Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/20

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be authentic, would at once settle all the doubts of the naturalist with respect to the frequent appearance of the Cornua Ammonis in these parts, by accounting very satisfactorily for their production. A Welch lady, by name Keyna, daughter of the king of Brecknockshire, lived in the year 490, and being very beautiful as well as rich, suitors poured in to her from all quarters of Cambria. A rash vow, however, which she had made of living and dying a virgin, precluded the possibility of her listening to any of them; and in order to avoid solicitations which became irksome to her, and to indulge her fondness for meditation and solitude, she secretly quitted the court of her father, crossed the Severn, and wandering into the neighbourhood of Keynsham, pitched upon the banks of the Avon at that place for the scene of her solitary devotions. It was necessary, however, for her to request permission of the chieftain of the district to reside there; which he (too well bred to refuse the request of a lady) immediately gave, lamenting at the same time, that the place was so infested with serpents, as to render a residence upon it extremely dangerous. To this the virgin replied, that she had no doubt of being able to destroy the whole race in a short time by her prayers, the efficacy of which had often produced