ID: 0013 [see the .xml file]
Identifier: NLW MS 22190B
Editors: Edited with an introduction by Elizabeth Edwards
Cite: 'Journal of a tour from Clapton through North Wales to Ireland ' edited with an introduction by Elizabeth Edwards in Curious Travellers Digital Editions [editions.curioustravellers.ac.uk/doc/0013]

The following journal of a tour through North Wales taken in the Spring of 1802 was written by my [page torn] Mary Anne, & was intended for the amusement of her sister Elinor.1 Alas! How little we can count upon happiness in this world! How rich in comfort was I at the period when these pages were written! How different is my present condition. Death! Thou hast made a void, thou hast inflicted a wound, which neither time can fill, nor physician heal. Of the short period which it pleased God to alot [sic] for my union in this world with one of the most perfect of his creatures, I reflect upon no portion with more satisfaction, than the few weeks which occupy this tour. I was happy in being her instant companion, in the opportunity which it afforded of observing in her new traits of character, in discovering fresh beauties of mind, & in the certainty of the pleasure which she derived from it – It now appears

like a pleasing vision, impress’d indeed strongly upon the imagination, but without reality – – – This Book is in right the property of my sister-in-law Eliza Vaux, but a conversation which occur’d relative to it a few evenings before the melancholy decease of my beloved Wife, added to the particular interest I feel in it, from having participated the pleasures [sic] it recites, had so endear’d it to me, that she will I am sure pardon me that I do not yeild [sic] it to her – I beg that after my death it may be deliver’d to her –

March 1803 William Eade

Journal of our Excursion to Dublin 1802

Set out from Clapton 14 May

returned – 19 June

In addressing this following little journal of our intended tour my dearest Eliza, to you, I shall but follow your example, in the very entertaining one, you dedicated to me when you visited Swansea.2 I despair indeed of rendering mine as delightful as I found yours to be, yet it will now fall to my lot to explore the other division of that beautiful principality with which you were so much charmed. I trust you will find some pleasure in contrasting my account of the wild grandeur of its northern mountains with the more softened graces of its southern beauties. In writing this account

the idea of my beloved Eliza will give spirit to my employment, & I shall not merely excuse it, as a task for which the reward must be future, when by its aid I shall retrace those lovely scenes which else would fade from my remembrance, but as one from which I shall received immediate gratification & as I relate every effect of sublimity & describe every touch of beauty, the idea of affording amusement & pleasure to my darling sister, will I hope give as much animation to my language as it will delight to my heart: & if you, my inspiring goddess fail to answer my invocation, the blame of my defects must lay upon yourself; the powerless muse, & not the suppliant

writer must be censured –

Alas! my dear Eliza & is it thus then, is it merely in imagination that you can now be my companion in that loved time for ever fled when our hours of bliss & mornings of sorrow were mutually enjoyed or mutually soothed – and is it I who lament, who was the cause of our seperation [sic] – how strangely are our feelings mixt since I can at the same time sorrow at our seperation [sic], & yet rejoice in its cause; at least my Eliza believe that the memory of our happy early hours will never be effaced from my recollection, nor the strong tie of affection which they formed be torn from my heart. But I forget it was not to tell you how I love you that I took up my

pen; it was to relate that of which you are ignorant, not to remind you of what you know: I quit therefore this seducing theme & begin a less attractive one my journal.

This morning then friday the 14 of May, with heavy hearts we quitted Clapton at a quarter past nine. The expected pleasures of our journey so often anticipated with delight, were at this morning anticipated no more, for all idea of future gratification was lost in the acuter feelings of regret with which both William & myself bade a long farewell to our darling boy – But we had not much time for the indulgence of melancholy, [illegible] a singular adventure, which promised but a disastrous commencement to our journey

forcibly diverted our thoughts. We had passed the Stamford Hill turnpike & had proceeded some way down the first lane leading to Hornsey where we perceived that we were not followed by Benjamin; we had left him paying the toll, & therefore supposing he was detained at the gate we waited quietly enough some time for his appearance – but he did not appear. We now remembered that our rout [sic] had not been particularly mentioned to him, & with some alarm hastened back to the high road, here as we did not see him we became conscious he must have pursued it, & hoping he would return on finding he did not overtake us we rode slowly on to meet him; this however

proved a fruitless hope, & on hearing he had been seen two miles further on galloping full speed to Edmonton, we gave up all idea of meeting him again for this day, even if we had the good fortune to see him before we reached Holyhead. We returned therefore to the turnpike & left our rout [sic] with the man there, & then again pursued our way down the lane sometimes laughing at our own folly in omitting to give him a direction & at others deploring its provoking consequences – Fortunately however his spruce appearance at a distance made the laugh predominant; for not being able to learn any thing of us he had turnd [sic] down one of the other lanes to extend his search of us as now in

despair returning in hopes of information to the turnpike. Thus again a united party we proceeded with reviving spirits, but shivering limbs, for the morning which at first was cold, & only cheered by an uncertain sun, now became more & more gloomy; & soon after we had ascended Muzzle-hill [sic] our evil genius again assaild [sic] us in form of a fall of snow:

“And we poor souls! with small delight”

“Beheld the strange unusual sight.”

most strange indeed and most unusual in the middle of the month of May. Happily we were resolved to be pleased, & this resolution has in itself half the sources of pleasure, & therefore by its aid we contrived to find a good share of it in our ride thro Highgate & Finchly to

Watford, in spite of the snow which fell at intervals all the morning. A part of this ride brought our Cambridge expedition & my dear Eliza to my mind: the scene seemed to mourn your absence with me, for nothing could form a much stronger contrast with its former appearance than what it now wore. In vain I sought for the glowing radiance, which a cloudless sky had cast around when we last visited it, in vain I wished for one cheering ray, of that bright sun, that then cast his hottest beams upon us; the pitiless storms, wrapt half the beauties of the country in obscurity; & the “bitter piercing air”4 numbed our every feeling; & nothing but our before mention’d resolution could have brought us

in good spirits to Watford where we waited. The day somewhat improved on us when we left this place, from whence to [?Hunton] Bridge the country continues to be very pretty, as you pass Cashiobury & Grove Parks the two beautiful seats of the Earls of Essex & Clarendon, opposite the latter is Russel Farm, a sweet place belonging to Lady Keppel5 – From Hunton Bridge thro’ King’s Langley to Berk Hempstead [sic] the ride is flat and uninteresting, running along the Grand Junction channell [sic], which carries all the works of industry from Manchester to London. At Berk Hampstead ended our first day’s journey, for there we took a late dinner & slept; the place was not very pretty in itself, but the country around it has all the peculiar features of the Hertfordshire

scenery, & of course therefore is very pretty; between dinner & tea we took a walk down a shaddy [sic] lane, which as the evening was now clear, & the setting sun, gave us a “farewell sweet,” ere he sunk to rest; was sufficiently inviting: from thence we got into some cornfields, & at the expence of a little trespass found our way back to our Inn The King’s Arms. At this Inn which is small, but tolerably clean & comfortable, we were shewn the method of plaiting the split straw, which is, a simple, & very profitable manufacture.

Saturday the 15. We were awoke this morning by the sunbeams peeping into our room & inviting us to pursue our plan of taking an early stage by the cheering promise of their exhilarating company; we obeyed the summons, & were well repaid by

a sweet ride, as far as Aston Clinton; we went as far indeed to Aylesbury to breakfast but the beauty of the ride did not extend beyond this village – till within about two miles of it, the road is delightful, & adorned with several sweet parks of which Tring Park the seat of Mr Drummond Smith appears to most advantage from the road. About the above mentioned distance from Aston Clinton the face of the country entirely changed; the sweet enclosures of Hertfordshire, its gently swelling hills, its beautiful hedges, its luxuriant cultivation & the frequent tho’ small woods that every where give variety as to its scenes; entirely disappeared; & were succeeded by open & extensive prospects, which could boast of little richness or interest; this village in itself is extremely pretty

& the situation & appearance of the Inn is so very inviting we regretted that we had not slept there; it was at this village we entered Buckinghamshire. We breakfasted at the George at Aylesbury, which appeared to be a very good Inn. It was market day which gave the town a cheerful animation, which lent it some attraction, of which at other times it does not seem to possess much. The market seemed to be chiefly a poultry one of which we saw great quantities, particularly ducks for which we were told they were famous; they are very successful in rearing the early broods, & as the London markets are principally supplied with them from this place, the price was extravagant.

Nothing of consequence occurred between Aylesbury and Buckingham the country was open & great part [sic] of it was heath, tho’ in many places they were inclosing for arable land; & planting it with hedges, which in this part of the country ^are scarce, the division of property being merly [sic] straight lines of grass, as in the isle of Thanet. On entering the Cobham arms at Buckingham we ordered dinner & a post chaise, in which while the former was preparing we went to see Stowe, the seat of the Marquis of Buckingham; we were however obliged to content ourselves with seeing the gardens to-day, as we had not much time & ^as the weathered seemed fair & we doubted if we delayed walking over them now, what the morrow

would bring forth. These justly celebrated Gardens pleased me extremely, & I was astonished how human art could produce so many beauties: to nature they were indebted for nothing but space, & one large level was formerly the sum of their attractions. But Capability Brown appeared & at his word, the gentle eminences were bid to swell; the waters were called forth from their hidden caverns & forced to flow in one beautiful expanse; while all the fair variety of vegetation “from the lofty cedar, to the lowliest herb were shown their proper station & there taught to flourish. I doubt not my dear Eliza that there are many gardens more beautiful than those of Stowe

but I think the number must be small were [sic] nature has done so little, & art so much. Throughout the whole grounds numerous edifices are erected in situations were [sic] their effect will be most stricking [sic]; those which pleased me most were the Gothic Temple of the Pillar erected to the memory of Ld: Cobham both which we ascended the latter is 115 feet high; & the view from the top is well worth seeing, as it commands the whole of the gardens. A heavy shower of rain, which unexpectedly overtook us, obliged us to hasten our return to the George ^ Cobham Arms (an excellent Inn) were [sic] we quietly remained for the rest of the day. Buckingham appears to be a clean pleasant town, without any thing very stricking [sic]; the situation

of the church is singular it is built on a hill in the midst of the town, the summit of which is but a little higher than the tops of the houses that nearly encircle it; this summit forms a square church-yard, part of which is a public promenade, where we & the rest of the congregation walked the next morning before service began: thus passed our third wedding-day!

Sunday the 16. We went as soon as we had breakfasted to the Church, were [sic] we heard the prayers very badly read, & then listened to a sermon on the Conversion of St Paul, as different my dear Eliza to the one we were once so very delighted with, as you can well imagine. After it was concluded we again went to Stowe to see the house: It is a

most noble structure, & conveys an idea of magnificence worthy of the rank of its owner; I was extremely struck with it yesterday when I had merely seen the external of the building, & I was glad to find the interior grandeur did not disgrace it: the entrance into a most elegant saloon is strickingly [sic] beautiful, & pleased me beyond any thing of the kind I had ever seen: the roof which is exquisitely carved is supported by beautiful [?composition] pillars, in the recesses between which are statues of the Apollo, Antinuos [sic], Venus &c: which unfortunately are now partly mutilated, & in others are elegant braziers, by which the saloon is heated.6 None of the other apartments pleased me as much as this, yet there are many of them

truly splendid particularly the music room7 which is painted with great taste & enriched with a great deal of fine guilding [sic]: the room called the white apartment from the furniture which is white Sattin [sic], is entirely hung with lady Buckingham’s paintings; & many of them are delightfully executed; in the one of the drawings ^rooms also were some extremely fine pictures by the ancient masters, some of which I admired extremely. It is impossible to particularize all the apartments, those hung with tapestry were very rich, & the state bed-room also is very splendid, & has in it two small light closets one hung with some charming cabinet pictures, & the other decorated with Chinese

rareties of all sorts, all these apartments including the library form one grand suite, & the effect when all the doors are thrown open is uncommonly magnificent, extending the whole length of the building which is 170 feet. Unfortunately we saw it to its great disadvantage as the house is undergoing some alterations, & the furniture was all [?down]. After all that I have said of Stowe, you will be surprized to hear that it is a place I never wish to see again, the labour of decoration & the wish to astonish, seems every where (tho’ infinitely less so in the house than in the grounds) so evident, that tho’ the eye is gratified, the mind is dissatisfied, & wishes for a something beyond what it finds; that something which the un[illegible] graces of nature would instantly have

afforded, here the power & the poorness of art seem both fully displayed; you are astonished it can do so much, yet you sigh that it can do no more.

From Stowe we went on to Banbury a market town in Oxfordshire, & passed in a ride of fifteen miles and a half thro’ three different counties Bucks: Northampton: & Oxon; yet we saw but little variety in the country, excepting that the last six miles were rather more enclosed & woody & consequently pleasanter: however the comparative warmth of the evening made us enjoy our ride very much. Banbury is a place of much trade, & tho’ ^rather large there is not a person it [sic] who lives on his fortune; ^they are all traders manufacturers or farmers our landlord of the Red Lion (a tolerable Inn) has himself a farm of 1000 acres

& is a miller, or a maltster, a brewer, & a large importer & vendor of foreign wines. William liked the place, & the church, I thought them both dull, the latter is built of a dark colored stone which was very ugly in my eyes, but I believe that I took a sort of prejudice against the place tho’ I don’t know wherefore; the only thing I saw in the place that I liked, was a mortal man called Capt: Hill8 of the Oxford Blues; the sight of whom called so pleasant a train of recollection to my mind, that they communicated a degree of bienveillance to himself, what they were your own memory dear Ely will tell you, with more distinctness than I could name them.

