Curious and compendious description of Borrowdale
A CURIOUS AND COMPENDIOUS DESCRIPTION OF
AND ON ITS WILD AND UNCULTIVATED
Who are turning from God, and flying to the Devil.
Et Loquor nil nisi verum ; et mullum in PARVO.
TO WHICH IS ADDED,
A curious Address round about
And all written for RURAL FESTIVITY.
VIVE memor lethi FUGIT HORA.
(illegible text)quod loquor inde est, Deus est nobis sol et scutom sribo non niehi sed vendo in patriæ.
TE SCRIBO PRO BONO PUBLICO.
Written in the short-hand, by a Gentleman, at RIDDINGS Near Threlkeld. in the County of Cumberland ; and afterwards written at length by the same Editor,
Printed for the Author.
Deus nobis hæc otia fecit.———VIRGIL
KIND and courteous readers, if any of you have a mind to see any curiosities, you must hot stay home, or sit by the fire side; but you must set d(illegible text) your feet, and reambulate mountains, and then(illegible text) will see different manners, customs, and curiosities the idleness of some people, and the hardship of others: and we will see the one half of the people world, they know not how the other half do. Some lives retired in deserts, and some among moun-tains, as the people in Borrowdale, almost exclusive from the terestrial world, because they dwell in the bleu regions, astonishing to behold; some of t(illegible text) seems to touch the very clouds. Some lives in moun-tains of snow, and others among shoals of ice; some are forced to shelter under the wide canopy of heaven exposed to all the inclemency of the wether: some wander in foreign regions, friendless and harbourless deplorably situated in smoky houses, covered soot and nastiness; and they see nothing within doors but poverty, and without wild cattle; as the pe(illegible text) in Borrowdale to them may be compared. And there is but one way of coming into the world, but the(illegible text) more ways of departing from it again; and the much betwixt the cradle and the grave. Some there are, who, for the sake of finery on their backs, go with hunger in their bellies; and they starve their own families by wearing silks and satins; but on(illegible text)subject my pen must cease to write, while I turn attention to local history; and for me to write all curious things I have seen in Cumberland, to me will be too tedious, and for the want of a learned (illegible text) I cannot write such a history as the most famous cholson and Burns; and had I but the golden (illegible text) of these noble grecian poets and historians, as Hol(illegible text) Anacreon, Longimus, Epictatus, Pindar, He(illegible text) Xenophon, Sophocles, Gerard, Volsius, and that (illegible text) famous Athenian, the Grecian orator, the wor(illegible text) Demosthenes, or the pens of these brave and n(illegible text) (illegible text)man poets and historians, as Viril Horace, Catu-(illegible text), Ovid, Juvinal, Sallust, Plato, Tullus, Cicero, (illegible text)icitus, Pliny, Justin, Diogoros, Quintus, Curtius, Pythagorus, Atticus, Herodotus, Tasso, Ausanius, (illegible text)eodosins, Terence, Erasmus, Seaton, Cæsar’s com-mentary, and my own countrymen, the Spanish poet and historian, Lucius, and Floras; or the golden pen that most famous Roman poet and historian, Livy; are classical authors; and these upon religious subjects, the Holy Bible, the Life of our Saviour, and Boston’s Four-fold State and Body of Divinity, (illegible text)yer's Golden Chain in Four Links, Doctor Clark, (illegible text)ol, Lightfoot, Henry’s Commentary, Doctor Dod-ge, Rowe, Watson’s Body of Divinity, Watts, Milton, Prior, Hume, Lyttleton, -Spectator, Hervey, Goldsmith, Locke, Swift, Smollet, Sherlock, Fer—guson, Tillotson, Steel, Lord Bollingbroke, Addison, Arbuthnot, Congreve, Grotius, Marcellimus, and many more I could mention, and if I had all these able authors’ golden pens, I could write as good a story as any of them. But my unlearned pen cannot (illegible text)ase the nobility; and the limits of this little book will not admit a compleat history, so I must make it Dultum in PARVO.
