The following fact was communicated to the Society by Mr. Achille
R…, member, according to a letter from one of his friends from
Limoges, dated July 18th:
“At the moment our town is involved with an interesting fact for
Spiritists, which I promptly pass to Mr. Allan Kardec through you. I myself
collected detailed information directly from witnesses of the fact in
question, that is, in the prison where the hero of the story is now found.
A soldier of the first regiment of the infantry, called Mallet, was condemned
to spend one month in prison for having stole the amount of
three francs that belonged to one of his comrades. His sentence will expire
in seven days. This young soldier lost a nineteen year old brother, a
servant, about eight years ago, and for the past seven years he sees at least
four nights out of eight, after midnight, a large flame with a little sheep
sticking out from the middle. The vision terrified him but he dared not
talk about it. Alone in prison he felt even more terrified and begged the
jailer to bring him the company of other prisoners. Four soldiers of the
second regiment of mounted hunters were sent to share his place. It was I am when Mallet woke up and saw the flame and the sheep, as did the
As I told you the apparition repeats often; the poor young man is so
affected that he cries, remains devastated and refuses to eat. The medical
officer of the regiment wanted to attest the fact but did not stay long
enough and the vision only took place an hour and a half after he had left.
A priest from Saint-Michel, father F…, was luckier, as it seems, since he
took notes. I shall pay him a visit to ask him about his opinion.
However, that is not all. The jailer told me that he had seen the jail’s
door open several times in the morning, although he had carefully locked
it on the night before. Mallet was advised to interrogate the little sheep
what he did last night, and this is the answer given to him and that I
literally heard from him: Let me say “de profundis” (psalms 130) and the
Eucharist; I am your brother; I will not come back.
This is the accurate description of the facts. I pass it on to Mr. Allan
Kardec so that he can do as he pleases.”
Questions from a spiritist
from Sétif to Mr. Oscar
The following letter was addressed to us by one of our subscribers from
Sétif, Algeria, where there are several adepts who receive remarkable
communications, with which we have already presented our readers.
Mr. Dumas has already told you about an extraordinary phenomenon
that took place with my sixteen-year-old son, a medium
of a singular kind. Every time that there is an evocation he falls
asleep without magnetization and remains in that state responding
to the questions which are addressed to the spirit through his
intermediary. When he wakes up he remembers nothing. When
in trance he responds in Latin, English and German, languages
that he has no knowledge about. It is a fact witnessed by many
people and that I assure you, for what I have of most sacred, and
even to Mr. Oscar Comettant. I have in my hands a report from him dated October 27th, 1859 in which he writes: “But what is
your belief? Perhaps Mr. Allan Kardec will ask me.”
I, Sir, will not ask you if you believe in something, first because
it is not of my concern; second because there are people who believe
in nothing. Mr. Comettant is supported by Voltaire, who did not
believe in anything that reason could not understand. He is wrong
because despite the immense God given knowledge of Voltaire, there
are thousands of things that are known today and that went unsuspected
by his reason. Well then, by denying a fact whose reality one
does not wish to acknowledge, I question in which side is the absurd?
I address Mr. Comettant directly and say this: Let us admit that it is
not the spirits that speak with us. Then give us a logical explanation
of the cited fact. If you deny it a priori, I call you to the court of reason
that you so invoke; if you catch me in a lie then I agree to make a
public confession or to be taken as a mad man. Otherwise I am ready
to fight you in the terrain of the facts. However, before starting the
argument I ask you this:
1st – Do you believe in natural somnambulism and have
you seen people in such state?;
2nd – Have you seen somnambulistic persons writing?
3rd – Have you seen somnambulistic persons responding
to mental questions?
4th – Have you seen somnambulistic persons responding
in unknown languages?
I do need a simple yes or no to all these questions. If there is a yes we
will then move to something else; if it is no I take the burden of making
you see and then you can explain the facts at your own discretion.
Yours sincerely, etc.
Courtois With respect to the letter above we shall make the following considerations.
It is likely that Mr. Comettant will not respond to Mr. Courtois, as
he did not answer other people who wrote to him about the same subject.
If he established a controversy it would certainly be on the grounds of
sarcasm, a terrain on which one always says the last word and where no
serious individual would like to follow him. We hope that Mr. Courtois
leaves him in the momentary silence of his incredulity, since it is sufficient
to him and he is okay with the fact that he is an issue. Since he only has
jokes to oppose its means that he has nothing better to offer. Well then,
considering that jokes are not reason, to the eyes of sensible people that is
a confession of defeat.
Mr. Courtois is not right when taking the incredulous’ denial too
seriously. The materialists don’t even believe that they have a soul and
reduce themselves to the modest role of robots. How can they admit to
spirits around them if they don’t believe that they themselves have a spirit?
Speaking about spirits and their communications is to begin where the
materialists should stop. Since they don’t admit the first cause they cannot
admit the consequences. One would say that since they have reason they
should yield to the evidence. That is true but this is precisely the reasoning
that they lack. As a matter of fact, it is well known that the worst blind
person is the one that does not wish to see. Let them be in peace because
their denial will not impede truth from spreading, as they cannot stop the
water from running.