Monday 17 After breakfasting at Banbury we proceeded thro’ Gaydon Inn to Warwick

our ride had nothing very pleasant to boast of; the country for the most part flat & insipid, & violent hail storms with accompanying cold northerly winds, rendered it still more disagreeable; we had now entered Warwickshire, for some miles for the first place in it is Warmington Church about five miles from Banbury, but we found no change in the scenery till we approached Warwick itself, towards which as we advanced our country & our weather gradually improved, till the beautiful grounds of Warwick castle opened on our left, & conducted us over a fine bridge on the Avon; to the town. Nothing can be more beautiful or more stricking [sic] than the entrance to Warwick; the noble castle 9 (the seat of the Earl of Warwick) first meets the eye on the left raising its frowning battlements, &

ivy-crowned turrets in venerable majesty, & almost in the same moment the charming spires of St Mary’s Church, of the Free school & the Priory becomes conspicuous & form an assemblage of fine objects, which filled us with still greater delight, as it was quite unexpected; the town on entering it we found also a very pretty one.10 As we intended dining here we filled up the interval of preparation, by a nearer view of the object of our distant admiration, the fine old Castle: nothing can my dear Eliza inspire more delightful sensations than the examination of these beautiful remains of ancient magnificence; its present lord has considerably embellished & improved it, attending strictly in all he has done to it, to the preservation of that imposing air of age & grandeur

which is its distinguishing characteristic: Yet the apartments tho’ retaining all their ancient magnificence are not devoid of modern cheerfulness; the floors & wainscoats [sic] are of inlaid & carved oak; & many of the rooms are decorated with delightful pictures by the most celebrated masters of the various schools of Europe; many of these I longed for you to see, as I am sure you would have been charmed with them. When you were tired of gazing on these admirable representations of nature, I would have led you to the window, & there shown you a scene where the “mighty mother” herself as if in mockery of her finest copiists [sic], made a lavish display of her inimitable graces; The beautiful Avon rolls its silvery tide at the foot of the Castle, & just under the window there is a kind of fall, where

the remains of the ancient drawbridge are still to be seen; which adds to the beauty of the scene & beyond is a rich & charming view. With reluctance we left it to see the armoury, where all the arms of the valiant now uselessly repose; I was astonished how their massive weight could ever have been supported; but early habit undoubtedly made them comparatively light. William as he viewed them felt an heroic ardour seize him, & wished himself a hero of those times, or the redoubtable Guy himself; & I half fancied myself one of those noble dames, whose slightest favor [sic] was held by those unconquered heros [sic], dear almost as the honor’s [sic] of knight-hood; & we both envied the illustrious descendants of this illustrious time; how can the successors of names long famed, disgrace the noble ancestry

they claim! From the sort of reverie we were thus thrown into we were soon recalled, by the vulgar opperation of eating dinner, after which we visited a scene of a very different nature a manufactory of Worsted yarn: one of the partners in it, a Mr Crumpton,11 was a schoolfellow of Williams & very politely showed it us himself. It is a manufactory on the same principal as the cotton ones performed in part by spinning Jennys;12 the whole (or very nearly so) from the first washing of the wool as it comes from the sheep, to the last winding of the worsted on the bobbins is performed by a most curious & complicated machinery all worked by a steam engine: I was extremely pleased by it, but regretted very much my entire ignorance of the mechanic powers, which made it leave a confussion in my head, which I found some

difficulty in reducing to order. Seeing this manufactory took us up [sic] so long a time, we could not reach Birmingham as we intended tonight but were obliged to content ourselves with the best accommodations we could meet with at the poor village of Knowle; those we found at the Mermaid Inn were just tolerable, but no more.

Tuesday 18 We arose early & got to Birmingham to breakfast before nine o’ clock, I was rather better pleased with this town than I expected, tho’ certainly it is a vile dirty place; but I spent so pleasant a day here, I was inclined to be pleased with every thing. William was acquainted with a young merchant here, of the name of Hunt; who came to us the moment he heard of our arrival, & with the greatest kindness & attention gave up the whole day to shewing [sic] us the curiosities of the town.

Thro’ his assistance we saw the Whip, the Pin & Clay’s Manufactory13 with all of which we were extremely entertained, the ^two former I think you saw at Gloucester, & know therefore how simple yet curious they are; the latter you can easily imagine for after the paper has once acquired the thickness required which is often that of an inch, & which is merely performed by pasting one sheet upon another & drying them well; the rest is exactly the same, as the shop of a cabinet maker as it will bear to be used in the same manner as wood entirely. After satisfying our curiosity at these places we walked to Soho, which is some distance from the town, hoping to see Mr Bolton’s various works,14 unfortunately the men were all at dinner when we arrived, tho’ we had hastened ourselves on their account; however Mr

Hunt assured us we lost very little, as they have at this time very little employment, & consequently there is not much to be seen; the workmen are also chiefly employed on the Steam Engine patent which I think I understood was not shown. We were however amply repaid for our walk, by a sight of Mr Egerton’s paintings on glass,15 which are infinitely more beautiful than any thing of the kind I had any idea of; it is a totally different art from the old one, & in my opinion far superior to it; it has not indeed that matchless richness of coloring [sic] possess’d by its predecessors, but the beauties of softness, & the charming effects of light & shade, more than compensate for that; of these the old paintings possessed nothing; & instead of those “shapes which shape had none,”16 which their art produced all the elegance of grecian symetry [sic]

& costume are here displayed with as much grace as on canvas. This art was quite new to me, & therefore struck me exceedingly, but you may have an idea of it, as William informs me the celebrated window in New College Chapel which you have seen, is in the same stile [sic] & that Egerton is even surpassed by Jarvis, but this ’till I see I cannot help doubting. From hence we all returned to the Swan Inn to dinner, this is mentioned by Cary as the first Inn,17 but we were sorry that we had follow’d him in coming to it, as we found both Lloyd’s Hotel, & ‘The Hotel’18 were far superior to it, as our accodations [sic] were certainly not more than pretty good, by no means first rate. Harry Hunt dined with us, he is very lively agreeable young man & made our meal a very pleasant one; We drank tea at his mother [sic] on the Crescent: & found her a

most captivating woman; I must use that expression, altho she can no longer boast the bloom or the graces of youth, for neither will sufficiently describe the charm of her manners. I scarcely ever was more pleased with any one at first sight, or spent a pleasanter evening; her sister who lives with them is also a very agreeable woman, tho’ much inferior to Mrs Hunt, of whom to give you some idea I need only say she reminded me of the dear Mrs LeMesurier;19 they were all extremely friendly & pressed us very much to lengthen our stay with them, which we refused with reluctance: & took leave of them after a sociable supper: the pleasures of this day were much encreased by good news of our treasure at home.

Wednesday 19. We had a post chaise this morning to the Brades, where we went to breakfast at

an uncle of Mr Hunts [sic], who has some large Ironworks here which he offered to show us;20 the Brades are at some miles distant from Birmingham, & nearer to Dudley. Here we were received with the same hospitable kindness we yesterday met with both by Mr & Mrs Hunt & a young lady who was on a visit there went with us over the works. The sight of them was truly astonishing, but I must own they filled me with as much terror as wonder: the deafening noise occasioned by the stupendous wheels, which worked the still more formidable hammers, the bars of red-hot iron which the men were continuously running to and fro with in all directions, & the innumerable sparks that flew all round, made the scene perfectly horrific; it is not in my power to give you

an idea of the magnitude of these works, the thing for which they are most celebrated is cast steel for which Mr Hunt has a patent. Nothing can convey so adequate an idea of the surprizing force of steam there as the sight of them for they are all set in motion by a Steam Engine of great magnitude & power. When we had taken leave of this friendly family we went on thro Dudley to Wolverhampton were [sic] we met Benjamin & the horses who had been sent there over night: it was fortunate for us our morning ride was in a close [sic] carriage for it was the worst we have had; the rain had fell heavily all the way to the Brades but such was the excessive cold it was not able to melt the snow which had fallen in the night & which in some places was full three inches thick; towards noon however the sun showed his resplendant [sic] visage, & clouds

& coldness fled before his powerful influence, & thus cheered we agained [sic] placed ourselves in the chair, & had a sweet ride to the Iron Bridge Colebro^oke Dale. The country which from the time we left Wolverhampton had been extremely pretty, grew more & more so as we approached the beautiful Dale, which fully deserves its celebrity: in the Iron bridge21 I was rather disappointed, I had heard too much of it, or this would not have been the case; for had my ideas been rather more moderate they would have been gratified for certainly it is very handsome. Here we saw the smelting of the iron the first process it undergoes; it is in this state Mr Hunt receives it, & every other process to its formation into implements of husbandry &c. we had seen there. After dinner we took a delightful stroll thro’ some beautiful public walks the property of Mr Reynolds, who keeps them

in order pro ^bono public, the evening was sweet & we fully enjoyed it, & tired ourselves sufficiently to enjoy “tired nature’s sweet restorer,” 22 at the Tontine Inn which is, a very nice one.

Thursday 21 We breakfasted at the Iron Bridge as William wished to descend one of the neighbouring Coal Pitts [sic], the one he went down was 400 feet deep but his descriptions of it on his return did not make me regret its being one of the things I could not see, indeed he owned it is one of those that it is pleasanter to have seen that to see. We set off after breakfast with a warm & promising morning, tho’ the mists that hung on the hills obscured the prospect & made us a little doubtful of the issue of the day, we had not however present cause to complain of it; at Colebrook is another iron bridge, of a later structure, I prefered [sic] it to the

old one as being lighter, more simple & more elegant, & a little beyond are the ruins of an old Abbey which are very beautiful: our ride from hence to Shrewsbury was the lovliest [sic] we have had; the charming hills of this beautiful country, finely wooded & rich in cultivation, crowned by the majestic Rekin, the highest of them all formed a noble back ground to the various views, while all the way the winding Severn & the humbler Tern adorned the nearer ground. On the right of Atcham we passed Attingham House the noble seat of Ld. Berwick, & a little further the more modest residence of Robert Burton Junr: Esqr: one of the sweetest spots I ever saw, & the one I preferred to all we passed tho’ this country is full of them. At Shrewsbury we stopped to wait at the Lion which seemed to be a good Inn, & here William was tempted to purchase “the

sweetest & cheapest mare in all England,” with which bargain he filled up his time in Shrewsbury, of which town I saw very little as it began to rain immediately on our arrival & consequently I was but confined to the Inn, it appeared however to be large ancient, & indifferent pleasant. We had a rainy ride from hence to Oswestry, but my oil-silk so compleatly [sic] defended me from any ill effects of it, that I greatly enjoyed the reviving freshness it diffused, as well as the lovely country thro which we passed, which however was rather less beautiful than what we had seen in the morning. Thro’ all my ride to-day poor Bennet23 has been constantly in my thoughts; Shropshire the beloved spot of her nativity was I think often the theme of her praises, & I am sure she had cause to remember its charming

scenes with admiration.

At Oswestry we took up our quarters at the Sir Watkin Williams Wynne’s Arms a new & most excellent Inn, one of the best indeed I ever saw; & here while satisfying our appetites with two delicate roast chickens, our ears were saluted by the sweet tones of the Welch Harp; my raptures at its first soft chords was extreme for independent of its own charms, I was in extasies [sic] at the certainty it gave me that Wales, that land of wonders I had so long wished without hope to contemplate, was actually within a few miles of us: think Eliza of your feelings on a like occasion, & judge of mine! Oswestry is a very poor town the last in England, but the dress & language of the people are more than half welch; & here on the borders of another country, tho’ not another island; at the distance of 183 miles.

from the objects of my tenderest love, do you not think you were all present to my recollection? the dear remembrance of you added sweets to my repose, & my dear Eliza may be sure she was not the least thought of, tho’ the smiling image of my darling boy might dispute her claim to preeminence in my reverie.

Friday 21.st We left our comfortable inn this morning before breakfast, & I anticipated with delight our entrance into Wales, I had indeed awoken with one of Margarett’s [sic] happy feels which encreased [sic] upon me as we advanced every moment nearer & nearer to this beautiful principality: at the village of Chirk we entered it, & the scene that immediately opened on our view gave me a faint idea of its charms; the hills on every side enclosed the sweet valley of Ceriog [sic], which tho’ not very extensive, is delightful pretty a pretty [illegible] is

thrown across it which struck me the more as it was the first I had ever seen: soon after we had passed thro’ the valley we turned out of the high road to see Chirk Castle, the seat of Col:l Middleton, it is a fine old Castle & very well kept up, but after seeing Warwick it disappointed me; but the ride thro’ the park was delightful, & the view from the castle rich, romantic, & extensive it is said that seventeen counties may be seen from it. It is astonishing how soon the country changes on leaving England; I yesterday considered the hills of Shropshire as lofty & gazed on the rich country with ardent admiration, yet compared even with this entrance into Wales, the hills seem insignificant, & the country insipid. Soon after we regained the high road, we saw the

immense aqueduct which is building over the Vale of Llangollen from the Ellesmere canal, when compleat [sic] it will be a very noble work, at present it is in a very unfinished state. Since I have mentioned this celebrated valley, you will imagine my dear Eliza, that all the magic of Welch scenery was now fast opening on our view; but no imagination can form an idea half so exquisite as the prospects which continually encreased in beauty as we approached the poor village of Llangollen, poor in itself but rich in the charms of its situation. You might well tell me I could not possibly raise my expectations to a pitch suffering [?by] elevated, in thinking of Wales for though can never reach to half its beauties. The lofty mountains on each side this

exquisite valley are richly tufted with wood to the edge of the romantic Dee, which in this part gently murmurs over a pebbly bottom, frequently it can scarcely be seen to glitter thro’ the trees that overshadow its banks, & only its soothing music reveals its situation. The mountains on each side occasionally assumed a bolder character, & as if in disdain of ornament, show their rugged sides, covered only with their native rocks. Never did the heavens illuminate a lovelier morning than this, it seems sent on purpose to heighthen [sic] the charms of the scene; not one was lost on me, & no words “can paint the rapture of my soul” the whole way, I powerfully felt, that “These scenes would work my soul's eternal health,”

“And love, & gentleness, & joy impart”

