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far as unseasoned Europeans are concerned, it is not giving the climate a fair chance, when it is only to be enjoyed in the midst of Chinese humanity; while 'gentle favourable winds, when tempered with the breath of Chinese cities, decidedly lose their virtue.
Few now living are likely to see railways permeating and developing this grand region of the earth's surface. These three Western provinces are so cut off by precipitous ravines, steep mountain ridges, and deep, wide rivers, that the outlay necessary to make roads for the iron horse is quite beyond the means of the Chinese people or their Government as at present constituted. Ordinary roads barely exist in China, and, without the aid of Western capital and science, railroads will never penetrate those distant regions. So far, only one railway exists in China—a short line of eighty miles, connecting the coal mines of Kaiping, on the Manchurian border, with the shipping port of Tientsin-finally completed and opened to traffic in 1888. This line runs through a marshy, thinly-populated country, but which has the advantage of being immediately under the jurisdiction of the powerful Viceroy of Chibli, Li-Hung-chang. Yet even his influence failed in prolonging the line eighty miles farther to its natural terminus, Peking: This line was built with native capital, but with imported English rails, and the rolling-stock was also imported, mainly from England. But, now it has been decreed that future lines are to be built by Chinese, of Chinese materials, and with Chinese capital exclusively (the Hukwang Viceroy, Chang chih-tung, within whose jurisdiction lies the recently authorized line from Hankow to Peking, is now engaged with two German mining experts, searching for suitable coal and iron ore with which to commence operations), the progress of future railways will be slow indeed.
And in a country like SouthWestern China, even were foreign capital to be invited to construct the roads, they could hardly prove remunerative, as long as free exploration of the mineral resources of the region is prohibited. The Chinese have neither the capital, the knowledge, nor the energy, to develop their mines seriously; and the Government will not allow the small native companies, that bere and there attempt mining in a most primitive old world manner, to avail themselves of foreign assistance. With the restless European pressing in upon them on all sides : with Russia occupying the best part of Manchuria on the north, with France holding Tonquin in the south, with the British Indian frontier touching them in the west, the Chinese can hardly remain long as they are. Either they will be absorbed gradually
by by their more enterprising neighbours—a process which we believe to be a matter of indifference to the great mass of the people who care little who governs them as long as they have equitable rulers able to keep order; or, like Turkey, they may rub on as they are on sufferance, owing to the mutual jealousy of their enemies. The latter seems the more likely prospect ; and, eventually, the time inust come when Western modes of thought will have taken hold, and the present archaic system of education be reformed in accordance with modern requirements. We shall then see what a race like the Chinese, endowed with exceptional industry, perseverance, and patience, and with no lack of brain power, is capable of. But, unless another convulsion like the Taiping rebellion should occur (and this is by no means an impossibility), throwing over tradition bodily, as did the · First Emperor,' B.C. 220, it will be a long time yet before China takes that place in the world to which her numbers, resources, and high civilization, justly entitle her.
ART. IX.-1. Animal Magnetism. By Alfred Binet and Charles
Féré. 1888. 2. Le Somnambulisme provoqué. Par H. Braunis. 1890. 3. De la Suggestion et du Somnambulisme. Par Prof. Liégeois.
1889. 4. Des Émotions dans l'État d'Hypnotisme. Par J. Luys. 1890. 5. De la Suggestion. Par Dr. Bernheim. 1889. 6. Congrès International de l'Hypnotisme — Comptes Rendus.
discovery within the region of medical science has
passed through so chequered a career as Mesmerism. Over and over again for more than a hundred years it has been taken up with passionate interest and earnest appeals for consideration, to be only flung aside and trampled under foot. It has been killed, buried, and its epitaph authoritatively pronounced in the name of science, not once, but half-a-dozen times; and again it has emerged with renewed vitality. To-day it is once more alive and challenging the attention of the medical world, under the name of Hypnotism, by the mouth of those who have a right to claim a hearing, and who will certainly receive it. One fact alone is sufficient to show the change which has passed over scientific opinion within the last few years.
In 1872 the • Dictionnaire Encyclopédique des Sciences Médicales,' the most complete and authoritative work of the kind in existence,
published published a very long article on · Mesmerisme' from the pen of the late Dr. Déchambre, which concluded with the statement that there is no such thing. In 1889 a subsequent volume of the same publication contained an article on Hypnotisme,'— which, as the author Dr. Paul Richer observes, is one and the same thing-practically apologizing for the previous article, admitting the reality of that which Dr. "Décharnbre so laboriously disproved, and treating the despised mesmerism as an established fact, having its proper and legitimate place in medical science,
We may here remark that of all the very numerous names the thing has borne 'mesmerism' seems by far the best. It has all the advantages of universality attaching to Greek or Latin words, without their pedantry and awkwardness, while it commits us to no theory and makes no pretence of explaining or defining the nature of a phenomenon, which we do not understand and cannot explain or define. Scientific men seem to object to it because it is a popular term and therefore beneath their dignity, though they allow Galvanism and Darwinism; or because it is associated with public performances. But the term • Hypnotism,' which is their favourite one to-day, is open to much more real objection. It involves the theory that the mesıneric condition is one of sleep, which is not in accordance with the facts, and so leads sometimes to an awkward contradiction in terms. • Il y a hypnose sans sommeil,' says Professor Bernheim, and quite truly. The word was founded on imperfect knowledge, and its air of scientific accuracy is deceptive. “Animal magnetism' again involves an unproved or unprovable theory, while artificial somnambulism' and 'suggestion' only cover a limited portion of the ground. Other terms, such as electro-biology,' 'phrenomagnetism,' and so forth, condemn themselves. When the nature of the thing is really understood we may find a satisfactory name for it; but meanwhile it is only just that, like Galvanism and Darwinism, it should bear the name of the man to whom we owe it.
