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the body and the soul have power to separate, , that perilous route with but one thought, that of and reunite in conditions entirely different from flight; not flight from evil or danger, but from those of their normal state."
a simple emotion. " Bravo! Doctor,” cried I, “ you are recog- “I was at that time a student of medicine ; nizing my system of the Second Life!"
all my studies were progressing finely, I venture "If it is a systen,” replied be, smiling, “it to assert; but at the science of the operatingmay be as destitute of common sense as my room I not only rebelled, I revolted. Twenty theory. But advocate your Second Life, and times, yes, a hundred times had I attempted to even a third, if you choose; I myself am far nerve myself to witness some slight operation, from dissenting from it, although an orthodox but in vain. This chickenheartedness bade fair member of the Academy of Medicine !"
to ruin all my future prospects. The dear Doctor sipped delicately the wine Il “One morning, as I was attending the course had just poured out for him, communed silently at the Hospital of Charity, our illustrious prowith his own reflections a few moments, then fessor announced for the next day an amputation smiled again, and said :
upon Number Seventeen, with a new apparatus. “Since we are returned to earth, in exchange Number Seventeen was a small man, with a hard, for your “Two Hunting Excursions," I will rough cast of countenance. His physiognomy relate two strange incidents of my youth, excited within me no tender emotions; on the which, I confidently believe, with a little embel- contrary, its very unprepossessing aspect seemed lishment, would furnish a couple of curious to adapt him peculiarly to my purpose. chapters for your journal. You are at liberty “I arose at break of day, determined to stand to appropriate them, and class them as you firm this time; to be present at the operation, see fit."
and not only place myself in such a position as And he entered at once upon Chapter First. to witness distinctly the whole process, but also
“The most intrepid traveller,” said he, “never to render escape from it impossible ; and I performed a journey over a route more venture in a fair way to keep good my resolution, some, more strange, more unstable, than the "The amphitheatre of the Charity was built one I traversed on a certain day. Yes, I once in the form of a large funnel, the seats rising in traced my way above a human throng; a dense, rows one above the other from the bottom to the compact, animated mass, on the top of which I top of its circumference. I descended to the trod as upon a floor; a true mosaic of living foot of the funnel. When I found myself face beads, grimacing, cursing, raving, storming, to face with the operating-table, which I nearly and yelling heads, from each of which gleamed touched, I took a seat upon the narrow bench eyes rolling in the most terrific manner. On toward which, from high to low, converged all such a road the most skilful balancer could not the seats of the amphitheatre, soon filled with have taken two steps without tripping; for, far students drawn there by the announcement of above the heads, projected numberless arms, the operation with the new apparatus. stiff and firm, terminated by closed fists, very “Not a vacant seat remained; the last comers similar in their movements to the workings of were compelled to mount one another's shoulders the tentacles of the gasteropode, or rather to to gain seats, for want of better, in the embrasures the numerous members with which hideous of the windows ; the doors were obstructed by polypes are armed. If, being a poet, you prefer a triple rank of spectators, like the entrance to mythological comparisons, imagine a thousand the orchestra of our theatres on the occasion of or twelve hundred heads of Medusa with their a grand representation. And I, literally sunk, serpent hair.
submerged in the lowest depths of the funnel, "Notwithstanding those heads, arms, fists, like Cain in the lowest circle of Dante's hell, and eyes, all threatening me at once," continued was fortifying myself, my brow covered with my learned friend, “I pursued my way, and in perspiration, to commence at last my course on an upright position! My feet sunk into the human suffering. massy tufts of hair, glided over the bowed heads, "A little door opened opposite me. Preceded trod rough-shod over the angular projections of by the hospital surgeons, like a consul by his shoulders, and, wonderful to relate, I, whose lictors, the Professor entered amid a storm of nature is not in the slightest degree akin to that of applause. He spoke a few words upon the the lion, felt not for an instant the fear of operation to be performed, upon the merits and danger, not even thought of the injury I might advantages of the new apparatus, and exhibited be indicting upon others. Tell me now, does his instruments with a clear and rapid explanation not that very much resemble a dream ?"
