Green Tea
By Sheridan Le Fanu


Martin Hesselius, the German Physician

Through carefully educated in medicine and surgery, I have never practiced
either. The study of each continues, nevertheless, to interest me
profoundly. Neither idleness nor caprice caused my secession from the
honorable calling which I had just entered. The cause was a very trifling
scratch inflicted by a dissecting knife. This trifle cost me the loss of two
fingers, amputated promptly, and the more painful loss of my health, for 1
have never been quite well since, and have seldom been twelve months
together in the same place.

In my wanderings I became acquainted with Dr. Martin Hesselius, a wanderer
like myself, like me a physician, and like me an enthusiast in his
profession. Unlike me in this, that his wanderings were voluntary, and he a
man, if not of fortune, as we estimate fortune in England, at least in what
our forefathers used to term "easy circumstances." He was an old man when 1
first saw him; nearly five-and-thirty years my senior. In Dr. Martin
Hesselius, 1 found my master. His knowledge was immense, his grasp of a case
was an vintuition. He was the very man to inspire a young enthusiast, like
me, with awe and delight. My admiration has stood the test of time and
survived the separation of death. I am sure it was well-founded. For nearly
twenty years I acted as his medical secretary. His immense collection of
papers he has left in my care, to be arranged, indexed and bound. His
treatment of some of these cases is curious. He writes in two distinct
characters. He describes what he saw and heard as an intelligent layman
might, and when in this style of narrative he had seen the patient either
through his own hall-door, to the light of day, or through the gates of
darkness to the caverns of the dead, he returns upon the narrative, and in
the terms of his art and with all the force and originality of genius,
proceeds to the work of analysis, diagnosis and illustration. Here and there
a case strikes me as of a kind to amuse or horrify a lay reader with an
interest quite different from the peculiar one which it may possess for an
expert. With slight modifications, chiefly of language, and of course a
change of names, I copy the following.

The narrator is Dr. Martin Hesselius. I find it among the voluminous notes
of cases which he made during a tour in England about sixty-four years ago.
It is related in series of letters to his friend Professor Van Loo of
Leyden. The professor was not a physician, but a chemist, and a man who read
history and metaphysics and medicine, and had, in his day, written a play.
The narrative is therefore, if somewhat less valuable as a medical record,
necessarily written in a manner more likely to interest an unlearned reader.
These letters, from a memorandum attached, appear to have been returned on
the death of the professor, in 1819, to Dr. Hesselius. They are written,
some in English, some in French, but the greater part in German. I am a
faithful, though I am conscious, by no means a graceful translator, and
although here and there ! omit some passages, and shorten others, and
disguise names, I have interpolated nothing.


Dr. Hesselius Relates How He Met the Rev. Mr. Jennings

The Rev. Mr. Jennings is tall and thin. He is middle-aged, and dresses with
a natty, old-fashioned, high-church precision. He is naturally a little
stately, but not at all stiff. His features, without being handsome, are
well formed, and their expression extremely kind, but also shy. I met him
one evening at Lady Mary Haddock's. The modesty and benevolence of his
countenance are extremely prepossessing. We were but a small party, and he
joined agreeably enough in the conversation, He seems to enjoy listening
very much more than contributing to the talk; but what he says is always to
the purpose and well said. He is a great favourite of Lady Mary's, who it
seems, consults him upon many things, and thinks him the most happy and
blessed person on earth. Little knows she about him. The Rev. Mr. Jennings
is a bachelor, and has, they say sixty thousand pounds in the funds. He is a
charitable man. He is most anxious to be actively employed in his sacred
profession, and yet though always tolerably well elsewhere, when he goes
down to his vicarage in Warwickshire, to engage in the actual duties of his
sacred calling, his health soon fails him, and in a very strange way. So
says Lady Mary.

There is no doubt that Mr. Jennings' health does break down in, generally, a
sudden and mysterious way, sometimes in the very act of officiating in his
old and pretty church at Kenlis. It may be his heart, it may be his brain.
But so it has happened three or four times, or oftener, that after
proceeding a certain way in the service, he has on a sudden stopped short,
and after a silence, apparently quite unable to resume, he has fallen into
solitary, inaudible prayer, his hands and his eyes uplifted, and then pale
as death, and in the agitation of a strange shame and horror, descended
trembling, and got into the vestry-room, leaving his congregation, without
explanation, to themselves. This occurred when his curate was absent. When
he goes down to Kenlis now, he always takes care to provide a clergyman to
share his duty, and to supply his place on the instant should he become thus
suddenly incapacitated.

When Mr. Jennings breaks down quite, and beats a retreat from the vicarage,
and returns to London, where, in a dark street off Piccadilly, he inhabits a
very narrow house, Lady Mary says that he is always perfectly well. I have
my own opinion about that. There are degrees of course.

We shall see.

Mr. Jennings is a perfectly gentlemanlike man. People, however, remark
something odd. There is an impression a little ambiguous. One thing which
certainly contributes to it, people ! think don't remember; or, perhaps,
distinctly remark. But I did, almost im mediately. Mr. Jennings has a way of
looking sidelong upon the carpet, as if his eye followed the movements of
something there. This, of course, is not always. It occurs now and then. But
often enough to give a certain oddity, as I have said, to his manner, and in
this glance traveling along the floor there is something both shy and
anxious. A medical philosopher, as you are good enough to call me,
elaborating theories by the aid of cases sought out by himself, and by him
watched and scrutinized with more time at command, and consequently
infinitely more minuteness than the ordinary practitioner can afford, falls
insensibly into habits of observation, which accompany him everywhere, and
are exercised, as some people would say, impertinently, upon every subject
that presents itself with the least likelihood of rewarding inquiry. There
was a promise of this kind in the slight, timid, kindly, but reserved
gentleman, whom I met for the first time at this agreeable little evening
gathering. I observed, of course, more than I here set down; but I reserve
all that borden on the technical for a strictly scientific paper. I may
remark, that when I here speak of medical science, I do so, as I hope some
day to see it more generally understood, in a much more comprehensive sense
than its generally material treatment would warrant. I believe the entire
natural world is but the ultimate expression of that spiritual world from
which, and in which alone, it has its life. I believe that the essential man
is a spirit, that the spirit is an organized substance, but as different in
point of material from what we ordinarily understand by matter, as light or
electricity is; that the material body is, in the most literal sense, a
vesture, and death consequently no interruption of the living man's
existence, but simply his extrication from the natural body --a process
which commences at the moment of what we term death, and the completion of
which, at furthest a few days later, is the resurrection "in power." The
person who weighs the consequences of these positions will probably see
their practical bearing upon medical science. This is, however, by no means
the proper place for displaying the proofs and discussing the consequences
of this too generally unrecognized state of facts. In pursuance of my habit,
I was covertly observing Mr. Jennings, with all my caution--l think he
perceived it--and I saw plainly that he was as cautiously observing me. Lady
Mary happening to address me by my name, as Dr. Hesselius, I saw that he
glanced at me more sharply, and then became thoughtful for a few minutes.

After this, as I conversed with a gentleman at the other end of the room, I
saw him look at me more steadily, and with an interest which I thought I
understood. I then saw him take an opportunity of chatting with Lady Mary,
and was, as one always is, perfectly aware of being the subject of a distant
inquiry and answer.

