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the helpless young creature whom she attended through the successive times of agony, which gave three consumptive, and at last two idiot, children to the world.
One of the latter is all that is left of the brilliant Cyril and his beautiful wife, whose scene of degradation closed in death when their last surviving victim child was four years old. The poor old nurse, who preserves her benevolence amid even the dotage of second childhood, cherishes the idiot orphan with an exclusive and yearning love, and seeks for him and for herself a bitter crust in the walks of beggary!
M. L. G.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF HEALTH.*
ALL who are addicted to the pursuit, or earnest for the promotion of useful science, must feel a strong interest both in the subject and the object of the work, the first volume of which is now before us.
The first title will be far from conveying to many readers a full conception of the author's meaning. The term Health must be understood in its widest and highest acceptation, the mens sana in corpore sano; the condition of well-being. Such is the interpretation fixed upon it by the second and explanatory title, which, if less taking, is less liable to be mistaken, and is really the description of the work, provided the remaining portions correspond with the commencement, which may confidently be anticipated.
Many thousand times has it been affirmed that the proper study of mankind is man;' but from the time of Pythagoras downwards, the repetition of the admonition to self-knowledge has been found an easier operation than that of accumulating the materials and guiding the student to their successful employment. The real promoters of this much lauded study are not those who vehemently enforce it, but those who apply to it the aids and rules of philosophizing. They are a much less numerous class. But as the mere iteration of precept is not more efficacious in science than in morals, they are the class which deserves our gratitude. Unhappily they have made but slow progress in rendering human nature the object of science. While in other regions the reign of Chaos and Old Night' has yielded to successful invasion, it seems to have retreated to this as a citadel where a last and long stand might be made; and it has been made. Theories of man have been, wholly or partially, nothing more than theories; the writers who best succeeded in one department of the great subject
The Philosophy of Health; or an Exposition of the Physical and Mental Constitution of Man, with a view to the Promotion of Human Longevity and Happiness. By Southwood Smith, M.D. vol. i.
have usually failed in another; and the power of lucidly combining and arranging ascertained truths has not hitherto been put forth. Dr. Smith justly observes, that,
Excepting as a qualification for the practice of surgery and medicine, in the curriculum of no school or college in the kingdom is an explanation of the structure and functions of the human body included. As a qualification for no profession or pursuit, in the curriculum of no school or college in England is an explanation of the phenomena of the human mind, and of the laws that govern the formation and direction of its intellectual powers, included.'
This is the want which it is the author's object to supply. He has a distinct perception of the task which he undertakes, and of its universal importance.
The object of the present work is to give a brief and plain account of the structure and functions of the body, chiefly with reference to health and disease. This is intended to be introductory to an account of the constitution of the mind, chiefly with reference to the developement and direction of its powers. There is a natural connexion between these subjects, and an advantage in studying them in their natural order. Structure must be known before function can be understood: hence the science of physiology is based on that of anatomy. The mind is dependent on the body: hence an acquaintance with the physiology of the body should precede the study of the physiology of the mind. The constitution of the mind must be understood before its powers and affections can be properly developed and directed: hence a knowledge of the physiology of the mind is essential to a sound view of education and morals.' p. 1.
Physical science has become the subject of popular attention, and men of the highest endowments, who have devoted their lives to the cultivation of this department of knowledge, conceive that they can make no better use of the treasures they have accumulated, than that of diffusing them. Of this part of the great field of knowledge, to make "the rough places plain, and the crooked places straight," is deemed a labour second in importance only to that of extending the boundaries of the field itself. But no attempt has hitherto been made to exhibit a clear and comprehensive view of the phenomena of life; the organization upon which those phenomena depend; the physical agents essential to their production, and the laws, as far as they have yet been discovered, according to which those agents act. The consequence is, that people in general, not excepting the educated class, are wholly ignorant of the structure and action of the organs of their own bodies, the circumstances which are conducive to their own health, the agents which ordinarily produce disease, and the means by which the operation of such agents may be avoided or counteracted; and they can hardly be said to possess more information relative to the connexion between the organization of the body and the qualities of the mind, the physical condition and the mental state; the laws which regulate the production, combination, and succession of the trains of pleasurable and painful thought, and the rules deducible from those laws, having for their object
such a determination of voluntary human conduct, as may secure the pleasurable and avoid the painful.
'Yet nothing would seem a fitter study for man than the nature of man in this sense of the term. A knowledge of the structure and functions of the body is admitted to be indispensable to whoever undertakes, as the business of his profession, to protect those organs from injury, and to restore their action to a sound state when it has become disordered; but surely some knowledge of this kind may be useful to those who have no intention to practise physic, or to perform operations in surgery; may be useful to every human being, to enable him to take a rational care of his health, to make him observant of his own altered sensations, as indications of approaching sickness; to give him the power of communicating intelligibly with his medical adviser respecting the seat and the succession of those signs of disordered function, and to dispose and qualify him to co-operate with his physician in the use of the means employed to avert impending danger, or to remove actual disease.' p. 2-4.
Of the author's qualifications for so comprehensive a work there is some evidence in his appreciation of its extent and importance. This inference is well corroborated by his former publications, distinguished as they are by that unusual combination of faculties which the case requires. One of his earliest works, that on Divine Government,' showed that he had already sounded the depths of the great questions in morals. His Funeral Oration' over the body of Bentham indicated the progress of his speculations to a matured and systematized form, His work on Fever' has taken its place among the standard books on physical disease. And in all these publications he has shown the true attributes of a popular philosopher, the power of ascending from the particular to the general, from facts to principles, from phenomena to laws; and also that of presenting, not only the results, but the mode of ascertaining and applying them, in an interesting and impressive manner. We could, if necessary, refer, in exemplification, to many felicitous instances of scientific generalization and of eloquent description or appeal. Such passages are of frequent occurrence in the works we have named; they are not wanting in the present volume; and from the nature of the undertaking we may expect it to be amply enriched by them in its progress.
