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The Subterranean Traveller Or Ghost And No Ghost






The following record is copied verbatim from an old newspaper--The
Weekly Journal, or British Gazetteer.

"Bedlam, January 18, 1719.

"It is not long since one of the female inhabitants of these frantic
territories gave the following occasion for a very pleasing
entertainment. Some bricklayers happened to be at work here, to repair
and clean the passage leading to the common sewer; who going to dinner,
and leaving the ladder which descended to it, standing, the said
unfortunate inhabitant had a sort of an odd notion, that the workmen had
been prying into the secrets of the lower world, and therefore (nobody
seeing her) she went down the ladder which led into the common sewer;
and, in that subterraneous cavern, finding none to control or stop her
passage, she travelled, with great pleasure and curiosity, till she came
to Tokenhouse Yard, which is near half a mile. There it happened that
a couple of young females, coming to the vault, heard a noise below,
crying, 'Who the plague are ye? What d'ye make that noise for? What, is
the devil in ye?' Upon which, away flew the women, not staying to look
behind them; and coming half-frightened into the house, said, the devil
was in the vault. Accordingly, more company going, they still heard the
same noise. Upon which they called out, and asked, 'Who's there? What
are ye?' 'The Devil,' replied the traveller below. 'How came you
there?' said they. 'Nay, how the devil know I?' answered the
mad-woman. 'Why don't you bring me a candle, that I may find my way?'
Finding it certain to be a human voice, they feared somebody might
accidentally have fallen in, and therefore they immediately went to
work, to deliver the poor wretch from her suffocating thraldom, and
found her a lamentable spectacle; so that they began to question her how
she came there, and where she lived. She answered that she was going to
Hell, but had lost her way; that there were several in her company, who
had got thither, and the gate was shut upon them; that she had lost her
way, but should overtake them by and by. These wild expressions made
some of them fancy she was a mad-woman; and, after some consideration,
they resolved to bring her hither; when she was presently owned, and
the people that brought her let us into the story: but her head still
runs on her journey, and she talks of little else."





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