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Parent Issue
Day
21
Month
April
Year
1876
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

The jvell-known case of Col. Townsend, recorded by an oíd physician, Dr. George Ckeyne, in bis work entitled " The English . Malady, or a Treatise of Nervous Diseases of aïl Kinds" (London, 1733), exemplifies the voluntary as3uniption of the death -state. Col. Townsend having suffered for many years from a distressing internal compïaint, carne, Dr. Cheyne tells us, "from Bristol to Bath in a litter in autumn, ant lay at the Bell Inn." He was there attended by ft Dr. Baynard, by Mr. Skriue (an apothecarj ), and by Dr. Cheyne himself. The Colonel sent fcr all t'hree one morning ; the physicians, on their arrival, finding bis senses clear, and his mind calva, while his nurse and several servante were about. him. He had further, the doctor takes care to inforni ns, made his will and settled his affaire. But the Colonel had sent for his medical attendants that they might ' ' give him some account of an od cl sensation he had for some time observed and feit in himself ; which was, that componing himself, he coiüd die or expire whcn he pleased , and yet by an effort, or soinehow, ho could come to life again ; which, it seems, he had sometimos tried before he had sent for us. We heard this," continúes Dr. Cheyne, " with surprise ; but as it wa not to be accounted for from now common principies, we could hardly believe the fact as it was related to us, mud less give anv account of it." The Colonel then offered to make the experiment before the doctors ; they with a proper feeling for the welfare óf their patiënt, at first protesting against the proceedintr. At length tüey were forced to comply, and the proceedings eommenced by alKhree feeling the pulse of the patiënt. The pulse " was distinct," says Cheyne, "though small and thereby feeling threedy (sic) ; and his heart had its usual beating. He composed himaelf on his back, and lay in a still posture some time ; while I held his rigut hand Dr. Baynard laid his hand on his (Col. Townsend's) heart, and Mr. ökrine held a clean lookiug-glass to his mouth. I found his pulse sink gradually, till at last I could not feel any, by the most exact and nice touch. Dr. Baynard could not feel the least ruotion in his heart, Hor Mr. Skrine the least soil of breath on the bright mirror he held to his mouth ; then each of ns by turas examined his arm, heart and breath, but could not by the nicestscrutiny discover the least symptoms of life in him." The medical men then reasoned about the state beiore them, and af ter half an hour's pause, the Colonel lying in the same motionless state, they were just ready to leave him for dead, when somo inotion about the body was observed. Then the pulse and heart gradually bogan to beat, and their patiënt slowly returned to consciousness. But a curious i'aet remains to be told. The Colonel called that same day for his attomey, addea codicil to his will, and, af ter receiving the sacrament, expixed, really and truly, about 5 or 6 o'clock on the same evening. A post-mortem examination of his body revealed a heaïthy frame, with the exception of a lesión of the right kidney - for the relief of which,

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Subjects
Old News
Michigan Argus