HYPNOTISM AND MESMERISM. 93
respiratory and muscular systems."x In other words, he was seeking to demonstrate his theory that the phenomena of mesmerism are attributable to a physical rather than a mental cause. Hence his care to select a subject who knew nothing of what was expected of him.
Braid relates another circumstance equally demonstrative of the proposition that suggestion is not a necessary factor in the induction of the hypnotic state. He says :
"After my lecture at the Hanover Square Rooms, London, on the 1st of March, 1842, a gentleman told Mr. Walker, who was along with me, that he was most anxious to see me, that I might try whether I could hypnotize him. He said both himself and friends were anxious he should be affected, but that neither Lafontaine nor others who had tried him could succeed. Mr. Walker said, ' If that is what you want, as Mr. Braid is engaged otherwise, sit down, and I will hypnotize you myself in a minute.' When I went into the room, I observed what was going on, the gentleman sitting staring at Mr. Walker's finger, who was standing a little to the right of the patient, with his eyes fixed steadily on those of the latter. I passed on and attended to something else; and when I returned a little after, I found Mr. Walker standing in the same position, fast asleep, his arm and finger in a state of cataleptiform rigidity, and the patient wide awake and staring at the finger all the while." 2
This is a clear case of the induction of the hypnotic condition without the aid of suggestion. Mr. Walker had no thought of going into the state himself, but was intent on hypnotizing the patient. The suggestion in his mind was, therefore, in the opposite direction. He had, however, inadvertently placed himself in the proper attitude, and so concentrated his gaze as to induce the state, and that directly contrary to his auto-suggestion.
These two instances have been cited from Braid for the reason that (1) he was the discoverer of the method of hypnotizing by causing the subject to gaze steadily upon an object; and (2) he was not attempting to prove or disprove the theory of suggestion. His testimony is obviously all the more reliable for that reason, for one is prone to
1 Neurypnology, p. 19. 2 Ibid., p. 39.