276 MEMORIES OF MY LIh i
The following experiments on Human Faculty are worth recording ; they have not been published before. I n the days of my youth I felt at one time a passionate desire to subjugate the body by the spirit, and among other disciplines determined that my will should replace automatism by hastening or retarding automatic acts. Every breath was submitted to this process, with the result that the normal power of breathing was dangerously interfered with. It seemed as though I should suffocate if I ceased to will. I had a terrible half-hour . at length by slow and irregular steps the lost power returned. My dread was hardly fanciful, for heart-failure is the suspension of the automatic faculty of the heart to beat.
A later experiment was to gain some idea of the commoner feelings. in Insanity. The method tried was to invest everything I met, whether human, animal, or inanimate, with the imaginary attributes of a spy. Having arranged plans, I started on my morning's walk from Rutland Gate, and found the experiment only too successful. By the time I had walked one and a half miles, and reached the cabstand in Piccadilly at the east end of the Green Park, every horse on the stand seemed watching me, either with pricked ears or disguising its espionage. Hours passed before this uncanny sensation wore off, and I feel that I could only too easily re-establish it.
The third and last experiment of which I will speak was to gain an insight into the abject feelings of barbarians and others concerning the power of images which they know to be of human handiwork. I had visited a large collection of idols gathered by missionaries from many lands, and wondered how