and Dumb Asylum at Hartford. --Girl, deaf, dumb, and blind --Impressment
of British Sailors. --Deed of Sale. --Universalists. --Female Seminary.
THE day after my return to Hartford, I went to the Deaf and Dumb Asylum with Mr. Wells, the treasurer. I had had a cursory view of the establishment on my former visit. On entering the house, we found several visitors there, and were ushered into a room, where some of the pupils were taking their morning's lessons from a deaf and dumb teacher, who received us with great politeness; and invited us, by signs, to be seated. The class had been two years in the establishment, and were receiving instruction in grammar. The manner in which they wrote on boards affixed to the wall their answers to his questions on the meaning of words, and explained the distinctions between the relative pronouns, shewed that they had made great progress during that time. Their hand-writing was good, and generally correct in point of spelling. Among them was a black boy, or rather a mulatto, who had been sent by the State of Massachusetts to the Asylum. As it is very unusual to see the different colors thus harmoniously mixed in a place of this sort, I felt anxious to know whether any proof of the supposed difference of intellect between the two races was to be found here. There had been two or three instances of a similar kind in the house before. It was probably through the influence of the superintendant, who is a very liberal man, and at the suggestion of his brother, whose mind has long been thoroughly cleared of the "perilous stuff" of prejudice, that such a departure from a general rule was permitted. I wrote down on a piece of paper the following ,question, and put it into the teacher's hands: "Is the black as intelligent as the white?" He directly wrote with his pencil, "No, Sir! he has a pretty good mind." I wrote again: --"Is it so with all the blacks?" The answer was, "No, Sir!." Thinking he might suppose I asked if they all had pretty good minds, --I added: "I mean, is the black race inferior to the white?" "No," was his reply. On asking an elderly woman who appeared to be the matron, whether any repugnance or feeling of displeasure had been shewn, on his arrival, towards the colored boy by his companions, "not the least," she replied, "on the contrary, they all crowded about him when first he came, and seemed highly delighted with him. He is a great favorite with all of them, and more beloved than any of the others."
Had the Judsonian law for the suppression of knowledge, been enacted three years sooner, this poor fellow might have been excluded from the Asylum, and remained a burthen to that society of which he will now be an useful member. It was found, on inquiry some years ago, that there was in the State of Pennsylvania, one person deaf and dumb to every 2000 among the whites. If the same proportion holds throughout the Union; and if there are everywhere, as is said to be the case in New York State, two blacks to one white thus afflicted, it must be as impolitic as it is illiberal, to exclude this class of the population from institutions that are open to every other.
After this, we went into an adjoining room; where we found twelve or thirteen pupils-among whom were three girls, going through their exercises in writing. They wrote down, in answer to the questions put by the teacher, the ten commandments, taken indiscriminately; and afterwards gave, by signs, a grammatical analysis of sentences he had put down upon a board. Their answers were perfectly correct, though they had been but fifteen months in the establishment, and knew not the meaning of words when they first came. Our next visit was to the workshops; where we saw some beautiful specimens of cabinet making, which, with shoe-making, is the trade taught to the boys. The girls learn sewing. The work of the former is done by contract; and the proceeds have, for the last two or three years, covered the expenses of teaching and purchasing the raw material. The shoe-making leaves a small profit. The person who instructed them told us that his pupils were docile and intelligent; and would do, upon an average, better and more work than most journeymen. When he goes out, he leaves the class under the care of one of the boys; and he has never found the confidence thus placed in him abused. One boy, whom he represented as idle and artful, he has sometimes set over the rest on these occasions; and he has always discharged his duty faithfully. Such are the good effects of trusting to the principle of honor as a motive of conduct.
It is a common
opinion, that persons who are deaf and dumb, are more sensitive and irascible
than those who are not afflicted in the same way. This notion, like most
of those that are unfavorable to human nature, is entirely erroneous and
unfounded. Their character depends, like that of all mankind, upon the
treatment they meet with, and the circumstances in which they are placed.
Though it be doubtful whether congenital deafness is hereditary, yet there are numerous instances of its prevalence in the same family. Cases have occurred of this infirmity having been found in three, four, five, and even more children of the same parents. Three cases only are known at the institution that had the appearance of being hereditary. One of the instructors is deaf and dumb, and his wife is the same.
