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He observed that the motion was partly rotary, from left to right. He particularly noticed that the girl's feet did not touch the frame, and that, when it was repulsed, she seemed drawn irresistibly after it, stretching out her hands, as if instinctively, towards it. It was afterwards remarked, that, when a piece of furniture or other object, thus acted upon by Angelique, was too heavy to be moved, she herself was thrown back, as if by [the reaction of the force upon her person.
By this time the cry of witchcraft was raised in the neighbourhood, and public opinion had even designated by name the sorcerer who had cast the spell. On the 21st of January the phenomena increased in violence and variety. A chair on which the girl attempted to sit down, though held by three strong men, was thrown off, in spite of their efforts, to several yards' distance. Shovels, tongs, lighted firewood, brushes, books, were all set in motion when the girl approached them. A pair of scissors fastened to her girdle was detached, and thrown into the air.
On the 24th of January, M. de Fairmont took the child and her aunt in his carriage to the small neighbouring town of Mamers. There, before two physicians and several ladies and gentlemen, articles of furniture moved about on her approach. And there, also, the following conclusive experiment was tried by M. de Fare"mont.
Into one end of a ponderous wooden block, weighing upwards of a hunared and fifty pounds, he caused a small hook to be driven. To this he made Angelique fix her silk. As soon as she sat down and her frock touched the block, the latter was instantly raised three or four inches from the ground; and this was repeated as much as forty times in a minute. Then, after suffering the girl to rest, M. de Faremont seated himself on the block, and was elevated in the same way. Then three men placed themselves upon it, and were raised also, only not quite so high. "It is certain," says M. de Faremont," that I and one of the most athletic porters of the Halle could not have lifted that block with the three persons seated on it."
Dr. Verger came to Mamers to see Angelique, whom, as well as her family, he had previously known. On the 28th of January, in the presence of the curate of Saint Martin and of the chaplain of the Bellesme hospital, the following incident occurred. As the child could not sew without pricking herself with the needle, nor use scissors without wounding her hands, they set her to shelling peas, placing a large basket before her. As soon as her dress touched the basket, and she reached her hand to begin work, the basket was violently repulsed, and the peas projected upwards and scattered over the room. This was twice repeated under the game circumstances. Dr. Lemonnier, of Saint Maurice, testifies to the same phenomenon, as occurring in his presence and in that of
the Procurator Royal of Mortagne; he noticed that the left hand produced toe greater effect, He adds, that he and another gentleman having endeavoured, with all their strength, to hold a chair on which Angelique sat down, it was violently forced from them, and one of its legs broken.
On the 30th of January, M. de Faremont tried the effect of isolation. When, by means of dry glass, he isolated the child's feet and the chair on which she sat, the chair ceased to move, and she remained perfectly quiet. M. Oliver, government engineer, tried a similar experiment, with the same results. A week later, M. Hebert, repeating this experiment, discovered that isolation of the chair was unnecessary; it sufficed to isolate the girl. Dr. Beaumont, vicar of Pin-la-Garenne, noticed a fact, insignificant in appearance, yet quite as conclusive as were the more violent manifestations, as to the reality of the phenomena. Having moistened with saliva the scattered hairs on his own arm, so that they lay flattened attached to the epidermis, when he, approached his arm to the left arm of the girl, the hairs instantly erected themselves. M. Hebert repeated the same experiment several times, always with a similar result.
M. Olivier also tried the following. With a stick of a sealing-wax, which he had subjected to friction, he touched the girl's arm, and it gave her a considerable shock; but touching her with another similar stick, that had not been rubbed, she experienced no effect whatever. Yet when M. de Faremont, on the 19th of January, tried the same experiment with a stick of sealing-wax and a glass tube, well prepared by rubbing, he obtained no effect whatever. So also a pendulum of light pith, brought into close proximity to her person at various points, was neither attracted nor repulsed in the slightest degree.
Towards the beginning of February, Angelique was obliged, for several days, to eat standing; she could not sit down on a chair, This fact Dr. Verger repeatedly verified. Holding her by the arm to prevent accident, the moment she touched the chair it was projected from under her, and she would have fallen but for his support. At such times, to take rest, she had to seat herself on the floor, or on a stone provided for the purpose.
