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NOTTINGHAMI. This short sentence conveys a lesson to the pupil, which it is hoped will be duly regarded. A moderate but steady application is the soul of improvenient.
From Loughborough to Nottingham the distance is about fourteen miles, and I reached this place in the evening. A gentleman, on my arrival, took me to his country house at Arnold, a village four miles beyond the town, so that my account of Nottingham must be deferred till my return thither at the close of the week. The next morning, in company with an obliging young gentleman, I set out on horseback for Derbyshire. A sketch of this part of my tour will be expected, and you shall not be disappointed. As we travelled over a considerable extent of ground, the excursion will form no improper subject for this and the succeeding letter; its variety will, I trust, serve for your amusement.
On Tuesday morning, between six and seven o'clock, we set off, well mounted, for Alfreton, a small town, just within the borders of Derbyshire, where, after a ride of fifteen miles, we breakfasted. Nothing here attracted our attention, excepting that from the window of the inn we were diverted by seeing several females nursing their children with cheerfulness and simplicity. Little children are objects at all times interesting to a feeling heart: to a good parent of either sex they must prove endearing; for powerful are the ties of parental affection! We are told in the Roman history, that Cornelia, the illustrious mother of the
MATERNAL AFFECTION. Gracchi, after the death of her husband, who left her twelve children, applied herself to the care of her family with a wisdom and prudence that acquired her universal esteem. A Campanian lady, who was rich and fond of pomp and shew, after having displayed, in a visit she made to her, her diamonds, pearls, and richest jewels, desired Cornelia to let her see her jewels also. Cornelia turned the conversation to another subject, to wait the return of her sons, who were gone to school. When they returned, and entered their mother's apartment, she said to the Campanian lady, pointing to them—These are my jewels, and the only ornaments I admire! Such ornaments, while they impart a refined gratification to parental affection, are the cement of society.
Immediately after breakfast we pushed on for Matlock, which being about another fifteen miles, we reached to dinner. The entrance into Matlock Dale, by Cromford, has a romantic appearance. The roads runs by the side of the river Derwent, in some places so hemmed in by the rocks as barely to allow room for the passing traveller. Here stands a curious mill for spinning cotton, invented by Sir Richard Arkwright, whose spacious house is erected near it, on an eminence. It boasts a charming situation. A small church of modern erection rears its head in the valley beneath it, and every thing around has the air of a new creation. The following short sketch of Sir Richard Arkwright, taken from the new edition
MATLOCK. of the Biographical Dictionary, may not be unacceptable to you.
“ He was a man, who in one of the lowest stations of life (being literally a penny barber, at Wirkworth, in Derbyshire), by uncommon genius and persevering industry, invented and perfected a system of machinery for spinning cotton that had been in vain attempted by many of the first mechanics of the last and present centuries, and which, by giving perpetual employment to many thousand families, increased the population, and was productive of a great commercial advantage to his country. The machine is called a spinning jenny. Sir Richard died August 3, 1792, leaving property to the amount of near half a million sterling !”
It is impossible, my young friend, to contemplate such improvements without admiration. It shows that the faculties of man may, by exercise; be appropriated to wonderful purposes. By the magic power of art an astonishing change has been here introduced-Well may we exclaim, in the language of an ingenious writer_" O art, thou distinguishing attribute and honour of human kind ! who art not only able to imitate nature in her graces, but even to adorn her with graces of thine own! Possessed of thee, the meanest genius grows deserving, and has a just demand for a portion of our esteem ; devoid of thee, the brightest of our kind lie lost and useless, and are but poorly distinguished from the most despicable and base ! MATLOCK.
207 When we inhabited forests in common with brutes, por otherwise known from them than by the figure of our species, thou taughtest us to assert the sovereignty of our nature, and to assume that empire for which providence intended us! Thousands of utilities owe their birth to thee! Thousands of elegancies, pleasures, and joys, without which life itself would be but an insipid possession ! ”
Matlock is a village celebrated for its warm springs, which have proved efficacious in the removal of scorbutic disorders. It is situated close to the river Derwent, and consists of a range of elegant houses, built in an uniform manner, with stables and out-houses. The baths are arched over, adjoining to which are convenient rooms, with apartments for servants. The assembly room is on the right hand, and at the top is a musicroom, to which you ascend by a grand staircase. There is a fine terrace before the house, and near it a green where the gentlemen divert themselves in the evenings. From this place there is a rocky shelf descending to the river, which is rapid, and runs with such a murmuring noise, as fills the mind with pleasing emotions :
The interruptions from the stones that strew
The environs of Matlock Bath are equal in natural beauty to any places in the kingdom. They
208 CURIOSITIES OF MATLOCK. form a winding vale of about three miles, through which the Derwent runs in a course extremely various; in some places the breadth is considerable and the stream smooth ; in others it breaks upon the rocks, and falling over the fragments forms slight cascades! The boundaries of the vale are cultivated; hills on one side, and bold rocks with pendant woods on the other! Taking the winding path up the hill leads you to the range of fields at the top, bounded by a precipice, along which is a walk, the finest natural terrace in the world.
We dined at the hotel at an ordinary, for which the charge was reasonable. The company was small, and, except 'ourselves, entirely ladies. Indeed the season was but just begun, therefore we saw not Matlock in its glory. There were, however, several gentlemen's carriages, and a few belonging to the nobility.
My friend and I having sauntered about during the afternoon, we in the evening visited a cave, which is a natural curiosity. The proprietor, who shewed it us, seemed a plain honest man, and had taken pains of late years to render the passage into it commodious and easy. So pleased were we with this subterranean recess, that on my return to the inn I called for a sheet of paper, and wrote the following account of it.
Cumberland Cavern is situated on the brow of a steep hill, and its mouth is closed with a whitewashed wooden door, which being opened, the man took his taper out of his lantern, with which