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Vice-Provost of Eton College 


3 1822 02246 8540 





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3 1822 02246 8540 

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First Published in 1922 



M. E. C. 




Dear Reader, 

Look first upon this picture from Deuteronomy 
xxviii, 67 : "In the morning thou shalt say, Would 
God it were even ! and at even thou shalt say, 
Would God it were morning ! " and then upon this, 
which I owe to Arthur Benson, from " The Pilgrim's 
Progress " : " The Pilgrim they laid in a large upper 
chamber whose window opened towards the sun- 
rising ; the name of the chamber was Peace, where 
he slept till break of day, and then he awoke and 
sang." You may make either picture true for 
yourself ; it is for you to choose. 

H. M. 


I wish to thank the editor of "The Times " for his 
kindness in allowing me to use some part of a 
former appreciation of M. Cou6, which he published 
for me on March 27 th and 31st. 

H. M. 

Cher Mr. Macnaghten, 

Je serai tres heureux que vous ecriviez le petit 
livre dont vous m'avez parle" et j'ajoute que je 
vous en suis reconnaissant. 

E. Cou£ 
Londres, le 3 Avril, 1922 


" That is that which I seek for, even to be rid of this 
heavy burden, but to get it off myself I cannot, nor is there 
any man in our country that can take it off my shoulders ; 
therefore am I going this way as I told you that I may be 
rid of my burden." — " The Pilgrim's Progress." 


IT is always difficult to know how best to 
begin. No sooner had I written these words 
than I realized that I could hardly have made a 
more disastrous start ; to talk of difficulty (ask 
M. Coue) is to court failure, but my blunder is so 
instructive an example of what we should avoid 
that I will let it stand. Clearly the easiest way to 
begin and the best will be to state as briefly as I 
can the succession of events that led me to Nancy, 
before I give some account of my experiences there, 
and then pass to M. Cou6's latest visit to England. 
A long series of accidents brought me to Nancy. 
I first heard of auto-suggestion in July, 1921, 
when somebody casually suggested to me that I 
should try M. Coup's method for the cure of 
insomnia. His name was at the time unfamiliar 
to me ; and I rejected the suggestion, without a 
moment's thought. Early in December a friend 


spoke to me of M. Coue and began to explain his 
method. He had only got as far as the famous 
formula, Tons les jours a tous points de vue je 
vais de mieux en mieux, when I interrupted with 
the rather obvious superficial criticism that I did 
not see how the repetition of a false statement, 
made twenty times, would help me, and dismissed 
the subject. Soon after this I went abroad, in 
search of sleep, in spite of Horace's warning that 
" when o'er the world we range, 'tis but our 
climate not our mind we change," which kept 
ringing in my ears. In fact I was continually 
making such harmful suggestions to myself, which 
were almost invariably confirmed by the event, 
for at that time I hc.d no idea that to have such 
thoughts was simply to forge new chains which 
would make it more and more impossible to escape 
from the prison-house. In Italy I met a com- 
passionate lady, to whom I confided my troubles, 
not knowing that to talk of them was almost 
inevitably to aggravate them. She lent me 
Baudoin's book, which I found difficult and not 
particularly helpful. To take only one instance, 
it irritated me to find that the law of reversed 
action was frequently alluded to, but never 
adequately explained. Consequently, though I 
managed to finish the book, it taught me little 
(all my fault, I confess) and gave me little 


encouragement. Then by a mere chance I was 
introduced to another lady, who, I was told, had 
been at Nancy and was eager to repay her debt 
to M. Coue by helping others to share the benefit 
which she had received from him. I soon proved 
this to be entirely true. Every day, of her great 
kindness, she devoted at least an hour to my 
instruction, and though she found me a most 
intractable patient she did at least succeed in 
inspiring me with the desire of seeking M. Coue 
himself. Indeed I actually looked out trains 
and should have made the not inconsiderable 
ddtour which a visit to Nancy involved had it 
not been for an accident which made a direct 
journey to England imperative. After my return 
I slept no better, and at last I yielded to the 
kindness of friends who made it easy for me to go 
to Nancy, and I went. Starting at n a.m. and 
travelling straight through from London, I reached 
Nancy at 6.40 a.m. next morning : it would have 
been possible but undesirable to arrive at 4 a.m. 
(The return journey may be made in a day, because 
the trains fit better ; it is possible to leave Nancy 
at 9 a.m. and to reach Victoria at 10.40 p.m. the 
same day.) On arriving at the hotel I was in- 
formed that M. Coue had returned the day before, 
and that he was to lecture at 9 a.m. in a distant 
quarter of the town. 



" That which we have seen and heard." 

THERE was just time for bath and breakfast ; 
we were too excited to feel tired, and we 
were among the first to reach the little cottage con- 
sisting of one room on the ground floor and one 
upper room where M. Coue usually sees his patients, 
or (shall we not say ?) his friends. The meetings 
are held in the upper room, which is quite small : 
if used as a dining-room, a table to hold six would 
be as much as there is room for. As a matter of 
fact quite twenty-four people are accommodated 
somehow, either on chairs and camp-stools or on 
the floor. In addition to the room itself there 
is a half passage half ante-room, which holds 
perhaps eight, and this also is usually full. Ven- 
tilation is a difficulty ; a door must be open so 
that those in the ante-room may not be excluded ; 
consequently, to avoid a draught, which people 


generally but unwisely imagine to be dangerous, 
the window is relentlessly shut. M. Coue himself 
is, of course, thanks to self-mastery, almost 
indifferent to any atmosphere, stifling or other- 
wise. I suppose he says to himself, " I shan't 
mind this, I shan't mind this at all, indeed I shall 
rather like it," and his mind so readily falls in 
with the suggestion that he would emerge from the 
Black Hole of Calcutta itself quite unharmed. 
The rest of us try to follow in his steps, and some 
of us are actually surprised at our success in not 
minding very much the airlessness, and worse 
than airlessness, of the room ; we have said to 
ourselves, " This is doing me good," or, if we shrink 
from such an overstatement of the case, at any 
rate, " This is doing me no harm " ; if we boggle 
even at that, at least we can say of the discom- 
fort, " It is passing," and before we have gabbled 
this many times it actually passes. "It is 
passing," as M. Coue reminds us, must be gabbled 
because it is essential that we should not allow the 
ambushed opposite thought, " It is not passing," 
to intrude itself and do the devil's work. By the 
by, M. Coue's native French is obviously in this 
instance preferable to English, for ga passe can 
be gabbled far more effectively than "It is 

And now perhaps the best way will be to give 


a few details of the different conferences which I 
attended. A more strangely assorted company 
it would be hard to find. We seemed at first 
sight to be separated almost all of us by an im- 
measurable gulf from one another, yet it soon 
became obvious that every one wished well to his 
neighbour ; we all of us seemed to be inspired 
by one spirit and that spirit was M. Coue's. I 
remember hearing an English officer in France 
say once, it was in January, 1919, " Every one 
helps every one else out here ; one would never 
think of doing it in England." Well, it was just 
so in Nancy early in 1922 : every one in M. Coue's 
presence took a genuine kindly interest in every 
one else. I was amazed by the goodness which 
I saw everywhere. It is comparatively easy to 
mourn with those who mourn ; the difficulty is, 
especially if you are feeling no better yourself, to 
rejoice with those who are rejoicing in the gradual 
return of health ; but in that room every one else 
managed it, and this all-embracing sympathy 
and universal goodwill were, I believe, no un- 
important factors in the improvement which took 
place day by day in almost every one. Doubtless 
in many cases what our friends chiefly need for 
the restoration of health and spirits is a little 
kindness ; a sympathetic word is generally worth 
far more than any tonic. But as a rule when we 


fall ill and still have to go on with our work, we 
become depressed and depressing ; inevitably 
we are shunned ; for undeniably we are very 
poor company, and we are fortunate indeed if 
we possess any friends whom nothing will alienate, 
however sorely they are tried. 

