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The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 5. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Tales and Sketches (search)
him now, grim, gaunt, and ghastly, working his slow way up to our door— used to gather herbs by the wayside and call himself doctor. He was bearded like a he goat and used to counterfeit lameness, yet, when he supposed himself alone, would travel on lustily as if walking for a wager. At length, as if in punishment of his deceit, he met with an accident in his rambles and became lame in earnest, hobbling ever after with difficulty on his gnarled crutches. Another used to go stooping, like Bunyan's pilgrim, under a pack made of an old bed-sacking, stuffed out into most plethoric dimensions, tottering on a pair of small, meagre legs, and peering out with his wild, hairy face from under his burden like a big-bodied spider. That man with the pack always inspired me with awe and reverence. Huge, almost sublime, in its tense rotundity, the father of all packs, never laid aside and never opened, what might there not be within it? With what fleshcreeping curiosity I used to walk round a