Royal Academy of Medicine
Committee - 1825-1831

on Magnetism

Cover of Book on Experiments



21 and 28 February 1831
Doctor Husson, reporter.

GENTLEMEN,—More than five years have elapsed  since a young physician, M. Foissac, whose zeal and talent for observation we have had frequent opportunities of remarking, thought it his duty to draw the attention of the Medical Section to the phenomena of Animal Magnetism. With regard to the Report made by the  Royal Society of Medicine in 1784, he recalled to our recollection, that, amongst the commissioners charged with conducting the experiments, there was one conscientious and enlightened man, who had published a Report in contradiction to that of his colleagues; that since the period in question, Magnetism had been the object of new experiments and of new investigations; and, with the consent of the section, he proposed to submit to their examination a somnambulist who appeared to him to be capable of throwing light upon a question, which several of the most intelligent men in France and Germany considered as far from being resolved, although, in 1784, the Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society of Medicine had pronounced an
unfavourable judgment.

A committee, composed of MM. Adelon, Burdin the elder, Marc, Pariset, and myself (M. Husson), were  appointed by you to report upon the proposition of M.Foissac.

The Report, which was presented to the Section of Medicine at its meeting of the 13th December 1825, concluded that Magnetism ought to be subjected to a  new investigation. This conclusion gave rise to an animated discussion, which was prolonged during three meetings - the 10th and 24th of January, and the 14th of February, 1826. At this last meeting, the committee replied to all the objections which had been made in their Report; and at the same meeting, after mature deliberation, after adopting the mode hitherto unusual in matters of science, of an individual scrutiny, the Section decided that a special committee should be appointed, in order to investigate anew the phenomena of Animal Magnetism.

This new committee, consisting of MM. Bourdois, Double, Itard, Gueneau de Hussy, Guersent, Fourquier, Laennec, Leroux, Magendie, Marc, and Thillaye, was appointed at the meeting of the 28th of February 1826. Some time afterwards, M. Laennec, having been obliged to leave Paris on account of his health, I was named to replace him; and the committee, thus constituted, proceeded to discharge the duty with which it had been entrusted.

Their first care, previous to the retirement of M. Laennec, was to examine the somnambulist who had been offered to them by M. Foissac. Various experiments were made upon her within the premises of the Academy; but we must confess that our inexperience, our impatience, our distrust, perhaps too strongly manifested, permitted us only to observe certain physiological phenomena sufficiently curious, which we shall communicate to you in the sequel of our Report, but in which we did not recognise any peculiar phenomena of somnambulism. This somnambulist, fatigued, no doubt, with our importunities, ceased, at this time, to be placed at our disposal ; and we were obliged to search the hospitals for the means of prosecuting our experiments.

M. Pariset, physician to the Salpetriere, was more capable than any other of assisting us in our search. He set about the task with an ardour, which, unfortunately, led to no result. The committee, who founded a great part of their hopes upon the resources which  this hospital might be capable of furnishing, whether in regard to the individuals who might be subjected to experiment, or to the presence of M. Magendie, who had requested to accompany them as one of the committee; the committee, we say, seeing itself deprived of those means of instruction which it had expected to find, had recourse to the Zeal of each of its individual members.

M. Guersent promised us his assistance in the Hospital des Enfans, M. Fouquier in the hospital de la Charité, MM. Gueneau and the Reporter in the Hotel Dieu, M. Itard in the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb; and thenceforward, each prepared to make experiments, which were subsequently to be witnessed by the other members of the committee. Other and more powerful obstacles soon arrested our labours; the causes from which these obstacles proceeded are unknown to us; but, in virtue of a decree of the General Council of the Hospitals, of date the 19th of October 1825, which prohibited the use of every new remedy which had not previously been approved of by a committee appointed by the Council, the magnetic experiments could not be continued at the hospital de la Charité.

Reduced to their own resources, to those which the particular relations of each of its individual members might present, the committee made an appeal to all the physicians who were known to make Animal Magnetism the object of their researches. We requested them to allow us to witness their experiments, to accompany them during their progress, and to confirm the results. We are bound to declare that we have been most effectually assisted in our investigations by several of our brethren, and especially by the gentleman who first suggested the inquiry, M. Foissac. We do not hesitate to declare, that it is to his constant and persevering intervention, and to the active zeal of M. Dupotet, that we are indebted for the greater part of  the materials embodied in the Report which we now present to you. Nevertheless, gentlemen, do not believe that your committee, in any circumstance, intrusted to others than its own members the task of directing the experiments which we witnessed, that any others than the Reporter held the pen, at any instant, for the purpose of compiling the minutes of procedure, and of commemorating the succession of the phenomena which presented themselves, and exactly as they presented themselves. The committee proceeded to fulfil their duties with the most scrupulous exactness; and if.we render justice to those who assisted us with their kind co-operation, we must, at the same time, destroy even the slightest suspicion which might arise in your minds with regard to the share, greater or less, which others than ourselves may be supposed to have had in the investigation of this question. Your committee always suggested the different modes of experimenting, traced the plan of inquiry, directed the course to be pursued, followed and described its progress. Finally, in availing ourselves of the services of auxiliaries more or less zealous and enlightened, we have always been present, and always impressed our own direction upon every thing that has been done.

Thus you will see that we admit no experiment made without the presence of the committee, even by members of the Academy. Whatever confidence the spirit of eonfraternity, and the reciprocal esteem with which we are all animated, ought to establish amongst us, we felt that in the investigation of a question of which the solution is so delicate, we should trust none but ourselves, and that you could trust only to our guarantee.

From this rigorous exclusion, however, we have thought proper to except a. very curious phenomenon observed by M. Cloquet, which we have admitted, because it was already, in a manner, the property of the Academy, the Section of Surgery having been occupied in its investigation at two of its meetings.

This reserve, gentlemen, which the committee imposed upon itself, in regard to the use of various facts relative to the question which we studied with so much care and impartiality, would give us the right to demand a return of confidence, if any persons who had not witnessed our experiments should be inclined to raise discussions in regard to their authenticity. For the same reason that we only demand your confidence in respect of what we ourselves have seen and done, we cannot admit that those who, at the same time as ourselves and along with us, had neither seen nor done, can attack or call in question that which we allege to have observed. And, moreover, as we always entertained the greatest distrust of the announcements which were made to us of wonders to come, and as this feeling constantly predominated during all our researches, we think we have some right to require that, although you may suspend your belief, you will, at least, raise no doubt in regard to the moral and physical dispositions with which we always proceeded to the observations of the various phenomena of which we were witnesses.

Thus, gentlemen, this Report, which we are far from presenting to you with the view of fixing your opinion upon the question of Magnetism, cannot and ought not to be considered in any other light than as the combination and classification of the facts which we have hitherto observed: We offer it to you as a proof that we have endeavoured to justify your confidence; and while we regret that it is not founded upon a greater number of experiments, we trust that you will receive it with indulgence, and that you will hear it read with some interest. At the same time, we think ourselves bound to make you aware, that what we have seen in the course of our experiments bears no sort of resemblance to what the Report of 1784 relates with regard to the magnetisers of that period. We neither admit nor reject the existence of a fluid, because we have not verified the fact; we do not speak of the baquet,––of the baguette,—of the chain established by the medium of a communication of the hands of all the magnetised patients,—of the application of means prolonged, sometimes during several hours, to the hypochondriac region and the stomach, of the vocal and instrumental music which accompanied the magnetic operations,—nor of the assemblage of a great number of people together, who were magnetised in the presence of a crowd of witnesses; because all our experiments were made in the most complete stillness, in the most absolute silence, without any accessory means, never by immediate contact, and always upon a single person at a time.

We do not speak of that which, in the time of Mesmer, was so improperly called the crisis, and which consisted of convulsions, of laughter, sometimes irrepressible, of immoderate weeping, or of piercing cries, because we have never met with these different phenomena.

In all these respects, we do not hesitate to declare, that there exists a very great difference between the facts observed and decided upon in 1784, and those which we have collected in the work which we have the honour to present to you; that this difference establishes a most glaring line of demarcation between the one and the other; and that, if reason has done justice in regard to a great proportion of the former,  the spirit of observation and research should endeavour to multiply and appreciate the latter.

It is with Magnetism, gentlemen, as with many of the other operations of nature; that is to say, a certain combination of conditions is required in order to the production of such and such effects. This is an incontrovertible principle, which, if it required any proof, might be confirmed by that which takes place in divers physical phenomena. Thus, without a certain dryness of the atmosphere, electricity would be but feebly developed—without heat, we should never obtain that combination of lead with tin, which constitutes the common solder of the plumbers—without the light of the sun, we should not witness the spontaneous combustion of a mixture of equal parts of chlorine and hydrogen, &c. &c. Whether these conditions be external or physical, as in those cases to which we have just referred; whether they be internal or moral, such as the magnetisers allege to be indispensable to the development of the magnetic phenomena—it is enough that they exist, and that they should be exacted by them, to make it incumbent upon your committee to endeavour to unite them, and to make it their duty to submit to them.

It was, however, neither our duty nor our inclination to divest ourselves of that indefatigable curiosity which induced us, at the same time, to vary our experiments, and, if we could, to set at fault the practices and the promises of the magnetisers. For this double reason, we conceived ourselves bound to disburthen ourselves of the obligation they would impose of having a strong faith, of being animated solely by benevolent motives. We sought only to be inquisitive, mistrustful, and exact observers.

Neither did we think it our duty to endeavour to explain these conditions. This would have been a question of pure controversy, for the solution of which we had no better means than in attempting to explain the conditions of other physiological phenomena, such as those that regulate the action of different medicines.

These are questions of the same kind, upon which science has yet pronounced no judgment. In all the experiments which we made, we invariably observed the most rigorous silence, because we conceived that, in the development of phenomena so delicate, the attention of the magnetiser and of the magnetised ought not to be distracted by any thing foreign. Besides, we did not wish to incur the reproach of having injured the success of the experiment by conversation or by other distracting causes; and we always took care that the expression of our countenances should neither operate as a constraint upon the magnetiser, nor inspire doubt into the mind of the person magnetised. Our position—we are anxious to repeat it—was constantly that of inquisitive and impartial observers. These different conditions, several of which had been recommended in the works of the respectable M. Deleuze, having been well established, we proceed to state what we observed.

The person to be magnetised was placed in a sitting posture, either in a convenient elbow-chair, or on a couch—sometimes even in a common chair.

The magnetiser, seated on a chair a little more elevated, opposite, and at the distance of about a foot from the patient, seemed to collect himself for some moments, during which he took the thumbs of the patient between his two fingers, so that the interior parts of the thumbs were in contact with each other. He fixed his eyes upon the patient, and remained in this position until he felt that an equal degree of heat was established between the thumbs of the magnetiser and the magnetised. He then withdrew his hands, turning them outward, placed them on the shoulders, where he allowed them to remain about a minute, and conducted them slowly, by a sort of very slight friction, along the arms to the extremity of the fingers. This operation he performed five or six times, which the magnetisers call a pass; he then placed his hands above the head, held them there a moment, drew them downwards in front of the face, at the distance of one or two inches, to the epigastrium (pit of the stomach), resting his fingers upon this part of the body; and he descended  slowly along the body to the feet. These passes were repeated during the greater part of the sitting; and when he wished to terminate it, he prolonged them beyond the extremity of the hands and feet, shaking his fingers each time. Finally, he made transverse passes before the face and the breast, at the distance of from three to four inches, presenting his two hands approximated to each other, and separating them abruptly.

At other times, be approximated the fingers of each hand, and presented them at the distance of three or four inches from the head or the stomach, leaving them in this position during one or two minutes; then, with drawing and approximating them alternately with more or less rapidity, he imitated the very natural movement which is performed when we wish to shake off a liquid which has moistened the extremity of our fingers. These different modes of operation have been adopted in all our experiments, without any preference of the one to the other. Frequently we employed only one, some times two, and in the choice we made, we were never guided by the idea that one method would produce an effect, more readily and more conspicuously than the other.

In enumerating the facts observed, your committee shall not follow precisely the order of time in which they were collected; it has appeared to them to be much more convenient, and, above all, much more rational, to present them to you classified according to the more or less conspicuous degree of the magnetic action recognised in each.

We have, therefore, established the following four divisions:
I. Magnetism has no effect upon persons in a state of sound health, nor upon some diseased persons.
II. In others, its effects are slight.
III. These effects are sometimes produced by ennui, by monotony, by the imagination.
IV. We have seen them developed independently of these last causes, most probably as the effect of Magnetism alone.

I. Magnetism without effect.––The Reporter of the Committee has several times submitted to the operation of Magnetism. Once, amongst others, while in the enjoyment of perfect health, he had the patience to remain seated in the same position for a period of three quarters of an hour, with his eyes closed, in complete immobility; and he declares, that, during the operation, he experienced no kind of effect, although the ennui of his position, and the absolute silence which he had recommended to be observed, might have been very capable of producing sleep. M. Demussy submitted to the same experiment with the same result. At another time, when the reporter was tormented with very violent and very obstinate rheumatic pains, he allowed  himself to be repeatedly magnetised, and he never obtained by this means the slightest mitigation, although the acuteness of his sufferings made him vehemently desire to have them removed, or at least alleviated.

