Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/259

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[247]

through verdant meadows, terminated by the rising grounds of Lady Cunningham's park, and overlooked by her modern elegant mansion. Below the bridge, the rocky banks shoot up into precipitous eminences, at the feet and on the sides and slope of which part of the town is built; blending together a curious association of rock, water, wood, and human dwellings. A very pleasing and retired walk, called the long walk, winds through the wood that clothes the steep declivity on the south side of the river; following whose meanders for half a mile, we were conduced to the old bridge, at the foot of which is a public-house, called the Mother Shipton, said to be the mansion where this old lady, so renowned in English necromancy, drew her first breath in the year 1488. The following lines of invitation over the door of this hospitium, invited us to apply to the landlord, who is entrusted with the key of the walk, for a sight of that curious natural phcenomenon, the petrifying well:

" Come, gentle reader, turn this way,
" Pass on the walk, the rock survey;
" There Mother Shipton keeps her cell,
" Hard by the fascinating well."

Led by our ciceroni to the banks of the Nid, we saw a vast mass of petrified vegetable matter pro-