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rose above our sight as we went upwards, seemed on pur return to lie beneath our feet. The last opening is superlatively tine; two grand and pointed rocks forming its side skreens, and admitting the sudden and bursting sight of Hope Dale, with far distant views, 'where the purple mountains lie,' standing like the flaming swords of the seraphiuis at the gates of Paradise, and turning every way as you approach them.
The following day was destined to the vicinity o.f Hathersage; we rambled in its village street, and loitered in its elevated church-yard; made acquaintance with its children, and talked with its peasantry. .Extending our walk beyond the precincts of the village, and passing through two or three enclosures, the sudden turning of aprojecting hank presented one of the loveliest scenes that was ever beheld. At the top of a fine circular meadow of the brightest green stood a low white house, white as the blanched snow, the meadow skirted by a gravelled path, that formed a sweeping terracewalk above the hanks of a trout-stream, that murmured as it flowed beneath the alders; the hack of the house was sheltered and shaded, and graced by a small hanging wood: a little beyond, an Alpine bridge was thrown over a small cascade, that poured its sparkling waters into the stream below; high above this cascade, this wood, and this house, the mountains, covered with brush-wood, were rounded to the skies. On their op
fosite side bold rocks arose in savage grandeur, high as )erbyshire rocks could rear, taking a circular sweep that joined the rounder mountains, and enclosed at their feet Brookfield. Hathersage, I have said, reposed in the bosom of the mountains ; Brookfield, in their heart of hearts. One other habitation alone was to be seen in the ample area they enclosed, and that was a most singular building, standing upon an ascent at the foot of the rocks. Half an hour's walk brought us in approximation with its lofty tower, that was a perfect parallelogram, its roof and chimneys concealed by an emhattled wall that rose above them. It stood amidst two or three pastures; hence its name of North Lees,
and an orchard, dark with old fruit trees; so old it might have been thought' they never had been young.' There was a gloomy solitude around, the very reverse of Brookfield, and we concluded the place to be uninhabited; hut, as we were retreating^ a man appeared at the door, which he locked, and was departing by a different direction. When he observed us, there was a civility in 'his countenance that encouraged us td express our wishes to view the interior of the build* ing, which he readily complied with; assuring u3. as be unlocked the entrance, 'it was well worth our curiosity.'
Our civil and assiduous guide appeared versed irl legendary lore, and justified what I had frequently observed—the intellectual acquirements of the Derbyshire rustics. 'Yonder little ruin that you see to the left,' said he,' just below, almost hid by the ash trees. was a Romish chapel dedicated to the Holy Trinity; and that suug white house further down is Brookfield, where, many years since, the vicar of Hathersage lived; a man that had no more guile in him than a new fallen lamb.' He then pointed out, as objects of great interest, three different-sized outlines of the human foot deeply indented in the lead roof; ' They were' made,' said he, ' by a gentleman who came here annually for several years, and brought his two young sons with him; he told me he was the nearest relation. to those that built the house, though he did not heir it. The last time he came, he Said, perhaps his sons would never see it again, for they were going to the East Indies. Somehow or other I always feel sorry when I think of them, though I never knew their names. As we descended, every separate stair presenting a crevice through which the depths beneath appearedl he added, 'But I must get you to turn into the room below again; there is one thing I forgot to show you. You seem to be taken with this place, and to know something about the country; did you ever hear of A Mr. Cunningham, a clergyman 1 He used td cdnlS here often, and he nlade one remark upon the ceilirtg that nobody else ever did.' We re-entered the room, and he pointed out, amidst the dilapidated plaisterwork, a repetition of what the early pupils in writing would call ' three strait strokes,' alternately placed along with a circle; observing that' Mr. Cunningham explained it as referring to the Trinity, the mighty Three in One, which, like the circle, was without beginning and without end, and to whom the domestic chapel was dedicated. He used,' continued he, 'to take great delight in this old place, and to bring his books, and make his verses here.' 'And pretty verses they were,' I said, using the medwise word, more to suit the idea of my auditor's comprehension, than my own appreciation. 'Pretty !' retorted he, with somewhat of a reproachful accent, 'they were lofty;' and to my surprise repeated some lines from an ode to Lord Rodney, and spoke with admiration of another to Chatsworth. Yet the appearance of the man was nothing more than that of a rustic; his wife and children were in the harvest-field to which he was bound; yet, with genuine good manners, never appearing to feel that we were encroaching on the sunshine of his day, he spoke in the strongly marked provincialism of his country, and it was the matter, more than the manner, by which he was distinguished. We had intruded into bis house, and taken up his time, and we felt an acknowledgment was due. He did not appear to think the same, for, on our indication to make some remuneration, he said, 'Surely a man might show a little common civility without looking to be paid,' and hastily wished us ' good day.'
