274 MEMORIES OF MY LIFE
"Well, there certainly was one curious thing," etc. etc.
One afternoon at tea-time, before a meeting of the Royal Society, Sir Risdon Bennett (i 809-1891), a well-known physician, President of the College of Physicians in 1876, and a Fellow of the Royal Society, drew me apart and told me of a strange experience he had had very recently. He was writing in his study separated by a thin wall from the passage, when he heard the well-known postman's knock, followed by the entrance into his study of a man dressed in a fantastic medieval costume, perfectly distinct in every particular, buttons and all, who, after a brief time, faded and disappeared. Sir Risdon said that he felt in perfect health ; his pulse and breathing were normal, and so forth, but he was naturally alarmed at the prospect of some impending brain disorder. Nothing, however, of the sort had followed. The same appearance recurred ; he thought the postman's knock somehow originated the hallucination.
I begged him to publish the curious case fully with his name attached, as it would then become a classical example, but he hesitated ; however, he did ultimately publish it at some length in a medical paper, but signed only with his initials. I wholly forget its date. If any reader interested in these things should come across the paper, these imperfect but vivid recollections of mine may corroborate such impressions as he would have of its veracity, for I heard the story at length, very shortly after the event, told me with painstaking and scientific exactness, and in tones that clearly indicated the narrator's earnest desire to* be minutely correct. I purposely