The twelfth Relation.
An Account of one stripped of all his clothes after he was in Bed, and almost worried to death by Spi∣rits.
I Had occasion to make mention of a Noblemans House in the West of England, and to give two Relations of what passed there of my own knowledge: I shall now add another, known to the Lady, and all the Fami∣ly; which is thus.
One night, as we were at Supper, one of the Ladies Footmen complai∣ned he was pained in his Head, where∣upon he had orders to go to Bed, which he did some hours before the rest of the Family. His Lodging Page 223 was by the side of a fair Gallery, where there were several Alcoves, with Beds, for the Servants, and they were planted near Sir F's Lodging. When the Lady was disposed to go to her Chamber, the other Company waited on her up the Stairs (most of us lodging the same way) we pas∣sed into the foresaid Gallery, and when we came over against the Al∣cove, where the Page was, we found the door of it open, and out of it issued a steam, which by the light of the Candles appeared like a thick Fog: which occasioned some of us to look into the Room, where we saw the poor young Man lying speech∣less on the Bed, his Eyes were staring very wide, and fixed on one side of the Room, his Hands were clutched, his Hair erected, and his whole body in so violent a sweat, as if he had been in the Bagnio; all the Clothes of the Bed were flung, some in one part of the Room, and some in another, his very shirt was drawn off his Body, and cast into one side of the Room; and it was near half an hour before he could recollect him∣self, and gather breath, so as to Page 224 speak to us: At length, having taken somewhat to recall his Spirits, he gave us this surprising account of what had past from the time he went to Bed, which we guess'd to be about three hours. He told us that he lay about half an hour, endeavouring to com∣pose himself to sleep, but could not, because of the pain in his Head, that about that time there came into the Room to him two in the appearance of very beautiful young Women, whose presence enlightned the place, as if it had been day, though there was no Candle near it. That they en∣deavoured to come into the Bed to him, being one on the one side, the other on the other side thereof, which he resisted with all the power he could, striking at them several times with his Fists, but could feel nothing but empty shadows; yet were they so strong, that they drew all the Bed-clothes off him, though he endeavoured with all his force to hold them, that after that they had stripped him of his shirt; and he had contested so long with them, that he concluded within himself he should die under their violencies, du∣ring all that time he had no power to speak, or call for aid; but was at last Page 225 reduced to that condition wherein we found him. Some were ordered to continue that night; and the next day he was bleeded, having been much bruised in the Conflict; however he had no sickness after it, nor do I hear that ever after he had any disturbance from them.
THis is perhaps one of the most stupen∣d•ous accounts of this nature that have been heard of; I could say much more, only for the regard and Honour I ought to bear to the Family, I dare not name them, unless I had their leave, but the thing is so well known to all that were in the house at that time, which were more than thirty, and by them imparted to so many others, that it is beyond the skill of the greatest Caviller to contest it.