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what a mortifying story will our conversation be to a young gentleman!” “ Why,” says Mrs. Bargrave, “it is much better methinks to do it yourself.” “No," says Mrs. Veal, though it seems impertinent to you now, you will see more reason for it hereafter. Mrs. Bargrave then, to satisfy her importunity, was going to fetch a pen and ink; but Mrs. Veal said, “Let it alone now, but do it when I am gone; but you must be sure to do it." Which was one of the last things she enjoined her at parting: and so she promised her.
Then Mrs. Veal asked for Mrs. Bargrave's daughter; she said she was not at home. “But if you have a mind to see her,” says Mrs. Bargrave, “ I'll send for her.” “ Do,” says Mrs. Veal. On which she left her, and went to a neighbour's to see for her; and by the time Mrs. Bargrave was returniog, Mrs. Veal was got without the door into the street, in the face of the beast-market on a Saturday, which is market day, and stood ready to part, as soon as Mrs. Bargrave came to her. She asked her why she was in such haste. She said, She must be going, though perhaps she might not go. her journey till Monday: and told Mrs. Bargrave she hoped she would see her again at her cousin Watson's before she went whither she was going. Then she said, she would take her leave of her, and walked from Mrs. Bargrave in her view, till a turning interrupted the sight of her, which was three quarters after one in the afternoon.. .
• Mrs. Veal died the 7th of September, at twelve o'clock at
noon, of her fits, and had not above four hours' senses before death, in which time she received the sacrament.. The next day after Mrs. Veal's appearing, being Sunday, Mrs. Bargrave was mightily indisposed with a cold and a sore throat, that she could not go out that day ; but on Monday morning she sent a person to Capt. Watson's, to know if Mrs. Veal was there. They wondered at Mrs. Bargrave's
inquiry; inquiry: and sent her word that she was not there, nor was expected. At this answer, Mrs. Bargrave told the maid she had certainly mistook the name, or made some blunder. And though she was ill, she put on her hood, and went herself to Capt. Watson's, though she knew none of the family, to see if Mrs. Veal was there or not. They said, they wondered at her asking, for that she had not been in town; they were sure, if she had, she would have been there. Says Mrs. Bargrave, “ I am sure she was with me on Saturday almost two hours.” They said it was impossible ; for they must have seen her if she had. In comes Capt. Watson, while they were in dispute, and said that Mrs. Veal was certainly dead, and her escutcheons were making. This strangely surprised Mrs. Bargrave; when she sent to the person immediately who had the care of them, and found it true. Then she related the whole story to Capt. Watson's family, and what gown she had on, and how striped ; and that Mrs. Veal told her it was scoured. Then Mrs. : Watson cried out, “ You have seen her indeed, for none knew but Mrs. Veal and myself, that the gown was scoured. . And Mrs. Watson owned that she described the gown exactly : “ For,” said she, “I helped her to make it up." This Mrs. Watson blazed all about the town, and avouched the demonstration of the truth of Mrs. Bargrave's seeing . Mrs. Veal's apparition. And Captain Watson carried wo gentlemen immediately to Mrs. Bargrave's house to hear the relation from her own mouth. And when it spread so fast, that gentlemen and persons of quality, the judicious and sceptical part of the world, flocked in upon her, it at last became such a task, that she was forced to go out of the way; for they were, in general, extremely satisfied of the truth of the thing, and plainly saw that Mrs. Bargrave was no hypochondriac: for she always appears with such a cheerful air, and pleasing mien, that she has gained the favour and esteem of all the gentry: and it is thought a great favour if they can but get the relation from her own
mouth. I should have told you before, that Mrs. Veal told Mrs. Bargrave, that her sister and brother-in-law were just come down from London to see her. Says Mrs. Bargrave, “How came you to order matters so strangely ?”? “ It could not be helped,” said Mrs. Veal. And her brother and sisa ter did come to see her, and entered the town of Dover just as Mrs. Veal was expiring. Mrs. Bargrave asked her whether she would drink some tea. Says Mrs. Veal, “I do not care if I do; but I'll warrant you, this mad fellow (meaning Mrs. Bargrave's husband] has broke all your trinkets. “ But,” says Mrs. Bargrave, “ I'll get something to drink in for all that ;" but Mrs. Veal waved it, and said, “ It is no matter, let it alone :” and so it passed.
