Walter Franklin Prince

First drawn to psychical research when, as Rector of All Saints, Pittsburgh, already interested in psychotherapy, he came across 'Doris Fischer' - a girl with multiple personality. In 1916, he became James Hyslop's assistant at the American SPR and did much research work. After he became Research Officer of its Boston counterpart, whose journal he edited. In 1927, during a visit to Europe, he investigated Rudi Schneider.

Noted Witnesses for Psychic Occurrences: Men of Science

 - Walter Franklin Prince -

Luther Burbank | Jerome Cardan | The Earl of Crawford | Friedrich Delitzsch | Augustus de Morgan (1) (2) | J. W. Dunne | William E. Greenawalt | William Gregory | Herman V. Hilpilecht | William James | Carolus Linnaeus | Hudson Maxim | John Muir | Raphael Pumpelly | R. A. S. Redmayne | George John Romanes | Archibald Henry Sayce | Ernest Thomson Seton | Emanuel Swedenborg (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) | Cromwell F. Varley

Utilizable Telepathy - Luther Burbank(1)

(1) Article in "Hearst's Magazine", May, 1923.

          THE NAME of Luther Burbank (1849-1926), Sc.D. from Tufts College, is familiar as that of the famous student and moulder of plant life, originator of spineless cacti, the plumcot which is a quite new fruit, the Shasta daisy, and a large number of varieties of potatoes, plums, apples, peaches, nuts, cherries, vegetables, flowers, etc. His Experimental Farms in California had, toward the end of his life, 5,000 different botanical species, and a million plants a year were tested. He was a special lecturer on evolution at Leland Stanford, Jr., University, and a member of many organizations.

I inherited my mother's ability to send and receive communications. So did one of my sisters. In tests before representatives of the University of California she was able, seven times out of ten, to receive messages sent to her telepathically. My mother, who lived to be more than ninety-six years of age, was in poor health the last years of her life. During these years I often wished to summon my sister. On such occasions I never had to write, telephone or telegraph to her. Instead, I sent her messages telepathically, and each time she arrived in Santa Rosa, California, where I live, on the next train.

It is hard to credit that, had records been kept of Dr. Burbank's attempts to send his sister messages by telepathy, they would have shown unbroken success; on the other hand, it is very hard to believe that such a statement would have been made by such a man without considerable basis of fact.

The Trances of a Pioneer in Mathematical and General Science - Jerome Cardan(2)

(2) Taken immediately from Flammarion's "Autour de la Mort", p. 45, which derives from Cardan's "De Rerum Varietate", XXXIV. Translated by W. F. P.

Girolomo Cardano (1501-1576), to give him his name in his own language, was a famous Italian mathematician and physician. In 1545 he published a book which marks an era in the history of mathematics. His great work, De Subtilitate Rerum, printed in 1551, sounds crude enough now, but it "in his own age embodied the soundest physical learning of the time and simultaneously represented its most advanced spirit of speculation." In a general way he divined some of the principles worked out by Darwin 300 years later. "Alike intellectually and morally, Cardan is one of the most interesting personages connected with the revival of science in Europe... He possesses the true scientific spirit in perfection." "Numerous instances of his belief in dreams and omens may be collected from his writings, and he specially valued himself in being one of the five or six celebrated men to whom, as to Socrates, had been vouchsafed the assistance of a guardian daemon."(3)

(3) The quotations are from Richard Garnett, LLD., of the British Museum, in "Encyclopedia Britannica".

In his fifty-fifth year, Cardan began to experience peculiar trance or ecstatic states, which he thus described:

When I go into a trance I have near my heart a feeling as though the spirit detached itself from the body, and this separation extends to all the body, especially the head and neck. After that, I have no longer the idea of any sensation, except of feeling myself outside of the body.

During the trance [extase], he no longer felt the gout, from which he suffered much in his normal state, because all his sensibility was exteriorized(4).

(4) Flammarion adds that "Alfred de Musset saw sitting by his side a man 'who resembled himself like a brother,'" and that "George Sand declared that she had many times had a hallucination, both visual and auditory, of her double."

Raps and a Veridical Apparation(5) - The Earl of Crawford

(5) "Report on Spiritualism" of the Committee of the London Dialectical Society, 1873, pp. 206-208.

James Ludovic Lindsay (1847-1913), earlier known as the Master of Lindsay, was a Scottish peer and scientist, owning a string of degrees and titles, among which were K.T., V.D., D.L., J.P., LL.D., F.R.S., F.R.S.A., and V.P.S.A. He was a Trinity College, Cambridge man, for a time a member of Parliament, also a President of the Astronomical Society, a large landed proprietor, in 1871 organized and equipped an expedition to observe the transit of Venus, and erected the observatory at Sunecht, etc.

The following is a part of his testimony to the Committee of the London Dialectical Society, read July 6, 1869:

I first met Mr. Home at the house of a friend of his and mine, Mrs. G   ; and when we left the party, I asked him to come into my rooms, in Grosvenor Square, to smoke a cigar, etc. As he came into the room I heard a shower of raps along a beam that crosses the ceiling. It sounded like the feet of a flock of sheep being driven over boards. This was the first thing of the sort I had ever heard and, naturally, I was interested and wished for more, but in vain; nothing more happened, and soon he went away...

Another time, says the Master of Lindsay:

That evening I missed the last train at the Crystal Palace, and had to stay at Norwood, and I got a shakedown on a sofa in Home's room. I was just going to sleep, when I was roused by feeling my pillow slipping from under my head; and I could also feel, what seemed to be a fist, or hand, under it, which was pulling it away; soon after it ceased. Then I saw at the foot of my sofa a female figure, standing en profile to me. I asked Home if he saw anything, and he answered, "a woman, looking at me." Our beds were at right angles to one another, and about twelve feet apart. I saw the features perfectly, and impressed them upon my memory. She seemed to be dressed in a long wrap, going down from the shoulders, and not gathered in at the waist. Home then said, "It is my wife; she often comes to me." And then she seemed to fade away. Shortly after, I saw on my knee a flame of fire about nine inches high; I passed my hand through it, but it burnt on, above and below it. Home turned in his bed, and I looked at him, and saw that his eyes were glowing with light. It had a most disagreeable appearance. The only time since that I have seen that occur, a lady was very much frightened by it; indeed, I felt uncomfortable myself at it. The flame which had been flitting about me, now left me, and crossed the room about four feet from the ground, and reached the curtains of Home's bed; these proved no obstruction, for the light went right through them, settled on his head, and then went out; and then we went to sleep. There were no shutters, blinds, or curtains over the windows; and there was snow on the ground, and a bright moon. It was as lovely a night as ever I saw... The next morning, before I went to London, I was looking at some photographs, and I recognized the face I had seen in the room up-stairs overnight. I asked Mrs. Jencken who it was, and she said it was Home's wife.

Riveting our attention on the female figure, it is difficult to imagine how Home could in any way have produced the appearance by deception. The room seems to have been lighted by the moon, Home could be seen in his bed and Lindsay talked with him as he was looking at the figure. The witness says that he recognized her in one of the photographs he looked over the next day before he knew whom it represented, and that it proved to be a photograph of the woman named by Home as the "figure."

Hears his Friend's Name Mysteriously called, shortly after the Friend Died in a Distant Land(6) - Friedrich Delitzsch

(6) "Phantasms of the Living", II, 563.

This German Assyriologist (1850-1922) became, after the date of the incident which follows, as renowned as George Smith himself, though less of a pioneer, and proportionally not so prolific, since he lived exactly twice as long. Delibsch was professor of Semitic languages and Assyriology successively in the Universities of Leipzig, Breslau and Berlin, also director of the Asiatic section of the Royal Museum. He wrote many noted books on Assyriology, the Semitic language and the Old Testament.

George Smith died in Syria, August 19, 1876. In the (London) Times of September 11, that year, appeared the following:

A most striking coincidence may here be mentioned without comment. A young German Assyriologist of the highest promise, Dr. Friedrich Delitzsch, is now, for the second time, in this country, having been sent, as on his former visit, by the King of Saxony to study the arrow-headed inscriptions in the British Museum. During his former stay here last year, which was noticed at the time in our columns, Dr. Delitzsch and Mr. George Smith naturally became fast friends, and the Leipzig savant and his brother Hermann were chosen by Mr. Smith to introduce to German readers his Chaldean Account of Genesis, which has accordingly just been published at Leipzig under their joint editorship.

On the 19th ult., the day of Mr. George Smith's death, Dr. Delitzsch was on his way to the house of Mr. William St. Chad Boscawen, who is also arising Assyriologist. Mr. Boscawen resides in Kentish Town, and in passing the end of Crogsland Road, in which Mr. George Smith lived, and within about a stone's throw of the house, his German friend said he suddenly heard a most piercing cry, which thrilled him to the marrow, "Herr Dr. Delitzsch." The time for as soon as he got over the shock he looked at his watch-was between 6:45pm and 7pm, and Mr. Parsons gives the hour of Mr. Smith's death as 6pm Dr. Delibsch, who strongly disavows any superstitious leanings, was ashamed to mention the circumstance to Mr. Boscawen on reaching that gentleman's house, although on his return home he owns that his nervous apprehensions of some mournful event in his own family found relief in tears, and that he recorded all the facts in his notebook that same night. Dr. Delitzsch. told the story at our informant's breakfast table, with all the circumstances mentioned above, including the hour at which he heard the shrill cry. He distinctly denied having been thinking of Mr. George Smith at the time.

In 1885 the S. P. R. Committee, after several failures to get any responses, sent Prof. Delitzsch a copy of the above and asked him to contradict anything in it which was untrue, warning him that if not contradicted it would be printed. As no reply was received, and the "reluctance to write on the subject" which he expressed to an official of the British Museum would surely not have extended so far as to fail to stamp a falsehood, the account seems vindicated.

Mr. Gurney remarks that [taking in consideration the difference of longitude], if the hours were correctly given, the cry was heard about three and one-quarter hours after Mr. Smith's death.

Note that Delitzsch was in Smith's home town, to visit another Assyriologist, and likewise near Smith's house, when he heard his own name called, with a "most piercing cry, which thrilled him to the marrow." Can it be supposed that any flesh-and-blood person screamed out in such fashion, and without any indication of his presence? - for it would not have been in human nature not to look in every direction instantly. Would a human voice have " thrilled him to the marrow"? Would he have been so affected afterward - he, who disliked such things so much - if he had found any normal explanation possible? And was it not odd, if any living person caused that impression of a terrible cry, that it happened to be in Smith's town, near Smith's house and so soon after Smith's far-off death?

"Travelling Clairvoyance" in Hypnosis(7) - Augustus de Morgan

(7) "Modern Spiritualism", by Frank Podmore, I, 148-50.

Professor De Morgan (1806-1871) was one of the most eminent mathematicians and logicians of his period. He graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, but his refusal to sign the theological tests blocked the way to an M.A. degree and a fellowship. At the age of twenty-two he became professor of mathematics at University College, London, where he remained for a third of a century. "As a teacher of mathematics De Morgan was unrivaled... The most prolonged mathematical reasoning, and the most intricate formulae, were given with almost infallible accuracy from the resources of his extraordinary memory(8). He wrote a Treatise on Differential and Integral Calculus, and many other mathematical books and articles. But it is probable that his influence in the field of logic was greater still, and here his principal work was Formal Logic, or the Calculus of Inference, Necessary and Probable. "Apart from his conspicuous position as a logical and mathematical discoverer, we may conclude that hardly any man of science in recent times has had a more extensive, though it may often be an unfelt influence, upon the progress of exact and sound knowledge." The testimony of such a man is of great weight, and the significance of the incident he relates it seems impossible to evade.

