Project Canterbury

The Unseen World; Communications with It, Real or Imaginary

By John Mason Neale

London: Joseph Masters, 1853.

Night VIII. Of fetches and doubles, and of second sight

Eupeithes. We should now consider those examples of apparitions, where a person, still in the flesh, has either been seen at a distance from the place in which he actually was, or, in some less common instances, has seen himself.

Sophron. We agreed, the other night, that we have very few, if any, authenticated instances, where we can be certain that a wraith appeared after death. Wherever it has been seen before dissolution, there it is an example of the thing we are now to consider. Nevertheless, we have properly kept that class of apparitions separate, as being very different from, and far more usual than, the occurrence of doubles, more correctly so called; where a person, being in perfect health, sees himself, or is seen at a distance from the spot where he really is.

Eupeithes. The earliest example that I know of this belief is related by S. Augustine. I will read it to you in [155/156] his own words. "A certain man, by name Praestantius, had requested from a philosopher the resolution of some doubt; the latter persisted in refusing. On the following night, though Praestantius was awake, he saw the philosopher standing by him, who gave the solution of the difficulty, and forthwith vanished. The next day, Praestantius met the philosopher, and said, 'Why, since you did not answer my question when I asked, you yesterday, did you come late at night, when you were not requested, and give me an answer?' The philosopher replied: 'It was not I that came; but in a dream I imagined that I was doing you this service.' "

Theodora. I have heard an even more incomprehensible story of this kind. The mistress of a family was slightly indisposed, and had told her servant that she should breakfast in bed. This servant was engaged in the hall, when, to her surprise, the lady came down stairs in her dressing gown, and, though the morning was very cold, hurried out of doors in an agitated manner. The servant went up into the lady's bed-room, and found her asleep. On coming down to her family, this lady said, that she had that morning had a troublesome dream; she had imagined that a robber had entered the room, and that she had hastened down stairs in her dressing-gown, and had left the house.

Eupeithes. In Germany, where a person is seen by himself, it is regarded as a sign either of extraordinarily prolonged life, or of almost immediate death. In England it has usually been held to be the latter. Queen Elizabeth, you know, is said to have seen her double, ghastly, wan, and shrivelled, in the bed that she was about to occupy: and this vision increased the melancholy which ended in her death. Sir Richard Napier, in the time of Charles II., was on a journey, and was shown to his room at the inn where he was to sleep. On the bed he saw a dead man laid out; and looking at it more attentively, discovered, to his horror, that it was himself. He continued his journey, and reached the house of a Mr. Steward, in Berkshire, where he was taken ill, and died. Lady Diana Rich, as she was walking in her father's garden at Kensington, about eleven o'clock, met her double, dressed exactly as she then was. A month afterwards, she died of the small pox. This faculty seems to have been connected with the family; for her sister, afterwards [156/157] Lady Isabella Thynne, had a vision of the same kind before her own death. And here is an example, related to me by the gentleman who was principally concerned in it, Mr. C. He was returning from S. Petersburgh; and the steamer was to call at Dantzic. On arriving off that town, however, the captain learnt that, if he entered the harbour, the vessel would afterwards be put in quarantine, on account of the cholera, which was then raging in Russia. He accordingly resolved to continue the voyage; but the first mate, who was engaged to a lady in the town, said that, let the consequences be what they might, he would go on shore. Accordingly, he put off in a boat, and the steamer proceeded on her passage. Before long, one of those odd reports got about, which it is impossible to trace to any satisfactory source, that the mate had been drowned; and the stoker that evening declared that he was haunting the engine-room, and could scarcely be prevailed on to enter it. Mr. C, who was anxious to proceed as quickly as possible, went down there, and found the chief engineer by himself. "Come," said he, "you should really persuade these men not to play the fool; can't you tell them how absurd it is to give any credit to such old women's tales as stories of apparitions?" "Well, sir," replied the engineer, "that may be your experience; mine goes the other way." "Yours goes the other way!" cried Mr. C. "Why, how can that be?" "My father," returned the other, "was engineer to the first steamer that ran out of the Clyde; and his whole life was spent on board such boats. One evening, when we were in these seas, (I was with him then,) he called me down into the engine-room, and--'Bill,' says he, 'pointing into one of the corners, 'what do you see there?' I looked. 'Why, father,' I answered, 'I see you.' 'Well,' said my father, 'I have seen that appearance to-day twice; now, mark if anything follows it.' That night he was caught in the engine, and torn to pieces."

