« ПредишнаНапред »
of Celsus, whose sanitary measures were extremely harsh; but as he was the earliest to treat insanity as a special disease, his influence on the schools has prevailed to the present century.
On the suppression of the monasteries in England, St.' Mary of Bethlehem was assigned for the reception of the insane, and the name, corrupted to Bedlam, became in English the name for such an institution.
Down to the close of the last century the treatment of the insane was very harsh and cruel. The first steps at reform were made in France, by Dr. Pinel, who, in 1792, liberated fifty-three of the patients confined in the Bicêtre, the ingane asylum of Paris, from the chains with which, as in Bagdad, it was deemed neces
sary to restrain the poor creaINSANE MEN, AT ST. ANNE'S HOSPITAL, PARIS.
tures from violence. problem of the best method of keeping, controlling, and, The active mind of Benjamin Franklin projected an if possible, restoring them to reason. Antiquity made no asylum to be conducted on more humane principles, and provision for the insane. The disease was generally as the Society of Friends at York, England, disapproving cribed to Divine action, and in many countries the idiotic the management of an asylum there, founded the and mad were objects of special reverence, and care be- “Retreat,” which inaugurated a now and more kindly stowed on them was regarded as a privilege, drawing method of treating cases of mental alienation. In this down on the bestower the choicest blessings of heaven. institution no chains, leglocks or bandcuffs were employed.
Christianity introduced the first asylum for the special To the surprise of all who favored the old and harsh treatment of the insane, and an hospital for their recep- system, the most beneficial results followed. One wretched tion is recorded as having existed in Jerusalem at the close patient who had been chained naked for twenty years was of the fifth century. Benjamin of Tudela, a traveler 700 admitted. When refractory, nothing more than arm-straps years later, recorded in his “Oriental Wanderings” that he were employed, bat by kindness and persuasion he was found at Bagdad a "House of Grace," where the insane soon induoed to wear clothes, and resume orderly habits. were received in Summer ; but the treatment was not The success of this treatment led to a general modification what the older fancy or our modern philanthropy would of the old modes, and great improvement ensued in the commend. The poor creatures were kept in chains till principles guiding the management of institutions for the they recovered — an event which we can scarcely suppose reception and treatment of mental disorders. frequent — or till death released them from their sufferings and from man's inhumanity. This early asylum had, however, one commend. able regulation. It was visited every month by the magistrates, and all who had recovered were discharged. As insanity never has been so prevalent in those Eastern countries, many of these cases may have been merely delirium, caused by disease, and only temporary in its character.
Asylums were establishel under the Byzantine empire and spread to Western Earope, but mental disease was not understood. Much evident insanity was treated as diabolical possession, and the pbysicians followed the school
INSANE WOXEN AT ST. ANNE'S.
The oldest asylum in the United States seems to be that to be the object of the treatment of the insane. At founded-at Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1773; the Friends' Gheel a different method is adopted, and as it has been Asylum, Philadelpoia, established in 1817 ; those at pursued successtully for a thousand years, is worth Somerville, Massachusetts, Bloomingdale, New York and stodylug. There the lanatics are not confined in cells or Hartford, Connecticut, coming next in the order of time. chambers or wards, or even gardens. They are at large, That at Washington is national; many are State or county looso, unconfined; they live among the people ; they go institutions; some are corporate, and a few are in private in and out as they choose; they are, as a rale, left to their hands. Some of these institutions, like the New Jersey own devices, and the system is successful. No harm Asylum at Morristown, are palaces, the cost running up results, and cares are effected to a greater extent than into millions, and the expense of maintaining patients under the asylum plan. being very high. In all this our national extravagance Even the raving. violent and dangerous have no restraint 86ems at
but padded fault.
chains on the It may well
hands and feet be questioned
that permit whether this
the use of plan is best
their limbe, adapted for
but prevent the reception
escape. and treatment
Gheel is a of the insane
little Flemisha poor from the
village twenty various towns
miles from and counties
Antwerp, with of the State,
one long who thus
street lined by Pass from a
unpretending life of toil
houses, chiefly and privation
of one story, to one of lux.
and never of ury and ease,
more than which in case
two. It is a of recovery
calm, quiet must unfit
town, with thom to re
industrious turn to their
people. old surround
Nothing ings. Indeed,
about it sugthere is a ques.
