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arately. And it is proper to add here, that we examine the subject of insanity at present only so far as it may naturally be supposed to exist in connexion with the Intellect, leaving the consideration of it, as it is occasionally found to exist in the Sensibilities and the Will, to a future time.
$ 346. Of disordered or alienated sensations. Beginning with the External Intellect, the power which first presents itself to our notice is Sensation. It is well known that all the outward senses are liable to be disordered, and as the inward sensation corresponds to the condition of the outward or bodily organ, a disordered or irregular movement of the organ of sense necessarily communicates itself to the inward or mental state. A regular or healthy sensation always has reference to some outward cause (we mean here outward even in refe erence to the organ of sense), but a disease in the bodily organ disturbs this relation, and necessarily gives to the inward mental state the character, as compared with other sensations, of being unreal, visionary, and deceptive. Not unreal and deceptive in itself, but because it intimates a relation which is obliterated, and tends to force upon our belief an outward cause which has no existence.
There are diseased or disordered visual sensations existing in connexion with á morbid condition of the visual organ; but as this view of the subject was necessarily involved in some degree in what has already been said on the subject of excited conceptions or Apparitions, it is not necessary to enlarge upon it here. There are also diseased or disordered sensations of touch. A single instance, out of multitudes like it, will serve both to illustrate and confirm the remark. In the Natural Magic of Dr. Brewster is an account of a lady (the case which we have already had occasion to refer to) who was subject to spectral illusions, of whom it is expressly stated, in connexion with her remarkable mental affections, that she possesses "a naturally morbid imagination, so strongly affecting her corporeal impressions, that the story of any person having suffered severe pain by accident or otherwise will occasionally produce acute twinges in the corresponding part of her person. An account, for instance, of the amputation of an arm will produce an instantaneous and severe sense of pain in her own arın.” There are also (and we might apply the statement to all the senses without exception) diseased or disordered sensations of hearing. The oelebrated Mendelsohn was frequently subject to the attacks of a violent species of catalepsis. And it happened, if he had recently heard any lively conversation, a loud voice apparently repeated to him, while in the fit, the particular words which had been distinguished from others by being pronounced with an emphatic and raised tone of voice, and “in such a manner that his ear reverberated with the sound.”
6 347. Of disordered or alienated external perception. We naturally proceed from sensation to a power closely connected with it, that of External Perception. Indeed, what has been said of sensation will apply in a considerable degree to the last-mentioned power, because sensation naturally precedes perception, and is always involved in it. But perception, while it involves sensation, implies also something more, something additional; it involves the reference of the inward mental state to the outward cause or object, and not unfrequently implies also acts of comparison, by which it distinguishes one cause from another. And particularly is this the case in respect to those perceptions which are designated as ACQUIRED perceptions, in order to distinguish them from ORIGINAL. So that, in view of what has been said, it would seem to be the fact, in the first place, that when our sensations are disordered, our perceptions will be so likewise. But this is not all. In consequence of some interior cause, such as an inability to attend to a thing for any length of time, or incapacity of instituting comparisons, disordered and false external perceptions will sometimes exist when there appears to be no unsoundness in the sensations.
Agreeably to these views, we find that persons, in whom the power of external perception is disordered from the first of the two causes just referred to, sometimes have perceptions of colour which do not accord
with those of mankind generally, being entirely unable, for instance, to distinguish blue from green. Other persons, again, have no distinct perception of minute sounds; and take no more pleasure in the harmonies of a musical composition of truly great merit than they do in the most discordant screams. When the disordered action of the perceptive power originates from the second cause, the subjects of it are apt to confound times, persons, and places. They mistake, for instance, their friends and relations for others, and are at a loss as to the place where they are, although they may have been in it hundreds of times before. They exhibit particularly this species of alienated perception when they attempt to read a book. They no doubt see the letters no less than others, but the action of the mind in other respects not being such as to permit them to dwell upon them, and compare and combine them into words, they are unable to read; it is at least exceedingly difficult.
