that had this and that patient been under their care, the hallucinations would have disappeared, we cannot avoid regarding their assertions and intimations, as partaking in a large measure of empirical presumption. Which among them could have anticipated the circumstances and temporary cure of the idiotic girl above referred to f and who is there that could unravel the intricacies of the case by any ascertained physiological principle?

But there is another consideration, and it is one of a very momentous and imperative nature, which has still more to do with the late investigation, it is this—whether, even in cases of incurable lunacy, it be not possible to effect by conciliation and kindness, what has hitherto been often essayed to be done by coercion and restraint ?—Is a madman out of the pale of humanity ?—Is he, on account of the suspension of reason, to be treated as if the rational faculty were not obscured, hut extinct? To these most important queries such replies have been made as to implicate in their tendency, the conduct and character of several receptacles for the insane; it appeared, therefore, to be the duty of an enlightened legislature to interfere further in behalf of this most afflicted portion of the human race That interference, as we have above observed, has been candidly, rationally, and humanely made, and the publications before us are some of its consequences.

The Legislature has had, however, a still further object in View, than that of securing an appropriate treatment, and as much comfort as is consistent with their situations, to those who are already and properly confined in consequence of mental disorder. Its aim has been directed towards placing a more effectual barrier, than the act already in force has been found to provide, against the commission of the enormous crime of unnecessary confinement; a crime which, to the eternal disgrace of human nature, has not only been in many instances conceived, but actually committed.

We shall not detain our readers with any very copious extracts from the published reports of the Committee of investigation, especially as they have already been before the public in the prints of the day. We shall therefore confine ourselves to the selection of one or two examinations, which will serve to shew to those who may not hitherto have had their attention drawn to the subject, the great good that has already been effected by the business having been brought before the consideration of Parliament. The Honorable Henry Grey Bennet, himself a member of the Committee, presents to it the following evidence:—


• I visited Both loin some years ago, and was then very much struck with the condition in which the patients were; there appeared Vol. V. N. S. A a

tQ me to be the greatest coercion in general use; numbers were confined to the wall, fastened to benches and tables, and many of the patients were almost in a state of nudity: I visited it again last year in company with Mr. Wakefield, Mr. Lambton, and one or two other gentlemen; I found not so many patients in the same state of nakedness and restraint as at my last visit, but in the women's wards up stairs, there were many of those unfortunate people chained to the wall in a small room, some of whom had been so chained for years during the day; the smell and dirt of the room were in the highest degree offensive; amongst those persons wot a woman of the name of Stone, who was formerly a governess in a respectable family, evidently a person of some accomplishments, mho •was chained to the wall, though she did not appear to be at that time pr was stated ever to have been a, furious maniac. There was also a woman confined in a cell, chained to the wall at the end of the gallery; she had been so confined for several years, was in a state of furious agitation, and her voice and cries could be heard in all that part of the hospital. I saw also Norris; the iron apparatus in which lie had been confined was then removed; but the chains which fastened the neck of the patient to the iron stanchion as well as the leg-lock, were still used.

* Norris stated, that he was fully aware he was a dangerous person; that he should be sorry to be permitted to walk unmanacled in the gallery; but if he could be prevented from doing others any mischief, which, if he was not provoked he should not attempt to do, he should consider the permission of taking that exercise a great indulgence; he added also, that he had made repeated complaints against the mode of confinement in which he bad been for so many years; but that he was now treated like a Christian, and that he Jilt himself quite comfortable. He particularly alluded to the pleasure he felt in being able to sit down on the edge of his bed; he was employed in reading the news-paper, and he asked me many questions on the subject of politics, in which he appeared to take the greatest interest. I visited Bethlem, on the 27th of May last, in company with other members of the House of Commons, Lord Lasoelles, Mr. William Smith, Mr. Duncombe, Mr. Frankland Lewis, and Mr. Sturges Bourne. The change that had taken place in the appearance of the patients in the Hospital was most striking; on the men's side, no man was chained to the wall; only one was in bed, and he was ill; the patients were mostly walking about in the gallery, and the whole Hospital was clean and sweet. On the women's side, two only, when we entered the Hospital, were chained by the hand. Miss Stone, who had been confined in the hospital for several years, three of which she had been chained during day-time to the wall, wrapped up in a flannel gown, was sitting by the fire dressed like a woman, employed in needle-work, and tolerably rational; she appeared chearful, and contented, and most grateful to the Matron, who accompanied us during our visit, for the change which had taken place in her situation.'

'The woman who was confined at the end of the gallery the year before, in that violent state of irritation above mentioned, was nowreleased, and was walking about the gallery, apparently tranquil; she repeatedly thanked the Matron for her kindness, and said it was owing to that kindness that she was in the composed and comfortable state in which we found her. I have no doubt that the change which is so visible in the condition of the hospital, and in the mental improvement of the patients, has arisen from the different treatment that they have received from the new Steward, Mr. Wallett, and the new Matron, Mrs. Forbes. To any one who remembered the apparent neglect with which, the preceding year, these unfortunate persons were treated, this change in their condition was most consolatory.'

In answer to a further question from the Committee, whether he did not consider the iron apparatus worn by Norris to li» unnecessarily heavy, Mr. Bennet replies, { .

*From what I have seen of furious maniacs in other hospitals and places of confinement, I should have no hesitation in saying that it was a mode of restraint unnecessary and unwarranted. It has always appeared to me (he adds) from what I have seen of Bethlem, that the restraint was used there more from feelings of revenge than for purposes of medical cure.'

