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probably be justified in assuming in default of any corroborative evidence
as to their reality that the accounts of heaven and of the occupations of
the spirits therein, given in the first volume [of the Arcaws\ t had no more
remote origin than the medium's own mind, whose workings were no
doubt directed, now by memories of lessons learnt in childhood, now by
hints of the Swedenborgian philosophy received from Cahagnet himself.

[Descriptions of various visions of heaven, quoted by Mr. Podmore,
are here omitted.]

But there are other accounts which, while they point to the action of
telepathy, are extremely difficult to reconcile with the theory of spirit-
intercourse held by the recorder.

On two occasions Adele was asked to search for a long-lost relative of
the sitter. On each occasion she found the man alive, and conversed
with his spirit.

M. Lucas, a carrier (messagcr), of Rambouillet, came to inquire after
the fate of his brother-in-law, who had disappeared after a quarrel some
twelve years previously. Adele in the trance found the man at once, said
that he was alive, and that she saw him in a foreign country, where there
were trees like those in America, and that he was busy gathering seeds
from small shrubs, about 3 feet high. He would not answer her question,
and she asked to be awoke, as she was afraid of wild beasts. M. Lucas
returned a few days afterwards, bringing with him the mother of the
missing man.

No. 99. Adele, as soon as she was asleep, said : " I see him." " Where
do you see him ? " " Here." " Give us a description of him again and also of
the place where he is." " He is a fair man, tanned by the heat of the sun ; he
is very stout, his features are fairly regular ; brown eyes, large mouth ; he
appears gloomy and meditative. He is dressed as a workman, in a sort of short
blouse. He is occupied at present, as he was last time, in gathering seed,
which resembles pepper-corns, but I do not think it is pepper; it is larger.
This seed grows on small shrubs about one metre high. There is a little negro
with him occupied in the same way." " Try to obtain some answer to-day.
Get him to tell you the name of the country where you see him." " He will not
answer." " Tell him that his good mother, for whom he had a great affection,
is with you, and asks for news of him." " Oh ! at the mention of his mother he
turned round and said to me, ' My mother ! I shall not die without seeing her
again. Comfort her, and tell her that I always think of her. I am not dead ! ' "
" Why does he not write to her? " " He has written to her, but the vessel has
no doubt been wrecked at least he supposes this to be so, since he has received
no answer. He tells me that he is in Mexico. He has followed the emperor,



Don Pedro ; he has been imprisoned for five years, he has suffered a great deal,
and will use every effort to return to France ; they will see him again." " Can
he name the place in which he is living? " " No; it is very far inland, those
countries have no names." " Is he living with a European?" "No, with a
coloured man. " " Why does he not write to his mother ? " " Because no vessels
come to the place where he is. He does not know to whom to turn. Besides,
he only knew how to write a very little, and has almost forgotten. There is no
one with him who can render him this service; no one speaks his language; he
makes himself understood with great difficulty. Besides that, he has never been
of a communicative disposition or a talker. He seems to be rather a surly
fellow. It is very difficult to get these few words out of him. One would think
he were dumb." " In short, how can one manage to write to him or hear news
of him ? " " He knows nothing about it. He can only say these three things :
I am in Mexico, I am not dead, they will see me again." " Why did he leave
his parents in this manner, without saying anything to them, as he was happy
at home ? " " This man was very reserved ; he hardly ever spoke. He loved
his mother very much, but he had not the same affection for his father, who
was a passionate, surly man, and often treated him brutally. The cup had long
since been full. It was not the trifling dispute that he had had with his father
the day before his departure that made him decide to go away ; it had beeu his
fixed determination for some time past. He told no one of it. He went away
on the sly. Having kissed them all the evening before, he made good his
escape next day, without another word. Do not be uneasy, madam ; you will
see him again ! " This good woman burst into tears, because she recognised
the truth of every detail given her by Adele. She did not find anything at fault
in the description. The disposition, the education, and the departure of her
son were as Adele said ; but a greater semblance of probability is given to the
clairvoyante's account by the fact that his relations had an idea that he had
enlisted in Don Pedro's army, and at one time took some steps to ascertain the
truth of it. M. Lucas told me of this detail on a journey which he afterwards
made to Paris. No information was, however, obtainable. What no less con-
tributed to the astonishment of this good woman, of M. Lucas, and the other
people present at this curious stance, was to see Adele put up her hand to the
left side of her face to keep off the fiery rays of the sun in those countries, and
appear to be suffocated with heat ; but the most extraordinary part of this scene
was that she had a severe sunstroke which turned the whole of that side of her
face, from forehead to shoulder, bluish red, whilst the other side remained
dead white. This dark colour did not begin to disappear till twenty-four hours
later. At the time the heat of it was so great that one could not hold one's
hand on it.