On the 11th of November 1826, our respectable colleague, M. Bourdois, had experienced, during two months, an indisposition which required particular attention, upon his part, to his habitual mode of living. This indisposition, he told us, was not his ordinary or normal state, he knew the cause of it, and could indicate the point from which it proceeded. In these circumstances, which, as M. Dupotet affirmed, were favourable to the development of the magnetic phenomena, M. Bourdois was magnetised by M. Dupotet, in presence of MM. Itard, Marc, Double, Gueneau, and the Reporter. The experiment commenced at thirty three minutes past three o’clock; the pulse was then at 84, which M. Double and M. Bourdois declared to be the normal state. At forty-one minutes past three the experiment terminated, and M. Bourdois experienced absolutely no effect. We only observed that the pulse had fallen to 72, that is to say 12 loss than before the operation.

At the same meeting, our colleague, M. ltard, who had been afflicted for eight years with chronic rheumatism, the seat of which was then in the stomach, and who was suffering at the time from a recurrent crisis of the disease (crise habituelle attachée à sa maladie—these are his own expressions), caused himself to be magnetised by M. Dupotet. At fifty minutes past three o’clock, his pulse was at 60; at fifty-seven minutes past three he closed his eyes; at three minutes past four  the operation terminated. He told us that, during the time he had his eyes open, he thought that he felt the impression made upon his organs by the passage of the fingers, as if they had been struck by a blast of warm air; but that, after having closed them, and the experiment continuing, he had no longer the same sensation. He added, that, at the end of five minutes, he felt a headache, which affected all the forehead and the base of the orbits, with a sensation of dryness in the tongue, although when observed by us, the tongue was very moist. Finally, he said that the pain which he felt previous to the operation, and which he had described as depending upon the affection of which he complained, had disappeared, but that it was, in general, very variable. We remarked that the pulse had risen to 74, that is to say, 14 more than before the operation.

We might certainly have reported other observations in which magnetism manifested no sort of activity; but besides the inconvenience of referring to facts unattended with any result, we conceived it sufficient for you to be made acquainted with the experiments which three of your committee made upon themselves, in order to have a more complete assurance of the truth of our investigations.

II. Slight effects of Magnetism—It cannot have escaped you, gentlemen, that the last case in the preceding series presented a commencement of the magnetic action. We have, accordingly, placed it at the end of the section, in order to serve as a link to connect those which are to follow.

M. Magnien, doctor of medicine, aged 54 years, residing in the street St Denis, No. __, walked with great difficulty, in consequence of a fall he had some years before upon the left knee, and very probably, also, in consequence of the growth of an aneurism of the heart, which carried him off in the month of September last. He was magnetised by the reporter upon the 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22d, and 23d of August  1826. The number of pulsations was less at the end of five sittings, than at the commencement, the pulse falling from 96 to 90, from 96 to 86, from 76 to 71, from 82 to 79, from 80 to 78, and at the sixth sitting, the number was the same at the commencement and at the termination, viz. 83. The inspirations were equal, excepting upon one occasion, when they were 20 at the beginning, and 26 at the end. M. Magnien constantly experienced a sensation of coolness in all those parts of his body to which the fingers of the magnetiser were directed, and kept for a long time in the same direction. This phenomenon never once failed to present itself.

Our colleague, M. Roux, who complained of a chronic affection of the stomach, was magnetised six times  by M. Foissac, on the 27th and 29th of September, and on the 1st, 3d, 5th, and 7th of October, 1827. He experienced, at first, a sensible diminution in the number of inspirations and pulsations, afterwards, a slight degree of heat in the stomach, a great degree of coolness in the face; the sensation of a vaporization of ether, even when no manipulations were practised before him, and, finally, a decided disposition to sleep.

Anne Bourdin, aged twenty-five years, residing in the street Du Paon, No. 15, was magnetised on the 17th, 20th, and 21st of July, 1826, at the Hotel-Dieu, by M. Foissac, in presence of the reporter. This woman said she complained of headach (cephalalgia), and of a nervous pain (neuralgia), which had its seat in the  left eye. During the three magnetic sittings, we perceived the inspirations increase from 16 to 39, from 14 to 20, and the pulsations from 69 to 79, from 60 to 68, from 76 to 95. The head grew heavy during these three experiments,—the woman fell asleep for some minutes,—no change was effected in the nervous pain  of the eye, but the headach was alleviated.

Theresa Tierlin was magnetised on the 22d, 23d, 24th, 29th, and 30th of July, 1826. She had been admitted into the Hotel-Dieu, complaining of pains in  the belly and in the lumbar region. During the magnetic operations, we observed the inspirations increase from 15 to 17, from 18 to 19, from 20 to 25, and decrease from 27 to 24; and the pulsations increased from 118 to 125, from 100 to 120, from 100 to 113, from 95 to 98, and from 117 to 120. We remarked that this woman seemed to be afraid of the motions of the fingers and hands of the magnetiser,—that she attempted to avoid them by drawing back her head,––that she followed them with her eyes in order that she might not lose sight of them, as if she dreaded that they would do her some injury. She was evidently teased and annoyed during the five sittings.

We observed in her frequent and long-drawn sighs, sometimes interrupted, winking and depression of the eyelids, rubbing the eyes, repeated deglutition of the saliva, a motion which, in the case of other magnetised persons, has constantly preceded sleep, and, finally, the disappearance of the pain in the lumbar region.

Your Committee, in arranging these different facts, has only wished to fix your attention upon the series of physiological phenomena which are developed in the two last cases. We can attach no importance whatever to the partial amelioration in the morbid symptoms of the very insignificant disorders of these two women. If these disorders existed, time and repose may have triumphed over them. If they did not exist, as is too frequently the case, the feigned malady might have disappeared as well without Magnetism as with it. Thus, gentlemen, we have only presented them to you as the first elements, as it were, of the magnetic action, which you will see more decidedly manifested in the sequel of this report.

III. The effects observed are frequently produced by ennui, by monotony, and by the imagination. ––Your Committee has remarked upon several occasions, that the monotony of the gestures employed, the religious silence observed during the operations, the ennui occasioned by remaining long in the same position, have produced sleep in several individuals who were not subjected to the magnetic influence, but who were in the same physical and moral circumstances in which they had been previously set asleep. In these cases, it was impossible for us not to recognise the influence of the imagination; an influence by the force of which these individuals, believing that they were magnetised, experienced the same effects as if they really had been so. We shall adduce, in particular, the following observations.

Mademoiselle Lemaitre, twenty-five years of age, had been for three years afflicted with an affection of  the sight (amaurosis), when she was admitted into the Hotel-Dieu She was magnetised upon the 7th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22d  of July, 1826. We shall not here repeat the different phenomena which marked the commencement of the magnetic action, and which we have already detailed in the preceding section, such as the winking, the depression of the eyelids, the rubbing of the eyes as if to get rid of a disagreeable sensation, the sudden inclination of the head and the swallowing of the saliva. These, as we have already said, are signs which we have constantly observed, and to which, therefore, we shall not revert. We shall only observe, that we remarked a commencement of drowsiness at the end of the third sitting; that this drowsiness increased until the eleventh; that, dating from the fourth, there were manifested convulsive motions of the muscles of the neck, of the face, the hands and the shoulder; and that, at the end of each sitting, we found a greater acceleration of the pulse than at the commencement. But what ought most to fix your attention is, that after having been magnetised ten times, and having appeared during the eight last successively more and more susceptible of the magnetic action, at the eleventh sitting, the 20th of July, M. Dupotet, her magnetiser, upon the suggestion of the reporter, seated himself behind her, without making any gesture, without having any intention of  magnetising her, and that she experienced a more decided tendency to sleep, than upon any of the preceding days, accompanied, however, with less of agitation and convulsive motions. There was no perceptible improvement of her sight since the commencement of the operations, and she left the Hotel-Dieu in the same state as when she had been admitted.

Louisa Ganot, a servant, residing in the street Du Balloir, No. 19, was admitted into the Hotel-Dieu upon the 18th of July 1826, in order to be treated for a leucorrhea, and was magnetised by M. Dupotet on the 21st, 22d, 23d, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27t, and 28th of July, 1826. She told us that she was subject to nervous attacks, and, in reality, convulsive motions of an hysterical character were constantly manifested during all the magnetic sittings. Thus, the plaintive cries, the stiffness and contortion of the superior members, the direction of the hand towards the pit of the stomach, the bending of the whole body backwards, so as to form an arch of which the concavity was in the back, some minutes of sleep which terminated this scene, all denoted in this woman hysterical attacks, occasioned, it might have been believed, by the magnetic influence. We wished to ascertain how far the imagination might act upon her, and at the 6th sitting, upon the 26th of July, M. Dupotet, who had hitherto magnetised her, placed himself in front, at the distance of two feet,
without touching her, without practising any manipulation or external act, but having an energetic intention of producing in her some of the magnetic phenomena. The agitation, the convulsive motions, the long and interrupted sighs, the stiffness of the arms, did not fail to manifest themselves as at the preceding sittings. On the day after, the 27th, we placed M. Dupotet behind her, and she was seated in the great elbow-chair which she had used in the preceding operations. The magnetiser merely directed his fingers opposite the middle part of her back; consequently, the back of the chair was interposed between the magnetiser and the magnetised.

In a short time, the convulsive motions of the preceding days were displayed with greater violence, and she frequently turned round her head. She told us when she awoke, that she had executed this motion, because it appeared to her that she was annoyed by something which acted upon her from behind. Finally, after having observed, upon the 26th and 27th of July, the development of the magnetic phenomena, although in the one case there were no manipulations at all, but only the intention, while, in the other, these very simple external acts (the direction of the fingers) were executed behind her back, and without her knowledge; we were desirous of ascertaining whether the same phenomena could be reproduced in the absence of the magnetiser. The experiment was made upon the 28th of July. She was placed in precisely the same circumstances as in the former experiments,––the same hour  of the day (half-past five in the morning),—the same locality, the same silence, the same elbow-chair, the same persons present, the same preparations; all, in short, exactly the same as on the preceding days, with the exception of the magnetiser, who remained at home. The same convulsive motions were evinced, perhaps with a little less promptitude and violence, but always with the same character.

A man aged 27, subject, since his 15th year, to at tacks of epilepsy, was magnetised fifteen times at the Hotel-Dieu; from the 27th of June to the 17th of July, 1826, by the reporter. Sleep began to appear at the 4th sitting (lst of July), and became stronger at the 5th (2d of the same month). In the following, it was rather slight and easily interrupted, either by noise, or by questions put to him. In the 13th and 14th, the reporter took the precaution to place himself behind the elbow-chair in which he was seated, and there to perform his manipulations. At the 15th sitting, upon the 17th of July, he continued to place the patient, as in the case of the woman Ganot, in the same situation in which he had been placed since the commencement of the treatment: he also placed himself behind the elbow-chair, and the same phenomena of drowsiness were manifested, although he did not magnetite him.

From this series of experiments we found ourselves necessarily bound to conclude, that these two women and this epileptic patient experienced the same effects when they were actually magnetised, and when they only believed themselves to be so, and that, consequently, the imagination was sufficient to produce in them phenomena which, with little attention, or with a prejudiced mind, might have been attributed to magnetism.

But we are anxious to declare, that there are several other cases, not less rigorously observed, in which it would have been difficult for us not to admit magnetism as the cause of the phenomena. These we place in our 4th class.

IV. Thus, a child of 28 months, subject, like its father, of whom we shall have occasion to speak in the sequel, to attacks of epilepsy, was magnetised in the house of M. Bourdois, by M. Foissac, upon the 6th of October 1827. Almost immediately after the commencement of the treatment, the child rubbed its eyes, bent its head to one side, supported it upon one of the cushions of the sofa where we had placed it, yawned, appeared agitated, scratched its head and its ears, seemed to contend against the approach of sleep, and soon rose, if we may be allowed the expression, grumbling; it was seized with the desire of making water, and, after being satisfied in this respect, it appeared very sprightly. We magnetised it again; but as there appeared, this time, no symptom of drowsiness, we terminated the experiment.

There occurred to us a similar case of a deaf and dumb lad, eighteen years of age, who had long been subject to very frequent attacks of epilepsy, and upon whom M. Itard wished to try the effects of magnetism. This young man was magnetised fifteen times by M. Foissac. We need scarcely say here, that the epileptic attacks were entirely suspended during the sittings, and that they did not return until eight months afterwards—a circumstance unprecedented in the history of his disease; but we shall observe, that the appreciable phenomena exhibited by this young man during the treatment were a heaviness of the eyelids, a general numbness, a desire to sleep, and sometimes vertigo.

A still more decided effect was observed in a member of the committee, M. Itard, who, as we have already observed, had submitted to the magnetic treatment on the 11th of November 1826, without having experienced any effect. When magnetised by M. Dupotet on the 27th of October 1827, he experienced a heaviness without sleep, a decided sensation of a peculiar nature—a setting on edge (agacement) in the nerves of the face, convulsive motions in the nostrils, in the muscles of the face and jaws, and a flow of saliva of a metallic taste—a sensation analogous to that which he had experienced from galvanism. The two first sittings produced headach, which lasted several hours, and, at the same time, his habitual pains were considerably diminished. A year afterwards, M. Itard, who had pains in the head, was magnetised eighteen times by M. Foissac. The treatment almost constantly produced a flow of saliva, twice with a metallic flavour. We observed little motion and muscular contraction, excepting some twitchings (soubresauts, subsultus) of the tendons of the muscles of the fore-arms and the legs. M. Itard told us that his headach ceased each time, after a treatment of from 12 to 15 minutes, that  it entirely disappeared by the 9th sitting, when it was recalled by an interruption of the magnetic operations for three days, and again dissipated by the same means. He experienced during the treatment a sensation of general health, an agreeable disposition to sleep, somnolency accompanied with vague and pleasant reveries. His complaint underwent, as before, a sensible amelioration, which, however, was not of long duration after
 he ceased to be magnetised.

