Cornhill Magazine,  5 (1862), 754–60.

Roundabout Papers.—No. XX. The Notch on the Axe.—A Story À La Mode. Part III  [3/3]

[William M Thackeray]


Regular Feature, Editorial—Short Fiction, Drollery, Serial


Mesmerism, Spiritualism, Supernaturalism, Reading

    After revealing that he possesses 'in rather a remarkable degree what we have agreed to call the mesmeric power', the Count de Pinto relates how in the previous century he discovered the treachery of his Parisian secretary, Goby de Mouchy, by setting an 'unhappy girl to sleep. Then she was obliged to tell me all' (755). Upon discovering de Mouchy's perfidy, Pinto set up a remarkable chain of events which saw his secretary somnabulised and 'willed' to proceed to the apartments of Joseph I Guillotin, where he took his own life with the inventor's new machine of execution (756). Before finally leaving the narrator, Pinto tells him, 'Only of this be sure. "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophy"' (758). The narrator soon wakes up beside 'one of those awful—those admirable—sensation novels, which I had been reading, and which are full of delicious wonder', and realises that he has dreamt the whole encounter. He is, however, 'rather sorry to lose' the company of the mysterious medium. (760)


Thackeray 1863

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