At length we arrived at Llangollen

to breakfast at the Hand Inn, which gave us an agreeable foretaste of Welch accommodation, however tho’ the rooms were small & not delicately clean, the people were very civil; but of all the characters least likely to be met with in this retired part of the world, what do you think of a french valet of the old stamp? figure to yourself a being that seemed never to have been fed with more fattening provision than soup meagre, with his long chin enveloped in neck cloth, three under waistcoats, one of which was of dirty pink sattin [sic], a frill which extended far beyond them all, & a coat of green mist silk more dirty if possible than any part of his attire & you will if you add to all this bows every sixth word; & smiles at every second you will have some idea of our waiter at Llangollen; a more risible character I never beheld, & as I soon found to look at him & not laugh was beyond “all power of face” I did25

f. 22v

not make the attempt: I only wish you could have seen him when William asked if he was a welchman as with the most self complacent voice & manner he answered “Oh no Sir, this not my country”: indeed it was impossible to mistake his accent, his countenance, or his gestures. After the necessary recruit of a good breakfast we set forth on a ramble thro’ this lovely valley, we staid for some time to admire the very pretty bridge in this town over the Dee, which here dashes over a more rugged bed, & from hence it foams over large masses of rock, which adds considerably to its romantic beauty, unfortunately the long continuance of dry weather, had at this time diminished its waters extremely. From the bridge we went on to Valle Crucis abbey of which there are some very elegant remains, part of the old abbey is now converted into a farm house

but the ruins that remain in their “time decayed” state are extremely beautiful, consisting chiefly of gothic arches in many parts quite perfect, & a large & elegant carved & decorated window which reaches to the ground; the situation amidst woods & mountains of this fine old abbey adds greatly to the effect of its ruins & forms a scene that is altogether lovely.26 Near it is a very pretty summer house belonging to one of the neighbouring gentlemen, sweetly situated where dinner parties are often made. After a walk of five miles in [sic] a very hot day I was too tired to attempt climbing the steep mountain on which the ruins of Castell Dinas Brân stand; but as William wished to see them, it was agreed that I should follow a path that seemed to lead round the foot of the mountain while he scaled its heights: we parted accordingly but I soon

found that my path did not go far round the mountain, but as it was a very beatten [sic] road I concluded it led to the town, I also imagined that William must see the course of it from the mountain top & would not therefore be uneasy about me, so I resolved on pursing it; & soon found myself safe at the bridge, where I found full amusement in watching the glistening waters as they dashed along, & admiring the bewitching scenery around me. Long before I expected his return I perceived William coming down the last hill, but hastening to meet him I perceived his countenance to be so heated, I might say so inflamed I was terrified ere I heard him speak but much more so, when I heard his thick hurried accents; it was however some relief to me to find no accident had actually befallen him, & that I was the unconscious cause of his agitation. From the

top of the mountain he had fancied he saw me running with swiftness from the pursuit of a shepherds dog; & knowing my terror of these animals, & that flight would only make an imaginary danger a real one; he immediately left the view unseen, & the ruins unexplored that he had just with difficulty gained, & precipitately flew down the mountain, regardless of its nearly perpendicular height, & bounding two or three yards at a step, till happily he reached the bottom unhurt: here I was not to be found, so without stopping he ran round the mountain & back to the place where he left me, shaping unknown horrors in his imagination, & calling me, till quite exhausted, he could call no longer. The people whom he met could seldom understand his language & those that did had not seen me; at length: when he was a little

recovered tho’ he thinks he had run nearly three miles, he was going to set off again when a woman fortunately came in sight who gave him the desired information that she had seen me safe in Llangollen. Relieved from his fright he returned to the town in sea^rch of me, but you have no idea how shocking he looked when I met him, his whole face was of the deepest scarlet, his eyes seemed starting from his head, & he appeared scarcely able to stand: I really thought his agitation of mind & fatigue of body would throw him into a fever; but thank God! a tumbler of port wine & a change of linen entirely refreshed him, & a little lameness is all the bad consequence that has ensued: Whatever occasion’d this mistake I not know, for tho’ I passed a dog of this description I am not aware of having been followed by it: this incident will perhaps make you smile when you read it; but it really was rather

frightful at first, & abated the sensations of delight I had experienced in the morning for some time; they revived again however when once more seated in our chaise we continued our ride thro’ the remainder of the Vale of Llangollen. Sweet as our mornings ride had been it now only served as a point of comparison, from which we might note what “passed that passing sweet”27: so exquisite is the rest of the valley, so rich the mountains, so bewitching the Dee, that it was impossible to express our admiration of one view, ere “Some lovely wonder had usurp’d its place” “Chac’d by a charm still lovlier [sic] than the last.”28 This enchanting valley extends full ten miles, & when with sorrow we quitted it, we passed thro’ country that at any other time we should have thought charming, the darting Dee still accompanying us to Corwen. Here we eat [sic] our first Welch dinner at the New Inn, & a capital one

it was, consisting of welch mutton, which is perfectly delicious ^& trout just caught in the Dee; our landlady a most worthy old soul doing all she could to please us: we had also a most excellent Harper, who played the whole evening, & indeed some time after we were in bed, with a taste & feeling not to be surpassed. Between dinner & tea we walked forth to see a little of Corwen & its environs, it is a very poor place, but the situation is pretty enough; on our return, the good woman came with great joy to tell us some a fine fiddler was just arrived, & that he & Ned the blind harper above mentioned were playing together: at first I thought this information rather unpleasant than otherwise, but I soon found, that this itinerant fiddler played in a stile [sic] far different from what our poor scraping fellows in the street do: he accompanied the harp with such uncommon

delicasy [sic] as never to over power it, & as our friend Ned had a soul in unison with his own, they played their native airs together with such exquisite pathos I could have listened to them for ever. Our nights lodgings were so dirty & comfortless they required something to compensate for them, but after such a day as this we looked on them as the price of pleasure & paid it willingly.

Saturday 22 – We breakfasted at Corwen, & had as different fr a ride from that of yesterday as can well be imagined, the first few miles indeed are the prettiest, & at 5 ½ miles from Corwen is a sweetly romantic spot called Pont y Glyn; the bridge itself is rudely simple according well with the wild scenery in which it stands; there is a small deep glen down which a fine cascade very beautifully falls, but at present it has very little water; excepting this small glen

all was bleak; barren & cheerless, the mountains are not high enough, tho’ they rose on all sides to merit the praise of sublimity, & were almost as devoid of verdure as of cultivation. I pitied the miserable inhabitants of the wretched hovels thinly scattered in different parts of them, but blame mingled with my pity, for industry might even here strew some flowers in their way. Thro’ this dreary region we rode to Kernioge Mawr [sic] , were [sic] we waited; this is merely a posting Inn, & has very few cottages near it; I found little to tempt me from it, & therefore spent the time we waited in writing to Louisa, and William who went climbing about the mountains found nothing but the pleasure of exercise to repay him. From hence to within about four miles of Llanrwst we saw no improvement in the scene; ’till suddenly the boldest & most noble mountains burst upon our view, which rising one above another

almost hid their lofty heads in the clouds; & soon a rich & fertile valley opened at their feet; about half way up the mountains the road is cut commanding the full view of the valley as at Llangollen, you descend the mountains to enter Llanrwst, down the last of which is more than three miles. This exquisite prospect had a still more stricking [sic] effect from being thus [illegible], but of itself nothing can be more grand; the Conway flows along the bottom of the valley, at first in a small stream, which ere it reaches Llanwrst swells into a broad & beautiful river. The vale of Llanrwst is considerably wider than that of Llangollen & the mountains that bound it are of a more majestic height; the infinite ^variety of their forms & appearance, some remarkable only for wild sublimity, others softened into beauty by the fine woods that covered them

their broad shadows sweeping across the valley giving it a [?nice] grace from the ever-changing tints, & varying effects of light & shade, produced a scene, which gave me higher delight than any I have yet seen. This mountainous valley is interspersed every where with gentlemen’s seats, & exhibits a picture of cultivation uncommon in ^ North Wales , in the midst of it is the town from whence it takes its name: upon the whole we agreed it had more of grandeur, but less of romantic sweetness than Llangollen. The entrance into Llanrwst is very beautiful, the simple but pretty bridge built by Inigo Jones in honor [sic] of his native town, over the Conway first presents itself to view, & behind the town wearing an air of neatness & comfort superior to most in North Wales has a charming appearance: on entering it we found that industry had here received its usual reward

in the encreased population & comfort of the place. We dined and slept at the Eagles, & found our accommodation excellent. While our dinner was making ready we stroled [sic] into the sweetest little church yard in the world, here & in several other places we saw many of the graves adorned in the Welch fashion29 with boughs of trees, flowers &c. but I cannot say the effect produced was at all similar to that described by Pratt30; the neat borders of blooming flowers so carefully tended, so sedulously replenished, if every they existed exist, at least in these parts, no more; what we have seen when first strewn over the new-made grave may have a very pleasing effect, but in the faded state they are suffered to remain they do not add either neatness or ornament to the church yards. While admiring the smoothly gliding Conway, which washes

one side of that I am describing we noticed two little laughing girls, who were half slyly, half bashfully approaching us, afraid to utter the sentance [sic], that we knew hung on their lips of “Pray give me a penny” – the archness of their smiles, & the recollection that it was here he had first heard this petition profered [sic] four years ago, drew the unasked boon from William’s pocket, & sent them away with a few additional dimples. This phraze comprehends the whole compass of the knowledge these little urchins have of English, & you cannot meet either girl or boy, throughout North Wales, that does not accost you with it, so that your pockets should be well supplied to answer all their demands. After dinner we again walked out, & crossing the bridge, were shewn the effect said to be produced by shaking the center on one side, namely that the corresponding part of the other

is affected in the same manner; there certainly was a slight vibration but I did not feel it very sensibly. William’s lameness prevented our attempting to climb the mountains, but we had a very pleasant walk ’till dusk along the banks of the Conway.

Sunday 23rd. It was in vain attempting to attend any place of Worship to-day, as the service is every where performed in Welch; we thought therefore of going to see some Waterfalls in this neighbourhood; but we found on enquiry they would scarcely at present repay us for visiting them as the continued dry weather had nearly deprived them of water; in consequence of which we had no choice but continuing our journey. Our ride was extremely sweet & beautiful, thro’ mountain scenery which every instant wore a new aspect as we perused the charming course of the Conway

where unruffled waters flowed on our right; unfortunately the lowness of the tide robbed of its chief beauty one of the most admired spots in this isle; it is where the closing mountains so nearly encircle this fine river, as to prevent the eye from tracing its entire course, & gives it the appearance of a wide & noble lake; but the retiring tide had left little more water than covered its muddy bottom, & the deserted river now afforded only another proof of the determined ill-fortune that had attended all our hopes of gratification from water views, since we left home. A high mountain on our left right whose ascent seemed rather less formidable than the rest, while its height promised to repay our labour by an extensive prospect tempted us a few miles before

we reached Conway to alight from the chair, & climb its rugged sides; William reached its summit without much difficulty, but about twenty yards below it, the ascent became so entirely perpendicular & the footsteps so slippery, while the huge stones that alone could have afforded any assistance appeared to have so unstable a foundation; that I found neither agility nor strength nor I must add courage equal to the attempt; & I was obliged to defer the sight of the ocean till evening, while William enjoyed from his station on the mountain’s top a view of its “multitudinous waves,” & a scene in other respects truly delightful. Soon after we entered the singular & picturesque town of Conway; which is I believe a unique [sic] in our island, from being regularly

fortified, surrounded by a turreted wall, & further protected by a noble old castle which once no doubt frowned proud defiance upon our invaders, & held the surrounding country in awe, tho’ now its strong towers of defence, even if perfect, could not protect it from one half hour’s modern cannonade. Thro’ its mouldering ruins we stroled [sic] for half an hour, & as we viewed with admiration these beautiful remains of antiquity, our conversation naturally reverted to those “bygone” times when its now falling battlements, stuck terror into its enemies; & its now ruined desolate halls, invited with hospitable splendor [sic] the guest to revel or the traveller to repose, or resounding with the sprightly notes of minstrel music called them to join in the

dance or the song. It is now compleatly [sic] in ruins, & does not, nor indeed cannot afford shelter to one human being, & we could not but regret that the destroying hand of time had so left so little by which we could judge of its former interior, tho’ perhaps it is in some respects more beautiful in decay, than it was in days of renown: from one part of the wall we had a charming view of the Conway, & the old arched gateway, whence the ferry boats depart. We had an excellent dinner at the Harp, a very comfortable Inn, & fortified ourselves by it, for the fatigues of the awe-inspiring stage on which we entered on concluding it, the stage which leads from hence to Bangor. Scarcely had we

left Conway ere we began the descent of an enormous mountain, great part of which we were obliged to walk down to ease the horses who could with difficulty keep their feet, & I could not survey without some terror, the frightful precipice on our left, which in many places was most dangerously left without either wall or bank; but its dangers & its grandeur were soon forgotten as we approached the foot of the tremendous Penmaen Mawr, the passage of this mountain was ^formerly iminently [sic] dangerous, as it had then no protection from the horrific precipice that hangs immediately over the Menai Straits, but a strong wall is now built along it, which effectively guards the traveller from its

dangers, & he has now only to dread those that threaten him from the overhanging stones on the other side. The road is cut along this stupendous mountain about a third of the h^eight from its base, above it a mass of ^huge stones seem to hang on the side of the mountain, scarcely supported by the sand to which they cling, & of which the fall of the smallest would be sufficient to crush the horse & his rider for ever, below it is the precipice above mentioned, on which hang in like manner vast stones that from time to time have fallen from the fearful heigths [sic] above; at the bottom the lovely straits of Menai flowed gently along, & formed a beautiful contrast, to the aweful [sic] sublime scene, pourtrayed [sic] by the majestic mountains

that here frown along its shores. Soon after leaving Llanrwst at the small village of Trefriew we had entered Carnarvonshire & were therefore less astonished at the loftiness of these mountain [sic] for this is the most grand of all the welch counties; from Penmawn Mawr however the road is road itself is nearly level but still a noble chain of mountains on our left with the mighty Snowdon himself faintly discovered towering above the rest, his summit still covered with snow; gave sublimity to the scene, while the fine straits on our right continued to lend to it the softer touches of beauty: Arrived Bangor & hence to the Ferry two miles beyond are several pretty houses & seats, among which that of Lord Penrhyn, & in a humbler stile [sic] the sweet retreat of Mr Wyatt31 pleased us most. The Inn at Bangor ferry where we took

up ^our lodgings for the night is sweetly situated on the border of the Straits, from which a pleasant garden alone separates it; the room we had commanded a charming view of them: their waves on this lovely evening murmured with the gentleness of a river, & as the sun was now setting, the distance & obscurity gave to the view of the hilly Anglesea [sic] a softness & attractiveness it might otherwise have wanted; I could not but regret that its being Sunday prevented our having the Harp whose soft chords would so have accorded with the scene. Unhappily the calm without did not enter the Inn for we found the people uncivil & the attendance very bad, besides our bed room’s being close, dirty & altogether disagreeable.

