OLD DIARY LEAVES, First Series(1874-78)
by Henry Steel Olcott
MME. BLAVATSKY AT HOME
H. P. B. has been mainly dealt with public capacity; let us now see how she appeared in the home.
But first, does anyone know why she so much preferred to be called “H. P. B.”, and so abhorred the title of “Madame”? That she should not like to be addressed by the surname Blavatsky, is not so strange when one remembers the facts of that wretched marriage, as given by Mr. Sinnett in his Incidents etc. It brought neither credit nor happiness to her, nor peace to the consort whom she, for a wager, tied to herself, for better for worse. Yet before she would marry the other Mr. B., at Philadelphia, she stipulated that she should not change her surname, and did not, save in the subsequent divorce papers, wherein she styles herself by her second husband’s name. The title “Madame” she had a sort of loathing for, as she associated it with a female dog of that name that an acquaintance of hers owned in Paris, and which was specially disliked by her. I think the apparent eccentricity of calling herself by
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her three initials had a deeper significance than has been generally suspected. It meant that the personality of our friend was so blended with those of several of her Masters that, in point of fact, the name she bore but seldom applied to whatever intelligence was momentarily controlling it; and the Asiatic personage who was speaking to you through her lips was certainly neither Helena, nor the widow of Genl. Blavatsky, nor a woman at all. But each of these shifting personalities contributed towards the making of a composite entity, the sum of them all and of Helena Petrovna herself, which might as well be designated “H. P. B.” as anything else. The case recalls to my mind that of the composite photograph—an apparently real entity, yet but a blending of a dozen or more—which Sir Francis Galton first brought to our notice in his Inquiry into Human Faculty. My theory may seem untenable, at first sight, by those who did not know her so intimately as myself, yet I incline to the belief that it is the correct one.
The routine of our life at the “Lamasery” was the following. We breakfasted at about 8, dined at 6, and retired at some small hour in the morning, according to our work and its interruption by visitors. H. P. B. lunched at home and I in town, somewhere near my law-office. When we first met I was a very active member of the Lotos Club, but the writing of Isis put an end, once for all, to my connection with clubs and worldly entanglements in general. After breakfast I left for my office and H. P. B. set herself for work at
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the desk. At dinner, more often than not, we had guests, and we had few evenings alone; for even if no visitors dropped in, we usually had somebody stopping with us in our apartment. Our house-keeping was of the simplest; we drank no wine or spirits, and ate but plain food. We had one maid-of-all-work, or rather a procession of them coming and going, for we did not keep one very long. The girl went to her home after clearing away the dinner things, and thenceforward we had to answer the door ourselves. That was not much; but a more serious affair was to supply tea, with milk and sugar, for a roomful of guests at, say, 1 A.M., when H. P. B., with lofty disregard of domestic possibilities, would invite herself to take a cup, and in a large way exclaim: “Let’s all have some: what do you say?” It was useless for me to make gestures of dissent, she would pay no attention. So after sundry fruitless midnight searches for milk or sugar in the neighbourhood, the worm turned, and I put up a notice to this effect:
“Guests will find boiling water and tea in the kitchen, perhaps milk and sugar, and will kindly help themselves.”
This was so akin to the Bohemian tone of the whole establishment that nothing was thought of it, and it was most amusing later on to see the habitués getting up quietly and going off to the kitchen to brew tea for themselves. Fine ladies, learned professors, famous
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artists and journalists, all jocosely became members of our “Kitchen Cabinet”, as we called it.