In describing my own experiences at Nancy, 
let me say at once that I witnessed no miraculous 
cures, but although this disappointed me at the 
time I now regard it as a positive advantage, 
because it would be so easy to be biassed and misled 
by a single exceptional case and consequently to 
miss, or at least to misinterpret, the whole meaning 
of M. Coue's work. Beyond doubt there have 
been not a few instantaneous cures which might 
be, and probably were, regarded as miracles by 
the majority of those present at the time, but 
M. Coue would never be one of this majority ; 
he is never tired of affirming that he works no 
miracles, all he claims is that he is able in most 
cases to help us to cure ourselves. " I cannot 
help you," he would say, " if you have broken an 
arm or a leg ; in that case you will go, if you are 
sensible, to a surgeon ; but I may be able to help 
you to recover the use of a limb or an eye which 
from the mere fact of long disuse has ceased to 
act as a limb or an eye in being." It is true that 
at times he has seemed to achieve much more 


than this. A helpless cripple carried into the 
room has left M. Coue's presence on his own feet, 
cured and triumphant ; but the explanation is 
simple ; the cripple had long ceased to believe 
in the possibility of walking and therefore the 
disbelief had translated itself into a real inability. 
The moment that he believed M. Coue, who had 
told him that he had the power of walking, that 
moment he was able to walk. As he first walked, 
shouting, " Je marche, je marche," and presently 
ran round the room, doubtless he seemed to 
himself a living and walking proof that miracles 
do happen ; but to M. Coue he presented only 
one more example of the truth that, what you 
think, in the sphere of possibilities of course, tends 
irresistibly to become true for you. At the 
first conference we were about a dozen English 
of the upper and upper-middle class and about 
the same number of French, of whom the majority 
were poor. As M. Coue goes his round and 
questions each of those present, one by one, there 
is plenty of evidence of human suffering in the 
long but unmonotonous tale of various ills from 
which the many patients are suffering. Yet 
almost invariably the pervading tone is one of 
hopefulness. The sceptic of yesterday is a little 
less sceptical to-day, in another's eyes despair 
is changing to a gleam of hope, my nearest neigh- 


bour slept better last night than on any night 
during the last ten years ; the woman next to 

him says, " I feel a little better, but ." Here 

M. Coue cuts her short, for " buts " spoil it all. 
Almost every one was better, and there were no 
miraculous cures. Some improvement, however, 
took place before our eyes : one old man, who at 
first could not raise his arm, ended, thanks to 
much encouragement, by raining blows on M. 
Coue's shoulder, though not, I must admit, as 
vigorously as M. Coue himself would have desired. 
Another man, with rheumatism in both knees, 
after a little rubbing by M. Coue and many 
repetitions of the ga passe formula, found himself 
able to walk with comparative ease. Any such 
visible improvement was infectious and we all 
took courage. When M. Coue has made his 
round and has said some words to each of us, he 
tells us to close our eyes, and recites his gospel 
of health ; we are just to listen without effort ; 
a wise passiveness is best ; indeed, we may sleep 
if we will, for our subconscious mind never sleeps 
and never forgets, and so his words sink in. We 
are to be very careful to eat slowly and turn our 
food into a kind of paste before we swallow it ; 
thus certainly, but only thus, will constipation 
cease to be. We shall sleep soundly ; our dreams, 
if we dream, will be pleasant ; troubles and worries 


will melt away and we shall awake and sing ; 
there will be no more fears, no more thoughts of 
unkindness ; shyness and self -consciousness will 
vanish. And how are we to win this great reward ? 
Very easily it seems ; without effort. As soon 
as we nestle on the pillow we are to close our eyes 
and recite without stress, but just audibly, the 
well-known formula some twenty times : " Every 
day in every respect I grow better and better ; " 
or, if we think that those things are better said 
in French, " Tous les jours, a tous points de vue, 
je vais de mieux en mieux." It seems childish, 
does it not ? It is really childlike, and that is a 
very different thing. And if we wish we can add 
the childlike words, " par la grace de Dieu," or 
" Thank God," and so turn it into a prayer. Does 
this sound to you more like the Pharisee's prayer 
than the Publican's ? To me it rather recalls 
the Samaritan who of the ten healed of leprosy 
alone returned to give thanks to God. When- 
ever in the course of his little sermon M. Coue* 
mentions a disability or sickness, from which 
any one person in particular among his audience 
is suffering, he approaches that person and touches 
the part affected. One hardly realizes it as strange 
that he should remember as he does the ailments 
of some thirty persons, many of whom he is 
seeing for the first time. Only very rarely he 


makes a slip, as when, for instance, he touched a 
, friend of mine on the thumb that was not gouty, 
and said that very probably it would soon be 
like the other. Thank goodness ! he is too 
intensely human never to make a mistake, and he 
will, I know, forgive me for hoping that in this 
particular forecast he was mistaken. He is 
himself as quick as lightning to take advantage 
of any mistakes that his patients make in de- 
scribing their own condition, and his quiet humour 
is a constant source of delight. Nor are there 
wanting humorous episodes. For instance, hardly 
had M. Coue finished speaking of the certain 
cure of constipation when the sufferer he had 
been addressing hurried from the room, announc- 
ing, with mingled surprise and triumph, that the 
event was going to justify the prediction. These 
things are said more easily, without offence, in 
French ; there was only a little ripple of sym- 
pathetic laughter while M. Coue smiled at the 
startlingly sudden fulfilment of his promise. 
Yet always M. Coue is careful to assure his audience 
" I cure no one " ; all that he offers is his help 
in teaching others to cure themselves. On Friday 
there were two lectures in the afternoon, the 
first by M. Coue himself and the second by his 
friend and follower M. Rene" de Brabois. Let me 
quote a single sentence which specially appealed 


to me from the second lecture. Our friend (we 
feel from the first moment that he also is our 
friend) is speaking of sleeplessness. How is sleep 
to be recaptured ? This is his answer : "Si vous 
faites un mouvement pour l'attraper, il vous 
echappera comme un oiseau," i.e., " Make ever so 
slight a movement to capture sleep and it will 
escape from you like a bird." It is fatal to call 
in your will, to make an effort, to determine to go 
to sleep. If you say " I will go to sleep," imagina- 
tion will answer, " No, you won't " ; and by a 
law which knows no varying the will yields to the 
imagination. You must say, " I am going to 
sleep," or better say it in French, " Je vais dormir," 
repeat it very quickly making the sound of a hum- 
ming bee (comme une abeille qui bourdonne) over 
and over again, but above all make no effort to 

