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put some of the ghee on his tongue, and made him swallow it. A few minutes afterwards the eyeballs became dilated, and recovered their natural colour, when the Fakeer, recognising Runjeet Singh sitting close to him, articulated, in a low, sepulchral tone, scarcely audible, “Do you believe me now?” Runjeet Singh replied in the affirmative, and invested the Fakeer with a pearl necklace and superb pair of gold bracelets, and pieces of silk and muslin, and shawls, forming what is called a khelat; such as is usually conferred by the Princes of India on persons of distinction.
From the time of the box being opened, to the recovery of the voice, not more than half an hour could have elapsed; and in another half hour the Fakeer talked with myself and those about him freely, though feebly, like a sick person; and we then left him, convinced that there had been no fraud or collusion in the exhibition we had witnessed.
I was present, also, when the Fakeer was summoned by Runjeet Singh from a considerable distance to Lahore, some months afterwards, again to bury himself alive before Captain Osborne and the officers of the late Sir William M-Naghten's mission in 1838; which, after the usual
preparation, he offered to do for a few days, the term of Sir William's mission being nearly expired; but from the tenor of the doubts expressed, and some observations made by Captain Osborne as to keeping the key of the room in which he was to be buried in his own possession, the Fakeer, with the superstitious dread of an Indian, became evidently alarmed, and apprehensive that if once within Captain Osborne's
His refusal on that occasion will naturally induce a suspicion of the truth of the transaction which I witnessed; but to those well acquainted with the character of the natives of India, it will not be surprising that, where life and death were concerned, the Fakeer should have manifested a distrust of what to him appeared the mysterious intentions of a European who was a perfect stranger to him, while he was ready to repose implicit confidence in Runjeet Singh and others before whom he had exhibited. I am satisfied that he refused only from the cause I have mentioned, and that he would have done for me what he declined doing for Captain Osborne.
It had previously been observed, also, by Sir William M‘Naghten and others of the party, truly, though jestingly, that if the Fakeer should not survive the trial to which he was required to submit, those who might instigate him to it would run the risk of being indicted for murder, which induced them to refrain from pressing the subject further.
I share entirely in the apparent incredibility of the fact of a man being buried alive, and surviving the trial for various periods of duration; but however incompatible with our knowledge of physiology, in the absence of any visible proof to the contrary, I am bound to declare my belief in the facts which I have represented, however impossible their existence may appear to others.—Braid on Trance.
Paying a visit to a friend, says a foreigner, I met there an Italian gentleman, called Agostine Fosari, who was, it seems, a night-walker, or person who, whilst asleep, does all the actions of one awake. He did 'not seem to exceed the age of thirty, was lean, black, and of an extremely melancholy complexion. He had a sedate understanding, great penetration, and a capacity for the most abstract sciences. His extraordinary fits generally seized him in the wane of the moon, but with greater violence in the autumn and winter, than in spring and summer. I had a strange curiosity to be an eye-witness of what was told me, and had prevailed on his valet-de-chambre to give me notice when his master was likely to renew his vagary.
One night, about the end of September, after supper, the company amused themselves with little plays, and Signor Agostine made one among them. He afterwards retired and went to bed about eleven : soon after, his valet came and told us that his master would that night have a walking fit, and desired us, if we pleased, to come and observe him. I went to his bedside with a light in my hand, and saw him lying
upon his back, with his eyes open, but fixed, which was a sure sign, it seems, of his approaching disorder. I took him by the hands, and found them very cold; I felt his pulse, and found it so slow, that his blood seemed to have no circulation. At or about midnight, Signor Agostine drew the curtains briskly, arose, and dressed himself well enough. I approached him with the candle at his very nose, found him insensible, with his eyes still wide open
and immovable. Before he put on his hat he took his belt, out of which the sword had been removed for fear of accidents, as some of these night-walkers will deal about their blows like madmen without any reserve.
In this equipage did Signor Agostine walk backwards and forwards in his chamber several times; he came to the fireside, sat down in an elbow-chair, and went a little time after into a closet, where was his portmanteau, and put the key into his pocket, whence he drew a letter and placed it on the chimney-piece. He went to the bed-chamber dvor, opened it, and proceeded down stairs : when he came to the bottom, one of the company getting a great fall, Signior Agostine seemed frighted
at the noise, and mended his pace. . The valet bid us walk softly and not to speak, because when any noise made near him, and intermixed with his dreams, he became furious, and ran with the greatest precipitancy as if pursued.