So I shall begin at RIDDINGS, the residence and property of E. Greenhow; is situated on a rising mound, on the banks of the river Greta, and near it is some fir trees, and a pleasant garden; and a little off we will find the village of Threlkeld, and it does contain 20 houses; they are situated at the foot of (illegible text)iddleback. So to the left of it is the pleasant fields and meadows, for cultivation, and a glittering stream, (illegible text)inning by the gardens and low side of them, is the road and green valleys of St. John’s, and near it lives a most famous physician, named C. Williamson. Then (illegible text) the road to Keswick, and near the skirts of town, on a green field, I did view a most curious and (illegible text) monument of antiquity, with some fir trees and the stones, being 30 in number, called by the country people Lang Meg and her daughters. W(illegible text) next do come to a carding or a spinning mill, and it is many hands required. So a little from it on ground; on the banks of the river Greta, is situated Greta Banks, the seat and residence of William Ca(illegible text)vert, esq., and I Pain. To the left of it is a most famous and pleasant garden, belonging to Mr. Saunders and it is more like to a Paradise, than a celestial gar-den: and we may say with that divine and inspired Roman poet, Virgil, according to this description which in these words runs thus:———Die puibus inte(illegible text) inscripto; namina regum nascuntor flores; and it is clothed most beautifully with picturesque walks, and trees of ambrosial sweets, and herbs of various descrip-tions. Next is Castle-head, a rock so called, and c(illegible text) it is curious seats, and from them one may sit and see far and near. Next we may pass on to the town of Keswick, that most commodious place of architecture and then view its white buildings, and they do con-tain one street, next is Mount Pleasant.It was once the residence of a poet lauret, but now he is dormant and dethroned, by his false productions. It is situa-ted on a rising ground, on the banks of the rive Greta and it does exhibit nature in all her picturesque beaut-y. And it is most finely ornamented with the most pleasant of fruit, herbs, trees, and flowers, of varous descriptions. Next is a hot-house, called the turtle d-ove, and as it is; various flowers and plants; and near is the Vicarage, the residence of the Rev. I Denton P., and preacher of the gospel at Crosthwait church, and on the church there is a clock, to tell the hour of the day. So I must not forget the high school; at it is a number of pupils. When from the school they go home, they go, 2 and 2 in a rank, like as many military men, by order of their most famous teacher. To the right of it is that immense mountain named Skiddaw; in summer time on it is a pleasant walk, for both ladies and gentlemen, and on some of it is nothing but rubbish. And near it is Milb(illegible text) factory; at it is many hands required. Then over some green fields, is the village of Portinscale, and to the left of it is Darn-Hill, the seat of Mr Black. orna-mented with wood and water; then (illegible text)ong trees is Pigmie-Hall; then water, and (illegible text) seat of W. Gordon. Then over the lake is the Vi(illegible text)nd; it is sometimes the residence of I. P., and it is well environed and ornamented both with wood and water. And to it one may sail in a boat, but not in the time of Winter, for with both ice and water it is unpassable. And then by the lake side is Stable Hills, very beautiful to behold; and near it it is an immense plantation of trees, where sometimes the crows are building nests, for preparing of their young. Then Ramps Holm, and Keswick lake, and St. Derwent’s lake, and the Lord’s Island, and the Island of Lord Derwentwater, who was in times of old beheaded for his misdemeanor. Over the lake to his house there was once a drawbridge, but now it is all demolished and gone to ruin. Then I passed through the thick woods of Lord Egre-mont, to the valley of Newlands, with its green and smiling fields. In the summer season they look most beautiful. Then I did come to White-house, built on a rising ground, named the Grange, in the midst of a valley, and all around with mountains on every side ; and on is publicly signed a most curious Roman mot-to, but it is in English, "Rest in Heaven" Near it is a salt well, for the curing and healing of every dis-ease or disorder. And that mineral well of water, it is worth more money than their is in all Borrowdale, for it healeth the sick, it cureth the blind, and it can set the prisoner free ; and it is sent for a donation from God, for the curing and healing of all nations. But yet it is not so salt as Lot’s wile, who was turned into a pillar of salt, as we may so read in Scripture. Next curious place is Wate(illegible text)lath tarn,: then a little off it we may come and enter into the Jaw’s of Borrowdale, which is a most turbulent chaos of mountains behind mountains, rolled as in confusion, and there may be seen many a hundred of nameless hills without end. From Borrowdle it is six miles in length to the the curious Bowder Stone, to the Wad Mines, near Seathwaite. They are situated on a rising ground, and Borrowdale is a most pleasant rountry in summer, but it is most horrible in winter; and at it lives a most careless set of people. They care not what they either say or do. Oh my dear friends, for I cannot call you Christians; You have nothing but its name: you are not what you pretend to