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magistrate, Kraster and Dorothy were sentenced to death. In the court-room Dorothy arose, glowered at the magistrate, and said, with words that rung through the building: “ Guard thyself, Myles Phillipson | Thou thinkest thou hast managed grandly; but that tiny lump of land is the dearest a Phillipson has ever bought or stolen; for you will never prosper, neither your breed ; whatever scheme you undertake will wither in your hand; the side you take will always lose; the time shall come no Phillipson will own an inch of land; and while Calgarth walls shall stand, we'll haunt it might and day—never will ye be rid of us.” Thenceforth the Phillipsons had for their guests two skulls. They were found at Christmas at the head of a stairway; they were buried in a distant region, but they turned up in the old house again. The two skulls were burned again and again; they were brayed to dust and cast to the wind: they were several years sunk in the lake; but the Phillipsons never could get rid of them. Meanwhile old Dorothy's weird went on to its fulfillment, until the family sank into poverty, and at length disappeared. The only other famous occupant of Calgarth was the Bishop of Llandaff, already mentioned. This worthy Dr. Watson, who tells us that when he was appointed Professor of Chemistry at Oxford he had never seen any work on that subject, was quite accomplished in the science of ghost-laying. He realized, when he retired to Calgarth for the purpose of learned gardening, that two dead skulls existed in the folk-imagination, and must be laid to rest by the wit of a living skull. So he seems to have done something solemn over an old wall, after which it was agreed that Kraster and Dorothy had consented, in consideration of so good a man, to rest quiet for the future. The present holder of Calgarth is Lieutenant-Colonel Watson, a magistrate, but not of the Phillipson kind, who has gained the good-will of all by his thoughtfulness in keeping open the view through his grounds. It is strange to find lingering in these northern counties, along with so many Scandinavian and German names and words, the ancient Teutonic idea of the divining power of woman. Tacitus mentions the German custom of consulting the women as oracles. There were times when women alone knew how to read and write, the men being too much engaged

with their spears to respect anything done with the pen; but the proverbial miraculousness of the unknown made them ready to regard a mysterious combination of letters as a spell. May not many a poor little wife have utilized the tendency to superstition in her huge master by encouraging the notion that a power superior to his lay in her mystic letters : The spae-wife, or spy-wife, seems to have ininerited some of the characters of the Parcae too: her curse could never be reversed. It is a pity that Sir Walter Scott could not have visited this neighborhood earlier in life than he did. It was only seven years before his death that he made his memorable visit to Christopher North at Elleray, and his knack of getting at good old stories was nearly gone. The Wizard had, however, heard at Abbotsford the chief story of one of these famous Phillipsons, and reproduced it in “Rokeby.” Belle Isle, which we have already visited, and which from Elleray appears as a superb emerald on the breast of Windermere, belonged to Colonel Phillipson at the time of the civil war between Charles I. and Parliament. He and his younger brother, a major, were bold champions of the royal cause, and the major went by the name of Robin the Devil. Colonel Briggs, of Cromwell's army, undertook to capture this major, who had taken refuge in his brother's house on Belle Isle. His brother was absent, and the major confirmed his title of “ the Devil” by successfully resisting a siege of eight months. His brother having come to his relief, Colonel Briggs was compelled to withdraw from before Belle Isle. But Major Phillipson resolved to avenge the insult, and with a small band of horse went over to Kendal, where Colonel Briggs was stationed. Hearing that the colonel was at church—it was Sunday morning—he posted his men at the church door, and dashed down the aisle on horseback! The colonel was not there. The congregation, at first terror-stricken, made an attempt to arrest the intruder, who galloped down another aisle, but in making his exit struck his head violently against the arch of the doorway. Though his helmet was struck off, and his saddle girth gave way, the stunned warrior struggled with those who tried to capture him, and made his escape. His helmet still hangs in Kendal church. There Sir Walter saw it, and told it of Bertram Risingham, in the sixth canto of “Rokeby.” It may even be that the legend of the Calgarth skulls—for Calgarth then belonged to the Phillipsons—is a mere saga that grew out of the nickname Robin the Devil. The “Race of Giants,” as Christopher North called the mountains seen from his door, and the lakes, needed sorely among their genii one who could preserve their popular traditions. One can hardly forgive Southey for wandering far away into the East to get tales for his poems, when similar ones were growing all around him here. It excites a smile now to find him writing to Coleridge in this way: “I was, and am still, utterly at a loss to devise by what possible means fictions so perfectly like the Arabian tales in character, and yet so indisputably of Cimric growth, should have grown up in Wales.” He put some of the Welsh mythology into Madoc, so transferring them to the American aborigines; but he never learned that Dorothy's curse of Calgarth was a better subject for him than the curse of Kehama. As a result of this primitive state of mind among those lords of the Lake, the guide-books are sadly barren of these early romances. The tourist here Vol. LXIL-No. 367. –2


PROFESSOR wilson's cott AGE AT EllerAY.

