The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 51

from lead in connection
with certain other substances, in kind and in proportions, unknown.'

Speculation, of course, is busy as to the immediate and ultimate results
of this discovery--a discovery which few thinking persons will hesitate
in referring to an increased interest in the matter of gold generally,
by the late developments in California; and this reflection brings us
inevitably to another--the exceeding inopportuneness of Von Kempelen's
analysis. If many were prevented from adventuring to California, by the
mere apprehension that gold would so materially diminish in value,
on account of its plentifulness in the mines there, as to render
the speculation of going so far in search of it a doubtful one--what
impression will be wrought now, upon the minds of those about to
emigrate, and especially upon the minds of those actually in the
mineral region, by the announcement of this astounding discovery of Von
Kempelen? a discovery which declares, in so many words, that beyond its
intrinsic worth for manufacturing purposes (whatever that worth may be),
gold now is, or at least soon will be (for it cannot be supposed that
Von Kempelen can long retain his secret), of no greater value than
lead, and of far inferior value to silver. It is, indeed, exceedingly
difficult to speculate prospectively upon the consequences of the
discovery, but one thing may be positively maintained--that the
announcement of the discovery six months ago would have had material
influence in regard to the settlement of California.

In Europe, as yet, the most noticeable results have been a rise of two
hundred per cent. in the price of lead, and nearly twenty-five per cent.
that of silver.


WHATEVER doubt may still envelop the _rationale_ of mesmerism,
its startling _facts_ are now almost universally admitted. Of these
latter, those who doubt, are your mere doubters by profession--an
unprofitable and disreputable tribe. There can be no more absolute waste
of time than the attempt to _prove_, at the present day, that man, by
mere exercise of will, can so impress his fellow, as to cast him into an
abnormal condition, of which the phenomena resemble very closely those
of _death_, or at least resemble them more nearly than they do the
phenomena of any other normal condition within our cognizance; that,
while in this state, the person so impressed employs only with effort,
and then feebly, the external organs of sense, yet perceives, with
keenly refined perception, and through channels supposed unknown,
matters beyond the scope of the physical organs; that, moreover, his
intellectual faculties are wonderfully exalted and invigorated; that his
sympathies with the person so impressing him are profound; and,

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