It seems that no proposition that can be made is so absurd or impossible but that many people, ordinarily regarded as intelligent, will be found to accept it and to aid in its propagation. And hence, when it is asserted that a young lady has lived for fourteen years without food of any kind, hundreds and thousands of persons throughout the length and breadth of a civilized land at once yield their belief to the monstrous declaration.
her age she was attacked with a fever, and among other symptoms vomited for twenty days. Then she became speechless and so continued for twenty-four days. Then she talked, but her speech was raving and incoherent. Finally she lost all power of motion and of sensibility in the parts below the head and could not swallow. From thenceforth she could not be persuaded to take food. Six months afterwards she regained the use of her limbs, but the inability to swallow remained and she acquired a great loathing for all kinds of meat and drink. The secretions and excretions appeared to be arrested. Nevertheless she was very industrious, employing her time in running errands, sweeping the house, spinning, and such like. This maid continued thus fasting for the space of nearly three years, and then by degrees took to eating and drinking again.
Before coming to more recent cases, there is one other to which I desire to refer for the reason mainly that in it there was probably organic disease in addition to fraud an