They have four children, who have no defect of the kind. Some inconvenience is experienced from this double privation in the domestic circle, but less than would probably arise in a crowded city, or among strangers. Intermarriages of this kind are indirectly discouraged; the absence of all restraint upon the affections renders prohibition unnecessary; and no secret attachments are likely to take place where suspicion has not counselled concealment. One old woman in Massachusetts has no less than fifteen great-grand-children who are deaf and dumb; yet not one of the intermediate links, which connect her with these unfortunate beings, labors under the same infirmity. Six of them belong to the same family, in which there are eight children; two only having escaped this calamity. In another, where there are ten, every other child is thus afflicted, though neither of the parents is so.
The proportion of persons thus deprived of a sense, on the possession of which the exercise of one of the most valuable faculties depends, is said to be, in the United States, one in 2000. This is less than what prevails in Europe, where one in 1537 is the estimated average.
This interesting institution owes its origin to the father of a young lady at Hartford, who was deaf and dumb. To establish a school for young persons laboring under her infirmity, a subscription was raised among the inhabitants; and Mr. Gallaudet, the descendant of a Protestant refugee from France, was commissioned to enquire into the best methods of instruction in Europe. On his return, the asylum was formed, and he was appointed the principal or superintendant --an office now filled by Mr. Weld. A grant of land in Alabama was obtained from Congress; and, from its sale, a fund of about 200,000 dollars has been created in furtherance of its benevolent objects.
Each pupil pays (either through the State to which he belongs, or through his family) 100 dollars a-year --a reduction from 115 having very recently taken place. The rest of his expenses is defrayed out of the fund. The annual charge originally fixed by the Directors for each pupil was 200 dollars --a reduction was subsequently made to 150; --and from that, in 1825, to 115. The number of pupils during the last year has varied from 120 to 136; for whom there were about nine tutors. Scarcely one of them required any medical advice in the course of the year.
Visitors are admitted at all times, if strangers; and those, who were formerly pupils, have full liberty to call upon their former companions; as no restraint or restriction is known. Many of the Hartford people are familiar with the use of the signs, as they are in the habit of seeing the pupils, both at the institution, and at their own houses.
Some of the latter, who are now settled in the neighborhood, were present while we were in the house, and were conversing by signs with their school fellows, without exciting distrust; the discipline pursued throughout being of that nature as not to suggest any thing clandestine or improper by interdicting communication or prescribing irksome regulations. Mr. Weld's observations upon this subject were particularly judicious and sensible.
Mr. Gallaudet, whose wife is deaf and dumb, told me that his children learn their mother's signs more readily than their mother-tongue; and communicate their ideas by this mute language with astonishing facility, and in a very short time. The same is observed with respect to the children of the tutor, Mr. Clair, of whom I before spoke. The parents and the children have no difficulty in understanding each other; though the former cannot speak a word. These facts go far to confirm what Arrowsmith has said upon this point. He recommends that deaf children should be educated in the common schools, on the presumption that the sympathies of infancy and the natural instincts of imitation, will, suggest to the pupils both the perfect and the deficient in the sense under consideration some method of interchanging their ideas. Mr. Gallaudet approved of the principle, and added that its application should be confined to the early periods of life, that the subject may come, in some measure prepared, into the regular establishments for such persons. The experiment might easily and safely be made in an infant school. Another plan might be tried of teaching the use of language, by directing the attention of the pupils to the movements of the organs of speech, as they are brought into action by the exercise of the voice.
One poor unfortunate inmate of the establishment, (Julia Brace,) about twenty-six years of age, is blind as well as deaf. This calamity came upon her when she was four years of age-at which period she may be supposed to have acquired a considerable stock of ideas. Before she was brought to the asylum, she had been accustomed in the absence of her mother, to take charge of her younger brothers and sisters; and, in the performance of this duty, acquitted herself to the satisfaction of her parents. It is by the touch and the smell that she is enabled to distinguish objects, and recognize the different inmates of the house. She is neither idle nor useless; being employed in sewing, arranging the linen, and cleaning up the tea-things. While occupied in the latter task, she one day found, among the tea-spoons, one that was made of silver, and of the same size with the rest. It is extraordinary, that she should have perceived the difference of metal among 120 or 130. She immediately took it to the matron. She is very neat in her dress, and the arrangement of her hair. The fashions of the day are familiar to her; and she shews a marked preference, in selecting a gown or a ribbon, for those articles, which are most in vogue, for the cut or the quality. Having observed that the looking-glass is generally consulted in the important affairs of the toilette, she places herself mechanically before it, when similarly engaged. Her notions of property are very orthodox, and strictly enforced upon others when her own rights are concerned. She has never been known to take any thing that did not belong to her, or to allow any one to deprive her of what was her own. There is a box, at the entrance to the Asylum, appropriated to her sole use. The donations, which are placed here to the average amount of more than 100 dollars a year, are funded for her benefit, and will form. a valuable resource in case of accident. Last year the donations were 110 dollars --rather less than usual. Some little opposition was at first made to her admission, as an object not contemplated by the regulations of the institution. As it is supposed that there is but one other person in the Union similarly afflicted, no fear of establishing a precedent by deviating from the letter of any law, is to be entertained. She has, as may be supposed, her attachments, and evinces her regard by any little attentions or kind offices in her power: --such as nursing her favorites in sickness. When they are about to quit the place, she is generally aware of their intention, and gives intimation of her knowledge by various signs, expressive of her feelings The sense of smell chiefly serves her to discriminate one thing or one person from another. When I put a silver pencil-case into her band, she drew out the pencil two or three times, and tried the point with the palm of her hand; having first ascertained where the slide was; she then applied the case to her nose, and afterwards to her tongue, which seemed to be a finer organ of perception than the hand, and to be used in this instance, for the purpose of discovering what metal the instrument was made of.
