« السابقةمتابعة »
shelves in a closet up stairs; which also contained, agreeable to the ancient architecture of the building, the trunk of the pump below; and, in trying to move the jars to get at a drop for the party at the kitchen fire, the shelf gave way with a tremendous crash, the jars were broken into a hundred pieces, the rich juice descended in torrents down the trunk of the pump, and filled with its ruby current the sucker beneath; and this was the self-same fluid, which the philosopher, in his fright, had so madly thrown away. The wife had swooned at the accident; the husband in his haste had fallen on his nose, which ran with blood; and the maid's legs in her hurry, coming in contact with her fallen master's ribs, she, like 'vaulting ambition,' overleaped herself, and fell on the other side.
"Often has this story been told, by one who knew the philosopher, with great effect, till the last act or denouement; when disappointment was mostly visible in the looks of his auditors, at finding there was actually nothing supernatural in the affair, and no ghost."
BREWER'S HOURS OF LEISURE, p. 61. et seq.
“Ar a town in the west of England, was held a club of twenty-four people, which assembled once a week to drink punch, smoke tobacco, and talk politics. Like Ruben's academy at Antwerp, each member had his peculiar chair, and the president's was more exalted than the rest. One of the members had been in a dying state for some time; of course his chair, while he was absent, remained vacant.
"The club being met on their usual night, inquiries were naturally made after their associate. As he lived in the ad joining house, a particular friend went himself to inquire for him, and returned with the dismal tidings that he could not possibly survive the night. This threw a gloom on the company, and all efforts to turn the conversation from the sad subject before them were ineffectual.
"About midnight (the time, by long prescription, appropriated for the walking of spectres), the door opened, and the
form, in white, of the dying, or rather of the dead man, walked into the room, and took his seat in the accustomed chair-there he remained in silence, and in silence was he gazed at. The apparition continued a sufficient time in the chair to convince all present of the reality of the vision; at length he arose, and stalked towards the door, which he opened as if living-went out, and then shut the door after him.
"After a long pause, some one at last had the resolution to say, If only one of us had seen this, he would not have been believed, but it is impossible that so many persons can be deceived.'
"The company, by degrees, recovered their speech; and the whole conversation, as may be imagined, was upon the dreadful object which had engaged their attention. They broke up and went home.
"In the morning, inquiry was made after their sick friendit was answered by an account of his death, which happened nearly at the time of his appearing in the club. There could be little doubt before, but now nothing could be more certain than the reality of the apparition, which had been seen by so many persons together.
"It is needless to say, that such a story spread over the country, and found credit even from infidels: for, in this case all reasoning became superfluous, when opposed to a plain fact attested by three and twenty witnesses. To assert the doctrine of the fixed laws of nature was ridiculous, when there were so many people of credit to prove that they might be unfixed.
"Years rolled on-the story ceased to engage attention, and it was forgotten, unless when occasionally produced to silence an unbeliever.
"One of the club was an apothecary. In the course of his practice he was called to an old woman, whose profession was attending on sick persons. She told him, that she could leave the world with a quiet conscience, but for one thing which lay on her mind-Do not you remember Mr. ***, whose ghost has been so much talked of? I was his nurse,
The night he died I left the room for something I wantedI am sure I had not been absent long; but at my return, I found the bed without my patient. He was delirious, and I feared that he had thrown himself out of the window. I was so frightened that I had no power to stir; but after some time, to my great astonishment, he entered the room shiver ing, and his teeth chattering-laid down on the bed, and died. Considering myself as the cause of his death, I kept this a secret, for fear of what might be done to me. Though I could contradict all the story of the ghost, I dared not do it. I knew, by what had happened, that it was he himself who had been in the club room (perhaps recollecting that it was the night of meeting); but I hope God and the poor gentleman's friends will forgive me, and I shall die contented."
JACKSON'S FOUR AGES, p. 224. et seq.
Of lovers' sad calamities of old
Full many piteous stories doe remaine;
JEFFERY RUDEL, a young nobleman of Pro
vence, was one of the handsomest and most polite persons of the age he lived in. King Richard the first, of England, who for his undaunted spirit was surnamed Cœur de Lyon, having passed some part of his youth in Provence, became exceedingly intimate with him; and when he came to the crown, sent to entreat he would not forget their former friendship so far as not to make him a visit. Jeffery Rudel accepted the invitation, came over, and was the first that revived poetry in England, after it had lain dormant several hundred years. There are verses of his composing still extant in the hands of some of the ancient nobility and gentry of this kingdom; and Mr. Rymer tells us, that there are many more in the library of the grand Duke of Tuscany.
When King Richard made his crusade in the Holy Land, this Jeffery went with him, and proved himself no less a hero in the time of battle, than he was a courtier in the time of peace. He was a prisoner with that prince in Germany, when on his return from fighting the battles of Christ, he was seized by the treacherous Duke of Austria, and detained three whole years, for so exorbitant a ransom, as scarce the whole wealth of England could discharge; an obligation to the House of Austria which many ages had cause to remember! but time erases all things, and we are a forgiving people. This however is not to the purpose of my history: the present descendant of that family will doubtless make atonement for all injuries of fered to us by her predecessors, as well as amply recompense the favours she in person has received.
Liberty at last regained, he came not with the king of England, but passed into Bretagne, the inheritance of prince Geoffry, brother to Cœur de Lyon, and who was father to that unhappy Arthur, who lost his life in the usurpa tion of his uncle John. There did he hear such wonders of the beauty, wit, learning, and virtue of the countess of Tripoly, that he became more