Obrazy na stronie

see, dear reader, how common everything what manner of man thou art, or what is thy becomes by use. We warrant now, that if, calling, we know not, and we never may on walking into your drawing-room, you were know; but this we will say for thee, that thou to find the chairs chasing one another, the art a consummate master of bathos! Why tables staggering under the influence of in- wert thou not content with the crystals, and toxication, and the sofas frantically curvetting, diamonds, and phosphorescence and coruscayou would feel not a little amazed. These tions? These might have won the hearts of things, however, the philosophic American young believers ; but who can figure Ariel treats with intense disdain ; and, we doubt tying knots upon the handkerchief, or what not, gives the footstool an admonitory kick, stomach revolts not at the apparition of that as it playfully attempts to jump into the coal- beastly brush ? scuttle. But to resume our quotation : We shall, however, be told not to scoff, but

to reason ; and there are one or two points in In the present case they proved to be but the the preceding narrative which we think it prologue to demonstrations of a most astounding right to notice. We assume this to be, in character, and such as, I am fully aware, will tax to the utmost the fuith of the uninitiated in substance, the narrative of Mr. Partridge,

who was present, and that he remains unthe vericity of those upon whose concurrent testimony these facts were subsequently made contradicted by any others who were there.

So be it. That is a broad assumption, but public.

At the stage of the proceedings last alluded to, we do not wish to stand upon trifles. In the it was proposed by so ine one to darken the room, first place, after a preliminary rapping, such in order to try whether the lights and sparkles, as constantly occurred when Miss Catherine known frequently to accompany the manifesta- Fox was present, music was demanded by the tions in former instances, would be perceptible. spirits. That may be a peculiar and favorite It was accordingly done, and the lights were taste of theirs, for anything we know to the observed, at different times and in different parts contrary; it is enough for us that natural of the room — sometimes resembling phosphores- sounds were required, to allow the developcent flames, sometimes forming luminous clouds ment of the non-natural. In this we observe moving about, sometimes like glistening stars, a strong family likeness to legerdemain es. crystals, or diamonds. Physical demonstrations hibitions,

which seldom go on smoothly unless increased in variety and force, and continued for the attention of the audience is distracted. three hours, “ during which," says Mr. Partridge, " the judge seemed to be in the possession Next, Mr. Gordon, a medium, drops into a of the spirits.” Many things occurred to him magnetic sleep, and makes use of expressions which he mentioned that he alone could be con- from which, we sincerely hope, his waking scious of; though we could perceive that some- sense would revolt. An inspired chair jumps thing extraordinary was going on with and about without any obvious reason, but no one around him. Many things, however, also oc- pays attention to it; and the next potable curred, which all could witness.

occurrence is, that “ some one" proposes to The card-table before mentioned began to move darken the room. We should like to know with violent force from one side of our circle who made that proposition! If it was Mr. (which was large) to the other, rocking, and Partridge, it is deeply to be regretted that his rising up and coming down; and, finally, the modesty has kept him in the back-ground; it leaf was shut up, the cover turned round to its is always well, in matters like this, to be place, the table was gently turned upside down, and laid at our feet. In this situation, myself. specific. The room was darkened accordingand others took hold of it, and ascertained its ly, “ to try whether the lights or sparkles,

would position; and, after a short interval, it was


And it seems that they did turned up, the leaf opened, and the table placed appear. But to whom? The gifted narrator as before. A chair, which stood outside of our does not tell us who observed the lights. Is he circle, and several feet from any one, was sud- recounting his own impression, or that of the denly moved up to the circle and back, rocked, whole company? On a late grand occasion, and finally, with great rapidity, conveyed from about which there could be no dispute - the one end of the room to the other, winding its eclipse of the sun - our scientific men were

way among the people who sat there without not at one about the color and shape of cer- touching them, and yet at times passing with tain rays or flames which were thought to

fearful rapidity within an inch or two of our per- issue from the verge of the solar disc, towards sons. . . A pocket-handkerchief was taken from the moment of obscuration. The spiritual the judge's pocket, and tied into many knots and put back again ; a table-brush was taken from phenomena, being more recondite, and cer. the shelf, and put into the hands of several per which are purely natural, require more ex

tainly less generally understood than those sons successively, and taken out again, and their hair brushed with it !!!

