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them to believe that certain effects will fol- mesmerists, as we have already intimated, low certain acts, and vice versa, those ef- believe in a special agency, a magnetic fects will generally take place. Both Mr. fluid, or some unknown and mysterious Braid and the mesmerists seem to agree principle, or virtue, as the medium of menas to the fact, that sleep induced by artifi- tal and physical action, which can be cial contrivances differs in many respects brought into activity by personal contact, from natural sleep, that there are different looking into the eyes of the patients, pointdegrees or stages of this sleep, and that the ing the fingers at them, or by performing phenomena vary according to the different various manœuvres called passes, either in stages or degrees, and the modes of man- the presence of the patient, or at any disagement; there being at one stage an ex- tance, and without his knowledge, will, or altation, at another a depression of the nat- consent; or by the simple volition of the ural functions, both mental and physical. operator, even at a distance, and without Mr. Braid confesses that he has never been the patient being aware or imagining that able to produce the transcendental phe- he was willing such effects. And, again, nomena of clairvoyance by his method, but they allege that the power may be imparted by direct mental suggestion he has been by them to inanimate substances, which able to produce what he calls "double con- will manifest the same phenomena in any sciousness," of which more anon. Mr. patient who lays hold of, or touches, or Braid, too, like Mesmer and Dr. Elliotson, tastes such mesmerized substances. Hence appears to have had his rubs and checks; they manifestly believe the influence of and, probably, the world is indebted to the mesmerism to be an objective influence brusquerie and eccentricity of the British from without so that the operator can Association for his valuable treatise. It throw either man or brute animal, will-yewould appear that, when that august body of peripatetics visited Manchester in 1842, Mr. Braid proposed to read a paper to them on his new discovery, and, with that view, sent them the MS., which was returned to him from the Medical Section by the hands of a common porter in an unsealed envelope, accompanied by a note in pencil on the back of it, to the effect that it was rejected as unsuitable. Mr. Braid, however, was not to be turned from his purpose so noble energy, whereby he is endowed with a "In man," says he, "there sits enthroned a easily. He engaged one of the largest capacity to act extra se, without and beyond rooms in the town, and gave a conversa- the narrow territories of himself, only per nazione to the other sections, which was tum by his single beck, by the natural magic crowded; and, instead of getting the thanks of his fancy, and to transmit a subtile and inand applause of one section only, the high-visible virtue, a certain influence that doth afest encomiums, and a vote of thanks to terwards subsist and persevere per se, and operate upon an object removed at very great boot, were bestowed upon him by the memdistance; by the discovery of which sole mysbers of the other sections reinforced by the tery all that we have hitherto treated concernpublic. This is a diversion, but it embod-ing the ideal entity, conveyed in the arms of a ies an episode too interesting to be overlooked, and we write currente calamo. We were going on to contrast the principles of mesmerism and neurhypnotism. The
* Apropos of this British Association for the advancement of science; What part is it playing under this new blaze of scientific light? Does it range itself amongst the mesmeric or the antimesmeric chorus? Or is it squeezing itself up, and hiding its "outward limbs and flourishes" in a corner of the theatre, hesitating whether it shall step into the ring before the last round is fought, or wait until the contest is decided, and then head up the victors to receive the applause of the spectators? Oh! fie! gentlemen, fie! Is this sort of behavior worthy of the Scientific Lion
nil-ye, into the condition, and that neither distance, nor intervening bars or bolts, can resist the influence of the mesmerizer's volition and passes. For the purpose of proving what we have already asserted, namely, that these views singularly coincide with the notions of Van Helmont, we will give a translated passage from his work on the magnetic cure of wounds :
spiritual emanator, and sallying abroad to execute the mandates of the will, concerning the magnetism of all creatures, proceeding as well from human fancy as from the native and peculiar fancy of every thing, and, also, concerning the magical superiority of man over all sublunary bodies."
