"H. Wedgwood."

Quoting again from Mrs. R.'s journal: "Friday, Sept. 27. - Mr. Wedgwood came, and we had two sittings - in the afternoon and evening. I think the same spirit wrote throughout, beginning without signature, but when asked the name, writing John Gurwood. The effort, at first incoherent, developed afterward into the following sentences: ' Sword - when I broke in, on the table with plan of fortress - belonged to my prisoner - I will tell you his name to-night. It was on the table when I broke in. He did not expect me. I took him unawares. He was in his room, looking at a plan, and the sword was on the table. Will try and let you know how I took the sword to-night.'

"In the evening, after dinner: 'I fought my way in. His name was Banier - Banier - Banier. The sword was lying on a table by a written scheme of defence. Oh, my head! Banier had a plan written out for defence of the fortress. It was lying on the table, and his sword was by it.

. . . Look! I have tried to tell you what you can verify.' "

Mr. Wedgwood reports his verification as follows: -

"When I came to verify the messages of Plan-chette, I speedily found that Col. Gurwood, the editor of the duke's dispatches, led the forlorn hope at the storming of Ciudad Rodrigo in 1812 (note Planchette's error in date), and received a wound in his skull from a musket-ball, 'which affected him for the remainder of his life/ {Annual Register, 1845). In recognition of the bravery shown on that occasion, he received a grant of arms in 1812, registered in the College of Arms as having been passed 'upon the narrative that he (Capt. G.) had led the forlorn hope at Ciudad Rodrigo, and that after the storming of the fortress the Duke of Wellington presented him with the sword of the governor who had been taken prisoner by Capt. Gurwood.' "

The services thus specified were symbolized in the crest, described in the "Book of Family Crests": "Out of a mural coronet, a castle ruined in the centre, and therefrom an arm in armor embowed, holding a cimeter."

It was evidently this crest that Planchette was trying to sketch. The Annual Register of 1845 also confirms Planchette's assertion that Col. Gur-wood killed himself on Christmas Day of that year, and adds : "It is thought that this laborious undertaking (editing the dispatches) produced a relaxation of the nervous system and consequent depression of spirits. In a fit of despondency the unfortunate gentleman terminated his life."Compare Planchette : "Pen was too much for me after the wound."

Here are described four instances of automatic writing by means of Planchette. Two of these cases were reported to Mr. Myers, who has thoroughly canvassed them as regards their authenticity, as well as the ability and good faith of the persons concerned, both in the writing and reporting; and he has made use of them in his own able argument upon the same subject.

In the other cases the messages were written under my own observation, my own hands also being upon the board. In the case of Mr. and Mrs. Newnham the intelligence which furnished the messages disclaimed altogether the aid of any spirit except "wife's spirit," which did "unconsciously guide." In the case reported by Mr. Wedgwood and Mrs. R., the intelligence distinctly claimed to be from Col. John Gurwood, who had died nearly fifty years before. In my own cases, in that written with the co-operation of my friend s school-girl daughter, the intelligence claimed to be that of Peter Stuyvesant, while in those written with Miss V., various names were given, none of which was recognized as belonging to a person of whom we had ever had any knowledge, and all bore abundant evidence of being fictitious. One, indeed, professed to be "Beecher," and declined to give an opinion on the prospective trotting qualities of a colt, on the ground that he was "no horseman"; and in our later experiments, when closely questioned, it distinctly stated that the intelligence came from the mind of Miss V. herself.

Let us analyze these messages a little further. Those written by Mr. and Mrs. Newnham were remarkable, not only because Mrs. Newnham was writing without any conscious knowledge of what was being written, but neither had she any conscious knowledge of the questions to which she was writing the answers. Evidently, then, her own ordinary consciousness was not acting at all in the matter regarding either the questions or answers, for she was fully awake, in her normal condition, and perfectly competent to judge of her own mental state and actions. Nevertheless, there was some intelligence acting reasonably and consciously, and making use of her hand to register its thoughts.

In a former chapter I (Psychical Research - Telepathy Or Thought-Transference) have described and illustrated a somewhat unusual mental phenomenon, to which the name thought-transference, or telepathy, has been given; and in another I have endeavored to demonstrate the existence of a secondary or subliminal self or personality.