actitude in the telling. Who saw those

crystals, diamonds, phosphorescence, &e. ! 0, Partridge, Partridge !—for we are led Was it Partridge only — or did the Foxes to understand that the foregoing is your likewise see them - or were they visible to account, not that of Henry Spicer, Esq. – the rest of the company? On these very essen

tial points we are left utterly in the dark — much a shade to us as the spirit who, he preas utterly as Judge Edmonds, who, with a sumes, in pelled his arm-chair. Fleshly or halo of glory around him, " seemed to be in disembodied, they may be excellent fellows the possession of the spirits !” As Mr. both ; but our belief in them is just the same Partridge cannot tell us what occurred to the which we repose in the shade of Katterfelto. judge, we shall not be inquisitive to know. It is, however, no joke to be “ in the posMany things may have occurred to him. session of the spirits,” for they are apt to Had we been in his place, it would have oc- play strange pranks with those who surrender curred to us that a slight supper, not unac-themselves to their power. It is not pleasant companied by some mildly diluted spirits, to be whisked up to the roof, and suspended might be salubrious after such a séance; from it like a gigantic spider, after the manthough, with a modesty equal to his, we ner of Hervio Nano, the original Gnome-fly. should have abstained from hinting our de- Nevertheless, an eyewitness has stated that sire. No doubt “ something extraordinary Mr. Daniel D. Hume, a medium, was placed was going on with and around him." Gen. in this singular position. tlemen's handkerchiefs do not usually emerge from their pockets from an innate desire of Suddenly, and without any expectation on the being tied into knots ; and surely it would be part of the company, the medium, Mr. Hume, a great satisfaction for the judge to know was taken up in the air!. I had hold of his hand what spirit took that liberty with his mov- at the time, and I felt of his feet ; they were lifted ables.

a foot from the floor! He palpitated from hend However, the room being darkened, the to foot with the contending emotions of joy and furniture began to race about at a speed or fear which choked his utterance. Again and “ fearful rapidity” which no article seems to again he was taken from the floor, and the third have attained when the candles were lighted. time he was carried to the lofty ceiling of the It was all the difference between a mild sid- apartment, with which his hands and head came

in gentle contact. I felt the distance from the ling and the fanaticism of a Highland reel. soles of his boots to the floor, and it was nearly In the day-time your chair might deceive three feet. Others touched his feet to satisfy you, jerking back as you confidingly surren- themselves. dered your nether man to it; and you might be greeted with a spiritual guffaw, and a We confess that we would have given a general rapping indicative of the delight trifle to have seen the palpitating medium which the ghosts received from your burt sprawling in the air ! We presume this upon the os coccygis. But, dowse the glim, settles the question about the suspension and there is the very devil to pay. Tables of Mahomet's coffin ; for no stanch Mussulare turned upside down, the room being so man ghost would grudge the labor of upholddark that their position can only be ascertained ing it. The experiment, however, has been by touch. An arm-chair conceives that it is a attempted before. Manlius, the friend of steam-engine, and whisks recklessly by. Melancthon, tells us in his Collectanea — “I We remember, in days long past, having was acquainted with a certain person, called played at blind-man’s-buff in a darkened Faust of Kundling, a small town in Wirtem. room, and we at once recognize the truth of berg. He was a Cracovian Scholasticus, and the American phenomena. How the furni- read lectures on magic in the university ture did use to go about ! You thought you there. He was a great rambler, and poswere catching a nymph, and a screen came sessed many secrets. At Venice, wishing to slap in your face, eliciting diamonds and amuse the populace, he boasted that he coruscations more brilliant than any which would fly up to heaven. The devil accordingRundell and Bridge could exhibit. “An an-ly wasted him up a certain height, but dashed cestral chair by the fire-place became, on him down again in such a plight that he lay these occasions, a perfect demon. It would half dead on the ground." We insert this have been easier to stand the shock of Coeur- extract from the writings of a very learned de-Lion, than the tilt of that venerable ma- man, by way of warning to the American hogany. But then we were not magicians. experimentalists. Johanna Southcote, if we Granting that we occasionally caught a spirit, mistake not, espected to be taken up;'' and a very slight shriek was elicited, and the her Scottish imitator, Luckie Buchan, actu“rappings' were decidedly few. In sober ally stood tiptoe on the top of a hill in Dumearnestness, we beg to observe that this friesshire, vainly soliciting a soar, Daniel “manifestation" is by far the most suspicious has transcended Johanna — Hume has risen of any which has yet been cited ; and that beyond Buchan. though dignified by the presence of a judge, But is it not possible that some of these “in the possession of the spirits" — we can- phenomena may be attributable to natural not by any means accept it as conclusive agencies, such as magnetism, electricity, &c., of the ghostly power. We make no imputa- though their operation is not yet understood ? tion against any one. Mr. Partridge is as That is a very fair question ; and we, who

