Press enter after choosing selection

A Stirring Scene

A Stirring Scene image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

The following is a tLriiling account of a "supernatural" experiment which created a great sensation in its day. The " miracle" was probably performed 8ometb!ng after the manner in whioh we raise a ghost now at the theatres, by raeans of a reflector : The Duc d'Orleans, regent of France during tbe minority of Louis XV., was a fervent belieVer in the marvelous, and was verycleverly taken inby Count Felix de Beltnont, a celebrated sorcerer, who pretended to raise the dead. The scène took place on tho night of April 23, 1720, in the deserted quarries of Yaugirard. The sorcerer was at his post, and introduced, as his indispensable assietant, a tall man, whose features vere cotnpletely concealed by a huge beard. After a few words had been exchanged between B;1mont and the llegent, the latter remaiod in the foruground with Cardinal Dubois, the rest being scattered around the galleries, whence they could see but not hear the speeches, The first person evoked was Sully, of whom the Regent inquired wfcat he tiwugbt of Law'e eystem. Tfie financier of Henry IV, replied that the direotor of the Bank Generale would lead France to ruin. The next speclre the Regent desired to see was Louis XIV, who duly appeared at the fpot where tíully had disappeared. The llegent advanced resolutcly toward the great uu-cle. " Sire," he said, as he knelt on one knee, " if it be true that there is uothing bidden from the dead, you will be aware of tho purity of my intentions in revoking your will, and, I trust, will pardon me." The oíd king opened bis arme, the Kegent rushed eagerly to ward the ex-ruler of Europe, but found no resistauce. While Philip was trying to recover from hi violent emotions, Dubois inquired whether the shadow of the great Cardinal Richelieu could be called from thct grave. Count Félix replied in the affirruative, and the Cardinal ore long appeared in his red gown. Dubois bowed like a Spanish graudee, and then began a pompous panegyrio of his system of governinent. Richelicu lïstened attentively, and when Dubois ceased epoaking, mado him a sign to advanee. The Regentas minister believed in some important oommunication from the other world, and overcoming his terror, advauced two paces, but he suddenly received two of the most stinging buffets ever dealt a human face. At the same instant the lights were extinguished, and a stentorian voice announced that the evocations were at an end. The Regent laughed heartily, as did the ladies, whilo Dubois cursed in a way tbat would have scandalized a Pagan. But when Dubois sought for Oount Felix the next day, he was nowhere to be found. We find in a correspondence written in 1724, or two years after the death of Cardinal Dubois, the following explanation of this mysterious adventure: - It was well known at tho court that tbe Regent's great desire was to excúlpate himself from the infamous accusations brought against him. The Duke de X fonned the bold plan of Ireeing the Regent from the ideas that oppressod him. Having known Count Felix at Venicc, ho renewed the acquaintance when that advcnturcr carne to Paris, and they arranged togethor the scène we have just described. Two glasses, a reflector, and a few ftccomplices, sufficed to carry out the farce. The man who personated Richelieu was no other than tho Duke de X . Uufortunately, the raiser of the dead was ignorant of the Duke's hatred of Dubois ; the two boxes on the enr epoüed the farce, and. fearing the Minister's vengeance, bo myeteriously disappeared from Paris. In 1725, Count Felix de Belmont was found frozen to death in a eledgo while journeying from Moscow to Paris. A gond farmer is known by hia fenccs, and a villain by his ofienses.


Old News
Michigan Argus