This simulation, by the subliminal consciousness, of the effects of
severe sunburn is no doubt not more incredible than the production in
hypnosis of mimic stigmata. Such physical effects of the imagination, if
rare, are well authenticated. But if Cahagnet's last sentence refers to the
heat of the medium's skin, I am afraid we must admit that the imagination
of the recorder possibly played as prominent a part in the marvel as that
of the patient.

[On another occasion, inquiry being made for a missing man, believed
by his relatives to be dead, Adele described him as alive, and gave many


2 O


details of his personal appearance, which were recognised as correct, and
of his then whereabouts and occupations, which could not be verified.
Full details are given by Mr. Podmore.]

We have, unfortunately (Mr. Podmore continues 1 ), no corroboration
of the truth of the statements made about those two persons. It follows,
then, that in the two stances all that we are entitled to say is that Adele
was able to divine with, it may be admitted, singular accuracy the ideas
present in the minds of her interlocutors. It was a striking example of
telepathy ; but we have no kind of proof that it was anything more, and
from internal evidence it seems very unlikely that it was anything more.

It appears, in fact, that no evidence is forthcoming of Adele's power
of conversing with the living at a distance, since the only two cases in
which she professed to do so could not be verified, and this affords, I
submit, a strong presumption that she did not possess that power, and
that the conversations here detailed were purely imaginary, the authentic
or plausible details which they contained being filched telepathically from
the minds of those present. The curious similarity of the two accounts
also points in the same direction. Both men profess to have written
home, but the letters must have miscarried. Neither can write now, be-
cause they are far from the sea, in the interior. Both have suffered much ;
both have been prisoners ; both protest that their relations will see them
before they die ; neither, however, is in a hurry to come back ; and
neither is willing to discover the name of his present place of abiding.

To suppose, as the recorder supposes, that these narratives are
authentic revelations obtained from actual conversations with the spirits
of men living in unnamed, and as Cahagnet explains at length
probably nameless localities in the interior of Mexico or Asiatic Russia,
is to strain credulity to the breaking-point. But if these two narratives
are not what they seem to be, what are we to say of the other narratives
in the book, which are cast in the same dramatic form, and contain
similar details harmonising with the expectations or memories of the
interlocutors ? If those are not authentic messages from the distant living,
we require some further warrant for the assumption that these are
authentic messages from the spirits of the dead. Considered in conjunc-
tion with the almost certainly subjective visions of Heaven and dead
playmates which characterised the earlier trances, these later stances
certainly point to an exclusively mundane origin.

We must, however, at least note that all the witnesses cited by
Cahagnet seem to have been satisfied that nothing less than thought-
transference would explain the revelations, and that any candid reader
now must find it hard to resist the same conviction.

938 A. The chief sources of information as to D. D. Home's life and
experiences are the following works :

Incidents in my Life, by D. D. Home (ist edition, London, 1863 ; 2nd
edition, 1864; second series, 1872).

1 Mr. Podmore's argument is here abbreviated.


D. D. Home : His Life and Mission, by Madame Dunglas Home
(London, 1888).

The Gift of D. D. Home, by Madame Dunglas Home (London, 1890).

Report on Spiritualism of the Committee of the London Dialectical
Society (London, 1871). This contains the evidence of the Master of
Lindsay, now Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, and others.

Experiences in Spiritualism with Mr. D. D. Home, by Viscount Adare
(now Lord Dunraven; privately printed).

Researches in the Phenomena of Spiritualism, by William Crookes,F.R.S.
Reprinted from the Quarterly Journal of Science (London, 1874).

Notes of Stances with D. D. Home, by William Crookes, F.R.S. {Pro-
ceedings S.P.R., vol. vi. p. 98.)

