Imagens das páginas

room, animation returned to her countenance, as she exclaimed with some vehemence, “ I am so glad that old man is gone." We asked why?" He does not believe in Mesmerism; I am sure he does not.” How do you know? we asked—“Oh, I know it.” We have since been told that this gentleman attributed the effects we produced to Satanic agency.

This is one case out of many which we have witnessed : and we cannot but pity those poor creatures who are exposed in public lectures to all the malevolent emanations of the unbelievers, who, albeit unconsciously, hinder the experiments : they cannot approach to witness anything, and then go away greater sceptics than before. In numerously attended lectures very few people can see anything properly; the greater part, having amassed a few mistakes, go away, and denounce their blunders as if they were Mesmerism. Some mesmerized persons do not care much for the presence or contact of strangers; but we have ever found that, in conducting experiments, the fewer persons present the better, both for the experiments themselves, and for the sake of the accurate observation of those present.

These remarks lead to the consideration of the general repugnance to non-mesmerized bodies, and aversion to persons not in communication. We could never extract from a person in the trance what particular sort of unpleasant feeling they experienced from the contact of a non-mesmerized body; but a person in whom the effects would continue for awhile after being awakened, said, the result was a sharp pricking, and she could handle nothing till the effects were gone. This, however, does not assign a sufficient cause for the extraordinary aversion manifested towards persons not in communication. We have seen mesmerized persons in full possession of the sense of hearing, who could with the utmost difficulty be brought to confess that they heard the voice of a stranger speaking: if addressed by such, they would keep their countenance unmoved, and appear as if the attention were abstracted on something else. If they were very desirous of speaking, as once or twice has happened, they would ask the mesmerizer to speak for them.

There exists a method of overcoming the repugnance to a stranger which is called putting the stranger in communication with the subject; after this the stranger becomes so connected with the subject that no further repugnance is shown, and he is listened to with atten. tion; and strange to say, when the organ of hearing is paralyzed, so that no extraneous noise is heard, his voice is still distinguished. In all cases the subject can hear the voice of the mesmerizer : which forms a very perplexing point in the consideration of isolation, or the state in which the impressions from the senses are destroyed.

Isolation and repugnance do not necessarily co-exist, and may generally be induced by the mesmerizer either separately or together : we say generally, because the mesmerizer's skill and power may not be sufficient in all cases. We have seen a person appear not to hear a stranger's voice, who yet could hear well enough the tones of a piano: this showed the existence of repugnance without isolation. Still repugnance often follows isolation, and a person thrown into the state so induced would have a tooth or a leg removed, and might be

hardly aware of the circumstance; but let a person not in communication grasp him with his hand, and now would be seen all the shud derings of horror and pain. If a stranger were to thrust a needle into a mesmerized person, the poor creature would start, not with the pain of the puncture, but at the horror of the contact, and would start just as much without the needle as with it.

We have observed this starting to be more especially manifested in the subject when the mesmerizer's attention was strongly fixed on him; if he were engaged on something else, the repugnance would oftentimes be slight; and here is shown the operation of the mere will, that appears to enter so largely into mesmeric experiments. Persons who neglect to observe this, would be very apt to complain that there is no uniformity in the experiments; neglecting the cause of the variation, they might consider the phenomenon as doubtful, as a thing that existed, or not, at hazard. It is also to be borne in mind, that it will sometimes, though rarely, happen, that some parts of the body are in the state of repugnance to foreign substances, and that others are not so.

We have enabled an entranced person to touch non-mesmerized snbstances by mesmerizing the hand with that intention; but the usual way is to mesmerize the substance itself. Most substances, when they have received the virtue from the mesmerizer, cease to be unpleasant to the entranced, whose nerves are so finely susceptible to the mesmeric influence that he can immediately detect a body so operated on. Very many times have we seen this exemplified in the case of Miss A. We rather think that she did once or twice eat something that had not been mesmerized, excepting this, she could never be induced by any artifice to take as mesmerized what had not been so, even though she were longing for refreshment: she would push it away, and say that it was not nice. It might be very easy to feign such aversion, but it would also be very easy to detect a person trifling in such cases; so we not unfrequently use this test to try if the patient be really mesmerized.. .

Of course, in such delicate experiments, we suppose to be absent the counteracting influence of sceptical and ill-disposed persons, and could scarcely give any weight to such experiments performed in public. Some experiments indeed might be exhibited, but even these would scarcely be shown so satisfactorily before many, as before few. And here we see one cause that tends to retard the progress of Mesmerism. A number of gentlemen assembled to test the phenomena of Mesmerism can scarcely arrive at a satisfactory conclusion. What then are the learned heads of the medical profession to do? They require an experimentum crucis. Do they really wish it ?-or do they only profess to? What can be more rational than that they should try for themselves ? It is a very simple thing to do. They have multitudes of opportunities, yet they linger in doubt, and will scarcely stir a finger for their own satisfaction. That unruly member, the tongue, they will indeed employ in scorn of their more diligent neighbours. There they stop, content with such a condemnation of the science of Mesmerism. If it be not sufficient to see, let them also operate. This will be the road to truth that may carry them beyond the systems of opinion and prejudice.

per (To be continued.)


