Mrs Fay,

 Medium Mrs Fay      UK.



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Mrs Fay Medium

There is NO Death by Florence Marryat


THERE was a young woman called Annie Eva Fay, who came over from America to London some years ago, and appeared at the Hanover Square Rooms in an exhibition after the manner of the Davenport Brothers and Messrs. Maskelyne and Cook. She must not be confounded with the Mrs. Fay who forms the subject of this chapter, because they had nothing to do with one another. Someone in Boston advised me not to go and sit at one of this Mrs. Fay's public seances. They were described to me as being too physical and unrefined; that the influences were of a low order, and the audiences matched them. However, when I am studying a matter, I like to see everything I can and hear everything I can concerning it, and to form my own opinion independent of that of anybody else. So I walked off by myself one night to Mrs. Fay's address, and sat down in a quiet comer, watching everything that occurred. The Circle certainly numbered some members of a humble class, but I conclude we should see that everywhere if the fees were lower. Media, like other professional people, fix their charges according to the quarter of the city in which they live. But every member was silent and respectful, and evidently a believer.

One young man, in deep mourning, with a little girl also in black, of about five or six years old, attracted my attention at once, from his sorrowful and abstracted manner. He had evidently come there, I thought, in the hope of seeing someone whom he had lost. Mrs. Fay (as she passed through the room to her cabinet) appeared a very quiet, simple-looking little woman to me, without any loudness or vulgarity about her. Her cabinet was composed of two curtains only, made of some white material, and hung on uprights at one angle, in, a comer of the room, the most transparent contrivance possible. Anything like a bustle or confusion inside it, such as would be occasioned by dressing or making up, would have been apparent at once to the audience outside, who were sitting by the light of an ordinary gas-burner and globe. Yet Mrs. Fay had not been seated there above a few minutes, when there ran out into the seance room two of the most extraordinary materializations I had ever seen, and both of them about as opposite to Mrs. Fay in appearance as any creatures could be.

One was an Irish charwoman or apple-woman (she might have been either) with a brown, wrinkled face, a broken nose, tangled grey hair, a crushed bonnet, general dirt and disorder, and a tongue that could talk broad Irish, and call a spade a spade at one and the same time. Biddy, as she was named, was accompanied by a street newspaper boy-one of those urchins who run after carriages and turn Catherine wheels in the mud, and who talked gutter-slang in a style that was utterly unintelligible to the decent portion of the sitters. These two went on in a manner that was undoubtedly funny, but not at all edifying and calculated to drive any inquirer into Spiritualism out of the room, under the impression that they were evil Spirits bent on our destruction. That either of them was represented by Mrs. Fay was out of the question. In the first place, she would, in that instance, have been so clever an actress and mimic, that she would have made her fortune on the stage added to which the boy Teddy was much too small, for her, and Biddy was much too large. Besides, no actress, however experienced, could have made up in the time. I was quite satisfied, therefore, that neither of them was the Medium, even if I could not have seen her figure the while, through the thin curtains, sitting in her chair. Why such low, physical manifestations are permitted I am unable to say. It was no wonder they had shocked the sensibility of my friend. I felt half inclined myself when they appeared to get up and run away. However, I was very glad afterwards that I did not. They disappeared after a while, and were succeeded by a much pleasanter person, a cabinet Spirit called Gipsy, who looked as if she might have belonged to one of the gipsy tribes when on earth, she was so brown and arch and lively. Presently the young man in black was called up, and I saw him talking to a female Spirit very earnestly. After a while he took her hand and led her outside the curtain, and called the little girl whom he had left on his seat by her name. The child looked up, screamed Mamma! mamma and flew into the arms of the Spirit, who knelt down and kissed her, and we could hear the child sobbing and saying, Oh! Mamma, why did you go away--why did you go away? It was a very affecting scene--at least it seemed so to me. The instant recognition by the little girl, and her perfect unconsciousness but that her mother had returned in propria persona, would have been more convincing proof of the genuineness of Spiritualism to a sceptic, than fifty miracles of greater importance. When the Spirit mother had to leave again the child's agony at parting was very apparent. Take me with you, she kept on saying, and her father had actually to carry her back to her seat. When they got there they both wept in unison. Afterwards he said to me in an apologetic sort of way--he was sitting next to me---It is the first time, you see, that Mary has seen her poor mother, but I wanted to have her testimony to her identity, and I think she gave it pretty plainly, poor child! She'll never be content to let me come alone now. I said, I think it is a pity you brought her so young, and so I did.

