Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr.

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SandaW v





The Squire
of Sandal-Side


New York
Dodd, Mead and Company

Copyright, 1886,










IX. ESAU 242






" This happy breed of men, this little world."

" To know

That which before us lies in daily life
Is the prime wisdom."

" All that are lovers of virtue ... be quiet, and go a-angling."

/ T V HERE is a mountain called Seat-Sandal,
* between the Dunmail Raise and Grisedale
Pass ; and those who have stood upon its sum
mit know that Grasmere vale and lake lie at
their feet, and that Windermere, Esthwaite, and
Coniston, with many arms of the sea, and a
grand brotherhood of mountains, are all around
them. There is also an old gray manor-house
of the same name. It is some miles distant
from the foot of the mountain, snugly sheltered


in one of the loveliest valleys between Coniston
and Torver. No one knows when the first
Btones of this house were laid. The Sandals
were in Sandal-Side when the white-handed,
waxen-faced Edward was building Westminster
Abbey, and William the Norman was laying-
plans for the crown of England. Probably they
came with those Norsemen who a century ear
lier made the Isle of Man their headquarters,
and from it, landing on the opposite coast of
Cumberland, settled themselves among valleys
and lakes and mountains of primeval beauty,
which must have strongly reminded them of
their native land.

For the prevailing names of this district are
all of the Norwegian type, especially such
abounding suffixes and prefixes as seat from
" set," a dwelling ; dale from " dal," a valley ; felt
from "fjeld," a mountain; garth from "gard,"
an enclosure ; and thwaite, from " thveit," a
clearing. It is certain, also, that, in spite of
much Anglo-Saxon admixture, the salt blood
of the roving Viking is still in the Cumberland
dalesman. Centuries of bucolic isolation have
not obliterated it. Every now and then the
sea calls some farmer or shepherd, and the


restless drop in his veins gives him no peace
till he has found his way over the hills and fells
to the port of Whitehaven, and gone back to
the cradling bosom that rocked his ancestors.

But in the main, this lovely spot was a north
ern Lotus-land to the Viking. The great hills
shut him in from the sight of the sea. He
built himself a "seat," and enclosed "thwaites"
of greater or less extent ; and, forgetting the
world in his green paradise, was for centuries
almost forgotten by the world. And if long
descent and an ancient family have any special
claim to be held honorable, it is among the
Cumberland " statesmen," or freeholders, it must
be looked for in England.

The Sandals have been wise and fortunate
owners of the acres which Logberg Sandal
cleared for his descendants. They have a fam
ily tradition that he came from Iceland in his
own galley ; and a late generation has written
out portions of a saga, long orally transmitted,
which relates the incidents of his voyage.
All the Sandals believe implicitly in its authen
ticity ; and, indeed, though it is full of fighting,
of the plunder of gold and rich raiment, and
the carrying off of fair women, there is nothing


improbable in its relations, considering the peo
ple and the time whose story it professes to tell.

Doubtless this very Logberg Sandal built
the central hall of Seat-Sandal. There were
giants in those days ; and it must have been the
hands of giants that piled the massive blocks,
and eyes accustomed to great expanses that
measured off the large and lofty space. Smaller
rooms have been built above it and around it,
and every generation has added something to
its beauty and comfort ; but Logberg's great
hall, with its enormous fireplace, is still the
heart of the home.

For nowhere better than among these
" dalesmen " can the English elemental resist
ance to fusion be seen. Only at the extreme
point of necessity have they exchanged ideas
with any other section, yet they have left
their mark all over English history. In Cum
berland and Westmoreland, the most pathetic
romances of the Red Rose were enacted. In
the strength of these hills, the very spirit of
the Reformation was cradled. From among
them came the Wycklirfite queen of Henry the
Eighth, and the noble confessor and apostle
Bernard Gilpin. No lover of Protestantism


can afford to forget the man who refused the
bishopric of Carlisle, and a provostship at
Oxford, that he might traverse the hills and
dales, and read to the simple " statesmen " and
shepherds the unknown Gospels in the vernacu
lar. They gathered round him in joyful won
der, and listened kneeling to the Scriptures.
Only the death of Mary prevented his martyr
dom ; and to-day his memory is as green as are
the ivies and sycamores around his old home.

