Project Canterbury

The Unseen World; Communications with It, Real or Imaginary

By John Mason Neale

London: Joseph Masters, 1853.

Night IV. Of family apparitions, and of apparitions in fulfilment of a promise

Theodora. We were considering last night the various accounts of cases where supernatural warning has been given of approaching death or danger. Have we anything further to say on that head?

Sophron. Yes: I have an instance, which you may rely on as strictly true, though I shall alter all the names, some of the parties concerned being still alive. Lord F. was on his travels on the Continent when he met a young man engaged in a similar way, with whom he grew very intimate. Mr. G (for so I will call his friend,) gave him, in the course of conversation, to know that the end of his life had been predicted to him, and that he had some grounds for believing that this prediction was not without its weight and credibility. "As how?" asked Lord F. "I was travelling with two friends," replied the other, "in Italy, and at Florence we agreed to have our nativities cast by a woman there, who had a great reputation for astrological skill. She' foretold that none of us would live long, and named the days on which we should each die. My two friends are dead, and that at the time she named: it remains to see whether] her prediction will be verified in me." "Pooh, pooh!" cried Lord F., "a mere coincidence: impossible that it should happen a third time. But what is the day she fixed?" Mr. [74/75] G. named one about sis months distant. "And where shall you be then?" pursued Lord F. "At Paris." "Why, I shall be there too. Let it be an engagement. Come you and dine with me on that very day at seven o'clock; and keep up your spirits till1 then. I shall be found at No.-- Rue de -----. Do you agree to the bargain?" "Willingly," replied the other: and in a short time the friends separated. The six months passed; and a little before the appointed day Lord F. found himself in Paris. He sent a note to Mr. G., to remind him of his engagement, and received for answer that he would come. However, a day or two after, another note was brought him, in which Mr. G. said that he was not very well, and must postpone the honour of dining with Lord F. till another time: that the indisposition was very trifling; and ere long he hoped to have the pleasure of waiting upon him. Lord F. thought no more of the matter; ordered dinner on the day that had been named at seven, for himself, and about six o'clock sent his servant to Mr. Q's, with a merely formal inquiry how he was. Seven o'clock came. Lord F. sat down to dinner; when, just as he was beginning his meal, the door opened, and in walked Mr. Q. He walked in, it is true, but he said not a word; went up to the table, and went out again. Lord F. was alarmed, and rang the bell, and it was answered by the servant whom he had sent with the message of inquiry. "How is Mr. G?" he demanded. "Dead, my lord," was the reply: "he died just as I reached his house."

Eupeithes. Truly a most wonderful story. Then we are to understand that, up to the last, Lord F. had no apprehension for his friend?

Sophron. None whatever. It seems hardly to have impressed his mind at all after he came to Paris.

Eupeithes. You reserved the most extraordinary, as involving two supernatural interferences, to the last.

Sophron. There is one remarkable class of apparitions of which we have not yet spoken of those, namely, where the head of a family is warned of the decease of any member of it in a supernatural, but constantly recurring manner. This belief has prevailed in all parts of the world, and continues to our own day.

Eupeithes. Our first instance maybe that which Dr. Plot [75/76] gives, and which the famous Platonist, Dr. Henry More, has transcribed, in his Supplement to Glanville's book. It occurred in the family of the Woods, then settled at Hampton, near Bridge Norton. Here a knocking was heard by the principal members of the family before the decease of any part of it. The first time this was observed was in the year 1661, when Mrs. Eleanor Wood, mother to Capt. Basil Wood, an officer in the Royal army, during the Great Rebellion, being by herself, heard a strange knocking in various parts of the house, for which she could by no means account. A fortnight after, she received intelligence of the death of a son-in-law in London. Three years afterwards, three loud knocks were distinctly heard by the same lady, her son, Captain Wood, and his wife,--so strongly given that the pans in the dairy tottered and shook, and were in danger of falling. Two of these knocks seemed to be in the house, and one on the door; whence Capt. Wood concluded that it was a warning of the death of two members of his own family, and of one relation. And so it fell out: for within six months his mother and wife died, and also a niece of the captain's. Ten years after, namely, on a Sunday in August, 1674, Mr. Basil Wood, a son of Capt. Wood, then residing at Exeter, heard, together with his wife and two other members of his family, two strokes struck, as with a cudgel, on the table in the room where they were sitting,--one before and one after morning prayer. He wrote this account to his father, in Oxfordshire, who, in a fortnight later, lost his second wife, and in a quarter of a year his father-in-law. After that time we have no more accounts.