(8) This and the following quotation are from W. S. Jevons in "Encyclopedia Britannica", 9th edition.

I have seen a great deal of mesmerism and have tried it myself on - for the removal of ailments. But this is not the point. I had frequently heard of the thing they call clairvoyance, and had been assured of the occurrence of it in my own house, but always considered it as a thing of which I had no evidence direct or personal, and which I could not admit till such evidence came.

One evening I dined at a house about a mile from my own - a house in which my wife had never been at that time. I left it at half-past ten, and was in my own house at a quarter to eleven. At my entrance my wife said to me, "We have been after you," and told me that a little girl whom she mesmerized for epileptic fits (and who left her cured), and of whose clairvoyance she had told me other instances, had been desired in the mesmeric state to follow me to - Street, to -'s house. The thing took place at a few minutes past ten. On hearing the name of the street, the girl's mother said.

"She will never find her way there. She has never been so far away from Camden Town."

The girl in a moment got there. "Knock at the door," said my wife. "I cannot," said the girl; "we must go in at the gate." (The house, a most unusual thing in London, stands in a garden; this my wife knew nothing of.) Having made the girl go in and knock at the door, or simulate or whatever the people do, the girl said she heard voices up-stairs, and being told to go up, exclaimed, "What a comical house! there are three doors," describing them thus. [Diagram given.] (This was true, and is not unusual in any but large houses.) On being told to go into the room from whence voices came, she said, "Now I see Mr. de Morgan, but he has a nice coat on, and not the long coat he wears here; and he is talking to an old gentleman, and there are ladies." This was a true description of the party, except that the other gentleman was not old(9). "And now," she said, "there is a lady come to them, and is beginning to talk to Mr. de Morgan and the old gentleman, and Mr. de Morgan is pointing at you and the old gentleman is looking at me." About the time indicated I happened to be talking to my host about mesmerism, and having mentioned what my wife was doing, or said she was doing with the little girl, he said, "Oh, my wife must hear this," and called her, and she came up and joined us in the manner described. The girl then proceeded to describe the room: stated that there were two pianos in it. There was one [piano], and an ornamental sideboard, not much unlike a pianoforte to the daughter of a poor charwoman. That there were two kinds of curtains, white and red, and curiously looped up (all true to the letter), and that there were wine and water and biscuits on the table. Now, my wife, knowing that we had dined at half-past six, and thinking it impossible that anything but coffee could be on the table, said, "You must mean coffee." The girl persisted, "Wine, water and biscuits." My wife still persuaded that it must be coffee, tried in every way to lead her witness, and make her say coffee. But still the girl persisted, "Wine, water, and biscuits," which was literally true, it not being what people talk of under the name of a glass of wine and a biscuit, which means sandwiches, cake, etc., but strictly wine, water, and biscuits

(9) He may have been, from the viewpoint of a "little girl."

Now, all this taking place at twenty minutes after ten was told to me at a quarter to eleven. When I heard that I was to have such an account given I only said, "Tell me all of it, and I will not say one word;" and I assure you that during the narration I took the most especial care not to utter one syllable. For instance, when the wine and water and biscuits came up, my wife, perfectly satisfied that it must have been coffee, told me how the girl persisted, and enlarged upon it as a failure, giving parallel instances of cases in which the clairvoyants had been right in all things but one. All this I heard without any interruption. Now that the things happened to me as I have described at twenty minutes after ten, and were described to me as above at quarter to eleven, I could make oath. The curtains I ascertained next day, for I had not noticed them. When my wife came to see the room she instantly recognized the door, which she had forgotten in her narrative.

All this is no secret. You may tell whom you like, and give my name. What do you make of it? Will the never-failing doctrine of coincidence explain it?

A Dying Vision(10) - Augustus de Morgan

(10) "William De Morgan and His Wife", by A. M. W. Stirling (Henry Holt & Co., N. Y., 1922), 81.

For many years, as we have seen, he had been deeply interested in, and had closely investigated, tales of appearances of the dead to the dying. During the last two days of his life his son William, watching by him, observed that he seemed to recognize the presence of all those of his family whom he had lost by death-his three children, his mother and sister, all of whom he greeted audibly, naming them in the reverse order to that in which they left this world. Whether it was the wandering of a dying brain or a happy vision of actuality, who shall decide?

Previsional Dreams(11) - J. W. Dunne

(11) "An Experiment with Time", by J. W. Dunne (Macmillan Co., 1927), 34-7.

Mr. Dunne is said to be an aeronautical engineer of very high reputation in England, who has been prominently connected with the development of aviation.

In the spring of 1902 I was encamped with the Sixth Mounted Infantry near the ruins of Lindley, in the (then) Orange Free State. We had just come off trek, and mails and newspapers arrived but rarely.

There, one night, I had an unusually vivid and rather unpleasant dream.

I seemed to be standing on high ground - the upper slopes of some spur of a hill or mountain. The ground was of a curious white formation. Here and there in this were little fissures, and from these jets of vapor were spouting upward. In my dream I recognized the place as an island of which I had dreamed before an island which was in imminent peril from a volcano. And, when I saw the vapor spouting from the ground I gasped: "It's the island! Good Lord, the whole thing is going to blow up! For I had memories of reading about Krakatoa, where the sea, making its way into the heart of a volcano through a submarine crevice, flushed into steam, and blew the whole mountain to pieces. Forthwith I was seized with a frantic desire to save the four thousand (I knew the number) unsuspecting inhabitants. Obviously there was only one way of doing this, and that was to take them off in ships. There followed a most distressing nightmare, in which I was at a neighboring island, trying to get the incredulous French authorities to dispatch vessels of every and any description to remove the inhabitants of the threatened island. I was sent from one official to another; and finally woke myself by my own dream exertions, clinging to the heads of a team of horses drawing the carriage of one "Monsieur le Maire," who was going out to dine, and wanted me to return when his office would be open next day. All through the dream the number of the people in danger obsessed my mind. I repeated it to everyone I met, and, at the moment of waking, I was shouting to the "Maire," Listen! Four thousand people will be killed unless-"

I am not certain now when we received our next batch of papers, but, when they did come, the Daily Telegraph was amongst them, and, on opening the centre sheet, this is what met my eyes:

Volcano Disaster in Martinique - town Swept Away - An Avalanche of Flame - Probable Loss of Over 40,000 Lives - British Steamer Burnt. Etc

Note the correspondences:

Dream Facts
1. Volcano. 1. Volcano (Pelee).
2. On an island. 2. On the island Martinique.
3. French inhabitants of a neighboring island. 3 . The white population of the adjacent island, St. Lucia, is nearly all French.
4. Mountain "flushed into steam." 4. Mt. Pelee sent out a blast of incandescent gas.
5. "Going to blow up." Memories in the dream of another case where conditions "blew the whole mountain to pieces." 5. The narrator in the newspaper described how "the mountain seemed to split open all down the side."
6. Mention of "ships." 6. Printed article has about a "British ship burnt," and in fact there were many ships in the harbor.
7. Dreamer oppressed by the number of people to be killed. 7. The destruction of life was indeed enormous.
8. Number killed, 4,000. 8. Number of killed the same with another cipher added.

There are certainly a number of striking correspondences. Even in respect to the number of people killed, while in one sense there is a great difference, in another there is little; whether in hastily glancing at print or in recollecting a round number, it is easy to leave off or add one cipher. I am not suggesting that any analogous process was involved - we know nothing, whatever our various conjectures, as to the process.

Be it noted that the dream was "unusually vivid" and very emotional - characteristics which attach to most dreams which find complex external correspondences.

But the fact above all which makes it exceedingly difficult to assign the correspondences to chance coincidence is that Mr. Dunne has recorded so many which also complexly coincided with outward and future events in many of their salient features.

We do not know how soon after the dream the disaster took place seemingly the date of the former was not recorded, but it was "in the spring of 1902;" the Mt. Pelee catastrophe occurred May 8.

Dowsing Phenomena(12) - William E. Greenawalt

(12) From letter by Mr. Greenawalt in "Engineering and Mining Journal", January 14, 1928.

William E. Greenawalt (1866-...), C.E. and B.S. of Cornell, spent ten years in engineering and architecture in New York City, but has since turned his attention to mining and metallurgy. He has taken out more than one hundred patents, mostly in connection with the "Greenawalt Electrolytic Copper Extraction Process," and is the author of The Hydrometallurgy of Copper, and many technical articles.

Some years ago I visited a mining camp in southern Colorado, and spent an evening with the superintendent of the largest mine in the district. In the course of the conversation he told me that a dowser had been to see him sometime previously, and that he was curious enough to pay $25 for an exhibition. The dowser, he said, indicated to him the exact position of a vein of which he had no knowledge. He was then cross-cutting to intersect the known veins, and was interested to see if there was anything to the dowser's information. He found the vein almost exactly as described, and asked me if I could offer any explanation. I told him coincidence might be an explanation, if it explained anything.

About the same time I was superintending the construction of a MW in Colorado. One of my associates in this work had read about locating mineral veins with a forked stick, and he suggested that we try it. I agreed, but with the stipulation that he was to carry the forked stick. As we tramped over the hills he remarked several times that he felt a perceptible tug on the stick, and I concluded that his imagination was working overtime. Suddenly he stopped, and apparently was making a great effort to hold the stick horizontally against a force which was attempting to pull it down. He called my attention to it, and as I looked him over in an incredulous way, he said, "Well, if you do not believe it, try it yourself." I did, but to me it was simply a forked willow stick we had cut a short time before. I handed it back to him, and immediately apparently the tugging started again. I concluded at the time that if there was not a mineral deposit where we stood, there was at least an interesting psychological problem connected with the affair.

The phenomena of dowsing does not appear as obscure to me now as it did then. The mistake is usually made by confusing a psychical phenomenon with a physical phenomenon. Dowsing, as I see it, is purely a psychical phenomenon. It finds almost an exact duplication in the very common psychic phenomenon known as table-tipping and automatic writing. It is, in fact, essentially the same thing. While dowsing cannot very well be investigated experimentally, everyone can easily experimentally investigate table-tipping and automatic writing. Few people who have scientifically investigated these common phenomena doubt their reality. Everyone who has scientifically investigated them knows about their unreliability. Sometimes results are obtained bordering on the miraculous; then again, at other times, the results are entirely negative, apparently without cause.

Nobody realizes better than I do that these phenomena are ridiculed and explained on the basis of fraud, but ridicule and fraud do not explain anything except the mental attitude of the one who asserts them. Anyone can observe these phenomena, and anyone who claims to know even the elements of research and experimentation can eliminate fraud and coincidence without much trouble. I eliminated them by experimenting with friends and members of my own family and household. I even eliminated them from consideration of fraud and coincidence by giving mental directions and by mentally (not audibly) asking questions. In table-tipping, for example, the table would respond to my mental directions when there was no physical contact between me and the table. These phenomena are very common, and I am simply mentioning them here to show their identity with the much-discussed subject of locating water or mineral deposits with a forked stick. Those who can produce the phenomena of table-tipping can usually without much difficulty produce the phenomena of automatic writing, and I should confidently expect, on experimentation, to find that they could also produce the phenomena of dowsing, and vice versa. These phenomena are admittedly unreliable and unsatisfactory, but as one roams over the mining regions of the West and sees the innumerable abandoned prospect holes dug by hard-headed prospectors and intelligent engineers, he is far from impressed with the infallibility of their judgment, even on matters they claim to know about.

