Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/532

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the food supplies of the various tissues that differ so widely in composition and function are derived from the same common pabulum, the blood, which under the varying conditions of supply and demand maintains a comparatively uniform composition—the futility of assigning to each or any element of the food a specific role in the processes of nutrition must be obvious.



FINALLY, I must refer to another set of experiments which Dr. Luys conducted before us at La Charité on two of the patients there (on whom I subsequently performed counter-experiments). Having thrown these patients into the state of artificial sleep, he took from his. pocket some sealed glass tubes. "This tube," he said, "contains alcohol." He placed the tube in contact with the skin of the patient inside the collar of her dress. After a minute she began to complain of feeling giddy and oppressed. Presently she manifested all the signs of incipient drunkenness—she was gay and disposed to sing. A little later she fell from the chair on to the floor in a state of complete inebriety, and with a simulation of the various stages of drunkenness so effectively dramatic that I doubt if any woman so uneducated could go through such a performance, except an hysteric of this class, when "sleep-waking" and freed from the restraint of the fully conscious action of the upper brain. It is this mixture of hysteria, partially numbed consciousness, trained automatism, and imposture, which so often takes in either the wholly credulous or ignorantly skeptical spectator. Of the imposture there was, as I shall presently show, pace the intelligent reporters, no doubt whatever. Nor do I doubt at any rate that this girl was a thorough-paced hysteric and trained hypnotic, and that she was in an artificially induced and pathological condition when she went through these elaborate and brilliantly performed antics. She was lifted into the chair and another hypnotized person placed alongside her in another chair. Their hands were clasped together, "We will now see," said Dr. Luys, whether "the vibrations will be communicated from one to the other," and the state of drunkenness transferred. So said, so done; and a similar performance, not, however, so skillfully executed, was gone through by the second and less experienced subject. On the following day we had yet a more picturesque performance. I was told beforehand that this was "the day of the cat," and that I might expect to see a highly trained sub-