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since had frequent opportunities of talking over the affair with my mother, and the whole was as fresh in her mind as it was in mine. I have often thought, that her sensations, as to this matter, were stronger than mine. What may appear strange is, that I cannot remember anything" remarkable happening hereupon. This is only a plain simple narrative of a matter of fact.
Mr. Wilkins died November 15th, 1800, in the seventieth year of his age.-Signs before Death.
The subject of this narrative was the son of George
Lord Lyttleton, who was alike distinguished for the raciness of his wit and the profligacy of his manners. The latter T trait of his character has induced many persons to suppose
the apparition which he asserted he had seen, to have been the effect of a conscience quickened with remorse for innumerable vices and shortcomings. The probability of the narrative consequently has been much questioned; but in our own acquaintance we chance to know two gentlemen, one of whom was at Pitt Place, the seat of Lord Lyttleton, and the other in the immediate neighbourhood, at the time of his lordship's death, and who bear ample testimony to the veracity of the whole affair.
The several narratives correspond in material points; and we shall now proceed to relate the most circumstantial particulars written by a gentleman who was on a visit to his lordship :
"I was at Pitt Place, Epsom, when Lord Lyttleton died; Lord Fortescue, Lady Flood, and the two Miss Amphletts, were also present. Lord Lyttleton had not been long returned from Ireland, and frequently had been seized with suffocating fits: he was attacked several times by them in the course of the preceding month, while he was at his house in Hill Street, Berkeley Square. It happened that he dreamt, three days before his death, that he saw a fluttering bird; and afterwards thata woman appeared to him in white apparel, and said to him Prepare to die, you will not exist three days.' His lordship was much alarmed, and called to a servant from a closet adjoining, who found him much agitated, and in a profuse
perspiration : the circumstance had a considerable effect all the next day on his lordship's spirits. On the third day, while his lordship was at breakfast with the above personages, he said, 'If I live over to-night, I shall have jockied the ghost, for this is the third day. The whole party presently set off for Pitt Place, where they had not long arrived, before his lordship was visited by one of his accustomed fits: after a short interval, he recovered. He dined at five o'clock that day, and went to bed at eleven, when his servant was about to give him rhubarb and mint-water; but his lordship, perceiving him stir it with a tooth-pick, called him a slovenly dog, and bid him go and fetch a teaspoon; but, on the man's return, he found his master in a fit, and the pillow being placed high, his chin bore hard upon his neck, and the servant, instead of relieving his lordship, on the instant, from his perilous situation, ran, in his fright, and called out for help, but on his return he found his lordship dead.”.
In explanation of this strange tale, it is said that Lord Lyttleton acknowledged, previously to his death, that the woman he had seen in his dream was the mother of the two Miss Amphletts, mentioned above, whom, together with a third sister, then in Ireland, his lordship had seduced, and prevailed on to leave their parents, who resided near his country residence in Shropshire. It is further stated, that Mrs. Amphlett died of grief, through the desertion of her children, at the precise time when the female vision appeared to his lordship, and that, about the period of his own dissolution, a personage answering his description visited the bed-side of the late Miles Peter Andrews, Esq., (who had been the friend and companion of Lord Lyttleton in his revels,) and suddenly throwing open the curtains, desired Mr. Andrews to come to him. The latter not knowing that his lordship had returned from Ireland, suddenly got up, when the phantom disappeared! Mr. Andrews frequently declared, that the alarm caused him to have a short fit of illness; and, in his subsequent visits to Pitt Place, no solicitations could ever prevail on him to take a bed there; but he would invariably return, however late, to the Spread Eagle Inn, at Epsom, for the night.
Sir Nathaniel Wraxall, in his Memoirs, has the following passage:
"Dining at Pitt Place, about four years after the death of Lord Lyttleton, in the year 1783, I had the curiosity to visit the bedchamber, where the casement window, at which Lord Lyttleton asserted the dove appeared to flutter, was pointed out to me; and, at his stepmother's, the dowager Lady Lyttleton's, in Portugal Street, Grosvenor Square, I have frequently seen a painting which she herself executed, in 1780, expressly to commemorate the event: it hung in a conspicuous part of the drawing-room. There the dove appears at the window, while a female figure, habited in white, stands at the foot of the bed, announcing to Lord Lyttleton his dissolution. Every part of the picture was faithfully designed, after the description given to her by the valet-de-chambre who attended him, to whom his master related all the circumstances."
