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histrionic art. As a rule, over-acting is the common xsthetic vice of simulators. The sham paralytic, though he shows no difficulty in protruding his tongue, will turn it a trifle too much to one side; the spurious lunatic will be much too inconsequential in his ideas and actions ; the counterfeit deaf-mute fails not only to recognize the loudest sounds, but even the vibrations of the sound-wave produced by striking a resonant body on which he may be standing, to which a real deaf-mute is never insensible. But some are able to render the characteristic symptoms of particular maladies with remarkable fidelity. One of the most extraordinary cases of successful simulation on record is one which, despite modern facilities of detection, occurred in recent years. This artist, who, up to last year, was a frequent inmate in one or other of the London hospitals, visiting some of them more than once, shewed his confidence in his own powers by selecting one of the most difficult parts presented in the whole range of disease. To feign paralysis of one half of the body, which he frequently did, is not so uncommon a thing; but his leading part was tetanus, a condition in which the muscles are thrown into a state of violent and continuous contraction. Some medical jurists had, indeed, pronounced it impossible to simulate this affection with even tolerable accuracy. To do so must require not only extraordinary command over the muscular system, but must involve a very considerable and constant expenditure of physical energy, with great discomfort, through a weary succession of restless days and sleepless nights. In spite, however, of all these difficulties and inconveniences, this man rendered the part so well as to deceive the practised eyes which watched him. At first, as was to be expected, his acting contained a few mistakes; but these were often considered merely anomalous deviations from the usual course of the disease, which rendered his case in a medical view all the more interesting. Like a careful artist, however, he gradually perfected himself in his part. Anything which in one hospital he gathered not to be strictly according to rule, was rectified on his appearance at another, until, it is said, he could render the disease from its onset through the different gradations of symptoms from slight to grave with almost faultless fidelity. One would like to know something of the thoughts of the rascal when a learned professor on one occasion delivered a
clinical lecture to his students on his very interesting case. He must have needed all the artistic satisfaction which he experienced to enable him to brave the discomforts of his position. How he stood the variety of active treatment to which he was subjected, is something wonderful. Enormous quantities of powerful drugs, including some very potent poisons, were administered internally, while his head and back were kept externally at something like the temperature of an iceberg. On one occasion his death appearing imminent, the services of the chaplain were called in, and the sufferer viewed his approaching end with patience and Christian fortitude. He proceeded to settle his worldly affairs, made his will, in which he considerately left a round sum, "free of legacy duty," to the hospital which sheltered him, not forgetting also the physician's assistant who had charge of him. In return for so much consideration, the hospital authorities looked well after his comforts, allowed him any quantity of stimulants, with soups specially procured for him. His career at this institution was at last put an end to by one of his previous dupes happening to call and expose him. It is probable that this genius, after a very successful run on several metropolitan boards, is now starring it in the provinces.
The way in which artists in disease have occasionally been balked of their hard-earned success, after they had all but attained it, must have not a little tantalized them. A seaman of the navy feigned a chronic decline so well that he was on the point of being discharged when the real nature of his disease was very unexpectedly elucidated. The mail from the seaport at which the man was in hospital had been robbed, and the letters broken open with a view to search for money. The burglars were captured, however, and the letters recovered. Among them was one from the sick seaman to his wife, in which he told her his scheme had succeeded, that he was to be invalided on a certain day, and desiring her to make good cheer against his arrival. The feelings of the malingerer may be imagined when his own letter was read to him. A soldier who avowed that he had lost the power of locomotion was detected by a very simple ruse, after other means had failed. The doctor gently tapped at the window of the room in which the paralyzed man was sitting alone after dark, at the same time softly calling his name, when he at once appeared at the window. "How long have you been dumb, my friend?" said a passenger on shipboard once to a pretended mute. "Three weeks, sir," replied the incautious simpleton. An old device of army surgeons, in suspicious cases of deafness, was to commence a conversation in a high tone, and gradually to lower the voice to an ordinary pitch. A coriimon malingerer would probably continue to reply to the questions put, from not observing the alteration. The most remarkable example on record of success in simulating deaf-dumbness (or deafness from birth) is that of a Frenchman, best known under his assumed name of Victor Foy, at the beginning of the present century. This young man travelled about, ostensibly in search of his father, but really, in his character of a deaf-mute, to escape military conscription. For four years his extraordinary ingenuity baffled all the tests to which he was subjected by some of the most scientific men in France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and Italy. In Switzerland he was tempted to avow the deceit by a young, rich, and beautiful woman offering him her hand; but even this bait did not take. In the prison at Rochelle, the turnkey was ordered to watch him closely, to sleep with him, and never to quit him; and even the prisoners were encouraged to make him betray himself. To throw him off his guard, he was often violently awakened out of sleep, but his fright was expressed only in the usual plaintive cry of a mute; and it is said that even in his dreams only guttural sounds were heard. At last, the Abbe" Sicard, director of the institution for deafmutes at Paris, to whom a specimen of his writing had been transmitted, promptly pronounced him an impostor, on the ground that his blunders in spelling were phonetic in their character—that he wrote, not as he saw, but as he heard. M. Sicard afterwards subjected him to a personal examination, at the end of which he was obliged to confess the imposition.
