiency. But with three, you are almost sure of a good group, except indeed they all stand in the same attitude, and at equal distances. They generally however combine the most beau­tifully, when two are united, and the third a little removed. Four introduce a new difficulty in grouping. Separate they would have a bad effect. Two, and two together would be equally bad. The only way, in which they will group well, is to unite three, as represented in the second of these prints, and to remove the fourth.
  • PAGE 261. These two prints illustrate the doctrine of grouping smaller animals, as sheep, goats, and deer. When they occupy the fore-ground, as represented in the first, they come under the same rule of grouping, as larger cattle: only a greater number may be introduced. [Page xiv] And if the main body be larger, the subordi­nate group must be so of course. If they be removed to a middle distance, as represented in the other of these prints, the subordinate group is of less consequence; and still of less, the farther it recedes from the eye. The whole is only considered as one body, blended, as it were, and shadowed, or inlight­ened, with the ground: and it is enough, if regular, and disagreeable shapes are avoided.


  • Page 3 for, where the admirers, read that the admirers.
  • Page 3 for, feature, that, read feature, which.
  • Page 9 for, have still possession, read hath still possession.
  • Page 10 for, this just species of taste, read this just taste in decora­tion.
  • Page 27, &c. for, Vanburgh, read Vanbrugh.
  • Page 30 for, lake) seen together, read lake, seen together.)
  • Page 56 dele, Shenstone was poor, and with a little of that vanity, which often attends poverty,
  • Page 59 for, aboribus, read arboribus.
  • Page 105 for, which is the most profitable, read which is thought the most profitable.
  • Page 108 for, looses, read loses.
  • Page 135 for, grandeur of the country, read grandeur of the scene.
  • Page 145 for, splended, read splendid.
  • Page 184 for, as the lake of Windermere, read as those of Windermere.
  • Page 200 for, singular character, read peculiar character.
  • Page 222 for, genus, read species.
  • Page 5 for, moment, read force.
  • Page 36 for, given to me, read given us.
  • Page 76 for, in the scene, read in the effect.
  • Page 120 for, except an old gateway, read but an old gateway.
  • Page 121 for, stand the ruins, read we visited the ruins.
  • Page 149 for, Lord Lonsdale, read Sir James Lowther: and for, late lord, read late lord Lonsdale.
  • Page 150 At the end of the first paragraph, after due inferiority, insert—"But what is said of these two detached [Page xvi] parts of the castle, is meant only with regard to that view of it, which appears from the road. If you go round it, you are presented with other views, in which it is seen more advantageously: particularly where you see the bridge, and the first opening into the vale of Eden. There the castle takes a very grand situation on a hanging rock over the river; and the detached part makes but an inconsiderable appearance."
  • Page 165 for, life taught her, read life had taught her.
  • Page 169 for, break, read breaks.
  • Page 174 for, Grata, read Greta.
  • Page 192 for, the front of the precipice, read the foot of the precipice.
  • Page 208 for, Tinley, read Tilney.
  • Page 233 for, barrier to all the scenery, read barrier to the scenery.
  • Page 251 for, chassieurs, read chasseurs.
  • Page 258 for, two will hardly, read two cows will hardly.

In page the 11th, &c. the author endeavours to shew, that the art of painting consists rather in giving the strong characteristic touches of nature, than in mi­nutely detailing her beauties, by high finishing. Since he wrote that passage, he met with, in a work of Dr. Johnson's, the application of the same rules to poetry. The passage is here transcribed, as a new argument, to shew the near resemblance of the two arts. ‘The busi­ness of a poet, is, to examine—not the individual; but the species—to remark general properties, and large appearances. He does not number the streaks of the tulip, or describe the different shades in the verdure of the forest. He is to exhibit in his por­traits of nature such prominent, and striking fea­tures, as recal the original to every mind: and must neglect the minuter discriminations (which one may have remarked, and another have neglect­ed), for those characteristics, which are alike ob­vious to attention, and carelessness.’

Pr. of Abyssin. p. 68.

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