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pear to escape the stimulating stage of the mesmeric influence altogether, and to pass at once from life to temporary death. This I am disposed to attribute to the concentrated uninterrupted manner in which the power is applied. As soon as it is felt, there is no time given to the system to rally from the first impression, and it succumbs without a struggle to the constraining power.
Some patients, when suddenly awakened, say that their vision is hazy, and their heads light; but I take this to arise from the imperfectly recovered sensibility of the brain and the organs of sense, which are not at once roused up into the full possession of their waking powers, just as is seen in persons suddenly aroused from profound natural sleep.
That the mesmeric torpor of the brain and nerves does not arise from sanguine congestion, is often beautifully seen in the first actions of persons awaking from the trance.
They open their eyes, and at the same moment recover all their faculties; but it is seen that the pupil is insensible to the light: this they also become aware of; they know that their eyes are open, and that they ought to see, but do not. The thought fills them with horror, and with a fearful cry they bury their faces in their hands, like persons struck blind by lightning; but this soon passes off, and the retina recovers its sensibility by a little rubbing of the eye. The dreadful shock given to the mind under such circumstances, or when a somnambulist awakes and finds himself standing in some strange attitude naked, in the midst of strangers (an experiment I have often made,) is a trial of the nerves which it would be very imprudent, and even dangerous, to make with any but such singularly impassive subjects as my patients.
This, and the inconveniences of inducing the mesmeric disease (spontaneous mesmeric action in the system) by doing more than is necessary for the cure of disease, appear to me to be the real dangers to be avoided in the use of Mesmerism as a remedy.
I am now able to say from experience, that debility of the nervous system predisposes to the easy reception of the mesmeric influence, and I augur well of a patient's powers of submission, when I recognise in him the listless dejected air, “l'air abattu,” that usually accompanies functional debility of the nerves.