These three cases appeared to your Committee to be altogether worthy of remark. The two individuals who formed the subject of the two first—the one a child of 28 months, the other a deaf and dumb lad were ignorant of what was done to them. The one, indeed, was not in a state capable of knowing it; and the other never had the slightest idea of magnetism. Both, however, were sensible of its influence; and most certainly it is impossible, in either case, to attribute this sensibility to the imagination. Still less is it attributable to this principle in the case of M. Itard.

It is not over men of our years, and, like us, always on their guard against mental error and sensible delusion, that the imagination, such as we view it, has any sway. At this period of life, it is enlightened by reason, and disengaged from those illusions by which young persons are so easily seduced. At this age we stand upon our guard, and distrust, rather than confidence, presides over the different operations of our minds. These circumstances were happily united in our colleague; and the Academy knows him too well  not to admit that he really experienced what he declares that he felt. His veracity was the same upon the 11th of October 1826, when he declared that he felt nothing, and upon the 27th of October 1827, when he affirmed to us that he was sensible of the magnetic action.

The somnolency observed in the three cases which we have just reported appeared to us to be the transition from the waking state to that which is called the magnetic sleep, or somnambulism—words which your Committee have deemed improper, as they may give rise to false ideas; but which we have been forced to adopt, in consequence of the impossibility of changing them with advantage. When the individual subjected to the operation of magnetism is in the state of somnambulism, the magnetisers assure us, that, in general, he only hears those persons who have been placed in magnetic connexion (en rapport) with him, either the person who operates upon him, or those whom the operator has placed in communication with him, by means of joining hands, or some species of immediate contact. According to them, the external organs of the senses become wholly, or almost wholly, dormant (assoupis), and, notwithstanding, he experiences sensations. They add, that there appears to be awakened in him an internal sense, a species of instinct which explains to him, sometimes the state of his own health, sometimes that of other persons with whom he is placed in magnetic connexion (en rapport). During the whole duration of this singular state, he is, say they, subjected to the influence of his magnetiser, and appears to obey him with an unreserved docility, without manifesting any strong exertion of internal volition, either by gestures or words. *

* “Magnetised persons," says the illustrious and unfortunate Bailly at the 7th page of his celebrated report presented to the Royal Academy of Sciences in 1784, “may appear to be plunged into a state of total insensibility; but the voice of the magnetiser, his look, a revives them; and we cannot hesitate to recognise in these invariable effects a great influence which acts upon the patients, governs them, and of which the magnetiser appears to be the depositary.”

This singular phenomenon, gentlemen, appeared to your Committee to be an object the more worthy of their attention and investigation, because, although M. Bailly seems to have had a glimpse of it, it was still unknown at the period when the subject of animal  magnetism was submitted to the examination of the Commissioners, who presented their Report upon it in 1784; and, besides, it was for the purpose of studying it that M. Foissac had, if we may use the expression disinterred the question of magnetism. It was only in 1784, after the publication of the Report of the Commissioners, that this phenomenon was observed for the first time at Buzancy, near Soissons, by one of the most zealous disciples and promoters of animal magnetism, M, de Puysegur.

Upon a subject which might so easily be got up by quackery, and which appeared to us so remote from all that was previously known, your Committee felt that they were bound to be very rigid respecting the kind of evidence admitted to prove the phenomenon, and, at the same time, that they ought to keep themselves continually upon their guard against that illusion and imposture of which they might dread being made the dupes.

The Committee request your attention to the following cases; in the arrangement of which it has been their object, that the development of this singular state, and the manifestation of the phenomena which characterize it, might be presented to you in a regularly increasing progression, so as to become more and more evident.

Mademoiselle Louisa Delaplane, aged 16 years, residing in the street Tirechape, No. 9, had a catamenial suppression, accompanied with pains, and with tension and swelling in the lower part of the abdomen, when she was admitted into the Hotel-Dieu, on the 13th of June 1826. Leeches applied to the labia vulvae, baths, and, in general, an appropriate treatment, producing no relief, she was magnetised by M. Foissac on the 22d, 23d, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, and 28th of June 1826. She fell asleep at the first sitting, at the end of eight minutes. She was spoken to, but made no answer; a white iron screen was thrown down near her—she continued in a state of complete insensibility; a glass bottle was forcibly broken—she awoke with a start. At the second sitting, she answered by affirmative and negative motions of the head to the questions which were addressed to her. At the third, she gave us to understand, that, in two days, she would speak and point out the nature and seat of her complaint. She was pinched very strongly, so as to produce a livid mark—she gave no sign of sensibility. A bottleful of ammoniac was opened under her nose. She was insensible to the first inspiration––at the second, she carried her hand to her nose. When she awoke, she complained of pain in the part which had been pinched, as also of the fumes of the ammoniac, and she drew back her head hurriedly. The parents of this girl resolved to remove her from the Hotel-Dieu on the 30th of the same month, because they heard. that she was subjected to the magnetic treatment. She was still, however, magnetised three or four times. In the course of these experiments she never once spoke, and answered only by signs to the different questions addressed to her. We shall add that, insensible to the tickling of a feather introduced into her nostrils, moved along her lips and the sides of her nose, and to the noise of a board thrown suddenly upon a table, she was awakened by the noise of a copper basin thrown against the floor, and at the noise of a bag of crowns which was emptied from above into the same basin.

At another time, upon the 9th of December 1826, M Dupotet, in presence of the Committee, magnetised Baptiste Chamet, carman at Charonne, whom he had magnetised two or three years before. At the end of eight minutes, repeatedly interrupted in order to as certain from him whether he was asleep, he suddenly made an affirmative motion of the head. Several questions were put to him without obtaining an answer. As he seemed to suffer pain, he was asked what ailed him, when he pointed with his hand to his breast. He was again asked what part that was. He answered that it was the liver, still pointing to his breast. M.Guersent pinched him severely on the left wrist, and be manifested no sense of pain. We opened his eye lid, which, with difficulty, yielded to our attempts, and we found the ball of the eye turned, as if convulsively, towards the top of the orbit, and the pupil perceptibly contracted.

In these two last cases, your Committee witnessed the first appearance of somnambulism—of that faculty by means of which the magnetisers say, that, in the dormant state of the external organs of sense, there is developed in the persons magnetised an internal sense, and a species of instinct capable of manifesting themselves by rational external actions. In each of the cases above reported, your Committee perceived—whether in the answer given to questions put either by signs or by words, or in the prognostications, always deceitful, indeed, of events which never took place—the first traces of the expression of a commencement of intelligence.

The three following cases will prove to you with what distrust we ought to regard the promises of certain pretended somnambulists.

Mademoiselle Josephine Martineau, aged 19 years, residing in the street St Nicolas, No. 37, had been affected for three months with a chronic inflammation of the bowels (gastritis), when she was admitted into the Hotel-Dieu, upon the 5th of August 1826. She was magnetised by M Dupotet, in presence of the reporter, fifteen days consecutively, from the 7th to the 21st of the same month, twice between four and five in the afternoon, and thirteen times from six to seven in the morning. She began to sleep at the second sitting, and at the fourth, to answer the questions which were addressed to her. We need not repeat to you, that at the end of each sitting, the pulse was more frequent than at the commencement, and that she preserved no recollection of anything that took place during her sleep. These are ordinary phenomena, which have been previously well established by other magnetisers. Our business here is with somnambulism, and it is this phenomenon which we endeavoured to observe in Mademoiselle Martineau. In her sleep, she said that she did not see the persons present, but that she heard them; and no person was speaking. When interrogated about this matter, she answered that she heard them when a noise was made. She said that she would not recover until she was purged; and for this she prescribed three ounces of manna, and English pills to be taken two hours after the manna. The next and following days, the reporter gave her no manna, but administered four pills of the crumb of bread in two days. During these two days she had four stools. She said that she would soon awake after five or ten minutes' sleep, and she did not awake until after seventeen and sixteen. She announced that, upon a certain day, she would give us a detailed account of the nature of her complaint; and when the day arrived, she told us nothing. In short, she was at fault every time. Geslin, residing in the street de Grenelle St Honoré, No.37, wrote to inform the Committee, on the 8th of July 1826, that he had at his disposal a somnambulist, Mademoiselle Couturier, lace-maker, aged 30 years, residing in the same house with himself, who, amongst other faculties, possessed that of being able to read the thoughts of her magnetiser, and to execute the orders which be communicated to her mentally. The proposal of Geslin was too important not to be accepted with eagerness. M.Gueneau and the reporter waited upon Geslin, who repeated the assurances which he had given us in his letter relative to the surprising faculties of his somnambulist; and after having set her asleep by the process we have already described, he requested them to inform him what they wished him to require, mentally, of his somnambulist.

One of us––the reporter—placed himself at a desk, for the purpose of writing down with the utmost exactness every thing that might occur; and the other, M.Gueneau, undertook to write upon slips of paper, which he communicated to his colleague, the orders which we both wished to be communicated to the patient. Upon the first slip of paper, M.Gueneau wrote the following words: Go and sit down upon the stool in front of the piano. Geslin having conceived this mentally, told the somnambulist to do that which he required of her. She rose from her place, and going up to the clock, she said it was twenty minutes past nine. Geslin told her that was not what he required her to do; she then went into the next room. She was informed that she was still mistaken when she resumed her place. She was mentally bid to scratch her forehead. She stretched out her hand, but did not execute the motion required. The magnetiser complained that she did not do what he desired her: She rose and changed her seat. We requested that, when Geslin held up his hand, she should hold up hers, and keep it suspended until that of the magnetiser fell. She raised her hand, which remained immoveable, and did not fall until five minutes after that of Geslin. The back of a watch was presented to her––she said it was thirty-five minutes past nine, and the hand pointed at seven o'clock. She said there were three bands, and there were only two. A watch with three bands was substituted, and she said there were two—that it was forty minutes past nine; while the watch indicated twenty-five minutes past nine. She was placed en rapport with M.Gueneau, and told him a number of things with regard to the state of his own health which were altogether erroneous, and in direct contradiction to what our colleague had written upon this subject before the experiment. To sum up all, this lady did not fulfil any of the promises which had been made to us; and we thought ourselves authorized to believe, that Geslin had not taken all the proper precautions to prevent being led into error, and that this was the cause of his belief in the extraordinary faculties be attributed to his patient—faculties which we could in no degree recognise.

M.Chapelain, doctor of medicine, residing in the Court Batave, No. 3, informed the Committee, upon the 14th of March 1828, that a woman of 24 years of age, residing in his house, and who had been recommended to him by our colleague M. Caille, had announced, when set asleep by the magnetic process, that next day, at fifteen minutes from eleven in the evening, se taeniam productiorem brachio ejecturam esse [she would produce a tapeworm the length of her arm]. Your Committee had too great a desire to witness the result of this annunciation, to neglect the opportunity thus presented. Accordingly, MM. ltard, Thillaye, and the reporter, accompanied by two members of the Academy, MM. Caille and Virey, as also Doctor Dance, at present physician to the hospital Cochin, repaired next day, at fifty-five minutes past ten in the evening, to the house of this woman. She was immediately magnetised by M. Chapelain, and set asleep at eleven o'clock. (Here are omitted some indelicate details, of little or no importance in themselves, and only skewing the futility of the patients prognosis.) Here, then, are three cases, well established, and we might quote others, in which there evidently was error, or an attempt to deceive, on the part of the somnambulists, either in what they promised to do, or in their annunciations of what was to happen.

In these circumstances, we ardently desired to elucidate the question, and we thought that it was essential, as well to the interest of the investigations in which we were engaged, as to withdraw ourselves from the deceptions of quackery, to ascertain whether there was any sign by which we could be assured of the real existence of somnambulism; that is to say, whether the magnetised person, when asleep, was—permit us the expression—more than asleep, whether he had arrived at the state of somnambulism. M. Dupotet, whom we have already mentioned several times, proposed, on the 14th of November 1826, to make your committee witnesses of certain experiments, in which he should reduce the question with regard to the magnetic somnambulism to an absolute certainty. He undertook, and we have his promise to this effect under his own hand, to produce at pleasure, and out of sight of those individuals whom he had placed in a state of somnambulism, convulsive motions in any part of their bodies, by merely directing his finger towards that part. These convulsions he regarded as an unequivocal sign of the existence of somnambulism. Your committee took advantage of the presence of Baptiste Chamet, already mentioned, to make experiments upon him, for the purpose of elucidating this question. Accordingly, M. Dupotet having placed this person in a state of somnambulism, directed the point of one of his fingers towards those of Chamet, or approximated them with a metallic rod: No convulsive effect was produced. A finger of the magnetiser was again directed towards those of the patient, and there was perceived, in the fore and middle fingers of both hands, a slight motion, similar to that produced  by the galvanic pile. Six minutes afterwards, the finger of the magnetiser, directed towards the left wrist of the patient, impressed upon it a complete convulsive motion; and the magnetiser then informed us, that in five minutes he should do all that he pleased with this man. M. Marc then, placing himself behind the patient, indicated that the magnetiser should endeavour to act upon the fore-finger of the right hand: He directed his own fore-finger towards this part, and the convulsions took place in the left, and in the thigh of the same side. At a later period, the fingers were directed towards the toes, but no effect was produced. Some anterior manipulations were performed. MM. Bourdois, Guersent, and Gueneau de Massy, successively directed their fingers towards those of the patient, which became contracted at their approach. At a later period, motions were perceived in the left hand, towards which, however, no finger was directed. Finally, we suspended all our experiments, in order to ascertain whether the convulsive motions did not take place when the patient was not magnetised; and these motions were renewed, but more feebly. Hence your committee concluded, that the approximation of the fingers of the magnetiser was not necessary for the production of the convulsions, although M. Dupotet added, that, when they have once commenced, they may be reproduced of themselves.

