The Boston Journal and the New York Daily Times.

Spiritualist Convention in Boston, December 29-31.


New York Daily Times, January 1, 1853

Spiritualist Convention.
Reported for the Boston Journal

A Convention of believers in Spiritual Manifestations commenced at the Masonic Temple Wednesday forenoon.  There were some two hundred persons in attendance, including those drawn thither by curiosity.

The convention was called at 10 o’clock, but nothing was done until about 10 ½ o’clock, when one gentleman arose and said he felt impressed to say a few words.  The object of the spirits in bringing this Convention together, he said, was to produce harmony among the believers.  Good would flower form this meeting.  Good spirits were here.  He was impressed to say that we must strive for liberty—must be more free to act and think.

After another half hour of silence, the call for the Convention was read, and a Committee was appointed to nominate a list of officers.  While the Committee was out,

Mr. [Stephen] MARTIN, of West Townsend, wanted the spirits consulted, through the mediums present, in regard to who should be officers.  They ought to be invited, he thought, to point out the officers, and he hoped to have the invitation extended.  If the spirits refuse to give us officers, then we can do as the world does, choose for ourselves.

Another member objected to this, and saw no necessity of calling the spirit world out to do the work which ought to be done by the members themselves.

The Committee returned, and reported for

President—JONATHAN BUFFUM, of Lynn.

Vice Presidents—Mr. S[eth] Haywood of Milford; Albert Bingham, of Boston, and Rev. Mr. [James Steven] Loveland, of Charlestown.

Secretaries—C[urtis] H. White, of Watertown, and S[imon] C[rosby] Hewitt, of Boston.

Mr. BUFFUM not being present, one of the Vice Presidents took the Chair, and Rev. Mr. Loveland, Dr. Felch, and John Hardy were appointed a business committee.

Mr. J. M. SPEAR then took the stand and said that, at 6 o’clock inst evening, he received notice of a communication to be received at 7 o’clock.  The communication came, and proved to be an address to the members of the convention relative to the objects of its assembling.  It purported to come from an assemblage of spirits convened in the spirit land, and gave the following directions.  1st.  Let there be no anxieties as to the results of the convention, they will be satisfactory.  2d. Let there be a patient waiting for suitable impression and action.  3d. Let all things which are said and done be in perfect agreement with and flow from truth, love and wisdom.  These things should be constantly before the mind of each member of the congregation.  4th. It should be distinctly stated, in a bold form, that a new era has commenced.  5th. Let it be boldly stated that the following beautiful manifestations will anon appear—new religious teachers; new arts of healing; new forms of Government; new and beautiful architectural structures; new communications in regard to the coming and glorious future.  6th. Let it be distinctly stated that there has never before come on earth a work which in so short a space of time has spread so widely and rapidly, and that the past prognosticates glorious things for the future.  7th. This work is to be the age of practical wisdom and useful knowledge.  The communication closed by saying that spirits of a high order would attend the convention to unseal lips so that they would speak, &c.  The spirit directed and intrusted with the duty of making this communication, was that of JOHN MURRAY.

Mr. SPEAR then suggested that a season be spent in silent or vocal prayer, which was done in the former manner.  He remarked that he had observed in many instances that the spirits always commence their prayers as follows:  “Father of Fathers, and Deity of Deities.”

A call was then made for the relation of past experience, but there was no response.

Mr. [Ira B.] DAVIS, of Boston, at length read a communication, which predicted in most flowing and extravagant language the great change which is to be brought about by the new era, which is the consummation of the mission of JESUS.  The reader added some remarks of his own, in which he condemned in severe language the present condition of society—more especially the religious—and thought it would take about 200 years to thoroughly develop the new phenomenon.

The President suggested that a small fee be asked for admission to the evening session, in order to defray the expenses.  It was voted to charge ten cents for admission to the evening meetings.

The Business Committee offered two resolutions, which will be discussed hereafter.  They were in substance that though many of the manifestations are low, unmeaning, and deceptive, yet “we find in them cause for further investigation, and grounds for a strong hope that they will hereafter improve, and become means of more reliable communication with departed spirits; and second, that much in these manifestations which is termed low, is the result of deception on the part of those seeking information.”

The Convention then adjourned until 2 P. M.

New York Daily Times, January 4, 1853

A Spiritual Rap.
Spiritual Convention in Boston.
Correspondent of the New-York Daily Times.
Boston, Thursday, Dec. 30, 1852.