gests an intion whether
sade asylum; it is better to
you see DO gather a large
stately build number of in
ing, barred sano together
and walled, into 000
yet the whole building, as is
village is an the prevailing
asylum, and system ander
if you enter our asylum
the chief inn, plan, or to
the “Armes follow the
de Tarnhout," system which
you may be has 80 long
startled to BUC Cessfully
find that been pursued
most of the at Gheel, in
people sitting INSANE POOR AT TIEIR MEAL IN A STATE INSTITUTION. Belgium,
around, chat“We may build asylums of colossal proportions; we | ting or reading the papers, are lunatics. Gheel became may extend the grounds in which they stand to the most a resort for the demented far back in the Middle Ages, parklike limits, it will always be an inclosure, a prison on when the afilicted of all kinds came to seek relief at the a noble scale, but a prison still. Walled or fenced it must tomb of an Irish virgin, Saint Dympna, who met her necessarily be ; and the moment the restriction of a vis- death here. ible boundary is imposed, the feeling of complete liberty In the Metropolitan Museum of Art at the Central Park, is infringed.
there hangs on the wall a triptych, which the catalogue The consciousness that they are confined, watched, con leaves as a riddle. It is, however, a series of pictures trolled by keepers, creates an intense longing for liberty, from the life of St. Dympna, patrones of Gheel, and It is the one thing every inmate craves. The conscious. Thomas Campbell
, if memory is not treacherous, invested ness of its loss proys on the mind, and in itself militates her legend with the charms of his verse. against the cure which, rather than confinement, ought to She fled from Ireland to escape the unholy love of her
own father, one of the kings of the island, and long or be idle, to rise or retire, he has no contradiction to eluded his search, but the money she spent, coins not resist, no opposition to combat, and one great cause of easily passed, betrayed her course; she was overtaken and irritation is thus entirely removed. If he be mischievslain by the relentless father at Gheel, in Belgium. She ously inclined, or afflicted with that digital restlessness and the aged priest who accompanied her were honored as which we often observe even in persons allowed to be boly martyrs. Their relics were enshrined, and her story perfectly sane, he is suffered to destroy what he pleases. handed down in prose and verse, in legendary lore and The objects that come in his way are comparatively valueworks of art.
less, and it is asserted that in most of those cases where it The tomb of St. Dympna became a great shrine in the is otherwise, the grief or annoyance of the owners of such days of pilgrimages, and cells were built around the articles as has been demolished had more effect on the churob, where an old woman cooked meals for the guests. patient than the restrictions or punishments imposed Gradually it became a recognized resort for all whose under other systems; many such patients have, in consereason was impaired, and most of the people began to quence of the vexation they felt at having injured those attend the patients. There was no confinement; the who were uniformly kind to them, successfully labored to insane were pilgrims, under the protection of the Church, overcome the habit, and in a case of recent occarrence, it and thus shielded from harsh or severe treatment. appears that a "jeune demoiselle," who had been placed
The whole village of Gheel thus became accustomed to for two years in a lunatic asylum where she had been the management of lunatics. Every house, almost, had its severely reprimanded, and even punished, for the indul. insane guest, and the entire population became and bave gence of her wantonly mischievous habits, and who on remained experts in the most rational way of treating the first arriving at Gheel seemed disposed to destroy everyirrational. This state of things grew up insensibly, and thing that came in her way, became an altered being without premeditation. It is, too, peculiar to Gheel, the under the plan pursued here. City of the Simple, for all surrounding villages and hamlets It is true, she is not completely cured; but being urmanifest a strong aversion to the insane.
able to master the inclination, she would, after a time, of The healthy influence of family-life is the prevailing her own accord, whenever she foresaw the approach of a element in the system adopted at Gheel; and while it crisis, select some utterly worthless object, such as a rag constitutes the peculiarity of that system, it is the great or a piece of paper, on which to exercise her destructive Becret of its success.
