« ForrigeFortsæt »
In Birmingham and other towns, for perhaps three-fourths of all the diswhere the body of people called Qua- quiet and bad temper which disfigure kers are accumulated, different forms daily life. Not one man in every ten of nervous derangement are develo- is perfectly clear of some discrder, ped; the secret principle of which more or less, in the digestive systemturns not, as in these London cases, not one man in fifty enjoys the absoupon feelings too much called out by lutely normal state of that organ; and preternatural stimulation, but upon upon that depends the daily cheerful. feelings too much repelled and driven ness, in the first place, and through in. Morbid suppression of deep sensi that (as well as by more direct actions) bilities must lead to states of disease the sanity of the judgment. To speak equally terrific and perhaps even less strictly, not one man in a hundred is tractable ; not so sudden and critical perfectly sane even as to his mind. perhaps, but more settled and gloomy. For, though the greater disturbances We speak not of any physical sensibi. of the mind do not take place in more lities, but of those which are purely than one man of each thousand,* the moral—sensibilities to poetic emotions, slighter shades that settle on the judgto ambition, to social gaiety. Ac- ment, which daily bring up thoughts cordingly it is amongst the young men such as a man would gladly banish, and women of this body that the most which force him into moods of feeling afflicting cases under this type occur. irritating at the moment, and wearing Even for children, however, the sys- to the animal spirits,—these derangetematic repression of all ebullient feel. ments are universal. ing, under the Quaker discipline, must From the greater alike and the be sometimes perilous; and would be lesser, no man can free himself but more so, were it not for that marvellous in the proportion of his available flexibility with which nature adapts knowledge applied to his own animal herself to all changes-whether im- system, and of the surrounding cir. posed by climate or by situation-by cumstances, as constantly acting on inflictions of Providence or by human that system.
Would we, then, desire spirit of system.
that every man should interrupt his These cases we point as formidable
proper studies or pursuits for the sake mementos, monumenta sacra, of those of studying medicine ? Not at all : sudden catastrophes which either ig- nor is that requisite. The laws of norance of what concerns the health, health are as simple as the elements or neglect in midst of knowledge, may of arithmetic or geometry. It is reproduce. Any mode of life in London, quired only that a man should open or not in London, which trains the his eyes to perceive the three great nerves to a state of permanent irrita- forces which support health. tion, prepares a nidus for disease ; and They are these : 1. The blood reunhappily not for chronic disease quires exercise : 2. The great central only, but for disease of that kind organ of the stomach requires adaptawhich finishes the struggle almost be- tion of diet: 3. The nervous system fore it is begun. In such a state of requires regularity of sleep. In those habitual training for morbid action, it three functions of sleep, diet, exercise, may happen-and often has happened is contained the whole economy of
that one and the same week sees health. All three of course act and the victim apparently well and in his re-act upon each other : and all three grave.
are woefully deranged by a London These, indeed, are extreme cases : life-above all, by a parliamentary though still such as threaten many life. As to the first point, it is probamore than they actually strike; for, ble that any torpor or even lentor in though uncommon, they grow out of the blood, such as scarcely expresses very common habits. But even the itself sensibly through the pulse, renordinary cases of unhealthy action in ders that fluid less able to resist the first the system, are sufficient to account actions of disease. As to the second,
*" One man of each thousand :" in several nations that has been found to be the average proportion of the insane. But this calculation has never been made to include all the slighter cases. It is not impossible that at some periods the whole human race may have been partially insane.
a more complex subject, luckily we for its own sake, and falling into it benefit not by our own brief experience from strong temptation. exclusively: every man benefits prac- Secondly, that in every case of duty tically by the traditional experience unfulfilled, or duty imperfectly fulfilled, of ages, which constitutes the culinary in consequence of illness, languor, de. experience in every land and every caying spirits, &c., there is a high pro. household. The inheritance of know- bability (under the age of sixty-five ledge, which every generation re- almost a certainty) that a part of the ceives, as to the salubrity of this or, obstacle is due to self-neglect. No that article of diet, operates continually man that lives but loses some of his in preventing dishes from being brought time from ill health, or at least from to table. Each man's separate expe- the incipient forms of ill health-bad rience does something to arm him spirits, or indisposition to exertion. against the temptation when it is Now, taking men even as they are, offered ; and again, the traditional statistical societies have ascertained experience far oftener intercepts the that, from the ages of twenty to sixtytemptation. As to the third head, sleep, five, ill health, such as to interrupt this of all is the most immediately daily labour, averages from seven days fitted by nature to the relief of the to about fourteen per annum. In the brain and its exquisite machinery of best circumstances of climate, occupanerves:-it is the function of health tion, &c., one fifty-second part of the most attended to in our navy; and of time perishes to the species—in the all it is the one most painfully ravaged least favourable, two such parts. Con. by a London life.
