Charles Frederick Holder.

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the lights of Smith's away below in
the gloom.

If the silent tourist on the box seat,
holding on for his life, was a lover of
nature, he had a rare and rapidly
passing panorama. Great trees with
long branching arms reached out,
seeming to intercept the road. Gulfs
of gloom opened up suddenly as the

coach dashed around curves. Spectral
sycamores stood white and distinct,
where on every side masses of verdure
made the night more impenetrable — a
black gulf all about, down which they
seemed skurrying. On plunged the
coach — horses and driver seemingly
gone mad. Once only did the tourist
draw a long sigh, and that was when
the coach reared at a desperate curve
and made the turn on two wheels.
After pivoting around in a remarkable
manner, we rushed away in a cloud of
dust over the little bridge into the
blending and welcome light of Smith's



" Give me labor and the light,"

Sighed one, gaunt and weary-handed
Sorrow-worn and trouble-branded —

" Spare me vigil and the night."

O, for mid-day's honeyed balm !
O, the welcome crash and rattle
Of the noonward storm and battle !

O, the inner strength and calm !

Soul of mine, what seest thou

Ere the evening thread thou breakest
In the warp and woof thou makest,

While the sweat hangs on thy brow ?

Naught indeed of vain complaint,
Naught of cark and care unproven
Mid the web deep interwoven,

Till thy toil doth make thee faint.

Every mute and tireless thread
Running out and in together ;
Seers that prophesy not whether

Foul or fair be overhead.

Give me labor and the light.
L/O, in toil a sure forgetting
Of life's fretting and regretting.

Spare me vigil and the night.



PHILOSOPHERS and cranks are
prone to classify mankind on op^
posite sides of the line of their
particular hobby. Swift divided the
human race into two classes — the fat
and the lean. Our dominie thinks
they should be classified as those who
believe in the true religion and un-
believers. Old Money grub arranges
them as the rich and the poor ; while
our friend Politix says the only two
classes are the ins and the outs.
At the last judgment we are all to
be classified as the sheep and the

I am about to propose a new classi-
fication, more comprehensive than any
hitherto attempted, inasmuch as it in-
cludes both the human race and the
lower orders of animals. These two
great classes are the hypnotists and
the hypnotized. I mean by this that
magnetism is an inherent power or
faculty of the animal creation.
Through this creation there is not an
undeviating line, on one side of which
all representatives are magnetizers and
on the other all are subjects of mag-
netism ; but each individual has a
polarity and a potential of its own
which adjusts it to its environment.
Thus, while one organism may be
positive and active as to a second
organism, to a third it may be nega-
tive and passive. The same principle
is advanced concerning the polarity of
individual molecules constituting a
mass of inert matter.

I believe in hypnosis as an accom-
plishment of the human faculties, and
this proposition is no longer disputed
by advanced science. The learned
men of our age have had a hard strug-
gle to bring themselves to this belief,
and they have not yet divested it of
its mysteries. They simply say that
hypnosis is accomplished by certain

processes, yet they have not fathomed
the whys and wherefores.

Hitherto it has been customary to
consider the powers of hypnotism and
thought-transference as supernatural,
or at least abnormal. When the world
accepted the idea that neither the
Evil One nor the angels had anything
to do wit)i it they said, "Then, at
least, it is accomplished by a prodigy
in human form." Now, I think, the
world is about to give up this latter

As a result of investigations which
I have recently made with a hypnotist
and mind reader of extraordinary abil-
ities, I have been induced to adopt his
theory that this peculiar power which
we may say depends on personal mag-
netism is vested to greater or less de-
gree in every human being. We are all
hypnotists and all hypnotic subjects.
Our magnetic powers differ only in de-
gree. Any man or woman may find
somebody whom he or she can hypno-
tize, and every man or woman may be
hypnotized by somebody else. Nay,
more, we are all unconsciously prac-
ticing hypnotism all the while, and
we experience its effects every time we
make or receive a mental impression.
When I meet a man whose magnetism
proves a complement of my own I say
that I instinctively like that man.
When his magnetism is antagonistic,
I take an aversion to him, and proba-
bly he dislikes me on sight. We shall
not like each other as long as we live.
When a public speaker shows a
marked ability in holding the atten-
tion and swaying the sympathies of
his audience we say he is a mag-
netic talker. Our simile strikes
deeper to the secret of his success
than we have been wont to imagine.

