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

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Page 141:-
unable to keep his children at home; and they went off to the manufacturing towns, leaving home yet more cheerless - with fewer busy hands and cheerful faces - less social spirit in the dales - greater certainty of continued loss, and more temptation to drink. Such is the process still going on. Having reached this pass, it is clearly best that it should go on till the primitive population, having lost its safety of isolation and independence, and kept its ignorance and grossness, shall have given place to a new set of inhabitants, better skilled in agriculture, and in every way more up to the times. It is mournful enough to meet everywhere the remnants of the old families in a reduced and discouraged condition: but if they can no longer fill the valleys with grain, and cover the hillsides with flocks, it is right that those who can should enter upon their lands, and that knowledge, industry and temperance should find their fair field and due reward.

We have no fear of injury, moral or economical, from the great recent change,- the introduction of railways. The morals of rural districts are usually such as cannot well be made worse by any change. Drinking and kindred vices abound wherever, in our day, intellectual resources are absent: and nowhere is drunkenness a more prevalent and desperate curse than in the Lake District. Any infusion of the intelligence and varied interests of the townspeople must, it appears, be eminently beneficial: and the order of workpeople brought by the railways is of a desirable kind. And, as to the economical effect,- it cannot but be good, considering that mental stimulus and
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