Theodora. A like story was told of the family of the Torelle, at Parma. There was a hall in their palace, in which, before the death of any member, an old woman was seen sitting by the chimney-corner. A young lady of the family, herself dangerously ill, once saw this spectre, and, of course, gave herself up for lost. She recovered, however, but another member of the house died. [Kornmann. iv. 57.]

Sophron. In like manner a death in the family of the Lords of Chartley Park is foretold by the birth or a black or party-coloured calf in the sandy-coloured breed that inhabit the park.

[77] Eupeithes. There is said to be a castle in Finland, on the borders of a small lake, out of which, previously to the death of the governor, an apparition, in the form of a mermaid, arises, and makes sweet melody.

Sophron. That brings us to the Irish Banshee, the most poetical form of that belief. That in many families, previous to a death, a female figure makes its appearance, rending her hair, and giving ever sign of grief, is firmly believed.

Eusebia. And sometimes the apparition takes other forms, as in that famous story of Lady Fanshawe. She and her husband were on a visit to a friend in Ireland, and at night they were ushered into a large and lonely room at one end of the castle. Towards midnight Lady Fanshawe awoke, her husband still remaining asleep. It was moonlight, and she lay looking at the beauty of the sky through the casement. On a sudden the casement was thrown open, and a female figure, with long disheveled hair, thrust in its head, and shrieked out, "A horse! a horse!" and forthwith disappeared. Lady Fanshawe, in an agony of terror, woke her husband, and told him what she had seen, and they agreed to continue awake, and to watch whether anything further should occur. Nor did they wait long. The window was again thrown open: the figure appeared again, and again shrieked, "A horse! a horse!" The story is differently related, as to the double apparition. They rose, knelt down, commended themselves to God, and were troubled no more that night. On the following morning, when they went down stairs, the mistress of the house inquired if they had rested well. On their replying that they had been much disturbed, she requested them, in an unusually impressive manner, to relate what they had seen or heard. They did so. "The same apparition," she answered, is always seen in that room on the death of any member of this house. When you arrived last night, a poor relation, then in the castle, was suffering from illness, but no immediate danger was apprehended. Had I known that her death was near, I should not have put you to the inconvenience of occupying that apartment. But in the course of the night she was suddenly taken worse, and expired, and I then knew that you would see the apparition you describe.

[78] Theodora. Dr. Plot, I remember, mentions a family in Staffordshire, where a white bird, of very large size, was seen to flutter round the house before any death occurred in it.

Eupeithes. There is or was an oak in Lanthadran Park, in Cornwall, which by a peculiar change in the leaves was said to foretell the death of the lord of the manor. So there is an avenue near Cuckfield in Sussex, in which the fall of an oak foretells a death in the manor-house.

Sophron. Wales is peculiarly the country of such belief. Here we have the Corpse-bird, that flaps its wings over the doomed person; the Tanwe, or deluge of liquid fire over his lands; the Elyllon, a kind of Banshee, that howls and wails over him. Thus we have in Lancashire the Death-cart, that rattles through the streets at night, a tradition, perhaps, of the Plague-cart of fearful memory. Music, also, is said to have been sometimes heard in a similar manner. Dr. More gives the account of a whole family in Suffolk "that died one after another in a little time: and ever before any of the house fell sick, there was music heard to go from the house (though nothing seen), playing all along, which several people out of curiosity would follow, who observed it to pass through the field till it came to a wood, and there they left it or lost it. This was told for a certain truth to a friend of mine by Mr. Samson, not long since Fellow of Bang's College, in Cambridge."

Eusebia. I have heard a natural explanation, in one case, of such music. The family by whom it was told were surprised, one day, by hearing a very wild but sweet melody played, apparently, outside their parlour window. It was heard again and again, at all hours, by individuals, and by the whole family. Some trick was suspected; the servants were watched; strict observations were made. All was to no purpose; still the same wild sweet strains continued. At length it was discovered to arise from the crawling of snails over the window-panes; on the same principle, I suppose, that a wetted finger will bring out such exquisite melody from a glass.

