« PreviousContinue »
Of the near approach of my death I therefore entertain not the slightest doubt.
“When I am dead, as the necessity of concealment closes with my life, I could wish that you, Lady Betty, would unbind my wrist, take from thence the black ribbon, and let my son with yourself behold it.” Lady Beresford here paused for some time, but resuming the conversation, she entreated her son would behave himself so as to merit the high honour he would in future receive from a union with the daughter of Lord Tyrone.
Lady B. then expressed a wish to lie down on the bed and endeavour to compose herself to sleep. Lady Betty Cobb and her son immediately called her domestics, and quitted the room, having first desired them to watch their mistress attentively, and if they observed the smallest change in her, to call instantly.
An hour passed, and all was quiet in the room. They listened at the door, and every thing remained still, but in half an hour more a bell rang violently; they flew to her apartment, but before they reached the door, they heard the servant exclaim, “Oh, she is dead !" Lady Betty then bade the servants for a few minutes to quit the room, and herself with Lady Beresford's son approached the bed of his mother; they knelt down by the side of it; Lady Betty then lifted up her hand and untied the ribbon; the wrist was found exactly as Lady Beresford had described it, every sinew shrunk, every nerve withered.
Lady Beresford's son, as had been predicted, is since married to Lord Tyrone's daughter: the black ribbon and pocket-book were formerly in the possession of Lady Betty Cobb, Marlborough Buildings, Bath, who, during her long life, was ever ready to attest the truth of this narration, as are, to the present hour, the whole of the Tyrone and Beresford families.
TWO APPARITIONS TO MR. WILLIAM LILLY,
The following affair excited considerable interest in the north about the middle of last century :-On the first
Sunday, in the year 1749, Mr. Thomas Lilly, the son of a farmer in the parish of Kelso, in Roxburghshire, a young man intended for the Church of Scotland, remained at home to keep the house, in company with a shepherd's boy, all the rest of the family, except a maid-servant, being at church. The young student and the boy being by the fire, whilst the girl was gone to the well for water, a venerable old gentleman, clad in an antique garb, presented himself, and, after some little ceremony, desired the student to take up the family bible, which lay on a table, and turn over to a certain chapter and verse in the Second Book of Kings. The student did so, and read—“There is death in the pot.”
On this, the old man, with much apparent agitation, pointed to the great family pot boiling on the fire, declaring that the maid had cast a great quantity of arsenic into it, with an intent to poison the whole family, to the end she might rob the house of the hundred guineas which she knew her master had lately taken for sheep and grain which he had sold. Just as he was so saying, the maid came to the door. The old gentleman said to the student, remember my warning and save the lives of the family !-and that instant disappeared.
The maid entered with a smiling countenance, emptied her pail, and returned to the well for a fresh supply. Meanwhile, young Lilly put some oatmeal into a wooden dish, skimmed the pot of the fat, and mixed it for what is called brose or croudy, and when the maid returned, he with the boy appeared busily employed in eating the mixture. Come, Peggy, said the student, here is enough left for you; are not you fond of croudy? She smiled, took up the dish, and reaching a horn spoon, withdrew to the back roɔm. The shepherd's dog followed her, unseen by the boy, and the poor animal, on the croudy being put down by the maid, fell a victim to his voracious appetite; for before the return of the family from church, it was enormously swelled, and expired in great agony,
The student enjoined the boy.to remain quite passive for the present ; meanwhile he attempted to show his ingenuity in resolving the cause of the canine catastrophe into insanity, in order to keep the girl in countenance till a fit opportunity of discovering the plot should present itself.
Soon after, his father and family, with the other servants returned from church.
The table was instantly replenished with wooden bowls and trenchers, while a heap of barley bannocks graced the top. The kail or broth, infused with leeks or winter cabbages, was poured forth in plenty; and Peggy, with a prodigal hand, filled all the dishes with the homely dainties of Tiviotdale. The master began grace, and all hats and bonnets were instantly off! “O Lord,” prayed the farmer,
we have been hearing thy word, from the mouth of thy E aged servant, Mr. Ramsay, we have been alarmed by the
awful famine in Samaria, and of death being in the pot !" Here the young scholar interrupted his father, by exclaiming
• Yes, sir, there is death in the pot now here, as well as there was once in Israel !--Touch not! taste not! See the dog dead by the poisoned pot!".