William E. Greenawalt

"Travelling Clairvoyance"(13) - William Gregory

(13) "Enigmas of Psychical Research", by J. H. Hyslop, 278-79.

Professor William Gregory (1803-1858), son and grandson of eminent professors in medical colleges of Scotland, was professor of chemistry first at the Andersonian Institution in Glasgow, then at King's College in Aberdeen, and finally at Edinburgh University. He was author of treatises on chemistry, an essay on "animal magnetism," and translated several works of Von Liebig, whose theories he championed.

Mr. Podmore quotes also a letter of Professor Gregory, of Edinburgh. Professor Gregory had paid a visit to a friend in a town some thirty miles from Edinburgh, and there met a lady who had been twice mesmerized by this friend and who was not known to Professor Gregory. She apparently had some clairvoyant powers and described Professor Gregory's house in Edinburgh so accurately that he was moved to the experiment which he describes in the following letter:

"I now asked her to go to Greenock, forty or fifty miles from where we were (Edinburgh was nearly thirty miles distant) and to visit my son, who resides there with a friend. She soon found him, and described him accurately, being much interested in the boy, whom she had never seen nor heard of. She saw him, she said, playing in a field outside of a small garden in which stood the cottage, at some distance from the town, on a rising ground. He was playing with a dog, but had no idea of what kind, so I asked her. She said it was large, but young Newfoundland, black, with one or two white spots. It was very fond of the boy and played with him. 'Oh,' she cried suddenly, 'it has jumped up and knocked off his cap.' She saw in the garden a gentleman reading a book and looking on. He was not old, but had white hair. while his eyebrows and whiskers were black. She took him for a clergyman, but said he was not of the Established Church, nor Episcopalian, but a Presbyterian dissenter. (He is, in fact, a clergyman of the highly respectable Cameronian body, who, as is well known, are Presbyterians, and adhere to the covenant.) Being asked to enter the cottage, she did so, and described the sitting-room. In the kitchen, she saw a young maidservant preparing dinner, for which meal a leg of mutton was roasting at the fire, but not quite ready. She also saw another elderly female. On looking again for the boy, she saw him playing with the dog in front of the door, while the gentleman stood in the porch and looked on. Then she saw the boy run up-stairs to the kitchen, which she observed with surprise was on the upper floor of the cottage (which it is) and receive something to eat from the servant, she thought a potato.

"I immediately wrote all these details down and sent them to the gentleman, whose answer assured me that all, down to the minutest, were exact, save that the boy did not get a potato, but a small biscuit from the cook. The dog was what she described; it did knock off the boy's cap at the time, although not of the household. Every one of which facts was entirely unknown to me, and could not, therefore, have been perceived by thought reading, although, had they have been so, as I have already stated, this would not have been less wonderful, but only a different phenomenon."

Extreme Examples of the Power to Carry on Processes of Reasoning Subconsciously - Herman V. Hilpilecht

These are included, not because they are presumed to be supernormal incidents but because they might easily be deemed such, and illustrate the very great care which must be exercised before one takes his stand upon a conclusion of supernormality. They show that some persons, once they have performed conscious mental labor on some intricate problem, are able to carry on the ratiocinative process after they are asleep. Probably in varying degrees this is the case with all people, but some are insufficiently reflective or introspective ever to take notice, while with the majority who do little in the way of hard thinking even when awake, the ability to do so while asleep is too feeble to leave recognizable traces.

Since it is presumed that most "supernormal" mental events first pass through the subconscious, though they do not have their origin in it, the examples given will show that, potent as that "machine" may be for such a purpose, it may also sadly interfere with it by its own normal activity. Hence it is expected that, although automatic writing or speaking may announce facts in such number and complexity as defy any attempt to normally explain them, since the psychic's subconscious had no known data on which to found even inferences, yet it will, once the prime facts, say about a stranger present, emerge within it, tend to make its own inferences, often erroneous, and so evidently obscure and damage the record. Only in rare instances does it appear almost completely to escape doing so.

The instances selected were furnished by Dr. Herman V. Hilprecht, Professor of Assyrian in the University of Pennsylvania, and were first printed by Professor William Romaine Newbold in the Proceedings S. P. R., Vol. XII, pp. 13-20. I abbreviate and analyze them in my own way.

During the winter of 1882-1883, he was working with Professor Friedrich Delitzsch, and preparing to publish the original text, its transliteration and its translation, of a stone of Nebuchadnezzar. He had accepted Prof. Delitzsch's explanation that the name Nebuchadnezzar - Nabu-kudurru-usur - meant "Nebo protect my mason's pad" (mortar-board), i.e., "my work as a builder." One night, after working late (it is not said that he was engaged on the problem of this name - probably not, but at least on related or similar ones) he went to bed at about two o'clock in the morning. He woke after somewhat restless sleep, with the thought in his mind that the name should be translated "Nebo protect my boundary." He but dimly remembered dreaming of being at work at his table. As he began to reflect, "at once" (illustrating how the bright thoughts which suddenly emerge full-grown in our consciousnesses may have been worked out in the subconscious) he saw that kudurru could be derived from kadaru, to enclose. "Shortly afterwards he published this translation in his dissertation, and it has since been universally adopted."

The second example is far more intricate and striking. This is Prof. Hilprecht's own account.

One Saturday evening, about the middle of March, 1893, I had been wearying myself, as I had done so often in the weeks preceding, in the vain attempt to decipher two small fragments of agate which were supposed to belong to the finger-rings of some Babylonian. The labor was much increased by the fact that the fragments presented remnants only of characters and lines, that dozens of similar small fragments had been found in the ruins of the temple of Bel at Nippur with which nothing could be done, that in this case furthermore I had never had the originals before me, but only a hasty sketch made by one of the members of the expedition sent by the University of Pennsylvania to Babylonia. I could not say more than that the fragments, taking into consideration the place in which they were found and the peculiar characteristics of the cuneiform characters preserved upon them, sprang from the Cassite period of Babylonian History (circa 1700-1140 B.C.); moreover, as the first character of the third line of the first fragment seemed to be KU, I ascribed this fragment, with an interrogation point, to King KurigaIzu, while I placed the other fragment, as unclassifiable, with other Cassite fragments upon a page of my book where I published the unclassifiable fragments. The proofs already lay before me, but I was far from satisfied. The whole problem passed Yet again through my mind that March evening before I placed my mark of approval under the last correction in the book. Even then I had come to no conclusion. About midnight, weary and exhausted, I went to bed and was soon in deep sleep. Then I dreamed the following remarkable dream. A tall, thin priest of the old pre-Christian Nippur, about forty years of age and clad in a simple abba, led me to the treasure-chamber of the temple, on its southeast side. He went with me into a small, low-ceiled room, without windows, in which there was a large wooden chest, while scraps of agate and lapis-lazuli lay scattered on the floor. Here he addressed me as follows: "The two fragments which you have published separately upon pages 22 and 26, belong together, are not finger-rings, and their history is as follows: King KurigaIzu (circa 1300 B. C.) once sent to the temple of Bel, among other articles of agate and lapis-lazuli, an inscribed votive cylinder of agate. Then we priests suddenly received the command to make for the statue of the god Ninib a pair of earrings of agate. We were in great dismay, since there was no agate as raw material at hand. In order to execute the command there was nothing for us to do but cut the votive cylinder into three parts, thus making three rings, each of which contained a portion of the original inscription. The first two rings served as earrings for the statue of the god; the two fragments which have given you so much trouble are portions of them. If you will put the two together you will have confirmation of my words. but the third ring you have not yet found in the course of your excavations, and you never will find it." With this, the priest disappeared. I awoke at once and immediately told my wife the dream that I might not forget it. Next morning - Sunday - I examined the fragments once more in the light of these disclosures, and to my astonishment found all the details of the dream precisely verified in so far as the means of verification were in my hands. The original inscription on the votive cylinder read: "To the god Ninib, son of Bel, his lord, has Kudgalzu, pontifex of Bel, presented this."

The problem was thus at last solved. I stated in the preface that I had unfortunately discovered too late that the two fragments be longed together, made the corresponding changes in the Table of Contents, pp. 50 and 52, and, it being not possible to transpose the fragments, as the plates were already made, I put in each plate a brief reference to the other. (Cf. Hilprecht, The Babylonian Expedition of the University of Pennsylvania, Series A, Cuneiform Texts, Vol. I, Part 1, "Old Babylonian Inscriptions, chiefly from Nippur.").

H. V. Hilprecet

Professor Hilprecht finally verified the principal facts asserted in the dream relative to the rings and inscription, as he says, the next day. But immediately following the dream he went to his study and provisionally verified it by reference to his working copy. His wife made a statement narrating that she was awakened by a sigh, saw him hurrying into his study, and heard him cry: "It is so, it is so!" She followed him and heard the story of the dream.

The following was also furnished by the Professor. It is necessary for a clear understanding of the matter.

The following transliteration of the inscription, in the Sumerian language, will serve to give those of us who are unlearned in cuneiform languages an idea of the material which suggested the dream. The straight vertical lines represent the cuts by which the stone-cutter divided the original cylinder into three sections. The bracketed words are entirely lost, and have been supplied by analogy from the many similar inscriptions.

Line 1. Dingir N inib du (mu) To the god Ninib, child
Line 2. dingir En (lil) of the god Bel
Line 3. luga l-a-ni (ir) his lord
Line 4. Ku-r (i-galzu) Kurigalzu
Line 5. pa- (test dingir) potifex of the god Bel
Line 6. (in- na- ba) has presented it.

Now let us condense and newly frame Prof. Hilprecht's explanation of the subconscious process of making inferences from data which had been consciously known.

1. The first line of ring 2 completed the name Ninib begun at the end of line one of the first ring. Reading the second lines of the rings together made "of the god Bel," except that a part of the god's name was missing. The third lines read together made sense, "his lord," if ir were supplied at the end. Probably a little more study done in the ordinary way would have disclosed these facts. Continuing the study while asleep, the scholar's subconsciousness recognized the connections. Therefore the two rings must originally have formed one piece.

2. But the words at the end of lines one, two and three of the second ring were not complete, though the conjectural completion of then, was not difficult. Hence there must have been at least another ring belonging with the first two, as was announced in the imagery of the dream.

3. But slight additions were required at the end of lines one to five of the second ring to make the whole inscription continuous and complete. Hence it would be unlikely that the original cylinder was sawn into more than three rings, the number given in the dream.

4. After the two discovered rings, or copies of their inscriptions were placed in juxtaposition, line for line, it could easily be made out by an Assyrian scholar that somebody presented an object to the god Ninib, child of the god Bel, and that the name of that somebody very likely began with the Ku-r. Having arrived so far, the name of the known Babylonian King KurigaIzu would come to mind - in fact it already had done so to Prof. Hilprecht's waking consciousness. So King KurigaIzu plays his part in the dream.