See also a review by Professor Barrett and the present writer of
Madame Home's first book, D. D. Home : His Life and Mission, in the
Journal S.P.R., vol. iv. pp. 101-136 ; a briefer review of her second book,
The Gift of D. D. Home, in the Journal S.P.R., vol. iv. p. 249 ; and a
note on "The Character of D. D. Home " in the Journal S.P.R., vol. vi.
p. 176 ; also an article by Mr. Hamilton Aid6, "Was I hypnotised?" in
the Nineteenth Century for April 1890.

938 B. I give here a brief summary of the review by Professor
Barrett and myself of D. D. Home : His Life and Mission, just re-
ferred to.

Shortly after the book was published I met Madame Home in Paris,
and she allowed me to examine the original letters of more than a
hundred of her correspondents and compare them with the extracts and
translations printed in the book, where I found that they were correctly
reproduced. Our second aim was to acquire further evidence, either for
or against the validity of Home's claims. Several fresh cases confirma-
tory of those given by Madame Home were obtained and printed in full
in our review (pp. 122136). The evidential value of Home's own narra-
tive, Incidents in my Life, was much increased by a letter written to me
by Mr. W. M. Wilkinson, the well-known solicitor, of 44 Lincoln's Inn
Fields, stating that he had written nearly the whole of the book, Home
staying with him in his house, producing all the letters and documents,
and giving him the necessary information ; while the preface to the
second series of Incidents, dealing with Sir David Brewster, was written
by Mr. Wilkinson from information given him by Dr. Robert Chambers,
to whom the proofs of the whole work were submitted. Dr. Chambers
also wrote the introduction and concluding chapter of the first series.

There is thus a considerable body of evidence as to Home, which
enables us to discuss the three questions : ( i ) Was he ever convicted of
fraud ? (2) Did he satisfy any trained observer in a series of experiments
selected by the observer and not by himself? (3) Were the phenomena
entirely beyond the known scope of the conjurer's art?

With regard to (i), Mr. Robert Browning told us the circumstances

5 8o APPENDICES [938 B

which mainly led to the opinion of Home which he expressed in Mr.
Sludge the Medium. A lady had repeated to him a statement made to her
by a lady and gentleman that they had found Home experimenting with
phosphorus on the production of " spirit-lights." This evidence, then,
came to us at third-hand ; the incident had occurred nearly forty years
before, and it was impossible to learn more of it, since all the witnesses
were dead and had left no written record.

We received one first-hand account, from a gentleman of character
and ability, of a seance given in very poor light, where a small " spirit
hand " visible to all the sitters appeared, and moved about. It seemed
to him that he could see slight movements in the shoulder or upper part
of Home's arm corresponding with the movements of the " spirit hand."
Afterwards, " the movements of both plainly corresponded, and at length
... I saw continuous connection in the upper outline of Home's arm
and the thing, whatever it was, that supported the ' spirit hand.' " The
sitting took place in 1855, but the account was not written until 1889.
It is printed in full in our review (op. cit. p. 120).

There is also a frequently repeated story that Home was found in
France to be using a stuffed hand ; our inquiries into this tended to
show that the story was a fabrication.

The most serious blot on Home's character was that revealed by the
Lyon case. He had sittings with Mrs. Lyon, at which communications
were given purporting to come from her deceased husband, and urging her
to adopt Home as her son and give him ^700 a year. An admitted
letter from her to Home, in which she said that she presented him with
^24,000 " as an entirely free gift," was stated by her at the trial to have
been written at Home's dictation and under " magnetic influence." The
strongest evidence against Home was furnished by memorandum books,
in his own writing, containing accounts of his experiences with her, and
communications in the form of a dialogue between her and her husband,
in which Home was alluded to as "our beloved son." Of Mrs. Lyon,
the judge observed that " Reliance cannot be placed on her testimony ; "
but there was much evidence besides hers to show that Home worked on
her mind by spiritualistic devices, especially by suggesting communica-
tions from her husband, and the Court held that such transactions as
those in question could not be upheld "unless the Court is quite
satisfied that they are acts of pure volition uninfluenced." Such proof
not being forthcoming, the case was decided against Home. (A review
of the evidence in this case was furnished us by Mr. H. Arthur Smith,
and is printed in our article, p. 117.)

