Графични страници
PDF файл
[ocr errors]



A NARRATIVE of the SUFFERINGS of or my body occasionally, which was

Lieutenant GEORGE SPEARING, much bruifed ; but, in the whole time wbo lived SEVEN NIGHTS in a I remained here, I do not think that I COAL pit witbout any Suftenance ever slept one hour together. Having except fome Rain-water.

pafled a very disagreeable and tedious

, iween three and four o'clock in the the appearance of day-light, and the afternoon, I went into a little wood melody of a robin redbreast that had called Northwood fide (fruared between perched direally over the mouth of the two and three miles to the N.W. of pir; and this pretty little warbler conGlasgow) with a design to gather a few tinued to visit my quarters every morn. hazel-nuis. I think that I could not ing during my confinement; which I have been in the wood more than a confirued into a happy omen of my fuquarter of an hour, nor have gathered ture deliverance; and I fincerely believe more than ten nuts, before I unfortu. the trust I had in Providence, and the nately fell into an old coal-pit, exactly company of this little bird, contributed seventeen yards deep, which had been much to that serenity of mind I conmade through a folid rock. I was some stantly enjoyed to the last. Ar the disa little time insensible. Upon recovering tance of about 100 yards, in a direct my recollection, I'found myself fitting line from the pit, there was a water. (nearly as a tailor does at his work), mill. The miller's house was nearer the blood flowing pretty fast from my to me, and the road to the mill was still mouth; and I thought that I had bro:

I could frequently hear the ken a blood-vessel, and consequently horses going this road to and from ihe had not long to live; but, to my great mill; frequently I heard human voices; comfort, I soon discovered that the and I could difinally hear the ducks blood proceeded from a wound in my and hens about the mill. I made the tongue, which I supposed I had bitten best use of my voice on every occasion ; in my fall. Looking at my watch (it but it was to no manner of purpose ; for, was ten minutes past four), and getting the wind, which was constantly high, up, I surveyed my limbs, and to my in- blew in a line from the mill to the pit, expressible joy found that not one was which easily accounts for what I heard; broken. I was soon reconciled to my and, at the same time, my voice was situation, having from my childhood carried the contrary way. I cannot lay thought that something very extraordic I fuffered much from hunger. After nary was to happen to me in the course two or three days that appetite cealed; of my life ; and I had not the least but my thirt was intolerable; and, doubt of being relieved in the morning; though it almost constantly rained, yet for, the wood being but small, and fi. I could not till the third or fourth day tuated near a populous city, it is much preserve a drop of it, as the earth at the frequented, especially in the nutting- bottom of the pit fucked it up as fast as season, and there are several foot paths it ran down. In this distress I fucked leading through it.

my cloaths; but from them I could exNight now approached, when it began triat but little moisture. Tne luck I to rain, not in gentle thowers, but in received in the fall, together with the torrents of water, such as is generally dislocation of one of my ribs, kept me, experienced at the autumnal equinox. I imagine, in a continual fever ; I canThe pit I had fallen into was about not otherwise account for my fuffering five feet in diameter; but, not having so much more from thirft than I did been worked for several years, the lube from hunger. At last I discovered the terranean pairages were choked up to thigh-bone of a bull (which, I aftera that I was expolid to the rain, which wards herid, had fallen into the pit continued, with very fall intermif- about eighteen years before me), almátt fions, till the day of my release; and, covered with the earth. I dug it upi indeed, in a very fhost time, I was

and the large end of it left a cavity thal, completely wet through. In this com- I suppose, mighe contain a quart. This fortless condicion I endeavoured to take the water gradually drained into, but so some repose. A forked stick that I very lowly, that it was a confiderabie found in the pit, and which I placed time before I could dip a nui-thell tull diagonally to the side of 11, ferved alter. at a time; which I emptied into the nately to support my head as a pillow, palm of my hand, and 10 drank it. The GENT. MAG. Augufi, 1793.



