It remains to give one or two illustrations of the fourth division of the subject, namely, where similar thoughts have simultaneously occurred, or similar impressions have been made upon the minds of persons at a distance from each other without any known method of communication between them.
The first case was received and examined by the society in the summer of 1885. One of the percipients writes as follows: -
"My sister-in-law, Sarah Eustance, of Stretton, was lying sick unto death, and my wife had gone over there from Lawton Chapel (twelve or thirteen miles off) to see and tend her in her last moments. On the night before her death I was sleeping at home alone, and, awaking, I heard a voice distinctly call me.
"Thinking it was my niece Rosanna, the only other occupant of the house, I went to her room and found her awake and nervous. I asked her whether she had called me. She answered: 'No; but something awoke me, when I heard some one calling.' On my wife returning home after her sister's death she told me how anxious her sister had been to see me, craving for me to be sent for, and saying, 'Oh, how I want to see Done once more!" and soon after became speechless. But the curious part was that, about the same time that she was 'craving,' I and my niece heard the call."
In answer to a letter of inquiry he further writes: -
"My wife, who went from Lawton that particular Sunday to see her sister, will testify, that as she attended upon her (after the departure of the minister) during the night, she was asking and craving for me, repeatedly saying, 'Oh, I wish I could see Uncle Done and Rosie once more before I go !' and soon after she became unconscious, or at least ceased speaking, and died the next day, of which fact I was not aware until my wife returned on the evening of the Fourth of July."
Mrs. Sewill, the Rosie referred to, writes as follows: -
"I was awakened suddenly, without apparent cause, and heard a voice calling me distinctly, thus: 'Rosie, Rosie, Rosie.'" We (my uncle and myself) were the only occupants of the house that night, aunt being away attending upon her sister. I never was called before or since."
The second case is reported by a medical man of excellent reputation to whom the incident was related by both Lady G. and her sister, the percipients in the case. It is as follows:- -
"Lady G. and her sister had been spending the evening with their mother, who was in her usual health and spirits when they left her. In the middle of the night the sister awoke in a fright and said to her husband: ' I must go to my mother at once; do order the carriage. I am sure she is taken ill.' The husband, after trying in vain to convince his wife that it was only a fancy, ordered the carriage. As she was approaching her mother's house, where two roads meet, she saw Lady G.'s carriage approaching. As soon as they met, each asked the other why she was there at that unseasonable hour, and both made the same reply: -
'I could not sleep, feeling sure my mother was ill, and so I came to see.' As they came in sight of the house they saw their mother's confidential maid at the door, who told them, when they arrived, that their mother had been taken suddenly ill and was dying, and that she had expressed an earnest wish to see her daughters."
The reporter adds : -
"The mother was a lady of strong will and always had a great influence over her daughters."
Many well-authenticated instances of a similar character could be cited, but the above are sufficient for illustration, which is the object here chiefly in view, and other facts still further illustrating this division of the subject will appear in other relations.
The foregoing facts and experiments are sufficient to indicate what is understood by thought-transference, or telepathy, and also to indicate what might be called the skirmishing ground between the class of psychologists represented by the active workers in the Society for Psychical Research and kindred societies on the one hand, and the conservative scientists, mostly physiologists, who are incredulous of any action of the the mind for which they cannot find an appropriate organ and a proper method, on the other.
It is not claimed that thought-transference as here set forth is established beyond all possibility of doubt or cavil, especially from those who choose to remain ignorant of the facts, but only that its facts are solid and their interpretation reasonable, and that thought-transference has now the same claim to acceptance by well-informed people that many of the now accepted facts in physical science had in its early days of growth and development.
The reality of thought-transference being once established, a vast field for investigation is opened up ; a new law, as it were, is discovered; and how far-reaching and important its influence and bearing may be upon alleged facts and phenomena which heretofore have been disbelieved, or set down as chance occurrences, or explained away as hallucinations, is at present the interesting study of the experimental psychologist.