5. The fact announced so graphically in the dream, that the object was given to the god Ninib, appeared in the first line of the two rings when they were subconsciously remembered and joined.

6. And the fact, also announced in the dream, that the rings were originally a part of a votive cylinder, could also be inferred from the joining of the lines on the two rings.

7. The fact announced in the dream, that the rings were ear-rings, is not a certain fact. But it is a reasonable supposition, and one for which data were not lacking, though the conclusion shows how sagaciously the subconsciousness reasoned. Prof. Hilprecht had consciously doubted that the rings could have been used as finger-rings, as the size of the hole to be made out from their fragments did not seem to be suitable. But why might they not have been seal-rings? In fact they may have been, but such usually have pictorial representations upon them, these had not, and presumably hence the plausible guess that they were ear-rings.

8. The assertion in the dream that the third ring had not been discovered probably had its origin in the inference that, as the fragments had been supposed to belong "to some Babylonian," hence were found in the same place, had there been found a third one or a part of it, this would also have been submitted for examination. As to the added statement that it never would be discovered, this was a very probable one, as the spot where the other fragments were found would of course have been thoroughly cleared out.

9. But what of the location of the "treasure chamber" at the southeast side of the temple? Prof. Hilprecht remembered that he had heard from Dr. John P. Peters, before the dream, of the discovery of a room the floor of which was strewn with fragments of lapis-lazuli and agate, the latter being the material of the rings, but said he knew nothing of the location of the room. Dr. Peters, however, afterward declared that he furnished Prof. Hilprecht all these facts, including that of the location of the room, as many as four years previous to the dream. It only needs to be presumed that he stored away in his subconsciousness a fact which he consciously forgot.

The two rings were represented to be of different colors, and this may have hindered the Professor from thinking that they might belong together. For some reason the dreaming consciousness ignored this fact, in presence of the compelling fact that the lines did actually join to make sense. I say ignored, rather than inferred what proved to be the case, that the sawing happened to be at the line which joined a light to a dark band of the agate, a stone whose distinguishing feature is that it is so banded. If such an inference had been made it would probably have come out in a dream story of the cutting apart of the cylinder.

All the other features of the dream are simply fanciful conjectures.

This dream is admitted among the "psychic" incidents of this collection, because it is such a beautiful demonstration of subconscious mechanics.

A Harvard Professor Declares that he Succeeded in Projecting his "Double"(14) - Reported by William James

(14) "Journal" A. S. P. R., III, 253-4.

The Professor shielded himself from the deep disgrace of having successfully performed a curious but very important scientific experiment, by requiring William James (who, although a psychologist of great reputation and equally a Harvard professor, was not at all embarrassed at having his interest in psychic research known) to withhold his name.

We do not know who the narrator was, but have the assurance of William James that he was "an able and respected professor in Harvard University," also that he told James the story soon after the thing happened, and that the version which was finally written out tallied exactly with James's recollection of the earlier oral one. It is unfortunate that the testimony of "A" and "B" was not available, of course, but the testimony of a man in a high academic position, a man vouched for by William James, is worth something.

In the present case the "agent" is a colleague of mine; an able and respected professor in Harvard University. He originally told me the story shortly after it happened in 18   . The present account, written at my request in 1903, tallies exactly with my memory of that earlier story. "A" at that time was unwilling to give me her version. She is now dead, and of course the narrative is in so far defective.

Cambridge, April 16, 1903.

My dear Dr. James:

I recall exactly all the details of the matter which you wish me to write about, but I cannot be sure whether the thing occurred in the latter part of 1883 or the first part of 1884. At this time A and I were seeing each other very frequently, and we were interested, among other things, in that book by Sinnett on Esoteric Buddhism. We talked a good deal about it, and about the astral body, but neither ever made any proposal to the other to try any experiments in that line.

One evening, about 9:45 o'clock, or, perhaps, nearer 10, when I had been thinking over that subject as I sat alone in my room, I resolved to try whether I could project my astral body to the presence of A. I did not at all know what the process was, but I opened my window, which looked toward A's house (though that was half a mile away and behind a hill) and sat down in a chair and tried as hard as I could to wish myself into the presence of A. There was no light in my room. I sat there in that state of wishing for about ten minutes. Nothing abnormal in the way of feelings happened to me.

Next day I met A, who said something to this effect. (I mean that I cannot give the exact words.)

"Last night about ten o'clock I was in the dining-room at supper with B. Suddenly I thought I saw you looking in through the crack of the door at the end of the room, towards which I was looking. I said to B: 'There is Blank, looking through the crack of the door!' B., whose back was towards the door, said. 'He can't be there; he would come right in.' However, I got up and looked in the outer room, but there was nobody there. Now, what were you doing last night at that time?"

This is what A told me and I then explained what I had been doing.

You see, of course, that the double evidence (I mean, A's and B's) might make this story pretty well founded, but it must be left entirely independent on my account, for there are good reasons why neither A nor B can be appealed to.

One such successful experiment is worth a dozen spontaneous apparitions of the living. To suppose that a woman should, through the activity of her own brain unassisted by any force coming from without, experience the hallucination of seeing a man who was at that moment or very near it endeavoring at a distance to produce that very phenomenon in her consciousness, and this by sheer coincidence, is a practical absurdity. Even if there had been a proposal to try the experiment but without arranging the time for doing so, the case would have been striking, but with no such plan between them to experiment at any time, it would seem as if every connection between what occurred and the field of what we understand by the word "normal" had been severed.

Put it in still another way. We do not know how many years of adult life "A" had. Suppose them to have been only ten. Comparatively few persons experience the hallucination of seeing a living person not actually present, once during their lives. If "A" had ever had such an experience before she met or talked about the astral body with the then or after professor of Harvard, it would have been so relevant that she surely would have told him of it. It is unlikely that she ever had another such experience afterward, but let us suppose that she did three times. We are now straining probability from two directions in favor of conservatism, first by assuming that she had only ten years of adult life, and second, by assuming that in those ten years she four times had a visual hallucination of seeing a living person. Now, according to the Harvard professor there was no doubt at all that she experienced the one of seeing him within the half hour when he was endeavoring to make her do so. Mathematically, on the basis proposed that the lady would experience such a hallucination four times within the ten years, the chance that one of those times should coincide with the half hour within which the Harvard professor was trying his experiment would be 1 in 43,800, or, if we exclude one-third of the time as being spent in sleep (rather unfairly, as there are alleged instances of persons being wakened as one of the results of such a successful experiment), the chance would be 1 in 29,200.

Hears in a Locked Room Walking Resembling that of a Friend Who Died the Same Hour(15) - Carolus Linnaeus

(15) Flammarion's "Autour de la Mort", 300-01.

This famous botanist of Sweden (1707-1778) was, in 1761, granted a patent of nobility and took the name Carl von Linne but is generally referred to by the earlier one. He probably advanced his science more than any other one man. His Genera Plantarum was the beginning of modern systematic botany, and he first established the law by which Plants are classified in genera and species. "He found biology a chaos; he left it a cosmos." For many years he was a professor of botany in the University of Upsala, attracting students from all over the world and wielding an immense influence over them. The number of students at the university was normally 500; it trebled while he lectured there. His published works are many.

He left at death a manuscript of 200 pages recording many dreams, intuitions, apparitions and other interesting facts. The following incident was witnessed by him:

On the night of July 12-13, 1765, toward midnight, my wife for a long time heard someone walking, with a heavy step, in my museum. She woke up. I also heard it, although I was quite certain that no one could be there, for the doors were fastened and the key in my pocket. Some days after, I learned that my very faithful friend, the commissary Karl Clerk, died precisely at that hour. It was certainly his step. I used to recognize Clerk, in Stockholm, merely by the sound of his footstep(16).

(16) Alexandre Dumas the elder (1802-1870), the celebrated French novelist, tells in his "Memoires", with much detail, how when his father, General Dumas (1762-1806), died unexpectedly and at a distance from him, he and his cousin were wakened suddenly, by a knock on the door of his room, at the same hour, and he went toward the door, crying, "Good-bye, papa!" But he was only four years old at the time, and if we have difficulty in crediting that he could remember all the conversation which took place at his so early an age, we cannot feel certain of all his facts. Still, the event of his father's death, and a startling occurrence the same night, might and probably would stamp themselves indelibly, in their essentials, upon his consciousness.

Linnaeus, one of the greatest scientists and closest observers of facts of his age, here puts himself on record as having heard, together with his wife, sounds resembling the walking of a friend in a locked and empty room, at the hour when that friend died.

Telepathic Intimations of Disasters Happening to her Son - Hudson Maxim, Guarantor

This eminent inventor (1853-...), ended his formal education at what is now Kents Hill Seminary, in Maine, but was made D.Sc. by Heidelherg University, and LL.D. by St. Peters. He was the first to make smokeless powder in the United States, and it was adopted by the Government. He invented "Maximite," the first high explosive to penetrate heavy armor plate, perfected "stabillite," which produces better ballistic results than any other smokeless powder, and produced many other inventions, mostly having to do with powder and explosives. He became a member of the United States Naval Consulting Board in 1815. As author he produced The Science of Poetry and the Philosophy of Language, Defenseless America, and Dynamite Stories. Sir Hiram S. Maxim, an eminent inventor of automatic firearms, was his brother, and Hiram P. Maxim, inventor of the "Maxim silencer," etc., is his nephew.

I copied the following letter from the original, written to Dr. Isaac K. Funk. So far as I am aware, it has not previously been published.

March 25, 1908.

My dear Dr. Funk:

Following are the stories I told you a few evenings ago at my house about the peculiar mental powers which it was believed my mother possessed.

These incidents are entirely outside my own personal experiences, as I was too young at the time to understand much about such things, and I simply repeat the stories as they have often been told to me.

My father and mother were spiritualists, and spiritualism was very popular in Maine between forty and fifty years ago. There were many experiments made from time to time to test spiritualistic or mediumistic powers, so-called. My mother was blindfolded, while a five-dollar gold piece was buried or hidden under a stone or concealed in some way in a ten-acre lot. She was then unblindfolded and followed what she called the "influence" and used to find the five-dollar gold piece all right. This test was repeated many times.

One of the neighbors, a blacksmith, made a large knife for her and hid it in the woods and told her that she should have it if she could find it. She made several ineffectual attempts, the "influence" bringing her up against a big tree every time which blocked her way. She would then go back and make another start, - always with the same result. Finally, she went around the tree and found the knife sticking in the tree on the other side.

One day, my father and mother and a spiritualistic neighbor, together with a spiritualistic medium who resided at our house, drove down to the seashore to bring back a load of Captain Kidd's treasure, which the medium claimed she could locate. I was a little fellow, perhaps six years old - at the time, but I distinctly remember how we children spent that money building air castles and how disappointed we were when the party returned at night without the gold.

My brother Leander was one night spearing suckers in the flume, through which the water ran with considerable swiftness, rushing down under the gate at the lower end. My mother woke my father in the night very suddenly with the exclamation, "Isaac! Isaac! Leander has fallen into the flume!" My father told her that she had only had a bad dream; but a little while later Leander came home, soaking wet. He had fallen into the flume, but as he was swept along by the current, he caught hold of one of the large wooden pegs in the side of the flume and pulled himself out, thus saying his life.

