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and in the afternoon walked up the Beacon Hill, and saw "through an opening in the bosom of that cluster of mountains the lake of Ulleswater, with the craggy tops of a hundred nameless hills.” Next day he ascended the brawling bed of the Eamont, with the towers of Helvellyn before him, until he reached Dunmallert. Gray's description of his first sight of Ulleswater, since sanctified to all lovers of poetry by Wordsworth’s Daffodils, is worth quoting:

Walked over a spongy meadow or two, and began to mount this hill through a broad and straight green alley among the trees, and with some toil gained the summit. From hence saw the lake opening directly at my feet, majestic in its calmness, clear and smooth as a blue mirror, with winding shores and low points of land covered with green enclosures, white farmhouses looking out among the trees, and cattle feeding. The water is almost everywhere bordered with cultivated lands gently sloping upwards till they reach the feet of the mountains, which rise very rude and awful with their broken tops on either hand. Directly in front, at better than three iniles distance, Place Fell, one of the bravest among the pushes its bold broad breast into the midst of the lake, and forces it to alter its course, forming first a large bay to the left, and then bending to the right.

It would seem that Wharton had been with his friend during the first part of this excursion, but had been forced, by a violent attack of asthma which came on at Brough, to return home. It is to this circumstance alone that we owe Gray's Journal, which was written piecemeal, and sent by post to Wharton that he might share in what his friend was doing. On the 1st of October Gray slept again at Penrith, and set out early next morning for Keswick. He passed at noon under the gleaming crags of Saddleback, the topmost point of which appeared of a sad purple, from the shadow of the clouds as they sailed slowly by it.” Passing by the mystery where Skiddaw shrouded “his double front among Atlantic clouds," Gray proceeded into Keswick, watching the sunlight reflected from the lake on every facet of its mountain-cup.

It seems that Gray walked about everywhere with that pretty toy, the Claude-Lorraine glass, in his hand, making the beautiful forms of the landscape compose in its lustrous chiaroscuro. Arranging his glass, in the afternoon of the 2nd of October, he got a bad fall backwards in a Keswick lane, but happily broke nothing but his knuckles. Next day, in company with the landlord of the Queen's Head, he explored the wonders of Borrowdale, the scene of Wordsworth's wild poem of Yew Trees. Just before entering the valley, he pauses to make a little vignette of the scene for Wharton's benefit:


Our path here tends to the left, and the ground gently rising and covered with a glade of scattering trees and bushes on the very margin of the water, opens both ways the most delicious view, that my eyes ever beheld. Behind you are the magnificent heights of Walla Crag; opposite lie the thick hanging woods of Lord Egremont, and Newland Valley, with green and smiling fields einbosomed in the dark cliffs; to the left the jaws of Borrowdale, with that turbulent chaos of mountain behind mountain rolled in confusion; beneath you, and stretching far away to the right, the shining purity of the lake, just ruffled with the breeze, enough to show it is alive, reflecting rocks, woods, fields, and inverted tops of mountains, with the white buildings of Keswick, Crossthwaite Church, and Skiddaw for a back-ground at a distance. Oh! Doctor, I never wished more

for you.

All this is much superior in graphic power to what the Paul Sandbys and Richard Wilsons could at that time attain to in the art of painting. Their best landscapes, with their sobriety and conscious artificiality, their fine tone and studious repression of reality, are more allied to those elegant and conventional descriptions of the picturesque by which William Gilpin made himself so popular twenty years later. Even Smith of Derby, whose engravings of Cumberland scenes had attracted notice, was tamely topographical in his treatment of them. Gray gives us something more modern, yet no less exact, and reminds us more of the early landscapes of Turner, with their unaffected rendering of nature. Southey's early letters from the Lakes, written nearly a generation later than Gray's, though more developed in romantic expression, are not one whit truer or more graphic.

