SPOOKS IN PARIS.

Mr. Home, a week ago, was once more about to quit Paris, that Paris where even the angels and the demons, if they appeared in any shape, would not pass very long for marvellous beings, and would find nothing better to do than to return at top-speed to heaven or to hell, to escape the forgetfulness and the neglect of human kind.

Mr. Home, his air sad and disillusioned, was then bidding farewell to a noble lady whose kindly welcome had been one of the first happiness which he had tasted in France. Mme. de B... treated him very kindly SPOOKS IN PARIS. that day, as always, and asked him to stay to dinner; the man of mystery was about to accept, when, some one having just said that they were waiting for a qabalist, well known in the world of occult science by the publication of a book entitled Dogme et rituel de la haute magie, Mr. Home suddenly changed countenance, and said, stammering, and with a visible embarrassment, that he could not remain, and that the approach of this Professor of Magic caused him an incomparable terror. Everything one could say to reassure him proved useless. ”I do not presume SPOOKS IN PARIS. to judge the man,” said he; “I do not {129} assert that he is good or evil, I know nothing about it; but his atmosphere hurts me; near him I should feel myself, as it were, without force, even without life.” After which explanation. Mr. Home hastened to salute and withdraw.

This terror of miracle-mongers in the presence of the veritable initiates of science, is not a new fact in the annals of occultism. You may read in Philostratus the history of the Lamia who trembles on hearing the approach of Apollonius of Tyana. Our admirable story-teller Alexander Dumas SPOOKS IN PARIS. dramatized this magical anecdote in the magnificent epitome of all legends which forms the prologue to his great epic novel, “The Wandering Jew.”23 The scene takes place at Corinth; it is an old-time wedding with its beautiful children crowned with flowers, bearing the nuptial torches, and singing gracious epithalamia flowered with voluptuous images like the poems of Catullus. The bride is as beautiful in her chaste draperies as the ancient Polyhumnia; she is amorous and deliciously provoking in her modesty, like a Venus of Correggio, or a Grace of Canova. The bridegroom is Clinias, a disciple SPOOKS IN PARIS. of the famous Apollonius of Tyana. The master had promised to come to his disciple’s wedding, but he does not arrive, and the fair bride breathes easier, for she fears Apollonius. However, the day is not over. The hour has arrived when the newly married are to be conducted to the nuptial couch. Meroe trembles, pales, looks obstinately towards the door, stretches out her hand with alarm and says in a strangled voice: “Here he is! It is he!” It was in fact Apollonius. Here is the magus; here is the master; the hour of enchantments has SPOOKS IN PARIS. passed; jugglery falls before true {130} science. One seeks the lovely bride, the white Meroe, and one sees no more than an old woman, the sorceress Canidia, the devourer of little children. Clinias is disabused; he thanks his master, he is saved.

23 Some authorities attribute this novel to Eugène Sue.—TRANS

The vulgar are always deceived about magic, and confuse adepts with enchanters. True magic, that is to say, the traditional science of the magi, is the mortal enemy of enchantment; it prevents, or makes to cease, sham miracles, hostile to the light, that fascinate a small number of prejudiced or credulous SPOOKS IN PARIS. witnesses. The apparent disorder in the laws of Nature is a lie: it is not then a miracle. The true miracle, the true prodigy always flaming in the eyes of all, is the ever constant harmony of effect and cause; these are the splendours of eternal order!

We could not say whether Cagliostro would have performed miracles in the presence of Swedenborg; but he would certainly have dreaded the presence of Paracelsus and of Henry Khunrath, if these great men had been his contemporaries.

Far be it from us, however, to denounce Mr. Home as a low-class sorcerer, that SPOOKS IN PARIS. is to say, as a charlatan. The celebrated American medium is sweet and natural as a child. He is a poor and over-sensitive being, without cunning and without defence; he is the plaything of a terrible force of whose nature he is ignorant, and the first of his dupes is certainly himself.

The study of the strange phenomena which are produced in the neighbourhood of this young man is of the greatest importance. One must seriously reconsider the too easy denials of the eighteenth century, and open out before {131} science and reason broader horizons than SPOOKS IN PARIS. those of a bourgeois criticism, which denies everything which it does not yet know how to explain to itself. Facts are inexorable, and genuine good faith should never fear to examine them.

The explanation of these facts, which all traditions obstinately affirm, and which are reproduced before our eyes with tiresome publicity, this explanation, ancient as the facts themselves, rigorous as mathematics, but drawn for the first time from the shadows in which the hierophants of all ages have hidden it, would be a great scientific event if it could obtain sufficient light and publicity. This event we are perhaps SPOOKS IN PARIS. about to prepare, for one would not permit us the audacious hope of accomplishing it.

Here, in the first place, are the facts, in all their singularity. We have verified them, and we have established them with a rigorous exactitude, abstaining in the first place from all explanation and all commentary.

Mr. Home is subject to trances which put him, according to his own account, in direct communication with the soul of his mother, and, through her, with the entire world of spirits. He describes, like the sleep-wakers of Cahagnet, persons whom he has never seen, and who are SPOOKS IN PARIS. recognized by those who evoke them; he will tell you even their names, and will reply, on their behalf, to questions which can be understood only by the soul evoked and yourselves.



When he is in a room, inexplicable noises make themselves heard. Violent blows resound upon the furniture, and in the walls; sometimes doors and windows open by themselves, as if they were blown open by a storm; one even hears the wind and the rain, though when one goes out of doors, the sky {132} is cloudless, and one does not feel the lightest breath of wind SPOOKS IN PARIS..

The furniture is overturned and displace, without anybody touching it.

Pencils write of their own accord. Their writing is that of Mr. Home, and they make the same mistakes as he does.

Those present feel themselves touched and seized by invisible hands. These contacts, which seem to select ladies, lack a serious side, and sometimes even propriety. We think that we shall be sufficiently understood.

Visible and tangible hands come out, or seem to come out, of tables; but in this case, the tables must be covered. The invisible agent needs certain apparatus, just as do the cleverest successors SPOOKS IN PARIS. of Robert Houdin.

These hands show themselves above all in darkness; they are warm and phosphorescent, or cold and black. They write stupidities, or touch the piano; and when they have touched the piano, it is necessary to send for the tuner, their contact being always fatal to the exactitude of the instrument.

One of the most considerable personages in England, Sir Bulwer Lytton, has seen and touched those hands; we have read his written and signed attestation. He declares even that he has seized them, and drawn them towards himself with all his strength, in order to SPOOKS IN PARIS. withdraw from their incognito the arm to which they should naturally be attached. But the invisible object has proved stronger than the English novelist, and the hands have escaped him.

A Russian nobleman who was the protector of Mr. Home, and whose character and good faith could not possibly be doubted, Count A. B , has also seen and seized with {133} vigor the mysterious hands. “They are,” says he, “perfect shapes of human hands, warm and living, only one feels no bones.” Pressed by an unavoidable constraint, those hands did not struggle to escape, but grew smaller, and in some way melted SPOOKS IN PARIS., so that the Count ended by no longer holding anything.

