BLTC Press Titles


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The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois


Vanity Fair

William Thackery


Letters on the Aesthetical Education of Man

Friedrich Schiller


The Bhagavad Gita

Anonymous


Journal of a tour through North Wales and part of Shropshire; with observations in mineralogy, and other branches of natural history. By Arthur Aikin

by Arthur Aikin

Excerpt:

or more abrupt tranfitlons of one fpecies of rock into another. To fee the whole procefs, alfo, of mining; of extracting the ore, reducing, refining, and manufacturing it, was one of my chief agenda.

The meafure of my fuccefs on thefe points muft be eftimated by the reader, who I truft will have the candour to make thofe allowances which *the extent and difficulty of the fubje<5b, added to the fhortnefs of the time which I was able to allot to thefe obfervations, necefikrily demands. I fhall be unfortunate, if, in mentioning the great name of Saufiure, I fuggeft any comparifon in the mind of the reader, between the elaborate performances of that eminent mineralogift and the prefent humble publication; yet I think it right to obferve, that the perufal of the Voyages

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dans Us dlpes, fuggefted to me the idea of a tour into Wales upon fomething of a fimilar plan; and I have been not a little pleafed in verifying among the Welfh hills fome of the general obfervations laid down by Sauflure as the refult of his arduous journies among the fnows of the Alps.

• The greater part however of this little volume is taken up with a defcription of the principal of thofe fcenes of beauty and grandeur which are fcattered fo profufely through North Wales. It would have been eafy, by increafing the felection of fcenes, to have enlarged the book; I am not certain however, that by fo doing I fhould not have rather wearied than gratified the reader. In the following pages the charaReriftic features of Welfh landfcape are defcribed A 4- in in a great variety of combinations 5 and in thefe, their intrinfic excellence will, I doubt not, atone for the occafional errors of the pencil with which they have been traced. A mere outline of an interefting objecb is itfelf interefting; but it requires the creative hand of a profefled artift, by the fkilful combination and contraft of light and fhadow, to convert a cottage or rude ftonequarry into a beautiful landfcape.

I have faid very little of the manners of the Welfh, and I perceive that it would have been an advantage had I been ablei to have given a more copious account of them; but the requifite knowledge of a fufficient number of circumftances from which to deduce a national character is not to be acquired without long refidence and much intercourfe with the inhabitants:

it

it is not to be gleaned in a hafty excurfion through a country, where its language, and the general fhynefs and fufpicion which the natives difcover towards the Englifh, or, to ufe their own word, Saxons, oppofe obftacles which only time and perfeverance can overcome. It is true indeed that in moft of the towns the Englifh language is familiarly fpoken; but with the adoption of a foreign language, foreign manners and fentiments have been introduced, and what remains of the proper Welfii character is to be found only in the faftnefles round Snowdon, or the wilds of Merioneth.

For the important chapter on the woollen manufactures of North Wales, I am indebted to a friend, whofe perfonal acquaintance with the fubjecl: may be depended upon.

Mineralogy

Mineralogy being one of the chief objects of this tour, it was neceflary to perform it on foot; and from experience of its advantages over any other mode of travelling in this mountainous country, I would warmly recommend it to all whole ftrength will allow them to make ufe of it. On foot a man feels perfectly at eafe and independent; he may deviate from the road to climb any mountain, or defcend to any torrent that attracts his notice; whereas on horfeback in many cafes this is impoffible, and feveral of the moft ftriking fcenes can only be vifited on foot.

A map and compafs are articles of the firft neceffity in traverfing a country where the inhabitants are fo thinly fcattered, and the roads frequently fo obfcure that the courfe of the ftreams is generally the fureft dire&ion. The map that we made ufe of 8' is is a large nine Iheet one publifhed about three years ago by the late Mr: Evans; it was pafted on canvas, and folded up into fingle fheets for the conveniency of carriage. Of this map it is not eafy to Ipeak too highly. Every turning of the road, every winding of every rivulet, is laid down with the moft fcrupulous exaclnefs, and the plan of every mountain is given with fuch minute accuracy, that a perfon converfant with the forms of mountains may, by a bare infpection of the map, diftinctly trace the courfe of the primitive, fecondary, and limeftone ridges through the whole of North Wales. Of this map an imprefiion has lately been publifhed of the reduced fize of a fingle Iheet, which will anfwer the purpofes of moft travellers as well as the larger one.


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