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December 23.

St. Servulus, A. D. 590. Ten Martyrs of Crete. St. Victoria, A. D. 250

A Trifling Mistake.

In December, 1822, the Morning Chronicle states the following whimsical circumstance to have taken place at the Black Swan inn, at York:—

An honest son of Neptune travelling northwards, having put up there for the night, desired the chambermaid to call him early the next morning, as he wished to proceed on his journey by the coach; and added, "as I am a very sound sleeper, you will most likely be obliged to come in and shake me." Accordingly he left his door unfastened, and soon fell asleep. The next morning when he awoke, he found the sun was high, and the coach must have left him some hours behind. Vexation was his first feeling, the next was that of vengeance against the faithless Molly. Accordingly he proceeded to inform himself of the time of day, that he might tax her accurately with her omission, which was aggravated, in his mind, by every additional hour that he had lost; but after groping for some time under his pillow for his watch, it was not to be found! This effectually roused him, and he launched at once out of bed, but no sooner found himself on his feet, than he discovered that his clothes had likewise vanished. It was now evident to him that he had been robbed; however a little more rubbing of the eyes convinced him that he must have been also stolen himself, as the room, bed, and furniture, were all strange to him! Indeed, he was positive in his own mind, that he had never beheld them before. It was equally clear to him that he had gone to bed sober; so being completely puzzled, Jack sate himself down on the bed to "make a calculation" as he often had done at sea, in order to discover, if possible, in what precise part of the globe he just then happened to be, and how he came there. He had read of the enchanted carpet, by which persons could be transported to the remotest parts of the world in the twinkling of an eye; but he never had heard that these fairy tricks had been played at or near York, to which place he had now distinctly traced himself by his "log." His next thought was to "take an observation, " by looking out of the window, but he could observe nothing but tops of houses. This view, however, rejoiced his sight, for, thought he, I am still in a civilized country; this place may be York, where, if my sense do not deceive me, I went to bed last night, at all events I shall have justice done me. But the enigma still remained unexplained, and poor Jack had no clothes to go in quest of a solution. At last he spied a bell-rope, and giving it a hearty tug, leaped into bed again to wait the issue, come who might. It was no enchanter who answered this summons, but only poor Molly. "So you are there, are you? Pray why did you not call me at seven o'clock, as I desired you?" "I did, sir, but you did not answer me." "Then, why did you not come in and shake me?" "I did come in, sir, but you were gone." "I tell you I have not been out of bed all night; you must have gone to the wrong room." "No, sir, I went to No. 22, the room that I put you in last night; besides, there was your watch under the pillow, your impression in the bed, and your clothes placed ready for putting on." "Then, where the devil am I? and how came I here?" "You are a story higher, sir; just over your own room." Our hero was now satisfied that he had been rambling over the house in his sleep, and had mistaken a story in returning to his own room. He then recollected that this was a trick to which he had been addicted when a boy, and he devised that the fatigue of a long journey had probably chiefly contributed to revive his old habit. The whole affair was now accounted for, and Molly proceeded to fetch the clothes of the disenchanted knight, resolving within herself never to trust her own door open again, lest it should be entered accidentally by some sleep-walking traveller.


Cedar of Lebanon. Pinus cedrus.
Dedicated to St. Victoria.