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Another Frenchman of no little reputation has landed in New York with the intent of setting his message before Americans; and his visit has aroused an interest which is surpassed only by that surrounding the lately-departed Georges Clemenceau. The man is Emile Coue.
At that name, coupled with the word "great", there might be vigorous objection, for Coue has so often been caricatured, joked about, and laughed at that most of those who think of him at all regard him as a second Baron Munchauacn. At next he has been considered a funny man with a crazy new idea of auto-suggestion, famous because he is so funny; at worst he is a scheming quack.
But with his arrival there has been a tendency to take Coue more seriously--perhaps for the reason that he is famous but largely because the facts about him have become known. He was born of poor parents, worked his way through school and college, taking three degrees in the process; kept a drug store for fourteen years; and finally, through sheer hard work and force of character, made a career for himself hardly the story of an ignorant quack, or the ordinary doctor.
And so men have become interested in the man himself, as well as his idea. If he can perform the miracles of healing which are sometimes attributed to him--although in his own words. "I have healed nobody", he denies it--the success is largely through the influence of his personality. A "gay, whimsical man", he can, in a few sentences, carry away a patient to complete forgetfulness of self, or make him laugh at the very thought of being sick.
That his "idea" has a scientific basis is quite generally recognized; but whether it can be successfully applied by everybody to every illness real or imagined is decidedly doubtful. The danger in any theory or new discovery is that it will be expected to solve all the riddles of the universe. Fortunately he has no such expectations. His own fore-word denies all miracles and cures. He has merely undertaken to spread more widely some truths which he himself styles "long known", for the increased happiness of the world. If disappointed enthusiasts fail to gain the expected supernatural results, they can hardly blame it on Emile Coue.
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