When any one she is acquainted with dies, she indicates by certain signs, that he has ceased to breathe, and is laid in the ground. It is not unusual for her to express a wish to visit a dead body; --to pass her hand over it, when brought into contact with it;-and to manifest clearly her knowledge that life is extinct. When an infant, her temper was very irritable. It is now subdued; and she seems to be cheerful and happy. It is not certain whether she has any idea of a Supreme Being or of her own responsibility, beyond what the most scrupulous observance of decency and propriety might imply. It is difficult to form any correct conception of what is passing in her mind, or to separate the results of mere imitation from the operations of reflection.
The case of James Mitchell, recorded by Dugald Stewart, is somewhat similar to this; his sight, however, for the short time he possessed it, was too weak to convey ideas to the mind. There are strong marks of resemblance in the character and actions of these afflicted beings. Julia, however, if less intelligent, seems to be more amiable. The difference may arise from circumstances of situation. Her active powers are less exercised than her passive.
It is to be hoped that some philosophical inquirer will give the world a detailed narrative of all the phenomena connected with the physical and moral existence of a being so rare and so interesting.
Imperfect as her organization is, it is gratifying to know that the narrow range her mind is permitted to take, is made, by kind and judicious management, to bring back to her as much enjoyment as her lot will admit of; and that, sufficient communication is opened with the external world, through the few channels that remain, to secure her against the bitter pangs, of loneliness and desolation.
The sense of touch seems to be the first used by infants. It is by that that they regulate the exercise of the rest. How wonderful is it --that the instrument which is generally employed to correct the others, should be able to take their place, when they are wanting! and that the same organ which is an auxiliary in fixing ideas should be capable of forming them by itself! The sense of touch may thus supply the want of hearing, or of sight, or of both; but would the other senses, separately or in conjunction, supply the want of touch There are in the United States six institutions of this kind. The one described; another in the City of New York, containing about 124 pupils; another at Canajoharie (in the same State), containing 34; the Pennsylvania Institution (80) the Ohio Institution (25); and the Kentucky, containing about the same number, There is great remissness on the part of relatives in sending these unfortunate beings to the asylums provided for their instruction. The State of Massachusetts appropriates more money to this object than is actually expended; the surplus being made over to the Trustees of the Blind Asylum at Boston.
After dining with Mr. Wells, who is an Englishman, long resident in Hartford, where he is very highly respected, I spent the rest of the day at Mr. Wadsworth's. A circumstance he mentioned in the course of our conversation, exhibited in a very strong light our unjust and impolitic system of impressment for the navy. On his way to Newhaven, during the last war, he fell in with four of our sailors, who had been taken prisoners in the Macedonian by Decatur. They all told him they were glad their vessel had been captured; as they hated a service into which they had been forced: and they added that they hoped they should never return to their own country. "It is a common thing with us", they said, "when we are going into action, to whisper to one another, when we are out of hearing of our officers, 'let us hope we may be taken prisoners.'"
