John Bunyan

from The Life and Death of Mr. Badman (pub. 1680)

But above all take that dreadful Story of Dorothy Mately an Inhabitant of Ashover in the County of Darby. This Dorothy Mately, saith the Relator, was noted by the people of the Town to be a great Swearer, and Curser, and Lier, and Thief; (just like Mr. Badman.) And the labour that she did usually follow, was to wash the Rubbish that came forth of the Lead Mines, and there to get sparks of Lead-Ore; and her usual way of asserting of things, was with these kind of Imprecations: I would I might sink into the earth if it be not so, or I would God would make the earth open and swallow me up. Now upon the 23. of March, 1660. this Dorothy was washing of Ore upon the top of a steep Hill, about a quarter of a mile from Ashover, and was there taxed by a Lad for taking of two single Pence out of his Pocket, (for he had laid his Breeches by, and was at work in his Drawers;) but she violently denyed it, wishing, That the ground might swallow her up if she had them: She also used the same wicked words on several other occasions that day.

Now one George Hodgkinson of Ashover, a man of good report there, came accidentally by where this Dorothy was, and stood still a while to talk with her, as she was washing her Ore; there stood also a little Child by her Tub-side, and another a distance from her, calling aloud to her to come away; wherefore the said George took the Girle by the hand to lead her away to her that called her: But behold, they had not gone above ten yards from Dorothy, but they heard her crying out for help; so looking back, he saw the Woman, and her Tub, and Sive, twirling round, and sinking into the ground. Then said the man, Pray to God to pardon thy sin, for thou art never like to be seen alive any longer. So she and her Tub twirled round, and round, till they sunk about three yards into the Earth, and then for a while staid. Then she called for help again, thinking, as she said, that she should stay there. Now the man though greatly amazed, did begin to think which way to help her, but immediately a great stone which appeared in the Earth, fell upon her head, and brake her Skull, and then the Earth fell in upon her and covered her. She was afterwards digged up, and found about four yards within ground, with the Boys two single Pence in her pocket, but her Tub and Sive could not be found.