“There is one thing, though, that Babinet has always stoutly denied, viz.: the levitation of furniture without contact. De Mirville catches him proclaiming that such levitation is impossible: “simply impossible”, he says, “as impossible as perpetual motion.”
Who can take upon himself, after such a declaration, to maintain that the word impossible pronounced by science is infallible?
But the tables, after having waltzed, oscillated and turned, began tipping and rapping. The raps were sometimes as powerful as pistol-detonations. What of this?
Listen: “The witnesses and investigators are ventriloquists!”
De Mirville refers us to the Revue des Deux Mondes, in which is published a very interesting dialogue, invented by M. Babinet speaking of himself to himself, like the Chaldean En-soph of the Kabalists: “What can we finally say of all these facts brought under our observation? Are there such raps produced? Yes. Do such raps answer questions? Yes. Who produces these sounds? The mediums. By what means? By the ordinary acoustic method of the ventriloquists. But we were given to suppose that these sounds might result from the cracking of the toes and fingers? No; for then they would always proceed from the same point, and such is not the fact.”
“Now”, asks de Mirville, “what are we to believe of the Americans, and their thousands of mediums who produce the same raps before millions of witnesses?” “Ventriloquism, to be sure”, answers Babinet. “But how can you explain such an impossibility?” The easiest thing in the world;
listen only: “All that was necessary to produce the first manifestation in the first house in America was, a street-boy knocking at the door of a mystified citizen, perhaps with a leaden ball attached to a string, and if Mr. Weekman (the first believer in America) (?) when he watched for the third time, heard no shouts of laughter in the street, it is because of the essential difference which exists between a French street-Arab, and an English or Trans-Atlantic one, the latter being amply provided with what we call a sad merriment, “gaste triste.””
H. P. Blavatsky