A MELANCHOLY TOUR
I ANXIOUSLY sought Information as to the best place to
which to take her, consulting many persons and books.
The place recommended by him was a
spot on the
Meanwhile, thanks to her indomitable will, she had been able to write without intermission [to the Lady’s Pictorial] her weekly medical letter, with answers to correspondents, and her monthly article for an American magazine, and this without any falling off in quality or style, her vivacity never flagging however great her weakness and suffering. It seemed as if the abstraction of mind consequent on thinking lifted her above the organism to a level where her health was unimpaired, so that when thus engaged she was no longer the sufferer and invalid. I could not but feel, however, that the work ministered to exhaustion, according to the teaching received by us that “thought is substance, and every thought a substantial action.” And I could not but wish – and it was her wish also – that if she must work, it should be in her special line, which no one else could do, that the world might be the richer in the knowledge which it so sorely needed, and which she alone could supply.
But, knowing the hygienic value of cheerfulness, I would say nothing to depress her, but, on the contrary, chose for our reading together the most amusing and interesting literature. Thus I read aloud to her the whole of King Solomon’s Mines, which was then just come into vogue, and so great was her enjoyment of it that for once I accounted Mr. Rider Haggard a benefactor of his kind.
“MARSEILLES, HÔTEL DE LA GARE, Feb. 17 .
“By the time this reaches you
we shall be at St. Raphael, Hôtel Beau Rivage. My husband is with me. We came on Tuesday 15th, in
wagon-salon, and arrived here to-day at 1 A.M., more dead than alive – at least I was.
Mr. M. has been passing most of his time with Baron Spedalieri,
and will spend the evening with him. I want my husband to go over to Nice and
see the next Battle of Flowers, but I fear he won’t like to leave me,
which is a pity, for he won’t have another chance. We find the weather
bitterly cold, and not at all what we expected. Lady Burton is at
My intercourse with the veteran
student of the divine science was in the highest degree cordial and gratifying.
He came to the station to greet Mary on our departure for St. Raphael, which was
the only opportunity then available, and he promised to visit us while we were on
some unpublished MSS. of his master and friend, “Eliphas Levi,” and also the latter’s own copy – largely annotated and illustrated by himself – of the book of the eminent Hermetist, the Abbot Trithemius, printed in 1567, De Septem Secundeis, being an exposition of the course of the world’s spiritual evolution under the successive operation of the Seven Elohim, or Spirits of God, of the Creative Week of Genesis. The book had an especial interest for us as containing the principles of the calculations in virtue of which, as recorded by “Eliphas Levi,” Trithemius had prophesied the New Illumination and its date, of which Baron Spedalieri had recognised our work as the realisation. (1) He gave me also photographs of himself and of “Eliphas Levi.”
Arrived at St. Raphael, she wrote to Lady Caithness: –
“HÔTEL BEAU RIVAGE,
“My husband thanks you for
your kind invitation, which, however, he could not accept because
of the sore throat given him by the bitter cold. To-day he is quite laid up,
and has written to decline Mrs. Thursby Pelham’s
invitation to lunch with her on Monday and see the Battle of Flowers. I never
felt such cold; it is glacial. We shiver all day, and can only get warm in bed.
We have very nice rooms, all en suite, full south, looking
straight over the sea, but at present I have seen little of the beauties of the
place, as I dare not leave the hotel. Lady Burton, at
“Since I wrote the first page of this letter we have been out for our first walk together. As it is my first walk since the beginning of my illness on November 17 , you may suppose it has been quite an event. We only went a very little way along the shore, but still it is a beginning. I am hoping now that before this week is over we may be able to take a trip to Nice. Though I fear we shall see nothing of the Carnival.
