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for the poor Banti. Corpo santo! that is what disquiets me. After the Guisano tragedy I jested with Maria in saying that it was a fatality for her father to mend a man's boots, and she was furious with me. It will be the same again unless I hold my tongue. Name of a she-dog! And that ugly little Bolla here as before! But I turn off by this street. To the pleasure of seeing you again, signorino!"
"One moment," said Douglas. "This Bolla, you call him? Do you tell me he is, as it were, a coincidence with these mishaps?"
"I do not know, signore,” replied the young greengrocer, with the appearance of suspicion now in his eyes. not to be talked about. A rivedere!" He strode across the road. Douglas turned to the window of a little wineshop and understood why his heart beat so fast. He read the cardboard slips in the window about the good red wine at twenty, thirty, and forty centesimi the litre, and told himself that at last he had a clue to the mystery of the exploded five. He could see not at all whither the clue positively pointed. He knew only that a voice had cried joyfully within him, and that his whole brain approved the cause for such exultation. For many minutes he gazed absorbedly at these intimations about cheap red wine. The wine-vendor himself showed a head behind them without disturbing him. Even when the man hung up a new card, announcing excellent white wine of Asti at fifty centesimi the litre, side by side with the others, Douglas paid heed neither to it nor the cunning merchant's face.
He was groping all the time, like a an in the dark who knows for a truth that there is something to be found. What should he do? And then he decided that he would take the most obvious of courses. He would wait and follow this deformed imp of a Bolla.
From the wine-shop window he commanded a view of the cobbler's door at the end of the street. He watched zealously for five more minutes, with his back to the advertisements of the good and excellent wine; zealously, yet with dissimulation, smoking and reading to some extent at the same time.
Then, whom should he see come round the corner from the Piazza d'Armi but the well-groomed Count Euzio! He just obtained a glimpse of the gentleman's slender form, pinched at the waist, and of the red flower in his button-hole. The next moment the man had entered the house without knocking. To be sure, the door was generally thus open to the turn of a handle; but Douglas had learnt that the conventional thing to do was to knock before entering.
Leaving the wine-shop, Douglas returned slowly to his lodging. He had some notion that a general embroilment might ensue in that modest house; and if so, it were perchance some advantage to him to take a hand in it.
Nor were his intuitions altogether at fault here also. He found the door open, and the Count, with an inflame: face, on the point of passing towards the pavement. Farther inside Was Maria, also red-faced and excited. though with tears on her cheeks.
The separation between them was immediate when Douglas appeared. With a sweep of his hat, the elaborateness of which hinted at irony, Masuccio stepped from the house, and, after an unfriendly gaze at Douglas, vanished round the corner. The girl rushed from the hall into the little shop to the right; and there, when he presumed to follow her, Douglas found her almost doubled on a chair, rocking herself and shedding abundant tears.
"My dear child," he said, "what is it all about? What has happened to distress you?"
She did not reply, but wept on. Upon the counter was a neat parcel.
tied with white tape, evidently, from its shape, containing a boot.
"Tell me the trouble, little one," Douglas urged, as he looked at the snowy parting in the girl's black hair. "Has he-that fellow-insulted you?"
She glanced up then with an expression in her tear-charged blue eyes for which a romantic artist might have paid a good price.
"Is the door shut, signorino?" she whispered.
He shut it softly.
"We are alone," he said.
Then Maria Bassano burst forth.
"I wish he was dead, signorino," she cried. "And I wish further that I was in Paradise with my dearest mother. "This wicked earth! But no-I will not do it. I will be true to my Marco." "The Count--" suggested Douglas. "Yes, signorino," she exclaimed, responsive to his prompting. "He threatens that unless I consent to sacrifice myself to him to-morrow he will make a scandal of me. He is so enamored. I did not think he had such a heart of fire. I do not love him-no; but I have taken his presents, many of them, and he has twice kissed my lips, and I am a very unfortunate young woman to have let him go so far. He desires to carry me away to his country house by Bologna. Do I say desires? He insists. And he tells me that, if, when he comes for his miserable boot in the morning-there, behold it by your hand!-if I am still obstinate he will find out my poor Marco, and-andAh! but who shall say what will then come to us all? They will perhaps fight, and I at least shall be disgraced. Signorino, I hate him worse, I think, than that other. What a house is this!"
"Poor little girl!" murmured Douglas, stroking the coarse black hair of her head by the broad parting. "But, you know, I told you beforeShe shook off his hand.