This tall clergyman approached me by-and-by; and in a little time we had got
into conversation.

When two people, who like reading, and know books and places, having
traveled, wish to discourse, it is very strange if they can't find topics.
It was not accident that brought him near me, and led him into conversation.
He knew German and had read my Essays on Metaphysical Medicine which suggest
more than they actually say. This courteous man, gentle, shy, plainly a man
of thought and reading, who moving and talking among us, was not altogether
of us, and whom I already suspected of leading a life whose trans actions
and alarms were carefully concealed, with an impenetrable reserve from, not
only the world, but his best beloved friends- was cautiously weighing in his
own mind the idea of taking a certain step with regard to me. I penetrated
his thoughts without his being aware of it, and was careful to say nothing
which could betray to his sensitive vigilance my suspicions respecting his
position, or my surmises about his plans respecting myself.

We chatted upon indifferent subjects for a time but at last he said:

"I was very much interested by some papers of yours, Dr. Hesselius, upon
what you term Metaphysical Medicine--I read them in German, ten or twelve
years ago--have they been translated?"

"No, I'm sure they have not--I should have heard. They would have asked my
leave, I think."

"I asked the publishers here, a few months ago, to get the book for me in
the original German; but they tell me it is out of print."

"So it is, and has been for some years; but it flatters me as an author to
find that you have not forgotten my little book, although," I added,
laughing, "ten or twelve years is a considerable time to have managed
without it; but I suppose you have been turning the subject over again in
your mind, or something has happened lately to revive your interest in it."

At this remark, accompanied by a glance of inquiry, a sudden embarrassment
disturbed Mr. Jennings, analogous to that which makes a young lady blush and
look foolish. He dropped his eyes, and folded his hands together uneasily,
and looked oddly, and you would have said, guiltily, for a moment.

I helped him out of his awkwardness in the best way, by appearing not to
observe it, and going straight on, I said: "Those revivals of interest in a
subject happen to me often; one book suggests an other, and often sends me
back a wild-goose chase over an interval of twenty years. But if you still
care to possess a copy, I shall be only too happy to provide you; I have
still got two or three by me --and if you allow me to present one I shall be
very much honored."

"You are very good indeed," he said, quite at his ease again, in a moment:
"I almost despaired--I don't know how to thank you.

"Pray don't say a word; the thing is really so little worth that I am only
ashamed of having offered it, and if you thank me any more I shall throw it
into the fire in a fit of modesty."

Mr. Jennings laughed. He inquired where I was staying in London, and after a
little more conversation on a variety of subjects, he took his departure.

The Doctor Questions Lady Mary and She Answers

"I like your vicar so much, Lady Mary," said I, as soon as he was gone. "He
has read, traveled, and thought, and having also suffered, he ought to be an
accomplished companion."

"So he is, and, better still,' he is a really good man," said she. "His
advice is invaluable about my schools, and all my little undertakings at
Dawlbridge, and he's so painstaking, he takes so much trouble--you have no
idea wherever he thinks he can be o~ use: he's so good-natured and so

"It is pleasant to hear so good an account of his neighbourly virtues. I can
only testify to his being an agreeable and gentle companion, and in addition
to what you have told me, I think 1 can tell you two or three things about
him," said I. "Really!" "Yes, to begin with, he's unmarried." "Yes, that's
right---go on."

"He has been writing, that is he was, but for two or three years perhaps, he
has not gone on with his work, and the book was upon some rather abstract
subject--perhaps theology."

"Well, he was writing a book, as you say; I'm not quite sure what it was
about, but only that it was nothing that I cared for; very likely you are
right, and he certainly did stop--yes."

"And although he only drank a little coffee here to-night, he likes tea, at
least, did like it extravagantly."

"Yes, that's quite true."

"He drank green tea, a good deal, didn't he?" I pursued.

"Well, that's very odd! Green tea was a subject on which we used almost to

"But he has quite given that up," said I. "So he has."

"And, now, one more fact. His mother or his father, did you know them?"

"Yes, both; his father is only ten years dead, and their place is near
Dawlbridge. We knew them very well," she answered.

"Well, either his mother or his father--l should rather think his father,
saw a ghost," said I.

"Well, you really are a conjurer, Dr. Hesselius." "Conjurer or no, haven't I
said right?" I answered merrily.

"You certainly have, and it was his father: he was a silent, whimsical man,
and he used to bore my father about his dreams, and at last he told him a
story about a ghost he had seen and talked with, and a very odd story it
was. I remember it particularly, because 1 was so afraid of him. This story
was long before he died--when I was quite a child--and his ways were so
silent and moping, and he used to drop in sometimes, in the dusk, when I was
alone in the drawing-room, and I used to fancy there were ghosts about him."
I smiled and nodded. "And now, having established my character as a
conjurer, I think I must say good-night!' said I. "But how did you find it

"By the planets, of course, as the gypsies do," I answered, and so, gaily we
said good-night.

Next morning I sent the little book he had been inquiring after, and a note
to Mr. Jennings, and on returning late that evening, I found that he had
called at my lodgings, and left his card. He asked whether I was at home,
and asked at what hour he would be most likely to find me. Does he intend
opening his case, and consulting me "professionally," as they say? I hope
so. I have already conceived a theory about him. It is supported by Lady
Mary's answers to my parting questions. I should like much to ascertain from
his own lips. But what can I do consistently with good breeding to invite a
confession? Nothing. I rather think he meditates one. At all events, my dear
Van L., I shan't make myself difficult of access; I mean to re turn his
visit tomorrow. It will be only civil in return for his polite ness, to ask
to see him. Perhaps something may come of it.

Whether much, little, or nothing, my dear Van L., you shall hear.


Dr. Hesselius Picks Up Something in Latin Books

Well, I have called at Blank Street.

On inquiring at the door, the servant told me that Mr. Jennings was engaged
very particularly with a gentleman, a clergyman from Kenlis, his parish in
the country. Intending to reserve my privilege, and to call again, I merely
intimated that I should try an- other time, and had turned to go, when the
servant begged my pardon, and asked me, looking at me a little more
attentively than well-bred persons of his order usually do, whether I was
Dr. Hesselius; and, on learning that I was, he said, "Perhaps then, sir, you
would allow me to mention it to Mr. Jennings, for I am sure he wishes to see
you." The servant returned in a moment, with a message from Mr. Jennings,
asking me to go into his study, which was in effect his back drawing-room,
promising to be with me in a very few minutes. This was really a
study--almost a library. The room was lofty, with two tall slender windows,
and rich dark curtains. It was much larger than I had expected, and stored
with books on every side, from the floor to the ceiling. The upper carpet--
for to my tread it felt that there were two or three--was a Turkey carpet.
My steps fell noiselessly. The bookcases standing out, placed the windows,
particularly narrow ones, in deep recesses. The effect of the room was,
although extremely comfortable, and even luxurious, decidedly gloomy, and
aided by the silence, almost oppressive. Perhaps, however, I ought to have
allowed something for association. My mind had connected peculiar ideas with
Mr. Jennings. I stepped into this perfectly silent room, of a very silent
house, with a peculiar foreboding; and its darkness, and solemn clothing of
books, for except where two narrow looking-glasses were set in the wall,
they were everywhere, helped this somber feeling.

