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obliging the individual to inspire, by the nostril, the carbon he has already expired, whilst the currents of air caused by the extended fingers produce some effect upon the facial nerves, thus inducing the eyelids to fall down. I have exercised this art with very general success in the fairer part of creation."
The theory of the author of " Animal Magnetism” may here be noticed; it is propounded as accounting for the power claimed by the magnetist of forcing sleep. The persons over whom magnetism exerts such control have marked affections of some part of the nervous system, a fact which leads us to infer that there may be some corresponding structural change or lesion, by which an enfeebled resistance, on the part of the organs of sense is made to yield to ordinary mental excitement, and a train of strange phenomena to result.” To account for the insensibility evinced by many, in the comatose stage, the same writer suggests that it may result from “ vigorous resistance for purposes of deception;” or, where imposture cannot be charged upon the patient, “ from compression of the nervous filaments, and disturbance of the central nervous organ, the brain.” He supports the first supposition by referring to the Florentine Witches--after the application of the magical unction, "the pretended witch lies down, and immediately goes to sleep; sho is bound to her bed; punctures, blows, and even cauterization, could not interrupt her deep slumbers.” (Salveste—Des Sciences Occultes.-) The second hypothesis is based on the fact, that all the Horvos are in some parts so situated, that they may be compressed by muscular and other contractile tissues. The effect of such compression upon these nervous threads is to lessen their power as conductors. This insensibility is most frequently coexistent with the cataleptic stage, when all the contractile tissues are in a state of tense rigidity; from which it is obvious that the nervous apparatus becomes so compressed that, as in some instances, a high degree of temporary insensibility may be obtained. We have witnessed again and again, during an attack of hysteria, hartshorn applied to the nostrils—the skin pinched—the hair most violently pulled — the tongue bitteu—and noises made in the apartment, without being in
the slightest degree heeded; the patients are afterwards ignorant of what occurred during the paroxysm."
“Who shall decide when doctors disagree?” The unlearned cannot do better than meditate on the words of Bacon—“ if you take out an axiom, as the sticks of a fagot one by one, you may bend them, and break them at pleasure; quæstionum minutiis scienti arum frangunt soliditatem.”
INSTRUMENTS OF ART.
“ The genius, and the mortal instruments,
Are then in council; and the state of man,
The comparative value of magnetic instruments was subjected to a severe test, in the case of O'Key, by the Editor of the Lancet. Dr. Elliotson ascribed extraordinary virtues to nickel but considered that lead possessed none. Mr. Wakley succeeded in repeatedly producing the same effects by using lead, that others had produced by using nickel; and subsequently, when he substituted the nickel for the lead, he produced no effect whatever. Dr. Elliotson, however, thought that it was the nickel after all that excited the girl, the lead merely arousing latent virtues previously lodged in her system; but the case excited doubt, and retarded for a while the progress of Mesmerism. Men of science, almost universally, believe that the intervention of mechanical media is needless; wands especially, are deemed of no more actual efficiency than the civic mace—an instrument to which our forefathers looked up with so much reverence.
Contrariety of opinion has ever pervaded all the departments of
magnetic lore; proofs of this are numerously scattered throughout these pages. A few more instances may be noticed—they will serve to show the activity of the mind in the pursuit of knowledge; ars inceniendi adolescit cum incentis. Georget prescribes that “ both the magnetiser and the magnetised should direct as intently as possible all their cerebral action towards the production of somnambulism;" Fahnestock never knew experiments to fail“ when the desire to perform them originated with the patients;” and Dr. Holland says
that “ by mental efforts, sensations of heat and cold may readily be created,” and in hysterical habits such effects produced “as may appear to belong to a more mysterious cause.” Dr. Elliotson claims for Mesmerism a specific influence—“ a power acting constantly in all living things, vegetable and animal;” the second French Commission reported that “ magnetism had no effect upon persons in a sound state of health.” Dr. Sigmond speculated on a
nervous electricity,” or emanation, analogous to the odoriferous exhalations of certain beasts; John Hunter regarded the imagination as alone accountable for magnetic phenomena. Kluge deemed himself in possession of an inherent power, “ discharged and directed by will”but knew not whether it was “material or spiritual;” Bailly believed that all the phenomena attributed to Mesmerism might be referred to known causes. Dupotet states that the magnetic agency“ may be said to be almost intellectual—success depends on the energy of the will;” Mr. Mayo asserts that the “ influence depends upon the proximity and motion of the hand of the operator, and cannot be effected by mere motion and intention.” Mr. S. T. Hall finds“ in man a sentient principle, amenable neither to the laws of time, space, or matter, but having the power of cognizance without the aid of corporeal agents;” Dr. Macaulay considers the products of magnetism as the offspring of “ a credulous imagination deceived by artful imposture.” The Rev. Mr. Townshend thinks that we live in a specific “ elastic ether," the equilibrium of which can be disturbed by the mind, and made to produce “ mental effects through unusual stimulation of the brain and nerves;” and another reverend gentleman ascribes, or did ascribe, mesmeric operations to the energy of Beelzebub!
“ Seal up the mouth of outrage for a while,
Till we can clear these ambiguities,
“O, speak no more;
CLARY D was the daughter of a bookseller residing in the Rue Pavée-Saint-Andrée. “On the 6th of May, 1840, I saw her for the first time. She was magnetised—she saw her disease, described it accurately, but the instinct of remedies was wanting, and she never could succeed in prescribing for herself.”
“Do you see your intestines?—Yes, sir.—And what do you see? -Red spots of blood, and others blackish; in one place a number of red pimples.—How will you go on to-morrow 8-A little better.— How will you be on the 1st of June?—Worse, my entire body will be swollen.—And then?-On the third, oh! how sick I shall be! And then?-Wait! the fourth I cease to see!”
The patient was aroused, she had “ no recollection of what she had said, and on the fourth she died."— TESTE.
“ EXTERNAL PREVISION."
Valentine.—“ Are all these things perceived in me?
Two Gentlemen of Verona.
" SOMNAMBULISTs have as well the consciousness of that which takes place in the system of individuals brought en rapport with them, as of that which passes within themselves. I was consulted regarding a child labouring under pulmonary affection; after one previous examination, I present the child to my somnambulist. She examines the child without touching him, and says
“ This child is very bad—worse than you suspect. Its lungs are gorged with blood and mucosity that is almost purulent.–Do you see any ulcerations there?-Yes; in the lower part of the right lung. But what is to done for it?—Place a blister on the chest, et cætera.— And with this do you think the symptoms will subside?-Please God.”
“When the relations had retired the Somnambulist said - This child is lost, it will die in twenty days.' On the 26th of the month the child died.”—Manuel Pratique.
Did it never occur to the worthy Doctor to avail himself of the services of Madame C with a view to discover the proximate cause of gout? There can be no reasonable doubt of her ability to do this. Moreover, she might be able easily to solve the great problem of pathology, to see whether inflammation arises from a thickening of fluid, or a constriction of vessel—whether it is caused by increased action, or the very reverse. She should be instructed to keep her eye-using the word as a figure-upon the opium-eater, and watch the modus operandi of the drug, from the first moment of