“In 1864, in the French province of Le Var, near the little village of Brignoles, lived a peasant named Jaques Pelissier, who made a living by killing birds by simple will-power. His case is reported by the well-known Dr. d’Alger, at whose request the singular hunter gave exhibitions to several scientific men, of his method of proceeding.
The story is told as follows: “At about fifteen or twenty paces from us, I saw a charming little meadow-lark which I showed to Jaques. ‘Watch him well, monsieur’, he said, ‘he is mine.’ Instantly stretching his right hand toward the bird, he approached him gently. The meadow-lark stops, raises and lowers his pretty head, spreads his wings, but cannot fly; at last he cannot make a step further and suffers himself to be taken, only moving his wings with a feeble fluttering.
I examine the bird, his eyes are tightly closed and his body has a corpse-like stiffness, although the pulsations of the heart are very distinct; it is true cataleptic sleep, and all the phenomena incontestably prove a magnetic action. Fourteen little birds were taken in this way, within the space of an hour; none could resist the power of Master Jacques, and all presented the same cataleptic sleep; a sleep which, moreover, terminates at the will of the hunter, whose humble slaves these little birds have become.
“A hundred times, perhaps, I asked Jaques to restore life and movement to his prisoners, to charm them only half way, so that they might hop along the ground, and then again bring them completely under the charm.
All my requests were exactly complied with, and not one single failure was made by this remarkable Nimrod, who finally said to me” ‘If you wish it, I will kill those which you designate without touching them.’ I pointed out two for the experiment, and, at twenty-five or thirty paces distance, he accomplished in less than a five minutes what he had promised.”
A most curious feature of the above case is, that Jaques had complete power only over sparrows, robins, goldfinches, and meadow-larks; he could sometimes charm like skylarks, but, as he says, “they often escape me.”
This same power is exercised with greater force by persons known as wild beast tamers. On the banks of the Nile, some of the natives can charm the crocodiles out of the water, with a peculiarly melodious, low whistle, and handle them with impunity; while others possess such powers over the most deadly snakes. Travelers tell of seeing the charmers surrounded by multitudes of the reptiles which they dispatch at their leisure.”
H. P. Blavatsky