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First Edition 1897
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MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED
NEW YORK : THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
A II rights reserved
PREFATORY NOTE ...... vii
I. DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL, WRITTEN
AT ALFOXDEN (FROM 20TH JANUARY TO
22ND MAY 1798) ..... i
II. DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL OF DAYS
SPENT AT HAMBURGH IN SEPTEMBER AND
OCTOBER 1798 ...... 19
III. DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL, WRITTEN
AT GRASMERE (i4TH MAY TO 2isT DECEM-
BER 1800) ....... 29
IV. DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL, WRITTEN
AT GRASMERE (FROM IOTH OCTOBER 1801
TO 29TH DECEMBER 1801) . . . 61
V. DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL, WRITTEN
AT GRASMERE (FROM IST JANUARY 1802 TO
STH JULY 1802) -77
VI. DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL, WRITTEN
AT GRASMERE (gTH JULY 1802 TO IITH
JANUARY 1803) . . . . . 139
VII. RECOLLECTIONS OF A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND
(A.D. 1803) 159
THE Journals written by Dorothy Wordsworth, and her
reminiscences of Tours made with her brother, are more
interesting to posterity than her letters.
A few fragments from her Grasmere Journal were
included by the late Bishop of Lincoln in the Memoirs
of his uncle, published in 1850. The Recollections of a
Tour made in Scotland in 1803, were edited in full by
the late Principal Shairp in the year 1874 (third edition
1894). In 1889, I included in my Life of William
Wordsworth most of the Journal written at Alfoxden,
much of that referring to Hamburg, and the greater
part of the longer Grasmere Journal. Some extracts
from the Journal of a Tour on the Continent made in
1820 (and of a similar one written by Mrs. Words-
worth), as well as short records of subsequent visits to
Scotland and to the Isle of Man, were printed in the
same volume. None of these, however, were given in
their entirety ; nor is it desirable now to print them
in extensQ) except in the case of the Recollections of a
Tour made in Scotland in 1803. All the Journals con-
tain numerous trivial details, which bear ample witness
to the " plain living and high thinking " of the Words-
worth household and, in this edition, samples of these
details are given but there is no need to record all the
cases in which the sister wrote, " To-day I mended
William's shirts," or " William gathered sticks," or "I
went in search of eggs," etc. etc. In all cases, however,
in which a sentence or paragraph, or several sentences
and paragraphs, in the Journals are left out, the omission
is indicated by means of asterisks. Nothing is omitted
of any literary or biographical value. Some persons
may think that too much has been recorded, others
that everything should have been printed. As to this,
posterity must judge. I think that many, in future
years, will value these Journals, not only as a record of
the relations existing between Wordsworth and his sister,
his wife her family and his friends, but also as an
illustration of the remarkable literary brotherhood and
sisterhood of the period.
Coming now to details.
I do not know of any Journal written at Racedown,
and I do not think that Dorothy kept one while she and
her brother lived in Dorsetshire. In July 1797 they
took up their residence at Alfoxden ; but, so far as is
known, it was not till the 2oth of January 1798 that
Dorothy began to write a Journal of her own and her
brother's life at that place. It was continued un-
interruptedly till Thursday, 22nd May 1798. It gives
numerous details as to the visits of Coleridge to
Alfoxden, and the Wordsworths 5 visits to him at Nethcr-
Stowey, as well as of the circumstances under which
several of their poems were composed. Many sentences
in the Journal present a curious resemblance to words
and phrases which occur in the poems ; and there is no
doubt that, as brother and sister made use of the same
note -book some of Wordsworth's own verses having
been written by him in his sister's journal the co-
partnery may have extended to more than the common
use of the same MS,
The archaic spellings which occur in this Journal are
retained; but inaccuracies such as Bartelmy for
Bartholemew, Crewkshank for Cruikshank are corrected.
In the edition of 1889 the words were printed as written
in MS. ; but it is one thing to reproduce the bona fide
text of a journal, or the ipsissima verba of a poet, and
quite another to reproduce the incorrect spellings of his
From the Journal of the days spent at Hamburg in
1798 when the Words worths were on their way to
Goslar, and Coleridge to Ratzeburg only a few extracts
are given, dating from I4th September to 3rd October
of that year. These explain themselves.
Of the Grasmere Journals much more is given, and a
great deal that was omitted from the first volume of the
Life of Wordsworth in 1889, is now printed. To many
readers this will be by far the most interesting section
of all Dorothy Wordsworth's writings. It not only
contains exquisite descriptions of Grasmere and its
district- a most felicitous record of the changes of the
seasons and the progress of the year, details as to flower
and tree, bird and beast, mountain and lake but it
casts a flood of light on the circumstances under which
her brother's poems were composed. It also discloses
much as to the doings of the Wordsworth household,
of the visits of Coleridge and others,' while it vividly
illustrates the peasant life of Westmoreland at the
beginning of this century. What I have seen of this
Journal extends from I4th May to 2ist December
1800, and from loth October 1801 to i6th January
1803. It is here printed in four sections.
When the late Principal Shairp edited the Re-
collections of a Tour made in Scotland in 1803, he
inserted an elaborate and valuable introduction, with a
few explanatory and topographical notes. With the
consent of Mrs. Shairp, and of the Principal's son,
Sheriff J. C. Shairp, many of them are now repro-
duced, with the initials J. ( C. S. appended. As some
notes were needed at these places, and I could only
have slightly varied the statements of fact, it seemed
better for the reader, and more respectful to the memory
of such a Wordsworthian as the late Principal was, to
record them as his. I cordially thank Mrs. Shairp, and
her son, for their kindness in this matter. It should be
added that Dorothy Wordsworth's archaic spelling of
many of the names of places, such as Lanerk,
Ulswater, Strath Eyer, Loch Ketterine, Inversneyde,
etc., are retained.
These Recollections of the Tour made in Scotland
were not all written down at the time during- the journey.
Many of them were " afterthoughts." The Alfoxden and
Grasmere Journals were " diaries," in the sense that
except when the contrary is stated they were written
down day by day ; but certain portions of the Scottish
Journal suggest either that they were entirely written
after the return to Grasmere, or were then considerably
expanded. I have not seen the original MS. Dorothy
transcribed it in full for her friend Mrs. Clarkson,
commencing the work in 1803, and finishing it on 3ist
May 1805 (see vol. ii. p. 78). This transcript I have
seen. It is the only one now traceable.
It should be mentioned that Dorothy Wordsworth
was often quite incorrect in her dates, both as to the
day of the week and the month. Minute accuracy on
these points did not count for much at that time ; and
very often a mistake in the date of one entry in her
Journal brought with it a long series of future errors.
The same remark applies to the Grasmere Journal, and
to the record of the Continental Tour of 1820.
Many friends and students of Wordsworth regretted
the long delay in the publication of the Tour made in
Scotland in 1803. In the Recollections of the Table-
Talk of Samuel Rogers (1856), p. 208, we find the
following : "I do indeed regret that Wordsworth has
printed only fragments of his sister's journal ; it is most
excellent, and ought to have been published entire,"
It will always hold a place of honour in itinerary litera-
ture. It possesses a singular charm, and has abiding
interest, not only as a record of travel, but also as a
mirror of Scottish life and character nearly a hundred
xii PREFA TOR Y NO TE
The Journal of a Mountain Ramble, by William and
Dorothy Wordsworth in November 1805, calls for no
special remark. The ramble was from Grasmere by
Rydal and Kirkstone Pass to Patterdale and Ullswater,
thence to the top of Place Fell, at the foot of which
Wordsworth thought of buying and did afterwards buy
a small property near the Lake, thence to Yanworth,
returning to Grasmere by Kirkstone again. The story
of this "ramble," written by Dorothy, was afterwards
incorporated in part by William Wordsworth in his prose
Description of the Scenery of the Lakes another curious
instance of their literary copartnery.
In 1820 the poet, his wife, and sister, along with Mr.
and Mrs. Monkhouse, and Miss Horrocks (a sister of
Mrs. Monkhouse), spent more than three months on the
Continent. They left Lambeth on the i oth of July, and
returned to London in November. Starting from Dover
on i rth July, they went by Brussels to Cologne, up the
Rhine to Switzerland, were joined by Henry Crabb
Robinson at Lucerne, crossed over to the Italian Lakes,
visited Milan, came back to Switzerland, and passed
through France to Paris, where they spent a month.
Dorothy Wordsworth wrote a minute and very careful
Journal of this tour, taking notes at the time, and
extending them on her return to Westmoreland. Mrs.
Wordsworth kept a shorter record of the same journey.
Crabb Robinson also wrote a diary of it. Wordsworth
PREFATORY NOTE xiii
recorded and idealised his tour in a series of poems,
named by him ct Memorials of a Tour on the Continent,
1820," very few of which were written on the spot ; and
when, in the after- leisure of Rydal Mount, he set to
work upon them, it is evident that he consulted, and
made frequent use of, the two family Journals, particu-
larly the one written by his sister. In a letter to Mrs.
Clarkson from Coblentz, dated 22nd July, Dorothy said :
" Journals we shall have in abundance ; for all, except
my brother and Mrs. Monkhouse, keep a journal. Mine
is nothing but notes, unintelligible to any one but myself.
I look forward, however, to many a pleasant hour's
employment at Rydal Mount in filling up the chasms."
The originals of these two Journals still exist, and it
is hard to say whether the jottings taken at the time by
the wife, or the extended Journal afterwards written by
the sister, is the more admirable, both as a record of
travel and as a commentary on the poet's work.
Dorothy's MS. is nearly as long as her Recollections of
the Scottish Tour of 1803. Extracts from both Journals
were published in the library edition of the Poems in
1884, and in the Life of William Wordsworth in 1889 ;
but these were limited to passages illustrative of the
It is not expedient to print either Journal in full
There are, however, so many passages of interest and
beauty in each presenting a vivid picture of the towns
and countries through which the Wordsworths passed,
and of the style of continental travelling in those days
that it seems desirable to insert more numerous extracts
from them than those which have been already printed.
They will be found to illustrate much of the state of
things in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France in the
first quarter of the present century ; while they afford an
interesting contrast to that which meets the eye of the
traveller, and ministers to his wants, at the present day.
In the 80 pages extracted from Dorothy's Journal alone,
it is such passages that have, in the main, been selected.
In October 1821, Mr. Robinson was a visitor at
Rydal Mount ; and after reading over the Journals of
Mrs. and Dorothy Wordsworth, he wrote thus in his
" znd Oct. '21. I read to-day part of Miss, and also Mrs.,
W/s Journal in Switzerland. They put mine to shame. 1 They
had adopted a plan of journalising which could not fail to
render the account amusing and informing. Mrs. W. ? in
particular, frequently described, as in a panorama, the objects
around her ; and these were written on the spot : and I re-
collect her often sitting on the grass, not aware of what kind
of employment she had. Now it is evident that a succession
of such pictures must represent the face of the country. Their
Journals were alike abundant in observation (in which the
writers showed an enviable faculty), and were sparing of re-
flections, which ought rather to be excited by than obtruded in
a book of travels. I think I shall profit on some future occa-
sion by the hint I have taken."
Again, in November 1823, Robinson wrote :
"Finished Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal. I do not know
when I have felt more humble than in reading it. It is so
superior to my own. She saw so much more than I did, though
we were side by side during a great part of the time."
Robinson advised Dorothy Wordsworth to publish
1 Perhaps the most interesting entry in Henry ,Crabb Robinson's
Journal of the tour is the following : "a6tf& June 1820. I made
some cheap purchases : if anything not wanted can be cheap."
PREFA TOR Y NO TE
her Journal of this Continental Tour, and she replied to
him, 23rd May 1824 :
" . . . Your advice respecting my Continental Journal is,
I am sure, very good, provided it were worth while to make a
book of it, i.e. provided I could do so, and provided it were my
wish; but it is not. l Far better, 5 I say, 'make another tour,
and write the Journal on a different plan ! ' In recopying it, I
should, as you advise, omit considerable portions of the de-
scription. . . . But, observe, my object is not to make a book,
but to leave to my niece a neatly-penned memorial of those
few interesting months of our lives* . . .' ?
In 1822, Dorothy Wordsworth went with Joanna
Hutchinson to Scotland, for change of air and scene.
She wrote of this journey:
" I had for years promised Joanna to go with her to Edin-
burgh that was her object ; but we planned a little tour, up
the Forth to Stirling, thence by track-boat to Glasgow ; from
Dumbarton to Rob Roy's cave by steam ; stopping at Tarbet ;
thence in a cart to Inverary ; back again to Glasgow, down
Loch Fyne, and up the Clyde ; thence on the coach to Lanark ;
and from Lanark to Moffat in a cart. There we stopped two
days, my companion being an invalid ; and she fancied the
waters might cure her, but a bathing-place which nobody
frequents is never in order ; and we were glad to leave Moffat,
crossing the wild country again in a cart, to the banks of the
river Esk. We returned to Edinburgh for the sake of warm
baths. We were three weeks in lodgings at Edinburgh.
Joanna had much of that sort of pleasure which one has in first
seeing a foreign country ; and in our travels, whether on the
outside of a coach, on the deck of a steamboat, or in whatever
way we got forward, she was always cheerful, never complain-
ing of bad fare, bad inns, or anything else. ..."
It was a short excursion, but was memorialised in
the usual way by Dorothy's ever ready pen.
In the following year, 1823, Wordsworth and his
wife left Lee Priory, " for a little tour in Flanders and
Holland," as he phrased it in a letter to John Kenyon.
He wrote i6th May :
" We shall go to Dover, with a view to embark for Ostend
to-morrow, unless detained by similar obstacles. From Ostend
we mean to go to Ghent, to Antwerp, Breda, Utrecht, Amster-
dam to Rotterdam by Haarlem, the Hague, and Leyden
thence to Antwerp by another route, and perhaps shall return
by Mechlin, Brussels, Lille, and Ypres to Calais or direct to
Ostend as we came. We hope to be landed in England within
a month. We shall hurry through London homewards, where
we are naturally anxious already to be, having left Rydal Mount
so far back as February. ..."
The extracts taken from Mary Wordsworth's Journal
show how far they conformed to, and how far they de-
parted from, their original plan of travel. In them will
be found the same directness and simplicity, the same
vividness of touch, as are seen in her Journal of the
longer tour taken in 1820.
In 1828, Dorothy Wordsworth went to the Isle of
Man, accompanied by Mrs. Wordsworth's sister Joanna,
to visit her brother Henry Hutchinson. This was a
visit, earlier by five years than that which the poet took
with his sister to the Isle of Man, before proceeding to
Scotland, a tour which gave rise to so many sonnets.
Of the later tour she kept no Journal, but of the earlier
one some records survive, from which a few extracts
have been made.
In conclusion, I must mention the special kindness
of the late Mrs. Wordsworth, the daughter-in-law of the
poet, and of Mr. Gordon Wordsworth his grandson,
in granting free access to all the Journals and MSS.
they possessed, and now possess. Without their aid
the publication of these volumes would have been im-
^ " WILLIAM KNIGHT.
DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL
WRITTEN AT ALFOXDEN
FROM 20TH JANUARY TO 2 2ND MAY
DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL,
WRITTEN AT ALFOXDEN IN 1798 *
ALFOXDEN, January 2oth 1798. The green paths down
the hill-sides are channels for streams. The young
wheat is streaked by silver lines of water running be-
tween the ridges, the sheep are gathered together on
the slopes. After the wet dark days, the country seems
more populous. It peoples itself in the sunbeams. The
garden, mimic of spring, is gay with flowers. The
purple-starred hepatica spreads itself in the sun, and
the clustering snow-drops put forth their white heads, at
first upright, ribbed with green, and like a rosebud when
completely opened, hanging their heads downwards, but
slowly lengthening their slender stems. The slanting
woods of an unvarying brown, showing the light through
the thin net-work of their upper boughs. Upon the
highest ridge of that round hill covered with planted oaks,
the shafts of the trees show in the light like the columns
of a ruin.
2ist. Walked on the hill-tops a warm day. Sate
under the firs in the park. The tops of the beeches of a
brown-red, or crimson. Those oaks, fanned by the sea
breeze, thick with feathery sea-green moss, as a grove not
stripped of its leaves. Moss cups more proper than
acorns for fairy goblets.
2,2nd. Walked through the wood to Holford. The
ivy twisting round the oaks like bristled serpents. The
* In the original MS. there is no title. The above is a de-
scriptive one, given by the editor. ED.
4 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH* S JOURNAL I
day cold a warm shelter in the hollies, capriciously
bearing berries. Query : Are the male and female
flowers on separate trees ?
23^. Bright sunshine, went out at 3 o'clock. The
sea perfectly calm blue, streaked with deeper colour by
the clouds, and tongues or points of sand ; on our
return of a gloomy red. The sun gone down. The
crescent moon, Jupiter, and Venus. The sound of the
sea distinctly heard on the tops of the hills, which we
could never hear in summer. We attribute this partly
to the bareness of the trees, but chiefly to the absence of
the singing of birds, the hum of insects, that noiseless
noise which lives in the summer air. 1 The villages
marked out by beautiful beds of smoke. The turf fading
into the mountain road. The scarlet flowers of the moss.
242^. Walked between half-past three and half-past
five. The evening cold and clear. The sea of a sober
grey, streaked by the deeper grey clouds. The half dead
sound of the near sheep-bell, in the hollow of the sloping
coombe, exquisitely soothing.
2$tk. Went to Poole's after tea. The sky spread
over with one continuous cloud, whitened by the light of
the moon, which, though her dim shape was seen, did
not throw forth so strong a light as to chequer the earth
with shadows. At once the clouds seemed to cleave
asunder, and left her in the centre of a black-blue vault.
She sailed along, followed by multitudes of stars, small,
and bright, and sharp. Their brightness seemed con-
26th. Walked upon the hill-tops ; followed the sheep
tracks till we overlooked the larger coombe. Sat in the
sunshine. The distant sheep-bells, the sound of the
1 Compare Keats, Miscellaneous Poems
A little noiseless noise amongst the leaves
Born of the very sigh that silence heaves. ED.
And Coleridge, The ^Eolian Harp
The stilly murmur of the distant sea
Tells us of silence. ED.
I ALFOXDEN 5
stream ; the woodman winding along the half-marked
road with his laden pony ; locks of wool still spangled
with the dewdrops ; the blue-grey sea, shaded with
immense masses of cloud, not streaked ; the sheep
glittering in the sunshine. Returned through the wood.
The trees skirting the wood, being exposed more directly
to the action of the sea breeze, stripped of the net- work
of their upper boughs, which are stiff and erect, like
black skeletons ; the ground strewed with the red berries
of the holly. Set forward before two o'clock. Returned
a little after four.
zjtk. Walked from seven o'clock till half-past eight.
Upon the whole an uninteresting evening. Only once
while we were in the wood, the moon burst through the
invisible veil which enveloped her, the shadows of the
oaks blackened, and their lines became more strongly
marked. The withered leaves were coloured with a
deeper yellow, a brighter gloss spotted the hollies ; again
her form became dimmer; the sky flat, unmarked by
distances, a white thin cloud. The manufacturer's dog
makes a strange, uncouth howl, which it continues many
minutes after there is no noise near it but that of the
brook. It howls at the murmur of the village stream.
2S//2. Walked only to the mill.
29/7/1. A very stormy day. William walked to the
top of the hill to see the sea. Nothing distinguishable
but a heavy blackness. An immense bough riven from
one of the fir trees.
^ot/t. William called me into the garden to observe
a singular appearance about the moon. A perfect rain-
bow, within the bow one star, only of colours more
vivid. The semi-circle soon became a complete circle,
and in the course of three or four minutes the whole
faded away. Walked to the blacksmith's and the
baker's ; an uninteresting evening.
3i.tf. Set forward to Stowey at half-past five. A
violent storm in the wood ; sheltered under the hollies.
When we left home the moon immensely large, the sky
6 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL I
scattered over with clouds. These soon closed in, con-
tracting the dimensions of the moon without concealing
her. The sound of the pattering shower, and the gusts
of wind, very grand. Left the wood when nothing
remained of the storm but the driving wind, and a few
scattering drops of rain. Presently all clear, Venus first
showing herself between the struggling clouds ; after-
wards Jupiter appeared. The hawthorn hedges, black
and pointed, glittering with millions of diamond drops ;
the hollies shining with broader patches of light. The
road to the village of Holford glittered like another
stream. On our return, the wind high a violent storm
of hail and rain at the Castle of Comfort. All the
Heavens seemed in one perpetual motion when the rain
ceased ; the moon appearing, now half veiled, and now
retired behind heavy clouds, the stars still moving, the
roads very dirty.
February 1st. About two hours before dinner, set
forward towards Mr. Bartholemew's. 1 The wind blew
so keen in our faces that we felt ourselves inclined to
seek the covert of the wood. There we had a warm
shelter, gathered a burthen of large rotten boughs blown
down by the wind of the preceding night. The sun
shone clear, but all at once a heavy blackness hung over
the sea. The trees almost roared, and the ground
seemed in motion with the multitudes of dancing leaves,
which made a rustling sound, distinct from that of the
trees. Still the asses pastured in quietness under the
hollies, undisturbed by these forerunners of the storm.
The wind beat furiously against us as we returned. Full
moon. She rose in uncommon majesty over the sea,
slowly ascending through the clouds. Sat with the
window open an hour in the moonlight.
2nd. Walked through the wood, and on to the
Downs before dinner ; a warm pleasant air. The sun
1 Mr. Bartholomew rented Alfoxclen, and sub-lot the house to
Wordsw orth. ED.
shone, but was often obscured by straggling clouds.
The redbreasts made a ceaseless song in the woods.
The wind rose very high in the evening. The room
smoked so that we were obliged to quit it. Young
lambs in a green pasture in the Coombe, thick legs,
large heads, black staring eyes.
^rd. A mild morning, the windows open at break-
fast, the redbreasts singing in the garden. Walked with
Coleridge over the hills. The sea at first obscured by
vapour ; that vapour afterwards slid in one mighty mass
along the sea-shore ; the islands and one point of land
clear beyond it. The distant country (which was purple
in the clear dull air), overhung by straggling clouds that
sailed over it, appeared like the darker clouds, which are
often seen at a great distance apparently, motionless,
while the nearer ones pass quickly over them, driven by
the lower winds. I never saw such a union of earth,
sky, and sea. The clouds beneath our feet spread them-
selves to the water, and the clouds of the sky almost
joined them. Gathered sticks in the wood ; a perfect
stillness. The redbreasts sang upon the leafless boughs.
Of a great number of sheep in the field, only one stand-
ing. Returned to dinner at five o'clock. The moonlight
still and warm as a summer's night at nine o'clock.
4th. Walked a great part of the way to Stowey with
Coleridge. The morning warm and sunny. The young
lasses seen on the hill-tops, in the villages and roads, in
their summer holiday clothes pink petticoats and blue.
Mothers with their children in arms, and the little ones
that could just walk, tottering by their side. Midges or
small flies spinning in the sunshine ; the songs of the
lark and redbreast; daisies upon the turf; the hazels
in blossom ; honeysuckles budding. I saw one solitary
strawberry flower under a hedge. The furze gay with
blossom. The moss rubbed from the pailings by the
sheep, that leave locks of wool, and the red marks with
which they are spotted, upon the wood.
52^. Walked to Stowey with Coleridge, returned by
DOROTHY WOKDS W UK 1 ti. '
Woodlands ; a very warm day. In the continued sing-
ing of birds distinguished the notes of a blackbird or
thrush. The sea overshadowed by a thick dark mist,
the land in sunshine. The sheltered oaks and beeches
still retaining their brown leaves. Observed some trees
putting out red shoots. Query : What trees are they ?
th. Walked to Stowey over the hills, returned to
tea, a cold and clear evening, the roads in some parts
frozen hard. The sea hid by mist all the day.
jth. Turned towards Potsdam, but finding the way
dirty, changed our course. Cottage gardens the object
of our walk. Went up the smaller Coombe to Wood-
lands, to the blacksmith's, the baker's, and through
the village of Holford. Still misty over the sea. The
air very delightful. We saw nothing very new, or
g///. Went up the Park, and over the tops of the
hills, till we came to a new and very delicious pathway,
which conducted us to the Coombe. Sat a considerable
time upon the heath. Its surface restless and glittering
with the motion of the scattered piles of withered grass,
and the waving of the spiders' threads. On our return
the mist still hanging over the sea, but the opposite
coast clear, and the rocky cliffs distinguishable. In the
deep Coombe, as we stood upon the sunless hill, we saw
miles of grass, light and glittering, and the insects
9///-. William gathered sticks. . . .
jo//;. Walked to Woodlands, and to the waterfall.
The aclder's-tongue and the ferns green in the low damp
dell. These plants now in perpetual motion from the
current of the air ; in summer only moved by the drip-
pings of the rocks. A cloudy day.
I ith. Walked with Coleridge near to Stowey. The
day pleasant, but cloudy.
I2.th. Walked alone to Stowey. Returned in the
evening with Coleridge. A mild, pleasant, cloudy clay.
, Walked with Coleridge through the wood.
I ALFOXDEN g
A mild and pleasant morning, the near prospect clear.
The ridges of the hills fringed with wood, showing the
sea through them like the white sky, and still beyond
the dim horizon of the distant hills, hanging as it were
in one undetermined line between sea and sky.
I4///. Gathered sticks with William in the wood, he
being unwell and not able to go further. The young
birch trees of a bright red, through which gleams a
shade of purple. Sat down in a thick part of the wood.
The near trees still, even to their topmost boughs, but a
perpetual motion in those that skirt the wood. The
breeze rose gently ; its path distinctly marked, till it
came to the very spot where we were.
i$t/i. Gathered sticks in the further wood. The
dell green with moss and brambles, and the tall and
slender pillars of the unbranching oaks. I crossed the
water with letters ; returned to Wm. and Basil. A
shower met us in the wood, and a ruffling breeze.
i6th. Went for eggs into the Cooinbe, and to the
baker's ; a hail shower ; brought home large burthens of
sticks, a starlight evening, the sky closed in, and the
ground white with snow before we went to bed.
ijt/i, A deep snow upon the ground. Wm. and
Coleridge walked to Mr. Bartholomew's, and to Stowey.
Wm. returned, and we walked through the wood into the
Coombe to fetch some eggs. The sun shone bright and
clear. A deep stillnesk in the thickest part of the wood,
undisturbed except by the occasional dropping of the
snow from the holly boughs ; no other sound but that of
the water, and the slender notes of a redbreast, which
sang at intervals on the outskirts of the southern side of
the wood. There the bright green moss was bare at the
roots of the trees, and the little birds were upon it. The
whole appearance of the wood was enchanting ; and each
tree, taken singly, was beautiful. The branches of the
hollies pendent with their white burden, but still showing
their bright red berries, and their glossy green leaves.
The bare branches of the oaks thickened by the snow.
DOROTHY WORDSWORTH S JOURNAL
k. Walked after dinner beyond Woodlands. 1 A
sharp and very cold evening ; first observed the crescent
moon, a silvery line, a thready bow, attended by Jupiter
and Venus in their palest hues.
IQ//Z. I walked to Stowey before dinner; Wm. un-
able to go all the way. Returned alone ; a fine sunny,
clear, frosty day. The sea still, and blue, and broad,
2Q//2. Walked after dinner towards Woodlands.
21 st. Coleridge came in the morning, which pre-
vented our walking. Wm. went through the wood with
him towards Stowey ; a very stormy night.
2,2nd. Coleridge came in the morning to dinner.
Wm. and I walked after dinner to Woodlands ; the moon
and two planets ; sharp and frosty. Met a razor-grinder
with a soldier's jacket on, a knapsack upon his back, and
a boy to drag his wheel. The sea very black, and
making a loud noise as we came through the wood, loud
as if disturbed, and the wind was silent.
z^rd. William walked with Coleridge in the morn-
ing. I did not go out.
242/1. Went to the hill -top. Sat a considerable
time overlooking the country towards the sea. The air
blew pleasantly round us. The landscape mildly inter-
esting. The Welsh hills capped by a huge range of
tumultuous white clouds. The sea, spotted with white,
of a bluish grey in general, and streaked with darker
lines. The near shores clear ; scattered farm houses,
half- concealed by green mossy orchards, fresh straw
lying at the doors ; hay-stacks in the fields* Brown
fallows, the springing wheat, like a shade of green over
the brown earth, and the choice meadow plots, full of
sheep and lambs, of a soft and vivid green ; a few
1 This house was afterwards John Kenyon's, to -whom Aurora
Leigh is dedicated, and was subsequently the residence of the
Rev. William Nichols, author of The Quantocks and their Associa-
wreaths of blue smoke, spreading along the ground ;
the oaks and beeches in the hedges retaining their
yellow leaves ; the distant prospect on the land side,
islanded with sunshine ; the sea, like a basin full to the
margin ; the dark fresh-ploughed fields ; the turnips of a
lively rough green. Returned through the wood.
2,$t/i. I lay down in the morning, though the whole
day was very pleasant, and the evening fine. We did
26t/i. Coleridge came in the morning, and Mr. and
Mrs. Cruikshank 1 ; walked with Coleridge nearly to
Stowey after dinner. A very clear afternoon. We lay
sidelong upon the turf, and gazed on the landscape till it
melted into more than natural loveliness. The sea very
uniform, of a pale greyish blue, only one distant bay,
bright and blue as a sky ; had there been a vessel
sailing up it, a perfect image of delight. Walked to
the top of a high hill to see a fortification. Again sat
down to feed upon the prospect ; a magnificent scene,
curiously spread out for even minute inspection, though
so extensive that the mind is afraid to calculate its
bounds. A winter prospect shows every cottage, every
farm, and the forms of distant trees, such as in summer
have no distinguishing mark. On our return, Jupiter
and Venus before us. While the twilight still over-
powered the light of the moon, we were reminded that
she was shining bright above our heads, by our faint
shadows going before us. We had seen her on the tops
of the hills, melting into the blue sky. Poole called
while we were absent.
27^. I walked to Stowey in the evening. Wm.
and Basil went with me through the wood. The
prospect bright, yet mildly beautiful. The sea big and
white, swelled to the very shores, but round and high in
the middle. Coleridge returned with me, as far as the
wood. A very bright moonlight night. Venus almost
1 Of Ncther-Stowey, the agent of the Earl of Egmont. ED.
r2 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL i
like another moon. Lost to us at Alfoxden long before
she goes down the large white sea-
March \st. We rose early. A thick fog obscured
the distant prospect entirely, but the shapes of the
nearer trees and the dome of the wood dimly seen and
dilated. It cleared away between ten and eleven. The
shapes of the mist, slowly moving along, exquisitely
beautiful ; passing over the sheep they almost seemed to
have more of life than those quiet creatures. The
unseen birds singing in the mist. 1
2nd. Went a part of the way home with Coleridge
in the morning. Gathered fir apples afterwards under
$rd. I went to the shoemaker's. William lay under
the trees till my return. Afterwards went to the
secluded farm house in search of eggs, and returned
over the hill. A very mild, cloudy evening. The rose
trees in the hedges and the elders budding.
^th. Walked to Woodlands after dinner, a pleasant
5/#. Gathered fir- apples. A thick fog came on.
Walked to the baker's and the shoemaker's, and through
the fields towards Woodlands. On our return, found
Tom Poole in the parlour. He drank tea with us.
6th. A pleasant morning, the sea white and bright,
and full to the brim. I walked to see Coleridge in the
evening. William went with me to the wood. Coleridge
very ill. It was a mild, pleasant afternoon, but the
evening became very foggy ; when I was near Wood-
lands, the fog overhead became thin, and I saw the
shapes of the Central Stars. Again it closed, and the
whole sky was the same.
7/k. William and I drank tea at Coleridge's. A
cloudy sky. Observed nothing particularly interesting
the distant prospect obscured. One only leaf upon
1 Compare The Keel use, 1. 91
Her Voice was like a hidden Bird that sang. Eix
I ALFOXDEN 13
the top of a tree the sole remaining leaf danced
round and round like a rag blown by the wind. 1
8t/i. Walked in the Park in the morning. I sate
under the fir trees. Coleridge came after dinner, so we
did not walk again. A foggy morning, but a clear sunny
gtk. A clear sunny morning, went to meet Mr. and
Mrs. Coleridge. The day very warm.
loth. Coleridge, Wm., and I walked in the evening
to the top of the hill. We all passed the morning in
sauntering about the park and gardens, the children
playing about, the old man at the top of the hill gathering
furze ; interesting groups of human creatures, the young
frisking and dancing in the sun, the elder quietly drinking
in the life and soul of the sun and air.
I ith, A cold day. The children went down towards
the sea. William and I walked to the top of the hills
above Holford. Met the blacksmith. Pleasant to see
the labourer on Sunday jump with the friskiness of a cow
upon a sunny day.
I 'zth. Tom Poole returned with Coleridge to dinner,
a brisk, cold, sunny day \ did not walk.
132^. Poole dined with us. William and I strolled
into the wood. Coleridge called us into the house.
5. I have neglected to set down the occurrences
of this week, so I do not recollect how we disposed of
i6tk. William, and Coleridge, and I walked in the
Park a short time. I wrote to . William very ill,
better in the evening ; and we called round by Potsdam.
ijth. I do not remember this day.
. The Coleridges left us. A cold, windy
1 Did this suggest the lines in Christabel ?
The one red leaf, the last of its clan,
That dances as often as dance it can,
Hanging so light, and hanging so high,
On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky. ED.
i 4 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL l
morning. Walked with them half way. On our return,
sheltered under the hollies, during a hail- shower. The
withered leaves danced with the hailstones. William
wrote a description of the storm. 1
igth. Wm. and Basil and I walked to the hill-tops,
a very cold bleak day. We were met on our return by
a severe hailstorm. William wrote some lines describing
a stunted thorn. 2
2oth. Coleridge dined with us. We went more
than half way home with him in the evening. A very
cold evening, but clear. The spring seemingly very
little advanced. No green trees, only the hedges are
budding, and looking very lovely.
2 1st. We drank tea at Coleridge's. A quiet shower
of snow was in the air during more than half our walk.
At our return the sky partially shaded with clouds.
The horned moon was set. Startled two night birds
from the great elm tree.
22nd. I spent the morning in starching and hanging
out linen ; walked through the wood in the evening,
2-$rd. Coleridge dined with us. He brought his
ballad finished. 3 We walked with him to the Miner's
house. A beautiful evening, very starry, the horned
24tA. Coleridge, the Chesters, and Ellen Cruik-
shank called. We walked with them through the wood.
Went in the evening into the Coombe to get eggs ; returned
through the wood, and walked in the park. A duller
night than last night: a sort of white shade over the
blue sky. The stars dim. The spring continues to
advance very slowly, no green trees, the hedges leafless ;
nothing green but the brambles that still retain their old
1 See ' ' A whirl-blast from behind the hill ' ' in the ' ' Poetical
Works," vol. i. p. 238. ED.
2 See The Thorn, " Poetical Works, " vol. i. p. 239. ED.
3 The ballad was finished by February 18, 1798. See Early
Recollections, etc., by Joseph Cottle, vol. i. p. 307 (1837). ED.
leaves, the evergreens, and the palms, which indeed are
not absolutely green. Some brambles I observed to-day
budding afresh, and those have shed their old leaves.
The crooked arm of the old oak tree points upwards to
2 $th. Walked to Coleridge's after tea. Arrived at
home at one o'clock. The night cloudy but not dark.
26th. Went to meet Wedgwood at Coleridge's after
dinner. Reached home at half- past twelve, a fine
moonlight night ; half moon.
2jtk. Dined at Poole's. Arrived at home a little
after twelve, a partially cloudy, but light night, very
2$>th. Hung out the linen.
2gth. Coleridge dined with us.
30th. Walked I know not where.
3 i.tf. Walked.
April 1st. Walked by moonlight.
2nd. A very high wind. Coleridge came to avoid
the smoke ; stayed all night. We walked in the wood,
and sat under the trees. The half of the wood perfectly
still, while the wind was making a loud noise behind us.
The still trees only gently bowed their heads, as if
listening to the wind. The hollies in the thick wood
unshaken by the blast ; only, when it came with a greater
force, shaken by the rain drops falling from the bare
$r<L Walked to Crookham, with Coleridge and Win.,
to make the appeal. Left Wm. there, and parted with
Coleridge at the top of the hill. A very stormy after-
noon. . . .
4//j. Walked to the sea-side in the afternoon. A
great commotion in the air, but the sea neither grand
nor beautiful. A violent shower in returning. Sheltered
under some fir trees at Potsdam.
5///. Coleridge came to dinner. William and I
walked in the wood in the morning. I fetched eggs
from the Coombe.
r6 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL I
67/ Zi _Went a part of the way home with Coleridge.
A pleasant warm morning, but a showery day. Walked
a short distance up the lesser Coombe, with ar inten-
tion of going to the source of the brook, but the evening
closing in, cold prevented us. The Spring still advan-
cing very slowly. The horse-chestnuts budding, and the
hedgerows beginning to look green, but nothing fully
7///. Walked before dinner up the Coombe, to the
source of the brook, and came home by the tops of the
hills; a showery morning, at the hill -tops; the view
opened upon us very grand.
8/. Easter Sunday. Walked in the morning in
the wood, and half way to Stowey ; found the air at
first oppressively warm, afterwards very pleasant.
qtk. Walked to Stowey, a fine air in going, but very
hot in returning. The sloe in blossom, the hawthorns
green, the larches in the park changed from black to
green in two or three days. Met Coleridge in returning.
lQ th. I was hanging out linen in the evening.
We walked to Holford. I turned off to the baker's, and
walked beyond Woodlands, expectingto meet William, met
him on the hill ; a close warm evening ... in bloom.
i\th. In the wood in the morning, walked to the
top of the hill, then I went down into the wood. A
pleasant evening, a fine air, the grass in the park
becoming green, many trees green in the dell.
I2/& Walked in the morning in the wood. In the
evening up the Coombe, fine walk. The Spring
advances rapidly, multitudes of primroses, dog-violets,
i^th. Walked in the wood in the morning. In the
evening went to Stowey. I staid with Mr. Coleridge.
Wm. went to Poole's. Supped with Mr. Coleridge.
itfh. Walked in the wood in the morning. The
evening very stormy, so we staid within doors. Mary
Wollstonecraft's life, etc., came.
i yh. Set forward after breakfast to Crookham, and
returned to dinner at three o'clock. A fine cloudy
morning. Walked about the squire's grounds. Quaint
waterfalls about, about which Nature was very success-
fully striving- to make beautiful what art had deformed
ruins, hermitages, etc. etc. In spite of all these
things, the dell romantic and beautiful, though every-
where planted with unnaturalised trees. Happily we
cannot shape the huge hills, or carve out the valleys
according to our fancy.
1 6th. New moon. William walked in the wood hi
the morning. I neglected to follow him. We walked
in the park in the evening. . . .
1 7/7/. Walked in the wood in the morning. In the
evening upon the hill. Cowslips plentiful.
i8/7/. Walked in the wood, a fine sunny morning-,
met Coleridge returned from his brother's. He dined
with us. We drank tea, and then walked with him
nearly to Stowey. . . .
iC)th. . . .
2O/7/. Walked in the evening up the hill dividing
the Coombes. Came home the Crookham way, by the
thorn, and the " little muddy pond." Nine o'clock at
our return. William all the morning engaged in weari-
some composition. The moon crescent. Peter Bell
34/7*. Walked a considerable time in the wood.
Sat under the trees, in the evening walked on the top of
the hill, found Coleridge on our return and walked with
him towards Stowey.
2$th. Coleridge drank tea, walked with him to
26//2J. William went to have his picture taken. 1 I
walked with him. Dined at home. Coleridge and he
1 This was the earliest portrait of Wordsworth by W. Shutter. It
is now in the possession of Mrs. St. John, Ithaca, U.S.A. ED.
VOL. I C
i8 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH S JOURNAL I
272$. Coleridge breakfasted and drank tea, strolled
in the wood in the morning, went with him in the even-
ing through the wood, afterwards walked on the hills :
the moon, a many-coloured sea and sky.
28/^5 Saturday. A very fine morning, warm weather
all the week.
May 6tA, Sunday. Expected the painter, and Cole-
ridge. A rainy morning very pleasant in the evening.
Met Coleridge as we were walking out. Went with him
to Stowey ; heard the nightingale ; saw a glow-worm.
jth* Walked in the wood in the morning. In the
evening, to Stowey with Coleridge who called.
8. Coleridge dined, went in the afternoon to tea
at Stowey. A pleasant walk home.
gtk. . . . Wrote to Coleridge.
Wednesday^ i6th May. Coleridge, William, and
myself set forward to the Chedder rocks ; slept at
22nd, Thursday. 1 Walked to Chedder. Slept at
1 It is thus written in the MS., but the 22nd May 1798 was a
Tuesday. If the entry refers to a Thursday, the day of the month
should have been written 24th. Dorothy Wordsworth was not
exact as to dates. ED
DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL
DAYS SPENT AT HAMBURGH
IN SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER 1798
EXTRACTS FROM DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S
JOURNAL OF DAYS SPENT AT HAM-
BURGH, IN SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER 1798*
QUITTED London, Friday, I4th September 1798.
Arrived at Yarmouth on Saturday noon, and sailed on
Sunday morning at eleven o'clock. Before we heaved
the anchor I was consigned to the cabin, which I did not
quit till we were in still water at the mouth of the Elbe,
on Tuesday morning at ten o'clock. I was surprised to
find, when I came upon deck, that we could not see the
shores, though we were in the river. It was to my eyes
a still sea. But oh ! the gentle breezes and the gentle
motion ! . . . As we advanced towards Cuxhaven the
shores appeared low and flat, and thinly peopled ; here
and there a farm-house, cattle feeding, hay-stacks, a
cottage, a windmill. Some vessels were at anchor at
Cuxhaven, an ugly, black-looking place. Dismissed a
part of our crew, and proceeded in the packet-boat up
Cast anchor between six and seven o'clock. The
moon shone upon the waters. The shores were visible
rock ; here and there a light from the houses. Ships
lying at anchor not far from us. We 2 drank tea upon
deck by the light of the moon. I enjoyed solitude and
quietness, and many a recollected pleasure, hearing still
1 This is not Dorothy's own title. Her Journal has no title. ED,
2 i.e. William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Coleridge, and
22 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL \\
the unintelligible jargon of the many tongues that
gabbled in the cabin. Went to bed between ten and
eleven. The party playing at cards, but they were
silent, and suffered us to go to sleep. At four o'clock in
the morning we were awakened by the heaving of the
anchor, and till seven, in the intervals of sleep, I enjoyed
the thought that we were advancing towards Hamburgh ;
but what was our mortification on being told that there
was a thick fog, and that we could not sail till it was
dispersed. I went on to the deck. The air was cold
and wet, the decks streaming, the shores invisible, no
hope of clear weather. At ten however the sun appeared,
and we saw the green shores. All became clear, and
we set sail. Churches very frequent on the right, with
spires red, blue, sometimes green ; houses thatched or
tiled, and generally surrounded with low trees. A
beautiful low green island, houses, and wood. As we
advanced, the left bank of the river became more
The houses warm and comfortable, sheltered with
trees, and neatly painted. Blankenese, a village or town
scattered over the sides of three hills, woody where the
houses lie and sleep down below, the houses half-con-
cealed by, and half-obtruding themselves from, the low
trees. Naked boats with masts lying at the bare feet of
the Blankenese hills. Houses more and more frequent
as we approach Hamburgh. The banks of the Elbe
more steep. Some gentlemen's seats after the English
fashion. The spires of Altona and Hamburgh visible a
considerable time. At Altona we took a boat, and
rowed through the narrow passages of the Elbe, crowded
with vessels of all nations. Landed at the Boom House,
where we were received by porters, ready to carry our
luggage to any part of the town. William went to seek
lodgings, and the rest of the party guarded the luggage.
Two boats were about to depart. An elegant English
carriage was placed in one, and presently a very pretty
woman, conducted by a gentleman, seated herself in It,
and they rowed off. The other contained a medley crew
of all ages. There was an old woman, with a blue cap
trimmed with broad silver lace, and tied under her chin.
She had a short coloured cloak, etc. While we stood in
the street, which was open on one side to the Elbe, I
was much amused by the various employments and
dresses of the people who passed before us. . . . There
were Dutch women with immense straw bonnets, with
flat crowns and rims in the shape of oyster shells, with-
out trimming, or with only a plain riband round the
crown, and literally as large as a small-sized umbrella.
Hamburgher girls with white caps, with broad over-
hanging borders, crimped and stiff, and long lappets of
riband. Hanoverians with round borders, showing all
the face, and standing upright, a profusion of riband.
. . . Fruit-women, with large straw hats in the shape
of an inverted bowl, or white handkerchiefs tied round
the head like a bishop's mitre. Jackets the most com-
mon, often the petticoat and jacket of different colours.
The ladies without hats, in dresses of all fashions.
Soldiers with dull -looking red coats, and immense
cocked hats. The men little differing from the English,
except that they have generally a pipe in their mouths.
After waiting about an hour we saw Wm. appear. Two
porters carried our luggage upon a sort of wheelbarrow,
and we were conducted through dirty, ill-paved streets to
an inn, where, with great difficulty, and after long seek-
ing, lodgings had been procured for us
Breakfasted with Mons. de Loutre. Chester and I
went to the promenade. People of all ranks, and in
various dresses, walking backwards and forwards.
Ladies with small baskets hanging on their arms, long
shawls of various colours thrown over their shoulders.
The women of the lower order dressed with great
modesty. . . . Went to the French theatre, in the
evening. . . . The piece a mixture of dull declamation
and unmeaning rant. The ballet unintelligible to us, as
2 4 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL II
the story was carried on in singing. The body of the
house very imperfectly lighted, which has a good effect
in bringing out the stage, but the acting was not very
amusing. . . .
Sunday. William went in the boat to Harburgh.
In our road to the boat we looked into one of the large
churches. Service was just ended. The audience
appeared to be simply composed of singing boys dressed
in large cocked hats, and a few old women who sat in
the aisles. . . . Met many bright-looking- girls with white
caps, carrying black prayer-books in their hands. . . .
Coleridge went to Ratzeberg at five o'clock in the
diligence. Chester accompanied me towards Altona.
The streets wide and pleasant in that quarter of the
town. Immense crowds of people walking for pleasure,
and many pleasure- waggons passing and repassing.
Passed through a nest of Jews. Were invited to view
an exhibition of waxwork. The theatres open, and the
billiard-tables attended. The walks very pleasing between
Hamburgh and Altona. A large piece of ground
planted with trees, and intersected by gravel walks.
Music, cakes, fruit, carriages, and foot-passengers of all
descriptions. A very good view of the shipping, and of
Altona and the town and spires of Hamburgh. I could
not but remark how much the prospect would have suffered
by one of our English canopies of coal smoke. The ground
on the opposite side of the Elbe appears marshy. There
are many little canals or lines of water. While the
sun was yet shining pleasantly, we were obliged to blink
perpetually to turn our eyes to the church clock. The
gates are shut at half-past six o'clock, and there is no
admittance into the city after that time. This idea
deducts much from the pleasure of an evening walk.
You are haunted by it long before the time has
elapsed. . . .
Wednesday. Dined with Mr. Klopstock. Had the
pleasure of meeting his brother the poet, a venerable old
man, retaining the liveliness and alertness of youth,
though he evidently cannot be very far from the grave.
. . . The party talked with much interest of the French
comedy, and seemed fond of music. The poet and his
lady were obliged to depart soon after six. He sus-
tained an animated conversation with William during the
whole afternoon. Poor old man ! I could not look
upon him, the benefactor of his country, the father oi
German poetry, without emotion. . . .
During my residence in Hamburgh I have never seen
anything like a quarrel in the streets but once, and that
was so trifling that it would scarcely have been noticed
in England. ... In the shops (except the established
booksellers and stationers) I have constantly observed a
disposition to cheat, and take advantage of our ignorance
of the language and money. . . .
Thursday ', 2%tA September. William and I set for-
ward at twelve o'clock to Altona. . . . The Elbe in the
vicinity of Hamburgh is so divided, and spread out, that
the country looks more like a plain overflowed by
heavy rain than the bed of a great river. We went
about a mile and a half beyond Altona : the roads dry
and sandy, and a causeway for foot-passengers. . .
The houses on the banks of the Elbe, chiefly of brick,
seemed very warm and well built. . . .
The small cottage houses seemed to have little
gardens, and all the gentlemen's houses were surrounded
by gardens quaintly disposed in beds and curious knots,
with ever- twisting gravel walks and bending poplars.
The view of the Elbe and the spreading country must be
very interesting in a fine sunset. There is a want of
some atmospherical irradiation to give a richness to the
view. On returning home we were accosted by the first
beggar whom we have seen since our arrival at Ham-
Friday, zgf/i. Sought Coleridge at the bookseller's,
and went to the Promenade. ... All the Hamburghers
full of Admiral Nelson's victory.
Called at a baker's shop. Put two shillings into
26 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL n
the baker's hands, for which I was to have had four
small rolls. He gave me two. I let him understand
that I was to have four, and with this view I took one
shilling" from him, pointed to it and to two loaves, and
at the same time offering it to him. Again I took up
two others. In a savage manner he half knocked the
rolls out of my hand, and when I asked him for the
other shilling he refused to return it, and would neither
suffer me to take bread, nor give me back my money,
and on these terms I quitted the shop. I am informed
that it is the boast and glory of these people to cheat
strangers, that when a feat of this kind is successfully
performed the man goes from the shop into his house,
and triumphantly relates it to his wife and family. The
Hamburgher shopkeepers have three sorts of weights,
and a great part of their skill, as shopkeepers, consists
in calculating upon the knowledge of the buyer, and
suiting him with scales accordingly. . . .
Saturday ', ^ot/i September. The grand festival of
the Hamburghers, dedicated to Saint Michael, observed
with solemnity, but little festivity. Perhaps this might
be partly owing to the raininess of the evening. In the
morning the churches were opened very early. St.
Christopher's was quite full between eight and nine
o'clock. It is a large heavy-looking building, immense,
without either grandeur or beauty ; built of brick, and
with few windows. . . . There are some pictures, . . .
one of the Saint fording the river with Christ upon his
back a giant figure, which amused me not a little. . . .
Walked with Coleridge and Chester upon the promenade.
. . . We took places in the morning in the Brunswick
coach for Wednesday.
Sunday^ ist October. Coleridge and Chester went to
Ratzeberg at seven o'clock in the morning. . . . William
and I set forward at half-past eleven with an intention of
going to Blankenese. . . . The buildings all seem solid
and warm in themselves, but still they look cold from
their nakedness of trees. They are generally newly
built, and placed in gardens, which are planted in front
with poplars and low shrubs, but the possessors seem to
have no prospective view to a shelter for their children.
They do not plant behind their houses. All the build-
ings of this character are near the road which runs at
different distances from the edge of the bank which rises
from the river. This bank is generally steep, scattered
over with trees which are either not of ancient growth,
or from some cauSe do not thrive, but serve very well
to shelter and often conceal the more humble dwellings,
which are close to the sandy bank of the river. . . .
We saw many carnages. In one of them was Klop-
stock, the poet. There are many inns and eating-houses
by the roadside. We went to a pretty village, or nest
of houses about a league from Blankenese, and beyond
to a large open field, enclosed on one side with oak
trees, through which winds a pleasant gravel walk.
