Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/206

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let down into a round pit sunk in the ground; different channels for the melted iron being directed towards this pit, and communicated across it to the top of the mould by iron troughs, fortified with sand and clay. The iron is then let out of the furnaces, and runs along the ground in these different channels, emitting in its passage brilliant sparks like stars. Upon this occasion a great number of the Cyclopes attend with shovels, to stop the passage of the iron where it comes too fast, as well as to prevent any great quantity of dross from making its way into the mould. The splendid streams of melted fluid, with the burning light they throw on the number of workmen assembled round the spot, contrasted with the darkness of the place, and the occasional cries of the workmen when they pass the signals to stop or open the distant furnaces, together with the roaring of the metal as it falls into the mould, form altogether a terrific scene; and would be an admirable subject for a painter. Care is taken to leave a sufficient space at the top of the mould to receive the dross and such other substances as swim upon the surface, which are afterwards cut off. The whole remains in the pit for several hours, that the iron may set; it is then taken out, the surrounding frame taken to pieces, and as soon as the workmen