The next day the conference was at M. Coue's 
own house, which is not more than a hundred yards 
from the two-roomed cottage where we met the 
day before. There are sixteen of us in the study, 
but the door is left open and there are seven in 
the passage outside. First of all, as his custom is, 
he makes the round of the company, saying a few 
words to each. There is a girl present who stam- 
mers ; he tells us how, in his own experience, on 
seven occasions the patient has been cured of 


stammering on the spot, though " this," he is 
careful to add, " is comparatively rare." Then 
he goes on, " Just the mere sight of me ! that 
sufficed to frighten away the stammer." M. Coue 
does not try to be funny, but he is funny. Every- 
thing of course sounds wittier in French, but there 
is real humour iu such a question as : " Eh ! bien, 
qu'est-ce qu'elle dit votre jambe aujourd'hui? " 
" What does your leg say to-day ? " To return to 
the patient; she says " I cannot help stammering; " 
he says, think " I don't stammer any longer " 
and you will cease to stammer. Just for one 
moment I thought that " I came, I saw, I con- 
quered " was to be realized, but it was not to be ; 
there was an audible improvement, but the girl 
was not cured on the spot. There was also present 
another girl who, for twenty years, had been blind 
in one eye. The blindness was the result of a 
blow when she was only three years old ; for a 
time the eye was really blind ; when it recovered, 
its little mistress had learnt to do without it and 
therefore never thought of using it, though it was 
ready to be used. After twenty years, some six 
weeks before our visit to Nancy, she had come to 
M. Coue and had been taught to see. The eye 
which, through no fault of its own, had been idle 
for twenty years has not yet quite caught up its 
more active mate, but it was not far behind 


and has possibly made up the lost ground by 

One other circumstance which may seem 
trivial enough to others, particularly interested 
me at this conference. All the time that M. Coue 
was talking a lady translated for the benefit of 
her neighbour who was ignorant of French. 
Under ordinary circumstances this would have 
been wildly irritating, but nobody seemed to mind 
in the least. Was it because M. Coue" had inspired 
us all with the idea that we are meant to help one 
another whether at Nancy or elsewhere ? 

Certainly he tries to infect the despondent with 
the hopefulness of their neighbours, and not less 
certainly he contrives to inspire, at least to some 
extent, the feeling " each for all " among his 
audience. My own violent prejudices were begin- 
ning to disappear. I remember being intensely 
provoked when I read that at the end of M. Coue's 
little address the patient " opens his eyes and in- 
variably smiles, with a look of satisfaction and 
comfort on his face," and I vowed that at any rate 
there should be one exception to this rule. But 
the most foolish vows are sometimes broken, and 
very certainly I broke mine. I think, too, that 
if I had been told that M. Coue would smoke 
little cigarettes while he was talking I should 
have been prepared quite unreasonably (I hate 


smoking) to take offence ; in fact, he did smoke a 
good deal and it made no earthly difference. 

Someone remarked to me, " M. Coue likes us a 
good deal, considering that we are foreigners, but 
those whorp he really loves are the poor." I do 
not think that he distinguishes between poor and 
rich in that way. Both will find him equally their 
friend. Socrates, I suppose, preferred the rich ; 
the poor had the greater need of Christ, and for 
that reason, perhaps, may have had His preference. 
But then there was the rich young man whom 
He loved. Certainly M. Coue is no respecter of 
persons. Young and old, rich and poor are 
equally welcome. Sometimes rather battered 
specimens of elderly humanity present themselves, 
but M. Coue seemed hardly less hopeful of age 
than of youth, and no one was sent empty away. 
It is never too late to hope for amelioration even 
if complete cure is impossible. Old age is not a 
fatal disability : M. Coue makes no secret of his 
own sixty-five years, but hopes to work harder in 
the next ten years than even he has ever worked 
before. It is difficult for those who marvel at his 
untiring cheerfulness and wit, his boundless sym- 
pathy, and the triumphant repartees which sweep 
away the querulous objections of some who seem 
almost unwilling to be cured ; it is difficult even 
for those who have often lectured and preached 


themselves to realize how much it costs to give so 
lavishly to others. And M. Coue is daily spending 
himself on each of his audience, asking as his one 
and only reward that in their own cure they should 
give him such assistance as they can. 

Very rarely is he disappointed of this most 
reasonable expectation. There was, however, one 
young woman who appeared to me intentionally 
unintelligent. After a while M. Coue reached, I 
think, the same conclusion and simply left her 
alone. One man was almost defiantly incredulous, 
but this man had fought well in the war and 
naturally that fact would cover a multitude of 
sins. In any case M. Coue seemed determined to 
help him in spite of himself, but whether he was 
successful or not I do not know. 



" But above all the warm and joyful thoughts which 
they had about their own dwelling there with such 
company." — " The Pilgrim's Progress." 

I HAVE tried to give the impression which I 
myself received from the conferences in 186 
rue Ste- Jeanne d'Arc, and the little cottage in 
the lane which is just behind it. Naturally I 
shall be asked " Is it necessary to go to Nancy if 
M. Coue can be seen in London ? " I answer " It 
all depends." You may be curable almost at sight 
or your sickness may be of long standing, deeply 
ingrained. I am sixty years old and Nancy was 
a necessity for me : even so it was touch and go. 
I had wonderful luck in the company of a sister 
and the presence of a friend, but I came away 
sleeping no better, perhaps actually worse than 
before : yet I did not come away without the 
sure and certain hope of recovery. But you will 
say, " M. Coue is the only one who really matters 
and he must always be the same." I do not agree ; 
surroundings help, and friends help, and M. Coue 


is a power everywhere, but at Nancy most of all ; 
inspiring as he is in 20 Grosvenor Gardens, he is 
far more inspiring in his study at 186 rue Ste- 
Jeanne d'Arc, and most inspiring of all in the little 
cottage some 50 yards away across the lane at 
the back of his own house. Is it not natural that 
this should be so ? Consider. To go to Nancy 
at all involves some effort and some expense. 
Your object in going is to win a new peace or a 
new something ; your doctor has very likely 
suggested that you require a change ; vaguely 
you dream that you are going to have the glorious 
chance of a fresh start, and with everything new 
around you there is a greater probability that 
your dream will come true. Nancy itself is a 
charming town : very likely your hotel will be 
in the Place Stanislas, and in spite of some rather 
fidgety ornamentation the whole effect of the 
Square is charming. A good tram will take you 
in less than an hour to the junction of the Marthe 
and the Moselle ; all these things help. Certainly, 
as I left the Place Stanislas and took my way 
past the market-place to the rue Ste- Jeanne d'Arc, 
distant about two kilometres, I felt a thrill which 
I can never imagine myself feeling if I had taken 
the train from Windsor to Paddington and the 
bus to 20 Grosvenor Gardens. Inevitably, too, 
M. Coue himself must feel more at home to talk 


French uninterruptedly than to check the flow 
of his thoughts and words every other minute 
while the last half-dozen sentences are being 
translated into English. Nor is the audience quite 
as helpful in England as in France. At Nancy 
there are very poor peasants sitting next to great 
English ladies, and they all talk together as 
naturally and simply as if they were old friends : 
possibly it is a proof of vulgarity in me that this 
strikes me as unusual ; it ought of course to be 
the ordinary thing, but is it our English way ? 
There, too, we have, if not all things, at least one 
friend in common, who binds us each to each. 
This might equally be possible in London ; but 
we do not think it possible, and therefore for us 
it is not true ; and with the old associations all 
around us those of us who have learnt to acquiesce 
in captivity and almost to hug our chains inevitably 
find it very difficult to leave the prison-house, even 
though the door be no longer barred. 


