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been made acquainted with his exist- had absolutely descended from their proence.
per sphere, and that by a tenacious effort Many proposals made to the father for of nature, unwilling to yield possession the purchase of the body of his son, of her functions, they had accommodated Claude Ambroise Seurat, in the event themselves, by time, to such an unnatural of his demise, were uniformly rejected. and incredible a position. A medical gentleman particularly, in Seurat is presented to view in a state Burgundy, offered a carte blanche, which of nudity, save a mere covering of several the parent, with feelings highly honour- inches deep round the loins, through able to himself, refused, stating his which are cut large holes to admit tbe determination, that in the event of his hip bones to pass through, for the purpose son's demise, he should be peaceably of keeping it in its place. His general consigned to the cemetery of his native appearance is that of a person almost city. While at Rouen, no less than one entirely devoid of muscular substance, thousand five hundred persons flocked in and conveys to the mind the idea of a one day to see Seurat on his road to being composed of bones, cellular subEngland.
stance and skin only on. It is true, the The health of this singular being has appearances of the face, neck, fore-arm, been very good. His respiration is some- and calves of the legs, may, in some meawhat confined, being the necessary result sure, form exceptions to this general as of a contraction of the lungs; yet, upon sertion, since in these situations there is the whole, he does not appear to be much something like flesh. inconvenienced on that account, in con- His height is about five feet seven sequence of the little exercise he takes, inches and a half. The length of his and the quiescent state of the animal extremities proportionate to the height of system.
his body. His head is small rather than The texture of the skin is of a dry, otherwise. The cranium, (or skull,) at the parchment-like appearance, which, cover. back part, over the occipital protuber. ing any other human form, would not ance above the neck, is much flattened; answer the purposes of its functions, but the cervical organs in this situation being seems calculated alone to cover the slen very sparely developed. In other respects der, juiceless body of the being arrayed the skull is tolerably well formed. Seuwith it.
rat's countenance is by no means disThe ribs are not only capable of being pleasing ; for though the cheek-bones are distinguished, but may be clearly sepa. prominent, the cheeks themselves sunk, rated and counted one by one, and han- and the other features of the face plain, dled like so many pieces of cane; and, still there is a placid and contemplative together with the skin which covers them, expression, which indicates the presence resemble more the hoops and outer cover- of a serene and thoughtful mind, claiming of a small balloon, than any thing in ing for itself from the spectators, feelings the ordinary course of nature.
of pity and regret. If any thing can exceed the unearthly The neck, on being examined from beappearance displayed by this wonderful fore, appears short, fat, and broad. The phenomenon, it is that taken by profile; shortness is principally owing to his inwhich, from the projection of the shoulder, ability to hold the face properly elevated, pursuing the same down through the ex- in consequence of which the chin drops treme hollow of the back, and then fol- down, and conceals the upper part of the lowing the line to the front of the hip, neck. The flatness depends on the little nearly forms a figure of 3. In the front muscular.and cellular substance present, appears the unnatural projection of the and on the great breadth of the neck, chest, from the falling in of the abdomen; which takes from its natural rotundity. the prominence of the left side of the This great breadth is caused by the pecubody, in consequence of the position of liar form and situation of the scapulæ, the heart; and the sudden protusion of (or shoulder-blade,) the upper angles of the posteriors.
which, instead of laying on the posterior The action produced by the effort of portions of the uppermost ribs, are turned the lungs does not proceed from the chest, over the shoulder, and pass so far forward as in ordinary cases, but from the lower as nearly to reach the middle of the claextremity of the abdomen, as though the vicles, (the collar-bones,) where their situorgans of respiration, from excessive laxity, ation may be casily seen from before. Of course, the muscles called levatores muscie is generally, there is a trifling scapulæ, which arise from the upper fulness, probably caused by a few fibres vertebræ of the neck, and usually pass of that muscle. downwards, and a very little outwards, The piner, the bone of the arm from in this case, pass very much outwards, in the elbow to the wrist, seems at the elbow a direction towards the shoulder-joint, joint considerably enlarged, but, in fact, and extend the neck considerably in a it is only of its natural dimensions. The lateral direction. These muscles, from muscles of the fore-arm, though small, their size and turgidity, have the appear- may, nevertheless, be distinctly traced. ance of bones in Seurat.
The hands are perfect in appearance. The larynx, as far as can be judged of Seurat, however, cannot straighten his from an external examination, is well fingers, but keeps them in a semi-bent formed, and that protuberance of the thy- position ; with this exception, he can use soir cartilage called pomum adami, or the them freely. apple of the throat, is prominent.
