Varieties - the magnetic banquets
On May 23rd, Mesmer’s24 birthday, two annual banquets were held with the presence of the top-
notch dignitaries from Paris and foreign delegates. We have always questioned the fact that such
commemorative solemnity is celebrated in two rival banquets, where each group drinks to the
health of the other and where a toast to the union is unsuccessfully made.
At that point in time, one has the impression that they are about to reconcile. Why then such a
rupture among men who dedicate themselves to the good of humanity and to the cult of truth?
Doesn’t truth show up under the same light to them? Will they have two different ways of
understanding the good of humanity? Are they divided with respect to the principles of their
Science? Absolutely. They have the same beliefs and the same master that is Mesmer. If that master
attends their appeal, as we believe so, he must suffer with the discord among his disciples.
Fortunately, that disunion will not unleash wars like those that covered the world with blood, in the
name of Christ, for the eternal shame of the ones who named themselves Christians. Nevertheless,
however much inoffensive it may be, this war is not less regrettable, although limited to the strikes
of the pen and to the isolated drinking. We would like to see good men united by a common feeling
of fraternity. With that, the magnetic Science would benefit in progress and consideration.
Once the two sides are not divided by doctrinaire divergences, what then explains their antagonism?
We cannot discover the cause except in the susceptibilities inherent to our nature, from which not
even superior men are exempt. The genie of disagreement has agitated its torch at all times. From
the spiritist point of view, this means that the inferior spirits, envious of men’s happiness, find easy
access among them. Happy are those who have enough moral strength to repel their suggestions.
We were given the honor of being invited to both meetings. As they were held simultaneously, and
as we are nothing more than a very much incarnated spirit, not having the gift of ubiquity, we could
only satisfy one of those kind invitations.
We went to the meeting presided by Dr. Duplanty.
It is necessary to say that the adepts of Spiritism do not constitute the majority there. However, we
were pleased to verify that, with the exception of some flicks given to the spirits in the verses sung by Mr. Julio Lovi and the not less amusing sung by Sr. Fortier, who had the honor of a replay, the
Spiritist Doctrine did not suffer inconvenient criticism from anybody, considering the fertility of
some adversaries, despite their self-praised education. Far from that, in a remarkable and deservedly
applauded speech, Dr. Duplanty proclaimed, loud and clear, the respect that we must have for the
sincere beliefs, even when we don’t share them. Without declaring himself pro or con Spiritism, he
wisely observed that the phenomena of magnetism, on revealing to us a hitherto unknown power,
must make us even more circumspect with respect to the phenomena that can still reveal and that, at
least, it would be imprudence to deny the ones we don’t understand or have not yet attested, mainly
when supported by the authority of honored men, whose lights and loyalty could not be doubted.
These are wise words for which we thank Mr. Duplanty. They singularly contrast with those of
certain adepts of Magnetism that inconsiderately shed ridicule onto a Doctrine which they
confessedly ignore, forgetting that on other occasions they were also targeted by sarcasm; that they
were sent to the hospices and attacked by the skeptical as enemies of religion and common sense.
Now that Magnetism has been rehabilitated by the forces of circumstances; that one does not make
fun of it; that we can fearlessly confess ourselves as magnetizers, it is not much dignified and
charitable to use those reprisals against a sister Science which can only give them a beneficial
support. We don’t attack men, they say; we only laugh at something that seems to ridicule, while we
wait for the light to be brought upon us. In our opinion, the magnetic Science, which we have
professed for 35 years, should be inseparable from seriousness. It seems that there is no lack of
pasture to their satirical energy in this world, not having the need to target serious things. They
forget that the same language was used against them; that they themselves accused the incredulous
for their lightheartedly judgment and said, as we do now, in turn: “Patience! They who laugh last
In the No 5 issue (May, 1858), a typo disfigured a proper name that lost its meaning because of that.
In the article “Family Conversations from Beyond the Grave – Mozart – Second Article”, instead of
Poryolise, read Pergolèse.