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.
The most commonly known of dreams prior to, or simultaneous with an historical occurrence represented in the vision, is Mr. Williams’s dream of the murder of Mr. Perceval in the lobby of the House of Commons, May 11, 1812. Mr. Williams, of Scorrier House, near Redruth, in Cornwall, lived till 1841. He was interested in mines, and a man of substance. Unluckily the versions of his dream are full of discrepancies. It was first published, apparently, in The Times during the “silly season” of 1828 (August 28). According to The Times, whose account is very minute, Mr. Williams dreamed of the murder thrice before 2 a.m. on the night of May 11. He told Mrs. Williams, and was so disturbed that he rose and dressed at two in the morning. He went to Falmouth next day (May 12), and told the tale to every one he knew. On the evening of the 13th he told it to Mr. and Mrs. Tucker (his married daughter) of Tremanton Castle. Mr. Williams only knew that the chancellor was shot; Mr. Tucker said it must be the Chancellor of the Exchequer. From the description he recognised Mr. Perceval, with whom he was at enmity. Mr. Williams had never been inside the House of Commons. As they talked, Mr. William’s son galloped up from Truro with news of the murder, got from a traveller by coach. Six weeks later, Mr. Williams went to town, and in the House of Commons walked up to and recognised the scene of the various incidents in the murder.