(Reproduced from the "E.C.C." by kind permission of the Editors) 

MCOUfi reached England on Saturday, 
• March 25, and gave his first lecture, at 
Eton, on the following day. The School Library 
was full, perhaps overfull, and yet hardly more 
than half the boys who applied for places could 
be admitted, in spite of the announcement that 
the lecture was to be in French and was to last 
nearly three times as long as Sunday Private. 
Some may have doubted whether even M. Coue 
would be able to hold his audience for so long; 
but any such doubts were quickly dispelled. A 
few simple and charming experiments based on 
the fact that it is impossible to think two things 
at once proved to us that after clasping your 
hands you cannot separate them, however much 
you wish to do so, while thinking all the time 
" I cannot do it " : you can do just what you 
think you can do. It follows that if you think 
you cannot speak without stammering you will 
continue to stammer, and if you expect not to 
sleep your expectation will be fulfilled. Virgil 
meant much the same thing when he said of his 


rowers, who were rapidly gaining on their rivals, 
" they can because they think they can." How 
obvious it sounds, and how thrillingly interesting 
it was, as M. Coue drove his points home, proving 
that not the will but the imagination is the supreme 
force : always, however, the first step lies with 
the will, which before it abdicates must set the 
imagination working in the right direction. 
Probably some doubted, and possibly some 
mocked : certainly, as the ninety minutes all too 
quickly went by, the audience became more and 
more inspired by the lecturer, while beauty born 
of murmuring sound ca-passed into our faces ! 
Pardon, mesdames, messieurs. Puns are a simple 
outrage, but seriously why is it that French 
esprit is so much more charming than English 
wit ? For a single proof contrast the dull offen- 
siveness of to take French leave with the light 
gaiety of s'esquiver a Vanglaise. To return to the 
lecture. There were no sensational cures : why 
should there be ? Occasionally they just happen ; 
but they are really a hindrance to an intelligent 
appreciation of M. Coue's teaching. Self-mastery 
based on recognition of the power of the imagina- 
tion is the thing that matters. Quite unsensa- 
tional is the truth which M. Coue" brought home 
to most of us, and it is tins : there is no need of 
miracle, but much need of the simple common 


sense which is so sadly uncommon. If we eat 
slowly, if we never worry, if we look on the bright 
side of things, if our thoughts are sane and whole- 
some, if we use the childlike formula which he 
suggests, then indeed we shall be happy children, 
and every day in every respect we shall be growing 
better and better. We are just to go on from 
strength to strength, always rejoicing and never 
worrying about the morrow — perhaps we have 
read^all this before in another book, but is it any 
the*worse for that ? Rather we may be thankful 
that M. Coue working on his own lines has reached 
very similar conclusions. There is no doubt that 
he has reached them independently. But, say 
some, " Life is meant to be difficult and M. Coue 
tries to make it easy. One ought to feel tired, 
and M. Coue says himself that he is never tired." 
Ought we to feel tired ? Are you sure of that ? 
Anyhow, what M. Coue says of himself is quite 
true. And why ? Because M. Coue makes a 
point of going to sleep just when he is on the 
edge of being tired. " I wish / could," you say ; 
" / often have to go on working long after I am 
tired out; and, anyhow, what about the labours 
of Hercules ? wasn't he tired ? " Listen. Last 
Sunday M. Coue reached Eton at 12. He lectured 
from 12.15 to 1.40. He then gave advice to a 
few who stayed behind to consult him for ten 


minutes. Lunch in Hall from 2 to 2.30. No, till 
2.40, for (N.B.) M. Coue reduces his food to a 
pulp before swallowing it. From 2.45 — 3.30 he 
walks to visit a father who wishes to consult him 
about his little son. Then 3.30 — 4.15 follows a 
conference, an address to some twenty people, 
most of whom are sufferers and wish for help. 
Then from 4.15 to 4.55 in another room M. Coue 
talks to and interests and delights some twenty 
people, mostly boys ; 5 — 5.55 chapel. From 6 
to 6.25 he is busy helping two boys who come to 
consult him, and sends them away full of hopeful- 
ness and happiness. From 6.30 to 7.5 he visits 
an Eton house, and talks to half a dozen boys. 
Remember, he is explaining a new and unfamiliar 
subject, and that requires concentration, does it 
not ? Dinner from 7.15 to 7.45, and at 8 M. Coue 
is on his way back to London because a sufferer 
there has been promised his help, and he never 
fails anyone. His host, who is very tired, though 
he has only been looking on and listening with 
delight, asks him, " But are you not tired ? " 
" Comment, fatigue ? " answers M. Coue ; " je 
ne suis jamais fatigue." And the amazing thing is 
that this startling paradox is the simple truth. The 
explanation is this. You can always think you are 
not tired, and, if you have complete self-mastery, 
always it becomes true for you. Always within the 


limits of what is humanly possible Men entendu. 
There may come a call, when on the edge of being 
tired you have just gone to sleep, and, if it come, 
you are bound to obey though you pass the boun- 
dary of very nearly being tired. Naturally there 
must be some limit to endurance, and you will 
always avoid over-stepping it if you possibly can : 
always, unless duty calls you : then you will obey. 
No one can afford to laugh at a system which 
teaches such lessons and produces such results. 
One word more. Now, as in the days of Thucy- 
dides, things quickly win their way to the fabulous. 
Two instances will suffice. A master here is re- 
ported in the papers as cured : what he actually said 
was that he had ceased to feel pain at the moment. 
Again, on Tuesday evening the papers reported the 
startling cure of a paralysed man : what he himself 
said was that he had on previous occasions been able, 
now and then, to do quite as much as he had just 
done in M. Coue's presence. " What truth was ever 
told the second day ? " Even in the second minute 
the truth is often perverted beyond recognition. 
But after all we have not yet thanked M. Coue\ 
We do thank him very gratefully, but the grati- 
tude which he will value most will be not the 
homage of ourjips, but the daily growth in faith, 
hope, and that all-embracing charity of which he 
is himself the most illustrious example. 



" Among new men, strange faces, other minds." 

— Tennyson. 

IT was inevitable that I should wish to hear 
M. Cou^ in London, although, or, rather, 
perhaps, because I had so lately returned from 
Nancy. Would the conferences in Grosvenor 
Gardens produce anything like the same effect 
as those in the rue Ste- Jeanne d'Arc ? That was 
what I wanted to discover. We left Eton early 
and walked across the park from Paddington 
(which is always a delightful thing to do), for we 
were determined to give London every possible 
chance. We arrived half an hour before the time 
fixed for the second conference, but people were 
already gathering and it was quite interesting to 
stand and watch. At 11.30 the first conference 
was over and there was considerable excitement 
as the inner room emptied ; it was noised abroad 
that a paralysed man had walked. The next 
day we read in the papers that " The story of a 
paralysed man who had recovered power over 


his limbs was quoted excitedly in many parts of 
Wigmore Hall." Actually the patient said, not 
in the presence of M. Coue, but afterwards in the 
ante-room, " Sometimes I can do things and some- 
times I can't. M. Cou^ did not help me to do 
more than I have sometimes done myself before." 
M. Cou6 of course did not hear this said, he had 
seen only the great advance which his patient 
had made in his presence. Consequently, there 
was a slight misunderstanding, no misinterpreta- 
tion. For M. Cou£ always faces the facts and is 
much more likely to depreciate than to exaggerate 
his own success. Before long all the ticket-holders 
had passed into the inner room and the second 
conference had begun. There were about thirty 
of us (I did not actually count) in a room which 
was slightly larger and very much loftier than 
the little parlour at Nancy ; something too of 
the same spirit, due to M. Coue's influence, 
prevailed ; people spoke freely of their troubles 
and were genuinely anxious to help one another ; 
in particular one lady who asked to be enabled 
to conquer her fits of crossness won the sympathy 
of us all. But something, inevitably I think, was 
lacking. It costs much more (not only in money) 
to go to Nancy, and the reward is greater in 
proportion to the greater cost. If you have been 
obeying wrong auto-suggestions for nearly sixty 


years and bad habits have become ingrained, you 
had better go to Nancy should it be possible. 
That will give you all the chances, and probably 
you will need them all. A young man or a young 
woman may very likely get the help they need 
from M. Coue\ in a few minutes, anywhere. One 
such, an old Etonian, writes to me after a single 
short talk with M. Coue, " I cannot tell you how 
much better I feel and how much more cheerful. 
I slept so well last night that I was half an hour 
late for breakfast this morning : I hope soon to 
be able to return to work. No words can ade- 
quately express my gratitude." 

