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Dr. Tanner's Long Fast

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[Minneapolie Cor. New York Y orla.] Dr. H. S. ïanner, the hero of "the weeks' fast," has published a very long letter on the subject, the man point of which is the offer contained at the close. That„such a feat as he claims to have done was'not an impossibility, he contends frorn the cases of the Savior, whom, however, he admita to have been more than human, and of the wit' e of Dr. Smith, of tLis city, who is said to have lived fifty-seven days witli no other nourishment than a little gnm-arabic water. He also cites the instanoes of Knne, Fremont, and other explorers, who have preserved their vitality und r prolonged fasting and hardship; then goes on to argue that in "thehibernations of cold-blooded reptiles and certain superior forma of animated nature we have abundant evidence to support the a6umption that total abstinence from food for many montbs does not involve the total extinction of the vital principie." Hibernating animáis, Dr. Tarner says, show no loss of flesh alter passing a winter without food (whieh, indeed, is not usually the case); all through the parentü period the embryo child exists without air or food, and there are innumerable well-authenticated cases of catalepsy or trance in which persons, from a variety of causes, have sunk into a mor bid state which has been mistaken for death. In these cases, as in hibernating animáis, the involuntary forces were suspended, the lungs and heart no longer heaved and pulsated, the blood ceased to circuíate, and the limbs grew stiff and cold. ïhousands in this cocdition have been prematurely bnried, come to life, turnedover in their cofftns, and periehed. The Doctor contends that tbis condition of suspended animation is identieally the same as that found in animaln during 1he winter pose, and that there is nothing to show why it should not exist for an indefiuite period, as the same law that sustains the lower animáis through the long, tedious months in a condition of suspended animation ia amply suffieient to sustain and keep alive the vital ppark in the higher forins of animated nature, when conditions are favorable. WheD the voluntary powers of our bodies are exhausted they f dl asleep at night, and i in the morning we wnke up refreshed. But wkea tlie involuntary powers are entirely exhausted by pain or fevers, or sicknees in general they f all asleep. This sleep we cali death. If not entirely exhausted, but closely approxiinating to it, then we get the condition above described. Henee at death, could the laws of chenu&try that decompose our bodies be suspended, and could the entire system, blood and all, bekeptin entirely the same condition as when we expired, we should wake p ai'ter few days in perfect health. Says Dr. Tonner: " It was with a desire to know more about tilia change, to probé its mysteries, that I voluntarily undertook the discomforting task of exhausting the involuntary forces of my system by fortytwo days of total abstinence from food, and by' daüy exercises I so far succeeded as to be brought to the very portals of the tornb. I eould ' almost st e over to the otlier shore' ; the heart's action was well-nigh suspended ; for a number of days there was no perceptible circulation in the extremities. In consequenoe of my own imprudence in drinking cold water to excess and unduly exercising on the thirty-eighth day of my fast, which indueed persistent retohiug and vomiting, with intervals of severe hiccough, the experiment was not pushec' to the extent desired and intended. I do not hesitate to declare it as my firm belief that it is not inipossible lor human beings, peculiarly eonstituted and under favorable conditions, to remnin for months in a condition of suspended animation (like the lower animáis), deprived of air, food, and water, and buried six fe et under ground, withal. It ie a wi-11-established t'act that hibernating animáis do exist for months in a condition of suspende I animation. Who, in the face of these facts, dare fiffirm that man, the crowning glory of all animal cretots, is incapable of such experience?" By way of final argument is adduced the familiar case of the Sikli fakir, who could retain life during a period of ten months when buried under the ground in a sealed box. The Doctor then announces his willingness to repeat his fast under stiiot tests, but he does not wish to do so to obtain notoriety, to gratify idle curiosity, or to make money. This, however, he will do : He will repeat the experiment under the strictest surveillance for &},000, the amount to be raised and deposited in any trustwortby bank in Minneapoiis or St. Paul. It he sxicceeds in totally abstaining from food for forty days $1,000 shalï be subject to his order at the expiration of the time allotted to the experiment ; the remaining $4,000 shall be subject to the order of the Matron of the Hfause of Kefuge at Minueapolie, to aid her in her noble endeavors to reclaim the uniortunate. If he fails in totally abstaining from food for the time speeiüed, then all claim on the money shall be forfeited, but in such (■vent the amount shall constitute a poor fund to bc distributed forcharitable purposes as proptrly selected committees shall direct.


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