A Convention of the Spiritualists began yesterday, at the Masonic Temple, in this city.  JONATHAN BUFFUM, of Lynn, was Chairman; Mr. HAYWOOD of Milford, ALBERT BINGHAM, of this city, and Rev. Mr. LOVELAND, of Charlestown, were Vice-Presidents; and Messrs. C. H. WHITE and S. C. HEWITT, Secretaries.  I went to witness the affair, expecting something effervescent and amusing—a demonstration of mediums, a lady in hysterics, or an occurrence of that sort.  But there was no such thing.  It was a very stupid and melancholy exhibition altogether.  BURKE says vice loses its worst features in losing its grossness.  In the same way a thumping absurdity loses half its importance when it is jolly and makes us laugh like a swarm of flies.  But there was no life, nor laughing at the Temple, yesterday.  Like WORDSWORTH’s “party in a parlor,” the audience were “all silent and all”—well, never mind!  They were only rather glum.

In the morning, Mr. J. M. SPEAR, a philanthropist and editor of a little publication called the Prisoner’s Friend, got up and declared with a pale, tremulous solemnity, that the day before he had been visited by a ghost—the ghost of MURRAY, the first Universalist preacher in Boston, who told him certain things.  Here Mr. SPEAR read a vague sort of document, to the effect that the ghost was anxious everything should be conducted at the Convention in an orderly way, and also foreshadowed a new order of things yet to be, when the world should have a better order of physicians, ministers, moralists, tailors, builders, and so forth.  I could not help thinking as I looked at the bloodless face of this very respectable citizen, now well stricken in years, that he was either a wonderful knave or a lunatic.  I would not say this, of course, on the house-tops; but as “surely thought were ne’er indicted treason,” I think it.  Mr. SPEAR gave us the further information that the spirits with which, or whom, he seemed to be on somewhat intimate terms, say always, in addressing the Divine Being, “Father of Fathers, and Deity of Deities!”

After this gentleman came a Mr. DAVIDSON—with wild head of hair, a reddish beard, and a Byronical cast of shirt-collar—who read a spiritual farrago in keeping with the foregoing.  He had a big rauque voice, and such a fine picturesque head, that the gentlemen in the audience did not hear him with much favor—out of envy.  He talked of the “good time coming”—quite an original idea that! And computed that in the course of a couple of centuries we may be looking out for it.

At the 2 o’clock session a Mr. GLEASON, from East Boston, spoke, and really, in sober sadness, I never head such a “shallow Pomona” on a public platform.  With a voice “as weak as hath a gote,” as CHAUCER would say, he talked the most helpless and disjoined balderdash.

“The rest to some faint meaning made pretence,
He never deviated into sense.”

I looked round on the people present, to consider them curiously in reference to this wretched outrage against common sense.  There were over two hundred persons—ladies and gentlemen—present, all very respectable looking people—a great many old men among them.  Some of these with their fine heads, white hair, and Webster expression of mouth, looked like so many Lycurguses and Solomons in council, while Mr. GLEASON went on talking hither and thither of the rivers of Paradise flowing through spirits and through bodies, and a variety of other impertinent trash which I should be ashamed to set down.  Confident and eloquent nonsense is tolerable; but this outrageous man was feeble and full of vulgarity.  He jargoned about and about his ridiculous “no meaning,” as a blind puppy moves in its nest, and wound up by telling the audience that the angel of the central planet of this solar system had come to him last night and told him what he should say on that platform!  I looked round on the calm, grave faces of the good-natured hearers, and I certainly did ask myself were those conscientious old inquisitors so unreasonable after all.  I felt a good deal might be said for them.

Mr. HEWITT, editor of the New Era, I believe, spoke next, with a voluminous rotundancy of syntax.  He said he had been reading in Household Words how CHARLES DICKENS and one of his friends went, with assumed names, to a London medium, and found her answers all false.  Well, why was that?  In his opinion it was because these gentlemen went with lies in their mouths.  The spirits were resolved that if they were to be insulted with lies, they could give nothing but lies in return.  Did not that stand to reason?  No doubt it did.  Then, as to the sneering objections against the lowness and vulgarity of what was called “Ghost Literature,” (he was sorry to see such objections in the New York Tribune, but he was sure it was not Mr. [Horace] GREELEY himself who wrote them) what would people have?  Was not this great system in its infancy?  How could the completeness and maturity of age be expected in infancy?  Let them wait till the mighty developments should have taken place, in time.  Everything of a noble and worthy nature was of slow, difficult growth.  That very slowness was a prophecy of its permanency.  The orator then raising his hand and his voice, and emphasizing his idears and phenomenors, followed an acorn up to the lofty ramifications of an oak.  He deserved a cheer for the management of this metaphor, but the audience sat as still as stones.  Mr. HEWITT doubtless considered all this as a crushing reply to those who demur against the orthography and syntax of the ghosts.

