In a former paper read to a meeting of this Association I attempted to gather together what has been handed down to us about the nervous disorders and hallucinations of Mahomet,∗ of Luther, and of others great in history. It gave me much gratification to see that the paper formed the text of an interesting discussion. As we learn more of the influence of external circumstances and physical conditions on human belief and conduct, the records of the past are read in a new light. As science shows us the relation of events previously unknown, we see more surely how things really occurred; what was perplexing becomes clear; embellishments and additions fall off; and we are confirmed in the belief that the past was governed by the same laws as the present. Thus the knowledge of nervous diseases, and the experience gained by the study of hallucinations, illusions, and the errors and deceptions of the human mind, may explain some of the difficult problems of history.
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