“After my husband has gone
“You must let me know how your ball went off. Send me a paper about it. St. Raphael knows nothing of the Carnival; it is as quiet as you please. My doctor (Lutaud) comes this week, and, I expect, will come to see me either to-morrow or next day. He is the editor of the Journal de Médecine, and is Pasteur’s bitterest enemy. Hence we are already quite comrades. I should like to get a sight of Nice in the season. When I saw it the Promenade des Anglais was quite desolate. Moreover, I want to see your beautiful
house, about which I have heard so much. I am trying to find out whether I can make the journey to Nice and back in the same day. – Always your loving
Charming as we found St. Raphael for its scenery, quietude, and sundry other advantages, its climate during most of our stay was disagreeable and treacherous in the extreme, keeping us in constant anxiety. An intense sun, combined with a keen wind, was the rule, and the hours were few and far between when it could with any certainty be said that a walk or a drive could be taken with safety. And this even for persons sound of lung. Desiring to escape from the place and try some other, we were very anxious for the promised visit of her doctor. He came at length, but under circumstances altogether unanticipated and lugubrious. Early one morning we were roused by feeling our beds heaving and sinking as if on a sea-wave, a sensation which was repeated several times at short intervals. Meanwhile Mary and A. were clamouring at my door, telling me there was an earthquake, and asking what was best to be done, and whether we ought not to rush out into the open lest the house fall upon us. As the fall of the house was doubtful, and exposure to the bitter air outside meant certain death for her, I counselled an instant return to bed and a calm awaiting of events, taking care to keep warmly covered up. We all followed this advice, and lay so long as the vibrations continued, listening for the subterranean rumble which preceded each shock, and calling out to each other, “Here comes another,” the effect always proving proportionate to the loudness of the rumble, which last exactly resembled the passage of a heavy train underground. The railroad was well within hearing, so that we were able to mark the similarity of the two sounds, and to observe that the only difference between them lay in the fact that when a train passed, our beds did not upheave, and when a shock came, they did. In the course of the morning they ceased; telegrams from Nice and other places announced a terrible earthquake, and during all that day and the next, trains in numbers arrived, or passed by, filled with fugitives hastening to some safer district. Among the later arrivals was Dr. Lutaud, having the look of a man scared and shaken, as by some narrow escape from imminent destruction. He was asleep, he told us, in his hotel at Mentone, when, on being
roused by a shock and a crash, he looked up to see the open sky above him, the roof and ceiling having fallen in, but without injuring him.
The following struck us as a somewhat singular coincidence. It will be remembered that, when at Nice in the autumn of 1882, Mary had been charged by a voice speaking through her, while under the influence of an anaesthetic taken to allay asthma, to make a fresh will, on the ground that her existing one was an “evil will.” (1) She had declined to comply, partly because she both distrusted the source of the injunction and resented the dictation, and partly because she was satisfied with the will as it stood. Now, however, after an interval of nearly four and a half years, when driven back almost to the same spot, she found herself spontaneously approving the change then indicated, and accordingly remade her will, further consideration having entirely reversed her judgment in the matter. (2)
We remained at St. Raphael until A.
quitted us for home, his parish duties compelling his return, and on the same
day started for Nice – the earthquake having ceased for some days –
and arrived there March 8, but unfortunately not until after dark, owing to our
having first seen A. off on his homeward journey. For the evil Karma which we
had been given to understand would “pursue Mary and her nearest
associates so long as she persisted in leading a virtuous life” (3)
baffled all the precautions we had taken to select eligible lodgings. Following
the strong recommendation of some friendly English gentlewomen who were staying
at our hotel at St. Raphael, we found ourselves doomed to a repetition of the
experiences which had driven us from the
worst forebodings of what might follow. But there was no alternative but to make the best of them for that night; and the people, who were Swiss, were really so nice that we had not the heart to show distrust of their assurances of attention and sympathy, to say nothing of the effort it would be to Mary to set off at that hour in quest of another hotel. As it was, neither of us went to bed, the night being passed in pacing our rooms, endeavouring to allay her asthma by burning stramonium, a drug which was her constant vade mecum when travelling, sipping hot coffee, and in fighting the mosquitoes, which thickly swarmed.
On communicating our position next
morning to Lady Caithness, she promptly sent her carriage for us, and a
recommendation to go to the Hôtel Cosmopolitan,
whither we at once repaired, and where we remained, much to our comfort, during
our sojourn at Nice. In the afternoon we visited her at her beautiful house
– the Palais Tiranty
– a meeting the pleasure of which seemed so completely to efface for Mary
the effects of the miseries of the night as greatly to encourage my hope of her
ultimate recovery, by showing how extraordinary was her power of self-repair.