The Protestant spirit which Gilpin raised
among these English Northmen was exception
ally intense ; and here George Fox found ready
the strong mystical element necessary for his
doctrines. For these men had long wor
shipped "in temples not made with hands."
In the solemn "high places" they had learned
to interpret the voices of winds and waters ;
and among the stupendous crags, more like
clouds at sunset than fragments of solid land,
they had seen and heard wonderful things.
All over this country, from Kendal to old
Ulverston, Fox was known and loved ; and
from Swarthmoor Hall, a manor-house not
very far from Seat-Sandal, he took his wife.

After this the Stuarts came marching


through the dales, but the followers of Wyck<
liffe and Fox had little sympathy with the
Stuarts. In the reoellion of 1715, their own
lord, the Earl of Derwentwater, was beheaded
for aiding the unfortunate family ; and the hills
and waters around are sad with the memories
of his lady's heroic efforts and sufferings. So,
when Prince Charles came again, in 1745, they
were moved neither by his beauty nor his
romantic daring : they would take no part at
all in his brilliant blunder.

It was for his stanch loyalty on this occasion,
that the Christopher Sandal of that day was
put among the men whom King George deter
mined to honor. A baronetcy was offered him,
which he declined ; for he had a feeling that
he would deeply offend old Logberg Sandal, and
perhaps all the rest of his ancestral wraiths, if
he merged their ancient name in that of Baron
of Torver. The sentiment was one the Ger
man King of England could understand and
respect ; and Sandal received, in place of a
costly title, the lucrative office of High Sheriff
of Cumberland, and a good share besides of the
forfeited lands of the rebel houses of Huddle-
ston and Millom.


Then he took his place among the great
county families of England. He passed over
his own hills, and went up to London, and did
homage for the king's grace to him. And
that strange journey awakened in the mountain
lord some old spirit of adventure and curiosity.
He came home by the ocean, and perceived
that he had only half lived before. He sent
his sons to Oxford ; he made them travel ; he
was delighted when the youngest two took to
the sea as naturally as the eider-ducks fledged
in a sea-sand nest.

Good fortune did not spoil the old, cautious
family. It went " cannily " forward, and knew
how " to take occasion by the hand," ancl how
to choose its friends. Towards the close of
the eighteenth century, an opportune loan
again set the doors of the House of Lords open
to the Sandals ; but the head of the family
was even less inclined to enter it than his
grandfather had been.

"Nay, then," was his answer, "t ' Sandals are
too old a fomily to hide their heads in a coro
net. Happen, I am a bit opinion-tied, but it's
over late to loosen knots made centuries ago ;
and I don't want to loosen them, neither."


So it will be perceived, that, though the San
dals moved, they moved slowly. A little
change went a great way with them. The
men were all conservative in politics, the
women intensely so in all domestic tradi
tions. They made their own sweet waters and
unguents and pomades, long after the nearest
chemist supplied a far better and cheaper
article. Their spinning-wheels hummed by
the kitchen-fire, and their shuttles glided deftly
in the weaving-room, many a year after Man
chester cottons were cheap and plentiful. But
they were pleasant, kindly women, who did
wonderful needle-work, and made all kinds of
dainty dishes and cordials and sirups. They
were famous florists and gardeners, and the
very neatest of housewives. They visited the
poor and sick, and never went empty-handed.
They were hearty Churchwomen. They loved
God, and were truly pious, and were hardly
aware of it ; for those were not days of much
inquiry. People did their duty and were happy,
and did not reason as to " why " they did it, nor
try to ascertain if there were a legitimate
cause for the effect.

But about the beginning of this century, a


different day began to dawn over Sandal-Side.
The young heir came to his own, and signal
ized the event by marrying the rich Miss
Lowther of Whitehaven. She had been finely
educated. She had lived in large cities, and
been to court. She dressed elegantly ; she had
a piano and much grand furniture brought over
the hills to Sandal ; and she filled the old house
during the summer with lords and ladies, and
poets and artists, who flitted about the idyllic
little village, like gay butterflies in a lovely

The husband and children of such a woman
were not likely to stand still. Sandal, encour
aged by her political influence, went into Par
liament. Her children did fairly well ; for
though one boy was wild, and cost them a
deal of money, and another went away in a
passion one morning, and never came back,
the heir was a good son, and the two girls
made splendid marriages. On the whole, she
could feel that she had done well to her gen
eration. Even after she had been long dead,
the old women in the village talked of her
beauty and spirit, of the tight hand she kept
over every one and every thing pertaining to


Sandal. Of all the mistresses of the old " seat,"
this Mistress Charlotte was the most promi
nent and the best remembered.

