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bent upon me
which every body in the village knows of, but to the great disappointment of all antiquarians none can tell where it is situated. I gloried in the idea of having discovered the secret, and with renewed energy pushed on, till I found myself in the open air, when a hasty glance convinced me that I was on the roof of the church tower. Two figures stood there, and each
his broad sable eye ;” it was no time for trifling, and thinking two to one a very unequal match, my pistol rung forth a question in a language intelligible to all nations, which was answered by a deep yell and heavy groan; but ere I could prepare the same for his companion I found myself struggling beneath the force of his sinewy arm upon the margin of the tower. The time-worn brick work on which my foot was planted, giv.
I whistled through the air almost senseless-down, down I sunk, and striking heavily against á projecting buttress broke the velocity of the fall; when- oh! reader, if I had not awoke, I should have remained asleep. The rising sun was shedding its soft early light into the hall whilst I was sprawling beneath the table from which I just fallen; back to my chamber I crept with a head-ache, reeling and confused like a drunken man, exclaiming
“O for a good sound sleep and so forget it." At breakfast I was entertained with an account of the various noises which had been heard during the night, and that the ghostly visitor had favoured them even up to the hour of four o'clock, a thing never before Inown, to the great consternation of all who now thoroughly believed in it, and it was not until I had related my ludicorus nocturnal adventure that I could convince the inhabitants of “ 'I'he Hall”, that the spirit of the living and not the dead had that night disturbed them.
Yes, thou art beautiful and fair
The ray of gladness in thy eye,
A scented zephyr is thy sigh.
Thy form is moulded in each grace;
Such as young poets dream they see
They figure out bright forms like thee.
But what are forms that fade away,
Beneath fell sickness' withering power ?
Eclipsed by midnight's darkened hour?
But thou, when death (our hour of night)
Destroys those charms, will brighter bloom
Beyond the precincts of the tomb.
6 JACK BURTON’S GHOST.”
" There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.",
A pleasant and merry party were assembled one evening
in December, 18—, at the hospitable board of old Admiral Blandford. The ladies had left the dining-room, and the gentlemen were gathered round the cheerful hearth, bent on doing justice to their host's well chosen wines.
The veteran himself was in high spirits,-methinks I see him now as he sat before the fire, dressed in his favourite costume, blue coat with bright metal buttons, snow white waistcoat covering his portly person, light unmentionables with large buckles at the knees, white silk stockings, and low shoes, looking the very personification of good living and kind-heartedness, and such in fact he really was-was I said, for the old man has long been gathered to his fathers.
His guests were much younger than himself, for it was his delight to draw around him the young and happy, and renew the days of his youth by listening to the many stories of his guests.
It was already late, for the lively conversation of the four or five young men who were now partaking of his hospitality had detained his good lady and her female friends beyond the usual time for retiring to the drawing
Well,” said the Admiral, filling his capacious glass to the brim and holding it to the candle, while the twinkling of his clear grey eye shewed the value in which he held the libation from his favourite bin of choice old port, for he eschewed weaker potations, well, boys, here's to 'The King, God bless him.'” “ The King,'
The King," was repeated as each guest successively emptied his glass.
Many were the loyal and loving toasts given during the evening ; some to those who have long been staid and happy matrons ; others to those of whom nought, alas ! remains but remembrance of loveliness now lying in the cold, cold grave; while as the night advanced conversation took a different turn, and something was said by one of the party in an under tone about “Ghosts." “ What,” cried the Admiral, laughing, “Walter, have you ever seen a ghost?”
• Nay, my good sir, I never was so fortunate.” “Why, as to fortunate," he replied, in a graver tone, “I don't know.” Surely, Admiral, you cannot believe in such foolish tales.” “What think you, Henry,” said the host to a young man by his side " do you believe in such folly, as our friend calls it?”
