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path is trodden over the hills; and the spot becomes a place of human resort. While nature is thus working transformations in her deeper retreats, the generations of men are more obviously busy elsewhere. They build their houses, and plant their orchards on the slopes which connect the mountains with the levels of the valleys: they encroach upon the swamps below them, and plough among the stones on the uplands,- here fencing in new grounds, there throwing several plots into one: they open slate quarries, and make broad roads for the carriage of the produce: they cherish the young hollies and ash, whose sprouts feed their flocks, thus providing a compensation in the future for the past destruction of the woods. Thus, while the general primitive aspect of the region remains, and its intensely rural character is little impaired, there is perhaps scarcely a valley in the district which looks the same from one half-century to another.
The changes among the people proceed faster: and some of
these changes are less agreeable to contemplate, however
well aware we may be that they are to issue in good.
Formerly, every household had nearly all that it wanted
within itself. The people thought so little of wheaten bread
that wheat was hardly to be bought in the towns. Within the
last few years, an old man of eighty-five was fond of
talking how, when a boy, he wanted to spend his penny on
wheaten bread; and he searched through Carlisle from morning
to evening before he could find a penny roll. The cultivator
among the hills divided his field into plots,