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The people below had kindled of an immense diameter; the largest, a fire, the grey smoke from which I believe, measures between forty and made a picturesque contrast to the fifty feet. The aqueduct for conveydeep gloom that pervaded the rocky ing away the water is very ingenious ; precipices : nearer the mouth, the it is constructed of wood, passing over bright light of the sun's
shone u- an extent of more than six English pon the cliffs and hanging icicles, miles. which glittered like so many masses of On our arrival at the mouth of the brilliants. The descending and as- mine, we entered a low building, and cending ropes, equal to a stout cable, there received the proper habits for seemed the finest cobweb; and the making our descent; consisting of a huge projecting rocks looked as if black shirt, a leathern apron closing every explosion would shake them behind, and a broad - brimmed hat, from their already trembling situa- like those of our London coal-heavtion, and crush the labouring wretches ers, We also each carried a bundle below.
of wood to light us through the caIn one quarter of the mine is a sort of well-staircase constructed of wood. Thus properly equipped, my friend It is composed of ladders, steps, and and myself, attended by a guide, once landing-places in the rock, at various more committed ourselves to the proheights, which gradually communi. tection of a bucket, and immediately cate with the top ; a mode of ascend- were launched into an abyss of up. ing and descending by far too fatigu- wards of a hundred and fifty fathoms, ing for novices. To those who are in a direct line to the bottom. Afond of mineralogy this mine is dou- bout half way down, a huge cave prebly interesting, as many curious and sented itself, from which issued a long beautiful specimens may be procured. boat-hook, (like one of the devil's Not being of this philosophical class, claws, if you please,) which in a moI remounted with unburthened poc- ment drew our vehicle to its mouth. kets; and bidding a grateful farewel to Like the ghosts on the other side of our attentive conductor, we returned, Styx, we jumpt upon firm land, and well pleased with our morning's re
looked around us,
Indeed it was al. searches, to Upsal.
together a subterraneous world ; a very little imagination would have made it
the dominions of Pluto, and transformThis mine is about half an English ed my friend and me into two wanmile from the town. It was once, I dering mortals visiting the mansions understand, more valuable than at pre- of gloomy Dis, either
to regain a fasent; but even now it is an exchequer ther or a wife. Alas! no such inteof wealth to the crown : a kind of resting objects had we in pursuit! at huge royal cruse (I would say the wic least, not there did we expect to find dow's, were I transported ages back, them. The cave led us into one of and writing in the reign of Margaret those long galleries excavated in the de Valdemar ;) for it has so long been rock which traverse the mine in differworked, and yet replenishes the king- ent strata, communicating upwards dom with exhaustless stores. When and downwards by narrow and treit was first opened, no tradition can mendous shafts, or rather wells, cut in tell ; its existence seems primeval with the bowels of the earth, and excluded the kingdom.
from the light of day. We explored The machines here employed are a great number of these vaulted more extensive than those of Dunamo- apartments, which led us into subterra, and are all hydraulical. Some are ranean plains, washed by rivers that
had never known the sun's rays; and ed by our own admirable Mortimer. now lay, not only congealed, but glit- _“What a dismal region is this!" tering with ten thousand brilliant py- exclaimed I to my friend. ramids, shaped by their formerly dash- ** You have yet to go deeper, Sir," ing waters, frozen to crystal, and re- said our conductor ; “ this is only half flecting every beam from our nume- way to the grand gallery." rous torches,
Expecting now to pay a visit to The long, lonely passages, leading the antipodes, we stepped a second to the exhausted and neglected spots time into our bucket, and as swiftly of the mine, were damp, perhaps pes- (though less poetically!) as the Knight tilential; and the hardened masses of of La Mancha and his wooden horse accumulated droppings, hung in icy were carried beyond the Pleiades, we columns from the arched roof. were lowered to the bottom of a gulph
Having crossed several of these pet- that really seemed opening to receive rifying dungeons, we approached the us for ever. All here was on a larinhabited part of the mine, where the ger scale than above : more people pick-axe and the spade were still re- were at work, and a greater number warded by the sparkling ore.
