« FöregåendeFortsätt »
with greater freedom. If any one breaks the chain by letting go his neighbour's hand, some of the patients feel a constringing sensation, and declare aloud that the chain is broken."
“ Ask all the unfortunate persons who come to implore the assistance of the Lord of Busancy, they will all tell you, he has consoled us, he has cured us; several among us wanted bread, we dared not appeal to his beneficence—he divined our thoughts, and relieved our wants.” Clocquet.
In the treatment of many diseases an attention to regimen is often of more importance than the administration of medicine, while in no instance can diet be neglected with impunity. It is evident from the case now under review, that the restorative influences of mesme. rism may be greatly enhanced by judicious alimentary regulations; some of these patients “ wanted bread,"
“ And forthwith then they a' down clank,
Upon the green, and rank by rank
And make nae fyke,
The celebrated tree of Passy threw one of Deslon's patients into a crisis at the distance of eight yards from the centre of power; the commissioners considered that the man, in this matter, played the part of a blunderer; but Deslon explained the circumstance by showing that there had been a radiation of virtue from the apricot-tree, which had affected all the other trees in the orchard. According to Mesmer, not only trees, but water, articles of food, “ all bodies in nature," are susceptible of magnetism. He informed Dr. Von Ellekon in 1804, that twenty years previously he had “ magnetised the sun," which was the reason why “water exposed to its rays was superior to all other water.”
“Had old Hippocrates or Galen,
Been murderers of so much paper,
“ To whom do lions cast their gentle looks?"
King Henry VI. p. 3.
" Is it a magnetic power which Van Amburgh, Carter, and others, exercise over their lions and tigers ? This is commonly said, but how to prove it?”
“ It has been said that certain animals magnetise by the look others that are weaker than themselves, and which they make their prey; now it is exceedingly probable that this hypothesis is well founded; and, for my own part, I consider it worthy of credit."
“It happened to me one day to magnetise a cat for an entire hour. I sweated large drops of sweat at it; but at length I fancied I had succeeded, when the noise of a dish suddenly dissipated my illusion, by making the villanous beast who feigned to be asleep on them fly off from my knees.” Teste.
This rencontre with disappointment brings to mind that experienced by the gudeman of Auchtermuchty, who crabbedly sent his wife “ to the pleugh the morn,”—
« Then to the kirn that he did stour,
And jummilt at it while he swat;
Jacquelin is said to have manipulated his horses, in order to prove that the imagination was in no way ministrant to the production of mesmeric phenomena; and it is understood that the animals exhibited“ all the usual magnetic phases, even to somnambulism.” So we read that “
one Smug made his horse laugh, and broke his halter."
Is it a magnetic power that snake-charmers exercise over their Cobras and Leffas? Did St. George derive any aid from magnetism when he “ shaved the dragon's beard?” or Una, when she cowed “ the ramping lion” that,
“With gaping mouth at her ran greedily?"
By what mystic means was Bellerophon enabled to annihilate the Chimæra, and Perseus the Gorgon? By what resistless energy did Orpheus subject Cerberus to his will, when, returning from the palace of Pluto, the “ swaine”
“ Brought forth with him that dreadful dog of hell
The few records of antiquity that have floated down to us are enveloped in “ shadows, clouds, and darkness;" but brought forth into the strong light of modern science, much of the obscurity that surrounds them might be dissipated. The deeds ascribed to some of the old pseudo-gods must have had a foundation in fact; sheer falsehood never obtains extensive currency-fiction always needs some amalgam of truth to make it passable. The Heathen Mythology, subjected to a refining, or to a sifting process, under the supervision of a modern philosopher, might produce results that would incalcu
lably increase the worth of the literary remains of the ancients ;* if there is but one grain of wheat in a bushel of chaff, the value of the particle makes it worth while to sift the mass;
“ Seize upon truth where'er 'tis fouud,
On Christian, or on heathen ground."
Attempts have lately been made to rob Mesmer of his laurels, by insinuating that he was a mere felix doctrinæ prædo; a charlatan, who did nothing more than“ grind old science down into modern use." Paracelsus healed wounds by a sympathetic ointment,” and" cured gout, jaundice, and many other diseases, by means of the magnet ”—but does not this prove Mesmerism to be a truth of nature? Copernicus went out of the world before Galileo came into it; does this circumstance tarnish the fame of the Tuscan? Is the glory of Newton sullied by the poetry of Ovid
“ Circumfuso pendebat in ære Tellus Ponderibus librata suis ?"
The spirit of the literary Sibyls and the writhing Pythoness were possibly of the same genus as those that animate our own convulsed augurs ; Argus and Briareus—par nobile fratrum—were perhaps nothing more than personifications of Animal Magnetism ; and Hercules destroying monsters with his club, was-it may be-a mere figure of the power that we call Mesmerism triumphing over fierce diseases. The trees of Dodona may have their actual equiva lents in those of Passy; the caduceus of Mercury and the dart of blind-folded Cupid their counterparts in the patent tractors; and the pipes of Pan their representatives in the armonicas of Mesmer himself. But Mesmer has, at least, the honour which arises from giving a name to a system, which, it is possible, he may have formed by
In allusion to the notions of the Rev. Mr. Townshend, the author of Animal Magnetism says, “ It would appear that the ancient doctrine of the Anima Mundi is still retained, and, with slight modification, the correlative hypothesis of bodily polarization."
binding together a number of scattered hypotheses; at all events, who has done more than he to render knowledge subsidiary to the promotion of the Arts of Life?
“ He is a rare physician, do him right,
An excellent Paracelsian and has done
THE SIXTH SENSE.
“Keen as the razor's edge, invisible-
Love's Labour Lost.
BERTRAND, unmagnetising a patient, had at the same time the determined wish that he should not awake; convulsive movements followed,
“ What ails you?”
" Why do you tell me to awake, and you do not wish that I should ?”
Bertrand also cites the case of a poor and uneducated woman who understood the meaning of words when asleep which she could not understand when awake-a phenomenon, he says, which“ only be explained by acknowledging that she read in my very thoughts the meaning of the word.”
Quousque tandem abutere patientiâ nostrâ ? Patere tua consilia non sentis ? When will it be useless for a man to “ smile, and smile,