The death bargain between Lillian Nichia and Anton Rubinstein, the great pianist and composer
Type of Spiritual Experience
Lillian Nichia, a pupil of Rubinstein, the great pianist and composer (1829-1894), tells this story of a death compact: This account may be found in Harper's Magazine for December, 1912, under the title A Girl's Recollections of Rubinstein, by Lillian Nichia.
Cardiac arrest does, in fact, really hurt.
A description of the experience
Also quoted in ONE HUNDRED CASES FOR SURVIVAL AFTER DEATH Edited by A. T. BAIRD
Harper's Magazine (December, 1912).and Dr. Walter F. Prince - Noted Witnesses of Psychic Occurrences (Boston).
"One wild, blustery night I found myself at dinner with Rubinstein, the weather being terrific even for St. Petersburg (now Leningrad). The winds were howling round the house, and Rubinstein, who liked to ask questions, inquired of me what they represented to my mind.
I replied, 'The moaning of lost souls.'
From this a theological discussion followed.
'There may be a future,' he said.
'There is a future,' I cried, 'a great and beautiful future ; if I die first, I shall come to you and prove this.'
He turned to me with great solemnity. 'Good, Liloscha, that is a bargain; and I will come to you.'
Six years later in Paris I woke one night with a cry of agony and despair ringing in my ears, such as I hope may never be duplicated in my lifetime. Rubinstein's face was close to mine, a countenance distorted by every phase of fear, despair, agony, remorse and anger. I started up, turned on all the lights, and stood for a moment shaking in every limb, till I put fear from me and decided it was merely a dream. I had for the moment completely forgotten our compact.
News is always late in Paris, and it was Le Petit Journal, published in the afternoon, that had the first account of his sudden death.
Four years later, Teresa Carreno, who had just come from Russia, and was touring America—I had met her in St. Petersburg frequently at Rubinstein's dinner-table—told me that Rubinstein died with a cry of agony impossible of description.
I knew then that even in death Rubinstein had kept, as he always did, his word.