A very simple incident will often suffice to throw a good simulator off his guard. The letter-carrier, on entering a French barrack-room on one occasion, called out the names of the men for whom he had letters, and among them that of a man believed by everybody to be labouring under almost total deafness. For one moment he forgot his part, and answered to his name. Casper, the celebrated German medical jurist, on one occasion neatly exposed a case of counterfeit deaf
ness in open court. The panel, an old woman, pretended to be as deaf as a post "You are accused," roared Casper in her ear, "of severely injuring the woman Lemke." "It is not true." "But," roared Casper again, "the woman Lemke asserts that it is true," and then rapidly added in a low tone, " and she is certainly not a liar." Her wrath for a moment got the better of her consistency, and she rejoined, to the amusement of the whole court: "Yes, indeed, she is a liar." Possibly the nationality of the hero of the following incident is chargeable with the impulsive imprudence which betrayed him. An Irish army recruit who had suddenly lost his hearing was sent into hospital, and put, by the doctor's order, on spoon-meat. For nine days the latter in his visits passed the deaf man's bed without seeming to notice him; on the tenth day, after examining the state of his tongue and pulse, he asked the attendant what kind of food the patient was getting. On being told he was on spoon-meat, he affected to be very angry. "Are you not ashamed of yourself?" said he to the nurse. "The poor fellow is almost starved to death. Let him at once have a beef-steak and a pint of porter." "God bless your honour!" blurted out the deaf recruit; "you are the best gentleman I have seen for many a day!" Under the influence of strong emotion of any kind, only a limited" class of malingerers have sufficient selfcommand to play their parts. An amusing example of the way in which, in the heat of passion, every vestige of pretence is sometimes thrown away, is related by a surgeon of the navy, to whose experiences we have already been indebteu. A seaman on board a frigate, who pretended to be totally blind, and was believed to be so, was on one occasion allowed to go on shore with an attendant to lead him. The pair happened to quarrel, and come to blows; when the blind man, finding himself unduly handicapped, instantly regained his sight, and got the better of his astonished guide. The latter took to flight, was pursued through a great part of the town by his late protege", and finally got a severe drubbing from him. The application of the cat-o'-ninetails next day to the back of the impostor, effectually cured him of any further tendency to defect of vision.
The amount of fortitude —call it obstinacy, if you will — displayed by some ot this class of impostors is something amazing. Day and night they will remain in the most constrained and irksome positions. For weeks, and even months, men have sat and walked with their bodies bent double. A man feigning palsy of the lower limbs was placed by himself in a room with food which he could reach only by walking to the place where it was laid, and at the end of two days he had not tasted it. Another, simulating paralysis of the arm, allowed the amputating knife to be placed beneath it, and would have submitted to the operation for its removal. A soldier counterfeiting blindness was placed on the steep bank of a river, and ordered to march forward, which he unhesitatingly did, and fell into the stream. The medical writer who relates this case queries whether the cheat would have gone forward had a precipice instead of a river been before him. No doubt these may be called exceptional instances of fortitude, as the great majority of malingerers are made of more commonplace stuff. A mere hint from a navy surgeon that an equivocal complaint would be benefited by transference to an African climate, or the application of the actual cautery, has been the means of effecting a miraculously rapid cure. A French physician, after watching a spurious epileptic fit for some time, put his hand on the heart of the cheat, and turning to the attendants, said: "It is all over with him; carry him to the dead-house." Immediate resuscitation was the result, and the man never had another attack. A Shetland clergyman was greatly annoyed at the weekly occurrence of a kind of contagious convulsions which attacked many of his congregation in church. At length the good man hit on a plan which put a speedy termination to the infliction. He announced from the pulpit that he had learned that no treatment was so efficacious as an immediate ducking in cold water; and as his kirk was fortunately contiguous to a fresh-water lake, the proper hydropathic treatment could always be secured. It is a most unfortunate coincidence for the malingerer that the means which would be the most beneficial in the treatment of the real disease are often the most distasteful to liim.