of each; then the hospital attendants brought “ Was it not one?"
in the unfortunate Number Seventeen, enveloped “No; in the contact of my feet with those in his sombre grey coat, the uniform of the head and shoulders, everything was real; and I institution. At first sight of the patient, I felt a walked over them without a moment's thought, trembling creep over me, yet I did not lose as easily as over a rather rugged and uneven courage. But that countenance, which the day piece of ground; that was all."
before had excited in me only a feeling of anti" What then, Doctor, inspired you with so pathy, became exalted in my eyes as at the much audacity ?"
approach of martyrdom. While they were “ Fear, my friend, fear, which sometimes stripping him of his only garment, the poor makes children of heroes. I made my way over man cast over that whole assembly a look so full
The Two Hunting Excursions.
of pitiful resignation, that I felt as if the knife life by the influence of the summer sun which prepared for him had just been plunged into pervaded the atmosphere of the woods, the my own bosom. They stretched him upon a globules began to vibrate, to oscillate, and narrow mattress--they bound him hand and finally to fly about hither and thither, pell-mell,
like swarms of gnats. Then succeeded a general “I saw no more; I had already commenced explosion ; each globule burst in a flame and my terrible ascent through the rising rows of scattered its brilliant atoms around, and every benches; a violent nervous shock had suddenly object in the woods, animate and inanimate, deadened within me all my powers of intelligence, became instantly coated with the gilded particles. and given an incredible impetus to those of All nature seemed decked in gold: gold glittered locomotion. A blind force led me on, heedless upon the foliage of every shrub and tree, upon of obstacles; I would have faced unhesitatingly every pebble and herb beneath my feet; every a battery of cannone; I no longer saw clearly; I flower was a ranunculus; the birds had golden I thought I was traversing a phantasmagorian eyes and golden plumes; the flies and insects land, and that some enchanter had strewn it seemed transformed into flying pepites. You thick with grimacing heads and furiously might well believe the mines of California and gesticulating arms.
| Australia had been embowelled from the earth. « Thus I accomplished that terrible escalade; It was, in fine, a complete El Dorado. thus I travelled intrepidly over that living mass, “A few steps from me stood an immense tree, rife with dangerous shoals, and, as I found to distinguished from the others by bearing huge my cost on regaining the street and recovering pods, nearly all of which hung to the ground. my senses, with fist blows which could inflict I approached the tree and opened one of the serious injuries. The next day my body and pods, and upon its satin lining I found, to my limbs were black and blue with bruises.
great astonishment, separated from one another “Such, my dear friend, is a faithful recital of by a slight partition, and nicely arranged in my Odyssey through the grand amphitheatre of rows and folded together like haricots in their the Hospital of Charity, in Paris. For any capsules, I found, I say,- I give you a hundred enlightenment upon the exciting causes of that times to guess it in !-women, my dear friend, unusual mode of travelling, see“ Recherches sur young, charming women !" les Hallucinations,” by Szafkowski, and above.“ What! women in pods?" all, the works of the learned Alfred Maury.” “Yes; and blondes, understand, or more than
“Dear Doctor, I prefer to hear your Chapter blondes, since their hair was composed of threads Second.”
of pure gold. Thus, in the country to which "A la bonne heure.!” said he, “another glass I was suddenly transported, the women grew of wine to drown the recollection of the amphi. upon trees, leguminous trees of course, and theatre of the Hospital of Charity and poor better still, no need to take the trouble to shell Number Seventeen."
