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the United States Army Hospital for themselves, were strong enough. When, Injuries and Diseases of the Nervous however, he lifted these members, the System. Before leaving Nashville, I shoulder - blades stood out from the had begun to suffer the most acute back like wings, and got him the soupain in my left hand, especially the lit- briquet of the Angel. In my ward tle finger; and so perfect was the idea were also the cases of fits, which very which was thus kept up of the real much annoyed me, as upon any great presence of these missing parts, that I change in the weather it was common found it hard at times to believe them to have a dozen convulsions in view at absent. Often, at night, I would try Dr. Neek, one of our physicians, with one lost hand to grope for the told me that on one occasion a hunother. As, however, I had no pain in dred and fifty fits took place within the right arm, the sense of the existence thirty-six hours. On my complaining of that limb gradually disappeared, as of these sights, whence I alone could did that of my legs also.
not fly, I was placed in the paralytic Everything was done for my neural- and wound ward, which I found much gia which the doctors could think of; more pleasant and at length, at my suggestion, I was A month of skilful treatment eased removed to the above-named hospital. me entirely of my aches, and I then It was a pleasant, suburban, old-fash- began to experience certain curious ioned country - seat, its gardens sur- feelings, upon which, having nothing to rounded by a circle of wooden, one- do and nothing to do anything with, I story wards, shaded by fine trees. reflected a good deal. It was a good There were some three hundred cases while before I could correctly explain of epilepsy, paralysis, St. Vitus's dance, to my own satisfaction the phenomena and wounds of nerves. On one side of which at this time I was called upon me lay a poor fellow, a Dane, who had to observe. By the various operathe same burning neuralgia with which tions already described, I had lost about I once suffered, and which I now learned four fifths of my weight. As a consewas only too common. This man had quence of this, I ate much less than become hysterical from pain. He car- usual, and could scarcely have conried a sponge in his pocket, and a bot- sumed the ration of a soldier. I slept tle of water in one hand, with which he also but little ; for, as sleep is the reconstantly wetted the burning hand. pose of the brain, made necessary by Every sound increased his torture, and the waste of its tissues during thought he even poured water into his boots to and voluntary movement, and as this keep himself from feeling too sensibly latter did not exist in my case, I needthe rough friction of his soles when ed only that rest which was necessawalking Like him, I was greatly eased ry to repair such exhaustion of the by having small doses of morphia inject- nerve-centres as was induced by thinked under the skin of my shoulder, with ing and the automatic movements of a hollow needle, fitted to a syringe. the viscera.
As I improved under the morphia I observed at this time also, that my treatment, I began to be disturbed by heart, in place of beating as it once did the horrible variety of suffering about seventy-eight in the minute, pulsated me. One man walked sideways; there only forty-five times in this interval, was one who could not smell; another fact to be easily explained by the perwas dumb from an explosion. In fact, fect quiescence to which I was reduced, every one had his own grotesquely pain- and the consequent absence of that ful peculiarity. Near me was a strange healthy and constant stimulus to the case of palsy of the muscles called rhom- muscles of the heart which exercise boids, whose office it is to hold down occasions. the shoulder-blades flat on the back dur- Notwithstanding these drawbacks, ing the motions of the arms, which, in my physical health was good, which I
confess surprised me, for this among are a few small ganglia. Were the rest other reasons. It is said that a burn absent or inactive, we should have a of two thirds of the surface destroys man reduced, as it were, to the lowest life, because then all the excretory mat- terms, and leading an almost vegetaters which this portion of the glands tive existence. Would such a being, I of the skin evolved are thrown upon asked myself, possess the sense of inthe blood, and poison the man, just as dividuality in its usual completeness, happens in an animal whose skin the even if his organs of sensation rephysiologist has varnished, so as in mained, and he were capable of conthis way to destroy its function. Yet sciousness ? Of course, without them, here was 1, having lost at least a third he could not have it any more than a of my skin, and apparently none the dahlia, or a tulip. But with it — how worse for it.
