18. The following proving was made by a young friend of mine, a gentleman of good mind and considerable reading; of excellent moral character and worthy of the most implicit confidence.
18 a. Having taken 15 gr. of an American extract without effect, a week later he took, at 8 a.m., 3 gr. of an English one, expecting it to operate about noon. Nothing happening, he concluded that he had taken too small a dose, when about 4:30, while playing guitar amongst his family, “one of the tunes, a rather solemn one seemed suddenly to assume a more melodious character gradually increasing in grandeur bar after bar, till I was wholly absorbed with it. The words died away and I still went on with the accompaniment; my mind carried the air and all surrounding objects faded; I lived wholly in the music, and a deep subdued joyous feeling, such as I never before felt, pervaded my whole being. At last I came to myself somewhat and turned to the whole being. At last I came to myself somewhat and turned to the others, remarking that it was beautiful and asking if they did not think so. They were surprised at the question and said the air possessed but little merit. At this moment a strange crawling sensation commenced in my body, extending to my limbs, down my arms into my fingers’ ends, and up into my brain, traveling slowly, but so powerful that I was wholly overcome with surprise.” These thrills followed more rapidly and became more intense especially when he moved to leave room. In going downstairs to put away guitar mind wandered and had to be forcibly recalled making time seem long; in going upstairs to his room he seemed not to touch steps, treading air as a swimmer treads water. Thrills were now continuous, commencing of each being only known by an increase in force; heart and arteries bean to throb violently, and blood to rush to head, so that he feared apoplexy. “The uncertain aspect of things” (which he had already experienced) “now increased, with the whole force of my reason seemingly unimpaired. I could not convince myself that the furniture in the room had any other than an ideal existence. This feeling was so oppressive that I determined to seek the rest of the family. But how could I reach them? I was in another sphere; I had journeyed to a world whose objects I could not realize, an uncertain world whose paths I did not know. An atmosphere surrounded my little world through which I could not pass; to break through the open doorway seemed as impossible as to wing my way through the ethereal regions to throne above. This was my station; here I must remain. A feeling of loneliness now overwhelmed me. I must seek the rest of the family. I hurled my body through the seemingly impenetrable though invisible barrier. On, on I went, pushing my way through a resistant atmosphere or surrounding – an adherent fluid it seemed to be, not dense as water nor rare as air, yet it resisted, and I by force of will overcame it step by step. I noticed here the two parts of my being acting separately; my will was separate from my body, spurring it onward, pushing it forward, and using it much as an artificer used a tool, seeming to exult in its supremacy and glad of its partial disenthralment.”
18 b. He now returned to the sitting room, finding his family there, who assumed the same unreal aspect. When he spoke his voice seemed someone else’s. He found he had been absent only 5 m., though it seemed to him as many h. Was told he looked pale, eyes half closed and dull hands cold and clammy. He felt as if resinous matter exuded from every pore, lining mouth and throat and creating a great thirst. Drinking a glass of water, it seemed to run down throat by its own gravity and without touching either side. His thoughts were occupied with speculations as to the action of the drug (which he mentioned he had taken) and were now and then half involuntarily expressed, not always with seemliness. At last, family becoming anxious, a mixture of ether and camphor was given him. After its stimulation had passed off it left him extremely melancholy, which increased as day grew dark, but suddenly cleared away on going into lighted supper room, where the lustre seemed to fill his whole soul. Thrills went off after meal while playing piano, but recurred for a fortnight on taking hot stimulants. (GARDINER, Amer. Hom. Rev., iii, 411.)
18 c. In a later communication this prover (Dr. W. A. D. Pierce) tells his own story much as above, but continues as follows: – “The thrills left me suddenly, when in the middle of a tune, the last part of which seemed so flat that I was obliged to stop playing. My friends told me that I had been playing with more pathos than usual. For two or three weeks after this I felt once in a while, just as I fell asleep, a regular haschisch thrill, which would make me almost fear to wake, lest I should have a succession of them. For several months, in fact, for nearly a year afterwards, I was troubled with a crisping sensation in the brain, just as fell asleep or awoke from sleep; not every n., but probably once a week. My mind was capable of greater effort for a while afterwards. During the succeeding week, I read a work on psychology of over 700 pages, and could for a long while refer to any part of it without my notes. This not have done before nor since. During the summer of 1866, I took some pellets saturated with the 30th cent. potency of C. indica, and in about an h. had a real haschisch thrill, so violent that I took hold of a counter to prevent myself from reeling, experiencing the same want of confidence in myself and anxious terror I had felt on taking the larger dose. Had a metallic taste on my tongue, and a slight exudation of resinous saliva, or rather mucus, from my tongue. These symptoms lasted but an instant. Sept. 8th, 1866. – Took 1 gr. of the resin and procured following symptoms during following two d., – Itching in face, shoulder, abdomen, and feet, relieved by scratching. Frequent drowsiness. Drowsiness, with cold feeling of back of head and neck, as though air blew thereon. Fulness and heaviness in forehead, with pressure at root of nose and over eyes; headache over l. eye; dull hard pain in top of head; pain in back head l. side. Seething or crisping of blood through brain, quick, like a flash of sheet lightning. Sensation as though muscles of face were drawn tightly around jaw. Drawing in muscles of mastication; stinging in r. side of face as though stuck with pins; leaves on scratching, but comes again immediately on another part of body. Slight pain at back of eyeball. Pain and singing in l. ear. Itching of nose continually. Pain in lower molar teeth r. side. Increased flow of thick, tasteless saliva. Slight but continual eructations of wind, tasteless. Pain in pit of stomach; nervous grumbling sensation in stomach, coming on every few moments, and extending up into thorax. Disagreeable flatulent rumbling in the bowels at n. when lying down. No desire to urinate (1st d.). Continual desire to urinate (2nd d.). Cold feeling in small of back and between shoulders. Sensation as though a red-hot iron rod was passed from sacrum up spine to the atlas, around occiput, over eyes from r. side stopping at l. ear, leaving a feeling as if charred, taking 6 h. to perform the passage. Pain in front of arm and back of elbow. Itching of sole of foot; pain land itching in l. leg just above knee. Nervous, restless feeling over whole body. Feeling of warmth over front of body and arms; sweat on front of limbs, and moist feeling of whole body, especially front; moist warmth of palms of hands.