Here of horses at the wheels to draw off the we descried at a considerable distance water which in various channels burst through the gloom, a large cell lit by from hidden springs, and flowed in a solitary lamp, which casting its torrents across avenues just excavated beams downward, discovered two be- by the blasting gunpowder. ings black as Erebus, sitting silent o- Being led into a stony apartment, ver their meal, with an air more be- something like the aisle of a church, fitting infernal residents (vampires if our guide desired us to write our you please,) than creatures connected names in a book kept on purpose, as with human nature.
a register of all who visit the mines. In these excavations, illumined like On turning over the leaves for many a sepulchre, the workmen assemble at a year back, we saw several signatures mid-day to take their dinner and tem- of our countrymen; and some sufliporary rest. We passed by the en- ciently respected to give an additional trance of one of them when the mi- charm to the places consecrated by ners had met. Many of the indus- their footsteps. trious individuals were lying in various Having walked ourselves weary, picturesque attitudes on wooden bench- we desired to return; and again enes, and the projactions of the rock į tering our flying bucket, cut through from the higher masses of which hung the air in our ascent. On looking up, ragged pieces of canvas, savagely sup- the view was equally striking with that ported by torn branches of pine, I saw on turning my eyes downwards. meant as signals where to find the The mouth of the shaft (which at the banquetting chamber of these sons of top is a circle of very considerable Odin; and also to divide their retreat diameter,) appeared reduced to the from the vulgar passage of the subter- size of the moon ; and did not seem ranean world. In the centre of this unlike herself shining through a black banditti-like scene, a fire blazed, which sky, and silvering the rough cliffs casting its lurid lights on the surroun- with her meridian glory. On lookding groupes of men, their strangeing into the mine in our journey upvestments, tools for working, and be ward, the light struck partially only sides all, a couple of horses asleep in on the rocks which gradually receded the corner, formed a picture of sa- into darkness ; and the red fires of the vage wildness, only to be described workmen below, throwing the blackby the author of Gil Blas, or sketch- ness of the deep caverns of the lower
mine into the very hues of Erebus, ment on a celebrated wheel in Hun-
drawn of all its galleries, &c.; and We were told that at present the where the prosecution of the work in average profits of the mine are four the same direction might be dangerous, thousand pounds annually. This, as
orders are issued for the miners to well as those at Dunamora and Fah- stop, and an iron crown is fixed upon lun, pay an eighth of the produce to the spot, as a prohibition ever to prothe king, who has the right to ap- ceed farther. The men then explore point the directing officers over the in a different direction, while every different works. Having paid a cou- subterraneous excavation is watched ple of dollars for the use of our robes, with the nicest calculations. we left this Swedish Potosi, and re. The dresses given to us as the liturned to Sala.
very of Fahlun, were very gay in com
parison with what we had worn in our FAHLUN.
descent at Sala, being black linen Instant arrangements were made finely ornamented with red and yelfor shewing us every object worthy of low. Equipping ourselves in our new notice within this ancient and interest- attire, and each provided with his ing cavern. The hydraulic engines flambeau, we set forth to gain the for conveying the water to the differ- mouth of the shaft, a company of five, ent quarters, are more extensive than including our guide ; and looking those we had already seen. The dia- more like a set of condema'd wretches meter of the largest wheel is forty-four at an auto de fé, than men dressed for feet. There is another of great mag- an expedition of curiosity. We pas. nitude, the one used for raising the ore sed into the great chasm I before defrom the mine to the surface of the earth, scribed, by a range of wooden steps which is on an admirable construc- crossing the rough masses of falling tion. The engineer is a Swede ; and rocks, gravel, and ancient machinery, we are told that his work is an improve in a variety of directions.