sequently, in the forty-five years from Thus it would appear, that the twenty to sixty-five, not very far from three great laws of health, viz. motion, a year perishes on an average to every rest, and temperance, (or,, by a more man-to some as much more. A conadequate expression, adaptation to the siderable part even of this loss is due organ,) are, in a certain gross way, to neglector mismanagement of health. taught to every man by his personal But this estimate records only the loss experience. The difficulty is as in of time in a pecuniary sense; which so many other cases--not for the un- loss, being powerfully restrained by derstanding, but for the will not to self-interest, will be the least possible know, but to execute.
under the circumstances. The loss of Now here steps in Casuistry with energy, as applied to duties not contwo tremendous suggestions, sufficient nected with any self-interest, will be to alarm any thoughtful man, and rouse
In so far as that loss emahim more effectually to the perform. nates from defect of spirits, or other ance of his duty.
modes of vital torpor, such as neglect First, that under the same law (what- of health has either caused or promoted, ever that law may be) which makes and care might have prevented, in so suicide a crime, must the neglect of far the omission is charged to our own health be a crime? For thus stand the responsibility. Many men fancy that two accounts:-By suicide you have the slight injuries done by each single cut off a portion unknown from your act of intemperance, are like the glolife: years it may be, but possibly only meration of moonbeams upon moon. days. By neglect of health you have beams-myriads will not amount to a cut off a portion unknown from your positive value. Perhaps they are life : days it may be, but also by pos- wrong : possibly every act-nay, every sibility years. So the practical result separate pulse or throb of intemperate may be the same in either case; or, sensation-is numbered in our own possibly, the least is suicide. “ Yes," after actions; reproduces itself in some you reply, " the practical results—but future perplexity; comes back in some not the purpose--not the intention- reversionary shape that injures the ergo, not the crime.” Certainly not: freedom of action for all men, and in the one case the result arises from makes good men afflicted.
At all absolute predetermination, with the events, it is an undeniable fact, that whole energies of the will; in the many a case of difficulty, which in other it arises in spite of your will, apology for ourselves we very truly (meaning your choice)- it arisesout plead to be insurmountable by our of human infirmity. But still the dif- existing energies, has borrowed its ference is as between choosing a crime sting from previous acts or omissions
of our own: it might not have been basis of all moral action, because, in insurmountable, had we better cherish- fact, of all perfectly voluntary action, ed our physical resources. For in- Every impulse of bad health jars or stance, of such a man it is said- untunes some string in the fine harp of he did not assist in repelling an injury human volition ; and because a man from his friend or his native land. cannot be a moral being but in the
True,” says his apologist,“ but you proportion of his free action, therewould not require him to do so when fore it is clear that no man can be in he labours under paralysis ?". "No, a high sense moral, except in so far certainly; but, perhaps, he might not as through health he commands his have laboured under paralysis had he bodily powers, and is not commanded uniformly taken care of his health." ** by them.
Let not the reader suspect us of the Popish doctrine, that men are to enter hereafter into a separate reckoning for CASE II.-Laws of Hospitality in each separate act, or to stand at all collision with Civic Duties. upon their own merits. That reckoning, we Protestants believe, no man Suppose the case, that, taking shelcould stand ; and that some other re- ter from a shower of rain in a stranger's source must be had than any personal house, you discover proofs of a connecmerits of the individual.
