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AN extremely difficult case of somnambulism,
occurring in the family of that
respected gentleman MR. BULL, and at the
present time developing itself without any
mitigation of its apparently hopeless
symptoms, will furnish the subject of the
present paper. Apart from its curious
psychological interest, it is worth investigation,
as having caused and still causing Mr.
Bull great anxiety of mind when he falls into
low spirits. I may observe, as one of the
medical attendants of the family, that this
is not very often the case, all things considered:
Mr. Bull being of a sanguine temperament,
good-natured to a fault, and highly confident
in the strength of his constitution. This
confidence, I regret to add, makes him too
frequently neglect himself when there is an
urgent necessity for his being careful.

The patient in whom are manifested the
distressing symptoms of somnambulism I
shall describe, is an old womanMRS.
ABIGAIL DEAN. The recognised abbreviation
of her almost obsolete Christian name is
used for brevity's sake in Mr. Bull's family,
and she is always known in the House as
ABBY DEAN. By that name I shall call her,
therefore, in recording her symptoms.

As if everything about this old woman
were destined to be strange and exceptional,
it is remarkable that although Abby Dean
is at the head of the Upper Servants' Hall,
and occupies the post of housekeeper in Mr.
Bull's family, nobody has the least confidence
in her, and even Mr. Bull himself has not the
slightest idea how she got into the situation.
When pressed upon the subject, as I have
sometimes taken the liberty of pressing him,
he scratches his head, stares, and is unable
to give any other explanation than "Well!
There she is. That's all I know!" On
these occasions he is so exceedingly disconcerted
and ashamed, that I have forborne to
point out to him the absurdity of his taking her
without a character, or ever having supposed
(as I assume he must have supposed) that
such a superannuated person could be worth
her wages.

The following extracts from my notes of
the case will describe her in her normal
condition: "Abby Dean. Phlegmatic temperament.
Bilious habit. Circulation, very
sluggish. Speech, drowsy, indistinct, and
confused. Senses, feeble. Memory, short.
Pulse, very languid. A remarkably slow
goer. At all times a heavy sleeper, and difficult
to awaken. When awakened, peevish.
Earlier in life had fits, and was much
contortedfirst on one side and then on the other."

It was within a few weeks of her inexplicable
appearance at the head of Mr. Bull's
family, that this ancient female fell into a
state of somnambulism. Mr. Bull observed
herI quote his own words—"eternally
mooning about the House," and, putting some
questions to her, and finding that her replies
were mere gibberish, sent for me. I found
her on a bench in the Upper Servants' Hall,
evidently fast asleep (though her eyelids were
open), and breathing stertorously. After
shaking her for some time with Mr. Bull's
assistance, I inquired, "Do you know who
you are?" She replied, "Lord! Abby Dean,
to be sure!" I said, "Do you know where
you are?" She answered, with a sort of
fretful defiance, "At the head of Mr. Bull's
establishment." I put the question, "Do you
know what you have to do there?" Her reply
was, "Yesnothing." Mr. Bull then interposed,
and informed me, with some heat, that
this was the utmost satisfaction he had been
able to elicit "from the confounded old
woman," since she first brought her boxes
into the family mansion.

She was smartly blistered, daily, for a
considerable time. Mustard poultices were
freely applied; caustic was used as a
counter-irritant; setons were inserted in her
neck; and she was trotted about, and poked,
and pinched, almost unremittingly, by
certain servants very zealous in their attachment
to Mr. Bull. I regret to state that
under this treatment, sharply continued at
intervals from that period to the present,
she has become worse instead of better. She
has now subsided into a state of constant and
confirmed somnambulism, from which there
is no human hope of her recovery.

The case, being one of a comatose nature,
is chiefly interesting for its obstinacy. Its
phenomena are not generally attractive
to the imagination. Indeed, I am of opinion
that at no period of her invalided career