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A Ghostly Story

A Ghostly Story image
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Jobo Earl, of' Tyrone, Nioola Hainilton, after the wif'e of Sir Tristram Beresford, were borD in Ireland in the reign oí' Charles II. Thi'y were alcaost of the same age, and were intrusted to the care uf the same perno, by whom they were educated íd tlie principies of deixm. Their guardián dying whtn they were still youne, they t'ell intu different hands. The persons on wli. iiii the care uf them uuw devolved appear to have ustïd every possible endeavor tu cradicate the erronoous prttfoiplea which tliey had imbibed, and to persuade them to embrace revealed religión in souie f'orui or other But these endeavors were all in vain. Tui; argument of their friends were insufficieut to convince, though they .■erved to stagger their former faith, or ratlier their former ekepticism. But though they were now separated froui each othir, their frien l.ship rcuiaiacd unulterable, and they coutinued to regard each other with a sincere and fraterDal, or raiher couainly affiotion. Afier somc yeara had elapsed, and they were both grown up, they made a soletnn protnise to cach other that, whichever should diï first, would, if' penuiiU'd, appear to the other, in order to declare to him or her what religión most acceptable to the Supreme Bei Dg. Mi8 Nicola was thortly aker mar ried to Sir Triatram Beresford, but ne cou uectioD could alter their frienduhip, and the families frequently visited each other. During a visit to the lady's brother-in-law, ;it (ill Hall, near Diomore. in the year 1603, Sir Tiistrauj reaiarked, when his lady came down to breakfast, that her complexión was unusually pale, and her countenanoe bore evident marks of tenor and confusión. He inquired anxiously after her health, but phe atsured him that she was perfectly well. He repeated his inquines, and begged to know if anythinp had diáordered her. She replied, " No, no; I ani as well as usual." " You have hurt your wrist; you have spraiued it?" asked he, observing a black ribbon bound around it. She replied that she had not, but added, " Let me conjure you, rny dear Tristram, never more to inquire the cause of my wearing tliis ribbon ; you will never see me henceforth without it ! If it concerned you as a busband to know the reaon, I would uot for a moment conceal it. I never in my lifë denied you a request ; but of th 18 I must intreat you to torgivi uiy -refüsal, aud never more to uige me further on the subject." " Very well, my lady," said he, smiling; " since you so earnestly desire we, I will inquire no lurther." TUE CONVERSAT1ON HEKE ENDED. Lady Bereaford inquired eagerly f the poM was come in. She was told it had not arrived. In a few momento she again rang the beil and repeated the inquines. " Is not the post yet come in?" he was again answered that it was nou " Do you expect letters?" asked Sir Tristram, "that you are so anxious about the arrival of tbe post?" " I do," she answered. "I ei pected to hear Lord Tyrone is dead ; he died last Saturday at three o'wlock." " ] never in my life," said Sir Tristram " believed you to be superstitious ; lu you must have had an idle dreaui whicb has thus alarmed you." At this monien a servant opened the door and delivered i letter sealed with black wax. " It isas suspected - he is dead." Sir Tristran opened the letter. It was from Lor Tyrone's steward, and contained the mei ancholy news that his niaster had died on the preceeding Saturday (Oct. 14, 1693) at the bour which Lady Beresford hat specified. After some months Lady Beresford ha a son, whose birth Sir Tristram survivec little more thau seven years, dying in 1701 and after his death his lady seldom wen li i mi home ; in fact, she visited no family but that of a gentleman in the neighbor hood, named (jorges. With them she frequently passed a few hours. The rest o her time was entirely devotd to solitude and she appeared determined to bani.