On the other it is open to the river. . . . When we were
within about a mile and a half or two miles of Altona,
we turned out of the road to go down to the river, and
pursued our way along the path that leads from house to
house. These houses are low, never more than two
storeys high, built of brick, or a mixture of brick and
wood, and thatched or tiled. They have all window-
shutters, which are painted frequently a grey light green,
but always painted. We were astonished at the exces-
sive neatness which we observed in the arrangement of
everything within these houses. They have all window
curtains as white as snow ; the floors of all that we saw
were perfectly clean, and the brass vessels as bright as a
mirror. ... I imagine these houses are chiefly inhabited
by sailors, pilots, boat-makers, and others whose business
is upon the water.
Monday^ October 2nd. William called at Klopstock's
to inquire the road into Saxony. Bought Burgher's
poems, the price 6 marks. Sate an hour at Remnant's.
Bought Percy's ancient poetry, 14 marks. Walked on
the ramparts ; a very fine morning
DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL
WRITTEN AT GRASMERE
(i4TH MAY TO 2 IST DECEMBER 1800)
EXTRACTS FROM DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S
JOURNAL, WRITTEN AT GRASMERE
May 141/1, 1 800. Wm. and John set off into York-
shire after dinner at half-past two o'clock, cold pork in
their pockets. I left them at the turning of the Low-
wood bay under the trees. My heart was so full that I
could hardly speak to W. when I gave him a farewell
kiss. I sate a long time upon a stone at the margin of
the lake, and after a flood of tears my heart was easier.
The lake looked to me, I knew not why, dull and melan-
choly, and the weltering on the shores seemed a heavy
sound. I walked as long as I could amongst the stones
of the shore. The wood rich in flowers ; a beautiful
yellow (palish yellow) flower, that looked thick, round,
and double the smell very sweet (I supposed it was a
ranunculus), crowfoot, the grassy-leaved rabbit-looking
white flower, strawberries, geraniums, scentless violets,
anemones, two kinds of orchises, primroses, the heck-
berry very beautiful, the crab coming out as a low
shrub. Met an old man, driving a very large beautiful
bull, and a cow. He walked with two sticks. Came home
by Clappersgate. The valley very green ; many sweet
views up to Rydale, when I could juggle away the fine
houses ; but they disturbed me, even more than when I
have been happier ; one beautiful view of the bridge,
without Sir Michael's. 1 Sate down very often, though it
1 i.e. Rydal Hall, the residence of Sir Michael le Fleming.
32 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH^ S JOURNAL in
was cold. I resolved to write a journal of the time, till
W. and J. return, and I set about keeping- my resolve,
because I will not quarrel with myself, and because I
shall give William pleasure by it when he comes home
again. At Rydale, a woman of the village, stout and
well dressed, begged a half-penny. She had never she
said done it before, but these hard times ! Arrived at
home, set some slips of privet, the evening cold, had a fire,
my face now flame-coloured. It is nine o'clock. I shall
now go to bed. ... Oh that I had a letter from William.
Friday Morning^ i&h. Warm and mild, after a fine
night of rain. . . . The woods extremely beautiful with
all autumnal variety and softness. I carried a basket for
mosses, and gathered some wild plants. Oh ! that we
had a book of botany. All flowers now are gay and
deliciously sweet. The primrose still prominent ; the
later flowers and the shiny foxgloves very tall, with their
heads budding. I went forward round the lake at the
foot of Loughrigg Fell. I was much amused with the
busyness of a pair of stone-chats ; their restless voices as
they skimmed along the water, following each other,
their shadows under tjiem, and their returning back to
the stones on the shore, chirping with the same unwearied
voice. Could not cross the water, so I went round by
the stepping-stones. . . . Rydale was very beautiful,
with spear-shaped streaks of polished steel. . . . Gras-
mere very solemn in the last glimpse of twilight. It
calls home the heart to quietness. I had been very
melancholy. In my walk back I had many of my
saddest thoughts, and I could not keep the tears within
me. But when I came to Grasmerc I felt that it did me
good. I finished my letter to M. H. . . .
Saturday. Incessant rain from morning till night.
. . . Worked hard, and read Midsummer Nighfs
Dream, and ballads. Sauntered a little in the garden.
The blackbird sate quietly in its nest, rocked by the
wind, and beaten by the rain.
Sunday ) iS/A Went to church, slight showers, a cold
air. The mountains from this window look much
greener, and I think the valley is more green than ever.
The corn begins to shew itself. The ashes are still bare.
A little girl from Coniston came to beg. She had lain
out all night. Her step-mother had turned her out of
doors ; her father could not stay at home " she flights so."
Walked to Ambleside in the evening round the lake, the
prospect exceeding beautiful from Loughrigg Fell. It
was so green that no eye could wear}' of reposing upon
it. The most beautiful situation for a home, is the field
next to Mr. Benson's. I was overtaken by two Cumber-
land people who complimented me upon my walking.
They were going to sell cloth, and odd things which
they make themselves, in Hawkshead and the neighbour-
hood. . . . Letters from Coleridge and Cottle. John
Fisher 1 overtook me on the other side of Rydale. He
talked much about the alteration in the times, and
observed that in a short time there would be only two
ranks of people, the very rich and the very poor, " for
those who have small estates," says he, " are forced to sell,
and all the land goes into one hand." Did not reach
home till ten o'clock.
Monday. Sauntered a good deal in the garden,
bound carpets, mended old clothes, read Timon of
Athens, dried linen. . . . Walked up into the Black
Quarter. 2 I sauntered a long time among the rocks
above the church. The most delightful situation possible
1 Their neighbour at Town-End, who helped Wordsworth to
make the steps up to the orchard, in Dove Cottage garden. ED.
2 I think that this name was given to a bit of the valley to the
north-east of Grasmere village ; but Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's
opinion is that ' ' ' The Black Quarter ' was simply the family nick-
name for Easedale. The phrase seems to disappear from the
Journals as they got more accustomed to local names. It is an
excellent description of the usual appearance of these fells, and
makes a contrast to the name of the White Moss, which lay behind
Dove Cottage ; as Easedale lay in front, and was equally in their
VOL. I D
34 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH* S JOURNAL in
for a cottage, commanding" two distinct views of the vale
and of the lake, is among those rocks. . . . The quietness
and still seclusion of the valley affected me even to pro-
ducing the deepest melancholy. I forced myself from it.
The wind rose before I went to bed. . . .
Tuesday Morning. A fine mild rain. . . . Every-
thing green and overflowing with life, and the streams
making a perpetual song, with the thrushes, and all
little birds, not forgetting the stone- chats. The post
was not come in. I walked as far as Windermere, and
met him there.
Saturday -, May 242/1. Walked in the morning to
Ambleside. I found a letter from Wm. and one from
Mary Hutchinson. Wrote to William after dinner, worked
in the garden, sate in the evening under the trees.
Sunday. . . . Read Macbeth in the morning ; sate
under the trees after dinner. . . . g l wrote to my brother
Christopher. . . . On my return found a letter from
Coleridge and from Charles Lloyd, and three papers.
Monday, May 2,6th. . . . Wrote letters to J. H.,
Coleridge, Col. LI., and W. I walked towards Rydale,
and turned aside at my favourite field. The air and the
lake were still. One cottage light in the vale, and so
much of day left that I could distinguish objects, the
woods, trees, and houses. Two or three different kinds
of birds sang at intervals on the opposite shore. I sate
till I could hardly drag myself away, I grew so sad.
"When pleasant thoughts," etc. 1 . . .
Tuesday ', 27th. I walked to Ambleside with letters
. . . only a letter from Coleridge. I expected a letter
from Wm. It was a sweet morning, the ashes in the
valley nearly in full leaf, but still to be distinguished, quite
bare on the higher ground. . . .
1 Compare Lines written in Early Spring t " Poetical Works,"
vol. i. p. 269
IiUhat sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind. ED.
GR AS. MERE 35
Wednesday. In the morning walked up to the rocks
above Jenny Dockeray's. Sate a long time upon the
grass ; the prospect divinely beautiful If I had three
hundred pounds, and could afford to have a bad interest for
my money, I would buy that estate, and we would build
a cottage there to end our days in. I went into her
garden and got white and yellow lilies, etc., periwinkle,
etc., which I planted. Sate under the trees with my
work. Worked between 7 and 8, and then watered
the garden. A beautiful evening. The crescent moon
hanging above Helm Crag.
Thursday. In the morning worked in the garden
a little. Read King John. Miss Simpson, and Miss
Falcon, and Mr. S. came very early. Went to Mr.
Gill's boat. Before tea we fished upon the lake, and
amongst us caught 13 ! . . .
Friday. In the morning went to Ambleside, forget-
ting that the post does not come till the evening. How
was I grieved when I was so informed. I walked back,
resolving to go again in the evening. It rained very
mildly and sweetly in the morning as I came home, but
came on a wet afternoon and evening, and chilly. I
caught Mr. OllifPs lad as he was going for letters. He
brought me one from Wm. and 12 papers. I planted
London Pride upon the wall, and many things on the
borders. John sodded the wall. As I came past Rydale
in the morning, I saw a heron swimming with only its
neck out of water. It beat and struggled amongst the
water, when it flew away, and was long in getting loose.
Saturday. A sweet mild rainy morning. Grundy the
carpet man called. I paid him i : 105. Went to the
blind man's for plants. I got such a load that I was
obliged to leave my basket in the road, and send Molly
for it. ...
Sunday \ June 1st. Rain in the night. A sweet mild
morning. Read ballads. Went to church. Singers
from Wytheburn. Walked upon the hill above the
house till dinner time. Went again to church. After tea,
36 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH* S JOURNAL ill
went to Ambleside, round the Lakes. A very fine warm
evening. Upon the side of Loughrigg my heart dis-
solved in what I saw : when I was not startled, but
called from my reverie by a noise as of a child paddling
without shoes. I looked up, and saw a lamb close to
me. It approached nearer and nearer, as if to examine
me, and stood a long time. I did not move. At last, it
ran past me, and went bleating along the pathway,
seeming to be seeking its mother. I saw a hare on the
high road. . . .
Monday. A cold diy windy morning. I worked in
the garden, and planted flowers, etc. Sate under the
trees after dinner till tea time. ... I went to Ambleside
after tea, crossed the stepping-stones at the foot of
Grasmere, and pursued my way on the other side of
Rydale and by Clappersgate. I sate a long time to watch
the hurrying waves, and to hear the regularly irregular
sound of the dashing waters. The waves round about
the little Island seemed like a dance of spirits that rose
out of the water, round its small circumference of
shore. Inquired about lodgings for Coleridge, and
was accompanied by Mrs. Nicholson as far as Rydale.
This was very kind, but God be thanked, I want not
society by a moonlit lake. It was near eleven when I
reached home. I wrote to Coleridge, and went late to
Wednesday. . . . I walked to the lake-side in the morn-
ing, took up plants, and sate upon a stone reading ballads.
In the evening I was watering plants, when Mr. and Miss
Simpson called, and I accompanied them home, and we
went to the waterfall at the head of the valley. It was
very interesting in the twilight, I brought home lemon-
thyme, and several other plants, and planted them by
moonlight. I lingered out of doors in the hope of hear-
ing my brother's tread.
Thursday. -I sate out of doors great part of the day
and worked in the garden. Had a letter from Mr.
Jackson, and wrote an answer to Coleridge, The little
Ill GRASMERE 37
birds busy making love, and pecking the blossoms and
bits of moss off the trees. They flutter about and about,
and beneath the trees as I lie under them. 1 I would
not go far from home, expecting my brother. I rambled
on the hill above the house, gathered wild thyme, and
took up roots of wild columbine. Just as I was return-
ing with my load, Mr. and Miss Simpson called. We
went again upon the hill, got more plants, set them, and
then went to the blind man's, for London Pride for Miss
Simpson. I went up with them as far as the black-
smith's, a fine lovely moonlight night.
Friday. Sate out of doors reading the whole after-
noon, but in the morning I wrote to my aunt Cookson.
In the evening I went to Ambleside with Coleridge's
letter. It was a lovely night as the day had been. I
went by Loughrigg and Clappersgate and just met the
post at the turnpike. He told me there were two letters but
none for me, so I was in no hurry and went round again by
Clappersgate, crossed the stepping-stones and entered
Ambleside at Matthew Harrison's. A letter from Jack
Hutchinson, and one from Montagu, enclosing a 3 note.
No William ! I slackened my pace as I came near home,
fearing to hear that he was not come. I listened till
after one o'clock to every barking dog, cock-fighting, and
other sports. Foxgloves just coming into blossom.
Saturday. A very warm cloudy morning, threatening
to rain. I walked up to Mr. Simpson's to gather goose-
berries. It was a very fine afternoon. Little Tommy
came down with me. We went up the hill, to gather sods
and plants ; and went down to the lake side, and took up
orchises, etc. I watered the garden and weeded. I did
not leave home, in the expectation of Wm. and John, and
sitting at work till after 1 1 o'clock I heard a foot at the
front of the house, turn round, and open the gate. It
was William ! After our first joy was over, we got
1 Compare The Green Linnet, in the " Poetical Works, " vol. ii.
p. 367. ED.
38 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL in
some tea. We did not go to bed till 4 o'clock in the
morning, so he had an opportunity of seeing our improve-
ments. The buds were staying ; and all looked fresh,
though not gay. There was a greyness on earth and
sky. We did not rise till near 10 in the morning. We
were busy all day in writing letters to Coleridge,
Montagu, etc. Mr. and Miss Simpson called in
the evening. The little boy carried our letters to
Ambleside. We walked with Mr. and Miss S. home,
on their return. . . . We met John on our return
Monday gth. In the morning W. cut down the
winter cherry tree. I sowed French beans and weeded.
A coronetted landau went by, when we were sitting upon
the sodded wall. The ladies (evidently tourists) turned
an eye of interest upon our little garden and cottage.
Went round to Mr. Gill's boat, and on to the lake to fish.
We caught nothing. It was extremely cold. The reeds
and bullrushes or bullpipes of a tender soft green, making
a plain whose surface moved with the wind. The reeds
not yet tall. The lake clear to the bottom, but saw no
fish. In the evening I stuck peas, watered the garden,
and planted brocoli. Did not walk, for it was very cold.
A poor girl called to beg, who had no work, and was
going in search of it to Kendal. She slept in Mr.
Benson's . . . and went off after breakfast in the morn-
ing with yd. and a letter to the Mayor of Kendal.
Tuesday iot7i. A cold, yet sunshiny morning. John
carried letters to Ambleside. Wni. stuck peas. After din-
ner he lay down. John not at home. I stuck peas alone.
Cold showers with hail and rain, but at half-past five,
after a heavy rain, the lake became calm and very
beautiful. Those parts of the water which were perfectly
unruffled lay like green islands of various shapes.
William and I walked to Ambleside to seek lodgings for
C. No letters. No papers. It was a very cold cheerless
evening. John had been fishing in Langdale and was
gone to bed.
A very tall woman, tall much beyond the measure
of tall women, called at the door. She had on a very
long brown cloak and a very white cap, without bonnet.
Her face was excessively brown, but it had plainly
once been fair. She led a little bare-footed child about
two years old by the hand, and said her husband,
who was a tinker, was gone before with the other
children. I gave her a piece of bread. Afterwards on
my way to Ambleside, beside the bridge at Rydale, I saw
her husband sitting by the roadside, his two asses feed-
ing beside him, and the two young children at play upon
the grass. The man did not beg. 1 passed on and
about a quarter of a mile further I saw two boys before me,
one about 10, the other about 8 years old, at play chas-
ing a butterfly. They were wild figures, not very ragged,
but without shoes and stockings. The hat of the elder
was wreathed round with yellow flowers, the younger
whose hat was only a rimless crown, had stuck it round
with laurel leaves. They continued at play till I drew
very near, and then they addressed me with the begging-
cant and the whining voice of sorrow. I said " I served
your mother this morning," (The boys were so like the
woman who had called at ... that I could not be mistaken.)
" ! " says the elder, " you could not serve my mother for
she's dead, and my father's on at the next town he's a
potter." I persisted in my assertion, and that I
would give them nothing. Says the elder, " Let's away,"
and away they flew like lightning. They had however
sauntered so long in their road that they did not reach
Ambleside before me, and I saw them go up to Matthew
Harrison's house with their wallet upon the elder's
shoulder, and creeping with a beggar's complaining foot.
On my return through Ambleside I met in the street the
mother driving her asses, in the two panniers of one of
which were the two little children, whom she was chiding
and threatening with a wand which she used to drive on
her asses, while the little things hung in wantonness over
the pannier's edge. The woman had told me in the
40 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH* S JOURNAL in
morning that she was of Scotland, which her accent
fully proved, but that she had lived (I think at Wig-
toun), that they could not keep a house and so they
Wednesday^ i $th June? A very cold morning. We
went on the lake to set pike floats with John's fish. W.
and J. went . . . alone. Mr. Simpson called, and I accom-
panied him to the lake side. My brothers and I again
went upon the water, and returned to dinner. We landed
upon the island where I saw the whitest hawthorn I
have seen this year, the generality of hawthorns are
bloomless. I saw wild roses in the hedges. Wm. and
John went to the pike floats. They brought in two pikes.
I sowed kidney beans and spinnach. A cold evening.
Molly stuck the peas. I weeded a little. Did not walk.
Thursday ', i/^thjune. William and I went upon the
water to set pike floats. John fished under Loughrigg.
We returned to dinner, two pikes boiled and roasted. A
very cold air but warm sun. W. and I again went upon
the water. We walked to Rydale after tea, and up to
potter's. A cold night, but warmer.
Friday ', i^th June. A rainy morning. W. and J.
went upon the lake. Very warm and pleasant, gleams
of sunshine. Caught a pike 7-| Ibs. Went upon the
water after tea, Mr. Simpson trolling.
Saturday. A fine morning but cloudy. W. and John
went upon the lake. I staid at home. We drank tea at
Mr. Simpson's. Stayed till after 10 o'clock.
Sunday. John walked to Coniston. W. and I
sauntered in the garden. Afterwards walked by the lake
side. A cold air. We pushed through the wood.
Walked behind the fir grove, and returned to dinner.
The farmer and the blacksmith from Hawkshead called.
1 Compare the poem Beggars, in the " Poetical Works," vol. ii.
pp. 276-281. ED.
2 This and the two following dates are incorrectly given. They
should be "Wednesday nth, Thursday isth, and Friday I3th
Ill GRASMERE 41
Monday. Wm. and I went to Brathay by Little
Langdale and Collath, and .... It was a warm mild
morning with threatening rain. The vale of Little Lang-
dale looked bare and unlovely. Goliath was wild and
interesting, from the peat carts and peat gatherers. The
valley all perfumed with the gale and wild thyme. The
woods about the waterfall bright with rich yellow broom.
A succession of delicious views from ... to Brathay.
We met near ... a pretty little boy with a wallet over
his shoulder. He came from Hawkshead and was going
to sell a sack of meal. He spoke gently and without
complaint. When I asked him if he got enough to eat,
he looked surprised, and said Nay. He was 7 years old
but seemed not more than 5. We drank tea at Mr.
Ibbetson's, and returned by Ambleside. Lent ^3 : 93. to
the potter at Kendal. Met John on our return home at
about 10 o'clock. Saw a primrose in blossom.
Tiiesday. We put the new window in. I ironed, and
worked about a good deal in house and garden. In the
evening we walked for letters. Found one for Coleridge
at Rydale, and I returned much tired.
Wednesday. We walked round the lake in the
morning and in the evening to the lower waterfall at
Rydale. It was a warm, dark, lowering evening.
Thursday. A very hot morning. W. and I walked
up to Mr. Simpson's. W. and old Mr. S. went to fish
in Wytheburn water. I dined with John and lay under
the trees. The afternoon changed from clear to cloudy,
and to clear again. John and I walked up to the water-
fall, and to Mr. Simpson's, and with Miss Simpson. Met
the fishers. W. caught a pike weighing 4| Ibs. There
was a gloom almost terrible over Grasmere water and
vale. A few drops fell but not much rain. No Cole-
ridge, whom we fully expected.
Friday. I worked in the garden in the morning.
Wm. prepared pea sticks. Threatening for rain, but yet it
comes not. On Wednesday evening a poor man called
a hatter. He had been long ill, but was now recovered.
42 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL ill
The parish would not help him, because he had imple-
ments of trade, etc. etc. We gave him 6d.
Saturday. Walked up the hill to Rydale lake. Gras-
mere - looked so beautiful that my heart was almost
melted away. It was quite calm, only spotted with
sparkles of light ; the church visible. On our return all
distant objects had faded away, all but the hills. The
reflection of the light bright sky above Black Quarter
was very solemn. .
Sunday. ... In the evening I planted a honeysuckle
round the yew tree. ... No news of Coleridge. . . .
Monday. Mr. Simpson called in the morning. W.
and I went into Langdale to fish. The morning was very
cold. I sate at the foot of the lake, till my head ached
with cold. The view exquisitely beautiful, through a
gate, and under a sycamore tree beside the first house
going into Loughrigg. Elter-water looked barren, and
the view from the church less beautiful than in winter.
When W. went down to the water to fish, I lay under the
wind, my head pillowed upon a mossy rock, and slept
about 10 minutes, which relieved my headache. We ate
our dinner together, and parted again. ... W. went to
fish for pike in Rydale. John came in when I had done tea
and he and I carried a jug of tea to William. We met
him in the old road from Rydale. He drank his tea
upon the turf. The setting sun threw a red purple light
upon the rocks, and stone walls of Rydale, which gave
them a most interesting and beautiful appearance.
Tuesday. W. went to Ambleside. John walked
out. I made tarts, etc. Mrs. B. Simpson called and
asked us to tea. I went to the view of Rydale, to meet
William. W. and I drank tea at Mr. Simpson's.
Brought clown lemon-thyme, greens, etc. The old woman
was very happy to see us, and we were so in the pleasure
we gave. She was an affecting picture of patient dis-
appointment, suffering under no particular affliction.
Wednesday. A very rainy day. I made a shoe.
Wm. and John went to fish in Langdale. In the
evening I went above the house, and gathered flowers,
which I planted, foxgloves, etc. On Sunday 1 Mr. and
Mrs. Coleridge and Hartley came. The day was very
warm. We sailed to the foot of Loughrigg. They staid
with us three weeks, and till the Thursday following, from
ist till the 23rd of July. 2 On the Friday preceding their
departure, we drank tea at the island. The weather was
delightful, and on the Sunday we made a great fire, and
drank tea in Bainriggs with the Simpsons. I accom-
panied Mrs. C. to Wytheburne, and returned with W. to
tea at Mr. Simpson's. It was exceedingly hot, but the
day after, Friday 24th July, 3 still hotter. All the morn-
ing I was engaged in unpacking our Somersetshire goods.
The house was a hot oven. I was so weaiy, I could not
walk : so I went out, and sate with Wm. in the orchard.
We had a delightful half-hour in the warm still evening.
Saturday, z6tk. Still hotter. I sate with W. in the
orchard all the morning, and made my shoe. . . .
Sunday^ zjth. Very warm. ... I wrote out Ruth
in the afternoon. In the morning, I read Mr. Knight's
Landscape^ After tea we rowed down to Loughrigg
Fell, visited the white foxglove, gathered wild straw-
berries, and walked up to view Rydale. We lay a long
time looking at the lake ; the shores all dim with the
scorching sun. The ferns were turning yellow, that
is, here and there one was quite turned. We walked
round by Benson's wood home. The lake was now
most still, and reflected the beautiful yellow and blue and
1 Coleridge arrived at Grasmere on Sunday 29111 June. ED.
2 The dates here given are confusing. S. T. C. says he was ill
at Grasmere, and stayed a fortnight. In a letter to Tom Poole he
says he arrived at Keswick on 24th July, which was a Thursday.
3 That Friday was the 2$th July. The two next dates were
incorrectly entered by Dorothy. ED.
4 The Landscape : a Didactic Poem in three Books. By Richard
Payne Knight. 1794. ED.
44 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH* S JOURNAL III
purple and grey colours of the sky. We heard a strange
sound in the Bainriggs wood, as we were floating on the
water ; it seemed in the wood, but it must have been
above it, for presently we saw a raven very high above
us. It called out, and the dome of the sky seemed to
echo the sound. It called again and again as it flew
onwards, and the mountains gave back the sound, seem-
ing as if from their centre ; a musical bell-like answering
to the bird's hoarse voice. We heard both the call of
the birdj and the echo, after we could see him no
longer, . . , 1
Monday. Received a letter from Coleridge enclosing
one from Mr. Davy about the Lyrical Ballads. Intensely
hot. . . . William went into the wood, and altered his
poems. . . .
Thursday. All the morning I was busy copying
poems. Gathered peas, and in the afternoon Coleridge
came. He brought the 2nd volume of Anthology. The
men went to bathe, and we afterwards sailed down to
Loughrigg. Read poems on the water, and let the boat
take its own course. We walked a long time upon
Loughrigg. I returned in the grey twilight. The moon
just setting as we reached home.
Friday ', \st Augtcst. In the morning I copied The
Brothers. Coleridge and Wm. went down to the lake.
They returned, and we all went together to Mary Point,
where we sate in the breeze, and the shade, and read
Wm.'s poems. Altered The Whirlblast, etc. We drank
tea in the orchard.
Saturday Morning, 2nd. Wm. and Coleridge went
to Keswick. John went with them to Wythcburn, and
staid all day fishing, and brought home 2 small pikes at
night. I accompanied them to Lewthwaite's cottage,
and on my return papered Wm. ; s rooms. . . . About 8
o'clock it gathered for rain, and I had the scatterings of a
1 Compare The Excursion, book iv. 11. nS.q-tigs. ED.
HI GRASMERE 45
shower, but afterwards the lake became of a glassy calm-
ness, and all was still. I sate till I could see no longer,
and then continued my work in the house.
Sunday Morning, $rd. ... A heavenly warm
evening, with scattered clouds upon the hills. There
was a vernal greenness upon the grass, from the rains of
the morning and afternoon. Peas for dinner.
Monday Afh. Rain in the night. I tied up scarlet
beans, nailed the honeysuckles, etc, etc. John was pre-
pared to walk to Keswick all the morning. He seized a
returned chaise and went after dinner. I pulled a large
basket of peas and sent to Keswick by a returned chaise.
A very cold evening. Assisted to spread out linen in
Tuesday $th. Dried the linen in the morning. The
air still cold. I pulled a bag full of peas for Mrs.
Simpson. Miss Simpson drank tea with me, and supped,
on her return from Ambleside. A very fine evening.
I sate on the wall making my shifts till I could see
no longer. Walked half-way home with Miss Simpson.
Wednesday ', 6th August. . . . William came home
from Keswick at eleven o'clock.
Thursday Morning, 'jth August. . . . William
composing in the wood in the morning. In the evening
we walked to Mary Point. A very fine sunset.
Friday Morning. We intended going to Keswick,
but were prevented by the excessive heat. Nailed up
scarlet beans in the morning. . . . Walked over the
mountains by Wattendlath. ... A most enchanting
walk. Wattendlath a heavenly scene. Reached
Coleridge's at eleven o'clock.
Saturday Morning. I walked with Coleridge in the
Windy Brow woods.
Sunday. Very hot. The C.'s went to church. We
sailed upon Derwent in the evening.
Monday Afternoon. Walked to Windy Brow.
Tuesday. . . . Wm. and I walked along the Cocker-
mouth road. He was altering his poems.
46 DOROTHV WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL in
Wednesday. Made the Windy Brow seat.
Thursday Morning. Called at the Speddings. In
the evening walked in the wood with W. Very
very beautiful the moon.
Sunday, ijth August. . . . William read us The
Saturday^ 2$rd. A very fine morning. Wm. was
composing all the morning. I shelled peas, gathered
beans, and worked in the garden till -|- past 12. Then
walked with Wm. in the wood. . . . The gleams of sun-
shine, and the stirring trees, and gleaming boughs, cheer-
ful lake, most delightful. . . . Wm. read Peter Bell
and the poem of Joanna^ beside the Rothay by the
Tuesday, 26th. ... A very fine solemn evening.
The wind blew very fierce from the island, and at Rydale.
We went on the other side of Rydale, and sate a long
time looking at the mountains, which were all black at
Grasmere, and very bright in Rydale ; Grasmere exceed-
ingly dark, and Rydale of a light yellow green.
Friday Evening [2 9th August]. We walked to
Rydale to inquire for letters. We walked over the hill
by the firgrove. I sate upon a rock, and observed a
flight of swallows gathering together high above my
head. They flew towards Rydale. We walked through
the wood over the stepping-stones. The lake of Rydale
very beautiful, partly still. John and I left Wm. to
compose an inscription ; that about the path. We had
a very fine walk by the gloomy lake. There was a
curious yellow reflection in the water, as of corn fields.
There was no light in the clouds from which it appeared
Satiirday Morning^ $Qtk August. . . . William
Hi GRASMERE 47
finished his Inscription of the Pathway, 1 then walked in
the wood ; and when John returned, he sought him, and
they bathed together. I read a little of Boswell's Life
of Johnson. I went to lie down in the orchard. I was
roused by a shout that Anthony Harrison was come.
We sate in the orchard till tea time. Drank tea early,
and rowed down the lake which was stirred by breezes.
We looked at Rydale, which was soft, cheerful, and
beautiful We then went to peep into Langdale. The
Pikes were very grand. We walked back to the view of
Rydale, which was now a dark mirror. W T e rowed home
over a lake still as glass, and then went to George
Mackareth's to hire a horse for John. A fine moonlight
night. The beauty of the moon was startling, as it rose
to us over Loughrigg Fell. We returned to supper at
10 o'clock. Thomas Ashburner brought us our 8th
cart of coals since May iyth.
Sunday r , 31 st. . . . A great deal of corn is cut in
the vale, and the whole prospect, though not tinged with
a general autumnal yellow, yet softened down into a
mellowness of colouring, which seems to impart softness
to the forms of hills and mountains. At 1 1 o'clock
Coleridge came, when I was walking in the still clear
moonshine in the garden. He came over Helvellyn.
Wm. was gone to bed, and John also, worn out with his
ride round Coniston. We sate and chatted till half-past
three, . . . Coleridge reading a part of ChristabeL
Talked much about the mountains, etc. etc. . . .
Monday Morning^ 1st September. We walked in the
wood by the lake. W. read Joanna, and the Firgrove,
to Coleridge. They bathed. The morning was delight-
ful, with somewhat of an autumnal freshness. After
dinner, Coleridge discovered a rock-seat in the orchard.
Cleared away brambles. Coleridge went to bed after
1 Professor Dowden thinks that this refers to the poem on John's
Grove. But a hitherto unpublished fragment will soon be issued
by the Messrs. Longman, which may cast fresh light on this
" Inscription of the Pathway." ED.
48 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL in
tea. John and I followed Wm. up the hill, and then
returned to go to Mr. Simpson's. We borrowed some
bottles for bottling rum. The evening somewhat frosty
and grey, but very pleasant. I broiled Coleridge a
mutton chop, which he ate in bed. Wm. was gone to
bed. I chatted with John and Coleridge till near 12.
Tuesday r , 2nd. In the morning they all went to
Stickle Tarn. A very fine, warm, sunny, beautiful
morning. . . . The fair-day. . . . There seemed very
few people and very few stalls, yet I believe there were
many cakes and much beer sold. My brothers came
home to dinner at 6 o'clock. We drank tea immediately
after by candlelight. It was a lovely moonlight night.
We talked much about a house on Helvellyn. The
moonlight shone only upon the village. It did not
eclipse the village lights, and the sound of dancing and
merriment came along the still air. I walked with
Coleridge and Wm. up the lane and by the church, and
then lingered with Coleridge in the garden. John and
Wm. were both gone to bed, and all the lights out.
Wednesday^ $rd Septc?}tber. Coleridge, Wm., and
John went from home, to go upon Helvellyn with Mr.
Simpson. They set out after breakfast. I accompanied
them up near the blacksmith's. ... I then went to a
funeral at John Dawson's. About I o men and 4 women.
Bread, cheese, and ale. They talked sensibly and
cheerfully about common things. The dead person,
56 years of age, buried by the parish. The coffin was
neatly lettered and painted black, and covered with a
decent cloth. They set the corpse down at the door ;
and, while we stood within the threshold, the men, with
their hats off, sang, with decent and solemn counte-
nances, a verse of a funeral psalm. The corpse was then
borne down the hill, and they sang till they had passed
the Town-End. I was affected to tears while we stood in
the house, the coffin lying before me. There were no
near kindred, no children. When we got out of the
dark house the sun was shining, and the prospect looked
ill GRASMERE 49
as divinely beautiful as I ever saw it. It seemed more
sacred than I had ever seen it, and yet more allied to
human life. The green fields, in the neighbourhood of
the churchyard, were as green as possible ; and, with the
brightness of the sunshine, looked quite gay. I thought
she was going to a quiet spot, and I could not help
weeping very much. When we came to the bridge, they
began to sing again, and stopped during four lines before
they entered the churchyard. . . . Wm. and John came
home at 10 o'clock.
Friday ', \itk September. . . . The fern of the
mountains now spreads yellow veins among the trees ;
the coppice wood turns brown. William observed
some affecting little things in Borrowdale. A decayed
house with the tall, silent rocks seen through the broken
windows. A sort of rough column put upon the gable
end of a house, with a ball stone, smooth from the river-
island, upon it for ornament. Near it, a stone like it,
upon an old mansion, carefully hewn.
Saturday, i$tJi September. Morning. William
writing his Preface 1 did not walk. Jones, and Mr.
Palmer came to tea. . . .
Sunday morning, 14/72. . . . A lovely day. Read
Boswell in the house in the morning, and after dinner
under the bright yellow leaves of the orchard. The
pear trees a bright yellow. The apple trees still green.
A sweet lovely afternoon. . . . Here I have long neglected
my Journal. John came home in the evening, after Jones
left. Jones returned again on the Friday, the 1 9th
September. Jones stayed with us till Friday, 26th
September. Coleridge came in.
Tuesday, z^rd. I went home with Jones. Charles
Lloyd called on Tuesday, 23rd.
Sunday, z&f/i. We heard of the Abergavenn^s
arrival, . . .
1 The Preface to the second edition of Lyrical Ballads. ED.
vni T E
50 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH* S JOURNAL in
Monday ) 2gth. John left us. Win. and I parted
with him in sight of Ullswater. It was a fine day,
showery, but with sunshine and fine clouds. Poor
fellow, my heart was right sad. I could not help think-
ing we should see him again, because he was only going
Tuesday, $oth September. Charles Lloyd dined with
us. We walked homewards with him after dinner. It
rained very hard. Rydale was extremely wild, and we
had a fine walk. We sate quietly and comfortably by
the fire. I wrote the last sheet of Notes and Preface. 1
Went to bed at twelve o'clock.
Wednesday, ist October. A fine morning, a showery
night. The lake still in the morning ; in the forenoon
flashing light from the beams of the sun, as it was ruffled
by the wind. We corrected the last sheet. 1
Thursday^ ind October, A very rainy morning. We
walked after dinner to observe the torrents. I followed
Wm. to Rydale. We afterwards went to Butterlip How.
The Black Quarter looked marshy, and the general
prospect was cold, but the force was very grand. The
lichens are now coming out afresh. I carried home a
collection in the afternoon. We had a pleasant con-
versation about the manners of the rich ; avarice, in-
ordinate desires, and the effeminacy, unnaturalness, and
unworthy objects of education. The moonlight lay upon
the hills like snow.
Friday, $rd October. Very rainy all the morning.
Wm. walked to Ambleside after dinner. I went with him
part of the way. He talked much about the object of
his essay for the second volume of " L. B." . . . Amos
Cottle's death in the Morning 1 Post.
N.B. When William and I returned from accom-
panying Jones, we met an old man almost double. He
had on a coat, thrown over his shoulders, above his
1 i.e. of the Notes and Preface to the second edition of Lyrical
waistcoat and coat. Under this he carried a bundle,
and had an apron on and a night-cap. His face was
interesting. He had dark eyes and a long nose. John,
who afterwards met him at Wytheburn, took him for a
Jew. He was of Scotch parents, but had been born in
the army. He had had a wife, and " she was a good
woman, and it pleased God to bless us with ten children. 5 ''
All these were dead but one, of whom he had not heard
for many years, a sailor. His trade was to gather
leeches, but now leeches were scarce, and he had not
strength for it. He lived by begging, and was making
his way to Carlisle, where he should buy a few godly
books to sell. He said leeches were very scarce, partly
owing to this dry season, but many years they have been
scarce. He supposed it owing to their being much
sought after, that they did not breed fast, and were of
slow growth. Leeches were formerly 2s. 6d. per i oo ;
they are now 303. He had been hurt in driving a cart,
his leg broken, his body driven over, his skull fractured.
He felt no pain till he recovered from his first insensi-
bility. It was then late in the evening, when the light
was just going away. 1
Sattirday, ^th October 1800. A very rainy, or rather
showery and gusty, morning ; for often the sun shines.
Thomas Ashburner could not go to Keswick. Read a
part of Lamb's Play. 2 The language is often very beauti-
ful, but too imitative in particular phrases, words, etc.
The characters, except Margaret, unintelligible, and,
except Margaret's, do not show themselves in action.
Coleridge came in while we were at dinner, very wet.
We talked till twelve o'clock. He had sate up all the
night before, writing essays for the newspaper. . . . Ex-
ceedingly delighted with the second part of Christabel.
1 Compare Resolution and Independence, in the ' ' Poetical
Works," vol. ii. p. 312. ED.
2 Pride's Cure. The title was afterwards changed to John
52 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL ill
Sunday Morning, $th October. Coleridge read CJirist-
abel a second time; we had increasing pleasure. A
delicious morning. Wm. and I were employed all the
morning in writing an addition to the Preface.' Wm.
went to bed, very ill after working after dinner. Cole-
ridge and I walked to Ambleside after dark with the
letter. Returned to tea at 9 o'clock. Wm. still in bed,
and very ill. Silver How in both lakes.
Monday. A rainy day. Coleridge intending to go,
but did not go off. We walked after dinner to Rydale.
After tea read The Pedlar. Determined not to print
Christabel with the L. B.
Tuesday. Coleridge went off at eleven o'clock. I
went as far as Mr, Simpson's. Returned with Mary.
Wednesday. Frequent threatening of showers. Re-
ceived a ^5 note from Montagu. Wm. walked to Rydale.
I copied a part of The Beggars in the morning. . . .
A very mild moonlight night. Glow-worms everywhere.
Friday, loth October. In the morning when I arose
the mists were hanging over the opposite hills, and the
tops of the highest hills were covered with snow. There
was a most lively combination at the head of the vale
of the yellow autumnal hills wrapped in sunshine, and
overhung with partial mists, the green and yellow trees,
and the distant snow-topped mountains. It was a most
heavenly morning. The Cockermouth traveller came
with thread, hardware, mustard, etc. She is very
healthy; has travelled over the mountains these thirty
years. She does not mind the storms, if she can keep
her goods dry. Her husband will not travel with an
ass, because it is the tramper's badge ; she would have
one to relieve her from the weary load. She was
going to Ulverston, and was to return to Ambleside Fair.
. . . The fern among the rocks exquisitely beautiful. . . .
Sent off The Beggars, etc., by Thomas Ashburner. . .
William sat up after me, writing Point Rash Judgment
Saturday, nth. A fine October morning. Sat in
ill GRASMERE 53
the house working all the morning. William compos-
ing. . . . After dinner we walked up Greenhead Gill in
search of a sheepfold. We went by Mr. OllifPs, and
through his woods. It was a delightful day, and the
views looked excessively cheerful and beautiful, chiefly
that from Mr. OllifFs field, where our own house is to be
built. The colours of the mountains soft, and rich with
orange fern ; the cattle pasturing upon the hilltops ;
kites sailing in the sky above our heads ; sheep bleating,
and feeding in the water courses, scattered over the
mountains. They come down and feed, on the little
green islands in the beds of the torrents, and so may be
swept away. The sheepfold is falling away. It is built
nearly in the form of a heart unequally divided. Looked
down the brook, and saw the drops rise upwards and
sparkle in the air at the little falls. The higher sparkled
the tallest. We walked along the turf of the mountain
till we came to a track, made by the cattle which come
upon the hills. . . .
Sunday ', October i-2th. Sate in the house writing in
the morning while Wm. went into the wood to compose.
Wrote to John in the morning ; copied poems for the
L. B. In the evening wrote to Mrs. Rawson. Mary
Jameson and Sally Ashburner dined. We pulled apples
after dinner, a large basket full. We walked before tea
by Bainriggs to observe the many-coloured foliage. The
oaks dark green with yellow leaves, the birches generally
still green, some near the water yellowish, the sycamore
crimson and crimson-tufted, the mountain ash a deep
orange, the common ash lemon-colour, but many ashes
still fresh in their peculiar green, those that were dis-
coloured chiefly near the water. Wm. composing in the
evening. Went to bed at 1 2 o'clock.
Monday, October i^th. A grey day. Mists on the
hills. We did not walk in the morning. I copied
poems on the Naming of Places. A fair at Ambleside.
Walked in the Black Quarter at night.
54 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH S JOURNAL in
Wednesday, A very fine clear morning. After Wm.
had composed a little, I persuaded him to go into the
orchard. We walked backwards and forwards. The
prospect most divinely beautiful from the seat ; all
colours, all melting into each other. I went in to put
bread in the oven, and we both walked within view of
Rydale. Win. again composed at the sheepfold after
dinner. I walked with Wm. to Wytheburn, and he
went on to Keswick. I drank tea, and supped at Mr.
Simpson's. A very cold frosty air in returning. Mr.
and Miss S. came with me. Wytheburn looked very
wintry, but yet there was a foxglove blossoming by the
Friday, ijth. A very fine grey morning. The
swan hunt. ... I walked round the lake between -|
past 12, and ^ past one. ... In my walk in the morn-
ing, I observed Benson's honey-suckles in flower, and
great beauty. I found Wm. at home, where he had
been almost ever since my departure. Coleridge had
done nothing for the L. B. Working hard for Stuart. 1
Glow-worms in abundance.
Saturday. A very fine October morning. William
worked all the morning at the sheepfold, but in vain.
He lay down in the afternoon till 7 o'clock, but could
not sleep. . . . We did not walk all day. . . .
Sunday Morning. We rose late, and walked directly
after breakfast. The tops of Grasmere mountains cut
off. Rydale very beautiful. The surface of the water
quite still, like a dim mirror. The colours of the large
island exquisitely beautiful, and the trees, still fresh and
green, were magnified by the mists. The prospects on the
west side of the Lake were very beautiful. We sate at the
"two points " 2 looking up to Parks. The lowing of the
cattle was echoed by a hollow voice in the vale. We
returned home over the stepping-stones. Win, got to
work. . . .
Monday ', 2o//$. William worked in the morning at
the sheepfold. After dinner we walked to Rydale, crossed
the stepping-stones, and while we were walking under the
tall oak trees the Lloyds called out to us. They went
with us on the western side of Rydale. The lights were
very grand upon the woody Rydale hills. Those behind
dark and tipped with clouds. The two lakes were
divinely beautiful. Grasmere excessively solemn, the
whole lake calm, and dappled with soft grey ripples.
The Lloyds staid with us till 8 o'clock. We then
walked to the top of the hill at Rydale. Very mild and
warm. Beheld 6 glow-worms shining faintly. We
went up as far as the Swan. When we came home the
fire was out. We ate our supper in the dark, and went
to bed immediately. William was disturbed in the night
by the rain coming into his room, for it was a very rainy
night. The ash leaves lay across the road.
Tuesday f , list. . . . Wm. had been unsuccessful
in the morning at the sheepfold. The reflection of the
ash scattered, and the tree stripped.
Wednesday Morning. . . . Wm. composed without
much success at the sheepfold. Coleridge came in to
dinner. He had done nothing. We were very merry.
C. and I went to look at the prospect from his seat.
. . . Wm. read Ruth, etc., after supper. Coleridge
Thursday ', 2$rd. Coleridge and Stoddart went to
Keswick. We accompanied them to Wytheburn. A
wintry grey morning from the top of the Raise. Grasmere
looked like winter, and Wytheburn still more so. ...
Wm. was not successful in composition in the evening.
Friday, 24^. A very fine morning. We walked,
before Wm. began to work, to the top of the Rydale
hill. He was afterwards only partly successful in com-
position. After dinner we walked round Rydale lake,
rich, calm, streaked, very beautiful. We went to the
56 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL in
top of Loughrigg. Grasmere sadly inferior. . . . The
ash in our garden green, one close to it bare, the next
Saturday. A very rainy day. Wm. again un-
successful. We could not walk, it was so very rainy.
We read Rogers, Miss Seward, Cowper, etc.
Sunday. Heavy rain all night, a fine morning after
10 o'clock. Wm. composed a good deal in the morn-
Monday ', 2jth October. . . . Win. in the firgrove.
I had before walked with him there for some time. It
was a fine shelter from the wind. The coppices now
nearly of one brown. An oak tree in a sheltered place
near John Fisher's, not having lost any of its leaves, was
quite brown and dry. ... It was a fine^wild moonlight
night. Wm. could not compose much. Fatigued him-
self with altering.
Tuesday, 282^. . . . We walked out before dinner
to our favourite field. The mists sailed along the
mountains, and rested upon them, enclosing the whole
vale. In the evening the Lloyds came. We played a
rubber at whist. . . .
Wednesday. William worked at his poem all the
morning. After dinner, Mr. Clarkson called. . . .
Played at cards. . . . Mr. Clarkson slept here.
Thursday. A rainy morning. W. C. went over
Kirkstone. Wm. talked all day, and almost all night,
with Stoddart. Mrs. and Miss H. called in the morning.
I walked with them to Tail End. 1
Friday Night . . . W. and I did not rise till 10
o'clock. ... A very fine moonlight night. The moon
shone like herrings in the water.
Titesday. , . . Tremendous wind. The snow blew
from Helvellyn horizontally like smoke. . . .
1 On the western side of Grasmere Lake. ED.
Ill GRASMERE 57
Thursday p , 6t/i November. . . . Read Point Rash
Friday, jt& November. ... I working and reading
Amelia. The Michaelmas daisy droops, the pansies are
full of flowers, the ashes still green all but one, but they
have lost many of their leaves. The copses are quite
brown. The poor woman and child from Whitehaven
drank tea. . . .
Saturday^ %th November. A rainy morning. A
whirlwind came that tossed about the leaves, and tore
off the still green leaves of the ashes. Wm. and I
walked out at 4 o'clock. Went as far as Rothay Bridge.
. . . The whole face of the country in a winter covering.
Monday. . . . Jupiter over the hilltops, the only
star, like a sun, flashed out at intervals from behind a
Tuesday Morning. . . . William had been working
at the sheepfold. . . . Played at cards. A mild night,
partly clouded, partly starlight. The cottage lights.
The mountains not very distinct.
Thursday. We sate in the house all the morning.
Rainy weather, played at cards. A poor woman from
Hawkshead begged, a widow of Grasmere. A merry
African from Longtown. . . .
Friday. Much wind, but a sweet mild morning. I
nailed up trees. . . . Two letters from Coleridge, very ill.
One from Sara H. . . .
Saturday Morning. A terrible rain, so prevented
William from going to Coleridge's. The afternoon fine.
. . . We both set forward at five o'clock. A fine wild
night. I walked with W. over the Raise. It was star-
light. I parted with him very sad, unwilling not to go
on. The hills, and the stars, and the white waters, with
their ever varying yet ceaseless sound, were very im-
pressive. I supped at the Simpsons 3 . Mr, S. walked
home with me.
5 8 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL ill
Sunday ', i6th November. &. very fine warm sunny
morning. A letter from Coleridge, and one from
Stoddart. Coleridge better. . . . One beautiful ash tree
sheltered, with yellow leaves, one low one quite green.
A noise of boys in the rocks hunting some animal.
Walked a little in the garden when I came home. Very
pleasant now. Rain comes on. Mr. Jackson called in
the evening, brought me a letter from C. and W.
Monday Morning. A fine clear frosty morning with
a sharp wind. I walked to Keswick. Set off at 5
minutes past 10, and arrived at past 2. I found
them all well.
On Tuesday morning W. and C. set off towards
Penrith. Wm. met Sara Hutchinson at Threlkeld.
They arrived at Keswick at tea time.
Wednesday. We walked by the lake side and then
went to Mr. Denton's. I called upon the Miss
Thursday. We spent the morning in the town.
Mr. Jackson and Mr. Peach dined with us.
Friday. A very fine day. Went to Mrs. Greaves 3 .
Mrs. C. and I called upon the Speddings. A beautiful
Saturday Morning. After visiting Mr. Peach's
Chinese pictures we set off to Grasmere. A threatening
and rather rainy morning. Arrived at G. Very dirty
and a little wet at the closing in of evening.
Sunday. Wm. not well I baked bread and pie for
Monday. A fine morning. Sara and I walked to
Rydale. After dinner we went to Lloyd's, and drank tea,
and supped. A sharp cold night, with sleet and snow.
Tuesday. Read Tom Jones.
Wednesday. . . . Wm. very well. We had a delight-
ful walk up into Easedale. The tops of the mountains
covered with snow, frosty and sunny, the roads slippery.
A letter from Mary. The Lloyds drank tea. We walked
with them near to Ambleside. A beautiful moonlight
night. Sara and I walked home. William very well,
and highly poetical.
Thursday , 27 'th November. Wrote to Tom Hutchin-
son to desire him to bring Mary with him. A thaw, and
the ground covered with snow. Sara and I walked
Friday. Coleridge walked over. Miss Simpson
drank tea with us. William walked home with her.
Coleridge was very unwell. He went to bed before
Sunday, y>th November. A very fine clear morning.
Snow upon the ground everywhere. Sara and I walked
towards Rydale by the upper road, and were obliged to
return, because of the snow. Walked by moonlight.
Monday. A thaw in the night, and the snow was
entirely gone. Coleridge unable to go home. We
walked by moonlight.
Tuesday ', 2 nd December. A rainy morn ing. Coleridge
was obliged to set off. Sara and I met C. Lloyd and S.
turned back with him. I walked round the 2 lakes
with Charles, very pleasant. We all walked to Amble-
side. A pleasant moonlight evening, but not clear. It
came on a terrible evening. Hail, and wind, and cold,
Wednesday, yd December. We lay in bed till 1 1
o'clock. Wrote to John, and M. H. William and Sara
and I walked to Rydale after tea. A very fine frosty
night. Sara and W. walked round the other side.
Thursday. Coleridge came in, just as we finished
dinner. We walked after tea by moonlight to look at
Langdale covered with snow, the Pikes not grand, but
the Old Man 1 very expressive. Cold and slippery, but
exceedingly pleasant. Sat up till half-past one.
Friday Morning. Terribly cold and rainy. Coleridge
and Wm. set forward towards Keswick, but the wind in
1 Coniston 'Old Man,' ED.
60 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH S JOURNAL ill
Coleridge's eyes made him turn back. Sara and I had
a grand bread and cake baking. We were very merry
in the evening, but grew sleepy soon, though we did not
go to bed till twelve o'clock
Saturday. Wm. accompanied Coleridge to the foot
of the Raise. A very pleasant morning. Sara and I
accompanied him half-way to Keswick. Thirlemere
was very beautiful, even more so than in summer.
William was not well, had laboured unsuccessfully. . . .
A letter from M. H.
Sunday. A fine morning. I read. Sara wrote to
Hartley, Wm. to Mary, I to Mrs. C. We walked
just before dinner to the lakeside, and found out a seat
in a tree. Windy, but very pleasant. Sara and Wm.
walked to the waterfalls at Rydale.