On! how I long for a calm quiet home

Deep in the bosom of some happy vale,
To which the world's loud noise might never come, –

Where pride might not intrude, nor guile prevail; Where free and all-unheeded I might roam,

And list to Nature's never-ending tale-
Some fair, still scene, where man has rarely trod,
Sacred to peace, and holiness, and God.


Yes ! every morning sees me, hears me, pray

To be released from the exciting scene
Where Guilt and gaudy Pleasure hold the sway,

And Vice stalks forth with bold unblushing mien : I loathe the air of cities; I decay

In soul and body ’neath the cloud of spleen
That overhangs the busy haunts of men ;-
A city is to me a loathsome den,-

I cannot breathe its atmosphere; I faint,

And droop, and sicken in its healthless air;
My spirit feels to inhale a noxious taint,

In every breath that fills my bosom there ;
I feel bound down beneath a strong restraint,

A lonely pris’ner, captive to Despair ;
I feel my life is worthless and mis-spent,
And long for some more genial element.

I love I worship-Nature's harmonies,

I do adore her pure and holy smile,-
But I am forced instead to hear the cries

Of suff'ring anguish, the false tones of guile,
The laugh of scorn, the wretched mourner's sighs,

The heartless, mocking, accents of the vile;
I'm made to see the horrors of distress,
The good man's woe, the evil man's success.

I say again, I long to flee away

From man's too-crowded haunts and be at rest: I ne'er,-bear witness Night, bear witness Day,

I ne'er can still that passion in my breast; I long for Earth's pure scenes,—where I may stray

With thee my , and be truly blest; Where fetterless and free we might abide, Forgotten, reck'd not, by the world beside.


I hate the trammels of the senseless crowd

That calls itself society : I scorn
The bonds by which the minds of men are bowed, -

Yes ! bonds I say, though they're as jewels borne :
Fashion's a bond. The honour" of the proud,

What is it but a bond ? Oh, might I warn With seraph voice but once, I'd tell mankind How false is “Honour." "Tis the plague o' the mind;

'Tis at the best a bubble or a breath, —

An ignis fatuus, never to be caught ;
A phantom which no life nor body hath,-

A wild creation of disordered thought :
And yet by all-alike in life and death-

By rich—by poor-by young-by old 'tis sought:
Men think sometimes they hold it in their grasp, -
Alas! they find 'tis nought but air they clasp.

And so of all the fair and golden dreams

That fill the day-sleep of the slumberer, Man !
Bright, vivid, dazzling, glorious are the beams

Which gild the prospect of his raptured scan;-
But soon he finds them false and mocking gleams,

And wakes to realize them,-if he can ;
But can he ? Ask yon man whose hair is grey,
And mark you well the words that he doth say!

Oh! to the multitude life is a sleep,

A sleep of mocking dreams, a sleep of day !
Yet there are some who long, long vigils keep,

Whose life is Life, whose minds no visions sway; Who gather Truth while Time doth o'er them sweep,

Enjoy the Real, escape from Pleasure's ray, And quit the crowd for Nature and for God, Oh! let me follow where such men have trod !

I say this not in vain and foolish pride,

I am not weak enough to think that I
Am better than the rest o'the world beside,

And therefore from the rest o' the world should fly; Begone, foul thought! my heart thou ne'er shalt guide !

I hate and scorn such rank hypocrisy;
I own the evil passions in my breast-
But is it sin to sigh for peace and rest?

I know that there are those who deem it wrong

For man to wish his fellow-man to flee ;

Some such there were to chide Childe Harold's song,

And charge its author with misanthropy ;
Some such perhaps my rhymes may fall among;

But ere they aim their darts and shafts at me,
I beg that they will hear me, I intend
My wish to analyze and to defend.

But ere my exculpation I begin,

I'd have my gentle critics bear in mind,
That if, in wishing for retreat, I sin,

Authorities supporting me I find ;
If therefore censure for my thoughts I win,

And am to public punishment consigned,
Cowper, KING David and some more o' the great,
Will keep me company, and share my fate.

I spoke of Cowper-he who lov'd to bless,

And ever sought Humanity to aid;
Hear ye his words. How much those words express!

So much in fewer words was never said : “Oh! for a lodge in some vast wilderness,

Some boundless contiguity of shade,
Where I might tread in Virtue's pleasant ways,
Flee false mankind and sweetly end my days.”

The Royal Psalmist too, whose heart with love

Was overflowing, thus his thoughts exprest, “ Oh! that I had the pinions of a dove,

For then I'd flee away, and be at rest."
He longs to quit man's sight and soar above

The' unquiet earth—he feels within his breast
A yearning for a purer world than this
A foretaste of eternal, heavenly bliss.

[ocr errors]

Now in these wishes what is it we see ?

That proud disdain of life and social ties Which men denominate misanthropy

Which teaches man man's nature to despise, And so incites him from man's haunts to flee

See ye this feeling in these poets' cries?
No! 'tis not that; then let us look again,
And try to find the spirit of their strain.

They both are weary of the world's deceit,

The wrong and outrage with which Earth is filled; They see that Virtue's bowed at Error's feet,

And Truth compelled to Falsehood's power to yield; Crime, bloodshed, anarchy, they're made to meet,

Men's hearts to love and peacefulness are steel'd

« AnteriorContinuar »