Imagens das páginas

careful examination; and to say nothing of the psychological knowledge, the exciting descriptions of things by persons whose ideas were all acquired in the dark, which its verification would produce, the pleasure that would arise from “ pouring the day upon the sightless eye-ball"—or rather, upon the “ mind's eye”—of a fellow creature whose whole previous life had been one unbroken night, would surely be more than a compensation for any time, or exertion, or money, that might have been expended in the investigation.


“ O this learning! what a thing it is!"

Taming of the Shrew.

[ocr errors]

“ Madame Hortense during her sleep, reasons and converses with me on the most refined metaphysical subjects; she often puzzles me by the quickness of her repartees, and the subtilty of her arguments. Her language is brilliant, easy, often metaphorical, and sometimes picturesque, but still, for all that, true.”

Manuel Pratique.

A great perturbation in nature," as another doctor declares, “ to receive at once the benefit sleep, and do the effects of watching ;” but the historiette illustrates the feasibility of a previous suggestion, that


coma, the rhymster might poetry write, The preacher find thought for his lecture.

Various other professors might avail themselves of the same facilities for increasing their intellectual stores;


The painter might spread o'er his canvass the glow
Of tints brought from regions above, or below
And the minstrel might gather ideas of tune,
As novel as if they fetch'd from the moon.

No longer can distance interpose any difficulty, or strangeness of tongue any impediment, to the diffusion of knowledge ; neither can chill penury any more freeze up " the genial current of the soul;" nay, the mesmerist can invest the idiot-brow, in spite of Spurzheim, with a refulgence that would have heightened the glories of La Place. Puysegur had a patient, idiotic when awake, but of whom he said, that “when in a crisis, I know no one more profound ;” and the philosopher fondly called the idiot his “ Intelligence !” The Maidstone clairvoyant described the “ forked lightning to the life;" and to Hauffe “the electrical Auid was visible and palpable!” Major rerum mihi nascitur ordo. Ere long, the Chemist will be able to detect that which has hitherto defied his eye-ap atom. All the gases will be solidified, and all the tallow-chandlers and all the gascompanies in the world will be ruined ; for a stick of hydrogennot worth perhaps a penny, so abundant is the raw material-may suffice to enlighten a lecture-room for a season. Pure carbon will be crystallised ; the diamond will soon be recognised as the true philosopher's stone, and brilliants will be reduced to the value of Brazilian pebbles.

In Geology, a profound view of the bottom of the ocean would realize a scene wholly destitute of every thing capable of being associated with human existence or activity. Steel, at the centre of the earth, would be compressed into one fourth of the space which it occupies on the surface; there may therefore be ocean-depths which the heaviest bower-anchor, all aloose, would never reach; but which the Geologist, in the crisis, might be able to visit with perfect safety. What heterogeneous masses must now be accumulating at different depths of the sea, according to their relative specific gravities! What strata must there be in those still regions, in suspense, in a transition

state, undergoing a long-drawn process of conglomeration! This notion was turned up by the writer some years ago, when plowing the Southern Ocean; and he handed it over to a learned geologist, who expected, by its light, to find among the obscure carboniferous rocks the materials for constructing a satisfactory theory of the growth of coal. But does not Mesmerism indicate a vastly better method of exploring those regions of darkness, and of bringing up perfectly fresh knowledge de profundis ?

In Astronomy, the telescope is clearly a doomed thing; ere long it will be found only in museums, among “ the spoils of time"Roman pottery, Egyptian mummery, and other relics of semi-civilized nations. The parallax of the particles of " star-dust” that powder the milky-way will be calculable without the intervention of optical gear of any kind ; at an early period we may expect to be introduced to an acquaintance with the Lunarians, and to a knowledge of their literature. The peerless telescope of Lord Rosse will be a monument of shortness of sight.


“ There's two or three of us have seen strange sights."

Julius Cæsar.

Sophia Laroche, “ when in the crisis, hears, sees, reads, feels, tastes, and touches, by means of the feet and hands."

Petetin made a lady “ taste bread and milk by placing it on the epigastrium ; he also made her name several cards by placing them on the same region.” Teste.

“ Nature hath formed strange fellows in her time!"

There exists a striking analogy between mesmeric energy,

with regard to its growth, and all the ordinary powers of man, both physical and mental; the following exemplification of this truth is taken from the Rationale of Magnetism ;

“ When I directed him to go into the street, he complained of his inability to see—he could hear the people talk, but could not see them. And this defect made him very unhappy, when asleep; but I encouraged him by persuading him that he would obtain the power; and he gradually obtained his sight. First he could see the light of the sun, then the gas-lamps, and soon after the shape of objects, when at length he could minutely describe every thing he saw, without limit as to the distance of objects from him. It was still a fortnight before he fully obtained his sight-his clairvoyant and ultra-auditum powers.”

This narrative shows that if Society is to derive extensive benefit from the discoveries of science, arrangements must be made for giving the people a scientific education-a point worthy the consideration of Lord Wharncliffe.

Mr. Jabez Inwards, in a letter published in the Phreno-magnet, says that some patients see from nearly all parts of their bodies;" and he particularizes two“ who can read from their finger-ends, one of which can command the power when in a natural state.In the same publication parties are mentioned “who can distinguish the most delicate scents at any distance whatever ;” and a Miss is introduced " who can see much better with the mind than the eye; she could see any thing through the wall when she looked with the mind, but could not when she looked with the eyes !Eo ipso præfulgebant quod non visebantur.

When Aristippus was reproved for insulting Philosophy by falling down at the feet of Dionysius, he declared that “it was not his fault, but the fault of Dionysius, who had his ears in his feet!

I'm sure it may be justly said,
His feet were useful as his head."


[ocr errors]

Something may be done that we will not,
And sometimes we are devils to ourselves,
When we will tempt the frailty of our powers."

Troilus and Cressida.

The American pathetist, La Roy Sunderland, says “ it often happens that persons succeed in putting others to sleep, and find it impossible to wake them again. What shall be done in such cases ? Learn to be more careful how you meddle with an agency of which you know so little. We have known serious results to follow the operations of persons when the motive has been mere curiosity.” And an anonymous writer in the Phreno-magnet declares that insanityhas often been the fatal result of an injudicious course of mesmerism."

“ Mr. Poyser allowed a medical man to try his so-called tests upon one of his patients—a fine athletic young fellow—who became in consequence both mentally and physically deranged, and continued in a state of madness till the afternoon of the following day. Mr. Poyser came and requested our attendance; by an arduous process we released the patient from his awful sufferings in half an hour. The Doctor had been forewarned of the consequences of his interference; and when he had produced the effects described, threw the onus on the lecturer, and afterwards endeavoured to excuse himself by representing the whole as a sham; thus proving himself either grossly unfeeling, ignorant, or false *.” Spencer T. Hall.

* For the treatment of the mental disturbance which results from what is technically called cross-magnetism, the editor of the Phreno-magnet prescribes “plenty of cold water," which is to be poured upon the middle of

« AnteriorContinuar »