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** recen............ cious stones, baskets of flowers, and other not recovered, but have remained through devices superbly arranged. The Miser life in the deplorable, the horrible state of gazed upon them with rapture. The incurable insanity. Who then, in the demon seized the moment. “All this," name of humanity, would lend himself to said he, “ will I give for thy soul.” The the latter system, the former being equally old man trembled, and wished to think in his power? within himself, “I have no soul.” But the I should consider murder as less culpable desire of gain was implanted so firmly in than the taking charge of lunatics, and not his heart, that he hesitated a reply. He affording them the best means of recovery then wondered at the enormous value of a in my power: for I consider incurable soul. “ Foolish man !” said his guide. insanity as a much greater evil, and much “ Are there none who have exchanged their more horrible, than death. And yet of the souls for treasures less glittering than eight hundred and seventy pauper lunatics, these?” This sentence he began with an stated to belong to the county of Middleexulting air, and closed with a bitter sex, the incurable state of eight hundred of smile.
them may be confidently imputed to the The Miser wavered; but, where wavering want of proper treatment while the disease and temptation exist in the same mind, the was recent. Surely, then, the gentlemen latter seldom fails to overcome. "'Tis who act as magistrates for this county, done !” he exclaimed. “And now," said would not, if they were fully aware of the the other, “we'll seal it with thy blood." important difference betwixt the best treatThey proceeded to a gloomy portal, till then ment and the worst, hesitate a single mo. unperceived. It opened with a dreadful ment to adopt the former, and reject the noise, and shrieks of horror, mingled with latter; and most certainly nothing as a sys. loud lamentations, met the ear. There tem can be worse than the County Asylum was one struggling between two demons, law, as established under Mr. Wynn's act. who poured molten gold down his throat. It is actually in its operation an act to Another was rolling in money, the heat of prevent the cure of insanity. But prima which seared him with burning agonies. facie evidence, of very doubtful fairness, The Miser drew back; but an invisible against an individual, has caused a strong power impelled him forward, and the gate prejudice against all keepers of private closed upon him for ever.
asylums, and in favour of public ones. : Beaconsfield.
J. A. B. This prejudice, however, is but a feeling of
the moment, that will vanish before the
evidence of facts on the other side, and the . ON THE MIDDLESEX COUNTY ASYLUM.
convictions of truth and reason. For the HAVING been for some time apprehensive, present, it is very possible that the magisthat I should be thought an officious in. trates of Middlesex may be under the truder, and that no suggestions of mine on influence of this prejudice. Most assuredly the treatment of Insanity would be attended two acts of parliament have passed the to, I felt the more obliged upon obtaining House of Commons lately, without any an interview with some of the magistrates open discussion, which must have passed of Middlesex, on being told by one of them, either under the influence of prejudice, or that he should be happy to receive my com extreme ignorance, or a very unjustifiable munications on the subject; and another intention. of the gentlemen expressing a wish, that. There cannot exist any abuses in private they should be made through the medium asylums, without exposure and ruin to the of the public press, proves that he thought keepers, equal to what do now exist to they were not to shrink from the discussions my certain knowledge in public asylums, of public opinion.
with perfect impunity, and a much greater I have had no reason to doubt the degree of concealment than is possible in purity of intention in the Middlesex ma. private asylums; and of one point I was gistrates, but I have strongly suspected, not fully aware till lately, which is, that the that they were precipitating themselves printed reports of public asylums are not at upon an awful responsibility, which they all to be depended on, as it regards the would deeply regret at a future day. cures stated; the same case being stated
There are two systems of trating the as admitted and discharged, as recovered, insane, both in use at this time. Under several times over, and at last, perhaps, one of them, recent cases are known to swelling the list of the deaths or incurables. recover in the proportion of nine out of ten | Being tenacious of the honour of curing, at least. Under the other, it has been they are discharged under lucid intervals as actually found, that nine out of ten have cured, though certain to relapse on return
ing to their former habits in life. These are disease. Restraint alone, and the breaking not cures, and hold out a great deception up of former bad habits, is alone sufficient to the public; but indeed under the system for the cure of insanity in some instances, of close confinement, it is impossible that and for these, large asylums may not be the patients should have those mental exer- improper; but by far the greater part cises that are necessary to determine when require an attentive and humane treatment, they are recovered.
