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dimly seen in Theophilus, and clearly in Mary Tod, who also showed the second of them in perfection. Having already confessed to having nothing to say regarding the state of trance any more than regarding that of common sleep, there are only the four classes of phenomena to be held in view in the present discussion. Having also spoken on a former occasion of the first of these classes, I have only to add a few observations about double sensation, double consciousness, and clear-seeing, They shall be nothing more than the veriest fragments of a possible hypothesis.
İ. Neither the eye nor chemical analysis discovers any difference in the matter of which the different parts of the nervous system are composed. The grey and the white or the cortical and the medullary matter of the brain, indeed, are very distinguishable; but it is impossible to tell a nerve of voluntation from a nerve of sensation by inspec-tion. Still less is a nerve of touch, as such, to be discriminated from a nerve of taste, of smell, of hearing, or of sight. Even if there be some radical but imperceptible difference between a nerve of sensation and a nerve of voluntation, it is positively extremely probable that there is none between the nerves of the special senses. It is in the highest degree likely that any nerve of sense, spun into the appropriate form and then covered with the appropriate external apparatus, would serve for any of the specific senses. Woven into a fine nervous sheet or retina and then enclosed in an eyeball, for example, it would be capable of vision. If the sensiferous nerves of my left palm, then, were to be drawn out to the requisite fineness, spread out on a palate there, and built into a regular mouth with all its appurtenances, it is clear that I should then be in possession of two organs of taste. To speak plainly, I should have two veritable mouths, in so far as the specific sensation of that sort of apparatus is concerned; one in my head, where it ought to be, the other in my hand, where it has been carved by a few grotesque strokes of the scientific fancy.
Few high and abstract truths are so well understood as the idea of the universal relatedness of the parts of nature. The change of a single particle's position would alter the centre of gravity of the world. The universe is so full that it could not hold another atom, yet so free that the annihilation of a single atom would make it loose. Every word one speaks, every step one takes, every movement one makes, does most certainly shake the earth, vibrate through the air, leap from planet to planet, reach both the sun and Neptune, climb the zodiac, pulsate through all the milky-way, go over from firmament to firmament, and wander through immensity in a never-ending series of physical effects. The nervous system is a little world. Its parts are bound together by an incomparably more pungent sympathy than those of the common creation. Every phenomenon that transpires in any one of its organs is shed into
every other. Eye sympathises with eye, ear with ear. The stomach acts upon the brain, the brain reacts upon the stomach. The feeling of shame brings a blush upon the cheek. Pride exalts the port Horror
• The more curious reader may be referred to the unfolding of such a hypothesis, contained in the June and September numbers of the Massachusetts Quarterly Review for 1849, by the present writer.
raises the hair. The figure shrinks beneath the influence of fear. The breath sweetens under love. There is no end to the illustrations of this principle; but it is with only one particular of the general truth that we have to do at present. That particular is this :-An affection of one portion of the nervous system is transmitted to every other portion of the same, but each portion gives evidence of such transmission (having taken place) through its own characteristic property. A stone falls upon your toes, the sensiferous nerves of the part are affected with pain, the brain perceives the pain, the voluntative nerves withdraw the foot even without intention, and so forth. What is the flash of light consequent on sudden and great anguish but this ? In the waking state, however, our secondary or transmitted sensations are exposed to correction on every side, 80 that they never mislead us, nay, they can hardly be said to take effect, except in the most obscure manner.
What should happen then, agreeably with these principles, in the case of our supposititious monster with two mouths, when a particular sensation of taste is impressed upon the primary palate? Why the taste if potent enough, and if all the nervous roads of communication were clear of the correcting influences, should extend itself in one form and in another to all the organs, but it should reach the mouth in the left hand literally as the particular taste that it is or was. Salt being tasted at the ordinary mouth, salt should be tasted at the extraordinary one too. But the salt is perceived as a sensation through the former, from without inwards, x y z being its proper formula ; whereas the secondary or transmitted taste of salt is sent through to the palate on the palm from within outwards, z y x being the expression of its direction.* The secondary taste reaches the secondary palate as a quasi-conception, the feebler inverse of a sensation physiologically speaking; and it will appear to be an actual sensation only in the nervous system which is morbid in such a fashion as to convert the physiological impression of a conception into a similitude of the impression made by a sensation, and so to mistake thoughts for things.
