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not counting the baggage-carriers and engineers, nor the infantry and the foreign allies. Of this number, eighty thousand were Horsevultures, and twenty thousand mounted on Herb-wings, which are monstrous birds, all shaggy with pot-herbs, which they use for wings; the pinions bear a strong resemblance to lettuce-leaves. On these birds were mounted, and drawn up in array, the Millet-throwers and Onion-fighters, who were strengthened by an allied force from the Great Bear-thirty thousand Flea-archers, and fifty thousand Wind
The Flea-archers are mounted on prodigious feas, from which they derive their appellation. Each flea is about as big as twelve elephants. The Wind-coursers are not mounted, but they are borne through the air, without wings, in the following manner :- - they gird on them long garments, which reach to the feet, and expanding the folds so as to be filled by the wind, they scud along as if with sails, in the manner of ships. These are mostly targeteers in the battles which take place.
“It was said, too, that the Acorn-sparrows would be there, from the stars above Cappadocia, in number seventy thousand: and the Horsecranes, five thousand. These, however, I did not see; for they did not arrive: wherefore I have not presumed to attempt a description of them, for indeed some rather extraordinary and incredible accounts were given of them! This was the force of King Endymion. Their armour was the same with all: they had helmets made of beans, which grow very large and strong in that country. Their breastplates were made of lupines, the husks of which they stitched together. The pod of the lupine grows there extremely hard, like horn. Their shields and swords were similar to those of the Greeks. At the proper time they drew up in the following order :—the Horse-vultures occupied the right wing, in which was the king, with the bravest about his person, and in which we, too, were placed. In the left wing were ranged the Herb-wings; in the middle the allies, each according to their own nation. The infantry amounted to about ten millions, and were thus
They have in that wonderful nation a great quantity of spiders, of a vast size, each of them very much bigger than the Cyclades islands; these were ordered to weave a web the whole way
between the Moon and the Morning Star. As soon as ever they had finished it, the king drew up his foot-soldiers upon it;—the leaders of these were Nyctophorion, the son of Eudianax, and two others. The left wing of the enemy was composed of the Horse-ants, and amongst them was Phaëthon, the king. These Horse-ants are creatures of a prodigious size, very much resembling the ants with us, excepting in their proportions, for the biggest of them might be about two acres in size. Not only their riders, but the creatures themselves fought, and that most ferociously, with their horns. Their number was stated to be about fifty thousand. On the right of these were drawn up the Air-gnats, about equal to the last in number, all of them archers, riding on immense gnats. Next to these were the Air-dancers, light armed, and on foot, but still valiant warriors. They darted from a distance immense radishes; and whoever was hit, could not hold out long, but very soon died, his wounds putrefying.”
DESCRIPTION OF THE MOONITES.
"Above their posteriors a monstrous large cabbage grows, which serves for a tail; it is always in fine flourishing condition, and when they lie on their backs, does not get ruffled nor broken, but remains perfectly uninjured. From their noses issues a sort of very pungent honey; and when they undergo any violent labour or exercise, they anoint their whole bodies with milk, so that, by intermixing a little of this sour honey, cheeses are very commonly produced from their persons! They procure oil from onions; it is exceedingly fine and sweet-scented, and bears a great resemblance to ointment. They have an abundance of grape-vines in the Moon, which produce water: for the stones of the grapes are hail. It immediately occurred to me that the cause of the hail with us was the violent shaking of the trees by the wind (which in those high regions is very boisterous), and the bursting of the grapes—from which the stones then fell in a hailshower. They make use of their bellies as sacks, for they can open them and put in whatever they please, and then shut them fast. When they are opened, if you look in, you can see neither liver nor entrails,
-or at all events nothing more than the liver; for their inside is all hairy and shaggy, so that if the young Moonites are cold, they jumpin there to keep themselves warm. The rich have fine soft crystal dresses ; the poorer sort have them woven of copper, which is found there in great abundance. When they want to work the copper, they soften it by sprinkling water on it, just like wool. As regards the eyes which they have, I am quite afraid to describe them, lest any one should think I am only iuventing a false story :—but, however, I will venture to do so. They are of such nature, that they may be taken
and whoever wishes, pulls them out, and keeps them safe till he wants to see, when he pops them in again. There are a great number to be met with who have lost their own eyes, and are compelled to borrow their neighbour's when they want to see. There are, too, some of the richer who keep a store of eyes. For ears, they have the leaves of the plane tree; all except the Tree-ites, whose ears are invariably of wood. I saw a very great curiosity in the palace. A large lookingglass was placed over a well of no very great depth, by descending into which a person may hear all that is said in the world below. If he looks into the glass, he may discern all the cities and nations there, just as if taking a bird's-eye view of them. I myself saw my own countrymen very distinctly; and indeed had a fine view of all the territory: though whether they saw me, I really cannot take upon myself to say To any person, if there be one so incredulous, who inclines to doubt the truth of these statements, I can only say, that if he ever happen to go to the Moon, he may see for himself whether they be true or not.”
