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Mental hygiene, or, an examination of the intellect and passions, designed to illustrate

their influence on health and the duration of life


Author(s): William Sweetser
Source: Cowen Tracts,
1850
Contributed by: Newcastle University
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/60203067
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Tracts

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p

MENTAL HYGIENE:
OR,

AN EXAMINATION

OF

THE INTELLECT AND PASSIONS,


DESIGNED TO ILLUSTRATE

THEIR INFLUENCE ON HEALTH AND THE DURATION OE LIEE.

By WILLIAM SWEET8ER, M.D.,


late morEssoit or the theory and tractice or physic, and tellow or the
•* AMERICAN ACADEMY Or ARTS AND SCIENCES.

[REPRINTED EEOM THE AMERICAN EDITION.]

EDINBURGH:

MACLACHLAN, STEWART, & CO.;


SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, & CO., LONDON; AND D. ROBERTSON, GLASGOW.

MDCCCIi.
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NEILL AND COMPANY, PRINTERS, OLD FISIIMARKET, EDINBURGH.

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CONTENTS.

INTRODUCTION.

PART I.—INTELLECTUAL OPERATIONS.


Pago
CH 4.P. I. A few considerations on the intellectual nature of man, compared with that of the animals next
below him in the scale of life, 1
CHAP. II. Importance of ft iudicious exercise of the intellectual powers to health and happiness—Evils
resulting from mental inactivity—Intellectual pursuits do not necessarily tend to shorten life
—Examples ot longevity among ancient and modern scholais,
CHAP. III. Iv lis that may 1 ooult from ovei tasking the intellectual pow era—Rules to ho observed by studious
mon foi the sccunty of their health—The ability to sustain intellectual labours varies m
diifeient individuals, and consequently the piopoition ot time that maybe safely dedicated
to study,
CHAP. IV. The intellectual operations are necessarily associated, to a gi eater or less extent, with passion—
Those mental avocations which elicit the strongest moial feelings are most piejudicial to
health,
CHAP. V. Diversified labours of the mind are less fatiguing and injuiious than those that are more concon
trated, or vv Inch are confined to some one paiticular subject,
CHAP. VI Evils resulting from the inordinate exercise of the intellect in early years,
CHAP. VII. Intellectual opeiations concluded—A few suggestions on the general plan to be adopted in the
education of childion—Seveie intellectual exertions aie always hazaidous m old age,

PART II.—PASSIONS.

CHAP. VIII. Definition of the passions, and their general division, 12—13
CH\P. IX. General remaiks on the evils and advantages of the passions—Individuals, from temperament,
education, and various incidental circumstances, dilter very sensibly in the force and character
of their passions, 13—14
CHAP. X. The passions bocomc greatly multiplied and modified in civilised life—The effect of the passions is
paiticulaily manifested in the vital functions, as in the en culation, digestion, secretions, &c.—
Ceitam conditions of the functions seive to awaken the dilleient passions, 13—1C
CHAP. XI. Wheiein leal and imaginary afflictions differ fiom each other—Incidental remarks naturaHy sug¬
gested by the mutual relations and dependencies of oui physical and moral constitutions, 17
CH\.P. XII. The passions consideiod moio paitunlaily—The pleasuiable passions, with their eflects on the
physical functions, sumniaiilv noticed, 17—19

CHAP. XIII. General phenomena ot the painful passions, as manifested m the bodily functions, 19—20
CHAP. XIV. Anger—Phenomena of acute anger—\nger sometimes proves immediately or speedily fatal, or may
occasion painful and dangeious diseases, 20—22
CHAP. XV. Anger concluded—Phjsical effects of its chronic action—It may be excited by morbid states of the
bodily organs, and thus be stuctly physical m its oi lgin, 20—25
CHAP. XVI. Fear—Definition of feir—Tins passion belongs to all animals—Paiticular conditions of oui bodily
oigans favour timidity ot chaiactcr, 25—26
CHAP. XVII Fear continued—Acute fear discnbcd—Fascination has by some wiitors been attributed to the
violent influence ot fear—Remarkable effects m the cuie ot diseases that have oltcn followed
excessive flight,

2G—28

CHAP. XVIII. Fear continued—Death is sometimes the speedy consequence of extravagant fear—Various painful
diseases may also be the lcsult of its operation—The terrors of leligion are oftentimes followed
by the most melancholy oftects—The fears awakened in the imagination during sleep, when
frequent and immodeiate, may become piejudicial to health, 28—30
CHAP. XIX. Tear continued—Fear in its more chronic action may be the occasion of varions prejudicial effects
in the system—supeistitions fear in rciraid to death may become a source of much suffering
both to body and mind—I) mger of evcitmg the feir-, of childien, 30— "2
CHAP. XX. Fear concluded—That peculiar modification of feat denominated horror briefly examined, 33—04

CH\P. XXI. Grief—General lemaiks upon gnet—The acute stage, oi a paioxjsm of grief, described, with the
moibid and even fatal effects of which it may be productive, "1—37
CHV.P. XXII. Grief continued—The effects on the economy of the more chrome action of grief considered, 37—40

CHAP. XXIII. Gnef continued—Despair and suicide—Grief becomes modified in its character, and is more or less
blunted by time, according to the souices whence it spungs, 40—45
CHAP. XXIV. Grief concluded—Mental dejection and even despair mavbe excited b\ morbid states of our bodily
oigans—The like nioial or physical causes may, m different individuals, and ev en the hame at
ditteient times, call forth veiy unliko degiees of moial or physical suffering—Importance of a
cheerful and happy temper to the health ot childhood, 45—48

CHAP. XXV. Shame—The nature of shame described—When shame is extreme, or amounts to a sense of deep
humiliation, it may be fraught with dangerous consequences to the welfare of the body, 4S—50

CHAP. 50—53
XXVI. Mixed passions defined—Jealousy—Av arice,
CHAP. XXVII. Mixed passions concluded— Ambition—General remarks upon ambition—Evils which result from
ambition when moidmate—The peculiar political, as well as other circumstances of the Ainen-
53—56
can people, tend, m a special manner to cheiish among them the growth ot ambition,
CHAP. XXVIII. Effects of an lll-i egulated imagination on the bodily health—The sober realities of life accoi d bettei
5fi—58
with our pi esent nature than the false visions of tancj,
CHAP. XXIX. 58—60
General concluding remarks,

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INTRODUCTION.

Whatever may be our speculative views in regard to mind, however distinct in its nature we may
deem it to be from matter, yet that it is essentially involved with, our organization, and that between
the two a reciprocal influence is constantly and necessarily maintained, is too apparent for denial. Of
the mental constitution and its laws we have not the faintest knowledge, except as they reveal them¬
selves through the medium of certain material conformations. Wherever these are discovered, we
are convinced that mind is, or has been, conjoined with them. Without such arrangements of matter
its astonishing phenomena have never been declared to us.
The mutual relationship and constant interchange of influence subsisting between our mental and
corporeal natures can hardly have escaped even the most careless observation. The functions of cither
being disturbed, more or less derangement will ahnost necessarily be reflected to those of the other.
What frame so hardy as to escape the agitations and afflictions of the mind and what mind so firm
as to remain unharmed amid the infirmities and sufferings of the body
The leading design of the present volume, as its title implies, is to elucidate the influence of intel¬
lect and passion upon the health and endurance of the human organization. This influence, we believe,
has been but imperfectly understood and appreciated in its character and importance by mankind at
large. Few, we believe, have formed any adequate estimate of the sum of bodily ills which have their
source in the mind. Those of the medical profession even, concentrating their attention upon the
physical, are too prone to neglect the mental causes of disease ; and thus may patients be subjected
to the harshest medicines of the pharmacopoeia, the true origin of whose malady is some inward and
rooted sorrow, which a moral babn alone can reach.
The work we are introducing will be divided into two Parts. Under the first we shall consider the
intellectual operations in respect to their influence on the general functions of the body. But, as the
effects which they induce in the animal economy are less strongly marked, and less hazardous to its
welfare, than those belonging to the passions, comparatively little space will be devoted to this division.
Indeed, when pure, or as much so as is consistent with their nature—for scarce can we conceive of
any mental function entirely isolated from every shade of affection—.the intellectual operations can
by no means bo viewed as an ordinary occasion of disease, or as tending directly to abbreviate the term
of existence. The infirmities so apt to be witnessed in those whose pursuits are of a more strictly
intellectual character, are much oftener imputable to the agency of the passions aroused by, and
blended with, the mental efforts, or else to the sedentary and other prejudicial habits of life with which
they arc so frequently united, than to the mere abstract labours of thought.
The Second Part will embrace a view of the moral feelings or passions in the relation which they
also sustain to our physical nature. Of these we shall, in the first place, offer a concise definition
with such a general classification as will be deemed necessary to the leading design of the work.
Next, we shall summarily notice their effects upon the different functions of the animal economy:
Then describe a few of the most important of the passions belonging to each of the three great classes,
namely, pleasurable, painful, and mixed, in+o which they are to be separated; thus taking occasion
to examine more closely their physical phenomena and individual influence on the well-being of the
human mechanism. And, lastly, we shall attempt to expose the evil consequences resulting from an
ill-regulated imagination to the firmness of the nervous system, and the integrity of the general
health. The imagination hero acting through the instrumentality of the passions morbidly excited
by its licentious operation, such a consideration of it will not be inapposite to the design of the pre¬
sent treatise.
As the volume now being presented is not addressed to any particular class of readers, technical
expressions will be carefully avoided, and its matter be rendered as plain and comprehensible as the
nature of the subject will admit. And as truth, so far, at least, as the author can penetrate his own
feelings, is its grand aim, all mystical speculation and ungrounded theories, whether of a metaphysical
or moral nature," will be scrupulously excluded from its pages.
Such, then, is a summary exposition of the plan and purpose of the work before us ; and flattering
himself that the principles it advances may be rendered subservient both to our j)hysical and moral
welfare, the author now resigns it to the judgment of his friends and the public, asking only the same
indulgence which has been so kindly extended to him in previous instances where he has ventured to
promulgate the humble results of his studies and observations.
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INTELLECTUAL OPEKATIONS.

CHAPTER I. simple and uncontrolled, almost always elicit


instinctive actions.
A FEW CONSIDERATIONS ON THE INTELLECTUAL
In living nature, as all naturalists have recog¬
NATURE OF MAN, COMPARED WITH THAT OF THE nised, there exists a gradually ascending chain
ANIMALS NEXT BELOW HIM IN THE SCALE OF LLTE. from the humblest plant to the zoophyte,—
or transition link to the animal scale,—and
Man is distinguished from all other known from this up to man, its acknowledged head;
animals, not only by his peculiar conformation and structure and function ever advance in a
of body, by his erect and dignified attitude, but corresponding relation, the perfection of the
by a far higher measure of intellectual endow¬ former necessarily indicating that of the latter.
ment, and a consequently greater extension of Thus, on reaching the naturalist's second great
his relations with external things. Remark¬ division of the animal kingdom, or that to which
able, however, as is this superiority of ora belong a brain and spinal marrow, we begin
species, yet is it questionable if human pride to discover, in addition to the simple instinct
has not exaggerated it, has not assumed a broader which probably alone governs the lower or
distinction between us and the lower animals brainless animals, some glimmerings of other
than Xature herself will acknowledge. Thus, mental powers, and which grow more and more
some have denied to brutes all glimpses of the distinct in proportion as the organization, par¬
higher faculties, ascribing all their acts to the ticularly of the brain, approaches nearer and
direct impulse of a resistless instinct. But such nearer to that of our own. Hence, in the class
error must arise, I think, from some misconcep¬ of animals whose brain and general nervous
tion of the right meaning of the term instinct— system most closely resemble man's, do we
from not making the requisite distinction be¬ detect the rudiments of nearly all the human
tween this and others of the mental powers. mental faculties, and consequently an approxi¬
The simple animal instincts imply, in the mation, imperfect, to be sure, nevertheless an
mind of the physiologist, peculiar inward feel¬ approximation, to a rational nature. The above
ings, originating urgent wants, or desires, which assertions are fully borne out by comparative
call forth certain muscular actions, whose end anatomy and physiology, and such, therefore,
is, by satisfying the want, to relieve the sen¬ as are familiar w ith these sciences will not hesi¬
sation which excited it; the series of actions tate to admit their truth.
awakened being always understood to take The simia satyrus,—orang-outang,—both as
place independent of education, or imitation, respects his structure and mental powers, seems
and without any foresight of the end to be more nearly allied to humanity than any other
attained by them. Or to put the definition in annual to which our acquaintance has hitherto
another form. Instincts consist in particular extended. But then, dwelling asthisspecies does,
physical conditions, and consequent sensations, chiefly in the interior of the island of Borneo,
impelling to some definite train of muscular which has been but little penetrated by civilized
movements, which contribute or are essential man, and the few individuals of it brought into
to the preservation of the individual, or the Europe or the United States having been young,
continuance of the species. Many, therefore, and falling victims to an ungenial climate, and
must grow out of the immediate necessities of unsuitable food, probably before attaining to
the system. their full physical or mental maturity, our
Numerous examples might be adduced in knowledge of the highest development of its
illustration of the foregoing definition of in¬ capacities must consequently be but imperfect.
stincts, but the appetites of hunger and thirst Still, even under such adverse circumstances as
must suffice. These instinctive wants, or desires, we have been able to contemplate these animals,
arise out of, or are excited by, physical condi¬ have they astonished us by their display of the
tions of the stomach, or system at large, which habits and feelings of our own nature. But the
demand the supply of food and drink, and thus accounts given by travellers of the orang-outang
serve as monitors to solicit the co-operative acts in its native condition, and its close imitations
necessary to furnish such supply. Hence ani¬ of the actions of man, even making due allow¬
mals, so soon as born, and independent, of course, ance for exaggeration, excite yet greater sur¬
of education or imitation, go through, and as prise.
perfectly as ever afterward, all those compli¬ How near, therefore, this remarkable animal,
cated muscular movements requisite to meet the in a propitious climate, and under a judicious
demand? of nutrition. Instinctive feelings, when system of instruction, might be assimilated to
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INTELLECT OE MAN COMPARED WITH THAT OF THE LOWER ANIMALS.

the inferior races of mankind, we have no which succeeds, Nature make a still further ad¬
data which will warrant an opinion. Placed vance in animal life, and produce a race of beings
beside the cultivated European, the distinction, as much excelling man as he does any prior crea¬
both in his structure and mental endowments, tion And with a little license to the fancy, may
seems broad indeed; but it becomes materially we not imagine the learned naturalists on this
lessened on a comparison of him, which is the new crust puzzling their wits over the fossil bones
only just one, with the lowest of our own of our own proud race, and marvelling to what
species, as the New Hollander, or Bosjesman humble order of beings they could have belong¬
Hottentot. ed But my readers must pardon this digres¬
The more careful is our investigation into sion. I was led into it to show that Nature,
this wonderful chain of life, the more perfect wherever we can discover her order, rises by an
shall we discover it to be. All analogy, even easy progression in her scale of life.
of the material world, instructs us that the plan Is there, then, no transition link uniting man
of Nature is to work gradually upward ; that with the beings below him Is there a breach
she admits into her scheme no abrupt chasms, at this point, while everywhere else the chain is
but advances by easy, and almost impercep¬ complete Or may it not rather be that the step
tible steps, from the humblest to the most ex¬ from the highest race of the ape to the most
alted of her creations. The earth,—if we may humble of our own, is really easier than human
put faith in what geologists tell us,—with all pride is willing to acknowledge But leaving
its countless occupants, would seem to have such embarrassing questions if we compare man,
been reared up, by a regular progression, from as we meet him in society, with even the most
its primeval chaotic mass to its now existing sagacious brute, the distinction will be found
state. Thus, to take the geological account of broad enough to satisfy the strictest advocate for
it given by the distinguished Cuvier :—The the pre-eminence of human nature.
globe we inhabit is composed of various layers Regarding man, then, in his cultivated state,
or strata of rocks, and it is rationally assumed how, it may be asked, does his mind differ from
that those on which all the others rest, are the that of the animals next below him with which
we are acquainted
most ancient, and, of course, represent the first The general answer is
or internal stratum. Now on this primitive plain. In the far higher degree of its intellec¬
stratum, as is proved by their abundant organic tual capacities, and in the possession of moral
remains, animals existed, but only of the most sentiments, of which latter the inferior animal
inferior orders—the first rude attempts, as it were, displays but faint vestiges.
at animal formations. Then upon this we have Man alone seems endowed, at least to any
another layer, the surface of the primary, with obvious extent, with the faculty of reflection ;
that is, of bending the thoughts inward upon
all its inhabitants, having, of course, been over¬
whelmed by some dread convulsion. Here again, themselves, and by a sort of mental chemistry
in the lapse of time, other living beings suc¬ creating new combinations, and of consequence
ceeded, but, as we learn from their numerous new thoughts, out of the ideas obtained through
relics, of a somewhat more advanced organiza¬ the medium of the senses. And from this com¬
tion. And in this manner has revolution pound operation of the mind does he derive
after revolution been going on, each succeeded another and boundless source of knowledge,
by new worlds of life, until we arrive at the new motives to action, and an incalculable
present surface, or the alluvial deposits,—not increase in his relation with external things.
the result of any grand convulsion,—in which The relations of the brute annual to the objects
the remains of animals now existing, and of the among which he is placed, have reference chiefly,
most perfect construction, are alone to be dis¬ if not solely, to the gratification of his appetites,
covered. Thus has Nature been working up, or the satisfaction of his bodily wants, and his
step by step, from her earliest and rudest or¬ preservation from injury or destruction. His sen¬
ganic structures, improving gradually upon her¬ sual desires pacified, and unthreatened by danger,
self, upon her original type, to the present he commonly falls asleep, or at least remains at
occupants of the earth. rest. But such is not the case with man, cer¬
Man, now, the most finished of all organized tainly with civilized man. With his appetites
beings, belongs, as analogy might lead us to anti¬ satisfied, with ample provision for every physical
cipate, only to this latest face of the globe, no necessity, and exempt from even the remotest
fossil remains of him having been found in any apprehension of harm, still, actuated by a class
of the older strata. He is the last then, and, of wants above those of his mere animal nature,
as yet, most perfect work of creative power does he remain awake—observing the objects
in the progressive ascent from the humblest and phenomena about him, reflecting, perchance,
living forms. Millions of ages, for aught we on his own mysterious constitution, and its intri¬
know, may have been spent in the gradual steps cate relations ; or, unsatisfied with the present, is
by which the present complicated modes of life stretching his view far into the dim, uncertain
have been reached. And is here the consum¬ future, and judging, or trying to judge, of its
mation Have these mighty revolutions of fast coming events. Nor yet can his expanding
foregone times now ceased Is the world finish¬ mind be bounded by the world in which he
ed Has Nature attained the summit of her dwells, but grasps at the universe and eternity,
scale Is man to continue the masterpiece of and space and time are too limited to con¬
his Maker? Or, in the course of ages, may tain it.
not yet another convulsion arise, desolating the This curiosity, this insatiable appetite for
present surface of the earth, and, on the new one knowledge, or the discovery of new truths,
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EXERCISE OF THE INTELLECT.

seems an attribute specially of our own nature, naked, savage ; roaming without care or thought
and is the stimulus ever urging us forward in the vast forests which he held in common with
the path of intellectual advancement. Scarce the brute, and feasting at will on the roots
has the infant become familiar with the light and fruits which the teeming soil spontaneously
of heaven, hardly does expression begin to brought forth. Then was he pure, gentle, inno¬
brighten its vacant eye, ere it evinces its incipient cent ; and, exempt from all those multiform and
curiosity, in touching, tasting, smelling, heark¬ painful maladies which now afflict and shorten
ening, and is thus accumulating ideas of sensa¬ his career, his life glided on in a smooth and
tion, which are afterward to be compared, happy current, and when death at last overtook
abstracted, combined, or, in other words, to be him, it came, not as at present, fraught with
worked up into various new forms, constituting pains and terrors, but like the tranquil sleep
new and inexhaustible sources of mental pro¬ that steals over the wearied senses of innocent
gress. childhood. Here, free from all those lights and
To man, then, in addition to his sensual wants, shadows of the soul which spring from culti¬
which he has in common with the brutes, belong vated intellect, like the brutes he was happy in
those of a moral and intellectual character ; and the bare consciousness of existence ; in exercis¬
his external relations being consequently multi¬ ing his limbs ; in basking in the sunshine, or
plied, new feelings, new desires, new passions cooling himself in the shade ; and in the grati¬
must be generated, which, while they open fication of his mere animal propensities.
sources of enjoyment immeasurably exceeding " Pride then was not, nor arts that pride to aid:
any possessed by the inferior animals, beget a Man vvalk'd ivith beast, joint tenant of the shade;
train of moral, and their consequent physical, ills, The same his table, and the same his bed ;
No murder eloth'd him, and no murder fed:
too often filling life with sorrow, and leading
In the same temple, the resounding wood,
almost to a doubt whether it be a gift of mercy
All vocal beings hymn'd their equal God."
or an imposition of wrath. Thus, in the present
disposition of things, do we ever find a system But that such a primeval state of blissful
of compensation, an attempt, as it were, at a ignorance, health and purity, ever existed, we
general equalisation of enjoyment. have no other evidence than what rests on the
The inferior animal, if his appetites are ap¬ fancies of poetry, or the dreams of poetic philo¬
peased, and he is exempt from physical pain sophy. The savages of the present day, who, one
and the fear of danger, is apparently happy in would think, ought to come most nearly to this
the simple feeling of existence. But what torture blessed state of nature, present a picture the
of mind may not our own species endure, even very opposite of that described.
when free from all bodily suffering, safe from The tendency of man is obviously to civilisa¬
every harm, and with resources, even in super¬ tion and mental progress ; whence the highest
fluity, for the gratification of every sensual want! moral and intellectual advancement of which
An agony sometimes so terrible as to drive its he is susceptible, is the only natural state that
miserable victim to the horrid alternative of self- can be predicated of him. As well might it be
destruction, a catastrophe rarely brought about contended, that the infant is the natural condi¬
by any amount of physical pain. Fortunately, tion of the individual, as the savage that of the
however, by a judicious education of our intel¬ species.
lectual and moral nature, much, very much, The mind, like the body, demands exercise.
may be done to avoid such mental sufferings, That the proudest faculties of our nature were
and the bodily diseases which so generally fol¬ intended for slothful inaction,—that talents
low in their train. were given us to remain buried and unproduc¬
tive,—is repugnant alike to reason and analogy.
There is, in fact, no power of the living econo¬
my, however humble, but needs action, both on
CHAPTER II. its own account, and on that of the general con¬
stitution. So closely united by sympathies are
A JUDICIOUS EXERCISE OF THE INTELLECTUAL FA¬ all our functions, that the judicious exercise of
CULTIES IS CONDUCIVE BOTH TO HEALTH and each one, beside conducing to its individual
HAPPINESS. EVILS RESULTING FROM MENTAL welfare, must coutribute, in a greater or less
INACTIVITY INTELLECTUAL PURSUITS DO NOT degree, a healthful influence to every other.
NECESSARILY, AS SOME HAVE SUPPOSED, ABBRE¬ Man, as already affirmed, discovers a natural
VIATE LirE. EXAMPLES OF LONGEVITY AMONG desire for knowledge ; and the very exertion
ANCIENT AND MODERN SCHOLARS. necessary to its attainment, and the delight
experienced in the gratification of this innate
That the noblest powers of our nature should curiosity, diffuse a wholesome excitement
have been designed for use and improvement, throughout the system. There is a pleasure in
one might suppose would be universally admit¬ the exercise of thought, in whose kindly effects
ted ; nevertheless there are not wanting those, all the functions must in some measure par¬
eminent, too, for their learning, who have en¬ ticipate. Agreeable and well regulated studies,
deavoured to prove that the savage is our only or mental occupations, are as essential to the
natural and happy condition. Thus man,—for integrity of the mind, as are judicious exer¬
such has been the picture drawn of him,—in the cises to that of the body ; and as the health
golden age of his early creation, dwelling in a of the latter, as all admit, conduces to that of
mild and balmy climate abounding in vegetable the former, so also, as it will be my constant
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THE MIND NEEDS OCCUPATION.

volume, does a sound state of the mind com¬ suffered under a constant headache ; and on the
municate a salutary influence to the functions third, he became affected with fever. The
of the body. bishop now, taking pity on his condition, re¬
The mind, then, needs occupation, not only turned him his key, and thus restored him to
for its own sake, but also for that of the organ¬ his previous health.
ism with which it is so intricately involved. Those, again, who, while yet in the vigour of
Mental inactivity, in the existing constitution life, retire from their wonted business, be it
of society, is the occasion of an amount of moral mercantile or professional, and thus all at once
and physical suffering, which, to one who had break up their habits of mental application, are
never reflected upon the subject, would appear apt to fall into a painful state of listlessness, or
scarcely credible. From this proceeds that ennui, and which, in certain temperaments, will
ta'duiiu vital, that dreadful irksomeness of life, often grow into a morbid melancholy, shading
so often witnessed among the opulent, or what every scene and every prospect with a dismal
are termed the privileged classes of society, who and hopeless gloom. And sometimes the disgust
are engaged in no active, or interesting pursuits, and loathing of existence become so extreme,
and who, already possessing the liberal gifts of that they rid themselves of its hated burden
fortune, and consequently the means of grati¬ with their own hands. This state of moral de¬
fying all their natural and artificial wants, lack pression, if long continued, may also originate
the stimulus of necessity to awaken and sustain painful and fatal physical infirmities, or may
in wholesome action their mental energies. pass into some settled form of insanity, especially
Hence, although they may be objects of envy that of monomania. In some instances, it will
to those whose straitened circumstances demand change into, or alternate with a reckless and
continued and active exertions, yet is their situ¬ ungovernable excitement, the individual run¬
ation too often anything but enviable. Their ning into wild extravagance, or rash speculations,
cup of life drugged with the gall and bitterness —giving himself up to habits of gambling, or
of ennui, their paramount wish is to escape from gross intemperance, to relieve the painful void
themselves, from the painful listlessness of a in his purposeless existence.
surfeited existence. The mind must be occupied, Elderly persons, who all at once give up their
else discontented and gloomy, if not wicked, feel¬ accustomed occupations, and consequently their
ings, will be likely to take possession of it. mental activity, and retire to enjoy their ease
Paradoxical as it may seem, yet it is question¬ and leisure, will not rarely, especially if they
able if a much heavier curse could be imposed have been previously free livers, experience a
on man, with his present nature, than the com¬ rapid breaking up of their mental, and perhaps
plete gratification of all his wishes, leaving bodily powers, passing sometimes into a more
nothing for his hopes, desires, or struggles. The or less complete state of what has been termed
joy and animation of the huntsman last but with senile dementia.
the chase. The feeling that life is without aim Under the circumstances of mental in ertia to
or purpose, that it is destitute of any motive to a\ hich I have been referring, it is often observed,
action, is of all others the most depressing—the that anything arousing the mind to exertion,
most insupportable to a moral and intellectual even positive misfortunes, will, by reviving the
being. almost palsied feelings, be attended with a mani¬
Men of different constitutions, habits, talents, festly salutary influence. Thus is it that the
and education, will, as might be expected, re¬ retired opulent are oftentimes, if not past the
quire different sorts and degrees of mental action. age of action, made happier, healthier, and I
Such as are endowed with vigorous intellectual may also add better, by the loss of so much of
powers, and in whose exercise they have been their property as to render renewed exertions
long accustomed to indulge, are liable to suffer necessary to their subsistence. Retirement from
the most when their minds are left unemployed. long established and active duties demands in¬
Those, for example, who are fond of study, and tellectual and moral resources, of which few, in
have been long used to devote a part of their the present condition of society, have a right to
time to its prosecution, may even sustain a mani¬ boast.
fest injury, both in their moral and physical It is an opinion not uncommonly entertained,
health, by a sudden and continued interruption that studious habits, or intellectual pursuits,
of such habit; a painful void being thus left in tend necessarily to injure the health, and abbre¬
the mind, indirectly depressing its feelings, and, viate the term of life—that mental labours are
by a necessary consequence, all the important ever prosecuted at the expense of the body, and
functions of life. must consequently hasten its decay. Such a
It is told of Petrarch, when at Yaucluse, that result, however, is by no means essential, unless
his friend the Bishop of Cavaillon, fearing lest the labours be urged to an injudicious excess,
his too close devotion to study would wholly when of course, as in all overstrained exertions,
ruin his health, which was already much im¬ whether of body or mind, various prejudicial
paired, having procured of him the key of his effects may be naturally anticipated. I mean
library, immediately locked up his books and not to assert, that those in whom the intellect
I interdict you is chiefly engaged, will enjoy the same athletic
"

writing-desks, saying to him,


from pen, ink, paper, and books, for the space strength, or display equal muscular development
of ten days." Petrarch, though much pained with others whose pursuits are of a more me¬
in his feelings, nevertheless submitted to the chanical character,—for Nature seldom lavishes
mandate. The first day was passed by him in upon us a full complement of her various gifts ;
the most tedious mannerdownloaded
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INTELLECTUAL PURSUITS NOT NECESSARILY UNHEALT1IFUL.

life and with a naturally sound constitution, Ilyssus, or wherever, indeed, he might chance
they may preserve as uniform health, and live to be with them. The eminent scholars of those
as long, as any other class of persons. In sup¬ days were likewise in the habit of travelling
port of such belief abundant instances may be from country to country to disseminate their
cited, both from ancient and modern times, of stores of knowledge.
men eminently distinguished for the amount I will conclude the present chapter by citing
and profundity of their mental labours, who, a few of the numerous instances of longevity
being temperate and regular in their habits, among the philosophers and learned men of
have continued to enjoy firm health, and have antiquity. Homer, it is generally admitted,
attained a protracted existence. It has indeed lived to be very old. So also did the philosopher
been said by some eminent writer, that " one of Pythagoras, and the historian Plutarch. Thucy-
the rewards of philosophy is long life." But let dides the celebrated Greek historian, and Solon
me illustrate by a few examples. Among the the famous lawgiver of Athens, reached the age
moderns, Boerhaave lived to seventy ; Locke to of eighty. Plato died in his eighty-first year.
seventy-three ; Galileo to seventy-eight; Sir Pittacus and Thales, two of the seven wise men
Edward Coke to eighty-four ; Newton to eighty- of Greece, lived, the former to be eighty-two,
five, and Fontanelle to a hundred. Boyle, and the latter, ninety-six. Xenophon the
Leibnitz, Yolney, Buflbn, and a multitude of Greek historian, and Galen the distinguished
others of less note that could be named, lived to physician, who is said to have written no less
quite advanced ages. And the remarkable than three hundred volumes, each attained his
longevity of many of the German scholars, who ninetieth year. Carneades, a celebrated philoso¬
have devoted themselves almost exclusively to pher of Cyreno in Africa, and founder of a sect
the pursuit of science and literature, must be called the third or new Academy, reached the
sufficiently familiar to my readers. Professor same age. It is stated of Carneades, that he
Blumenbach, the distinguished German natur¬ was so intemperate in his thirst after knowledge
alist, died not long since at the age of eighty- that he did not even give himself time to comb
eight; and Dr Olbers, the celebrated astrono¬ his head or pare his nails. Sophocles, the cele¬
mer of Bremen, in his eighty-first year. brated tragic poet of Athens, died in his ninety-
Of the prominent intellectual men of our own fifth year, and then, according to Lucian, not in
country, many might* also be mentioned who the course of nature, but by being choked with
have attained to very great ages. Chief Justice a grapestone. Some have placed his death a
Marshall and Thomas Jefferson reached their little earlier, and referred it to a different acci¬
eighty-fourth year ; Doctor Franklin and John dent, but all agree that he exceeded his ninetieth
Jay their eighty-fifth; James Madison his year. Zeno, the founder of the sect of the Stoics,
eighty-seventh, and John Adams his ninety- lived to be ninety-eight. Hippocrates expired
first. Now these men, as is well known, were, in his ninety-ninth year, and, as we are told,
during the greater portion of their lives, engaged free from all disorders of mind and body.
in the most profound mental labours. Doctor Zenophanes, an eminent Greek writer, and the
Franklin continued his public services till he founder of a sect of philosophers in Sicily called
was eighty-two, and his intellectual exertions Eleatic, arrived to a hundred, and Democritus
to near the close of his life. In a letter to one to the extreme age of a hundred and nine. But
of his friends written when he was eighty-two j I need not further multiply examples, for they
years old, speaking of his advanced age, he says, j meet us everywhere in the pages of ancient
"
By living twelve years beyond David's period, biography.
I seem to have intruded myself into the com- |
pany of posterity when I ought to have been
abed and asleep. Yet, had I gone at seventy, it CHAPTER III.
would have cut off twelve of the most active
years of my life, employed, too, in matters of EVIL CONSEQUENCES THAT MAY BE APPREHENDED

the greatest importance." FROM OVERTASKING THE INTELLECTUAL POWERS.

The ancient sages, however, were evidently RULES PROPER TO BE OBSERVED BY STUDIOUS

privileged, in respect to health and longevity, MEN FOR THE SECURITY OF THEIR HEALTH.

over those of modern days. Physical education THE ABILITY TO SUSTAIN INTELLECTUAL LABOURS

was at their period held in much higher regard. VARIES IN DIFFERENT INDIVIDUALS, AND CONSE¬
More of their time was passed in the open air, QUENTLY' THE PROPORTION OF TIME THAT MAY
and in active muscular exercise, than is common BE SAFELY DEDICATED TO STUDY.

among our own scholars. Their studies were


often prosecuted without doors, and not a few The capabilities of the mind, like those of the
of them taught their pupils, and accomplished body, must necessarily have their limits, and
even many of their astonishing intellectual la¬ are hence liable to be overtasked. The powers
bours, whilst walking in the fields and groves. of the brain may be impaired by extravagant
It was in this way that Aristotle imparted his mental, in like manner as those of the muscles
instructions, whence, probably, came his disciples by severe corporeal exertions. And then so
to be called peripatetics; the Greek verb srs«;- close are the sympathetic relations between mind
yrxnia, peripateo, meaning to walk about, or to and body, that whatever serves to injure the
walk abroad. former, must at the same time put in hazard
Socrates had no fixed place for his lectures ; the welfare of the latter. Hence, if the intellec¬
instructing his pupils, sometimes in the groves tual faculties are habitually overstrained, a train
of Academus, sometimes on the banks of the of moral and physical infirmities may be induced,
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6 RULES FOR STUDIOUS MEN.

which shall embitter existence, and abridge its It is important, too, that a certain degree of
duration. regularity be observed in respect to their meals,
Persons who addict themselves immoderately the stomach, like every other organ of the ani¬
to intellectual pursuits become exposed to affec¬ mal economy, being subject to the influence of
tions of the brain, or organ especially abused. habit; and that during them the mind be with¬
They are liable to headaches, and an indescrib¬ drawn as much as possible from all other con¬
able host of nervous ailments. Inflammation, cerns, and interested, especially in the agreeable
too, and other organic diseases of the brain will sensual impressions it is experiencing. The
sometimes supervene. And, as they advance in enjoyment of our food forms one of the best of
life, apoplexies andpalsies are apt to assail them. sauces for the promotion of its digestion.
Whenever there exists a predisposition in the Eating, furthermore, being an imperious ani¬
physical constitution to apoplexy, close mental mal duty, sufficient time should always be
The habit of
v

application is always attended with the utmost appropriated to its performance.


hazard, and more particularly so after the middle rapid eating is exceedingly common among
term of life. studious men, and is very apt to be acquired at
Epilepsy is another melancholy disease of the our colleges and boarding-schools, the inmates
nervous system, which a highly active and ex¬ of which often despatch their food more like
alted state of the mind would seem to favour. ravenous animals than civilized human crea¬
Many individuals, distinguished for their talents tures. This most disgustingly vulgar practice
and mental efforts, have been the subjects of of gorging our food but half masticated,—of
this unhappy malady ; as, for example, Julius hurrying through our meals as though we were
Caisar, Mahomet, and Napoleon. And among just going off in the stage-coach,—I believe to
learned men, Petrarch, Columna, Francis Rhedi, have more concern in the production of indiges¬
and Rousseau, are familiarly cited instances. tion among us than has generally been suspected.
Still, in these cases how much may be justly We are told that Diogenes, meeting a boy eating
ascribed to the abstract labour of intellect, and thus greedily, gave his tutor a box on the ear.
how much to mental anxiety, or the undue ex¬ And, also, that there were men at Rome who
citement and depression of the moral feelings, taught people to chew as well as to walk.
cannot be certainly determined. Whether some such teachers might not be
Extreme mental dejection, hypochondriasis, advantageously employed among ourselves, I
and even insanity, particularly if there be in the submit to the judgment of my readers.
constitution any tendency to such conditions, There are a class of men who, under an affec¬
may sometimes result from the cause I am con¬ tation of moral and intellectual refinement,
sidering. And in occasional instances, under assume to regard eating as one of those base
their intemperate exertion, the energies of the animal gratifications to which as little time and
brain have been consumed, the light of intellect thought as possible should be appropriated. But
has become extinct, and in a state of mental im¬ let us remember that we yet dwell in the flesh,
becility, or even drivelling idiocy, the wretched and cannot, therefore, become wholly spiritual¬
victim has been doomed to linger out a pitiable ized. Those actions which Nature has enjoined
existence within the walls of a madhouse. as necessary to our constitution, are fortunately,
I have thus stated what may occur in extreme —and, indeed, the species, with its present laws,
cases from abuse of the intellectual powers. coidd not otherwise have been preserved,—
Still I conceive that the diseases of literary men associated with enjoyment. It is the part of
are far oftener to be imputed to incidental cir¬ wisdom, therefore, not to despise, neither sla¬
cumstances, as their sedentary habits, injudicious vishly to pursue, the corporeal pleasures, but to
diet, &c, than to their mere mental labours ; accept of them with thankfulness, and to par¬
and that would students, or those whose avoca¬ take of them with prudence. The gratification
tions draw especially on the energies of the of all our appetites contributes, both directly
mind, but bestow the requisite attention on their and indirectly, to health and happiness; it is
regimen of life, they might, as I have before their abuse only that is reprehensible, and fol¬
said, enjoy as good and uniform a share of health lowed by pain and regret. How many delightful
as most other classes of the community. associations, how many springs of domestic en¬
Among the rules of health most essential to joyment, flow from the regularly returning
be observed by those whose pursuits belong social meal! An occasion which brings into so
more especially to the mind, we may in the first near and happy intercourse families and friends,
place mention temperance both in eating and and serves to draw more closely among them the
drinking. Persons of studious and sedentary bonds of human affection. He alone who has
habits neither require, nor will they bear, the been deprived of such pleasure can rightly
same amount and kind of food as those whose estimate its value. A purely intellectual being-
occupations call forth greater physical exertion, would be monstrous to humanity. There be¬
and produce, consequently, a more rapid con¬ long to our nature, sensual, moral, and intellec¬
sumption of the materials of the body. If such, tual wants, and it is to their wise and duly
therefore, will persist in eating and drinking apportioned gratification that we owe whatever
like the day-labourer, they must look to expe¬ happiness existence can afford.
rience indigestion, and all its aggravated train of It is scarcely necessary, I trust, to insist on
miseries. Or, even should they escape dyspepsia, the importance to the health of intellectual men,
the yet graver ills of excessive repletion, as of daily exercise in the open air. Without this,
inflammations and congestions, will be likely to no one whose employments are of a sedentary
overtake them. nature
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RULES FOR STUDIOUS MEN.

