but you have robbed me of a most delightful dream. I dreamt that I was walking through a fine, rich country, and came at length to the shores of a noble river; and just where the clear water went thundering down a precipice there was a bridge all of silver, which I crossed; and then, entering a noble palace on the opposite side, I saw great heaps of gold and jewels; and I was just going to load myself with treasure, when you rudely awoke me, and I lost all."
I have little doubt that what Cousin George saw was a humble-bee issuing from the mouth of the sleeper, for this is the form the soul is not infrequently supposed to wear.
These three stories are curious, as they represent a premonition of the final departure of the soul, which, according to a belief alluded to by Sir Walter Scott, after departing from the body has to pass over "the brig of Dread, no broader than a thread." If it falls off it is forever lost; if, however, it attains the other side of the gulf, it enters into the heavenly palace.
My great-great-grandmother after departing this life was rather a trouble in the place. She appeared principally to drive back depredators on the orchard or the corn-ricks. So seven parsons were summoned to lay her ghost. They met under an oak-tree that still
- In Lincoinshire a similar story is found, and there the soul of the sleeping Comrade did actually appear as a bee. Notes and Queries, ii.506; iii. 206