Sophron. If you wish to hear some of the most unearthly music that heart can fancy, go, on a stormy, gusty night, and sit down on the leeward side of the embankment of some railway where the electric telegraph is used. The [78/79] various sounds that the gale expresses from that great Aeolian harp are almost inconceivable. Now it is the deep note of an organ--now a shrill scream; now it is close above you--now a hundred yards away; now it seems to vibrate along the line of wires, as if aerial musicians were hurrying down them, and making melody as they went. Something of the same kind may be heard in a hop-garden, before the hops are up; and something, also, in a ship running under bare poles. But this by way of digression.

Eupeithes. To return, then, to our subject. It is well known that, in a certain noble family now existing, a head appears in like manner, as a sign of the death of any of the members, to the chief of the family. A late nobleman saw this apparition many times.

Sophron. Assuredly the most unaccountable cases are those where an animal, or rather, the appearance of one, answers the same end. Yet the following story comes to me so attested, that I really know not how to disbelieve it. A family in the east of England has a tradition, that the appearance of a black dog portends the death of one of its members. It was not, I believe, said that no death took place without such warning; but only that, when the apparition occurred, its meaning was certain. The eldest son of this family married. He knew not whether to believe or to disbelieve the legend. On the one hand, he thought it superstitious to receive it; and, on the other, he could not, in the face of so much testimony, altogether reject it. In f this state of doubt--the thing itself being unpleasant--he resolved to say nothing on the subject to his young wife. It could only, he thought, worry and harass her, and could 'not, by any possibility, do any good. He kept his resolution. In due course of time he had a family; but of the apparition he saw nothing. At length, one of his children was taken ill, I think with the small-pox; but the attack was slight, and not the least danger was apprehended. He was sitting down to dinner with his wife, when she said, "I will just step up stairs, and see how the child is going on, and will be back again in a moment." She went; and returning rather hastily, said, "The child is asleep; but pray go up stairs, for there is a large black dog lying on his bed: go up and drive it out of the house." The father had [79/80] no doubt of the result. He went up stairs; there was no black dog to be seen; but the child was dead.

Eupeithes. The sign is odd, and, to our a priori judgment, unmeaning enough, to be sure; but I know a like occurrence in Sussex. In this case, a white rabbit appears, a few hours before death, to the sick man himself.

Sophron. We have already spoken of Corpse-candles: not that these can be called family apparitions. But some such appearances are. Dr. More, for example, tells us of an Irish family forewarned in a similar manner, by "lights dancing upon a place they call Fairy Mount." Three did so on one occasion. "I spoke," he says, "with one that was a spectator thereof half an hour together, and observed the lights, though moved swiftly, how their flames were not cast horizontally, but went straight up to the zenith: who noted also, that two of the family, since that sign, were lately dead already, and suspected a third would follow; which accordingly fell out the same year, a little while after."

Eupeithes. It was believed, in like manner, that S. Sylvester's tomb in the Lateran foretold the death of the reigning pontiff. So also it was held, that the family of Lusignan was warned of a death about to occur in it, by the appearance of Melesinda, the queen of Gruy de Lusignan.

Eusebia. The Taisck, or Death-voice, is well known in the Hebrides. Boswell, in his tour, says: "Mrs. M'Kinnon, who is a daughter of old Kingsburgh, told us that her father was one day riding in Sky, and some women, who were at work on the side of the road, said to him that they had heard two taiscks, (that is, voices of persons about to die;) and, what was very remarkable, one of them was an English taisck, which they never heard before. When he returned, he at that very place met two funerals; and one of them was that of a woman who had come from the mainland, and could speak only English. This, she remarked, made a great impression upon her father."

Sophron. Well it might! Lavater tells us of a friend of his, the minister of some Swiss parish, who, in the time of plague, had a warning at night of the seizure or death of any of his parishioners, by a noise in the room above him, as of the fall of a heavy sack on the boards. Etoebia. Lady Maidstone, in the time of Charles II., [80/81] used to see a fly of fire before the death of a relation. She saw it half-an-hour before Lord Maidstone fell, in the great sea-fight with the Dutch, May 28, 1672; and again before the death of her mother-in-law, the Countess of Winchelsea.

Eupeithes. I am acquainted with a lady who, at the moment of the decease of an intimate friend or relation, generally hears the sound as of a deep bell. She told me one morning, at breakfast, that she had heard it, but "at a great distance off," the night before. I advised her to note down the time, which she did. Nothing, however, seemed to follow on this; and when, about a quarter of a year later, she told me that she had again heard the bell, I was inclined to treat the matter as an illusion. In a few days, however, she received a letter, mentioning the death of an aunt in Prance at the time at which she had heard the second bell. Still the first was unexplained; till, a few weeks later, she received intelligence from New Zealand that an intimate friend had died there, at the very hour when she had heard it "at a great distance off." This lady is of a family of ghost seers. I shall have a yet more remarkable circumstance to relate of her sister.

