Unformatted text preview: Alternate Conclusions Alternate The moral which presents itself to my reflections, as drawn from Hollingsworth’s character and errors, is simply this; --that, admitting what is called Philanthropy, when adopted as a profession, is often useful by its energetic impulse to society at large, it is perilous to the individual, whose ruling passion, in one exclusive channel, it thus becomes. It ruins, or is fearfully apt to ruin, the heart….I see in Hollingsworth an exemplification of the most awful truth in Bunyan’s book of such; --from the very gate of Heaven, there is a by-way to the pit! (154) (154) I exaggerate my own defects. The reader must not take my own word for it, nor believe me altogether changed from the young man who once hoped strenuously, and struggled not so much amiss. Frostier hands than mine have gained honor in the world; frostier hearts have imbibed new warmth, and been newly happy. Life, however, it must be owned, has come to rather an idle pass with me. Would my friends like to know what brought it thither? There is one secret,--I have concealed it all along, and never meant to let the least whisper of it escape…I—I myself—was in love—with—Priscilla! (156) myself—was I. Veiled Ladies: Femininity and Mesmerism I. Mesmerism: a process in which a Mesmerism process practitioner hypnotized a subject and put her into a trance. This became a popular form of therapy and entertainment in the 18th and 19th centuries. 18 18th century image of mesmerism 18 Spiritualism: popular religious movement Spiritualism popular that encouraged individuals to speak directly to the spirit-world, by-passing scripturally based theology. scripturally The Fox Sisters, “Spirit Rappers” The “Come,” said [Hollingsworth],… “You are safe.” She threw off the veil…Poor maiden! How strangely she She had been betrayed! Blazoned abroad as a wonder of the world, and performing what were adjudged as miracles,-world, iin the faith of many…in the harsher judgment of others, a n mountebank,--she had kept, as I religiously believe, her virgin reserve and sanctity of soul throughout it all. Within that encircling veil, though an evil hand had flung it over her, there was a deep seclusion as if this forsaken girl had, all the while, been sitting under the shadow of Eliot’s pulpit, in the Blithedale woods, at the feet of him who now summoned her to the shelter of his arms. (128) who II. Celebrity and Spectator II. Jenny Lind (“the Swedish Nightingale”) Concert Program, 1851 Program, “carte-de-visite” (cardomania) Penny postcard, Hawthorne’s “Wayside” Penny ...
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- Fall '09
- American Literature, Mesmerism, Jenny Lind, Hollingsworth, Mesmerism process practitioner