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under the above title. The letter is dated the 1st May, but should have been written on the first day of the previous month, for it is a fine example of the poisson d'Avril. Our scientific men and periodicals are showing up very badly just now.
The "divulging" is as follows :
The "workers' (exploiteurs) of spiritualistic séances work on the mind alone,-the proceedings may well be called spiritual séances, -and since no one appears to have had the opportunity, or the courage, to divulge the true nature of this species of gross imposture, pray allow me to give you the following simple narrative :
Whilst residing in London about twelve months ago, as you are aware, I accompanied some friends to several of these séances, and was not long in observing that one of the conditions essential to the success of every séance, or in other terms, to render “the spirits favourably disposed," was to partake of tea or some kind of refreshment before the séance began. If I remember rightly, we paid five shillings each, or some such amount, and the “ tea, &c.” was included.
Now you know that I have been for several years interested in the investigation of the physiological effects of certain narcotic drugs, having begun some experiments on this subject during my prolonged residence in the East, and I was not a little surprised, after partaking of the “tea, &c.," at the very first of these séances, to feel coming on the-to me exceedingly familiar-effects of hemp-resin or haschish! The dose thus fraudulently administered must have been tolerably strong, for, accustomed as I have been to experiment on hemp and similar drugs, its effects were, nevertheless, very powerful; this may have arisen, however, from the circumstance that I had not previously taken any for more than a year.
I will not stay here to dilate upon the effects—spiritual effects—that can thus be easily brought about. The action of hemp-resin is well known to European physiologists since the experiments of Dr. Moreau, Professor De Luca and others in France, and Dr. O'Shaughnessy in England. It will be sufficient for me to state that the success of a spiritualistic séance depends upon the fantastic effects produced by this potent drug. The usual exhilarating effects of small doses are, when larger doses are administered, quickly followed by an intense feeling of bien-être, a peculiar sense of happiness; it is, if we may so express it, a feeling of intense intellectual happiness. Shortly, however, another effect supervenes ; the power of controlling the thoughts vanishes gradually, judgment disappears, and the mind becomes the faithful slave of any fantastic idea that may arise, or that is impressed upon it by any person present. In fact, we believe, or rather, we realise most completely, everything that is said to us. It is not unusual, at the same time, to feel oneself rising in the air; in fact, when simply walking across a room it is impossible not to feel that you are walking in the air, and not upon the ground; all sense of distance is completely gone, and in taking a few steps you imagine, or rather you feel, that you are travelling for miles.
You may now fancy some four or five imbéciles undergoing a séance! If the "tea" or "refreshment” is, perchance, refused, “the spirits are not propitious," or “the séance is, unfortunately, not possible to-night;" the impostors are "very sorry, but it will be necessary to come another evening," &c.
Fortunately for the deluded individuals upon whom this simple trick is practised, the taking of one dose of the poisonous drug is not usually followed by very serious consequences; otherwise, had some fatal accident occurred, the matter would long since have been investigated by some of your learned barristers.
"THE SCIENTIFIC REVIEW ON THE INCAUTIOUS PROFESSOR.
"While we write these lines, a correspondence is going on apropos of Spiritualism between Mr. Home and Professor Tyndall. It appears that the late Dr. Faraday had communicated with some of Mr. Home's friends, 'who desired that
this great philosopher and good and sensible man should test, by actual experi ments, the alleged facts of Spiritualism. The mantle of the departed prophet seems to have fallen on one who, whatever others may think, is, in his own opinion at least, thoroughly competent to succeed to the prophetic honours. Elisha Tyndall, accordingly, publishing a letter from Faraday, stating conditions under which he would experiment upon the spirits, winds up with the following postscript:
“P.S. -I hold myself in readiness to witness and investigate in the spirit of the foregoing letter, such phenomena as Mr. Home may wish to reveal to me during the month of June.' Oh that inveterate 1 of Dr. Tyndall! Will no kind friend tell him that self-assertion is but a fool's faine? Is the first personal pronoun the only one in the grammar from which the new philosopher of Albemarle Street learned bis English? We have already had occasion to comment on this weakness to which one of our great lights of science is onfortunately subject. We have already shown that in a page taken at random from one of his purely scientific treatises, the stark staring bold capital occurs no less than eight times. We admire Dr. Tyndall's genius, we applaud his efforts in the pursuit of science, but we do seriously advise him to keep Dr. Tyndall little more in the background, and to push the subject of his disquisitions somewhat more towards the front.
" In his correspondence with Mr. Home, we cannot help thinking that the philosopher gets rather the worst of it."
The following is the copy of a letter, in April, 1864, from Professor De Morgan, to Mr. Joseph Paul, F.R.G.S:
“ Dear Sir, I am perfectly satisfied that phenomena such as you describe are genuine, and this from what I have seen, and heard on evidence which I cannot doubt. What they arise from I cannot tell.
“ The physical phenomena which you describe are beyond all explanation, but still there may be physical forces we know nothing of. The mental phenomena are vastly more difficult; there must be, so far as we can see, some unseen intelligence mixed up in the matter. Spirit or no spirit, there is at least a reading of one mind by something out of that mind.
“ Yours truly,
66 A. De MORGAN."
A SINGULAR DREAM VERIFED. The Banner of Progress (San Francisco) relates the following :-“While the plague was at its height in Alexandria, a Mohammedan merchant dreamed that eleven persons would die of the plague in his house. When he awoke he remembered the dream; and there being exactly eleven persons in the house, himself included, he became uneasy. His alarm increased, when, on the following day, the wife, two female slaves, and three children, died; but he became quite certain that his death was at hand, when, on the fourth day, his two remaining children, a woman servant, and an old man servant, sunk into the grave.