There could be no better attestation
that this power of magnetism is a




purely human faculty than the fact that
it is used for evil as well as for good
purposes. Did you ever stop to con-
sider the methods and the achieve-
ments of the confidence man? Why is
it that he is able to .swindle with equal
facility the greenhorn from the country
and the city-bred man who has heard
all about his practices and ought to be
warned of him on sight ?

A year or two ago there wcs a case
of confidence swindling in the city
where I reside, which excited atten-
tion all over the country. A prom-
inent and wealthy politician of New
York, who, in his palmy days, had
been a leader of his party, who had
occupied a seat in Congress f r
several successive terms, and who had
been the confidant and friend of a
President of the United States, was in
Southern California to recuperate his
broken health. We will call him Mr.
H. While his physical condition was
considerably reduced, he was supposed
to be as clear in his mental faculties
as ever. As he walked the streets one
day a notorious confidence operator
accosted him and made him believe
that he (the confidence man) was the
vSon of an old friend of his. The
sharper "steered" his victim to one
of the most palpable bunco games that
was ever devised, and thus robbed him
of several hundred dollars. As soon
as Mr. H. got out of the rascal's
clutches he realized how he had been
victimized, and reported the case to
the police. "How I came to be so
be-deviled," he said, "I can't con-
ceive ; I surely ought to have known
better. ' ' And every bod y else thought
so, too.

How many thousand cases of this
sort might be cited from the criminal
records of the country ! — cases where
men of good judgment and honesty,
well informed on the ways of swin-
dlers, have been duped in the most
approved style of the bunco art. These
men can never explain how they came
to be so egregiously fooled and robbed.

Perhaps the most audacious series
of swindles that has ever come to

light is that reported within the past
two years by a correspondent of the
Boston Herald. These episodes oc-
curred at a Mexican town named
Mier, on the Rio Grande river, about
I50 miles from its mouth. The story
is so concisely and pointedly told that
I cannot do better than use the corre-
spondent's words. He says :

* * * About ten days ago Perez
arrived here and stopped at the hotel.
Nothing unusual was noticed about him
until dinner time the day after his arrival,
and then it was not Perez that attracted
attention, but the queer antics of the waiter
who served him. Without Perez saying a
word, the waiter, after placing his dinner
on the table, crossed the dining hall to a
table where a gentleman was during, and
brought to the table of Perez two bottles of
wine with glasses.

The gentleman demanded to know why
the wine was removed. The waiter said
that Perez had ordered him to do so. This
Perez denied. The wine was returned. In
a few moments the same waiter removed a
roast from in front of the same man, and
placed it before Perez.

The man despoiled became furious. lie
kicked the waiter out of the room, the
waiter all the time protesting that he had
only obeyed the order of Perez. Perez, with
a face as white as chalk, said that he had
given no order, had done nothing to insult
anyone, and then left the room.

Shortly afterwards the man who had be-
come angry in the dining-room approached
Perez and said that he was satisfied that the
waiter was drunk or crazy, and apologized
for what he had said. While speaking he
took out his watch, a fine one, and after
hesitating a moment, much to the surprise
of the crowd that had gathered, expecting
to see a shooting-scrape, he loosened the
chain from his vest and handed the watch to
Perez, insisting that he accept it as a pres-
ent. It was accepted.

Perez next visited a bar-room, accom-
panied by two persons who had seen the
watch given to him. He ordered wine.
When he offered to pay the barkeeper said
it was paid for. Perez's companions insisted
that it had not been paid for, but the bar-
keeper refused to accept a cent.

While standing at the bar both men
noticed that the bartender had been watch-
ing Perez intently. Turning from them he
took from a shelf a handsome silver-mounted
revolver, and after exhibiting it, handed it
to Perez, begging him to keep it.

