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Once more the jewels they had madly strown
Woman, bow'd with grief,
Ye, who shrink
Lov'st thou Him ?
Roche, Printer, 25, Hoxton-square, London
(With a second Engraving.)
(Concluded from page 155.) We have said that the village of Madeley, taken by itself, furnishes not many objects of attraction. In its neighbourhood, however, the lovers of picturesque may find no ordinary gratification. Even as to natural scenery, my first impressions were very soon changed. One fine afternoon, early in the week, my friends requested me to accompany them to the “ leads," on the house-top. Hitherto I had only seen a narrow circle of country, bounded by an horizon which, where most distant, was only two or three miles off. I was, therefore, not at all prepared for the splendid view which burst upon us when we stood on the roof. The panorama was complete and beautiful. Hills near and remote, widespreading plains, the meandering Severn, furnished a prospect such as I had not often seen. But I will not dwell on it now, as, in the course of a few days, from a much higher elevation, the same view, with the additions furnished by the more elevated point from which it was beheld, was presented. I shall come to it before I have done.
One beautiful afternoon I was taken out to visit two or Vol. XI. Second Series. I
three places, which have left on my mind an abiding impression. We first went as though going to Madeley-Wood; but before arriving at the chapel, (already described,) we turned out of the road to the right, a short distance, and then leaving the gig, walked to what seemed to be a wood. I shall never forget the view that was then presented. We stood on the edge of a vast mountainous basin, the hill-sides being covered with trees, among which (many of them being ornamental) were very pleasant walks. At the bottom were the buildings connected with large iron-works. This was Coalbrook-Dale, and those iron-works were, previously to his death, the property of the late celebrated Richard Reynolds, celebrated under one of the best titles, that of “philanthropist.” Between a gap towards the summit of these wellwooded hills, there were the picturesque mountainous ranges of the Shropshire hills, while, in the far-distant back-ground, almost mixing on the horizon with the sky, were the mountains of North and Middle Wales. I had seen the St. Vincent rocks at Bristol; but even after them Coalbrook-Dale was admirable, and furnished many features of scenery peculiar to itself. We walked among the trees at the top, almost every turn presenting new combinations of the same general elements of the view. It seemed as if I could have been contented to remain there, “ feasting my eyes,” for the whole day. The basin, seen from the top, appeared to be complete. There was no visible outlet. However, as there were other things to be seen, we descended the hill, leaving with a good appetite.
Arrived at the bottom, we left the valley, crossed the Severn, and proceeded along its banks for a short distance. The “ Birches” were then pointed out to me. The readers of Mr. Fletcher's Life and Works will remember the occurrence of which the sight of the place reminded us. During his residence at Madeley, a large piece of ground, on the side of a gentle declivity, slipped away from its place, carrying trees, and all that stood on it, along with it, and damming up the Severn, so as to oblige it to work out for itself a new course. Mr. Fletcher preached on the occasion of this “land-slip," this ~ phenomenon at the Birches," as it is termed in his Works.