The truik is singularly shaped. Viewed The formation of the upper extremities from the front, the chest is not particuand chest, is one of the most remarkable larly narrow; it measures, from one features of this man. The left scapula is shoulder to the other, across the sternum, higher than the right; both are remark- or breast-bone, sixteen inches. The sterably prominent; so much so, that, when nun is much flattened, as though it had viewed sideways, there appears to be a been driven inwards, towards the dorsal large tumour underneath the skin, over vertebra, or back-bone. In well-formed the lower angle: this arises from the great people, the sternum is a little convex, exprojection of the lower angle itself from ternally, and concave, internally, permit. the ribs. It has been already stated, that ting all possible room for the thoraic the upper angle is placed unusually for- viscera. In Seurat, however, this order wards, and at the bottom of the neck, of things is changed, the outer surface of from this point, the scapula proceeds the breast-bone being concave, and the backwards, and, to permit its closer ap- internal convex. It is pushed so far inplication to the upper and back part of wards, as scarcely to leave more than one the chest, its concave surface is remark- and a half inches, or two inches between ably curved, but still not sufficiently so itself and the opposite vertebre. to prevent the lower angle from projecting This position of the sternum, and of the in an unseemly manner. This arrange. ribs, may probably afford an explanation ment of the component parts of the sca- of the causes which produce a slight impulu and its muscles, interferes very much pediment to his swallowing with despatch, with the freedom of its movements, par- or such morsels as are not cut very small; ticularly the rotatory ones, which in other and of the unnatural situation of the heart, subjects are so varied.
which, instead of being placed behind the Seurat can raise his hands and arms 3d, 4th, and 5th ribs, is observed pulsatfrom his side, in a lateral direction, to a ing very low down behind the 7th, 8th, position nearly horizontal. He cannot, and 9th, ribs, in the situation of the left however, pass them far forwards, when hypochondrium. The five or six lower thus elevated. He can throw the scapula ribs, called false or floating ribs, are backwards, so as to make them almost rounder, and approach nearer to nature meet at their lower ends; nevertheless, in their form, thereby affording sufficient he is unable to lift his hands to his mouth, space for the heart, stomach, and liver, so as to feed himself in the ordinary way. and some other of the abdominal viscera. When eating, he places bis elbow on the It is conceived, that without this freer table before him, then, by raising his sweep of the lower ribs, life could not hand, thus supported, and passing his have been maintained, so much would head downwards, so as to meet it half the functions of the heart, and chylouretic way as it were, he is able to put his food viscera have been interrupted. The false into his mouth.
ribs descend very low down, on each side, The humerus, or bone of the arm, from there being scarcely one and a half inch the elbow to the shoulder, appears quite between them and the crest of the ileum. destitute of muscle, and as if it consisted The pelvis is capacious, and on its front of bone, skin, vessels, and cellular mem- aspect presents nothing very extraorbrane only. It may be remarked, huw- dinary. rver, that at that part where the biceps There is an appearance of the abdomen, which must not be passed over. When in due proportions. He can bear the looking at it, one might almost suppose effects of heat and cold, like other people that it consisted of two cavities, an upper accustomed to lead a sedentary life, and and a lower one, so much is this poor fel- does not need unusual clothes. His mind low contracted round the loins. The fol- is better constituted, perhaps, than that of Tuwing ad measurement may afford some many a man, better formed in body. He idea of this circumstance :
comprehends quickly, and his memory is
Ft. In. good. He has learnt to read and write Circumference of the chest,
his own language, and is now anxious to directly under the armpits . 2 6+
become acquainted with ours. Circumference lower down, op
Such is Claude Ainbroise Seurat, who posite the second false rib . 2 2
may justly be considered as a most exCircumference round the loins 19
traordinary lusus naturæ,-an object Circumference round the pelvis 2 34
calculated to throw much and useful light The muscles of the sides of the pelvis, on many interesting questions of the highpartake of the general wasting, in conse- est importance, towards the advancemen quence of which the trochantes stand out of anatomical study. from the glenon cavities in the same gaunt manner that they do in the true skeleton, So far from having any disinclination being covered by integuments alone. The to being exhibited in this country, Claude thighs are imperfect in bulk, and the Ambroise Seurat has repeatedly urged his knees, like the elbows, appear enlarged. wish to gratify the strong desire of the The calves of the legs seem to have more public, to view him without loss of time; firm good muscle, than any other part of and hearing that one of the journals had the body, particularly that of the right expressed some harshness concerning his leg, which is much more fleshy than the exhibition, he indited and signed the left. The feet are well formed; a trifling following letter overlapping of the toes is probably acci
To the Editor. dental.