Monday 24th – We found on awaking that the wind was so directly favourable for Dublin, that we

agreed it was wisest not to defer sailing till the next day; as our first intention had been, purposing to see the Paris Mine on this day; while we were waiting for the ferry boat I was delighted by a harp as sweet, played by a hand almost as skillful [sic] as the one at Corwen, & listened with particular interest to one tune so feeling and so pathetic I know not how to describe it effects on me; I was alone, for William was gone to see after the ferrymen & my mind during this interval naturally dwelt on all those dear friends from whom the boundless ocean was so soon to separate me, to separate me indeed for but a very short time, but the idea of having the rolling sea between us was so new & so strange as to appear to me quite frightful; with this idea in my head I fa^ncied the air in

question seemed to correspond with my feelings, & that it lamented the pain of an approaching exile; I was induced to ask the harper the name of it, & found by his answer that the music had spoken truly, for it was a song made on the commencement of a long journey & began with a farewell to the friends whom the traveller was about to leave. I quitted the harp and the Inn with regret to enter the ferry boat which soon carried us to the opposite shores of Anglesea; in the boat were several other passengers going by the pacquet32 of tonight to Dublin & I learnt that our resolution of sailing in it was the more necessary as no pacquet leaves the Head on tuesdays a circumstance of which we were before ignorant. On landing we put both the horses in harness, & made what expedition we could, & reached Holy head

a distance of three & twenty miles in three hours & a half; this ride thro’ Anglesea had nothing to interest the island is rocky & barren, & tho’ unequal in its surface the hills are by no means high, & there is very little wood, or any kind of cultivation throughout it, & the population appeared to be proportionably [sic] scanty. Holyhead is a vile town & our Inn the Eagle & Child still viler; it is large but dull, dirty, & ill attended; & I was glad to escape from ^it to go aboard the pacquet, the Besborough [sic] 33 Capt Goddard. We weighted anchor at twenty minutes before eight, & I remained on deck for about an hour, tho’ William soon went down to his birth [sic], when I went to take possession of mine I was surprized to find it so comfortable and slept in it for some hours very soundly; at a little after four in the morning the information that we were entering the bay of Dublin urged me to get up; on going on deck

I was surprized & delighted by the sight of this fine & truly beautiful bay, & the still more glorious sight of the rising Sun; our vessel however made its way so rapidly that it was scarcely light enough to give us a full view of the shores & at twenty minutes before five we found ourselves on irish ground, were soon after safe in the land pacquet a sort of long coach which conveyed us to Dublin & at six o’clock on the morning of Teusday [sic] 25 we arrived without incident at Mr Wilkinson’s34 in Dawson Street!, in a new country (at least to me) & far away from my darling boy & you, my ten times dear Eliza. I shall pass over, my dear Eliza, those days in which I have passed in Ireland, either at Bushy Park or Terenure in family circles or small parties, which you may suppose are pretty much

the same as in England: as my design is to paint nature’s varieties, or the performances of art, in their inanimate productions, & not to trace the nice distinctions which mark the various features of men & manners, & which in countries so nearly connected cannot be very dissimilar: these therefore it would be contrary to my plan even were it within the scope of my abilities (which certainly it is not) to delineate. What however you would not wish me to omit, & without which indeed my journal would be incompleat [sic] is the remarks I have made on those parts of our now united kingdom35 which I have had an opportunity of contemplating. Dublin itself as the capital city, as well as the first place I saw, claims to be first noticed: its situation as you must have heard is delightful, commanding in many parts a view of the

enchanting bay,36 that bears its name, & every where surrounded by charming country: it is not however built as you may imagine, & as I fully expected, immediately on the bay, if it were the beauty would be much heightened. Independently of its situation; I must own myself not much pleased with this capital: the best streets are far inferior to ours, & the few squares do not merit comparison with those in LondonSackville Street indeed is as wide; I think it is even wider than any we have, but it is not nearly so long, nor has it the grand & striking appearance of Portland Place & some others. St Stephen’s Green is the largest of the squares & in point of extent is a very noble one; but the houses are not well built & the inside is nothing but a large field with a walk round it – Merrion Square is the

most admired situation in Dublin, & from some of the houses you have a fine view of the bay, but the houses have not a handsome appearance on the outside, & the middle of the square is also a sort of field. The new Square, as far as I could judge in its present unfinished state, were it in a better part of the town I should greatly prefer; it called Mountjoy Square, the houses are better & more regularly built, & I was told the spacious inside was intended to be prettily planted. The great fault of all the Streets &c: in Dublin is the want of regularity in the heigth [sic] & size of the houses & a shabbiness in their external appearance which I do not know how to describe: this I am the more surprized at as the beauty of many of the public buildings show that the irish know & can

employ the beauties of Architecture. Of these admired buildings, of which they are very proud, I can make but a brief mention, as I had very little opportunity of contemplating them, & saw them in so horrid a manner, as to bring home a very imperfect idea of them. The Lying Inn [sic] Hospital in Rutland Square is a very handsome one; one part of it is called the Rotunda which consists of one noble Saloon & a set of fine apartments, elegantly fitted up, for almost every species of public amusement, like our Pantheon, but the profits are far more nobly applied to the support of the hospital: here masquerades are frequently given, of which the irish seem very fond.

In Colledge [sic] Green Stands the Colledges [sic] to which it owes its name, a building very incompleat [sic] in its architecture & design, having been often been added too [sic] & altered

since its erection by its foundress Queen Elizabeth 37: upon the whole it pleased me extremely, tho probably my ignorance of architecture made many of its defects less offensive to my eyes than they would have been to more skillful [sic] ones. The appearance from the street is very noble to which the Provosts house adjoining it, which is a handsome stone building, adds very much: on passing thro the gateway you enter the first square, built principally of stone, in which are the Museum, Dining Hall Chapel & Lecturing Hall; we however first examined the second square to which you pass from the first, this also is principally faced with stone & consists of the students apartments, & the Library;38 the latter is very handsome & is supported by a colonnade of pillars: the

inside is of great length floored with oak, of which wood the partitions for the books & a handsome gallery above are made both of which are richly carved; the form & stile of it are not very unlike Trinity Library at Cambridge;39 but whether from the force of first impressions or any real inferiority of beauty it did not please me so much; & the “learned dust” that every ^where hung around it quite disgusted me. The Chapel40 was the next building we entered, it has been newly erected, & is built opposite the Lecturing Hall, exactly on the same plan, with an elegant portico at the entrance: the inside is very beautiful, of a long shape & about eighty feet high: opposite the entrance is the communion table & immediately before it, a very pretty pulpit of carved oak, the pews, & a gallery opposite

the communion table are also of oak richly carved, the execution of which is more beautiful than any modern workmanship of the sort I have seen. Over the alter and the pews on one side are the windows over ^those on the other are corresponding nitches [sic] of plaister [sic], as for some reason I cannot they could not have windows all round; the bad effect however of these plaister [sic] nitches [sic] is much lessened by a light festoon of crimson curtains very prettily hung over them, as well as over the real windows: the cieling [sic] is of plaister [sic] very richly & handsomely ornamented. Immediately over the entrance is the gallery I before mentioned, in the middle of which is the organ the cieling [sic] over the passage that leads to them is greatly admired for its elegance and simplicity: I scarcely ever saw so small a building that pleased me so much, as this Chapel, unless I except that at Greenwich,41 it is however a pleasing

not a grand edifice. The Lecturing Hall42 opposite which we next visited is not worthy of any particular description, the inside is neat, & hung with pictures of those who have been the benfactors or ornaments of the Colledge [sic], among which is one of its founders in which I fancy the vanity of the “Virgin Queen,” was consulted rather than the productions of a strong likeness; it certainly has the stile [sic] of countenance that distinguishes all her pictures, but it appears to be the portrait of a much handsomer woman, than she is recorded to have been. The Dining Hall is a plain Apartment, not very much worth seeing hung also with portraits of those students, whose matured talents have reflected honor, on their education: tho’ we saw the kitchen below it, I do not think it necessary to describe the seven large stoves it contains, the spits that turned before them or the cooks that attended them.

I must also be silent respecting the last object of our curiosity the Museum43; for such was the poverty, & commonness of its relicks [sic] I could scarcely refrain from laughing at the care with which they were preserved: here however the dust did not offend me, for tho’ nothing in itself could be worse, it seemed not unwise to throw over their glasses a veil sufficiently thick to prevent too minute an examination of their contents. The whole Colledge [sic] was shown us with great attention & politeness, by a friend of Mr Wilkinson’s, Dr Magee, one of the Proffesors [sic].

The Parliament House is nearly opposite the Colledge: I think you must have heard of the uncommon beauty of this elegant building, it is indeed truly admirable; that part which was the house of Commons, along which runs a lofty & most noble colonnade is the most worthy of admiration; the House of Lords a circular

edifice was added after its first erection, at one end of it, & tho’ handsome in itself rather injures than improves the effect of the building as a whole. As I walked thro’ the magnificent suit of apartments which composed both & saw the costly furniture, & rich hangings [?torn] from them; I could not wonder at the regret many of the irish feel, on beholding this stately edifice, where once their chartered rights were guarded, & their interests defended; dismantling of all that can reveal its former use & splendour, & converting into a National Bank: even those whose judgements approve the measures that decreed this change, may find their feelings & their prejudices, turn in sorrow from the spectacle.

The Four Courts, (as it is called, for here the four courts of justice are held) is the last public building I shall mention, as I had no opportunity of seeing the Custom House which I greatly regretted this is

also an admired, & handsome building, & one that pleased me exceedingly, tho’ it has, I think, one great defect, namely that the dome which crowns the center is much too low & insignificant & seems quite lost between the noble wings on either side – I cannot conclude this account of Dublin without mentioning first its extent which is above two miles long & one & a half wide, or about a fourth part of London – & secondly its river the Liffy [sic], which did it not run thro’ a capital city would surely have been of little note; nothing can be less deserving of the epithet of “ Liffy’s [sic] limpid stream,”44 for ’tis narrow, sluggish & muddy, & scarcely merits to be called a river; the Canal is a much finer object. I do not expect my dear Eliza, that all this will be very interesting to you & I have written it rather to assist my own memory in future, than to amuse you; what, however, I have

now to relate of a little tour into the county of Wicklow is of a different nature, & it so delighted me that I cannot but hope I shall be able to impart some of my pleasure to you even in recital.

We left Bushy Park about seven o’clock on Monday the 31st of May, our party consisting of Mr & Miss Wilkinson in a post chaise, Mr [illegible] & myself in a curricle, Mr Ponsey Shaw his brother45, Mr Burnard [sic] Shaw, his cousin46, & William on horseback. We first roade thro’ some sweet country in which we had a number of charming Sea Views to the Scalp, a most remarkable pass between two rocky mountains which appear to have been violently rent asunder; but whether by art or nature, or whether they were at their creation what they now are, is uncertain: the vulgar believe it the violent work of some outraged giant (for the belief of the former existence of these gigantic beings is universal among the poor in Ireland) the learned dispute about it, & leave the truth as deeply hidden as ever – On each side the mountains are covered with huge loose overhanging

stones as at Penmaen Mawr, but their height is so much inferior not so great (it appears to me) as a third that they are not nearly so tremendous. This singular pass conducts the road to the hills over which you must journey to the villages of Inneskerry, where at an Inn not one whit superior to those in Wales, tho’ so near Dublin, we breakfasted: but tho’ our accommodation was poor, the bread & butter was excellent, & as we were pretty hungry we enjoyed it greatly. After this welcome meal was ended we took leave of Mr & Miss Wilkinson who went quietly on to Bray, & proceeded to Powerscourt, the noble domain of Lord Powerscourt: here thro’ its beautiful walks we stroled [sic] for near an hour, uncertain whether to prefer those w^here the close imbowring shades shut out every sunbeam, or those which opened to the rich & various prospects around; on one of these our choice at last rested; one path opened on a sweetly wooded glen & caught a charming view of the Dargle, a more exquisite spot can hardly be imagined.

After a long ramble we obtained leave to see the house, but soon found its noble ^exterior had raised much too high our idea of its internal magnificence: its furniture & decorations are quite unworthy of so fine a seat, & there is but one fine apartment; the entrance Hall is indeed tolerably handsome but not sufficiently lofty; above it is the saloon which certainly is in itself a noble room & fitted up with great taste, but it is the only one, the rest of the mansion is nothing more than a cheerful gentleman like house. From hence we had a lovely ride of about three miles to the celebrated Waterfall, called Powerscourt Waterfall, which is part of the domain. this is believed to be one of the highest falls of water in the world it is precipitated from a heigth [sic] of 350 feet, & must be very grand indeed when there is a good supply of water, the quantity to-day was very scanty, Mr Shaw said he had never seen so little; but in spite of this disadvantage I was delighted with it, & could hardly prevail on myself to leave it; tho’ we passed

a good while at its feet, allaying our again raised hunger from our basket of provisions & our thirst from its pure streams. But with still greater regret did I afterwards quit the romantic Dargle to which we next proceeded: this is a lovely glen which runs between two mountains wooded on each side entirely from their summits to where their roots sink in the river which runs along its bottom; this is the river which first falls from Powerscourt & here finds a rocky bed, similar to that of the Dee: the woods on either side are almost wholly of oak, excepting a few ashes that seem to grow out immediately from the solid rocks, round which their roots twine in a manner altogether curious & singular, yet far from wanting variety from being so nearly of oak ^it has a richness, roundness & incomparable beauty, that I know not how to describe, it reminded me of our favorite Green’s [?touches], but what pencil can produce the beautious [sic] forms, & exquisite colouring of

nature in scenes like this? here while my eye wandered over the lovely wood or watched the shining waters river forming innumerable little cascading falls, as its crystal waters dashed from rock to rock, or gleamed gently over the sometimes level bed; while my ear listened to its soothing music, & my heart felt its every feeling open to delight, how could I not but wish my once inseperable [sic] companion were enjoying ^it with me, & regret this lovely scene was one you would probably never see. Thro’ this sweet place we had walked as it is scarcely passable for any but horsemen or foot passengers, on leaving it we had an agreeable but short ride to the town of Bray, a pleasant clean place, consisting principally of white cabins (so the cottages here are called) & some good gentleman’s houses – Here we rejoined Mr & Miss Wilkinson, dined, & spent a sociable evening, & at night had comfortable lodgings.