Sophron. Then there is the German tale, which James has so well worked up in one of his novels, of the Hamburg student, who, returning one night to his lodgings, a house occupied only by himself, and which he entered with a passkey, saw his Döppelganger go along the street before him, take a key from his pocket, open the door, and enter. The [157/158] young man, in great terror, took refuge at a friend's house, where he spent the night. Next morning, recovering his courage, he went home, and there found that the deep plaster cornice of the ceiling had fallen in on his bed, and must have crushed him to pieces had he occupied it.

Theodora. This is a case where, had the student, unfortunately-for himself, possessed a little more courage, the apparition would have been set down as a warning of approaching death; whereas, in truth, it seems to have been designed as a merciful means of escaping it. One could wish to know whether, in any other instances, the same warning might have been similarly intended, though, being disregarded, it was useless.

Sophron. These cases are, of all, the most rare; and therefore it is, of course, very seldom any beneficial result can be pointed out from them. Of the other kind of doubles,--those, I mean, where the living person is seen by friends, not by himself,--there are many more examples; and they are principally warnings of the death of the person so seen. The Countess of Thanet, in the time of Charles II., being in bed in London, saw her daughter, Lady Holland, who was then at Horton Kirby, in Northamptonshire. Some years after, the latter was blown up in the castle at Guernsey, where her husband was governor, the powder being accidentally fired by lightning.

Eupeithes. The two cases which I am going to relate occurred to sisters; the daughters of a lady of whom I shall have a remarkable tale to relate. "With one of them I am intimately acquainted. She was staying in the same house with me; when one morning she told me that a younger sister, who was then residing about a hundred and fifty miles off, had come to her bedside, and had said that she, the sister, would not long be here. At that time she was in. perfect health; but some weeks after she was seized with scarlet fever, and died.--The other is far more remarkable. This same lady was dangerously ill in the West Indies; and another sister was attending her. Miss L., for so I will call her, had left the sick room to obtain a little rest; and was passing through a corridor that opened on to it, when the other watchers heard her give a loud shriek, and hurrying to [158/159] see what was the matter, found her insensible on the ground. She told them that Colonel E., to whom she was then engaged, had appeared to her; had informed her that their engagement would be broken off; that circumstances, which she would soon learn, would make this absolutely necessary; that, however, they would meet once more, but only once. At this time, Colonel E. was stationed in quite a different part of the island. Shortly after, this lady and her sister, now convalescent, were residing, for the benefit of their health, in a country house which overlooked a large sea view. They noticed a ship standing out of the harbour that lay stretched at their feet; and shortly after, an old friend came up to them from the town. His errand was a sad one. He came to say that Colonel E. had been suddenly taken ill; that he was ordered, as a last chance, to return to England; that he had neither time nor strength to write, but had desired that Miss L. might be informed of this. "I knew," she answered, "that our engagement was at an end; but I also know, on the same testimony, that I shall see him once more." Tears passed on; Colonel E. did not die; but recovered to be the wreck only of his former self; and the family heard of him as with his regiment in different parts of the world. Miss L. married. Some time afterwards, she happened to be travelling in Ireland with her husband. As they were entering a country town, a regiment was marching oat of it; and riding by its side was Colonel E. They recognized each other, and then both passed on. A few days later, Colonel E. died.--So here is an instance in which a man prophesies that which he does not consciously himself know; and that, too, an event which was only to take place many years subsequently to the prediction.