-h al other society. The family consisted o himself, bis wife, and one son, who wa about her own age. To this son (who hecamu Lieutenant General Gorges, o Kilbrew), after a few years, she was mar ried, notwithstanding the disparity of a eonnection so unequal in most respecta The event justified the expection of ever; one. Lady Beresford was treated by he husband with contempt, and even witl cruelty ; while at the same time his whole conduct showed him to be the most aban doned libertine, utterly destitute of every principie of virtue and humanity. To thi her Kecond husband Lady Beresfori brought two daughters, afier which, in oont-equence of the profligaoy of his con duel, she iiihisted on a separation. They parted for several years, wben so great was the contrition which he expressed for hi f'oimer behavior that, overeóme by his pur MiaMOOS and promises, he was induued to purdun and once more reside with him iiinl some time after she becanie the motbe of another son. The very day, one month after the birth of her child, being the anniversary of her own birth day, she seD for htr daughter, Lady Kiverston, aid í few other friends, to request them to spem the day with her. "For," said she, " am forty eight to-day." " No," answere the clergyman, "you are mistaken your iniithiT and I have had inany disputes concerning your age. So, happening to go io the parish church where you were bap tized, I was resolved to put an end to nr doutits by searching the register, and find that you are but forty-seveD this day. ' " You have signed MY DEATli WARRANT!" replied she ; " I have not much longer to live ; I must therefore entreat you to leave me immediately, as I have gomething o importance to settle before I die. Whei the clergyman had left Lady Beresfon she sent to put off her company, and, a tbt MOM time, to request Iady Bett; Cobbe and her son, of whom Sir Tristran was the father, and wbo was then abou twelve years of age, to come to her apart iient iiunicdiately. Upon the arrival Hhe iesired her attendants to quit the room. ' 1 have something of iniportance to comnunicate to you both," she said, " before die, for my end is not far di-tant. You, judy Betty (Jobbe, are no stranger to the riindship that always subsUted between jiird Tyrone and myiolt. We were educated under the same ronf in the principies of deiMii, when the friends into whose ïands we af'terwards feil endeavored to ersuade us to embrace revealt d religión ; heir argument!, though they failed to convinoe us, were powerful enough to stagger our faith, and to leave us wavering between two opinions. In this perplexing state of doubt and uncertainty, we made a soleoin [ir.iinise to eaoh other that which ever should die first would, if permitted by the Aimighty, appear to the other to declare what religión was most acoeptable to hitu. Aoeordiogly, one nifckt, wheu Sir Tristram nd I were in bed, [ waked and diseovered Lord Tyrone Mtting by my side. I xcreauied out, and endeavored to awake iir Tristram. 'For heaven's sake, Lord l'.W'.iiu',' said T. ' by wbat means and for what jiurpose have you couie bore at this time of night?' ' Have you forgotteu your promise, then ?' said he. ' I died last Saturday at four o'clock, and ara permitted by the Supreme Being to appear to yuu to assure you that revealed religión is trae, and the only oiio by which yu can be saved. I am furtber permitted to infurui you tbat you are uow with cbild of a s 'ii which is deoreed :-liall grow up and marry my neice. Not many years after the child's birth Sir Tristram will die, and you, his wiilow, will be uiarried again to a man by whose ill treatmept your lite will be retraéreti miserable. You wilf bring him two dMghten and afterward a son ; you will die in cbild-bed of son on cotnpleting your fortyseventh year.' 'Just heavensl' exclairued I, 'andcannot I prevent this?' ' Undoubtedly,' said he, 'you uan ; you are a free aireut, and may pre vent it by rcaisting every temptatiou to a second marriage. More I am not permitted to say. Hut if after these warniugs you persist, in your intídelity, you will be miserable indeed.' ' May I ask,' said I, 'if you are bappy?' ' liad I been other wise,' said he, ' I sliould not have been uenuitted to appcar toynu thus.' ' I inay theretore, infcr thal you are happy?' lie sDiiled. ' Bilt now,' said 1, 'when toinorrow morning comes shall I be con viooed that j'our appearance thus to me has heen real, and not the mero pbantom of my owa iaiaginatinn?' 'Wrill not the new.i di' my drath lie sufficient to convince?' .