The next morning June 1.st the same party, namely William, Myself, & Messrs Robert, Ponsy, & Burnard Shaw again set off in quest of new beauties. Mr Wilkinson being too unwell to

bear us company remained at the Inn with his sister. We had a sweet ride as far as New town Mount Kennedy to breakfast; this is a charming little village & seemed formed to be the abode of quiet enjoyment, but its serenity was destroyed in the late rebellion by a desperate battle’s being fought within it.47 After breakfast we proceeded immediately to the beautiful Glyn of the Downs belonging to Mr Peter Le Touch who has a handsome house at one end of the hill which commands a full view of the valley: the stile [sic] of this glen is similar to the Dargle, but inferior in beauty the woods on each side being less rich in foliage, & above all it wants the grand ornament of the river, the place of which is supplied by the high road; we had not time to enter the domain which Mr Shaw told us was well worth seeing, but were obliged to content ourselves with the view of its beauties as

present themselves to the road; these however [?few] wished conversation till the noble domain of Dunran, richly wooded, & diversified with fine hills from which several extensive, variegated & magnificent views are on one side presented; claimed our undivided admiration.48 The sea which at every opening forms one of finest [sic] features of the scenery throughout the country of Wicklow adds grandeur & majesty to all the views from Dunran; but the sweetest prospect we had of it was from the window of an elegant little cottage orné49, ^in which we rested in [sic] for a short time, as we had walked over the domain; thro’ this arched window the sea formed the boundary of a most lovely prospect, & is of itself bounded by the Welch Mountains which of a clear evening are distinctly seen; these sort of cottages are common on all the ^irish seats, & are in general fitted up with great taste; yet an english eye could

not but observe, & an english heart not but regret, that these were merely ornamental, & that the obscure residences of the poor only disgrace, by their meanness & misery those spots which on the estates of our nobles they would adorn, by imparting an air of cheerfulness, & an idea of plenty & content. When our time forbade a further stay at Dunran we continued our way to the Devil’s Glyn the extent of our progress thro’ Wicklow. This was one of the most admired spots in the county, & was by many preferred to the Dargle: it is a valley of the same sort running between a chain of woody mountains divided by a rocky & impetuous stream; but it is longer, wilder, more various, & is terminated by a fine water-fall, from which the river descends in one body more or less tremendous according to the supply of water; at this time it was very small.

At present its beauty is under an eclipse, as most of the trees on one side have been cut down, & those on the other much injured during the rebellion, it is said that age would shortly have produced as great a desolation, but it is to be regretted that they were not removed more gradually, as younger ones could be reared to supply their places as it must now be some years before its beauty can be recovered we saw it under an additional disadvantage resulting from the severity of the season, which had cut off many of the young shoots & prevented the ashes in particular from putting forth their leaves, & thus rendered the foliage of the remaining trees less luxuriant than it would otherwise have been; yet still it was a most delightful spot. As our morning’s entertainment had made us both hot & tired (for we had walked thro’ the Devil’s Glyn, as well as at Dunran) we found ourselves

desirous of refreshment before we set our faces forward towards Bray: we therefore seated ourselves on some rocks in the midst of the river (which is more rapid & bold than the one in the Dargle) to which we scambled [sic], & opened our basket of stores – Among these a bottle of port-wine, wore rather an inviting appearance to “thirsty souls,” but alas! we could find no glass to drink it from, & to quaff it from the bottle was in many respects objectionable, particularly as being all men, save myself, some fears were felt least the last drinker should find his portion the reverse of Benjamin’s mess50; but as no other scheme could be thought of, we should have fixed on this, but the gentlemen thinking it would be better if cooler plunged it into the stream for this purpose: in this operation the luckless bottle got a crack which the blushing water soon discovered, & on examination so

large a fracture was perceived that the danger of splinters obliged us to give up all idea of sipping from the broken vessel: in this emergency necessity that far-famed mother of invention suggested an expedient to Mr Shaw which I would give you seventy guesses to discover without the same instructress: this was no other than William’s snuff box; as it was tortoise shell it was soon completely purified, & all parties agreed that the wine tasted excellently from it: this little incident excited much mirth & never was a merrier or pleasanter morning enjoyed.

We returned nearly by the same rout [sic] as we had come, some of which with restive horses or an unskillful [sic] driver, would not have been without dangers, as I was situated I was not at all alarmed as I had full reliance on Mr Shaw’s coachmanship, but I suspect my Aunt Hannah would have thought

that we went not only “near enough,” but also too near some unguarded precipices. Near Newtown Mount Kennedy we altered our rout [sic] a little to see a very pretty house & grounds called the Hermitage, it now belongs to two old bachelors51 which I was quite provoked at for how could they feel one half of the delights so sweet a place could call forth? ’tis a small wild glen where if art has interfered at all, it is impossible to distinguish her footsteps from those of nature; at the end of it is a sweetly pretty fall of water from three different rocks, which appears like three distinct cascades; I cannot describe to you half the graces of this romantic little spot, & I hated to think that perhaps its owners might visit it only as a scene calculate [sic] “to lull the weary to profound repose,”52 when it might “bid all the fine attuned emotions live,”53 & call forth the best

feelings of the heart – It was now so late that we were forced to hurry home without seeing any other of the curiosities of the place, but with all the haste we could make we found on arrival at Bray that we had kept Mr Wilkinson waiting an hour & a half for his dinner, for which we were very sorry; here we had as famous fare & the same comfortable lodgings as the day before.

On Wednesday morning June 2nd we returned to Bushy Park by the town of Old Connaught, from a hill behind which we had ^a lovely sea view; we turned a little out of the high road to breakfast with Mr John Lees who married the eldest Miss Shaw, at a pretty little hired cottage, which they have for a summer residence. After passing an hour or two pleasantly with them, we went on quietly to Bushy where I heard with great joy , that on our outsett [sic] we had narrowly escaped seeing the dual54 fought between Sir Richard Musgrave & Mr Jones; imagine

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what would have been my horror had we passed L.d Ely’s at the morning of its taking place,55 instead of ten minutes before it as we did.

Thus my dear Eliza ends all I have to relate concerning our séjour in Ireland, as the short time we staid after this, was spent like the former part of our visit, in home circles or sociable parties, & we saw nothing more of the country.

On Friday evening the 4th of June after dining & supping in Dawson Street, we took leave of the kind Mrs Wilkinson from whom I parted with regret; at twelve o’clock, we entered the land Pacquet & in about an hour found ourselves on board the water one: the Hilsborough [sic] 56 Capt.n Shaw57 had the honor of receiving us as passengers, which got under weigh [sic] about half past one. We immediately took possession of our births [sic] in which we slept very comfortably for some hours & left them for the deck at nine the next morning.

Saturday 5th June. The wind was

low, & the sea calm, so that we made but little way, & we might have enjoyed the softness of the morning greatly but for those disaigree [sic] feelings which in a greater or less degree attend most young sailors: fortunately a refreshing breeze in the right point sprung up about half past eleven which greatly improved our situation in all respects, both as to bodily ills (which indeed we had but slightly suffered from) & as to our prospect of approaching land; soon after the Head faintly appeared in the horizon, & we visibly gained upon ^it ’till a little after three, when as we were joyfully anticipating a speedy landing a sudden crash over our heads fearfully reminded ^us we were not yet secure of obtaining it: this proceeded from the fall of our topmast, which a sudden squall took compleatly [sic] in half, happily the rigging prevented its falling quite down, or probably my head would have received it

& my dear little boy been obliged to find in you a mother, as well as an aunt, for I was immediately under it: from this however as from all other perils I was preserved I hope to worthy ends. This accident retarded us a little, but at half past four we landed, after a passage of fifteen hours, & most happy did I feel, in reflecting that the sea no longer divided me from the objects of my fondest affection [.] At the horrid Inn of the Eagle & Child at Holyhead we were obliged to remain ’till morning, but the company of one of our fellow passengers, Mr Lewis58, a friend of Mr Wilkinson’s amused some of our otherwise weary hours.

Sunday 6 June – We breakfasted at Holyhead, & afterwards proceeded by our former road to Gwyndw [sic] , a good deal of rain had fallen during the night & the morning was refreshing & pleasant, but in

the country I found as much singularity & as few charms as before – Gwyndw has no other house than the Inn which we found very clean & nice & kept by very civil people – Our accommodations indeed were not splendid as we were obliged to content ourselves with a bed-chamber as our drawing-room scarcely larger than a good light closet. Even for this we were indebted to the civility of Sir John Corden59, who had bespoken it for us the night before for the house was compleatly [sic] full of company – Here we meant to have passed the rest of the day, knowing we could not see the Paris mine, one object of our curiosity, ’till the morrow: but our landlady strongly advised our proceeding to Amlwch a village about a mile beyond the mines & as they said ten from Gwyndw but we thought it not more than eight. This advice after dining at Gwyndw we resolved on following & thought the country for the first

few miles rather better cultivated & prettier than any we had seen in Anglesea [sic] , but as we approached the mine all this quite disappeared & it soon became a scene of entire desolation, for the sulphuric smoke from the kilns entirely destroys vegetation wherever its baleful influence reaches. This ill effect is now much lessened by a method discovered within these few years of confining the smoke which becomes valuable from turning into flour of brimstone. Amlwch is a wretched place inhabited solely by miners, & the Inn tho’ called Ty Mawr (or the great house) is a mighty poor place but as we got a tolerable bed we were not disposed to complain.

Monday June 7th – We procured a person at Amlwch to shew them to us, & went immediately after breakfast to see the celebrated copper mines of Paris & Mona: it is a curious & interesting sight but one that I cannot at all

describe, & must therefore refer you to some of the clear & scientific accounts that have been published of them; we were unfortunate in our day of visiting ^them for it was a holiday (Whit Monday) and there was not one man at work, which is the most entertaining part of the whole to see; however we were made to understand the manner of working them very clearly. We spent an hour & a half in exploring the various wonders of the place, & then returned to Gwyndw where however we only took a nooning60 & then retraced our way to Bangor Ferry. The first part of our ride appeared quite as uninteresting as we had before thought it, excepting that a number of holiday makers whom we met in all parts gave it a good deal of animation – nothing can be more drole [sic] than to see a number of Welch people on such occasions whose utmost finery never exceeds a bed-gown of lindsey wolsey [sic] 61 of a

deeper blue than ordinary or an immense beaver hat of a more glossy appearance. As we drew nearer to the Ferry our ride became extremely beautiful, for tho’ our fore-ground acquired no new charms a most noble mountain scene opened in the distance, as travelling this way the Carnavonshire mountains rise in unspeakable grandeur before you – the summits of these lofty mountains were many of them lost in the clouds & nothing could surpass the beauty of their appearance, as their majestic heads now burst upon our view, & now shrouded themselves again in obscurity; I recognized among them my old friend Penmaen Mawr with great pleasure. At Bangor Ferry we dined, & while that meal was preparing, I took a strole [sic] into the Inn garden to admire the fine Straits of Menai, which I thought still more lovely than when I saw them before, & I was sorry to leave the contemplation

of them for the miserable bed room where our dinner was prepared, this Inn also being full of company. After dinner we proceeded towards Caernarvon & had for the first mile & half the same fine mountain scenery as in the morning, but when we turned off into the Caernarvon road, the prospects entirely changed; the inspiring mountains that proudly swelled beyond the clouds & seemed like Satan to be boldly venturing “not far off Heaven, in the precincts of light,”62 sank suddenly away, & a scene of sweetness, softness & beauty succeeded that I want words to describe. On our right the setting Sun shed a glowing radiance over the island of Anglesey (which here seemed well wooded, for we looked on Plâs Newyd [sic] the seat of the Earl of Uxbridge) & over the lovely straits of Menai which flowed with a calmness so exquisitely soft as to inspire feelings almost heavenly throughout the whole ride they were alternately seen in all their

gently beauty or obscured with ever-varying lovliness [sic] by the woods that grow on their banks; on our left a gentle ascent covered with the richest cultivation, or the most enchanting woods compleated [sic] a scene more bewitchingly sweet than any my imagination had ever formed, & to add one more charm to the ride the evening odeurs [sic] heightened by some lately fallen rain gave out their most fragrant perfumes. This captivating ride was terminated by our arrival at the Hotel at Caernarvon, an inn of the very first order for cleanliness & civility, & even superb accommodations, I was never at a better any where.