Sophron. Mr. Barham, in his journal, relates a somewhat similar occurrence. I will read it to you from his life. "Nov. 1832.--At the death of her father, Miss E------inherited, among other possessions, the home-farm called Compton Marsh, which remained in her own occupation, under the management of a bailiff. This man, named John-----was engaged to be married to a good-looking girl, to whom he had long been attached, and who superintended the dairy. One morning, Miss E-----who had adopted masculine habits, was going out with her greyhounds, accompanied by [159/160] a female friend, and called at the farm. Both, the ladies were struck by the paleness and agitation evinced by the dairy maid. Thinking some lovers' quarrel might have taken place, the visitors questioned her strictly respecting the cause of her evident distress; and at length, with great difficulty, prevailed upon her to disclose it. She said that, on the night preceding, she had gone to bed at her usual hour, and had fallen asleep, when she was awakened by a noise in her room. Rousing herself, she sat upright, and listened. The noise was not repeated, but between herself and the window, in the clear moonlight, she saw John standing within a foot of the bed, and so near to her, that by stretching out her hand she could have touched him. She called out immediately, and ordered him peremptorily to leave the room. He remained motionless, looking at her with a sad countenance, and in a low, but distinct tone of voice, bade her not be alarmed, as the only purpose of his visit was to inform her that he should not survive that day six weeks, naming, at the same time, two o'clock as the hour of his decease. As he ceased speaking, she perceived the figure gradually fading, and growing fainter in the moonlight, till, without appearing to move away, it grew indistinct in its outline, and finally was lost to sight. Much alarmed, she rose and dressed herself, but found everything still quiet in the house, and the door locked in the inside as usual. She did not return to bed, but had prudence enough to say nothing of what she had seen, either to John or to any one else. Miss R-----commended her silence, advising her to adhere to it, on the ground that these kind of prophecies sometimes bring their own completion along with them.

"The time slipped away, and notwithstanding her unaffected incredulity, Miss R-----could not forbear, on the morning of the day specified, riding down to the farm, where she found the girl uncommonly cheerful, having had no re turn of her vision, and her lover remained still in full health. He was gone, she told the ladies, to Wantage market, with,; a load of cheese which he had to dispose of, and was expected back in a couple of hours. Miss R-----went on, and pursued her favourite amusement of coursing: she had killed a hare, and was returning to the house with her companion, [160/161] when they saw a female, whom they at once recognized as the dairy-maid, running with great swiftness up to the avenue which led to the mansion. They both immediately put their horses to their speed, Miss R------exclaiming, 'Good God! something has gone wrong at the farm!' The presentiment was verified. John had returned, looking pale and complaining of fatigue, and soon after went to his own room, saying he should lie down for half an hour, while the men went to dinner. He did so; but not returning at the time mentioned, the girl went to call him, and found him lying dead on his own bed. He had been seized with an aneurism of the heart."

Theodora. The well-authenticated vision of Dr. Donne is a good instance of a fetch. I will read it to you from Izaak Walton's life. Dr. Donne was in Paris, at the house of Sir Robert Drury: his wife, whom he tenderly loved, was in England. "Sir Robert," says Walton, "returned about an hour after; and as he left, so he found his friend alone, but in such an ecstasy, and so altered in his looks, as amazed Sir Robert to behold him. Mr. Donne was not able for some time to answer the question, what had befallen him; but, after a long and perplexed pause, at last said, 'I have seen a dreadful vision since I last saw you; I have seen my dear wife pass twice by me through this room, with her hair hanging about her shoulders, and a dead child in her arms: this I have seen since I saw you.' To which Sir Robert answered, 'Sure, sir, you have slept since I saw you, and this is the result of some melancholy dream, which I desire you to forget, for you are now awake.' Dr. Donne replied, 'I cannot be more sure that I now live, than that I have not slept since I saw you; and am as sure that, at her second appearing, she stopped, looked me in the face, and vanished.' Rest and sleep had not altered Dr. Donne's opinion the next day; for he then affirmed this vision with a more deliberate, and so confirmed a confidence, that he inclined Sir Robert to a faint belief that the vision was true. It is truly said, that desire and doubt have no rest; and it proved so with Sir Robert, for he immediately sent a servant to Drury Lane House, with a charge to hasten back, and to bring him word, whether Mrs. Donne were alive; and, if alive, in what condition she was as to her health. The [161/162] twelfth day the messenger returned with this account: that he found and left Mrs. Donne very sad and sick in her bed; and that, after a long and dangerous labour, she had been delivered of a dead child. And, upon examination, it proved to be the same day, and about the same hour, that Mr. Donne affirmed he saw her pass by him in his chamber."

