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the total-abstinence movement,—which at the time was little considered, - he was practically a total abstainer.

For many years, I believe, the condition of this gentleman continued the same. He was induced to try the effects of change of air and scene ; but this he declared wearied him too much, and finally he settled down a confirmed invalid of the malade imaginaire type, pure and simple. In seeking one day for advice from a professor of a schismatic school of physic, he gathered what he supposed to be an entirely new light as to the cause of his malady. The professor, very learned and imposing, detailed to the sufferer the ideas then prevailing as to the cause of primary digestion, and the experiments which Dr. Beaumont had conducted on that most interesting of physiological instructors, Alexis St. Martin. This history of the accidental shot which has made St. Martin such a figure in history, even to the present time (for I believe he still lives), the account of the opening into the stomach, of the notes that had been made from visual inspection of the process of digestion, the description of the gastric juice that was extracted, and the further explanation as to the solvent action of the gastric juice on food, became a perfect fascination for the anxious invalid; and when the learned expositor improved the occasion by telling bis patient that all this demonstrative argument was but a prelude to the grand inference he drew as to the patient's present condition, the inference being no more nor no less than that the unfortunate patient could not possibly digest food because he produced no gastric juice, the enlightenment was complete, positive, and unanswerable.

From that day, by a kind of logical determination which it was most difficult, and I may say at once impossible, to combat so as to carry conviction to the mind of the sufferer, he maintained that, as he had no gastric juice, it was utterly useless for him to take food of any kind, except water which required no digestion. The idea implanted in his mind held its place, and was never uprooted. Unfortunately, it was confirmed by the effects of a first attempt at reduction of food. The stomach, no doubt very feeble and irritable, was relieved by a reduction of food, and therewith the depression of mind was signally relieved—an occurrence by no means unusual, and perhaps a natural consequence.

Soon after the first attempt to reduce food to a minimum, there succeeded another stage, in which the desire for food appeared to pass away altogether. Then, when food was taken, by a great effort and with much repugnance, it caused pain, disturbance, and a greater depression than usual of mental power, with a more determined

NO. 1797.



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dislike to repeat the process, and a firmer and deeper conviction in the hypothesis that he failed to produce any of the natural digestive fluid.

In time there seemed to be an entire failure of desire for food ; a loss of sense of taste; a loathing at the odour of food ; an irritable objection to have the subject of feeding even spoken about; and, finally, a resolute determination not to take any more food at all unless appetite or desire for some particular kind or quality of food revisited him. From that moment the rigid fasting commenced. Of water he would partake readily, but not largely, for he said that in quantity it was heavy and cold, and caused painful distension. He would take it to allay thirst, and nothing more. For ten days, under this régime, he went about the house and walked occasionally in the garden, refusing medical advice. After this he took to his bed, and declined to rise except to have the bed made. He now wished for medical attention, but was as resolute with his medical advisers against taking food as he was with the members of his family.

The course of events in this example differs from that which was followed by Dr. Tanner and Reuben Kelsey in this matter of rest. The man who is now being referred to remained in bed until the hour of his death. His room also was kept quiet and warm, and he was permitted to sleep as often and as comfortably as could be wished. The other two, -Tanner and Kelsey,--walked about, and Tanner seems to have been often irritated and disturbed. The difference was all in favour of the bed-ridden experimentalist, and the fact was marked in the results, for he lived two days longer than Kelsey : he died on the fifty-fifth day, having abstained from all solid food and partaken of no other drink than water for seven weeks and four days. Once in this time an effort was made to feed bim, perforce, with milk; but he resisted so determinately, and subjected himself to such danger by his resistance, that the attempt was not made a second time.

Precisely as in the instances of Dr. Tanner and Mr. Kelsey, the great reduction of bodily weight occurred, in the gentleman whose history I am now detailing, during the carlier stage of the process of fasting He sank into the extremest state of emaciation during the first three to four weeks of his trial, after which he did not seem to me to undergo further change, although I saw him almost daily. He slept a great deal, and at times he tried to read; but the effort at reading soon became wearisome and painful, and was never more than a mere listless occupation. He was not at any time irritable, except when pressed to take food, and he was fond of hearing the current topics of the day; but he soon wearied also at being con

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versed with, and would drop off into a semi-somnolent state while conversing. I never heard him complain of any pain or discomfort ; he did not seem to express or feel desire to live, and he certainly never expressed any desire to die.

As the last days of his life drew near, he became much feebler rather suddenly, and his mind, I thought, was inclined to wander for brief intervals. But he quickly recovered himself, and on the day before his death he was unusually clear in his mind. He was painfully shrunken in feature ; his voice was low, and almost bleating ; his colour was leaden dark; his lips were blue and cold ; his limbs were cold ; and his breath was cold and offensive, having the odour of newly-opened clayey soil. On the morning of his death he, for the first time from the commencement of his fast, expressed that he would eat, and that which he wished for was fruit or raw vegetable, with cream.

An attempt was made immediately to pacify his desire under the hope that, if he once recommenced to take food of one kind, he might be tempted to take more promising support ; but it was of no avail, and in fact nothing was swallowed. Soon after this he sank into unconsciousness, and so succumbed.

I have given in the above the barest outline of facts of this long endurance of life during deprivation. It is sufficient, without further detail, for showing that the supposed impossible fast performed by Dr. Tanner is quite within the range of possibility, all supposition of imposture being entirely set aside. If on the fortieth day of his fast this gentleman had taken food, as Tanner did, I do not think there is a doubt but that he would have recovered.

In these two examples we see how much may be endured under circumstances favourable to existence of life under deprivation from food. They are examples which, up to the fortieth day, run on allfours with that of Dr. Tanner. Let me give one more instance of still greater human endurance from a letter by Dr. J. C. Cutter, resident in Japan, communicated in the present year, July 15, to the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal.

FAST OF TWENTY-SIX DAYS UNDER EXTREME COLD. The Ainos, the Indians of Japan, are stout, thick-set, very hairy, and with very marked muscular development. They take very little sleep. Their digestive and assimilative powers are most excellent. They require only half as much rice per day as the Japanese coolie (about three-fourths of a quart instead of a quart), and, without making it up with fish or meat, the Ainos will do more, and endure more hardship. Upon such a diet they will carry two-thirds of their

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