Tuesday June 8th – We took a post chaise to the lakes of Llanberris [sic] about five miles from Caernarvon, but the road is very bad, & I scarcely think our horses could have gone it, at least not without hazards. for a little way on our first setting out, the country was cultivated & pretty, but soon a rough unadorned

boldness became its chief characteristic, as we approached the lake this character became more marked & nothing could exceed the ruggedness & barrenness of the craggy & towering mountains whose summits now rose with most awful grandeur “yet even in a scene thus desolate & rude,”63 the hand of industry had fertilised a few small spots which smiled indeed as “gardens in the wilderness”. When we alighted from the chaise the lake of Llanberris [sic] was at our feet,64 a turn in the road had hid it from us till that moment, the spot was wild & rude in the extreme, yet not without a savage nobleness, which charmed even from its apparent disdain of charming; a few wretched huts compiled of stones laid one on another without any cement & some even, as far as I could see, without any windows, where [sic] scattered on the edge of the lake, which in this first part is narrow, & shallow: here we waited for some time expecting the arrival of the boat that was to row us down the stream; surrounded by all the women & children in the neighbourhood who all seemed

merry & happy notwithstanding their extreme poverty. The boat at length arrived, but we still waited some time for its unloading, for it was a miserable crazy thing employed to bring down slates from the quarries in the mountains: a woman & afterwards a boy whom we took in from a hut a little further up the lake rowed us & our postilion accompanied us as interpreter & guide. The first or Lower Lake they told us was two miles and a half long but there seemed to be great confussion in their accounts of it & we thought it more: we could not learn its breadth as but we thought it in parts nearly three quarters of a mile, but this as it winds among the mountains is very various, sometimes contrasting or expanding as they approach to, or recede from each other: The mountains called the Snowdon chain rises from the very edge of the lake on each side, heaped one above another in every possible form & of every description: some with savage suddenness displaying their rugged sides without a trace

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of vegetation, others (& these the most numerous) not less wild, but rather less rugged, covering themselves with a scanty verdure; & a few; tho’ but a few, adorning themselves with small tufted woods: on our right the tremendous Snowdon himself reared his awful head far above the rest, & in unrivalled sublimity showed himself lord of the surrounding country: This, like many of the welch scenes, so wholly surpasses not description only, but even imagination, that I despair of giving you the faintest idea of it. As we rowed up the lake, the clouds rested on the heads of the mountains & threatened us with rain, but happily they gradually rolled away & we had a heavenly day. At Dolbadarn castle, some ruins of which still remain, & which stands near the spot where the upper & lower lakes, mingle their transparent waters; we landed to see the Waterfall called Pennant Mawr, & had a very pleasant walk to it: an opening in the mountains leave in this place some meadow

land, on which cattle where grazing, & the ascent to the fall was by no means tremendous. Pennant Mawr (or the great hollow) is an extremely pretty fall, & amply repaid our exertions to see it: at times it must be very beautiful but as we saw it the water tho’ swelled by the late rains, was not plenteous enough to make it a grand fall, & we were told, that a few days before it had been nearly dry. After rambling with much delight for near an hour, we returned to our boat, but determined not to row up the upper lake, which is much the shorter of the two, as our time was becoming precious & we could see the whole extent of it from our landing place. Bingley in his tour mentions a very remarkable spot near the village of Llanberris [sic] (which stands at the head of the upper lake) which he calls the Devil’s Kitchin [sic],65 could we have attain’d any information concerning it, we should have proceeded up the Lake, but our postboy, & rowers knew of no such place, so we were obliged to give

it up, tho in the afternoon we learnt from the man at the Castle that we were near it & might have seen it with ease, a piece of information which unfortunately came too late to benefit us. In returning our views were not quite so grand as they had been before, because in going up the lake the mountains encrease [sic] in loftiness every moment, & of course in returning they sink in the same proportion; yet we did not therefore less enjoy our row; for the Sun had, by this time dispersed every cloud, & the heads of every mountain & that even of the mighty Snowdon were distinctly visible in all the fantastic variety of their forms shooting into the pure ether above! Of all the beautiful, the sublime, the astonishing scenery we have yet seen, this claims the undoubted pre-eminence, & we returned to Caernarvon almost overpowered by its grandeur.

After dinner we again went out to examine the curiosities of Caernarvon

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which we had not had time to visit before, to the Castle the most noted of these we first directed our steps – It is a very noble ruin, one of the finest if not the finest in Wales; & is in much higher preservation than that of Conway: as a ruin it did not please me so much, but it conveys higher ideas of feudal magnificence, & is so perfect as to give a tolerable idea of the interior of an ancient mansion: we were shown the room in which the unfortunate Edward the second first beheld the light: it is a chamber in what is called the eagle’s tower, to the top of which we ascended & had a fine view of the surrounding country. The old man who shewed it to us was a most venerable figure well suited to be its inhabitant, he explained & expatiated on the remains with great pride & shewed a great deal of intelligence not only in this but in the information he gave us respecting the surrounding country, he was formerly a guide up Snowdon. Returning

home we walked along the Quay66 which is built at the foot of the Castle, & seems to be the “boulevards” of the place. Caernarvon is a fine old town, & has several pleasant houses; its situation on the lovely Menai Straits renders it truly delightful – & its admirable Inn the Hotel certainly recommends it still further to travellers; with this Inn I have only one fault to find, it has a very bad harper.

Wednesday 9th – If you had never been in Wales my dear Eliza, & had never contemplated the rich varieties of its beauties, I should fear you would not credit what I have to relate of this day; would never believe after all I have said of Llanberris, that the ride between Caernarvon & Begglelert [sic] (pronounced Bethgelert) surpassed even that in its wonderful sublimity; yet it is true that all we have seen does not equal what our wondering eyes have this day beheld – The road is cut thro’ the mountains, ^& is generally good, but as a great part is at the foot of them, I think it must sometimes be

impassable from the overflowing waters; it runs thro’ the heart of Caernarvonshire, the noblest country of North Wales, & presents scenes of such surpassing grandeur as no pencil could pourtray [sic], no tongue describe, no imagination combine. Stupendous mountains rose on all sides of us, of every form, tint, & variety, & with as such endless profusion as to mock all description; while in the meantime we were riding thro’ a deluge of rain, which tho’ it gave us some personal inconveniences, added considerably to the sublimity of the scene; for from every hollow & from every rocky passage where it could find a channel, it poured its resistless waters, in foaming torrents down the mountain’s sides, forming innumerable waterfalls of unthought of beauty. At [?Nantmillill]about six mile [sic] & a half from Caernarvon we passed a very pretty cascade which the rain had now made really

beautiful, & soon after what appeared to us a fine lake, tho’ as Bingley calls it a pool, it is probable the same cause had swelled it much beyond its usual extent.

When we arrived at Begglelert [sic] I was compleatly [sic] wet through; & the Inn was so full we could scarcely procure a room to shelter ourselves in, & found a bed was a thing quite unattainable, tho’ to proceed any further was impossible; to stay at the inn was therefore a case of necessity, & we resolved to lodge as we could. We regretted the rain on one account extremely as it effectually prevented William’s ascending Snowdon, which he meant to have done from this place; instead of which we were obliged to remain in a miserable dark little room in which we could scarcely accommodate ourselves & luggage, & be half poisoned with a smoky chimney, & a villainous turf fire; yet here the bitter was not without the sweet, for we had a most capital dinner. When this meal was ended we perceived

that the skies had shut their flood-gates for the present, & we took advantage of this circumstance to walk down to Pont Aberglasllyn [sic] about 1 ½ mile [sic] distant. Nothing could be finer than this walk along the Banks of the Begglelert [sic] river, which foamed & dashed along from rock to rock, with the most resistless impetuosity: this was the finest sight of the sort we had seen for tho’ these rocky mountain streams are to be seen frequent in all parts of Wales, all we had before passed were so shrunk with the long drought, as to be quite insignificant when compared to this in its present agitated state. The pont Aberglasllyn is a most romantic bridge thrown over the river where it forms the noted salmon leap, & the situation between ridges of majestic mountains, & over this beautiful stream is uncommonly striking: with the salmon leap we were both disappointed: it is formed by a semicircular ridge of rocks that run across the bed of the river

which falls perpendicularly down them for several feet – but it has so great a regularity as to make you fancy it, rather a work of art, than a sport of Nature: here I could not but envy the superior strength & agility of my dear companion who climbed one of the noble mountains that rise at the foot of the bridge, while I was obliged to remain contentedly at the bottom; & to give you some idea of their heigth [sic] when he was so far above me as scarcely to be discernible he appeared to himself hardly to be on high ground so much more lofty were the mountains above him.

On our return to the Inn we found that the departure of a lady & gentleman, who were making a walking tour had left a very nice sitting room & a bedroom at liberty for us; to the latter we soon retired but I soon quickly found it could not be called a place of rest; for nothing could be more disgustingly dirty, smaller or more compleatly [sic] comfortless; which together with the roaring

of the wind as it swept between the mountains, & of the pelting of the rain which soon began with its former fury kept me awake nearly all night: I find my dear Eliza I am not a thorough traveller yet.

Thursday 10th – The rain still continuing this morning we were reluctantly obliged to give up our intention of visiting the Vale of Gwynnant [sic] , which is impassable for carriages; & pursue our homeward journey. The first part of our road was extremely bad, & in parts dangerous; but as we drew near Tan-y-Bwlch it greatly improv’d as it is new making: this a little diverted our attention from the contemplation of scenes of grandeur & magnificence equal to those of yesterday, in one of which we though we had quite bid adieu to. We were now travelling again in Merionethshire having come over Pont Aberglasllyn (or ^the Devils Bridge) which separates

this county & Caernarvonshire; & as we advanced farther into it, the mountains became less tremendous & lost a part of their savage wildness & woody glens thro’ which romantic streams generally flowed over beds of rocks, gave variety of beauty to our ride. Tan-y-Bwlch Inn were [sic] we dined is situated in the beautiful Vale of Festiniog near a fine seat of Mr Oakley’s called Tan-y-Bwlch Hall – After dinner the heavy showers that had fallen at intervals during the whole morning were dispersed & we ventured to explore the country in a walk. From the roads we had chosen we perceived on a woody eminence above us what appeared to be a pretty fall of water, & having scrambled to it, found it to be one of those temporary streams which the rain occasioned to fall from the over hanging mountains; & which ran glittering down among the wood in a very sweet manner in numberless cascades; from thence we discerned a very good

path ^thro the wood which led us back again nearly to our Inn. From hence to Dolgelle [sic] , our next stage, the ride was far inferior in grandeur & beauty of every sort, the mountains decreased in magnitude considerably & were barren without the rude wildness & sublimity to which we had lately been accustomed; but one noble sight made amends for this – About 5 miles from Dolgelle at a bridge built over one of the finest of the mountain rivers we had passed; having been previously instructed by our landlord at Tan-y-Bwlch; we got out of the chair & having with some difficulty & after numerous unsuccessful applications, found a wooden leged [sic] Welchman who understood enough of English to comprehend the object of our enquiries, & who undertook to be our guide; We proceeded with him to see the noble cataract Doly Myllyn [sic] about ½ a mile from the road on the right. Our walk to it was the most

romantic that can well be imagined, thro’ a wild wood & along the foaming stream that after falling magnificently down, the cataract, rushes along ’till it reaches the bridge on the road & passes under that to the bed of the river before mentioned; forming all the way cascades of such variety & grandeur that I mistook some of them for the Doly Myllin [sic] itself. Greatly superior to them all did I, however, find it when we arrived at its feet; the situation is most delightful & the surrounding scenery the most appropriate that fancy could desire; the water forms a sort of double cataract, & falls in two perpendicular sheets of great width, & from considerable heigths [sic]; the lovely cascades that are formed by it as it dashes in sparkling columns from one of these stupendous falls to the other might alone have gratified our curiosity: & upon the whole the magnificence & the variety of the fall & the beauty

of the situation made us prefer the cataract of Doly Myllin to all the wonders of this kind we had seen; seeing it too as we did with a more than ordinary supply of water. The rest of our evening ride had little remarkable in it, excepting the dangers that we ran in passing for some miles along the precipice that hung over the river on our left, but our horses were now accustomed to Welch scenes, & as the road is wide & very excellently kept, they brought us all safely to the Golden Lion at Dolgelle: a pretty good Inn for Wales.

Friday 11th – We held a consultation whether we should visit Pistil [sic] y [?bain] the most noted cataract of North Wales, or whether William should ascend Cader Idris the second in magnitude of its mountains; we could not spare time for both: as he had been disappointed of realising the summit of Snowdon, & we had seen so many interesting falls

of water, the latter was agreed on; & in spite of a high wind & clouded sky he set out as soon as we had breakfasted, on a little welch pony provided by his guide. This guide Robert Edwards by name, a spare [?“Tantony- Bobus-”] like figure of seventy nine years old, gave us a curious paper specifying all this titles & employments in which among others he stiles himself “Guide General & Grand Expositor of all the curiosities of North Wales; & Knight of the most eccentric (& perhaps happy) Order of Thoughtless Inexplicable”. His humble manners, however, accorded better with his appearance, than with these sonorous titles – During William’s absence I employed myself in writing, & regretted extremely that a harp stood unused in my parlor [sic], but I could get no one who could call forth its power of “discoursing most eloquent music;” this I was the more sorry for as I had not heard it, since its chords had been so miserably struck at Carnarvon [sic]; since we had left that city, our

journeying had been thro’ roads too little frequently to repay any harper for constant attendance at the Inns, & our near approach to England made it improbable we should be much oftener regaled by them; but as I could not awaken its melody myself I was obliged to be contented with its silence.

William returned sooner than I expected having had a very cold ride, & but indifferent success in seeing the prospects for the clouds usually hung so heavy in the sides of the mountain as to obscure the whole scenery below, this together with the high wind which scarcely permitted them or their poneys [sic] to keep their feet, obliged him to give up ascending the highest point of the mountain which is sixteen yards above that which he gained: the sun before they descended kindly dispersed the clouds for few minutes, & opened to their view the extensive & various scenery below, bounded in one

part by the sea, which with the pretty village of Barmouth seems immediately at their feet; but the gathering mists soon closed again upon them, & they were forced to return home without any further gratifications. At half past four o’clock we resumed our journey by ascending a long & steep mountain commanding a view of the pretty & well cultivated valley in which Dolgelle is built; of this we soon lost sight, & entered on a bleak & barren scene, which in its turn yeilded gave place to mountains covered with fine verdure, which yeilded [sic] pasture to numberless flocks. Here the road lies between two ridges of high mountains & is cut along thro’ the sides of one of them, running for a long way along the edge of a precipice that is really frightful: I do not know which is the worst, this or that we passed last night for neither have the slightest guard, not even a bush to make the danger less startling; but this promises a safer fall on the

green herbage beneath, while that would have plunged us into the rough & dashing current of a rocky river. We were both rather glad when from this mountain pass we descended ^again into the vallies which continue with little variation to Dinasmouthy [sic] a poor city, where we had been recommended not to stop, as we should meet with very indifferent accommodations, we had reason (judging by appearances) to think this advice was good, & therefore left this town, the last in Merionithshire, & entering Montgomoryshire proceeded a mile & a half farther to the Cross Foxes at Mallwyd; this Inn stands a little out of the high road & we missed the turning to it, but did not lose much time as we soon met with a man who put us in the right way; it is indeed easily found as there is a direction post at its entrance which says to “Mallwyd,” but we were ignorant that the

village was so called. We had had several showers during our ride, & a very heavy one fell as we were at tea, this I was very sorry for as the Cross Foxes stands in so sweet a valley I longed to take a strole [sic] in it but as we were forced to remain within it was some consolation that the Inn tho’ small was very clean, & in all respects extremely comfortable.