The amount of exercise required will depend undue contempt for the light and healthful
something on the constitution, and much on the amusements of society, and thereupon unreason¬
character and quantity of the food. From two ably exclude themselves from their participation.
to four hours of the day should certainly be Among the ancients the greatest souls did not
devoted to active bodily exertions. disdain occasionally to unbend, and yield to the
Many students, tempted on by the inviting laws of their human condition. The Catos, with
quietude, are in the habit of protracting their all their severity of manners, found relaxation
labours late into the hours of the night, and at and enjoyment in the ordinary pleasures of life.
the manifest expense of their physical health. Epaminondas, amid all his glory, and moral
The wan and sallow countenance of the student greatness, felt it no detraction to dance, and
is almost proverbially associated with the mid¬ sing, and play with the boys of his city. Scipio
night lamp. Africanus could also amuse himself in gathering
Few causes tend more certainly to shatter the shells, and playing at quoits on the sea-shore with
nervous energies, waste the constitution, and his friend Laalius. And the sage Socrates became
hasten on the infirmities of age, than deficient the pupil of the captivating Aspasia hi dancing,
and irregular sleep. Thus "to be a long and as well as in eloquence, even when he was ad¬
sound sleeper," we often find included by the vanced in life. Montaigne, after extolling the
older writers amongthe signs of longevity. Those mighty intellect and lofty virtues of Socrates,
persons whose occupations—whatever may be his patience and forbearance under poverty,
their nature—interfere with their necessary and hunger, the untractableness of his children, and
regular repose, are abnost always observed to the scratches of his wife, concludes by saying
be pale, nervous, and emaciated. Even a single that " he never refused to play at cobnut nor
night of watching will often drive the colour to ride the hobby-horse with the boys."—
from the cheek, the expression from the eye, Essays.
and the vigour from the brain. Although so As a pure air not only serves to invigorate and
much of evil to mind, body, and estate, is referred sustain the body, but likewise to animate the
to the prodigal indulgence in sleep, yet observa¬ mind, literary men should always choose for their
tion of our own busy and ambitious community studies, where so much of their time is passed,
has led me to doubt whether, on the whole, a large and airy room. The narrow and con¬
more injury is not to be ascribed to its fined apartments which many select for the
deficiency than excess. Nor do I hesitate to prosecution of their mental labours, can scarcely
believe that less evil would result, certainly to be otherwise than unwholesome.
health, from adding to, than curtailing the need¬ Different individuals, as we should naturally
ful term of repose. conclude, vary materially in their capability of
Constitutions will necessarily vary in the supporting mental exertions. This may in some
amount of sleep they require, but, in the majo¬ cases be referable to habit, and in others to the
rity of persons, as much as seven hours of the native strength or feebleness of the constitution
twenty-four should be appropriated to it. The in general, or of the organ of thought in par¬
slumbers of the fore part of the night affording, ticular. To some persons mental application is
as there is good reason to believe, most refresh¬ always irksome ; the task of thinking is the most
ment to the functions, it is advisable that stu¬ unwelcome one that can be imposed on them.
dents retire and rise seasonably, and accomplish, While in others, just the reverse is observed ;
if circumstances will permit, their most arduous the intellectual operations are ever accomplished
duties in the early portion of the day. For this with ease and satisfaction, and to the new results
is the time, if the body is in health, when the of their studies and reflections do they owe the
thoughts will be generally most clear, and the purest delights of existence. In the latter, then,
labours consequently most profitable. The fit¬ the exercise of mind, being less arduous, and
test working-hours, in fact, both for mind and associated also with a pleasurable excitement,
body, would seem to be those which intervene will be far better sustained than in the former.
between breakfast and dinner, having reference I may here remark, what indeed must be
of course, to our own customary hours for these obvious to all, that we can form no correct
meals. It is the stillness and seclusion of the estimate of the absolute amount of mental labour
night which have mostly rendered it so favourite in different individuals from what they accom¬
a period for study and contemplation. plish. For as the giant in body may support
Again, men of intellectual application should his three hundred weight with as little effort as
frequently relax their minds by amusing recrea¬ the dwarf his one, so also may the gigantic in¬
tion—mingling in cheerful society, and joining tellect produce its astonishing results with the
in its gay diversions ; otherwise they are apt to same ease that the less gifted mind performs its
becomegloomy, irritable, andnrisanthropic, states comparatively insignificant tasks. Many a poet¬
of feeling which are always at enmity with our aster has doubtless worked as hard to bring forth
physical well-being. Let them unite, therefore, a volume of doggerel verses, as Newton did in
in the laugh, the game, the dance, or any of the the production of his Principia.
innocent frivolities of society ; the dignity of In relation to the period of time that may be
the most erudite and talented need not suffer in safely and profitably devoted to study, we can
consequence, while the health, from the moral lay down no rules which will be universal in
exhilaration thus procured, will be sensibly their application. Few persons, however, can
benefited. It is certainly worthy of inquiry, if spend advantageously, and without hazard to
the learned and distinguished of the present emy, the physical health, more than seven, or, at the
or at leastThis
among ourselves,
content do not
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INTELLECTUAL OPERATIONS NOT EXEMPT FROM PASSION.

mental application. As the brain grows weary, although so persevering, do not seem, until aided
its capabilities must diminish, and its produc¬ by other causes, to have been productive of any
tions, in consequence, be comparatively feeble ; injury to his health ; which is to be ascribed, in
whence they are said to smell of the lamp. a great measure, to his peculiarly happy tem¬
Having then regard only to the intellectual perament. He appears through his whole
results, nothing is really gained by overtasking career to have enjoyed a remarkable exemption
the mind. It has been truly remarked, that from all those painfully agitating feelings which
"
There is scarcely any book which does not so wear upon the mind and body of the larger
savour of painful composition in some part of proportion of authors—to have displayed little
it; because the author has written when he of that keen sensibility so proverbially charac¬
should have rested." teristic of the aspirants for literary fame. Hence
his mental efforts must have been attended with
less anxiety, and his moral tranquillity less
hazarded by their event, than among the more
CHAPTER IV. sensitive tribe of writers. It may furthermore
be added that he was constant in his habits of
THE INTELLECTUAL OPERATIONS ARE NECESSARILY exercise in the open air.
ASSOCIATED, TO A GREATER OR LESS EXTENT, "WITH But in the latter part of Scott's life, when the
PASSION. THOSE MENTAL AVOCATIONS WHICH
brightness of his fortune had become overcast
ELICIT THE STRONGEST MORAL TELLINGS ARE MOST by the clouds of adversity ; when his mental
PREJUDICIAL TO HEALTH. tasks were mingled with anxiety, and broke in
upon his needful rest, and his regular and salu¬
The intellectual operations are seldom, if ever, tary exercise ; then did his physical health begin
altogether isolated from passion. Even the to yield, and fatal disease of the brain soon
mathematical studies, which would seem to closed the last and but too painfully, tragic
belong so purely to the understanding, are not scene.

entirely exempt from its encroachment. The Those mental employments, then, as it must
mathematician may experience anger or regret now be inferred, which have the least tendency
if he encounters difficulties in the solution of his to call forth the painful and agitating emotions,
problems, and joy under the opposite circum¬ will always be found most consonant to health.
stances. I may mention in illustration those tranquil and
But then with how many of our intellectual innocent studies which are embraced under the
labours do not the strongest feelings, as of hope various departments of natural history, as botany,
and fear, envy, jealousy, anger, almost neces¬ horticulture, zoology, &c. ; studies which rarely
sarily blend themselves Need I instance the fail to bring content and serenity to the mind,
deep and terrible passions so frequently called to soften asperities of feeling, and to render
forth in controversies of a religious and political healthier, happier, and better, those who have
character, and which have so often depopulated become devoted to them.
countries, and deluged fields "In blood Have Studies that exercise especially the reasoning
we an eminent statesman among us, who, if he faculties, whose aim is truth, and which are
be not as phlegmatic as a clod of earth, does not attended with positive and satisfactory results,
at times, even in the midst of his highest mental affording the most calm and permanent grati¬
exertions, feel himself writhing under the most fication, are the most safe and salutary in their
painfully conflicting emotions influence on body and mind. Hence it is that
I need hardly say that the particular motives those engaged in the exact sciences, as the mathe¬
which incite our mental labours will serve to matician, the astronomer, the chemist, usually
determine their influence upon the feelings. If enjoy better health, firmer nerves, more uniforni
knowledge be pursued for its own sake, or with moral tranquillity, and a longer term of exist¬
a benevolent end, its acquisition will generally ence, than those whose pursuits are more con¬
be associated with a quiet self-complacency, nected with the imagination : as the poet, or
diffusing a healthful serenity throughout the wrriter of fictitious narrative. In these latter,
whole moral constitution. But when, on the the deep and varying passions are more fre¬
other hand, the stinmlus to its pursuit is selfish quently aw akened ; a morbid sensibility is en¬
ambition, or personal aggrandisement, then may couraged ; and the flame of life, exposed to such
the most agitating and baneful passions of our continual and unnatural excitement, must burn
nature be engendered. more unequally, and waste more rapidly. Who
We see, therefore, that it will be no easymatter does not rise with more self-satisfaction, with a
to decide, in each individual instance, how much more calm, equable, and healthful condition of
the intellectual operations are immediately con¬ the mind, from studies which exercise and in¬
cerned in the production of physical infirmities struct the intellect, than from the morbidly
and premature decay, and how far they act in¬ exciting works of romantic fiction Poetry and
directly through emotions which become blended romance, then, ever as they wander from the
with them. The ambitious strife so active among standard of nature, must become the more pre¬
literary men, and the moral commotion growing judicial in their effects on the moral and physical
out of it, will doubtless oftentimes do more to constitution. To illustrate this remark, I need
break down the constitution than would even but refer to the writings of Byron and Scott.
the most arduous mental efforts in their simple Reason, the noblest power of our nature, should
operation. always reign superior ; should always hold
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.VARIED EXERCISE OF THE INTELLECT BEST CONDUCES TO HEALTH. 9

Whenever this rightful order in the mental The improvement in the countenance and
economy is subverted; whenever reason becomes general aspect of the body, and in the healthful
enslaved to the fancy, and a sickly sentimentality vigour of all the functions, consequent to a re¬
of feeling usurps the place of the bold impres¬ laxation from concentrated mental application,
sions of truth and reality, the vigour of the there are few but must have experienced in
nerves decays, health languishes, and life is but themselves, or observed in others.
too often abbreviated. Change would seem almost essential to our
Mr Madden has drawn up tables to show the health and happiness. If subjected to like in¬
influence of different studies on the longevity of fluences for long continued periods, they cloy
authors. At the head of these we find the natu¬ and weary the senses, and we pine for novelty.
ral philosophers, with an average term of exist¬ The same food will after a while pall upon the
ence of seventy-five years. At the foot are the taste ; the same scenery cease to delight the
poets, who average but fifty-seven years, or eye ; the same society lose its early charms, and
eighteen less than those engaged in the natura even the voice of love will fall dull and un¬
sciences.—Infirmities of Genius. musical on the ear. Healthful and agreeable
In conclusion of the present chapter let me excitement in most of our organs, is, to a certain
remark, what has been before implied, that all extent, dependent on variations in their stimuli,
those mental avocations which are founded in and the brain forms no exception to this rule. It
benevolence, or whose end and aim are the good is sameness that begets ennui, or that painful
of mankind, being from their very nature asso¬ weariness of existence so often witnessed among
ciated with agreeable moral excitement, and but mankind, urging them sometimes even to self-
little mingled with the evil feelings of the destruction as a relief.
heart, as envy, jealousy, hatred, must necessarily " II est done de la nature du plaisir et de la
diffuse a kindly influence throughout the con¬ peine de se detruire d'eux-memes, de cesser
stitution. d'etre parce qu' ils ont e~te. L' art de prolonger
la duree de nos jouissances consiste a en varier
les causes."—Bichat. Recherclies Physiologiques
sur la Vie et la Mort.
CHAPTER V. The older writers used particularly to recom¬
mend the varying of the habits and scenes of life,
DIVERSIFIED LABOURS OF THE MIND ARE LESS
as of eating, drinking, exercising, thinking; " to
FATIGUING AND INJURIOUS THAN THOSE THAT
be somethnes in the country, sometimes in the
ARE MORE CONCENTRATED, OR WHICH ARE CON¬ town ; to go to sea, to hunt," &c. Some of the
FINED TO SOME ONE PARTICULAR SUBJECT.
ancient medical sages even went so far as to ad¬
vise, for the sake of change, an occasional slight
Mental labours judiciously varied will, in
"
excess.
To indulge a little, now and then, by
general, be much better supported than such as eating and drinking more plentifully than
are more uniform or concentrated in their cha¬ usual." Most persons will find their account,
racter. As the same physical effort soon tires both as respects health and happiness, in occa¬
and exhausts the muscles concerned in it, so, sionally quitting old scenes and duties, and
likewise, will the same mental exertion produce interrupting their established habits and associa¬
a corresponding effect on the faculties which it tions ; since by so doing they will return to them
particularly engages. Hence the manifest relief with refreshed powers, and renewed suscepti¬
we experience in changing our intellectual occu¬ bilities of enjoyment. The law of mutation is
pations, just, indeed, as Ave do in shifting our stamped upon, and seems necessary to, the
postures, or our exercises. harmony and perfection of all the works of
Close and undivided attention to any one object creation, and its operation maybe equally need¬
of real or fancied moment, is apt, sooner or later, ful to elicit and sustain the healthful action of
to be followed by pains and dizziness of the our own bodily and mental powers.
head, general lassitude and prostration of Although I have not been disposed to regard
strength, diminished appetite. impaired digestion, even severe mental exertions, of themselves, so
emaciation, a contracted, sallow, care-worn common a source of physical infirmity as is
countenance, and a whitening and falling out of generally done, nevertheless I conceive a tem¬
the hairs. Or the mind, too ardently devoted perate exercise of the intellect, united with
to a particular theme, too long and intently habitual muscular activity, to be most favourable
engrossed by some solitary and absorbing sub¬ to the general health of the system, to longevity,
ject, may at length, as Doctor Johnson has so and, I may furthermore add, to the greatest sum
wrell illustrated in the instance of his astronomer, of happiness to the individual.
become absolutely insane in relation to it. As, however, at the present period of the
Hence extravagant enthusiasm comes hard upon world, man rises to power and honour, not, as in
the confines of, and sometimes actually passes the earlier ages, through feats of strength, or
into, ^nsanity. And we need not wander from bodily exploits, but by the superior influence of
the present time to find wild zealots scarcely to his mental endowments, it is not surprising that
be distinguished from monomaniacs, and to our physical should so often be sacrificed to our
whom the discipline of a madhouse might not nior-al nature ; that mind should be cultivated to
be unuseful. the neglect, if not at the expense, of the body.

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10 DANGER OF PREMATURE MENTAL LABOUR.

CHAPTER VI. has been the melancholy result of such un¬


natural exertion of the organ of thought, while
EVILS RESULTING FROM THE INORDINATE EXERCISE yet delicate and unconfirmed.
OF THE INTELLECT IN EARLY YEARS. Furthermore, those even whose minds natur¬
ally, or independent of education, exhibit an
Premature and forced exertions of the mental unusual precociousness, rarely fulfil the expec¬
faculties must always be at the risk of the tations they awaken. Either falling the victims
physical constitution. Parents, urged on by an of untimely decay,
ambition for their intellectual progress, are ex¬ " So wise so young, do ne'er live long,"
tremely apt to overtask the minds of their
offspring, and thus, too often, not only defeat or else reaching early the limit of their powers,
their own aims, but prepare the foundation of they stop short in their bright career, and thus,
bodily infirmity, and early decay. Such a course, in adult age, take a rank very inferior to those
too, is repugnant to the plainest dictates of whose faculties were more tardy in unfolding,
nature, to be read in the instinctive propensities and whose early years were consequently less
of the young, which urge so imperiously to flattering. That mind will be likely to attain
physical action. the greatest perfection, whose powers are dis¬
Exercise, in early existence especially, is a closed gradually, and in due correspondence with
natural want, being then essential to train the the advancement of the other functions of the
muscles to their requisite functions, and to ensure constitution.It is a familiar fact, that trees are
to the frame its full development and just pro¬ exhausted by artificially forcing their fruit; and
portions. So strong, indeed, is this tendency to also, that those vegetables which are slow in
motion, that few punishments are more grievous yielding their fruit, are generally stronger and
to childhood, than such as impose restraints upon more lasting than such as arrive earlier at
it. The young, in fact, of all animals of the maturity.
"

higher orders, equally display this necessary We have frequently seen in early age," ob¬
Liberate the calf or the lamb from serves a French writer on health,
''

propensity. prodigies of
his confinement, and what a variety of muscular memory, and even of erudition, who were, at
contractions will he not immediately exhibit in the age of fifteen or twenty, imbecile, and who
his active and happy gambols He is herein have continued so through life. We have seen
but discovering the instincts of his nature, just other children, whose early studies have so en¬
as much as while cropping the grass and herbage. feebled them, that their miserable career has
In tasking, therefore, the functions of the brain, terminated with the most distressing diseases, at
and restraining, consequently, those of the a period at which they should only have com¬
muscles, in early life, we act in contravention menced their studies."—Tourtelle.
to the most obvious laws of the animal consti¬
tution.
I would not, however, be understood to say
that the powers of the mind aire to be absolutely CHAPTER VII.
neglected at this period. They are certainly to
be unfolded, but then, prudently, and in just INTELLECTUAL OPERATIONS CONCLUDED. A FEW

correspondence only with the development of SUGGESTIONS ON THE GENERAL PLAN TO BE ADOPT¬

the physical organization. To look for ripeness ED IN THE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN. SEVERE

of intellect from the soft, delicate, and immature INTELLECTUAL EXERTIONS ARE ALWAYS HAZARD¬

brain of childhood, is as unreasonable as it OUS IN OLD AGE.

would be to expect our trees to yield us fruit,


while their roots were unconfirmed, and their In Sparta, while governed by the laws of Ly-
trunks and branches succulent. curgus, education was wholly under the control
"

Nature," says Rousseau, '• intended that of the state: but its direction was not assumed
children should be children before they are men, until the age of seven. Up to this time children
and if we attempt to pervert this order we shall remained with their parents, who placed little or
produce early fruit, which will have neither no restraint upon .their natural actions. After¬
maturity nor savour, and which soon spoils : we wards they were enrolled in companies, under
shall have young learned men, and old children. the superintendence of governors appointed by
Infancy has an order of seeing, thinking, and the public, and were subjected to a strict and
feeling, which is proper to it. Nothing is more regular course of physical, moral, and intellectual
foolish than to wish to make children substitute culture. Lycurgus then, who, as Plutarch says,
''

ours for theirs, and I would as soon require a resolved the whole business of legislation into
child to be five feet high, as to display judgment the bringing up of youth," appears to have fixed
at ten years of age." upon the age of seven as the proper one to begin
But, independent of the danger to the physical the systematic education.
constitution, nothing is in reality gained as During the first years of existence, the bjain—
respects the intellect, by such artificial forcing. probably from its physical condition—is inade¬
On the contrary, the energies of the mind being quate to the task of reflection, or to the accom¬
thus prematurely exhausted, it seldom happens plishment of the higher intellectual functions.
that these infant prodigies, which raise such It would appear—if I may indulge for a moment
proud hopes in the breasts of parents and friends, in theory—that the vital forces are now especi¬
display even mental mediocrity in their riper ally required by the system at large to maintain
years. In This
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EDUCATION OF CHILDREN. 11

are too prodigally expended on the intellect, or might not improperly be introduced into the
unequally diverted to the brain, it must be at early systematic education. The analogy here
the cost of the other functions and organs. At between the infancy of society, and that of the
any rate, under such circumstances, the growth individual, cannot fail to strike us. Barbarous
is generally retarded, the muscular system but people, like children, are particularly impressed
imperfectly developed, and the body continues by the sensible qualities of objects, and for the
spare and devoid of its fair proportions. The expression of which, and their own feelings,
complexion will moreover be pale and sickly, they have an imperfect language. They possess,
the circulation and digestion feeble, and nervous likewise, a rude harmony, painting and sculpture;
affections, scrofula, or other infirmities of the but no science, no philosophy; scarce anything
flesh, are likely to supervene, overburdening to intimate the progress of the reflective powers,
existence, and shortening its term. or the maturity of the species.
But little bodily restraint, therefore, certainly From what has been remarked it will be
for the first five or six years of their life, should readily seen that paintings and drawings, appeal¬
be imposed upon children. Long and irksome ing, as they do, directly to the senses and
confinement to the sitting, or indeed to any one, memory, must be especially useful as a means of
position, and especially in close rooms, cannot conveying elementary knowledge to childhood.
but be inimical to the just and healthful deve¬ In natural history, for example, a good deal of
lopment of their physical constitution. On a
rudimental instruction may in this way be com¬
general principle too, it is better that they be municated even hi very early life.
allowed to choose their own muscular actions,—• As the mind and body ripen, those studies
to run, jump, frolic, and use their limbs accord¬ may be entered upon which demand more par¬
ing to their inclinations, or, in other words, as ticularly the action of the reasoning faculties;
nature dictates, than be subjected to any arti¬ as the science of numbers, intellectual, moral,
ficial system of exercise. and the various other departments of philosophy.
But let it not be inferred, that the mind is to The period when the more purely intellectual
be the subject of neglect, or is to receive no education should be commenced, cannot, of
regard during the term mentioned; all I contend course, be accurately fixed, since no two minds
for is that its systematic education be not yet will be likely to mature in exact correspondence
entered upon,—that no tasks demanding confine¬ with each other. It is questionable, however,
ment and fixed attention are to be imposed upon whether the more strictly philosophical sciences
it. Light instructions, adapted to the capacities, can be generally prosecuted to much advantage
and especially such as can be associated with before the sixteenth or seventeenth year.
amusement and exercise, may be advantageously Although the mind as it becomes more deve¬
imparted even on the earliest development of loped may be submitted to a stricter discipline
the mental faculties. And then the moral than at first, yet at no period of the scholastic
education, as I shall hereafter show, can scarce education is it to be rigorously tasked; but
have too early a beginning. agreeable recreations and active exercises should
Whenever a precocity of intellect is displayed, frequently alternate with the labours of study,
or a disposition to thinking and learning in ad¬ thus ensuring a sound body as well as an en¬
vance of the years, and to the neglect of the lightened mind. Plato had much to say on the
usual and salutary habits of early life, it should exercises of the youth of his city, as their races,
be restrained rather than encouraged, since it is their games, their dances, &c, and seems to have
far more desirable that children grow up to be regarded these as of most important consideration
sound and healthy men, than as premature, in the training of the young to the lettered
sickly, and short-lived intellectual monsters. sciences. That erudition and health are each
In the first period of our being, the perceptive most desirable is not to be disputed; neverthe¬
faculties, and the memory for words, are to be less, to the mass of mankind,—for comparatively
more particularly called into action. That such but few earn their bread by the efforts of their
is in accordance with the ordinations of nature, intellect,—a good share of the latter will be
the earliest habits and propensities of children likely to conduce far more to their success and
clearly reveal to us. While awake, they are happiness in life, than a large and dispropor¬
constantly, and almost, as it were, without an tionate amount of the former.
effort, learning the sensible qualities of external In children of weakly constitutions, severe
bodies, and the symbolical sounds by which they mental application is in a particular manner
are indicated, and thus daily collecting the raw hazardous. In such, the physical education is
materials of knowledge, to be wrought into ever of paramount regard; the future health—
various new and wonderful intellectual forms, for whose absence life has no recompense—being
as the brain and reflective faculties advance to closely dependent on its judicious management.
maturity. The practice, unfortunately but too common, of
In the primary instruction, then, of children, selecting the most delicate child for the scholar,
such knowledge only is to be imparted, for the is founded in error. This is the very one whom
acquisition of which they manifest a natural it becomes most necessary to devote to some
aptitude. AVe observe them, for example, calling which demands physical action and
exposure to the open air, as, for example,
catching with interest, repeating, and remem¬
bering new words; delighted with, and soon agriculture, or a seafaring life, whose effect
imitating harmonious sounds ; pleased with will be to contribute new vigour to the infirm
pictures, and attempting rude copies of them. body.
Hence, beside
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12 EDUCATION OF CHILDREN.

young and the proper development of their of education has of late certainly undergone a
frames, it is a matter of the utmost consequence sensible improvement, yet it needs no great
that the apartments appropriated for their in¬ stretch of memory to carry us back to the time
struction be both spacious and airy, and likewise when the following remarks of the author just
so arranged that all unnatural restraint on the cited on the schools of his own period would
posture of the body shall be avoided. Breathing have been not very inapplicable to those among
the corrupted air of crowrded school-rooms, and ourselves. ''
They are really so many cages in
long confinement in them under constrained po¬ which youth are shut up as prisoners. Do but
sitions, is doubtless, even at the present time, a go thither, just as their exercises are over, you
not unfrequent source of bodily infirmity. hear nothing but the cries of children under the
Finally, the instructions of youth should al¬ smart of correction, and the bellowing noise of
ways, as far as it can be done, be associated with the masters raging with passion. How can such
pleasure. Children ought to be allured and en¬ tender, timorous souls be tempted to love their
couraged, not forced and frightened, to their lessons by those ruby-faced guides, with wrath
mental tasks. Instead of in their aspects, and the scourge in their hands ?"
-" creeping like snail, —Essays.
Unwillingly to school,' In the last term of existence all severe mental
they should go to it cheerfully and merrily as efforts again become hazardous, especially en¬
to a place of enjoyment. How much more
"

dangering apoplexies, and palsies, to which this


decent would it be," says Montaigne, " to see the period is so peculiarly predisposed. In extreme
forms on which the boys sit, strewed with age, indeed, abnost every sort of exertion be¬
flowers and green leaves, than with the bloody comes irksome and difficult, and the brain, and
twigs of willows I should choose to have the the other animal organs, fatigued as it were by
pictures of Joy and Gladness in the schools, to¬ the protracted exercise of life, incline to rest,—
gether with Flora and the Graces, as the philo¬ to the condition to which they are so fast ap¬
sopher Speusippus had in his, that where their proximating. Vitality now feeble and nearly
profit is, there might be their pleasure. The expended, it demands the most prudent economy
viands that are wholesome for children ought to to maintain it to its utmost limits. Both mind
be sweetened with sugar, and those that are and body, therefore, should be suffered to repose
hurtful to them made as bitter as gall." from all the cares, and anxieties, and labours of
A stern, sour-visaged fellow is fitted for any¬ existence, that they may glide easily and gra¬
thing rather than a pedagogue. The conduct dually into their final sleep.

Part Recants.

PASSIONS.
CHAPTER VIH. In truth, the literal signification of the term
affection answers precisely to that of passion.
DEFINITION OF THE PASSIONS, AND THEIR GENERAL Some have attempted to make a distinction
DIVISION. between passion and emotion, employing the
former as expressive of passiveness, or the simple
Tnc mind, equally with the body, is the subject feeling immediately resulting from the moral
of numerous feelings, pleasurable and painful, impulse ; and the latter, to indicate the visible
and which, according as they are mild or intense, effects, or the commotion manifested in the frame.
receive the name of affections or passions. But such a distinction, certainly in a plrysiolo-
The term passion comes from the Greek verb gical and pathological examination of the pas¬
sions, will seldom be found practicable, since the
-xairx.u, pasclio, and the Latin patior, each mean¬
ing to suffer, or to be acted upon, or affected, feeling and physical phenomena are oftentimes
either pleasantly or painfully. In its literal and
so closely associated as to appear to be but the
simultaneous effects of the primary exciting
primitive sense, then, it imports all mental feel¬
ings, without respect to their degree ; although cause, and both, therefore, to belong essentially
in common usage, it denotes only their deeper to the constitution of the passion in which they
shades, the word affection being employed to are displayed.
express those of a more gentle character. Still, In the ensuing pages, then, the word passion
a division of this sort must be in a great measure will be employed as a general expression for
arbitrary ; for as but different degrees of moral moral feeling, and its concomitant physical
feeling are implied by affection and passion, it effects, and it will therefore comprehend, and be
is plain that no definite point can be established used synonymously with, both affections and
at which the former will be just exalted into emotions ; and, when necessary to designate its
the latter, or the latter just reduced to the former. degree, an adjective will be introduced for the
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DEFINITION AND DIVISION OF THE PASSIONS. 13

purpose. I may observe, however, that it is CHAPTER IX.


only the more exaggerated feelings, or what all
agree in classing as passions, that endanger the GENERAL REMARKS ON THE EVILS AND ADVANTAGES

physical health, in particular relation to which Or THEPASSIONS. INDIVIDUALS, TROM TEMPERA"


it is my business to consider them. S1ENT, EDUCATION, AND VARIOUS INCIDENTAL
As tlie design of the present work calls for no CIRCUMSTANCES, DIFFER VERY SENSIBLY IN THE
detailed metaphysical disquisition on the pas¬ FORCE AND CHARACTER OF THEIR PASSIONS.

sions, our classification of them will be very


general and simple. Wre shall consider them The agency of the passions in the production of
under three principal heads, viz., pleasurable, disease, especially hi the advanced stages of
painful, and mixed, or those in which pain and civilisation, when men's relations are intimate,
pleasure are manifestly associated. Not that I and their interests clash, and their nervous
regard this as an unobj ectionable division. Like susceptibilities are exalted, can scarce be ade¬
all others it is in a measure artificial, yet it seems quately appreciated. It is doubtless to this
to be the one which will best subserve the grand more intense and multiplied action of the pas¬
object of the treatise before us. The line, es¬ sions, in union, at times, with the abuse of the
pecially between the two first and last classes, intellectual powers, that we are mainly to attri¬
cannot always be very accurately defined; for bute the greater frequency of diseases of the
the passions ranked as pleasurable are seldom heart and brain in the cultivated, than in the
wholly pure or unmingled with pain. Thus the ruder, states of society. Few probably even
happiest love is rarely clear from all pangs of suspect the amount of bodily infirmity and
jealousy, or the brightest hope from all suffer¬ disease among mankind resulting from moral
ings of apprehension : and, as though it were causes ;—how often the frame wastes, and pre¬
pre-ordained that no human enjoyment should mature decay comes on, under the corroding
be complete, even when at the summit of our influence of some painful passion.
wishes, and under the full gratification of our It has seemed to me that our own profession,
most ardent passions, fears and forebodings of in seeking for the remote occasions of disease,
change will almost always sully the purity of are too apt to neglect those existing in the mind.
our happiness. Thus does it oftentimes happen that, while the
The same is also true of the painful passions. physician is imputing the infirmities of his
Most rare is it that we find them wholly unmi¬ patient to all their most familiar causes, as bad
tigated by those which are pleasurable. Some diet, impure air, want of exercise, &c, it is in
faint beams of hope will generally penetrate reality some unhappy and unrevealed passion
even the deepest moral gloom. It is questionable, which is preying on the springs of life. A
then, whether any of the passions, could they knowledge of the secret troubles of out patients
be perfectly analyzed, would be found absolutely would, in many instances, shed new light on
free from any mixture of their opposite. their treatment, or save them at any rate from
A large proportion of the painful passions ex¬ becoming the subjects, if not the victims, of
perienced in society are the offspring of such as active medicinal agents.
are pleasurable. We suffer because we have In delicate and sensitive constitutions, the
enjoyed. Our present state is darkened by operation of the painful passions is ever attended
contrasting it with the brighter past. Thus with the utmost danger ; and should there exist
does our happiness too frequently depend much a predisposition to any particular form of disease,
less on what we are, than on what we have been. as consumption, or insanity, for example, it
The humble peasant in his lowly cot may enjoy will generally be called into action under their
as much felicity as the noble in his lordly palace ; strong and continued influence.
but reduce the latter to the condition of the The passions, however, although so greatly
former, and he becomes overwhelmed with abused, and the occasion of so large a proportion
misery. Often, then, might we be happy had of the ills from which we are doomed to suffer,
we never been so, or could we bury in oblivion yet, when properly trained, .and brought under
all remembrance of the past. due subjection to the reasoning powers, are the
The reverse also holds true, the pleasurable source of all that is great and good in man's
passions deriving their existence from or becom¬ nature, and contribute in a thousand ways, both
ing greatly enhanced by those which are painful. directly and indirectly, to health and happiness.
As we suffer because we have enjoyed, so also Intellect, without their quickening influence,
do we enjoy because we have suffered. Indeed, even could it exist at all, would be but a dull
under our present constitution., the sufferings and dreary waste.'—They are the sunbeams
would seem almost as necessary to the enjoyments which light and cheer our moral atmosphere.
The 'greatest achievements are always accom¬
of life, as are the toils and fatigues of the day to
the babny slumbers of night. plished, by those of strong passions, but with a
Knowledge, too, or the enlargement of our corresponding development of the superior fa¬
ideas, in opening to us new fields of desire, and culties to regulate and control them. Sluggish
causing new comparisons with our present con¬ feelings can never be parents to high and
dition, becomes a frequent source of discontent, generous resolves. It belongs to us, then, to
and the various painful passions of which it is govern, and direct to their proper ends, through
the parent. the force of reason, the passions which Nature

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14 GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS ON THE PASSIONS.

has implanted in our breasts. They cannot, nor poets glorify their gods by making them war
is it desirable that they should, be extirpated. with demons. As the artist heightens and sets
" When Reason, like the skilful charioteer,
off the bright and beautiful colours of his can¬
Can break the fiery passions to the bit, vas by the dark shades with which he inter¬
And, spite of their licentious sallies, keep mingles and contrasts them, and exaggerates the
The radiant track of glory; passions, then, beauty of his angels through the ugliness of his
Are aids and ornaments. Triumphant Reason,devils, so does Nature, on her moral canvas,
Firm in her seat and swift in her career,
Enjoys their violence; and, smiling, th.inUs
inhance the lustre and comeliness of virtue by
Their formidable flame for high renown." the very shadows and deformities which she
Young. throws into the picture. Hence, on the com¬
Mankind, owing to original differences of monly received notions of the character of God,
constitution or temperament, vary remarkably —as I have somewhere met the idea,—although
in the ardency of their feelings. The external we may call him good, great, just, bountiful,
physical characters will, in fact, often indicate yet we cannot call him virtuous ; for his good¬
pretty clearly the native force of the passions. ness demands no effort,—no sacrifice ; it belongs
Who, for example, would not at once distinguish, to his very essence ; is as natural to him as it is
to the flower to shed its odours, or the sun its
even by the complexion, the sanguine, or warm
and excitable, from the phlegmatic, or cold and luminous rays.
passionless As the good passions greatly preponderate in
Incidental circumstances acting on the con¬ some natures, so do the bad in others ; and Ave
meet those who scarce ever, even from their
stitution will likewise influence the strength of
the passions. Thus, the inhabitants of tropical childhood, manifest an amiable or generous feel¬
Such extreme cases, however, are for¬
countries are more apt to be hasty and violent ing.
in their feelings, and consequently to become tunately but rare. Generally there exists in
enslaved to their sensual and animal nature, than our composition a due mixture of the good and
those who dwell in colder climes. Indolence evil dispositions :—'' our virtues would be proud
and free living will also aggravate, and activity if our faults whipped them not; and our crimes
and temperance weaken, the operation of the Avould despair, if they were not cherished by
our virtues."
passions; hence there are few better antidotes
to their ungovernable violence than simple food Finally, there are those who, from early ex¬
and drink, and bodily labour. istence, are distinguished by the predominance
In some persons, the animal, or baser nature, of some particular passion, as fear, anger, or
would appear constitutionally to predominate, ambition; that is, they are constitutionally
the passions readily breaking from the control timorous, irascible, or aspiring in their tempers.
of reason and the will, and bringing too often Education, however, may do much, very much,
sorrow, shame, and disease upon the unhappy in repressing passions originally in excess, and
individual. In others the reverse of this is true ; developing such as are deficient; and herein
the intellectual nature holding the supremacy, consists moral culture, so vitally essential both
ever keeping the feelings under a just restraint; to our health and happiness. Need I say, then,
how much we must be the creatures of consti¬
and fortunate indeed are they, tution and circumstance? hoAV much of what
" Whose blood and judgment are so well commingled." we are we must owe to our native organization
Some, again, seem naturally characterized by and predispositions, and those resistless influences
the good, and others by the evil passions. We Avhich, in the necessary current of events, are
meet individuals, not often, it is true, yet we do brought to act upon us
meet such, in whom the amiable affections I am aware that such vieAvs as the preceding
maintain a distinguished pre-eminence even from Avill be objected to by some as inconsistent with
the earliest development of their moral nature. the freedom of our will, or as tending to the
They appear predestined to be good. Their doctrine of necessity, of which many appear to
placid and benevolent tempers would seem to be entertain such needless apprehensions. That
the result of a physical necessity, or of some Ave belong to some vast system, the grand pur¬
happy, but partial action of creative power. pose of which is hidden from human intelligence,
Such, however, are exceptions to the general will scarce be gainsaid; and that our every vo¬
laws of the species, and are consequently never lition and action may be but infinitesimal and
perpetuated. But here the question will neces¬ necessary links in the mighty and complicated
sarily arise, Can Ave ascribe any virtue, any merit, chain of this great and unsearchable system, it
to such innate goodness, to such constitutional is not irrational to belie\re. But as I pledged
amiableness Virtue is essentially active. It myself in the outset to shun all abstract specu¬
is engendered out of the contentions between lations, I Avill leave this perplexed subject of
the generous and noble, and the base and despi¬ fatalism, with the remark only that there was
cable passions of the soul. Its very existence true philosophy in that ancient mariner who,
depends on the successful struggle with our evil being caught in a great storm at sea, exclaimed
dispositions. Chastity would be no virtue in thus to Neptune :—" 0 god, if it is thy will I
one without carnal desires, nor clemency in him shall be saved!—and if it is thy Avill I shall be
who was incapable of hatred or anger. The destroyed !—but I'll still steer my rudder true."

