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TWO APPARITIONS OF THE LIVING.

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friend, Mrs. D—, now of Washington, the daughter of a Western clergyman of well-known reputation, recently deceased.

TWO APPARITIONS OF LIVING PERSONS, IN THE SAME

HOUSE, ON THE SAME DAY.

“I resided for several years in a spacious old stone house, two stories high, agreeably situated, amid fruittrees and shrubbery, on the banks of the Ohio River, in Switzerland County, Indiana.

Two verandas, above and below, with outside stairs leading up to them, ran the entire length of the house on the side next the river. These, especially the upper one with its charming prospect, were a common resort of the family.

“On the 15th of September, 1845, my younger sister, J- — was married, and came with her husband, Mr. H M-, to pass a portion of the honeymoon in our pleasant retreat.

“On the 18th of the same month, we all went, by invitation, to spend the day at a friend's house about a mile distant. As twilight came on, finding my two li ones growing restless, we decided to return home. After waiting some time for my sister's husband, who had gone off to pay a visit in a neighboring village, saying he would soon return, we set out without him. Arrived at home, my sister, who occupied an upper room, telling me she would go and change her walkingdress, proceeded up-stairs, while I remained below to see my drowsy babes safe in bed. The moon, I remember, was shining brightly at the time.

“Suddenly, after a minute or two, my sister burst into the room, wringing her hands in despair, and weeping bitterly. "Oh, sister, sistershe exclaimed ; 'I shall lose him! I know I shall! Hugh is going to die.' In the greatest astonishment, I inquired what was the

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THE BRIDE'S TERROR.

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matter; and then, between sobs, she related to me the cause of her alarm, as follows :

“As she ran up-stairs to their room she saw her husband seated at the extremity of the upper veranda, his hat on, a cigar in his mouth, and his feet on the railing, apparently enjoying the cool river-breeze. Supposing, of course, that he had returned before we did, she approached him, saying, “Why, Hugh, when did you get here? Why did you not return and come home with us? As he made no reply, she went up to him, and, bride-like, was about to put her arms round his neck, when, to her horror, the figure was gone and the cbair empty. She had barely strength left (so great was the shock) to come down-stairs and relate to me what her excited fears construed into a certain presage of death.

“It was not till more than two hours afterward, when my brother-in-law actually returned, that she resumed her tranquillity. We rallied and laughed at her then, and, after a time, the incident passed from our minds.

“Previously to this, however,-namely, about an hour before Hugh's return,—while we were sitting in the parlor, on the lower floor, I saw a boy, some sixteen years of age, look in at the door of the room. It was a lad whom my husband employed to work in the garden and about the house, and who, in his leisure hours, used to take great delight in amusing my little son Frank, of whom he was very fond. dressed, as was his wont, in a suit of blue summercloth, with an old palm-leaf hat without a band, and he advanced, in his usual bashful way, a step or two into the room, then stopped, and looked round, apparently in search of something. Supposing that he was looking for the children, I said to him, Frank is in bed, Silas, and asleep long ago.' He did not reply, but, turning

He was

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upon Mr. D

with a quiet smile that was common to him, left the room, and I noticed, from the window, that he lingered near the outside door, walking backward and forward before it once or twice. If I had afterward been required to depose, on oath, before a court of justice, that I had seen the boy enter and leave the room, and also that I had noticed him pass and repass before the parlorwindow, I should have sworn to these circumstances without a moment's hesitation. Yet it would seem that such a deposition would have conveyed a false impression.

“For, shortly after, my husband, coming in, said, 'I wonder where Silas is?' (that was the boy's name.)

“He must be somewhere about,' I replied: "he was here a few minutes since, and I spoke to him. There

went out and called him, but no one answered. He sought him all over the premises, then in his room, but in vain. No Silas was to be found; nor did he show himself that night; nor was he in the house the next morning when we arose. " At breakfast he first made his appearance.

Where have you been, Silas?' said Mr. D

“ The boy replied that he had been up to the island, fishing.'

“But,' I said, you were here last night.” Oh, no,' he replied, with the simple accent of truth. Mr. D— gave me leave to go fishing yesterday; and I understood I need not return till this morning: so I stayed away all night. I have not been near here since yesterday morning.'

“I could not doubt the lad's word. He had no motive for deceiving us. The island of which he spoke was two miles distant from our house; and, under all the circumstances, I settled down to the conclusion that as, in my sister's case, her husband bad appeared where he was not, so in the case of the boy also it

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SUGGESTION AS TO RULES OF EVIDENCE.

was the appearance only, not the real person, that I had seen that evening. It was remarkable enough that both the incidents should have occurred in the same house and on the same day.

“It is proper I should add that my sister's impression that the apparition of her husband foreboded death did not prove true. He outlived her; and no misfortune which they could in any way connect with the appearance happened in the family.

“ Nor did Silas die; nor, so far as I know, did any thing unusual happen to him.”*

This case is, in some respects, a strong one.

There was evidently no connection between the appearance to the one sister and that to the other. There was no excitement preceding the apparitions. In each case, the evidence, so far as one sense went, was as strong as if the real person had been present. The narrator expressly says she would unbesitatingly have sworn, in a court of justice, to the presence of the boy Silas. The sister addressed the appearance of her husband, unexpected as it was, without doubt or hesitation. The theory of hallucination may account for both cases; but, whether it does or not, the phenomenon is one which ought to challenge the attention of the jurist as well as of the psychologist. If appearances so exactly counterfeiting reality as these can, occasionally, cheat human sense, their possible occurrence ought not to be ignored in laying down rules of evidence. The presumption, of course, is, in every case, very strongly against them. Yet cases have occurred in which an alibi, satisfactorily proved yet conflicting with seemingly unimpeachable evidence, has completely puzzled the courts. An example, related and vouched for by Mrs. Crowe, but with

* Communicated to me, in Washington, June 24, 1859.

THE SURGEON'S ASSISTANT.

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out adducing her authority, and which I have not myself verified, is, in substance, as follows:

In the latter part of the last century, in the city of Glasgow, Scotland, a servant-girl, known to have had illicit connection with a certain surgeon's apprentice, suddenly disappeared. There being no circumstances leading to suspicion of foul play, no special inquiry was made about her.

In those days, in Scottish towns, no one was allowed to show himself in street or public ground during the hours of church-service; and this interdiction was enforced by the appointment of inspectors, authorized to take down the names of delinquents.

Two of these, making their rounds, came to a wall, the lower boundary of “The Green," as the chief public park of the city is called. There, lying on the grass, they saw a young man, whom they recognized as the surgeon's assistant. They asked him why he was not at church, and proceeded to register his name; but, instead of attempting an excuse, he merely rose, saying, "I am a miserable man; look in the water!" then crossed a style and struck into a path leading to the Rutherglen road. The inspectors, astonished, did proceed to the river, where they found the body of a young woman, which they caused to be conveyed to town. While they were accompanying it through the streets, they passed one of the principal churches, whence, at the moment, the congregation were issuing; and among them they perceived the apprentice. But this did not much surprise them, thinking he might have had time to go round and enter the church toward the close of the service.

The body proved to be that of the missing servantgirl. She was found pregnant, and had evidently been murdered by means of a surgeon's instrument, which had remained entangled in her clothes. The apprentice,

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