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in August is also very great, so that when it is considered that in addition observers who go to that region need to the British parties there will most not be very anxious, at any rate about probably be expeditions from several clouds.
other countries, such as Spain, PortuOne of the novelties that will be at gal, Holland, France, Germany, Italy, tempted during this eclipse will be the Russia, Egypt, &c., and probably one photography of the eclipsed sun by or two United States expeditions, means of the three-color process. The there is a great opportunity not only camera that will be employed will for occupying a large number of difprobably be one having three lenses, ferent stations along the line, but of so that the exposures through the three gaining a quantity of valuable material colored screens can be made simultane- to enlarge our knowledge of solar ously, the correct ratio of the exposures physics. being obtained by adjusting the apertures of the lenses.
William J. S. Lockyer. Nature.
THE STATUS OF GHOSTS.
Formerly ghosts were accepted at with surprise. But that is perhaps what may be called their face-value. rather true of the past than the pres
They appeared at the “occult” hour of ent; and a change in opinion was in midnight, and disappeared at what is fact noticed by Professor Richet, the to many living persons still the dread- new president of the society, in his ful crowing of the cock in the morning. inaugural address the other evening. Another occult phenomenon, for nobody Many of us who are not members of can explain it. In those simple days the society represent, as does the soghosts were not inexplicable because ciety itself, a middle term between the no one imagined there was anything to hostility of the man of physical science explain. After a time, when every and the unintellectual indifference of body who was anybody had ceased to the practical materialist, the unculbelieve in them, it began to be a felt tured man, who prides himself on his want to explain and account for them. common sense because he sees no diffiHence the founding of that very in. culties and therefore needs no explanateresting, peculiar, and admirable or- tions. We do not want everything igganization, the Society for Psychical nored which has not something to do Research. It is a ghost-lore society, with radium, or electric lighting, or if we use the term ghost as taken to in- appendicitis, or the consumption bacilclude all the group of congruous mys- lus. We have heard of such phenomena teries which cluster round the idea of as rappings on tables without physical the ghost and have the distinction of contact, of levitations, of inexplicable being classed together by the orthodox premonitions and lucidities of the mind scientific man as not science. Sir which plainly appear out of the normal. Oliver Lodge has described the mem- of apparitions, the more knowing term bers of the society, of which he himself for ghosts, of spirit photographs, of is one of the most distinguished, as apports-of which it may be desirable being regarded with contempt mixed to state that matter appears to pass 1 «Presidential Address" by Professor Charles Faculty of Medicine, to the members and 16Richet, Professor of Physiology of the Paris sociates of the Society for Psychical Research.
through matter, a possibility that cess for example as unmasking fraud radium suggests-of planchette, of or deception in a court of law. There hypnotism, of Mrs. Piper, and of many is that unconscious knowledge and other abnormal persons and things memory of facts which is never effaced quite as curious. If these things are from the organism, though we may facts they are interesting, they may be think we have never known or have important, and if they are not, they are completely forgotten them. This unat any rate very puzzling; and we revealed personality lying beneath the should be glad to know “how it is strata of race and individual expedone.” Why should not a number of rience, the hidden basis of our daily English people who can listen to and superficial activities, may with our an address in French for an hour complete unconsciousness occasion selfand a half without apparent weari- deception and lead us to deceive others ness, employ some of their remarka- without intention. This is a notion ble patience in elucidating these which has been arrived at in the ordimysteries? They have done so, as is nary course of physiological and well known; and what was to be ex- psychological inquiries of recent years; pected has happened. They have ar- and it is a weapon with which the rived at the conclusion which we psychical inquirer arms himself. And others of the middle term have arrived what is the conclusion of these longat without corporate action. First of continued and patient inquiries in Engall they are not very certain about the land, France, and elsewhere made by alleged facts. From the days of Simon those who have investigated the whole Magus downwards, and before, the body of so-called psychical manifestamagician has hardly ever known him- tions? Assuming that they must be the self how far he was the possessor of effects of causes which are not those an unexplained extraordinary power, of any known physical forces, how far and how far he deceived himself and have they been provel to be actual oc. others. Much less have other people currences in the opinion of those who been able to demarcate the two prov. have applied whatever tests of possiinces. Nor has the Psychical Society. ble experiment or inquiry a philosophiYou may explode some ghost stories,' cal or scientific scepticism might sugbut you cannot, with every exercise of gest? In Dr. Richet's opinion there are ingenuity, explode them all. You may indeed but few of what he prefers to explode impostors and yet be conscious call metapsychical phenomena on that you have not got to the heart of which all doubt has been triumphantly the mystery they have been exploiting. dissipated, and there are perhaps but You end rather by disbelieving in the two or three elementary ones which magician than in the magic. When can claim to be definitely established; our ancestors ceased burning witches as, for example, raps without contact. it was not because they ceased to be- or veridical hallucinations. Thus the lieve in witchcraft, the witch of Endor status of the ghost and his entourage was too much for them, but because is very ill defined and can scarcely be they got rather ashamed of burning considered as free from doubt. the wrong persons.