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GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS ON THE PASSIONS. 15
CHAPTER X.
The effects of the passions are declared espe¬
cially in those organs and functions, which have
THE PASSIONS BECOME GREATLY MULTIPLIED AND
been termed organic, or vegetative; as in the
MODIFIED IN CIVILIZED LIFE. THE EFFECT OF
heart and general circulation ; in the lungs, the
THE PASSIONS IS PARTICULARLY MANIFESTED IN
stomach, the liver, the bowels, the kidneys, &c.
THE- VITAL FUNCTIONS, AS IN THE CIRCULATION, Need I instance the disturbance in the circula¬
DIGESTION, SECRETIONS, ETC. CERTAIN CONDI¬
tion, respiration, digestion, which so immediately
TIONS OF THE FUNCTIONS SERVE ALSO TO AWAKEN
THE DIFFERENT PASSIONS.
ensues under the strong operation of anger, fear,
and grief?
So sudden and sensible is the influence of the
The passions have become so multiplied and different emotions upon the viscera of the chest
modified by our social wants and relations, that and abdomen, as to have deceived Bichat, and
every attempt at their particular philosophical several other eminent physiologists, into the
classification must be difficult and unsatisfactory. belief that in these organs is their primary seat.
The very same passion will not unfrequently And to the same origin, in truth, would the
receive different appellations according to its figurative language of every people, civilized or
intenseness, or as it is more transient or enduring barbarous, appear to refer them. Thus, while
in its character ; as fear and terror ; hatred, to indicate thought or intellect the hand of the
anger, rage ; sorrow, melancholy, despair. And orator is carried to the head, to express senti¬
then, again, many of the passions are so complex ment or passion it is directed, almost as it were
in their nature, or comprise within themselves instinctively, to the chest, or the pit of the
such a variety of feelings, that Ave find ourselves stomach ; and who of us Avould not be struck
not a little perplexed in deciding to what par¬ with the impropriety of the contrary That
ticular denomination they may legitimately be the passions should be referred to the situation
referred. Could each one, however, be subjected where their physical consequences are particu¬
to an accurate analysis, or traced up to its primal larly felt is certainly most natural. Still they
elements, they would probably all be reducible are not primarily and essentially in the viscera,
to a few simple ones, grounded on our saving but must originate in some condition of the
instincts, and consequently having a direct or inind, in some peculiar mode of perception,
indirect relation to the preservation of the in¬ though immediately—many times even Avith the
dividual, or the perpetuation of the species. SAviftness of thought—transmitting their influ¬
Like our organic structure, they would be found ence to one or more of the organs mentioned.
to have their original types discoverable in the It has been supposed that each emotion has
lower departments of life. Thus in the inferior some special organ or organs on which its poAver
animal we see the operation of the passions in is more particularly expended ; that some act
their most simple and necessary forms, as exem¬ most obviously on the heart, as fear and joy ;
plified in fear and anger. others on the respiration, as surprise : and again
Some Avriters on the passions have regarded others, as grief, on the digestive organs.
"
We
them all but as emanations from the principle shall find," says Dr Bostock, a clear indication
"

of self-love.
of this connexion in our common forms of speech,
Avhich must have been derived from observation
" Two principles in human nature reign,
Self-love to urge, and reason to restrain : and generally recognized, before they could
Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul ; haAre become incorporated with our language.
Reason's comparing balance rules the whole." The paleness of fear, the breathlessness of sur¬
Pope's Essay on Man. prise, and the bowels of compassion, are phrases
sanctioned by the custom of different ages and
Whether such, however, be their essential and nations."—Elementary System of Physiology.
primary source, is a question which, interesting Many instances might be adduced where indi¬
as it may be in ethical science, is nevertheless vidual secretions are affected by particular
unimportant to the design of the present essay. passions. Thus the secretion of milk is well
Our main purpose being to show that the pas¬ knoAvn to be promoted by maternal love. Dr
sions founded in pleasure are, as an ordinary Parry relates the case of a lady who, long after
principle, healthful, and those associated with she had ceased to nurse, would have a secretion
pain, or in which pain preponderates, the re¬ of milk On hearing a child crjT.—Elements of
verse, the aforementioned summary division of Pathology.
them, viz. into pleasurable, painful, and those The effects of a passion, hoAvever, as will
in which pleasure and pain are obviously com¬ hereafter be shoAvn, are rarely limited to a par¬
mingled, is all that will be needful. ticular one, but a number of the organic viscera
The general proposition may here be stated, are almost always embraced Avithin their influ¬
and AA'liich will be sufficiently illustrated in the ence. But even were it true that each emotion
sequel, that the condition of our moral feelings bore a special relation to some individual organ
exercises a powerful influence upon our physical or organs, our physiological knowledge of the
organs, while that of our physical organs influ¬ passions is far from having reached that degree
ences in an equal degree our moral feelings ; in of perfection which Avould enable us in every
other words, that inind and body necessarily instance to detect such relation.
participate in the Aveal and woe of each other. Let me here remark that there exists a corres¬
Thus passion has been not unaptly defined,
"
ponding action between the moral feelings and
any emotion of the soul Avhich affects the the viscera ; that the particular condition of
body, and is This
affected bydownloaded
content it." theon
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16 MUTUAL INFLUENCE OF THE PASSIONS AND VISCERA.

mined by, that of the latter. Indigestion, for The Avell known moral infirmities of many of
example, is well knoAvn to be sometimes the the distinguished literary geniuses of modern
consequence, and sometimes the cause, of an times, may doubtless have been dependent, in
irritable and unhappy temper. A sour disposi¬ a proportion of the cases, at least, upon those of
tion may either occasion, or result from, a sour a bodily character. " If health and a fair day
stomach. Thus, in some instances, we sweeten smile upon me," says Montaigne, "lama good-
the stomach by neutralizing the acerbity of the natured man ; if a corn trouble my toe, I am
temper, AArhile in others Ave SAveeten the tempersullen, out of humour, and not to be seen."
by neutralizing the acidity of the stomach. WIio That the capricious and unhappy temper of Pope
but must have felt his digestion improve under was OAving, in a great measure, to the imperfec¬
the brightening of his moral feelings And AAdio tion of his constitution, and consequent disorder
but must have experienced the brightening of of his bodily functions, especially of digestion,
his moral feelings under the improvement of his will, I think, hardly be questioned.
digestion Burns is well knoAAii to have suffered severely
The reason will now be manifest why those from dyspepsia even before he grew intemperate,
children who are so unfortunate as to be in¬ and to this may have been mainly OAving the
dulged Avith cakes, pastry, sAveetmeats, and the great mental despondency under Avhich he
like indigestible articles, other things being the laboured. His dyspepsia, hoAArever, Avas greatly
same, require the rod so much often er than such aggravated, and in consequence his melancholy,
as are restricted to more plain and wholesome by the indolent, irregular, and intemperate
food. Indeed, an exclusive cdet of bread and habits which marked the latter portion of his
milk, united Avith judicious exercise in the open Hie.
air, Avill oitcntiines prove the most effectual Robespierre was in body meagre, sickly, and
means of correcting the temper of peevish and bilious ; and who can say—for the mightiest
refractory children. events will oftentimes spring from the most in¬
When brought into close and frequent inter¬ significant causes,—hoAV much of the horrid
course Avith particular individuals, we cannot cruelties of the French revolution may not have
fail to remark Iioav sensitive, irritable, and dis¬ been traceable to the vicious physical constitu¬
putatious they are apt to become, if unfavour¬ tion of this blood-thirsty monster i
able weather prohibits for a few successive days It is worthy of obserAration that diseases of the
their customary exercise abroad ; or Avhen they organs of the abdomen are more apt to engender
have been feasting more liberally than usual on the gloomy and painful passions, than such as
pastry, or other such tempting and indigestible are confined to the viscera of the chest. Thus
food. The skin at the same time will look more it may be stated as a general truth, that the
dingy, and the eye less clear and bright than dyspeptic will be more uniformly despondent
natural, altogether serving to sIioav that transient and irritable than the consumptive subject.
indigestion is the occasional cause of such It will noAv be obvious that a painful mental
unhappy state of temper. Under these circum¬ state having imparted an unhealthy influence to
stances, a walk of an hour or tAvo in the fresh a bodily organ, a reaction must take place from
air aa ill, by restoring the health of digestion, not this latter to the mind, adding neAV force to the
unfrcquently bring about the most agreeable moral suffering. And, on the other hand, when
change in the moral feelings. bodily disease excites the painful passions, they,
The condition of the liver is also well knoAvn in their turn, react upon, and aggravate the
both to be influenced by, and to influence, the morbid physical condition.
temper of the mind. Thus a salloAV complex¬ In like manner must the happy and health¬
ion, spare body, and the other signs of what is ful states of mind and body be constantly con¬
termed a bilious habit, are proverbially asso¬ tributing to each other. Thus, sound and easy
ciated, either as cause or efiect, with an un¬ digestion imparts content and good humour to
happy disposition. I have knoAvn many indi¬ the moral feelings, which pleasurable mental
viduals of unsteady tempers, in whom their condition, reacting on the digestive organs, serves
amiable or unamiable fits Avere almost uniformly to maintain the health of their function. It is
announced by the clearness or sallo\vness of a familiar saying that Ave should ask for favours
their complexions. after dinner. Thus Menenius, in alluding to the
Difficulties in other functions, as those of the obstinacy of Coriolanus, says,'—
uterine system, Avill likeAvise often cause a way- " He was not taken well; he had not din'd:
Therefore I'll watch him
Avardness of temper, rendering the disposition
morose and quarrelsome, or, it may be, gloomy Till he be dk ted to my request,
And the disturbance of the moral And then I'll set upon him."
and dejected.
feelings, under the action of such physical A knoAvledge of this action and reaction of
causes, is sometimes so extreme as to constitute mind and body upon each other, should instruct
a state even of moral insanity. the physician that all his duties to his patients
The intellectual faculties, as wre should natu¬ are not comprised under their mere physical
rally expect, do not escape the influence of such treatment ; but that he is to soothe their
physical disorders. Thus, under morbid states sorrows, calm their fears, sustain their hopes,
of digestion, the memory becomes impaired, the Avin their confidence ; in short, pursue a vigilant
thoughts wander, or are concentrated Avith diffi¬ system of moral management, Avhich, although
culty on any particular object, and all mental so much neglected, will, in many cases, do even
exertions become irksome, and unsatisfactory in more good than any medicinal agents which the
This content downloaded from 130.160.4.77 pharmacopeia
their results. can supply
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PLEASURABLE PASSIONS. 17

CHAPTER XL some whose original fabrication is so defective,


whose living machinery, or individual parts of
WHEREIN REAL AND IMAGINARY AFFLICTIONS DIE¬ it, are so prone to Avork Avrong, that it would
TER FROM EACH OTHER. INCIDENTAL REMARKS
seem almost physically impossible for them to be
NATURALLY SUGGESTED BY THE MUTUAL RELA¬ happy and amiable in their feelings and tempers.
TIONS AND DEPENDENCIES OF OUR PHYSICAL AND
While, again, in others, so perfect is the whole
MORAL CONSTITUTIONS. organization, and consequently so healthy are
all its functions, as to exempt them almost
Keeping in mind the facts that have been stated entirely from those multiform and terrible
in the preceding chapter, we come readily to the moral sufferings which come primarily from the
distinction between what are called real and body. Can Ave therefore avoid the conclusion
imaginary sorroAVS; terms which, although so that we may be physically predisposed, I had
familiarly used, do not always carry with them almost said predestined, to happiness or misery?
any very definite meaning. The former, or Such, in fact, is implied in the familiar expres¬
real afflictions, are referable to the agency of sions of happy and unhappy constitution or
extraneous causes operating primarily or im¬ temperament. As, moreover, these vitious con¬
mediately on the moral feelings; as loss of stitutions are but too often inherited, and must,
probably, in the first instance, have grown out
property, of relatives and friends, of reputation;
and hence are strictly moral in their origin. of infringements of the organic laws, it becomes
The latter, or imaginary, are the offspring, for a literal truth, that the sins of the parents may
the most part, at least, of unhealthy states of be visited on their unoffending children even to
some portion of our organization, and their remote generations.
origin is consequently physical. Thus may we The vast importance of a judicious physical
have accumulated about us all those blessings education both to virtue and happiness, cannot
of existence which the world so earnestly covet, now but receive its just appreciation : for under
as friends, kindred, fortune, fame; in short, its influence, even a bad constitution, and the
every outward source of human enjoyment, and moral infirmities which are its almost necessary
yet be even far more miserable than the penni¬ attendants, may be in a very considerable
less, houseless, friendless wretch who is forced measure corrected. And we can likewise un¬
day by day to wring his scanty subsistence from derstand how essential is a prudent moral
the frigid hand of charity. Some morbid con¬ discipline to the good health of the body. In
dition of the stomach, of the liver or of the a perfect system of education, the moral, intel¬
nervous system, may, and without causing any lectual, and physical natures are each subjects
well defined or appreciable bodily suffering, so of most important, if not equal regard.
influence the mind as to paralyze all its suscep¬ Finally, knowing how the disposition may
tibilities, dry up all its springs of enjoyment, be influenced by bodily conditions, ought we not
and overwhelm it with fearful apprehension, or, to exercise a mutual forbearance, and to culti¬
that
"

in the strong language of Dr BroAvn, with vate feelings of charity for those infirmities of
fixed and deadly gloom, to which there is no temper Avhich even the best of men will occa¬
sunshine in the summer sky, no verdure or sionally display, and which oftentimes belong
blossom in the summer field, no kindness in more to the flesh than the spirit
affection, no purity in the very remembrance of
innocence itself, no heaven, but hell, no God
but a demon of wrath."—Philosophy of the
Hitman Mind. CHAPTER XII.
Now these imaginary sorroAVS, as they are
called, are real enough to him Avho experiences THE PASSIONS CONSIDERED MORE PARTICULARLY.

them. They have a positive physical cause con¬ THE PLEASURABLE PASSIONS WITH THEIR EFFECTS

stantly operative, and are often infinitely more ON THE PHYSICAL FUNCTIONS SUMMARILY NOTICED.

distressing than any absolute moral affliction,


and more frequently lead to despair and The pleasurable passions include love, hope,
suicide. friendship, pride, &c. Joy, which is ranked
Our moral have a much closer dependence on among them, would seem to be rather a general
our physical infirmities than mankind are expression, or consequence, of all this class of
generally prepared or willing to acbnit. It de¬ emotions, than in itself a distinct and specific
mands, in truth, an exaltation of Avill of which one. Thus are we said to enjoy love, hope,
few can boast, successfully to combat the morbid friendship, &e. ; consequently the phenomena of
influences which the body often exercises on the the whole of them may be embraced under the
mind. "
He," says Dr B.eid, '' A\Those disposition general head of joy.
to goodness can resist the influence of dyspepsia, The passions founded on pleasure cause a
and whose career of philanthropy is not liable universal expansion—if so it may be expressed'—
to be checked by an obstruction in the hepatic of vital action. The blood, under their animat¬
organs, may boast of a much deeper and firmer ing influence, flows more liberally to the super¬
virtue than falls to the ordinary lot of human ficies, and playing freely through its capillary
nature."—Essays on Hypochondriasis. vessels, the countenance becomes expanded, its
The extent, then, to which human happiness, expression brightens, and the whole surface
and I may add, too, human virtue, must depend acquires the ruddy tint and genial warmth of
on the integrity of the bodily organism and its health. The body also feels buoyant and lively,
functions can hardly be calculated. There are
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18 PLEASURABLE PASSIONS.

and cheerful muscular motions; to run, to jump, Dr Good tells us of a clergyman, an intimate
to dance, to laugh, to sing: in short, every friend of his own, Avho, at a time when his in¬
function would seem to be gladdened by the come was very limited, received the unexpected
happy moral condition. The common expres¬ tidings that a property had been bequeathed to
sions, therefore, as the heart is light, or leaps
"

him amounting to three thousand pounds a-yoar.


with joy," " to swell with pride," " to be puffed He arrived in London," says Dr Good, " in
"

up with vanity," are not altogether figurative ; great agitation ; and entering his own door,
for the heart does bound more lightly, and the dropt down in a fit of apoplexy, from which he
body appears literally to dilate, under the never entirely recovered."—Study of Medicine.
pleasurable affections of the mind. "Excessive and sudden joy," says Haller,
Nothing noAv contributes more effectually to " often kills, by increasing the motion of the
the healthful and harmonious action of our blood, and exciting a true apoplexy."—Phy¬
organism than an equable distribution of the siology.
blood to its various parts, and especially the free If the extreme of joy folioav unexpectedly an
circulation of this fluid in the extreme vessels emotion of an opposite character, the danger
of the surface. Thus a full, bright, and ruddy from it Avill be materially augmented. A story
skin is always ranked among the surest tokens is recorded of t\vo Roman matrons, Avho, on
of health. The nervous system must also ex¬ seeing their sons, Avhom they had believed to be
perience a salutary excitement under the agree¬ dead, return from the famous battle fought
able moral emotions. But I need not further between Annibal and the Romans near the lake
dAvell on what will be so apparent to all,—the of Thrasymenus, and in which the Roman army
Avholesome influence of a happy state of mind was cut to pieces, passing suddenly from the
Love, hope, and
"
upon our bodily functions. deepest grief to the most vehement joy, instantly
joy," says the celebrated Haller, "promote expired.
perspiration, quicken the pulse, promote the Examples have likeAvise happened Avhere
circulation, increase the appetite, and facilitate culprits just at the point of execution, have im¬
the cure of diseases."—Physiology. mediately perished on the unexpected announce¬
But, then, as excess of feeling, whatever be ment of a pardon. We may draAV, then, the
its character, is always prejudicial, even this important practical lesson that the cure of one
class of passions, AAThen violent, may be fraught strong passion is seldom to be attempted by the
with danger to health and life. Even felicity sudden excitement of another of an opposite
itself, if it surpass the bounds of moderation, character. Violent emotions are, as a general
will oppress and overwhehn us. Extravagant rule, to be extinguished cautiously and gradually.
and unexpected joy unduly excites the nervous Rapid and extreme alternations of feeling, and
system ; increases unnaturally and unequally indeed all sudden extremes, are repugnant to
the circulation, and occasions a painful stricture the laAVS, and consequently dangerous to the
of the heart and lungs, accompanied with sighing, Avell-being, of the animal economy. To endea¬
sobbing, and panting, as in severe grief. Under vour at once to eradicate deep grief by excessive
its influence, too, the visage Avill often turn pale, joy is, as I have seen somewhere remarked, as
the limbs tremble and refuse their support to irrational as it Avould be to expect the restora¬
the body, and, in extreme cases, fainting, con¬ tion of a frozen limb from pouring upon it hot
water.
vulsions, hysterics, madness, temporary ecstacy,
or catalepsy, and even instant death, may ensue. Instances are moreover recorded where the
If the subject be of a delicate and sensitive con¬ inflation of pride, or immoderate self-esteem, has
actually brought on insanity. Menecrates, a
stitution, and more especially if he labours under
any complaint of the heart, the consequences of physician of Syracuse, was particularly famed
the shock to the nervous system, of sudden and for his exalted self-conceit, and which at length
immoderate joy, will always bo attended Avifh so disturbed his intellect that he fancied himself
the utmost hazard. to be the ruler of heaven, and in a letter written
Diogoras, a distinguished athlete of Rhodes, to Philip, king of Macedon, styled himself
and whoso merit was celebrated in a beautiful Menecrates Jupiter. The Macedonian monarch,
ode by Pindar, inscribed in golden letters on a as the story is told, having invited this physician
temple of Minerva, died suddenly from excess to one of his feasts, had prepared for him a sepa¬
of joy on seeing his three sons return croAvned rate table, on which he was served only with
as conquerors from the Olympic Games. perfumes and frankincense, like the master of the
Dionysius, the second tyrant of that name, is gods. At first this treatment greatly delighted
recorded to have died of joy on learning the him ; but, soon growing hungry under such celes¬
award of a poetical prize to his own tragedy. tial fare and the temptation of the substantial
And Valerius Maximus has ascribed the death viands on which the rest Avere feasting, he began
of Sophocles to a like cause. to feel that he was a mortal, and stole away hi
Chilo, a Spartan philosopher, one of the seven his proper senses.
Avise men of Greece, on seeing his son obtain a The importance now can scarcely be too
victory at Olympia, fell overjoyed into his arms, strongly urged, even in reference to bodily
and immediately expired. health, of an habitual cultivation of the pure,
It is related that Pope Leo the Tenth, under and generous, and amiable feelings of our nature;
the influence of extravagant joy at the triumph for they are all fraught with pleasure, and all,
of his party against the French, and for the consequently, the sources of agreeable and salu¬
much coveted acquisition of Parma and Placentia, tary excitement. The mild and benevolent
suddenly fellThis
sickcontent
and died affections
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PLEASURABLE PASSIONS. 19

reward both to body and mind. Under their I The human constitution was manifestly never
kindlyinfluence the heart plays more freely and designed for acute excitements, Avhether of a
tranquilly, the respiration is more placid and pleasurable or painful character; hence its
regular, the food acquires new relish, and its energies soon waste under then- too constant
digestion fresh vigour ;—in short, they animate operation. Even our good desires, then, may be
and perfect every living function, and expand too impetuous, and our virtuous zeal outrun the
and multiply all the various enjoyments of our limits of healthful moderation. It is an apt
being. Without them life would be but a dismal saying, that " the archer who shoots beyond the
solitude, unworthy of possession. Sad and mark, misses it as much as he that conies short
desolate is his state Avho has nothing to love of it." There is no privilege more to be de¬
" If we had been destined to live abandoned to sired,—there is nothing more conducive to health,
ourselves on Mount Caucasus, or hi the deserts longevity, and true enjoyment,—than a just
of Africa, perhaps nature would have denied us equanimity of mind, a quiet harmony among
a feeling heart; but, if she had given us one, the various passions ; Avherefore it is that most
rather than love nothing, that heart Avould have philosophers have made our sovereign good to
tamed tigers, and animated rocks." consist in the tranquillity of soul and body,
The exercise of gentleness and good-will in leaving ecstatic pleasures and rapturous feelings
our various social and domestic relations, not to beings of a different nature from our own.
only contributes to our own moral and physical
''
" A constant serenity," says Dr Mackenzie,
AveU-being, but also to the happiness, and con¬ supported by hope, or cheerfiuness arising from
sequently health of those about us, and depend¬ a good conscience, is the most healthful of all
ant upon us. Courtesy, like mercy, carries with the affections of the mind." And the same
it a double blessing,— author, in enumerating the natural marks of
" It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes." longevity, mentions a calm, contented, and
cheerful disposition.—The History of Health
The ungentle and churlish in heart and and the Art of Preserving it. Haller, also, in
manners, however just they may be in principle, speaking of longevity, says : " Some prerogative
chill the feelings, and poison the happiness, of seems to belong to sobriety, at least in a moderate
all Avithinthe circle of their influence. degree, temperate diet, peaceable .disposition, a

Cheerfulness, contentment, hope !—need I say mind not endowed with great vivacity, but
how propitious are their effects on the various cheerful, and little subject to care."
functions of the animal economy? Hope has As old age comes on, the pleasurable suscepti¬
Avell been termed a cordial; for AAdiat mendica- bilities all become Aveakened, and the keenness
nient have we so mild, so grateful, and at the of passion in general is blunted. Not, however,
same time so reviving in its effects "Its that the aged, as some Avould seem to fancy, are
characteristic is to produce a salutary medium left destitute of enjoyment, for each period of
between every excess and defect of operation in our being has its characteristic pleasures. They
every function. Consequently, it has a tendency have parted, to be sure, Avith the eager sensibili¬
to calm the troubled action of the vessels, to ties which mark the freshness of existence, but
check and soothe the violent and irregular im¬ then they have gained a moral tranquillity with
petus of the nervous system, and to administer Avhich earlier years are seldom blessed. The
a beneficial stimulus to the oppressed and debi¬ storms of youthful passion have subsided within
litated powers of nature."—Cog an on the Pas¬ their breasts, and if life has passed well with
sions. The judicious physician Avell understands them, morally and physically, they now repose
the advantage of encouraging this salutary placidly amid the calm of its decline.
feeling in the breasts of his patients ; and it is
to the confidence awakened by his dogmatical
promises that the empiric owes his chief success
in disease. CHAPTER XIII.
I have previously shown that sudden transports
of joy may be attended with the most fatal GENERAL PHENOMENA OF THE PAINFUL PASSIONS
consequences; is it unreasonable therefore to AS MANIFESTED IN THE BODILY FUNCTIONS.

suppose that the pleasurable feelings may in


some rare instances exist in too great ardour, The second class of passions, now to be examined,
consuming with an unnatural rapidity the are distinguished by phenomena very different
mysterious forces of life I have occasionally from those Avhich have just been described. As
met Avith individuals, and I dare say many of the emotions based on pleasure determine the
my readers will call some such to mind, aa-Iio blood to the surface, equalize the general circu¬
appeared to exist almost continually in an un¬ lation and vital action, expand the body, lighten
natural state of felicity—whose every thought and cheer the heart, and animate all the func¬
and feeling seemed pregnant Avith an enthusiasm tions, those founded on pain induce a series of
of delight—Avho were predisposed, physically results precisely opposite in their character.
predisposed, to be happy, intensely happy ; and Under the active influence of these latter, the
these seemingly favoured beings have generally Avhole body appears, as it were, to shrink or
come to an early grave, it appearing as though contract. The blood abandons the surface, and
Nature had ordained that none of us should being thus fhrovm in undue quantity upon the
exceed a limited sum of enjoyment, and that in internal organs, there follows that inward op¬
proportion, therefore, as she increases its in- pression, that painful sense of stricture and
tenseness, does she
Thiscurtail
contentits duration from 130.160.4.77
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on Sun, 19the
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2016 06:40:18 UTCfor fresh
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m Ml

20 PAINFUL PASSIONS.

air, which ever mark the intensity of this class we need but contrast the countenance of the
of passions. Hence the frequent sighing under happy and confident with that of the sad and
severe grief, which act consists in a deep inspi¬ despondent. In the former it is bright and
ration, succeeded by a corresponding expiration, dilated, and the blood plays freely in its extreme
and so, by expanding freely the chest, and vessels. In the latter it is pale, sickly, contract¬
affording a larger supply of air, it alleviates, in ed, and expressive of inward pain.
some measure, the heart and lungs of their As, therefore, when we use the familiar ex¬
suffocative load.What human being, unless pressions,'—to be light or buoyant with joy—
privileged beyond the rest of his species, but to expand with pleasure—to be inflated with
must be acquainted, too painfully acquainted, pride—to be puffed up with vanity, we but ex¬
with that dreadful sense of tightness and weight press physiological truths ; so do we also when
at the chest, that panting and struggling of the we say, the heart is oppressed or breaking with
breath, denoting sorroAV in its graver forms grief, or that the body shrinks Avith fear, or
As now an equable distribution of the blood withers under sorroAV and despair.
to the various organs, and its free circulation It is worthy of remark, too, that this same
through the capillary vessels of the surface, are, spare or contracted state of the body, and sallow-
as stated under the pleasurable emotions, most ness of the complexion, which result from the
salutary to the physical economy, an inequality, operation of the painful and depressing passions,
on the other hand, in the dispensation of this are, when constitutional, or dependent on inci¬
vital fluid, or partial determinations of it, are dental causes acting primarily on the physical
always most unfriendly to the health of the system, very commonly associated with an un¬
system. Whenever the blood is disproportion- happy and unamiable disposition. Thus Cresar,
ably accumulated upon the internal viscera,— while he trusted Avith confidence in the rosy and
as I have shown to happen under the influence expanded face and full-fed sides of Marc Antony,
of the painful and depressing passions,—their looked Avith suspicion on the pale and contracted
functions quickly become disturbed, and even countenance, and meagre frame of Cassius,
their physical integrity may be endangered. " Would he were fatter !—But I fear him not:
The painful passions also act immediately on Yet if my name were liable to fear,
I do not know the man I should avoid
the nervous .system, directly depressing, dis¬
So soon as that spare Cassius."
ordering, expending, and sometimes even anni¬
hilating its energies. A morbid concentration Here, then, we have a farther illustration of
of the nervous influence upon the internal the statement previously made—that the like
organs, has also been supposed to take place bodily condition may be either the cause or the
under the operation of the painful passions, and effect of particular passions ; that an interchange
to which have been referred those distressing of influence is constantly and necessarily taking
internal sensations Avhich they so commonly oc¬ place between our moral and physical natures.
casion. I will noAv go on to exhibit, somewhat more
Although, however, the general effect of the in detail, the effects of the painful emotions on
painful emotions is to induce a contraction or our bodily functions, under the general heads of
concentration, and a depression of the actions of anger, fear, grief, and shame. I select the three
life, yet, in their exaggerated forms, they are former of these, especially, as being by far the
sometimes followed by a transient excitement, most comprehensive in their character. In truth
reaction, or vital expansion, when their opera¬ they must enter, one or more, into all the nu¬
tion becoming more diffused, is necessarily merous varieties of this division of passions : ac¬
weakened in relation to any individual organ. cordingly the description of their phenomena
Under such circumstances, the oppression of the will necessarily comprise the principal ones of
heart and lungs is in a measure removed, and the whole class. Perhaps, indeed, all the pain¬
the circulation and respiration go on with more ful passions, could they be subjected to an
freedom. Hence it is that when anger and grief accurate analysis, might be found but modifica¬
explode, or break forth into violent action and tions of, and consequently be reducible to, anger,
vociferation, and tears flow abundantly, their grief, or fear.
consequences are much less to to be dreaded than
when they are deep, still, and speechless, since
here their force is most concentrated. Thus CHAPTER XTV.
Malcolm says to Macduff, when overwhelmed
PHENOMENA OF THE ACUTE STATE OF
by the cruel tidings of the murder of his wife ANGER.'

and children,'—• THIS PASSION.

" What, man ne'er pull your hat upon your brows ; Anger, being founded especially on the instinct
Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak,
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart, and bids it break."
of self-preservation, belongs essentially to the
constitution of every animate creature. It is
Let me here once more repeat the general and aroused by, and at the same time urges us by
important truth, that the pleasurable passions an instinctive impulse to repel or destroy, all
tend to expand or enlarge the sphere of vital such causes as oppose or threaten our moral or
action, and to equalize its distribution, and are physical ease and security ; or, in other words,
therefore salutary in their physical effects ; whilst which bring unhappiness to the mind, or pain,
those of a painful nature concentrate or contract, injury, or destruction to the body. Hence it is
and disturb its just equilibrium, and are conse¬ often directed against the irrational, and even
quently deleterious. To be convinced
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ANGER. 21

abused, therefore, as we find it, it was originally ceiving and judging in a manner AA'holly different
implanted in our breasts as a necessary safeguard from what he does in a tranquil state of mind,
both to our happiness and existence. This his character becomes allied to that of the maniac,
passion, although more frequently of a purely and thus may he commit acts at the bare
selfish nature, yet may OAve its origin to our thoughts of which he would shudder, under his
sympathies with the Avrongs and injuries of more rational feelings. To this forcible reac¬
others. tion of anger, the term rage, or fury, is often
In an extreme paroxysm of anger, which I applied.
wall now briefly describe, the most painful Different individuals, owing to their native
phenomena display themselves. The counte¬ temperament, bodily health, and moral educa¬
nance becomes distorted and repulsive, and the tion, vary remarkably in their propensity to
eye sparkles Avith a brutal fury. All the vital anger, as also, in the pertinacity with which
actions are commonly, in the first instance, they cherish this passion. In some it is sudden
oppressed, and are many times nearly over- and transient, while in others, though perhaps
Avhelmed. The blood retreats from the surface, less hasty, it assumes a more deep and lasting
leaving it cold and blanched ; and tremors and character, settling into that malignant feeling
agitations frequently come over the limbs, or called revenge, the most terrible, and oftentimes
even the Avhole body: and sighing, sobbing, and the most obstinate one that degrades the human
distressing nervous affections, as hysterics, soul; so that by the poets, who are the true
spasms, convulsions, especially where there is painters of our passions, it has even been fabled
a predisposition to such, Avill not unfrequently to be immortal. The disposition to anger will
supervene. The vital fluid, and, perhaps I may generally be found stronger in hot than in cold
add, the nervous influence, being impelled from climates.
the exterior, and thus accumulated on the in¬ In many of the inferior animals, when enraged,
ternal organs, the functions of these become, of the various physical phenomena of the passion
course, sensibly embarrassed. The motion of under notice may be Avitnessed in all their most
the heart is feeble, laboured, irregular, and frightful character. In those of our OAvn species,
oftentimes painful. The breathing is short, too, in Avhom, either from physical organiza¬
rapid, difficult, or suffocative, and a tightness tion, or defective moral and intellectual culture,
or stricture is felt in the whole chest, in some the animal, or baser nature is ascendant, we
cases extending to the throat, and causing a sense may oftentimes see exhibitions of it equally for¬
of choking, impeding, or, for the time, Avholly midable.
interrupting the poAver of speech. Hence pro¬ Anger, accompanied with paleness of the sur
bably comes the expression, "to be choked with face, or in which reaction does not take place,
rage." is generally most deep, and its effects are most
The organs of the abdomen also come in for to be dreaded. Some persons are always pale
their share of the prejudicial influence. Thus, AA'hen under its influence, which may sometimes
more or less distress is apt to be felt in the be OAving to the admixture Avith it of a certain
region of the stomach, and the functions of this degree of fear, whose action is more depressing.
viscus, with those of the liver and boAvels, may Anger sometimes proves fatal, the severity of
be A'ariously disturbed. its shock at once suppressing the action of the
Fainting Avill sometimes take place in violent heart, or, as has occasionally happened, causing
anger, and, in occasional instances, the system an actual rupture of this organ, or some of its
being unable to react under the intensity of the large blood-vessels. Apoplexy, hemorrhages,
shock, life has yielded almost as to a stroke of convulsions, or other grave affections, may also
lightning ; and the death here, that is, from a succeed to it, speedily terminating existence.
sudden gust of passion, is, according to Mr Although the danger of this passion is gene¬
Hunter, as absolute as that caused by the elec¬ rally lessened by reaction, still, when such is
tric fluid, the muscles remaining flaccid, the violent, the blood may be so forcibly impelled
blood liquid, or dissolved in its Aressels, and the as to induce fatal apoplexies, or hemorrhages.
body passing rapidly into putrefaction. Re¬ The Emperor Nerva died of a violent excess
action, hoAvever, does, for the most part, speedily of anger against a senator Avho had offended
ensue, and many times, even in severe par¬ him. Valentinian, the first Roman emperor
oxysms, the excitement is manifested from the of that name, while reproaching with great
very beginning. Under the active stage of anger, passion the deputies from the Quadi, a people
the following train of phenomena will be dis¬ of Germany, burst a blood-vessel, and suddenly
played in greater or less strength. fell lifeless on the ground. " I have seen," says
The heart, noAv aroused, beats quick and for¬ a French medical Avriter,
"
two women perish,
cibly, and the blood rushing impetuously to the the one in convulsions, at the end of six hours,
head and surface, the brain becomes heated, the and the other suffocated in two days, from giving
face flushed, the lips swollen, the eyes red and themselves up to transports of fury."—Tourtelle.
fiery, the skin hot, and literally may it be said If there chance to exist any tendency to
that Ave burn with anger. The muscles also apoplexy, as in those of a plethoric habit, and
contract with a preternatural strength. The Avho live generously, or if there be any com¬
fists and teeth often become clenched as though plaint at the heart, the danger from anger will
preparing for combat, and the impulses of in¬ be materially aggravated. Hence it is that old
stinct subduing perhaps altogether the will and men, Avho are more particularly disposed to
reasoning poAvers, the individual vociferates, these affections, offer the most frequent exam-
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22 ANGER.

