Page:Audubon and His Journals.djvu/180

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136
AUDUBON

to go first, but we were attracted by the ancient Gothic edifice. It seemed to me a sort of illusion that made me doubt whether I lived or dreamed. When I think how frequently our plans have been laid to come here, and how frequently defeated, it is no great wonder that I find it hard to believe I am here at last. This morning at breakfast, Lady Rathbone spoke of coming to Matlock, and in a few moments all was arranged. She, with her niece, Mrs. Dockray, and Miss Hannah, with several of the children and myself, should leave in two chaises at noon. I spent the time till then in going over Mr. Dockray's wool mill. He procures the wool rough from the sheep, and it is cloth when he disposes of it; he employs about seventy weavers, and many other people in the various departments. I was much interested in the dyeing apparatus. I packed up a few of my drawings to take with me. We started, seven of us, in two chaises; all was new, and therefore interesting. We reached Stockport, a manufacturing town lying between two elongated hillsides, where we changed horses, and again at Chapel En-La-Frith, thirty miles from the point of departure. I saw a good deal of England that I admired very much. The railways were new to me, but the approach of the mountains dampened my spirits; the aridity of the soil, the want of hedges, and of course of birds, the scarcity of cattle, and the superabundance of stone walls cutting the hills in all sorts of distorted ways, made me a very unsocial companion, but the comfortable inn, and our lively evening has quite restored my cheerfulness.

Matlock, October 12. This morning I was out soon after sunrise; again I walked round the church, remarked its decaying state, and that of all the thatched roofs of the humble cottages. I ascended the summit of the hill, crossing a bridge which spanned a winding stream, and had a lovely view of the country just lighted by the sun's first beams, and returned to the inn, the Rutland Arms, in