them. Amazed, confounded, I started back Then, after a moment's silence:
almost affrighted at this newly discovered wonder, “This time the scene is very foreign to a when all the pods which reached to the ground hospital; it is my turn to transport you into opened spontaneonsly, by dehiscence, as we fairy-land; into scenes voluptuous and even a botanists say : the lovely fruits of this enchanted little dissolute; strange, perhaps, on the part of tree detached themselves from their envelopes a grave medical practitioner like myself --but are and sprang to the right and left, bounding and we not in a private room? Our hostess will flying like the seeds of the balsam when its know nothing of it; besides, I shall be very capsule bursts. An army of forest nymphs brief in my description, in order not to tax too surrounded me, all in a costume which mythololong either your modesty or my own.”
| gical customs and the excessive heat of the This introduction to Chapter Second excited place alone could authorize. Linking hands, my curiosity. The Doctor drained his glass, some arranged themselves in groups and attitudes filled it anew himself in a fit of abstraction, and worthy of antique statuary, true tableaux vivants, raised it to the level of his eye:
set in genuine golden frames; others performed “For both of us, be it understood, this day | dances before me which the chief master of the shall be consecrated entirely to youthful remein- | ballet would not be ashamed to own. Never brances," he resumed. “My youth, whenever I before had I witnessed such a féte. But enough evoke it, seems to come to me in a direct line of these details.” from Villemomble, Paris, where my father once “Why, Doctor ? why? However, you will owned a country residence. I was staying at not deny this time that it is a dream you have Villemomble; one day I was botanizing in the been relating ?" fine woods in the neighbourhood, when suddenly “A dream? No: but a case of poisoning." the air seemed to be agitated before my eyes in I started in my seat. little globules precisely like those which ascend “Poisoning? What do you say? how? In from the bottom of this glass, except that, the woods when you were botanizing ?” instead of ascending they descended; they came - "Exactly. But we will go back a little. In down in showers like fine rain, and every drop imitation of our skilful novelists, and imperial was a little granulated pearl, of a transparent solicitors in their pleas to the court, I first yellow. This yellow tint gradually increased in established my case, holding your curiosity in brilliancy and intensity; soon, as if warmed to suspense for the final stroke.
“Now, in order to understand the cause of hyosciamus ; that dark plant with bristly leaves, the principal, and indeed the only event of yellow flowers, and purple veins--a plant too Chapter Second, it is necessary to return to much calumniated, according to my opinion, for Chapter First, as you will perceive. But let us if it makes us pay a little dear for the banquets drink! The narrator, as well as the orator, is it spreads before us, the festivities are splendid entitled to his glass of sweetened water, and and perfect in all their arrangements. champagne can, I find be substituted for it with "The hyosciamus, the one untried object of very good advantage.”
my narcotic axperiments, I luckily found in the The waiter brought a third bottle; I filled the woods of Villemomble. From pure love of art Doctor's glass, and he continued :
I nibbled its leaves, its stalks, its roots-with all "After my famous affair with Number Seven- needful precaution, of course! I knew with teen at the amphitheatre of the Charity, my mind what a deadly poison I had to deal. A quarter became much interested on the subject of of an hour afterwards I was a prey to berlue-to hallucinations ; consequently, when my term of berlue-Danaé !--that is the name given to it by studies drew to a close, I chose, as the subject the famous Boissier Sauvagest-or Savage. of my thesis, the hallucinations essentially After my vision of the leguminous women, I induced by the ingestion of certain vegetable was attacked with a violent cephalalgy--that substances. I treated the subject logically, devilish cephalalgy, I believe I have it yet." therapeutically, and philosophically. Now listen. The Doctor carried his hand to his head and The narcotic acts first upon the senses, and they looked for the bottle, already three quarters in turn upon the imagination; the imagination, exhausted, but I had removed it. It was very violently excited, communicates back to the evident that iced champagne was not so harmphysical frame the shock it has received from it; less to him as he had imagined. action and reaction-action and reaction you Nevertheless, he continued his recital, interunderstand; then there is established between spersing it with reflections somewhat vague. the two a sort of understanding, harmony, “When I returned to Villemomble, my lovely equilibrium; order out of disorder. The eyes, houris, suddenly transformed into old hags partaking of the hallucination, behold outwardly, covered with