Every one who steps within the wide, cool
hall of Seat-Sandal faces first of all things her
picture. It is a life-size painting of a beautiful
woman, in the queer, scant costume of the
regency. She wears a white satin frock and
white satin slippers, and carries in her hand a
bunch of white roses. She appears to be com
ing down a flight of wide stairs ; one foot is
lifted for the descent, and the dark background,
and the dim light in which it hangs, give to
the illusion an almost startling reality. It was
her fancy to have the painting hung there to
welcome all who entered her doors ; and though
it is now old-fashioned, and rather shabby and
faded, no one of the present generation cares
to order its removal. All hold quietly to the
opinion that "grandmother would not like it."

In that quiet acre on the hillside, which holds
the generations of the Sandals, she had been
at rest for ten years. But her son still bared
his gray head whenever he passed her picture ;
still, at times, stood a minute before it, and said
with tender respect, "I salute thee, mother."


And in her granddaughter's lives still she in
terfered ; for she had left in their father's charge
a sum of money, which was to be used solely to
give them some pleasure which they could not
have without it. In this way, though dead, she
kept herself a part of their young lives ; became
a kind of fairy grandmother, who gave them
only delightful things, and her name continued
a household word.

Only the mother seemed averse to speak it ;
and Charlotte, who was most observant, noticed
that she never lifted her eyes to the picture as
she passed it. There were reasons for these
things which the children did not understand.
They had been too young at her death to esti
mate the bondage in which she had kept her
daughter-in-law, who, for her husband's sake,
had been ever patient and reticent. Nothing
is, indeed, more remarkable than the patience
of wives under this particular trial. They may
be restive under many far less wrongs, but they
bear the mother-in-law grievance with a dignity
which shames the grim joking and the petulant
abuse of men towards the same relationship.
And for many years the young wife had borne
nobly a domestic tyranny which pressed her on


every hand. If then, she was glad to be set
free from it, the feeling was too natural to be
severely blamed ; for she never said so, no,
not even by a look. Her children had the
benefit of their grandmother's kindness, and
she was too honorable to deprive the dead of
their meed of gratitude.

The present holder of Sandal had none of his
mother's ambitious will. He cared for neither
political nor fashionable life ; and as soon as he
came to his inheritance, married a handsome,
sensible daleswoman with whom he had long
been in love. Then he retired from a world
which had nothing to give him comparable, in
his eyes, with the simple, dignified pleasures
incident to his position as Squire of Sandal-
Side. For dearly he loved the old hall, with its
sheltering sycamores and oaks, oaks which
had been young trees when the knights lying
in Furness Abbey led the Grasmere bowmen at
Crecy and Agincourt. Dearly he loved the large,
low rooms, full of comfortable elegance ; and
the sweet, old-fashioned, Dutch garden, so green
through all the snows of winter, so cheerfully
grave and fragrant in the summer twilights, so
shady and cool even in the hottest noons.


Thirty years ago he was coming through it
one July evening. It had been a very hot day ;
and the flowers were drooping, and the birds
weary and silent. But Squire Sandal, though
flushed and rumpled looking, had still the air
of drippy mornings and hazy afternoons about
him. There was a creel at his back, and a fish
ing-rod in his hand, and he had just come from
the high, unplanted places, and the broomy,
breezy moorlands ; and his broad, rosy face
expressed nothing but happiness.

At his side walked his favorite daughter
Charlotte, his dear companion, the confidant
and sharer of all his sylvan pleasures. She was
tired and dusty ; and her short printed gown
showed traces of green, spongy grass, and
lichen-covered rocks. But her face was a joy
to see : she had such bright eyes, such a kind,
handsome mouth, such a cheerful voice, such
a merry laugh. As they came in sight of the
wide-open front-doors, she looked ruefully down
at her feet and her grass-and-water-stained
skirt, and then into her father's face.

