« ÎnapoiContinuați »
fying springs which ooze from the roof.
Many of the rocks on your approach, and which are only seen by the dim and imperfect light of a few halfpenny-candles, present themselves to you in various shapes, one like a couching lioness, another resembling an ancient regal throne, which they have named Queen Elizabeth's chair; the whole is an epitome of that wonderful celebrated cavern called the Devil's Peak, near Castleton, and not far from the Duke of Devonshire's magnificent seat in the same county.
Poole’s Hole is visited by most of the people who make a summer's excursion to Buxton, and is well worth the observation of the curious, being
one of those very striking and sublime scenes in nature which seldom fail to gratify the eye as well as the mind.
At the back of Poole's Hole, on the brow of an extensive hill, is a curious kind of village ; the dwellings are of a whimsical construction, called the Ashilocks or Ash-hillocks, where there have been a number of lime-kilns, which, from the frequent rains, have become a kind of mortar, encrusted and hardened by the sun ; they are all hollow, and the poor inhabitants have taken possession of them, propped up the arched roofs with the strongest wooden piles, and formed them into one, two, and sometimes three, tenements, under one roof, with a small window to each, some of them clean and not uncomfortable, and wherein
many of the inhabitants have brought up a numerous offspring.
They have most of them prudently embanked up a sufficient portion of ground which they have levelled out before their doors, where they often sit on a summer's evening, regaling with their brother rustics over a mug of ale; some of these people have decorated the entrance of their cells with little arbours, by planting such shrubs about their doors as will
in that chalky heated soil.
It is supposed that these huts contain two hundred souls. At a distance the whole appears like a warren, where the inhabitants run to and from each burrow like rabbits, so that it
without a Corporation. In point of situation, being on a hill, it has the advantage of Buxton, which is no bad object from it; and the humble inhabitants have to boast of Fate's having placed them so much above their betters.
Having rambled about three miles from Buxton, I fell into conversation with a lonely shepherd, sitting with his dog by his side, near his flocks, on the brow of a hill which overlooked a melancholy farm in the vale ; he had been told of the dog-tax, and was commiserating his state in respect to his faithful Fido, who had been his companion for many years; he seemed to be much concerned about the business, shewed uncommon affection for his poor servant,
and great apprehension, thinking that he should one day or other be obliged to part with him from the above cause. However, I relieved him from that anxiety by assuring him that his dog was exempted from the tax in question from the utility and necessity of his situation, which immediately threw a pleasing sunshine over the shepherd's countenance, who thanked me kindly for the friendly information which I had given him.
Having much idle time upon my hands, and little to amuse me while I was at Buxton, I employed myself by turning this circumstance into verse; as the lines have appeared in print before, and lest it may be thought that I selected them from some other author, they were inserted with my