Leander served in the heavy artillery in the Civil War, and when, during the Battle of the Wilderness, the artillery men were taken to the front as infantry, he was shot at Spottsylvania Courthouse. My mother woke my father in the night, as before, and told him that Leander had been shot and killed. Several days later, news came of the battle with the list of the killed and wounded, and Leander's name was among the killed. Her dream had been on the night of the battle.

Yours faithfully,

Hudson Maxim.

Of course the witnesses were nearly all dead when, ten years later, I wrote to Mr. Maxim, asking for corroboration. The reply is dated July 10, 1918.

I enclose you a letter received from my cousin Caroline Maxim True, of Dexter, Maine. She is an old lady now nearly eighty, and she remembers and verifies what I told you.

Faithfully yours,

Hudson Maxim.

The enclosed letter, in part, reads:

My dear Cousin: In answer to your question in regard to your mother finding things, I believe you are right, as your sister Lucy told me all about it just as you said, and she was a dear girl and I think she told it just as it was.

Your loving cousin,


As to the incidents of finding hidden objects, it would be necessary to know the conditions under which the feats were performed, in order to estimate their evidential value. If her band was in contact with any other person, it might be muscle-reading, though she were quite unconscious of the fact. If others accompanied her, they may have quite unintentionally guided her.

But the incidents of waking and announcing the mishaps of Leander are not subject to any particular reasons for doubt. We know that many incidents of this character take place, and Mr. Maxim's recollections of the repeated statements of his family make it fairly certain that his mother had these supernormal intimations.

A Remarkable Monition - John Muir

The geologist, naturalist and explorer John Muir (1838-1914), was born in Scotland, educated there and at the University of Wisconsin, and had the degrees of A.M. from Harvard and LL.D. from Wisconsin. Muir Glacier in Alaska was discovered by him, as well as more than sixty other glaciers among the Sierras where geologists had thought there were none. He spent the most of his mature life in Alaska and California, and labored for forest preservation and the establishment of national parks and reservations. He wrote The Mountains of California and a large number of articles on physiography and the natural history of the Pacific Coast, and edited Picturesque California.

Dr. James D. Butler was a member of the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, being professor of ancient languages and literature from 1858 to 1868. He was an honored citizen, a man of much learning, and traveled extensively. Data about him may be found in the American "Who's Who" for 1906-7, and in the National Cyclopedia of American Biography, 1899.

Mr. Muir's premonition, telepathic impression, or whatever it may be called, concerned the writer of the notes which precede his own narrative, Prof. Butler.

Madison, Wis., Feb. 7, 1888.

Friend Hodgson:

I have tried to rouse John Muir to tell you, or me, his story of our Yosemite rencontre, in '69. I will again.

He did write my wife at the time but his letter cannot be found.

Yrs. James D. Butler.

Madison, Wis., Feb. 8, '88.


My Dear Sir:

The letter long sought in vain has just turned up. I have taken pains to copy and oblige you...

James D. Butler.


Headquarters of the Tuolumne near Castle Peak, Aug., 1869.

Mrs James D. Butler,

Dear Friend: I found your Professor a few weeks ago in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and in the very Yosemite Sanctum itself, and among the divine harmonies of the Vernal and Nevada Falls. Where you first met your Professor I do not know, but surely I might venture to say that it was not in so goodly a mansion as this, - not amid such blazing assemblies of God's mountain grandeur.

I have been taking care of 2,500 sheep in the mountains all summer. Your husband wrote me a letter in May, before he decided to visit California, which I received in July when I was camped in a maze of sharply cut mountains, a day's journey above Coulterville. Shortly after receiving his letter we moved our sheep higher, and camped upon the north wall of the Yosemite Valley two miles from the brink. We remained here nearly three weeks, and almost every day I wandered along the valley domes and falls sketching and absorbing the inexhaustible treasuries of glory, when suddenly I was seized with the idea of going down into the valley to find Professor Butler.

I knew a way through the wall by an immense canyon or chasm, and I felt that I should be resisting the spirit if I did not go. The next day I started for the valley and reached the bottom in five hours. Consulting the hotel register I found, James D. Butler, Madison, Wis. I could scarcely believe my eyes and read the precious words over and over. At last I got faith to believe that after the long cold years of isolation a friend was really near in the flesh, and that my eyes would be blessed that very day with light from a familiar face. I started in pursuit. Ere long I met Gen. Alvord with his guide and others who had started for a climb with Prof. Butler, but had turned back exhausted. They informed me that Prof. Butler and Joshua Jones, of New York, had undertaken without a guide to reach the top of Mount Broderick. I lay in wait for the Prof. at a place near the Nevada rapids, on a trail I knew he must take. Towards evening he came to light among the rocks, half erect, groping his way among the broken granite and bushes; sleeves rolled up, vest open, hat dangling behind his back, etc. On seeing me approach he sat down to wipe the perspiration from his brow and neck, and to inquire the way down the rapids. I showed him the path which was marked by little piles of rock; but he did not recognize me. Then I sprang directly in front of him and asked if he did not know me. He said he thought not, but soon changed his mind...

Most cordially your friend,

John Muir.

And Professor Butler adds to the letter a note of his own:

When the feeling above described arose in Muir that he might reach me, his old teacher, within a day's march, the word telepathy - far feeling - had not yet been coined. That feeling demanded such a word to describe it.

It is fortunate that Muir described his strange impulse in black and white, and that within a month of his unique experience. I am also glad that his letter, mislaid and long given up for lost, had remained safe and sound.

My own impressions derived from conversation with Muir as he piloted me down the mountain, that but for his appearing "as an angel dropped down from the clouds," I must have been lost in the darkness then coming on, I have described in a paper entitled "Presentiments." They harmonize with Muir's letter, and have been often reprinted as one of those pages of truth which are stranger than fiction.

James D. Butler,

Feb., 1888.
Madison, Wis.

Owing to the fact, for which Dr. Hodgson was not responsible, that be was unable to secure the promise of extra copies of the publication in which the incident was to appear, Professor Butler forbade its publication. But many years have passed, the parties are all dead, and there can be no reason for withholding it, especially as, in substance, it had already been told, probably in newspapers or magazines. But if the letter by John Muir has ever before been published(17), we are not aware of the fact.

(17) This appeared first in the "Journal" A. S. P. R., for August, 1921, as part of an article by W. F. Prince.

Coincidental Dreams(18) - Raphael Pumpelly

(18) "The Cosmic Relations and Immortality", by Henry Holt (Houghton Mifflin Co., 1919), I, 258-59.

Professor Pumpelly (1837-?) had a long and distinguished career as a geologist and author. He made geological explorations in Corsica, Japan (for the Government of Japan), various parts of China (part for the Government of China), the Gobi Desert, etc., before becoming professor of mining at Harvard, 1866-73. After that he was state geologist of Michigan for three years, then directed the geological survey of that State, and was afterwards chief of a division of the United States Geological Survey. He organized and directed the Northern Transcontinental Survey, 1881-4, made the discoveries on which were based most of the iron-ore industry of Michigan and Western Ontario, 1867-1901, and directed a great geographical and archaeological survey of Central Asia. He was the author of a number of books dealing with the geology of various lands.

Between forty and fifty years ago, while visiting my sister in New York City, I came down to breakfast where I found my brother-in-law reading the morning paper. Soon my sister also came down and joined us at table. She said she had had an awful dream; she had dreamed all night that she was standing in a church, where a continuous procession of men was filing by her, carrying on litters something covered with sheets.

Her husband resumed reading his paper and soon said: "Why, Netty, here it says that they are removing the bodies from the St. Mark's graves."

Now, my sister's first child had been buried several years before in the graveyard of St. Mark's Church. My sister had not seen the paper, and neither she nor her husband had heard of any intention to disturb the graves.

In the late winter of 1864-5, I was on my journey through Siberia. In one of the first nights after leaving Irkutsk I dreamed that I had arrived at my native village of Owego in New York and had walked home from the station. As I came up the driveway to the house I saw my mother and my father standing at the door showing signs of great relief. I noticed that my aunt, who lived with us and whom we all loved dearly, was not there. As soon as I waked I was so impressed by the dream that I made a memorandum, as I remember, in the form of an inverted torch, with the date.

When I reached St. Petersburg, about three weeks later, I found in my mail the first news I had had, for six months, from home. I learned that the aunt I had missed in my dream had died. I do not remember now the relation in time between the dates of the death and the dream. It was close, and my impression is that I thought, in reading the letter, that there was coincidence.

In 1906 we were living in Capri. One morning my wife told me of dreaming that she found her sisters and her brother Otis (who had died several years before) in tears. When they saw her, Otis said: We must tell Eliza."

That same day there came a cablegram saying that my wife's favorite brother Horace was very ill, and within an hour another cable saying he had died.

Monition of a Death and of a Sentence Uttered While Dying(19) - Professor R. A. S. Redmayne

(19) "The Survival of Man", by Sir Oliver Lodge, 77-79.

"Professor R. A. S. Redmayne," wrote Sir Oliver Lodge to me on February 20, 1928, "was at one time a colleague of mine in the University of Birmingham as our first Professor of Mining. He was very successful in establishing a Mining Department, which dealt with metalliferous mines and methods of extraction, but more especially with the mining of coal; and that gradually developed into exploration and boring for oil: so that when he retired from the Chair he was succeeded by Sir John Cadman, who is now Chairman of the Anglo Persian Oil Company. Redmayne vacated the Chair to take up duties of advising the Government in all matters connected with coal mining. He is now Sir Richard Redmayne, and has offices in or near Whitehall."

A case of clairvoyance or distant telepathy was told me by my college Professor R. A. S. Redmayne, as having happened in his own experience when he was engaged in prospecting for mines in a remote district of South Africa accompanied only by a working miner from Durham. His account is here abbreviated:

So far as they could keep a record of weeks the solitary two used to play at some game on Sundays, instead of working, but on one particular Sunday the workman declined to play, saying he did not feel up to it, as he had just had an intimation of his mother's death, - that she had spoken of him in her last hours, saying that she "would never see Albert again."

My informant tried to chaff his assistant out of his melancholy, since it was a physical impossibility that they could receive recent news by any normal means. But he adhered to his conviction, and in accordance with North Country tradition seemed to regard it as natural that he should thus know.

Weeks afterwards complete confirmation came from England, both as to date and circumstance; the words of the dying woman having been similar to those felt at the time by her distant son.

The occurrence made a marked impression on my informant and broke down his skepticism as to the possibility of these strange occurrences.

Fortunately I am able to quote confirmatory evidence of this narrative; for very soon after the verification Professor Redmayne wrote an account of it to his father, and from this gentleman I have received a certified copy of the letter:

Letter from Professor Radmayne to his Father

Mgagane, Nr. Newcastle, Natal,
"21st Nov., 1891.

"I have a curious and startling thing to tell you: About six weeks ago, Tonks said to me one morning, 'My mother is dead, sir. I saw her early this morning lying dead in bed and the relatives standing round the bed; she said she would never see me again before she died.' I laughed at him and ridiculed the matter, and he seemed to forget it, and we thought (no) more of it, but Tonks asked me to note the date which I did not do. Last Wednesday, however, Tonks received a letter from his wife telling him that his mother was dead and had been buried a week, that she died early one Sunday morning about six weeks since and in her sleep; but before she fell asleep she said she would never see 'Albert' again. About a fortnight since I told some people what Tonks had told me, giving it as an instance of the superstitiousness of the Durham pitmen, and they were startled when, the other day, I told them the dream had come true. I will never laugh at anything like this again."

