In A Human Moment

Miscellany from the 19th century



For some days past the inhabitants of Beverley have been greatly amused by the earnest relation of the following account:- Stephen Brown, a farmer, residing at Skidby, near Beverley, on a Saturday night, a short time ago, was preparing to leave a public-house in Beverley, where he had indulged himself until a late hour; and being asked by one of the company how he durst go home alone so late, with much surprise, said “What have I to fear, never having seen either ‘witches or warlocks,’ or anything more frightful than myself, at any hour of the night? I have been in various parts of the world, having sailed to Russia, and travelled much in that country, as well as in other parts of Europe, and never, to my re-collection, saw either ghost or hobgoblin.” Having said this, off he went on his way home, with all the flow of spirit imaginable, until he had walked about half a mile on the road, when he observed something like an animal quickly advancing towards him, and in a trice it stood erect before him, in the shape of a twenty stone pig, with a long bushy tail! Having eyes glittering like diamonds, its hair shining like silver and beautifully white, its formidable and uncouth appearance created a terror, which at once alarmed his conscience and roused his fears. After repeatedly striking with a thick stick manfully at this terrific object, without making any sensible impression, Stephen deemed it expedient to make a hasty retreat back again to Beverley. The toll bar not being far from where he then was, he thought by passing through the small gate, and closing it after him, he should leave grunter behind him; but lo! To his surprise and utter astonishment, it was through the gate as soon as he : therefore to distance piggy, he put his best leg first, and when he arrived, almost breathless, at the Bee Hive Inn, in Beverley, Stephen and his companion, the pig, were distinctly seen together by an aged couple, who had been sitting up with a sick person, and who were then going home, about two o’clock in the morning. Thinking all was not right at that time in the morning with the man and the pig, they communicated their suspicions to the watchmen, and they all quickly followed Brown and the pig, whom they soon overtook, and on accosting Brown, he was so alarmed that he could scarcely speak; but having recovered, related to them the whole of this mysterious circumstance. The watchmen, rather alarmed, yet nothing daunted, made a bold attempt to take porky into possession by surrounding it, but to their astonishment it suddenly vanished. The above persons persist in the truth of this odd story, and if any of them are contradicted or laughed at, are highly offended. So much for credulity and the force of imagination in the 19th century.

The Poor Man’s Guardian (London, England), Saturday, March 22, 1834; Issue 146.
Gale Document Number: BA3205302380
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