Numberless instances of apoplexy excited and the food at once loses all its relish for his
by anger may be found both in ancient and palate. Dr Beaumont, who had under his
modern Avriters on this disease. Thus, Bonetus charge a man with a fistulous opening into his
tells of a lady who, in consequence of a sudden stomach, so that the interior of this organ could
fit of anger, was seized with violent and fatal actually be inspected, remarked that anger, or
apoplexy, and in whose brain blood was found other severe mental emotions, would sometimes
largely diffused. " A gentleman," says Dr cause its inner, or mucous coat, to become mor
Cooke,
u
someAVhat more than seventy years of bidly red, dry, and irritable ; occasioning, at
age, of a full habit of body, and florid counte¬ the same time, a temporary fit of indigestion.
nance, on getting into his carriage to go to his Pains and cramps of the stomach and boAvels
country house, was thrown into a violent passion sometimes folloAV the strong operation of this
by some circumstances Avhich suddenly occurred. passion, and the liver may also become more or
He soon afterwards complained of pain in his less implicated in its effects. Thus the flow of
head, and by degrees he became sleepy, and in bile has been so augmented under its sudden
about a quarter of an hour wholly insensible. influence, as even to occasion a bilious vomiting,
He was carried into the shop of an apothecary at or diarrhoea.
Kentish Town, and was immediately largely Anger, moreover, causes an immediate dimi¬
bled. When I saAV him, about an hour after¬ nution, and a consequent inspissation, of the
wards, I found him labouring under all the symp¬ saliva; Avhence that unpleasant dryness of the
toms of strong apoplexy. In about twenty-four throat, and frequent swallowing, Avith the
hours he died."—•Treatise on Nervous Disease. frothy whiteness and adhesiveness of the secre¬
The celebrated John Hunter fell a sudden tion, which so generally mark its operation. It
victim to a paroxysm of anger. Mr Hunter, as has even been affirmed that the fluids of the
is familiar to medical readers, was a man of mouth may, under its influence, acquire poison¬
extraordinary genius, but the subject of violent ous qualities, rendering the bite of an animal
passions, and which, from defect of early moral much more dangerous when he is enraged.
culture, he had not learned to control. Suffer¬ Some medical writers have even believed that
ing, during his latter years, under a complaint true hydrophobia may be generated by the bite
of the heart, his existence was in constant jeo¬ of an animal when transported by fury. Brous-
pardy from his ungovernable temper; and he sais asserts that anger imparts to the saliva,
had been heard to remark that '' his life Avas in
"
poisonous qualities, capable of provoking con¬
the hands of any rascal vsho chose to annoy vulsions, and even madness, in those persons
and tease him." Engaged one day in an un¬ bitten by a man agitated with transports of
pleasant altercation with his colleagues, and it."'—Physiology applied to Pathology. Whe¬
being peremptorily contradicted, he at once ther this assertion is grounded on any well-
ceased speaking, hurried into an adjoining room, established facts, we are not given to under¬
and instantly fell dead. stand.
The heart receiving immediately the shock Hemorrhages from various parts, as the nose,
of every fit of anger, the life of the passionate lungs, stomach, and also inflammations of diffe¬
man who unfortunately labours under an affec¬ rent organs, as of the brain, lungs, skin, &c, are
tion of this organ, must be almost momentarily occasionally brought on by severe fits of passion.
in danger. Nothing, in truth, does more to The author from whom I have just cited, states
protract existence under complaints of this na¬ that he has seen haemoptysis, or spitting of
ture than moral serenity. blood, and violent pneumonia, or inflammation
Various morbid effects of a more or less grave of the lungs, proceed solely from anger. He
and lasting character, may also succeed to in¬ relates the case of an elderly man, who, owing to
tense anger. Thus palsies, convulsions, epilepsy, a violent fit of anger, occasioned by a visit from
and mania, are among its occasional conse¬ some foreign soldiers, was suddenly affected with
quences. Violent anger, or ungovernable tem¬ an extensive inflammation on the right loin,
per, as we sometimes find it expressed, holds, which terminated in a large and bad ulcer.
according to the reports of different lunatic I have now and then met with instances oi
asylums, a prominent place among the causes of erysipelatous inflammation about the face and
insanity. Raving madness is the form of insa¬ neck, induced by paroxysms of passion. Other
nity which most frequently results from this cutaneous affections, as urticaria or nettle-rash,
cause, though dementia has sometimes at once and herpetic eruptions, will oftentimes—more
folloAved upon its operation. Dr Good cites the particularly if there exists a disposition to them
case of Charles the Sixth of France, aaIio, —be produced by the same cause. The former
"

being violently incensed against the Duke of of these I have known, in some constitutions,
Bretagne, and burning with a spirit of malice to be almost uniformly brought on by any
and re\Tenge, could neither eat, drink, nor sleep, strong mental emotion.
for many days together, and at length became As substances most prejudicial, and even
furiously mad as he was riding on horseback, poisonous to the healthy economy, may exercise
draAving his sword, and striking promiscuously medicinal virtues in certain states of disease, so
every one who approached him. The disease extreme anger, although generally so baneful
fixed upon his intellect and accompanied him in its effects, has'—as we have abundant medical
to his death."—Study of Medicine. authority to prove'—by its powerful impulse,
Anger destroys the appetite, and checks or occasionally subdued distressing and obstinate
disorders the functions of digestion. Let one maladies, as neuralgia, agues, hypochondriasis,
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ANGER. 23

CHAPTER XV. bid condition, under such unfriendly moral


agency.
ANGER CONCLUDED. PHYSICAL EFFECTS OF ITS How important, therefore, it is, even if we
CHRONIC ACTION. IT MAY BE EXCITED BY MOR¬ consider but our physical welfare, to cultivate,
BID STATES OF THE BODILY ORGANS, AND THUS as far as in us lies, an amiableness of temper,
BE STRICTLY PHYSICAL IN ITS ORIGIN. and to bear the little ills and crosses of life with
all possible composure, must now be most
Having learnt in the preceding chapter, how apparent. It is, after all, the minor evils, the
severe and dangerous are the effects of acute trifling annoyances, or such as tend merely to
anger on the vital economy, it will excite no ruffle or fret our feelings, that are apt to
surprise that under its more chronic action, as be the least resolutely supported, and that
in habitual irritability or fretfulness of temper, oftentimes do more to mar our happiness, and
enmity, hatred, revenge, or other malevolent impair our health, than even the absolute and
feelings, as envy or jealousy, in which anger, to severe afflictions of life. Many of us who would
a greater or less degree, is almost necessarily be impatient under the pricking of a pin, might
blended, the bodily health should sooner or later submit Avith scarce a tremor or complaint to the
experience a baleful influence. The constant most important and painful operation.
torture of mind kept up by such unhappy feel¬ The immediate and distressing physical effects
ings, cannot but be attended Avith the most de¬ of this mental irritation may be especially
leterious consequences to the physical economy. noted in those of a nervous or sensitive temper¬
In the stomach and liver their effects are early ament, when disturbed on retiring to rest by
and particularly evinced. Thus will the appetite unseasonable noises, as the barking of dogs,
and digestion become impaired, and the hepatic crying of children, thrumming of pianos, &c.
secretion be variously disordered, and sometimes Under such vexing circumstances, the action of
partially or even wholly obstructed, when the the heart often becomes unnaturally accelerated,
bile, being absorbed into the system, taints the and every pulsation of it most painfully sensi¬
complexion with that dark and bilious hue ble. A disagreeable dryness, too, is commonly
AA'hich is so characteristic of an unamiable or experienced in the mouth and throat, with
malignant temper. Plence the common expres¬ feverishness, sometimes itching of the skin, and
sion, to turn black with anger, hatred, or re¬ a general nervous agitation, or restlessness, far
venge, may have originated in correct observa¬ more intolerable than any definite pain of body;
tion. It is a literal truth, although expressed and the health, as might be expected, remains
in poetry, that one may disturbed through the whole of the subsequent
day. Under the condition described, the nervous
-" creep into the jaundice,
By being peevish."
sensibility will sometimes become so morbidly
exalted, that the slightest sounds, as even the
ticking of a clock, will be almost insupport¬
Irritability and moroseness of temper may able.
also cause various inflammatory and nenrous
complaints, and such, more especially, to which Some persons are constitutionally irritable,
there is any tendency in the constitution. Thus and in such, therefore, it is hardly to be ex¬
gout, rheumatism, hysterics, nervous headaches, pected that the infirmity can be completely
cured. It is difficult reasoning men out of their
and other nervous pains, as tic douloureux, are
very apt to be excited, or their fits to be re- physical predispositions. Such faulty temper,
neAved, under such prejudicial influence. however, whatever may be its source, necessa¬
Nothing, certainly, can be more desirable, rily becomes the instrument of its own punish¬
ment :
both in respect to our moral and physical health,
than a quiet resignation to the fate decreed us. " Seeum petulans amentia certat."
Fretting and repining under unavoidable evils
only adds to their burden, and to the eye of true To so many occasions of annoyance, to so many
philosophy shoAvs a temper about as inconsist¬ little vexations, are Ave all, even the most fortu¬
ent as that exhibited by the heathen world in nate of us, exposed, that the happiness of the
flagellating their gods for the calamities befall¬ naturally irritable man must be continually
ing them. encountering obstacles, and his health con¬
The condition of temper now occupying our sequently be ever liable to hi jury. How
consideration, is in a particular manner injurious much suffering both of body and mind, and to
Avhen the system is labouring under disease. It which no sympathy, no charity is extended, do
is well knoAvn to every observing physician, we not witness in society, referable to the cause
that fractious patients, other circumstances I am noticing! Hoav heavy are the penalties
being the same, recover less promptly, and are to which we are oftentimes doomed for those
more exposed to relapses, than those who faults that belong to the very nature of our or¬
display greater calmness and resignation in their ganization
sufferings. And equally familiar is it to the It will furthermore appear, from Avhat has
surgeon, that under a bad state of temper, preceded, how essential it is to their health that
wounds heal less kindly, and Avhen recently children be early, no matter how early, edu¬
healed will even at times break out afresh. cated to control their tempers. Those who
Likewise, that external inflammations pass less have been too fondly indulged, or to whose
safely and regularly through their restorative passions an indiscreet license has been permitted,
processes, and that the pus of abscesses may be will be likelv to enjoy less uniform good health,
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24 ANGER.

quently than such as have been the subjects of of character, or a malignant hatred toward, and
a stricter and wiser moral discipline. Erroneous a disposition to inflict cruelty and even death
moral education has even been reckoned among upon, particular persons, especially such as are
By too most near and dear to him in his rational mind.
"
the predisposing causes of insanity.
great indulgence and a want of moral discipline, This striking propensity to fits of rage, and the
the passions acquire greater power, and a cha¬ destruction of life, sometimes constitutes the
racter is formed subject to caprice and to violent only evidence of insanity, the mind remaining,
emotions : a predisposition to insanity is thus in all other respects, apparently rational. Dr
laid in the temper and moral affections of the Prichard cites a case of this sort from M. Pinel,
individual. The exciting causes of madness which was manifestly referable to physical
have greater influence on persons of such habits disease, probably of the nervous system.
than on those whose feelings are regulated."— '' A man Avho had previously followed a me¬
Pricliard on Insanity. chanical occupation, but was afterwards confined
Anger in its various degrees and modifica¬ at Bicetre, experienced, at regular intervals,
tions may grow out of, or the disposition to it fits of rage ushered in by the following symptoms.
may be greatly augmented by, various morbid At first he experienced a sensation of" burning
conditions of our bodily organs. Unhealthy heat in the bowels, with an intense thirst and
states of the liver are wTell known to render the obstinate constipation; this sense of heat spread
temper suspicious, peevish, or morose ; and a by degrees over the breast, neck, and face, Avith
large share of our moral infirmities were a bright colour ; sometimes it became still more
ascribed by the ancients to an excess in the intense, and produced violent and frequent
secretion of this organ. Hence comes it that pulsations in the arteries of those parts, as if
the term gall, or bile, is used synonymously they were going to burst; at last the nervous
with anger, malignity, or bitterness of temper. affection reached the brain, and then the patient
And choleric, Avhich signifies passionate, is was seized with a most irresistible sanguinary
derived from the Greek word x°*», cholee, propensity; and if he could lay hold of any
meaning bile. sharp instrument, he was ready to sacrifice the
In many morbid affections of the stomach, first person that came in his way. In other
the patients become exceedingly irritable, vent¬ respects he enjoyed the free exercise of his
ing their spleen upon everybody and everything reason ; even during these fits he replied directly
about them ; and inflammation of this organ to questions put to him, and showed no kind of
will sometimes induce violent fits of passion. incoherence in his ideas, no sign of delirium;
It is doubtless through the morbid excitement he even deeply felt all the horror of his situation,
which they aAvaken in the mucous or inner and was often penetrated with remorse, as if he
gastric coat, that stimulating food and drinks Avas responsible for this mad propensity. Before
will, in some constitutions, always enkindle an his confinement at Bicetre a fit of madness
irascibleness of feeling. Thus, the liberal use seized him in his own house ; he immediately
of wine, or ardent spirits, is, in certain indivi¬ wTarned his wife of it, to whom he was much
duals, uniformly folloAved by fearful outbreaks attached: and he had only time to cry out to
of anger. It is said of Lord B}rron, that wrine her to run away lest he should put her to a
made him " savage instead of mirthful." The violent death.At Bicetre there appeared the
unhappy state of temper under Avhich most same fits of periodical fury, the same mechanical
persons awake on the morning subsequent to propensity to commit atrocious actions, directed
a debauch, is, I conceive, mainly referable to the very often against the inspector, AA'hose mildness
morbid and irritable condition left in the deli¬ and compassion he was continually praising.
cate lining of the stomach ; a part, than which This internal combat between a sane reason in
few, if any, in the whole animal economy, have opposition to sanguinary cruelty, reduced him
closer sympathies with our moral nature. to the brink of despair, and he has often endea¬
Hence may be derived an additional argument, voured to terminate by death this insupportable
if such Avere needed, in favour of temperance, struggle."
both in meat and drink, and one especially There are certain states of the functions of
applicable to those of excitable feelings. the skin which are accompanied with a most
There are various conditions of the nervous painful fretfulness of temper. In what are
system, though A\e knoAv little of their essen¬ commonly termed colds, and under the influ¬
tial nature, wdiich are associated with a more or ence of our chilling easterly winds on the sea-
less fretful or passionate state of the feelings. coast, many persons become excessively irritable.
In the early stage of hydrocephalus, or under A like uncomfortable state of feeling is displayed
that morbid state of the brain Avhich precedes in the commencement of some diseases of the
the effusion of water upon it, exceeding irrita¬ lungs. And in disorders of the urinary system,
bility, and frequent and uncontrollable bursts a peculiarly anxious and irascible condition of
of anger, are very common phenomena. It has the mind is very usually witnessed.
also been shown that a large proportion of those Anger, arising out of conditions of our phy¬
afflicted with epilepsy are morbidly irascible, sical organization, must, of course, be directed,
and subject to violent agitations of passion. not to its real cause, but toward things and
Insanity, too, which is now most generally persons without, and which have no concern
ascribed to morbid changes in the bodily organs in its production. Thus may we suspect and
or functions, is often marked by the most violent maltreat those nearest and clearest to us for no
anger against everybody and everything. Orother reason than that our stomachs or livers are
„,,i,;.
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FEAR. 25

offices. And most persons must have remarked organization, tends doubtless to increase it. It
hoAV apt we are to dream of quarrelling with is oftentimes denominated strength of nerve,
our friends if Ave go to bed on an indigestible and corresponds in its nature Avith the courage
supper. It is obvious, then, that the cook will manifested by the inferior animals. The latter,
often have far more concern in the domestic or moral courage, necessarily presupposes a
tranquillity of families than human philosophy supremacy of the higher faculties, and is there¬
has yet suspected. And would this important fore peculiar to man. Thus the naturally timid,
functionary but cultivate his art in reference to pricked on by duty, honour, pride, have in many
the facility of digestion, as well as to the gra¬ instances become bold and successful warriors.
tification of the palate, he might contribute And the most delicate and effeminate in body,
more to the happhiess of society than nine- through the ascendant influence of their moral
tenths of the boasted moral reformers of the nature, have faced dangers, and borne sufferings,
time. under which naturally stouter hearts and firmer
nerves would have quailed; have even offered
up their lives in the cause of truth, their honour,
or their country. We may thus account for
CHAPTER XVI. the superior firmness always exhibited in a just
cause.

FEAR. ITS DEFINITION.'—IT BELONGS ESSENTIALLY

DISTINCTION BETWEEN MORAL


" Thrice is he armed, that hath his quarrel just."
TO ALL ANIMALS.'
AND PHYSICAL COURAGE. PARTICULAR CONDI¬
Moral courage belongs more especially to
TIONS OF OUR BODILY ORGANS FAVOUR TIMIDITY cultivated and intellectual man. His will,
OF CHARACTER. strengthened by new motives, learns to restrain
the trembling nerve, and to subject the weaker
Fear, like anger, is based on the principle of flesh to the dominion of the bolder spirit. But
self-preservation, though it urges us to a very in the uncultivated and ignorant, it is the mere
different course for our security. Thus, while animal or brute courage that is principally
anger is defensive and offensive, stimulating us Avitnessed. Hence, in hazardous and difficult
to repel, or assault and destroy the causes Avhich undertakings, the greatest fortitude and perse¬
threaten our safety or happiness, fear, on the verance are almost abvays displayed by the
contrary, incites us to avoid, or flee from them ; leaders.
and it is only Avhen they can no longer be Fear Avill oftentimes spring rather from mis¬
shunned that our preservative instincts force ustaken judgment than from any absolute de¬
to resistance, or even attack. ficiency of courage. Familiarity with any
Fear being, as already said, grounded on the particular danger, according to a law of the
instinct of self-preservation, must naturally animal constitution, serves to diminish our
belong to all animals ; and it will commonly be dread of it, although it may not necessarily
found to bear a direct relation to the feebleness embolden us in respect to others of a different
and defencelessness of the individual,—circum¬ character. The mariner looks calmly on the
stances, as will at once be seen, rendering it the ocean tempest, which would strike dismay to
more necessary to his safety. It may be stated the heart even of the far braver landsman.
as a general truth, that a sense of Aveakness The physician, though he may be constitution¬
begets timidity, Avhile a consciousness of strength ally timid, encoimters fearlessly the desolating
imparts boldness of character. Hence it is that epidemic, from which the hardiest courage flees
fear is more especially conspicuous in the female in terror. And the delicate female, who would
constitution, that is, I should add, in all such tremble and turn pale at the very sight or sound
circumstances of danger as demand energy of of a Avarlike instrument, might bear the pains of
resistance, or strength of physical action; for sickness, and the approach of death with more
under actual calamities and sufferings, where serenity and fortitude than the soldier of a hun¬
endurance alone is required, woman Avill often¬ dred battles.
times display a degree of firmness of which our Good health, as a general rule, conduces to
own stronger sex might well be proud. Woman boldness, Avhereas infirmities of body are apt to
looks to the strong arm and bold spirit of man beget a pusillanimity of character. Thus, dis¬
for protection and defence, while he turns to orders of the stomach and liver commonly
her more delicate and passive nature for consola¬ awaken false apprehensions, and diminish the
tion and support under those ills of life against natural fortitude.
So, too, many other morbid
wdiich his courage is powerless, and his strength states of the system depress the courage, and
vain. transform even the most daring into coAvards.
Different individuals are by nature more or The effect, however, of different maladies in
less susceptible to the action of fear. Thus weakening our moral resolution, and engender¬
some, even from their early childhood, are ing imaginary fears, is more or less strongly
notable for their cowardice, whereas others are marked. The dyspeptic, for example, will gene¬
equally so for their intrepidity. Habit and rally be more timid and apprehensive than the
education, however, may certainly do much in consumptive subject. And, again, there are some
conquering a native timorousness of character. diseases, wdiich, through the unnatural stimu¬
In our own species, courage admits of the lation they promote in the brain and nervous
distinction,—generally recognised,—into phy¬ system, tend to excite in us even a morbid excess
sical and moral. The former is constitutional, of courage.
though habit, bvThis
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influence on the from 130.160.4.77 on Sun, 19 Jun 2016 06:40:18 UTC
phA'sical
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26 FEAR.

conquer the passion of fear. Thus the most traction, the haks groAving from it are elevated,
timid female will become wholly regardless of or, in the common phrase, stand on end, or if
danger in the protection of her offspring. not, such is generally the sensation to the indi¬
vidual. Chills often spread themselves over the
surface, or portions of it, sometimes as it were
in streams ; and cold sweats, partial or general,
CHAPTER XVn. not unusually break forth. A cold dewy sweat
may frequently be observed about the forehead
FEAR CONTINUED.'—'ACUTE FEAR DESCRIBED.'—'FAS¬ when under the influence of great fear.
CINATION HAS BY SOME WRITERS BEEN ATTRI¬ Partial tremors, as of the limbs, or a general
BUTED TO ITS VIOLENT INFLUENCE. REMARK¬ shuddering and shaking, and chattering of the
ABLE EFFECTS IN THE CURE OF DISEASES THAT teeth, as under the effects of extreme cold, or in
HAVE OFTEN FOLLOWED EXCESSIVE FRIGHT.
the first stage of a paroxysm of intermittent fever,
are also common phenomena. It is worthy of
Fear, like the other passions, exhibits numerous remark here that these same symptoms, when
shades or degrees. It may be slight and transient, the result of morbid physical states, are apt to
or so aggravated as completely to dethrone the be associated Avith an unnatural degree of timidity
judgment, and jeopard, not only the health, but or apprehension. Indeed, I feel well satisfied
even the existence of its subject. that Ave possess less courage Avhen chilled and
Fear is one of the most painful of the passions, shivering under the influence of cold, than wThen
and exerts the most astonishing effects, both the surface is warm and comfortable, and the
upon the mental and bodily functions. Under blood circulates freely through its extreme vessels.
its poAverful influence the fiercest animals are But to proceed with the physical signs of fear.
rendered gentle, and subservient to our will and Under its violent action the eyes glare wildly,
purposes. seeming almost as though they would start
In acute fear the effects induced on the phy¬ from their sockets, and the whole countenance
sical organization and its functions are very is drawn into a most painful and unnatural ex¬
remarkable, and oftentimes exceedingly distress¬ pression ; and a convulsive sobbing accompani¬
ing. The respiration becomes immediately and ed by a profuse secretion of tears, and, in delicate
most strikingly affected. Thus, on its first im¬ and sensitive females, even severe paroxysms of
pulse, owing to a spasmodic contraction of the hysterics, will not unfrequently occur. The
diaphragm, a sudden inspiration takes place, muscular system may also become torribly con¬
directly succeeded by an incomplete expiration ; vulsed, or its energies may be temporarily
the latter being, as it would seem, interrupted, suspended, and the individual consequently be
or cut short, by a spasm of the throat, Avindpipe, rendered dumb and motionless. Li extreme
or lungs. Hence arises the irregular and con¬ cases, the Avhole chest, and upper part of the
vulsive breathing so characteristic of extreme abdomen, or region of the stomach, are affected
fear. Under its action the respiration almost Avith an agonizing sense of constriction, and syn¬
always grows short, rapid, and tremulous,—as cope, or fainting, is by no means unusual.
may be witnessed in the inferior animals when The depressing effects of fear just described,
frightened,—and a painful sense of suffocation is are not uncommonly succeeded by reaction ; or
experienced in the chest. The voice becomes anger may arise toward the cause of alarm, call¬
embarrassed, trembles, and, in consequence of ing forth even preternatural muscular efforts to
the climinution and inspissation of the secretions repel or destroy it. Few of our passions, in
of the mouth and throat, is dry, husky, thick, truth, long maintain their simple and original
and unnatural. Even temporary speechlessness character, but others, often too of a very different
may be induced under the first shock of this nature, are aroused by and become blended
passion. with them. And that such should be the case
would seem, in many instances, to be even
Obstupui, sletcruntque coma), et vox faucibus ha3sit."
"

necessary to our welfare; the newly-aAvakened


The heart, likeAvise, suffers severely from the passion serving to counteract the threatening
influence of acute fear. It becomes oppressed, consequences of the primary one. Thus will the
constricted ; flutters and palpitates, and is vari¬ excitement of anger act as a cordial to the de¬
ously agitated ; and the pulse is consequently pression of fear, and the depression of fear on
small, feeble, rapid, and oftentimes irregular. the other hand, as a wholesome sedative to the
The viscera of the abdomen, too, not unfre- excitement of anger.
quently experience disagreeable sensations, un¬ Generally, as Avas before remarked, the first
natural or spasmodic contractions, and a morbid impulse of simple fear, when the muscles retain
increase of their secretions. Sometimes vomiting, their poAvers, is to occasion flight, and which is
but oftener a diarrhoea/—involuntary perhaps— often precipitated with a degree of force which
takes place ; and jaundice has, in occasional in¬ would have been impossible in a more calm state
stances, speedily folloAved its operation. The of the mind. This act is truly instinctive, and
urine also is increased in quantity, is pale or consequently irresistible, except under the
limpid, and the desire to void it becomes fre¬ counterworking influence of some other passion.
quent, urgent, and often irresistible. When escape, however, is impracticable, the
The blood, as might be anticipated, abandons indiAddual Avill often be driven to the most fierce
the surface, the face turns pallid, and the skin and desperate resistance, and thus even the
becomes universally cold, contracted, and rough, greatest cowards have sometimes acquired the
This content
like sroose flesh, and indownloaded
consequencefrom 130.160.4.77
of this con¬ fame of heroes.
on Sun, 19 Jun 2016 06:40:18 UTC
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FEAR. 27

Fear, in its most aggravated degree, acquires number of animals are born only to be devoured.
the name of terror : and under certain circum¬ The end of destruction is as much in nature, as
stances, and in certain constitutions, the most that of formation, and the acts of instinct, which
astonishing results have followed its violent im¬ tend to deliver up a prey to its enemy, are as
pression on the nervous system. That peculiar natural as others, the object of Avhich is to avoid
condition which it has been imagined certain danger or gratify an appetite. Now, it appears
animals have the power to produce in certain evident, that, in order to attain these ends, the
others, termed fascination, is not unusually as¬ Author of all things has invariably made use of
cribed to the agency of terror, which paralyzing, the same means, namely, instinctive impulses."
as is thought, aE voluntary muscular action in —Physiology applied to Pathology.
the victim, renders him. an easy prey to his Every other Avriter on the subject of instincts,
destroyer. so far at least as I am informed, has regarded
That some species of serpents possess this their final purpose to be preservative only ;
but the author cited from, appears to have
fascinating influence over birds—even of forcing
them by a gradual and irresistible movement introduced a new one, leading its possessor into
actually to fly into their devouring jaws—is not destruction for another's support. In another
merely a popular belief, but has been maintained part of the same Avork, Broussais, in the most
by those Avhose names sustain a prominent place unequivocal manner, refers fascination to the
in the annals of science. My readers will, I influence of terror.
trust, pardon me for introducing the following Facts, Avere their details to be relied upon,
citation in relation to this subject, from M. are certainly not Avanting to substantiate such a
Broussais, an author from whom I have before fascinating influence in serpents. Scarce a pea¬
quoted, and AAdiose writings have been held in no sant, or even a country school-boy, but has some
ordinary repute by many medical men of high instance to relate in confirmation of it. No one.
rank both in Europe and America. It certainly certainly, can dispute that birds are occasion¬
shoAvs a most easy faith and a strange process ally seen fluttering about, and apparently under
of reasoning in support of such faith. It is extreme alarm, in close proximity to these rep¬
brought in under the head of instinct. tiles. But this is oftentimes only in defence of
'' If Ave examine instinct in the ]}vej threatened their nest which the snake is invading; they
by the voracity of the snake, we discover some¬ being actuated by an instinct Avhose end is the
thing very extraordinary. What is the power preservation of the species, in&tead of one urging
which compels the tomtit, perched upon a neigh¬ them to destruction for the support of their
bouring bush, to sacrifice itself for the gratifica¬ enemy. Nevertheless instances do occur, and I
tion of the Avants of an animal creeping upon have myself been witness to them, which will
the ground, at a distance from it? The reptile not admit of such an explanation. This power
obstinately pursues it with his looks ;•—so long of fascination, then, although I am far from
as the bird does not perceive the snake, it runs regarding it as established, yet can hardly be
no risk, but if the former rests its eyes for a feAvvieAved hi the light of a mere vulgar supersti¬
moments on those of its pursuer, all is lost, for tion. The propensity, almost resistless, which
it will become its prey. The bird is terrified— some persons feel Avhen on the verge of a preci¬
it cannot abstain from looking fixedly at the pice, to cast themselves doAAm into inevitable
snake—it flies from branch to branch, as if Avith destruction, is equally as strange as that a bird
a view of escaping, and yet it gradually ap¬ should be impelled by an invincible disposition
proaches it enemy. This latter continues gazing to fly into the deadly jaws of its devourer.
at it, presenting it, at the same time, an open But to resume my principal subject. Extreme
mouth, and the victim finally flies of itself into terror Avill, in certain cases, instead of depress¬
it. These are not mere fables, but facts, which ing and paralyzing the nervous powTer, arouse
few shepherds have not had occasion to notice. it into new and astonishing action. We read
The public papers have lately detailed the manner that it has even caused the dumb to speak, and
in which a boa-constrictor, conveyed to Europe the paralytic to walk, and that the most painful
in an English or American ship, Avas fed. The and obstinate diseases have been knoAvn sud¬
journalist relates, that those who took care of denly to yield under its potent influence.
this monstrous snake, when they conceived that Herodotus relates that during the storm of
it was hungry, opened its iron cage, and pre¬ Sardis,
"

a Persian meeting Croasus, was, through


sented to it a goat, (a number of AArhich had ignorance of his person, about to kill him. The
been shipped for its use.) As soon as the animal king, overwhelmed by his calamity, took no
perceived its prey, it unfolded itself, and looked care to avoid the blow or escape death; but his
at it fixedly, AA'ith open mouth. The goat, after dumb son, when he sawr the violent designs of
hesitating some time, as if undecided betAveen the Persian, overcome with astonishment and
terror, exclaimed aloud, Oh, man, do not kill
'

the instinct of self-preservation and that attract¬


ing it towards the monster, precipitated itself Croesus !" This Avas the first time he had ever
head-foremost into the living gulf Avhich was to articulated ; but he retained the faculty of speech
serve as its tomb." from this event as long as he lived."
"
I do not see," observes the same author in Van SAvieten records the case of a man, who,
relation to his above cited remarks, "
why an under the action of sudden terror, recovered
animal destined to become the prey of another, fromhemiplcgy, or palsy of one half of the body,
should not be compelled to yield itself up, when that had afflicted him for years.
this latter is deprived of other means requisite Many instances haAre also happened where
for seizing This
it. content downloaded
It is generally that a rout
from 130.160.4.77
admitted has19
on Sun, boon
Jun 2016 06:40:18 UTC
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28 FEAR.

influence of unexpected fright. An old author self seized with an indescribable sense of terror,
relates of one of his patients suffering under that he sprung up from his bed, and that he
a paroxysm of this disease, that having his feet suddenly regained his intelligence."
and legs wrapped in cataplasms of turnips, a hog Many minor affections are also known to be
entering his room and beginning to feed on the immediately removed, or suspended, under the
turnips, so alarmed him that he began to run strong impression of fear, as toothache, and
and jump, and all his gouty pains straightway other nervous pains ; hypochondriasis, sea-sick¬
vanished. ness, &c.
Intermittent fevers or agues have also yielded
to the same impulse. Dr Fordyce tells of a man
afflicted with a fever of this description, that
his brother having led him to walk by the edge of CHAPTER XVIII.
a mill-dam, pushed him suddenly into the Avater ;
and which, as he was unable to swim, naturally FEAR CONTINUED.'—'DEATH IS SOMETIMES THE

put him into a very great fright. He was SPEEDY CONSEQUENCE OF EXTRAVAGANT FEAR.

speedily, hoAvever, taken out, and from that —'VARIOUS PAINFUL DISEASES MAY ALSO BE

time forth had no further paroxysm of his dis¬ THE RESULT OF ITS OPERATION. 'THE TERRORS

ease.'—Dissertations on Fever. OF RELIGION ARE OFTENTIMES FOLLOWED BY

Boerhaave appears to have employed the THE MOST MELANCHOLY EFFECTS. THE FEARS

passion under notice with much success at the AWAKENED IN THE IMAGINATION DURING SLEEP,
Orphan-house at Haerlem, in the cure of epileptic WHEN FREQUENT AND IMMODERATE, MAY BE¬
fits, Avhich, owing to the force of sympathy, COME PREJUDICIAL TO HEALTH.

or that propensity to imitation so remarkable


in our nature, had spread extensively among Terror may prove instantly fatal, at once de¬
the children Avho were its inmates. He ordered stroying the nervous energy, and suppressing
to be brought among them a chafing-dish of the action of the heart; or it may bring on
burning coals containing a heated iron, Avith hemorrhages or convulsions quickly terminat¬
which all those who should be attacked with ing in death. Children and females, in conse¬
epilepsy were directed to be burnt. The terror, quence of the higher degree of nervous sensi¬
it seems, excited by this proceeding, kept off bility with which they are generally endowed,
the usual access, and their fits were radically are the most liable to fall victims to fear.
cured in consequence. Montaigne informs us that at the siege of St
Pol, a town of France,
"

Dr Cooke cites from the eighteenth volume a gentleman was seized


of the Medical and Physical Journal, the follow¬ Avith such a fright, that he sunk down dead in
ing instance of the disappearance of epilepsy the breach without any wound."
from sudden fright. "A lady in the prime of life, Marcellus Donatus tells of a child who in¬
of robust habit, was for four years afflicted with stantly fell dead in a field on seeing, in the
this complaint in a violent degree, the paroxysms morning twilight, two persons clothed in black
returning three or four times a Aveek, continuing suddenly appear by his side. Another child Avas
for some hours, and leaving the patient in a so frightened by the report of a cannon from a
state of stupor. A variety of medicines had vessel while he was bathing in the sea, that he
been tried hi vain, and the case Avas considered instantly fell into convulsions, and died in fifteen
minutes.
hopeless, when, on receiving a dreadful mental
shock, by the circumstances of her daughter An old Avriter relates of a nun, that she was
being accidentally burnt to death, the disease so terrified on seeing herself surrounded by hos¬
entirely and finally left her." tile soldiers with drawn swords, that the blood
Even severe and settled insanity has been suddenly flowed from all the outlets of her body,
completely removed by immoderate fright. In and she immediately perished in their presence.
the thirty-first volume of the Medico-Chirurgi- Broussais gives the case of a lady, who, on
cal Review, we find the following case, quoted feeling a living frog fall into her bosom from
from a Prussian Medical Journal. " A man, the claws of a bird of prey, while she Avas sitting
between thirty and forty years of age, had been, on the grass, was instantly seized with such a
from the year 1827 to 1831, affected with an ex¬ profuse bleeding from, the lungs that she sur¬
treme degree of insanity, amounting almost to vived but a feAV minutes.
idiocy, and alternatingwith periodic fits of raving Terror may be followed—more especially hi
madness. His condition bordered on bestiality, the delicate and sensitive—by various morbid
and none dared to approach him in his maniacal phenomena, either of a transient, or lasting and
paroxysms. His case Avas deemed quite hope¬ dangerous character. Severe fainting fits are
less ; and for the two following years, he vege¬ not unfrequently induced by it, and which at
tated, so to speak, in the public lunatic house times Avill continue rapidly succeeding each
other even for hours. And in some instances a
of the place. A fire having accidentally broken
out near his cell, his mental poAvers, which had morbid nervous mobility will be engendered
so long slumbered, were suddenly aroused; and by it, from which the unfortunate sufferer never
Dr Ollenroth, upon visiting him a few days wholly recovers, remaining liable ever after¬
afterwards, found him perfectly intelligent, and wards to palpitations, faintings, or nervous
assiduously occupied with some domestic arrange¬ tremors, on the slightest alarm, and more par¬
ments. He had no recollection of his former ticularly if it be of the nature of that which
condition. awakened the primary disturbance. Terror
All that he remembered was simply
This content downloaded from 130.160.4.77
flnmog Tip fplf him on Sun, on
operating 19 Jun 2016 Avill
females 06:40:18
notUTC
unusually excite
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FEAR. 29

paroxysms of hysterics, and even leave a settled pass immediately from his temporal, into the
disposition to them in the constitution. indescribable agonies of eternal fires. " I was
Many examples might be adduced where once," says Dr Cogan, passing through Moor-
"

epilepsy has been the consequence of sudden fields with a young lady, aged about nine or ten
fright, and even where a tendency to it has been years, born and educated in Portugal, but in
thus rendered permanent in the system. the protestant faith, and observing a large
A celebrated German physician asserts, that concourse of people assembled round a pile of
in six out of fourteen epileptic patients under faggots on fire, I expressed a curiosity to know
his care in the hospital of St Mark, at Vienna, the the cause. She very composedly answered, ' I
disease had been caused by terror. A man travel¬ suppose that it is nothing more than that they
ling alone by night, encountered a large dog in a are going to burn a Jew.' Fortunately it was
narrow path, and fancying himself seized by the no other than roasting an ox upon some joyful
animal, he reached home in extreme terror, and occasion. What rendered this singularity the
on the folloAving morning was attacked with a more striking, was the natural mildness and
violent fit of epilepsy, of which he afterwards compassion of the young person's disposition."
had many returns. " A young man, having —Philosophical Treatise on the Passions.
witnessed some of the dreadful events at Paris Need we noAv feel astonished that such relentless
on the horrible tenth of August, became affected and terrible passions, awakened by the gloomy
immediately with this disorder.'' A maid-ser¬ and fearful apprehensions of the future, should
vant of Leipsic while endeavouring to untie some oftentimes, especially in Aveak and timid natures,
knots, got the impression that one of them was become the occasion both of bodily and mental
made by a sorceress, and became so terrified in disease
consequence, that sheAvas immediately seized Avith The influence of the terrors of religion in
a fit of epilepsy.—'Cooke on Nervous Diseases. exciting convulsions and epilepsy will be ren¬
In young children, convulsions and epilepsy dered obvious enough to any one who will visit
are brought on Avith great facility under the the religious field-meetings that are annually
operation of strongly and suddenly aAvakened held among us. On such occasions I have wit¬
fear. Tissot, referring to the foolish and dan¬ nessed the most distressing spasms, and contor¬
gerous practice of frightening children hi sport, tions of the body, not only in females, but even
observes, " One half of those epilepsies, which in the more hardy and robust of our own sex.
do not depend on such causes as might exist And the same morbid effects may occasionally be
before the child's birth, are owing to this observed among all sects of religionists who
detestable custom; and it cannot be too much seek to make proselytes by appealing to the
inculcated into children, never to frighten one fears rather than convincing the judgment ;
another ; a point, which persons entrusted affrighting the imagination with
with their education, ought to have the strictest
regard to."—Avis au Peuple, &c. "—damned ghosts, that doe in torments waile,
And thousand feends, that doe them endles.se paine
Religion, when perverted from its true pur¬ With fire and brimstone, v\hich for ever shall remaine."
pose of hope and consolation, and employed as
an instrument of terror, becomes a frequent Females, and indeed all persons of sensitive
source of most melancholy nervous complaints. feelings and nervous habits, may suffer material
Religion, in its widest signification, has been injury from being subjected to such superstitious
defined, " An impressive sense of the irresistible terrors. Not only epilepsy and hysteria, but
influence of one or more superior Beings over even settled insanity, as is admitted by all
the concerns of mortals, which may become Avriters on this disease, is liable to be thus
beneficial or inimical to our welfare." induced. Dr Prichard tells us that several in¬
Now, according to the fancied character and stances of mental alienation from this cause
requisitions of the Power or Powers it worships, have fallen within his own sphere of observa¬
it may be the parent of fear, cruelty, and into¬ tion. Some of these," says he, " have occurred
"

lerance, or of trust, charity, benevolence, and among persons who had frequented, churches
all the loftiest feelings that adorn our nature. or chapels where the ministers wrere remark¬
The austere bigot who OAvns a god of terror and able for a severe, impassioned, and almost im¬
vengeance, becomes the slave of direst passions. precatory style of preaching, and for enforcing
All who differ from his creed are to be hated the terrors rather than setting forth the hopes
as the enemies of heaven, and the outcasts of its and consolations Avhich belong to the christian
mercy, and he may even persuade himself that religion."'—On Insanity, d'c.
to inflict upon them bodily tortures is an ac¬ The Society of Friends, or at least such is true
ceptable religious duty. The spirit of gloomy of them in England, are in a great measure
fanaticism has been one of the severest scourges exempt from what is termed religious insanity.
of our species. No human sympathy has been Noav this immunity is only to be explained by
able to Avithstand its merciless powrer. It has the fact that then- religion being one of peace
set the parent against the child, and the child and charity, they are but little exposed to those
against the parent, and has blasted every tie of fanatical excitements and superstitious appre¬
domestic affection. Even those naturally pos¬ hensions which work so powerfully on the ima¬
sessed of the most tender dispositions have ginations of many other christian sects.
become so hardened under the customs of reli¬ Fright, however, from any source, will be
gious bigotry, as to look without the least feel¬ found, on recurring to the reports both of our
ing of compassion on the pangs of the heretic own and foreign lunatic asylums, to hold a
amid the flames, and who,
This content in their
downloaded faith,
from was to prominent
130.160.4.77 place
on Sun, 19 Jun among
2016 theUTC
06:40:18 causes of mental
All use subject to http://about.jstor.org/terms
30 FEAR.

