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Coach and Arch

Dreamed 1901 by William Cavendish-Bentinck, Duke of Portland

Before the Coronation [of King Edward VII] I had a remarkable dream. The State coach had to pass through the Arch at the Horse Guards on the way to Westminster Abbey. I dreamed that it stuck in the Arch, and that some of the Life Guards on duty were compelled to hew off the Crown upon the coach before it could be freed.

When I told the Crown Equerry, Colonel Ewart, he laughed and said, "What do dreams matter?"

"At all events," I replied, "let us have the coach and Arch measured."

So this was done, and, to my astonishment, we found that the Arch was nearly two feet too low to allow the coach to pass through. It appears that the State coach had not been driven through the Arch for some time, and that the level of the road had since been raised during repairs.

I returned to Colonel Ewart in triumph, and said, "What do you think of dreams now?"

"I think it"s damned fortunate you had one," he replied.

So I am not sorry that my dinner disagreed with me that night; and I only wish all nightmares were as useful.

From William Cavendish-Bentinck's Men, Women and Things, 1937 quoted in The Oxford Book of Dreams (ed. Stephen Brook)

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