We had not climbed far before we were stopped by a sudden burst of
prospect, so singular and beautiful that it was like a flash of images from another world. We stood with our backs to the hill of the island, which we were ascending, and which shut out Ben Lomond entirely, and all the upper part of the lake, and we looked towards the foot of the lake, scattered over with islands without beginning and without end. The sun shone, and the distant hills were visible, some through sunny mists, others in gloom with patches of sunshine; the lake was lost under the low and distant hills, and the islands lost in the lake, which was all in motion with travelling fields of light, or dark shadows under rainy clouds. There are many hills, but no commanding eminence at a distance to confine the prospect, so that the land seemed endless as the water.
Dorothy Wordsworth, Recollections of a Tour Made in Scotland A.D. 1803
A (happy) busy day today with much driving on a the freeway with all its horrible
merging lanes. Tonight, as the children sleep beside me, I'm glad to be able to dive back in time to Miss Dorothy's tour of Scotland. Travelling with her brother, the more famous William, and sometimes their friend Coleridge, they walk and sometimes journey in a little two person cart she calls a car, and sometimes travel in row boats. Often they follow little one person sheep tracks. It is very restful indeed. Dorothy is not so concerned with people as places, and has very decided ideas about how things ought to look (Scotland is sadly lacking in hedgerows in her opinion) but sometimes she has a passage like the one above, which reads like a beautiful poem. Sometimes you come across a person living far back in the past who you would really love to meet - for me, Dorothy is high on the list.
Jane Austen's heroines often have similar views on landscapesReplyDelete