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and could no longer distinguish among managed to prevent all unpleasanther remarkable utterances, what was ness. wit, depth, right principle, genius, or It was when Rahel was about mere eccentricity and caprice. I heard from her phrases of colossal wisdom,

thirty-four years of age that Varn. true inspirations, which in a simple

hagen, who was more than twelve word or two traversed the air like light- years younger, was first introduced nings and lodged in the heart." to her, and soon managed to get a

general invitation to her salon. The next day the count called She had, since the dissolution of upon Rahel, and having congratu- her engagement with Count von lated her on being the centre of so Finkenstein, formed a passionate distinguished and intellectual an attachment to the Chevalier Raassembly as he had seen the phael Urquijo, a Spanish gentleman previous evening, he received a introduced to her by the Spanish melancholy reply :

Ambassador at Berlin; but it had

abruptly terminated in a manner “How do I stand to all these

not now known. Varnhagen gives people ?' she exclaimed sadly. 'I

a glowing account of his first have no personal satisfaction in any of them. They bring me their sorrows,

evening in her salon, and the gratheir offences, their troubles, their

dual growth of their intimacy, cares. They come here to be amused, which, after a series of adventures, and if they find better entertainment extending over eight years, and elsewhere, they leave me at once. I including his being wounded at the amuse them, I listen to them, I help, battle of Wagram, and his active comfort, advise them. In so far as I literary efforts to stir up his country. do this, because it is my nature, I have a perfect satisfaction, but they have the

men against Napoleon, resulting in whole benefit. .... Even among my

an order for his arrest, was finally best friends I stand unarmed, exposed

consummated by their marriage at to wounds upon all sides, and without

Berlin in September, 1814, after any balsam for the wounds.''

which they lived happily together

till her death, March 7, 1833. From this we gather that these Perhaps one of the most remarkevening assemblies were, with all able circumstances about Rahel was their brilliancy of intellectual dis- that, with all her high intellectual play, rather hollow affairs, a kind gifts and her effusive disposition, of mental masquerades in which she produced no literary work the heart had no place, highly enter. beyond a few aphorisms, entitled taining no doubt for the moment, "Stray Thoughts from a Berliner,” but unproductive of any solid or which she describes as “a distilled lasting satisfaction. It seems the essence, mainly of the sorrows of guests were not specially invited, life." Count Custine, referring to nor confined to any particular class. this circumstance, says, “She was All that was required of them was a woman as extraordinary as Mathe strict observance of social pro- dame de Staël for her faculties of priety. Beyond that there was no mind, for her abundance of ideas, restraint on the freest expression her light of soul, and her goodness of opinion. Nothwithstanding the of heart; she had, moreover, what variety of character, the incom- the author of Corinne' did not patibility of temper, the difference pretend to, a disdain for oratory; of pursuits, the disparity of rank, she did not write. The silence of and the discordance of creed among minds like hers is a force too. those present, Rahel, by her rare With more vanity, a person so tact and readiness of resource, superior would have sought to make a public for herself; but Rahel de- tion inserted in this volume will be sired only friends. She spoke to more than enough to satisfy most communicate the life that was in readers who do not happen to have her; never did she speak to be ad- special knowledge of the persons mired.” This is one way of ex• and circumstances concerned, or to plaining the singular phenomenon be fond of listening to the melancertainly, but can hardly be accepted choly moanings of a wounded spirit. as a satisfactory solution. Mrs. Each has sorrows enough of his own Jennings gives a different account to think of without adding those of of the matter, without, however, others. Rahel herself said, “I do clearing it up :

not pity sorrows of which people

complain : true sorrow hides itself; “ It was at this time that Rahel first became conscious of the want of power

it is silent."

On the whole, we question to express the thoughts which crowded her active brain; while possessing the

whether the present volume will breadth and originality of thought, the extend or exalt the reputation of its brightness and fertility of intellect, the principal subject. The amount of keen sensibility to suffering, which we information about her is too scanty, admire in our own Mrs. Browning, she

and the letters give no idea of the was denied the gift of poetic utterance. Her genius found for itself other

peculiar charm of her conversation. channels of expression, and accomplished its appointed work in its own way."