alienation. Mania, or raving madness, most agitation and delirium, and in not many minutes
commonly follows this cause, though in some after fell doAvn in a severe fit of epilepsy.
instances dementia, or a stagnation, as it were, In childhood, the impression of dreams being
of all the mental powers, has been the mourn¬ particularly strong, so much so, indeed, that
ful and irremediable consequence. they are, in some instances, ever afterwards
It is stated by an eminent French vvriter on remembered as realities, and fear, moreover,
insanity, that many facts have come within his being then a very active principle, the danger
information showing that a strong predisposi¬ from the source in question will, at this rieriod,
be materially enhanced. Some children are
tion to madness in the offspring has arisen from
fright, experienced by the mother during preg¬ very subject to arouse hastily from their sleep,
nancy ; striking cases of which nature are said screaming and crying, perhaps springing up on
to have happened during the period of the end, or from their bed, in a sort of wild deli¬
French revolution. rium, and it may be a long while ere their fears
Palsies, partial or general, have also imme¬ can be quieted, and their minds composed to
diately ensued as an effect of the passion we are rest. These convulsions, too, with which chil¬
considering. The dumbness which has been dren are occasionally seized at night, may not
known to follow its operation, must probably unfrequently proceed from the same visionary
terrors.
have depended on a paralysis occasioned in the
organs of speech. Permanent disease of the If the fears of children from any particular
heart also, has, in some instances, been brought cause have been strongly excited while awake,
such will sometimes be renewed even in a more
on through the agency of the same cause.
Terror Avill, moreover, display its influence, intense degree, and perhaps for several succes¬
and sometimes in a very astonishing manner, sive nights, during their slumbers, thus multi¬
upon the vital phenomena of the hair ; and Ave plying the danger of the primary emotion.
are told of cases where, under its extravagant
action, the head has almost immediately become
blanched as in old age. CHAPTER XTX.
Fear, when extreme, and the same is true of
other passions, affects very remarkably the FEAR CONTINUED. IN ITS MORE CHRONIC OPERA¬
secretion of milk. It may wholly or partially TION IT MAY BE THE OCCASION OF VARIOUS PRE¬
suppress it, or so vitiate its natural quality as JUDICIAL EFFECTS IN THE SYSTEM. SUPERSTITI¬

to render it injurious to the infant for Avhose OUS FEARS IN REGARD TO DEATH MAY BE A SOURCE
nourishment it is designed. Coavs, when under OF MUCH SUFFERING BOTH TO BODY AND MIND.
the influence of this passion, yield their milk EVILS LIABLE TO ENSUE FROM INDULGING THE
with difficulty ; and the observation is a fami¬ FANCIES OF CHILDREN IN TALES OF SUPERNATURAL
liar one in the country, that certain of these TERRORS.

animals, and which is doubtless to be explained


on the same principle, Avill not " give down" Having learned howr serious are the consequences
their milk to strange milkers. to be apprehended from acute fear, the infer¬
The terrors Avith which some persons are so ence will be natural, that even its more chronic
frequently, or almost habitually agitated during action may be productive of important injury
their nightly slumbers, cannot bo otherwise to the health.
than detrimental to the health of the body. A A bold, intrepid spirit may justly be ranked
frightful dream will sometimes impair the appe¬ among the conditions which secure to the consti¬
tite, and leave the individual pale, nielanchoby, tution its full measure of physical power. Fcav
and with his nervous system in a state of mor¬ causes will more certainly impair the vigour of
bid commotion through the whole of the subse¬ the nerves, break down the manliness of the
quent day. After a night passed amid the agony body, and degrade the energies of the mind, than
of fancy-framed terrors, it is not to be expected the habitual indulgence in imaginary fears.
that the -nerves should suddenly regain their The depressing agency of fear is well knoAvn
composure, that the moral tranquillity should at to augment the susceptibility of the constitu¬
once be restored. tion to disease ; and especially to the action of
The different mental feelings, liberated during contagion, and epidemic influences. Thus, in
sleep from the control of the judgment, are in desolating epidemics, those Avho suffer under the
many instances most extravagant, and wholly greatest apprehension are, other things being-
out of proportion to the causes exciting them. alike, the ones most liable to fall their victims.
Hence in dreams our fears will oftentimes Whenever, too, the sick yield themselves to the
become exceedingly aggravated and distressing, impulse of fear, the chances of their recovery
and some persons are in the habit of starting Avill generally become lessened. It has been
suddenly from their repose in the greatest dis¬ remarked that the small-pox is particularly apt
may, uttering the most direful cries, their bodies to prove unfavourable in the young and beau¬
perhaps bathed in sweat, and even remaining tiful, who naturally dread a disease so fatal to
for a considerable time after they are fully beauty.
aAvake under painful impression of the fancy We can now comprehend the risk of indulg¬
which affrighted them. Even convulsions and ing the fancies of children with those tales, for
epilepsy have been the unhappy consequence of which they have ever so strong a craving,
such imaginary terrors. Tissot relates the case founded on supernatural events ; and more par¬
of a robust man, who, on dreaming that he was ticularly in which ghosts, as they are termed,
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FEAR. 31

the creations of superstition, would seem to be silence will often renew them long after the
the most terrifying to the youthful mind. It reason is matured, and their absurdity apparent;
is indeed doubtful whether the arch-fiend him¬ and thus may they remain a permanent source
self, with all his fearful accompaniments of of injury to the mental tranquillity, and by
sooty-face, barbed tail, cloven foot, and branch¬ consequence to the physical health. The super¬
stitious weaknesses of Doctor Johnson, and
ing horns, awakens half the terrors in the imagi¬
nation as does that of the pale, sheeted, and perhaps, also, that dread of death which so
stalking ghost of a departed mortal. Other constantly haunted him, Aveighing like a night¬
supernatural agents, at any rate, which enter mare on his moral energies, and embittering his
into the machinery of the nursery tales, as the existence, were in all probability, the result of
mischievous fairy, the dark sorcerer, the grim injudicious associations awakened in the educa¬
witch, carry with them far less dread, and none tion of his early years.
of that awful gloom, which is ever associated Plutarch informs us that the Spartan nurses
used the children
"
Avith the re-appearance of the dead. to any sort of meat, to have
Whether all stories connected with super¬ no terrors in the dark, nor to be afraid of being
natural events should be denied to childhood, is alone, and to leave all ill-humour and unmanly
a question I am not prepared to examine ; but crying." Also that Lycurgus, "to take away
that all such as serve to engender imaginary all superstition, ordered the dead to be buried in
fears ought to be interdicted, few, probably, the city, and even permitted their monuments
will be inclined to dispute. to be erected near the temples ; accustoming the
All children, but in a more particular manner youth to such sights from their infancy, that
those of a delicate and timid nature, are liable they might have no uneasiness from them, nor
to sustain no inconsiderable degree both of any horror for death, as if people were polluted
bodily and mental suffering, when their feelings with the touch of a dead body, or with treading
are frequently worked upon by false terrors. upon a grave."—Life of Lycurgus.
As night approaches, all their superstitious It is certainly most essential to our moral and
apprehensions increase, and if they chance to be physical comfort and tranquillity, that the mind
left alone for ever so short a period, their situa¬ be kept as free as possible from all anxiety and
tion becomes truly pitiable. And then on retir¬ superstitious apprehensions in regard to death.
ing to rest, appalled by the darkness and silence, It is, as I conceive, the solemn trappmgs, cere¬
and dreading lest their eyes should encounter monials, and fancied horrors that are so generally
some frightful spectre, they bury themselves associated, even in oui' earliest education, with
beneath the bedclothes, and thus lie reeking, the dissolution of the body, and the gloomy and
perhaps, Avith sweat, and nearly suffocated from fearful imaginings of Avhat is to come after,
the heat and confinement of the air. Nor even Avhich cause the feelings to revolt from its idea
here do they escape from their fearful imagin¬ with such dismal forebodings. That we have an
ings. Uncouth phantoms keep rising before instinctive dread of pain aviII scarce be disputed :
their vision, and every little noise, though of but Avhether Ave have naturally, or independent
the most familiar character, as the gnaAV/ing of of education and association, the same feeling
a rat, the jarring of a door or window, or even in respect to death, Avill, at least, admit of
the moaning of the wind, is magnified or trans¬ question.
formed by the dismayed fancy into some alarm¬ Death being the grand goal of life, and that
ing supernatural sound. On their falling asleep toward Avhich we are all steadily moving, if its
these waking fantasies may still be continued image affrights us, it must, as it is ever in view,
in the manner of dreams, creating a yet higher —for, struggle as we will Ave cannot shut it out,
degree of terror; hence it is that they will —be a source of continual and unmitigated
often start abruptly from their slumbers, scream¬ torment; a bugbear disquieting our whole ex¬
ing and in the most wild delirium of fright. istence, and cutting us off even from the little
In the morning, as might be expected after a happiness which life might otherwise afford.
night of such painful agitation, they awake it is Avell knoAvn. noAv, that the mind may,
gloomy, languid, and unrefreshed. by a proper discipline, be brought to vieAv this
Under the continued disturbance of such final event of our being without the smallest
imaginary fears, the health, more especially if emotion either of terror or regret; and there
it be not naturally robust, must soon begin to have been those A\"ho, even in the midst of a
decline. Thus, the body grows pale and emaci¬ prosperous fortune, have experienced a pleasing
ated, the appetite diminishes, the stomach and satisfaction in its contemplation; have looked
bowels get disordered; and so enfeebled, and so forward to it as the desirable and peaceful re¬
morbidly sensitive, may the system at length pose to the anxious and Aveary race of life.
become, that the slightest noise, if sudden, or "
Sleepe after toyle, port after stormie seas,
any unexpected appearance, as of an individual,
Ease after warre, death after life doth greatly please."
or other object, will cause violent palpitations, Spenser.
difficulty of speaking, nervous tremors, and
agitations, and at times even fainting. And the It is the part of true philosophy to get from
nervous system' may in this Avay experience existence all we can,—to participate, so far as
an injury from which it can never be Avholly fortune permits, in all its rational and innocent
restored. pleasures, and yet be willing at any moment to
So deep-seated, in truth, do these fearful part with it. Such Avas the philosophy of many
associations engendered in the weakness of of the Avisest and best among the ancients,
childhood sometimes become,
This content that darkness
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32 FEAR.

many of them calmly through the most painful plex, and too often disorder, even the ripest
deaths. intellects.
To keep the mind familiar with the thoughts Why is it that so large a proportion of young
of death, the ancient Egyptians, at their enter¬ children, even at the present period, when
tainments, had a small coffin, containing a per¬ superstition is so much on the decline, are afraid
fect representation of a dead body, carried round, to be left a moment by themselves in the dark,
and presented to the different guests in rotation, are so loath to go to bed, or about the house
the bearer exclaiming, " Cast your eyes on this alone after nightfall, although well assured that
figure ; after death you yourself will resemble no real or earthly dangers can possibly exist,
it:—drhik, then, and be happy."—Herodotus. but that their fancies have been indiscreetly
I doubt if the human mind can ever reach a state Avrought upon by the idle tales of superstition
of easy quietude until it has learned a contempt Children, I am convinced, suffer far more
for death.; or, at least, to contemplate it with from the influence under notice than most per¬
composure. sons are prone to suspect; since, ashamed to be
Superstitious fears of any sort, when habi¬ thought coAvards,—for at what period of life are
tually cherished, may become a source of no we not ?—.they will often most guardedly con¬
trifling injury, both to the mental and physical ceal the fears which are preying on their health,
health. The ignorant, and those Avhose educa¬ and crushing all their moral energies. Hence,
tion has been erroneous, and who in early life bodily infirmities in them, excited and main¬
have been subjected to improper associations, tained by fear, may doubtless be oftentimes
are often exposed to the most aggravated suffer¬ imputed to a physical origin, and they, in con¬
ings from the cause in question. No human sequence, be made the subjects of medicinal
courage is proof against the terrors of supersti¬ treatment, which, weakening yet further the
tion. The hero who defies death in the battle poAvers of the constitution, and adding, of course,
field, may yet tremble at the croaking of the to the nervous susceptibility, serves but to
raven, or the screech of the night oavI. I scarce aggravate the effect of the secret cause.
need urge, then, the importance of securing the We can now understand how important it is,
mind by a proper education against all such both as regards their moral and physical Avell-
supernatural and idle sources of fear. being, to keep the young, as much as possible,
Sporting with the timidity of children, as from the society of ignorant and superstitious
startling them Avith sudden and uncommon domestics, who are always ready to administer
noises or sights, which appears to afford so much to their eager cravings for supernatural Avonders.
amusement to some inconsiderate people, cannot Parents, to escape the noise and trouble of their
be too severely censured. Equally censurable, children, are too willing to submit them to the
too, is the practice of playing on their natural care of servants, and hence many actually
fears as a method of punishment, or with the receive a much larger share of their primary
view to enforce their obedience, as shutting them education hi the kitchen than in the parlour.
up in the dark, threatening them Avith some That such should be the case is certainly to be
of the many nursery spectres which have been regretted, it belonging to our imitative nature
created to help inefficient parents in subduing readily to acquire the habits, manners, and
their misgoverned and consequently refractory modes of thinking and speaking of those with
Hoav common is it to hear from the whom Ave habitually associate. And more
offspring.
lips of mothers Avhile striving to put their especially is this true in early life, when the
children asleep, language like the folloAving :— mind and body are unfolding themselves, and
" Lie still, lie still!—there! there don't you the brain, soft and delicate, receives with the
hear the old nigger?—Shut up your eyes, shut greatest facility every new impression. Boer-
up your eyes, or he'll carry you off. Hush haave relates that a schoolmaster near Leyden
hush hush.! there !—old rawhead and bloody- being squint-eyed, it was found that the children
bones are coining." Trifling, now, and unim¬ placed under his care soon exhibited a like
portant as such expressions may seem, yet are obliquity of vision. It has been Avell observed
they far from being so when we view them hi that there is a necessity for us either to hnitate
their influence on the moral and physical health others, or to hate them.
of the young. The impression which such Fearlessness and self-confidence, let me add,
thoughtless language is liable to induce on the in conclusion of this chapter, operate at all
tender and naturally thnid mind of childhood is periods of life as a healthful stimulus both to
far deeperthan mostof us are prepared to believe. mind and body ; and hence such feelings ought
If a mother cannot quiet her child to rest in a ever, and in a more particular manner Avhen the
more harmless way than by working upon its moral and physical functions are undergoing
fears, she had better content herself to bear its development, to be most assiduously nurtured.
noise till sleep comes of itself, which it always To such salutary feelings, moreover, good con¬
Avill do, hi proper time, on the young, healthful, duct is ever most favourable. The opposite
and innocent. being essentially blended with fear and appre¬
Objections equally forcible may be urged hension, must therefore, however it may serve
against terrifying and confounding the mind, us in regard to mere external goods, be incom¬
while yet unconfirmed, with the awful mysteries patible Avith the true interests both of our
and punishments of religion; subjects which per¬ mental and bodily constitution.

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HORROR. 33

CHAPTER XX. without jumping and screaming, and making


unnatural grimaces.
FEAR CONCLUDED. 'THAT PECULIAR MODIFICA¬ Spiders, snakes, toads, crabs, and eels, are
TION OF FEAR DENOMINATED HORROR BRIEFLY
very common objects of horror; and an antipathy
EXAMINED.
to a cat is by no means of unusual occurrence.
There are, in fact, individuals wdio experience an
That singular mental feeling which we express indescribable distress whenever a cat chances to
by the term horror, consists in a deep and be near them, although she may be unrevealed
painful detestation, almost always more or less to either of the acknowledged senses. To ac¬
mingled Avith fear, of particular, and, commonly, count for such a remarkable influence, no more
familiar objects. This, I am awrare, is not the rational Avay presents itself, than by supposing
only sense in which the Avord is used, but it is the nervous system of the individual, or a par¬
the one to Avhich I shall especially restrict it ticular portion of it, hi consequence of some
in the present chapter ; and taking its original peculiar modification, to be morbidly sensitive
Latin meaning—a shivering or quaking, as from to the subtile effluvia arising from the body of
fear, or the cold fit of an ague—none certainly the animal.
could better indicate the physical phenomena Such antipathies may be innate, that is, de¬
of the painful moral feeling about to be de¬ pendent on some original and mysterious condi¬
scribed. tion of the animal organization, or may OAve their
The manifestations of horror as exhibited in existence to a painful association with the par¬
the physical organization, are mostly the same ticular object of abhorrence Avhich had been
as those witnessed in shnple fear. Thus does it awakened in early life. In the former case,
occasion sudden paleness, coldness and contrac¬ being connected Avith those intimate laAvs of our
tion of the skin, with the consequent elevation constitution Avhich are yet, and perhaps will,
of its hairs. Also chills and rigors, or general ever remain, unveiled to human knoA\dedge, all
tremors of the body, with panting, and oppres¬ attempts to trace them to their primary and
sion of the heart and lungs. And when greatly essential source aaHI necessarily prove futile.
aggravated, it will give rise to the like train of That antipathies, or the peculiar character of
melancholy phenomena, which have been already organism which disposes to them, may some¬
enumerated as the characteristics of excessive times be inherited, can hardly be questioned.
terror; such as fainting, convulsions, epilepsy, A popular notion is that they often arise from
and even instant death. fright or injury experienced by the mother
Horror is distinguishable from ordinary fear, Avhen pregnant, from the particular object of
inasmuch as it may be excited, and eAren to a horror. In support of such notion, the singular
violent extent, by the presence of objects which case of James the First has been often cited.
neither threaten, nor, hi fact, cause the slightest This monarch, though all his family Avere dis¬
apprehension of bodily injury. A reptile, or tinguished for then- bravery, was constitutionally
bisect, for example, knoAvnto be entirely harm¬ timid, even to a most ludicrous extent, and
less, may beget such a sense of abhorrence as to could never look upon a naked sword without
turned away his head even
''
bring on fainting or convulsions, even in those shrinking; and
who wrould resolutely encounter the most fero¬ from that Arery pacific Aveapon Avhich he Avas
cious animal. The fear, then, mingled in Jhe obliged to draAV for the purpose of bestowing the
feeling of horror does not necessarily depend on accolade on a knight dubbed with unhacked
any real danger apprehended from its object, rapier, from carpet-consideration."—History of
but upon the suffering which its presence occa¬ Scotland, by Sir Walter Scott. Now, it is well
sions in the nervous system. known to the readers of history, that David
Very many persons are knoAvn to suffer, and Rizzio was stabbed at the feet of Queen Mary,
oftentimes during their whole lives, under a two months .previous to the birth of James.
horror, or, as it is more commonly termed, an Dr Copland relates that a man-servant in hia
antipathy, toward particular animals or things, family, advanced hi life, "had so great an anti¬
and Avhich are in themselves, perhaps, perfectly pathy to the sight of a mouse, that he would fly
innocent. This is more especially apt to be the as fast as he Avas able from the place where one
case with those of a sensitive temperament. was seen, and become quite frantic at the sight.
Indeed there are few nerA'ous people but to He stated that his mother, who likewise had an
whom belongs some object of horror. antipathy to mice, had been distressed by one
throAvn upon her Avhen pregnant of him."—
" Some men there are love not a gaping pig; Medical Dictionary: Article, Antipathy. Nu¬
Some, that are mad if they behold a cat."
merous instances of an analogous character will,
Germanicus could neither endure the sight it is not unlikely, recur to the minds of many
nor the crowing of a cock. " I have seen per¬ of niy readers. But even in cases of this de¬
sons," says Montaigne, " that have run faster scription, the origin of the antipathy can gene¬
from the smell of apples than from gun-shot ; rally bo explained quite as plausibly, to say
others that have been frightened at a mouse ; the least, on the principle of association. Thus,
that have vomited at the sight of cream ; and James, from his earliest childhood, must doubt¬
some that have done the like at the making of less have often heard the recital of all the
a feather-bed."'—Essays. Broussais says he frightful circumstances connected with Rizzio's
once kneAv a Prussian officer who could see cruel death ; probably have observed his mother
neither an old AAroman, a cat, nor a thimble, express horror, as we might suppose she Avould,
without experiencing convulsivefrom
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3-4 HORROR.

and fearful impressions thus made on his tenderconquered his painful dislike of the rattling of
mind, may have served to suppress his natural a carriage over a bridge, and his dread of the
courage, and have been the occasion of his re- water, by resolutely exposing himself to the
markablo aversion to the sight of a drawn former, and repeatedly plunging into the latter.
BAVord. It is an unaccountable fact in our constitution
In the other instance quoted, the mother that habit will in some cases not merely over¬
would, of course, be frequently telling of, and come an antipathy, but will actually beget a
manifesting, her repugnance to a mouse, in the fondness for the obj ect of former aversion. Thus
presence of her child, and thus necessarily create does it happen that those who at first experience
the same dread of it in his infant mind, the im¬ the greatest horror at the sight of blood, so that
pression of which would remain indelible. If a they can scarce look upon it without fainting,
mother has a detestation of any particular insect, will, under the influence of custom, not unfre-
as a spider, for example, is it not Avell knoAvn quently become the most bold and devoted
that she will be repeatedly expressing it every surgeons. A similar principle holds also, and
little while crying out to her child, with a fear¬ in a very striking manner, as respects our sense
ful shudder, " Take care of that aAvful spider ?" of taste. Hence many articles which are in the
Is it strange, therefore, that the mind of her beginning most offensive and sickening to the
offspring thus early imbued Avith, or, as it were, palate, will, from the power of habit, not only get
educated to a horror of this bisect, should ever to be agreeable, but absolutely necessary to our
afterwards retain it comfort. We have in tobacco a strong and
Although, then, our antipathies may some¬ familiar illustration of this remark. It is well
times be innate, and may possibly in certain known, too, how attached some people become
instances be referable to the influence of the to garlic, though at first so acrid and unplea¬
imagination of the mother 6trongly excited dur¬ sant. And even asafoetida, naturally so odious
ing some period of gestation, nevertheless I con¬ both to taste and smell, Avas held in such esteem
ceive them much oftener to originate in some by some of the ancients that they termed it'' the
painful or alarming association with the object meat of the gods." Oftentimes, therefore, while
of aversion engendered in infancy or childhood. we become cloyed and wearied with, and get
Mr Locke, Avhen speaking of antipathies, says, even to loathe, the objects which were at first
" A great part of these Avhich are accounted most pleasant to us, by a strange perversion of
natural Avould have been known to be from taste do we derive permanent delight from
unheeded, though, perhaps, early impressions, those which were originally disgusting.
or wanton fancies at first, which would have The development of antipathies in early life
been acknowledged the original of them, if they is ever to bo carefully watched, and the mind
had been Avarily observed."—On the Human gradually and cautiously habituated to the im¬
Understanding. pression which aAvakens them. It is to be re¬
It many times happens that the primary and gretted, hoAvever, that a contrary practice but
incidental source of the antipathy is known too often prevails ; the child either being scru¬
and admitted. Thus, Peter the Great, when an pulously preserved from the object of his repug¬
infant, had a fall into the Avator on riding over nance, or, Avhat is infinitely worse, his terrors
a bridge, in consequence of which, oven in of it are purposely excited, or aggravated, for
mature life, ho could neither boar the sight of the idle amusement of those who have not sense
Avater, nor the rattling of a carriage upon a enough to comprehend the danger of such sport.
bridge. Children, as well as grown persons, have many
We may noAv porceivo how essential it is in times been thrown into convulsions by suddenly
the education of children, to avoid, as far as may subjecting them to the influence of an object of
be, all occasions of erroneous association, or false their peculiar horror.
prejudices; exciting or cherishing imaginary
terrors in relation to any particular object ; as
from such sources will often grow up aversions
causing no little suffering both to body and mind CHAPTER XXI.
during the whole future existence.
When antipathies already exist, and more GRIEF.'—GENERAL REMARKS UPON THIS PASSION.

especially if toward common objects, or such as THE ACUTE STAGE, OR A PAROXYSM OF GRIEF
we aro every day liable to encounter, both health DESCRIBED, WITH THE MORBID AND EVEN FATAL
EFFECTS OF WHICH IT MAY BE PRODUCTIVE.
and happiness demand that the most persevering
efforts bo made to subdue them. They may
generally be surmounted, either entirely or to Grief, consisting essentially in moral pain, must
a very considerable extent, by gradually inuring therefore enter, to a greater or less extent,
the mind to tho presence or influence of the into all the passions of the class we are now
object of horror, the Avell knoAvn effect of habit considering. It bears, then, to the painful
being to obtund the feelings. If, however, the and depressing, a relation analogous to that
repugnance be very strong, a greater share of of joy to the pleasurable and exciting pas¬
moral onergy than most persons possess will sions.
be required to vanquish it. James being natu¬ Grief, presenting itself in diverse degrees and
rally timid, and weak in his resolutions, never, modifications, is consequently knoAvn under a
that we learn, overcame his aversion to the variety of names, as sorrow, sadness, melancholy,
naked sAvord. Whereas Peter, of a more bold dejection, &c, all of Avhich induce similar
nnd determined character, in the end completely phenomena in the bodily functions. The term
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GRIEF. 35

is generally defined to mean the mental suffer¬ Avas rising up in it, and choking the passage of
ing arising from the privation of some good in the air. Hence, " to choke Avith sorrow," is an
possession, or the disappointment of some pleas¬ expression in familiar use. The dryness, too,
ing anticipation. I shall allow it, however, as in the mouth and throat, from the diminution
will be seen in the sequel, a signification still in their natural secretions, adds to, and may
broader than this definition implies. even of itself occasion, this choking sensation,
The passion in question may be simple, as is and is, moreover, the cause, at least in part, of
most common under the loss of kindred or the frequent and difficult swallowing so often
friends ; or it may be united with chagrin, or observed in acute grief.
impatient and angry repinings. And, again, it Speaking, owing to this defect of moisture in
may groAV out of, and hence be blended with, the mouth and throat, as well as to the embar¬
the various malignant feelings of the heart, as rassment at the heart and lungs, is attended with
envy, jealousy, hatred, revenge, all of which are a marked effort, and the voice is thick, husky,
more or less fraught with moral pain. As it is broken, tremulous, and weak.
a law of our constitution, that every good and The circulation, as we should naturally infer,
benevolent affection should bring with it its GAvn experiences a more or less marked influence.
recompense, so likeAvise is it that every evil one Thus, the pulse is generally weakened, often¬
should become the author of its own punishment. times increased in frequency, and the extreme
" To love is to enjoy, to hate is to suffer." In vessels of the surface contracting unnaturally,
hating we punish ourselves, not the objects of and unsupplied Avith their usual quantity of
our hate. Self-interest, therefore, should be a blood from the heart, the skin loses its custom¬
sufficient motive to induce us to cultivate the ary warmth, and its ruddy tint of health.
amiable, and to suppress the vicious feelings of The energies of the nerves, too, becoming
our nature. depressed and deranged under the morbid im¬
Grief may be acute and transient, or it may pulse of this passion, tremors, with various other
assume a more chronic or lasting character ; in of those disturbances Avhich we term nervous,
which latter case it is generally designated by are liable to supervene.
the term sorroAV or sadness. Other things being The organs of the abdomen are also implicated
equal, its violence will be proportioned to the in the general suffering. An uneasiness, in
suddenness and unexpectedness of the cause many cases quite severe, is referred to the
producing it. region, or what we call the pit, of the stomach.
I Avill now go on to describe the effects in¬ The appetite fails, and the powers of digestion
duced upon the bodily functions by the acute become obviously impaired, and sometimes
stage, or Avhat is commonly denominated a altogether suspended. Let an individual, Avhile
paroxysm of grief; and most of these—for in the midst of the enjoyment of his dinner, be
there is a close relationship among all the unexpectedly apprised of some afflictive calamity,
passions founded on pain—.will be recognised as and need I tell the result On the instant, as
nearly resembling those which have already though touched by the wand of a magician,
been portrayed under the heads of anger and will the dishes before him, even the most
fear. saArory, cease to delight his palate, and he turns,
On the first strong impulse of mental afflic¬ perhaps with a painful sense of loathing, from
tion, an agonising sense of oppression and the very food which but a moment before he
stricture is experienced at the heart and lungs, contemplated with the most eager desire. Or,
accompanied with a dreadful feeling of impend¬ should he persist in his meal, every mouthful
ing suffocation. The Avhole chest, indeed, will he attempts to sAvalloAv seems to stick in his
oftentimes seem as though it were tightly bound throat, calling for repeated draughts of liquid to
by a cord. The Avant of fresh ah" becomes at facilitate its passage ; and thus is he soon forced
the same time most urgent, giving occasion to to abandon what has noAV become to him so
the deep and frequent sighing so commonly disagreeable a task. Again, suppose the indi¬
observed in those stricken with calamity. This vidual to have just finished his meal when his
act, or sighing, consists in a long-drawn or grief was abruptly excited, then might ensue
protracted inspiration, succeeded by a corres¬ the \rarious phenomena of indigestion, and even
ponding expiration, which, beside furnishing vomiting, wrere the shock extreme.
an increased supply of air, may, by distending Shakspeare had in vieAV the particular effect
the lungs, facilitate the passage of blood through of grief to which I have just been alluding,
them, and thus serve, in a measure, to alleviate where he makes King Henry say to Cardinal
the painful oppression felt in these organs and Wolsey,—
at the heart.
" Read o'er this ;
So distinct and remarkable is the suffering at And after, this, and then to breakfast with
the heart in deep grief, that the term heart-ache What appetite jouhave."
is used to express it, and its victims are said to
die broken-hearted. Under its aggravated in¬ Generally, grief tends to diminish the action
fluence even sharp pains of the heart, shooting of the liver, and the consequent secretion of
perhaps to the shoulder, are experienced, and bile; though very intense affliction Avill occa¬
every pulsation of this organ is attended with sionally produce a contrary effect, exciting even
the most thrilling distress. bilious vomitings.
It not unfrequently happens, especially in In the young generally, and in a large pro¬
^nervous females, that downloaded
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3G GRIEF.

distorted, or draAvn into a distressed and gloomy when Psammenitus beheld the spectacle, he
expression, as under bodily suffering, and which merely declined his eyes on the ground. When
is strikingly significant of the painful condition this train Avas gone by, the son of Psammenitus,
within. With this deformation of the counte¬ with two thousand Egyptians of the same age,
nance, the respiration assumes a neAV or modified Avere made to walk in procession with ropes
action. Thus, there takes place a deep, and round their necks, and bridles in their mouths.
often sonorous and tremulous inspiration, fol- These were intended to avenge the death of those
loAved by an interrupted, or broken and imper¬ Mitylenians who, with their vessel, had been
fect expiration, conjoined Avith the familiar torn to pieces at Memphis. The king's coun¬
sounds so peculiarly expressive of both mental sellors had determined that for every one put to
and bodily anguish, called sobbing, or crying. death on that occasion ten of the first rank of
The secretion of tears, at the same time, the Egyptians should be sacrificed. Psammenitus
becoming much increased, they overfloAv the observed these as they passed; but, although he
eyes, and roll down the cheeks. Now this act perceived that his son was going to be executed,
of weeping, especially Avhen the tears run and Avhile all the Egyptians around him wept
copiously, serves to relieve the inward distress and lamented aloud, he continued unmoved as
and oppression, as of the heart and lungs, and before. When this scene also disappeared, he
thus forms a sort of natural crisis to a paroxysm beheld a venerable personage, who had formerly
of grief, just as sweating does to a paroxysm of partaken of the royal table, deprived of all he
fever. Some persons can never Aveep under had possessed, and in the dress of a mendicant,
afflictions of any character, and such generally asking charity through the different ranks of
experienco much sharper sufferings than those the army. This man stopped to beg alias of
whose sorrows find a more ready outlet at their Psammenitus, the son of Amasis, and the other
eyes. It is seldom, I believe, if ever, that an noble Egyptians who were sitting with him ;
individual dies hi a fit of grief when weeping Avhich when Psammenitus beheld, he could no
takes place freely. longer suppress his emotions, but calling on his
Crying, though more particularly significant friend by name, Avept aloud, and beat his head.
of grief, yet is by no means confined to it. It " This the spies who were placed near him to
may happen under any strong emotion, being observe his conduct on each incident, reported
not unusual oven in joy, when sudden and to Cambyses; who, in astonishment at such
unexpected; and doubtless contributes to lessen behaviour, sent a messenger, who was thus
the danger of all violent passions. directed to address him : ' Your lord and
It has been affirmed by some authors, that master, Cambyses, is desirous to know why,
man is the only animal that indicates sorroAV byafter beholding with so much indifference, your
weeping, but the truth of such assertion is not daughter treated as a slave, and your son con¬
I
yet sufficiently established. That the eyes of ducted to death, you expressed so lively a con¬
the inferior animals do oftentimes overflow Avith cern for that mendicant, who, as he has been
tears, no one will, of course, dispute ; but the informed, is not at all related to you.' Psam¬
'
question is whether this secretion is ever aug¬ menitus made this reply : Son of Cyrus, my
mented in them by the agency of moral emo¬ domestic misfortunes Avere too great to suffer me
tions. It is said of tho orang-outang, that he to shed tears: but it was consistent that I should
has been observed to cry much after the manner weep for my friend, Avho, from a station of
of our oAvn species. Tho keeper of one Avhich honour and of wealth, is in the last stage
Avas exhibited a number of year3 ago in this of life reduced to penury.' "•—Herodotus, Book
country, told me that when grieved or angry iii., 14.
j ust liko a child.'' Some
"
she would often cry The most acute sorroAV would appear to con¬
other species of the monkey tribe, and indeed centrate, and, as it Avere, benumb all the actions
even other animals, as tho seal and camel, for of life ; and its unfortunate subject—his ner¬
example, have been said to shed tears under the vous energies completely overpoAvered—remains
I influence of mental feelings. silent, motionless, stupified : whence Niobe,
Violent outward expressions, or crying, and overAvholmed with tho suddenness and greatness
noisy vociferations, by no means mark the of her misfortunes, is fabled to have been changed
deepest hiAvard sufferings. into stone.
When grief breaks forth into tears and lamen¬
" Cans leves loyuuntur, ingentes stupent."
tations, and violent muscular actions, as beating
the breast, Avringing the hands, tearing the hair,
it shows an energy of resistance in the system,
Avith a more general diffusion of the influence
of the passion, and that Ave have less, therefore,
to dread from its consequences. " The soul,"
as it has been said,
"
by giving vent to sighs and
tears, seems to disentangle itself, and obtain
more room and freedom." Anger, too, is here
oftentimes aAvakened, and, mingling Avith the
original emotion, assists in promoting its re¬
action.
We may now see that it is not those Avho
make the greatest ado about their troubles, Avho
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GRIEF. 37

them upon the notice of others, that are likely affliction speedily terminating existence. Pope
to feel them the deepest. Slight grief is apt to Innocent IV. died from the morbid effects
prattle and complain, whereas the most profound of grief upon his system, soon after the disas¬
is speechless, avoids every allusion to its source, trous overthrow of his army by Manfred.
shuns all society, even the intercourse and con¬ Severe grief may likewise call into action
solations of friendship, and tears and sighs are various nervous diseases of a more or less grave
denied to it, or come but seldom to its relief. and lasting character ; as, for example, palsy,
We may furthermore learn, that those persons epilepsy, catalepsy, St Vitus's dance, hysterics,
who are anxious to hide their grief, Avho strug¬ accompanied sometimes Avith convulsive laugh¬
gle to confine it within their oavu bosoms, must ter. And settled mania, or even dementia, has
undergo far Aveightier sufferings than such as been knoAvn to follow upon the sudden impres¬
yield themselves freely to its impulses. Hence sion of some heavy calamity.
those sorroAvs which are of a more delicate or
secret nature, and under Avhich one is often
obliged even to feign a contrary senthnent, pro¬
duce the sharpest inward torture, and are the CHAPTER XXH.
most speedily destructive to health and life.
GRIEF CONTINUED. THEEFFECTS, ON TnE ECONOMY,
" What equall torment to the griefe of mind, OF ITS MORE CHRONIC ACTION CONSIDERED.
And yiyniug anguish hid in gentle hart,
That inly feeds itselfe with thoughts unkind,
And nourisheth her ovvne consuming smart Although, as has been shown in the preceding
What medicine can any leaches art chapter, an acute paroxysm of grief may be
Teeld such a sore that doth her grievance hide,
fraught Avith the most dangerous consequences
And will to none her maladie impart ?"—
Spenser's Faery Queene.
to health and life, nevertheless it is the rooted
and stubborn sorroAV, from wdiose burden the
Sometimes the heart is completely over- heart finds no rest, to Avhich disease and untimely
whemied, and all the vital poAvers instantly death are the more frequently to be imputed.
yield under the sudden impulse of extravagant The deep and settled despondency consequent
grief. on a separation from the happy scenes and
" In the war AA'hich king Ferdinand made associations of one's native home, termed home¬
upon the doAvager of king John of Hungary, a sickness ; or the sorrow growing out of defeated
man in armour Avas particularly taken notice of ambition, reverses of fortune, the bereavement
by every one for his extraordinary gallantry in of near and dear relatives, or disappointment in
a certain encounter near Buda, and being un- the more tender affections of the heart, will not
knoAvn, avus highly commended, and much rarely engender or excite some serious malady,
lamented Avhen left dead upon the spot, but by under Avhose influence life must speedily yield.
none so much as by Raisciac, a German noble¬ And to those of a frail and delicate constitution,
man, who Avas charmed Avith such unparalleled the danger from such unfortunate sources will
valour. The body being brought off the field be immeasurably enhanced.
of battle, and the coimt, Avith the common curi¬ Morton entitles one of his species of consump¬
osity, going to view it, the armour of the tion amelanch olia; and Laennec, that eminently
deceased was no sooner taken off, but he knew distinguished French Avriter on diseases of the
him to be his OAvn son. This increased the chest, is disposed to ascribe the greater preva¬
compassion of all the spectators ; only the lence of consumption in large cities, to the
count, without uttering one Avord, or changing numerous and close relations among men afford¬
his countenance, stood like a stock, Avith his ing more frequent occasions for the development
eyes fixed on the corpse, till, the vehemency of of the gloomy and bad passions of the heart.
sorrow having overAvhelmed his vital spirits, he This latter author records the follow ing remark¬
sunk stone dead to the ground."—Montaigne's able example, which was ten years under his
Essays. observation, of what he believed to be the
Under the sudden shock of grief, the heart elfect of the melancholy and depressing passions
and nervous system may become so greatly agi¬ in the production of consumption. " There
tated and disturbed, as to place the life of the existed, during the time mentioned, at Paris, a
individual in much peril. Here a general throb¬ recent religious community of women, who,
bing is felt throughout the body, and a distinct on account of the extreme severity of their
thrill may be perceived in all the arteries regulations, had obtained only a conditional
whose pulsations are sensible, and the anxiety toleration from the ecclesiastical authority.
and distress are extreme. Dr Hope relates the Their diet, though austere, did not exceed Avhat
case of a healthy plethoric young female, who, on the powers of nature could endure; but the
receiving the intelligence that her husband had rigour of their religious rules Avas productive
deserted her, fell into a state of almost complete of effects both melancholy and surprising.
insensibility, " and the violently bounding, Their attention was not only habitually fixed
jerking, and thrilling arterial throb, together on the most terrible truths of religion, but they
with universal flushing, heat, and perspiration Avere tried by all kinds of opposition to induce
of the surface, resisted every remedy, and only them, as soon as possible, to renounce entirely
subsided with the wane of life."—On Diseases their oaati proper will. The effects of this course
of the Heart, &c. Avere alike in all. At the end of one or two
Apoplexy, or some other equally fatal malady, months les rfigles se supprimaient, and in one or
is occasionally induceddownloaded
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and 130.160.4.77
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^mmmmmmmm

38 GRIEF.

They not being bound by vows, I urged them,


'
same Avriter, that I could illustrate the history
on the first manifestation of the symptoms of the of our revolution from the taking of the Bastile
malady, to quit the establishment; and almost to the last appearance of Bonaparte, by describ¬
all who followed the advice were cured, though ing in a series of cases the lunatics, whose mental
many of them had already exhibited evident derangement was in connexion with the succes¬
signs of consumption.During the ten years that sion of events.'"—Prichard on Insanity.
I was physician to this household, I saAV it Monomania is a form of insanity not uncom¬
renewed two or three times by the successive monly following the chronic action of grief. If
loss of all its members, with the exception of a an individual of the melancholic temperament
very small number, composed principally of the sustains some grave misfortune, he is apt to
superior, the gate keeper, and the sisters who brood over it in painful despondency. His
had the care of the garden, the kitchen, and general health, therefore, soon becomes impaired,
the infirmary ; and it is Avorthy of remark that his moral energy languishes, and no motive can
those persons were the ones Avho had the most arouse him to Avholesomc exertion. In time
frequent distractions from their religious aus¬ his melancholy becomes more deep and settled,
terities, and that they frequently Avent out into —.his temper often grows morose, irritable,
the city on duties connected Avith the establish¬ suspicious, misanthropic ; and at length some
ment." Tho same author likeAvise tells us, that unhappy and erroneous impression fastens upon
almost all the individuals whom he has seen his imagination, and maintaining despotic SAvay
become phthisical, without the signs of the over all his thoughts and feelings, he becomes
constitutional predisposition, appeared to owe a confirmed monomaniac.
the origin of their malady to deep or long- Obstinate sorrow has sometimes caused a total
continued sorrow.—Traite de VAuscultation wreck of all the poAvers and affections of the
mediate, et des Maladies des Powmons et du mind, leaving a hopeless moral imbecility as its
Coeur. I have seen it also remarked by mournful sequel.
another French writer, that phthisis, in those Numerous instances are recorded, both by
convents particularly where the discipline is ancient and modern medical authors, where
severe, carries off a great number of the nuns. habitual epilepsy has resulted from the baneful
The gloomy state of mind induced by such influence of moral calamities. Palsies, like¬
austerity may, to say the least, operate hi aid Avise, and other melancholy nervous affections,
of other causes in generating or exciting this are not uncommonly attributable to the same
fatal disease. source.

