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considerable quantity of china, &c. which was destroyed to the amount of some pounds.
About five o'clock on Tuesday morning, the 7th, Mrs. Golding went up to her niece, and desired her to get up, as the noises and destruction were so great she could continue in the house no longer. Mrs. Golding and her maid went over the way to Richard Fowler's: when Mrs. Golding's maid had seen her safe to Richard Fowler's, she came back to Mrs. Pain, to help her to dress the children in the barn, where she had carried them for fear of the house falling. At this time all was quiet: they then went to Fowler's, and then began the same scene as had happened at the other places. All was quiet here as well as elsewhere, till the maid returned.
When they got to Mr. Fowler's, he be gan to light a fire in his back room. When done, he put the candle and candlestick upon a table in the fore room. This apartment Mrs. Golding and her maid had passed through. Another candlestick with a tin lamp in it that stood by it, were both dashed together, and fell to the ground. At last the basket of coals tumbled over, and the coals rolling about the room, the maid desired Richard Fowler not to let her mistress remain there, as she said, wherever she was, the same things would follow. In consequence of this advice, and fearing greater losses to himself, he desired Mrs. Golding would quit his house; but first begged her to consider within herself, for her own and the public sake, whether or not she had not been guilty of some atrocious crime, for which Providence was determined to pursue her on this side the grave. Mrs. Golding told him she would not stay in his house, or any other person's, as her conscience was quite clear, and she could as well wait the will of Providence in her own house as in any other place whatever; upon which she and her maid went home, and Mrs. Pain went with them. a
After they had got to Mrs. Golding's, pail of water, that stood on the floor, boiled like a pot; a box of candles fell from a shelf in the kitchen to the floor, and they rolled out, but none were broken, and the table in the parlour fell over.
Mr. Pain then desired Mrs. Golding to send her maid for his wife to come to them, and when she was gone all was quiet; upon her return she was immediately discharged, and no disturbances happened afterwards; this was between
six and seven o'clock on Tuesday morning. At Mrs. Golding's were broken the quantity of three pails full of glass, china, &c. Mrs. Pain's filled two pails.
The accounts here related are in the words of the "narrative," which bears the attestation of the witnesses before mentioned. The affair is still remembered by many persons: it is usually denominated the "Stockwell Ghost," and deemed inexplicable. It must be recollected, however, that the mysterious movements were never made but when Ann Robinson, Mrs. Golding's maid-servant, was present, and that they wholly ceased when she was dismissed. Though these two circumstances tend to prove that this girl was the cause of the disturbances, scarcely any one who lived at that time listened patiently to the presumption, or without attributing the whole to witchcraft. One lady, whom the editor of the EveryDay Book conversed with several times on the subject, firmly believed in the witchcraft, because she had been eye-witness to the animation of the inanimate crockery and furniture, which she said could not have been effected by human means— it was impossible. He derived, however, a solution of these "impossibilities" from the late Mr. J. B————, at his residence in Southampton-street, Camberwell, towards the close of the year 1817. Mr. B
said, all London was in an uproar about the " Stockwell Ghost" for a long time, and it would have made more noise than the "Cock-lane Ghost," if it had lasted longer; but attention to it gradually died away, and most people believed it was supernatural. Mr. B in continuation, observed, that some years after it happened, he became acquainted with this very Ann Robinson, without knowing for a long time that she had been the servant-maid to Mrs. Golding. He learned it by accident, and told her what he had heard. She admitted it was true, and in due season, he says, he got all the story out. She had fixed long horse hairs to some of the crockery, and put wires under others; on pulling these, the "movables" of course fell. Mrs. Golding was terribly frightened, and so were all who saw any thing tumble. Ann Robinson herself, dexterously threw many of the things down, which the persons present, when they turned round and saw them in motion or broken, attributed to unseen agency. These spectators were all too much alarmed by their own dread of infernal power to examine any thing.
when the earth is softened in spring. Shrubs and trees, which are exposed to the open air, have all their soft and tender parts closely wrapt up in buds, which by their firmness resist all the power of frost; the larger kinds of buds, and those which are almost ready to expand, are further guarded by a covering of resin or gum, such as the horse-chestnut, the sycamore, and the lime. Their external covering, however, and the closeness of their internal texture, are of themselves by no means adequate to resist the intense cold of a winter's night: a bud detached from its stem, enclosed in glass, and thus protected from all access of external air, if sus—,pended from a tree during a sharp frost, will be entirely penetrated, and its parts deranged by the cold, while the buds on the same tree will not have sustained the slightest injury; we must therefore attribute to the living principle in vegetables, as well as animals, the power of resisting cold to a very considerable degree: in animals, we know, this power is generated from the decomposition of air by means of the lungs, and disengagement of heat; how vegetables acquire this property remains for future observations to discover. If one of these buds be carefully opened, it is found to consist of young leaves rolled together, within which are even all the blossoms in miniature that are afterwards to adorn the spring."
