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nity to die like heroes, as many of them were ? and as they did not do thus, I think, without injustice or presumption, we may conclude they cannot ; they could not then, neither can others do the like
And yet as to such notices as the inhabitants of the invisible world were allowed to make, I believe they were not without them at that time, though it was not thought fit by the appointment of Heaven, to have the wicked resolution of murder and massacre defeated; as to the reasons why, which is what we have nothing to do to dispute, that we leave in silence, as we may well do.
The histories of those times are full of the secret warnings and notices then given by the kind apparitions of those invisible agents, whoever they are, in dream. The admiral Coligni had no less than three particular notices given him by dreams, that his life was in danger, and that he would be murdered if he stayed in Paris; an express was sent him from the count S- at Saumur, to make his escape,
and flee for his life before it was too late; nay, it was even said that the king of Navarre, who was afterwards Hen. IV., sent a private message to him to be gone, and if he stayed one night longer, he would find it impossible: but, as they said afterwards, his hour was come, and his fate was determined ; and was deaf to his friends, for several others who had a jealousy of his danger, gave him like warnings, but it was all in vain; he was deaf and indolent to his own safety.
Some others who were more obedient to the heavenly vision, more touched then with the sense of their danger, as the count de Montgomery, the Vidam of Chartres, de Caversac, and others, too many to name; and who had severally, and some of them jointly, timely warning of their danger, mounted their horses, and fled the very night before, and preventing the vigilance of their pursuers, made their escape.
I might here enlarge upon the probability of this as a maxim, that though these spirits may have leave to give such notice and such warnings to some particular persons for the saving their lives, yet we are no to suppose it is placed in their power to contravene the determination of Heaven, and to act contrary to appointments of his providence, especially in things of general import, such as public judgments, which are immediately in the disposing of his power, and not to be disappointed or delayed.
Besides, as we may have reason to believe that they all act by commission, it is also most certain that they cannot go an inch, no, not a hair's breadth beyond that commission, or step one foot out of the way of it, to the right hand, or to the left: and thence we are to infer that they do not give further or more frequent notices to us, because they are not permitted; and this is, besides the rest, adding a greater reverence to the thing itself; for take off their superior commission, and I know not what we should say to them, or of what real notice or value they would be.
I cannot but say that there were many notices given of the calamity of the Parisian massacre, which were enough to have alarmed the protestants; and the chiefs of them were, in some measure, alarmed; though not sufficient, as it proved, to drive them out of the danger ; yet so as that they did perceive some mischief was hatching, but they could not possibly guess at the manner; and besides, if they had, the other party had gotten them so far in their power that they could not avoid the danger, but were taken, as it were, in a toil; and yet they did send such notices of their danger to their friends in several places, as to warn them in time to be upon their guard ; and which warning did (speaking of second causes) preserve them from the like mischief; for the massacre was intended to be universal, at least in all the cities in France.
Of apparitions being said to happen just at the time when the person so happening to appear is said to
be departing; the fiction of it confuted. THERE is a great clamour, as I might justly call it, raised about people's appearing just at the time of their expiring; and so exactly they will tell us it, as to time, as if, though a thousand mile off, the soul was in apparition the same moment; I see no foundation for any of these relations, much less for the circumstances; and yet the apparition itself may be really true in fact: such a man appeared to his wife, such another to his son, and the like ; and they set down the time, adding, and that very moment, as near as could be calculated, he died, perhaps in the East Indies, or at sea, at some vast distance.
A certain lady of my acquaintance going out of her chamber into a closet in the adjoining room, saw her husband walking along in the room before her: she immediately comes down in a great surprise, tells the family she had seen her husband, and she was sure it was he; though at the same time she knew her husband (who was the commander of a ship) was at sea, on a voyage to or from the capes of Virginia.
The family takes the alarm, and tells her, that to be sure her husband was dead, and that she should be sure to set down the day of the month, and the hour of the day; and it was ten thousand to one but she should find that he died that very moment, or as near as could be found out.
About two months after, her husband comes home very well; but had an accident befell him in his voyage, viz., that stepping into the boat, or out of the boat, he fell into the sea, and was in danger of being lost; and this they calculated upon to be as near the time as they could judge, that he appeared to his wife. Now if this was his ghost, or apparition of his soul, in the article of death, it seems his soul was mistaken, and did not know whether it was dismissed or no; which is a little strange, I must confess : but of that hereafter. Sir J. 0
was a person of note, and of wellknown credit ; his lady and one of her sons lived here in London; and being of a gay disposition, and given to live high and expensive, it was thought she spent beyond what the knight could afford, and that he was sensible of it, and uneasy at it: she had a very good house in London, and a country house or lodgings for the summer at
and kept a great equipage; the consequence of things did at last prove, that sir J- 's dislike of it was justly founded; but that's by the by.
It happened one day, the lady being at her country lodgings, a person well dressed, appearing very much like a gentleman, came to her city house, and knocking at the door, asked the maid if there were any lodgings to be let there, and if her lady was at home. The maid answered, No, there were no lodgings to be let there; and speaking as if it was with some resentment, Lodgings! says she, no, I think not! my lady does not use to let lodgings. Well, but sweetheart, says he, don't be displeased; your lady as had some thoughts of staying at her um mer lodgings all the winter, and so would dispose of some apartments here for the parliament season ; and I am directed by herself to look upon the rooms, and give my answer ; let me but just see them, child, I shall do you no harm. So he stepped