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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