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CHAPTER VIII.

LOITERINGS ABOUT CONISTON WATER.

Kind actions.-Coniston Water.-Fishermen.-Advantages of being a pedestrian.-Lancaster sands.-A party of gipsies.-Coniston Old Man.-The copper-mine.-The lark, the thrush, the blackbird, the cuckoo.-Long Crag.-Wetherlam.-Yewdale Crag. — High Raise, and other mountains.-Snow on the hills.-Approaching spring.-Tilberthwaite, Nibthwaite, and other places.-The pool. -Mo-too-otoo. The old stone wall, and the wall-flowers.-Conishead Priory.-Ulverston.

"Look

BEFORE Paul's father began his account of his loiterings about Coniston Lake, he gave Paul a word of advice, which was, that in case he ever became a tourist in Westmoreland and Cumberland, he should not only encourage a cheerful and grateful disposition, but endeavour to do, every day, some act of kindness. about you, Paul," said he, "and you will find plenty of opportunities. I would rather go out of my way to remove a black snail from the path, or to rescue a drowning fly from the brook, than willingly let the day pass without a kindly deed having been done by me. Put it down as a truth which may be relied on, that we cannot add to the happiness of a creeping thing without increasing our own. Gratitude to God, and humanity

to his creatures, should form a part of our very being, and cheerfulness of heart is both a debt and a duty.

E'en like the glowing sun, that flings
A glory on terrestrial things,
Would I in cheerfulness abound,

And shed a grateful influence round.

"And not only should we try to do good to all God's creatures, but especially to the souls of men. This may

be done in conversation, and by means of tracts. Surely, those who love Christ should invite others to love and serve him."

"But I promised to tell you of my loiterings about Coniston Lake, which is not more than six or eight miles from Windermere, and about half as much from Esthwaite Water. Coniston Water, which is in Lancashire, is, I should say at the least six miles long, though it is scarcely three quarters of a mile broad. In some places it is a hundred and sixty feet deep. There is no lake that is more abundant in trout and char, and many people of fine palates say that no fish is in such perfection as the char of Coniston."

"Then there are plenty of fishermen there, I dare say?" "Wherever there are fish in the lakes, there are sure to be fishermen. You see them on the lakes with their nets, and on the banks of the streams with their rods and lines.

Beneath a willow long forsook,

The fisher seeks his custom'd nook;

And bursting through the crackling sedge
That crowns the current's cavern'd hedge,
He startles from the bordering wood
The bashful wild duck's early brood.'

"Coniston Lake, which has also the name of Thurston Water, has very little variety in its banks on account of their regularity. They are not scolloped out into bays. and beautiful inlets, as the banks of some waters are ; but the mountains seen from them add much to their interest."

"Which way did you go to get to Coniston? You said it was very near Esthwaite Water?"

"I did. One of the many advantages of being a pedestrian is this, that if there be half a dozen ways of visiting a mountain or a mere, you can take which way you like best. He who travels in his carriage requires a broad road, and he who rides on horseback is stopped at once by a fell or a bog, or a fastened gate, or a stile, or a fence; whereas, a pedestrian easily overcomes all these obstacles. Give me then health, cheerfulness, and a walking-stick; and you, if you prefer it, may travel in a coach and six."

"A man would cut a poor figure among the mountains and meres in a coach and six!"

"Whatever figure he would cut, it is very certain that he would not see much, nor enjoy much as a tourist. Many prefer visiting Coniston by the sands from Lancaster, and perhaps this is the best course to take, for at low water you may cross the sands without difficulty; but then this mode would not suit a tourist who happened to be at Ambleside, where I was when I set off for Coniston Lake."

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Why would it be best to visit the lake by crossing

the sands?

The sands have nothing to do with the lake, have they?"

"As we always enjoy food best when we are hungry, and rest when we are weary, so, in like manner, we are most struck with fertility after passing over a barren land, and with mountains when we approach them from a plain. Now the Lancaster, or Morecambe Bay sands, being flat and barren, set off to great advantage the high mountains and the fertile parts of the vale of Coniston."

"I understand you now very well."

"Sometimes an accidental sight greatly adds to the beauty of a neighbourhood. I remember, on one occasion, that when about two or three miles from Coniston Old Man, in a sweet romantic spot, I met a party of gipsies, dressed in almost all the colours of the rainbow. Here they come,' said I, 'with their children and their donkeys, as free from care as liberty can make them.'

'Now came in groups the gipsy tribes,

From northern hills, from southern plains;
And many a pannier'd ass is swinging
The child that to itself is singing

Along the flowery lanes.

Stout men are loud in wrangling talk,

Where older tongues are gruff and tame;

Keen maiden laughter rings aloft,

Whilst many an under voice is soft

From many a talking dame.

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"That is just such a sight as I should like to see among the mountains."

"Coniston Old Man lifts up its giant head more than two thousand five hundred feet to the north-west of the lake, and adds a grandeur to the scene. I forget whether I have told you before that a pile of stones heaped up on the top of a mountain is called a man. Coniston Old Man once had on it a pile of this description, but it was pulled down by the Ordnance surveyors. Though one part of the mountain is formed of granite, the principal bulk is of slate. Many a boat deeply laden with slates of different kinds is seen gliding along the lake for the port of Ulverston. There is also a copper-mine in the mountain."

"Oh! tell me about the copper-mine."

"About half a mile up the hill is a large cove, or hollow, from which a boring extends half a mile straight into the mountain:-there are then perpendicular shafts or round holes, like the shafts of coal-pits, two hundred yards deep, down to the copper, which is obtained in the state of pyrites-a hard, bright, metallic substance."

'Did you go down the deep shafts? How frightful it must be to go down a hole two hundred yards deep, in the middle of a mountain !"

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