How Doctors Wrote

“The antiquarian may take his stand upon Mam-Tor, the mother rock, when the moon sheds her silvery light o’er Loosehill Mount, and, carrying his mind back into the past some 230 years, hear the bugle’s note as it sweeps through the Wynnats Pass, and is taken up by the Peverel Castle and transmitted onwards through the Vale of Hope, calling the hardy dalesmen to their midnight rendezvous, there to be instructed in the science of war, so as to enable them to protect their homes and families against the marauding myrmidons of a cruel, heartless, and unreliable king; or if the antiquarian seeketh a knowledge of the High Peak folk-lore, and feareth neither pixie or graymarie, he can, on a spring night, just as the moon has entered her last quarter, and the first note from the belfry of the chapel in the frith has proclaimed the arrival of midnight, take his stand upon Blentford’s Bluff and peer into the dark and sombre depths of Kinder, when he will hear the hooting of the barn owl on Anna rocks, the unearthly screech of the landrail as he ploughs his way through the unmown grass in search of his mate, the scream of the curlew and chatter of the red grouse as they take their flight from peak to peak, and see the fairy queen come forth from the mermaid’s cave in a shimmering light, followed by her maids, who dance a quadrille to the music of the spheres, and hear the wild blast of the hunter’s horn heralding the approach of the Gabriel hounds as they take their rapid course across the murky sky, and become lost in the unfathomable depths beyond the Scout.”

Robert Ottiwell Gifford-Bennet, M.D., Senior Acting Physician To The Devonshire Hospital And Buxton Bath Charity, Buxton And Its Medicinal Waters (1892)

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