Other persons who have seen them, and touched them, say that the fingers are puffed out and stiff, and compare them to gloves of india-rubber, swollen with a warm and phosphorescent air. Sometimes, instead of hands, it is feet which produce themselves, but never naked. The spirit, which probably lacks footwear, respects (at least in this particular) the delicacy of ladies, and never shows his feet but under a drapery or a cloth.

The production of these feet very much tires and frightens Mr. Home. He then endeavours to SPOOKS IN PARIS. approach some healthy person, and seizes him like a drowning man; the person so seized by the medium feels himself, on a sudden, in a singular state of exhaustion and debility.

A Polish gentleman, who was present at one of the séances of Mr. Home, had placed on the ground between his feet a pencil on a paper, and had asked for a sign of the presence of the spirit. For some instants nothing stirred, but suddenly, the pencil was thrown to the other end of the room. The gentleman stooped, took the paper, and saw SPOOKS IN PARIS. there three qabalistic signs which nobody understood. Mr. Home (alone) appeared, on seeing them, to be very much upset, and even frightened; but he refused to explain himself as to the nature and significance of these characters. The investigators accordingly kept them, and took them to that Professor of High {134} Magic whose approach had been so much dreaded by the medium. We have seen them, and here is a minute description of them.

They were traced forcibly, and the pencil had almost cut the paper.

They had been dashed on to the paper without order or alignment.

The first was SPOOKS IN PARIS. the symbol which the Egyptian initiates usually placed in the hand of Typhon. A tau with upright double lines opened in the form of a compass; an ankh (or crux ansata) having at the top a circular ring; below the ring, a double horizontal line; beneath the double horizontal line, two oblique lines, like a V upside down.

The second character represented a Grand Hierophant’s cross, with the three hierarchical cross-bars. This symbol, which dates from the remotest antiquity, is still the attribute of our sovereign pontiffs, and forms the upper extremity of their pastoral staff. But the SPOOKS IN PARIS. sign traced by the pencil had this particularity, that the upper branch, the head of the cross, was double, and formed again the terrible Typhonian V, the sign of antagonism and separation, the symbol of hate and eternal combat.

The third character was that which Freemasons call the Philosophical Cross, a cross with four equal arms, with a point in each of its angles. But, instead of four points, there were only two, placed in the two right-hand corners, once more a sign of struggle, separation and denial.

The Professor, whom one will allow us to distinguish from SPOOKS IN PARIS. the narrator, and to name in the third person in order not to weary our readers in having the air of speaking of {135} ourself—the Professor, then, Master Eliphas Levi, gave the persons assembled in Mme. de B ’s drawing-room the scientific explanation of the three signatures, and this is what he said:

“These three signs belong to the series of sacred and primitive hieroglyphs, known only to initiates of the first order. The first is the signature of Typhon. It expresses the blasphemy of the evil spirit by establishing dualism in the creative principle. For the SPOOKS IN PARIS. crux ansata of Osiris is a lingam upside down, and represents the paternal and active force of God (the vertical line extending from the circle) fertilizing passive nature (the horizontal line). To double the vertical line is to affirm that nature has two fathers; it is to put adultery in the place of the divine motherhood, it is to affirm, instead of the principle of intelligence, blind fatality, which has for result the eternal conflict of appearances in nothingness; it is, then, the most ancient, the most authentic, and the most terrible of all the stigmata of hell. It SPOOKS IN PARIS. signifies the atheistic god; it is the signature of Satan.

“This first signature is hieratical, and bears reference to the occult characters of the divine world.

“The second pertains to philosophical hieroglyphs, it represents the graduated extent of idea, and the progressive extension of form.

“It is a triple tau upside down; it is human thought affirming the absolute in the three worlds, and that absolute ends here by a fork, that is to say, by the sign of doubt and antagonism. So that, if the first character means: ‘There is no God,’ the rigorous signification of SPOOKS IN PARIS. this one is: ‘Hierarchical truth does not exist.’ {136}

“The third or philosophical cross has been in all initiations the symbol of Nature, and its four elementary forms. The four points represent the four indicible an incommunicable letters of the occult tetragram, that eternal formula of the Great Arcanum, G∴ A∴

“The two points on the right represent force, as those on the left symbolize love, and the four letters should be read from right to left, beginning by the right-hand upper corner, and going thence to the left-hand lower corner, and so for the others, making the cross of SPOOKS IN PARIS. St. Andrew.

“The suppression of the two left-hand points expresses the negation of the cross, the negation of mercy and of love.

“The affirmation of the absolute reign of force, and its eternal antagonism, from above to beneath, and from beneath to above.

“The glorification of tyranny and of revolt.

“The hieroglyphic sign of the unclean rite, with which, rightly or wrongly, the Templars were reproached; it is the sign of disorder and of eternal despair.”

Such, then, are the first revelations of the hidden science of the magi with regard to these phenomena of supernatural SPOOKS IN PARIS. manifestations. Now let it be permitted to us to compare with these strange signatures other contemporary apparitions of phenomenal writings, for it is really a brief which science ought to study before taking it to the tribunal of public opinion. One must then despise no research, overlook no clue.

In the neighbourhood of Caen, at Tilly-sur-Seulles, a series of inexplicable facts occurred some years ago, under the influence of a medium, or ecstatic, named Eugene Vintras. {137}

Certain ridiculous circumstances and a prosecution for swindling soon caused this thaumaturgist to fall into oblivion, and even into contempt; he had, moreover SPOOKS IN PARIS., been attacked with violence in pamphlets whose authors had at one time been admirers of his doctrine, for the medium Vintras took it upon himself to dogmatize. One thing, however, is remarkable in the invectives of which he is the object: his adversaries, though straining every effort in order to scourge him, recognize the truth of his miracles, and content themselves with attributing them to the devil.

What, then, are these so authentic miracles of Vintras? On this subject we are better informed than anybody, as will soon appear. Affidavits signed by honourable witnesses, persons who are artists SPOOKS IN PARIS., doctors, priests, all men above reproach, have been communicated to us; we have questioned eye-witnesses, and, better than that, we have seen with our own eyes. The facts deserve to be described in detail.

There is in Paris a writer named Mr. Madrolle, who is, to say the least of it, a bit eccentric. He is an old man of good family. He wrote at first on behalf of Catholicism in the most exalted way, received most flattering encouragements from ecclesiastical authority, and even letters from the Holy See. Then he saw Vintras; and, led away by the prestige SPOOKS IN PARIS. of his miracles, became a determined sectarian, and an irreconcilable enemy of the hierarchy and of the clergy.

