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How the whole Parish was frighted. Who does not know Lady Ducklington, or who does not know that she was buried at this Parish Church?
Well, I never saw so grand a Funeral in all my Life; but the Money they squandered away, would have been better laid out in little Books for Children, or in Meat, Drink, and Cloaths for the Poor.
This if a fine Hearse indeed, and the nodding Plumes on the Horses look very grand; but what End does that answer, otherwise than to display the Pride of the Living, or the Vanity of the Dead. Fie upon such Folly, say I, and Heaven grant that those who want more Sense may have it.
But all the Country round came to see the Burying, and it was late before the Corpse was interred. After which, in the Night, or rather about Four o’Clock in the Morning, the Bells were heard to jingle in the Steeple, which frightened the People prodigiously, who all thought it was Lady Ducklington’s Ghost dancing among the Bell-ropes. The People flocked to Will Dobbins the Clerk, and wanted him to go and see what it was; but William said, he was sure it was a Ghost, and that he would not offer to open the Door. At length Mr. Long the Rector, hearing such an Uproar in the Village, went to the Clerk, to know why he did not go into the Church; and see who was there. I go, Sir, says William, why the Ghost would frighten me out of my Wits.–Mrs. Dobbins too cried, and laying hold of her Husband said, he should not be eat up by the Ghost. A Ghost, you Blockheads, says Mr. Long in a Pet, did either of you ever see a Ghost, or know any Body that did? Yes, says the Clerk, my Father did once in the Shape of a Windmill, and it walked all round the Church in a white Sheet, with Jack Boots on, and had a Gun by its Side instead of a Sword. A fine Picture of a Ghost truly, says Mr. Long, give me the Key of the Church, you Monkey; for I tell you there is no such Thing now, whatever may have been formerly.–Then taking the Key, he went to the Church, all the people following him. As soon as he had opened the Door, what Sort of a Ghost do ye think appeared? Why Little Two-Shoes, who being weary, had fallen asleep in one of the Pews during the Funeral Service, and was shut in all Night. She immediately asked Mr. Long’s Pardon for the Trouble she had given him, told him, she had been locked into the Church, and said, she should not have rung the Bells, but that she was very cold, and hearing Farmer Boult’s Man go whistling by with his Horses, she was in Hopes he would have went to the Clerk for the Key to let her out.