Imatges de pÓgina
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Briggs, an officer in Oliver's army, resided in Kendal, who having heard that major Philipson was secreted in his brother's house on Belle Isle, went thither armed with his double authority, (for he was a civil magistrate as well as a military man,) with the view of making a prisoner of so obnoxious a person. The major, however, was on the alert, and gallantly withstood a siege of eight months, until his brother came to his relief. The attack being thus repulsed, the major was not a man who would sit down quietly under the insult he had received. He therefore raised a small band of horse, and set forth one Sunday morning in search of Briggs. Upon arriving at Kendal, he was informed that the colonel was at prayers. Without further consideration he proceeded to the church, and having posted his men at the entrance, dashed forward himself down the principal aisle into the midst of the assemblage. Whatever were his intentions, whether to shoot the colonel on the spot, or merely to carry him off prisoner, they were defeated -his enemy was not present. The congregation was at first too much surprised to seize the major, who, in discovering that his object could not be effected, galloped up the next aisle. As he was making his exit from the church, his head came violently in contact with the arch of the doorway, which was much smaller than that through which he had entered. His helmet was struck off by the blow, his saddle-girth gave way, and he himself was much stunned. The congregation, taking advantage of the confusion, attempted to seize him; but with the assistance of his followers the major

made his escape, after a violent struggle, and rode back The helmet still hangs in one

to his brother's house.

of the aisles of Kendal church."

"I would not have had you leave out that anecdote on any account. What a situation the major was in when he knocked his helmet against the arch of the church door!"

"I will now finish for the present with a verse or two which you may not have heard before :

'A floweret is blooming near Windermere's side,
And its fragrance is widely shed:

A blight from the east, and a blast from the north!
Alas! for that floweret is fled!

'A snow-wreath adorns the bleak brow of Helvellyn,
All pure, and lovely, and lone;

A beam from the sun, and a breeze from the south!
Ah! where can that snow-wreath be gone?

'The floweret of hope, and the snow-wreath of peace,
May allure and look lovely to-day;
But the wintry hour, and the sun-stroke of power,
May pass o'er them, and drive them away.'

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CHAPTER III.

LOITERINGS ABOUT GRASMERE WATER.

Different effects of natural scenery.-Advantage of piety to a lover of nature.-Grasmere Water.-Wordsworth on lake scenery.-Mountains seen from Red Bank.-Helm Crag.-Easdale.-Terrible accident. The wishing-gate.-The woolly bear.-Rydal Falls.-The white pigs. The cattle. The stone quarry.-Knab Scar and Loughrigg Fell.

"VARIOUS are the dispositions of the lovers of nature, and very different are the effects produced on the mind by different kinds of scenery. Some love the breezy upland, and some delight to ramble by the brook. One roams with pleasure over the barren heath, another revels amid waving crops of golden grain. Not a few climb the mountain with exultation, while many seek the peaceful valley with emotions of tranquil joy. glory of a sun-lit mountain has a cheering influence, the gloom of the rocky glen disposes us to be serious, but the influence of the retired lake is of a mingled character; its beauty and brightness occasion joy, its silence and solitude excite thoughtfulness."

The

Such were the observations that were made to Paul Ritter by his father, as the latter resumed his account of his loiterings among the lakes. "An ardent love of

nature," continued he, "is a source of great delight; but when piety is united with it, that delight is abundantly increased: God and his goodness are then ever before us. Had you been with me, Paul, in my loiterings, your heart would often have leaped for joy. Sometimes when wandering in beautiful places, I could have clasped my hands with delight and thankfulness, exclaiming :

'My God, the spring of all my joys,

The life of my delights,
The glory of my brightest days,
And comfort of my nights.

'In darkest shades if thou appear,

My dawning is begun ;

Thou art my soul's bright morning star,

And thou my rising sun.'

"But I must tell you, Paul, about Grasmere." "Yes, if you please. What a pretty name! I supthe mere is half covered with grass."

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No, that is not the case now, whatever it may have been in days gone by. Grasmere is a fine sheet of water, reflecting the sky when calm, but washing the stony shore like the waves of old Ocean in windy weather. The village, the trees, and the church tower at the head of it appear as pleasantly situated, as if they had fallen in love with the lake, and seated themselves near it to gaze on its beauties.”

"What an odd thought! A village, a church, and a clump of trees sitting down at the side of the water!" "There are different opinions about lakes. Words

worth says, that the form of a lake is most perfect when, like Derwentwater, and some other of the smaller lakes, it least resembles that of a river; when being looked at from any given point, where the whole may be seen at once, the width of it bears such proportion to the length, that, however the outline may be diversified by far-receding bays, it never assumes the shape of a river, and is regarded with that placid and quiet feeling which belongs peculiarly to a lake, as a body of still water under the influence of no current; reflecting, therefore, the clouds, the light, and all the imagery of the sky and surrounding hills; expressing, also, and making visible the changes of the atmosphere, and motions of the lightest breeze, and subject to agitation only from the winds."

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"That is very sweet indeed! But when you spoke of the beauty of Windermere, you said it had the character of a river."

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Yes, I was quoting from professor Wilson then, and he seems to think the river-like character of Windermere to be a beauty."

"But which is right? Wordsworth thinks one thing, and professor Wilson another; what do you think about it ?"

"And so you wish me to decide between two such competent judges as professor Wilson and the laureate of England; however, you shall have my honest opinion. I decide in favour of the laureate. I think that a lake should be a lake, and a river a river. The principal charms of a lake appear to me to be those of seclusion,

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