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satisfactory in every particular, is the real one.
Several portentous occurrences, equally or
more marvellous, have thus been accounted for.

Our readers remember the history of the
Commissioners of the Roundhead Parliament
for the sequestration of the royal domains,
who were terrified to death, and at last fairly
driven out of the Palace of Woodstock, by a
series of diabolical sounds and sights, which
were long afterwards discovered to be the
work of one of their own servants, Joe
Tomkins by name, a loyalist in the disguise
of a puritan. The famous ' Cock-lane Ghost,'
which kept the town in agitation for months,
and baffled the penetration of multitudes of
the divines, philosophers, and literati of the
day, was a young girl of some eleven or twelve
years old, whose mysterious knockings were
produced by such simple means, that their
remaining so long undetected is the most
marvellous part of the story. This child was
the agent of a conspiracy formed by her
father, with some confederates, to ruin the
reputation of a gentleman by means of
pretended revelations from the dead. For this
conspiracy these persons were tried, and the
father, the most guilty party, underwent the
punishment of the pillory.

A more recent story is that of the ' Stockwell
Ghost,' which forms the subject of a
volume published in 1772, and is shortly told
by Mr. Hone in the first volume of his 'Every
Day Book.' Mrs. Golding, an elderly lady
residing at Stockwell, in Surrey, had her
house disturbed by portents, which not only
terrified her and her family, but spread alarm
through the vicinity. Strange noises were
heard proceeding from empty parts of the
house, and heavy articles of furniture, glass
and earthenware, were thrown down and
broken in pieces before the eyes of the family
and neighbours. Mrs. Golding, driven by
terror from her own dwelling, took refuge,
first in one neighbouring house, and then in
another, and thither the prodigies followed
her. It was observed that her maid-servant,
Ann Robinson, was always present when these
things took place, either in Mrs. Golding's
own house, or in those of the neighbours. This
girl, who had lived only about a week with
her mistress, became the subject of mistrust
and was dismissed, after which the disturbances
entirely ceased. But the matter rested
on mere suspicion. 'Scarcely any one,' says
Mr. Hone, ' who lived at that time listened
patiently to the presumption, or without
attributing the whole to witchcraft.' At length
Mr. Hone himself obtained a solution of the
mystery from a gentleman who had become
acquainted with Ann Robinson many years
after the affair happened, and to whom she
had confessed that she alone had produced
all these supernatural horrors, by fixing
wires or horse-hairs to different articles,
according as they were heavy or light, and thus
throwing them down, with other devices
equally simple, which the terror and confusion
of the spectators prevented them from
detecting. The girl began these tricks to
forward some love affair, and continued them
for amusement when she saw the effect they
produced.

Remembering these cases, we can have
little doubt that Mademoiselle Clairon's maid
was the author of the noises which threw her
mistress and her friends into such consternation.
Her own house was generally the
place where these things happened; and on
the most remarkable occasions where they
happened elsewhere, it is expressly mentioned
that the maid was present. At St. Cloud it
was to the maid, who was her bed-fellow,
that Clairon was congratulating herself on
being out of the way of the cry, when it
suddenly was heard in the very room. She
had her maid in the carriage with her on the
Boulevards, and it was immediately after the
girl had asked her a question about the death
of M. de S—— that the gun-shot was heard,
which seemed to traverse the carriage. Had
the maid a confederateperhaps her fellow-
servant on the boxto whom she might
have given the signal? When Mademoiselle
Clairon went a-shopping to the Rue St.
Honoré, she probably had her maid with her,
either in or outside the carriage; and, indeed,
in every instance the noises took place when
the maid would most probably have been
present, or close at hand. In regard to the
unearthly cry, she might easily have
produced it herself without any great skill in
ventriloquism, or the art of imitating sounds;
a supposition which is rendered the more
probable, as its realisation was rendered the
more easy, by the fact of no words having
been utteredmerely a wild cry. Most of
the common itinerant ventriloquists on our
public race-courses can utter speeches for an
imaginary person without any perceptible
motion of the lips; the utterance of a mere
sound in this way would be infinitely less
difficult.

The noises resembling the report of firearms
(very likely to have been unconsciously,
and in perfect good faith, exaggerated by the
terror of the hearers) may have been
produced by a confederate fellow-servant, or a
lover. It is to be observed, that the first
time this seeming report was heard, the
houses opposite were guarded by the police,
and spies were placed in the street, but
Mademoiselle Clairon's own house was merely
'examined.' It is evident that these
precautions, however effectual against a plot
conducted from without, could have no effect
whatever against tricks played within her
house by one or more of her own servants.

As to the maid-servant's motives for
engaging in this series of deceptions, many may
have existed and been sufficiently strong;
the lightest, which we shall state last, would
probably be the strongest. She may have
been in communication with M. de S——'s
relations for some hidden purpose which

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