At the period when Eliphas Levi was publishing his Dogme et rituel de la haute magie, he received a pamphlet from Mr. Madrolle which astonished him. In it, the author vigorously sustained the most unheard of paradoxes in the disordered style of the ecstatics. For him, life sufficed for {138} the expiation of the greatest crimes, since it was the consequence of a sentence of death. The most wicked men, being the most unhappy of all, seemed to him to offer SPOOKS IN PARIS. the sublimest of expiations to God. He broke all bounds in his attack on all repression and all damnation. “A religion which damns,” he cried, “is a damned religion!” He further preached the most absolute licence under the pretext of charity, and so far forgot himself as to say, that the most imperfect and the most apparently reprehensible act of love was worth more than the best of prayers.24 It was the Marquis de Sade turned preacher!25 Further, he denied the existence of the devil with an enthusiasm often full of eloquence.

“Can you conceive,” said he, “a devil tolerated SPOOKS IN PARIS. and authorized by God? Can you conceive, further, a God who made the devil, and who allowed him to ravage creatures already so weak, and so prompt to deceive themselves! A god of the devil, in short, abetted, protected, and scarcely surpassed in his revenges, by a devil of a god!” The rest of the pamphlet was of the same vigour. The Professor of Magic was almost frightened, and inquired the address of Mr. Madrolle. It was not without some trouble that he obtained an interview with this singular pamphleteer, and here is, more or less, their SPOOKS IN PARIS. conversation:

ELIPHAS LEVI. “Sir, I have received a pamphlet from you. {139} I am come to thank you for your gift, and, at the same time, to testify to my astonishment and disappointment.”

24 Quoted with approval in solution of the First Problem, IX, p. 52.—O.M. It is difficult to determine whether the words ‘act of love’ should be interpreted in their gross, or in their mystical, sense. Perhaps Madrolle was himself intentionally ambiguous.—TRANS

25 But the Marquis de Sade was, above all, a preacher. Three-fourths of Justine are verbose arguments in favour of so-called vice. Again Levi trips in referring SPOOKS IN PARIS. to an author whom he has not read.—TRANS

MR. MADROLLE. “Your disappointment, sir! Pray explain yourself, I do not understand you.”

“It is a lively regret to me, sir, to see you make mistakes which I have myself at one time made. But I had then, at least, the excuse of inexperience and youth. Your pamphlet lacks conviction, because it lacks discrimination. Your intention was doubtless to protest against errors in belief, and abuses in morality: and behold, it is the belief and the morality themselves that you attack! The exaltation which overflows in your pamphlet may indeed SPOOKS IN PARIS. do you the greatest harm, and some of your best friends must have experienced anxiety with regard to the state of your health. ...”

“Oh, no doubt; they have said, and say still, that I am mad. But it is nothing new that believers must undergo the folly of the cross. I am exalted, sir, because you yourself would be so in my place, because it is impossible to remain calm in the presence of prodigies. ...”

“Oh, oh, you speak of prodigies, that interests me. Come, between ourselves, and in all good faith, of what prodigies are you speaking?”

“Eh, what SPOOKS IN PARIS. prodigies should they be but those of the great prophet Elias, returned to earth under the name of Pierre Michel?”

“I understand; you mean Eugene Vintras. I have heard his prophecies spoken of. But does he really perform miracles?”

[Here Mr. Madrolle jumps in his chair, raises his eyes and his hands to heaven, and finally smiles with a condescension which seems to sound the depths of pity.] {140}

“Does he do miracles, sir?

“But the greatest!

“The most astonishing!

“The most incontestable!

“The truest miracles that have ever been done on earth since the time of Jesus SPOOKS IN PARIS. Christ! ... What! Thousands of hosts appear on altars where there were none; wine appears in empty chalices, and it is not an illusion, it is wine, a delicious wine ....celestial music is heard, perfumes of the world beyond fill the room, and then blood .... real human blood (doctors have examined it!), real blood, I tell you, sweats and sometimes flows from the hosts, imprinting mysterious characters on the altars! I am talking to you of what I have seen, of what I have heard, of what I have touched, of what I have tasted! And you want me to SPOOKS IN PARIS. remain cold at the bidding of an ecclesiastical authority which finds it more convenient to deny everything than to examine the least thing!...”

“By permission, sir; it is in religious matters, above all, that authority can never by wrong. ... In religion, good is hierarchy, and evil is anarchy; to what would the influence of the priesthood be reduced, in effect, if you set up the principle that one must rather believe the testimony of one’s senses than the decision of the Church? Is not the Church more visible than all your miracles? Those who see miracles and who SPOOKS IN PARIS. do not see the Church are much more to be pitied than the blind, for there remains to them not even the resource of allowing themselves to be led. ...”

“Sir, I know all that as well as you do. But God cannot be divided against Himself. He cannot allow good faith to be deceived, and the Church itself could hardly decide that {141} I am blind when I have eyes. ... Here, see what John Huss says in his letter, the forty-third letter, towards the end:

“‘A doctor of theology said to me: “In everything I should submit myself to the Council; everything SPOOKS IN PARIS. would then be good and lawful for me.” He added: “If the Council said that you had only one eye, although you have two, it would be still necessary to admit that the Council was not wrong.” “Were the whole world,” I replied, “to affirm such a thing, so long as I had the use of my reason, I should not be able to agree without wounding my conscience.”’ I will say to you, like John Huss, ‘Before there were a Church and its councils there were truth and reason.’”

“Pardon me if I interrupt, my dear SPOOKS IN PARIS. sir; you were a Catholic at one time, you are no longer so; consciences are free. I shall merely submit to you that the institution of the hierarchical infallibility in matters of dogma is reasonable in quite another sense, and far more incontestably true than all the miracles of the world. Besides, what sacrifices ought one not to make in order to preserve peace! Believe me, John Huss would have been a greater man if he had sacrificed one of his eyes to universal concord, rather than deluge Europe with blood! O sir! let the Church decide when SPOOKS IN PARIS. she will that I have but one eye; I only ask her one favour, it is to tell me in which eye I am blind, in order that I may close it and look with the other with an irreproachable orthodoxy!”

“I admit that I am not orthodox in your fashion.”

“I perceive that clearly. But let us come to the miracles! You have then seen, touched, felt, tasted them; but, come, putting exaltation on one side, please give me a thoroughly detailed and circumstantial account of the affair, and, above {142} all, evident proof of miracle. Am I indiscreet in asking you SPOOKS IN PARIS. that?”

“Not the least in the world; but which shall I choose? There are so many!”

“Let me think,” added Mr. Madrolle, after a moment’s reflection and with a slight trembling in the voice, “the prophet is in London, and we are here. Eh! well, if you only make a mental request to the prophet to send you immediately the communion, and if in a place designated by you, in your own house, in a cloth, or in a book, you found a host on your return, what would you say?”

“I should declare the fact inexplicable SPOOKS IN PARIS. by ordinary critical rules.”

“Oh, well, sir,” cried Mr. Madrolle, triumphantly, “there is a thing that often happens to me; whenever I wish, that is to say, whenever I am prepared and hope humbly to be worthy of it! Yes, sir, I find the host when I ask for it; I find it real and palpable, but often ornamented with little hearts, little miraculous hearts, which one might think had been painted by Raphael.”