This sonorous bombast runs on into an illustration of his moon-struck philosophy, borrowed from the simple fact of the loadstone converting steel into a magnetic needle. All this, however, is agreeable to the belief of zealous thorough-going mesmerists. The hypnotists, on the contrary, believe neurhypnotism to be subjective, or
personal, and incapable of being induced ing exactly with the previous expectation without the knowledge and concurrence, of the patients. With reference to this or belief, of the patient, or by physical im- agency, Le Roy Sunderland says, "That pressions received through the organs of it is not a fluid eliminated from the operaspecial sense.* We have already set forth tor or a machine, as has been supposed, their views, but, for the purposes of con- any one may demonstrate in five minutes." trast, it may be convenient to repeat them He further states that he has operated uphere. They consider that the induction of on hundreds of patients, and in every imthe sleep is entirely "the result of the aginable manner," and he finds that he mind and body of the patient acting and can produce precisely the same results reacting on each other in an unusual man- without any magnet, or electricity, or batner; and the most ready and certain meth- tery, or metals, or minerals, or passes, or od of inducing this is by arresting the at- will at all;" and he goes on to prove that tention through visual sensation, by caus- mere willing without the knowledge of the ing the patient to maintain a fixed gaze at patient has no influence. "We have causan object, placed so much above the head ed subjects," says he, "to fall asleep again as will produce a slight strain on the eyes. and again, whilst we were willing them to It seems that, besides the exhaustion of the keep awake all the while. Take any subvisual organ and slight vertigo, which are ject who is highly susceptible, and cause the immediate and necessary results of this him to apprehend you are willing him to go process, there is also induced a habit of in- to sleep, and during the sitting you will him tense abstraction, or concentration of atten- not to go to sleep, and you will find that he tion, during which there is a suppressed will fall into the somnopathetic state in destate of the respiration, which prevents the spite of your will, just as certainly as he proper and efficient purification of the blood, apprehends what the result should be." Dr. and that, besides the interruption to the Elliotson also bears testimony to the same free and regular circulation through the effect, touching the mere influence of the brain, as in common and easy respiration, will. We will give an extract or two from the imperfectly decarbonized blood acts on the pages of the Zoist. At page 242 the the brain as a narcotic, and thus hastens doctor says,— the results of hypnotism." In proof of this, Mr. Braid remarks that it is always "My will has hitherto been powerless in all more difficult to hypnotize patients who mesmeric experiments. I have never yet acbreathe quickly, and, therefore, he has re-complished any thing in mesmerism by it alone. However long and strongly I have willed, I quested them to suppress their respiration. have hitherto done nothing without the eye, Again, with reference to objective influ- manipulation, contact, or approximation, with ences. The experiments of Mesmer before respect to the patient, &c. Nay, I have never the French commission, Mr. Wakley's ex- satisfied myself that I have increased the periments with Dr. Elliotson's patients, va- power of other proceedings by the most inrious experiments made by the Rev. Le Roy tense will, or impaired the result from not willSunderland, of New York (who, by the ing at all. way, first decried Mr. Braid's theory, and afterwards adopted it), besides fifty others which we could mention, all tend to prove that the influence of mesmerized substances depends, not on any real or supposed power of the substances themselves, but on the belief or imagination of the patient : the same may also be said with respect to passes at a distance, the effects correspond-ally
* Mr. Braid, at a recent conversazione, attribu
"I have willed the excitement of distinct
cerebral organs, but always in vain. I have looked intently at the situation of distinct cerebral organs, and willed powerfully, but always in vain."
Then, again, at page 312
"I have three patients whom I was originsome weeks in sending to sleep, though I them each half-an-hour daily of manipulations and gazing, but who now go to sleep ted the phenomena to exalted function of natural on my merely raising my hand, or looking at organs enabling patients to perceive faint impres-I told each of them that if she sat still I would them, when they are prepared to expect sleep. sions through the ordinary media, whilst the mesmerize her in the next room through the mesmerists alleged that they resulted from some particular and impalpable medium through which door. I retired, shut the door behind me, did the unexpressed thoughts, knowledge, and de- nothing, but walked on into a further room, sires were imparted from the mesmerizer to the turned back, and found her asleep; so with the mesmerizee, as by a species of inspiration or sym- other two in succession. While I did this I pathetic reflection. thought as little of them as possible, and bu
sied myself with any thing to disturb my at- they prove the existence of some special tention.