The Introduction,' from which we have already quoted, has a passage which might be cited as a specimen of popular argumentation, but which we transfer to our pages for a more important purpose; to promote, if we can, to any extent, the wise and beneficent purpose of the writer. The fervid eloquence of Rousseau aroused women to a sense of the physical obligations of the maternal character; well were it that the persuasion of the author of this work should incite them to become the mothers, mentally and morally, of their offspring.
The second epoch of infancy (from the seventh month to the end
of the second year) is remarkable for the developement of the perceptive powers. The physical organization of the brain, which still advances. with rapidity, is now capable of a greater energy, and a wider range of function. Sensation becomes more exact and varied; the intellectual faculties are in almost constant operation; speech commences, the sign, and, to a certain extent, the cause of the growing strength of the mental powers; the capacity of voluntary locomotion is acquired, while passion, emotion, affection, come into play with such constancy and energy, as to exert over the whole economy of the now irritable and plastic creature a prodigious influence for good or evil. If it be, indeed, possible to make correct moral perception, feeling, and conduct, a part of human nature, as much a part of it as any sensation or propensityif this be possible for every individual of the human race, without exception, to an extent which would render all more eminently and consistently virtuous than any are at present, (and of the possibility of this, the conviction is the stronge in the acutest minds which have studied this subject the most profoundly,) preparation for the accomplishment of this object must be commenced at this epoch. But if preparation for this object be really commenced, it implies, on the part of those who engage in the undertaking, some degree of knowledge; knowledge of the physical and mental constitution of the individual to be influenced; knowledge of the mode, in which circumstances must be so modified in adaptation to the nature of the individual being, as to produce upon it, with uniformity and certainty, a given result. The theory of human society, according to its present institutions, supposes that this knowledge is possessed by the mother; and it supposes, further, that this adaptation will actually take place in the domestic circle through her agency. Hence the presumed advantage of having the eye of the mother always upon the child; hence the apprehension of evil so general, I had almost said instinctive, whenever it is proposed to take the infant, for the purpose of systematic physical and mental discipline, from beyond the sphere of maternal influence. But society, which thus presumes that the mother will possess the power and the disposition to do this, what expedients has it devised to endow her with the former, and to secure the formation of the latter? I appeal to every woman whose eye may rest on these pages. I ask of you, what has ever been done for you to enable you to understand the physical and mental constitution of that human nature, the care of which is imposed upon you? In what part of the course of your education was instruction of this kind introduced? Over how large a portion of your education did it extend? Who were your teachers? What have you profited by their lessons? What progress have you made in the acquisition of the requisite information? Were you at this moment to undertake the guidance of a new-born infant to health, knowledge, goodness, and happiness, how would you set about the task? How would you regulate the influence of external agents upon its delicate, tender, and highly-irritable organs, in such a manner as to obtain from them healthful stimulation, and avoid destructive excitement? What natural and moral objects would you select as the best adapted to exercise and develope its opening faculties? What feelings would you check, and what cherish? How would you excite aims; how would you apply motives? How would you avail yourself of pleasure as a final end, or as the means to some further
end? And how would you deal with the no less formidable instrument of pain? What is your own physical, intellectual, and moral state, as specially fitting you for this office? What is the measure of your own self-control, without a large portion of which no human being ever yet exerted over the infant mind any considerable influence for good? There is no philosopher, however profound his knowledge, no instructor, however varied and extended his experience, who would not enter upon this task with an apprehension proportioned to his knowledge and experience; but knowledge which men acquire only after years of study, habits which are generated in men only as the result of longcontinued discipline, are expected to come to you spontaneously, to be born with you, to require on your part no culture, and to need no sustaining influence.
. But, indeed, it is a most inadequate expression of the fact, to say that the communication of the knowledge, and the formation of the habits which are necessary to the due performance of the duties of women, constitute no essential part of their education: the direct tendency of a great part of their education is to produce and foster opinions, feelings, and tastes, which positively disqualify them for the performance of their duties. All would be well if the marriage ceremony, which transforms the girl into the wife, conferred upon the wife the qualities which should be possessed by the mother. But it is rare to find a person capable of the least difficult part of education, namely, that of communicating instruction, even after diligent study, with a direct view to teaching; yet an ordinary girl, brought up in the ordinary mode, in the ordinary domestic circle, is intrusted with the direction and control of the first impressions that are made upon the human being, and the momentous, physical, intellectual, and moral results that arise out of those impressions!
I am sensible of the total inadequacy of any remedy for this evil, short of a modification of our domestic institutions. Mere information, however complete the communication of it, can do little beyond affording a clearer conception of the end in view, and of the means fitted to secure it. Even this little, however, would be something gained; and the hope of contributing, in some degree, to the furtherance of this object, has supplied one of the main motives for undertaking the present work. Meantime, women are the earliest teachers; they must be nurses; they can be neither, without the risk of doing incalculable mischief, unless they have some understanding of the subjects about to be treated of. On these grounds I rest their obligation to study them; and I look upon that notion of delicacy, which would exclude them from knowledge calculated, in an extraordinary degree, to open, exalt, and purify their minds, and to fit them for the performance of their duties, as alike degrading to those to whom it affects to show respect, and debasing to the mind that entertains it.' p. 5-11.
We will not comment on the silly affectation denounced in the last sentence. The author has rightly glanced at its origin. The false delicacies of the one sex have their source in the grossnesses of the other. This, and not mental inaptitude, is the great difficulty in the way of that amelioration which shall give