button to main menu   West's Guide to the Lakes, 1778/1821

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Page 291:-
The bounds of this article will not admit of more than a few leading remarks on this subject; but, I fancy, if the above hints were observed, they would be sufficient, under the influence of taste, for the intended purpose. And though they are thrown out more particularly with a view to one part of the country included in this tour, yet it all so much alike, in several respects, that they might be attended to with the same advantage in every other. And were these ideas verified, I flatter myself this northern district would be worthy of being termed the British Arcadia, and exhibit, nearly to the utmost pitch of the poet's fancy,
'An ample theatre of silvan grace.'
Mason's English Garden.
This to the more wealthy of its inhabitants.- To the more humble I will just subjoin a finishing word.
That you are placed in one of the most beautiful districts in the kingdom, the number of its visitors of all ranks constantly testify; and you will see it is one purpose of this book to make it still more known. And if you be not the happiest people, the fault must be in yourselves; since nature has bountifully bestowed upon you every essential requisite of enjoyment. Be therefore content to pursue your innocent, though humble vocations, without letting a wish wander beyond your peaceful vales; and now and then turn your thoughts towards those particulars which annually bring among you so many wealthy and respectable visitors. Keep your highways in good order (for, as observed before, their beauty is essential to rural beauty[1]). Preserve your native
[1] The great advantage that any town receives in appearance merely from the letters on the various signs, &c. being elegantly done is very evident. And were the finger-posts on the roads executed with proper taste, they might be made as ornamental as they are useful; and hence yield due credit to the public spirit of the townships to which they belong instead of being thought (as they often are at present) lamentable indications of their ignorance and poverty.
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