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sessed any extraordinary power sometimes acquired it, for the time-being, when they remained near him; for example, the faculty of presentiment, by visible signs, in cases of sickness or death occurring at the time, but at a distance. Yet none either of his children or of his grandchildren inherited this peculiarity."*

The particular examples here cited may be explained away; but it is evident that Goethe, who had the best means of knowing, regarded the proofs that his grandfather really was endowed with this prophetic instinct to be conclusive.

Macario mentions a similar case, the evidence for which seems unquestionable. I translate from his work on Sleep.


"Here is a fact which occurred in my own family, and for the authenticity of which I vouch. Madame Macario set out, on the 6th of July, 1854, for Bourbon l'Archambault, for the benefit of the waters there, in a rheumatic affection. One of her cousins, Monsieur O, who inhabits Moulins, and who habitually dreams of any thing extraordinary that is to happen to him, had, the night before my wife set out, the following dream. He thought he saw Madame Macario, accompanied by her little daughter, take the railroad-cars, to commence her journey to the Bourbon baths. When he awoke, he bade his wife prepare to receive two cousins with whom she was yet unacquainted. They would arrive, he told her, that day at Moulins, and would set out in the evening for Bourbon. They will surely not fail,' he added, 'to pay us a visit.' In effect, my wife and daughter did arrive at Moulins; but, as the

"Aus meinem Leben," by J. W. von Goethe, Stuttgart, 1853, vol. i. pp. 11 to 43.



weather was very bad, the rain falling in torrents, they stopped at the house of a friend near the railroad-station, and, their time being short, did not visit their cousin, who lived in a distant quarter of the town. He, however, was not discouraged. Perhaps it may be to-morrow,' he said. But the next day came, and no one appeared. Being thoroughly persuaded, nevertheless, on account of his experience in finding such dreams come true, that his cousins had arrived, he went to the office of the diligence that runs from Moulins to Bourbon, to inquire if a lady, accompanied by her daughter, (describing them,) had not set out the evening before for Bourbon. They replied in the affirmative. He then asked where that lady had put up at Moulins, went to the house, and there ascertained that all the particulars of his dream were exactly true. In conclusion, I may be allowed to remark that Monsieur Ohad no knowledge whatever of the illness nor of the projected journey of Madame Macario, whom he had not seen for several years."

The remarkable feature in the above is the confidence of Monsieur O- in the presage of his dream, indicating that he had good reason to trust in similar intima

"Du Sommeil, des Rêves, et du Somnambulisme," par M. Macario, p. 82. The incident reminds one of Scott's lines, in which, in the "Lady of the Lake," Ellen addresses Fitz-James:

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tions. For the rest, it is difficult to call in question the truth or the accuracy of an observation as to which the evidence is so direct and the authority so respectable.

Considering the extraordinary character of this alleged faculty of foresight, or prophetic instinct, in dreams, I esteem myself fortunate in being able to adduce several other well-authenticated narratives directly bearing upon it. It does not appear, however, that in these cases, as in the preceding, the dreamers were habitual seers.

In the first, a highly improbable event was foreshadowed, with distinctness, a year before it occurred. I had the narrative in writing from a lady, whose name, if it were proper for me to give it, would be to the public an all-sufficient voucher for the truth of the story.


"Mrs. Torrens, the widow of General Torrens, now residing at Southsea, near Portsmouth, about a year previous to the Indian mutiny dreamed that she saw her daughter, Mrs. Hayes, and that daughter's husband, Captain Hayes, attacked by sepoys; and a frightful murderous struggle ensued, in which Captain Hayes was killed.

"She wrote instantly to entreat that her daughter and the children would presently come home; and, in consequence of her extreme importunity, her grandchildren arrived by the following ship. This was before an idea was entertained of the mutiny. I have seen these children often, in safety, at Southsea. Mrs. Hayes remained with her husband, and suffered the whole horrors of the siege at Lucknow, where Captain Hayes fell by the hands of sepoys,-who first put out his eyes, and then killed him."

I shall now present an anecdote, as directly authentieated as either of the foregoing, which I find in the Ap



pendex to Dr. Binns' "Anatomy of Sleep."* It was communicated to the author by the Hon. Mr. Talbot, father of the present Countess of Shrewsbury, and is given in his own words, and under his own signature, (the title only added by me,) as follows:


"In the year 1768, my father, Matthew Talbot, of Castle Talbot, county Wexford, was much surprised at the recurrence of a dream three several times during the same night, which caused him to repeat the whole circumstance to his lady the next morning. He dreamed that he had arisen as usual, and descended to his library, the morning being hazy. He then seated himself at his secretoire to write; when, happening to look up a long avenue of trees opposite the window, he perceived a man in a blue jacket, mounted on a white horse, coming toward the house. My father arose, and opened the window: the man, advancing, presented him with a roll of papers, and told him they were invoices of a vessel that had been wrecked and had drifted in during the night on his son-in-law's (Lord Mount Morris's) estate, hard by, and signed 'Bell and Stephenson.'

"My father's attention was called to the dream only from its frequent recurrence; but when he found himself seated at his desk on the misty morning, and beheld the identical person whom he had seen in his dream, in the blue coat, riding on a gray horse, he felt surprised, and, opening the window, waited the man's approach. He immediately rode up, and, drawing from his pocket a packet of papers, gave them to my father, stating that they were invoices belonging to an American vessel which had been wrecked and drifted upon his lordship's estate; that there was no person on board to lay claim

"The Anatomy of Sleep," by Edward Binns, M.D., 2d ed., London, 1845, pp. 459, 460.



to the wreck; but that the invoices were signed 'Stephenson and Bell.'

"I assure you, my dear sir, that the above actually occurred, and is most faithfully given; but it is not more extraordinary than other examples of the prophetic powers of the mind or soul during sleep, which I have frequently heard related.

"Yours, most faithfully,

"ALTON TOWERS, October 23, 1842."


In the above we find the same strange element of slight inaccuracy mixed with marvelous coincidence of detail already several times noticed. The man with his blue coat; the white or gray horse; the vessel wrecked on Lord Mount Morris's estate; the roll of invoices presented, all exhibit complete correspondence between the foreshadowing dream and the actual occurrences. The names on the invoices, too, correspond; but the order in which they stand is reversed: in the dream, "Bell and Stephenson;" on the invoices themselves, "Stephenson and Bell."

Lest I should weary the reader by too much extending this chapter, and by too great an accumulation of examples, which might (as to many of the points noticed) be multiplied without limit, while perhaps those cited may suffice as a fair specimen of the whole, I shall adduce but one more,—an example quite as remarkable as any of the preceding, of prevision in dream; a narrative which was verified by one of the most accredited writers on intellectual philosophy, (for such Dr. Abercrombie must be admitted to be,) and for which, in addition, I have obtained an important voucher. Dr. Abercrombie, after declaring that he is "enabled to give it as perfectly authentic," relates it (without the title here given) in these words :—

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