Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/149

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

[137]

with surprising force, the river Manifold, after having pursued a subterraneous course for five miles from the point where it ingulphs itself in the earth, called Weston mill. At the distance of twenty-yards further, a similar phcenomenon occurs; for here we discovered another fissure in the rock, from whence the river Hamps threw his waters into day. He had taken a longer journey under ground than even his neighbour, having travelled, in this darkling manner from Leek Water-Houses, a place half-way between Lichfield and Ashbourne, seven miles from Islam. On their emersion into light, the temperature of the two rivers differs two and a half degrees, the Hamps being thus much colder than the Manifold. Ascending a flight of stone steps, we were conducted to a higher walk, which pursues a zig-zag course through the wood that covers the face of the rock, and overhangs the river, whose banks we have just quitted. In this solemn abstracted scene, safe from the intrusion of the busy croud, and secure from every ungrateful sound, lulled to peace by the murmur of the river that flowed beneath him, and the sacred whisper of the wood which waved above his head, Congreve, in a little grotto, (his favourite and accustomed retreat) wrote his comedy called the "Old Bachelor." Indeed it seems to be the very spot