Eliphas Levi, who felt ill at ease in discussing facts with which there was mingled a sort of profanation of the most holy things SPOOKS IN PARIS., then took his leave of the one-time Catholic writer, and went out meditating on the strange influence of this Vintras, who had so overthrown that old belief, and turned the old savant’s head.

Some days afterwards, the qabalist Eliphas was awakened very early in the morning by an unknown visitor. It was a man with white hair, entirely clothed in black; his physiognomy {143} that of an extremely devout priest; his whole air, in short, was entirely worthy of respect.

This ecclesiastic was furnished with a letter of recommendation conceived in these terms:

“DEAR MASTER,

“This is to introduce SPOOKS IN PARIS. to you an old savant, who wants to gabble Hebrew sorcery with you. Receive him like myself — I mean as I myself received him — by getting rid of him in the best way you can.

“Entirely yours, in the sacrosanct Qabalah,

“AD. DESBARROLLES.”

“Reverend sir,” said Eliphas, smiling, after having read the letter. “I am entirely at your service, and can refuse nothing to the friend who writes to me. You have then seen my excellent disciple Desbarrolles?”

“Yes, sir, and I have found in him a very amiable and very learned man. I think both you and SPOOKS IN PARIS. him worthy of the truth which has been lately revealed by astonishing miracles, and the positive revelations of the Archangel St. Michael.”

“Sir, you do us honour. Has then the good Desbarrolles astonished you by his science?”

“Oh, certainly he possesses in a very remarkable○.the secrets of cheiromancy; by merely inspecting my hand, he told me nearly the whole history of my life.”

“He is quite capable of that. But did he enter into the smallest details?”

“Sufficiently, sir, to convince me of his extraordinary power.”

“Did he tell you that you were once the vicar of {144} Mont-Louis SPOOKS IN PARIS., in the diocese of Tours? That you are the most zealous disciple of the ecstatic Eugene Vintras? And that your name is Charvoz?”

It was a veritable thunderbolt; at each of these three phrases the old priest jumped in his chair. When he heard his name, he turned pale, and rose as if a spring had been released.

“You are then really a magician?” he cried; “Charvoz is certainly my name, but it is not that which I bear; I call myself La Paraz.”

“I know it; La Paraz is the name of your mother. You have left a SPOOKS IN PARIS. sufficiently enviable position, that of a country vicar, and your charming vicarage, in order to share the troubled existence of a sectary.”

“Say of a great prophet!”

“Sir, I believe perfectly in your good faith. But you will permit me to examine a little the mission and the character of your prophet.”

“Yes, sir; examination, full light, the microscope of science, that is all we ask. Come to London, sir, and you will see! The miracles are permanently established there.”

“Would you be so kind, sir, as to give me, first of all, some exact and conscientious details with regard SPOOKS IN PARIS. to the miracles?”

“Oh, as many as you like!”

And immediately the old priest began to recount things which the whole world would have found impossible, but which did not even turn a eye-lash of the Professor of Transcendental Magic. {145}

Here is one of his stories:

One day Vintras, in an access of enthusiasm, was preaching before his heterodox altar; twenty-five persons were present. An empty chalice was upon the altar, a chalice well known to the Abbe Charvoz; he brought it himself from his church of Mont-Louis, and he was perfectly certain that the SPOOKS IN PARIS. sacred vase had neither secret ducts nor double bottom.

“’In order to prove to you,’ said Vintras, ‘that it is God Himself who inspires me, He acquaints me that this chalice will fill itself with drops of His blood, under the appearance of wine, and you will all be able to taste the fruit of the vines of the future, the wine which we shall drink with the Saviour in the Kingdom of His Father...’

“Overcome with astonishment and fear,” continued the Abbe Charvoz, “I go up to the altar, I take the chalice, I look at SPOOKS IN PARIS. the bottom of it: it was entirely empty. I overturned it in the sight of everyone, then I returned to kneel at the foot of the altar, holding the chalice between my two hands... Suddenly there was a slight noise; the noise of a drop of water, falling into the chalice from the ceiling, was distinctly heard, and a drop of wine appeared at the bottom of the vase.

“Every eye was fixed on me. Then they looked at the ceiling, for our simple chapel was held in a poor room; in the ceiling was neither hole nor fissure SPOOKS IN PARIS.; nothing was seen to fall, and yet the noise of the fall of the drops multiplied, it became more rapid, and more frequent, .. and the wine climbed from the bottom of the chalice towards the brim.

“When the chalice was full, I bore it slowly around so that all might see it; then the prophet dipped his lips into it, and all, one after the other, tasted the miraculous wine. It is in {146} vain to search memory for any delicious taste which would gave an idea of it... And what shall I tell you,” added the Abbe Charvoz, “of those miracles SPOOKS IN PARIS. of blood which astonish us every day? Thousands of wounded and bleeding hosts are found upon our altars. The sacred stigmata appear to all who wish to see them. The hosts, at first white, slowly become marked with characters and hearts in blood. ... Must one believe that God abandons the holiest objects to the false miracles of the devil? Should not one rather adore, and believe that the hour of the supreme and final revelation has arrived?”

Abbe Charvoz, as he thus spoke, had in his voice that sort of nervous trembling that Eliphas Levi had already noticed SPOOKS IN PARIS. in the case of Mr. Madrolle. The magician shook his head pensively; then, suddenly:

“Sir,” said he to the Abbe; “you have upon you one or two of these miraculous hosts. Be good enough to show them to me.”

“Sir ”

“You have some, I know it; why should you deny it?”

“I do not deny it,” said Abbe Charvoz; “but you will permit me not to expose to the investigations of incredulity objects of the most sincere and devout belief.”

“Reverend sir,” said Eliphas gravely; “incredulity is the mistrust of an ignorance almost sure to deceive itself. Science SPOOKS IN PARIS. is not incredulous. I believe, to begin with, in you own conviction, since you have accepted a life of privation and even of reproach, in order to stick to this unhappy belief. Show me then your miraculous hosts, and believe entirely in my respect for the objects of a sincere worship.” {147}

“Oh, well!” said the Abbe Charvoz, after another slight hesitation; “I will show them to you.”

Then he unbuttoned the top of his black waistcoat and drew forth a little reliquary of silver, before which he fell on his knees, with tears in his eyes, and prayers on his lips; Eliphas SPOOKS IN PARIS. fell on his knees beside him, and the Abbe opened the reliquary.

There were in the reliquary three hosts, one whole, the two others almost like paste, and as it were kneaded with blood.

The whole host bore in its centre a heart in relief on both sides; a clot of blood moulded in the form of a heart, which seemed to have been formed in the host itself in an inexplicable manner. The blood could not have been applied from without, for the imbibed colouring matter had left the particles adhering to the exterior surface SPOOKS IN PARIS. quite white. The appearance of the phenomenon was the same on both sides. The Master of Magic was seized with an involuntary trembling.