H. P. B. had not even a rudimentary notion of housekeeping. Once, wishing boiled eggs, she laid the raw eggs on the live coals! Sometimes our maid would walk off on a Saturday evening and leave us to shift as we might for the day’s meals. Then was it H. .P. B. who catered and cooked? Nay, verily, but her poor colleague. She would either sit and write and smoke cigarettes, or come into the kitchen and bother. In my Diary for 1878, I find this in the entry for April 12: “The servant ‘vamosed the ranch’ without preparing dinner; so the Countess L. P. turned in and helped me by making an excellent salad. Besides her, we had O’Donovan to dinner.” He was a rare chap, that Irishman; a sculptor of marked talent, an excellent companion, with a dry humour that was irresistible. H. P. B. was very fond of him and he of her. He modelled her portrait from life in a medallion, which was cast in bronze and which is in my possession. What he may be now I know not, but at that time he was fond of a glass of good whiskey (if any whiskey may be called good), and once made a roomful roar with laughter by a repartee he gave to one of the company present. They were drinking together, and the person in question after tasting his glass, put it down with the exclamation, “Pah! what bad whiskey that is!” O’Donovan, turning to him with solemn gravity, laid a hand upon his arm and said: “Don’t, don’t say that. There is no
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bad whiskey, but some is better than other.” He was a Roman Catholic by birth, though nothing in particular, it appeared, in actual belief. But, seeing how hot and angry H.P.B. would always get when Roman Catholicism was mentioned, he used to pretend that he believed that that creed would eventually sweep Buddhism, Hinduism, and Zoroastrianism from the face of the earth. Although he played this trick on her twenty times, H. P. B. was invariably caught again in the trap whenever O’Donovan set it for her. She would fume and swear, and call him an incurable idiot and other pet names, but to no purpose: he would sit and smoke in dignified silence, without changing face, as if he were listening to a dramatic recitation in which the speaker’s own feelings had no share. When she had talked and shouted herself out of breath, he would slowly turn his head towards some neighbour and say: “She speaks well, doesn’t she; but she don’t believe that; it is only her repartee. She will be a good Catholic some day.” And then, when H. P. B. exploded at this crowning audacity, and made as if to throw something at him, he would slip away to the kitchen and make himself a cup of tea! I have known him bring friends there just to enjoy this species of bear-baiting; but H. P. B. never nourished malice, and after relieving herself of a certain number of objurgations, would be as friendly as ever with her inveterate teaser.
One of our frequent and most appreciated visitors was Prof. Alexander Wilder, a quaint personality, the type of the very large class of self-educated American
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yeomanry; men of the forceful quality of the Puritan Fathers; men of brain and thought, intensely independent, very versatile, very honest, very plucky and patriotic. Prof. Wilder and I have been friends since before the Rebellion, and I have always held him in the highest esteem. His head is full of knowledge, which he readily imparts to appreciative listeners. He is not a college-bred or city-bred man, I fancy, but if one wants sound ideas upon the migration of races and symbols, the esoteric meaning of Greek philosophy, the value of Hebrew or Greek texts, or the merits and demerits of various schools of medicine, he can give them as well as the most finished graduate. A tall, lank man of the Lincoln type, with a noble, dome-like head, thin jaws, grey hair, and language filled with quaint Saxon-Americanisms. He used to come and talk by the hour with H.P.B., often lying recumbent on the sofa, with—as she used to say—“one long leg resting on the chandelier, the other on the mantel-piece.” And she, as stout as he was thin, as voluble as he was sententious and epigrammatic, smoking innumerable cigarettes and brilliantly sustaining her share of the conversation. She got him to write out many of his ideas to use in Isis, and they will be found there quoted. The hours would slip by without notice until he sometimes found himself too late for the last train to Newark, and would have to stop in town all night. I think that, of all our visitors, he cared about the least of all for H. P. B.’s psychical phenomena: he believed in their scientific possibility and
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did not doubt her possession of them, but philosophy was his idol, and the wonders of mediumship and adeptship interested him only in the abstract.
Yet some of H.P.B.’s phenomena were strange enough, in all conscience. Besides those heretofore described, I find mention of others in my Diary, among them this curious one:
I met one day in the lower part of the city (New York) an acquaintance with whom I stopped for a few moments to chat. He was very prejudiced against H. P. B., and spoke very harshly against her, keeping to his opinion despite all I could say. At last he used such objectionable language that, in sheer disgust, I hastily left him and went on my way. I go home as usual in time for dinner, and went to my room—the one marked “G” on the plan given in Chapter XXIV was then my sleeping apartment—to make my toilet. H. P. B. came along the passage to the open door, and from thence bade me good evening. The washing-stand was in the N. W. corner, opposite the door, and the “hard-finished” white wall above it uncovered with pictures or anything. After finishing my washing I turned towards the shaving-stand, behind me and just in front of the window, to brush my hair, when I saw something of a green colour reflected in the glass. A second glance showed it to be a sheet of green paper with writing upon it, and to be attached to the wall just over the washing-stand where I had the moment before been occupied without seeing anything save the blank wall before my eyes. I found
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the paper attached to the plastering by pins at the four corners, and the writing to be a number of Oriental texts from Dhammapâda and Sûtras, written in a peculiar style and signed at the lower corner by one of the Masters. The verses were reproaches to my address for having allowed H.P.B. to be reviled without defending her; unmistakably referring to my encounter down town with the person I had met, although no names were mentioned. I had not been five minutes in the house since my return, had spoken to nobody about the incident, nor exchanged with anyone in the house more than the few words of greeting with H. P. B. from the door of my room. In fact, the incident had passed out of my mind. This is one of those phenomena of the higher class which involve the power of thought-reading, or clairaudience at a distance, and either that of producing written documents without contact, or of writing them in the ordinary way, attaching them to the wall before my return home, and then inhibiting my sight so as to make them invisible for the moment, but visible the next instant by the restoration to me of my normal vision. This seems the more probable explanation of the two, yet, even then see how fine is the phenomenon, first, in the clairaudience at the distance of three miles, and then in the inhibition of my sight without arousing the slightest suspicion in my mind of the trick being played upon me. I had carefully kept this green paper until 1891, when it was with me on my round-the-world tour, and was appropriated by somebody without my permission.
