Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

astonished her much, and while she was to Mr. Gresham's was a tray full c thinking about it, other things in different china, &c. a japan bread-basket, soma places began to tumble about, some of mahogany waiters, with some bottles o ibem breaking, attended with violent liquors, jars of pickles, &c. and a pie noises all over the house; a clock tum- glass, which was taken down by Mr bled down and the case broke; a lan- Saville, (a neighbour of Mrs. Golding's; tern that hung on the staircase was he gave it to one Robert Hames, who thrown down and the glass broke to laid it on the grass-plat at Mr. Gresham's pieces; an earthen pan of salted beef but before he could put it out of his broke to pieces and the beef fell about; hands, some parts of the frame on each all this increased her surprise, and side flew off; it raining at that time, Mrs. brought several persons about her, among Golding desired it might be brought whom was Mr. Rowlidge, a carpenter, into the parlour, where it was put under who gave it as his opinion that the a side-board, and a dressing-glass along foundation was giving way and that the with it ; it had not been there long before house was tumbling down, occasioned by the glasses and china which stood on the the too great weight of an additional side-board, began to tumble about and room erected above: “so ready,” says fall down, and broke both the glasses to the narrative, “ are we to discover natu- pieces. Mr. Savile and others being ral causes for every thing!"

asked to drink glass of wine or rum, Mrs. Golding ran into Mr. Gresham's both the bottles broke in pieces before house, next door to her, where she fainted, they were uncorked. and in the interim, Mr. Rowlidge, and Mrs. Golding's surprise and fear inother persons, were removing Mrs. Gold- creasing, she did not know what to do ing's effects from her house, for fear of or where to go; wherever she and her the consequences prognosticated. At maid were, these strange, destructive cirthis time all was quiet; Mrs. Golding's cumstances followed her, and how to maid remaining in her house, was gone help or free herself from them, was not up stairs, and when called upon several in her power or any other person's pretimes to come down, for fear of the dan- sent: her mind was one confused chaos, gerous situation she was thought to be lost to herself and every thing about her, in, she answered very coolly, and after drove from her own home, and afraid some time

down deliberately, there would be none other to receive her, without any seeming fearful apprehen she at last left Mr. Gresham's, and went sions.

to Mr. Mayling's, a gentleman at the Mrs. Pain was sent for from Brixton- next door, here she staid about three causeway, and desired to come directly, quarters of an hour, during which time as her aunt was supposed to be dead; nothing happened. Her maid staid, at this was the message to her. When Mrs. Mr. Gresham's, to help put up what few Pain came, Mrs. Golding was come to things remained unbroken of her mistress's, nerself, but very faint from terror. in a back apartment, when a jar of

Among the persons who were present, pickles that stood upon a table, turned was Mr. Gardner, a surgeon, of Clapham, upside down, then a jar of raspberry jam whom Mrs. Pain desired to bleed her broke to pieces. aunt, which he did ; Mrs. Pain asked

Mrs. Pain, not choosing her aunt should him if the blood should be thrown away, stay too long at Mr. Mayling's, for fear he desired it might not, as he would of being troublesome, persuaded her to examine it when cold. These minute go to her house at Rush Common, near particulars would not be taken notice of, Brixton-causeway, where she would enbut as a chain to what follows. For the deavour to make her as happy as she next circumstance is of a more astonish- could, hoping by this time all was over, ing nature than anything that had preceded it; the blood that was just man's house while she was there. This

as nothing had happened at that gentlecongealed, sprung out of the basin upon was about two o'clock in the afternoon. the floor, and presently after the basin Mr. and Miss Gresham were at Mr broke to pieces; this china basin was Pain's house, when Mrs. Pain, Mrs. the only thing broke belonging to Mr. Golding, and her maid went there. It Gresham; a bottle of rum that stood by being about dinner time they all dineg it broke at the same time.

