Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/179

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fragments are perpetually gliding down its face, forming at the foot of it another lesser mountain. This portion of its composition (the shale) is highly-impregnated with vitriol and iron, and the grit thickly studded with little particles of shining mica. A Roman encampment, and a perennial spring, crown the summit of this lofty precipice.

Having committed ourselves to the protection of Mr. Dekin, the guide to the cavern, (to whom it is lett rent-free, on the condition of its being kept clean and commodious) we proceeded to its mouth. It would be difficult to imagine a scene of the same kind more august than was that now before us. The precipices, meeting each other at nearly right angles, form a deep and gloomy recess, shut in by rocks compleatly perpendicular, nearly three hundred feet in height. At the foot of that to the right is seen a gulph forty-two feet high, a hundred and twenty wide, and about ninety deep, formed by a depressed arch of great regularity. Here a singular combination is produced human habitations and manufacturing machines (the appendages of some twine-makers, who have fixed their residence within this cavern) blending with the sublime features of the natural scenery. After penetrating about thirty yards into the rock, the roof becomes lower, and a turning to the right