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"I was staying," said he, "down in Wales, at
a beautiful but lonely cottage. I was in a
melancholy and distressed mood, on account of
an absent friend whom I dearly loved, and whom
I knew to be dangerously ill. One evening, late
in autumn, I was sitting by a fire, which was acceptable
at that season, but, as I am fond of air,
had left unclosed the window of my little
sitting-room, which opened down to the ground,
and gave access to the lawn in front of the
house. There was a bright moon shining out of
doors, so that I could see distinctly anything
moving in the garden. Suddenly I saw very
near to the window what seemed to me the face
and figure of the friend about whom I was
anxious. I did not see him as a shadow, or as
au unsubstantial shape and coinage of the brain,
but as a real material being, as completely external
to myself as you are at this moment. As
the last accounts of my friend had been more
favourable, I made no doubt it was himself, who
had by some miracle come down to Wales. I
must say, however, that this was more an impression
arising from the reality of the appearance
than any consequence of reasoning about
the matter. The whole took place so quickly, I
had no time to reflect. I went out to meet my
(friend, but, as I passed into the garden, he seemed
to recede from me, and to retire altogether from
my view. I went round the little territory,
calling out and looking round the shrubberies
for my friend; but, as I saw nothing, I began
to conclude the whole affair had been my fancy.
So I returned into the parlour, saying to myself,
'How strange!' I sat down by the fire again,
but, with a sort of restlessness, had taken a
different chair to what I had at first, and placed
myself in it on the other side to where I had
been sitting before, so that the empty chair
faced me. Suddenly, as I lifted up my eyes, I
saw my friend sitting in the opposite chair. This
time there seemed no possibility of illusion.
There he was, looking at me most kindly and
affectionately, The light of the fire shone
brightly on his face, which was a remarkably
handsome one, and which now bore the aspect
of health. There was about the countenance a
beauty and a radiance that looked angelical,
and which I shall never forget. The next moment
I lost my recollection, and was only
aroused from a kind of fainting fit by the restoratives
applied by my landlady, who had heard
me fall heavily on the floor, where she found me
lying senseless."

"Well," I asked, "and was your friend dead:"
"Yes, he had died on the same night, and, as
far as could be ascertained, at the very hour
when I thought I saw him."

"Well," I asked, "does not this strike you ?"

"It is singular, certainly," responded the
doctor; "but my fainting fit showed I was in a
disordered state, such as might, probably, produce
an ocular illusion."

"Yes, but what say you to your friend having
died at the identical time of his appearing to

"Oh!" was the answer, "that was certainly
a singular coincidence; and yet I consider it
only as a coincidence."

It is remarkable how generallyindeed universally
I have found that, like Dr. Sigismond,
the seers of apparitions were not believers in
apparitions. I do not find that fear or superstition
has grown out of these visitations, but
the contrary; and this unbelieving belief, this
quiet acceptance of a fact as a fact, argues
I think, an instinctive feeling that such visitations
are subject to a natural law, and are not
those real presences from another world, at the
idea of which we revolt as with an innate sense
of disorder and incongruity.

Another singular fact respecting thought-
impressing by dying friends, is that nearly all
the apparition stories which have been related to
me by the seers themselves have not come out
of the mouths of pale, wild, distractedly staring
mortals, but of decent-looking bodies, who were
remarkable for what is called "good sense."
Sometimes, as in the foregoing story, the narrator
has been a doctor, a man of fact, and materialistic
tendency; sometimes a staid mathematician,
who would ask, à propos of Milton's
Paradise Lost, the famous question, "What does
it prove?" Another remarkable thing is, that all
these common-sense narrators believed in their
own stories, but not in ghosts; and that, when
hard-pressed by the number of recorded visions
similar to their own, which invariably occurred
under similar circumstances, namely, at the very
moment when the person supposed to be beheld
was in the act of dying; all agreed in one common
explanation, visual delusion and mere

These ghost-seers, then, were not credulous
persons; nay, so little credulous, as to refuse to
connect by any substantial link two phenomena
whichnot twice, but twenty timesoccurred
in sequence. Philosophy says otherwise, the
doctrine of chances says otherwise, Bacon and
Babbage (in any matters not ghostly) say otherwise.
Phenomena that happen more than a few
times coincidently are allowed to be related in
the manner of cause and effect.

The two instances of simple vision resulting
from thought-impressing at the moment of
death, which I am about to bring before the
reader, were related to me by just one of those
undeniable witnesses. They were told me by
the Rev. W. Wn, mathematical tutor at one
of the Cambridge colleges: a man of talent, and
of undoubtedly hard brains, for he has written
more than one work upon the most crabbed
questions of Fluxions and the Differential
Calculusworks highly esteemed.

Number One happened to the Professor

"When I was about ten years old" (W.
W——n loquitur) "I was taken much notice of
by a lady of rank and fortune. My own mother
being dead, this excellent person almost supplied
to me her place. Very often I stayed for weeks
in her house. The last time that this was the
case, Lady M. was suffering from indisposition.
First she kept her room, then her bed. I had