I assured her that this interpretation was impossible. After some reflection I was able to give her the interpretation of the dream, which I subsequently made her confirm.
Having become an orphan at an early age, the girl had been brought up in the house of a much older sister, and had met among the friends and visitors who came to the house, a man who made a lasting impression upon her heart. It looked for a time as though these barely expressed relations were to end in marriage, but this happy culmination was frustrated by the sister, whose motives have never found a complete explanation. After the break, the man who was loved by our patient avoided the house: she herself became independent some time after little Otto’s death, to whom her affection had now turned. But she did not succeed in freeing herself from the inclination for her sister’s friend in which she had become involved. Her pride commanded her to avoid him; but it was impossible for her to transfer her love to the other suitors who presented themselves in order. Whenever the man whom she loved, who was a member of the literary profession, announced a lecture anywhere, she was sure to be found in the audience; she also seized every other opportunity to see him from a distance unobserved by him. I remembered that on the day before she had told me that the Professor was going to a certain concert, and that she was also going there, in order to enjoy the sight of him. This was on the day of the dream; and the concert was to take place on the day on which she told me the dream. I could now easily see the correct interpretation, and I asked her whether she could think of any event which had happened after the death of little Otto. She answered immediately: “Certainly; at that time the Professor returned after a long absence, and I saw him once more beside the coffin of little Otto.” It was exactly as I had expected. I interpreted the dream in the following manner: “If now the other boy were to die, the same thing would be repeated. You would spend the day with your sister, the Professor would surely come in order to offer condolence, and you would see him again under the same circumstances as at that time. The dream signifies nothing but this wish of yours to see him again, against which you are fighting inwardly. I know that you are carrying the ticket for to-day’s concert in your bag. Your dream is a dream of impatience; it has anticipated the meeting which is to take place to-day by several hours.”
In order to disguise her wish she had obviously selected a situation in which wishes of that sort are commonly suppressed—a situation which is so filled with sorrow that love is not thought of. And yet, it is very easily probable that even in the actual situation at the bier of the second, more dearly loved boy, which the dream copied faithfully, she had not been able to suppress her feelings of affection for the visitor whom she had missed for so long a time.