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The Squire of Sandal-Side A Pastoral Romance   By: (1831-1919)

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THE SQUIRE OF SANDAL SIDE

A Pastoral Romance

by

AMELIA E. BARR

Author of "Jan Vedder's Wife," "A Daughter of Fife," "The Bow of Orange Ribbon," etc.

New York The A.D. Porter Co. Publishers

1886

CONTENTS.

I. SEAT SANDAL

II. THE SHEEP SHEARING

III. JULIUS SANDAL

IV. THUS RUNS THE WORLD AWAY

V. CHARLOTTE

VI. THE DAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS

VII. WOOING AND WEDDING

VIII. THE ENEMY IN THE HOUSEHOLD

IX. ESAU

X. THE NEW SQUIRE

XI. SANDAL AND SANDAL

CHAPTER I.

SEAT SANDAL.

"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."

There is a mountain called Seat Sandal, between the Dunmail Raise and Grisedale Pass; and those who have stood upon its summit 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 stones 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 earlier 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; fell 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 northern 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 Lögberg Sandal cleared for his descendants. They have a family 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 authenticity; 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 people and the time whose story it professes to tell.

Doubtless this very Lögberg 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... Continue reading book >>




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