Зображення сторінки

lasted for half an hour. The vision was which engaged my attention. After freàscribed to the great agitation of mind in quent accurate observations on the subject, which I had been, and it was supposed I having fairly proved and maturely conshould have nothing more to apprehend sidered it, I could form no other conclusion from that cause; but the violent affection on the cause and consequence of such aphaving put my nerves into some unnatural paritions than that, when the nervous sysstate, from this arose further conséquences, tem is weak, and at the same time too which require a more detailed description. much excited, or rather deranged, similar

In the afternoon, a little after four o'clock, figures may appear in such a manner as if the figure which I had seen in the morning they were actually seen and heard; for again appeared. I was alone when this these visions in my case were not the conhappened; a circumstance which, as may sequence of any known law of reason, of be easily conceived, could not be very the imagination, or of the otherwise usual agreeable. I went therefore to the apart- association of ideas; and such also is the ment of my wife, to whom I related it. case with other men, as far as we can reason But thither also the figure pursued me from the few examples we know, Sometimes it was present, sometimes it The origin of the individual pictures vanished; but it was always the same which present themselves to us, must uustanding figure. A little after six o'clock doubtedly be sought for in the structure of several stalking figures also appeared; but that organization by which we think; but they had no connection with the standing this will always remain no less inexplicable figure. I cañ assign no other reason for to us than the origin of these powers by this apparition than that, though much more which consciousness and fancy are made to composed in my mind, I had not been able exist. so soon entirely to forget the cause of such The figure of the deceased person never deep and distressing vexation, and had re- appeared to me after the first dreadful day; flected on the consequences of it, in order, but several other figures showed themselves if possible, to avoid them; and that this afterwards very distinctly; sometimes such happened three hours after dinner, at the as I knew, mostly, however, of persons I time when the digestion just begins.

did not know, and amongst those known Al length I became more composed with to me, were the semblances of both living respect to the disagreeable incident which and deceased persons, but mostly the forhad given rise to the first apparition ; but mer; and I made the observation, that though I had used very excellent medicines, acquaintances with whom I daily conversed and found myself in other respects perfectly never appeared to me as phantasms; it was well, yet the apparitions did not diminish, always such as were at a distance. When but, on the contrary, rather increased in these apparitions had continued some weeks, number, and were transformed in the most and I could regard them with the greatest extraordinary manner.

composure, I afterwards endeavoured, at After I had recovered from the first im- my own pleasure, to call forth phantoms of pression of terror, I never felt myself par- several acquaintance, whom I for that reaticularly agitated by these apparitions, as I son represented to my imagination in the considered them to be what they really most lively manner, but in vain. - For were, the extraordinary consequences of however accurately I pictured to my mind indisposition; on the contrary, I endea- the figures of such persons, I never once voured as much as possible to preserve my could succeed in my desire of seeing them composure of mind, that I might remain externally ; though I had some short time distinctly conscious of what passed within before seen them as phantoms, and they me. I observed these phantoms with great had perhaps afterwards unexpectedly preaccuracy, and very often reflected on my sented themselves to me in the same manprevious thoughts, with a view to discover ner. The phantasms appeared to me in some law in the association of ideas, by every case involuntarily, as if they had been which exactly these or other figures might presented externally, iike the phenomena present themselves to the imagination.- in nature, though they certainly had their Sometimes I thought I had made a dis- origin internally; and at the same time I covery, especially in the latter period of my was always able to distinguish with the visions; but, on the whole, I could trace no greatest precision phantasms from phenoconnection which the various figures that mena. Indeed, I never once erred in this, thus appeared and disappeared to my sight as I was in general perfectly calm and selfhad, either with my state of mind or with collected on the occasion. I knew extremely my employment, and the other thoughts well, when it only appeared to ine that the

door was opened, and a phantom entered, mind. This speaking I heard most freand when the door really was opened and quently when I was alone; though I someany person came in.

times heard it in company, intermixed with It is also to be noted, that these figures the conversation of real persons; frequently appeared to me at all times, and under the in single phrases only, but sometimes even inost different circumstances, equally dis- in connected discourse, tinct and clear. Whether I was alone, or Though at this time I enjoyed rather a in company, by broad daylight equally as good state of health, both in body and in the nighttime, in my own as well as in mind, and had become so very familiar my neighbour's house ; yet when I was at with these phantasms, that at last they did another person's house, they were less fres not excite the least disagreeable emotion, quent; and when I walked the public street but on the contrary afforded me frequent they very seldom appeared. When I shut subjects for amusement and mirth; yet as my eyes, sometimes the figures disappeared, the disorder sensibly increased, and the sometimes they remained even after I had figures appeared to me for whole days closed them. If they vanished in the together, and even during the night, if I former case, on opening my eyes again happened to awake, I had recourse to senearly the same figures appeared which I veral medicines, and was at last again had seen before.