then ? I concluded that it would be at Still more remarkable, however, were a minimum, and that, if utter loss of rethe physical changes which I now be- lation to the outer world were capable gan to perceive. I found to my horror of destroying a man's consciousness of that at times I was less conscious of himself, the destruction of half of his myself, of my own existence, than used sensitive surfaces might well occasion, to be the case. This sensation was so in a less degree, a like result, and so novel, that at first it quite bewildered diminish his sense of individual existme. I felt like asking some one con
ence. stantly if I were really George Dedlow I thus reached the conclusion that a or not; but, well aware how absurd I man is not his brain, or any one part should seem after such a question, I re- of it, but all of his economy, and that frained from speaking of my case, and to lose any part must lessen this sense strove more keenly to analyze my feel- of his own existence. I found but one ings. At times the conviction of my person who properly appreciated this want of being myself was overwhelm- great truth. She was a New England ing, and most painful. It was, as well lady, from Hartford, - an agent, I think, as I can describe it, a deficiency in for some commission, perhaps the Santhe egoistic sentiment of individuality. itary After I had told her my views About one half of the sensitive surface and feelings, she said : “ Yes, I compreof skin was gone, and thus much of hend. The fractional entities of vitalirelation to the outer world destroyed. ty are embraced in the oneness of the As a consequence, a large part of the unitary Ego. Life,” she added, “ is receptive central organs must be out of the garnered condensation of objective employ, and, like other idle things, de- impressions; and, as the objective is generating rapidly. Moreover, all the the remote father of the subjective, so great central ganglia, which give rise to must individuality, which is but fomovements in the limbs, were also eter- cused subjectivity, suffer and fade when nally at rest. Thus one half of me was the sensation lenses, by which the rays absent or functionally dead. This set of impression are condensed, become me to thinking how much a man might destroyed.” I am not quite clear that lose and yet live. If I were unhappy I fully understood her, but I think she enough to survive, I might part with appreciated my ideas, and I felt gratemy spleen at least, as many a dog has ful for her kindly interest. done, and grown fat afterwards. The The strange want I have spoken of other organs, with which we breathe now haunted and perplexed me so and circulate the blood, would be es- constantly, that I became moody and sential; so also would the liver ; but wretched. While in this state, a man at least half of the intestines might be from a neighboring ward fell one morndispensed with, and of course all of the ing into conversation with the chaplain, limbs. And as to the nervous system, within ear-shot of my chair. Some of the only parts really necessary to life their words arrested my attention, and
I turned my head to see and listen. I am sure; and as to matter, it merely
material in which it is reclad?”
ble of some form of proof to our pres“Good morning," said he “How do ent senses." you get on?"
" And so it is,” said he.
“ Come to“ Not at all," I replied.
“ Where morrow with me, and you shall see and were you hit ?”
hear for yourself.” “O, at Chancellorsville. I was shot “I will,” said I, “if the doctor will in the shoulder. I have what the doc- lend me the ambulance." tors call paralysis of the median nerve, It was so arranged, as the surgeon but I guess Dr. Neek and the lightnin' in charge was kind enough, as usual, battery will fix it in time. When my to oblige me with the loan of his wagtime 's out I'll go back to Kearsage on, and two orderlies to lift my useless and try on the school-teaching again. trunk. I was a fool to leave it."
On the day following, I found my“Well,” said I, “you 're better off self, with my new comrade, in a house than I.”
in Coates Street, where a “circle " Yes,” he answered, “in more ways in the daily habit of meeting. So soon than one. I belong to the New Church. as I had been comfortably deposited in It's a great comfort for a plain man an arm-chair, beside a large pine-table, like me, when he's weary and sick, to the rest of those assembled seated thembe able to turn away from earthly selves, and for some time preserved an things, and hold converse daily with unbroken silence. During this pause I the great and good who have left the scrutinized the persons present. Next world. We have a circle in Coates to me, on my right, sat a flabby man, Street. If it wa’n't for the comfort I with ill-marked, baggy features, and inget there, I should have wished myself jected eyes. He was, as I learned afdead many a time. I ain't got kith or terwards, an eclectic doctor, who had kin on earth; but this matters little, tried his hand at medicine and several when one can talk to them daily, and of its quackish variations, finally setknow that they are in the spheres tling down on eclecticism, which I beabove us."
lieve professes to be to scientific medi" It must be a great comfort," I re- cine what vegetarianism is to common plied, “if only one could believe it."
sense, every-day dietetics. Next to him “ Believe !” he repeated, “how can sat a female, — authoress, I think, of you help it? Do you suppose anything two somewhat feeble novels, and much dies ? "
pleasanter to look at than her books. “No," I said. “ The soul does not, She was, I thought, a good deal ex
cited at the prospect of spiritual reve- After this, several of the strangers lations. Her neighbor was a pallid, were called upon to write the names of care-worn girl, with very red lips, and the dead with whom they wished to large brown eyes of great beauty. She communicate. The names were spelled was, as I learned afterwards, a mag- out by the agency of affirmative knocks netic patient of the doctor, and had when the correct letters were touched deserted her husband, a master me- by the applicant, who was furnished chanic, to follow this new light. The with an alphabet card upon which he others were, like myself, strangers tapped the letters in turn, the medium, brought hither by mere curiosity. One meanwhile, scanning his face very keenof them was a lady in deep black, close- ly. With some, the names were readly veiled. Beyond her, and opposite toily made out. With one, a stolid perme, sat the sergeant, and next to him, sonage of disbelieving type, every atthe medium, a man named Blake. He tempt failed, until at last the spirits sig. was well dressed, and wore a good deal nified by knocks that he was a disturbof jewelry, and had large, black side. ing agency, and that while he remained whiskers, a shrewd - visaged, large- all our efforts would fail. Upon this nosed, full-lipped man, formed by na- some of the company proposed that he ture to appreciate the pleasant things should leave, of which invitation he of sensual existence.
