20. 10 gr. of haschisch – it was an extract obtained from Hering, of London – were taken at 4 p.m. By 5 an indescribably “queer” feeling pervaded the whole body, and the experimenter started at once for his hotel. While going along a plank walk – just one board wide – every now and then, and suddenly, the r. leg would shoot to the l., missing the plank. After observing this muscular freak a few times, the attention was centered upon locomotion, with a view of preventing a repetition of the erratic misstep. Out shot the leg again and again, defying volition and invariably going over to the l. On reaching the hotel the friend who had supplied the haschisch was sitting on the piazza with three companions, all of whom were known to the experimenter. An ordinary conversation was going on, to which we listened, and soon found ourself filled with surprise that we should have known the parties talking for so long a time, and never before have perceived how very witty they were. The desire to laugh at every remark made because it was so funny was repressed only because none of the others laughed. A sense of vague uneasiness and considerable oppression of the chest led us to call our friend aside, tell him the haschisch was taken and ask to go at once to his room. Mounting the stairs increased the chest oppression and flushed the face. After lying upon the bed a dryness in the throat led to a request for water, which our friend went to obtain. When he returned and stood by the bedside with it, he was greeted with a shout: – “Whoop! Stand from under! “What is the matter?” he inquired. The sound of his voice dispelled the illusion that the experimenter was a pump log through which a stream of hot water was playing, and threatening the friend, with a wetting. The deepening flush on our face alarmed our friend, who closed the window blinds, and advising us to go to sleep, left the room saying he would soon be back. Finding our eyes closed on his return he leaned upon one elbow on the bed beside us, and bending over said, ” Doc.” We lay quiet, opened our eyes, and exclaimed very emphatically: “Take care! You’re spilling me!” “What is the matter with you?” he replied still leaning heavily on the bed “Stupid, you will spill me!” was the answer. “You’re fooling: What’s the matter with you?” “Don’t you see I’m an inkstand, and you’ll have the ink all over the white counterpane?” “You ‘re no such thing” was the equally emphatic reply of our friend. In the person of a inkstand, we opened and shut our brass cover it had a hinge shook ourself, and both saw and felt the ink splash against our glass sides; and, angry at our friend’s incredulity, turned with our face towards the wall, and would not speak a verse with him. Then we very soon fell asleep, and did not awaken until late next m. While our illusions were very real, we were still conscious that they were silly and unreal; that is, the sense of their unreality would come in a m., or two. An oppression of the chest as if suffocation would surely supervene, was exceedingly disagreeable; and when we had fallen asleep the deeply flushed face alarmed our friend. He afterwards said the sleep was like that of one “dead drunk.” For a long while after we were annoyed and alarmed by pains about the heart: and with our present vague recollection of them we would not like to repeat that dose of haschisch. For fully two weeks after, when sitting in our office in the quiet summer afternoons, reading desultorily, we would hear most magnificent harmony, as if some master hand were playing an organ and using only the softer stops. there was this peculiarity about the hearing of the music, namely, one must be in a state of half reverie, and then the divine strains, soft and marvellously sweet, followed one another in a smoother legato than any human “fingering” ever accomplished. If one roused the attention and strained the ear as if to be sure of catching every chord – silence came at once. (S. A. JONES, N. Y. Journ. of Hom., ii, 368.)
21. a. One of our companions, Dr. -, who had traveled much in the East, and was a determined opium eater, was the first to yield to the influence of the haschisch, having taken a much larger dose than the others. He saw stars in his plate, and the firmament in his soup dish; then turning his face to the wall, talked to himself, and burst into fits of laughter, with eyes flashing, and in the highest state of glee. I felt perfectly calm until dinner was over, although the pupils of the eyes of my other friends began to sparkle strangely, and acquire a most singular turquoise tinct. The table being cleared, I (still having my senses) arranged myself comfortably with cushions on a divan to await the ecstasy. In a few m. a general lethargy overcame me. My body appeared to dissolve or become transparent. I saw the haschisch I had eaten distinctly within me, under the form of an emerald from which thousands of little sparks were omitted; my eyelashes lengthened indefinitely, twisting themselves like golden threads around little ivory wheels, which whirled about with inconceivable rapidity. Around me were figures and scrolls of all colours arabesques, and flowing forms in endless variety, which I can only compare to the variations of the kaleidoscope. I still occasionally saw my companions, but they appeared disfigured – half men, half plants; now with the pensive air of an ibis, standing upon one leg, and again as ostriches, flapping their wings and wearing so strange an appearance that I shook with laughter in my corner; and as if to join in the buffoonery of the scene, I commenced tossing up my cushions catching them as they descended and twisting them round with all the dexterity of an Indian juggler. One of the gentlemen addressed a discourse to me in Italian, which the haschisch, by its extraordinary power, delivered to me in Spanish. Questions and answers were most rational, and touched on different matters, such as the theaters and literature.