These considerations are not inapplicable, by way of temporary or provisional hypothesis, to the phenomenon of double sensation described above. The nervous system of the mesmerised has been shown (or, more strictly speaking, it has already been supposed) to be in one or other of those morbid conditions in which conceptions are solidified into quasisensations. Even when partially disentranced for the sake of experiment, it is almost wholly self-unconscious. When a person in the waking state touches such a patient, he may possibly be said to acquire two nervous systems; his own, which is awake and corrective, the subjects, which is a mere nervous instrument for the time being. The mouth of the latter, for example, is just the supposed mouth in the left hand ; only it is not the experimentalist that is conscious of its experiences, it is the slightly disentranced subject herself. He tastes some wine; it is sbed over to her as a conception of wine, speaking physiologically ; that phy. siological effect of the conception of wine is a quasi-sensation of wine to her; and so she tastes it too.
* Such readers as are not familiar with those modes of speech had better recur to my paper in the PALLADIUM for last month.
II. The phenomenon of double consciousness is very dimly explicable upon the same principles. The experimentalist conceives the image of an absent friend: that image is shed faintly down upon the retina of his eye from within outwards, faintly in comparison with the original optical image; but being sent through the nervous-system of the patient, standing, as has been supposed, in the relation of neurogamia to him, it reaches her as a quasi-sensation; and thereby she sees the absent. The word neurogamia, invented by Burdach, expresses the marriage of two nervous-systems into one; and it surely contains within it some hint of the secret of Mesmerism. It is needless to enlarge on this division of the subject, especially as it is only fitful glimmerings of suggestion that I have to offer.
III. But what shall be said of clear-seeing? Perhaps the less the better. Yet it may not be amiss for the future investigator to bear one great cosmical principle in his mind. Every phenomenon or thing in the act of appearing, as that participial Greek substantive literally means, every movement in nature moves everything in nature. Every phenomenon repeats itself everywhere, but with incomparably more activity in the nervous-system of man than anywhere else. It is the law of our ordinary state that we perceive only a limited number of those sympathetic impressions, the most forcible ones; but the less forcible ones are effective for all that, and thence the doctrine of cosmical influences. Now the whole of nature is phenomenal, is in the act of appearing or becoming, is in ceaseless transition, is unresting as well as unhasting. Every atom wheels and throbs so that there is actually a sense, be it ever so transcendental in appearance, in which the whol of nature is continually painting itself on that thousandfold canvass, the nervous system of man, if we could only see the picture. That multitudinous image however is only potentially there, not actually; and I am glad of it, for there were an end to all discovery if we could read off everything by intuition. But what of the peculiarly situated cerebrospinal axis of the slightly disentranced mesmeric subject, such as we have seen it to be, in connection with these hyper-physical statements ? It is evident she does not see my friend in his botanical garden at Bombay by means of solar radiance reflected and refracted hitherwards from his shining figure; it is equally evident that she does not go thither in the spirit, returning every moment to tell through the body what she is seeing; but it is possible, if far-fetched and somewhat desperate, to suppose that she visits the Bombay which is demonstrably imaged within the boundaries of her own nervous system. I add no more. I only wish the indulgent reader may have understood what has been said, for language is a very lame creature on such roads, especially when ridden by a bamboozled man. Truth to tell, I am not a little bewildered by my excursion, being quite uncertain whether I have been riding on solid and unmistakeable ground, or plunging over the dark and sinking ways of cloudland, the spectre-huntsman of a spectral chase!
CARLINGTON CASTLE: A TALE OF THE JESUITS.
In riding with Cecilia and Sir Eustace, Dora was much struck with the appearance of the peasantry, so different from any she had before seen in Ireland—the clean and smiling aspect of the cottages—the cultivation of their little fields, and the air of comfort blended with the romantic haunts which everywhere met her view. She expressed with ardour the delight and surprise she felt.
“What is the reason,” she asked, “ of the great difference I see between the peasantry here and those at Carlington? The race of people and their religion are the same. I see the soil is much richer, but that can hardly account for the difference."
“No, that has comparatively little to do with the state of the people," replied Sir Eustace. The soil of Ireland is amply sufficient for the support of its people, in even its less fertile parts; but, though something has been done here, I cannot look around without regretting that it is so little. The curse of absenteeism rested upon this as upon almost every part of our unhappy country, and the few years of care and culture that have been bestowed upon it have not yet overcome its effects."
