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All Men are Ghosts   By: (1860-1955)

All Men are Ghosts by L. P. (Lawrence Pearsall) Jacks

First Page:

ALL MEN ARE GHOSTS

BY L. P. JACKS

AUTHOR OF "MAD SHEPHERDS," "AMONG THE IDOLMAKERS," "THE ALCHEMY OF THOUGHT"

LONDON WILLIAMS & NORGATE 14 HENRIETTA STREET, COVENT GARDEN 1913

I DEDICATE THIS VOLUME TO STOPFORD BROOKE TO WHOM I OWE MORE THAN COULD BE TOLD WERE MANY PAGES EMPLOYED IN THE RECITAL

CONTENTS

PANHANDLE AND THE GHOSTS:

I. PANHANDLE LAYS DOWN A PRINCIPLE

II. PANHANDLE NARRATES HIS HISTORY AND DESCRIBES THE HAUNTED HOUSE

III. PANHANDLE'S REMARKABLE ADVENTURE. THE GHOST APPEARS

THE MAGIC FORMULA

ALL MEN ARE GHOSTS:

I. DR PIECRAFT BECOMES CONFUSED

II. "THE HOLE IN THE WATER SKIN"

III. DR PIECRAFT CLEARS HIS MIND

THE PROFESSOR'S MARE

FARMER JEREMY AND HIS WAYS

WHITE ROSES

Of the stories in this volume, "Farmer Jeremy and his Ways" has already appeared in the Cornhill ; "The Magic Formula," "The Professor's Mare," and "White Roses" in the Atlantic Monthly . These are reprinted with the permission of the respective Editors. Some additions have been made which were precluded by the shorter form of the magazine story.

"He that hath found some fledged bird's nest may know, At first sight, if the bird be flown; But what fair well or grove he sings in now, That is to him unknown.

And yet, as angels in some brighter dreams Call to the soul while man doth sleep; So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes, And into glory peep."

HENRY VAUGHAN, 1655.

ALL MEN ARE GHOSTS

PANHANDLE AND THE GHOSTS

"'Oh,' dissi lui, 'Or se' tu ancor morto?' Ed egli a me, 'Come il mio corpo stea Nel mondo su, nulla scienza porto.'"

DANTE, Inferno , Canto xxxiii.

I

PANHANDLE LAYS DOWN A PRINCIPLE

"The first principle to guide us in the study of the subject," said Panhandle, "is that no genuine ghost ever recognised itself as what you suppose it to be. The conception which the ghost has of its own being is fundamentally different from yours. Because it lacks solidity you deem it less real than yourself. The ghost thinks the opposite. You imagine that its language is a squeak. From the ghost's point of view the squeaker is yourself. In short, the attitude of mankind towards the realm of ghosts is regarded by them as a continual affront to the majesty of the spiritual world, perpetrated by beings who stand on a low level of intelligence; and for that reason they seldom appear or make any attempt at open communication, doing their work in secret and disclosing their identity only to selected souls. Far from admitting that they are less real than you, they regard themselves as possessed of reality vastly more intense than yours. Imagine what your own feelings would be if, at this moment, I were to treat you as a gibbering bogey, and you will then have some measure of the contempt which ghosts entertain for human beings."

"You must confess, my dear Panhandle," I answered, "that you are flying in the face of the greatest authorities, and have the whole literature of the subject against you. You tell me that no genuine ghost ever recognised itself as such."

"I mean, of course," interrupted Panhandle, "that it never recognised itself as a ghost in your inadequate sense of the term."

"Then," said I, "what do you make of the Ghost's words in Hamlet :

'I am thy father's spirit'?

This one, at all events, recognised itself as such."

"In attributing those words to the Ghost," said Panhandle, "Shakespeare was using him as a stage property and as a means of playing to the gallery, which is incapable of right notions on this subject. But there is another passage in the same group of scenes which shows that Shakespeare was not wholly ignorant of the inner mind of ghosts... Continue reading book >>




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