Sophron. In brief, these warnings are almost innumerable. It is said that Henry IV. of France felt long before, in his breast, the phantom of the knife wherewith Ravaillac slew him. There are stories of sounds being heard, towards nightfall, ill churchyards, as if a new grave were being dug--the stroke pf the spade, the rending of the turf, the falling of the loose earth--which grave is accordingly dug there in reality in the course of a few days. So tales are told of all the pomp of a funeral having been seen to set out from the door of some house, the inhabitants being in perfect health; from which house a corpse has, no long time after, been carried to the grave. So again, a noise heard in one of the sedilia of a church, was regarded as the sign of the death of that ecclesiastic who usually occupied it.

Theodora. Before we proceed any further in this inquiry, I should like to be told if any instances of apparitions are given by the writers of the early Church.

Sophron. Undoubtedly. To say nothing of such, examples as those of S. Agnes' appearance to her parents at [81/82] her tomb, we are told that a spectre of prodigious size appeared at Antioch, the night before the outbreak of the sedition in the time of Theodosius; the same which gave rise to the homilies of S. Chrysostom on the Statues. [Sozomen, H.E. vii. 20.] Again, S. Gennadius, patriarch of Constantinople, was praying by night before the altar of his church, when a spectre of horrible appearance presented itself to him. [Theod. Lect. lib. i.] He rebuked it, and commanded it to depart. "I will depart," replied the apparition, "during thy leftime; but after thy death, I will trouble the Church." On this, Gennadius prayed earnestly for its peace and safety, and short afterwards departed this life. So again, S. Felix of Nola appeared to the inhabitants of that city, when it was besieged by the barbarians. An odd story is related by John Moschus, of S. Eulogius of Alexandria. He was one night occupied by himself, in matins, when his archdeacon Julian entered, without, as was customary, giving any notice, and prostrated himself in prayer. When the bishop rose, Julian remained prostrate. At length Eulogius desired him to stand up. "I cannot, unless you help me," he answered; which the good bishop did accordingly. Shortly afterwards he disappeared, and the prelate thought that he had left the place. "When did the archdeacon Julian go out?" he demanded of the door keeper. The man denied that he had ever entered. The following morning, S. Eulogius happened to meet his a deacon, and commented on his rudeness in not knocking before coming in. "By the prayers of my lord," said Julian, "I never came to this place last night." Then, says Moschus, Eulogius understood that it was the martyr S. Julian, prompting him to rebuild a ruinous church under his invocation. S. Basilicus, an Asiatic bishop, who had received the crown of martyrdom at the same time with S. Lucian, when S Chrysostom was driven into exile, appeared to him, and said, "Brother John, be of good courage; to-morrow shall be together." [S. August. de Cura pro Mort. i.] The spirit had previously visited priest of the church of S. Basilicus, and had said, "Make ready a place for my brother John; for he is shortly coming hither." And the event proved the prediction. With stories like these the lives of the Fathers abound; perfectly [82/83] analogous in kind, though somewhat differing in circumstances, from those of later ages. It would be endless to quote instances. So we read that S. Metas appeared to one Christina, predicting the troubles that were coming on the earth; that S. Amatus comforted his sorrowing mother by the assurance that he was with the Lord; that S. Cyprian confirmed S. Flavian in the view of approaching martyrdom: and scarcely any mediaeval biography but contains some such relations.

Eupeithes. The ancient Pagans believed the same thing. Plutarch, for example, says, that Damon, an inhabitant of Chaeronea, had, by the commission of several murders, rendered himself so odious as to be forced to leave the city. The inhabitants, anxious to secure his punishment, enticed him back by smooth words and gentle speeches, and slew him in the bath. Thenceforward that house was, to use the modern term, haunted, and was finally shut up. The evil genius of Brutus is known to all the world. But it was said also that Cassius, a staunch Epicurean, and therefore a disbeliever in all such apparitions, beheld the ghost of Caesar, singling him out, as it were, for attack, in the battle of Philippi. [Val. Max. i. 6.] A like story is told of Drusus. [Dion. Cass. lv. init.] After wasting Germany as far as the river Albis, he was returning, laden with trophies. A spectre, in the form of a woman, larger than the race of mortals, met him, and reproached him with his cupidity. "Depart," she concluded; "your labours and your course are approaching their end." Before he could reach the Rhine, Drusus was seized with a mortal disease. Pliny wrote a letter on the subject of spectres, in which he gives some instances of their appearance. Curtius Rufus, he says, when an obscure hanger-on of the proconsul of Africa, was promised the proconsulate of Africa himself, by a female figure, like that which appeared to Drusus; and by the same he was warned of death.

