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Author: Gerardi, Michael H. Title: Troubleshooting vSphere Storage , [Yr: ]. Title: Troubling Nationhood in U. Title: Truancy and Schools , [Yr: ]. A Model for the Third Millennium , [Yr: ]. Author: Hegel, Robert E. Author: Taylor, C. Volume V , [Yr: ]. Title: True Jew , [Yr: ]. Title: True Myth : C. Title: Truman and Pendergast , [Yr: ]. Storm and flood rage against that mysterious shrine, but the wizard blocks cannot be swept away. The Romans, who had stations near Kendal, Penrith, and Ambleside, have left some striking remembrances, notably "that lone Camp on Hardknott's height," and their proud road, still well defined for at least fifteen miles, along the top of High Street ridge.

A storied heap of stones awaits the climber at the top of. Here, in , the last king of the Cumbrian Britons, Dunmail, was defeated by Edmund of England in the pass between Grasmere and Keswick. Seat Sandal and Steel Fell looked down from either side upon his fall. Edmund raised a cairn above what his Saxon wits supposed was a slain king, but Dunmail [35] is only biding his time.

Harry Staley, beloved UAlbany professor and poet, dies

His golden crown was hurled into Grisedale Tarn, high up in the range, where the shoulders of Helvellyn, Seat Sandal, and Fairfield touch, and on the last night of every year these dark warders see a troop of Dunmail's men rise from the tarn, where it is their duty to guard the crown, bearing one more stone to throw down upon the cairn.

When the pile is high enough to content the king, who counts each year in his deep grave the crash of another falling stone, he will rise and rule again over Cumberland. Here history and folk-lore blend. Of pure folk-lore the stranger hears but little. Eden Hall, near Penrith, has a goblet filched from the fairies:. The enchanted rock in the Vale of St.

John is celebrated in Scott's "Bridal of Triermain. Bees has a triumphant tradition of St. Bega, who, determined to be a nun, ran away from the Irish king, her father, for no better reason than because he meant to marry her to a Norwegian prince, and set sail in a fishing-boat for the Cumberland coast.

Her little [36] craft was driven in by the storm to Whitehaven, where she so won upon the sympathies of the Countess of Egremont that this lady besought her lord to give the fugitive land for a convent. It was midsummer, and the graceless husband made answer that he would give as much as the snow should lie upon next morning, but when he awoke and looked out from the castle casement, his demesne for three miles around was white with snow.

Wordsworth's "Song at the Feast of Brougham Castle," "The Horn of Egremont Castle," and "The Somnambulist" relate three legends of the region, of varying degrees of authenticity, and Lord's Island in Derwent Water brings to mind the right noble name of James Radcliffe, third and last Earl of Derwentwater, who declared for his friend and kinsman, the Pretender of On October sixth the young earl bade his brave girl-wife farewell and rode away to join the rebels, though his favourite dog howled in the courtyard and his dapple-grey started back from the gate.

On October fourteenth the cause was lost, and the Earl of Derwentwater was among the seventeen hundred who surrendered at Preston. The dalesfolk could doubtless tell us more. There may still be dwellers by Windermere who have heard on stormy nights the ghastly shrieks of the Crier of Claife, calling across the lake for a ferry-boat, although it was long ago that a valiant monk from Lady Holm "laid" that troubled spirit, binding it, with book and bell, to refrain from troubling "while ivy is green"; and in the depths of Borrowdale, on a wild dawn, old people may cower deeper in their feather beds to shut out the baying of the phantom hounds that hunt the "barfoot stag" through Watendlath tarn and over the fells down into Borrowdale.

There is said to be a local brownie, Hob-Thross by name, sometimes seen, a "body aw ower rough," lying by the fire at midnight. For all his shaggy look, he has so sensitive a spirit [38] that, indefatigable though he is in stealthy household services, the least suggestion of recompense sends him weeping away. He will not even accept his daily dole of milk save on the condition that it be set out for him in a chipped bowl.

But, in the main, the Lake Country keeps its secrets. The names are the telltales, and these speak of Briton and Saxon and the adventurous Viking.

Dale , fell , force waterfall , ghyll mountain ravine , holm island , how mound , scar cliff-face , are Icelandic words. Mountain names that seem undignified, as Coniston Old Man or Dolly Wagon Pike, are probably mispronunciations of what in the original Celtic or Scandinavian was of grave import. There appears to be a present tendency to substitute for the unintelligible old names plain English terms usually suggested by some peculiarity in the mountain shape, but it is a pity to give up the Celtic Blencathara, Peak of Demons, for Saddleback.

The jubilant throngs who flock to Lakeland every summer concern themselves little with its early history. The English pour into that blessed circuit of hills as into a great playground, [39] coaching, walking, cycling, climbing, boating, keenly alive to the beauty of the scenery and eagerly drinking in the exhilaration of the air.

They love to tread the loftiest crests, many of which are crowned with cairns raised by these holiday climbers, each adding his own stone. But it is the shepherd who is in the confidence of the mountains, he who has. Sheep, too, are often seen against the sky-line, and even the cow—that homelike beast who favours you in her innocent rudeness, from the gap of a hawthorn hedge, with that same prolonged, rustic, curious stare that has taxed your modesty in Vermont or Ohio—will forsake the shade of "the honied sycamore" in the valley for summits.