took advantage with a sceptical sneer Before I had ended my survey, he at the whole performance. turned to the lady in black, and asked As he left us, the sergeant leaned if she wished to see any one in the over and whispered to the medium, spirit-world.
who next addressed himself to me She said, “Yes,” rather feebly. “Sister Euphemia,” he said, indicat
" Is the spirit present ?” he asked. ing the lady with large eyes, "will act Upon which two knocks were heard in as your medium. I am unable to do affirmation.
These things exhaust my ner“Ah!” said the medium, “ the name vous system.” is - it is the name of a child. It is “Sister Euphemia," said the doctor, a male child. It is Albert,
“ will aid us. Think, if you please, fred !"
sir, of a spirit, and she will endeavor “ Great Heaven ! ” said the lady. to summon it to our circle." “My child! my boy!”
Upon this, a wild idea came into my On this the medium arose, and be- head. I answered, “I am thinking as came strangely convulsed. “I see,” you directed me to do." he said, “I see a fair-haired boy. I The medium sat with her arms folded, see blue eyes, — I see above you, be- looking steadily at the centre of the yond you — " at the same time point- table. For a few moments there was ing fixedly over her head.
silence. Then a series of irregular She turned with a wild start. knocks began. “Are you present?” * Where, — whereabouts ? "
said the medium. "A blue-eyed boy," he continued, The affirmative raps were twice over your head. He cries, – he given. says, Mamma, mamma!”
“I should think," said the doctor, The effect of this on the woman was " that there were two spirits present.” unpleasant. She stared about her for His words sent a thrill through my a moment, and, exclaiming, “I come, heart. I am coming, Alfy!” fell in hysterics “ Are there two ?” he questioned. on the floor.
A double rap. Two or three persons raised her, and “Yes, two,” said the medium. “Will aided her into an adjoining room; but it please the spirits to make us conthe rest remained at the table, as scious of their names in this world ?” though well accustomed to like scenes. A single knock. “No.”
- no, Al
“ Will it please them to say how wonder filled me, and, to the amazement they are called in the world of spir- of every one, I arose, and, staggering a its ?"
little, walked across the room on limbs Again came the irregular raps, 3, invisible to them or me. It was no 4, 8, 6; then a pause, and 3, 4, 8, 7. wonder I staggered, for, as I briefly re
“I think,” said the authoress, “they flected, my legs had been nine months must be numbers. Will the spirits,” in the strongest alcohol." At this she said, " be good enough to aid us ? instant all my new friends crowded Shall we use the alphabet ? "
around me in astonishment. Present“Yes," was rapped very quickly. ly, however, I felt myself sinking slowly. “Are these numbers ?”
My legs were going, and in a moment “ Yes," again.
I was resting feebly on my two stumps “I will write them,” she added, and, upon the floor. It was too much. All doing so, took up the card and tapped that was left of me fainted and rolled the letters. The spelling was pretty over senseless. rapid, and ran thus as she tapped in I have little to add. I am now at turn, first the letters, and last the num- home in the West, surrounded by evbers she had already set down :
ery form of kindness, and every possi“ UNITED STATES ARMY MEDICAL ble comfort; but, alas! I have so little MUSEUM, Nos. 3486, 3487."
surety of being myself, that I doubt my The medium looked up with a puz- own honesty in drawing my pension, zled expression.
and feel absolved from gratitude to “Good gracious ! ” said I, “ they are those who are kind to a being who is my legs ! my legs .!”
uncertain of being enough himself to What followed, I ask no one to be- be conscientiously responsible. It is lieve except those who, like myself, have needless to add, that I am not a happy communed with the beings of another fraction of a man; and that I am eager sphere. Suddenly I felt a strange re- for the day when I shall rejoin the lost turn of my self-consciousness. I was re- members of my corporeal family in anindividualized, so to speak. A strange other and a happier world.
ON TRANSLATING THE DIVINA COMMEDIA.
The air is filled with some unknown perfume ;
For thee to pass ; the votive tapers shine ;
The hovering echoes fly from tomb to tomb.
Rehearsals of forgotten tragedies,
And lamentations from the crypts below;
With the pathetic words, “ Although your sins