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HISTORIC GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS

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Author Topic: HISTORIC GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS  (Read 5682 times)
Porscha Campbell
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« Reply #75 on: November 15, 2009, 05:06:14 am »

Well may he feel at peace with the world. His whole career has been a steady progress, his record that of one who has attempted[Pg 60] many things and failed in few. Before he was twenty-one his learning had gained for him a doctorate in philosophy. Then, enthusiastic, open-minded, and open-eyed, he had hurried abroad, to pursue in England, Holland, France, and Germany his chosen studies of mathematics, mechanics, and astronomy. Returning to Sweden to assume the duties of assessor of mines, he speedily proved that he was no mere theorizer, his inventive genius enabling the warlike Charles XII. to transport overland galleys and sloops for the siege of Frederikshald, sea passage being barred by hostile fleets. Ennobled for this feat, he plunged with ardor into the complicated problems of statecraft, problems rendered the more difficult by the economic distress in which Charles's wars had involved his Kingdom. Here again he attained distinction.

Yet always the problems of science and philosophy claimed his chief devotion. From the study of stars and minerals he passed to the contemplation of other marvels of nature as revealed in man himself. And now behold him turned chemist, anatomist, physiologist, and psychologist, and repeating in these fields of research his former triumphs. Still, in[Pg 61]domitable man, he refused to stop. He would press on, far beyond the confines of what his generation held to be the knowable. "The end of the senses," to quote his own words, "is that God may be seen." He would peer into the innermost recesses of man's being, to discern the soul of man, mayhap to discern God himself.

But, if he were scientist and metaphysician, he was also human, and that pleasant April afternoon the humanity in him bulked large when he finally turned from the window and took his seat at the bountifully heaped table. He was, as he had told the innkeeper, very hungry, and he ate with a zest that abundantly confirmed his statement. How pleasant the odors from this dish and that—how agreeable the flavor of everything! Surely he had never enjoyed meal more, and surely he was no longer "in the clouds"; but was instead recalling pleasant reminiscences of his doings in one and another of the gay capitals of Europe! There would be not a little to bring a twinkle of delight to his beaming eyes, not a little to soften his scholastic lips into a gentle smile. And so, in solitary state, he ate and drank, with nothing to warn him of the impending[Pg 62] and momentous change that was to shape anew his career and his view-point.
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