After him, Mr. SPEAR volunteered some more assertions, that spirits had, in some strange way, taken his hand and carried on to write about sermons, government, physic, architecture, &c.  Defending the vulgarity of the mediums, (this seemed to be rather a sore place in the system) he said he loved simplicity, and quoted some of the parables of Christ for their simple language.  Mr. LOVELAND, who had been a Methodist minister, but who had preferred Spiritualism to Methodism, repeated Mr. HEWITT’s argument, that spirits will not give true or proper answers to any one who is not in a proper and believing frame of mind.

Dr. ROGERS, of this city, who was announced as the Great Twalmley—I beg pardon, the author of “Dynamics, or the Mysterious Agents,”—got up to refute the doctrine of the spirit dealers, and argued in a “forcible feeble” manner, just as absurd as that of the others.  He wandered on till he was nearly ankle-deep in materialism, or something of the sort, and obfuscated himself and the meeting with, certainly, the best intentions.  A Dr. FARRET then went in, as far as he could, to try and get out the lurking truth of the matter.  He thought the mediums were too strong—too gross for the spirits—in the majority of instances, and imposed on the latter their own gross cacology.  Then came Mr. HEWITT again, (this was in the night session,) and rebuked Dr. ROGERS for his unlucky materialism.  He showed from the Bible, that spiritual communications cannot be denied by anyone who does not make up his mind to deny something more along with them.  He had his man there!  The audience, in their own strong way, were with HEWITT.  To be sure, nobody could go to deny angels and spirits; these are in the Bible.  The orator then went off on this broad principle; he was sure of his conclusions; “he rose upon a wind of prophecy;” he foresaw the developments, when we should be brought into close communion with the millions of spiritual beings that walk the earth; he overflowed with zeal, got into the beaten track of a peroration, and raising his voice to its biggest pitch, bombarded us with a shower of sentences, and sat down.  But there was no cheering; the people sat in the old, torpid way.

Mr. LOVELAND came next.  The speakers, you see, made the most of themselves; they “multiplied themselves among mankind,” as it were—they came on again every session, like giants refreshed with wine, reminding you of the Mason Walpolean lines:

“So when some John his poor invention racks
To rival Boodle’s dinners or Almacks,
Three uncouth legs of mutton shock our eyes,
Three roasted geese, three buttered apple pies.”

Mr. LOVELAND, I say, came on again and made another speech, tending to weaken and do away with those foolish objections against the vulgarity and falsehood of the mediums.  Indeed, neither he nor Mr. HEWITT would deny there was something unfavorable to their grand doctrine in the mode of these mediums.  But they would set that aside.  They would come to the broad spiritual principle.  This going off into generals was, in fact, the feature.  The speakers soared off into the sphere of spirit existence—made it their stronghold; and, indeed, poor Dr. ROGERS could not get at them up there.

You can fancy from this how dull the whole business was.  There was a fighting shy of all testing or coming to the point.  There was no experiment of any medium, no one to tell of his spiritual experience except Mr. SPEAR; and he spoke with such a vague, hazy periphrasis of words, that you did not well know whether he spoke figuratively or literally.  The same dishonest paltering and shuffling, mark the statements of them all; to listen to them is like trying to fill your belly with the east wind.  Going to that place, I expected to hear some bold, practical nonsense—some brisk balderdash to make us all cheerful.  But it was all stale, flat, and unprofitable.  They argued for spiritual existence the whole day, and nobody denied it.  The question—Whether this business of the mediums is a true thing, or a stupid roguery, was not argued at all.  They never came near that.  That there are or were angelic visitations and so forth, no one will care to deny; we are told of them in the Scriptures; we are told of them in the lives of the Old Fathers of the Church, et cela va sans dire.  This question is empirical—a matter of the faithful eyes and ears.  But it was not so treated.  We had nothing but “words, words, words,” big blatant balderdash, and a battle of wind bags—a contemptible affair of wind bags.

