Sunday, 17 August 2014

Ghosts and Their Garments

Berkshire Chronicle - Saturday 15th of August 1863.

'An amusing controversy has been going on in the Athenaeum for a week or two past on the subject of ghosts and their clothes. Mr. Hein Friswell, and Mr. George Cruikshank both claim that they were the first to suggest the impossibility of ghosts wearing clothes, although these etherial beings are always represented as attired. The Athenaeum, however, would seem to settle the question in the following remarks:- "As regards the question of ghosts and the clothes of ghosts, Mr. Cruikshank, also in another column, defends himself; but we may warn both Mr. Cruikshank and Mr. Friswell that several correspondents claim a prior occupancy of the field. The author of The Youth of Shakespeare, published in 1839, sends us the following extract from that work:- "Garments have no souls as I have ever heard, and, therefore, neither hose, nor trunks, nor cloaks, nor hats, nor apparel of any kind, can be ghosts; and how can they be worn of a ghost, being of a substance, as they must needs be - not being the immaterial nature of a spirit? If the latter, as hath been credibly affirmed, can slide through the crack of a door with ease, there is no clothing of ever so fine a fabric but what cannot help staying behind at such a time, and so leave the poor ghost without a thread to cover him. And when a ghost standeth before any person, the garments being heavy and he so exceedingly light, they must needs fall to his heels for lack of proper support, to the horrible scandal of all decent spectators." '

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