propensities. The arrival of a boarder in a family is generally cele One young man now there- an Englishman, and for a brated as a little family festivity. The simple-minded time the only one of the nation at Gheel-had so unconCampinois, whose wife is the presiding genius of the querable a predilection for the amusement of breaking household, provides, on the occasion, a "reception meal"; windows, together with other expensive and unattractive the children wear their Sunday clothes ; if in Winter, habits, that after a four years' residence at a private another log is added to the fire, the brass skillets and asylum in England, where he grew daily worse, the pans receive an extra rub, a clean cloth covers the board, physician under whose care he had been placed declined and the cottage interior seems to smile on the newcomer. to keep him any longer. He was then sent to Gheel, The intercourse, begun under these auspices, is main. where, the first day he arrived, he broke twenty-eight tained in the same spirit, and soon the guest reciprocates panes of glass, with every demonstration of vindictive the confidence with which he is treated. He makes a glee. No notice whatever was taken of this feat, at which friend of bis host, pours the recital of his troubles into his he seemed very much mortified. The next day he made ear, and receives consolation and advice. Sharing in the a second attempt, but this time confined himself to about prosperity and adversity of the family, partaking of their half the number. The same course was pursued, from daily life, he attends with them the religious service of which moment, strange as it may seem, he entirely aban. the church, he kneels with them at the angelus bell, he doned the pastime, and during the three or four years he joins in their family devotions, he becomes, in fact, one has been at Gheel he has never since iudulged himself in of themselves, and he feels himself surrounded by the the same way. most endearing ties—he who before was misunderstood, This, indeed, is a fair example of the spirit in which perhaps ill-treated, the scorn and disgrace of those to the eccentricities of the insane are met, and it is very curiwhom he was allied by blood, meets in these hospitable ous to observe how thoroughly the “nourriciers," while strangers a whole family regarding him with but one sen- apparently pursuing their ordinary avocations, just as if timent, that of benevolence and affection. He who was the lunatic inmate did not exist, understand how to nobody has become the object of every one's regard and manage them. An incident illustrative of this is worth attention ; he rises in his own estimation, and soon, by recording : his efforts to show his gratitude, feels that he is in a posi A poor fellow, pensioned in a middle-class house, was tion to earn the kindness he at first received gratuitously. every now and then subject to a nervous crisis, during Gradually he gains the level of those by whom he is sar. wbioh he threatened to throw himself out of the window; rounded, and often this simple and spontaneous resuscita- the nourricier, perceiving that the restraint he had thought tion of moral vigor alone suffices to effect his cure. it necessary to impose only made matters worse, deter
The duily familiar intercourse pervading all the habits mined on an opposite course ; he observed that the man and practices of life, imperceptibly regulating its duties, talked and blustered about his intention in a mode seldom and unobtrusively determining the position occupied in pursued by those seriously bent on such a step, so one the household by the boarder, withdraws his thoughts day, when he was more violent than usual, he replied with from himself, and while providing him with an occupa- great calmness, and without taking his eyes off his lasttion, gives him an interest in the joys and sorrows of for be was a cobbler by trade : those among whom he is received and treated as one of “I'll tell you what it is, Yvon, you're talked of this so themselves.
often that I am quite tired of the subject, and I am perIn all things equal with them, except that his well- suaded you are right, and that the best thing you can do being is more considered, more studied, better cared for, is to try the window, since you are not satisfied with going allowed full liberty to come and go as he pleases, to work out at the door."
“But I shall be killed !" replied the lunatic, completely Many perform with fidelity and accuracy the duties of taken aback by the coolness of his host.
commissionnaires, not only carrying messages and parcels, “Oh, that is your lookout; see here, I'll help you so but making purchases and bringing back change correctly far as opening the window goes, but the rest you must do to their employərs. It is not without a melancholy interfor yourself. And he rose and deliberately opened the est that one observes traces of the small childish vanity lattice, which was only one story from the ground, and with which they receive these marks of trust, and look for below it was a dungbeap, reaching fully half the distance. commendation when they think they are entitled to it. •Now," he continued, "I am going down to dinner, so In the fields, a large proportion of the laborers, male 'll say 'good-by,' for I suppose you don't want me.” and female, are lunatics or epileptics, and it is the opinion
If the cobbler felt any alarm for the result of his experi- of the medical staff that agriculture is by far the best ocment, he was soon reassured, for the lunatic, looking cupation they can follow. It is a curious fact, and one steadily at him to see if he could possibly be in earnest, worth recording, that although trusted with scythes, walked to the casement and closed it, observing : sickles, shears, billhooks, spades, hoes and other dangerous
"To dinner, you said ? Well, I don't mind if I dine, tools, they have never been known to misuse them. too; I can do this afterward."
Sach is the system pursued at Gheel, and the whole With these words he followed his nourricier, and no body of insane are under the care of skillful physicians further allusion was ever made to egress by the window. who make mental disease their almost sole study. It con.
