That evening, without being questioned at all, she gave the following account of herself: At
3 P. M. she was overcome by an irresistible desire to sleep, a most unusual thing for her at that hour. She went into an adjoining room, fell insensible upon a sofa, where she was afterward found by her servant, cold and motionless, as if dead.
Attempts on the part of the servant to rouse her proved ineffectual, but gave her great distress. She woke spontaneously and free from pain at 5 o'clock.
A few summers ago at a little gathering of intelligent people, much interest was manifested and a general desire to see some hypnotic experiments. Accordingly, one of the ladies whose good sense and good faith could not be doubted, was hypnotized and put into the condition of profound lethargy. After a few slight experiments, exhibiting anaesthesia, hallucinations of taste, plastic pose, and the like, I said to her in a decided manner:
"Now I am about to waken you. I will count five, and when I say the word 'five' you will promptly, but quietly and without any excitement, awake. Your mind will be perfectly clear, and you will feel rested and refreshed by your sleep. Presently you will approach Mrs. O., and will be attracted by the beautiful shell comb which she wears in her hair, and you will ask her to permit you to examine it."
I then commenced counting slowly, and at the word "five" she awoke, opened her eyes promptly, looked bright and happy, and expressed herself as feeling comfortable and greatly rested, as though she had slept through a whole night. She rose from her chair, mingled with the company, and presently approaching Mrs. O., exclaimed:
"What a beautiful comb! Please allow me to examine it."
And suiting the action to the word, she placed her hand lightly on the lady's head, examined the comb, and expressed great admiration for it; in short, she fulfilled with great exactness the whole suggestion.
She was perfectly unconscious that any suggestion had been made to her; she was greatly surprised to see that she was the centre of observation, and especially at the ripple of laughter which greeted her admiration of the comb.
To another young lady, hypnotized in like manner, I suggested that on awaking she should approach the young daughter of our hostess, who was present, holding a favorite kitten in her arms, and should say to her, "What a pretty kitten you have! What is her name?"
The suggestion was fulfilled to the letter. It was only afterward that I learned that this young lady had a very decided aversion to cats, and always avoided them if possible.
Suggestions for post-hypnotic fulfilment are sometimes carried out after a considerable time has elapsed, and upon the precise day suggested.
Bernheim, in August, 1883, suggested to S., an old soldier, while in the hypnotic sleep, that upon the 3d of October following, sixty-three days after the suggestion, he should go to Dr. Liebeault's house; that he would there see the President of the Republic, who would give to him a medal.
Promptly on the day designated he went. Dr. Li£beault states that S. came at 12: 50 o'clock; he greeted M. F., who met him at the door as he came in, and then went to the left side of the office without paying any attention to any one. Dr. Liebeault continues: -
"I saw him bow respectfully and heard him speak the word 'Excellence.' Just then he held out his right hand, and said, 'Thank your Excellence.' Then I asked him to whom he was speaking. 'Why, to the President of the Republic.' He then bowed, and a few minutes later took his departure."
A patient of my own, a young man with whom I occasionally experiment, exhibits some of the different phases and phenomena of hypnotism in a remarkable manner. He goes quickly into the stage of profound lethargy; after allowing him to sleep a few moments, I say to him: "Now you can open your eyes and you can see and talk with me, but you are still asleep, and you will remember nothing."
He opens his eyes at once, smiles, gets up and walks, and chats in a lively manner. If I say: "Now you are in the deep sleep again," and pass my hand downward before his eyes, immediately his eyes close and he is in a profound slumber. If five seconds later I again say, "Now you can open your eyes," he is again immediately in the alert stage.
For experiment I then take half a dozen plain blank cards, exactly alike, and in one corner of one of the cards I put a minute dot, so that upon close inspection it can be recognized. Holding these in my hand, I say to him:
"Here are six cards; five of them are blank, but this one (the one I have marked, he only seeing the plain side) has a picture of myself upon it. It is a particularly good picture, and I have had it prepared specially for this occasion. Do you see the picture?"
"Of course I do," he replies. "What do you think of it?" I ask him. He looks at me carefully and compares my face with the suggested picture on the card and replies, "It is excellent."
"Very well, give me the cards."
He hands them to me and I shuffle and disarrange them as much as possible. I then show them to him, holding them in my hand, and say:
"Now show me the card which has my picture upon it."
He selects it at once. I only know it is correct by looking for the dot upon the back, which has all the while been kept carefully concealed from him.
I then say to him: "Now, I am going to awaken you, and when awake you will come to the desk, select from the cards which I now place there the one which has my picture, and show it to me."
He awakes at my counting when I reach the word five, as I have suggested to him. He remembers nothing of what has passed since he was hypnotized, but thinks he has had a long and delightful sleep. I sit at my desk; he walks up to it, examines the six cards which are lying there, selects one, and showing it to me, remarks, "There is your picture." It was the same marked card.