Ere we reached
reached the door of the shaft we de- the heat of a Russian vapour-bathi. scended a height of thirty toises, and -In one part which I would not enthen entered a horizontal way, which ter, the steam being so excessively led us onward a considerable distance, hot as to scorch us at twelve paces losing the pure air of day, and gradu- distant, the sulphureous smell became ally breathing the oppressive vapour intolerable. Our guide informed us which rolled towards us in volumes that a volcanic fire broke out near this from the mouths of a hundred caves spot some years ago ;
in consequence leading into the main passage. It was of which they had been obliged to now that I found myself indeed inha- build strong walls as barriers to its ling the atmosphere of Tartarus. The power, and to close up several of the mines which I had thought so hell- passages that, being contiguous, had like, were merely purgatories when it spread, would have proved dangercompared with this Satanic dwelling. ous to the mine. The descent is not incommodious, nor We traversed many long and windis it so hazardous as the modes of Du- ing galleries, as well as large vaulted namora and Sala (the buckets here be. caverns, where the workmen were ing used for theore only,) it is perform- scattered on all sides, employed in ed entirely by steps laid in the wind- hewing vast masses of the rock, and ing rock; and following the subter- preparing other parts for explosion.raneous declivity, we at last found our. Some were wheeling the broken ore selves brought to the tremendous towards the black abyss, where the depths of these Stygian dominions. suspended buckets hung ready to draw
The style of our entrance, and the it upwards. From the effects of such pestilential vapours which environed strong exercise with the heat, the laus with increasing clouds, strongly bourers were obliged to work almost reminded me of Virgil's admirable naked. Their groupes, occupations, description of the journey of Eneas to and primitive appearance, scantily the infernal regions. Here was the lighted by the trembling rays of our same caverned portico, the rocky, torches, formed a curious and interesrough descent, the steaming sulphur, ting scene. and all the deadly stenches of Aver- in ancient days, this mine was a nus. I cannot say that our demoniac kind of state prison, where criminals
, robes carried the resemblance either slaves, and prisoners of war, toiled to the habiliments of the hero, or the out their wretched existence. Many snowy garments of the inspired maid: pathetic narratives are related of the looked like
of ghosts different inhabitants of this subterrafrom the fiery Phlegethon, come to de. neous abode : sometimes tales of hormand a short respite from our pains. ror, and at others lamentable circumThe length of way and excessive heat, stances of innocence being made the added to its suffocating quality, made sacrifice of interest, jealousy, or amus think we should pay dear for our bition. One story, were it not too curiosity. Once or twice I could long for my pen at present, I would hardly support myself; and most woe- recount to
but as it is beautifully fully did I long for the magic inflv told in La Philosophie de la Nature, I ence of the Sybet's bough to refresh' refer you to its pages, where you will my parched lungs. It is impossible read a most tender and interesting tale to describe the Siroc sultriness and of two lovers, the romantic dénouement oppression which increases at every of whose fate happened in this very step: the nearest similitude I can mine. draw (and that only resembles the After the perambulation of at least ast temperate part of the mine) is an hour, we reached the bottom, a
depth of two hundred toises. The Description of the Town and Harbour
the beseita lite of the directors
, that Eing village, is the only sea port
they are apprehensive the treasure it within the county. Before 1776 this
operate, which took place when Bere
how Avernian are the wick was the principal frontier garşteams in this mine, I need mention rison of England, during an almost inone instance only. A few days before cessant warfare of two hundred years, we arrived, a man fell into a large laying waste and depopulating the borhole in one of the caverns.
ders of both kingdoms, from which moment was lost in taking him out; they have not yet completely recoverbut yet the effects of the vitriolic wa- ed. At the above mentioned period, ter he had swallowed were so potent, Berwick judiciously opened its trade that he died in less than an hour. to strangers, or non-freemen, upon mo
Near the bottom of the mine is a derate terms; and its shipping having
This mine is said to produce the mercial houses in the kingdom.
bolished. Even a petty smuggling
ed, or at least seems to have changed