Monday, S//z December. A sweet mild morning. I
wrote to Kirs. Cookson, and Miss Griffith.
Tuesday^ gtk. I dined at Lloyd's. Wm. drank tea.
Walked home. A pleasant starlight frosty evening.
Reached home at one o'clock. Wm. finished his poem
Wedfiesday, ioz$. Walked to Keswick. Snow upon
the ground. A very fine day. Ate bread and ale at
John Stanley's. Found Coleridge better. Stayed at
Keswick till Sunday I4th December.
Wednesday. A very fine day. Writing all the
morning for William.
Thursday. Mrs. Coleridge and Derwent came.
Saturday. Coleridge came. Very ill, rheumatic
fever. Rain incessantly.
Monday. S. and Wm. went to Lloyd's. Wm. dined.
It rained very hard when he came home.
DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL
WRITTEN AT GRASMERE
(FROM IOTH OCTOBER 1801 TO 2QTH DECEMBER 1801)
EXTRACTS FROM DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S
JOURNAL, WRITTEN AT GRASMERE, FROM
IOTH OCTOBER 1801 TO 2QTH DECEMBER 1801
Saturday, loth October I So I. Coleridge went to
Keswick, after we had built Sara's seat.
Thursday, i^th. . . . Coleridge came in to Mr.
Luffs while we were at dinner. William and I walked
up Loughrigg Fell, then by the waterside. . . .
Saturday ) 24^. Attempted Fairfield, but misty,
and we went no further than Green Head Gill to the
sheepfold ; mild, misty, beautifully soft. Wm. and Tom
put out the boat. . . .
Sunday -, 252$. Rode to Legberthwaite with Tom,
expecting Mary. . . . Went upon Helvellyn. Glorious
sights. The sea at Cartmel. The Scotch mountains
beyond the sea to the right. Whiteside large, and round,
and very soft, and green, behind us. Mists above and
below, and close to us, with the sun amongst them.
They shot down to the coves. Left John Stanley's x at
10 minutes past 12. Returned thither J past 4, drank
tea, ate heartily. Before we went on Helvellyn we got
bread and cheese. Paid 4/ for the whole. Reached
home at nine o'clock. A soft grey evening ; the light
of the moon, but she did not shine on us. Mary and I
sate in C.'s room a while.
Tuesday, loth \_Nouember\. Poor C. left us, and we
came home together. We left Keswick at 2 o'clock
1 The landlord ofWytheburn Inn. ED.
64 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL IV
and did not arrive at Grasmere till 9 o'clock. I burnt
myself with Coleridge's aquafortis. C. had a sweet day
for his ride. Every sight and every sound reminded me
of him dear, dear fellow, of his many talks to us, by
day and by night, of all dear things. I was melancholy,
and could not talk, but at last I eased my heart by
weeping- nervous blubbering says William. It is not so.
1 how many, many reasons have I to be anxious for him.
Wednesday, ntk, . . . Put aside dearest C.'s
letters, and now, at about 7 o'clock, we are all sitting
by a nice fire. Win. with his book and a candle, and
Mary writing to Sara.
November i6/& . . . Wm. is now, at 7 o'clock,
reading Spenser. Mary is writing beside me. The
little syke 1 murmurs. 2 We are quiet and happy, but
poor Peggy Ashburner coughs, as if she would cough her
life away. I am going to write to Coleridge and Sara.
Poor C. ! I hope he was in London yesterday. . . .
Tuesday^ ijt/i. A very rainy morning. We walked
into Easedale before dinner. The coppices a beautiful
brown. The oaks many, a very fine leafy shade. We
stood a long time to look at the corner birch tree. The
wind was among the light thin twigs, and they yielded
to it, this way and that.
Wednesday, iSt/i. We sate in the house in the
morning reading Spenser. Wm, and Mary walked to
Rydale. Very pleasant moonlight. The lakes beauti-
ful. The church an image of peace. Wm. wrote some
lines upon it. 3 Mary and I walked as far as the Wishing
Gate before supper. We stood there a long time, the whole
scene impressive. The mountains indistinct, the Lake
calm and partly ruffled. A sweet sound of water falling
into the quiet Lake.' 2 A storm was gathering in Easedale,
1 A Cumberland word for a rillet. ED.
2 Compare To a Highland Girl, 1. 8
A murmur near the silent lake. ED.
3 Probably some of the lines afterwards included in The Excur-
so we returned ; but the moon came out, and opened
to us the church and village. Helm Crag in shade,
the larger mountains dappled like a sky. We stood
long upon the bridge. Wished for Wm. . . .
Friday^ 2O/A We walked in the morning to Ease-
dale. In the evening we had cheerful letters from
Coleridge and Sara.
Safzerday, 2ist. We walked in the morning, and
paid one pound and 4d. for letters. William out of
spirits. We had a pleasant walk and spent a pleasant
evening. There was a furious wind and cold at night.
Mr. Simpson drank tea with us, and helped William out
with the boat. Wm. and Mary walked to the Swan,
homewards, with him. A keen clear frosty night. I
went into the orchard while they were out.
Sunday , 2,2nd. We wrote to Coleridge.
Tuesday, 242^. ... It was very windy, and we
heard the wind everywhere about us as we went along
the lane, but the walls sheltered us. John Green's
house looked pretty under Silver How. As we were
going along we were stopped at once, at the distance
perhaps of 50 yards from our favourite birch tree. It
was yielding to the gusty wind with all its tender twigs.
The sun shone upon it, and it glanced in the wind like
a flying sunshiny shower. It was a tree in shape, with
stem and branches, but it was like a spirit of water.
The sun went in, and it resumed its purplish appearance,
the twigs still yielding to the wind, but not so visibly to
us. The other birch trees that were near it looked
bright and cheerful, but it was a creature by its own
self among them. . . . We went through the wood. It
became fair. There was a rainbow which spanned the
lake from the island -house to the foot of Bainriggs.
The village looked populous and beautiful. Catkins are
coming out ; palm trees budding ; the alder, with its
plum -coloured buds. We came home over the
VOL. I F
66 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH* S JOURXAL iv
stepping-stones. The lake was foamy with white waves.
I saw a solitary butter-flower in the wood. . . . Reached
home at dinner time. Sent Peggy Ashbumer some
goose. She sent me some honey, with a thousand
thanks. "Alas! the gratitude of men has," etc. 1 ^ I
went in to set her right about this, and sate a while with
her. She talked about Thomas's having sold his land.
" I," says she, " said many a time he's not come fra
London 'to buy our land, however/' Then she told me
with what pains and industry they had made up their
taxes, interest, etc. etc., how they all got up at 5 o'clock
in the morning to spin and Thomas carded, and that
they had paid off a hundred pounds of the interest She
said she used to take much pleasure in the cattle and
sheep. " how pleased I used to be when they fetched
them down, and when I had been a bit poorly I would
gang out upon a hill and look over 3 t fields and see them,
and it used to do me so much good you cannot think."
Molly said to me when I came in, " Poor body ! she's
very ill, but one does not know how long she may last.
Many a fair face may gang before her." We sate by
the fire without work for some time, then Mary read a
poem of Daniel. . . . Wm. read Spenser, now and then,
a little aloud to us. We were making his waistcoat.
We had a note from Mrs. C, with bad news from poor
C. very ill. William went to John's Grove. I went
to find him. Moonlight, but it rained. ... He had
been surprised, and terrified, by a sudden rushing of
winds, which seemed to bring earth, sky, and^ lake
together, as if the whole were going to enclose him in.
He was glad he was in a high road.
In speaking of our walk on Sunday evening, the
22nd November, I forgot to notice one most impressive
sight. It was the moon and the moonlight seen through
hurrying driving clouds immediately behind the Stone-
Man upon the top of the hill, on the forest side. Every
1 See, in the "Poetical Works," Simon Lee, 11. 95, 96, vol. i.
p. 268. ED.
tooth and every edge of rock was visible, and the Man
stood like a giant watching from the roof of a lofty
castle. The hill seemed perpendicular from the dark-
ness below it. It was a sight that I could call to mind
at any time, it was so distinct.
Wednesday ) 2.$fk November. It was a showery morn-
ing and threatened to be a wettish day, but the sun shone
once or twice. We were engaged to Mr. Lloyd's and
Wm. and Mary were determined to go that it might be
over. I accompanied them to the thorn beside Rydale
water. I parted from them first at the top of the hill,
and they called me back. It rained a little, and rained
afterwards all the afternoon. I baked bread, and wrote
to Sara Hutchinson and Coleridge. I passed a pleasant
evening, but the wind roared so, and it was such a storm
that I was afraid for them. They came in at nine
o'clock, no worse for their walk, and cheerful, blooming,
Thursday ) 2.6th. Mr. Olliff called before Wm. was
up to say that they would drink tea with us this after-
noon. We walked into Easedale, to gather mosses, and
to fetch cream. I went for the cream, and they sate
under a wall. It was piercing cold.
Thursday, $rd December 1801. Wm. walked into
Easedale. Hail and snow. ... I wrote a little bit
of my letter to Coleridge. . . .
Friday, ^th. . . . Wm. translating The Prioresses
Tale. William and Mary walked after tea to Rydale.
I finished the letter to Coleridge, and we received a
letter from him and Sara. C.'s letter written in good
spirits. A lettei of Lamb's about George Dyer with it. 1
Saturday, $th. . . . Wm. finished The Prioresses
Tale, and after tea Mary and he wrote it out. . . .
Sunday, 6tk. A very fine beautiful sunshiny morn-
ing. Wm. worked a while at Chaucer, then we set
1 An unprinted letter. ED.
68 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL IV
forward to walk into Easedale. . . . We walked back-
wards and forwards in the flat field, which makes the
second course of Easedale, with that beautiful rock in the
field beside us, and all the rocks and the woods and the
mountains enclosing us round. The sun was shining
among them, the snow thinly scattered upon the tops of
the mountains. In the afternoon we sate by the fire : I
read Chaucer aloud, and Mary read the first canto of The
Fairy Queen. After tea Mary and I walked to Amble-
side for letters. ... It was a sober starlight evening.
The stars not shining as it were with all their bright-
ness when they were visible, and sometimes hiding
themselves behind small greying clouds, that passed
soberly along. We opened C/s letter at Wilcock's door.
We thought we saw that he wrote in good spirits, so
we came happily homewards where we arrived 2 hours
after we left home. It was a sad melancholy letter, and
prevented us all from sleeping.
Monday Morning, jth. We rose by candlelight. A
showery unpleasant morning, after a downright rainy
night. We determined, however, to go to Keswick if
possible, and we set off a little after 9 o'clock. When
we were upon the Raise, it snowed very much ; and the
whole prospect closed in upon us, like a moorland
valley, upon a moor very wild. But when we were at
the top of the Raise we saw the mountains before us.
The sun shone upon them, here and there ; and Wythe-
burn vale, though wild, looked soft The day went on
cheerfully and pleasantly. Now and then a hail shower
attacked us ; but we kept up a good heart, for Mary is
a famous jockey. . . . We reached Greta Hall at about
one o'clock. Met Mrs. C. in the field. Derwent in the
cradle asleep. Hartley at his dinner. Derwent the
image of his father. Hartley well. We wrote to C.
Mrs. C. left us at J past 2. We drank tea by
ourselves, the children playing about us. Mary said to
Hartley, "Shall I take Derwent with me?" "No,"
says H., "I cannot spare my little brother," in the
sweetest tone possible, "and he can't do without his
mamma." "Well," says Mary, "why can't I be his
mamma? Can't he have more mammas than one ? ;; "No, ;3
says H. " What for?" "Because they do not love,
and mothers do/' "What is the difference between
mothers and mammas ? :3 Looking at his sleeves,
" Mothers wear sleeves like this, pulling his own tight
down, and mammas ; ' (pulling them up, and making a
bustle about his shoulders) " so." We parted from
them at 4 o'clock. It was a little of the dusk when we
set off. Cotton mills lighted up. The first star at
Nadel Fell, but it was never dark. We rode very
briskly. Snow upon the Raise. Reached home at
seven o'clock. William at work with Chaucer, The God
of Love. Sate latish. I wrote a letter to Coleridge.
Tuesday^ Wi Decembe?' 1801. A dullish, rainyish
morning. Wm. at work with Chaucer. I read Bruce's
Lochleven. . . . William worked at Tfie Cuckoo and the
Nightingale till he was tired. . . .
Wednesday Morning^ qth December. ... I read
Palemon and Ardte. . . . William writing out his
alteration of Chaucer's Cuckoo and Nightingale. . . .
When I had finished a letter to C., , , . Mary and I
walked into Easedale, and backwards and forwards
in that large field under George Rawson's white
cottage. We had intended gathering mosses, and for
that purpose we turned into the green lane, behind the
tailor's, but it was too dark to see the mosses. The
river came galloping past the Church, as fast as it could
come ; and when we got into Easedale we saw Churn
Milk Force, like a broad stream of snow at the little
foot-bridge. We stopped to look at the company of
rivers, which came hurrying down the vale, this way
and that. It was a valley of streams and islands, with
that great waterfall at the head, and lesser falls in
different parts of the mountains, coming down to these
rivers. We could hear the sound of the lesser falls, but
we could not see them. We walked backwards and
7 o DOROTHY WORDSWORTH' '5 JOURNAL iv
forwards till all distant objects, except the white shape
of the waterfall and the lines of the mountains, were
gone. We had the crescent moon when we went out,
and at our return there were a few stars that shone
dimly, but it was a grey cloudy night.
Thursday, loth December. . . . We walked into
Easedale to gather mosses, and then we went ... up
the Gill, beyond that little waterfall. It was a wild
scene of crag and mountain. One craggy point rose
above the rest irregular and rugged, and very impressive
It was. We were very unsuccessful in our search
after mosses. Just when the evening was closing in,
Mr. Clarkson came to the door. It was a fine frosty
evening. We played at cards.
Saturday, I2/A . . . Snow upon the ground.
... All looked cheerful and bright. Helm Crag rose
very bold and craggy, a Being by itself, and behind it
was the large ridge of mountain, smooth as marble and
snow white. All the mountains looked like solid stone,
on our left, going from Grasmere, i.e. White Moss and
Nab Scar. The snow hid all the grass, and all signs of
vegetation, and the rocks showed themselves boldly
everywhere, and seemed more stony than rock or stone.
The birches on the crags beautiful, red brown and
glittering. The ashes glittering spears with their up-
right stems. The hips very beautiful, and so good ! !
and, dear Coleridge ! I ate twenty for thee, when I was
by myself. I came home first. They walked too slow
for me. Win. went to look at Langdale Pikes. We
had a sweet invigorating walk. Mr. Clarkson came in
before tea. We played at cards. Sate up late. The
moon shone upon the waters below Silver How, and
above it hung, combining with Silver How on one side,
a bowl-shaped moon, the curve downwards, the white
fields, glittering roof of Thomas Ashburner's house,
the dark yew tree, the white fields gay and beautiful.
\Vm. lay with his curtains open that he might see it.
Sunday, i$t/i. Mr. Clarkson left us, leading his
horse. . . . The boy brought letters from Coleridge,
and from Sara. Sara in bad spirits about C.
Monday^ i^th December. Wm. and Mary walked to
Ambleside in the morning to buy mouse-traps. ... I
wrote to Coleridge a very long letter while they were
absent. Sate by the fire in the evening reading.
Thursday, ijth. Snow in the night and still snow-
ing. . . . Ambleside looked excessively beautiful as we
came out like a village in another country ; and the
light cheerful mountains were seen, in the long distance,
as bright and as clear as at mid-day, with the blue sky
above them. We heard waterfowl calling out by the
lake side. Jupiter was very glorious above the Amble-
side hills, and one large star hung over the corner of the
hills on the opposite side of Rydale water.
Friday, i$>tk December iSor. Mary and Wm.
walked round the two lakes. I staid at home to make
bread. I afterwards went to meet them, and I met
Wm. Mary had gone to look at Langdale Pikes. It
was a cheerful glorious day. The birches and all trees
beautiful, hips bright red, mosses green. I wrote to
Sunday ^ 2o//z December. It snowed all day. It was
a very deep snow. The brooms were very beautiful,
arched feathers with wiry stalks pointed to the end,
smaller and smaller. They waved gently with the weight
of the snow.
Monday list being the shortest day, Mary walked to
Ambleside for letters. It was a wearisome walk, for the
snow lay deep upon the roads and it was beginning to
thaw. I stayed at home. Wm. sate beside me, and
read The Pedlar. He was in good spirits, and full of
hope of what he should do with it. He went to meet
Mary, and they brought four letters two from Coleridge,
one from Sara, and one from France. Coleridge's were
72 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL IV
melancholy letters. He had been very ill. We were
made very unhappy. \Vm. wrote to him, and directed
the letter into Somersetshire. I finished it after tea.
In the afternoon Mary and I ironed.
Tuesday, i*2?id. . . . Wm. composed a few lines of
The Pedlar. We talked about Lamb's tragedy as we
went down the White Moss. We stopped a long time in
going to watch a little bird with a salmon-coloured
breast, a white cross or T upon its wings, and a brownish
back with faint stripes. ... It began to pick upon the
road at the distance of four yards from us, and advanced
nearer and nearer till it came within the length of W.'s
stick, without any apparent fear of us. As we came up
the White Moss, we met an old man, who I saw was a
beggar by his two bags hanging over his shoulder ; but,
from half laziness, half indifference, and wanting to try
him, if he would speak, I let him pass. He said nothing,
and my heart smote me. I turned back, and said, " You
are begging ? " " Ay," says he. I gave him something.
William, judging from his appearance, joined in, " I
suppose you were a sailor?" "Ay," he replied, " I
have been 57 years at sea, 12 of them on board a man-
of-war under Sir Hugh Palmer." "Why have you not
a pension?" " I have no pension, but I could have got
into Greenwich hospital, but all my officers are dead."
He was 75 years of age, had a freshish colour in his
cheeks, grey hair, a decent hat with a binding- round
the edge, the hat worn brown and glossy, his shoes were
small thin shoes low in the quarters, pretty good. They
had belonged to a gentleman. His coat was frock
shaped, coming over his thighs. It had been joined up
at the seams behind with paler blue, to let it out, and
there were three bell-shaped patches of darker blue
behind, where the buttons had been. His breeches
were either of fustian, or grey cloth, with strings hanging-
down, whole and tight. He had a checked shirt on,
and a small coloured handkerchief tied round his neck.
His bags were hung over each shoulder, and lay on each
IV GRASMERE 73
side of him, below his breast. One was brownish and
of coarse stuff, the other was white with meal on the out-
side, and his blue waistcoat was whitened with meal.
We overtook old Fleming at Rydale, leading his
little Dutchman-like grandchild along the slippery road.
The same face seemed to be natural to them both the
old man and the little child and they went hand in
hand, the grandfather cautious, yet looking proud of his
charge. He had two patches of new cloth at the
shoulder-blades of his faded claret-coloured coat, like
eyes at each shoulder, not worn elsewhere. I found
Mary at home in her riding-habit, all her clothes being
put up. We were very sad about Coleridge. , . . We
stopped to look at the stone seat at the top of the hill.
There was a white cushion upon it, round at the edge
like a cushion, and the rock behind looked soft as velvet,
of a vivid green, and so tempting ! The snow too looked
as soft as a down cushion. A young foxglove, like
a star, in the centre. There were a few green lichens
about it, and a few withered brackens of fern here and
there upon the ground near, all else was a thick snow ;
no footmark to it, not the foot of a sheep. . . . We
sate snugly round the fire. I read to them the Tale of
Constance and the Syrian monarch, in the Man of Lawtfs
Tale, also some of the Prologue. . . .
Wednesday ', i^rd. . . . Mary wrote out the Tales
from Chaucer for Coleridge. William worked at The
Ruined Cottage and made himself very ill. ... A
broken soldier came to beg in the morning. Afterwards
a tall woman, dressed somewhat in a tawdry style, wifh a
long checked muslin apron, a beaver hat, and throughout
what are called good clothes. Her daughter h^d f gcaa"6
before, with a soldier and his wife. She had busied 'fc$r l
husband at Whitehaven, and was going /
Thursday, 24^. Still a thaw. Wm.,
sate comfortably round the fire in the evening^nd read
74 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL rv
Chaucer. Thoughts of last year. I took out my old
Friday, *2.$th. Christmas Day. We received a letter
from Coleridge. His letter made us uneasy about him.
I was glad I was not by myself when I received it.
Saturday^ 2,6th. . . . We walked to Rydale. Gras-
mere Lake a beautiful image of stillness, clear as glass,
reflecting all things. The wind was up, and the waters
sounding. The lake of a rich purple, the fields a soft
yellow, the island yellowish-green, the copses red-brown,
the mountains purple, the church and buildings, how
quiet they were ! Poor Coleridge, Sara, and dear little
Dervvent here last year at this time. After tea we sate
by the fire comfortably. I read aloud The Miller's Tale.
Wrote to Coleridge. . . . Wm. wrote part of the poem
to Coleridge. 1
Sunday, 2.7 th. A fine soft beautiful mild day, with
gleams of sunshine. William went to take in his boat
I sate in John ; s Grove a little w^hile. Mary came home.
Mary wrote some lines of the third part of his poem,
which he brought to read to us, when we came
home. . . .
Monday, i^th of December. William, Mary, and I
set off on foot to Keswick. We carried some cold mutton
in our pockets, and dined at John Stanley's, where they
were making Christmas pies. The sun shone, but it
was coldish. We parted from Wm. upon the Raise.
He joined us opposite Sara's rock. He was busy in
composition, and sate down upon the wall. We did not
see him again till we arrived at John Stanley's. There
we roasted apples in the room. After we had left John
Stanley's, Wm. discovered that he had lost his gloves.
He turned back, but they were gone. Wm. rested often.
Once he left his Spenser, and Mary turned back for it,
and found it upon the bank, where we had last rested.
1 See Stanzas, written in my Pocket Copy of Thomson's' Castle of
Indolence^ " Poetical Works, " vol. ii. p. 305. ED.
. . . We reached Greta Hall at about ^ past 5 o'clock.
The children and Mrs. C. well. After tea, message
came from Wilkinson, who had passed us on the road,
inviting Win. to sup at the Oak. He went. Met a
young man (a predestined Marquis) called Johnston.
He spoke to him familiarly of the L. B. He had seen
a copy presented by the Queen to Mrs. Harcourt Said
he saw them everywhere, and wondered they did not sell.
We all went weary to bed. . . .
Tuesday, 29 fh. A fine morning. A thin fog upon
the hills which soon disappeared. The sun shone.
Wilkinson went with us to the top of the hill. We turned
out of the road at the second mile stone, and passed a
pretty cluster of houses at the foot of St. John's Vale.
The houses were among tall trees, partly of Scotch fir,
and some naked forest trees. We crossed a bridge just
below these houses, and the river winded sweetly along
the meadows. Our road soon led us along the sides ol
dreary bare hills, but we had a glorious prospect to the
left of Saddleback, half-way covered with snow, and
underneath the comfortable white houses and the village
of Threlkeld. These houses and the village want trees
about them. Skiddaw was behind us, and dear Cole-
ridge's desert home. As we ascended the hills it grew
very cold and slippery. Luckily, the wind was at our
backs, and helped us on. A sharp hail shower gathered
at the head of Martindale, and the view upwards was
very grand wild cottages, seen through the hurrying
hail -shower. The wind drove, and eddied about and
about, and the hills looked large and swelling through
the storm. We thought of Coleridge. O ! the bonny
nooks, and windings, and curlings of the beck, down at
the bottom, of the steep green mossy banks. We dined
at the public-house on porridge, with a second course
of Christmas pies. We were well received by the land-
lady, and her little Jewish daughter was glad to see us
again. The husband a very handsome man. While
i \ve were eating our dinner a traveller came in. He
76 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH S JOURNAL IV
had walked over Kirkstone, that morning. We were
much amused by the curiosity of the landlord and land-
lady to learn who he was, and by his mysterious manner
of letting out a little bit of his errand, and yet telling
nothing. He had business further up in the vale. He
left them with this piece of information to work upon,
and I doubt not they discovered who he was and all his
business before the next day at that hour. The woman
told us of the riches of a Mr. Walker, formerly of Gras-
mere. We said, " What, does he do nothing for his
relations ? He has a sickly sister at Grasmere." " Why,"
said the man, " I daresay if they had any sons to put
forward he would do it for them, but he has children of
(N.B. His fortune is above ^60,000, and he has
two children 1 1)
The landlord went about a mile and a half with us to
put us in the right way. The road was often very
slippery, the wind high, and it was nearly dark before
we got into the right road. I was often obliged to crawl
on all fours, and Mary fell many a time. A stout young
man whom we met on the hills, and who knew Mr.
Clarkson, very kindly set us into the right road, and we
inquired again near some houses and were directed, by
a miserable, poverty-struck, looking woman, who had
been fetching water, to go down a miry lane. We soon
got into the main road and reached Mr. Clarkson's at
tea time. Mary H. spent the next day with us, and we
walked on Dunmallet before dinner, but it snowed a little.
The day following, being New Year's Eve, we accom-
panied Mary to Howtown Bridge.
DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL
WRITTEN AT GRASMERE
(FROM TST JANUARY 1802 TO STH JULY 1802)
EXTRACTS FROM DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S
JOURNAL (FROM IST JANUARY 1802 TO STH
New Year's Day. We walked, Wm. and I, towards
January 2nd. It snowed all day. We walked near
to Dalemain in the snow.
Jamiary $rd. Sunday. Mary brought us letters
from Sara and Coleridge and we went with her home-
wards to ... Parted at the stile on the Pooley side,
Thomas Wilkinson dined with us and stayed supper.
I do not recollect how the rest of our time was spent
exactly. We had a very sharp frost which broke on
Friday the I5th January, or rather on the morning of
On Sunday the i/th we went to meet Mary. It
was a mild gentle thaw. She stayed with us till
Friday, 22nd January. On Thursday we dined at Mr.
Myers's, and on Friday, 22nd, we parted from Mary.
Before our parting we sate under a wall in the sun near
a cottage above Stain ton Bridge. The field in which
we sate sloped downwards to a nearly level meadow,
round which the Emont flowed in a small half-circle as
at Lochleven. 1 The opposite bank is woody, steep as a
wall, but not high, and above that bank the fields slope
1 This refers probably to Loch Leven in Argyll, but its point is
not obvious, and Dorothy Wordsworth had not then been in
so DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL v
gently, and irregularly down to it. These fields are
surrounded by tall hedges, with trees among them, and
there are clumps or grovelets of tall trees here and there.
Sheep and cattle were in the fields. Dear Mary ! there
we parted from her. I daresay as often as she passes
that road she will turn in at the gate to look at this
sweet prospect. There was a barn and I think two or
three cottages to be seen among the trees, and slips of
lawn and irregular fields. During our stay at Mr.
Clarkson's we walked every day, except that stormy
Thursday. We dined at Thomas Wilkinson's on Friday
the i 5th', and walked to Penrith for Mary. The trees
were covered with hoar-frost grasses, and trees, and
hedges beautiful ; a glorious sunset ; frost keener than
ever. Next day thaw. Mrs. Clarkson amused us with
many stories of her family and of persons whom she had
known. I wish I had set them down as I heard them,
when they were fresh in my memory. . . . Mrs. Clark-
son knew a clergyman and his wife who brought up ten
children upon a curacy, sent two sons to college, and he
left ,1000 when he died. The wife was very generous,
gave food and drink to all poor people. She had a
passion for feeding animals. She killed a pig with
feeding it over much. When it was dead she said,
"To be sure it's a great loss, but I thank God it did not
die clemmed" (the Cheshire word for starved). Her
husband was veiy fond of playing back-gammon, and
used to play whenever he could get anybody to play with
him. She had played much in her youth, and was an
excellent player ; but her husband knew nothing of this,
till one day she said to him, " You're fond of back-
gammon, come play with me." He was surprised. She
told him she had kept it to herself, while she had a young
family to attend to, but that now she would play with
him ! So they began to play, and played every night.
Mr. C. told us many pleasant stories. His journey from
London to Wisbeck on foot when a schoolboy, knife
and stick, postboy, etc., the white horse sleeping at the
turnpike gate snoring, the turnpike man ; s clock ticking,
the burring story, the story of the mastiff, bull-baiting
by men at Wisbeck.
On Saturday, January 23rd, we left Eusemere at 10
o'clock in the morning, I behind Wm. Mr. Clarkson
on his Galloway. 1 The morning not very promising,
the wind cold. The mountains large and dark, but
only thinly streaked with snow ; a strong wind. We
dined in Grisdale on ham, bread, and milk. We parted
from Mr. C. at one o'clock. It rained all the way home.
We struggled with the wind, and often rested as we went
along. A hail shower met us before we reached the
Tarn, and the way often was difficult over the snow ;
but at the Tarn the view closed in. We saw nothing
but mists and snow : and at first the ice on the Tarn
below us cracked and split, yet without water, a dull
grey white. We lost our path, and could see the Tarn
no longer. We made our way out with difficulty, guided
by a heap of stones which we well remembered. We
were afraid of being bewildered in the mists, till the
darkness should overtake us. We were long before we
knew that we were in the right track, but thanks to
William's skill we knew it long before we could see our
way before us. There was no footmark upon the snow
either of man or beast. We saw four sheep before we
had left the snow region. The vale of Grasmere, when
the mists broke away, looked soft and grave, of a
yellow hue. It was dark before we reached home. O
how happy and comfortable we felt ourselves, sitting by
our own fire, when we had got off our wet clothes. We
talked about the Lake of Como, read the description,
looked about us, and felt that we were happy. . . .
Sunday, 2.^tk. We went into the orchard as soon as
breakfast was over. Laid out the situation for our new
room, and sauntered a while. Wm. walked in the
morning. I wrote to Coleridge. . . .
1 A Galloway pony. ED.
VOL. I G
8s DOROTHY WORDSWORTH S JOURNAL v
Monday, z^th January. . . . Wm. tired with com-
position. . . .
Tuesday ) 26th. . . . We are going to walk, and I
am ready and waiting by the kitchen fire for Wm.
We set forward intending to go into Easedale, but the wind
being loudish, and blowing down Easedale, we walked
under Silver How for a shelter. We went a little
beyond the syke ; then up to John's Grove, where the
storm of Thursday has made sad ravages. Two of the
finest trees are uprooted, one lying with the turf about
its root, as if the whole together had been pared by a
knife. The other is a larch. Several others are blown
aside, one is snapped in two. We gathered together
a faggot. Wm. had tired himself with working. , . .
We received a letter from Mary with an account of
C. 3 s arrival in London. I wrote to Mary before bed-
time. . . . Wm. wTOte out part of his poem, and
endeavoured to alter it, and so made himself ill. I
copied out the rest for him. We went late to bed. Wm.
wrote to Annette. 1
Wednesday, 2,7 tk. A beautiful mild morning; the sun
shone ; the lake was still, and all the shores reflected
in it. I finished my letter to Mary. Wm. wrote to
Stuart. I copied sonnets for him. Mr. Olliff called and
asked us to tea to-morrow. We stayed in the house till
the sun shone more dimly and we thought the afternoon
was closing in, but though the calmness of the Lake was
gone with the bright sunshine, yet it was delightfully
pleasant. We found no letter from Coleridge. One
from Sara which we sate upon the wall to read ; a sweet
long letter, with a most interesting account of Mr.
Patrick. We cooked no dinner. Sate a while by the
fire, and then drank tea at Frank Raty's. As we went
past the Nab I was surprised to see the youngest child
amongst them running about by itself, with a canny
round fat face,' and rosy cheeks. I called in. They
1 See the "Poetical Works," vol. ii. p. 335. ED.
gave me some nuts. Everybody surprised that we
should come over Grisdale. Paid .1:3:3 for letters
come since December 1st. Paid also about 8 shillings
at Penrith. The bees were humming about the hive.
William raked a few stones off the garden, his first
garden labour this year. I cut the shrubs. When we
returned from Frank's, Wm. wasted his mind in
the Magazines. I wrote to Coleridge, and Mrs. C.,
closed the letters up to Samson. Then w r e sate by the
fire, and were happy, only our tender thoughts became
painful. 1 Went to bed at J past 1 1.
Thursday, *2th. A downright rain. A wet night.
Wm. wTOte an epitaph, and altered one that he wrote
when he was a boy. It cleared up after dinner.
W 7 e were both in miserable spirits, and very doubtful
about keeping our engagements to the OllifTs. We
walked first within view of Rydale then to Low^thwaite,
then we went to Mr. OllifF. We talked a while. Wm.
was tired. We then played at cards. Came home in the
rain. Very dark. Came w r ith a lantern. Wm. out of
spirits and tired. He called at J past 3 to know the hour.
Friday f , igth January, Wm. was very unwell.
Worn out with his bad night's rest. I read to him,
to endeavour to make him sleep. Then I came into
the other room, and I read the first book of Paradise
Lost. After dinner we walked to Ambleside. ... A
heart-rending letter from Coleridge. We were sad as
we could be. Wm. wrote to him. We talked about
Wm.'s going to London. It was a mild afternoon.
There was an unusual softness in the prospects as we
went, a rich yellow upon the fields, and a soft grave
purple on the waters. When we returned many stars
were out, the clouds were moveless, and the sky soft
purple, the lake of Rydale calm, Jupiter behind.
Jupiter at least we call him, but William says we always
1 Compare, in Lines written in Early Spring, vol. i. p. 269
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind. ED.
84 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH* S JOURNAL v
call the largest star Jupiter. When we came home we
both wrote to C. I was stupefied.
Saturday^ Ja?iuary $Qtk. A cold dark morning.
William chopped wood. I brought it in a basket. . . .
He asked me to set down the story of Barbara Wilkin-
son's turtle dove. Barbara is an old maid. She had
two turtle doves. One of them died, the first year I
think. The other continued to live alone in its cage for
nine years, but for one whole year it had a companion
and daily visitor a little mouse, that used to come and
feed with it ; and the dove would carry it and cover it
over with its wings, and make a loving noise to it. The
mouse, though it did not testify equal delight in the
dove's company, was yet at perfect ease. The poor
mouse disappeared, and the dove was left solitary till its
death. It died of a short sickness, and was buried under
a tree, with funeral ceremony by Barbara and her
maidens, and one or two others.
On Saturday, $oth, Wm. worked at The Pedlar all
the morning. He kept the dinner waiting till four
o'clock. He was much tired. . . .
Sunday ^ ^ist. Wm. had slept very ill. He was
tired. We walked round the two lakes. Grasmere was
very soft, and Rydale was extremely beautiful from the
western side. Nab Scar was just topped by a cloud
which, cutting it off as high as it could be cut off,
made the mountain look uncommonly lofty. 1 We sate
down a long time with different plans. I always love
to walk that way, because it is the way I first came to
Rydale and Grasmere, and because our dear Coleridge
did also. When I came with Wm., 6 and \ years ago,
it was just at sunset. There was a rich yellow light on
the waters, and the islands were reflected there. To-day
it was grave and soft, but not perfectly calm. William
says it was much such a day as when Coleridge came with
1 Compare the poem To the Clouds, vol. viii. p. 142, and the
^Fenwick note to that poem. ED.
v GRASMERE 85
him. The sun shone out before we reached Grasmere.
We sate by the roadside at the foot of the Lake, close to
Mary's dear name, which she had cut herself upon the
stone. Wm. cut at it with his knife to make it
plainer. 1 \Ve amused ourselves for a long time in
watching the breezes, some as if they came from" the
bottom of the lake, spread in a circle, brushing along
the surface of the water, and growing more delicate as
it were thinner, and of a paler colour till they died away.
Others spread out like a peacock's tail, and some went
right forward this -fray and that in all directions. The
lake was still where these breezes were not, but they made
it all alive. I found a strawberry blossom in a rock.
The little slender flower had more courage than the
green leaves, for they were but half expanded and half
grown, but the blossom was spread full out. I uprooted
it rashly, and I felt as if I had been committing an out-
rage, so I planted it again. It will have but a stormy
life of it, but let it live if it can. We found Calvert here.
I brought a handkerchief full of mosses, which I placed
on the chimneypiece when Calvert was gone. He dined
with us, and carried away the encyclopaedias. After
they were gone, I spent some time in trying to reconcile
myself to the change, and in rummaging out and
arranging some other books in their places. One good
thing is this there is a nice elbow place for Wm., and
he may sit for the picture of John Bunyan any day.
Mr. Simpson drank tea with us. We paid our rent to
Benson. . . .
Monday r , February 1st. Wm. slept badly. I baked
bread. William worked hard at The Pedlar^ and tired
himself. . . . There was a purplish light upon Mr.
OllifPs house, which made me look to the other side of
the vale, when I saw a strange stormy mist coming down
the side of Silver How of a reddish purple colour. It
soon came on a heavy rain. ... A box with books
1 This still exists, but is known to few. ED.
86 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL v
came from London. I sate by W.'s bedside, and read in
TJie Pleasures of Hope to him, which came in the box.
He could not fall asleep.
Tuesday, ind February. . . . Wm. went into the
orchard after breakfast, to chop wood. We walked
into Easedale. . . . Walked backwards and forwards
between Goody Bridge and Butterlip How. William
wished to break off composition, but was unable, and so
did himself harm. The sun shone, but it was cold.
William worked at The Pedlar. After tea I read aloud
the eleventh book of Paradise Lost. We were much
impressed, and also melted into tears. The papers
came in soon after I had laid aside the book a good
thing for my Wm. . . .
Wednesday, $rd. A rainy morning. We walked to
Rydale for letters. Found one from Mrs. Cookson and
Mary H. It snowed upon the hills. We sate down on
the wall at the foot of White Moss. Sate by the fire in
the evening. Wm. tired, and did not compose. He
went to bed soon, and could not sleep. I wrote to Mary
H. Sent off the letter by Fletcher. Wrote also to
Coleridge. Read Wm. to sleep after dinner, and read
to him in bed till ^ past one.
Thursday, 4/& . . . Wm. thought a little about
The Pedlar. Read Smollet's life.
Friday ', $th. A cold snowy morning. Snow and
hail showers. We did not walk. Wm. cut wood a
little. Sate up late at The Pedlar.
Saturday, 6th February. . . . Two very affecting
letters from Coleridge ; resolved to try another climate.
I was stopped in my writing, and made ill by the letters.
. . , Wrote again after tea, and translated two or three
of Lessing's Fables.
Sunday, 7th. A fine clear frosty morning. The
eaves drop with the heat of the sun all day long. The
ground thinly covered with snow. The road black,
rocks black. Before night the island was quite green.
The sun had melted all the snow. Wm. working at
his poem. We sate by the fire, and did not walk, but
read The Pedlar^ thinking It done ; but W. could find
fault with one part of it. It was uninteresting, and
must be altered. Poor \Vm. !
Monday Morning, %th February 1802. It was very
windy and rained hard all the morning. William worked
at his poem and I read a little in Lessing and the
grammar. A chaise came past.
After dinner (i.e. we set off at about ^ past 4) we
went towards Rydale for letters. It was a " cauld clash?
The rain had been so cold that it hardly melted the
snow. We stopped at Park's to get some straw round
Wm. 7 s shoes. The young mother was sitting by a
bright wood fire, with her youngest child upon her lap,
and the other two sate on each side of the chimney.
The light of the fire made them a beautiful sight, with
their innocent countenances, their rosy cheeks, and
glossy curling hair. We sate and talked about poor
Ellis, and our journey over the Hawes. Before we had
come to the shore of the Lake, we met our patient bow-
bent friend, with his little wooden box at his back.
"Where are you going ?" said he. "To Rydale for letters."
" I have two for you in my box." We lifted up the lid,
and there they lay. Poor fellow, he straddled and
pushed on with all his might ; but we outstripped him
far away when we had turned back with our letters. . . .
I could not help comparing lots with him. He goes at
that slow pace every morning, and after having wrought
a hard day's work returns at night, however weary he
may be, takes it all quietly, and, though perhaps he
neither feels thankfulness nor pleasure, when he eats his
supper, and has nothing to look forward to but falling
asleep in bed, yet I daresay he neither murmurs nor
thinks it hard. He seems mechanised to labour. We
broke the seal of Coleridge's letters, and I had light
enough just to see that he was not ill. I put it in my
pocket. At the top of the White Moss I took it to my
bosom, a safer place for it. The sight was wild. There
88 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL v
was a strange mountain lightness, when we were at the
top of the White Moss. I have often observed it there
m the evenings, being between the two valleys. There
is more of the sky there than any other place. It has a
strange effect. Sometimes, along with the obscurity of
evening, or night, it seems almost like a peculiar sort of
light. There was not much wind till we came to John's
Grove, then it roared right out of the grove, all the trees
were tossing about Coleridge's letter somewhat damped
us. It spoke with less confidence about France,
Wm. wrote to him. The other letter was from
Montagu, with 8. Wm. was very unwell, tired when
he had written. He went to bed and left me to write to
M. H., Montagu, and Calvert, and Mrs. Coleridge, I
had written in his letter to Coleridge. We wrote to
Calvert to beg him not to fetch us on Sunday. Wm. left
me with a little peat fire. It grew less. I wrote on,
and was starved. At 2 o'clock I went to put my letters
under Fletcher's door. I never felt such a cold night.
There was a strong wind and it froze very hard. I
gathered together all the clothes I could find (for I durst
not go into the pantry for fear of waking Wm.). At
first when I went to bed I seemed to be warm. I
suppose because the cold air, which I had just left, no
longer touched my body ; but I soon found that I was
mistaken. I could not sleep from sheer cold. I had
baked pies and bread in the morning. Coleridge's
letter contained prescriptions.
N.B. The moon came out suddenly when we were
at John's Grove, and a star or two besides.
Tuesday. Wm. had slept better. He fell to work,
and made himself unwell- We did not walk. A funeral
came by of a poor woman who had drowned herself,
some say because she was hardly treated by her husband ;
others that he was a very decent respectable man, and
she but an indifferent wife. However this was, she had
only been married to him last Whitsuntide and had had
very indifferent health ever since. She had got up in the
night, and drowned herself in the pond. She had re-
quested to be buried beside her mother, and so she was
brought in a hearse. She was followed by some very
decent-looking men on horseback, her sister Thomas
Fleming's wife in a chaise, and some others with her,
and a cart full of women. Molly says folks thinks o'
their mothers. Poor body, she has been little thought of
by any body else. \Ve did a little of Lessing. I
attempted a fable, but my head ached ; my bones were
sore with the cold of the day before, and I was downright
stupid. We went to bed, but not till Wm. had tired
Wednesday^ lot/i. A very snowy morning. ... I
was writing out the poem, as we hoped for a final writing.
. . . We read the first part and were delighted with it,
but Wm. afterwards . got to some ugly place, and went
to bed tired out. A wild, moonlight night.
Thursday ', nth. . . . Wm. sadly tired and
working at The Pedlar. . . . We made up a good fire
after dinner, and Wm. brought his mattress out, and
lay down on the floor. I read to him the life of Ben
Jonson, and some short poems of his, which were too
interesting for him, and would not let him go to sleep.
I had begun with Fletcher, but he was too dull for me.
Fuller says, in his Life of Jonson (speaking of his plays),
" If his latter be not so sprit eful and vigorous as his first
pieces, all that are old, and all who desire to be old,
should excuse him therein." He says he " beheld " wit-
combats between Shakespeare and Jonson, and compares
Shakespeare to an English man-of-war, Jonson to a
great Spanish galleon. There is one affecting line in
Jonson s epitaph on his first daughter
Here lies to each her parents ruth,
Mary the daughter of their youth.
At six months' end she parted hence,
In safety of her innocence. A
Two beggars to-day. I continued to read to Wm.
90 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH S JOURNAL v
We were much delighted with the poem of Penshurstl
Wm. rose better. I was cheerful and happy. He
got to work again.
Friday^ 12 th. A very fine, bright, clear, hard frost.
Wm. working again. I recopied The Pedlar, but poor
Wm. all the time at work. ... In the afternoon a
poor woman came, she said, to beg, . . . but she has
been used to go a-begging, for she has often come here.
Her father lived to the age of 105. She is a woman of
strong bones, with a complexion that has been beautiful, and
remained very fresh last year, but now she looks broken,
and her little boy a pretty little fellow, and whom I have
loved for the sake of Basil looks thin and pale. I ob-
served this to her. " Aye," says she, " we have all been ill.
Our house was nearly unroofed in the storm, and we lived
in it so for more than a week." The child wears a ragged
drab coat and a fur cap. Poor little fellow, I think he
seems scarcely at all grown since the first time I saw him.
William was with me when we met him in a lane going
to Skelwith Bridge. He looked very pretty. He was
walking lazily, in the deep narroiv lane, overshadowed
with the hedgerows, his meal poke hung over his shoulder.
He said he " was going a laiting." Poor creature ! He
now wears the same coat he had on at that time. When
the woman was gone, I could not help thinking that we
are not half thankful enough that we are placed in that
condition of life in which we are. We do not so often
bless God for this, as we wish for this $o, that ^100,
etc. etc. We have not, however, to reproach ourselves
with ever breathing a murmur. This woman's was but
a common case. The snow still lies upon the ground.
Just at the closing in of the day, I heard a cart pass the
door, and at the same time the dismal sound of a crying
infant. I went to the window, and had light enough to
see that a man was driving a cart, which seemed not to
be very full, and that a woman with an infant in her
1 By Ben Jonson. ED.
arms was following close behind and a dog close to her.
It was a wild and melancholy sight \Vm. nibbed his
tables after candles were lighted, and we sate a long time
with the windows unclosed, and almost finished writing
TJie Pedlar; but poor Wm. wore himself out, and me
out, with labour. We had an affecting conversation.
Went to bed at 12 o'clock.
Saturday -, i$tk. It snowed a little this morning.
Still at work at TJie Pedlar ; altering and refitting. We
did not walk, though it was a very fine day. We received
a present of eggs and milk from Janet Dockeray, and
just before she went, the little boy from the Hill
brought us a letter from Sara H., and one from the
Frenchman in London. I wrote to Sara after tea, and
Wm. took out his old newspapers, and the new ones came
in soon after. We sate, after I had finished the letter,
talking; and Wm. read parts of his Recluse aloud to
me, . . .
Stmday^ i^tk February. A fine morning. The sun
shines out, but it has been a hard frost in the night
There are some little snowdrops that are afraid to put
their white heads quite out, and a few blossoms of
hepatica that are half-starved. Wm. left me at work
altering some passages of 77/5 Pedlar^ and went into the
orchard. The fine day pushed him on to resolve, and as
soon as I had read a letter to him, which I had just
received from Mrs. Clarkson, he said he would go to
Penrith, so Molly w r as despatched for the horse. I
worked hard, got the writing finished, and all quite trim.
I wrote to Mrs. Clarkson, and put up some letters for
Mary H., and off he went in his blue spencer, and a pair
of new pantaloons fresh from London. ... I then sate
over the fire, reading Ben Jonson's Penshurst^ and other
things. Before sunset, I put on my shawl and walked
out. The snow-covered mountains were spotted with
rich sunlight, a palish huffish colour. ... I stood at the
wishing-gate, and when I came in view of Rydale, I cast
a long look upon the mountains beyond. They were
92 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH^ JOURNAL v
very white, but I concluded that Wm. would have a very
safe passage over Kirkstone, and I was quite easy about
him. After dinner, a little before sunset, I walked out
about 20 yards above Glow-worm Rock. I met a car-
man, a Highlander I suppose, with four carts, the first three
belonging to himself, the last evidently to a man and his
family who had joined company with him, and who I
guessed to be potters. The carman was cheering his
horses, and talking to a little lass about ten years of age
who seemed to make him her companion. She ran to
the wall, and took up a large stone to support the wheel
of one of his carts, and ran on before with it in her arms
to be ready for him. She was a beautiful creature, and
there was something uncommonly impressive in the
lightness and joyousness of her manner. Her busi-
ness seemed to be all pleasure pleasure in her own
motions, and the man looked at her as if he too was
pleased, and spoke to her in the same tone in which he
spoke to his horses. There was a wildness in her whole
figure, not the wildness of a Mountain lass, but of the
Road lass, a traveller from her birth, who had wanted
neither food nor clothes. Her mother followed the last
cart with a lovely child, perhaps about a year old, at her
back, and a good-looking girl, about fifteen years old,
walked beside her. All the children were like the
mother. She had a very fresh complexion, but she was
blown with fagging up the steep hill, and with what she
carried. Her husband was helping the horse to drag the
cart up by pushing it with his shoulder. I reached
home, and read German till about 9 o'clock. I wrote to
Coleridge. Went to bed at about 12 o'clock. ... I
slept badly, for my thoughts were full of Wm.
Monday, i %th February. It snowed a good deal, and
was terribly cold. After dinner it was fair, but I was
obliged to run all the way to the foot of the White Moss, to
get the least bit of warmth into me. I found a letter from
C He was much better, this was very satisfactory,
but his letter was not an answer to Wm.'s which I
expected. A letter from Annette. I got tea when I
reached home, and then set on reading German. I wrote
part of a letter to Coleridge, went to bed and slept badly.
Titesday^ 1 6th, A fine morning, but I had persuaded
myself not to expect Wm., I believe because I was
afraid of being disappointed. I ironed all day. He
came just at tea time, had only seen Mary H. for a
couple of hours between Eamont Bridge and Hartshorn
Tree. Mrs. C. better. He had had a difficult journey
over Kirkstone, and came home by Threlkeld. We
spent a sweet evening. He was better, had altered The
Pedlar. We went to bed pretty soon. Mr. Graham said
he wished Wm. had been with him the other day
he was riding in a post-chaise and he heard a strange
cry that he could not understand, the sound continued,
and he called to the chaise driver to stop. It was a little
girl that was crying as if her heart would burst. She
had got up behind the chaise, and her cloak had been
caught by the wheel, and was jammed in, and it hung
there. She was crying after it, poor thing. Mr. Graham
took her into the chaise, and her cloak was released from
the wheel, but the child's misery did not cease, for her
cloak was torn to rags ; it had been a miserable cloak
before, but she had no other, and it was the greatest
sorrow that could befall her. Her name was Alice Fell. 1
She had no parents, and belonged to the next town. At
the next town, Mr. G. left money with some respectable
people in the town, to buy her a new cloak.
Wednesday, ijtk. A miserable nasty snowy morn-
ing. We did not walk, but the old man from the hill
brought us a short letter from Mary H. I copied the
second part of Peter Bell. . . .
Thursday ', i8/#. A foggy morning. I copied new
part of Peter Bell in W.'s absence, and began a letter to
Coleridge. Wm. came in with a letter from Coleridge.
1 See the poem Alice Fell, in the " Poetical Works," vol. ii. p.
94 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH S JOURNAL v
. . . We talked together till 1 1 o'clock, when Wm. got
to work, and was no worse for it. Hard frost.
Saturday ^ 2O/A . . . I wrote the first part of Peter
Bell. . . .
Sunday i 2 1 st. A very wet morning. I wrote the 2nd
prologue to Peter Bell. . . . After dinner I wrote the
1st prologue. . . . Snowdrops quite out, but cold and
winterly ; yet, for all this, a thrush that lives in our
orchard has shouted and sung its merriest all day long. . .
Monday -, 22?^. \Vm. brought me 4 letters to read
from Annette and Caroline, 1 Mary and Sara, and Cole-
ridge. ... In the evening we walked to the top of the
hill, then to the bridge. We hung over the wall, and
looked at the deep stream below. It came with a full,
steady, yet a very rapid flow down to the lake. The
sykes made a sweet sound everywhere, and looked very
interesting in the twilight, and that little one above Mr.
