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quite harmless. They were loitering about took an odd turn when it discharged itself the main thoroughfare of Ambleside, with upon the Duke of Wellington. We had their hands in the pockets of their knicker- grown accustomed to that foolish picture bockers, gazing in at a stationer's window, of the Waterloo Heroes, in which the Duke, or regarding a brace of setters that a keep- in a pair of white pantaloons, stands er standing in front of a hotel had in leash. in the attitude of a dancing-master, with They did not even look narrowly at the an idiotic simper on his face. All along knees of our horses an ordinary piece the road, in public-houses, inns, and hotels, of polite impertinence. They were well- we had met this desperate piece of decorameaning and well-conducted persons; and tion on the walls, and had only smiled a the worst that could be said of them, that melancholy smile when we came upon anthey were tourists, has been said about other copy. But this particular print many good and respectable people. A seemed to be quite offensively ridiculous. man may have climbed Loughrigg Fell, If Henry the Eighth had been inside these and yet be an attentive husband and affec- long white pantaloons and that tight coat, tionate father; while knickerbockers in my Lady could not have regarded the figure themselves are not an indictable offence. with severer contempt. We picked out My Lady made no answer to these humble enemies among the attendant generals, representations; but asked for how long just as one goes over an album of photothe horses would have to be put up, before graphs and has a curious pleasure in recordwe started again.

ing mental likes and dislikes produced by Bell's enthusiasm of the morning had unknown faces. Somehow all the Watergiven way to something of disappointment, loo Heroes on this evening looked stupid which she tried hard to conceal. Amble- and commonplace. It seemed a mercy side, one of the places she had been that Napoleon was beaten ; but how he dreaming about for years, looked painfully had been beaten by such a series of gabies modern now. In thinking about it, down and nincompoops none of us could make in our southern home, she had shut out of out. the picture hotels, shops, and fashionably- Then the Lieutenant must needs grumdressed people, and had dwelt only on the ble at the luncheon served up to us. It wild and picturesque features of a neigh- was a good enough luncheon, as hotels borhood that had at one time been as fa- go; and even my lady was moved to exmiliar to her as her mother's face. But press her surprise that a young man who now, Ambleside seemed to have grown professed himself able to enjoy any thing big, and new, and strange; and she lost in the way of food, and who had told us the sense of proprietorship which she had amusing stories of his foraging adventures been exhibiting in our drive through the in campaigning time, should care whether scenery of the morning. Then Loughrigg there were or were not lemon and breadFell did us an evil turn-gathering up all crumbs with a mutton cutlet. the clouds that the wind had driven over, “ Madame," said the Lieutenant," that and sending them gently and persistently is very well in a campaign, and you are down into the valley of the Rothay, so glad of any thing; but there is no merit that a steady rain had set in. The Lieu- in eating badly-cooked food — none at tenant did not care much how the sky all.” might be clouded over, so long as Bell's “A soldier should not mind such trifles," face remained bright and happy; but it she said ; but she smiled as though to say was quite evident that she was disappoint- that she agreed with him all the same. ed, and he in vain attempted to reassure “ Well, I think," said the young man, her by declaring that these two days had doggedly," that it is no shame that any convinced him that the Lake country was one should know what is good to eat, and the most beautiful in the world. She could that it is properly prepared. It is not any not foresee then that this very gloom, more contemptible than dressing yourself that seemed to mean nothing but con- in good taste, which is a duty you owe to stant rain, would procure for us that even- other people. You should see our old ing by far the most impressive sight that generals — who are very glad of some we encountered during the whole of our coarse bread, and a piece of sausage, and long summer ramble.

a tumbler of sour wine, when they are ridOur discontent with Loughrigg Fell ing across a country in the war--how they study delicate things, and scientific cook- thin slice of Bologna sausage. This is opery, and all that, in Berlin.”

tional“And do you follow their example when “My dear," I say to Tita, “ be sure you you are at home?"

put down. This is optional !'“Not always; I have not enough time. “ With it you have a glass of good and But when you come to my house in Ber- soft Bordeaux wine. Then, Madame, we lin, Madame, you will see what luncheon come to the reindeer's tongue. This is you shall have."

the pièce de résistance, and your guests “ Can't you tell us about it now ?” says must eat of it just as they have their hour Tita.

for dinner in the evening. Also, if they “ Pray do," echoes Bell, after casting are ladies, they may prefer a sparkling wine another reproachful glance at the rain out to the Bordeaux, though the Bordeaux is of doors.