But turning from the question of In such matters as the seeing of fact, of the amount of evidence there ghosts, the fulfilment of dreams, or is of psychical happenings, and admitpremonitions of death, or in cases of ting there is some, what is the theory clairvoyance, more delicacy of treat- or explanation of them? What are the ment is required than in such a pro- known forces presumed to act upon
matter and human intelligence? There persons who have been self-deceived in is spiritism, or spiritualism, as it is these matters. The experiment neither mostly but unsuitably called, which has proved nor disproved anything but become a religious cult in the hands this; and otherwise the result is negaof those who believe that the causes tive. Again there is the supposition are to be found in the actions of spirits or guess, for it cannot be tested by extra-human or of the dead. So many experiment, that the explanation is to emotions and human cravings for com- be found in the human organism itself. munion with the departed, for corrob- It has the power, it is said, of acting oration of the belief in human sur- at a distance without contact, of disvival after death, cluster round this charging an effluvium or double, and of explanation that it is bound to be re- impressing others through sight or garded at least with suspicion. The sound; when we have apparitions, only experimental proof must be some- premonitions of deaths and the like, of thing that comes through the senses, which there are many accounts. As The spirit must be made visible or facts such occurrences are admitted by handled or undoubtedly heard, not those who do not accept the theory or inerely inferred, before spiritism can guess; and yet it seems very unconvincbe admitted to be a valid theory. In ing that they should say, as they do, the opinion of those of whom Dr. that pure chance or coincidence may Richet is representative these conditions explain these things; and that the fact have not been fulfilled; and spiritism is a mere subjective phenomenon in the is a faith, not a science; a faith whose recipient of the experiences. There is substance is things hoped for, and no need moreover to drag in the "long whose evidence is things not seen. An arm of coincidence" by way of objecinteresting test case has lately been tion to an explanation for which there put and an account of it given in a is nothing in the shape of proof. What recent number of the Journal of the remains for the prudent investigator in Psychical Society. The late Frederick the shape of theory? Nothing but a Myers arranged with Sir Oliver Lodge theory of absolute nescience for the that if possible he should communicate present, mitigated by the hope that after death in some manner with a when new facts have been discovered living person, and convey certain infor- some theory will emerge which will mation as to the contents of an en- knit together the inexplicable phenomvelope which had been entrusted to ena, as has happened in the history of Sir Oliver Lodge and deposited by him all knowledge that can now claim to be in secure custody. A lady professed regarded as science. Yet it is remarkathat she was in communication with ble and laudable that in these materialthe spirit of Myers through automatic ist days there should be people who writing, and that she had received in- have faith in the possibilities of a formation as to the contents of the en- science at present so surrounded with velope. With all due precautions and uncertainties, while its discoveries in formalities the envelope was opened; any case would have no pecuniary but the lady was found to have added value. only one more instance to the list of
The Saturday Review.
BOOKS AND AUTHORS.
The continuing popularity of Dickens will be prefixed by Sir Charles Dilke, is attested by the fact that more than relating chiefly to the life and letters 200.000 copies of his various books were between 1858 and 1884 inclusive. sold in England during the month of December
In “Farmington," Clarence S. Darrow
gathers together recollections of his Lady Margaret Sackville has almost childhood in a Pennsylvania valley, deready for the press a second volume of
scribing his experiences at home, in verse. It will be published under the
school, on the play-ground, and among title of “A Hymn to Dionysus, and
the quaint characters of the village, other Poems," by Mr. Elkin Mathews.