tinsel and foil, followed me to the in their highly susceptible state, only what exists suburbs of the village, heaping upon me all in the mind in its illusion; hence the visions, sorts of indignities and blasphemies. apparitions, pleasant or frightful - those still-life “Finally," continued the dear Doctor, whose deceptions which mislead you. But I am repeat- tongue was getting thicker and thicker every ing my thesis to you, my dear friend, when I moment, “fortunately my head kept clear. I only meant to say—what was I going to say ?" | ordered two grains of lemonade-no, two grains he resumed, placing his glass upon the table of an emetic in a pint of lemonade ;" then after emptying it at a single draught, and filling interrupting himself: “But what right have you it anew, allby the way of abstraction, of course. with two heads ?” said he. “The next morning
"Ah! I have it now! Eh bien, my very dear I could see nothing but yellow, deep yellow; the sir, not content with observation and theory, I day after light yellow, the colour of this cham. experimented upon myself. I ate opium, stra- pagne. Hold! where is the bottle?" monium, mandragora, and hasheesh; I experienc- “Doctor, we have drank enougb.” ed the effects of those powerful anæsthetics, those "Perhaps you are right.” He looked at his mysterious fairies which open the doors of an empty glass, then turned toward me: “Always unknown paradise or a frightful hell.
distrust champagne wine, my dear friend; that, “When I was on the point of substantiating also, is an hallucination !” my theory of narcotics before the Faculty, there And my learned Doctor sunk into a profound remained for my personal experiment only the 'sleep.
OBSERVATIONS ON HORSEBACK.
The power of serpents to charm the smaller, influence, and to attract them toward itself as if classes of animals, which they capture for food, by magnetism. has long been held as an undoubted fact. It Birds, more generally, are supposed to be the has also been believed that they could fascinate victims of these charms. They have been seen the larger orders of animals, so as to bring them moving around serpents in such a manner as to within range of their deadly fangs; and that indicate, in the opinion of the observers, that even the intellect of man is not exempt from they were under the power of fascination. The their influence. The common theory upon this testimony upon this point describes the bird as subject gives to the serpent, having the power of moving in a circle, or a semicircle, around the fascination, an ability to gain the attention of serpent. If upon the ground, they run, with its victims, to paralyze them as if by an electrical extended wings, gradually narrowing their circle
of motion, but never stopping for an instant, , an open space, near the stump of a fallen tree, till within a foot or two of the serpent. Then, but did not take flight at my approach, as, under as if conscious of their peril, and just at the ordinary circumstances, they would have done. moment they are about to be seized, they fling On reaching a point opposite to them, it was themselves backward on the wing, so as to be noticed that they were the brown mocking-bird, out of the reach of their terrible enemy. The or thrush, and that a very large black snake lay birds, thus escaping for the moment, stop and coiled at the side of the stump. On seeing me, survey the foe from their distant position. This it suddenly began to uncoil itself, and move off seems to be a fatal dallying with danger. The as if to make its escape; the birds, at the same serpent's eye, quick as the lightning's flash, time, pausing a moment in their movements. again darts its mysterious magic into theirs ; But before it had stretched itself to more than and again and again they advance and recede, half its length, they were again in motion, and as if drawn irresistibly toward the point which flew at it in the most energetic manner. has become the all-absorbing centre of attraction. Instantly, the snake once more whirled itself If the serpent is upon a tree, the bird flutters into coil in its former position. The male bird around it, advancing and retreating as when then commenced to run and skip with great upon the ground.
activity, in a semi-circle, the serpent being the The popular interpretation of these movements centre, and gradually closed in until within a of the birds is this : the serpent establishes a foot or two of its coils, when, with a sudden connection between itself and them, by which it dart forward, the bird thrust its head toward controls their wills, and draws them within its that of the snake, and, in the saine instant, reach. In accomplishing this object, it does threw itself backward, alighting on the ground not go in pursuit of them, but lies in coil, with at the distance of about ten feet. Before the head erect, awaiting their approach. It appears, male had closed this feat, the female had comhowever, that the serpent's power has its well- menced a similar set of actions. All the movedefined limits, and its own peculiar philosophical ments of the birds were made with extended · phenomena.