While awaiting Mr. Jennings' arrival, I amused myself by looking into some
of the books with which his shelves were laden. Not among these, but
immediately under them, with their backs up ward, on the floor, I lighted
upon a complete set of Swedenborg's "Arcana Celestia," in the original
Latin, a very fine folio set, bound in the natty livery which theology
affects, pure vellum, namely, gold letters, and carmine edges. There were
paper markers in several of these volumes, I raised and placed them, one
after the other, upon the table, and opening where these papers were placed,
I read in the solemn Latin phraseology, a series of sentences indicated by a
penciled line at the margin. Of these I copy here a few, translating them
into English.

"When man's interior sight is opened, which is that of his spirit, then
there appear the things of another life, which cannot possibly be made
visible to the bodily sight."....

"By the internal sight it has been granted me to see the things that are in
the other life, more clearly than I see those that are in the world. From
these considerations, it is evident that external vision exists from
interior vision, and this from a vision still more interior, and so on."
.... "There are with every man at least two evil spirits.".... "With wicked
genii there is also a fluent speech, but harsh and grating. There is also
among them a speech which is not fluent, wherein the dissent of the thoughts
is perceived as something secretly creeping along within it." "The evil
spirits associated with man are, indeed from the hells, but when with man
they are not then in hell, but are taken out thence. The place where they
then are, is in the midst between heaven and hell, and is called the world
of spirits--when the evil spirits who are with man, are in that world, they
are not in any infernal torment, but in every thought and affection of man,
and so, in all that the man himself enjoys. But when they are remitted into
their hell, they return to their former state.".... "If evil spirits could
perceive that they were associated with man, and yet that they were spirits
separate from him, and if they could flow in into the things of his body,
they would attempt by a thousand means to destroy him; for they hate man
with a deadly hatred." .... "Knowing, therefore, that I was a man in the
body, they were continually striving to destroy me, not as to the body only,
but especially as to the soul; for to destroy any man or spirit is the very
delight of the life of all who are in hell; but I have been continually
protected by the Lord. Hence it appears how dangerous it is for man to be in
a living consort with spirits, unless he be in the good of faith." ....
"Nothing is more carefully guarded from the knowledge of associate spirits
than their being thus conjoint with a man, for if they knew it they would
speak to him, with the intention to destroy him." .... "The delight of hell
is to do evil to man, and to hasten his eternal ruin."

A long note, written with a very sharp and fine pencil, in Mr. Jennings'
neat hand, at the foot of the page, caught my eye. Expecting his criticism
upon the text, I read a word or two, and stopped, for it was something quite
different, and began with these words, Deus misereatur mei--"May God
compassionate me." Thus warned of its private nature, I averted my eyes, and
shut the book, replacing all the volumes as I had found them, except one
which interested me, and in which, as men studious and solitary in their
habits will do, I grew so absorbed as to take no cognisance of the outer
world, nor to remember where I was. I was reading some pages which refer to
"representatives" and "correspondents," in the technical language of
Swedenborg, and had arrived at a passage, the substance of which is, that
evil spirits, when seen by other eyes than those of their infernal
associates, pre sent themselves, by "correspondence," in the shape of the
beast ()fera) which represents their particular lust and life, in aspect
direful and atrocious. This is a long passage, and particularises a number
of those bestial forms.


Four Eyes Were Reading the Passage

I was running the head of my pencil-case along the line as I read it, and
something caused me to raise my eyes.

Directly before me was one of the mirrors I have mentioned, in which I saw
reflected the tall shape of my friend, Mr. Jennings, leaning over my
shoulder, and reading the page at which I was busy, and with a face so dark
and wild that I should hardly have known him.

I turned and rose. He stood erect also, and with an effort laughed a little,
saying: "I came in and asked you how you did, but without succeeding in
awaking you from your book; so I could not restrain my curiosity, and very
impertinently, I'm afraid, peeped over your shoulder. This is not your first
time of looking into those pages. You have looked into Swedenborg, no doubt,
long ago?"

"Oh dear, yes! I owe Swedenborg a great deal; you will discover traces of
him in the little book on Metaphysical Medicine, which you were so good as
to remember." Although my friend affected a gaiety of manner, there was a
slight flush in his face, and I could perceive that he was inwardly much
perturbed. "I'm scarcely yet qualified, I know so little of Swedenborg. I've
only had them a fortnight," he answered, "and I think they are rather likely
to make a solitary man nervous--that is, judging from the very little I have
read---I don't say that they have made me so," he laughed; "and I'm so very
much obliged for the book. I hope you got my note?"

I made all proper acknowledgments and modest disclaimers. "I never read a
book that I go with, so entirely, as that of yours," he continued. "I saw at
once there is more in it than is quite un folded. Do you know Dr. Harley?"
he asked, rather abruptly. In passing, the editor remarks that the physician
here named was one of the most eminent who had ever practiced in England.

I did, having had letters to him, and had experienced from him great
courtesy and considerable assistance during my visit to England.

"I think that man one of the very greatest fools I ever met in my life,"
said Mr. Jennings.

This was the first time I had ever heard him say a sharp thing of anybody,
and such a term applied to so high a name a little startled me.

"Really! and in what way?" I asked. "In his profession," he answered. I

"I mean this," he said: "he seems to me, one half, blind--I mean one half[
of all he looks at is dark--preternaturally bright and vivid all the rest;
and the worst of it is, it seems wilful. I can't get him--I mean he
won't--I've had some experience of him as a physician, but I look on him as,
in that sense, no better than a paralytic mind, an intellect half dead. I'll
tell you--I know I shall some time--all about it," he said, with a little
agitation. "You stay some months longer in England. If I should be out of
town during your stay [or a little time, would you allow me to trouble you
with a letter?"

"I should be only too happy," I assured him.

"Very good of you. I am so utterly dissatisfied with Harley."

"A little leaning to the materialistic school," I said.

"A mere materialist," he corrected me; "you can't think how that sort of
thing worries one who knows better. You won't tell any one--any of my
friends you know--that I am hippish; now, [or instance, no one knows--not
even Lady Mary--that I have seen Dr. Harley, or any other doctor.

So pray don't mention it; and, if I should have any threatening of an
attack, you'll kindly let me write, or, should I be in town, have a little
talk with you." I was full of conjecture, and unconsciously I found I had
fixed my eyes gravely on him, for he lowered his for a moment, and he said:
"1 see you think I might as well tell you now, or else you are forming a
conjecture; but you may as well give it up. If you were guessing all the
rest of your Iife, you will never hit on it."

He shook his head smiling, and over that wintry sunshine a black cloud
suddenly came down, and he drew his breath in, through his teeth as men do
in pain. "Sorry, of course, to learn that you apprehend occasion to consult
any of us; but, command me when and how you like, and I need not assure you
that your confidence is sacred."

He then talked of quite other things, and in a comparatively cheerful way
and after a little time, I took my leave.


Dr. Hesselius is Summoned to Richmond

We parted cheerfully, but he was not cheerful, nor was I. There are certain
expressions of that powerful organ of spirit--the human face--which,
although I have seen them often, and possess a doctor's nerve, yet disturb
me profoundly. One look of Mr. Jennings haunted me. It had seized my
imagination with so dismal a power that I changed my plans for the evening,
and went to the opera, feeling that I wanted a change of ideas.