Really, my dear sir, I do not; I am quite sceptical on that point, and although a very high authority once said he had seen too many to disbelieve in them,' yet, as I never have, I am still unbelieving.” Well, well, Harry, you may be convinced sooner than you expect;" and, after a pause, he added, " how do you return to Seaford to-night ?” “ Having sent home my servant and horses, I shall walk. But why do you ask; surely," added he, laughing, “ you do not expect that I shall be convinced of the existence of ghosts this very night.” Without, however, giving an answer, he asked the first speaker • if he had heard of the strange death of a man of that village many years since, a noted smuggler, of the name of Jack Burton.” "No," he replied, and on being requested by all the party to tell them what the smuggler's death had to do with Henry Halford's denial of ghosts, he filled his glass, and related, but in his own rambling manner,
" that Jack Burton, who was one of the boldest and best seamen in the parish, was deeply engaged in the contraband trade with a number of others, that he
acted in general as mate to their lugger, the ' Sea-mew; but upon one particular trip, when it was designed to bring over a considerable quantity of lace, besides her usual cargo of spirits, it was settled that Jack, who was not only a brave but a sagacious fellow, should stay at home to receive the party from London for whom the lace was intended, and make the necessary arrangements and signals for running the cargo.
" Jack lived in one of the small cluster of cottages on the sands, at the foot of Highland Clift, which we now know as the Sea-houses,' some days before the arrival of the lugger off the coast, he was often seen walking with a stout ill-looking fellow, evidently a stranger. At first they seemed to be on the best terms, but on the evening of the vessel's arrival high words were overheard between the two by the old crone who took care of Jack's house, Things seemed, however, to be made up between them towards the night. as about ten o'clock they went out together, Jack telling his servant to go to bed, as it was uncertain when they should be home. The night was cold and dark, with but little wind, and although some of the neighbours had observed the lugger's signal-light to the eastward at midnight, nothing was seen or heard of the smuggler for many days ; but as the villagers knew the nature of his occupations no wonder was expressed for his absence, or fears entertained for his safety, when about a week after his disappearance, his body was found by farmer Landley's shepherd, with a deep wound in his breast, covered by a heap of rubbish in an old quarry on the east clift. It excited much interest at the time. Jack, though a lawless fellow, was a great favourite with the neighbours, but notwithstanding every attempt was made, no clue could be found to discover the murderer.”
" I suppose, then,” cried Henry Halford, when the story was ended, " the poor fellow still walks at the witching hour of night,' and I am to see him." “Ah, you may laugh, Master Harry, but so 'tis said ; and although I don't pretend to have an opinion on the matter, yet several very respectable persons have declared they have seen him, and as the old quarry is close to the gate entering the down, perhaps you will return home the lower road, that you may still hold your present opinions.” “No, no, Admiral, I'll certainly go the higher way, and if I see Jack's ghost, depend upon it I will not only speak to it, but tell you the result of our conversation. We are, however, much obliged for your story, but, as it is getting late, I may perhaps lose the opportunity ; therefore, if you please, we will now join the ladies.” Cards, although proposed, were objected to on the plea of the lateness of the hour; yet it was some time before Harry could tear himself away from the merry party he saw around him, where song and jest, and joyous laugh happily contrasted with the melancholy sighing of the breeze without; and when Annie Robertson, whose raven tresses, eagle eye, exquisite face, and majestic figure had almost conquered his stubborn heart, lent the witchery of her voice to the following trifle, light as it was
“ A blooming wreath my fingers wove,
The flowers I cull’d with care,
An offering for my fair.
With blushing roses rare ;
And twined it in her hair.
And I should scorn to share
If feeling be not there.
Can well the truth declare,
Now tells of my despair.”
