14 AUGUST 1841, Page 14


BEFORE London has well recovered from the consternation into which her mighty frame was thrown by the vigorously-renewed assertion of mysterious powers emanating from linger-ends capable of holding all its members in thraldom, she is again frighted from her propriety by the sight of magnetic influence printing words and sentences without the presence of any fingers whatever. Ani- mal magnetism has established itself in the Hanover Square Rooms, by the powerful evidence of bushy beards, sharp pins, and strong smelling-bottles. Its powers are, however, limited to the human constitution ; whereas its sister science, at the Polytechnic, threatens to disturb the constitution of nature and the works of art, and to regulate the movements of Time himself. Though no hairy covering adorns the face of the electro- magnetic professor, nor any external symbols of science mystify his deportment, be exhibits marvels which appear to realize impossibilities. Armed with magnetic power, he sounds the depths of the sea; can move and regulate all clocks, from St. Paul's to Shrewsbury ; and, transmitting thought and action through his insulated wires, he can print in any distant part of the kingdom a speech in Parliament as soon as it is delivered. The far-off printing- machine selects the letters, inks the types, and impresses them on the paper, without requiring any moving or regulating hand. These are facts accomplished ; others still more astonishing are in embryo. When it is seen that an operator in London, by merely pointing the hand of a dial to a letter and then press• ing a spring, may print that letter instantaneously at the Land's End, the last hold of scepticism seems cut away, and we are left on a wide sea of credulity ready to believe any thing possible. No wonder, therefore, that the Hanover Square manipulations succeed in grasping some portion of the floating credit, and demonstrate to the satisfaction of the " fashionable world " the connexion of mes- merism with the physical and metaphysical sciences. We may shortly see Lord JOHN and Sir ROBERT becoming rival pupils in the new school of philosophy. The field of battle for place will then be transferred from the Registration Courts direct to the Palace and the IIouse of Commons. It is strongly suspected, indeed, that a majority of the speaking Members have for years past studied and practised mesmerism. The well-known fact, that their hearers are frequently in a state of somnambulism, cannot be otherwise satisfactorily explained. Should Sir ROBERT become an apt student, a few dexterous " passes" after the meeting of the new Parliament will enable him to change places with Lord Joan, and to attract his supporters to the Treasury benches. When there, the Conservative mesmerists will no doubt combine all their powers to fix themselves to their seats by magnetic influ- ence, and to assist their leader in dividing the loaves and fishes. It may be questioned, however, whether their united manipulations will, in the present unpropitious atmospheric phmnomena, enable them to induce him into a state of clairvoyance.