The above is an extract from a letter from my son R. A. S. Redmayne written from Mgagane, Natal, S. A., and dated November 21st [1891].

John M. Redmayne.


August 1, 1902. Harewood, Gateshead.

Professor Redmayne has also been good enough to get a certificate from the workman concerned, in the form of a copy of the main portion of the above letter, with the following note appended:

"The above extract correctly relates what occurred to me whilst living in Natal with Mr. Redmayne."

Signed Albert Tonks.
Date: August 21, 1901.

Witness to above signature, N. B. Padoon, Seaton Delaval.

Apparition of a Person About to Die(20) - George John Romanes

(20) "Proceedings" S. P. R., XI, 440-41, article on "Subliminal Self," by F. W. H. Myers.

Professor G. J. Romanes (1848-1894) was a distinguished English psychologist and zoologist. He was born in Canada, educated at Cambridge, elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1879. He lectured at the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh and elsewhere, contributed extensively to periodicals. and wrote Science Lectures for the People, Mental Evolution, Animal Intelligence, Charles Darwin: His Character and Life, and other books.

Professor Romanes wrote to Mr. Myers, November 20, 1889:

Towards the end of March, 1878, in the dead of the night, while believing myself to be awake, I thought the door at the head of my bed was opened and a white figure passed along the side of the bed to the foot, where it faced about and showed me it was covered head and all in a shroud. Then with its hands it suddenly parted the shroud over the face, revealing between its two hands the face of my sister, who was ill in another room. I exclaimed her name, whereupon the figure vanished instantly. Next day (and certainly on account of the shock given me by the above experience) I called in Sir W. Jenner, who said my sister had not many days to live. [She died, in fact, very soon afterwards.]

I was in good health, without any grief or anxiety. My sister was being attended by our family doctor, who did not suspect anything serious, therefore I had had no anxiety at all on her account, nor had she herself.

I have never, either before or after this, had such an experience.
(Signed) G. J. Romanes.

Mr. Myers adds:

The impression made by this incident upon the late Dr. Romanes, F.R.S., was, as he has more than once told me, very deep; nor was there, he thought, any such anxiety in his mind at the time with regard to his sister as could have predisposed him to this unique hallucination. There were, I may add, other unpublished circumstances which confirmed him in his view of the matter.

A "Haunted" House(21) - Archibald Henry Sayce

(21) "Reminiscences", by A. H. Sayce (1923), 14-17.

The Rev. A. H. Sayce (1846-...) was educated at Oxford, of which he was made a Fellow in 1869. He became a very distinguished Orientalist, and his books on the archaeology, languages, religions and history of the ancient Assyrians, Babylonians, Hittites and Hebrews were many. He successfully vindicated the political and ethnic importance of the Hittites and the Biblical statements regarding them which had been discredited by scholars. For twenty-four years he was deputy professor of comparative philology at Oxford, and was a member of the Old Testament Revision Company, 1874-1884. He traveled much in the East.

When thirteen years old he and his brother visited friends in a house near Bath, which they had just taken. While there events took place which made an indelible impression upon his memory.

On a Thursday afternoon when the light was failing I closed my books and went upstairs to prepare myself for dinner while there was still sufficient light to do so without the help of a candle. I was standing brushing my hair before the toilet-table which stood in front of the window, when I happened to turn to the right and there saw a man standing a few steps away at the entrance of the dressing-room. I can still see him as he stood facing me, with a closely-shaven face, fine features, dark-brown hair parted in the middle, and a dark coat buttoned below the chin like an oriental Stambouli or a clerical coat. The button was of gold, and there was a gold button also on either wrist.

The suddenness of the apparition naturally startled me, and without imagining for a moment that it was anything more than an ordinary individual who had found his way into the house, I rushed down-stairs into the morning-room and there told my hosts that there was a strange man up-stairs. I was naturally laughed at, and informed that poring over books indoors day after day had excited my imagination and that the whole thing was merely the result of "nerves." By the time dinner was over I had been induced to believe that such was really the case.

The following Sunday I awoke early in the morning. The log-fire was nearly extinct, but there was still sufficient light from it to enable the outlines of objects to be discerned. In the dim light I saw a human figure pass to the foot of the bed and there stand for a moment or two between the bedstead and the dying fire. I asked my brother Herbert, who was sharing the bed with me and happened also to be awake, who it was. He, too, saw the figure and replied, "It's only Lizzie" - the daughter of our hosts, whose room was close to ours, and thereupon we both turned round and went to sleep again. In the morning I mentioned to our hostess, Mrs. Boyd, that her daughter had visited our bed-room during the night; she replied, "What could she have been doing there?" and then the matter passed out of our memories until it was recalled to me the following autumn by Mrs. Boyd.

The next event of which I know was a visit paid by a Mrs. Herbert to the house in the spring. On a certain Sunday morning she asked if she might change her room, as she had had an unpleasant experience early that morning. She had seen a man come out of the dressing room, pass along the side of the bed and then stoop down so as to be concealed by its foot. She jumped out of the bed to see who was there, and nothing was visible. The whole story was naturally treated as a dream by those who heard it.

In the following September the married daughter of the Boyds and her husband paid a visit to the Court. A few days later we were lunching there, and I heard from Mrs. Holt a somewhat vivid account of the experiences they had just had. They occupied the drab room, and she slept on the side of the bed nearest the dressing-room. Early on the previous Friday morning she was roused from her slumbers by feeling "a cold, clammy hand" laid across her forehead. She opened her eyes, and saw "the dark-brown figure of a man hieing away" from her into the little dressing-room. She awoke her husband, who told her she had had a nightmare; but she refused to sleep again on that side of the bed. The next night Mr. Holt was rendered sleepless by a toothache, and, therefore, as he informed his wife, had there been any ghosts about, he must have seen them. By Saturday night, however, his toothache was cured, and his sleep accordingly was sounder than usual. He was startled out of it by feeling the same "cold, clammy hand" as that described by his wife, and, as he opened his eyes, seeing the same figure retreating into the dressing-room. He looked at his watch and found that it was four o'clock. He got out of bed and sponged his face and head with cold water; then returned to the bed and sat up in it for a moment or two. Before he could lie down "the figure" returned from the dressing-room and stood close to his shoulder. He was able to measure it against the window-frame, but I do not remember what he said was the exact height. His description of "the figure," however, agreed exactly with what I had seen, even to the three gilt buttons. While he sat gazing at it, the figure slowly vanished out of view.

That there was "a ghost" in the Court now began to be noised abroad, and the old servants of our friends threatened to leave them. In the course of the winter, consequently, they gave up the place and took a house elsewhere. From that day to this I have heard nothing more about it or its occupants, ghostly or otherwise.

Psychic Phenomena Among Savages(22) - Ernest Thomson Seton

(22) "The Arctic Prairies", by E. T. Seton.

The following account is of incidents not indeed witnessed by Ernest Thompson Seton (1861-...), but they were evidently credited by him, and he lived for years in the wilds of Canada and on the Western plains as they were forty years ago, and had many contacts with Indians. He was at one time official naturalist to the government of Manitoba. He has written many books on wild animals and the woods, and furnished the illustrations representing birds and animals in various books, including many of those in the Century Dictionary.

Mr. Seton thus sets down incidents reported by Thomas Anderson, who was in the service of a commercial company:

In the winter of 1885-6 he [Thomas Anderson] was to be in charge of Nipigon House, but got orders beforehand to visit the posts on Albany River. He set out from Fort William on Lake Superior on his 1200-mile trip through the snow with an Indian whose name was Joe Eskimo, from Mantoulin Island, 400 miles away. At Nipigon House he got another guide, but this one was in bad shape, spitting blood. After three days' travel the guide said: "I will go to the end if it kills me, because I have promised, unless I can get you a better guide. At Wayabimika (Lake Savanne) is an old man named Omeegi; he knows the road better than I do." When they got there, Omeegi, although very old and half blind, was willing to go on condition that they did not walk too fast. Then they started for Osnaburgh House on Lake St. Joseph, 150 miles away. The old man led off well, evidently knew the way, but sometimes would stop, cover his eyes with his hands, look at the ground and then at the sky, and turn on a sharp angle. He proved a fine guide and brought the expedition there in good time.

Next winter at Wayabimika (where Charley de la Ronde was in charge, but was leaving on a trip of ten days) Omeegi came in and asked for a present - "a new shirt and pair of pants." This is the usual outfit for a corpse. He explained that he was to die before Charley came back; that he would die "when the sun rose at that island" (a week ahead). He got the clothes, though every one laughed at him. A week later he put on the new garments and said: "Today I die when the sun is over that island!" He went out, looking at the sun from time to time, placidly smoking. When the sun got to the right place he came in, lay down by the fire, and in a few minutes was dead.

We buried him in the ground, to his brother's great indignation when he heard of it. He said: "You white men live on things that come out of the ground, and are buried in the ground, and properly, but we Indians live on things that run above ground, and want to take our last sleep in the trees."

Another case of Indian clairvoyance ran thus: About 1879, when Anderson was at Abitibi, the winter packet used to leave Montreal January 2, each year, and arrive at Abitibi January 19. This year it did not come. The men were much bothered, as all plans were upset. After waiting about two weeks some of the Indians and half-breeds advised Anderson to consult the conjuring woman, Mash-kou-tay Ishquay (Prairie woman, a Flathead from Stuart Lake, B. C.). He went and paid her some tobacco. She drummed and conjured all night. She came in the morning and told him: "The packet is at the foot of a rapid now, where there is open water; the snow is deep and the travel heavy, but it will be here tomorrow when the sun is at that point."

Sure enough, it all fell out as she had told. This woman married a Hudson's Bay man named MacDonald, and he brought her to Lachine, where she bore him three sons; then he died of smallpox, and Sir George Thompson gave orders that she should be sent up to Abitibi and there pensioned for as long as she lived. She was about 75 at the time of the incident. She many times gave evidence of clairvoyant power. The priest said he "knew about it, and that she was helped by the devil."

Dr. J. H. Hyslop thus comments on this account:(23)

(23) "Journal" A. S. P. R., March, 1918.

It is of peculiar interest to find such phenomena among savages, even when they are not as fully confirmed or investigated at the time, because savages are not sophisticated and are so removed from the ideas and habits of civilized people as not to be as much infected with the influences that make for fraud. There is fraud and imposture among them. Their priests and medicine men often learn how to dupe their victims, but in spite of this the phenomena appear with individuals not in the craft and they help to prove that the phenomena belong to the human race, and are not limited to the craft formed for the purpose. Besides this the conditions of life are such that intercommunication and other forms of casual information, which affect evidential possibilities, are not present, and the facts are more easily freed from the difficulties that affect them among the civilized, though defects in the reporting of them often compensate for this advantage.

Clairvoyantly Witnesses a Fire in Progress at Three Hundred Miles Distance - Emanuel Swedenborg

This great man of science, mystic and theologian, originally named Swedberg (1688-1772), was son of a Swedish bishop and professor of theology; and in his childhood his parents thought that "angels spoke through him." He was taught Latin, Greek and Hebrew, mathematics and the sciences in the University of Upsala, and became one of the most learned men of his age. Successively he was editor of a scientific magazine, appointee of Charles XII. as assessor in the Swedish College of Mines, inventor of a machine to transport boats overland, author of mathematical and mechanical works, created Count by Queen Ulrica with name changed to Swedenborg, author of several more books of science gradually verging upon philosophy. In 1744 he believed that "heaven opened to him," and then began his series of theological works on which is founded the Swedenborgian (or "New") Church.