On our return, we passed the house and chapel of the Catholic priest; the latter denoted by a large cross of Derbyshire marble, built up in its gable wall. A gravel walk led to the house, and a parterre on each side was full of all the autumnal flowers in gorgeous colourings, a fine hedge of lavender dividing it from an adjoining field. A venerable figure was standing within its inclosure, with a large open book in his hand; he was hare-headed, and was wrapped in a long brown
vest; and as we looked upon his flowers, advanced to meet us, invited us within the gates, desired us to gather his flowers, showed us the interior of his chapel and his garden, the reservoir of water he had made there for the preservation of fish, and the large stone hasin into which its superfluity was conducted, and from whence hu permitted the good women of the village to fill their tea-kettles, ' because,' he said, 'there is no water else that makes such good tea, besides its being more wholesome.' Not any benediction the good man might have bestowed upon the hallowed element in his chapel, could have rendeied it more ' holy' in my estimation than did this benevolent dispensation. From the garden he took us into his house, where we found a neat little refreshment, to which he so gaily pressed, and smiled, that we unhesitatingly accepted his truly hospitable fare. It was well he did not try to persuade us to become good Catholics, for his manners and address were irresistible. Many vestiges of the ancient religion appear at Hathersage. The little ruined chapel at North Lees; another that is seen to the right, on the road to Hope, in the opening of the bills; the one we had recently visited, and the added memorials of an ancient and highly respectable Soman Catholic family in the chancel of the church, who had once possessed great property around Hathersage, bespoke its prevalence there, even long after the reformation. Our return gave a different appearance to the same objects. We ascended the steep hill of three miles measurement from Hathersage, and regained the high level of the moors, when, in the shades of evening, their unvaried surface spread far away on every side, and uniting with the grey horizon, presented a scene like that of a tranquil sea, its waving billows sunk to rest, and the curtains of the sky drawn around its soft repose. M. B.
vol. II. Nov. 1829.
TO A DECEASED FRIEND. The spring is come, the fields again put on their gayest
hues, And sparkling in the sun-beams are the pearly morning
dews, The streams, which long had been ice-bound, in freedom gently flow, All nature seems revivified; but thou, oh! where art
thou? The flowers are bright and blossoming, the birds their
simple lays Are tuning in the groves to their Almighty Maker's
praise; And heaven and earth, and sea and sky, with rapturous
accents bow, And join to bless His holy name; but thou, oh!
where art thou? I roam the fields as heretofore, I gaze upon the streams, And bless each tender innocent flower that round me
fondly beams, Still there's a void within my heart, a shade upon my
brow— A sigh escapes my lab'ring breast; oh! where, oh!
where art thou? I listen, but I do not hear the echo of thy voice, That oft when grief has shrouded me, hath hade me to
rejoice, I strain mine eyes, but 'tis in vain, I cannot see that
form, A beacon-light of hope to me amid life's darksome
storm! For the grave,' that dark and narrow house,' environs
thee; but why Should I regret thy destiny—regret that thou didst
die? The grave's a welcome haven, where the tired one may
rest, And death the passage up from earth to the heaven
of the blest.