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that time I was living at Parkstone in rather poor health and subject to chronic asthma, with palpitations and frequent bronchitis, from which I never expected to recover, I had given up lecturing, and had no expectation of ever writing another book, neither had I the least idea of leaving the house I was living in, which I had purchased and enlarged a few years before. It was under these circumstances that a medium I had visited once in London, Madame G-was staying with friends at Wimborne, and came to see me, and offered to give me a séance. One of her controls, an old Scotch physician, advised me about my health, told me to eat fish, and assured me that I was not coming to their side for some years yet, as I had a good deal of work to do here. The other control, named "Sunshine," an Indian girl, who seemed to be able to get information from many sources, was very positive in her statements. She said, “You won't live here always. You will come out of this hole. You will come more into the world, and do something public for spiritualism." I replied, “You are quite wrong.
I shall never leave this house now, and I shall not appear in public again.” But she insisted that she was right, and said, “You will see ; and when it comes to pass, remember what I told you." She then said, "Fanny [my sister] sends her love. She loved you more than any one in the world." This I knew to be true, though during her life I did not so fully realize it. Then Sunshine gave me her parting words, speaking slowly and distinctly : “The third chapter of your life, and your book, is to come. It can be expressed as Satisfaction, Retrospection, and Work." These three words were spoken very impressively, and I wrote them at once in a small note-book with capital letters, though I had no notion whatever of what they could refer to, and no belief that they would be in any way fulfilled.
Yet two months later the first step in the fulfilment was taken through Dr. Lunn's invitation to give a lecture at Davos, and my acceptance of it, due mainly to the temptation of a week in Switzerland free of cost and with a pleasant party. As already described (Chapter XXXII.), this lecture
was the starting-point of all my subsequent work. The very next year brought me renewed health and strength to do the work, as already described. Another year passed, and I received a pressing invitation to take the chair and give a short address to the International Congress of Spiritualists, which I felt myself unable to refuse, and thus, as I had been told I should, I "did something public for spiritualism." Yet another year, and a great desire for life more in the country than at Parkstone (where we were being surrounded by new building operations) led me to join some friends in trying to find a locality for a kind of home-colony of congenial persons; and though the plan was never carried out, it led ultimately to my finding the site on which to build my present house, and thus "get out of that hole," as I had been told by Sunshine that I should do. And now, looking back upon the eight years of renewed health I have enjoyed, and with constant interesting work, how can this be better described than as "the third chapter of my life;" while “ Man's Place in the Universe"-a totally new subject for me-may well be termed the "third chapter of my book," that is, of my literary work. Again, this wholesome activity of body and mind, the obtaining a beautiful site where I am surrounded by grass and woodland, and have a splendid view over moor and water to distant hills and the open sea, with abundance of pure air and sunshine, the building of a comfortable house in one of the choicest spots in the whole district-surely all this was well foretold in the one word "Satisfaction." What has chiefly occupied me in this house—an Autobiography extending over three-quarters of a century-is admirably described by the word “Retrospection.” And the whole of this process has involved, or been the result of, continuous and pleasureable “Work."
I will only add here that during the whole of this “third chapter of my life” I had entirely forgotten the particular words of the prediction which I had noted down at the time, and was greatly surprised, on referring to them again for the purpose of this chapter, to find how curiously they fitted the subsequent events. Of course it may be said that every one
who reaches my age enjoys “retrospection," but that kind of general looking back to the past is very different from the detailed Retrospection I have had to make in searching out the many long-forgotten incidents and details of my very varied life as here recorded ; and the Work this has involved, and the Satisfaction I have had in writing, fully justify the solemn emphasis with which the prediction was made.
I now bid my readers, who have travelled with me so far a hearty Farewell.
EXCURSIONS AND EXAMINATIONS
WHILE endeavouring to give an account of all matters which occupied or interested me during the latter half of my life, I somewhat hastily concluded my MSS. and sent it to press without any reference to two matters which were of some importance to myself, and one of them of some general interest. These are, the various holiday excursions I took with my father-in-law, Mr. William Mitten, whose deep enthusiasm for nature and extensive knowledge of plants in general, and mosses in particular, rendered his companionship very congenial to me; and my work as an Assistant Examiner in Physical Geography and Physiography, which occupied me for three weeks or more every summer, almost continually for twenty-seven years. In order to make this record of my life more complete, I have added a supplementary chapter devoted to these two subjects.
My first excursion with Mr. Mitten was in August, 1867, to North Wales, his first visit to that beautiful district. We stayed a few days at Corwen, and our first walk on Sunday morning was along the road to the west up the valley of the Alwen. In about five miles we reached Pont-y-glyn, where a farm-road crossed a very deep ravine. This we descended and found the bottom full of curious hollows, with vertical rocks damp or dripping, overshadowed by trees and shrubs. Here the yellow Welsh poppy grew luxuriantly, as well as the globe-flowers and the subalpine Rubus saxatilis. But what delighted Mr. Mitten on this his first walk in Wales was the abundance of mosses and hepaticæ, and for a full VOL. II.
hour he explored every nook and cranny, and every few minutes cried out to me, "I've got another species I never gathered before," till I thought he would never tear himself away; and during several other visits to Wales in the Snowdon and Cader Idris districts, and in the Vale of Neath, I do not think he ever came upon a richer spot for his favourite group of plants.
The next day we took a much longer ramble along country lanes, which gradually led us on to the ridge of the Berwyn mountains, from 2500 to 2700 feet above sea-level. At the highest summit, where a circle of precipices descends to a little tarn-Llyn-llyne-caws—my friend crept out along the face of the rocks to get some rare mosses, till he made me quite afraid for his safety. But he was very active and sure-footed, and always managed to get what he wanted. On the high peaty moors we found the creeping cloud-berry, and as we had strolled slowly, searching everywhere for plants and enjoying the scenery and the mountain air, it was late in the afternoon before we came to a deep valley where there were some houses, and as we had walked about eight or nine miles over high mountains since we last saw a house, we determined to go down and try to find a night's lodging. We were attracted by glimpses of a waterfall up this valley, and therefore made for the highest house we could see, a rather neat small farmhouse. By the time we had reached it the sun had set, and when we asked if we could have supper and lodging there, we were told it was impossible, as some titled person-I forget the name—was coming next day with some friends to shoot there, and everything was got ready for him. However, we told them we had walked over the mountains from Corwen and were very tired, and if we went down to the village we should have so much to walk back in the morning, that at last they agreed. I quite forget what kind of accommodation we had, but I rather think we slept on the floor. We had, however, a good supper, and breakfast next morning, when, after getting a view of the waterfall, which Mr. Mitten sketched, we walked about three miles westward over a mountain ridge to a good but very