Ashbel Green.

The Christian advocate online

. (page 62 of 93)
Online LibraryAshbel GreenThe Christian advocate → online text (page 62 of 93)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


manufacturing town. The streets
are for the most part narrow, and
the buildings quite plain in their
appearance; but they did not strike
me as being so much blackened
with smoke as those of Manches-
ter or Leeds. The various articles
of fine cutlery, in which steel is the
principal ingredient, are made here
in greater beauty, variety, and per-
fection, than in any other place.
We were gratified with examining
the ingenious contrivances resorted
to for manufacturing these articles
with the least possible trouble and
expense, and with the greatest des-
patch. W^ visited some of the
work shops in which penknives and
razors are made, by exceedingly
simple processes, and one of the
workmen forged for us, in about
three minutes, the blade of a knife
from a rough rod of steel, which I
hope some day to show you. After
this operatidn of forging, the knife
passes through a great variety of
hands before it is finished. It is a
well known chemical fact^ that in
tempering steel, the artist is go-
verned by the coloar which the hot
metal assumes, upon being taken
out of water. When my little knife
blade was first taken from the IGre
and plunged into water, it showed an
orange colour, which indicates the
proper degree of hardness; if it had
been blue, the temper would have
been too soft, and it white too hard;
but such is the skill of these work-
men, that they commonly hit the
true orange colour on the very first
triaL In one of the show rooms,
in which a vast variety of fine edged



steel instruments is exhibited to
great advantage, we saw scissors
of such exquisite workmanship, as
to be sold for about Sl5 a pair.
Rogers' Cutlery establishment is
perhaps the most extensive and
well arranged. His finest instru-
ments are e^ihibited for sale, in a
suite of spacious and neatly fitted
up apartments. Here we saw, under
a large gU%s cylinder, or shade, a
knife, made in 1823, with 1833
blades; its bristling points, sticking
out in every direction, presented
quite a formidable appearance. I
asked our guide for what purpose
so much time, and labour, and ex-
pense had been wasted, in making
such a toy ^ Oh, he replied, it was
to showwhat they could do. Under
another glass case there was a knife,
perfect in all its parts, and of so di-
minutive a size, as to weigh but one
grain and a half, and to measure,
about the fourth of an inch. There
was also a pair of scissors stiil
smaller, and a numb^ of other toya,
which seemed to have been the
work of Lilliputian hands. Such
things were not new to me, and
they gave me but little pleasure;
they require much less ingenuity to
form than is generally supposed,
and I dislike to see valuable time
and skill thus thrown away. It re-
minded me of Swift, abusing his tar
lents in the formation of riddles and
conundrums.

The greatest gratification whick
I received here, was from a short
interview with the Christian poet,
Montgomery. . From my youth, I
have been familiar with many of
his poems; and the little story of
Hannah, in which a small portion
of the author's historv is depicted,
has often drawn tears from my eyes.
The resemblance in character, be-
tween Cowper and Montgomery^
was another reason why I was de-
sirous of seeing the latter. In the
short biographical sketch attached
to his works, we have this sentence:
^Perhaps no two individuals,' in
manners, pursuits, character, and
composition, ever more exactly

, digitized by VjOOQ IC



S96



Mte$ efa.Travdltr.



Seft.



c<JlTcsponded v?ith each other, than
Montgomery and the late poet of
Olncy. The same benevolence of
heart— the same n^odesty of deport-
ment — the same purity of life— the
same attachment to literary pur-
suits—the same fondness for soli-
tude, and retirement from the^pub-
lick haunts of men— -and, to com-
plete the picture, the same ardent
feeling in the cause of religion, and
the same disposition to gloom and
melancholy." Though without a
letter of introduction, I did not he-
sitate to trust myself to the civility
and kindness of such a man. On
being informed, by the lady with
whom he resides, that some gentle-
men from America^ desired to see
him, we were conducted at once
into a little retired parlour, where
he received us politely; and after
the first embarrassment of our situ-
ation was removed, we entered into
free and unreserved conversation.
Though there is a cast of thought-
ful melancholy on his features, his
countenance is still pleasing, for its
expression of benevolence, simpli-
city^ and intelligence; his eye is r^
markably brilliant — The portraits
whichi have seen of him are all base
caricatures. In company, he is said
to be generally reserved and silent;
but we found him of easy access,
sprightly in his conversation, and
original and striking in most of his
remarks. One of our companions^
in the coach which brought us here,
was a very interesting and commu-
nicative young lady, who informed
us that Mr. Montgomery was high-
ly prized and esteemed by all his
fellow citizens. * He is certainly a
man of note among them; for, upon
making inquiries for him at our
hotel, Mr. Boots was instantly sum-
moned, and conducted us at once
to his residence^ which was at a
considerable distance.