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I should be glad to recover it. Another production of H. P. B.’s has disappeared along with it. It is a caricature representing my supposed ordeal of initiation into the school of adepts, and most comical picture it is. In the lower foreground I stand with a Hindu fehta (turban) as my only article of dress, undergoing a catechetical examination by Master K. H. In the lower right-hand corner a detached hand holds in space a bottle of spirits, and a bony bayadere, who looks like a starved Irish peasant in a time of potato-blight, is dancing a pas de fascination. In the upper corner H. P. B., wearing a New Jersey sunhood and Deccanee men’s turn-up shoes, and carrying a bell-shaped umbrella with a flag marked “Jack” streaming from its point, bestrides an elephant and holds out a mammoth hand to “control the elements” for my helping, while another Master stands beside the elephant watching my ordeal. A funny little elemental in a cotton nightcap and holding a lighted candle, says, “My stars! what’s that?” from a perch on K. H.’s “shoulder, and a series of absurd questions and answers written below my Interrogator’s book, complete the nonsensical satire. From this description the reader may judge of the joviality of H. P. B.’s temperament at that period, and of the kindly license allowed us in our dealings with the Teachers. The mere thought of such irreverence will doubtless make cold chills to run down the spines of some of H. P. B.’s latest pupils. I do not know how I could better illustrate this joyous exhuberance of hers than by quoting the expression used
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by a Hartford reporter in writing to his paper. “Madame laughed,” he writes. “When we write Madame laughed, we feel as if we were saying Laughter was present! for of all clear, mirthful, rollicking laughter that we ever heard, here is the very essence. She seems, indeed, the Genius of the mood she displays at all times, so intense is her vitality.” This was the tone of our household; and her mirthfulness, epigrammatic wit, brilliance of conversation, caressing friendliness to those she liked or wanted to have like her, fund of anecdote and, chiefest attraction to most of her callers, her amazing psychical phenomena—made the “Lamasery” the most attractive salon of the metropolis from 1876 to the close of 1878.
A very interesting phenomenon is that of duplication of objects, the making of two or more out of one. I have given some instances above, and here is another which was described in the New York correspondence of the Hartford Daily Times of December 2, 1878. The correspondent passes an evening with us and meets a number of other visitors, from one of whom, an English artist, he gets the following story of what he saw H. P. B. do:
“I know it will seem incredible to you, my dear fellow,” said my friend, “for it does to me as I look back upon it; yet, at the same time, I know my senses could not have deceived me. Besides, another gentleman was with me at the time. I have seen Madame create things.” “Create things!” I cried. “Yes, create things,—produce them from nothing. I can tell you of two instances.
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“Madame, my friend, and myself were out one day looking about the stores, when she said she desired some of these illuminated alphabets which come in sheets, like the painted sheets of little birds, flowers, animals, and other figures, so popular for decorating pottery and vases. She was making a scrap-book, and wished to arrange her little page in these pretty colored letters. Well, we hunted everywhere but could not find any, until at last we found just one sheet, containing the twenty-six letters, somewhere on Sixth Avenue. Madame bought that one and we went home. She wanted several, of course, but not finding them proceeded to use what she could of this. My friend and I sat down beside her little table, while she got her scrap-book and busily began to paste her letters in. By and bye she exclaimed, petulantly, ‘I want two S’s, two P’s, and two A’s’. I said, ‘Madame, I will go and search for them down town. I presume I can find them somewhere.’
