A Vision of Lucifer
Extract, Short Fiction
Superstition, Supernaturalism, Menageries
The narrator is a naval man, who takes charge of a merchant vessel at port in London which has a reputation of being haunted. Repeatedly disturbed in his sleep by what seems to be the ghost of a former mate, he confronts the spectre, which is dragon-like and appears to be a devil. He wrestles with the 'tendency in the human mind to foster and encourage fancies of supernatural agency', and reports that, but for 'an innate disbelief of the existence of goblins', he would probably have spoken to the creature. In the event, he scares it away sufficiently to retreat to safety, but learns in the morning that it was a pet 'Cobra de Capello' which had been bought of some jugglers in India by the former mate.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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