I heard nothing of or from him for two or three days, when a note in his
hand reached me. It was cheerful, and full of hope. He said that he had been
for some little time so much better-quite well, in fact--that he was going
to make a little experiment, and run down for a month or so to his parish,
to try whether a little work might not quite set him up. There was in it a
fervent religious expression of gratitude [or his restoration, as he now
almost hoped he might call it.

A day or two later I saw Lady Mary, who repeated what his note had
announced, and told me that he was actually in Warwickshire, having resumed
his clerical duties at Kenlis; and she added, "I begin to think that he is
really perfectly well, and that there never was anything the matter, more
than nerves and fancy; we are all nervous, but I fancy there is nothing like
a little hard work for that kind of weakness, and he has made up his mind to
try it. I should not be surprised if he did not come back for a year."
Notwithstanding all this confidence, only two days later 1 had this note,
dated from his house off Piccadilly:

DEAR Sir,--I have returned disappointed. If I should feel at all able to see
you, I shall write to ask you kindly to call. At present, I am too low, and,
in fact, simply unable to say all I wish to say. Pray don't mention my name
to my friends. I can see no one. By-and-by, please God, you shall hear from
me. I mean to take a run into Shropshire, where some of my people are. God
bless you! May we, on my return, meet more happily than I can now write.

About a week after this I saw Lady Mary at her own house, the last person,
she said, left in town, and just on the wing for Brighton, for the London
season was quite over. She told me that she had heard from Mr. Jenning's
niece, Martha, in Shropshire. There was nothing to be gathered from her
letter, more than that he was low and nervous. In those words, of which
healthy people think so lightly, what a world of suffering is sometimes
hidden! Nearly five weeks had passed without any further news of Mr.
Jennings. At the end of that time I received a note from him. He wrote: "I
have been in the country, and have had change of air, change of scene,
change of faces, change of everything--and in everything ---but myself. I
have made up my mind, so far as the most irresolute creature on earth can do
it, to tell my case fully to you. If your engagements will permit, pray come
to me to-day, to-morrow, or the next day; but, pray defer as little as
possible. You know not how much I need help. I have a quiet house at
Richmond, where I now am. Perhaps you can manage to come to dinner, or to
lunch eon, or even to tea. You shall have no trouble in finding me out. The
servant at Blank Street, who takes this note, will have a carriage at your
door at any hour you please; and I am always to be found. You will say that
I ought not to be alone. 1 have tried everything. Come and see."

I called up the servant, and decided on going out the same evening, which
accordingly I did.

He would have been much better in a lodging-house, or hotel, I thought, as I
drove up through a short double row of sombre elms to a very old-fashioned
brick house, darkened by the foliage of these trees, which overtopped, and
nearly surrounded it. It was a perverse choice, for nothing could be
imagined more triste and silent. The house, I found, belonged to him. He had
stayed for a day or two in town, and, finding it for some cause
insupportable, had come out here, probably because being furnished and his
own, he was relieved of the thought and delay of selection, by coming here.

The sun had already set, and the red reflected light of the western sky
illuminated the scene with the peculiar effect with which we are all
familiar. The hall seemed very dark, but, getting to the back drawing-room,
whose windows command the west, I was again in the same dusky light. I sat
down, looking out upon the richly-wooded landscape that glowed in the grand
and melancholy light which was every moment fading. The corners of the room
were already dark; all was growing dim, and the gloom was insensibly toning
my mind, al ready prepared for what was sinister. I was waiting alone for
his arrival, which soon took place. The door communicating with the front
room opened, and the tall figure of Mr. Jennings, faintly seen in the ruddy
twilight, came, with quiet stealthy steps, into the room.

We shook hands, and, taking a chair to the window, where there was still
light enough to enable us to see each other's faces, he sat down beside me,
and, placing his hand upon my arm, with scarcely a word of preface began his


How Mr. Jennings Met His Companion

The faint glow of the west, the pomp of the then lonely woods of Richmond,
were before us, behind and about us the darkening room, and on the stony
face of the sufferer for the character of his face, though still gentle and
sweet, was changed rested that dim, odd glow which seems to descend and
produce, where it touches, lights, sudden though faint, which are lost,
almost with out gradation, in darkness. The silence, too, was utter: not a
dis tant wheel, or bark, or whistle from without; and within the de pressing
stillness of an invalid bachelor's house.

I guessed well the nature, though not even vaguely the particulars of the
revelations I was about to receive, from that fixed face of suffering that
so oddly flushed stood out, like a portrait of Schalken's, before its
background of darkness.

"It began," he said, "on the 15th of October, three years and eleven weeks
ago, and two days--I keep very accurate count, for every day is torment. If
I leave anywhere a chasm in my narrative tell me.

"About four years ago I began a work, which had cost me very much thought
and reading. It was upon the religious metaphysics of the ancients."

"1 know," said I, "the actual religion of educated and thinking paganism,
quite apart from symbolic worship? A wide and very interesting field."

"Yes, but not good for the mind--the Christian mind, I mean. Paganism is all
bound together in essential unity, and, with evil sympathy, their religion
involves their art, and both their manners, and the subject is a degrading
fascination and the Nemesis sure. God forgive me!

"I wrote a great deal; I wrote late at night. I was always thinking on the
subject, walking about, wherever I was, everywhere. It thoroughly infected
me. You are to remember that all the material ideas connected with it were
more or less of the beautiful, the subject itself delightfully interesting,
and I, then, without a care." He sighed heavily. "I believe, that every one
who sets about writing in earnest does his work, as a friend of mine phrased
it, on something--tea, or coffee, or tobacco. I suppose there is a material
waste that must be hourly supplied in such occupations, or that we should
grow too abstracted, and the mind, as it were, pass out of the body, unless
it were reminded often enough of the connection by actual sensation. At all
events, I felt the want, and I supplied it. Tea was my companion-at first
the ordinary black tea, made in the usual way, not too strong: but I drank a
good deal, and increased its strength as I went on. I never, experienced an
uncomfortable symptom from it. ! began to take a little green tea. I found
the effect pleasanter, it cleared and intensified the power of thought so, I
had come to take it frequently, but not stronger than one might take it for
pleasure. I wrote a great deal out here, it was so quiet, and in this room.
I used to sit up very late, and it became a habit with me to sip my
tea--green tea--every now and then as my work proceeded. I had a little
kettle on my table, that swung over a lamp, and made tea two or three times
between eleven o'clock and two or three in the morning, my hours of going to
bed. I used to go into town every day. I was not a monk, and, although I
spent an hour or two in a library, hunting up authorities and looking out
lights upon my theme, I was in no morbid state as far as I can judge. I met
my friends pretty much as usual and enjoyed their society, and, on the
whole, existence had never been, I think, so pleasant before.

"I had met with a man who had some odd old books, German editions in
medieval Latin, and I was only too happy to be permitted access to them.
This obliging person's books were in the City, a very out-of-the-way part of
it. I had rather out-stayed my intended hour, and, on coming out, seeing no
cab near, I was tempted to get into the omnibus which used to drive past
this house. It was darker than this by the time the 'bus had reached an old
house, you may have remarked, with four poplars at each side of the door,
and there the last passenger but myself got out. We drove along rather
faster. It was twilight now. I leaned back in my corner next the door
ruminating pleasantly.