much better. And this is the reason : AfThe Lieutenant laughed; but seeing ter the reindeer's tongue is taken away, that the women were quite serious, he pro- and you may eat an olive or two, then a ceeded in a grave and solemn manner to pâté de foie gras—real from Strasburginstruct them in the art of preparing lun- “Stop!” cries one of the party. "If I cheon.

have any authority left, I forbid the addi“ First,” said he, “you must have Rus- tion to that disastrous catalogue of ansian black bread and French white bread other single item! I will not suffer their cut into thin slices—but you do not use introduction into the house! Away with the black bread yet awhile; and you must them !" have some good Rhine wine, a little warm- “But, my dear friend,” says the Lieued if it is in the winter; some Bordeaux, a tenant, “it is a good thing to accustom bottle of green Chartreuse, and some yourself to eat the meats of all countries— champagne, if there are ladies. Now, for you know not where you may find yourthe first, you take a slice of the white self.” bread, you put a little butter on it, very “Yes," says Bell, gently, “one ought to thin, and then you open a pot of real Rus- learn to like caviare, lest one should be sian caviare, and you put that on the slice thrown on a desert island." of bread three-quarters of an inch thick, “And why not?" says the persistent not less than that. You must not taste it young man. “You are thrown on a desby little and little, as all English ladies do, ert island-you catch a sturgeon--you but eat it boldly, and you will be grateful. take the roe, and you know how to make Then half a glass of soft Rhine wine-if it very good caviare is a good Marcobrunner, that is excellent. “But how about the half-glass of Rhine Then you eat one slice of the black bread, wine ?" says my Lady. with butter on it, more thick than on the “You can not have every thing in a white bread. Then you have two, per- desert island; but in a town, where you haps three, Norwegian anchovies

have time to study such thingsWould you mind my writing these “And where you can order coffins for things down?" says my Lady.

half-past ten," it is suggested. The Lieutenant of course assents ; she A good luncheon is a good produces a small bunch of ivory tablets; thing." and I know the horrible purpose that fills “ Ladies and gentlemen," said Bell, her mind as she proceeds to jot down this “the rain has ceased.” programme.

And so it had. While we had been con“You must have the caviare and the templating that imaginary feast, and payanchovies of real quality, or every thing is ing no attention to the changes out of spoiled. With the anchovies you may eat doors, the clouds had gradually withdrawn the black bread, or the white, but I think themselves up the mountains, and the huwithout butter. Then half a glass of Rhine mid air showed no more slanting lines of wine"

rain. But still overhead there hung a hea“ Those half-glasses of Rhine wine are vy gloom; and along the wet woods, and coming in rather often," remarks Bell. on the troubled bosom of the lake, and up

“No, Mademoiselle, that is the last of the slopes of the hills, there seemed to lie the Rhine wine. Next is a thin slice of an ominous darkness. Should we reach white bread, very thin butter, and a very Grasmere in safety? The Lieutenant had

CHAPTER XXIII.

the horses put to with all speed; and pre- gathering gloom where the lake ended and sently Bell was taking us at a rapid pace the land began. The islands, the trees, into the wooded gorge that lies between the fields, and the green spaces of the hills, Nab Scar and Loughrigg Fell, where the were as distinct below as above; and gathering twilight seemed to deepen with where the dark blue of the lake ran in premonitions of a storm.

among the reeds, no one could make out the line of the shore. It was a strange and

impressive scene, this silent lake lying at AT NIGHT ON GRASMERE.

the foot of the hills, and so calm and death

like that the motionless clouds of the “Ye who have yearned With too much passion, will here stay and pity,

sky lay without a tremor on the sheet of For the mere sake of truth; as 'tis a ditty

glass. This was not the Rydal Water we Not of these days, but long ago 'twas told had been hoping to see, but a solitary and By a cavern wind unto a forest old;

enchanted lake, struck silent and still by And then the forest told it in a dream

the awful calmness of the twilight and the To a sleeping lake.”

presence of the lowering clouds. We drove into the solitude of this deep We got down from the phaeton. The valley without uttering a word. How horses were allowed to walk quietly on could we tell what the strange gloom and with Tita in charge, while we sauntered silence might portend ? Far away up the along the winding road, by the side of this misty and rounded slopes of Loughrigg somber sheet of water. There was no the clouds lay heavy and thick, and over more fear of rain. There was a firmness the masses of Rydal Fell, on the other about the outlines of the clouds that beside of the gorge, an ominous darkness came more marked as the dusk fell. But brooded. Down here in the chasm the although the darkness was coming on trees hung cold and limp in the humid air, apace, we did not hasten our steps much. crushed by the long rain. There was no When should we ever again see such a picsign of life abroad, only that we heard the ture as this, the like of which Bell, familiar rushing of the river Rothay in among the with the sights and sounds of the district underwood in the channel of the stream. from her childhood, had never seen beThere was not even any motion in that fore? wild and gloomy sky, that looked all the What I have written above conveys stranger that the storm-clouds did not nothing of the impressive solemnity and move.