But the hope proved delusive, for it soon became evident that Nice was no place
for her, the keenness of its winds far exceeding those we had left behind at St.
Raphael, while the dust was such as to be a constant torment and source of
danger. I longed to get her to
who declared that she exactly resembled his conception of that character. The Mi-carême occurring during our stay, we witnessed and took part in the Battle of Flowers, our friend’s son driving us up and down the Promenade des Anglais for the purpose. The scene was bright and animated in the extreme, and Mary enjoyed it vastly, showing a gaiety and vivacity which made for me the most vivid and saddening contrast with her actual state, only too plainly visible to me, as I sat opposite to her, in the lines of her wan and wasted face, which were so strongly brought out by the brilliant sunlight as to confirm the worst anticipations of the results of her malady. But, as was characteristic of her, excitement lifted her into another sphere, where all consciousness of the lower was lost, and even the apprehensions expressed by me of the danger of her exposure to the keen wind that was blowing seemed to her unfounded. Nevertheless, I have since always considered that day at the Battle of Flowers as more than any other event responsible for the final result, by serving to intensify and confirm a mischief which until then was not past cure.
On March 20  we left Nice for
Genoa, on our way to Rome, Mary positively refusing to visit Naples on account
of the harrowing descriptions she had heard of the barbarous treatment to which
animals are subjected in the streets of that city. We spent two nights at
“I cannot continue to travel
and live in hotels, but must have a home of my own in which to live or to die.
if it was my destiny to be homeless until I was forty, I have reached that age, and outlived so much of my evil Karma.”
Her business satisfactorily settled at Genoa, where her brother duly met us, we proceeded to Pisa, intending to proceed the following day to Rome; for, besides having already seen Pisa, we both disliked it for the atmosphere of death-in-life which pervades it. But we were detained there for four days by an attack of illness which we ascribed to the propinquity of our hotel to the river, and the effect of which was to reduce Mary yet lower.
Determined to leave no opening for
mishaps at Rome, and aware of the liability of that place to become crowded on
the approach of Easter, I took occasion on our detention at Pisa to obtain in
advance the promise of rooms at the Hotel Continental, choosing that locality
for its altitude above the old and low-lying districts of the city. But the
precaution proved unavailing. We reached our hotel only to find that the pressure
of arrivals had rendered it impossible to retain rooms for us, and we were
consequently compelled to put up at an address given us by the manager, the
accommodation at which was such as to compel our removal on the day following,
supposing the quest for a suitable lodging to be successful, a result declared
by our host to be out of the question. He was not far from wrong, so arduous a
quest did it prove to be. Only after several hours of driving from house to
house, and street to street, and quarter to quarter, did we succeed in obtaining
even tolerable accommodation, and this was in the district the farthest removed
both in locality and in climate, as well as in
costliness, from what we desired. For it was at the Hôtel
de Russie, in the Piazza del Popolo.
Happily we had some friends in
During our long quest on the day
after our arrival we had an experience which showed us what we might have
expected had we gone to
Presently she reappeared breathless
and flushed, as from a fright or some unwonted exertion. She had seen from the
carriage a boy ill-treating a dog on the other side of the Piazza. In an
instant she had rushed to the rescue, seized the boy, given him a vigorous
shaking and rating, and forced him to let the animal go. Then, on the boy
calling to a man, who appeared to be his father, for help, she had beaten a
hasty retreat into the hotel, whither he refrained from following her. And her
only reply to my expressions of concern was to show me her broken parasol, and
say that, if she was to stay in
we thought, had pilgrimage to the
The prospect of a sojourn in
There was yet another sentiment which prompted her to keep in touch with the Church. This was the impression that she might obtain from it some official recognition of our work which would ensure to it a serious and far-spreading attention. And hence, when – as more than once happened – overtures had been made to her offering to make her the head of a new religious order if she would submit to direction, she had been disposed to regard
the proposition as not unworthy of consideration, but had readily abandoned the idea when, on consulting with me, she came to see in the proposal but an insidious device for suppressing both her and our work altogether. For, as was obvious to me, it would be simply suicidal to the whole sacerdotal system to propound an interpretation which, by the very fact of its being an interpretation, posited the understanding, instead of authority, as the basis of belief, and by its nature was destructive of the whole fabric of the theology on which sacerdotalism rested, and would involve, therefore, the damning admission on the part of the Church that, so far from being, as it claimed to be, infallible, it was not merely fallible, but utterly fallen and corrupt, and was a Church, not of Christ, but of Antichrist. As well might Jesus and the prophets, and their followers, appeal to Caiaphas and his successors for recognition of their doctrine as we to official ecclesiasticism for recognition of ours.
