“Accepting the whole of the above as a solid ground-work for his learned arguments, this is what Dr. Fuguier says: “Toward the close of the seventeenth century, an old maid imports into Cevennes the spirit of prophecy. She communicates it (?) to young boys and girls, who transpire it in their turn, and spread it in the surrounding atmosphere. …Women and children become the most sensitive to the infection” (vol. ii., p. 261).
“Men, women, and babies speak under inspiration, not in ordinary patois, but in the purest French – a language at that time utterly unknown in the country. Children of twelve months, and even less, as we learn from the process verbaux, who previously could hardly utter a few short syllables, spoke fluently, and prophesied.” “Eight thousand prophets”, says Figuier, “were scattered over the country; doctors and eminent physicians were sent for.”
Half of the medical schools of France, among others, the Faculty of Montpellier, hastened to the spot. Consultations were held, and the physicians declared themselves “delighted, lost in wonder and admiration, upon hearing young girls and boys, ignorant and illiterate, deliver discourses on things they had never learned.”
The sentence pronounced by Figuier against these treacherous professional brethren, for being so delighted with the young prophets, is that they “did not understand, themselves, what they saw.”
Many of the prophets forcibly communicated their spirit to those who tried to break the spell. A great number of them were between three and twelve years of age; still others were at the breast, and spoke French distinctly and correctly. These discourses, which often lasted for several hours, would have been impossible to the little orators, were the latter in their natural or normal state.
“Now”, asks the reviewer, “what was the meaning of such a series of prodigies, all of them freely admitted in Figuier’s book? No meaning at all! It was nothing”, he says, “except the effect of a ‘momentary exaltation of the intellectual faculties.'” “These phenomena”, he adds, “are observable in many of the cerebral affections.”
“Momentary exaltation, lasting for many hours in the brains of babies under one year old, not weaned yet, speaking good French before they had learned to say one word in their own patois! Oh, miracle of physiology! Prodigy ought to be thy name!” exclaims des Mousseaux.”
H. P. Blavatsky