Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/785

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763
HYPNOTISM IN DISEASE AND CRIME.

in each Committee of the Whole. He must see that the various bills are in the public interest—not in the interest of cliques; that they are in harmony with the Constitution; and also that the various sections of each bill are in harmony with each other. This is a sort of drudgery which the new country member, chosen because of conspicuous personal worth, accepts as part of his duty, but which the "smart" lawyer shuns, because his mission at the capital is above that of being a "legislative drudge." The time for him to study legal phraseology and the adaptation of laws to their purpose is when he is paid for it. As to legislation in behalf of morals, he has generally no faith in it, his idea being that morals should take care of themselves, or be left to preachers and Sunday-schools.

Public sentiment is ripe for leadership in this reform, and it will come sooner or later, whether lawyers acquiesce or not. Honorable lawyers ought to see that their interests center in the conservation only of what is useful, and not in ignoring or defying public impatience until it finds vent in revolutionary measures. The principle of the greatest good to the greatest number is what needs recognition—not protection to a remnant of the feudal ages.

 

HYPNOTISM IN DISEASE AND CRIME.[1]
By A. BINET AND C. FÉRÉ.

WHAT we have said of hypnotism, and particularly of suggestion, may lead the reader to understand the virtue of medicine for the imagination, of which the importance has already been intimated by earlier writers. Deslon asked why, if medicine for the imagination was the most effective, it should not be employed.

We must be permitted to dwell for a moment on this medicine for the imagination, which is entitled to the name of suggestive therapeutics. The process is as follows: Influenced by a persistent idea, suggested by external circumstances, a paralysis is developed. The physician makes use of his authority to suggest the idea of an inevitable, incontestable cure, and the paralysis is cured accordingly. This cure, as well as the development of functional disturbance, was directly effected by an idea. An idea may, therefore, be, according to circumstances, a pathogenic and a therapeutic agent. This notion is not new, but, since it was misinterpreted, it has remained unfruitful.

The most important of the organic disturbances produced by an idea is an experiment on vesication, performed by Focachon, a chemist at Charmes. He applied some postage-stamps to the left shoulder of

  1. Abridged from "Animal Magnetism," by Alfred Binet and Charles Féré. "International Scientific Series," vol. lix. D. Appleton & Co., 1888.