Dead man's resurrection, or, The judge buried alive in his own cellar

Dead man's resurrection, or, The judge buried alive in his own cellar  (1801) 






Buried alive in his own

To which is Added,



Printed by A. Imlay, No. 3. George Street.


ONE of the Judges in King Charles I reign, being, in the long vacation, at his country-house in Holsworth in Suffolk happened, upon too ferious reflection of some juvenile miscarriages, to fall into a deep fit of the hypocondria, insomuch that he fancied himself to be dead, and was very obstinate under the influence of his whimsical distemper that he would not be persuaded to stir hand or foot, or receive any manner of suftenance, but what was forced down his throat by syrenges, or such like stratagems, till he had brought his body into so low a condition, that had a lighted candle been in his belly, his sides would have proved as transparant as a lanthorn. In this stubbom phrenzy he lay upon his back, stretched out at full length like a corp, and as motionless as a stone figure up on an old tomb, neither his physician nor his family knowing what to do with him.

A famous High German doctor coming into the town, attended with a pack of fools and rope-dancers, in order to pick the country people’s pockets of a little money, hearing of so eminent a person under this unaccountable disposition, took an occasion the first time that he mounted his public theatre, to mention this matter to his country chubs, who were giving great attention to all the lies he could muster up to his advantage, telling them: “Their country physicians were all fools, and that the judge was only troubled with the muligrubs, and that if his lady would send for him, he would undertake to bring him to speech, set him upon his legs, make him walk, talk, eat, drink, piss, shite, or do any thing in four and twenty hours time, or else he would desire nothing for his trouble,” This large promise of the mountebank was soon communicated to the judge’s lady, who being a tender wife to her husband, and willing to try every thing that might do him good, sent immediately for the Dutch tooth-drawer, to consult him about the matter; who told her positively, “He could soon cure him, if she would promise he should have a hundred guineas reward, provided he had leave, without interruption, to do as he should think fit.” The lady assured him, “He should have all the liberty he desired to work the cure, and the reward he asked when be had performed it.” Both parties being agreed, the doctor sent his man for a joiner and a coffin, as soon as the one; had brought the other, up stairs they went, for the doctor would not see his patient before he had got his tools ready. When every thing was in order, in goes the doctor and the lady, the rest tarried without till called for.

No sooner had the doctor cast an eye upon his fallen patient, but he presently calls out to the lady, “Lord, Madam, what mean you to send for a physician to a dead man?, For shame, keep him not above ground any longer. Upon my word, madam, he has been dead so long, that he stinks again, and if you don’t bury him quickly, the very scent of his corps will breed a plague in your family” “I have had a coffin in the home some time, replied the lady, but was loth to have him buried so soon, for fear he should come to life again.” “By all means, says the doctor, let it be brought in, and order him to be nailed up with all expedition.” “Pray doctor, says the lady, do you stay a little in the room for fear the rats should gnaw the corps, and I’ll step and order some of my servants to bring in the coffin presently.” The patient hard all this and was still too humoursome to break his silence; by and by comes the lady, and the servant after with the coffin, who set it down by the bed side, and then according to the doctor’s direction, wrapt the judge up in a couple of warm blankets, and into the coffin they very orderly laid him, put on the lid, and made a hammering over his head as if they were nailing him up, he endured it all without either word or motion; and when he was thus inclosed, they ordered the great bell of the church to ring out, that he might think they were bearing him to his last home the grave: instead of which they carried him down into his own wine cellar, where they set some body to watch by him till a good supper was got ready; in the interirm the doctor, ordered his lady and her servants so to disguise themselves in winding sheets, and such like dresses, that would best represent a parcel of ghosts or spirits, the doctor making one amongst them; when they were thus equipped, the doctor led the van of the hobgoblins, and into the cellar they went, where they altered their voices as much as possible, and fell into a merry extravagant chat, concerning the affairs of the upper world, rattling the bottles and the glasses, extolling their happiness after death, and drinking to the remembrance of those friends they had left behind, the cloth being laid, in a little time down came supper, which they fell to with all the seeming jollity imaginable.

As they were thus merry eating and carousing, “What’s the matter says the doctor, with that melancholy ghost, that he does not rise out of his coffin? He has been among us this fortnight, and has not yet given us any of his company: sure he is sadly tired with his journey out of the other world, for he has had a plaguy long sleep after it: Prithee awake him, and ask him to eat a bit with us, for he has had no refreshment since he has been in the Elizium;” With that one of the most frightful of the spectres with a taper in his hand, opens the lid of the coffin, and hollowing in his ears, “mag damnum haggle duggle, deputy governor of the lower regions, desires your company to supper with him.” Upon which he raised his head to the edge of the coffin, and beholding such a parcel of frightful figures feeding as heartily as so many ploughmen; “Pray, says he, do dead men eat? Aye, aye, and drink too, says the doctor, or how should they live else?” “Then says the judge, if eating be to custom of this country, I will make my resurrection and pick a bit with you.” So they lent him a hand, and conducted him to a seat at the table. “Truly, says he, I am very glad to find that dead men live so merrily;” “Well may we be so merry, cries the doctor, for we live better here without money, than one in the other world can for a thousand pound a-year; for in short we have every thing, and that for nothing.” The judge who was a great lover of a little shoulder of mutton, which his lady remembering, had got one ready at the fire, asked them, “If that country afforded any mutton?” The best, replies the doctor, in all the three, worlds: Here fetch a hot shoulder immediately: at which unexpected sight the judge was so well pleased, that he fell to and eat heartily.

When supper was over they drank a chearful glass to the memory of all their particular friends over their heads, till at last the patient (being much fuddled, so that they turned him again into his wooden territories, where he soon fell into a very sound sleep; during which time they carried him up into his own room, and put him again to his bed, where he rested very well, and his lady with him, till the next morning about day light; and at last waking, he began to look about him, very strangely surprised, which the lady perceiving, cried, “Prithee, my, dear, what’s the matter with thee?” “Lord love, says he, art thou there? “Where are we?” “In your own bed, in your own house, Where do you think we should be ?” Then, says the judge, I have had one of the unaccountablest dreams that ever was heard of;” and falls to repeating all he had seen over night. Poh, poh, says she, never mind such idle whimsses, and think what you can eat for hreakfast.” So up got my lady, and provided him something that was com-fortable, and from that time he was re-covered of his melancholy, so the mounte-bank had his reward, and the judge sat upon the bench for several years after.

Reason's quite lost where melancholy rules.
The wisest men we see are sometimes fools.


DEATH at a cobler’s door oft made a
And always found him on the mending
At last came death, in very dirty weather,
And rip’d the sole from off the upper-lea-
Death put a trick upon him, and what
was’t ?
The cobler call’d for’s awl, death brought
his last.

A. Imlay, Printer, Aberdeen.

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.