The Knot In The Shutter





"It is said that a dream produced a powerful effect on Hone's mind.

He dreamt that he was introduced into a room where he was an entire

stranger, and saw himself seated at a table, and on going towards the

window his attention was somehow or other attracted to the window-

shutter, and particularly to a knot in the wood, which was of singular

appearance; and on waking the whole scene, and especially the knot in

the shutter, left a most vivid impression on his mind. Some time

afterwards, on going, I think, into the country, he was at some house

shown into a chamber where he had never been before, and which

instantly struck him as being the identical chamber of his dream. He

turned directly to the window, where the same knot in the shutter

caught his eye. This incident, to his investigating spirit, induced a

train of reflection which overthrew his cherished theories of

materialism, and resulted in conviction that there were spiritual

agencies as susceptible of proof as any facts of physical science; and

this appears to have been one of the links in that mysterious chain of

events by which, according to the inscrutable purposes of the Divine

will, man is sometimes compelled to bow to an unseen and divine power,

and ultimately to believe and live."



"Another of the Christian friends from whom, in his later years,

William Hone received so much kindness, has also furnished

recollections of him.



" . . . Two or three anecdotes which he related are all I can

contribute towards a piece of mental history which, if preserved,

would have been highly interesting. The first in point of time as to

his taste of mind, was a circumstance which shook his confidence in

_materialism_, though it did not lead to his conversion. It was one

of those mental phenomena which he saw to be _inexplicable_ by the

doctrines he then held.



"It was as follows: He was called in the course of business into a

part of London quite new to him, and as he walked along the street he

noticed to himself that he had never been there; but on being shown

into a room in a house where he had to wait some time, he immediately

fancied that it was all familiar, that he had seen it before, 'and if

so,' said he to himself, 'there is a very peculiar knot in this

shutter'. He opened the shutter and found the knot. 'Now then,'

thought he, 'here is something I cannot explain on my principles!'"



Indeed the occurrence is not very explicable on any principles, as a

detail not visible without search was sought and verified, and that by

a habitual mocker at anything out of the common way. For example,

Hone published a comic explanation, correct or not, of the famous

Stockwell mystery.



Supposing Hone's story to be true, it naturally conducts us to yet

more unfamiliar, and therefore less credible dreams, in which the

unknown past, present, or future is correctly revealed.





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