The evidence for this incident and those relating to Swedenborg which follow it is condensed from a paper prepared by the Rev. John Whitehead(24) for reading at a meeting of the B. S. P. R., and printed in the New Church Review, October, 1927.

(24) Mr. Whitehead, a member of the B. S. P. R., is probably the most learned clergyman of the New Church in America, translator and expositor of Swedenborg, theological professor, lecturer, editor. A full set of Swedenborg's more generally known works has been placed in the B. S. P. R. library through Mr. Whitehead's good offices, and Swedenborg's Spiritual Diary in five volumes, and Journal of Dreams, of more direct interest to psychic research, have been given by Mr. Clarence W. Barren, editor and author.

What is the evidence proving that Swedenborg saw, described, and announced the fire and its progress?...

The report of these three remarkable experiences(25) soon reached the ears of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, who discusses them in his Dreams of a Spirit Seer, published in 1766. This book excited the curiosity of Madam von Knobloch, who wrote to Kant asking him about the facts. Kant replied to this letter on August 10,1768.

(25) The Fire, the Lost Receipt, and the Queen's Secret.

Kant had a friend, an Englishman, named Green who was going to Stockholm. He commissioned him "to make particular inquiries respecting the miraculous gift which Swedenborg possesses." "Kant made the acquaintance of his friend Green during the summer of 1767; Green saw Swedenborg early in 1768, and returned to Konigsberg in time to meet Kant on Whit-Monday, 1768." Green was a highly educated English gentleman who became an intimate friend of Kant, and it is to him that Kant owed his direct knowledge of the facts concerning Swedenborg. These facts he communicated to Madam von Knobloch. He wrote her as follows concerning the Stockholm fire:

"The following occurrence appears to me to have the greatest weight of proof, and to place the assertion respecting Swedenborg's extraordinary gift beyond all possibility of doubt. In the year 1759 [the German original has 1756] toward the end of September [July], on Saturday at four o'clock p. m., Swedenborg arrived at Gottenburg from England, when Mr. William Castel invited him to his house, together with a party of fifteen persons. About six o'clock, Swedenborg went out, and returned to the company quite pale and alarmed. He said that a dangerous fire had just broken out in Stockholm, at the Sodermalm [Gottenburg is about fifty German miles, or 300 English miles, from Stockholm], and that it was spreading very fast. He was restless, and went out often. He said that the house of one of his friends, whom he named, was already in ashes, and that his own was in danger. At eight o'clock, after he had been out again, he joyfully exclaimed, 'Thank God! the fire is extinguished, 'the third door from my house.' This news occasioned great commotion throughout the whole city, but particularly amongst the company in which he was. It was announced to the governor the same evening. On Sunday morning Swedenborg was summoned to the governor, who questioned him concerning the disaster. Swedenborg described the fire precisely, how it had begun, and in what manner it had ceased, and how long it had continued. On the same day the news spread through the city; and as the governor had thought it worthy of attention, the consternation was considerably increased, because many were in trouble on account of their friends and property, which might have been involved in the disaster. On Monday evening a messenger arrived at Gottenburg, who had been dispatched by the Stockholm Board of Trade during the time of the fire. In the letters brought by him the fire was described precisely in the manner stated by Swedenborg. On Tuesday morning the royal courier arrived at the governor's, with the melancholy intelligence of the fire, of the loss which it had occasioned, of the houses it had damaged and ruined, not in the least differing from that which Swedenborg had given at the very time when it happened; for the fire was extinguished at eight o'clock."(26)

(26) "Documents Concerning Swedenborg", II, 628-29.

Tafel remarks on this account:

"This is the most minute account which we have of this occurrence; and as Kant's friend, the Englishman Green, according to Kant, 'examined all, not only in Stockholm, but also in Gottenburg, where he was well acquainted with the most respectable houses, and where he could obtain the most authentic and complete information,' we have full reason to place implicit reliance upon it."(27)

(27) Ibid., II, 630.

There are several other independent testimonies to this incident.

Swedenborg himself gave an account of it to Bergstrom, a resident of London, who reported it as follows:

"Swedenborg also related the story of the fire at Stockholm, that after he had gone out from the company into the garden of the house at Gottenburg, he returned, and told the company soon after, that his house and garden were safe, and described how near the flames had come to it, though no account from thence had then arrived."(28)

(28) Ibid., II, 631.

Jung-Stilling, in his Theory of Pneumatology, narrates the story of the Stockholm fire, and says,

"I consider it my duty to make known the pure truth respecting him, since I have had opportunity of knowing it pure and uncontaminated... This story is certain and true."

Christopher Springer, one of Swedenborg's personal friends, a man very prominent in Swedish political affairs, and later residing in London and receiving important positions under the British Government, says of the fire:

"I asked Swedenborg whether it was true, as I had been informed, that when he was at Gottenburg (a town about sixty Swedish miles from Stockholm), he had foretold to his friends, three days before the arrival of the post, the precise hour of the great fire that had happened in Stockholm; to which he replied that it was exactly true."(29)

(29) Ibid., II, 630.

There are several other accounts which give the general facts. Kant's account, derived through a personal representative, who went to Sweden and gathered the facts first hand, is the fullest and most satisfactory of all. In reviewing the evidence we think that it is fully proved that Swedenborg told of the Stockholm fire while it was still raging, he being three hundred English miles distant.

We have, then, the express testimony of three persons, one of them a very prominent one, that they heard the story, independently, from Swedenborg's own lips. But, still more important, we know that after the story as printed by Kant, had been questioned, he expressly commissioned Green, an educated friend (one of the three above referred to) in whom he had confidence, to make an investigation, and that Green promptly reported so that Kant was able to give a more specific account which he said was based on Green's thorough examination of witnesses not only in Gottenburg, where Swedenborg's pronouncements caused a sensation before the news of the fire arrived, but in Stockholm, where the fire was. Of course, had it been in the twentieth century Kant would have had Green write and sign a report, including affidavits from the witnesses. But no one will suspect that Kant lied and did not receive such a detailed account from Green. Moreover, after such a request from a man like Kant, already highly advanced in reputation as a writer and lecturer, surely his educated friend would take pains to look up the facts carefully. Let us remember also that Kant printed his first account of the Stockholm fire incident only seven years after the event, when there were plenty of persons living to deny it if it could be denied, and, so far as I know, no solitary denial has come down to us from that period.

The Queen of Sweden's Secret - Emanuel Swedenborg

Mr. Whitehead continues:

The persons concerned in this experience are very eminent in the world's history. Queen Louisa Ulrica was the sister of Frederick the Great of Prussia, her brother Augustus William, who is mentioned in the narrative, was the Crown Prince of Prussia, brother of the reigning King Frederick the Great. From this brother were descended the monarchs of Prussia and the Emperors of United Germany. The son of Adolphus succeeded Frederick the Great on the throne of Prussia. Augustus William had been declared heir apparent of Prussia; but unfortunately for him, he lost the battle of Hastenbeck, July 26, 1757, which greatly displeased the King. Augustus was compelled to resign. He retired and died within a year, of "chagrin." It was with this brother that Queen Louisa had the secret.

Kant's account of this event is as follows:

"Toward the end of 1761, Mr. Swedenborg was called to a princess, whose great understanding and penetration ought to have made an attempt at imposition almost impossible. He was summoned to her on account of the general rumor which had reached her of his being the subject of visions. After asking him some questions, more for the purpose of deriving sport from his imagination than of obtaining information from the other world, the princess dismissed him, after having charged him first with a secret commission touching his intercourse with spirits. After a few days Mr. Swedenborg appeared again with a reply of such a nature that, according to the princess, according to her own confession, she was greatly astonished; for his reply was true, and yet no living person could have given it to him. This narrative is derived from the report of an ambassador at the Swedish court, to another ambassador in Copenhagen; besides, it agrees with what we were able to learn by special investigation."(30)

(30) "Documents", II, 635-54.

General Tuxen, a Danish general, having heard these stories, sought an interview with Swedenborg. Tuxen says, "My first question was, Whether the relation, reported as having passed between himself and the Queen in Stockholm, was true?"

[Swedenborg then told Tuxen that, in accordance with the wish of the Queen, Count Scheffer had asked him to attend court.] "The Queen asked him, Whether he would undertake a commission to her lately deceased brother? He answered, 'With all my heart.' On this he followed the Queen, with the King and Count Scheffer, to a window in the apartment, where the Queen gave him his commission, to which he promised to bring her an answer. [Shortly afterward he accompanied Count Scheffer to court again.] The Queen, on seeing him, said, 'Do not forget my commission.' He answered, 'It is already done.' And when he delivered her his message, she was extremely surprised, and became suddenly indisposed; and upon recovering herself, she said, 'This no mortal could have told me.'"(31)

(31) Ibid., II, 651-52.

Another account of this incident was given by Count Hopken, which he states was made to him by the Queen herself. He says:

"At the next reception Swedenborg again appeared at court; and while the Queen was in the so-called white room, surrounded by her ladies of honor, he came boldly in, and approached Her Majesty, who no longer remembered the commission she had given him a week before. Swedenborg not only greeted her from her brother, but also gave her his (the brother's) apologies for not having answered her last letter; he also wished to do so now through Swedenborg; which he accordingly did. The Queen was greatly overcome, and said, 'No one, except God, knows this secret.'"(32)

(32) Ibid., II, 660.

Count Hopken adds this to his account:

"The reason why she never adverted to this before, was, that she did not wish anyone in Sweden to believe that during the war in Prussia she had carried on a correspondence in the enemy's country. The same caution Her Majesty exercised during her last visit to Berlin. When she was asked about this transaction, which had been printed in a German paper, she did not answer."(33)

(33) Ibid., II, 660.

Several other sources of information concerning this event are on record. Some of them were derived from Swedenborg; some are traced to the Queen; while others are traced to persons close to the Court. The Queen, on a visit to Berlin, in 1772, several years later, in a conversation with several academicians gave an account of the affair, but did not tell what the secret was. Thiebault afterward published a long account, in which he says:

"The Queen did not repeat the words, but she protested to us they were the very same her brother had pronounced, and that she retained the most perfect recollection of them. She added that she nearly fainted at the shock she experienced."(34)

(34) Ibid., II, 656.

The Queen was not superstitious and easily duped. All agree that she was a highly intellectual woman. Her brother Frederick the Great declared her "to be the ornament of her family." She was of a masculine understanding, was remarkably eloquent, and had great force of character.

One distinguished chevalier, whose name is not given, telling of an interview he had with her in relation to her experience with Swedenborg, says:

"The Queen herself told me the anecdote respecting herself and her brother, with a conviction which appeared to me extraordinary. Everyone who was acquainted with this really enlightened sister of the great Frederick will agree with me that she was the very reverse of fanatical, and that the whole tenor of her mind was free from all such weaknesses. Nevertheless, she appeared to me to be so convinced of Swedenborg's supernatural intercourse with spirits, that I scarcely durst venture to intimate my doubts, and to express my suspicion of secret intrigues; and a royal air, Je ne suis pas facilement dupe (I am not easily duped), put an end to all my attempts at refutation."

