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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/658

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Prof. Lazarus had been wearying his eyes trying to make out a certain rock on a distant mountain side; as he turned away he saw vividly the corpse of a friend stretched out before him. Upon reflection he found that this friend had been associated with the train of ideas that had filled his mind just before he began to look for the rock. He also found that whenever he closed his eyes he saw a dull, grayish-green, corpselike color, which was the complementary after image of the dull reds, browns, and greens of the mountain side. He also found that other persons of whom he thought appeared to him of the same corpselike tint. In this case the main character of the hallucination—that is, the thought of a friend—was furnished by association of ideas, but its special form, the appearance of that friend as a corpse, as well as its sensory vividness, seems to have been due to the peripheral factor.

A closely analogous experience is reported by a Mrs. L—— in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, volume x, page 143: "About September, 1881, aged forty-six, and eighteen months after the sudden death of my mother, which had shaken my nerves very much, one night toward morning, being awake to the best of my belief, I saw a woman come through the door. Her face was sideways and I distinctly saw her features. She passed slowly from the door and went out at the window opposite, thus passing across the foot of my bed. She had on an old-fashioned bonnet and an old-fashioned caped coat, and she was carrying a basket in front of her such as country women carry their husbands dinners in. The whole figure was semi-opaque, neutraltinted, like thick smoke or cloud. A great hurricane was blowing. I was dreadfully disturbed and hysterical next day—the impression so vivid and yet unable to say who it was. About a week after, the revelation came. I sat down to dinner, became very hysterical and faint, and went into another room alone in the dark. All at once I jumped up, saying, 'It is Mrs. Peasant!' Mrs. Peasant was the pretty young bride of a farmer with whom, when about ten years old, we used to go and take tea at a farm about two or three miles from the vicarage. One day she went with her husband's dinner as usual, and he was felling a tree. She passed the wrong way, and the tree fell on her and killed her. I remember watching her funeral with my nurse, and the anguish of spirit at her death, but never remember speaking of it or the circumstance since. The day before the appearance a nurse of the name of Peasant had disturbed and annoyed me. A few months before a large elm tree had fallen in our garden and partly on the house. A hurricane was blowing at the time, and I remember thinking, 'What a lucky thing that tree can't fall on the roof!'" Clearly the storm, the falling tree, and the annoying nurse were