The above evidence is a document of too unequivocal a nature, which establishes the fact that much abuse has existed; it serves at the same time to prove, beyond the possibility of dispute, that much may be done, with safety to the attendant and advantage to the patient, by kindness and conciliatory treatment. The only remaining inquiries, then, at issue, are, by what means this treatment can be best secured to the unhappy sufferers under mental derangement; and what are the best measures to which the Legislature can have recourse in order to prevent the practice of confining individuals upon groundless and false pretences.

It was a natural order of proceeding, in reference to the first particular, to establish an inquisition into the condition and usages of those several receptacles for the insane, that were already in existence; and by collating and contrasting their respective advantages and disadvantages, to come to such conclusions as should serve for a guide to future proceedings. ''Accordingly, the printed reports exhibit the interior of a great number of lunatic asylums, in some of which, as in the larger and more public establishments, were unveiled the most shocking mismanagement and the most culpable neglect. It is, however, gratifying to learn, from the accounts of others, that a conscientious skill and persevering humanity, were employed, to effect one of the most momentous objects that can engage the energies of man. An account of a well-regulated establishment, called the Retreat, near York, instituted and conducted by the Society of Friends, has already been pub

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lished, and our readers will bear with great satisfaction that this asylum has many rivals both in exterior and internal advantages.

Those institutions appear to be the most effectual in promoting the well-being of their inmates, in which attention is given to the following particulars. A due separation and classification of tb.2 patients according to their sex, their circumstances in life, and the degree of derangement to which they are subject; kindness joined with firmness on the part of the superintendents, with an endeavour, on the part of the superior officers, to excite the esteem and affection of the unhappy individuals over whom they are placed; such a construction of houses, as will ensure sufficient proximity of keepers and patients, and at the same time afford room enough for the latter, these apartments being as free from gloom and prison-like appearance, as is consistent with the nature of the establishment; ventilation without an undue exposure to the inclemencies of the weather; light, nourishing, and wholesome diet, to be regulated according to circumstances, both in respect of quantity and quality; cleanliness both in act and in habit; and lastly, a judicious regulation of mental and bodily exercise.

For the purpose of shewing the very great good that may be done by a well regulated system of occupation, we shall be easily excused for transcribing the following extract from the examination of Mr. Finch, the keeper of an excellently planned and well conducted asylum at Laverstock, near Salisbury. The Committee ask this gentleman, whether the patients under his care are accustomed to take much exercise. In reply, he says,

« A great deal of exercise; I think it necessary to health; I was led to this remark by observing a few years ago that my pauper patients recovered in a greater number than those in a better situation in life, which I attributed to their being employed in my garden, in working, digging, &c.'

* *f Is it your opinion," the Committee go on to say, "that the employment of the body contributes in a great degree to the restoration of the health of the mind?" " It is."

* " Is it your practice to allow patients of all descriptions, the more opulent as well as the paupers, to work and employ thempelves in your garden?" " I allow them to work if they should be so inclined; but as I could not enforce that upon my superior patients, whose habits of life are not congenial with it, I substituted amusements to supply its place; such as bowling-greens, cricket, billiards, and all the different amusements which act upon the mind and keep the body in exercise; and then I found a corresponding good attend the superior patient as well as the others."

* "Have you any doubt that that practice which has bees so successful in your own establishment, might be as successfully adopted throughout the different public establishments?'' " That is my idea; I do think so; I think they cannot be perfect without it; I can give a very strong case of a patient I had from St. Luke's; be was a man of opulence, sent there as a pauper, (and of course some other precluded from the advantages of the Institution,) he came to me afterwards as a gentleman with no increase of pro

Erty. this man came to me a most miserable object from St. Luke's, after having been a twelvemonth, and discharged as incurable; he walked upon his toes; he could scarcely get from the coach to my house; the muscles of the legs were contracted; he was exceedingly nasty, and he would have eaten his own flesh had he not been prevented; he tore it immediately as he came to me; I tried to put him into a room where he could do no mischief to himself or any one else, but took off every restraint; I found him within a few days somewhat more composed; some little time afterwards he became so bad again with respect to filth, that I was obliged to use some restraint, and have a man constantly to watch him; by attending to his bowels, and keeping him strongly exercised in the garden and in the fields, I found him gaining strength daily; within six weeks capable of playing bowls; and I sent him home perfectly restored in four months, where he carried on the business of a coach proprietor three years afterwards, and called upon me many times in his gig, and thanked me for my attention to him."'

How melancholy to reflect that the poor clergyman described in the minutes of evidence on the York Asylum, was not placed under the care of Mr. Finch, or in an asylum of similar treatment; he would then probably have been restored to the blessings of intelligence and of life. Probably, we say, for we still protest against that empirical dogmatism which would pronounce an absolute a priori opinion on any case of mental malady.

But we hasten to give our readers a concise account of the remaining pamphlets whose title-pages are at the head of this Article. It is the design of the last of these to discuss the subject of legislative enactments, for the prevention and remedying of alleged and allowed abuses in lunatic establishments.

The practical hints of Mr. Tuke need not detain us long. The tract is sensible, and well written, and worthy the attention of those persons who arc contemplating the erection or the alteration of houses for the insane.

* " The defects, (Mr. Tuke says,) in the construction of asylums •which 1 hare had opportunity to observe, have defeated one or other of the following objects, which appear to be of primary importance to the welfare and comfort of lunatics. 1st, The complete separation of male and female patients. 2nd, The separation «f patients hi proper number and distinct apartments, according to

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