Olliff's house was very impressive. A ghostly white
serpent line, it made a sound most distinctly heard of
itself. The mountains were black and steep, the tops of
some of them having snow yet visible.
Tuesday, 7,^rd. . . . When we came out of our own
doors, that dear thrush was singing upon the topmost
of the smooth branches of the ash tree at the top of the
orchard. How long it had been perched on that same
tree I cannot tell, but we had heard its dear voice in the
orchard the day through, along with a cheerful
undersong made by our winter friends, the robins. As
we came home, I picked up a few mosses by the road-
side, which I left at home. We then went to John's
Grove. There we sate a little while looking at the
fading landscape. The lake, though the objects on the
shore were fading, seemed brighter than when it is
perfect day, and the island pushed itself upwards,
distinct and large. All the shores marked. There was
1 See " Poetical Works," vol. ii. p. 335. ED.
a sweet, sea-like sound in the trees above our heads.
We walked backwards and forwards some time for dear
John's sake, then walked to look at Rydale. Wm.
now reading in Bishop Hall, I going to read German.
We have a nice singing fire, with one piece of wood. . . .
Wednesday, 24th. A rainy morning. William re-
turned from Rydale very wet, with letters. He brought
a short one from C., a very long one from Mary.
Wm. wrote to Annette, to Coleridge. ... I wrote a
little bit to Coleridge. We sent off these letters by
Fletcher. It was a tremendous night of wind and rain.
Poor Coleridge ! a sad night for a traveller such as he.
God be praised he was in safe quarters. Wm. went out.
He never felt a colder night.
Thursday ) 2$f7i. A fine, mild, gay, beautiful morn-
ing. Wm. wrote to Montagu in the morning. . . .
I reached home just before dark, brought some mosses
and ivy, and then got tea, and fell to work at German.
I read a good deal of Lessing's Essay. Wm. came
home between 9 and 10 o'clock. We sat together by
the fire till bedtime. Wm. not very much tired.
Friday \ 26 f A. A grey morning till 10 o'clock, then
the sun shone beautifully. Mrs. Lloyd's children and
Mrs. Luff came in a chaise, were here at 1 1 o'clock, then
went to Mrs. Olliff. Wm. and I accompanied them to
the gate. I prepared dinner, sought out Peter Bell,
gave Wm. some cold meat, and then we went to walk.
We walked first to Butterlip How, where we sate and
overlooked the dale, no sign of spring but the red tints
of the woods .and trees. Sate in the sun. Met Charles
Lloyd near the Bridge. . . . Mr. and Mrs. Luff walked
home, the Lloyds stayed till 8 o'clock. Wm. always gets
on better with conversation at home than elsewhere.
The chaise-driver brought us a letter from Mrs. H., a
short one from C. We were perplexed about Sara's
coming. I wrote to Mary. Wm. closed his letter to
Montagu, and wrote to Calvert and Mrs. Coleridge.
Birds sang divinely to-day. Wm. better.
96 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL v
Sunday, 28 f A February. Wm. employed himself
with The Pedlar. We got papers in the morning-.
Monday. A fine pleasant day, we walked to Rydale.
I went on before for the letters, brought two from M. and
S. H. We climbed over the wall and read them under
the shelter of a mossy rock. We met Mrs. Lloyd in
going-. Mrs. OllifPs child ill. The catkins are beautiful
in the hedges, the ivy is very green. Robert Newton's
paddock is greenish that is all we see of Spring;
finished and sent off the letter to Sara, and wrote to
Mary. Wrote again to Sara, and Wm. wrote to Coleridge.
Mrs. Lloyd called when I was in bed.
Tuesday^ A fine grey morning. ... I read German,
and a little before dinner Wm. also read. We walked
on Butterlip How under the wind. It rained all the
while, but we had a pleasant walk. The mountains of
Easedale, black or covered with snow at the tops, gave
a peculiar softness to the valley. The clouds hid the
tops of some of them. The valley was populous and
enlivened with streams. . . .
Wednesday. I was so unlucky as to propose to re-
write The Pedlar. Wm. got to work, and was worn to
death. We did not walk. I wrote in the afternoon.
Thursday. Before we had quite finished breakfast
Calvert's man brought the horses for Wm. We had
a deal to do, pens to make, poems to put in order for
writing, to settle for the press, pack up ; and the man
came before the pens were made, and he was obliged to
leave me with only two. Since he left me at half-past
I 1 (it is now 2) I have been putting the drawers into
order, laid by his clothes which he had thrown here and
there and everywhere, filed two months' newspapers and
got my dinner, 2 boiled eggs and 2 apple tarts. I have
set Molly on to clean the garden a little, and I myself
have walked. I transplanted some snowdrops the Bees
are busy. Wm. has a nice bright day. It was hard
1 March 2nd. ED.
frost in the night. The Robins are singing sweetly.
Xow for my walk. I will be busy, l-ivill look well,
and be well when he comes back to me. O the Darling!
Here is one of his bitter apples. I can hardly find it in
my heart to throw it into the fire. ... I walked round
the two Lakes, crossed the stepping-stones at Rydale foot.
Sate down where we always sit I was full of thought
about my darling. Blessings on him. I came home at
the foot of our own hill under Loughrigg. They are
making sad ravages in the woods. Benson's wood is
going, and the woods above the River. The wind has
blown down a small fir tree on the Rock, that terminates
John's path. I suppose the wind of Wednesday night.
I read German after tea. I worked and read the L. B.,
enchanted with the Idiot Boy. Wrote to Wm. and then
went to bed. It snowed when I went to bed.
Friday. First walked in the garden and orchard, a
frosty sunny morning. After dinner I gathered mosses
in Easedale. I saw before me sitting in the open field,
upon his pack of rags, the old Ragman that I know.
His coat is of scarlet in a thousand patches. When I
came home Molly had shook the carpet and cleaned
everything upstairs. When I see her so happy in her
work, and exulting in her own importance, I often think
of that affecting expression which she made use of to me
one evening lately. Talking of her good luck in being in
this house, " Aye, Mistress, them ; at's low laid would have
been proud creatures could they but have seen where I
is now, fra what they thought wud be my doom." I was
tired when I reached home. I sent Molly Ashburner to
Rydale. No letters. I was sadly mortified. I expected
one fully from Coleridge. Wrote to William, read the
L. B., got into sad thoughts, tried at German, but could
not go on. Read L. B. Blessings on that brother of
mine ! Beautiful new moon over Silver How.
Friday Morning. A very cold sunshiny frost. I
wrote The Pedlar^ and finished it before I went to Mrs.
Simpson's to drink tea. Miss S. at Keswick, but she
VOL. I H
98 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL v
came home. Mrs. Jameson came in and stayed supper.
Fletcher's carts went past and I let them go with
William's letter. Mr. B. S. came nearly home with me.
I found letters from \Vm., Mary, and Coleridge. I
wrote to C. Sat up late, and could not fall asleep when
I went to bed.
Sunday Morning. A very fine, clear frost. I stitched
up The Pedlar; wrote out Ruth; read it with the altera-
tions, then wrote Mary H. Read a little German, . . .
and in came William, I did not expect him till to-morrow.
How glad I was. After we had talked about an hour, I
gave him his dinner. We sate talking and happy. He
brought two new stanzas of Ruth. . . .
Monday Morning. A soft rain and mist. We
walked to Rydale for letters. The Vale looked very
beautiful in excessive simplicity, yet, at the same time,
in uncommon obscurity. The Church stood alone
mountains behind. The meadows looked calm and rich,
bordering on the still lake. Nothing else to be seen but
lake and island. . . .
On Friday evening the moon hung over the northern
side of the highest point of Silver How, like a gold ring
snapped in two, and shaven off at the ends. Within
this ring lay the circle of the round moon, as distinctly
to be seen as ever the enlightened moon is. William
had observed the same appearance at Keswick, perhaps
at the very same moment, hanging over the Newland
Fells. Sent off a letter to Mary H., also to Coleridge,
and Sara, and rewrote in the evening the alterations of
Ruth, which we sent off at the same time.
Tuesday Morning. William was reading in Ben
Jonson. He read me a beautiful poem on Love. . . .
We sate by the fire in the evening, and read The Pedlar
oven William worked a little, and altered it in a few
places. . . ,
Wednesday. f , . Win. read in Ben Jonson in the
morning. I read a little German. We then walked to
Rydale. Xo letters. They are slashing away in Benson's
wood. William has since tea been talking about pub-
lishing the Yorkshire Wolds Poem with The Pedlar.
Thursday. A fine morning 1 . William worked at the
poem of The Singing Bird. 1 Just as we were sitting
down to dinner we heard Mr. Clarkson's voice. I ran
down, William followed. He was so finely mounted
that William was more intent upon the horse than the
rider, an offence easily forgiven, for Mr. Clarkson was
as proud of it himself as he well could be. . . .
Friday. A very fine morning. We went to see Mr.
Clarkson off. The sun shone while it rained, and the
stones of the walls and the pebbles on the road glittered
like silver. . . . William finished his poem of The
Singing Bird. In the meantime I read the remainder
of Lessing. In the evening after tea William wrote
Alice Fell. He went to bed tired, with a wakeful mind
and a weary body. . . .
Saturday Morning. It was as cold as ever it has
been all winter, very hard frost . . . William finished
Alice Fel^ and then wrote the poem of The Beggar
Woman, taken from a woman whom I had seen in May
(now nearly two years ago) when John and he were at
Gallow Hill. I sate with him at intervals all the morning,
took down his stanzas, etc. . . . After tea I read to
William that account of the little boy belonging to the
tall woman, and an unlucky thing it was, for he could
not escape from those very words, and so he could not
write the poem. He left it unfinished, and went tired
to bed. In our walk from Rydale he had got warmed
with the subject, and had half cast the poem.
Sunday Morning. William . . . got up at nine
o'clock, but before he rose he had finished The Beggar
Boy> and while we were at breakfast ... he wrote the
poem To a Btitterfly / He ate not a morsel, but sate
1 First published in 1807, under the title of The Sailors
ioo DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL v
with his shirt neck unbuttoned, and his waistcoat open
while he did it. The thought first came upon him as
we were talking about the pleasure we both always felt
at the sight of a butterfly. I told him that I used to
chase them a little, but that I was afraid of brushing the
dust off their wings, and did not catch them. He told
me how he used to kill all the white ones when he went
to school because they were Frenchmen. ... I wrote
it down and the other poems, and I read them all over
to him. . . *. William began to try to alter The Butterfly^
and tired himself. . . .
Monday Morning. We sate reading the poems, and
I read a little German. . . . During W.'s absence a
sailor who was travelling from Liverpool to Whitehaven
called, he was faint and pale when he knocked at the
door a young man very well dressed. We sate by the
kitchen fire talking with him for two hours. He told us
interesting stories of his life. His name was Isaac
Chapel. He had been at sea since he was 15 years
old. He was by trade a sail-maker. His last voyage
was to the coast of Guinea. He had been on board a
slave ship, the captain's name Maxwell, where one man
had been killed, a boy put to lodge with the pigs and
was half eaten, set to watch in the hot sun till he dropped
down dead. He had been away in North America and
had travelled thirty days among the Indians, where he
had been well treated. He had twice swam from a
King's ship in the night and escaped. He said he would
rather be in hell than be pressed. He was now going
to wait in England to appear against Captain Maxwell.
" O he's a Rascal, Sir, he ought to be put in the papers ! ' J
The poor man had not been in bed since Friday night.
He left Liverpool at 2 o'clock on Saturday morning ; he
had called at a farm house to beg victuals and had been
refused. The woman said she would give him nothing.
" Won't you ? Then I can't help it." He was exces-
sively like my brother John.
Tuesday. . . . William went up into the orchard,
. . . and wrote a part of The Emigrant Mother. After
dinner I read him to sleep. I read Spenser. . . . We
walked to look at Rydale. The moon was a good
height above the mountains. She seemed far distant In
the sky. There were two stars beside her, that twinkled
in and out, and seemed almost like butterflies in motion
and lightness. They looked to be far nearer to us than
Wednesday. William went up into the orchard and
finished the poem. I went and sate with \V. and walked
backwards and forwards in the orchard till dinner time.
He read me his poem. I read to him, and my Beloved
slept. A sweet evening as It had been a sweet day, and
I walked quietly along the side of Rydale lake with quiet
thoughts the hills and the lake were still the owls
had not begun to hoot, and the little birds had given
over singing. I looked before me and saw a red light
upon Silver How as if coming out of the vale below,
There was a light of most strange birth,
A light that came out of the earth,
And spread along the dark hill-side.
Thus I was going on when I saw the shape of my
Beloved in the road at a little distance, We turned
back to see the light but it was fading almost gone.
The owls hooted when we sate on the wall at the foot of
White Moss ; the sky broke more and more, and we
saw the moon now and then. John Gill passed us with
his cart ; we sate on. When we came in sight of our
own dear Grasmere, the vale looked fair and quiet in
the moonshine, the Church was there and all the cottages.
There were huge slow-travelling clouds in the sky, that
threw large masses of shade upon some of the mountains.
We walked backwards and forwards, between home and
OllifPs, till I was tired. William kindled, and began to
write the poem. We carried cloaks into the orchard,
and sate a while there. I left him, and he nearly finished
the poem. I was tired to death, and went to bed before
102 DOXOT&Y WORDSWORTH* S JOURNAL v
him. He came down to me, and read the poem to me
in bed. A sailor begged here to-day, going- to Glasgow.
He spoke cheerfully in a sweet tone.
Thursday. Rydale vale was full of life and motion.
The wind blew briskly, and the lake was covered all
over with bright silver waves, that were there each the
twinkling of an eye, then others rose up and took their
place as fast as they went away. The rocks glittered in
the sunshine. The crows and the ravens were busy,
and the thrushes and little birds sang. I went through
the fields, and sate for an hour afraid to pass a cow.
The cow looked at me, and I looked at the cow, and
whenever I stirred the cow gave over eating. ... A
parcel came in from Birmingham, with Lamb's play for
us, and for C. ... As we came along Ambleside vale
in the twilight, it was a grave evening. There was
something in the air that compelled me to various
thoughts the hills were large, closed in by the sky. . . .
Night was come on, and the moon was overcast. But,
as I climbed the moss, the moon came out from behind
a mountain mass of black clouds. O, the unutterable
darkness of the sky, and the earth below the moon, and
the glorious brightness of the moon itself! There was
a vivid sparkling streak of light at this end of Rydale
water, but the rest was very dark, and Loughrigg Fell
and Silver How were white and bright, as if they were
covered with hoar frost. The moon retired again, and
appeared and disappeared several times before I reached
home. Once there was no moonlight to be seen but
upon the island-house and the promontory of the island
where it stands. " That needs must be a holy place,"
etc. etc. I had many very exquisite feelings, and when
I saw this lowly Building in the waters, among the dark
and lofty hills, with that bright, soft light upon it, it
made me more than half a poet. I was tired when I
reached home, and could not sit down to reading. I
tried to write verses, but alas! I gave up, expecting
William, and went soon to bed.
Friday. A very rainy morning. I went up into the
lane to collect a few green mosses to make the chimney
gay against my darling's return. Poor C., I did not
wish for, or expect him, it rained so. ... Coleridge
came in. His eyes were a little swollen with the wind.
I was much affected by the sight of him, he seemed half-
stupefied. William came in soon after. Coleridge went
to bed late, and William and I sate up till four o'clock.
A letter from Sara sent by Mary. They disputed about
Ben Jonson. My spirits were agitated very much.
Saturday. . . . When I awoke the whole vale was
covered with snow. William and Coleridge walked. . . .
We had a little talk about going abroad. After tea
William read Tke Pedlar. Talked about various things
christening the children, etc. etc. Went to bed at
Sunday. Coleridge and William lay long in bed.
We sent up to George Mackareth's for the horse to go to
Keswick, but we could not have it Went with C. to
Berwick's where he left us. William very unwell. We
had a sweet and tender conversation. I wrote to Mary
Monday. A rainy day. William very poorly. 2
letters from Sara, and one from poor Annette. Wrote
to my brother Richard. We talked a good deal about
C. and other interesting things. We resolved to see
Annette, and that Win. should go to Mary. Wm. wrote
to Coleridge not to expect us till Thursday or Friday.
Tuesday. A mild morning. William worked at The
Cuckoo poem. I sewed beside him. ... I read German,
and, at the closing-in of day, went to sit in the orchard.
William came to me, and walked backwards and forwards.
We talked about C. Wm. repeated the poem to me.
I left him there, and in 20 minutes he came in, rather
tired with attempting to write. He is now reading Ben
Jonson. I am going to read German. It is about 10
o'clock, a quiet night. The fire flickers, and the watch
ticks. I hear nothing save the breathing of my Beloved
104 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL V
as he now and then pushes his book forward, and turns
over a leaf, . . .
Wednesday. It was a beautiful spring morning,
warm, and quiet with mists. We found a letter from
M. H. I made a vow that we would not leave this
country for G. Hill. 1 . . . William altered The Butterfly
as we came from Rydale. . . .
Thursday. ... No letter from Coleridge.
Friday, . . . William wrote to Annette, then worked
at The Cuckoo. . . . After dinner I sate 2 hours in the
orchard. William and I walked together after tea, to
the top of White Moss. I left Wm. and while he was
absent I wrote out poems. I grew alarmed, and went
to seek him. I met him at Mr. OllifFs. He has been
trying, without success, to alter a passage his Silver
How poem. He had written a conclusion just before he
went out While I was getting into bed, he wrote The
Saturday. A divine morning. At breakfast William
wrote part of an ode. . . . We sate all day in the
Sunday. We went to Keswick. Arrived wet to the
skin. . . .
Monday. Wm. and C. went to Armathwaite.
Tuesday r , $oth March. We went to Cal vert's.
Wednesday, 31^ March. ... We walked to
Portinscale, lay upon the turf, and looked into the Vale
of Newlands; up to Borrowdale, and down to Kes-
wick a soft Venetian view. Calvert and Wilkinsons
dined with us. I walked with Mrs. W. to the Quaker's
meeting, met Wm., and we walked in the field to-
Ttutrsday, 1st April. Mrs. C. 3 Wm. and I went to
the How. We came home by Portinscale.
Friday^ 2nd, Wm. and I sate all the morning in
1 Gallow Hill, Yorkshire. ED.
Saturday^ yd. Wm. went on to Skiddaw with C.
We dined at Calvert's. . . .
Sunday, 42^. We drove by gig to Water End. I
walked down to Coleridge's. Mrs. Calvert came to
Greta Bank to tea. William walked down with Mrs.
Calvert, and repeated his verses to them. , . .
Monday r , %th. We came to Eusemere. Coleridge
walked with us to Threlkeld. . . .
Monday, I2///. . . . The ground covered with
snow. Walked to T. Wilkinson's and sent for letters.
The woman brought me one from William and Mary.
It was a sharp, windy night. Thomas Wilkinson came
with me to Barton, and questioned me like a catechiser
all the way. Every question was like the snapping of a
little thread about my heart. I was so full of thought
of my half-read letter and other things. I was glad
when he left me. Then I had time to look at the moon
while I was thinking my own thoughts. The moon
travelled through the clouds, tinging them yellow as she
passed along, with two stars near her, one larger than
the other. These stars grew and diminished as they
passed from, or went into, the clouds. At this time
William, as I found the next day, was riding by himself
between Middleham and Barnard Castle. . . .
Tuesday f , i^tk April. Mrs. C. waked me from
sleep with a letter from Coleridge. . , . I walked along
the lake side. The air was become still, the lake was of
a bright slate colour, the hills darkening. The bays
shot into the low fading shores. Sheep resting. All
things quiet. When I returned William was come,
The surprise shot through me. . . .
Thursday ', \$th. It was a threatening, misty morn-
ing, but mild. We set off after dinner from Eusemere.
Mrs. Clarkson went a short way with us, but Burned
back. The wind was furious, and we thought we must
have returned. We first rested in the large boathouse.
io6 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL v
then under a furze bush opposite Mr. Clarkson's. Saw
the plough going in the field. The wind seized our
breath. The lake was rough. There was a boat by
itself floating in the middle of the bay below Water
Hillock. We rested again in the Water Hillock Lane.
The hawthorns are black and green, the birches here
and there greenish, but there is yet more of purple to
be seen on the twigs. We got over into a field to avoid
some cows people working. A few primroses by the
roadside woodsorrel flower, the anemone, scentless
violets, strawberries, and that starry, yellow flower
which Mrs. C. calls pile wort. When we were in the
woods beyond Gowbarrow Park we saw a few daffodils
close to the water-side. We fancied that the sea had
floated the seeds ashore, and that the little colony had
so sprung up. But as we went along there were more
and yet more ; and at last, under the boughs of the
trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along
the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road.
I never saw daffodils so beautiful. They grew among
the mossy stones about and above them ; some rested
their heads upon these stones, as on a pillow, for weari-
ness ; and the rest tossed and reeled and danced, and
seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind, that blew
upon them over the lake ; they looked so gay, ever
glancing, ever changing. This wind blew directly over
the lake to them. There was here and there a little
knot, and a few stragglers higher up ; but they were so
few as not to disturb the simplicity, unity, and life of
that one busy highway. We rested again and again.
The bays were stormy, and we heard the waves at
different distances, and in the middle of the water, like
the sea. ... All was cheerless and gloomy, so we faced
the storm. At Dobson's I was veiy kindly treated by a
young woman. The landlady looked sour, but it is her
way. . . . William was sitting by a good fire when I
came downstairs. He soon made his way to the library,
piled up in a corner of the window. He brought out a
volume of Enfield's Speaker^ another miscellany, and an
odd volume of Congreve's plays. We had a glass of
warm rum and water. We enjoyed ourselves, and
wished for Mary. It rained and blew, when we went
Friday^ i6/// April (Good Friday}. When I undrew
curtains in the morning, I was much affected by the
beauty of the prospect, and the change. The sun shone,
the wind had passed away, the hills looked cheerful, the
river was very bright as it flowed into the lake. The
church rises up behind a little knot of rocks, the steeple
not so high as an ordinary three-story house. Trees in
a row in the garden under the wall. The valley is at
first broken by little woody knolls that make retiring
places, fairy valleys in the vale, the river winds along
under these hills, travelling, not in a bustle but not
slowly, to the lake. We saw a fisherman in the flat
meadow on the other side of the water. He came
towards us, and threw his line over the two-arched
bridge. It is a bridge of a heavy construction, almost
bending inwards in the middle, but it is grey, and there
is a look of ancientry in the architecture of it that pleased
me. As we go on the vale opens out more into one
vale, with somewhat of a cradle bed. Cottages, with
groups of trees, on the side of the hills. We passed a
pair of twin children, two years old. Sate on the next
bridge which we crossed a single arch. We rested
again upon the turf, and looked at the same bridge.
We observed arches in the water, occasioned by the
large stones sending it down in two streams. A sheep
came plunging through the river, stumbled up the bank,
and passed close to us. It had been frightened by an
insignificant little dog on the other side. Its fleece
dropped a glittering shower under its belly. Primroses
by the road-side, pile wort that shone like stars of gold
in the sun, violets, strawberries, retired and half-buried
among the grass. When we came to the foot of
Brothers Water, I left William sitting on the bridge.
io8 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL v
and went along the path on the right side of the lake
through the wood. I was delighted with what I saw.
The water under the boughs of the bare old trees, the
simplicity of the mountains, and the exquisite beauty of
the path. There was one grey cottage. I repeated
The Glow-worm, as I walked along. I hung over the
gate, and thought I could have stayed for ever. When
I returned, I found William writing a poem descriptive
of the sights and sounds we saw and heard. 1 There
was the gentle flowing of the stream, the glittering,
lively lake, green fields without a living creature to be
seen on them ; behind us, a flat pasture with forty-two
cattle feeding; to our Ieft 3 the road leading to the
hamlet No smoke there, the sun shone on the bare
roofs. The people were at work ploughing, harrowing,
and sowing ; . . . a dog barking now and then, cocks
crowing, birds twittering, the snow in patches at the top
of the highest hills, yellow palms, purple and green twigs
on the birches, ashes with their glittering stems quite
bare. The hawthorn a bright green, with black stems
under the oak. The moss of the oak glossy. We went
on. Passed two sisters at work (they first passed us),
one with two pitchforks in her hand, the other had a
spade. We had come to talk with them. They laughed
long after we were gone, perhaps half in wantonness,
half boldness. William finished his poem. 1 Before we
got to the foot of Kirkstone, there were hundreds of
cattle in the vale. There we ate our dinner. The walk
up Kirkstone was very interesting. The becks among
the rocks were all alive. William showed me the little
mossy streamlet which he had before loved when he saw
its bright green track in the snow. The view above
Ambleside very beautiful. There we sate and looked
down on the green vale. We watched the crows at a
little distance from us become white as silver as they
flew in the sunshine, and when they went still further,
1 See "The Cock is crowing," etc., vol. ii. p. 293. ED.
v GRASMERE rog
they looked like shapes of water passing over the green
fields. The whitening of Ambleside church is a great
deduction from the beauty of it, seen from this point.
We called at the Luffs, the Roddingtons there. Did
not go in, and went round by the fields. I pulled off
my stockings, intending to wade the beck, but I was
obliged to put them on, and we climbed over the wall
at the bridge. The post passed us. No letters. Rydale
Lake was in its own evening brightness : the Island, and
Points distinct Jane Ashburner came up to us when
we were sitting upon the wall. . . . The garden looked
pretty in the half-moonlight, half-daylight, as we went
up the vale. . . .
Saturday , i*jth. A mild warm rain. We sate in
the garden all the morning. William dug a little. I
transplanted a honey-suckle. The lake*was stilL The
sheep on the island, reflected in the water, like the grey-
deer we saw in Gowbarrow Park. We walked after tea
by moonlight. I had been in bed in the afternoon, and
William had slept in his chair. We walked towards
Rydale backwards and forwards below Mr. OllifPs.
The village was beautiful in the moonlight. Helm Crag
we observed very distinct. The dead hedge round
Benson's field bound together at the top by an inter-
lacing of ash sticks, which made a chain of silver when
we faced the moon. A letter from C. and also one from
S. H. I saw a robin chasing a scarlet butterfly this
Sunday^ i%ih. Again a mild grey morning, with
rising vapours. We sate in the orchard. William wrote
the poem on The Robin and the Butterfly}- . . . William
met me at Rydale . . . with the conclusion of the poem
of the Robin. I read it to him in bed. We left out
Tuesday ', 20 >th. A beautiful morning. The sun
1 See vol. if. p f 295. ED.
no DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL v
shone. William wrote a conclusion to the poem of the
I've watched you now a full half-hour. 1
I was quite out of spirits, and went into the orchard.
When I came in, he had finished the poem. It was a
beautiful afternoon. The sun shone upon the level
fields, and they grew greener beneath the eye. Houses,
village, all cheerful people at work. We sate in the
orchard and repeated The Glow-worm and other poems.
Just when William came to a well or trough, which there
is in Lord Darlington's park, he began to write that poem
of The Glow-worm ; . . . interrupted in going through
the town of Staindrop, finished it about 2 miles and a
half beyond Staindrop. He did not feel the jogging of
the horse while he was writing ; but, when he had done,
he felt the effect of it, and his fingers were cold with his
gloves. His horse fell with him on the other side of St.
Helens, Auckland. So much for The Glow-worm. It
was written coming from Middleham on Monday, I2th
April 1802. ... On Tuesday 2oth, when we were
sitting after tea, Coleridge came to the door. I startled
him with my voice. C. came up fatigued, but I after-
wards found he looked well. William was not well, and
I was in low spirits.
Wednesday r , *2.\st. William and I sauntered a little
in the garden. Coleridge came to us, and repeated the
verses he wrote to Sara. I was affected with them, and
in miserable spirits. 2 The sunshine, the green fields,
and the fair sky made me sadder ; even the little happy,
sporting lambs seemed but sorrowful to me. The pile
wort spread out on the grass a thousand shiny stars.
The primroses were there, and the remains of a few
1 Published as a separate poem. ED.
2 Can these "Verses" have been the first draft of Dejection,
an Ode, in. its earliest and afterwards abandoned form? It is
said to have been written on snd April 1802. ED.
daffodils. The well, which we cleaned out last night,
is still but a little muddy pond, though full of water. . . .
Read Ferguson's life and a poem or two. . . .
Thursday, 2.2nd. A fine mild morning. \Ve walked
into Easedale. The sun shone. Coleridge talked of
his plan of sowing the laburnum in the woods. The
waters were high, for there had been a great quantity
of rain in the night. I was tired and sate under the
shade of a holly tree that grows upon a rock, and looked
down the stream. I then went to the single holly behind
that single rock in the field, and sate upon the grass till
they came from the waterfall. I saw them there, and
heard William flinging stones into the river, whose roar-
ing was loud even where I was. When they returned,
William was repeating the poem :
I have thoughts that are fed by the sun.
It had been called to his rnind by the dying away of the
stunning of the waterfall ' when he got behind a
stone. . . .
Friday^ ^rd April 1802. It being a beautiful
morning we set off at 1 1 o'clock, intending to stay out
of doors all the morning. We went towards Rydale,
and before we got to Tom Dawson's we determined to
go under Nab Scar. Thither we went The sun shone,
and we were lazy. Coleridge pitched upon several places
to sit down upon, but we could not be all of one mind
respecting sun and shade, so we pushed on to the foot
of the Scar. It was very grand when we looked up,
very stony, here and there a budding tree. William
observed that the umbrella yew tree, that breasts the
wind, had lost its character as a tree, and had become
something like to solid wood, Coleridge and I pushed
on before. We left William sitting on the stones, feast-
ing with silence ; and Coleridge and I sat down upon
a rocky seat a couch it might be under the bower of
William's eglantine, Andrew's Broom. He was below
us, and we could see him. He came to us, and repeated
112 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL v
his poems l while we sate beside him upon the ground.
He had made himself a seat in the crumbling ground.
Afterwards we lingered long, looking into the vales ;
Ambleside vale, with the copses, the village under the
hill, and the green fields ; Rydale, with a lake all alive
and glittering, yet but little stirred by breezes ; and our
dear Grasmere, making a little round lake of nature's
own, with never a house, never a green field, but the
copses and the bare hills enclosing it, and the river
flowing out of it. Above rose the Coniston Fells, in
their own shape and colour not man's hills, but all for
themselves, the sky and the clouds, and a few wild
creatures. C. went to search for something new. We
saw him climbing up towards a rock. He called us, and
we found him in a bower the sweetest that was ever
seen. The rock on one side is very high, and all covered
with ivy, which hung loosely about, and bore bunches
of brown berries. On the other side it was higher than
my head. We looked down on the Ambleside vale, that
seemed to wind away from us, the village lying under
the hill. The fir-tree island was reflected beautifully.
About this bower there is mountain-ash, common-ash,
yew-tree, ivy, holly, hawthorn, grasses, and flowers, and
a carpet of moss. Above, at the top of the rock, there
is another spot. It is scarce a bower, a little parlour
only, not enclosed by walls, but shaped out for a resting-
place by the rocks, and the ground rising about it. It
had a sweet moss carpet. We resolved to go and plant
flowers in both these places to-morrow. We wished for
Mary and Sara. Dined late. After dinner Wm. and
I worked in the garden. C. received a letter from Sara.
Saturday ', 24^. A very wet day. William called
me out to see a waterfall behind the barberry tree. We
walked in the evening to Rydale. Coleridge and I
lingered behind. C. stopped up the little runnel by the
1 See The Waterfall and the Eglantine, and The Oak and th&
Broom, vol. ii. pp. 170, 174.- ED.
road-side to make a lake. We all stood to look at
Glow-worm Rock a primrose that grew there, and just
looked out on the road from its own sheltered bower. 1
The clouds moved, as William observed, in one regular
body like a multitude in motion a sky all clouds over,
not one cloud. 2 On our return it broke a little out, and
we saw here and there a star. One appeared but for
a moment in a pale blue sky.
Sunday^ ^th April After breakfast we set off with
Coleridge towards Keswick. Wilkinson overtook us
near the Potter's, and interrupted our discourse. C.
got into a gig with Mr. Beck, and drove away from us.
A shower came on, but it was soon over. We spent the
morning in the orchard reading the Epitkalamium of
Spenser ; walked backwards and forwards. . . .
Monday^ *2.bth. I copied Wm.'s poems for Cole-
ridge. . . .
Tuesday ', -2.*]th. A fine morning. Mrs. Luff called.
I walked with her to the boat-house. William met me
at the top of the hill with his fishing-rod in his hand.
I turned with him, and we sate on the hill looking to
Rydaie. I left him, intending to join him, but he came
home, and said his loins would not stand the pulling he
had had. We sate in the orchard. In the evening W.
began to write The Tinker; we had a letter and verses
Wednesday ', z8f/i April. ... I copied The Prioresses
Tale. William was in the orchard^ I went to him ; he
worked away at his poem. ... I happened to say that
when I was a child I would not have pulled a strawberry
blossom. I left him, and wrote out The Manciple's Tale.
At dinner time he came in with the poem of Children
gathering Flowers? but it was not quite finished, and
it kept him long off his dinner. It is now done. He
1 See The Primrose of the Rock } vol. vii. p. 274. ED.
2 Compare To the Clouds, vol. viii. p. 142. ED.
3 See Foresight, vol. ii. p. 298. ED.
VOL. I I
H4 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH S JOURNAL v
is working at The Tinker. He promised me he would
get his tea, and do no more, but I have got mine an hour
and a quarter, and he has scarcely begun his. We have
let the bright sun go down without walking. Now a
heavy shower comes on, and I guess we shall not walk
at all. I wrote a few lines to Coleridge. Then we
walked backwards and forwards between our house and
OllifFs. We called upon T. Hutchinson, and Bell
Addisoru William left me sitting on a stone. When we
came in we corrected the Chaucers, but I could not finish
Thursday >, <2th. . . . After I had written down The
Tinker^ which William finished this morning, Luff called.
He was very lame, limped into the kitchen. He came
on a little pony. We then went to John's Grove, sate
a while at first ; afterwards William lay, and I lay, in
the trench under the fence he with his eyes shut, and
listening to the waterfalls and the birds. There was no
one waterfall above another it was a sound of waters
in the air the voice of the air. William heard me
breathing, and rustling now and then, but we both lay
still, and unseen by one another. He thought that it
would be so sweet thus to lie in the grave, to hear the
peaceful sounds of the earth, and just to know that our
dear friends were near. The lake was still ; there was
a boat out Silver How reflected with delicate purple
and yellowish hues, as I have seen spar ; lambs on the
island, and running races together by the half-dozen, in
the round field near us. The copses greenish, hawthorns
green, . . . cottages smoking. As I lay down on the
grass, I observed the glittering silver line on the ridge
of the backs of the sheep, owing to their situation
respecting the sun, which made them look beautiful, but
with something of strangeness, like animals of another
kind, as if belonging to a more splendid world. ... I
got mullins and pansies. . . ,
Friday, April 302^. We came into the orchard
directly after breakfast, and sate there. The lake was
calm, the day cloudy. . . . Two fishermen by the lake side.
William began to write the poem of The Celandine. 1 . . .
Walked backwards and forwards with William he re-
peated his poem to me, then he got to work again and
would not give over. He had not finished his dinner till
5 o'clock. After dinner we took up the fur gown into the
Rollins above. We found a sweet seat, and thither we will
often go. We spread the gown, put on each a cloak, and
there we lay. William fell asleep, he had a bad headache
owing to his having been disturbed the night before, with
reading C.'s letter. I did not sleep, but lay with half-
shut eyes looking at the prospect as on a vision almost,
I w r as so resigned 2 to it. Loughrigg Fell was the most
distant hill, then came the lake, slipping in between the
copses. Above the copse, the round swelling field ;
nearer to me, a wild intermixture of rocks, trees, and
patches of grassy ground. When we turned the corner
of our little shelter, we saw the church and the whole
vale. It is a blessed place. The birds were about us
on all sides. Skobbies, robins, bull-finches, and crows,
now and then flew over our heads, as we were warned
by the sound of the beating of the air above. We stayed
till the light of day was going, and the little birds had
begun to settle their singing. But there was a thrush
not far ofF, that seemed to sing louder and clearer than
the thrushes had sung when it was quite day. We came
in at 8 o'clock, got tea, wrote to Coleridge, and I wrote
to Mrs. Clarkson part of a letter. We went to bed at
20 minutes past n, with prayers that William might
Saturday ', May isf. Rose not till half-past 8, a
heavenly morning. As soon as breakfast was over, we
went into the garden, and sowed the scarlet beans about
the house. It was a clear sky.
1 See vol. ii. p. 300. ED.
2 " Resigned " is curiously used in the Lake District. A woman
there once told me that Mr. Ruskin was "very much resigned to
his own company." ED.
n6 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL v
I sowed the flowers, William helped me. We then
went and sate in the orchard till dinner time. It was
very hot. William wrote The Celandine?- We planned
a shed, for the sun was too much for us. After dinner,
we went again to our old resting-place in the Rollins
under the rock. We first lay under the Holly, where we
saw nothing but the holly tree, and a budding elm tree
mossed, with the sky above our heads. But that holly
tree had a beauty about it more than its own, knowing
as we did when we arose. When the sun had got low
enough, we went to the Rock Shade. Oh, the over-
whelming beauty of the vale below, greener than green !
Two ravens flew high, high in the sky, and the sun
shone upon their bellies and their wings, long after there
was none of his light to be seen but a little space on the
top of Loughrigg Fell, Heard the cuckoo to-day, this
first of May. We went down to tea at 8 o'clock, and
returned after tea. The landscape was fading : sheep
and lambs quiet among the rocks. We walked towards
King's, and backwards and forwards. The sky was
perfectly cloudless. N.B. it is often so. Three solitary
stars in the middle of the blue vault, one or two on the
points of the high hills.
Tuesday^ tfh May. Though William went to bed
nervous, and jaded in the extreme, he rose refreshed. I
wrote out The Leech Gatherer for him, which he had
begun the night before, and of which he wrote several
stanzas in bed this morning. [They started to walk to
Wytheburn.] It was very hot. . . . We rested several
times by the way, read, and repeated The Leech
Gatherer. . . , We saw Coleridge on the Wytheburn
side of the water ; he crossed the beck to us. Mr.
Simpson was fishing there. William and I ate luncheon,
and then went on towards the waterfall. It is a glorious
1 Doubtless the second of the two poems, beginning thus
Pleasures newly found are sweet.
V GRASMERE 117
wild solitude under that lofty purple crag. It stood
upright by itself; its own self, and its shadow below,
one mass ; all else was sunshine. \Ve went on further.
A bird at the top of the crag was flying round and round,
and looked in thinness and transparency, shape and
motion like a moth. . . . We climbed the hill, but
looked in vain for a shade, except at the foot of the
great waterfall. We came down, and rested upon a
moss-covered rock rising out of the bed of the river.
There we lay, ate our dinner, and stayed there till
about four o'clock or later. William and Coleridge re-
peated and read verses. I drank a little brandy and
water, and was in heaven. The stag's horn is very
beautiful and fresh, springing upon the fells ; mountain
ashes, green. We drank tea at a farm house. . . . We
parted from Coleridge at Sara's crag, after having looked
for the letters which C. carved in the morning. I missed
them all. William deepened the X with C.'s pen-knive.
We sate afterwards on the wall, seeing the sun go down,
and the reflections in the still water. C. looked well,
and parted from us cheerfully, hopping upon the side
stones. On the Raise we met a woman with two little
girls, one in her arms, the other, about four years old,
walking by her side, a pretty little thing, but half-starved.
. . . Young as she was, she walked carefully with them.
Alas, too young for such cares and such travels. The
mother, when we accosted her, told us how her husband
had left her, and gone off with another woman, and how
she "pursued" them. Then her fury kindled, and her
eyes rolled about. She changed again to tears. She
was a Cockermouth woman, thirty years of age a child
at Cockermouth when I was. I was moved, and gave
her a shilling. . . . We had the crescent moon with the
" auld moon in her arms." We rested often, always upon
the bridges. Reached home at about ten o'clock. . . .
We went soon to bed. I repeated verses to William
while he was in bed ; he was soothed, and I left him.
" This is the spot " over and over again.
n8 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL V
Wednesday,, $th May. A very fine morning, rather
cooler than yesterday. We planted three-fourths of the
bower. I made bread. We sate In the orchard. The
thrush sang all day, as he always sings. I wrote to the
Hutchinsons, and to Coleridge. Packed off Thalaba.
William had kept off work till near bed-time, when we
returned from our walk Then he began again, _ and
went to bed very nervous. We walked in the twilight,
and walked till night came on. The moon had the old
moon in her arms, but not so plain to be seen as the night
before. When we went to bed it was a boat without the
circle. I read The Lover's Complaint to William in bed,
and left him composed.
Thursday, 6tk May. A sweet morning. We have
put the finishing stroke to our bower, and here we are
sitting in the orchard. It is one o'clock. We are
sitting upon a seat 'under the wall, which I found my
brother building up, when I came to him. ... He had
intended that it should have been done before I came.
It is a nice, cool, shady spot. The small birds _ are
singing, lambs bleating, cuckoos calling, the thrush sings
by fits, Thomas Ashburner's axe is going quietly (with-
out passion) in the orchard, hens are cackling, flies
humming, the women talking together at their doors,
plum and pear trees are in blossom apple trees greenish
the opposite woods green, the crows are cawing, we
have heard ravens, the ash trees are in blossom, birds
flying all about us, the stitchwort is coming out, there is
one budding lychnis, the primroses are passing their
prime, celandine, violets, and wood sorrel for ever more,
little geraniums and pansies on the wall. We walked in
the evening to Tail End, to inquire about hurdles for the
orchard shed. . . . When we came In we found a
magazine, and review, and a letter from Coleridge, verses
to Hartley, and Sara H. We read the review, etc. The
moon was a perfect boat, a silver boat, when we were
out in the evening. The birch tree is all over green in
small leaf, more light and elegant than when it is full
v GRASMERE Iig
out. It bent to the breezes, as if for the love of its
own delightful motions. Sloe-thorns and hawthorns in
Friday, ^th May. William had slept uncommonly
well, so, feeling himself strong, he fell to work at The
Leech GatJierer; he wrote hard at it till dinner time, then
he gave over, tired to death he had finished the poem.
I was making Derwent's frocks. After dinner we sate in
the orchard. It was a thick, hazy, dull air. The thrush
sang almost continually ; the little birds were more
than usually busy with their voices. The sparrows are
now fall fledged. The nest is so full that they lie upon
one another; they sit quietly in their nest with closed
mouths. I walked to Rydale after tea, which we drank
by the kitchen fire. The evening very dull ; a terrible
kind of threatening brightness at sunset above Easedale.
The sloe-thorn beautiful in the hedges, and in the wild spots
higher up among the hawthorns. No letters. William
met me. He had been digging in my absence, and
cleaning the well. We walked up beyond Lewthwaites.
A very dull sky ; coolish ; crescent moon now and then,
I had a letter brought me from Mrs. Clarkson while we
were walking in the orchard. I observed the sorrel
leaves opening at about nine o'clock. William went to
bed tired with thinking about a poem,
Saturday Morning, St% May. We sowed the scarlet
beans in the orchard, and read Henry V. there. William
lay on his back on the seat, and wept. . . . After dinner
William added one to the orchard steps.
Sunday Morning^ gtk May. The air considerably
colder to-day, but the sun shone all day. William worked
at The Leech Gatherer almost incessantly from morning
till tea-time. I copied The Leech Gatherer and other
poems for Coleridge. I was oppressed and sick at heart,
for he wearied himself to death. After tea he wrote two
stanzas in the manner of Thomson's Castle of Indolence,
and was tired out. Bad news of Coleridge.
Monday, lotA May. A fine clear morning, but
120 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL v
coldish. William is still at work, though it is past ten
o'clock ; he will be tired out, I am sure. My heart fails
in me. He worked a little at odd things, but after dinner
he gave over. An affecting letter from Mary H. We
sate in the orchard before dinner. ... I wrote to Mary
H. . . . I wrote to Coleridge, sent off reviews and
poems. Went to bed at twelve o'clock. William did
not sleep till three o'clock.
Tuesday ', nth May. A cool air. William finished
the stanzas about C. and himself. He did not go out
to-day. Miss Simpson came in to tea, which was lucky
enough, for it interrupted his labours. I walked with
her to Rydale. The evening cool ; the moon only now
and then to be seen j the lake purple as we went ;
primroses still in abundance. William did not meet me.
He completely finished his poem, I finished Derwent's
frocks. We went to bed at twelve o'clock. . . .
Wednesday ', nth May. A sunshiny, but coldish
morning. We walked into Easedale. . . . We brought
home heckberry blossom, crab blossom, the anemone
nemorosa, marsh marigold, speedwell, that beautiful
blue one, the colour of the blue-stone or glass used in
jewellery with the beautiful pearl-like chives. Anemones
are in abundance, and still the dear dear primroses, violets
in beds, pansies in abundance, and the little celandine.
I pulled a bunch of the taller celandine. Butterflies of
all colours. I often see some small ones of a pale
purple lilac, or emperor's eye colour, something of the
colour of that large geranium which grows by the lake
side. . . . William pulled ivy with beautiful berries. I
put it over the chimney-piece. Sate in the orchard the
hour before dinner, coldish. ... In the evening we were
sitting at the table writing, when we were roused by
Coleridge's voice below. He had walked ; looked palish,
but was not much tired. We sate up till one o'clock, all
together, then William went to bed, and I sate with C.
in the sitting-room (where he slept) till a quarter past
two o'clock. Wrote to M. H.
Thursday, i$tk May. The day was very cold, with
snow showers. Coleridge had intended going in the
morning to Keswick, but the cold and showers hindered
him. We went with him after tea as far as the planta-
tions by the roadside descending to Wythebum. He
did not look well when we parted from him. . .
Friday, 142$ May. A very cold morning hail and
snow showers all day. We went to Brothers wood,
intending to get plants, and to go along the shore of the
lake to the foot. We did go a part of the way, but there
was no pleasure in stepping along that difficult sauntering
road in this jmgenia^ weather. We turned again, and
walked Backwards and forwards in Brothers wood.
William tired himself with seeking an epithet for the
cuckoo. I sate a while upon my last summer seat, the
mossy stone. William's, unoccupied, beside me, and the
space between, where Coleridge has so often lain. The
oak trees are just putting forth yellow knots of leaves.
The ashes with their flowers passing away, and leaves
coming out ; the blue hyacinth is not quite full blown ;
gowans are coming out ; marsh marigolds in full glory ;
the little star plant, a star without a flower. We took
home a great load of gowans, and planted them about
the orchard. After dinner, I worked bread, then came
and mended stockings beside William; he fell asleep.
After tea I walked to Rydale for letters. It was a strange
night. The hills were covered over with a slight cover-
ing of hail or snow, just so as to give them a hoary
winter look with the black rocks. The woods looked
miserable, the coppices green as grass, which looked
quite unnatural, and they seemed half shrivelled up, as
if they shrank from the air. O, thought 1 1 what a
beautiful thing God has made winter to be, by stripping
the trees,- and letting us see their shapes and forms.
What a freedom does it seem to give to the storms!
There were several new flowers out, but I had no pleasure
in looking at them. I walked as fast as I could back
again with my letter from S. H. . . . Met William at
122 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH* S JOURNAL v
the top of White Moss. . . . Near ten when we came in.
William and Molly had dug the ground and planted
potatoes in my absence. We wrote to Coleridge ; sent
off bread and frocks to the C.'s. Went to bed at half-
past eleven. William very nervous. After he was in
bed, haunted with altering The Rainbow*
Saturday ', i^th. A very cold and cheerless morn-
ing. I sate mending stockings all the morning. I read
in Shakespeare. William lay very late because he slept
ill last night. It snowed this morning just like Christmas.
We had a melancholy letter from Coleridge at bedtime.
It distressed me very much, and I resolved upon going to
Keswick the next day.
(The following is written on the blotting-paper
opposite this date : )
S. T. Coleridge.
Dorothy Wordsworth. William Wordsworth.
Mary Hutchinson. Sara Hutchinson.
William. Coleridge. Mary.
1 6th May
Sunday, i6th. William was at work all the morning.
I did not go to Keswick. A sunny, cold, frosty day.
A snowstorm at night. We were a good while in the
orchard in the morning.
Monday, 17 'th May. William was not well, he
went with me to Wytheburn water, and left me in a
post-chaise. Hail showers, snow, and cold attacked me.
The people were graving peats under Nadel Fell. A
lark and thrush singing near Coleridge's house. Ban-
crofts there. A letter from M. H.
Tuesday, i8//z May. Terribly cold, Coleridge not
well. Froude called, Wilkinsons called, C. and I
walked in the evening in the garden. Warmer in the
evening. Wrote to M. and S.
Wednesday, igth May, A grey morning not quite
so cold. C. and I set off at half-past nine o'clock.
Met William near the six-mile stone. We sate down
by the road-side, and then went to Wytheburn water.
Longed to be at the island. Sate in the sun. We
drank tea at John Stanley's. The evening cold and
clear. A glorious light on Skiddaw. I was tired.
Brought a cloak down from Mr. Simpson's. Packed
up books for Coleridge, then got supper, and went
Thursday^ -zotk May. A frosty, clear morning. I
lay in bed late. William got to work. I was somewhat
tired. We sate in the orchard sheltered all the morning.
In the evening there was a fine rain. We received a
letter from Coleridge telling us that he wished us not to
go to Keswick.
Friday, 2 1st May. A very warm gentle morning, a
little rain. William wrote two sonnets on Buonaparte,
after I had read Milton's sonnets to him. In the evening
he went with Mr. Simpson with Borwick's boat to gather
ling in Bainrigg's. I plashed about the well, was much
heated, and I think I caught cold.
Saturday^ 22nd May. A very hot morning. A hot
wind, as if coming from a sand desert. We met
Coleridge. He was sitting under Sara's rock. When
we reached him he turned with us. We sate a long
time under the wall of a sheep-fold. Had some interest-
ing, melancholy talk, about his private affairs. We
drank tea at a farmhouse. The woman was very kind.
There was a woman with three children travelling from
Workington to Manchester. The woman served them
liberally. Afterwards she said that she never suffered
any to go away without a trifle " sec as we have." The
woman at whose house we drank tea the last time was
rich and senseless she said " she never served any but
their own poor." C. came home with us. We sate
DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL
some time in the orchard. . . . Letters from S. and
Sunday, I sat with C. in the orchard all the
morning. . . . We walked in Bainrigg's after tea. Saw
the juniper umbrella shaped. C. went to the Points, 1
joined us on White Moss.
Monday, 24?% May. A very hot morning. \Ve
were ready to go off with Coleridge, but foolishly
sauntered, and Miss Taylor and Miss Stanley called.
William and Coleridge and I went afterwards to the top
of the Raise.
I had sent off a letter to Mary by C. I wrote again,
and to C.
Tuesday \ 252$. . . - Papers and short note from
C. ; again no sleep for William.
Friday, i%th. . . - William tired himself with
hammering at a passage.
