Mr. Home, Second Article (see February 1858 issue)
As said before, Mr. Home is a medium of the kind that physical phenomena are more readily
produced under his influence, not excluding, however, the more intelligent manifestations.
Every effect which manifests the action of a free will is, as a consequence, intelligent, that is, it
is no longer mechanical and could not be attributed to an exclusively material agent. From this
to the more instructive communications of an elevated moral and philosophical reach, however,
there is a great distance and it is not of our knowledge that Mr. Home obtains those of such a
nature. As he is not a writing medium, the majority of the answers given through him are
produced by vibrating raps, indicating the letter of the alphabet, always an imperfect and slow
means which hardly serves the developments of certain extension. Nevertheless, he can also
write by a process which we will discuss soon.
Let us say, from starters and general principle that the ostensive manifestations, those which
shock our senses, can be spontaneous or provoked. The first ones are independent of the will,
many times they even happen against the will of the one who is their object and to whom they
are not always pleasant. Facts of such a nature are frequent and without resorting to the reports
more or less authentic of the remote eras, contemporary history offers us numerous examples
whose cause, ignored in principle, is perfectly known today: these are, for example, the
remarkable noises, the disordered displacements of objects, the drawing of curtains, the removal
of blankets, certain apparitions, etc.
Certain persons are gifted with a special faculty which gives them the power to provoke those
phenomena, so to speak, at least partially, at will. That faculty is not so rare and in a hundred
people at least fifty have it, on a higher or lower degree.
What distinguishes Mr. Home is that this faculty is developed in him, as in the mediums of his
kind, say, in an exceptional way. Some people do not achieve more than light raps or an
insignificant displacement of a table, whereas under the influence of Mr. Home one can hear the
most striking noises and all pieces of furniture of a room can be scrambled and stacked on top of
each other. However extraordinary these phenomena may be, the enthusiasm of some eager
admirers still found a way of amplifying them through pure and imaginative invention. On
another hand, the detractors did not remain inactive: they told all sorts of stories which only
took place in their imagination.
Here is an example:
The Marquis of..., one of the figures who mostly showed interest on Mr. Home, and in whose
residence he was received in the intimacy, was with him one day at the Opera. Mr. P.... one of
our members who personally knows both of them, was also in the audience. His neighbor
establishes a conversation with him. The subject is Mr. Home.
- Would you believe, he says, that the pretentious witch, that charlatan, found ways to
penetrate into the Marquis of ... house? But his trickery was discovered and he was kicked
and thrown out into the streets, as a vile schemer?
- Are you sure? Asks Mr. P... Do you know the Marquis?
- Certainly, responded the other.
- In that case, replied Mr. P..., look over to that parterre balcony box. You will be able to see
the Marquis, accompanied by Mr. Home himself, who he does not seem to wish to kick out.
After this, our unfortunate gossiper, considering more appropriate not to continue the
conversation, grabbed his hat and left.
From this one can assess the value of certain statements. For sure, if some facts which are
promoted by slander were true, many doors would have been closed to him. However, as the
most respectable houses were always open to him, one has to conclude that he has always and
everywhere behaved like a gentleman. By the way, it was enough to have had a brief
conversation with Mr. Home to realize that with his shyness and simplicity of character, he
would be an awkward impostor. We insist on this point for the morality of the cause.
Let us go back to the manifestations.
Since our objective is to make the truth known, in the interest of Science, all that we report was
collected from such authentic sources that we can ensure the most scrupulous accuracy: we got
them from very serious eyewitnesses, so much enlightened and highly placed that their honesty
cannot be in doubt. If it was said that these people could have been, in good faith, victims of an
illusion, we would reply that there are circumstances that dismiss any assumption of that nature.
Incidentally, these people were very interested in knowing the truth, thus they would hardly not
be prepared against any false appearance.
Mr. Home usually begins his sessions by the known events: raps on a table, or anywhere else in
the apartment, by the ways we have already described. It is then followed by the movement of
the table, which operates, in principle, by the laying of his hands only, or from several gathered
people, then at a distance and without physical contact: it is a kind of warming up test. Very
often he does not obtain more than that. It depends on his current disposition and, sometimes, of
that of the assistants. There are people before whom he has never produced anything, even
friendly people. We will not stay long on this subject which is so much known nowadays and
that only changes in speed and energy. Many times, after several swings and oscillations, the
table rises from the floor and gradually moves up, slowly, by small impulses, not even a few
centimeters, but then it moves up to the ceiling and beyond the reach of hands. After having
been suspended in space for a few seconds, it moves down as it had climbed, slowly, gradually.
The suspension of an inert body having a specific weight incomparably higher than that of the
air is a known fact and therefore it is understood that the same can happen to an animated body.
We are not aware of any occurrence in which Mr. Home had acted upon anybody else other than
himself; yet the fact has not occurred only in Paris but in several places, both in Florence and in
France, especially in Bordeaux, in the presence of the most respectable witnesses whose names
we would cite if needed.
As with the table, his body was elevated to the ceiling and taken back down in the same
way. What is bizarre in this phenomenon is the fact that it is not produced by an act of his
will. He has said himself that he does not notice the fact and always thinks he is on the
ground except when he looks downward. The witnesses are the ones who see him rising.
According to him, at those moments he experiences the sensation produced by the rocking
of the ship over the waves. Indeed, this fact is not absolutely peculiar to Mr. Home. History
records many authentic examples which we will report later.
Of all the manifestations produced by Mr. Home, the most extraordinary is, no doubt, the
apparitions, which is the reason why we insist on them in view of the serious resulting
consequences and the light they shed on a number of other facts. The same applies to the sounds
produced in the air; musical instruments that play by themselves, etc. We will examine these
phenomena in detail in the next issue.
Back from a trip to Holland, where he has produced a profound effect in the court and in the
high society, Mr. Home has just left for Italy. Having his health seriously altered, he needed a
We acknowledge with pleasure the news given by some newspapers, of an inheritance of 6,000
francs that was given to him by an English lady that he has converted to the Spiritist Doctrine
and in recognition for the satisfaction that she experienced. By all accounts, Mr. Home deserved
such a proof of consideration. From the donor’s side, the act is a precedent that will have the
applause of all those who share our convictions. Hopefully one day the Doctrine will have its
Maecenas: posterity will inscribe his name among the benefactors of humanity.
Religion teaches us the existence of the soul and its immortality; Spiritism gives us their living
and tangible proof, no longer by reasoning but by facts.
Materialism is one of the vices of today’s society because it favors selfishness. What is there,
really, out of the self, to someone who only cares about matter and the present life?
The Spiritist Doctrine, intimately connected with religious ideas, explaining about our
nature, shows us happiness in the practice of the evangelical virtues; it reminds man of his
duties to God, to society and to himself. Assisting in its propagation is to strike a mortal
blow to the scourge of skepticism that invades us like a contagious disease. Honor,
therefore, to those who employ on Earth their God’s favored gifts to that duty!