Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/168

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[156]

is surrounded on all sides by hills barren, desolate, and horrid. It receives its name from a small well near the town, in the centre of an arable field, which is said to ebb and flow in the same manner as the ocean-tide, but not at the same time; its flux and reflux being periodical, the flood at three o'clock every day, and the ebb at nine. This routine, however, is subject to some little variation at the full and renewal of the moon.

Our route to Buxton, seven miles from Tideswell, led us up and down most tremendous hills, but over a road hard as adamant, and smooth as a bowling-green. All before us appeared the most forlorn nakedness; and had we not observed some marks of human industry in the stone divisions of the fields, we should have conceived that the country round was one "wide extent of hopeless sterility." But land lets here for ten shillings an acre, and might be made more valuable, if the system of husbandry, which is that of paring and turning, had not a direct tendency to make the miserable soil still more wretched and unproductive. Long before we approached Buxton, the scite of the town was pointed out to us by the singular appearance of the hill beyond it, whose declivity is scarred by innumerable limestone quarries; the rubbish from which being white, contrast strikingly