Lady Jeffrey's Spirit





This lady could not rest in her grave because of her misdeeds, and she

troubled people dreadfully; at last she was persuaded or enticed to

contract her dimensions, and enter into a bottle. She did so, after

appearing in a good many hideous forms; but when she got into the bottle,

it was corked down securely, and the bottle was cast into the pool

underneath the Short bridge, Llanidloes, and there the lady was to remain

until the ivy that grew up the buttresses should overgrow the sides of

the bridge, and reach the parapet. The ivy was dangerously near the top

of the bridge when the writer was a schoolboy, and often did he and his

companions crop off its tendrils as they neared the prescribed limits for

we were all terribly afraid to release the dreaded lady out of the

bottle. In the year 1848, the old bridge was blown up, and a new one

built instead of it. A schoolfellow, whom we called Ben, was playing by

the aforesaid pool when the bridge was undergoing reconstruction, and he

found by the river's side a small bottle, and in the bottle was a little

black thing, that was never quiet, but it kept bobbing up and down

continually, just as if it wanted to get out. Ben kept the bottle safely

for a while, but ere long he was obliged to throw it into the river, for

his relations and neighbours came to the conclusion that that was the

very bottle that contained Lady Jeffrey's Spirit, and they also surmised

that the little black restless thing was nothing less than the lady

herself. Ben consequently resigned the bottle and its contents to the

pool again, there to undergo a prolonged, but unjust, term of

imprisonment.





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