and commenting on them with a blend
ing of humor and pathos which would The Athenæum, remarking upon the
be more attractive to the average death of General Lewis Wallace, char
reader if it were not so strongly seaacterizes “The Fair God” as the best
soned with cynicism. The portrait of of the general's stories, despite the
his father is drawn more sympathetenormous circulation achieved by “Ben
ically than any of the others and it is Hur.”
by far the most successful. A. C. Mc
Clurg & Co. Aubrey de Vere used to say that he could easily be well off,-he had only to stop publishing. But the Irish poo"
The Librairie Ollendorff has begun of Westminster, to whom he be.
the issue of a new edition of the comqueathed his volumes of verse, have
plete works of Victor Hugo, in forty already benefited by the bequest in a volumes, of which four will comprise substantial sum.
unpublished materials. This edition
promises to be the final one, so far In "A New Paolo and Francesca," as such things can be final. It is being Annie E. Holdsworth portrays the con- printed at the Imprimerie Nationale. ficting loves of two brothers in a The first volume in the series is “Notre style too melodramatic and morbid to Dame de Paris.” Attention may be meet the best standards of either art here called to the success which has or morals. But the story shows a attended M. A. Fayard's bold experistrain of unquestioned talent, and one
oned talent and one ment of publishing novels by first-rate chapter in particular-that describing authors, illustrated by the best artists. the burial service of Lady Elizabeth at 95 centimes per volume. The series has haunting qualities. John Lane.
was started twelve months ago with
M. Bourget's “Cruelle Enigme," with Mr. John Murray will publish a little seventy-five illustrations by A. Calbet. posthumous work by Lady Dilke which It was intended to limit it to twelve she called “the Book of Praise," and volumes, but as over one million copies with it in the same volume two of her have been sold, the publisher has defanciful tales, "The Last Hour” and cided to continue it, and some hitherte "The Mirror of the Soul.” These latter unpublished works will be included. were ready for an intended volume of The books are beautifully printed on stories, and bear on the same subjects fine paper, and altogether marvels of AS "The Book of Praise." A memoir cheapness.
ECHOES OF JOY.
And all fair things that might have
been Only a song of joy
Drew back within the ivory gate. Wind-blown over the heather:
Alas! we can but smile and sighSomewhere two little hearts
The hills of dream behind us lie. Thrill and throb together.
D. J. Robertson.
Life and Death live together;
HOME FROM BATTLE.
Here at the good king's tent stand IWind-blown over the heather!
All the night is in the sky.
To-morrow, I trow, in battle I die. Pall Mall Magazine.
There as I wait, stark, cold, and dumb.
And find me, and lift me, and carry
me home. The hills of aream behind us lie,
Three days will the journey be Above us in a placid sky
These dear comrades must carry meThe stars, unchanged, look down on us
I shall be home at the end of the three. As when with pulses tremulous
At sundown, marching the first long We breathed to them our hopes and fears
Shall they desire to make their stay In the dear, dead, tremendous years
In a strong house beside the way; When life was all a rainbow mist,
But the lord of that house shall ask and A dawn that showed enchanted skies
know. of amber and of amethyst,
I, the dead man, am his mortal foeWhen giants walked the world, and
And he shall drive us from him so.
Aud the second day, by moonlight Daughters of gods might smile on men, clear, Revealing sudden Paradise.
To a castle once more shall we draw No rainbow now across our path
near; Shines promise-laden; cold and gray
And men will ask: “Whom bave ye Sank in the West the sullen day;
here?" The pale moon quits her couch of There she, who is queen of all the cloud
landAmber nor amethyst she hath
My lady will by me stand;Cold, white and dead. condemned to Will lift above me her tender hand! glide
When, with sad voice, they answer For ever through the fields of night,
make, For ever flaunt her silver shroud
Pale for pity will be her cheek;Through the waste places of delight
But she will not know whose name Where, in the ages ere she died,
they speak. She bore her beauty and her pride.
Then with the dawn we forth shall Too soon the giants of the dawn
fare; Shrank as our shadows shrink at noon; And when the high stars sh
And when the high stars shining are, Fair daughters of the gods, too soon
Me through my father's gates shall Back to your native skies withdrawn,
they bear. With you the unheard melodies, By the pit side shall crouch my hound The unseen that almost could be seen. As they lay me in the groundSweet voices, half articulate,
There I think to sleep full sound! Strange sails upon enchanted seas,