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beauty. We could almost fancy it said, as it went round at a slow and stately pace with a sort of majestic dignity, “I am king of the wheels !"
“ Ye little wheels, hide your diminished heads." We ascended the winding staircase round the massive stone pillar at the head, and there had a splendid view of the mountains beyond, the village and works beneath, and then of the sea through an opening of the glen. But it was a dizzy task to climb the outside staircase, and stand on the top and look around. We had to hold fast, to feel sure we were not going down!
It would be difficult to give you a proper idea of this enormous wheel. But it is 72 feet 6 inches across, and 217 feet 6 inches round, and is used to work the pumps in the mines, at the rate of 250 gallons per minute.
But we must not stop, or we shall not get to the end of our trip this time. Our conveyance met us on the bridge, and we started. When we had climbed half way up the mountain, we missed one of our best friends. " Wherever is he?
Has he walked forward ?" could not be answered. We shouted and waved our 'kerchiefs and strained our eyes with looking in the hot sunshine down into the valley. At last we espied him entering the Inn, and coming out again as if in a great bustle. Again we shouted, but all in vain; so our driver, stripping his coat, jumped off, and taking a short cut down the mountain side soon reached the place and brought him up panting and puffing. In reply to our inquiries we found he had been hunting among the cottages for “a cat without a tail !"
On we drove over a mountainous region for several miles, ever and anon catching, at elevations and openings, some splendid views of the sea, which never failed to add new interest to the romantic and picturesque scenery.
We now began to descend towards “Ramsey," which we reached about two o'clock. Having ordered, at the suggestion of our lady-companions, a tea-and-coffee-dinner, we walked through the town and along the shore of the bay.
Ramsey is a neat little town, without those disagreeable nuisances of which we had too much cause to complain at Douglas. There are many respectable houses both in the town and the neighbourhood, and we do not wonder that many should prefer its quietness and repose to the bustle and noise of Douglas.
Again we moved, and for several miles drove along, at the foot of the mountains, over a good level road, with hedge-rows and shading trees just as in England, to the villages of “Sulby" and "Ballough." Close by the side of this road we passed the palace of the Bishop of Sodor and Man, called “Bishop's Court,”—a most lovely spot, embowered beneath “tall ancestral trees,” planted, it is said, by Bishop Wilson,-an excellent man, who did much to benefit the islanders, and whose memory is cherished with veneration by all the people.
We soon reached our next halting-place,-"Kirk Michael." We walked down to the church to inspect the curious old Runic crosses which were found in the neighbourhood, and are now fixed near the gates. After some little delay we obtained admittance into the church,-a large but very
plain erection. The interior was fitted up more like a Methodist Chapel than an Episcopal Church, and was by no means attractive. It was not even clean or neat, at which we could not but wonder, for “Bishop's Court" is within the parish, and it is regarded as the Cathedral Church of the Island. There is, it is true, a Bishop's Throne" in it; but such a throne! Why many a clerk's desk in a dissenting meeting-house is a gem in comparison. We know that the gospel is good news anywhere and everywhere,—in plain as well as in splendid places, and though we hate mere finery and loathe mediæval barbarisms, we love to see neatness and cleanliness in places of Divine worship.
This church is of modern erection. Remains of the old one are yet left in the burial ground, especially part of the chancel, and the tomb of the “Good Bishop Wilson," which is covered by a plain stone, with the following inscription :
6 SLEEPING IN JESUS,
HERE LIETH THE BODY OF
THOMAS WILSON, D.D.,
LORD BISHOP OF THIS ISLE,
AGED 93 YEARS, And in the 58th Year of his Consecration. This Monument was erected by his Son, Thomas Wilson, D.D., a native of this parish, who, in obedience to the express commands of his Father, declines giving him the character he so justly deserved.
Let the Island speak the rest.” We perused these lines with deep emotions, for we had already read of his many works of faith and labours of love.
Honour to such men as the good Manx Bishop! They shall be had in everlasting remembrance. May all his successors imitate his piety, zeal, and devotion.
We now turned our horses heads towards Douglas. On climbing the mountains above Kirk Michael, we had some very extensive prospects. Our driver pointed us over the sea to what looked like dim clouds in the horizon, assuring us that was Ireland, and though we could not satisfy ourselves that it was, we all agreed that if it was not it ought to be.
Having reached the summit, we began to descend, and such a descent, into such a place, we had never made before. It was a deep glen between very high mountains, with scarcely more than the road on which we travelled between them. When we did reach the bottom our driver pulled up at a small inn, where our friend, who seemed anxious to secure such a natural curiosity as a memorandum of his visit to the island, offered the landlord five shillings for a fine tom-cat, minus his tail, but was indignantly refused, with, “You should not have him for a sovereign, sir !"
We soon reached the road from Peel to Douglas, and now we found ourselves in a more populous, and busy, and interesting region. Many conveyances were on the road with visitors returning from a day's excursion to Peel. The scenery around us was quite English, with the exception of the neighbouring mountains. Near the foot of one of these our driver pointed out the ruins of a little old church, the roof of which had been carried away by the “fairies" in one night up into the mountain, and it had never been found !
There was a silly tale for us; and so we called the place, " the Mount of Superstition.”
The only other thing I remember, for I write from memory, that is worthy of note, was, the beautiful wide brook at Kirk Braddan. It was now moonlight, and as we crossed the bridge, the rays of the moon shining down through the branches of the overhanging trees upon the ripples of the brook, caused them to look like transparent silver. We only caught a glance, but such a glance when caught cannot be forgotten!
Glad we were to alight and sit down, just in time, to the tea-supper, usually served up about eight o'clock at our boarding-house.
We shall next take a trip to Castletown. But before we conclude, we would add a few more words about the “Good Bishop.” He himself said that the people around him were so honest that he only fastened his door with a latch, -and that lawyers could not find employment, for disputes were settled by arbitration. His life was an uniform display of the most active and useful benevolence, for he considered himself the steward, and not the proprietor, of the revenues of the bishopric. The young were educated, the naked clothed, the indigent relieved, and the aged and infirm were supported by his bounty. He had ordered a cloak from a tailor, and desired that it might be made perfectly plain, with merely a button and loop to fasten it. 'But, my lord,” said the tailor, “what would become of the poor button makers and their families, if every one thought in that way, they would be starved outright.” “Do you say so, John ?" replied the bishop, "why, then, button it all over, John."