315. Of all the spirit phenomena, those which most lend themselves to fraud are physical phenomena, from motives it is useful to take into consideration. First, because, addressing themselves more to the eyes than to the intelligence, they are those that jugglery can most easily imitate. Secondly, that, awaking curiosity more than the others, they are more suited to attract the crowd, and are, consequently, more productive. In this double point of view, charlatans have every interest in simulating them : the spectators, mostly strangers to the science, seek them usually more as an amusement than as a serious instruction ; and every one knows that what amuses pays better than what instructs. But set that aside, there is another motive not less decided. If juggling can imitate material effects, for which only address is needed, we have not, as yet, known it to possess the gift of improvisation, which requires a degree of intelligence not very common, neither the gift of producing those beautiful and sublime dictations, often so apropos, which the spirits give in their communications. This recalls to us the following fact : —
A literary man, quite well known, came, one day, to see us, and told us that he was a very good intuitive writing medium, and that he would put himself at the disposal of the Spirit Society. As we were accustomed to admit into the society only mediums whose faculties were known to us, we requested him to come and give proofs in a special reunion. He came ; several ex perienced mediums gave dissertations and answers of remarkable precision on questions proposed and sub jects unknown to them. When this gentleman's turn came, he wrote some insignificant words, said he was indisposed that day, and since then we have never seen him : he doubtless found that the role of medium for intelligent effects was more difficult to play than he had supposed.