mind and matter; even if the mental being is no more than a formulated expression of the physical organism, the continuity is so Complete that the same laws govern both. Forthe purposes of the present argument it is sufficient to assert that, without a reserve of energy, healthy brain-work isimpossible. Pain, hunger, anxiety, and a sense of mind-weariness, are the warning tokens of exhaustion extending to the reserves. When these indications are disregarded, or destroyed, as they may be by stupefying drugs, an inordinate use of stimulants, a strong effort of the will, or the anæsthetic effect of excessive exhaustion, the consumption of energy goes on unobserved. The feats of intellectual or physical strength, the surprising exploits of special sensation and mind-power performed by individuals under the influence of any condition which suspends the sense of pain, weakness, or fatigue, are explained by the circumstance that unsuspected reserves of power and endurance are placed at the disposal of the will. These resources were there before, but jealously guarded by the sensations. Martyrdom is possible under the influence of an overpowering abstraction. Passion may produce a similar immunity from pain, and give ability to endure even self-inflicted injury. The daily experience of lunatic asylums will abundantly attest the truth of this last assertion.

How does all this bear upon the subject? It seems rather to strengthen the position assailed, by showing that 'over-work'may exhaust the reserves, thereby arresting the function, and possibly destroying the integrity, of the mental organism! That is undoubtedly the surface view of the case, and it is the popular explanation of what occurs. To controvert the received hypothesis is the object of the present paper. The argument, opposed to the theory of work itself exhausting the stock of energy, may be simply stated thus : the reserves, physical and mental, are too closely guarded to be invaded by direct encroachment. Pain is not suspended by the persistent infliction of injury unless the mechanism of sensation is disabled or destroyed. Hunger does not cease until starvation has assailed the seat of nutrition. The sense of extreme weariness is not allayed by increased activity, but the longing for rest may subside, because it has been stifled by some overwhelming influence. The natural safeguards are so well fitted for their task that neither body nor mind is exposed to the peril of serious exhaustion so long as their functions are duly performed. In brief, over-work is impossible so long as the effort made is natural. When energy, of any kind, takes a morbid form of action, some force outside itself must be reacting upon it injuriously; and the seat of the injury, so far as the sinister influence on energy is concerned, will be found in close proximity to the sensation which under normal conditions guards the reserve. The use of stimulants in aid of work is, perhaps, one of the commonest forms of collateral influence suspending the warning sense of exhaustion. When the laborious worker, overcome with fatigue, 'rouses' himself with alcohol, coffee, tea, or any other agent which may chance to suit him, he does not add a unit of force to his stock of energy, he simply narcotises the sense of weariness, and, the guard being drugged, he appropriates the reserve. In like manner, when the dreamer and night-watcher, worn out by sleeplessness, employs opium, chloral, or some other poison to produce the semblance of repose, he stupefies the consciousness of unrest, but, except in cases where it is only a habit of sleeplessness, which has been contracted, and, being interrupted, may be broken by temporary recourse to a perilous artifice, the condition is unrelieved. Not unfrequently the warning sense is stifled by the very intensity of the motive power or impulse. Ambition, zeal, love, sometimes fear, will carry a man beyond the bounds set by nature. No matter what suspends the functions of the guard set at the threshold of the reserve, if the residual stock is touched, two consequences ensue-waste and depreciation. It is important to recognise both of these evils. The former is generally perceived, the latter is commonly overlooked. The reserve, as we have seen, plays a double part in the economy; it is a stock in abeyance, and it is the base of every present act.

Without a reserve of mental energy the mind can no more continue the healthful exercise of its functions, than a flabby muscle without tonicity can respond to the stimulus of strong volition, and lift a heavy weight or strike a heavy blow.

The cause, or condition, which most commonly exposes the reserve of mental energy to loss and injury is worry. The tone and strength of mind are seriously impaired by its wearing influence, and, if it continue long enough, they will be destroyed. It sets the organism of thought and feeling vibrating with emotions which are not consonant with the natural liberation of energy in work. The whole machinery is thrown out of gear, and exercise, which would otherwise be pleasurable and innocuous, becomes painful and even destructive. It is easy to see how this must be. The longest note in music, the most steady and persistent ray of light-to use an oldfashioned expression—the tonic muscular contraction, are all, we know, produced by a rapid succession of minute motive impulses or acts, like the explosion and discharge of electricity from alternately connected and separated points in a circuit; in fact, a series of vibrations. Mental energy doubtless takes the same form of development. If a disturbing element is introduced by the obtrusion of some independent source of anxiety, or if, out of the business in hand, the mind makes a discord, confusion ensues, and for the time being harmonious action ceases. Working under these conditions in obedience to the will, the mental organism sustains injury which must be great, and may be lasting. The function of the warning sense is suspended ; the reserve is no longer a stock in abeyance, and it ceases to give