An engraving, copied from the picture, has been published, and is still frequently to be met with in the collections of printsellers.-Signs before Death.
DREAM OF A GENTLEMAN AT PRAGUE.
"Whilst I lived at Prague," saith an English gentleman, "and one night had sat up very late, drinking at a feast; early in the morning the sunbeams glancing on my face as I lay on my bed, I dreamed that a shadow passing by told me that my father was dead: at which awakening all in a sweat, and affected with this dream, I rose and wrote the day and hour, and all circumstances thereof, in a paper book; which book, with many other things, I put into a barrel, and sent it from Prague to Stode, thence to be conveyed into England. And now being at Nuremberg, a merchant of a noble family, well acquainted with me and my relations, arrived there; who told me that my father died some months past. When I returned into England four years after, I would not open the barrel I sent from Prague, nor look into the paper book in which I had written this dream, till I had called my sisters, and some other
friends, to be witnesses: where myself and they were astonished to see my written dream answer the very day of my father's death.'
The same gentleman saith thus also. "I may lawfully swear, that in my youth at Cambridge I had the like dream of my mother's death: where my brother Henry lying with me, early in the morning I dreamed that my mother passed by with a sad countenance, and told me that she could not come to my commencement,' (I being within five months to proceed Master of Arts, and she having promised at that time to come to Cambridge): when I related this dream to my brother, both of us awaking together in a sweat, he protested to me that he had dreamed the very same: and when we had not the least knowledge of our mother's sickness, neither in our youthful affections were any whit moved with the strangeness of this dream, yet the next carrier brought us word of our mother's death."—Wanley's Wonders.
INSTANCES OF SECOND SIGHT.
A man in Knockow, in the parish of St. Maries, the northernmost in Skie, being in perfect health, and sitting with his fellow-servants at night, was on a sudden taken ill, dropped from his seat backward, and then fell a-vomiting; at which all the family were much concerned, he having never been subject to the like before: but he came to himself soon after, and had no sort of pain about him. One of the family, who was accustomed to see the second sight, told them that the man's illness proceeded from a very strange cause, which was thus: An ill-natured woman (naming her by her name), who lives in the next adjacent village of Bornskittag, came before him in a very furious and angry manner, her countenance full of passion, and her mouth full of reproaches, and threatened him with her head and hands, until he fell over as you have seen him. This woman had a fancy for the man, but was like to meet with a disappointment as to his marrying her. This instance was told me
by the master of the family, and' others who were present when it happened.
Mr. M'Pherson's servant foretold that a kiln should take fire, and being some time after reproved by his master for talking so foolishly of the second sight, he answered that he could not help his seeing such things as presented themselves to his view in a very lively manner; adding further, I have just now seen that boy sitting by the fire with his face red, as if the blood had been running down his forehead, and I could not avoid seeing this: and as for the accomplishment of it within forty-eight hours, there is no doubt, says he, it having appeared in the day-time. The minister became very angry at his man, and charged him never to speak one word more of the second sight, or if he could not hold his tongue, to provide himself another master; telling him he was an unhappy fellow, who studied to abuse credulous people with false predictions. There was no more said on this subject until the next day, that the boy of whom the seer spoke, came in, having his face all covered with blood; which happened by his falling on a heap of stones. This account was given me by the minister and others of his family.
Some of the inhabitants of Harries sailing round the Isle of Skie, with a design to go to the opposite main land, were strangely surprised with an apparition of two men hanging down by the ropes that secured the mast, but could not conjecture what it meant. They pursued the voyage, but the wind turned contrary, and so forced them into Broadford in the Isle of Skie, where they found Sir Donald M'Donald keeping a sheriffs' court, and two criminals receiving sentence of death there: the ropes and mast of that very boat were made use of to hang those criminals upon. This was told me by several who had this instance from the boat's crew.
One who had been accustomed to see the second sight, in the Isle of Egg, which lies about three or four leagues to the south-west part of the Isle of Skie, told his neighbours that he had frequently seen an apparition of a man in a red coat lined with blue, and having on his head a strange sort of blue cap, with a very high cock on the fore-part of it, and that the man who there appeared was kissing a comely maid in the village where the seer dwelt; and therefore declare