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to call in accidentally; but, by the sequel, I supposed it otherwise. After dinner, this brother of the cloth undertook to show me the gardens, where, as we were walking, he intimated to me the main object of this visit.
First he apprised me of the infelicity of the family in general, and then instanced the youngest son. lated what a hopeful youth he lately was, and 'how melancholy and sottish he was now grown. Next he deeply lamented that his ill-humour should so * incredibly subdue his reason. 66 The poor boy," said he, "believes himself to be haunted with ghosts, and is confident that he meets with an evil spirit in a certain field about half a mile from this place, as often as he goes that way to school."" In the midst of our discourse, the old gentleman and his lady came up to us. Upon their approach, and pointing to the arbour, the clergyman resumed the narrative, and the parents of the youth confirmed what he said. In fine, they all desired my opinion and advice on the affair
I replied, that what the youth had reported to them was strange, yet not incredible, and that I knew not then what to think or say on the subject; but if the lad would explain himself to me, I hoped to give them a better account of my opinion the next day.
The youth was called immediately, and I soon entered into a close conference with him. At first I was very cautious not to displease him, but endeavoured to ingratiate myself with him. But we had scarce passed the first salutation and begun to speak of the business, before I found him very communicative. He asserted that he was constantly disturbed by the appearance of a woman in an adjacent field, called Higher Brown Quartils. He next told' me, with a flood of tears, that his friends were so unkind and unjust to him, as neither to believe nor pity him; and that if any man would go with him to the place he might be convinced that his assertion was true.
This woman who appears to me, said he, lived neighbour to my father, and died about eight years since; her name was Dorothy Dingley: he then stated her stature, age, and' complexion: that she never spoke to him, but passed by hastily, and always left him the foot-path, and that she
commonly met him twice or three times in the breadth of the field.
"Two months," said he, "elapsed before I took any notice of her, and though the face was in my memory, yet I could not recal the name; but I concluded that it was some woman who lived in the neighbourhood, and frequently passed that way. Nor did I imagine otherwise, before she met me constantly morning and evening, and always in the same field, and sometimes twice or thrice in the breadth of it.
"The first time I noticed her was about a year since; and when I began to suspect and believe her to be a ghost, I had courage enough not to be afraid. I often spoke to her, but never had a word in answer. I then changed my way and went to school the under horse road, and then she always met me in the narrow lane, between the quarry park and the nursery-ground.
At length I began to be terrified, and prayed continually, that God would either free me from her, or let me know the meaning of her appearance. Night and day, sleeping and waking, the shape was ever running in my mind; and I often repeated these places in scripture. Job. vii. 14. "Thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions;" "and Deut. xxviii. 67. "In the morning thou shalt say, would God it were evening, and at evening thou shalt say, would God it were morning, for the fear of thine heart, wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see."
I was much pleased with the lad's ingenuity, in the application of these pertinent texts of Scripture to his condition, and desired him to proceed, which he did as follows:
"By degrees I grew very pensive, insomuch that I was noticed by all our family; being questioned closely on the subject, I told my brother William of it; and he privately acquainted my father and mother.
They however laughed at me, and enjoined me to attend to my school, and keep such fancies out of my head.
"I accordingly went to school often, but always met the woman in the way."
Our conference ended in my offering to accompany him to the field, which proposal he received with ecstasy; and we accordingly went.
The gentleman, his wife, and Mr. Williams, were impatient to know the event, insomuch that they came out of the parlour into the hall to meet us; and seeing the lad look cheerfully, the first compliment from the old man was, "Come, Mr. Ruddle, you have talked with Sam; I hope now he will have more wit: an idle boy, an idle boy!" At these words the lad ran up stairs to his chamber without replying, and I soon stopped the curiosity of the three expectants, by telling them I had that promised silence, and was resolved to be as good as my word, but that they should soon know all.
The next morning, before five o'clock, the lad was in my chamber; when I arose and went with him. The field he led me to was twenty acres, in an open country, and about three furlongs from any house. We had not proceeded above a third part over the field, before the spectre, in the shape of a woman, with all the circumstances he had described to me in the orchard the day before, met us and passed by. I was somewhat surprised at it; and though I had taken firm resolution to speak to it, yet I had not the power, nor indeed durst I look back. We walked to the end of the field, and returned, but the spectre did not then meet us above once. On our return home, the lady waited to speak with me; I told her that my opinion was, that her son's complaint was not to be slighted, nor altogether discredited. I cautioned her moreover, that the thing might not take wind, lest the whole country should ring with what was as yet uncertain.