Insanity, certainly Avhere any predisposition When we consider how immediate and for¬
to it exists in the system, is very liable to be cible is the impulse of grief upon the heart, it
developed by all such causes as tend to depress will excite no surprise that disease of this organ
the mental feelings, or aAvaken sorroAV. In should be endangered under its severe and con¬
looking over the reports of various lunatic tinued operation. Desault and several other
asylums, we shall see that a large proportion of French writers have remarked that during the
their cases are ascribed to moral afflictions ; as, unhappy period of the revolution, maladies of the
unrequited love, great reverses of fortune and heart and aneurisms of the aorta became obvious¬
pecuniary embarrassments, disappointed ambi¬ ly multiplied. Nothing is more common than for
tion, religious desj)ondency, remorse, unhappy derangements of the function of the heart, indi¬
marriage and domestic trouble, loss of relatives, cated by intermissions, and other painful and
home-sickness, &c. We are told that the first sometimes dangerous irregularities in its pulsa¬
question wdiich M. Pinel Avas in the habit of tions, to be the consequence of lasting anxiety
putting to a new patient, who still retained some and mental dejection ; and such functional
remains of intelligence, Avas, " Have you under¬ disorders, Avhen long continued, may even ter¬
gone any vexation or disappointment?" and minate in some fatal change in the structure of
that the reply Avas seldom in the negative. The the organ.
causes alluded to being always most influential Examples, indeed, are not wanting where the
in civilized life, is regarded as one principal first indications of diseases of the heart have been
reason Avhy insanity prevails in proportion to the referred to the sudden impression of some pain¬
cultivation of society. It has been observed, too, ful calamity, under Avhich the organ sustained a
that in those disastrous periods when poverty shock from whose Adolence it could never
and reverses of fortune are most common, men¬ recover. We find an interesting case of this
tal derangement becomes more frequent. description recorded by the Chevalier Pelletan,
"
Anxiety and agitation of mind caused by in a memoir published by him a number of
political events, have occasionally produced a years since, and while he Avas chief surgeon of
very decided effect on the numbers of persons the Hotel Dieu, in Paris, on certain diseases of
becoming deranged. M. Esquirol declares that the heart. The subject of this record was an
the laAV of conscription increased the number Irishman, thirty-six years of age, and of the
of lunatics in France, and that at every period most ungovernable passions. Having experi¬
of this levy, many individuals were received enced during the revolutionary struggle various
into the hospitals, who had become insane fortunes and sufferings, he at length, on the
through tho excitement and anxiety occasioned affairs of France assuming a more favourable
by it; they were partly from the number of aspect, obtained a pension of twelve thousand
those on whom the lot fell, and partly from their francs, but Avhich was immediately taken from
friends and relatives. The influence of our him on the death of the patron by Avhom it
'

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GRIEF. 39

it would seem, completely overthrew him. the fact, we can then only regard his complaint
" He has told me a hundred times," says the as developed and hastened, not as generated
Chevalier, "that on hearing the news of his anew, by the depressing passions which tor¬
loss, he immediately felt a dreadful weight in mented the latter period of his existence. No
his chest. His respiration became fatiguing, distinct tokens of the malady which destroyed
and the palpitations of his heart assumed an him, were, at any rate, disclosed, till about a
irregularity, which had no interruption during year subsequent to his arrival upon the island,
the two years and a half that he survived his Avhen he first began to complain of an uneasy
misfortune." sensation in his stomach and right side. It was
From the period when deprived of his pension, not, however, until October of the following
organic disease of the heart appears to have year that he was subjected to any medical
declared itself, and to have gone on increasing treatment. From this time the disease Avent on
in all its terrible symptoms, until the end of two slowly though steadily progressing, and on the
years and five months, Avhen his strength became fifth of May 1821, as the day wTas about closing,
subdued, and he obtained relief in death. this extraordinary man yielded to its poAver,
On inspecting the body, the heart Avas found and his mighty spirit rested for ever from its
colourless, and its whole substance in a remark¬ vexations and sufferings.
able state of flaccidity, such as the distinguished The liver is also very subject, earlier or later,
narrator of this case had never before Avitnessed. to participate in the morbid effects of mental
" The parietes of the cavities fell together, and dejection. At first its secretion is apt to be
the flesh of this organ might be compared to diminished or obstructed, whence constipation of
the pale and shrunken muscles of an old woman ; the bowels, salloAvness of the skin, and a train
there was an astonishing contrast between the of symptoms generalized under the familiar
flesh of the heart and that of the other muscles term bilious, commonly supervene, passing at
of the body." M. Pelletan did not hesitate to times even into decided jaundice. Biliary con¬
believe that the heart, in consequence of the cretions, or gall-stones, are said to be very
violent mental shock, was struck Avith a sort of frequent in such as have experienced long con¬
paralysis, and that death ultimately took place tinued moral despondency, and it has likeAvise
from the complete palsy of the organ. Be this been asserted that they are generally found in
as it may, the individual perished of a disease the gall-bladder of the victims of suicide. M.
of the heart, the first indications of Avhich im¬ Pelletan observes, that he has ascertained this
mediately folloAved a strong impression of grief, fact a great many times in subjects who had been
and this is all that is necessary to our purpose. induced to self-murder by lasting distress, but
Dyspepsia is another complaint exceedingly never in those who had committed it on account
liable to be induced under the protracted opera¬ of sudden grief and despair, such as happens
tion of sorrow. after losses in gaming, or from disappointed love.
Dr Heberden observes, " There is hardly any E\Ten fatal organic changes may sometimes be
part of the body AA'hich does not sometimes induced in the liver by the operation of deep
appear to be deeply injured by the influence of and prolonged mental sufferings. Such, 1ioavt-
great dejection of spirits ; and none more con¬ ever, can scarce be regarded as a common result,
stantly than the stomach and boAvels, which unless the individual, through the influence of
hardly ever escape tmharassed with pains, an climate, is disposed to hepatic disease, or driven
uneasy sense of fulness and weight, indigestions, on by the Aveight of his afflictions, adds the mor¬
acidities, heartburn, sickness, andwdnd, in such bid effect of intemperance to that of the moral
an extraordinary degree, as to threaten a chok¬ cause.

ing, and to affect the head with vertigo and The depression of sorroAV, as of fear, conduces
confusion.' '<—Commentaries. to the action both of contagion and of epidemic
Chronic inflammation, and even scirrhus and influences, and is also, like that of fear, un¬
cancer of the stomach, will sometimes succeed friendly to the restorative processes in all dis¬
the deep and prolonged influence of the passion eases and injuries of the body. Every one
I am noticing. Laennec remarks that the knoAvs that the danger of sickness becomes
depressing passions, when long operative, seem essentially aggravated by mental afflictions. And
to contribute to the groAvth of cancers, and the what judicious surgeon but wTould feel diminished
various other accidental productions Avhich are confidence in the success of an important opera¬
unlike any of the natural structures of the body.tion, Avere the spirits of its subject borne down
—Traitc de I'Auscultation. by the pressure of grief!
Bonaparte died of an extensive ulceration of WTien sorroAV becomes settled and obstinate,
the stomach, Avhich the physicians who inspected the Avhole economy must ere long experience its
his body pronounced to be cancerous. Noav, baneful effects. Thus the circulation languishes,
that his malady Avas originated or excited by nutrition becomes imperfect, perspiration is
the sorrow and chagrin arising from his painful lessened, and the animal temperature is sustained
reverse of fortune, and the wrongs and unkind with difficulty; the extremities being hi a special
treatment which he received, or fancied he manner liable to suffer from cold. The skin,
received, while on the island of St Helena, is, to moreover, grows pale and contracted, the eye
say the least, far from being improbable. The loses its wonted animation, deep lines indicative
father of Napoleon having fallen a victim to of the distress Avithin, mark the countenance,
cancer of the stomach, many have thought that and the hairs soon begin to whiten, or fall out.
a predisposition to this disease was inherited by The effect of the painful passions in depriving
the emperor. Admitting
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mmmmmmm

40 GRIEF.

times most astonishing. Bichat states that he torments which mad bigotry has portrayed to
has known five or six instances where, under his fancy.
the oppression of grief, the hair has lost its Despair, consisting in utter moral desolation,
colour in less than eight days. And he further or the complete absence of all hope, abandons
adds that the hair of a person of his acquaint¬ every exertion for the future. Thus does it
ance became almost entirely white in the course either shun altogether the intercourse of man,
of a single night, upon the receipt of melancholy burying itself in the deepest gloom and solitude,
intelligence.—Anatomic Ginerale. or seek to lessen the intensity of its misery by
The sleep of the afflicted is generally dimi¬ violent and undetermined action, or dissipation.
nished, broken, disturbed by gloomy and terri¬ Sometimes it urges on its reckless victim to the
fying fancies, haunted and distressed by a most criminal and desperate acts—to gross in¬
revival, in new and modified forms, of their temperance, or some more sudden method of
waking sorroAVS ; and thus is rarely granted to throAving off a hated existence. Those even
them even the paltry solace of a few hours' Avho are hopeless of God's mercy, and look
oblivion to their sufferings, and repose is often¬ forward but to everlasting torture hereafter, will
times almost a stranger to the couch of misery. often hurry themselves to meet the very worst
their imagination can paint, rather than endure
" Tired Nature's sweet restorer, balmy Sleep. the agony of despair produced by their dreadful
He, like the world, hia ready visit pays
Where Fortune smiles: the wretched he forsakes; apprehensions ; as one will sometimes leap doAvn
Swift on his downy pinion flies from woe, the dizzy height, the bare view of Avhich sickened
And lights on lids unsullied with a tear." his brain, and filled his soul Avith terror.
When despair does not impel to such rash
The nervous system, subjected to the depress¬ deeds, all consciousness of suffering either be¬
ing influence of which I have been spealdng, comes lost in insanity, or the physical energies
soon becomes shattered, and, in the end, all the soon yield to its overAvhelming influence.
energies, both of mind and body, sink under Existence cannot last long under the privation
the afflictive burden. of every enjoyment, and the extinction of every
hope.
Grief, in whatever measure it may exist, will
always be most obstinate and dangerous in those
CHAPTER XXIH. unengaged in active pursuits, and who have
consequently leisure to brood over their troubles.
GRIEF CONTINUED. DESPAIR AND SUICIDE. GRIEF
Bodily and mental activity, and more especially
ASSUMES A SOMEWHAT MODIFIED CHARACTER, when the result of necessity, must, by creating
AND IS MORE OR LESS BLUNTED BY TIME, ACCORD¬ fresh trains of association, and diverting the
ING TO THE SOURCES WHENCE IT SPRINGS. thoughts into ucav channels, tend to weaken the
poignancy of affliction. Nothing, in truth,
Despair is the name by Avhich we express the serves more effectively to lighten the calamities
most aggravated degree of moral depression. of life, than steady and interesting employment.
Under this dreadful feeling, no ray of hope, no It is, as I conceive, for the reason that females
sunbeam of joy, breaks in upon the Cimmerian are generally exempt from the cares and ex¬
darkness of the soul. To one who has reached citements of business, and confined at home to
this utter state of despondency, life is no longer their oavh relatively tranquil domestic duties,
desirable; tho charms of nature and of art that they so much oftener pine and sicken under
call forth no throb of delight in his dark spirit, wounded affections than our OAvn more active
Dr Good observes that suicide
"

or the cheerful earth spreads out before him like and busy sex.
some gloomy and barren Avilderness. is frequent in the distress of sieges, in the first
alarm of civil commotions, or when they have
" He now no more, as once, delighted views subsided into a state of calmness, and the mis¬
Declining twilight melt in silvery dews ;
No more the moon a soothing lustre throws, chiefs they have induced are well pondered: but
To calm his care, and cheat him of hi-> vv oes : it seldom takes place in the activity of a cam¬
But anguish drops from Zephyr's fluttering wing; paign, whatever may be the fatigue, the priva¬
Veiled is tho sun, and desolate tho spring; tions, or tho sufferings endured. On the fall of
The glitteiiug rivers sadly seem to glide,
And meiital darkness shrouds creation's pride."
the Roman empire, and throughout tho revolu¬
Merry's Pains of Memory. tion of France, self-destruction was so common
at home, as at last to excite but little attention.
Despair may proceed from a sense of blasted It does not appear, however, to have stained the
fame, deep humiliation, or Avounded self-love, retreat of the ten thousand under Xenophon,
under which existence, to the proud man, be¬ and, according to M. Falret, was rare in the
comes an unremitting torture. It may also bo French army during its flight from Moscow."—
the offspring of blighted expectations, irretrieAr- Study of Medicine.
able losses, and suddenly ruined fortune,—as The subject of suicide referred touin the above
happens often to the gamester,.—and sometimes quotation, involving as it does so many curious
of remorse of conscience. In those especially of facts and inquiries, and being so frequent a con¬
timid, gloomy, and superstitious dispositions, it sequence of the pressure of grief, a few cursory
Avill not unfrequently result from injudiciously remarks upon it may not be deemed irrelevant
aAvakened religious terrors ; the deluded indi¬ to our present matter.
vidual conceiving himself an outcast from God's Suicide in ancient times, and particularly
mercy, predestined
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DESPAIR. 41

height of their glory, was, under many circum¬ With late repentance, now they would retrieve
stances, not merely excused, but looked upon as The bodits they forsook, and wish to live ;
a praiseAvorthy and heroic act; and it Avas even Their pains and poverty desire to bear,
To view the light of heav'n, and breathe the vital air:
held to be base and coAvardly to cling to exist¬ But fate forbids ; the Stygian floods oppose,
ence under suffering and ignominy. Many of And with nine circling streams the captive souls
the noblest of the Roman commanders, as Brutus, enclose." Dry den's Translation.
for example, when the fortune of war turned "

against them, chose a voluntary death sooner There are certain governments," Montaigne
than bear the disgrace of a defeat; and this tells us, "which have taken upon them to regu¬
wras regarded as a glorious consummation of late the justice, and proper time, of voluntary
their lives. deaths." And he says on the authority of
Cato the younger has, both in ancient and Valerius Maxhnus, that " a poison prepared
modern times, been held up as an illustrious from hemlock, at the expense of the public, was
example of stern and virtuous patriotism, kept in times past, in the city of Marseilles, for
because he took his own life rather than submit all Avho had a mind to hasten their latter end,
to Caesar. Cato's suicide, as often happened in after they had produced the reasons for their
those days, showed the most determhied and design to the six hundred who composed their
desperate resolution, and it has frequently been senate ; nor Avas it lawful for any person to lay
lauded on this very account. He first stabbed hands upon himself, otherwise than by leave
himself, but, OAving to an inflammation which of the magistracy, and upon just occasions."'—
at the time affected his hand, did not strike Essays.
hard enough at once to complete the work of In the present state of society, self-murder,
death, but falling from his bed in his struggles, although unhappily of so frequent occurrence,
his son and friends Avere alarmed and entered finds few advocates, but is generally regarded
his room, where they found him weltering in with sentiments of the deepest horror, and
his blood, and with his bowels fallen out, but among some people and sects the rights of
yet alive. The physician, perceiving the boAvels Christian sepulture are denied to its victims.
uninjured, put them back and began to seAV up One might suppose that nothing but the most
the Avound; but Cato in the meanwhile coming consummate and hopeless misery could overcome
a little to himself, " thrust aAvay the physician, the strong feeling Avhich binds us to existence ;
tore open the Avound, plucked out his own and it is generally true that only the severest
boAvels, and immediately expired." Great moral afflictions, either real or imaginary, can
honours Avere paid to the body by all the people provoke to a deed so rash and unnatural as self-
of Utica, and Caesar himself is reported to have murder. Still there are exceptions, nor are they
said that he envied Cato his death.—Plutarch : rare, in which it must be referred to causes of a
Life of Cato the Younger. different and less explicable character. We are
The Roman Lucretia, because she plunged a told of a suicidal club that existed in Prussia,
dagger into her breast rather than survive her comprising six members, all of wdiom, according
ravished honour, has acquired a fame Avhich will to its rules, terminated their lives by their own
be likely to endure as long as female virtue is hands. And there is also said to have been one
regarded. And of Porcia, the daughter of Cato, in Paris in recent times, a regulation of which
and wife of Brutus, Avho, being cut off from Avas that one of its number should be selected
other means, killed herself by forcing burning every year to destroy himself. Persons have
coals into her mouth, or, as is commonly told killed themselves from the hopes of a better
by swalloAving fire. Plutarch says, she " put a state ; and also to escape their agonizing fears
period to her life in a manner worthy of her of death, or future punishment; and under the
birth and of her virtue." impulse of anger.
Plato considered suicide to be justifiable under Suicide may, furthermore, owe its origin to
circumstances of severe and unavoidable misfor¬ the principle of imitation, and under such in¬
tune ; but for such as committed it from faint¬ fluence has occasionally so extended itself in
heartedness, or a Avant of moral courage to con¬ communities as to be regarded as an epidemic.
front the ordinary chances of life, he directed And where, from native organization, or defect
an ignominious burial. Virgil, however, appears of moral culture, fatal propensities exist, the
to have regarded it as unexceptionably criminal, danger from this source Avill be greatly increased.
Instances of the epidemic extension of suicide
haA'ing assigned a place hi the shades beloAv for
all those who have voluntarily taken off their from imitation or sjnnpathy, have been recorded
own lives, as is shoAvn by the foUowing passage both in ancient and modern times. It is related
in his iEneid :—. by Plutarch, in his treatise on the virtue of
Avoman, that there Avas a time when all the girls
" Proxima deinde tenent mnesti loca, qui sibi lethum of Miletus were killing themselves, and Avithout
Insontes peperere maim, lucemque perosi
Projecere animas. Quam vellent ojtliere in alto
any apparent cause. Those A\Tho first destroyed
Nunc et pauperiem et duros perferre labores I themselves served as examples to others, or
Fata obstant, tristique palus inamnbilis unda awakened their imitative propensity; and in
Alligat, et novies Styx interfusa eoercet." this Avay did the fatal work spread itself among
Lib. \i.v. 434.
them until counteracted by the stronger in¬
fluence of shame, it being ordained that then-
" The next, in place and punishment, are they
Who prodigally threw their souls away—
dead bodies should be exposed naked to the
Fools, who, repining at their wretched state, people.
Thisanxious
And loathing content downloaded
life, from
suborned their In Sun,
130.160.4.77 on
fate. a late
19number
Jun 2016of the London
06:40:18 UTC Medical
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42 SUICIDE.

Gazette, we find an account of a remarkable Even the reading of oases of suicide may
propensity to suicide spreading itself, as was sometimes call into action this principle of
supposed, from a tendency to imitation. imitation, and lead, perhaps, to fatal con¬
"

For about two months an extraordinary sequences. An instance in illustration occurred


number of suicides, and of attempts at suicide, a feAv years since in Philadelphia, an account
occurred in London ; scarcely a night elapsed of wThich was published at the time by Isaac
but one or more persons threw themselves from Parish, M.D., of that city. The subject was a
some bridge, or from the bank, into the Thames girl in her fifteenth year, Avho had been care¬
—for that was the favourite mode of self-de¬ fully brought up, and whose situation in life
struction—till at last the police looked on suchwas apparently every way agreeable. It seems
an event as a thing to be certainly expected that early in the rooming of the clay of her
and guarded against. The greater number of death, she had held a conversation with a
"

persons thus endangering their lives exhibited little girl residing in the next house, in which
no common character of insanity ;—had not she mentioned having lately read in the news¬
been regarded as of unsound intellect,'—'had no paper of a man who had been unfortunate in
cause of utter despair,—had scarcely any delu¬ his business, and had taken arsenic to destroy
sion or mistaken motive. When their lives himself. She also spoke of the apothecary's
were saved, they did not give any extravagant shop near by, and said she frequently went
reason for the attempt; at most they had been there."
vexed by some untoAvard circumstance, had had It appeared that tAvo days prior to her death
some domestic quarrel, or were poor, though she had purchased half an ounce of arsenic of a
hardly destitute. The fury of the epidemic,—• druggist in the neighbourhood, for the pretended
which affected women more than men,—Avas purpose of killing rats, which she had used as the
increasing to a truly alarming extent, when one instrument of her OAvn destruction.'—American
of the city magistrates—-Sir Peter Laurie, who Journal of the Medical Sciences, for Novem¬
had probably had some advice tendered him at ber 1837.
Bedlam, of which he is the president—.deter¬ It is a fact well known in respect to certain
mined to try the effects of punishment on all individuals, especially when of a nervous or
who were brought before him for attempts at sensitive temperament, that if the thoughts of
suicide. The plan succeeded admirably ; some any particular deed, calculated, from its criminal
wrere punished summarily, some were committed or hazardous character, to make a deep impres¬
to take their trial for attempts at the felony of sion on the feelings, chance to be strongly
self-murder, and in a very short time—a fort¬ awakened in the mind, they cannot be banished,
night at most—'the rage had disappeared, and but becoming more and more concentrated, a
suicides became no more than usually common." propensity, sometimes too powerfulfor resistance,
The writer of this article relates another to the commission of such deed, Avill actually
remarkable instance of the same sort, and in follow. Were such an one now to become deeply
Avhich a similar remedy Avas successful. It affected'—either from his connexion Avith its
happened at a garrison, where a strange pro¬ subject, or its peculiar circumstances—by the
pensity existed among the soldiers to hang occurrence of a suicide, the idea of it might
continue pertinaciously to haunt his imagina¬
"
themselves on lamp-posts. Night after night
were suicides of this kind committed, till the tion, and an unconquerable inclination to the
commanding officer issued a notice, that the like dreadful act be the consequence. And that
body of the next man who put an end to his murders are sometimes committed under the
life, should be dragged round the garrison at the same mysterious and urgent impulse, is a fact
cart's tail, and then be buried in a ditch. His too Avell established for denial. I remember an
order was but once put in force, and then the instance in point, which happened a number of
epidemic ceased." years since under my immediate observation.
Several persons have committed suicide by A young lady, Avhile sitting with an infant in
throwing themselves from the top of the Monu¬ her arms near a fire, over Avhich hung a large
ment in London. And at one time—as my kettle of boiling Avater, suddenly started up, and
guide there informed me—there seemed to be a in a hurried and agitated manner ran to a
growing propensity to jump from the Leaning distant part of the room. On asking her the
ToAver at Pisa, three persons having thus, in reason of this, she, after a little hesitation, told
rapid succession, put a period to their existence, me, that fixing her eyes on the boiling water,
on Avhich account visitors were no longer per¬ it occurred to her hoAV dreadful it would be
mitted to ascend it without the attendance of a should she by accident let the child fall into it.
guide. " On this idea crossing my mind," said she, "I
A French journal—Archives Ge'ne'rales— instantly began to feel a propensity to throw it
records that a boy, eleven years of age, being in, which soon greAv so strong, that had I not
reproved by his father in the fields, went home, forced myself away I must inevitably have
put on his suit of holiday clothes, procured yielded to it."
from the cellar a bottle of holy-water, and The fouWing case was first published among
other similar ones by M. Marc. It occurred in
placed it beside him, and then hung himself
from the cross-beam of the bed. It appears Germany, in the family of Baron Humboldt, and
that the uncle of this boy had a short time has the testimony of th is distinguished individual.
previously destroyed himself in a similar man¬ The mother of the family returning home one
ner, having also first placed near him a bottle day met a servant who had previously given no
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of holy-water. of19complaint,
on Sun, in a state
Jun 2016 06:40:18 UTCof the greatest
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HOMICIDAL PROPENSITY. 43

agitation. She desired to speak with her mistress It sometimes happens that this homicidal
alone, threw herself on her knees and entreated propensity of which I have been speaking is
to be sent out of the house ; giving as her reason, obviously connected with bodily disorder. Thus
that whenever she undressed the little child it has been preceded by headache, feverishness,
wdiich she nursed, she was struck with the
"

thirst, obstinate constipation, pains and other


whiteness of its skin, and experienced the most disorders of the stomach and bowTels. A case i3
irresistible desire to tear it in pieces." related AAdiere epilepsy, to which the patient had
'' A country woman, twenty-four years of age, been subject during sixteen years, suddenly
of a bilious sanguine temperament, of simple and changed its character without any apparent
regular habits, but reserved and sullen manners, cause, and in place of the fits there occurred
had been ten days confined with her first child, from time to time an irresistible desire to commit
when suddenly, having her eyes fixed upon it, murder. The approach of these attacks Avas
she Avas seized with the desire of strangling it. sometimes felt for many hours, and occasionally
This idea made her shudder ; she carried the for a whole day. before they actually seized the
infant to its cradle, and went out in order to get individual; and on such premonition he would
rid of so horrid a thought. The cries of the entreat to be tied doAvn, to prevent him from
little being, Avho required nourishment, recalled the commission of the crhne to Avhich he wraa
her to the house; she experienced still more blindly impelled.
strongly the impulse to destroy it. She hasten¬ This propensity to homicide exhibits the same
ed aAvay again, haunted by the dread of commit¬ remarkable tendency to spread from the force
ting a crime of which she had such horror; she of imitation, as we have previously shoAvn exists
raised her eyes to heaven, and went into a church in that to suicide. In proof of this, examples
to pray. enough will be found on record. We are told
" The unhappy mother passed the whole day that the trial of Henriette Cornier, in France,
hi a constant struggle between the desire of for infanticide—it becoming, from its peculiar
taking aAvay the life of her infant, and the dread and deeply exciting circumstances, a subject of
of yielding to the impulse. She concealed, until very general attention and conversation—occa¬
the evening, her agitation from her confessor, a sioned in many respectable females a strong
respectable old man, the first Avho received her propensity to the same unnatural deed.
confidence, who, having talked to her in a sooth¬ It is, in part at least, on this principle of imi¬
ing manner, advised her to have recourse to tation that we are to account for the repeated
medical assistance.".—Prichard on Insanity. attempts on the lives of Louis Philippe and
Cited from Dr Michu. Queen Victoria; and the unavoidable publicity
In another instance recorded of this morbid of such attempts, and the factitious consequence
impulse to infanticide in a young mother, the pro¬ into Avhich their miserable authors are too often
pensity to destroy the infant Avould occasionally elevated, must serve to propagate the disposition
entirely subside for some days, and an equally to them.
strong tendency to suicide take the place of it. That unfortunate cases do now and then occur
I have knoAvn persons, who, on taking a sharp where persons acting under this insane impulse
Aveapon into their hands, Avould almost always are condemned to the punishment of murder, ia
experience a disposition to stab those Avho hardly to be questioned. Still, such morbid im¬
chanced to be near them. pulses should be admitted Avith a good deal of
In view of such cases as have been cited, and caution, or they Avould be too often pleaded to
very many of them will be found on record, shield the murderer. Human justice is neces¬
some late eminent writers on mental diseases sarily imperfect, and it cannot be otherwise than
have admitted a form of insanity Avhere the that some must fall the unmerited victims to its
afflicted individual, without the slightest ap¬ imperfection. The existence of such a morbid
parent disorder of the intellect, or any other impulse may rationally be supposed when there
discoverable mental aberration, and under a is no motive for the crime committed, and when
horrid conviction of the atrocity of the deed to the perpetrator of it makes no effort to escape or
which he is blindly impelled, and moreover de¬ to screen himself from punishment.
void of all malicious intent, is attacked with a Suicide, as I have previously asserted, is in
violent, and sometimes insuperable propensity to some cases to be ascribed to a like inscrutable
take life ; often that of some particular indivi¬ impulse, and the disposition to it will, at times,
dual, a friend, or perhaps one bound to him by be found to alternate, or to be strangely blended
the closest ties of kindred. This has been termed writh that to homicide ; and to be preceded also,
homicidal monomania, and homicidal madness, or accompanied, by obvious physical derange¬
and has been classed under a variety of mental ment. Striking changes, too, in the moral
disease, recently described, called moral insanity; character and habits, are apt to forerun attempts
that is, where the moral feelings only become at suicide. Thus, those Avho had before been
perverted, the intellect, or reasoning principle, social, mild, and cheerful, as a prelude to this
being no further affected than through the in¬ tragic act Avill often become solitary, morose,
fluence of their morbid excitement or perversion. gloomy, and misanthropic.
It is to be remembered, however, that there There is another strange impulse occasionally
is another form of homicidal madness dependent witnessed, and doubtless intimately allied to that
on actual hallucination, hi which the individual which has been the subject of our attention,
is urged on to the commission of murder under urging to acts of mischief—as the destruction of
a fancied command from heaven, or some other property—andindependentofmalevolentfeeling,
similar delusionThis
of content
the imagination or, inon
downloaded from 130.160.4.77 truth, of Jun
Sun, 19 any2016
discoverable
06:40:18motive.
UTC I have_
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44 SUICIDE.

known persons, on taking a watch into their the suicides registered in France from 1827 to
hands, express the strongest desire to dash it in 1830 to be six thousand nine hundred; but as
pieces. And I have seen tumblers and wine¬ many cases of this nature, either from inade¬
glasses actually broken under the forcible influ¬ quate data, or the importunity of friends, Avill
ence of such destructive propensity. Children abvays be classed under the deaths from acci¬
too, it is Avell known, will not unfrequently ma¬ dent, the actual amount must probably be much
nifest the strongest disposition to break their greater; and has been estimated to exceed, in
trinkets, even those with which they had been the ratio of three to one, the number of murders
most delighted. and assassinations. In the department of the
I have heretofore alluded to that propensity Seine, where the greatest proportion occurs, the
which some people experience on looking over instances have been shoAvn to be as one in every
the broAV of a precipice to cast themselves down. thirty-six hundred inhabitants.
It is, therefore, not improbable that some of the In France the cases of suicide appear, of late
suicides which have been accomplished by jump¬ years, to be growing more and more numerous.
ing from great heights Avere unpremeditated, the M. Charles Dupin has sheAA-n such increase to
individual having been suddenly overpowered have been almost regularly progressive in Paris
by the force of such inclination.And may it from 1829 to 183G ; and recent tables prove
not also be true that some of the deaths ascribed that the number throughout France continues
to accidental falls were, in reality, occasioned by yearly augmenting. Thus in 1836 there were
this same unnatural impulse registered tAvo thousand three hundred and ten
Suicide is in many instances hereditary, and the cases of voluntary death ; in 1837, two thousand
disposition to it will sometimes be developed in four hundred and thirteen ; in 1838, two thou¬
different members of a family at nearly the same sand five hundred and fifty-six; and in 1839,
period of life. M. Esquirol mentions a case tAvo thousand seven hundred and seventeen.
where the father, the son, and the grandson, all In a table given by M. Dupin, suicide is shewn
destroyed themselves at about their fiftieth year. to happen at all ages from ten to ninety, but
In the opinion of M. Falret, of all the forms of to attain its greatest frequency from forty to fifty,
melancholy, that which tends to suicide is or in middle life, diminishing as wo recede from
most frequently hereditary; and he gives an it to either extreme. This has been explained on
instance where all the female members of a the supposition, that then, more than at any other
family for three succeeding generations com¬ period, " the mind is exposed to the disturbing
mitted or attempted suicide. Indeed, examples influence of disappointed ambition, of domestic
of the hereditary transmission of a propensity anxiety and distress, and of other causes of
to suicide, are by no means of uncommon occur¬ chagrin and disquietude ; and that it no longer
rence, and many of my readers will doubtless be possesses that elasticity or resiliency of spirit,
able to recal such to their minds. by Avhich it relieved itself from vexing care in
The relative number of suicides is consider¬ more youthful years.
Li " The middle-aged man feels, when calamities
ably greater in cities than in the country.
Prussia, the city have been ascertained to bear to overtake him, that ho is less able than he Avas
the rural cases, a proportion of fourteen to four. wont to be, to struggle against them ; and tho
M. Guerry, in an essay on the moral statistics of mortification at tho change of his circumstances,
France, states that from whatever point we coupled Avith the slender hope of regaining his
start, the relative frequency of suicide Avill former position, is too apt to prey upon his mind
always bo found to increase as Ave approach until he is driven to commit suicide."'—London
Paris. And the same assertion is also made in Medico-Chirurgical Review, for Jiily 1837.
respect to Marseilles, this toAvn being regarded In the city of New York, the whole number
as the capital of tho South. Just the reverse of of deaths registered from the first of January
this, though one would scarcely look for such a 1805 to the first of January 1842, a period of
result, ho found to hold true of murders and thirty-seven years, Avas 164,976, of AArhich 809,
assassinations, these consequently, in relation to or one out of 203 J£ 8, come under the head of
tho number of inhabitants, being the most, suicide. It cannot be doubted, however, that
Avhere suicides are the least, numerous. this estimate falls considerably short of the true
The propensity to self-destruction would ratio of mortality from this cause, since, for
appear to be much stronger in males than in reasons which must be obvious to all, many
females. In France the number of cases among unquestionable cases of self-murder are here, as,
the former is something more than double that in truth, everywhere else, reported under the
among the latter ; and a similar proportion head of casualties, visitation of God, &c.
appears to hold in England. Suicide in New York, so far, at least, as Ave
The cases of self-murder vary materially in may judge from the tables of mortality, does
their relative number in different countries, as not, as in Paris, appear to be an increasing
well as in the same country at different periods. vice. On the contrary, a comparison of recent
In France and Germany they have been proved with former reports will prove to us that the
to exceed very remarkably, even three or four cases of it, I mean in proportion to the popula¬
times, those in England. In London, as accu¬ tion, have been manifestly diminishing. Thus,
rately as can be ascertained, there happen an¬ for the five years from the first of January
nually about a hundred instances of voluntary 1805 to the first of January 1810, we have
death. And in the whole of England the pro¬ registered eighty-one cases of suicide ; which,
portion of cases to tho numberfrom
of inhabitants, compared with the mean of the city population
This content downloaded 130.160.4.77 on Sun, 19 Jun 2016 06:40:18 UTC
M. Guerry states for this term, that is, 86,0711, gives us an
s about
oT^irniine thousand.
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GRIEF. 45

average annual proportion of one case in fifty- comparisons, the dreadful apprehensions for the
three hundred and thirteen and a fraction of the future, and the agonizing sense of wounded pride,
inhabitants. Noav for the same number of years, or self-humiliation, which there will be such
from the first of January 1835 to first of repeated occasions to call forth, but too often
January 1840, there are reported a hundred and render existence an almost unrelieved torture.
ninety-one cases, and the mean number of the Hoav feAv, under such reverse of circumstances,
inhabitants being 291,399, we have therefore, can look back on the days of their ease and afflu¬
for this time, an average yearly ratio of one ence but Avith feelings of the most bitter regret!
instance of self-murder to every seventy-six And what cause than this has been more pro¬
hundred and twenty-eight and a fraction of the ductive of despair and self-destruction
population'—a very manifest decrease Avhen com¬
pared with the aforenamed period. An estimate " But most to him shall memory prove a curse,
Who meets capricious fortune's hard reverse;
of about one suicide for every seAren thousand of
Who once, in wealth, indulged each gay desire,
the inhabitants of the city of NeAv York woidd AAliile to possess was only to require :
probably not come wide of the truth. This is a Glows not a flower, nor pants a vernal breeze,
larger proportion than is given for London, but As in liis hour of affluence and ease,
considerably less than that for Paris, in Avhich AVliile every luxury that the world displiys,
Wounds him afresh, and tells of better davs."
latter city there appears to be an astonishing- Merry's Pains of Memory.
propensity to self-destruction.
Suicide is peculiar to man. We have no evi¬
dence that any other animal, even under the most
painful circumstances of suffering, ever volun¬ CHAPTER XXIV.
tarily shortens its oAvn existence. This act, then,
belongs to reason, or, I should rather say, the GRIEF CONCLUDED.' MENTAL DEJECTION AND EATEN
perversion of reason, never to simple instinct. DESPAIR MAY BE EXCITED BY MORBID STATES OF
Grief becomes modified, and assumes a more OUR BODILY ORGANS. THE LIKE MORAL OR PHY¬
or less dangerous character, according to the SICAL CAUSES MAY, IN DIFFERENT INDIVIDUAL^,
particular nature of its origin. Wrhen caused by AND EVEN IN THE SAME AT DIFFERENT TIMES,
the decease of friends or kindred, it is, for the CALL FORTH VERY UNLIKE DEGREES OF MORAL
most part, sober, solemn, subdued; and instead OR PHYSICAL SUFFERING. IMPORTANCE OF A
of provoking, tends rather to soften and quell CHEERFUL AND HAPPY TEMPER TO THE HEALTH
the sterner passions of man. And then, as death OF CHILDHOOD.
belongs essentially to the scheme of nature, as
every human heart is exposed to bleed under its Mental depression, as has been previously as¬
bereavements, it is a laAV of our constitution serted, may grow out of physical as Avell as moral
that the avouucIs it inflicts shoidd daily experi¬ causes. The intimate relation between good spirits
ence the sedative and healing influence of time. and good health can hardly have escaped even the
To the loss even of the best beloved, the feelings most common observation. There are circum¬
AA'ill ultimately get resigned, and the idea of the stances of the body under winch the brightest
departed, divested of all the acuteness of its ori¬ fortune can bestoAv no happiness :—where in tho
ginal pain, comes at last to be dAvelt upon Avith midst of every outward comfort, the heart is
that species of soothing melancholy which Avould still heavy ; and, discontented Avith ourselves,
scarce be exchanged even for the gayest social tired of existence, disgusted Avith all about us,
pleasures. What a happy serenity will often Ave can find neither joy in the present, nor hope
steal over the feelings Avhen, withdrawing from in the future.
the busy cares and unsatisfying enjoyments of Mental depression, or sadness, was by the an¬
the Avorld, we yield ourselves to the fond re¬ cients ascribed to a redundancy of that humour of
membrance of those friends and kindred who the body denominated by them black bile, and
rest before us from the toils and soitoavs of life for wdiich the spleen, in their fancy, served as the
And with Avhat gladness will the mourner, his special reservoir. Hence we have the origin of
grief sobered by time's tempering power, often the term melancholia, or melancholy, it being
quit the noisy scenes of mirth and pleasure, to constructed of the tAvo Greek Avords, fj.tXa.ir, nielas,
linger in silence and solitude at that consecrated meaning black, and ^ex», choice, bile. Audit
spot where rests the object of his dearest recol¬ Avill also appear hoAv the word spleen came to
lections But again, other afflictions, as dis¬ be used as expressive of gloomy or unhappy
appointed ambition, ruined fortune, blighted states of the temper. In persons of the melan¬
reputation, are apt to aAvaken moral sufferings cholic temperament, a distinctive mark of Avhich
of a far less humble and submissive nature, and is a dark salloAV complexion, this black bile
to which time less certainly extends its healing was supposed to exist in excess over the three
balm.
Such, too, are much more frequently other humours formerly assigned to the body,
united with the evil passions of anger, envy, HoAvever erroneous, now, may be these theories,
jealous}/, hatred, and, consequently, oftencr lead yet none the less true are the facts which
to dissipation, crime, despair, and suicide. In loss they were contrived to explain. Although the
of fortune, for example, especially Avhere success¬ hypotheses of the ancients were too often vision¬
ful efforts cannot be made to retrieve it, the griefary, yet were their observations, for the most
that follows is many times rather aggraA-ated part, well grounded. That the condition of
than appeased by the influence of time and new the biliary secretion has much to do Avith tho
associations.. Here tho evils are over present, mind's tranquillity: that unhealthy, redundant,
ever felt. The constant deprivations
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46 GRIEF.

