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much gratified and instructed. I saw the ore in its natural state, imbedded in solid rock, principally quartz and schistus; the mine produces also some tin, cobalt, pyrites, blue vitriol, and even silver. Very little progreess is made without blasting, and this destroys more lives than all the other casualities of the business put together. They exploded one blast while we were there; we of course, retired a proper distance, out of danger.
Having seen all the interesting things of the place, we began to ascend. We were drawn up a small part of the way in a bucket, worked by a windlass, but we went up principally by ladders, in a shaft quite remote from that in which we descended. It was that in which the rod of the steam-engine plays to draw up the water.
This engine is one of very great magnitude. The rod, which is made of pieces of timber, and, at the top, cannot be less than five or six feet in diameter, descends perpendicularly one hundred and eighty fathoms, or, one thousand and eighty feet, and motion is propagated through this whole distance, so as to raise a weight of thirty thousand pounds at every stroke, for this is the power of the engine.
The steam engine is now extensively employed in mining, not only to raise the water, but the ore; indeed, without it the mine of Dolgoath could not be wrought; the strength of horses and of men is a useful auxiliary, but would effect, comparatively, very little alone.
At length, after a most laborious and painful ascent, less hazardous it is true, but incomparably more fatiguing than the descent, we reached the surface in safety, at a great distance from the place where we first descended. With joy, with gratitude, I beheld the returning light of heaven, and, although I could not think that, in my case, the enterprise was rash, I should certainly dissuade any friend from. gratifying mere curiosity at so much hazard. The danger is serious, even to the miners, for, by ex
plosions, by falls, by mephitic gases, and other causes connected with the nature of the employments, numbers of the people are carried off every year, and, on this account, Redruth and its vicinity has an uncommon proportion of widows and orphans.
Immediately after coming again into day-light, we made all possible haste to shelter ourselves from the cold wind, as we were afraid of the consequences of checking too suddenly a very profuse perspiration; the nearest house was our wardrobe, to which we immediately resorted, and performed a general ablution from head to foot. I then resumed my proper dress, and prepared to return again into more comfortable life. Before taking leave of my conductors, who, with the greatest patience, good-nature, and intelligence, had done every thing both for my safety and gratification, I offered them a small recompense; but, with sentiments of delicacy, not often found in any country, among people of that grade in life, they declined taking any, alledging that it was not decent to receive money of a stranger for a mere act of civility; and it was not, till after repeated solicitations, that I could induce them to yield the point. Such magnanimity, among people who are buried most of their lives, and who seem to have a kind of right to tax all those who live on the surface, was as unexpected as it was gratifying. It is not true, however, that the Cornish miners live permanently below ground; they go up regularly every night, and down again in the morning, so that they perform, every day of their lives, the tour which seemed so formidable to me.
The Blind Preacher.
I HAVE been, my dear S
on an excursion through the counties which lie along the eastern side of the Blue Ridge. A general description of that country and its inhabitants, may form the subject of a future letter. For the present, I must entertain you with an account of a most singular and interesting adventure, which I met with, in the course of
It was one Sabbath, as I travelled through the county of Orange, that my eye was caught by a cluster of horses tied near a ruinous, old, wooden house, in the forest, not far from the road side. Having frequently seen such objects before, in travelling through these states, I had no difficulty in understanding that this was a place of religious worship. Devotion alone, should have stopped me, to join in the duties of the congregation; but I must confess, that curiosity to hear the preacher of such a wilderness, was not the least of my motives.
On entering the house, I was struck with his preternatural appearance. He was a tall and very spare old man...his head, which was covered with a white linen cap, his shivelled hands, and his voice, were all shaking under the influence of a palsy, and a few moments ascertained to me that he was perfectly blind. The first emotions which touched my breast, were those of mingled pity and veneration, But ah! Great God! How soon were all my feelings changed! It was a day of the administration of the sa
crament, and his subject, of course, was the passion of our Saviour. I had heard the subject handled a thousand times: I had thought it exhausted long ago. Little did I suppose, that in the wild woods of America, I was to meet with a man whose eloquence would give to this topic, a new and more sublime pathos than I had ever before witnessed.
As he descended from the pulpit, to distribute the mystic symbols, there was a peculiar, a more than human solemnity in his air and manner, which made my blood run cold, and my whole frame to shiver. He then drew a picture of the sufferings of our Saviour-his trial before Pilate-his ascent up Calvary -his crucifiction-and his death. I knew the whole history; but never, until then, had I heard the cir- ... cumstances so selected, so arranged, so coloured! It was all new : and I seemed to have heard it for the first time in my life. His enunciation was so deliberate, that his voice trembled on every syllable; and every heart in the assembly trembled in unison.
His peculiar phrases, had that force of description, that the original scene appeared to be, at that moment, acting before our eyes. We saw the very faces of the Jews-the staring, frighful distortions of malice and rage. We saw the buffet-my soul kindled with a flame of indignation, and my hands were involuntarily and convulsively clenched. But when he came to touch the patience, the forgiving meekness of our Saviour-when he drew, to the life, his blessed eyes streaming in tears to Heaven-his voice breathing to God, a soft and gentle prayer of pardon on his enemies, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do"-the voice of the preacher which had all along, faltered, grew fainter and fainter, until his utterance being entirely obstructed by the force of his feelings, he raised his handkerchief to his eyes, and burst into a loud and irrepressible flood of grief. The effect is inconceivable. The whole house resounded with the mingled groans, and sobs, and shrieks of the congregation.
It was some time before the tumult had subsided, so far as to permit him to proceed. Indeed, judging by the usual, but fallacious standard of my own weakness, I began to be very uneasy for the situation of the preacher. For I could not conceive, how he would be able to let his audience down from the height to which he had wound them, without impairing the solemnity and dignity of his subject, or perhaps shocking them by the abruptness of the fall. But-no: the descent was as beautiful and sublime, as the elevation had been rapid and enthusiastic.
The first sentence with which he broke the awful silence, was a quotation from Rousseau: "Socrates died like a philosopher, but Jesus Christ, like a God!!" I despair of giving you any idea of the effect produced by this short sentence, unless you could perfectly conceive the whole manner of the man, as well as the peculiar crisis in the discourse. Never before, did I completely understand what Demost henes meant by laying such stress on delivery.
You are to bring before you the venerable figure of the preacher-his blindness, constantly recalling to your recollection old Homer, Ossian and Milton, and associating with his performance, the melancholy grandeur of their geniuses-you are to imagine that you hear his slow, solemn, well-accented enunciation, and his voice of affecting, trembling melody-you are to remember the pitch of passion and enthusiasm to which the congregation were raised and then, the few minutes of portentous, death-like silence which reigned throughout the house-the preacher removing his white handkerchief from his aged face, (even yet wet from the recent torrent of his tears) and slowly stretching forth the palsied hand which holds it, begins the sentence-" Socrates died like a philosopher" then pausing, raising his other hand, pressing them both, clasped together, with warmth and energy to his breast, lifting his sightless balls to Heaven, and pouring his whole soul into his tremulous voice but Jesus Christ-like a God!" If he had