Eusebia. Here is a modern instance. A friend of mine writes thus: "An old woman living in the village of Blisworth, told me that she was one day in her garden, when she saw a neighbour, whom she knew at the time to be very ill, walking along the end of her house in the village. She noticed the dress she wore, and the way of walking, which was as if in pain and with difficulty. Knowing how extremely ill the person was at the time, she told one of the family with surprise that she had seen her out; but they assured her that it was utterly impossible; the poor woman was unable to raise herself even in bed, and had not been dressed for some time. She very soon after, in the course of a day or so, died."

Eupeithes. Now, if you wish, we may talk about second sight. Its locality is not so confined as is generally believed: for, besides Scotland, it is not unusual in Denmark, it is not unknown in Spain, and in Ireland it is as common as in Scotland. I do not believe that any traveller in the Hebrides, who really took pains to inquire into the matter, ever denied it. The faculty is limited: the man that possesses it can only tell of the future when the vision is upon him; at other times he is but like the rest of men. The power also is notoriously hereditary, and that more especially in the Isle of Skye, and seems to be principally confined to the arrival of strangers, and the predictions of death.

Sophron. There is something very awful in the manner in which the seer receives intimations of an approaching death;--in the figure which he beholds of the doomed person, enveloped, in a greater or less degree, in the shroud; and in the signification of the different positions. If it only reaches to the ancles, the person may live two or three t years. The next vision shows it to be advanced to the knees;--the next, perhaps, to the chest; then it rises the neck; then it envelopes the head, and at last covers [162/163] the nose and mouth,--when death is certain to follow, whatever be the then state of the fated person, within a few days or hours.

Eupeithes. Not that the vision necessarily goes through all those stages. Frequently it begins with the last: and the prophet is aware that some man has but a few hours to live, whom, perhaps, the rest of the world are congratulating on his health and prosperity. One of the more usual instances is given in a letter written by a gentleman resident in Strathspey to Aubrey. "Andrew Macpherson, of Clunie in Badenoch, being in suit of the Laird of Grawloch's daughter, as he was upon a day to Gawloch, she was going somewhere from her house without knowing the road where Clunie was coming. The lady perceiving him, said to her attendants, that yonder was Clunie, going to see his mistress. One that had the Second Sight, in her company, replied, and said, If you be she, unless he marry within six months, he will never marry. The lady asked,--How did he know that?--He said, Very well: for I see him, saith he, all inclosed in his winding sheet, except his nostrils and his mouth, which will also close up within six months: which happened even as was foretold."--So in another letter from a Scottish scholar. "For instance, if a man's fatal end be hanging, they will see a gibbet, or a rope about his neck: if beheaded, they will see a man without a head: if drowned, they will see water up to his throat: if unexpected death, they will see a winding sheet about his head."--And here is another story from the same letter. "I cannot pass by an instance I have found from a very honest man in the next parish, who told it me himself. His wife being near her delivery, he brings half a dozen of boards to make her a bed against the time she lay in. The boards lying at the door of his house, there comes an old fisherwoman, yet alive, and asked him, Whose were those boards? He told her, They were his own. She asked again, For what use he had them. He replied; For a bed.--She again said, You may intend them for what use you please, she saw a corpse lying on them, and that they would be a coffin: which struck the honest man to his heart, fearing the death of his wife. But when the old woman went off, he calls presently for a carpenter to make the bed, which was accordingly done. But [163/164] shortly after the honest man had a child died, whose coffin was made of the ends of the boards.

