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very deep mines in Hungary, Peru, and elsewhere, being situated in mountainous countries, where the surface of the earth is elevated to a great height above the level of the ocean.
54. Your native stream, &c.] The river Lowther.
55. On azure roofs, &c.] The houses of this country are covered with a beautiful blue slate.
ibid. Sweet Keswick's vale, &c.] This delightful vale is thus elegantly described by the late ingenious Dr. Brown in a letter to a friend. “ In my way to the north from Hagley, I passed through Dovedale ; and, to say the truth, was disappointed in it. When I came to Buxton, I visited another or two of their ro. mantic scenes; but these are inferior to Dovedale. They are all but poor miniatures of Keswick; which exceeds them more in grandeur than I can give you to imagine; and more, if possible, in beauty than in grandeur.
“ Instead of the narrow slip of valley which is seen at Dovedale, you have at Keswick a vast amphitheatre, in circumference above twenty miles. Instead of a meagre rivulet, a noble living lake, ten miles round, of an oblong form, adorned with a variety of wooded islands. The rocks indeed of Dovedale are finely wild, pointed, and irregular ; but the hills are both little and unanimated; and the margin of the brook is poorly edged with weeds, morass, and brushwood. But at Keswick, you will, on one side of the lake,
see a rich and beautiful landskip of cultivated fields, rising to the eye in fine inequalities, with noble groves of oak, happily dispersed ; and climbing the adjacent hills, shade above shade, in the most various and picturesque forms. On the opposite shore, you will find rocks and cliffs of stupendous height, hanging broken over the lake in horrible grandeur, some of them a thousand feet high, the woods climbing up their steep and shaggy sides, where mortal foot never yet approached : on these dreadful heights the eagles build their nests; a variety of water-falls are seen pouring from their summits, and tunibling in vast sheets from rock to rock in rude and terrible magnificence : while on all sides of this immense amphitheatre the lofty mountains rise around, piercing the clouds in shapes as spiry and fantastic as the very rocks of Dovedale. To this I must add the frequent and bold projection of the cliffs into the lake, forming noble bays and promontories : in other parts they finely retire from it, and often open in abrupt chasms or clefts, through which at hand you see rich and una cultivated vales, and beyond these, at various distance, mountain rising over mountain ; among which, new prospects present themselves in mist, till the eye is lost in an agreeable perplexity :
Where active fancy travels beyond sense,
And pictures things unseen. “ Were I to analyse the two places in their constituent principles, I should tell you, that the full per. fection of Keswick consists of three circumstances, beauty, horror, and immensity united; the second of which alone is found in Dovedale. Of beauty it hath little ; nature having left it almost a desert: neither its small extent, nor the diminutive and lifeless form of the hills, admit magnificence; but to give you a complete idea of these three perfections, as they are joined in Keswick, would require the united powers of Claude, Salvator, and Poussin. The first should throw his delicate sunshine over the cultivated vales, the scattered cots, the groves, the lake, and wooded islands. The second should dash out the horror of the rugged cliffs, the steeps, the hanging woods, and foaming water-falls; while the grand pencil of Poussin should crown the whole with the majesty of the impending mountains.
“ So much, for wliat I would call the permanent beauties of this astonishing scene. Were I not afraid of being tiresome, I could now dwell as long on its varying or accidental beauties. I would sail round the lake, anchor in every bay, and land you on every promontory and island. I would point out the perpetual change of prospect: the woods, rocks, cliffs, and mountains, by turns vanishing or rising into view : now gaining on the sight, hanging over our heads in their full dimensions, beautifully dreadful ; and now, by a change of situation, assuming new romantic shapes, retiring and lessening on the eye, and insensibly losing themselves in an azure mist. I would remark the contrast of light and shade, produced by the morning and evening sun; the one gilding the western, the other the eastern side of this immense amphitheatre; while the vast shadow projected by the mountains buries the opposite part in a deep and purple gloom, which the eye can hardly penetrate: the natural variety of coloring which the several objects produce is no less wonderful and pleasing: the ruling tincts in the valley being those of azure, green, and gold, yet ever various, arising from an intermixture of the lake, the woods, the grass, and corn-fields : these are finely contrasted by the grey rocks and cliffs; and the whole heightened by the yellow streams of light, the purple hues, and misty azure of the mountains. Sometimes a serene air and clear sky disclose the tops of the highest hills: at others, you see the clouds involving their summits, resting on their sides, or descending to their base, and rolling among the vallies, as in a vast furnace; when the winds are high, they roar among the cliffs and caverns like peals of thunder; then, too, the clouds are seen in vast bo. dies sweeping along the hills in gloomy greatness, while the lake joins the tumult, and tosses like a sea ; but in calm weather the whole scene becomes new : the lake is a perfect mirror, and the landskip in all its beauty : islands, fields, woods, rocks, and moun. tains, are seen inverted, and floating on its surface. I will now carry you to the top of a cliff, where, if you dare approach the ridge, a new scene of astonishment presents itself; where the valley, lake, and islands, seem lying at your feet; where this expanse of water appears diminished to a little pool amidst the vast and immeasurable objects that surround it; for
here the summits of more distant hills appear beyond those you have already seen; and rising behind each other in successive ranges
and azure groups
craggy and broken steeps, form an immense and awful picture, which can only be expressed by the image of a tema pestuous sea of mountains. Let me now conduct you down again to the valley, and conclude with one circumstance more; which is, that a walk by still moon light (at which time the distant water-falls are heard in all their variety of sound) among these inchanting dales, open such scenes of delicate beauty, repose and solemnity, as exceed all description."
56. Of dread Lodore, &c.] A very high cascade here falls into the lake of Derwentwater, near where Borrodale-beck (or brook) enters into it, as described above.
57. Channels by rocky torrents torn, &c.] For an account of an extraordinary storm in a part of this country, called St. John's vale, by which numerous fragments of rocks were driven down from the moun. tains, along with cataracts of water, see a letter from Cockermouth, inserted in the Gentleman's Magazine of October, 1754,
Page 66. What time the May-fly haunts the pool or
stream ;] · The angler's May-fly, the ephemera vulgata of Linnaeus, comes forth from its aurelia state, and emerges out of the water about six