The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1859

Allan Kardec

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The Officer from Crimea

The L’indépendance Belge, which cannot be accused of excessive benevolence with respect to the spiritist beliefs, reported the following fact, reproduced by several newspapers, and that we transcribe with all reservations since we did not have the opportunity of confirming its legitimacy.

“It might be that because our imagination invents and populates a world of souls besides us and above us; be it because the world in which we live and act does actually exist, there is no doubt, at least for me, that some inexplicable accidents do take place, provoking science and challenging reason.”

“During the Crimea war, in one of those sad and slow evenings that wonderfully serve imagination, nightmare and all heavenly and worldly nostalgias, a young officer suddenly stands, leaves his tent, looks for a comrade and says:
• “I have just been visited by my cousin, Ms. T…”
• “Are you daydreaming?”
• “No. She came in, pale and smiley face, just sliding her delicate feet on the hard and rough grounds. She looked at me, after wakening me up with her sweet voice, and said: It is taking you too long! Take care! We sometimes die at war not going to war! I wanted to speak with her, stand up and run to her but she backed up and placing her finger on her lips she said: Silence! Have courage and patience. We will see one another again. Ah, my friend! She was too pale. I am sure that she is sick and that she calls me.”
• “You are crazy and daydreaming, said the friend.”
• “It may be so but what is this agitation in my heart, evoking her and making me see her?”
• “The two friends kept talking and at dawn the friend followed the visionary officer to his tent, when he suddenly shook his head and said: There she is my friend! She is in front of my tent… She signals indicating that I have no faith or trust.”
• “The friend saw nothing, one must say. He did what he could to animate his comrade. With sun rise and daybreak came the sufficiently serious concerns, leaving last night’s ghosts behind. However, as a precautionary measure, a letter was sent to France requesting urgent news from Ms. de T… A few days later a response letter said that Ms. de T… was gravely ill and that if the officer could have been released it was thought that his visit would have a great effect.”
• “Requesting a release at times of tough fights, perhaps on the eve of a decisive attack, justifying with sentimental fears, was something unthinkable. However, I happen to remember that the license was granted and that the officer was about to leave to France when he had another vision. It was vaporous. Ms. de T… pale and mute, slid to the interior of the tent at night, showing him the long white dress that she was dragging along. The young officer did not doubt for a moment that his fiancée was dead. He then reached for one of the guns and blew his own head.”
“In fact, in that very afternoon, at that very moment, Ms. de T… had exhaled her last breath.”
“Was that vision produced by magnetism? I don’t know. Was it madness? Be it! However, it was something that eluded the mockery of the ignorant and even more so the inconvenience of the scientists.”
“As for the authenticity of the fact, I can attest it. Interrogate the officials who spent that long winter in Crimea, and there will be plenty who will tell you about the phenomena of presentiment, visions, mirages of the homeland and relatives, similar to this one that I have just told you.”
“What should be concluded? Nothing, unless I ended my correspondence in a very lugubrious way, by making people sleep even not knowing how to magnetize.”
THÉCEL
As we said in the beginning, we cannot attest the authenticity of the fact. What we can ensure, however, is its possibility. The confirmed examples, old and recent, of warnings from beyond the grave are so numerous that the one above has nothing of more extraordinary than the others, witnessed by so many trustworthy people.
In the old days they could seem supernatural but today when their cause is known and they are psychologically explained, thanks to the spiritist theory, there is nothing that keeps them away from the laws of nature. We will add one observation only: Had this officer known Spiritism he would know that suicide was not the path to connect to his bride, since such act may even keep them apart for longer than he would have lived on Earth. Spiritism would have told him, besides, that a glorious death in the battle field would have been more beneficial to him than that voluntary death, out of an act of weakness. 
Here another fact of warning from beyond the grave, reported by the Gazette d’Arad (Hungary), from November 1858:
“Two Israeli brothers from Gyek, Hungary, had gone to Grosswardein to take their two 14 year-old daughters to a boarding school. Over the following evening the other daughter of one of them, a ten-year-old girl, who stayed home, woke up alarmed, crying, and telling her mother that she had seen her father and uncle in her dream, surrounded by several peasants who wanted to harm them. In the beginning the mother gave no importance to those words. However, as she could not calm the girl down, she then decided to take her to the mayor of the local village, to whom the girl told the same story again, adding that she recognized two of their neighbors among the peasants, and that the event took place near a forest.”
“The mayor requested the two peasant’s houses to be examined, confirming that both were absent. Then, to verify the truth, he sent other emissaries in the direction indicated, finding five bodies in a grove, in the middle of a forest. The bodies were of the two fathers, the two girls and the coachman who was conducting them. The bodies were thrown onto a bonfire to become unrecognizable. The police soon initiated the investigation. The two peasants pointed by the girl were arrested at the very moment when they were trying to exchange bloody money. They confessed the crime in prison, acknowledging God’s hand for the prompt discovery of their crime.”

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