As I sat yesterday, listening to Mr. SPEAR and Mr. GLEASON telling falsehoods, dressed up in a vague and cowardly show of words, and saw the gravity with which venerable men and respectable women listened to them without believing them, I felt we had no right to talk of our morality and denounce that of other places, Rome or Paris, for instance.  The toleration which smiles on such effrontery of falsehood proves a certain demoralization of the public sentiment, such as must inevitably encourage a spirit of lying, swindling, and cheating in society.  Words were given us to express our thoughts—therefore let us use them.  The swindler sees the man on the platform, who vends his “rousing winds,” tolerated by all the neighbors, he knows the man is lying and that the rest know it too, and he feels the comfortable, free spirit of humbug excited within him, he says, “there’s nothing that is, but thinking makes it so,” and he goes away to cheat someone, for that sort of thing seems to be the order of the day.  Come, that’s all fair—we are not to be too hard on one another.  It is a dangerous thing for the morality of men and women alike, when they come together with the consciousness that they are encouraging and sharing a gross humbug or deception, or what is even doubtful.  That doctrine of being under the influence of a spirit is rather a dangerous one.  Spirits are not necessarily good.  We have heard of bad ones; and a bad one may take your hand, and put it into a neighbor’s pocket.  This reminds me that after Mr. LOVELAND had spoken, an old gentleman, a “lean and slippered pantaloon,” in a peruke and spectacles, spoke in a faint, fervent way of spirit doings in general, and said that on that very evening, setting by a friend, he felt his hand move towards that friend, involuntarily; that friend was talking of a bereavement, and the hand moved towards him to touch his!  There was a sign!  The spirit of love moved him unawares to his fellow-man, and his hand was made to extend itself!  How people could doubt these things was more than he could imagine!  People generally talk of the wisdom of age.  The longer I live the more I believe, with ARISTOTLE, Dr. JOHNSON, Lord CHESTERFIELD, and a dozen other great authorities whom I cannot now recollect, that the good qualities of age are negations, and that a foolish old man is necessarily more of a fool than a foolish young one.  But, as I was going to remark, why should not the pickpocket, or the general “man of three letters,” have this ghostly excuse for the movement of his hands, as well as the man of benevolence?  And then fancy the several movements of the hands, not necessarily dishonest, mind you, which may be just as fairly justified by this secret impulse.  Ah! That venerable elder I heard yesterday little thought what a door he was opening, by his argument, to that business of handling!  But he did not know what he was doing, no doubt.  There was another white-haired man who followed—a SOLON in air and aspect—who, to say the truth, spoke very well—a little transcendentally, but nevertheless, very well.  His argument was all in generals, in vague, undeniable generals, and he was listened to with equanimity by all but one young man—our friend, in fact, of the wild head of hair—the terrificam caesariem, and the Byronic shirt collar.  While the old man wandered on, in his fatherly, frank way—not knowing, apparently, when to stop, though people in twos and threes used to go out—(it was now near 10 o’clock)—this young man stood up markedly in his place and waited; and, when the elder blew his nose, broke in.  But the speaker begged pardon—was supported by the chair, and came round at his ease.  I then felt pity for the great-headed juvenile.  He had the biggest bass voice you ever started at, and when he threw it out, the people got up, struggling, all together, into their overcoats, and making for the door.  There was a sort of standing pause, however, to give the Convention one more chance for something enlivening and to the point; but the untimely riser was only bringing out an exordium suited to an earlier and more patient state of the meeting, and the public went off, without more ado.  I saw the orator stop, throw a piece of manuscript into his hat, and make his way into a surtout, as well as the others.  And it is my belief he will turn up to-morrow, and go through with the speech.  I saw it in his manner.


New York Daily Times, January 8, 1853

Matters in Boston—Spirit Convention, &c.
Correspondence of the New-York Daily Times.
BOSTON, Friday, Dec. 31, 1852.