Saturday 12th. We intended to have taken a stage before breakfast but the heavy rain with which the morning opened determined us to wait an hour or two in hopes of more favorable [sic] skies; soon after our breakfast we found their appearance less threatening; but we had a showery ride the whole of the morning – At an Inn called Cannon’s Office about 12 miles from Mallwyd we were obliged to take a nooning while Boyo had a shoe fastened which had become loose: to this place & from hence to Llanfair, & Welch Pool [sic] our rout was intirely [sic] among pleasant vallies which succeeded each other

the whole way; these for the most part boast a considerable share of beauty, & some fertility & cultivation & the verdant mountains that surround them appear to afford such excellent pasture to the sheep, as proclaims a richness of soil, that would well repay the industry that further improved it: but husbandry does not appear to be a favorite [sic] employment of the welch, who seem to possess but little activity. When we passed thro’ Llanfair (a small town) we found it was market day, the first welch market we had ever seen: it was not a scene of much animation for the buyers & sellers were both looking on with the carelessness of uninterested spectators, & tho’ it was nearly two o’clock we met many people with articles for sale only then going to it. From Llanfair to Welch Pool the road is in most miserable order, & ^we thought ourselves lucky in reaching the latter place without accident; indeed the man whom we sent for to examine the chair

told us it was a piece of good fortune by no measure common. Welch Pool is rather a large town, but a place of no business & apparently very dull: we dined at The Royal Oak Inn, in a large room which I thought dirty & disagreeable, & I was not sorry to leave it, & pursue our journey to Montgomory [sic] , to which place we had a sweet ride proceeding equally from the charms of the country, & the beauty of the evening. As we advanced nearer to England the sinking mountains gradually lost their sublimity, & around Montgomory they can only rank as very high hills; but a richer soil, & more fertile fields, repay the inhabitants of these lower lands for the loss of the magnificent, but unprofitable beauties of Carnarvon [sic] and Merionith [sic] shires. The approach to Montgomory on this side is very stricking [sic], the shattered ruins of the old Castle picturesquely situated on a rugged rock forms the fore-ground on the right, relieved by a wooded hill behind it, in the middle but less

forward to the view is the town & on the left appears the steple [sic] of the parish church surrounded by trees: the town disappoints you on entering, for its first appearance promises more beauty, than it possesses; & the Dragon Inn presents us with nothing more inviting than we had left at Welch Pool. At this town English becomes became again familiar to our ears, & very little welch is spoken.

Sunday 13. We were now so near England, which we entered about six miles & a half beyond Montgomory, that William began to suppose his journey at an end & to think so much of home & his boy, I could not prevail on him to delay our journey of this day ’till after morning service, a circumstance my dear Eliza that you may be sure I greatly regretted: yet I own it was soon forgotton [sic] when we set off after breakfast with a cloudless sky, & brilliant sunshine, which illumined our lovely ride to Bishop’s Castle, the scene of beauty & plenty

however were fully calculated to call forth the warmest sentiments of gratitude & devotion, & my heart fervently felt them. Nothing could form a stronger contrast than the country thro’ which we past this morning & that we had contemplated during the middle of the last week – there all was wild, aweful [sic], & sublime, here all was fertile, soft, & beautiful. The encircling hills that still rose in every side of us were rich in cultivation, adorned with majestic woods, or decked with verdant pastures, which afforded a delicious herbage to the numerous flocks, that enlivened them; below the “vallies thick with wavy corn”67 smiled with more luxuriant fertility; not one barren spot, tho’ ever so small deformed the prospect, but as far as the eye could reach on all sides, riches & abundance met its view; while the sweeping shadows of the hills diversified the prospect. Unfortunately the bad conditions of the roads, deprived William of

half the pleasures of this ride, for he was obliged to keep his eyes so fixt on the horse, he scarcely dared raise them to behold the beauties that surrounded him. At the Castle, at Bishop’s Castle (a neat, pleasant Inn) we had the cheapest “snack” (an irish word) possible cold lamb, sallad [sic], bread, cheese, butter & ale, with a supply of hay & corn for the horses for three & ninepence: after which we continued our way to Ludlow, thro what we were told was the best road, tho’ without this information we might have mistaken it for the worst either in England or Wales; this is the more shameful, as there is no natural impediment to its being excellent, & it might be rendered such at a trifling expense, & without much labor [sic]. This again deprived William of the pleasure of contemplating the rich country thro’ which we passed, which exhibited the whole way the same enchanting features of luxuriant beauty as that I had so much admired in the former part of the morning. On our arrival at Ludlow, William was so fatigued with driving, & I with jotting that

we could not move ’till after dining when we stroled [sic] thro’ the town which we admired very much, as it is remarkably clean, neat, & built very prettily: I remembered its being a favorite [sic] town of mama’s, & therefore expected to be as much pleased with it, & I was not at all disappointed. The Castle & Church are both objects of curiosity; the former like that at Montgomory, is situated on a rock, & is a handsome ruin, at the foot of it are some pleasant public walks commanding a view of the river Teme, a clear but not very beautiful stream. The Church is a handsome gothic structure, worthy both in its exterior & interior of admiration, but we both prefered [sic] the former. After seeing them we returned to our Inn the Angel where we remained the rest of the evening: it is a very good Inn, & after our late accommodations appeared even elegant.

Monday 14th. We left Ludlow, before breakfast, the morning was very fine, & we had a delightful ride to Tenbury, tho’ the country lost by degrees, the extended prospects

& commanding hills that had adorned our journey of yesterday: on leaving Ludlow we entered Herefordshire, just crossed Shropshire again at Burford, & then made our entrée into Worcestershire, in which county is Tenbury where at the remarkably pretty Inn of the Swan we enjoyed a capital breakfast. Here I took a pleasant little walk by myself as William was engaged with the horses; after this we proceeded to the Hundred House Inn a most ap unpleasant Inn place where we waited the country having become more & more inclosed [sic] every mile & soon offering nothing to the view but orchards & small Hop-grounds – Leaving this ugly Inn we went on to Worcester, & found the road as we approached this city grew flat & insipid to the greatest degree our eyes so long accustomed to scenes of sublimity & grandeur could scarcely look on the Malvern Hills with complacency, those hills which my father & Mrs. [?Bell]68 climbed with so much pride appeared so low & insignificant

that I felt angry at their presumption in assuming any celebrity; yet their outline is in truth bold & irregular & travelling this way into Wales instead of out of it, we should probably have joined our voices in their praise: the “river Severn” also, noted for its silvery stream appeared to our eyes, from which the picture of the mountain torrents had not yet faded, to flow in a sluggish & thick current; & we agreed that it would be necessary for us to visit Worcester again before we could speak with impartial justice of its environs. In spite of warning William would go to the Hop Pole Inn; to whisper the truth in your ear my dear Eliza, I suspect his curiosity led him thither against his judgement; as he had a floating idea that the guests were waited on by lasses in livery instead of the most awkward manikins; he was however disappointed & punish’d for this was not the case, tho’ I believe it is true of one of the other Inns, & we found our accommodations

comfortless, & the attendance “le derniere détestable.” After dinner we stroled [sic] about the town with which we were much pleased it is large, clean, cheerful & in all respects well built: here for the first & only time we heard some military music, & the town was full of soldiers, a sight which tho’ a few months ago so common, is already growing rare: before our return to the Inn we visited the Cathedral with the outside of which I was not much pleased, but the interior is very beautiful consisting of several isles of the most perfect gothic arches; there is also a very pretty Chapel called Prince Alfred’s, & in it, as well as throughout the Cathedral are numerous fine old monuments many of which are admired; but William had so great a horror of them I was afraid he would quite affront the poor verger, who ran over their histories ’till he was

nearly out of breath, yet spite of all his rapid eloquotion [sic] found his tongue less nimble than his auditor’s feet: as I have no passion for reverend archbishops in stones, or noble barons with their seven brave sons & as many of our daughters who formed of the same durable materials have knelt in constant prayer for the last eight hundred years; I own I was not sorry to escape from them also.

On Tuesday 15 As soon as we had breakfasted we went to Mr Burslem’s at Hanbury about [blank space] miles from Worcester. Mr Burslem’s Parsonage is a very pretty white house, pleasantly situated; & from it is a walk sheltered by trees, up a number of steps to the church; which is very handsome & built on a hill where it appears to great advantage; the inside has been newly repaired, & correspondents in neatness & even in ornament to the out; it is certainly the prettiest & most

handsome country church I ever saw, & its pastor is not a little proud of it: with him & his family we passed a very pleasant day, & slept under their “hospitable roof” with great comfort after being so long lodged at Inns.

Wednesday 16th.We took a long walk with Mr & Mrs Burslem before our return to Worcester & went over Hanbury Hall, a seat of L:d Exeter’s with them: it is an old place belonging to the family of his first wife, but is now much in decay as he has not inhabited ^it for some years when in good order it must have been a pretty place enough, but would never have been very stricking [sic]. Leaving our kind hosts at Hanbury we returned to Worcester in time to see [?Fl/H]eight & Bar’s Pottery before dinner; this is a simple but very amusing manufactory, the only art of

which consists in mixing the clay, which is always done by one of the partners: their porcelain is clear & good but I think I have seen finer even of English production, & their patterns want taste & variety. After dinner we gladly bade farewell to the Hop-Pole & had a sweet ride to the village of Broadway: the country indeed was only “indifferent pretty;” but the evening was extremely fine, & the bean-fields in full blossom, flung the most exquisite perfume around us all they [sic] way. We slept at the White Hart Inn, which is exceedingly clean & comfortable, & w^here we had excellent attendance.

Thursday 17. When we awoke this morning the idea of our near approach to Blenheim & Oxford those objects of universal admiration scarcely entered our minds, we were within a hundred miles of home a distance now appearing almost

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nothing, within a hundred miles of all we loved, & of our sweet boy; Oh! how at this recollection did every other sink away! how exquisite must ^have been the charms of any object, that after so long an absence, apparently doubles in length by the extent of country we had travelled, could ^have allured us willingly to stop retard our return for an hour! Happily for the our future feelings, which would no doubt have been those of regret if we passed these far-famed spots without notice; (of mine at least, for William had seen them before) our horses could not travel as fleetly as our minds to them a hundred miles was of some consequence, was a distance that would require long intervals of rest in journeying over; & as we were obliged to consult their convenience, we went quietly on an early stage to Moreton to breakfast,

at the White Hart, apparently a passable good Inn. Neither this stage nor the next to Woodstock offered much to interest us, & as soon as we arrived at the Bear at the latter we ordered a phaeton to visit Blenheim: these carriages are kept for this express purpose here & I suppose at the other Inns. The entrance to this noble Park is magnificent, & the whole ride thro’ it, presents scenes of continual beauty & majesty: even to my eyes (now spoilt for all that art, or even nature except in her highest walks can offer) they appeared worthy of all their celebrity, & far surpassed every other similar scene I have seen. After we had rode over the Park we walked thro’ the gardens which quite delighted me, & which I prefered [sic] beyond comparison to those at Stowe. The house is rather a heavy

pile of building, but has a stately appearance; of its interior magnificence I could not judge, for William had seen it before; & assured me it was not worth the trouble of going over it: whether he was right or wrong I know not, but I found not difficulty in yeilding [sic] to his wishes of non-inspection as fine furniture & fine apartments never afford me much pleasure. On our return to the Bear we had an excellent dinner, & afterwards stroled [sic] about Woodstock, & admired the [?cullery] ’till we were quite fatigued; the glove trade seemed less flourishing than usual, for we found great difficulty in procuring the small supply we wished for – It was nearly dusk when we came in to tea soon after which, we sought & obtained the calm blessing of repose.

As I have hitherto been particular in mentioning the counties we have touched on, I must not forget to say that on leaving Broadway we entered Gloucestershire & at the Four Shire Stone about ten miles beyond we quitted it for Oxfordshire.