A CHAPTER ON GHOSTS.
READER, do not start with surprise, nor smile with contempt, at meeting with one who, in these “enlightened” days—that is, in these days of universal incredulity and scepticism-professes his belief in APPARITIONS. Nor imagine, we entreat, most courteous reader, that this now unpopular admission must needs be made by some weakminded octogenarian of the woman-kind, who, having imbibed the vulgar absurdity in the preceding century, from once hearing an odd noise in the closet, or seeing something white in the garden, just after the clock struck midnight, has refused, with bigoted pertinacity, to yield to the philosophy of the times, and thus unwittingly obtained the unenviable appellation of The Last of the Ghost-believers. Not so, reader. You see before you the opinions of one who “ could a tale unfold,” which may not be unfolded—who has taken much pains to investigate the subject of Apparitions, and whose fortune it has been to converse with several parties of the highest respectability and intelligence, whose most solemn assurances he cannot and will not distrust.
It is a common remark, that no subject is more engrossing to the generality of mankind, none more capable of instantly arresting the attention of the most sceptical, than that of the unknown, mysterious, invisible, immaterial world. In fact, the intensity of interest with which all may be observed to listen to a tale of an apparition, sufficiently belies the professed incredulity of the hearers of the world beyond, we know NOTHING. No one, therefore, in stating his conviction of the absurdity and fallacy of believing in supernatural appearances, can (as the Bible does not decide) adduce more than probabilities or analogies in support of that conviction; and an argument founded solely on probabilities, however strong, and even satisfactory, these may appear to him who maintains it, must necessarily fail of producing, even in his own mind, absolute conviction, in the same degree as mere probabilities most fall short of absolute proof. Hence, whenever sufficient evidence is adduced to diminish or weaken these probabilities, the conviction arising from them is just in the same proportion diminished or weakened. But a conviction founded on proof is of course incapable of any such diminution, because no evidence can, properly speaking, invalidate a proof; for if it could, it would not be a proof, but immediately become, at most, a mere probability. And this is the reason why a “good ghost story" will generally stagger (or at least interest, which is much the same) the most incredulous, even though he be unwilling to admit that it does so. He finds that, after all, his mind is not settled upon the question, and that he had only endeavoured to satisfy himself that it was so. He cannot bring reason of sufficient weight to counteract evidence. In fact, he now begins to discover that he has but persuaded himself—not been persuaded—to treat all tales of apparitions with contempt, as idle and imaginary.
In considering any subject connected with the invisible world, we
naturally have recourse to the Scriptures : but here we find that allsufficient guide fail us—that we are entering upon mysteries too great for our understanding, and exceeding the bounds of Revelation. The veil of profoundest night is drawn over all inquiries into futurity. Yet even amid this thick darkness occasional glimpses appear, which, we trust, it is not too presumptuous to use as partial lights towards the investigation of the question before us. In proportion as strong, though still uncertain grounds exist for believing in a connexion between the visible and invisible worlds, so presumptive, though not positive evidence seems to us deducible from Scripture towards the confirmation of such a belief. There are several passages in the Bible, which have generally been alleged by those who maintain the reality of apparitions as furnishing strong evidence in favour of a belief in them. The unexpected apparition of Samuel to Saul and the witch of Endor is the most signal example of a disembodied soul being permitted to resume its mortal form, and evisit the earth. Again, in the account of the Crucifixion, as related by St. Matthew, we are told that “the graves were opened, and many hodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and APPEARED UNTO MANY." And our Saviour reappeared in his human form to several after his resurrection. Now we are aware that we shall be allowed to lay but little stress upon these instances, if we use them as arguments to prove the possibility or probability of the departed reappearing now. They undoubtedly may have been absolute miracles that is, the only instances in which the course of nature was so interrupted. But unquestionably, to say the very least, they are on our side, and make, if not against, not for those who disbelieve in apparitions. We candidly state, however, that we do not insist upon them, and have alleged them chiefly because they are usually alleged by such as maintain the appearance of spirits to be real, and not in all cases imaginary. We propose to examine the matter for ourselves on perfectly independent grounds, and to shew, as far as lies in our power, that a hasty incredulity is at least more rash than a deliberate opinion. Now we shall endeavour, in discussing this subject, to establish the two following propositions :
1. That there is no positive evidence or proof whatever, nor even any very strong probability, against the reality of supernatural appearances.
2. That there is the strongest proof, amounting to moral certainty at least, i.e. incontrovertible human testimony, in favour of the reality of such appearances.
These we shall try to prove by considering the arguments on both sides of the question. And first. Those who argue against the reality of apparitions, generally adduce the three following reasons for entertaining such a disbelief :
1st. That it is contrary to the usual laws of nature that such apparitions should be permitted to visit the living.
2ndly. That there is no conceivable reason why they should be permitted; the mere object of frightening a person being obviously too trivial a cause for the Almighty to set aside his laws.
3rdly. That most ghost-stories have been easily resolved into cases of delusion of the imagination, and that consequently it is fair to suppose that all might be so.
Now to these we answer:
That the first argument is hollow, because it presupposes the question. If spirits do appear, however rarely, (although in fact there is scarcely a family who cannot relate some instance,) their appearance is not absolutely contrary to nature.
That we cannot presume to say that the reason of their appearance is too trivial, because we cannot possibly tell what that reason is.
This point it is very important to consider well. The dispensations of Providence are professedly mysterious. If a man falls from a cart or a scaffold, and breaks his leg, no one is so absurd as to attempt to say why the event happened, though he doubts not for a moment that there was some reason, and good reason for it. Thus the second argument of sceptics evidently rests on an unfair presumption: they do that, in supporting their cause, which they would not venture to do in ordinary cases. But, it is said, it is much easier to imagine a cause for an accident than for a supernatural appearance ; besides that the former is an ordinary, the latter an extraordinary, occurrence. Not to confound two distinct arguments, which this objection does, we answer, that imagining causes has very little to do with the business, and can have no weight; and that, in fact, so far from this being true, there are cases of apparitions, (whether true or false of course we do not yet assert,) in which the cause is quite as evident as it is in the most signal interventions of Providence. When Bernard Gilpin broke his leg, the cause, at first mysterious, was ultimately revealed. This is always considered a remarkable instance of a common occurrence eventually obtaining an uncommon revelation of the motive. But we could adduce an instance of an apparition (which we regret we are not at liberty to publish, because we feel confident that it would do more towards conviction than all our poor arguments,) attested by Bishop Porteus, and seen by us stated in his own handwriting, which had the signal effect of converting an atheist (we believe in his 90th year) to sincere belief. We can give case for case, which at least equipoises the balance. Besides, it may at any time be asked, Is so convincing a proof of the existence of another world to be accounted nothing ? The benefit may be intended for others.
To the third argument of sceptics we answer—that, in our humble opinion, none but such frivolous stories as those to which the intelligent would attach no credit whatever, have been satisfactorily explained away. The readers of “ Demonology and Witchcraft,” must surely have been much disappointed if they expected to find therein any satisfactory reasons for rejecting a previous belief in apparitions. There is not a single story there disproved which ever required disproof they are all evidently mere stories. But whoever attempted any explanation or refutation of Lord Lyttelton's, Sir George Villiers', or Major Blomberg's apparition? or of the supernatural noises in Mr. Wesley's house, of which there is fully as indisputable evidence as of any event which ever happened? A similar disturbance, equally inexplicable, occurred some twenty or thirty years ago in Cambridge, in Llandaff House, situated nearly opposite the Uni