Vicars to the death
It was one of those curious things, a dream within a dream, like a picture within a picture. I dreamt I dreamt that Mr and Mrs Venables tried to murder me. We were all together in a small room and they were both trying to poison me, but I was aware of their intention and baffled them repeatedly. At length, Mr Venables put me off my guard, came round fondling me, and suddenly clapping his hand on my neck behind said, 'It's of no use, Mr Kilvert. You're done for.' I felt the poison beginning to work and burn in my neck...
This dream within a dream excited me to such a state of fury, that in the outer dream I determined to murder Mr Venables. Accordingly I lay in wait for him with a pickaxe on the Vicarage lawn at Clyro, hewed and immense and hideous hole through his head, and kicked his face till it was so horribly mutilated, crushed and disfigured as to be past recognition. Then the spirit of the dream changed. Mrs Venables became her old natural self again. 'Wasn't it enough,' she said, looking at me reproachfully, 'that you should have hewed that hole through his head, but you must go and kick his face so that I don't know him again?' At this moment, Mr Bevan, the Vicar of Hay, came in. 'Well,' he said to me, 'you have done it now. You have made a pretty mess of it.'
It's strange, and somehow surprising, though it should be the least surprising thing in the world, to find that the Victorians had weird dreams too. In fact, now that it's been brought to my attention, I can't help thinking that of course they probably had much weirder ones than ours.
* Just found this quote to support my claim here: '"Why do I keep this voluminous journal?" Francis Kilvert asked himself. "Partly because life appears to me such a curious and wonderful thing that it almost seems a pity that even such a humble and uneventful life as mine should pass all together away without some such record as this..."'