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I had conceived a strong desire
to conciliate the good opinion of a man who had treated me with so singular and
so familiar a kindness, and it was sincerely that I expressed my regret at the
acerbity with which I had assailed Dr. Lloyd ; but of his theories and
pretensions I could not disguise my contempt. I enlarged on the extravagant
fallacies involved in a fabulous "clairvoyance," which always failed when put to
plain test by sober-minded examiners. I did not deny the effects of imagination
on certain nervous constitutions. " Mesmerism could cure nobody ; credulity
could cure many. There was the well-known story of the old woman tried as a
witch ; she cured agues by a charm; she owned the impeachment, and was ready to
endure gibbet or stake for the truth of her talisman—more than a mesmerist would
for the truth of his passes! And the charm was a scroll of gibberish sewn in an
old bag and given to the woman in a freak by the judge himself when a young
scamp on the circuit. But the charm cured ? Certainly ; just as mesmerism cures.
Fools believed in it. Faith, that moves mountains, may well cure agues."
Thus I ran on, supporting my
views with anecdotes and facts, to which Sir Philip listened with placid
When I had come to an end, he
said, " Of mesmerism, as practiced in Europe, I know nothing, except by report.
I can well understand that medical men may hesitate to admit it among the
legitimate resources of orthodox pathology; because, as I gather from what you
and others say of its practice, it must, at the best, be far too uncertain in
its application to satisfy the requirements of science. Yet an examination of
its pretensions may enable you to perceive the truth that lies hid in the powers
ascribed to witchcraft; benevolence is but a weak agency compared to malignity ;
magnetism perverted to evil may solve half the riddles of sorcery. On this,
however, I say no more at present. But as to that which you appear to reject as
the most preposterous and incredible pretension of the mesmerists, and which you
designate by the word ' clairvoyance,' it is clear to me that you have never
yourself witnessed even those very imperfect exhibitions which you decide at
once to be imposture. I say imperfect, because it is only a limited number of
persons whom the eye or the passes of the mesmerist can affect, and by such
means, unaided by other means, it is rarely indeed that the magnetic sleep
advances beyond the first vague, shadowy twilight dawn of that condition to
which only in its fuller developments I would apply the name of ' trance.' But
still trance is as essential a condition of being as sleep or as waking, having
privileges peculiar to itself. By means within the range of the science that
explores its nature and its laws, trance, unlike the clairvoyance you describe,
is producible in every human being, however unimpressible to mere mesmerism."
" Producible in every human being
! Pardon me if I say that I will give any enchanter his own terms who will
produce that effect upon me."
"Will you ? You consent to have
the experiment tried on yourself?"
" Consent most readily."
"I will remember that promise.
But to return to the subject. By the word trance I do not mean exclusively the
spiritual trance of the Alexandrian Platonists. There is one kind of trance—that
to which all human beings are susceptible—in which the soul has no share ; for
of this kind of trance, and it was of this I spoke, some of the inferior animals
are susceptible ; and, therefore, trance is no more a proof of soul than is the
clairvoyance of the mesmerists, or the dream of our ordinary sleep, which last
has been called a proof of soul, though any man who has kept a dog must have
observed that dogs dream as vividly as we do. But in this trance there is an
extraordinary cerebral activity—a projectile force given to the mind—distinct
from the soul—by which it sends forth its own emanations to a distance in spite
of material obstacles, just as a flower, in an altered condition of atmosphere,
sends forth the particles of its aroma. This should not surprise you. Your
thought travels over land and sea in your waking state ; thought, too, can
travel in trance, and in trance may acquire an intensified force. There is,
however, another kind of trance which is truly called spiritual, a trance much
more rare, and in which the soul entirely supersedes the mere action of the
" Stay," said I, " you speak of
the soul as something distinct from the mind. What the soul may be I can not
pretend to conjecture. But I can not separate it from the intelligence !"
" Can you not ! A blow on the
brain can destroy the intelligence; do you think it can destroy the soul ? It is
recorded of Newton, that, in the decline of his life, his mind had so worn out
its functions that his own theorems had become to him unintelligible. Can you
suppose that Newton's soul was as worn out as his mind ? If you can not
distinguish mind from soul, I know not by what rational inductions you arrive at
the conclusion that the soul is imperishable."
