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sleep. After a little, still lost to things around him, he manifests one or more of three impulses : one, to speak, but coherently and to a purpose; a second, to dress, rise, and leave his room with an evident intention of going somewhither; a third, to practise some habitual mechanical employment. In each case he appears to be pursuing the thread of a dream. If he speaks, it is a connected discourse to some end. If he goes out to walk, it is to a spot he contemplates visiting; his general turn is to climb ascents, hills, or the roofs of houses: in the latter case he sometimes examines if the tiles are secure before he steps on them. If he pursues a customary occupation, whether it be cleaning harness or writing music, he finishes his work before he leaves it. He is acting a dream, which is connected and sustained. The attention is keenly awake in this dream, and favours its accomplishment to the utmost. In the mean time the somnambulist appears to be insensible to ordinary impressions, and to take no cognisance of what is going on around him-a light may be held so close to his eyes as to singe his eyebrows without his noticing it—he seems neither to hear nor to taste—the eyelids are generally closed, otherwise the eyes are fixed and vacant. Nevertheless he possesses some means of recognising the objects which are implicated in his dream; he perceives their place, and walks among them with perfect precision. Let me narrate some instànces. The first, one of daysomnambulism, exemplifies, at the same time, the transitions to full waking, which manifest themselves occasionally in the talking form of the trance. The case is from the Acta Vratisv. ann. 1722.
A girl, seventeen years of age, was used to fall into a kind of sleep in the afternoon, in which it was supposed, from her expression of countenance and her gestures, that she was engaged in dreams that interested her.
(She was then in light trance-sleep, initiatory trance.) After some days she began to speak when in this state. Then if those present addressed remarks to her, she replied very sensibly, but then fell back into her dream discourse, which turned principally upon religious and moral topics, and was directed to warn her friends how a female should live-Christianly, well governed, and so as to incur no reproach. When she sang, which often happened, she heard herself accompanied by an imaginary violin or piano, and would take up and continue the accompaniment upon an instrument herself. She sewed, did knitting, and the like. She imagined, on one occasion, that she wrote a letter upon a napkin, which she folded for the post. Upon waking, she had not the slightest recollection of anything that had passed. After a few months she recovered.
The following case is from the Hamburg Zeitschrift für die gesammte Medicin, 1848:
A lad of eleven years of age, at school at Tarbes, was surprised several mornings running at finding himself dressed in bed, though he had undressed himself overnight. Then on the 3d of May he was seen by a neighbour, soon after three in the morning, to go out dressed with his cloak and hat on. She called to him, but he did not answer; and she concluded that he was going to Bagnères with his father. In fact that was the road he took; and he was afterwards seen by several persons near Bagnères, trudging after a carriage. It rained hard; and they were surprised to see so young a lad travelling at so early an hour; but they thought he probably belonged to the people in the carriage. He reached Bagnères at halfpast five, having done the distance of five post leagues in two hours and a quarter. He went to the hotel of M. Lafargue, which he had on a former occasion visited with his father, and entered the eating-room. The people of
the hotel addressed him. He told them that he had come with his father in a post-chaise, and that they would find his father in the yard busied with the carriage. M. Lafargue went out to look for him. In the mean time the people of the house observed that the boy's remarks were incoherent; so they took off his cloak and cap, when they found that his eyelids were closed, and that he was fast asleep. They led him towards the stove, took off his wet things and his boots without awakening him; but before they had completely undressed him to put him to bed, he awoke. The impressions of his dream did not desert him. He complained of having had a bad night; and asked for his father. They told him his father had been obliged to set off again immediately. They put him to bed, and he slept. They sent intelligence to his father, who came to Bagnères. The boy believed, and believes still, that he came to Bagnères with his father in a chaise that was driven very slowly. Being asked what he had seen on the road, he described having passed a number of monks and priests in procession. He said there was one good-looking young man who did not leave him, but was always saying, “Good day, Joseph; Adieu, Joseph.” He said that what had most annoyed him was the burning heat of the sun, which was so intense that he had been obliged to wrap himself up in his cloak; that he could not bear its bright light.
The following case of somnambulism, allied with St Veitz's dance, is given by Lord Monboddo :
The patient, about sixteen years of age, used to be commonly taken in the morning a few hours after rising. The approach of the seizure was announced by a sense of weight in the head and drowsiness, which quickly terminated in sleep, (trance-sleep,) in which her eyes were fast shut. She described a feeling beginning in the feet, creeping like a gradual chill higher and higher, till it reached the heart, when consciousness left her. Being in this state, she sprang from her seat about the room, over tables and chairs, with astonishing agility. Then, if she succeeded in getting out of the house, she ran, at a pace with which her elder brother could hardly keep up, to a particular spot in the neighbourhood, taking the directest but the roughest path. If she could not manage otherwise, she got over the garden wall, with astonishing rapidity and precision of movement. Her eyelids were all the time fast closed. The impulse to visit this spot she was often conscious of during the approach of the paroxysm, and afterwards she sometimes thought that she had dreamed of going thither. Towards the termination of her indisposition, she dreamed that the water of a neighbouring spring would do her good, and she drank much of it. One time they tried to cheat her by giving her water from another spring, but she immediately detected the difference. Near the end, she foretold that she would have three paroxysms more, and then be well; and so it proved.
The next case is from a communication by M. Pigatti, published in the July number of the Journal Encyclopédique of the year 1662. The subject was a servant of the name of Negretti, in the household of the Marquis Sale.
In the evening Negretti would seat himself in a chair in the ante-room, when he commonly fell asleep, and would sleep quietly for a quarter of an hour. He then righted himself in his chair so as to sit up. Then he sat some time without motion, looking as if he saw something. Then he rose and walked about the room. On one occasion he drew out his snuff-box, and would have taken a pinch, but there was little in it; whereupon he walked up to an empty chair, and, addressing by name a cavalier, whom he supposed to be sitting in it, asked him for a pinch. One of those who were watching the scene, here held towards him an open box, from which he took snuff. Afterward he fell into the posture of a person who listens; he seemed to think that he heard an order, and thereupon hastened with a wax-candle in his hand to a spot where a light usually stood. As soon as he imagined that he had lit the candle, he walked with it in the proper manner, through the salle, down the steps, turning and waiting from time to time as if he were lighting some one down. Arrived at the door he placed himself sideways, in order to let the imaginary persons pass; and he bowed as he let them out. He then extinguished the light, returned up the stairs, and sat himself down again in his place, to play the same farce once or twice over again the same evening. When in this condition he would lay the table-cloth, place the chairs, which he sometimes brought from a distant room, opening and shutting the doors as he went with exactness; would take decanters from the buffet, fill them with water at the spring, put them down on a waiter, and so on. All the objects that were concerned in these operations he distinguished, when they were before him, with the same precision and certainty as if he had been in the full use of his senses. Otherwise he seemed to observe nothing; so, on one occasion in passing a table, he threw down a waiter with two decanters upon it, which fell and broke without attracting his attention. The dominant idea had entire possession of him. He would prepare a salad with correctness, and sit down and eat it. If they changed it, the trick escaped his notice. In this manner he would go on eating cabbage, or even pieces of cake, without observing the difference. The taste he enjoyed was imaginary, the sense was shut. On another occasion, when he asked for wine they gave him water, which he