Mademoiselle Lemaitre, of whom we have already spoken, when treating of the influence of the imagination in producing the magnetic phenomena, also presented an instance of this convulsive mobility, but sometimes these motions, pretty similar in quickness to those experienced from the approach of an electric spark, took place in a particular part, in consequence of the approximation of the fingers, sometimes, also, independently of this condition. Sometimes, too, we  perceived them take place at a greater or less distance of time after the attempt made to excite them. Some times this phenomenon took place several times at one sitting; sometimes it did not once make its appearance; and sometimes the approximation of the fingers towards one part was followed by convulsions in another.

M.Chales, French Consul at Odessa, furnished us with another example of this phenomenon. M. Dupotet magnetised him in our presence, on the 17th of November 1826. He directed his finger towards the left ear, and immediately we perceived a motion in the hair behind the ear, which was ascribed to a contraction of the muscles of that region. The manipulations were renewed with a single hand, without directing the finger towards the ear, and we perceived in the ear a general and lively ascending motion. The finger was then directed towards the same ear, and no effect was produced.

It was principally in the case of M. Petit, tutor (instituteur) at Athis, aged 32 years, that the convulsive motions were developed with the greatest precision by approaching the fingers of the magnetiser. M. Dupotet presented him to the committee upon the 10th of August 1826, informing them that this M. Petit was very susceptible of somnambulism, and that, when in this state, he, M. Dupotet, could at pleasure, and without speaking, by the mere approximation of his fingers, produce visible convulsive motions in those parts which the committee should point out by writing. The patient was very speedily set asleep, and then the committee, in order to prevent all suspicion of collusion, handed over to M Dupotet a note written at the moment in silence, in which they pointed out the particular parts which they wished to be convulsed. Provided with these instructions, he first directed his hand towards the left wrist, which became convulsed; he then placed himself behind the patient, and directed his finger first towards the left thigh, then towards the left elbow, and, at last, towards the head. These three parts almost immediately became convulsed. M. Dupotet directed his left leg towards that of the patient, which became so much agitated that he was upon the point of falling. M Dupotet then directed his foot towards M. Petit's right elbow, which became agitated; he afterwards carried his foot towards the elbow and the left hand, and very strong convulsive motions were developed in the whole upper part of the body.

One of the committee, M. Marc, in order still farther to prevent every kind of deception, put a bandage upon the eyes of the patient, and the same experiments were repeated with a slight difference in the result. After an instantaneous mimic signal from one or two of us, M. Dupotet directed his foot towards the left hand: at its approach both hands became agitated. We desired that the action should be carried at once to the two inferior members. At first, the fingers were approximated without any result. Soon afterwards, the somnambulist first moved his hands, then drew back, then moved his feet. A few moments later, the finger approximated to the hand, made it draw back, and produced a general agitation. MM. Thillaye and Marc directed their fingers towards several parts of the body, and excited some convulsive motions. Thus, M. Petit was always affected with these convulsive motions, upon the approximation of the fingers, whether he had or had not a bandage upon his eyes; and these motions were more decided when there was directed towards the parts subjected to experiment a piece of metal, such as a key, or the branch of a pair of spectacles. To sum up the whole, your committee, although they have witnessed several cases in which this contractile faculty  has been put in play by the approximation of the fingers or pieces of metal, have need of new facts in order to enable them to appreciate this phenomenon, upon the constancy and importance of which they do not conceive themselves sufficiently informed to entitle them to pronounce a decided opinion.

Reduced, in consequence, to the necessity of relying upon our own unceasing watchfulness, we pursued our researches, and multiplied our observations, with redoubled care, attention, and distrust.

Perhaps, gentlemen, you may remember the experiments which were made in 1820, at the Hotel-Dieu, in  presence of a great number of physicians, some of whom are members of this Academy, and under the eyes of the Reporter, who alone conceived the plan of them, directed the details, and consigned them, minute after minute, to a procés-verbal, which was subscribed by each of the assistants. Perhaps we should have abstained from alluding to them upon the present occasion, had it not been for a particular circumstance, which renders it imperative upon us to break silence. You may recollect that, in the midst of the discussions which were excited in the bosom of the Academy, in consequence of the proposal to submit Animal Magnetism to a new investigation, a member, who, however, did not deny the reality of the magnetic phenomena, affirmed that, while the magnetisers proclaimed the cure of Mademoiselle Sanson, she requested of him to be again admitted into the Hotel-Dieu, where, he added, she died in consequence of an organic lesion which the physicians deemed incurable.

Nevertheless, this same Mademoiselle Sanson re-appeared, six years after her pretended death, and your committee, assembled on the 29th of December 1826, for the purpose of making experiments upon her, were desirous of ascertaining, first of all, whether the individual presented to them by M. Dupotet, whose good faith was, moreover, perfectly well known to them, was the identical person, who, nine years before, had been magnetised at the Hotel-Dieu. MM. Bricheteau and  Patissier, who had been present at these first experiments, had the goodness to comply with the request of the committee, and, conjointly with the Reporter, they certified by a writing which they signed, that it was the same person who had been the subject of the experiments made in the Hotel-Dieu in 1820, and that they perceived no other change in her than that which indicated a sensible amelioration of her health.

The identity having been thus verified, Mademoiselle Sanson was magnetised by M. Dupotet in presence of the committee. The manipulations had scarcely commenced, when Mademoiselle Sanson became restless, rubbed her eyes, expressed impatience, complained, coughed with a hoarse voice, which recalled to the recollection of MM. Bricheteau, Patissier, and the Reporter, the same sound of voice which had struck them in 1820, and which then, as upon the present occasion, pointed out to them the commencement of the magnetic action. Soon after, she stamped with her foot, supported her head upon her right hand, which rested upon the elbow-chair, and appeared to fall asleep. We raised her eyelid, and perceived, as in 1820, the ball of the eye turned convulsively upwards. Several questions were addressed to her, and remained unanswered; then, when new ones were put, she exhibited signs of impatience, and said with ill humour that we ought not to annoy her. At length, without having intimated his intention to any one, the Reporter threw down upon the floor a table and a billet of wood which he had placed upon it. Some of those present uttered a cry of terror,—Mademoiselle Sanson alone heard nothing, made no sort of motion, and continued to sleep after as before the sudden and violent noise. She was awakened four minutes afterwards, by rubbing her eyes in a circular manner with the thumbs. The same billet was then suddenly thrown upon the floor; the noise made her start now that she was awake, and she complained bitterly of the fright that had been given her, although six minutes before she had been insensible to a much greater noise.

You have all likewise heard of a case, which, at the time, attracted the attention of the Surgical Section, and which was communicated to it at the meeting of the 16th of April 1829, by M. Jules Cloquet. Your committee have thought it their duty to notice it here, as affording one of the most unequivocal proofs of the power of the magnetic sleep. The case is that of a lady, P__ aged sixty-four years, residing in the street of St Denis, No. 151, who consulted M. Cloquet, upon the 8th of April 1829, on account of an ulcerated cancer on the right breast, of several years’ standing. which was combined with a considerable swelling (engagement) of the corresponding axillary ganglions. M. Chapelain, the ordinary physician attending this lady, who had magnetised her for some months, with the intention, its he said, of dissolving the swelling (engorgement) of the breast, had obtained no other result than that of producing a most profound sleep, during which all sensibility appeared to be annihilated, while the ideas retained all their clearness. He proposed to M. Cloquet to operate upon her while she was plunged in this magnetic sleep. The latter having deemed the operation indispensable, consented. The two previous evenings, this lady was magnetised several times by M. Chapelain, who, in her somnambulism, disposed her to submit to the operation, who had even led her to converse about it with calmness, although, when awake, she rejected the idea with horror.

Upon the day fixed on for the operation, M. Cloquet arriving at half-past ten in the morning, found the patient dressed and seated on an elbow-chair, in the attitude of a person enjoying a quiet natural sleep. She had returned about an hour before from mass, which she attended regularly at the same hour. Since her return, M. Chapelain had placed her in a state of magnetic sleep, and she talked with great calmness of the operation to which she was about to submit. Everything having been arranged for the operation, she undressed herself, and sat down upon a chair.

M. Chapelain supported the right arm, the left was permitted to hang down at the side of the body. M. Pailloux, house pupil of the Hospital of St Louis, was employed to present the instruments, and to make the ligatures. A first incision, commencing at the arm-pit was continued beyond the tumour as far as the internal surface of the breast. The second commenced at the same point, separated the tumour from beneath, and was continued until it met the first. The swelled ganglions [ganglions engorgés] were dissected with precaution on account of their vicinity to the axillary artery, and the tumour was extirpated. The operation lasted from ten to twelve minutes.

During all this time, the patient continued to converse quietly with the operator, and did not exhibit the slightest sign of sensibility. There was no motion of the limbs or of the features, no change in the respiration nor in the voice, no emotion even in the pulse. The patient continued in the same state of automatic indifference and impassibility, in which she was some minutes before the operation. There was no occasion to hold, but only to support her. A ligature was applied to the lateral thoracic artery, which was open during the extraction of the ganglions. The wound was united by means of adhesive plaster, and dressed. The patient was put to bed while still in a state of somnambulism, in which she was left for forty-eight hours. An hour after the operation, there appeared a slight hemorrhage, which was attended with no consequence. The first dressing was taken off on the following Tuesday, the l4th,—the wound was cleaned and dressed anew—the patient exhibited no sensibility nor pain the pulse preserved its usual rate.

After this dressing, M. Chapelain awakened the patient, whose somnambulic sleep had continued from an hour previous to the operation, that is to say, for two days. This lady did not appear to have any idea, any feeling, of what had passed in the interval; but upon being informed of the operation, and seeing her children around her, she experienced a very lively emotion, which the magnetiser checked by immediately setting her asleep.

In these two cases, your committee perceived the most evident proof of the annihilation of sensibility during somnambulism; and we declare, that, although we did not witness the last, we yet find it impressed with such a character of truth, it has been attested and repeated to us by so good an observer, who had communicated it to the Surgical Section, that we have no fear in presenting it to you as the most incontestable evidence of that state of torpor and insensibility which is produced by Magnetism. *

* In M. Chardel's Essai de Psychologie Physiologique, to which the reader is referred, there will be found a number of additional curious particulars respecting this very extraordinary case. In a note, M. Chardel also gives a short account of another case, in which a surgical operation was performed upon a somnambulist, in a similar state of insensibility. John ____, farmer, had and abscess of the internal and upper part of the thigh; the operation required prudence, as the crural artery crossed the tumour. Count B___ placed the patient in a state of magnetic somnambulism, and produced complete insensibility. The operation was performed in the house of the Juge de Paix of the Canton of Condom, department of Gers, in the presence of several distinguished persons, by Dr. Lar___, and is reported in the Journal of Toulouse.

In the midst of the experiments in which your committee sought to appreciate the faculty of setting in motion, without contact, the contractility of the muscles of M. Petit of Athis, other attempts were made upon him with the view of observing the lucidity (clairvoyance), that is, the power of seeing through the closed eyelids, which he was said to possess during somnambulism.

The magnetiser informed us that his somnambulist would recognise, among twelve pieces of coin, that which he M. Dupotet had held in his hand. The reporter placed there a crown of five francs, of the coinage of 1813, and afterwards mixed it with twelve others, which he arranged in a circle upon a table. M. Petit pointed out one of these pieces, but it was of the coinage of 1812. Afterwards, we presented to him a watch, the hands of which we had deranged, in order that they might not point out the actual hour of the day; and twice, consecutively, M. Petit was mistaken in attempting to point out their direction. An attempt was made to explain these mistakes, by telling us that M. Petit had lost some of his lucidity since he had been less frequently magnetised; however, at the same sitting, the reporter engaged with him in a game of piquet, and frequently attempted to deceive him by announcing one card or one colour instead of another; but the bad faith of the reporter did not prevent M. Petit from playing correctly, or from ascertaining the colour of his adversary’s point. We should add, that each time that we interposed a body––a sheet of paper or pasteboard-between the eyes and the object to be perceived, M. Petit could distinguish nothing.

 If these experiments had been the only ones in which we had sought to recognise the faculty of lucidity (clairvoyance), we should have been led to conclude that this somnambulist did not possess it. But this faculty appeared in all its clearness in the following experiment; and upon this occasion, the success entirely justified the expectations held out to us by M.Dupotet.

M. Petit was magnetised on the 15th of March 1826, at half-past eight in the evening, and set asleep in about one minute. The president of the committee, M. Bourdois, ascertained that the number of pulsations, since he was set asleep, diminished at the rate of 22 in a minute, and that there was even some irregularity in the pulse. M. Dupotet, after having put a bandage upon the eyes of the somnambulist, repeatedly directed towards him the points of his fingers, at the distance of about two feet. Immediately a violent contraction was perceived in the hands and arms towards which the action was directed. M. Dupotet having, in a similar manner, approximated his feet to those of M. Petit, always without contact, the latter quickly withdrew his. He complained of great pain and a burning heat in the limbs, towards which the action had been directed. M. Bourdois endeavoured to produce the same effects; and he succeeded, but less promptly, and in a more feeble degree.

This point being established, we proceeded to ascertain the lucidity (clairvoyance) of the somnambulist. He having declared that he could not see with the bandage, it was taken off; but then we determined to assure ourselves that the eyelids were exactly closed. For this purpose, a candle was almost constantly held, during the experiments, before the eyes of M. Petit, at a distance of one or two inches; and several persons had their eyes continually fixed upon his. None of us could perceive the slightest separation of the eyelids. M. Ribes, indeed, remarked that their edges were superimposed so that the eye-lashes crossed each other.

