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ty, sacred Friendship, and heroic Indignation, of a stern aspect and awful mien, grasping the imperial sword which Virtue reached out to him, and leading up Public Zeal, Magnanimity, and Honour, persons of a 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 Dolgoath Mine, in 1806.
I was introduced yesterday to Mr. Mnager of the mines, who called upon me this morning, and conducted me to the Dolgoath mine, situ ated three miles west from Redruth. It is the great
est mine in Cornwall, and is wrought principally for copper, although it affords tin and several other me tals. 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 towards 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 greater 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 expenses of the Dolgoath mine are about seven or eight thousand pounds sterling a month, and the clear profits for the last five months have been eighteen thousand pound, that is, at the rate of fortythree 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. Mintroduced me to one of these captains, who
obligingly undertook to conduct me through the subterranean regions of Dolgoath.
First of all, we repaired to the miners' ward-robe, where, having taken leave of Mr. M, I prepar ed 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 like 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 cowskin 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 perienced 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 a lighted candle in my left hand, stuck into a mass of wet clay. Although I was preparing, like Eneas, 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 form the walls of the pit ; this supports the ladder
above, and from it the adventurer steps on to the ladder next below.
With each a lighted candle, so held by the thumb and forefinger of the left hand, as to leave the other three fingers at liberty to grasp the rounds of the ladder, and with the right hand devoted wholly to the same service, we commenced our descent.
It was laborious and hazardous, but we did not stop till we had descended four hundred feet. The rounds of the ladders are constantly wet and muddy, and therefore very slippery; many of them, through length of time, are decayed and worn so very small, that they seem on the point of giving way; in descending perpendicularly with these disadvantages, the utmost caution is therefore requisite, on the part of a novice, lest he should quit his foothold before he has a firm grasp with his fingers, or lest, in the dim twilight shed by his candle, he should make a false aim with his foot or hand, or, take an imperfect and untenable hold with either; not to mention the danger of the giving way of the rounds of the ladder, any of which accidents would send him to a place whence he would not return; for, the resting places at the feet of the ladders, as they fill only a small part of the shaft, would diminish very little, the chance of going quite to the bottom.
Having arrived at the depth of four hundred feet, we came to what the miners call, an adit or level, that is, a passage running horizontally, or, at right angles with the shaft. This passage had been made through the solid rock, and was high enough to allow us to pass along stooping, which we did for a considerable distance, when the sound of human voices from below, indicated our approach to the populous regions of midnight; while the rattling of mechanical instruments, employed in breaking off the ore, and the report from the explosion of gun-powder, echoed and reverberated along these narrow caverns, with the sulphureous and suffocating smoke, presented a combination of circumstances which might well
have give one the impression that he had arrived in a worse place than the mine of Dolgoath.
Proceeding along the adit, we came to another shaft, down which we descended two hundred feet more, and were then full six hundred feet from the surface. This was the principal scene of labour; at about this depth, there were great numbers of miners engaged in their respective employments. Some were boring the rock, other charging with gunpowder, the holes already made; others knocking off the ore with hammers, or prying it with pick-axes; others loading the buckets with ore to be drawn to the surface; others working the windlasses, to raise the rubbish from one level to another, and ultimately to the top; in short, all were busy; and, although to us their employment seems only another name for wretchedness, they appeared quite a contented and cheerful class of people. In their manners they are gentle and uncommonly civil, and most of them paid me some mark of respect as a stranger.
We occupied three hours in exploring the mine, and, in this time, travelled a mile under ground, in various directions. The employment was extremely laborious. We could rarely walk erect; often we were obliged to crawl on our hands and knees, over sharp, rugged stones, and frequently it was necessary to lie down flat, and to work our way along by the points of the elbows, and extremities of the toes, like seals on a beach. At one time we descended, and, at another, ascended through a narrow aperture, where we could only with difficulty squeeze ourselves through, and we then continued our progress by stepping on the projections of the rock, as men do in going up or down a well. My perspiration was so violent, that streams literally ran from my nose, locks, and chin, and in this state we came to the channel where the water of the mine flows off, through which we were obliged to wade along, half leg deep, for thirty rods. I was upon the whole,