“‘No, you need not,’” she answered. Then, suddenly looking up, said, ‘Do you wish to see me make some? ’
“‘Make some? How? Paint some?’
“‘No, make some exactly like these.’
“‘But how is that possible? These are printed by machinery.’
“‘It is possible—see!’
“She put her finger upon the S and looked upon it. She looked at it with infinite intensity. Her brow ridged out. She seemed the very spirit of will. In about half a minute she smiled, lifted her finger, took up two S’s
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exactly alike, exclaiming, ‘It is done!’ She did the same with the P’s.
“Then my friend thought: ‘If this is trickery, it can be detected. In one alphabet can be but one letter of a kind. I will try her.’ So he said: ‘Madame, supposing this time, instead of making two letters separately, you join them together thus A—A—?’
“‘It makes no difference to me how I do it,’ she replied indifferently, and placing her finger on the A, in a few seconds she took it up, and handed him two A’s, joined together as he desired. They were as if stamped from the same piece of paper. There were no seams or (artificial) joinings of any kind. She had to cut them apart to use them. This was in broad daylight, in the presence of no one but myself and friend, and done simply for her own convenience.
“We were both astounded and lost in admiration. We examined these with the utmost care. They seemed as much alike as two peas. But if you wish, I can show you the letters this moment. ‘Madame, may we take your scrap-book to look at?’
“‘Certainly, with pleasure,’ returned Madame, courteously. We waited impatiently until Mr. P. could open the volume. The page was beautifully arranged, and read thus, in brilliant letters:
“THIRD VOLUME, SCRAP-BOOK OF THE
New York, 1878
THEIR TRIBULATIONS and TRIUMPHS
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“‘There,’ said he, pointing to the S in Scrap and the S in Society, ‘those are the letters she used, and this is the one she made.’ There was no difference in them.”
There was nothing out of the common in the furnishing and decoration of our apartment save in the dining-room and work-room—which was at the same time our reception-room and library all in one—and they were certainly quaint enough. The dead wall of the dining-room which separated it from H.P.B.’s bed-room was entirely covered with a picture in dried forest leaves, representing a tropical jungle scene. An elephant stood, ruminating beside a pool of water, a tiger was springing at him from the back-ground, and a huge serpent was coiled around the trunk of a palm tree. A very good representation of it is given on p. 205 of Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly for February, 1892; although the picture of the room, the Hindu servant bringing in the roast, and the dining party at table drinking wine, is ridiculously inaccurate. The room was not like the picture; we had no Hindu servant; we did not have a drop of wine or spirits in the house; our furniture was
1The reporter, it seems, trusted to his memory, and omitted copying down at the time the words of the inscription which—being before me at this moment—I find to read as follows: “Ante and post natal history of the Theosophical Society, and of the mortifications, tribulations and triumphs of its Fellows.” The letters H.P.B. duplicated are the S’s in “History,” “Theosophical” and “Society,” two of them having been made out of the third; the P’s are in “Post” and “Triumphs,” and of a smaller size than the S’s. She seems to have quietly duplicated several other letters, for I find no less than eight A’s besides other duplicates.
