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Here is a fresh topic. Is a man answerable
for what he does in the confusion of awaking
out of sleep? Bernard Schedmaizig, suddenly
awaking at night, thought he saw a frightful
phantom, challenged it twice, and, getting no
answer, struck into it with his hatchet. Then
he found that he had killed his wife. Two men,
out of doors at night in a place infested by
robbers, agreed that one should watch while the
other slept. The one who slept, dreamt of an
attack, and, starting up, shot his friend through
the heart. A pedlar, asleep on the road, rudely
awakened by a passer-by, ran him through with
a sword-stick. Is it lawful for anybody to wake
up, without instantly having all his wits about
him, and to do what he may in that interval of
imperfect apprehension? And, again, how is it
with the somnambulist? A simple and innocent
Carthusian monk was, when he walked in his
sleep, a thief and plunderer of the dead. A
pious clergyman once, as a sleep-walker, robbed
his own church. Another person could not
sleep without watches by the bed, because, sane
and harmless when awake, he was liable when
asleep to somnambulism with a mania for suicide.
He got loose one night and hanged himself by the
foot. A monk, late one evening, was seen to
enter, with fixed eyes, frowning brow, and knife
in hand, the chamber of the prior of his convent.
He felt the empty bed as if to see that the
prior was there, and stabbed into it three times,
then retiring with an air of satisfaction.
Questioned the next day, he said that having dreamed
that the prior had murdered his mother, and that
her spirit had come to him crying for vengeance,
he had run to stab the assassin, and that when
he awoke soon afterwards, covered with
perspiration, he rejoiced to find it was a dream.

We pass over the innumerable riddles that
arise out of the question of insanity or sanity.
It is not every madman who is as clearly in
delusion as the man who thought that he must
keep his head and heart together, and so serve
the Lord by throwing himself head over ears
over every stile or gate he came to; "but that
all depended on its being done with precision
and decision."

As to persons found dead by violence,
questions arise that test the doctor's skill. The late
Dr. James Reid was called to a room where a
man and his wife lay with their throats cut.
The woman was in a pool of blood on the floor
by the bedside, with her throat cut from ear to
ear. The husband was in bed with the windpipe
cut, but no great vessel divided, and he still
lived. He said that in the middle of the night
he was aroused from his sleep, by receiving a
wound in his throat from his wife's hand. The
shock and the loss of blood had prevented him
from giving alarm. The man's manner excited
suspicion, and the doctor, turning up the bed-
clothes, foundthe sole of his foot covered with
dry blood.

Sometimes there is the riddle of apparent
death to solve. John Howard testifies that
prisoners supposed to be dead of jail fever, on
being brought out for burial now and then
returned to life when the bodies were washed with
cold water. An infant daughter of Henry
Laurens, the first President of the American
Congress, had small-pox, and was kept in a warm
room with windows and doors carefully closed.
She was laid out as dead, and then the window
being thrown open, the draught of fresh cold
air over the supposed corpse revived it, and the
child regained its health. These long death-
like faints were not uncommon before Sydenham's
time, when the stifling system of treating
diseases attended with eruption (and especially
small-pox) was in vogue.

There is at least one strange case minutely
described and authenticatedthat of the
Honourable Colonel Townshendin which
apparent death could be produced at will. Doctor
Cheyne writes thus of the colonel's exhibition
of his power. " He told us he had sent for us
to give him some account of an odd sensation he
had for some time observed and felt in himself,
which was, that composing himself, he could die
or expire when he pleased, and yet, by an effort
or somehow, he could come to life again, which,
it seems, he had sometimes tried before he sent
for us. We all three felt his pulse first: it was
distinct, though small and thready, and his heart
had its usual beating. He composed himself on
his back, and lay in a still posture some time;
while I held his right hand, Dr. Baynard laid
his hand on his heart, and Mr. Skrine held a
clean looking-glass to his mouth. I found his
pulse sink gradually, till at last I could not feel
any by the most exact and nice touch. Dr.
Baynard could not feel the least motion in his
heart, nor Mr. Skrine discern the least soil of
breath on the bright mirror he held to his mouth.
Then each of us by turns examined his arm,
heart, and breath, but could not by the nicest
scrutiny discover the least symptom of life in
him. This continued about half an hour. As
we were going away (thinking him dead) we
observed some motion about the body, and upon
examination found his pulse and the motion of
his heart gradually returning; he began to
breathe gently and speak softly." The colonel
tasked the doctors with this great medical riddle
in the morning, and exhibited his mysterious
power probably to excess: for he was a true
dead man in the evening, having no disease
found in him except one of the kidneys, for
which he had long been under treatment.

Will be concluded in the Number for Saturday, 3rd August,
Will be commenced (to be completed in six months)