+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

are truly termedthough commonly
confounded with those which I describe
spectral illusions. These latter I look upon
as being no less simply curable than a cold
in the head or a trifling dyspepsia.

It is those which rank in the first category
that test our promptitude of thought.
Fifty-seven such cases have I encountered,
neither more nor less. And in how many
of these have I failed? In no one single

There is no one affliction of mortality
more easily and certainly reducible, with a
little patience, and a rational confidence in
the physician. With these simple conditions,
I look upon the cure as absolutely

You are to remember that I had not
even commenced to treat Mr. Jennings's
case. I have not any doubt that I should
have cured him perfectly in eighteen
months, or possibly it might have extended
to two years. Some cases are very rapidly
curable, others extremely tedious. Every
intelligent physician who will give thought
and diligence to the task, will effect a

You know my tract on The Cardinal
Functions of the Brain. I there, by the
evidence of innumerable facts, prove, as I
think, the high probability of a circulation
arterial and venous in its mechanism,
through the nerves. Of this system, thus
considered, the brain is the heart. The fluid,
which is propagated hence through one
class of nerves, returns in an altered state
through another, and the nature of that
fluid is spiritual, though not immaterial,
any more than, as I before remarked, light
or electricity are so.

By various abuses, among which the
habitual use of such agents as green tea is
one, this fluid may be affected as to its
quality, but it is more frequently disturbed
as to equilibrium. This fluid being that
which we have in common with spirits, a
congestion found upon the masses of brain
or nerve, connected with the interior sense,
forms a surface unduly exposed, on which
disembodied spirits may operate:
communication is thus more or less effectually
established. Between this brain circulation
and the heart circulation there is an
intimate sympathy. The seat, or rather the
instrument of exterior vision, is the eye.
The seat of interior vision is the nervous
tissue and brain, immediately about and
above the eyebrow. You remember how
effectually I dissipated your pictures by the
simple application of iced eau-de-cologne.
Few cases, however, can be treated exactly
alike with anything like rapid success.
Cold acts powerfully as a repellant of the
nervous fluid. Long enough continued it
will even produce that permanent insensibility
which we call numbness, and a little
longer, muscular as well as sensational

I have not, I repeat, the slightest doubt
that I should have first dimmed and
ultimately sealed that inner eye which Mr.
Jennings had inadvertently opened. The
same senses are opened in delirium tremens,
and entirely shut up again when the over-
action of the cerebral heart, and the
prodigious nervous congestions that attend it,
are terminated by a decided change in the
state of the body. It is by acting steadily
upon the body, by a simple process, that
this result is producedand inevitably
producedI have never yet failed.

Poor Mr. Jennings made away with himself.
But that catastrophe was the result
of a totally different malady, which, as it
were, projected itself upon that disease
which was established. His case was in
the distinctive manner a complication, and
the complaint under which he really
succumbed, was hereditary suicidal mania.
Poor Mr. Jennings I cannot call a patient
of mine, for I had not even begun to treat
his case, and he had not yet given me, I
am convinced, his full and unreserved
confidence. If the patient do not array himself
on the side of the disease, his cure is

Now Ready, price 5s. 6d., bound in green cloth,
To be had of all Booksellers.

MESSERS. CHAPPELL AND CO. have great pleasure
in announcing that MR. CHARLES DICKENS will resume
and conclude his interrupted series of FAREWELL
READINGS at St. James's Hall, London, early in
the New Year.
The Readings will be TWELVE in NUMBER, and none
will take place out of London.
All communications to be addressed to Messrs.
CHAPPELL and Co., 50, New Bond-street, W.