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lies as that they indulge themselves in forging useless ones. They seem to have a love for lying, or rather for imposture. Nothing pleases them better than to lead those who question them into error; to relate stories that are absolutely false, which have not a shadow of probability ; to give an account of all that they have not done and all that they have done, with an incredible luxury of detajls. These wanton lies are told boldly, bluntly, with a coolness that disconcerts. The physician who examines hysterical patients has always to bear in mind that they intend to deceive him, to hide the truth, and feign things that do not exist, as well as to disguise things that do exist.
Let us see now how hysteria differs from insanity. In insanity the intelligence is deeply affected, while hysteria is rather a form of disposition than a disease of the intellect. Hence the psychological interest of the hysterical condition. The apprehension is brilliant, the memory sure, the imagination lively. The defective side of the mind is revealed only by the impotency of the will to restrain passion. The will seems, in fact, to be the most delicate mechanism in the mental organization ; and, when a poisonous substance enters the system to trouble the intellectual faculties, it always begins by suppressing the influence of the will over the passions.
Hysteria in its light form is of frequent occurrence. The causes that determine it ought then to be very common.
One of the principal ones is heredity. If the father or mother has a nervous temperament, the daughter will probably be predisposed to hysteria. The sense of the word “
“heredity as used here should be rightly understood. It is not necessary that the same form of affection shall appear in the parents and the children. A nervous derangement in the parents may be reproduced in the children under different aspects. For example, an epileptic father may have an idiotic son, an insane son, and an hysterical daughter. The law of hereditary liability is equally true when, instead of a nervous malady as grave as epilepsy or insanity, we have to do simply with a nervous temperament. Just as the color of the hair, the shape of the nose, and the voice are similar in parents and children, so the temperament is transmitted from one generation to another. The results of the medical observations of several centuries agree with the common opinion. In the times of witchcraft, the daughter of a witch-that is to say, of a person afflicted with hysteria-was inevitably regarded as a witch, and there was no need of seeking other motives for an accusation.
Other accessory causes supplement the preponderant influence of heredity. A girl, brought up with a certain degree of culture, who sees around her persons that were her companions in other days in a better situation than she has been able to reach, will become hysterical because fortune has not given her the enjoyments she craves. Dreams that have been dispelled, illusions that have vanished, hopes that have proved to be chimerical, afford motives almost sufficient to give rise to the affection. Thus hysteria is common in Paris and other large cities where girls of the lower and middle classes receive an education superior to their social condition. Such girls seldom find the ideal husband of whom they have dreamed. Marriage affords them no relief from the sordid difficulties that occur daily, and the narrow cares of the household afford an insufficient satisfaction to the vast aspirations of a disordered imagination. Misery, want, grief, etc., often cause the symptoms of hysteria to appear in girls and young women who have only a slight predisposition to it. To sum it all up, hysteria has a physiological cause-heredity; and a social cause—the inferiority of the reality to the dream.
Light hysteria is not a true disease. It is one of the varieties of the female character. We might say that hysterical persons are women more than other women. They have lively and transient feelings, brilliant and variable fancies, and, withal, inability to bring their feelings and fancies under the rule of reason and judgment. The novelists have appreciated the advantage which they could derive from the study of this form of character, and have given us numerous pictures of attacks of hysteria, and of women who were subject to them. Their efforts have not always been fortunate, but occasionally they furnish exact descriptions which complement what we have just said respecting the psychical state of nervous women.
M. Octave Feuillet makes the husband of a woman who suffers from hysteria speak in a manner that, without pronouncing the word, projects the symptoms of the affection so plainly that there can be no mistake in the diagnosis. Thus : “That woman of the world,” said M. de Marsan, “ has suddenly borrowed from the prisoners a set of bitter, curt, desperate phrases, like those we may read on the walls of the cells. That woman of sense has all at once given herself up to the reading of the least reserved poets and novelists. . . . I inspire with terror from her elocution, formerly so sober, some insipid poetic perfume. At other times we might say she had fallen back into childhood, so nice and finical has become the turn of her conversation. She adds to it the movements of a little girl ; then all at once her language, just now modest almost to puerility, breaks out into the most indelicate flashes, into curiously improper expressions. She passes without transition from the style Rambouillet and the Byronic paraphrase to the coarse language of the fish-woman, and this without preparation, provocation, or excuse. At the same time, the woman, the wife, the mother, is transformed. The husband has assumed the proportions of a tyrant, and the children seem to have become a burden."