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totally different from the artist’s sketch of it. I have never heard of another wall-picture of the sort mentioned, and it seemed to strike all our guests as entirely appropriate in such a home as the “Lamasery”. The whole forest scene grew out of the covering with autumn leaves, of a figure of an elephant cut from brown paper. I made another similar invention in the work-room. The entrance-door was in an angle made by cutting off a corner, and above it the wall formed a square of perhaps 4 X 5 ft. One day I found at a curiosity-shop a splendidly mounted lioness-head; the eyes glaring, the jaws wide open, the tongue retracted, the teeth white and menacing. On getting it home and looking around for a place to put it, this square of wall struck my eye, and there I hung my trophy. By an arrangement of long, dried grasses, I made it seem as though an angry lioness were creeping through the jungle and ready to spring upon the visitors who chanced to look up at her. It was one of our jokes to have new-comers seated in an easy chair that faced the door, and enjoy their start when their eyes wandered from H. P. B. to glance around the room. If the visitor chanced to be a hysterical old maid who screamed on seeing the trophy, H. P. B. would laugh heartily. In two corners of the room I stood palm-fronds that touched the ceiling and bent over their tips in graceful curves; little stuffed monkeys peered out over the curtain cornices; a fine stuffed snake lay on top of the mantel mirror, hanging its head over one corner; a large stuffed baboon, decked
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out with a collar, white cravat and pair of my spectacles, carrying under one arm the manuscript of a lecture on “Descent of Species,” and dubbed “Professor Fiske”, stood upright in a corner; a fine large grey owl sat perched on a bookcase; a toy lizard or two crawled up the wall; a Swiss cuckoo clock hung to the left of the chimney breast; small Japanese cabinets, carved wooden images of Lord Buddha and a Siamese talapoin, curios of sorts and kinds, occupied the top of the cottage piano, wall brackets, corner étagères and other convenient spaces; a long writing table took up the centre of the room; some book shelves with our scanty library rose above its farther end, between the two Eighth Avenue windows; and chairs and a divan or two filled up the floor space, so that one had to pick one’s way to get to the farther end of the chamber. A hanging four-light gas chandelier with a drop-light over the table gave us the necessary physical illumination; the other, H. P. B. supplied. A pair of sliding glass doors (seldom closed) divided the work-room from her little bed-room, and on the wall over the doors we constructed a huge double triangle of thin punched steel sheets. Altogether the room was very artistic and pleasing to its occupants and guests, the theme of many a description in newspapers and talk among our friends. No frame could have been more appropriate for setting off the bizarre personality of its mysterious occupant, H. P. B. Many were the pen sketches of the room that appeared in the American papers of the day; among them the following
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by the same correspondent of the Hartford paper, from whose interesting letters the above extracts were copied:
“Madame was seated in her little work-room and parlor, all in one, and we may add her curiosity-shop as well, for never was apartment more crammed with odd, elegant, old, beautiful, costly, and apparently worthless things, than this. She had cigarette in mouth, and scissors in hand, and was hard at work clipping paragraphs, articles, items, criticisms, and other matter, from heaps of journals from all parts of the world, relating to herself, to her book, to the Theosophical Society, to any and everything connected with her life-work and aims. She waved us to a seat, and while she intently read some article we had a chance to observe the walls and furniture of this NEW YORK LAMASERY. Directly in the centre stood a stuffed ape, with a white ‘dickey’ and necktie around his throat, manuscript in paw, and spectacles on nose. Could it be a mute satire on the clergy?1 Over the door was the stuffed head of a lioness, with open jaws and threatening aspect; the eyes glaring with an almost natural ferocity. A god in gold occupied the centre of the mantelpiece; Chinese and Japanese cabinets, fans, pipes, implements, and rugs, low divans and couches, a large desk, a mechanical bird which sang as mechanically, albums, scrap-books, and the inevitable cigarette-holders, papers, and ash-pots, made the loose rich robe in which the Madame was apparelled seem in perfect harmony with her surroundings. A rare,
1No, on the materialistic scientists.—H. S. O.
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strange countenance is hers. A combination of moods seems to constantly play over her features. She never seems quite absorbed by one subject. There is a keen, alert, subtle undercurrent of feeling and perception perceivable in the expression of her eyes. It impressed us then, and has invariably, with the idea of a double personality: as if she were here, and not here; talking and yet thinking, or acting far away. Her hair, light, very thick, and naturally waved, has not a grey thread in it. Her skin, evidently somewhat browned by exposure to sea and sun, has no wrinkles; her hands and arms are as delicate as a girl’s. Her whole personality is expressive of self-possession, command, and a certain sangfroid which borders on masculine indifference, without for a moment overstepping the bounds of womanly delicacy.”