majesty of this strange sight as we saw it; But as we drove on, it seemed to be- and indeed I had resolved, before entering come less likely that the rain would set in the Lake district, to leave out of the jotagain. The clouds had got banked up in tings of a mere holiday traveler any mengreat billows of vapor; and underneath tion of scenes which have become familiar them we could see, even in the twilight, to the world through the imperishable and the forms of the mountains with a strange unapproachable descriptions of the great distinctness. The green of the distant masters who lived and wrote in these reslopes up there grew more and more in- gions. But such jottings must be taken tense, strengthened as it was by long for what they are worth—the hasty record splashes of a deep purple where the slate of hasty impressions; and how could our was visible; then the heavy gray of the little party have such a vision vouchsafed sky, weighing upon the summits of the to them without at least noting it down as hills.

an incident of their journey ? But all this was as nothing to the wild We walked on in the darkness. The and gloomy scene that met our view when slopes of Nab Scar had become invisible. we came in sight of Rydal water. We Here and there a white cottage glimmered scarcely knew the lake we had loved of out from the roadside ; and Bell knew the old, in bright days, and in sunshine, and name of every one of them, and of the blowing rain. Here, hidden away among people who used to occupy them. reeds, lay a long stretch of dark slate-blue, “How surprised some of our friends with no streak of white along the shores, would be,” she said to Tita, “ if we were no ripple off the crags, to show that it was to call on them to night, and walk in withwater. So perfect was the mirror-like sur- out saying a word.” face, that it was impossible to say in the “They would take you for a banshee,” said my Lad y, “on such an evening as turned with the information that a boat this. Get up, Bell, and let us drive on. was waiting for us. There was no triumph I am beginning to shiver-whether with in his face—no exultation; and it never fright or with cold I don't know.”

occurred to any one to ask whether this So we got into the phaeton again, and young Uhlan had secured the boat by sent the horses forward. We drove along throwing the owner of it into the lake. the broad road which skirts the reedy and The women were quite satisfied to accept shallow end of Rydal Water, and entered all the pleasant things he brought them, the valley of the stream which comes flow- and never stopped to inquire by what tyraning through the trees from Grasmere. It nical or disgraceful means the young Pruswas now almost dark; and the only sound sian had succeeded in his fell endeavors. we could hear was that of the stream plash- But at all events he managed to keep out ing along its rocky bed. By and by, a of the police office. glimmer of yellow light was observed in As a matter of fact, the boat was not front; and Bell having announced that only waiting when Tita and Bell, having this was the Prince of Wales hotel, we dressed for the purpose, came downstairs, were soon within its comfortable precincts. but was supplied with all manner of nice In passing we had got a glimpse of a dark cushions, plaids, rugs, and a guitar-case. steel-gray lake lying amid gray mists and The women showed a good deal of trepiunder somber hills—that was all we knew dation in stepping into the frail craft, which as yet of Grasmere.

lay under the shadow of a small jetty; but But about an hour afterward, when we once out in the open lake, we found suffihad dined, the Lieutenant came back from cient light around us, and Bell, pulling her the window at which we had been stand- gray and woolen shawl more tightly around ing for a minute or two, and said

her, turned to look at the wonders of “Mademoiselle, I have a communication Grasmere which she had not seen for many for you.”

years. Mademoiselle looked up.

It was a pleasant night. All the hills “If you will go to the window

and woods on the other side of the lake Bell rose and went directly.

seemed for the most part in a black sha“I know," said my Lady, with a well- dow; but out here the moonlight dwelt affected sigh. “The night has cleared up calmly on the water, and lit up the wood—there is starlight or moonlight, or some- ed islands further down, and shone along thing, and I suppose we shall have to go the level shores. As we went out into the out in a boat to please these foolish young silent plain, the windows of the hotel grew people. But I think you will be disap- smaller and smaller, until in the distance pointed this time, Count von Rosen." we could see them but as minute points of “Why, Madame ?"

orange fire that glittered down on the “ This is a respectable hotel. Do you black surface below. Then, in the perfect think they would give you a boat? Now stillness of the night—as the measured if there was some old lady to be cajoled, sound of the rowlocks told of our progress, I daresay you would succeed—” and the moonlight shone on the gleaming

