Page:Transactions of the Geological Society, 1st series, vol. 2.djvu/133

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Mr. William Phillips on the Veins of Cornwall.

Discovery of Veins.

The discovery of metalliferous veins is effected in various ways. Amongst the foremost of these, Pryce places that of the Virgula Divinatoria; but, after a long account of the mode of cutting, tying and using the rod, interspersed with observations on the great difference existing in the discriminating faculties of constitutions and persons in its use, altogether rejects it, because ‘Cornwall is so plentifully stored with tin and copper lodes, that some accident every week discovers to us a fresh vein,’ and because ‘a grain of metal attracts the rod as strongly as a pound,’ for which reason ‘it has been found to dip equally to a poor as to a rich lode.’ Them it must be acknowledged, are substantial reasons for the neglect and disuse into which the rod has fallen. There are not however wanting even now, in Cornwall, some who maintain the value of it. I am acquainted with one person who has repeatedly declared to me that, while using it in his own shop in the town of Redruth, he discovered a vein which has since formed a part of the workings of Pednandrae mine for tin. On the other hand, an intimate friend well conversant with mining concerns was present in Somersetshire with some nobleman and gentlemen, the proprietors of land in that county, anxious for the discovery and working of veins supposed to run through their estates, when a person who professed the skilful use of the divining rod assured them he could effect their wish. During one of his attempts, my friend, as though by accident, took his station immediately facing the professor of the rod, who advanced with the rod dipping as he declared to the run of a vein; my friend retreated, and in his retreat made a circuit, which as he had in some degree caught the attention of the person hold-