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for want of a little common sense to learen their learning, would have the charity to follow the noble example set by Mr Tubbs, and save their patients from the tortures now so needlessly inflicted by them.
Thus ended one of the most remarkable meetings ever convened, and proud must every member feel at the opportunity afforded him of witnessing one of the most satisfactory operations ever performed in Eng.. land.
T. PURLAND, 7 Mortimer street, Cavendish square,
Surgeon-Dentist. May 1, 1854.
Mesmeric Institute, 36 Weymouth street,
Portland place, April 26, 1854. We, the undersigned members and visitors of the Mesmeric Infirmary, witnessed the amputation of the right breast of Mrs Flowerday, by Mr W. J. Tubbs, Surgeon. of Upwell, Cambridgeshire, she being in the mesmeric trance induced by the operator. And we unhesitatingly assert and believe that the patient did not suffer the slightest pain, and upon being awakened, declined every assistance, and walked up stairs to bed.
John Elliotson, M D., F.R.S., Conduit street.
T. Gardiner, Resident Secretary. Of the thousands of cures the two following will be sufficient to excite the risibility of the sceptic:
CURE OF ABDOMINAL DROPSY. Mrs Grainger, of Teatotal row, Yearsley, near Uxbridge, admitted a
patient at the Mesmeric Infirmary, November, 1854. This patient had experienced an increasing sense of fulness about the chest and body during six years ; and being told that water was accu. mulating she consulted a surgeon at Uxbridge, who at once gave her medicine, and continued the supply for six months, when he advised her removal to the University Hospital in London.
Here she received large quantities of physic without benefit, and the water increasing rapidly, she was tapped.
After the operation it was discovered she had ovarian tumour, and she was told to prepare at once for an operation. To this she objected, and, after remaining six months in hospital and being tapped three times, was discharged incurable.
She then applied to Dr Coffin, and took medicine for six months more; was tapped three times under that gentleman's directions, and again discharged as incurable.
After so much medicine and suffering it is not surprising that the patient should begin to fancy she was indeed on the “incurable list;" and, abandoning all hope, returned home.
The neighbours in the village were next laid under contribution for “ old receipts " for the “certain cure” of dropsy ; many of which were tried in the vain hope of alleviating her pains, which were at times almost unbearable.
Her sister, who lives in London, states, that when going to visit her she heard her cries long before she reached the house, and on the last, previous to her being mesmerised, she was told by her doctor that a coffin would be in the house when she came again, and she herself hoped that death would relieve the sufferer.
The sister having heard of the astonishing cures produced by Mes. merism upon patients deemed by the best medical authorities incurable, determined, if possible, to have it tried upon Mrs Grainger, in the forlorn hope of its affording her some relief.
Mr Fisher, a Mesmerist attached to the Mesmeric Infirmary, was consulted, and with a liberality that does him honour offered to give his time and assistance, twice a week, if his carriage by rail was paid to Uxbridge. He mesmerised her from February 19 to the beginning of November, 1854, when the improvement was so great, and the case 80 singular, that on its being mentioned to the Council of the Mesmeric Infirmary, the Secretary was despatched to Uxbridge to report officially upon the case. The inquiry being satisfactory, the Council resolved to place her with her sister in town, to pay for her board and lodging, and to have her mesmerised every day.
On the 3rd of January, 1855, Mrs Grainger was examined by Dr Elliotson before the Council, and pronounced cured.
Her gratitude was great, and her cheerfulness marked, when she returned thanks for her remarkable and unexpected cure.
This patient had been tapped fifty-five times ! and after the fiftysecond tapping she measured above five feet in circumference. On the fifty-third tapping, the enormous quantity of twelve gallons was drawn off-six pails! on the fifty-fourth and fifth, eleven gallons! The fiftyfive operations averaging nine gallons : in all, four hundred and ninetyfive gallons.
As soon as Mesmerism was applied-in the midst of sneers and hisses from those familiar with the case-she gradually improved in health and decreased in size, until she was cured.
RIGHT HEMIPLEGIA. James Churchill, aged 33, Barnes Elms, Putney, applied for admission in August, 1857; but the distance being too great for him to attend, he was advised to get a friend to mesmerise him, and instruction was accordingly given by Mr Fradelle to Mr T. Wetherall, Inspector of the Electric Telegraph, Tooting, Surrey, who at once kindly undertook the case. He was unable to walk without the assistance of two sticks, dragged his right leg, and was unable to bend it, and his right arm was very weak, so that he was unable to work. He had been at St George's Hospital, and also under the medical care of Mr Whiteman, the parish surgeon of Putney, who at last said “there was no cure for him." On the 18th of September Mr Wetherall called at the Infirmary, and informed the Secretary that James Churchill was perfectly cured; could walk without even one stick,-take a long walk which he enjoyed, and had nearly recovered his former strength. He was requested to appear before the Council, and did so September 30, when the late Gen. Bagnold expressed himself highly gratified at the restoration. The parish doctor, to whom he had shown himself, denied that Mesmerism had cured him. “But here I am cured," replied Churchill : "all the medicine I have taken has done me no good. You said there was no cure for me. I have been mesmerised, not taken medicine during the time, and here I stand cured.” “Well, well," answered the facetious doctor, " if I were to mesmerise any one and cure him by it, I should be drummed out of the profession." The patient has ever since been able to work, and is the wonder ” of the place.