Yesterday was the second day of the Spirit Convention, in the Masonic Temple.  Business was begun in the morning, by Mr. MARTIN, of West Townsend, who got upon the platform and completely bothered (pardon the phrase: “‘tis to the matter,” as Isabella says, in “Measure for Measure;” and Lord BROUGHAM used to be fond of using it in the House of Lords) himself and his hearers, in an attempt to explain some nonsensical diagrams he held in his hand.  The Spirits had impelled him to make them, and there they were.  This somewhat shallow charlatan rambled away, about the old orifice at the North Pole; talked of a parti-colored planet or star, which, like the Star in the East, indicated a great matter—a great city in California.  These incoherencies were put down in his diagram in black and white, and seemed to interest a few of the hallucinated.  Then Mr. J. M. SPEAR, one of the feeble pillows of this Babel, spoke again.  This man says he is the secretary, amanuensis and mouth piece of a committee of ten ghosts, and is compelled to speak or write as they dictate!  These ghosts are FRANKLIN, JEFFERSON, RUSH, LAFAYETTE and their compeers.  He now wished to bring forward evidence in support of the doctrine of manifestations—to show the powers of the Spirits in healing.  One day, sitting with his daughter, the hand of the father was moved to write that he should go visit a certain lady.  “For what?” says he.  “To relieve her,” replies she.  “At what hour?” says he.  “Twelve o’clock,” replies she.  He goes, finds the lady with a pain in her head.  Then his hand was raised towards her head, whereupon the pain began to remove, and went down, down, down, pursuing it all the time, till it came to the bottom and went off!  This impressed a good many of the audience, particularly the ladies, and Mr. SPEAR seemed to feel he had demolished a good deal of unbelief by that simple recital.  The garrulous and drawling old man then went on to state the nature of his own sayings and doings, while under invisible compulsion.  He said he has delivered lectures on a great many subjects, and did not understand what he was saying!  One would at first suppose there was “miching mallecho” in this—a sly hit at the wise men who read manuscripts o’nights; but the man was only thinking of his own balderdash, and when he said he has delivered over eighty lectures, on every existing subject in the world, without believing or comprehending what he stated, there was a good deal of merriment in the audience, as if they felt the old mystigogue was telling the truth now, at any rate.  Mr. [Amos Bronson] Alcott followed Mr. SPEAR, for the purpose of making objections, and asking to be enlightened.  The foggy nature of the proceedings seemed to overcome him; he tried to grapple with Mr. SPEAR’s theory, but failed, and rambled up and down in a very appropriate style.  Rev. Mr. LOVELAND came again, and gave an encouraging account of the spiritualities in Charlestown.  About thirty mystic circles revolve, weekly, in the shadow of the granite obelisk—a cause for great congratulation.  He spoke of his own manifestations in a vague and general way.

“Awhile at the Spiritualists’ Convention which is sitting—or sleeping, rather—in the Masonic Temple; and volunteer some rays of what we call ‘sunlight,’ to find the same somewhat annoying to the recumbents.  And so we desisted, and left them to their preferred lunacies.  This case of Mr. Feeble-Mind is a difficult one, always, to hand, and ‘tis the more becoming and considerate, doubtless, to leave him—utterly unable as he proves himself usually to apprehend his condition—to stumble, if he must, into the ditch digged by his lunacy and then convert his blunders sometime into blessings, if possible.”

—Bronson Alcott, Journals.  Alcott’s remark about “Mr. Feeble-Mind,” a character in The Pilgrim’s Progress, is obviously directed at John Spear.

In the afternoon, resolutions were brought forward, affirming belief in the manifestations, inviting cooperation and criticism, and advising the establishment of Sunday meetings, &c.  Then came a manuscript, which J. M. SPEAR said was communicated, through him, by the spirit of THOMAS JEFFERSON!  Such a farrago!  JEFFERSON calls this American people a set of thieves, hypocrites, charlatans, with their eyes in their polls, who love gold, whose priests are dishonest, and deserve to be taken and flung down from their pulpits.  As a remedy for all this, the nation must begin by becoming honest!  There is to be a new form of government, from which priests, lawyers, and doctors, will be banished; there will be no more priestly humbug and hypocrisy, and there is to be a general all-overness of devotion and spiritualized feeling, instead.  This Jeffersonian document will soon be published and distributed.  It is rather curious and amusing, that the good-natured “people,” when it heard itself called thievish, knavish, and hypocritical, seemed refreshed, and called out “good, very true!”  Rev. Mr. [William Melcher] FERNALD, of this city, spoke in condemnation of the new philosophy—had no faith at all in the spirits.  Rev. Mr. HEWITT replied to him, but was interrupted by the former, who said he was misrepresented.  It was funny to hear these gentlemen floundering through their hazy arguments, and then complaining that their opponents did not understand them.

