730 THE VISIONS OF SANE PERSONS.
in a perfectly defined and constant position, and this I have called a " Number form." Its origin call rarely bit loin trod to any nursery diagram, to the clock-face, or to any incident of childhood. Nay, the form is frequently unlike anything the child could possibly have seen, reaching in long vistas and pecspeetiVet, and ir: curves of double curvature. I have even had to gel. wire intodclr. made by some of my inforinunts in expluuution of whet. tiny wished to convey. The only feature that all the forms have in common iv their dependence in some way or other upon Lhe mcl.hod of vrrbnl counting, as shown by their tingles and other divisions occurring tit such points us those where the 'Leans begin, it, the two,tly'ii, Lit ii Lv's, and so on. The forms are in each case ahsolutoly unehangeablo -except through a gradual development in contplexily. '('heir diversity is endless, and the Number fin-ins of diflcrent men are mut trills unintelligible.
These strange "visions," which are oxf.renely vivid in some cases, are almost incredible to the vast out of mankind, who would sot. them down as fantastic nonsense, but. they are familiar parts of flee mental furniture of the rest, where they huvo grown naturally and where they remain unmodified and unmodifiuble by teaching. I have received many touching accounts of their childish expe•ienoes from persons who see the Number forms, and the other curious visions of which I shall speak. As is the ease with the colour blind, so with these seers. They imagined at first that everybody else lead the snore way of regarding things as themselves. Then they betrayed their peculiarities by some chance remark which called forth a stare of surprise, followed by ridicule and a sharp scolding for their silliness, so that the poor little things shrunk back into themselves, and never ventured again to allude to their inner world. I will quote just one of many similar letters as a sample. I received this, together with much interesting information, immediately after a lecture I gave last autumn to the British Association at Swansea' in which I had occasion to speak of the Number forms. The writer says
" I had no idea for many years, that every one did not imagine numbers in the same positions as those in which they appear to me. Ono unfortunate day
I spoke of it, and was sharply rebuked for my absurdity. Being a very sensitive child I felt this acutely, but nothing ever shook my belief that, absurd or
not, I always saw numbers in this particular way. I bean to be ashamed of
what I considered a peculiarity, and to imagine myself, from this and various other mental beliefs and states, as somewhat isolated and peculiar. At your
lecture the. other night, though I am now over twenty-nine, the memory of my childish misery at the dread of being peculiar came over me so strongly, that I
felt I must thank you for proving that, in this particular at any rate, my case is inost common."
The next form of vision_ of which I will speak is the instant association of colour,with sound, which characterizes a small per(I) See Fortuightlf Review, September, 1880.
'it, VISIONS OF SAND PERSONS. 731 ceutego of adults, but appears to Iet rather common, though in an illdevoloped degree, among childron. I can here appeal not only to
my own collection of facts, but to those of others, for the subject has latterly excited Homo interest in Germany. The first widen' known cat' was thief. ii' t.lt'r brotlit rs Nusabnuuor, published in Ii 73 by I't-,tf,"nor tlrobl, of \'ir-ttnn, of which the English reader will find ut acroattt ill Ih': twit volume' of Lewis's Proffers ol, fate rote( .]find (p. ','S(), than many oeeasictnal net.iees of situihu• association% lion ' ttl,petn•ed, hot I wits not aware thatt it. bad been inquired net'' on it 1org,; scale by tiny ono hat thyself', llovtlvet', I .vas t rnlibe l fry nt;'i tiff(; w it'll a pamphlet ,t few weeks ago,
1 1 nihli botl in I,oi ps e by ' two Kwiss invest.igator.4, Mosey:ti. Itlouler
and I,ehtoann. 'Choir collection c'f canes is fully as large as sty otvlt, and their results in :ht' more important uartters tire similar to taint'. ()fill of the two authors had the faculty very strongly, and IIn' other had not; so they worked conjointly with
uduuutaf-re. As my presoni. object. is to unbendiunt.e details to the general impression thttf. I wish to convoy of the visionary tendency of certain winds, I will simply rornuric, first., that the persistence of the colour tissociat.ion with sounds is fully as remarkable as that; of the ',Number form with numbers, Reeondby, that the vowel sounds chiefly evolve them. Thirdly, that the seers are invariably most minute in their description of the precise tint aid hue of the colour. They are never satisfied, for instance, with saying " blue," but will
take a great. deal of trouble to express or to match the particular
blue they mean. Lastly, noo two people agree, or hardly ever do so,
ns to the colour they associate with the same sound. I have one of'
the most extraordinary diagrams of these colour associations that has,
I suppose, ever been produced. It bas been drawn by Mr. J.
Key, of Graham's Town, South Africa. He sent me in the first
instance a communication on the subject, which led to further
correspondence, and eventually to the production of this diagram of
colours in connection =with letters and words. I have no reason to
doubt its trustworthiness, and am bound to say that, strange as it
looks, and elaborate as it is, I have other written accounts that
almost match it.
A third curious and abiding fantasy of certain persons is
invariably to connect visualised pictures with words, the same
picture to the same word. L have collected many cases of this, and
am much indebted to` the authoress, Mrs, Haweis, who sees these
pictures, for her kindness in sketching some of them for me, and her
permission to use her naime'in guarantee of their genuineness. She
" Printed words have always had. faces to me they bad definite expressions,
and certain faces made me think of `iiertain words. The words had no connec
tion with these except sometimes by accident. The instances I give: are few