If I mistake not, it is here, in these two comparatively little known and, until recently, little studied, psychical conditions, that we shall find the key to message-bearing automatism, as well as other manifestations of intelligence which have heretofore been considered mysterious and occult. Applying this key to the Newnham Planchette-writing, the secondary personality or subliminal self of Mrs. Newnham took immediate cognizance of the questions silently and secretly written out by her husband, although they were utterly unknown to her ordinary or primary self, and made use of her hands to communicate the answer.

The answer, also, was of course unknown to her primary self, but her subliminal self, in addition to its own private and constant stock of knowledge and opinions, had the advantage of more subtle means of securing other knowledge necessary for a proper answer, and so sought it in her husband's mind, or wherever it could be obtained. The sources of information accessible to the subliminal self, through means analogous to those which have been named - thought-transference and telepathy - are certainly various, and their limit is not yet known. We may mention, however, in this connection, besides the mind of the automatic writer - the mind of the questioner, and also the minds of other persons present, in any or all of which may be stored up knowledge or impressions of which the ordinary consciousness or memory retains no trace; it may be a scene witnessed in childhood; a newspaper paragraph read many years ago; a casual remark overheard, but not even noticed - all these and many more are sources of information upon which the subliminal self may draw for answers, which, when written out by the automatist, seem absolutely marvellous, not to say miraculous or super-natural.

Thus, the prayer at the ceremony of the advancement of a Mark Master Mason, although language entirely unfamiliar to Mrs. Newnham, was perfectly familiar to her husband, who was himself a Mason, and, I believe, a chaplain in the order; and while the form was not one actually 12 used, it contained strictly accurate technicalities, and would have been perfectly appropriate to such an occasion.

The messages written by Mr. Wedgwood and Mrs. R. profess to come directly from the spirit of Colonel Gurwood; but without absolutely discarding that theory, having the key to which I have referred, let us see if such a supposition is necessary to explain the facts.

It may be conceded at once that neither Mr. Wedgwood nor either of the ladies with whom he wrote had any conscious knowledge of Col. Gurwood-his military career, or his sad taking off; but they were all intelligent people. John Gurwood, as it turned out, was a noted man; he was an officer in the Peninsular War, under the Duke of Wellington, performed an act of special bravery and daring, in the performance of which he was severely wounded, and for which he was afterward granted a coat of arms. He was also afterward chosen to edit the duke's dispatches. All this was recorded in the Annual Register for 1845, soon after Gurwood's death, together with a description in the language of heraldry of the crest or coat of arms which had been granted him many years before.

It is scarcely possible that such an event would riot have been noticed in the newspapers at the time of Gurwood's death, and nothing is more probable than that some of these intelligent persons had read these accounts, or as children heard them read or referred to, though they may now have been entirely absent from their ordinary consciousness and memory. At all events, the subliminal self or secondary consciousness of Mrs. R., whom Planchette designates as "the medium," or of Mr. Wedgwood, may have come into relationship with the sources of information necessary to furnish the messages which it communicated, and these sources may have been the knowledge or impressions unconsciously received many years before by some of those present, the generally diffused knowledge of these facts which doubtless prevailed in the community at the time of Gurwood's death, and the full printed accounts of these events, many copies of which were extant.

From the description of Gurwood's coat of arms the idea could easily have been obtained which Planchette rudely represented in drawing, constituting what is called a test, and also the other knowledge concerning his military career and death which appeared in the various messages.

Regarding cases coming under my own observation, the incident relating to Peter Stuyvesant's pear tree was well known to us both, and had only recently been a matter of general conversation, and all of those present had a more or less distinct idea of Peter Stuyvesant himself, derived from Irving's "Knickerbocker's History of New York."

Of the cases observed with Miss V., as before stated, nearly all the names given of "authorities," as we called them, were evidently fictitious, scarcely one being recognized, and none were of persons with whom we had any connection, and some did not claim any other origin than our subliminal consciousness, as was also the case with messages written by Mrs. Newnham.

If, then, some of the messages are surely the work of the subliminal self of the writer, aided by its more acute and more far-reaching perceptions, and if nearly all may be accounted for in the same way, the probability that all such messages have the same origin is greatly increased, and in the same degree the necessity for the spiritualistic theory is diminished, since it is evident that of two theories for explaining a new fact we should accept that one which better harmonizes with facts already established.