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In a recent number of this Magazine, I endeavoured to amuse its readers with some observations on the “ Philosophy of Apparitions :” as a sequel to that paper, I now present them with some curious facts, concerning the mysteries of Presentiment.

Every thing relating to futurity is powerfully interesting. The solemn obscurity of the dark and mysterious Future inevitably induces the mind to contemplate, with awful anxiety, that state of good or evil to which we must all come; and as death is common to every one, so are its presages eagerly received, and, by many, implicitly credited.

În Scotland, the Bodach Glas announces the termination of human life to the appalled and trembling peasant: in Wales, the Cannyll y Cyrph, or Corpse Candle, indicates the same doom, and blanches the bravest brow; in Ireland, the Death Fetch has the same ominous power; while in England the harsh ticking of the death-watch points with equal certainty to the final struggle, and whitens the cheek of the aged nurse by its well known warning. It would be no difficult

matter, perhaps, to account for the modus operandi of these “ Fatal Presentiments.” The human mind is a strange machine, and when excited by intense anxiety, and wound up to the highest pitch by despair and fear, it is no hard matter to conjure up those “ signs and tokens," which now considered

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as sure and fatal prognostications of the worst of human cafamities. The buzzing of a fly in the chamber of the dying, is an omen of sufficient magnitude to startle the strongest; and Hope,

“Which draws towards itself,

The flame with which it kindles," is frequently put to flight by a sound, which, at any other time, would not be noticed. But it has been contended, and by persons of no mean understanding, that “ Fatal Presentiments” are conveyed to the mind, by means, if not supernatural, at all events mysterious and wonderful; and numerous examples, as we shalt presently see, have been adduced in proof of the unerring certainty of the warning, as well as of its mysterious occurence.

Lord Rochester-a strange, but not a despicable authority-indulged an impression, that the soul, either by a natural sagacity, or some secret notice communicated to it, had a sort of divination by which these presages were engendered; while many of the ancient philosophers believed that the mind was endowed, to a certain extent, with a power of prescience totally distinct from, and independent of, that conjectural sagacity in regard to the future, which is derived from enlarged and comprehensive experience of the past. This was the opinion entertained by Cicero; and in short, it is a tenet which has been common to men in all ages; embodied in their popular poetry and traditions, and disputed only in ages of sceptical refinement: and if we admit that every aetion and every event occur in conformity to general laws;—in other words, that there is no such thing as contingency, either in human actions, or the course of events, but that each must be determined by an adequate notice or cause,-there seems nothing repugnant to reason, or inconsistent with the known operations of the mind, in admitting the possible existence of such a faculty, though, for wise purposes, its operation is confined within narrow limits, and we are kept in salutary ignorance of futurity. If there be no contingency, every thing is necessary, and may, for any thing we know to the contrary, be sometimes, and to a certain extent, foreseen even by man in his present imperfect state.

This is especially the case as regards approaching evil, while prosperity, even when it comes suddenly, is seldom or ever preceded by any presage of its approach. How are we to account for this ? We may adduce two solutions of the marvel. First: it is, doubt, a wise provision to warn man of evil, as it is of more importance to him to receive a pre-monition of approaching mischief, than a coming good. Second: all our powers and faculties are primarily devoted to our preservation, and are most violently called into action, when this is endangered. Hence, even the very instincts of our nature frequently impart a salutary presentiment, indispensable to our safety. It is upon this principle chiefly, that we would account for the presentiment of evil being so much more prevalent than that of good, which requires no harbinger to prepare us for its

no

a

approach. And for the very same reason, that we have sometimes a general and indefinite presentiment of coming evil, which is frequently

complex in its character, we may have a distinct presage of the approach of death, the most awful event, which we are called upon to meet in this present state of our mortal being.

It is a well authenticated fact, that many men, distinguished for great personal bravery, and the intrepid contempt of danger in its most appalling forms, have, on the eve of battle, been overwhelmed with "Fatal Presentiment” that they should not survive the combat; and that, in no instance, so far as we have been able to ascertain, has this presentiment proved false. The self-doomed victim has, in every case, fallen as he had predicted. The following examples, for the authenticity of which we will vouch, are strikingly corroborative of the fact in question.

A young officer, of great promise, belonging to the 92nd regiment was observed on the day before the battle of Corunna, to be particularly low spirited; which was the more observable, as he was generally gay, cheerful, and full of spirits. His brother officers enquired the reason-rallied him as brother officers are wont to do

-but received no answer. On getting an opportunity, however, of conversing alone with one of them, to whom he was much attached, as he was a namesake, and a fellow countryman—" Msaid he, “ I shall, to a certainty, never survive to-morrow. I know I shall not, and you will see it.” His friend tried to laugh him out of this notion; and said, it was childish, and unworthy of a man, who had so often and so heroically faced the enemy, to harbour such dismal forebodings. The next day after the heat of the action, the two young men met by accident; and he, who the day before, had derided the gloomy imagination of his friend, accosted him with—“What, M-! I thought you were to have been killed :—did I not say you should not?”—His friend replied, that nothing could convince him, that he should ever see the sun of that day set; and, strange as it may seem, the words had scarcely escaped from his lips, when he was struck in the breast by a cannon shot, which instantly deprived him of existence.

There are few regiments that have not some anecdotes of this sort to record. We shall mention one or two more, which have been communicated to us by officers of great respectability, as having passed under their own personal observation. Lieutenant M·D- of the 43rd, was so strongly possessed with this presentiment on the eve of one of the battles in the Peninsula, that he sent for Captain — of the 88th, who was a countryman of his, and requested him to take charge of several little things, and to transmit them safely to his relations, particularly to his mother. Captain S, in surprise, asked him the reason why he, who was in perfect health, should think of making such arrangements ? M'D- replied, “I know I am in perfect health ; and I know, also, that I shall never return from the field to-morrow.” Knowing MD— to be a particularly brave man, for he had already,

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