We also examined the state of the eyes, which were forcibly opened without awakening the somnambulist;  and we remarked that the pupil was turned down wards, and directed towards the great angle of the  eye.

After these preliminary observations, we proceeded to verify the phenomena of vision with the eyes closed. M. Ribes, member of the Academy, presented a catalogue which he took from his pocket. The somnambulist, after some efforts which seemed to fatigue him, read very distinctly the words, “Lavater. Il est bien difficile de connaitre les hommes. [Lavater. It is difficult to know men.]” The last words were printed in very small characters. A passport was placed under his eyes; he recognised it, and called it a passe-homme. Some moments afterwards, a port d’armes was substituted, which we all know to be in almost all respects similar to a passport, and the blank side of it was presented to him. M. Petit, at first, could only recognise that it was of a particular figure, and very like the for mer. A few moments afterwards, he told us what it was, and read distinctly the words, “De par le roi, [By the king]” and on the left, “port d’armes. [carrying weapons.]” Again, he was shewn an open letter; he declared that he could not read it, as he did not understand English. In fact it was an English letter.

M. Bourdois took from his pocket a snuff-box, upon which there was a cameo set in gold. At first the somnambulist could not see it distinctly; he said that the gold setting dazzled him. When the setting was covered with the fingers, he said that he saw the emblem of fidelity. When pressed to tell what this emblem was, he added, “I see a dog, he is as if on his hind legs before an altar.” This, in fact, was what was represented.

A closed letter was presented to him. He could not discover any of its contents. He only followed the direction of the lines with his finger; but he easily read the address, although it contained a pretty difficult name: To M. de Rockenstroh.

All these experiments were exceedingly fatiguing to M. Petit. He was allowed to repose for an instant. Then, as he was very fond of play, a game at cards was proposed for his relaxation. As much as the experiments of pure curiosity seemed to annoy him, with so much the more ease and dexterity did he perform whatever gave him pleasure, and this he entered into of his own accord.

One of the gentlemen present, M. Raynal, formerly inspector of the university, played a game at piquet with M. Petit and lost it. The latter handled his cards with the greatest dexterity, and without making any mistake. We attempted several times in vain to set him at fault, by taking away or changing some of his cards. He counted with surprising facility the points marked upon his adversary’s marking card.

During all this time, we never ceased to examine the eyes, and to hold a candle near them; and we always found them exactly closed. We remarked, however, that the ball of the eye seemed to move under the eye lids, and to follow the different motions of the hands. Finally, M. Bourdois declared, that, according to all human probability, and as far as it was possible to judge by the senses, the eyelids were exactly closed.

While M. Petit was engaged in a second game at piquet, M. Dupotet, upon the suggestion of M. Ribes, directed his hand, from behind, towards the patient's elbow, and the contraction previously observed again took place. Afterwards, upon the suggestion of M. Bourdois, he magnetised him from behind, and always at the distance of more than a foot, with the intention of awakening him. The keenness with which the somnambulist engaged in play resisted this action, which, without awakening, seemed to annoy and disconcert him. He carried his hand several times to the back of his head, as if he suffered pain in that part. At length he fell into a state of somnolency, which seemed like a slight natural sleep; and some one having spoken to him when in this state, he awoke as if with a start. A few moments afterwards, M. Dupotet, always placed near him, but at a certain distance, set him again asleep, and we recommenced our experiments. M. Dupotet being desirous that not the slightest shadow of doubt should remain with regard to the nature of the physical influence exerted at will upon the somnambulist, proposed to place upon M. Petit as many bandages as we might think proper, and to operate upon him while in this state. In fact, we covered his face down to the nostrils with several neckcloths; we stopped up with gloves the cavity formed by the prominence of the nose, and we covered the whole with a black handkerchief, which descended, in the form of a veil, as far as the neck. The attempts to excite the magnetic susceptibility, by operating at a distance in every way, were then renewed; and, invariably, the same motions were perceived in the parts towards which the hand or the foot were directed.

After these new experiments, M. Dupotet having taken the bandages off M. Petit, played a game at ecarté with him, in order to divert him. He played with the same facility as before, and continued successful. He became so eager at his game, that he remained insensible to the influence of M. Bourdois, who, while he was engaged in play, vainly attempted to operate upon him from behind, and to make him perform a command intimated merely by the will.

After his game, the somnambulist rose, walked across the room, putting aside the chairs, which he found in his way, and went to sit down apart, in order to take some repose at a distance from the inquisitive experimentalists, who had fatigued him. There M. Dupotet awakened him at the distance of several feet; but it seemed that he was not completely awake, for some moments afterwards he again fell asleep, and it was necessary to make fresh efforts, in order to reuse him effectually. When awake, he said he had no recollection of any thing that took place during his sleep.

It is most certain, that if, as M. Bourdois has recorded apart in the prunes-verbal of this sitting, “the constant immobility of the eyelids and their edges superimposed so as that the eye-lashes appeared to cross each other, are sufficient guarantees of the lucidity (clairvoyance) of this somnambulist, it was impossible to withhold, if not our belief, at least our astonishment, at all that took place at this sitting, and not to be desirous of witnessing new experiments, in order to enable us to fix our opinion in regard to the existence and the value of Animal Magnetism."

The wish expressed upon this subject by our president was not long of being gratified by three somnambulists, who, besides this clairvoyance, observed in the preceding case, presented proofs of an intuition, and of a prevision very remarkable, whether for themselves or for others.

Here the sphere seems to enlarge; we no longer want to satisfy a simple curiosity,—no longer endeavour to ascertain whether or not there exists any criterion which may enable us to decide whether somnambulism has or has not taken place,—whether a somnambulist can read with his eyes closed,––whether, during his sleep, he can form combinations at play more or less complicated,—curious and interesting questions, the solution of which, especially of the last, is, considered as a mere spectacle, a most extraordinary phenomenon; but which, in point of real interest, and in the hope of benefiting the science of medicine, are infinitely beneath those with which your committee are now about to make you acquainted.

There is not one amongst you, gentlemen, who, amidst all that he has been told about magnetism, has not heard of that faculty which certain somnambulists have, not only of discovering the species of disease with which they themselves are affected––the endurance and the issue of these diseases; but even the species, the endurance and the issue of the diseases of others with whom they are placed en rapport. The three following cases have appeared to us so important, that we have thought it our duty to make you acquainted with them at large, as affording most remarkable examples of this intuition and of this prevision; at the same time, you will find in them a combination of various phenomena which were not observed in the other magnetised persons.

Paul Villagrand, student of law, born at Magnac Laval (Upper Vienne), on the 18th of May 1803, suffered a stroke of apoplexy on the 25th of December 1825, which was followed by a paralysis of the whole left side of the body. After seventeen months of different modes of treatment, by acupuncture, a seton in the nape of the neck, twelve applications of moxa along the vertebral column—modes of treatment which he followed at home, at the Maison de Santé, and at the Hospice de Perfectionnement, and in the course of which he had two fresh attacks—he was admitted into the Hopital de la Charité, on the 8th of April 1827. Although he had experienced perceptible relief from the means employed before he entered this hospital, he still walked with crutches, being unable to support himself upon the left foot. The arm of the same side, indeed, could perform several motions; but Paul could not lift it to his head. He scarcely saw with his right eye, and was very hard of hearing with both ears. In this state he was entrusted to the care of our colleague, M. Fouquier, who, besides the very evident paralysis, discovered in him the symptoms of hypertrophy of the heart.

During five months, be administered to him the alcoholic extract of nux vomica, bled him from time to time, purged him, and applied blisters. The left arm recovered a little strength; the headachs, to which he was subject, disappeared; and his health continued stationary until the 29th of August 1827, when he was magnetised for the first time by M. Foissac, by order and under the direction of M. Fouquier. At this first sitting, he experienced a sensation of general heat, then twitchings (soubresauts) of the tendons. He was astonished to find himself overcome by the desire of sleeping; he rubbed his eyes in order to get rid of it, made visible and ineffectual efforts to keep his eyelids open, and, at length, his head fell down upon his breast, and he fell asleep. From this period, his deafness and headachs disappeared. It was not until the ninth sitting that his sleep became profound; and at the tenth, he answered, by inarticulate sounds, the questions which were addressed to him. At a later period, he announced that he could not be cured but by means of magnetism, and he prescribed for himself a continuation of the pills composed of the extract of nux vomica, sinapisms [mustard plasters], and baths of Bareges. Upon the 25th of September, your Committee repaired to the Hopital de la Charité, made the patient be undressed, and ascertained that the inferior left limb was manifestly thinner than the right—that the right hand closed much more strongly than the left—that the tongue, when drawn out of the mouth, was carried towards the right commissure, and that the right cheek was more convex than the left. Paul was then magnetised, and soon placed in a state of somnambulism. He recapitulated what related to his treatment, and prescribed that, on that same day, a sinapism should be applied to each of his legs for an hour and a half; that next day he should take a bath of Bareges; and that, upon coming out of the bath, sinapisms should be again applied during twelve hours without interruption, sometimes to one place, and some times to another; that, upon the following day, after having taken a second bath of Bareges, blood should be drawn from his right arm to the extent of a palette and a half. Finally, he added, that, by following this treatment, he would be enabled, upon the 28th, i.e. three days afterwards, to walk without crutches on leaving the sitting, at which, he said, it would still be necessary to magnetise him. The treatment which he had prescribed was followed; and upon the day named, the 28th of September, the committee repaired to the Hopital de la Charité. Paul came, supported on his crutches, into the consulting-room, where he was magnetised as usual, and placed in a state of somnambulism. In this state, he assured us that he should return to bed without the use of his crutches, without support. Upon awaking, he asked for his crutches,—we told him that he had no longer any need of them. In fact, he rose, supported himself on the paralysed leg, passed through the crowd who followed him, descended the step of the chambre d’experiences, crossed the second court de la Charité, ascended two steps; and when he arrived at the bottom of the stair, he sat down. After resting two minutes, he ascended, with the assistance of an arm and the balustrade, the twenty-four steps of the stair which led to the room where he slept, went to bed without support, sat down again for a moment, and then took another walk in the room, to the great astonishment of all the other patients, who, until then, had seen him constantly confined to bed. From this day, Paul never resumed his crutches.

Your committee assembled again, on the 11th of October following, at the Hopital de la Charité. Paul was magnetised, and he announced to us that he should be completely cured at the end of the year, if a seton were placed two inches below the region of the heart. At this sitting, he was repeatedly pinched, pricked with a pin, to the depth of a line, in the eyebrow and in the wrist, without producing any symptom of sensibility.

Upon the 16th of October, M. Fouquier received a letter from the Conseil General des Hospices, requesting him to suspend the experiments which he had commenced at the Hopital de la Charité. We were obliged, therefore, to interrupt this magnetic treatment, the efficacy of which our paralytic patient said he could not sufficiently praise. M. Foissac procured his dismissal from the hospital, and placed him in the Rue des Petits Augustins, No. 18, in a private apartment, where he continued the treatment.

Upon the 29th of the same month, your committee met at the apartment of the patient, in order to examine into the progress of his care; but before he was magnetised, they ascertained that he walked without crutches, and more firmly, to all appearance, than at the preceding sitting. We then made him try his strength upon the dynamometer. When pressed by the right hand, the hand of the instrument indicated thirty kibgrammes, and by the left, twelve. The two hands united caused it to mount to thirty-one. He was magnetised. In four minutes somnambulism was manifested, and Paul assured us that he should be completely cured upon the lst of January. We tried his strength: the right hand carried the hand of the dynamometer to twenty-nine kilogrammes (one less than before his sleep), the left hand (the paralysed one) to twenty-six (fourteen more than before his sleep), and the two hands united, to forty-five (fourteen more than before).

While still in the state of somnambulism, he rose to walk, and got over the ground cleverly. He hopped upon the left foot. He knelt down on the right knee; then rose up, supporting himself with the left hand up  on one of the assistants, and resting the whole weight of his body upon the left knee. He took and lifted up M. Thillaye, turned him round, and sat down with him on his knees. He drew the dynamometer with all his strength, and made the scale of traction (echelle de traction) mount to sixteen myriagrammes. At our request that he would go down stairs, he rose quickly from his elbow-chair, took the arm of M. Foissac, which he quitted at the door, descended and ascended the stairs, two or three at a time, with a convulsive rapidity, which, however, be moderated when he was bid to take them one by one. As soon as he awoke, he lost this astonishing augmentation of strength; in fact, the dynamometer then indicated no more than 3 3/4 myriagrammes, i. e. 12 1/4 less than when asleep. His walk was slow, but sure; he could not sustain the weight of his body on the left leg (the paralysed one), and he made an ineffectual attempt to lift up M. Foissac.

We ought to remark, gentlemen, that, a few days before this last experiment, the patient had lost two pounds and a half of blood, that he had still two blisters on his legs, a seton in the nape of the neck, and another on the breast; consequently, you will perceive along with us what a prodigious increase of strength Magnetism had produced in the diseased organs, that of the sound organs remaining the same, seeing that, during the whole time the somnambulism continued, the total strength of the body was more than quadrupled.

After this, Paul renounced all medical treatment, wishing to he magnetised only; and, towards the end of the year, as he expressed a wish to be placed and kept in a state of somnambulism, in order to complete his cure by the 1st of January, he was magnetised upon the 25th of December, and continued in a state of somnambulism until the 1st of January.

During this period, he was awakened about twelve hours, at unequal intervals; and in these short moments he was made to believe that he had been only a few hours asleep. During the whole of his sleep, his digestive functions were performed with an increased activity.

