92. The explanation given respecting the movement of inert bodies is equally applicable to all the spontaneous phenomena that may occur. The noises referred to, though louder than the rappings on tables, have the same origin; the throwing or displacement of objects is effected by the same force that raises a table. It may be asked here:
"Where is the medium in the cases just referred to?" - Spirits have told us that, even in these cases, there is always some one whom the unseen agent makes use of, with, or without, his knowledge. Spontaneous manifestations very rarely occur in isolated places; it is almost always in inhabited houses that such things take place, and through the unconscious mediumship of some one present, whose influence aids their production, without his desiring to do so. Such persons are unmistakably mediums, although themselves unaware of their power, and may therefore be called natural mediums. They are, in comparison with other mediums, what natural somnambulists are to magnetic somnambulists, and offer quite as curious a subject of study.
93. The voluntary or involuntary intervention of a person endowed with a special aptitude for the production of these phenomena appears to be necessary in the greater number of cases, although cases occur in which the spirit appears to act alone; but even then, it is quite possible that he may draw the animalised fluid from some other source than the persons present : a possibility which explains why It IS that spirits, though incessantly around us, do not always exert a perturbing action. To do this, it is necessary, first, that the spirit should will it, and, secondly, that he should have some motive for doing it; otherwise, he does nothing. It is also necessary for him to find, precisely in the place where he wishes to act, the person or persons fitted to second his action; a coincidence of comparatively rare occurrence. If an available person enters unexpectedly, the spirit may profit by the opportunity thus afforded; or, in spite of the concurrence of favourable circumstances, he may be prevented from acting by some superior will, which does not permit him to act as he wishes. He may be only permitted to act under certain limitations, and in a case in which the manifestations he wishes to produce would be useful, either as a means of conviction, or as a test for the person who is the object of them.
94. We will only quote, in illustration of the foregoing remarks, a conversation in reference to the occurrences in the rue des Noyers, in Paris,
in June 1860. (See the Revue Spirite, for August 1860.)
1. (Question addressed to Saint Louis.) Will you have the kindness to tell us if the facts reported to have taken place in the rue des Noyers really took place? We have no doubt as to their possibility.
"Yes, they really occurred; the popular imagination exaggerates them, but they were really the work of a spirit who likes to amuse himself at the expense of the inhabi- tants of the house in question."
2. Is there any one in the house who is the cause of these manifestations?
"Such manifestations are always caused by the presence of the person attacked; they arise from the ill-will of the perturbing spirit towards an inhabitant of the place to which he conies; and his object is to annoy him, and to drive him out of the house."
3. We would ask if, among tile people of tile house, there is some one who causes these phenomena by a spontaneous, involuntary, medianimic influence?
"Without such an influence, these occurrences could not have taken place. A spirit dwells in a place for which lie has a predilection ; lie remains passive, as long as there is in it no one fitted to be used as a medium; but if such a person comes thither, he uses his medianimity as much as he can."
4. Is the presence of such a person at the very place itself indispensable?
"It is so usually, and such is the case in the present instance; this is why I said that, without the presence of such a person, the occurrences could not have taken place. But it was not lily object to generalise; there are cases in which the immediate presence of a medium is not necessary."
5. Uproarious spirits being always of an inferior order, is the aptitude for serving as their auxiliary a presumption of inferiority on the part of the person they use as a medium, and does it show his sympathy with the beings who thus use him?
"No; not precisely so; for this aptitude results from a physical disposition
nevertheless, it sometimes implies, on the part of the medium, a physical tendency from which he should endeavour to free himself. The more elevated you are morally, the higher are the spirits you attract; and these necessarily keep off the lower ones."
6. Where does the spirit find the projectiles he makes use of?
"The different objects thus employed are generally taken from the spot where the manifestations occur, or in its neighbourhood; a force proceeding from the spirit impels them into the air, and they fall into the place designed by him."
7. Since these spontaneous manifestations are often permitted, and even ordered, with a view to convincing the incredulous, it appears to us that, if the latter were them-selves the objects of these phenomena, they would be compelled to yield to the evidence of their own perceptions. They sometimes complain that they cannot get hold of conclusive facts is it not in the power of spirits to give such persons some proof that they could not deny?
