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were, in their sleep. Eliza came imploring to the side 
of each. Well, said Anne, it must be destiny; Shake-
speare said so; “marriage comes of destiny” he said, 
and she was disposed to agree with Shakespeare. Twelve 
months after she had sworn that she could never feel 
anything but esteem for Mr. Mathews she was his wife.

But what conclusion are we led to draw from the 
behaviour of Sterne's ghost? Was it malicious or tender, 
did it come to warn or to mock, or merely to dip its 
handkerchief once more in the tears of lovers? Nobody 
could say. Charles Mathews told the story of the 
Stonegate ghost a hundred times in the green room at 
York; but nobody came forward with an explanation. 
Again one night he was telling the story when an old 
actress, who had returned to the stage after a long 
absence, and had heard nothing of the ghost or of the 
Mathews, exclaimed in astonishment, “Why, that was 
my dear Billy Leng!” And then she told them how 
they lodged next-door to Mrs. Simpson's in Stonegate; 
how her dear Billy had been bedridden for many years; 
how, as his infirmities increased, so did his fear of 
robbers; how, being the most methodical of men and 
growing more so with age, he waited always for York 
Minster to chime midnight and then took his crutch-
handled stick and beat forcibly on the calico at the back 
of his bed to warn any thief who might be concealed 
there. “It was no ghost,” she cried. “It was my dear 
Billy Leng!” 

Cleared of the imputation which the ghost of Sterne 
had cast upon them, Mrs. Simpson now let her rooms for 
the ordinary sum.