By J. P. Stern
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Extra resources for On Realism
This observation suggested to him an interesting series of experiments. His first subject was easily hypnotized, and of an emotional nature. Wagner's "Ride of Walkure" was played from the piano score. The pulse of the subject became more rapid and at first of higher tension, increasing from a normal rate of 60 beats a minute to 120. Then, as the music progressed, the tension diminished. The respiration increased from 18 to 30 per minute. Great excitement in the subject was evident. His whole body was thrown into motion, his legs were drawn up, his arms tossed into the air, and a profuse sweat appeared.
The attitudes of prayer, melancholy, pain, disdain, anger or fear, may be produced in this manner. The experiments of Donato, a stage hypnotizer, are thus described: "After throwing the subjects into catalepsy he causes soft music to be played, which produces a rapturous expression. If the sound is heightened or increased, the subjects seem to receive a shock and a feeling of disappointment. The artistic sense developed by hypnotism is disturbed; the faces express astonishment, stupefaction and pain.
These somnambulists will not hesitate either, you may be sure, to make a denunciation, or to bear false witness; they are, I repeat, the passive instruments of your will. For instance, take E. She will at my bidding write out and sign a donation of forty pounds in my favor. In a criminal point of view the subject under certain suggestions will make false denunciations, accuse this or that person, and maintain with the greatest assurance that he has assisted at an imaginary crime. I will recall to your mind those scenes of fictitious assassination, which have exhibited before you.