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The following will give a notion of the poems proceeding from priestly inhabitants of the celestial Italy, who act on or through Mr. Harris's intestines :

Yes, golden bands

Thy desert sands,
O Earth, shall interfuse;

And into thee

From heaven shall be
Impoured celestial dews

Of amber light

And liquid flame;
And these in turn shall be

Cups lifted for

The diamond rain
Of immortality.

The sands shall glow

All rosy white;
And streams of silver dew

From out the land

Of morning light

Shall flow thy heart into.” A Lyric of the Golden Age is a still more elaborate production. It is a much thicker volume, and was communicated in about ninety-four hours. Parts of the work were directly contributed by Byron, Keats, Shelley, and Coleridge. Rousseau described and communicated his own “dream ;" and Indra, the Indian sage, explained the nature of the heaven appropriated to the Hindoos. Portions referring to the Greek heaven were produced, as the invisible intelligences affirm, by a general influx of ideas from a society of spirits who inhabited ancient Greece. The remaining passages, which represent various phases of the spiritual world “as presented to a spirit intromitted from the earth-sphere and transported through the scenery of the heavens,” are the actual spiritual experiences of the medium. In the introduction, criticism is not so much deprecated as silenced by an announcement that all but spiritualists are unfit to apprehend the meaning of the poem ; but, as an opinion of the Springfield (Massachusetts) Republican is quoted, with apparent satisfaction, that some of the stanzas are quite equal to the best efforts of the poets imitated, we may venture to say that to speak of the poets as imitated is the language we should be inclined to adopt, although we cannot think quite so highly of the powers of imitation displayed. We are told that “great poems and living evangels like this are earthly echoes of the Infinite Harmonies." If Mr. Harris were not a medium, we should think the more modest but accurate expression would be, that his composition shows that he has successfully cultivated the art of imitating popular poets so as to produce a resemblance

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comprehending a parody of the thoughts of the person he imitates, and a copy of the manner close enough to be ludicrous. Edgar Poe's spirit, for example, on one occasion contributed the following "echo” of a poem written by that poet when alive. We quote from the preface of the Lyric of the Golden Age :

“I have waited, I have waited,

As the Evening Star belated,
When it lingers pale and lonely by the purple sunset door.

I have found thee, I have found thee,

And with heart-spells fast have bound thee.'

So from out the glowing halo sang the angel-maid Lenore.”
In the Lyric itself, Byron thus reminds himself of Childe Harold:

O Venice, I could wail for thee and weep
As a young mother o'er her infant slain;
Thou who didst march to victory o'er the deep
And plough the seas for glory more than gain.
Yet nations are like men. "Tis all in vain
To stay the fell destroyer's ruthless hand ;
Cities like men are born and die in pain,

And wisest laws, by wisest sages planned,

Fail to arrest the sweep of the consumer's brand.” Keats gives the following account of his birth :

“Night overcame me; I was but a youth,

Slain by mankind, when still the glad heart fed
On fair Imagination's daisied banks.
The young moon lost in a dissolving rain,
Endymion dead ere Dian's eager kiss,
Were types of my sad fate. My name was writ
In water ; but the crystal drops exhaled

To heaven, and clothed my spirit like a star.” Coleridge above is as philosophical, theological, and poetical as he was below:

6. The minster is a marble psalm,
Where Druid oak and Syrian palm
Lift the groined roof, and seem to wave
O’er aisle and chancel, crypt and grave.
The Church of God in man below
Methinks should like the minster grow ;
All truths His threefold voice inspires
Should build its buttresses and spires ;
Each holy deed that memory sings
Should gleam with cherub face and wings
O'er the high altar's mystic shrine,

And love make all the place divine." This is what Spiritualism offers to the wonder and admiration of mankind. The poems of Harris are the topmost round of the ladder of which table-tipping is the bottom. We have in a very rapid manner hurried over the ascent, and have done nothing like justice to the variety of manifestations, the surprising anecdotes, the puzzling utterances that might be col



lected. No one can say that the literature of Spiritualism is wanting in marvels or in novelty. We wish we could stop here, and add nothing to interfere with the impression which may have been produced on the reader's mind as he has followed the path of spiritual progression; but we regret to say there is a something behind. The fact is, that after some amount of reading, in which all goes on comfortably and pleasantly, we come upon certain passages that show that, however much each spiritualist, or each set of spiritualists, may believe in their own spirits, they do not believe in other people's spirits; nay, they are not sure about their own, for it appears that foolish or wicked spirits come and announce themselves as great and good spirits; so that after an inquiring novice has got over the difficulty of believing that Burns is hitting the table, he has to ascertain that the tapping Burns is not a spiritual sham. This plunges us into the abysses of scepticism ;-we are all at sea; we do not feel sure that Burns ever wished for a white hat, or that Allan Cunningham ever discovered the uselessness of his former faith, or that Sir Robert Peel ever thought that the time is come for the oppressed people to rise against the aristocracy. The chilling remarks let fall incidentally by spiritualists are most disheartening. One of them says, "I am persuaded that many of them are spirits evil in themselves, and not to be relied on; those that manifest themselves through tables especially so." Again we read, “It is useless to hear from a spirit whether Christianity or Buddhism is true ; whether there is a future state; or whether the spirit himself existed before the creation. Another spirit may reverse the decision of this one : which are we to believe?” In another place we read, “The spirit in general is amiable; and though often waggish and not to be depended on, perfectly harmless." This is but poor comfort; we thought we were listening to Dugald Stewart or Franklin, and we find that we are the playthings of a harmless wag.

