button to main menu  Clarke's Survey of the Lakes, 1787

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Page 74:-
for I have both stood upon the island and caught fish, and caught them when the boat in which I was lay at anchor over it. Let me now endeavour to solve this paradox: The water which, during a violent rain, pours down the Cat-Gill, seems totally lost. It is, however, evident, that it must disembogue itself into the Lake; I therefore think that this torrent, after running among the loose stones to some distance, endeavours to force its way and mingle with the waters of the Lake; the toughness of the superincumbent turf prevents this from being easily affected; the force and weight of the water, therefore, raises the turf into a convex form, and during the continuance of the torrent gives it the appearance of an island. As a farther confirmation of this hypothesis, I once pierced the surface of the island with my fishing-rod; the grass roots embraced the taper-rod so close, that no water could escape; but upon with drawing it, the water spouted to the height of two feet.
From the Floating-Island, let the boat proceed to Lodore, Low-door, or (as the inhabitants call it) Low-low-Door, a neat and commodious little inn; then let the travellers land, and order their boat to meet them at the foot of Manesty Park, or Hardendale Knott. (See plate VI.)
On the 28th of July 1785 I dined here; my fare was bacon and eggs, and I sat in a manner not much unlike the account Robinson Crusoe gives of his situation in his solitude. I was seated (according to the custom of the country) at the end of a long oaken table, with only those inseparable attendants of a country table, the cat and dog, who took their stations one on each side of me; puss on my left-hand, and the dog on my right. In these solitary parts of the country, domestic animals are treated with the greatest kindness; their actions, therefore, shew their conversation with mankind, and may be always interpreted: they cannot speak, but they can converse by signs. No sooner was I seated, than Puss jumped into the window, (which in all cottages is behind the table,) which window was very near me. She looked at me with a face of inquiry , which seemed to say, "Am I making too free?" I was too much engaged with my dinner to give her an answer, but did not drive her away: seeing herself not particularly noticed, she then came to my right-hand, not over the table, but under it; and putting her foot gently upon my knee, looked earnestly, but something timidly in my face: as I was still too much engaged in gratifying my own appetite, to mind her much, I gave her no encouragement, whereupon she walked round me, and planted herself again at my left-hand. The dog, who had observed all her motions, seemed to disapprove of them; and testified his disapprobation, not by snarling, but by his eyes, which were watchfully fixed, sometimes on me, sometimes on the cat. He spoke as plain as eyes could speak to Puss, "Be not too troublesome with your advances; we may with patience obtain our wishes, but too much importunity may get us turned out of doors."
This story may seem to the sage speculatist to bear a thousand morals; to me, who was merely in search of pleasure, it bore only one, which I heartily wish all other pleasure-hunters would take along with them when they set out:Attend carefully to the workings of Nature: search in them for pleasure; be they ever so minute, you can not be disappointed.
This house, and the lands from Barrow-Beck to above High-low Door, belong to Rowland Stephenson, Esq; now Member for Carlisle, and are freehold; all the lands in Borrowdale are the same, paying a small quit-rent to Sir Gilfred (sic) Lawson, Baronet. The tenants have the mines, minerals, and all other manerial rights, except the fishing on Derwentwater. There is an excellent view from above this house at Low-low Door; but it would be tedious, amongst such a variety of landscapes, to describe them all. These houses are not improperly called Low-Doors, for between them is an opening into Borrowdale, which is almost shut up between the rock and water at the place now called Great Inin: whether it means the great hanging, or great inlet; or whether it is called Inin from entering in, I know not. It is a most awful overhanging rock, from
gazetteer links
button -- "Floating Island" -- (floating island, Derwent Water)
button -- Lodore Hotel
button -- "Great Inin" -- Shepherds Crag
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