finds himself much beguided : Words. worth has written a guide, and Harriet Martineau also. Wordsworth's is, curiously enough, out of print: Harriet Martineau has been so re-done—I will not say edited—that while her reader discovers that, contrary to the general impression, she was a good Christian, he can not give her an equal credential for ready observation of those human characteristics of the neighborhood to which she might have been supposed particularly alive. She does, indeed, mention a haunted house ; but unless her invisible re-doer has strangely supplemented her work, she also actually believed in it! Well, if these worthies did not gather very well the primitive romance of the Lakes, they extemporized a good deal for them which in the course of time will be transformed into a pretty enough mythology. Christopher North was himself a kind of Thor and Baldur in one, with a touch of the frost-giant in him to boot. Now we find him daring dangerous Windermere in a snow-storm, in darkness too, vainly trying for hours to recover shore, and nearly dying of cold. “Master was well-nigh frozen to death,” reported his man Billy, “and had icicles a finger long hanging from his hair and beard.” Next evening, like as not, he is at Charles Lloyd's fine mansion dancing with the belle of the Lakes—gracefulest dancer he in the district And when the first breath of spring has called out the wild



flowers, lo! he is amid them, perhaps calling the Greek Meleager to his aid to tell them how lovely they are, and then how perfect must she be who is lovelier—that aforesaid Belle of Brathay !” How many diligent readers nowadays know Christopher North : The question “reminds me of a little story.” In the last days of the old antislavery agitation, when it was supposed by Boston roughs

* The translation alluded to is so beautiful that I must quote it:

“'Tis now that the white violets steal out the spring to greet, And that among his longed-for showers Narcissus smiles so sweet. 'Tis now that lilies, upland born, frequent the slopes of green, And that the flowers that lovers love, of all the flowers the queen, Without an equal anywhere, in full-blown beauty glows; Thou know'st it well, Zenophile – Persuasion's flower, the Rose. Ah! why, ye hills and meadows, does bright laughter thus illume Your leafy haunts? so lavish why, and prodigal of bloom * Not all the wreaths of all the flowers that Spring herself might cull As mine own Virgin e'er could be one-half so beautiful!”

and their inspirers that a few abolitionists' heads thrown to the South would dissolve the nascent Confederacy, there was a furious mob in the Music Hall. The uproar was continuous, deafening. The saintly face of Garrison beamed on the crowd, but his voice was unheard; the stately form of Phillips uprose, but not a syllable could be caught even by those on the platform. All efforts at gaining silence having failed, all orators having given up, Wendell Phillips espied in a distant nook the serene face of Emerson. The idea struck him that perhaps that calm face might have some effect. Emerson was persuaded, and advanced to the front. The mob did not know him, and the noise very slightly abated, because some were asking who he was. Emerson began his speech with these words: “Christopher North—of course you all know Christopher North—” These were magic words. Whether it was the compliment to their intelligence, or whether the startling wildness of the proposition that they had ever heard of him, the crowd was instantly hushed, and the mob was chilled and foiled. Emerson went on with a capital speech, and he began it with the story of Christopher North, when rebuked for his anger and violence toward two scamps, declaring that he had treated them with the utmost self-restraint—he had “only pitched them out of the window.” Emerson based on that his assertion that the abolitionists had exercised even more self-command under more tempting circumstances; they had been peaceful when it might have been expected they would be revolutionists. But the main force of the speech was in its gentle parenthesis, “Of course you all know Christopher North.” Few indeed are they who know that man, and none who know him only as Professor Wilson, or as a writer. The real man was never got between the arms of a college chair, nor between the covers

of a book. He was a character rather

than a thinker ; a great, handsome, healthy, whole-hearted, generous, heroic soul; a natural noble; one of whom— reading his life, and the good stories of him, and his works too—we may imagine Krishna as saying to Arjoon, “He my servant is dear unto me who is free from enmity, the friend of all nature; he is my beloved of whom mankind are not afraid, and who of mankind is not afraid.” Probably they alone who saw Christopher North amid these lakes and mountains ever really saw him at all. “More than one person,” wrote Harriet Martineau, “ has said that Wilson reminded them of the first man Adam, so full was his large frame of vitality, force, and sentience. His tread seemed to shake the ground, and his glance to pierce through stone walls; and as for his voice, there was no heart that could stand before it. In his hours of emotion he swept away all hearts whithersoever he would. Not less striking was it to see him in a mood of repose, as he was seen when steering the packetboat that used to pass between Bowness and Ambleside before the steamers were put upon the lake. Sitting motionless, with his hand upon the tiller, in the presence of journeymen and market-women, his eye apparently looking beyond everything into nothing, and his mouth closed above his beard, as if he meant never to speak again, he was quite as impressive and immortal an image as he could have been to the students of his moral philosophy class, or to the comrades of his jovial hours. He was known, and with reverence and affection, beside the trout stream and the mountain tarn, and amidst the deep gloom of Elleray, where he could not bring himself to let a sprig be lopped that his wife had loved. Every old boatman and young angler, every hoary shepherd and primitive dame, among the hills of the district, knew him and enjoyed his presence. He made others happy by being intensely happy himself, when his brighter Inoods were on him; and when he was mournful, no one desired to be gay. He has gone with his joy and his grief; and the region is so much darker in a thousand eyes.” Miss Martineau became a poet whenever she wrote about the professor, whose health she drank in the first spring breath, and pledged him in the sparkling thunder-shower. “Blessings above all on Christopher North !” she exclaims again; “we can not but wonder whether he ever cast a thought upon such as we are when breasting the breeze on the moors, or pressing up the mount


