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sincerity, that his sovereign is not responsible for acts which he has even vainly endeavored to prevent. The assumption of independence by an agent or a partner is highly convenient in some exceptional circumstances. When the transaction is successfully completed, the capitalist in the background will step forward to receive the profits of a slightly contraband undertaking. Even at present, it might perhaps not be impossible to fix Sardinia with liability for the war in the south, but it is not the interest of the Neapolitan court to precipitate a quarrel, and Austria will choose her own time for the struggle which seems to be ultimately inevitable.
The prophets of evil naturally find many perils in the approaching accession of Naples to the Italian cause, but their warnings would be better entitled to attention if they had any reasonable alternative to propose. It is perfectly true that the difficulty of amalgamating a mass of provinces into a kingdom may involve some danger to the cause of constitutional government. On the other hand, it may be remarked, that freedom has not hitherto, in the separate kingdom of Naples, found herself altogether on a bed of roses. The power of self-defence is the first, though not the sole, condition of self-government. The former states of Italy, even if their princes had been willing to concede constitutional rights, were never allowed to enjoy them. Austria exercised military rule at different times in Naples, in the Romagna, in Parma, in Modena, and in Tuscany. Italian patriots think the control over their own front door even more indispensable than the judicious organization of the household, and the chances of future encroachment by national kings must be dealt with hereafter. Sovereign for sovereign, the loyal administrator of constitutional Piedmont offers a better guarantee for the performance of his promises than the frightened scion of the false Bourbon stock. If the brave and wise Italians who have conducted the national movement achieve a solution of their difficulties beyond their hopes and equal to their desires, they will readily allow their anxious well-wishers abroad to anticipate the worst future results.
From The Saturday Review.
The Spanish Government is said to have recently made several attempts to get itself admitted into the Councils of Europe as a great, or first-class, power. The claim has been rejected—on the ground, suggests the intelligent writer of the Times' Money Article, that Spain neglects to discharge her public money obligations. This ia a natural,
but we fear an exaggerated, compliment to the sense of pecuniary probity among the great nations of Europe. Unfortunately, the United States of America would not have much difficulty at any moment in obtaining a place among the great powers if it suited American policy to do so; and at least two sovereign members of that confederacy have repudiated their debts. It is indeed not easy to say on which of the principles usually allowed to determine such questions Spain is excluded from those deliberations which settle the destinies of Europe. In population and territorial extent, in the size of her army and the amount of her revenue, she is fully entitled to admission. She was not more deeply humiliated than Prussia had been when the great treaties which regulate the condition of Europe were executed, and she contributed at least as much as any other nation to the overthrow of Napoleon. It would seem as if she were depressed below her natural rank by a succession of small political peccadilloes and slight domestic miscarriages rather than by any serious decrepitude. The loss of her South American colonies and her civil war were certainly calamities when they occurred, but in the long run they have added to her resources rather than diminished them; and even the outward humiliation which they occasioned was not deeper than that underwent by at least two of the great powers in 1848 and 1849. The true sources of the low consideration in which Spain has hitherto been held seem to be the miserable character of her court, the corruption of her public life, and the self-seeking of her statesmen. At last she appears to feel conscious of nobler springs of action, but diplomatists are slow to recognize the resurrection of a community which has voluntarily submitted to so much degradation.
