Billeder på siden
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

esec ni some Vie bate vang exmei recesses denrod alis ve man refia fhem the ven 1187m is te mere appalling than 1.1 mier eclipse which days ar ads may be who has thus suffered,

7. sunetisation and freedom, from Tre used is sorrow; and at last. Alle MD Kar the throne above who have conte

Te me awed in conclusion to substantiate our eins minterpretation. It is the laughter of de wind with the wise man calls madness, and there The Linity in shewing how close is the pa. But berween the maniac, and the man by whom this After a med" "This creation is a scene of conflict Serve disbood and truth.” “While the bold and food gains for itself the general exceration, ere is a ready indulgence in the more sportive falsehood, Tracer the playing with truth than the making Here is that we find laughter which is madness, and identify with a madman, him by whom the laughter is raised." We confess ourselves at a loss to discern the similarity between madness and falsehood; whether that falsehood take the shape of a direct lie, a sportive exaggeration, or pratane wit; except that, indeed, there is one strong point of resemblance between madness, and every departure from

[ocr errors]

rectitude in thought, word, or deed: namely, that the highest reason, or reasonableness, the most perfect and normal exercise of man's intellectual faculties, is in compassing man's highest and most lasting welfare. It is madness to ruin one's own happiness, and because all sin destroys peace and happiness, therefore, it is madness. But in this sense, the various phases of falsehood are no more peculiarly madness than theft, drunkenness, or murder. They are all departures from the true original condition of man, and so aberrations from true unviolated reason. The antithesis, instead of being between truth and falsehood, is evidently between reasonableness and unreasonableness. Otherwise, how could Solomon say, his "wisdom remained with him while experimentally indulging in laughter and in mirth.” Since he could not find happiness in natural wisdom and knowledge, (tried in chap. i.) he would seek for it elsewhere, even in pleasure, in which he observed some men placed their happiness. But he found pleasure, mirth, and laughter, as ineffectual to this end as other more solid things, and he said of them" this is also vanity." We acknowledge it to be worse than vanity, it is downright madness. For there is gratification and some profit in human knowledge; but it is vanity if permanent happiness is the one end in view. There is gratification in wealth, but it also is vanity; in that it assists no more nor so much to this end. But of laughter, not only is it vanity, is it not unreasonable? Is there any satisfaction or any profit after the loud laugh is over? It is but the glare of the moment, only to contrast with the gloom of the succeeding one. "Woe unto you that laugh now, for ye shall mourn and weep." Two men sit in drunken laughter together, they quarrel, they fight, and in a few moments, one is hurried into eternity by the murderous hand of the other. During the prevalence of the epidemic, many were in laughing thoughtlessness in the morning, in agonies at noon, and dead before night. And in the gayest and most polished society, how often is the most consumptive guest, the most loquacious and witty. He is laughing now, and making others laugh, in a few weeks he is in his grave, and his associates shudder. That the risible faculty in moderate exercise contributes to the health of the body is undeniable. "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but this is very different from that thoughtless laughter which is mad, because it is inconsistent, incoherent and unreasonable. Seriousness is reasonable, and therefore sane,

because it is in due coherence and consistency with the realities of life.

"Nor mourn I the less manly part

Of life to leave behind,

My loss is but the lighter heart,
My gain, the graver mind."

On the Classification and Forms of Insanity, by HENRY MONRO, F. R. C. P., M. B., Oxon., Physician to St. Luke's Hospital.

Continued from Page 305, Vol, II.


