The presence of the incessant procession of visit ors, pilgrims, men, women, whole populations, who come now from every quarter to kneel before a lonely grotto, entirely unknown ten years ago, and which the word of a child has caused to be regarded all at once as a divine sanctuary; on seeing the vast edifice rising which the faith of the people is erecting on that spot at a cost of nearly two mil lions, I felt an earnest desire not only to search for the proofs of the supernatural fact itself, but also to trace in what manner, by what logical connection of things or of ideas, the belief in it had been so universally spread. How has it been produced P How was an event of such a nature accomplished in the middle of the nineteenth century? How could the testimony of an illiterate little girl with regard to a fact so extra ordinary, touching Apparitions which no one of those around her saw, find credit and give birth to such astonishing results? There are persons who have one peremptory word in answer to such questions, and the word superstition is very convenient for that purpose. For my own part, I am not so expeditious; and I wished to account to myself for a phenomenon so entirely out of the ordinary course of things, and so worthy of attention, from whatever point of view we regard it. Whether the Miracle be true or false; whether the cause of this vast concourse of people is to be found in divine agency or human error, a study of this kind does not the less possess the highest interest. I remark, however, that the Sectaries of Free-thought are very cautious of entering upon it. They prefer to deny the whole thing bluntly. This is, at the same time, easier and more prudent. I understand, very differently from them, the restless search after truth. If to deny everything ﬂatly appears to them the simplest mode, to affirm everything roundly appears to me to be somewhat hazardous.