200. W E shall speak here especially of writing medi- ums, because that is the most wide-spread mediumship, and because it is, at the same time, the simplest and most convenient, that which gives the most satisfactory and most complete results ; it is also the one all per- sons desire. Unhappily, up to this time there is no diagnostic that can indicate, even approximately, the possession of this faculty; the physical signs in which some have believed they could discover such indica- tions have in them no certainty. It is found in chil- dren and in the aged, among men and among women, whatever may be the temperament, the state of health, the degree of intellectual or moral development. There is but one single means to prove its existence; that is to make the trial.
Writing can be obtained, as we have seen,*by means of baskets and planchettes, or directly with the hand; this last method being the easier, and, we may say, the only one at present employed, it is the one to which we shall give the preference. The process is of the simplest: it consists solely in taking pencil and paper, and the position of writing, without other preparation ; but to succeed, several recommendations are indispensable.