This emotion did not escape the old vicar, who having once again done adoration and closed his reliquary, drew from his pocket an album, and gave it without a word to Eliphas. ... There were copies of all the bleeding characters which had been observed upon hosts since the beginning of the ecstasies and miracles of Vintras.

There were hearts of every kind, and many different sorts of emblems. But three especially excited the curiosity of Eliphas to the highest SPOOKS IN PARIS. point.

“Reverend sir,” said he to Charvoz, “do you know these three signs?”

“No,” replied the Abbe ingenuously; “but the prophet assures us that they are of the highest importance, and that {148} their hidden signification shall soon be made known, that is to say, at the end of the Age.”

“Oh, well, sir,” solemnly replied the Professor of Magic; “even before the end of the Age, I will explain them to you; these three qabalistic signs are the signature of the devil!”

“It is impossible!” cried the old priest.

“It is the case,” replied Eliphas, with determination.

Now, the SPOOKS IN PARIS. signs were these:

1○.—The star of the micrososm, or the magic pentagram. It is the five-pointed star of occult masonry, the star with which Agrippa drew the human figure, the head in the upper point, the four limbs in the four others. The flaming star, which, when turned upside down, is the hierolgyphic sign of the goat of Black Magic, whose head may then be drawn in the star, the two horns at the top, the ears to the right and left, the beard at the bottom. It is the sign of antagonism and fatality SPOOKS IN PARIS.. It is the goat of lust attacking the heavens with its horns. It is a sign execrated by initiates of a superior rank, even at the Sabbath.26

2○.—The two hermetic serpents. But the heads and tails, instead of coming together in two similar semicircles, were turned outwards, and there was no intermediate line representing the caduceus. Above the head of the serpents, one saw the fatal V, the Typhonian fork, the character of hell. To the right and left, the sacred numbers III and VII were relegated to the horizontal line which represents passive and secondary things. The meaning SPOOKS IN PARIS. of the character was then this:

Antagonism is eternal. {149}

26 But if this were on a circular host, how could it be upside down?—O.M.

God is the strife of fatal forces, which always create through destruction.

The things of religion are passive and transitory.

Boldness makes use of them, war profits by them, and it is by them that discord is perpetuated.

3○.—Finally, the qabalistic monogram of Jehovah, the JOD and the HÉ, but upside down. This is, according to the doctors of occult science, the most frightful of all blasphemies, and signifies, however one may read it, “Fatality alone exists SPOOKS IN PARIS.: God and the Spirit are not. Matter is all, and spirit is only a fiction of this matter demented. Form is more than idea, woman more than man, pleasure more than thought, vice more than virtue, the mob more than its chiefs, the children more than their fathers, folly more than reason!”

There is what was written in characters of blood upon the pretended miraculous hosts of Vintras!

We affirm upon our honour that the facts cited above are such as we have stated, and that we ourselves saw and explained the characters according to magical science and SPOOKS IN PARIS. the true keys of the Qabalah.

The disciple of Vintras also communicated to us the description and design of the pontifical vestments given, said he, by Jesus Christ Himself to the pretended prophet, during one of his ecstatic trances. Vintras had these vestments made, and clothes himself with them in order to perform his miracles. They are red in colour. He wears upon his forehead a cross in the form of a lingam; and his pastoral staff is surmounted by a hand, all of whose fingers are closed, except the thumb and the little finger.

Now, all that SPOOKS IN PARIS. is diabolical in the highest○. And is {150} it not a really wonderful thing, this intuition of the signs of a lost science? For it is transcendental magic which, basing the universe upon the two columns of Hermes and of Solomon, has divided the metaphysical world into two intellectual zones, one white and luminous, enclosing positive ideas, the other black and obscure, containing negative ideas, and which has given to the synthesis of the first, the name of God, and to that of the other, the name of the devil or of Satan.

The sign of the lingam borne SPOOKS IN PARIS. upon the forehead is in India the distinguishing mark of the worshippers of Shiva the destroyer; for that sign being that of the great magical arcanum, which refers to the mystery of universal generation, to bear it on the forehead is to make profession of dogmatic shamelessness. “Now,” say the Orientals, “the day when there is no longer modesty in the world, the world, given over to debauch which is sterile, will end at once for lack of mothers. Modesty is the acceptance of maternity.”

The hand with the three large fingers closed expresses the negation of the ternary SPOOKS IN PARIS., and the affirmation of the natural forces alone.

The ancient hierophants, as our learned and witty friend Desbarolles is about to explain in an admirable book which is at present in the press, had given a complete résumé of magical science in the human hand. The forefinger, for them, represented Jupiter; the middle finger, Saturn; the ring-finger, Apollo or the Sun. Among the Egyptians, the middle finger was Ops, the forefinger Osiris, and the little finger Horus; the thumb represented the generative force,and the little finger, cunning. A hand, showing only the thumb and {151} the little SPOOKS IN PARIS. finger, is equivalent, in the sacred hieroglyphic language, to the exclusive affirmation of passion and diplomacy. It is the perverted and material translation of that great word of St. Augustine: “Love, and do what you will!” Compare now this sign with the doctrine of Mr. Madrolle: The most imperfect and the most apparently guilty act of love is worth more than the best of prayers. And you will ask yourself what is that force which, independently of the will, and of the greater or less knowledge of man (for Vintras is a man of no education), formulates its dogmas SPOOKS IN PARIS. with signs buried in the rubbish of the ancient world, re-discovers the mysteries of Thebes and of Eleusis, and writes for us the most learned reveries of India with the occult alphabets of Hermes?

What is that force? I will tell you. But I have still plenty of other miracles to tell; and this article is like a judicial investigation. We must, before anything else, complete it.

However, we may be permitted, before proceeding to other accounts to transcribe here a page from a German illuminé, of the work of Ludwig Tieck:

“If, for example, as an ancient SPOOKS IN PARIS. tradition informs us, some of the angels whom God had created fell all too soon, and if these, as they also say, were precisely the most brilliant of the angels, one may very well understand by this ‘fall’ that they sought a new road, a new form of activity, other occupations, and another life than those orthodox or more passive spirits who remained in the realm assigned to them, and made no use of liberty, the appanage of all of them. Their ‘fall’ was that weight of form which we now-a-days call reality, and which is a SPOOKS IN PARIS. protest on the part of individual existence against {152} its reabsorption into the abysses of universal spirit. It is thus that death preserves and reproduces life, it is thus that life is betrothed to death. ... Do you understand now what Lucifer is? Is it not the very genius of ancient Prometheus, that force which sets in motion the world, life, even movement, and which regulates the course of successive forms? This force, by its resistance, equilibrated the creative principle. It is thus that the Elohim gave birth to the earth. When, subsequently, men were placed upon the earth by the Lord, as SPOOKS IN PARIS. intermediate spirits, in their enthusiasm, which led them to search Nature in its depths, they gave themselves over to the influence of that proud and powerful genius, and when they were softly ravished away over the precipice of death to find life, there it was that they began to exist in a real and natural manner, as is fit for all creatures.”