together; in the interim Mrs. Golding's Among the things that were removed servant was sent to her house to see bow

came

p remained. When she returned, stood the tumbler, and a candlestick. A she told them nothing had happened since case bottle then flew to pieces. hey left it. Sometime after Mr. and Miss The next circumstance was, a ham, that Graham went home, every thing remain- hung on one side of the kitchen chimney, Ime quet at Mr. Pain's: but about eight raised itself from the hook and fell down odock in the evening fresh scene to the ground. Some time after, another begao; the first thing that happened ham, that hung on the other side of the was, a whole row of pewter dishes, chimney, likewise underwent the same except one, fell from off a shelf to the fate. Then a fitch of bacon, which hung suddle of the floor, rolled about a little up in the same chimney, fell down. while, then settled, and as soon as they All the family were eye-witnesses to were quiet, turned upside down; they these circumstances as well as other perwere then put on the dresser, and went sons, some of whom were so alarmed and farough the same a second time : next fell shocked, that they could not bear to stay. a whole row of pewter plates from off At all the times of action, Mrs.Golding's the second shelf over the dresser to servant was walking backwards and forthe ground, and being taken up and put wards, either in the kitchen of parlour, or e the dresser one in another, they were wherever some of the family happened to throws down again. Two eggs were be. Nor could they get her to sit down spon one of the pewter shelves, one five minutes together, except at one time et them flew off

, crossed the kitchen, for about half an hour towards the mornBruck a cat on the head, and then broké ing, when the family were at prayers in the to preces.

parlour; then all was quiet; but, in the Next Mary Martin, Mrs. Pain's ser- midst of the greatest confusion, she was tant, went to stir the kitchen fire, she got as much composed as at any other time, to the right hand side of it, being a large and with uncommon coolness of temper castaney as is usual in farm houses, a pestle advised her mistress not to be alarmed or

and mortar that stood nearer the left hand uneasy, as she said these things could not I end of the chimney shelf, jumped about be helped.

sit feet on the floor. Then went candle “This advice,"it is observed in the narsticks and other brasses : scarce any thing rative, surprised and startled her mistress, remaining in its place. After this the almost as much as the circumstances that passes and china were put down on the occasioned it. “ For how can we suppose,” door for fear of undergoing the same fate. says the narrator, “ that a girl of about

A glass tumbler that was put on the twenty years old, (an age when female ti ficer jumped about two feet and then midity is too cften assisted by superstition,) booke. Another that stood by it jumped could remain in the midst of such cala about at the same time, but did not break mitous circumstances, (except they protl some hours after, when it jumped again ceeded from causes best known to herself,) and then broke. A china bowl that stood and not be struck with the same terror as sa the parlour jumped from the floor, to every other person was who was present. behind a table that stood there. This These reflections led Mr. Pain, and at the was most astonishing, as the distance from end of the transactions, likewise Mrs. where it stood was between seven and Golding, to think that she was not altogeeight feet, but was not broke. It was ther so unconcerned as she appeared to be." pat tack by Richard Fowler, to its place, About ten o'clock at night, they sen shere it remained some time, and then over the way to Richard Fowler, to desire tew to pieces.

he would come and stay with them. He The best thing that followed was a mus- came and continued till one in the morn tart-pot, that jumped out of a closet ing, when he was so terrified, that he and was broke. A single cup that stood could remain no longer, spon the table (almost the only thing re As Mrs. Golding could not be persuadmaining) jumped up, flew across the ed to go to bed, Mrs. Pain, at one o'clock, kitchen, tinging like a bell, and then was made an excuse to go up stairs to her dasked to pieces against the dresser. A youngest child, under pretence of getting tambler with rum and water in it, that it to sleep; but she really acknowledged it stood upon a waiter upon a table in the was through fear, as she declared she parious, jumped about ten feet and was could not sit up to see such strange things trole. The table then fell down, and going on, as every thing one after another dong with it a silver tankard belonging to was broken, till there was not above two or Mr. Gulding, the waiter in which had three cups and saucers remaining ou: of a

VOLL

33

D

considerable quantity of china, &c. which six and seven o'clock on Tuesday mom was destroyed to the amount of some ing. At Mrs. Golding's were broken thpounds.