And now, gentlemen, I come to what immediately concerns ourselves as Surgeon-Dentists, the extraction of teeth in the Mesmeric trance.
The list I offer is far from complete. It contains the names of operators well known to most of you, and are more or less respected. In 1841–Mr Nicholles, of Bruton street, extracted 5 teeth.
Mr Martin, Portsmouth
. . 1
- - 3
• 2 ,
. 1 ,
- 3 , ... Mr Edwards, Bath . . . 2 , My own dental operations amount to 176. I have extracted ten teeth and two stumps for one patient, three and four for others, and in no instance have they experienced the slightest pain.
In conclusion, allow me to observe, that, believing as I do to the fullest extent in this wonderful power as a curative agent, and an alleviation of human suffering, I hold it indispensable that it form part of a medical education ; and so strongly do I feel upon this point, that I declare every medical man unqualified to obtain the confidence of his patients if he wilfully neglect to examine, or continue to ignore it.
Not all the books of cures attributed to medicine that ever were pub
lished, can for an instant stand comparison with the cures detailed in the thirteen volumes of The Zoist,' the reports of the Mesmeric Infirmaries, and the statements published by prirate individuals.
I had hoped to have been able to show you an operation, but I find that the patient I have been able to procure has no teeth to spare, but he has been operated upon by me. I must, therefore, be content with showing you the modus operandi, and, I hope, some of the phenomena of Mesmerism.
Dr Purland, after having concluded his paper, called Henry Stanley, aged sixty-two years, who stated that he had been afflicted with chalky gout, with knees and toes swollen to such a degree as to prevent him from working or walking ; had been in the hospital and under medical treatment twenty-two weeks, and considered that he came out worse than he went in. He had, nevertheless, been enabled to walk with a crutch and stick, after eleven weeks' treatment in the hospital. He was now much better, and attributed his improvement to mesmeric treatment.
A member inquired if he had taken any medicine under such treatment. He replied nothing but a little-mesmerised water.
Mr W. Fisher was then introduced, who was stated to be a very powerful mesmeriser, and at the same time very susceptible to the mesmeric influence. Having taken a seat, Dr Purland at once commenced the necessary manipulation to induce the mesmeric trance, and in the course of a few minutes Mr Fisher appeared to be totally insensible, and quite under the influence of the operator. The muscles of the arms and legs were brought to a state of great rigidity, and appeared to be entirely under the influence of the operator, as flaccidity or rigidity were produced almost instantaneously; many gentlemen examined the patient while in this state, and appeared to be satisfied as to the effect produced.
Mr W. Perkins asked Dr Purland in what way mesmerism affected disease so as to induce a cure.
Dr Purland replied, that if Mr Perkins could say why the magnetic needle pointed to the north, he (Dr Purland) could answer the question ; he could not, however, state any reason why a cure was effected by mesmerism, but could only state the simple fact that such was the case. He had induced mesmerism in a lady who was separated from him by being in another apartment at the time, the only connection between the lady and himself being a string which both beld by. He also related a case of mesmerism being induced in a lady who was supplied
he thought them vind entered into sometioned by some gen
with mesmerised gloves, the gloves having been sent from London to a considerable distance in the country, and still retaining the remarkable mesmeric quality.
Dr Blandy (of Baltimore, U.S.) would like to know about what per-centage of persons were liable to the mesmeric influence ?
Dr Purland replied that an effect could be produced upon any person, but not so as to induce sleep.
Dr Blandy would like to know what the principle consisted in ?
Dr Purland said it was supposed to be electricity, but nothing was clearly known as to its cause.
Dr Blandy said that strange effects were sometimes produced, but he thought them very uncertain in medical cases.
Dr Purland having entered into some further explanations, Henry Stanley was again introduced, and questioned by some gentlemen who had entered the room late.
Mr Betts mentioned a case where he performed the operation of cupping upon a young lady while in a state of mesmerism, who declared that no pain whatever had been felt. He was introduced to the patient by Dr Elliotson.
Dr Purland said he had known cases of parturition take place perfectly painless.
Mr Ballard was surprised that the parts should be rigid during parturition.
Dr Purland explained that such was not the case ; rigidity or laxity could be produced at will by the operator.
Mr Weiss remarked that rigidity of the muscles of the jaw was frequently produced by chloroform.
Mr Matthews thought it would not have affected the involuntary muscles.
Mr Turner wished to know if frequent operations produced any bad effect on the operator or the patient.
Dr Purland said, none whatever. Local mesmerism was generally used, so that the diseased part was the only part affected. An operator might, however, be injured by too long a perseverance in one kind of operation.
Mr Matthews thought that the gentlemen who had entered late (among whom were Dr Blandy, Mr Harry Lobb, and a few others) would probably like to see Mr Fisher in the mesmeric state, if Mr Fisher and Dr Purland did not object to it: they being both willing, the mesmeric state was reproduced, and the patient was examined by