He accordingly made his preparations to pass into eternityrelated his dream to some of his friends, and begged them to make inquiry every morning, and in case he should be dead, have him buried with the usual solemnities.
A cunning thief, who had heard the circumstance, took advantage of the merchant's fright to open his door in the night and when the terrified man called out, 16 Who's there?” to answer, “I am the Angel of Death,” in order, while the merchant concealed himself underneath the bedclothes, and was quite beside himself, to pack up what effects he could find in the house and carry them away. Unluckily for him, he was seized with the plague and died on the stairs. The merchant, however, did not venture for many hours to put his head from under the bedclothes, till at length his friends came, heard from him what had happened, found the effects, recognized the thief, discovered the truth, and confirmed the strange accomplishment of the dream."
THE ROYAL SOCIETY PROFESSORS AND
CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN PROFESSOR FARADAY AND
WE said in our last number that we should probably give some further letters of Professor Faraday of a subsequent date to that to Sir Emerson Tennent. We do this more to satisfy Professor Tyndall than our readers, because by this time they must have formed their opinion as to the value of Professor Faraday, Sir D. Brewster, and Professor Tyndall as unprejudiced inquirers. We wonder if Professor Tyndall will like to express publicly bis approval of these petulant and conceited letters of Professor Faraday's, which display as much ignorance of the subject as they do arrogance in treating it.
We put no value whatever upon the adverse opinions expressed by Faraday, Brewster, and Tyndall; and to be consistent we would place no value whatever upon their favourable opinions had they expressed them. The defect is in their judgment, which has been proved to be so faulty, that we consider them as out of the question for the future as for the past.
March 17th, 1862. Sir,-Seeing in a leading article of the Times last Saturday, that you have a means of testing the table movements at spiritual séances, I venture to leave this note, asking as a favour that you will allow our small circle (three in number) to sit in your presence, either at our residence or your own, yourself joining it or not as you think fit. My object, indeed I may say our object, is to ascertain by the strict scrutiny of competent judges of magnetic forces, the verification of the communications, undoubtedly made to us, as being of a spiritual nature or otherwise. Until this last six months we were Tyros in matters of this kind, but our experiences since then, have been (to us at least) so surprising, that I have kept a list of them, which at some time will be interesting for perusal. I beg to say we are not connected in any way with the recognized mediums, and sincerely hoping you will give your consent for our sitting as before mentioned.
I have the honour to be, Sir,
THOMAS SAERRATT, Junr. M. Faraday, Esq., F.R.S., &c., &c.
P.S.–Our circle consists (with myself), of my sister (the medium), and her husband.
Mr. Faraday's compliments to Mr. Sherratt—he refers him to the Times of June 30th, 1853, and to the Athenaeum of July 2nd, 1853, for the method he employed for the investigation of table motions. He has no intention of returning to the subject. 17th March, 1862.
9, Westmoreland Place, Westbourne Grove North, Bayswater,
31st October, 1864. Sir, I wrote to you some two-and-a-half years since about certain manifestations which had occurred to myself and relatives, of a kind generally known as of a spiritual character. I have been induced to keep an account of them, and the two numbers of the Magazine, which I take the liberty of inclosing, contain each a paper of mine on that subject. Iwould beg to call your attention more especially to that in No. 10, as being, as far as it goes, a result of our experiences; Magnetism being the means of producing them, but as that is a comprehensive word, I must leave others more skilled than myself therein, to define the
peculiar kind of production of those phenomena.' Mr. T. J. Pettigrew, whom I have the pleasure of knowing, stated some time back in his Obituary of the Associates of the British Archeological Association, that Mr. W. Newton (whom I also knew), had been, when young, a member with himself of a society formed for the investigation of scientific subjects and which had resulted in much good to all; and if I am rightly informed, you was also a member thereof. I hope, therefore, that you will look on the inclosed as an effort to follow in that direction, humble and distant though it be. Allow me, with the greatest respect to remain, Sir,
Your most obedient Servant,
THOMAS SHERRATT. Professor Faraday, F.R.S., &c., &c., &c.
1st November, 1864. Sir,- I beg to thank you for your papers, but have wasted more thought and time on so-called spiritual manifestation than it has deserved ; unless the spirits are utterly contemptible they will find means to draw my attention. How is it that your name is not signed to the testimony that you give? Are you doubtful even whilst you publish? I see no evidence that any natural or unnatural power is concerned in the phenomena, that required investigation or deserves it. If I could insult the spirits or move them to make themselves honestly manifest I would do it, but I cannot, and am weary of them.
I am, Sir, your obedient Servant, Thomas Sherratt, Esq.
M. FARADAY. 9, Westmoreland Place, Westbourne Grove North, Bayswater,
3rd November, 1864. Sir,--I have just had your letter, and trust you
will pardon me for saying a few words in reply. I believe, Sir, that the power, spiritual or magnetic, or whatever it may be ultim found to be (although from my experience of it, I belier be spiritual), would manifest itself to you, if you could duced to sit at a séance with your mind prepared tr to any manifestations which might occur; it may have sat, and possibly nothing occurred—as suci happen to us—all I can say is, try again, and a are sure to obtain them ultimately. Respecting being in full to the papers in the Magazine, I be is not customary in those publications to put t The editor, of course, knows me; and that part has somewhat of a local status, it being und