Punch, 44 (1863), 121.
Better than Baron Munchausen
Spiritualism, Imposture, Charlatanry, Observation, Proof
Opens by explaining how the Spiritual Magazine has appeared to have answered Punch's earlier questions about the apparent disappearance of the 'Rappers' (PU1/44/8/4), by detailing some 'alleged spiritual phenomena' attributed to trickery by 'some gentlemen'. Proceeds to discuss a notice in the Spiritual Magazine on Home 1863. Focuses on Daniel D Home's description of an incident in which he found himself levitating and descending unconsciously among some aristocratic friends, and questions why Home did not reveal the name of the count who pulled off Home's boots 'against spiritual agency'. Proceeds to a similar incident related by Home in which the medium claimed to have levitated towards and written on a ceiling in the company of 'five gentlemen'. Punch asks for 'any credible and respectable person' to 'endorse Mr. Home's declaration', pointing out that 'There is an amount of testimony that would overcome the incredulity of even Mr. Punch' who would believe Henry J Temple (3rd Viscount Palmerston), Michael Faraday, and Richard Owen if they confirmed 'the evidence of his own eyesight' that 'the Lion at Northumberland House' wagged its tail.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005-07
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