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January 21.

St. Agnes.

In the church of England calendar.* [1]

How to sleep well in cold weather.

Obtain a free circulation of the blood by walking, or other wholesome exercise, so as to procure a gentle glow over the entire surface of the body. Hasten to your chamber, undress yourself quickly, and jump into bed without suffering its temperature to be heightened by the machine called a warming-pan. Your bed will be warmed by your own heat, and if you have not eaten a meat supper, or drunk spirits, you will sleep well and warm all night. Calico sheets are adapted to this season—blankets perhaps are better; but as they absorb perspiration they should be washed before they come into use with sheets in summer time.

Extraordinary sleeper.

Samuel Clinton, of Timbury, near Bath, a labouring man, about twenty-five years of age, had frequently slept, without intermission, for several weeks. On the 13th of May, 1694, he fell into a profound sleep, out of which he could by no means be roused by those about him; but after a month's time, he rose of himself, put on his clothes, and went about his business as usual. From that time to the 9th of April following he remained free from any extraordinary drowsiness, but then fell into another protracted sleep. His friends were prevailed on to try what remedies might effect, and accordingly he was bled, blistered, cupped, and scarified, but to no purpose. In this manner he lay till the 7th of August, when he awaked, and went into the fields where he found people busy in getting in the harvest, and remembered that when he fell asleep they were sowing their oats and barley. From that time he remained well till the 17th of August, 1697, when he complained of a shivering, and, after some disorder of the stomach, the same day fell fast asleep again. Dr. Oliver went to see him; he was then in an agreeable warmth, but without the least sign of his being sensible; the doctor then held a phial of sal-ammoniac under his nose, and injected about half an ounce up one of his nostrils, but it only made his nose run and his eyelids shiver a little. The doctor then filled his nostrils with powder of white hellebore, but the man did not discover the least uneasiness. About ten days after, the apothecary took fourteen ounces of blood from his arm without his making the least motion during the operation. The latter end of September Dr. Oliver again visited him, and a gentleman present ran a large pin into his arm to the bone, but he gave not the least sign of feeling. In this manner he lay till the 19th of November, when his mother hearing him make a noise ran immediately to him, and asked him how he did, and what he would have to eat? to which he replied, "very well, I thank you; I'll take some bread and cheese." His mother, overjoyed, ran to acquaint his brother that he was awake, but on their going up stairs they found him as fast asleep as ever. Thus he continued till the end of January, at which time he awoke perfectly well and very little altered in his flesh, and went about his business as usual.* [2]


Mean Temperature   . . .   37 . 35.

Notes [all notes are Hone's unless otherwise indicated]:

1. See vol. i. p. 141. [return]

2. Phil. Trans. [return]