The Milkman And Church-yard Ghost





A man much addicted to the heinous sin of drunkenness, in coming home

late one winter's night, had to cross Stepney church-yard; where, close

to the foot path, a deep grave had been opened the day before. He, being

very drunk, staggered into the grave; it was a great mercy he did not

break his neck, or any of his limbs; but, as it rained hard all night,

and the grave was so deep that he could not got out, he had but an

uncomfortable bed. For some hours nobody passed by; till, shortly after

the clock had struck four, a milkman, who had been to the cow-house for

his milk, came by, and said to himself, "I wonder what o'clock it is."

The man in the grave hallooed out, "Just gone four." The milkman seeing

nobody, immediately conceived a ghost from one of the graves had

answered him, and took to his heels with such rapidity, that when he

reached an ale-house he was ready to faint; and, what added to his

trouble, in running, he so jumbled his pails as to spill great part of

his milk. The people who heard his relation, believed it must have been

a ghost that had answered him. The tale went round, and would have been

credited, perhaps, till now, had not the drunkard, sitting one day in

the very alehouse the milkman had stopped at, on hearing the story

repeated, with a hearty laugh acknowledged himself to be the ghost, and

that he had much enjoyed the jumbling of the man's pails, as he ran

away, and the loss which it occasioned him.





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