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Experiences of a Famous

EXPERIENCES OF A FAMOUS Years ago, a world-famous came to Boston and delivered a course of lectures before the Lowell Insti tute. He had been trained in his youth as a clergyman of the Church of England. He told me that in his early life he had looked upon all these matters with con tempt, but had been startled into making them a study by some personal experience. The result of it was that he and other friends organised a circle composed of sixteen people. They held sittings every week when they were in London, during a period of seven years. There was no one possessing mediumistic powers in this circle at the time when they began their sittings, but as they went on, psychic powers of every description were devel oped within the limits of their own mem bership. Among these sixteen are the names of people known all over the world, and who would be readily recognised if I should mention them. It would seem like a chapter out of the Arabian Nights if I should detail the things which this natur alist told me as having occurred at their sittings. What I have said is only an explanatory introduction to one little inci dent which I wish to detail. This natur alist himself became an automatic writer. One member of the circle had a brother who was an officer in the army. They had talked over these things, and the brother had promised that if he died first he would try, if possible, to communicate. This gentleman came into the private room of the naturalist one day, and said,"I wish you would see if you can get any writing." He did not feel like it, but as

a matter of accommodation sat down and took paper and pen. Pretty soon his hand began to move, made certain mean ingless scrawls at first, and then began to string letters together in the form of words. As, however, he looked on what he had written, it seemed to him without any meaning. He told me that if they were words at all, they were not words in any language with which he was ac quainted. The friend asked him what he had obtained, and he remarked carelessly: "Oh, nothing! It's nonsense; at any rate, it has no meaning to me." Where upon the friend himself came and looked over the paper, and started with surprise. He said: "Perhaps it has no meaning for you, but it has all the meaning in the world for me." And then he explained that this brother, who at this time was dead, had made up certain words out of his own head. They were not words in any language, but they were arbitrary arrangements of letters which appeared like words. He had given these to his brother, and had said: I can ever come to you, I will bring these as a test. If I do not bring them, you need not be lieve that it is I." And here the natur alist, in absolute ignorance of these facts, had reproduced the identical combinations of letters which the officer long before had made as a proposed test for his brother.

words, brother, meaning and told