Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 16.djvu/417

This page has been validated.
397
WHY DO SPRINGS AND WELLS OVERFLOW?

alive! Bruhier's story is, in fact, the confession of Wenzel. It is the story of a patient describing his horror on finding himself a dead man; and, without much confusion of terms, it might fairly be called the "Confessions of a Corpse." Dr. Gandolfi asserts that many such cases have been recorded in various parts of Europe, and that in most instances the cases have been "proved and authenticated." Gandolfi is an authority; and all persons of a quibbling or skeptical nature would do well to consider the matter thoroughly before condemning his evidence.

But it is needless to prolong the list of examples. Enough has been said to show the wickedness of hasty funerals, and the necessity of establishing a proper system of tests. But these tests, so long expected, are not forthcoming. Many physicians are, indeed, of opinion that no such system is obtainable in the present state of medical science. There are, they affirm, a great many ways of proving death, if sufficient time allowed be for experiments; but during the experiments, or before the experiments have begun, the supposed corpse may, they declare, pass from apparent to real death, and thus, without sign or warning, frustrate all inquiry. Celebrated physicians can not be at the death-beds of all sick persons. The poor, and even the rich, must oftentimes content themselves with the services of doctors who are not famous either for learning or intuition; and the medicines and appliances by which distinguished physicians might succeed in testing the existence of life, in persons suffering from trance, would, in the case of poor people, cost too much; and no one is willing to guarantee their final success. For it is important to bear this point in mind: it is one thing to certify that a "corpse" is not really dead; it is another thing to revive that corpse after the inner life—latent and slow to assert itself—has been properly recognized. No; what is wanted is a simple test, and not a complicated test, or a complicated series of tests, which would be out of the reach of the poor, and beyond the power of inexperienced or badly-paid doctors. Let us have that test as soon as possible! No doctor deems it an impossibility. It is a matter of difficulty, and that is all. But difficulties as great as, or greater than, this have been mastered over and over again by modern science.—Belgravia.

 

WHY DO SPRINGS AND WELLS OVERFLOW?
By JOSEPH J. SKINNER, Ph. D.

THE commonly accepted answer to the above question is that the water of springs and of flowing wells is forced out by the pressure of other water at some higher level, this pressure being transmitted to the water of the spring or well through continuous underground