I wished to attend one public meeting at 
Wigmore Hall, and the kindness of Miss Richardson 
enabled me to do so. I received her telegram just 
as I was sitting down to lunch ; by missing it and 
running for a fly I reached Slough with two minutes 
to spare and Wigmore Hall just five minutes 
before the lecture began. It was in English and, 
though M. Coue" speaks English far more distinctly 
than I speak French, he was not audible to one- 
third of those present, and their disappointment, 
though silent, could, in some mysterious way, be 
felt. Quite apart from this, French well spoken 
is a very lovable thing : inevitably there is a 
comparative absence of attractiveness in laboured 
English, for which even the lecturer's smile and 


unfailing charm could not wholly atone. All 
M. Coue's experiments were brilliantly successful, 
yet the lecture itself just missed being a triumphant 
success and a few among the audience left before 
the close. But after the lecture it was most 
moving to see many men and women crowding 
to the stage in the hope of winning one personal 
word from M. Coue\ My thoughts went back to 
the day when the sick were brought into the streets 
" that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might 
overshadow some of them." M. Cou6, though 
shortly due at St. Dunstan's, did all that was 
possible to satisfy them. One nobly importunate 
nurse, regardless of herself and anxious only to 
win some medicinal word for the patient under her 
charge, had her reward, I am thankful to say, in 
seeing him cheered in soul and comforted. But 
at last the door had to be shut, and gradually the 
few who still lingered outside turned and went. 
Then we too left the hall and crossed the road to 
call on Mr. Ernest Debenham, who gave us tea 
and took us in his motor to St. Dunstan's ; and 
on the way there I had a very pleasant surprise, 
for suddenly M. Coue said to me, " I feel as if I 
had known you for forty years." And I, for my 
part, could have answered truly, that I felt as if 
my own life had begun anew just seven weeks ago 
at 9 a.m., when I saw M. Coue for the first time 


in the little upper room at Nancy. I hope and 
pray that to such a feeling $a passe does not apply. 
The room at St. Dunstan's held probably not half 
as many people as Wigmore Hall ; it was a simpler 
place with noble and tender associations, and here 
for the first time I recovered the old feeling of 
" each for all " which I used to have at Nancy. 
I had to leave just before the end, but as I ran 
through the sleet to catch a taxi I felt that this 
last glimpse of M. Coue's work had been almost 
the best of all. It is no wonder that I had this 
feeling as I came from such a gathering. It was 
" asking both his eyes of him," said Cromwell of 
some impossible demand, and these men had made 
that very sacrifice. 



A. " The outcropping of the Unconscious." — Baudoin. 

B. " And none but he who watches them from birth, 

The Genius, guardian of each child of earth, 
Born when we're born, and dying when we die. 
Now storm, now sunshine, knows the reason why." 

C. " The Little Minister." — J. M. Barrie. 

SOME of my readers will think and say 
that my first quotation is nonsense. I 
know that is not the fact, but I entirely agree with 
them in thinking that such jargon is a hindrance 
rather than a help to ordinary men and women. 

The second quotation is the standard passage 
(i.e., our main source of information) on that 
elusive and mysterious person whom the Romans 
called the Genius. What exactly do we learn 
from this passage about this Genius ? First, he 
is always with us from birth and dies with us ; 
secondly, he rules our life ; thirdly, he is so im- 
portant as to be called (in the original) the God of 
human nature ; fourthly, he dies when we die ; 
fifthly, he is liable to change his expression ; 


lastly, sometimes he looks bright (literally white) 
and sometimes black. If all this is true, our Genius 
must surely be a very remarkable person and we 
ought to know something about him. What fun 
it would be if the Genius, of whom Horace was 
writing some years before Christ was born, 
should prove to be an alias of the very modern 
sub-conscious self. Let us look a little closer. 
What is it that we know about this sub-conscious 
self ? Who is he, and what is his work ? I am 
far from being an authority on the subject, but 
this is how it was explained to me, and it is at least 
a simple and intelligible explanation. Clearly we 
do not consciously direct the various processes on 
which our life depends : we do not look after our 
digestion or our breathing. If we take thought 
for either of these we shall make a sad mess of it, 
but, if we do not take thought for these things, 
who does ? Very certainly someone is busy 
looking after them, and on the whole he does his 
work well, especially when we are young. If he 
does his work badly we suffer at once because 
then everything inside us begins to go wrong ; 
hence come gout, constipation, insomnia, in short 
the whole miserable crowd of sicknesses. The 
obvious way is to consult the doctor, and it is often 
a very good way. Never forget that if you have 
broken anything it is the only way. The only 


way ; but you can help or hinder to any extent 
by looking on the bright or the dark side of things. 
Is it not delightfully simple ? But some people 
dislike simple remedies as unworthy of their 
dignity and prefer a doctor's bill. Naaman, for 
instance, you will remember, was indignant at 
the thought of bathing in Jordan, not because it 
is a muddy, rocky torrent (that would have been 
reasonable enough), but because to bathe in Jordan 
after all the trouble he had taken seemed to him so 
ludicrous an anti-climax. Always then remember 
that there are some ills which you can cure for 
yourself without expense far better than anyone 
else can cure them for you at vast expense ; and 
never forget that even with the best London 
doctor at your bedside there is still a great deal 
that you can do to help yourself and him. Con- 
stipation, gout, insomnia you can cure without 
any help at all, if only in the first place you will be 
sensible and law-abiding (Nature's Laws are not to 
be broken with impunity), and if in the second 
place you can manage your unconscious self and 
enable him to do his work. (If this sounds rather 
like Alice in Wonderland, it is none the worse for 
that.) Now, luckily, this unconscious self is most 
anxious to please you ; he is also very impression- 
able, and at every moment is influenced by you, 
so that if you say or even think, " I am ill," un- 


fortunately for you, he always believes you, and 
then things all go wrong, just as, when you said 
or rather thought, " I am quite well," everything, 
thanks to him, went on quite well inside you. 
Never say then or think that everything is all 
wrong or that you are hopelessly tired, or anything 
dismal of any kind ; if you do, your little servant, 
the sub-conscious, will overhear you and take your 
word for it, and hurry round to tell the nerves 
and veins, discouraged and discouraging, and 
then everything will go wrong indeed, and the 
worst of it will be that you will have thoroughly 
deserved your fate. Of course it is not really fate 
at all, but just your own fault, your own most 
grievous fault ; and you are in fact the most 
miserable sinner, only you must never say or think 
so, for if you do you will discourage him all the 
more. And I say this not unmindful of our 
Church's Litany. We shall almost have won the 
battle as soon as we have realized that " the 
fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in our- 
selves," therefore think of Barrie and the stars. 
Sursum corda et caudas, i.e. "up with your hearts 
and your tails," but it sounds much funnier 
in Latin. The joke is not mine, worse luck ; it 
belongs to a great historian who lives at Oxford. 
But I give it to you, and I must add just this, 
I cannot bring myself to talk of the outcropping of 


the sub-conscious (or unconscious) self ; I do so 
love the little words. So let us borrow three little 
golden words which Barrie will never miss from 
his inexhaustible treasury and for the future talk, 
not of the sub-conscious self, but of " The Little 
Minister." You won't mind, dear Barrie, will 


