The fo'lo«vlng e.-died from the Nao York Journal of Commerce is rather interesting :
Mother Shipton was a veritable character, who lived more than three hundred years ago, and uttered a number of so-called prophecies. They were, for the most part, a vague, unmeaning jumble of seeming predictions applicable to no special event, and without point or general interest. In 1641 a pamphlet containing a medley of this sort, chiefly in halting verse, was printed in '■ ondon, and her “ Life and Curious Prophecies” were given to the public in 1677. In 1862, Mr. Charles Hindley, of Brighton, England, issued what purported to be an exact reprint of a “ Chap-bcok version of Mother Shipton’s prophecies from the edition of 1648.” In this for the first time, there were point and pith and special application. All modern discoveries were plainly described, and one prophecy read as follows : Carriages without horses shall go, And accidents fill the world with woe. Around this world.thoughts shall fly In the twinkling of an eye. Water shall ret more wonders do; Now strange, yet shall be true. The world upside down shall be, And gold Ire found at root of tree. Through hills men shall ride, And no horse or ass be at their side. Under water men shall walk ; Shall ride, shall sleep, shall talk. In : the air men shall be seen, In white, in black, in green. Iron in water shall float, As easy as a wooden boat. Gold shall be found—and found In a lard that’s now not known. Fire and water shall wonders do. England shall at last admit a Jew. The world to an end shall come In eighteen hundred and eighty-one.
'('his, of course, quite startled the public. 1 f all other important events oj the nineteenth century had been so aptly described, why should not the last prediction be fulfilled? We copied the prophecy, and without knowing anything of its source, denounced it as a forgery. An English paper replied that it was an exact reprint of the old edition, for nearly 250 years on file in the British' Museum. We sent our correspondent to the Museum, and learnt that there was a chap-book of that title bearing date 1641; another of 1642, containing what purported to be Mother Shipton’s portrait; other prophecies dated 1648, 1667, and Mother Shipton's Lije and Curious Prophecies, complete in an octavo edition, of 1796. We then purchased the reprint and sent to have them compared. This proved that a fraud had been committed. The old prophecies were a vague jumble of local predictions that might have been fulfilled at any or every decade since their date. All the pointed and interesting predictions in the new issue were not in the old book, and were either interlineations of entirely new fragments, evidently written after the events they were supposed to predict. We pressed the point, and then the secret came out. In the spring of 1873 Mr. Hindley wrote a letter, confessing that he had fabricated the prophecy above quoted, and ten others, in order to render his little book saleable.
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Mother Shipton., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 245, 18 January 1881
Mother Shipton. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 245, 18 January 1881
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