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spot. We would fain have stopped golden age-nor yielded softer and to ascertain whether or not the re- greener footing to plume-pruning sult had been fatal; but Colonsay
A little farther on, and lo seemed to think the accident in no the Cross Roads! To the right the way uncommon, and would not be way up into Troutbeck-to the left prevailed on to slacken his pace. to Bowness—as a siga-post-a sore We had now, to all appearance, the perplexity to strangers-used of old issue in our own hand; but we had, to attempt to tell-by means of a in our anxiety for Sitwell, forgotten ruined inscription on a rotten plank the Cross Roads at Cook's House, laughed at by the foliage of the
Yes—in our anxiety for Sitwell. living trees-a contrast between the Would you have had us pull up and quick and the dead. The bold ask him if he were dead? That breezes from Ambleside were woowould indeed have been humane; ing our forehead; but Colonsay but what if we could not pull up remembering rack and manger in por you either--had you been in our Mr Ullock's well-stored stablesaddle, and instead of a Sumph a bolted—and taking the bit in his Sampson ? This cant about cruelty teeth—by which he at once became is confined, we trust, to the pestilen- independent, and changed his mas. tial coxcombs in whose cowardly ter into his slave-set off at a handand calunnious throats it must have gallop to the White Lion. been generated of spleen and bile. Now of all the Inns in England, the Fishing is cruel-hunting is cruel best then, as now-to us cheapest racing is cruel--boxing is cruel and also dearest of all-for there, at and pugilists are cut-throats. So moderate charges, we got all a wise writes the Grub-street liar. Chris- man could desire-was the White topher in his Sporting-Jacket is Lion of Bowness. Many a day-many cruel-Christopher on Colonsay is a week-many a month-wbole sum. cruel---Christopher with his crutch mers and winters-springs and auis cruel-Christopher in the Crow's tumns--years-decades—at a timeNest is cruel-in the Crow's Nest have we it inhabited-a private chawith Scoresby, keeping a look-out racter in a public place-not there for icebergs, and gazing on cathe- unhonoured, though as yet to the drals painted with a pencil that wide world unknown-upnoticed Turner's self might envy, by Frost as a cloud among many clouds to and on the polar sky!
fro sailing day or night sky, though Nobody with eyes in his head can haply in shape majestic as any there have passed Cook's House without —upturning its silver lining to the looking at it with pleasure ; for there moon, or by the sun now wreathed is a charm-though we know not into snow, now bathed in fire. But well in what it consists-in its com- at that hour we had no business monplace unpretending character, there-we knew even we should be seated by the roadside, a little apart unwelcome-for the village stood —with its back-garden of fruits deserted by all but the houses, and trees—and in front an open space they too had been at Orest-head had flanked with an ample barn, and no- it not been for disturbing the furniways demeaned by one of the most ture—the Tower did not like to leave comfortable pig-sties that ever en- behind the Church-the Church had closed a litter of squeakers. Let business with the Pulpit—the Pulpit the roads be as dusty as they can be, was overlooking the Desk—and the still you see no powder on those Desk busy in numbering the Pews. trees. And as for that meadow-field The White Lion continued to hold over the way-irrigated by a peren- his mouth open, and his tail brannial rill that keeps for ever murmur- dished, without an eye to look ca ing through the woods of St Catha- bim-rampant in vain-and had he rine, below the shadow of the Giant even roared, he would bare fright of Millar Ground, and thence with ened only the sucking turkeys. many a lucid leap through the or- At this period of the match we chard behind the chapel-like farm- bave never been able to ascertain house on the lake-side into the quiet what was the true state of the betof Windermere-a lovelier meadow. ting, but we believe a considerable field never adorned Arcadia in the change took place in most men's
books. There--as we were after acclamation, we both immediately wards told-was Shuffler in no pro- made strong play. mising plight on the wrong side of The run from Cook's House to the ditch, and Sam Sitwell in a state Troutbeck Bridge, is a slight slope of insensibility, with his bared arm all the way—and there is not prettier in possession of Mr Wright, the sur ground in all England than that geon, whose lancet for a while failed quarter of a mile or thereaboutsto elicit a single drop of blood. The for such a match as was now again odds which a few minutes before in progress. The mare led-which had been guineas to pounds on Sam was injudicious—but we have al. and Shuffler, changed with the ways suspected that Sam's wits were group there to guineas to groats on still a-wool-gathering in the meadow Kit and Colonsay; but on the in- whereon he had had his fall. On stantly subsequent bolting and dis- approaching James Wilson's smithy, appearance of those heroes, they we heard the forge roaring, and saw were restored to the former quota- the Shuffler cocking her ears as if tion, and then betting on all sides she were going to shy. At that mogrew dull and died.