Friday 18th – We had a pleasant ride this morning (which was remarkably fine) to Oxford before breakfast, & took this first meal very comfortably at the Star which seemed to be an excellent Inn; & when we had finished it we took took [sic] a man from the Inn to shew us the most remarkable colledges [sic] &c: The first we visited was Christ Church w^here there is a large gallery of fine pictures by the ancient masters69; many of these I should liked to bestow a much longer time on, than our liesure [sic] would allow & I reluctantly left them to follow our conductor to the hall, which is large & handsome & hung round (as is often the case) with

portraits of eminent men who have sprung from the colledge. We then ascended to the library which is also a large one, consisting of two stories & built of Norway oak which has a solid & venerable appearance: this colledge [sic] is an ancient & fine one, but I saw little in it to please, altho I traversed it with interest from considering it was here our dear William would probably acquire all the “academic lore” he will one day I hope possess. From hence we passed to the Radcliffe Library an elegant circular building with which I was greatly pleased: we exhibited ourselves “selon l’usage” on the leads, & had from them a very fine view of this beautiful city, which gratified my extremely – With the Bodleian Library I was much disappointed having somehow acquired an idea of its being a very beautiful as well as large

repository of the works of the learned; I suppose I was mistaken in imagining it to be esteemed such, at least it appeared to me quite the reverse, & the old ceiling painted all over with the arms of the University I thought positively ugly; its size was also inferior to my expectations & I was surprized how its 200,000 volumes could all find places; particularly as so much space is occupied by the pictures, of which I admired some very much, but was most struck by a noble statue in brass70 of William Earl of Pembroke the graceful ease of which cannot be surpassed. We next, I believe, visited Magdelen [sic] Chapel with which I was delighted: the entrance is lighted only by painted glass windows, the greater part of which have been lately executed by Egerton, in one color [sic] a dark brown; they are extremely beautiful & cast a chastened gloom over the chapel which adds an inexpressible awe to the inexplicable feelings

of mingled gratitude, devotion & piety which it is impossible not to experience while gazing on the exquisite picture by Guida [?] over the communion table; of our Saviour bearing his cross; the patient anguish, the dignified resignation, the “something not of this earth,” that seemed breathed over the whole figure, made it appear “no work of mortal hand;” a more touching performance imagination cannot conceive. The New Colledge [sic] Chapel was the last object of our curiosity; it is I think in all respects well worthy of admiration but the celebrated window painted by Jervais from a design of Sir Joshua Reynolds, is certainly its most beautiful ornament. the upper part represents the Nativity & the lower (divided into seven compartments) the christian & cardinal virtues; I prefered [sic] the figures designed for the christian graces, but could not decide in

my own mind, whether the group so sweetly figuring Charity, or the enchanting personification of Hope delighted me most.71 After seeing this window I no longer hesitated to allow the superiority of Jervais to Girton, but perhaps he owes it more to the noble design from which he copied than to his own excellence. We just passed thro’ the Christ Church & Magdelen [sic] Walks, which are pretty enough, but not equal to Clare Hall Piece at Cambridge nor did any single thing at Oxford ^delight me as much as The Kings Colledge [sic] Chapel & Trinity Library there, yet as a whole I infinitely prefer this to its sister University, its colledges [sic] are altogether much handsomer, & more advantageously situated; indeed I can imagine nothing finer in its kind than the High Street where so many of them stand. I felt some regret at not entering University Colledge [sic] , tho’ assumed it contained nothing worthy of notice, but age & my veneration for its

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founder, the noble Alfred,72 would have made it an object of curiosity to me, & I could not look at it without interest. After seeing all this variety of objects I returned to our Inn, with my head in compleat [sic] confusion, which I could not get rid of while eating an excellent nooning of which some pretty good ice formed a part; not till we arrived, after a pleasant ride thro “mediocre” country to Dorchester where at the quiet, comfortable, but unassuming Inn of the White Hart we stoped [sic] & dined. From hence to Henley on Thames the country is very pretty, particularly ^the latter part of the stage: I was rather disappointed in Henley as I had heard much of its beauties; but with London eyes it would probably have pleased me more. We had a very dull room at the Red Lion, tho it must have many ^that are pleasant as it fronts the Thames; our windows indeed looked on the river, but we were on the ground floor, & had also to complain of very indifferent

attendance, ascribable probably to our humble equipage as we were now in courtly regions. As the evening was fine we walked after ten along Thames’s “flower-enameled [sic] meads” till it was nearly dark watching the waters stealing down their waveless current in undisturbed tranquillity: with feelings far different from those called forth by the roaring torrents of the Begglelert [sic] river – where our minds experienced the highest elevation as “looking above, below, around us, we saw that all was great, yet felt within us that interlectual [sic] principle that was greater still;” 73 that noble principle that from contemplating the most magnificent of nature’s works, could ascend still higher to the adoration of its Almighty Author. Here indeed reflexion [sic] taught us, all that made this far-famed river the merited subject of british Song, the just object of british enthusiasm; but these immediate feeling [sic] explained all that made it, the sourse [sic] of admiration.

Saturday June 19th – This morning we left Henley early, & breakfasted at

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The King’s Arms, Maidenhead Bridge: an Inn most sweetly situated on the banks of the Thames: the morning was fine & we enjoyed our ride exceedingly, for the country is extremely pretty the whole of this stage: We were not disposed to give the same report of the next to Hounslow, as every mile grew flater [sic] & more dusty: on arriving there we immediately ordered a post chaise, & hastened on to London; to our impatient fancies the miles of this last stage seemed to lengthen as we advanced; the thoughts of near-approaching ^home filled our hearts, & the country offered no charms to our view that could for a moment divide our attention: At length we arrived at [illegible], & from thence, I in his chair with him, & William on horse-back soon found ourselves way to Clapton, & once more embraced our dear boy! the feeling of that moment you must, my Eliza, fancy, for I cannot describe!

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And now my most beloved Sister farewell, I finish my little journal of a most delightful tour with regret because in finishing it I conclude a long imaginary conversation with you; which has possessed many charms for me – May you find some few in it also, assured that to contribute to your slightest pleasures is always among the first of mine.

Mary Anne Eade


Editorial notes

1. Possibly a variant of ‘Eliza’, given as Eade’s sister’s name in the following paragraph.
2. Eliza Vaux’s tour of Wales remains untraced, but mention of it here offers evidence of the manuscript tour format as part of a system of exchange within small coteries.
3. The source of this quotation remains unclear, however these lines may be slightly misquoted from a contemporary riddle ('And she, poor soul, with small delight / Beheld the strange unusual sight'). See The Masquerade. A Collection of New Enigmas, Logogriphs, Charades, Rebusses, Queries and Transpositions (Southampton and London: T. Baker, G. & T. Wilkie and J. Bell, 1797), p. 60.
4. Possibly a reference to John Aikin, ‘A Winter’s Piece’; see Poems, by J. Aikin (London: J. Johnson, 1791), p. 21.
5. Possibly a reference to Anne Miller (d. 1824), widow of George Keppel, 3rd Earl of Albemarle (1724-72).
6. For modern photographs of the saloon at Stowe, see here [external link] and here [external link]
7. For a modern photograph of the music room at Stowe, see here [external link]
8. Unidentified.
9. The stone-built Warwick Castle dates from the thirteenth century. By the early nineteenth century it was the family home of the Greville family. The earliest known inventory of the collection at Warwick Castle was made by Thomas Pennant in 1774: see here [external link]
10. For a late eighteenth-/early nineteenth-century view of Warwick, by Henry Edridge, see here [external link]
11. Probably a reference to William Crompton (dates unknown), a partner in the Warwick textile firm Parkes, Brookhouse and Crompton (established 1796), which folded in 1822.
12. The Spinning Jenny was a machine for spinning thread onto multiple spindles, patented in 1770, which transformed the process of cotton manufacturing; see here [external link]
13. George Nicholson’s The Cambrian Traveller’s Guide (1813; 2nd edition), lists ‘Clark and Ashmore’s whip Manufactory’ at the Bullring, ‘Phipson’s pin-manufactory’ on New Street and ‘Clay’s japan manufactory and show-room’ on Newhall Street as ‘Objects worthy of notice’ for visitors to Birmingham (p. 134).
14. A reference to Matthew Boulton’s Soho Foundry, Soho Manufactory and Soho Mint, which employed steam power as part of the new mechanisation of the manufacturing process.
15. Francis Eginton worked for Matthew Boulton at his Soho Manufactory in the 1760s and 70s, before later setting up his own glass painting business.
16. A reference to John Milton, Paradise Lost, II: 667.
17. This precise reference remains unidentified, but probably alludes to the widely-used guidebook John Cary published in 1798 as Cary's New Itinerary; or, an accurate delineation of the great roads, both direct and cross, throughout England and Wales.
18. Unidentified.
19. Unidentified.
20. The Brades Ironworks (a steelworks and tool manufactory from the early nineteenth century), at Oldbury just outside Birmingham, was owned by William Hunt (dates unknown).
21. The Iron Bridge at Ironbridge, built by Abraham Darby and completed in 1779, was the first bridge to be made out of cast-iron. See here [external link]
22. Eade is quoting the opening of Edward Young’s The Complaint: or, Night-thoughts on Life, Death & Immortality (London: R. Dodsley, 1742).
23. Unidentified, but possibly a servant to Eade.
24. A quotation from Book 1 of James Beattie's The Minstrel; or, The Progres of Genius (1771): ‘These charms shall work thy soul’s eternal health, / And love, and gentleness, and joy, impart’ (p. 7).
25. A quotation from Alexander Pope, An Epistle from Mr. Pope, to Dr. Arbuthnot (London: J. Wright, 1734), p. 3.
26. For an eighteenth-centuty view of Valle Crucis, by Moses Griffith, see here [external link]
27. Probably adapted or misquoted from William Cowper’s ‘Retirement’ (‘How, sweet, how passing sweet is solitude!’). See Poems by William Cowper (London: J. Johnson, 1782), p. 295.
28. A quotation from William Mason’s ‘Elegy on the Death of Lady Coventry’; see Elegies. By William Mason (London: Robert Horsfield, 1763), p. 16.
29. On the Welsh practice of decorating graves with flower, see here [external link]
30. A reference to Samuel Jackson Pratt, Gleanings Through Wales, Holland and Westphalia (London: T. N. Longman and L. B. Seeley, 1795), p. 114 (‘Amongst the customs that had peculiar attractions for me, was the tender veneration paid, externally at least to the dead … I have seen graves so diligently cultured, as every week to have been planted with the choicest flowers of the season’).
31. Probably a reference to Benjamin Wyatt (1745-1818), land agent and engineer, who became chief agent at the Penrhyn Estate in the mid-1780s. His house was Lime Grove, an eighteenth-century villa; for an early nineteenth-century illustration see here [external link]
32. Medium-sized sailing ship used for transporting passengers and freight.
33. One of a number of vessels (see also the ‘Hillsborough’, below) providing a daily service between Holyhead and Dublin, six days a week, in the later eighteenth century. See Justin Merrigan and Ian Collard, Holyhead to Ireland: Stena and its Welsh Heritage (Stroud: Amberley Publishing, 2010), 16.
34. Unidentified.
35. The Acts of Union between Britain and Ireland came into effect on 1 January 1801.
36. For contemporary views of Dublin, including the bay, see Finola O’Kane, ‘The City of Dublin’, here [external link]
37. Trinity College Dublin obtained its charter from Elizabeth I in 1592. For a contemporary view of the College, see here [external link]
38. For a modern photograph of the interior of the Long Room at Trinity College Library, see here [external link]
39. For a modern photograph of the Wren Library at Trinity College, Cambridge, see here [external link]
40. For a modern photograph of the chapel at Trinity College, see here [external link]
41. A reference to the Chapel of St Peter and St Paul, Royal Naval College, Greenwich; see here [external link]
42. A reference to the Examination Hall at Trinity College, Dublin, built in the late eighteenth century. For a modern photograph of the interior, see here [external link]
43. The present Museum at Trinity College, Dublin, dates from the mid-nineteenth century. The museum as visited by Eade was located at Regent House; for an early nineteenth-century view of the interior, see here [external link]
44. A quotation from Thomas Tickell’s narrative ballad ‘Lucy and Colin’, published by the mid-1720s at least but reprinted throughout the eighteenth century. See Lucy and Colin, A Song (Dublin: Pressick Rider and Thomas Harbin, 1725).
45. Probably a reference to Ponsonby Shaw (1784-1871).
46. Probably a reference to Bernard Shaw (d. c. 1808).
47. The Battle of NewtownMountKennedy, which formed part of the 1798 United Irish uprising, took place on 30 May 1798.
48. For an approximate illustration of the scene, at the Dunran estate in Wicklow, being described by Eade in this passage, see here [external link]
49. A house built in a rural setting to a consciously picturesque or rustic design, typically with some decorative features such as ornate woodwork (OED).
50. Biblical reference (see Genesis 43:34) meaning the largest share or portion of something.
51. Unidentified.
52. A quotation from Book II of Beattie’s, The Minstrel (1774); see II: 10.
53. Probably quoted from Ann Radcliffe, The Romance of the Forest (1791); see The Romance of the Forest, ed. Chloe Chard (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986), p. 262.
54. The dual concerned Catholic Emancipation, which Jones supported and Musgrave opposed. See Authentic Detail of an Affair of Honour between William Todd Jones, esq., and Sir Richard Musgrave (Dublin, 1802).
55. Probably a reference to Rathfarnham Castle, a sixteenth-century castle in South Dubin, remodelled in the eighteenth century; see here [external link]
56. One of a number of vessels (see also the ‘Bessborough’, above) providing a daily service between Holyhead and Dublin, six days a week, in the later eighteenth century. Merrigan and Collard, p. 16.
57. Unidentified.
58. Unidentified.
59. Unidentified.
60. I.e. rest taken around noon.
61. Linsey-woolsey, a textile material woven from a mixture of wool and flax.
62. A quotation from John Milton, Paradise Lost, III: 88.
63. Unidentified.
64. For a contemporary view of Llanberis Lake, by J.M.W. Turner, see here [external link]
65. See William Bingley, A Tour round North Wales, performed during the summer of 1798 (London, 1800): ‘Amongst the rocks, at the bottom, I observed a number of circular holes of different sizes, from a few inches in diameter to two feet or upwards, which have been formed by the eddy of the torrent from above. These hollows are frequently called by the Welsh people, Devil’s pots, and from this circumstance, the place itself is sometimes called the Devil’s kitchen.’ (I, 211).
66. For a contemporary image of Caernarfon castle in its quayside setting, by Thomas Rowlandson see here [external link]
67. Slightly misquoted from Matthew Prior’s long poem ‘Carmen Seculare, for the Year 1700’; see Poems on Several Occasions (1709), p. 156.
68. Unidentified.
69. A reference to Christ Church Picture Gallery, which holds an important collection of Old Masters; see here [external link]
70. For a modern photograph of the bronze statue of William Herbert at the Bodleian Library, see here [external link]
71. For modern photographs depicting the West Window of the chapel at New College, see here [external link]
72. University College was long thought to have been founded by King Alfred in the 870s. In reality it was founded as a result of a bequest left by William of Durham (d. 1249).
73. Probably a reference to Harriet and Sophia Lee’s Canterbury Tales; see ‘The Officer’s Tale’, Canterbury Tales. Volume the Third (London: G. G. and J. Robinson, 1797), p. 40.