Swedenborg himself has given testimony concerning this event. In a letter to Louis IX., Landgrave of Hesse Darmstadt, he says:

"As to what is related of the daughter of the Prince Margrave, it is a fiction invented by some idle newsmonger, and I never even heard of it before; but what is reported of the brother of the Queen of Sweden is true; yet it should not be regarded as a miracle, but only as a memorable occurrence of the kind related in the True Christian Religion concerning Luther, Melancthon, Calvin, and the rest. For all these are simply testimonies, that I have been introduced by the Lord as to my spirit into the spiritual world, and that I converse with angels and spirits."

Cuno, a Dutch gentleman who frequently entertained Swedenborg when he was in Amsterdam, writing about the stories of the late Prince of Prussia and of the lost receipt, says:

"The truth of both these stories he (Swedenhorg) affirmed; but he did not dwell long upon them, observing that there were hundreds of similar stories. He did not think it worth while to waste many words upon them, saying that all these things were trifles placing in the shade the great object of his mission."

Neither Swedenborg nor the Queen ever revealed the nature of the message itself which Swedenborg conveyed to the Queen. It was a secret between her and her brother. Some of the accounts state that it related to a conversation with her brother some seventeen years before. But Count Hopken indicates that it related to a correspondence in the last year of his life and that her last letter remained unanswered. It seems a sufficient reason why the matter was a secret that neither the Queen nor Swedenborg could divulge was, that Sweden and Prussia were at war, consequently correspondence with the enemy was treason. So the secret was not divulged. In addition to this, the Queen was accused of influencing her husband to adopt autocratic methods in the government and against the constitution, which strictly limited the powers of the King. Something also of this matter may have been involved in the secret correspondence.

The Dutch Ambassador's Lost Receipt - Emanuel Swendenborg

Mr. Whitehead continues:

Kant, in his letter to Madam von Knobloch, gives the following statement, the facts having been communicated to him by Green:

Madam Marteville, the widow of the Dutch Ambassador in Stockholm, some time after the death of her husband was called upon by Croon, a goldsmith, to pay for a silver service which her husband had purchased from him. The widow was convinced that her late husband had been much too precise and orderly not to have paid this debt, yet she was unable to find the receipt. In her sorrow, and because the amount was considerable, she requested Mr. Swedenborg to call at her house. After apologizing to him for troubling him, she said, that if, as all people said, he possessed the extraordinary gift of conversing with the souls of the departed, he would perhaps have the kindness to ask her husband how it was about the silver service. Swedenborg did not at all object to complying with her request. Three days afterwards the said lady had company at her house for coffee. Swedenborg called and in his cool way informed her that he had conversed with her husband. The debt had been paid seven months before his decease, and the receipt was in a bureau in the room up-stairs. The lady replied that the bureau had been quite cleared out, and that the receipt was not found among all the papers. Swedenborg said that her husband had described to him how, after pulling out the left-hand drawer, a board would appear, which required to be drawn out, when a secret compartment would be disclosed, containing his private Dutch correspondence as well as the receipt. Upon hearing this description the whole company arose and accompanied the lady into the room up-stairs. The bureau was opened; they did as they were directed; the compartment was found, of which no one had ever known before; and, to the great astonishment of all, the papers were discovered there, in accordance with his description."(35)

(35) "Documents Concerning Swedenborg", II, 635-36.

Quite a number of versions of this story exist, which may he traced back to eleven different sources. Robsahm and Bergstrom heard the story from Swedenborg himself. As Green visited Swedenborg, no doubt Swedenborg confirmed the truth of it to Green himself. Letocard, who was Secretary to the legation and executor of Marteville's estate, gives an account very similar to that of Kant.

As the story passed from mouth to mouth, the particulars were modified in various ways; so that we find a number of accounts which vary as to the particulars, the central fact remaining practically the same. Kant's account seems again to be the clearest and most consistent.

In the case of the lost receipt no one in this world knew of the secret compartment where the receipt and the secret papers were concealed. The silversmith knew there was a receipt; but he did not know where it was. The widow was convinced that the bill was paid, but she had no actual knowledge that it was paid. How did Swedenborg gain the knowledge of the secret drawer known to no one in this world?

Divines his Friend's Secrets - Emanuel Swedenborg

Swedenborg, in referring to these and other similar facts, speaks of them as proving his intercourse with the spiritual world. Christopher Springer, writing of Swedenborg, with whom he had intimate friendship, says:

"All that he has told me of my deceased friends and enemies, and of the secrets I had with them, is almost past belief. He even explained to me in what manner peace was concluded between Sweden and the King of Prussia; and he praised my conduct on that occasion. He even specified the three high personages whose services I made use of at that time; which was, nevertheless, a profound secret. On asking him how it was possible for him to obtain such information, and who had discovered it to him, he replied, 'Who informed me about your affair with Count Claes Ekeblad? You cannot deny that what I have told you is true. Continue,' he added, 'to merit his reproaches; depart not from the good way either for honors or money; but, on the contrary, continue as constant therein as you have hitherto, and you will prosper.'(36)

(36) "Documents", II, 533.

"The Count had provoked him to draw his sword upon him, differing about politics, but they had made it up, and promised not to mention it to any one while in life; that afterward the Count had attempted to bribe him with 10,000 rix-dalers, which sum Swedenborg particularly mentioned to him as having been learned from the Count, just then deceased."(37)

(37) Ibid., II, 534.

Divines Wesley's Wish and the Day of his Own Death - Emanuel Swedenborg

John Wesley received a letter from Swedenborg dated in February, 1772, which read:

Great Bath-street, Coldbath Fields, February, 1772.

Sir: I have been informed in the world of spirits that you have a strong desire to converse with me. I shall be happy to see you, if you will favor me with a visit. I am, sir,

Your humble servant,

Emanuel Swedenborg.

Mr. Wesley received and read this letter in the presence of some of his preachers, one of whom, Rev. Samuel Smith, tells the story.

Mr. Wesley frankly acknowledged to the company that he had been very strongly impressed with the desire to see and converse with Swedenborg, and that he had never mentioned that desire to any one.

Mr. Wesley wrote for answer, that he was closely occupied in preparing for a six months' journey, but would do himself the pleasure of waiting upon Mr. Swedenborg soon after his return to London.

Swedenborg wrote in reply, that the visit proposed by Mr. Wesley would be too late, as he, Swedenborg, should go into the world of spirits on the 29th day of the next month, never more to return. (Documents, Vol. II, p. 565.)

Swedenborg died March 29, 1772.

A Problematic Dream(38) - Cromwell F. Varley

(38) "Report on Spiritualism", etc., 163-64.

This incident was told by Mr. Varley, a prominent English electrician, to the London Dialectical Society.

I have had another case in 1860; I went to find the first Atlantic Cable; when I arrived at Halifax my name was telegraphed to New York. Mr. Cyrus Field telegraphed the fact to St. John's and then to Harbour Grace; so that when I arrived I was very cordially received at each place, and at Harbour Grace found there was a supper prepared. Some speeches followed and we sat up late. I had to catch the steamer that went early the next morning and was fearful of not waking in time, but I employed a plan which had often proved successful before, viz., that of willing strongly that I should wake at the proper time. Morning came and I saw myself in bed fast asleep; I tried to wake myself, but could not. After a while I found myself hunting about for some means of more power, when I saw a yard in which was a large stack of timber and two men approaching; they ascended the stack of timber and lifted a heavy plank. It occurred to me to make my body dream that there was a bombshell thrown in front of me which was fizzing at the touch-hole, and when the men threw the plank down I made my body dream that the bomb had burst and cut open my face. It woke me, but with a clear recollection of the two actions - one, the intelligent mind acting upon the brain in the body, which could he made to believe any ridiculous impression that the former produced by will power. I did not allow a second to elapse before I leapt out of bed, opened the window, and there were the yard, the timber, and the two men, just as my spirit had seen them. I had no previous knowledge at all of the locality; it was dark the previous evening when I entered the town, and I did not even know there was a yard there at all. It was evident I had seen these things while my body lay asleep. I could not see the timber until the window had been opened.

This is one of the most interesting dreams for study with which I am acquainted. On the one hand it is easy to form a theory of normal explanation. While dreaming he heard the sound, correctly guessed that it was caused by a falling plank, inferred that therefore there was probably a yard near the house containing timber, also inferred from the sound that the plank must be too heavy to be lifted by one man, and correctly guessed that there were two. All this, although a happy combination of accurate inferences and guesses, might be possible. But Mr. Varley testifies that he dreamed he saw the stack of timber and two men approach, ascend the stack and lift the plank, and that he dreamed a device to make himself wake, before he had the sensation of noise in the dream. An ordinary person might during the time which had elapsed since the dream, nine years, have misplaced the order of its details, but it is less likely that a man of science strongly impressed and bound to study his recollections on waking, should have done so. But there is some evidence tending to show that dreams affected by real sensory impressions do sometimes rearrange the time order so as to present on waking the illusion that the cause of the sensory impression was imaged before the impression itself was received. But it is at least exceedingly rare that a dream should present imagery corresponding to the real facts, as though by inferences, and yet not connect that imagery at all with the sensory impression as its cause, but attribute the cause to something entirely different. Mr. Varley's dream correctly pictured the real external facts, yard, stack of timber, two men, plank and fall of the plank, but ascribed the sound to a bomb! If "clairvoyance," whatever process that term really covers, is deemed established by a mass of other evidence, it is perhaps simpler to ascribe this particular case to it.

Parallel and Simultaneous Dreams(39)

(39) "Report on Spiritualism of the Committee of the London Dialectical Society" (London, 1873), 161-62.

In a second case my sister-in-law had heart disease. Mrs. Varley and I went into the country to see her, as we feared for the last time. I had a nightmare, and could not move a muscle. While in this state, I saw the spirit of my sister-in-law in the room. I knew that she was confined to her bedroom. She said, "If you do not move, you will die," but I could not move, and she said, "If you submit yourself to me, I will frighten you, and you will then be able to move." At first I objected, wishing to ascertain more about her spirit presence. When at last I consented, my heart had ceased beating. I think at first her efforts to terrify me did not succeed, but when she suddenly exclaimed, "Oh, Cromwell, I am dying," that frightened me exceedingly, and threw me out of the torpid state, and I awoke in the ordinary way. My shouting had aroused Mrs. Varley; we examined the door, and it was still locked and bolted, and I told my wife what had happened, having noted the hour, 3:45am, and cautioned her not to mention the matter to anybody, but to hear what was her sister's version if she alluded to the subject. In the morning she told us that she had passed a dreadful night, that she had been in our room and greatly troubled on my account; and that I had been nearly dying. It was between half-past three and four am when she saw I was in danger. She only succeeded in arousing me by exclaiming, "Oh, Cromwell, I am dying." I appeared to her to be in a state which otherwise would have ended fatally. This was the second case in which there were more witnesses than one, and I think it may be considered a second case attended with reliable evidence. There is in addition this peculiarity that we were neither of us dead(40).

(40) For parallel dreams of Mrs. and Miss Griggs, see "Journal" A. S. P. R., XVII, 101-05, and "Bulletin" IX of B. S. P. R.


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