strokings and head pressure with, the right hand, which Colonel de Rochas considers so essential, and we had all the correct successive stages of credulity (or credivité), of lethargy, catalepsy, again lethargy, somnambulism, lethargy, and rapport, and I then tested the statements of Colonel de Rochas. In the first place I found that in all the phases of the stage of rapport the subject perceived other objects and other persons quite as well as the individual, my humble self, who was supposed to be "the magnetizer." When any one pretended to be in contact with me, it had the same effect upon her as if he were really in contact, and it was evident that she guessed at what we were doing. Visions were as easily produced by pressure with the left hand as with the right, and, as to the seeing of colored odic flames from the magnet, she saw them "six yards long"; but, in fact, when proper tests were applied, she was found to be absolutely incapable of distinguishing a true magnet from a false one. She never knew whether the current was on or off my electro-magnet; and her whole performance in this respect, although she was not made aware of it, was so manifest and ludicrous an imposture that the bystanders had great difficulty in retaining their gravity. I tested now the phenomena to which the sham scientific terms of "externalization of sensation," "communication by contact," and "transference across space," are pretentiously applied. Behind a little pile of books on the writing table I concealed a tumbler containing some water. In duly solemn fashion I poured out from a carafe a little water into a similar glass and placed it in her hands. I then quickly substituted, without her perceiving it, the hidden glass of water, which she had neither seen nor touched. We had then a full-dress rehearsal of all the performances which I had previously witnessed. She showed the same "obvious" marks of pleasure or of pain when the water was caressed or pinched as were witnessed by the Times correspondent or the Pall Mall Gazette reporter. When one of the spectators was placed in imaginary contact with me, she became equally sensible of his actions; she writhed, she smiled, she was tickled, she was hurt, she was pleased, and she was "exhausted" in the orthodox manner. I now introduced the "wax figure." Skeptic as I was, but willing to be convinced, I had purchased two rather pretty little sailor dolls, twin brothers of the navy, at a neighboring toy shop. One of these she held until it was sufficiently "charged with her sensitiveness" by contact. I then rapidly substituted the twin doll from my pocket, and put away the sensitivized doll for future service. To make the performance quite regular, I cut off a minute lock of her hair and pretended to affix it to the doll. To this proceeding, which I had seen Colonel de Rochas gravely go through, she rather objected in her profound sleep, much to our quiet amusement. "C'est trop.
Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/228
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.