I remained silent. Sir Philip
fixed on me his dark eyes quietly and searchingly, and after a short pause said
" Almost every known body in
nature is susceptible of three several states of existence—the solid, the
liquid, the aeriform. These conditions depend on the quantity of heat they
contain. The same object at one moment may be liquid, at the next moment solid,
at the next aeriform. The water that flows before your gaze may stop
consolidated into ice, or ascend into air as vapor. Thus is man susceptible of
three states of existence—the animal, the mental, the spiritual—and according as
he is brought Into relation or affinity with that occult agency
of the whole natural world, which
we familiarly call HEAT, and which no science has yet explained ; which no scale
can weigh, and no eye discern ; one or the other of these three states of being
prevails or is subjected."
I still continued silent, for I
was unwilling discourteously to say to a stranger, so much older than myself,
that he seemed to me to reverse all the maxims of the philosophy to which he
made pretense, in founding speculations audacious and abstruse upon metaphorical
comparisons that would have been fantastic even in a poet. And Sir Philip, after
another pause, resumed with a half smile :
" After what I have said, it will
perhaps not very much surprise you when I add that but for my belief in the
powers I ascribe to trance, we should not be known to each other at this
" How ?—pray explain.
" Certain circumstances, which I
trust to relate to you in detail hereafter, have imposed on me the duty to
discover, and to bring human laws to bear upon, a creature armed with terrible
powers of evil. This monster—for, without metaphor, monster it is, not man like
ourselves—has, by arts superior to those of ordinary fugitives, however dextrous
in concealment, hitherto for years eluded my research. Through the trance of an
Arab child, who in her waking state never heard of his existence, I have learned
that this being is in England—is in L-. I am here to encounter him. I expect to
do so this very night, and under this very roof."
" Sir Philip!"
"And if you wonder, as you well
may, why I have been talking to you with this startling unreserve, know that the
same Arab child, on whom I thus implicitly rely, informs me that it is
ultimately through reliance on your agency or aid that the fearful course of the
existence I seek to unmask and to terminate will be brought to a close."
" By my agency or aid—your Arab
child named me, Allen Fenwick?"
" My Arab child told me that the
person thus instrumental to my object was he who had saved the life of the man
whom I then meant for my heir, if I died unmarried and childless. She told me
that I should not be many hours in this town, which she described minutely,
before you would be made known to me. She described this house, with yonder
lights and yon dancers. In her trance she saw us sitting together, as now we
sit. I accepted the invitation of our host when he suddenly accosted me on
entering the town, confident that I should meet you here, without even asking
whether a person of your name were a resident in the place ; and now you know
why I have so freely unbosomed myself of much that might well make you, a
physician, doubt the soundness of my understanding. The same infant, whose
vision has been realized up to this moment, has warned me also that I am here at
great peril. What that peril may be I have declined to learn, as I have ever
declined to ask from the future what affects only my own life on this earth.
That life I regard with supreme indifference, conscious that I have only to
discharge, while it lasts, the duties for which it is imposed on me to the best
of my imperfect power ; and aware that minds the strongest and souls the purest
may fall into the sloth habitual to predestinarians if they suffer the actions
due to the present hour to be awed and paralyzed by some grim shadow on the
future ! It is only where, irrespectively of aught that can menace myself, a
light not struck out of my own reason can guide me to disarm evil or minister to
good, that I feel privileged to avail myself of those mirrors on which things,
near and far, reflect themselves calm and distinct as the banks and the mountain
peaks are reflected in the glass of a lake. Here, then, under this roof, and by
your side, I shall behold him who— Lo ! the moment has come—I behold him now !"
As he spoke these last words Sir
Philip had risen, and, startled by his action and voice, I involuntarily rose
Resting one hand on my shoulder,
he pointed with the other toward the threshold of the ballroom. There, the
prominent figure of a gay group—the sole male amidst a fluttering circle of
silks and lawn, of flowery wreaths, of female loveliness, and female
frippery—stood the radiant image of Margrave. His eyes were not turned toward
us. He was looking down, and his light laugh came soft, yet ringing, through the
I turned my astonished gaze back
to Sir Philip—yes, unmistakably it was on Margrave that his look was fixed.
Impossible to associate crime
with the image of that fair youth ! Eccentric notions—fantastic speculations —
vivacious egotism — defective benevolence—yes. But crime ! No—impossible.
