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state continued a whole year. At length a person read loudly to him, and it was noticed that he expressed symptoms of acute suffering; the experiment was tried again; and his hearing was re-established on a similar principle. Every other sense was successively excited on the same principle, and in proportion as he regained the use of it the stupidity appeared to be diminished."*
2d, State occurring in Catalepsy.
In a second, or still more reduced stage of depression, sensations and ideas are of equal degrees of vividness when a state of unconsciousness ensues. I have supposed that this mental condition may be found in a variety of the affection called catalepsy. For if sensations had differed from ideas in their relative degree of vividness, muscular contractions would have been excited; but as in this case they partake of an equal degree of vividness, no mental consciousness of such feelings can possibly ensue, and, consequently, no voluntary influence can arise to affect the motific nerves which communicate with and regulate muscular fibres. Hence the muscles, while contracting, easily yield to any external impulse, and retain any given position.†
A curious illustration of the state of the mental feel
* See the case given on the authority of Zimmerman, by Dr Crichton, in his work on Mental Derangement, vol. ii. p. 35.
This is but an imperfect explanation of a very important phenomenon, the rationale of which would be too long to investigate in this limited treatise.
ings during catalepsy is given by Dr Crichton, on the authority of Borellus.
"George Giokatzki, a Polish soldier, deserted from his regiment in the harvest of the year 1677. He was discovered, a few days afterwards, drinking and making merry in a common alehouse. The moment he was apprehended, he was so much terrified, that he gave a loud shriek, and immediately was deprived of the power of speech. When brought to a court-martial, it was impossible to make him articulate a word; nay, he then became as immoveable as a statue, and appeared not to be conscious of any thing which was going forward. In the prison to which he was conducted he neither ate nor drank. The officers and the priests at first threatened him, and afterwards endeavoured to sooth and calm him; but all their efforts were in vain. He remained senseless and immoveable. His irons were struck off, and he was taken out of the prison, but he did not move. Twenty days and nights were passed in this way, during which he took no kind of nourishment, nor had any natural evacuation; he then gradually sunk and died."
3d, or Fainting States.
States of syncope are nothing more than those of sleep, requiring, however, greater stimuli for their excitement.
TRANSITION (the 5th in the Table)
From perfect Sleep to common Dreams and Somnambulism.
A third transition is from the state of perfect sleep to that of dreaming, or of somnambulism. Consis
tently with our view of the cause of sleep, the sensations of perfect repose have been considered as fainter than ideas. It is now of importance to remark, that when causes of undue excitement, such as are known to induce states of dreaming and somnambulism, affect the mind, they do not, as in other circumstances enumerated, cause sensations to increase more than ideas in vividness, but, on the contrary, excite them uniformly.
The ideas and sensations of perfect sleep are excited uniformly.
1st Stage of Excitement.
In the first stage of excitement, ideas are to be found at the 4th and sensations at the 2d degree of vividness. Neither description of feelings is, however, sufficiently vivid to excite mental consciousness.
2d Stage of Excitement.
In the second stage of excitement, ideas attain the
5th degree of vividness, when a consciousness of them ensues. But the mind is not conscious of sensations, these being only found at the 3d degree.
The dreaming state now commences, confined, however, to ideas:
"When Reason sleeps, our mimic fancy wakes,
From words and things ill-suited and misjoin'd,
3d Stage of Excitement.
In the third stage, ideas appear at the 6th degree of vividness. That law of the mind, before alluded to, is now called into force, which is,—that when any mental feelings attain a certain degree of vividness, (at or about the 6th degree, as represented in the scale), muscular motions obey the impulse of the will. Yet at this degree, the actions of muscles are very feeble, so that no other phenomena are induced than those which are indicated by the low mutterings, or the startings of lively dreams. It may be observed of the sensations of this stage of excitement as of the last, that, rising no higher than the 5th degree, they are still too faint to excite consciousness.
4th Stage of Excitement.
The fourth stage of excitement is that of somnambulism, the ideas of which, being at the 7th degree of vividness, are as vivid as those of complete watchfulness. Accordingly, vigorous muscular motions obey
the will. There is likewise a consciousness of sensations, which are to be found in the table, at the 5th degree of vividness.
I shall now illustrate this stage of excitement by a case given on the authority of Mr Smellie, in his Philosophy of Natural History, wherein it is perfectly clear that ideas were more vivid than sensations. The individual who walked in her sleep was a servant-girl residing near Edinburgh. It will be likewise evident from the ensuing narrative, that the fear of an imaginary bull, which the somnambulist supposed was about to attack her, had reduced to a state of extreme faintness every feeling which was not connected with the moral occasion that gave rise to her emotions. Hence, the infliction of wounds from a sharppointed instrument failed in producing sensations sufficiently vivid to be the object of mental conscious
"I examined her countenance," says Mr Smellie, "and found that her eyes, though open, wild, and staring, were not absolutely fixed. I took a pin, and repeatedly pricked her arm, but not a muscle moved, not a symptom of pain was discoverable. At last she became impatient to get out, and made several attempts to escape by the door, but that was prevented by the domestics. Perceiving her inability to force the door, she made a sudden spring at the window, and endeavoured to throw herself over, which would have been fatal to her. To remove every suspicion of imposture, I desired the people, with proper precautions to prevent harm, to try if she would really precipitate herself from the window. A seemingly free access