There have been fatal accidents upon the more precipitous peaks. Scott and Wordsworth have sung the fate of that "young lover of Nature," Charles Gough, who, one hundred years ago, fell from the Striding Edge of Helvellyn and was watched over in death for no less than three months by his little yellow-haired terrier, there on the lonely banks of Red Tarn, where her persistent barking at last brought shepherds to the body.

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In the Patterdale churchyard, whose famous great yew is now no more, we noticed a stone commemorating a more recent victim of Helvellyn, a Manchester botanist, who had come summer by summer to climb the mountain, and who, a few years since, on his last essay, a man of seventy-three, had died from exhaustion during the ascent. The brow of Helvellyn, now soft and silvery as a melting dream, now a dark mass banded by broad rainbows, overlooks his grave. I remember that Nathan's story of the rich man who "had no pity," but took for a guest's dinner the "one little ewe lamb" of his poor neighbour, was read in the Patterdale church that evensong, and it was strange to see how intently those sturdy mountain-lads, their [41] alert-eyed sheep dogs waiting about the door, listened to the parable.

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Not only does the Scripture imagery—"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want"—but the phrasing of the prayerbook—"We have erred and strayed from Thy ways like lost sheep"—come with enhanced significance in a pastoral region. Lakeland in the tourist season is not at its best in point of flowers.

The daffodils that in Gowbarrow Park—recently acquired and opened as a national preserve—rejoiced the poet as they danced beside the dancing waves of Ullswater, fade before July, and the patches of ling and heather upon the mountain-sides lack the abundance that purples the Scottish hills, but the delicate harebell nods blithely to the wayfarer from up among the rocks, and the foxglove grows so tall, especially in the higher passes, as to overtop those massive boundaries into which the "wallers" pack away all the loose stone they can.


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Birds, too, are not, in midsummer, numerous or varied. Where are Wordsworth's cuckoo and skylark and green linnet? The eagles have been dislodged from their eyries on Eagle Crag.

A heavily flapping raven, [42] a congregation of rooks, a few swallows and redbreasts, with perhaps a shy wagtail, may be the only winged wanderers you will salute in an hour's stroll, unless this, as is most likely, has brought you where. There you will be all but sure to see your Atlantic friends, the seagulls, circling slowly within the mountain barriers like prisoners of the air and adding their floating shadows to the reflections in the lake below.

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For, as Wordsworth notes,—what did Wordsworth fail to note? But the life of the Cumbrian hills is the life of grazing flocks, of leaping waterfalls and hidden streams with their "voice of unpretending harmony,"—the life of sun and shadow. Sometimes the sky is of a faint, sweet blue with white clouds wandering in it,—the old Greek myth of Apollo's flocks in violet meadows; sometimes the keenest radiance silvers the upper crest of cumuli that [43] copy in form the massy summits below; sometimes the mellow sunset gold is poured into the valleys as into thirsty cups; but most often curling mists wreathe the mountain-tops and move in plumed procession along their naked sides.

The scenic effects and the joy of climbing are not lost by American tourists, yet these, as a rule, come to the Lake Country in a temper quite unlike that of the English holiday seekers. We come as pilgrims to a Holy Land of Song. We depend perhaps too little upon our own immediate sense of grandeur and beauty, and look perhaps too much to Wordsworth to interpret for us "Nature's old felicities. The memory of the Rockies, of our chain of Great Lakes, of Niagara, may disconcert our first impressions of this clump of hills with only four, Scafell Pike, Scafell, Helvellyn, and Skiddaw, exceeding three thousand feet in height; of lakes that range from Windermere, ten miles long and a mile broad, to the reedy little pond of Rydal Water, more conventionally termed "a fairy mere"; of waterfalls that are [44] often chiefly remarkable, even Southey's Lodore, for their lack of water.

Scales Tarn, of which Scott wrote,. It is all in proportion, all picturesque,—almost in too regular proportion, almost too conspicuously picturesque, as if it had been expressly gotten up for the "tripper. Nature is here the lion tamed, an accredited human playmate. Indeed, one almost feels that here is Nature sitting for her portrait, a self-conscious Nature holding her court of tourists and poets. Yet this is but a fleeting and a shamefaced mood.

It takes intimacy to discover the fact of reticence, and those are aliens indeed who think that a single coach-drive, even the boasted "circular tour," has acquainted them with the Lake Country,—yes, though they trudge over the passes for it is coach etiquette to put the passengers down whenever the road gets steep Wordsworth in hand. In truth, the great amount [45] of literary association may be to the conscientious "Laker" something of a burden.

Skiddaw thrusts forth his notched contour with the insistent question: "What was it Wordsworth said about me? The footpath you follow, the rock you rest upon, the yew you turn to admire, Wishing-Gate and Stepping-Stones admonish you to be ready with your quotation. Even the tiny cascade of Rydal Water—so small as presumably to be put to bed at six o'clock, for it may not be visited after that hour—has been sung by the Grasmere laureate. While your care-free Englishman goes clambering over the golden-mossed rocks and far within the slippery recesses of Dungeon Ghyll, your serious American will sit him down amid the [46] bracken and, tranquilly watched by Lingmoor from across the vale, read "The Idle Shepherd-Boys," and the exquisite description of the scene in Mrs.

