‘What ails you, my child?’ said a mother to her son, as he lay on a couch under the influence of the dreadful one; ’what ails you? you seem afraid!’
Boy. And so I am; a dreadful fear is upon me.
Mother. But of what? There is no one can harm you; of what are you apprehensive?
Boy. Of nothing that I can express; I know not what I am afraid of, but afraid I am.
Mother. Perhaps you see sights and visions; I knew a lady once who was continually thinking that she saw an armed man threaten her, but it was only an imagination, a phantom of the brain.
Boy. No armed man threatens me; and ’tis not a thing like that would cause me any fear. Did an armed man threaten me, I would get up and fight him; weak as I am, I would wish for nothing better, for then, perhaps, I should lose this fear; mine is a dread of I know not what, and there the horror lies.
Mother. Your forehead is cool, and your speech collected. Do you know where you are?
Boy. I know where I am, and I see things just as they are; you are beside me, and upon the table there is a book which was written by a Florentine; all this I see, and that there is no ground for being afraid. I am, moreover, quite cool, and feel no pain—but, but—
And then there was a burst of ‘gemiti, sospiri ed alti guai.’ Alas, alas, poor child of clay! as the sparks fly upward, so wast thou born to sorrow—Onward!
Agreeable delusions—Youth—A profession—Ab Gwilym—Glorious English law—There they pass—My dear old master—The deal desk—Language of the tents—Where is Morfydd?—Go to—only once.