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accosted him thus: “I am an unblessed spirit, who have wandered here for many hundred years, and have never found rest in the grave.” She then informed him that under the walls was buried an immense treasure, which could only be found by three men in the world, and that he was one of the three. The soldier, fancying his fortune made, promised to obey her in all things, and received her command to be on the spot the following midnight. In the mean time the other sentinel had returned to his post, and had overheard what the spectre had related to his comrade. He said not a word, however, but the next night he went to the appointed place, and concealed himself in some recess close by. When the soldier who was to dig for the treasure arrived, with his spade and other implements, the white spectre appeared to him, but knowing that he was watched, she put off the digging till another night. The man who had intended to act as a spy was taken suddenly ill as soon as he got home ; and feeling that he was about to die, he sent for his comrade, confessed that he had watched him, implored him to avoid witchcraft and supernatural beings, and recommended him to consult the priest, who was a wise and good man.
The soldier took his advice, and laid the matter before the priest, who directed him to do the spectre's bidding, only taking care that she should be the first to touch the treasure. The man accordingly met the ghost at the appointed time and place, and she showed him the spot where the treasure was deposited; but before taking it up, she told him that one half would be for him, and the other half must be divided between the Church and the poor. But the demon of avarice had entered into his heart, and he exclaimed : “What! shall I not have the whole of it?” Scarcely had these words passed his lips, than the spirit uttered a fearfully thrilling cry, and disappeared in a blue flame over the castle moat. The soldier was taken ill, and died three days afterwards. The story became noised about, and a poor student determined to try his luck. He repaired to the old castle at midnight, saw the wandering “White Woman,” told her his errand, and offered his services. But she informed him that he was not one of the chosen three, and could not assist her, and that the walls would thenceforth stand so firmly, that hand of man should never overthrow them. However, she promised at some future time to reward him for his good intentions.
One day, long after, when he happened to be loitering near the old castle, and thinking with compassion of the fate of the restless spirit who haunted it, he stumbled over something; and, on stooping to see what it was, he discovered a large heap of gold, of which he forthwith took possession. As foretold by the spectre, the walls of the castle are still standing, and the story goes, that whenever any portion of them has been overthrown, it has always been raised again by invisible agents during the night. Matter-of-fact people assert that the locality of this ghost tradition is a hill, not a castle.
BY FREDERICK MARSHALL. ALL London has been to the top of the Haymarket to see Robin's conjurings, and his wife's “second sight;" and the ingenuity of papas and mammas has been most painfully strained in their efforts to explain to their puzzled offspring the astounding doings of the necromancer and his spouse.
It would much edify the curious public to learn the crafty processes by which half-crowns are made to jump into an empty box, or live pigeons out of a thin portfolio ; but the secret of such delusions is the stock-intrade of Bosco, Houdin, Robin, and their fellow wizards; and though it would amuse the readers of the New Monthly to learn the simple means by which such apparent impossibilities are effected, they must remember that their wonder is the consequence of their ignorance, and that all the conjurors would starve if the rest of the world were as wise as they.
The secrets of " magie blanche, magie noire, et autre,” shall therefore, for the present, retain their mystery; and the British nation, unenlightened, shall go on staring and gaping at delusions which most children could produce if only they once knew how.
There is, however, one branch of the science of recent professors of the black art which may, without injustice to their interests or rights, be examined and explained; for some of the less worthy among them have claimed for it the attention and respect which is due only to great discoveries.
“Double Vue,” or “second sight,” was first put forward in Paris some six or seven years ago, and was announced as a new evidence of the prodigious effects of mesmerism and magnetic influence. Performances of it were given, before astonished audiences, in the principal towns of France; and it was introduced into England (though only as an acknowledged trick) by Robert Houdin and his son. It has since become familiar to everybody from the admirable representations of M. and Madame Robin.
As “ double vue” is simply a perfectly contrived mechanism of words, and has no more to do with “ electric sympathy" than with the botany of the fixed stars, and as it is still largely employed to impose upon the credulity of those weak people who believe whatever they see or hear, it will be useful, as well as amusing, to set forth its principles and process.
It is, perhaps, prudent to observe that there may, very possibly, be a great deal of reality and valuable truth in what is generally known as “ Mesmerism ;" it is by no means intended to assert the contrary; but it is, at the same time, certain that most of the results of the so-called magnetism, somnambulism, and “lucidity,” which have lately been exhibited in England, have been obtained by means almost exactly analogous to those about to be described : and though of course it is not pretended that the key now published is the identical one employed by all professors of supernatural knowledge (it being obviously capable of great variation), yet the principle is the same throughout, and they who have
once acquired a knowledge of it can easily detect the form in which it is applied.
In “experiments” of second sight the “subject” is generally blindfolded, and placed at a distance from the operator, sometimes even in an adjoining room, but always within easy earshot; the operator receives from the audience the questions to which they desire answers, or the objects which they wish to be described; and he asks the subject, in apparently the most natural and meaningless words, for the required reply.
Those natural and meaningless words convey, with infallible exactness, the answer which it is necessary to give.
The first letters of the consecutive words in the operator's question stand for the required letters or figures; and the whole science of « double vue” consists in nothing more than a clever pre-arranged use of initial letters, which signify either numbers or other letters than themselves, according to the nature of the question.
