Page images

No useless labour; nor unnatural system.


additionally degrading the degraded? If the wild beast be treated as a wild beast, will you ever make a man of him? I know that some persons, whose opinions I respect, think the treadmill and the grinding-wheel efficient instruments of prison discipline and government. And why?

On the ground that there is nothing which the men fear and hate so much as this degrading useless labour. But is there no better appeal than dread to a human heart? aye, even the worst human heart? And, as I once before observed, how temporary are such expedients. Remove the lash, and the criminal is the same as before, only harder. Even if you, after a fashion, govern men in prison by fear, out of it can you continue the system? We pretend that human government is a shadow of the divine—that our justice, law, and polity, not only come from God, but imitate God's manner of administration. Would it were so.

But ours is an inverted process.

Providence teaches us by an intelligent system of consequences, with our self-reformation as the end in view. But we, in the face of nature, adhere to brute punishment. Think we then to lead back to nature by unnatural systems ? Nowhere, but in our prisons and in the poet's exploded Tartarus, do we find Ixion's wheel and drawing water in sieves. It is no sentimental tender-heartedness which makes me speak thus, but downright practical philosophy, the philosophy of Mr. and Mrs. Meagles in Little Dorrit (how I congratulate the world on Dickens's conferring a new serial on us); a philosophy, which, more justly than that of the Gradgrind school, should confer on its possessors the denomination of "practical people.” The good fruits of selfrestraining systems and intelligent labour are before us in a thousand ways.

At Genoa I saw even a madhouse con, ducted on such principles with the best effect; and an intelligent physician at Bonn, who presides over an establishment of the kind, assured me that many a radical cure of the insane was effected by developing in them the power and pride of self-government. He told me that experience led him to have a kind of governmental system conducted by the insane themselves : monitors and persons of trust, as in the Munich Prison, chosen from among the very inmates of the institution. Thus, one of the patients able to control himself, would be sent out to walk with others less advanced in self-restraint, and, being made responsible for conducting them all safely back, was never known to violate his trust; while the confidence reposed in him generated a pride of well-doing that had the happiest effect in promoting his restoration.

As to criminals, Australia shews us what healthy stimulus,


Books received, Notices to Correspondents, ģc.

and giving up a man to himself at the right time, can do. The penal settlement has become a fine British Colony. On this track, therefore, we may safely and practically proceed. Let our criminals feel that we think of them as well as of society. Let our prisons be reformatory, as well as penal. Such a plan will doubtless cost money, but it may possibly be found in this, as in other cases, that Christian philanthropy is, after all, the best economist.


Electro-Dynamisme Vital ou Les Relations Physiologiques de l'Esprit et de la Matière, &c. Par A. J. P. Philips.

We have not space to do justice to the ability and scientific attainments of the author, while we differ from bim essentially in some of his views.

Mesmerism in its relation to Health and Disease and the present state of Medicine. By William Neilson, Esq. Edinburgh : Shepperd and Elliot.

The author unsparingly, but not unjustly, exposes the hostility of the medical profession to mesmerism. The work is worth reading.

The British Journal of Homæopathy. October, 1855.
Bulletin Magnétique de Lyons. No. 16. September, 1855.
The Seer of Sinai. By J. W. Jackson. London: Tweedie, 337, Strand. 1856.

The case of Luigi Buranelli medico-legally considered. By Forbes Winslow, M.D., D.C.L.

Dr. Winslow argues, as every one ought, that Buranelli was insane.

NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS. We have received a letter from the Rev. George Sandby.

From Dr. Castle, of Montmorency, the case of a young gentleman disposed to take exaggerated views of matters which interested him, and live frequently in a waking dream and remain for days subsequently under its influence. Once he thus felt or saw the death of a relative, the news of which could not reach him till some time afterwards. He correctly predicted to Dr. Castle that he himself should die young and by a violent death : in fact, he was one day observed by his brother officers to be greatly depressed, said he felt that something horrible was impending over him, and in an hour was found in his room brutally murdered, together with his servant, by two young serjeants of his regiment. They had fine cerebral organizations, and murdered him from deep revenge, as he bad acted with severe discipline towards them: they murdered the servant to avoid detection. They confessed the justice of their sentence, implored pardon from heaven, and then prayed for him whom they had murdered. The elder alleged that he had instigated the other to the crime, and requested to be executed the last, that the other might be spared the sight of his execution. In both Destructiveness and Benevolence were large and the intelligence good : Conscientiousness and Self-esteem well developed in both: and very large in the elder. In the murdered officer the only organs greatly developed were Ideality and Marvellousness.

An article on the divining rod by C. W. J., through General Bagnold.
From Mrs. Schutze, 63, Marylebone Street, her own mesmeric cure.

From Mr. Fradelle, of Camden Town, remarkable instances of clairvoyance, in the waking state and in sleep, independent of mesmerism.

From M. Lombard, of Geneva, on table-turning.

ERRATA. p. 288, 1. 9, for "faining," read blawing p. 320, 1. 29, for "essential," read essence.


“ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”'

Matt. vii. 21.

The object for which The Zoist was undertaken is attained.

That object was neither pecuniary gain nor worldly reputation : for loss was nearly certain; contempt, ridicule, virulent abuse, and serious injury, were all inevitable. It was the establishment of truths, splendid, exquisite, extensive in their bearings, and of the highest importance to the moral and corporeal well-being of mankind.

During thirteen years, we have amassed fresh facts in Cerebral Physiology and Mesmerism, and presented them in such numbers and with such proofs, that to question them would be absurd : and they are no longer questioned, except by the most ignorant, who will gradually form a smaller minority. We have spared no labour in collecting facts or examining their solidity: we have never quailed under the attacks made upon us in the College of Physicians, in other lectures and addresses, in publications, or in conversation behind our backs, but have stood our ground and fought as became conscientious and fearless men.

While thus supporting truth, we have as earnestly applied ourselves to liberate it from the carelessly made observations of some, the weak and fanciful speculations and dreamings of others, and from that curse of all true natural knowledge and moral progress-superstition-supernatural imaginings—which are excluded from astronomy, chemistry, geology, and other sciences, and ought to be excluded from the physiology of the brain, or, in other words, the intellectual and moral functions of man and other animals, and from mesmerism, both which are but branches of natural knowledge.

Very few phrenologists have ever seen Gall's works, and yet the generality of them believe far more than he wrote. We have studied them sentence by sentence, and yet are not satisfied with all that he has advanced, nor with by any means so much of what has been written by Dr. Spurzheim,



Mr. Combe, and others of inferior note : and trust that we shall induce phrenologists to look more closely into the grounds of their convictions. We have been anxious that the world should discern the fact that all the mental—the moral and intellectual phenomena of man and other animalsare but so many phenomena of the living organ called brain, or other nervous substances, and are subject to all the laws of the functions of all other organs; are inevitable and calculable effects of so many causes acting upon certain combinations of matter in certain circumstances; and that to view them as anything more than phenomena of nervous matter is a childish fancy, which in still more uncivilized times prevailed in the consideration of many of the phenomena of inanimate nature. The terms force, power, principle, have led to so many fancies of peculiar substances or of spirits, that it would be better to speak only of phenomena and matter.

We have furnished ample examples of facts in the physiology of the brain of which metaphysicians and physiologists are not aware-facts proving that the term cerebral physiology comprehends more than phrenology, and is not synonymous with it, signifying, as this does, the relation between individual faculties and development of individual portions of the brain. We have shewn that one brain can act silently upon another, one silently sympathize with another in emotion and in impressions communicated by the organs of sensation ; that the brain can experience impressions from concealed or distant objects of sight; receive impressions to which we are habitually strangers; and can be impressed with what has passed or is to come. Imagination in the mesmeric or sub-mesmeric state can effect prodigies. Mesmerism has thus thrown a flood of light upon mental philosophy, and we have furnished an abundance of such illustrations.

The Zoist will for ever banish doubts of the reality of many facts in physiology and in disease. Only twelve years ago the whole medical profession scoffed at the possibility of surgical operations being possible without any sensation. The evenings of the 22nd of November and the 13th of December, 1842, will ever be memorable in the annals of medicine : and afterwards, when surgeons were overwhelmed



with mesmeric proofs, they eagerly adopted a new, but frequently injurious, method of accomplishing what they had held in derision and had spurned. We have recorded all the glorious doings of Dr. Esdaile in India, and all the painless operations performed elsewhere up to this hour, so far as we know of them. We have detailed almost endless instances of the great curative powers of mesmerism over diseases apparently very different from each other, and shewn that it is a mighty adjunct to the restorative power of the living frame,-to the vis medicatrix nature which always battles against disease, -that it soothes and strengthens, and, though not a remedy for every ailment, is likely to be more or less useful, and often strikingly useful, in every case, medical and surgical, general and local, in the young and the old, in the human subject and in the brute creation. We have shewn what cause mankind would have to congratulate themselves if the medical profession would receive it into the mass of means which they hourly, and too often unsatisfactorily and injuriously, employ. We have urged it upon the score of intellect and science, and upon what the profession disregard in the matter of mesmerism,-upon the score of humanity and conscientiousness. To say nothing of the cures, we may fairly express surprise that the common fact of pain being drawn lower and lower by the passes; of local insensibility and rigidity being produced by them, and removed by other processes; of diseases not infectious being communicated, and as it were transferred, from the patient to the mesmeriser (who, however, can easily be liberated from it); of susceptibility of peculiar effects in the mesmeric state from metals and other substances, do not attract the condescension of a second thought or look from the profession. We have forced attention to singular nervous diseases disregarded by medical men, though occasionally recorded. Examples of clairvoyance abound in all the volumes. But, though this phenomenon appears unquestionable, we well know that gross imposition is hourly practised in regard to it by both professional clairvoyants and private individuals considered to be trustworthy but influenced by vanity and wickedness. The assertions of a clairvoyant may be heard, but should be

« PreviousContinue »