The Superb was off New London when news arrived that peace had been signed. Admiral Hotham, who commanded the blockade, was so affected by the intelligence, that he is said to have shed tears of joy. He had been anxiously waiting for the termination of a contest, which was peculiarly unpopular with the naval men engaged in it, as it was felt to be something unnatural to be fighting against a nation, who, in their habits and language, might be considered brothers. The English captain came on shore; and Mr. Wadsworth's description of the manner in which he was received at New London and at Hartford, and of his delight and astonishment, which the kindness and cordiality everywhere shewn him, excited, was as vivid as if the events he was narrating had recently taken place. He could not restrain his feelings on beholding so many well-dressed and courteous people pressing forward to welcome a stranger who had come to their shores as an enemy, and found a friend wherever he went. He frequently exclaimed, when accompanying the party of American gentlemen, who had gone out through a deep snow to escort him to their town, that he was "the happiest man in the world." All who were introduced to him were amused with his vivacity and charmed with his frankness. He remained under the hospitable roof of his kind-hearted eulogist three or four days; had left behind him, in favor of the British navy, an impression, which even its enforcement of all impolitic, if not an unjust, claim, will not easily efface.
In the course of the evening, a neighbor, a justice of the peace, came in upon business. The object of his visit was to obtain signatures to a deed of sale. Nothing could be more simple than the form required. If printed, it costs 6 cents, (about three-pence of our money,) though any piece of paper or parchment would be sufficient for the purpose. The justice of peace receives 20 cents for his trouble, --but, this is frequently not demanded or expected; and the town-clerk, who records the deed, the same sum. Two witnesses are necessary. However valuable may be the estate transferred, the cost does not exceed this sum. The greatest possible security is thus given to the title; for the register is accessible to every one, and is legal proof of the transfer, should the original deed be lost.
The lawyers have as little reason to be pleased with Hartford as with Brooklyn. Some of them have found the study of their profession too dry without the practice, and have sought more satisfactory ways of employing their time.
I saw, this evening, for the first time, a hummingbird on the wing: it was flitting about from flower to flower, inserting its long bill into the calix, in search of its food, and reminded me, by its actions and habits, of the moth known in England as the jasmine-hawk. It appeared to be very shy; darting off with astonishing rapidity as any one approached, and returning to its task as the intruder retired. It rarely perches during the day.
The city contains about 7000 souls. For the instruction and amusement of these, there are seven political newspapers, and five devoted to religious subjects, in addition to periodical publications of a different description. Besides the above, there are circulated, or taken in by the inhabitants, 80 daily papers, 432 published once a week, and 110 twice a week: --all from other places. Of churches, there are no less than ten, one of them belonging to the colored people. This calculation was made two or three years ago. An increase has no doubt taken place, since that time, in the particulars above stated.
Among the churches is one belonging to the Universalists, a sect little known in England, and not well understood in America, if I may judge from the unsatisfactory answers I received to the questions I asked about them. To solve the problem, I resolved to go to the fountain-head at once. On arriving at their place of worship, I found part of the congregation assembled in front and in the door-way, waiting for the preacher. Observing a black about to enter, I asked a man, who was standing on the steps, whether they admitted persons of that description in the body of the chapel among the whites. No, he replied: "they set here, as in all other meetinghouses, in little slips set apart for them. They don't ought to be among us; so they have places by themselves. It is giving the poor creturs achance, you know." The service commenced with a psalm; after which the preacher, a plain homely-looking old man, between sixty and seventy years of age, read one of the psalms, in a version so completely new, that the simplicity of the common translation was lost in the various alterations which the text had undergone; omissions and interpolations having been added to the substitution of modern for the old phrases. To this succeeded one of Addison's hymns, which had also felt the revising band of the compiler. The "awful throne" of Jehovah was changed into the "royal throne." Then followed an extempore prayer, and another hymn; and, after them, the discourse. The text was, "Blessed are the people that are in such a case", &c.; and the commentary upon it embraced two topics, --happiness in this world, and in the next. In the former part, the minister drew a picture of the prosperous state of his native country, enjoying independence, in contrast with what it would have been, had its efforts to throw off the yoke imposed by England, failed. The language was grossly familiar and unpolished; and the facts stated in support of his assertions, were equally opposed to historical truth and to good taste. The quaint and vulgar manner of the preacher drew frequent smiles and titterings from his audience, who seemed to be highly amused with his illustrations and examples, all of which were derived from every-day life, and were suited as little to the place as to the subject.
