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Saint Peter's statue as I should have believed in Saint Peter himself, I shall obtain the same effects that I should have obr tained from Saint Peter. But that is superstition. Faith, however, produces miracles; and whether it is a true or a false faith, it will always produce the same wonders."
Much to the same effect are the words uttered in the sixteenth century by Pomponazzi:
" We can easily conceive the marvellous effects which confidence and imagination can produce, particularly when both qualities are reciprocated between the subjects and the person who influences them. The cures attributed to the influence of certain relics are the effect of this imagination and confidence. Quacks and philosophers know that if the bones of any skeleton were put in place of the saint's bones, the sick would none the less experience beneficial effects, if they believed that they were near veritable relics."
Bernheim,1 quoting the foregoing passages, follows with a story, related by Sobernheim, of a man with a paralysis of the tongue which had yielded to no form of treatment, who put himself under a certain doctor's care. The doctor wished to try an instrument of his own invention, with which he promised himself to get excellent results. Before performing the operation, he introduced a pocket thermometer into the patient's mouth. The patient imagined it to be the instrument which was to save him. In a few minutes he cried out joyfully that he could once more move his tongue freely.
"Among our cases," continues Bernheim, " facts of the same sort will be found. A young girl came into my service, having suffered from complete nervous aphonia for nearly four weeks. After making sure of the diagnosis, I told my students that nervous aphonia sometimes yielded instantly to electricity, which might act simply by its suggestive influence. I sent for the induction apparatus. Before using it I wanted to try simple suggestion by affirmation. I applied my hand over the larynx and moved it a little, and said, 'Now you can speak aloud.' In an
Suggestive Therapeutics, p. 197.