« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
the busy adherents to Pleasure, can breathe in so pure an air. Her dependants, who are at the same time inhabitants, pass the festal hours in a perpetual round of pleasing exercises divided into different social bands, loving and beloved, improving and improved by one another, without any contention but this, who shall pay the highest homage, and do the most acceptable service to their common Sovereign, who is always sure to dispense her noblest boons to the most active and deserving."
Meanwhile we approached nigh to the sacred mansion, which was built of a transparent stone, that admitted light from every quarter. It was of a quadrangular form, and had at top a magnificent dome. Its portal was supported by a double row of pillars of the Doric order. The entry was guarded by two sentinels, who had something in their looks so awful, that several travellers recoiled at the sight of them. Their names were, Temperance and Fortitude. The former held in his hand a bridle, and the latter a spear in her's. Though their first appearance was rather stern and forbidding, methought it softened on us, as soon as they observed the company we were in. The gates stood wide open, as I was told they always do. Ascending by easy steps, we entered. I was transported with the beauty and greatness of the place, The height and circumference of the dome, both filled and delighted the eye. The manner of the whole was simple and solemn. There was no need of adventitious decorations, and there were none.
At the upper end of the temple, on a throne of state, appeared the goddess. But how describe her wondrous form! Her complexion was clear, healthful, and animated with a native glow more bright than art can confer. Her features were regular, and well proportioned, but had withal a kind of mascu line air. Her eyes were blue, beautiful, and piercing as light itself. In all her mein there was a happy mixture of dignity and modesty. No ornaments about her person, but what were decent and natural
Her hair flowed down her neck in artless ringlets. A sprig of laurel was wreathed round her temples. She wore a robe of the purest purple, which was girt with a zone about her waist, from which it fell in ample and easy folds, alike graceful and unencumbered. She held in her hand an imperial sword, the emblem of power and authority. Before the throne, which was of alabaster, were placed various ensigns of dominion, a globe, crowns, sceptres, tables of laws, suits of armour; instruments of war, trophies, and the several symbols of the finer arts.
The sight of the goddess, so divinely great, overwhelmed me with veneration and rapture. I stood for some time immoveable, as if lost in admiration. When I was a little recovered from my extacy, my guide, pointing to the throne, said, "There sits the Divinity of the place, and daughter of those immortal powers, Wisdom and Love. She was brought forth at a birth with Happiness, her sister, and undivided companion; and sent down from above, as the best friend of man, and the surest directress of life, the guardian of youth, the glory of manhood, and the comforter of old age. By her instructions and laws, human society is formed and maintained; and human nature, by converse with her, grows truly godlike."
My guide then acquainted me with the name, and symbols of the numerous attendants of the goddess. Ón either side of the throne, as its supporters, stood two illustrious personages, called Prudence and Justice. Prudence held a rule in one hand, and in the other a serpent, which twined its inoffensive spires round her arm. Justice held in her hand a pair of scales. The votaries, as they approached, were introduced to the presence by a young virgin of the most lovely appearance, who could not perform her task without blushing. Her name was Modesty. On the right hand of the goddess, stood Domestic Tenderness, Chastity with a veil, meek-eyed Charity, sacred Friendship, and heroic Indignation, of a
stern aspect and awful mein, grasping the imperial sword which Virtue reached out to him, and leading up Public Zeal, Magnanimity, and Honour, persons of fearless countenance and noble deportment, with several more whose names I have forgot.
