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Cato's Soliloquy on the Im-
mortality of the Soul
On the Pleasures to be de-
rived from the Study of
The Dignity of Work 132
The Parting of Marmion
Influence of Printing 145
Man's Ignorance of the
The Functions of Leaves ... 150
The Spanish Conquest of
The Wanderings of Robert
Early Rising and Prayer 169
The Wanderings of Robert
Bruce-Part II............. 171
1. The more we see of our country, the more we love it. It is glorious, indeed, to visit the countries of ancient art and renown-Greece, Italy, Egypt, or sacred Palestine. My spirit kindles at the very mention of them. Yet, whether it were my privilege or not to traverse those glorious regions, I should still wish to wander over every hill and through every busy city of my native land.
2. How delightful are the richly cultivated fields, the green hop grounds, the hanging woods of Kent; how pleasant the healthy hills and scattered woodlands of Surrey; the thickly strewn villas of the wealthy, the vine-covered cottages and village greens of the poor !
3. Are not the flowery lanes and woody scenery of Berkshire, and the open downs of Wiltshire, worth traversing? Would it be nothing to ramble among the ancient walls of Winchester, every spot of which is as thickly strewn with historical recollections, as it is venerable in presence? Would it be nothing to climb those Downs, and see around far-spreading greenness, sinking and swelling in the softest lines of beauty; and below, vales stretching in different directions, contrasting their rich woodiness most strikingly with the bare solitudes of the down? To see the venerable cathedral lifting its hoary head from the vale, and numbers of subject churches showing their humble towers and spires all along the valleys; and catch the glitter of those streams which water those valleys as they wind to the sea ?
4. But still move on through the fair fields of Dorset and Somerset, to the enchanted land of Devon. If you want stern grandeur, follow its north-western coast; if peaceful beauty, look down into some of its rich vales, green emerald, and pastured by herds of red cattle.
5. If in search of summer loveliness, the woods and rivers, you may ascend the Tamar or the Tavy, or many another stream; or you may stroll on through valleys that for glorious solitudes, or fair English homes amid their woods and hills, shall leave you nothing to desire.
6. If you want sternness and loveliness, you may pass into Dartmoor. There are wastes and wilds, crags of granite, views into far-off districts, and the sounds of waters hurrying away over their rocky beds, enough to satisfy the largest hungering and thirsting after poetical delight.
7. But even there you need not rest; there lies a land of grey antiquity, of desolate beauty, still before you—Cornwall. It is a land almost without a tree; that is, all its high and wild plains are destitute of them, and the bulk of its surface is of this character. Some sweet and sheltered vales it has, filled with noble wood, but over a great portion of it extend grey heaths.
8. It is a land where the wild furze seems never to have been rooted up, and where the huge masses of stone that lie about its hills and valleys are clad with the lichen of centuries. And yet how does this bare and barren land fasten on your imagination! It is a country that seems to have retained its ancient attachments longer than any other. The British tongue here lingered till lately; the ruins of King Arthur's palace still crown the stormy steep of Tintagel; and the saints that succeeded the heroic race seem to have left their names on almost every town and village.
9. If this one route would be a delicious summer's ramble, with all its coasting and seaports into the bargain, how many such stretch themselves in every direction through England the fair orchard scenes of Hereford and Worcester, in spring, all one region of bloom and fragrance;
the hills of Malvern and the Wrekin; the fairy dales of Derbyshire; the sweet forest and pastoral scenes of Staffordshire; the wild dales, the scars and tarns of Yorkshire; the equally beautiful valleys and hills of Lancashire, with all those quaint old halls that are scattered through it, memorials of past times and all connected with some incidents or other of English history.
10. And then there is Northumberland, the classic ground of the ancient ballad, the country of the Percy, of Chevy Chase, of the Hermit of Warkworth, of Otterbourne and Humbledown, of Flodden and many other stirring scenes.
And besides all these are the mountains of Cumberland and Wales.
11. What an inexhaustible wealth of beauty lies in those regions! These, if every other portion of the kingdom were reduced by ploughing, and manufacturing, and steaming, the veriest common place, these, in the immortal strength of their nature, bid defiance to the efforts of any wild spirit of destruction. Nothing can pull down their lofty and scathed heads; nothing can dry up those everlasting waters that leap down their cliffs and run along their vales in gladness; nothing can certainly exterminate those dark heaths, and drain off those mountain lakes, where health and liberty seem to dwell together.
12. Every different district displays its peculiar employment. Durham and Northumberland exhibit their extensive and curious coal-mines; Yorkshire and Lancashire their weaving and spin