"Do not atheists and materialists witness, every moment, the effects of the power of God and of thought? But does this hinder them from denying both God and the soul? Did the miracles of Jesus convert all his contemporaries? Do not those who, in your time, ask you to let them see some manifestations, too often resemble the Pharisees who said 'Master, show us a sign'? Those who are not convinced, by the wonders of the creation, of the existence of beings superior to man, would hardly be induced to admit the existence of spirits, even if the latter should appear to them in ways the most convincing. Opportunities of seeing are always to be found by those who seek for them with honesty and sincerity. Incredulity cannot hinder the accomplishment of the Providential purposes; it will not hinder the development of the spiritist movement. Do not trouble yourself about opposition, which is, to the truth, what shadow is to the picture, giving it a higher relief."
8. Do you think it would be of any use to evoke this spirit, so that we might ask him some questions?
"Evoke him if you will; but he is a spirit of low degree, who will not be able to give you much information."
95. (Communication with the disturbing spirit of the rue des Noyers.)
"Why do you call me? Do you want to have some stones thrown at you? In that case, we should soon see you scampering away, though you look so brave!"
2. We should not be frightened even though you threw stones at us; we ask you to tell us if it is really in your power to do so?
"Perhaps I could not, here; you have a guardian who looks so sharply after you."
3. Was there any one in the rue des Noyers who helped you in playing off your tricks on the inmates of that house?
"Certainly, I had a capital instrument, and no wise and priggish spirit to hinder me; for I am merry and like to amuse myself sometimes."
4. Who was the person that served as your instrument? "A maidservant."
5. Was she your auxiliary unawares?
"Oh yes; poor girl she was the most frightened of them all."
6. Did you do this from ill-will?
" I ? I had no ill-will whatever ; but you men, who get hold of everything, will turn this to your advantage."
7. What do you mean? We do not understand you.
"What I wanted was to amuse myself; but you spiritists will study the thing, and you will have one more fact to prove that we exist."
8. You say you had no ill-will; but you broke all the windows of the apartment; and that was a real injury of your doing!
"That's a mere trifle."
9. Where did you get the things you threw into the house?
"They are common enough ; I found them in the yard, and in the neighbouring gardens."
10. Did you find them all, or did you fabricate some of them? (See Chap. VIII.) "I created nothing, composed nothing."
11. If you had not found them, could you have made them?
"That would have been more difficult; but we can mix things together, and so make a sort of a whole."
12. Now tell us how you threw them?
"Ah! that is more difficult to tell. I helped myself by the electric nature of the girl, joined to my own, which is less material; we were able thus to transport these objects between us."
13. You would not object, I think, to give us some information about yourself. Tell us, first of all, if you have been long dead?
"A long time ; full fifty years."
14. What (lid you do when living?
"Not much good; I did rough work, such as picking up rags, &c., in this quarter; and people used to tease me, because I was too fond of Goodman Noah's red liquor. So I wanted to make them all decamp from the house."
15. Is it of yourself, and of your own free-will, that you have answered our questions?
"I had an instructor."
"Your good King Louis."
Remark. - This question was suggested by the nature of some of the above answers, which appeared to be beyond the attainment of this spirit, both in point of ideas, and of expression. There is nothing surprising in his having been aided by more enlightened spirit, wishing to take advantage of this occasion, in order to give us information; on the contrary, cases of the kind are very common. But there was a remarkable peculiarity in the present instance, the influence of another spirit being made apparent in the very writing of the answers in which he intervened, and which was more even and flowing than the rough and irregular writing of the rag-picker, which was indistinct, and of a different character.
17. What are you doing now? do you ever think of your future?
"Not yet; I am a wanderer. People think so little of me upon the earth; nobody prays for me. I am not helped, and therefore I do not exert myself."
Remark.-We shall see, farther on, how much we may contribute to the comfort and advancement of inferior spirits, by prayer and counsel.
18. What was your name when living? "Jeannet."
19. Well, Jeannet, we will pray for you. Tell us if out evocation has given you pleasure, or whether it has annoyed you?
"Pleasure, rather; for you are kind, good folks, though somewhat too grave. You have listened to me, and I am pleased with that."