and a total avoidance of every thing calcu. No one at all acquainted with insanity, lated to wound the feelings, and the neces, or with what the best means of curing it sary restraint should be disguised under the requires, in a great majority of the cases, shew of liberty and kindness. This is im. will ever contend that a large prison for possible under a system of coercion. the indiscriminate confinement of incurable . Some time ago, the wife of a citizen of lunatics, criminal lunatics, dangerous idiots, London, a man of property, became deand epileptic and paralytic patients, can ranged. Tempted by the opportunity of be eligible for the purposes of curing insa- placing her at St. Luke's, for twelve nity. For even were the cure to depend months, free of expense, with the exception solely on the medical treatment, the system of the entrance and medical fees, she was would be found extremely defective. But sent thither; and after being there about in a great majority of the cases, the cure two months she was much worse, and pro. mainly depends on the moral treatment, nounced incurable by the medical attend. and in all these the system is totally adverse ant. And after remaining there a year, to the purposes of cure. The difficulty she will, in all human probability, be an of proper moral treatment does not arise incurable for life; though, as far as I could from the absence of the reasoning powers, judge of the case, it was very likely for cure or knowledge, of the patient, but from that while recent, but under a treatment quite knowledge and those reasoning powers being impracticable in St. Luke's. So, this insti. strongly acted upon by morbidly excited stution was imposed on by a person being feelings and sensibilities; they can reason admitted that could not be a proper object upon the horrors of a large prison, but not for its charity, and the institution does upon the necessity of their own confinement. injury by not affording the proper means · Suppose a patient to be afflicted with a of cure in this particular case; and the low nervous affection, but quite free from husband, for the sake of saving, say fifty any mental aberrations, would a large asy- pounds, in procuring the proper means of lum, full of the above description of cure, may have to pay a thousand for keepinmates, be thought eligible for the recovery ing her in a useless and suffering state. of such patient ? and if not, then it must be 1 I would not be understood to urge any still less eligible for the perfect recovery of thing against large asylums for the keeping one whose nervous affection had gone to of incurable lunatics, upon a plan of ecothat excess that it caused mental aberra. nomy and kindness; or against public tions. But those who may deem my hospitals for the cure of insanity. All I opinions of any value upon this subject, contend for is, a complete separation of the so very interesting and important to suffer. curative means, from the keeping of ining humanity in particular, and to the curables; and, unfortunately for the latter, mental character of the nation at large, I a line of separation may be drawn, suffibeg to refer to my letters published in the ciently defined to justify a public measure. Monthly Magazine, commencing in Vol. Of the eight hundred and seventy pauper 41, and in the Imperial Magazine, com- lunatics belonging to the county of Middlemencing in Vol. 3. What I there urge, on sex, eight hundred may be fairly considered the very mistaken and injurious system of as incurable, and for them, kind treatment our public asylums, was supported by the land proper quantity of healthy food, is all evidence of known facts; but I could now that can be expected; while for the curative speak to facts much stronger than I could means, the expense of medical treatment, when I wrote many of those letters.
