Cornhill Magazine,  1 (1860), 670–81.

The Portent Ch. 2  [2/3]

[George Macdonald]


Novel, Serial


Supernaturalism, Mental Illness, Soul, Psychology, Mesmerism

    During a somnambulistic trance, the body of Lady Alice Hilton is merely 'the present symbol of an absent life', and when she begins to recover the narrator observes 'the dawn of a soul on the horizon of the material'. Falling in love with Alice, the narrator expresses the wish 'that will were power!', and soon discovers 'a new power which sprang into being within me'. This 'operative volition (if I may be allowed the phrase)' allows him to impel the sleep-walking Alice to enter his room. (680) Only in a somnambulistic trance, he remarks, 'did she enter that state of existence in which my will could exercise authority over her' (681).


Macdonald 1864

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