button to main menu  Martineau's Complete Guide to the English Lakes, 1855

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Page 136:-
seen the greater part of the lakes and mountains. If they have used their eyes and minds, they must have observed something of the material, moral, and social changes going on perpetually in this once secluded corner of the United Kingdom.

As for the material changes,- those wrought in silence by Nature are of the same quiet, gradual, inevitable kind that have been going on ever since the mountains were upreared. She disintegrates the rocks, and now and then sends down masses thundering along the ravines, to bridge over a chasm, or make a new islet in a pool. She sows her seeds in crevices, or on little projections, so that the bare face of the precipice becomes feathered with the rowan and the birch: and thus, ere long, motion is produced by the passing winds, in a scene where all once appeared rigid as a mine. She draws her carpet of verdure gradually up the bare slopes, where she has deposited earth to sustain the vegetation. She is for ever covering with her exquisite mosses and ferns every spot which has been left unsightly, till nothing appears that can offend the human eye, within a whole circle of hills. She even silently rebukes and repairs the false taste of uneducated man. If he makes his dwelling of too glaring a white, she tempers it with weatherstains: if he indolently leaves the stone walls and blue slates unrelieved by any neighbouring vegetation, she supplies the needful screen by bringing out tufts of delicate fern in the crevices, and springing coppice on the nearest slopes.- The most significant changes, however, are in the disposition of the waters of the region. The margins
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