A WARNING For all such as desire to Sleep upon the GRASS:

By the Example of Mary Dudson Maid-servant to Mr. Phillips a Gardener, dwel­ling in Kent street, in the Borough of Southwark: Being a most strange, but one Relation how she was found in a Dead-sleep in the Garden, that no ordinaiy Noise could awake her; Ss also how an Adder entered into her body, the manner of her long Sickness, with a brief Discovery of the Cause at length by her strange and most miraca­lous Vomiting up of about fourteen yong Adders, and one old Adder, on August 14.1664. about fourteen Inches in length, the Maid is yet living. The like to this hath not been known in this Age.

The Tune is, In Summer Time.
GOod Lord, what Age we do live in,
how many Wonders doth befal?
Yet we repent not of our sin,
nor unto God for mercy call.
How often to us hath be sent,
even by the Preachers of this Word,
Intreating us for to repent,
and turn unto the living Lord?
How hard are we for to believe
Gods Word within the Bible pen'd?
How oft do we our Maker grieve,
which soul and body doth defend?
Lord teach us to shake off our sins,
and also to repent with speed:
Good God defend us from those Fiends,
that would our woe and sorrow breed.
The Serpent first did Eve beguile,
causing her God to disobay,
So heaps of Sin on us doth pile,
but Christ hath washt our Sins away.
And ever since old Adams fall,
he still hath sought us to destroy;
And for to bring our Souls in thrall,
to deprive us of Heavenly Joy.
As in these lines I will relate
a Story strange, but yet mast true,
Of a Maidens sad unhappy fate,
presented here to publick view.
A Warning fair to those that sleep
upon the ground, or in the grass
Lest Serpents into them do creep,
as to this Maid it came to pass.
This Mary Dudson wrought by'th' week,
and to the Market loads did bear;
For she was pliant, milde and meek,
to gain a Living any where,
Her work was in the Garden still,
for there she spent the pleasant day,
For in such work she had most skill,
and for the same received pay.
But when the pleasant Sun shone hot,
she would lye down o'th ground to sleep,
Not dreading of any harm, God wot,
but some Refreshment for to reap.
About the end of July last
she sleeping in the Garden lay,
In a dead Sleep she lay so fast
she eas'ly would not wake, they say.
Much fleam about her mouth did lie,
in a most sad and dismal sort,
Which did amaze those that stood by,
as for a truth they do report;
She was so fast asleep they could
by no meanes wake her suddenly,
After awaked, then behold
she was sore sick and like to die.
Thus she continued many a day,
in torments strange both day and night,
For she could have ease no way,
neither in ought could take delight:
The women they did marvel much
a Maiden should be in such case:
At length the truth appeared such,
a greater Wonder came in place.
Her torments they grew very strong,
her body was exceeding weak:
It seemed unto her great wrong
to sit, to lye, to walk, or speak,
Her thirst it was exceeding strange,
she did drink so abundantly,
Her body all coal black did change,
which seem'd a wondrous Prodigie.
But God that brings all truths to light,
where means was wanting, did supply,
Before the neighboring peoples sight,
that all might praise his Majesty.
At times as I do understand,
fourteen young Addres from her came
By Vomit, and the Lords command,
no other wight could do the same.
These came from her all alive,
and that in several peoples view:
To get away they all did strive,
but into the fire they them threw.
The fourteenth day of August last,
the old Adder by vomit came
Quite through her throat, and out was cast,
the standers by admir'd the same.
This hideous sight put them to flight,
they judg'd her fourteen Inches long:
Her body thick, and colours bright,
with seeming legs exceeding strong.
She hist, and back strove to return
into her mouth with eager speed,
Being withstood, away she run,
for they had destroyed all her breed.
Some Doctors hearing of the same,
some Potions sent her presently,
To mitigate that poysoned flame,
which eas'd their Patient by and by.
Still she remains both sick and weak,
an Object of true Charity:
'Twould make a stony heart to break,
considering of her misery.
Thus have [...] [...]d this Story true,
which hu [...] testifie:
God knows [...] may ensue,
for who know [...] tha [...] he shall die:
Thus to conclude and make an end,
of what to you I here do tell,
To Heaven I you all commend,
and so I bid you all farewel.

Those that desire to be satisfied of the Truth more at large, may repair to this woful Wight, a Spectacle of Gods mercy , and in Object of true Charity, being a constant Laborer in her health: It is hard to say whether she will live or die. She lyeth over against the sign of the Ship in Kent-street in the Borough of Souyhwark. This Relation the Author had from her own mouth.

London, Printed for Charls Tyus on London bridge. 1664.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.