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few minutes, of the voluntary manifestation of a deceased person.” 1
Mrs. A. W. Verrall, then Classical Lecturer at Newnham, also had many successful sittings, and one series which she reported, concerning some sitters known to her, is particularly striking. A certain dead lady purported to be communicating through “Nelly," and she told a number of facts to first one and then another sitter, all of them true and all of them known to the dead lady. Some of them were known to the sitters, some were not; in this latter case telepathy from the sitters was excluded, but telepathy from some distant person might be conjectured. But in one
2 instance she gave a fact which apparently was not known to any living person-namely, a reference to a receipt for "pomatum” which would be found in a receipt book of hers. The book was discovered, was found to be written in from both ends, and carefully indexed. No reference to pomatum was found in the index; but on examination it was found that the last five entries in the middle of the book had not been indexed, and one of them was a receipt for making Dr. Somebody's pomade—which, by the way, was always referred to by the dead lady as "pomatum.” “If such experiences as these were numerous,” says Mrs. Verrall, "it would be difficult to avoid inferring that the source of information is to be found rather in the one con
1“Proceedings,” S.P.R., vol. xvii., p84. (Van Eeden's account.)
* Admittedly it is a rather wild conjecture. Experimental telepathy, in which a strong effort of will is made, is a fact; but this is very different from supposing that the minds of distant and unknown persons can be read. These persons are not trying to transmit anything, and often they are not aware of the medium's existence.
sciousness that knew all the events than in the scattered consciousness which can, after all, not supply the whole.” 1
CROSS-CORRESPONDENCES AND EVIDENCE OF CLASSICAL
KNOWLEDGE IN THE SCRIPTS OF ENGLISH
Mr. Myers had frequently discussed, during his lifetime, the idea of getting the same message through different sensitives contemporaneously, and something of the sort did as a matter of fact come about soon after his death on January 17th, 1901. Sir Oliver and Lady Lodge, receiving communications through Mrs. Thompson from a soi-disant Myers on May 8th, 1901, between 9 and 10.30 P.M., were told that "someone is calling me now," and in Mrs. Verrall's script, produced in Cambridge on the same evening between 10 and 10.30, a Myers communicator appeared, saying: “Doing something else to-night. Note hour.” 2 There was also a certain amount of correspondence between some Sidgwick communications (Professor Sidgwick had died in August, 1900) received through Mrs. Thompson in London and Miss Rawson in the South of France. But the matter soon developed a much greater complexity, and several volumes of the “Proceedings” are devoted to reports and discussions. А few illustrations, condensed and very inadequate, must here suffice.
Mrs. Holland, an English lady living in India, had “Proceedings,” S.P.R., vol. xvii., pp. 181-2-3;
Sir Oliver's “Survival of Man," p. 300, and “Proceedings,” S.P.R.; vol. xx., pp. 207 and following.
occasionally practised automatic writing from 1893, with evidential results, but did not take it very seriously or send her scripts to the S.P.R. until 1903, after reading Mr. Myers's book, “Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death.” She had not known Mr. Myers or the S. P. R. group, but messages began to come ostensibly from them, notably one from Mr. Myers referring to a text, “1 Cor. xvi. 13" ("Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong"), saying also: “I am unable to make your hand form Greek characters, and so I cannot give the text as I wish, only the reference.” This text had a special significance, for it is inscribed in Greek over the gateway of Selwyn College, Cambridge, and Mr. Myers had remarked to Mrs. Verrall on the inscription's omission of a mute letter. Mrs. Holland had never been in Cambridge, and knew nothing about the text being on a college gateway. Her script had also given Mrs. Verrall's address, 5, Selwyn Gardens, Cambridge, which she did not normally know, and, as was afterwards found, there were many indications that the scripts of Mrs. Holland and Mrs. Verrall were being influenced by the same agency, claiming in each case to be F. W. H. Myers. And a good deal of this occurred before the two ladies made each other's acquaintance.
But such incidents as these could be hypothetically accounted for by telepathy, and a sch eme seems to have been devised by those on the other side to circumvent this, by sending messages incomprehensible in themselves to each automatist, but which made sense when
1 "Proceedings," S.P.R., vol. xxi., pp. 221-38.
put together, like a jig-saw puzzle. On March 2nd, 1906, Mrs. Verrall's script contained, in Latin:
“Not with such help will you find what you want; not with such help, nor with those defenders of yours.” ("Æneid,” ii. 521, Hecuba to Priam when he put on armour in the vain hope of saving Troy.)
"First among his peers, himself not unmindful of his name; with him a brother related in feeling, though not in blood. Both these will send a word to you through another woman. After some days you will easily understand what I say; till then farewell."
On March 4th came: “Pagan and Pope. The Stoic persecutor and the Christian. Gregory not Basil's friend ought to be a clue, but you have it not quite right. Pagan and Pope and Reformer all enemies as you think. (In Latin.) The Cross has a meaning. The Cross-bearer who one day is borne. The standard bearer is a link."
On March 5th, in Latin: “The club-bearer (or keybearer, claviger), with the lion's skin already well described before this in the writings. Some things are to be corrected. Ask your husband, he knows it well. There stand the columns, where Calpe has been left. That is the end. No, you have left out something. The columns (broken) by incessant reading.”
All this made no sense to Mrs. Verrall, except, of course, that she recognised the Virgilian line in the script of March 2nd. Dr. Verrall, to whom she showed the script on March 2nd, said that he saw a connection between the two Latin passages, and on March 4th, when he saw the script of that day, he saw evidence
of the same intention in “Pagan and Pope,” etc. The fact was that the scripts had reminded him of Raphael's picture of Attila terrified by the vision of St. Peter and St. Paul, when meeting Pope Leo, who went out to save Rome. The line about Priam suggested the weak defence of a besieged city. Pagan and Pope are Attila and Leo. In the picture (in the Vatican at Rome) the Cross-bearer rides on the left of the Pope. In the background is the city, with the Coliseum and aqueducts. It will be noted that a word was to come through another woman, and on March 11th, Mrs. Verrall received a copy of some March 7th script of Mrs. Holland's containing the words: “Ave, Roma immortalis (Hail, Immortal Rome). Could I make it any clearer without giving her the clue ?” 1
I have omitted some details, and to form an opinion the case must be studied in full in the “Proceedings,” where many other similar but still more complex cases are given, impossible to summarise. The same remark applies to some curious classical puzzles received through the mediumship of another non-professional sensitive, Mrs. Willett; e.g. “The Ear of Dionysius," in which bits came through at different times, making up in total a full reference most ingeniously split up, to the poet Philoxenes and his imprisonment at Syra
This purported to come from two Greek scholars, the late Professors Butcher and Verrall, and there are points which certainly seem to indicate knowledge beyond what is possessed by ordinary readers. On the other hand, it is difficult or impossible to estimate satis
1 "Proceedings," S.P.R., vol. xxi., pp. 297-302.