Cannabis indica



21 b. The first stage drew towards its termination. After some m. I recovered my calmness without headache, or any of the symptoms which accompany the use of wine, and feeling very much astonished at what had elapsed, when I again fell under the influence of the haschisch. The vision this time was more complicated and extraordinary. Millions of butterflies, whose wings wafted like fans, flew about in the midst of a confused kind of light. Gigantic flowers with crystal calices, enormous hollyhocks, gold and silver lilies, arose and burst into flowers around me with a crackling sound like that of bouquets of fireworks. My hearing was prodigiously developed; I could hear the sound of colour green, red, blue, and yellow sounds struck me with perfect distinctness. A glass upset, the creaking of a chair, or a word spoken, however low, vibrated and resounded like rolling thunder; my own voice appeared so loud that I durst not speak for fear of throwing down the walls or bursting like a bomb; more than 500 clocks chimed the hour with their flute like vices. Every object gave forth a note of the harmonium or Aeolian harp. I swam in an ocean of sound, wherein some passages of the “lucia” and “Barbiaere” floated like little isles of light. Never before had I bathed in such beatitude. I was so encircled by its waves, so transported from all things earthly, so lost to self that odious every present witness that I comprehended for the first time what might be the existence of elementary spirits and angels and souls released from this mortal coil. I was as a sponge in the midst of the sea; every instant was of happiness washed over me, entering and departing through the pores for I had become permeable, and even to the smallest capillary vessel my whole being was filled with the colour of the fantastic medium in which I was plunged. Sounds, perfumes, and light reached me by multitudes beams, delicate as a hair through which I heard the magnetic current pass.

21 c. According to my calculation this state must have lasted for 300 years, for the sensations succeeded each other so rapidly and potently that the real appreciation of time was impossible. When the attack was over I perceived that it had lasted 1/4 h. What is very curious in the intoxicating effect of the haschisch is, that it is not continuous; it comes and goes suddenly raises you to heaven, and places you again on earth, without any gradual transition. Like madness, it had its lucid intervals.

21 d. A third attack, the last and strangest, terminated my Oriental soiree. In this, my sight was doubled. Two images of each object were reflected on my retina and produced a complete symmetry; but soon the magic paste, being entirely digested, acted with more powers on my brain, and I became completely mad for the space of an h. All kinds of Pantagruelic dreams passed through my fancy; goatsuckers, storks, striped geese, unicorns, griffins, nightmares, all the menageries of monstrous dreams, trotted, jumped flew, or glided through the room. These wore horns terminating in foliage, webbed hands whimsical beings, with the feet of the armchair for legs, and dialplates for eyeballs, enormous noses, dancing the cachuca, mounted on chickens’ legs. For myself I imagined I was the paroquet of the Queen of Sheba, and imitated to the best of my ability, the voice and cries of that interesting bird. The visions became so grotesque that I was seized with a desire to sketch them, which I did in 5m. with inconceivable rapidity, on the backs of letters, cards, or any piece of paper on which I could lay my hands. One of them is the portrait of Dr -, as he appeared to me, seated at the piano, dressed as a Turk, with a sun painted on the back of his vest. The notes are represented escaping from the instrument in the form of guns and spirals, capriciously intertwisted. Another sketch bears this inscription: “An Animal of the Future.” It represents a living locomotive with a swan’s neck terminating in the jaws of a serpent, whence issue jets of smoke, with two monstrous paws composed of wheels and pulleys; each pair of paws has a pair of wings, and on the tail of the animal is seated the Mercury of the ancients, who is confessing himself to be conquered not withstanding his heels. Thanks to haschisch, I have painted from nature the portrait of a goblin. Even now I fancy I hear them whining and mowing at night in my old beauffet. (THEOPHILE GAUTIER, in Brierre de Boismont’s Histoire des Apparitions, &c.)

Richard Hughes
Dr. Richard Hughes (1836-1902) was born in London, England. He received the title of M.R.C.S. (Eng.), in 1857 and L.R.C.P. (Edin.) in 1860. The title of M.D. was conferred upon him by the American College a few years later.

Hughes was a great writer and a scholar. He actively cooperated with Dr. T.F. Allen to compile his 'Encyclopedia' and rendered immeasurable aid to Dr. Dudgeon in translating Hahnemann's 'Materia Medica Pura' into English. In 1889 he was appointed an Editor of the 'British Homoeopathic Journal' and continued in that capacity until his demise. In 1876, Dr. Hughes was appointed as the Permanent Secretary of the Organization of the International Congress of Homoeopathy Physicians in Philadelphia. He also presided over the International Congress in London.