Punch,  25 (1853), 58–59.

A New Chapter in the Romance of King Arthur



Poetry, Drollery

Relevant illustrations:



Spiritualism, Physiology, Psychology

    Subtitle explains that the poem shows 'how the Round Table moved of its own accord, and of the terrible Adventure of the Rapping Spirits, and how Sir Lancelot took upon him the quest of a medium'. Goes on to describe how the ladies of King Arthur's court were 'rapt in admiration' of 'Rapping Spirits' in case there was '"something wicked" mingled with a sport so dear' and notes that the sages argue '[a]gainst reason' about 'ideo-motor systems, motive wills, and vital force'. Describes how the Round Table began to rotate and dragged with it the knights and their ladies, with King Arthur sitting in the middle of the 'great Cartesian whirlwind'. (58) Later in the poem 'the ghost of [...] Merlin' communicates by spirit-rapping and 'Linette' is described as 'the damsel Sauvage' who held '"mesmeriques séances" every afternoon at four'. 'Dame Lyons', a medium in King Arthur's court, explains how she had 'with her quick clairvoyant spirit seen the merry scene' involving the table and warns that 'media' cannot explain the 'mystic raps [...] for a fee'. (59) Illustration shows the Round Table in full flight, with King Arthur in the centre and his knights and ladies being dragged around the circumference.

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