Madam Home - D D Home his life his mission - The Emperor Napoleon and Empress of France 02
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Madam Home - D D Home his life his mission
Four personages of the Court were selected by their Majesties to be present at the second seance; the Duchess de Bassano and the Duchess de Montebello, with Count Tascher de la Pagerie and the Marquis de Belmont, Chamberlains of the Emperor.
The evidences of the presence of an invisible but not the less real power caused a lively emotion to those who took part in the seance. The table rose to a height of several feet; then, to the astonishment of the beholders, descended gently and settled in its place again, light as a feather falling to the ground.
An unseen force shook the apartment, till the crystal pendants of the lustre suspended in the middle rattled loudly against each other. A bell placed on the table was lifted by invisible hands and carried some distance; and a handkerchief that the Empress held in her hand was softly taken from her by invisible means and seen to rise and float in the air.
While the hands of all present rested on the table, other hands appeared. One of these, the small hand of a child, approached the Duchess de Montebello, who started back from it. The Empress was seated next to her. No longer susceptible of similar terror since she had held in hers the hand she recognized, she cried, "For my part, I am not afraid! (Moi, je n'ai pas peur!)" and caught the little hand in hers, where she felt it gradually melt back into air.
At this second seance at the Tuileries, the phenomenon of a massive table becoming light or heavy at desire exhibited itself in a marked degree, and greatly interested the Emperor, who assured himself of the fact by repeated trials, one moment easily moving the table with a couple of fingers, and the next, on the expression of his wish that it should become heavy; trying in vain to stir it with his whole strength.
As this is one of the phenomena that have been attributed to delusion, it may be well to refer here to the experiments of Mr. Crookes.
"I had seen on five separate occasions," he writes, "objects varying in weight from 25 to 100lbs. temporarily influenced in such a manner that I and others present could with difficulty lift them from the floor. Wishing to ascertain whether this was a physical fact, or merely due to a variation in the power of our own strength under the influence of imagination, I tested with a weighing machine the phenomenon on two subsequent occasions when I had an opportunity of meeting Mr. Home at the house of a friend. On the first occasion, the increase of weight was from 8lbs, normally, to 36lbs, 48lbs, and 46lbs, in three successive experiments tried under strict scrutiny. On the second occasion, tried about a fortnight after, in the presence of other observers, I found the increase of weight to be from 8lbs. to 23lbs, 43lbs, and 27lbs, in three successive trials, varying the conditions." (Quarterly Journal of Science, October 1871.)