obliged to have recourse to the application I sometimes conversed with my physician of leeches. and my - wife, concerning the phantasms. This was performed on the 20th of April, which at the time hovered around me; for at eleven o'clock in the forenoon. I was in general the forms appeared oftener in alone with the surgeon, but during the motion than at rest. They did not always operation the room swarmed with human continue present they frequently left me forms of every description, which crowded altogether, and again appeared for a short fast one on another; this continued till halfor longer space of time, singly or more at past four o'clock, exactly the time when the once ; but, in general, several appeared digestion commences. I then observed that together. For the most part I saw human the figures began to move more slowly ; figures of both sexes; they commonly soon afterwards the colours became gradupassed to and fro as if they had no connec- ally paler; and every seven minutes they tion with each other, like people at a fair lost more and more of their intensity, withwhére all is bustle; sometimes they ap- out any alteration in the distinct figure of peared to have business with one another. the apparitious. At about half past six Once or twice I saw amongst them persons " o'clock all the figures were entirely white, on horseback, and dogs and birds; these and moved very little; yet the forms apfigures all appeared to me in their natural peared perfectly distinct; by degrees they size, as distinctly as if they had existed in became visibly less plain, without decreasreal life, with the several tints on the un- ing in number, as had often formerly been covered parts of the body, and with all the the case. The figures did not move off, different kinds of colours of clothes. But neither did they vanish, which also had I think, however, that the colours were usually happened on other occasions. In somewhat paler than they are in nature. this instance they dissolved immediately

None of the figures had any distinguish into air, of some even whole pieces reing characteristic; they were neither terri. mained for a length of time, which also by ble, ludicrous, nor repulsive; most of them degrees were lost to the eye. 'At about were ordinary in their appearance—some eight o'clock there did not remain a vestige were, even agreeable.

of any of them, and I have never since On the whole, the longer I continued in experienced any appearance of the samé this state, the more did the number of kind. Twice or thrice since that time I phantasms increase, and the apparitions have felt a propensity, if I may be so albecame more frequent. About four weeks lowed to express myself, or a sensation, as afterwards I began to hear them speak: if I saw something which in à moment sometimes the phantasms spoke with one again was gone. I was even surprised by another; but for the most part they ad. this sensation whilst writing the present dressed themselves to me: thosě speeches account, having, in order to render it more were in general short, and never contained accurate, perused the papers of 1791, and any thing disagreeable. Intelligent and recalled to my memory all the circumstances respected friends often appeared to me of that time. So little are we sometimes, who endeavoured to console me in my even in the greatest composure of mind, grief, which still left deep traces in my masters of our imagination.

[graphic][ocr errors]

The Porch of Berkenham Church-pard.

Beyond the Lich-gate stand ten ancient yews-
Branching so high they seem like giant mutes,
With plumes, awaiting rich men's funerals
And poor men's bury'ngs :-stretching, over all,
An arch of triumph for Death's victories.

. Over the wickets to many of the church- the death-owl was anciently called the lichyards in Kent is a shed, or covered way, of owl. ancient structure, used as a resting-place The sbrieking Litch-owl, that doth never cry for funerals, and for the shelter of the But boding death, and quick herself inters corpse until the minister arrives to com- In darksome graves, and hollow sepulchres. mence the service for the dead. This at

Drayton. Beckenham is one of the most perfect in Also, from lich is derived the name of the county: the footway beyond, to the the city of Lichfield, so called because of a great entrance-door of the church, is cano

massacre on that spot. pied by a grove of trees,“ sad sociate to

A thousand other saints whom Amphibal had taught, graves.” These old church-yard buildings,

Flying the pagan foe, their lives that strictly sought, now only seen in villages, were formerly

Were slain where Litchfield is, whose name doth rightly called lich-gates, and the paths to them

sound were called lich-lanes, or lich-ways.

There, of those Christians slain, dead field, or burying The word lich signified a corpse. Hence


· Drayton,

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The old man lay beneath the stone,

Where nought in praise of him was told; It only said, that there he lay,

And that he died when he was old :
It did not chronicle his years,
His joys and sorrows-hopes and fears !

Ninety-nine years of varying life

On gliding pinions by had Aed, (Oh what long years of toil and strife !)

Ere he was number'd with the dead; But yet no line was left to tell How he had liv'd, or how he fell !

Had he no wife,-no child, -no friend?

To cheer him as he pass'd away ; No one who would his name commend,

And wail as he was laid in clay? Of this the record nought supplied, It only said he liy'd and died !

