Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/80

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[68]

The same uninteresting scenery accompanied us for five miles beyond Bromsgrove, when, on our approach to the classic ground of Hagley, the demesne of Lord Lyttelton, its face was suddenly changed into the lovely and picturesque. Here the road creeps through a deep hollow way cut out of the sand rock, that rises in a wall on each side crowned with shrubs and trees, and admits through the lengthened excavation a pleasing vista of diversified scenery at its termination. There could not have been a more happy introduction than this to a scene like Hagley, in which taste and imagination must always feel themselves deeply interested, had it been rather nearer to the house than nature has chosen to place it. But as a long mile intervenes between the park and the ravine, the impressions with which the beauty of the spot had filled the fancy, have time to evaporate; and we enter less enthusiastically upon the ground trodden by departed genius, than we should have done, had the circumstances of the country been such as to keep awake these evanescent feelings. The house of Hagley was built by the first Lord Lyttelton, near the scite of the ancient family mansion, an old-fashioned structure of the 16th century; which had been the hiding-place of two more of the gunpowder-plot conspirators,