In my first lecture on the nomenclature of varieties of insanity I dwelt upon those phraseologies which have already been in use. The first of these was the old well known classification, which was grounded on the physical temperament, and conduct of the patient; and which confined itself very much to the question, whether he was violent, low spirited, or silly. Mania, melancholia, and dementia, being applied to these states; monomania and moral insanity, arising in after years as auxiliary to these terms, and being a refinement on the idiosyncracies of various cases. The second phraseology was one which Dr. Noble has developed, if not originated; it dwelt upon the metaphysical position of diseased mind, discarding the consideration of conduct and temperament. It tells us which part or faculty of the mind is diseased; it contains, in short, a geographical sketch of the mind and its diseases, and gives us some ideas of the exact position of each case in the history of diseased mind. Emotional, notional, and intelligential insanity are the chief terms of this vocabulary. I stated my belief that a consideration of both of these histories, the physical and the metaphysical, the state of the conduct and temperament, as well as a history of the part of the mind diseased, were necessary, for a terminology which should represent a fair history of the varieties of diseased mind; and I proposed to compile a nomenclature of the varieties of the disease, constructed from the conjoint consideration of these two histories.

I would here repeat an example of the three metaphysical

forms of insanity given above: Three insane persons obstinately refuse food; one of them is so miserable that he wishes to die, and does it purposely; a second thinks his food is poisoned, or that if he eats he will burst; a third is so raving and incoherent, that he knows not whether he eats or not, or is but in stupor. The distinction is obvious and often very important.


In studying then the history of diseased mind, I recognise three great divisions of what must be termed, for the present, a metaphysical nature; namely, diseased emotions, diseased notions, and diseased intelligence; but I also recognise two great distinctions of a simply physical nature, namely, excited nervous action and depressed nervous Among the insane emotional, notional, and intelligential phenomena, each and all of them evince these two physical states of nervous action. propose, therefore, to make the following table of three columns. The first may be called the metaphysical column, the second the physical, and the third will consist of that classification of insane varieties which I would offer to the consideration and criticisms of those interested in insane phenomena. We must divide the insane according to this twofold rule; for if we are content with the consideration of one set of symptoms without the other, we fall into one of those dilemmas which I have already described as characterizing phraseology hitherto.

[blocks in formation]

In treating of mind and its diseases, I would always guard against two errors into which many fall. The one (not much in vogue now), is an inclination to esteem mental alienation a spiritual matter, independent of organic change; the other, an inclination to see nothing in either mental disease or the mind itself but varying modes of cerebral function. The first has the great name of Abercrombie among its supporters. He says (p. 254), "Attempts have been made to refer insanity to disease of the bodily organs, but hitherto without much success." I would say to such an one, if you find no difficulty in recognizing the physical origin of drunkenness, why need you in the case of insanity? The fact, that in the one case the immediate agent is visible, and the other is invisible as the product of mal-assimilation, &c., can be nothing to you who have studied the hidden sources of disease; while the facts that a narcotic can change thought, and over-exertion of mind can produce headache, must convince you of the intimate union of mind and matter; and that nerve substance is the instrument and channel of the mind. Such a consideration need cause no distress to the Christian mind, if he rightly views the position of the body in the economy of his nature. There is nothing vile in the body, to him who believes that it is to be consecrated together with his mind to a life of holiness. When St. Paul draws the antagonistic position between the works of the flesh and of the spirit, he does not refer to that distinction which we intend by the words physical and metaphysical, but rather to the distinction between the use and abuse of our faculties. Thus, when he opposes hatred to love, he refers to two mental states, each affected by the physical frame, and requiring physical organization for their manifestation in this life.

With respect to the other error I spoke of, I am not about to enter on a dissertation on the nature of mind, but I must say, that the opinion that mind (the moral agent, the will which guides as it chooses) is nothing more than a function of the brain, appears to be, on the lowest consideration, an insufficient theory, unphilosophical, and requiring more credulity than any belief in spiritual agencies. Explain this theory as good men may, let them argue that they only mean mind in this life, it would, I believe, always lead to a dangerous pantheism, and never receive the consent of mankind. The belief of all ages, the world wide belief, the belief worthy of one who can appreciate his own Divine image is, that the mind is the special emanation of its Divine Creator, capable of holding immediate communion with Him, and occupying the body, or the sensorium (as we technically

« ForrigeFortsæt »