"That is not all, caro signore," she almost screamed, with a fresh flood of tears, and the terror as before staring through the tears. "There was my poor father lying like one dead on the floor upstairs. He, that accursed other, found him so. I would not help him to his senses at first, when I saw for what purpose that other had come. But it is enough, signorino! I must not talk. This is no house for so gracious and kind-hearted a stranger as you, signorino. Would to heaven my poor father could escape from the city! That is what I have begged and begged. We are of Parma ourselves. There are our blood-relatives, and there we might live happy and peaceful lives, with perhaps Marco, if God willed-if-if things were otherwise. It is because of a weakness of mind in my poor father. But come, I must be courageous and wipe my eyes, signore."
She stood up and jerked her thick black plait behind her, tried to smile, and used her handkerchief to her face.
Douglas himself was more perturbed now than she seemed.
"That is right. Courage! courage!" he said at a venture. "But you talk of the man Bolla, do you not-him with the ears?"
The girl's hands clenched into a fist by the side of the Count's parcel, and her full rosy lips tightened grimly. She drew breath before she replied.
"No, signore, I talk not of him. And, excuse me, but it is the hour when Marco comes sometimes." She forced another smile; without much difficulty either, thanks to her blessed mercurial temperament. "Marco will not like it if he finds you here with me thus."
"He will not come to-day," said Douglas thoughtlessly. "He was in the street just now when that other-— But for charity's sake don't glare at me like that!"
The girl's temper had taken yet another turn. No turkey-cock in Doug
las's experience ever swelled out so indignantly as she under the digestion of this trivial intelligence about her Marco. She seemed to put on inches of stature, and the flashing of her eyes, the scorn and wrath-he had never seen the like on so pretty a young face. She said something first in dialect that Douglas missed. Then out shot her arm as she pointed to the door.
"Go, signore! Have the kindness to go from this room. I command it.
Without words!" she cried, as dignified as a stone Juno.
Hat in hand, Douglas obeyed. "Certainly," he said, "certainly. am sorry if I have said anything to annoy you; but, remember, I am your friend."
"I want no such friend, signore," she said, her eyes like lamp-lit blue diamonds. "Do me the favor to withdraw."
(To be concluded.)
We are living in the midst of a great movement which seems destined to exercise a revolutionary influence on human life. This movement is here fantastic and extravagant, there superstitious and even disgusting, and there, and again, scientific, progressive, healthy. Speaking summarily, it may be said to be a revolt against the materialistic trend which till recent years dominated medical science, a revolt brought about by a more vivid realization of the power of mind over bodily states. It is this fact which lies at the root of "Christian Science," "Mind Cure," "Faith Cure," "Metaphysical Healing," and many other quasi-philosophical, of Transatquasi-religious systems lantic origin. The point to be emphasized is that these more or less elaborate doctrines, partly theological, partly psychological, ought to be kept distinct from the fundamental fact to which they seek to give expression,-the fact, namely, that mind can, and does, affect the fortunes of the body, and that mental influence can be utilized in the sciWhile it entific treatment of disease. is true that "Christian Science," to take for illustration the most popular of these cults, rests upon a misinterpretation of matter. a kind of ill-understood Berkeleyism, teaches the unreal
THE POWER OF SUGGESTION.
ity of sin and sickness, and repudiates academic medicine as an immense illusion, yet the valuable truth which lies behind these irrational notions deserves our recognition, and ought to receive practical application at hands.
The wise man will not be frightened away from any beneficent principle by the bizarre and grotesque shapes with which credulity may have clothed it. Here, indeed, we may recall the Aristotelian maxim, and say that the truth lies midway between two extremes,between a hard, hide-bound materialism, and an airy, ungrounded, unreasoned spiritualism. One of the basic ideas of modern psychology is the mutual influence of mind and body springing out of their profound unity. Any doctrine that contradicts this scientific postulate must be deemed outside the boundaries of right reason. As to the influence of the body upon the mind there is no room for doubt. The witness of everyday life is reinforced by the detailed tests of the psychological laboratory. Mental disease can be traced to brain degeneration; physical injuries create psychical discomfort: mental processes are deeply affected by drugs, such as alcohol, opium, cocaine. morphine, and many others. But it is
equally true that mental states affect bodily processes. The famous saying of Huxley that consciousness has no more to do with physical conditions than has a steam whistle with the driving of a locomotive sounds like an absurdity in the light of recent investigations. We are now informed that the emotion of fear may produce paralysis, jaundice, sudden decay of teeth, erysipelas. eczema, and even death. "The fact is," says Professor James, the American psychologist, "that there is no sort of consciousness whatever, be it sensation, feeling, or idea which does not directly and of itself tend to discharge into some motor effect. The motor effect need not always be an outward stroke of behavior. It may be only an alteration of the heart-beats or breathing, or a modification of the distribution of the blood, such as blushing or turning pale; or else a secretion of tears or what not. But, in any case. it is there in some shape when any consciousness is there; and a belief as fundamental as any in modern psychology is the belief at last attained that conscious processes of any sort must pass over into motion, open or concealed."
