Warfare of the Schools. - History of the Science. - Mesmer's Career. - The Academicians. - The Successors of Mesmer. - The Royal Academy of Medicine. - Its Idiotic Prejudices. - Dr. Braid's Discovery. - Re-baptism of the Science. - Effects of Braid's Discoveries. - Liebault's Theory of Suggestion. - The Nancy School and the Paris School compared. - The Fluidic Theory. - The Law of Suggestion the Greatest Discovery in Psychic Science. - The Significance of Braid's Discoveries not Appreciated. - Hypnotism of Animals. - The Charcot School. - The Sources of its Errors. - Reform in Terminology suggested. - The Mesmeric Theory. - Braid's Processes not productive of Higher Phenomena-- Mesmerization of Animals. - Recapitulation of Points.

THUS far little has been said regarding the light which has been shed upon the subject under consideration by the discoveries of modern science. The more important of these discoveries having resulted from investigations of the subject of hypnotism, it will be necessary briefly to review the more salient features of that science, and to trace its progress from the time of Mesmer down to the present day.

Since the time when Mesmer first brought his discoveries to the attention of the scientific world the students of the phenomena which he evoked have been hopelessly at variance. That they should entertain diverse theories regarding the cause of phenomena so strange and full of mystery is natural. That they should, in the absence of knowledge of the subject, abuse and vilify each other because of their differences of opinion, was to be expected. Hatred of our neighbor because his problematical theories do not agree with our undemonstrable hypotheses is, unfortunately, one of the salient weaknesses of human nature.

It is, however, comparatively rare that scientific investigators disagree regarding the demonstrable facts pertaining to a subject under investigation. Yet this is the condition in which we find the science of hypnotism after more than a century of research by some of the ablest scientists of the world. They are divided into schools, to-day, as they were in the infancy of the science. Indeed, the science is still in its infancy. Facts have accumulated, it is true; and they will be found to be of infinite advantage to some future investigator whose mind is capable of rising above the prejudices which characterize the different schools, and of assimilating and harmonizing their demonstrated facts into one comprehensive system.

Thus far the different schools have distrusted or denied each other's facts, and waged war upon each other's theories. The most carefully conducted experiments of one school will, in the hands of the other, produce opposite results. Hence each experimenter is irresistibly led to distrust the scientific accuracy of the methods employed by others, or to admit their integrity only at the expense of their intelligence. In the mean time each school has conducted its experiments seemingly by the most rigid scientific methods and with conscientious fidelity to truth; but the results of each apparently disprove the conclusions of all the others. Hence it is that, in the bibliography of hypnotism, we find an immense mass of well-authenticated facts which, tried by the ctandards of any one of the different schools, appears like an appalling hodge-podge of falsehood and delusion, chicanery and superstition. Indeed, no other science, since the dawn of creation, has suffered so much at the hands of ignorance and superstition as the science under discussion. Its ancient history is the record of the supernatural in all the nations of the earth. Its phenomena have been the foundation of all the religions and all the superstitions of ancient times.

Its modern history has also been largely a record of superstitious belief, fostered by chicanery and ignorance; the nature of the phenomena being such that in the hands alike of honest ignorance and conscious fraud they may be made to sanction every belief, confirm every dogma, and foster every superstition. It was these facts which drove scientific men from the field of investigation in the early modern history of the science. Mesmer himself, in the light of modern knowledge of the subject, is apt to be accused of charlatanism; but, as we shall see further on, he is entitled, in common with all investigators, to the largest measure of charity.

As before remarked, the facts of hypnotism obtained by the experimenters of the different schools appear to contradict each other. This, however, is obviously only an apparent contradiction, for it is axiomatic that no one fact in Nature is inconsistent with any other fact. It follows that there must be some underlying principle or principles, heretofore overlooked, which will harmonize the facts. It is the purpose of this chapter to outline a few fundamental principles which, properly understood, will enable the student of hypnotism to reconcile many seeming inconsistencies. An understanding of the salient points of difference between the various schools can best be conveyed by briefly outlining the modern history of the science.

Mesmer is entitled to the credit of having first brought the subject to the attention of the scientific world, although probably his attention was attracted to it by the writings of Paracelsus and Van Helmont. In the early part of his career he was deeply interested in the study of astrology, and he fancied that the planets somehow exerted an influence on the health of human beings. He at first thought that this influence was electrical, but afterwards referred it to magnetism. At that time his cures were effected by stroking the diseased bodies with artificial magnets. He achieved considerable success by such means, and published a work in 1766 entitled "De Planetarum lnfluxa." In 1776, however, he met Gassner, a Catholic priest who had achieved great notoriety by curing disease by manipulation, without the use of any other means. Mesmer then threw away his magnets, and evolved the theory of "animal magnetism." This he held to be a fluid which pervades the universe, but is most active in the human nervous organization, and enables one man, charged with the fluid, to exert a powerful influence over another..