" I don't know what Sophia will say if she
sees me, father ; I don't, indeed."

" Never you mind her, dear. Sophia's rather


high, you know. And we've had a rare good
time. Eh? What?"

" I should think we have ! There are not
many pleasures in life better than persuading
a fine trout to go a little way down stream
with you. Are there, father ? "

"You are right, Charlotte. Trout are the
kind of company you want on an outing. And
then, you know, if you can only persuade one
to go down stream a bit with you, there's not
much difficulty in persuading him to let you
have the pleasure of seeing him to dinner.
Eh? What?"

" I think I will go round by the side-
door, father. I might meet some one in the

" Nay, don't do that. There isn't any need
to shab off. You've done nothing wrong, and
I'm ready to stand by you, my dear ; and you.
know what a good time we've been having all
day. Eh ? What ? "

" Of course I know, father,

" Showers and clouds and winds,

All things well and proper ;
Trafler, red and white,
Dark and wily dropper.


Midges true to fling

Made of plover hackle,
With a gaudy wing,

And a cobweb tackle."

" Cobweb tackle, eh, Charlotte ? Yes, cer
tainly ; for a hand that can manage it. Lancie
Crossthwaite will land you a trout, three pounds
weight, with a line that wouldn't lift a dead
weight of one pound from the floor to the table.
I'll uphold he will. Eh ? What ? "

" I'll do it myself, some day ; see if I don't,

" I've no doubt of it, Charlotte ; not a bit."
Then being in the entrance-hall, they parted
with a smile of confidence, and Charlotte
hastened up-stairs to prepare herself for the
evening meal. She gave one quick glance at
her grandmother's picture as she passed it, a
glance of mingled deprecation and annoyance j
for there were times when the complacent
serenity of the perfect face, and the perfect
propriety of the white satin gown, gave her a
little spasm of indignation.

She dressed rapidly, with a certain deft
grace that was part of her character. And it
was a delightful surprise to watch the meta-


morphosis ; the more so, as it went on with a
perfect unconsciousness of its wonderful beauty.
Here a change, and there a change, until the
bright brown hair was loosened from its net
of knotted silk, to fall in wavy, curly masses ;
and the printed gown was exchanged for one
of the finest muslin, pink and flowing, and
pinned together with bows of pale blue satin.
A daring combination, which precisely suited
her blonde, brilliant beauty. Her eyes were
shining ; her cheeks touched by the sun till
they had the charming tints of a peach on a
southern wall. She looked at herself with a
little nod of satisfaction, and then tapped at
the door of the room adjoining her own. It
was Miss Sandal's room ; and Miss Sandal,
though only sixteen months older than Char
lotte, exacted all the deference due to her by
the right of primogeniture.

" Come in, Charlotte."

" How did you know it was I ? "

"I know your knock, however you vary it.
Nobody knocks like you. I suppose no two
people would make three taps just the same."
She was far too polite to yawn ; but she made
as much of the movement as she could not


control, and then put a mark in her book, and
laid it down. A very different girl, indeed, was
she from her younger sister ; a stranger would
never have suspected her of the same parent

She had dark, fine eyes, which, however, did
not express what she felt : they rather gave the
idea of storing up impressions to be re-acted
upon by some interior power. She had a
delicate complexion, a great deal of soft, black
hair compactly dressed, and a neat figure.
Her disposition was dreamy and self-willed ;
occult studies fascinated her, and she was pas
sionately fond of moonlight. She was simply
dressed in a white muslin frock, with a black
ribbon around her slim waist ; but the ribbon
was clasped by a buckle of heavily chased gold,
and her fingers had many rings on them, and
looked a very rare circumstance the better
for them. Having put down her book, she
rose from her chair ; and as she dipped the tips
of her hands in water, and wiped them with
elaborate nicety, she talked to Charlotte in a
soft, deliberate way.

" Where have you been, you and father, ever
since daybreak ? "


11 Up to Blaeberry Tarn, and then home by
Holler Beck. We caught a creel full of trout^
and had a very happy day."

" Really, you know ? "

" Yes, really ; why not ? "

"I cannot understand it, Charlotte. I sup
pose we never were sisters before." She said
the words with the air of one who rather states
a fact than asks a question ; and Charlotte, not
at all comprehending, looked at her curiously
and interrogatively.

