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state of degradation, perversion, and alienation, and, as a. general rule, the conversation and conduct of those so afllicted reflect, and are in unison with this derangement of the intellect, and disordered state of the instincts. The reason is dethroned and taken forcibly captive by the animal impulses, and these, when in a state of supremacy, exercise an undisputed and tyrannical sovereignty over the judgment, conscience, and the will. Hence, the sad and distressing tone of thought (as indicated in the conversation,) previously referred to as occasionally observed in attacks of mental derangement, caused by, or complicated with, ovarian irritation, uterine irregularities, and disorders, among very young women, possessing naturally the most refined, innocent, and sensitively organized minds.

Shakspeare, in one of the most touchineg affecting creations of his transcendent genius, threw a poetic charm, a brilliant flood of fancy, around the character of

- Ophelia, “ Sweet as spring-time flowers," so redolent of feminine gentleness, purity, and grace; but ever true to nature, this great magician, and all but inspired poet, could not sacrifice truth to fiction, fancy to fact, and he therefore makes this love-sick girl, during her insane warblings, give utterance to conceptions that never could have suggested themselves to her exquisitely chaste and delicate mind, before it was prostrated and perverted by disease.‘

. A young woman was seduced in early life and carried off to London. The man with whom she eloped, finding that she had no children, cruelly abandoned her. She became dreadfully depressed in spirits, and ultimately losing her reason, was confined in an asylum. The narrator of the following particulars says, that when he first saw this poor girl she was apparently about eighteen years of age. She had a pretty bouquet of flowers in her hand, and whilst arranging them, like poor Ophelia, she snug very sweetly, snatches of various favourite melodies. On being asked why she left her late habitation, she answered, “ Because I was obliged to do so." She was

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THE INSANITY or OPHELIA. 205

When addressing herself, almost unconsciously, to the king, in reply to his question, “ How do you, pretty lady P” Ophelia, after plaintively exclaiming, “Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be,” utters the following rhapsody :—

“ To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine:
Then up he rose and don'd his cloaths,
And dupt the chamber door,
Let in the maid, that out a maid
N ever departed more."

“ I have been most careful in the education of my child,” said a gentleman, in deep distress, to me one day, whilst listening to the incoherent ravings of his poor daughter (scarcely nineteen years of age !) “ She has,” he continued, “ seldom been out of the house, and has only been allowed to associate with our own limited and select circle of friends and relations, all of whom are morally, if not religiously disposed. I never knew a more pure, delicate, and unsophisticated mind than she possessed previously to her illness; and now, when deranged, she manifests an accurate acquaintance, not only with the most corrupt ideas, but with the improper

asked, how she employed her time last night. " I walked all about Dover." “ What ! did you not go to bed P” “ No! no! I could not close my eyes. Give me a strong stick and a nice lantern, and I will be your watchman. Oh, I shall make a very good watchman. You must let me sleep in the day, you know." She had some slips of paper in her hand, and these she called " fairingm” she distributed them among the poultry in the yard, whom she emphatically styled her children. She then commenced singing, “ The ocean wide," 820., and then burst out instantaneously into " Push about the joram." Finding at length her little heedless charge of fowls basking in the morning sun, she tenderly exclaimed, but in a wild accent, “ My pretty children are all gone to sleep; they have no hard-hearted lovers ;—but I can't sleep. Macbeth has murdered sleep. Ah! he was a naughty man; was he not?" A young man approached her, when somebody observed, “Look, here's your lover come !” “ Oh, now! do not give me too many lovers, they will break my heart! My fate, you know, is very hard, is it not P",

[ll/rams ordinarily used by the most depraved streetwalkers l”

These sad manifestations of perverted and disordered instinct are susceptible of the subjoined explanations :— in the first place, we are bound to consider the orthodox scriptural doctrine of the innale corruption and rzalural depravity of the human heart. The prophet Jeremiah says, that “(/10 lleart is deceif/‘ul above all t/zinys, and deeyveralely trial-ed .- who can know it?“ Again, our Saviour himself declares, “ Illa! out qf {lie [wart proceed evil [Irony/(Is, murders, adulleries, form'calions, t/lefls, false-wilness, blas12/:emies."1‘