All the time I sat with Mrs. Bargrave, which was some hours, she recollected fresh sayings of Mrs. Veal. And one material thing more she told Mrs. Bargrave, that old Mr. Breton allowed Mrs. Veal ten pounds a year; which was a secret, and unknown to Mrs. Bargrave till Mrs. Veal told it her.
Mrs. Bargrave never varies in her story; which puzzles those who doubt the truth, or are unwilling to believe it. A servant in the neighbour's yard, adjoining to Mrs. Bargrave's house, heard her talking to somebody an hour of the time Mrs. Veal was with her. Mrs. Bargrave went out to her next neighbour's the very moment she parted with Mrs. Veal, and told her what ravishing conversation she had with an old friend, and told the whole of it. Drelincourt's Book of Death is, since this happened, bought up strangely. And it is to be observed, that notwithstanding all the trouble and fatigue Mrs. Bargrave has undergone upon this account, she never took the value of a farthing, nor suffered her daughter to take any thing of any body, and therefore can have no interest in telling the story.
But Mr. Veal does what he can to stifle the matter, and said, he would see. Mrs. Bargrave; but yet it is certain matter of fact, that he has been at Capt. Watson's since the death of his sister, and yet never went near Mrs. Bargrave ; and some of his friends report her to be a liar, and that she knew of Mr. Breton's ten pounds a year. But the person who pretends to say so, has the reputation of a notorious liar, among persons whom I know to be of undoubted credit. Now Mr. Veal is more of a gentleman than to say she lies; but says, a bad husband has crazed her. But she needs only present herself, and it will effectually confute that pretence. Mr. Veal says, he asked his sister on her death-bed whether she had a mind to dispose of any, thing, and she said, “ No.” Now the things which Mrs. Veal's apparition would have disposed of were so trifling, and nothing of justice aimed at in their disposal, that the desiga of it appears to me to be only in order to make Mrs. Bargrave so to demonstrate the truth of her appearance, as to satisfy the world of the reality thereof, as to what she had seen and heard, and to secure her reputation among the reasonable and understanding part of mankind. And then again, Mr. Veal owns that there was a purse of gold; but it was not found in her cabinet, but in a comb box. This looks improbable; for that Mrs: Watson owned, that Mrs. Veal was so very careful of the key of the cabinet, that she would trust nobody with it. And if so, no doubt she would not trust her gold out of it: And Mrs. Veal's often drawing her hand over her eyes, and asking Mrs. Bargrave whether her fits had not impaired her, looks to me as if she did it on purpose to remind Mrs. Bargrave of her fits, to prepare her not to think it strange, that she should put her upon writing to her brother, to dispose of rings and gold, which looks so much like a dying person's request; and it took accordingly with Mrs. Bargrave, as the effects of her fits coming upon her; and was one of the many instances of
her wonderful love to her, and care of her, that she should not be affrighted; which indeed appear in her whole management, particularly in her coming to her in the daytime, waving the salutation, and when she was alone ; and then the manner of her parting, to prevent a second attempt to salute her.
Now, wby Mr. Veal should think this relation a reflection (as it is plain he does by his endeavouring to stifle it) I cannot imagine ; because the generality believe her to be a good spirit, her discourse was so heavenly. Her two great errands were to comfort Mrs. Bargrave in her affliciion, and to ask her forgiveness for the breach of friendship, and with a pious discourse to encourage her: So that, after all, to suppose that Mrs. Bargrave could hatch such an invention as this, from Friday noon to Saturday noon, (supposing that she knew of Mrs. Veal's death the very first moment, without jumbling circumstances, and without any interest too, she must be more witty, fortunate, and wicked too, than any indifferent person, I dare say, will allow. I asked Mrs. Bargrave several times, if she was sure she felt the gown: she answered modestly, “ If my senses may be relied on, I am sure of it.” I asked her if she heard a sound when she clapped her hand upon her knee. She said she did not remember she did ; but said she appeared to be as much a substance as I did who talked with her. " And I may,” said she, “be as soon persuaded that your apparition is talking to me now, as that I did not really see her: for I was under no manner of fear, and received her as a friend, and parted with her as such. I would not,” says she, “ give one farthing to make any one believe it: I have no interest in it: nothing but trouble is entailed upon me for a long time, for ought I know; and had it not come to light by accident, it would never have been made public.” But now, she says, she will make her own private use of it, and