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unconsciousness. Immediately, however, this apparent evanescence is succeeded by ideas so intensely vivified, that the semblance is excited of a transmutation of tangible objects into the fantastical images of a visionary world. "I thought," said Arise Evans, an accredited seer of the year 1653, " in a vision that I had presently after the King's death, that I was in a great hall like the King's hall, or the castle in Winchester, and there was none there but a judge that sat upon the bench and myself; and as I turned to a window to the north-westward, and looking into the palm of my hand, there appeared to me a face, head, and shoulders, like the Lord Fairfax's, and presently it vanished. Again, there arose the Lord Cromwell, and he vanished likewise; then arose a young face, and he had a crown upon his head, and he vanished also; and another young face arose with a crown upon his head, and he vanished also; and another young face arose with a crown upon his head, and he vanished in like manner; and as I turned the palm of my hand back again to me and looked, there did appear no man in it. Then I turned to the judge, and said to him, there arose in my hands seven, and five of them had crowns; but when I turned my hand, the blood turned to its veins, and these appeared no more.
* This vision, which, as Dr Ferriar has well remarked, resembled the royal shadows in Macbeth, was interpreted by Arise Evans after the following manner :-" The interpretation of this vision is, that, after the Lord Cromwell, there shall be kings again in England, which thing is signified unto us by them that arose after him, who were all crowned; but the generations to come may look for a change of the blood, and of the name in the royal seat, after
But a transition of this kind, when real objects become evanescent and are succeeded by phantasms, I have endeavoured to explain by the following
When sensations and ideas are of the same degree of vividness, there is no consciousness of them.
Again, an order of depression, the exact reverse of the excitement which is displayed in the foregoing table, will present us with the mode in which phantasms appear to vanish, and real objects again become manifest.
Sometimes spectral impressions are ushered in by a more permanent state of unconsciousness, which was considered of great importance by old pneumatologists. The temporary unconsciousness which preceded an ecstacy, was attributed to the apprehensive
five kings once passed," &c. &c. But enough of this: the interpretation is far more difficult to be admitted than the vision itself. (See Jortin's Remarks on Ecclesiastical History, Appendix to vol. i.)
faculties of sense having left the body for the purpose of supernaturally exploring every thing
"Within earth's centre or heaven's circle found."
As soon, therefore, as the senses had returned from their long journey, loaded with intelligence, the ecstacy of the seer commenced:
"He therefore sent out all his senses
But those that trade in geomancy,
But there are other phenomena to be considered incidental to spectral illusions.
When the feelings of the mind are under the influence of an irregular excitement, it is not uncommon for them to fluctuate in their degrees of vividness; or, in other words, ideas, from being more faint than actual impressions, become, in turns, more vivid. In this case, objects of sensation appear to vanish; spectral images rise up and melt into air; sensible objects re-appear; and thus there is a constant alternation of realities and phantasms, which, when rapidly induced, gives origin to a painful delirium.
But the mode in which realities and phantasms alternate with each other may find a readier explanation in the following
• When sensations and ideas are of the same degree of intensity, there is an unconsciousness of them.
An example of this alternation of realities and phantasms will be found in Dr Crichton's work on mental derangement. It is given on the authority of Bonnet. The case recorded is of a gentleman whose mental disorder had originated from some affection of the brain, aggravated by intense study. It is said, that "mansions arose suddenly before his eyes with all their external and appropriate decorations. At times, the appearance of the paper in his room seemed at once to be changed, and, instead of the usual figures which are on it, a number of fine landscapes appeared to his view. Some time after, not only all the landscapes and paper, but the furniture also, disappeared, and the bare walls presented themselves to his eyes."*
Occasionally the states of the mind fluctuate between the second and third stages of excitement, so that feelings of which we are unconscious, and spec
* Crichton on Mental Derangement, vol. ii. p. 39.
tral impressions, are alternately produced. In this case, phantasms arise,-they vanish,-other illusions of the same sort take their place,—these again vanish,
and thus, there is a longer or shorter succession of spectral appearances, without the intervention of any impressions which may be suggested by natural objects.
These phenomena may be illustrated as before.
Explanatory of the Mode in which Successions of
* When sensations and ideas are of the same degree of intensity, there is an unconsciousness of them.
"Here, in a robe which does all colours show,
Cowley, in some lines which he has written on Fancy, has very well depicted a similar succession of illusions, which he attributes to the special operations of this assumed and personified principle of the mind: