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and calm satisfaction in his countenance, that occasion : he even told me who were the whereas when he had been infested by wick- three great personages of whom I made use ed spirits, he had a sorrowful face.
in that affair ; which, nevertheless, was an 429. “ What is here related of bis eyes has entire secret between them and me. I asked reason to support it. Animation plays upon him how he could be informed of such particuthe eye, and shows that there are fire chan-lars, and who had discovered them to him. nels laid down in the tissues of that organ, or He rejoined, “Who informed me of your afhow could the brilliance permeate it? There fair with Count Ekeblad? You cannot deny is a fund of optics in common life that science the truth of what I have told you. Continue," has not observed, for the eye, prior to the hand, he added, “ to deserve his reproaches: turn is the power that commands the world. The not aside, either for riches or honors, from the eye is of Protean possibilities : the soul shoots path of rectitude, but on the contrary, keep through it, and the look is either snaky, or an- steadily in it, as you have done; and you will gelic. Each passion has its proper rays. prosper."
In the affair alluded to, Count This, of the individual eye. But if one soul Ekeblad, in a political altercation, had procan make an eye lustrous, two or more looking voked Springer to draw his sword upon him; through the same eye will project a larger but they had afterwards composed the quarflame. We notice a peculiar appearance in rel, and promised never to mention it while Swedenborg's portrait, what our friend Dr. both parties were alive. On another occasion Elliotson deems that of an 'amiable lunatic:' the Count had attempted to bribe Springer certainly the common objects appear to claim with a purse of 10,000 rix dollars, which sum but little of its attention, but if there is a va- and circumstances Swedenborg particularly cancy, it is only a space for spirits, and when mentioned to the latter, saying that he had it was filled by them, Swedenborg would no them from the Count, just then deceased. doubt shine from the borrowed souls to those 433. “ In his Diary Swedenborg has spoken who saw him.
at great length of the fates in the other life
of many celebrated persons with whom he Anecdotes, &c.
had been acquainted in the world; nor has bis 430. “We have already spoken of one of pen been withheld from similar particulars his voyages to Sweden: we will complete this about his own relations. On this account, the set of anecdotes, with the stories told of Swe-work could not have been printed in his own denborg by two other English ship captains. day, without giving offence to the survivors of He sailed from Sweden on a certain occasion those whom he has thus described. Some with one Captain Harrison. During almost times his unreserve led him to announcements the whole voyage he kept his berth, but was which must have been grating to his auditors. often heard 'speaking, as if in conversation. An instance of this kind occurred on his The steward and cabin boy came to the cap- voyage from Gottenburg to London in 1747. tain, and told him that Swedenborg seemed The vessel in which he was a passenger out of his head. • Out of his head or not,' stopped at Oresound, and M. Kryger, the said the captain, so long as he is quiet I have Swedish Consul, invited the officers of the no power over him. He is always reasonable custom house, together with several of the first with me, and I have the best of weather when people of the town, all anxious to see and he is on board.' Harrison told Robsahm know Swedenborg, to dine with him at bis laughingly, that Swedenborg might sail with house. Being all seated at table, and none him gratis whenever he pleased; for never of them taking the liberty of addressing Swesince he was a mariner had he such voyages denborg, who was likewise silent, the Swedish as with him.
consul thought it incumbent on him to break 431. “The same luck went with Captain silence, for which purpose he took occasion Browell, who carried him from London to from the death of the Danish king ChrisDalaron in eight days, during the most of tian VI., which happened the preceding year, which, as in the former instances, he lay in (1746,) to inquire of Swedenborg, as he could his berth and talked. Captain Hodson also, see and speak with the dead, whether he had another of his carriers, was but seven days on also seen Christian VI. after his decease. To the voyage, and found Swedenborg's company this Swedenborg replied in the affirmative,
, so agreeable, that he was much delighted and adding, that when he saw him the first time, taken with him: as he confessed to Bergstrom. he was accompanied by a bishop, or other
432. “ In this context we introduce what prelate, who humbly begged the king's pardon Springer says of Swedenborg's clear seeing as for the many errors into which he bad led regarded himself. •All that he has related him by his counsels. A son of the said deto me respecting my deceased acquaintances, ceased prelate happened to be present at the both friends and enemies, and the secrets that table: the consul M. Kryger therefore fearing were between us, almost surpasses belief. He that Swedenborg might say something further explained to me in what manner the peace to the disadvantage of the father, interrupted was concluded between Sweden and the king him, saying, Sir, this is his son! Swedenborg of. Prussia ; and he praised my conduct on replied, it may be, but what I am saying is true.
434. “As to those in the other life with and she wanted to know some other particulars whom he could converse, the privilege had relative to its contents. Swedenborg, some its limitations. When the Queen of Sweden days after her application to him, returned, and asked whether his spiritual intercourse was told her that her brother was offended that a science or art that could be communicated she had burnt his letter; and as this was to others, he said No, that it was a gift of known to none but herself, she nearly fainted the Lord. . Can you then,' said she, 'speak at hearing it; and was always very courteous with every one deceased, or only with certain to him afterwards. persons?' He answered, 'I cannot converse 437. “Mr. Hart related to Mr. Provo, about with all, but with such as I have known in the year 1779, that he thought Swedenborg a this world, with all royal and princely persons, remarkable man, for whilst he was abroad, with all renowned heroes, or great and learned old Mr. Hart, his father, died in London. On men, whom I have known, either personally, Swedenborg's return he went to spend an or from their actions or writings; consequent- evening at Mr. Hart's house, in Poppin's ly, with all, of whom I could form an idea ; court. After being let in at the street door, for it may be supposed that a person whom I he was told that his old friend, Mr. Hart, was never knew, and of whom I could form no dead; to which he replied, 'I know that very idea, I neither could nor would wish to speak well, for I saw him in the spiritual world with.' In further proof of this, we may cite whilst I was in Holland, at such a time (near an anecdote related by Ferelius, · With other the time he died, or soon after] ; also whilst news,' says he, which on one occasion I re- coming over in the packet to England: he is ceived from Sweden through the post, was the not now in heaven, continued he, but is announcement of the death of Swedenborg's coming round, and in a good way to do well.' sister, the widow Sundstedt. I communicated This much surprised the widow and son, for this information to a Swedish gentleman they knew that he was just come over, and they whose name was Meier, who was travelling in said that he was of such a nature that he England at that time, and who happened to be could impose on no one, that he always spoke at my house when the news came. This per- the truth concerning every little matter, and son went immediately to Swedenborg, and con- would not have made any evasion though his veyed the intelligence of the death of his sister. life had been at stake.”. Documents, pp. 77–79. When he returned he said, that he thought 438. “ The celebrated Springer, who lived Swedenborg's declaration respecting his inter- in London, told Swedenborg on one occasion course with the dead could not be true, since that a distinguished Swedish gentleman, who, he knew nothing of the death of his sister. I believe, was a brother of the present Count The next time I saw the old man I mentioned Höpken, one of the counsellors of state, was this to him, when he said,“ that of such cases dead. Some days afterwards, when they met he had no knowledge, since he did not desire again, the Assessor said to him — “It is true, to know them.”
Höpken is dead! I have spoken with him, 435. “On one occasion he was applied to and he told me that you and he were companunder the following circumstances. A certain ions together at Upsala, and that you afterminister of State flattered himself that he wards entertained views partly similar and partcould, through Swedenborg, obtain some par- ly dissimilar concerning political subjects. He iculars of what had become of a prince of also told him several anecdotes, which SpringSaxe-Coburg-Saalfeldt, named John William, er acknowledged to be true, and declared, at who disappeared in the year 1745, without the same time, that it was his firm conviction any one knowing what had become of him. that Swedenborg could not have acquired the Nothing was said either of his age, or his per- information from any other source than from son. Swedenborg made an answer which is above." Documents, p. 197. preserved in the library of his Excellency Lars 439. In the first part of this Biography, we von Engerstrom. He said among other things narrated the only love affair in which our that the prince, after being twenty-seven years author was engaged. General Tuxen also in the spiritual world, was in a society, into relates that, “ He once asked Swedenborg which he (Swedenborg) could not readily gain whether he had ever been married, or desirous admission : that the angels had no knowledge of marrying ?” He answered, “ That he had of his state, and that the matter was not im- not been married ; but that once in his youth portant enough to warrant his asking the Lord he had been on the road to matrimony, King himself about it.”. Wilkinson's Biography, Charles XII. having recommended the famous pp. 216–231.
Polheim to give him
his daughter.” On asking 136. " It is related by Mr. Provo, a respect- what obstacle had prevented it, he said, “ She able gentleman of the medical profession, who would not have me.” With regard, however, published the work called “Wisdom's Dic- to Emerentia Polheim, Swedenborg in his old tates," that Swedenborg told him that “the age, as Tübeck relates, assured the daughQueen of Sweden had secretly burnt a letter ters and sons-in-law of the former object of which her brother had sent to her, a short his affection, as they visited him in his garden, time before a battle in which he was killed, that “ he could converse with their departed
mother whenever he pleased.” 6 It was told us by the late Mr. Charles Augustus Tulk, but
Diet we have no document for it, that our author 442. “ His diet was a constant harmony used to say that he had seen his allotted wife and preparation of his seership. 'Eat not in the spiritual world, who was waiting for so much’ was written over its portal, and the him, and under her mortal name had been a instruction was obeyed throughout the curricuCountess Gyllenborg. If it be true, it is a lum of his experiences. The vermin of glutcorroboration of Dante and Beatrice.
tony are all those bodily lives that exceed the 440. “ We have already dwelt at length dominion of spiritual; and these he cast out upon the signs which for some years preceded and kept out, fining down the body to the the opening of Swedenborg's spiritual sight. shapely strictness of the soul. We read of These indeed were of such a nature, that he af- one excess that he committed of so peculiar a terwards wondered that he had not previously nature, that we tell it in his own words. It arrived at the persuasion that the Lord gov- occurs in his Diary, with the strong heading, erns the universe by spiritual agency. Nev- The stink of intemperance. One evening.' ertheless he was in a position to make every says he, ‘I took a great meal of milk and allowance for the scepticism of others, for he bread, more than the spirits considered good for admits that on one occasion, many months me. On this occasion they dwelt upon
intemafter he had spoken with spirits, he perceived perance, and accused me of it.' He then that if he were remitted into his former state, proceeds to say, that they made him sensibly he might still fall back into the opinion that perceive the foulness which their ideas attriball he had seen was fantasy.
uted to him. If so infantine a debauch was 441. " His coolness and tranquillity, and thus reproved, we may imagine how sensitive unselfish character, were also circumstances a thermometer of appetite his daily spiritual essential to his higher gifts. We know how relations furnished; how the spirits that came vital they are to the prosecution of the sci- to him opened a correspondence with the 'ani
• The Lord,' he said, 'had given him mal spirits' that were embodied by his diet. a love of spiritual truth, that is to say, not Seership, as a general rule, is coincident with with a view to honor or profit, but merely for abstemiousness, which is the directest means the sake of the truth itself.' No man of that of putting down the body, and by the law of age was so uninterrupted in his mind, or so the balance, of lifting up the soul; and where nakedly devout to his objects as Swedenborg. seership is thus produced, it will of itself lead • The elements themselves,' said Sandel,' would to new demands from the soul, or new exihave striven in vain to turn him from his gencies of temperance. We might instance course.' The competency also of his fortune the Hindoo seers as examples of these reexcluded one species of cares, which he seemed marks, or we might support them by numeronly to taste occasionally, for the experiment ous cases occurring in Europe, and even at of their spiritual results. There is a passage the present time; not to mention that the in his Diary which illustrates this. I have germs of the experience are within every now,' says he, 'been for thirty-three months in man's knowledge. a state in which my mind is withdrawn from 443. “ As the man depends so much upon bodily affairs; and hence can be present in the dinner, and the dinner upon the appetite the societies of the spiritual and the celestial. and the self-control, it is interesting to know
Yet whenever I am intent upon world- what was the diet of a man so industrious, ly matters, or have cares and desires about peaceful and deep-eyed as Swedenborg. For money, (such as caused me to write a letter some time after his spiritual intercourse comto-day,) I lapse into a bodily state ; and the menced, his mode of living appears to have spirits, as they inform me, cannot speak with been not unusual, excepting that the quantity me, but say that they are in a manner absent. was moderate: he occasionally drank one or
This shows me that spirits cannot two glasses of wine after dinner, but never speak with a man who dwells upon worldly more; and he took no supper.
company, and bodily cares; for the things of the body throughout his life, he followed the habit of draw down his ideas, and drown them in the the table, and took wine, but always very body. March 4, 1748? It was however sel- moderately. During the last fifteen years of dom that Swedenborg experienced such dis- his life he almost abandoned the use of anitractions, and as for his fame in the world, and mal food, yet at times would eat a little fish, the success of his books, these were things eels particularly. His main stays were bread that did not trouble him. When General and butter, milk and coffee, almonds and raiTuxen asked him how many he thought there sins, vegetables, biscuits, cakes and gingerwere in the world who favored his doctrine, bread, which he used frequently to bring he replied that there might perhaps be fifty, home with him, and share with the children. and in proportion the same number in the He was a water drinker, but his chief beverworld of spirits. But said he to Springer, age was coffee made very sweet, and without
God kows the time when his church ought milk. Collin is correct when he says that to commence.'
pensive men generally are fond of coffee. At
his house in Stockholm he had a fire from of the listeners. He entered into no disputes winter to spring almost constantly in his study, on matters of religion, but when obliged to deat which he made his own coffee, and drank fend himself, he did it mildly and briefly ; and it often both in the day and the night. He if any one insisted upon argument, and bewas very temperate. It appears that he ab- came warm against him, he retired, with a stained from animal food from dietetic consid- recommendation to them to read his writings.' erations. At the same time there dwelt in his If any one objected that it was impossible to mind a vegetarian tendency, pointed towards believe, he replied, “I do not wonder at that,' the future, or at least, what is the same thing, and turned the conversation to other subjects. crying out from the past. He writes on the One day, when Mr. Cookworthy was with him subject in his Arcana as follows: Considered in Coldbath Fields, a person present objected apart, eating the flesh of animals is somewhat to something that he had said, and argued the profane. The most ancient people never on point in his own way; but Swedenborg only reany account eat the flesh of either beast or plied, 'I receive information from angels upon fowl, but lived entirely upon grain, especially such things :' a response of a forcible nature, on wheaten bread, on fruit
, vegetables and supposing it true, for how many problems inherbs, various kinds of milk, butter, &c. It troduction into the spiritual world would anwas unlawful for them to kill animals, or to swer: what a smiting criticism for instance eat their flesh. They looked upon it as bes- Polheim made, or rather was, upon the burial tial, and were content with the uses and ser- service, just because he stood beyond the vices that animals afforded them. But in grave. Mr. Buckhardt relates, that on one process of time, when men became as cruel as occasion he was present when Swedenborg wild beasts, yea, much more cruel, they began dined in London with some of the Swedish to slay animals, and eat their fesh; and in clergy; and a polemic arising between him consideration of this nature in man, the killing and one of them concerning the Lord, and the and eating of animals was permitted, and con- nature of our duty to Him, Swedenborg overtinues to be so.'
threw the tenets of his opponent, who appeared Sleep.
but a child to him in knowledge. We can
believe that there was a formidable power in 444. “ Swedenborg was peculiar in the mat- his slow utterances. ter of sleep; in his latter years he paid little 446. “ Were this the place we might say attention to times and seasons ; often labored much upon the almost invariable partition that through the whole night, and had no stated takes place between the gifts of speaking and periods of repose. When I am sleepy,' said of thoughtful writing ; so seldom united in he, • I go to bed. He kept also little account
one person. The difference between the enof the days of the week. As we have seen dowments lies somewhat in mental velocities, already, he sometimes continued in bed for the writer deploying his forces with a slowseveral days together, when enjoying his spir- ness measured to the pen strokes; the orator itual trances. He desired Shearsmith never rushing forth with his at voice speed. The to disturb him at such times; an injunction light and heavy dragoons of intelligence fulfil which was necessary, for the look of his face different tactics in the battles of the Word. was so peculiar on these occasions that Shear- Where impediment of speech takes place, it is smith sometimes feared he was dead. At other times, as soon as he awoke he went into mind and the organs
a sign of lacking communication between the
of meanings in dishis study (when in Stockholm), kindled the
course coming down flashwise ; and in Sweembers of his fire from a ready supply of denborg's instance, it might argue some predry wood and birch bark, and immediately sat disposition for that separation and absence of down to write.
soul from body for which his life was otherConversation.
wise remarkable: if this be not too medical 445. “ He was not fluent in conversation ; an opinion. indeed he had an impediment in his speech,
Peculiarities. which perhaps predisposed him to the loss of 447. “ When in London he went occasionit that he suffered from his apoplectic seizure. ally to the Swedish church, and afterwards It does not appear that he had a remarkable dined with Ferelius or some other of his counfacility for acquiring languages, for we find trymen ; but he told them that he had no that although he resided so long in London, peace in the church on account of spirits, who he could not hold a running conversation in contradicted what the preacher said, especialEnglish. He was, however, sufficiently ac-ly when he spoke of three persons in the Godquainted with the modern languages, as well head, which amounted in reality to three gods.' as with Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. All the 448. “ During his latter years he became authorities agree that his speech, though not less and less attentive to the concerns of this facile, was impressive. He spoke with de- world : even when walking abroad he seemed liberation, and when his voice was heard, it to be engaged in spiritual communion, and was a signal for silence in others, while the took little notice of things and people in the slowness of his delivery increased the curiosity streets. When he went out in Stockholm
without the observation of his domestics, some he sold his works at unremunerative prices, singularity in his dress perchance would beto- and indeed gave a great portion of them away. ken his abstraction. Once when he dined with When Dr. Hartley offered to lend him money, Robsahm's father, he appeared with one shoe he returned for answer that as to this world's buckle of plain silver, and the other set with wealth he had wbat was sufficient, and more precious stones ; greatly to the amusement of he neither sought nor wished for.' Count the young ladies of the party. But a man of Höpken says that he lived frugally without eighty and upwards, a seer and an old bache- sordidness, and that his travels cost him no lor besides, might be pardoned for some inat- more than when he remained at home. He tentions.
was not remarkably in the habit of almsgiving, 449. “In person, says Shearsmith, he was for he used to say that most of those who about five feet nine inches high, rather thin, solicit alms are either lazy or vicious, and if and of a brown complexion. His eyes were of from compassion you give them money without a brownish gray, nearly hazel, and rather small. examination, it is rather an injury than a benHe had always a cheerful smile upon his coun-efit.' He did not lend money, for that, be tenance. Mr. Servanté remembered him as said, is the way to lose it; and besides, he an old gentleman of a dignified and venerable added, “I want my money to pay
expenses appearance, whose thoughtful yet mildly ex- of travelling and printing. When Shearpressive countenance, added to something very smith, his landlord, presented his bills, Sweunusual in his air, attracted his attention forci- denborg used to send him to his drawer to bly. When Collin visited him he was thin pay himself; a careless-looking mode, but and pale, but still retained traces of beauty, clairvoyant people know of course with whom and had something very pleasing in his physi- they have to deal. ognomy, and a dignity in his erect stature. Ab Indagine relates that his eyes were always
Habits and Manners. smiling; and Robsahm, that his countenance 451. “ His manners were those of a noblewas always illuminated by the light of his un- man and gentleman of the last century. He common genius. When he lodged with Berg- was somewhat reserved, but complaisant; acstrom he usually walked out after breakfast, cessible to all, and had something very loving dressed neatly in velvet, and made a good ap- and taking in his demeanor. Personally he pearance. His suit, according to Shearsmith, left good impressions behind him wherever he was made after an old fashion, and he wore a appeared. full-bottomed wig, a pair of long ruffles, and a 452. “ His labors during the sixty-three curious hilted sword, and carried a gold-headed years of his authorship, were of a surprising cane. In Sweden his dress was simple, but magnitude : we may estimate that his volumes neat and convenient: during the winter he was would make about sixty octavos of five hunclad in a garment of reindeer skins, and in dred pages each in English. About forty of summer, in a study gown, “both well worn,' these are already translated, and many of - so Robsahm says, as became a philoso- them have gone through numerous editions in pher. He would not tolerate linen sheets on England and America. When it is rememhis bed, but lay between woollen blankets. bered that his works consist almost entirely Wherever he lived, his habits were plain to of the deepest analysis, or treat upon the highthe last degree ; in Stockholm he required no est subjects, the quantity which issued from his services of his old gardener's wife, but to make pen becomes still more astonishing. There is his bed, and bring a large pitcher of water indeed a vast amount of repetition in his books, daily to his study: for the rest, he waited for as beseemed a teacher, he professed repe
His journeys were made with tition, and was careless of artistic effect. But no parade, and few of the conveniences of with all deductions, his quantity does not travelling. He took no servant with him, and greatly exceed his quality, rode in an open wagon from Stockholm to 453. “ He made use of no amanuensis for Gottenburg, where he embarked for England his books, but was self-helping as well as selfor Holland, to have his manuscripts printed. contained throughout. From the beginning
450. “ In money matters Swedenborg was of his theological mission, he framed indexes at once saving and liberal. Those with whom or rather digests of what he wrote, whereby he had affairs, spoke always of his generosity. he was enabled to refer from part to part of Provided with sufficient meåns, he adminis- his extensive manuscripts. These indexes tered them strictly for public services. What-are models of compression and arrangement, ever his motives might be, it is certain that he and are themselves large and readable volwould receive back no proceeds from the sale umes. They show at a glance what a crowd of certain of his works, but dedicated the of capital aphorisms' there is in his works, whole to religious subscriptions. Possibly he and how impossible it is to give an exhaustive deemed that as he was but an amanuensis of statement of them in a short compass. In his spiritual powers, he had no right to keep a latter years, the Bible in various languages, commercial account of the results. Moreover, was his whole library.