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The Book of Dreams and Ghosts by Andrew Lang online

The Book of Dreams and Ghosts by Andrew Lang


Turning to the inventory we read of a valuable present made by David Rizzio to Mary, a tortoise of rubies, which she kept till her death, for it appears in a list made after her execution at Fotheringay. The murdered David Rizzio left a brother Joseph. Him the queen made her secretary, and in her will of 1566 mentions him thus:--

"A Josef, pour porter a celui qui je luy ay dit, une emeraude emaille de blanc.

"A Josef, pour porter a celui qui je luy ai dit, dont il ranvoir quittance.

"Une bague garnye de vingt cinq diamens tant grands que petis."

Now the diamond cross seen by the young officer in 1845 was set with diamonds great and small, and was, in his opinion, a gift from or through Rizzio. "The queen wore it out of sight." Here in the inventory we have a bague (which may be a cross) of diamonds small and great, connected with a secret only known to Rizzio's brother and to the queen. It is "to be carried to one whose name the queen has spoken in her new secretary's ear" (Joseph's), "but dare not trust herself to write". "It would be idle now to seek to pry into the mystery which was thus anxiously guarded," says Dr. Robertson, editor of the queen's inventories. The doctor knew nothing of the vision which, perhaps, so nearly pried into the mystery. There is nothing like proof here, but there is just a presumption that the diamonds connected with Rizzio, and secretly worn by the queen, seen in the vision of 1845, are possibly the diamonds which, had Mary died in 1566, were to be carried by Joseph Rizzio to a person whose name might not safely be written. {35a}

We now take a dream which apparently reveals a real fact occurring at a distance. It is translated from Brierre de Boismont's book, Des Hallucinations {35b} (Paris, 1845). "There are," says the learned author, "authentic dreams which have revealed an event occurring at the moment, or later." These he explains by accidental coincidence, and then gives the following anecdote, as within his own intimate knowledge:--


Miss C., a lady of excellent sense, religious but not bigoted, lived before her marriage in the house of her uncle D., a celebrated physician, and member of the Institute. Her mother at this time was seriously ill in the country. One night the girl dreamed that she saw her mother, pale and dying, and especially grieved at the absence of two of her children: one a cure in Spain, the other--herself--in Paris. Next she heard her own Christian name called, "Charlotte!" and, in her dream, saw the people about her mother bring in her own little niece and god-child Charlotte from the next room. The patient intimated by a sign that she did not want _this_ Charlotte, but her daughter in Paris. She displayed the deepest regret; her countenance changed, she fell back, and died.

Next day the melancholy of Mademoiselle C. attracted the attention of her uncle. She told him her dream; he pressed her to his heart, and admitted that her mother was dead.

Some months later Mademoiselle C., when her uncle was absent, arranged his papers, which he did not like any one to touch. Among these was a letter containing the story of her mother's death, with all the details of her own dream, which D. had kept concealed lest they should impress her too painfully.

Boismont is staggered by this circumstance, and inclined to account for it by "still unknown relations in the moral and physical world". "Mental telegraphy," of course, would explain all, and even chance coincidence is perfectly conceivable.