In the evening, a committee, with Mr. HEWITT at its head, was appointed for the purpose of arranging for the next Convention, after which Mr. SPEAR read a communication.  Then Mr. [LaRoy] SUNDERLAND came on the platform—a hairy-faced man—enough to affect the nerves of any timid woman, by merely looking at her.  He has a wonderful hazy kind of voice—more like an afflatus, in fact, than a voice; and, being among the unbelievers of the outer benches, I could only get a sough of his wisdom, now and then.  He seemed to be rather an unwelcome visitor on the platform, and showed himself opposed to the philosophy of mediums.  He breathed away a quantity of indistinct and somewhat egotistical language, and laid down the points of his own system.  He believes men and spirits alike, generally speaking, did the best they could, which, I perceived, was cheerfully assented to by the audience, who took to him somewhat, seeing he was against the mediums, and expected something exhilarating.  Indeed, he it was who produced the first “applause,” I heard in this convention, by saying that the theory of mediums was a fallacy—that, in fact, there were in the country as many Dr. FRANKLINS and THOMAS JEFFERSONS as there were mediums.  Then Mr. SUNDERLAND got long past his time for speaking, and was interrupted by the President.  Rev. Mr. HEWITT, in a ponderous, drawing, deliberate way, then told a wonderful story of a little girl who went up to a widower, gave him a communication from his deceased wife—whom this little girl had never seen—and sitting in a chair produced the very identical and very peculiar fits to which the departed was subject.  She gave him fits, in fact.  The children of the departed, also, came into the room where the little girl was mediumising or representing the dead mother, and were so impressed with a sense of the likeness that they cried a good deal, and caressed the wonderful personatrix.  After this, the slow—solid—solemn—HEWITT—left—the—question—to—the—minds of—the audience.  Such a pedant I never heard as this reverend man.

The business ended by some more ridiculous narrations.  A venerable man from East Boston told a story of a lady in a parlor who got into a trance, and, while in it, told the Rev. Mr. [Warren Handel] CUDWORTH, (a man, said the narrator, who was almost a second CHANNING,) that she was possessed of the spirit of a young friend of his, and so went on to utter a spiritual communication to the Rev. Gentleman, who is, by the bye, very much liked on the island, and very popular in families.  “I am your friend,” cried she, “I was your classmate; I loved you once and I love you still!”  The old gent did not say whether or not the lady’s husband was present.  Being questioned, the “friend” said he was in the spirit; had lost his life.  Being asked how, the lady raised her arms, flounced and fizzed, and made an explosion.  Lord, how the outer people—the unbelievers—did laugh! completely interrupting the venerable speaker.  When they got quiet he went on to say that her manner and gesture indicated an explosion of bursting of something.  Being asked if he was blown up, the spirit said “Yes.”  Where?  “Between York and Albany.”  By land or water?  “On a beautiful river—did not know the name, but a beautiful river.”  Was it in the Henry Clay?  “No.”  Was it in the Reindeer?  “Yes.”  The Rev. Mr. CUDWORTH, the old gentleman continued, did not know who this could be, but when he heard the name, he knew at once that it was a young man with whom he had studied in college.

The reader will agree that these are very curious things, and mean something or other, very decidedly—something of mystery or something of mischief.  After this old gentleman (a Dr. Something—I could not catch the name) had sat down, the Chairman alluded to an article in Putnam’s Magazine in terms of approbation, recommending it to the attention of the audience, and the story of the scissors and pencil.  When he came deliberately to the going back of the pencil and the dotting of the i, there was a pleasant sensation generally, and a big unbeliever in front of me gave a short whistle and started for the door, trampling my feet in his haste.  But the thing was well-timed for the magazine: It was an excellent advertisement.  Mr. SPEAR now rose to say that a lady was going to sing a piece of music, composed by a departed spirit, by the hands of a man who did not know a semi-breve from a pot hook.  Well, there was a great lull, and certainly there came a very sweet, low, simple modulation from the larynx of a lady.  A spirit might have sung it, with no discredit, anywhere, seeing there was a sort of hymn cadence in it.  At the conclusion, there was some good earthly music from the spiritualists, and the Convention made a harmonious end, like the white swan of the old poet—

“Sic [ubi fata vocant, udis abiectus in herbis] Ad vada Maeandri, concinit albus olor.”

[“Thus, when the fates call, throwing himself down in the moist grasses, In the shallows of Maeander, sings the white swan.” Ovid in the Heroides 7.1: Dido to Aeneas]

Altogether, the nonsense of this Convention was conducted with greater decorum than is observed on many of the sensible occasions of life.  There is a method in this madness.  Last night the rappists adjourned to some future time and place of meeting.


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