Florence did not appear (she told me afterwards the atmosphere was so rough that she could not), and I began to think that no one would come for me, when a common seaman, dressed in ordinary sailor's clothes, ran out of the cabinet and began dancing a hornpipe in front of me. He danced it capitally too, and with any amount of vigorous snapping his fingers to mark the time, and when he had finished he made a leg, as sailors call it, and stood before me. Have you come for me, my friend? I inquired. Not exactly, he answered, but I came with the Cap'en. I came to pave the way for him. The Cap'en will be here directly. We was in the Avenger together. (Now all the world knows that my eldest brother, Frederick Marryat, was drowned in the wreck of the Avenger in 1847; but as I was a little child at the time, and had no remembrance of him, I had never dreamt of seeing him again. He was a first lieutenant when he died, so I do not know why the seaman gave him brevet rank, but I repeat his words as he said them.) After a minute or two I was called up to the cabinet, and saw my brother Frederick (whom I recognized from his likeness) standing there dressed in naval uniform, but looking very stiff and unnatural. He smiled when he saw me, but did not attempt to kiss me. I said, Why! Fred! is it really you? I thought you would have forgotten all about me. He replied, Forgotten little Flo? Why should I? Do you think I have never seen you since that time, nor heard anything about you? I know everything--everything! You must know, then, that I have not spent a very happy life, I said. Never mind, he answered, you needed it. It has done you good! But all he said was without any life in it, as if he spoke mechanically--perhaps because it was the first time he had materialized.

I had said Good-bye to him, and dropped the curtain, when I heard my name called twice, Flo! Flo! and turned to receive my sister Emily in my arms. She looked like herself exactly, but she had only time to kiss me and gasp out, So glad, so happy to meet again, when she appeared to faint. Her eyes closed, her head fell back on my shoulder, and before I had time to realize what was going to happen, she had passed through the arm that supported her, and sunk down through the floor. The sensation of her weight was still making my arm tingle, but Emily was gone--clean gone. I was very much disappointed. I had longed to see this sister again, and speak to her confidentially; but whether it was something antagonistic in the influence of this seance room (Florence said afterwards that it was), or there was some other cause for it, I know not, but most certainly my friends did not seem to flourish there.

I had another horrible disappointment before I left. A voice from inside the cabinet called out, Here are two babies who want the lady sitting under the picture.' Now, there was only one picture hanging in the room, and I was sitting under it. I looked eagerly towards the cabinet, and saw issue from it the Princess Gertie leading a little toddler with a flaxen poll and bare feet, and no clothing but a kind of white chemise. This was Joan, the Yonnie I had so often asked to see, and I rose in the greatest expectation to receive the little pair. Just as they gained the centre of the room, however, taking very short and careful steps, like babies first set on their feet, the cabinet Spirit Gipsy bounced out of the curtains, and saying decidedly, Here! we don't want any children about, she placed her hand on the heads of my little ones, and pressed them down through the floor. They seemed to crumble to pieces before my eyes, and their place knew them no more. I couldn't help feeling angry. I exclaimed, O! what did you do that for? Those were my babies, and I have been longing to see them so. I can't help it, replied Gipsy, but this isn't a seance for children. I was so vexed that I took no more interest in the proceedings. A great number of forms appeared, thirty or forty in all, but by the time I returned to my hotel and began to jot down my notes, I could hardly remember what they were. I had been dreaming all the time of how much I should have liked to hold that little flaxen-haired Yonnie in my arms.

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