What I cried the farmer, “have you been raising the devil by your conjuration? Is this the effect of your study, sir ?”_"No, father," said the student, “ I pretend to no such arts of magic or necromancy, but this day, as the boy can testify, I had a solemn warning from one whom I take to be no demon, but a good angel
. To him we all owe our lives. As to Peggy, according to his intimation, she has put poison into the pot for the purpose of destroying the whole family. Here the girl fell into a fit, from which being with some trouble recovered, she confessed the whole of her deadly design, and was suffered to quit the family and her native country.
She was soon after executed at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, for the murder of her illegitimate child, again making ample confession of the above diabolical design.
In 1750, the same young Lilly was one day reading the 20th chapter of the Revelation of John the Divine, just as he was entering upon that part which describes the angel binding the devil a thousand years, " after which he was to be loosed a little," a very venerable old personage appeared at his elbow : the young man fell on the floor, but quickly arose, and in the name of the Lord demanded who he was, and the nature of his business. Upon this the following colloquy ensued :
Lilly. --Shall I call thee Satan, the crooked serpent, the devil, Beelzebub, or Lucifer son of the morning ?
Appar.-I am a messenger from the dead, to see or to cause justice to be done to thee and thy father. I am the spirit of one of thy ancestors !
Lilly.-Art thou the soul of my grandfather, who amidst immense riches perished for want of food ?
Appar.-Thou art right. Money was my deity, and Mammon my master. I heaped up gold, but did not enjoy
Lilly.- I have frequently heard my father mention you, as a sordid, avaricious, miserable man. How did you dispose of the immense riches which you are said to have accumulated ?
Appar.-It is, for the most part, hidden in a field, in the farm of your father, and I intend that you,
should be the sole possessor of it, without suffering your father to know from whence your riches originated. Do not you recognise my face since the beginning of the last year?
Lilly. Are you the old gentleman whose timely intelligence saved the lives of all our family?
Appar.-I am. Therefore think not your father ill rewarded already.
Lilly.-How can I account to him for the immediate accumulation of so much money as you seem to intimate ?
Appar.-Twenty thousand pounds sterling money!
Lilly. You seem even now in your disembodied state to feel much emotion at the mention of much money.
Appar.-But now I cannot touch the money of mortals.But I cannot stay. Follow me to the field, and I will point out the precise place where you are to dig.
Here the apparition stalked forth round the barn yard, and Lilly followed him, till he came to a field about three furlongs from his father's door, when the apparition stood still on a certain spot, wheeled thrice round, and vanished into air.
This proved to be the precise place where young Lilly and his companions had often devoted to pastime, being a hollow, whence stone had formerly been dug. He lost but little time in consideration, for having procured a pickaxe and a spade, he actually discovered the treasure. His immense wealth enabled him to perform many acts of charity in that country, as many can testify to this day.
The pots in which the money, consisting of large pieces of gold and silver, were deposited, have often been shown as curiosities hardly to be equalled in the south of Scotland. -World of Spirits, 1796.
MR. BOOTY AND THE SHIP'S CREW.
No circumstance connected with supernatural appearances has occasioned more altercation and controversy than the undermentioned. The narrative certainly has an air of overstrained credulity; nevertheless, the affair is curious, and the coincidence very remarkable, especially as it was a salvo for Captain Barnaby. The former part of this narrative is transcribed from Captain Spinks's journal, or logbook, and the latter from the King's Bench Records for the time being.
Tuesday, May the 12th, this day the wind S.SW. and a little before four in the afternoon, we anchored in Manser road, where lay Captains Bristo, Brian, and Barnaby, all of them bound to Lucera to load Wednesday, May the 13th, We weighed anchor, and in the afternoon I went on board of Captain Barnaby, and about two o'clock we sailed all of us for the island of Lucera, wind W.SW. and bitter weather. Thursday, the 14th, about two o'clock, we saw the island, and all came to an anchor in twelve fathom water, the wind W.SW. and on the 15th day of May we had an observation of Mr. Booty in the following manner: Captains Bristo, Brian, and Barnaby, went on shore shooting colues on Stromboli: when we had done we called our men together, and about fourteen minutes after three in the afternoon, to our great surprise, we saw two men run by us with amazing swiftness : Captain Barnaby said, Lord bless me, the foremost man looks like my next-door neighbour, old Booty, but said he did not know the other that
was behind. Booty was dressed in grey clothes, and the one behind in black; we saw them run into the burning mountain in the