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This made the doctor a little easy, for he began to be surprised when he told him he had split some of them and burnt them.
Well,” said the doctor, “if I cannot do you any service in your search, I will come to see you again to-morrow, and wait upon you during it with my best good wishes.”
Nay,” says the gentleman, “I do not design to part with you, since you are so kind as to offer me your assis. tance; you shall stay all night, then, and be at the commencement of the search.'
The doctor had now gained his point so far as to make an intimacy with the family; and, after much intreaty, he consented to sleep there.
A little before dark, the gentleman asked him to take a walk in the park; but he declined; “I would rather, sir, said he, smiling," that you shew me this fine old mansion house, that is to be demolished to-morrow; methinks I would fain see the house once before you pull it down.”
“With all my heart," said the gentleman. He took him immediately up stairs, shewed him the best apartments, and his fine furniture and pictures; and coming to the head of the staircase, offered to descend.
“But, sir," said the doctor, "shall we not go higher ?”
“ There is nothing there,” said he, “but garrets and old lofts full of rubbish, and a place leading to the turret, and the clock-house.”
"O, let me see it all, now we are here," said the doctor; “I love to see the old lofty towers and turrets, and the magnificence of our ancestors, though they are out of fashion now: pray let me see them."
After they had rambled over the mansion, they passed by a great lumber room, the door of which stood open. “And what place is this ?” said the doctor.
“O! that is the room," said the gentleman," where all the rubbish, the chests, coffers, and trunks lie; see how they are piled one upon another almost to the ceiling."
Upon this the doctor began to look around him. He had not been in the room two minutes before he found every thing precisely as the spectre in London had described; he went directly to the pile he had been told
of, and fixed his eye upon the very chest with the old rusty lock upon it, which would neither turn round nor come out.
“ On my word, sir," said the doctor, “you have taken pains enough, if you have searched all these drawers, chests, and coffers, and every thing that may have been in them.”
“Indeed, sir," said the gentleman, “I have examined them myself, and looked over all the musty writings one by one; and they have all passed through my hand and under my eye.”
“Well, sir," said the doctor, “ will you gratify my curiosity by opening and emptying this small chest or coffer ?
The gentleman looking at the chest said, smiling, “I remember opening it;" and turning to his servant, he said, “ William, do you not remember that chest ?” “Yes, sir, replied the servant, “I remember you were so tired, that you sat down upon the chest when every thing was out of it; that you
shut the lid and sat down, and sent me to my lady to bring you a dram of citron; and that you said you were ready to faint."
“Well, sir," said the doctor, “it is only a whim of mine, and probably it may contain nothing."
“You shall see it turned upside down before your face, as well as the rest." Immediately the
gentleman caused the coffer to be dragged out and opened. When the papers were all out, the doctor turning round, as if looking among them, but taking little or no notice of the chest, stooped down, and as if supporting himself with his cane, struck the same into the chest, but snatched it out again hastily, as if it had been a mistake, and turning to the chest, he shut the lid, and seated himself upon it. Having dismissed the servant, “Now, sir," said hê, “I have found your writing ; I have found your grand deed of settlement; and I will lay you a hundred guineas I have it in this coffer."
The gentleman took up the lid again, handled the chest, looked over every part of it, but could see nothing; he was confounded and amazed ! “ What do you mean ?” said he to the doctor, “ here is nothing but an empty coffer.”
“Upon my word,” said the doctor, “I am no magician, but I tell you again the writing is in this coffer."
The gentleman knocked and called for his servant with the hammer, but the doctor still sat composed upon the lid of the coffer.
At length the man came with a hammer and chisel, and the doctor set to work upon the chest, knocking upon the flat of the bottom: “hark!” says he,“ don't you hear it, sir ? don't you hear it plainly ?"
“Hear what ?" said the gentleman; “I do not understand you."
Why, the chest has a double bottom, sir, a false bottom," said the doctor; “don't you hear it sound hollow ?"
In a word, they immediately split the inner bottom open, and there found the parchment spread abroad flat on the whole breadth of the bottom of the trunk.
It is impossible to describe the joy and surprise of the gentleman, and of the whole family, and the former sen for his lady, and two of his daughters, into the garret among the rubbish, to see the place and manner in which the writing was found.
