Page:Old Castles.djvu/75

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Linstock Castle.

manding from its strong sides on its third floor very extensive views of all the country round; Carlisle and the Scotland and Newcastle roads lying like an open map under its ancient brows, and on the south side, field and fell lie naked and open to it for miles, while it is so shut in by trees that it is unseen till nearly reached. There is also a large stretch of very fertile country lying all round it, finely fit for raising all sorts of cereal and vegetable productions for the use of such a home, and girdling it round at the same time with leafy lawns, and bowery paths, and pleasant gardens, where thought of pious or philosophic mood might pursue its radiant ruminations in supremest peace; those “gentle dwellers of the lea,” the cowslip, violet, and primrose, and thousands more of countless forms and dyes, glowing gladness, pure, bright, and affinitive, on its mystic visage.

Beyond this quiet, pensive beauty of field and stream, lying all around it, the castle in itself has little to boast. It is a plain, square-built, massive structure of red sandstone; a Gothic door or two, and its height alone, distinguishing its antiquity from the outside. Inside, the immense thickness of the walls is the most interesting point. They are eight or nine feet thick in many places, a stone staircase having been cut in the south side, from the second to the third story through the breadth of the wall, leaving still a breadth on both sides equal or more than equal to the thickest modern walls, a fact pregnant with history—a stony tome, from which we may gather the perils, and prescience, and laborious endeavours of a brave, persistent, deed-living, deed-loving race, now but too inadequately