To Professor Althouse.
As the Ghost of a Gentleman, dead these 260 Years and more, I may tell you that in Life, I was importun'd and bother'd by Ideots & Bores enough. Whilst no Man may know the Fate that awaits him when he crosses the Litchgate, 'twas not unreasonable to expect that in Death I should not have been pester'd by those remaining behind in the sunlit Realms of Life.
Alas! Madam, it has proven not to be so.
Altho' there are innumerable spiritual Beings to be found everywhere on the Astral Plane, we commonly have little Intercourse with each other. Nay, 'tis the Living, with their Seances, Spiritualism, and, dare I say, Witchcraft, who are constantly clamouring for the Attention of the Dead. You should know that many a Time I have been lost in ghostly Thought; when suddenly my Head is knock'd on the Underside of a Table, as if someone had grasp'd my Waistcoat and forc'd me into this ridiculous Pose. A Company of foolish Persons is commonly seated at the Table; whilst a puff'd up Buffoon at the Head groans clos'd-Eyed Incantations of a Strength just sufficient to drag me from my Meditations, but with no further Power to permit me to entertain or instruct those present.
To undertake a Journey from the World of the Dead to the Land of the Living is uncommonly difficult, attended with much Fatigue and Uncertainty. For the Living to fling us thither by our ghostly Coattails is a very hazardous Operation, not to be undertaken lightly. Many a sensitive Ghost has been utterly ruin'd by such scandalous Exposure.
As shewn by the occasional Remarks you have giv'n me leave to publish, Madam, in this, your Theatre of Topicks (as I call it), I am very obliged to be thus allow'd to help improve the Publick in my small Way. I flatter myself that I am, within my paltry Compass, a Ghost of some Parts & Application, and so am enliven'd and invigourated by such Exertions. Yet, there are many others who would vanish like evanescent Smoak were they to be us'd thus.
That Mrs. Reagan were engag'd in Seances, contacting the Spirit of her late Husband, is a Thing not to be lightly believ'd, and, indeed, to be dreaded; for, as vigorous as President Reagan was in Life, his long Years of Decline weakened his Spirit. The Health of President Reagan's Shade could be in some Doubt, if Mrs. Reagan had grasp'd too firmly his ghostly Hand at her supposed Seances. One of the Reasons for the miserable Decline of the Republican Party's Fortunes may be that his Spirit was injur'd by the Grip of Mrs. Reagan. Instead of a beneficent & benign Presence o'erspreading a Benediction upon his Party, there perhaps remains only a shatter'd & withdrawn Remnant of one claw'd at by the Living with too much Desperation.
Mrs. Clinton seems to have used the Ghost of Mrs. Roosevelt with greater Subtlety. If Mrs. Roosevelt continues her White House hauntings for the benefit of Mrs. Obama, we shall have strong Proof that Mrs. Clinton understands and perhaps inspires the Dead (altho' the Democrats had little Need of 'em lately as Electors).
Praying that you shall continue to inspire both the Living and, in my Case, the Dead, I am,
Your humble & obt. Servant,
November 8, 2008
"One of the Reasons for the miserable Decline of the Republican Party's Fortunes may be that his Spirit was injur'd by the Grip of Mrs. Reagan."
Ah! In the early hours of the morning, our ghostly visitor, Sir Archy, appeared and commented on the post about Barack Obama's first press conference. Obama said -- and has apologized for saying -- "I have spoken to all of them who are living," he responded. "I didn’t want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about doing any séances."