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involved in a terrible labyrinth if they assert the
divine origin of hysteria in one place; for if so,
what about the others? What about the frantic
Assassin, the Dervish who falls as if dead after
his mad religious exercises? What about the
Convulsionnaires, the Bewitched, the earlier
disciples of mesmerism, the medium, who attempts
to give real birth, or life, to a wooden man, with
clockwork inside? What about Johanna
Southcote, Irving and his tongues, Thorn, the second
advent, or the ordinary religious maniac in the
asylums? If hysteria and nervous excitement
are to go as divine conditions in one place, and
under one name, so must they in another.

The Irish Revivals, like the American, do
not differ one hair-breadth in origin from all
the other phenomena and manifestations that fill
the pages of history. The pythoness, and the
young American girl who leaped over the camp
with streaming hair and frantic gestures, the
Irish men and women now foaming, in Belfast,
the Eastern devotees, the Revivalists, the
Convulsionnaires, and the hysterically Bewitched, are
all of one birth and one cause. The moving
power with each was, and is, Disease combined
with Ignorance; hysteria, nervous excitement,
weak intellect, and superstition, having to
answer for all the supernaturalism and divine
influence supposed to exist. We say this sorrowfully
and tenderly; not irreverently nor scornfully
of any human creature's faith, but in the
cause of truth, and as believers in the wholeness
and wholesomeness of nature and humanity.


How comes it that we pass and repass
that heavy yellow building in the very heart
of Brunensberg, which lifts itself in a
monstrous massiveness, with a strange fluttering
reverence and sense as of an awful mystery?
How comes it that when darkness is well set in,
and lights glimmer through the trees and in the
house-tops, and we come lounging by, those tall
windows, all yawning wide open and sending forth
a yellow reeking glare, exercise so unholy a
fascination on us, and draw us in irresistibly
under the huge archway?

Hard to fight with, that mesmeric influence.
Resist as we may, we are drawn up that
wide spacious stair. For all things here are
the broad roads, leading, it may be, to perdition,
with not a single narrow gate to
inconvenience passengers.. Step lightly now, for here
is the threshold; and as Moslems doff their
slippers at the mosque gate, so. must it be with
profane hat, coat, or offensive stick. So, sir,
hand your rich mantle to the vergers in puce
and snuff-brown livery, and let us, with heads
reverently bowed, enter Moloch's Chapel of Ease.

Noble and spacious are the halls of Moloch,
with springing dome overhead, elaborately
wrought, and profusest garnishing after the
renaissance pattern. Gilding tips fair all little
prominences, and delicate tinting fills in the
panelling, reflected many times in spreading
mirrors. Moloch's artificers were cunning
men, men of taste. Sweetest little cherubs sit
up aloft, watching over no poor soul's interest,
but busy paddling among floating clouds, and
giving proper exercise to their little pink

The air reeks, and is at sick-chamber heat.
The sacrifices are going on with a strange energy.
From twelve noon until twelve midnight, they
will not cease for a minute. The furnace is in
full work, the dervishes overtasked more cruelly
than starving curates at home.

Hard, very hard, is it to know what manner
of worship is Moloch's, for the devotees are
crowded together, wedged fast and close together,
about his altar. Triple, quadruple rows! over
which, by straining desperately, a short glimpse is
gained of the long green sacrificial altar, and of
the offerings. Moloch, amiable god, does not
require living babies for his fumaoe, only what
some of us love better than our babiesonly our
gold and silver pieces. See the dervishes and the
dervish-in-chief, all furnished with their pastoral
crooks or rakes, which they manipulate with an
infinite skillsee them fenced in densely by that
quickset human hedge, that heaving, gasping,
fretting, exulting, despairing, human hedge.

Surely never was such piety as this; never do
pilgrims in church, struggle so painfully for
front places, strain their necks so cruelly to hear
and to see, not to lose a word or a form of the
great ceremonial. See, the chief dervish is
commencing, glancing to the right and to the
left, and turning languidly that glittering four
armed instrument before him. Whir-r-r! The
ball is gone from his sacred fingers; is spinning
round in its channel with a low burr. Precious
moments, holy seconds for the human hedge.
Whence shoot forth suddenly a legion of
stretched arms, lunging desperately at the
cabalistic numbers, dripping gold and silver here,
there, everywhere; on the red and on the blaek,
on the odd and on the even, on "pass" or on
"fall-short," on "the column," on twelve, the
first, or on the fatal make or mar "zero!" But
a green sward a second before, it is now sown
broadcast with glittering metals. Ball still
galloping in its mahogany circus. Hark! It is
spent–is dancing and clattering over brass
impediments. "Elle ne va plus!" sings chief
dervish. (It runs no more.) More dancing, sharp
click, and then sudden silence. It has gone
home; is at rest in its coloured cell; while
panting hearts, flushed cheeks, dewy foreheads,
bend over to hear the dervish chant out the
result. "Vingt-six!" (twenty-six) sings he, from
his cold lungs. "Black has it; so has even; so
has pass." And lo! out fly the long feelers or
rakes; and, with a strange clatter clatter, sweep
in noiselessly a flood of metal. They are the
fatal sickles getting in the metallic harvest.
With it is raked up hope and happiness, peace
and refreshing sleep!

Stray pieces here and there have stood the
storm, and lie with a soft complacency on the
ground they have conquered. Fondly do their
masters regard them from afar, as do racing men