Humphry Ward's "Fenwick's Career. Many a tourist, English and American, comes to the Lake Country to render grateful homage to those starry spirits who have clustered there. Fox Howe, the home of Dr. Hemans, are duly pointed out at Ambleside, but not all who linger in that picture-book village and climb the hill to the Church of St. Anne, standing serene with its square, grey, pigeon-peopled tower, know that Faber was a curate [47] there in the youthful years before he "went over to Rome. Bowness cherishes recollections of the gay, audacious doings of Professor Wilson Christopher North , and Troutbeck plumes itself on being the birthplace of Hogarth's father.

Keswick, where Shelley once made brief sojourn, holds the poet-dust of Southey and of Frederic Myers, and in Crosthwaite Vicarage may be found a living poet of the Lakes, Canon Rawnsley,—a name to conjure with throughout the district, whose best traditions he fosters and maintains. Opposite Rydal Mount, at Nab Cottage, dwelt, for the closing years of his clouded life, [48] the darling of the dalesfolk, "Li'le Hartley," first-born son of Coleridge,—that boy "so exquisitely wild" to whom had descended something of his father's genius crossed by the father's frailty.

Hartley's demon was not the craving for opium, but for alcohol. After a sore struggle that crippled but did not destroy, he rests in Grasmere churchyard, his stone bearing the inscription, "By Thy Cross and Passion. They dwelt in Dove Cottage at Townend, Grasmere, the hallowed garden-nest where Wordsworth and his wife and his sister Dorothy—that ardent spirit the thought of whom is still "like a flash of light"—had dwelt before.

Wordsworth's later homes at Allan Bank, the Grasmere Rectory, and even at Rydal Mount are less precious to memory than this, where he and Coleridge and Dorothy dreamed the great dreams of youth together. Thither came guests who held high converse over frugal fare,—among them Sir Walter Scott, Charles Lamb, "the [49] frolic and the gentle," and that silent poet, the beloved brother John. It was a plain and thrifty life that Dove Cottage knew, with its rustic little rooms and round of household tasks, but thrift took on magic powers in the Lake Country a century ago.

Amazing tales are told of the "Wonderful Walker," schoolmaster of Buttermere and curate of Seathwaite, the Pastor of the "Excursion," but his feats of economy might be challenged by the old-time curate of Patterdale, who, on an income of from sixty to ninety dollars a year, lived comfortably, educated his four children, and left them a tidy little fortune. Such queer turns of fate were his that he published his own banns and married his father. In the Ruskin Museum may be seen many heart-moving memorials of that hero life, all the way from the abstracts of sermons written out for his mother in a laborious childish hand to the purple pall, worked for him by the local Linen Industry he so eagerly founded, and embroidered with his own words: "Unto This Last.

Not in any roll-call of the men of letters who have trodden the Cumbrian Hills should the poet Gray be forgotten. The first known tourist in the Lake Country, he was delighted with Grasmere and Keswick, but Borrowdale, plunged deep amid what the earliest guide-book, that of West in , was to describe as "the most horrid romantic mountains," turned him back in terror. Yet Wordsworth, for all his illustrious compeers, is still the presiding genius of these opalescent hills and silver meres.

It is to him, that plain-faced man who used to go "booing" his verses along these very roads, that multitudes of visitants have owed. It is good for the soul to follow that sane, pure life from its "fair seedtime" on the garden terrace at Cockermouth, where the murmuring Derwent gave.

We heard about it first in Ambleside. We were in lodgings half-way up the hill that leads to the serene, forsaken Church of St. It was there that Faber, fresh from Oxford, had been curate, silently thinking the thoughts that were to send him into the Roman communion, and his young ghost, with the bowed head and the troubled eyes, was one of the friends we had made in the few rainy days of our sojourn. Another was Jock, a magnificent old collie, who accepted homage as his royal due, and would press his great head against the knee of the alien with confident expectation of a caress, lifting in recognition a long, comprehending look of amber eyes.

Another friend—though our relations were sometimes [53] strained—was Toby, a piebald pony of piquant disposition. He allowed us to sit in his pony-cart at picturesque spots and read the Lake Poets to him, and to tug him up the hills by his bridle, which he had expert ways of rubbing off, to the joy of passing coach-loads, when our attention was diverted to the landscape. Another was our kindly landlady.

She came in with hot tea that Saturday afternoon to cheer up the adventurous member of the party, who had just returned half drowned from a long drive on coachtop for the sake of scenery absolutely blotted out by the downpour. There the "trippers" had sat for hours, huddled under trickling umbrellas, while the conscientious coachman put them off every now and then to clamber down wet banks and gaze at waterfalls, or halted for the due five minutes at a point where nothing was perceptible but the grey slant of the rain to assure them—and the spattered red guidebook confirmed his statement—that this was "the finest view in Westmoreland.

At half-past five we were standing under our overworked umbrellas on a muddy street corner, waiting for the procession to come by. And presently it came, looking very much as if it had been through a pond to gather the rushes. In front went a brass band, splashing along the puddles to merry music, and then a long train of draggled children, with a few young men and maidens to help on the toddlers, two or three of whom had to be taken up and carried, flowers and all.

But soberly and sturdily, in the main, that line of three hundred bonny bairns trotted along through the heavy clay, under the soft rain—little lads in rubber coats and gaiters, some holding their tall bunches of rushes, or elaborate floral designs, upright before them like bayonets, some shouldering them like guns; tired little lassies clasping their "bearings" in their arms like dolls, or [55] dragging them along like kittens. All down the line the small coats and cloaks were not only damp, but greened and mossed and petal-strewn from the resting and rubbing of one another's burdens.