The most ment we were close on her left scientific calculator was at fault flank, and as she swerved from the with such data—at a loss, a positive flash of the furnace, we cried " nonplus whether to back the jostling, Sam,” while Colonsay, imwounded-perhaps dying-or the patient of the pressure, returned it absent and certainly tied. Should more powerfully, and in spite of all Sam recover, and Shuffler, who bled our efforts, ran the mare and himself freely, be able to proceed-then, as in among a number of carts, wagthey enjoyed the advantage of being gons, and wheelbarrows, to say noon the spot, it was certain they thing of various agricultural instrů. would become favourites; for we, ments of a formidable character though fresh, were far off, and pru- more especially a harrow reared dence declined speculating on the up against the cheek of the smithy probable period of our revolution door, fearfully furnished with teeth. and return.
This was rather more than tit for We indulged strong hopes that tat, and Sam getting quarrelsome, Colonsay, on the way to Bowness, nay abusive, we had to take our would turn in to Rayrigg, by which Crutch out of the holster, and sit on we should save nearly a mile-nor the defensive. Meanwhile, though were we disappointed—for saving the pace had slackened, we were us the trouble of opening the gate, still in motion, and after some adhe put his breast to it, and we found mirable displays of horsemanship on ourselves at the door of that hospin both sides, we got free from the imtable and honoured mansion. Most pedimenta, and Colonsay led across fortunately one of the young gentle. -not-as we say in Scotland-over men was just mounting to ride to see the bridge. We would have given the start-and having communicated a trifle for a horn of ale, at the Sun to him the predicament in which we or Little Celandine, a public adjoinrode, we returned together to the ing the smithy, and kept by Vulcan scene of action-for a strong friend. —and so we do not doubt would ship had long subsisted between our Sam, for the morning was hot, and steeds—and by the side of that chest: told us what we might expect from nut, Colonsay trotted along as if the meridian--but false delicacy pretwo had been in harness and follow- vented us both from pulling up, and ed by a phaeton. Loud cheers an- the golden opportunity was lost. nounced our approach—and there We exacted a promise from ourwas Sam on Shuffler-somewhat selves not to behave so foolishlymore pale than wonted—and his not to throw away our chance-on head bandaged—but game to the the next occasion that might occur back-bone, and ready for a fresh for slaking our thirst. And we lookstart. Having shortly expressed our ed forward to Lowood. satisfaction at reseeing him alive, One of the most difficult passages we gave the office, and set off on the to execute in the whole course of the resumption of our match-and each piece now awaited us at the gate of of us feeling our resolution carried by Calgarth-Park. Never once had we
been able to induce Colonsay to give by the Shuffler, whom he met mathat gate the go-by; and we now
felt king up her lost ground, careless him edging towards it-drifting to where he went, so that he could but leeward as it were-anxious to cast evade that horrid bray, for despite of anchor in some one of the many plea- the repeal of the Test-Act, of all the sant pastures embosomed in those horses we have ever known, he was lovely woods. But we had placed the most intolerant of asses. It was at the entrance a friend on horseback not the blanket-tents that were to in ambuscade, who the instant he blame—nor was it the pans or kettles saw our topping, was to sally out, -least of all, the harmless hornand lead in the direction of the spoons, or the innocent spoons of Grassmere Goal. This expedient Mr pewter. “ We never taxed them S. executed with his accustomed with the ill that had been done to skill and promptitude, and his beauc us”-it was that vile vicar—that tiful bit of blood being first favourite base vicar of Bray--and his accursed with Colonsay, the lure took to ad- curate-who stretched their leathern miration, and we kept all three rat- coats almost to bursting against us tling along at a slapping pace-the-and in the bitterness of our exebay at a hand gallop-not less than cration, we called on goddess Na. sixteen knots-up Ecclerigg-Brow- ture to strike the wombs of all the mare sticking to us like wax. She the long-eared race with barrenseemed if any thing to have the su- ness, that it might become obperior speed—but the horse was solete on the face of the earth, and more steady—and below the shadow nought remain but its name, a term of those noble sycamores—as Sam of reproach and infamy, with scorn was attempting to pass us—the accumulating on the bateful monoShuffler broke ! We looked over our syllable Ass, till it should become shoulder, and saw her turn as on a unpronounceable, and finally be hisspivot-but before she had recovered ed out of the English language, and her top speed, we were more than out of every other language articufifty yards in advance, and at that lated by the children of men. moment nothing could be brighter And what, we think we hear you than our prospects—alas ! soon to be ask, what became of Us ? For a overcast!