water now began to increase pretty fast, came; a day that, while my memory so that I was glad to enlarge my reser. lafts, I will always celebrate with gracivoir, insomuch that, on the 4th or sthtude to Heaven! Through the brambles day, I had a sufficient supply; and this and buthes that covered the mouth of water was certainly the preservation of the pit, I could discover the sun shining my life,

bright, and my pretty warbler was At the bottom of the pit there were charioting his melodious trains, when great quantities of reptiles, such as my attention was rouzed by a confused frogs, toads, large black snails, or flugs, noise of human voices, which seemed &c. These noxious creatures would to be approaching fast towards the pit ; frequently crawl about me, and often immediately I called out, and most got into my reservoir; nevertheless, I agreeably surprized several of my rcthought it the sweetest water I had ever quaintance, who were in search of me. tafed ; and at this distance of time the Many of them are ftill living in Glasremembrance of it is so sweet, that, gow;, and it is not long fince I had the were it now possible to obtain any of it, very great' fatisfaction of entertaining I am sure I could swallow it with avi. one of them at my apartments. They dity. I have frequently taken both told me that they had not the most dil frogs and toads out of my neck, where, tant hope of finding me alive; but I suppose, they took shelter while i wilhed to give my body a decent burial, flept. The toads I always destroyed, should they bc so fortunate as to find it. but the frogs I carefully preserved, as I As soon as they heard my voice, they all did not know but I might be under the ran towards the pit, and I could distinnecessity of eating them, which I lould guilh a well-known voice exclaim, not have scrupled to have done had I a Good God I he is fill living !” Acobeen very hungry.

ther of them, though a very honeft Saturday, the 16th, there fell but North-Briton, betwixt his furprize and little rain, and I had the satisfaction to joy, could not help asking me, in the hear the voices of some boys in the Hibernian style, if I were fill living ? wood. Immediately I called out with I told him," I was, and hearty too ;" all my might, but it was all in vain, and then gave them particular directions though I afterwards learned that they how to proceed in getting me out. Fora actually heard me; but, being preporo tunately at that jun&ture a collier, from seffed with an idle story of a wild man a working pit in the neighbourhood, being in the wood, they ran away af. was palling along the road, and, hear. frighted.

ing an unusual noise in the wood, his Sunday, the 17th, was my birth-day, curiofity prompted him to learn the ocwhen I completed my forty-firft year; casion. By his assistance, and a rope and I think it was the next day that from the mill, I was soon safely landed some of my acquaintance, having acci. on terra firma. The miller's wife had dentally heard that I had gone the way very kindly brought some milk warm I did, fent two or three porters out pure from the cow; but, on my coming into pofely to search the pits for me. These the fresh air, I grew rather faint, and men went to the miller's house, and could not taste it. Need I be ashamed made enquiry for me; but, on account to acknowledge, that the first di&tates of the very great rain at the time, they of my heart prompted me to fall on my never entered the wood, but cruelly re- knees, and ejaculate a filent thanksgiving turned to their employers, telling ibem to the God of my deliverance; since, ar they had searched the pit, and that I this distant time, I never think of it but was not to be found. Many people in the tear of gratitude starts from my eye? my dismal situation would, no doubt, Every morning while I was in the pic have died with despair; but, I thank I tied a knot in the corner of my hoodGod, I enjoyed a perfect serenity of kerchief, supposing that, if I died there, mind; fo much so, that in the Tuesday and my body lould be afterwards, afternoon, and when I had been ix found, the number of knots would cer. nights in the pit, I very composedly tify how many days I had lived. Al(by way of amusement) combed my wig mof the first question my friends asked on my knee, humming a tuae, and me was, how long I had been in the thinking of Archer in the “ Beaux pit? Immediately I drew my handkerStratagem."

chief from my pocket, and bade them Ariength, the morning, Sept. 20, the count the knots. They found seven, happy morning for my deliverance, the oxact number of nights I had been