But these incidents were nothing to the
wonder excited when, later in the evening,
packages of various sizes began to arrive at
the hotel, all addressed to Perez, with the



imes of the donors and their compliments.

l11 might still have gone well with the

ranger had not a magnificent bouquet ar-
ived with a lady's name attached. There
lappened to be standing near, a friend of
the lady who sent it. His Southern blood
was fired at once. He called on her and
she said that she was standing near the win-
dow with the flowers in her hand ; that
Perez passed, looked up at her, and asked
her to send the flowers, and she had done
so ; why, she did not know.

The Mexicans are always to a certain ex-
tent superstitious, and after an excited con-
sultation it was decided that Perez was
either a wizard or a devil, and that he must
be gotten rid of at once. Some one sug-
gested that they tie a stone to his neck and
pitch him into the river. The proposition
was instantly accepted, and would have been
at once carried out had it not been for
the presence of a few cool heads in the

A committee of ten was appointed to inter-
view him. Perez, when informed of the
object of the call, became so agitated that
he could not speak, and seemed about to
faint. Finally, in a hurried, trembling
voice, he protested that every article given
him had been voluntarily presented. This
he proved by two who had called and made
him presents. As to the lady, he said he
had never spoken to her, and did not know
her name. He had seen her standing at the
window with the flowers ; had, without
speaking, admired them, and she had sent
them to him. The committee withdrew, far
from satisfied.

Perez was privately advised to leave town,
but before he could do so he was again in
the hands of the committee, who told him
that unless he would explain more fully they
proposed throwing him into the river. He
saw they fully intended to carry out the
threat, and he made this statement :

" As I can prove, I was born twenty-seven
years ago, three leagues from Durango, on
my father's ranch. He sent me to school at
Durango until I was twelve years old, when,
as I was intended for a priest, I was sent
in charge of a priest to Rome. I attended
several leading colleges and pursued my
studies until about three weeks ago, when I
returned to Mexico. I was never made a
priest. While in college years ago I and
four room-mates began the study of mes-
merism, or hypnotism. Our aim was to per-
fect ourselves in the art so that we could by
a glance or a wave of the hand compel any
person within range of vision to do any act
we willed. I soon became so proficient that
I could control almost anyone.

u At first the sense of power was delight-
ful, but gradually I found that, if I looked
at an article I wished and admired, the
owner of it would present it to me. I tried
every means on earth to control my power.
My classmates, none of whom possessed my

power, were as submissive to me as spaniels.
I left Rome and came home.

"I do not need the presents. I have
money. Take them back for God's sake."

Perez has been allowed to go, but the
question is : What sort of a modern Mephis-
topheles is he?

Notwithstanding the fact that the
above is only ' ' a newspaper story ' '
and unsupported by affidavits, I am
disposed to give it credence. It bears
upon its face the stamp of that truth
which is stranger than anything that
fiction would attempt. It is quite
reconcilable with the well-established
achievements of hypnotism. It also
throws a great flood of light upon the
secret of the confidence operator's en-
ticing ways. Perez is not the only
dishonest person who has acquired
this strange power, but he seems to
have carried it to greater extremes
than his fellows, and, moreover, has
been forced to confess his secret.

Not long ago we had an account of
a fellow who went about victimizing
people in a way quite as inexplicable.
His method was to make a small pur-
chase at a shop and hand the keeper
what the latter believed to be a five or
ten dollar bill. The man would place
the bill in his money-drawer and
count out the change. When he
opened the drawer afterwards he
would be astonished to find, in lieu of
the supposed bill, only a crumbled
piece of newspaper. The swindler
practiced this bold deception on a num-
ber of people in an Eastern town, and
among them was the postmaster, from
whom he thus purchased stamps and
received change in good money.

