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feelings such as neither singly could have awakened, from both. But the most remarkable event of this nature which ever occurred to me, happened five years ago, at Oxford. I was walking with a friend, in the neighbourhood of that city, engaged in earnest and interesting conversation. We suddenly turned the corner of a lane, and the view, which its high banks and hedges had concealed, presented itself. The view consisted of a windmill, standing in one among many plashy meadows, inclosed with stone walls; the irregular and broken ground, between the wall and the road on which we stood; a long low hill behind the windmill, and a grey covering of uniform
cloud spread over the evening sky. It was that season when the last leaf had just fallen from the scant and stunted ash. The scene surely was a common scene: the hour little calculated to kindle lawless thoughts; it was a tame, uninteresting assemblage of objects, such as would drive the imagination for refuge in serious and sober talk, to the evening fireside, and the dessert of winter fruits and wine.
“ The effect which it produced on me was not such as could have been expected. I suddenly remembered to have seen that exact scene in some dream of long-Here I was obliged to leave off, overcome by thrilling horror." *
“ This remark closes the fragment written in 1815," adds Mrs. Shelley. “I remember well his coming to me from writing it, pale and agitated, to seek refuge in conversation from the fearful emotions it excited. No man, as these fragments prove, she continues, "had such keen sensations as Shelley. His nervous temperament was wound up by the delicacy of his health to an intense degree of sensibility, and while his active mind pondered for ever upon, and drew conclusions from his sensations, his reveries increased their vivacity, till they mingled with, and were one with thought, and both became absorbing and tumultuous even to physical pain."
Mrs. Shelley tells us that had not her husband " been lost to us so early, so that all his vaster projects were wrecked with him in the waves, he would have presented the world with a complete theory of mind; a theory to which Berkeley, Coleridge and Kant would have contributed; but more simple, unimpregnable and entire than the systems of those writers.'
The poet's mind having thus familiarly dwelt upon the metaphysical character of dreams and visions, and he himself having unquestionably experienced their poetical beauty, as well as their fantastic dramatic character, it is no wonder that dreams
* Doubtless, according to spiritual law, this scene corresponded with some interior condition of the Poet's mind-was, in fact, its external expression.
and visions have been so beautifully and spiritually introduced into his poetry. Indeed many of his poems, such as The Witch of Atlas, the Sensitive Plant, and Triumph of Life, resemble the world of dreams far more than they resemble the world of waking life.
QUEEN CAROLINE A BELIEVER IN THE SUPERNATURAL.
In a fragment of Shelley's Journal kept at Geneva in 1816, he says, “ Lewis recited a poem (upon a supernatural subject) tó Byron and myself which he had composed at the request of the Princess of Wales. The Princess of Wales, he premised, was not only a believer in ghosts, but in magic and witchcraft, and asserted that prophecies made in her youth had been accomplished since."
LOUIS NAPOLEON AND SPIRITUALISM. 6 One of the most noted American mediums, named Home, has frequently practised his magic art in presence of the Emperor: the spirits of deceased persons are supposed to enter into and possess these mediums whose faculties of articulation they make use of to speak to their earthly acquaintances: the spirit of Napoleon I. is reported to have often communicated in this manner with his imperial nephew; and it was probably in direct allusion to this, that Louis Napoleon once said to the French Senate: 'What most affects my heart is the thought that the spirit of the Emperor is with me, that his mind guides me, and his shade protects me.'
Those who deride the marvels of Spiritualism and regard them only as displays of legerdemain or sleight-of-hand, manifest exceeding blindness and ignorance."- Rev. M. Baxter.
EXTRACT FROM THE LETTER OF A FRIEND IN ITALY.
" I had at Bologna an interesting experience. I went to see Professor Amico, whose wife is a most clear somnambule for the cure of diseases. She every year receives about 2,000 letters from sick people. The daughter has also become a somnambule. I was present at the reading of one of the letters during her sleep. The Professor only tells her to look at his photograph and immediately the effect produced is sleep. I began to speak of Spiritualism with this family, and discovered that the Professor had lost all his faith in God, and in the existence of spirits; but the wife, who sees the spirits continually, has the most entire belief in them. She sees them whilst awake, She believes in
God; also in the Virgin who appeared once to her when very ill. She has, however, no power to convince her husband, who laughs at all she tells him. Still the wife stands firmly to her belief. The Professor not speaking French, I found difficulty in making myself understood in Italian, but his daughter translated for me. I said to him, “You clearly perceive that your wife sees the deceased
and can describe them; and at the same time she tells you that she sees spirits. Would it not be illogical to suppose that she sees two beings at once and describes one accurately and the other inaccurately, when they are equally visible ?
“ He answered, without any reasoning, saying that I ought to read a great deal on various subjects and that then I should discover that he was right.
“You see these people lose their own common sense through study, because in them the primary logical principle is not developed -as indeed is the case with the Italian people generally.”
