Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/226

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statement was only partially successful. In this state—that is, still somnambulistic—she stood up and moved from her place, the operator did the same, and, being separated from her by some feet, he turned his back to her and held the figure in such a position that she could not possibly see it. Then he pinched at the back of the neck, and she felt it at the same moment, but at the wrong place. The place where she did feel it caused her some embarrassment, though harmless enough, as she informed him of the locality in a whisper, which I overheard. I can answer for it that she felt something at the moment when he touched the image, but that she could not see it and was not in contact with him, because I was standing almost between them. But she felt it far more acutely when he pinched his own wrist under the same circumstances. That brought the experiments to a conclusion. They occupied at least half an hour, and included a number of interesting details which I have been obliged to omit.

Thus his exhibition, which was "perfectly genuine," proved that suggestions and impressions can be "conveyed across space." The fact is that it did not prove the one any more than the other; and if the writer had instituted a few control experiments such as those which I forthwith carried out on the same subject, he would have saved himself from having been the medium of introducing thus impressively to the English reading public, through the pages of a great newspaper, a solemn description of what was easily proved to be a common imposture of a vulgar kind, by which the good faith and unquestionable sincerity and honor of the amateur of whom he speaks, and of Dr. Luys, had been surprised. There is no secret about the name of the amateur, for he has published much about the matter in great detail, with an abundance of highly technical and scientific nomenclature, and the performances had already been described, under his name, in the Pall Mall Gazette in this country, and in La Justice and L'Echo de Paris, and other journals in France. Colonel de Rochas d'Aiglun, who was the operator in this case in the ward of La Charity, gave a similar demonstration for my benefit at the invitation of Dr. Luys in the ward of La Charité in the presence of several witnesses. Subsequently he gave me and Dr. Sajous a like demonstration with fuller developments at the École Polytechnique, of which he is the administrateur; and I gave him a counter-demonstration in the rooms of Dr. Sajous before leaving Paris. To appreciate all the details of these performances one should read his book, entitled Les États profonds de l'Hypnose.[1]

To the subject, Madame Vix, being plunged into "profound hypnosis," as it was alleged, was handed a glass of water. To this she transferred by contact her sensitiveness; the atmosphere

  1. Les États profonds de l'Hypnose. Par le Lieutenant-Colonel de Rochas d'Aiglun, Administrateur de l'École Polytechnique. Paris: Chamuel, 29 Rue de Trévise; and G. Carré, 58 Rue St. André-des-Arts, 1892. See also Les Limites de l'Inconnu, by Georges Vitoux. Chamuel, 29 Rue de Trévise, Paris, 1892; and Le Figaro, January 10, 1893, p. 2.