quantity of three pails full of glass About five o'clock on Tuesday morning, china, &c. Mrs. Pain's filled two pails the 7th, Mrs. Golding went up to her The accounts here related are in the niece, and desired her to get up, as the words of the “narrative,” which bears the noises and destruction were so great she attestation of the witnesses before mencould continue in the house no longer. tioned. The affair is still remembered by Mrs. Golding and her maid went over the many persons : it is usually denominater way to Richard Fowler's; when Mrs. the “ Stockwell Ghost," and deeme. Golding's maid had seen her safe to inexplicable. It must be recollected Richard Fowler's, she came back to Mrs. however, that the mysterious movePain, to help her to dress the children in ments were never made but when Ann the barn, where she had carried them for Robinson, Mrs. Golding's maid-serfear of the house falling. At this time vant, was present, and that they wholly all was quiet: they then went to Fowler's, ceased when she was dismissed. Thoug? and then began the same scene as had these two circumstances tend to prove that happened at the other places. All was this girl was the cause of the disturbances, quiet here as well as elsewhere, till the scarcely any one who lived at that time maid returned.

listened patiently to the presumption, or When they got to Mr. Fowler's, he be- without attributing the whole to witchcraft gan to light a fire in his back room. One lady, whom the editor of the EreryWhen done, he put the candle and candle- Day Book conversed with several times 0:1 stick upon a table in the fore room. This the subject, firmly believed in the witchapartment Mrs. Golding and her maid craft, because she had been eye-witnes: had passed through. Another candle- to the animation of the inanimate croca stick with a tin lamp in it that stood byery and furniture, which she said coul it, were both dashed together, and fell to not have been effected by human meansthe ground. At last the basket of coals it was impossible. He derived, howeves tumbled over, and the coals rolling about a solution of these “ impossibilities” fro! the room, the maid desired Richard the late Mr. J. B-_-, at his residene Fowler not to let her mistress remain in Southampton-street, Camberwell, 1 there, as she said, wherever she was, the wards the close of the year 1817. M same things would follow. In conse B—- said, all London was in an uj quence of this advice, and fearing greater roar about the “ Stockwell Ghost" for losses to himself, he desired Mrs. Gold- long time, and it would have made mo ing would quit his house ; but first beg- noise than the “ Cock-lane Ghost," if ged her to consider within herself, for her had lasted longer ; but attention to it gra own and the public sake, whether or not dually died away, and most people b she had not been guilty of some atrocious lieved it was supernatural. Mr. B erime, for which providence was deter- in continuation, observed, that some yea mined to pursue her on this side the after it happened, he became acquainte grave. Mrs. Golding told him she would with this very Ann Robinson, withou not stay in his house, or any other person's, knowing for a long time that she had bee as her conscience was quite clear, and she the servant-maid to Mrs. Golding. } could as well wait the will of Providence learned it by accident, and told her wha in her own house as in any other place he had heard. She admitted it was true whatever; upon which she and her maid and in due season, he says, he got all the went

home, and Mrs.Pain went with them. story out. She had fixed long horse hairs

After they had got to Mrs. Golding's, a to some of the crockery, and put wires pail of water, that stood on the floor, boil- under others; on pulling these, the “mov. ed like a pot; a box of candles fell from ables" of course fell. Mrs. Golding was a shelf in the kitchen to the floor, and they terribly frightened, and so were all who rolled out, but none were broken, and the table in the parlour fell over.

saw any thing tumble. Ann RobinMr. Pain then desired Mrs. Golding to the things down, which the persons prer

son herself, dexterously threw many of send her maid for his wife to come to sent, when they turned round and saw them, and when she was gone a!l was them in motion or broken, attributed 10 quiet; upon her return she was immedi- unseen agency. These spectators were ately discharged, and no disturbances all too much alarmed by their own dread happened afterwards; this was between of infernal power to examine any thing.