They kept at an awful distance, and some
During the mild weather of winter, slugs are in constant motion preying on plants and green wheat. Their coverings of slime prevent the escape of animal heat, and hence they are enabled to ravage when their brethren of the shell, who are more sensible of cold, lie dormant. Earthworms likewise appear about this time; but let the man of nice order, with a little garden, discriminate between the destroyer, and the innocent and useful inhabitant. One summer evening, the worms from beneath a small grass plat, lay half out of their holes, or were dragging "their slow length" upon the surface. They were all carefully taken up, and preserved as a breakfast for the ducks. In the following year, the grass-plat, which had flourished annually with its worms, vegetated unwillingly. They were the undergardeners that loosened the sub-soil, and let the warm air through their entrances to nourish the roots of the herbage.
"Their calm desires that asked but little
were unheeded, and their usefulness was unknown, until their absence was felt.
The first Monday after Twelfth-day is called Plough Monday, and appears to have received that name because it was the first day after Christmas that husbandmen resumed the plough. In some parts of the country, and especially in the north, they draw the plough in procession to the doors of the villagers and townspeople. Long ropes are attached to it, and thirty or forty men, stripped to their clean white shirts, but protected from the weather by waistcoats beneath, drag it along. Their arms and shoulders are decorated with gay-coloured ribbons, tied in large knots and bows, and their hats are smartened in the same way. They are usually accompanied by an old woman, or a boy dressed up to represent one; she is gaily bedizened, and called the Bessy. Sometimes the sport is assisted by a humorous countryman to represent a fool. He is covered with ribbons, and attired in skins, with a depending tail, and carries a box to collect money from the spectators. They are attended by music, and Morris-dancers when they can be got; but there is always a sportive dance with a few lasses in all their finery, and a superabundance of ribbons. When this merriment is well managed, it is very pleasing. The money collected is spent at night in conviviality. It must not be supposed, however, that
in these times, the twelve days of Christmas are devoted to pastime, although the custom remains. Formerly, indeed, little was done in the field at this season, and according to "Tusser Redivivus," during the Christmas holidays, gentlemen feasted the farmers, and every farmer feasted his servants and taskmen. Then Plough Monday reminded them of their business, and on the morning of that day, the men and maids strove who should show their readiness to commence the labours of the year, by rising the earliest. If the ploughman could get his whip, his plough-staff, hatchet, or any field implement, by the fireside, before the maid could get her kettle on, she lost her Shrove-tide cock to the men. Thus did our forefathers strive to allure youth to their duty, and provided them innocent mirth as well as labour. On Plough Monday night the farmer gave them a good supper and strong ale. In some places, where the ploughman went to work on Plough Monday, if, on his return at night, he came with his whip to the kitchen-hatch, and cried "Cock in pot," before the maid could cry "Cock on the dunghill," he gained a cock for. Shrove Tuesday.
Blomefield's History of Norfolk tend. to clear the origin of the annual processions on Plough Monday. Anciently, a
light called the Plough-light, was maintained by old and young persons who were husbandmen, before images in some churches, and on Plough Monday they had a feast, and went about with a plough and dancers to get money to support the Plough-light. The Reformation put out these lights; but the practice of going about with the plough begging for money remains, and the "money for light" increases the income of the village alehouse. Let the sons of toil make glad their hearts with "Barley-wine;" let them also remember to "be merry and wise." Their old acquaintance, "Sir John Barleycorn," has had heavy complaints against him. There is "The Arraigning and Indicting of SIR JOHN BARLEYCORN, knt. printed for Timothy Tosspot." This whimsical little tract describes him as of "noble blood, well beloved in England, a great support to the crown, and a maintainer of both rich and poor." It formally places him upon his trial, at the sign of the Three Loggerheads, before" Oliver and Old Nick his holy father," as judges. The witnesses for the prosecution were cited under the hands and seals of the said judges, sitting" at the sign of the Three merry Companions in Bedlam; that is to say, Poor Robin, Merry Tom, and Jack Lackwit." At the trial, the prisoner, sir John Barleycorn, pleaded not guilty.
Lawyer Noisy-May it please your lordship, and gentlemen of the jury, I am counsel for the king against the prisoner at the bar, who stands indicted of many heinous and wicked crimes, in that the said prisoner, with malice propense and several wicked ways, has conspired and brought about the death of several of his majesty's loving subjects, to the great loss of several poor families, who by this means have been brought to ruin and beggary, which, before the wicked designs and contrivances of the prisoner, lived in a flourishing and reputable way, but now are reduced to low circumstances and great misery, to the great loss of their own families and the nation in general. We shall call our evidence; and if we make the facts appear, I do not doubt but you will find him guilty, and your lordships will award such punishment as the nature of his crimes deserve.
Vulcan, the Blacksmith.-My lords, sir John has been a great enemy to me, and many of my friends. Many a time, when I have been busy at my work, not thinking any harm to any man, having
a fire-spark in my throat, I, going over to the sign of the Cup and Can for one pennyworth of ale, there I found sir John, and thinking no hurt to any man, civilly sat me down to spend my twopence; but in the end, sir John began to pick a quarrel with me. Then I started up, thinking to go away; but sir John had got me by the top of the head, that I had no power to help myself, and so by his strength and power he threw me down, broke my head, my face, and almost all my bones, that I was not able to work for three days; nay, more than this, he picked my purse, and left me never a penny, so that I had not wherewithal to support my family, and my head ached to such a degree, that I was not able to work for three or four days; and this set my wife a scolding, so that I not only lost the good opinion my neighbours had of me, but likewise raised such a storm in my family, that I was forced to call in the parson of the parish to quiet the raging of my wife's temper.
