Imatges de pÓgina

"The gift of James Cock, Maior in Kendale, 1654, to the Maior of the same sucksesively.

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Time runneth ;-your work is before you.' "How I should have looked at it! What a curious inscription !"

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"And quite as impressive as it is curious. An author has remarked upon it, Mortal man wastes his hours and his years in the pursuit of trifles, gewgaws of fame, and baubles of glittering dust; while the time is hastening on, yea, is almost at hand, when moments will be worth millions. But shall we do well to sit down and waste the few remaining sands in the hour-glass of life, in unavailing regret that the grains which have run by have passed so swiftly? No, no! If we have but little time, the more energy should we display. Time runneth still, and our work is yet before us. Let us up, then, and be doing, with all the faculties and energies of our bodies and our souls. Gladly would I write a word of warning on your hearts; and willingly would I have the inscription, Time runneth; your work is before you,' graven on my own.

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"You may be sure that I paid a visit to Kendal old castle, standing as it does on the top of a steep hill.”

"I did not know that there was a castle at Kendal." "All that remains of it may be said to be an outer wall surrounded by a deep fosse, and four broken towers. It was the seat of the ancient barons of Kendal; and Catherine Parr, the last queen of Henry the Eighth, first drew her breath within its massy walls. The strongholds of the mighty fall into ruin, and many a fortress

that frowned sternly from the eminence on which it stood, is seen no more.

Strong castles and embattled towers,

Alas! are like departed hours;

Mankind has not the power to bind them,
Time flies-we look, and cannot find them.'

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"An elderly gentleman, who was looking at the mouldering ruin, spoke to me of the sandstone, limestone, slate, and granite of the surrounding hills. The earth,' said he, 'is a vast museum, and it is being opened and catalogued by science very fast.' I thought the remark worth remembering. Another old gentleman, too, pleased me by his talents and his piety, and I lingered some time to converse with him.

"I went to the old Gothic church; it has no less than five aisles, and three chapels, or choirs. On a brass plate in the chancel is the following curious inscription, written by him whose body lies beneath it :

'Here under lyeth ye body of Mr. Ralph Tirer, late vicar of Kendal, Batchler of Divinity, who died the 4th day of June, Ano. Dni. 1627.

London bredd mee- -Westminster fedd mee

Cambridge spedd me-my sister wedd me-
Study taught me— -Kendal caught mee-
Labour pressed mee-sickness distressed mee-
Death oppressed mee-The grave possessed mee-
God first gave me— -Christ did save me-

Earth did crave me,-and heaven would have me."

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"I never heard a stranger epitaph than that; no

wonder that you should take a copy of it.

old things, papa !"

You like

"I do. I went, as I told you, to see the old castle built in old times on a high old hill. I met there some old people, made to them some old remarks, and received in return some old-fashioned replies. We spoke of the olden promises, in that goodly old book the Bible, and agreed that the goodness and mercy of God had been ever of old."


What a cluster of old things! Why you had nothing new to see, or to talk of."

"There you are wrong; the old castle and the surrounding hills, and the beautiful clouds above me were all new to me. The old people, too, were new acquaintance, and things that were old to us all, appeared in a new light while we talked together. We spoke of a new heaven and a new earth, in which dwelleth righteousness; and though, as I said, God's goodness and mercy had been 'ever of old,' yet we felt that his loving-kindnesses were 'new every morning;' and if this knowledge did not at the moment put a new song in our mouths, it did, at least, call up new thankfulness in our hearts." "You now make out everything to be new. How very odd!"

"It will do you no harm to remember that the goodness of God is both old and new. But I was going to tell you of some other places that I visited round the neighbourhood of Kendal."

"Yes do, and I will attend to every word.”

"What is the high hill yonder?' said I, to a man

who was standing near the bridge. That high hill is Benson Knot,' said he, 'and you will not find it easy to get to the top of it.' Off I set, and was soon standing on its summit. The prospect was wonderful. It seemed to me as if my eye took in all Lancashire, Westmoreland, and Cumberland, with all the mountains and lakes they contained: but this was far from being the case. I should have told you that a knot is the rugged, rocky top of a hill, and sometimes a rocky hill altogether is called a knot. On descending Benson Knot, I visited the large circular mount with a deep fosse called Castlelow-hill, supposed to be of Saxon origin. On such hills, called laws, justice in ancient times was administered. I then made the best of my way to Underbarrow (or Scout) Scar. A scar is a line of rock with no vegetation growing on it. How astonished I was!"

"What was it that astonished you?"

"You shall hear. I crossed a lone moor, on which grew abundance of wild thyme. After a while I came to a part completely covered with rough broken stones, over which it was difficult to pass. The higher I ascended the more stony was the ground, and on some parts huge piles of these stones had been heaped up. On turning round to look at the prospect, I saw what at first I took to be an old house in the valley surrounded by a clump of trees. A house in the valley! Why, it was the very castle that I had visited on the high hill, and it was only the higher ground on which I stood, and the still higher hills around, that made it appear like a house in the valley."

"No wonder that you were astonished. should have been astonished too."

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I am sure I

Very likely; but it was the Underbarrow Scar that so much astonished me: by and by I will describe it. I told you that the high ground was covered with rough broken stones, yet, here and there, among these rugged masses were growing plants with the most beautiful leaves and flowers. True they were of a miniature size, but exquisite in form and colour: thus order sprang from chaos, fruitfulness from sterility, and beauty and loveliness from misshapen deformity.

And thus, though rugged and forlorn,

When God shall heavenly grace impart,
Shall flowers and fruitfulness adorn

That stony ground, the human heart.""

"But please to tell me of the Underbarrow Scar. What sort of a place was it?"

"It was a long line of precipitous rock that seemed to reach for miles. I came to it suddenly, so that the perpendicular fall to the vale below, and the splendid prospect burst upon me at once. I did not see the precipice till I was within a few yards of it, and had it been night I might have walked over the brink of it, and been dashed to pieces at the bottom. I looked down with awe on the profound depth of the woods growing far, far below. There were deep cracks, or rather rifts, near the edge of the precipice, and splinters, here and there, of at least a thousand tons, seemed peeling off from the face of the crag."

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