"The interior of the omnibus was nearly dark. I had observed in the corner
opposite to me at the other side, and at the end next the horses, two small
circular reflections, as it seemed to me of a reddish light. They were about
two inches apart, and about the size of those small brass buttons that
yachting men used to put upon their jackets. I began to speculate, as
listless men will, upon this trifle, as it seemed. From what center did that
faint but deep red light come, and from what--glass beads, buttons, toy
decorations-was it reflected? We were lumbering along gently, having nearly
a mile still to go. I had not solved the puzzle, and it be came in another
minute more odd, for these two luminous points, with a sudden jerk,
descended nearer and nearer the floor, keeping still their relative distance
and horizontal position, and then, as suddenly, they rose to the level of
the seat on which I was sitting and I saw them no more.

"My curiosity was now really excited, and, before I had time to think, I saw
again these two dull lamps, again together near the floor; again they
disappeared, and again in their old corner I saw them. "So, keeping my eyes
upon them, I edged quietly up my own side, towards the end at which I still
saw these tiny discs of red.

"There was very little light in the 'bus. It was nearly dark. I leaned
forward to aid my endeavor to discover what these little circles really
were. They shifted position a little as I did so. I began now to perceive an
outline of something black, and 1 soon saw, with tolerable distinctness, the
outline of a small black monkey, pushing its face forward in mimicry to meet
mine; those were its eyes, and I now dimly saw its teeth grinning at me. "I
drew back, not knowing whether it might not meditate a spring. 1 fancied
that one of the passengers had forgot this ugly pet, and wishing to
ascertain something of its temper, though not caring to trust my fingers to
it, I poked my umbrella softly towards it. It remained immovable--up to
it--through it. For through it, and back and forward it passed, without the
slightest resistance.

"I can't, in the least, convey to you the kind of horror that I felt. When I
had ascertained that the thing was an illusion, as I then supposed, there
came a misgiving about myself and a terror that fascinated me in impotence
to remove my gaze from the eyes of the brute for some moments. As I looked,
it made a little skip back, quite into the corner, and I, in a panic, found
myself at the door, having put my head out, drawing deep breaths of the
outer air, and staring at the lights and tress we were passing, too glad to
reassure myself of reality. "I stopped the 'bus and got out. I perceived the
man look oddly at me as I paid him. I dare say there was something unusual
in my looks and manner, for I had never felt so strangely before."


The Journey: First Stage

"When the omnibus drove on, and I was alone upon the road, I looked
carefully round to ascertain whether the monkey had fol lowed me. To my
indescribable relief ! saw it nowhere. I can't describe easily what a shock
I had received, and my sense of genuine gratitude on finding myself, as I
supposed, quite rid of it.

"I had got out a little before we reached this house, two or three hundred
steps. A brick wall runs along the footpath, and inside the wall is a hedge
of yew, or some dark evergreen of that kind, and within that again the row
of fine trees which you may have remarked as you came. "This brick wall is
about as high as my shoulder, and happening to raise my eyes I saw the
monkey, with that stooping gait, on all fours, walking or creeping, close
beside me, on top of the wall. I stopped, looking at it with a feeling of
loathing and horror. As I stopped so did it. It sat up on the wall with its
long hands on its knees looking at me. There was not light enough to see it
much more than in outline, nor was it dark enough to bring the peculiar
light of its eyes into strong relief. I still saw, however, that red foggy
light plainly enough. It did not show its teeth, nor exhibit any sign of
irritation, but seemed jaded and sulky, and was observing me steadily. "I
drew back into the middle of the road. It was an unconscious recoil, and
there I stood, still looking at it. It did not move.

"With an instinctive determination to try something--any thing, I turned
about and walked briskly towards town with askance look, all the time,
watching the movements of the beast. It crept swiftly along the wall, at
exactly my pace.

"Where the wall ends, near the turn of the road, it came down, and with a
wiry spring or two brought itself close to my feet, and continued to keep up
with me, as I quickened my pace. It was at my left side, so dose to my leg
that I felt every moment as if I should tread upon it.

"The road was quite deserted and silent, and it was darker every moment. I
stopped dismayed and bewildered, turning as 1 did so, the other way--I mean,
towards this house, away from which I had been walking. When I stood still,
the monkey drew back to a distance of, I suppose, about five or six yards,
and remained stationary, watching me. "I had been more agitated than I have
said. I had read, of course, as everyone has, something about 'spectral
illusions,' as you physicians term the phenomena of such cases. I considered
my situation, and looked my misfortune in the face.

"These affections, I had read, are sometimes transitory and sometimes
obstinate. I had read of cases in which the appearance, at first harmless,
had, step by step, degenerated into something direful and insupportable, and
ended by wearing its victim out. Still as I stood there, but for my bestial
companion, quite alone, I tried to comfort myself by repeating again and
again the assurance, 'the thing is purely disease, a well-known physical
affection, as distinctly as small-pox or neuralgia. Doctors are all agreed
on that, philosophy demonstrates it. I must not be a fool. I've been sitting
up too late, and I daresay my digestion is quite wrong, and, with God's
help, I shall be all right, and this is but a symptom of nervous dyspepsia.'

Did I believe all this? Not one word of it, no more than any other miserable
being ever did who is once seized and riveted in this satanic captivity.
Against my convictions, I might say my knowledge, I was simply bullying
myself into a false courage.

"I now walked homeward. I had only a few hundred yards to go. I had forced
myself into a sort of resignation, but I had not got over the sickening
shock and the flurry of the first certainty of my misfortune.

"I made up my mind to pass the night at home. The brute moved dose betide
me, and 1 fancied there was the sort of anxious drawing toward the house,
which one sees in tired horses or dogs, sometimes as they come toward home.

"I was afraid to go into town, I was afraid of any one's seeing and
recognizing me. I was conscious of an irrepressible agitation in my manner.
Also, I was afraid of any violent change in my habits, such as going to a
place of amusement, or walking from home in order to fatigue myself. At the
hall door it waited till I mounted the steps, and when the door was opened
entered with me.

"I drank no tea that night. I got cigars and some brandy and water. My idea
was that I should act upon my material system, and by living for a while in
sensation apart from thought, send myself forcibly, as it were, into a new
groove. I came up here to this drawing-room. 1 sat just here. The monkey
then got upon a small table that then stood there. It looked dazed and
languid. An irrepressible uneasiness as to its movements kept my eyes always
upon it. Its eyes were half closed, but I could see them glow. It was
looking steadily at me. In all situations, at all hours, it is awake and
looking at me. That never changes.

"I shall not continue in detail my narrative of this particular night. I
shall describe, rather, the phenomena of the first year, which never varied,
essentially. I shall describe the monkey as it appeared in daylight. In the
dark, as you shall presently hear, there are peculiarities. It is a small
monkey, perfectly black. It had only one peculiarity--a character of
malignity--unfathomable malignity. During the first year looked sullen and
sick. But this character of intense malice and vigilance was always
underlying that surly languor. During all that time it acted as if on a plan
of giving me as little trouble as was consistent with watching me. Its eyes
were never off me. I have never lost sight of it, except in my sleep, light
or dark, day or night, since it came here, excepting when it withdraws for
some weeks at a time, unaccountably.