Another writer in the same publication, a Mr. Atkinson, says, at page 248,—
influence. All the phenomena of hypnotism, startling though many of them may appear to the uninitiated, are quite reconcilable with well-known and established
"He fully answered the objections which physiological and psychological principles; had been urged against the conclusions which they are level with our comprehension, he had drawn from what he had observed, and can be all satisfactorily accounted for, showing distinctly that there was neither and, therefore, we are inclined to look mental sympathy nor suggestion in any of the cases to which he referred, that thought-read-upon them with favor; but the higher pheing, like clairvoyance, was an exception, and nomena of clairvoyance, and direct mental not the rule, for that he had found it impossi- suggestion and intuition, far transcend the to influence his patients by his thoughts, or to laws of all known philosophy, and make us lead them by suggestions." look upon the mesmerizers with mistrust, -mistrust, we mean, when they attemp thus to get beyond the bounds of human apprehension.
We could easily multiply examples on this branch of the subject, favorable to the views of the hypnotists, from Mr. Spencer Hall, Dr. Collyer, and even Mr. Colquhoun himself, but we conceive that it is quite unnecessary.
It is not at all necessary to upset animal magnetism in order to establish neurhypnotism, since the fact that certain phenomena can be induced by different methods strengthens us with additional proofs of their reality; and so far mesmerism and neurhypnotism are useful allies in establishing the important position, that by arti
be thrown into a new condition, which experience shows may be rendered eminently useful in the cure of disease. We have studied the subject of clairvoyance*
As bearing somewhat upon this subject of clairvoyance, we will here give an extract from Medical Times of the 13th of January last. He an article by Mr. Braid, which appeared in the says,
Adopting the generally admitted principle that it is inconsistent with sound philosophy to seek for greater causes than are adequate to account for certain effects, let us at once rid the question touching the agency ficial contrivance the nervous system may by which the phenomena are produced, of the various fallacies with which it has been unnecessarily encumbered; and we bring it, with the least effort imaginable, within a very narrow compass. It is abundantly clear that the processes resorted to by the mesmerists for producing the sleep, in addition to the supposed magnetic fluids, include all the conditions which the hypnotists have proved to be necessary to "One of the most interesting and important the same end. We have sufficient evi- phenomena connected with hypnotism is that dence that the phenomena of hypnotism extraordinary activity of the imagination, whereare entirely subjective, and we have wit- by ideas excited in the mind, whether from renessed from it the excitation both of men- otherwise, are instantly invested with all the called past impressions, or by oral suggestion or tal and physical functions to an extraor- attributes of reality. From this cause patients dinary degree. It follows, therefore, as a make very striking remarks, not from any desire necessary consequence, that unless the to deceive others, but because they are self-demesmerists can by mesmerism produce all ceived; the extreme vividness of their ideas leading them, at the moment, to believe as real the phenomena of hypnotism, and some- what are only the figments of fancy. Thus, thing more, their magnetic fluid, or special name any person, place, or thing, and instantly influence, is a mere gratuitous assumption, they will imagine they see or hear them, and a surplusage, as the lawyers say, which will, probably, enter into elaborate descriptions ought to be discarded. Now there are phe-regarding them. I have thus astonished many persons by descriptions which patients have nomena which they allege they can pro- given of various circumstances and places, but, duce which we have already acknowledged cannot be produced by hypnotism, namely, the marvels of clairvoyance, and the influencing of the minds and bodies of patients by direct mental suggestion without the ordinary media of communication through If they can the physical organs of sense. establish that superior power on incontestable evidence, then, and then only, will SEPTEMBER, 1844. 6
in the end, I have convinced them that it was only shrewd guessing, or imaginary descriptions. I have never yet seen any decided case of clairvoyance, every attempt of the sort resulting in the conviction that what first appeared to be so, was nothing but guessing, an act of memory, describing the figments of fancy as real, or from extreme exaltation of some of the senses enabling the patients to discover by smell, touch, or hearing, heat and cold, what we naturally judge of by sight. Thus, a patient securely blindfolded,