This page needs no commentary, and explains sufficiently the tendencies of what one calls spiritualism, or spiritism.

It is already a long time since this doctrine, or, rather, this antidoctrine, began to work upon the world, to SPOOKS IN PARIS. plunge it into universal anarchy. But the law of equilibrium will save us, and already the great movement of reaction has begun.

We continue the recital of the phenomena.

One day a workman paid a visit to Eliphas Levi. He was a tall man of some fifty years old, of frank appearance, and speaking in a very reasonable manner. Questioned as to the motive of his visit, he replied: “You ought to know it well enough; I am come to beg and pray you to return to me what I have lost.”

We must say, to be frank, that SPOOKS IN PARIS. Eliphas knew nothing of {153} this visitor, nor of what he might have lost. He accordingly replied: “You think me much more of a sorcerer than I am; I do not know who you are, nor what you seek; consequently, if you think that I can be useful to you in any way, you must explain yourself and make your request more precise.”

“Oh, well, since you are determined not to understand me, you will at least recognize this,” said the stranger, taking from his pocket a little, much-used black book.

It was the grimoire of Pope Honorius.

One word SPOOKS IN PARIS. upon this little book so much decried.

The grimoire of Honorius is composed of an apocryphal constitution of Honorius II, for the evocation and control of spirits; then of some superstitious receipts ... it was the manual of the bad priests who practised Black Magic during the darkest periods of the middle ages. You will find there bloody rites, mingled with profanations of the Mass and of the consecrated elements, formulae of bewitchment and malevolent spells, and practices which stupidity alone could credit or knavery counsel. In fact, it is a book complete of its kind; it is consequently become SPOOKS IN PARIS. very rare, and the bibliophile pushes it to very high prices in the public sales.

“My dear sir,” said the workman, sighing, “since I was ten years old, I have not missed once performing the orison. This book never leaves me, and I comply rigorously with all the prescribed ceremonies. Why, then, have those who used to visit me abandoned me? Eli, Eli, lama ”

“Stop,” said Eliphas, ”do not parody the most formidable words that agony ever uttered in this world! Who are the beings who visited you by virtue of this horrible book? Do {154} you SPOOKS IN PARIS. know them? Have you promised them anything? Have you signed a pact?”

“No,” interrupted the owner of the grimoire; “I do not know them, and I have entered into no agreement with them. I only know that among them the chiefs are good, the intermediate rank partly good and partly evil; the inferiors bad, but blindly, and without its being possible for them to do better. He whom I evoked, and who has often appeared to me, belongs to the most elevated hierarchy; for he was good-looking, well dressed, and always gave me favourable answers. But I have lost SPOOKS IN PARIS. a page of my grimoire, the first, the most important, that which bore the autograph of the spirit; and, since then, he no longer appears when I call him.

“I am a lost man. I am naked as Job, I have no longer either force or courage. O Master, I conjure you, you who need only say one word, make one sign, and the spirits will obey, take pity upon me, and restore to me what I have lost!”

“Give me your grimoire!” said Eliphas. “What name used you to give to the spirit who appeared to you?”

“I called him SPOOKS IN PARIS. Adonai.”

“And in what language was his signature?”

“I do not know, but I suppose it was in Hebrew.”

“There,” said the Professor of Transcendental Magic, after having traced two words in the Hebrew language in the beginning and at the end of the book. “Here are two words which the spirits of darkness will never counterfeit. Go in peace, sleep well, and no longer evoke spirits.”

The workman withdrew.

A week later, he returned to seek the Man of Science. {155}

“You have restored to me hope and life,” said he; “my strength is partially returned, I am able SPOOKS IN PARIS. with the signatures that you gave me to relieve sufferers, and cast out devils, but him, I cannot see him again, and, until I have seen him, I shall be sad to the day of my death. Formerly, he was always near me, he sometimes touched me, and he used to wake me up in the night to tell me all that I needed to know. Master, I beg of you, let me see him again!”

“See whom?”

“Adonai,”

“Do you know who Adonai is?”

“No, but I want to see him again.”

“Adonai is invisible.”

“I have seen SPOOKS IN PARIS. him.”

“He has no form.”

“I have touched him.”

“He is infinite.”

“He is very nearly of my own height.”

“The prophets say of him that the hem of his vestment, from the East to the West, sweeps the stars of the morning.”

“He had a very clean surcoat, and very white linen.”

“The Holy Scripture says that one cannot see him and live.”

“He had a kind and jovial face.”

“But how did you proceed in order to obtain these apparitions?”

“Why, I did everything that it tells you to do in the grimoire. ”

“What! Even SPOOKS IN PARIS. the bloody sacrifice?”

“Doubtless.” {156}

“Unhappy man! But who, then, was the victim?”

At this question, the workman had a slight trembling; he paled, and his glance became troubled.

“Master, you know better than I what it is,” said he humbly in a low voice. “Oh, it cost me a great deal to do it; above all, the first time, with a single blow of the magic knife to cut the throat of that innocent creature! One night I had just accomplished the funereal rites, I was seated in the circle on the interior threshold of my door, and SPOOKS IN PARIS. the victim had just been consumed in a great fire of alder and cypress wood. ... All of a sudden, quite close to me .... I dreamt or rather I felt it pass ... I heard in my ear a heartrending wail ... one would have said that it wept; and since that moment, I think that I am hearing it always.”

Eliphas had risen; he looked fixedly upon his interlocutor. Had he before him a dangerous madman, capable of renewing the atrocities of the seigneur of Retz? And yet the face of the man was gentle and honest. No, it was not possible.

“But then SPOOKS IN PARIS. this victim. .. tell me clearly what it was. You suppose that I know already. Perhaps I do know, but I have reasons for wishing you to tell me.”

“It was, according to the magic ritual, a young goat of a year old, virgin, and without defect.”

“A real young he-goat?”

“Doubtless. Understand that it was neither a child’s toy, nor a stuffed animal.”

Eliphas breathed again.

“Good,” thought he; “this man is not a sorcerer worthy of the stake. He does not know that the abominable authors {157} of the grimoire, when they spoke of the ‘virgin SPOOKS IN PARIS. he-goat,’ meant a little child.”

“Well,” said he to his consultant; “give me some details about your visions. What you tell me interests me in the highest○.”

The sorcerer—for one must call him so—the sorcerer then told him of a series of strange facts, of which two families had been witness, and these facts were precisely identical with the phenomena of Mr.Home: hands coming out of walls, movements of furniture, phosphorescent apparitions. One day, the rash apprentice-magician had dared to call up Astaroth, and had seen the apparition of a gigantic monster having the body SPOOKS IN PARIS. of a hog, and the head borrowed from the skeleton of a colossal ox. But he told all that with an accent of truth, a certainty of having seen, which excluded every kind of doubt as to the good faith and the entire conviction of the narrator. Eliphas, who is an epicure in magic, was delighted with this find. In the nineteenth century, a real sorcerer of the middle ages, a remarkably innocent and convinced sorcerer, a sorcerer who had seen Satan under the name of Adonai, Satan dressed like a respectable citizen, and Astaroth in his SPOOKS IN PARIS. true diabolical form! What a supreme find for a museum! What a treasure for an archaeologist!