Sir, The examination of the back part of Having learned that in an article in Seurat's body corresponds with the front, your journal, the motives and conduct of as far as the general leanness goes. The the persons who brought me to England occiput is flat, the neck broad ; the sca- are severely alluded to, it is my duty, both pula projecting, the spine crooked ;. some to them and to the public, to declare, that of the lower cervical vertebræ are curved so far from experiencing any thing disbackwards, and there is a curve towards agreeable, either in having been conthe right side, formed by some of the ducted hither or at being exposed, I feel lower dorsal vertebra. All the bony points great satisfaction not only in the change of the back part of the body are so pro- of my situation, but also at the bounties minent that every individual bone may be with which I have been loaded by the indistinctly traced by the eye, even at a con- dividuals who protect me. Far from siderable distance.
having“ been brought from the tranquilOn first beholding Seurat, a person lity of my native village," I was wandermight almost imagine that he saw before ing about France, and making but little him, one returned from “ that bourne by the exposure of my person, when I so whence no traveller returns :" the first fortunately met my present protectors, impressions over, he begins to wonder whose liberality will shortly render me how so frail a being exists, and is sur- sufficiently independent to unable me to prised, that all those functions, necessary return and live at my ease in my native for the continuance of his own life, are country. I only beg leave to add, that regularly and effectively perforined. He my present situation is more happy than eats, drinks, and sleeps- the progress of di- I ever yet enjoyed during my whole life, gestion, as carried on throughout the ali- and is entirely conformable to my desires. mentary canal, is regularly executed. The I have the honour to be, Sir, your most secretions of the liver, kidnies, and skin humble servant, are separated from the blood, in such
CLAUDE AMBROISE SEURAT. quantities as may be deemed necessary Aug. 4, 1825. for the econoiny of his frame. His heart T his, with what follows, will give 3 performs its office regularly, and sends tolerably adequate idea of this singular The blood to the various parts of the body, being, both as to luis form and mind
I have paid two visits to Seurat. His with life, and the possession of some depublic exnibition takes place in a room in gree of strength and spirits. This decay Pall-mall called the “ Chinese Saloon;" does not seem to have operated equally its sides are decorated with Chinese pa- upon all parts of the higure: it shows most per; Chinese lanterns are hung from lines strikingly in the appearance of the neck crossing from wall to wall. In front of a and trunk; the upper arms, from the large recess, on one side, is a circular shoulder to the elbow, and the thigh. gauze canopy over a platform covered The upper part of the arın is not quite with crimson cloth, raised about eighteen destitute of Aesh ; but so small, that it inches from the floor, and enclosed by a may be spanned with ease by a very light brass railing; the recess is enclosed moderate fore-finger and thunb. The by a light curtain depending from the cor- thighs are wasted very much-little renice to the floor of the platform, and open- mains upon them beyond the skin. The ing in the middle. A slight motion within cap of the knee, which is large, and prointimates that the object of attraction is trudes considerably, is of a reddish colour, about to appear; the curtain opens a little unlike the aspect of the flesh or skin in on each side, and Seurat comes forth, as general. The trunk, from the shoulder to he is represented in the first engraving, with the hip, has the appearance, more than 10 other covering than a small piece of any thing else, of a large bellows, a mere fringed purple silk, supported round the bag of hoops covered with leather, through Twiddle by a red band, with a slit like which the pulsation of the heart is dispocket holes, to allow the hip-bones to tinctly visible. On the thicker part of pass through on each side. On the finger the fore-arm there is flesh, white in apof the left hand, next to the middle one, pearance, though of a soft and unhealthy he wears a plain gold ring. An artist character; and the division of the two who accompanied me at each visit, for the bones, the ulna and the radius, may be purpose of making the drawings here detected by feeling. Upon the calves of engraved, has well represented him. The the legs, again, there is some show of portraits, both front and profile, are better substance, and one is larger than the resemblances than any that exist, and the other. But the most curious circumanatomy of his figure more correct. stance, perhaps, in the man's condition
It is justly remarked, that “the title of is, that while his whole body exhibits • Living Skeleton' does not seem exactly these extraordinary appearances of decay, to be well applied to this strange produc- his face (which is decidedly French, and tion of nature, and may, perhaps, create not unpleasant,) displays no signs of at. some disappointment; because the cu- tenuation whatever, and scarcely any riosity, as it really exists, lies far less in symptom of disease or weakness." the degree of attenuation which Seurat's It was on the first day of Seurat's exframe exhibits, than in the fact that, with hibition that I first visited him; this was a frame so reduced, a human being should on Tuesday, the 9th of August, 1825; be still in possession of most of his fune. a day the present sheet of the EveryLions, and enjoying a reasonable quantity Day Book has not yet reached; I have of health. As regards the exhibition of been anxious to be before the day and the bone, for instance, there is not so much public, as regards Seurat, and it is thereas may frequently be found in the dead fore, as 10 