273. Mediums are generally much more sought for invocations of private interest than for communications of general interest; this is explained by the very natural desire we have to converse with those who are dear to us. We consider that we ought to make several important recommendations on this subject to mediums. First, to accede to this desire only with the utmost reserve with persons in whose sincerity they cannot completely trust, and to be on their guard against the snares that malicious persons might set for .them. Secondly, not to lend themselves to it. under any pretext, if they discover motives of curiosity or interest, and not a serious intention on the part of the invocator; to refuse themselves to all idle questions, or those aside from the circle of questions th.it may rationally be addressed to spirits. The suggestions should be put with clearness, perspicuity, and without evasion, if categorical answers are desired.
All those that have an insidious character should be declined, for it is well known that spirits do not like those intended to put them to the proof; to insist on questions of this nature is to wish to be deceived. The invocator should go frankly and openly to the desired end, without subterfuge or windings: if he fears to explain himself, he would better abstain. If invocations are made in the absence of the one who has requested them, it should be done with the greatest prudence ; it is even oftentimes preferable to abstain entirely, those persons alone being fit to criticise the answers, to judge of .the identity, to challenge explanations if there is cause, and to put incidental questions brought up by circumstances. Besides, their presence is a bond which attracts the spirit, often little disposed to communicate with strangers for whom he has no sympathy. In a word, the medium should avoid all that could transform him into a consulting agent, which, in the eyes of many persons, is synonymous with a fortune-teller.