At this moment, they were startled by the sudden apparition of an old woman, who had been cowering under furze bush in their path. She was wrapped in a dark mantle, and her wild elf locks streamed unheeded from beneath a cap or curch that partially covered her head.
Her figure was of an extraordinary height, and there was in her whole manner and appearance a mixture of wild enthusiasm, with power and energy that almost awed the beholder. Her picturesque appearance, the force of her language and gestures, and the noble, yet careworn expression of her features, might have represented a sybil of the olden time.
Dora's horse started and reared as the old woman planted herself directly in front of it. Sir Eustace instantly seized the bridle, but she was an experienced horsewoman, and immediately reduced it to order. An emotion which her momentary danger had not called forth was, however, awakened when she met the coal-black eyes of the hag fixed upon her, with what seemed to her an almost unearthly gleam. It was impossible, too, to escape, for she had laid hold of the bridle of her horse.
“Good day to you, Hester Phlanaghan," said Sir Eustace, who saw Dora's terror, while he brought his horse close to her side. You have come far over the hills to-day."
Hester seemed as though she heard him not, while she continued to gaze into Dora's face.
“Ohone ! Ohone!" she exclaimed at last, letting go the bridle, and throwing her hands with a wild gesture above her head-" to see the touch of sorrow on a brow so young and fair! The autumn bolt will fall on the spring day, and the winter's cold in the heat of the summer's sunshine. The doom is upon ye, lady; the cloud is dark over yer head; but a strong hand, and a true heart, and an unbelieving ear will bear you through all, through all, through all," she exclaimed, as she passed her hand across her brow, as if some vision had appeared and interrupted the chain of her thoughts—“yes, through all. The storm will pass, and you will rise unscathed above it, though the spring-flower will have withered and the blossom fallen from the tree.”
She turned hastily from them without noticing Sir Eustace and Cecilia, plunged into the wood, and quickly disappeared.
Dora bad become very pale. "Who is that ?" she inquired, in a tone that bespoke her emotion. “Who is that strange old woman ?".
“She is a native of Conamara,” replied Sir Eustace, “but has haunted this place, I believe, for the last twenty years. An accumulation of misfortunes have fostered what must have been a naturally wild and eccentric turn of mind, and she now wanders about the country, gaining a livelihood by the charity of the people. But not even in the depth of winter has she ever been known to pass the night under a roof. The coldest nights are passed by ber, wrapped in her cloak, beneath the shelter of some rock or bush, or at most a ruined barn. I fear she has startled you."
“Her sudden appearance did for a moment, but her mysterious words, what can they mean?"
"Nothing,” said Sir Eustace, “but that the old woman's brain is crazed. Surely, Miss Mowbray, you cannot suffer such vague prognostications to trouble your mind for one moment.
But Dora was troubled. A shadow had fallen on her brow, which did not leave it during the remainder of their ride.
“There are those in the world that hold communion with unseen spirits,” she said gravely, “and eyes that can see behind the veil which hides the future from our sight; but, although the shadow may
thus fall too soon across our path, it is weakness to be so disturbed. Whether the future brings weal or wo, let us be ready to bear it.”
During the rest of the day, Dora could not shake off the impression of this scene, but the influences around her were too sweet and soothing for it to weigh very heavily upon her mind. In a few days, all the visiters bad departed, and she was left alone with her relations; but she felt herself so perfectly an adopted child of the house, that she could hardly realise that another home claimed her, and these bright days must pass too soon. The mornings were spent with Lady Fitzgerald and Cecilia, the afternoons occupied in riding, and the evenings in music. Nearly a fortnight had thus passed swiftly on, when one day, on returning from a long excursion, as Sir Eustace was assisting her to alight from her horse, Mr Mowbray descended the steps to receive her. Had a thunderbolt fallen at her feet, the shock could hardly have been greater. A few moments she trembled so that she could hardly stand. By a quick effort, she recovered her presence of mind, and replied calmly to his smooth, bland
greeting: “ When did you return to Carlington?” she said, as they entered the house.
“ Last night. I was detained in Dublin longer than I expected, and was surprised to find you absent when I arrived. I am glad your time has been so pleasantly occupied, but I fear you must return home. A friend has accompanied me whom I should wish you to meet.”.
" To-morrow, you are engaged, Dora," said Lady Fitzgerald.