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DR. DARWIN. Both at Matlock and Buxton specimens of this frail ware are exhibited in a boasted variety.
Before we quitted the town we were introduced to the late celebrated Dr. Erasmus Darwin, who received us politely, and with whom I enjoyed half an hour's pleasant conversation. Having mentioned his works, and expressed my surprise at the number and extent of them, he assured me that they were, for the most part, written in his carriage, as he went to visit his patients, to whom I afterwards understood he was sometimes called forty or fifty miles, all round the country. Using a black-lead pencil in the first instance, he afterwards delivers over his zig-zag manuscript to an amanuensis for transcription. It has been the envied lot of this gentleman to unite together, in his own person, the characters of philosopher and poet; for whilst his Zoonomia displays the profoundity of his researches, his Botanic Garden and Temple of Nature, shew his acquaintance with the muses, who appeared to have conferred their favours with liberality. Take, as a specimen, these inimitable lines :
The seraph SYMPATHY from heaven descends,
Dr. Darwin favoured us with the key of his garden, of which I had heard many speak in terms of commendation. We entered it, after having ferried ourselves over the Derwent with ease, by means of machinery, which he himself had constructed. The spot was rural and retired, whilst vegetation sported herself in luxuriancy. At the extremity we were shown a seat, whence we enjoyed a view of the bridge and river, together with other objects interesting to the contemplative mind. Here we were told the doctor has sat for hours, meditating plans for private and public utility. Probably his works were here first conceived, which will cause his name to descend to posterity!
As to the person of Dr. Darwin, it may be remarked, that he somewhat resembled the late Dr. Samuel Johnson. He was unwieldy in his appearance, and his tongue seemingly too large for his mouth made it rather difficult to understand him. However, the intelligence and benevolence with which his features were lighted up in conversation, did away every unpleasant sensation which might have been excited by an apparent deformity.
The rebels, in the month of December, 1745, penetrated England as far as Derby; of course, a few strides more would have put the metropolis into their possession. This circumstance created a most unprecedented alarm throughout the whole country. The well-affected, of every description, 236
RETURN TO NOTTINGHAM. were up in arms to resist these invaders, and the dissenters, at this turbulent period, were distinguished for their zeal and loyalty.. Dr. Doddridge went about from house to house persuading young men to enlist and serve on this occasion. But happily the rebels, divided in their councils, and perplexed in their measures, soon retreated back to Scotland with precipitation. The Duke of Cumberland, who at this critical time was fighting in Germany, returned to England, followed them to the Highlands, and defeated them on Culloden Moor, near Inverness, on Wednesday the 16th of April, 1746. Horrible was the carnage of that day, and it is to be regretted, that after so entire a victory the scaffolds should have streamed with blood. By the suppression of this rebellion, however, which lasted nine long months, during which period the royal troops were twice routed, (at Preston Pans, and at Falkirk,) the inhabitants of this highly favoured island were relieved from the apprehensions of a sullen and unrelenting tyranny.
We now bade adieu to Derby, and arrived at Arnold, near Nottingham, about nine in the evening. * After an absence of four days, in which we travelled near one hundred and fifty miles, we returned safe, though fatigued, into the bosom of a family, where we were received with congratulations. Nor can I omit expressing my obligation to Mr. S. and also to his eldest son, (now a re
* This is a small village, and had at that time for its curate the Rev. William Bingley, author of many excellent publications, especially on Natural History,
RETURN TO NOTTINGHAM. 237 spectable young Minister of the established church) who accompanied me, for their attention to a plan transmitted them by a worthy relative of theirs, the Rev. Mr. W—n, of Highbury Place, Islinglon, whom I have the honour to rank among my friends. By these means I was enabled to perform my journey with satisfaction.*
Flattering myself that you, my young friend, may find some little novelty in this part of my excursion,
I remain, yours, &c.
* The Rev. Hugh WORTHINGTON, latterly removed to Northampton Square, where dying in 1813, his remains were conveyed to Bunhill-fields for interment, followed by eighteen mourning coaches! He had been near 40 years the eloquent Pastor of the Presbyterian Congregation at Salter's Hall. He was the friend of my youth, and in my Funeral Sermon for him I paid a sincere heart-felt tribute of respect to his memory.
NOTTINGHAM ; ITS PECULIAR SITUATION ; ITS MANUFACTORY ;
TOWN-HALL; ANECDOTE OP JUDGE POWIS; CASTLE; STANDARD OF CHARLES TAE FISRT RAISED HERE; HISTORY OF ROBIN HOOD; ASHBY-DE-LA-ZOUCH ; TAMWORTH; BIRMINGHAM ; ITS MANUFACTORIES ; RIOTS IN 1791 ; ROBINSON OF CAMBRIDGE ; WASHINGTON, MEDAL OF; MECHANICAL THEATRE; JUBILEE OF SHAKESPEARE; CHARACTER OF HIS WORKS; LINES BY BEN JONSON UNDER AN ORIGINAL PORTRAIT ; APOLOGY FOR TILE DIGRÈSSION.
MY DEAR YOUNG FRIEND,. HAVING conducted you through the recesses of Derbyshire in my last letter, I will now begin with a sketch of Nottingham, and then beg you to accompany me in my route across the country down to Pontypool, in the principality of Wales.
Nottingham is a populous town, situated pleasantly on the north side of the river Trent. Its origin is not known, but from a variety of circumstances, it is, at least, as old as any place in the kingdom. At present it is of considerable extent, the streets also being broad, open, and well paved. It is remarkable that the whole town is undermined with caverns of an amazing depth, so that it is questioned whether all the buildings spread over the surface of the rock on which it stands would fill up the excavations beneath. Hence the Cellars cut in the rock are frequently as deep as the highest houses. In these subterraneous recesses is kept the fine Nottingham ale, the invigorating