“My friend,” said he to his new disciple, “I am going to help you to find what you say you have lost. Take my book, observe the prescriptions of the ritual, and come again to see me in a week.”

A week later he returned, but this time the workman declared that he had invented a life-saving machine of the greatest importance for the navy. The machine is perfectly {158} put together; it only lacks one thing—it will not work: there is a SPOOKS IN PARIS. hidden defect in the machinery. What was that defect? The evil spirit alone could tell him. It is then absolutely necessary to evoke him! ...

“Take care you do not!” said Eliphas. “You had much better say for nine days this qabalistic evocation.” He gave him a leaf covered with manuscript. “Begin this evening, and return to-morrow to tell me what you have seen, for to night you will have a manifestation.”

The next day, our good man did not miss the appointment.

“I woke up suddenly,” said he, “upon one o’clock in the morning. In front of SPOOKS IN PARIS. my bed I saw a bright light, and in this light a shadowy arm which passed and repassed before me, as if to magnetize me. Then I went to sleep again, and some instants afterwards, waking anew, I saw again the same light, but it had changed its place. It had passed from left to right, and upon a luminous background I distinguished the silhouette of a man who was looking at me with arms crossed.”

“What was this man like?”

“Just about your height and breadth.”

“It is well. Go, and continue to do what I SPOOKS IN PARIS. told you.”

The nine days rolled by; at the end of that time, a new visit; but this time he was absolutely radiant and excited. As soon as he caught sight of Eliphas:

“Thanks, Master!” he cried. “The machine works! People whom I did not know have come to place at my disposal the funds which were necessary to carry out my enterprise; I have found again peace in sleep; and all that thanks to your power!” {159}

“Say, rather, thanks to your faith and your docility. And now, farewell: I must work. .. Well, why do you assume this suppliant air, and SPOOKS IN PARIS. what more do you want of me?”

“Oh, if you only would ”

“Well, what now? Have you not obtained all that you asked for, and even more than you asked for, for you did not mention money to me?”

“Yes, doubtless,” said the other sighing; “but I do want to see him again!”

“Incorrigible!” said Eliphas.

Some days afterwards, the Professor of Transcendental Magic was awakened, about two o’clock in the morning, by an acute pain in the head. For some moments he feared a cerebral congestion. He therefore rose, relit his lamp, opened his window, walked to and SPOOKS IN PARIS. fro in his study, and then, calmed by the fresh air of the morning, he lay down again, and slept deeply. He had a nightmare: he saw, terribly real, the giant with the fleshless ox’s head of which the workman had spoken to him. The monster pursued him, and struggled with him. When he woke up, it was already day, and somebody was knocking at his door. Eliphas rose, threw on a dressing- gown, and opened; it was the workman.

“Master,” said he, entering hastily, and with an alarmed air; “how are you?”

“Very well SPOOKS IN PARIS.,” replied Eliphas.

“But last night, at two o’clock in the morning, did you not run a great danger?”

Eliphas did not grasp the allusion; he already no longer remembered the indisposition of the night. {160}

“A danger?” said he. “No; none that I know of.”

“Have you not been assaulted by a monster phantom, who sought to strangle you? Did it not hurt you?”

Eliphas remembered.

“Yes,” said he, “certainly, I had the beginning of a sort of apoplectic attack, and a horrible dream. But how do you know that?”

“At the same time, an invisible hand struck me roughly on SPOOKS IN PARIS. the shoulder, and awoke me suddenly. I dreamt then that I saw you fighting with Astaroth. I jumped up, and a voice said in my ear: ‘Arise and go to the help of thy Master; he is in danger.’ I got up in a great hurry. But where must I run? What danger threatened you? Was it at your own house, or elsewhere? The voice said nothing about that. I decided to wait for sunrise; and immediately day dawned, I ran, and here I am.”

“Thanks, friend,” said the magus, holding out his hand; “Astaroth is a stupid joker; all SPOOKS IN PARIS. that happened last night was a little blood to the head. Now, I am perfectly well. Be assured, then, and return to your work.”

Strange as may be the facts which we have just related, there remains for us to unveil a tragic drama much more extraordinary still.

It refers to the deed of blood which at the beginning of this year plunged Paris and all Christendom into mourning and stupefaction; a deed in which no one suspected that Black Magic had any part.

Here is what happened:

During the winter, at the beginning of last year, a bookseller SPOOKS IN PARIS. informed the author of theDogme et rituel de la {161} haute magie that an ecclesiastic was looking for his address, testifying the greatest desire to see him. Eliphas Levi did not feel himself immediately prepossessed with confidence towards the stranger, to the point of exposing himself without precaution to his visits; he indicated the house of a friend, where he was to be in the company of his faithful disciple, Desbarrolles. At the hour and date appointed they went, in fact, to the house of Mme. A , and found that the ecclesiastic had been waiting for them SPOOKS IN PARIS. for some moments.

He was a young and slim man; he had an arched and pointed nose, with dull blue eyes. His bony and projecting forehead was rather broad than high, his head was dolichocephalic, his hair flat and short, parted on one side, of a greyish blond with just a tinge of chestnut of a rather curious and disagreeable shade. His mouth was sensual and quarrelsome; his manners were affable, his voice soft, and his speech sometimes a little embarrassed. Questioned by Eliphas Levi concerning the object of his visit, he replied that he was on the look-out for the SPOOKS IN PARIS. grimoire of Honorius, and that he had come to learn from the Professor of Occult Science how to obtain that little black book, now-a-days almost impossible to find.

“I would gladly give a hundred francs for a copy of that grimoire,” said he.

“The work in itself is valueless,” said Eliphas. &lrdquo;It is a pretended constitution of Honorius II, which you will find perhaps quoted by some erudite collector of apocryphal constitutions; you can find it in the library.”

“I will do so, for I pass almost all my time in Paris in the SPOOKS IN PARIS. public libraries.” {162}

“You are not occupied in the ministry in Paris?”

“No, not now; I was for some little while employed in the parish of St. Germain-Auxerrois.”

“And you now spend your time, I understand, in curious researches in occult science.”

“Not precisely, but I am seeking the realization of a thought. ... I have something to do.”

“I do not suppose that this something can be an operation of Black Magic. You know as well as I do, reverend sir, that the Church has always condemned, and still condemns, severely, everything which relates to these forbidden practices SPOOKS IN PARIS..”

A pale smile, imprinted with a sort of sarcastic irony, was all the answer that the Abbe gave, and the conversation fell to the ground.

However, the cheiromancer Desbarrolles was attentively looking at the hand of the priest; he perceived it, a quite natural explanation followed, the Abbe offered graciously and of his own accord his hand to the experimenter. Desbarrolles knit his brows, and appeared embarrassed. The hand was damp and cold, the fingers smooth and spatulated; the mount of Venus, or the part of the palm of the hand which corresponds to the thumb, was of a noteworthy development SPOOKS IN PARIS., the line of life was short and broken, there were crosses in the centre of the hand, and stars upon the mount of the moon.