we know not, for the pace Half way between Ecclerigg and was tremendous—but bad we been Lowood-say, one-third of the way running parallel to the Liverpool and nearer Lowood—is a piece of irre- Manchester rail-road, we had soon gular unenclosed ground-an oasis left out of sight the Rocket. Yet though surrounded by no desert Colonsay, even in the agony of pasat that time not without a few trees, sion, never utterly forgot the mainand studded with small groves of chance—and that with him was corn. more beautiful broom than ever yel- Better corn than Mr Clerk's of Eclowed Faery Land. Round it winds clerigg was not grown in Westmorethe road up to Briary.close, and land. So he away on by Brathwaite-fold to the mile-long village of Upper Trout
“ Leant o'er its humble gate, and beck, at which painters have been
thought the wbile, painting for half a century and more, O that for me some home like this might and yet have left unshadowed and un
smile, lighted ninety-nine parts in the hun
There should some hand no stinted boon dred of its inexhaustible picturesque. To hungry horse with terrors such as
assign On that shaded eminence had a di. vision of the Egyptian army en
mine," &c. camped — and lol their tents and and without uttering these words, but their asses! and hark, the clattering signifying these sentiments by a peal of pans ! for the men, forsooth, are of neighing, he forced his way into potters, and the women and children the court-yard, and soon brought the dexterous at the formation of horn family to the door, whose amazespoons. One bray was enough-it did ment may be guessed on seeing us the business—in fear blended with there, whom they had fondly believed disgust and indignation, Colonsay far ahead of the Shuffler, on the Plarecoiled, and at full gallop flashed teau of Waterhead !
A detachment of sons and servants minds but a boisterous bacchanalian was forthwith despatched to order spirit—whereas, believe us, they are or bribe the gipsies to strike their one and all somewhat sad--and the tents—though even in that event we song may be sung so as to melt even doubted if any earthly inducement a hard eye to tears. could persuade Colonsay to pass " Hope springs eternal in the hu. that haunted nook. Meanwhile, man breast”-and though assuredly not to be idle, we took our seat, we did not seem, sitting there, to be as requested, by the side of Mrs on the fair way or the high-road to Clerk, and fell to breakfast with victory, something within us told us what appetite we might-nor was we should yet win the day. The our appetite much amiss—and the whole family were equally confident breakfast was most excellent. Are of our ultimate success; and now a you fond of peas-pudding? You lassie from the oasis came to tell us are; then we need not ask your that the gipsies, grieved to think it opinion of pork. Let no man kill had causcd our disaster, had remohis own mutton-let all men kill ved their encampment—and were their own bacon-which, indeed, is desirous to give us all the help in the only way to save it. An expe- their power, should we think of atrienced eye can, without difficulty, tempting to get the grey horse past detect thirst even when disguised in the braying-place. This was cheerhunger-and Mr Clerk nodded to a ing intelligence; and Colonsay hadaughter to hand us a horn of the ving finished a feed of corn, when home-brewed. “ Here's to the grey- brought out looked more than ever coats and blue petticoats of West- like a winner. Fortunately we moreland!” and the sentiment dif- thought at that moment of his prefused a general smile. We never dilection for side-saddles and horse. desired to resemble that wild and women; and having arrayed and apocryphal animal the Unicorn-so burdened him accordingly-pretty we did not confine ourselves to a Ella Clerk not refusing to try a cansingle horn. We are not now much ter-we led him snorting past the of a malt-worm-but every season Oasis of Asses, and back again to the bas its appropriate drink—and ale precise spot where he had made the is man's best liquor in the grand wheel-and there, after gently asclimacteric. 'Tis a lie to say it then sisting Ella of Ecclerigg to get down, stupifies any but sumphs. Hops are and replacing the Marquis of Granfar preferable to poppies-in all by, we mounted incontinent, and cases but one--and that exception again surrendered up our whole spistrengthens the general rule-we rit to the passionate enthusiasm of mean the case of the inimitable the Match. English Opium-Eater. Yet even in It was yet ten minutes to seven! those days we could, against his Fifty minutes since starting bad been Smyrnean laudanum, have backed consumed, and we had performedour Ecclerigg ale. The horn that we mean in the right direction-not held it seemed converted into ivory much—if any thing--above two and rimmed with gold. How it miles! That seems no great going ; over-mantled with foamy inspira. yet the average rate had probably tion! How sunk that dark but pels been about fifteen miles an hourJucid stream like music in the heart! which if not great is good going What renovation! what