I do not mean to say that confidence
men generally practice hypnotism as a
science, in the manner of Perez or the
operator named, but I do believe that
they generally possess strong animal
magnetism which they exercise in-

As yet we know little about the
process of hypnotism. A professional
operator with a good subject to work
upon will look steadily into the latter' s
eyes for a moment, then stroke his
head or body with a downward motion,



make a few passes in the^air before his
face, close his eyes, and the subject is
under the hypnotist's control. There
are methods of hypnosis much simpler
than this. When an operator has
once gained control over a subject, he
may throw that subject into a trance
by a mere pass of the hand ; or he
may induce that condition by a mere
mental injunction. Instances have
been recorded where the hypnotic
trance has been induced when the
operator was miles away from his

The accounts given us by Eastern
travelers of the astounding feats
accomplished by Hindu thaumaturg-
ists leave little doubt that those won-
der-workers are experts in hypnotism ;
that they are able to throw a whole
assemblage of people into a sort of
trance-stage on sight, and thus make
them believe they see feats performed
which are not performed at all. I have
read of a test wherein a photographic
camera was turned upon one of these
exhibitions, and frequent snap shots
were taken throughout the proceeding.
But the negatives reproduced none of
the remarkable scenes which the
human witnesses noted. The camera
was not a hypnotic subject.

Perhaps I have pursued the theme
of human hypnotism far enough
for the purposes of this paper.
Those who have informed themselves
about its wonders and believe in them
will say they knew all this beforehand.
Those who are skeptical will be skep-
tical still. I am not under contract to
convince anybody.

It seems to me that there is a branch
of the subject which has not been
so thoroughly exploited as that which
we have just discussed. I refer to
that animal magnetism which inheres
probably with all living creatures, in
varying degree, and which they em-
ploy in some cases in a manner that
suggests animal hypnotism.

The powers of fascination which a
snake exercises to secure its prey are
well recognized in natural history. A
bird that happens to come within this

malign influence is transfixed to the
spot, and allows the snake to crawl up
and seize it. The bird is not influenced,
probably, until it sees the snake — per-
haps not until it looks into the eye of
the snake. Were it in possession of
its normal faculties it could easily seek
rafety in flight. But it is deprived of
its power to move ; we say it is

But while the snake is able to hyp-
notize a little bird or a small animal,
there are other creatures which do not
fall under its fascination. A dog, a
deer, a horse, a human being, each
has enough magnetism of its own to
resist the magnetism of the snake.
But note the fact that the opposing
powers are such as to create the most
irreconcilable hostility between these
creatures. The deer is not an animal
of prey, and not naturally hostile to
smaller animals, but when it sees a
snake it will stamp the reptile to death
in a perfect frenzy. The same instinct
is found in a horse, a mule and a

Mankind participates with the deer
and other animals in this instinctive
hostility to the reptile kind. It mat-
ters not whether a man has ever heard
of the biblical curse upon the serpent's
head and the ordained antipathy of
the human heel — the man and the
snake were not born to be friends.
The average individual will kill a
snake on sight if he thinks he is
able to do so, and he thus follows his
natural instincts. A man is stronger
in his magnetism than a snake, and
does not fall under its influence. A
snake cannot charm a man as a gen-
eral proposition, but some men can
and do charm snakes.

Next to the snake, I think the cat
is the greatest hypnotist that we find
among the lower orders of animals.
Probably this faculty inheres in the
whole feline tribe, from the lion and
leopard that terrorize the jungle to
the pussy that purrs upon the. door-
mat. Were it not for these powers of
fascination, a cat, with all its adroit-
ness, would not be a good bird-catcher.



'he average bird is quicker than a cat,
las as keen a sense of hearing and
ight, prompt instincts of self-preser-
ition, and, in the twinkling of an eye
mid fly out of the feline's reach,
lut many birds sit spell-bound, and
re caught and devoured. A cat
'hich gets access to the cage of a
mary is quite sure to have the bird
>r its dinner. The cat can reach only
little way through the wires, and
the bird is active enough to keep be-
yond the reach of its enemy, but,
somehow, the bird is caught.

A cat cannot charm a dog, but the
opposing magnetisms of the two crea-
tures make them almost implacable

A cat cannot charm a human being,
but most people have felt that there
is a strange, uncanny influence in the
feline. Some people are fond of cats;
some have an intense antipathy to
them. Madame de Remusat relates
an incident in the life of Napoleon I.
which shows that the aversion which
he had for the feline race amounted
virtually to an insane frenzy. He was
born for the mastery of men, but he
was afraid of a cat, and never toler-
ated one about him. On one occasion
when the Emperor was in a room with
a company of people, he suddenly
threw up his hands in the greatest
agitation, exclaiming, " U?i chat ! Un
c'mt. r * He trembled from head to
foot, and seemed almost to be going
into a spasm. The intruding cat was
quickly chased from the room, when
the Emperor recovered his equanim-
ity. If this incident be true, and I
have no right to doubt it, the great
Napoleon was an exception to the rest
of his kind. A cat might have
charmed him and killed him.