He then repeated that part of the declaration of independence, in which a nation, one fifth of which is in a state of abject slavery, or social, degradation, proclaims to the world, that all men are created equal, and said that he could not sufficiently admire the intrepid signers of that immortal instrument. After much more of this commonplace declamation, which he delivered with the utmost volubility, he looked at his watch, and observed that he had not time enough to do justice then to the theme, or enter as largely as he could wish into the second head of his discourse. He assured his auditory that the fears generally entertained of the punishments that were supposed to await us in another state of being, were groundless and irrational; that the Creator, or as the word Lord, according to his interpretation, signified, the "Owner," who had bestowed upon us so plentifully his bounties in this world, would not, inconsistently, torment us in the next. "As for the story," he added, "about the ground being cursed for Adam's sake, there is not a word of truth in it. Do you think those people, who believe their children are to be miserable hereafter, could be happy, if they really believed what they said? --No such thing! I don't believe one word of it! We shall be happy, every one of us, when we have left this present scene. So we may make ourselves happy while we are here --that is, not wickedly happy; for the wicked can't be happy."
This was almost the only sentence I heard that implied any distinction between vice and virtue; and this recognises no moral obligation, except so far as a man is bound to make himself happy. The rest of this disjointed rhapsody was made up of distorted passages of scripture, sarcasms on the doctrine of future rewards and punishments, and assurances that the goodness of God is inexhaustible, irrespective, and unmixed with any other attribute. After the service was over, I asked a man who sat in the same pew with me, if the present occupier of the pulpit usually preached there? He replied, that he merely officiated occasionally. "Pray," said I, "are these the doctrines maintained by the Universalists? "Yes!" was the answer, "we believe that men are punished for their sins here: not in the next world." A very convenient sort of doctrine truly! --and one that it is hardly worth while paying a man for teaching, unless it be necessary for those who believe it, to be reminded of a truth, which has been concealed from every nation that has any idea of a God, and might perhaps be forgotten under so blind a guide as conscience.
The Universalists are sometimes confounded with the Restorationists, who maintain that the duration of future punishment is limited and not eternal; relying chiefly for the support of their opinions on the interpretation they affix to the word aiwviov.(GREEK) The importance of the distinction is not confined to the persons who hold these tenets; for if the statute concerning oaths were strictly enforced in the State of New York, in none of the courts of justice there could the evidence of an Universalist be received -that act requiring that a witness should believe in the existence of a Supreme Being and a future state of rewards and punishments. The sect labors under the imputation of disguised infidelity; though its origin may be traced to the Calvinistic doctrine of atonement --pushed to its extremest consequences; the ransom that was paid being supposed to embrace all mankind, and to absolve them from responsibility in the next world for the deeds done in this. From the following list of the various denominations of religion as they existed in 1831, it will be seen how many churches belonged to the Universalists.
The Baptists and Methodists had 4484 churches.
Roman Catholics 784
Dutch Reformed 602
Universalists ..................... 298
Lutherans ... 240 churches.
Calvinistic Baptists 84
Swedenborgians .............. 73
In addition to the above, the Jews had ninety-six synagogues.
The next day, I went with Mr. Gallaudet to the Female Seminary; and my conductor, having introduced me to the master, Mr. Bruce, withdrew, having other matters to attend to. The young ladies had just assembled for the business of the morning; had, as soon as "absence" had been called, over, and some observations had been addressed to the pupils, they proceeded to their respective classrooms: some to study geography, others geometry, arithmetic, history, &c. Two or three of the girls, whose ages were about twelve or thirteen, went through some propositions in the third book of Euclid and worked out the demonstrations by means of a board, on which the figures were chalked. They performed the allotted task with great clearness and very correctly, The proficiency of the historical class was ascertained by a female teacher, who put several questions to them, arising from what they had learned the preceding day. The master then took me into another room, where his Latin scholars were ready with their lessons. One of them translated, viva voce, part of the second book of the Aeneid, in a way that shewed she fully understood the subject as well as the language. When she came to that passage, where the poet represents Dido as dreaming that she sees and hears Aeneas, she hesitated at the words
"----infandum si fallere possit amorem.The master said that fallere meant to reject --to throwaway --looking at me at the same time, as if to ask my opinion. I ventured to observe that the expression had another signification, and quoted one or two well-known passages in Horace. She immediately remarked, that it would be inconsistent with the character that Virgil has given to Dido, if she were represented as wishing to get rid of her love. I could not help thinking that the engaging picture of the tender passion thus presented to the imagination, was not exactly the fittest study for a girl of fourteen or fifteen years of age.