These were of divers sorts. Most effective were the slender bundles of rushes,—long, straight rushes gathered that morning from the meres by men who went out in boats for the purpose. These rush-fagots towered up from a distance like green candles, making the line resemble a procession of Catholic fairies. The village, however, took chief pride in the moss-covered standards of various device entwined with rushes and flowers.

There were harps of reeds and waterlilies, crosses of ferns and harebells, shepherds' crooks wound with heather, sceptres, shields, anchors, crowns, swords, stars, triangles, hearts, with all manner of nosegays and garlands. Ling and bracken from the hillsides, marigolds from the marsh, spikes of oat and spears of wheat from the harvest-fields, and countless bright-hued blossoms from meadow and dooryard and garden were woven together, with no little taste and skill, in a pretty diversity of patterns.

The bells rang out blithe welcome as the [56] procession neared the steepled Church of St. Mary, where a committee of ladies and gentlemen received the offerings and disposed them, according to their merit, in chancel or aisles. The little bearers were all seated in the front pews, the pews of honour, before we thronging adults, stacking our dripping umbrellas in the porch, might enter.

The air was rich with mingled fragrances. Along the chancel rail, in the window-seats, on the pillars, everywhere, were rushes and flowers, the choicest garden-roses whispering with foxglove and daisy and the feathered timothy grass. But sweeter than the blossoms were the faces of the children, glad in their rustic act of worship, well content with their own weariness, no prouder than the smiling angels would have had them be. Only here and there a rosy visage was clouded with disappointment, or twisted ruefully awry in the effort to hold back the tears, for it must needs be that a few devices, on which the childish artists had spent such joyful labour, were assigned by the expert committee to inconspicuous corners.

The mere weans behaved surprisingly well, though evensong, a brief and sympathetic service, was punctuated by [57] little sobs, gleeful baby murmurs, and crows of excitement. The vicar told the children, in a few simple words, how, in earlier times, when the church was unpaved, the earth-floor was strewn with sweet-smelling rushes, renewed every summer, and that the rushes and flowers of to-day were brought in memory of the past, and in gratitude for the beauty of their home among the hills and lakes.

Then the fresh child voices rang out singing praises to Him who made it all:. They sang, too, their special hymn written for the Ambleside rush-bearers seventy years ago, by the well-beloved vicar of Brathay, the Rev. Owen Lloyd:. One highly important ceremony, to the minds of the children, was yet to come,—the presentation of the gingerbread. As they filed out of the church, twopenny slabs of a peculiarly black and solid substance were given into their eager little hands. The rain had ceased, and we grown-ups all waited in the churchyard, looking down on the issuing file of red tam-o'-shanters, ribboned straw hats, worn grey caps, and, wavering along very low in the line, soft, fair-tinted baby hoods, often cuddled up against some guardian knee.

Under the varied headgear ecstatic feasting had begun even in the church porch, though some of the children were too entranced with excitement to find their mouths. One chubby urchin waved his piece of gingerbread in the air, and another laid his on a gravestone and inadvertently sat down on it. A bewildered wee damsel in robin's-egg blue had lost hers in the basket of wild flowers that was slung about her neck.

One spud of a boy, roaring as he came, was wiping his eyes with his. In general, however, the rush-bearers were munching with such relish that they did not trouble themselves to remove the tissue paper adhering to the bottom of each cake, [59] but swallowed that as contentedly as the rest. Meanwhile their respective adults were swooping down upon them, dabbing the smear of gingerbread off cheeks and chins, buttoning up little sacques and jackets, and whisking off the most obtrusive patches of half-dried mud.

Among these parental regulators was a beaming old woman with a big market-basket on her arm, who brushed and tidied as impartially as if she were grandmother to the whole parish. Then, again, rang out those gleeful harmonies of which our Puritan bells know nothing. The circle of mountains, faintly flushed with an atoning sunset, looked benignly down on a spectacle familiar to them for hundreds of Christian summer-tides; and if they remembered it still longer ago, as a pagan rite in honour of nature gods, they discreetly kept their knowledge to themselves.

The rushes and flowers brightened the church through the Sunday services, which were well attended by both dalesfolk and visitors. On Monday twelve prizes were awarded, and the bearings were taken away by their respective owners. Then followed "the treat," an afternoon of frolic, with rain only now and then, on a meadow behind St. The ice-cream cart, the climbing-pole, swings and games, seemed to hold the full attention of the children, to each of whom was tied a cup; but when the simple supper was brought on to higher ground close by the church, who sat like a gentle mother in the very midst of the merry-make, a jubilant, universal shout, "It's coom!

It's coom! To crown it all, the weather obligingly gave opportunity, on the edge of the evening, for fireworks, which even the poor little Wesleyans outside the railing could enjoy. The Ambleside rush-bearing takes place on the Saturday before the last Sunday in July. The more famous Grasmere rush-bearing comes on the Saturday next after St. Oswald's Day, August fifth. This year these two festivals fell just one week apart. The London papers were announcing that it was "brilliant weather in the Lakes," which, in a sense, it was, for the gleams of sunshine between the showers were like opening doors of Paradise; yet we arrived at Grasmere [61] so wet that we paid our sixpences to enter Dove Cottage, a shrine to which we had already made due pilgrimage, and had a cosey half-hour with Mrs.

