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July 17.—Sunday morning, at church—Kci'8[ap<7<£] '—Afternoon at Mr. Dyott's.
Monday, July 18.—Dined at Mr. Cell's.2
Tuesday, July 19.—We went to Kedleston to see Lord Scardale's new house, which is very costly, but ill contrived—The hall is very stately, lighted by three skylights; it has two rows of marble pillars, dug, as I hear, from Langley, in a quarry of Northamptonshire; the pillars are very large and massy, and take up too much room: they were better away. Behind the hall is a circular saloon, useless, and therefore ill contrived—The corridors that join the wings to the body are mere passages through segments of circles—The state bed-chamber was very richly furnished—The dining parlour was more splendid with gilt plates than any that I have seen—There were many pictures—The grandenr was all below—The bedchambers were small, low, dark, and fitter for a prison than a house of splendour—The kitchen has an opening into the gallery, by which its heat and its fumes are dispersed over the house—There seemed in the whole more cost than judgment.—We went then to the silk mill at Derby, where I remarked a particular manner of propagating motion from a horizontal to a vertical wheel—We were desired to leave the men only two shillings—Mr. Thrale's bill at the inn for dinner was eighteen shillings and tenpence.—At night I went to Mr. Langley's, Mrs. Wood's, Captain Astle, &c.
Wednesday, July 20.—We left Ashbourn 2 and went to Buxton —Thence to Pool's Hole, which is narrow at first, but then rises into a high arch; but is so obstructed with crags, that it is difficult to walk in it—There are two ways to the end, which is, they say, six hundred and fifty yards from the mouth—They take passengers up the higher way, and bring them back the lower— The higher way was so difficult and dangerous, that, having tried it, I desisted—I found no level part.—At night we came to
1 Throughout this diary he veils his notices of his health in the learned languages.—Duppn. In one of his letters, excusing himself to Mrs. Thrale for narrating some details of his infirmities, he says, " that Dr. Lawrence used to say that medical treatises should be always in Latin.'' —Croker.
2 Mr. Cell, of Hopton Hall, the father of Sir William Cell, well known for his Topography of Troy.—Duppa.
2 It would seem, that from the 9th to the 20th, the head-quarters of the party were at Ashbouru, whence they had made the several excursions noted—Croker.
Macclesfield, a very large town in Cheshire, little known—It ha* a silk mill: it has a handsome church, which, however, is but a chapel, for the town belongs to some parish of another name [Prestbury], as Stourbridge lately did to Old Swinford—Macclesfield has a town-hall, and is, I suppose, a corporate town.
Thursday, My 21.—We came to Congleton, where there is likewise a silk mill—Then to Middlewich, a mean old town, without any manufacture, but, I think, a corporation—Thence we proceeded to Namptwich, an old town: from the inn, I saw scarcely any but black timber houses—I tasted the brine water, which contains much more salt that the sea water—By slow evaporation, they make large crystals of salt; by quick boiling, small granulations—It seemed to have no other preparation. At evening we came to Combermere' so called from a wide lake.
Friday, July 22.—We went upon the mere—I pulled a bulrush of about ten feet—I saw no convenient boats upon the mere.
Saturday, July 23.—We visited Lord Kilmorey's house2—It is large and convenient, with many rooms, none of which are magnificently spacious—The furniture was not splendid—The bedcurtains were guarded2—Lord Kilmorey1 showed the place with too much exultation—He has no park, and little water.
Sunday, July 24.—We went to a chapel, built by Sir Lynch Cotton for his tenants—It is consecrated, and therefore, I suppose, endowed—It is neat and plain—The communion plate is handsome—It has iron pales and gates of great elegance, brought from Lleweney, "for Robert has laid all open." 5
[Monday, July 25.]—We saw Hawkestone, the seat of Sir Rowland Hill, and were conducted by Miss Hill over a large tract of rocks and woods; a region abounding with striking scenes and terrific grandeur. We were always on the brink of a precipice, or at the foot of a lofty rock; but the steeps were seldom naked:
1 At this time the seat of Sir Lynch Salusbury Cotton, now of Lord Combermere, his grandson, from- which place he takes his title. It stands on the site of an old abbey of Benedictine monks. The lake, or mere, is about three quarters of a mile long, but of no great width.— Dvppa.
* Shavington Hall, in Shropshire.—Ditppa.
'Probably guarded from wear or accident by being covered with some inferior material; or, perhaps, as Mr. Lockhart suggests, trimmed with lace—an old meaning of the word guarded.—Croker.
* John Needham, tenth Viscount Kilmorey.—Croker.
* Robert was the eldest son of Sir Lynch Salusbury Cotton, and lived at Lleweney at this time.—Duppa.
in many places, oaks of uncommon magnitude shot up from the crannies of stone; and where there were not tall trees, there were underwoods and bushes. Round the rocks is a narrow patch cut upon the stone, which is very frequently hewn into steps; but art has proceeded no further than to make the succession of wonders safely accessible. The whole circuit is somewhat laborious: it is terminated by a grotto cut in a rock to a great extent, with many windings, and supported by pillars, not hewn into regularity, but such as imitate the sports of nature, by asperities and protuberances. The place u without any dampness, and would afford an habitation not uncomfortable. There were from space to space seats in the rock. Though it wants water, it excels Dovedale by the extent of its prospects, the awfulness of its shades, the horrors of its precipices, the verdure of its hollows, and the loftiness of its rocks: the ideas which it forces upon the mind are the sublime, the dreadful, and the vast. Above is inaccesible altitude, below is horrible profundity; but it excels the garden of Ham only in extent. Ham has grandeur, tempered with softness; the walker congratulates his own arrival at the place, and is grieved to think that he must ever leave it. As he looks up to the rocks, his thoughts are elevated; as he turns his eyes on the valleys, he is composed and soothed. He that mounts the precipices at Hawkestone wonders how he came thither, and doubts how he shall return. His walk is an adventure, and his departure an escape. He has not the tranquillity, but the horror, of solitude; a kind of turbulent pleasure, between fright and admiration. Ham is the fit abode of pastoral virtue, and might properly diffuse its shades over nymphs and swains. Hawkestone can have no fitter inhabitants than giants of mighty bone and bold emprise; men of lawless courage and heroic violence. Hawkestone should be described by Milton, and Ham by Parnell.—Miss Hill showed the whole succession of wonders with great civility. The house was magnificent compared with the rank of the owner.
