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He ought, perhaps, to state, that he never saw Mr. Dendy's very interesting Philosophy of Mystery till he had almost concluded his own work. He has inserted, in different places, a few striking relations from it.

CONTENTS.

NIGHT

PAGE

1

15

29

58

I. The subject proposed
II. The symbolism of external nature .
III. Aerial apparitions .
IV. Warnings of approaching death
V. Family apparitions : apparitions in fulfilment of a

promise
VI. Of places asserted to be haunted : revealed secrets
VII. The alleged uselessness of apparitions : their possi-

bility
VIII. Apparitions at the moment of death

IX. Witchcraft : prophecies : astrology

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COMMUNICATIONS

REAL OR IMAGINARY.

NIGHT I

THE SUBJECT PROPOSED.

SOPHRON. The wind has shifted to the north. It will be a bitter night.

EUSEBIA. It is almost a pity to shut out the sight of such a sky, so intensely blue and solemn.

Pistus. It is solemn : the winter night has a moral character of its own, if I may use the expression ; a beauty differing from that of all other seasons, and, as I think, surpassing them.

EUSEBIA. Yet what can be more beautiful than a summer night? At the time, I mean, when the west has lost its more gaudy hues, and the only trace of the departed sun is the calm still belt of green that reposes above the distant hills, as if they were the barriers of this world, and that quiet ocean of light the gulf which parts us from the realm of spirits. Then there is the soft scent of

B

the sleeping flowers, the dewiness of the air, the few bright stars that peep through the still faintly illuminated sky, the joyous song, it may be, of the nightingale, the merry chirp, that seems, wherever you go, to be equally close to you, of the grasshopper. It is repose in its truest sense,-life enough to banish the idea that nature, as people talk, can ever sleep ;-rest enough to lead on the mind to a more perfect, even an eternal repose.

Pistus. It is true. But do you not see how much of this world there is mixed up in our ideas of the summer night? Flowers, and birds, and dew, and the brightness over the western hills. It is beautiful, but still it is earthly: we view it through our own medium, and it takes its colour from that. It is not so now. The sky, and the sky alone, so glorious, yet so awful, so spangled with brightness, so mysterious in its depth, that is all. There is nothing that can remind any sense of earth ; nay, the very cold seems to enhance the solitude, to tear away all connexion between yourself and external nature, to make you feel more utterly lonely. And you stand and gaze on those bright worlds, till you seem as if you were banished into the desolate regions of space; and there, without any orb near you, looked forth into the perfect blackness around, and watched the motions of the worlds that above, beneath, and on every side, were moving along in their mysterious path. It is the time when you feel, if ever, that there must be a world of spirits; when

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