He had been asleep three days, when, in company with M. Foissac, he set out on foot, on the 28th of December, from the Rue Mondovi, and went in search of M. Fouquier at the Hopital de la Charité, where he arrived at nine o'clock. He recognised there the patients near whom he had slept before his discharge, the pupils who were upon duty in the room, and he read with his eyes closed, a finger having been applied to each eyelid, some words which were presented to him by M. Fouquier. All that we had witnessed appeared to us so astonishing, that your committee, being desirous of following out the history of this somnambulist to the end, again met, upon the 1st of January, in the house of M. Foissac, where we found Paul asleep since the 25th of December. Fifteen days before, he had taken out the setons in the neck and the breast, and had established, on the left arm, a cautery, which he was to continue all his life. Moreover, he declared that he was now cured, that, unless guilty of some imprudence, he should live to an advanced age, and that he should die at last of an attack of apoplexy. While still asleep, he went out of the house of M. Foissac, and walked and ran along the street with a firm and assured step. Upon his return, he carried, with the greatest facility, one of the persons present, whom he could scarcely have lifted before he was set asleep.

Upon the 12th of January, your committee met again at the house of M. Foissac, where there were present M. E. Lazcase, deputy, M. De ___ , aide-de-camp to the king, and M. Segalas, member of the Academy. M. Foissac told us that he was going to set Paul asleep, that. in this state of somnambulism, a finger should be applied to each of his closed eyes, and that, in spite of this complete occlusion of the eyelids, he should distinguish the colour of cards, that he should read the title of a work, and even some words or lines pointed out at random in the body of the work. At the end of two minutes of magnetic manipulations, Paul fell asleep. The eyelids being kept closed, constantly and alternately by MM. Fouquier, Itard, Marc, and the Reporter, there was presented to him a pack of new cards, from which the paper covering bearing the government stamp was torn off. The cards were shuffled, and Paul easily and successively recognised the King of Spades, the Ace of Clubs, the Queen of Spades, the Nine of Clubs, the Seven of Diamonds, and Queen of Diamonds, and  the Eight of Diamonds.

While his eyelids were kept closed by M. Segalas, there was presented to him a volume which the Reporter had brought along with him. He read upon the title-page: Histoire de France. He could not read the two intermediate lines, and upon the fifth he read only the name, Anquetil, which is preceded by the preposition “par.” The book was opened at the 89th page, and he read in the first line—le nombre de ses—he passed over the word “troupes,” and continued: Au moment où an le croyait occupé des plaisirs du camaval. He also read the running-title “Louis,” but could not read the Roman cypher which follows it. A piece of paper was presented to him, upon which were written the words, Agglutination and Magnetisme Animal. He spelt the first, and pronounced the two others. Finally, the procés-verbal of this sitting was presented to him, and he read very distinctly the date, and some words which were more legibly written than the others. In all these experiments, the fingers were applied to the whole of the commissure of both eyes, by pressing down the up per upon the under eyelid, and we remarked that the ball of the eye was in a constant rotatory motion, and seemed directed towards the object presented to his vision.

Upon the 2d of February, Paul was placed in a state of somnambulism in the house of Messrs Scribe and Bremard, merchants, Rue St Honoré. The Reporter of the committee was the only member present at this experiment. The eyelids were closed as before, and Paul read, in the work entitled The Thousand and One Nights, the title-page, the word Preface, and the first line of the preface, with the exception of the word “peu.” There was also presented to him a volume entitled, Lettres de deux amies, par Madame Campan. He distinguished on a print the figure of Napoleon; he pointed out the boots, and said that he also saw two female figures. He then read currently the four first lines of the third page, with the exception of the word “raviver.” Finally, be recognised, without touching them, four cards, which were successively presented to him two and two,—these were the King of Spades and the  Eight of Hearts, the King and Queen of Clubs.

At another sitting, which took place upon the 13th of March following, Paul attempted in vain to distinguish different cards which were applied to the pit of the stomach; but he read, with his eyes still closed, in a book opened at random, and, at this time, it was M. Jules Cloquet who kept his eyes shut. The Reporter also wrote upon a slip of paper the words, Maximilien Robespierre, which he read equally well.

The conclusions to be drawn from this long and curious case are easy. They flow naturally from the simple exposition of the facts which we have reported to you, and we establish them in the following manner :—

l. A patient, whom a rational medical treatment by one of the most distinguished practitioners of the capital could not cure of a paralysis, found his cure from the administration of Magnetism, and in consequence of following exactly the treatment which he prescribed for himself when in a state of somnambulism. 2. In this state, his strength was remarkably increased. 3. He gave us the most undoubted proofs that he read with his eyes closed. 4. He predicted the period of his cure, and this care took place.

In the following case, we shall see this foresight still more fully developed in a man belonging to the lower class, quite ignorant, and who, assuredly, had never heard of Animal Magnetism.

Pierre Cazot, aged 20 years, by trade a hatter, born of an epileptic mother, had been subject for ten years to attacks of epilepsy, which occurred five or six times a week, when he was admitted into the Hopital de la Charité, about the beginning of the month of August 1827. He was immediately subjected to the magnetic treatment, was set asleep at the 3d sitting, and became somnambulist at the 10th, which took place upon the 19th of August. It was then, at 9 o'clock in the morning, that he announced to us that at four o’clock of the afternoon of that day, he should have an attack of epilepsy, but that it might be prevented by magnetising him a little previously. we preferred verifying the exactness of his prediction, and no precaution was to ken to prevent its fulfilment. We contented ourselves with observing him, without exciting in him any suspicion. At one o'clock, he was seized with a violent headach. At three, he was obliged to go to bed, and precisely at four the fit came on. It lasted five minutes. On the second day following, Cazot being in a state of somnambulism, M. Fouquier suddenly thrust a pin of an inch in length between the fore-finger and  thumb of his right hand; with the same pin he pierced the lobe of his ear; his eyelids were separated, and the conjunctiva struck several times with the head of a pin, but the patient did not manifest the slightest sign of sensibility.

Your Committee repaired to the Hopital de la Charité upon the 24th of August, at nine o'clock in the morning, in order to witness the experiments which M. Fouquier, one of its members, proposed to continue to make upon this patient.

M. Foissac, who had already magnetised him, placed himself opposite, and at the distance of six feet from Cazot; he looked steadily at him, made use of no manipulations, preserved absolute silence, and Cazot fell asleep in eight minutes. Three times there was placed under his nose a bottle filled with ammoniac: his face coloured, his respiration increased, but he did not a wake. M. Fouquier thrust into his fore-arm a pin of an inch in length. Another was introduced to the depth of two lines obliquely under the breast-bone (sternum); a third, also obliquely, at the pit of the stomach; a fourth perpendicularly into the sole of the foot. M. Guersent pinched him in the fore-arm, so as to produce a livid spot in the skin: M. Itard leant up on his thigh with the whole weight of his body. We endeavoured to produce tickling, by bringing a small piece of paper under the nose, and conducting it along the lips, the eyelids, the eye-lashes, the neck, and the sole of the foot. Nothing could awaken him. We pressed him with questions. How long will your fits continue? For a year.—Do you know whether they will follow close upon each other? No.—-Will you have any this month? l shall have one on Monday the 27th, at twenty minutes from three o’clock—Will they be severe? Not half so severe as the one I had last.— Upon what other day will you have another attack? After exhibiting some symptoms of impatience, he answered: Fifteen days hence, i.e. on the 7th of September.––At what hour ? At ten minutes before six in the morning.—The indisposition of one of Cazot's children obliged him to leave the hospital this very day, the 24th of August. Maison agreed to make him return on the morning of Monday the 27th, in order that we might have an opportunity of observing the fit, which he told us was to take place that day at twenty minutes to three. The keeper having refused to admit him when he presented himself, Cazot went to the house of M. Foissac to complain of this refusal. The latter told us that he preferred putting a stop to this fit by magnetism, than to be the sole witness of it: Consequently, we could not ascertain the exactness of this prevision. But we had still to observe the fit which he had announced for the 7th of September, and M. Fouquier, who procured for Cazot admission into the hospital upon the 6th, under the pretext of subjecting him to some treatment which could not take place out of the establishment, made him be magnetised in the course of the day, by M. Foissac, who set him asleep by the mere influence of his volition, and his fixed lock. In this sleep, Cazot repeated that he should have an attack next day at ten minutes to six, and that it might be prevented by magnetising him a little before.

Upon a signal agreed upon and given by M. Fouquier, M. Foissac, of whose presence Cazot was ignorant, awakened him, as he had set him asleep, by the mere influence of his volition, in spite of the questions we addressed to the somnambulist, the only object of which was to conceal from him the moment when he was to be awakened. In order to witness the second fit, your Committee met, at a quarter before six of the morning of the 7th of September, in the Salle St Michel of the Hopital de la Charité. There we learnt, that, upon the previous evening, at eight o’clock, Cazot had been seized with a pain in his head, which had tormented him all night; that this pain had caused the sensation of the ringing of bells, and that he had experienced shooting pains in the ears. At ten minutes to six, we witnessed the epileptic fit, characterized by rigidity and contraction of the limbs, the repeated projection and jerking back of the head, the arched curvature of the body backwards, the convulsive closing  of the eyelids, the retraction of the ball of the eye towards the upper part of the orbit, sighs, screams, insensibility to pinching, squeezing of the tongue between the teeth. All these symptoms continued five minutes, during which there were two short intervals of remission, each of some seconds; and afterwards there ensued a relaxation (brisement) of the limbs, and general lassitude.

Upon the 10th of September, at seven o'clock in the evening, your Committee met at the house of M. Itard, in order to continue their experiments upon Cazot. The latter was in the parlour, where we entered into conversation with him, and kept it up until half-past seven—the period at which M. Foissac, who had arrived after us, and remained in the antechamber, which was separated from the parlour by two closed doors, and at a distance of twelve feet, began to magnetise him. Three minutes after, Cazot said: “I believe M. Foissac is there, for I feel myself stupefied (abasourdi).” At the end of eight minutes he was set completely asleep. We questioned him, and he again assured us, that in three weeks from that day, i. e. upon the 1st of October, he should have an epileptic fit at two minutes before noon.

We made it our business to observe, with as much care as we had done upon the 7th of September, the epileptic fit which he had predicted for the 1st of October. For this purpose, the Committee repaired at half-past eleven upon that day to the house of M. Georges, hat-manufacturer, Rue de Menetriers, No. 17, where Cazot resided, and followed his employment. We learnt from this M. Georges, that Cazot was a very steady workman; that his conduct was excellent, and that, whether from simplicity of character, or from moral principle, be was incapable of lending himself to any kind of fraud; that Cazot, feeling himself indisposed, had remained in his room, and was not at work; that he had experienced no attack of epilepsy since that which the Committee had witnessed at the Hopital de la Charité; that there was now in company with Cazot an intelligent man. whose veracity and discretion might be depended upon, and that this man had not announced to Cazot that he had predicted an attack upon this day; that it appeared certain, that, since the 10th of September, M. Foissac had communication with Cazot, but from this no inference could be drawn that he had reminded him of his prediction; on the contrary, M. Foissac appeared to attach very great importance to its being concealed from Cazot. M. Georges, at five minutes before noon, went up to a room situated under that inhabitated by Cazot; and a minute afterwards, he came to inform us that the fit had commenced. We all went up in haste, MM. Guersent, Thillaye, Marc, Gueneau, de Mussy, Itard, and the reporter, to the sixth story, where, upon our arrival, the watch of one of the Committee indicated a minute before noon, true time. Assembled round the bed of Cazot, we found the epileptic fit, characterized by the following symptoms:—-Tetanic rigidity of the trunk and limbs, the head and sometimes the trunk bent backwards, a convulsive drawing upwards of the balls of the eyes, of which nothing was to be seen but the white, at very decided suffusion of the face and neck, contraction of the jaws, partial fibrillary convulsions in the muscles of the fore-arm and of the right arm: Soon afterwards opisthotonos so decided that the trunk was bent back into the arc of a circle, the body resting only on the head and feet, which motions were terminated by an abrupt relaxation. A few moments after this attack, i.e. after a minute's respite, another fit came on similar to the preceding. There were inarticulate sounds, the respiration was stifled and tremulous, the larynx being rapidly depressed and elevated, and the pulse heating from 132 to 160. There was no foam at the mouth, nor contraction of the thumb towards the palm. At the end of six minutes, the fit terminated with sighs, sinking down of the limbs, opening of the eyelids, which allowed him to look upon the bystanders with an air of astonishment, and he told us that he was lamed (courbaturé), especially in the right arm.

Although the Committee could entertain no doubt as to the very decided effects which magnetism produced upon Cazot, even without his knowledge, and at a certain distance, we wished to have still another proof of its influence. And as it had been proved at the last sitting that M. Foissac had had communications with him, and might have reminded him of his having predicted the attack which was to take place on the 1st of October, the Committee, in making new experiments upon Cazot, wished to lead M. Foissac into an error with regard to the day which the patient should predict as that of his next attack. In this way we should prevent every species of collusion, even if it could be supposed that a man whom we had always found to be upright and conscientious would enter into a compact with another, destitute of education and knowledge, in order to deceive us. W'e confess that we could never entertain an idea so injurious to the one and the other; and we must render the same justice to MM. Dupotet and Chapelain, of whom we have repeatedly had occasion to speak in this report.