wings, as if ready to fly in a moment. By the If the movements of birds towards it are due time the female had thrown itself back from the to the attractive powers employed by the serpent, snake, the male was in position again, repeating then the law of attraction, in this case, is a the same movement as at first. In the mean positive reversion of the laws of magnetic time my horse had carried me some four or five attraction. The attractive power of the magnet rods into a thicket of bushes, whither my hand is greatest, when the body acted upon is in con- | bad guided him, and where I dismounted and tact with it, and it loses its force in proportion secured him. All this took place in a minute or to the distance to which that body may be two; and as only an indistinct view had been removed. That is to say, it requires more force gained of the action of the birds in passing, a to remove a piece of iron, when in contact with favourable position for observation was taken, a magnet, than is required for its removal, when so that all that occurred could be noted. The at a distance of several inches from it. But first movement of the male bird, in thrusting its such is not the case with the serpent's power of head forward into close contact with the snake, attraction. In the supposed fascination, the impressed me with the conviction that a case of birds, though unable, while at the distance of the so-called fascination was enacting before me, ten or a dozen feet, to resist its attractive powers, and I determined to observe it in a philosophical are able, nevertheless, at the last moment, when manner. the devourer is in the act of striking, to break It was half-past one o'clock p.m. The birds the charm, and, by a reverse movement, to fling were still eagerly at work, when I turned my themselves instantly out of danger's way. Thus eye upon them, after the interruption of hitching it appears, that when the birds are at a distance my horse. They were panting, as if greatly the serpent can draw them within its reach; but fatigued by long exertion, but manifested not that, when they come in close contact, its the least disposition to remit their efforts. If attractive power is lost, and they can retreat not fascinated, they were at least so earnestly without bindrance,
enlisted in the affair on hand, as to disregard Such is the theory of fascination, as based every thing else around them. The snake lay in upon occurrences that have been witnessed by its coil, with head erect and drawn back, so as many observers. Its philosophical defects may to be in the best possible position to strike and be inferred from the hints already given; but seize the birds as they advanced. The many whether such transactions prove that serpents convolutions of its lengthened body moved in possess the power of fascination, or that the graceful curves, as its glittering head followed observers have been mistaken in their deductions, their motions. Its eye sparkled in the sunlight will be better understood, when a case is stated like the polished diamond, while its movements which was witnessed by myself.
gave to its ever-shifting scales the brilliant hues Business led me to cross the Chilhowee of the rainbow. Again and again, as the birds Mountain, in Tennessee, on the twenty-seventh approached, it would strike at them, with open of June, 1857. When near Montodle Springs, mouth, exhibiting a malignity of disposition two birds were noticed, at a couple of rods' that portended death to them, had they been distance from the road, which were acting in a seized in its jaws. manner new and strange to me. They were in A few minutes sufficed to show that a battle,
and not a scene of fascination, was presented | uniformity in the descriptions of the manner in before me. The birds, at each approach, struck which the birds fluttered around the snakes. So the snake with their beaks, or with their talons, nearly did their accounts correspond with what when, generally, but not always, it darted for- I had witnessed, that I was convinced of the ward at them, only to find that it was aiming at truthfulness of their statements. a movable target. This can be easily explained. A few additional facts, having an important The snake, in striking, could never project itself bearing upon the subject of fascination, came more than about two thirds of its length, but its | under my own notice during 1859. In the defence was made with determined courage. summer of that year, some amusing incidents Its position by the stump protected it in the led me to secure a number of serpents of different rear, so that the birds could only approach it in species; and, amongst them, a couple of fine the front. They were as adroit in their attacks specimens of the rattlesnake. This serpent is as it was resolute in its defence. In attempting somewhat sluggish in its movements, and, unlike to seize them, it could not curve to either side, many other species of its order, it is not an after starting, so as to follow their motions, but active climber. While many of the others can invariably shot forward, in a straight line, to the with ease ascend bushes, trees, and precipices, point they occupied when it made its spring. to rob the nests of birds of their eggs or young The birds, in advancing to the attack, by a ones, the rattlesnake, less agile, has to find its circular movement, were certain of being away prey in a more limited range. For this reason, from the spot at which it aimed, and when its it has been supposed that the rattlesnake must teeth smacked together, where it expected its possess the power of fascination; otherwise, it prey, it had nothing in its grasp.