[ocr errors]

there. We now halted out of the wood. Opposite the river on which the mill I could walk without support; but that food there was a bleach-field. It is curwas not allowed, cach person present tomary for the watchman in the night ftriving to thew me how much they were to blow a horn to frighten thieves. This rejoiced that they had found me alive I frequently heard when I was in the and so well. They led me to the mil. pit; and very often, when I was in a ler's house, where a great number of found fleep at the miller's, I have been people were collected to see me. A awakened by it in the greatest horrors, gentleman, who had a country-house fill thinking myself in the pic ; fo that, juft by, very kindly, at my request, in fact, I suffered as much by imaginafent for a glass of white-wine, 1 ore tion as from reality. dered a piece of bread to be toafted, I continued six weeks at the miller's, which I foked in the wine, and are. I when the roads became too bad for the now defired the miller's wife to make do&ors to visit me, so that I was under me up a bed, fondly thinking that no. the neceflity of being carried in a sedan thing more was wanting than a little re. chair to my lodgings in Glasgow. By freshing seep to terminate my misfor- this time my right foot was quite well; tude. But, alas ! I was still to undergo but in my left foot, where the abovegreater sufferings than I had yer endu- mentioned black spot appeared, there red. By the almost continual rains, to- was a large wound, and it too plainly. gerber with the cold damıp arising fro proved that the os calcis was nearly all the wet ground on which I lay, and not decayed; for, the surgeon could pue his being able to take the least exercise to probe through the centre of it. The keep up a proper circulation of the Aeth too at the boitom of my foot was blood, my legs were much swelled and quite separated from the bones and tenbenumbed. Some of my friends, obser- dons, so that I was forced to fubmit to ving this, proposed to send to Glasgow have it cut off. In this painful ftate Ilay for medical advice. I at first declined. feveral months, reduced to a mere ike. it, and happy had it been for me if I Jeton, taking thirty drops of laudanum had pursued my own inclinations; but, every night; and, though it somewhat vaforta nately for me, a physician and cared the pain in my foot, it was genefurgeon were employed, both of them rally three or four in the morning beignorant of what ought to have been fore I got any rest. My fituation now done. Instead of ordering my legs into became truly alarming; I had a concold water, or rubbing them with a sultation of surgeons, who advised me coarse towel, to bring on a gradual cir. to wait with patience for an exfoliation, culation, they applied hot bricks and when they had not the least doubt but large poultices to my feet. This, by they should soon cure my foot. At the <spanding the blood vessels too fud- same time they frankly acknowledged denly, put me to much greater torture that it was impossible to ascertain the than I ever endured in my life, and not precise time when that would happen, only prevenied me enjoying that re. as it might be fix, or even twelve, freshing sleep I fo much wanted, but months, before it came to pass. In my actually produced a mortification in einaciated condition I was certain that both my feet. I do not mean, by re- it was not possible for me to hold uut lating this circumstance, to reflect or. half the time; and, knowing that I the faculty in general ar Glasgow; for, must be a very great cripple with the I was afterwards attended by gentlemen loss of my heel-bone, I came to a dewho are an honour to the profession. termined resolution to have my leg taThe fame method was pursued fur le. ken off, and appointed the very next veral days, without even giving me the day for the operation; but no surgeon bark will I mentioned ic myself. This came near me, I fincerely believe they happily fore the progress of the morti. Wilhed to perform a cure; but being, as fication, which ihe doctors did not I thought, the best judge of my owa know had taken place till the miller's feelings, I was resolved this time to be wite Grewed them a black fpot, about as guided by my own opinion ; accordingbroad as a shilling, at the bottom of my ly, on the 2d of May, 1770, my leg Jeft beel. In a day or two more the

was taken off a little below the knee. whole ikin, together with all the nails Yei, noțwithftanding I had so long enof my left foot, and three from my dured the rod ot afiliation, misfortunes right fooi, came off like the fingers of Iti.l followed me. About three hours a glove,

after the amputation had been perfusni


[ocr errors]

