Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

lity to them.

the victim of disease or melancholy,—instead of being, in truth, only one instance added to thousands, where the principles of his human nature have gained the mastery over the deceits of a vain philosophy,—he really being the wise man, and his masters the fools. No doubt, he must feel, how much is to be undone of his former education, before he fully can submit to the influence of a real devotion. He must feel, that his new views are, indeed, unconnected with what went before; and that not only do they receive no confirmation from his philosophical principles, but are too often in direct hosti

He may, perhaps, from the beginning, have supposed that it is philosophical to love God; and thus, gradually, he may have been led to those warmer feelings which accompany a better religion : but it is plain, that his latter feelings are, in no sense, the result of his former, but are caused by some other principle, which, independently of them, has been formed in his mind; and, accordingly, that if called at once, in the beginning of his progress, to those higher sentiments, he must have been repelled, instead of attracted by his early education.

The consequences of this state of things were strikingly manifested in the overthrow of religion at the period of the French revolution ; when the people of that country, after centuries of submission to the church, were roused to a spirit of inquiry, and when the faith of their ancestors, tried by the principles of the common philosophy, and assailed by the ridicule of profane wits, sunk at once, without a struggle. It cannot be doubted, that, had the union, which is natural, between religion and philosophy then existed, France never could have disgraced herself by the spectacle of a goddess of Reason, paraded for public worship; nor would she now again have become the no less miserable patron of an abject superstition.

With those views, it is matter of equal surprise and regret that so little provision is made for the education of youth in the foundations of religion ; so that, even in this present year,

when London is about to become the seat of a university, it has been deemed fitting, to exclude the subject of religion from its classes by a positive law. In such an arrangement, there must, on obvious principles, be something defective. If our powers of reasoning, of fancy, of moral judgment, of mechanical contrivance, are to receive culture, can there possibly be grounds for refusing similar advantages to our powers of devotion ? If we are, indeed, to live beyond the grave, if we are endowed by nature with a principle of devotion; can it be wise,ếis it philosophical, to make provision for every worldly interest, and to make none for the realities of eternity ? If it be answered, that the subject is avoided, because it is one on which men cannot agree, we reject the argument as implying a reproach on the Creator; who, on that supposition, would be calling us to duty and trials for which, in his providence, there was no provision. It is the dictate of common sense, that in a matter so important to our highest interests, the truth is discoverable, if men will but condescend to use the means placed within their reach. Should Phrenology become instrumental in removing this prevailing mistake, it will be one,--not the least,- of the many benefits which it is in the course of bestowing on the human race. *

ARTICLE II.

CONTINUATION OF THE SINGULAR AND IMPORTANT

CASE OF R. W.

NARRATED AT PAGE 235 OF THE PHRENOLOGICAL TRANSACTIONS; BY

MR ALEXANDER HOOD, SURGEON, KILMARNOCK.

From an idea that the sequel of this case must be interesting to those who have read the history of it, already be

The sentiment of Veneration embraces the subject of the religious affections, and also the principles of political, family, and personal submission ; having regard thus not less to human society than to the Deity. The first of these alone is treated of in the present paper, and only in part. We shall, by and by, pur. sue the inquiry farther.

fore the public, the progress of the disease has been carefully noted, and the appearances on dissection, and the connexion which these appearances seem to have with the pathology of the brain, and the principles of phrenological science, are also described and illustrated.

On the 4th September, 1822, R. W. suddenly lost the recollection of almost every word in the English language, without his judgment being affected, or the power

of any

of the muscles impaired. In this condition he remained several weeks, after which he began to recover, and in the month of December of the same year his convalescence was so complete, that he could support conversation without much difficulty. The headachs, with which he had been so long affected, recurred occasionally; but in other respects he enjoyed, generally, tolerably good health.

January 10th, 1825, two years and four months from the time when his memory had been so remarkably affected, he suddenly became paralytic in the left side. The attack was not very severe ; for, on having recourse to the usual treatment in such cases, he was able to walk out after a partial confinement for two or three weeks to bed. The arm and leg on the left side had their powers of motion considerably impaired, but his memory did not seem to be sensibly affected. His health was now as good as it had formerly been, and his mind remained much in the same state; and thus he continued till the middle of June, when the enfeebled limbs sustained a second, though slight attack of palsy. This indisposition continued till about the 8th of July, when he again recovered his ordinary state of health, with the exception only of dragging his left leg a little more than usual when he attempted to walk. It was now observed by his son, that his recollection of things said or done by himself or others had begun to fail, and he remarked to me, in a conversation I had with him in the course of my

attendance upon this sion, that he felt his mind becoming weak, though to me there appeared to be but little falling off in his intellectual faculties.

осса

August 17th. On the morning of this day he had an attack of apoplexy, and though he did not drop down suddenly, he soon sunk into a state of apparent insensibility. His pulse was upwards of 100, full and strong, the eyes were half open, the breathing sonorous. He was incapable of deglutition, and though he moved the left arm and leg frequently, the limbs on the right side were quite motionless and paralytic. After venesection and repeated application of leeches to the temples, he recovered so far as to be able to swallow fluids, and when spoken to, he appeared to be sensible, and muttered in reply ; but no articulate sound could be perceived. On the 20th, his pulse began to sink, and early on the morning of the 21st he expired.

DISSECTION.

On removing a segment of the skull, the vessels of the meninges were found to be numerous, and distended with blood. There was some effusion of lymph between the tunica arachnoidea and pia mater over the whole surface of the brain. The portion of brain “ situated above and behind “ the eye,” corresponding to the organ of Language of the Phrenologists, was carefully examined, but nothing worthy of notice was observed in its external appearance. The optic nerve of the left eye* was nearly one-half smaller than the corresponding nerve on the opposite side. culiarity was not obviously seen to extend farther back than the junction of these nerves, though, by inadvertency, a minute examination of parts was omitted. The substance of the brain was, in appearance, natural, but somewhat soft in consistence. The left hemisphere was then examined, and in the posterior cornu of the lateral

This pe

• He had been almost completely blind of the left eye for a period of 12 or 14 years.

ventricle several ounces of clotted blood were discovered. The quantity effused was so great, that part of it had passed in the fluid state by the side of the septum lucidum, till it reached the foramen monroianum, through which about a thimble full had passed into the right ventricle, and there coagulating, was found in connexion with the coagulum in the left side. The clots were removed from the posterior cornu of the ventricle, and the cavity carefully washed with water, in order to discover the point from which the blood had issued.

In this examination a large breach of continuity was observed in the anterior middle portion of this hemisphere, containing clots of blood. By following out this lesion of substance, it was found to extend forward in a horizontal direction, to become narrower, and to terminate at half an inch from the surface of the brain, where it rests over the middle of the supra-orbitar plate. Here no particular vessel could be detected from which the blood had issued, but a kind of cavity, which might have admitted the tip of the little-finger, exhibited innumerable small drops of blood. These seemed to issue from small vessels in a duplicature of the pia mater. About an inch from this point, and also at the distance of an inch and a half in the direct line of the opening into the ventricle, there appeared to be two small depressions or cysts in the substance of the brain ; and the cavity, considered as a whole, expanded from the anterior part of the brain till it opened into the ventricle in the form of a trumpet. The right hemisphere, the cerebellum, and base of the brain, were also examined, but did not exhibit any appearance worthy of remark.

OBSERVATIONS.

In taking a view of the leading features in the history of this case, and in comparing the symptoms with the appearances on dissection, several topics of importance occur for consideration. It has been stated by some continental writers, particularly by M. Serres, that, in meningeal apoplexy, muscular motion

« ZurückWeiter »