The last observation is true to the life. Nothing is more common than to see a nervous woman, till now tender to her husband and children, take a sudden disaffection or even a hatred against them. The aversion manifested in such cases may be provoked by the most futile causes, as, any insignificant external object, the shape of the beard,
the watch-charms, a drawl in the tone of the voice, a habit of repeating the same word. It would be hard to invent deliberately such whimsical reasons as hysterical women are capable of imagining to explain the aversion they conceive for certain persons. The unfortunate person thus detested is most likely to be the husband.
M. A. France says of one of his heroines, that “she was pleasant, indolent, fastidious, subject to gushes of affection, and of quick sympathies. They had trouble in the refectory in making her eat anything but salads and bread with salt. She made a friend with whom she went on the days-out. This friend, who was rich, took Helen into the tapestried room, where she crunched bonbons. Helen lingered in this nest of goods. When she came out, all seemed dull, hard, repellent. She had lost courage ; she dreamed of having a blue chamber, and of reading romances.in it lying in an easy-chair. Pains of the stomach came on and cast her down completely. . . . She gave up, indifferent to everything around her, dreaming of jewels, dresses, horses, sailing, and going into tears at the mere thought of her father.”
MM. E. and J. de Goncourt have related the touching, sad story of poor Germinie Lacerteux. · She was indeed a victim of hysteria ; of an untaught nature, passionate, ardent in devotion as in infamy ; of weak intelligence besides, the blind plaything of passions of which she was hardly conscious, and which moved her as the winds turn a vane. “Germinie had not a consciousness that could escape suffering by brutishness and that dense stupidity in which a woman may vegetate in simple inanity. A sickly sensitiveness, a head always busy, cherishing grief, inquietude, discontent with herself, a moral sense which seemed to rise in her again after each of her faults, all the gifts of delicacy, and the capacity of suffering were united in her to torture her.” To feel, to think, to have no will, these are the three miseries with which the poor sufferers from hysteria have to struggle.
M. Albert Delpit has thus depicted the symptoms of hysteria in his “Mariage d'Odette” : “She was seized with a fit of melancholy, to which succeeded violent spasms of crying and immoderate bursts of laughter; sometimes she would shake with tremors from head to foot ; then she grew pale and felt an oppression at her chest. Her temper underwent an entire change. They had to give up taking her into society, its too free manners were so startling to her.”
The most life-like hysterical character delineated by the novelists, the truest, the most passionate, is Madame de Bovary. Brought up in a convent, among girls richer than herself, she married a country doctor-a poor, weak youth, whose rusticity and poverty disheartened her. M. Flaubert has described her hysteria in a few lines with scientific precision and artistic distinctness : “Emma became hard to please, capricious; she ordered dishes for herself and would not touch them ; one day she would drink nothing but pure milk, and the next coffee by the dozen cups. Sometimes she would persist in refusing to go out, then would think she was suffocating, would open the windows and put on a light dress. . . . She ceased to conceal her contempt for any thing or any person, and frequently assumed to express singular opinions—condemning what is approved, and approving wrong or immoral things. Must this misery last always? Will she never escape it? Yet she was worth as much as those who lived happily, and she execrated the injustice of God. She rested her head on the walls to cry. She envied those who led tumultuous existences, and longed for nights of masking and insolent pleasures with all the distractions she knew nothing of and which they could give. ... She grew pale and had beatings of the heart. . . . On some days she would indulge in a feverish profusion of boasting. . . . To these indulgences succeeded immediately spells of torpor in which she would rest without speaking, without stirring. She bought a Gothic prieDieu, and spent fourteen francs in one month for lemons to clean her nails. She selected the handsomest of his scarfs from Lheureux's, tied it over her wrapper, and, having closed the shutters, lay in this garb upon the sofa with a book in her hand. She thought she would learn Italian, and bought dictionaries, a grammar, and white paper. She tried serious reading, history, philosophy. . . . She had fits when she could be readily pushed to extravagances. She insisted one day to her husband that she could drink half a glass of brandy, and, when Charles was foolish enough to challenge her to do it, she swallowed the brandy to the last drop.