Besides which, as I argued on such occasions, the very fact of our message being made to appear as emanating from, or as sanctioned by, some one particular section of the Church, would fatally prejudice against it all other sections. And, moreover, the fact of the selection of myself, who, while really a free-thinker and detached from all sections, was nominally a Protestant, was proof positive that our mission was really Catholic, embracing the whole of Christendom and the world in its scope, and not merely Roman Catholic, which section was sufficiently represented by herself.
I had further pointed out that the acceptance by her of such proposals would involve our dissociation from each other, and the dissolution of the collaboration in which we had been divinely conjoined, seeing that neither would the makers of the proposal accept me nor would I join them, or become in any way connected with a body having so awful a record behind it as the Roman Church. To do so would be to condone not only the most pernicious system of imposture by which he human mind had ever been repressed and enslaved; it would be to condone the Inquisition and its wholesale practice of human vivisection done in the interests of a caste. It was not from the Church visible, terrestrial, and corrupt that our commission was derived, but from the Church invisible, celestial, and incorruptible, and it would be the basest of betrayals to submit to the former. No; if the Gods had
wanted both of their instruments to be even nominally members of the Church of Rome, they would have selected some other than myself for her colleague.
To all this she had unreservedly assented, and we had long ceased to refer to the subject,
considering it finally settled. But knowing her sensitiveness on the astral
plane in her system to influences appertaining, as do those of sacerdotalism,
to that plane, I could not but be alive to the possibilities of a contact with
them in their own chiefest headquarters and
stronghold. And hence, while systematically refraining from any allusion to the
subject, and leaving her absolutely free and unbiassed
to form her own conclusions, I watched carefully for such indications as might
manifest themselves, hopefully bearing in mind the old saying that the best
antidote to Romanism is a visit to
few friends we had in
Mary was especially anxious to learn the extent to which the Church exerted itself to elevate and humanise the people at large. The information obtained left her in no doubt on the subject. It effectually convinced her that the one endeavour of the Church was to sustain its own authority and promote its own material interests, and the last thing it cared for was the intellectual, moral, and spiritual improvement of the people. Ignorance was, for it,
the mother of devotion, and the more ignorant the
people the stronger would be their faith and the firmer the foundation of the
Church. Even the brutality of disposition manifested by their treatment of
animals was no bar to their being accounted good Catholics. The animals were
not Christians, and Christians owed no duty to them. From
ANIMALS AND THEIR SOULS
“To the Editor of ‘Light.’
“SIR, – I have been long ill, and am still too great an invalid to enter into any controversy; but I should like, à propos of the subject of Mrs. Penny’s interesting letter of March 19 on animals and their after-life, to relate a pathetic little story which I heard from a well-known spiritualist in Paris. At a certain séance held in that city, a clairvoyant saw and described spirits whom she beheld present. Among the sitters was a stranger, an English gentleman, unknown to anyone in the room. Looking towards him, the clairvoyant suddenly exclaimed, ‘How strange! Behind that gentleman I see the form of a large setter dog, resting one paw affectionately on his shoulder, and looking in his face with earnest devotion.’ The gentleman was moved, and pressed for a close description of the dog, which the clairvoyant gave. After a short silence he said, with tears, ‘It is the spirit of a dear dog which, when I was a boy, was my constant friend and attendant. I lost my parents early, and this dog was my only companion. While I played at cricket he always lay down watching me, and when I went to school he walked to the door with me. He constituted himself my protector as long as he lived, and when he died of old age I cried bitterly.’ The clairvoyant said, ‘This dog is now your spirit guardian. He will never leave you; he loves you with entire devotion.’
