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WONDERFUL ROCKS AND HEADLANDS.
KITTS COTTY HOUSE.
clear, Uncurl their ridgy backs, and at his foot
appear In peace below the gentle waters run. The cormorants above lie basking in the
Rocks and headlands are interesting both as natura objects and as historical monuments. From the earliest ages of Biblical antiquity, to the latest events of these railroad times, the rocky ramparts and summits of the hills have been associated with human passions and emotions, and have been the scenes of great conflicts and stirring vicissitudes. On the rocky heights of Sinai, amid the awful tumult of the elements, Moses received the tables of stone from the hands of the Lord; at Horeb, while the hurricane whirled along, and the lightning shivered the mountain, and blasted the forest, the voice of peace and love broke forth upon the ear of the prophet, . asid God proclaimed himself at band ; and in the hoar of i
j privation, while Israel wandered in pain from the land of
bondage, the patriarch smote the rock, and produced a
gushing fonntain in the wilderness. Egypt, India, Arabia.
j have their wonderful rocks, their wonderful passes, and
their deep hewn caves, where tradition still sits babbling
of the past, and the religion of antiquity still finds votaries
I to solemnise its fearful rights; while, in our own land,
this sea-girt isle, this white-cliffed Albion, the rocky
heights are full of me ming to the lover of the picturesque,
and the student of our country'* geology.
Erratic Blocks are sprinkled over nearly every country in Europe, and in many parts of America are the chief features of the scenery for many miles. These boulders belong to the diluvian period, and sometimes have their own origin in the rocks near to the spots where they are found, and sometimes have been transported to their present sites from localities many miles distant. The mode in which such enormous blocks of stone could be borne along, has caused considerable difference of opinion amongst geologists, but it is pretty well agreed that glaciers have been the chief instruments in such a work; though great and rapidly moving floods may, in many instances, have accomplished it. At Gloucester, Massachusetts, there is an extensive plain covered for miles with huge stont s, some of them weighing many tons each, which appear as if scattered by sportive Titans, who had flung them at each other, in an exhibition of muscular energy, and had then left them to astonish wondering mortals.
The beds of gravel so frequent in this country along the eastern coast from the Thames to the Tweed, are instances of the tame age of great floods by which these i rratic blocks were produced; and in these gravel districts, blocks of stone are very frequent, not merely in low situations, where we could imagine them to roll during a watery convulsion, but frequently poised on high lands, and e»'t n on the summit" of hills, in such a manner as to prove that a glacier, or immense ma«a of ice, must have borne them, and left them, as it melted, poised in these delicate
positions. Jii the gravel deposits of Derbyshire, there .are fragments of almost all the English formations, from granite to chalk, and it would not be difficult tp collect specimens of all the English rocks from these gravel beds. A fine specimen in this district is Robin Hood's Stride, a curious cluster of rocks at Burchoven, in Youlgrave, Derbyshire. It is, sometimes, called Mock Beggar's Hall, and is said to have been the scene of many of Robin Hood's exploits, in those days
When Robin Hood and little John,
In Sherwood's haunts held royal courts,
And all the greenwood owned their sway.
This is a series of rocky masses curiously piled one on the other, apparently in the most artificial manner, and surrounded by huge clefts of riven blocks, all bearing traces of having suffered in many conflicts with the elements. .Similar in structure to Robin Hood's Stride, are the High Rocks at Tunbridge, in the midst of the romantic scenery of Tunbridge and Tunbridge Wells. These rocks present many features of geological interest, and are, in the highest sense picturesque.
Near the road, which is delightfully situated, may be seen the High Rocks. Sixpence is paid for each person to Mr. Jacob, who keeps the little Inn called the "Cape of Good Hope," opposite the gate, and who rents the site of those picturesque masses from the Earl of Abergavenny, on whom it devolves to keep the road to them in repair.
The High Rocks form a semicircular range, according with the prevailing ingredient of the soil, which is, indeed, the characteristic feature of the surrounding country: it is a sandstone of considerable hardness. Where this lies near the surface, as the light soil is washed away, considerable prominences are presented to the eye ; and, when blended with the verdure of trees and shrubs, cannot fail to be highly gratifying to the observer. In some places, where the inequality of the ground has favoured more extensive failures of the adjacent soil, these protuberances are of considerable magnitude, of which the High Rocks are a remarkable instance. One of them, the Bell Rock, is so called from its being sonorous when struck with a stick, which is generally lying against it for that purpose. At a .considerable depth below the surface the sand becomes white, and of a delicate fineness. In some instances, in the vicinity, the excavations made in consequence appear as if they were caverns.
Numerous plants were growing freely about the High Rocks at the; time just alluded to, among which in surprising abundance, was the oxalis aeetocella, with its three heart-shaped pendulous leaflets, its flower exquisitely
veined with purple ; and the beautiful whortleberry, with its singular heath-like flowers and its bright green leaves, so often used by the rustic matron in place of veritable tea. Hollies, pines, and firs are also plentiful. Visitors acquainted with botany will find here ample means of instruction and amusement: heaths of great variety and beauty ; forest shrubs and rock plants shoot forth, indeed, with marvellous abundance.
We may pass from one surface to another, richly over