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The Tragic Dream of Cawnpore

In the middle of the 19th century, a young English bride was haunted by a recurring nightmare. She found herself in an unknown city, it what appeared to be a foreign land. Riots were breaking out everywhere; a hateful and violent crowd chased her through the streets. She took refuge in a church where she found hundreds of her compatriots, who had similarly been chased and harassed. Together they waited until the rioters broke down the doors and massacred them all; she saw herself die.

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One day, her husband, a young and promising civil servant, was named to a post in India. They left together, excited to explore and discover this fabled country. The husband was stationed in the city of Cawnpore. When the riverboat that carried them arrive at the port, the young women let out a terrifying cry. Cawnpore was the site of her nightmares. The husband tried to reason with her, asking her to tell him step by step, moment by moment, every detail of the nightmare. “You see my love,” he said softly, “you are mistaken. There is no church in Cawnpore.”

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They settled in a soon the wife began to forget her nightmare. They adapted, and soon fell in love with India, and passed many years together in compete happiness. In time, the husband had received an extended period of leave, and the couple decided to travel back to England. After a few months, they decide to return and were delighted to rediscover their Indian home.

In the interim, Cawnpore had developed quite a bit, and when the young woman saw the city anew, her stomach turned as agony gripped her heart. During their absence, the English had erected a church, a church that mirrored the one in her nightmares down to the slightest detail.

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A few weeks later, the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857 broke out. Chased by the rebels, the young woman took refuge in the church, where she found hundred of her English countrymen. The rioters overran the church and slaughtered everyone. The young woman saw herself die.


by Prince Michael of Greece