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Strange Story, a — Volume 06 by Baron Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton
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CHAPTER LIII.

There is an instance of the absorbing tyranny of every-day life which must
have struck all such of my readers as have ever experienced one of those
portents which are so at variance with every-day life, that the ordinary
epithet bestowed on them is "supernatural."

And be my readers few or many, there will be no small proportion of them
to whom once, at least, in the course of their existence, a something
strange and eerie has occurred,--a something which perplexed and baffled
rational conjecture, and struck on those chords which vibrate to
superstition. It may have been only a dream unaccountably verified,--an
undefinable presentiment or forewarning; but up from such slighter and
vaguer tokens of the realm of marvel, up to the portents of ghostly
apparitions or haunted chambers, I believe that the greater number of
persons arrived at middle age, however instructed the class, however
civilized the land, however sceptical the period, to which they belong,
have either in themselves experienced, or heard recorded by intimate
associates whose veracity they accept as indisputable in all ordinary
transactions of life, phenomena which are not to be solved by the wit that
mocks them, nor, perhaps, always and entirely, to the contentment of the
reason or the philosophy that explains them away. Such phenomena, I say,
are infinitely more numerous than would appear from the instances
currently quoted and dismissed with a jest; for few of those who have
witnessed them are disposed to own it, and they who only hear of them
through others, however trustworthy, would not impugn their character for
common-sense by professing a belief to which common-sense is a merciless
persecutor. But he who reads my assertion in the quiet of his own room,
will perhaps pause, ransack his memory, and find there, in some dark
corner which he excludes from "the babbling and remorseless day," a pale