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was left for her escape, which she perceived, and instantly darted with such force and agility, that more than one-half of her body was projected before her friends were aware. They, however, laid hold of her, and prevented the dreadful catastrophe. She was again prevailed upon, though with much reluctance, to sit down. She soon resumed her former calmness, and freely answered such questions as were put to her. This scene continued for more than an hour. I was perfectly convinced, notwithstanding my original suspicions, that the woman was actuated by strong and natural impulses, and not by any design to deceive. I asked if any of the attendants knew how to awaken her. A female servant replied that she did. She immediately, to my astonishment, laid hold of Sarah's wrist, forcibly squeezed and rubbed the projecting bones, calling out, at the same time, Sarah, Sarah! By this operation Sarah awoke. She stared with amazement, looked around, and asked how so many people came to be in her own apartment at so unseasonable an hour? After she was completely awake, I asked her what was the cause of her restlessness and violent agitation? She replied, that she had been dreaming that she was pursued by a furious bull, which was every moment on the point of goring her."*
TRANSITION (named the 6th in the Table)
From common Dreams and Somnambulism to perfect Sleep. A fourth transition is from somnambulism and common dreaming to perfect sleep. As this series of
Smellie's Philosophy of Natural History, vol. ii. p. 393.
mental changes is indicated by phenomena, the exact reverse of the stages of excitement last described, they will be sufficiently explained by an inspection of the general table which I have given. It is sufficient for me to observe, that ideas and sensations are uniformly depressed to a low degree of faintness.
TRANSITION (marked the 7th in the General Table) From Sleep less complete to common Dreams and Somnambulism. It is yet possible to conceive of other circumstances slightly differing from those just mentioned, under which common dreams and somnambulism may be induced. During the transition from watchfulness to perfect sleep, there is an intermediate period of less complete repose, in which the following effects, resulting from a cause of mental excitement, may en
Ideas and sensations are excited uniformly.
Sleep less 1st Stage of 2d Stage of 3d Stage of complete. Excitement. Excitement. Excitement.
1st Stage of Excitement.
In the first stage of excitement, ideas attain the 5th and sensations the 4th degree of vividness; in which case there is a consciousness of the former feelings only, and the ordinary state of dreaming is induced.
2d Stage of Excitement.
In the 2d stage, ideas attain the 6th and sensations the 5th degree of vividness. Muscular motions now slightly obey the will, and there is also a consciousness of actual impressions.
3d Stage of Excitement.
In the third stage, ideas are found at the 7th and sensations at the 6th degree of vividness. This change is characterized by all the phenomena of somnambulism.
I know of no other way in which this.last stage of excitement can be illustrated, than by shewing that causes of mental excitement, when inducing somnambulism, may operate before perfect sleep is induced. Thus, in a case which Mr Smellie has recorded in his Philosophy of Natural History, relative to a somnambulist, it is said, that "his ordinary sleep, which is seldom tranquil when about to be seized with a fit of somnambulism, is uncommonly disturbed. While in this state he is affected with involuntary motions; his heart palpitates, his tongue falters, and he alternately rises up and lies down. On one of these occasions the gentleman remarked, that he soon articulated
more distinctly, rose suddenly, and acted agreeably to the motives of the dream which then occupied his imagination."
Another instance, wherein sleep-walking took place before perfect sleep was induced, may be found in the 9th volume of the Philosophical Transactions of Edinburgh. The somnambulist, to whose case I have alluded in the 2d part of this work, was a servant-girl, affected not only with sleeping, but with waking visions. It is said, that "having fallen asleep, surrounded by some of the inhabitants of the house, she imagined herself to be living with her aunt at Epsom, and going to the races. She then placed herself on one of the kitchenstools, and rode upon it into the room, with much spirit and a clattering noise, but without being wakened.”
TRANSITION (marked the 8th in the General Table) From Somnambulism and common Dreams to less complete Sleep.
This transition is the exact reverse of the last described. I shall therefore take no farther notice of it than by a reference to the general table which I have given.
THE ORDER OF PHENOMENA OBSERVABLE IN EXTREME
MENTAL EXCITEMENTS, WHEN
IDEAS ARE CONJOINTLY RENDERED MORE VIVID.
"To the magic region's centre
We are verging it appears;
Lead us right, that we may enter
Strange enchantment's dreamy spheres."
THE transition next to be noticed, is from those medium degrees of vividness which characterize our ordinary waking moments, to the intense condition of mental feelings which gives rise to spectral illusions.
In the common state of watchfulness, ideas, as I just have pointed out, are supposed to be less vivid. than sensations; at the end of this excitement, however, they are rendered more intense.
But a readier explanation of these phenomena will be afforded when they are arranged in a tabular form.