On one such occasion, "she approached," says M. de Faremont, "one of those rough, heavy bedsteads used by the peasantry, weighing, with the coarse bed-clothes, some three hundred pounds, and sought to lie down on it. The bed shook and oscillated in an incredible manner; no force that I know of is capable of communicating to it such a movement. Then she went to another bed, which was raised from the ground on wooden rollers, six inches in diameter, and it was immediately thrown off the rollers." All this M. de Faremont personally witnessed. On the evening of the 2nd of Feb
ruary, Dr. Verger received Angelique into his house. On that day and the next upwards of one thousand persons came to see her. The constant experiments—which on that occasion were continued into the night—so fatigued the poor girl that the effects were sensibly diminished ; yet even then a small table, brought near to her, was thrown down so violently that it broke to pieces. It was of cherry-wood, and varnished.
"In a general way," says Dr. BeaumontChardon, "I think the effects were more marked with me than with others, because I never evinced suspicion, and spared her all suffering; and I thought I could observe that, although her powers were not under the control of her will, yet they were greatest when her mind was at ease, and she was in good spirits." It appeared, also, that on waxed, or even tiled floors, but more especially on carpets, the effects were much less than on an earthen floor like that of the cottage where they originally showed themselves.
At first wooden furniture seemed exclusively affected, but at a later period metal also, as tongs and shovels, though in a less degree, appeared to be subjected to this extraordinary influence. When the child's powers were the most active, actual contact was not necessary. Articles of furniture, and other small objects, moved, if she accidentally approached them.
Up to the 6th of February she had been visited by more than two thousand persons, including distinguished physicians from the towns of Bellesme and Mortagne, and from all the neighbourhood, magistrates, lawyers, ecclesiastics, and others. Some gave her money.
Then, in an evil hour, listening to mercenary suggestions, the parents conceived the idea that the poor girl might be made a source of pecuniary gain; and notwithstanding the advice and remonstrance of her true friends, M. de Faremont, Dr. Verger, M. Hubert, and others, her father resolved to exhibit her in Paris and elsewhere.
On the road they were occasionally subjected to serious annoyances. The report of the marvels above narrated had spread far and wide; and the populace, by hundreds, followed the carriage, hooting and abusing the sorceress.
Arrived at the French metropolis they put up at the Hotel de Rennes, No. 23, Rue des DeuxEcus. .There, on the evening of the 12th of February, Dr. Tanchon saw Angelique for the first time.
This gentleman soon verified, among otherph enomena, the following:—A chair, which he held firmly with both hands, was forced back as soon as she attempted to sit down ; a middlesized dining-table was displaced and repulsed by the touch of her dress; a large sofa, on which Dr. Tanchon was sitting, was pushed violently to the wall as soon as the child sat down beside him. The doctor remarked that, when a chair was thrown back from under her, her clothes seemed attracted by it, and adhered
to it, until it was repulsed beyond their reach; that the power was greater from the left hand than from the right, and that the former was warmer than the latter, and often trembled, agitated by unusual contractions; that the in. fluence emanating from the girl was intermit, tent, not permament, being usually most pow erful from seven till nine o'clock in the evening, possibly influenced by the principal meaof the day, dinner, taken at 6 o'clock; that, if the girl was cut off from contact with the earth, either by placing her feet on a non-conductor or merely by keeping them raised from the ground, the power ceased, aud she could remain seated quietly.
The minutes of the session of the Academy touch upon a sitting which lasted only some few moments; they admit, however, the main fact, namely, that the movements of a chair, as soon as Angelique seated herself upon it, were most violent. But as to another experiment, they allege that M. Arago did not clearly perceive the movement of a table by the mere intervention of the girl's apron, though the other observers did. It is added that the girl produced no effect on the magnetic needle.
Some accounts represent M. Arago as expressing himself much more decidedly. He may have done so in addressing the Academy, but I find no official record of his remarks. He did not assist at the sittings of the committee that had been appointed at his suggestion; but he signed their report, having confidence, as he declared, in their judgment, and sharing their mistrust.
