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It may likewise, without any offence to our august religion, be doubted, whether St. Eucherius was conducted by an angel into hell, where he saw Charles Martel's soul; and whether a holy hermit of Italy saw the soul of Dagobert chained in a boat by devils, who were flogging it without mercy; for, after all, it is rather difficult to explain satisfactorily how a soul can walk upon a carpet, how it can be chained in a boat, or how it can be flogged.

But, it may very well be, that heated brains have had such visions; from age to age we have a thousand instances of them. One must be very enlightened to distinguish, in this prodigious number of visions, those which came from God himself, from those which were purely the offspring of imagination.

The illustrious Bossuet relates, in his funeral oration over the Princess Palatine, two visions which acted powerfully on that princess, and determined the whole conduct of her latter years. These heavenly visions must be believed, since they are regarded as such by the discreet and learned Bishop of Meaux, who penetrated into all the depths of theology, and even undertook to lift the veil which covers the Apocalypse.

*

He says, then, that the Princess Palatine, having lent a hundred thousand francs to her sister the Queen of Poland, sold the duchy of Rételois for a million, and married her daughters advantageously. Happy according to the world, but unfortunately doubting the truths of the Christian religion, she was brought back to her conviction, and to the love of these ineffable truths, by two visions. The first was a dream, in which a man born blind told her that he had no idea of light, and that we must believe the word of others in things of which we cannot ourselves conceive. The second arose from a violent shock of the membranes and fibres of the brain in an access of fever. She saw a hen running after one of her chickens, which a dog held in his mouth. The Princess Palatine snatched the chick from the dog; on which, a voice cried out, "Give him

* Oraisons Funèbres, p. 310, et seq. edition of 1749.

back his chicken; if you deprive him of his food, he will not watch as he ought." But the princess exclaimed, “No, I will never give it back."

This chicken was the soul of Anne of Gonzaga, Princess Palatine; the hen was the Church; and the dog was the Devil. Anne of Gonzaga, who was never to give back the chicken to the dog, was efficacious grace.

Bossuet preached this funeral oration to the Carmelite nuns of the faubourg St. Jacques, at Paris, before the whole house of Condé; he used these remarkable words" Hearken; and be especially careful not to hear with contempt the order of the divine warnings, and the conduct of divine grace."

The reader, then, must peruse this story with the same reverence with which its hearers listened to it. These extraordinary workings of Providence are like the miracles of canonised saints, which must be attested by irreproachable witnesses. And what more lawful deponent can we have, to the apparitions and visions of the Princess Palatine, than the man who employed his life in distinguishing truth from appearance ?-who combated vigorously against the nuns of Port-Royal on the formulary-against Paul Ferri on the catechism against the minister Claude on the variations of the Church-against Doctor Dupin on Chinaagainst Father Simon on the understanding of the sacred text-against Cardinal Sfondrate on predestination-against the Pope on the rights of the Gallican church-against the Archbishop of Cambray on pure and disinterested love. He was not to be seduced by the names, nor the titles, nor the reputation, nor the dialectics of his adversaries. He related this fact; therefore he believed it. Let us join him in his belief, in spite of the raillery which it has occasioned. Let us adore the secrets of Providence: but let us distrust the wanderings of the imagination, which Mallebranche called la folle du logis. For these two visions, accorded to the Princess Palatine, are not vouchsafed to every one.

Jesus Christ appeared to St. Catharine of Sienna;

he espoused her, and gave her a ring. This mystical apparition is to be venerated, for it is attested by Raymond of Capua, general of the Dominicans, who confessed her, as also by Pope Urban VI. But it is rejected by the learned Fleuir, author of the Ecclesiastical History. And a young woman, who should now boast of having contracted such a marriage, might receive as a nuptial present a place in a lunatic asylum.

The appearance of Mother Angelica, abbess of PortRoyal, to Sister Dorothy, is related by a man of very great weight among the Jansenists, the Sieur Dufossé, author of the Mémoires de Pontis. Mother Angelica, long after her death, came and seated herself in the church of Port-Royal, in her old place, with her crosier in her hand. She commanded that Sister Dorothy should be sent for, and to her she told terrible secrets. But the testimony of this Dufossé is of less weight than that of Raymond of Capua, and Pope Urban VI., which, however, have not been formally received.