Dixon, well known to the tourist world, before the fireplace whose quiet glow often gladdened the poets and dreamers of its great days gone by. Our canny old hostess, in the bonnet and shawl which seem to be her official wear, was not disposed this afternoon to talk of the Wordsworths, whom she had served in her girlhood. Her mind was on the rush-bearing for which she had baked the gingerbread forty-three years. There were five hundred squares this time, since, in addition to what would be given to the children, provision must be made for the Sunday afternoon teas throughout Grasmere.

The rolling out of the dough had not grown easier with the passing of nearly half a century, and she showed us the swollen muscles of her wrist. Her little granddaughters, their flower erections borne proudly in their arms, were dressed all spick and span for the procession, and stood with her, for their pictures, at the entrance to Dove Cottage. It was still early, and we strolled over to the tranquil church beside the Rotha.

Under [62] the benediction of that grey, embattled tower, in the green churchyard with. We brought the poets white heather and heart's ease for our humble share in the rush-bearing. Grasmere church, with its strange row of rounded arches down the middle of the nave and its curiously raftered roof, still wears the features portrayed in The Excursion :. There were a number of people in the church, but the reverent hush was almost unbroken. Strangers in the green churchyard were moving softly about, reading the inscriptions on stones and brasses, or waiting in the pews, some in the attitude of devotion.

In the south aisle leaned against the wall the banner of St. Oswald, a crimson-bordered standard, with the figure of the saint in white and crimson, worked on a golden ground. A short, stout personage, with grey chin-whiskers and a pompous air, presumably the sexton, came in a little after three with a great armful of fresh rushes, and commenced to strew the floor. Soon afterwards the children, with their bearings, had taken their positions, ranged in a long row on the broad churchyard wall, fronting the street, which by this time was crowded with spectators, for the Grasmere rush-bearing is the most noted among the few survivals of what was once, in the northern counties of England, a very general observance.

There is an excellent account of it, by an eyewitness, as early as James Clarke, in his Survey of the Lakes , wrote: [64]. About the latter end of September a number of young women and girls generally the whole parish go together to the tops of the hills to gather rushes. These they carry to the church, headed by one of the smartest girls in the company. She who leads the procession is styled the Queen, and carries in her hand a huge garland, and the rest usually have nosegays. The Queen then goes and places her garland upon the pulpit, where it remains till after the next Sunday.

The rest then strew their rushes upon the bottom of the pews, and at the church door they are met by a fiddler, who plays before them to the public house, where the evening is spent in all kinds of rustic merriment. During the whole of this day I observed the children busily employed in preparing garlands of such wild flowers as the beautiful valley produces, for the evening procession, which commenced at nine, in the following order: The children, chiefly girls, holding their garlands, paraded through the village, preceded by the Union band.

They then entered the church, when the three largest garlands were placed on the altar, and the remaining ones in various parts of the [65] place. In the procession I observed the 'Opium Eater,' Mr. Barber, an opulent gentleman residing in the neighbourhood, Mr. Wordsworth is the chief supporter of these rustic ceremonies. The procession over, the party adjourned to the ballroom, a hayloft at my worthy friend Mr.

Bell's now the Red Lion , where the country lads and lasses tripped it merrily and heavily. They called the amusement dancing. I called it thumping; for he who made the most noise seemed to be esteemed the best dancer; and on the present occasion I think Mr. Pooley, the schoolmaster, bore away the palm. Billy Dawson, the fiddler, boasted to me of having been the officiating minstrel at this ceremony for the last six and forty years The dance was kept up to a quarter of twelve, when a livery servant entered and delivered the following verbal message to Billy: 'Master's respects, and will thank you to lend him the fiddle-stick.

The servant departed with the fiddle-stick, the chandelier was removed, and when the village clock struck twelve not an individual was to be seen out of doors in the village. Since then many notices of the Grasmere rush-bearings have been printed, the most illuminating being that of the Rev. Canon [66] Rawnsley, , now included in one of his several collections of Lake Country sketches. He calls attention to the presence, among the bearings, of designs that suggest a Miracle Play connection, as Moses in the bulrushes, the serpent on a pole, and the harps of David and Miriam,—emblems which were all in glowing evidence this past summer.

A merry and sympathetic account is given in a ballad of , ascribed to Mr. Edward Button, formerly the Grasmere schoolmaster:. The Grasmere rush-bearing, so far as we saw it, was lacking in none of the traditional features, not even the rain. Yet the gently falling showers seemed all unheeded by the line of bright-eyed children, steadfastly propping up on the wall their various tributes. Banners and crosses and crowns were there, and all the customary emblems.

Among the several harps was one daintily wrought of marguerites; two little images of Moses reposed in arks woven of flags and grasses; on a moss-covered lattice was traced in lilies: "Consider the lilies of the field. Geranium, maiden-hair fern, Sweet William, pansies, daisies, dahlias, asters, fuchsias mingled their hues in delicate and intricate devices.

Among the decorated perambulators was one all wreathed in heather, with a screen of rushes rising high behind. Its flower-faced baby was all but hidden under a strewing of roses more beautiful than any silken robe, and a wand twined with lilies of the valley swayed unsteadily from his pink fist. Six little maidens in white and green, holding tall stalks of rushes, upheld the rush-bearing [70] sheet—linen spun at Grasmere and woven at Keswick—crossed by blossoming sprays.