He traversed the whole court, which was very spacious, and proceeded directly to the stable. He went in, stroked and caressed his horse, bridled him, and was going to saddle him, but not finding the saddle in its usual place, he seemed very uneasy, like a man disappointed; he, however, mounted his horse, galloped to the house-door, which was shut, dismounted, and, taking up a cabbage-stalk, knocked furiously against the door, and after a great deal of labour lost, he remounted bis horse, guided him to the pond, which was at the other end of the court, let him drink, went afterwards and tied him to his manger, and then returned to the house with great agility. At the noise some servants made in the kitchen, he was very attentive, came near the door, and clapped his ear to the key-hole; but passing all on a sudden to the other side, he entered a low parlour, where was a
billiard-table, and, walking backwards and forwards, used the same postures as if he had been actually playing. He proceeded thence to a pair of virginals, upon which he could play pretty well, and made some jingling. At last, after two hours' exercise, he returned up stairs to his chamber, and threw himself, in his clothes, upon the bed, where we found him next morning at nine in the same posture we had left him. For upon these occasions he ever slept eight or ten hours together. His valet told us there were but two ways to recover him out of these fits : one was to tickle him strongly on the soles of his feet; the other, to sound a horn or trumpet at his ears.-Wanley's Wonders.
THE SLEEPING PREACHER.
Perhaps the most remarkable case of Devotional Somnium on record is that of Miss Rachel Baker, of the State of New York. A full history of her case may be found in the Transactions of the Physico-Medical Society of New York, Vol. i.
Rachel Baker was born at Pelham, Massachusetts, May 29, 1794. Her parents were religious persons, and early taught her the importance of religion. From childhood, she appeared to possess a contemplative disposition, but her mind was not vigorous, nor was she much disposed to improve it by reading. At the age of nine years, she removed with her parents to the town of Marcellus, State of New York. From that time, she said, she had frequently strong convictions of the importance of eternal things, and the thoughts of God and eternity would make her tremble. In June 1811, while on a visit to the town of Scipio, she was deeply affected in visiting the baptism of a young lady; and from that period she was impressed with a stronger conviction of her own sinfulness. On her return to Marcellus, she endeavoured to suppress her religious anxiety, but in vain,-her anguish of mind was fully depicted in her countenance.
On the evening of the 28th of November, as she was sitting in a chair, apparently asleep, she began to sigh and groan as if in excessive pain. She had said a short time before, that she should live only a little while, and as she now repeated the expression, her parents were apprehensive that she was dying. This evening she talked incoherently, but manifested in what she said much religious concern. She continued almost every night talking in her sleep in this way, till the 27th of January, 1812. On that evening, soon after she had fallen asleep, she was seized with a great fit of trembling. She shrieked aloud and woke in great terror. Horror and despondency overwhelmed her with dread of a miserable eternity, and of her speedy and inevitable doom. But these agonising feelings were soon succeeded by a calm ; her mind became tranquil, and in her nightly devotions, which were now regular and coherent, she poured forth a spirit of meekness, gratitude, and love. From this time the whole tenor of her soul seemed to be changed; she was incapable of expressing her sentiments on divine things clearly when awake; but her sleeping exercises were so solemn and impressive, that few who heard them doubted that they were the genuine fruits of penitence, piety, and peace. Dr. Mitchell
, in describing Miss Baker's case, says: “She has for several years been seized with somnium of a devotional kind once a day with great regularity. These daily paroxysms recur with wonderful exactness, and from long prevalence have now become habitual. They invade her at early bed-time, and a fit usually lasts about three-quarters of an hour. A paroxysm has been known to end in thirty-five minutes, and to continue ninety-eight. The transition from the waking state to that of somnium is very rapid ; frequently in a quarter of an hour, or even less. After she retires from company in the parlour, she is discovered to be occupied in praising God in a distinct and sonorous voice. Her discourses are usually pronounced in a private chamber, for the purpose of delivering them with more decorum on