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Among other instances of Suffusio, Sauvages also mentions an aged physician of Narbonne, who, during several days, saw every object crooked.
I shall select, as a remarkable instance of spectral impressions, a story published by Richard Bovet, in his Pandæmonum, or the Devil's Cloyster, printed in 1684. The first appearances were probably seen in a dream. The noises, on the second night, were perhaps recollected impressions. *
“ About the year 1667, being with “ some persons of honour in the house of “ a nobleman in the west country, which “ had formerly been a nunnery: I must “ confess I had often heard the servants, “and others that inhabited or lodged there, " speak much of the noises, stirs, and “apparitions that frequently disturbed the
* Eighth Relation, p. 202. .
“ house, but had at that time no appre“hensions of it; for the house being full " of stranger's, the nobleman's steward, “ Mr. C. lay with me in a fine wainscoat“ room, called my ladies' chamber; we “ went to our lodging pretty early, and " having a good fire in the room, we “ spent some time in reading, in which “ he much delighted : then having got _" into bed, and put out the candles, we “ observed the room to be very light, " by the brightness of the moon, so that “ a wager was laid between us, that it “ was possible to read written hand by " that light upon the bed where we lay; “accordingly I drew out of my pocket “a manuscript, which he read distinctly “ in the place where he lay: we had “ scarce made an end of discoursing “ about that affair, when I saw (my face “ being towards the door which was “ locked) entering into the room, five “ appearances of very fine and lovely
“ women, they were of excellent stature, " and their dresses seemed very fine, but “ covered all but their faces, with their “ light veils, whose skirts trailed largely “ on the floor. They entered in a file “ one after the other, and in that posture “ walked round the room, till the fore“ most came, and stood by that side of “ the bed where I lay (with my left “ hand over the side of the bed; for my “ head rested on that arm, and I deter“ mined not to alter the posture in which “ I was) she struck me upon that hand “ with a blow that felt very soft, but I “ did never remember whether it were “ cold or hot: I demanded in the name “ of the blessed Trinity, what business " they had there, but received no answer; “ then I spoke to Mr. C. Sir, do you “ see what fair guests we have come to “ visit us ? before which they all dis“ appeared : I found him in some kind “ of agony, and was forced to grasp him
“ on the breast with my right hand “ (which was next him underneath the “ bed-clothes) before I could obtain “ speech of him; then he told me that “ he had seen the fair guests I spoke of, “ and had heard me speak to them; but “ withal said, that he was not able to “ speak sooner unto me, being extremely “ affrighted at the sight of a dreadful “monster, which assuming a shape, be“ twixt that of a lion and a bear, at“ tempted to come upon the bed's foot. “ I told him, I thanked God nothing so “ frightful had presented itself to me; “but I hoped (through his assistance) “ not to dread the ambages of hell. It " was a long time before I could com“ pose hiin to sleep, and though he had " had many disturbances in his own “ room, and understood of others in the “ house, yet he acknowledged he had “ never been so terrified, during many "-years abode there. The next day at
" dinner he shewed to divers persons of " principal quality, the mark that had “ been occasioned on his breast by the “ gripe I was forced to give him, to get “ him to speak, and related all the pas“ sages very exactly; after which he “ protested never to lie more in that “ room; upon which I set up a resolu“ tion to lodge in it again, not knowing “ but something of the reason of those “ troubles might by that means be ini“ parted to me. The next night, there“ fore, I ordered a Bible, and another “ book to be laid in the room, and “ resolved to spend my time by the fire “ in reading and contemplation, till I “ found myself inclined to sleep: and “ accordingly having taken leave of the “ family at the usual hour, I addressed “ myself to what I had proposed, not “going into bed till past one in the “ morning: a little after I was got into “ bed, I heard somewhat walk about the