Spiritualism, and allied Causes It is very unusual for such supe- and Conditions of Nervous Derangerior endowments as are here claimed ment. By W. A. Hammond, M.D., for Rahel to be unaccompanied by a Professor of Diseases of the Mind corresponding power of expression, and Nervous System in the Uniso rare, indeed, as to raise a suspi- versity of New York, &c. G. P. cion of some delusion in the esti. Putnam, New York; Sampson Low mate formed of her abilities. The & Co., London, 1876.-Spiritualism, admission that “she was denied or rather spiritism, bas lately been the gift of poetic utterance" is in heard of in two quarters where it was itself sufficient to show that she previously unknown. Its professors, ought not to be placed on a par with anxious to render their séances more Mrs. Browning, either in mind or attractive to the public and more heart.

profitable to themselves, managed, If we turn from vain speculation by a little cunning and a breach of as to what she might, could, or faith, to get the subject discussed, would have written, to what she ac- after a fashion, in the Anthropotually did write, we look in vain for logical Section of the British Assoindications of that surpassing genius ciation during its late meeting at with which she has been credited Edinburgh. by enthusiastic admirers. Mrs. The discussion was occasioned by Jennings frankly confesses that the reading of a paper of Professor Varnhagen might well have kept Barrett's « Phenomena conback many of her letters, which he nected with abnormal conditions of edited in three thick volumes. Mr. mind," and resulted in the proCarlyle goes farther, and quaintly duction of more heat than light on admits that with him “in the second the subject. An attempt was made thick volume the reading faculty to secure the appointment of a comunhappily broke down." Even the mittee to investigate and report to small fraction of the whole collec- the Association on

some of the



alleged phenomena produced by spiritist performers. It is perhaps to be regretted that this was not accomplished, because if fair and reasonable conditions were rejected by the spiritists, as in the case of Prof. Tyndall's challenge, their cause would be still further discredited in the estimation of all sensible people; and if they were accepted, some satisfactory conclusion would probably be arrived at, as in the case of the so-called electric girl in France, thirty years ago, whose pretensions were carefully investigated and completely quashed by a commission of the Academy of Sciences.

The day before Professor Barrett's paper was read, a séance took place at Dr. Slade's rooms, which has led to an investigation into the merits of spiritists and spiritism at Bow Street police office, a far more appropriate sphere than the Anthropological Section of the British Association, and it is to be hoped the prosecution will not be without good results, in addition to the entertainment afforded by the reports of the proceedings, which have been worth reading.

If any are disposed to pursue the subject further, they may find it treated, with various allied topics, in the present volume, which is an amplified reproduction of an article contributed to the North American Review by a physician who is Professor of Diseases of the Mind in the University of New York.

As a mere collection of curious cases which have fallen under his own professional observation, or been recorded in books and journals, the work may interest not a few readers. That it can be considered an exhaustive and conclusive discussion of the subject is probably more than Dr. Hammond himself would affirm, and certainly more than we are prepared to concede. A subject of such complexity and

delicacy requires a greater power of subtle analysis than Dr. Ham- . mond appears to possess. However eminent he may be as a physician, he does not shine as a metaphysician, if we may judge from what follows:

"Before we can be qualified to inquire into the powers of the mind, we must have a definite conception of what mind is. To express the idea in sufficiently full, but yet concise language is difficult, and perhaps no definition can be given which will be entirely free from objection. For the purposes, however, of the present memoir, the mind may be regarded as a force, the result of nervous action, and the elements of which are perception, intellect, the emotions and the will. Of these qualities some reside exclusively in the brain, but the others, as is clearly shown by observation and experiment, cannot be restricted to this organ, but are developed with more or less intensity by other parts of the nervous system. It would be out of place to enter fully into the consideration of the important questions thus touched upon, but in the fact that the spinal cord and sympathetic ganglia are not devoid of mental power we find an explanation of some of the most striking phenomena of what is called spiritualism."

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It is strange enough to speak of the mind as a force, the result of nervous action." Action must mean motion, and force is usually considered the cause, not the effect or result of motion. It is still stranger to describe the mind as composed of the elements "perception, intellect, the emotions, and the will." Dr. Hammond might with equal propriety say the body is composed of the elements nutrition, respiration, and circulation. To increase our surprise still further, the doctor transmogrifies these "elements" into

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qualities," some of which, he says, "reside exclusively in the brain;" while others" are developed

with more or less intensity by other parts of the nervous system." It is a pity he did not, when he was about it, tell us the private residence of each instead of leaving it so indefinite. It is also a matter of regret that he did not furnish some evidence of the assumed "fact that the spinal cord and sympathetic ganglia are not devoid of mental power." How they can have mental power without being mental, we are at a loss to understand; still less how any one can form "a definite conception of what mind is," from such a strange jumble of ideas as the above extract presents.


Dr. Hammond admits that there is a substratum of fact in the allegations of spiritist performers, but contends that it is overlaid and distorted by delusion and deception, and his object is to separate these elements from the former. this purpose he quotes and examines a number of instances of alleged spiritual manifestations, including not only those of modern times, but also many recorded in the lives of saints, which are not worth the attention and space he devotes to them. In treating of the alleged instances of levitation, or rising and floating in the air, he maintains that they are not supported by sufficient evidence, but may reasonably be ascribed to hallucination on the part of the subject, unintentional error in the observer and narrator, intentional mis-statement, or legerdemain. His mode of treating Lord Lindsay's report of Mr. Home's alleged floating out of the window of one room through the window of another seven feet six inches off, is hardly satisfactory :-

"Lord Lindsay may have dined heartily, his cravat may have been too tight, or from some other cause, the circulation of blood in his brain may have been accelerated so as to have produced active congestion, or

retarded so as to have caused passive congestion."

