Sunday, September 6, 2009

On the Wonderful Effect of Imagination

"During the siege of Breda, in the Netherlands, in 1625, the garrison was dreadfully afflicted with the scurvy. So useless was the medical aid afforded to the soldiers, and so desperate were they in consequence, that they resolved to give up the city to the enemy.

This resolution came to the ears of the Prince of Orange; he immediately wrote addresses to the men, assuring them that he possessed remedies that were unknown to physicians, and that he would undertake their cure, provided they continued in the discharge of their duty.

Together with these addresses he sent to the physicians small vials of coloured water, which the patients were assured were of immense price, and of unspeakable virtue.

Many, who declared that all former remedies had only made them worse, now recovered in a few days. A long and interesting account of the wonderful working of this purely imaginary antidote was drawn up by M. Van der Mye, one of the physicians in the garrison, whose office was thus successfully usurped by the Prince of Orange.

A corroborative proof of the well-known power of the imagination in affecting disease is afforded in the following Arabian fable; One day a traveler met the Plague going into Cairo, and accosted it thus; "For what purpose are you entering Cairo?"

"To kill 3,000 people," rejoined the Plague.

Some time after, the same traveler met the Plague on his return, and said, "But you killed 30,000!"

"Nay," replied the Plague, "I killed but 3,000; the rest died of fright.""

No comments:

Post a Comment