The history of mesmerism falls conveniently into three epochs, marked by the names of three men who have taken a leading part in studying and practising it. The first epoch is that of Mesmer, the second that of Braid, and the third that of Charcot. Friedrich Anton Mesmer was born in 1733 at a small town (the name of which is differently stated), in Baden on the Rhine near the lake of Constance. He studied natural philosophy and medicine at Vienna, and in due course took his doctor's degree. The air was at this time filled with transcendental speculations
concerning the system of the universe and man's place in it. The theories of Gassner in Switzerland, of St. Germain in France, and of Swedenborg in Scandinavia, had attracted much attention, and Mesmer undoubtedly felt their influence. “More physicist than physician,' as he has been called, he was early engaged in studying the heavenly bodies and the properties of metals together with their supposed influence on man.
His first work was published in 1766 and was entitled De Planetarum inflexu.' The influence which the sun and moon exercise upon the earth in producing tides and seasons, he conceived to be extended to man, and especially to his nervous system. In following up this idea, he hit upon the notion of testing it by means of magnets, which were then supposed to possess strange and important properties. His first experiments were made in the years 1773, 1774, on a young woman twenty-nine years of age, named Oesterline. She suffered from fits accompanied by severe pains in the teeth and ears, and followed by delirium, mania, vomiting, and syncope ; she was in short a well-marked case of what is now called hysteroepilepsy. Mesmer took three magnetized metal plates and applied them to the patient's limbs. She at once experienced pains and other peculiar sensations, and a sort of crisis supervened. This result was quite in accordance with modern experience in similar cases. Mesmer continued his treatment, but soon discarded the metal plates, finding that he could produce similar effects by simply stroking the patient's limbs. Her health improved, the attacks became less frequent and less
Here there was a confirmation of his speculations, and he argued as follows:- A needle is placed in harmonious relation with the system of the universe by being magnetized, for then it fulfils an orderly function and points always in one direction; by an analogous property the human body is placed in harmonious relation with the universe around it, and this property is “animal magnetism. Further, health consists in the harmony of the organs and their orderly performance of function, disease in disorder; and as harmony and order are restored to a needle by magnetism, so are they restored (and with them health) to the disordered body by animal magnetism. Hence we have an universal curative agent capable of restoring Jost or disordered funciions of all kinds. It acts upon us by means of an universal all-pervading fluid which places all objects in contact with each other.
It is necessary to give this brief outline of Mesmer's primary theories, because they preceded and gave rise to his practice, and he himself laid more stress upon them than upon the facts
which supported them. This was one reason why he obtained so little credit with his professional brethren. The scientific men found his theories absurd, and did not take much trouble to investigate the alleged facts, whereas the laymen did exactly the opposite. They witnessed and experienced the facts, and were convinced of their reality, as all who have since taken the trouble to do the same have been convinced. All the phenomena of mesmerism were not of course developed immediately. Many of the most important were overlooked for a long time; but it is perfectly clear that they were produced, and by proceedings very similar to those in use to-day. His usual method was to seat himself opposite the patient with knees touching, the patient regarding him fixedly. Then with his finger he touched that part of the body where the mischief lay. Only the sick were operated on. of his earlier patients he only gives full details in three or four cases. The disorders successfully treated were paralysis, amenorrhæa, hæmatemesis, colics, infantile convulsions, spitting of blood, ophthalmia. With the exception of the last, these are all disorders such as are now fully recognized to be susceptible to mesmeric treatment, and ophthalmia was curiously enough one of the things in which Braid subsequently obtained some of his most striking
Filled with his theory and convinced, as was natural, of its importance to medicine he offered it to the Faculty at Vienna, but was met with disdain. Almost the only scientific men who took any interest in it were the Jesuit Father Hell, Professor of Astronomy, and M. Ingenhousze ; and their interest was bitterly hostile. The one maintained that the alleged new treatment was something else invented by himself, and the other that it was nothing at all, an imposture. Disappointed and annoyed, Mesmer left Vienna in 1778, and betook himself to Paris. Here he soon obtained patients and began to create a great stir. In 1779 he published his first account of Animal Magnetism. He had now elaborated his theory into twenty-seven propositions, which are, however, of a purely abstract character and largely unintelligible. So the Paris Faculty of Medicine judged, and would have nothing to do with them or their author. One exception there was, Dr. d'Eslon, physician to the Comte d'Artois, the King's brother. He was convinced that there was something in the alleged discovery, and in 1780 read a paper to that effect before the Faculty of Medicine. The only answer vouchsafed was a most severe snubbing. Meantime Mesmer's fame and practice increased to a prodigious extent among the laity. To accommodate his numerous patients he invented the baquet.