' Father,' I cried, ' where is she ? Where are the dead ? Is the great resurrection come and gone ? The terror of my loneliness was upon me ; I could not sleep without my dead; I ran from the desolate chamber.— Whither shall I go to find them ? '
'You mistake, my son,' he answered, in a voice whose very breath was consolation. ' You are still in the chamber of death, still upon your couch, asleep and dreaming, with the dead around you.'
' Alas! when I but dream how am I to know it ? The dream best dreamed is the likest to the waking truth ! '
' When you are quite dead, you will dream no false dream. The soul that is true can generate nothing that is not true, neither can the false enter it.'
' But, sir,' I faltered, how am I to distinguish betwixt the true and the false where both alike seem real ? '
' Do you not understand ? ' he returned, with a smile that might have slain all the sorrows of all his children. ' You cannot perfectly distinguish between the true and the false while you are not yet quite dead; neither indeed will you when you are quite dead—that is, quite alive, for then the false will never present itself. At this moment, believe me, you are on your bed in the house of death.' .
'1 am trying hard to believe you, father. I do indeed believe you, although I can neither see nor feel the truth of what you say.'
' You are not to blame that you cannot. And because even in a dream you believe me, I will help you. —Put forth your left hand open, and close it gently : it will clasp the hand of your Lona, who lies asleep where you lie dreaming you are awake.'