Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

“But,” adds Kerner, with a fine irony, “ it is much more con¬ 
venient to sit at your writing-table by the fireside, and decide on 
such things without seeing them.” 
His picture of the class of critics who pronounce judgment on 
facts in this way is one for all time. Some of these philosophers, 
indeed not a few may be found in our own country, mounted 
on^eviewers’ stools, and sending forth their oracular criticisms, 
weekly or monthly, on matters they know nothing about, in any 
practical or experimental sense. 
“None of those gentlemen,” writes Kerner, “who call them¬ 
selves the friends of truth, set so much value upon it, as to 
move a single foot over the Resenbach : no one takes the least 
trouble to prove these things at the time, and on the spot. For 
many years the extraordinary manifestations of the Seeress of 
Prevorst were made public; but none of the gentlemen who 
now, all at once, pretend that they would have liked so very 
much to have seen her, and who sit and write whole blue-books 
about her, ever took a moment's trouble, whilst she lived, to see, 
to hear, and to test her. 
“At their writing-tables they continued sitting, but professed 
to have seen, heard, and proved every thing, — much more than 
the quiet, earnest, and deeply thinking psychologist, Eschen- 
meyer, who did take the trouble to examine and prove every 
thing at the time and on the spot, for the truth’s sake, shunning 
no journey, when necessary, in the severest cold of winter. 
Only by such a method can such things be probed to the truth : 
the learned way of knowing and speculating by the pounce-box 
proves nothing. 
“These gentlemen who construct their heaven and their hell 
according to their own wishes, and push the love and grace of 
God before them in any direction that is convenient to them, 
rather than give themselves up to believe what, from their pride 
and sensual indulgences, is most unpleasant and repugnant to 
them, labor hard, by all the arts of intellectual acuteness and 
of dialectics, to persuade themselves, though it be but for the 
brief moment of this life, that the future inevitably awaiting


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