him, anticipated. I was at subject) in cases where persons have died the “ Chinese Saloon" before the doors of lingering consumption. The parche were opened, and was the first of the ment-like aspect attributed to the skin too public admitted, followed by my friend, seems to have been a little overstated; the artist. Seurat was not quite ready to and, in fact, most medical men who appear; in the mean time, another visitor served in the late war, will recollect in- or two arrived, and after examining the stances enough, where men of five feet canopy, and other arrangements, my aleight inches high, dying from dysentery, tention was directed to the Chinese paperor intermittent fever, have weighed con- ing of the room, while Seurat had silentsiderably less than 78lbs., which is the ly opened the curtains that concealed weight of Seurat. The real novelty, there. him, and stood motionless towards the fore, should be looked for, not in the front of the platform, as he is represented degree to which this man's body is wasted in the engraving. On turning round, I and exhausted, but in the fact that such a was instantly rivetted by his amazing degree of decay should be compatible
emaciation; he seemed another “ Lazarus, ment of antithesis. When the sight is come forth” without his grave-clothes, and fixed on his face alone, there is nothing for a moment I was too consternated to there to denote that he varies from other observe more than his general appearance. men. I examined him closely and fre. My eye, then, first caught the arm as the quently, felt him on different parts of the most remarkable limb; from the shoulder body, and, not speaking his language, put to the elbow it is like an ivory German questions to him through others, which he flute somewhat deepened in colour by age; readily answered. His head has been it is not larger, and the skin is of that hue, shaved, yet a little hair left on the upper and, not having a trace of muscle, it is as part of the neck, shows it to be black, perfect a cylinder as a writing rule. and be wears a wig of that colour. His Amazed by the wasted limbs, I was still strong black beard is perceptible, although more amazed by the extraordinary de- clean shaved. His complexion is swarthy, pression of the chest. Its indentation is and his features are good, without the similar to that which an ever-careful mo- emaciation of which his body partakes : ther makes in the pillowed surface of an the cheek-bones are high, and the eyes infant's bed for its repose. Nature has are dark brown, approaching to black. here inverted her own order, and turned They are represented as heavy and dull, the convex inwards, while the nobler and to denote little mental capacity; organs, obedient to her will, maintain but, perhaps, a watchful observer, who life by the gentle exercise of their made pertinent inquiries of him in a wonted functions in a lower region. proper manner, would remark otherwise. Below the ribs, which are well described He usually inclines the head forward in the accounts already given, the trunk towards his breast, and therefore, and beso immediately curves in, that the red cause he is elevated above the spectators, his band of the silk-covering, though it is eyes frequently assume a position wherein only loosely placed, seems a tourniquet he might see, and “descant on his own deto constrict the bowels within their prison formity." His features are flexible, and house, and the hip-bones, being of their therefore capable of great animation, and his natural size, the waist is like a wasp's. forehead indicates capacity. Depression By this part of the frame we are reminded of the eyelid is by no means to be taken as of some descriptions of the abstemious a mark of dulness or inefficient intellect. arid Bedouin Arab of the desert, in whom One of our poets, I think Churchill, no it is said the abdomen seems to cling incompetent judge of human nature, has to the vertebra. If the integument of the a line concerning Genius “ lowering on bowels can be called flesh, it is the the penthouse of the eye." Seurat, on only flesh on the body: for it seems to any other than a common-place question, have wholly shrunk from the limbs; and elevates his head to an ordinary position, where the muscles that have not wholly answers immediately and with precision, disappeared remain, they are also shrunk. and discourses rationally and sensibly; He wears shoes to keep cold from his feet, more sensibly than some in the room, who which are not otherwise shaped than those put childish questions about him to the of people who have been accustomed to wear attendants, and express silly opinions as tight shoes; his instep is good, and by no to his physical and mental structure and means so flat as in the generality of tavern abilities, and call him “a shocking creawaiters. His legs are not more ill-shaped ture.” There is nothing shocking either than in extremely thin or much wasted in his mind or his face. His countenance persons; the right leg, which is somewhat has an air of melancholy, but he expresses larger than the left, is not less than were no feeling of the kind; it is not, howthe legs of the late Mr. Suett, the come- ever, so mournful as the engraving at the dian. On this point, without a private head of this article shows. The artist knowledge of Mr. Liston, I would pub- was timid, and in form and habit the licly appeal to that gentleman, whom, on reverse of Seurat; and as “ like will to my second visit in the afternoon, I saw like," so through dislike to the life of the there, accompanied by Mr. Jones. Mr. subject before him, he imagined more Liston doubtless remembers Suett, and I dolour in Seurat's face than it has ; this think he will never forget Seurat, at whom he could not be remedied by the engraver looked, “ unutterable things," as if he had without hazarding the likeness, which is teen about to say—“ Prodigious !” really good. Seurat's voice is pleasing,
Seurat's head and body convey a senti. deep-toned, and gentle. Except for the