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'I am surprised he was not executed before he became insane.' This would lead to the supposition, that he had been afflicted with some form of insanity in addition to a naturally depraved character. Such, however, is by no means the case; he never was different from what he now is; he has never evinced the slightest mental incoherence on any one point, nor any kind of hallucination. It is one of those cases where there is great difficulty in drawing the line between extreme moral depravity and insanity, and in deciding at what point an individual should cease to be considered as a responsible moral agent, and amenable to the laws. The governors and medical gentlemen of the Asylum have often had doubts whether they were justified in keeping E. S. as a lunatic, thinking him a more fit subject for a bridewell. He appears, however, so totally callous with regard to every moral principle and feeling— so thoroughly unconscious of ever having done any thing wrong-so completely destitute of all sense of shame or remorse when reproved for his vices or crimes-and has proved himself so utterly incorrigible throughout life, that it is almost certain that any jury before whom he might be brought would satisfy their doubts by returning him insane, which in such a case is the most humane line to pursue. He was dismissed several times from the Asylum, and sent there the last time for attempting to poison his father, and it seems fit he should be kept there for life as a moral lunatic; but there has never been the least symptom of diseased action of the brain, which is the general concomitant of what is usually understood as insanity. This I consider might with propriety be made the foundation for a division of lunatics into two great classes; those who were insane from original constitution, and never were otherwise, and those who had been insane at some period of life from diseased action of the brain, either permanent or intermittent.-There would be room for a few additional notes to the case of E. S., explanatory of what I have said, if you think fit.”—Dublin, 20th July 1829.
Dr GALL cites a variety of cases of diseased manifestations of this propensity, which had fallen under his own observation, and quotes several others highly illustrative from PINEL. I select one of these, in which the organ of Destructiveness seems to have been affected singly, the other organs remaining entire. The patient, during periodical fits of insanity, was seized with an "uncontrollable fury, which inspired him with an irresistible propensity to seize an instrument or offensive weapon, to knock on the head the first person who presented himself to his view. He experienced a sort of internal combat between this ferocious impulse to destroy, and the profound horror which rose in his mind, at the very idea of such a crime. There was no mark of wandering of memory, imagination, or judgment. He avowed to me, during his strict seclusion, that his propensity to commit a murder was absolutely forced and involuntary,-that his wife whom he tenderly loved, had nearly become his victim, he having scarcely had time to bid her flee to avoid his fury. All his lucid intervals were marked by melancholy reflections and expression of remorse; and so great did his disgust of life become, that he had several times attempted, by an act of suicide" (this is common in the excess of Destructiveness) " to bring it to a close. What reason have I," said he, " to cut the throat of the superintendent of the hospital, who treats us with so much kindness? and yet in my moments of fury I am tempted to rush upon him, as well as others, and plunge a dagger in his bosom. It is this unhappy and irresistible propensity which reduces me to despair, and makes me attempt my own life."-Sur l'Alienation Mentale, deuxième êdition, p. 102 et 103. sect. 117.
Individuals who occasionally commit murder, or set fire to property, without any rational motive, sometimes ascribe their actions to the temptation of the devil, asserting that the devil whispered into their ears, "kill him,” "kill him," and never ceased to repeat the exhortation till
they had complied with it. Diseased activity of this organ, filling the mind habitually with a desire to destroy, probably gives rise to this impression.
