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will alight, and which of these mountain pools
has the best promise of withered reeds and
rushes for the nest, with seeds and roots and
water-insects for food. The sandpipers, which
were running about so busily a month ago, are
gone; but the stonechat is flitting among the
bushes, and click-clicking amidst the silence.

The season has been fine here: it must
have been fine, by the quantity of foliage left
in the woods. Here and there a dead branch
hangs down, torn by the equinoctial winds;
but the leaves hang thick: not only the
red leaves of the oak, but the spotted leaves
of the sycamore, and the lemon-coloured
leaves of the birch. The season has been a
fine one here; what has it been in Alabama
and South Carolina ? That is the question
which most nearly concerns the bobbin-
makers of this party. Their purchases of
these coppices depend mainly on whether the
cotton crop in America has been a good or a
deficient one. It is of some importance to
them whether the mulberries have flourished
in Italy and India; and whether the flax has
ripened well in Ireland; and whether the
farmers at home are caring most about their
sheep or their corn; but the grand question
is, what the season has been in the cotton-
growing states of America. If Manchester is
in good spirits, these bobbin-makers on the
mountain may make up their minds to pay as
high for coppice as they ever do, even to eighteen
pounds per acre. If Manchester is low-spirited,
they may even refuse to go beyond four pounds
per acre. They may resolve to buy, each for
himself, ten thousand or twelve thousand feet;
or to buy only enough to hold on, until better
news shall come to Manchester from over the
Atlantic Ocean. Perhaps there may be among
the bobbin-makers one as sure of a demand
for his article as the coopers and hoopers.
There are powder-mills at Elter Water; and,
as fire-arms are not out of use yet (nor likely
to be), charcoal is wanted; and there is a viewer
from the powder-mills out on the hills to-day.

The explorers have examined the mountain
ash, and the birch, in the more exposed
situations. They now come down among the
ash and beech groves; and leap from tuft to
tuft in the bogs, after the alder and the
willow; and look well to the hazel, and the
aspiring sycamore, in the sheltered recesses.
The wood is, for the most part, of from fourteen
to sixteen years' growth; though some
may be of twenty. Thus, the excursion is to
some new place, every October, for nearly
twenty years,—the distance, however, is
seldom more than twenty miles from any one
man's home.

The wood will need a year's seasoning in
the sheds of the bobbin-mill; and by that
time the prospects of trade may have changed;
but it comes to the same thing as if this growing
wood were to be used immediately; for
there is last year's purchase stored up at
home, and more or less of it may be used
this year, or left over for next.

In passing from wood to wood, our party
winds through streams, and round lakes of
arable lands, to reach the islands and
promontories of coppice which are scattered
between. It is curious that the seasons in
America, and the spirits of the Manchester
people, should affect the scenery of the Lake
District; but it is so. Hundreds of years ago
the whole region was covered with wood,
except where the Romans made clearings, for
a camp here, and a road there. The Saxons
afterwards settled on their traces. When the
Normans came, and their monks established
themselves at Furness, they sent out their
husbandmen and herdsmen to till the ground,
and to pasture their flocks, farther and farther
in the dales, and higher and higher up the
hill-sides, building walls as they went, until the
sunshine was let in over wide tracts, and the
forest-like look of the region nearly disappeared.
Yet, when Wordsworth was young,
some old people at Wythburn (about ten
miles on the Keswick road, under Helvellyn)
told him of the time when the squirrel could
go from Wythburn to Keswick on the tops of
the trees, without touching the ground. In
those days, the people grew their own flax or
hemp, and their own wool; and the spinning
and weaving were done at home; and itinerant
tailors went their rounds through the
district, staying at the farm-houses to make
up the clothes. It did not occur to any one
then (about a hundred years ago) that the
woods of the district would be required to
make this matter of popular clothing easier
to everybody. Hence the felling went on too
fast. Many patches of holly and ash were
preserved within the higher enclosures, to
feed the cattle and sheep, with the sprouts,
where no other pasturage could be
obtained; but large tracts of rocky soil were
laid bare, which had better have remained
clothed with wood. Some improvement in the
process of weaving had before this taken place.
The Kays, father and son, of Bury, in Lan-
cashire, had invented the flying shuttle and
the drop-box, by which much time was saved
to the weaver, and a wider cloth could be
produced by one pair of hands. But there
was not thread enough or yarn enough, spun, to
keep the shuttle going so fast as was wanted.
The weaver had to go about something else,
while waiting for the spinners; yet, in
thousands of cottages, the wheel was whirring
from morning until night, every day but
Sundays.

This was a state of things which could not
last; for, in regard to the arts of life, a great
want is sure to be soon met with a remedy.
Several ingenious men invented spinning-
machines, during the latter half of the last
century, and before its close, it was shown that
one thousand threads could be spun by one pair
of hands. Instead of the pack-horse toiling
along the mountain-path, which was then the
only way open from Kendal to Whitehaven,
there might now be seen the carrier's wagon,

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