**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


No. 110 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

I should not have been thus particular upon these ridiculous Horrours, did I not find them so very much prevail in all Parts of the Country. At the same time I think a Person who is thus terrify’d with the Imagination of Ghosts and Spectres much more reasonable than one who, contrary to the Reports of all Historians sacred and prophane, ancient and modern, and to the Traditions of all Nations, thinks the Appearance of Spirits fabulous and groundless: Could not I give myself up to this general Testimony of Mankind, I should to the Relations of particular Persons who are now living, and whom I cannot distrust in other Matters of Fact. I might here add, that not only the Historians, to whom we may join the Poets, but likewise the Philosophers of Antiquity have favoured this Opinion. Lucretius himself, though by the Course of his Philosophy he was obliged to maintain that the Soul did not exist separate from the Body, makes no Doubt of the Reality of Apparitions, and that Men have often appeared after their Death. This I think very remarkable; he was so pressed with the Matter of Fact which he could not have the Confidence to deny, that he was forced to account for it by one of the most absurd unphilosophical Notions that was ever started. He tells us, That the Surfaces of all Bodies are perpetually flying off from their respective Bodies, one after another; and that these Surfaces or thin Cases that included each other whilst they were joined in the Body like the Coats of an Onion, are sometimes seen entire when they are separated from it; by which means we often behold the Shapes and Shadows of Persons who are either dead or absent. [5]

I shall dismiss this Paper with a Story out of Josephus, not so much for the sake of the Story it self as for the moral Reflections with which the Author concludes it, and which I shall here set down in his own Words.

Glaphyra the Daughter of King Archelaus, after the Death of her two first Husbands (being married to a third, who was Brother to her first Husband, and so passionately in love with her that he turned off his former Wife to make room for this Marriage) had a very odd kind of Dream. She fancied that she saw her first Husband coming towards her, and that she embraced him with great Tenderness; when in the midst of the Pleasure which she expressed at the Sight of him, he reproached her after the following manner: Glaphyra, says he, thou hast made good the old Saying, That Women are not to be trusted. Was not I the Husband of thy Virginity? Have I not Children by thee? How couldst thou forget our Loves so far as to enter into a second Marriage, and after that into a third, nay to take for thy Husband a Man who has so shamelessly crept into the Bed of his Brother? However, for the sake of our passed Loves, I shall free thee from thy present Reproach, and make thee mine for ever. Glaphyra told this Dream to several Women of her Acquaintance, and died soon after. [6] I thought this Story might not be impertinent in this Place, wherein I speak of those Kings: Besides that, the Example deserves to be taken notice of as it contains a most certain Proof of the Immortality of the Soul, and of Divine Providence. If any Man thinks these Facts incredible, let him enjoy his own Opinion to himself, but let him not endeavour to disturb the Belief of others, who by Instances of this Nature are excited to the Study of Virtue.’


[Footnote 1: Walk]

[Footnote 2: ‘Essay on the Human Understanding’, Bk. II., ch. 33.]

[Footnote 3: into]

[Footnote 4: the Rooms]

[Footnote 5: ‘Lucret.’ iv. 34, etc.]

[Footnote 6: Josephus, ‘Antiq. Jud.’ lib. xvii. cap. 15, 415.]