We must observe, however, that the Lyon case, however discredit-
able to Home personally, has no clear bearing on the reality of his
powers, since there seems to have been no assertion that any of the
phenomena were produced by fraudulent means.

(2) With regard to our second question, whether his powers were

938 B] TO CHAPTER IX 581

tested by competent observers, Home in this respect stands pre-eminent ;
since we have the evidence of Sir William Crookes (already referred to in
938 A) corroborated by the testimony of the Master of Lindsay (now
Earl of Crawford and Balcarres) himself a savant of some distinction, and
the privately printed series of careful observations by the present and the
late Lords Dunraven.

(3) As to our third question whether the phenomena could have
been produced by conjuring many of them, especially the " fire tests "
and the movements of large untouched objects in good light, seem in-
explicable by this supposition. The hypothesis of collective hallucination
on the part of the sitters seems very improbable, because hi most cases
all those present saw the same thing ; l and often without receiving from
Home any audible suggestion as to what was about to happen.

The telekinetic phenomena observed in Home's case were those
which attracted most attention ; but the communications given at his
sittings purporting to come from deceased persons are also noteworthy,
though the records of them are unfortunately very inadequate. In our
article (op. cit. pp. 1 10114) we give a brief abstract of thirty-five cases of
" recognition " taken from Madame Home's work, omitting those which
rest on Home's uncorroborated testimony. 8

These cases are of very different evidential value. But many are first-
hand accounts, volunteered by independent witnesses, of messages closely
affecting themselves, and sometimes involving incidents which can hardly
have been known to servants or dependants.

I conclude with some extracts from the list just referred to, which
follows the paging of Madame Home's book :

I. p. 15. Mr. S. B. Brittan's testimony. Home suddenly becomes
entranced ; says " Hannah Brittan is here," a relative long since dead, and
whose existence, as Mr. Brittan believes, was not known to any one " in all
that region." Home, entranced, acts as though a melancholic in terror of hell ;
Hannah Brittan "became insane from believing in the doctrine of endless

12. p. 153. Mrs. Senior's evidence. At their first meeting Mr. Home
describes Mr. Senior and adds, " You forgot to wind his watch, and how miser-
able it made you." " Now this was a fact known to no living being but myself.
I had wound the watch the night I lost my husband and resolved never to let

1 The famous case of Home floating out at one window and in at another, related by
Lords Lindsay and Adare, as witnessed by them, was quoted by Dr. Carpenter in the
Contemporary Review for January 1876, as an instance of believers affirming that they
saw the phenomenon, u while a single honest sceptic declares that Mr. Home was sitting
in his chair all the time." In reply to this, the only other person who was present at the
time, Captain Wynne, wrote a letter (seen by the present writer and printed in Home's
Life] stating that he also on that occasion had seen Home go out of one window and in
at the other.

2 A further list of cases where there is some first-hand evidence for the identity of an
alleged communicating spirit is given in my review of Tin Gift of D. D. Homt in the
Journal S.P.R., vol. iv. p. 251.

5 82 APPENDICES [943 A

it go down again. I forgot to wind it one night, and my agony was great when
I discovered it in the morning, but I never mentioned it even to my husband's
sister, who was in the house with me." Home also mentions " Mary," Mr.
Senior's mother.

13. p. 154. Mrs. Senior narrates how at another sdance Home, entranced,
recalls private conversation (date, positions, and other details given) between
herself and her husband.

16. p. 177. Mr. B. Coleman's evidence. At his first stance messages are
given by raps as from his aunts Elizabeth and Hannah. " I did not recognise
the names. I had never known of any aunts of those names," but he learns
that sisters of his father, thus named, died before he was born.

17. p. 196. Mrs. S. C. Hall's testimony. Raps from deceased Madame
Home to Mr. Durham, sculptor, saying, " Thanks for your early morning
labour ; I have often been near you." Mr. Durham had been rising early to
work at a bust of Madame Home intended as a present to Mr. Home ; " this
fact was not even known in his own household."

18. p. 206. Mrs. S. C. Hall's evidence. "Your father, Colonel Hall," is
announced ; test asked for, " The last time we met in Cork you pulled my tail."
Colonel Hall had worn a queue, and this fact was correct.