elevation! and not to be sneezed at, on one of what adoration of all that was his best ponies, by either Lord Caithmighty, and what scorn of all that ness, or the Duke of Gordon. For was mean! “ Rule-rule, Britan- you must remember the primal fall nia-Britannia, rule the waves!” at the beginning of all-which occuThat was the first song we volun- pied, one way and another, several teered—and all the household joined minutes—then there was the episode in the chorus. Then sung we “Auld to Rayrigg—and the delay that oclang syne"—the only Scottish air curred about the fresh-that is, the popular- as far as we kpow-in the third start, at the Cross-Roads at coitages of England—and it, we Cook's House-then you must add fcar, chiefly because some of the something for the shying, and swerv, words have to common and vulgar ing, and shoving, at the smithy, and for all that entanglement and extri- of what they were and the worst cation--and when to all these itenis of all ghosts are the dead aliveyou add the half hour consuming bower-embosomed half way up its and consumed at Ecclerigg, you will own silvan hill, the delightful Dove find that not more than eight mi. Nest. Collected in front of the Inn, nutes were occupied by positive a vast crowd! and in the midst of match-trotting between the antique it—as sure as that China oranges are mile-stone where took place the cheap in Pekin—Sam Sitwell, on first great original start, and the spot Shuffler, ready to start! We felt we where occurred our latest disaster could afford to ride up to him-and, if disaster it may be called that led besides, we were curious to hear to a breakfast in one of the pleasant- him prate of his hereabouts. Could est cottages in Westmoreland_close it be that he was on his return from to the nearest ash-tree, on the left the goal at Grassmere? No. But hand side, to the Oasis of Asses- we soon had a solution of the mysalias the Donkey's Isle.
tery-or, rather, except to ourselves Hitherto our mind had been so there was no mystery at all. For, much engaged, that we had had nei- having met us flying home, as he ther time nor opportunity to observe was entitled to believe, at the rate the day—and knew little niore of it of a young hawk's flight, Sam, than that it was dry, and dusty, and who had not then recovered the hot. Now-we fell not to such pe- effects of that ugly fall, wisely de rusal of her face as we would draw cided to breakfast at Lowood. And, it, but we chucked Miss Day under according to his account, which we the chin, and looking up she ac- fully credited, Mrs Ladyman had knowledged our courteous civilities given him a superb déjeuné à la with a heart-beaming smile! The fourchette. Shuffler had all the while Day was not comely only, but beau- stood at the door feeding kindly out tiful-never saw we before nor since of a nose-bag, to be ready at the first more heavenly blue eyes, sunnier symptom of our return; and never clouds of golden hair, or a nobler saw we so great a change wrought forehead ample as the sky. The wea- in so short a time, by judicious treatther was not dry-for there had been ment, as well on man as on horse. some rain during the early hours of Sam was quite spruce-even pertthe night, and its influence still lay and rosy about the gills as an al. on the woods, along with that of the derman. As for Shuffler, we could morning dew. It was not dusty, have thought we saw before us how could it be—when every 'rill Eleanor herself, had that glorious was singing a new song ? If madcreature, who was then carrying men will trot at the rate of fifteen every thing before her, plates, cups, miles an hour, and gallop at the rate and all, not been of a different colour. of fifty, they will perspire ; but Yet we were proud to find that their odious condition does not Christopher on Colonsay divided the prove the air to be hot; and now, popular admiration, and as the rivals at seven of a midsummer morn shook hands, a shout rent the sky. ing, it was cool as that of a whole We now remembered that it continent of cucumbers. Ah, far was Grassmere Fair-day, which acmore than cool! We hear too much counted for the crowd being greater and too often of warm kisses; than could have been brought tobut the sweetest of all kisses in this gether perhaps even by the bruit of weary world are the sweet, fresh, our match. "There could not have fragrant, almost, but not quite, cold been fewer than a thousand souls, kisses of those virgin twin-sisters, and the assemblage began to drop off Air and Light!
towards Ambleside. It could noi but Such, for a few moments, had occur to our humane minds that the been the innocent dalliance of Auro- lieges would be subjected to great ra Day with Christopher North, when peril of life, were we to start at the eyes of that amorist caught a score, and make play through the peep of Lowood; and over its then fragments of that crowd. And start proud lake-side pine-grove, now at score and make play we must, if ruefully thinned, and the two or we were now to resume the contest, three remaining trees, the ghosts for our cattle were pawing to be let