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ment containing but 200 or 250 beds; but on the other hand, where some 1,000 or 1,200 patients are collected under one roof, the aforesaid reasons are more than counterbalanced by the very palpable objections to the mixing together "the curable and the incurable insane," the recent and the chronic cases of lunacy.
With respect to "separate hospitals for the independent and pauper," we are glad to find that this is regarded as most desirable. The observations made under the head of "social distinctions in hospitals," are of much value, and full of pure and graceful eloquence. (See pp. 145-6.) We would draw the attention of our readers to the few following words: "In Great Britain, the poor are generally ignorant and uncultivated, with no education, and little sensibility. They live in wretched cabins or hovels, or in crowded tenements; they are little used to the comforts, still less to the luxuries and graces of life. The English paupers are even lower in the scale than these. Between these and the middle, and the more comfortable classes, there is a wide difference in respect to cultivation and refinement. The latter would enjoy and profit by many comforts or even little luxuries of living, and would be benefited by more abundant and graceful appliances for their care, and many means of occupation and amusement, which would not be beneficial to the others; and therefore the British establishments for paupers need not be so costly and elegant as those for the other classes. When these are brought together, they are subject to the antagonisms and irritations, the retarding and disturbing causes, already described, that interfere with the comfort and improvement of the patients,' interrupt the process of recovery, and make the administration of the hospital more difficult and expensive."
The "report" proceeds to show that, inasmuch as the American pauper holds a higher rank in the social scale than the "aliens," who resemble the English in character and manners, and who together stand in the relation of " employer and labourer;" and because the feelings of "affinity” in the former, and "aversion" towards the latter, which obtained during health "are not lost in insanity," then does there "seem to be good reason for separating the State pauper insane from the others in Massachusetts, and of making distinct provision for their healing and their protection." We cannot agree with such a separation, or "distinct provision," and can only regard such a proceeding as calculated to foster prejudices among the poor in the United States of
America, and create dissension and strife. To put such a scheme into practice, would be to realise the abuse of a good principle; here, indeed, does the middle course appear the best. A very considerable portion of the "report," is devoted to the consideration of "criminal lunatics, and their management. The "Commission on Lunacy," at Massachusetts, favours the views expressed by the "Commissioners of Lunacy," in Great Britain, to the effect that "criminal lunatics," so called, should be provided for in a distinct establishment. For our own part, we cannot altogether agree with the recommendation of the "report," to draw so fine a line of demarcation through the masses of insane people; and on one side of this line to place him whose indications of mental disorder have chanced to assume a dangerous character and on the other side of the same to arraign another whose disease shall have taken an opposite tendency, and because only he has luckily enough escaped the neglect and exposure which prostrates a fellow-sufferer. To recognise the former as "criminal lunatic," and the latter as one merely insane; what is more, to place one "in a criminal lunatic asylum," and the other in an ordinary establishment, without so offensive an appellation-we cannot altogether
In spite of all that has been said of late years, about "criminal lunatics," and "criminal lunatic asylums," we are of opinion that those "tried and acquitted on the ground of insanity," cannot, rightly, be designated "criminal lunatics;" and that to do so is a manifest injustice, not only to the parties themselves, but to their relatives and friends; and that, moreover, the State would do well to make an especial and distinct provision and accommodation for all those so "tried and acquitted on the ground of insanity," to the unconditional exclusion, only, of those "convicted and sentenced, and subsequently become insane." The former class may, we think, with all propriety, associate "with the ordinary inmates of asylums," both "as respects the feelings and comforts of other patients;" and without any objections being raised on the part of their relatives and friends. The latter class should occupy, if not a separate building, at the least, a separate division of the same building. The one may, perhaps, be called "STATE PATIENTS," and the other "INSANE CONVICTS."
In conclusion, we would advise our readers to lose no time in making themselves acquainted with what is doing in the State of Massachusetts, towards the amelioration of the
insane. The "report" just now given to the world, manifests a zeal and perseverance in the good cause, which reflects the greatest credit and the highest honour on our American friends, and on the profession to which we belong. We doubt not that we shall receive yet additional assurances that the cause of the insane, and not less the interests of psychological medicine are progressing. It is evident enough, if only from the report before us, that the good seed has been strewn on an appropriate and rich soil, and relying on the necessary care and vigilance being bestowed on the crop, we look forward, in the fullest hope and confidence to a plentiful and luxuriant harvest.
