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magnetism perverted to evil may solve half the riddles of sorcery. On this, however, I say no more at present. But as to that which you appear to reject as the most preposterous and incredible pretension of the mesmerists, and which you designate by the word 'clairvoyance/ it is clear to me that you have never yourself witnessed even those very imperfect exhibitions which you decide at once to be imposture. I say imperfect, because it is only a limited number of persons whom the eye or the passes of the mesmerist can affect, and by such means, unaided by other means, it is rarely indeed that the magnetic sleep advances beyond the first vague shadowy twilight dawn of that condition to which only in its fuller developments I would apply the name of 'trance.' But still trance is as essential a condition of being as sleep or as waking, having privileges peculiar to itself. By means within the range of the science that explores its nature and its laws, trance, unlike the clairvoyance you describe, is producible in every human being, however unimpressible to mere mesmerism."
"Producible in every human being! Pardon me if 1 say that I will give any enchanter his own terms who will produce that effect upon me."
"Will you? You consent to have the experiment tried on yourself?"
"Consent most readily."
"I will remember that promise. But to return to the subject. By the word trance I do not mean exclusively the spiritual trance of the Alexandrian Platonists. There is one kind of trance —that to which all human beings are susceptible—in which the soul has no share; for of this kind of trance, and it was of this I spoke, some of the inferior animals are susceptible; and, therefore, trance is no more a proof of soul than is the clairvoyance of the mesmerists, or the dream of our ordinary sleep, which last has been called a proof of soul, though any man who has kept a dog must have observed that dogs dream as vividly as we do. But in this trance there is an extraordinary cerebral activity — a projectile force given to the mind, distinct from the 'soul—-by which it sends forth its own emanations to a distance in spite of material obstacles, just as a flower, in an altered condition of atmosphere, sends forth the particles of its aroma. This should not surprise you. Your thought travels over land and sea in your waking state; thought, too, can travel in trance, and in trance may acquire an intensified force. There is, however, another kind of trance which is truly called spiritual, a trance much more rare, and in which the soul entirely supersedes the mere action of the mind."
"Stay," said I; "you speak of the soul as something distinct from the mind. What the soul may be, I cannot pretend to conjecture. But I cannot separate it from the intelligence 1"
11 Can you not? A blow on the brain can destroy
the intelligence! Do you think it can destroy the soul?
'From Marlbro's eyes the tears of dotage flow
Towards the close of his life even Kant's giant intellect left him. Do you suppose that in these various archetypes of intellectual man the soul was worn out by the years that loosened the strings, or made tuneless the keys, of the perishing instrument on which the mind must rely for all notes of its music? If you cannot distinguish the operations of the mind from the essence of the soul, I know not by what rational inductions you arrive at the conclusion that the soul is imperishable."
I remained silent. Sir Philip fixed on me his dark eyes quietly and searchingly, and, after a short pause, said:
"Almost every known body in nature is susceptible of three several states of existence — the solid, the liquid, the aeriform. These conditions depend on the quantity of heat they contain. The same object at one moment may be liquid; at the next moment solid; at the next, aeriform. The water that flows before your gaze may stop consolidated into ice, or ascend into air as a vapor. Thus is man susceptible of three states of existence — the animal, the mental, the spiritual — and according as he is brought into relation or affinity with that occult agency of the whole natural world, which we familiarly call Heat, and which no science has yet explained; which no scale can weigh, and no eye discern; one or the other of these three states of being prevails, or is subjected."
I still continued silent, for I was unwilling discourteously to say to a stranger, so much older than myself, that he seemed to me to reverse all the maxims of the philosophy to which he made pretence, in founding speculations audacious and abstruse upon unanalogous comparisons that would have been fantastic even in a poet. And Sir Philip, after another pause, resumed with a half smile:
"After what I have said, it will perhaps not very much surprise you when I add that but for my belief in the powers I ascribe to trance, we should not be known to each other at this moment."
"How — pray explain!"
"Certain circumstances which I trust to relate to you in detail hereafter, have imposed on me the duty to discover and to bring human laws to bear upon a creature armed with terrible powers of evil. This monster, for, without metaphor, monster it is, not man like ourselves, has, by arts superior to those of ordinary fugitives, however dexterous in concealment, hitherto for years eluded my research. Through the trance of an Arab child, who, in her waking state, never heard of his existence, I have learned that this being is in
England — is in L . I am here to encounter him.
I expect to do so this very night, and under this very roof."
"Sir Philip ! »
"And if you wonder, as you well may, why I have
been talking to you with this startling unreserve, know
that the same Arab child, on whom I thus implicitly
rely, informs me that your life is mixed up with that of the being I seek to unmask and disarm — to be destroyed by his arts or his agents — or to combine in the causes by which the destroyer himself shall be brought to destruction."
"My life! — your Arab child named me, Allen Fenwick f"
"My Arab child told me that the person in whom I should thus naturally seek an ally was he who had saved the life of the man whom I then meant for my heir, if I died unmarried and childless. She told me that I should not. be many hours in this town, which she described minutely, before you wrould be made known to me. She described this house, with yonder lights, and yon dancers. In her trance she saw us sitting together, as we now sit. I accepted the invitation of our host, when he suddenly accosted me on entering the town, confident that I should meet you here, without even asking whether a person of your name were a resident in the place; and now you know why I have so freely unbosomed myself of much that might well make you, a physician, doubt the soundness of my understanding. The same infant, whose vision has been realized up to this moment, has warned me also that I am here at great peril. What that peril may be I have declined to learn, as I have ever declined to ask from the future, what affects only my own life on this earth. That life I regard with supreme indifference, conscious that I have only to discharge, while it lasts, the duties for which it is bestowed on me, to the