From Sheffield, we took a post-
chaise for Matlock Bath, in Derby-
shire. We stopped at Chatsworth,
to see the castle of the Duke of
Devonshire. We were however un-
able to get admittance into the



building, as we arrived about tea
minutes after the time when the
doors are closed upon all visiters;
M'e contented ourselves, therefore,
with examining the grounds about
the house, and the exterior of this
immense mansion.

At a distance, Chatsworth looks
more like a large cotton or woollen
factory, than the palace of the
wealthiest nobleman in England';
and, upon a nearer view, there is
nothing magnificent or grand about
the structure, except its size. It
must be its splendid apartments
that have give it so much celebrity.
Besides much fine painting and
statuary, which has for a long time
adorned and enriched the interior^
his grace the present Duke has
lately added some of the finest
works of Canova, and other cele-
brated artists. The grounds round
the palace are much niore interest-
ing than thoseat Eaton Hall, though
not in so high a state of cultivation.
On a high mountainous ridge, just
back of the house, there is a circu-
lar tower or castle, more than a
thousand years old. Here the proud
dames and ladies fair of olden time
used to resort, to witness the sports
of the chase in the valleys be-
low. The water works, or the jet
d'eaux,are the admiration of almost
every traveller; they are in various
parts of the pleasure grounds, and
some of them are of the most ridi-
culous devices. A willow tree, for
example, made with copper tubes^
showers down streuns of vrater
from all its branches. These works
were executed at a vast expense* by
an artist from Paris. I must con-
fess, the little I saw of them was
not to my liking. I would rather
have a plain, honest brook, with a
natural cascade, on my grounds,
than all these French fandangoes.
We dined atan<^t little inn, which
was built by his Grace, just at one
of the park gates, for the accommo-
dation of strangers. The dinner was
a long time in preparing, good for
nothing at last, and very expensive.

Matlock is about ten miles dis-

Digitized by VjOOQ IC



1829.



J^tes rfa Traveller.



S97



tant from this place; here we ar-
rived about seven in the evening. It
was a most delightful ride; every
turn of the road opened before us a
landscape, having some new and in-
teresting features. On approach-
ing Matlock, there was a strong
contrast presented in the change of
scenery, irom fertile and cultivated
plains and hills, to high and rugged
rocks, covered with trees of the
deepest shade of. green. I had fre-
quently noticed before, that the co-
lour of the foliage and verdure in
this country was deeper than in
America — ^no doubt owing to the
continual moisture of the climate;
but here the green colour was pe-
culiarly dark, I instantly com-
menced an examination of this ro-
mantick and interesting spot; for
though it was evening, you are to
recollect, that it is not dark here till
after nine o'clock. One of the most
striking objects is the range of high
and broken rocks, on either side of
the village, the highest of which is
called Mgh Tor: Mam Tar, which
is the loftiest of them all, is at Cas-
tleton, some distance off. The
stream, or the noble river Derwent,
as they call it here, runs at the
base of High Tor, and turns some
miningmachinery in the neighbour-
hood. To enjoy the scenery around
Matlock, as the Guide Book justly
says, ^^ requires some vigorous exer-
tion, there being so many hills to
climb, mines to visit, and caverns
to explore." I never remember to
have felt more fatigued than in
mounting the hill immediately be-
hind the inn called Old Bath, to the
Dungeon Rocks, and then to the
Spar Mine. In the last place, I
had the pleasure of seeing the veins
of lead ore, and the manner* of work-
ing them, which I had often heard
of before. I collected also in the
mine, some good specimens of fluor,
in fine cubick crystals, with which
I hope to adorn my cabinet at home.
The mine was lighted up in differ-
ent paints, by a number of candles.
From the height which I had at-
tained, the view of the country



round, and of the Derwent river
running through the valley below,
was very beautiful. Night coming
on, however, soon hid every distant
object. I therefore hastened down
the hill to a place called the Mu-
seum, where I found a collection of
the most interesting mineral pro-
ductions of the neighbourhood for
sale. I purchased a number of
specimens of the spar and mar-
ble, which were manufactured, as
I understood, at the establishment.
We found but little company at
this charming abode of Hygeia —
the months of July and August be-
ing the portion of the year devoted
to such an excursion, by ^ the
wealthy and the great. At our hotel,
called the Old Bath, which is the
most fashionable, we met with a
few tided persons. The waters are
only used for bathing; and having
a temperature of 68** F. they can-
not form a very agreeable bath,
without additional heat. The place
is visited, no doubt, more for its
beautiful scenery, and its natural
curiosities, than for any thing else.
I could pass a week here in Derby-
shire with great pleasure; its natu-
ral and artificial caverns, its ebbing
and flowing well, its mines of lead
ore and fluor spar, its numerous
warm springs, and a variety of other
objects of curiosity, were strong in-
ducements for me to stay longer
than my time would permit.

