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The Book of Dreams and Ghosts


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Author Topic: The Book of Dreams and Ghosts  (Read 1171 times)
Apparition from Beyond the Veil
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« Reply #30 on: November 24, 2009, 01:16:12 pm »

The story is reproduced because it is clearly one of the tales which come round in cycles, either because events repeat themselves or because people will unconsciously localise old legends in new places and assign old occurrences or fables to new persons.  Thus every one has heard how Lord Westbury called a certain man in the Herald’s office “a foolish old fellow who did not even know his own foolish old business”.  Lord Westbury may very well have said this, but long before his time the remark was attributed to the famous Lord Chesterfield.  Lord Westbury may have quoted it from Chesterfield or hit on it by accident, or the old story may have been assigned to him.  In the same way Mr. Rutherford may have had his dream or the following tale of St. Augustine’s (also cited by Scott) may have been attributed to him, with the picturesque addition about the piece of Portuguese gold.  Except for the piece of Portuguese gold St. Augustine practically tells the anecdote in his De Cura pro Mortuis Habenda, adding the acute reflection which follows. {16}

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