Your Committee, then, met in the cabinet of M. Bourdois, upon the 6th of October at noon, at which hour Cazot arrived there with his child. Here M. Foissac had been invited to meet us at half-past twelve; he arrived unknown to Cazot, and remained in the drawing-room, without having any communication with us. A person, however, was sent by a\ concealed door to tell him that Cazot was seated on a sofa, about ten feet distant from a closed door, and that the Committee requested that he might be set asleep and awakened at this distance, he remaining in the cabinet, and M.
Foissac in the drawing-room.

At thirty-seven minutes past twelve, while Cazot  was engaged in conversation with us, and in examining the pictures which hung round the cabinet, M. Foissac commenced his magnetic operations in the next room, and we remarked, that, at the end of four minutes, Cazot winked slightly, appeared restless, and at length, in nine minutes, fell asleep. M. Guersent, who had attended him at the Hopital des Enfans for his epileptic attacks, asked him if be recognised him. He answered in the affirmative. M. Itard asked him when he should have another fit. He answered that he should have one in four weeks from that day (the 3d of November), at five minutes past four in the afternoon. He was then asked when he should have another. He answered, after collecting himself, and hesitating, that it would be five weeks after the preceding, upon the 9th of December, at half-past nine in the morning.

The procès-verbal of this meeting having been read over in presence of M. Foissac, in order that he might sign it along with us, we wished, as we have said above, to lead him into an error; and in reading it over to him before getting it signed by the members of the Committee, the reporter read, that Cazot’s first fit should take place upon Sunday the 4th of November, instead of Saturday the 3d, as predicted by the patient. He was equally deceived in regard to the second fit, and M. Foissac took a note of these false indications as if they had been correct; but some days afterwards, having placed Cazot in a state of somnambulism, as he was accustomed to do, in order to free him from his headachs, he learnt from him that the fit should take place upon the 3d, and not the 4th, and of this he informed M. Itard, believing that an error had crept into our procés-verbal.

In order to observe the fit of the 3d of November, the committee took the same precautions as in examining that of the 1st of October. At four o'clock in the afternoon, we repaired to the house of M. Georges, where we learnt from him, from his wife, and from one of the workmen, that Cazot had wrought, as usual, all the morning until two o’clock, and that, at dinner, he had felt a headach; that, nevertheless, he had come down for the purpose of resuming his work ; but that the headach had increased, and having experienced a stupor, he had returned to his room, lain down in his bed, and fallen asleep. MM. Bourdois, Fouquier, and the reporter, then went up, preceded by M. Georges, to Cazot’s room. M. Georges entered alone, and found him in a profound sleep, which he made us observe by the door upon the stair being left a-jar. M. Georges spoke loud to him, moved him, shook him by the arms, without being able to awaken him, and at six minutes past four, in the midst of these attempts to awaken him, Cazot was seized with the principal symptoms which characterise a fit of epilepsy, and in all respects similar to those which we have previously observed.

The second fit, announced at the sitting of the 6th of October to take place upon the 9th of December, i.e. two months before, occurred at a quarter from ten, instead of half-past nine (a quarter of an hour later than had been predicted), and was characterised by the same precursory phenomena, and by the same symptoms as those of the 7th of September, 1st of October, and 3d of November.

Finally, upon the 11th of February, Cazot foretold the period of another fit, which was to take place upon Sunday the 22d of April, five minutes after noon; and  this annunciation was verified, like the preceding, within about five minutes; that is to say, the fit took place ten minutes after noon. This fit, remarkable for its violence, for the fury with which Cazot hit his hand and his fore-arm, by the abrupt and repeated starts with which he lifted himself up, lasted thirty-five minutes, when M. Foissac, who was present, magnetised him. The convulsive state soon ceased, and gave way to the magnetic somnambulism, during which Cazot rose, sat down upon a chair, and said that he was much fatigued, that he should still have two fits—one in nine weeks from to-morrow (25th of June), at three minutes past six o'clock. He did not wish to speak of the second fit, because it would be necessary for him to think of what was to happen previously––(at this moment he sent away his wife, who was present)—and he added that, about three weeks after the fit of the 25th of June, he should become insane, that his insanity should last three days, during which he should be so wicked as to fight with every body, that he should even maltreat his wife and his child, that he ought not to be left alone with them, and that he did not know but he might kill some person whom he did not name. He ought then to be bled successively in the two feet. Finally, he added: “I shall be cured in the month of August; and when once cured, the disease will never attack me again under any circumstances."

It was upon the 22d of April that all these predictions were made; and two days afterwards, the 24th, Cazot, attempting to stop a spirited horse who had taken the bit in his teeth, was thrown against the wheel of a cabriolet, which shattered the arch of the left orbit, and bruised him shockingly. He was taken to the hospital Beaujon, and died there upon the 15th of May. Upon opening his skull, there were found a recent inflammation of the cerebral membranes (meningitis), a collection of purulent matter under the integuments of the cranium, and, at the extremity of the plexus choroides, a substance yellow within and white on the outside, containing small hydatides.

In this case, we see a young man, subject during ten years to attacks of epilepsy, for which he was under medical treatment at the Hopital des Enfans and that of St Louis successively, and also exempted from military service. Magnetism acts upon him, although he is completely ignorant of what is done. There is an amelioration in the symptoms of his disease; the fits diminish in frequency; his oppression and headachs disappear under the influence of Magnetism ; he prescribes a mode of treatment adapted to the nature of his complaint, and from which he predicts a. cure. When magnetised without his knowledge, and at a distance, he falls into somnambulism, and is withdrawn from it as promptly as when he was magnetised near. Finally, he pointed out, with singular precision, one or two months before, the very day and hour when he was to have an access of epilepsy. However, although gifted with the faculty of foreseeing the fits which were so distant, nay, those which were never to take place, he could not foresee that, in two days, he should meet with a fatal accident.

Without attempting to reconcile all that may, at first sight, appear contradictory in such a case, the committee would request you to observe, that the prevision of Cazot related only to his fits; that it was restricted to the consciousness of the organic modifications which were preparing, and which took place in him, as the necessary result of the internal functions; that this prevision, although more extensive, is quite similar to that of some epileptic patients, who recognise the approach of a fit by certain precursory symptoms, such as headach, giddiness, moroseness, the aura .Is it surprising, then, that the somnambulists, whose sensibility, as you have seen, is extremely lively, should be capable of foreseeing their fits a long time before, in consequence of some symptoms or internal impressions, which escape the waking man? It is in this manner, gentlemen, that we might explain the prevision attested by Aretaeus in two passages of his immortal works; by Sauvage, who relates an instance of it, and by Cabanis. We may add, that the prevision of Cazot was not rigorous and absolute, but conditional, inasmuch as, when predicting a fit, he announced that it would not take place provided he were magnetised, and, in reality, it did not take place; it was altogether organic and internal. Thus we can conceive how he did not foresee an event altogether external, viz. that he should accidentally meet a restive horse, that he should have the imprudence to attempt to stop it, and that he should receive a mortal wound. He might, then, have foreseen a fit which was never to take place. It is the hand of a watch, which, in a given time, ought to traverse a certain portion of the circle of the dial-plate, and which does not describe it, because the watch happens to be broken.

In the two preceding cases, we have presented you with two very remarkable instances of intuition, of that faculty which is developed during somnambulism, and by virtue of which two magnetised individuals perceived the diseases with which they were affected, pointed out the treatment requisite for their cure, announcing the term, and foreseeing the crises. The case of which we are now about to present you with an analysis, awakened in us a new species of interest. Here the magnetised person, plunged into somnambulism, determines the diseases of others, with whom she is placed in magnetic connexion, describes their nature, and points out the proper remedies.

Mademoiselle Celine Sauvage was placed in a state of somnambulism, in presence of the committee, on the 18th and 21st of April, the 17th of June, the 9th of August, the 23d of December 1826, and 18th and 17th of January, and 21st of February 1827.

In passing into the state of somnambulism, she experienced a coolness of several degrees, appreciable by the thermometer, her tongue, from being moist and flexible, became dry and wrinkled, her breath, until then sweet, became fetid and repulsive.

The sensibility was almost entirely annihilated during the continuance of her sleep, for she made six inspirations, having a bottle filled with hydrochloric acid under her nostrils, without manifesting any emotion. M. Marc pinched her wrist; a needle used in acupuncture was thrust to the depth of three lines into her left thigh; another, to the depth of two lines, into her left wrist. These two needles were united by means of a galvanic conductor; very perceptible convulsive motions were produced in the band; and Mademoiselle Celine seemed quite unconscious of all that was done to her. She heard the voices of persons who spoke close to her and touched her; but she did not remark the noise of two plates which were broken beside her.

It was while she was sunk in this state of somnambulism, that the committee recognised in her three times the faculty of discoursing upon the diseases of other persons whom she touched, and of pointing out the appropriate remedies.

The committee found, amongst its own members, one who was willing to submit to the investigations of this somnambulist. This was M. Marc. Mademoiselle Celine was requested to examine attentively our colleague's state of health. She applied her hand to his forehead, and to the region of the heart, and in the course of three minutes, she said that the blood had a tendency to the head; that, at that moment, M. Marc had pain on the left side of this cavity; that he often felt an oppression, especially after having eaten; that he must often have a slight cough; that the lower part of the breast was gorged with blood; that something impeded the alimentary passage; that this part (pointing to the region of the xiphoid cartilage) was contracted; that to cure M. Marc, it was necessary that he should be copiously bled; that cataplasms of hemlock should be applied, and that the lower part of the breast should be rubbed with laudanum; that he should drink gummed lemonade; that he should eat little and frequently, and that he should not take exercise immediately after having made a meal.

We Were anxious to learn from M. Marc whether he experienced all that this somnambulist had announced. He told us that, in reality, he felt an oppression when he walked upon leaving the table; that, as she announced, he frequently had a cough; and that, before this experiment, he had felt pain in the left side of the head, but that he was not sensible of any impediment in the alimentary passage.

We were struck with this analogy between the feelings of M. Marc and the announcement of the somnambulist; we noted it with care, and awaited another opportunity of procuring a new confirmation of the existence of this singular faculty. This opportunity was presented to the reporter, without his having sought it, by the mother of a young lady, whom he had attended for a very short time.

The patient was from twenty-three to twenty-five years of age, and had been afflicted, for about two years, with dropsy of the abdomen (ascites), accompanied with a number of obstructions, some of the size of an egg, some of the size of the fist, others as large as a child’s head, which were situated principally on the left side of the belly. The belly externally was unequal and corrugated; and these inequalities corresponded to the obstructions which had their seat with
in the abdomen. M. Dupuytren had already punctured this patient ten or twelve times, and had always withdrawn a large quantity of clear, limpid albumen, without smell, and without any mixture. An alleviation of the symptoms always followed this operation.

The reporter was once present at this operation, and it was easy for M. Dupuytren and him to ascertain the size and the hardness of these tumours, and, consequently, to become sensible of their inability to cure this patient. Nevertheless, they prescribed different remedies, and they attached some importance to the putting Mademoiselle _____ upon a regimen of goat’s milk, the goat having been previously subjected to mercurial frictions.

Upon the 21st of February 1827, the reporter went in search of M. Foissac and Mademoiselle Celine, and conducted them to a house in the Rue Faubourg du Roule, without mentioning the name, or the residence, or the nature of the disease, of the person whom he wished to submit to the examination of the somnambulist.

The patient did not appear in the room where the experiment was made until M. Foissac had set Mademoiselle Celine asleep, and then, after having placed a hand of the one in that of the other, she examined her during eight minutes, not as a physician would do, by pressing the abdomen, by percussion, by scrutinising it in every way; but merely by applying her hand repeatedly to the stomach, the heart, the back, and the head.

Being interrogated as to what she observed in Mademoiselle, she answered that the whole belly was diseased, that there was in it a scirrhus and a large quantity of water on the side of the spleen; that the intestines were very much puffed up; that there were pouches containing worms; that there were swellings of the size of an egg, containing a puriform matter, and that these swellings must be painful; that at the bottom of the stomach, there was an obstructed gland (glande engorgée), of the thickness of three of her fingers; that this gland was in the interior of the stomach, and must injure the digestion; that the disease was of old standing; and, finally, that Mademoiselle must have headachs. She prescribed the use of a diet drink of borage and nitrated Peruvian bark (?) (chiena ennitrée), five ounces of the juice of parietary taken every morning, and a very little mercury taken in milk. She added, that the milk of a goat, which had been rubbed with mercurial ointment half an hour before drawing it off, would be the most proper. *

* Without attaching much importance to this singular agreement between the prescription made by the somnambulist of the milk of a goat rubbed with mercurial ointment, and the same prescription recommended to the patient by M. Dupuytren and the reporter, the committee were bound to notice this coincidence in their report. It is presented as a fact, of which the reporter guarantees the authenticity, but of which no explanation can be given.

Besides, she prescribed cataplasms of flowers of elder constantly applied to the belly, frictions of this cavity with oil of laurel, or, instead of it, with the juice of this shrub combined with the oil of sweet almonds, a clyster composed of a decoction of Peruvian bark (kina), mixed with an emollient decoction. The diet should consist of white meat, milk and flour, and no lemon. She allowed very little wine, a little orange-flower rum, or the liqueur of spiced mint. This treatment was not followed; and if it had, it could not have saved the patient. She died a year afterwards. As the body was not opened, we could not verify what had been said by the somnambulist.

Upon an occasion of great delicacy, when very able physicians, several of whom are members of the Academy, had prescribed a mercurial treatment for an obstruction (engorgement) of the glands of the neck, which they attributed to a syphilitic taint, the family of the patient under this treatment, alarmed at the appearance of some serious consequences, wished to have the advice of a somnambulist: The reporter was called in to assist at a consultation ; and he did not neglect to take advantage \of this new opportunity of adding to what the committee had already seen. He found a young married woman, Madame La C____, having the whole right side of the neck deeply obstructed by a great congeries of glands close upon each other. One of them was opened, and emitted a yellowish purulent matter.