They kept at an awful distance, and some when the earth is softened in spring as mucid bol look at the utensils, lest Shrubs and trees, which are exposed to

meghat face fresh horrors ; of these the open air, have all their soft and tender leapaiaz opportunities she availed here parts closely wrapt up in buds, which by ei Słae put the eggs in motion, and their firmness resist all the power of frost; after one only fell down, threw the other the larger kinds of buds, and those which a the cat. Their terrors at the time, and are almost ready to expand, are further er sabsequent conversations nagnified guarded by a covering of resin or gum, supy of the circumstances beyond the such as the horse-chestnut, the sycamore, fa. She took advantage of absences and the lime. Their external covering, to loosen the hamns and bacon, and attach however, and the closeness of their interthem by the skins; in short, she ef- nal texture, are of themselves by no means fected all the mischief

. She caused the adequate to resist the intense cold of a siter in the pail to appear as if it boiled, winter's night: a bud detached from its by slipping in a paper of chemical pow- stem, enclosed in glass, and thus protectis as she passed, and afterwards it bub- ed from all access of external air, if susbet " Indeed,” said Mr. B pended from a tree during a sharp frost, * there was a love story connected with will be entirely penetrated, and its parts the case, and when I have time, I will deranged by the cold, while the buds on write out the whole, as I got it by degrees the same tree will not have sustained the from the woman berself. When she saw slightest injury; we must therefore attrithe effect of her first feats, she was tempt- bute to the living principle in vegetables, ed to exercise the dexterity beyond her as well as animals, the power of resisting Kaçinal parpose for mere amusement. cold to a very considerable degree : in She was astonished at the astonishment animals, we know, this power is generated she caused, and so went on from one from the decomposition of air by means thing to another; and being quick in her of the lungs, and disengagement of heat; Rations and shrewd, she puzzled all the how vegetables acquire this property rempe old people, and nearly frightened mains for future observations to discover. tisem to death.” Mr. B - chuckled If one of these buds be carefully opened, pagbtily over bis recollections ; he was it is found to consist of young leaves roll

hand of a practical joke, and enjoyed the ed together, within which are even all the 1

tricks of Ann Robinson with all his heart. blossoms in miniature that are afterwards i Br bis acateness, curiosity, and love of to adorn the spring.”

drollery, he drew from her the entire con During the mild weather of winter, i fession; and “ as the matter was all over slugs are in constant motion preying on

faars ago, and no more harm could be plants and green wheat. Their coveringe dose," said Mr. B., “ I never talked about of slime prevent the escape of animal it much, for her sake; but of this I can heat, and hence they are enabled to ravage assure you, that the only magic in the when their brethren of the shell, who are thing was, her dexterity and the people's more sensible of cold, lie dormant. Earth enplicity” Mr. B. promised to put worms likewise appear about this time dows the whole on paper; but he was but let the man of nice order, with a litaing and infirm, and accident prevented tle garden, discriminate between the dethe writer from caring much for a “ full, stroyer, and the innocent and useful inhatrue, and particular account," which he bitant. One summer evening, the worms could have had at any time, till Mr. Bray- from beneath a small grass plat, lay biak teht's death rendered it unattainable. out of their holes, or were dragging

“their slow length" upon the surface. THE SEASON.

They were all carefully taken up, and preMr. Arthur Aikin, in his “ Calendar of served as a breakfast for the ducks. In the Nature," presents us with a variety of ac- following year, the grass-plat, which had ceptable information concerning the opera. flourished annually with its worms, vegetises of natare throughout the year. The tated unwillingly. They were the under plasts at this season," he says, “ are pro- gardeners that "loosened the sub-soil, traded by nature with a sort of winter- and let the warm air through their entrangearters

, which secure them from the ef- ces to nourish the roots of the herbage. facts of cold. Those called herbaceous, “ Their. calm desires that asked but little stuch. die down to the root every autumn

room," Ve Dow safely concealed under-ground, were unheeded, and their usefulness was preparing their new shoots to burst forth uukdown, until their absence was ielt

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
« НазадПродовжити »