Lodore seems to have been even in those days a sight to which visitors were taken; Gray gives a striking account of it, but confesses that the crags of Gowder were, to his mind, far more impressive than this slender cascade. The piles of shattered rock that hung above the pass of Gowder gave him a sense of danger as well as of sublinity, and reminded him of the Alps. He glanced at the balanced crags, and hurried on, whispering to himself “non ragionam di lor, ma guarda, e passa !” The weather was most propitious; if anything, too brilliantly hot; it had suggested itself to Gray that in such clear weather and under such a radiant sky he ought to ascend Skiddaw, but his laziness got the better of him, and he judged himself better employed in sauntering along the shore of Derwentwater :

In the evening walked alone down to the Lake by the side of Crow Park after sunset, and saw the solemn colouring of light draw on, the last gleam of sunshine fading away on the hill


tops, the deep serene of the waters, and the long shadows of the mountains thrown across them, till they nearly touched the hithermost shore. At distance heard the murmur of many water-falls, not audible in the day-time. Wished for the Moon, but she was dark to me and silent, hid in her vacant interlunar


Mr. Matthew Arnold has noticed that Gray has the accent of Obermann in such passages as these; it is the full tone of the romantic solitary without any of the hysterical over-gorgeousness which has ruined modern description of landscape. The 4th of October was a day of rest; the traveller contented himself with watching a procession of red clouds come marching up the eastern hills, and with gazing across the waterfall into the gorge of Borrowdale. On the 5th he walked down the Derwent to Bassenthwaite Water, and skirmished a little around the flanks of Skiddaw; on the 6th he drove along the eastern shore of Bassenthwaite towards Cockermouth, but did not reach that town, and returned to Keswick. The next day, the weather having suddenly become chilly and autumnal, Gray made no excursions, but botanized along the borders of Derwentwater, with the perfume of the wild myrtle in his nostrils. A little touch in writing to Wharton of the weather shows us the neat and fastidious side of Gray's character. "The soil is so thin and light," he says of the neighbourhood of Keswick, "that no day has passed in which I could not walk out with ease, and you know I am no lover of dirt." On the 8th he drove out of Keswick along the Ambleside road; the wind was easterly and the sky grey, but just as they left the valley, the sun broke out, and bathed the lakes and mountain-sides with such a wonderful morning glory that Gray almost made up his mind to go back again. He was particularly fascinated with the

“clear obscure ” of Thirlmere, shaded by the spurs of Helvellyn; and entering Westmoreland, descended into what Wordsworth was to make classic ground thirty years later, Grasmere,

Its crags, its woody steeps, its lakes,
Its one green island, and its winding shores,
The multitude of little rocky hills,
Its church, and cottages of mountain stone,
Clustered like stars.

This fragment of Wordsworth may be confronted by Gray's description of the same scene :



Just beyond Helen Crag, opens one of the sweetest landscapes that art ever attempted to imitate. The bosom of the mountains, spreading here into a broad basin, discovers in the midst Grasmere Water; its margin is hollowed into small bays with bold eminences, some of them rocks, some of soft turf that half conceal and vary the figure of the little lake they command. From the shore a low promontory pushes itself far into the water, and on it stands a white village with the parish church rising in the midst of it; hanging enclosures, corn-fields, and meadows green as an emerald, with their trees, hedges, and cattle, fill up the whole space from the edge of the water. Just opposite to you is a large farmhouse at the bottom of a steep smooth lawn embosomed in old woods, which climb half-way up the mountainside, and discover above them a broken line of crags, that crown the scene.

Not a single red tile, no flaring gentleman's house, or garden-walls, break in upon the repose of this little unsuspected paradise ; but all is peace, rusticity, and happy poverty in its neatest and most becoming attire.


Passing from Grasmere, he drove through Rydal, not without a reference to the “large old-fashioned fabric, now a farm-house,” which Wordsworth was to buy in 1813, and was to immortalize with his memory. I have not been

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