We sate in the orchard. The sky cloudy, the
air sweet and cool. The young bullfinches, in their
party-coloured raiment, bustle about among the blossoms,
and poise themselves like wire-dancers or tumblers,
shaking the twigs and dashing off the blossoms. 2 There
is yet one primrose in the orchard. The stitchwort is
fading. The vetches are in abundance, blossoming and
seeding. That pretty little wavy-looking dial-like yellow
flower, the speedwell, and some others, whose names I
do not yet know. The wild columbines are coming into
beauty ; some of the gowans fading. In the garden we
have lilies, and many other flowers. The scarlet beans
are up in crowds. It is now between eight and nine
o'clock. It has rained sweetly for two hours and a half ;
the air is very mild. The heckberry blossoms are
1 Mary Point and Sara Point; the "two heath-clad rocks"
referred to in one of the "Poems on the Naming of Places."
2 Compare The Green Linnet, vol. ii. p. 367. ED.
dropping off fast, almost gone ; barberries are in beauty ;
snowballs coming forward ; May roses blossoming.
Saturday i zg//L . . . William finished his poem on
going for Mary. I wrote it. out. I wrote to Mary H.,
having received a letter from her in the evening, A
sweet day. We nailed up the honeysuckles, and hoed
the scarlet beans
Monday ', 3 !,$/ . . . We sat out all the day. . . .
I wrote out the poem on " Our Departure," which he
seemed to have finished. In the evening Miss Simpson
brought us a letter from M. H., and a compliment-
ary and critical letter to W. from John Wilson of
Glasgow. 1 . . .
Tuesday. A very sweet day, but a sad want of rain.
We went Into the orchard after I had written to M. H.
Then on to Mr. OllifPs intake. . . . The columbine was
growing upon the rocks ; here and there a solitary plant,
sheltered and shaded by the tufts and bowers of trees.
It is a graceful slender creature, a female seeking
retirement, and growing freest and most graceful where
it is most alone. I observed that the more shaded
plants were always the tallest. A short note and goose-
berries from Coleridge. We walked upon the turf near
John's Grove. It was a lovely night. The clouds of
the western sky reflected a saffron light upon the upper
end of the lake. All was still. We went to look at
Rydale. There was an Alpine, fire-like red upon the
tops of the mountains. This was gone when we came
in view of the lake. But we saw the lake from a new
and most beautiful point of view, between two little rocks,
and behind a small ridge that had concealed it from us.
This White Moss, a place made for all kinds of beautiful
works of art and nature, woods and valleys, fairy
valleys and fairy tarns, miniature mountains, alps plbove
alps. ' ' . ^\?>
1 Christopher North. ED. . "^ >',>;"
126 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL v
Wednesday, 2nd June. In the morning we observed
that the scarlet beans were drooping- in the leaves in
great numbers, owing, we guess, to an insect. . . .
Yesterday an old man called, a grey-headed man, above
seventy years of age. He said he had been a soldier,
that his wife and children had died in Jamaica. He
had a beggar's wallet over his shoulders ; a coat of
shreds and patches, altogether of a drab colour ; he was
tall, and though his body was bent, he had the look of
one used to have been upright. I talked a while, and
then gave him a piece of cold bacon and some money.
Said he, " You're a fine woman ! " I could not help
smiling ; I suppose he meant, " You're a kind woman."
Afterwards a woman called, travelling to Glasgow.
After dinner we went into Frank's field, crawled up the
little glen, and planned a seat ; . . . found a beautiful
shell-like purple fungus in Frank's field. After tea we
walked to Butterlip How, and backwards and forwards
there. All the young oak tree leaves are dry as powder.
A cold south wind, portending rain. . . .
Thursday, ^rd June 1802. A very fine rain. I lay
in my bed till ten o'clock. William much better than
yesterday. We walked into Easedale. . . . The cuckoo
sang, and we watched the little birds as we sate at the
door of the cow-house. The oak copses are brown, as
in autumn, with the late frosts. . . . We have been
reading the life and some of the writings of poor Logan
since dinner. There are many affecting lines and
passages in his poem, e.g.
And everlasting longings for the lost.
. . . William is now sleeping with the window open,
lying on the window seat. The thrush is singing.
There are, I do believe, a thousand buds on the honey-
suckle tree, all small and far from blowing, save one
that is retired behind the twigs close to the wall, and
as snug as a bird nest. John's rose tree is very beauti-
ful, blended with the honeysuckle.
Yesterday morning William walked as far as the Swan
with Aggy Fisher, who was going to attend upon Goan's
dying infant. She said, "There are many heavier crosses
than the death of an infant ; " and went on, k - There was
a woman in this vale who buried four grown-up children
in one year, and I have heard her say, when many years
were gone by, that she had more pleasure in thinking of
those four, than of her living children, for as children
get up and have families of their own, their duty to their
parents wears out and weakens. She could trip lightly
by the graves of those who died when they were young
... as she went to church on a Sunday."
... A very affecting letter came from M. H.,
while I was sitting in the window reading Milton's
Penseroso to William. I answered this letter before I
went to bed.
Saturday^ $th. A fine showery morning. I made
both pies and bread ; but we first walked into Easedale,
and sate under the oak trees, upon the mossy stones.
There were one or two slight showers. The gowans
were flourishing along the banks of the stream. The
strawberry flower hanging over the brook ; all things
soft and green. In the afternoon William sate in the
orchard. I went there ; was tired, and fell asleep.
William began a letter to John Wilson.
Sunday., 6th June. A showery morning. We were
writing the letter to John Wilson when Ellen came. . . .
After dinner I walked into John Fisher's intake with
Ellen. He brought us letters from Coleridge, Mrs.
Clarkson, and Sara Hutchinson. . . .
Monday, 7lh June. I wrote to Mary H. this morn-
ing ; sent the C. " Indolence " poem. Copied the letter
to John Wilson, and wrote to my brother Richard and
Mrs. Coleridge, In the evening I walked with Ellen
to Butterlip How. ... It was a very sweet evening ;
there was the cuckoo and the little birds ; the copses
still injured, but the trees in general looked most soft
isS DOROTHY WORDSWORTH* S JOURNAL v
and beautiful in tufts. ... I went with Ellen in the
morning to Rydale Falls. . . .
Tuesday ', Wijune. Ellen and I rode to Windermere.
We had a fine sunny day, neither hot nor cold. I
mounted the horse at the quarry. We had no diffi-
culties or delays but at the gates. I was enchanted with
some of the views. From the High Ray the view is
very delightful, rich, and festive, water and wood, houses,
groves, hedgerows, green fields, and mountains ; white
houses, large and small. We passed two or three new-
looking statesmen's houses. The Curwens' shrubberies
looked pitiful enough under the native trees. We put
up our horses, ate our dinner by the water-side, and
walked up to the Station. We went to the Island,
walked round it, and crossed the lake with our horse
in the ferry. The shrubs have been cut away in some
parts of the island. I observed to the boatman that I
did not think it improved. He replied : " We think
it is, for one could hardly see the house before." It
seems to me to be, however, no better than it was.
They have made no natural glades it is merely a
lawn with a few miserable young trees, standing" as if
they were half-starved. There are no sheep, no cattle
upon these lawns. It is neither one thing nor another
neither natural, nor wholly cultivated and artificial, which
it was before. And that great house 1 Mercy upon us !
if it could be concealed, it would be well for all who are
not pained to see the pleasantest of earthly spots de-
formed by man. But it cannot be covered. Even the
tallest of our old oak trees would not reach to the top of
it. When we went into the boat, there were two men
standing at the landing-place. One seemed to be about
sixty, a man with a jolly red face ; he looked as if he
might have lived many years in Mr. Curwen's house.
He wore a blue jacket and trousers, as the people who
live close by Windermere, particularly at the places of
chief resort. . . . He looked significantly at our boat-
man just as we were rowing off, and said, " Thomas,
mind you take the directions off that cask. You know
what I mean. It will serve as a blind for them. You
know. It was a blind business, both for you, and the
coachman, . . . and all of us. Mind you take off the
directions. C A wink's as good as a nod with some
folks ; 3 " and then he turned round, looking at his
companion with an air of self-satisfaction, and deep in-
sight into unknown things I I could hardly help laugh-
ing outright at him. The laburnums blossom freely at
the island, and in the shrubberies on the shore ; they
are blighted everywhere else. Roses of various sorts
now out. The brooms were in full glory everywhere,
"veins of gold" among the copses. The hawthorns in
the valley fading away ; beautiful upon the hills. We
reached home at three o'clock. After tea William went
out and walked and wrote that poem,
The sun has long been set, etc.
He . . . walked on our own path and wrote the lines ;
he called me into the orchard, and there repeated them
to me. . . .
Wednesday, gfkjune. . , . The hawthorns on the
mountain sides like orchards in blossom. . . .
Thursday, ivtkjune. . . . Coleridge came in with
a sack full of books, etc., and a branch of mountain ash.
He had been attacked by a cow. He came over by
Grisdale. A furious wind. . .
Saturday^ I ith June. A rainy morning. Coleridge
set off before dinner. We went with him to the Raise,
but it rained, so we went no further. Sheltered under
a wall. He would be sadly wet, for a furious shower
came on just when we parted. . , .
Sunday ', i$thjune. A fine morning. Sunshiny and
bright, but with rainy clouds. William . . . has been
altering the poem to Mary this morning. ... I wrote
out poems for our journey. . . . Mr. Simpson came
when we were in the orchard in the morning, and
VOL. I K
130 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH' $ JOURNAL v
brought us a beautiful drawing which he had done. In
the evening we walked, first on our own path. ... It
was a silent night. The stars were out by ones and twos,
but no cuckoo, no little birds ; the air was not warm,
and we have observed that since Tuesday, Sth, when
William wrote, " The sun has long been set," that we
have had no birds singing after the evening is fairly set
in. \Ve walked to our new view of Rydale, but it put on
a sullen face. There was an owl hooting in Bainrigg's.
Its first halloo was so like a human shout that I was
surprised, when" it gave its second call tremulous and
lengthened out, to find that the shout had come from an
owl. The full moon (not quite full) was among a com-
pany of shady island clouds, and the sky bluer about it
than the natural sky blue. William observed that the
full moon, above a dark fir grove, is a fine image of the
descent of a superior being. There was a shower which
drove us into John's Grove before we had quitted our
favourite path. We walked upon John's path before we
went to view Rydale. . . .
Monday -, 142^. . . . William wrote to Mary and
Sara about The Leech Gatherer, and wrote to both of
them in one . . . and to Coleridge also. ... I walked
with William ... on our own path. We were driven
away by the horses that go on the commons ; then we
went to look at Rydale ; walked a little in the fir grove ;
went again to the top of the hill, and came home. A
mild and sweet night. William stayed behind me. I
threw him the cloak out of the window. The moon
overcast. He sate a few minutes in the orchard ; came
in sleepy, and hurried to bed. I carried him his bread
Tuesday ', 15 tk. A sweet grey, mild morning. The
birds sing soft and low. William has not slept all night ;
it wants only ten minutes of ten, and he is in bed yet.
After William rose we went and sate in the orchard till
dinner time. We walked a long time in the evening
upon our favourite path ; the owls hooted, the night
v GRASMERE 131
hawk sang to Itself incessantly, but there were no little
birds, no thrushes. I left William writing a few lines
about the night hawk and other images of the evening,
and went to seek for letters. . . .
Wednesday -, i&t/t. We walked towards Rydale for
letters. . . . One from Mary. We went up into Rydale
woods and read it there. We sate near the old wall,
which fenced a hazel grove, which William said was
exactly like the filbert grove at Middleham. It is a
beautiful spot, a sloping or rather steep piece of ground,
with hazels growing " tall and erect )J in clumps at
distances, almost seeming regular, as if they had been
planted. ... I wrote to Mary after dinner, while
William sate in the orchard. ... I spoke of the little
birds keeping us company, and William told me that
that very morning a bird had perched upon his leg.
He had been lying very still, and had watched this little
creature. It had come under the bench where he was
sitting. ... He thoughtlessly stirred himself to look
further at it, and it flew on to the apple tree above him.
It was a little young creature that had just left its nest,
equally unacquainted with man, and unaccustomed to
struggle against the storms and winds. While it was
upon the apple tree the wind blew about the stiff boughs,
and the bird seemed bemazed, and not strong enough to
strive with it. The swallows come to the sitting-room
window as if wishing to build, but I am afraid they will
not have courage for it ; but I believe they will build in
my room window. They twitter, and make a bustle,
and a little cheerful song, hanging against the panes of
glass with their soft white bellies close to the glass and
their forked fish-like tails. They swim round and round,
and again they come. ... I do not now see the brownness
that was in the coppices. The bower hawthorn blossoms
passed away. Those on the hills are a faint white.
The wild guelder-rose is coming out, and the wild roses.
I have seen no honey-suckles yet. . . . Foxgloves are
132 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL v
Thursday, ijth. . . . When 1 came home 1^ found
William at work attempting to alter a stanza in the
poem on our going for Mary, which I convinced him
did not need altering. We sate in the house after
dinner. In the evening walked on our favourite path.
A short letter from Coleridge. William added a little
to the Ode he is writing. 1
Friday* iBf/i Juxc.VSlien we were sitting after
breakfast . . . Luff came in. He had rode over the
Fells. He brought news about Lord Lowther's intention
to pay all debts, eta, and a letter from Mr. Clarkson.
He saw our garden, was astonished at the scarlet
beans, etc. etc, etc. When he was gone, we wrote to
Coleridge, M. H., and my brother Richard about
the affair. William determined to go to Eusemere on
Monday. . . .
Saturday, 19^. The swallows were very busy under
my window this morning. . . . Coleridge, when he was
last here, told us that for many years, there being no
Quaker meeting at Keswick, a single old Quaker woman
used to go regularly alone every Sunday to attend the
meeting-house, and there used to sit and perform her
worship alone, in that beautiful place among those fir
trees, in that spacious vale, under the great mountain
Skiddaw 1 ! ! . . . On Thursday morning Miss Hudson
of Workington called. She said, . . . I sow flowers
in the parks several miles from home, and my mother
and I visit them, and watch them how they grow." This
may show that botanists may be often deceived when
they find rare flowers growing far from houses. This
was a very ordinary young woman, such as in any town
in the North of England one may find a score. I sate
up a while after William. He then called me down to
him. (I was writing to Mary H.) I read Churchill's
Rosciad* Returned again to my writing, and did not go
to bed till he called to me. The shutters were closed,
1 Doubtless the Ode, Intimations of Immortality. ED.
r GRASMERE 133
)ut I heard the birds singing. There was our own
hrush, shouting with an impatient shout ; so it sounded
me. The morning was still, the twittering of the
ittle birds was very gloomy. The owls had hooted a
quarter of an hour before, now the cocks were crowing,
t was near daylight, I put out my candle, and went to
Ded. . . .
Sunday^ 2O//&. . . . We were in the orchard a
preat part of the morning. After tea we walked upon
DUT own path for a long time. We talked sweetly
:ogether about the disposal of our riches. We lay upon
:he sloping tur Earth and sky were so lovely that
:hey melted our very hearts. The sky to the north was
3f a chastened yet rich yellow, fading into pale blue, and
streaked and scattered over with steady islands of purple,
melting away into shades of pink. It was like a vision
to me. . . .
Tuesday morning. ... I walked to Rydale. I
waited long for the post, lying in the field, and looking
at the distant mountains, looking and listening to the
river. I met the post. Letters from Montagu and
Richard. I hurried back, forwarded these to William,
and wrote to Montagu. When I came home I wrote
to my brother Christopher. I could settle to nothing.
... I read the Midsummer Nighfs Dream y and began
As You Like It.
Wednesday ', ^rd June. ... A sunshiny morning.
1 walked to the top of the hill and sate under a wall
near John's Grove, facing the sun. I read a scene or
two in As You Like //.... Coleridge and Leslie came
just as I had lain down after dinner. C. brought me
William's letter. He had got well to Eusemere.
Coleridge and I accompanied Leslie to the boat-house.
It was a sullen, coldish evening, no sunshine ; but after
we had parted from Leslie a light came out suddenly
that repaid us for all. It fell only upon one hill, and
the island, but it arrayed the grass and trees in gem-like
134 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL v
brightness. I cooked Coleridge's supper. We sate up
till one o'clock.
Thursday, z&hjune. I went with C. half way up the
Raise. It was a cool morning. . . . William came in
just when M. had left me. It was a mild, rainy evening.
. . . We sate together talking till the first dawning of
day ; a happy time.
Friday, 2 5 A* June. ... I went, just before tea,
into the garden. I looked up at my swallow's nest, and
it was gone. It had fallen down. Poor little creatures,
they could not themselves be more distressed than I
was. I went upstairs to look at the ruins. They lay
in a large heap upon the window ledge ; these swallows
had been ten days employed in building this nest, and
it seemed to be almost finished. I had watched them
early in the morning, in the day many and many a time,
and in the evenings when it was almost dark. I had
seen them sitting together side by side in their unfinished
nest, both morning and night When they first came
about the window they used to hang against the panes,
with their white bellies and their forked tails, looking
like fish ; but then they fluttered and sang their own
little twittering song. As soon as the nest was broad
enough, a sort of ledge for them, they sate both mornings
and evenings, but they did not pass the night there. I
watched them one morning, when William was at
Eusemere, for more than an hour. Every now and
then there was a motion in their wings, a sort of tremu-
lousness, and they sang a low song to one another.
, . It is now eight o'clock ; I will go and see if my
swallows are on their nest. Yes ! there they are, side
by side, both looking down into the garden. I have
been out on purpose to see their faces. I knew by
looking at the window that they were there. . . .
Coleridge and William came in at about half-past eleven.
They talked till after twelve.
Wednesday, $otk June. . . . We met an old man
v G8ASMERE 135
between the Raise and Lewthwaites. He wore a rusty
but untorn hat, an excellent blue coat, waistcoat, and
breeches, and good mottled worsted stockings. His
beard was very thick and grey, of a fortnight's growth
we guessed ; it was a regular beard, like grey plush.
His bundle contained Sheffield ware. William said to
him, after we had asked him what his business was,
" You are a very old man ? " " Aye, I am eighty-three."
I joined in, " Have you any children ? " " Children ?
Yes, plenty. I have children and grand-children, and
great grand-children. I have a great grand -daughter,
a fine lass, thirteen years old." I then said, " Won't
they take care of you ? " He replied, much offended,
" Thank God, I can take care of myself." He said he
had been a servant of the Marquis of Granby " O he
was a good man ; he's in heaven ; I hope he is." He
then told us how he shot himself at Bath, that he was
with him in Germany, and travelled with him every-
where. " He was a famous boxer, sir." And then he
told us a story of his fighting with his farmer. " He
used always to call me bland and sharp." Then every
now and then he broke out, " He was a good man !
When we were travelling he never asked at the public-
houses, as it might be there " (pointing to the " Swan "),
" what we were to pay, but he would put his hand into
his pocket and give them what he liked ; and when he
came out of the house he would say, Now, they would
have charged me a shilling or tenpence. God help them,
poor creatures ! " I asked him again about his children,
how many he had. Says he, " I cannot tell you " (I
suppose he confounded children and grand-children to-
gether) ; " I have one daughter that keeps a boarding-
school at Skipton, in Craven. She teaches flowering
and marking. And another that keeps a boarding-school
at Ingleton. I brought up my family under the
Marquis." He was familiar with all parts of Yorkshire.
He asked us where we lived. At Grasmere. "The
bonniest dale in all England ! " says the old man.
136 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURXAL v
I bought a pair of slippers from him, and we sate
together by the road-side. When we parted I tried to
lift his bundle, and it was almost more than I could do.
. . . After tea I wrote to Coleridge, and closed up my
letter to M. H. We went soon to bed. A weight of
children a poor man's blessing ! . . .
Friday^ 7,nd July. A very rainy morning. ... I
left William, and wrote a short letter to M. H. and to
Coleridge, and transcribed the alterations in The Leech
Sunday ', $th July. . . . William finished The Leech
Monday -, $thjuly. A very sweet morning. William
stayed some time in the orchard. ... I copied out The
Leech Gatherer for Coleridge, and foi us. Wrote to
Mrs. Clarkson, M. H., and Coleridge. . . .
Tuesday p , 6th July. . . . We set off towards
Rydale for letters. The rain met us at the top of the
White Moss, and it came on very heavily afterwards.
It drove past Nab Scar in a substantial shape, as if
going to Grasmere was as far as it could go. . . . The
swallows have completed their beautiful nest. . . .
Wednesday \ 7th. . . . Walked on the White Moss.
Glow-worms. Well for them children are in bed when
Thursday, %th. . . . When I was coming home, a
post-chaise passed with a little girl behind in a patched,
ragged cloak. In the afternoon, after we had talked a
little, William fell asleep. I read the Winters Tale;
then I went to bed, but did not sleep. The swallows
stole in and out of their nest, and sate there, 'whiles
quite still, 'whiles they sung low for two minutes or more,
at a time just like a muffled robin. William was look-
ing at The Pedlar when I got up. He arranged it, and
after tea I wrote it out 280 lines. . . . The moon was
behind. William hurried me out in hopes that I should
see her. We walked first to the top of the hill to see
Rydale. It was dark and dull, but our own vale was
very solemn the shape of Helm Crag was quite dis-
tinct, though black. We walked backwards and forwards
on the White Moss path ; there was a sky-like white
brightness on the lake. The Wyke cottage right at the
foot of Silver How. Glow-worms out, but not so
numerous as last night O, beautiful place ! Dear
Mary, William. The hour is come ... I must pre-
pare to go. The swallows, I must leave them, the wall,
the garden, the roses, all. Dear creatures ! they sang
last night after I was in bed ; seemed to be singing to
one another, just before they settled to rest for the
night. Well, I must go. Farewell. 1
1 Several of the poems, referred to in this Journal, are difficult,
If not impossible, to identify. The Inscription of the Pathway,
finished on the sSth of August 1800 ; The Epitaph, written on the
28th January 1801 \ The Yorkshire Wolds poem, referred to on
March ioth, 1802 ; also The Silver Howe poem , and that known
in the Wordsworth household as The Tinker. It is possible that
some of them were intentionally suppressed- The Inscription ej
the Pathway and The Tinker will, however, soon be published.
DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL
WRITTEN AT GRASMERE
(9TH JULY 1802 TO IITH JANUARY 1803)
EXTRACTS FROM DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S
JOURNAL (9TH JULY 1802 TO IITH JANUARY
ON Friday morning, July 9th, William and I set forward
to Keswick on our road to Callow Hill. We had a
pleasant ride, though the day was showery. . . .
Coleridge met us at Sara's Rock. . . . We had been
told by a handsome man, an inhabitant of Wytheburn,
with whom he had been talking (and who seemed, by
the bye, much pleased with his companion), that C. was
waiting for us. We reached Keswick against tea-time.
We called at Calverr/s on the Saturday evening. . . .
On Monday, 1 2th July, we went to Eusemere. Coleridge
walked with us six or seven miles. He was not well,
and we had a melancholy parting after having sate
together in silence by the road-side. We turned aside
to explore the country near Hutton-John, and had a new
and delightful walk. The valley, which is subject to the
decaying mansion that stands at its head, seems to join
its testimony to that of the house, to the falling away of
the family greatness, and the hedges are in bad condition.
The land wants draining, and is overrun with brackens ;
yet there is a something everywhere that tells of its
former possessors. The trees are left scattered about as
if intended to be like a park, and these are very interest-
ing, standing as they do upon the sides of the steep hills
that slope down to the bed of the river, a little stony-
bedded stream that spreads out to a considerable breadth
X4a DOROTHY WORDSWORTH* S JOURNAL vi
at the village of Dacre. A little above Dacre we came
into the right road to Mr. Ciarkson's, after having walked
through woods and fields, never exactly knowing whether
we were right or wrong. We learnt, however, that we
had saved half-a-mile. We sate down by the river-side
to rest, and saw some swallows flying about and under
the bridge, and two little schoolboys were loitering among
the scars seeking after their nests. We reached Mr.
Clarkson's at about eight o'clock after a sauntering walk,
having lingered and loitered and sate down together that
we might be alone. Mr. and Mrs. C. were just come
from LufTs. We spent Tuesday, the isth of July, at
Eusemere ; and on Wednesday morning, the I4th, we
walked to Emont Bridge, and mounted the coach between
Bird's Nest and Hartshorn Tree. ... At Greta Bridge
the sun shone cheerfully, and a glorious ride we had over
Gaterly Moor. Every building was bathed in golden
light. The trees were more bright than earthly ^ trees,
and we saw round us miles beyond miles Darlington
spire, etc. etc. We reached Leeming Lane at about
nine o'clock : supped comfortably, and enjoyed our fire.
On Thursday morning, at a little before seven, being
the 1 5th July, we got into a post-chaise and went to
Thirsk to breakfast. We were well treated, but when
the landlady understood that we were going to 'walk off,
and leave our luggage behind, she threw out some saucy
words in our hearing. The day was very hot, and we
rested often and long before we reached the foot of the
Hambledon Hills, and while we were climbing them,
still oftener. . . . We were almost overpowered with
thirst, when I heard the trickling of a little stream of
water. I was before William, and I stopped till he
came up to me. We sate a long time by this water,
and climbed the hill slowly. I was footsore; the sun
shone hot; the little Scotch cattle panted and tossed
fretfully about. The view was hazy, and we could see
nothing from the top of the hill but an undistinct wide-
spreading country, full of trees, but the buildings, towns,
VI GR ABM ERE
and houses were lost. We stopped to examine that
curious stone, then walked along the fiat common, .
Arrived very hungry at Rivaux. Nothing to eat at the
Millers, as we expected, but at an exquisitely neat farm-
house we got some boiled milk and bread. This
strengthened us^ and I went down to look at the ruins.
Thrushes were singing ; cattle feeding among green-
grown hillocks about the ruins. The hillocks were
scattered over with grovelcts of wild roses and other
shrubs, and covered with wild flowers. I could have
stayed in this solemn quiet spot till evening, without a
thought of moving, but William was waiting for me, so in a
quarter of an hour I went away. We walked upon Mr.
Buncombe's terrace and looked down upon the Abbey.
It stands in a larger valley among a brotherhood of
valleys ) of different length and breadth, all woody, and
running up into the hills in all directions. We reached
Helmsly just at dusk. We had a beautiful view of the
castle from the top of the hill, and slept at a very nice
inn, and were well treated ; floors as smooth as ice. On
Friday morning, i6th July, we walked to Kirby. Met
people coining to Helmsly fair. Were misdirected, and
walked a mile out of our way. ... A beautiful view
above Pickering. ... Met Mary and Sara seven miles
from G. H. Sheltered from the rain j beautiful glen,
spoiled by the large house ; sweet church and churchyard.
Arrived at Callow Hill at seven o'clock.
Friday Evening^ i6th July. . . . Sara, Tom, and I
rode up Bedale. Win., Mary, Sara, and I went to
Scarborough, and we walked in the Abbey pasture, and
to Wykeham ; and on Monday, the 26th, we went off
with Mary in a post-chaise. We had an interesting ride
over the Wolds, though it rained all the way, Single
thorn bushes were scattered about on the turf, sheep-
sheds .here and there, and now and then a little hut.
Swelling grounds, and sometimes a single tree or a
clump of trees, . . . We passed through one or two
little villages, embosomed in tall trees. After we had
144 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL vi
parted from Mary, there were gleams of sunshine, but
with showers. We saw Beverley in a heavy rain, and
yet were much pleased with the beauty of the town.
Saw the minster a pretty, clean building-, but injured
very much with Grecian architecture. The country
between Beverley and Hull very rich, but miserably flat
brick houses, windmills, houses again dull and end-
less. Hull a frightful, dirty, brickhousey, tradesman-
like, rich, vulgar place ; yet the river though the shores
are so low that they can hardly be seen looked beautiful
with the evening lights upon it, and boats moving
about. We walked a long time, and returned to our dull
day-room but quiet evening one, to supper.
Tuesday \ 2O/,fc. Market day. Streets dirty, very
rainy, did not leave Hull till four o'clock, and left Barton
at about six; rained all the way almost. A beautiful
village at the foot of a hill with trees. A gentleman's
house converted into a lady's boarding-school. . . . We
left Lincoln on Wednesday morning, 27th July, at six
o'clock. It rained heavily, and we could see nothing
but the antientry of some of the buildings as we passed
along. The night before, however, we had seen
enough to make us regret this. The minster stands at
the edge of a hill overlooking an immense plain. The
country very flat as we went along; the day mended.
We went to see the outside of the minster while the
passengers were dining at Peterborough ; the west end
very grand. ...
On Thursday morning, 29th, we arrived in London.
Wnu left me at the Sun. . . . After various troubles
and disasters, we left London on Saturday morning at
half-past five or six, the 3ist of July. We mounted the
Dover coach at Charing Cross. It was a beautiful
morning. The city, St. Paul's, with the river, and a
multitude of little boats, made a most beautiful sight as
we crossed Westminster Bridge. The houses were not
overhung by their cloud of smoke, and they were spread
out endlessly, yet the sun shone so brightly, with such a
fierce light, that there was even something like the purity
of one of nature's own grand spectacles. 1
We rode on cheerfully, now with the Paris diligence
before us, now behind. We walked up the steep hills,
a beautiful prospect everywhere, till we even reached
Dover. At first the rich, populous, wide- spreading,
woody country about London, then the River Thames,
ships sailing, chalk cliffs, trees, little villages. Afterwards
Canterbury, situated on a plain, rich and woody, but the
city and cathedral disappointed me. Hop grounds on
each side of the road some miles from Canterbury ; then
we came to a common, the race ground, an elevated
plain, villages among trees in the bed of a valley at our
right, and, rising above this valley, green hills scattered
over with wood, neat gentlemen's houses. One white
house, almost hid with green trees, which we longed for,
and the parson's house, as neat a place as could be,
which would just have suited Coleridge. No doubt we
may have found one for Tom Hutchinson and Sara, and
a good farm too. We halted at a half-way house fruit
carts under the shade of trees, seats for guests, a tempt-
ing place to the weary traveller. Still, as we went
along, the country was beautiful and hilly, with cottages
lurking under the hills, and their little plots of hop
ground like vineyards. It was a bad hop year, A
woman on the top of the coach said to me, " It is a sad
thing for the poor people^ for the hop-gathering is the
woman's harvest ; there is employment about the hops
for women and children."
We saw the castle of Dover, and the sea beyond,
four or five miles before we reached it. We looked at it
through a long vale, the castle being upon an eminence,
as it seemed, at the end of this vale, which opened to
the sea. The country now became less fertile, but near
Dover it seemed more rich again. Many buildings
1 Compare the sonnet Composed upon Westminster Bridge,
September 3, 1802, In voL ii. p. 328. ED.
VOL. I L
146 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL vi
stand on the flat fields, sheltered with tall trees. There
Is one old chapel that might have been there just in the
same state in which it now is when this vale was as
retired, and as little known to travellers as our own
Cumberland mountain wilds thirty years ago. There
was also a very old building on the other side of the
road, which had a strange effect among the many new
ones that are springing up everywhere. It seemed odd
that it could have kept itself pure in its ancientry among
so many upstarts. It was near dark when we reached
Dover. We were told that a packet was about to sail,
so we went down to the custom-house in half-an-hour
had our luggage examined, etc. etc., and then we drank
tea with the Honourable Mr. Knox and his tutor. We
arrived at Calais at four o'clock on Sunday morning, the
3 1st of July. We stayed in the vessel till half- past
seven ; then William went for letters at about half-past
eight or nine. We found out Annette and C chez
Madame Avril dans la Rue de la Tte d'or. We lodged
opposite two ladies, in tolerably decent-sized rooms, but
badly furnished. . . . The weather was very hot. We
walked by the sea-shore almost every evening with
Annette and Caroline, or William and I alone. I had a
bad cold, and could not bathe at first, but William did.
It was a pretty sight to see as we walked upon the
sands when the tide was low, perhaps a hundred people
bathing about a quarter of a mile distant from us. And
we had delightful walks after the heat of the day was
passed seeing far off in the west the coast of England
like a cloud crested with Dover castle, which was but
like the summit of the cloud the evening star and the
glory of the sky, 1 the reflections in the water were more
beautiful than the sky itself, purple waves brighter than
precious stones, for ever melting away upon the sands.
1 Compare the sonnet (" Poetical Works," vol. ii. p. 330) be-
Fair Star of evening, Splendour of the west
vi GRAS&fERE 147
The fort, a wooden building, at the entrance of the
harbour at Calais, when the evening twilight was coming
on, and we could not see anything of the building but its
shape, which was far more distinct than in perfect day-
light, seemed to be reared upon pillars of ebony, between
which pillars the sea was seen in the most beautiful
colours that can be conceived. Nothing in romance
was ever half so beautiful. Now came in view, as the
evening star sunk down, and the colours of the west
faded away, the two lights of England, lighted up by
Englishmen in our country to warn vessels off rocks or
sands. These we used to see from the pier, when we
could see no other distant objects but the clouds, the
sky, and the sea itself all was dark behind. The town
of Calais seemed deserted of the light of heaven, but
there was always light, and life, and joy upon the sea.
One night I shall never forget the day had been very
hot, and William and I walked alone together upon the
pier. The sea was gloomy, for there was a blackness
over all the sky, except when it was overspread with
lightning, which often revealed to us a distant vessel
near, as the waves roared and broke against the pier,
and they were interfused with greenish fiery light The
more distant sea always black and gloomy. It was also
beautiful, on the calm hot night, to see the little boats
row out of harbour with wings of fire, and the sail boats
with the fiery track which they cut as they went along,
and which closed up after them with a hundred thousand
sparkles, and streams of glow-worm light Caroline was
On Sunday, the 2Qth of August, we left Calais at
twelve o'clock in the morning, and landed at Dover at
one on Monday the 3oth. ... It was very pleasant to
me, when we were in the harbour at Dover, to breathe
the fresh air, and to look up, and see the stars among
the ropes of the vessel. The next day was very hot
We . . . bathed, and sate upon the Dover Cliffs, and
looked upon France with many a melancholy and tender
148 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL VI
thought We could see the shores almost as plain as if
it were but an English lake. We mounted the coach,
and arrived in London at six, the soth August. It was
misty, and we could see nothing. We stayed in London
till Wednesday the 2 2nd of September, and arrived at
Callow Hill on Friday.
September 24^. Mary first met us in the avenue.
She looked so fat and well that we were made very
happy by the sight of her ; then came Sara, and last of
all Joanna. Tom was forking corn, standing upon the
corn cart. We dressed ourselves immediately and got
tea, The garden looked gay with asters and sweet
peas. Jack and George came on Friday evening, ist
October. On Saturday, 2nd, we rode to Hackness,
William, Jack, George, and Sara single. I behind Tom.
On Sunday 3rd, Mary and Sara were busy packing.
On Monday, 4th October 1 802, my brother William
was married to Mary Hutchinson. 1 I slept a good deal
of the night, and rose fresh and well in the morning.
At a little after eight o'clock, I saw them go down the
avenue towards the church. William had parted from
me upstairs. When they were absent, my dear little
Sara prepared the breakfast. I kept myself as quiet as
I could, but when I saw the two men running up the
walk, coming to tell us it was over, I could stand it no
longer, and threw myself on the bed, where I lay in still-
ness, neither hearing nor seeing anything till Sara came
upstairs to me, and said, "They are coming." This
forced me from the bed where I lay, and I moved, I
knew not how, straight forward, faster than my strength
could carry me, till I met my beloved William, and fell
upon his bosom. He and John Hutchinson led me to
the house, and there I stayed to welcome my dear Maty.
As soon as we had breakfasted, we departed. It rained
when we set off. Poor Mary was much agitated, when
1 It may not be a too trivial detail to note that Coleridge's
Defection, an Ode, appeared in The Morning Post on Wordsworth's
marriage day. ED.
she parted from her brothers and sisters, and her home.
Nothing particular occurred till we reached Kirby. We
had sunshine and showers, pleasant talk, love and cheer-
fulness. We were obliged to stay two hours at K. while
the horses were feeding. We wrote a few lines to Sara,
and then walked out ; the sun shone, and we went to the
churchyard after we had put a letter into the post-office
for the York Herald. We sauntered about, and read
the grave-stones. There was one to the memory of five
children, who had all died within five years, and the
longest lived had only lived four years. . . .
We left Kirby at about half-past two. There is not
much variety of prospect from K. to Helmsley, but the
country is very pleasant, being rich and woody, and
Helmsley itself stands very sweetly at the foot of the
rising grounds of Duncombe Park, which is scattered
over with tall woods ; and, lifting itself above the common
buildings of the town, stands Helmsley Castle, now a
ruin, formerly inhabited by the gay Duke of Buckingham.
Every foot of the road was of itself interesting to us, for
we had travelled along it on foot, William and I, when
we went to fetch our dear Mary, and had sate upon the
turf by the roadside more than once. Before we reached
Helmsley, our driver told us that he could not take us
any further, so we stopped at the same inn where we
had slept before. My heart danced at the sight of its
cleanly outside, bright yellow walls, Casements over-
shadowed with jasmine, and its low, double gavel-ended
front. . . . Mary and I warmed ourselves at the kitchen
fire. We then walked into the garden, and looked over
a gate, up to the old ruin which stands at the top of the
mount, and round about it the moats are grown up into
soft green cradles, hollows surrounded with green grassy
hillocks, and these are overshadowed by old trees, chiefly
ashes. I prevailed upon William to go up with me to
the ruins. . . . The sun shone, it was warm and very
pleasant. One part of the castle seems to be inhabited.
There was a man mowing nettles in the open space
150 DOROTHY WORDS WORTH? S JOURNAL vr
which had most likely once been the castle-court. There
is one gateway exceedingly beautiful. Children were
playing upon the sloping ground. We came home by
the street After about an hour's delay, we set forward
again ; had an excellent driver, who opened the gates
so dexterously that the horses never stopped. Mary
was very much delighted with the view of the castle from
the point where we had seen it before. I was pleased
to see again the little path which we had walked upon,
the gate I had climbed over, and the road down which
we had seen the two little boys drag a log of wood, and
a team of horses struggle under the weight of a great
load of timber. We had felt compassion for the poor
horses that were under the governance of oppression
and Ill-judging drivers, and for the poor boys, who seemed
of an age to have been able to have dragged the log of
wood merely out of the love of their own activity, but
from poverty and bad food they panted for weakness,
and were obliged to fetch their father from the town to
help them. Duncombe house looks well from the road
a large building, though I believe only two-thirds of
the original design are completed. We rode down a
very steep hill to Rivaux valley, with woods all round
us. We stopped upon the bridge to look at the Abbey,
and again when we had crossed it. Dear Mary had
never seen a ruined abbey before except Whitby. We
recognised the cottages, houses, and the little valleys as
we went along. We walked up a long hill, the road
carrying us up the cleft or valley with woody hills on
each side of us. When we went to G. H. I had walked
down the valley alone. William followed me.
Before we had crossed the Hambledon Hill, and
reached the point overlooking Yorkshire, it was quite
dark. We had not wanted, however, fair prospects
before us, as we drove along the flat plain of the high
hill. Far far off from us, in the western sky, we saw
shapes of castles, ruins among groves, a great spreading
wood, rocks, and single trees, a minster with its tower
unusually distinct, minarets in another quarter, and a
round Grecian Temple also ; the colours of the sky of a
bright grey, and the forms of a sober grey, with a dome.
As we descended the hill there was no distinct view,
but of a great space ; only near us we saw the wild
(and as the people say) bottomless tarn in the hollow at
the side of the hill. It seemed to be made visible to us
only by its own light, for all the hill about us was dark.
Before we reached Thirsk we saw a light before us, which
we at first thought was the moon, then lime-kilns ; but
when we drove into the market-place it proved a large
bonfire, with lads dancing round it, which is a sight I
dearly love. The inn was like an illuminated house
every room full. We asked the cause, and were told
by the girl that it was " Mr. John Bell's birthday, that
he had heired his estate. 3 ' The landlady was very civil
She did not recognise the despised foot-travellers. We
rode on in the dark, and reached Leeming Lane at eleven
o'clock. . . .
The next morning we set off at about half-past eight
o'clock. It was a cheerful, sunny morning. . . . We
had a few showers, but when we came to the green fields
of Wensley, the sun shone upon them all, and the Ure
in its many windings glittered as it flowed along under
the green slopes of Middleham Castle. Mary looked
about for her friend Mr. Place, and thought she had him
sure on the contrary side of the vale from that on which
we afterwards found he lived. We went to a new built
house at Ley burn, the same village where William and
I had dined on our road to Grasmere two years and
three-quarters ago, but not the same house. The land-
lady was very civil, giving us cake and wine, but the
horses being out we were detained at least two hours,
and did not set off till two o'clock. We paid for thirty-
five miles, Le. to Sedbergh, but the landlady did not
encourage us to hope to get beyond Hawes. . . . When
we passed through the village of Wensley my heart
melted away, with dear recollections the bridge, the
152 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL vi
little waterspout, the steep hill, the church. They are
among the most vivid of my own inner visions, for they
were the first objects that I saw after we were left to
ourselves, and had turned our whole hearts to Grasmere
as a home in which we were to rest. The vale looked
most beautiful each way. To the left the bright silver
stream inlaid the flat and very green meadows, winding
like a serpent To the right, we did not see it so far,
it was lost among trees and little hills. I could not help
observing, as we went along, how much more varied the
prospects of Wensley Dale are in the summer time than
I could have thought possible in the winter. This
seemed to be in great measure owing to the trees being
in leaf, and forming groves and screens, and thence little
openings upon recesses and concealed retreats, which in
winter only made a part of the one great vale. The
beauty of the summer time here as much excels that of
the winter, as the variety (owing to the excessive green-
ness) of the fields, and the trees in leaf half concealing,
and where they do not conceal softening the hard
bareness of the limey white roofs. One of our horses
seemed to grow a little restive as we went through the
first village, a long village on the side of a hill. It grew
worse and worse, and at last we durst not go on any
longer. We walked a while, and then the post boy was
obliged to take the horse out, and go back for another.
We seated ourselves again snugly in the post-chaise.
The wind struggled about us and rattled the window, and
gave a gentle motion to the chaise, but we were warm
and at our ease within. Our station was at the top of
a hill, opposite Bolton Castle, the Ure flowing beneath.
William has since written a sonnet on this our imprison-
ment Hard was thy durance, poor Queen Mary !
compared with ours. . , - 1
We had a sweet ride till we came to a public-house
on the side of a hill, where we alighted and walked
1 This sonnet was not thought worthy of being preserved. ED.
VI GRASMERE 153
down to see the waterfalls. The sun was not set, and
the woods and fields were spread over with the yellow
light of evening, which made their greenness a thousand
times more green. There was too much water in the
river for the beauty of the falls, and even the banks were
less interesting than in winter. Nature had entirely got
the better in her struggles against the giants who first
cast the mould of these works ; for, indeed, it is a place
that did not in winter remind one of God, but one could
not help feeling as if there had been the agency of some
" mortal instruments," which Nature had been struggling
against without making a perfect conquest. There was
something so wild and new in this feeling, knowing, as
we did in the inner man, that God alone had laid his
hand upon it, that I could not help regretting the want
of it ; besides, it is a pleasure to a real lover of Nature
to give winter all the glory he can, for summer 'will
make its own way, and speak its own praises. We saw
the pathway which William and I took at the close of
evening, the path leading to the rabbit warren where we
lost ourselves. Sloe farm, with its holly hedges, was
lost among the green hills and hedgerows in general,
but we found it out, and were glad to look at it again.
William left us to seek the waterfalls. . . .
At our return to the inn, we found new horses and
a new driver, and we went on nicely to Hawes, where
we arrived before it was quite dark. . . . We rose at
six o'clock a rainy morning. . . . There was a very
fine view about a mile from Hawes, where we crossed a
bridge ; bare and very green fields with cattle, a glitter-
ing stream, cottages, a few ill-grown trees, and high
hills. The sun shone now. Before we got upon the
bare hills, there was a hunting lodge on our right,
exactly like Greta Hill, with fir plantations about it.
We were very fortunate in the day, gleams of sunshine,
passing clouds, that travelled with their shadows below
them. Mary was much pleased with Garsdale. It was
a dear place to William and me. We noted well the
154 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL vi
public-house (Garsdale Hall) where we had baited, . . .
and afterwards the mountain which had been adorned
by Jupiter in his glory when we were here before. It
was midday when we reached Sedbergh, and market
day. We were in the same room where we had spent
the evening together in our road to Grasmere. We had
a pleasant ride to Kendal, where we arrived at two
o'clock. The day favoured us. M. and I went to see
the house where dear Sara had lived. ... I am always
glad to see Staveley ; it is a place 1 dearly love to think
of the first mountain village that I came to with
William when we first began our pilgrimage together.
. . . Nothing particular occurred till we reached Ings
chapeL The door was open, and we went in. It is a
neat little place, with a marble floor and marble com-
munion table, with a painting over it of the last supper,
and Moses and Aaron on each side. The woman told
us that " they had painted them as near as they could
by the dresses as they are described in the Bible," and
gay enough they are. The marble had been sent by
Richard Bateman from Leghorn. The woman told us
that a man had been at her house a few days before,
who told her he had helped to bring it down the Red
Sea, and she believed him gladly ! . . . We . . .
arrived at Grasmere at about six o'clock on Wednesday
evening, the 6th of October 1802. ... I cannot
describe what I felt. . . . We went by candle light into
the garden, and were astonished at the growth of the
brooms, Portugal laurels, etc. etc. etc. The next day,
Thursday, we unpacked the boxes. On Friday, 8th,
. . . Mary and I walked first upon the hill-side, and
then in John's Grove, then in view of Rydale, the first
walk that I had taken with my sister.
Monday r , i ith, A beautiful day. We walked to the
Kasedale hills to hunt waterfalls. William and Mary
left me sitting on a stone on the solitary mountains, and
went to Easedale tarn. . . . The approach to the tarn
VI GRASMERR 155
is very beautiful. We expected to have found Coleridge
at home, but he did not come till after dinner. He was
well, but did not look so.
Tuesday, iith October. We walked with Coleridge
Wednesday, i^tJi, Set forwards with him towards
Keswick, and he prevailed us to go on. We con-
sented, Mrs. C. not being at home. The day was
delightful. . . .
Thursday ', i ^th. We went in the evening to Calvert's.
Moonlight. Stayed supper.
Saturday, i6tk. Came home, Mary and I. William
returned to Coleridge before we reached Nadel Fell.
Mary and I had a pleasant walk The day was very
bright ; the people busy getting in their corn. Reached
home at about five o'clock. <, . .
Sunday, ijth. We had thirteen of our neighbours
to tea. William came in just as we began tea.
Saturday, $otk October. William is gone to Keswick.
Mary went with him to the top of the Raise. She is
returned, and is now sitting near me by the fire. It is
a breathless, grey day, that leaves the golden woods
of autumn quiet in their own tranquillity, stately and
beautiful in their decaying. The lake is a perfect mirror.
William met Stoddart at the bridge at the foot
of Legberthwaite dale. . . . They surprised us by
their arrival at four o'clock in the afternoon. . . . After
tea, S. read Chaucer to us.
Monday, 31 st October. 1 . . . William and S. went
to Keswick. Mary and I walked to the top of the hill
and looked at Rydale. I was much affected when I
stood upon the second bar of Sara's gate. The lake
was perfectly still, the sun shone on hill and vale, the
distant birch trees looked like large golden flowers.
1 This should have been entered ist November. ED.
156 DOROTHY WORDS WORTHS JOURNAL vi
Nothing else In colour was distinct and separate, but all
the beautiful colours seemed to be melted into one
another, and joined together in one mass, so that there
were no differences, though an endless variety, when one
tried to find it out. The fields were of one sober yellow
brown. . . .
Tuesday ', -2nd November. William returned from
Friday ', $th. ... I wrote to Montagu, . . . and
sent off letters to Miss Lamb and Coleridge. . . .
Sunday f , Jtk. Fine weather. Letters from Coleridge
that he was gone to London. Sara at Penrith. I
wrote to Mrs. Clarkson. William began to translate
Monday, Wi. A beautiful day. William got to
work again at Ariosto, and so continued all the morning,
though the day was so delightful that it made my very
heart long to be out of doors, and see and feel the beauty
of the autumn in freedom. The trees on the opposite
side of the lake are of a yellow brown, but there are one
or two trees opposite our windows (an ash tree, for
instance) quite green, as in spring. The fields are of
their winter colour, but the island is as green as ever it
was. . . . William is writing out his stanzas from
Ariosto. . . . The evening is quiet. Poor Coleridge !
Sara is at Keswick, I hope. ... I have read one
canto of Ariosto to-day. . . *
2.4th December. Christmas Eve. William is now
sitting by me, at half-past ten o'clock. I have been
. . . repeating some of his sonnets to him, listening to
his own repeating, reading some of Milton's, and the
Allegro and Penseroso. It is a, quick, keen frost. . .
Coleridge came this morning with Wedgwood. We all
turned out . . . one by one, to meet him. He looked
vi GRASMERE 157
well. We had to tell him of the birth of his little girl,
born yesterday morning at six o'clock. William went
with them to Wytheburn in the chaise, and M. and I
met W. on the Raise. It was not an unpleasant morning.
. . . The sun shone now and then, and there was no
wind, but all things looked cheerless and distinct ; no
meltings of sky into mountains, the mountains like stone
work wrought up with huge hammers. Last Sunday
was as mild a day as I ever remember. . . . Mary and
I went round the lakes. There were flowers of various
kinds the topmost bell of a foxglove, geraniums,
daisies, a buttercup in the water (but this I saw two or
three days before), small yellow flowers (I do not know
their name) in the turf. A large bunch of strawberry
blossoms. ... It is Christmas Day, Saturday, 25th
December 1802. I am thirty-one years of age. It is
a dull, frosty day.
... On Thursday, 3oth December, I went to Keswick.
William rode before me to the foot of the hill nearest K.
There we parted close to a little watercourse, which was
then noisy with water, but on my return a dry channel.
. . . We stopped our horse close to the ledge, opposite
a tuft of primroses, three flowers in full blossom and a
bud. They reared themselves up among the green
moss. We debated long whether we should pluck
them, and at last left them to live out their day, which
I was right glad of at my return the Sunday following ;
for there they remained, uninjured either by cold or wet.
I stayed at Keswick over New Year's Day, and returned
on Sunday, the 2nd January. . . . William was alarmed
at my long delay, and came to within three miles of
Keswick. . . . Coleridge stayed with us till Tuesday,
January 4th. W. and I ... walked with him to
Ambleside. We parted with v him at the turning of the
lane, he going on horseback to the top of Kirkstone.
On Thursday 6th, C. returned, and on Friday, the
7th, he and Sara went to Keswick. W. accompanied
them to the foot of Wytheburn. ... It was a gentle
158 DOROTHY WORDSWORTH'S JOURNAL VI
day, and when William and I returned home just before
sunset, it was a heavenly evening. A soft sky was
among the hills, and a summer sunshine above, and
blending with this sky, for it was more like sky than
clouds ; the turf looked warm and soft.
Monday, January loth 1803. I lay In bed to have
a drench of sleep till one o'clock. Worked all day.
. . . Ominously cold.
Tuesday ', January nth. A very cold day, . . . but
the blackness of the cold made us slow to put forward,
and we did not walk at all. Mary read the Prologue to
Chaucer's tales to me in the morning. William was
working at his poem to C. Letter from Keswick and
from Taylor on William's marriage. C. poorly, in bad
spirits. . . . Read part of The Knighfs Tale with ex-
quisite delight. Since tea Mary has been down stairs
copying out Italian poems for Stuart. William has been
working beside me, and here ends this imperfect
summary. . . .
