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in ridges like the waves of a tumultuous sea, and in the beauty and variety of their surfaces and colours, they are surpassed by none.

The general surface of the mountains is turf, rendered rich and green by the moisture of the climate. Sometimes the turf, as in the neighbourhood of Newlands, is little broken, the whole covering being soft and downy pasturage. In other places rocks predominate; the soil is laid bare by torrents and burstings of water from the sides of the mountains in heavy rains; and not unfrequently their perpendicular sides are seamed by ravines (formed also by rains and torrents), which, meeting in angular points, entrench and scar the surface with numerous figures like the letters W and Y.

In the ridge that divides Eskdale from Wastdale, granite is found; but the mountains are for the most part composed of the stone by mineralogists termed schist, which, as you approach the plain country, gives place to limestone and freestone; but schist being the substance of the mountains, the predominant colour of their rocky parts is bluish, or hoary grey-the general tint of the lichens with which the bare stone is encrusted. With this blue or grey colour is frequently intermixed a red tinge, proceeding from the iron that interveins the stone and impregnates the soil. The iron is the principle of decomposition in these rocks; and hence, when they become pulverized, the elementary particles, crumbling down, overspread in many places the steep and almost precipitous sides of the mountains with an intermixture of colours, like the compound hue of a dove's neck. When in the heat of advancing summer, the fresh green tint of the herbage has somewhat faded, it is again revived by the appearance of the fern profusely spread over the same ground and, upon this plant, more than anything else, do the changes which the seasons make in the colouring of the mountains depend. About the first week in October, the which prevailed through the whole summer, is

rich

:

green,

VII.,

C

usually passed away.

The brilliant and various colours of the fern are then in harmony with the autumnal woods; bright yellow or lemon colour, at the base of the mountains, melting gradually through orange to a dark russet brown towards the summits, where the plant, being more exposed to the weather, is in a more advanced state of decay. Neither heath nor furze are generally found upon the sides of these mountains, though in many places they are adorned by those plants, so beautiful when in flower.

We may add, that the mountains are of height sufficient to have the surface towards the summit softened by distance, and to imbibe the finest aërial hues. In common also with other mountains, their apparent forms and colours are perpetually changed by the clouds and vapours which float round them: the effect, indeed, of mist or haze in a country of this character is like that of magic. I have seen six or seven ridges rising above each other, all created in a moment by the vapours upon the side of a mountain which, in its ordinary appearance, showed not a projecting point to furnish even a hint for such an operation.

I will take this opportunity of observing, that they who have studied the appearances of nature feel that the superiority, in point of visual interest, of mountainous over other countries is more strikingly displayed in winter than in summer. This, as must be obvious, is partly owing to the forms of the mountains, which, of course, are not affected by the seasons; but also, in no small degree, to the greater variety that exists in their winter than their summer colouring. This variety is such, and so harmoniously preserved, that it leaves little cause of regret when the splendour of autumn is passed away. The oak-coppices, upon the sides of the mountains, retain russet leaves; the birch stands conspicuous with its silver stem and puce-coloured twigs; the hollies, with green leaves and scarlet berries, have come forth to view from among the deciduous trees, whose summer foliage had concealed them; the ivy is now plentifully

apparent upon the stems and boughs of the trees, and upon the steep rocks. In place of the deep summer- green of the herbage and fern, many rich colours play into each other over the surface of the mountains; turf (the tints of which are interchangeably tawny-green, olive, and brown), beds of withered fern, and grey rocks, being harmoniously blended together. The mosses and lichens are never so fresh and flourishing as in winter, if it be not a season of frost; and their minute beauties prodigally adorn the foreground. Wherever we turn, we find these productions of nature, to which winter is rather favourable than unkindly, scattered over the walls, banks of earth, rocks, and stones, and upon the trunks of trees, with the intermixture of several species of small fern, now green and fresh; and to the observing passenger, their forms and colours are a source of inexhaustible admiration.

