Saturday, November 17, 2012
Some Strange Stories Believed by Wesley
Tues 17 Nov 1772: One was relating a remarkable story, which I thought worthy to be remembered. Two years ago, a gentleman of large fortune in Kent dreamed that he was walking through the church-yard, and saw a new monument with the following inscription:—
Here Lies the Body!
SAMUEL SAVAGE, ESQ.,
WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE ON SEPTEMBER —. 1772; AGED —.
He told his friends in the morning, and was much affected: But the impression soon wore off. But on that day he did depart; and a stone was erected with that very inscription.
A gentlewoman present added a relation equally surprising, which she received from the person's own mouth:—
"Mrs. B—, when about fourteen years of age, being at a boarding-school, a mile or two from her father’s, dreamed she was on the top of the church-steeple, when a man came up, and threw her down to the roof of the church. Yet she seemed not much hurt, till he came to her again, and threw her to the bottom. She thought she looked hard at him, and said, 'Now you have hurt me sadly, but I shall hurt you worse;’ and waked. A week after, she was to go to her father's. She set out early in the morning. At the entrance of a little wood, she stopped, and doubted whether she should not go round, instead of through it. But, knowing no reason, she went straight through till she came to the other side. Just as she was going over the style, a man pulled her back by the hair. She immediately knew it was the same man whom she had seen in her dream. She fell on her knees, and begged him, ’For God's sake, do not hurt me any more.’ He put his hands round her neck, and squeezed her so, that she instantly lost her senses. He then stripped her, carried her a little way, and threw her into a ditch.
"Meantime, her father's servant coming to the school, and hearing she was gone without him, walked back. Coming to the style, he heard several groans, and looking about, saw many drops of blood. He traced them to the ditch, whence the groans came. He lifted her up, not knowing her at all, as her face was covered with blood, carried her to a neighbouring house, and, running to the village, quickly brought a Surgeon. She was just alive; but her throat was much hurt, so that she could not speak at all.
"Just then a young man of the village was missing. Search being made, he was apprehended in an alehouse two miles off. He had all her clothes with him in a bag, which, he said, he found. It was three months before she was able to go abroad. He was arraigned at the Assizes. She knew him perfectly, and swore to the man. He was condemned, and soon after executed."