REASONING POWERS OF THE TWO MINDS. 35
C looked in the direction indicated, and at once arose, with a look of the most reverential awe depicted on his countenance. The professor went through the ceremonial of a formal presentation, and C, almost speechless with embarrassment, bowed with the most profound reverence, and offered the supposed spirit a chair. Upon being assured by the professor that Socrates was willing and anxious to answer any question that might be put to him, C at once began a series of questions, hesitatingly and with evident embarrassment at first; but, gathering courage as he proceeded, he catechised the Greek philosopher for over two hours, interpreting the answers to the professor as he received them. His questions embraced the whole cosmogony of the universe and a wide range of spiritual philosophy. They were remarkable for their pertinency, and the answers were no less remarkable for their clear-cut and sententious character, and were couched in the most elegant and lofty diction, such as Socrates himself might be supposed to employ. But the most remarkable of all was the wonderful system of spiritual philosophy evolved. It was so clear, so plausible, and so perfectly consistent with itself and the known laws of Nature that the company sat spell-bound through it all, each one almost persuaded, for the time being, that he was listening to a voice from the other world. Indeed, so profound was the impression that some of them not spiritists, but members of the Christian Church then and there announced their conviction that C was actually conversing either with the spirit of Socrates or with some equally high intelligence.
At subsequent gatherings other pretended spirits were called up, among them some of the more modern philosophers, and one or two who could not be dignified with that title. When a modern spirit was invoked, the whole manner of C changed. He was more at his ease, and the conversation on both sides assumed a purely nineteenth-century tone. But the philosophy was the same; there was never a lapse or an inconsistency. With the introduction of every new spirit there was a decided change of diction and character and general style of conversation, and each one was