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Four Years in France
or, Narrative of an English Family's Residence there during
that Period; Preceded by some Account of the Conversion
of the Author to the Catholic Faith

written by "Beste, Henry Digby"
...ne: it was reflected sunshine; the window is to the north. My younger son came up stairs again, and standing by me, but turning to look down stairs, and then turning to look at me, said, "He is gone." I have related that, on the day of the death of my elder son, the younger took to his bed, ill of the same typhus fever; and that, during his illness, that supernatural light was seen which assured us of the happy state of the elder. The face of my younger, when he spoke to me in the dream, was nearly on a level with mine: at the age at which he was at the time of the dream in 1817, he was not higher than my shoulder; soon after his illness, he grew to be taller than me, but in 1821 his stature was such as it appeared in my dream. We returned into the room: those who had followed me to the top of the stairs were in deep mourning, and it was understood we were[Pg 400] about to undertake a long journey. We set off for Italy at the end of the year, the eventful year 1821. I awoke, and found it was near eight o'clock in the morning. The scenes exhibited in this dream, and the events prefigured by it, according to my interpretation, are here set in juxtaposition: the impression it made on my apprehension was lively and distinct as reality itself. I relate it, because it is immediately connected with the subject of my narrative. In the rule referred to by my imaginary interlocutor there is nothing that I desire to keep secret, but to explain it at this time might be foreign to my purpose: besides, quicquid recipitur, recipitur ad modum recipientis; and I should be loth to intrude on any what they may not be willing to read. Dr. Johnson said, "There is often more in the title than in all the rest of the book;" but it may be unfair to put into a book what cannot in any wise be augured from the title. Yet, as the rule was enjoined in a dream which had relation to my story, as the knowledge of the rule may help to form an opinion of the natur...

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