Chevalier Giovanni de Figueroa, a renowned fencing-master of Palermo, prophesies the place of a future duel
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Flammarion, C., Carroll, L, - Death and its mystery: before death
231 DEATH AND ITS MYSTERY
Chevalier Giovanni de Figueroa, one of the best and most renowned fencing-masters of Palermo, relates what happened to himself:
One night in the month of August, in the year 1910, I awake under the impression of a dream which had been so vivid that I roused my wife and told her immediately all these strange, curious, and precise details.
I was somewhere in the country, on a white and dusty road, by which I was entering a vast cultivated field. In the centre of this field there rose a rustic building with a ground floor for shops and stables. To the right of the house I saw a sort of hut formed of armfuls of leaves and dried wood, and there was also a cart, the sides of which were taken down, and on it a harness for a beast of burden.
Then a peasant, whose face has remained sharp and clear in my memory, clad in dark-coloured trousers, his head covered with a soft hat, approached me and invited me to follow him, which I did. He led me behind the building, and through a low and narrow door, we entered a little stable, four or five meters square or more, full of dirt and manure. In this little stable there was a short stone stairway which turned, inward above the entrance door. A mule was fastened to a movable trough and, with his hind quarters, obstructed the passage by which one reached the first steps of the stairs. The peasant having assured me that the animal was gentle, made him move and I climbed the stairway, at the top of which I found myself in a little chamber or attic, with a wooden floor, and I noticed, hanging from the ceiling, winter watermelons, green tomatoes, onions, and green corn.
In this same room, which served as an anteroom, was a group of two women and a little girl. One of these two women was old and the other young; I supposed that the latter was the mother of the child. The features of these three persons also remained engraved on my memory. Through the door which opened into the adjoining chamber I noticed a double bed, very high, such as l had never seen.
That was the dream.
In the following month of October I went to Naples to assist our fellow-citizen, Monsieur Amedeo Brucato, in a duel.
This is not the time to tell of the incidents, the annoyances, and the mishaps that assailed me because of this assistance; I will only say, so far as concerns the dream, that the affair led me into a duel of my own.
This duel took place on October 12th, the day when, with my seconds Captain Bruno Palarnenghi, of the 4th Bersaglieri, in garrison at Naples, and Francesco Busardo-I went to Afarano by automobile, where I have never been in my life and which I did not even know existed, I had barely penetrated a few hundred meters into the flat country when I was sharply struck with the road, broad and white with dust, which I recognized as having seen,-but when, or on what occasion? We stopped at the edge of a field which was not unknown to me, because I had already seen it. We got down from the automobile and went into a field to a path bordered with thickets and plants, and I said to Captain Bruno Palamenghi, who was by my side: "I know this spot, this is not the first time I have come here; at the end of the path there ought to be a house there, at the right, there is a wooden hut." It was, indeed, all there, and also the cart with the lowered sides, containing a harness for a beast of burden.
An instant later a peasant in black trousers, with soft black hat, exactly like him I had seen two months before in my dream, came to invite me to follow him into the house and, instead of following him, I preceded him to the door of the stable, which I already knew, and, on entering, saw the mule fastened to the trough; then I looked at the peasant, to ask him if the beast, was harmless, for his hind quarters prevented me from climbing the little stone stair-way and he assured me, as in the dream, that there was no danger.
Having climbed the stairs, I found myself in the attic, where I recognized the watermelons up under the ceiling, the green tomatoes, the onions, the green corn, and, in the little room, in an angle at the right, the old woman, the young one, and the girl, as I had seen them in my dream.
In the neighbouring chamber, which I had to enter in order to remove my things, I recognized the bed that had so much astonished me in my dream because of its height, and I laid my vest and hat on it.
I had spoken of my dream to several of my friends in the armoury, in the fencing-group, and elsewhere; persons who can all vouch for it:
Captain Palamenghi, the lawyer, Tomasso Foreasi, Monsieur Amedeo Brueato, Count Dentale Diaz, and Monsieur Boberto Giannina of Naples were witnesses to my precise knowledge of the spot and the persons who had their place in the events of the duel.
My word as a man of honour will suffice, I believe, to assure the truth of these things, nevertheless, if it were absolutely necessary to have recourse to the evidence of the witnesses I should have no difficulty in writing one by one to the friends I have named and I am sure they would not fail to respond to my wish.
These are the facts; the interpretation of them concerns the scholars.
Giovanni de Figueroa