"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Newspaper Clipping of the Day

Via Newspapers.com

Here we have your bog-standard “prophetic dream” story, but with a rather unusual twist.  Usually in such accounts, telling the dream to others saves a life.  In this case, it was what doomed the victim.  From the “Madisonian,” May 25, 1839:

A letter from Hamburg contains the following curious story relative to the verification of a dream. It appears that a locksmith’s apprentice one morning lately informed his master, Claude Soller, that on the previous night he dreamt that he had been assassinated on the road to Bergedoff, a little town about two hours distance from Hamburg. The master laughed at the young man's credulity, and to prove that he himself had little faith in dreams, insisted upon sending him immediately to Bergedoff with 146 dollars (221. 8s.) which he owed to his brother--in-law, who resided in the town. The apprentice, after in vain imploring his master to change his intention, was compelled to set out about eleven o'clock. On arriving at the village of Bellwaerder, about half way between Hamburg and Bergedoff, he recollected his dream with terror, but perceiving the bailie of the village at a little distance, talking to some of his workmen, he accosted him, and acquainted him with his singular dream, at the same time requesting that as he had money about his person, one of his workmen might be allowed to accompany him for protection across a small wood which laid in his way. The bailie smiled, and in obedience to his orders, one of his men set out with the young apprentice. The next day, the corpse of the latter was conveyed by some peasants to the bailie, along with a reaping hook which had been found by his side, and with which the throat of the murdered youth had been cut. The bailie immediately recognised the instrument as one which he had on the previous day given to the workman who had served as the apprentice's guide, for the purpose of pruning some willows. The workman was apprehended, and, on being confronted with the body of his victim, made a full confession of his crime, adding that the recital of the dream had alone prompted him to commit the horrible act. The assassin, who is thirty-five years of age, is a native of Bilwander, and previous to the perpetration of the murder, had always bore an irreproachable character.

As an aside, I'll bet that Soller fellow wound up feeling like a bit of an idiot.

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