13 JULY 1901, Page 14


fro THE EDITOR OP THE "SPECTATOR.") Stn,—The correspondence in your columns on "A Dream House" has brought to my mind a dream walk which I had many years ago. It occurred in the month of August, 1847 or 1848. I and a young fellow of about my own age were on a walking tour in North Wales, and the incident referred to took place on the latter part of the road from Bangor to Carnarvon. The morning had been dull, close, and oppressive to a degree. As we neared the latter town a sharp thunder- storm broke over us, accompanied with a heavy downpour of rain, which drove us to seek shelter under a high hedge con- veniently. near. While sitting here I, overcome by the heat and the fatigue of the long walk, fell asleep, and was in a short time rudely awakened by my fellow-traveller, who wished to save me from a threatening danger. I could not, however, readily respond to either his shouting or rough shakisig. I had a dim perception of his actions, but was powerless to rise. Falling back again on the bank, I became aware of a soft, warm, and peculiarly grateful sensation, after which I opened my eyes and was able to leave the spot. I mention these particulars as they affected me very forcibly at the time, and I shall have occasion to refer to them again before closing this letter. The weather improv- ing, we resumed our journey, and I soon began to notice that the objects we met with seemed strangely familiar. It was as if I had seen everything before, and the impression deepened the farther we went. Unable at length to contain myself, I mentioned the circumstance to my friend, to whom it appeared ridiculous, seeing I had never before set foot in Wales. So confident, however, did I feel on the subject that I ventured to describe a street into which we were about to enter. We turned the corner, and he was as surprised as before he had been incredulous. The appearance answered to my description, as far as we could well see. There stood a house I had particularly mentioned, with its many white window blinds, all but one—the farthest on the ground floor —drawn halfway up, exactly as I had said; there the side paths laid with large slabs of slate, their worn, shallow hollows here and there filled with little pools of-water; everything answering to my description. No! not everything. On coming to a certain spot, I felt an irresistible impulse to turn round and look skyward, expecting to see a large, black cloud which, seen over a quaint, old house, was a prominent feature in my mental picture of the scene, instead of which my gaze fell on a wide stretch of cloudless blue. I was as puzzled as I was disappointed, until pondering the subject I became con- vinced I had made that same walk "out of the body" in a dream during the storm; that as I recognised nothing as familiar beyond where I stood, my dream progress must have been there arrested; that the large cloud and little pools of water in the street were parts of the phenomena of the storm, from the violence of which we had fled to the friendly thorn bush where I had fallen asleep ; that the sky had cleared while I had again gone over the ground "in the body " ; and that the difficulty I had experienced in wakening was due to some psychological fact I could not then explain, and about which I may yet only vaguely guess after these many years.—I am,