June Iw— It was our intention to
spend this day, which is the Sab-
bath, at this place; and I got up in
the morning expecting to go to
church; but, on inquiry, I found it
two miles distant. *As the morning
was rainy, we took a post-chaise,
and rode seventeen miles to Derby.
Here my companions, Messrs. R.
and S., left me, and proceeded to
London in the mail-coach. I -felt,
at first, a good deal Jonely and
heavy hearted; but hearing the
bells for afternoon worship ringing,
I went to the house of prayer,
where my thoughts were turned
from present objects. On the road^
after the weather cleared up, I was

Digitized by VjOOQ IC



M8



JVMei of a TnteeUer.



SfiPT.



delighted widi the little g^ups of
Sunday school children, which were
frequently seen wandering among
the hedges, towards the village
churches. I realized many of the
scenes mentioned by Mrs. Sher-
wood, in her interesting stories on
these subjects. The Manse, the
Church, the Village, the Sunday
School Children and their Teach-
ers, were all before. me.

On leaving Matlock Bath, the
scenery is wild and romantick; at no
very great distance we saw, on the
high ground, on the opposite side
of the Derwent, Willersley Castle,
built by Sir Richard Arkwright,
the great mechanical genius whom
I have already mentioned. No site
could have been more happily
chosen, and the mansion itself may
be considered as a monument of his
taste and ingenuity.

June 2^ — 1 rose early this morn-
ing, to examine the old and inter-^
iesiing town of Derby, which stands'
on the Derwent. ' The most at-
tractive object to me was All Saints
church, built in Henry the VII .'s
time. It is really beautiful and
grand; the tower, with its pinnacles,
is near 200 feet high, and is a fine
rich piece of Gothick architecture.
Almost all the Earls and Dukes of
the Cavendish family are interred
in this church; and more than all
the rest, here lie the remains of the
Hon. Henry Cavendish, one of the
most accurate chemists of his time,
and the illustrious discoverer of
hydrogen gas, the composition
of water and of nitric acid. I ex-
amined many other interesting ob-
jects at Derby, and among the num-
ber was the old school, built in the
twelfth century, and at which Flam-
stead, the astronomer royal, re-
ceived the rudiments of his educa-
tion: Dr. Darwin, while on a visit,
died in th|^ place. Derby may be
considered a manufacturing town.
On the banks of the JDerwent there
is a large building occupied as a
silk mill, the first and the largest
ever erected in England: I did not
count them, but it is said to contain



488 windows. The 8uor or Deiby-
shire ipzr is here principally manu-
factured into vases, urns, and other
ornaments. The neighbourhood of
the town affords a number of fine
views.

About 1 1 o'clock I left Derby in
the coach for Birmingham. The
country is not so thickly settled, in
many considerable districts, aa I
expected to find it: there is a great
deal of common, or unhedged land^
into which all the neighbouring
farmers, at certain seasons of the
year, turn their cattle and sheep.
Still larger open tracts are planted
with low bushes, for the purpose of
giving shelter to foxes and hares,
when they have the honour of be-
ing hunted and murdered by the
nobility.

One feature of an English land-
scape, common all over the coun*
try, is the number of wmd miU$,
Some of these are quite ornamen-
tal; many of them are coloured
white, and are surrounded with
rich ever-green hedges. The grace-
ful motion of their wings, as they
slowly revolve, gives an animation
to them, which might well provoke
the ire of a knight like that of La
Mancha. I passed through two or
three places which were exceeding-
ly interesting to me. The first stage
brought me to a neat little town on
the banks of the Trent, called Bur-
ton—every one has heard oi the
fine ale which is brewed her e and
from curiosity, if not from thirst,
I called for a tumbler of the best
Burton ale. I have no great faith
in the exquisite sensibility of the
gustatory organs, said to be pos-
sessed by certain persons— -at any
rate, i would just now prefer to
have a draught of the ale made in
Philadelphia or Burlington.

