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bestial that came in its way, which it easily did, because
of its lowness, creeping- among- the bent heather, or grass,
wherein that place abounded much, by reason of the mea-
dow-g-round, and a large flow moss, fit for the pasturage of
many cattle (being naturally of itself of no swift motion).
It was not discerned before it was master of its prey,
instantly devouring the same, so that the whole country-
men thereabout were forced to remove their bestial, and
transport themselves three or four miles from the place,
leaving the country desolate ; neither durst any passenger
go to the church or market upon that road for fear of this
beast. Several attempts were made to destroy it by shoot-
ing of arrows, throwing of darts, none daring to approach
so near as to make use of a sword or lance ; but all their
labours were in vain. These weapons did sometimes slightly
wound, but were never able to kill this beast ; so that all
men apprehended the whole country should have been de-
stroyed, and that this monster was sent as a just judgment
from God to plague them for their sins. During this fear
and terror amongst the people, John Somerville, being in
the south, and hearing strange reports about this beast,
was, as all young men are, curious to see it ; and, in order
thereto, he comes to Jedburgh, where he found the whole
inhabitants in such a panic fear, that they were ready to
desert the town. The country people that were fled there
for shelter had told so many lies at first, that it increased
every day, and was beginning to g'et wings. Others, who
pretended to have seen it in the night, asserted it was full
of fire, and in time would throw it out ; with a thousand
other ridiculous stories, which the timorous multitude are
ready to invent on such an occasion ; though, to speak the
truth, the like was never known to have been seen in this
nation before. However, this gentleman continues his first
resolution of seeing this monster, befall him what will :
therefore he goes directly to the place about the dawning of
the day, being informed that, for ordinary, this serpent came
out of her den about the sunrising, or near the sunsetting',
and wandered the field over to catch somewhat. He was
not long near to the place when he saw this strange beast
crawl forth of her den ; who, observing him at some dis-
tance (being on horseback), it lifted up its head with half
of the body, and a long time stared him in the face, with

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