The writer of the above paragraphs has since read the Abbé Langlet's four volumes on Apparitions, and thinks he ought not to take anything from them. He is convinced of all the apparitions verified by the church; but he has some doubts about the others, until they are authentically recognized. The Cordeliers and the Jacobins, the Jansenists and the Molinists, have all had their apparitions and their miracles.* "Iliacos inter muros peccatur et extrá.” †

APPEARANCE.

ARE all appearances deceitful? Have our senses been given us only to keep us in continual delusion?

* See VISION and VAMPires.

+ The recent Essays of the doctors Alderson and Ferriar have very instructively developed the physical source of the delusion which is here so pleasantly exhibited by Voltaire. It is remarkable, or rather it is not remarkable, that the essayists and our author agree in the causes of so much of the imaginary as is not founded on imposture, for we apprehend that all unprejudiced and unclouded minds arrive at the same conclusion, without having been led to it by the more exact information of the two physicians.-T.

Is everything error? Do we live in a dream, surrounded by shadowy chimeras? We see the sun setting, when he is already below the horizon: before he has yet risen, we see him appear. A square tower seems to be round. A straight stick, thrust into the water, seems to be bent.

You see your face in a mirror, and the image appears to be behind the glass: it is, however, neither behind nor before it. This glass, which to the sight and the touch is so smooth and even, is no other than an unequal congregation of projections and cavities. The finest and fairest skin is a kind of bristled net-work, the openings of which are incomparably larger than the threads, and enclose an infinite number of minute hairs. Under this net-work there are liquors incessantly passing, and from it there issue continual exha, lations which cover the whole surface. What we call large is to an elephant very small; and what we call small, is to insects a world.

The same motion which would be rapid to a snail, would be very slow in the eye of an eagle. This rock, which is impenetrable by steel, is a sieve consisting of more pores than matter, and containing a thousand avenues of prodigious width leading to its centre, in which are lodged multitudes of animals, which may, for aught we know, think themselves the masters of the universe.

Nothing is either as it appears to be, or in the place where we believe it to be.

Several philosophers, tired of being constantly deceived by bodies, have in their spleen pronounced that bodies do not exist, and that there is nothing real but our minds. As well might they have concluded that, all appearances being false, and the nature of the soul being as little known as that of matter, there is no reality in either body or soul.

Perhaps it is this despair of knowing anything which has caused some Chinese philosophers to say, that Nothing is the beginning and the end of all things.

This philosophy, so destructive to being, was well known in Molière's time. Doctor Macphurius repre

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sents the school; when teaching Sganarelle, he says, "You must not say, I am come,' but it seems to me that I am come;' for it may seem to you, without such being really the case.'

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But at the present day, a comic scene is not an argument, though it is sometimes better than an argument; and there is often as much pleasure in seeking after truth as in laughing at philosophy.

You do not see the net-work, the cavities, the threads, the inequalities, the exhalations of that white and delicate skin which you idolize. Animals a thou sand times less than a mite discern all these objects which escape your vision; they lodge, feed, and travel about in them, as in an extensive country, and those on the right arm are perfectly ignorant that there are creatures of their own species on the left. If you were so unfortunate as to see what they see, your charming skin would strike you with horror.

The harmony of a concert, to which you listen with delight, must have on certain classes of minute animals the effect of terrible thunder; and perhaps it kills them. We see, touch, hear, feel things, only in the way in which they ought to be seen, touched, heard, or felt by ourselves.

All is in due proportion. The laws of optics, which show you an object in the water where it is not, and break a right line, are in entire accordance with those which make the sun appear to you with a diameter of two feet, although it is a million times larger than the earth. To see it in its true dimensions, would require an eye collecting his rays at an angle as great as his disk, which is impossible. Our senses, then, assist much more than they deceive us.

Motion, time, hardness, softness, dimensions, distance, approximation, strength, weakness, appear ances of whatever kind,—all is relative. And who has

created these relations?

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À-PROPOS.

ALL great successes, of whatever kind, are founded upon things done or said d-propos.

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