« FöregåendeFortsätt »
large excavations of the ancient wall of Paris built by Philippe Auguste, laid bare by the work in progress, has been assailed every evening and through the whole night by a hail of projectiles, which, from their bulk, and the violence with which they have been thrown, have done such destruction, that it has been laid open to the day, and the woodwork of the doors and windows reduced to shivers, as if it had sustained a siege, aided by a catapult or grape-shot.
6 Whence came these projectiles, which are paving-stones, fragments of the demolished walls near, and ashlar stones entire, which from their weight, and the distance they are hurled, are clearly from no mortal hand? This is just what, up to this moment, it has been impossible to discover. In vain has a surveillance been exercised day and night under the personal direction of the commissary of police and able assistants. In vain has the head of the service of safety been continually on the spot. In vain have they let loose every night watch-dogs in the adjoining enclosures. Nothing has been able to explain the phenomena, which, in its credulity, the people has attributed to mysterious means. The projectiles have continued to rain down with great noise on the house, launched forth at a great height above the heads of those who have placed themselves in observation on the roofs of the small surrounding houses, and seeming to come from a great distance, reaching their aim with a precision, as it were, mathematical, and without deviating from the parabolic evidently designed for them.
* We shall not enter into the ample details of these facts, which will, without doubt, receive a speedy explanation ; thanks to the solicitude which they have awakened. Already the inquiry extends itself in every direction to which the adage, Cui prodest is auctor. The author is some one or more whom it may benefit. Nevertheless, we will remark that, in circumstances somewhat analogous, and which equally excited a certain sensation in Paris, when for example, a rain of pieces of small money drew together the loungers of Paris every evening in the Rue de Montesquieu, or when all the bells were rung in a house in the Rue de Malte by an invisible hand, it was found impossible to make any discovery, to find any palpable cause for the phenomena. Let us hope that this time we shall arrive at a result more precise."
The Republique of the 4th of February continues :-“ La Gazette des Tribunaux speaks still of the famous machine of war, 80 redoubtable and, moreover, so mysterious, which keeps in commotion the inhabitants of the Quartier Saint Jacques. This is what it states to-day. The singular fact of a launching of projectiles against the house of a wood and coal merchant in the
Rue Neuve de Cluny near the Place du Pantheon, continues in activity to the present time, in spite of the strict and incessant watch kept on these places. At eleven o'clock when the watches were all stationed on every available approach, an enormous stone struck the barricaded door of the house. At three o'clock, whilst the officer of the service of public safety, on duty at the time, with five or six of his subordinates, were engaged in an enquiry into the different circumstances with the master of the house, a square of ashlar stone fell at their feet and burst with the explosion of a bombshell. People are lost in conjectures. The doors, the windows, are closed by planks nailed inside to protect the inhabitants from being struck, as their furniture and even their beds have been, and shattered by the projectiles.”
AN ODIOUS APPARITION.
M. Binet, a manufacturer of chemical utensils, 5, Rue Neuve, Saint Sabin, Paris, wrote to M. Cahagnet on the 4th of September, 1848:—“A fact very extraordinary occurred to me one night in the month of April, 1839. I awoke about two o'clock in the morning in a condition of moral suffering, very fearful. I found myself held down by an occult power, and, as it were, crucified upon my bed by the side of my wife, who slept, and whom the power which oppressed me prevented me from awaking. All my moral force seemed concentrated in my heart. I had presence of mind, and though it was impossible to move my body, I had all my powers of observation. I perceived my heart filled with a fluid which caused me an agony as if it had been sewed together with threads of silk. But spite of the force which constrained me, I had confidence in God, and felt certain that I should be enabled to conquer this miserable condition. When my eyes were opened, I perceived the moon which threw its light into my chamber, and when I closed them I found myself addressed by a being that I knew on earth. He approached in the first instance to ask something of me. He was dressed in a wretched black coat; his shirt was very dirty; in fact his condition announced the utmost misery. Ple concluded by ordering me to pray for him; but, as I detested the constraint in which he held me, I refused, and braved the consequences. I then perceived his breath enter my nostrils and poison me with an infernal and insupportable stench, but, thanks to God, I made a strong effort, and, spite of the exertions he made in opposition, I awoke my wife, and begged her to push me out of bed, which she did. I traversed the chamber with naked feet, but still I found myself held in the power of this man by my interior senses. My wife
gave me a glass of fresh water which I drank, and I begged of her to kneel with me in prayer to God for my deliverance. This we did with fervour. I found myself better, though the agony of heart remained, still seeming drawn together by threads. I went in the morning to walk in the Exhibition of the Products of Industry.* to distract my attention and recover my calmness.” M. Binet continues his account of a long period of suffering under this obsession, for such it was. At length he was advised to visit a clairvoyante-Madame Perin. This took place in the presence of M. and Madame Pirlot, and Colonel Roger. The moment the clairvoyante touched his hand, though he was an utter stranger to her, she gave a loud cry, and exclaimed that he was obsessed by a hideous spirit, which she saw enveloped in an atmosphere of the most disgusting character, the odour of which infected all around. All the company joined in earnest prayer for his deliverance, which took place a few days afterwards.
INSTANCES OF SPIRITS CARRYING MATERIAL SUBSTANCES.
Colonel Roger, probably the same mentioned in M. Binet's account of his obsession, sent Cahagnet several instances of spirits carrying material substances which had come under his own observation. It is to be regretted that he was not at liberty to give the names of the other witnesses, as he frankly gave his own, and his address, 4, Rue Neuve de l'Université, Paris.