It is easier to pronounce that the admission of a new powe_r to the councils of Europe would be an important event than to say what the character of the influence exercised by Spain could be. There is almost as little known about her as there was when she suddenly appeared as a powerful nation at the end of the fifteenth century. Some of the greatest disturbances of the relations of states have been occasioned by the rapid rise into strength and wealth of communities which had not been hitherto important enough to affect political calculation. Spain, till the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, did not stand in the European system on a higher level than do Sweden and Denmark at the present moment; but fifty or sixty years afterwards she occupied the very first rank, and it was probably her influence which saved the Roman Catholic Church, and prevented Protestantism from becoming the religion of nine-tenths of Europeans. Consequences hardly less momentous followed the appearance of Russia among the circle of great states at the end of the last century. But for her sudden consolidation of resources, Napoleon might have made himself permanent master of the west j and but for her influence in the cabinets of European sovereigns, constitutional freedom would have spread over Europe after 1830, instead of withering under the incubus of the Czar Nicholas' intrigues. A part hardly less conspicuous might be played on the theatre of public affairs by the United States, if they had not followed with tolerable consistency the policy of confining themselves to their own continent. It would be preposterous to predict for Spain that, on her re-appearance in diplomacy, she will alter European equilibrium as seriously as she did before j but still it is probable that no state has so large a fund of surprises in ambush. Immense natural wealth, hitherto entirely undeveloped, and a hardy population, hitherto virtually unemployed, are being for the first time turned to their proper objects by the latest inventions of modern science. It is not too much to say that railroads and steam machinery are restoring to the Spaniards the Peru they have lost.
If these anticipations are chimerical, the flaw which vitiates them is certainly not their intrinsic baselessness. The causes which may, perhaps, confine Spain to her present low degree are apparently trivial accidents of her position—the debasement of her royal house being chief among them. It happens that tranquillity and confidence are among the first conditions of her continued improvement, and these Queen Isabella has the means of disturbing or destroying whenever she pleases. It is said that she is now bent on getting rid of her minister, O'Donnell, the only statesman in Spain under whom constitutional government is likely to bo any thing else than a pretext for anarchy. The queen is not supposed to dislike him particularly, but she and her husband are laboring under a violent fit of devotional ecstacy, and it is believed that they consider all their hopes of salvation to depend on their succoring the pope in his extremity. The immediate instrument employed in producing this passion of superstition is an impostor whose name is great in Roman Catholic countries, the Nun Patrocinio, under whose influence the Spanish
court is said to have adopted a life of conventual austerity, as a partial expiation of the sins of Victor Emmanuel. A little compulsory self-denial is so desirable a lesson for her Spanish majesty to learn, that one is sorry to feel that her vices are less injurious to her subjects than her efforts to be virtuous. Sackcloth and fasting are innocent enough in themselves, but, unluckily, they suggest to Queen Isabella the perpetual wish to give the holy father some more efficacious assistance. Hence a perpetual pressure is put on O'Donnell to declare war against Sardinia or despatch troops to Sicily; but this O'Donnell positively declines to do. It is understood that he is complacent enough to use in favor of the pope whatever diplo
matic influence the Spanish government possesses; and there is a general belief that, if Pius IX. is forced to quit Italy, he will take refuge in Spain. But the Spanish premier is neither servile nor insane enough to cmbark in a war with France, and perhaps with England, for the sake of keeping his mistress' good grace. There is no doubt, therefore, that she is eager to supplant him, could she prevail on any other statesman to take office on her terms. Hitherto, she is believed to have failed in inducing even the most ultra-Catholic of Spanish politicians to accept her conditions; and, indeed, besides the transparent folly of the policy she wishes to impose on her ministers, there is something else to deter aspirants from swallowing the bait she holds out, in the probability that, if driven to extremity, O'Donnell will fight. Since his first elevation to power, he has made a surprisingly good constitutional statesman, displaying considerable tact in the management of asscmbh'es and much moderation in the exercise of power. But still it cannot he forgotten that he was originally the creature of a military revolution, and that, since the expedition to Morocco, he has the whole of the army at his back. It is no wonder that his rivals do not consider him quite safe to meddle with; and, indeed, miserable as would be a breach of the civil peace which Spain has now enjoyed for an unusual number of years, a resort to arms would be almost justified if its object were to prevent the queen of Spain from placing the fortunes of her country at the disposal of a half-mad religious adventuress, by whose side Brother Prince of the Agapemono is a respectable and harmless enthusiast.
From The Saturday Review. SOMNAMBULISM.