That report, made on the 9th of March, is to the effect that they witnessed no repulsive agency on a table or similar object; that they saw no effect produced by the girl's arm on a magnetic needle; that the girl did not possess the power to distinguish between the two poles of a magnet; and, finally, that the only result they obtained was sudden and violent movements of chairs on which the child was seated. They add, "Serious suspicious having arisen as to the manner in which these movements were produced, the committee decided to submit them to a strict examination, declaring, in plain terms, that they would endeavour to discover what part certain adroit and concealed manoeuvres of the hands and feet had in their production. From that moment we were informed that the young girl had lost her attractive and repulsive powers, and that we should be notified when they reappeared. Many days have elapsed; no notice has been sent us; yet we learn that Mademoiselle Cottin daily exhibits her experiments in private circles." And they conclude by recommending "that the communications addressed to them in her case be considered as not received (" comme non avenues"). In a word, they officially branded the poor girl as an impostor.
That, without any inquiry into the antecedents of the patient, without the slightest attempt to obtain from those medical men who had followed up the case from its commencement what they had observed, and that, in advance of the strict examination which it was their duty to make, they should insult the unfortunate girl by declaring that they intended to find out the tricks with which she had been attempting to deceive'them—all this is not the less lamentable because It is common among those who sit in the high places of science.
If these Academicians had been moved by a simple love of truth, not urged by a self-complacent eagerness to display their own sagacity, they might have found a more probable explanation of the cessation, after their first session, of some of Antique's chief powers.
Such an explanation is furnished to us by Dr. Tanchon, who was present, by invitation, at the sittings of the committee.
He informs us that, at their first sitting, held at the Jardin des Plantes, on the 17 th of February, after the committee had witnessed, twice repeated, the violent displacement of a chair held with all his strength by one of their number (M. Rayet), instead of following up similar experiments and patiently waiting to observe the phenomena as they presented themselves, they proceeded at once to satisfy their own preconceptions. They brought AngeTique into contact with a voltaic battery. Then they placed on the bare arm of the child a dead frog, anatomically prepared after the manner of Matteucci, that is, the skin removed, and the animal dissected so as to expose the lumbar nerves. By a galvanic current they caused this frog to move, apparently to revive, ou the girl's arm. The effect upon her may be imagined. The ignorant child, terrified out of her senses, spoke of nothing else the rest of the day, dreamed of dead frogs coming to life all-night, and began to talk eagerly about it again the first thing the next morning. From that time her attractive and repulsive powers gradually declined.
In addition to the privilege of much accumulated learning, in addition to the advantages of varied scientific research, we must have something else, if we would advance yet farther on true knowledge. We must be imbued with a simple, faithful spirit, not presuming, not preoccupied. We must be willing to sit down at the feet of Truth, humble, patient, docile, single-hearted. We must not be wise in our own conceit; else the fool's chance is better than ours, to avoid error, and distinguish truth.
M. Cohu, a medical man of Mortagne, writing, in March 1846, in reply to some inquiries of Dr. Tanchon, after stating that the phenomenon of the chair, repeatedly observed by himself, had been witnessed also by more than a thousand persons, adds—" It matters not what name we may give to this; the important point is, to verify the reality of a repulsive agency, and of one that is distinctly marked; the effects it is impossible to deny. We may assign to t'ais agency what seat we please, in the cerebellum, in the pelvis, or elsewhere; the fact is material, visible, incontestible. Here, in the
Province, sir, we are not very learned, but we are often very mistrustful. In the present case we have examined, re-examined, taken every possible precaution against deception; and the more we have seen the deeper has been our conviction of the reality of the phenomenon. Let the Academy decide as it will—we have seen; we are therefore in a condition to decide better than it can, I do not say what cause was operating, but what effects presented themselves, under circumstances that remove even the shadow of a doubt."
M. He'bert, too, states a truth of great practical value, when he remarks that, in the examination of phenomena of so fugitive and seemingly capricious a character, involving the element of vitality, and the production of which at any given moment depends not upon us, we "ought to accommodate ourselves to the nature of the fact, not insist that it should accommodate itself to us."