Our next stage was to Litch-
field. This town every one knows
as the birth place of Johnson. I
could not visit the house wiiere he
was bom, and which is now shown
to many persons annually; but the
spot where it stands was pointed out
to me, by a mm who said that, with-

Digitized by VjOOQ IC



ISdSL



JMe$ (fa Trwdkr.



S9»



in a short time^ forty individuajs
had applied to him as a guide to
the place. I saw, however, the lit->
tie school-house in which he and
Garrick received the rudiments of
their education. The author of
Sandford and Mertoo, a book which
gave my youthful hours much de-
light, was also a native of this
place; and Dr. Darwin lived and
wrote most of his works here. I
should, in gallantry, name Miss
Seward also$ but I do not think she
ought to be placed in such good
company. Litchfield is quite a com-
mon looking town; t^ere is, how*
ever, a cathedral here, which, it is
said, is among the finest specimens
of Gothiok architecture in England
—it has two tall stone spires.

The next place is Birmingham,
the great toy-shop of the world*
As we approached, the sooty ap*
pearance of the buildings, the dense
volumes of smoke rising up fi:om
numberless furnaces-— the noise of
hammers, and the rattle of ma-
chinery— -all proclaimed it the em-
porium of arts and manufactures.
The whole country round seems to
be the abode of the Cyclops fami-
ly, for it smokes and fumes in every
direction. Though on a muth
larger scale, it forcibly reminded
me of my first entrance into Pitts-
burg, in the United States. Watt
and Bolton, by means of the steam
engine, have done for Birmingham,
what Sir Richard Arkwright, with
his spinning apparatus, he. has ef-
fected for Manchester. About a
mile or two from the town, I no-
ticed, at some distance from the
road, a fine mansion, in the midst
of a beautiful park. This is the re-
sidence, I was informed, of Mr.
Watt> son of the great engineer.
It is also the BracebridgeHall of Ir-
Ting; and the place which suggest-
ed to him many of the fine pictures
which he has sketched in that de-
lightful tale.

A person who is fond of examin-
ing machinery, and the thousand
useful and fantastick articles which
U produces, can no where be so



much gratified as at Birmingham.
I viewed a number of the ffare-
houses and work-shops. In the lat-
ter, you are filled with wonder at
beholding many- of the operations;
for instance, a rough piece of iron
or steel gradually assuming shape,
symmetry, and beauty, as it passes
from the hands of one workman to
another. I need not say that the
machinery by which these results
are produced is highly ingenious;
in many instances, so exact are its
operations, that it seems endowed
with life and thought. Many of
the articles manufactured here are
exceedingly cheap—^it. is said that
common buttons have been ^ really
gilt with gold, for three pence half
penny a gross." The low price of
pins, which pass through so many
hands before they are finished, is
another example;— a boy twelve
years old will spin 7,300 pin heads
in a minute, and the rest, of the
operation is rendered equally expe-
ditious* Mr. Thompson's show
rooms are exceedingly spacious,
and well arranged; they contain a
vast variety of articles, both for or-
nament and use, made of gold, sil-
ver, iron, and some other metals
and alloys. That which pleased
me most, was an exact copy, in
bronze, of the famous Warwick
vase, dug from the ruins of Hercu-
laneum; it is seven feet in diame-
ter, and all the carving upon itr—
its festoons, grapes and head»— are
finished in the highest style of
beauty and perfection— The guide
told me it was more than a year in
making. There is a gallery round
the room in which the vase stands,
for the purpose of enabling you to
examine its interior. Mr.Thomp-
son has also executed a colossal
statue of some King or Duke, I for-
get which; in workmanship, I think
it even superior to the Warwick
Tase.

At the wmttiamimM, which is the
name applied by Mr. Jones to his
rooms, I saw many splendid and
useful articles, and many more
gaudy toys. Among the tnedab,

Digitized by VjOOQ IC



400



Oil Memperanu.



Skpt.



wUch are iiere made in greatnum-
ber and perfection^ I noticed one
in honour of Watt— his head in
fine relief. I tried to purchase
it, but Mr. Jones told me it was
the only one struck; the die be-
ing then destroyed by the son of
Mr. Watt, who was of opinion that
the face did not sufficiently resem-
ble his father, though the most ce-
lebrated artist had been for a long
time at work upon it. I purchased
some snudl glass vessels, beauti-
fully coloured with metallick oxh-
ides, «o as to resemble the ame-
thyst, the ruby, and the topaz.

