« AnteriorContinuar »
still remain unimpaired in the organ on the opposite side but, as the entire organ has sustained an abduction of half the power conducive to the general effect, which, conjointly, they are destined to produce, its function may be reduced, for a time, to that of simple perception,* till the powers of the constitution have repaired the injury, or till the sound organ has acquired the power of performing, though imperfectly, the function which belongs to it.
3dly, Respecting the third and last objection, it may be premised, that the appearances on dissection do not admit the supposition of cerebral lesion at the time the memory was affected, but merely a preternatural distention of vessels ; or, rather, an effusion of blood from the vessels of the membrane affecting the organ of Language. In the progress
of convalescence, there is much reason to believe, that the effused blood had been absorbed long prior to the first attack of palsy in January 1825. The depressions, or cysts, in the substance of the brain mentioned in the dissection, are evidence of disorganization in a different portion of the cerebral mass; and the phenomena of disease in the two attacks of palsy clearly evince different functions. In the apoplectic attack of which he died, the lesion of parts was extensive, and the quantity of effused blood remarkable for the viscus in which it took place. In supposing the disease and disorganization to have begun in the anterior part of the brain, we are justified by the symptoms of disease, and the subsequent inspection of the body. For it seems quite preposterous to suppose, that the effusion of blood commenced in the vessels of the ventricle, and having filled this cavity, forced its way
In the works on Phrenology, the doctrine is laid down, " that Perception is " the result of the lowest and Memory of the higher degree of activity of each “ faculty and organ. In attempting, therefore, to account for the fact of his 5 comprehending the meaning of words used by others, without being able to use “ them himself, it occurred to me, that the organs of verbal Memory may have “ been paralytic, or in some analogous condition ; so that while the power of minis" tering to Sensation or Perception was not destroyed, their energies were so much “impaired as to render them incapable of performing the higher part of their “ordinary function.”-See Phrenolog. Trans. page 242.
forward through the substance of the brain, producing the appearances already described. From the whole, we think it may be fairly inferred, that the organ of Language did not suffer materially after the first severe attack in September 1822: That in the progress of the disease backwards, a different part of the brain became the seat of disease, and different fibres were affected, as was manifested by the paralysis of the left side, and ultimately in the total cessation of motion in the right, and death. In whatever manner the organ of Language might be affected, whether by distention of vessels or effusion of blood, the cerebral organization did not appear to be destroyed; but, whether it had regained its function during the period of his convalescence, or the corresponding part of the brain on the opposite side had acquired the power of performing its office alone, must probably ever remain dubious. These are only hints intended to obviate some difficulties which might he started to the conclusions inferred from this case; but the ingenious reader, in going over the particulars in detail, will most probably have a much happier solution of them in the suggestions of his own mind than any which have been here offered. It has been my anxious wish, in this case, to give an accurate detail of facts, and to exliibit a true picture of nature, as observed in dissection, that every one may have an opportunity of judging for himself, independent of the explanations which have been given.
HOUSE OF REFUGE FOR YOUNG DELINQUENTS.
The subject of criminal legislation is highly interesting to the Phrenologist, and has frequently been adverted to in this publication. We assert it as a fact, capable of physical demonstration, that the organs of the Moral Sentiments are smaller in proportion to the organs of Animal Propensity in criminals in general, than in individuals virtuously disposed. The Phrenological Society exhibits upwards of fifty instances of this fact in the collection of skulls of persons who have perished on the scaffold for their crimes, collected from London, Paris, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, York, Liverpool, and the Cape of Good Hope ; and we aver, that we have examined the heads of many living criminals, and found the same imperfection to prevail. It is impossible for a Phrenologist, therefore, not to perceive that individuals so constituted have a strong natural tendency to vice, with a great natural deficiency in the powers that produce the love of virtue, and which ought to control and guide the lower feelings. If, then, individuals so constituted are born and brought up amidst poverty and ignorance, and practical wickedness, crime on their part appears almost inevitable.
