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That such crass superstition should be made the means of political propagandism in the last decade of the nineteenth century is certainly a strange phenomenon. Another book indicating the rank growth of superstition in recent times is Dr. The author evidently prides himself upon his powers as an exorcist, and relates with great unction and assurance his experiences in casting out devils by a hocus-pocus worthy of an American medicine-man or an African conjurer.
In the section of his manual entitled Recognition of Demoniac Diseases he states that the signs of diabolical possession are quite conspicuous, but not altogether infallible, such as understanding foreign tongues without having learned them, and revealing the place where objects have been hidden, a peculiar faculty now known as mind-reading.
Some persons thus affected are subject to fits of fainting; others shake and shiver as though they had the ague; others break out into profuse perspiration, or are seized with an irrepressible tendency to yawn, often developing into chronic oscitation. Sometimes the symptoms are imperceptible to the observer, as when the patient complains of internal heat, or suffers from constriction of the head, confusion of ideas, roaring in the ears, and similar troubles.
Bischofberger admits that disorders produced by demons are difficult to distinguish from those due to natural causes. The sensations of the aura epileptica and the convulsions that follow them are the same, whatever may be their origin.
Benediktionale: Studienausgabe für die katholischen Bistümer des deutschen Sprachgebietes