Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/229

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217
THE REVIVAL OF WITCHCRAFT.

c'est trop" she murmured, apparently thinking that I was taking too much hair for the money. I need not say that I did not affix it to the head of the doll, although I went through the motions of doing so. I have now, and shall preserve, the two little doll "witnesses" and the valuable tress of hair as mementos of this interesting performance. It may take its place by the side of the famous tress cut from the locks of the spirit form of Katie King. We then produced, with the aid of the untouched doll, just unrolled from the tissue paper of the toy shop, all the phenomena of the envoûtement of the sorcerers, of which so much has been heard lately and which have figured so largely in the pages of the great newspapers of England and France. She felt acutely when its imaginary lock was touched and pulled, whether by myself or by Dr. Sajous, by M. Cremière, or by any one else in the room. She greatly resented its being pricked; she felt all sorts of indescribable and generalized heats and pains when the doll was touched in places of which she could not well make out the locality owing to our backs being turned to her, and she was duly suffocated when we pretended to sit down on the doll. I am ashamed to say that the real doll was lying there all the time, cruelly stabbed by me to the heart with a stout pin, of which she was unconscious. Its maltreatment, which ought theoretically to have been fatal to her, produced no visible effect. These performances she went through three times. On the third occasion Colonel de Rochas was himself present, and assisted to put her into a complete state of hypnosis, for by this time I had become a little indifferent to the stages of preliminary mummery, and, as there were three subjects on hand at the final sitting, I rather abbreviated the proceeding. Colonel de Rochas was a little astonished when I produced my toy-shop doll, clothed in woolen trousers and jacket, for demonstrating the envoûtement; but he explained that he was not so surprised as he should have been at an earlier date, for he had only that week observed that in a classic author, where these magical proceedings were described, it was noted that woolen stuff was a very good conductor; and he quoted a passage from a Latin author—of which I am sorry that I do not retain the exact recollection—in evidence of the fact that the woolen dress might prove an effective medium; otherwise, he observed, he should have been doubtful of securing good results, as the doll was of composition and not of wax. It did prove a very good conductor. In the course of the experiment, however, he skeptically tweaked the nose of the little composition doll face (of the doll which had not been "sensitivized"), and we had all of us the satisfaction of observing that the material made no difference to Madame Vix, and that the result was as perfectly satisfactory as