" Every morning before rising and every evening as 
soon as you are in bed, you must shut your eyes, so as 
to concentrate your attention, and repeat twenty times 
consecutively, moving your lips (that is indispensable) 
and counting mechanically on a string with twenty knots 
in it, the following phrase, " Every day in every respect I 
am getting better and better.' " 

UNDOUBTEDLY these words have proved 
a stumbling-block to many ; we seem to 
have passed from the world of common sense into 
the fairyland of charms and incantations. But 
is it really so ? Consider. I am going to be 
supremely bold and to speak for M. Coue\ I 
have never asked him about this, so I alone am 
responsible for the explanation ; but I have no 
doubt whatever that he would smile approval. 
I say then that it is not indispensable to repeat 
twenty times " Every day in every respect I am 
getting better and better," much less to move 
your lips or shut your eyes, if, without any of 
these external aids, you can put yourself into the 
right condition of mind just before you go to sleep. 
What is indispensable is that just before you fall 


asleep your thoughts should be full of health and 
happiness, because in that case your unconscious 
self will continue to have such thoughts all the 
night long, and then at morning you will " awake 
and sing." And on waking it is indispensable 
that your first thoughts should be of health and 
happiness, because a good start is all important 
for a good day. If then you can achieve these 
results just by thinking, without the help of 
formulae and moving lips and closed eyes, if in 
fact you are a very superior person, M. Coue* will 
not grudge you your superiority. But the rest of 
us will find M. Coup's is the easiest and safest way, 
especially as absence of effort is indispensable. 
We shall therefore, as good children, continue 
saying " Every day in every respect I am getting 
better and better," though we shall not fail to 
realize as sane men and women that it is the 
condition of mind and not the repetition of 
formulae which is responsible for the daily im- 


Can we derive any illustration of M. Coup's 
views from modern English poetry ? Already in 
his delightful way " Mr. Punch " has pointed out 


that we may find it necessary to rewrite many 
passages, and it is surely worth our while to con- 
sider the question seriously, because it will help 
us to discover whether we really understand 
M. Coup's view. First, then, let us take "The 
Grammarian's Funeral." It cannot, I think, be 
denied that the paradoxical truth of Browning's 
noble lines, 

"This high man aiming at a million 
Misses a unit," 

will, in M. Coup's view, cease to be true at all 
unless we are careful to make the necessary 
qualifications. It remains indeed true that we 
shall hardly fail to jump a foot or two, if we wish 
to do so, and it remains even more certainly true 
that we shall never jump to the rainbow's edge, 
however much we may desire it. But on the other 
hand should we aim at jumping twenty feet we 
shall have a better chance of achieving this than we 
shall have of jumping ten or five feet, or even a 
single foot, if we are absolutely convinced that we 
are incapable of such a modest achievement. 
For, if we really believe that we are unable to jump 
even the millionth part of an inch, our belief will 
translate itself into reality, and we shall remain 
rooted to the spot, unable to jump at all. So let 
us be the high man (if we believe Browning to be 
right in his preference for the high man) and aim 


at a million ; for after all (if we take M. Coup's 
word), provided the thing lies within the limits of 
what is humanly possible, we shall not miss it. 
Next let us take for our consideration Henley's 
glorious poem, " Invictus." You will remember 
that it begins — 

" Out of the night that covers me. 
Black as the pit . . ." 

(Here let me say that I have no fear of your making 
the blunder which was once actually made by a 
boy in my division, who thought that " black as 
the pit " referred not to " the night," but to 
" me," and that the writer was a negro.) A little 
later came the fine words, 

" Under the bludgeonings of chance 
My head is bloody, but unbowed." 

That is the spirit of the whole poem — it is a 
defiance of Fortune, a challenge flung in the teeth 
of Fate. And it ends with the words, 

" I am the master of my fate, 
I am the captain of my soul," 

which none of us can read without a thrill. Butwhat 
will be M. Coup's verdict on this poem ? Clearly 
he will say of the last two lines that they are an 
epitome of his own teaching ; but on the other 
hand it is not less clear that he will question the 
necessity for the " bloody head," and affirm 


that the blackest night will, if we think that it 
will, break out into stars. 

Let me give you one more example taken from 
the best-known poem of the best-known living 
poet, Mr. -Rudyard Kipling. I have always 

loved and admired " If ". I have kept it 

framed in my room ; but I have always regarded 
it as an impossibly high ideal, a mere counsel of 
perfection. And suddenly, only the other day, 
I realized that I had seen and spoken to and 
known the man whom Mr. Kipling foresaw. M. 
Coue\ under just such circumstances as the poet 
describes, has kept his head; he has trusted 
himself when others laughed at him; he has 
waited for recognition till he was over sixty ; he 
hasn't lied ; he hasn't hated ; he hasn't looked 
too good or talked too wise. I heard him say of 
himself, '* I am not a very clever fellow," at St. 
Dunstan's, only a few days ago. He has talked 
with crowds in Wigmore Hall and elsewhere. 
Virtue has gone out of him, but he hasn't lost it 
(though that is not quite what the poet meant) ; 
he has dined at the houses of two ambassadors 
on two successive days, which is nearer than most 
of us ever get to walking with kings ; very cer- 
tainly he has not lost the common touch. (This 
last sentence sounds vulgar, and I will to erase 
it, but I think it apposite, and therefore keep it, 


if only as one more proof that Imagination always 
triumphs over Will.) 

He still fills " the unforgiving minute with 
sixty seconds' worth of distance run," and is 
never out of breath ; assuredly " the earth and 
everything that's in it " belongs to the man who 
looks upon the whole world as his parish — and 
who else is this, in our days, but M. Coue ? It 
all agrees exactly, except just these four lines 
which I have omitted and left to the end on 

" If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew 
To serve your turn long after they are gone, 
And so hold on when there is nothing in you 

Except the Will which says to them ' Hold on I ' " 

You will realize at once, if you have understood 
this little book, why this could never be said of 
or by M. Coue. It is magnificent, certainly, to 
say it, but it is not the best or the surest way of 
winning the battle of life. Rather, if to the very 
end you can keep your heart and sinew, and the 
Will to think that there is Everything in you still, 
you will achieve at less cost greater results, and 
you will not be less heroic if (should there never 
come to you an imperative call to die for others) 
you live on, very happily, for others as well as for 
yourself, and, when the time comes at long last for 
dying, die in that happiness. 