On the morning of the 27th day of July, 1665, I went to the haunted field alone, and walked the breadth of it without any encounter. I returned and took the other walk, and then the spectre appeared to me at about the same place I saw it before when the young gentleman was with me; in my idea it moved swifter than the time before, and was about ten feet distant from me on my right hand.
On the evening of this day, the parents, the son, and myself, being in the chamber where I lay, I proposed to them our going altogether to the place next morning; and all resolved upon it. In the morning, lest we should alarm
the servants, they went under the pretence of seeing a field of wheat, and I took my horse, and fetched a compass another way, and met at the stile we had appointed.
Thence we all four walked leisurely into the Quartils, and had passed above half the field before the spectre made its appearance. It then came over the stile just before us, and moved with such swiftness, that by the time we had gone six or seven steps it had passed by I immediately turned my head and ran after it, with the young man by my side; we saw it pass over the stile at which we entered, but no farther: I stepped up to the hedge at one place and he at another, but could discern nothing, whereas I dare aver, that the swiftest horse in England could not have conveyed himself out of sight in that short space of time. Two things I observed in this day's appearance÷
1. That a spaniel dog which followed the company unre garded, barked and ran away, ass the spectre passed by; whence it is easy to conclude that it was not our fear or fancy which made the apparition.
2. That the motion of the spectre was not gradatim, or by steps, and moving of the feet; but a kind of sliding as children. upon the ice, or a boat down a swift river, which punctually answers the description which the ancients gave of the motion of their lemurs.
This ocular evidence convinced, but strangely frightened the old gentleman and his wife; who knew Dorothy: Dingley in her life time, were at her funeral, and plainly saw her features in this present apparition. I was resolved to proceed, and use such means as learned men have successfully practised, in these uncommon cases.
The next morning being Thursday, I went out very early by myself, and walked for about an hour's space in medi tation and prayer in the fields adjoining the Quartils. Soon after five I stepped over the stile, into the disturbed field, and had not gone above thirty or forty paces before the spectre appeared at the farther stile. I spoke to it with a loud voice, whereupon it approached but slowly, and when I came near, it moved not. I spoke again, and it answered in a voice neither very audible nor intelligible. I was not in the least terrified, and therefore persisted, until it spoke again, and satisfied me.
In the same evening, an hour after sun-set, it met me again near the same place, and after a few words on each side it quietly vanished, and neither appeared' since, nor ever will more, to any man's disturbance. The conversation in the morning lasted about a quarter of an hour!
APPARITION OF LORD TYRONE TO LADY BERESFORD.
Lord Tyrone and Miss- were born in Ireland, and were left orphans in their infancy to the care of the same person, by whom they were both educated in the principles of deism.
Their guardian dying when they were each of them about fourteen years of age, they fell into very different hands. Though separated from each other, their friendship was unalterable, and they continued to regard each other with a sincere and fraternal affection. After some years were elapsed, and both were grown up, they made a solemn promise to each other that whichever should die first, would, if permitted, appear to the other, to declare what religion was most approved by the Supreme Being Miss shortly after addressed by Sir Martin Beresford, to whom she was afterwards married; but a change of condition had no power to alter their friendship. The families visited each other, and often spent some weeks together. A short time after one off these visits, Sir Martin remarked, that when his lady came down to breakfast, her countenance was disturbed, and inquired of her health. She assured him that she was quite well. He then asked her if she had hurt her wrist "Have you sprained it ?? said he, observing a black ribbon round it. She answered in the negative, and added, "Let me conjure you, Sir Martin, never to inquire the cause of my wearing this ribbon; you will never see me without it. If it concerned you as a husband to know, I would not for a moment conceal it; I never in my life denied you a request, but of this I intreat you to forgive me the refusal, and never to urge me farther on the subject." "Very well," said he, smiling, "since you beg me so earnestly, I will inquire no more.' The conversation