Eusebia. Such a power quite recalls Schiller's noble lines:

"Dein Orakel zu verkünden,
Warum warfest du mich hin
In die Stadt der ewig Blinden,
Mit dem aufgeschloss'nen Sinn?
Warum gabst du mir zu sehen,
Was ich doch nicht wenden kann?
Das Verhängte muss geschehen;
Das Gefürchtete muss nah'n.

"Frommt's, den Schleier aufzuheben,
Wo das nahe Schreckniss droht?--
Nur der Irrthum ist das Leben,
Und das Wissen ist der Tod.--
Nimm, o, nimm die traur'ge Klarheit,
Mir vom Aug' den blut'gen Schein!
Schrecklich ist es, deiner Wahrheit
Sterbliches Gefäss zu seyn.

"Meine Blindheit gieb mir wieder
Und den fröhlich dunklen Sinn!--
Nimmer sang ich freud'ge Lieder
Seit ich deine Stimme bin.
Zukunft hast du mir gegeben;
Doch du nahmst den Augenblick,--
Nahmst der Stunde fröhlich Leben.--
Nimm dein falsch' Geschenk zurück!"

Eupeithes. And still more so, when it can predict, (as it sometimes, though rarely, happens that it can,) the death of the seer himself. But I can give you an instance of the power of which we have been speaking, which happened to a lady whom I knew well. She was walking with a sister near the town in which she resided, (and does still reside) and happened to go into a churchyard about a mile from the place. The sister sat down on one of the tombstones to rest: this lady herself, finding the church open, went in. After a few minutes she came out, and said,--"There is a funeral going on; but, only think how disgraceful! Instead of providing tressels, they have placed the coffin on the top of the pews!" Her sister went to see; but came bank directly, crying,--"Why, Anna, there is no funeral at all! What did you mean by saying there was?" And sure [164/165] enough the whole thing was a delusion, if it may be so called. They walked homewards, and on their way they met the clerk of this church, and stopped to speak to him. "Pray,"--at last said the lady, "when you have a funeral in your church, where do you put the coffin during the service?"--"We put it on the top of the pews," he replied.--This, I think, was a clear case of second sight.

Sophron. Dr. Johnson, born as he was in a most unbelieving age, was too wise a man to deny the power of second sight, coming as it did under his immediate notice in the Hebrides. He had courage enough, too, to maintain the possibility of other kinds of apparitions; a belief for which Churchhill, with his minute mind, took care to ridicule him.

Theodora. Sir Christopher Wren, when an Oxford Scholar at his father's house at Knahill in Wiltshire, in 1651, had a dream which approaches very nearly to second sight. He thought that he saw a fight in a great market place where he had never been: some were flying, others pursuing: among the former was a relation of his, who had gone to join the King's Army in Scotland. The next night, this very kinsman fled for refuge at Knahill, having escaped from the Battle of Worcester.

Eupeithes. I do not know whether the following tale can exactly be called second sight, any more than Sir Christopher Wren's dream. It was related to me by the husband of the lady to whom it happened. She had not very long been married, when she one night woke my informant, and said, "I have had a very strange dream. I thought that I was about to be buried in a church of which I have the most vivid remembrance, in a vault in the nave." And she particularized the details of this church, and expressed her belief that the dream would, ere long, be fulfilled. Her husband consoled her as well as he could; and she gradually became less agitated. She never, however, lost the impression of the dream. Some months afterwards, she was seized with consumption. Change of air being recommended, she went to the house of her husband's family, where, it happened, she had never been before. She went to church on the first Sunday after her arrival; and when she returned, she said to her husband,--"Now I know what church it [165/166] was of which I dreamed; it was this."--The vault she had seen in her dream was the family vault; and the prophecy was, no long time after, made good.