“ I have slept in old castles and houses, some rooms in which were said to be haunted, and the last of them, at the time of my thus writing, was at the ancient and interesting seat of my friend Sir Thomas Barret Lenard, at Bellhas, in Essex. The form of an old domestic female is reputed there as occasionally seen haunting the galleries and stairs between the rooms. Somehow or other, one night, perhaps a cold one, she had taken it into her head to seat herself by the fire in the bedroom in which more recently I slept, and was there beheld by one whose word I do not doubt, though she admits to having been so frightened in her passage through the room by a seated figure, the old shrivelled hands of which rested on her knees,' that she stayed not for further observation, question, and reply, but hastened at once to reach more agreeable quarters. In the red glare of the dying embers, or by the fitful beam of an expiring lamp, the old chair in that bedroom of the hospitable house of my kind friend, has pressed itself on my gaze in connection with the the ghost, but I never saw it filled by any other forn own, nor do I wish to see that chair or any others a visitant from beyond the grave.”—Hon. Grantley Recollections.
PASSING EVENTS. THE SPREAD OF
BY BENJAMIN COLEMAN.
IMPOSSIBLE" DEMONSTRATED. " Don't tell me, sir,” said a highly cultivated and very able man, “don't tell me that inert matter can move about and exhibit force, nor that a table can be suspended without mechanical arrangement, in defiance of natural law—the thing is simply absurd—impossible! I cannot believe it! I don't think any man has ever really seen such a thing. It is a delusion of the senses and unworthy of serious investigation.” Such was the tone in which I was met by Mr. H- when speaking to him recently of what I had frequently seen and which I assured him were matters of every-day occurrence, and could be attested by thousands of credible witnesses.
“Suppose," I argued,“ that I could prove my assertions by practical demonstrations, would you be disposed to ignore the evidence of your senses ?"
“ I cannot suppose anything of the kind," was his reply; I have been a student of science all life. I know that the laws of nature cannot be suspended or set aside; I don't of course believe in spirits, or, as you call them, spiritual agencies, and if tables and other solid bodies move about as you describe, there must he a rational solution. I I agree with my son-in-law, Professor one of the best thinkers of the day, that the whole thing is absurd and unworthy of serious consideration."
“But," I argued," has your learned son-in-law, or have you, ever investigated the subject?" You have not ! and yet with a full knowledge that many men of science, who were once on your plane of thought, have investigated and have become believers in the reality of these seeming impossibilities,' you think it fair and philosophical not only to deny them without investigation, but to denounce, serious men who have that advantage over you, as fools or impostors ! We don't say that nature's laws can be set aside! But if the phenomena of which we speak be real, and
you may be assured that they are, then we say there must be some other law at work which you have not recognised ; and it is absolute folly, if it be nothing worse, that men in authority, experimental philosophers, who won't try this experiment, should go on misleading the world with denials and false theories, which
humble unlearned men like myself possessed of the facts can overthrow in a moment."
It seems strange enough that we Spiritualists should have to listen to the same objections, and be obliged to repeat the same answers year after year to men of common intelligence. But despite all opposition, we know that Spiritualism spreads, and happily it is now strong enough to withstand the learned ignorance and culpable indifference of its detractors. After our second interview, Mr. H-challenged me to demonstrate the "impossible.” “Let me see some of these things, " he said, “though I am not sure that I should trust the evidence of my senses : I would really be more disposed to mistrust them than to receive evidence so opposed to my ideas of the possible.” Thưs challenged, though the task of satisfying such a mind seemed hopeless, I determined to undertake it, stimulated in a measure by the knowledge that he was so closely related to one of our scientific authorities, who has not ventured, I believe, to grapple with this great truth, and to whom I thought Mr. Hmust state his convictions, however much they might run counter to his prejudices; and first obtaining from him a pledge that he would boldly proclaim the facts, even if they should unsettle his erroneous theories. I accompanied him to visit Mrs. Marshall, whose medium power for the display of physical manifestations as I have often said is amongst the best I have ever met with, Fortunately we were the only visitors, and I had, before an hour had passed, the satisfaction of overwhelming my sceptical friend with unmistakeable proof that tables can move about, and rise up apparently against the law of gravitation, without human agency or mechanical contrivances of any kind.
The room in which we sat was brilliantly lighted. There was with other furniture in the room a cabinet piano, a sofa, and two tables, the larger one would weigh at least fifty pounds, and upon this there remained, waiting the servant to remove it, a tray with tea things upon it. The small one at which we and the medium took our seats, is a strong and solid mahogany table, weighing about twenty pounds. As soon as the rapping sounds commenced I asked if any spirit present would give its name, and it was spelt out, “Eliza, his mother,” followed by Mr. He's own Christian name, both names being correct, and one unknown to me. There was then some confusion, and we did not pursue the enquiry in this way, as my companion clearly indicated by a little impatient manner that that was not what he had come to see. No doubt the thoughts passing in his mind were that any one could tap on the leg of a table, and the names spelt out were merely coincidence and guess work. He did not say so, but this I know by experience