Sidor som bilder

sarily attract the attention of professional men to the medical treatment of mental diseases; that the routine which originated in ignorance, and has been perpetuated by negligence, will be discarded; and that the unfortunate sufferers under a privation of reason will be no longer fettered as criminals, or punished as delinquents, but will be regarded as proper objects for the exercise of medical skill, and will not be precluded from the advantages which have accrued to the other departments of the science from the iņcreased experience and improved knowlege of the age.

Influenced by these opinions, we have perused with very great

satisfaction the evidence of Sir Henry Halford, given in the First Annual Report;' in which he states his sentiments respecting the degree of benefit that is likely to be derived from medical advice in cases of insanity. We shall quote a passage from the answers of this intelligent physician, in every respect interesting and gratifying ; interesting from its high authority, and gratifying as conveying a pleasing prospect to the sufferers under this malady.

• I consider insanity to be connceted with bodily indisposition, throughout its course, though this be less apparent in some cases than in others. It is obvious in the instances of females who become deranged after lying-in; this is, perhaps, the most remediable specimen of the disease; it is obvious also in that modi. fication of the malady which we see in females of a particular temperament, at a certain period of life, when they sometimes become melancholy; and it is striking in the cases of sailors, after a great sea-fight, where there had been previously great earnestness, much personal exertion, protracted watchfulness, and, after the conflict, an improvident indulgence in spirituous liquors. These combined causes produce great irritation of the brain, and derangement; but such patients generally get well. I remember to have seen at least twenty sailors in a state of derangement, in one house of reception of lunatics, after Lord Howe's victory on the 1'st of June. I have stated that medicine is essential in the progress of insanity, more especially where the disease is wrought up into paroxysms, and recurs with violence in that form ; in such paroxysms there is an appeal to the skill as well as to the humanity of the physician, beyond what arises in almost any other disease, for the body labours in this unhappy predicament until it is destroyed; I have seen several patients die in this painful manner. If medicine be less useful in the confirmed periods of insanity, it is as little so in the advanced stages of other chronic disorders. In cases of incapacity of the joints, with painful swellings upon them, from chalk stones, after repeated fits of the gout, medicine has no effect upon these depositions ; yet this is no argument against the use of medicine in the first attacks of gout, to prevent, if possible, such dismemberment and deformity. Again, in the instance of palsy, when a patient has lost the use of half his budy;


in this stage of his complaint medicine has very little sensible effect upon it; but if the patient be assisted in the earliest attack of his malady, whilst under apoplexy, which generally precedes palsy, not only may his life possibly be saved, but the paralytic symptoms prevented altogether, or at least considerably mitigated. But we have much to learn on the subject of mental derangement; and I am of opinion that our knowledge of insanity has not kept pace with our knowledge of other distempers, from the habit we find established, of transferring patients under this malady, as soon as it has declared itself, to the care of persons who too frequently limit their attention to the mere personal security of their patients, without attempting to assist them by the resources of medicine. We want facts in the history of this disease ; and if they are carefully recorded, under the observation of enlightened physicians, no doubt they will sooner or later be collected in sufficient number to admit of safe and useful inductions.'

We cannot conclude our brief account of the first and second works which are specified at the head of this article, without offering our most heartfelt thanks to the House of Commons, for the assiduity and intelligence which they have exerted in the investigation. The benefit which must accrue from it is neither temporary nor partial; it is not one of those problematical improvements in which a plan of future or remote benefit is purchased by present suffering; nor is it of the nature of those splendid triumphs respecting which we all agree in the importance of the object, but which is necessarily connected with much evil, so that we have only to boast of a balance of good. - We should not be less grateful to the private individuals, whose benevolence led them to visit the scenes of wretchedness which had so long remained secluded from the public eye, and whose spirit and perseverance forced them on the attention of the legislature.

The pamphlet intitled • Observations on the Laws relating to private Lunatic Asylums' consists of an abstract and remarks on the two Acts of Parliament that have been passed on this subject; the first in the 14th year of the present reign, the second in the 55th; and the author gives a perspicuous account of their provisions, with the effects which were supposed by the framers to be likely to result from them. These intentions, as far as the first is concerned, were but partially fulfilled, although it certainly was productive of considerable utility. In the subsequent opinion we entirely concur.

• It is from the public hospitals which were unfortunately excepted from its influence, that have been gathered the melancholy and disgusting tales, lately transcribed into our public prints. In many of them, the management seems to have been unimproved from the most barbarous times; they having continued the same 8*


government of terror and violence, the same system of oppression and contempt, formerly so general. They form a striking con. trast with the state of most of the private asylums.'

The second Act, it is asserted, seems to have been a production of great haste,' and was passed by the House while the feelings of the members were warmly excited by the dreadful abuses which they had detected. They were anxious to guard against a repetition of such evils, and consequently enacted many clauses for this direct object, but, as the writer conceives, not the most happily contrived for the end in view. In their anxiety to curb the undue thirst after gain, or to repress the sallies of passion, in which the keepers of asylums bave indulged, they imposed on them 'many burdensome restraints, which are said to be both unnecessary and unjust, and which must tend to degrade the character of the professional man who is subjected to them. We scarcely feel ourselves competent to decide on all the points in discussion : but we think that the remarks are worth the serious attention of those who are concerned in the discussion. On the following point there can be but one opinion, that, as the law now stands, it forms the most extraordinary anomaly :

It will without doubt have been perceived by the reader of the bill, that all its provisions extend to public as well as private houses, except St. Luke's and Bethlem Hospitals in London, and these are only subject to be visited. Bethlem Hospital is I suppose exempted on account of some late regulations in its management. Yet it is singular that the place, the proceedings in which must have been one of the principal causes of the numerous oppressive restraints intended to have been put in force; and where such cruelty and barbarity were permitted as must attach lasting infamy to the names connected with it, should be deemed almost the only hospital in the kingdom where the new regulations are unnecessary.

