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her life-time; were at her burial, and now plainly saw her features in this apparition.
“The next morning, being Thursday, I went very early by myself, and walked for about an hour's space in meditation and prayer in the field next adjoining. Soon after five I stepped over the stile into the haunted field, and had not gone above thirty or forty paces before the ghost appeared at the further stile. I spoke to it in some short sentences with a loud voice; whereupon it approached me, but slowly, and when I came near it moved not. I spoke again, and it answered in a voice neither audible nor very intelligible. I was not in the least terrified, and therefore persisted until it spoke again and gave me satisfaction ; but the work could not be finished at this time. Whereupon the same evening, an hour after sunset, it met me again near the same place, and after a few words on each side it quietly vanished, and neither doth appear now, nor hath appeared since, nor ever will more to any man's disturbance. The discourse in the morning lasted about a quarter of an hour.
“ These things are true,' concludes the Rev. John Ruddle, and I know them to be so, with as much certainty as eyes and ears can give me; and until I can be persuaded that my senses all deceive me about their proper objects, and by that persuasion deprive me of the strongest inducement to believe the Christian religion, I must and will assert that the things contained in this paper are true.'”
In the popular Memoirs of Mrs. Schimmelpenninck, the well-known authoress, a curious story connected with Bowood, the seat of the Marquis of Lansdowne, is related as having occurred whilst the celebrated Dr. Priestley was librarian there to Lord Shelburn.
“One day,” says Mrs. Schimmelpenninck, “Mr. Petty, the precocious and gifted youth, sent for Dr. Priestley (Lord Shelburn, Mr. Petty's father, being then absent, I think, in London). When the doctor entered, Mr. Petty told him he had passed a very restless night, and had been much disturbed by uncomfortable dreams, which he wished to relate to Dr. Priestley, hoping that, by so doing, the painful impression would pass away.
“He then said he dreamed he had been very unwell, when suddenly the whole household was in preparation for a journey. He was too ill to sit up, but was carried lying down in the carriage. His surprise was extreme in seeing carriage after carriage in an almost interminable procession. He was alone, and could not speak ; he could only gaze in astonishment. The procession at last wound slowly off. After pursuing the road for many miles towards London, it at last appeared to stop at the door of a church. It was the church at High Wycombe, which is the burial-place of the Shelburn family. It seemed, in Mr. Petty's dream, that he entered, or rather was carried into the church. He looked back; he saw the procession which followed him was in black, and that the carriage from which he had been taken bore the semblance of a hearse. Here the dream ended, and he awoke.
“Dr. Priestley told him that his dream was the result of a feverish cold, and that the impression would soon pass off. Nevertheless, he thought it best to send for the family medical attendant. The next day Mr. Petty was much better; on the third day he was completely convalescent, so that the doctor permitted him to leave his room; but as it was in January, and illness was prevalent, he desired him on no account to leave the house, and, with that precaution, took his leave. Late the next afternoon the medical man was returning from his other patients ; his road lay by the gates of Bowood, and as Lord Shelburn was away, he thought he might as well call to see Mr. Petty and enforce his directions. What was his surprise, when he had passed the lodge, to see the youth himself, without his hat, playfully running to meet him! The doctor was much astonished, as it was bitterly cold and the ground covered with snow. He rode towards Mr. Petty to rebuke him for his imprudence, when suddenly be disappeared—whither he knew not, but he seemeh instantaneously to vanish. The doctor thought it very extraordinary, but that probably the youth had not wished to be found transgressing orders, and he rode on to the house. There he learnt that Mr. Petty had just expired.”
THE BRISTOL VICARAGE.
IN 1846 certain strange doings were reported to be going on in an ancient residence in Bristol. The papers found the matter exciting such interest that they felt bound to notice it, but did so in a half-serious, halfsarcastic spirit, as the following excerpt from the Bristol Times will show. Under the heading of “ A GHOST AT BRISTOL,” the journal named made this statement:
“We have this week a ghost story to relate. Yes, a real ghost story, and a ghost story without, as yet, any elue to its elucidation. After the dissolution of the Calendars, their ancient residence, adjoining and almost forming a part of All Saints' Church, Bristol, was converted into a vicarage-house, and it is still (in 1846) called by that name, though the incumbents have for many years ceased to reside there. The present occupants are Mr. and Mrs. Jones, the sexton and sextoness of the church, and one or two lodgers; and it is to the former and their servant-maid that the strange visitor has made his appearance, causing such terror by his nightly calls, that all three have determined upon quitting the premises, if indeed they have not already carried their resolution into effect. Mr. and Mrs. Jones's description of the disturbance as given to the landlord, on whom they called in great consternation, is as distinct as any ghost story could be. The nocturnal visitor is heard walking about the house when the inhabitants are in bed ; and Mr. Jones, who is a
man of by no means nervous constitution, declares he has several times seen a light flickering on one of the walls. Mrs. Jones is equally certain that she has heard a man with creaking shoes walking in the bed-room above her own, when no man was on the premises (or at least ought not to be), and was nearly killed with the fright.' To the servant-maid, however, was vouchsafed the unenvied honour of seeing this restless night. visitor; she declares she has repeatedly had her bedroom door unbolted at night, between the hours of twelve and two o'clock—the period when such beings usually make their promenades—by something in human semblance. She cannot particularise his dress, but describes it as something antique, and of a fashion
lang syne gane,' and to some extent corresponding to that of the ancient Calendars, the former inhabitants of the house. She further says, he is 'a whiskered gentleman' (we give her own words), which whiskered gentleman has gone the length of shaking her bed, and, she believes, would have shaken herself also, but that she invariably puts her head under the clothes. when she sees him approach. Mrs. Jones declares she believes in the appearance of the whiskered gentleman, and she had made up her mind the night before she called on her landlord to leap out of the window (and it is not a trifle that will make people leap out of the windows) as soon as he entered the room. The effect of the 'flickering light' on Mr. Jones was quite terrific, causing excessive trembling, and the complete doubling up of his whole body into a round ball, like."