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up. We then talked together, the form in whispers ; I could look closely into her face, examine the features and hair, touch her hands, and might even touch and examine her ears closely, which were not bored for earrings. The figure had bare feet, was somewhat taller than Miss Cook, and, though there was a general resemblance, was quite distinct in features, figure, and hair. After half an hour or more this figure would retire, close the curtains, and sometimes within a few seconds would say, “Come and look.” We then opened the curtains, turned up the lamp, and Miss Cook was found in a trance in the chair, her black dress, laced-boots, etc., in the most perfect order as when she arrived, while the full-grown white-robed figure had totally disappeared.
Mr. Robert Chambers introduced me to a wealthy Scotch lady, Miss Douglas, living in South Audley Street, and at her house I attended many séances, and met there Mr. Hensleigh Wedgwood, and several other London spiritualists. Perhaps the most interesting of these were a series with Mr. Haxby, a young man engaged in the post-office and a remarkable medium for materializations. He was a small man, and sat in a small drawing-room on the first floor separated by curtains from a larger one, where the visitors sat in a subdued light. After a few minutes, from between the curtains would appear a tall and stately East Indian figure in white robes, a rich waistband, sandals, and large turban, snowy white, and disposed with perfect elegance. Sometimes this figure would walk round the room outside the circle, would lift up a large and very heavy musical box, which he would wind up and then swing round his head with one hand. He would often come to each of us in succession, bow, and allow us to feel his hands and examine his robes. We asked him to stand against the door-post and marked his height, and on one occasion Mr. Hensleigh Wedgwood brought with him a shoe-maker's measuring-rule, and at our request, Abdullah, as he gave his name, took off a sandal, placed his foot on a chair, and allowed it to be accurately measured with the sliding-rule. After the séance Mr. Haxby
removed his boot and had his foot measured by the same rule, when that of the figure was found to be full one inch and a quarter the longer, while in height it was about half a foot taller. A minute or two after Abdullah had retired into the small room, Haxby was found in a trance in his chair, while no trace of the white-robed stranger was to be seen. The door and window of the back room were securely fastened, and often secured with gummed paper, which was found intact.
On another occasion I was present in a private house when a very similar figure appeared with the medium Eglinton before a large party of spiritualists and inquirers. In this case the conditions were even more stringent and the result absolutely conclusive. A corner of the room had a curtain hung across it, enclosing a space just large enough to hold a chair for the medium. I and others examined this corner and found the walls solid and the carpet nailed down. The medium on arrival came at once into the room, and after a short period of introductions seated himself in the corner. There was a lighted gas-chandelier in the room, which was turned down so as just to permit us to see each other. The figure, beautifully robed, passed round the room, allowed himself to be touched, his robes, hands, and feet examined closely by all present-I think sixteen or eighteen persons. Every one was delighted, but to make the séance a test one, several of the medium's friends begged him to allow himself to be searched so that the result might be published. After some difficulty he was persuaded, and four persons were appointed to make the examination. Immediately two of these led him into a bedroom, while I and a friend who had come with me closely examined the chair, floor, and walls, and were able to declare that nothing so large as a glove had been left. We then joined the other two in the bedroom, and as Eglinton took off his clothes each article was passed through our hands, down to underclothing and socks, so that we could positively declare that not a single article besides his own clothes were found upon him. The result was published in the Spiritualist newspaper, certified by the names of all present.
Yet one more case of materialization may be given, because it was even more remarkable in some respects than any which have been here recorded. A Mr. Monk, a nonconformist clergyman, was a remarkable medium, and in order to be able to examine the phenomena carefully, and to preserve the medium from the injury often caused by repeated miscellaneous séances, four gentlemen secured his exclusive services for a year, hiring apartments for him on a first floor in Bloomsbury, and paying him a moderate salary. Mr. Hensleigh Wedgwood and Mr. Stainton Moses were two of these, and they invited me to see the phenomena that occurred. It was a bright summer afternoon, and everything happened in the full light of day. After a little conversation, Monk, who was dressed in the usual clerical black, appeared to go into a trance; then stood up a few feet in front of us, and after a little while pointed to his side, saying, "Look.” We saw there a faint white patch on his coat on the left side. This grew brighter, then seemed to flicker, and extend both upwards and downwards, till very gradually it formed a cloudy pillar extending from his shoulder to his feet and close to his body. Then he shifted himself a little sideways, the cloudy figure standing still, but appearing joined to him by a cloudy band at the height at which it had first begun to form. Then, after a few minutes more, Monk again said “Look," and passed his hand through the connecting band, severing it. He and the figure then moved away from each other till they were about five or six feet apart. The figure had now assumed the appearance of a thickly draped female form, with arms and hands just visible. Monk looked towards it and again said to us “Look," and then clapped his hands. On which the figure put out her hands, clapped them as he had done, and we all distinctly heard her clap following his, but fainter. The figure then moved slowly back to him, grew fainter and shorter, and was apparently absorbed into his body as it had grown out of it.