The difficulties and discomforts to be endured in this department of art in attaining the desired object, no doubt enhance the enjoyment of it in those few cases in which success at last crowns their labours. A convict sentenced to seven years' penal servitude kept his right knee bent so as not to touch the
ground with his foot during all that period, and, on account of his infirmity, was exempted from the usual kinds of convict labour, and employed at work which he could do in a sitting posture. When being discharged at the expiry of his period of involuntary service, he coolly observed to an official: "I will try to put down my leg: it may be of use to me now." He was as good as his word, threw away his crutch, and walked off with a firm step! With some, the temptation to give an airing to the little secret which they have been obliged to keep so long, and which has stood them in such good part, is wholly irresistible. Without this flaunting of their imposture in the face of their victims, some rascals would deem their triumph only half achieved. A trooper who pretended he had lost the use of his right arm, after resisting for a length of time the most testing hospital discipline, at last succeeded in procuring his discharge. When he was leaving the regiment, and fairly seated on the top of the coach, he waved the paralytic arm in triumph, and cheered at the success of his stratagem. An Irish soldier, reported unfit for service from loss of power of the lower limbs, arranged for a more dramatic avowal of his deceit. Having obtained his discharge, he caused himself to be taken on a field-day in a cart to the Phoenix Park, Dublin, in front of his regiment, which was drawn up in line. He had the cart driven under a tree, on which he hung his crutches, jumped suddenly with agility out of the cart, sprung three times from the ground before the faces of his astonished comrades, then turned his back to the regiment, and after a series of expressive gestures, which we cannot particularly describe, scampered off at full speed! In a case of deception once practised in a New York court of sessions, there seems to have been no pre-arrangement of the denouement which occurred. A man who had been for some time in prison awaiting his trial for perjury, had a paralytic seizure a few days before the period fixed for the trial, and one of his sides was thus rendered completely powerless. In this helpless condition he was carried on a bed from prison into court. During the trial he became so faint that a recess was granted to enable him to recover, the prosecuting attorney kindly lending his assistance in conveying him out of court. The sight of an infirm fellow-being trembling on the brink of the grave had a visible influence on the court and the jury. The evidence, however, was conclusive, and the jury convicted him. The court, in view of his speedily being called to a higher tribunal, instead of sentencing him to the state prison, simply imposed a small fine, which his brother, who manifested the utmost fraternal solicitude, promptly paid. The next day the prosecuting attorney met the fellow apparently in good health on the street. The latter laughingly told him that he had recovered, and dropping his arm, and contracting his leg, hopped off, leaving the learned counsel to his own reflections.
It is, however, a rare thing nowadays for a clinical artist to attain his end and enjoy the full fruition of his labours. In most cases he has no other reward than the pleasure received from the exercise of his art. This aesthetic satisfaction would need to be great to enable him to bear even the prosaic hardships and discomforts of his lot. But in addition to these, he is sometimes overtaken by a species of poetical justice in the shape of a penalty paid in kind. The feigned disease, in fact, occasionally becomes a real one. Montaigne mentions some curious instances of this occurring within his own experience. It is chiefly in simulating the class of nervous diseases that the danger lies of this avenging Nemesis. The continued repetition of the manifestations of the affection seems eventually to make an ineradicable impression on the nervous centres. Two French sailors taken prisoners by the English in the wars of the First Napoleon, successfully feigned insanity for six months, and at the end of that period got the reward of their clever deception by recovering their liberty; but it was at the expense of their reason, which was really gone. The means adopted to simulate one disease have sometimes produced another of a more serious kind. Soldiers have so persistently kept up a state of irritation in a factitious sore as to bring on a disease which required amputation of the limb. Others have lost their sight by the methods taken to induce a temporary inflammation in the eye. The historian Robertson mentions a case which, whether true or not, is, at all events, physiologically possible. He says that Pope Julius III. feigned sickness to avoid holding a consistory, and in order to give the greater colour of probability to his illness, he not only confined himself to his apartment, but changed his diet and usual mode of life. By persisting in this plan, however, he contracted
a real disease, from which he died in a few days.
From The Spectator. THE LITERARY SIN OF SINGULARITY.
Why is it that most people are affected in a curiously unpleasant way, — unpleasant and irritating, but without either the anguish or the solacement of great and dignified pain, by what is new-fangled? This adjective we take to indicate innovation which is unnecessary, capricious, and accompanied by no demonstrable improvement upon what went before. Is the unpleasantness of arbitrary innovation due to a lurking conservatism in every breast, which instinctively throws the onus probandi upon him who substitutes the new for the old? Or is it that mere habit, and the profound, though unreasoned wisdom of keeping ihe inevitable friction of life at a minimum, lend a charm to the old as compared with the new? Even if it were allowed that habit makes fools of us, yet habit's fools are too numerous to be despised; and the fools of habit have as much right to their prejudices as the coxcombs of the schools to their affectations. What is quite certain is, that sudden change from what we are accustomed to, unless pointedly for the better, is fidgetting; and no maii can be pronounced without qualification a public benefactor, who adds to the fidgets of existence. An amount of deference to the feelings of the majority, rigorously limited, no doubt, by the requirements of duty and self-respect, but still considerable, falls within the claims of social courtesy. A lawyer's wig may be an extremely foolish thing, and anyone setting forth that it has neither utility nor beantr would, if he spoke well, deserve a hearing ; but were a sucking barrister to start up suddenly in court and commence pleading a case without a wig, no degree of rationality in the proceeding itselt no engaging audacity of countenance or splendour of hair, would preclude his being voted a prig.
