THE MEDIUMS’ BOOK

Allan Kardec

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117. Here is a fact still more characteristic; and one which we should be curious to see explained by the theory of an excited imagination.

A gentleman, living in the country, would never marry, notwithstanding the persuasions of his family. They were very anxious that he should form an alliance with a lady, living in a neighbouring town, whom he had never seen. one day, while in his bedroom, he was struck with astonishment at seeing before him a young girl, dressed in white, with a wreath of flowers on her head. She informed him that she was betrothed to him, and held out her hand, which he took in his, and on which he saw an engagement-ring. A few moments afterwards, she vanished. Taken aback by this strange occurrence, and having assured himself that he was quite awake, he asked the people of the house if any one had come in during the day; but they assured him that they had seen no one. A year afterwards, yielding to the renewed solicitations of his relations, he made up his mind to go and see the young lady who had been so strongly recommended to him. He arrived in the town where she lived on the day of the "Fête-Dieu;" all the townsfolk were returning from the procession, and one of the first persons he saw, on entering the dwelling of the young lady's family, was a young girl whom he instantly recognised as the person who had appeared to him a year before. She was dressed just as he had seen her, for the apparition, we should have stated, took place on the "Fête-Dieu" of the preceding year. He was struck dumb with amazement; the young lady, on catching sight of him, uttered a cry of surprise and fainted. On recovering consciousness, she declared that she had already seen the gentleman, on that very day, the year before. The acquaintance, so strangely begun, ended in a marriage. All this occurred about the year 1835, before spiritism had been heard of; and besides, both the gentleman and the lady were extremely prosaic, matter-of-fact people, with imaginations as little excitable as could well be conceived of.

It will perhaps be surmised that these persons may have had their minds filled with the idea of the proposed union between them, and that this pre-occupation produced an hallucination in both of them ; but we must not forget that, on the husband's side, indifference had been the predominant feeling, and that it was not until a year after the apparition had occurred, that he made up his mind to go and see the young lady in question.

Those who would explain the matter as being a case of hallucination are hound to explain the double apparition (for the young lady also saw the gentleman the year before), the coincidence of the festival-day and of the costume, and the mutual recognition of the parties; circumstances which could not be the product of the imagination.

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