First Fact. M. Rev. ***, senior, and myself were walking on the high road of a town in Brittany. On entering the hotel, M. Rev. *** perceived that he had lost his gold seal, which was of value. After dinner, he put a clairvoyante to sleep, who said :“ Call such a spirit, and pray him to go and search for your seal in a heap of stones near the sea, in the place indicated." Scarcely was the command given, when the spirit brought the seal to the clairvoyante, who said to M. Rev. ***, " Thank the spirit, and dismiss him.”
Second Fact. The Colonel
that on their return to Nantes he was very unwell. The same clairvoyante, M. Rev. *** being present, prepared a glass of sugar and water, and prayed a spirit known
* It appears from this that Paris had an Exhibition of the Products of National Industry in 1848, so that our Great Exhibition of 1851 was not the original idea of such Exhibitions. It was only the extension of the idea from a national to an international one.
to him to pour some drops of a healing fluid into it. They saw this actually take place; the Colonel drank the water, and in an hour was entirely cured. This, he says, took place in April, 1827.
Third Fact. Whilst still at Nantes, and before returning to Paris, the Colonel attended a séance in a society who were clearly addicted to magic. The members sat in a circle in the room, each having a spirit-lamp burning at his feet. The ceremony commenced impiously by invoking the blessing of God on their proceedings. The consequences were appalling. Scarcely was the invocation made when a burst of wild laughter and horrible hisses resounded through the room. The lamps were instantly extinguished, and on all sides fell pieces of old iron, iron bars, &c., but without striking any of the company. The president, he says, instantly chased the demons away by calling on the name of God, and they decamped, leaving their projectiles behind them.
If this be true—and Cahagnet guarantees, from his long knowledge of him, the thorough integrity of the Colonel—it is a frightful instance of the evil side of Spiritualism, and it is to be hoped the Colonel kept better company afterwards.
This case is a proof of what we have always endeavoured to place prominently in view. That Spiritualism, like everything else, has its two sides—its light and dark one. Its enemies, who admit its reality, say it is all from the devil; some insufficientlyinformed Spiritualists believe it all from God. The truth in this, as in all other cases, lies in medias res. The devil, in proof of the adage, has not neglected to build his chapel alongside of God's Church of Spiritualism; and it always has been, and always will be so. In the history of the Church the greatest saints have always been most assaulted and tempted by the devil. But has any one thought on that account of pronouncing the Church from the devil ? In Spiritualism, as in Christianity, we must exercise our free will, and take the advantages or the penalties consequent on our choice. Happy is he who
embraces the divine Spiritualism, and, like Bunyan's pilgrim, holds on his way heavenward past the very gates of Apollyon. w but
Amongst the statements to which a mere reference is suff cient, is one by M. Blesson, a picture dealer of 56, Rue av Ours, Paris, who says that on two occasions no amount of fi could boil the water for their dinner. On the first occasion th: burnt a whole basket of charcoal, and kept up a fierce heat, I it made no impression on the water for four hours. On second occasion the water refused to boil for six hours. TI
called in their neighbours on both occasions, who were astonished at the phenomena beyond measure. Madame Blesson was a medium, and hence, no doubt, the power of the mischievous spirit in the house. On both occasions Blesson put his wife into the mesmeric sleep, and he saw the demon the first time in the shape of a hideous owl. They were only defended from his attacks by constant prayer.
A Madame Belhot, of Argenteuil, sent Cahagnet word that three women of her acquaintance, who intended to speculate in the lottery, got a human skull which they were told, under certain manipulations, would assist to indicate the number through a clairvoyante. The four women were about to commence their incantations, when some one knocked at the room door. Instantly they popped the skull into the bed to the ailing woman, who as instantly uttered a loud shriek, and declared that she was bitten in the arm.
On examining the arm, they found it not only bitten, but severely, and Madame Belhot, who heard the shriek from an adjoining room, ran in and saw the teeth-marks of the fiend. The women speedily carried back the skull to the place whence they had taken it.
M. J. B. Borreau, of Niort, a man well known and honoured amongst the disciples of magnetism, states that one night he was awakened out of a sound sleep by a blow on his shoulder, and saw standing before him one of his uncles who lived at Cháttellerault, who said, "Nineveh is destroyed !" His emotion was so great at this apparition, that it awoke his wife, who demanded what was amiss. “ Oh!” said he, “my uncle is dead: he was here this instant." No doubt he used the words, “ Nineveh is destroyed," as he had ruined his fortune by a work on the East. All day these words rang in the ears of M. Borreau, and a few days brought the news of his uncle's death.
During the winter of 1843, M. Borreau was much engaged on his property, about half a league from Niort. There he wag assured by a clairvoyante that there was a copious supply of water to be obtained by an incision into a lofty declivity, which would not only be very valuable to the land but a great charm to the estate. 'Undeterred by any fear of ridicule from assaying to find water on such information, M. Borreau set to work actively. At length they laid bare a large mass of rock which protruded so dangerously that it was necessary to support it by masonry. Before this masonry, however, was finished, so great was M. Borreau's impatience, especially as his gardener amongst others had remonstrated with him on the folly of supposing he could get water out of a chalk cliff of nearly 50 feet high, that on Sunday, when the men were not at work, he visited the place and taking up a pick, began cutting away at