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English scenery. Still, I remember your once telling me that it formerly belonged to a family who forfeited their large estates in this neighbourhood in consequence of having rebelled against their sovereign. Do, dear papa, tell us all about it; for having now grown much older than I was, I shall be able to retain it in my memory much more effectually.”
“ You are quite correct, my dear Edmund,” said his affectionate father, “ in the outline you have drawn of the circumstances in question ; and I shall willingly fill up the sketch in order to gratify your laudable curiosity. For a person not versed in the knowledge of his own country, and, especially, in the localities surrounding his home, can scarcely be supposed to be acquainted with that of foreign countries.
Lord's Island, then," he continued, was formerly the place of residence of the family of Radcliffe, who assumed the title of ‘ Derwentwater,' from this very lake. The last lord of that name fell a martyr to his indiscretion, in the rebellion of 1716, in consequence of having conspired with the then Earl of Mar, in the wild and traitorous project of reinstating the head of the discarded house of Stuart on the throne of England. His vast possessions in this neighbourhood, returning a princely income of £20,000 a-year, were declared forfeited to the crown; and by a vote of parliament, in 1732, were vested in trustees for the benefit of Greenwich Hospital.* This magnificent establishment, so honourable to our maritime superiority, is now principally indebted for its support to the large proceeds accruing from the Earl of Derwentwater's estates.
“ The result of this rebellion was still more melancholy, as regarded the unfortunate peer; for with the loss of his fine property, the wretched nobleman suffered also the loss of life; having been beheaded on the 24th of February, 1716, on Tower Hill, together with his unhappy associate in crime, Lord Kenmuir.”
* The property was subsequently purchased, in 1832, of the trustees of Greenwich Hospital, by the late John Marshall, Esq., of Hallsteads, Cumberland.
An involuntary sigh, accompanied by a general exclamation of pity, denoted the generous sympathies of the juvenile members of the party, on hearing this hapless story.
“ What a sad, sad fate, my dear papa," said the compassionate Laura, “ was that of poor Lord Derwentwater ! Could not the reigning sovereign be satisfied with confiscating his property, without also taking his life ?”
“No! my beloved Laura,” replied Mr. Gracelove. “The crime of high treason is so grave an offence against the state, and, in the case of a rebellion, so productive of danger and confusion to society at large, that for the peace and welfare of the community it can only be expiated by undergoing the extreme penalty of the law. In such a momentous case the guilty must die to save the innocent from destruction. Severity to the individual becomes, then, mercy to the public."
As it was the invariable custom of this judicious father to improve every favourable opportunity for the inculcation of moral and religious sentiments, he availed himself of the present occasion for enforcing the duty of obedience, in all its gradations and relative circumstances ;—of submission to the laws of man, as well as to the commandments of God. Always happy when he could illustrate a subject of instruction by an appropriate passage of Scripture, he took from his pocket a little Bible, which he always carried with him, and turned at once to Peter ii. 13-17.
dear children,” he said, “ listen to what God has enjoined on this point through the inspired word of his apostle.
“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punish
• And now, my
ment of evil-doers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.'"
To the general command contained in the above passage, Mr. Gracelove superadded a few words on the particular act of obedience set forth in Coloss. iii. 20 : “ Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” The reading of this text produced a silent expression of consciousness in the countenance of the little Maria, in reference to the transgression of the parental law thus laid down, of which she had been guilty some time previously, as related in a former chapter. The recollection, however, was united in her dear, penitent little heart with the firm resolution to transgress no more, either in that or any other respect, if she could possibly avoid it.
And, now, it may be easily conceived with what additional interest the party rambled over this once joyous retreat, with the historical incidents so fresh in their minds of the hapless destiny of its former proprietors. The foundations of the family mansion,- for the superstructure has almost entirely disappeared, -were regarded with a mournful sympathy; while each individual present could not but feel, after the scriptural exhortation which had been just read, that to “ fear God, and keep his commandments, is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." *
Once more the little boat is skimming her lucid way to St. Herbert's Island, which lies near the centre of the lake. Here, it may be as well to inform the reader, with the view of giving
* Ecclesiastes xii, 13, 14.
him some idea of the relative positions and distances of the several islands, that the lake is three miles in length, and about a mile and a-half in its greatest breadth. Its form is elliptical, and lies north and south ; the whole of its surface being taken in at a single glance. This peculiar advantage it possesses over all the lakes spread over the interesting region we are contemplating, and constitutes, at once, its superior charm and distinction. Derwentwater abounds with fish of an excellent quality; among which are trout, eels, perch, and pike. A noble specimen of the latter was caught in 1836showing the effect of good living—which had attained the enormous weight of twenty-two pounds.
The island on which our Christian friends were now assembled, was, many centuries ago, the abode of a singular hermit called St. Herbert, and from him derived its name.
It covers about five acres of ground, and, like the others, is characterized by a luxuriant growth of trees and shrubs.
To the historical fact that this was the residence of the patron saint, St. Herbert, and that his hermitage was situated on the island, the venerable Bede, in his History of the Church of England, bears testimony; for he remarks, that “ he lived a solitary life in the isle of that great and extended lake from which proceeds the river Derwent.” He appears to have died about the
687. The above-named historian, in reference to the same locality, records, also, the fact of a remarkable entry in the register of Bishop Appleby, in 1134, nearly five hundred years from the death of the ascetic, demonstrative of the gross superstition of the time and place. He states, that, in this register, an offer was made to the inhabitants of Crosthwaite, of an ecclesiastical indulgence of forty days, on their accompanying the vicar to St. Herbert's Island, once every year, on the 13th of April, for the purpose of celebrating mass, in commemoration of the patron saint !