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Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/203

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circumstance, I recall the vision today as distinctly as, when I was a child.

Now, in all three cases, these apparitions were due to the effect of a hot sun on the head. But such an explanation is not sufficient. Why did all three see small beings of a very similar character With pressure on the brain and temporary hallucination the pictures presented to the eye are never originally conceived, they are reproductions of representations either seen previously or conceived from descriptions given by others.

In my case and that of my wife, we saw imps, because our nurses had told us of them and their freaks. In the case of my son, he had read Grimm's Tales and seen the illustrations to them.

Both St Hildegarde and St Bridget of Sweden had visions that were supposed to fill gaps in the Gospel narrative or amplify the stories there told. It is noticeable that in these revelations there is not a waft of Orientalism, they are vulgarly Occidental. Every one may be explained by the paintings, carvings, and miniatures with which these ladies had been familiar from childhood. If we had not these monuments of mediaeval art remaining, we could construct Catholic iconography from the revelations of these ecstatics.