A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND
DAY PAGE DAY T>ariT?
Left Keswick Grisdale
5. Thornhill Drumlanrigg
River Nith . . . T * TT
Turnpike house .
*/ j -
Rose Castle Carlisle Hat-
Vale of Menock .
Solway Moss Enter Scot-
land Springfield Gret-
na Green Annan Dum-
Ellisland ValeofNith .
Poem to Burns's Sons .
6. Road to Crawfordjohn
Clyde Lanerk .
Falls of the Clyde
193 Road to Tarbet .
Cartland Crags .
Fall of Stonebyres Trough
of the Clyde .
1 2. Left Tarbet for the Trossachs
Rob Roy's Caves
Inversneyde Ferryhouse and
Loch Ketterine .
Bleaching ground (Glasgow
Road to Dumbarton .
Rock and Castle of Dum-
13. Breakfast at Glengyle
Lairds of Glengyle Rob
Vale of Leven
Smollett's Monument .
Ferryman's hut .
Islands of Loch Lomond .
225 Return to Ferryman's hut .
RECOLLECTIONS OF A TOUR MADE IN
SCOTLAND. A.D. 1803
WILLIAM and I parted from Mary on Sunday afternoon,
August 1 4th 1803; and William, Coleridge, and I left
Keswick on Monday morning, the 1 5th, at twenty minutes
after eleven o'clock. The day was very hot ; we walked
up the hills, and along all the rough road, which made
our walking half the day's journey. Travelled under
the foot of Carrock, a mountain covered with stones on
the lower part ; above, it is very rocky, but sheep
pasture there ; we saw several where there seemed to be
no grass to tempt them. Passed the foot of Grisdale
and Mosedale, both pastoral valleys, narrow, and soon
terminating in the mountains green, with scattered
trees and houses, and each a beautiful stream. At
Grisdale our horse backed upon a steep bank where the
road was not fenced, just above a pretty mill at the foot
of the valley ; and we had a second threatening of a
disaster in crossing a narrow bridge between the two
dales ; but this was not the fault of either man or horse.
Slept at Mr. Younghusband's public -house, Hesket
Newmarket. In the evening walked to Caldbeck Falls,
a delicious spot in which to breathe out a summer's day
limestone rocks, hanging trees, pools, and water-
breaks caves and caldrons which have been honoured
with fairy names, and no doubt continue in the fancy of
the neighbourhood to> resound with fairy revels.
164 RECOLLECTIONS OF ri!
Tuesday, August i6//z. Passed Rose Castle upon
the Caldew, an ancient building of red stone with sloping
gardens, an ivied gateway, velvet lawns, old garden walls,
trim flower-borders with stately and luxuriant flowers.
We walked up to trie house and stood some minutes
watching the swallows that flew about restlessly, and
flung their shadows upon the sunbright walls of the old
building ; the shadows glanced and twinkled, inter-
changed and crossed each other, expanded and shrunk
up, appeared and disappeared every instant ; as I
observed to William and Coleridge, seeming more like
living things than the birds themselves. Dined at
Carlisle ; the town in a bustle with the assizes ; so many
strange faces known in former times and recognised,
that it half seemed as if I ought to know them all, and,
together with the noise, the fine ladies, etc., they put
me into confusion. This day Hatfield was condemned.
I stood at the door of the gaoler's house, where he was ;
William entered the house, and Coleridge saw him ; I
fell into conversation with a debtor, who told me in a
dry way that he was "far over-learned, 53 and another
man observed to William that we might learn from
Hatfield's fate "not to meddle with pen and ink." We
gave a shilling to my companion, whom we found out to
be a friend of the family, a fellow-sailor with my brother
John "in Captain Wordsworth's ship." Walked upon
the city walls, which are broken down in places and
crumbling away, and most disgusting from filth. The
city and neighbourhood of Carlisle disappointed me ;
the banks of the river quite flat, and, though the holms
are rich, there is not much beauty in the vale from the
want of trees at least to the eye of a person corning
from England, and, I scarcely know how, but to me the
holms had not a natural look ; there was something
townish in their appearance, a dulness in their strong
deep green. To Longtown not very interesting*, except
from the long views over the flat country ; the road
rough, chiefly newly mended. Reached Longtown after
vii A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 165
sunset, a town of brick houses belonging chiefly to the
Graham family. Being in the form of a cross and not
long, it had been better called Crosstown. There are
several shops, and it is not a very small place ; but I
could not meet with a silver thimble, and bought a half-
penny brass one. Slept at the Graham's Arms, a large
inn. Here, as everywhere else, the people seemed
utterly insensible of the enormity of Hatfield 3 s. offences ;
the ostler told William that he was quite a gentleman,
paid every one genteelly, etc. etc. He and " Mary 5; had
walked together to Gretna Green ; a heavy rain came
on when they were there ; a returned chaise happened to
pass, and the driver would have taken them up ; but
" Mr. Hope's " carriage was to be sent for ; he did not
choose to accept the chaise-driver's offer.
Wednesday, August ijtk. Left Longtown after
breakfast About half a mile from the town a guide-
post and two roads, to Edinburgh and Glasgow ; we
took the left-hand road, to Glasgow. Here saw a
specimen of the luxuriance of the heath-plant, as it grows
in Scotland ; it was in the enclosed plantations perhaps
sheltered by them. These plantations appeared to be
not well grown for their age; the trees were stunted.
Afterwards the road, treeless, over a peat-moss common
the Sol way Moss ; here and there an earth-built hut
with its peat stack, a scanty growing willow hedge round
the kail-garth, perhaps the cow pasturing near, a little
lass watching it, the dreary waste cheered by the
endless singing of larks.
We enter Scotland by crossing the river Sark ; on
the Scotch side of the bridge the ground is unenclosed
pasturage ; it was very green, and scattered over with
that yellow flowered plant which we call grunsel ; the
hills heave and swell prettily enough ; cattle feeding ; a
few corn fields near the river. At the top of the hill
opposite is Springfield, a village built by Sir William
Maxwell a dull uniformity in the houses, as is usual
when all built at one time, or belonging to one individual,
x66 RECOLLECTIONS OF VII
each just big enough for two people to live in, and In
which a family, large or small as it may happen, is
crammed. There the marriages are performed. Further
on, though almost contiguous, is Gretna Green, upon a
hill and among trees. This sounds well, but it is^ a
dreary place ; the stone houses dirty and miserable, with
broken windows. There is a pleasant view from the
churchyard over Solway Firth to the Cumberland
mountains. Dined at Annan. On our left as we
travelled along appeared the Solway Firth and the
mountains beyond, but the near country dreary. Those
houses by the roadside which are built of stone are
comfortless and dirty ; but we peeped into a clay
" biggin " that was very " canny," and I daresay will be
as warm as a swallow's nest in winter. The town of
Annan made me think of France and Germany ; many
of the houses large and gloomy, the size of them out-
running the comforts. One thing which was like
Germany pleased me: the shopkeepers express their
calling by some device or painting ; bread-bakers have
biscuits, loaves, cakes, painted on their window-shutters ;
blacksmiths horses 7 shoes, iron tools, etc. etc. ; and so
on through all trades.
Reached Dumfries at about nine o'clock market-
day ; met crowds of people on the road, and every one
had a smile for us and our car. . . . The inn was a
large house, and tolerably comfortable ; Mr. Rogers and
his sister, whom we had seen at our own cottage at
Grasmere a few days before, had arrived there that same
afternoon on their way to the Highlands ; but we did
not see them till the next morning, and only for about a
quarter of an hour.
Thursday ', August i%th. Went to the churchyard
where Burns is buried. A bookseller accompanied
us. He showed us the outside of Burns's house, where
he had lived the last three years of his life, and where
he died. It has a mean appearance, and is in a bye
situation, whitewashed ; dirty about the doors, as
vii A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 167
almost all Scotch houses are ; flowering plants in the
Went on to visit his grave. He lies at a corner of
the churchyard, and his second son, Francis Wallace,
beside him. There is no stone to mark the spot ; but
a hundred guineas have been collected, to be expended
on some sort of monument. "There," said the book-
seller, pointing to a pompous monument, "there lies
Mr. Such -a- one" I have forgotten his name, "a
remarkably clever man ; he was an attorney, and hardly
ever lost a cause he undertook. Burns made many a
lampoon upon him, and there they rest, as you see." We
looked at the grave with melancholy and painful reflec-
tions, repeating to each other his own verses ;
Is there a man whose judgment clear
Can others teach the course to steer,
Yet runs himself life's mad career
Wild as the wave ?
Here let him pause, and through a tear
Survey this grave.
The poor Inhabitant below
Was quick to learn, and wise to know
And keenly felt the friendly glow
And softer flame ;
But thoughtless follies laid him low,
And stain'd his name.
The churchyard is full of grave-stones and expensive
monuments in all sorts of fantastic shapes obelisk- wise,
pillar-wise, etc. In speaking of Gretna Green, I forgot
to mention that we visited the churchyard. The
church is like a huge house ; indeed, so are all the
churches, with a steeple, not a square tower or spire, a
sort of thing more like a glass-house chimney than a
Church of England steeple ; grave-stones in abundance,
few verses, yet there were some no texts. Over the
graves of married women the maiden name instead of
that of the husband, " spouse " instead of " wife," and the
place of abode preceded by " in " instead of " of." When
168 RECOLLECTIONS OF VII
our guide had left us, we turned again to Burns's house.
Mrs. Burns was gone to spend some time by the sea-
shore with her children. We spoke to the servant-maid
at the door, who invited us forward, and we sate down
in the parlour. The walls were coloured with a blue
wash ; on one side of the fire was a mahogany desk,
opposite to the window a clock, and over the desk a
print from the Cotters Saturday Night, which Burns
mentions in one of his letters having received _ as a
present. The house was cleanly and neat in the inside,
the stairs of stone, scoured white, the kitchen on the
right side of the passage, the parlour on the left. In
the room above the parlour the poet died, and his son
after him in the same room. The servant told us she
had lived five years with Mrs. Bums, who was now in
great sorrow for the death of "Wallace/"' She said
that Mrs. Burns's youngest son was at Christ's Hospital.
We were glad to leave Dumfries, which is no
agreeable place to them who do not love the bustle of a
town that seems to be rising up to wealth. We could
think of little else but poor Burns, and his moving- about
on that unpoetic ground. In our road to Brownhill, the
next stage, we passed Ellisland at a little distance on our
right, his farmhouse. We might there have had more
pleasure in looking round, if we had been nearer to the
spot ; but there is no thought surviving in connexion
with Burns's daily life that is not heart-depressing.
Travelled through the vale of Nith, here little like a
vale, it is so broad, with irregular hills rising up on each
side, in outline resembling the old-fashioned valances of
a bed. There is a great deal of arable land ; the corn
ripe ; trees here and there plantations, clumps, coppices,
and a newness in everything. So much of the gorse and
broom rooted out that you wonder why it is not all gone,
and yet there seems to be almost as much gorse and
broom as corn ; and they grow one among another you
know not how. Crossed the Nith ; the vale becomes
narrow, and very pleasant ; corn fields, green hills, clay
A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND
cottages ; the river's bed rocky, with woody banks. Left
the Nith about a mile and a half, and reached Brownhill,
a lonely inn, where we slept. The view from the
windows was pleasing, though some travellers might
have been disposed to quarrel with it for its general
nakedness ; yet there was abundance of corn. It is an
open country open, yet all over hills. At a little
distance were many cottages among trees, that looked
very pretty. Brownhill is about seven or eight miles
from Ellisland. I fancied to myself, while I was sitting
in the parlour, that Burns might have caroused there, for
most likely his rounds extended so far, and this thought
gave a melancholy interest to the smoky walls. It was
as pretty a room as a thoroughly dirty one could be a
square parlour painted green, but so covered over with
smoke and dirt that it looked not unlike green seen
through black gauze. There were three windows,
looking three ways, a buffet ornamented with tea-cups,
a superfine largeish looking-glass with gilt ornaments
spreading far and wide, the glass spotted with dirt, some
ordinary alehouse pictures, and above the chimney-piece
a print in a much better style as William guessed,
taken from a painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds of some
lady of quality, in the character of Euphrosyne. " Ay,"
said the servant-girl, seeing that we looked at it,"" there's
many travellers would give a deal for that, it's more
admired than any in the house. 53 We could not but
smile ; for the rest were such as may be found in the
basket of any Italian image and picture hawker.
William and I walked out after dinner ; Coleridge
was not well, and slept upon the carriage cushions. We
made our way to the cottages among the little hills and
knots of wood, and then saw what a delightful country
this part of Scotland might be made by planting forest
trees. The ground all over heaves and swells like a
sea ; but for miles there are neither trees nor hedgerows,
only " mound " fences and tracts ; or slips of corn,
potatoes, clover with hay between, and barren land ;
but near the cottages many hills and hillocks covered
with wood. We passed some fine trees, and ^ paused
under the shade of one close by an old mansion that
seemed from its neglected state to be inhabited by
farmers. But I must say that many of the "gentlemen's "
houses which we have passed in Scotland have an air of
neglect, and even of desolation. It was a beech, in the full
glory of complete and perfect growth, very tall, with one
thick stem mounting to a considerable height, which was
split into four "thighs/' as Coleridge afterwards called
them, each in size a fine tree. Passed another mansion,
now tenanted by a schoolmaster; many boys playing
upon the lawn. I cannot take leave of the country which
we passed through to-day, without mentioning that we
saw the Cumberland mountains within half a mile of
Ellisland, Burns's house, the last view we had of them.
Drayton has prettily described the connexion which
this neighbourhood has with ours when he makes Skiddaw
Scurfell 1 from the sky,
That Anadale 2 doth crown, with a most amorous eye,
Salutes me every day, or at my pride looks grim,
Oft threatening me with clouds, as I oft threat'ning him.
These lines recurred to William's memory, and we
talked of Burns, and of the prospect he must have had,
perhaps from his own door, of Skiddaw and his com-
panions, indulging ourselves in the fancy that we might
have been personally known to each other, and he have
looked upon those objects with more pleasure for our
sakes. We talked of Coleridge's children and family,
then at the foot of Skiddaw, and our own new-born
John a few miles behind it ; while the grave of Burns's
son, which we had just seen by the side of his father,
and some stories heard at Dumfries respecting the
dangers his surviving children were exposed to, filled us
^ CriffeL J. C. S. 2 Annandale. J. C. S.
VII A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 171
with melancholy concern, which had a kind of connexion
with ourselves. In recollection of this, William long
afterwards wrote the following Address to the sons of
the ill-fated poet :
Ye now are panting up life's hill,
'Tis twilight time of good and ill,
And more than common strength and skill
Must ye display,
If ye would give the better will
Its lawful sway.
Strong-bodied if ye be to bear
Intemperance with less harm, beware,
But if your Father's wit ye share,
Then, then indeed,
Ye Sons of Bums, for watchful care
There will be need.
For honest men delight will take
To shew you favour for his sake,
Will flatter you, and Fool and Rake
Your steps pursue,
And of your Father's name will make
A snare for you.
Let no mean hope your souls enslave,
Be independent, generous, brave ;
Your Father such example gave,
And such revere,
But be admonished by his grave,
And think and fear.
Friday , August iqth. Open country for a consider-
able way. Passed through the village of Thornhill,
built by the Duke of Queensberry ; the " brother-houses "
so small that they might have been built to stamp a
character of insolent pride on his own huge mansion of
Drumlanrigg, which is full in view on the opposite side
of the Nith. This mansion is indeed very large ; but to
us it appeared like a gathering together of little things.
The roof is broken into a hundred pieces, cupolas, etc.,
in the shape of casters, conjuror's balls, cups, and the
i 7 2 RECOLLECTIONS OF vn
like. The situation would be noble if the woods had
been left standing ; but they have been cut down not
long ago, and the hills above and below the house are
quite bare. About a mile and a half from Drumlanrigg
is a turnpike gate at the top of a hill. We left our car
with the man, and turned aside into a field where we
looked down upon the Nith, which runs far below in a
deep and rocky channel ; the banks woody ; the view
pleasant down the river towards Thomhill, an open
country corn fields, pastures, and scattered trees. Re-
turned to the turnpike house, a cold spot upon a common,
black cattle feeding close to the door. Our road led us
down the hill to the side of the Nith, and we travelled
along its banks for some miles. Here were clay cottages
perhaps every half or quarter of a mile. The bed of the
stream rough with rocks ; banks irregular, now woody,
now bare ; here a patch of broom, there of corn, then of
pasturage ; and hills green or heathy above. We were
to have given our horse meal and water at a public-house
in one of the hamlets we passed through, but missed the
house, for, as is common in Scotland, it was without a
sign-board. Travelled on, still beside the Nith, till we
came to a turnpike house, which stood rather high on
the hill-side, and from the door we looked a long way
up and down the river. The air coldish, the wind
We asked the turnpike man to let us have some meal
and water. He had no meal, but luckily we had part of
a feed of corn brought from Keswick, and he procured
some hay at a neighbouring house. In the meantime I
went into the house, where was an old man with a grey
plaid over his shoulders, reading a newspaper. On the
shelf lay a volume of the Scotch Encyclopaedia, a
History of England, and some other books. The old
man was a caller by the way. The man of the house
came back, and we began to talk. He was very in-
telligent ; had travelled all over England, Scotland, and
Ireland as a gentleman's servant, and now lived alone
vil A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 173
in that lonesome place. He said he was tired of his
bargain, for he feared he should lose by it. And he had
indeed a troublesome office, for coal-carts without number
were passing by, and the drivers seemed to do their
utmost to cheat him. There is always something
peculiar in the house of a man living alone. This was
but half-furnished, yet nothing seemed wanting for his
comfort, though a female who had travelled half as far
would have needed fifty other things. He had no other
meat or drink in the house but oat bread and cheese
the cheese was made with the addition of seeds and
some skimmed milk. He gave us of his bread and
cheese, and milk, which proved to be sour.
We had yet ten or eleven miles to travel, and no
food with us. William lay under the wind in a corn-
field below the house, being not well enough, to partake
of the milk and bread. Coleridge gave our host a
pamphlet, " The Crisis of the Sugar Colonies " ; he was
well acquainted with Burns's poems. There was a
politeness and a manly freedom in this man's manners
which pleased me very much. He told us that he had
served a gentleman, a captain in the army he did not
know who he was, for none of his relations had ever
come to see him, but he used to receive many letters
that he had lived near Dumfries till they would let him
stay no longer, he made such havoc with the game ; his
whole delight from morning till night, and the long year
through, was in field sports ; he would be 'on his feet
the worst days in winter, and wade through snow up to
the middle after his game. If he had company he was
in tortures till they were gone ; he would then throw off
his coat and put on an old jacket not worth half-a-crown.
He drank his bottle of wine every day, and two if he
had better sport than usual. Ladies sometimes came
to stay with his wife, and he often carried them out in
an Irish jaunting-car, and if they vexed him he would
choose the dirtiest roads possible, and spoil their clothes
by jumping in and out of the car, and treading upon
174 RECOLLECTIONS OF vii
them. "But for all that 5 ' and so he ended all "he
was a good fellow, and a clever fellow, and he liked him
well. 35 He would have ten or a dozen hares in the larder
at once, he half maintained his family with game, and
he himself was very fond of eating of the spoil unusual
with true heart-and-soul sportsmen.
The man gave us an account of his farm where he
had lived, which was so cheap and pleasant that we
thought we should have liked to have had it ourselves.
Soon after leaving the turnpike house we turned up a
hill to the right, the road for a little way very steep,
bare hills, with sheep.
After ascending a little while we heard the murmur
of a stream far below us, and saw it flowing downwards
on our left, towards the Nith, and before us, between
steep green hills, coming along a winding valley. The
simplicity of the prospect impressed us very much.
There was a single cottage by the brook side ; the dell
was not heathy, but it was impossible not to think of
Peter BelTs Highland Girl.
We now felt indeed that we were in Scotland ; there
was a natural peculiarity in this place. In the scenes
of the Nith It had not been the same as England, but
yet not simple, naked Scotland. The road led us down
the hill, and now there was no room in the vale but for
the river and the road; we had sometimes the stream
to the right, sometimes to the left. The hills were
pastoral, but we did not see many sheep ; green smooth
turf on the left, no ferns. On the right the heath-plant
grew in abundance, of the most exquisite colour ; it
covered a whole hill-side, or it was in streams and
patches. We travelled along the vale without appearing
to ascend for some miles ; all the reaches were beautiful,
in exquisite proportion, the hills seeming very high from
being so near to us. It might have seemed a valley
which nature had kept to herself for pensive thoughts
and tender feelings, but that we were reminded at every
turning of the road of something beyond by the coal-
VII A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 175
carts which were travelling towards us. Though these
carts broke in upon the tranquillity of the glen, they
added much to the picturesque effect of the different
views, which indeed wanted nothing, though perfectly
bare, houseless, and treeless.
After some time our road took us upwards towards
the end of the valley. Now the steeps were heathy all
around. Just as we began to climb the hill we saw
three boys who came down the cleft of a brow on our
left ; one carried a fishing-rod, and the hats of all were
braided with honeysuckles ; they ran after one another as
wanton as the wind. I cannot express what a character
of beauty those few honeysuckles in the hats of the three
boys gave to the place : what bower could they have
come from ? We walked up the hill, met two well-
dressed travellers, the woman barefoot. Our little lads
before they had gone far were joined by some half-dozen
of their companions, all without shoes and stockings.
They told us they lived at Wanlockhead, the village
above, pointing to the top of the hill ; they went to
school and learned Latin, Virgil, and some of them
Greek, Homer, but when Coleridge began to inquire
further, off they ran, poor things 1 I suppose afraid of
When, after a steep ascent, we had reached the top
of the hill, we saw a village about half a mile before us
on the side of another hill, which rose up above the
spot where we were, after a descent, a sort of valley or
hollow. Nothing grew upon this ground, or the hills
above or below, but heather, yet round about the village
which consisted of a great number of huts, all alike,
and all thatched, with a few larger slated houses among
them, and a single modern-built one of a considerable
size were a hundred patches of cultivated ground,
potatoes, oats, hay, and grass. We were struck with
the sight of haycocks fastened down with aprons, sheets,
pieces of sacking as we supposed, to prevent the wind
from blowing them away. We afterwards found that
i 7 6 RECOLLECTIONS OF VII
this practice was very general in Scotland. Every
cottage seemed to have its little plot of ground, fenced
by a ridge of earth ; this plot contained two or three
different divisions, kail, potatoes, oats, hay ; the houses
all standing in lines, or never far apart ; the cultivated
ground was all together also, and made a very strange
appearance with its many greens among the dark brown
hills, neither tree nor shrub growing ; yet the grass and
the potatoes looked greener than elsewhere, owing to
the bareness of the neighbouring hills ; it was indeed a
wild and singular spot to use a woman's illustration,
like a collection of patchwork, made of pieces as they
might have chanced to have been cut by the mantua-
maker, only just smoothed to fit each other, the different
sorts of produce being in such a multitude of plots, and
those so small and of such irregular shapes. Add to
the strangeness of the village itself, that we had been
climbing upwards, though gently, for many miles, and
for the last mile and a half up a steep ascent, and did
not know of any village till we saw the boys who had
come out to play. The air was very cold, and one could
not help thinking what it must be in winter, when those
hills, now " red brown, 3 ' should have their three months 3
covering of snow.
The village, as we guessed, is inhabited by miners ;
the mines belong to the Duke of Oueensberry. The
road to the village, down which the lads scampered
away, was straight forward. I must mention that we
met, just after we had parted from them, another little
fellow, about six years old, carrying a bundle over his
shoulder; he seemed poor and half starved, and was
scratching his fingers, which were covered with the itch.
He was a miner's son, and lived at Wanlockhead ; did
not go to school, but this was probably on account of
his youth. I mention him because he seemed to be a
proof that there was poverty and wretchedness among
these people, though we saw no other symptom of it ;
and afterwards we met scores of the inhabitants of this
VII A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 177
same village. Our road turned to the right, and \ve
saw. at the distance of less than a mile, a tall upright
building of grey stone, with several men standing upon
the roof, as if they were looking out over battlements.
It stood beyond the village, upon higher ground, as if
presiding over it, a kind of enchanter's castle, which
it might have been, a place where Don Quixote would
have gloried in. When we drew nearer we saw, coming
out of the side of the building, a large machine or lever,
in appearance like a great forge-hammer, as we supposed
for raising water out of the mines. It heaved upwards
once In half a minute with a slow motion, and seemed
to rest to take breath at the bottom, its motion being
accompanied with a sound between a groan and u jike. 3:
There would have been something in this object very
striking in any place, as it was impossible not to invest
the machine with some faculty of intellect ; it seemed
to have made the first step from brute matter to life and
purpose, showing its progress by great power. William
made a remark to this effect, and Coleridge observed
that it was like a giant with one idea. At all events,
the object produced a striking effect in that place,
where everything was in unison with it particularly the
building itself, which was turret -shaped, and with the
figures upon it resembled much one of the fortresses in
the wooden cuts of Bunyan's Holy War.
After ascending a considerable way we began to
descend again ; and now we met a team of horses drag-
ging an immense tree to the lead mines, to repair or add
to the building, and presently after we came to a cart,
with another large tree, and one horse left in it, right in
the middle of the highway. We were a little out of
humour, thinking we must wait till the team came back.
There were men and boys without number all staring at
us ; after a little consultation they set their shoulders to
the cart, and with a good heave all at once they moved
it, and we passed along. These people were decently
dressed, and their manners decent ; there was no hooting
VOL. I N
I7 8 RECOLLECTIONS OF VII
or impudent laughter. Leadhills, another mining village,
was the place of our destination for the night ; and soon
after we had passed the cart we came in sight of it.
This village and the mines belong to Lord Hopetoun ;
it has more stone houses than Wanlockhead, one large
old mansion, and a considerable number of old trees
beeches, I believe. The trees told of the coldness of the
climate ; they were more brown than green far browner
than the ripe grass of the little hay-garths. Here, as at
Wanlockhead, were haycocks, hay-stacks, potato-beds,
and kail-garths in every possible variety of shape, but, I
suppose from the irregularity of the ground, it looked far
less artificial indeed, I should think that a painter might
make several beautiful pictures in this village. It
straggles down both sides of a mountain glen. As I
have said, there is a large mansion. There is also a
stone building that looks like a school, and the houses
are single, or in clusters, or rows as it may chance.
We passed a decent-looking inn, the Hopetoun Arms ;
but the house of Mrs. Otto, a widow, had been recom-
mended to us with high encomiums. We did not then
understand Scotch inns, and were not quite satisfied at
first with our accommodations, but all things were
smoothed over by degrees ; we had a fire lighted in our
dirty parlour, tea came after a reasonable waiting ; and
the fire with the gentle aid of twilight, burnished up the
room into cheerful comfort Coleridge was weary ; but
William and I walked out after tea. We talked with
one of the miners, who informed us that the building
which we had supposed to be a school was a library
belonging to the village. He said they had got a book
into it a few weeks ago, which had cost thirty pounds,
and that they had all sorts of books. " What ! have
you Shakespeare?" "Yes, we have that," and we
found, on further inquiry, that they had a large library,
of long standing, that Lord Hopetoun had subscribed
liberally to it, and that gentlemen who came with him
were in the habit of making larger or smaller donations.
VII A TOUR MADE IX SCOTLAND 179
Each man who had the benefit of it paid a small sum
monthly I think about fourpence.
The man we talked with spoke much of the comfort
and quiet in which they lived one among another ; he
made use of a noticeable expression, saying that they
were " very peaceable people considering they lived so
much under-ground " ; wages were about thirty pounds
a year ; they had land for potatoes, warm houses, plenty
of coals, and only six hours' work each day, so that they
had leisure for reading if they chose. He said the place
was healthy, that the inhabitants lived to a great age ;
and indeed we saw no appearance of ill-health in their
countenances ; but it is not common for people working
in lead mines to be healthy; and I have since heard
that it is not a healthy place. However this may be,
they are unwilling to allow it ; for the landlady the next
morning, when I said to her " You have a cold climate,"
replied, "Ay, but it is varra halesome" We inquired
of the man respecting the large mansion ; he told us that
it was built, as we might see, in the form of an H, and
belonged to the Hopetouns, and they took their title
from thence, 1 and that part of it was used as a chapel.
We went close to it, and were a good deal amused with
the building itself, standing forth in bold contradiction
of the story which I daresay every man of Leadhills tells,
and every man believes, that it is in the shape of an H ;
it is but half an H, and one must be very accommodat-
ing to allow it even so much, for the legs are far too
We visited the burying-ground, a plot of land not
very small, crowded with graves, and upright grave-
stones, over-looking the village and the dell. It was now
the closing in of evening. Women and children were
gathering in the linen for the night, which was bleaching
1 There is some mistake here. The Hopetoun title was not
taken from any place in the Leadhills, much less from the house
shaped like an H. J. C. S.
i8o RECOLLECTIONS OF VII
by the burn-side ; the graves overgrown with grass,
such as, by industrious culture, had been raised up about
the houses ; but there were bunches of heather here and
there, and with the blue-bells that grew among the grass
the small plot of ground had a beautiful and wild
William left me, and I went to a shop to purchase
some thread ; the woman had none that suited me but
she would send a " wee lad " to the other shop. In the
meantime I sat with the mother, and was much pleased
with her manner and conversation. She had an excellent
fire, and her cottage, though very small, looked comfort-
able and cleanly ; but remember I saw it only by firelight
She confirmed what the man had told us of the quiet
manner in which they lived ; and indeed her bouse and
fireside seemed to need nothing to make it a cheerful
happy spot, but health and good humour. There was
a bookishness, a certain formality in this woman's
language, which was very remarkable. She had a dark
complexion, dark eyes, and wore a very white cap, much
over her face, which gave her the look of a French
woman, and indeed afterwards the women on the roads
frequently reminded us of French women, partly from
the extremely white caps of the elder women, and still
more perhaps from a certain gaiety and party-coloured
appearance in their dress in general. White bed-gowns
are very common, and you rarely meet a young girl with
either hat or cap ; they buckle up their hair often in a
I returned to the inn, and went into the kitchen to
speak with the landlady ; she had made a hundred
hesitations when I told her we wanted three beds. At
last she confessed she had three beds, and showed me
into a parlour which looked damp and cold, but she as-
sured me in a tone that showed she was unwilling" to be
questioned further, that all her beds were well aired.
I sat a while by the kitchen fire with the landlady, and
began to talk to her ; but, much as I had heard in her
VII A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 181
praise for the shopkeeper had told me she was a varra
discreet woman I cannot say that her manners pleased
me much. But her servant made amends, for she was
as pleasant and cheerful a lass as was ever seen ; and
when we asked her to do anything, she answered, " Oh
yes," with a merry smile, and almost ran to get us what
we wanted. She was about sixteen years old: wore
shoes and stockings, and had her hair tucked up with a
comb. The servant at Brownhill was a coarse-looking
wench, barefoot and bare -legged. I examined the
kitchen round about; it was crowded with furniture,
drawers, cupboards, dish- covers, pictures, pans, and
pots, arranged without order, except that the plates were
on shelves, and the dish-covers hung in rows ; these
were very clean, but floors, passages, staircase, every-
thing else dirty. There were two beds in recesses in
the wall ; above one of them I noticed a shelf with some
books : it made me think of Chaucer's Clerke of
Liever had he at his bed's head
Twenty books clothed in black and red.
They were baking oat-bread, which they cut into
quarters, and half-baked over the fire, and half-toasted
before it There was a suspiciousness about Mrs. Otto,
almost like ill-nature ; she was very jealous of any
inquiries that might appear to be made with the faintest
idea of a comparison between Leadhills and any other
place, except the advantage was evidently on the side of
Leadhills, We had nice honey to breakfast. When
ready to depart, we learned that we might have seen the
library, which we had not thought of till it was too late,
and we were very sorry to go away without seeing it.
Saturday, August 202^. Left Leadhills at nine
o'clock, regretting much that we could not stay another
day, that we might have made more minute inquiries re-
specting the manner of living of the miners, and been
able to form an estimate, from our own observation, of the
i82 RECOLLECTIONS OF vil
degree of knowledge, health, and comfort that there was
among them. The air was keen and cold ; we might
have supposed it to be three months later in the season
and two hours earlier in the day. The landlady had
not lighted us a fire; so I was obliged to get myself
toasted in the kitchen, and when we set off I put on
both grey cloak and spencer.
Our road carried us down the valley, and we soon
lost sight of Leadhills, for the valley made a turn almost
immediately, and we saw two miles, perhaps, before us ;
the glen sloped somewhat rapidly heathy, bare, no hut
or house. Passed by a shepherd, who was sitting upon
the ground, reading, with the book on his knee, screened
from the wind by his plaid, while a flock of sheep were
feeding near him among the rushes and coarse grass
for, as we descended we came among lands where grass
grew with the heather. Travelled through several
reaches of the glen, which somewhat resembled the
valley of Menock on the other side of Wanlockhead ;
but it was not near so beautiful ; the forms of the
mountains did not melt so exquisitely into each other,
and there was a coldness, and, if I may so speak, a
want of simplicity in the surface of the earth ; the heather
was poor, not covering a whole hill-side ; not in luxuriant
streams and beds interveined with rich verdure ; but
patchy and stunted, with here and there coarse grass
and rushes. But we soon came in sight of a spot that
impressed us very much. At the lower end of this new
reach of the vale was a decayed tree, beside a decayed
cottage, the vale spreading out into a level area which
was one large field, without fence and without division,
of a dull yellow colour ; the vale seemed to partake of
the desolation of the cottage, and to participate in its
decay. And yet the spot was in its nature so dreary that
one would rather have wondered how it ever came to be
tenanted by man, than lament that it was left to waste
and solitude. Yet the encircling hills were so exquisitely
formed that it was impossible to conceive anything more
vil A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 183
lovely than this place would have been if the valley and
hill-sides had been interspersed with trees, cottages,
green fields, and hedgerows. But all was desolate ; the
one large field which filled up the area of the valley
appeared, as I have said, in decay, and seemed to retain
the memory of its connexion with man in some way
analogous to the ruined building ; for it was as much of
a field as Mr. King's best pasture scattered over with his
We went on, looking before us, the place losing
nothing of its hold upon our minds, when we discovered
a woman sitting right in the middle of the field, alone,
wrapped up in a grey cloak or plaid. She sat motionless
all the time we looked at her, which might be nearly
half an hour. We could not conceive why she sat there,
for there were neither sheep nor cattle in the field ; her
appearance was very melancholy. In the meantime our
road carried us nearer to the cottage, though we were
crossing over the hill to the left, leaving the valley below
us, and we perceived that a part of the building was
inhabited, and that what we had supposed to be one
blasted tree was eight trees, four of which were entirely
blasted ; the others partly so, and round about the place
was a little potato and cabbage garth, fenced with earth.
No doubt, that woman had been an inhabitant of the
cottage. However this might be, there was so much
obscurity and uncertainty about her, and her figure
agreed so well with the desolation of the place, that we
were indebted to the chance of her being there for some
of the most interesting feelings that we had ever had
from natural objects connected with man in dreary
We had been advised to go along the new road,
which would have carried us down the vale ; but we
met some travellers who recommended us to climb the
hill, and go by the village of Crawford] ohn as being
much nearer. We had a long hill, and after having
reached the top, steep and bad roads, so we continued
X 8 4 RECOLLECTIONS OF vn
to walk for a considerable way. The air was cold and
clear the sky blue. We walked cheerfully along in
the sunshine, each of us alone, only William had the
charge of the horse and car, so he sometimes took a
ride, which did but poorly recompense him for the
trouble of driving. I never travelled with more cheerful
spirits than this day. Our road was along the side of a
high moor. I can always walk over a moor with a light
foot ; I seem to be drawn more closely to nature in such
places than anywhere else ; or rather I feel more strongly
the power of nature over me, and am better satisfied
with myself for being able to find enjoyment in what
unfortunately to many persons is either dismal or insipid.
This moor, however, was more than commonly interest-
ing ; we could see a long way, and on every side of us
were larger or smaller tracts of cultivated land Some
were extensive forms, yet in so large a waste they did
but look small, with farm-houses, barns, etc., others
like little cottages, with enough to feed a cow, and
supply the family with vegetables. In looking at these
farms we had always one feeling. Why did the plough
stop there ? Why might not they as well have carried
it twice as far ? There were no hedgerows near the
farms, and very few trees. As we were passing along,
we saw an old man, the first we had seen in a Highland
bonnet, walking with a staff at a very slow pace by the
edge of one of the moorland corn-fields ; he wore a grey
plaid, and a dog was by his side. There was a scriptural
solemnity in this man's figure, a sober simplicity which
was most impressive. Scotland is the country above all
others that I have seen, in which a man of imagination
may carve out his own pleasures. There are so many
inhabited solitudes, and the employments of the people
are so immediately connected with the places where you
find them, and their dresses so simple, so much alike,
yet, from their being folding garments, admitting of an
endless variety, and falling often so gracefully.
After some time we descended towards a broad vale,
vii A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 185
passed one farm-house, sheltered by fir trees, with a
burn close to it ; children playing, linen bleaching. The
vale was open pastures and corn-fields unfenced, the
land poor. The village of Crawfordjohn on the slope of
a hill a long way before us to the left. Asked about our
road of a man who was driving a cart ; he told us to go
through the village, then along some fields, and we
should come to a " herd's house by the burn side." The
highway was right through the vale, unfenced on either
side ; the people of the village, who were making hay,
all stared at us and our carriage. We inquired the road
of a middle-aged man, dressed in a shabby black coat,
at work in one of the hay fields ; he looked like the
minister of the place, and when he spoke we felt assured
that he was so, for he was not sparing of hard words,
which, however, he used with great propriety, and he
spoke like one who had been accustomed to dictate.
Our car wanted mending in the wheel, and we asked
him if there was a blacksmith in the village. "Yes," he
replied, but when we showed him the wheel he told
William that he might mend it himself without a black-
smith, and he would put him in the way ; so he fetched
hammer and nails and gave his directions, which
William obeyed, and repaired the damage entirely to his
own satisfaction and the priest's, who did not offer to
lend any assistance himself ; not as if he would not have
been willing in case of need ; but as if it were more
natural for him to dictate, and because he thought it
more fit that William should do it himself. He spoke
much about the propriety of every man's lending all the
assistance in his power to travellers, and with some
ostentation of self-praise. Here I observed a honey-
suckle and some flowers growing in a garden, the first I
had seen in Scotland. It is a pretty cheerful-looking
village, but must be very cold in winter ; it stands on a
hillside, and the vale itself is very high ground, un-
sheltered by trees.
Left the village behind us, and our road led through
c86 RECOLLECTIONS OF vn
irable ground for a considerable way, on which were
growing very good crops of corn and potatoes. Our
friend accompanied us to show us the way, and Coleridge
and he had a scientific conversation concerning the uses
and properties of lime and other manures. He seemed
to be a well-informed man ; somewhat pedantic in his
manners ; but this might be only the difference between
Scotch and English. 1
Soon after he had parted from us, we came upon a
stony, rough road over a black moor ; and presently to
the " herd's house by the burn side." We could hardly
cross the burn dry-shod, over which was the only road to
the cottage. In England there would have been
stepping-stones or a bridge ; but the Scotch need not be
afraid of wetting their bare feet The hut had its little
kail-garth fenced with earth; there was no other
enclosure but the common, heathy with coarse grass.
Travelled along the common for some miles, before we
joined the great road from Longtown to Glasgow saw
on the bare hill-sides at a distance, sometimes a solitary
farm, now and then a plantation, and one very large
wood, with an appearance of richer ground above ; but
it was so very high we could not think it possible.
Having descended considerably, the common was no
longer of a peat-mossy brown heath colour, but grass
with rushes was its chief produce ; there was sometimes
a solitary hut, no enclosures except the kail-garth, and
sheep pasturing in flocks, with shepherd-boys tending
them. I remember one boy in particular j he had no
hat on, and only had a grey plaid wrapped about him.
It is nothing to describe, but on a bare moor, alone with
his sheep, standing, as he did, in utter quietness and
silence, there was something uncommonly impressive in
his appearance, a solemnity which recalled to our minds
the old man in the corn-field. We passed many people
1 Probably the Rev. John Aird, minister of the parish, 1801-
1815. J. C. S.
vir A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 187
who were mowing, or raking the grass of the common ;
it was little better than rushes ; but they did not mow
straight forward, only here and there, where it was the
best ; in such a place hay-cocks had an uncommon
appearance to us.
After a long descent we came to some plantations
which were not far from Douglas Mill. The country
for some time had been growing into cultivation, and
now it was a wide vale with large tracts of corn ; trees
in clumps, no hedgerows, which always make a country
look bare and unlovely. For my part, I was better
pleased with the desert places we had left behind, though
no doubt the inhabitants of this place think it " a varra
bonny spot," for the Scotch are always pleased with
their own abode, be it what it may ; and afterwards at
Edinburgh, when we were talking with a bookseller of
our travels, he observed that it was "a fine country
near Douglas Mill." Douglas Mill is a single house, a
large inn, being one of the regular stages between
Longtown and Glasgow, and therefore a fair specimen of
the best of the country inns of Scotland. As soon as
our car stopped at the door we felt the difference. At
an English inn of this size, a waiter, or the master or
mistress, would have been at the door immediately, but
we remained some time before anybody came ; then a
barefooted lass made her appearance, but she only looked
at us and went away. The mistress, a remarkably
handsome woman, showed us into a large parlour ; we
ordered mutton-chops, and I finished my letter to Mary ;
writing on the same window-ledge on which William had
written to me two years before.
After dinner, William and I sat by a little mill-race
in the garden. We had left Leadhills and Wanlockhead
far above us, and now were come into a warmer climate ;
but there was no richness in the face of the country.
The shrubs looked cold and poor, and yet there were
some very fine trees within a little distance of Douglas
Mill, so that the reason, perhaps, why the few low shrubs
z88 RECOLLECTIONS OF vn
and trees which were growing in the gardens seemed
to be so uniuxuriant, might be, that there being no
hedgerows, the general appearance of the country was
naked, and I could not help seeing the same coldness
where, perhaps, it did not exist in itself to any great
degree, for the corn crops are abundant, and I should
think the soil is not bad. While we were sitting at the
door, two of the landlady's children came out ; the elder,
a boy about six years old, was running away from his
little brother, in petticoats ; the ostler called out, " Sandy,
tak* your wee brither wi j you n ; another voice from the
window, " Sawny, dinna leave your wee brither ;5 ; the
mother then came, " Alexander, tak 3 your wee brother by
the hand" ; Alexander obeyed, and the two went off in
peace together. We were charged eightpence for hay
at this inn, another symptom of our being in Scotland.
Left Douglas Mill at about three o'clock; travelled
through an open corn country, the tracts of corn large
and unenclosed. We often passed women or children
who were watching a single cow while it fed upon the
slips of grass between the corn. William asked a strong
woman, about thirty years of age, who looked like the
mistress of a family I suppose moved by some
sentiment of compassion for her being so employed, if
the cow would eat the corn if it were left to itself: she
smiled at his simplicity. It is indeed a melancholy
thing to see a full-grown woman thus waiting, as it were,
body and soul devoted to the poor beast ; yet even this
is better than working in a manufactory the day
We came to a moorish tract ; saw before us the hills
of Loch Lomond, Ben Lomond and another, distinct each
by itself. Not far from the roadside were some benches
placed in rows in the middle of a large field, with a sort
of covered shed like a sentry-box, but much more like
those boxes which the Italian puppet-showmen in London
use. We guessed that it was a pulpit or tent for
preaching, and were told that a sect met there occasion-
VII A TOUR MADE /A* SCOTLAXD 189
ally, who held that toleration was un scriptural, and
would have all religions but their own exterminated. I
have forgotten what name the man gave to this sect ; we
could not learn that it differed in any other respect from
the Church of Scotland. Travelled for some miles along
the open country, which was all without hedgerows,
sometimes arable, sometimes moorish, and often whole
tracts covered with grunsel. 1 There was one field,
which one might have believed had been sown with
grunsel, it was so regularly covered with it a large square
field upon a slope, its boundary marked to our eyes only
by the termination of the bright yellow ; contiguous to it
were other fields of the same size and shape, one of
clover, the other of potatoes, all equally regular crops.
The oddness of this appearance, the grunsel being un-
commonly luxuriant, and the field as yellow as gold,
made William laugh, Coleridge was melancholy upon
it, observing that there was land enough wasted to rear
a healthy child.
We left behind us, considerably to the right, a single
high mountain ; 2 I have forgotten its name ; we had had
it long in view. Saw before us the river Clyde, its
course at right angles to our road, which now made a
turn, running parallel with the river ; the town of Lanerk
in sight long before we came to it. I was somewhat
disappointed with the first view of the Clyde : the banks,
though swelling and varied, had a poverty in their
appearance, chiefly from the want of wood and hedge-
rows. Crossed the river and ascended towards Lanerk,
which stands upon a hill. When we were within about
a mile of the town, William parted from Coleridge and
me, to go to the celebrated waterfalls. Coleridge did
not attempt to drive the horse ; but led him all the way.
We inquired for the best inn, and were told that the
New Inn was the best ; but that they had very "genteel
apartments" at the Black Bull, and made less charges,
i Ragweed.]. C. S. * Tinto. J. C. S.
J9 o RECOLLECTIONS OF vn
and the Black Bull was at the entrance of the town, so
we thought we would stop there, as the horse was
obstinate and weary. But when we came to the Black
Bull we had no wish to enter the apartments ; for it
seemed the abode of dirt and poverty, yet it was a large
building. The town showed a sort of French face, and
would have done much more, had it not been for the
true British tinge of coal-smoke ; the doors and windows
dirty, the shops dull, the women too seemed to be very
dirty in their dress. The town itself is not ugly ; the
houses are of grey stone, the streets not very narrow,
and the market-place decent. The New Inn is a hand-
some old stone building, formerly a gentleman's house.
We were conducted into a parlour, where people had
been drinking ; the tables were unwiped, chairs in dis-
order, the floor dirty, and the smell of liquors was most
offensive. We were tired, however, and rejoiced in
The evening sun was now sending a glorious light
through the street, which ran from west to east; the
houses were of a fire red, and the faces of the people as
they walked westward were almost like a blacksmith
when he is at work by night. I longed to be out, and
meet with William, that we might see the Falls before
the day was gone. Poor Coleridge was unwell, and
could not go. I inquired my road, and a little girl told
me she would go with me to the porter's lodge, where I
might be admitted. I was grieved to hear that the Falls
of the Clyde were shut up in a gentleman's grounds, and
to be viewed only by means of lock and key. Much,
however, as the pure feeling with which one would desire
to visit such places is disturbed by useless, impertinent,
or even unnecessary interference with nature, yet when I
was there the next morning I seemed to feel it a less
disagreeable thing than in smaller and more delicate
spots, if I may use the phrase. My guide, a sensible
little girl, answered my inquiries very prettily. She was
eight years old, read in the " Collection," a book which
VII A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 191
all the Scotch children whom I have questioned read In.
I found it was a collection of hymns ; she could repeat
several of Dr. Watts'. \Ve passed through a great part
of the town, then turned down a steep hill, and came in
view of a long range of cotton mills, 1 the largest and
loftiest I had ever seen ; climbed upwards again, our
road leading us along the top of the left bank of the
river ; both banks very steep and richly wooded. The
girl left me at the porter's lodge. Having asked after
William, I was told that no person had been there, or
could enter but by the gate. The night was coming on,
therefore I did not venture to go in, as I had no hope of
meeting William. I had a delicious walk alone through
the wood ; the sound of the water was very solemn, and
even the cotton mills in the fading light of evening had
somewhat of the majesty and stillness of the natural
objects. It was nearly dark when I reached the inn. I
found Coleridge sitting by a good fire, which always
makes an inn room look comfortable. In a few minutes
William arrived ; he had heard of me at the gate, and
followed as quickly as he could, shouting after me. He
was pale and exceedingly tired.
After he had left us he had taken a wrong road, and
while looking about to set himself right had met with a
barefooted boy, who said he would go with him. The
little fellow carried him by a wild path to the upper of
the Falls, the Boniton Linn, and coming down un-
expectedly upon it, he was exceedingly affected by the
solemn grandeur of the place. This fall is not much
admired or spoken of by travellers ; you have never a
full, breast view of it ; it does not make a complete self-
satisfying place, an abode of its own, as a perfect
waterfall seems to me to do ; but the river, down which
you look through a long vista of steep and ruin -like
rocks, the roaring of the waterfall, and the solemn
evening lights, must have been most impressive. One
1 New Lanark, Robert Owen's mills. J. C. S,
19 a RECOLLECTIONS OF VI!
of the rocks on the near bank, even in broad daylight,
as we saw it the next morning, is exactly like the
fractured arch of an abbey. With the lights and
shadows of evening upon it, the resemblance must have
been much more striking.
William's guide was a pretty boy, and he was exceed-
ingly pleased with him. Just as they were quitting the
waterfall, William's mind being full of the majesty of the
scene, the little fellow pointed to the top of a rock,
"There's a fine slae-bush there." " Ay, :? said William,
" but there are no slaes upon it," which was true enough ;
but I suppose the child remembered the slaes of another
summer, though, as he said, he was but "half seven
years old," namely, six and a half. He conducted
William to the other fall, and as they were going along
a narrow path, they came to a small cavern, where
William lost him, and looking about, saw his pretty
figure in a sort of natural niche fitted for a statue, from
which the boy jumped out laughing, delighted with the
success of his trick. William told us a great deal about
him, while he sat by the fire, and of the pleasure of his
walk, often repeating, " I wish you had been with me."
Having no change, he gave the boy sixpence, which
was certainly, if he had formed any expectations at all,
far beyond them ; but he received it with the utmost
indifference, without any remark of surprise or pleasure ;
most likely he did not know how many halfpence he
could get for it, and twopence would have pleased him
more. My little girl was delighted with the sixpence I
gave her, and said she would buy a book with it on
Monday morning. What a difference between the
manner of living and education of boys and of girls among
the lower classes of people in towns ! she had never
seen the Falls of the Clyde, nor had ever been further
than the porter's lodge ; the boy, I daresay, knew every
hiding-place in every accessible rock, as well as the fine
" slae bushes " and the nut trees.
A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 193
Sunday p , August zist. The morning was very hot, a
morning to tempt us to linger by the water-side. I
wished to have had the day before us, expecting so
much from what William had seen ; but when we went
there, I did not desire to stay longer than till the hour
which we had prescribed to ourselves ; for it was a rule
not to be broken in upon, that the person who conducted
us to the Falls was to remain by our side till we chose
to depart. We left our inn immediately after breakfast.
The lanes were full of people going to church ; many of
the middle-aged women wore long scarlet cardinals, and
were without hats : they brought to my mind the women
of Goslar as they used to go to church in their silver or
gold caps, with their long cloaks, black or coloured.
