Puslapio vaizdai

confusion hurrying to and fro, adorns, disturbs, and dazzles the broad blue bosom of the Queen of Lakes. Southwards from forest Fell-Foot beneath the Beacon-Hill, gathering glory from the sylvan bays of green Graithwaite, and the templed promontory of stately Storrs, before the sea-borne wind, the wild swans, all, float up the watery vale of beauty and of peace. Out from that still haven, overshadowed by the Elmgrove, where the old Parsonage sleeps, comes the Eммa murmuring from the water-lilies, and as her mainsail rises to salute the sunshine, in proud impatience lets go her anchor the fair GAZELLE. As if to breathe themselves before the start, cutter and schooner in amity stand across the ripple, till their gaffs seem to cut the sweet woods of Furness-Fells, and they put about each on less than her own length-ere that breezeless bay may show, among the inverted umbrage, the drooping shadows of their canvass. Lo! Swinburne the Skilful sallies from his pebbly pier, in his tiny skiff, that seems all sail; and the Norway NAUTILUS, as the wind slackens, leads the van of the Fairy squadron which heaven might now cover with one of her small clouds, did she choose to drop it from the sky.

The squadron enters the Straits—and we see now but here and there gaff-topsail-peak, or ensign, gliding or streaming along the woods of the Isle called Beautiful; while, hark, the merry church-tower bells hail the Victory, gathering the green shore round rushy Cockshut-Point; and lo! ere you could count your fingers, the whole Southern Fleet is in Bowness Bay, now filled with light, music, and motion, glorifying the day, as if meridian yet bore in its bold bosom all the beauty of morn.

But what means that exulting cheer, while all the hats and handkerchiefs of the village are waving along the beach? Ha! slips from her moorings, between garden and rock, with no other emblazonry but the union-jack at the peak of her mainsail, bold and bright as that bird when he has bathed his pinions in sun and sea, the swift-shooting OSPREY. Helm down-Garnet! if you wish not to be capsized-for ere yet the snow-wreaths have garlanded your cut-water, a squall—a squall! Bearing up withouten fear in the pitchy blackness, the Osprey suddenly shows to the sunshine the whole breadth of her wings-hark! they for a moment rustle, but they flap not-and then right in the wind's eye she goes, disdainful of

the tempest that sweeps past her on her foamy path, steady as a star.

From Kirkstone and Rydal Cove, the clouds disparting let loose the northern winds, who have been lunching in those saloons after their journey from Scotland, which they left soon after sunrise-and hovering a little while delighted over Ambleside, the Village of the Pine-Groves, they join the fresh Family of Favonius, blowing and blooming in their flight from the Great and Green Gabels, where all the summer long are singing the waterfalls. All the boats at Waterhead had been lying for hours on their shadows; but now, just as a peal of rook-blast thunder from Langdale Quarry sends a sound magnificent, by way of signal-gun, the black and white buoys are all left bobbing by themselves on the awakened waves, and the astonished Lakers on Lowood Bowling-green behold an Aquatic Procession of sails and serpents, as if some strong current in the middle of the lake were bearing at ten knots the gaudy pomp along-for not a breath fans the brows of the gazers from the shade of tent or tree, the winds being all in love with Windermere, and a-murmur on her breast, leaving on either shore, without a touch, the unrustling richness of the many-coloured woods.

Broad between Bell-Grange and Miller-Ground—with no isle to break the breadth of liquid lustre-but with an isle anchored to windward, on whose tall trees are seen sitting some cormorants-broadest of all its bending length from the Giants of Brathay to the humble holms of Landing, where in mild metamorphosis it narrows itself into a river, the lucid Leven-lies the bosom of Windermere. 'Tis a tightish swim across-experto crede Christophero-from the chapel-like farmhouse, half hidden among the groves that enzone Greenbank on the eastern, to the many-windowed villa that keeps perpetually staring up into Troutbeck, on the western shore. Gazing on it from some glade in the Calgarth-woods, you might say it was the Upper Lake; for the Isle called Beautiful seems to lie across the waters from Furness-Fells to the church-tower of Bowness, and intercepts all the sweet scenery beyond the Ferry-House-though there is no danger of your forgetting it-seeing that you have got it by heart. Here then is the Mediterranean-and lo! the Mediterranean Fleet! The Grand Fleet! For seven squadrons have formed a junc

tion-and it consists of thirty sail-all of the line-the line of peace.

No shape so beautiful as the crescent-" sharpening its mooned horns." So thinks that living fleet. See how it is bending itself into Dian's bow-and gliding along too, like that celestial motion. Still liker must it seem to the eyes of the Naiads, now all looking up from their pleasant palaces through water pure as air. But you look now at the flags, and your thoughts are of the rainbow. And like the rainbow it breaks into pieces. 'Tis confusion all. No-out of momentary seeming disorder arises perfect regularity;-and in two Divisions,—with the NIL TIMEO and her train of barges between, lady-laden, and moving in music,-the Grand Fleet is standing on, under easy sail, bound dreamward, so it is felt, for some port in Paradise.