I cannot doubt that all animals
possess magnetism, and that in some
it is naturally developed to such an
extent as to furnish them a means of
defense and attack. This endowment
is no more improbable than the endow-
ment of an eel and certain fishes with
the power of communicating an elec-
tric shock. Why not magnetism a:;

well as electricity ? The two forces
are so closely allied, that wherever we
find one developed by artificial agency
we are sure to find the other. By
stroking the back of a cat in a dark
room we produce a shower of electric
sparks. The cat is a noted generator
of electricity, and a noted magnet as
well. It is in short an animal

Now, if we concede this magnetism
to the lower creatures ; if we go fur-
ther and find that they actually em-
ploy this function in hypnosis, we
have gone far towards laying the basis
for an argument that all representa-
tives of the animal kingdom are more
or less endowed with hypnotic powers.
It is one of the natural functions of
man, the animal.

In the evolution of our race and its
advancement along other lines, the
hypnotic powers have been neglected,
and with most people they rank as
mere instincts, or as rudimentary
faculties. But as evolution in time
brings up all arrearages which have
occurred in the development of a one-
sided race, it is possible that there
neglected faculties are about to be
brought to us in full force. The ad-
vance guard of the procession of evo-
lution has passed. Civilization has
had its witches and necromancers, and
has burned them. It has had Mes-
mer, and it denounced and ostracised
him. And still the march of evolution
has gone on, and those freaks, whom
we now call hypnotists, have multi-
plied. We recognize them as men
with an extraordinary development of
natural functions. They begin to
strike a responsive chord in the minds
of many people. All civilized races
are now ready to receive this new

" Mind-reading," so called, thought-
transference and telepathy are but a
manifestation of hypnotism. In
thought-transference, the mind-reader
is in a measure self-hypnotized, and
in this condition he accepts mental
suggestions and impulses from a nor-
mal person whose hand he touches.

9 o


In this case the one who passes as the
subject of the mind-reader is in reality
the hypnotist — the operator ; the
mind-reader is the passive subject —
the one operated upon.

Just as the human race possesses
natural faculties of hypnotism, so also
they possess natural faculties for mind-
reading. The one process is the con-
verse or complement of the other.

So I think I am justified in declar-
ing that civilized man is approaching
the acquisition of what will prove to

him a new set of faculties. They are
not really new, for they have lain dor-
mant in him all along, scarcely recog-
nized, and hitherto employed only as
instincts. From these instincts he will
develop a sense which may be as read-
ily at his command as hearing, seeing,
feeling, tasting and smelling.

In other words, we are adding
another human faculty to the category.
Henceforward we may say that man
is endowed with six senses, one of
which is magnetism.




THE Calaveras and Mariposa
sequoias, the Natural Bridges,
the rich Gold Mines, the great
Yosemite Valley — all had been \ -is-
ited, when, buried deep in the heart
of the Sierras a calm and sacred sanc-
tuary was brought to view, the new
Calaveras Cave.

Of the few notable caves in Cali-
fornia, perhaps Bower and the New
Calaveras present the most striking
contrasts ; for the former is open to
the sky, with a growth of trees whose
towering tops are on a level with the
surface above,, while the latter is
wholly underground, containing no
plant growth save that of lichens and
other fungus forms. Bower Cave is
situated in Mariposa County, and
though of proportions far inferior to
those of Calaveras, is remarkable for
its peculiar structure, resembling an
artificial excavation rather than a nat-
ural cavern, and for its lake of
dark green water, which is consid-
ered bottomless. Fresh, green ferns
and shrubs thrive upon its banks.
At one side is a flight of stairs leading
to an underground chamber of some-
what diminutive dimensions, when
compared with the extensive apart-
ments found in the cave of Calaveras

The journey to the new Calaveras

Online LibraryCharles Frederick HolderThe Californian (Volume 4) → online text (page 12 of 120)