« FöregåendeFortsätt »
I turned my head to see and listen. I am sure; and as to matter, it merely The speaker, who wore a sergeant's changes form.” chevron and carried one arm in a sling, “But why then," said he, “should was a tall, loosely made person, with a not the dead soul talk to the living. In pale face, light eyes of a washed-out space, no doubt, exist all forms of mat. blue tint, and very sparse yellow whis- ter, merely in finer, more ethereal bekers. His mouth was weak, both lips ing. You can't suppose a naked soul being almost alike, so that the or- moving about without a bodily gargan might have been turned upside ment. No creed teaches that, and if down without affecting its expression. its new clothing be of like substance His forehead, however, was high and to ours, only of ethereal fineness, -a thinly covered with sandy hair. I more delicate recrystallization about should have said, as a phrenologist, the eternal spiritual nucleus, - must Will feeble, - emotional, but not pas- not it then possess powers as much sionate, - likely to be enthusiast, or more delicate and refined as is the new weakly bigot.
material in which it is reclad ?”. I caught enough of what passed to “Not very clear," I answered; "but make me call to the sergeant when the after all, the thing should be susceptichaplain left him.
ble of some form of proof to our pres"Good morning,” said he. “How do ent senses." you get on?”
“ And so it is," said he. “Come to“ Not at all," I replied. “Where morrow with me, and you shall see and were you hit ?"
hear for yourself.” “0, at Chancellorsville. I was shot. “I will,” said I, “if the doctor will in the shoulder. I have what the doc- lend me the ambulance." tors call paralysis of the median nerve,. It was so arranged, as the surgeon but I guess Dr. Neek and the lightnin' in charge was kind enough, as usual, battery will fix it in time. When my to oblige me with the loan of his wagtime's out I'll go back to Kearsage on, and two orderlies to lift my useless and try on the school-teaching again. trunk. I was a fool to leave it."
On the day following, I found my“Well,” said I, " you 're better off self, with my new comrade, in å house than 1."
in Coates Street, where a “circle” was “Yes," he answered, “in more ways in the daily habit of meeting. So soon than one. I belong to the New Church. as I had been comfortably deposited in It's a great comfort for a plain man an arm-chair, beside a large pine-table, like me, when he's weary and sick, to the rest of those assembled seated thembe able to turn away from earthly selves, and for some time preserved an things, and hold converse daily with unbroken silence. During this pause I the great and good who have left the scrutinized the persons present. Next world. We have a circle in Coates to me, on my right, sat a flabby man, Street. If it wa' n't for the comfort I with ill-marked, baggy features, and inget there, I should have wished myself jected eyes. He was, as I learned afdead many a time. I ain't got kith or terwards, an eclectic doctor, who had kin on earth; but this matters little, tried his hand at medicine and several when one can talk to them daily, and of its quackish variations, finally setknow that they are in the spheres tling down on eclecticism, which I beabove us."
lieve professes to be to scientific medi* It must be a great comfort," I re- cine what vegetarianism is to common pied, " if only one could believe it." sense, every-day dietetics. Next to him
"Believe!” he repeated, “how can sat a female, – authoress, I think, of you belp it? Do you suppose anything two somewhat feeble novels, and much dies ? »
pleasanter to look at than her books. "No," I said. “The soul does not, She was, I thought, a good deal ex
confess surprised me, for this among are a few small ganglia other reasons. It is said that a burn absent or inactive, u of two thirds of the surface destroys man reduced, as it wer. life, because then all the excretory mat terms, and leading an ters which this portion of the glands tive existence. Woulu of the skin evolved are thrown upon asked myself, possess : the blood, and poison the man, just as dividuality in its usual ci happens in an animal whose skin the even if his organs 04 physiologist has varnished, so as in mained, and he were » this way to destroy its function. Yet sciousness ? Of course here was I, having lost at least a third he could not have it a of my skin, and apparently none the dahlia, or a tulip. But worse for it.
then ? I concluded tha Still more remarkable, however, were a minimum, and that, if the physical changes which I now be lation to the outer wor! gan to perceive. I found to my horror of destroying a man's crm that at times I was less conscious of himself, the destruction myself, of my own existence, than used sensitive surfaces might to be the case. This sensation was so in a less degree, a like novel, that at first it quite bewildered diminish his sense of ind
I felt like asking some one constantly if I were really George Dedlow I thus reached the conc or not; but, well aware how absurd I man is not his brain, or . should seem after such a question, I re of it, but all of his econy frained from speaking of my case, and to lose any part must lesst strove more keenly to analyze my feel- of his own existence. I is ings. At times the conviction of my person who properly app want of being myself was overwhelm- great truth.
She was a ing, and most painful. It was, as well lady, from Hartford, -- an an as I can describe it, a deficiency in for some commission, perhı. the egoistic sentiment of individuality. itary. After I had told h About one half of the sensitive surface and feelings, she said: “Ye of my skin was gone, and thus much of hend. The fractional entit: relation to the outer world destroyed. ty are embraced in the on As a consequence, a large part of the unitary Ego. Life," she receptive central organs must be out of the garnered condensation employ, and, like other idle things, de- impressions; and, as the generating rapidly. Moreover, all the the remote father of the sp. great central ganglia, which give rise to must individuality, which movements in the limbs, were also eter- cused subjectivity, suffer ani nally at rest. Thus one half of me was the sensation lenses, by whi!! absent or functionally dead. This set of impression are condense: me to thinking how much a man might destroyed.” I am not quite lose and yet live. If I were unhappy I fully understood her, but I enough to survive, I might part with appreciated my ideas, and I : my spleen at least, as many a dog has ful for her kindly interest. done, and grown fat afterwards. The The strange want I have s: other organs, with which we breathe now haunted and perplext and circulate the blood, would be es- constantly, that I became nasential ; so also would the liver ; but wretched. While in this stat. at least half of the intestines might be from a neighboring ward fell 07 dispensed with, and of course all of the ing into conversation with the limbs. And as to the nervous system, within ear-shot of my chair, the only parts really necessary to life their words arrested my atten.