But still we
tion with smugglers. Take this for one should recollect that this doctrine, pole of such case, the trivial extreme; though providing a refuge for past then for the other pole, the greater exoffences, provides none for such of- treme, suppose the case, that, being fences as are committed deliberately, hospitably entertained, and happening with a prospective view to the benefits to pass the night in a stranger's house, of such a refuge. Offend we may, you are so unfortunate as to detect and we must: but then our offences unquestionable proofs of some dreadmust come out of mere infirmity-not ful crime, say murder, perpetrated in because we calculate upon a large al. past times by one of the family. The lowance being made to us, and say to principle at issue is the same in both ourselves, “ Let us take out our allow- cases: viz. the command resting upon
the conscience to forget private consiCasuistry, therefore, justly, and with deration and personal feelings in the out infringing any truth of Christian presence of any solemn duty ; yet ity, urges the care of health as the merely the difference of degree, and
With respect to the management of health, although it is undoubtedly true that, like the “ primal charities,” in the language of Wordsworth, in proportion to its importance it shines alike for all, and is diffused universally-yet not the less, in every age, some very obstinate prejudices have prevailed to darken the truth. Thus Dryden authorizes the conceit, that medicine can never be useful or requisite, because
“ God never made his work for man to mend." To mend! No, Glorious John, neither physician nor patient has any such presumptuous fancy; we take medicine to mend the injuries produced by our own folly. What the medicine mends is not God's work, but our own. The medicine is a plus certainly; but it is a plus applied to a minus of our own introducing. Even in these days of practical knowledge, errors prevail on the subject of health which are neither trivial nor of narrow operation. Universally, the true theory of digestion, as partially unfolded in Dr Wilson Philip's experiments on rabbits, is so far mistaken, and even inverted—that Lord Byron, when seeking a diet of easy digestion, instead of resorting to animal food broiled and underdone, which all medical men know to be the most digestible food, took to a vegetable diet, which requires a stomach of extra power.
The same error is seen in the common notion about the breakfast of ladies in Elizabeth's days, as if fit only for ploughmen; whereas it is our breakfasts of slops which require the powerful organs of digestion. The same error, again, is current in the notion that a weak watery diet is fit for a weak person. Such a person peculiarly requires solid food. It is also a common mistake to suppose that, because no absolute illness is caused by daily errors of diet, these errors are practically cancelled. Cowper the poet delivers the very just opinion - That all disorders of a function (as, suppose, the secretion of bile,) sooner or later, if not corrected, cease to be functional disorders, and become organic.
not any at all in the kind of duty, as a guest, to the injury of your con. would lead pretty generally to a sepa- fiding host. Henry VII., though a rate practical decision for the several prince, was no gentleman; and in the
In the last of the two, what- famous case of his dining with Lord ever might be the pain to a person's Oxford, and saying at his departure, feelings, he would feel himself to have with reference to an infraction of his no discretion or choice left. Reveal recent statute, “ My Lord, I thank he must : not only, if otherwise re- you for my good cheer, but my Atvealed, he must come forward as a torney must speak with you ;” Lord witness, but, if not revealed, he must Oxford might have justly retorted, denounce he must lodge an informa. “If he does, then posterity will speak tion, and that instantly, else even pretty plainly with your Majesty ; in law, without question of morality, for it was in the character of Lord he makes himself a party to the crime Oxford's guest that he had learned the -an accomplice after the act. That infraction of his law. Mean time the single consideration would with most general rule, and the rationale of the men at once cut short all deliberation. rule, in such cases, appears to be this: And yet even in such a situation there whenever there is, or can be imagined is a possible variety of the case that a sanctity in the obligations on one might alter its complexion. If the side, and only a benefit of expediency crime had been committed many years in the obligations upon the other, the before, and under circumstances which latter must give way. For the detecprecluded all fear that the same temp. tion of smuggling, (the particular tation or the same provocation should offence supposed in the case stated,) arise again, most reflecting people society has an express and separate would think it the better course to machinery maintained. If their actileave the criminal to his conscience, vity droops, that is the business of Often in such denunciations it is cer. government. In such a case, governtain that human impertinence, and the ment is entitled to no aid from private spirit which sustains the habit of gos- citizens: on the express understanding sip, and mere incontinence of secrets, that no aid must be expected, has so and vulgar craving for being the expensive an establishment been subauthor of a sensation, have far more mitted to. Each individual refuses often led to the publication of the to participate in exposure of such offence, than any concern for the in- offences, for the same reason that he terests of morality.
refuses to keep the street clean even On the other hand, with respect to before his own door-he has already the slighter extreme-viz. in a case paid for having such work discharged where the offence is entirely created by proxy. by the law, with no natural turpitude about it, and besides (which is a strong argument in the case) enjoying no Case III.-Giving Characters to Ser. special facilities of escaping justice- vants who have misconducted themno man in the circumstances supposed selves. would have a reason for hesitating. The laws of hospitality are of ever- No case so constantly arises to perlasting obligation: they are equally plex the conscience in private life as binding on the host and on the guest. this--which in principle is almost Coming under a man's roof for one beyond solution. Sometimes, indeed, moment, in the clear character of the coarse realities of law step in to guest, creates an absolute sanctity in cut that Gordian knot which no man the consequent relations which con- can untie : for it is an actionable nect the parties. That is the popular offence to give a character wilfully feeling. The king in the old ballads, false. That little fact at once exor. is always represented as feeling that cises all aërial phantoms of the conit ould be damnable to make a legal science. Tri but this coarse maoffence out of his own venison which chinery applies only to those cases in he had eaten as a guest.
