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lished, and our readers will hear 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 the patients according to their sex, their circumstances in life, and the degree of derangement to which they are subject; kindness joined with firinness 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; yențilation without an undue ex vosure 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 examinatioù of Mr. Finch, the keeper of an excellently planned and well conducted asylum at Laverstock, near Salisbury. The Comunittee ask this gentleman, whether the patients under bis 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.' ,“ 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." 16“ Is it your practice to allow patients of all descriptions, the more opulent as well as the paupers, to work and employ them. selves 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 been 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; he 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 property: this man came to me a most miserable object from St. Luke's, after having been a twelve month, 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 L 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 clergymnan described in the minutes of evidence on the York Asylum, was not placed under the care of Mr. Finch, or in an asylum of sinilar 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 à 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 are contemplating the erection or the alteration of houses for the insane.
" " The defects, (Mr. Tuke' says,) in the construction of asylums which I have 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 of patients in proper number and distinèt apartments, according to
the state of their minds. 3rd, A system of easy and constant su perintendence over the patients, by their attendants, and over both by their superior officers. 4th, That the accommodation for the patients should be cheerful, and afford as much opportunity for voluntary change of place and variety of scene, as is compatible with security."
These several heads the Author enlarges and dwells upon with no small degree of characteristic simplicity and unaffected good sense. He proposes the following system of classification.
« « 1st class, Those who are disposed to incoherent laughing and singing; and generally all those who are capable of very little ra. tional enjoyment. 2d class, To consist of those who are capable of a considerable degree of rational enjoyment. In this class most of the melancholics and hypochondriacs will be included. Several of this class will be able to assist in the house or be engaged in some useful labour. 3rd class, The convalescents, and those patients whose derangement leaves them fully capable of common enjoyment. A few of the best meiancholics should also be admitted into this class.”_We shall only add to our quotations from this tract the following important remarks." The worst patients require most attention, and are most likely to irritate their attendants. A distinct or very remote building, exposes them to all the evils of neglect and abuse, and there is, generally speaking, more to fear for them than from them. The evils of noise are not so great as those of filth, starvation, and cruelty. I have no doubt, however, that it is possible so to construct rooms as to avoid the annoyance of the many, and the injury of the few.”
The letter of Mr. Bakewell is not without its merits, but his style and manner are too much tinctured with a sort of self-sufficiency and seemingly disappointed expectations. He proposes the establishment of National Hospitals for the cure
of insanity alone; to admit none but recent cases, and to "keep them only for a limited time;' the masters and servants to have liberal fees for every recovery, which fees should be ? entirely lost in cases of failure.' We should for ourselves apprehend, that this no cure no pay' system, would go far to exclude individuals of liberal education and enlightened minds, from undertaking the task of superintendence; and we feel quite sure that the poor sufferers would have so much less chance of benefit from medicine and management, as these qualifications should be wanting in the keepers of Mad, houses.
It will not be worth while to follow Mr. Bakewell through his reasonings on the nature and essentials of insanity; we shall merely observe, that his practice appears, to say the least of it, quite as good as his theory; and, if we may trust to the correctness of his statements, his treatment is,
ily. Corace upon "ayer that the
do the whole, singularly successfu). At the end of the pampblet are several interesting, and somewbat instructive cases; the last of which, with his own remarks upon it, we shall lay before our readers. In the early part of a morning, before daylight, I was awoke by a loud knocking at the door ; and upon going to the window, I saw by the light of the moon, a man upon his knees in very loud prayer that the Lord Jesus would send down his grace upon the master of that house, and all his fampily. Convinced from his manner that he was mad, and conceiving that a Madhouse was the fittest place for him, I called to say that I would let him in; on his entrance he was for a time very collected, and gave me his relation as follows; " I have been from home several weeks; I have been to attend the last illness and death of my poor father, he left some little property behind him, and we had some very unpleasant disputes; I have, too, drunk hard, and the people said I was going mad; but bless the Lord, they were mistaken, for I was never so well in my life as now. Coming home upon one of the coaches, a voice came to me, and bid me go forth and preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus; I began to pray, and I got off at the village belort, and have been praying for the dear souls of the people?" 6 How came you up here ?" I said. “Why the Lord Jesus: directed me here, to be sure.” “What! have you been some time with the Methodists, for 1 presume you are one?" " No, I never was with them in my life; I do not so much as know any Methodists, but if it please the Lord Jesus, I mean to join that holy people this very day; I shall find some of the preachers at Stone. In the strength of the Lord, I can do any thing: I can strike my arm through that fire; and I can strike my arm through your body.”". In about two: minutes after this, his arms were properly secured in a straight Waistcoat; on first seeing of which he expressed a wish to have it, on, in order to convince us that the Lord Jesus would break his bonds asunder; and as soon as it was properly secured, he cried out-- Come, Lord Jesus, breakmay bonds asunder,” accompanied with all the efforts in his power; but these not succeeding, he became calm again for a while. For two days, he was the most part visionary; but using all my efforts to remove his complaint, he seemed quite recovered on the fourth day, and appeared in his own naturali character, viz. that of a boldi profligate, with no more religion than the bird that bears his name (Swan) wish he had been a Methodist; for in that case I should have hope, that he would some time find grace enough to pay me my charge;, but as it is, I bave no hopes. . I have often asserted that the visionary fervours of devotion, which have been stated as the
cause of insanity, were frequently the first effects of it, and this is an instance. A contemporary writer on insanity, goes a little out of his way to stigmatize the Methodists as the frequent cause of insanity; and in walking with him through his own Hospital, which contained at that time about a hun. dred and fifty patients, he pointed out two old women, who were, he said, Methodists."
On this case we shall leave the reader to make his own comments; and shall now dismiss the consideration of Mr. Bakewell's tract, by merely remarking, that we think some credit is due to him for his courage in crying down the common cant-for cant it is—that religion is so much the occasion of madness.
The last in the list of the pamphlets under notice is penned by no common hand. It contains in the first place a general sketch of the act of the 14th of his present Majesty, intituled “ an act for regulating Madhouses,” which is followed by ani outline of the “ Bill to repeal that act, and for making other provisions in lieu thereof," which passed through the House of Commons in the year 1814. The objections of the writer to this last bill are made against that part of it, in which it principally differs from the previous one, viz. to the mode of granting licences, and the powers given to the visiters. We do not perceive the validity of his objections respecting the application of new laws to establishments already existing, for such an enforcement would not, as in the case of apothecaries and attorneys, deprive the individuals to whom they should apply, of their means of sustenance; and, it should be recollected, that one of the prime objects which the framers of the new bill had in view, was to correct already existing abuses in lunatic establishments.
Nor does it appear to us, that the person to be licensed must be so `hardly dealt with by the discretionary powers being vested in the hands of the commissioners, for independently of the circumstance of such commissioners being chosen from a liberal and respectable class of men, there would be very little apprehensions of sinister motives guiding their decision, inasmuch as the refusal of a licence, or impediments of any kind to the present licentiate's views and wishes, would not be the act merely of one individual. It would appear, 'however, as far as relates to the laws of visiting, to be a greater safeguard to the rights of the masters of houses, were the visiting magistrates in the county districts required to be at least four instead of two in number; and it would be, perhaps, expedient, that two of these four should be selected from gentlemen resident in a part of the county distant from that in which the establishment existed; as too inuch care cannot