« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
visible. The servant had not been absent many minutes when she ran into the house without her burden, and throwing herself into a chair in a state of extreme terror, fainted away. Restoratives having been used, she recovered a little and, upon being questioned as to the cause of her alarm, she told us that as she was stooping over the well, about to fill one of her pails, she suddenly found herself in the midst of a crowd of people who were carrying a coffin, which they had set down at the gate of the stable-yard. As she had received no intimation of the approach of the concourse by any sound of footsteps, she was greatly alarmed, and as the object borne by the throng did not tend to tranquillise her nerves, she took to her heels, leaving her pails behind her. As no persuasion could induce her to return to the well, I offered to do so for her, and to ascertain the cause of her terror. When I arrived at the stable-yard, there was neither coffin nor crowd to be seen, and upon asking a neighbour, whose cottage commanded a view of the well, whether she had seen a funeral go by, she put a stop to any further inquiry by asking me 'who had ever heard of a funeral at ten o'clock at night ?' To which pertinent query I could only reply by stating what the servant professed to have seen. So the matter rested for a few weeks, when there occurred an unusually high tide in Milford Haven. The water rose above the level of the ordinary springs, filling the creek, and flowing into the court in front of the house. It only ebbed when it had reached the door. The roadway at the end of the pill was im© the part will in a boa our stable
passable. A person having died on the opposite side of the inlet a few days before this, the funeral took place on the morning of the high tide ; and as it was impossible to take the corpse to the parish church by the usual route, the bearers crossed the pill in a boat with the coffin and having laid it down at the gate of our stableyard, remained there until the boat could bring over the remainder of the funeral concourse."
The last instance of this insight into the future which we shall cite from Mr. Pavin Phillips's highly suggestive and interesting communication, is the record of an incident of the character referred to which occurred to him himself, in the year 1848, upon his return home after several years' absence. “A few days after my arrival,” he states, “I took a walk one morning in the yard of one of our parish churches, through which there is a right of way for pedestrians. My object was a twofold one: firstly to enjoy the magnificent prospect visible from that elevated position; and secondly, to see whether any of my friends or acquaintances who had died during my absence were buried in the locality. After gazing around me for a short time, I sauntered on, looking at one tombstone and then at another, when my attention was arrested by an altar-tomb enclosed within an iron railing. I walked up to it, and read an inscription which informed me that it was in memory of Colonel
- This gentleman had been the assistant Poor Law Commissioner for South Wales, and while on one of his periodical tours of inspection, he was seized with apoplexy in the workhouse of my native town, and died
in a few hours. This was suggested to my mind as I read the inscription on the tomb, as the melancholy event occurred during the period of my absence, and I was only made cognisant of the fact through the medium of the local press. Not being acquainted with the late Colonel — , and never having even seen him, the circumstances of his sudden demise had long passed from my memory, and were only revived by my thus viewing his tomb. I then passed on, and shortly afterwards returned home. On my arrival my father asked me in what direction I had been walking? I replied, * In — churchyard, looking at the tombs, and among others I have seen the tomb of Colonel — , who died in the workhouse. That,' replied my father, ‘is impossible, as there is no tomb erected over Colonel — 's grave. At this remark I laughed. “My dear father,' said I, ‘you want to persuade me that I cannot read. I was not aware that Colonel — was buried in the churchyard, and was only informed of the fact by reading the inscription on the tomb.' Whatever you may say to the contrary,' said my father, 'what I tell you is true, there is no tomb over Colonel — 's grave.' Astounded by the reiteration of this statement, as soon as I had dined I returned to the churchyard, and again inspected all the tombs having railings round them, and found that my father was right. There was not only no tomb bearing the name of Colonel - , but there was no tomb at all corresponding in appearance with the one I had seen. Unwilling to credit the evidence of my own senses, I went to the cottage of an old acquaintance of my boyhood, who lived outside of the churchyard gate, and asked her to show me the place where Colonel – lay buried. She took me to the spot, which was a green mound, undistinguished in appearance from the surrounding graves. Nearly two years subsequent to this occurrence, surviving relatives erected an altar-tomb, with a railing round it, over the last resting-place of Colonel — , and it was, as nearly as I could remember, an exact reproduction of the memorial of my daydream."
Verily," there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
Nannau, the ancient residence of the Vaughan family, in Merionethshire, is said to stand upon the highest ground of any gentleman's seat in Great Britain. In the days of the famous Owen Glendower, this romantically-situated dwelling was occupied by Howel Sele, a first cousin of the Welsh prince. The cousins do not appear to have lived on friendly terms, Howel Sele siding with the Lancastrians, whilst Glendower, it need scarcely be remarked, was a fierce Yorkist. Ultimately their antagonism came to a fatal termination. There are several versions of the legend, but it is better to adopt that related by Pennant because, although it does not accord with some of the ballads on the subject, it appears to have a historic basis. The historian states that Glendower and Sele having long been at variance, the Abbot of Kymmer brought them together in hopes of reconciling them, and had, apparently, succeeded in effecting this charitable purpose. Whilst the two cousins were out hunting together, after their apparent reconciliation, Owen observed a doe feeding, and remarked to Howel, who was considered the best archer of the day, that there was a fine mark for him. Howel bent his bow and, pretending to take aim at the doe, suddenly turned and discharged his arrow full at Glendower's breast :
Then cursed Howel's cruel shaft,
· Alas! for Cambria's weal!
Lay plate of Milan steel.*
Fortunately for him the Welsh chieftain, as described by the poet, had armour beneath his clothes, and therefore received no hurt. But, enraged at his kinsman's treachery, he turned upon him fiercely, and although Howel was fully armed, after a short conflict, slew him ! The next thing was how to dispose of the body; and according to the ballad of the Spirit's Blasted Tree, by the Rev. George Warrington, it was Madog, Glen
* The Demon Oak, by Walter Thornbury.