extra keepers, and more choice food, would It may be considered as a misfortune be considerable; but as the expenses might in the history of insanity, that some will be some little less upon the much larger recover under any treatment however bad, number, a plan of separation might be a while some will remain unrecovered under saving of money in the first instance, and a the best ; for this prevents the merits of the great saving from the greater number that best being duly appreciated ; so that the would recover. The cost of an hospital, hand of charity may do great injury in this | upon the best possible principles, for the particular, if not guided by the suggestions cure of insanity, might be calculated; the of wisdom, and a correct knowledge of the good that might be done by it, would go beyond all calculation. It would be an As insanity is most assuredly occasioned example to other parts of the kingdom; it by a morbid excitement of the nervous might serve as a professional school for system, the treatment should as much as this particular disease. Thousands, yet un possible be what would be proper in cases born, might be benefited by it, and it would of nervous disease, where no mental abercommand the blessing of posterity to the rations had been detected. memory of the founders. What I would In all confirmed cases of insanity, retherefore most respectfully, but most earn moval from home, and from all the irrita. estly recommend, is an hospital in the tions that may arise out of family interneighbourhood of London, for the cure of course, is absolutely necessary for the best insanity gratis ; to take none but recent chance of cure. cases, and to keep none past a limited On the removal of insane patients for time. I would say, that one to accommo- the purposes of cure, great care should be date fifty, or at most sixty at a time, would taken, that they are not subjected to any be quite sufficient to take up all the fresh thing at all calculated to wound the feelings cases of the poor in London and its en of a sane person, if placed in the same virons; and no place is equal to Shooter's situation. Hill for the purpose.
Every institution for the cure of insanity, To the regular readers of the Imperial should be situated upon an healthy emiMagazine, all I find to say will only be found nence, commanding views of various obrepetitions of what I have said before. jects, and, of all things, be in sight of a road This I hope will be excused; and I can- much travelled, or of a road for shipping, not close this letter without a few brief The building should be convenient for observations, which I will beg to dignify properly classing the patients, and assemwith the title of Aphorisms on Insanity. bling them upon proper occasions, and be
The most important and positive good fire-proof in all its parts, relating to insanity, is the cure of it; and The medical treatment should be gentle, therefore, any public or charitable institu- but almost unremitting; in reference to an tion for the insane, which does not provide almost constant tendency in the patients, the very best means of cure, may be highly particularly those of a melancholy or deinjurious, and the evil done by it greatly sponding cast, to a want of healthy tone overbalance the good.
in the digestive and secretive functions; Insanity is, in almost every instance, a and if this tendency is not timely counperfectly curable disease, if properly treated teracted, the mental disease is aggravated. from its quite recent or incipient state ; but The food should be light and nourishing, from the power of habit on the functions and in quantity ample, yet not in excess, of thought, there is no disease that becomes but nothing stimulating or heating, or any more certainly incurable from delay alone. thing strong to drink, to be allowed.
The very best treatment for the cure of All external irritating applications, partiinsanity is easy to be understood, and in cularly topical bleedings, blisters, setons, practice it gives much less trouble than the and issues, should be positively avoided. necessary management does, where the best Frequent exercises or employments in means of cure are not in use; and taking the open air, can by no means be disthe average term of human life, it may be pensed with; and unremitting exertions are fairly calculated, that under the worst treat- always required, and some times much ment insanity occasions ten times the ex- patience is called for, in the treatment of the pense, and ten times the trouble, that it does insane. under the best.
The moral treatment of the insane preIt may be taken for granted, whether supposes a moral sense in the patient, and judging from a right theory of the disease, the disease is not, in its most general state, or a history of facts, that the very worst any deprivation of knowledge or memory, system of treatment which prevails for the nor of the reasoning powers. It is simply cure of insanity, is that which has been a diseased excitement of the involuntary provided for by a law of the land, and sup- thoughts and mental feelings being partial ported at an extremely heavy expense to and intermittent; so that at times, and upon a the counties and parishes where it has particular train of the ideas called the been established.
hallucination, it overpowers the suggestions In the best treatment for the cure of of reason; but at intervals, or upon a insanity, the best comforts of the patients change in the train of ideas, the exercise of may be fully consulted and practised, with the reasoning powers may be as perfect as the exception of not giving indulgence to they ever were, and this even in those that their particular hallucinations.