We seem to be far away from the demoniacs, but we are not. We can observe all the transitions between light hysteria like that of Madame Bovary and grave hysteria like that of the patients in the Salpêtrière. All the symptoms of the light form exist likewise in the grave form, but they are stronger and more durable. We need not return to them. Other symptoms, special to grave hysteria and serving to characterize it, are anæsthesia, total or partial, convulsive attacks, and delirium.
BACTERIA AS DESTROYERS OF INSECTS.
By E. RAY LANKESTER, F. R. S.
HAT is the good of a knowledge of microscopic creatures ?
What is the good of prying into the anatomy of insects? It is all very well as an amusement, but serious persons can not be expected to assent to the devotion of endowments or state funds to such trivial purposes. Chemistry, geology, electricity, if you please, have their solid commercial value, but biology is an amusement for children and old gentlemen." Such is the opinion of many a “ practical man,” ignorant and short-sighted as the genus invariably proves itself.
Already the practical man may be told, in reply, that surgery is entirely reformed by our knowledge of the minuter fungi ; that, by avoiding the access of bacteria to wounds, we avoid a large destruction of human life. Already we see our way to avoiding some deadly diseases caused by these same bacteria now that we know them to be the active cause of such disease. Already silk is cheaper in consequence of our knowledge of the bacteria of the silk-worm disease ; already better beer is brewed and better yeast supplied to the baker in consequence of Pasteur's discovery of the bacterian diseases of the yeastplant ; already vinegar-making, cheese-making, butter-making, winemaking, and other such manufacturing trades are on the way to benefit by like knowledge. Potato-disease and coffee-disease have been traced to their causes and means suggested by biologists for dealing with the parasitic plants causing those diseases, whereby not thousands but millions of pounds sterling a year may be saved to the community.
Insect-pests which have depopulated whole provinces, such pests as the phylloxera and the Colorado beetle, are about to receive a check at the hands of the same class of scientific students. The application of knowledge of natural facts is in this case a very remarkable one; for it is actually proposed to make use of our recently acquired knowl. edge of diseases due to bacteria-not that we may arrest such diseases, but that we may promote them. Insect-pests are to be destroyed by poisoning them not with acrid mineral poisons which damage plants as well as the insects, but by encouraging the spread of the diseaseproducing bacteria which are known to be fatal to such insects. Professor Hagen, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has called attention to the old practice of destroying greenhouse pests by the application of yeast. He conceives that this method may be applied to other insect-pests, such as phylloxera, Colorado beetle, cotton-worm, etc. He imagines that the yeast-fungus enters the body of the insect on which it is sprinkled, and there produces a growth which is fatal to the insect's life. It is a well-known fact that insects are very subject to fungoid diseases, and it is also ascertained that the application of yeast to the plants frequented by such insects favors their acquisition of such disease. Professor Elias Metschnikoff, the celebrated embryologist has, however, made some investigations on this subject, and given an explanation of the possible value of yeast application (“Zool. Anzeiger," No. 47), different and more satisfactory than that which Professor Hagen appears to adopt.
The general result of the most accurate investigations of the beeryeast fungus (Saccharomyces cerevisia) is entirely opposed to the notion that it can enter an insect's body and produce a disease. Beer-yeast is beer-yeast and appears always (or within experimental limits) to remain so. On the other hand, De Bary has made known the life-history of some simple fungi which destroy insects, and from Pasteur, Cohn,