are about 100 girls who attend this establishment. They board with their
families; or, if strangers, in some respectable private house. The average
expense of education, including board and lodging, does not exceed 200
dollars a year. The discipline appears to be judicious and effective. No
rewards or punishments are employed to conciliate or enforce it; nor is
any humiliation inflicted, either by reproving disobedience in the presence
of others, or allowing precedence to superiority of merit. The mastertold
me he seldom had occasion to find fault twice for the same offence. A hint,
either in private, or through the parents and friends, is generally sufficient
to ensure obedience and stimulate exertion. Among the books belonging to
the institution, I observed Vattel, Ferguson on Civil Society, Kames's
Sketches, Say on Political Economy, and Brown's Philosophy of the Human
I believe it will be found that the women are more "highly educated in this part of the country than the men --too much so, according to a Hartford physician, Dr. Brigham. "In general," he says, in a work before quoted, "the mental peculiarities of the female mind are not regarded in education. Their intellectual powers are developed to the greatest degree; and thus their natural sensibility is changed or rendered excessive. This excessive sensibility is not always counteracted by bodily labor and exercise for there is probably no country in the world where women belonging to the wealthy class exercise so little, especially in the open air, as in this." Calisthenics, as they are practiced at this school, form no exception to the neglect thus censured. It can promote neither strength nor beauty to move the arms about mechanically, while the body is gently waved to and fro, or curved backward and forward, without any change of position or active exercise of the muscular powers.
I was so much interested by what I had seen at the Lunatic Asylum on my former visit, that I walked thither again, accompanied by a young Greek, who was lodging at the same hotel with me, and who is now removed from the Theological College at Hartford, where he was lecturing, to Newhaven. When we arrived, there were so many visitors there, that the attendant was too much engaged for us to obtrude upon his time. He informed me, from the slight conversation I had with him, that nine-tenths of those under the care of the establishment are cured during the first six months of the disorder. This is the, result of seven years' experience. A newspaper was lying on the table, and I inquired, what he would do if there should be any thing in it he might not like the patients, to see, observing, at the same time, that at Boston, a, practice which appeared to me ill judged, prevailed, of cutting out the objectionable paragraphs. "On such occasions," he replied, "we should rather remove the paper altogether and explain, if we were asked, why we did so, than do any thing that might denote distrust or excite suspicion."
A man had been brought some time before to the institution, who was resolved upon suicide. He was told, on his arrival, that he might be left alone, if he would give his word and honor that he would not attempt to destroy himself: --he at first refused to do so: --after some time had elapsed, however he agreed to the conditions; and was then so much better that he was allowed to walk about the garden by himself.
I had some conversation with one of the patients --a Scotchman --who was sitting in the room where we were. He talked very rationally both upon common topics and upon his own case. He had been there, he said, but a few days, and thought he had derived benefit from the change of air and scene. Visitors come and go without exciting any unpleasant feeling in the patients, who converse freely with them about their complaints. Insanity is as often as any thing the subject of conversation. The constant communication that is kept up among the invalids has an excellent effect on the mind. The great interest they take in each other's welfare, often inquiring how they are, keeps up a gentle exercize of the sympathies; and, in feeling for the misfortunes of others, they learn to forget their own. To cultivate the benevolent affections is doubtless a very important principle in the treatment of insanity, as well as the best prophylactic; for what M'Laurin says of its prevention may be said of its cure. "I think company not the securest remedy against this black passion (melancholy); but rather the filling the vacancies of our minds with the highest degree of those noble ardors and affections to the good of mankind, and of doing good and gallant actions which may enlarge and cultivate and exalt our minds, and keep them still keen and bright."
I particularly asked what was done with a violent maniac on his first coming into the house. I was told that the method pursued, in such a case, was to put the patient in a room with a very powerful keeper, whose duty it is to divert his mind if possible, and to prevent his doing any mischief. No strait waistcoat is put on, or any physical coercion used, if it can possibly be avoided, during the day. At night his arms are secured; and, if he will promise to be quiet, the straps, or whatever instruments are employed for the purpose, are removed. After a short time, an improvement generally takes place; the confidence of the patient is obtained, new associations spring up in his mind, and something like self-control succeeds to the former violence and aberration of the will.
A curious case was mentioned. It was that of a man afflicted with the monomania of self-destruction. He was permitted to go into the town with a keeper. One day he complained that he was followed by a spy wherever he went. He was assured that he should be watched no longer if he would promise the physician not to make any attempt on his own life. He refused to do so; and his shadow continued to follow him. Tired out, at last, by this annoyance, he resolved to comply with the terms offered. He made the promise, and he kept it faithfully. His restoration to health was the result of his agreement.