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In a hilly country, every inhabitant, with an eye to see, and a mind to feel, may enjoy, occasionally from their vallies, such divine atmospheres; but it falls to the lot of few excepting the shepherds, to observe them from above. They are generally lost on them, and an acre of their own mountain green has more charms than distant thousands, the property of others, however delightful the scene.
To the right of Dolly Waggon Pike, is Seat Sandal, with a patch of Loughrigg Fell between them. On the northern end of Seat Sandal we saw, from amongst flying vapours, the spiral tops of the Coniston mountains, neared by Loughrigg Fell and Helm Crag.
Beyond Steel Fell appear the Langdale Pikes and Wrynose, and over Wythburn head and the valley, dividing that from Steel Feil, Bow Fell, and Hanging Biold, succeeded by Sca Fell, and
Great End and Lingmell Crag are projections from the vast mass of mountain on which the pikes on Sca Fell stand unrivalled, being not only higher than Helvellyn, but the highest land in England. Nearer to the spectator are the Borrowdale mountains, Glaiamara, and Rosthwaite Cam, are the most distinguished.
Great Gable being less encumbered than other summits rears his mighty head majestically above his northern neighbours, scarcely allowing a rivalship, even to the Pillar. Below
these splendid elevations, which appear more stately than the pikes, are Green Gable, Bay's Brown, and Raven Crag; and between the two last, Gillercomb.
Next succeeds the vast cluster of mountains extending from Derwent Water to Ennerdale. The first range beyond the heights of Wythburn, are Gate Crag, Maiden Moor, and Cat Bells, all near Derwent Water; and over these are Dale Head and Robinson; and on the confines of Buttermere, Honister Crag, Fleetwith, Hay Cocks, High Crag, High Stile, and Red Pike; and still more remote and north of the Pillar, the Ennerdale Hay Cocks.
Whiteless Pike, Grasmire, Causey Pike, and Grizedale Pike, all lie between the above range and the lake of Bassenthwaite; a great part of which lake may be observed from Helvellyn; and beyond Bassenthwaite all the distant country, from the coast of Cumberland, with the Basblue summits of the Scottish mountains. senthwaite is screened on the north by Skiddaw.
From Helvellyn, after having observed this extensive panorama, we walked on the edge of the precipice, to Lad Crag; there we looked into the frightful chasm, flanked on the east by Striding Edge: from Lad Crag we mounted successively, Cold Keld, Nether Pike, and Broad Crag top, all furnishing different combinations. of rock and mountain: we at lengh arrived at Dolly Waggon Pike, but in the midst of driving
vapours, which, when in scrappy exhibitions, like the clackings of folly, alternately tantalize and bewilder. Though, in the course of our journey we had seen such vapours, and somewhat dreaded their approach, this was their first visit, and it was fortunately of short duration.
The misty curtains being withdrawn, we saw, at the same time, through the grand and impressive side screens of the vale of Grizedale, the head and the foot of Ulls Water. Patterdale church, with other buildings, surrounded by green fields, appeared in high contrast to the general desolation of the scene.
From Dolly Waggon Pike, had we slanted round the western side of the hill, instead of passing direct, we might have had an easier descent to the head of Grizedale Tarn, which is a considerable piece of water, surrounded by steep and rocky mountains. Grizedale Tarn offers various wild subjects for the pencil: on its southern side is the road connecting Grasmere and Patterdale.
We made our second repast at Grizedale Tarn, by the side of a chrystal fountain. Looking upwards, the mists rolled furiously along the craggy brow of Fairfield, and the prospect became so gloomy, that we had almost determined to conclude our journey, with the least possible delay, but the sun suddenly broke forth in sipendid illuminations, the vapours were dissipated, and with renovated spirits, we forthwith began to climb one of the steepest side-grounds on our tour.
Having got to the top of Fairfield (a grand cove sweeping round the head of the vale of Rydal) we again found ourselves among the clouds, which passing swiftly, favoured us at intervals with partial prospects of the distant country. At one time we had an extensive display of visible horizon over the flying vapours, which, having left the summit, sailed along the side of the mountain, but it was not long ere we were entirely relieved from this misty obscurity.
Here we had in view the lakes of Windermere, Esthwaite, and Coniston, all swimming in heavenly blue; the clouds having vanished, and the winds abated, we blessed our stars that we had continued our excursion. The atmospere though fine was clear, and a glimmering view of Lancaster was obtained through the telescope.
Having rounded the top of Fairfield, we came to that steep and craggy end, which is called Steps Head; we passed the steps, and ascended to two neighbouring pikes; the first is placed upon Rydal Hart Crag, the second on Huntshope Cove. From these pikes we had grand, but dizzy views into Deep Dale, and on proceeding farther a precipitous eye flight down to Hartshope. Brother Water was hid behind the hill which rises on the west of Hartshope Hall. Had we pursued the edge of the precipice, and passed over Dove Crag, to the Higher and Lower Bakestones, we might have observed that little lake, with its pretty accompaniments
from many rugged near grounds. The Bakestones are two rocks bounding the head of Scandale bottom: they are visible from Rothay bridge, and other neighbouring places.
From the Bakestones, by the Scandale Hart Crag, we might have mounted Scandale Fell, and from Scandale Fell, have descended on a green lane, which joins the Penrith road, scarcely a mile from Ambleside. Scandale Fell is a high mountain, and overlooks a great extent of country.
Or, from the Bakestones we might have dropped down into Scandale bottom, and by leaving Sweden Bridge on the right, have proceeded through Scandale lane to Ambleside: but, instead of pursuing the Hartshope ridge, we passed that which separates the townships of Ambleside and Rydal, and presently saw the peaceful Windermere, scarcely ruffled by a breath of air.
All was harmony-and, excepting the soft murmurings of the rivulet, in Scandale bottom, deeply below us on the left, all was silence.
The mountains of Coniston, which, on this descent, are combined in sublimity, exhibited all their features, though their local hues were deeply involved in that solemn azure which is so generally admired, but so rarely imitated.
About the High and the Low Pikes the way is rugged, but it is good on the Nook End