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PERFECT MEMORY OF THE SUBJECTIVE MIND. 43
was unable to recognize my friends, I was informed that my memory was more than ordinarily exact and retentive, and that I repeated whole passages in the different languages which I knew, with entire accuracy. I recited, without losing or misplacing a word, a passage of poetry which I could not so repeat after I recovered my health."
The following more curious case is given by Lord Mon-boddo in his " Ancient Metaphysics " :1
" It was communicated in a letter from the late Mr. Hans Stanley, a gentleman well known both to the learned and political world, who did me the honor to correspond with me upon the subject of my first volume of Metaphysics. I will give it in the words of that gentleman. He introduces it by saying that it is an extraordinary fact in the history of mind, which he believes stands single, and for which he does not pretend to account; then he goes on to narrate it: About six-and-twenty years ago, when I was in France, I had an intimacy in the family of the late Marexhal de Montmorenci de Laval. His son, the Comte de Laval, was married to Mademoiselle de Man-peaux, the daughter of a lieutenant-general of that name, and the niece of the late chancellor. This gentleman was killed at the battle of Hastenbeck. His widow survived him some years, but is since dead.
" ' The following fact comes from her own mouth; she has told it me repeatedly. She was a woman of perfect veracity and very good sense. She appealed to her servants and family for the truth. Nor did she, indeed, seem to be sensible that the matter was so extraordinary as it appeared to me. I wrote it down at the time, and I have the memorandum among some of my papers.
"' The Comtesse de Laval had been observed, by servants who sat up with her on account of some indisposition, to talk in her sleep a language that none of them understood; nor were they sure, or, indeed, herself able to guess, upon the sounds being repeated to her, whether it was or was not gibberish.
"' Upon her lying-in of one of her children she was attended by a nurse who was of the province of Brittany, and who immediately knew the meaning of what she said, it being in the idiom of the natives of that country; but she herself when awake did not understand a single syllable of what she had uttered in he* sleep, upon its being retold her.
1 Vol. ii. p. 217.