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detest dogmatism almost as thoroughly as (whether from a desire to know how far “madeception, have no objection to answer it. terial aid” might be safely accorded, or from Our experience of the past warrants us in idle curiosity as to the missing crown of Hunconcluding that there are many natural agen- gary) pressed somewhat eagerly upon the notice cies with which we are imperfectly ac

of the spirits. The latter, however, cut all quesquainted. Among the most important of tions short, by addressing the medium, Mr. Edthese is electricity, whether it emanates from

ward P. Fowler, thus animated or inanimate objects ; and no man,

“Edward, place a paper on your table, and we think, is entitled to deny the genuineness o subscribe it with our names. You will then sign

we will write a sentiment upon this matter, and alleged phenomena, on account of their

it also.' singularity or startling nature, so long as they The result reported was as follows :can be attributed to a natural source. Thus, In accordance with the above directions, Edif it were alleged that, through the operation ward placed a paper on his table, in his sleepingof magnetism, luminous points or sparkles room, which was July written upon in the course were made to appear in a darkened room, we of the night, and signed by forty-three spirits. should not be justified in sneering at the It was subsequently sigued by the members of statement, simply because it is contrary to the circle ; but, owing to the omission of the hisour own experience. Nay, we shall go even tory, and the irregular mode of affixing the sigfurther. It is not impossible, though certainly natures of the members, the spirits made the folimprobable, that an ubject, such as a table, lowing communication at the succeeding regular may be so impregnated and surcharged with meeting,“ Burn that, and we will write upon

another." electricity, as to be moved, without visible power, from its place. But to tell us that and a parchment was procured, and placed on

Accordingly, the first paper was destroyed, handkerchiefs can spontaneously tie them- Edward's table, on his retiring for the night. selves into knots, and hair-brushes rush of On the morning of the 23d of December, when their own accord to people's heads, is a direct the medium rose, he found the sentiment, insult to the understanding, and is indeed ad-“ Peace, but not without freedom," and the sigmitted to be so by the illuminati. They are natures inscribed on the parchment, obliged to have recourse to spirits ; and not At the meeting of the circle held on the 25th hypothetically to account for some wonderful of December, Dr. Hall asked the spirits whether phenomenon, but directly, from positive reve- each spirit executed his or her own name, as they lations vouchsafed to themselves. Now with occurred on the parchment, when the spirits anthis, science has nothing at all to do. They

swered emphatically — “Yes !" are asserting, not natural, but supernatural agencies ; and these we utterly deny. Let it We hope that document will be preserved be observed that we do not express a disbelief with as much care as the original Declaration in reported results, solely because the spirit- of Independence. It ought to be ; for who do ualists choose to refer them to preternatural you think signed it among others? Why causes. It is possible that a table might move, BENJAMIN Franklin ! Don't be surprised. or lights be exhibited, without spiritual inter- dear reader – we shall get to Washington by vention ; but these men have cut the ground and by. Edward B. Fowler, it would appear, from beneath their own feet. They do not is a remarkably gifted seer - quite à Joe argue that these phenomena may have been Smith in his way — and Franklin, or rather produced by spiritual intervention, but they the spirit of that illustrious man, requested declare that they were so produced ; and, with him to get a book, and note down very parsingular audacity, they have undertaken to ticularly his experiences. Charles Partridge, prove that position. The reader, who has who was present, inspired by a natural jealhitherto been introduced to "rappings,” loco- ousy of the preference shown to the Fowler, inmotive furniture, self-acting hair-brushes, and quired - rather impertinently, as we think tortuous handkerchiefs, must now prepare - whether, if he had been in the room, he himself for something stronger. We recom- could have seen what Edward snw? The mend him to take a caulker, by way of forti- reader must understand that, hy this time, fying himself for the revelation.

the spirits_had vouchsafed to appear as carThe spirits CAN MAKE THEMSELVES Visible! nalities to Fowler. Franklin's reply conveys Yes — indeed they can; and, what is more, a dignified and proper rebuke. “ Your sphere they can sign their names. Here is the state would not have permitted us to present ourment as to the latter fact:

selves even to Edward." The Partridge was

caught in his own snare - a victim to the At one of a series of meetings (hereafter more Fowler. It so happened, however, that the particularly described), convened for the pur- latter had mentioned the apparition of the pose of“ spiritual intercourse,” at the residence queer little man in his room on the previous of Mr. Charles Partridge, New York, the subject evening, and another of the party requested of Kossuth's “mission” was referred to, and to know what name he bore in the flesh.