“Is not that a beautiful story?
“I don’t think, however,
that I should have been moved to give it here but that, while I was at Nice a
few days ago, someone sent Lady Caithness a new Journal just issued by an ‘occult’
society or lodge, in which there was a passage which deeply grieved both of us.
It was a protest against belief in the survival of the souls of animals. Such a
passage occurring in any paper put forth by persons claiming to have the least knowledge of things occult is
shocking, and makes one cry, ‘How long, O Lord, how long?’ The
great need of the popular form of the Christian religion is precisely a belief
in the solidarity of all living things. It is in this that Buddhism surpasses
Christianity – in this Divine recognition of the universal right to
charity. Who can doubt it who visits
on it. (1) No one save myself interfered.
To-day I saw a great, thick-shod peasant kick his mule in the mouth out of pure
wantonness. Argue with these ruffians, or with their priests, and they will
tell you ‘Christians have no duties to the beasts that perish.’
Their Pope has told them so. (2) So that everywhere in Catholic
Christendom the poor, patient, dumb creatures endure every species of torment
without a single word being uttered on their behalf by the teachers of religion.
It is horrible – damnable. And the true reason of it all is because the
beasts are popularly believed to be soulless. I say, paraphrasing a mot
of Voltaire’s, ‘If it were true that they had no souls, it would be
necessary to invent souls for them.’ Earth has become a hell for want of
this doctrine. Witness vivisection, and the
We witnessed much in and about
Meanwhile she found herself attracted, with a force and decision
which surprised her, to the Greek, as against the
Christian, associations and art of
The sight of the approaches to the
The dream began by her visiting some of the committee meetings of the Anti-Vivisection Societies she had been the means of founding on the Continent. She had been greatly disappointed at the meagreness of their results; and now, on presenting herself among them, she found that the only members present were a few women, and that these were engaged in discussing matters personal and domestic merely, and neglecting their real business on the plea that it was not urgent and might be performed at any time. Finding her proposition to set to work at once coldly
received, she impatiently withdrew, and,
following a sudden idea, made her way straight to the Pope, covering hundreds
of miles in what seemed to her a few moments, and passing without pause or
hesitation, as if she knew the way perfectly, in at the entrance by which we
had entered, past the guard, and up the steps, and through the corridors,
directly into his Holiness’s sanctum, where he was sitting at his
writing-table alone and lost in thought. Here, kneeling beside him, she cried
in accents imploring and almost commanding, “Holy Father, help me to save
the animals from their cruel oppressors; above all from their scientific
tormentors, those worst enemies of God and of man. Sanction the creation of an
Order devoted especially to the abolition of vivisection; give us a title and a
badge of your own devising and your blessing, and by God’s help I will
undertake and do the rest!” He listened without speaking, looking keenly
at her the while, as if – it seemed to her – that he was trying to
identify her with some character already familiar to him, but with an
expression in which compassion and contempt were so curiously blended as to
baffle completely her attempt to divine his frame of mind. Then, still keeping
silence, he took from the table a large sheet of blank paper, which he twisted
about until it was folded in the form of a fool’s cap. This he placed on
her head, and said, “My daughter, you shall have your Order. It shall be
called ‘The Fools of Christ,’ and this cap will be your badge.”
