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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