20. p. 278. Mrs. Hennings' testimony. Home says, " George is here "
nephew of Mrs. Hennings, recently deceased ; mentions accident from bite of
dog when a boy at Dulwich correct. One of us has seen Mrs. Hennings, who,
although very old, retains a singularly bright intelligence. She confirmed this
statement, and added several details.

21. p. 278. Mrs. Hennings' testimony. Home speaks in trance as from
her father; " The night before your father passed away you played whist with
him," some details, and explanation as to provisions of will. " Mr. Home had
never seen my father, nor heard anything about him ; and most wonderful to
me was this detail of such long-past events, known only to myself."

22. p. 288. Lord Lindsay's testimony (now Lord Crawford). Lord Lindsay
misses train at Norwood, sleeps on sofa in Home's room ; sees female figure
standing near Home's bed, which fades away ; recognises face among other
photographs next morning ; it was Home's deceased wife. Lord Adare (now
Lord Dunraven) and two others, in Lord Adare's rooms, see (February 1869)
a shadowy figure resembling this form, but cannot distinguish features.

26. p. 377. Mrs. Peck's testimony. " By permission I put several mental
questions, each of which was promptly and correctly answered, with the full
names of friends and relatives deceased, and circumstances which could not
have been known to any of those present ; all, as I have stated, having been
previous to the past twenty-four hours strangers to me." (Mrs. Peck was an
American, staying at a hotel in Geneva.)

27. p. 378. Mrs. Peck's testimony. Home, entranced, says : " There is a
portrait of his mother." " I made no reply ; but my thought was, ' There is no
portrait of her.' " Home insists that there is, " with an open Bible upon her
knee." There was, in fact, a daguerreotype thirty years old, which Mrs. Peck
had forgotten, in attitude described with indistinct book on knee, which was,
in fact, a Bible.

943 A. A general account of " The Experiences of W. Stainton
Moses" was given by me in Proceedings S.P.R. vol. ix. pp. 245-352, and
vol. xi. pp. 24-113. The following extract is from vol. ix. pp. 245-252.


I. Among his printed works the most important for our present pur-
pose are

1. Researches in Spiritualism. This unfinished work was published in

Human Nature*, periodical now extinct in 1874-5, and not re-
printed. It is now difficult of access.

2. Spirit Identity, published in 1879. This work also has been for some

years out of print.

3. Spirit Teachings, published in 1883; [reprinted after his death in a

Memorial Edition (London, 1894) with a short biographical notice

by Mr. Charlton Speer.]
Two other volumes, Psychography and Higher Aspects of Spiritualism,

contain little which bears on our present theme.
Besides these books, Mr. Moses wrote much in the weekly periodical

Light, of which he was for some years the editor.

II. Mr. Moses' MS S. entrusted to me, and of which I have made use,
consists of thirty-one note-books, ranging from September 1872 to March 1883,
and various letters.

The note-books may be divided as follows :

Twenty-four books of automatic script, numbered 1-24, and extending from
March 1873 to March 1883.

Four books of records of physical phenomena, September i872-January 1875.
These books run concurrently with the books of automatic script. The first
book of this series (April-September 1872) is missing. Those which remain I
have numbered 2 B, 3 B, 4 B, and 5 B.

Three books of retrospect and summary, which I number 25, 26, 27. Books
25 and 26 recapitulate physical phenomena, with reflections. Book 27 is
entitled The Identity of Spirit, and contains, in briefer form, much of the evi-
dence first printed in Spirit Identity ; which work, indeed, this later tractate
may have been intended to supersede. Some of the letters also are of value,
but mainly as adding contemporary confirmation to facts already to be found
in the note-books.

III. Among the records made by friends the most important are Mrs.
Stanhope Speer's " Records of Private Stances, from notes taken at the time
of each sitting." Over sixty instalments of these records have now (October
1893) been published in Light. They begin in 1872 and go down to 1881
considerably beyond the date (1875) at which Mr. Moses' extant records of
physical phenomena obtained in his stances cease. As will be seen later on,
these independent and contemporary records are evidentially of capital import-
ance. Dr. and Mrs. Stanhope Speer were Mr. Moses' most intimate friends ;
and they, often with another intimate friend, Mr. F. W. Percival (Barrister-at-

Online LibraryFrederic William Henry MyersHuman personality : and its survival of bodily death (Volume 2) → online text (page 77 of 89)