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"Singing without remuneration is like a dead body without perfumes."
"When the singing women," says Mr. Burckhardt, "perform in Egypt, they collect money from all the persons present, the landlord or host as well as the guests; and, according to custom, one of them proclaims with a loud voice the sum which each person puts on the plate, mentioning at the same time the donor's name. This custom excites the vanity of those who form the company, each from a kind of emulation in liberality wishing to have his own name mentioned as the most generous: this heightens the interest and pleasure of the society, and fills the pockets of the singers. ... A mixture of camphor and rose-water is sprinkled over the face of a dead person before the body is placed in the coffin."
LV. A DEVIL AT THE TOP OF ST. PAUL'S.
A SINGULAR HALLUCINATION.
Dr. Pritchard, in an essay on somnambulism and animal magnetism, with which he has enriched the Cyclopsedia of Medicine, has given so remarkable a case of ecstasis, as he calls it, that it deserves to be presented entire to our readers; it would be unjustifiable to clip it of a single line.
"A gentleman, about thirty-five years of age, of active habits and good constitution, living in the neighbourhood of London, had complained for about five weeks of slight headache. He was feverish, inattentive to his occupations, and negligent of his family. He had been cupped, and taken some purgative medicine, when he was visited by Dr. Arnould of Camberwell, who has favoured us with the following history. By that gentleman's advice he was sent to a private asylum, where he remained about two years; his delusions very gradually subsided, and he was afterwards restored to his family. The account which he gave of himself was, almost verbatim, as follows. We insert the statement as we received it from his physician.—One afternoon in the month of May, feeling himself a little unsettled, and not inclined to business, he thought he would take a walk into the city to amuse his mind; and having strolled into St. Paul's Churchyard, he stopped at the shop-window of Carrington and Bowles, and looked at the pictures, among which was one of the cathedral. He had not been long there, before a short, grave-looking, elderly gentleman, dressed in dark-brown clothes, came up, and began to examine th'e prints, and occasionally casting a glance at him, very soon entered into conversation with him; and, praising the view of St. Paul's which was exhibited at the window, told him many anecdotes of Sir Christopher Wren the architect, and asked him at the same time if he had ever ascended to the top of the dome. He replied in the negative. The stranger then inquired if he had dined, and proposed that they should go to an eatinghouse in the neighbourhood, and said that after dinner he would accompany him up St. Paul's: 'it was a glorious afternoon for a view, and he was so familiar with the place that he could point out every object worthy of attention.' The kindness of the old gentleman's manner induced him to comply with the invitation; and they went to a tavern in some dark alley, the name of which he did not know. They dined, and very soon left the table, and ascended to the ball just below the cross, which they entered alone. They had not been there many minutes, when, while he was gazing on the extensive prospect, and delighted with the splendid scene below him, the grave gentleman pulled out from an inside coat-pocket something like a compass, having round the edges some curious figures; then, having muttered some unintelligible words, he placed it in the centre of the ball. He felt a great trembling and a sort of horror come over him, which was increased by his companion asking him if he should like to see any friend at a distance, and to know what he was at that moment doing, for if so, the latter could show him any such person. It
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happened that his father had been for a long time in bad health, and for some weeks past he had not visited him. A sudden thought came into his mind, so powerful that it overcame his terror, that he should like to see his father. He had no sooner expressed the wish than the exact person of his father was immediately presented to his sight on the mirror, reclining in his arm-chair, and taking his afternoon sleep. Not having fully believed in the power of the stranger to make good his offer, he became overwhelmed with terror at the clearness and truth of the vision presented to him; and he entreated his mysterious companion that they might immediately descend, as he felt himself very ill. The request was complied with; and on parting under the portico of the northern entrance, the stranger said to him, 'Remember, you are the slave of the man of the mirror !* He returned in the evening to his home, he does not know exactly at what hour; felt himself unquiet, depressed, gloomy, apprehensive, and haunted with thoughts of the stranger. For the last three months he has been conscious of the power of the latter over him. Dr. Arnould adds, 'I inquired in what way his power was exercised. He cast on me a look of suspicion mingled with confidence; took my arm, and, after leading me through two or three rooms, and then into the garden, exclaimed, 'It is of no use; there is no concealment from him, for all places are alike open to him; he sees us and he hears us now.' I asked him where this being was who saw and heard us. He replied, in a voice of deep agitation, 'Have I not told you that he lives in the ball below the cross on the top of St. Paul's, and that he only comes down to take a walk in the churchyard, and get his dinner at the house in the dark alley? Since that fatal interview with the necromancer,' he continued,'for such I believe him to be, he is continually dragging me before him on his mirror, and he not only sees me every moment of the day, but he reads all my thoughts, and I have a dreadful consciousness that no action of my life is free from his inspection, and no place can afford me security from his power.' On my replying that the darkness of the night would afford him protection from these machinations, he said, 'I know what you mean, but you are quite mistaken. I have only told you of the mirror; but in some part of the building which we passed in coming away, he showed me what he called a great bell, and I heard sounds which came from it, and which went to it,— sounds of laughter, and of anger, and of pain; there was a dreadful confusion of sounds, and as I listened with wonder and affright, he said, 'This is my organ of hearing; this great bell is in communication with all other bells within the circle of hieroglyphics, by which every word spoken by those under my control is made audible to me.' Seeing me look surprised at him, he said, 'I have not yet told you all; for he practises his spells by hieroglyphics on walls and houses, and wields his power, like a detestable tyrant as he is, over the minds of those whom he has enchanted, and who are the objects of his constant spite, within the circle of the hieroglyphics.' I asked him what these hieroglyphics were, and how he perceived them? He replied, 'signs and symbols which you in your ignorance of their true meaning have taken for letters and words, and read, as you have thought,