SLEEPING BEAUTY, The, a fairy tale, probably founded on nature's long sleep in winter. The Earth-goddess falls into a deep sleep, from which she is aroused by the prince, the Sun. We may compare Demeter's search for her lost daughter, Proserpine, in the Greek myth; and the sleep of Brynhild, stung to her sleep by the sleep-thorn. 'The Two Brothers,' found in an Egyptian papyrus of the 19th Dynasty— the time of Seti II — contains similar incidents. The spindle whose prick causes the long slumber is a counterpart of the arrow that wounds Achilles, the thorn that pricks Sigurd and the mistletoe fatal to Baldur. In 'Surya Bai' (from (Old Deccan Days') the mischief is done by the poisoned nail of a demon. In the Greek myth of Orpheus, Eurydice is stung by the serpent. In a Transylvania variant a maiden spins her golden hair in a cavern, from which she is rescued by a man who undergoes an hour of torture for three nights. The awak ening by a kiss corresponds to Sigurd's rousing Brynhild by his magic sword.
a peculiar dis order, also called sleeping-disease, African lethargy, lethargus, negro lethargy and nelavan, endemic, especially in western Africa. It is apparently infectious, occurs mainly among negroes and is said to be very fatal. Investi gations by the English government and by the Liverpool school of tropical medicine show that its prevalence has been exaggerated by the natives, that it has been confounded with other prevailing diseases which have some of the same symptoms but are distinct affections. The natives in their dread of this malady are ready to assert that a person having enlarged glands, headache and a dry skin, and becoming thin and drowsy, has sleeping-sickness. That the disease prevails at times in certain localities, and is generally fatal, is not disputed, though continued and abnormal sleep has not been present in all cases. M. Christy, in July 1902 found an infected area in a strip of coast-line along the shore of Victoria Nyanza over 100 miles in length, and along the margins of all the islands in the British portion of the Vic toria Nyanza. Cases of the disease discovered back of this area were infected, he believes, at the shore. Nearly all the cases of sleeping sickness that he saw were in persons who had lived on low swampy ground or near the water edge, in huts surrounded by banana-plants or forest growth. Compact villages on dry land with but little surrounding foliage were not seriously infected.
Various theories as to the cause of the dis ease have from time to time been broached. It has been supposed to be due to food-intoxica tion, like pellagra (q.v.), or caused by one of the many animal parasites common in Africa. Disorders of circulation, mental depression, bad and insufficient food, intestinal and blood para sites are predisposing causes. The recent in vestigations of Bruce, Castellani, Christy, Dut ton, Forde and others show that sleeping-sick ness is probably caused by a parasite, a species of trypanosoma, which is transmitted from the sick to the healthy by a variety of the tsetse-fly. This parasite enters the blood and the cerebro spinal fluid, producing, what is called by the recent investigators, human trypanosomiasis, to distinguish it from the trypanosomiasis which affects horses, fish, etc. The species of tsetse fly in question inhabits the places where sleep ing-sickness is prevalent, and Sambon believes that this fly is not only a carrier of trypano somes, but acts also as an intermediate host; and is troublesome to man at certain seasons.
Autopsy in cases of sleeping-sickness shows chronic meningitis, encephalitis, meningomyelitis and trypanosomes in the cerebrospinal fluid and blood. The symptoms may be divided into three stages, one indefinite, one of tremor and a third stage of intense weakness. "True sleep is not really a symptom of the disease.° There is at first a disinclination to work or move about. This is followed by headache, pains, especially in the chest, dullness, slowness in answering questions, mumbling and a shuffling gait. Then there are tremors of the tongue and hands; glands may be greatly enlarged (but gland-enlargement is common among the na tives) ; the pulse varies from 90 to 130; even ing temperature is from 100° to 102° F., with a morning fall of 1°. The patient becomes drowsy, lethargic and very thin and weak, and takes to bed; the temperature falls, coma ap pears and death occurs from convulsions or starvation. The disease usually lasts from four to eight months. The researches of Ehrlich and others have devised chemical drugs, usually containing arsenic, which have resulted in the killing of the parasite in the body and thus in curing this disease. Consult Stedman, ence Handbook of Medical Sciences' (1917).