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Gentleman's Magazine 1792 p.883
the look of a step over a mill stream. Although I am not versed in antiquities, I cannot help thinking this chasm resembles the kistvaens of the Druids, as described by the learned and indefatigable Grose, in his Preface, p.136. I wish some Antiquary would investigate this mountain. I think his fellow labourers would be obliged to him; and, at any rate, if he does not find sufficient to authenticate my surmise, he will have so delightful a command around him as may well re-pay him for his trouble, and, I trust, may induce him to think he has not taken his labour in vain. By dropping a pebble down a rent, you may hear it rebound a long time. One bending stone serves as a shelter for sheep, where we found a mushroom, the only one we saw in the North; and I even think this stone, from its bend, is part of a Cromlech of the Druids.
The circumference of the crag, including its mis-shapen points, may be a mile; and where there is any soil the grass is remarkably sweet. From this unfrequented point to the North-east we saw the whole of Windermere, Esthwaite water; and, by Grassmere lake being our point, they make a complete triangle, divided by rich pastures, &c. whilst the valley and its appendages, directly under us, seemed to contain every thing that can be beautiful in miniature.
We overlooked the Tarn*, whence White-Church Gill has its course, inclosed in the horse-shoe, whose sides are bespangled with smooth stones, occasioned by a thin sheet of water oozing over them, and an almost perpendicular sun.
We observed, over Helveylin and the grain† of Seat Sandal, a torrent of rain; whilst over Bowness, and to the South east, it was so partially collecting, the distance gave them the appearance of water-spouts. We imagined we had nothing to fear from any of them; it was clear over head, and in the quarter whence the wind blew. The guide had scarcley said so, ere we observed the clouds from Seat Sandal pushing against the wind, though they were considerably exhausted on those mountains. We were soon convinced of our ill-judging, and took shelter in the sheep-cove, which, by sitting, and bending, held us secure. This was too confined a situation; and, as the rain had somewhat ceased, the guide and I went about 150 yards down the hill. The rain increased, and wetted us to the skin; but we were amply re-paid by the most luminous sight I had ever beheld. I shall attempt to describe it.
The sun shone with such brilliancy through the slanting drops, they fell resembling a line of crystal as round as a finger, and they were intermixed with a spray as variegated as the rainbow. Newton, who has been all his life accustomed to mountains, allowed he never saw any thing like it before. Might it not be owing to the dark heath over the Tarn, and a partial shining of the sun over the crag?
Too much rain had fallen to render the grass less slippery; we were obliged to traverse down the hill with the utmost caution, and, though not with so much difficulty as the acsent, with considerably more danger. When we opened the valley of Seat Sandal, we were surprised by a superb cataract, occasioned by the rain which fell whilst we were upon the summit. God forgive me! but I could not help wishing and expecting we should have a thunder storm.
Let the considerate mind contemplate the various sights that were presented to us in so short a time!
* A small piece of water.
† A grain, in the North, is meant for a valley.
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