are in an incurable state of the disease
but much more so in those that are curable. / of these wonders to a point of a billion of It is therefore obvious, that patients under miles in diameter, 'for the indefinite subinsanity should be treated as much as division of matter renders a point but the possible as rational beings, and have their tenth of an inch in diameter, capable of conreasoning powers exercised as much as taining as many wonders as one of a bilpossible on those subjects upon which lion of miles; and it is from these descendthey are correct, and avoiding those upon ing grades, that arise those subtle phenowhich they are found to be incorrect; this mena of atoms which are exhibited in all weakens the habit of the hallucination. the varieties of grosser sensible existence. The thoughts should be continually di | I call one the heights of space, as rising verted by strong and pleasurable impres above us, and the other the depths of space. sions upon the senses, particularly upon Our tools for penetrating both are the the senses of seeing and hearing, with Telescope and the Microscope-but, how the careful avoidance of whatever is cal- inferior both are to the objects, is evident culated to depress the spirits. Pleasing from the facts, that we discover in the sights and sounds should often rouse the | heights of space, shoals of thousands of dormant or desponding thoughts to a cor fixed stars, which in the largest telescopes rect exercise. The cordial of hope should are but points; and in the depths of space, be constantly administered, and the conso perfect animals, as low as the least microlations of religion should afford her daily scope will reach, below which animals and choicest treasures; and in recent cases, there must subsist atoms infinitely smaller, where there is a tolerable share of bodily to sustain the mechanism of their vitality health, perfect and permanent recovery may and organization. be confidently anticipated.
Such being the facts, can we wonder that In cases where the disease is recent, the annual parallax is less than a quantity, lunatics, if all under process of cure, may which, even if that quantity, would place the become very proper associates for each fixed stars at the distance of 32 billions of other, but old cases never can.
miles? Hence, however, the distance is - No one should undertake the superin- necessarily greater than 32 billions : but, tendence of an hospital for the cure of for argument, we will consider it but 32 insanity, who is not fully competent both billions. Now, 32 billions, expressed in in the medical and moral treatment. figures, stand thusTHOMAS BAKEWELL.
32,000,000,000,000, Spring Vale, 4th June, 1828.
and yet, if the fixed stars were at a less distance, there would be a sensible paral
A SPECULATION ON THE NUMBER OF Now then, on whatever hypothesis we PLANETS IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM. | consider the Sun as acting on the pļanets,
whether by the silly and absurd one of By Sir Richard Phillips.
attraction, or by gaseous propulsion, and
ACTION and RE-ACTION, which I maintain ; The orbit of the earth being but a point in the Solar influence must be considered as the vastness of space, the distance of the meeting the Stellar influence half way, or fixed stars affords no sensible annual paral at least at 16 billions of miles' distance. lax; or, in other words, the plane of the A question then arises, Whether the orbit forms no sensible difference of angle whole of this distance may not be rewith the fixed stars at the two extremities of plenished with planets, like the space the orbit.
which our eyes and telescopes reach? This might be an argument to prove that The distance of the earth from the sun the earth is stationary. We infer many is 95 millions; but 95 millions goes things from facts less strong—but in this | 168,420 times in 16 billions; consequently, case we allow considerations of immensity if there were planets ranged round the sun, to have their due weight. We infer that | at the distance of the earth, there might be the fixed stars are so distant, that, with our no less than 168,420 in the Solar system, eyes and instruments, an orbit, of 190 | Nor would this prodigious number counter. millions of nailes in diameter, cannot be balance the mechanical action of the sun; seen at the nearest fixed stars. This is for the sun in size is equal to a million of rational ; for, in the infinitude of space, even earths. billions of miles become points, though in Nevertheless, there are three planets in those relative points are contained all the this distance, and, if the analogy prevailed, wonders of the creation.