July 25,

ed, and when I was quiet in bed, I And, to my comfort I may say, found myle!f nearly fainting with the Thou gav'st refreshing rain, li's of blond; the ligatures had all gi. In this, thy providential care

and he atteries had bled a Is to the world made known,

e time before it was disco. And teaches us to thun despair ;

Rohis time the ground was in- For, thon art God alone. tunel, neverthelesi, i was under the Thiei, fruce roy life thou didit preserve, beceffit, of once mcri fubmitting to tie Oh! euch nie how to live; operniin of the needle, and the princi- Let me not from thy precepts iwerve : pal artery was fewed up four different

This blefling to me give. time before the blood was stopped. I

So will I yearlv, on this day, suffered icuch for two or three davs,

My grateful tribute bring, not daring to take a wink of scep; for,

In humble thanks, to thee alway, the moment I shut my eyes, my stump

My Saviour, God, and King! G. S. (though constantly haid by the nerve) would take such convulve motions, Mr. UPBAN that I really think a ftab to the heart Ninfinuation your February Index could not be attended with greater pain. A threw out against me being the My blood too yas become to very poor fole ground on which a writer in p. and thin, that it absolutely drained

494. of your June Magazine centures through the wound near a fortnight af. what he does not profess to hiave feen; ter my leg was cut off. I lay for 18 no apology is due for my soubling you days and nights in one position, nor da. with the following thoughes on such lia ring to move, left the ligarure thould centious publications as relate to the again give ivay; but I could endure i Birmingham Riots. In my centers much no longer, and ventured to turn myself duinels and various inaccuracies may in bed contrar: to the advice of my lur. be discovered ; but I defy Aristarchus geon, which I happily effected, and himself to point out any thing libellous. never felt greater pleasure in my life. Some lawyers draw the lme of allionSix weeks after the amputation, I went able writings so wide as to take in ala out in a fedan chair for the benefit of most every modern dedicator, by giving the air, being exactly nine months from as an inttance " the praising any man the day I fell into the pit. Soon after, for qualities for which he is by no I took lodgings in the country; where, means diftinguished:” on this ground, geting plenty of warm new milk, my whenever tuitidious patrons follow the appetite and strength increased daily; example of Horace's Cælir, “ cui malè and to this day, I bless God, I do en. palper', recalcitrai," Newgate mult joy perfeat health; and I have since Twarm wih crin ing authors. But, been the happy father of nine children. narrow the definition as we will, inju.

GEORGE SPEARING. rious charges, the truth of which canGreenwich Hospital, Aug. 1, 1793. pot be proved, iending at the faine time

P.S. The above narrativois a plain fin. to difturb the peace, are on all hands ple matter of facls, and affords a very allowed to fall under judicial cogni. useful leflon to mankind, viz. never to zance; let us now fee how far this apgive way to despondency be their firua pliss to your correspondent, who ligos tion ever so deplorable : let them conti himself it Chriftianus" on the fame den:ly rely on Almighty Providence, principle, I take for granted, as the .and I fincerely with, and doubt not, but inetoricians derive “lucus à non' imtheir misfortunes wail terminate as hiap- cendo,” and his " respectable" affociate

G. $.

J. M. Of all calumniators, the most

abominable are they who calumniate the ON THE 20TH OF SEPTEMBER, 1769.

opprefied; it is extremely unwife in Almighty God! who, on this day,

him whole windows are composed of the My life liom death didft save,

brittleit materials to be over-bury, in To il'ce I now presume to pray, And future blessings crave.

throwing liones at those of others.

The words on which I more immeCli! grant I ever may confess

diately lay my hand, as containing maThy goodness ihewn to me;

lignant inferences drawn from ground. liith stateful heart and tongue express

dels affertions, are, “the causes of the The praise that's due to thee.

Riots are well known, and the enemies While in the dreary pit I lay

to the Conftitution may thank theme My life throu didit luitin;

felves for the eficals;" in July, 1791,

a dinuer

ply as mine.

« ПредишнаНапред »