Franklin courteously replied, “ The small man | Would you like a touch of Jefferson by way was Hahnemann." We wonder whether any of relief? Here goes :deceased allopathist is permitted to walk.

The anniversary of America's birth is now beNo; we protest that it is no hoax of ours. Spicer may be hoaxing us, for, as we said ing observed by millions of happy people, who

enjoy the greatest blessings of any earthly nabefore, he is a funny and facetious fellow, but tion. These blessings were won by a thorough we quote accurately from his volume. Now, and impartial investigation of the various theories then, putting aside the appearances, which are of government, one of which was carried ont in simply harmless, especially as they are con- practice by a class of men who were not afraid fined to Fowler, let us seriously consider the of truth. In all its affairs (the government) it inconveniences of post-mortem signature. We is as near the intended of God as its founders never heard of such a thing before, except in could, at that time, adopt, and at the same time the case of Sir Robert Redgauntlet, and his consolidate the States. But, with all its blessreceipt went hissing like a squib up the chim- ings, it was not perfect ; nor is it yet, and probney. Another judge, of the name of Gray, ably never will be. The Union, as it is, is worth is stated to have signed a document espressive destroy it, for as sure as they do, civil war and

preserving, and I pray my countrymen will not of his belief in the genuineness of the spiritual carnage will assuredly follow. Better permit subscriptions. In that case, we congratulate one evil than to destroy all that is good. the forgers of New York. One thing is quite evident, that they may now counterfeit with Perhaps the reader will be better able to impunity the handwriting of any deceased appreciate the truly Roman stoicism of the party. For some years to come, it is im- last sentence, when we remind him that the probable that spirits will be admitted to the children of Jefferson were, after his death, witness-box, or required to take an oath; and, publicly sold for slaves in the market of New supposing it to be established that spirits can Orleans. In the midst of ineffable glory, the write, it is difficult to inagine how a defence, spirit of Jefferson yet approves of the human resting on the authenticity of the signature, traffic ! could be repelled. Suppose & man dies in We hope these specimens will suffice — for the act of executing a will, and, five minutes we really have not space to notice the posthuafterwards, his spirit “raps” for two wit-mous writings of Calvin and Fenelon, who, nesses, and signs the deed in their presence, along with others of less celebrity, have will it be good in law? Why not? There is deigned to communicate their spiritual musthe signature, and nobody else made it ; ings to the American ear. In truth, this is a and it would be hard to maintain that very serious revelation for authors. What the spirit could not remedy the infirmity of would become of the living novelists were a the dying hand. There is a splendid pros- new series of the Waverley tales to be spiritpect open for collectors of autographs. Let- ually communicated? Are they safe against ters from the dead will soon become as plen- Cervantes and Boccaccio? Not at all. Spirits tiful as strawberries — nay, we greatly fear are proficients in all languages; and the new that they will tread upon the heels of the style both of Calvin and Fenelon is sonorous living. Washington is at it again. Would with the Yankee twang. It is really too bad you like to hear him?

that the bread is to be taken out of our mouths

by deceased authors, who can have no claim O, ye men of intelligence! Be ye warned that to copyright. Protection, they tell us, is this doctrine of spiritual intercourse will spread dead." Alas! the grave itself is now no proand overleap, all opposition. Be patient, ex- tection. We appeal to the reading public, amine, investigate try all things by the unfailing laws of nature and reason. Be not easily If they do, it is no use repeating the Oriental

Do they really want more of N. P. Willis ? turned from your course — let onward and up: wish that he may live for a thousand years; ward” be your watchword. All will be well if you persevere. Have charity ; love your op

for, according to the new method, he may posers ; forbear ; seek to enlighten them, 6 : write till the world is in flames. We rebe forgiving ; you are progressing.

member reading, some years ago, in one of

the periodicals, a rather impertinent paper, It is very well for Washington to ask us to in which the popular authors of the day were he patient; but what patience can stand such represented as embarking on a perilous aerial frightful drivel? Why, the man -- we beg voyage ; and when one of them, whom we pardon - ghost, hus forgot the significance of are glad to know is still fresh and lively, was language, for it is rank nonsense in a spirit, represented as having met with a fatal acciholding spiritual intercourse, to call that com- dent, the sole moan made by the survivors munication a doctrine. Can it be that spirits, was expressed in the emphatic words like men, are liable to intellectual decay? It “ Well!' that is one serial done for at all is an awful idea ; but, from the foregoing spec- events !". But, if these American revelations imen, it is evident that Washington is en- be true, living authors will shortly be worse titled to the privileges of the Fogie Club.off thap Macbeth -- there will not be a corner CCCCLIXV. LIVING AGE.