its gloomy tint to the complexion, may imbue lation will be sure to augment it; and if from
the moral feelings with an equally dismal shade ; a moral, a physical one will thus be speedily
will, in our present state of knoAvledge, hardly added to it. There is, indeed, no moral gloom
be contested. Thus, the common expression, more deep and oppressive than that suffered by
"to look with a jaundiced eye," means, as every the habitually intemperate—.whether in the use
one must know, to view things in their sombrous of distilled spirits, wine, or opium—in the in¬
aspect. We readily conclude, then, that dis¬ tervals of their artificial excitement. In delirium
ordered or diseased states of the liver may be tremens, a disease peculiar to the intemperate,
comprehended among the physical causes of the mind is always, even in its lightest forms,
despondency of tho mind. Thus do they en¬ filled with the most dismal ideas, and a propen¬
gender the same character of feelings of which sity to suicide is by no means unusual. The
they themselves are also begotten. opium-eater too, when not under his customary
_ Certain morbid, though unexplainable con¬ stimulus, generally experiences the most terrible
ditions of tho nervous system, as also of other mental sufferings.
parts of the animal constitution, may in like There are certain affections of the brain which
manner cloud our moral atmosphere in the manifest themselves especially, and atfirst almost
deepest gloom. That distressing state of mind entirely, by an oppressive moral gloom. A num¬
termed, in medical language, melancholia, pro¬ ber of years since, I attended a lady with a
bably, in most cases, originates in, or at any rate fatal complaint of this organ, which displayed
is soon followed by, a derangement of some part itself chiefly in such manner, the physical suf¬
or parts of the vital organization. In many fering to which it gave rise being apparently of
instances we are able to trace it to its primary but little moment. At first, and long before
source in the body. The dreadful sufferings of any disease was apprehended, she became ex¬
tho poet CoAvper, at times amounting to actual ceedingly dejected, secluding herself as far as
despair, from this terrible physico-moral malady, possible from all intercourse with society, and
as it has been not inaptly designated, are fami¬ even from the presence of her most hitimate
liar to most readers. In early life he became friends. Her melancholy increasing, assumed
the subject of religious melancholy, believing at length a religious cast, and the idea that she
"
himself guilty of the unpardonable sin," and had forfeited the favour of the Almighty, and
consequently that eternal punishment hereafter was therefore doomed to eternal punishment, so
was his inevitablo doom. So poignant, indeed, tormented her imagination that at one time she
Avas his mental agony, that at one time he in¬ made an attempt at self-destruction. What Avas
dulged serious thoughts of committing suicide, quite surprising, her mind Avas all the Avhilo
His melancholy, Avith occasional remissions, and apparently rational ; she conversed freely of
sometimes aggravated into the most acute form her feelings, admitted the absurdity of her
of monomania, pursued him through the whole thoughts, but at the same time declared, that in
of his wretched existence. spite of every endeavour they would intrude
CoAvper appears to have exhibited from his themselves upon her. At length she died, when,
infancy a sickly and sensitive constitution, and deep in her brain, attached to that part of it
his native bodily infirmities and morbid predis¬ Avhich, in anatomical language, is called plexus
positions were doubtless also favoured by too choroides, a cluster of vesicles about thirty in
close mental application, as avoII as by other number, and nearly the size of peas, Avas dis¬
circumstances to which he was exposed in early covered. Such was the physical cause of all her
life. It is besides obvious that he must have poignant mental distress.
laboured more or loss constantly under an un¬ Loav, marshy, malarious situations, where in¬
healthy condition of the digestive organs, his termittent fevers, or agues, as they are more
fits of melancholy being generally associated familiarly named, abound, through some poison¬
with headache and giddiness. What dyspeptic ous influence which they generate, so act on the
sufferer but will sympathize with him Avhere, physical constitution as to weigh doAvn all the
in one of his letters to Lady Hesketh, he says, moral energies, and fill the mind with the
'' I rise hi the morning like an infernal frog out darkest gloom. In observing the inhabitants
of Acheron, covered with the ooze and mud of of such unhealthy spots, even when they have
melancholy.'' Judicious medical and moral treat¬ j become so seasoned to their infection as to resist
ment united, might doubtless have done much the fevers or acute effects which it produces in
in mitigation of the deep sufferings of this dis¬ strangers, we cannot but be struck with their
tinguished individual. sallow, sickly, and emaciated appearance, and
A morbid or unnaturally irritable state of the the deep melancholy of their countenances, a
inner or mucous coat of the stomach will often¬ melancholy which the cheerful smile of more
times transmit such an influence to the mind as Avholesomo airs is rarely seen to relax. The
to deaden all its susceptibilities of enjoyment, nervous system, the liver, and other organs
and oppress it with the severest despondency. engaged in the function of digestion, ahnost
Now, such an unhealthy character of this inner always, in such situations, labour under more or
surface of the stomach being one of the neces¬ less obvious derangement. And here we have
sary results of an habitual indulgence in exciting yet another illustration of the remark which I
and inebriating drinks, the danger of a recourse have before made, namely, that the like physical
to it, with a view to elevate the dejected spirits states which are generated under the operation
or drown the remembrance of sorrow, will easily of grief, will also, when arising from other causes,
be understood. If downloaded
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GRIEF. 47

distinguishes the gloomy inhabitants of the un¬ deed referred to. This feeling becomes much
healthy sites to which I have just referred, is more intolerable when, in addition to the heat,
also witnessed in those Avho have long suffered we are also subjected to the tainted air and
under severe mental afflictions. irritating noises of dirty and crowded cities.
In passing those infectious spots so common The experience of every person must teach that
in the South of Europe, the attention is parti¬ a high degree of temperature can be far better
cularly attracted to the salloAv and melancholy borne if the atmosphere be pure, than when it
aspect of the people. We remark this as we is contaminated Avith noisome effluvia. One,
journey over the celebrated campagna on our therefore, who is disposed to suicide, should
way to Rome. And in a still more striking seek, during the hot season, the unadulterated
manner in the Pontine marshes, so long famed air of the country, and more particularly of the
for their noxious influence, on our route from sea-coast.
Rome to Naples. In Paestum, too, and all along The opinion has been heretofore prevalent
the rich and fertile shores of Sicily, where the that in England the foggy and gloomy month
balmy airs, the placid waters, the brilliant skies, of November afforded the most numerous in¬
and the teeming soil would seem to invite man stances of self-destruction; such a conclusion,
to joy and plenty, everything is shrouded in the however, seems not to be borne out by facts.
deepest moral gloom, and the occasional forlorn It appears that of the suicides committed in
inhabitant, with his dark, sickly and despondent Westminster, from 1812 to 1824, there were
countenance, reminds one of some unblest spirit thirty-four in the month of June, while but
who has wandered into the favoured fields of twenty-two happened in the month of November.
Elysium. Here, may it truly be said, And, furthermore, that in 1812, 1815, 1820,
and 1824, not a case occurred in November.—.
" Black Melancholy sits, and round her throws
A death-like silence, and a dread repose:
Medico-Chirurgical Review, for April 1837,
Her gloomy presence saddens all the scene, It is a prevalent notion that the variable and
Shades every flower, and darkens every green." gloomy weather of the early period of spring,
and the latter part of autumn, in the more
The insect that sports about the gaudy flowers, northern portions of the United States, favours
and regales itself on their inviting sweets affords especially a disposition to suicide. Such opinion,
almost the only indication of joy in these de¬ however, would seem to arise rather from some
voted seats of malaria. fancied association between unpleasant states of
It has been suggested that Cowper's melan¬ the atmosphere and unhappy moral feelings,
choly Avas probably favoured by his long resi¬ than to be based on any observation of facts.
dence in the malarious atmosphere of Olney. On examining the bills of mortality of the city
Frequent attacks of agues, probably by in¬ of New York for the last five years in reference
flicting an injury on some one or more of the to this subject, I find the instances of suicide to
viscera of the abdomen, are very apt to leave have been most numerous in the warm and
the mind a prey to imaginary sorrows embitter¬ pleasant season of the year. Thus, the months
ing the present, clouding the future, and at of summer, during the term specified, afford
times leading even to despair and all its terrible fifty-nine cases; of spring, fifty-three; of autumn,
consequences. forty-six ; and those of A\inter, but thirty-five.
The well-knoAvn influence, especially in sensi¬ May, generally a very cheerful and agreeable
tive individuals, of different conditions of the month in the city of New York, has tAventy-
atmosphere on the temper of the mind, must be three cases, while February, almost always
produced through the medium of the physical bleak and dreary, has but seven. March and
organization. There are some persons who November shoAV the least number of any months,
almost uniformly feel dejected when the air with the exception of January and February.
is damp and thick, the alacrity of their spirits My data, it is true, are too limited and uncer¬
returning on its becoming dry and clear. It has tain to warrant any decided inference; yet, so
therefore been imagined that certain seasons and far as they go, they are in agreement with the
conditions of the Aveather dispose, through their observations on the same subject made in France
depressing influence on the bodily health, to the and England, and tending to show that the
commission of suicide. M. Falret, wdio has strongest propensity to self-destruction exists
written on suicide and hypochondriasis, believes in the Avarm season.
that a moist, hot and relaxing atmosphere is From the remarks which have 'preceded, it
conducive to moral despondency, and conse¬ will easily be understood that the like moral
quently to self-murder ; and it is stated in con¬ causes may, in different individuals, and even
firmation of such opinion, that in the months of in the same at different times, call forth very
June and July 1S06, sixty suicides occurred in unlike degrees of moral suffering. In those of a
Paris. It may here be remarked, that in some naturally sensitive temperament, or whose ner¬
of the extremely hot and relaxing weather of vous susceptibility has been morbidly elevated
our own summer months, especially Avhen lasting through bodily infirmities, a trifling mischance
through the night, and interfering with the may be felt as keenly as a really serious afflic¬
needful sleep, a most distressing faintness, or tion in such as enjoy firmer nerve and sounder
sinking, as it is often called, at the epigastrium, health. In one cursed with what we call weak
or region of the stomach, much like that pro¬ nerves, almost everything that is in the least
duced by acute grief, is experienced ; and under displeasing, irritates and vexes the mind, and a
the agony of which, the individual is sometimes life of unhappiness is but too often the conse-
not a great This
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48 SHAME.

colouring of external things depends far more unkmd treatment, for to such they are far more
on tho character of tho internal constitution sensible than we are prone to suspect, will not
than has hitherto been generally admitted ; and unusually grow sad and spiritless, their stomach,
truly therefore has it been said, that '' the good bowels, and nervous system becoming enfeebled
or the bad events which fortune brings upon us, and deranged; and various other painful in¬
are felt according to the qualities that we, not firmities, and even premature decay may some¬
they, possess." We are the creatures of consti¬ times owe their origin to such unhappy source.
tution as well as of circumstance ; and Avith Childhood, moreover,—for what age is exempt
respect to our happiness, it may be said to de¬ from them ?—Avill often have its secret troubles,
pend even more upon the former than the latter. preying on the spirits, and undermining the
Similar observations are likewise applicable health. The sorroAvs of this period are, to be
to our physical sensations, their degree being no sure, but transient in comparison Avith those of
certain and constant measure of the absolute later life, yet they may be the occasion of
importance of the cause producing them. Now no little suffering and injury to the tender and
to the person concerned, Avhat matters it Avhether immature system while they do last. And then,
a moral or physical source of pain be augmented, again, many of the baleful passions are doubtless
or only his susceptibility to its effect As dif¬ agitating the human bosom long before they can
ferent material bodies, either from their peculiar be indicated by language. Thus, the manifes¬
nature, or through the help of incidental causes, tations of envy and jealousy, in Avhich passions
are more or less combustible, so also are different grief is always more or less mingled, are witnessed
human beings more or less excitable. And even in infancy. " I have seen," says a French
with as much reason, therefore, may Ave Avonder writer, " a jealous child, avIio was not yet able to
that one substance should be kindled into a speak a word, but Avho regarded another child
flame by a little spark that causes no impression who sucked with him, with a dejected counte¬
on the next, as that one man should suffer and nance and an irritated eye." In children who
complain under an influence to which another are educated together this feeling of jealousy
appears Avholly indifferent. Wo are all of us will be constantly appearing, hoAvever anxiously
too much disposed to assume our own sensi¬ they may strive to dissemble it. An injudicious
bilities as a standard for those of the rest of partiality on the part of parents or teachers is
mankind; hence is it that we so often hear especially apt to awaken it, and may thus pro¬
expressions like the following, meant for conso¬ duce the most unhappy effects both on the mind
lation :—" Why, hoAV is it possible that you can and body of youth. Disappointed ambition, too,
let such a little thing trouble you I am sure / may wound the breast and disturb the health
shouldn't mind it." Some persons are so phleg¬ even in our earliest years.
matic, have such thick skins and leaden nerves, Children, varying as they do in their tem¬
that scarce anything will arouse their feelings ; peraments, Avill be affected in unequal degrees
and in these, what we dignify with the name of by the moral influences to which I have referred.
firmness, is, in reality, but the result of dulness When delicate, and possessed of high nervous
or insensibility. sensibility, they will feel them, of course, much
In concluding my remarks on grief, a passion more acutely, and tho danger from them will
so comprehensive hi its nature, I may be per¬ be corrcspondently enhanced.
mitted for a moment to urge tho high import¬
ance of preserving hi children a cheerful and
happy state of temper, by indulging them hi the
CHAPTER XXV.
various pleasures and diversions suited to their
years. Those who are themselves, either from
SHAME. ITS NATURE. THE PHENOMENA WHICH
age or temperament grave and sober, will not
ATTEND IT.-—WHEN
uufrequently attempt to cultivate a similar EXTREME, OR AMOUNTING

disposition in children. Such, hoA\Tover, is in TO A SENSE OF DEEr HUMILIATION, IT MAY BE


FRAUailT WITH DANGEROUS CONSEQUENCES TO
manifest violation of the bows of the youthful
THE AVELFARE OF THE BODY.
constitution. Each period of life has its dis¬
tinctive character and enjoyments, and gravity
and sedateness, which fond, parents commonly Shame consists hi wounded pride or self-love,
call manliness, appear to me quite as incon¬ and presents itself in every degree, from that
sistent and unbecoming in the character of Avhich passes away Avith the transient blush it
childhood, as puerile levity in that of age. raises on the cheek, to the painful mortification
The young, if unwisely restrained in their of spirit, to the deep and terrible sense of humi¬
appropriate amusements, or too much confined liation Avhich prostrates all the energies of mind
to the society of what are termed serious people, and body, and renders life odious. Such extremes
may experience, in consequence, such a dejection of mortified pride, it is true, arc not ordinarily
of spirits as to occasion a sensible injury to their included under the passion specified ; still, if
health. And it should furthermore be con¬ we consider them accurately, they Avill be found
sidered that the sports and gaieties of happy legitimately reducible to it.
childhood call forth those various muscular Shame, in its primary and most commonly
actions, as laughing, shouting, running, jump¬ observed operation, affects, in a striking manner,
ing, &c, Avhich are, hi early life, so absolutely the circulation of the extreme or capillary
essential to the healthful development of the vessels of the head and neck. Thus, in many
different bodily organs. persons, no sooner is it felt than the blood flies
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unusually to tho neck and
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SHAME. 49

ears, suffusing them with a crimson and burning port himself to almost any other situation, and
blush. The eyes, too, Avill oftentimes participate might prefer rather to face the cannon's mouth,
in it, and the vision, in consequence, become than endure a repetition of such a distress¬
partially and transiently obscured. This sud¬ ing scene. Here, however, the passion is, in most
den floAV of blood towards the parts mentioned, cases, but temporary in its operation, passing
is not, as might at first seem, OAving to an in¬ off with the occasion that excited it. But some¬
crease of the heart's action, but, in all ordinary times the individual continues to suffer under
cases, at least, is referable to the immediate the effects of wounded self-love ; remahis ner¬
influence of the passion on this particular por¬ vous, agitated, unsocial, and depressed through
tion of the capillary circulation. Many of the the evening; has no relish for the refreshments
other passions are also knoAvn to produce ana¬ before him, and even a disturbed and sleepless
logous local effects hi the circulatory function. night may folloAV. Such severe effects are more
Blushing takes place Avith remarkable facility particularly apt to ensue in those whose nervous
in the young and sensitive, and in all persons of sensibility is in excess, or hi the subjects of what
fair and delicate complexions, as in those of the Ave denominate the nervous temperament.
sanguine temperament; and still more so if the We witness most obviously the operation of
nervous be engrafted upon it, forming that the passion I am noticing, hi the intercourse
compound temperament Avhich has received the between the young of the opposite sexes, some
name of sanguineo-nervous. Here blushing will of aa horn, especially such as have been educated
be constantly occurring, and on the most trivial in a retired manner, can hardly look at or speak
occasions. to one another without blushing the deepest
In certain disordered states of the system, scarlet. May not this sudden rush of blood
OAving probably to a morbid exaltation of the toAvard the head also affect the brain, and con¬
nervous sensibility, blushing happens far more tribute in causing that confusion of thought so
readily than in sound health. In indigestion, remarkable AAiien under the influence of the
for example, the face, under every little emo¬ present emotion
tion, is liable to become flushed and heated. Shame, when habitually manifesting itself in
Shame when strongly excited, is productive of the common intercourse Avith society, as Ave see
very striking phenomena both in the mind and it particularly in the young, is denominated
body. Under its sudden and aggravated influence, bashfulness, which occasions to many persons,
the memory fails, the thoughts grow confused, even through life, no trifling amount of incon¬
the sight becomes clouded, the tongue trips in venience and suffering. There are those who
its utterance, and the muscular motions are can never encounter the eye of another without
constrained and unnatural. Consider, for illus¬ becoming sensibly confused. For the most part,
tration, a bashful man making his entrance into hoAvever, this infirmity readily wears off under
an evening assembly. Everything there appears frequent commerce with the world ; and as one
to him in a maze. The lights dance and grow extreme often follows another, the most bashful
dim hi his uncertain and suffused vision. He will not rarely come to be the most boldfaced
perceives about him numerous individuals, but and shameless.
all seem mingled into one moving and indiscri¬ Bashfulness and modesty, although so fre¬
minate mass. He hears voices, but they are quently confounded, have yet no necessary con¬
indistinguishable, and convrey no definite im¬ nexion or relationship, and either may exist
pressions to the mind. His face burns, his without the presence of the other. The former,
heart palpitates and flutters, and, his voluntary or shamefacedness, as it is often called, is a weak¬
muscles but imperfectly obeying the will, he ness not unfrequently belonging to the physical
totters forward in the most painfully aAvkward constitution, and of which every one would gladly
manner, feeling as though all eyes Avere upon be relieved. It may be a quality of those even
him, until reaching that transiently important, Avho are most impure in their feelings, and,
and to him, fearful personage, the mistress of when imderstrained, most immodest in their
the ceremony. He now boAvs like an automaton, conversation. Modesty, on the other hand, per¬
or as if some sudden spasm had seized upon his tains especially to the mind, is the subject of
muscles, and either says nothing,-—shame fixing education, and the brightest, and, I had almost
his tongue, and sealing his lips,—or, if ho makes said, the rarest gem that adorns the human
out to speak, his voice is tremulous and agitated, character. That aAA-kward diffidence so fre¬
and scarce knowing what he says, he stammers quently met with hi the young of both sexes, is
forth some most inapposite remark, just such, of a nature too often very little akin to modesty.
perhaps, as he should not have made,* and then, Shame, in its ordinary operation, is not a
"overwhelmed with confusion, staggers away, frequent source of ill health. It is generally too
stumbling perchance over a chair or table, or run¬ transient in its Avorkings seriously to disturb
ning against some of the company, and is only the bodily functions. Under its severe action,
relieved of his embarrassment on finding himself hoAvever, headaches, indigestions, and nervous
mixed Avith the promiscuous crowd. Noav, the agitations, are by no means of rare occurrence;
moral pain experienced under the circumstances and even insanity has sometimes folloAved it
described, is oftentimes of the most intense nature, when greatly aggravated. Injured self-love, as
and the abashed individual would be glad to trans- is proved by the reports of' various lunatic
•* I remember a very sensible and well educated gentle¬
asylums, is far from being an unusual cause of
mental alienation. Montaigne tells us, on the
man, who, at a v\ edding party, on paying his respects to
the bride, said, " I wish you many happy returns of this authority of Pliny, that " Diodorus the logician
evening " died upon the spot, from excessive shame, not

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50 MIXED PASSIONS.

being able, in his own school, and in the presence be not too much reduced by the counterworking
of a great auditory, to resolve a quibbling ques¬ of shamo.
tion, which was propounded to him by Stilpo." I have mot with several instances where in¬
—Essays. So painful is this passion in its flammation of the skin was a very frequent con¬
extreme degree, that to escape it, the guilty sequence of the passion Ave are considering.
mother is sometimes driven on, in opposition to Thus, under its operation, a deep blush Avould
the strongest instinct of her nature, to tho mur¬ spread itself over the face, extending perhaps to
der of her own offspring. tho neck, or even to the chest; and instead of
Sensitive young children doubtless undergo subsiding, as in ordinary cases, there would be
more suffering from the passion in question, left a more or less extensive erysipelatous in¬
than most persons are prepared to believe. flammation of the parts involved, lasting some¬
Thus, under its strongly awakened influence, times to tho extent of several days. These
will they not uncommonly grow dull, gloomy, examples Avere presented by females of a deli¬
sad, loso their appetite, and suffer in the health cate complexion and mostly of a nervous tem¬
of their digestive function. Tho effect on the perament. Cutaneous eruptions of different
appetite is particularly sudden and remarkable, descriptions, but especially those to which a
so that any child whose feelings arc at all quick predisposition may chance to exist, will occa¬
and delicate may easily be shamed out of his sionally be induced from the agency of tho same
dinner. To any family disgrace children are passion.
apt to become early and keenly sensible ; and Under an aggravated sense of humiliation,
from such source their sufferings arc often more the mind suffers the most terrible anguish,
doe]) and painful than is generally suspected; and the bodily health becomes, in consequence,
and, especially, which is but too commonly the seriously endangered. Thus insanity, convul¬
case, when it is made the occasion of reproach sions, and oven sudden death, may bo the
and derision to them by their companions. sad result of such distressing moral condition.
Tho cruel practice of ridiculing the young, What feeling can bo conceived more overAvhelm-
making them the subject of contemptuous ing to the proud and lofty spirit, than that of
merriment, and more particularly of reproaching deeply mortified sclf-loAro Under its oppressive
them with, or mocking, their bodily imperfec¬ influence oven existence itself is felt to be a
tions, cannot be too severely censured, not only cruel burden. How many face death hi the
as deeply wounding their moral sensibilities, but battle field to save themselves from the shame
as serving, nho, by an unavoidable consequence, of coAvardice, or hazard their lives in single
to injure their physical health. It is generally encounter to shun the like reproach, or to A\ipe,
known that Lord Byron, even in his earliest as they believe, some humiliating stain from
their honour
years, Avas most painfully sensitive to his lame¬
ness ; and Ave are told that, One of the most
"

In a state of society, Avhere mankind are


striking passages in some memoranda which ho necessarily exposed to so many, and oftentimes
has left of his early days, is where, in speaking severe mortifications, and subject to such fre¬
of his OAvn sensitiveness on the subject of his quent and painful vicissitudes of fortune, the
deformed foot, he described the feeling of horror suffering and disease emanating from wounded
and humiliation that came over him when his pride can scarce bo sufficiently estimated.
mother, in one of her fits of passion, called him
"

a ' lame brat.' Such an expression will be


acknowledged by all to have been unfeeling and
injudicious in the extreme ; and yet Iioav common CHAPTER XXVI.
is it to hear parents upbraiding their children
with those infirmities of which they may be MIXED TASSIONS DEFINED.'—JEALOUSY. AVARICE.

the unfortunate subjects, thus awakening in


their breasts the most poignant, and oftentimes If we regard man in the spirit of unbiassed
injurious sense of mortification, and causing philosophy, we shall find little of unmiugled
them to feel their unavoidable physical defects good cither in his moral or physical nature.
with all the shame and vexation of some in¬ Evil, in our limited vieAV, Avould seem to be
flicted ignominy. absolutely provided for in his constitution. In
Some persons would seem to be naturally very the very springs of his enjoyment, health, and
susceptible to tho passion under notice ; even life, flow also tho elements of suffering, disease,
and dissolution.
the slightest causes are sufficient to provoke it, Consider our appetites, the
and in such it becomes a frequent source of source of so much of human happiness, and so
suffering both to mind and body. indispensable to our preservation both as indi¬
As an agent in the moral discipline of the viduals and a species, and Avhat a fearful sum
young, no passion than that of shame is 'more of sorroAV, sickness, and death shall we not find
traceable to them Look at the law of inflam¬
frequently, and I may add, perhaps, successfully
brought into requisition ; but oven here it mation How curious and wonderful appear
should be resorted to with a good deal of prudence, the processes instituted by it for the restoration
or it may tend to crush, instead of correcting the of injuries, and how essentially requisite do we
spirit, and thereby to repress the Avholesome find it to the safety and integrity of the vital
energies of the constitution. A certain measure fabric? And yet out of this very Iuav, the
of self-esteem is a necessary stimulus equally wisdom and benevolence of whose final purpose
to our mental and bodily functions, and Ave have afforded so frequent a theme to the medical
should therefore be careful
This content that this
downloaded fromsentiment
130.160.4.77philosopher,
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be06:40:18
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originate the most
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SEXUAL JEALOUSY. 51

agonising and fatal maladies that afflict our mixed, both the happy and unhappy passions
race. Indeed Nature would seem to employ in¬ are distinctly blended, and each, even to the
flammation as her favourite agent in the violent most superficial observation, is rendered plainly
destruction of human life. apparent.
Those passions now, with which we have The deleterious consequences proceeding from
been hitherto engaged, although brought under tho mixed emotions will, as must be evident,
the classes of pleasurable and painful, yet seldom, have a direct relation to the preponderance of
if ever, can we expect to meet perfectly pure, the unhappy feelings which enter into their
or wholly unmingled. with each other. Rarely, constitution. And their operation may further¬
and perhaps I may say never, does it happen more be greatly aggravated by sudden con¬
to us, under any circumstances, to be com¬ trasts ; adverse passions, when alternating or
pletely blessed, but the good Ave enjoy must contending, abvays serving to heighten one
constantly be purchased at the price of some another, and thus to produce the most agitathig
evil. and dangerous effects. The fear, anger, and
hate, for example, of sexual jealousy, are each
" Two urns by Jove's high throne have ever 6tood,
The source of evil one, and one of good:
enhanced by the love with which they alternate
lTrom these the cup of mortal man he fills, or are so paradoxically united. Of the hazard of
Blessings to these, to those distributes ills; aAvakening hi the mind disturbed by one strong
To most he mingles both emotion another of an opposite character, 1
The happiest taste not happiness sincere, have heretofore had occasion to speak. We can
But find the cordial draught is dash'd with care."
Iliad. perceive, therefore, why it is that a knowledge
of the very worst will generally be better borne
than an anxious incertitude under which the
Scarcely indeed can even the most prosperous
count upon a single moment of unsullied fe¬ feelings are constantly tossed and racked by
licity. Or, supposing a passion to be in the the painful struggles and oppositions of hope
and fear.
first instance purely pleasurable, yet is it sure
almost immediately to engender some other of I Avill now proceed to illustrate the mixed
an opposite shade, our very joys becoming the passions by a brief account of sexual jealousy,
avarice, and ambition.
parents of our sorroAVS. The elation of hope
alternates with the depression of fear, the de¬
lights of loAre beget the pangs of jealousy, and Sexual Jealousy, an exceedingly complicated
out of even our happiest fortunes there Avill passion, is based on the pleasurable emotion of
almost necessarily groAv some apprehension of love ; and Avhile this and hope o onthiue blended
change. Thus Othello, when under the full in its constitution, it will properly come under
the present division of mixed passion. But
fruition of all his heart's desires, exclaims,
Avhcn these feelings have become extinguished,
" If it were now to die,
'Twere now to be most happy ; for, I fear,
and despair, Avoundcd self-love, hate, and a
My soul bath her content so absolute, desire of reAtnge alone occupy the heart, then
That not another comfort like to this must Ave refer it to the preceding class, or that
Succeeds in unknown fate."
embracing the painful affections.
Jealousy of the nature mentioned, combining
So, too, may it be said of all our painful Avithiu itself a variety of contending emotions,
passions,—seldom are they altogether unre¬ as hope, fear, anger, suspicion, Ioa'c, when ex¬
lieved by those of a contrary nature. Through treme, few passions are more agitathig and
even the darkest night of the soul some gladden¬ harassing, more perversive of the judgment and
ing beams may penetrate. Hope, at least, in our moral feelings, or tend to more fearful results.
very worst conditions, seldom entirely forsakes Under its unhappy influence the appetite fails,
us.
Nature diverts us with it amid the pains the flesh Avastes, the complexion grows salloAv,
and disappointments of life, as the mother often Avith a greenish shade, and the sleep is
soothes her child, under the "bitter drug or the broken, disturbed, painful, and in extravagant
surgeon's knife, by holding before it some cases almost wholly interrupted. Well, there¬
gilded trinket. Although each day is betraying fore, might Iago exclaim, when he had raised in
its futility, yet docs its false light continue to the breast of Othello a doubt of Desdemona*s
allure and cheer us, often even to the hour of faith,
our dissolution. Divested of this principle, it
is doubtful if the human race, with its present " Not poppy, nor mandragora,
Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world,
constitution, coidd possibly have been preserved. Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
Even in the severest extremities it still holds us Which thou ov\ "dst yesterday."
to existence.

" To be worst,
The nervous system al<o- experiences violent
The lowest, and most dejected thing of fortune, perturbation, and even a state of frenzy some¬
Stand still in cbperauce, lives not in fi.ur:" times supervenes, and life itself is jeoparded.
That it becomes a not unfrequent cause of settled
It Avill be understood, then, that particular insanity, the reports of lunatic asylums Avill
emotions are assigned to the classes pleasurable afford us satisfactory evidence. This species of
and painful, not that they are absolutely un- jealousy calls up the most terrible and dangerous
minglcd, but because pain or pleasure is their passions of our nature, and frequently leads to
obviously predominant and striking feature. the most cruel and unnatural acts.
This
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52 AVARICE.

a direct proportion to the intensity of the love almost as though it were a piece of his own
uponAvhichit is based. It is where the latter flesh.
emotion is deepest, that the former becomes There are numerous passions of a far more
most destructive. Hence may it be seen why guilty character, and whose consequences to the
the opposite sexes are so fond of exciting the individual and to society are vastly more per¬
feeling in question, by a thousand little artifices, nicious ; but few are there more despicable,
in tho breasts of each other, it being a test of more debasing, more destructive of every senti¬
their affection, and flattering, consequently, to ment Avhich refines and elevates our nature, than
that strongest of all sentiments, self-love. avarice. Nothing noble, nothing honourable
Jealousy from other causes, although tortur¬ can ever associate Avith the sordid slave of this
ing tho mind, and wasting the body, rarely unworthy feeling. It chills and degrades tho
leads to such dreadful consequences as when the spirit, freezes every generous affection, breaks
offspring of sexual love. In the former case it every social relation, every tie of friendship and
is more nearly akin to envy, that '' saAv of the kindred, and renders the heart as dead to every
soul," as a Greek philosopher termed it, that human sympathy as the inanimate mass it
secret and debasing feeling Avhich often preys worships. Gold is its friend, its mistress, its god.
liko a canker on the inmost sources of health In respect to the physical system, avarice
and happiness. The only distinction between lessens the healthful vigour of the heart, and
these two unfortunate passions is this :—Jea¬ reduces the energy of all the important functions
lousy is felt towards a competitor who is, or we of the economy. Under its noxious influence,
apprehend is, rising to our oAvn rank, and the cheek turns pale, tho skin becomes prema¬
likely, therefore, to interfere cither with our turely wrinkled, and. the whole frame appears
present, or anticipated fortunes. Envy is directed to contract, to meet, as it Avere, the littleness of
toward those who already, or at least as wo its penurious soul. Nothing, in short, is ex¬
conceive, enjoy something more and better, as panded either in mind or body in the covetous
man, but he seems to bo constantly receding
respects internal and external gifts, than belongs
to ourselves. They aro each, hoAvevor, attended from all about him, and shrinking within the
by corresponding effects, and, as is true of all compass of his own mean and narrow spirit.
malignant feelings, become equally the authors Ho denies himself, not merely the pleasures, but
of their OAvn punishment, physical as well as the ordinary comforts of existence ; turns aAvay
moral. But then, this variety of jealousy, like from the bounties which nature has spread
its khidred envy, has little, if anything, that is around him, and even starves himself in the
pleasurable in its constitution; it has nono of midst of plenty, that he may feast his imagina¬
tho love for its object which mingles with sexual tion on his useless hoards. The extent to which
jealousy, and therefore will its place be more this sordid passion has in some instances reached
properly under tho division of painful emotions. Avould appear almost incredible. An old writer
tells of a miser, who, during a famine, sold a
Avarice is another passion manifestly redu¬ mouse for two hundred pence, and starved with
cible to tho class I am noAV examining. The the money in his pocket.
pleasure of avarice consists in accumulating and Avarice does not, like most other passions,
hoarding up treasures ; hi computing and diminish with tho advance of life, but, on the
gloating over them; in a feeling of the power contrary, seems disposed to acquire more and
which they bestoAV ; and likcAvise hi tho con¬ more strength in proportion as that term draAvs
sciousness of the possession of the means, though near when Avealth can be of no more account
there bo no disposition to employ them for the than the dust to which the withered body is
purposes, of enjoyment; and finally, it may be about to return. Old age and covctousness have
become proverbially associated.
supposed, in tho anticipation of future gratifica¬ Not unfre-
tions they are to purchase, since even in the quently, indeed, will this contemptible passion
most inveterate miser there is probably a sort remain active even to the end, outliving every
of vague looking forward to tho time when other feeling, and gold be the last thing that can
his superfluous stores will be brought into use cheer the languid sight, or raise the palsied
to administer, in some Avay, to the indulgence touch. Thus have Ave examples of misers Avho
of his Avants, and tho consequent promotion have died in the dark to save the cost of a candle.
of his happiness, although such a period never Fielding tells of a miser who comforted himself
on his death-bed,
"
arrives. by making a crafty and ad¬
Tho painful feelings mingling in avarice are vantageous bargain concerning his ensuing
gloomy apprehensions for the safety of its funeral, with an undertaker who had married his
treasures, with uneasy forebodings of exaggerat¬ only child." I well remember an old man, who,
ed ills which Avould result from their privation. having reached tho extremity of his existence,
Ilenco fear, suspicion, and anxiety, serve to and in a state of torpor and apathy to all around
counterbalance the pleasure arising from the him, wrould almost always be aroused, and a
contemplation and consciousness of possession of gleam of interest be lighted up in his dim eye,
the soul's idol. And then, in addition, there is by the jingling of money.
the unhappiness accompanying every little ex¬ Even the sudden and ahnost appalling aspect of
penditure, even for the common wants of life; death Avill not always banish this base sentiment
the misery, at tunes amounting ahnost to agony ; from the heart. Thus, in cases of shipvvreck,
of parting with even-the smallest fraction of that persons have so overloaded themselves with gold
wealth on Avhich tho affections
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AMBITION. 53