One form in which disease of this organ sometimes appears, requires particular notice; it is when it prompts females of the most unquestionable reputation to childmurder. I cite the following from the public newspapers of May 1822. "On Sunday morning, about half-past ten o'clock, a most horrid murder of unparalleled inhumanity, was perpetrated on the body of a fine female infant, about eight months old, named SARAH MOUNTFORD, by her own mother, wife of Mr MOUNTFORD, weaver, No. 1. Virginia Row, Bethnal Green. The husband, who is a Methodist, had gone to chapel, leaving his wife to clean, and send to the Sunday school, her young family. Having done this, it appeared she cleaned herself and her infant, when, overcome by some extraordinary aberration of intellect, she cut off the head of the child with a razor, and, besmeared with the blood, immediately told the persons in the house of the bloody deed, desiring to be given into custody, as she wanted to be hanged. From the conduct of the wretched woman after the transaction, no doubt can be entertained of her insanity. Mrs MOUNTFORD underwent a short examination on Monday, and was committed for trial. A coroner's inquest has been held, which returned a verdict of wilful murder against the wretched woman. The distress of the family is extreme. The unhappy husband and two of the eldest daughters are seen running about the streets in a state of distraction. One of the latter has been deprived of utterance since the horrid transaction." This woman is said to have been " overcome by some extraordinary aberration of intellect ;" which mode of expression may be forgiven in the writer of a newspaper paragraph, although, viewed philosophically, it is absurd. The intellectual powers enumerated by the metaphysicians, such as Perception, Conception, Memory, Imagination, and Judgment, furnish no propensities to action, which, be
ing deranged, could produce such a piece of barbarity. Derangement of intellect causes the patient to reason incorrectly, and speak incoherently; but if his feelings be sound, he is not mischievous. Here, however, the unhappy woman seems to have been inspired with a blind and irresistible impulse to kill, arising from disease of Destructiveness.
These details are exceedingly painful, and the reader may question the taste which permits their insertion; but great ignorance prevails in the public mind on this subject, and the records of our criminal courts still shew cases of wretches condemned to the gallows, who, if Phrenology were known to the judges and juries, would be consigned to a lunatic asylum.
This organ is larger in the male head than in the female; and hence the male head is in general broader. The manifestations correspond: for the propensity is less vigorously manifested by woman than by man,
As already noticed, the organ is common to man with carnivorous animals. Dr GALL, however, remarks, "that the organ is not, in all carnivorous animals, situated with rigorous exactness above the external opening of the ear. Among some species of birds, for example, in the stork, the cormorant, the heron, the gull, &c., the external opening of the ear is considerably drawn back, and the organ of the propensity to kill is placed immediately behind the orbits, forming a large prominence upon each side, the size of which is found to bear an uniform proportion to the degree in which the animal manifests the propensity to kill. In comparing the crania of carnivorous birds with the skulls of those that can live indifferently either upon animals or vegetables, this prominence is found to be less conspicuous in the latter; in the duck, for example, and in the different species of thrushes; and it becomes less and less prominent in proportion as the birds exhibit a more distinct preference for vegetables, such as the swan, the goose," &c. The differences are illustrated by plates in Dr GALL's work. If the brain of a sheep and that of a dog be
compared, a great deficiency will be discovered in the former at Destructiveness.
In 1827, Monsieur VIMONT presented to the Royal Institute of France, a memoir on Comparative Phrenology, in which he brings forward a vast collection of most interesting facts, in regard to the dispositions and forms of the brain in the lower animals. In regard to Destructiveness, he says, "All animals which live on flesh, or which have a propensity for destroying, have a particular part of the cranium whose development corresponds with that of this faculty. Thus all the fere*, without exception, have the squamous portion of the temporal bone + enlarged in a perceptible manner. We may cite as examples, the tiger, the cat, the fox, the martin, the weasel, the ermine.
"In the carnivorous birds properly so called, the portion of the cranium situated behind the orbit, corresponds with the organ of carnivorous instinct, and presents a remarkable development. In the omnivorous birds, the enlargement is a little more posterior."
The organ is established.
ALIMENTIVENESS, OR ORGAN OF THE APPETITE
Ir early occurred to Drs GALL and SPURZHEIM, that the appetite for food is an instinct not referable to any of the recognised principles of mind, and they therefore were disposed to view it as a primitive power, having a separate organ; but they did not discover its situation.
In the sheep, the olfactory nerves, which are very large, are perceived to originate from two cerebral convolutions, lying at the base of the middle lobe of the brain, adjoining and immediately below the situation occupied by the organs of Destructiveness in carnivorous animals. The sheep
Beasts of prey.
+Situated immediately outward of Destructiveness.