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The Lunatic Apparition






The celebrated historian De Thou had a very singular adventure at
Saumer, in the year 1598. One night, having retired to rest, very much
fatigued, while he was enjoying a sound sleep, he felt a very
extraordinary weight upon his feet, which, having made him turn
suddenly, fell down and awakened him. At first he imagined that it had
been only a dream: but, hearing soon after some noise in the chamber, he
drew aside the curtains, and saw, by the help of the moon (which at that
time shone very bright), a large white figure walking up and down; and,
at the same time, observed upon a chair some rags, which he thought
belonged to thieves who had come to rob him. The figure then approaching
his bed, he had the courage to ask it what it was. "I am," said it, "the
Queen of Heaven." Had such a figure appeared to any credulous ignorant
man in the dead of night, and made such a speech, would he not have
trembled with fear, and have frightened the whole neighbourhood with a
marvellous description of it? But De Thou had too much understanding to
be so imposed upon. Upon hearing the words which dropped from the
figure, he immediately concluded that it was some mad woman, got up,
called his servants, and ordered them to turn her out of doors; after
which he returned to bed, and fell asleep. Next morning he found that he
had not been deceived in his conjecture; and that, having forgot to shut
his door, this female figure had escaped from her keepers, and entered
his apartment. The brave Schomberg, to whom De Thou related this
adventure, some days after, confessed, that in such a case he should
not have shewn so much courage. The King also, who was informed of it by
Schomberg, made the same acknowledgment.





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