Such was the dream the recollection of which so much excited her on visiting
Of all her dreaming experiences which were not of distinctly celestial derivation, those of the night of April 12 bore the palm, whether for multiplicity of incident, vividness of portrayal, or startlingness of dénouement. They were veritable surprise dreams, of which the end was wholly unanticipatable, and yet, when it came, was evidently the end to which the whole dream led up. These are the two dreams related in Dreams and Dream-Stories under the headings, “A Haunted House Indeed” and “The Square in the Hand,” one a tale of sorcery, and the other of chiromancy. Their length precludes their repetition here, their contents being respectively about 1800 and 2000 words. They
came at a time when her feebleness and suffering were extreme, and were separated from each other only by a fit of coughing which woke her for a short interval. Nevertheless, shattered as she was by them, she related them both to me next morning, and during the next two or three days wrote them out at length without a break of memory or change of a word, or any diminution in her usual luminous and faultless style. So that it would be impossible to divine from the hand the condition under which they were received and recorded. We knew of no event that could have suggested either of them. And the significance, if any, was by no means obvious. Of the first one her own idea was that it might be intended to denote the tendency of the Church to absorb and suppress the individuality of those who yield to it, and as a warning, therefore, to herself against its glamour. The second, we fancied, might represent an actual fact in one of her, or our, previous lives. I shall have occasion to refer to the former dream again, when the time comes to relate how it found its explanation.
The only entry in her Diary
also my brother J. came to see me. I had already
seen him both in
Among the grounds for the suggestion above made of the possibility that her projections against Pasteur had recoiled upon herself was the following: – The idea of such a thing had not occurred to either of us. But one night, in the course of the experience, being between waking and sleeping, I suddenly became aware of the presence, high in air, and aiming directly at my head, of a body like a luminous projectile, which, it seemed, must strike me, and if it struck me, must kill me. I instantly started up to a sitting posture, keeping my eyes intently fixed on the missile, but only to recognise the impossibility of avoiding it by any physical effort, such as change of position. But as it approached it diverged from its course, taking – to my great alarm – the direction of her room, which, however, it failed to reach. For it fell in the corridor between the two rooms, where it disappeared, doing no harm, and leaving no trace, being, of course, of too tenuous and subtle a nature to affect anything merely material. I told her of the occurrence next day, and we consulted both her professor in occultism and some books. The result was to lead us to suppose that, owing to the cause named in her Diary, the force projected had recoiled, boomerang-like, on failing to reach its intended destination, but owing to the strength of the spiritual rapport between us, which virtually made us one system, had been attracted equally to both of us, and consequently missed us both, failing innocuously midway between us. I myself was convinced that her illness was in no wise due to the recoil of the force projected. It was amply accounted for by the loss of nervous energy involved in the projections themselves, and following as these had done upon exhaustion by overwork, and by the sub-sequent exposure to wet and cold.
Meanwhile I had despatched a printed circular to the members of the Hermetic Society, informing them of the President’s illness and the impossibility of holding a session that year.
The following record of our
experiences exhausts the entries made in her Diary at
I don’t know whence, which took me like a feather and carried me right away into a strange room, where I only recovered myself to find I was in the presence of a single individual, a man, tall, and a stranger. The room was so dark I could see nothing clearly, nor could I discern his features. Something impelled me to exclaim, “Now I know I really am out of my body, but I should like to do much more than this. The thing I most desire of all is to be able to convey to paper, at once, and without mental effort or mechanical writing, all the splendid things that are told me in my interior state. They lose so much by my having to write them down in the ordinary way. I want to have them flashed through my hand by simply laying it on blank paper, just in the glorious rolling words in which they come from the Intelligences themselves.”
The strange man took a sheet of white paper from the desk at which he was sitting and laid it before him. “Like this, you mean,” he said; and as he spoke he put the palm of his hand on the white paper and moved it slowly over the surface of the page. As he did this words appeared on the paper, which seemed either to rise up from within it or to drop from his hand, I don’t know which. It was instantaneous; yet he never moved his fingers, but simply drew his hand slowly over the page from right to left. In this manner he projected a line of clear writing in blue, the letters of which seemed to start up from the paper. The characters were in an unknown language to me, so I could not read them. But I cried out at once, “Yes, just like that! Teach me how to do that.” He smiled, I think, though I could not clearly see his face, but I have that impression. At all events, what he said, very clearly and emphatically, was this:–
“My child, such a process as that would be more costly to you than writing letters on bank-notes.”