stability to the mind; the rhythm of the mental forces is interrupted; a crash is always impending, and too often sudden collapse occurs. The point to be made clear is this ; over-work is barely possible, and seldom, if ever, happens, while the mind is acting in the way prescribed by its constitution, and in the normal modes of mental exercise. The moment, however, the natural rhythm of work is broken and discord ensues, the mind is like an engine with the safety-valve locked, the steam-gauge falsified, the governing apparatus out of gear; a breakdown may occur at any instant. The state pictured is one of worry, and the besetting peril is not depicted in too lurid colours. The victim of worry is ever on the verge of a catastrophe; if he escape, the marvel is not at his strength of intellect so much as his good fortune. Worry is disorder, however induced, and disorderly work is abhorred by the laws of nature, which leave it wholly without remedy. The energy employed in industry carried on under this condition is lavished in producing a small result, and speedily exhausted. The reserve comes into play very early in the task, and the faculty of recuperation is speedily arrested. Sometimes loss of appetite announces the cessation of nutrition ; otherwise the sense of hunger, present in the system, is for a time preternaturally acute, and marks the fact that the demand is occasioned by loss of power to appropriate, instead of any diminution of supply. The effort to work becomes daily more laborious, the task of fixing the attention grows increasingly difficult, thoughts wander, memory fails, the reasoning power is enfeebled ; prejudice—the shade of defunct emotion or some past persuasiontakes the place of judgment; physical nerve or brain disturbance may supervene, and the crash will then come suddenly, unexpected by on-lookers, perhaps unperceived by the sufferer himself. This is the history of worry,' or disorder produced by mental disquietude and distraction, occasionally by physical disease.

The first practical inference to be deduced from these considerations is that brain-work in the midst of mental worry is carried on in the face of ceaseless peril. Unfortunately work and worry are so closely connected in daily experience that they cannot be wholly separated. Meanwhile the worry of work—that which grows out of the business in hand-is generally a needless, though not always an avoidable evil. In a large proportion of instances this description of disorder is due to the lack of education in brain-work. Men and women, with minds capacious and powerful enough but untrained, attempt feats for which training is indispensable, and, being unprepared, they fail. The utilitarian policy of the age is gradually eliminating from the educationary system many of the special processes by which minds used to be developed. This is, in part at least, why cases of sudden collapse are more numerous now than in years gone by. It is not, as vanity suggests, that the brain-work of to-day is so much greater than that exacted from our predecessors, but we are

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less well prepared for its performance. The treatment of this form of affection, the break-down from the worry of work, must be preventive; the sole remedy is the reversal of a policy which substitutes results for processes, knowledge for education. It is a serious cause of discomfiture and sorrow in work that so much of the brain-power expended is necessarily devoted to the removal of extraneous causes of worry. Labour is so fatal to life, because it is so difficult to live. The deadly peril of work in the midst of worry must be confronted, because the disturbing cause can only be got rid of by persistent labour. This is the crux of the difficulty, and in the attempt to cure the evil the struggling mind finds its fate involved in a vicious circle of morbid reactions. Nevertheless, it is the fact that work in the teeth of worry is fraught with peril, and whenever it can be avoided it should be, let the sacrifice cost what it may.

The second deduction must be, that there is no excuse for idleness in the pretence of fear of over-work. There is some reason to apprehend that the attention recently directed to this alleged cause of mental unsoundness has not been free from a mischievous influence on minds only too ready to take refuge in any excuse for inactivity. If the private asylums of the country were searched for the victims of

over-work, they would nearly all be found to have fallen a prey to * worry,' or to that degeneracy which results from lack of purpose in life and steady employment. This is a grave assertion, but it points to an evil it is especially needful to expose. Weak minds drift into dementia with wondrous celerity when they are not carried forward to some goal, it matters little what, by the impulse of a strong motive. The bugbear of over-work' is, it may be feared, deterring parents and friends from enforcing the need of sedulous industry on the young. The pernicious system of 'cram' slays its thousands, because uneducated, undeveloped, inelastic intellects are burdened and strained with information adroitly deposited in the memory, as an expert valet packs a portmanteau, with the articles likely to be first wanted on the top. Desultory occupation, mere play with objects of which the true interest is not appreciated, ruins a still larger number; while worry, that bane of brain-work and mental energy, counts its victims by tens of thousands, a holocaust of minds sacrificed to the demon of discord, the foe of happiness, of morality, of success. The enemy takes many shapes and assumes bewildering disguises. Sometimes he comes in like a flood, hurrying everything before him; with heaps of work to be done in less than adequate time. Now the victim is hurried from task to task with a celerity fatal to sanity. Then he is chained like a galley-slave to some uncongenial labour without respite. Again, a buzz of distracting and irritating mental annoyances seem let loose to distress and distract him. Under each and all of these guises it is worry that molests, and, unless he be rescued, will ruin him. Meanwhile, the miseries of over-work,' pure and simple, are few and

comparatively insignificant. Those who bewail their infliction most loudly are weak of mind or torpid of brain. Of such lame and maimed mortals we are not now thinking. Their lot may be humiliating or pitiable, as their condition is due to neglect or misfortune; but our concern is with the multitude of strong and able-minded workers who fail at their task. These are the victims not of over-work but of worry, a foe more treacherous and merciless than all besides. The mind-cure for the malady to which worry' gives rise, and from which so many suffer, is not idleness, or rest,' in the ordinary sense of that term, but orderly and persistent work. The work by which they have been injured has not been excessive, but bad of its kind and badly done.

The palsied faculties must be strengthened and incited to healthy nutrition by new activity, at first, perhaps, administered in the form of passive mental movement, and then induced by appropriate stimuli applied to the mind.


VOL.X.-No. 55.


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