The next tale that I will relate is of a like kind: one hardly knows whether to set it down to a dream or to second sight. The lady herself, the mother of the two sisters of whom I have just spoken, was my informant. She had settled in Jamaica: but her father resided in England. One night she woke her husband, and told him that the watch which hung at her head was ticking so hard, and so constantly repeating her father's age, that she could not sleep. He could scarcely hear the ticking, but he removed the occasion of it, and composed himself again to sleep. Presently his wife again woke him, told him that her father was dying, and described the standers by his bed. One of her brothers, who lived in the same town, was not there;--one, who was believed to be on the continent, was there.--A third time she aroused her husband, told him that her father was now dead, and desired him to observe the time. This circumstance made some little sensation: for, during the three months which, according to the then course of the post, elapsed before intelligence could be received from England, the lady persisted in declining all invitations. When the mail arrived, the vision was found to have been, in all respects, correct.

At S. Helena, a few years since, a young lady, with whose name I am acquainted, who was engaged to the mate of a merchantman, dreamed that her lover had been in action with a pirate, and that she saw him with others made to walk the plank. She related the dream in considerable distress of mind; and a few weeks proved it true.

Sophron. The famous historian, Thomas May, assures us that, when King James I. was leaving Scotland on his accession to the Crown of England, an old man, possessing second sight was sent for by him. He took no notice of the Prince of Wales, but assured the Duke of York, after wards Charles I. that he should be one of the most miserable kings that ever existed.

Eupeithes. Although the usual symbol of death in the visions of second-sight seers is the winding sheet, yet their rule is not universal. Dannabroeck gives an instance, [166/167] which occurred at Delft, where the mistress of a house being sent by her husband to a distance of thirty miles, to escape the plague, the servant shortly after saw her fetch without a head, which, she said, was always the allegorical way in which any death was made known to her. The mistress died. There is a tale of a gentleman, who, happening to dine out, saw behind the lady of the houses headless fetch standing: he was horror-struck, and left the table. That night, the lady committed suicide.--One of the most celebrated Highland Seers was Archibald Macdonald of Ardnamurchan. He, in 1683, foretold that the Earl of Argyll, who was then abroad yet in hiding, would return to Scotland, head an insurrection, would be taken prisoner, and beheaded at Edinburgh,--and that his head should be set on the Tolbooth: all which came to pass accordingly.--I myself know a gentleman, who never gave any other indications of second sight, but who said to a school-fellow, on the 30th of October, 1797, "I am quite sure that a great battle is at this moment being fought." It was the day of the Victory of Camperdown. This gentleman's father, who also never at any other time was a seer, was once so when a youth. He was mending a pen, when he saw a figure rise from the floor, slowly pass through the air, and make its exit by the ceiling. He called into the kitchen, and desired the cook to tell him the time. "Ten minutes past one." He noted it carefully down, but never had the least clue to any circumstance connected with the apparition. He was not fond of talking of the story; and would never say what kind of figure it was that he had thus seen.

I will now read you a letter from a celebrated physician of Canada, Dr. Hamilton, which authenticates a remarkable instance of second sight before death:

"Goderich, January 18th, 1853.

"Dear Sir,--In reply to your note of the 14th, relative to the remarks made by Captain Brown, touching the death of the late Duke of Wellington, I will give you the facts.

"On the morning of the 15th of September last, I received a note from my sister-in-law, urging me to lose no time in seeing her father, who was losing blood to a fearful extent. I immediately left the town, and on my arrival [167/168] found him in great pain: his mind perfectly clear. I left his room to prepare medicine. My sister-in-law followed, and remarked that he had been wandering during the night; as he insisted on. repeating to her that Arthur, Duke of Wellington, was dead; and that there was great work in England at his sudden death; that the Duke, Napoleon, Mahomet Ali, and George Brown were born the same year; and that he was the last of the four. On the 16th he was much relieved, and able to leave his room for the parlour: and while in jocose conversation, I made the remark that I had been greatly alarmed at his having killed the Duke of Wellington the night before, and fancied that he was wandering. He said his mind was never clearer. On the 17th his case rapidly assumed a hopeless character, he became insensible towards night, and continued in that state till the following morning at 10 a.m. Two gentlemen called just before he died, and I mentioned to them what had occurred; and I was constantly asked by persons as to the truth of the foregoing facts, many days before the melancholy tidings of the Duke's death could reach America.

"I remain, &c,

"Morgan Hamilton."