“Oh, you do think we can not get a blades of the oars—we were all at once boat? I do not suppose there is any startled by a loud and hissing noise, that trouble about that, if only Mademoiselle caused Tita to utter a slight cry of alarm. cares about going on the lake. Perhaps We had run into a great bed of watershe does not—but you must see how beau- weeds, that was all—a tangled mass of tiful is this lake at present."

water-lily leaves, with millions of straight The idea of Bell not wishing to go out horsetails rising from the shallow lake. on Grasmere—at any hour of the night, We pushed on. The horsetails went down so long as there was a yellow moon rising before the prow of the boat; but all around over the dusky heights of Silver Home! us the miniature forest remained errect The girl was all in a flutter of delight when The moonlight Sparkled on the ripples that she returned from the window-anxious we sent circling out through those perpenthat we should all see Grasmere under dicular lines. And then the Lieutenant these fine conditions, just as if Grasmere called out a note of warning, and Bell belonged to her. And the Lieutenant, plunged her oars in the water just in time, having gone outside for a few minutes, re- for we had nearly run down two swans New SERIES.-VOLXVI., No. 4.

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1

that were fast asleep in among the tall “I belong to the North Country," says weeds.

Bell proudly; "and we are all the same We forsook this shallower end of the race up here." lake, and, with some more hissing of horse- Now you should have seen how this cue tails, pushed out and into the world of was seized by the Lieutenant. The boy moonlight and still water; and then, as had about as much knowledge of the colTita took the oars, and just dipped them onization of this country as most youths now and again to give us a sense of mo- pick up at schools; but the manner in tion, Bell rested her guitar on her knee which he twisted it about to suit the wild and began to sing to us. What should and audacious statement that Bell had she sing under the solitude of the hills, uttered was truly alarming. Before we when all our laughter of dinner-time was knew where we were, we were plunged into over, and we were as silent as the lake it

the history of Strathclyde, and invited to self? There was not even a breath of consider the consistency of character that wind stirring; and it was in a very low must have prevailed in the great Welsh voice, with something of a tremor in it, kingdom that stretched from Dumbarton that Bell began to accompany the faint to Chester. We had also some pleasant touching of the guitar.

little excursions into Bernicia and Deira, “I've heard the lilting at our ewe-milking,"

with abundance of proof that the Lowland

Scotch speak the best English now going she sang, and her voice was so low and tremulous that Tita forgot to dip the oars ed with meekness. We were treated to a

-a piece of information which we acceptinto the water, that she might listen to the recapitulation of the settlements of the Angirl.

gles, together with a learned disquisition “ Lasses a lilting before the break o' day, on the aims of Ida. This was all very well. But now they are moaning on ilka green loan- It passed the time. Bell thought she was

ingThe Flowers o' the Forest are a' wede away.” firmly established in her position. Her

traditional reverence for the “ North CounHad Grasmere ever listened to a more pa- try” and all its belongings had, it turned thetic ballad, or to a tenderer voice? It was aş well, perhaps, that the Lieutenant She had a right to claim the songs of the

out, some definite historical justification. could not see Bell's face; for as she sang Lowland Scotch; was she not herself of the last verse

that favored race? At length, Queen Tita “We hear nae mair lilting at our ewe-milking; burst into a merry fit of laughter!

Women and bairns are heartless and wae; “ I don't know what you mean to prove, Sighing and moaning on ilka green loaning- Count von Rosen,” she said; “you prove The Flowers o' the Forest are a' wede away.

so much. At one time you insist that Bell —there was a sort of indistinctness in her is Scotch; at another time you show us notes; and when the Lieutenant said that that she must be Welsh, if all the people in it was the finest English song that he had Strathclyde were Welsh. But look at her, yet heard, and that the air was so very and what becomes of all the theories? different from most of the old English There is no more English girl in all Eng. tunes, she could not answer him for a land than our Bell.” minute or two.

“That is no harm said of her," replied But when she did answer him, fancy our the Lieutenant, abandoning all his arguastonishment!

ments at once. “ It isn't English,” she said, with just a " I suppose I am English," said Bell

, trace of contempt in her tone. “When obstinately, “ but I am North Country did you find the English able to write a English.” song or an air like that ?"

Nobody could dispute that; and doubt“Grant me patience !" cries my Lady, less the Lieutenant considered that Bell's with a fine theatrical appeal to the moon- division of this realm into districts mapped light overhead. “This girl, because she out in her imagination was of much more was born in Westmoreland, claims the importance than the idle inquiries of hispossession of everything north of the torians into the German occupation of Trent."

England. “ Are not you also English, Mademoi- Then we pulled away over to the island, selle ?" says the Lieutenant.

and round underneath the shadows of its

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