It has been remarked above, if I remember, that what made a visit to the Lamasery so piquant, was the chance that on any given occasion the visitor might see H. P. B. do some wonder in addition to amusing, delighting, or edifying him or her with her witty and vivacious talk. In a pause in the conversation, perhaps a guest would hold up a finger, say “Hush!” and then, all listening in breathless silence, musical notes would be heard in the air. Sometimes they would sound faintly far away in the distance, then coming nearer and gaining volume until the elfin music would float around the room, near the ceiling, and finally die away again in a lost chord and be succeeded by silence. Or it might be that H. P. B. would fling out her hand with an imperious gesture and
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ping! ping! would come, in the air whither she pointed, the silvery tones of a bell. Some people fancy that she must have had a concealed bell under her dress for playing her tricks; but the answer to that is that, not only I but others, have, after dinner, before rising from the table, arranged a series of finger-glasses and tumblers, with various depths of water in them to cause them to give out different notes when struck, and then tapping their edges with a lead-pencil, a knife-blade, or some other thing, have had her duplicate in space every note drawn from the “musical glasses.” No trick bell worked beneath a woman’s skirts would do that. Then, again, how often have people been present when she would lay her hand on a tree-trunk, a house wall, a clock case, a man’s head, or wherever else she might be asked to try it, and cause the fairy bell to ring within the substance of the solid body she had her hands in contact with. I was with her at Mr. Sinnett’s house at Simla when, all of us standing on the veranda, she made the musical sounds to come towards us on the air of the starlit night, from across the dark valley into which descended the hill-slope on which the house was built. And I was present when she made a bell to ring inside the head of one of the greatest of the Anglo-Indian civilians, and another to sound inside the coat pocket of another very high civilian at the other side of the room from where she sat.
She never could give any satisfactory scientific explanation of the modus operandi. One day when she and I were alone and talking of it, she said: “Now, see here;
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you are a great whistler; how do you form instantaneously any given note you wish to produce?” I replied that I could not exactly say how I did it, except that a certain arrangement of the lips and compression of air within the mouth, the knack of which had been acquired by many years of practice, caused each note to sound simultaneously with the act of my thinking of it. “Well now, tell me: when you would sound a note do you think that, to produce it, you must pout your lips, compress your breath, and work your throat-muscles in certain prescribed ways, and then proceed to do it?” “Not at all,” I said; “long habit had made the muscular and pneumatic actions automatic.” “Well, then, that’s just the thing: I think of a note; automatically or instinctively I work the astral currents by my trained will; send a sort of cross-current out from my brain to a certain point in space, where a vortex is formed between this current and the great current flowing in the astral light according to the earth’s motion, and in that vortex sounds out the note I think. Just, you see, as the note you mean to whistle sounds in the air-tube formed by your lips, when you put them into the right position, work your lip and throat-muscles in the right way, and force your breath to rush out of this channel or lip-orifice. It is impossible for me to explain any better. I can do it, but can’t tell you how I do it. Now try any notes you please and see if I cannot imitate them.” I struck a note out of one of the tumblers at random, and instantly its echo, as if the soul of it
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ringing in Fairyland, would sound in the air; sometimes just overhead, now in this corner, now in that. She sometimes missed the exact note, but when I told her so she would ask me to sound it again, and then the note would be exactly reflected back to us out of the Âkâsha.
In connection with the above read what Mrs. Speer says (Light, January 28, 1893) about the musical sounds that used to accompany M. A. Oxon.
“September 19th.— Before meeting this evening we heard the ‘fairy bells’ playing in different parts of the garden where we were walking; at times they sounded far off, seemingly playing at the top of some high elm trees, music and stars mingling together, then they would approach nearer to us, eventually following us into the séance-room, which opened on to the lawn. After we were seated the music still lingered with us, playing in the corners of the room, and then over the table round which we were sitting. They played scales and chords by request, with the greatest rapidity, and copied notes Dr. S. made with his voice. After Mr. S M. was entranced the music became louder and sounded like brilliant playing on the piano. There was no instrument in that room.”
The musical phenomena were evidently identical with those of H. P. B., but with the radical difference that she produced the sounds at will, while in Stainton Moseyn’s case they were beyond his control and most brilliant when his body was entranced. The Speer Circle had a great deal of these “fairy bells” first and last, and, some
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very unconvincing theories given by the spirits to account for them. For instance, Benjamin Franklin’s alleged spirit told them (Light, March 18, 1893, p. 130) that “the sound you call fairy bells represents a spirit instrument, one used in the spheres.” Yet he adds: “We could do much more for you had our medium a musical organisation, but it is a bad one for music.” Why, if it were to be drawn from an instrument? That is almost like saying that Thalberg or Paderevsky could play their instrument better if the gasman of the building were not deaf in one ear! We may safely deny the “spirit-instrument” theory, for we have the explanation in the fact that the more musical the temperament of the medium naturally, the more melodious the fairy bells can be made to jingle in his presence. Moreover, in the case of a medium, the more deeply he is plunged into trance, the nearer and clearer may be the tintinnabulation of the bells, bells, bells!