I was told cf a touching instance of attachment and trasts sharply with our methods in the liberty allowed the sensibility where a young lunatio, finding that the noise insane, and in employing them in their own avocations, of his violin worried the mistress of the house, who was thus preventing much of the brooding and mutinous sick, destroyed his instrument that he might not be spirit aroused by our system. The influence of the Gheel tempted to gainsay his determination.
idea, not to make any individual distinctions, may be It is interesting and suggestive to see these poor afflicted seen in the gentler and highly successful system in the creatures doing their best to help, by their labor, the family New York State Homoeopathio Asylum at Middletown, among whom their lot is cast. The care of the children and in some institutions for women under the control of generally falls to their share, and the gentleness with religious communities, like the Sisters of Charity, as at which they tend them is remarkable ; they wash, dress Mount Hope, in Maryland, and Harrison, N. Y. and feed them, walk out with them and play with them. Our asylums are too generally regarded as houses of It is by no means unusual to see an old fellow, who might detention, but as Dr. Parigot well remarks, “Not the be the grandfather, carrying an infant in his arms, wbile custody, but the cure of the sane should be the sole three or four older children follow his steps, or gambol by object. Common efforts would bring at last an immense his side; and this is the happiest as well as the most benefit-namely, that insane patients must be cured, and favorable moment of the lunatic's monotonous existence; not to be considered prima facie as beings to be put in the society of these little ones and their innocent joys find custody for their lifetime." an echo in his upsophisticated mind, and he can follow At Gheel, where they come and go as they please, without an effort the meaning of their simple prattle, where they feel themselves as much at liberty as the other meeting a congeniality in their ideas, limited, like his inhabitants of the place, and recognize no inequality in own, to the objects they see around them.
their condition, we find they act as they see others act, Their confiding helplessness seems to touch a respon- and it never occurs to them to complain of their position. sive chord in his heart, and to draw him closer to them, What should they seek to escape from ? The whole place while it brings out the better feelings of his nature. is theirs ; if they leave the house, no one asks them When they are well, he naturally becomes their playmate whither they are going, or how long they will be absent; and companion, and when they are ill, and he feels his and if, through inadvertence, they wander along the road inability to bring skill, judgment or experienca to their which takes them out of the village, it is never with a aid, he sits despondingly by, watching, weeping, and view to withdraw themselves, and they are only too thankoften praying, forgetting for the time his own troubles, ful to be brought back. Each of the six "gardes de whims and ailments, and ready, if not eager, to render section” is responsible for those located within his any service to the sorrowing household, whose grief, district, and if he perceives in any unusually vicious lunamaybe, he only half understands.
tic an intention to give his hosts the slip, all he would do The dormant affection he feels for the family at whose would be to fasten round his ankles the humane contrifireside he has been received, only requires some such oc-vance, which, while it could not hurt a newborn child, casion to elicit its depth and its sincerity; and when a would prevent the wearer from running away, and at the patient has been pronounced cured, and it is desirable for same time admit of his being left at large. him to return to his own relations, heartbreaking on both The number of physicians in attendance is inadequate, sides is the hour of separation. Rarely does an instance and the care of the insane is left too absolutely to keepers, ocour ia Gheel of any patient wishing to change bis dom- generally without medical training, who become hardened, icile, or to leave the family on which he had been origin- and look only to the confinement of the inmates without a ally quartered. In almost every case they seem to become thought of their cure. These men come in time to look the enfant gátlé de la maison, and to endear themselves to upon any complaint of their conduct as an insult, and as their protectors as much as they are attached to them, the means of revenge are in their own hands, and with The relationship is a very touching one, and the tra none but insane, and therefore incompetent, witnessess, ditional antecedents of Gheel render the mutual tie pecu- they often wreak their vengeance in the most brutal form. liarly interesting.
In one of the cases that attracted the attention of the There is scarcely a trade that is not pursued in Gheel public last Summer, a sane reporter confined as a lunatic by persons recognized as insane. I saw the handiwork of found means to communicate with friends. When this cabinet-makers, joiners, shoe-makers, tailors, sabot-makers was discovered he was punished by the keeper, with con. and many others. At a forge, several men working at finement in a cage among raving maniacs. the trade of the blacksmith, were manufacturing wheel. No keeper in prison or asylum should be "judge, tires, horseshoes, culinary vessels, etc,
jury, bangman, rope and all," "If, in the interest of
THE STRAITJACKET IN FRONT. Bociety," to quote again the words of Dr. Parigot, "the insane may be temporarily deprived of their liberty, it is bat a preventive measure, just and acceptable in certain conditions, out of which a positive right must be acknowledged-Dumely, that the law which forcibly isolates or seoludes a patient from his friends and family assumes pro facto the responsibility of a real and scientific medical treatment. A public convenience or a publio right can never include the violation of an individual one, or the non-acoomplishment of a duty."
BELT AND SHACKLES USED IN SOMR ASYLUMS. The greater medical supervision is all the more necessary, in order to turn to account the lacid intervals, and frequently when the lucid interval arrives, the patient is prolong them as far as science can effect it. Now, too subjected to the same treatment as when reason no longe
ruled. Yet in many cases almost complete freedom and