•was found with its bony fingers firmly clutched Ambition—such is its tenacity and power—
When," says Dr
''

round a parcel of money. will oftentimes cling to, and buoy us up under
BroAvn, speaking of the miser, "when the re¬ the severest trials, amid bodily sufferings of the
lations, or other expectant heirs, gather around most exaggerated character, quitting us only
his couch, not to comfort, nor eAren to seem to with the last conscious throb of our being.
comfort, but to await, in decent mimicry of Nerved by his desire of glory, the Indian en¬
solemn attendance, that moment which they dures without a murmur all the most cunningly
rejoice to see approaching, the dying eye can devised tortures of his enemies ; the martyr
still send a jealous glance to the coffer, near experiences the same animating influence amid
which it trembles to see, though it scarcely sees, the fires Avhich persecution has lighted for him;
so many human forms assembled, and that feeling and the felon on the scaffold, while his confused
of jealous agony, Avhich folloAvs, and outlasts the vision wanders over the assembled multitude
obscure vision of floating forms that are scarcely below him, becomes stimulated by a hero's
remembered, is at once the last misery, and the pride, and dies with a hero's fortitude.
last consciousness of life.".—'Philosophy of the With the evils and sufferings of ambition,
Human Mind. both to individuals and society, every one must
Although avarice can scarcely be set doAvn as be familiar, for all history is little else than a
a very prolific source of disease, still, the painful record of its enormities and penalties. In its
feelings mingling Avith it when extravagant, extreme degree it would appear to swalloAV up,
must exercise a more or less morbid and depress¬ or at least render subservient to itself, all
ing influence on the energies of life. The other passions of the soul.
It vanquishes even
countenance of the miser is almost uniformly the fear of death; and love itself, hoAvever ardent,
pale and contracted, his body spare, and his must submit to its superior force. Nor can it
temper disposed to be gloomy, irritable, and be bounded by the narrow limits of our existence,
suspicious—conditions rarely associated AAith a but there is an eager longing that our names and
perfect and healthful action of the various bodily deeds may still live in the remembrance of
functions. The miser is, moreover, especially posterity, when our forgotten bodies have re¬
as age progresses, very apt to fall into that dis¬ turned to the elements whence they sprung.
"
eased and painful state of the mind in which the Of all the follies of the Avorld," says
"

imagination is continually haunted by the dis¬ Montaigne, that which is most universally
tressing apprehension of future penury and received, is the solicitude for reputation and
Avant. This is to be regarded as a variety of glory, which we are fond of to that degree, as to
monomania, and certainly a strange one, inas¬ abandon riches, peace, life, and health, Avhieh
much as it almost always happens to those are effectual and substantial goods, to pursue
possessed of means in abundance to secure them this vain phantom, this mere echo, that has
agahist the remotest prospect of such danger; neither body nor hold to be taken of it. And of
and usually, also, at an advanced period of life, all the unreasonable humours of men, it seems
when, in the ordhiary course of nature, but a that this continues longer, even with philoso¬
lew years more and those ample means can be phers themselves, than any other, and that they
of no further value. have the most ado to disengage themselves from
this, as the most resty and obstinate of all
hmnan follies."—Essays.
We may define ambition to be that anxious
CHAPTER XXVII. aspiration, so characteristic of the human species,
to rise above our respective stations, or to attain
MIXED rASSIONS CONCLUDED. AMBITION. GENE¬ to something loftier, and, as fancy pictures,
RAL REMARKS UPON IT. ITS NATURE DEFINED. better than Avhat we uoav enjoy. It implies,
.—EVILS GROWING OUT OF IT WHEN INORDINATE. therefore, dissatisfaction with the present, mingl¬
—THE PECULIAR POLITICAL, AS WELL AS OTHER ed, generally, with more or less elating anticipa¬
CIRCUMSTANCES OF TnE AMERICAN PEOPLE, TEND, tions for the future. Strictly speaking, it em¬
IN A SPECIAL MANNER, TO CHERISH AMONG THEM braces emulation, or the desire which Ave all feel
THE GROWTH OF AMBITION. of a favourable estimation of self when measured
with our compeers. Pride and self-love, then,
Ambition, although Ave are so constantly ad¬ enter essentially into its constitution, and the
monished of its vanity and danger, would seem rivalships and competitions which necessarily
but to acquire iioav force—additional motives grow out of it almost always lead to the painful
being presented to it—Avith the moral and intel¬ feelings of envy and jealousy.
lectual advancement of society. The moralist This passion, consisting, as it does, especially
who AATites, and the preacher wdio declaims, in the wish for superiority over our own parti¬
against it, could they rightly analyze the mo¬ cular class, or those Avith whom Ave are brought
tives which actuate them, would probably find into more immediate comparison, must operate
this passion to be one of the most efficient: that alike upon all ranks of society. Hence, servants
their endeaA'ours are often stimulated less by a pant for distinction above servants, just as kings
desire for the good than the applause of man¬ do for pre-eminence o\~er kings. And the
kind. E\Ten humility itself, paradoxical as it tailor who excels all others of his craft in fitting
may appear, Avill often have its secret sources in a coat to a dandy's back, may feel Ms ambition
this same passion; and religion, stretching its as highly gratified as the proud statesman who
ambitious vieAvs beyond downloaded
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54 AMBITION.

tho contempt with which tho rich and great the cheering influence of hope, and the animat¬
speak of the petty strifes and competitions of ing excitement attendant on the struggles of
the poor; not reflecting that these strifes and pursuit, he is even less content and less happy
competitions are just as reasonable as their own, than on first starting on the race. He has been
and tho pleasure Avhich success affords, the chasing, as he finds a phantom ; been labouring
same."—Moral Philosophy. but to labour ; has enjoyed no hour of pleasing
The aims of ambition Avill differ, and its respite, and has hi tho end, perhaps, found only
aspects become essentially modified, according to a hell in tho imaginary paradise he had framed
the temperament, education, and habits, of its to himself. Though the rich fruit has ever
individual subjects, and tho various incidental seemed to Avave above him, and the refreshing
circumstances under Avhich they may chance to stream to play before him, yet has he been
exist. Thus wealth—literary, political and doomed to an unceasing and a quenchless thirst.
military fame, or even mere brute strength—in It is certainly a great pity that mankind will
short, almost anything that can distinguish us not strive more to cultivate a contented spirit,
from the croAvd—may, under different influences, to enjoy Avhat they already possess, instead of
become the object of our aspirations. The Avasting themselves hi the pursuit of things
cynics or dog-philosophers, Avhile they ridiculed Avhich owe all their beauty to tho distance at
those Avho Avere ambitious of Avealth and Avorldly which they are removed from us.
display, Avcre themselves equally ostentatious of Cineas, tho friend and counsellor of Pyrrhus,
their poverty, equally proud of their filth and king of Epirus, with a view to wean the latter
raggedness. Hence the remark of Socrates from his ambitious designs on Italy, drew him
to tho loader of this sect—" Antisthenes, I see artfully into the folloAving conversation:—" The
thy vanity through the holes of thy coat." Romans have the reputation of being excellent
And Diogenes, so distinguished among these soldiers, and have the command of many warlike
currish philosophers, was probably as much the nations ; if it please Heaven that we conquer
votary of ambition while snarling in his dirty them, Avhat use, sir, shall we make of our
tub, as Alexander Avhen directing his mighty victory?" "Cincas," replied the king, "your
armies ; and on making his celebrated reply to question answers itself. When the Romans are
the friendly inquiry of the latter avIio had con¬ once subdued, there is no toAvn, whether Greek
descended to visit him, " If there was anything or barbarian, in all the country, that will dare
ho could serve him in ?" " Only stand out of my oppose us ; but Ave shall immediately be masters
sunshine," felt, it is not unlikely, as much of all Italy, Avhoso greatness, poAver and impor¬
pride in his singularity and impudence, as did tance, no man knoAvs better than you." Chicas
his illustrious and more courteous guest in all having paused a moment, continued, " But after
the glory of his conquering poAvcr. Well, there¬ Ave have conquered Italy, Avhat shall we do next,
fore, might the ambitious monarch exclaim, sir ?" Pyrrhus, not yet pcrceivhig Ms drift, re¬
Were 1 uot Alexander, 1 should Avish to bo plied, "• There is Sicily very near, and stretches
"

Diogenes." And then, again, so much may the out her arms to receive us, a fruitful and popu¬
bent of ambition depend on adventitious circum¬ lous island, and easy to be taken. For Agatho-
stances that he Avho, under some conditions, clcs Avas no sooner gone, than faction and anarchy
would pant to excel as a robber, might under prevailed among her cities, and everything is
others be full as eager for excellence as a sahit. kept hi confusion by her turbulent demagogues."
" What you say, my prince," returned Cineas, "is
" The fiery soul abhorr'd in Catiline, very probable; but is the taking of Sicily to con¬
In DcciuH charms, in Curtius is divine ;
The same ambition can destroy or save,
clude our expeditions ?" " Far from it," ansAver-
And makes a patriot as it makes a knave." ed Pyrrhus ; " for if Heaven grants us success hi
this, that success shall only be the prelude to
Among tho worst evils of inordinate ambition greater things. AVho can forbear Libya and Car¬
is its continual restlessness ; its dissatisfaction thage, then Avithin roach, which Agathocles, eA'on
Avith the present, and its implacable longings for Avhen he fled in a clandestine manner from Syra¬
the future. Honours are no sooner achieved than cuse, and crossed the seas Avith a foAV ships only,
their vanity becomes apparent, and they aro had almost made himself master of? And Avhen
contemned, Avhile those Avhich arc not possessed avo have made such conquests, Avho can pretend
hold out the only promise of enjoyment. The to say that any of our enemies, who are now so
ardour of love—and the same is true of most insolent, will think of resisting us ?" " To be
other strong passions—will bo quenched, or at sure," said Cineas, they will not; for it is clear
"

least Avcakcned, by fruition ; but the appetite of that so much power will enable you to recover
ambition can never be satiated, feeding serves only Macedonia, and to establish yourself uncontested
to aggravate its hunger. No sooner, therefore, sovereign of Greece. But when Ave have con¬ "
has the ambitious man gained one eminence, quered all, what arc we to do then?" Why then,
than another and yet loftier savcIIs upon his my friend," said Pyrrhus, laughing, avc -will "

vicAV, and with fresh and more eager efforts and take our ease, and drink and be merry." Cineas
desires he strains forward to reach its summit. having brought him thus far, replied, "And
And so docs he go on, surmounting height after what hinders us from drinking and taking our
height, still looking and labouring upward, ease now, Avhen Ave have already those things in
until ho has climbed to tho very utmost pinnacle. our hands, at which we propose to arrive through
But alas even here he meets but disappointment seas of blood, through infinite toils and dangers,
and unrest.This The same
content ambitiousfrom
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AMBITION. 55

The passion under notice, existing as it does, are especially favourable to the growth of am¬
to a greater or less extent, in every human breast, bition. Hardly as yet emerged from our infancy
Avould seem to be a necessary element in our Avith a widely extended territory, and an almost
moral constitution. Some, even, of the inferior unparalleled national increase, with so much to
animals exhibit undeniable manifestations of its be accomplished, so much in anticipation, every
influence. It cannot, therefore, nor is it desir¬ one finds some part to act; every one sees bright
able that it should, be altogether suppressed. visions in the future, and every one therefore
When moderate, and wisely regulated, it may becomes inflated with a proud sense of his indi¬
prove an agreeable and AAdiolesome stimulus alike vidual importance. The field of advancement,
to the mental and physical economy, and con¬ moreover, is alike free to all, our democratical
tribute in various AArays both to individual and institutions inviting each citizen, hoAvever subor¬
social good. dinate may be his station, to join in the pursuit
It is Avhen ambition is extravagant, and more of Avhatever distinctions our form of society can
especially if it be at the same time ill-directed, bestow. Hence, as might be expected, the
that Ave witness all its pernicious effects on mind demon of unrest, the luckless offspring of am¬
and body. He aaIio has once surrendered him¬ bition, haunts us all; agitathig our breasts AA'ith
self to the thraldom of this passion, may bid discontent, and racking us Avith the constant
faroAveU, too often for ever, to that contentment and Avcaring anxiety of Avhat Ave call bettering
and tranquillity of the soul, in which exist the our condition. The servant is dissatisfied as a
purest elements of happiness. The heart thus servant; his heart is not in his vocation, but
enslaved will be ever agitated by the harassing pants for some other calling of a less humble sort.
contentions of hope and fear : and if success is And so it is through all other ranks—Avith the
unequal to the wishes and anticipations,—and mechanic, the trader, the professional man—all
how seldom is it othenvise?—then come the are equally restless, all are straining for eleva¬
noxious feelings of disappointment and regret; tions beyond wdiat they already enjoy ; and
hmniliation, envy, jealousy, and frequently even thus do Ave go on toiling anxiously hi the chase,
despair, hifusing their poison into all the health¬ still hurrying forward toAvard some visionary
ful springs of life. The suIIoav and anxious goal, unmindful of the fruits and floAvers in our
brow, the dismal train of dyspeptic and neiwous path, until death administers the only sure
symptoms, and the numerous affections of the opiate to our peaceless souls. That the people
heart and brain so often witnessed in the aspir¬ of every country are, in a greater or less
ants for literary, political, or professional fame, measure, the subjects of ambition, and desirous
are but too commonly the offspring of the pain¬ in some way of advancing their fortunes, it is
ful workings of tho passion under regard. And not, of course, intended to deny ; yet OAving to
could avc always trace out the secret causes of the circumstances already mentioned, the re¬
ill health and premature decay, disappointed marks just made apply most forcibly to ourselves.
ambition Avould probably be discovered to hold These same national conditions, too, Avhich
a far more prominent place among them than are so favourable to the increase of ambition,
has hitherto been suspected. Hoav feAv are ade¬ render us particularly liable to great and sudden
quate, either in their moral or physical strength, vicissitudes of fortune, which are abvays perni¬
to bear up under the blighting of high-reaching cious both to moral and physical health.
expectations, and yet of how many is such the Mental occupation—some determinate and
doom In those, especially, of delicate and animating object of endeavour, is, as I have
susceptive constitutions, the poAvers of life may before observed, most essential to the attain¬
soon yield to the disheartening influence of the ment of what we are all pursuing—I mean
painful humiliation which is the necessary result. happiness. Yet if the mind is not allowed its
I cannot but regard it as a mistake in our needful intervals of relaxation and recreation,
education, that the principle of ambition is so if its objects of desire are prosecuted with an
early and assiduously instilled into, and urged unintermitthig toil and anxiety, then will this
upon us as the grand moving poAver of our lives; great aim of our being most assuredly fail us.
that great men, not happy ones, are held up as Now, may it not reasonably be doubted if our
the examples for our imitation : in short, from oaat.1
citizens, under their eager covetings for
the first daAvning of our reasoning poAvers, there riches and preferment, under their exhausting
is a constant endeavour to nurture Avithin us an and ahnost unrelieved confinement to business,
do not mistake the true road to happiness i
aspiring, and consequently discontented spirit;
and by a strange contradiction, Avhile at the Absorbed in their ardent struggles for the means,
same time we are continually hearing denun¬ do they not lose sight of their important ends
ciations against the vanity and danger of the As a people we certainly exhibit but little of
pursuits of ambition. that quiet serenity of temper, Avhich of all
The ambition, let me here observe, which earthly blessings is the most to be desired.
aims at moral excellence, or whose ends are When, loitering in the streets of Naples, I
generous and benevolent, serving, as it must, to have contemplated the half-naked and houseless
promote, instead of interfering Avith, the success lazzaroni, basking in indolent content in the
and advancement of others, and meeting, conse¬ gay sunshine of their delicious climate, or
quently, but little opposition or rivalship, Avill devouring with eager gratification the scant and
enjoy a preponderance of the pleasurable feel¬ homely fare of uncertain charity, and watched
ings, the salutary effects of which will be im¬ their niirthful faces, and heard their merry
parted to the whole constitution. laugh; and in fancy have contrasted them Avitli
Oui' ownThis
peculiar circumstances
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56 IMAGINATION.

ried step and careworn countenances, or at their reflection, to reverse this order of things, and to
plenteous tables, despatching their meals scarce weaken the attention to sensible objects to so
cheAved or even tasted, everywhere haunted by great a degree, as to leave the conduct almost
their restless and ambitious desires—the question wholly under the influence of imagination.
could not but force itself upon me, Are we really Removed to a distance from society, and from
any nearer the great aim of our being than these the pursuits of life, when we have been long
heedless beggars and when each has attahiecl accustomed to converse with our oaati thoughts,
the final goal, is it impossible even that the and have found our activity gratified by intel¬
latter may have actually had the advantage in lectual exertions, which afford scope to all our
the sum total of human enjoyment The powers and affections, without exposing us to
casual pains of cold and hunger which make the inconveniences resulting from the bustle of
up their chief suffering, will hardly compare in tho world, we are apt to contract an unnatural
severity with those which continually agitate predilection for meditation, and to lose all inter¬
the discontented breast. est in external occurrences. In such a situation,
To the force of the same passion, to the uneasy too, the mind gradually loses that command
cravings of ambition, is it that the rash specu¬ which education, when properly conducted,
lations so common among us, and so destructive, gives it over the train of its ideas ; till at length
both to peace of mind and health of body, are the most extravagant dreams of imagination
in a great measure imputable. This commercial acquire as powerful an influence in exciting all
gambling, for such may it be justly termed, Avill its passions, as if they Avere realities.".—Philoso-
oftentimes be even more Avidely rubious in its phy of the Human Mind.
consequences than that more humble sort to There is a class of individuals always to be
which our moral laws affix a penalty of so deep met with in society, who, unsatisfied with the
disgrace. For Avhile the private gamester trusts tameness of real life, create for themselves new
to the fall of a die, or the turn of a card, but conditions, and please themselves with im¬
his own gold, the gambler on change risks on possible delights in the worlds of imagination ;
the hazards of the market, not what belongs to who riot amid the false hopes and unnatural
himself only, but too often the fortunes of those joys of entrancing day-dreams, till at last the
who had reposed their confidence in his honour; unreal acquires absolute dominion over their
and may thus involve in one common ruin minds—till wholesome truth is sacrificed to
whole circles of kindred and friends.
And yet sickly mockeries—
such arc the ethics of social life, that Avhilst the
" And nothing is,
latter is respected, courted, and elevated to high But what is not."
places, civil and religious, the former is shut out
of all virtuous society. Such persons are apt to be characterized by a
No truth probably has been more generally certain sentimental melancholy, mingled with a
enforced and admitted, both by ancient and deep and refined enthusiasm, and are not un-
modern wisdom, Avhile none has received less frequently distinguished by superior mental
regard in practice, than that happiness is equally endowments, particularly by a genius for poetry,
removed from either extreme of fortune; that Avhose license is to range at discretion through
health and enjoyment are most frequently found fancy's boundless and enchanting fields.
associated Avith the aurea mediocritas, the golden There are few of us, in truth, even of the
mean. most sober imaginations, but must somethnes
have experienced the ecstasy of revelling among
the delights of tho unreal; of forgetting our
OAvn dull sphere, and indulging in dreams of
CHAPTER XXVIII. unearthly felicity,.—dreams, alas which must
soon bo dispelled by some stern reality, leaving
THE IMAGINATION, IF NOT PROPERLY RESTRAINED, us, like the child who has been enrapt by some
M VY EXERCISE A DANGEROUS INFLUENCE ON OUR fairy show at the theatre, only the more dis¬
BODILY HEALTH. THE SOBER REALITIES OF LIFE satisfied Avith our actual condition.
ACCORD BCTTER WITH OUR PRESENT NATURE Of Rousseau, who affords a strong example
THAN THE FALSE VISIONS OF FANCY. of the unhealthy character of the imagination
I am describing, and of the unhappy nervous
An ill regulated and unbridled imagination, infirmities to which it so constantly leads,
associated, as it necessarily is, with strong and Madame de Stael says, " He dreamed rather
varying emotions, must be inimical to the health than existed, and the events of his life might be
both of body and mind. In regard to their said more properly to have passed in his mind
effect, it matters, in truth, but little whether than without him." Picturing his own morbid
tho passions have their incentive in the creations excess of sensibility Avhen at Vevay, on the
banks of the lake of Geneva, he says,
"

of fancy, or the sterner truths of reality. My


" It was undoubtedly the intention of nature," heart rushed with ardour from my bosom into
says Professor Stewart, " that the objects of a thousand innocent felicities ; melting to tender¬
How fre¬
perception should produce much stronger im¬ ness, I sighed and wept like a child.
pressions on the mind than its own operations. quently, stopping to indulge my feelings, and
And, accordingly, they always do so, when proper seating myself on a piece of broken rock, did I
care has been taken, in early life, to exercise amuse myself with seeing my tears drop into
the different principles of our constitution. the stream!"
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IMAGINATION. 57

have its origin in a variety of causes, as native Sir Walter Scott has given us, in his charac¬
peculiarity of temperament, delicate health, ter of Wilfred, a Avell-draAvn picture of the
injudicious education, habits of solitary reflec¬ imaginative temperament I am endeavouring to
tion, and, in the young especially, will often¬ portray.
times be the fruit of an extravagant indulgence
" But Wilfred, docile, soft, and mild,
in the works of fictitious narrative, too many
Was Fancy's spoiled and wayward child
of wdiich abound hi that mawkish sentimentality In her bright car she bade him ride,
so peculiarly unfriendly to moral and intellec¬ With one fair form to grace his side,
tual health. It appears that Rousseau was, in Or, in some wild and lone retreat,
his youth, a great reader of novels. In sensi¬ Flung her high spells around his seat,
Bathed in htr dews his languid head,
tive and secluded individuals, this sort of read¬
Her fairy mantle o'er him spread,
ing, Avhen carried to excess, has sometimes so For him her opiates gave to flow,
Avrought upon and disturbed the fancy as to bring Which he who tabtes can ne'er forego,
on actual hisanity. Thus, in one of M. Esquirol's And placed him in her circle, free
tables we find, out of a hundred and ninety-tAvo From every stern reality,
Till, to the vision.iry, seem
cases of insanity produced by moral causes, Her day-dreams truth, and truth a dream."
eight referred to the reading of romances. The Rokeby.
history of the renoAvned knight of La Mancha is
doubtless but an exaggerated picture of cases The feelings unduly excited, as they neces¬
of hallucination, which hi those days were fre¬ sarily must be, by the Avild dreams of the ima¬
quently happening from the general passion for gination, react with a morbid influence on the
tales of chivalry and romance. " The high- various functions of the body : and if the habits
toned and marvellous stories," says Dr Good, are at the same time sedentary and retired, a
of La Morte d'Arthur, Guy of WarAvick, train of moral and physical infirmities gene¬
"

Amadis of Gaul, the Seven Champions of ralized under the name of nervous temperament,
Christendom, and the Mirror of Knighthood, will be the probable result. The subjects of
the splendid and agitating alternations of magi¬ this unhappy temperament are commonly irreso¬
cians, enchanted castles, dragons and giants, lute, capricious, and morbidly sensitive in their
redoubtable combatants, imprisoned damsels, feelings. Their pulsions, AA'hether pleasurable
melting minstrels}1-, tilts and tournaments, and or painful, are aAvakened with the greatest
all the magnificent imagery of the same kind, facility, and the most trifling causes Avill often
that so peculiarly distinguished the reign of elate them Avith hope, or sink them hi despon¬
Elizabeth, became a very frequent source of dency. A deep enthusiasm generally marks
permanent hallucination."—Study ofMcdicin e. their character, and they not unfrequently dis¬
Such subjects as I am describing are generally play a high order of talent, and a nice and dis¬
characterized by strong and excitable feelings, criminating taste, yet mingled with all those
but Avhich are, for the most part, more ready to uncomfortable eccentricities Avhich are so apt to
respond to ideal than real influences. Truth, be associated Avith superior endoAATiients. The
in its native guise, unpurified from the fecu- poet, the painter, the musician—for their pur¬
suits have all a kindred nature, and all Avork
lencies of the Avorld, is too homely and offensive
for such spiritualized beings. The squalid and on the feelings and imagination—are more espe¬
unromantic beggar, perishing of cold or hunger cially the subjects of this peculiar temperament.
in his wretched hovel, is an object quite too The nervous sensibility of poets has been pro¬
gross and disgusting to harmonize Avith their verbial evTen from the remotest time, and it is
fastidious sensibilities.
It is elegant, refined, therefore that they have been styled, genus ir-
and sentimental misery only that can elicit their ritabile vatum.
artificial sympathies. Their love too, a passion, The physical functions in this temperament
by the way, to which they are even morbidly are almost always Aveak, and pass very readily
susceptible, exhibits the same exquisite refine¬ into disordered states. Its subjects are particu¬
ment, and is, therefore, most apt to fix itself on larly liable to indigestion, and to sympathetic
some ideal model of beauty and excellence. Or disturbances hi the nervous, circulatory, and
should their affections become linked to a carnal respiratory systems. Thus, under sudden ex¬
nature, such attachment wrnl most commonly citements, palpitations, flushings of the face,
proceed from the false colouring and bright tremors, embarrassment hi the respiration, Avith
associations AvTith which the imagination clothes difficulty of speaking, arc apt to occur ; and even
it. syncope or fainting will sometimes take place.
Hence the well-known fickleness and caprice
of such persons, and their disappointment Avith The body, moreover, is generally spare and
all veritable objects on familiarity, since all must feeble, frequently Avith an inclination fonvards ;
fall short of their high-Avrought fictitious stand¬ the face is pale and sickly, though, under ex¬
ards. Many a poet, through his Avhole life, citement, readily assuming a hectic glow, and
has remained constant in his devotion to some its expression is usually of a pensive character.
peerless idol of his oavu beautiful imagination. The most melancholy nerA'ous affections, as
How, indeed, can it be expected that one accus¬ epilepsy, for example, have sometimes been
tomed to dwell on the pure and transcendental brought on through the workings of a morbidly
creations of a delicate and sublimated fancy, can exalted, and ungoverned imagination. And, in
contemplate with pleasure, or I may even say turn, the most enravishing conceits of fancy
without disgust, coarseness and imperfection have at times been experienced while labouring
Avhich so necessarily appertain to our earth- under such dis orders. It is in fits of epilepsy and
born nature ecstatic trances that religious enthusiasts have
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58 CONCLUSION.

had their celestial visions, which their distem¬ secution, also, of the exact sciences, or such as
pered minds have often converted into realities. have truth for their great and ultimate ami,
The visits of the angel Gabriel to Mahomet, and should not be neglected ; and, in addition, all
the journey of this prophet through the seven those means which tend to sustain and elevate
heavens, under the guidance of the same angel, the bodily health, as pure air, muscular exer¬
might not unlikely have taken place in some of cise, cold bathing, and temperance in its most
the epileptic paroxysms to which ho is well comprehensive sense ; for I need hardly repeat
kno-wn to have been subject. that whatever serves to give vigour to the body,
The imagination, then, exercising so decided must, at the same time, impart a wholesome in¬
an influence on our moral feelings and conduct, fluence to the mind.
and by a requisite consequence on our health Finally, to guard ourselves from the afore¬
and happiness, Ave perceive hoAv important it is named moral infirmities, and their concomitant
that this faculty be wisely disciplined, or regu¬ physical ills, we should cultivate a contented
lated according to the standard of nature ; that spirit, confining our wishes and expectations
it be mahitained in strict obedience to the judg¬ Avithin the limits of reason ; and especially striv¬
ment and will, and those delusive fancies in ing agamst the morbid growth of ambition,
which the human mind is so prone to indulge Avhich, when, from the temperament or other
be carefully suppressed; since not only do they circumstances of the individual, it does not im¬
withdraAV us from the rational ends and prac¬ pel to active efforts for its gratification, will
tical duties of life, thereby rendering us less cause the mind to be ever Avandering amid
useful both to ourselves and to society, but tend visionary scenes of wealth and honour, and thus
also to break doAvn the physical energies, and Avliolly disqualify it for its appointed sphere of
prepare the constitution for the ingress of disease action, and enjoyments. Nothing, let me add,
and for untimely dissolution. The mind as Avell contributes more effectually to advance our;
as the body, let it be remembered, may bo feasted mental, and, as an established consequence, ourl
too voluptuously. The delights of a fantastic bodily health, than a suitable interest in the]
paradise have little harmony with our present duties Avhich belong to our several stations.
nature. Tho spirit,
-"whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Both grossly close it in," CHAPTER XXTX.
must forego the raptures of supernal visions, and
accommodate itself to its material relations, to GENERAL REMARKS IN CONCLUSION OF THE VOLUME.

the circumstances and necessities of its earthly


dwelling-house. I have stated, as my readers will remember,
We unfortunately meet Avith some writers, in the first part of this volume, that the exercise
who, being themselves tho subjects of this fan¬ of the intellectual functions, abstractedly con¬
ciful temperament, Avould persuade us to seek sidered, does not tend, on a general principle,
enjoyment in the cultivation of morbid sensi¬ to favour disease, or shorten life. Yet some¬
bilities to the exclusion of the more wholesome times simple intellectual labours may be pro¬
realities of life. Thus, says that popular and secuted to such excess as to occasion manifest
exquisitely sentimental author, Zimmerman, injury both to the moral and physical constitu¬
" To suffer with so much softness and tran¬ tion. On examining the reports of different
quillity ; to indulge in tender sorrow, Avithout lunatic asylums, we shall find, in almost all of
knowing Avhy, and still to prefer retirement ; them, some of the cases attributed to excess of
to love the lonely margin of a limpid lake ; to study. I am satisfied, hoAvever, that a larger
wander alone upon broken rocks, in deep share, both of mental and bodily ills, than is
caverns, in dreary forests ; to feel no pleasure in accordance Avith rigorous truth, is referred
but hi the sublime and beautiful of nature, into immoderate exertion of the intellect ; the
those beauties which the Avorld despise ; to reasons of which error have been previously
desire the company of only one other being to explained. Thus, our intellectual efforts are,
whom Ave may communicate the sensations of at the present day, almost always associated
the soul, who Avould participate in all our Avith those habits of life, as undue confinement,
pleasures, and forget everything else in the uni¬ insufficient and irregular sleep, and other like
verse ; this is a condition for which every young incidental circumstances, which are well known
man ought to wish, who Avishes to fly from the to be inimical to health. And, furthermore, as
merciless approaches of a cold and contentless knowledge is seldom pursued for its own
old age.".—On Solitude. sake, but for some ulterior advantage, either of
Among the best securities against this preju¬ fame or pecuniary profit, mental labours are
dicial ascendancy of tho fancy, and those un¬ rarely unaccompanied with the Avorkings, too
comfortable nervous infirmities which so gene¬ often the strong and painful Avorkings, of pas¬
rally accompany it, 1 may briefly mention a sion. Intellectual men, it must be acknoAV-
life of active employment, directed to some in¬ ledged, are, either by nature, or the force of
teresting object. It would seem, indeed, neces¬ circumstances, particularly prone to ambition,

i
sary to the health and contentment of the and are consequently exposed to all those evils
human mind, at least in its cultivated state, and sufferings heretofore described, Avhich attend
that it be constantly actuated by some promi¬ upon this passion when it becomes a ruling
If moderate
nent and engaging motive, by the feeling that principle in the human breast.
existence has a determinate purpose. Tho pro¬ and obediont to reason, and its aims guided by
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CONCLUSION. 59

wisdom, it may, as I have previously said, serve The different operations that have been tried in
as an incentive to call into useful and wholesome this country for the removal of such imperfec¬
exertion the different powers of our nature; but tion are acupuncturation, which consists in the
when inordinate, as it is unhappily but too apt passage of several slender needles transversely
to become, then Avill feelings of the most pain¬ through the tongue ; the excision of a portion
ful and destructive character inevitably groAV of the uvula, and also of the tonsils ; the divi¬
out of it. sion of the framuni of the tongue; and lastly,
Our oavti literary and scientific men, those of and the one most trusted to, the separation of
the learned professions, for example, will afford the genio-hyo-glossus muscle at its origin from
ample illustration of the truth of the above re¬ the lower jaAV. I have had now repeated op¬
marks. How restless, often, and anxious are their portunities of witnessing the trial of each of the
struggles in pursuit of a little ephemeral notoriety! operations specified, and, in a large proportion
To Avhat various expedients do AVe not see them of instances, evident and oftentimes the most
resorting for the sake even of that brief and astonishing relief Avas the immediate result.
equivocal fame derived through the columns of Stammerers of the worst class, as soon as the
the periodical press? But then, as the flattery operation was finished, Avould frequently talk
of success may not always reward their endea¬ and read with scarcely any, or perhaps not the
vours ; as they may meet the shafts of censure slightest hesitation or embarrassment. In truth,
where they looked for the blandishments of the success of the operations appeared to me to
praise, too frequently must the painful and be the most striking in those in aaIioiii the
noxious passions, born of defeated hope and impediment was the greatest. Unfortunately,
Avounded pride, as anger, hate, jealousy, grief, however, for the credit of experimental surgery,
humiliation, take possession of the soul, marring although some submitted to each of the opera¬
all life's moral peace, and calling forth a host tions, and even to the repetition of certain of
of physical ills, as indigestions, nervous disor¬ them, the benefit derived Avas merely temporary,
ders, palpitations, and all sorts of irregularities and I am not apprised of a single case Avhere a
of the heart's action, burdening existence, and decided and permanent cure followed. Now,
abbreviating its term. may avo not rationally ascribe the remarkable
The intellectual exertions themselves, then,
results of these experiments, in a principal
we rationally conclude, are less a source of measure at least, to the strong influence which
evil than the incidental circumstances so com¬ they exerted upon the mental feelings
monly associated Avith them ; and those mental Having reference only to the laws of our pre¬
labours are ever the most harmless which have sent organization, it seems to me that no truth
the least tendency to call forth strong and can be more plain than that pure and Avell regu¬
morbid feeling. lated moral affections are essential to the greatest
It is, hoAvever, to the moral feelings that we good of the entire animal economy,—that the
are to look for the most evident and decided turbulent and eAril passions must necessarily
influence on the bodily functions, and hence it corrupt the sources of our physical, moral, and
is that we have appropriated to their considera¬ intellectual health, and thus be folloAved by the
tion so much the larger share of the present severest penalties to our whole nature.
volume. "He," says an old medical writer, " aat1io
The mind is never agitated by any strong seriously resolves to preserve his health, must
affection Avithout a sensible change immediately previously learn to conquer his passions, and
ensuing in some one or more of the vital phe¬ keep them in absolute subjection to reason ; for,
nomena, and AA'hich, according to its nature, or let a man be ever so temperate in his diet, and
the circumstances under which it occurs, may regular in his exercise, yet still some unhappy
be either morbid or sanative in its effects, in the passions, if indulged to excess, will prevail over
6ame manner as is the action of strictly phy¬ all his regularity, and prevent the good effects
sical agents—the various medicaments, for ex¬ of his temperance. It is necessary, therefore,
ample. Mental emotions, when curative, oper¬ that he should be upon his guard against an in¬
ate mostly, it is to be supposed, on that principle fluence so destructive.".—The H'u tory of Health,
generally admitted in medical science, called and the Art of Preserving it. iiy James
revulsion ; that is, by calling forth new and Mackenzie, M.D., &c.
ascendant actions hi the animal economy, they Nor did this close connexion between a virtuous
repress or destroy the distempered ones already regulation of the moral feelings and the health
existing. It is no more strange, then, that the of the body, escape the obser\ ation of Doctor
passions should, through their influence on our Franklin's sagacious intellect.
"

Virtue," says
physical organization, be capable of engendering this sententious AAi*iter, '' is the best preservative
or subduing morbid phenomena, than that of health, as it prescribes temperance, and such
agents, essentially material in their nature, a regulation of our passions as is most conducive
should possess such poAver. to the well-being of the animal economy; so
Hundreds of instances might be adduced to that it is, at the same time, the only true happi¬
show the force of the imagination, or, more pro¬ ness of the mind, and the best means of pre¬
perly, of the moral feelings Avhich it awakens, serving the health of the body."
in altering and controlling physical actions. The ancient sages who wrote upon the philo¬
Such influence, it seems to me, was strikingly sophy of health, dwelt especially on the im¬
illustrated by the novel surgical operations portance of a prudent government of the affec¬
Avhich recently excited so strong, though tran¬ tions. Galen, for example, urged that the mind
sient an interest, for the euro of stammering. should be early trained up in virtuous habits,
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CO CONCLUSION.

particularly in modesty and obedience, as the duty, to spare no sacrifice, to omit no efforts,
most summary method of ensuring the health of which may contribute to render that existence
tho body in future life. a blessing. If, through their culpable neglect
Our physical interest, then, had we no other and mismanagement, they entail upon us a host
motive, should of itself be a sufficient induce¬ of mental and bodily ills, Ave owe them Little
ment for cultivating the good, and restraining gratitude for the life Avith which they have
tho evil passions of our nature. And let mo burdened us.
hero urge, that children cannot be too early and When Ave consider the carelessness and mis-
vigilantly subjected to a discipline so essential judgment so often exhibited in the early training
to their present and future welfare. No error
of the young—Iioav many children are literally
is more pernicious, and unfortunately more educated, by example if not by precept, to
often committed, than that of delaying tho deception, pusillanimity, and intemperance in
moral education. Every day that this is neglect¬ its Avidest sense ; in short, how many moral and
ed will tho baneful feelings be acquiring hcav physical vices are alloAved to engraft themselves
force and obstinacy. It is in their Arery germ, hi the constitution even in the daAvn of its
in the Aveakness of their birth, that they aro to development, wre are led almost to wonder that
be successfully combated. human nature docs not groAv up even more cor¬
We aro, as I have previously alleged, the rupt than avo actually find it.
subjects of moral feeling, and therefore of In concluding this volume let me again urge
moral discipline, at an age far earlier than is the important truth, that there is no period of
usually imagined. That many children suffer our existence, from opening infancy to closing
in their health, and oftentimes to no slight age, avherein a prudent government of our moral,
extent, under the repeated and severe operation will not contribute a propitious influence to
of passions which parents have neglected to our physical, constitution. Man, unrestrained
reprove, is a truth unfortunately too plain for by discipline, or abandoned to the turbulence of
contradiction. And not only have they to unbridled passion, becomes the most pitiable and
undergo present suffering from such unpardon¬ degraded of beings. The well-springs of his
able remissness, but too often does it become the health and happiness are poisoned, and all the
cause of an afflictive train of infirmities, both comeliness and dignity of his nature marred
of mind and body, in their future years; and and debased. His A\diole life, in reality, is but
experience, frequently of tho most painful a succession of painful mental and physical
nature, must teach them to bring under control struggling? and commotions, a curse equally to
feelings Avhich should have been repressed in himself and all around him.
the impotence of their origin. "We frequently,"
says Mr Locke, " sec parents, by humouring them " Of all God's workes, which doe this vvorlde adorne,
There is no one more faire and excellent,
when littlo, corrupt the principles of nature in
Than is man's body both for powre and forme,
their children, and wonder afterwards to taste Whiles it is kept in sober government;
the bitter Avaters Avhen they themselves have But none than it more fowle and indecent,
poisoned tho fountain."—On Education. Distenipred through misrule and passions bace."
No duties or obligations have been more often
and eloquently enforced, both by the moralist But although tho passions implanted within
and divine, than those of the child to the parent; us are the occasion of so great an amount of
and I would not say aught that might serve in evil, both to the physical and moral constitu¬
any degree to weaken their deep and binding tion, so prolific a source of disease, sorroAV, and
character. Still, it appears to me, that those ignominy, yet fortunately are they the subjects
which tho parent oavos the child are really of of education, and, as when uncontrolled they
a paramount nature, and that more serious con¬ become the bane and reproach of our nature,
sequences Avill be hazarded by their omission. under a wise restraint and prudent culture
Our parents bestow or impose existence upon they may bo rendered our richest blessing and
us, and are therefore bound in the most solemn fairest ornament.

FINIS.

HUNTED BY NEILT. AND COMPANY, EDINBuncn.


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