I was desirous of visiting the ce-
lebrated manufacturing establish-
ment founded at Soho, by Boulton
and Watt; but I understood that
admittance into the work-shops is
denied to every one, without dis-
tinction. The crowds which con-
stantly visited this place so much
interrupted the workmen, that this
measure was necessarily adopted.

You recollect that in 1791, the
mob here destroyed Dr. Priestley's
house, for the part which he took
in the French revolution. As one
of the noticeable things, I saw. the
place where it stood. Outrages of
this kind are not to be justified; but
I never believed that the Doctor
was forced to abandon England for
our own happy country, on account
of the political sentiments which he
at this time published.

It happened to bc^ the last day of
the fair when I arrived at Birmiug-
ham, so that the town was fill^
with the drunken and the dissolute.
The same kind of shows that are
exhibited at horse races are always
to be seen at the fairs; their immo-
ral tendency I have already noticed.

June 3.— I left Birmingham to-
day for Oxford. There was no one
in the coach with me but a well
dressed woman, who informed me
she had travelled alone a long dis-
tance to see her husband, who was
about embarking for Canada. I
then mentioned that I had just come
from America. Did you travel all
the way by land ? was her inquiry.



The coach stopped for some mi-
nutes at Stratford, a lovely town on
the river Avon. Here, you know,
Shakspeare was bom, and a hand-
some monument is erected to his
memory in the church, which stands
just at the skir^ of the town, sur-
rounded with trees, and occupying
a most beautiful site. Irving, in his
Sketch Book, or Tales, I do not
recollect which, has criveii us a
beautiful description of the sppt-
I inquired for the house in which
the great dramatist was born. My
g^ide, pointing to a cluster of old
buildings, said there is the spot;
but which house will you visit, for
there are two that seem to have
equal claims to the honour. I
therefore gave up the enterprise,
and reserved my enthusiasm and
rhapsodies for less equivocal occa-
sions. The country around Strat-
ford is, I think, upon the whole,
more beautiful and luxuriant than
any through which I have yet pass-
ed. The stream called the Stour,
which runs every where through
the grass, adds much to the scene-
ry. A fine rail-road is near the
stage route for several miles, and a
number of wagons, heavily laden,
were passing continually over it.
After Stratford comes Woodstock,
a small town, well known for the
excellent gloves manufactured in it.
Here I left the coach and remained
for several hours to examine Blen*
heim, the famous seat of the more
famous John, Duke of Marlborough.
{To be continuetL)



rOK THE cnUTIAK AOVOCATX.
ON IMTBMPERANOE.

( Continued Jrom page 357.)

The subject claims to be noticed
in a political point of view.

We mi^ht call the attention (rf
the politician to the waste of capi-
tal. Thirty millions of dollars an-
nually squandered on intempe-
rance» are as really lost to the na-
tion as though they had been ''cast



Digitized by



Google



1829.



(hi InUmperanee.



401



into the depths of the sea.'^ Borne,
lam aware, are of opinion, that the
consumption of ardent spirits pro-
motes industry, by furnishing em-
ployment to those who are engaged
m dist tiling and vending the arti-
cle. Were this representation true,
it would only prove that employ-
ment is furnished to a comparative-
ly small class of the community, at
the expense of a much more nume-
rous class, who by the means of ar-
dent spirits, become idle and vi-
cious. But the representation it-
self is erroneous, or at least defec-
tive. The drunkard in order to
f ratify his appetite, will deprive
imself and family of many of the
comforts, and even of the necessa-
ries of life. Let us suppose that
the money wasted by him on the
article of ardent spirits, were con-
sumed in the purchase of comforta-
ble apparel for himself and family,
or in household accommodations
which would contribute to health
and enjoyment, ts it not manifest
that he would do more to promote
industry than he now does P While
benefiting himself and family, he
would furnish employment to an
additional number of tradesmen,
and these in turn would furnish a
market for the produce of the hus^
bandman, which cannot be other-
wise disposed of at present, than by
coBvertine it into poison. How
contracted are that man's notions
of political economy, who would dis-
possess the industrious tradesman,
to make room for the unserviceable
distiller and conscience-lackins
dram vender! The drunkard ana
his Camily must be half fed, half
clad, hall shod, half housed, to the
injury of the manufacturer, the
shoemaker, the tailor, the carpen-
ter, in order that he may husband



Online LibraryAshbel GreenThe Christian advocate → online text (page 62 of 93)