“Reverend sir,” said Desbarrolles, “if you had not a very solid religious education you would easily become a dangerous sectary, for you are led on the one hand toward the most exalted mysticism, and on the other to the most concentrated obstinacy combined with the greatest secretiveness that can {163} possibly be. You want much, but you imagine more, and as you confide your imaginations to nobody, they might attain proportions which would make SPOOKS IN PARIS. them veritable enemies for yourself. Your habits are contemplative an rather easygoing, but it is a somnolence whose awakenings are perhaps to be dreaded. You are carried away by a passion which your state of life ------ But pardon, reverend sir, I fear that I am over-stepping the boundaries of discretion.”

“Say everything, sir; I am willing to hear all, I wish to now everything.”

“Oh, well! If, as I do not doubt to be the case, you turn to the profit of charity all the restless activities with which the passions of your heart furnish you, you SPOOKS IN PARIS. must often be blessed for your good works.”

The Abbe once more smiled that dubious and fatal smile which gave so singular an expression to his pallid countenance. He rose and took his leave without having given his name, and without any one having thought to ask him for it.

Eliphas and Desbarrolles reconducted him as far as the staircase, in token of respect for his dignity as a priest.

Near the staircase he turned and said slowly:

“Before long, you will hear something. ... You will hear me spoken of,” he added, emphasizing each word. Then he saluted with head SPOOKS IN PARIS. and hand, turned without adding a single word, and descended the staircase.

The two friends returned to Mme. A ’s room.

“There is a singular personage,” said Eliphas; “I think I have seen Pierrot of the Funambules playing the part of a traitor. What he said to us on his departure seemed to me very much like a threat.” {164}

“You frightened him,” said Mme. A . “Before your arrival, he was beginning to open his whole mind, but you spoke to him of conscience and of the laws of the Church, and he no longer dared to tell you what he SPOOKS IN PARIS. wished.”

“Bah! What did he wish then?”

“To see the devil.”

“Perhaps he thought I had him in my pocket?”

“No, but he knows that you give lessons in the Qabalah, and in magic, and so he hoped that you would help him in his enterprise. He told my daughter and myself that in his vicarage in the country, he had already made one night an evocation of the devil by the help of a populargrimoire. ‘Then’ said he, ‘a whirlwind seemed to shake the vicarage; the rafts groaned, the wainscoting cracked, the doors shook, the windows opened with SPOOKS IN PARIS. a crash, and whistlings were heard in every corner of the house.’ He then expected that formidable vision to follow, but he saw nothing; no monster presented itself; in a word, the devil would not appear. That is why he is looking for the grimoire of Honorius, for he hopes to find in it stronger conjurations, and more efficacious rites.”

“Really! But the man is then a monster, or a madman!”

“I think he is just simply in love,” said Desbarrolles. “He is gnawed by some absurd passion, and hopes for absolutely nothing unless he can get the devil to SPOOKS IN PARIS. interfere.”

“But how then—what does he mean when he says that we shall hear him spoken of?”

“Who knows? Perhaps he thinks to carry off the Queen of England, or the Sultana Valide.”

The conversation dropped, and a whole year passed {165} without Mme. A . or Desbarrolles, or Eliphas hearing the unknown young priest spoken of.

In the course of the night between the 1st and 2nd of January, 1857, Eliphas Levi was awakened suddenly by the emotions of a bizarre and dismal dream. It seemed to him that he was in a dilapidated room of gothic architecture, rather SPOOKS IN PARIS. like the abandoned chapel of an old castle. A door hidden by a black drapery opened on to this room; behind the drapery one guessed the hidden light of tapers, and it seemed to Eliphas that, driven by a curiosity full of terror, he was approaching the black drapery. ... Then the drapery was parted, and a hand was stretched forth and seized the arm of Eliphas. He saw no one, but he heard a low voice which said in his ear:

“Come and see your father, who is about to die.”

The magus awoke, his heart palpitating, and his SPOOKS IN PARIS. forehead bathed in sweat.

“What can this dream mean?” thought he. “It is long since my father died; why am I told that he is going to die, and why has this warning upset me?”

The following night, the same dream recurred with the same circumstances; once more Eliphas awoke, hearing a voice in his ear repeat:

“Come and see your father, who is about to die.”

This repeated nightmare made a painful impression upon Eliphas: he had accepted, for the 3rd January, an invitation to dinner in pleasant company, but he wrote and excused himself, feeling himself SPOOKS IN PARIS. little inclined for the gaiety of a banquet of artists. He remained, then, in his study; the weather was cloudy; at midday he received a visit from one of his magical {166} pupils, Viscount M . When he left, the rain was falling in such abundance that Eliphas offered his umbrella to the Viscount, who refused it. There followed a contest of politeness, of which the result was that Eliphas went out to see the Viscount home. While they were in the street, the rain stopped, the Viscount found a carriage, and Eliphas, instead of returning to his house, mechanically SPOOKS IN PARIS. crossed the Luxembourg, went out by the gate which opens on the Rue d’Enfer, and found himself opposite the Pantheon.

A double row of booths, improvised for the Festival of St. Geneviève, indicated to pilgrims the road to St. Etienne-du-Mont. Eliphas, whose heart was sad, and consequently disposed to prayer, followed that way and entered the church. It might have been at that time about four o’clock in the afternoon.

The church was full of the faithful, and the office was performed with great concentration, and extraordinary solemnity. The banners of the parishes of the city, and SPOOKS IN PARIS. of the suburbs, bore witness to the public veneration for the virgin who saved Paris from famine and invasion. At the bottom of the church, the tomb of St. Geneviève shone gloriously with light. They were chanting the litanies, and the procession was coming out of the choir.

After the cross, accompanied by its acolytes, and followed by the choirboys, came the banner of St. Geneviève; then, walking in double file, came the lady devotees of St. Geneviève, clothed in black, with a white veil on the head, a blue ribbon around the SPOOKS IN PARIS. neck, with the medal of the legend, a taper in the hand, surmounted by the little gothic lantern that tradition gives to the images of the saint. For, in the old books, {167} St Genevieve is always represented with a medal on her neck, that which St. Germain d’Auxerre gave her, and holding a taper, which the devil tries to extinguish, but which is protected from the breath of the unclean spirit by a miraculous little tabernacle.

After the lady devotees came the clergy; then finally appeared the venerable Archbishop of Paris, mitred with a white mitre, wearing a cope SPOOKS IN PARIS. which was supported on each side by his two vicars; the prelate, leaning on his cross, walked slowly, and blessed to right and left the crowd which knelt about his path. Eliphas saw the Archbishop for the first time, and noticed the features of his countenance. They expressed kindliness and gentleness; but one might observe the expression of a great fatigue, and even of a nervous suffering painfully dissimulated.


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