This, or perhaps the way it was said, and the meaning it seemed to convey, produced a powerful impression on me. He then put the paper aside, and began to talk to my spirit in an interior way; not in words, for I cannot recall a single thing he said this morning, but I am sensible that some knowledge was imparted, which is still in my spirit, and which will come out when wanted, just as the writing on the blank paper started up to sight when he moved his palm over it. While he was thus conversing with me, the current of air took me again and swept me away, as it had taken me. On my way back I saw my sister and a group of people in a drawing-room somewhere. I saw many confused figures, and heard voices talking; then an unpleasant sensation of returning pain in my head, giddiness, and general discomfort. Then I recovered myself fully; it was just (), and all was over. I had been away just three hours.
The season was approaching when
recommended both for its own efficacy and for
the climate of the place. The journey would be long and tedious, and I regarded
it with much apprehension, so extreme had become her weakness and suffering
towards the end of our sojourn in
When it had passed she sank lower
than ever. Sight-seeing was out of the question. It took all her strength and
courage to stroll, leaning heavily on me, to the
was of course out of the question, but she insisted on my going; and I had no reason for refusing on her account, as her brother was so well qualified to tend her. So I went for a couple of days.
Our friend’s home was a
charming villa in the lovely vale of Segromigno, a
few miles from
The fête of Garibaldi occurred during our stay at Florence, when the city was illuminated, and, to my great delight, Mary had the opportunity of witnessing the lighting up of the tower of the Palazzo Vecchio as I had seen it on the occasion of King Victor Emmanuel’s entry on the foundation of the kingdom of Italy, with Florence as its capital, and considered the most exquisite effect of the kind I had ever beheld, the lights being so contrived as to give the whole structure the appearance of luminous alabaster. She was fascinated by it, and we watched it from our carriage for a long time, unable to quit the spectacle.
only entry made by her in her Diary while at
BOURBOUIE-LES-BAINS, July 5, 1887. – Not cured yet! No, nor even mended, were it but a little. Still the cough, still the afternoon fever, still the weakness, still the neuralgia. From November to July the same continual malady and enforced idleness. Where now
are all the projects I had formed for this year, the book I had to write on the Creed, the novel, the stories, the essays? I have passed a year of bitterest suffering, of weariness of spirit and torment of body. My left lung is in caverns, they say; my right is inflamed chronically. My voice is broken and gone, with which I had hoped to speak from platforms; wreck and ruin is made of all my expectancies. Can a miracle yet be wrought? Can will accomplish what medicine fails to perform? The hard thing is that I cannot will heartily, for lack of knowing what I ought to desire. Is it better for me to live or to die? Unless I can be restored to the possibility of public life, it is useless for me to live. Dying, I may the sooner obtain a fresh incarnation and return to do my work more completely.
There was at least so much of
improvement in some respects that I had no apprehension in having sole charge
on the journey home, long as it was. Travelling by short stages, we reached
(302:1) Pp. 168-169 ante.
(304:1) P. 90 ante.
(304:2) This will, which was signed at St. Raphael (see p. 315 post), was not Anna Kingsford’s last will. Her last will was made a few months later (see p. 341 post). – S.H.H.
(304:3) Vol. I, p. 420.
(312:1) See pp. 307-308 ante.
(312:2) Writing in 1877 of the attitude of the Catholic Church towards, and of the new dogma of the redemption of the lower animals, Edward Maitland says: “Only three or four years ago this fallible Pope [Pius IX], when appealed to on behalf of a project for diminishing the terrible cruelties practised in Italy upon animals, declared that it was quite a mistake to suppose that Christians owe any duty to the lower animals. Herein the ‘Vicar of Christ’ was one with the tormentors. He was fallible morally and fallible spiritually. He proved that he had failed to discern the true or the full meaning of ‘Christ’ in respect either to past or future. He did not see that in ‘Christ’ all creation had been virtually taken up into God; nor did he see that Christendom was on the eve of the promulgation of a new dogma, – the dogma of the universal salvation of animals through their recognition by man as his brethren and essentially one with man, and in man ‘one with God’” (England and Islam, pp. 181-2; and see p. 8 ante). – S.H.H.
(313:1) See p. 226 ante.