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Remarkable Resuscitation

Scary Books: Apparitions; Or, The Mystery Of Ghosts, Hobgoblins, And Haunted Houses

In the first volume of the Causes Celebres, a popular French work, is

the following extraordinary story, which occasioned a serious law-suit.

Two men in trade, who lived in the street St. Honore in Paris, nearly

equal in circumstances, both following the same profession, and united

in the closest friendship, had each of them a child, much about the same

age. These children were brought up together, and conceived a mut

attachment, which, ripening with years into a stronger and more lively

sentiment, was approved by the parents on both sides. This young couple

was upon the point of being made happy, by a more solemn union, when a

rich financier, conceiving a passion for the young maiden, unfortunately

crossed their inclinations by demanding her in marriage. The allurements

of a more brilliant fortune seduced her father and mother,

notwithstanding their daughter's repugnance, to consent to the change.

To their entreaties, however, she was obliged to yield, and sacrificed

her affections by becoming the wife of the financier. Like a woman of

virtue, she forbade her earlier lover the house. A fit of melancholy,

the consequence of this violence done to her inclinations by entering

into an engagement of interest, brought on her a malady, which so far

benumbed her faculties, that at length she was given over by the

faculty, apparently died, and was accordingly laid out for burial.

Her former lover, who had once before beheld her in a similar situation,

flattered himself that he might possibly again find her in a trance.

This idea not only suspended his grief, but prompted him to bribe the

grave-digger, by whose aid he dug up the body in the night-time, and

conveyed it home. He then used every means in his power for recalling

her to life, and was overjoyed on discovering that his endeavours were

not ineffectual.

It is not easy to conceive the surprise of the young woman on her

resuscitation, when she found herself in a strange house, and, as it

were, in the arms of her lover, who soon informed her of what had taken

place on her account. She then comprehended the extent of her obligation

to her deliverer; and love, more pathetic than all his persuasions to

unite their destinies, determined her, on her recovery, to escape with

him into England. This was effected; and they lived for some years in

the closest union.

At the end of ten years, they conceived the natural wish of revisiting

their own country, and at length returned to Paris, where they took no

precaution whatever of concealing themselves, being persuaded that no

suspicion would attach to their arrival. It happened however, by chance,

that the financier met his wife in one of the public walks. The sight of

her made so strong an impression on him, that for some time he imagined

it must be her apparition; and, being fully persuaded of her death, he

could not for a long time efface that idea. However, he so contrived it

as to join her; and, notwithstanding the language she made use of to

impose upon him, he left her with the conviction that he was not

deceived at finding her a living substance.

The singularity of this event gave more charms to the woman in the eyes

of her former husband than she before possessed. He therefore acted with

such address, that he discovered her abode, notwithstanding all her

precautions, and reclaimed her with all the regular formalities of


It was in vain that the lover maintained the right which his cares for

his mistress gave him to the possession of her; that he represented her

inevitable death but for him; that his adversary divested himself of all

his own rights, by causing her to be buried; that he ought even to be

accused of homicide, for want of having taken proper precautions to

assure himself of her death; and a thousand other ingenious reasons,

which love suggested to him. But, finding that the judicial ear was

unfavourable, and not thinking it expedient to wait the result of a

definitive judgment, he fled with his mistress into a foreign country;

where they passed the remainder of their days without further