There is a which the servant has been guilty in a cleaving pollution, like that of the way amenable to law. In any case Syrian leprosy, in the act of abusing short of that, no plaintiff would choose your privileges as a guest, or in any to face the risks of an action; nor way profiting by your opportunities could he sustain it: the defendant
would always have a sufficient resource
those who will not hear: none so in the vagueness and large latitude gloriously blind, as those who will not allowed to opinion when estimating see any danger or difficulty-who have
– the qualities of a servant. Almost a dark eye on that side, whilst they universally, therefore, the case comes reserve another blazing like a meteor back to the forum of conscience. Now for honour and their country's interest. in that forum how stands the pleading? Most of us, we presume, in the case Too certainly, we will suppose, that stated about the servant, hear but the the servant has not satisfied your whispering voice of conscience as rereasonable expectations. This truth gards the truth, and her thundering you would have no difficulty in decla voice as regards the poor girl's intering: here, as much as any where else, rest. In doing this, however, we (and you would feel it unworthy of your doubtless others) usually attempt to own integrity to equivocate-you open compromise the opposite suggestions your writing-desk, and sit down to tell of conscience by some such jesuitical the mere truth in as few words as device as this. We dwell pointedly possible. But then steps in the consi. upon those good qualities which the deration, that to do this without dis- servant really possesses, and evade guise or mitigation, is oftentimes to speaking of any others. But how, if sign a warrant for the ruin of a fellow minute, searching, and circumstantial creature-and that fellow-creature enquiries are made by way of letter? possibly penitent, in any case thrown In that case, we affect to have noticed upon your mercy. Who can stand only such as we can answer with sucthis? In lower walks of life, it is true cess, passing the dangerous ones as so that mistresses often take servants many rocks, sub silentio.
All this is without any certificates of character ; not quite right, you think, reader. but in higher grades this is notoriously Why, no: so think we: but what aluncommon, and in great cities dange- ternative is allowed ? Say, ye se
Besides, the candidate may verest, what would ye have done?” happen to be a delicate girl, incapable In very truth, this is a dilemma for of the hard labour incident to such a which Casuistry is not a match; unlower establishment. Here, then, is a less, indeed, Casuistry as armed and case where conscience says into your equipped in the school of Ignatius left ear—Fiat justitia ruat cælum- Loyola. But that is with us reputed “ Do your duty without looking to a piratical Casuistry. The whole consequences. Mean time into the estate of a servant lies in his capacity right ear conscience says, “ But mark, of serving; and often, if you tell the in that case possibly you consign this truth, by one word you ruin this estate poor girl to prostitution.” Lord Nel- for ever. Mean time, a case very son, as is well known, was once placed much of the same quality, and of even in a dilemma equally trying :
greater difficulty, isside, an iron tongue sang out from the commander-in-chief-retreat ; on the other, his own oracular heart sang to him Case IV.-Criminal Prosecution of -advance. How he decided is well
Fraudulent Servants. known; and the words in which he proclaimed his decision ought to be Any reader, who is not deeply read emblazoned for ever as the noblest of in the economy of English life, will all recorded repartees. Waving his hand have a most inadequate notion of the towards the Admiral's ship, he said to vast extent to which this case occurs. his own officers, who reported the sig. We are well assured, (for our infornal of recall _“ You may see it ; I mation comes from quarters judicially cannot: you know I am blind on that conversant with the question) that in side.” Oh, venerable blindness! im. no other channel of human life does mortal blindness! None so deaf as there flow one-hundredth part of the
* “ Once placed in a dilemma : " viz.-On the first expedition against Copenhagen, (in 1801.) He was unfortunately second in command; his principal, a brave man in person, wanted moral courage--he could not face responsibility in a trying shape. And had he not been blessed with a disobedient second in command, he must have returned home re infectâ.