"In total dark it is visible as in daylight. I do not mean merely its eyes.
It is all visible distinctly in a halo that resembles a glow of red embers,
and which accompanies it in all its movements.

"When it leaves me for a time, it is always at night, in the dark, and in
the same way. It grows at first uneasy, and then furious, and then advances
towards me, ginning and shaking, its paws clenched, and, at the same time,
there comes the appearance of fire in the grate. I never have any fire. I
can't sleep in the room where there is any, and it draws nearer and nearer
to the chimney, quivering, it seems, with rage, and when its fury rises to
the high est pitch, it springs into the grate, and up the chimney, and 1 see
it no more.

"When first this happened, I thought I was released. 1 was now a new man. A
day passed--a night--and no return, and a blessed week--a week--another
week. 1 was always on my knees, Dr. Hesselius, always, thanking God and
praying. A whole month passed of liberty, but on a sudden, it was with me


The Second Stage

"It was with me, and the malice which before was torpid under a sullen
exterior, was now active.

It was perfectly unchanged in every other respect. This new energy was
apparent in its activity and its looks, and soon in other ways.

"For a time, you will understand, the change was shown only in an increased
vivacity, and an air of menace, as if it were always brooding over some
atrocious plan. Its eyes, as before, were never off me."

"Is it here now?" I asked.

"No," he replied, "it has been absent exactly a fortnight and a day--fifteen
days. It has sometimes been away so long as nearly two months, once for
three. Its absence always exceeds a fortnight, al though it may be but by a
single day. Fifteen days having past since I saw it last, it may return now
at any moment."

"Is its return," I asked, "accompanied by any peculiar manifestation?"

"Nothing--no," he said. "It is simply with me again. On lifting my eyes from
a book, or turning my head, I see it, as usual, looking at me, and then it
remains, as before, for its appointed time. I have never told so much and so
minutely before to any one."

I perceived that he was agitated, and looking like death, and he repeatedly
applied his handkerchief to his forehead; I suggested that he might be
cured, and told him that I would call, with pleasure, in the morning, but he
said: "No, if you don't mind hearing it all now. I have got so far, and I
should prefer making one effort of it. When I spoke to Dr. Harley, I had
nothing like so much to tell. You are a philosophic physician. You give
spirit its proper rank. If the thing is real----"

He paused looking at me with agitated inquiry.

"We can discuss it by-and-by, and very fully. I will give you all I think, "
I answered after an interval.

"Well--very well. If it is anything real, I say, it is prevailing. little by
little, and drawing me more interiorly into hell. Optic nerves, he talked
of. Ah! well--there are other nerves of communication. May God Almighty help
me! You shall hear. "It is power of action, I tell you, had increased. Its
malice became, in a way, aggressive. About two years ago, some questions
that were pending between me and the bishop having been settled, I went down
to my parish in Warwickshire, anxious to find occupation in my profession. I
was not prepared for what happened, although I have since thought I might
have apprehended something like it. The reason of my saying so is this--"

He was beginning to speak with a great deal more effort and reluctance, and
sighted often, and seemed at times nearly overcome. But at this time his
manner was not agitated. It was more like that of a sinking patient, who has
given himself up.

"Yes, but I will first tell you about Kenlis my parish.

"It was with me when I left this place for Drawlbridge. It was my silent
traveling companion, and it remained with me at the vicarage. When I entered
on the discharge of my duties, another change took place. The thing
exhibited an atrocious determination to thwart me. It was with me in the
church--in the reading desk--in the pulpit--within the communion rails. At
last, it reached this extremity, that while I was reading to the
congregation, it would spring upon the book and squat there, so that I was
unable to see the page. This happened more than once.

"I left Drawlbridge for a time. I placed myself in Dr. Harley's hands. I did
everything he told me. he gave my case a great deal of thought. It
interested him, I think. He seemed successful.

For nearly three months I was perfectly free from a return. I began to think
I was safe. With his full assent I returned to Drawlbridge.

"I traveled in a chaise. I was in good spirits. I was more--I was happy and
grateful. I was returning , as I thought, delivered from a dreadful
hallucination, to the scene of duties which I longed to enter upon. It was a
beautiful sunny evening, everything looked serene and cheerful, and I was
delighted, I remember looking out of the window to see the spire of my
church at Kenlis among the trees, at the point where one has the earliest
view of it. It is exactly where the little stream that bounds the parish
passes under the road by a culvert, and where it emerges at the roadside, a
stone with an old inscription is placed. As we passed this point, I drew my
head in and sat down, and in the corner of the chaise was the monkey.

"For a moment I felt faint, and then quite wild with despair and horror, I
called to the driver, and got out, and sat down at the road-side, and prayed
to God silently for mercy. A despairing resignation supervened. My companion
was with me as I reentered the vicarage. The same persecution followed.
After a short struggle I submitted, and soon I left the place. "I told you,"
he said, "that all the beast has before this become in certain ways
aggressive. I will explain a little. It seemed to be actuated by intense and
increasing fury, whenever I said my prayers, or even meditated prayer. It
amounted at last to a dreadful interruption. You will ask, how could a
silent immaterial phantom effect that? It was thus, whenever I meditated
praying; It was always before me, and nearer and nearer. "It used to spring
on the table, on the back of the chair, on the chimney-piece, and slowly
swing itself from side to side, looking at me all the time. There is in its
motion an indefinable power to dissipate thought, and to contract one's
attention to that monotony, till the ideas shrink, as it were, to a point,
and at last to nothing--and unless I had started up , and shook off the
catalepsy I have felt as if my mind were to a point of losing itself. There
are no other ways," he sighed heavily; "thus, for instance, while I pray
with my eyes closed, it comes closer and closer and closer, and I see it. I
know it is not to be accounted for physically, but I do actually see it,
though my lids are closed, and so it rocks my mind, as it were, and
overpowers me, and I am obliged to rise from my knees. If you had ever
yourself known this, you would be acquainted with desperation."


The Third Stage

"I see, Dr. Hesselius, that you don't lose one word of my statement. I need
not ask you to listen specially to what I am now going to tell you. They
talk of the optic nerves, and of spectral illusions, as if the organ of
fight was the only point assailable by the influences that have fastened
upon me--l know better. For two years in my direful case that limitation
prevailed. But as food is taken in softly at the lips, and then brought
under the teeth, as the tip of the little finger caught in a mill crank will
draw in the hand, and the arm, and the whole body, so the miserable mortal
who has been once caught firmly by the end of the finest fibre of his nerve,
is drawn in and in, by the enormous machinery of hell, until he is as 1 am.
Yes, Doctor, as I am, for a while I talk to you, and implore relief, I feel
that my prayer is for the impossible, and my pleading with the inexorable."

1 endeavoured to calm his visibly increasing agitation, and told him that he
must not despair.

While we talked the night had overtaken us. The filmy moon light was wide
over the scene which the window commanded, and I said: "Perhaps you would
prefer having candles. This light, you know, is odd. I should wish you, as
much as possible, under your usual conditions while I make my diagnosis,
shall I call it--otherwise I don't care."

"All lights are the same to me," he said; "except when 1 read or write, I
care not if night were perpetual. I am going to tell you what happened about
a year ago. The thing began to speak to me."

