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Sir Hugh Ackland






The following remarkable fact shews the necessity of minutely examining
people after death, prior to interment, and of not giving way to
ridiculous fears about supernatural appearances.

The late Sir Hugh Ackland, of Devonshire, apparently died of a fever,
and was laid out as dead. The nurse, with two of the footmen, sat up
with the corpse; and Lady Ackland sent them a bottle of brandy to drink
in the night. One of the servants, being an arch rogue, told the other,
that his master dearly loved brandy when he was alive; "and," says he,
"I am resolved he shall drink one glass with us now he is dead." The
fellow, accordingly, poured out a bumper of brandy, and forced it down
his throat. A gurgling immediately ensued, and a violent motion of the
neck and upper part of the breast. The other footman and the nurse were
so terrified, that they ran down stairs; and the brandy genius,
hastening away with rather too much speed, tumbled down stairs head
foremost. The noise of the fall, and his cries, alarmed a young
gentleman who slept in the house that night; who got up, and went to
the room where the corpse lay, and, to his great surprise, saw Sir Hugh
sitting upright. He called the servants; Sir Hugh was put into a warm
bed, and the physician and apothecary sent for. These gentlemen, in a
few weeks, perfectly restored their patient to health, and he lived
several years afterwards.

The above story is well known to the Devonshire people; as in most
companies Sir Hugh used to tell this strange circumstance, and talk of
his resurrection by his brandy footman, to whom (when he really died) he
left a handsome annuity.





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