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imagined, was lurking in some one of them. This could not last. She reasoned with herself, but her terror became intolerable, and she related her dream to my father, who, of course, called her a fool for her pains—whatever might be his real opinion of the matter.
“Three months had elapsed, when we children were all of us seized with scarlet fever. My sister Catherine died almost immediately—sacrificed, as my mother in her misery thought, to her (my mother's) over-anxiety for Alexes, whose danger seemed more imminent. The dream-prophecy was in part fulfilled. I also was at death's door-given up by the doctors, but not by my mother : she was confident of my recovery, but for my brother, who was scarcely considered in danger at all, but on whose head she had seen the visionary axe impending, her fears were great, for she could not recollect whether the blow had, or had not, descended when the spectre vanished. My brother recovered, but relapsed, and barely escaped with life. But Alexes did not; for a year and ten months the poor child lingered, and almost every night I had to sing her asleep; often, I remember, through bitter tears; for I knew she was dying, and I loved her the more as she wasted away. I held her little hand as she died, I followed her to the grave—the last thing that I have loved on earth. And the dream was fulfilled. “ Truly and sincerely yours,
“J. NOEL PATON."
IN Lord Nugent's Memorials of John Hampden is cited, from a pamphlet of Charles the First's time, one of the most, if not the most, marvellous account of two entire armies of apparitions on record. Somewhat similar, but more distant and weakly testified to phantoms, are averred to have been seen in various times and climes, but, as Lord Nugent points out, this wonderful story is “attested upon the oath of three officers, men of honour and discretion, and of three other gentlemen of credit, selected by the King as commissioners to report upon these prodigies, and to tranquillise and disabuse the alarms of a country town; adding, moreover, in confirmation, their testimony to the identity of several of the illustrious dead, as seen among the unearthly combatants who had been well-known to them, and who had fallen in the battle.” “A well supported imposture,” adds Lord Nugent, “or a stormy night on the hill-side might have acted on the weakness of a peasantry in whose remembrance the terrors of the Edge Hill fight were still fresh ; * but it is difficult to imagine how the minds of officers, sent there to correct the illusions, could have been so imposed upon. It will, also, be observed, that no inference is attempted by
* The battle of Edge Hill, between the forces of the King and those of the Parliament, had been fought about two months previous to the first appearance of these apparitions.
the witnesses to assist any notion of a judgment or warning favourable to the interests or passions of their own party."
The pamphlet referred to by Lord Nugent was printed immediately after the events it records, on the 23rd of January 1642. It narrates the appearance of the late apparitions, and records the particulars of the PRODIGIOUS NOISES OF WAR AND BATTLE, at Edge Hill, near Keinton, in Northamptonshire, and its truth is certified to by“ William Wood, Esquire and Justice for the Peace for the same county, and Samuel Marshall, Preacher of God's Word in Keinton, and other persons of quality.”
Omitting the introductory matter, which merely refers to the antiquity of, and the great mass of evidence in favour of the reality of apparitions, and modernizing the spelling, this strongly accredited pamphlet reads thus :
“Edge Hill, in the very confines of Warwickshire, near unto Keynton, in Northamptonshire, a place, as appears by the sequel, destined for civil wars and battles; as where King John fought a battle with his barons, and where, in defence of the kingdom's laws and liberty, was fought a bloody conflict between His Majesty's and the Parliament's forces. At this Edge Hill, at the very place where the battle was fought, have since, and doth appear, strange and portentous apparitions of two jarring and contrary armies, as I shall in order deliver, it being certified by men of most credit in those parts, as William Wood, Esquire, Samuel Marshall, Minister, and others, on Saturday, which was in Christmas time ... Between twelve and one o'clock in the morning, was heard by some shepherds, and other countrymen, and travellers, first the sound of drums afar off, and the noise of soldiers, as it were, giving out their last groans; at which they were much amazed, and amazed stood still, till it seemed, by the nearness of the noise, to approach them; at which, too much affrighted, they sought to withdraw as fast as possibly they could ; but then, on the sudden, whilst they were in their cogitations, appeared in the air the same incorporeal soldiers that made those clamours, and immediately, with ensigns displayed, drums beating, muskets going off, cannons discharged, horses neighing, which also to these men were visible, the alarum or entrance to this game of death was, one army, which gave the first charge, having the King's colours, and the other the Parliament's at their head or front of the battle, and so pell-mell to it they went. The battle, that appeared to the King's forces seeming at first to have the best, but afterwards to be put into apparent rout. But till two or three in the morning in equal scale continued this dreadful fight, the clattering of arms, noise of cannons, cries of soldiers, so amazing and terrifying the poor men, that they could not believe they were mortal, or give credit to their eyes and ears ; run away they durst not, for fear of being made a prey to these infernal soldiers, and so they, with much fear and affright, stayed to behold the success of the business, which at last suited to this effect. After some three hours' fight, that army which
carried the King's colours withdrew, or rather appeared to fly; the other remaining, as it were, masters of the field, stayed a good space triumphing, and expressing all the signs of joy and conquest, and then, with all their drums, trumpets, ordnance, and soldiers, vanished. The poor men, glad that they were gone that had so long stayed them there against their wills, made with all haste to Keinton, and there knocking up Mr. Wood, a Justice of Peace, who called up his neighbour, Mr. Marshall, the Minister, they gave them an account of the whole passage, and averred it upon their oaths to be true. At which affirmation of theirs, being much amazed, they should hardly have given credit to it, but would have conjectured the men to have been either mad or drunk, had they not known some of them to have been of approved integrity; and so, suspending their judgments till the next night about the same hour, they, with the same men, and all the substantial inhabitants of that and the neighbouring parishes drew thither; where, about half an hour after their arrival, on Sunday, being Christmas night, appeared in the same tumultuous warlike manner, the same two adverse armies, fighting with as much spite and spleen as formerly; and so departed the gentlemen and all the spectators, much terrified with these visions of horror, withdrew themselves to their houses, beseeching God to defend them from those hellish and prodigious enemies. The next night they appeared not, nor all that week, so that the dwellers thereabout were in good hope they had for ever departed. But on the ensuing Saturday night, in the