as she recovered, exhibited, among other things, the following remarkable powers:
This case cannot be disposed of by saying that the movements were convulsive, because it is evident that they were definitely combined and adjusted to the production of a well-defined result—the landing of the patient's body either upon the floor, the bed, or the wardrobe—so that a certain amount of mentality or volition accompanied the result; this she herself was aware of, and called it a "secret impulse." It is also evident that the movements were very complex, and required a special and peculiar coördination of a great many muscles; in-fact, nearly every voluntary muscle of the body. The only conclusion at which we can arrive is, that the patient, in the abnormal state into which disease had thrown her, was able to draw upon an inheritance of muscular capacity to which she had matured, but which she had not been called upon to use before.
Dr. Abercrombie also relates the following case: A young lady, fifteen years of age, was subject to attacks of catalepsy, in consequence of a fall from a horse.
In this case the young lady was able to execute, in the cataleptic state, what she apparently had not learned and could not execute when out of that state. From this and similar cases it would seem that much of our inherited voluntary command over our muscles is ordinarily disguised or marked, as it were—held in abeyance—how or why we know not, and we are enabled to get glimpses of it during those states of mental and organic spontaneity and mobility which, for want of a better name, we call abnormal, and which often seem temporarily to put the individual en rapport with the secret chambers of his own boundless wealth—the countless treasures of ages of accumulation.
The following case, taken from the Globe-Democrat, of St. Louis, Missouri, is as remarkable, perhaps, as any of a similar character on record:
- Abercrombie, " of the Brain and Spinal Cord," p. 292.
- Ibid., pp. 293-295.