Add to this the hoar-frost and snow, with all the varieties they create, and which volumes would not be sufficient to describe. I will content myself with one instance of the colouring produced by snow, which may not be uninteresting to painters. It is extracted from the memorandumbook of a friend; and for its accuracy I can speak, having been an eye-witness of the appearance. 'I observed,' says he, 'the beautiful effect of the drifted snow upon the mountains, and the perfect tone of colour. From the top of the mountains downwards a rich olive was produced by the powdery snow and the grass, which olive was warmed with a little brown, and in this way harmoniously combined, by insensible gradations, with the white. The drifting took away the monotony of snow; and the whole vale of Grasmere, seen from the terrace walk in Easedale, was as varied, perhaps more so, than even in the pomp of autumn. In the distance was Loughrigg Fell, the basin-wall of the lake this, from the summit downward, was a rich orange-olive; then the lake of a bright olive-green, nearly the same tint as the snow-powdered mountain-tops and high

slopes in Easedale; and lastly, the church, with its firs, forming the centre of the view. Next to the church came nine distinguishable hills, six of them with woody sides turned towards us, all of them oak copses with their bright red leaves and snow-powdered twigs; these hills—so variously situated in relation to each other, and to the view in general, so variously powdered, some only enough to give the herbage a rich brown tint, one intensely white and lighting up all the others were yet so placed, as in the most unobtrusive manner to harmonize by contrast with a perfect naked, snowless, bleak summit in the far distance.'

Having spoken of the forms, surface, and colour of the mountains, let us descend into the vales. Though these have been represented under the general image of the spokes of a wheel, they are, for the most part, winding, the windings of many being abrupt and intricate. And it may be observed

that, in one circumstance, the general shape of them all has been determined by that primitive conformation through which so many became receptacles of lakes. For they were not formed, as are most of the celebrated Welsh valleys, by an approximation of the opposite mountains towards each other, leaving little more between than a channel for the passage of a hasty river; but the bottom of these valleys is mostly a spacious and gently declining area, apparently level as the floor of a temple, or the surface of a lake, and broken in many cases by rocks and hills, which rise up' like islands from the plain. In such of the valleys as make many windings, these level areas open upon the traveller in succession, divided from each other sometimes by a mutual approximation of the hills, leaving only passage for a river; sometimes by correspondent windings, without such approximation; and sometimes by a bold advance of one mountain towards that which is opposite it.

It may here be observed with propriety that the several rocks and hills, which have been described as rising up like islands from the level area of the vale, have regulated the

Ichoice of the inhabitants in the situation of their dwellings. Where none of these are found, and the inclination of the ground is not sufficiently rapid easily to carry off the waters (as in the higher part of Langdale, for instance), the houses are not sprinkled over the middle of the vales, but confined to their sides, being placed merely so far up the mountain as to be protected from the floods. But where these rocks and hills have been scattered over the plain of the vale (as in Grasmere, Dunnerdale, Eskdale, etc.), the beauty which they give to the scene is much heightened by a single cottage, or cluster of cottages, that will be almost always found under them, or upon their sides; dryness and shelter having tempted the Dalesmen to fix their habitations there.

W. WORDSWORTH.

THE LANGDALE PIKES.

WHILE at our pastoral banquet thus we sate,
I could not, ever and anon, forbear

To glance an upward look on two huge peaks,
That from some other vale peered into this.
'Those lusty twins,' exclaimed our host, if here
It were your lot to dwell, would soon become
Your prized companions.-Many are the notes
Which in his tuneful course the wind draws forth
From rocks, woods, caverns, heaths, and clashing shores;
And well those lofty brethren bear their part

In the wild concert-chiefly when the storm
Rides high; then all the upper air they fill
With roaring sound, that ceases not to flow,
Like smoke, along the level of the blast,
In mighty current; theirs, too, is the song
Of stream and headlong flood that seldom fails
And, in the grim and breathless hour of noon,
Methinks that I have heard them echo back

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