cited at the prospect of spiritual reve. After this, several of the strangers lations. Her neighbor was a pallid, were called upon to write the names of care-worn girl, with very red lips, and the dead with whom they wished to large brown eyes of great beauty. She communicate. The names were spelled was, as I learned afterwards, a mag- out by the agency of affirmative knocks netic patient of the doctor, and had when the correct letters were touched deserted her husband, a master me- by the applicant, who was furnished chanic, to follow this new light. The with an alphabet card upon which he others were, like myself, strangers tapped the letters in turn, the medium, brought hither by mere curiosity. One meanwhile, scanning his face very keenof them was a lady in deep black, close- ly. With some, the names were readly veiled. Beyond her, and opposite to ily made out. With one, a stolid perme, sat the sergeant, and next to him, sonage of disbelieving type, every atthe medium, a man named Blake. He tempt failed, until at last the spirits sigwas well dressed, and wore a good deal nified by knocks that he was a disturbof jewelry, and had large, black side. ing agency, and that while he remained whiskers, - a shrewd - visaged, large- all our efforts would fail. Upon this nosed, full-lipped man, formed by na- some of the company proposed that he ture to appreciate the pleasant things should leave, of which invitation he of sensual existence.
took advantage with a sceptical sneer Before I had ended my survey, he at the whole performance. turned to the lady in black, and asked As he left us, the sergeant leaned if she wished to see any one in the over and whispered to the medium, spirit-world.
who next addressed himself to me. She said, “Yes," rather feebly. “Sister Euphemia,” he said, indicat
“Is the spirit present ?” he asked. ing the lady with large eyes, “ will act Upon which two knocks were heard in as your medium. I am unable to do affirmation.
more. These things exhaust my ner"Ah!” said the medium, “the name vous system.” is — it is the name of a child. It is “Sister Euphemia," said the doctor, a male child. It is Albert, - no, Al- “ will aid us. Think, if you please, fred ! "
sir, of a spirit, and she will endeavor “Great Heaven ! ” said the lady. to summon it to our circle." “My child! my boy!”
Upon this, a wild idea came into my On this the medium arose, and be- head. I answered, “I am thinking as came strangely convulsed. “I see,” you directed me to do." he said, “I see — a fair-haired boy. I The medium sat with her arms folded, see blue eyes, - I see above you, be looking steadily at the centre of the yond you — " at the same time point- table. For a few moments there was ing fixedly over her head.
silence. Then a series of irregular She turned with a wild start. knocks began. “ Are you present ? » * Where, — whereabouts ? "
said the medium. “A blue-eyed boy," he continued. The affirmative raps were twice “over your head. He cries, – he given. says, Mamma, mamma!”
"I should think,” said the doctor, The effect of this on the woman was “that there were two spirits present." unpleasant. She stared about her for His words sent a thrill through my a moment, and, exclaiming, “ I come, heart. I am coming, Alfy !” fell in hysterics “Are there two ?” he questioned. on the floor.
A double rap. Two or three persons raised her, and “Yes, two," said the medium. “Will aided her into an adjoining room; but it please the spirits to make us conthe rest remained at the table, as scious of their names in this world ?” though well accustomed to like scenes. A single knock. "No."
“ Will it please them to say how wonder filled me, and, to the amazement they are called in the world of spir- of every one, I arose, and, staggering a its ?"
little, walked across the room on limbs Again came the irregular raps, – 3, invisible to them or me. It was no 4, 8, 6; then a pause, and 3, 4, 8, 7. wonder I staggered, for, as I briefly re
"I think," said the authoress, “they flected, my legs had been nine months must be numbers. Will the spirits," in the strongest alcohol. At this she said, “ be good enough to aid us ? instant all my new friends crowded Shall we use the alphabet ? ”
around me in astonishment. Present“Yes," was rapped very quickly. ly, however, I felt myself sinking slowly. "Are these numbers ? "
My legs were going, and in a moment * Yes," again.
I was resting feebly on my two stumps "I will write them,” she added, and, upon the floor. It was too much. All doing so, took up the card and tapped that was left of me fainted and rolled the letters. The spelling was pretty over senseless. rapid, and ran thus as she tapped in I have little to add. I am now at turn, first the letters, and last the num- home in the West, surrounded by evbers she had already set down :
ery form of kindness, and every possi“UNITED STATES ARMY MEDICAL ble comfort; but, alas! I have so little MUSEUM, Nos. 3486, 3487."
surety of being myself, that I doubť my The medium looked up with a puz- own honesty in drawing my pension, zled expression.
and feel absolved from gratitude to “Good gracious !” said I, "they are those who are kind to a being who is my legs ! my legs !”
uncertain of being enough himself to What followed, I ask no one to be be conscientiously responsible. It is lieve except those who, like myself, have needless to add, that I am not a happy communed with the beings of another fraction of a man; and that I am eager sphere. Suddenly I felt a strange re- for the day when I shall rejoin the lost turn of my self-consciousness. I was re- members of my corporeal family in anindividualized, so to speak. A strange other and a happier world.
ON TRANSLATING THE DIVINA COMMEDIA.
| ENTER, and see thee in the gloom
Of the long aisles, O poet saturnine !
The air is filled with some unknown perfume ;
For thee to pass ; the votive tapers shine ;
The hovering echoes fly from tomb to tomb.
Rehearsals of forgotten tragedies,
And lamentations from the crypts below ;
With the pathetic words, “ Although your sins