Sophron. Yes: such relations usually concern figures of stupendous size, and rather of divine than human nature. This idea of size has left its trace in one modern language tat least: the Portuguese Avejão, signifies either an apparition, or a man of monstrous stature.

Eupeithes. As to all these accounts, it is very little to our [83/84] purpose, whether they be true or false; but very much to our purpose, that the belief in apparitions existed at such early times. I will mention but one more example. Pausanias tells us that, on the plain of Marathon, four hundred years after the great battle, the neighing of horses, the shouts of the victors, the cries of the vanquished, and all the noise of a well-contested conflict, were frequently to be heard. And every one will remember the appearance of Theseus in the battle of Marathon, and that of the Twin Brothers in the fight by the lake Regillus.

Sophron. You will find in most of those ancient tales, that the spirit which appeared was that of some man of note. This is not so usual in modern stories. I call two to mind, however. Louis, Duke of Imola, shortly after his death, appeared in his usual hunting dress to the private secretary of his son Louis, by whom he had been sent to Ferrara. "Tell my son," said the kingly apparition, "to meet me on this spot at this time to-morrow; for I have a matter of great moment to communicate to him." The prince either disbelieved the tale, or suspected some Italian treachery, and therefore refused to keep the appointment; but he sent one of his courtiers in his place. The duke appeared, faithful to his word, and expressed great grief that his son had not thought fit to obey his injunction. "To him," said he, "I could have communicated much more than I can do to you. But tell him this from me: twenty-two years and one month from this time he will lose Imola." The time was strictly observed: on that night, taking advantage of a hard frost for crossing the water, Philip of, Milan, who had formed a league with Louis, treacherously surprised Imola, and added it to his own dominions. The other is this. A few weeks before the decease of the Emperor: Henry VII., at sunset there appeared in the palace court of the doge of Genoa, a horseman, armed cap-à-pie, and of far larger than mortal size: after riding up and down for more than an hour, and being seen by many witnesses, the spectre vanished. Three nights after, at nine o'clock, two horsemen, similarly armed, were seen on the same spot; and after a furious battle, they departed.