Tuesday, July 26.—We left Combermere, where we have been treated with great civility—Sir L. is gross, the lady weak and ignorant—The house is spacious, but not magnificent; built at different times, with different materials; part is of timber, part of stone or brick, plastered and painted to look like timber—It is the best house that ever I saw of that kind—The mere, or lake, is large, with a small island, on which there is a summerhouse, shaded with great trees; 9ome were hollow, and have seats in their trunks.—In the afternoon we came to West-Chester; (my father went to the fair when I had the small-pox.) We walked round the walls,1 which are complete, and contain one mile three quarters, and one hundred and one yards; within them are many gardens: they are very high, and two may walk very commodiously side by side—On the inside is a rail—There are towers from space to space, not very frequent, and I think not all complete.
Wednesday, July 27.—We staid at Chester and saw the cathedral, which is not of the first rank—The castle. In one of the rooms the assizes are held, and the refectory of the old abbey, of which part is a grammar-school—The master seemed glad to see me—The cloister is very solemn; over it are chambers in which the singing men live—In one part of the street was a subterranean arch, very strongly built; in another, what they called, I believe rightly, a Roman hypocaust—Chester has many curiosities.
Thursday, July 28.—We entered Wales, dined at Mould, and came to Lleweney.*
Friday, July 29.—We were at Lleweney—In the lawn at Lleweney is a spring of fine water, which rises above the surface into a stone basin, from which it runs to waste, in a continual stream, through a pipe—There are very large trees—The hall at Lleweney is forty feet long, and twenty-eight broad—The diningparlours thirty-six feet long, and twenty-six broad—It is partly sashed, and partly has casements.
Saturday, July 30.—We went to Bach y Graig,3 where we found
1 It would seem that a quarrel between Johnson and Mrs. Thrale took place at Chester, for she writes to Mr. Duppa—" Of those ill-fated walls I)r. Johnson might have learned the extent from any one. He has since put me fairly out of countenance by saying, i I have known my mistress fifteen years, and never saw her fairly out of humour but on Chester wall;' it was because he would keep Miss Thrale beyond her hour of going to bed to walk on the wall, where, from the want of light, I apprehended some accident to her—perhaps to him."—Piozzi MS.—Croker.
3 Lleweney-hall, as I have already observed, was the residence of Robert Cotton, Esq., Mrs. Thrale's cousin-german. Here Mr. and Mrs. Thrale and Dr. Johnson staid three weeks, making visits and short excursions in the neighbourhood and surrounding country.— Croker.
3 This was the mansion-house of the estate which had fallen to Mrs. Thrale, and was the cause of this visit to Wales. Incredible as it may appear, it is certain that this lady imported from Italy a nephew of Piozzi's, and, making him assume her maiden name of Saltisbury, bequeathed to an old house, built 1567, in an uncommon and incommodious form—My mistress chattered about tiring, but I prevailed on her to go to the top—The floors have been stolen: the windows are stopped—The house was less than I seemed to expect—The river Clwyd is a brook with a bridge of one arch, about one third of a mile1—The woods have many trees, generally young; but some which seem to decay—They have been lopped—The house never had a garden—The addition of another story would make an useful house, but it cannot be great—Some buildings which Clough, the founder, intended for warehouses, would make storechambers and servants' rooms—The ground seems to be good—I wish it well.
Sunday, July 31.—We went to church at St. Asaph—The cathedral, though not large, has something of dignity and grandeur —The cross aisle is very short—It has scarcely any monuments —The quire has, I think, thirty-two stalls of antique workmanship—On the backs were Canonicus, Prebend, Cancellarius, Thesaurarius, Praecentor—The constitution I do not know, but it has all the usual titles and dignities—The service was sung only in the Psalms and Hymns—The bishop [Dr. Shipley] was very civil —We went to his palace, which is but mean—They have a library, and design a room—There lived Lloyd and Dodwell.2
Monday, August 1.—We visited Denbigh, and the remains of its castle—The town consists of one main street, and gome that cross it, which I have not seen—The chief street ascends with a quick rise for a great length: the houses are built some with rough stone, some with brick, and a few are of timber—The castle, with its whole enclosure, has been a prodigious pile; it is now so ruined that the form of the inhabited part cannot easily be traced—There are, as in all old buildings, said to be extensive vaults, which the ruins of the upper works cover and conceal, but into which boys sometimes find a way—To clear all passages, and trace the whole of what remains, would require much labour and expense—-We saw a church, which was once the chapel of the castle, but is used by the town: it is dedicated to St. Hilary, and has an income of about . At a small distance is the ruin
this foreigner (if she did not give it in her life-time) this ancient patrimonial estate, to the exclusion of her own children.— Croker.
1 Meaning, probably, one third of a mile from the house.—Croker.
a Lloyd was raised to the see of St. Asaph in 1680. He was one of the seven bishops. He died Bishop of Worcester, Aug. 30,1717.—Dodwell was a man of extensive learning, and an intimate friend of Lloyd.—Duppa.