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from their rural occupations in the field to ply the oar instead of guiding the plough; an exchange of labour which they always hailed with evident satisfaction.
After despatching an early breakfast, the joyous party, con sisting of papa and mamma, Edmund, Jasper, Laura, and Maria, crossed the lawn to the water's edge, and with high anticipations of the coming pleasure stepped at once into the boat. Mr. Gracelove having taken his seat at the helm, steered her course direct to the Vicar's, or Derwent Isle, one of the four beautiful islands that adorn and diversify the surface of this queen of the northern lakes.
Nothing could surpass the fineness of the day. The sun shone forth from a clear bright sky, chequered only by a few light fleecy clouds which lent an additional charm to the landscape, as every observant traveller through a mountainous region must have frequently remarked. The broad masses of shade that are occasionally thrown on the sides of the mountains, contrasting and mingling with the sunshine that rests upon them; the singular and almost mysterious forms they sometimes assume, while creeping along the rugged acclivities, as if they were disembodied beings of another world, are objects of interesting contemplation to the lovers of nature. If, at the same time, the wind should be high, the rapidity with which these shadowy reflections sweep across the barren heights, and the sudden changes and combinations into which they are cast-light and shade in strange variety succeeding each other, as it were, in flashes,-produce on the mind an emotion of surprise and admiration.
But the boat has now reached the beautiful banks of " Derwent Isle," the one which lies nearest to the town of Keswick. It rises with graceful elevation from the water, containing about six acres of ground, and has been cultivated with much care and taste under the judicious superintendence of the late
General Peachy, to whose family the property belongs. Shrubberies, lawns, and numerous beds of flowers are variously disposed over the surface of this interesting islet; while a luxuriant belt of trees, displaying their pensile forms, and drooping down to the brink of the water, surrounds this little domain, with the exception of a vista which has been cut through the foliage, and which exhibits to advantage the neatly-constructed edifice within, as well as the beauties of the lake without.
The view of the lake from this point is highly attractive ; embosomed as it is in a deep valley, and girt in by lofty mountains, with a partial exception to the north, where the crystal stream of the Derwent steals placidly along its silent course, to join the expansive waters of the adjoining Lake of Bassenthwaite.
After promenading through the grounds of this romantic retreat, and paying their respects to the proprietors of the villa, our eager tourists again arranged themselves in the boat, and directed their course to “ Lord's Island,” lying some distance off on the eastern margin of the lake. The waters, which were now ruffled by a slight breeze, reflected a thousand brilliant sparkles beneath the meridian sun. This islet, like the former, occupies an area of similar extent, and is adorned throughout with an equal luxuriance of trees and shrubs. A much superior interest, however, is attached to its sylvan bowers by the historical associations connected with it.
“And now,” said Mr. Gracelove, addressing his eldest son Edmund, as the party landed from the boat, “ you ought to be able to inform us, my dear boy, having just returned from your studies at school, what the recollections consist of which are united with the spot of ground on which we stand.”
But, my dear papa,” replied Edmund, “ the books I have been reading at school-Virgil, Ovid's Metamorphoses, and Euripides, don't speak at all either about the lake or of