Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

22 
PLANCHETTE. 
things. These most worthy and respectable opponents are, if 
wrong, to be reckoned the lineal descendants of those who 
proved the earth could not be round, because the people on the 
other side would then tumble off. . . . 
“ I have said that the deluded spirit-rappers are on the right 
track : they have the spirit and the method of the grand time 
when those paths were cut through the uncleared forest in which 
it is now the daily routine to walk. What was that spirit? It 
was the spirit of universal examination, wholly unchecked by 
fear of being detected in the examination of nonsense. . . . 
“ I hold those persons to be incautious who give in at once to 
the spirit doctrine, and never stop to imagine the possibility of 
unknown power other than disembodied intelligence. But I am 
sure that this calling in of the departed spirit, because they do 
not know what else to fix it on, may be justified by those who 
do it, upon the example of the philosophers of our own 
day. . . . 
“My state of mind, which refers the whole either to unseen 
intelligence, or something which man has never had any con¬ 
ception of, proves me to be out of the pale of the Royal 
Society. . . . 
“What I reprobate is, not the wariness which widens and 
lengthens inquiry, but the assumption which prevents or nar¬ 
rows it; the imposture theory, which frequently infers imposture 
from the assumed impossibility of the phenomena asserted, 
and then alleges imposture against the examination of the evi¬ 
dence. . . ... 
“It is now [1863] twelve or thirteen years since the matter 
began to be everywhere talked about; during which time there 
have been many announcements of the total extinction of the 
spirit-mania. But in several cases, as in Tom Moore’s fable, 
the extinguishers have caught fire ” 
The late Daniel Davis, of Boston, well known as an electrical 
instrument-maker, was so thoroughly persuaded of the genuine¬ 
ness of the phenomena, as manifested in raps, movements of 
tables, &c,, that, after exhausting all his practical knowledge
        

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