-uiil be, ' No,1 said I ; 'I might have had euch a dream, and tbat dream nccordingly eme to pass. 1 to have nomfl strong proof of' its realitv.' ' You hall,' said be ; then bc waved his bands, and the bed curtaii s. which were of enm on velvct were instantly drawn np tbrouh a large iron book, by which the tester of t he bed, which was of an oval form, was suspended. ' In that,1 said he ' you cannot bfl mistaken, for no murtal arm eonld bave performed it ' 'True,' said I, ' but as we slci'p we are often [ossesed of' greater Btrength th .ni win n we awake- asleep I mi.L'lii bave done it. and [ shall still doubt.' He said theo : ' Yuu have a pocket-book here in which I will write; yon know uiy handwiiting?' I replied, 'Yes.' He then wrote with a pencil on one side of the leaves. 'Still,' said I, 'I may doubt it ; thoagh waking I couid not imitate your haodwriting, asleep I ïuiaht.' 'You are hard of belief,' said he. ' I must not touch you, it would injure you irreparably. It is not for spirits to touch mortal's fle-h.' 'I do not regard,' said I, ' a slight blem ih.' ' You are a woman of courage,' said he, 'po bold out your hand.' ' I did so,' and be struck my wrist ; his hand was as cold as marlilc. lu a moment the ainews shrank up - every nerve withered I 'Now,' said he, 'while you live let no mortal eye see that wrist i It would be sacrilego ' He stopped ; I turned to him again, but he was gone. I fclt chilled with horror. I endeavored to wake Sir Tristram, but in vain ; all my eft'orts were ineffectual, and in this stnte ot' agitation and horror I lay for some lime, when, a shower ot tears coming to my relief, 1 dropped asleep. In the Uiormug Sir TrUtraui rose and dressed himself as usual without perceiving, or, at all events, without noticing the state in which the curtains remained. When I awoke I fouad 8ir Tristram had gnne down Btatn. I aróse, and having put on my clothes, went into the gallery adjoining our apartmeut, and took í'rom thence a lonc broom, with which I pulled down, though not without great effort, tlic curtains, as l imagined tlieir extraordinary condition would occasion many inquiries, which 1 wished to avoid. 1 then weut to my bureau locked up my pocket-book, and look out a piece of black ribbon, which I bound round my wiist. When I carne down ihe agita tion of my mind had left an impression on my countenance tno visible not to be re marked by 8ir Tristram; he instanily observed my confusión, and asked the cause. I a-sured him that I was quite well, but informed him that Lord Tyrone was now no more, for he died the preceding Thuri-day at the hour of four ; at, the same time I entreated him to drop all inquine concerning the black ribbon. He dwisted ever after from further questions on the subject. You, my son, as had been foretold, I afterward brought into the world, and a little more than tour years after your birth, your ever lamentad father expired in uiyatms. Alas! I have this day heard, trom indisputable authonty, that I have lain uuder a mistake hitberto with regard to my age, and that I am but forty-seven to-day. Of the near approach of my death, therefore, I have not the leasi doubt, but I donotdread its arrival, armed with the sacreTl principies of Christianity. I can meet THE KING OF TERRORS without disiuay, and without a tear bid adieu to the regions of mortality forever I When I am dead I wi.-h that you, Lady Riverston, would unhind my wri-t, and let my son, with yourself, bebold it." Lady liesesford here ceased for some time. An hour passed, and all was silent in her room. In about halt an hour more a bell rang violently. They Üew to the apartment, hut before they reached tlie door heard the servante exclaim, " she is dead ; my mistress is dead!" Lady Kiverston then desired the servants to quit the room. She approaohed the bed with Lady Beresford's son. Tlicy knelt down by the úie of the oorpas, and then Lady Riverston lifted up her hand, unbound the ribbon and foiind th wrist exactly in the state which Lady Beresford had described - its sinewsshrunk up and every nerve withered ! A man feil throuKU one of the windows of' bis boarding house out on Went Ilill the other day, and his distractpd landlady speaks of him as "a painful roouier." But she hardlv knew what she was sayitiK, poor