Mademoiselle Celine, whom M. Foissac magnetised in presence of the reporter, placed herself in connexion with this patient, and affirmed that the stomach had been attacked by a substance like poison; that there was a slight inflammation of the intestines; that, in the upper part of the neck, on the right side, there was a scrofulous complaint, which ought to have been more considerable than it was at present; that, by following a soothing treatment, which she prescribed, the disease would be mitigated in the course of fifteen days or three weeks. This treatment consisted of some grains of magnesia, eight leeches applied to the pit of the stomach, water-gruel, a saline cathartic every week, two clysters each day––one of a decoction of Peruvian bark (kina), and, immediately after, another of the roots of the marsh-mallow,—friction of the limbs with ether, a bath every week; food made of milk (laitage), light meats, and abstinence from wine. This treatment was followed for some time, and there was a perceptible amelioration of the symptoms. But the impatience of the patient, who did not think her recovery proceeding with sufficient rapidity, determined the family to call another consultation of physicians, who decided that she should again be placed under mercurial treatment. From this period, the reporter ceased to attend the patient; and he learnt that the administration of the mercury had produced very serious affections of the stomach, which terminated her existence, after two months of acute suffering. A procés-verbal upon opening the body, signed by MM. Fouquier, Marjolin, Cruveillier and Foissac, verified the existence of a scrofulous or tubercular obstruction of the glands of the neck, two small cavities full of pus, proceeding from the tubercles at the top of each of the lungs; the mucous membrane of the great cul-de-sac of the stomach was almost entirely destroyed. These gentlemen ascertained, besides, that there was no indication of the presence of any syphilitic disease, whether old or recent.

From the preceding observations it follows, 1, That in the state of somnambulism, Mademoiselle Celine pointed out the diseases of three individuals, with whom she was placed in magnetic connexion. 2, That the declaration of the first, the examination which was made of the other after three punctures, and the post mortem examination of the third, were found to correspond with the annunciations of the somnambulist. 3, That the different modes of treatment which she prescribed do not exceed the limits of that circle of remedies with which she might have been acquainted, nor the order of the things which she might reasonably recommend; and, 4, That she applied them with a species of discernment.


To all these facts which we have so laboriously collected, which we have observed with so much distrust and attention, which we have endeavoured to classify in such a manner as might best enable you to follow the development of the phenomena which we witnessed, which we have, above all, exerted ourselves to present to you disengaged from all those accessory circumstances which might have embarrassed or perplexed the narrative; we might add those which ancient, and even modern history have recorded on the subject of previsions which have frequently been realized, on the cures effectuated by the imposition of the hands, on ecstasies, on the convulsionaries, on oracles, on hallucinations; in short, on all that, remote from those physical phenomena which may be explained upon the principle of the action of one body upon another, enters into the domain of physiology, and may be considered as an effect depending upon a moral influence not appreciable by the senses. But the committee was appointed for the purpose of investigating somnambulism, for the purpose of making experiments relative to this phenomenon, which had not been studied by the commissioners of 1784, and of reporting to you. We should, then, have exceeded the limits prescribed to our inquiries, if, in attempting to support that which we ourselves had seen by the authority of others who had observed analogous phenomena, we had swelled out our report with facts which were foreign to it. We have related with impartiality what we have seen with distrust; we have exposed in order what we have observed in different circumstances,—what we have prosecuted with the most anxious, minute, and unremitted attention. We are conscious that the report which we present to you is the faithful exposition of all we have observed. The  obstacles which we have encountered in our progress are known to you. They are, in some measure, the cause of the delay which has taken place in presenting our report, although the materials have been for a long time in our hands. Nevertheless, we are far from wishing to excuse ourselves or to complain of this delay, since it confers upon our observations a character of maturity and of reserve, which ought to secure your confidence in the facts which we relate, divested of that prejudice and enthusiasm with which you might have reproached us, had we collected them in haste. We may add, that we are far from thinking that we have seen all; we do not, therefore, pretend to desire you to admit, as an axiom, that there is nothing positive in magnetism beyond what we have noticed in our report. Far from setting limits to this part of physiological science, we hope, on the contrary, that a new field has been opened up to it; and warranting the authenticity of our own observations, presenting them with confidence to those who, after us, may wish to engage in the investigation of magnetism, we shall only deduce from them the following.


The conclusions of the report are the result of the observations of which it is composed.

l. The contact of the thumbs or of the hands; frictions, or certain gestures which are made at a small distance from the body, and are called Passes, are the means employed to place ourselves in magnetic connexion, or, in other words, to transmit the magnetic influence to the patient.

2. The means which are external and visible are not always necessary, since, on many occasions, the will, the fixed look, have been found sufficient to produce the magnetic phenomena, even without the knowledge of the patient.

3. Magnetism has taken effect upon persons of different sexes and ages.

4. The time required for transmitting the magnetic influence with effect, has varied from half an hour to a minute.

5. In general, magnetism does not act upon persons in a sound state of health.

6. Neither does it act upon all sick persons.

7. Sometimes, during the process of magnetising, there are manifested insignificant and evanescent effects, which cannot be attributed to magnetism alone; such as a slight degree of oppression, of heat or of cold, and some other nervous phenomena, which can be explained without the intervention of a particular agent, upon the principle of hope or of fear, prejudice and the novelty of the treatment, the ennui produced by the monotony of the gestures, the silence and repose in which the experiments are made; finally, by the imagination, which has so much influence on some minds and on certain organizations.

8. A certain number of the effects observed appeared to us to depend upon magnetism alone, and were never produced without its application. These are well established physiological and therapeutic phenomena.

9. The real effects produced by magnetism are very various. It agitates some, and soothes others. Most commonly, it occasions a momentary acceleration of the respiration and of the circulation, fugitive fibrillary convulsive motions, resembling electric shocks, a numbness in a greater or less degree, heaviness, somnolency, and in a small number of cases, that which the magnetisers call somnambulism.

10. The existence of an uniform character, to enable us to recognise, in every case, the reality of the state of somnambulism, has not been established.

11. However, we may conclude with certainty that this state exists, when it gives rise to the development of new faculties, which have been designated by the names of clairvoyance; intuition; internal prevision; or when it produces great changes in the physical economy, such as insensibility; a sudden and considerable increase of strength; and when these effects cannot be referred to any other cause.

12. As among the effects attributed to somnambulism there are some which may be feigned, somnambulism itself may be feigned, and furnish to quackery the means of deception.

Thus, in the observation of those phenomena which do not present themselves again but as insulated facts, it is only by means of the most attentive scrutiny, the most rigid precautions, and numerous and varied experiments, that we can escape illusion.

13. Sleep produced with more or less promptitude, is a real, but not a constant effect of magnetism.

14. We hold it as demonstrated that it has been produced in circumstances, in which the persons magnetised could not see or were ignorant of the means employed to occasion it.

15. When a person has once been made to fall into the magnetic sleep, it is not always necessary to have recourse to contact, in order to magnetise him anew. The look of the magnetiser, his volition alone, possess the same influence. We can not only act upon the magnetised person, but even place him in a complete state of somnambulism, and bring him out of it without his knowledge, out of his sight, at a certain distance, and with doors intervening.

16. In general, changes, more or less remarkable, are produced upon the perception and other mental faculties of those individuals who fall into somnambulism, in consequence of magnetism.

a. Some persons, amidst the noise of a confused conversation, hear only the voice of their magnetiser; several answer precisely the questions he puts to them,  or which are addressed to them by those individuals with whom they have been placed in magnetic connexion; others carry on conversation with all the persons around them.

Nevertheless, it is seldom that they hear what is passing around them. During the greater part of the time, they are completely strangers to the external and unexpected noise which is made close to their ears, such as the sound of copper vessels struck briskly near them, the fall of a piece of furniture, &c

b. The eyes are closed, the eyelids yield with difficulty to the efforts which are made to open them; this operation, which is not without pain, shows the hall of the eye convulsed, and carried upwards, and some times towards the lower part of the orbit.

c. Sometimes the power of smelling appears to he annihilated. They may be made to inhale muriatic acid, or ammonia, without feeling any inconvenience, nay, without perceiving it. The contrary takes place in certain cases, and they retain the sense of smelling.

d. The greater number of the somnambulists whom we have seen, were completely insensible. We might tickle their feet, their nostrils, and the angle of the  eyes, with a feather—we might pinch their skin, so as to leave a mark, prick them with pins under the nails, &c. without producing any pain, without even their perceiving it. Finally, we saw one who was insensible to one of the most painful operations in surgery, and who did not manifest the slightest emotion in her countenance, her pulse, or her respiration.

17. Magnetism is a intense, and as speedily felt, at a distance of six feet, as of six inches; and the phenomena developed are the same in both cases.

18. The action at a distance does not appear capable of being exerted with success, excepting upon individuals who have been already magnetised.

19. We only saw one person who fell into somnambulism upon being magnetised for the first time. Sometimes somnambulism was not manifested until the 8th or 10th sitting.

20. We have invariably seen the ordinary sleep, which is the repose of the organs of sense, of the intellectual faculties, and the voluntary motions, precede and terminate the state of somnambulism.

21. While in the state of somnambulism, the patients whom we have observed, retained the use of the faculties which they possessed when awake. Even their memory appeared to be more faithful and more extensive, because they remembered every thing that passed at the time, and every time they were placed in the state of somnambulism.

22. Upon awaking, they said they had totally forgotten the circumstances which took place during the somnambulism, and never recollected them. For this fact we can have no other authority than their own declarations.

23. The muscular powers of somnambulists are sometimes benumbed and paralysed. At other times, their motions are constrained, and the somnambulists walk or totter about like drunken men, sometimes avoiding, and sometimes not avoiding, the obstacles which may happen to be in their way. There are some somnambulists who preserve entire the power of motion; there are even some who display more strength and agility than in their waking state.

24. We have seen two somnambulists who distinguished, with their eyes closed, the objects which were placed before them; they mentioned the colour and the value of cards, without touching them; they read words traced with the hand, as also some lines of books opened at random. This phenomenon took place even when the eyelids were kept exactly closed with the fingers.

25. In two somnambulists we found the faculty of foreseeing the acts of the organism more or less remote, more or less complicated. One of them announced repeatedly, several months previously, the day, the hour, the minute of the access, and of the return of epileptic fits. The other announced the period of his cure. Their previsions were realized with remarkable exactness. They appeared to us to apply only to acts or injuries of their organism.

 26. We found only a single somnambulist who pointed out the symptoms of the diseases of three persons with whom she was placed in magnetic connexion. We had, however, made experiments upon a considerable number.

27. In order to establish, with any degree of exactness, the connexion between magnetism and therapeutics, it would be necessary to have observed its effects upon a great number of individuals, and to have made experiments every day, for a long time, upon the same patients. As this did not take place with us, your Committee could only mention what they perceived in too small a number of cases to enable them to pronounce any judgment.

28. Some of the magnetised patients felt no benefit from the treatment, Others experienced a more or less decided relief: via, one, the suspension of habitual pains; another, the return of his strength; a third, the retardation for several months of his epileptic fits; and a fourth the complete cure of a serious paralysis of long standing.

29. Considered as a cause of certain physiological phenomena, or as a therapeutic remedy, Magnetism ought to be allowed a place within the circle of the medical sciences; and, consequently, physicians only should practise it, or superintend its use, as is the case in the northern countries.

30. Your Committee have not been able to verify, because they had no opportunity of doing so, other faculties which the magnetisers had announced as existing in somnambulists. But they have communicated in their report, facts of sufficient importance to entitle them to think, that the Academy ought to encourage the investigations into the subject of Animal Magnetism, as a very curious branch of psychology and natural history.


Arrived at the termination of our labours, before closing this report, your Committee have asked themselves, whether, in the precautions which we have multiplied around us, in order to avoid all surprise; whether in the feeling of continual distrust with which all our proceedings were conducted; whether, in the examination of the phenomena observed, we have scrupulously fulfiled our commission. What other course could we have followed? What means more certain could we have adopted? With what distrust more decided and more discreet could we have been actuated? Our conscience, gentlemen, proudly answers, that you could expect nothing from us but what we have done. In short, have we been honest, exact and faithful observers? It is for you who have long been acquainted with us, for you who see us continually near you, whether in the intercourse of the world, or at our frequent meetings—it is for you to answer this question. Your answer, gentlemen, we expect from the long friendship of some of you, and from the esteem of all.

Indeed, we dare not flatter ourselves with the hope of making you participate entirely in our conviction of the reality of the phenomena which we have observed, and which you have neither seen, nor followed, nor studied along with us. We do not, therefore, demand of you a blind belief of all that we have reported. We conceive that a great proportion of these facts are of a nature so extraordinary, that you cannot accord them such a credence. Perhaps we ourselves might have dared to manifest a similar incredulity, if, in changing characters, you came to announce them here to us, who, like you, at present, had neither seen, nor observed, nor studied, nor followed any thing of the kind.

We only request that you would judge us, as we should judge you—that is to say, that you be completely convinced, that neither the love of the marvellous, nor the desire of celebrity, nor any views of interest whatever, influenced us during our labours. We were animated by higher motives and more worthy of you––by the love of science, and by an anxiety to justify the expectations you had formed of our zeal, and of our devotion.

Signed by Bourdois DE LA MOTTE, President;

Note. MM. Double and Magendie did not consider themselves entitled to sign the Report as they had not assisted in making the experiments.


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