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interesting Manuel de Magnétisme Animal, gives the case of a lady, his patient, who, when entranced, foretold the day and hour when an accident, the nature of which she could not foresee, was to befall her, and from it a long series of illness was to take its rise. Dr Teste and the lady's husband were staying with her when the fatal moment approached. Then she rose, and, making an excuse, left the room, followed by her husband; when, on opening a door, a great grey rat rushed out, and she sank down in a fit of terror, and the predicted illness ensued. In this most decisive case, the prevision extended to an extraneous and accidental circumstance, to which no calculation or intuition of her natural bodily changes could have led her.
3. But there are instances which reach yet farther. Dr Foissac narrates the case of a Mdlle. Cæline, who, when entranced, predicted that she would be poisoned on a certain evening, at a given hour. What would be the vehicle of the poison she could not foresee, either at the time when she first uttered the prediction, or on an occasion or two afterwards, when, being again entranced, she recurred to the subject. However, shortly before the day she was to be poisoned, being questioned in trance as to the possibility of averting her fate, she said, 66 Throw me into the sleep a little before the time I have named, and then ask me whether I can discern where the danger lies.” This was done, and Malle. Cæline at once said that the poison was in a glass at her bed-side
—they had substituted for quinine an excessive doze of morphine.
Thus it appears that persons in waking trance can, first, calculate what is naturally to follow in their own health, or in that of persons with whom they are in mesmeric relation; can, secondly, foretell the occurrence of
fortuitous external events, without seeing how to prevent them; can, thirdly, when endowed with more lucidity, discern enough to enable them occasionally to counteract the natural course of external events. Fate thus becomes a contingency of certainties. There is a true series of consequences to be deduced from whatever partial premises the clairvoyante may happen to be acquainted with. When she has more data, she makes a wider calculation, certain as far as it goes. But other premises, influencing the ultimate result, may still have escaped her. So the utmost reach of genuine trance-prevision is but the announcement of a probability, which unforeseen events may counteract.
I will conclude this head by introducing M. Alexis's account of his own powers of mesmeric prevision, in which the reader will see that his experience has led him to view his conclusions as calculations upon certain positive elements; yet he admits the possibility of powers greater than his own : « On peut prévoir l'avenir," said M. Alexis ; “ mais lorsque cet avenir a des fondations positives. Mais annoncer un fait isolé, un accident, une catastrophe, non. Cependant quelquefois cela est arrivé aux individus, mais c'étaient des instruments de la Divinité : ces hommes sont rares. Etant à une maison de jeu, je sçaurais d'avance la couleur gagnante, surtout aux cartes. Mais à la roulette cela me semble très difficile. Cela est de l'avenir. Les cartes, au contraire, sont dans les mains d'un homme quelques minutes. Cependant si l'on voulait appliquer la clairvoyance à une exploitation semblable, je suis materiellement et moralement certain que la vue ferait faute."
XIV. Ultra-terrestrial Vision. If a clairvoyante can discern what is passing at the distance of one hundred
leagues, why should not his perception extend to material objects beyond our sphere?
Mr Williamson tried to conduct one of his clairvoyantes mentally to the moon; but, having got some way, she declared the moon was so intolerably bright, that the effort pained and distressed her, and accordingly Mr Williamson relinquished the experiment, and happened not to renew it.
M. Alexis, when entranced, in answer to my inquiries, declared himself cognisant of the condition of the planets. He said that they were inhabited, with the exception of those which are either too near to, or too remote from the sun. He said that the inhabitants of the different planets are very diverse ; that the earth is the best off, for that man has double the intelligence of the ruling animals in the other planets. It would be the height of credulity to regard this communication as more than a clever guess; yet a plausible guess it is, for if the other planets are composed of the same material elements with the earth, it is evident that the temperature of our planet must render these same materials more generally available for life and economic purposes on it than they would be in Mercury or Saturn.
XV. Ultra-vital Vision.—The following is M. Alexis's trance-revelation as to the state of the soul after death. I presume it is no more than an ingenious play of his fancy; but a young clergyman of some acuinen, to whom I communicated it, was half disposed to give it more credit, and observed, with logical precision, that, viewing the statement as an intuition, it would show the necessity of the resurrection of the body.
“L'âme ne change jamais. Après la mort elle retourne à la Divinité. Dieu a voulu attacher l'âme au corps, qui est un prison où Dieu a voulu enfermer l'âme pendant
qu'elle est sur la terre. L'âme ne perd jamais son individualité. Après la mort, nos souvenirs ne nous restent
The last sentence is that to which my friend's remark principally referred.
XVI. Nature of the Supreme Being.–The following striking expressions were made use of by M. Alexis, when entranced, in answer to a string of questions which I had sent to him on this subject. He declared, at the same time, that he had never before been led to consider it in his mesmeric state. I presume, therefore, that in his ordinary waking state he is a Spinozist, and that, in place of an intuition, he simply delivered an oracular announcement of his preconceived notions :
“Il n'y a pas de parole humaine qui peut donner une idée de la Divinité. Dieu c'est tout. Il n'a pas de personalité. Dieu est partout et nulle part. Dieu est le foyer qui allume la nature. Dieu est un foyer universel, dont les hommes ne sont que la vapeur la plus éloignée, la plus faible. Chaque homme est l'extremité d'un rayon de Lui-même. Il n'existe que Dieu.”
THE ODOMETER OR DIVINING-RING.—How come upon by the author
His first experiments—The phenomena an objective proof of the reality of the Od-force.
QUALIS ab incepto” shall be the motto of this twelfth letter, the materials of which were undreamt of by me, when some three months ago I remitted the new and corrected edition of the Letters” to England. The occasion which led me to the knowledge of the facts I have to mention, and their bearing, tally curiously with what has gone before.
For it is again winter, with its long solitary evenings, against the tedium of which I had to seek a resource; and I bethought me, this time, of occupying myself with looking into the higher mathematics. Accordingly I sent to Herr Caspari, professor of mathematics in the gymnasium at Boppard, to solicit him to give me the instruction and assistance which I needed. And he obligingly came, in the evening of the 31st of December, to sit by my bedside and converse with me. And I went over preliminarily my schoolboy recollections of the elements of mathematics, and was pleased at finding the remembered difficulties vanish before the explanations of my well-informed tutor. And I learned, to my vast delight, that the inability under which asymptotes labour to touch hyperbolas is a purely arbitrary one,