aim - side, or watching beside the trout stream . . . . Whether he is now conscious of the fact or not, his spirit has come many a time, while his tired body slept, and opened our prison doors, and led us a long flight over mountain and moor, lake and lea, and dropped us again in our beds, refreshed and soothed, to dream, at least, of having felt the long-lost sensation of health once more.” Elleray Cottage, with its “several roofs shelving away there in the lustre of loveliest lichens, each roof with its own assortment of doves and pigeons preening their pinions in the morning pleasaunce,” remains, and over it the tutelary sycamore—that sycamore of which Christopher wrote, “Never in this well-wooded world, not even in the days of the Druids, could there have been such another tree; it would be easier to suppose two Shakspeares.” Here Wilson passed the eight brightest years of his life; to this spot he brought his bride for the never-waning honey-moon; and though the loss of his little fortune by the dishonesty of an uncle compelled him to leave this cottage (1815), enough was won back when eight years later he was able to take up his summer quarters here again. “He was in a position,” writes his daughter, “once more to take up his summer quarters in his beautiful villa of Elleray, the place which he loved above all others on earth: and in the summer of 1823 we find him there, with his wife and children again under the old roof-tree.” “He was in the habit of sauntering the whole day long among the woods and walks of Elleray.” In one of those fond letters of his to his wife, which hardly bear printing, he says: “The country now is in perfect beauty; and I think of one who has been a kind and affectionate and good wife to me, at all hours. If I do not, may the beauty of nature pass away from my eyes!” It was years after when Jane passed away, and sure enough with her the beauty of Elleray. “Sadly,” writes the daughter,

“comes the confession from his lips of the

dreariness which fell upon him at Elleray, a place at one time as enjoyable as paradise.” He tried to go there again, but when he slept at the Bowness hotel “the silence and loneliness of the night to him were not to be borne.” He went off, and saw Elleray no more. Christopher North, in the history of the Lakes, occupies the place of a Prospero;

Robert SouthEY.

all that this region has known in the way of pageants and revels is associated with his wand. Of these the most notable was that which occurred on the occasion when Sir Walter Scott and Canning came to be the guests of Mr. Bolton, a merchant, at Storrs Hall on Windermere. The host threw his house open to all the literary men —Wordsworth, Wilson, Southey, and the rest—and they staid there night and day. “It would have been difficult,” says Lockhart, “to say which star in the constellation shone with the brightest or the softest light. There was high discourse, intermingled with as gay flashings of courtly wit as ever Canning displayed; and a plentiful allowance on all sides of those airy, transient pleasantries in which the fancy of poets, however wise and grave, delights to run riot when they are sure not to be misunderstood. There were beautiful and accomplished women to adorn and enjoy this circle. The weather was as Elysian as the scenery. There were brilliant cavalcades through the woods in the mornings, and delicious boatings on the lake by moonlight; and the last day Professor Wilson (‘the Admiral of the Lakes,' as Canning called him) presided over one of the most splen

did regattas that ever enlivened Windermere. Perhaps there were not fewer than fifty barges following in the professor's radiant procession when it paused at the point of Storrs to admit into the place of honor the vessel that carried kind and happy Mr. Bolton and his guests. The three bards of the Lakes led the cheers that hailed Scott and Canning; and music and sunshine, flags, streamers, and gay dresses, the merry hum of voices and the rapid splashing of innumerable oars, made up a dazzling mixture of sensations as the flotilla wound its way among the richly foliaged islands, and along bays and promontories peopled with enthusiastic spectators.” “There were giants on the earth in those days.” Such was our not very original but sincere remark as we drove on through deep and shady roads toward Troutbeck. “Yes,” broke in our driver: “he lived over there,” pointing with his whip. “Who?” we asked. “The giant,” said the driver, with a look of surprise. He was a taciturn driver, silent as a Trappist; this was his first venture, and, with a view to encourage it, I said, “Oh yes, of course, the giant.” We were all expectation, but the driver had no more to say. “Let’s see, what was his name, driver ?” “Hugh Hird.” “He was a tremendous fellow, wasn't he 7” “Could lift as much as ten men, and eat a whole sheep.” That was all we could get out of our driver concerning the Troutbeck giant. Miss Martineau's account of him is as follows: “Tradition tells of a giant, a man of amazing strength,’ who lived in Troutbeck Park, in the time of Henry IV. He begged from house to house till he came there, but finding an empty dwelling, he took possession. This house had been forfeited to the crown, and was of so little value that he remained for a time undisturbed. At last a tenant was found, and came to take possession; but the giant, who was quite uncivilized, and knew no law but strength,’ prevented him. Upon this he was sent to London, where he so pleased the king by his feats of strength that he was promised anything he might ask for. His petition was the

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