Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/260

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jecting fifteen feet from the face of the rock, and eighteen yards high, beetling over a small pool, and distilling into it from every part a thousand little streams, which give the surprising quantity of eighteen gallons in a minute. This water is so laden with calcareous matter, that whatever is exposed to its action becomes covered with a stony incrustation in the course of eight months, and assumes the appearance of a petrifaction; a conversion by which old hats, wigs, bird's-nests, &c. are made a source of some profit to the man who has the custody of the well. The spring that effects this transformation rises in a bed of stiff clay, fifty yards from the brow of the rock; but exhibits nothing of its petrifying quality, till it have percolated the lime-stone rock for about thirty yards, during which course it picks up the particles that it afterwards very conscientiously deposits again upon its front. Near the pool the little museum of the ciceroni is seen, the curious repository of his collection of incrustations, over the door of which an inscription explains the horrible figure of Mother Shipton, the Yorkshire Sybil, within:

"Mark well this grot, don't miss the place,
"Nor startle at her haggard face;
"As you are come to see the well,
"Pray take a peep into the cell."