for them at the table. We shall be obliged I belief that the fault here lay with the medium, to hire spiritual bravos to make away with who has blundered the verse, and deserves tó the shades of our predecessors. Has any man have his ears cropped. More pitiable doga literary rival? If so, his course is clear gerel cannot be conceived ; and it is disgustlet him settle on him an annuity. His busi- ing to think that Shelley's ghost was not alness is to retain him as long as possible in lowed the opportunity of a revise. We lament the flesh; not to allow him to go out as an to say that Edgar A. Poe, the author of The active and under-selling spirit. For our- Raven," is still spirituously addicted ; and selves, we defy competition, but we tremble that his shade composes under the influence of to think what might be the fate of the poor intoxication. Mrs. Lydia Teoney, of Georgelads who write for the Edinburgh Review, town, Massachusetts, a noted medium — by should the defunct contributors take a fancy to the way, it is worth remarking that a person enliven the Blue and Yellow ! Not that of the name of Tenney signed a certificate of Mackintosh would make much sensation. the truth of the Fox demonstrations — lately Allowing for spiritual improvement, he would communicated to a magnetic circle a message remain as heavy as a sack of turnips ; but, in and poem from the deceased bard. It is not the present state of the hotch-potch, Sydney easy to decide whether they flavor most of Smith, spiritualized, would be a most valua- peach-brandy or of ether. able adjunct. We shall allow no political feelings to sway us. We utterly and entirely

Listen to me, and I will tell you of beautiful protest against posthumous productions of the things of thoughts both wild and tender defunct. Since we began this article. we human heart. A question which has moved the

both soothing and tumultuous, which dwell in a have been approached upon the spiritual side, minds of millions is, What is the end and aim of and the bait was certainly a tempting one. imagination ? — for what was it implanted in the It was neither more nor less than an offer human organization ? What was my own? but from the spirit of Ossian of a dictation of his a vortex rushing within itself, upon whose brink real poems as they ought to appear in the I could seem to stand and see whut was beSaxon garb. We are always averse to betray ing swallowed and reproduced — thorns, jagged confidence, even though it comes through rocks, beautiful flowers — all the whirl of this spirits ; and therefore we turn to Spicer for ceaseless current merged. posthumous poetry, believing that Ossian will

0, the dark, the awful chasm ! rap,” when we allude to him, if we are

0, the fearful spirit spasm ! guilty of any dishonor.

Wrought by unresisted passion Indefatigable during his life, Southey is still

In my heart. hard at work; though we are rather surprised Fancies joyous, but alluring ; to find him selecting American confidants. Love pure, but unenduring, We abstain from quoting his poem, solely on

From time to time securing account of the subject, which is personal and

Each a part. painful, relating to the mental malady that Then embraced by seraph bands — darkened his latter years. Shelley, we are Drawn by tender, loving hands sorry to observe, has lost much of his power From those treacherous, hateful sands of rhythm since he became a shade. Indeed,

Of despair. his lines will not scan ; and his words have

How my soul was waked to gladness,

And cast off the deadening sadness, no meaning. It is evident that the spirit who.

And the soul-devouring madness dictated the following lines is inadequate to

Writhing there! the composition of such a poem as the Sensitive Plant:

May we be caught up and suspended from Here am I blest! My mind can sweep o'er all

the ceiling, like Daniel D. Hume, if we stand Of beauty, and drink in a freedom

this any longer! These Transatlantic ghosts That on earth I was denied.

Earth's sons,

are superlative idiots ; let us try whether we With souls of clay, would have despoiled me ; cannot elicit something better from a native They made me what I was — they made me doubt ; apparition. For the last quarter of an hour But here, they have no power to mar my soul, For to my lumined spirit is revealed

there has been an incessant rapping on our What once was dim and shadowy on earth.

table — there is an odor of usquebau in the Ah! Immortality, thy bliss - and still

apartment, and we hear the droning of a spir'T was I who doubted thee !

itual bagpipe. The shade of old Ossian awaits Friend, listen why :

At the corner of the street there stands I saw the wrongs in Church and State, and I, too, a first-rate medium, Dugald Macvurich by Saw a power to right them, and to make

name, and he also is of the race of the bards. An Eden's garden smiling here ;

Him we entice, by the promise of a bottle of But others scorned, and wished not to right Those wrongs I saw, for they were false,

whiskey and a quarter of a pound of pigtail, Yet feigning to be true !

into our study; and having explained to him

our wishes, which he readily comprehends — In justice to the poet, we ought to state our for his father's sister's husband's cousin bad


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