Imágenes de páginas



think once more of the " 'good Lord Clifford,” and the lusty welcome and the wassail that hailed his restoration:

“ Knight, squire, and yeoman, page and groom,

We have them at the feast of Brough’m.
How glad Pendragon-though the sleep
Of years be on her !-she shall reap
A taste of this great pleasure, viewing,
As in a dream, her own renewing.
Rejoiced is Brough, right glad I deem
Beside her little humble stream;
And she that keepeth watch and ward,
Her statelier Eden's course to guard :
They both are happy at this hour,
Though each is but a lonely tower ;-
But here is perfect joy and pride,
For one fair House by Eamont's side,
This day, distinguished without peer,
To see her master, and to cheer
Him, and his lady-mother dear.”

I had been hospitably notified of the hour when lunch would be ready; so having sauntered and mused about the ruin we walked back to the hall, and joined the family party in a pleasant room looking out upon the terrace. Two of the guests were Frenchmen: they had seen the Lakes and thought the scenery enchanting; but imagined that what English folk would be most enchanted with for the time being, not to say astonished, was the fine weather. They would not believe that fine weather was usual in England.


The Convalescent-Shap Water—Persevering Guesses-What Shirts are

for-The Lodgekeeper's Wife-Two Ways to Edenhall—The Way to the Giant's Caves—Young Cumbrians—Nine Kirks—The Caves—The Maiden's Step—Hugh's Parlour—Sir Lancelot du Lake-The Luck of Edenhall—The Duke's Ditty—The Fairies' Well—Sans ChangerThe Ballad of the Luck.

[ocr errors]

Two hours later I had left Penrith, and was on the way to Edenhall, when a respectable-looking labourer, who had his best suit on, and carried a carpet-bag in his hand, touched my knapsack and accosted me with “So ye 're carryin' tea." Not tea! What was it then? Having pondered awhile, he tried again with "It 'll be patterns?" A Cumbrian of the old school, such as he seemed aged enough to be, should have used the old Cumbrian word for patterns-swatches. But he didn't; and his guess being wrong, he guessed again and again, as perseveringly as the Yankee did who tried to guess what it was had bitten the sailor's leg off. Meanwhile I questioned him, and his answer was that he had been a fortnight at Shap Wells, drinking the water and bathing, for the benefit of his health, and found that which he sought, and was now going to his home at Garrigill, a village near Alston. I congratulated him on the cure which enabled him, a sexagenarian, to undertake a walk of thirty miles burdened with a bag. "The water,” he said, “ tastes o'



gunpowder; but it does folk good; and Shap's a place that suits a poor man's pocket.”

Having guessed in vain, he begged me to tell him what I carried.

Shirts.” He stood still in the middle of the road, and examined me curiously for a minute or two; shook his head, and asked, " And what d'ye carry shirts for ? ”

“ To wear.”

He took another look at me, and would perhaps have made some further demonstration, had we not come to a place where the road divided, and he turned to the left fork, I to the right. And so we parted. By the way, reader, you would hardly suspect that Garrigill is Cumbrian for Gerard's Gill.

About four miles from Penrith I came to the entrance to a park. The gate stood open, for the hay-makers were busy on the belt of grass left between the trees and the road on each side of the avenue. I passed through ; but the lodge-keeper's wife intimated that I ought to take the road outside the park.


She hesitated a minute; then, "Oh, you see, people goes that way, and speaks to the butler."

“Do Sir George's visitors go that way, and speak to the butler ?

No, visitors don't, but I think you had better.”

To my reply that I preferred the avenue, she answered doubtfully, “Well, you know best; but her ladyship was very strong upon me not to let improper people go down this way to the hall."

I promised to bear the blame, should any ensue, and keeping on down the drive came at a bend in sight of the hall; not the Edenhall of the faithful Royalist

commended by Clarendon, but a spacious mansion built in the Italian style. As at Brougham, the front door stood confidingly open. I entered the hall: books, old watches and other antiques lay on a table in the centre; the door of the library was ajar; I peeped in, but saw no one, and heard not a sound; and felicitated myself on having come to a place where neighbours were not mistrusted. However, having discovered the bell, I presently found that after all I had to “speak to the butler," for not one of the family was at home; the ladies were out with the carriage; Sir George was taking a walk, but would be back to dinner at seven. I took off my knapsack, and made an opportunity of the interval to go and see the Giant's Caves. On my approach to the gate the lodge-keeperess met me with an apology; she had been talking about it to her husband, and hoped I wasn't offended. Of course not: I was only amused. “You see," she said, “Sir George's visitors always comes in a vehicle."

And not," I interrupted, “ with their baggage on their shoulders ;” and then she cheerfully gave leave to her little son and daughter to show me the way

to the Caves.

We crossed two or three fields and came upon the Eamont, about half a mile above its confluence with the Eden, where the bank rises high and precipitous and rough with rock and wood. The children with a little encouragement soon began to talk and tell me their version of the traditions, and proved themselves genuine young Cumbrians by commencing every reply with “Well,” and pronouncing o as aw: their father's name they said was Jawzif. We could see St. Ninian's on a green level some distance up the valley, the church containing the vault of the Broughams; and that the



youngsters said was called Nine Kirks, because evil spirits pulled it down nine times o' nights when it was a-building. Then we descended by a steep path to a ledge in the red sandstone cliff, and along this ledge within a distance of about a hundred yards are the hollows or excavations known as the Giant's Caves. In one the children pointed out two rude faces carved in the rock, as the giant and his wife; in another a projecting block was the giant's bed; a little farther, and a gap in the ledge was the Maiden's Step, down which the giant fell and was drowned in the river while pursuing a lady who escaped by leaping across ; for he was a very wicked giant that devoured cattle and men and women and children when he could catch them. The gap was a fearful place for the little ones, and yet they would like to look into it. But when I held out my hand to offer support they started back exclaiming, “Na, na!” However, they both ventured at last and peeped into the break which, though it proved a trap for the wicked giant, a man might easily stride across.

This is the place described by the old chronicler as Isey Parlis, now Isis Parlis, which may be, as is pretended, a corruption of Hugh's Parlour. One of the caves shows traces of having been formerly inclosed by a gate; and some antiquaries think that here was once a hermitage, or a hiding-place to which the people resorted during inroads of the Scots. Others surmise it to be the scene of Sir Lancelot du Lake's meeting with the “ damsell faire,” when

“ She brought him to a river side,

And also to a tree,
Whereon a copper basin hung,

And many shields to see;'

« AnteriorContinuar »