The banks of the Clyde from Lanerk to the Falls
rise immediately from the river; they are lofty and
steep, and covered with wood. The road to the Falls is
along the top of one of the banks, and to the left you
have a prospect of the open country, corn fields and
scattered houses. To the right, over the river, the
country spreads out, as it were, into a plain covered
over with hills, no one hill much higher than another,
but hills all over ; there were endless pastures overgrown
with broom, and scattered trees, without hedges or
fences of any kind, and no distinct footpaths. It was
delightful to see the lasses in gay dresses running like
cattle among the broom, making their way straight for-
ward towards the river, here and there as it might
chance. They waded across the stream, and, when
they had reached the top of the opposite bank, sat down
by the road-side, about half a mile from the town, to
put on their shoes and cotton stockings, which they
brought tied up in pocket-handkerchiefs. The porter's
lodge is about a mile from Lanerk, and the lady's house
for the whole belongs to a lady, whose name I have
VOL. I O
i 9 4 RECOLLECTIONS OF VII
forgotten 1 is upon a hill at a little distance. We
walked, after we had entered the private grounds,
perhaps two hundred yards along a gravel carriage-road,
then came to a little side gate, which opened upon a
narrow gravel path under trees, and in a minute and a
half, or less, were directly opposite to the great waterfall.
I was much affected by the first view of it. The
majesty and strength of the water, for I had never
before seen so large a cataract, struck me with astonish-
ment, which died away, giving place to more delightful
feelings ; though there were some buildings that I could
have wished had not been there, though at first un-
noticed. The chief of them was a neat, white, lady-like
house, 2 very near to the waterfall. William and Cole-
ridge however were in a better and perhaps wiser
humour, and did not dislike the house ; indeed, it was a
very nice-looking place, with a moderate-sized garden,
leaving the green fields free and open. This house is
on the side of the river opposite to the grand house and
the pleasure-grounds. The waterfall Cora Linn is
composed of two falls, with a sloping space, which
appears to be about twenty yards between, but is much
more. The basin which receives the fall is enclosed by
noble rocks, with trees, chiefly hazels, birch, and ash
growing out of their sides whenever there is any hold
for them ; and a magnificent resting-place it is for such
a river ; I think more grand than the Falls themselves.
After having stayed some time, we returned by the
same footpath into the main carriage-road, and soon
came upon what William calls an ell-wide gravel walk,
from which we had different views of the Linn. We sat
upon a bench, placed for the sake of one of these views,
whence we looked down upon the waterfall, and over
the open country, and saw a ruined tower, called
Wallace's Tower, which stands at a very little distance
from the fall, and is an interesting object. A lady and
1 Lady Mary Ross. J. C. S. 3 Corehouse. J. C. S.
vil A TOUR MADE 7A r SCOTLAND 195
gentleman, more expeditious tourists than ourselves,
came to the spot ; they left us at the seat, and we found
them again at another station above the Falls. Cole-
ridge, who is always good-natured enough to enter into
conversation with anybody whom he meets in his way,
began to talk with the gentleman, who observed that it
was a majestic waterfall Coleridge was delighted with
the accuracy of the epithet, particularly as he had been
settling in his own mind the precise meaning of the
words grand, majestic, sublime, etc., and had discussed
the subject with William at some length the day before.
" Yes, sir, 3 ' says Coleridge, " it z's a majestic waterfall."
" Sublime and beautiful," replied his friend. Poor
Coleridge could make no answer, and, not very desirous
to continue the conversation, came to us and related the
story, laughing heartily.
The distance from one Linn to the other may be half
a mile or more, along the same ell-wide walk. We
came to a pleasure-house, of which the little girl had the
key ; she said it was called the Fog-house, because it
was lined with " fog," namely moss. On the outside it
resembled some of the huts in the prints belonging to
Captain Cook's Voyages, and within was like a hay-stack
scooped out. It was circular, with a dome-like roof, a
seat all round fixed to the wall, and a table in the
middle, seat, wall, roof, and table all covered with moss
in the neatest manner possible. It was as snug as a
bird's nest ; I wish we had such a one at the top of our
orchard, only a great deal smaller. We afterwards
found that huts of the same kind were common in the
pleasure-grounds of Scotland; but we never saw any
that were so beautifully wrought as this. It had, how-
ever, little else to recommend it, the situation being
chosen without judgment ; there was no prospect from
it, nor was it a place of seclusion and retirement, for it
stood close to the ell-wide gravel walk. We wished we
could have shoved it about a hundred yards further on,
when we arrived at a bench which was also close to the
196 RECOLLECTIONS OF vu
walk, for just below the bench, the walk elbowing out
into a circle, there was a beautiful spring of clear water,
which we could see rise up continually, at the bottom of
a round stone basin full to the brim, the water gushing
out at a little outlet and passing away under the walk.
A reason was wanted for placing the hut where it is ;
what a good one would this little spring have furnished
for bringing it hither ! Along the whole of the path
were openings at intervals for views of the river, but, as
almost always happens in gentlemen's grounds, they
were injudiciously managed; you were prepared for a
dead stand by a parapet, a painted seat, or some other
We stayed some time at the Boniton Fall, which has
one great advantage over the other falls, that it is at the
termination of the pleasure-grounds, and we see no
traces of the boundary-line ; yet, except under some
accidental circumstances, such as a sunset like that of
the preceding evening, it is greatly inferior to the Cora
Linn. We returned to the inn to dinner. The landlord
set the first dish upon the table, as is common in
England, and we were well waited upon. This first
dish was true Scottish a boiled sheep's head, with the
hair singed off; Coleridge and I ate heartily of it; we
had barley broth, in which the sheep's head had been
boiled. A party of tourists whom we had met in the
pleasure-grounds drove from the door while we were
waiting for dinner; I guess they were fresh from
England, for they had stuffed the pockets of their
carriage with bundles of heather, roots and all, just as if
Scotland grew no heather but on the banks of the
Clyde. They passed away with their treasure towards
Loch Lomond. A party of boys, dressed all alike in
blue, very neat, were standing at the chaise-door; we
conjectured they were charity scholars ; but found on
inquiry that they were apprentices to the cotton factory ;
we were told that they were well instructed in reading
and writing. We had seen in the morning a flock of
vii A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 197
girls dressed in grey coming out of the factory, probably
After dinner set off towards Hamilton, but on foot,
for we had to turn aside to the Cartland Rocks, and our
car was to meet us on the road. A guide attended us,
who might almost in size, and certainly in activity, have
been compared with William's companion who hid him-
self in the niche of the cavern. His method of walking
and very quick step soon excited our attention. I could
hardly keep up with him ; he paddled by our side, just
reaching to my shoulder, like a little dog, with his long
snout pushed before him for he had an enormous nose,
and walked with his head foremost. I said to him,
"How quick you walk ! " he replied, " That was not
quick walking," and when I asked him what he called
so, he said " Five miles an hour," and then related in
how many hours he had lately walked from Lanerk to
Edinburgh, done some errands, and returned to Lanerk
I have forgotten the particulars, but it was a very
short time and added that he had an old father who
could walk at the rate of four miles an hour, for twenty-
four miles, any day, and had never had an hour's sick-
ness in his life. "Then," said I, "he has not drunk
much strong liquor?" "Yes, enough to drown him."
From his eager manner of uttering this, I inferred that
he himself was a drinker ; and the man who met us
with the car told William that he gained a great deal
of money as an errand-goer, but spent it all in tippling.
He had been a shoe-maker, but could not bear the
confinement on account of a weakness in his chest.
The neighbourhood of Lanerk is exceedingly pleasant ;
we came to a sort of district of glens or little valleys that
cleave the hills, leaving a cheerful, open country above
them, with no superior hills, but an undulating surface.
Our guide pointed to the situation of the Cartland Crags.
We were to cross a narrow valley, and walk down on
the other side, and then we should be at the spot ; but
the little fellow made a sharp turn down a footpath to
198 RECOLLECTIONS OF VII
the left, saying, "We must have some conversation
here." He paddled on with his small pawing feet till
we came right opposite to a gentleman's house on the
other side of the valley, when he halted, repeating some
words, I have forgotten what, which were taken up by
the most distinct echo I ever heard this is saying little :
it was the most distinct echo that it is possible to
conceive. It shouted the names of our fireside friends
in the very tone in which William and Coleridge spoke ;
but it seemed to make a joke of me, and I could not
help laughing at my own voice, it was so shrill and pert,
exactly as if some one had been mimicking it very
successfully, with an intention of making me ridiculous.
I wished Joanna had been there to laugh, for the echo
is an excellent laugher, and would have almost made
her believe that it was a true story which William has
told of her and the mountains. We turned back, crossed
the valley, went through the orchard and plantations
belonging to the gentleman's house. By the bye, we
observed to our guide that the echo must bring many
troublesome visitors to disturb the quiet of the owner
of that house, " Oh no," said he, " he glories in much
company." He was a native of that neighbourhood,
had made a moderate fortune abroad, purchased an
estate, built the house, and raised the plantations ; and
further, had made a convenient walk through his woods
to the Cartland Crags. The house was modest and
neat, and though not adorned in the best taste, and
though the plantations were of fir, we looked at it with
great pleasure, there was such true liberality and kind-
heartedness in leaving his orchard path open, and his
walks unobstructed by gates. I hope this goodness
is not often abused by plunderers of the apple-trees,
which were hung with tempting apples close to the
At the termination of the little valley, we descended
through a wood along a very steep path to a muddy
stream running over limestone rocks ; turned up to the
VII A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 199
left along the bed of the stream, and soon we were closed
in by rocks on each side. They were very lofty of
limestone, trees starting out of them, high and low,
overhanging the stream or shooting up towards the sky.
No place of the kind could be more beautiful if the
stream had been clear, but it was of a muddy yellow
colour ; had it been a large river, one might have got
the better of the unpleasantness of the muddy water hi
the grandeur of its roaring, the boiling up of the foam
over the rocks, or the obscurity of its pools.
We had been told that the Cartland Crags were better
worth going to see than the Falls of the Clyde. I did
not think so ; but I have seen rocky dells resembling
this before, with clear water instead of that muddy stream,
and never saw anything like the Falls of the Clyde. It
would be a delicious spot to have near one's house ; one
would linger out many a day in the cool shade of the
caverns, and the stream would soothe one by its murmur-
ing ; still, being an old friend, one would not love it the
less for its homely face. Even we, as we passed along,
could not help stopping for a long while to admire the
beauty of the lazy foam, for ever in motion, and never
moved away, in a still place of the water, covering the
whole surface of it with streaks and lines and ever-vary-
ing circles. Wild marjoram grew upon the rocks in
great perfection and beauty ; our guide gave me a bunch,
and said he should come hither to collect a store for tea
for the winter, and that it was u varra halesome " : he
drank none else. We walked perhaps half a mile along
the bed of the river; but it might seem to be much
further than it was, owing to the difficulty of the path,
and the sharp and many turnings of the glen. Passed
two of Wallace's Caves. There is scarce a noted glen
in Scotland that has not a cave for Wallace or some
other hero. Before we left the river the rocks became
less lofty, turned into a wood through which was a
convenient path upwards, met the owner of the house
and the echo-ground, and thanked him for the pleasure
200 RECOLLECTIONS OF vii
which he had provided for us and other travellers by
making such pretty pathways.
It was four o'clock when we reached the place where
the car was waiting. We were anxious to be off, as we
had fifteen miles to go ; but just as we were seating
ourselves we found that the cushions were missing.
William was forced to go back to the town, a mile at
least, and Coleridge and I waited with the car. It
rained, and we had some fear that the evening would be
wet, but the rain soon ceased, though the sky continued
gloomy an unfortunate circumstance, for we had to
travel through a beautiful country, and of that sort which
is most set off by sunshine and pleasant weather.
Travelled through the Vale or Trough of the Clyde,
as it is called, for ten or eleven miles, having the river
on our right. We had fine views both up and down the
river for the first three or four miles, our road being not
close to it, but above its banks, along the open country,
which was here occasionally intersected by hedgerows.
Left our car in the road, and turned down a field to
the Fall of Stonebyres, another of the falls of the Clyde,
which I had not heard spoken of; therefore it gave me
the more pleasure. We saw it from the top of the bank
of the river at a little distance. It has not the imposing
majesty of Cora Linn ; but it has the advantage of being
left to itself, a grand solitude in the heart of a populous
country. We had a prospect above and below it, of
cultivated grounds, with hay-stacks, houses, hills ; but
the river's banks were lonesome, steep, and woody, with
rocks near the fall.
A little further on, came more into company with the
river ; sometimes we were close to it, sometimes above
it, but always at no great distance ; and now the vale
became more interesting and amusing. It is, very
populous, with villages, hamlets, single cottages, or farm-
houses embosomed in orchards, and scattered over with
gentlemen's houses, some of them very ugly, tall and
obtrusive, others neat and comfortable. We seemed
vii A TOUR MADE. IN SCOTLAND 201
now to have got into a country where poverty and riches
were shaking hands together ; pears and apples, of which
the crop was abundant, hung over the road, often grow-
ing in orchards unfenced ; or there might be bunches of
broom along the road-side in an interrupted line, that
looked like a hedge till we came to it and saw the gaps.
Bordering on these fruitful orchards perhaps would be a
patch, its chief produce being gorse or broom. There
was nothing like a moor or common anywhere ; but
small plots of uncultivated ground were left high and
low, among the potatoes, corn, cabbages, which grew
intermingled, now among trees, now bare. The Trough
of the Clyde is, indeed, a singular and very interesting
region ; it is somewhat like the upper pan of the vale of
Nith, but above the Nith is much less cultivated ground
without hedgerows or orchards, or anything that looks
like a rich country. We met crowds of people coming
from the kirk ; the lasses were gaily dressed, often in
white gowns, coloured satin bonnets, and coloured silk
handkerchiefs, and generally with their shoes and stock-
ings in a bundle hung on their arm. Before we left the
river the vale became much less interesting, resembling
a poor English country, the fields being large, and un-
It had been dark long before we reached Hamilton,
and William had some difficulty in driving the tired
horse through the town. At the inn they hesitated
about being able to give us beds, the house being brim-
full lights at every window. We were rather alarmed
for our accommodations during the rest of the tour,
supposing the house to be filled with tourists; but they
were in general only regular travellers ; for out of the
main road from town to town we saw scarcely a carriage,
and the inns were empty. There was nothing remark-
able in the treatment we met with at this inn, except
the lazy impertinence of the waiter. It was a townish
place, with a great larder set out ; the house throughout
203 RECOLLECTIONS OF vn
Monday ', August i2,nd. Immediately after breakfast
walked to the Duke of Hamilton's house to view the
picture-gallery, chiefly the famous picture of Daniel in
the Lions' Den, by Rubens. It is a large building,
without grandeur, a heavy, lumpish mass, after the
fashion of the Hopetoun H, 1 only five times the size,
and with longer legs, which makes it gloomy. We
entered the gate, passed the porter's lodge, where we
saw nobody, and stopped at the front door, as William
had done two years before with Sir William Rush's
family. We were met by a little mean -looking man,
shabbily dressed, out of livery, who, we found, was the
porter. After scanning us over, he told us that we
ought not to have come to that door. We said we were
sorry for the mistake, but as one of our party had been
there two years before, and was admitted by the same
entrance, we had supposed it was the regular way.
After many hesitations, and having kept us five minutes
waiting in the large hall, while he went to consult with
the housekeeper, he informed us that we could not be
admitted at that time, the housekeeper being unwell ;
but that we might return in an hour : he then conducted
us through long gloomy passages to an obscure door at
the corner of the house. We asked if we might be per-
mitted to walk in the park in the meantime; and he
told us that ' this would not be agreeable to the Duke's
family. We returned to the inn discontented enough,
but resolved not to waste an hour, if there were anything
else in the neighbourhood worth seeing. The waiter
told us there was a curious place called Baroncleugh,
with gardens cut out in rocks, and we determined to go
thither. We had to walk through the town, which may
be about as large as Penrith, and perhaps a mile further,
along a dusty turnpike road. The morning was
1 The house belonging to the Earls of Hopetoun at Leadhills,
not tt^at which bears this name about twelve miles from Edin-
burgh.;. C. S.
vii A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 203
sunny, and windy, and we were half tired before we
reached the place ; but were amply repaid for our
The general face of the country near Hamilton is
much in the ordinary English style ; not very hilly, with
hedgerows, corn fields, and stone houses. The Clyde is
here an open river with low banks, and the country
spreads out so wide that there is no appearance of a
regular vale. Baroncleugh is in a beautiful deep glen
through which runs the river Avon, a stream that falls
into the Clyde. The house stands very sweetly in com-
plete retirement ; it has its gardens and terraces one
above another, with flights of steps between, box-trees
and yew-trees cut in fantastic shapes, flower-borders and
summer-houses ; and, still below, apples and pears were
hanging in abundance on the branches of large old trees,
which grew intermingled with the natural wood, elms,
beeches, etc., even to the water's edge. The whole
place is in perfect harmony with the taste of our
ancestors, and the yews and hollies are shaven as nicely,
and the gravel walks and flower-borders kept in as exact
order, as if the spirit of the first architect of the terraces
still presided over them. The opposite bank of the
river is left in its natural wildness, and nothing was to
be seen higher up but the deep dell, its steep banks
being covered with fine trees, a beautiful relief or con-
trast to the garden, which is one of the most elaborate
old things ever seen, a little hanging garden of Babylon.
I was sorry to hear that the owner of this sweet place
did not live there always. He had built a small thatched
house to eke out the old one : it was a neat dwelling,
with no false ornaments. We were exceedingly sorry to
quit this spot, which is left to nature and past times, and
should have liked to have pursued the glen further up ;
we were told that there was a ruined castle ; and the
walk itself must be very delightful ; but we wished to
reach Glasgow in good time, and had to go again to
Hamilton House. Returned to the town by a much
204 RECOLLECTIONS OF VII
shorter road, and were very angry with the waiter for
not having directed us to it ; but he was too great a
man to speak three words more than he could help.
We stopped at the proper door of the Duke's house,
and seated ourselves humbly upon a bench, waiting the
pleasure of the porter, who, after a little time, informed
us that we could not be admitted, giving no reason
whatever. When we got to the inn, we could just
gather from the waiter that it was not usual to refuse
admittance to strangers ; but that was all : he could not,
or would not, help us, so we were obliged to give it up,
which mortified us, for I had wished much to see the
picture. William vowed that he would write that very
night to Lord Archibald Hamilton, stating the whole
matter, which he did from Glasgow.
I ought to have mentioned the park, though, as we
were not allowed to walk there, we saw but little of it.
It looked pleasant, as all parks with fine trees must be,
but, as it seemed to be only a large, nearly level, plain,
it could not be a particularly beautiful park, though it
borders upon the Clyde, and the Avon runs, I believe,
through it, after leaving the solitude of the glen of
Quitted Hamilton at about eleven o'clock. There is
nothing interesting between Hamilton and Glasgow till
we came to Bothwell Castle, a few miles from Hamilton.
The country is cultivated, but not rich, the fields large,
a perfect contrast to the huddling together of hills and
trees, corn and pasture grounds, hay-stacks, cottages,
orchards, broom and gorse, but chiefly broom, that had
amused us so much the evening before in passing through
the Trough of the Clyde. A native of Scotland would
not probably be satisfied with the account I have given
of the Trough of the Clyde, for it is one of the most
celebrated scenes in Scotland. We certainly received
less pleasure from it than we had expected ; but it was
plain that this was chiefly owing to the unfavourable
circumstances under which we saw it a gloomy sky
vii A TOUR MADS IN SCOTLAND 205
and a cold blighting wind. It is a very beautiful dis-
trict, yet there, as in all the other scenes of Scotland
celebrated for their fertility, we found something which
gave us a notion of barrenness, of what was not alto-
gether genial. The new fir and larch plantations, here
as in almost every other part of Scotland, contributed
not a little to this effect.
Crossed the Clyde not far from Hamilton, and had
the river for some miles at a distance from us, on our
left ; but after having gone, it might be, three miles, we
came to a porter's lodge on the left side of the road,
where we were to turn to Bothwell Castle, which is in
Lord Douglas's grounds. The woman who keeps the
gate brought us a book, in which we wrote down our
names. Went about half a mile before we came to the
pleasure-grounds. Came to a large range of stables,
where we were to leave the car ; but there was no one
to unyoke the horse, so William was obliged to do it
himself, a task which lie performed very awkwardly,
being then new to it. We saw the ruined castle em-
bosomed in trees, passed the house, and soon found
ourselves on the edge of a steep brow immediately above
and overlooking the course of the river Clyde through a
deep hollow between woods and green steeps. We had
approached at right angles from the main road to the
place over a flat, and had seen nothing before us but a
nearly level country terminated by distant slopes, the
Clyde hiding himself in his deep bed. It was exceed-
ingly delightful to come thus unexpectedly upon such a
The Castle stands nobly, overlooking the Clyde.
When we came up to it I was hurt to see that flower-
borders had taken place of the natural overgrowings
of the ruin, the scattered stones and wild plants. It is
a large and grand pile, of red freestone, harmonizing
perfectly with the rocks of the river, from which, no
doubt, it has been hewn. When I was a little accus-
tomed to the unnaturalness of a modern garden, I could
206 RECOLLECTIONS OP Vli
not help admiring the excessive beauty and luxuriance
of some of the plants, particularly the purple-flowered
clematis, and a broad -leaved creeping plant without
flowers, which scrambled up the castle wall along with
the ivy, and spread its vine-like branches so lavishly
that it seemed to be in its natural situation, and one
could not help thinking that, though not self-planted
among the ruins of this country, it must somewhere have
its natural abode in such places. If Bothwell Castle
had not been close to the Douglas mansion we should
have been disgusted with the possessor's miserable con-
ception of " adorning " such a venerable ruin ; but it is
so very near to the house that of necessity the pleasure-
grounds must have extended beyond it, and perhaps the
neatness of a shaven lawn and the complete desolation
natural to a ruin might have made an unpleasing con-
trast ; and besides, being within the precincts of the
pleasure-grounds, and so very near to the modern
mansion of a noble family, it has forfeited in some
degree its independent majesty, and becomes a tributary
to the mansion ; its solitude being interrupted, it has no
longer the same command over the mind in sending it
back into past times, or excluding the ordinary feelings
which we bear about us in daily life. We had then only
to regret that the castle and house were so near to each
other; and it was impossible not to regret it; for the
ruin presides in state over the river, far from city or
town, as if it might have had a peculiar privilege to
preserve its memorials of past ages and maintain its
own character and independence for centuries to come.
We sat upon a bench under the high trees, and had
beautiful views of the different reaches of the river above
and below. On the opposite bank, which is finely
wooded with elms and other trees, are the remains of
an ancient priory, built upon a rock : and rock and ruin
are so blended together tbat it is impossible to separate
the one from the other. Nothing can be more beautiful
than the little remnants of this holy place ; elm trees
vii A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 207
for we were near enough to distinguish them by their
branches grow out of the walls, and overshadow a
small but very elegant window. It can scarcely be
conceived what a grace the castle and priory impart to
each other ; and the river Clyde flows on smooth and
unruffled below, seeming to my thoughts more in har-
mony with the sober and stately images of former times,
than if it had roared over a rocky channel, forcing its
sound upon the ear. It blended gently with the warb-
ling of the smaller birds and chattering of the larger
ones that had made their nests in the ruins. In this
fortress the chief of the English nobility were confined
after the battle of Bannockburn. If a man is to be a
prisoner, he scarcely could have a more pleasant place
to solace his captivity; but I thought that for close
confinement I should prefer the banks of a lake or the
sea-side. The greatest charm of a brook or river is in
the liberty to pursue it through its windings ; you can
then take it in whatever mood you like ; silent or noisy,
sportive or quiet. The beauties of a brook or river must
be sought, and the pleasure is in going in search of
them ; those of a lake or of the sea come to you of
themselves. These rude warriors cared little perhaps
about either ; and yet if one may judge from the writings
of Chaucer and from the old romances, more interesting
passions were connected with natural objects in the days
of chivalry than now, though going in search of scenery,
as it is called, had not then been thought of. I had
heard nothing of Bothwell Castle, at least nothing that I
remembered, therefore, perhaps, my pleasure was greater,
compared with what I received elsewhere, than others
At our return to the stables we found an inferior
groom, who helped William to yoke the horse, and was
very civil. We grew hungry before we had travelled
many miles, and seeing a large public-house it was in a
walled court some yards from the road Coleridge got
off the car to inquire if we could dine there, and was told
2o8 RECOLLECTIONS OF vn
we could have nothing but eggs. It was a miserable
place, very like a French house ; indeed we observed, in
almost every part of Scotland, except Edinburgh, that we
were reminded ten times of France and Germany for once
Saw nothing remarkable after leaving Bothwell, except
the first view of Glasgow, at some miles distance,
terminated by the mountains of Loch Lomond. The
suburbs of Glasgow extend very far, houses on each side
of the highway, all ugly, and the inhabitants dirty.
The roads are very wide ; and everything seems to tell
of the neighbourhood of a large town. We were annoyed
by carts and dirt, and the road was full of people, who
aU noticed our car in one way or other; the children
often sent a hooting after us.
Wearied completely, we at last reached the town, and
were glad to walk, leading the car to the first decent inn,
which was luckily not far from the end of the town.
William, who gained most of his road-knowledge from
ostlers, had been informed of this house by the ostler at
Hamilton ; it proved quiet and tolerably cheap, a new
building the Saracen's Head. I shall never forget how
glad I was to be landed in a little quiet back-parlour, for
my head was beating with the noise of carts which we
had left, and the wearisomeness of the disagreeable
objects near the highway ; but with my first pleasant
sensations also came the feeling that we were not in an
English inn partly from its half-unfurnished appearance,
which is common in Scotland, for in general the deal
wainscots and doors are unpainted, and partly from the
dirtiness of the floors. Having dined, William and I
walked to the post-office, and after much seeking found
out a quiet timber-yard wherein to sit down and read our
letter. We then walked a considerable time in the
streets, which are perhaps as handsome as streets can be,
which derive no particular effect from their situation in
connexion with natural advantages, such as rivers, sea, or
hills. The Trongate, an old street, is very picturesque
vii A TOUR MADE AV SCOTLAND 209
high houses, with an intermixture of gable fronts towards
the street. The New Town is built of fine stone, in the
best style of the very best London streets at the west end
of the town, but, not being of brick, they are greatly
superior. One thing must strike every stranger in his
first walk through Glasgow an appearance of business
and bustle, but no coaches or gentlemen's carriages ;
during all the time we walked in the streets I only saw
three carriages, and these were travelling chaises. I also
could not but observe a want of cleanliness in the
appearance of the lower orders of the people, and a
dulness in the dress and outside of the whole mass, as
they moved along. We returned to the inn before it
was dark. I had a bad headache, and was tired, and we
all went to bed soon.
Tuesday^ August z^rd. A cold morning. Walked
to the bleaching-ground, 1 a large field bordering on the
Clyde, the banks of which are perfectly flat, and the
general face of the country is nearly so in the neighbour-
hood of Glasgow. This field, the whole summer through,
is covered with women of all ages, children, and young
girls spreading out their linen, and watching it while it
bleaches. The scene must be very cheerful on a fine
day, but it rained when we were there^ and though there
was linen spread out in all parts, and great numbers of
women and girls were at work, yet there would have been
many more on a fine day, and they would have appeared
happy, instead of stupid and cheerless. In the middle
of the field is a wash-house, whither the inhabitants of
this large town, rich and poor, send or cariy their linen
to be washed. There are two very large rooms, with
each a cistern in the middle for hot water ; and all round
the rooms are benches for the women to set their tubs
upon. Both the rooms were crowded with washers ;
there might be a hundred, or two, or even three ; for it
1 Glasgow Green. J. C. S.
VOL. I P
210 RECOLLECTIONS OF vn
is not easy to form an accurate notion of so great a
number ; however, the rooms were large, and they were
both full. It was amusing to see so many women, arms,
head, and face all in motion, all busy in an ordinary
household employment, in which we are accustomed to
see, at the most, only three or four women employed in
one place. The women were very civiL I learnt from
them the regulations of the house ; but I have forgotten
the particulars. The substance of them is, that " so
much " is to be paid for each tub of water, " so much " for
a tub, and the privilege of washing for a day, and, " so
much " to the general overlookers of the linen, when it is
left to be bleached. An old man and woman have this
office, who were walking about, two melancholy figures.
The shops at Glasgow are large, and like London
shops, and we passed by the largest coffee-room I ever
saw. You look across the piazza of the Exchange, and
see to the end of the coffee-room, where there is a circular
window, the width of the room. Perhaps there might be
thirty gentlemen sitting on the circular bench of the
window, each reading a newspaper. They had the
appearance of figures in a fantoccine, or men seen at the
extremity of the opera-house, diminished into puppets.
I am sorry I did not see the High Church : both
William and I were tired, and it rained very hard after
we had left the bleaching-ground ; besides, I am less
eager to walk in a large town than anywhere else ; so we
put it off, and I have since repented of my irresolution.
Dined, and left Glasgow at about three o'clock, in a
heavy rain. We were obliged to ride through the
streets to keep our feet dry, and, in spite of the rain,
every person as we went along stayed his steps to look
at us ; indeed, we had the pleasure of spreading smiles
from one end of Glasgow to the other for we travelled
the whole length of the town. A set of schoolboys,
perhaps there might be eight, with satchels over their
shoulders, and, except one or two, without shoes and
stockings, yet very well dressed in jackets and trousers,
A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND
like gentlemen's children, followed us in great delight,
admiring the car and longing to jump up. At last,
though we were seated, they made several attempts to
get on behind ; and they looked so pretty and wild, and
at the same time so modest, that we wished to give them
a ride, and there being a little hill near the end of the
town, we got off, and four of them who still remained,
the rest having dropped into their homes by the way,
took our places ; and indeed I would have walked two
miles willingly, to have had the pleasure of seeing them
so happy. When they were to ride no longer, they
scampered away, laughing and rejoicing. New houses
are rising up in great numbers round Glasgow, citizen-
like houses, and new plantations, chiefly of fir; the
fields are frequently enclosed by hedgerows, but there is
no richness, nor any particular beauty for some miles.
The first object that interested us was a gentleman's
house upon a green plain or holm, almost close to the
Clyde, sheltered by tall trees, a quiet modest mansion,
and, though white-washed, being an old building, and
no other house near it, or in connexion with it, and
standing upon the level field, which belonged to it, its
own domain, the whole scene together brought to our
minds an image of the retiredness and sober elegance of
a nunnery ; but this might be owing to the greyness of
the afternoon, and our having come immediately from
Glasgow, and through a country which, till now, had
either had a townish taint, or at best little of rural
beauty. While we were looking at the house we over-
took a foot-traveller, who, like many others, began to
talk about our car. We alighted to walk up a hill, and,
continuing the conversation, the man told us, with some-
thing like a national pride, that it belonged to a Scotch
Lord, Lord Semple ; he added, that a little further on
we should see a much finer prospect, as fine a one as
ever we had seen in our lives. Accordingly, when we
came to the top of the hill, it opened upon us most
magnificently. We saw the Clyde, now a stately sea-
river, winding away mile after mile, spotted with boats
and ships, each side of the river hilly, the right populous
with single houses and villages Dunglass Castle upon
a promontory, the whole view terminated by the rock of
Dumbarton, at five or six miles' distance, which stands
by itself, without any hills near it, like a sea-rock.
We travelled for some time near the river, passing
through clusters of houses which seemed to owe their
existence rather to the wealth of the river than the land,
for the banks were mostly bare, and the soil appeared
poor, even near the water. The left side of the river
was generally uninhabited and moorish, yet there are
some beautiful spots : for instance, a nobleman's house, 1
where the fields and trees were rich, and, hi combination
with the river, looked very lovely. As we went along
William and I were reminded of the views upon the
Thames in Kent, which, though greatly superior in rich-
ness and softness, are much inferior in grandeur. Not
far from Dumbarton, we passed under some rocky,
copse-covered hills, which were so like some of the hills
near Grasmere that we could have half believed they
were the same. Arrived at Dumbarton before it was
dark, having pushed on briskly that we might have start
of a traveller at the inn, who was following us as fast as
he could in a gig. Every front room was full, and we
were afraid we should not have been admitted. They put
us into a little parlour, dirty, and smelling of liquors, the
table uncleaned, and not a chair in its place ; we were
glad, however, of our sorry accommodations.
While tea was preparing we lolled at our ease, and
though the room -window overlooked the stable -yard,
and at our entrance there appeared to be nothing but
gloom and unloveliness, yet while I lay stretched upon
the carriage cushions on three chairs, I discovered a
little side peep which was enough to set the mind at
work. It was no more than a smoky vessel lying at
1 No doubt Erskine House, the seat of Lord Blantyre. -J. C. S.
VII A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 213
anchor, with its bare masts, a clay hut and the shelving
bank of the river, with a green pasture above. Perhaps
you will think that there is not much in this, as I
describe it : it is true ; but the effect produced by these
simple objects, as they happened to be combined,
together with the gloom of the evening, was exceedingly
wild. Our room was parted by a slender partition from
a large dining-room, in which were a number of officers
and their wives, who, after the first hour, never ceased
singing, dancing, laughing, or loud talking. The ladies
sang some pretty songs, a great relief to us. We went
early to bed ; but poor Coleridge could not sleep for the
noise at the street door ; he lay in the parlour below
stairs. It is no uncommon thing in the best inns of
Scotland to have shutting-up beds in the sitting-rooms.
Wednesday p , August 24^. As soon as breakfast was
over, William and I walked towards the Castle, a short
mile from the town. We overtook two young men, who,
on our asking the road, offered to conduct us, though it
might seem it was not easy to miss our way, for the rock
rises singly by itself from the plain on which the town
stands. The rock of Dumbarton is very grand when
you are close to it, but at a little -distance, under an
ordinary sky, and in open day, it is not grand, but
curiously wild. The castle and fortifications add little
effect to the general view of the rock, especially since
the building of a modern house, which is white- washed,
and consequently jars, wherever it is seen, with the
natural character of the place. There is a path up to
the house, but it being low water we could walk round
the rock, which we resolved to do. On that side next
the town green grass grows to a considerable height up
the rock, but wherever the river borders upon it, it is
naked stone. I never saw rock in nobler masses, or
more deeply stained by time and weather ; nor is this to
be wondered at, for it is in the very eye of sea-storms
and land-storms, of mountain winds and water winds.
RECOLLECTIONS OF VII
It is of all colours, but a rusty yellow predominates.
As we walked along, we could not but look up continually,
and the mass above being on every side so huge, it
appeared more wonderful than when we saw the whole
We sat down on one of the large stones which lie
scattered near the base of the rock, with sea-weed grow-
ing amongst them. Above our heads the rock was
perpendicular for a considerable height, nay, as it seemed,
to the very top, and on the brink of the precipice a few
sheep, two of them rams with twisted horns, stood, as if
on the look-out over the wide country. At the same
time we saw a sentinel in his red coat, walking back-
wards and forwards between us and the sky, with his
firelock over his shoulder. The sheep, I suppose owing
to our being accustomed to see them in similar situations,
appeared to retain their real size, while, on the contrary,
the soldier seemed to be diminished by the distance till
he almost looked like a puppet moved with wires for the
pleasure of children, or an eight years 3 old drummer in
his stiff, manly dress beside a company of grenadiers.
I had never before, perhaps, thought of sheep and men
in soldiers 7 dresses at the same time, and here they were
brought together in a strange fantastic way. As will be
easily conceived, the fearlessness and stillness of those
quiet creatures, on the brow of the rock, pursuing their
natural occupations, contrasted with the restless and
apparently unmeaning motions of the dwarf soldier,
added not a little to the general effect of this place,
which is that of wild singularity, and the whole was
aided by a blustering wind and a gloomy sky. Coleridge
joined us, and we went up to the top of the rock.
The road to a considerable height is through a narrow
cleft, in which a flight of steps is 'hewn ; the steps
nearly fill the cleft, and on each side the rocks form a
high and irregular wall ; it is almost like a long sloping
caveni, only that it is roofed by the sky. We came to
the barracks ; soldiers' wives were hanging out linen upon
vii A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 215
the rails, while the wind beat about them furiously
there was nothing which it could set in motion but the
garments of the women and the linen upon the rails ;
the grass for we had now come to green grass was
close and smooth, and not one pile an inch above
another, and neither tree nor shrub. The standard pole
stood erect without a flag. The rock has two summits,
one much broader and higher than the other. When
we were near to the top of the lower eminence we had
the pleasure of finding a little garden of flowers and
vegetables belonging to the soldiers. There are three
distinct and very noble prospects the first up the Clyde
towards Glasgow Dunglass Castle, seen on its pro-
montory boats, sloops, hills, and many buildings ; the
second, down the river to the sea Greenock and Port-
Glasgow, and the distant mountains at the entrance of
Loch Long ; and the third extensive and distant view is
up the Leven, which here falls into the Clyde, to the
mountains of Loch Lomond. The distant mountains in
all these views were obscured by mists and dingy clouds,
but if the grand outline of any one of the views can be
seen, it is sufficient recompense for the trouble of climb-
ing the rock of Dumbarton.
The soldier who was our guide told us that an old
ruin which we came to at the top of the higher eminence
had been a wind-mill an inconvenient station, though
certainly a glorious place for wind ; perhaps if it really
had been a wind- mill it was only for the use of the
garrison. We looked over cannons on the battery-walls,
and saw in an open field below the yeomanry cavalry
exercising, while we could hear from the town, which
was full of soldiers, "Dumbarton's drums beat bonny,
O I " Yet while we stood upon this eminence, rising up
so far as it does inland, and having the habitual old
English feeling of our own security as islanders we
could not help looking upon the fortress, in spite of its
cannon and soldiers, and the rumours of invasion, as set
up against the hostilities of wind and weather rather
3x6 RECOLLECTIONS OF VII
than for any other warfare. On our return we were
invited into the guard-room, about half-way down the
rock, where we were shown a large rusty sword, which
they called Wallace's Sword, and a trout boxed up in a
well close by, where they said he had been confined for
upwards of thirty years. For the pleasure of the
soldiers, who were anxious that we should see him, we
took some pains to spy him out in his black den, and at
last succeeded. It was pleasing to observe how much
interest the poor soldiers though themselves probably
new to the place seemed to attach to this antiquated
inhabitant of their garrison.
When we had reached the bottom of the rock along
the same road by which we had ascended, we made our
way over the rough stones left bare by the tide, round the
bottom of the rock, to the point where we had set off.
This is a wild and melancholy walk on a blustering cloudy
day : the naked bed of the river, scattered over with
sea-weed ; grey swampy fields on the other shore ; sea-
birds flying overhead ; the high rock perpendicular and
bare. We came to two very large fragments, which had
fallen from the main rock ; Coleridge thought that one of
them was as large as Bowder-Stone, 1 William and I did
not ; but it is impossible to judge accurately ; we prob-
ably, without knowing it, compared them with the whole
mass from which they had fallen, which, from its situation,
we consider as one rock or stone, and there is no
object of the kind for comparison with the Bowder-Stone.
When we leave the shore of the Clyde grass begins to
show itself on the rock ; go a considerable way still
under the rock along a flat field, and pass immediately
below the white house, which wherever seen looks so
Left Dumbarton at about eleven o'clock. The sky
was cheerless and the air ungenial, which we regretted,
as we were going to Loch Lomond, and wished to greet
1 A rock in Borrowdale, Cumberland. ED.
vn A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 217
the first of the Scottish lakes with our cheerfullest and
best feelings. Crossed the Leven at the end of Dum-
barton, and, when we looked behind, had a pleasing view
of the town, bridge, and rock ; but when we took in a
reach of the river at the distance of perhaps half a mile,
the swamp ground, being so near a town, and not in its
natural wildness, but seemingly half cultivated, with
houses here and there, gave us an idea of extreme poverty
of soil, or that the inhabitants were either indolent or
miserable. We had to travel four miles on the banks of
the " Water of Leven " before we should come to Loch
Lomond. Having expected a grand river from so grand
a lake, we were disappointed ; for it appeared to me not
to be very much larger than the Emont, and is not near
so beautiful ; but we must not forget that the day was
cold and gloomy. Near Dumbarton it is like a river in
a flat country, or under the influence of tides ; but a
little higher up it resembles one of our rivers, flowing
through a vale of no extreme beauty, though prettily
wooded ; the hills on each side not very high, sloping
backwards from the bed of the vale, which is neither
very narrow nor very wide ; the prospect terminated by
Ben Lomond and other mountains. The vale is popu-
lous, but looks as if it were not inhabited by cultivators
of the earth ; the houses are chiefly of stone ; often in
rows by the river-side ; they stand pleasantly, but have a
tradish look, as if they might have been off-sets from
Glasgow. We saw many bleach -yards, but no other
symptom of a manufactory, except something in the
houses that was not rural, and a want of independent
comforts. Perhaps if the river had been glittering in
the sun, and the smoke of the cottages rising in distinct
volumes towards the sky, as I have seen in the vale or
basin below Pillsden in Dorsetshire, when every cottage,
hidden from the eye, pointed out its lurking-place by an
upright wreath of white smoke, the whole scene might
have excited ideas of perfect cheerfulness.
Here, as on the Nith, and much more than in the
Trough of the Clyde, a great portion of the ground was
uncultivated, but the hills being less wild, the river more
stately, and the ground not heaved up so irregularly and
tossed about, the imperfect cultivation was the more to
be lamented, particularly as there were so many houses
near the river. In a small enclosure by the wayside is a
pillar erected to the memory of Dr. Smollett, who was
born in a village at a little distance, which we could see
at the same time, and where, I believe, some of ^the
family still reside. There is a long Latin inscription,
which Coleridge translated for my benefit. The Latin
is miserably bad 1 - as Coleridge said, such as poor
Smollett, who was an excellent scholar, would have been
Before we came to Loch Lomond the vale widened,
and became less populous. We climbed over a wall into
a large field to have a better front view of the lake than
from the road. This view is very much like that from
Mr. Clarkson's windows : the mountain in front resembles
Hallan ,- indeed, is almost the same ; but Ben Lomond
is not seen standing in such majestic company as
Helvellyn, and the meadows are less beautiful than
Ulswaten The reach of the lake is very magnificent ;
you see it, as Ulswater is seen beyond the promontory
of Old Church, winding away behind a large woody island
that looks like a promontory. The outlet of the lake
we had a distinct view of it in the field is very insigni-
ficant The bulk of the river is frittered away by small
alder bushes, as I recollect ; I do not remember that it
was reedy, but the ground had a swampy appearance ;
and here the vale spreads out wide and shapeless, as if
the river were born to no inheritance, had no sheltering
cradle, no hills of its own. As we have seen, this does
not continue long ; it flows through a distinct, though not
1 The inscription on the pillar was written by Professor George
Stuart of Edinburgh, John Ramsay of Ochtertyre and Dr. Samuel
Johnson; for Dr. Johnson's share in the work see Croker's Boswell,
p. 392. J. C. S.
VII A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 219
a magnificent vale. But, having lost the pastoral char-
acter which it had in the youthful days of Smollett if the
description in his ode to his native stream be a faithful
one it is less interesting than it was then.
The road carried us sometimes close to the lake,
sometimes at a considerable distance from it, over moorish
grounds, or through half-cultivated enclosures; we had
the lake on our right, which is here so wide that the
opposite hills, not being high, are cast into insignificance,
and we could not distinguish any buildings near the
water, if any there were. It is however always delightful
to travel by a lake of clear waters, if you see nothing else
but a very ordinary country ; but we had some beautiful
distant views, one in particular, down the high road,
through a vista of over-arching trees ; and the near shore
was frequently very pleasing, with its gravel banks,
bendings, and small bays. In one part it was bordered
for a considerable way by irregular groups of forest trees
or single stragglers, which, although not large, seemed
old ; their branches were stunted and knotty, as if they
had been striving with storms, and had half yielded to
them. Under these trees we had a variety of pleasing
views across the lake, and the very rolling over the road
and looking at its smooth and beautiful surface was itself
a pleasure. It was as smooth as a gravel walk, and of
the bluish colour of some of the roads among the lakes
of the north of England.
Passed no very remarkable place till we came to Sir
James Colquhoun's house, which stands upon a large,
flat, woody peninsula, looking towards Ben Lomond.
There must be many beautiful walks among the copses
of the peninsula, and delicious views over the water ; but
the general surface of the country is poor, and looks as
if it ought to be rich and well peopled, for it is not
mountainous ; nor had we passed any hills which a
Cumbrian would dignify with the name of mountains.
There was many a little plain or gently-sloping hill
covered with poor heath or broom without trees, where
one should have liked to see a cottage in a bower of
wood, with its patch of corn and potatoes, and a green
field with a hedge to keep it warm. As we advanced
we perceived less of the coldness of poverty, the hills not
having so large a space between them and the lake.
The surface of the hills being in its natural state, is
always beautiful ; but where there is only a half cultivated
and half peopled soil near the banks of a lake or river,
the idea is forced upon one that they who do live there
have not much of cheerful enjoyment.
But soon we came to just such a place as we had
wanted to see. The road was close to the water, and a
hill, bare, rocky, or with scattered copses rose above it.
A deep shade hung over the road, where some little boys
were at play ; we expected a dwelling-house of some
sort ; and when we came nearer, saw three or four
thatched huts under the trees, and at the same moment
felt that it was a paradise. We had before seen the
lake only as one wide plain of water ; but here the
portion of it which we saw was bounded by a high and
steep, heathy and woody island opposite, which did not
appear like an island, but the main shore, and framed
out a little oblong lake apparently not so broad as
Rydale-water, with one small island covered with trees,
resembling some of the most beautiful of the holms of
Windermere, and only a narrow river's breadth from the
shore. This was a place where we should have liked to
have lived, and the only one we had seen near Loch
Lomond. How delightful to have a little shed concealed
under the branches of the fairy island ! the cottages and
the island might have been made for the pleasure of each
other. It was but like a natural garden, the distance
was so small ; nay, one could not have forgiven any one
living there, not compelled to daily labour, if he did not
connect it with his dwelling by some feeling of domestic
attachment, like what he has for the orchard where his
children play. I thought, what a place for William ! he
might row himself over with twenty strokes of the oars,
A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND
escaping from the business of the house, and as safe from
intruders, with his boat anchored beside him, as if he
had locked himself up in the strong tower of a castle.
We were unwilling to leave this sweet spot ; but it was
so simple, and therefore so rememberable, that it seemed
almost as if we could have carried it away with us. It
was nothing more than a small lake enclosed by trees at
the ends and by the way-side, and opposite by the island,
a steep bank on which the purple heath was seen under
low oak coppice-wood, a group of houses over-shadowed
by trees, and a bending road. There was one remark-
able tree, an old larch with hairy branches, which sent
out its main stem horizontally across the road, an object
that seemed to have been singled out for injury where
everything else was lovely and thriving, tortured into
that shape by storms, which one might have thought
could not have reached it in that sheltered place.
We were now entering- into the Highlands. I believe
Luss is the place where we were told that country begins ;
but at these cottages I would have gladly believed that we
were there, for it was like a new region. The huts were
after the Highland fashion, and the boys who were playing
wore the Highland dress and philabeg. On going into
a new country I seem to myself to waken up, and after-
wards it surprises me to remember how much alive I
have been to the distinctions of dress, household
arrangements, etc. etc., and what a spirit these little
things give to wild, barren, or ordinary places. The
cottages are within about two miles of Luss. Came in
view of several islands ; but the lake being so very wide,
we could see little of their peculiar beauties, and they,
being large, hardly looked like islands.
Passed another gentleman's house, which stands
prettily in a bay, 1 and soon after reached Luss, where
we intended to lodge. On seeing the outside of the inn
we were glad that we were to have such pleasant quarters.
1 Camstraddan House and bay. J. C. S.
It is a nice-looking- white house, by the road-side ; but
there was not much promise of hospitality when we
stopped at the door: no person came out till we had
shouted a considerable time. A barefooted lass showed
me up-stairSj and again my hopes revived ; the house
was clean for a Scotch inn, and the view very pleasant
to the lake, over the top of the village a cluster of
thatched houses among trees, with a large chapel in the
midst of them. Like most of the Scotch kirks which we
had seen, this building resembles a big house ; but it is
a much more pleasing building than they generally are,
and has one of our rustic belfries, not unlike that at
Ambleside, with two bells hanging in the open air. We
chose one of the back rooms to sit in, being more snug,
and they looked upon a very sweet prospect a stream
tumbling down a cleft or glen on the hill-side, rocky
coppice ground, a rural lane, such as we have from house
to house at Grasmere, and a few out-houses. We had a
poor dinner, and sour ale ; but as long as the people
were civil we were contented.
Coleridge was not well, so he did not stir out, but
William and I walked through the village to the shore of
the lake. When I came close to the houses, I could
not but regret a- want of loveliness correspondent with
the beauty of the situation and the appearance of the
village at a little distance ; not a single ornamented
garden. We saw potatoes and cabbages, but never a
honeysuckle. Yet there were wild gardens, as beautiful
as any that ever man cultivated, overgrowing the roofs
of some of the cottages, flowers and creeping plants.
How elegant were the wreaths of the bramble that had
"built its own bower" upon the riggins in several parts
of the village ; therefore we had chiefly to regret the
want of gardens, as they are symptoms of leisure and
comfort, or at least of no painful industry. Here we
first saw houses without windows, the smoke coming out
of the open window-places ; the chimneys were like stools
with four legs a hole being left in the roof for the
VII A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 223
smoke, and over that a slate placed upon four sticks
sometimes the whole leaned as if It were going to fall.
The fields close to Luss lie flat to the lake, and a river,
as large as our stream near the church at Grasmere,
flows by the end of the village, being the same which
comes down the glen behind the inn ; it is very much
like our stream beds of blue pebbles upon the shores.
We walked towards the head of the lake, and from a
large pasture field near Luss, a gentle eminence, had a
very interesting view back upon the village and the
lake and islands beyond. We then perceived that Luss
stood in the centre of a spacious bay, and that close to
it lay another small one, within the larger, where the
boats of the inhabitants were lying at anchor, a beautiful
natural harbour. The islands, as we look down the
water, are seen in great beauty. Inch-ta-vanaach, the
same that framed out the little peaceful lake which we
had passed in the morning, towers above the rest. The
lake is very wide here, and the opposite shores not
being lofty the chief part of the permanent beauty of
this view is among the islands, and on the near shore,
including the low promontories of the bay of Luss, and
the village ; and we saw it under its dullest aspect
the air cold, the sky gloomy, without a glimpse of
On a splendid evening, with the light of the sun
diffused over the whole islands, distant hills, and the
broad expanse of the lake, with its creeks, bays, and
little slips of water among the islands, it must be a
Up the lake there are no islands ; Ben Lomond
terminates the view, without any other large mountains ;
no clouds were upon it, therefore we saw the whole size
and form of the mountain, yet it did not appear to me
so large as Skiddaw does from Derwent- water. Con-
tinued our walk a considerable way towards the head of
the lake, and went up a high hill, but saw no other
reach of the water. The hills on the Luss side become
224 RECOLLECTIONS OF vil
much steeper, and the lake, having narrowed a little
above Luss, was no longer a very wide lake where we
lost sight of it.
Came to a bark hut by the shores, and sate for
some time under the shelter of it. While we were here
a poor woman with a little child by her side begged a
penny of me, and asked where she could "find quarters
in the village." She was a travelling beggar, a native
of Scotland, had often " heard of that water," but was
never there before. This woman's appearance, while
the wind was rustling about us, and the waves breaking
at our feet, was very melancholy: the waters looked
wide, the hills many, and dark, and far off no house
but at Luss. I thought what a dreary waste must this
lake be to such poor creatures, struggling with fatigue
and poverty and unknown ways !