It is now just a century since Mesmer was delighting the wondermongers of Paris with his mysterious appliances, wild theories, and extraordinary cures. A hundred years have apparently done little either to diminish the public appetite for marvels or to introduce habits of cautious and rational inquiry. Society seems as much as ever to crave after the supernatural. The rapid advance of physical discovery and an imposing succession of scientific triumphs have infected our generation with a cred_ulity, arising less from real openness to conviction than from a lazy desire to be startled and amused. Abroad, we see a professor of mystery closeted in secret conference with a great sovereign, and enlightening the guesses of imperial sagacity with revelations from the unseen world. At home, we have the routine of a London season diversified by spiritual seances and spectral phenomena j while the Cornhill Mayatine consults the appetites of its readers by a circumstantial account of tables that skip nimbly about the room, accordions which an invisible hand awakes to more than earthly harmony, blinds which pull themselves up and down of their own tree will, and chairs which now hover in mid-air, now carry the sitter to the very ceiling, and now gently waft him to his original position.
It is often easy in such matters to question the reliability or good sense of a particular witness, and to show how the very language in which the statement is made bears the marks of a mind little fitted to conduct a troublesome investigation, or to deal with delicate matters of evidence. It is more satisfactory, however, to repel the suggestion of supernatural agencies by pointing to other regions of inquiry which were long the chosen home of darkness, mystery, and wonder, and to see how the calm and diligent efforts of competent scientific inquirers have at length cleared away the last suspicion of any spiritual interference with the uniform laws of the physical world. The extravagances of Modern Spiritualism find a fit answer in the history of the science of which 1 Mesmer was so daring a professor, and to • one branch of which he had the honor of giving his name. For many years the matter rested where he left it. It is only in comparatively recent times that any real progress has been made towards a philosophical explanation of the phenomena which he produced, and of the various conditions of the nervous system of which those phenomena was the result. The reign of charlatans was long, and threatened to be eternal. The nature of the necessary inquiries rendered self-deception easy, and afforded
every opportunity for pretentious quackeries. Men were reluctant to abandon the hazy region of the supernatural where every thing could be accounted for with a pleasing facility, and to surrender themselves to that unambitious and patient mode of investigation which, eliminating the element of the marvellous, seeks to reconcile each newly ascertained fact with the rest of its discoveries, and which attributes apparent inconsistencies rather to the partial knowledge of the observer than to any irregularity in the economy of nature.
By degrees however, science won its way, and a long series of observations and experiments has now placed beyond all doubt the explanations which physiologists had previously suggested of the phenomena both of natural somnambulism and of the various conditions of the body which ore induced by the agency of animal magnetizers, and which may conveniently be classed under the head of artificial somnambulism. In a late number of the lievue des Deux Mondes. M. Maury has given an extremely interesting account of the subject, and has summed up the results which those most entitled to speak with authority consider as attained. Both natural and artificial somnambulism are mere modifications of ordinary sleep, differing from it in proportion to a more or less intense activity of the nervous system, and consequently very often accompanied by cataleptic, hysterical, and other symptoms not usually present in this condition of the system. One of the earliest and most rational investigators of the whole subject of animal magnetism was Dr. Bertrand, to whose works M. Maury makes constant reference. Thirty years ago he demonstrated the absurdity of the theory of a subtle animal-magnetic fluid, which Mesmer suggested as the explanation of the agencies which he set in motion. All i the instances of particular seizures with which history or his own observation supjplicd him convinced Dr. Bertrand that artificial somnambulism, however produced, is but a species of ecstatic catalepsy—a rare disease, but one sufficiently well known for its characteristics to be clearly ascertained, and sometimes even assuming an epidcmio. form. Starting from this point, he found no longer any difficulty in that extreme variety of symptom and action which artificial somnambulism presents, and which was irreconcilable with the agency of a uniform substance such as an animal-magnetic current. The conditions of the nervous system are so fleeting and uncertain, and its' movements so capricious, that it is natural there should be a corresponding variety in the results to which it contributes. Some, however, of the features of catalepsy are sufficiently uniform, and may be constantly recognized in artificial somnambulism. The patient becomes motionless and insensible; the will ceases to control the limbs; and, in extreme cases, every part of the frame continues to preserve the attitude in which it has once been placed. The muscles seem to be alone affected; the rest of the system continues in its normal state; the heart beats regularly, and the breathing is' undisturbed; the senses are dulled, and sometimes this stage is preceded by attacks of delirium. All this obviously corresponds very much with the condition into which a professor of animal magnetism throws his patient. In the same way, the insensibility to pain produced in artificial somnambulism presents many points of analogy with the insensibility produced both by catalepsy and by the employment of anesthetics, and, accordingly, offers no contradiction to the ordinary laws of physiology.