Will, the Weaver.-I am but a poor man, and have a wife and a charge of children: yet this knowing sir John will never let me alone; he is always enticing me from my work, and will not be quiet till he hath got me to the alehouse; and then he quarrels with me, and abuses me most basely; and sometimes he binds me hand and foot, and throws me in the ditch, and there stays with me all night, and next morning leaves me but one penny in my pocket. About a week ago, we had not been together above an hour, before he began to give me cross words: at our first meeting, he seemed to have a pleasant countenance, and often smiled in my face, and would make me sing a merry catch or two; but in a little time, he grew very churlish, and kicked up my heels, set my head where my heels should be, and put my shoulder out, so that I have not been able to use my shuttle ever since, which has been a great detriment to my family, and great misery to myself.
Stitch, the Tailor, deposed to the same effect.
Mr. Wheatly. The inconveniencies I have received from the prisoner are without number, and the trouble he occasions in the neighbourhood is not to be expressed. I am sure I have been oftentimes very highly esteemed both with lords, knights, and squires, and none could please them so well as James Wheatly, the baker; but now the case is
altered; sir John Barleycorn is the man that is highly esteemed in every place. I am now but poor James Wheatly, and he is sir John Barleycorn at every word; and that word hath undone many an ho nest man in England; for I can prove it to be true, that he has caused many an honest man to waste and consume all that he hath.
The prisoner, sir John Barleycorn, being called on for his defence, urged, that to his accusers he was a friend, until they abused him; and said, if any one is to be blamed, it is my brother Malt. My brother is now in court, and if your lordships please, may be examined to all those facts which are now laid to my charge.
Court.-Call Mr. Malt.
Court. Mr. Malt, you have (as you have been in court) heard the indictment that is laid against your brother, sir John Barleycorn, who says, if any one ought to be accused, it should be you; but as sir John and you are so nearly related to each other, and have lived so long together, the court is of opinion he cannot be acquitted, unless you can likewise prove yourself innocent of the crimes which are laid to his charge.
Malt.-My lords, I thank you for the liberty you now indulge me with, and think it a great happiness, since I am so strongly accused, that I have such learned judges to determine these complaints. As for my part, I will put the matter to the bench. First, I pray you consider with yourselves, all tradesmen would live; and although Master Malt does make some times a cup of good liquor, and many men come to taste it, yet the fault is neither in me nor my brother John, but in such as those who make this complaint against us, as I shall make it appear to you all.
In the first place, which of you all can say but Master Malt can make a cup of good liquor, with the help of a good brewer; and when it is made, it will be sold. I pray which of you all can live without it? But when such as these, who complain of us, find it to be good, then they have such a greedy mind, that they think they never have enough, and this overcharge brings on the inconveniences complained of, makes them quarrelsome with one another, and abusive to their very friends, so that we are forced to lay them down to sleep. From hence it ap
pears it is from their own greedy desires all these troubles arise, and not from wicked designs of our own.
Court.-Truly, we cannot see that you are in the fault. Sir John Barleycorn, we will show you so much favour, that if you can bring any person of reputation to speak to your character, the court is disposed to acquit you. Bring in your evidence, and let us hear what they can say in your behalf.
Thomas, the Ploughman.-May I be allowed to speak my thoughts freely, since I shall offer nothing but the truth.
Court. Yes, thou mayest be bold to speak the truth, and no more, for that is the cause we sit here for; therefore speak boldly, that we may understand thee.
Ploughman.-Gentlemen, sir John is of an ancient house, and is come of a noble race; there is neither lord, knight, nor squire, but they love his company, and he theirs; as long as they don't abuse him, he will abuse no man, but doth a great deal of good. In the first place, few ploughmen can live without him; for if it were not for him, we should not pay our landlords their rent; and then what would such men as you do for money and clothes? Nay, your gay ladies would care but little for you, if you had not your rents coming in to maintain them; and we could never pay, but that sir John Barleycorn feeds us with money; and yet would you seek to take away his life! For shame, let your malice cease, and pardon his life, or else we are all undone.
Bunch, the Brewer.-Gentlemen, I beseech you, hear me. My name is Bunch, a brewer; and I believe few of you can live without a cup of good liquor, no more than I can without the help of sir John Barleycorn. As for my own part, I maintain a great charge, and keep a great many men at work; I pay taxes forty pounds a year to his majesty, God bless him, and all this is maintained by the help of sir John; then how can any man for shame seek to take away his life.
Mistress Hostess.-To give evidence in behalf of sir John Barleycorn, gives me pleasure, since I have an opportunity of doing justice to so honourable a person. Through him the administration receives large supplies; he likewise greatly supports the labourer, and enlivens the conversation. What pleasure could there be at a sheep-clipping without his company, or what joy at a feast without his assistance? I know him to be an honest