For myself I do not pretend to offer any positive opinion as to what was ultimately the real state of the case. I do not assume to determine whether the attractive and repulsive phenomena, after continuing for upwards of a month, happened to be about to cease at the very time the committee began to observe them—or whether the harsh suspicions and terror-inspiring tests of these gentlemen so wrought on the nervous system of an easily-daunted and superstitious girl, that some of her abnormal powers, already on the wane, presently disappeared—or whether the poor child, it may be at the instigation of her parents, left without the means of support, really did at last simulate phenomena that once were real, manufacture a counterfeit of what was originally genuine. I do not take upon myself to decide betweeu these various hypotheses. I but express my conviction that, for the first few weeks at least, the phenomena occurred—and that, had not the gentlemen of the Academy been very unfortunate or injudicious, they could not have failed to perceive their reality. And I seek in vain some apology for the conduct of these learned Academicians called upon to deal with a case so fraught with interest to science, when I find them, merely because they do not at once succeed in personally verifying sufficient to convince them of the existence of certain novel phenomena, not only neglecting to seek evidence elsewhere, but even rejecting that which a candid observer had placed within their reach.
This appears to have been the judgment of the medical public of Paris. The " Gazette des Hopitaux," in its issue of March 17th, 1846, protests against the committee's mode of ignoring the matter, declaring that it satisfied nobody. "Not received!" said the editor (alluding to the words of the report); *' that would be very convenient, if it were only possible I"
And the " Gazette Me"dicale" very justly remarks : "The non-appearance of the phenomena at such or such a given moment proves nothing in itself. It is but a negative fact, and, as such, cannot disprove the positive fact of their appearance at another moment, if that be otherwise satisfactorily attested." And the "Gazette" goes on to argue, from the nature of the facts, that it is in the highest degree improbable that they should have been the result of premeditated imposture.
The course adopted by the Academy's committee is the less defensible, because, though the attractive and repulsive phenomena ceased after their first session, other phenomena, sufficiently remarkable, still continued. As late as the 10th of March, the day after the committee made their report, Angt'lique being then at Dr. Tanchon's house, a table touched by her apron, while her hands were behind her and herfeet 15 inches distant from it, was raised entirely from the ground, though no part of her body touched it. This was witnessed, besides Dr. Tanchon, by Dr. Charpentier-MeYicourt, who had stationed himself so as to observe it from the side. He distinctly saw the table rise, with all four legs, from the floor, and he noticed that the two legs of the table farthest from the girl rose first. He declares, that, during the whole time, he perceived not the slightest movement either of her hands or her feet; and he regarded deception, under the circumstances, to be utterly impossible.
On the 12th of March, in presence of five
Physicians, Drs. Amide* Latour, Lachaise, )eleau, Pichard, and Souk', the same phenomenon occurred twice.
And yet again on the 14th, four physicians being present, the table was raised a single time, but with startling force. It was of mahogany, with two drawers, and was four feet long by two feet and a half wide. We may suppose it to have weighed some fifty or sixty pounds; so that the girl's power, in this particular, appears to have much decreased since that day, about the end of January, when M. de Faremont saw repeatedly raised from the ground a block of one hundred and fifty pounds' weight, with three men seated on it—in all, not less than five to six hundred pounds.
By the end of March the whole of the phenomena had almost totally ceased; and it does not appear that they have ever shown themselves since that time.
Dr. Tanchon considered them electrical, M. de Fare'mont seems to have doubted that they were strictly so. In a letter, dated Monti-Mer, November 1st, 1846, and addressed to the Marquis de Mirville, that gentleman says— "The electrical effects I have seen produced in this case varied so much, since under certain circumstances good conductors operated, and then again, in others, no effect was observable; that, if one follows the ordinary laws of electrical phenomena, one finds evidence both for and against. I am well convinced, that, in the case of this child, there is some power other than electricity."
But as my object is to state facts rather than to moot theories, I leave this debatable ground to others, and here close a narrative, compiled
with much care, of this interesting and instructive case, I was the rather disposed to examine it critically and report it in detail, because it seems to suggest valuable hints, if it does not afford some clue as to the character of subsequent manifestations elsewhere.
This case is not an isolated one. My limits, however, prevent me from here reproducing, as I might, sundry other recent narratives more or less analogous to that of the girl Cottin. To one only shall I briefly advert: a case related in the Paris newspaper, the "Steele," of March 4th, 1846, published when all Paris was talking of Arago's statement in regard to the electric girl.
It is there given on the authority of a principal professor in one of the Royal Colleges of Paris. The case, very similar to that of Angelique Cottin, occurred in the month of December previous, in the person of a young girl, not quite fourteen years old, apprenticed to a coloorist, in the Rue Descartes. The professor, seated one day near the girl, was raised from the floor, along with the chair on which he sat. There were occasional knockings. The phenomena commenced December 2nd, 1845, and lasted twelve days.