Another characteristic of artificial somnambulism, which more than any other has been employed to justify its pretences to the supernatural, is the heightened sensibility and the intellectual excitement which it often entails. This often shows itself in an extraordinary power of memory, and a rapidity and case of speech, quite distinct from any faculty ordinarily possessed, and has given rise to the belief in the divine or diabolic inspiration of the person so affected. The same thing, however, is constantly observed in hysterical diseases, and partially in the case of persons who are under the cfi'ects of ether. In fact, the understanding is so closely bound up with the nervous system that, if the one is seriously affected, some correspondingly important result is sure to show itself in the other—very often in the •way of some suddenly developed power. Hence it is that madmen often astonish by their force of memory, and sometimes by their flow of language. A text or prayer that has once fallen on the ear seems to recur with perfect distinctness to the mind of the most ignorant and untrained person; and Coleridge mentions a case of a mad servant who repeated sentences of a Greek Father which had accidentally been read aloud in her presence. Precisely the same sort of development of power seems often to result from somnambulism. M. Maury says that he has frequently found the same accuracy in the replies of somnambulists which he has observed in the case of hysteria, and the same curious propriety of language, sometimes amounting to eloquence. Natural somnambulism is a dream in action. The somnambulist is absorbed by some one idea, and external sensations either find a subsidiary place, or else fail altogether to reach
the mind. The same thing is observed iu cases of catalepsy, and in those where anesthetics are employed. The dream is a combination of ideas from within and impressions from without—the degree in which either preponderate differing, of course, according to the accidents of each particular case. Another proof of the close connection • between animal magnetism and the other recognized affections of the nervous system is, that all alike frequently commence with convulsive attacks. Several celebrated practitioners have stated that the persons whom they threw into a condition of somnambulism very commonly suffered in this way, and the inhalation of ether has been known to produce effects of a very kindred description. But it is from the observation of natural somnambulism that M. Maury thinks that the most satisfactory evidence of this connection will be obtained, and the careless theories of supernatural agency be most conclusively refuted. The peculiarities of this affection are most curious. The somnambulist sees—sometimes appears indifferent to light. The famous Castclli used in his sleep to translate from Italian into French, and for this purpose to look out words in the dictionary. Having accidentally once extinguished his candle, he had to grope his way to find the means of re-lighting it; and it has been observed that, where somnambulists dispense with light, it is generally where they have been previously accustomed to the locality, and so, from the mind being intensely fixed upon it, may recall its outline with accuracy, or where an exquisitely keen sense of touch might lead them to avoid any obstacles that presented themselves to.their progress. The concentration of thought upon a particular idea seems a leading feature of both natural, and artificial somnambulism. The magnetized somnambulist is lost to every thing but the person operating upon him and the ideas which he suggests, just as the ordinary sleep-walker is lost to every thing but the idea which happens to be supreme in his thoughts.