The Practical Hints' of Mr. Tuke cannot be too highly commended; and when we reflect that he is a private insidividual, unconnected with the medical profession, deriving

no emolument from his labours, and actively engaged in a - regular employment of a totally different kind, for the support of a numerous family, we cannot sufficiently admire his benevolence and disinterestedness. Fortunately for the advantage of his fellow-creatures, Mr. Tuke unites to his benevo lence a large portion of knowlege; and consequently his exertions are all directed into the proper channel, and not lost on fruitless projects, or frittered away on theoretical improvements. His pamphlet is not a work for critical examination: but it contains a body of most valuable matter, which



we strongly recommend to the notice of those among out readers who may wish for information on the subject.

We cannot say much in commendation of Mr. Upton's attempt to vindicate Dr. Monro and Mr. Haslam, or to prove that they were unjustly dismissed from their situations at Bethlein Hospital. On the contrary, we very decidedly affirm that no impartial person can read the evidence at full length, the accusations against them, and their defence, without forming the conclusion that they had essentially neglected their duty, and were therefore unworthy of the public confidence.

ART. XII. Jonah. The Seatonian Prize-Poem for the Year

1815. By James W. Bellamy, M. A. of Queen's College,

Cambridge. 8vo. 38. 60. sewed. Rivingtons. 1815.. ART. XIII. Jonah. A Poem. By Edward Smedley, Junior,

8vo. 35. 60. sewed. Murray.

Victrix causa Deis placuit, sed victa Catoni!" AMONG

the many occasions on which this well-known line

has been applied to the consolation of an unsuccessful candidate for his chosen species of honour, we do not recollect one that more justly demands it than the present. How, indeed, it could have happened that such an application of the passage should be excited, at a learned University, in a case to our minds of such obvious and easy decision, we are at a loss to conceive. So, however, it is; and Mr. Bellamy has strangely and unexpectedly, we should think, snatched from the brow of his rival his former honours ;

Hærentem capiti multâ cum laude coronam.The “Saul and Jonathan,” and the “ Jephthah," (see Rev. Vol. lxxvii. p. 100.) of Mr. Smedley, the two Seatonian prizes which preceded the last, were certainly popular among that comparatively limited class of readers who delight in the perusal of poetry on sacred subjects. We shall not repeat what we have so often urged on this topic: but, addressing ourselves now to the class above mentioned, we shall leave the majority to enjoy their opinions alike undisturbed and unconfirmed by any fresh argument of our own.

In instituting a comparison between the little works before us, we will be guided as nearly as we can by a reference to passages, in either poem, on the same or similar branches of the subject : but this will not be in our power throughout; because the views taken of that subject by Mr. Bellamy and Mr. Smedley are essentially different. The latter seems to Rev. Nov. 1816.



have conceived (and we think that his conception is natural) that there was something in the dark, mysterious, and concise story of Jonah, according to its literal narration, which required a delicate and rapid touch, if attempted to be embodied in poetry; while the previous denouncements of destruction on Nineveh, and the application of the events of the Prophet's life to the New Testament, would more fairly afford a theme on which verse might dwell. Mr. Bellamy, on the contrary, goes right an end (to use a vulgar but expressive phrase) with the story, and is neither turned aside by the squeamishness of selection, nor stopped by the fear of bringing forwards, and placing in the centre of his canvas, objects which might perhaps be better softened down into shade and distance. Our readers, however, shall decide this knotty point; and we shall proceed to quotation, reserving to the conclusion our remarks on the passages selected, and on other detached portions of the rival productions.

• Lo! through each street the Prophet raises high
The warning voice, and pours the accusing cry.

« « He that hath ears to hear, attend my call :
Ere forty days proud Nineveh shall fall!
All Nature arm d obeys the mighty God
Who smites the nations with His lifted rod.
Thick clouds and darkness veil His awful form,
His the whirlwind, and His scourge the storm:
He bids the subject streams forget to flow,
And ocean's angry waves His mandate know.
As fallen is Bashan, Carmel's glory gone,
As droops in death the flower of Lebanon,
So shall, proud Nineveh, thy turrets fall,
So sink the levell’d ruin of thy wall.
Ne'er on thy waste shall camp the Arab horde,
Nor the fierce robber sheath his sated sword;
But, trooping, desert beasts shall throng the ground,
And the wild satyr dance his wanton round;
There shall the owl in screeching horror fly,
And the lone bittern raise her fearful cry.
O'er thy broad ways shall roll a whelming flood,
And bathe the beauty of thy groves in blood.
No more thy harps shall swell the airy strain,
Nor aged minstrels wake the song again ;
No more thy sons shall know the rapturous hour,
Pillow'd by love in beauty's roseate bower,
No more thy boastful banners, wide unfurl'd,
Shall float the pride and terror of the world :
Dimness of anguish, horror, and dismay,
Shall burst in blackest ruin on thy day.

“ Lo! the destroyer, in his iron car,
Braves thy bold front, and spreads his havoc far.



« FöregåendeFortsätt »