$ 348. Disordered state or insanity of original suggestion. When we pass from the External to the Internal Intellect, from the region of sensation and external perception to the interior domain of Original Suggestion, to the convictions involved in Consciousness, to the important powers of Relative Suggestion, Memory, and Reasoning, we are introduced, indeed, to a higher order of mental action, but we find no exemption from those disorders to which the human mind in all its great departments is occasionally exposed.-In regard to Original Suggestion, which comes first in order, a power which deals with original ideas and principles merely, without professing to ascertain the relations existing among them, it must be admitted that it does not give so frequent and decided indications of disordered action as we find elsewhere. Nevertheless, this is sometimes the case. The conviction, for instance, not only that we exist, but that we have personal identity, that we are now what we have been in times past in all that constitutes us rational and accountable beings, is obviously essential to a sound mind. But this elementary and important conviction, which obvisusly does not rest upon judgment nor the deductions of reasoning, but upon the higher basis of ORIGINAL SUGGESTION, is sometimes annulled, either in whole or in part To this head, so far as the conviction of the identity of the mind is concerned, we may refer the interesting case of the Reverend Simon Browne, an English clergyman, who fully believed for many years before his death that he had entirely lost his rational part or soul, and was the possessor merely of a corporeal or animal life, such as is possessed by the brutes. He was a man of marked ability both in conversation and writing; and this, too, on all subjects not connected with his malady, after his partial alienation. But so entirely was he convinced of the absence and of the probably actual extinction of his own soul, that, in a valuable Work which he dedicated to the Queen of England, he speaks of it in the dedication as the Work of one who “ was once a man, of some little name, but of no worth, as his present unparalleled case makes but too manifest ; for by the immediate hand of an avenging God, his very thinking substance has for more than seventeen years been gradually wasting away, till it is wholly perished out of him, if iť be not utterly come to nothing."*
Ø 349. Unsoundness or insanity of consciousnese. The basis of the various convictions or judgments of Consciousness, as that term is defined and illustrated by writers, is the antecedent idea and belief of personal identity. If this last conviction, therefore, be lost, as in the case mentioned in the last section, all that is involved in Consciousness goes with it. It is the business of Consciousness to connect the acts of the mind with the mind itself; to consolidate them, as it were, into one.
But if, in our full belief, our mind is destroyed, if self or personality is obliterated, then it is clearly no longer within the power of consciousness to recognise our various acts of perception and reasoning as having a home and agency in our own bosoms. Self is destroyed; and the mental acts, which are appropriate to self, are mere entities, floating about, as it were, in the vacuities of space, without the possibility of being assigned to any locality or ascribed to any cause. The instance, therefore, mentioned in the preceding section, which may be regarded as of a mixed kind (that is to say, showing a perplexed action both of Original Suggestion and Consciousness), will serve to illustrate what is said here.-Another instance not less striking is that of a celebrated watchmaker of Paris, who became insane during the period of the French Revolution. This man believed that he and some others had been beheaded, but that the heads were subsequently ordered to be restored to the original owners.
* Conolly's Indications of Insanity, chap. x.
Some mistake, however, as the insane person conceived, was committed in the process of restoration ; in consequence of which, he had unfortunately been furnished with the head of one of his companions instead of his own. He was admitted into the Hospital Bicêtre," where he was continually complaining of his misfortune, and lamenting the fine teeth and wholesome breath he had exchanged for those of very different qualities.”
Instances also have probably from time to time occurred, in which, although the conviction of personality and personal identity has remained, yet in the fixed be lief of the insane person the bond of connexion between the mind and its powers has been dissolved ; and the memory, perhaps, or the reasoning, or the imagination, which once belonged to himself, has been transferred by some mysterious agency to an intellect more favoured than
$ 350. Insanity of the judgment or reiative suggestion. Pursuing this subject, in its connexion with the powers of the Internal Intellect, in the order in which they presented themselves to our notice in the Second Part of this Work, and which seems to be essentially the order of nature, we next proceed to Relative Suggestion. The power of Relative Suggestion, like that of Original Suggestion, is exceedingly simple in its action, being limited to the mere matter of perceiving relations; but it is different in this respect, that, while mental disorder but seldom reaches original suggestion, there is scarcely an instance of decidedly disordered intellect in which relative suggestion (that is to say, JUDGMENT in its simplest form)