We have often promised that Maga should, in a few pages, give a guide to the Lakes. All we want to do, gentle lover of Nature, is to land you in the Region of Delight, and with a few directions, from which you will deviate as frequently and as far as you please, to send you with our blessing, like pilgrims towards her shrine among the sacred mountains.

Let us begin soberly then with WINDERMERE. For our sake, and its own, love.Bowness. There is not in all the world a more cheerful old church. The tower has ceased to deplore the death of her noble pine-trees, and ever looks lovingly down on the limber larches that here and there break the line of the low laurel-wreathed churchyard wall. In the heart of the lively village, pleasant is the Place of Tombs. 'Tis a village of villas. Yet the native Westmoreland cottages keep their ancient sites still, nor, intrenched within their blossoming orchards, seem to heed the gay intruders. Lo! on every knoll above and around "the Port," proud of its own peculiar architecture, a pretty edifice. We find fault with nothing there-houses nor their inhabitants—the cut of their coats, nor the shapes of their chimneys-their faces nor their figures, though some of these are droll enough; and as for the Westmoreland dialect, it wants but to be accompanied with the Scotch accent, to be the language of gods and goddesses. Pretty nymphs peep out of latticed windows and porched doors; nor could Camilla's self, had her feet been clogged like theirs, have clattered more neatly across the

blue-slate floors of their parlour-kitchens. 'Tis impossible to imagine any mode more elegant than theirs of tying up their hair; and the maidens, with a natural gracefulness, can put on and off their large shady bonnets, pink-lined and rosyribanded, without disarranging the snooded trefoil in its glossiness, crowned mayhap with a comb of ivory; auburn, mind ye-not red-for though to vulgar eyes there is a constant confusion of these two colours, different in nature are they as a bunch of carrots on a stall, and the glow of morn beginning to brighten the crest of the golden oak.

Having strolled, but not stared, through the village,-for quiet steps should have quiet eyes, and such will see more in an hour than in a year a traveller who behaves like a surveyor of window-lights, and looks at every domicile as if he were going to tax-nay, to surcharge it-step up to the hill behind the schoolhouse, and ask your own stilled or stirred heart what it thinks of Windermere,

"Wooded Winandermere, the river lake!"

That is a line of our own; and we cannot help feeling, even at this distance, that it is characteristic. All the islands you see lie together, as if they loved one another, and that part of the Mere which is their birthplace. No wonder. Saw you ever such points and promontories-capes and headlandsand, above all, such bays? In lovelier undulations lay not the lands, where

"Southward through Eden went a river large,"

than the banks and braes of WINDERMERE, from Fell-Foot to Brathay; but the spirit of beauty seems concentrated between Storrs and Calgarth, diffusing itself so as to embrace Elleray and Orerstead apart on their own happy hills, yet feeling themselves, and felt by others, to belong to the Lake on which glad would they be to fling their shadows; and sometimes they do so, for reflection and refraction are two beautiful mysteries, and we have ourselves twice seen, with our own very eyes, those happy hills, those happy houses, and those happy horses, and cows, and sheep, hanging among

"all that uncertain heaven received Into the bosom of the steady Lake;"

but that miracle must be rare-in all ordinary atmospheres those delightful dwellings are out of the reach of that Mirror, which seems not, in the midst of all the shadowy profusion, to miss the loveliness that would render more celestial still that evanescent world of enchantment.

After Christopher North, the best guide on Windermere, unquestionably, is Billy Balmer. But Billy cannot, any more than a bird, be at above half-a-dozen places at one time; and should he happen to be at Lowood, Waterhead, the Ferry, and Newby-Bridge, you will be in good hands should you for the day engage Tom or Jack Stevenson. There is no such thing as a bad boat on Windermere. The SNAIL herself would have been in the superlative on the pond in your "policy;" but we entreat you just to cast your eye on these wherries. You are a Cockney, we presume, and you talk of the Thames. Why, that craft there-lying on the greensward-in Mr Colinson's field yonder with her bottom in the sunshine-for she is about to get a soaping-some call her the Nonpareil, and some the Grasshopper-Billy's deaf nephew's chef-d'œuvreand he is the lad to lay a plank-if pulled by the Stewartsons, we would back for fifty against anything at any of the Stairs, and you may take Campbell and Williams for your sculls. We remember the first Thames wherry that ever showed her rowlocks in Bowness Bay-and did not Will Garnet and ourselves give her the go-by like winking round the rock of Pullwyke, in Cowan's Swift? But that is an old story—and the famous Swift was the precursor of a race of Rapids that now shoot like sunbeams along the Lake.

If you are so fortunate as to be yet a bachelor, take a wherry or a skiff—if a Benedick, then embark with Betsy and the brats in that bumboat, and Billy, with a grave face, will pull you all away round by the back of the Great Island, and in among the small ones, requesting you with much suavity to pay particular attention to the Lily of the Valley, and ere long landing you at the Ferry-House, where he can be assisting at the tap of a new barrel, while in a family way your worthy woman and you are ascending the hill to the STATION, covered with laurels. But 'tis unnecessary to give you any farther instructions for we perceive lying in the stern a three-year-old number of Ebony-and you have only to act over that "DAY ON WINDERMERE.”

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