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recollection of some former experiments passed through my mind, so that I called out, What an amazing concatenation of ideas!" A third experiment by the same philosopher was perhaps attended with the most remarkable results. He was enclosed in an air-tight breathing box of the capacity of about nine cubic feet and a half, in which he allowed himself to be habituated to the excitement of the gas, which was then carried on gradually. After having, therefore, been in this place of confinement an hour and a quarter, during which time no less a quantity than 80 quarts were thrown in, he adds, « The moment after I came out of the box, I began to respire 20 quarts of unmingled nitrous oxide. A thrilling, extending from the chest to the extremities, was almost immediately produced. I felt a sense of tangible extension, highly pleasurable in every limb, my visible impressions were dazzling and apparently magnified. I heard distinctly every sound in the room, and was perfectly aware of my situation. By degrees, as the pleasurable sensation increased, I lost all connexion with external things; trains of vivid visible images rapidly passed through my mind, and were connected with words in such a manner, as to produce perceptions perfectly novel. I existed in a world of newly-connected and newly-modified ideas. When I was awakened from this semi-delirious trance by Dr Kinglake, who took the bag from my mouth, indignation and pride were the first feelings produced by the sight of the persons about me. My emotions were enthusiastic and sublime; and for a moment I walked round the room, perfectly regardless of what was said to me. As I recovered my former state of mind, I felt an inclination to communicate the discoveries I had made during the experiment. I endeavoured to recall the ideas,-they were feeble and indistinct. One recollection of terms, however, presented itself, and with the most intense belief and prophetic manner I exclaimed to Dr Kinglake, “Nothing exists but thoughts, the universe is composed of impressions, ideas, pleasures, and pains.””

Such is the interesting detail of a very important physiological experiment made by one of the most adventurous as well as profound philosophers of the present age. The visionary world to which he was introduced, consisting of nothing more than the highly vivid and embodied images of the mind, and the singular laws by which such phantasms (if they may be so called) are governed, form, in fact, the real object of the present dissertation.

A singular result, but varied by the opposite quality of pain, attends the incipient influence of the febrile miasma of Cadiz and Malaga. Sensation and ideas are, as under the action of the nitrous oxide, simultaneously vivified. The mind soon becomes insensible to actual impressions, these being succeeded by a new world of ideas, of the most frightful kind. Horrid spectral images arise, the forerunner of a suddenly diminished degree of excitement, of total insensibility, or of death.

Our inquiry will now perhaps be found not wholly devoid of interest. A pathological principle in this investigation has been established, that when sensations and ideas are, from some peculiar state of the sanguineous fluid, simultaneously rendered highly intense, the result is, that recollected images of thought, vivified to the height of actual impressions, constitute the states of the mind.

As it has now, I trust, been sufficiently shewn, that an adequate cause of spectral illusions may arise from an undue degree of vividness in the recollected images of the mind, I shall, in the next place, investigate those morbid states of the body, by which such an effect may be induced. That ideas are not unfrequently liable to be so excited as to equal in their intensity actual impressions, and thus to be mistaken for them, is a fact with which those who are in the habit of visiting the apartments of the sick cannot but be familiar. From recalling images by an act of me. mory,” remarks Dr Ferrier, “ the transition is direct to beholding spectral objects which have been floating in the imagination;" and,” adds this physician, on another occasion, “I have frequently, in the course of my professional practice, conversed with persons who imagined that they saw demons, and heard them speak; which species of delusion admits of many gradations and distinctions, exclusive of actual insanity.” This observation every medical practitioner will confirm.

I may also remark, that, in pursuing the pathological inquiry in which we are engaged, our true course is at length rendered plain and direct. In judging from the operation of those peculiar gases, the nitrous oxide and febrile miasma, which, when inhaled, affect the composition of the blood, and, at the same time, exert a vivifying influence over the feelings of the mind, it appears that our first proper object is to inquire, if there are not many morbid conditions of the body in which the blood, from its altered quality, may not produce the same consequences. In fact, the causes thus affecting the sanguineous system, may be considered as arising, in the first place, from hereditary or constitutional taints of the blood ; 2dly, From the suppression of healthy or accustomed evacuations ; 3dly, From adventitious matters directly admitted into the composition of this fluid; and, 4thly, From circumstances affecting the state of the circulating system through the medium of the nerves or brain. Lastly, I may be allowed to observe, that whenever such a vivifying influence can be proved to exist, no future difficulty will surely remain in accounting for the spectral illusions which must necessarily result, when ideas, from their high degree of excitement, are rendered as vivid as actual impressions.




66 But that I would not

you with more sadness, I could shew ye
A place worth view,-
Where people of all sorts, that have been visited
With lunacies and follies, wait their cures.
Here's fancies of a thousand stamps and fashions,
Like flies in several shapes, buz round about ye,
And twice as many gestures ; some of pity,
That it would make you melt to see their passions :
And some as light again, that would content ye.


race, there

FROM the different mental dispositions observable in mankind, we are entitled to expect, that in each individual of the human


be a constitutional tendency to some one prevailing state of feelings, either distinctly pleasurable or distinctly painful. In the temperament, for instance, named sanguine, the influence of the blood is indicated by an increasing dilatation of the sanguineous vessels, or by the greater tendency of the pulse to strength and fulness, while the general mental disposition is of a

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