there might then be half a million of · Nor ought we to limit our contemplation planets,
Taking Herschel as another standard,
MEPHITIC GASES.—NO. VII. and considering that planet to be 20 times more distant than the earth, then there
(Continued from col. 529.) would be 8421 times the distance of The appalling conclusion in which the inHerschel within the mechanical action of vestigation in the preceding article terthe sun. But there are, within the distance minated, has led me into a digression of Herschel, 7 major planets, 3 minor ones, which I did not meditate at the commenceand 18 satellites; or 28 separate bodies. ment of this dissertation; this is to single The distance, 8421, multiplied by 7, would out from the whole mineral world a solitary therefore give, by analogy, 58,947 as the article, and enlarge thereon, in preference number of major planets, and, disregard. to all the rest; viz. coal. If there is any ing the minor ones, above 150,000 satel one article which claims particular attenlites.
tion, it certainly is this; especially when we The series of distances is doubtless an revert to the mania of the day; viz. the increasing one, and the number in Her- universal use of iron and steam engines, schel's distance may not obtain in the next | both of which occasion an immense conequal distance; but, if we suppose there is sumption of coal. but one planet in every equal distance of Corn and the grasses grow, and at their Herschel, this gives above 8400 major growth are increased in the field many planets.
fold; man and the animals may, therefore, · I suspect that in due time other planets consume these with impunity ; because the will be discovered between Jupiter and dung of the animals which consume these, Saturn, and between Saturn and Herschel ; acts as a manure to fertilize the ground, but I feel convinced, to demonstration, that and thus induces it to bring forth new the Solar system must contain hundreds, if crops; and this not once only, but an innot thousands, of planets more than have definite number of times; indeed, year to yet been discovered. No inference to the year, throughout all the ages of time. But contrary is afforded by the propor coal cannot be reproduced-once contions of matter in the known bodies; while sumed, it ceases for ever. Yet the conthe different positions of the planets at one sumption of coal, during the last half centime, does not render it improbable. that tury, has increased in Great Britain a hunthe quantity of matter in the whole may be dred fold. - It is lamentable to contemequal to that in the sun, a consideration plate the future, as it respects coal-mining. which supports the previous inference. The multitudes of human beings who must
How much, too, such views enlarge our be immured in mines, shut out from the ideas of time, for, if the year of Herschel, light of day, in dungeons and amidst at 20 times' distance, is 80 of our years; deaths, that their fellow-men may, upon what must be the year of a planet 1, 2, or the earth's surface, riot in what they deem 3000 times more distant than Herschel ? the luxuries and elegancies of life, and
I advance all this as a speculation be whirled about the ocean amidst smoke founded on analogy. It has no connexion and vapour, draws an involuntary sigh with my theory, that all power and force, from every feeling bosom, and sickens the however disguised, is matter in motion, and wise man's heart. caused by the transfer of other motions The universal use of iron occasions an often capable of being distinctly traced, universal consumption of coal. In the and thereby becoming knowledge.
first place, coal is used to smelt the ores, It is a mere inference of arithmetic, so as to free the iron from the heterogehitherto, I believe, unnoticed, and may neous matter with which it is associated in perhaps be respected by those who have a state of nature; and secondly, to cast, so much ready faith in attraction, suction, recast, and refine the iron when smelted, so repulsion, gravitation, projectile force, as to prepare it for, and adapt it to, the caloric, and the like!
several uses for which it is intended. No I hope the speculation will not enrage single process through which this abundant the astrologers, and lead them to set the and eminently useful metal is carried, being figure of my nativity, and treat me as, effected without the use of coal in Great they say, Carden treated Mirandula. On Britain, except in a few instances, viz. in mentioning it the other day to a renowned the refinery; and in the furnaces where Platonist, he told me that, in spite of the iron, by being impregnated with carbon, is moderns, he still believed that there were converted into steel. In these instances, but seven planets, and that Herschel, &c. charcoal is used in preference to mineral were mere optical illusions !
coal. Charcoal was used in ancient times Knightsbridge, June 10th, 1828. | altogether for smelting, melting, refining.