The rush-cart, bearing the ribbon-tied bunches of rushes, crowned with leafy oak-boughs and hung with garlands, belonged especially to Lancashire, where it has not yet entirely disappeared; indeed a rush-cart has been seen in recent years taking its way through one of the most squalid quarters of grimy Manchester; but the rush-sheet, on which the precious articles of the parish, silver tankards, teapots, cups, spoons, snuff-boxes, all lent to grace this festival, were arranged, had really gone out until, in this simplified form, it was revived a few years ago at Grasmere by lovers of the past.

That the sheet now holds only flowers is due to that same inexorable logic of events which has brought it about that no longer the whole parish with cart-loads of rushes, no longer, even, the strong lads and lasses swinging aloft bunches of rushes and glistening holly boughs, but only little children ranged in cherubic row along the churchyard wall, and crowing babies in their go-carts, bring to St.

Oswald the tribute of the summer. It was from coach-top we caught our farewell glimpse of the charming scene. The village band, playing the Grasmere rush-bearing march—an original tune believed to be at least one hundred and fifty years old—led the way, followed by the gold and crimson banner of the warrior saint. The rush-sheet, borne by the little queen and her maids of honour, came after, and then the throng of one hundred or more children, transforming the street into a garden with the beauty and sweetness of their bearings.

As the procession neared the church, the bells pealed out "with all their voices," and we drove off under a sudden pelt of rain, remembering Wordsworth's reference to. Our third rush-bearing we found in Cheshire, on Sunday, August A morning train from Manchester brought us to Macclesfield—keeping the Sabbath with its silk-mills closed, and its steep streets nearly empty—in [72] time for luncheon and a leisurely drive, through occasional gusts of rain, four miles to the east, up and up, into the old Macclesfield Forest.

This once wild woodland, infested by savage boars, a lurking-place for outlaws, is now open pasture, grazed over by cows whose milk has helped to make the fame of Cheshire cheese. But Forest Chapel still maintains a rite which flourished when the long since perished trees were sprouts and saplings. It is a tiny brown church, nested in a hollow of the hills, twelve hundred feet above the sea. In the moss-crowned porch, whose arch was wreathed with flowers and grasses, stood the vicar, as we came up, welcoming the guests of the rush-bearing.

For people were panting up the hill in a continuous stream, mill hands from Macclesfield and farmer-folk from all the hamlets round. Perhaps seven or eight hundred were gathered there, hardly one-fourth of whom could find room within the church. We passed up the walk, thickly strewn with rushes, under that brightly garlanded porch, into a little sanctuary that was a very arbour of greenery and blossom. As we were led up [73] the aisle, our feet sank in a velvety depth of rushes. The air was delicious with fresh, woodsy scents. A cross of lilies rose from the rush-tapestried font.

The window-seats were filled with bracken, fern, and goldenrod. The pulpit and reading-desk were curtained with long sprays of bloom held in green bands of woven rushes. The chancel walls were hidden by wind-swayed greens from which shone out, here and there, clustering harebells, cottage roses, and the golden glint of the sunflower. The hanging lamps were gay with asters, larkspur, and gorse.

The whole effect was indescribably joyous and rural, frankly suggestive of festivity. It was early evensong, a three o'clock service. There was to be another at five. After the ritual came the full-voiced singing of a familiar hymn:. So singing, the little congregation filed out into the churchyard, where the greater congregation, unable to gain access, was singing too. It was one of the rare hours of sunshine, all the more blissful for their rarity. The preacher of the day took his stand on a flat tombstone.

Little girls were lifted up to seats upon the churchyard wall, and coats were folded and laid across low monuments for the comfort of the old people. A few little boys, on their first emergence into the sunshine, could not resist the temptation to turn an unobtrusive somersault or so over the more distant mounds, but they were promptly beckoned back by their elders and squatted submissively on the turf. The most of the audience stood in decorous quiet.

Two generations back, gingerbread stalls and all manner of booths would have been erected about the church, and the rustics, clumping up the steep path in the new boots which every farmer was expected to give his men for the rush-bearing, would have diversified the services by drinking and wrestling. But altogether still and sacred was the scene on which we looked back as the compulsion of the railway time-table drew us away; [75] the low church tower keeping watch and ward over that green enclosure of God's acre, with the grey memorial crosses and the throng of living worshippers,—a throng that seemed so shadowy, so evanescent, against the long memories of Forest Chapel and the longer memories of those sunlit hills that rejoiced on every side.

A yellow rick rose just behind the wall, the straws blowing in the wind as if they wanted to pull away and go to church with the rushes. On the further side of the little temple there towered a giant chestnut, a dome of shining green that seemed to overspread and shelter its Christian neighbour, as if in recognition of some ancient kinship, some divine primeval bond, attested, perhaps, by this very rite of rush-bearing. The enfolding blue of the sky, tender with soft sunshine, hallowed them both. We all know Liverpool,—but how do we know it?

The Landing Stage, hotels whose surprisingly stable floors, broad beds, and fresh foods are grateful to the sea-worn, the inevitable bank, perhaps the shops. Most of us arrive at Liverpool only to hurry out of it,—to Chester, to London, to the Lakes. Seldom do the beguilements of the Head Boots prevail upon the impatient American to visit the birthplaces of its two queerly assorted lions, "Mr. Gladstone and Mrs. But the individuality of Liverpool is in its docks,—over six miles of serried basins hollowed out of the bank of the broad Mersey, one of the hardest-worked rivers in the world,—wet docks and dry docks, walled and gated and quayed.