A ROMANTIC AND TRUE ANECDOTE. At Nottingham, a year or two ago, Sophia Hyatt, in consequence of extreme deafness, was accidentally run over by a carrier's cart, at the entrance of the Maypole inn-yard, and unfortunately killed. She had arrived that morning in a gig from Newstead Papplewick, or somewhere in that neighbourhood, and had been, for the three or four preceding years, a lodger in one of the farm-houses belonging to colonel Wild. man, at Newstead Abbey. No one knew exactly from whence she came, nor what were her connections. Her days were passed in rambling about the gardens and grounds of the abbey, to which, from the kindness of colonel Wildman, she had free access. Her dress was invariably the same; and she was distinguished by the servants at Newstead, as the “ white lady.” She had ingratiated herself with the Newfoundland dog which came from Greece with the body of lord Byron, by regularly feeding him; and on the evening before the fatal accident, she was seen, on quitting the gardens, to cut off a small lock of the dog's hair, which she carefully placed in her handkerchief. On that evening also, she delivered to Mrs. Wildman a sealed packet,

How must his soul have been oppressid,

As intimates dropp'd from his side! And he, almost unknown, was left

Alɔne, -upon this desert wide! Wife-children-friends-all, all were gone, And he left in the world alone!

His youthful friends had long grown old,

And then were number'd with the dead; His step had totter'd, sight grown dim,

And ev'ry source of pleasure fed ; By nature's law such must have been, Th' effect of the long years he'd seen !

with a request that it might not be opened Why love, to gaze on playful fountain, till the following morning. The contents

Or lake, that bore him on its breast? of the packet were no less interesting than

Lonely to wander o'er each mountain, surprising ; they consisted of various poems

Grove, or plain, his feet have press'd ? in manuscript, written during her solitary It is because the Muses hover, walks, and all of them referring to the And all around, a halo shed; bard to whom Newstead once belonged. And still must every fond adorer A letter, addressed to Mrs. Wildman, was Worship the shrine; the idol Aed. enclosed with the poetry, written with much

But 'tis past; and now for ever elegance of language and native feeling; it

Fancy's vision's bliss is'o'er ; described her friendless situation, alluded

But to forget thee, Newstead-never, to her pecuniary difficulties, thanked the

Though I shall haunt thy shades no more. family for their kind attention towards her, and stated the necessity she was under of removing for a short period from Newstead.

- DUELS. It appeared from her statement, that she had connections in America, that her bro- Duelling in England was carried to its ther had died there, leaving a widow and greatest possible excess in the reigns of family, and she requested colonel Wild- James I. and of the twu Charles's. In the man's aszistance to arrange certain matters, reign of the Jatter Charles, the seconds in which she was materially concerned always fought as well as their principals ; She concluded with declaring, that her only and as they were chosen for their courage happiness in this world consisted in the and adroitness, their combats were geneprivilege of being allowed to wander rally the most fatal. Lord Howard, of through the domain of Newstead, and to Carlisle, in the reign of Charles II., gave a trace. The various spots which had been grand fête champêtre at Spring Gardens, consecrated by the genius of lord Byron. near the village of Charing, the Vauxhall A. most kind and compassionate note was of that day. This fète was to facilitate an conveyed to her immediately after the intrigue between lord Howard and the perusal of this letter, urging her, either to profligate duchess of Shrewsbury: but the give up her journey, or to return to New. gay and insinuating Sidney Airted with the stead as quickly as possible. With the duchess, abstracted her attention from melancholy sequel the reader is acquainted. Howard, and ridiculed the fête. The next Colonel Wildman took upon himself the care day his lordship sent a challenge to Sidney, of her interment, and she was buried in the who chose as his second a tall, furious, church-yard of Hucknall, ás near as pos. adroit swordsman, named Dillon; Howard sible to the vault which contains the body selected a young gentleman, named Raw. of lord Byron. The last poem she com lings, just come into possession of an posed was the following: it seems to have estate of 10,0001. a year. Sidney was been dictated by a melancholy foreboding wounded in two or three places, whilst his of her fate.

second was run through the heart, and left

dead on the field. The duke of Shrews. - MY LÅST WALK IN THE GARDENS OF bury became afterwards so irritated as to NEWSTEAD ABBEY.

challenge the infamous Buckingham for • Here no longer shall I wander

intriguing with his wife. The duchess of · Lone, but in communion high,

Shrewsbury, in the disguise of a page, Kindred spirits greet ne-yonder

attended Buckingham to the field, and held · Glows the form that's ever nigh.

his horse whilst he fought and killed

her husband. The profligate king, in Wrapt in blissful contemplation, From that hill no more I gaze

spite of every remonstrance from the

queen, received the duke of Buckingham Ön scenes as fair as when creation Rose-the theme of seraphs' lays.

with open arms, after this brutal murder.

In 172 duels fought during the last sixty And thou, fair sylph, that round its basis

years, 69 persons were killed; (in three of • Driv'st thy car, with milk-white steed;

these duels, neither of the combatants surOft I watch'd its gentle paces

vived ;) 96 persons were wounded, 48 .: Mark'd its track with curious heed...

desperately and 48 slightly; and 188 Why i oh! why thus interesting,

escaped unhurt. Thus, rather more than · Are forms and scenes to me unknown?

one-fifth lost their lives, and nearly one-half Oh you, the Muses power confessing, - Deine the charta your bošoms own. - .

* Nottiñgham Rēview.

« НазадПродовжити »