" He that is not against us is for us." — St. Luke be. 30 

SOME people regard M. Coue as the founder 
of a new religion. It is a mistake. M. Cou6 
is the apostle of common sense ; he is not intro- 
ducing a new religion or any substitute for religion ; 
he would say to us, " Be Protestants or Catholics, 
be Bhuddists or Mohammedans, be what you will : 
it does not concern me whether you are zealots 
or Freethinkers : I only desire that all of you, from 
every point of view, Catholic, Nonconformist, or Ag- 
nostic, may grow daily better and better." In spite 
of this no one can know much of M. Coue" with- 
out being conscious of some very obvious affinities 
between him and the Founder of Christianity. 
Both have a message for the sick ; both labour 
for others, asking for no reward except the pleasure 
that comes from doing kindnesses ; both give a 
new meaning and a new life to old phrases ; both 
go wherever they are invited, making no distinc- 
tions ; both enjoy the simple good things of life ; 


both have a message ; both believe that message 
to be the truth ; both are full of humour, full of 
compassion ; and both arouse intense enthusiasm. 
Finally, Christ attributed comparatively slight 
importance to miracles, and M. Coue" says expressly 
" there is no miracle at all." It is true that when 
a paralytic is cured on the spot, when he rushes 
to the window of the little upper room in Nancy, 
when he shouts to the people who are gathering 
for the next conference in the courtyard below, 
" Je marche, je marche," our thoughts go back 
nearly two thousand years to the beautiful gate 
of the Temple where a certain man, lame from his 
mother's womb, at Peter's word, leaping up, 
" stood and walked and entered with them into 
the Temple, walking and leaping and praising 
God." But the resemblance between the New 
Testament miracles and the work of M. Cou6 is 
superficial, the distinction fundamental. I do not 
know, though I think I know, what M. Coue" would 
say about the passage I have just quoted : of 
the paralytic cured at Nancy every one knows 
that he has said it was no miracle ; indeed for 
M. Cou£, as for Matthew Arnold, miracles do not 
exist. The cures which are so astonishing as to 
seem miraculous are everyday occurrences. The 
miracles of Christ as reported in the Gospels, 
whether we accept or reject them, stand on an 


entirely different footing, and cannot be explained 
away in the sense in which this particular miracle 
of Acts iii might be explained away, and in 
which M. Coue is himself the first to explain away 
his own miracles. If we accept as truth the 
evidence of the Gospels, so much the better for 
us ; if we cannot accept it as truth, we can at 
worst illustrate by the growth of misrepresentation 
in those days the exaggerations or distortions 
which are now daily giving us fables in place of 
facts, in spite of M. Coue's own devotion to the 
truth. This process of distortion is not of to-day 
or yesterday. Look for a moment at the chapter 
in the Acts which precedes the miracle which we 
have been discussing. You will find a flagrant 
instance of distortion there : read Chapter II, 
verses 1-13, as they are always read in church, 
without a word of comment, as a record of histori- 
cal fact; what nonsense it is ! The gift of tongues 
apparently conferred on the Apostles, the power 
of speaking in some dozen languages of which 
they were hitherto completely ignorant. This is 
indeed a miracle for miracle's sake, a thing to make 
men and women gape with admiration. And all 
for nothing. The Apostles, of course, needed 
only one language, for the knowledge of Greek 
would take them everywhere ; the other eleven 
languages they might forget at their leisure and 


be none the worse, if only they kept their Greek. 
Besides, St. Paul who knew the facts tells us all 
about the gift of tongues, which, by the by, he 
rather depreciates. No wonder, since to speak with 
tongues was to use a cento of shreds and patches 
of speech with so little distinction in the sounds 
that the performance, as St. Paul tells the Corin- 
thians, was likely to strike the ordinary man as 
destitute of decency and order. " Will they not 
say that you are mad ? " Of course they will ; 
in fact they did, mad or mad-drunk, or " These 
are not drunken," St. Peter remonstrates, " as 
you suppose." The explanation given in Acts 
is ludicrous. Bracket, or, better, erase five and 
a half verses from " because that every man 
heard them speak in his own language " in the 
middle of verse 6 down to the end of verse u, 
and then you have a perfectly reasonable story 
which agrees with St. Paul's account and we are 
quit of a wild and wanton miracle. Yet these 
same five and a half verses are actually read in 
every church as gospel (or rather epistle) truth 
without any apology (defence is out of the question), 
without even a word of explanation, although 
every thinking man and woman in the congre- 
gation must know the interpolation to be non- 
sense, for of course the offending verses must have 
been interpolated. If St. Luke wrote them, when 


he might for asking have had the true account from 
St. Paul, he was a careless third-rate author, 
whereas in fact he belongs to the little company of 
great historians. Further, if this is not an inter- 
polation, it follows that the early chapters of Acts, 
before the author became an eye-witness, are not 
merely comparatively, but almost absolutely, 
valueless as evidence. Incidentally what are 
we to say of the annual infliction of this absurdity 
on yearly dwindling congregations ? Surely it 
is the assumption that the church-going public 
will stand anything, which explains, in part, why 
it is that year by year the congregations dwindle. 
But will my readers stand this long digression ? 
Perhaps they may, if it helps them to see how 
easily the truth about M. Coue" may be distorted. 
When once they have realized this they will not 
lightly be misled into believing that miracles 
have not had their day ; rather they will sift 
every story and, if themselves present, they will 
wisely discount the almost inevitable enthusiasm 
which leads the sufferer, who is being temporarily 
relieved, to think, and perhaps to say, that he has 
been miraculously cured. 

Have we any right to ask what view M. Coue 
himself takes of the miracles of Christ ? We 
may, I think, without offence conjecture that 
he would say, " I am so busy with the work which 


I believe I was sent into the world to do that I 
really have no time to study the evidence for and 
against Christ's miracles." (This, by the by, would 
be not unlike the answer which Socrates made, 
when Phaedrus asked him, " Do you believe 
these tales ? " "I might give," he answered, 
" a rationalizing explanation, but such an ex 
planation would require much labour and much 
ingenuity, and I have really no time for such 
enquiries.") And some future day some dis- 
ciple of M. Coue, less wise, less busy, and rasher 
far, may rush in and answer that the miracles of 
Christ are no miracles : they can all be explained 
away quite naturally. Blind men were cured, just 
as a girl blind of one eye was cured at Nancy ; 
lame men walked, just as the paralysed man at 
Nancy walked ; the miracles of feeding can be 
explained quite as easily in a slightly different 
way. Christ said to the multitude, " Imagine 
you are not hungry, imagine you have just had 
supper." They used their imagination at his 
word and felt that he had fed them. And so on. 
The raising of Lazarus is to be explained as Renan 
explained it. And so on. And what shall we 
answer ? " Best be still," as Mr. Arnold counsels ; 
or, if our silence is liable to be misinterpreted, may 
we not answer this ? The miracles have little 
importance ; Christ Himself set small store upon 


them in comparison with His words. The things 
that matter are the Sermon on the Mount, the 
parable of the Prodigal Son, the story of the 
woman taken in adultery. The man born blind, 
though his eyes were opened by a miracle, did 
not believe in the Son of God till Jesus talked 
with him. Then he said, " Lord, I believe." And 
he worshipped Him." If you ask me whether 
I believe in Christ's miracles, I might answer that 
I do not know. I prefer to say that "nothing 
is impossible with God," and to add that " I will 
take Christ's word, if I can be certain that it is 
Christ's word, for anything." 



" Here had been, mark, the general in chief, 
Thro' a whole campaign of the world's life and death, 
Doing the King's work all the dim day long." 

How it strikes a contemporary. — Browning. 