From the busiest point of all, the Landing Stage, the mighty ocean liners draw out with their throngs of wearied holiday-makers and their wistful hordes of emigrant home-seekers. And all along the wharves stand merchantmen of infinite variety, laden with iron and salt, with soap and sugar, with earthenware and clay, with timber and tobacco, with coal and grain, with silks and woollens, and, above all, with cotton,—the raw cotton sent in not only from our own southern plantations, but from India and Egypt as well, and the returning cargoes of cloth spun and woven in "the cotton towns" [78] of Lancashire.

The life of Liverpool is commerce; it is a city of warehouses and shops. The wide sea-range and the ever-plying ferryboats enable the merchant princes to reside well out of the town. So luxurious is the lot of these merchants deemed to be that Lancashire has set in opposition the terms "a Liverpool gentleman" and "a Manchester man," while one of the ruder cotton towns, Bolton, adds its contribution of "a Bolton chap. The poor quarters of Liverpool have been called "the worst slums in Christendom," yet a recent investigation has shown that within a limited area, selected because of its squalor and misery, over five thousand pounds a year goes in drink.

The families that herd together by threes and fours in a single dirty cellar, sleeping on straw and shavings, nevertheless have money to spend at "the pub,"—precisely the same flaring, gilded ginshop to-day as when Hawthorne saw and pitied its "sad revellers" half a century ago. While Liverpool has a sorry pre-eminence for high death-rate and for records of vice and [79] crime, Manchester, "the cinder-heap," may fairly claim to excel in sheer dismalness. The river Irwell, on which it stands, is so black that the Manchester clerks, as the saying goes, run down to it every morning and fill their ink-pots.

Not only Manchester, but all the region for ten miles around, is one monster cotton factory. The towns within this sooty ring—tall-chimneyed Bolton; Bury, that has been making cloth since the days of Henry VIII; Middleton on the sable Irk; Rochdale, whose beautiful river is forced to toil not for cotton only, but for flannels and fustians and friezes; bustling Oldham; Ashton-under-Lyme, with its whirr of more than three million spindles; Staley Bridge on the Tame; Stockport in Cheshire; Salford, which practically makes one town with Manchester; and Manchester itself—all stand on a deep coal-field.

The miners may be seen, of a Sunday afternoon, lounging at the street corners, or engaged in their favourite sport of flying carrier pigeons, as if the element of air had a peculiar attraction for these human gnomes. If the doves that they fly are white, it is by some special grace, for smut lies thick on wall and ledge, on the monotonous ranks of "workingmen's [80] homes," on the costly public buildings, on the elaborate groups of statuary.

One's heart aches for the sculptor whose dream is hardly made pure in marble before it becomes dingy and debased. Beyond the borders of this magic coal-field, above which some dark enchantment binds all humanity in an intertwisted coil of spinning, weaving, bleaching, printing, buying, selling cotton, are various outlying collieries upon which other manufacturing towns are built,—Warrington, which at the time of our Revolution supplied the Royal Navy with half its sail-cloth; Wigan, whose tradition goes back to King Arthur, but whose renown is derived from its seam of cannel coal; calico Chorley; Preston, of warlike history and still the centre of determined strikes; and plenty more.

The citizens of the cotton towns are proud of their grimy bit of the globe, and with good reason. The heroes held in memory here are plain workingmen whose mechanical inventions resulted in the English spinning-mill,—John Kay of Bury, James Hargreaves of Blackburn, Samuel Crompton of Bolton, and Sir Richard Arkwright, a native of Preston, who began his career as a barber's apprentice and won his accolade by an energy of genius which virtually created the cotton manufacture in Lancashire.

The battle legends are of angry mobs and smashed machinery, of garrisoned mills and secret experiments and inventors in peril of their lives. The St. George of Lancashire is George Stephenson, the sturdy Scotchman, who in constructed that pioneer railway between Liverpool and Manchester,—a road which had to perform no mean exploit in crossing the quaking bog of Chat Moss.

Fanny Kemble, when a girl of twenty-one, had the ecstasy of a trial trip with Stephenson himself. She tells with fairy-tale glamour how "his tame dragon flew panting along his iron pathway" at "its utmost speed, thirty-four miles an hour, swifter than a bird flies. For a patron saint of to-day, Manchester need go no further than to the founder of the Ancoats Brotherhood, Charles Rowley, that cheery philanthropist reminding one of Hawthorne's friend who brightened the dreary visages he met "as if he had carried a sunbeam in his hand"; for the disciples of the Beautiful, the followers of the Golden Rule, are full of courage even here among what the poet Blake would designate as "dark Satanic mills.

But this, though the modern reality of South Lancashire, is not what the tourist [83] goes out to see. From Liverpool to Furness Abbey is his natural and joyful route. He steams at full speed up this richest, most prosperous, and well-nigh most unattractive part of England; he has left the Mersey, the county's southern boundary, far behind; he crosses the Ribble, which flows through the centre of Lancashire, and the Lune, which enters it from Westmoreland on the north and soon empties into Morecambe Bay.