"Impossible !" I said, aloud. As
I spoke the group had moved on. Margrave was no longer in sight. At the same
moment some other guests came from the ball-room and seated themselves near us.
Sir Philip looked round, and
observing the deserted museum at the end of the corridor, drew me into it.
When we were alone he said in a
voice quick and low, but decided :
" It is of importance that I
should convince you at once of the nature of that prodigy which is more hostile
to mankind than the wolf is to the sheepfold. No words of mine could at present
suffice to clear your sight from the deception which cheats it. I must enable
you to judge for yourself. It must be now, and here. He will learn this night,
if he has not learned already, that I am in the town. Dim and confused though
his memories of myself may be, they are memories still ; and he well knows what
cause he has to dread me. I must put another in possession
of his secret ; and who but
yourself, through whom his career is to be ended ? Another, and at once. For all
his arts will be brought to bear against me, and I can not foretell their issue.
Go, then; enter that giddy crowd—select that seeming young man—bring him hither.
Take care only not to mention my name ; and when here, turn the key in the door,
so as to prevent interruption—five minutes will suffice."
" Am I sure that I guess whom you
mean? The young light-hearted man, known in this place under the name of
Margrave ? The young man with the radiant eyes, and the curls of a Grecian
" The same ; him whom I pointed
out ; quick, bring him hither."
My curiosity was too much roused
to disobey. Had I conceived that Margrave, in the heat of youth, had committed
some offense which placed him in danger of the law and in the power of Sir
Philip Derval, I possessed enough of the old borderers' black-mail loyalty to
have given to the man whose hand I had familiarly clasped a hint and a help to
escape. But all Sir Philip's talk had been so out of the reach of common sense,
that I rather expected to see him confounded by some egregious illusion than
Margrave exposed to any well-grounded accusation. All, then, that I felt as I
walked into the ball-room and approached Margrave, was that curiosity which, I
think, any one of my readers will acknowledge that, in my position, he himself
would have felt.
Margrave was standing near the
dancers, not joining them, but talking with a young couple in the ring. I drew
"Come with me for a few minutes
into the museum ; I wish to talk to you."
"What about ? an experiment ?"
" Yes, an experiment."
" Then I am at your service."
In a minute more he had followed
me into the desolate, dead museum. I looked round but did not see Sir Philip.
COLONEL WILSON'S CAMP ON
SANTA ROSA ISLAND.
page 678 we
illustrate the CAMP OF THE SIXTH NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS, COLONEL WILSON, on
Santa Rosa Island,
from a sketch by Charles F. Allgouer of the Sixth Regiment. It will be noticed
that the tents are all provided with shelters to protect the inmates from the
blistering heat of the Gulf sun. A letter from the camp says :
A far mere contented spirit
exists among the men than did a month or two since. A fresh supply of tents has
been given out, so that they have covering sufficient to shelter them from the
rains. A prize schooner, laden with boards, went ashore on the beach opposite
the camp, and permission was granted to the soldiers to appropriate as much as
they needed to the flooring of their tents.
Very little sickness prevails in
the camp. There are but twenty of our men in the hospital. Two cases of typhoid
fever have occurred ; both the patients are now convalescing. We have not lost a
man since coming upon the island.
A BALLOON RECONNAISSANCE.
page 679 we
publish a picture entitled a
WAR BALLOON PREPARING FOR A RECONNOISSANCE,
from a sketch by Mr. Ed. Pietsch.
The balloon shown in our picture
is that which is sailed by Mr. Lowe, and is stationed on Arlington Heights,
close to the head-quarters of
General McDowell. Every day or two, or whenever
the scouts bring in intelligence of a movement by the enemy, an ascent is made,
and accurate information is thus obtained of the state of affairs. Professor La
Mountain is serving with his balloon at Fortress Monroe ; much useful
information has been obtained by him in his various ascents.
The use of War Balloons did not
become general until the Italian war, in 1859. During that war Napoleon used
them regularly, and when the rebellion broke out in this country, our aeronauts
had no difficulty in obtaining employment from Government. The War Balloon is
attached to the earth by a strong but fine rope. It ascends from two to five
hundred feet in the air, and is hauled down when its aims have been fulfilled.