be. At the best you are but pilgrims and strangers on the earth, and Oh, what ups and downs is in your life-time. You are on this poor but transcendant world; you are but strangers from the cradle to the grave, to which all of you are approaching: and it is a place where the worm dieth no:, neither will the fir be quenched, and to it we are all going, and it is the place or the house appointed for all living. And if any of you will but consider how short on earth is your thread of life. You have no abiding place here, but in time you must look out for another one, whose builder and maker is God, and all things from him do proceed. But to that too many people in Borrowdale give themselves no con-cern at all, as if they were to live upon earth always. But the time it will come, when from your, riches you must die, and leave them behind you, and it certainly and shortly will come, when you all must cease from your tale; when your luxurious great ones in Borrowdale shall no more tread down the poor ones to the ground, and the time it will come, when there will be no respect of persons with God; when all at his tri-bunal seat must stand ; and so my dear friends, since it hath pleased the Almighty to send you all kinds of grain, and too many of you cannot take the use of them, so never more be inclined to the hoarding of the riches of this poor but transcendant world, for you must die, and bid farewell to all this world’s gran-deur, and be blended down and brought into dust; to moulder in the monsoulæms and the mansions of the tombs. And all your promiscuous multitude of you will be bundled together, and all erudition, with-out any rank or seniority, must come to a retirement, and suppose some of you people in Borrow dale domi neer or tyranize over a stranger, yet the time it will come, when you will get no more but the breadth of your backs. Yet all of you must come to a level in the grave; and why should any of you be such lovers of amor patriæ, for they will not always keep you a-live upon the earth; and when vox Deau, or the voice of God, will call you to his bar, as before it, in one day, all of you must appear, neither your gold, silver, or tinsel, will be able to deliver you in the day of the Lord’s wrath. And if you do not use your riches on earth, you cannot get the use of them in heaven; a place where money will not buy. So I well may call some of yon crazy bodies, and well I may say some of you is destroyed for lack of knowledge, and some of you are not half wise; and I often have heard of the gouks of Borrowdale, and they may be compared to the cookoo, crying in the fields, for they are so brutish and ignorant. But before pale death annihilate and and close your eyes, you may pray to God for his be-nediction, that you may be converted from the dark-ness of your sins, to the knowledge of J XT for many of them are but as wild sheep running without a shep-herd, and will not he guided. And you think if you have plenty of money you are very well; but you may have plenty to-day and nothing to-morrow.And you have both meat and money in abundance. Yon can-not take the use of them, and you live on a diet in the comparison of a swine in a manner, and before any of you will supply a stranger if they be hungry, you will rather throw your meat on the ground, and bid a stranger begone.
Oh, are not you ordered in Scripture to let fraternal love continue; and you may say in you have done evil, do so no more. So you may turn your hearts and feed the hungry, for you have plenty to do it with, both bread, cheese, milk, butter, beef, mutton, venison, lamb, bacon, and potatoes. Yes, you will not give them to a stranger; and by doing so you are abusing the mercies of God, and to have sent you plenty; and while you are spending the one year’s pro-ductions he is providing you with another; and he is sus-taining you with all things that is necessary, fo the sup-port and comfort of human life, and bread is the stuff of man’s life, and God’s eye is always watching over you with his providential care, and over your faculties both when you are asleep and awake. And nothing to you comes spontaneously but all is sent from God. The grass he do cause to grow for the cattle, and the herbs for the service man; and of his blessings all may be thankful. But you in Borrowdale are not in the least. You may boast and brag of your riches, but for your education, your virtue, and your knowledge of religion and its rules, when into it you are examined, you do come to it into great deficiency, and you can do nothing to it but bark as a dog, or bleat as a sheep in the valley. And as for Theology, and its rules or matters, when into it you are examined, you are either dumb, or return such answers as you may be compared to cocks and hens’, without religion altogether, and you seem to be deranged, and if you do not in time seek God, for his grace, and prayer, you cannot expect to prosper, either in this world, or that which is to come. Oh let you seek God, for his grace, and prefer his love before all otherthings. and seek for an interest in I. XT. so now my beloved brethren, in Borrowedale, you may read all this if you please, and if there is any scholars among you, take up your pens, and send to me an answer, then see to get an order to obtain eternal salvation, that your souls may be welcome to glory, and be foe ever with the Lord I. XT. your dear and only Redeemer of mankind, to whom be glory and blessing for ever and ever. Amen.
Sed omnes una manet nox, et calcanda
simil via lethi.