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Railway from Liverpool-Manchester-Derbyshire-Chatsworth
-Haddon Hall-Matlock-Scenery and Guides—Wellesley
Railway from Liverpool. The tunnel disappointed me. It is not so great a work as I expected-not so long. The motion on the railway is so rapid as to set everything in the country about-houses, trees, groves—dancing a waltz. It seems as if the whole surrounding creation were revolving in circles—the distant objects going one way, and those nearest, the opposite way.
MANCHESTER—wrapped in the cloud of smoke proceeding from its innumerable manufactories. For the sole power is steam here ; every factory has its engine and its high chimney, sending out its dense, black volume of smoke, as it were, in the very face of the pure heavens—which foul mass of sulphurous vapours descends into the streets, infesting the nostrils, choking the lungs, blearing
the sight, clouding the vista, so that sometimes you can scarce see a hundred yards.
They say it rains oftener in Manchester than in any other place in the kingdom. I should think it. And, indeed, I have several times heard it observed of one city and another, that it rains oftener in them than in the surrounding country. So far as appearances are concerned, and, I think, comfort too, it is fortunate for our cities that the anthracite coal is to be the staple fuel.
BAKEWELL in DERBYSHIRE, AUGUST 6. In approaching Derbyshire, you leave the immense levels of Lancashire for a more diversified and beautiful country, and when you enter this county, the limestone cliffs, with deep hollows and vales worn between, appear everywhere—marking the Country of the Peak.
It must be, I think, that the body of people in this country, the nine tenths, are less intelligent than the same body in our country. I certainly find more well-dressed and well-behaved people here who are ignorant, to an extent that would shame such looking people in America. For instance, I heard a very self-sufficient Scotchman here this evening, boasting of Walter Scott as his countryman, and yet very soon saying, that the scene of one of his novels could not be in Derby
shire, because none of them was laid in England.*
Have I spoken of women, working in the fields ?
While at Bakewell, I visited Chatsworth, the seat of the Duke of Devonshire, and Haddon Hall, an ancient and deserted castle on the estates of the Duke of Rutland; one, five miles, and the other two miles distant.
Chatsworth is an immense castle, of the Ionic order, the oldest part built round a hollow square -the new part, a continuation, one story lower, of the rear block or portion, of the pile; and so extensive, that, when finished, there is to be a suite of rooms, through the whole of which the eye will
* Only an instance, I allow.
range at a single view, six hundred feet. The hall of entrance is from the hollow square ; the sides and ceiling painted in fresco, by Verrio and La Guerre. The ceilings, also, of the whole range of staterooms, on the second story, are painted in the same style, by the same artists. The designs are mythological. There cannot be less, in all, I should think, than five hundred figures-of gods and goddesses, in every possible attitude and predicament pursuing, flying, fighting, making love, &c. As far as one can judge, who almost breaks his neck in looking upward, and looking at objects eighteen feet distant, the paintings, many of them, are beautifully executed. What must have become, by-the-by, of the necks and brains of the artists, looking upward while painting such an immense number of figures, I do not know. I must say that to my simple American taste, if not to any other taste, this appears to be a very improper exhibition--the forms being, generally, represented without any costume. The housekeeper, however, observed that these rooms now were never used, on any occasion.
I must just make a memorandum of some other things that struck me in going over the house. In the range of staterooms, the sculpture, by Cibber, of the alabaster and marble doorways, and the carving, by Gibbon, throughout are beautiful; but of
the latter especially, the carving of birds, over and around the fireplace in the principal stateroom, quite exceeds anything of the kind I have seen, or could have conceived. There is a large number of paintings, but nothing that struck me much—a Henry VIII., by Holbein ; a Holy Family, by Murillo; a piece by Salvator Rosa, but in so bad a light as to be lost, if it is anything. There are a great many statues. Canova's Hebe is here, and a copy of the Venus de Medici by Bartolini.
Chatsworth is situated on the Derwent, on a rising ground, with terraces before it, formed by walls of wrought stone, which walls are surmounted by balustrades of stone. There is a finely wooded hill in the rear. The view southward, through grand avenues of trees, of the vale of the Derwent, is most beautiful.
In the conservatory, there were splendid specimens of the India rubber plant and the fan palm; and there was the curious nepenthes, (pitcher plant) which at the end of every branch has an actual pitcher growing, large enough to hold more than half a wineglass of water-said pitcher nicely fitted with a lid. *
* The reader may be pleased to see the following beautiful description of this plant from the French of Richard.
6 NEPENTHES sont tous originaires de l'Inde ou de l'isle de