THE LA W OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA.
priety if we should reply through the telephone something like this :
" Sir, your message is of portentous import to us, and we cannot hesitate to believe it if we can be assured that you are Arago the astronomer, as you represent. We can hear you, but we cannot see you, and you are not vouched for by any one we know. Please give us some proof of your identity."
Would Arago the astronomer, or any other sensible man, wrap himself in the mantle of offended dignity and treat us with silent contempt, or remind us of " the rules of good-breeding " ? Certainly not, especially if the object of his existence was to make the communication, not only for our individual benefit, but for the purpose of giving to all mankind that direct and positive assurance, that tangible evidence, for which all humanity has sought in vain since the dawn of creation.
Our author then continues :
"While spirits refuse to answer puerile and impertinent questions which a person would have hesitated to ask during their lives, they often spontaneously give irrefutable proofs of their identity by their character, revealed in their language, by the use of words that were familiar to them, by citing certain facts, particularities of their life sometimes unknown to the assistants, and whose truth has been verified. Proofs of identity will spring up in many unforeseen ways, which do not present themselves at first sight, but in the course of conversations. It is better, then, to wait for them, without calling for them, observing with care all that may flow from the nature of the communications. (See the fact given, No. 70.) "
Turning now to page 82 of the volume, we find the statement above alluded to, and it reads as follows :
"On a vessel of the Imperial French navy, stationed in the Chinese seas, the whole crew, from the sailors up to the staff-major, were occupied in making tables talk. They hit upon the idea of invoking the spirit of a lieutenant of this same vessel, some two years dead. He came, and after various communications, which astonished every one, he said, by rapping, what follows : ' I pray you instantly to pay the captain the sum of (he