"Speak! How do you mean--speak as a man does, do you mean?" "yes; speak in
words and consecutive sentences, with perfect coherence and articulation;
but there is a peculiarity. It is not like the tone of a human voice. It is
not by my ears it reaches me-it comes like a singing through my head.

"This faculty, the power of speaking to me, will be my undoing. It won't let
me pray, it interrupts me with dreadful blasphemies. I dare not go on, I
could not. Oh! Doctor, can the skill, and thought, and prayers of man avail
me nothing!"

"You must promise me, my dear sir, not to trouble yourself with
unnecessarily exciting thoughts; confine yourself strictly to the narrative
of facts; and recollect, above all, that even if the thing that infests you
be, you seem to suppose a reality with an actual in dependent life and will,
yet it can have no power to hurt you, unless it be given from above: its
access to your senses depends mainly upon your physical condition--this is,
under God, your com fort and reliance: we are all alike environed. It is
only that in your case, the 'parties,' the veil of the flesh, the screen, is
a little out of repair, and sights and sounds are transmitted. We must enter
on a new course, sir,---be encouraged. I'll give to-night to the careful
consideration of the whole case."

"You are very good, sir; you think it worth trying, you don't give me quite
up; but, sir, you don't know, it is gaining such an influence over me: it
orders me about, it is such a tyrant, and I'm growing so helpless. May God
deliver me!"

"It orders you about--of course you mean by speech?"

"Yes, yes; it is always urging me to crimes, to injure others, or myself.
You see, Doctor, the situation is urgent, it is indeed. When I was in
Shropshire, a few weeks ago" (Mr. Jennings was speaking rapidly and
trembling now, holding my arm with one hand, and looking in my face), "I
went out one day with a party of friends for a walk: my persecutor, I tell
you, was with me at the time. I lagged behind the rest: the country near the
Dee, you know, is beautiful. Our path happened to lie near a coal mine, and
at the verge of the wood is a perpendicular shaft, they say, a hundred and
fifty feet deep. My niece had remained behind with me--she knows, of course
nothing of the nature of my sufferings. She knew, however, that I had been
ill, and was low, and she remained to prevent my being quite alone. As we
loitered slowly on together, the brute that accompanied me was urging me to
throw myself down the shaft. I tell you now--oh, sir, think of it!--the one
consideration that saved me from that hideous death was the fear lest the
shock of witnessing the occurrence should be too much for the poor girl. I
asked her to go on and walk with her friends, saying that I could go no
further. She made excuses, and the more I urged her the firmer she became.
She looked doubtful and frightened. 1 suppose there was something in my
looks or manner that alarmed her; but she would not go, and that literally
saved me. You had no idea, sir, that a living man could be made so abject a
slave of Satan," he said, with a ghastly groan and a shudder.

There was a pause here, and I said, "You were preserved nevertheless. It was
the act of God. You are in His hands and in the power of no other being: be
therefore confident for the future."



I made him have candles lighted, and saw the room looking cheery and
inhabited before I left him. I told him that he must regard his illness
strictly as one dependent on physical, though subtle physical causes. 1 told
him that he had evidence of God's care and love in the deliverance which he
had just described, and that I had perceived with pain that he seemed to
regard its peculiar features as indicating that he had been delivered over
to spiritual reprobation. Than such a conclusion nothing could be, I
insisted, less warranted; and not only so, but more contrary to [acts, as
disclosed in his mysterious deliverance from that murderous in fluence
during his Shropshire excursion. First, his niece had been retained by his
side without his intending to keep her near him; and, secondly, there had
been infused into his mind an irresistible repugnance to execute the
dreadful suggestion in her presence.

As I reasoned this point with him, Mr. Jennings wept. He seemed comforted.
One promise I exacted, which was that should the monkey at any time return,
I should be sent for immediately; and, repeating my assurance that 1 would
give neither time nor thought to any other subject until I had thoroughly
investigated his case, and that to-morrow he should hear the result, 1 took
my leave.

Before getting into the carriage I told the servant that his master was far
from well, and that he should make a point of fre quently looking into his
room. My own arrangements 1 made with a view to being quite secure from
interruption. I merely called at my lodgings, and with a traveling-desk and
carpet-bag, set off in a hackney carriage for an inn about two miles out of
town, called "The Horns," a very quiet and comfortable house, with good
thick walls. And there I resolved, without the possibility of intrusion or
distraction, to devote some hours of the night, in my comfortable
sitting-room, to Mr. Jennings' case, and so much of the morning as it might
require. (There occurs here a careful note of Dr. Hesselius' opinion on the
case, and of the habits, dietary, and medicines which he prescribed. It is
curious--some persons would say mystical. But, on the whole, I doubt whether
it would sufficiently interest a reader of the kind I am likely to meet
with, to warrant its being here reprinted. The whole letter was plainly
written at the inn where he had hid himself for the occasion. The next
letter is dated from his town lodgings.) I left town for the inn where I
slept last night at half-past nine, and did not arrive at my room in town
until one o'clock this after- noon. 1 found a letter m Mr. Jennings' hand
upon my table. It. had not come by post, and, on inquiry, I learned that Mr.
Jennings' servant had brought it, and on learning that I was not to return
until to-day, and that no one could tell him my address, he seemed very
uncomfortable, and said his orders from his master were that he was not to
return without an answer.

I opened the letter and read:

Dear Dr. Hesselius.--It is here. You had not been an hour gone when it
returned. It is speaking. It knows all that has happened. It knows every
thing-it knows you, and is frantic and atrocious. It reviles. I send you
this. It knows every word I have written--I write. This I promised, and I
therefore write, but I fear very confused, very incoherently. I am so
interrupted, disturbed.

Ever yours, sincerely yours,


"When did this come?" I asked.

"About eleven last night: the man was here again, and has been here three
times to-day. The last time is about an hour since."

Thus answered, and with the notes ! had made upon his case in my pocket, I
was in a few minutes driving towards Richmond, to see Mr. Jennings. I by no
means, as you perceive, despaired of Mr. Jennings' case. He had himself
remembered and applied, though quite in a mistaken way, the principle which
I lay down in my Metaphysical Medicine, and which governs all such cases. I
was about to apply it in earnest. I was profoundly interested, and very
anxious to see and examine him while the "enemy" was actually present. I
drove up to the sombre house, and ran up the steps, and knocked. The door,
in a little time, was opened by a tall woman in black silk. She looked ill,
and as if she had been crying. She curtseyed, and heard my question, but she
did not answer. She turned her face away, extending her hand towards two men
who were coming down-stairs; and thus having, as it were, tacitly made me
over to them, she passed through a side-door hastily and shut it.

The man who was nearest the hall, I at once accosted, but being now close to
him, I was shocked to see that both his hands were covered with blood.

I drew back a little, and the man, passing downstairs, merely said in a low
tone, "Here's the servant, sir."

The servant had stopped on the stairs, confounded and dumb at seeing me. He
was rubbing his hands in a handkerchief, and it was steeped in blood.

"Jones, what is it? what has happened?" I asked, while a sickening suspicion
overpowered me.

The man asked me to come up to the lobby. I was beside him in a moment, and,
frowning and pallid, with contracted eyes, he told me the horror which I
already half guessed.

His master had made away with himself.

