Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/79

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face, which, after a short suspension, sinks to the bottom, and is then taken out by a man called the worler, who throws it into a wicker basket of a sugar-loaf shape, in order to drain. Having continued in these baskets for a few minutes, it is again turned out, and carried to the oven to harden; and is afterwards ready for sale. Previously to the American struggle, the salt-trade of this place returned to government in duty nearly 8o,oool. per annum. But tempora mutantur; and Droitwich, like all other commercial towns, has felt the fatal effects of dismembered empire and long-protraced war.

Our road from hence to Bromsgrove took in general an high level, and occasionally afforded us an extensive view; but it was of a different nature to the country we had passed. The rich luxuriance of vegetation and the fine fringes of wood skirting the pastures, which we had remarked on all sides in the southern parts of Worcestershire, were gradually disappearing as we proceeded to the north of the county; a nakedness and deficiency which were accounted for by the comparative poverty of the red sandy soil whereon we were now entered. With this changed picture the town of Bromsgrove was in unison; a large but dirty place, full of shops and manufactures, employed in making sheeting, nails, and needles.