This theory of course involves the abandonment of many of the extravagant and fantastic notions with which the whole subject was formerly encumbered. It is no longer necessary to believe that somnambulists see out of the backs of their heads, or from the pits of their stomachs, or from their finger's I ends. Neither are they gifted with the fae1 ulty of prevision, nor are they privileged to know every thing which is going on inside their own persons, nor the hour at which their illness will reach its climax, nor the remedy which is destined for its cure. All i these are mere exaggerations of powers which a heightened nervous sensibility may undoubtedly in a certain degree confer. Mad people, epileptic and hysterical patients, often make very good guesses as to the time when their attacks will take place, and ordinary sleep furnishes a most curious instance of the mind in certain states unconsciously possessing an extremely accurate perception of time. Lastly, there is nothing extraordinary in a person feeling at times more than usually conscious of organic modifications taking place in the system, for this is common to various other conditions of the body besides somnambulism.
Having thus placed the matter on a rational footing, M. Maury goes on to show how the processes which the professors of animal magnetism employ may very naturally be expected to produce the results which we know they do. Often, indeed, the imagination is of itself sufficient to accomplish the desired end.- The celebrated Abbe Faria used merely to place his patients in an armchair, look fixedly at them, and exclaim, "Dormez!" and by this simple means he commonly succeeded in sending them to sleep. But frequently, there is no doubt that the result of somnolency is to be attributed to material agency without any intervention of the imagination. The well-known experiment of drawing a white line from the beak of a cock, and so leaving it unconscious and immovable, is a sufficient proof of some actual effect produced upon the brain by the eyes being thus brought to bear upon a focus; and fifteen years ago an English physician discovered that, by holding a bright object before a patient's eyes, and obliging him to fix his attention exclusively on that, a state of magnetic somnambulancy might be obtained, beginning first with an extraordinary excitement of the faculties, aud gradually verging into entire insensibility. This contrivance seems to be of great antiquity. In the sixteenth century, the monks of Mount Athos would seem to have known it, when, by fixing the sight on a single object, and concentrating the attention, they found that a divine spectacle was revealed to them; and the phenomenon is entirely explicable by the action on the brain of the flow of blood produced by the steady contemplation of an object which arrests attention, and impresses itself on the retina of the eye. Precisely similar effects are found in those instances of hysteria which take their rise from a disordered condition of the circulation. Instances occur in which epilepsy has been in
duced by violent efforts of attention, and in the case of a girl, even by merely fixing the eyes upon the sun. This fact once recognized, all the performances of animal-magnetizers, electro-biologists, and the rest of the tribe, are quite divested of their mystery. In some instances, the end is gained by the mere contemplation of the practitioner. In others, the eyes are fixed upon the little metal plate, invariably there is the distinct and continued effort of attention. After all, the process professes to succeed only on a few, and those favored few are of course persons constitutionally inclined to nervous affections. Still the result is no mere illusion, but something real and tangible. To this must be added the enormously powerful agency of imitation, by which every condition of the nerves is inclined to propagate itself, and which even in the case of natural somnambulism is shown by well-authenticated stories to be extremely efficacious. One instance is recorded in which a student who had been attending lectures on the subject of somnambulism became a somnambulist himself, and shortly afterwards infected the servant who was in charge of him with the same irregularity. An English writer on this subject mentions a family with an hereditary disposition to somnambulism. The various members used to roam about the house during the night-time, and, not being favored with an exceptional clairvoyance, were constantly coming into personal collisions of the most comically annoying description.
In conclusion, M. Maury enters a protest against that false and irrational sentiment which would regard conditions of the body, such as that of somnambulism, with a respectful and almost superstitious consideration. So far from rising above himself at such moments, man sinks below the essential dignity of his nature. Reason is half eclipsed; the will is extinct; the sense of~ identity is lost. The benefits to be derived from somnambulism are of another kind. It throws a curious light upon the connection between our physical organization and our intellectual existence, and proves very forcibly the effects of a disordered frame upon the imagination. In its artificial form it may soothe excitement and alleviate pain. Science must take it for what it is worth, and especially guard it from the ignorance which would invest it with the mystery of the supernatural, and from the quackery which is eager to employ it as a means of gain.