excerpt from 'Diary of William Plumer Jacobs' pp. 91 (352 words)

excerpt from 'Diary of William Plumer Jacobs' pp. 91 (352 words)

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Diary of William Plumer Jacobs

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Mother gave me an account a week or two ago of some strange phenomena in the experience of aunt Dorothea Lee which the above narration calls to my mind. When about 15 years old she was unfortunately injured accidentally in the back but seemed to take no special notice of the injury at the time. At night, however, she roused up her sisters and gravely informed them that the judgement day was at hand and bade them say their prayers. This created such an uproar that the family was brought together and then began a series of the most wonderful nightly entertainments on the part of the afflicted. Around the room there was a ledge about three feet from the floor which it seemed impossible for a cat to stand. She would mount that however and run rapidly round and round the room, without once tripping. Then she would imagine herself a racehorse and dash furiously up and down four flights of stairs and at such a rapid pace that other members of the family who would attempt to prevent her could scarcely mount one flight before she would be at the top. At other times she would give vent to strains of almost heavenly music or quote long pieces of poetry which not only the family but even she herself was utterly unacquainted with. She would at times imagine herself travelling in polar or tropical countries and would give most accurate and thrilling accounts of the scenes before her imagination, though otherwise she was perfectly unacquainted with the subject. But the most remarkable of her somnambulistic traits was this - that she could read the finest print in such darkness, that others could not distinguish faces;- and even Latin and French she would read and accurately pronounce, tho totally ignorant of the language. She was placed under the medical care of Dr. Moultrie and finally recovered after about six months;- at this date she is about forty-two or three and though somewhat nervous is otherwise in good health and dislikes extremely for anyone to mention the subject in her presence.

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excerpt from 'Diary of William Plumer Jacobs' pp. 91 (352 words)


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