The Duke died at half-past three p.m. of the 14th of September, or 9 a.m. of Goderich time; that is, in the morning of the day, at the conclusion of which Captain Brown dwelt on the subject. Now will the coincidence-finders call this a coincidence too?

Sophron. Prophetic dreams have very much of the nature of second sight. Archbishop Abbot's mother, who lived at Guildford, (they show the house still) dreamed that if she could eat a jack, the child, whose birth she was then expecting, should be a Bishop. She thought nothing of the dream: but going down the next morning with her pail at the Wey, and filling it there, she found, on reaching home, that there was a jack in the pail. Accordingly she ate it; and her son became Archbishop. The story is still related and believed at Guildford.

Eupeithes. An honest Sussex farmer whom I know lost some cattle. He dreamed that if he went to East Grinsted and inquired for a place called Killpuddings, he would find [168/169] them there. He had before been a Clear-seer in dreams; and accordingly he resolved to act in compliance with that. He went to East Grinsted; but was rather ashamed to ask for a place with so absurd a name, and in the existence of which he had no reason, except his dream, to believe. He put up at one of the inns; and after talking about some other matters,--"Pray," said he, "is there a farm anywhere hereabouts called Killpuddings, or some such name?" "Oh yes," said the person addressed; "certainly there is:" and directed him to it. He went and found his cattle. A daughter of this man's was in service, and the eldest child was staying at a distance from home. Her father went to see her; and as soon as she was gone, this nurse said to a fellow-servant, "My master will find Miss A. ill, either with the scarlet-fever or the measles; for I saw her last night all covered over with red spots." He did find that the child had been, in the preceding evening, seized with the measles.

Sophron. Captain Wingate, before the breaking out of the Great Rebellion, dreamed that he was seized by an enemy, and condemned to be put to death before a great castle, which he had never seen. He joined the Parliamentary forces, and was taken prisoner at Edgehill. A court-martial was held on him before Kenilworth Castle, the very castle he had seen in his dream. He was condemned to be shot; but afterwards he was exchanged for Montague Lindsey, and enjoyed a government post after the Restoration.

Eupeithes. The dream that Aubrey has related as having occurred to a friend of the Earl of Abingdon in 1694. "I. H, Esq., being at West Lavington with the Earl of Abingdon, dreamed, December 9, that his mother rose up in mourning; and anon the Queen rose up in mourning. He told his dream the next morning to my Lord; and his Lordship imparted it to me, then there, Tuesday, December 11. In the evening comes a messenger post from London to acquaint Mr. H. that his mother was dangerously ill. He went to London the next day; his mother lived but about eight days longer. On Saturday, December 15, the Queen was taken ill, which turned to the small-pox, of which she died December 28, about two o'clock in the morning."

Sophron. A gentleman, residing in Cornwall, dreamed [169/170] in the year 1812, that he saw the Lord Chancellor shot in the lobby of the House of Commons. When he related the dream to his friends, they laughed, and asked him how the Chancellor could possibly have come there? So it was, he said, in his dream. "But tell us," said one of his friends, "what kind of looking person was he?" The gentleman described him. "Oh," cried the other, "that is the Chancellor of the Exchequer! I hope nothing will happen to him." A few days afterwards, Spencer Perceval was shot in that very lobby.

Eupeithes. Do you remember how truly, and with a wisdom how far beyond that of his age, Addison concludes his essay on what he is pleased to call superstition? Let us end this evening's conversation with it. "I know but one way of fortifying my soul against these gloomy presages and turns of my mind, and that is by securing to myself the friendship and protection of that Being Who disposes of events, and governs futurity. He sees at one view the whole thread of my existence, not only that part of it which I have already passed through, but that which runs forward into all the depths of eternity. When I lay me down to sleep, I recommend myself to His care; when I awake, I give myself up to His direction. Amidst all the evils that threaten me, I will look up to Him for help, and question not but He will either avert them, or turn them to my advantage. Though I know neither the time nor the manner of the death I am to die, I am not at all solicitous about it: because I am sure that He knows them both, and that He will not fail to comfort and support me under them."

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