The Resurrectionist & The Spectre-Smitten

The Resurrectionist & The Spectre-Smitten

by Samuel Warren
     
 
My gentle reader--start not at learning that I have been, in my time, a
resurrectionist! Let not this appalling word, this humiliating
confession, conjure up in your fancy a throng of vampire-like images and
associatiors, or earn your "Physician's" dismissal from your hearts and
hearths. It is your own groundless fears, my fair trembler!--your

Overview

My gentle reader--start not at learning that I have been, in my time, a
resurrectionist! Let not this appalling word, this humiliating
confession, conjure up in your fancy a throng of vampire-like images and
associatiors, or earn your "Physician's" dismissal from your hearts and
hearths. It is your own groundless fears, my fair trembler!--your own
superstitious prejudices--that have driven me, and will drive many
others of my brethern, to such dreadful doings as those hereafter
detailed. Come, come--let us have one word of reason between us on the
abstract question--and then for my tale. You expect us to cure you of
disease, and yet deny us the only means of learning _how_! You would
have us bring you the ore of skill and experience, yet forbid us to
break the soil or sink a shaft! Is this fair, _fair_ reader? Is this
reasonable?

What I am now going to describe was my first and last exploit in the way
of body-stealing. It was a grotesque if not a ludicrous scene, and
occurred during the period of my "walking the hospitals," as it is
called, which occupied the two seasons immediately after my leaving
Cambridge. A young and rather interesting female was admitted a patient
at the hospital I attended; her case baffled all our skill, and her
symptoms even defied diagnosis. _Now_, it seemed an enlargement of the
heart--now, an ossification--then this, that, and the other; and at last
it was plain we knew nothing at all about the matter--no, not even
whether her disorder was organic or functional, primary or
symptomatic--or whether it _was_ really the heart that was at fault. She
received no benefit at all under the fluctuating schemes of treatment we
pursued, and at length fell into dying circumstances. As soon as her
friends were apprised of her situation, and had an inkling of our
intention to open the body, they insisted on removing her immediately
from the hospital, that she might "die at home."

In vain did Sir ---- and his dressers expostulate vehemently with them,
and represent, in exaggerated terms, the imminent peril attending such a
step. Her two brothers avowed their apprehension of our designs, and
were inflexible in exercising their right of removing their sister. I
used all my rhetoric on the occasion, but in vain; and at last said to
the young men, "Well, if you are afraid only of our _dissecting_ her, we
can get hold of her, if we are so disposed, as easily if she die with
you as with us."

"Well--we'll _troy_ that, measter," replied the elder, while his
Herculean fist oscillated somewhat significantly before my eyes. The
poor girl was removed accordingly to her father's house, which was at a
certain village about five miles from London, and survived her arrival
scarcely ten minutes! We soon contrived to receive intelligence of the
event; and as I and Sir ----'s two dressers had taken great interest in
the case throughout, and felt intense curiosity about the real nature of
the disease, we met together and entered into a solemn compact, that,
come what might, we would have her body out of the ground. A trusty spy
informed us of the time and exact place of the girl's burial; and on
expressing to Sir ---- our determination about the matter, he patted me
on the back, saying, "Ah, my fine fellow!--IF you have SPIRIT
enough--dangerous," etc., etc.

Was it not skilfully said? The baronet further told us, he felt himself
so curious about the matter that if fifty pounds would be of use to us
in furthering our purpose, they were at our service. It needed not this,
nor a glance at the _éclat_ with which the successful issue of
the affair would be attended among our fellow-students, to spur our
resolves.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940013668218
Publisher:
WDS Publishing
Publication date:
01/20/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
43 KB

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