The exchange for the cold down seemed still less desirable, but still home he must go, so wrapping himself in his cloak, after a hearty farewell from the lively party he left behind him, and many sly cautions to take care of him, self and not be too bold, he proceeded on his walk, although fancying at one time that probably the Admiral and the young fellows he had left, from their mirth at parting, may design to play him some trick and personify Jack Burton's ghost; yet ere he left the street of the long straggling village, the bright eyes and harmonious voice of Annie Robertson entirely put to flight all thoughts of a ghostly nature. Still however, heedful of his promise, he kept the higher path through the fields, while the wind, which was boisterous at starting, had almost died away, and not a sound broke the stillness of the night but the breaking of waves on the beach beneath him. He paused on reaching the top of the hollow path which led to the cliff, on hearing the clock of the church, which he had left about a mile behind him, strike twelve, and turning round, he cast a look towards the village ; no light was to be
seen, for the fishermen and farm labourers, who mostly inhabited it, had long retired to their peaceful slumbers : all was dark, but an occasional glance from the island light-house to the south-east, which with a meteorlike brightness broke through the gloom around. By degrees the hour, the darkness, the mournful sound of the waves, and the loneliness of the situation, drove Annie Robertson, her beauty, and her voice from his mind, and drawing his heavy cloak closer round him, he laid his hand on the gate en. tering the down. “ Well,” said Harry, half aloud, as he opened the gate, "" here I am, close to the very spot,” and peering through the darkness, he continued " but I see nothing ; and yet,” said he, after a pause, and walking towards the spot where the body was found, " there is some object between this and the quarry." He did not, however, quail at the sight, but deter. mined to ascertain what it really was-ghost he would not believe it to be, though, as he approached what at first looked large and indistinct, gradually bore the appearance that Jack's ghost was said to assume--that of a stout fellow, in dark full trowsers, white Guernsey frock, and black hat; there it was to all appearance before him, larger and taller than mortal man, but bearing every resemblance to the description of those who declared they had seen him. What it was he knew not ; horse or cow it could not be, the form was so unlike ; and as he passed the farmer's labourers on his way to the Admiral's, returning from their work, they could have placed nothing there. Suddenly, however, a light broke on bim-be heard the bleating of å sheep-fold near, and going quickly up to it, he found that a cart load of turnips, with a truss of hay on the top, had, in the present instance, per, sonified “ JACK BURTON's Ghost."
PARIS IN 1771.
On looking over a box of old papers a short time back, in search of somo memoranda of consequence, I found several letters written by an ancestor of mine (an officer in the navy) during a visit to France in the year 1771 ; thinking that his descriptions of the Court and customs of that country between sixty and seventy years ago, are not unlikely to afford amusement to the readers of the New London Magazine, I have selected one of the letters for the present number, and will continue them at intervals.
“ Paris, September 1, 1771.
“ Pursuing my original plan I have beaded this letter like my former ones, with the day and date of the occurrences which it narrates. The morning proving very fine and bright, at nine o'clock Captain A
Master C the Abbé, and myself set off in a coach and four for Versailles, determined to see all the lions of the day that might be visible, As the road for some part of our journey passed by the left bank of the river, with several noblemen's and gentlemen's villas scattered on the right, some of them cresting eminences, and others deeply embosomed in woods and forests, we found the ride extremely pleasant, particularly the glimpse we caught of Belle Vue, formerly belonging to Madame Pompadour, most delightfully situate, now in the possession of Mons. K- a farmer general, who is reported to be immensely rich ; by the bye, those gentlemen seem to be getting into all the good houses and handsome villas in this country.
We reached Versailles about eleven, and put up at l'hotel Juste ; then, like true Englishmen, our first care was to bespeak our dinner, which, in consequence of the crowded state of the hotel, could only be eaten in a garret, but that we did not so much mind, as we had, like old campaigners, taken steps to secure the needful of all things—a dinner. That point being settled; we hastened to the palace, the road all the way lined by crowds, who, like ourselves, were bent on sight seeing. The entrance to the palace from the main road is by no means striking, the whole forming an irregular mass of buildings, seemingly without connection or design, and much out of repairwe walked through several apartments all very superb, but owing to the great mass of people, we had little opportunity of making remarks, except in the Dauphiness's dressing room, (open only to a select few, and among the number to your humble servant and friends, through the interest of the Duke de Fronsac); here the toilette was laid out, and the clothes she was to wear at dinner ; here also we saw the present Emperor of Germany's picture, done in needlework, a most elaborate performance, the colours so vivid that they surpassed painting; we were told it was a striking likeness : at any rate, it was an extraordinary piece of art in its way. From hence we went to the gallery of the Chapel Royal, where we had to wait two hours (oh ! patience) for the King's appearance, and at length he came, with all his kingly pomps and vanities, to offer up his homage to that power who, while on earth, was the very essence of meekness and lowliness. Two large folding doors flew open, leading to his seat, which was in a gallery that took up one end of the Chapel ; then“ Le Roi” resounded from all sides, and eight Bishops appeared, two and two, after them the King, (Lewis the Fifteenth), followed by his entire suite. The moment he appeared within the doors, a noble band of martial music struck up, and an anthem was sung by some most