could not secure, as it does, such active animals The warfare lasted, after I reached the spot, as mice, rats, squirrels, rabbits, and birds ; for about twenty-five minutes by the watch. Once as has been plausibly asserted, this serpent, or twice during the contest, the reptile made a assuredly, will not use poisoned food; will not movement to escape up the hillside, but the first strike the animals it designs to eat; and birds, as at its first attempt, immediately brought then, some of these animals are combatants of it into position again. At last, seeming to no trifling power, and could easily kill the snake despair of success in securing a dinner in that or escape from it; so that, unless the rattlesnake locality, it darted off down the hill, toward a is endowed with the ability to fascinate, it is grove of trees and bushes, nor turned to the averred it could not possibly capture the food right or left. The birds swept after it, pecking, upon which it subsists. scratching, and striking it with their wings, as "The opinion that venomous serpents do not if inspired with the consciousness that victory eat the animals they kill by the poison of their was theirs.
fangs, like many other popular notions, turns At this moment I rushed forward, and, after out to be an error. This I know from my own some difficulty, killed the snake and cut it open. personal observation ; and for the satisfaction There was not a particle of food from one end of naturalists a few particulars are given. My to the other of the iotestinal canal. It must, specimens were placed in a box, covered with therefore, have been hungry; and if it possessed glass, and having a wooden lid secured by lock the faculty of charming, it would undoubtedly and key. A few small holes, for ventilation, have employed its powers on such a delicacy as were made in the sides of the box, but too these birds.
small to allow the escape of even a mouse. When the dissection of the snake was finished, Birds, when put into the box, in the division the birds were not to be seen. It was the season including the rattlesnake, would often hop when their young were in the nest; and, doubt- around and over it, for hours, unmolested; but, less, the conflict which had just terminated, had at length, when in a favourable position, the been waged for the protection of their offspring. I snake would strike the fatal blow, and death Less active birds, venturing as close as they did ensue in a few minutes. One instance, only, to their enemy, must have been captured.
need be noticed : a half-grown bird, when struck, Remaining most of the summer in the at once commenced screaming, with wings mountains of North-Carolina, frequent opportu outstretched, and, turning round once or twice, nities were afforded of inquiring of hunters and seemed to droop and sicken rapidly. In three others, what they knew about birds being | or four minutes from the moment it was bitten charmed by serpents. All believed in the theory it fell forward toward the mouth of the rattleof fascination, and several had witnessed en- snake and expired. The movements of this counters such as I have described; but none bird were in accordance with such actions as had ever seen the snake seize the bird. They have been observed, in cases where fascination had looked on until the bird, as they supposed, alone was supposed to be employed. In this was attempting to thrust its head, under the case, the charm was a fatal one, truly, being influence of the charm, into the serpent's mouth, nothing less than the poison of the serpent when they had rushed forward and killed the coursing through its veins. serpent to save the bird from destruction. In The birds placed in the box were not all the inquiries made, no instance has been swallowed by the rattlesnake, seemingly, as related where there was any more evidence of it afterwards appeared, because it would not fascination than in the one observed by myself. I encumber its jaws, so as to be unprepared for In all cases, however, there was a singular defence, while the human eye rested upon it.