Disadvantages of rapid corpse disposal

“The Cardinal Espinosa, prime minister under Philip the Second of Spain, died, as it was supposed, after a short illness. His rank entitled him to be embalmed. Accordingly, the body was opened for that purpose. The lungs and heart had just been brought into view, when the latter was seen to beat. The cardinal awakening at the fatal moment, had still strength enough left to seize with his hand the knife of the anatomist!” (Herbert Mayo, Popular Superstitions: And the Truths Contained Therein, with an Account of Mesmerism (Philadelphia, 1852))

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