THE celebrated general, Marshal Saxe, having arrived with a part of his army at a village in Germany, where they were to pass the night, proposed sleeping himself in an old castle, which had been long neglected, and was believed by all the neighbourhood to be haunted by spectres, whose nightly yells were often heard by those who dwelt beneath its walls.
Marshal Saxe was not the man to be terrified by such reports, from taking possession of his destined chamber. He accordingly
went to bed at his usual time, but had not been long asleep before he was awakened by the most horrid noise his ears had ever heard, and while he was endeavouring to recollect himself, the door of his chamber opened, and a human figure of very large dimensions appeared at the side of his bed.
The Marshal instantly discharged a pistol at the supposed spectre, which appeared to strike it, as it fell on the floor ; he then rose from his bed and aimed a blow with his sabre at the riaure, but the blade found a resistance, and shivered in his hand.
At this moment the apparition rose, and beckoned the general to follow: he obeyed the summons, and attended him to the end of a long gallery, where a trap door opened, and they sunk into a cavern, which communicated with a subterraneous apartment occupied by a band of coiners [counterfeiters], one of whom, clad in complete armour, traversed the castle every night to deter any person from inhabiting it.
Thus it appeared that the steel resisted the ball, and shivered the Marshal's sword, but the villain was knocked down by its force, from which he however quickly recovered. Marshal Saxe, with his usual presence of mind, told them who he was, and laid before them the danger of detaining him, when he had a surrounding army who would dig to the centre of the earth to find him; but at the same time gave them an assurance, that, if they would conduct him back to his chamber, he would never relate the history of that night, while it could do them harm. The coiners paid a ready obedience to his will, and he kept his word with them, till a subsequent discovery of their concealment gave him full liberty to relate this extraordinary adventure.