I went upstairs with him to the room--what I saw there I won't tell you. He
had cut his throat with his razor. It was a frightful gash. The two men had
laid him on the bed, and composed his limbs. It had happened, as the immense
pool of blood on the floor declared, at some distance between the bed and
the window. There was carpet round his bed, and a carpet under his dressing.
table, but none on the rest of the floor, for the man said he did not like a
carpet on his bedroom. In this sombre and now terrible room, one of the
great elms that darkened the house was slowly moving the shadow of one of
its great boughs upon this dreadful floor.

I beckoned to the servant, and we went downstairs together. I turned off the
hall into an old-fashioned paneled room, and there standing, I heard all the
servant had to tell. It was not a great deal.

"! concluded, sir, from your words, and looks, sir, as you left last night,
that you thought my master was seriously ill. I thought it might be that you
were afraid of a fit, or something. So I attended very close to your
directions. He sat up late, till past three o'clock. He was not writing or
reading. He was talking a great deal to him self, but that was nothing
unusual. At about that hour 1 assisted him to undress, and left him in his
slippers and dressing-gown. I went back softly in about half-an-hour. He was
in his bed, quite undressed, and a pair of candles lighted on the table
beside his bed. He was leaning on his elbow, and looking out at the other
side of the bed when I came in. I asked him if he wanted anything, and he
said No. "I don't know whether it was what you said to me, sir, or some
thing a little unusual about him, but I was uneasy, uncommon uneasy about
him last night.

"In another half hour, or it might be a little more, 1 went up again. 1 did
not hear him talking as before. I opened the door a little. The candles were
both out, which was not usual. I had a bedroom candle, and I let the light
in, a little bit, looking softly round. I saw him sitting in that chair
beside the dressing-table with his clothes on again. He turned round and
looked at me. I thought it strange he should get up and dress, and put out
the candles to sit in the dark, that way.

But I only asked him again if I could do anything for him. He said, No,
rather sharp, I thought. He said, 'Tell me truth, Jones; why did you come
again--you did not hear anyone cursing?' 'No, sir,' I said, wondering what
he could mean.

"'No,' said he, after me, 'of course, no;' and I said to him, 'Wouldn't it
be well, sir, you went to bed? It's just five o'clock;' and he said nothing,
but, 'Very likely; good-night, Jones.' so I went, sir, but in less than an
hour I came again. The door was fast, and he heard me, and called as I
thought from the bed to know what I wanted, and he desired me not to disturb
him again. I lay down and slept for a little. It must have been between six
and seven when I went up again. The door was still fast, and he made no
answer, so 1 did not like to disturb him, and thinking he was asleep, I left
him till nine. It was his custom to ring when he wished me to come, and I
had no particular hour for calling him. I tapped very gently, and getting no
answer, I stayed away a good while, supposing he was getting some rest then.
It was not till eleven o'clock I grew really uncomfortable about him--for at
the latest he was never, that I could remember, later than half past ten. I
got no answer. I knocked and called, and still no answer. So not being able
to force the door, I called Thomas from the stables, and together we forced
it, and found him in the shocking way you saw."

Jones had no more to tell. Poor Mr. Jennings was very gentle, and very kind.
All his people were fond of him. I could see that the servant was very much
moved. So, dejected and agitated, I passed from that terrible house, and its
dark canopy of elms, and I hope I shall never see it more. While I write to
you I feel like a man who has but half waked from a frightful and monotonous
dream. My memory rejects the picture with incredulity and horror.

Yet I know it is true. It is the story of the process of a poison, a poison
which excites the reciprocal action of spirit and nerve, and paralyses the
tissue that separates those cognate functions of the senses, the external
and the interior. Thus we find strange bed-fellows, and the mortal and
immortal prematurely make acquaintance.


A Word for Those Who Suffer

My dear Van L--, you have suffered from an affection similar to that which 1
have just described. You twice complained of a re turn of it. Who, under
God, cured you? Your humble servant, Martin Hesselius. Let me rather adopt
the more emphasized piety o[ a certain good old French surgeon of three
hundred years ago: "I treated, and God cured you."

Come, my friend, you are not to be hippish. Let me tell you a fact. 1 have
met with, and treated, as my book shows, fifty-seven cases of this kind of
vision, which 1 term indifferently "sublimated," "precocious," and
"interior." There is another class of affections which are truly termed-
though commonly confounded with those which I describe--spectral illusions.

These latter I look upon as being no less simply curable than a cold in the
head or a trifling dyspepsia. It is those which rank in the first category
that test our promptitude of thought. Fifty-seven such cases have I
encountered, neither more nor less. And in how many of these have I failed?
In no one single instance.There is no one affliction of mortality more
easily and certainly reducible, with a little patience, and a rational
confidence in the physician. With these simple conditions, 1 look upon the
cure as absolutely certain. You are to remember that 1 had not even
commenced to treat Mr. Jennings' case. 1 have not any doubt that 1 should
have cured him perfectly in eighteen months, or possibly it might have ex
tended to two years. Some cases are very rapidly curable, others extremely
tedious. Every intelligent physician who will give thought and diligence to
the task, will effect a cure. You know my tract on "The Cardinal Functions
of the Brain." I there, by the evidence of innumerable facts, prove, as I
think, the high probability of a circulation arterial and venous in its
anism, through the nerves. Of this system, thus considered, the brain is the
heart. The fluid, which is propagated hence through one class of nerves,
returns in an altered state through another, and the nature of that fluid is
spiritual, though not immaterial, any more than, as 1 before remarked, light
or electricity are so. By various abuses, among which the habitual use of
such agents . as green tea is one, this fluid may be affected as to its
quality, but it is more frequently disturbed as to equilibrium. This fluid
being that which we have in common with spirits, a congestion found on the
masses of brain or nerve, connected with the interior sense, forms a surface
unduly exposed, on which disembodied spirits may operate: communication is
thus more or less effectually established. Between this brain circulation
and the heart circulation there is an intimate sympathy. The seat, or rather
the instrument of exterior vision, is the eye. The seat of interior vision
is the nervous tissue and brain, immediately about and above the eyebrow.
You remember how effectually I dissipated your pictures by the simple
application of iced eau-de-cologne. Few cases, how ever, can be treated
exactly alike with anything like rapid success. Cold acts powerfully as a
repellant of the nervous fluid. Long enough continued it will even produce
that permanent insensibility which we call numbness, and a little longer,
muscular as well as sensational paralysis.

I have not, 1 repeat, the slightest doubt that 1 should have first dimmed
and ultimately sealed that inner eye which Mr. Jennings had inadvertently
opened. The same senses are opened in delirium tremens, and entirely shut up
again when the overaction of the cerebral heart, and the prodigious nervous
congestions that attend it, are terminated by a decided change in the state
of the body. It is by acting steadily upon the body, by a simple process,
that this result is produced--and inevitably produced--l have never yet
failed. Poor Mr. Jennings made away with himself. But that catastrophe was
the result of a totally different malady, which, as it were, projected
itself upon the disease which was established. His case was in the
distinctive manner a complication, and the com plaint under which he really
succumbed, was hereditary suicidal mania. Poor Mr. Jennings I cannot call a
patient of mine, for I had not even begun to treat his case, and he had not
yet given me, I am convinced, his full and unreserved confidence. If the
patient do not array himself on the side of the disease, his cure is