Of course, such a narration as this, to those who know nothing of the phenomena that gradually lead up to it, seems mere midsummer madness. But to those who have for years
obtained positive knowledge of a great variety of facts equally strange, this is only the culminating point of a long series of phenomena, all antecedently incredible to the people who talk so confidently of the laws of nature. I will here just remark that in the four cases of materialization now recorded, with four different mediums, four different kinds of tests were obtained without any interference with the conditions needed for the production of the phenomena. In the first, with Miss Cook, the figure was positively distinguished by unpierced ears, while the circumstances were such that the medium could not possibly have resumed her dress and concealed the robes of the figure in the few seconds only that sometimes elapsed between its disappearance and the examination of the medium. With Mr. Haxby, the measurements both of body and foot were so different as to prevent any possibility of personation by the medium. With Mr. Eglinton, the impromptu and thorough search after the séance rendered personation equally impossible ; while the last case, in which the whole process of the formation of a shrouded figure was seen in full daylight, absolutely precluded any normal mode of production of what we saw. I may mention that Mr. Wedgwood assured me that in the course of their long investigation they had had far more wonderful results. In some cases, instead of a shrouded and somewhat shadowy female figure, a tall robed male figure was produced, while Mr. Monk was in a deep trance, and in full view.
This figure would remain with them for half an hour or more, would touch them, and allow of close examination of his body and clothing, and was so thoroughly, though temporarily material, that it could exert considerable force, sometimes even lifting a chair on which one of them was seated, and thus carrying him around the room.
Now, however, that the whole series of similar phenomena have been co-ordinated, and to some extent rendered intelligible, by Myer's great work on “Human Personality," it is to be hoped that even students of physical science will no longer class all those who have either witnessed such phenomena or express their belief in them, as insane or idiotically credulous,
without even attempting to show how, under the same conditions, such effects can be produced.
Before leaving the subject of my experiences of spiritualism and spiritualists in England, I will give a case of the strange phenomenon called the “double," so well authenticated and so instructive as to deserve to be here recorded. About the year 1874, Mr. Pengelly, of Torquay, had sent me his very interesting critical article, “Is it a Fact?” in which, to my great surprise, I found an anecdote describing the strange appearance of the doubles of several persons to a friend of his (apparently), as he says he can vouch for it. When, as narrated in Chapter XXVI., we dined together at Glasgow, I took the opportunity of asking him privately whether I was right in my conjecture that the person to whom the event happened was himself, thinly disguised under the pseudonym, Mr. Hazelwood (Pengelly meaning in Cornish the head of the hazel-grove). He replied, “You are right;" which led me to read it again with still greater interest.
In 1883, thinking the case would be one suited for the Psychical Research Society, I sent the paper to my friend, F. W. H. Myers, telling him what Mr. Pengelly had told me; and Miss Pengelly has allowed me to copy a letter from Mr. Myers to her father, thanking him for the additional information he had received about the case, and saying, that as the distance at which the figures were seen was so small, “It is almost inconceivable that you could have mistaken other persons for your own family at that distance, especially as the train must have been almost or quite at a standstill.” But he did not publish the case, and it was probably, among the mass of other matter, forgotten. I now give the story as it occurs in Mr. Pengelly's paper, “Is it a Fact?” (p. 32).
“The following case, for which I can vouch, may serve to illustrate this." It will be found to be supported by both personal and circumstantial evidence :-Mr. Hazelwood, of Torquay, having a few years since to go to Dawlish, informed
· The disbelief in witchcraft, notwithstanding the mass of good testimony supporting it.