We ordered tea when we reached the inn, and desired
the girl to light us a fire ; she replied, " I dinna ken
whether she'll gie fire, ;; meaning her mistress. We told
her we did not wish, her mistress to give fire, we only
desired her to let her make it and we would pay for it
The girl brought in the tea-things, but no fire, and when
I asked if she was coming to light it, she said "her
mistress was not varra willing to gie fire." At last,
however, on our insisting upon it, the fire was lighted :
we got tea by candlelight, and spent a comfortable
evening. I had seen the landlady before we went out,
for, as had been usual in all the country inns, there was
a demur respecting beds, notwithstanding the house was
empty, and there were at least half-a-dozen spare beds.
Her countenance corresponded with the unkindness of
denying us a fire on a cold night, for she was the most
cruel and hateful-looking woman I ever saw. She was
overgrown with fat, and was sitting with her feet and
legs in a tub of water for the dropsy, probably brought
on by whisky-drinking. The sympathy which I felt and
expressed for her, on seeing her in this wretched
condition for her legs were swollen as thick as mill-
A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAXD
posts seemed to produce no effect ; and I was obliged,
after five minutes' conversation, to leave the affair of the
beds undecided. Coleridge had some talk with her
daughter, a smart lass in a cotton gown, with a bandeau
round her head, without shoes and stockings. She told
Coleridge with some pride that she had not spent all
her time at Luss, but was then fresh from Glasgow.
It came on a very stormy night ; the wind rattled
every window in the house, and it rained heavily.
William and Coleridge had bad beds, in a two-bedded
room in the garrets, though there were empty rooms on
the first floor, and they were disturbed by a drunken
man, who had come to the inn when we were gone to
Thursday \ August 25^. We were glad when we
awoke to see that it was a fine morning the sky was
bright blue, with quick-moving clouds, the hills cheerful,
lights and shadows vivid and distinct. The village
looked exceedingly beautiful this morning from the
garret windows the stream glittering near it, while it
flowed under trees through the level fields to the lake.
After breakfast, William and I went down to the water-
side. The roads were as dry as if no drop of rain had
fallen, which added to the pure cheerfulness of the
appearance of the village, and even of the distant
prospect, an effect which I always seem to perceive from
clearly bright roads, for they are always brightened by
rain, after a storm ; but when we came among the
houses I regretted even more than last night, because
the contrast was greater, the slovenliness and dirt near
the doors ; and could not but remember, with pain from
the contrast, the cottages of Somersetshire, covered with
roses and myrtle, and their small gardens of herbs and
flowers. Wliile lingering by the shore we began to talk
with a man who offered to row us to Inch-ta-vannach ;
but the sky began to darken ; and the wind being high,
we doubted whether we should venture, therefore made no
VOL. I Q
226 RECOLLECTIONS OF vn
engagement ; he offered to sell me some thread, pointing
to his cottage, and added that many English ladies
carried thread away from Luss.
Presently after Coleridge joined us, and we determined
to go to the island. I was sorry that the man who had
been talking with us was not our boatman ; William by
some chance had engaged another. We had two rowers
and a strong boat ; so I felt myself bold, though there
was a great chance of a high wind. The nearest point
of Inch-ta-vannach is not perhaps more than a mile and a
quarter from Luss ; we did not land there, but rowed
round the end, and landed on that side which looks
towards our favourite cottages, and their own island,
which, wherever seen, is still their own. It rained a
little when we landed, and I took my cloak, which
afterwards served us to sit down upon in our road up
the hill, when the day grew much finer, with gleams of
sunshine. This island belongs to Sir James Colquhoun,
who has made a convenient road, that winds gently to
the top of it.
We had not climbed far before we were stopped by a
sudden burst of prospect, so singular and beautiful that
it was like a flash of images from another world. We
stood with our backs to the hill of the island, which we
were ascending, and which shut out Ben Lomond
entirely, and all the upper part of the lake, and we
looked towards the foot of the lake, scattered over with
islands without beginning and without end. The sun
shone, and the distant hills were visible, some through
sunny mists, others in gloom with patches of sunshine ;
the lake was lost under the low and distant hills, and
the islands lost in the lake, which was all in motion with
travelling fields of light, or dark shadows under rainy
clouds. There are many hills, but no commanding
eminence at a distance to confine the prospect, so that
the land seemed endless as the water.
What I had heard of Loch Lomond, or any other
place in Great Britain, had given me no idea of anything
Vii A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 227
like what we beheld : it was an outlandish scene we
might have believed ourselves in North America. The
islands were of every possible variety of shape and sur-
face hilly and level, large and small, bare, rocky,
pastoral, or covered with wood. Immediately under my
eyes lay one large flat island, bare and green, so flat
and low that it scarcely appeared to rise above the
water, with straggling peat-stacks and a single hut upon
one of its out-shooting promontories for it was of a
very irregular shape, though perfectly flat. Another, its
next neighbour, and still nearer to us, was covered over
with heath and coppice-wood, the surface undulating,
with flat or sloping banks towards the water, and hollow
places, cradle-like valleys, behind. These two islands,
with Inch-ta-vannach, where we were standing, were in-
termingled with the water, I might say interbedded
and interveined with it, in a manner that was exquisitely
pleasing. There were bays innumerable, straits or
passages like calm rivers, landlocked lakes, and, to the
main water, stormy promontories. The solitary hut on
the flat green island seemed unsheltered and desolate,
and yet not wholly so, for it was but a broad river's
breadth from the covert of the wood of the other island.
Near to these is a miniature, an islet covered with trees,
on which stands a small ruin that looks like the remains
of a religious house ; it is overgrown with ivy, and were
it not that the arch of a window or gateway may be
distinctly seen, it would be difficult to believe that it was
not a tuft of trees growing in the shape of a ruin, rather
than a ruin overshadowed by trees. When we had
walked a little further we saw below us, on the nearest
large island, where some of the wood had been cut down,
a hut, which we conjectured to be a bark hut. It
appeared to be on the shore of a little forest lake, en-
closed by Inch-ta-vannach, where we were, and the
woody island on which the hut stands.
Beyond we had the same intricate view as before,
and could discover Dumbarton rock with its double
228 RECOLLECTIONS OF VII
head. There being a mist over it, it had a ghost-like
appearance as I observed to William and Coleridge,
something like the Tor of Glastonbury from the Dorset-
shire hills. Right before us, on the flat island mentioned
before, were several small single trees or shrubs, growing
at different distances from each other, close to the shore,
but some optical delusion had detached them from the
land on which they stood, and they had the appearance
of so many little vessels sailing along the coast of it. I
mention the circumstance, because, with the ghostly
image of Dumbarton Castle, and the ambiguous ruin on
the small island, it was much in the character of the
scene, which was throughout magical and enchanting
a new world in its great permanent outline and composi-
tion, and changing at every moment in every part of it
by the effect of sun and wind, and mist and shower and
cloud, and the blending lights and deep shades which
took the place of each other, traversing the lake in every
direction. The whole was indeed a strange mixture of
soothing and restless images, of images inviting to rest,
and others hurrying the fancy away into an activity still
more pleasing than repose. Yet, intricate and homeless,
that is, without lasting abiding-place for the mind, as the
prospect was, there was no perplexity ; we had still a
guide to lead us forward.
Wherever we looked, it was a delightful feeling that
there was something beyond. Meanwhile, the sense of
quiet was never lost sight of; the little peaceful lakes
among the islands might make you forget that the great
water, Loch Lomond, was so near ; and yet are more
beautiful, because you know that it is so : they have
their own bays and creeks sheltered within a shelter.
When we had ascended to the top of the island we had
a view up to Ben Lomond, over the long, broad water
without spot or rock; and, looking backwards, saw the
islands below us as on a map. This view, as may be
supposed, was not nearly so interesting as those we had
seen before. We hunted out all the houses on the shore,
vii A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 229
which were very few : there was the village of Luss, the
two gentlemen's houses, our favourite cottages, and here
and there a hut ; but I do not recollect any comfortable-
looking farm-houses, and on the opposite shore not a
single dwelling. The whole scene was a combination of
natural wildness, loveliness, beauty, and barrenness, or
rather bareness, yet not comfortless or cold ; but the
whole was beautiful. We were too far off the more
distant shore to distinguish any particular spots which
we might have regretted were not better cultivated, and
near Luss there was no want of houses.
After we had left the island, having been so much
taken with the beauty of the bark hut and the little lake
by which it appeared to stand, we desired the boatman
to row us through it, and we landed at the hut. Walked
upon the island for some time, and found out sheltered
places for cottages. There were several woodmen's huts,
which, with some scattered fir-trees, and others in irre-
gular knots, that made a delicious murmuring in the
wind, added greatly to the romantic effect of the scene.
They were built in the form of a cone from the ground,
like savages' huts, the door being just large enough for
a man to enter with stooping. Straw beds were raised
on logs of wood, tools lying about, and a forked bough
of a tree was generally suspended from the roof in the
middle to hang a kettle upon. It was a place that
might have been just visited by new settlers. I thought
of Ruth and her dreams of romantic love :
And then he said how sweet it were,
A fisher or a hunter there,
A gardener in the shade,
Still wandering with an easy mind,
To build a household fire, and find
A home in every glacle.
We found the main lake very stormy when we had
left the shelter of the islands, and there was again a
threatening of rain, but it did not come on. I wanted
1 See Ruth, stanza xzzi. -ED.
2 3 o RECOLLECTIONS OF vn
much to go to the old ruin, but the boatmen were in a
hurry to be at home. They told us it had been a strong-
hold built by a man who lived there alone, and was used
to swim over and make depredations on the shore, that
nobody could ever lay hands on him, he was such a good
swimmer, but at last they caught him in a net. The
men pointed out to us an island belonging to Sir James
Colquhoun, on which were a great quantity of deer.
Arrived at the inn at about twelve o'clock, and pre-
pared to depart immediately : we should have gone with
great regret if the weather had been warmer and the inn
more comfortable. When we were leaving the door, a
party with smart carriage and servants drove up, and I
observed that the people of the house were just as slow
in their attendance upon them as on us, with one single
horse and outlandish Hibernian vehicle.
When we had travelled about two miles the lake
became considerably narrower, the hills rocky, covered
with copses, or bare, rising more immediately from the
bed of the water, and therefore we had not so often to
regret the want of inhabitants. Passed by, or saw at a
distance, sometimes a single cottage, or two or three
together, but the whole space between Luss and Tarbet
is a solitude to the eye. We were reminded of U Is water,
but missed the pleasant farms, and the mountains were
not so interesting : we had not seen them in companies
or brotherhoods rising one above another at a long
distance. Ben Lomond stood alone, opposite to us,
majestically overlooking the lake ; yet there was some-
thing in this mountain which disappointed me, a want
of massiveness and simplicity, perhaps from the top
being broken into three distinct stages. The road
carried us over a bold promontory by a steep and high
ascent, and we had a long view of the lake pushing itself
up in a narrow line through an avenue of mountains,
terminated by the mountains at the head of the lake, of
which Ben Lui, if I do not mistake, is the most con-
siderable. The afternoon was showery and misty, there-
VII A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 231
fore we did not see this prospect so distinctly as we could
have wished, but there was a grand obscurity over it
which might make the mountains appear more numerous.
I have said so much of this lake that I am tired
myself, and I fear I must have tired my friends. We
had a pleasant journey to Tarbet ; more than half of it
on foot, for the road was hilly, and after we had climbed
one small hill we were not desirous to get into the car
again, seeing another before us, and our path was always
delightful, near the lake, and frequently through woods.
When we were within about half a mile of Tarbet, at a
sudden turning looking to the left, we saw a very craggy-
topped mountain amongst other smooth ones ; the rocks
on the summit distinct in shape as if they were buildings
raised up by man, or uncouth images of some strange
creature. We called out with one voice, * That's what
we wanted 1 ' alluding to the frame -like uniformity of
the side-screens of the lake for the last five or six miles.
As we conjectured, this singular mountain was the famous
Cobbler, near Arrochar. Tarbet was before us in the
recess of a deep, large bay, under the shelter of a hill.
When we came up to the village we had to inquire for
the inn, there being no signboard. It was a well-sized
white house, the best in the place. We were conducted
up-stairs into a sitting-room that might make any good-
humoured travellers happy a square room, with windows
on each side, looking, one way, towards the mountains,
and across the lake to Ben Lomond, the other.
There was a pretty stone house before (i.e. towards
the lake) some huts, scattered trees, two or three green
iields with hedgerows, and a little brook making its way
towards the lake ; the fields are almost fiat, and screened
on that side nearest the head of the lake by a hill, which,
pushing itself out, forms the bay of Tarbet, and, towards
the foot, by a gentle slope and trees. The lake is narrow,
and Ben Lomoncl shuts up the prospect, rising directly
from the water. We could have believed ourselves to
be by the side of Ulswater, at Glenridden, or in some
232 RECOLLECTIONS OF VII
other of the inhabited retirements of that lake. We
were in a sheltered place among mountains ; it was not
an open joyous bay, with a cheerful populous village, like
Luss ; but a pastoral and retired spot, with a few single
dwellings. The people of the inn stared at us when we
spoke, without giving us an answer immediately, which
we were at first disposed to attribute to coarseness of
manners, but found afterwards that they did not under-
stand us at once, Erse being the language spoken in the
family. Nothing but salt meat and eggs for dinner no
potatoes ; the house smelt strongly of herrings, which
were hung to dry over the kitchen fire.
Walked in the evening towards the head of the lake ;
the road was steep over the hill, and when we had
reached the top of it we had long views up and down
the water. Passed a troop of women who were resting
themselves by the roadside, as if returning from their
day's labour. Amongst them was a man, who had
walked with us a considerable way in the morning, and
told us he was just come from America, where he had
been for some years, was going to his own home, and
should return to America. He spoke of emigration as
a glorious thing for them who had money. Poor fellow !
I do not think that he had brought much back with him,
for he had worked his passage over : I much suspected
that a bundle, which he carried upon a stick, tied in a
pocket-handkerchief, contained his all. He was almost
blind, he said, as were many of the crew. He intended
crossing the lake at the ferry ; but it was stormy, and
he thought he should not be able to get over that day.
I could not help smiling when I saw him lying by the
roadside with such a company about him, not like a
wayfaring man, but seeming as much at home and at his
ease as if he had just stepped out of his hut among them,
and they had been neighbours all their lives. Passed
one pretty house, a large thatched dwelling with out-
houses, but the prospect above and below was solitary.
The sun had long been set before we returned to the
VII A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 233
inn. As travellers, we were glad to see the moon over
the top of one of the hills, but it was a cloudy night,
without any peculiar beauty or solemnity. After tea we
made inquiries respecting- the best way to go to Loch
Ketterine ; the landlord could give but little information,
and nobody seemed to know anything distinctly of the
place, though it was but ten miles off. We applied to
the maid-servant who waited on us : she was a fine-
looking young woman, dressed in a white bed-gown, her
hair fastened up by a comb, and without shoes and
stockings. When we asked her about the Trossachs
she could give us no information, but on our saying,
" Do you know Loch Ketterine ? " she answered with a
smile, cc I should know that loch, for I was bred and born
there." After much difficulty we learned from her that
the Trossachs were at the foot of the lake, and that by
the way we were to go we should come upon them at
the head, should have to travel ten miles to the foot 1 of
the water, and that there was no inn by the way. The
girl spoke English very distinctly ; but she had few
words, and found it difficult to understand us. She did
not much encourage us to go, because the roads were
bad, and it was a long way, " and there was no putting-
up for the like of us." We determined, however, to
venture, and throw ourselves upon the hospitality of some
cottager or gentleman. We desired the landlady to
roast us a couple of fowls to carry with us. There are
always plenty of fowls at the doors of a Scotch inn, and
eggs are as regularly brought to table at breakfast as
bread and butter,
Friday, August 26th. We did not set off till between
ten and eleven o'clock, much too late for a long day's
1 This distinction between the foot and head is not very clear.
What is meant is this : They would have to travel the whole length
of the lake, from the west to the east end of it, before they came
to the Trossachs, the pass leading away from the east end of the
lake. J, C. S.
234 RECOLLECTIONS OF vn
journey. Our boatman lived at the pretty white house
which we saw from the windows : we called at his door
by the way, and, even when we were near the house, the
outside looked comfortable ; but within I never saw
anything so miserable from dirt, and dirt alone : it
reminded one of the house of a decayed weaver in the
suburbs of a large town, with a sickly wife and a large
family ; but William says it was far worse, that it was
After long waiting, and many clumsy preparations,
we got ourselves seated in the boat ; but we had not
floated five yards before we perceived that if any of the
party and there was a little Highland woman who was
going over the water with us, the boatman, his helper,
and ourselves should stir but a few inches, leaning to
one side or the other, the boat would be full in an instant,
and we at the bottom ; besides, it was very leaky, and
the woman was employed to lade out the water
continually. It appeared that this crazy vessel was not
the man's own, and that his was lying in a bay at a little
distance. He said he would take us to it as fast as
possible, but I was so much frightened I would gladly
have given up the whole day's journey ; indeed not one
of us would have attempted to cross the lake in that boat
for a thousand pounds. We reached the larger boat in
safety after coasting a considerable way near the shore,
but just as we were landing, William dropped the bundle
which contained our food into the water. The fowls
were no worse, but some sugar, ground coffee, and
pepper-cake seemed to be entirely spoiled. We gathered
together as much of the coffee and sugar as we could
and tied it up, and again trusted ourselves to the
lake. The sun shone, and the air was calm luckily it
had been so while we were in the crazy boat we had
rocks and woods on each side of us, or bare hills ;
seldom a single cottage, and there was no rememberable
place till we came opposite to a waterfall of no inconsider-
able size, that appeared to drop directly into the lake :
vii A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 235
close to it was a hut, which we were told was the ferry-
house. On the other side of the lake was a pretty farm
under the mountains, beside a river, the cultivated
grounds lying all together, and sloping towards the lake
from the mountain hollow down which the river came.
It is not easy to conceive how beautiful these spots
appeared after moving on so long between the solitary
We went a considerable way further, and landed at
Rob Roy's Caves, which are in fact no caves, but some
fine rocks on the brink of the lake, in the crevices of
which a man might hide himself cunningly enough ; the
water is very deep below them, and the hills above steep
and covered with wood. The little Highland woman,
who was in size about a match for our guide at Lanerk,
accompanied us hither. There was something very
gracious in the manners of this woman ; she could
scarcely speak five English words, yet she gave me,
whenever I spoke to her, as many intelligible smiles as
I had needed English words to answer me, and helped
me over the rocks in the most obliging manner. She
had left the boat out of good-will to us, or for her own
amusement. She had never seen these caves before ;
but no cloubt had heard of them, the tales of Rob Roy's
exploits being tolcl familiarly round the "ingles" here-
abouts, for this neighbourhood was his home. We landed
at Inversneyde, the ferry-house by the waterfall, and'
were not sorry to part with our boatman, who was a coarse
hard-featured man, and, speaking of the French, uttered
the basest and most cowardly sentiments. His helper,
a youth fresh from the Isle of Skye, was innocent of this
fault, and though but a bad rower, was a far better com-
panion ; he could not speak a word of English, and sang
a plaintive Gaelic air in a low tone while he plied his oar.
The ferry-house stood on the bank a few yards above
the landing-place where the boat lies. It is a small hut
under a steep wood, and a few yards to the right,
looking towards the hut, is the waterfall. The fall is not
236 RECOLLECTIONS OF VII
very high, but the stream is considerable, as we could
see by the large black stones that were lying bare, but
the rains, if they had reached this place, had had little
effect upon the waterfall ; its noise was not so great as
to form a contrast with the stillness of the bay into
which it falls, where the boat, and house, and waterfall
itself seemed all sheltered and protected. The Highland
woman was to go with us the two first miles of our
journey. She led us along a bye foot-path a shorter way
up the hill from the ferry-house. There is a considerable
settling in the hills that border Loch Lomond, at the
passage by which we were to cross to Loch Ketterine ;
Ben Lomond, terminating near the ferry-house, is on the
same side of the water with it, and about three miles
We had to climb right up the hill, which is very
steep, and, when close under it, seemed to he high, but
we soon reached the top, and when we were there had
lost sight of the lake ; and now our road was over a
moor, or rather through a wide moorland hollow.
Having gone a little way, we saw before us, at the
distance of about half a mile, a very large stone building,
a singular structure, with a high wall round it, naked hill
above, and neither field nor tree near ; but the moor
was not overgrown with heath merely, but grey grass,
such as cattle might pasture upon. We could not
conjecture what this building was ; it appeared as if it had
been built strong to defend it from storms ; hut for what
purpose? William called out to us that we should
observe that place well, for it was exactly like one of the
spittals of the Alps, built for the reception of travellers,
and indeed I had thought it must be so before he spoke.
This building, from its singular structure and appearance,
made the place, which is itself in a country like Scotland
nowise remarkable, take a character of unusual wildness
and desolation this when we first came in view of it ;
and afterwards, when we had passed it and looked back,
three pyramidal mountains on the opposite side of Loch
A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND
Lomond terminated the view, which under certain
accidents of weather must be very grand. Our Highland
companion had not English enough to give us any
information concerning this strange building ; we could
only get from her that it was a "large house," which
was plain enough.
We walked about a mile and a half over the moor
without seeing any other dwelling but one hut by the
bum-side, with a peat-stack and a ten-yards-square
enclosure for potatoes ; then we came to several clusters
of houses, even hamlets they might be called, but where
there is any land belonging to the Highland huts there
are so many out-buildings near, which differ in no respect
from the dwelling-houses except that they send out no
smoke, that one house looks like two or three. Near
these houses was a considerable quantity of cultivated
ground, potatoes and corn, and the people were busy
making hay in the hollow places of the open vale, and
all along the sides of the becks. It was a pretty sight
altogether men and women, dogs, the little running
streams, with linen bleaching near them, and cheerful
sunny hills and rocks on every side. We passed by one
patch of potatoes that a florist might have been proud of ;
no carnation-bed ever looked more gay than this square
plot of ground on the waste common. The flowers were
in very large bunches, and of an extraordinary size, and
of every conceivable shade of colouring from snow-white
to deep purple. It was pleasing in that place, where
perhaps was never yet a flower cultivated by man for his
own pleasure, to see these blossoms grow more gladly
than elsewhere, making a summer garden near the
At one of the clusters of houses we parted with our
companion, who had insisted on bearing my bundle
while she stayed with us. I often tried to enter into
conversation with her, and seeing a small tarn before us }
was reminded of the pleasure of fishing and the manner
of living there, and asked her what sort of food was
238 RECOLLECTIONS OF VII
eaten in that place, if they lived much upon fish, or had
mutton from the hills ; she looked earnestly at me, and
shaking her head, replied, " Oh yes ! eat fish no papists,
eat everything-." The tarn had one small island covered
with wood j the stream that runs from it falls into Loch
Ketterine, which, after we had gone a little beyond the
tarn, we saw at some distance before us.
Pursued the road, a mountain horse-track, till we
came to a comer of what seemed the head of the lake,
and there sate down completely tired, and hopeless as
to the rest of our journey. The road ended at the
shore, and no houses were to be seen on the opposite
side except a few widely parted huts, and on the near
side was a trackless heath. The land at the head of
the lake was but a continuation of the common we had
come along, and was covered with heather, intersected
by a few straggling foot-paths.
Coleridge and I were faint with hunger, and could go
no further till we had refreshed ourselves, so we ate up
one of our fowls, and drank of the water of Loch
Ketterine ; but William could not be easy till he had
examined the coast, so he left us, and made his way
along the moor across the head of the lake. Coleridge
and I, as we sate, had what seemed to us but a dreary
prospect a waste of unknown ground which we guessed
we must travel over before it was possible for us to find
a shelter. We saw a long way down the lake ; it was
all rnoor on the near side ; on the other the hills were
steep from the water, and there were large coppice- woods,
but no cheerful green fields, and no road that we could
see ; we knew, however, that there must be a road from
house to house ; but the whole lake appeared a solitude
neither boats, islands, nor houses, no grandeur in the
hills, nor any loveliness in the shores. When we first
came in view of it we had said it was like a barren Uls-
water Ulswater dismantled of its grandeur, and cropped
of its lesser beauties. When I had swallowed my
dinner I hastened after William, and Coleridge followed
vil A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 239
me. Walked through the heather with some labour for
perhaps half a mile, and found William sitting on the
top of a small eminence, whence we saw the real head
of the lake, which was pushed up into the vale a
considerable way beyond the promontory where we now
sate. The view up the lake was very pleasing, resem-
bling Thirlemere below Armath. There were rocky
promontories and woody islands, and, what was most
cheering to us, a neat white house on the opposite
shore ; but we could see no boats, so, in order to get to
it we should be obliged to go round the head of the
lake, a long and weary way.
After Coleridge came up to us, while we were debat-
ing whether we should turn back or go forward, we
espied a man on horseback at a little distance, with a
boy following him on foot, no doubt a welcome sight,
and we hailed him. We should have been glad to have
seen either man, woman, or child at this time, but there
was something uncommon and interesting in this man's
appearance, which would have fixed our attention
wherever we had met him. He was a complete High-
lander in dress, figure, and face, and a very fine-looking
man, hardy and vigorous, though past his prime.
While he stood waiting for us in his bonnet and plaid,
which never look more graceful than on horseback, I
forgot our errand, and only felt glad that we were in the
Highlands. William accosted him with, a Sir, do you
speak English?" He replied, "A little." He spoke
however, sufficiently well for our purpose, and very
distinctly, as all the Highlanders do who learn English
as a foreign language ; but in a long conversation they
want words ; he informed us that he himself was going
beyond the Trossachs, to Callander, that no boats were
kept to " let " j but there were two gentlemen's houses
at this end of the lake, one of which we could not yet
see, it being hidden from us by a part of the hill on
which we stood. The other house was that which we
saw opposite to us ; both the gentlemen kept boats, and
240 RECOLLECTIONS OF vn
probably might be able to spare one of their servants to
go with us. After we had asked many questions, which
the Highlander answered with patience and courtesy,
he parted from us, going along a sort of horse-track,
which a foot-passenger, if he once get into it, need not
lose if he be careful.
When he was gone we again debated whether we
should go back to Tarbet, or throw ourselves upon the
mercy of one of the two gentlemen for a night's lodging.
What we had seen of the main body of the lake made
us little desire to see more of it ; the Highlander upon
the naked heath, in his Highland dress, upon his careful-
going horse, with the boy following him, was worth it
all ; but after a little while we resolved to go on,
ashamed to shrink from an adventure. Pursued the
horse-track, and soon came in sight of the other gentle-
man's house, which stood on the opposite side of the
vale, a little above the lake. It was a white house ; no
trees near it except a new plantation of firs ; but the
fields were green, sprinkled over with hay-cocks, and
the brook which comes down the valley and falls into
the lake ran through them. It was like a new-made
farm in a mountain vale, and yet very pleasing after the
depressing prospect which had been before us.
Our road was rough, and not easy to be kept. It
was between five and six o'clock when we reached the
brook side, where Coleridge and I stopped, and William
went up towards the house, which was in a field, where
about half a dozen people were at work. He addressed
himself to one who appeared like the master, and all
drew near him, staring at William as nobody could have
stared but out of sheer rudeness, except in such a lonely
place. He told his tale, and inquired about boats ;
there were no boats, and no lodging nearer than
Callander, ten miles beyond the foot of the lake. A
laugh was on every face when William said we were
come to see the Trossachs ; no doubt they thought we
had better have stayed at our own homes. William
Vll A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 241
endeavoured to make it appear not so very foolish, by
informing them that it was a place much celebrated in
England, though perhaps little thought of by them,
and that we only differed from many of our countrymen
in having come the wrong way in consequence of an
After a little time the gentleman said we should be
accommodated with such beds as they had, and should
be welcome to rest in their house if we pleased. William
came back for Coleridge and me ; the men all stood at
the door to receive us, and now their behaviour was
perfectly courteous. We were conducted into the house
by the same man who had directed us hither on the
other side of the lake, and afterwards we learned that he
was the father of our hostess. He showed us into a
room up-stairs, begged we would sit at our ease, walk
out, or do just as we pleased. It was a large square
deal wainscoted room, the wainscot black with age, yet
had never been painted : it did not look like an English
room, and yet I do not know in what it differed, except
that in England it is not common to see so large and
well-built a room so ill-furnished : there were two or
three large tables, and a few old chairs of different sorts,
as if they had been picked up one did not know how, at
sales, or had belonged to different rooms of the house
ever since it was built. We sat perhaps three-quarters
of an hour, and I was about to carry down our wet coffee
and sugar and ask leave to boil it, when the mistress of
the house entered, a tall fine -looking woman, neatly
dressed in a dark-coloured gown, with a white handker-
chief tied round her head ; she spoke to us in a very
pleasing manner, begging permission to make tea for us,
an offer which we thankfully accepted. Encouraged by
the sweetness of her manners, I went down-stairs to dry
my feet by the kitchen fire ; she lent me a pair of stock-
ings, and behaved to me with the utmost attention and
kindness. She carried the tea-things into the room
herself, leaving me to make tea, and set before us cheese
VOL. I R
242 RECOLLECTIONS OF VII
and butter and barley cakes. These cakes are as thin
as our oat-bread, but, instead of being crisp, are soft and
leathery, yet we, being hungry, and the butter delicious,
ate them with great pleasure, but when the same bread
was set before us afterwards we did not like it.
After tea William and I walked out ; we amused
ourselves with watching the Highlanders at work : they
went leisurely about everything, and whatever was to be
done, all followed, old men, and young, and little
children. We were driven into the house by a shower,
which came on with the evening darkness, and the
people leaving their work paused at the same time. I
was pleased to see them a while after sitting round a
blazing fire in the kitchen, father and son-in-law, master
and man, and the mother with her little child on her
knee. When I had been there before tea I had observed
what a contrast there was between the mistress and her
kitchen ; she did not differ in appearance from an
English country lady ; but her kitchen, roof, walls, and
floor of mud, was all black alike ; yet now, with the
light of a bright fire upon so many happy countenances,
the whole room made a pretty sight.
We heard the company laughing and talking long-
after we were in bed ; indeed I believe they never work
till they are tired. 1 The children could not speak a word
of English : they were very shy at 'first ; but after I had
caressed the eldest, and given her a red leather purse,
with which she was delighted, she took hold of my hand
and hung about me, changing her side-long looks for
pretty smiles. Her mother lamented they were so far
from school, they should be obliged to send the children
down into the Lowlands to be taught reading and
English. Callander, the nearest town, was twenty miles
from them, and it was only a small place: they had
their groceries from Glasgow. She said that at Callander
was their nearest church, but sometimes " got a preach-
1 She means that they stop work before they are tired. ED.
vil A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 243
ing at the Garrison." In explaining herself she informed
us that the large building which had puzzled us in the
morning had been built by Government, at the request
of one of the Dukes of Montrose, for the defence of his
domains against the attacks of Rob Roy. I will not
answer for the truth of this ; perhaps it might have been
built for this purpose, and as a check on the Highlands
in general ; certain it is, however, that it was a garrison ;
soldiers used to be constantly stationed there, and have
only been withdrawn within the last thirteen or fourteen
years. Mrs. Macfarlane attended me to my room ; she
said she hoped I should be able to sleep upon blankets,
and said they were " fresh from the fauld."
Saturday, Aiigust 27^. Before I rose, Mrs.
Macfarlane came into my room to see if I wanted any-
thing, and told me she should send the servant up with
a basin of whey, saying, "We make very good whey in
this country " ; indeed, I thought it the best I had ever
tasted ; but I cannot tell how this should be, for they
only make skimmed-milk cheeses. I asked her for a
little bread and milk for our breakfast, but she said it
would be no trouble to make tea, as she must make it
for the family ; so we all breakfasted together. The
cheese was set out, as before, with plenty of butter and
barley-cakes, and fresh baked oaten cakes, which, no
doubt, were made for us : they had been kneaded with
cream, and were excellent. All the party pressed us to
eat, and were very jocose about the necessity of helping
out their coarse bread with butter, and they themselves
ate almost as much butter as bread. In talking of the
French and the present times, their language was what
most people would call Jacobinical. They spoke much
of the oppressions endured by the Highlanders further
up, of the absolute impossibility of their living in any
comfort, and of the cruelty of laying so many restraints
on emigration. Then they spoke with animation of the
attachment of the clans to their lairds: "The laird of
244 RECOLLECTIONS OP vn
this place, Glengyle, where we live, could have com-
manded so many men who would have followed him to
the death ; and now there are none left." It appeared
that Mr. Macfarlane, and his wife's brother, Mr.
Macalpine, farmed the place, inclusive of the whole vale
upwards to the mountains, and the mountains themselves,
under the lady of Glengyle, the mother of the young
laird, a minor. It was a sheep-farm.
Speaking of another neighbouring laird, they said he
had gone, like the rest of them, to Edinburgh, left his
lands and his own people, spending his money where it
brought him not any esteem, so that he was of no value
either at home or abroad. We mentioned Rob Roy,
and the eyes of all glistened ; even the lady of the
house, who was very diffident, and no great talker,
exclaimed, "He was a good man, Rob Roy! he had
been dead only about eighty years, had lived in the next
farm, which belonged to him, and there his bones were
laid." 1 He was a famous swordsman. Having an arm
much longer than other men, he had a greater command
with his sword. As a proof of the length of his arm,
they told us that he could garter his tartan stockings
below the knee without stooping, and added a dozen
different stories of single combats, which he had fought,
all in perfect good-humour, merely to prove his prowess.
I daresay they had stories of this kind which would
hardly have been exhausted in the long evenings of a
whole December week, Rob Roy being as famous here
as ever Robin Hood was in the Forest of Sherwood ; he
also robbed from the rich, giving to the poor, and
defending them from oppression. They tell of his con-
1 There is a mistake here. His bones were laid about fifteen or
twenty miles from thence, in Balquhidder kirkyard. But it was
under the belief that his ' ' grave is near the head of Loch Ketterine,
in one of those pinfold -like burial grounds, of neglected and
desolate appearance, which the traveller meets with in the Highlands
of Scotland," that the well-known poem on Rob Roy's Grave
was composed, J. C. S.
viz A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 245
fining the factor of the Duke of Montrose in one of the
islands of Loch Ketterine, after having taken his money
from him the Duke's rents in open day, while they
were sitting at table. He was a formidable enemy of
the Duke, but being a small laird against a greater,
was overcome at last, and forced to resign all his lands
on the Braes of Loch Lomond, including the caves which
we visited, on account of the money he had taken from
the Duke and could not repay.
When breakfast was ended the mistress desired the
person whom we took to be her husband to " return
thanks." He said a short grace, and in a few minutes
they all went off to their work. We saw them about
the door following one another like a flock of sheep,
with the children after, whatever job they were engaged
in. Mrs. Macfarlane told me she would show me the
burying-place of the lairds of Glengyle, and took me to
a square enclosure like a pinfold, with a stone ball at
every corner; we had noticed it the evening before,
and wondered what it could be. It was in the middle
of a "planting," as they call plantations, which was
enclosed for the preservation of the trees, therefore we
had to climb over a high wall : it was a dismal spot,
containing four or five graves overgrown with long grass,
nettles, and brambles. Against the wall was a marble
monument to the memory of one of the lairds, of whom
they spoke with veneration : some English verses were
inscribed upon the marble, purporting that he had been
the father of his clan, a brave and good man. When
we returned to the house she said she would show me
what curious feathers they had in their country, and
brought out a bunch carefully wrapped up in paper. On
my asking her what bird they came from, " Oh ! " she
replied, " it is a great beast " We conjectured it was an
eagle, and from her description of its ways, and the
manner of destroying it, we knew it was so. She begged
me to accept of some of the feathers, telling me that
some ladies wore them in their heads. I was much
246 RECOLLECTIONS OF VII
pleased with the gift, which I shall preserve in memory
of her kindness and simplicity of manners, and the
Highland solitude where she lived.
We took leave of the family with regret : they were
handsome, healthy, and happy-looking people. It was
ten o'clock when we departed. We had learned that
there was a ferry-boat kept at three miles' distance, and
if the man was at home he would row us down the lake
to the Trossachs. Our walk was mostly through coppice-
woods, along a horse-road, upon which narrow carts
might travel. Passed that white house which had looked
at us with such a friendly face when we were on the
other side ; it stood on the slope of a hill, with green
pastures below it, plots of corn and coppice-wood, and
behind, a rocky steep covered with wood. It was a
very pretty place, but the morning being cold and dull
the opposite shore appeared dreary. Near to the white
house we passed by another of those little pinfold
squares, which we knew to be a burying-place ; it was
in a sloping green field among woods, and within sound
of the beating of the water against the shore, if there
were but a gentle breeze to stir it : I thought if I lived
in that house, and my ancestors and kindred were buried
there, I should sit many an hour under the walls of this
plot of earth, where all the household would be gathered
We found the ferryman at work in the field above his
hut, and he was at liberty to go with us, but, being wet
and hungry, we begged that he would let us sit by his
fire till we had refreshed ourselves. This was the first
genuine Highland hut we had been in. We entered by
the cow-house, the house -door being within, at right
angles to the outer door. The woman was distressed
that she had a bad fire, but she heaped up some dry
peats and heather, and, blowing it with her breath, in a
short time raised a blaze that scorched us into comfort-
able feelings. A small part of the smoke found its way
out of the hole of the chimney, the rest through the open
vii A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 247
window-places, one of which was within the recess of the
fireplace, and made a frame to a little picture of the
restless lake and the opposite shore, seen when the outer
door was open. The woman of the house was very
kind : whenever we asked her for anything it seemed a
fresh pleasure to her that she had it for us ; she always
answered with a sort of softening down of the Scotch
exclamation, Hoot ! " " Ho ! yes, ye'll get that," and
hied to her cupboard in the spence. We were amused
with the phrase " Ye'll get that J; in the Highlands, which
appeared to us as if it came from a perpetual feeling of the
difficulty with which most things are procured. We got
oatmeal, butter, bread and milk, made some porridge,
and then departed. It was rainy and cold, with a strong
Coleridge was afraid of the cold in the boat, so he
determined to walk down the lake, pursuing the same
road we had come along. There was nothing very
interesting for the first three or four miles on either side
of the water : to the right, uncultivated heath or poor
coppice-wood, and to the left, a scattering of meadow
ground, patches of corn, coppice-woods, and here and
there a cottage. The wind fell, and it began to rain
heavily. On this William wrapped himself in the boat-
man's plaid, and lay at the bottom of the boat till we
came to a place where I could not help rousing him.
We were rowing down tliat side of the lake which
had hitherto been little else than a moorish ridge. After
turning a rocky point we came to a bay closed in by
rocks and steep woods, chiefly of full-grown birch. The
lake was elsewhere rufHed, but at the entrance of this
bay the breezes sunk, and it was calm : a small island
was near, and the opposite shore, covered with wood,
looked soft through the misty rain. William, rubbing
his eyes, for he had been asleep, called out that he
hoped I had not let him pass by anything that was so
beautiful as this ; and I was glad to tell him that it
was but the beginning of a new land. After we had
24.8 RECOLLECTIONS OF VII
left this bay we saw before us a long reach of woods and
rocks and rocky points, that promised other bays more
beautiful than what we had passed. The ferryman was a
good-natured fellow, and rowed very industriously, follow-
ing the ins and outs of the shore ; he was delighted with
the pleasure we expressed, continually repeating how
pleasant it would have been on a fine day. I believe he
was attached to the lake by some sentiment of pride, as
his own domain his being almost the only boat upon it
which made him, seeing we were willing gazers, take
far more pains than an ordinary boatman ; he would
often say, after he had compassed the turning of a point,
" This is a bonny part," and he always chose the bonniest,
with greater skill than our prospect-hunters and " pictur-
esque travellers " ; places screened from the winds that
was the first point ; the rest followed of course, richer
growing trees, rocks and banks, and curves which the
eye delights in.
The second bay we came to differed from the rest ;
the hills retired a short space from the lake, leaving a
few level fields between, on which was a cottage em-
bosomed in trees : the bay was defended by rocks at
each end, and the hills behind made a shelter for the
cottage, the only dwelling, I believe, except one, on this
side of Loch Ketterine. We now came to steeps that
rose directly from the lake, and passed by a place called
in the Gaelic the Den of the Ghosts, 1 which reminded
us of Lodore ; it is a rock, or mass of rock, with a stream
of large black stones like the naked or dried-up bed of a
torrent down the side of it ; birch-trees start out of the
rock in every direction, and cover the hill above, further
than we could see. The water of the lake below was
very deep, black, and calm. Our delight increased as
we advanced, till we came in view of the termination of
the lake, seeing where the river issues out of it through
a narrow chasm between the hills.
1 Goblins' Cave. -J. C. S.
viz A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 249
Here I ought to rest, as we rested, and attempt to
give utterance to our pleasure : but indeed I can impart
but little of what we felt. We were still on the same
side of the water, and, being immediately under the hill,
within a considerable bending of the shore, we were en-
closed by hills all round, as if we had been upon a
smaller lake of which the whole was visible. It was an
entire solitude ; and all that we beheld was the perfection
of loveliness and beauty.
We had been through many solitary places since we
came into Scotland, but this place differed as much from
any we had seen before, as if there had been nothing in
common between them ; no thought of dreariness or
desolation found entrance here ; yet nothing was to be
seen but water, wood, rocks, and heather, and bare
mountains above. We saw the mountains by glimpses
as the clouds passed by them, and were not disposed to
regret, with our boatman, that it was not a fine day, for
the near objects were not concealed from us, but softened
by being seen through the mists. The lake is not very
wide here, but appeared to be much narrower than it
really is, owing to the many promontories, which are
pushed so far into it that they are much more like islands
than promontories. We had a longing desire to row to
the outlet and look up into the narrow passage through
which the river went ; but the point where we were to
land was on the other side, so we bent our course right
across, and just as we came in sight of two huts, which
have been built by Lady Perth as a shelter for those who
visit the Trossachs, Coleridge hailed us with a shout of
triumph from the door of one of them, exulting in the
glory of Scotland. The huts stand at a small distance
from each other, on a high and perpendicular rock, that
rises from the bed of the lake. A road, which has a
very wild appearance, has been cut through the rock ;
yet even here, among these bold precipices, the feeling
of excessive beautifulness overcomes every other. While
we were upon the lake, on every side of us were bays
RECOLLECTIONS OF vn
within bays, often more like tiny lakes or pools than
bays, and these not in long succession only, but all
round, some almost on the broad breast of the water,
the promontories shot out so far.
After we had landed we walked along the road to the
uppermost of the huts, where Coleridge was standing.
From the door of this hut we saw Benvenue opposite to
us a high mountain, but clouds concealed its top ; its
side, rising directly from the lake, is covered with birch-
trees to a great height, and seamed with innumerable
channels of torrents ; but now there was no water in
them, nothing to break in upon the stillness and repose
of the scene ; nor do I recollect hearing the sound of
water from any side, the wind being fallen and the lake
perfectly still ; the place was all eye, and completely
satisfied the sense and the heart Above and below us,
to the right and to the left, were rocks, knolls, and hills,
which, wherever anything could grow and that was
everywhere between the rocks were covered with trees
and heather ; the trees did not in any place grow so
thick as an ordinary wood ; yet I think there was never
a bare space of twenty yards : it was more like a natural
forest where the trees grow in groups or singly, not
hiding the surface of the ground, which, instead of being
green and mossy, was of the richest purple. The heather
was indeed the most luxuriant I ever saw ; it was so tall
that a child of ten years old struggling through it would
often have been buried head and shoulders, and the
exquisite beauty of the colour, near or at a distance, seen
under the trees, is not to be conceived. But if I were
to go on describing for evermore, I should give but a
faint, and very often a false, idea of the different objects
and the various combinations of them in this most intri-
cate and delicious place ; besides, I tired myself out with
describing at Loch Lomond, so I will hasten to the end
of my tale. This reminds me of a sentence in a little
pamphlet written by the minister of Callander, descriptive
of the environs of that place. After having taken up at
VII A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 251
least six closely-printed pages with the Trossachs, he
concludes thus, "In a word, the Trossachs beggar all
description," a conclusion in which everybody who
has been there will agree with him. I believe the word
Trossachs signifies "many hills 33 : it is a name given to
all the eminences at the foot of Loch Ketterine, and
about half a mile beyond.
We left the hut, retracing the few yards of road which
we had climbed ; our boat lay at anchor under the rock
in the last of all the compartments of the lake, a small
oblong pool, almost shut up within itself, as several
others had appeared to be, by jutting points of rock ;
the termination of a long out-shooting of the water,
pushed up between the steps of the main shore where
the huts stand, and a broad promontory which, with its
hillocks and points and lesser promontories, occupies the
centre of the foot of the lake. A person sailing through
the lake up the middle of it, would just as naturally sup-
pose that the outlet was here as on the other side ; and
so it might have been, with the most trifling change in
he disposition of the ground, for at the end of this slip
of water the lake is confined only by a gentle rising of a
few yards towards an opening between the hills, a narrow
pass or valley through which the river might have flowed.
The road is carried through this valley, which only
differs from the lower part of the vale of the lake in
being excessively narrow, and without water ; it is en-
closed by mountains, rocky mounds, hills and hillocks
scattered over with birch-trees, and covered with Dutch
myrtle and heather, even surpassing what we had seen
before. Our mother Eve had no fairer, though a more
diversified garden, to tend, than we found within this
little close valley. It rained all the time, but the mists
and calm air made us ample amends for a wetting.
At the opening of the pass we climbed up a low
eminence, and had an unexpected prospect suddenly
before us another lake, small compared with Loch
Ketterine, though perhaps four miles long, but the misty
air concealed the end of it. The transition from the
solitary wildness of Loch Ketterine and the narrow valley
or pass to this scene was very delightful : it was a gentle
place, with lovely open bays, one small island, corn fields,
woods, and a group of cottages. This vale seemed to
have been made to be tributary to the comforts of man,
Loch Ketterine for the lonely delight of Nature, and kind
spirits delighting in beauty. The sky was grey and
heavy, floating mists on the hill-sides, which softened
the objects, and where we lost sight of the lake it ap-
peared so near to the sky that they almost touched one
another, giving a visionary beauty to the prospect. While
we overlooked this quiet scene we could hear the stream
rumbling among the rocks between the lakes, but the
mists concealed any glimpse of it which we might have
had. This small lake is called Loch Achray.
We returned, of course, by the same road. Our guide
repeated over and over again his lamentations that the
day was so bad, though we had often told him not
indeed with much hope that he would believe us that
we were glad of it. As we walked along he pulled a
leafy twig from a birch-tree, and, after smelling it, gave
it to me, saying, how " sweet and halesome " it was, and
that it was pleasant and very halesome on a fine summer's
morning to sail under the banks where the birks are
growing. This reminded me of the old Scotch songs, in
which you continually hear of the "pu'ing the birks. 33
Common as birches are in the north of England, I believe
their sweet smell is a thing unnoticed among the peasants.
We returned again to the huts to take a farewell look.
We had shared our food with the ferryman and a traveller
whom we had met here, who was going up the lake, and
wished to lodge at the ferry-house, so we offered him a
place in the boat Coleridge chose to walk. We took
the same side of the lake as before, and had much delight
in visiting the bays over again ; but the evening began
to darken, and it rained so heavily before we had gone
two miles that we were completely wet. It was dark
vii A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 253
when we landed, and on entering the house I was sick
The good woman had provided, according to her
promise, a better fire than we had found in the morning ;
and indeed when I sate down in the chimney-corner of
her smoky biggin' I thought I had never been more
comfortable in my life. Coleridge had been there long
enough to have a pan of coffee boiling for us, and having
put our clothes in the way of drying, we all sate down,
thankful for a shelter. We could not prevail upon the
man of the house to draw near the fire, though he was
cold and wet, or to suffer his wife to get him dry clothes
till she had served us, which she did, though most will-
ingly, not very expeditiously. A Cumberland man of
the same rank would not have had such a notion of what
was fit and right in his own house, or if he had, one
would have accused him of servility ; but in the High-
lander it only seemed like politeness, however erroneous
and painful to us, naturally growing out of the dependence
of the inferiors of the clan upon their laird ; he did not,
however, refuse to let his wife bring out the whisky-
bottle at our request : " She keeps a dram," as the phrase
is ; indeed, I believe there is scarcely a lonely house by
the wayside in Scotland where travellers may not be
accommodated with a dram. We asked for sugar, butter,
barley -bread, and milk, and with a smile and a stare
more of kindness than wonder, she replied, "Ye'll get
that," bringing each article separately.
We caroused our cups of coffee, laughing like children
at the strange atmosphere in which we were : the smoke
came in gusts, and spread along the walls and above
our heads in the chimney, where the hens were roosting
like light clouds in the sky. We laughed and laughed
again, in spite of the smarting of our eyes, yet had a
quieter pleasure in observing the beauty of the beams
and rafters gleaming between the clouds of smoke. They
had been crusted over and varnished by many winters,
till, where the firelight fell upon them, they were as glossy
RECOLLECTIONS OF VII
as black rocks on a sunny day cased in ice. When we
had eaten our supper we sate about half an hour, and I
think I had never felt so deeply the blessing of a hospi-
table welcome and a warm fire. The man of the house
repeated from time to time that we should often tell of
this night when we got to our homes, and interposed
praises of this, his own lake, which he had more than
once, when we were returning in the boat, ventured to
say was " bonnier than Loch Lomond."
Our companion from the Trossachs, who it appeared
was an Edinburgh drawing- master going during the
vacation on a pedestrian tour to John o 3 Groat's House,
was to sleep in the barn with William and Coleridge,
where the man said he had plenty of dry hay. I do not
believe that the hay of the Highlands is often very dry,
but this year it had a better chance than usual : wet or
dry, however, the next morning they said they had slept
comfortably. When I went to bed, the mistress, desiring
me to "go ben," attended me with a candle, and assured
me that the bed was dry, though not " sic as I had been
used to. :j It was of chaff; there were two others in the
room, a cupboard and two chests, on one of which stood
the milk in wooden vessels covered over ; I should have
thought that milk so kept could not have been sweet,
but the cheese and butter were good. The walls of the
whole house were of stone unplastered. It consisted of
three apartments, the cow-house at one end, the kitchen
or house in the middle, and the spence at the other end.
The rooms were divided, not up to the rigging, but only
to the beginning of the roof, so that there was a free
passage for light and smoke from one end of the house
to the other.
I went to bed some time before the family. The door
was shut between us, and they had a bright fire, which
I could not see; but the light it sent up among the
varnished rafters and beams, which crossed each other
in almost as intricate and fantastic a manner as I have
seen the under-boughs of a large beech-tree withered by
vir A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND 255
the depth of the shade above, produced the most beau-
tiful effect that can be conceived. It was like what I
should suppose an underground cave or temple to be,
with a dripping or moist roof, and the moonlight entering
in upon it by some means or other, and yet the colours
were more like melted gems. I lay looking up till the
light of the fire faded away, and the man and his wife
and child had crept into their bed at the other end of the
room. I did not sleep much, but passed a comfortable
night, for my bed, though hard, was warm and clean :
the unusualness of my situation prevented me from sleep-
ing. I could hear the waves beat against the shore of
the lake ; a little " syke " close to the door made a much
louder noise ; and when I sate up in my bed I could see
the lake through an open window-place at the bed's head.
Add to this, it rained all night. I was less occupied by
remembrance of the Trossachs, beautiful as they were,
than the vision of the Highland hut, which I could not
get out of my head. I thought of the Fairyland of
Spenser, and what I had read in romance at other times,
and then, what a feast would it be for a London panto-
mime-maker, could he but transplant it to Drury Lane,
with all its beautiful colours I
END OF VOL. I
Printed by R. & R. CLAKK, LIMITED, Edinburgh