Defoe possessed genius, and his secret is at the last as impalpable as the secret of genius always is.
They can take food, though the crudest form of this belief soon passes into the more refined notion that they consume the impalpable essence of the meals provided for them.
The elastic impalpable stuff of the spirit-body is apparently capable of compression or expansion, just as Athena can transform herself into a bird.
If this be so, fancy the irresistibleness of that might, to which the most impalpable and destructive of all elements contributes.
The soul was conceived to be a facsimile of the body, sometimes no less material, sometimes more subtle but yet material, sometimes altogether impalpable and intangible.