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8o   MEMORIES OF MY LIFE

There was a good deal of talk at that time about animal magnetism. Its practice in Saxony was forbidden by law, but an Austrian acquaintance in Dresden invited me to his house across the frontier, where I saw the elementary part of its practice, namely, its inducing catalepsy and insensibility to pain. I afterwards practised it at home, and magnetised some eighty persons in this way ; but it is an unwholesome procedure, and I have never attempted it since. One experience was, however, of interest. I had been assured that success was the effect of strength of will on the part of the magnetiser, so at first I exerted all the will-power I possessed, which was fatiguing. I then, by way of experiment, intermitted a little, looking all the time in the same way as before, and found myself equally successful. So I intermitted more and more, and at last succeeded in letting my mind ramble freely while I maintained the same owl-like demeanour. This acted just as well. The safe COIlclw;i01l W;ls tlmt the C11CCt is l)Iirely subjective on the part of the patient, and that willpower on the part of the operator has nothing to do with it.

A main object of giving the foregoing brief notices of notable persons with whom I had the privilege of being acquainted at Cambridge, is to show the enormous advantages offered by a University to those who care to profit by them. The body of undergraduates contains a very large majority of men of mediocre gifts and tastes, but it has also a strong infusion of the highest intellects of their age and country, picked out of all the schools of England. Among any body of young educated Englishmen