Eupeithes. We have one or two of our most curious topics: yet to enter on; such as the locality to which some [84/85] apparitions seem to be confined, and the apparently useless nature of some of their visitations. But, since we cannot hope for time to enter on these subjects to-night, let me tell you two stories of the appearance of a spirit in fulfilment of a promise. They are both related by Glanville. There were two friends, Major George Sydenham, of Dulverton, in Somersetshire, and Captain William Dyke, of the same county, who had, it would appear, served in the civil wars; and who, if not professed Atheists, were yet professed doubters of the existence of God, and the immortality of the soul. After many discussions on the subject, they agreed that whichever of them died first, should, if it were possible for him to do so, on the third day after his death, meet the other in Major Sydenham's summer-house at Dulverton, and inform him of the reality of a future state of rewards and punishments. Major Sydenham died; and Captain Dyke, on the third day after his death, went to Dulverton, accompanied by a relation of his, a Dr. Dyke, a physician of some note, who had been called in to take charge of a sick child at Major Sydenham's, but who knew nothing of the matter in hand. The relations slept in the same room; and the doctor was rather surprised, when the servant was retiring, to hear Captain Dyke request him to bring him two of the largest candles he could get. "What is the meaning of this?" he demanded, when the candles were brought. Captain Dyke told him of the engagement; "and this," he continued, "is the very night, and I am resolved to fulfil my promise." Dr. Dyke represented that, as there was no warrant for making these strange engagements, they were to be regarded as sinful in themselves; that therefore it was sinful to keep them; that none could say what advantage evil spirits might take of such an interview; and that the whole design was a manifest tempting of Providence. "This may be all very true," said Captain Dyke, "but I promised to go, and go I will: if you will sit up with me till the appointed time, I shall be obliged to you; if not, it is no matter." 'The captain then laid his watch on the table, and waited in expectation of the hour. When it drew to half-past eleven, he took a candle in each hand, and went into the garden, where he walked up and down till two o'clock, but without tearing or seeing anything extraordinary. On this he [85/86] concluded, either that the soul perished with the body, or that the unknown laws of the world of spirits had prevented Major Sydenham from keeping his promise.. Some sis weeks afterwards, Captain Dyke had occasion to go to Eton, to place one of his sons at the college, and he was again accompanied by his relation the doctor. They lodged at the Christopher, and occupied different rooms. On the last morning of their stay, Captain Dyke was unusually late in rising. "When he came into his cousin's room, he was like a man struck with madness; his eyes staring, his knees knocking one against the other, his whole face changed. "What is the matter?" said Dr. Dyke. "I have seen the major," replied the captain. "You don't believe me: if ever I saw him in my life, I saw him now." The doctor pressing for some account,--"Thus it was," said his friend: "this morning, after it was light, some one pulled back the curtains suddenly, and I saw the major, as I had known him in his life. 'I could not,' he said, 'come at the time appointed; but I am now come to tell you that there is a God, and a very just and terrible One, and if you do not turn over a new leaf,' they were his exact expressions, 'you will find it so.' The apparition then walked a turn or two up and down the room, and going to my table, took up a sword which Major Sydenham had formerly given me. 'Cap. cap.,' he said, using his common expression, 'this sword did not use to be kept in this manner when it was mine.' And with that he vanished." We are further told that such was Captain Dyke's truthfulness, as to preclude the possibility of doubting this relation; that it had a very visible effect on his character; and that, during the remainder of his life, which lasted about two years longer, he seemed to have the words of his friend continually sounding in his ears. Now I need not say how far more convincing this story is, than if the apparition had happened at the appointed time and place, when it would so certainly have been set down to an over-wrought fancy.

Sophron. And taking place, too, in daylight is another thing in its favour. But one thing that strikes me as remarkable in all these stories, is this,--you cannot form any idea whether the apparition is in happiness or misery. This is just the contrary of a made-up tale: there the personal [86/87] state of the spirit would be sure to be strongly brought out. Now, in that you have just told, no one could possibly decide as to the condition of Major Sydenham, however much, antecedently, we might judge against him. But to your second story.

Eupeithes. It is much shorter. The famous Nicholas Ferrar had a brother, who lived in London, where he had considerable practice as a physician. He made a compact with a favourite daughter, that whichever of them died first, should, if happy, appear to the other. She was very unwilling to make the agreement; but at last consented. She married, and settled at Gillingham-lodge, near Salisbury. Here, being unexpectedly confined, she took poison by mistake for medicine, and died suddenly. That very night she drew back the curtains of her father's bed, and looked in on him, and he announced the death of his daughter to his family two days before he received the intelligence in the ordinary way.

Sophron. Here is another: it comes to me with a weight of evidence which, strange as is the tale, I cannot disbelieve. Three friends, not very much distinguished for piety, had been dining together at the residence of one of them in Norfolk. After dinner they went out, and strolled through the churchyard. "Well," said a clergyman, one of the three, "I wonder, after all, whether there is any future state or not!" They agreed that whichever died first, should appear to the others and inform them. "In what shape shall it be?" asked one of the friends. At that moment a flight of crows rose from a neighbouring field. "A crow is as good a shape as any other," said the clergyman: "if I should be the first to die, I will appear in that." He did die first: and some time after his death, the other two had been dining together, and were walking in the garden afterwards. A crow settled on the head of one of them, stuck there pertinaciously, and could only be torn off by main force. And when this gentleman's carriage came to take him home, the crow perched on it, and accompanied him back.

Eupeithes. A story is current of the Chaplain of a College in Cambridge, who, one day, surprised his brother fellows by not making his appearance in evening [87/88] Chapel. One or two of them went to look for him, and found him in a state of great agitation. He had seen, he said, a spectre, which bade him prepare for immediate death. They, of course, treated the whole thing as an illusion; and at length persuaded him to go down to his duty in chapel. It happened that the Second Lesson was the fourth chapter of the Second Epistle to Timothy: and while he was reading the words, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith," he fell down dead. Let this be the close of our disquisitions for tonight and let us tomorrow consider local apparitions.

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