FROM THE GERMAN.
■T ADA TBEVAJJIOJf.
When the evening star with its eye of gold
They said to the hostess, who brought the cheer,
Then the young men sought the inner room.
The first one said, "If thou hadst not died,
The third knelt down by the beauteon3 clay,
BY LADY S .
We are two sisters, at least I say only, two listers, for though we have a brother it is all the same as if we had none; for, when very young, our Uncle George sent Mark out, at his own expense, to China, where, we hear, he has got on very well. He once sent our mother a handsome Japanese work box, which is still the centre ornament of our drawing-room table, far too pretty ever to be used; be also, at the same time, sent us each a China crape shawl; our two are now dyed violet, poor sister Lizzie's is dyed black.
When we lost our father, he most kindly sent us fifty pounds, which was very acceptable. He married a few years since, and he writes to us much in his letters of Julia's pretty laughing dimples, and his Charlie's bright blue eyes ; still we feel to know little of Mark; he being so much older than ourselves, we leave him quite out of the question.
We live at Ackleton, a quiet little village, with some pretty walks and beautiful rides and drives; it is situated in Staffordshire, on the borders of Shropshire. Though the eldest, I am generally called Miss Tabitha, for we had once an elder sister Lizzie, who did not die till she was twenty-five, and then went off very suddenly; so this is the reason, I suppose, ou old friends do not get into the habit very quickly of calling me by my proper appellation, Miss Lawson. We live very happily in a small way. Our parents having been dead some years, we have a nice genteel acquaintance in Ackleton.
Many tea-parties are given there; the grandest are those given by Miss Pym. She keeps a real page, not a sham hired one, as some people do; her boy has three rows of pretty silver buttons on bis page's jacket, and silver cord on bis hat. Miss Pym also sometimes gives a dance, and always to the tea, besides the regulation buttered muffins, a rich plum-cake and macaroones; also, before we return home, a tray appears with meat sandwiches, not imitation ones made of egg or a little anchovy paste thinly plastered on, Dut of good beef, and we have sometimes even chicken, the bread buttered on both sides; there is also good negus, made from port or sherry, no British wine such as is given at the other parties.
Miss Pym is always well and handsomely dressed—in the winter in rich velvet, in the
summer in a good silk. She is most goodnatured; her drawing-room contains many nice drawings to look over, and various amusing books to read; so we are generally very happy to receive one of her neatly-penned notes asking us to tea at ltox Bank.
Our father was rector of Ackleton tor a long period, and sorry indeed were we when the sad event occurred, which at once deprived ns of our only surviving parent and our comfortable home, where we had spent so many happy years. Our mother died of a fever some time before my father. We should have been left very destitute, had it not been for her fortune divided between us, and a small sum for which my father had insured his life, which enables us, with great care, to live comfortably.
The present possessor of the living, on account of the delicacy of his wife's health, obtains frequent leave of absence, and is therefore not much among us; leaving his duty to be performed by an aged curate without wife or child, who kindly allows us to walk, when we like, in the dear old rectory gardens, gather the fruit, and pluck the flowers . No apples, pears, peaches, or plums ever taste so delicious, nor do any flowers ever smell so sweet, as those we there form into large nosegays and carry home to adorn our cottage with.
In the winter we generally take our exercise in the Dial Walk, so called from the sun-dial placed in the middle of it; such a dear, quaint,— old-fashioned thing, with curious designs of somethings resembling monkeys carved on the sides. This is a bright, warm situation for cold weather. In summer we choose a more shady place, where the many fir trees and large wide-spreading horse-chestnuts protect us from the hot sun, or we sit with our books or work in the pleasant cool arbour, and look upon the gay flower-beds, which, in our father's time, had formed our own little gardens. There was dear Lizzie's garden, the largest of all; after her death we divided the care of it between us. It was marked by the weeping willow near it, where wc had taken auch pleasure in sowing our own bright annuals, planting our pretty roses, pinks, dahlias, tulips, and many other nice plants; in short, we devoted as much time to our flowers as we were able to snatch from the many other duties which naturally devolved upon us; for, of course, we had to make soup for the poor, cut out garments, and often make them for their use, teach in the Sunday and daily schools—the daily part we took