THERE can be no doubt as to what is meant 
by the words " for nothing." M. Coue" 
spends himself freely on others, and asks nothing 
in return. But what is meant by " everything " ? 
Once again, and for the last time, everything means 
all that is humanly possible. But many things 
which seemed yesterday impossible are known to 
be possible to-day, and there may be even wider 
possibilities to-morrow. So we are gratified in 
hoping for almost anything in the way of cure. 
Nothing is too good to be true, but miracles do 
not happen. It would, as far as we know, be a 
miracle, if new teeth were to grow, in middle age, 
to replace the old. It would not be a miracle 
if your hair were to grow thicker instead of 
thinner, thanks to auto-suggestion. Certainly 
it is much more likely to happen, if you believe it 
will happen, than if you use the latest hair-restorer. 


All diseases which are due to the imagination, 
such as neurasthenia, are curable. Paralysis 
of one limb is also curable, i.e. when the sufferer 
thinks he has no power to use his limbs, and only 
for that reaCson cannot use them. Constipation is 
easily cured, and so in most cases is sleeplessness ; 
gout, arthritis, and neuritis can be cured if they 
have not become inveterate. But, above all, 
such crushing disabilities as stammering, shyness, 
and self-consciousness vanish in a moment as 
soon as the principle of auto-suggestion is once 
realized. Many boys and girls, and many men 
and women, have suffered agony outside the 
drawing-room door ; at last in sudden desperation 
they have turned the handle, to burst in looking 
and feeling awkward and unhappy. Alas ! it 
is all too likely that the same sad scene will be 
again enacted in their dreams. And the pity of 
it is that all this suffering is so easily avoidable. 
Just say to yourself, " I shan't be shy ; why 
should I be shy ? Of course I shan't be shy ; 
I shall like talking and making myself useful." 
Then indeed you will not fail to like it, and very 
certainly you will be liked. For it is in mortals 
to command success, and (best of all) to help, 
as M. Coue" day by day is helping, others also to 


M. COU£ 

MOST people come to realize sooner or later 
that the only reward worth winning is the 
love of others, and lament that they have made the 
discovery too late. Perhaps only women have 
ever realized that to be loved is comparatively 
unimportant and that to love others is the only 
perfect happiness. Only women ? There is at 
least one exception to every rule, and M. Coue 
seems to have divined from the first that loving 
is its own reward. Rich and poor, bad and good, 
to him they are all men and women, and if they 
need his help he gives it to them, without dis- 
tinction, in his all-embracing charity. This is 
the true source of his infectious happiness. 
Consequently riches are to him simply negligible 
as a factor in well-being ; and doubtless " it is more 
blessed to give than to receive " has never seemed 
to him a startling paradox. Praise is to most of 
us the best of tonics. I will not say that praise 
leaves him cold, because he is never cold, but I 
will say that even the world-wide tribute of 


praise, which he has lately won, has been utterly 
powerless to affect his inalienable simplicity. 
Doubtless some of this praise has been injudicious ; 
probably I am an illustration of this myself. 
M. Coue has reason to ask to be delivered from the 
exaggerations and misinterpretations of some of 
his friends. And, just as Wilkes was never a 
Wilkite, so it is equally true that M. Coue 
is not a Coueite. Possibly all that M. Coue 
has taught us may have been taught (though 
I do not myself believe it) by others before, 
certainly " They can because they think they 
can " is as old as Virgil. But, though the 
truth may have hovered on the minds and lips 
of men before, it is M. Coue" who has first revealed 
it simply and convincingly ; and it is a revelation 
which has helped many and will help many more 
to an almost unbelievable degree. Some people 
resent the abdication of the will. " Oh, well for 
him whose will is strong " sounds so manly and 
magnificent. But as, a matter of fact the will 
does not abdicate until the imagination has in 
obedience to the will been started in the right 
direction. If the imagination can do the rest, 
what sense is there in the will interfering any more ? 
Point the rifle and pull the trigger of course, 
but surely it will be unwise to try and guide the 
bullet with your hand ! And even if things are 

M. COUE 49 

made easy for us, why complain ? There will 
always be difficulties enough. We need not 
rewrite the old Greek proverb, " The lovely things 
are difficult," even if the rough places become 
a little smoother for Love and Life to climb ; 
rather as we win higher heights with lighter 
hearts we shall feel that we owe to M. Coue the 
wider view, and, if we fail to reach the summit, 
it will be Mount Everest and no meaner height 
which we shall have failed to climb. 

Wishing may be idle, but at worst it does no 
harm, so let me end with a wish, or rather, since 
wishing costs nothing, with two wishes : I wish, 
then, that if M. Coue comes back to England in 
the autumn it may be my good fortune to go with 
him to Westminster Abbey and to show him the 
words on John Wesley's memorial tablet, " I look 
upon the whole world as my parish." And now 
comes the real wish. It is that M. Coue* may think, 
as he reads the words, which have been with good 
reason applied to himself, only of John Wesley : 
that will be the crowning proof of unselfconscious- 
ness ; and I have good hope that my wish may 
be realized, for of M. Coue nothing is too unself- 
conscious to be true. And, incidentally, I hope 
that after that we may lunch together at the 
Deanery with my old Eton fag master and his 
wife. And my second wish is that on another 


day we may go to London's great Cathedral with 
another old Etonian Dean for our guide and 
friend, who will point to the words, " Si monu- 
mentum quaeris circumspice " ("If you ask for 
his memorial look around you") as we stand 
together under the noble dome which bears witness 
to the justice of that epitaph. Noble indeed 
is the memorial that Wren has left behind him, 
but there is another kind of memorial nobler still, 
a memorial wrought not in stone or brass but in 
the hearts of living men and women ; and such 
is the monument which M. Coue is daily build- 
ing for himself. And now, since all good things 
are three, as I learnt long ago from a beloved 
German lady, and since love and not hatred is 
the final goal, let me end with three words taken 
from the book which I believe M. Coue read for 
the first time a year ago, but which all his life 
long he has been illustrating, just these three 
words : " The Beloved Physician." Certainly 
there is one and doubtless there are many who, 
whenever they hear these words read, will think 
of him. 


Dear Reader, 

You and I have both set out on the same 
Pilgrim's Progress. I myself have always been 
Mr. Dispondency ; I wonder if you have ever 
been Mr. Timorous or Miss Much-afraid ! If 
you have, do listen with me to Mr. Great-Heart 
and Valiant-for-Truth talking together; it is 
lovely to hear them, because it is not only talk ; 
they are really just like that in themselves. 

Great-Heart : " And did none of these things discourage 
you ? " 

Valiant-for-Truth : " No, they seemed but as so many 
nothings to me." 

Great-Heart : " How came that about ? " 

Valiant-for-Truth : " Why, I still believed what Mr. 
Tell-True had said, and that carried me beyond all." 

— " The Pilgrim's Progress," Part II. 

You can find almost everything in " The 
Pilgrim's Progress," as the writer of that wise 
and brave book, " Ordeal by Battle," taught 
us seven years ago. And now I must tell you 
a secret. Mr. Tell-True's name to-day is M. 


Emile Coue. What ? You had guessed that 
before I told you ? At any rate you had not 
guessed what I am going to tell you now, and 
mind you engrave it on your hearts. Mr. Great- 
Heart was. once called Mr. Timorous and Miss 
Much-afraid is now not unworthy of the man she 
is to marry, who is Mr. Valiant-for-Truth. 

I have only had seven weeks in which to find 
a new name for Mr. Dispondency ; I hope I have 
found one, but I cannot yet be sure. Very cer- 
tainly I can say it is my prayer that " my Dis- 
ponds and slavish Fears be by no man ever re- 
ceived," from this day for ever. And so good-bye. 

Printed in Great Britain by Jarrold & Sons, Ltd., Norwich. 


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Gt --». .v x\ Un 

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