The importance of gaining such a height for observation can be appreciated by
all readers of military annals.
THE WAR IN MISSOURI.
WE publish on
page 679, from
a sketch by Mr. A. Simplot, a VIEW OF GENERAL FREMONT'S CAMP AT JEFFERSON CITY,
MISSOURI. It is known that Fremont left this camp some time since. The following
account of it, when he was there, is from a letter in the Tribune:
All the hills and slopes around
Jefferson are dotted with tents, and our forces now here are not far below
General Fremont's head-quarters are at " Camp
Lillie," a mile south of the Capitol. The telegraph wire has been laid out to
it, connecting it with Sedalia, Ironton,
Paducah, and St. Louis. The wires will follow
him westward as far as he goes. The troops here (many of them raw) are subjected
to severe and systematic drill. General Fremont has taken possession of the
Penitentiary, using all its work-shops in outfitting our troops for the field,
and in a short time the army will be thoroughly organized and equipped, ready
for a general forward movement.
The distance from Jefferson to
Lexington by land is 115 miles. About 15,000 of our troops have already gone
forward to the terminus of the railroad, 60 miles west of this city, and are
waiting for the remainder of the army to join them. From 1000 to 3000 are going
General Siegel, of Carthage fame, is in command
of the entire advance, with his head-quarters at Sedalia.
THE GRAND REVIEW AT WASHINGTON.
WE publish on
page 676 an
illustration of the GRAND REVIEW which took place at
Washington on 8th October.
It was sketched by one of our correspondents from the roof of the Alms-house,
east of the
Capitol, and looking west. The review
was thus described in the
Washington correspondence of the Tribune:
General McClellan reviewed a
portion of the cavalry and artillery on this side of the Potomac to-day, on the
broad plain east of the Capitol. Fifty-five hundred cavalry, drawn up by
squadrons and regiments on the left, and eighteen batteries, each by itself, on
the right, awaited the General, whose arrival with his staff was announced by a
salute about 12 1/2 o'clock. After riding rapidly along the line, he took a
position on a gentle rise of land, and the artillery first, guns and caissons in
battery line, swept by, followed by the cavalry. Among the batteries, none
received more praise than that from Massachusetts, which arrived only two days
ago. There were five batteries from Pennsylvania and three regular—112 guns in
all—under command of General Barry, Chief of Artillery. The cavalry consisted of
ten companies of the 5th, eight of the 6th, two of the 4th, and one of the 2d
Regular Cavalry; 1st, 2d, and 3d (Kentucky) Pennsylvania, with four companies of
the 4th, 1st New Jersey, 2d and 3d (Lincoln) New York, and four companies of the
4th, six companies of the 1st Indiana, and three companies unattached, all under
the immediate command of General Palmer. Nearly four times as many were reviewed
as on the previous occasion. General McClellan expressed himself more than
satisfied. He noticed a marked improvement. The display of artillery was
particularly fine, the guns, horses, and men being in the best condition. In
many squadrons of the cavalry all the horses were of one color, which will be
universally the case as soon as
General Stoneman, Chief of Cavalry, can arrange
it. He will also brigade the various regiments, and number them as volunteer
cavalry, ignoring States. The President and
Mrs. Lincoln, Secretary and
Assistant-Secretary Seward, Generals Bleaker, McDowell, Sickles,
Porter were present.
THE SOLDIER'S LAST WORD.
BY PARK BENJAMIN.
HE lay upon the battle-field,
Where late the clash of arms was
And from his pallid lips there
came, In broken accents, but one word. " Mother !" was all the soldier said, As
freshly from his wounded side
The hot blood flowed, and bore
away His life upon its crimson tide.
Bravest among the brave he
Without a single throb of fear,
And loudest mid the tumult
pealed, In clarion tones, his charging cheer.
" On to the contest, comrades,
on! Strike for the Union ; strike for fame !
Who lives will win his country's
praise, Who dies will leave a glorious name!"
He fell amidst the clouds of
strife Among an undistinguished train,
Foremost upon the battle-field,
And first beneath the heaps of
Dying, he turned him from the
flag Whose starry folds still onward waved;
Dying, he thought no more of
fame, Of victory won or country saved.
But of his home and her he loved
His sad, departing spirit sighed;
" Mother!" the soldier fondly
said, And, looking to the North, he died.
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