Now if one could pierce through the adverse physical conditions of a victim of neurasthenia, or "nerve prostration," to the mind within, and by bright and optimistic suggestions awaken the idea of health, mental and spiritual poise, one would have set the sufferer on the road to recovery. Every clergyman is brought into contact with people who are nervous, fretful, foreboding. For them each day seems to portend disaster; at night visionary phantoms murder sleep. These are the miserable victims of insomnia, hypochondria, egotism, religious melancholy, remorse, and so forth. The family physician in the presence of such cases is tempted to echo the words of his famous professional brother: "This LIVING AGE. VOL. XXXV. 1828
disease is beyond my practice . more needs she the divine than the physician." What is really needed is an alliance between the clergyman and the doctor. The Church, in imitation of her Founder, ought to take compassion on these unhappy people, and come to their aid with all the liberating and recreating powers of genuine religion, combined with the technical skill of the most advanced medical science of our time. And the clearer understanding of the great law of suggestion is no mean help in this much-needed work. By suggestion as here used is not meant anything of a compulsory character such as is characteristic of hypnotism, but rather the holding before the mind of the afflicted person ideals of health and poise until they become his own and gain outward physical expression.
Every human being is more or less open to suggestion; indeed, a recent writer proposes to define man as "a suggestible animal." And the records of suggestive therapeutics as set forth in the pages of Professor Dubois's recently translated "Psychic Treatment of Nervous Diseases" (Funk and Wagnalls) prove that physical functions, as well as deeply rooted habits and desires, can be altered permanently by suggestion.
Probably the most momentous discovery in mental science for a century is that of the part played by the "subconscious" in our experience. Consciousness is the wonderful candle of the Lord, that reveals all marvels and makes all that we call knowledge. But the dominant light of consciousness is not all. Around the little flame lie great fruitful fields of personality wrapped in darkness, and in God's economy the darkness is as necessary as the light. It has been compared to an iceberg floating on the sea,-only a relatively small portion rises above the water and is visible, but this small
segment is supported by one much larger which remains submerged. Now this subconscious self is the portion of our nature that is most closely related to the organs and functions of our physical body. It is this self which sees that the commands of the will are carried out. It sets in motion all that complicated machinery in the body involved, for example, in moving a limb, of which we know nothing or next to nothing. This portion of the soul lies deeper than the ordinary, waking consciousness. It is nearer the underlying laws of Nature. The fret and fume of daily life disturb it not at all. It contains within itself those healing, recuperative processes that take place in silence and darkness, usually in sleep. Through hypnotism it has been learned that this "subliminal self," to use Mr. F. W. H. Myers's phrase, is not usually affected by the ordinary means of receiving knowledge,-reading, writing, conversation, etc. It can be influenced by suggestion; but to do this otherwise than through a hypnotic trance it is necessary for one to brood more or less over a few simple ideas, to let these sink into the mind by silent meditation or frequent repetition, or by visual impression. There they are matured by a process of "unconscious incubation," and create knowledge, faith, and dy. namic energy for use in the conscious region.
Of course the principle of suggestion is available only within certain limits. It is not a panacea or cure-all. The extravagant and pretentious misstateThe Spectator.
ment of the suggestive principle lies at the root of many of the absurd cults that to-day defy the reason of the world. As a matter of fact, its genuine successes have been achieved only in the treatment of functional nervous disorders, of hypochondria, insomnia, dyspepsia, neurasthenia, the drug-habit, hysteria, and the like. In spite of the assertions of Christian Scientists, mindcurists, metaphysical healers, esoteric vibrationists, et id genus omne, there is no evidence worthy of the name that where an organic change has taken place in the body any benefit can come through suggestion whether in hypnotic sleep or waking state. A cancer, for example, is not amenable to suggestive treatment. The surgeon's knife is at present the only fit remedy for such a disorder.
The democracy of Great Britain is at a point where it has to make its choice between a form of Socialism, scientific or unscientific, thorough or partial, and continuance under the quasi
Within the region, however, of the functional as distinguished from the organic, it is impossible to set any limit to the potency of suggestive therapeutics. Mind is the true magician. Through contact with a healthy, wellpoised personality the children of melancholy may learn to gain self-control, to banish fear, anxiety, and the sensations of the passing hour; above all, to exorcise the demon of egotism by ideals of goodness and unselfishness. And as they do so, so thaumaturgic is the soul that the nerves which a little before were harassed and jarred by suffering will experience an unaccustomed calm, as though a heavy load had been lifted from the heart, and life once more seemed worth living.
THE PARTING OF THE WAYS.
Individualistic conditions which have hitherto prevailed in the land. As it is not the habit of the British, and especially the English, people to face changes of social creed or ideal in the