with some attention, and, without meaning reality of the phenomenon. Added to these to impugn the veracity and honesty of pur- facts, there is the acknowledged fickleness pose of the narrators, we must be allowed and uncertainty of even the most clairvoyto say that, to our humble apprehension, ant patients, for in general they are oftener the evidence adduced is by no means equal wrong than right; whereas, did their anto substantiate the marvels recorded, and swers to questions proceed from true and the powers claimed by the mesmerists. bona fide perceptions, they ought always There ought to be far stronger evidence, to be right; nor should we overlook the and a more extensive series of cases (and fact that most of their answers are in very these subjected to a more searching scru- vague terms. In every case of supposed tiny than has been hitherto applied to them), clairvoyance which Mr. Braid has had an opbefore they are received as facts; for to us portunity of investigating closely, he has it appears far more probable that the nar- been enabled to convince the parties that rators have been deceived than that Provi- they had been deceived, and that the whole dence would delegate to His creatures was explicable on principles which we shall such dangerous prerogatives and powers. endeavor to explain presently, and the But we have other and less ethereal wea- ignorance of which; we believe, has been a pons wherewith to attack these mighty pregnant source of error in these inquiries. phenomena. If we consider the number Until cases are investigated with due of years the subject has been prosecuted, attention to these sources of fallacy no imand how many intelligent persons have plicit reliance ought to be given to the been engaged in the inquiry, we cannot details recorded. General Duff Green, of but be struck with the small amount of Philadelphia, for example (the gentleman cases hitherto recorded. Comparatively who vainly endeavored to convince the few experimentalists have met with them. Dr. Elliotson has, we believe, never met with a single case, nor has Dr. Braid, and we, who have been on the look-out for them for the last three years, have looked in vain, although we have mesmerized patients for the express purpose. Although a large sum of money was offered in France many years ago, not as a bet, where failure would have been a pecuniary loss to the adventurer, but as a reward, to any one who would produce a patient capable of reading without the eyesight, and with the precautions stipulated to guard against deception, the reward (although equal in amount to about 5007. of our money) has never been competed for to this day. This certainly does not imply much faith in the
if asked to find out any one he knows in a room full of company, will readily do so by smell. He will tell you he sees the person, but the moment the nose is held he no longer sees him, and will turn the head as if looking for the party; but the moment the nose is unstopped he thinks he again sees him. In like manner, a glove, or pocket-handkerchief, being delivered to a patient, without any possibility of knowing to whom it belonged, if asked to deliver it to the proper owner, he will readily find the party by smell. I have thus seen a patient restore four white cambric handkerchiefs to their proper owners, although huddled together and put into the patient's hands at once, whilst securely blindfolded. There was positive proof that this was done by smell, as it was always determined by smelling to the persons and handkerchiefs before deliverng them to the respective parties.
reverend joker of St. Paul's that the "drabcolored men of Pennsylvania" were not such "drabs" in their notions about the generally acknowledged obligations to pay), believed his daughter was highly clairvoyante, and she was esteemed so by hor mesmerizer. "But I soon convinced him," says Mr. Braid, "that they had been mistaken." Now much of what appears to be clairvoyance may be explained in this way. There is an extraordinary revivification of memory at a certain stage of mesmeric and hypnotic sleep which enables patients to remember things long forgotten in the waking condition; vivid imagination, docility and sympathy, and tendency to imitation, are also remarkable characteristics of this state. On the other hand, a patient may be in such a state of magnetism or hypnotism that he will hear and answer, but be quite unable to give a correct answer on any subject with which he is perfectly familiar, that is, provided his attention be excited only through the ear; but the moyou touch any part of his body, without varying the pitch of your voice, he will answer correctly.*
*Mr. Braid demonstrated this very conclusively in the course of a recent conversazione at the Manchester Royal Institution, a published report of which we have now before us, and upon which we have drawn for several valuable suggestions. Mr. Braid has a forcible remark or two on this branch of the subject which we think it expedient to quote. He says, "A patient may
The mesmerists will say that this looks very like a special influence conveying the will of the operator to the mind of the patient, but that it is not so is very easy of
appear unconscious to loud talking, but shall instantly reply to the faintest whisper uttered with the lips near to the pit of the stomach, the hand, or other part of the body; not that these points had become direct organs of hearing, but because the breath acts on the skin, and rouses and concentrates the attention to the sound, which was not heard, or not attended to before, merely because of the diffusiveness of the mind, giving no specific or personal interest to the patient in what had been said and heard. He considered this explained much of the supposed mysterious influence of the rapport of the mesmerists.