He has come from a district close-set with factory towns, scarred with mine shafts and slag heaps, into the sweet quietude of an agricultural and pastoral region. But still above and beyond him is Furness, that northernmost section of Lancashire lying between Cumberland and Westmoreland and shut off from the rest of the county by Morecambe Bay and the treacherous Lancaster sands. High Furness is a part of the Lake Country, claiming for Lancashire not only Coniston Lake but even one side of Windermere, which lies on the Westmoreland border.

Its Cumberland boundary is the sonneted Duddon. Low Furness, the peninsula at the south of this isolated strip, has a wealth of mineral deposits, especially iron. The town Barrow-in-Furness, [84] which in consisted of a single hut, with one fishing-boat in the harbour, has been converted, by the development of the mines, into a place of much commercial consequence.

Yet the lover of poetry will visit it, not for its steel works, figuring so tragically in Mrs. Humphry Ward's "Helbeck of Bannisdale," nor for its shipbuilding yards and boasted floating docks, nor for the paper works which take in a tree at one end and put it out as boxes of dainty stationery at the other, but in order to reach, by a boat from Peele Pier, Wordsworth's Peele Castle, "standing here sublime,"—that old island fortress which the poet's dream has glorified with. But it is to Furness Abbey that the throngs of sightseers come, and well they may. Its melancholy grace is one of the treasures of memory.

It was thither that Wordsworth as a schoolboy—for Hawkshead is within the limits of Furness—would sometimes ride with his fellows. The "Prelude" holds the picture, as he saw it over a century ago, of [85]. We lingered there for days, held by the brooding spell of that most lovely ruin. Harebells shone blue from the top of the broken arch of the tall east window, whose glass was long since shattered and whose mullions were wrenched away.

Grasses and all manner of little green weeds had climbed up to triforium and clerestory, where they ran lightly along the crumbling edges. Ivy tapestries were clinging to the ragged stone surfaces. Thickets of nightshade mantled the sunken tombs and altar steps. Ferns nodded over the fretted canopies [86] of the richly wrought choir stalls and muffled the mouths of fierce old gargoyles, still grinning defiance at Time.

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In the blue overhead, which no roof shut from view, a seagull would occasionally flash by with the same strong flight that the eyes of the Vikings, whose barrows once dotted the low islands of this western coast, used to follow with sympathetic gaze. Wrens have built their nests in plundered niche and idle capital. The rooks, arraying themselves in sombre semicircle along some hollow chancel arch, cawed reminiscent vespers.

And little boys and girls from Barrow, joyous mites of humanity not yet smelted into the industrial mass, tried leaping-matches from the stumps of mossy pillars and ran races through nave and cloister. The wooden clogs of these lively youngsters have left their marks on prostrate slab and effigy, even on "the stone abbot" and "the cross-legged knight," much to the displeasure of the custodian,—a man who so truly cares for his abbey, the legal property of the Duke of Devonshire, that he has purchased two of the chief antiquarian works upon Furness in order that he may thoroughly acquaint himself with its history.

It was he who [87] told us that many of the empty stone coffins had been carried away by the farmers of the neighbourhood to serve as horse-troughs, and that in their barn walls might be seen here and there sculptured blocks of red sandstone quite above the appreciation of calves and heifers. He told how he had shown "Professor Ruskin" about the ruins, and how, at Ruskin's request, Mrs.

Severn had sent him from Brantwood seeds of the Italian toad-flax to be planted here. He lent us his well-thumbed folios, West's "Antiquities of Furness" and "Beck's Annales Furnessienses," so that, sitting under the holly-shade in the Abbey Hotel garden, with a "starry multitude of daisies" at our feet, we could pore at our ease over that strange story, a tale of greatness that is told, and now, save for those lofty ribs and arches so red against the verdure, nothing but a tale. Our readings would be pleasurably interrupted toward the close of the afternoon by the advent of tea, brought to us in the garden, and the simultaneous arrival of a self-invited robin.

We tossed crumbs to him all the more gaily for the fancy that his ancestors were among the pensioners of the abbey in the day of its supremacy. For the monks of Furness maintained an honourable reputation for hospitality from that mid-thirteenth-century beginning, when the Grey Brothers from Normandy first erected the grave, strong, simple walls of their Benedictine foundation in this deep and narrow vale, to the bitter end in Meanwhile they had early discarded the grey habit of the Benedictines for the white of the Cistercians, and their abbot had become "lord of the liberties of Furness," exercising an almost regal sway in his peninsula, with power of life and death, with armed forces at command, and with one of the richest incomes of the kingdom under his control.

With wealth had come luxury. The buildings, which filled the whole breadth of the vale, had forgotten their Cistercian austerity in a profusion of ornament. Within "the strait enclosure," encompassing church and cloisters, the little syndicate of white-vested monks not only chanted and prayed, transcribed and illuminated manuscripts, taught the children of their tenants and entertained the stranger, [89] but planned financial operations on a large scale.

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For outside this, the holy wall, was another, shutting in over threescore acres of fertile land which the lay brothers, far exceeding the clerical monks in number, kept well tilled. Here were mill, granary, bakehouse, malt-kiln, brewery, fish-pond; and beyond stretched all Furness, where the abbey raised its cattle, sheep and horses, made salt, smelted its iron, and gathered its rents. Few of the monastic establishments had so much to lose, but Furness was surrendered to the commissioners of Henry VIII with seemingly no resistance.