Nor have the spiritualists discovered any tests or methods of discernment which can be called satisfactory. One hints that “the state of mind of the parties exercises a most surprising influence upon the table.” This is caught up by an enthusiast, who says it is an “acknowledgment of the unerrable test in spiritual intercourse, 'like begets like.'” But what is this test? Let us concede that the goodness or truth of the communicating spirit will correspond with the excellence of the mental state of the "parties :" how can we possibly ascertain this mental state, even in ourselves ? Could any man conscientiously walk up to a table and say, “After a severe self-examination, I find myself unfit to communicate with Mahomet, but fit to communicate with Goldsmith”? Or, again, an instance is given in the Yorkshire Spi

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ritual Telegraph, where a spirit rapped at a table, and announced through the alphabet that his name was “Smibert,” and that he had been a surgeon and a poet. How could the most intense self-reflection enable a hearer to decide whether Smibert had or had not been a surgeon? Another spiritualist offers a means of ascertaining the truth of communications, which he may personally have found available or he could scarcely have suggested it, but which presents hopeless difficulties to the mass of mankind. He describes the intervention of a rapping spirit which most unkindly “denied the whole doctrine of modern spiritualism;"> and then adds, “Now what are you to make of all this? You can make little of it unless you understand the Song of Solomon,' the nature of the spiritual world, and the grammar and syntax of the spirit-language.” We do not see how this helps

We should have more hopes of detecting a waggish spirit unassisted than of getting up spiritual syntax.

With this great blot hanging over it, we must leave Spiritualism. We are bound to say that, however great may be the uncertainty which the theory of waggish spirits throws over all the communications, spiritualists still persevere and believe. They somehow or other cling with astonishing tenacity to the faith that all these flying guitars, and phosphorescent hands, and utterances of the poet Burns, are not a delusion, but a reality. What is the secret of the delusion, if it be one, or the nature of the reality, if it exists, we do not pretend to say. There is something not only strange, but ludicrous, in the records of Spiritualism ; but we do not imagine that a mere statement of what is ludicrous can be taken as disposing altogether of a wide-spread belief, and of the phenomena on which it is supposed to rest. Spiritualism affords materials for a scientific investigation. But to be worth any thing, a scientific investigation inust be profound, laborious, and accurate. Common sense can restrain us from following any thing which, on the face of it, is ludicrous and absurd; but we may distrust common sense, or we may wish for an account more exhaustive than common sense can give. Modern science may be able to give this account, and to arrange the phenomena of Spiritualism under a certain number of general laws. We do not venture to say whether this is so or not; but we feel sure that no method of treating this and kindred subjects is so utterly worthless as the superäicially scientific, which talks vaguely and incoherently about clectricity, and galvanism, and nervous forces. Until science can give us something better than such discourses, it is wise to rest content with fighting shy of manifest absurdities, and trust to such temporary guidance as a sense of the ridiculous can afford us.



COMPANIES IN FRANCE. Report presented by the Board of Administration of the General

Association of Crédit Mobilier, at the ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders on the 23rd of April 1856. Translated from the French, and published as an advertisement in the Times of May 21,

1856. Les Institutions de Crédit en France. Par M. Eugène Forcade. Re

vue des deux Mondes, 15 Mars, 1 Avril, 15 Mai, 1 Juin 1856. THE

crop of currency-pamphlets is beginning. We again real the old titles, “ How shall we get through the Winter ?" by : MERCHANT; " Too many Bank-notes,” by Bullion ; Ohe jam

satis,by Anti-Peel ; "Faith in Paper," by a Warwickshire Magistrate ; " Infallible Interchange," by GENIUS; “Sufficient Accommodation," by a Manchester Man-familiar to us ten years ago, likely perhaps to be familiar to us ten years These pamphlets are as sure signs of scarce money as many thistles of a poor soil

. When the currency is plenty, people know what it is; when it is rare, they try to make out what it is, in order that they may obtain it. We have, however, no such aim; perhaps, indeed, the recent signs of diminishing scarcity may preclude such literature from multiplying. At any rate, though connected with money, our object is much more humble. We have no certain specific for pecuniary evils : no means of returning to any one the money they have spent. We do not even profess to be able to explain all the phenomena of the recent state of the money-market. We only mean to set forth a few facts as to a neighbouring country, whose pecuniary failures have, it is certain, a close connection with our own.

Even this, in ordinary cases, would be no very easy task. The political institutions of a country are a difficult subject for a foreigner : its daily commercial habits are still more so. We are fortunate, however, in having this time a very accomplished guide. M. Eugène Forcade, in a series of essays (published in the Revue des deux Mondes) which we have placed at the head of our article, has thrown so much light on the recent history of the banking companies of France, that there is less risk in writing about them than might be fancied.

A person trained in the current political economy would à priori think that governments, despotic or free, had little to do with the trade of banking. The maxims of free trade forbid

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