Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/192

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sieve in washing; the fourth, which is caught by a very slow stream of water, and is as fine as flour, is called bellard; it is inferior to all the rest, on account of the admixture of foreign particles. All the ore, as it comes from the mine, is beaten into pieces and washed before it is sold. This business is performed by women, who can earn about six-pence per day."

The business of the miner is entirely a matter of speculation, the lets or bargains, as they term them, sometimes not repaying them for the trouble of procuring the ore, and the expence of their blasts; at others, the profits are very large. A short time since two men, who had lately taken a let for six weeks, made thirty guineas each, clear of all deductions.

The only remaining object at Castleton was the great Speedwell level, lying to the south of the road called the Winnets, at the distance of a mile from the town. Being provided with lights and a guide, who expects five shillings for his trouble, we descended a flight of stone stairs, about one hundred feet below the surface of the ground, and found ourselves in a subterraneous passage seven feet high and six feet wide, through which flowed a stream of water. Here was a boat ready for our reception, formerly used, when the mine