« AnteriorContinuar »
impression till impression had destroyed sensibility; her own experience of the power of the poppy, for which her taste is well known, might form a contribution to medical literature as instructive as the Confessions of De Quincy. It would be very satisfactory to know that the plague is not contagious—to learn what contagion really is —to have within reach a cure for hydrophobia—to get a clearer insight into the nature of tubercles, and the natural history of hydatids; why does the Doctor allow the gifted lady to waste her time upon details, and not drive her at once into great principles?
Happily Madame C is not the only clairvoyante in the world; in truth, we have reason to hope that the Art of Healing will soon be as universally known and practised as the Art of Cookery now is.
VELUTI IN SPECULUM.
Come, come, and sit you down; you shall not budge,
“When a patient presents himself to me for consultation, I expressly recommend him to tell me nothing-interrogatory is banished from my house-nothing is asked, but all that is necessary is revealed. The patient gives his hand to the somnambulist, sits beside her, and still observes silence. To a madman she will say, You have not your reason; to a phthisical patient, You cough, and spit blood, and you have a pain there, putting her finger upon the apex of the ulcerated lung. Now after this I ask any person of common sense whether, with such facts, there is a possibility of mistake, or of deception?”
So writes Dr. Teste in the Manuel Pratique; and the statement and question preface the annexed graphic illustration of a case in point;
“ About three months since M. X., a wealthy banker, came to consult my somnambulist. This gentleman did not believe in magnetism-I still see the poetic but jeering expression of his countenance when he presented his hand to Madame C --, saying to her, · The physicians, Madam, do not appear to comprehend the nature of my disease; let us see if you will be more successful.? Madame C took the patient's hand, and after half a minute's attention, she turns to him and says—
“ You know it, sir, the nature of your disease; but you are afraid to own it to yourself !”.
“1_Well!_Yes I think I have an affection of the heart."
“ No, sir; it is not there you have it; neither is that what you think you have!”
" What is it then?"
“ Now at each symptom which she mentioned, M. X., who no longer smiled, seemed to become paler, and appeared to pronounce only with horror the terrible affirmation which a sort of magic power forced from him. “Well, sir; since you no longer think of calling in question my power of seeing your disease, I hope you will believe in the power I possess of curing it.' On this she dictated his prescription, which I wrote out; and M. X. quitted us at once terrified, consoled, and converted."
“Her treatment, I confess, is often strange enough; and without the least resemblance to that adopted by physicians; but what matter if it be good?”
To which question every reasonable man, not being a regular physician, will answer-none.
« How she solicits heaven
A CLEAR CASE.
“ O happy fair! Your eyes are lode-stars !"
Midsummer Night's Dream.
" How do you find yourself, Josephine ? Very well. Do you see? Not yet, but I shall presently. In how many minutes ? In seven.”
The seven minutes elapse, and Josephine, astonished at her nascent lucidity, cries out
“ Oh! there! there! I see it as clear as in the open day! I see within you as if you were a lantern! Oh! there is fire at the ends of your fingers. Well! how astonishing ! But I see something within myself also. It is certain—it is my heart! Tic, toc—tic, toc-how curiously it beats! And my blood, there! hold, hold— red on one side, and black on the other! And my abdomen ! there are entrails! Oh! how disgusting !”
“ And, Josephine, do you see your own disease ?”
“ No, I don't see it, because I think it is every where ; but no matter, I feel right well what it will be necessary to do to me in order to cure me.”
• What will it be necessary to do to you ? "
“ Give me leave To speak my mind, and I will through and through Cleanse the foul body."
As You Like It.
A nameless physician “ had been treating a woman named Perry for an intermittent disease by Mesmerism ; during sleep, she was asked what would cure her. She replied, “the same medicine that was employed by Dr. Sigmond—it is a mineral ; I know you have it in your house ; it is the sixth bottle on the second shelf in your medicine-chest' The bottle alluded to contained the ammoniachloride of iron, which was administered, and by it the patient was cured.” Animal Magnetism.
“I have seen a woman insist on taking substances which appeared to me to be dangerous for one in her condition. Thinking her in error, I opposed her opinion. I directed her attention to the state of her organs, such as it seemed to me. I ordered several drugs to be brought, among which were those which she desired; she recognised them, and insisted on taking them. I struggled with her for several hours, and I at length gave way; the alarming symptom of her malady was instantly arrested, without any thing unpleasant occurring.” M. Koreff.
Surely the Elixir Vitæ, after which the ancients toiled so vainly, cannot be very far off !
“I assure you
“ You rogue, here's lime in this sack too!
King Henry IV, p. 1.
“ The magnetiser took hold of the patient's hand; Mr. Crofts, Mr. Roberts, Mr. Josh. Hollings, and I, formed a chain. I, being at the extreme point, put a little ale into my mouth, and on asking what made her move her lips, she said she tasted ale. After rinsing my mouth, I swallowed a little mint-water, which she could not so readily distinguish, but she said it was tee-total drink. Mr. Roberts then took hold of the magnetiser and put salt into his mouth, when she instantly set a face' and spit out, saying it was salt.”
Dr. Cryer. “ Would a patient be affected by an emetic taken by the operator ?” This question was opened in the tenth number of the Phreno-magnet; and correspondents were requested to reply by “ stating facts.” It would be satisfactory to know whether the query met the eye of any one possessed of sufficient philosophy, or good humour, to induce him to swallow three grains of tartar emetic; but the periodical is now extinct, and the writer is unable to supply any information as to the result of the inquiry. It is, however, more than probable that medicines of every kind may be taken vicariously;
every physician knows,” says a transatlantic magnetist,“ that disease is often communicated by sympathy; and it will appear on examination, we think, that the same agent may be equally efficient in its cure.” The spirit of the age would frustrate any attempt to bring the question to an issue, by experimenting upon convicted criminals; but could there be any reasonable objection to the offer of a free pardon, in certain cases, as the recompense of voluntary subjection to a blister ?