Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/182

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ourselves with seeing him touch its face. On our return, the eye, having had time to accommodate itself to the darkness around, embraced several objects; the roof, sides, and crags in many places, which had before escaped it. Our entertainment also was varied by a blast, as it is termed—the discharge of a small quantity of gunpowder thrust into the rock, occasioning an explosion only to be compared to that sound which the imagination would conceive might be produced, if universal nature were at once to tumble into ruins.

As we retraced our footsteps, the guide ingeniously threw in a few anecdotes relating to the place, well calculated to interest the mind under that state of astonishment to which it had been excited; a good method of giving importance to himself, enhancing the merit of his services, and consequently increasing his remuneration. Amongst others, we were informed, that the brook which flowed through the cavern was frequently so much swollen as to prevent access into the interior of it; and that it had sometimes happened, parties had been surprized by unexpected inundation, and only rescued from destruction by the address of the guide. Two years since some ladies who had put themselves under the protection of three or four military gentlemen, visited the cavern in