On her left hand were placed, amongst others, Honesty, in her transparent vest; Sincerity, of an ingenious face; Resignation, leaning on a column, and looking up to heaven; Clemency, holding an olive branch; and Hospitality, of a liberal and open manner, joining hands with Politeness. Behind the throne, stood ranged, unruffled Serenity; smiling Cheerfulness; everblooming Joy, with a garland of flowers in her hand; and the Graces, encircled in each other's arms. There too appeared Industry, of a hale and active look, and Peace crowned with laurel; supporting a Cornucopia between them; Credit linked hand in hand with Commerce; and both introduced by Civil Liberty, holding her wand and cap. In Virtue's train, I likewise saw Rhetoric, of a bold and enthusiastic air: Poetry, with her lyre; Philosophy, with her speculum; History, with her pen; Sculpture, Painting, and the rest of the Arts and Sciences, each adorned with their respective symbols. The presence of the goddess seemed to inspire the whole generous and amiable band, and gave a fresh lustre to their beauty.
DESCENT INTO THE DOLGOATII MINE, IN 1806.
I was introduced yesterday to Mr. Mager of the mines, who called upon me this morning, and conducted me to the Dolgoath mine, situated three miles west from Redruth. It is the greatest mine in Cornwall, and is wrought principally for
copper, although it affords tin and several other metals. My companion was a man of information and intelligence, and I received from him uncommon civilities.
Our ride led us through a mining region; every thing here points toward this object; it is the great concern of the country, and in some department or other of this business, almost every man, woman, and child is employed. For it, agriculture, commerce, and manufactures are neglected, and that industry which, in more fortunate countries, is employed to fertilize and adorn the surface of the ground, is here directed to those treasures which are concealed beneath incumbent hills and mountains.
You would be astonished to see what quantities of rubbish, the industry of the Cornish miners has collected on the surface: it gives the country an appearance of sterility and rudeness almost inconceivable.
Redruth is in the centre of a circle of about twenty miles in diameter, within which are contained almost all the important mines. I came into the country with the impression that tin is its principal production, but I find that copper is by far the greatest concern, and that tin is only a secondary object. The tin is less abundant than formerly, but the copper much more so, and the latter article now commands so high a price that the working of the copper mines is a very profitable business.
The expence of the Dolgoath mines are about seven or eight thousand pounds sterling a month, and the clear profits for the last five months have been eighteen thousand pounds, that is, at the rate of forty three thousand two hundred pounds, or one hundred ninety-two thousand dollars a year. These facts make it very evident that the mining business in Cornwall is a great and profitable concern.
The miners are under the immediate control of a chief who is called the captain of the mine. Mr. M-introduced me to one of those captains, who obligingly undertook to conduct me through the subterranean regions of Dolgoath.
First of all, we repaired to the miner's ward-robe, where, having taken leave of Mr. M, 1 prepared for my descent, by throwing off my own dress and putting on that of the miners. It consisted of a very large shirt, of very coarse materials, and made Mike the frocks of the Connecticut farmers; then of a pair of large sailor trowsers, striped across with white and black, of the coarsest stuff which is ever employed for horse blankets, and, over all was a loose coat, which, like the rest of my apparel, exhibited the strongest evidence that it had often been below the surface. I wore a pair of cow-skin shoes, without stockings, made fast by tow strings, passing under the sole and over the instep. Over my head they drew a white cap, which they crowned with an old hat without a brim.
Besides the captain I had another guide, an experienced miner who went before, while the captain followed me each of them carried a supply of candles tied to a button-hole, and, like them, I bore ǎ lighted candle in my left hand, stuck into a mass of wet clay. Although I was preparing, like Æneas, to descend to the shades below, I could not boast of his epic dignity, for he bore a golden branch while I, carried only a tallow candle.
The mines of Cornwall are of much more difficult access than those of Derbyshire, for instead of going horizontally, or with only a gentle descent, into the side of a mountain, we are obliged to go perpendicularly down the shaft, which is a pit formed by digging and blasting, and exactly resembles a well, except in its greater depth and varying size, which is sometimes greater and sometimes smaller, according to circumstances. The descent is by means of ladders; at the termination of each ladder there is commonly a resting place, formed by a piece of timber or a plank fixed across, in the stones or earth, which forms the walls of the pit; this supports the ladder above, and from it the adventurer steps on the ladder next below.