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CHAPTER VII.

LOITERINGS ABOUT BUTTERMERE LAKE.

Everything has a shadowy side.-Scenes in Cumberland and Westmoreland. The Lady's Rake.-Wallow Crag.-Fall of Lowdore. -Shepherd's Crag and Gowder Crag.-Bowder Stone.-Castle Crag. Yew Crag.-Borrowdale.-Valleys.-Black lead mine.— The yew-trees.-Buttermere Haws.-Honister Crag.—The Victoria inn.-Mary of Buttermere.-The inn book.-The night alarm.The oak tree.-Black Gill Hollow.-Kirk Fell.-High Crag.-Red Pike.-Hen Comb.-Green Gable.-The valley of Newlands.

“WHICH of all the lakes do you like best?" inquired Paul Ritter, as his father was about to resume his narrative. "You have told me about Windermere, Grasmere, Rydalmere, Hawes Water, and Esthwaite Water. Which of all the lakes do you like best?"

"Windermere is the prince of the lakes," replied Paul's father, "and no doubt Derwentwater and Ülleswater come next in order, though there is some difficulty in deciding which of the latter two has the fairest claim to admiration. We do not, however, always derive the most pleasure from things that are the most beautiful. It is said that everything has a shadowy side. The peacock is a fine bird, but his voice is

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discordant; the rattlesnake has a beautiful skin, but his poison is deadly.

E'en on the bank of freshest green
Some ugly creeping thing is seen;
And where are fairest roses found,
Without the prickly thorns around?

"It may happen that when we look on the fairest lake, it may be the foulest weather, or we may not have with us the most agreeable company; or a headache or a heartache may rob us of the pleasure we should otherwise enjoy."

"Yes, that is very true; but which of all the lakes did you most enjoy?”

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Beyond all my other rambles, my rambles to Buttermere Lake unquestionably gave me the greatest gratification; but not so much for the beauty of the lake as on account of the impressive scenery of Borrowdale, and the very agreeable companion who attended me. Of all the dales in Westmoreland and Cumberland, Borrowdale is beyond comparison the first in beauty and grandeur. Never had I before seen such an arresting assemblage of beauty, variety, and sublimity, and my companion seemed as forcibly struck with it as I was."

"Who was he? And where did you meet with him?"

"I met with him on my road to Keswick, and being unusually pleased with each other, we exchanged cards at the Queen's Head hotel, and agreed to ramble together to Buttermere. He was a captain in the navy,

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who had sailed in most parts of the world, and been on an exploring expedition in Australasia. Of agreeable person, sound understanding, and much information, he mingled the open-heartedness of the sailor with good feeling and gentlemanly bearing. Very much did he add to my gratification."

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Yes, that he would; for he would tell you all sorts of sea adventures."

"You can hardly form a conception, Paul, of the scenery of many of the striking parts of Cumberland and Westmoreland. At the foot of the mountains, steep water-courses run up high among the rocks and clefts mantled with the freshest verdure, with here and there a stunted tree; and then there are larger gulfs and fissures, down which to look from their craggy edges would make the brain giddy.

Silence, and Solitude, and Fear,

Have formed a lonely friendship there;
And Danger, with his rugged brow,
Looks down upon the depths below.

"Here a beetling rock and there a wooded shelf of land crowns the heights; while the sunny sky, or the dark clouds of the gathering storm above, give an added interest to the striking scene."

"I wish I could describe rocks and mountains as you do; but if I were to see them, I should never be able to give an account of them."

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Oh, it was a fine sight, at times, to see the vale below, with its silvery stream and endless cascades, shut in by the many-coloured rocks, that rise up,

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