Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/263

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[251]

The woman who shews the chapel, indulged us with a sight more remarkable than even the residence of St. Robert—her own son William Smith, a boy about 12 years old, whose hair may be considered as a great natural phenomenon. The texture of it somewhat resembles the finest wool, but in spite of this softness and delicacy, it stands projecting from his head like the nimbus around that of a saint, or the 'quills upon the fretful porcupine.' The quantity is prodigious; but the wonder of it has much lessened with the increase of the child's size, as the hair does not appear to keep pace with the expansion of his body. He must have been the most whimsical figure imaginable at half a year old, when this natural appendage to the human head suddenly grew to its present voluminous mass.

As we entered Borough-Bridge, we left our vehicle and stepped into a meadow to the left hand, a few hundred yards from the road, attracted by three rude stone pillars, which range themselves parallel to the turnpike in nearly a strait line. They are called the Devil's arrows, and supposed, with great probability, to be Druidical. The southern pillar is five feet square at the base, twenty-four feet high, and one hundred and sixteen paces from the centre one, which is of nearly equal bulk, but stands a little out of the right line. The northern