This utter scorn for established laws and scientific formulas, this aspiration of mortal clay to commingle with the spirit of nature, and look to it alone for health, and help, and the light of truth, was the cause of the inveterate hatred shown by the contemporary pigmies to the fire-philosopher and alchemist. No wonder that he was accused of charlatanry and even drunkenness. Of the latter charge, Hemmann boldly and fearlessly exonerates him, and proves that the foul accusation proceeded from “Oporinus, who lived with him some time in order to learn his secrets, but his object was defeated; hence, the evil reports of his disciples and apothecaries.” He was the founder of the School of Animal Magnetism and the discoverer of the occult properties of the magnet. He was branded by his age as a sorcerer, because the cures he made were marvellous. Three centuries later, Baron Du Potet was also accused of sorcery and demonolatry by the Church of Rome, and of charlatanry by the

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academicians of Europe. As the fire-philosophers say, it is not the chemist who will condescend to look upon the “living fire” otherwise than his colleagues do. “Thou hast forgotten what thy fathers taught thee about it — or rather, thou hast never known . . . it is too loud for thee!”

A work upon magico-spiritual philosophy and occult science would be incomplete without a particular notice of the history of animal magnetism, as it stands since Paracelsus staggered with it the schoolmen of the latter half of the sixteenth century.

We will observe briefly its appearance in Paris when imported from Germany by Anton Mesmer. Let us peruse with care and caution the old papers now mouldering in the Academy of Sciences of that capital, for there we will find that, after having rejected in its turn every discovery that was ever made since Galileo, the Immortals capped the climax by turning their backs upon magnetism and mesmerism. They voluntarily shut the doors before themselves, the doors which led to those greatest mysteries of nature, which lie hid in the dark regions of the psychical as well as the physical world. The great universal solvent, the Alkahest, was within their reach — they passed it by; and now, after nearly a hundred years have elapsed, we read the following confession:

“Still it is true that, beyond the limits of direct observation, our science (chemistry) is not infallible, and our theories and systems, although they may all contain a kernel of truth, undergo frequent changes, and are often revolutionized.”

To assert so dogmatically that mesmerism and animal magnetism are but hallucinations, implies that it can be proved. But where are these proofs, which alone ought to have authority in science? Thousands of times the chance was given to the academicians to assure themselves of its truth; but, they have invariably declined. Vainly do mesmerists and healers invoke the testimony of the deaf, the lame, the diseased, the dying, who were cured or restored to life by simple manipulations and the apostolic “laying on of hands.” “Coincidence” is the usual reply, when the fact is too evident to be absolutely denied; “will-o’-the-wisp,” “exaggeration,” “quackery,” are favorite expressions, with our but too numerous Thomases. Newton, the well-known American healer, has performed more instantaneous cures than many a famous physician of New York City has had patients in all his life; Jacob, the Zouave, has had a like success in France. Must we then consider the accumulated testimony of the last forty years upon this subject to be all illusion, confederacy with clever charlatans, and lunacy? Even to breathe

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such a stupendous fallacy would be equivalent to a self-accusation of lunacy.

Notwithstanding the recent sentence of Leymarie, the scoffs of the skeptics and of a vast majority of physicians and scientists, the unpopularity of the subject, and, above all, the indefatigable persecutions of the Roman Catholic clergy, fighting in mesmerism woman’s traditional enemy, so evident and unconquerable is the truth of its phenomena that even the French magistrature was forced tacitly, though very reluctantly, to admit the same. The famous clairvoyante, Madame Roger, was charged with obtaining money under false pretenses, in company with her mesmerist, Dr. Fortin. On May 18th, 1876, she was arraigned before the Tribunal Correctionnel of the Seine. Her witness was Baron Du Potet, the grand master of mesmerism in France for the last fifty years; her advocate, the no less famous Jules Favre. Truth for once triumphed — the accusation was abandoned. Was it the extraordinary eloquence of the orator, or bare facts incontrovertible and unimpeachable that won the day? But Leymarie, the editor of the Revue Spirite, had also facts in his favor; and, moreover, the evidence of over a hundred respectable witnesses, among whom were the first names of Europe. To this there is but one answer — the magistrates dared not question the facts of mesmerism. Spirit-photography, spirit-rapping, writing, moving, talking, and even spirit-materializations can be simulated; there is hardly a physical phenomenon now in Europe and America but could be imitated — with apparatus — by a clever juggler. The wonders of mesmerism and subjective phenomena alone defy tricksters, skepticism, stern science, and dishonest mediums; the cataleptic state it is impossible to feign. Spiritualists who are anxious to have their truths proclaimed and forced on science, cultivate the mesmeric phenomena. Place on the stage of Egyptian Hall a somnambulist plunged in a deep mesmeric sleep. Let her mesmerist send her freed spirit to all the places the public may suggest; test her clairvoyance and clairaudience; stick pins into any part of her body which the mesmerist may have made his passes over; thrust needles through the skin below her eyelids; burn her flesh and lacerate it with a sharp instrument. “Do not fear!” exclaim Regazzoni and Du Potet, Teste and Pierrard, Puysegur and Dolgorouky — “a mesmerized or entranced subject is never hurt!” And when all this is performed, invite any popular wizard of the day who thirsts for puffery, and is, or pretends to be, clever at mimicking every spiritual phenomenon, to submit his body to the same tests!

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