Let us suppose, for instance, that the number 12 is asked for. The operator calls to the subject “ Dites le nombre,"* or, to utterly destroy suspicion, he may even say to the questioner, “Demandez-le vous-même.” In either case the subject would unhesitatingly and instantly answer 66 Twelve.” The following table will show how simply this is effected:
1 is conveyed by the letter D.
Q, or “Quel est.”
................................. In the example given above the first letters of the consecutive words, “ Dites le nombre,” and “ Demandez-le vous-même," are D L, which, as the table shows, stand for 1 and 2, or 12.
It will, however, be at once obseryed that the question must be so arranged as not only to announce the figures themselves to the subject, but also to tell him how many of them there are; as, otherwise, he might suppose that every consecutire initial letter in a long question stood for a required figure. This difficulty is got over by a very neat expedient.
When a single figure is asked for, the operator employs in his question the word “chiffre.” If, for instance, a 9 be wanted, he would say, “ Nommez le chiffre ;" and the subject perceiving, from the use of “chiffre,” that one figure was all he had to give, would at once dame 9, which is the figure represented by N. If this guide were not before him he would give the equivalents of all the initial letters in the sentence, N, L, and C, and would say, 923.
The following table of questions shows how all the single figures may be conveyed :
1. Dites le chiffre.
* The key is given in French, as nearly all performances of second sight are carried on in that language; but it may of course be easily arranged in English.
2. Le chiffre posé.
In like manner, if two figures are required, the operator uses, instead of “chiffre," the expression “nombre;" and the subject being thereby warned that he has a double number to declare, announces the value of the initial letters of the first two words.
The following examples will make this clear: 22 Lisez le nombre posé.
2 2 99 Nomme nous le nombre. 99
Citez promptement le nombre. 62 Annoncez le nombre. 6
2 00 Maintenant, mon ami, dites le nombre. 0
0 To indicate to the subject that three figures are required, the operator commences his question with the seemingly valueless word “ Bien” (the initial of which represents no figure).
Thus : 139 Bien-Dites ce nombre.
1 3 9 732 Bien-Faites connaitre le nombre. 7 3
2 009 Bien-Maintenant, monsieur, nommez le nombre. 0
0 9 When four figures are wanted, the question opens with “Très bien :" 5906 Très bien-Quel nombre monsieur a-t-il posé ?
5 90 6 7280 Très bien-Faites-lui vous-même la demande.
1. I 2.8.0 1725 Très bien-Demandez, faites la question.
7 2 5 For five figures the operator begins with “Eh bien.” 52950 Eh bien-Quel est le nombre que monsieur vient d'écrire ?
5 2 9 5 0 “Bien, très bien,” announces six figures : 629506 Bien, très bien-Annoncez le nombre que monsieur a posé.
6 2 9 5 0 : 6 For seven figures the operator begins by using the word “Faites” in some apparently innocent question, such as, “ Faites savoir le nombre de chiffres posés ;" and when the answer, 7, is given, he would add, supposing such a number as 1912953 to be required, “ Dites-nous donc le
1 9 1 2 nombre que cela produit.”
Such high numbers are scarcely ever asked, but eight, nine, and ten figures are expressed by the previous use, in the same manner as for seven, of the words, “ Voyez,” or “Voyons,” “ Nommez," and “Dites moi.” 0
Whenever the number consists of a repetition of the same figure, the guiding expression at the beginning of the sentence is followed only by one word announcing what the figure is ; thus, if 333 be asked, the question would simply be, “ Bien-Calculez.” “Bien” shows that there
3 are three figures, and the C must be multiplied to that extent. If 888,888 were required, the operator would say, “Bien, très bienvoyons.”
The ordinary fractions, 1, 1, and ,, are expressed by “ Dites," “ Dites donc,” and “ Dites le donc;" } and } by “ Eh, dites,” and “Eh, dites donc." Large fractions are announced by the word “ Maintenant,” and are expressed by the already given process, with a marked hesitation between the two terms. Thus:
0 Maintenant-Dites vite ce-nombre que monsieur a écrit.
1 8 3 9 5 0 Such is the key to second sight in numbers. It is certainly vastly ingenious, and is very creditable to M. Gandon, who is supposed to have been its inventor. It is extremely easy to practise, and the young lady readers of these pages will do well to get it up as a drawing-room amusement.
The key to the announcement of objects, flowers, cards, and names, is not quite so simple, and requires in its working a considerably greater effort of memory and calculation.
It consists in changing the meaning of all the letters of the alphabet, and in composing the questions which are addressed to the subject of words commencing with the letters which, in regular alphabetical order, immediately follow those which form the name of the object to be described. If the name of the object begin with C, the operator must employ the letter D to commence his phrase; and if the second letter of the name be 0, the second word in the phrase must begin with P. With the exceptions named in the following table, this rule is acted upon throughout the alphabet. A signifies V, because the letters X, Y, and Z, which follow V, cannot
be used to commence a word of interrogation. ............ A
there are very few words beginning with G which would be serviceable in questions ; the word “ Regardez” is therefore employed, as a conventional sign, for the letter F.