APPARITION SEEN BY LADY PENNYMAN AND MRS. ATKINS.
At the commencement of the French revolution, Lady Pennyman and her two daughters retired to Lisle, where they hired a large and handsome house at a trifling rent. During their residence here, the lady received from her husband, Sir John Pennyman, a draft for a considerable sum, which she carried to the banker of the town, and requested to have cashed. The man, as is often the case on the continent, gave her a large portion of silver in exchange. As Lady Pennyman was proceeding to pay some visits, she requested that the banker would send the money to her house, of which she described the situation. The parcel was instantly committed to the care of a porter; and, on the lady's enquiring of him whether he understood, from her directions, the place to which his charge was to be conveyed, the man replied that he was perfectly aware of the place
designated, and that it was called the “Haunted House.” The latter part of this answer was addressed to the banker in a low tone of voice, but was overheard by Lady Pennyman: she paid, however, no attention to the words, and naturally supposed that the report connected with her habitation was one of those which are raised by the imagination of the ignorant respecting every dwelling which is long untenanted, or remarkable for its antiquity.
A few weeks afterwards, the words were recalled to her recollection in a manner that surprised her; the housekeeper, with many apologies for being obliged to mention anything that might appear so idle and absurd, came to the apartment in which her mistress was sitting, and said that two of the servants, who had accompanied her ladyship from England, had that morning given warning, and expressed a determination of quitting her ladyship's service, on account of the mysterious noises by which they had been, night after night, disturbed and terrified. “I trust, Carter," replied Lady Pennyman, " that you have too much good sense to be alarmed on your own account by any
of these superstitious and visionary fears; and pray exert yourself in endeavouring to tranquillize the apprehension of others, and persuading them to continue in their places.” The persuasion of Carter was ineffectual: the servants iņsisted that the noises which had alarmed them were not the operation of any earthly beings, and persevered in their resolution of returning to their native country.
The room from which the sounds were supposed to have proceeded was at a distance from Lady Pennyman's apartments, and immediately over those which were occupied by the two female servants, who had themselves been terrified by them, and whose report had spread a general panic through the rest of the family. To quiet the alarm, Lady Pennyman resolved on leaving her own chamber for a time, and establishing herself in the one which had been lately occupied by the domestics.
The room above was a long spacious apartment, which appeared to have been for a length of time deserted. In the centre of the chamber was a large iron cage : it was an extraordinary piece of furniture to find in any mansion, but the legend which the servants had collected respecting it appeared to be still more extraordinary: it was said that a late proprietor of the house, a young man of enormous property, had in his minority been confined in that apartment by his uncle and guardian, and there hastened to it premature death by the privations and cruelties to which he was exposed : those cruelties had been practised under th: pretence of necessary correction. The savage purpose of murdering the boy, under the pretence of a strict attention to his interest or his improvement, was successful : the lad was declared to be incorrigible: there was a feigned necessity of the severest correction : he was sentenced to two days' captivity and privation. On his uncle's arriving, with the show of an hypocritical leniency, an hour previous to the appointed time, to deliver him from the residue of his punishment, it was found that death had anticipated the false mercy, and had for ever emancipated the innocent sufferer from the hands of the oppressor.
The wealth was won ; but it was an unprofitable acquisition. His conscience haunted him: the form of the dead and inoffensive boy was constantly before him. His dreams represented to his view the playful and beautiful looks that won all eyes towards him, while his parents were yet alive to cheer and to delight him: and then the vision of his sleep would change; and he would see his calm suffering and his silent tears, and his patient endurance and his indefatigable exertions in attempting the accomplishment of the difficult exactions, and his pale cheek, and his wasted limbs, and his spiritless countenance; and then, at last, there was the rigid, bony, and distorted form, the glazed open eye, the mouth violently compressed, and the clenched hands, on which his view had rested for a moment, when all his wicked hopes had attained their most sanguine consummation, and he surveyed the corpse of his murdered relative. These recollections banished him from his home, the mansion was left tenantless; and, till Lady Pennyman inadvertently engaged it, all bad dreaded to become the inmates of a dwelling which had been fatal to one possessor, and shunned as destructive to the tranquillity of his heir.
On the first night or two of Lady Pennyman's being established in her new apartment, she met with no interruption; nor was her sleep in the least disturbed by any of