Tales Of A Traveller, By Washington Irving

 -  The idea of being hag-ridden by
my own fancy all night, and then bantered on my haggard looks the - Page 50
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The Idea Of Being Hag-Ridden By My Own Fancy All Night, And Then Bantered On My Haggard Looks The Next Day Was Intolerable; But The Very Idea Was Sufficient To Produce The Effect, And To Render Me Still More Nervous.

Pish, said I, it can be no such thing.

How could my worthy host imagine that I, or any man would be so worried by a mere picture? It is my own diseased imagination that torments me. I turned in my bed, and shifted from side to side, to try to fall asleep; but all in vain. When one cannot get asleep by lying quiet, it is seldom that tossing about will effect the purpose. The fire gradually went out and left the room in darkness. Still I had the idea of this inexplicable countenance gazing and keeping watch upon me through the darkness. Nay, what was worse, the very darkness seemed to give it additional power, and to multiply its terrors. It was like having an unseen enemy hovering about one in the night. Instead of having one picture now to worry me, I had a hundred. I fancied it in every direction. And there it is, thought I, - and there, and there, - with its horrible and mysterious expression, still gazing and gazing on me. No if I must suffer this strange and dismal influence, it were better face a single foe, than thus be haunted by a thousand images of it.

Whoever has been in such a state of nervous agitation must know that the longer it continues, the more uncontrollable it grows; the very air of the chamber seemed at length infected by the baleful presence of this picture.

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