If the pretensions of spiritists have no stronger argument to contend with than such flimsy conjectures as these, they may be considered pretty safe from attack. Even supposing one could be satisfied with what Dr. Hammond says of Lord Lindsay, some explanation is still required with regard to Lord Adair and a cousin of his, who are stated to have been present on the occasion. It is difficult to imagine that all three happened on that particular day to have dined heartily, and to have had their cravats too tight, and to have had the circulation of blood in the brain unduly accelerated or retarded.

Dr. Hammond rather weakens than strengthens his case by resorting to such desperate shifts. He frankly acquits Lord Lindsay of all suspicion of intentional misstatement, but endeavours, not very successfully, to show how he may have been mistaken; relying chiefly upon universal experience as a proof that he must have been mistaken, which is safe ground enough to take.

Dr. Hammond is no doubt correct in ascribing some of the spiritist phenomena to sleight of hand. He says, the dexterity of Hindoo jugglers far surpasses that of any spiritist performer. "Thus the Hindoo magician causes flowers to grow several feet in a few minutes, changes his rod into a serpent, suspends himself in the air, kills people and restores them to life, and even allows himself to be buried several months in the earth, to be dug up at the end of that time alive." The accounts of their performances two hundred and fifty years ago are still more astonishing. Even the conjurors of our own day have not only performed the same feats as the spiritists, but exceeded them, so that, in spite of their own disavowal,

they have been credited with spi. extolled as a model of goodness and ritual assistance by believing ob- propriety. The recarnified spirit was servers.

clothed in white, and the lady noticed It is impossible not to be amused

that the gown worn was marked with her mother's name.

She retired perwith Dr. Hammond's account of a

fectly satisfied, and immediately an“trance medium's' performance he

nounced her engagement. But the once witnessed :

accepted lover saw fit, soon afterwards,

to change his mind, and, his reputation “ Upon one occasion, while a so

being already bad, he thought it better calledtrance medium' was dilating to have the engagement broken by the upon the beauties of the summer land,

lady rather than himself. He there. in an assumed state of insensibility, I

fore caused the medium to write a took the liberty of treading on her

series of letters to the lady in her foot as it rested under the table, and

mother's name, in which it was stated, which, as I had seen, exhibited un

that, since the first communication, mistakable evidence of having a large circumstances had come to light which bunion on it. The foot was at once

were not then known, and that, therequickly withdrawn, there was unmis.

fore, having her daughter's happiness takable contortion of the countenance,

at heart, she felt bound to urge her and a very emphatic ‘Oh !' escaped

daughter not to marry the man to from the lips. The current of the dis

whom she was engaged. These letters course was interrupted, and when re

were signed exactly as her mother sumed touched upon Hell, or ‘Hades,'

wrote her name. The daughter, who, as she called it, to which I have no

it must be confessed, was a fit subject doubt she in her heart consigned all for mediumistic wiles, at once broke inquiring unbelievers. Now if this

off the engagement, and the young man woman had been in a condition of

had the effrontery to tell her how he trance, my action would have been

had contrived the whole business, even unfelt, and I would have obtained in

to furnishing the medium with a nightdubitable evidence of the existence of


gown belonging to deceased an abnormal condition of her nervous mother, and marked with her name." system and of her sincerity, though of course not of the manifestation being Dr. Carpenter, in a recent article due to spiritual agency."

“On the Fallacies of Testimony in Another story, reminding one of Relation to the Supernatural,” the disclosures made by a wife when

dwelt forcibly on the misleading suing for a limited divorce from her influence of mental prepossessions, husband at New York, who prac

which not only vitiate the intised as a letter-writing medium, is ferences drawn from the impresas follows :

sions of the senses, but even produce

sensations without the presence of “In one case, a lady consulted a

any real object. He does not for well-known orthodox medium, relative to the opinion of her deceased mother,' scientific attainments, still less im

a moment dispute Mr. Crookes's in the matter of her marriage to a young man of rather questionable posipugn his integrity, but regards his tion and character. Knowing that the

assertion of having repeatedly witlady intended to visit the medium, the

nessed “the levitation of the human lover went first, and fully posted the body" as simply an illustration of necromancer in many of the details of the tendency of strong mental prethe mother's life, and expressed his possessions to produce belief in the own strong desire, liberally supported creations of the mind's own visual by greenback arguments, that the advice should be in favour of the mar

imagination. By way of conformariage. The young lady went; the

tion be adds. “The most diverse mother appeared; the questions were

accounts of the facts of a séance answered, most unequivocally in favour will be given by a believer and a of the marriage, and the lover was sceptic. One will declare that a

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