J. G. D.
The remarkable Hudibrastic poem which we subjoin was the production of an insane gentleman, the validity of whose will was tried before Baron Martin, at the late Assize at Winchester. The poem was in the possession both of the plantiffs and defendants, and it is a curious illustration of the fact, that trials are contentions rather than investigations, that neither side thought it prudent to put it in evidence. It evinces such a remarkable degree of intellectual acuteness and power of language, that the defendants dare not produce it as tending to prove the insanity of the testator; and since it contains the fullest admission by the author himself that he was considered insane by the governor of a lunatic asylum and by another medical man at the very time it was written, the plantiffs dare not set it up in defence of the author's sanity. By the courtesy of the defendant's attorneys, Messrs. Woodrooffe, we have been favored with the loan of a copy of this extremely rare and curious work for the purpose of re-publication. To appreciate its psychological value, the reader must be informed that at the time it was written the habits of the author were such as to leave little doubt of his insanity. He lay in bed all day, and when he arose in the evening he never left his room, he never shaved, washed, or changed his clothing, he made hideous noises, and his state of personal filth was so great, that the aid of Mr. Pether, the governor of the Bedford Lunatic Asylum, was sought by his friends. Mr. Pether stripped and washed him by force, and
put on clean clothing, and it was necessary to burn the filthy habits which were removed. Through some defect or informality in the documents, Mr. Macaulay could not be removed to the Bedford Asylum, where he would have received some care and attention, and have been kept in some degree of cleanliness and comfort. It is, in our opinion, greatly to be regretted that the efforts of Mr. Short and Mr. Pether were unsuccessful; they were actuated undoubtedly by the most worthy motives, and had they succeeded in placing Mr. Macaulay in the asylum, they would have conferred a great benefit both upon him and on his friends. The space at our command does not enable us to give the details of even the most important lunacy trials. This is the less to be regretted as most of our readers are conversant with them through the columns of the general press. The cause of Sharp v. Macaulay, occupied the nisi prius court at Winchester, during the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th of July last, and is well reported in The Times newspaper. We shall, however, give a brief sketch of the principle facts proved in evidence, and make thereon such observations as may appear of importance to psychological science. The scientific interest of such a case is not always identical with its legal interest; some facts which may guide and inform the scientific mind, may have little weight with a jury; and other facts, for instance, the bearing of witnesses, which will influence the jury greatly, cannot be recorded or estimated as scientific facts. Moreover, facts of the utmost scientific importance are often excluded from the knowledge of the jury, either by the stringent rules of evidence, or by the wariness of counsel, who often decline to enlighten the understanding of the jurors upon facts which are likely to bias unfavourably their emotions or prejudices. Take, for example, the very important scientific facts in the present case," that Mr. Macaulay had a strong hereditary tendency to insanity, and that his brother and sister are at the present time, the inmates of lunatic asylums." There were few facts elicited during the trial that would weigh more with the man of science than this one of hereditary predisposition. Yet the counsel did not deem it prudent to press it with the jury, from the very reasonable fear, that some of the jurors might be conscious of a like tendency, and might unconsciously permit themselves to be prejudiced against men advocating insanity upon such grounds. Moreover, the opinion of jurors is formed to a great extent upon the opinions of other persons, of neighbours, medical practioners, lawyers, etc. In a scientific point of view such
opinions are of little value. The wisest man who ever lived would be thought insane by the vulgar, if he expressed opinions a few years in advance of his time. Often has the cry been repeated "much learning doth make thee mad."
The facts of really scientific value in Macaulay's history are briefly as follow: he was the son of a London alderman, and was born in 1791; his mother was pregnant with him during the time that his father was sheriff of London, in which office he had such frequent occasion to attend executions, that his mother's feelings were greatly excited thereby, and she dreaded to see her husband in his official robes, saying, that the sound of his chain was like a death knell. Such an influence upon a mother during pregnancy would be likely to lay the foundation of insanity in the offspring, even if there were no predisposition; but a strong predisposition did exist, and the brother and half sister of the testator became unquestionably and incurably insane.
In infancy and early youth, George Macaulay was weak and ricketty, and one leg was stunted in its growth and remained permanently shorter than the other. From boyhood he was strange, and dirty in his habits; he, however, made so much progress in his intellectual culture that it was deemed proper to send him to Cambridge; he took some disgust at Cambridge, and returned the very day after his arrival there to his mother's house at Bedford. There he secluded himself in his own room, and conducted himself like a lunatic; he lay in bed all day, made howling noises, talked to his hand and to his shadow on the wall, and lived in an extreme state of personal filth. In 1815 he wrote to Mr. Sewel, an attorney, who had the management of his property in the Isle of Wight.
"You must be surprised at my long silence. I expected to have heard from you, but that was stupid of me, for you had nothing to write about. Enclosed I send you the substance of a will which I request you to have drawn up."
In the will he left his property to his sister, on conditions which he said he would state in a future letter. On the 9th of June, 1815, he sent those conditions, which were as follow :
"As I stated above, I don't leave my property to Mary Ann Macaulay absolutely, but conditionally, and the conditions are as follow:-That when I am dead my head be cut from my body, or nearly so; that both body and head be taken to some part of the coast and thrown into the sea six miles from the land, and made to go to the bottom. The corpse is not to be enclosed in anything solid, such as wood, but in a sack, and if she should be too delicate to comply with that condition the property is to be sold, and £2,000 I give to Mr. Ward, £2,000 to the Bedford School, and the remainder of the property I leave to the clerk who may have the honour of officiating at my burial."
In 1818, he escaped from the surveillance of his friends at