"I mean that our relationship in this life
does not touch our anterior lives."

" Oh, you know you are talking nonsense,
Sophia ! It gives me such a feel, you can't tell,.
to think of having lived before ; and I don't
believe it. There, now ! Come, dear, let us go
to dinner; I'm that hungry I'm fit to drop."
For Charlotte was watching, with a feeling of
injury, Sophia's leisurely method of putting
every book and chair and hairpin in its place.

The sisters' rooms were precisely alike in
their general features, and yet there was as
great a relative difference in their apartments
as in their natures. Both were large, low
rooms, facing the sunrise. The walls of both


were of dark oak ; the roofs of both were of the
same sombre wood ; so also were the floors.
They were literally oak chambers. And in both
rooms the draperies of the beds, chairs, and
windows were of white dimity. But in Sophia's,
there were many pictures, souvenirs of girl-
ihood's friendships, needlework, finished and un
finished drawings, and a great number of
"books mostly on subjects not usually attractive
to young women. Charlotte's room had no
pictures on its walls, and no odds and ends of
memorials ; and as sewing was to her a duty
.and not a pleasure, there was no crotcheting or
Berlin-wool work in hand ; and with the excep
tion of a handsome copy of " Izaak Walton,"
there were no books on her table but a Bible,
Book of Common Prayer, and a very shabby
Thomas a Kempis.

So dissimilar were the girls in their appear
ance and their tastes ; and yet they loved each
other with that calm, habitual, family affection,
which, undemonstrative as it is, stands the wear
and tug of life with a wonderful tenacity.
Down the broad, oak stairway they sauntered
together ; Charlotte's tall, erect figure, bright,
loose hair, pink dress, and flowing ribbons,


throwing into effective contrast the dark hair,
dark eyes, white drapery, and gleaming orna
ments of her elder sister.

In the hall they met the squire. He was
very fond and very proud of his daughters ; and
he gave his right arm to Sophia, and slipped his
left hand into Charlotte's hand with an affec
tionate pride and confidence that was charming.

"Any news, mother? " he asked, as he lifted
one of the crisp brown trout from its bed of
white damask and curly green parsley.

" None, squire ; only the sheep-shearing at
the Up-Hill Farm to-morrow. John of Middle
Barra called with the statesman's respects.
Will you go, squire ? "

" Certainly. My men are all to lend a hand.
Barf Latrigg is ageing fast now ; he was my
father's crony ; if I slighted him, I should feel
as if father knew about it. Which of you will
go with me ? Thou, mother ? "

"That, I cannot, squire. The servant lasses
are all promised for the fleece-folding ; and it's
a poor house that won't keep one woman busy
in it."

" Sophia and Charlotte will go then ? "

"Excuse me, father," answered Sophia- Ian-


guidly. " I shall have a headache to-morrow, I
fear ; I have been nervous and poorly all the

"Why, Sophia, I didn't think I had such a
foolish lass ! Taking fancies for she doesn't
know what. If you plan for to-morrow, plan a
bit of pleasure with it ; that's a long way better
than expecting a headache. Charlotte will go
then. Eh? What?"

" Yes, father ; I will go. Sophia never could
bear walking in the heat. I like it ; and I think
there are few things merrier than a sheep-

" So poetic ! So idyllic ! " murmured Sophia,
with mild sarcasm.

" Many people think so, Sophia. Mr. Words
worth would remember Pan and Arcadian shep
herds playing on reedy pipes, and Chaldaean
shepherds studying the stars, and those on
Judaea's hills who heard the angels singing. He
would think of wild Tartar shepherds, and
handsome Spanish and Italian."

"And still handsomer Cumberland ones."
And Sophia, having given this little sisterly re
minder, added calmly, " I met Mr. Wordsworth
to-day, father. He had come over the fells with


a party, and he looked very much bored with
his company."

" I shouldn't wonder if he were. He likes
his own company best. He is a great man
now, but I remember well when people thought
he was just a little off-at-side. You knew
Nancy Butterworth, mother ? "

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