It must be admitted that authors of great genius have not always been sufficiently regardful of what we stoutly maintain to be one of the rights of man, the right not to be fidgetted. Mr. Carlyle. for example, has in all his books paraded certain German mannerisms, with merciless unconcern for the habitudes of common English readers. All substantives, for one thing, or almost all, were initialed with capital letters, a usage peculiarly unfortunate for Mr. Carlyle, whose metaphors are those of a poet, and who was under no temptation to personify the beautiful with the assistance of a big B. Mr. Carlyle, however is not only a man of genius, but a man whose genius is recognized as a special, personal quality, and there is some fairness therefore in looking upon him as a privileged person. Younger men who have not proved themselves to possess transcendent genius, have no right to give themselves airs. It may in all candour be doubted whether the meaning of some of these would not generally be clear enough, without our being informed that the realities of which they treat are "objective," or the ideas they define "subjective." Philosophical precision may be promoted by the use of the terms "egoistic" and "altruistic," but a good many of the budding sages who perpetually introduce them might make shift with our old-fashioned friends, "selfish" and "unselfish." Occasionally the pedantry takes the form of fastidious exclusiveness put in force against a particular word. The adjective "reliable," for instance, has of late been fiercely ostracised by our literary coxcombs, and it requires some boldness in a writer to decline to substitute for it in every connection the word "trustworthy." Both are excellent words, but in meaning they are not absolutely identical. There is a faint shade of difference between the significance of the one and the significance of the other. You speak of an official trustworthy in all situations, and of a soldier reliable in every emergency. The one word leans on permanence and the qualities which create deliberate confidence, the other is suggestive of qualities required in startling difficulty and sudden danger. Of the two, however, "reliable" strikes us as the more comprehensive. You speak of a trustworthy merchant, but of a reliable man. Even if it is insisted that the two words mean the same thing, we refuse to admit that one of them ought to be on that account drummed out of the language. English, as compared, for example, with German, is not particularly rich in terms, and a variation of sound is sometimes only a less advantage than an additional touch of meaning.
Mr. John Morley is no literary coxcomb or dainty academical pedant, and has something much better than crotchetty egotism by which to command the attention of readers ; but in perusing his forci
ble volumes on Rousseau, we have been conscious of a perpetual small irritation from his elaborate scorn for some of those modes or usages which, to the best of our knowledge, have been uniformly observed by English authors. Mr. Morley denies the capital letter to a number of words which have always been so honoured. Not only does he write "trinity" and "christian," but "god." Wc have "belief in god," "love of god," "the idea of god," " the word of god," the "supreme being." The word "god " is thus printed in phrases taken from the Bible. Mr. Morley remarks, for example, that "in the old ages of holy men there were not a few whom love for the god whom they had not seen, constrained to active love of their brethren whom they had seen," an antithesis borrowed from the New Testament. The term is constantly occurring in Mr. Morley's pages, and whenever it occurs, a minute prick of surprise and irritation will certainly be experienced by a large proportion of English readers.
On the mere ground that it is new-fangled, this innovation is objectionable, but we venture to affirm that it lies open to graver exceptions than can be based on its uncalled-for newness. Is Mr. Morley sure that the usage he adopts is in a grammatical sense correct? Does the word "god" convey the meaning which, in some cases at least, he must intend it to bear? He is doubtless of opinion that belief in a living God is so completely obliterated from the minds of men that the word is a mere cipher for certain abstract notions, as the word "freedom " or the word "patience" is a cipher for certain abstract notions. He infers, therefore, that the word " God " is not a proper name. His premiss we need hardly say, appears to us a wild as well as false assumption; but even if it were correct, there remains a sense in which the word is a proper name. There is none other by which to designate the object of worship reverenced by Christians, as distinguished from Mahometans, Jews, or Chinese. Mr. Morley may say that there are no Christians ; but even he will admit that there once were; and he has left himself no term by which to specify the Divinity worshipped by St. Paul and St. Bernard. He must have recourse to some such ugly circumlocution as "the christian god. The Being referred to in the Biblical phrases which Mr. Morley quotes — the Being worshipped in Europe in the mediaeval time — is, on any showing, as real as the mythological personages of the