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154
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

to the priest, suffering terribly with all the usual evidences of diabolic possession. The priest was besought to cast out the devil, but he simply took her to the hospital, where, under scientific treatment, she rapidly became better.[1]

The final triumph of science in this part of the great field has been mainly achieved during the latter half of the present century.

Following in the noble succession of Paracelsus and John Hunter and Pinel and Tuke and Esquirol, have come a band of thinkers and workers who have evolved out of the earlier forms of truths new growths, ever more and more precious.

Among the many facts and principles thus brought to bear upon this last stronghold of the Prince of Darkness, may be named especially those of "expectant attention," an expectation of phenomena dwelt upon until the longing for them becomes morbid and invincible, and the creation of them perhaps unconscious. Still another class of phenomena are found to arise from a morbid tendency to imitation which leads to epidemics. Still another group has been brought under hypnotism. Multitudes more have been found under the innumerable forms and results of hysteria. A study of the effects of the imagination upon bodily function has also yielded remarkable results.

And, finally, to supplement this work, have come in an array of scholars in history and literature who have investigated myth making and wonder-mongering.

Thus has been cleared away that cloud of supernaturalism which so long hung over mental diseases, and thus have they been brought within the firm grasp of science.[2]

  1. See Figuier; also Collin de Plancy, "Dictionnaire Infernale," article Possédes.
  2. To go even into leading citations in this vast and beneficent literature would take me far beyond my plan and space, but I may name, among leading and easily accessible authorities, Brierre de Boismont on "Hallucinations," Hulme's translation, 1860; also James Braid, "The Power of the Mind over the Body," London, 1846; Kraft-Ebing, "Lehrbuch der Psychiatric," Stuttgart, 1888; Tuke, "Influence of the Mind on the Body," London, 1884; Maudsley, "Pathology of the Mind," London, 1879; Carpenter, "Mental Physiology," sixth edition, Loudon, 1888; Lloyd Tuckey, "Faith Cure," Nineteenth Century Magazine for December, 1888; Pettigrew, "Superstitions connected with the Practice of Medicine and Surgery," London, 1844.

    As to myth-making and wonder-mongering, the general reader will find interesting supplementary accounts in the recent works of Andrew Lang and Baring-Gould.

    A very curious evidence of the effects of the myth-making tendency has recently come to the attention of the writer of this article. Periodically, for many years past, we have seen, in books of travel and in the newspapers, accounts of the wonderful performances of the jugglers in India; of the stabbing of a child in a small basket in the midst of an arena, and the child appearing alive in the surrounding crowd; of seeds planted, sprouted, and becoming well-grown trees under the hand of the juggler; of ropes thrown into the air and sustained by invisible force. A short time since Count de Gubernatis, the eminent professor and Oriental scholar at Florence, informed the present writer that he had recently seen and studied these exhibitions, and that, so far from being wonderful, they were much inferior to the jugglery so well known in all our Western capitals.