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Mental Theraputics: Hypnotism. The term hypnotism, from a greek word signifying sleep, was first introduced by Dr. Braid of Manchester, England, who discovered that by placing a bright object before the eyes of a person and causing him to gaze intently upon it for some time, he could be thrown into an apparent sleep during which he would act out whatever suggestion was made to him by the doctor's mind.
The truly wonderful antics of persons while in this hypnotic state, and the marvelous powers often shown by them, have been so many times exhibited, both publicly and privately, that they are more or less familiar to everybody, and no intelligent scientific student in the world to-day will deny the extraordinary human powers demonstrated by these hypnotic experiments. Prof. Carpenter for many years gave public exhibitions in many cities and towns, where he would hypnotize well known local residents and then make them believe, for instance, that it was very cold. Their shivering and coat buttoning was ludicrous enough. But when he suggested to the subject that he go warm himself at yonder stove, ant the same time pointing out some young lady friend, perchance the subject's best girl, and to watch him warm his hands and turn to warm his back exactly as if she were a "hot stove" on a very cold day, always convulsed the audience with laughter. Another favorite suggestion, often made to some slender and delicate young fellow, was that some buxom lady in the audience was an infant needing to be taken up and soothed. The result can better be imagined than described. The marvelous feature about the case was the ease with which the weak young man could handle a weight that would have staggered him had he ben conscious. Another popular trick was t make some extremely modest and retiring young man imagine himself to be a great orator addressing a throng. His confidence, his gestures and his good language would have been absolutely impossible if he had not been in the hypnotic trance.