proof, for if the patient be requested to touch any part of his own body with his own finger, or if any inanimate substance be brought into the room by any person totally ignorant of what is going on, and dropped gently so as to come in contact with the patient, the result will be precisely the same as if he were touched by the operator or any of the bystanders.* Moreover,
same explanation accounts for the effects of a waft of wind against any of the dormant organs of sense, the attention being thereby directed to the function of the organ acted upon. It is never to be overlooked that, at this stage of the sleep, the acts are voluntary acts, although unremembered by the subjects when awake, and that they The following remarks on the effects of the are regulated in their actions by the ordinary current of air are also curious and interesting:- laws of sensation and association of ideas, as in "At one stage of hypnotism there is a great ex- the waking condition, with this difference, that altation of the functions of all the organs of sense, the quickness of their perceptions, and tendency sight excepted, and at another all these may be to concentrate their attention entirely to indireduced to a state of extreme torpor to the high-vidual acts, instead of the more diffusive testiest state of excitation. Thus the arm may be mony of the waking condition, gives an energy extended, and in process of time the muscular and promptness to their actions almost equal to activity shall have reduced the limb to that state the force of instinct which we observe in the of rigidity called the cataleptic state; so that it is lower animals. When, however, the patient has not only held up as it were involuntarily, but will been allowed to lapse into the deep stage when offer prodigious resistance before it can be de- the sense of heat and cold, as well as sensibility pressed; nay, may actually be so unyielding that to pricking and pinching, is gone, these transiit could not be flexed without the application of tions are effected with much more difficulty. such force as might endanger the integrity of the The patient then requires continued wafting for tissues. The arm shall also be insensible to a considerable time, more particularly over the pricking or pinching; but the moment a waft of face. The rigidity only yields gradually. Withwind is directed against it, the rigidity ceases, out especial attention being given to the opposite down drops the arm, and the skin is instantly conditions and phenomena at the different stages highly sensitive to the slightest infliction. This of hypnotism, it is impossible for any one to test extraordinary influence of a current of air puzzled the subject correctly, or to comprehend what he and perplexed me exceedingly. I solicited infor- really witnesses. mation on the point from all quarters, but no one * Mr. Colquhoun enters into an elaborate and hazarded an explanation of the cause of the phe- ingenious disquisition on the philosophy of dreams, nomenon. However, I have very lately arrived evidently with a view to establish an analogy be at what I believe to be the true rationale of the tween them and clairvoyance, though he does not matter, which is this. I have already explained fail to mark the distinction between natural and that it is the peculiar feature of hypnotism for magnetic sleep. There can be no doubt that the whole energy of the visnervosa to be concen- many dreams spring out of impressions that have trated on the function in action; so that exciting been left on the mind by meditations or occuranother function is equivalent to suspending the rences which have taken place during our wakone previously in action. Now, by elevating ing hours, and that, although those meditations the arm, the attention is directed and concen- return when we awaken, we have no recollectrated on muscular effort, the tone of the muscles tion whatever of their having formed the basis of increases till a state of cataleptiform rigidity is a dream; so, on the other hand, we sometimes induced, the pressure of the rigid muscles on the dream of matters which we have no recollection arteries and nerves interrupts the free circulation of when we are awake, but dream of over again in the member; but while the sensation to prick-when we go to sleep. But surely in neither of ing and pinching diminishes, that of heat and cold, if it does not increase, at least diminishes less rapidly. Again by pressure applied to the arm or hand you offer resistance to the rigid muscles of the arm and shoulder, and thus you stimulate them to still greater activity; but a waft of wind acts on the sense of heat and cold, which is a function of the skin; and, as only one function is energetically active at the same time during hypnotism, directing the attention to the skin is equivalent to suspending that of muscular action, and, consequently, down drops the arm from its own gravity. This is quite analogous to what happens when a person drops any thing from his hand by being suddenly startled. The
these cases will Mr. Colquhoun attempt to decide or even to surmise whether the "union and harmony between the soul and the body, although not actually dissolved, is partially interrupted by sleep" or whether "the latter is no longer capable of co-operating effectually with the former.' Our own notions about dreams are that they either emanate from the retention in the mind of something that has occurred in the waking state, or that they are produced by external influences operating upon some part of the physical organization. The rapidity with which a long and intricate series of events is dreamed through is most miraculous. We remember a story of a passenger who was asleep in his berth when the vessel