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That seems to me a very pleasant letter, expressing his position very clearly. Of course, he had no rudeness to apologize for, as I told him, and though I do not think we met very often afterwards, we continued very good friends.
While residing at Godalming, I made the acquaintance of William Allingham and his wife—the poet and the artistwho then lived at Witley—I think it was about the years 1886 or 1887. Mr. Allingham told me that Tennyson wished to see me, and would be glad if I would come some day and lunch with him. A day was fixed, and I accompanied Mr. Allingham to the beautifully situated house on Blackdown, near Haslemere, where the poet lived during the
Lord Tennyson did not appear till luncheon was on the table, but in the mean time we had seen Lady Tennyson and her son and daughter-in-law, and been shown round the grounds. After luncheon we four men retired to the study, with its three great windows looking south-east over the grand expanse of the finely wooded Weald of Kent. Here Tennyson lit his pipe, and we sat round the fire and soon got on the subject of spiritualism, which was evidently what he had wished to talk to me about. I told him some of my experiences, and replied to some of his difficulties—the usual difficulties of those who, though inclined to believe, have seen nothing, and find the phenomena as described so different from what they think they ought to be. evidently greatly impressed by the evidence, and wished to see something. I gave him the names of one or two mediums whom I believed to be quite trustworthy, but whether he ever had any sittings with them I did not hear.
Then we talked a little about the tropics and of the scenery of the Eastern islands; and, taking down a volume he read, in his fine, deep, chanting voice, his description of Enoch Arden's island
“The mountain wooded to the peak, the lawns
The lustre of the long convolvuluses
The scarlet shafts of sunrise-but no sail.” Then he closed the book and asked me if that description was in any way untrue to nature. I told him that so far as I knew from the islands I had seen on the western borders of the Pacific, it gave a strikingly true general description of the vegetation and the aspects of nature among those islands, at which he seemed pleased. Of course, it avoids much detail, but the amount of detail it gives is correct, and it is just about as much as a rather superior sailor would observe and remember.
We then bade him good-bye, went downstairs and had tea with the ladies, and walked back to Haslemere station. I was much pleased to have met and had friendly converse with the most thoughtful, refined, broad-minded, and harmonious of our poets of the nineteenth century.
TWO BIOLOGICAL INQUIRERS: AN EPISODE IN THE
HISTORY OF SPIRITUALISM
AMONG my scientific friends there are two with whom I had some relations in regard to spiritualism of a specially interesting character-St. George Mivart and George J. Romanesand to each of these I must devote a few
pages. It was, I think, through my conversation and my first small book that Mivart became satisfied that the phenomena were at least partly genuine, and although a Roman Catholic, he was not afraid to pursue the inquiry. On going to Naples in the winter of 1870, he wrote me for an introduction to my friends, Mr. and Mrs. Guppy, who were then staying there. On the eve of his departure, he wrote telling me what had happened “Nothing could have exceeded the kindness which
your good friends, Mr. and Mrs. Guppy, have shown to me, and I have felt quite ashamed of the quantity of their time I have taken up. Besides morning calls and a walk, they have given me three séances (all to myself) and have most kindly promised to give me a fourth and last this evening, as tomorrow morning I start on my road northwards.
“At the first séance there was nothing but raps-questions were replied to; two of which much surprised me, as they were only asked mentally. A remedy was indicated for an affection of the teeth, which I have tried and believe will prove efficacious.
“ At the second séance (the first dark one I ever attended) flowers were produced. The door was locked, the room
searched, and all requisite precautions taken. I was not surprised, because of all I had heard from you and others; but the phenomenon was to me convincing. One such fact is as good as a hundred.
“At the third séance (last night) I preferred to ask questions to having a repetition of the flowers. The value of the answers received time may show. I have received a wrong answer (as to a person being tall), also as to there being a letter awaiting me at my hotel. Altogether the conclusions I have arrived at are as follows:
“I. I have encountered a power capable of removing sensible objects in a way altogether new to me.
“II. I have encountered an intelligence other than that of the visible assistants.
“III. In my séances this intelligence has shown itself capable of reading my thought, but yet either liable to fall into error or else not strictly truthful.
“IV. It has been sometimes capricious, saying it will not do what it has afterwards done, and that it will do what, nevertheless, it has failed to perform.
"I am precluded from saying how much I like your friends, because I think this letter is to be read by them; but I am not precluded from thanking you, my dear Wallace, for the introduction, which I do very heartily, remaining always,
“ Yours very truly,
“ ST. GEORGE MIVART."
I was somewhat surprised at Mivart's appreciation of the Guppys, because of the great contrast between them : he extremely refined in speech and manners, and somewhat fastidious in his acquaintances; they both rather brusque and utterly unconventional; yet he evidently recognized in them a straightforwardness of character, kindness of heart, love of truth, and earnestness of purpose, which are vastly more important than any amount of superficial polish. I may here note that he would probably have had more satisfactory
results if he had allowed the powers at work to take their own course, instead of attempting to limit the phenomena to answering questions—a form of mediumship which, so far as I remember, was never very prominent or successful with Mrs. Guppy. This is the great fault of all beginners. Instead of being content for a time to observe only what happens, they almost always want certain phenomena which alone will satisfy them; acting on the tacit assumption that all mediums and all preterhuman intelligences are able to produce at will all the various classes of phenomena. Those who follow the more scientific method of beginning with observation only~ which, strange to say, the scientific men are hardly ever willing to do-almost always find that their early doubts and suspicions are, one by one, shown to be unfounded, through the occurrence of phenomena which seem specially adapted to answer them.
A few years later my friend visited Lourdes, in order to inquire on the spot as to the marvellous cures said to be effected there, and, if possible, to see some of them himself. While there he wrote me a very interesting letter, giving some account of his inquiries, which, being a Catholic, a wellknown writer, and a good French scholar, he had facilities for pursuing which the ordinary English tourist or reporter does not possess. I give here the more important parts of this letter, dated April 5, 1874.
After referring to my Fortnightly Review article which I had told him I was writing, he continues, “We are here in a charming country and quiet, pleasant old town, at this season almost empty of visitors. We are here also, as you are, no doubt, fully aware, at the headquarters of a whole series of alleged modern miracles performed, as asserted, through the water which suddenly began to flow while Bernadette Soubirons was in an ecstatic state in the presence, as she affirms, of an apparition of the B.V.M. [Blessed Virgin Mary].
“I have made such inquiries as I have been able, and find that here, on the spot, the miracles are fully believed in. The clergy were for a long time opposed to the whole thing, and the bishop had to be morally forced to institute an