As long as reason reigns supreme, and is unclouded by disease, and whilst the will retains its normal and healthy sovereignty over the higher faculties of the mind, and its control of the instincts, the natural tendency that exists towards evil thoughts and vicious actions is kept, by man’s own efforts, aided, if not happily by Divine Grace, by exalted moral considerations, in a state of subjugation; but contemporaneously with a paralysis of the co-ordinating principle (the executive element of mind), and a perversion of the reasoning faculty, caused by some type of physical, it may be, cerebral disease, does the effect of early training, educational discipline, carefully cultivated habits of thought, strictly, considered social companionship, and zealously directfd moral and religious influences, cease, alas! (in many cases) to restrain the passions, and curb the animill instincts and appetites. Hence, the painful pharacter 0f the mpressions almost unconsciously used by some young women when insanet

* Jeremiah, chap. xvii. v. 9. 1‘ St. Matthew, chap. XV- Y-9

1' “Why need we talk of a fiery hell? If the will, which is tbsI 13“ “r our nature, were withdrawn from our memory, fancy, understandiilngd reason, no other hell could equal, for a spiritual being, what we should M feel, from the anarchy of our powers."—Coleridge's “ Table Talk."

souncas or EARLY MORAL DETERIORATION. 257

I am now only addressing myself to the results of diseased brain, and disordered mind. There are, of course, often witnessed many sad exhibitions of depraved thought, and vitiated taste, the effect of a voluntary and sinful abandonment of the reason and passions to gross habits of sensuality, vice, and even crime. These melancholy manifestations of perverted intellect have no necessary relation to the conditions of diseased mind, of which I am now particularly speaking.

There are, however, other sources of moral contamination and mental deterioration in operation, which the most vigilant parents are not always able to detect or guard their children from. I refer to the pernicious example, and wicked suggestions of depraved, irreligious, and profligate servants (a frightful cause of moral pollution, as well as of mental idiocy in early life,) occasionally, unhappily, admitted into the bosom of families by false characters, (alas ! too easily procured,) to a perusal of vicious books, surreptitiously smuggled into the nursery, as well as of the details of gross acts of impropriety and indecency, made matters of judicial investigation, so minutely and faithfully reported in some of the ordinary channels of communication. These frightful records of vice and crime, so palpably exposed, elaborately and artisticallydeveloped, in all their naked depravity and deformity, are fearfully and fatally suggestive to the minds of the young.

Apart altogether, however, from this view of the question, we are bound to consider the effect of a morbid exaltation (as the effect of diseased brain, as well as of other organs) of natural instincts, inciting prematurely into activity feelings and inclinations normally (until a certain period of life) in a torpid, and latent state. We may hence account, pathologically, for the development of natural physical tendencies, usually manifested at, and after the age of puberty, but it does not explain the actual know

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ledge and use of particular prurient phrases and obscene modes of expression. This phenomenon can only proceed, either from the parties having heard the identical words used by persons with whom they have unfortunately associated, or from having seen them in print, or heard them uttered in the public streets.

Let me not be misunderstood. In many cases of sad mental alienation, the unhappy patient, although a prey 0f distressing delusions, often exhibits great elevation of sentiment, exquisite taste, profound elevation, and purity of thought. The insane are frequently heard giving utterance to expressions that would reflect the highest honour upon healthy and cultivated understandings. The light of reason is occasionally seen permeating with undiminished lustre, the dark cloud that has threatened, for a time, altogether to overshadow, if not to eclipse, its efl'ulgence. Natural sweetness, unaflected gentleness, and marked amiability of disposition, are often witnessed triumphing over fearful types of mental disease, struggling to crush the lofty inspirations of the mind, oblitefflie kindly sympathies, and to pervert and paralyze the noble aspirations of the heart.

The unselfish consideration which the insane so frequently manifest towards persons temporarily deprived, like themselves, of unrestrained freedom of action ;—the affectionate and assiduous attention they pay to their companions in affliction and sorrow ;—their endeavours to assuage their bitter anguish, by repeated assurances that their removal from home (although apparentlyall act of unnecessary harshness, and unkindness, on thepafi

of their relatives) could not, under the circumstances of their illness, be avoided, and would ultimately tend to their advantage, conclusively establish, that insanity often leaves intact some of the best principles that ennoble and dignify human nature. I have known men

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