But what practical conclusion should we draw from these facts ? Not that offenders should obtain a license to outrage the laws, because they are impelled by nature and circumstances to do so, but that the causes which prompt them should be removed. While the evil dispositions and the exciting circumstances, or causes, remain, the effects must follow. We cannot boast of power to alter the dispositions by any rapid operation on the mind; but we can accomplish an instantaneous change in the circumstances in which the mind is placed. It is possible to transfer the juvenile offender from the haunts of vice to an atmosphere of pure religion and morality; and to supply, by the superintendence of a virtuous governor, those suggestions of piety and morality which do not arise in sufficient strength in the offender's own mind to regulate his conduct ; in short, it is possible to withdraw juvenile delinquents from the society of thieves and profligates, and to place them in a penitentiary.
It is with great pleasure that we advert to a practical ex. ample of this mode of treatment, commenced and supported by the voluntary exertions of Lady Carnegie and other highly meritorious individuals in Edinburgh. We present the second report of their committee entire, believing that the enlightened and philanthropic views which it contains will speak more highly in honour of its authors and objects than any commendation which we could bestow.
Second Annual Report of the Committee of the House of Refuge
for Young Delinquents.
“ Edinburgh, October 3d, 1825. “ In presenting a statement of the transactions connected with “ this humble institution, the committee have two objects in view “ - To describe the design and plan of the House of Refuge gene“ rally-and to render to the supporters of it an impartial history “ of its concerns during the past year, together with an account of “ the funds intrusted to their disposal.
“ The institution was established by the exertions of a few indi. “ viduals, who solicited subscriptions from their friends, for the be“nevolent purpose of rescuing from their wretched career some of “ those numerous victims of early depravity and crime who pass “ through the Bridewell and other places of confinement in this
city, without any progress towards reformation. Lamentable as “ it appeared to these individuals, that no remedy, of an extent ade
quate to that of the evil, was attempted, it did not deter them from “ doing what they could, on a limited scale, in this highly-produc“tive walk of benevolence ; convinced as they were, that in reclaim
ing a single boy from a course of crime and vice, a benefit would “ be conferred, not only upon the individual himself, but also upon “ the community-a benefit of an extent which, could it be traced
through all the ramifications of his future history, and contrasted “ with the fearfully contaminating influence of bad example which “ it had displaced, would appear almost incalculable. The com“mittee have the gratification of confirming these views of the im“portance of such an undertaking, from the highest and most appo“site authority.-In a late charge to the Grand Jury and Magis“ trates of the county of Warwick, Judge Dallas alludes to an “asylum for a similar purpose in that county in the following “ terms :- Who can have beheld, but, at the moment, with a
sinking heart, a miserable boy dismissed from the bar of a court “' of justice, to be released at the end of a short confinement, with“out protection, without parents, or what is worse, the authors " of his being the authors also of his profligacy, without means of
employment, or prospect of subsistence, and driven almost of ne“cessity into the downhill path of guilt, till, by an impulse, which oso becomes at last irresistible, he is hurried to the precipice on the
brink of which no stay is to be found ! To provide for
«« the future reception and employment of these unhappy persons, “ and to inspire them with the love and fear of God, and a due « • respect for man, is the most prominent feature of your plan.“" It wants not to be recommended, it cannot be dignified by me. ««• It is a fabric which, should it rise, will require no inscription.'
“ The plan upon which the Edinburgh institution has been con“ ducted is extremely simple ; being calculated merely to intro“ duce the young delinquent to the healthful influence of a well-or“ dered family-where the comfortless and demoralizing scenes to “ which he has previously been accustomed are exchanged for a « decent home, and where kind and conciliating measures to pro“ mote his welfare address themselves to any remains of right feel. “ ing that may have survived the deadening influence of his for“ mer abandonment to a course of crime. The establishment is “ intended for the reception of eight boys: it consists of a house, to“gether with (what has been found a very material part of the “plan) a large garden, in which the boys find employment in their “ leisure hours, and which, under their culture, supplies the family “ with vegetables. The trade to which the boys are trained is “shoemaking. The superintendent is their master in this art; “ and his wife, with one female servant, takes the whole domestic “ management of the house. A respectable teacher attends for two “ hours every evening to instruct the boys in reading and writing, “ acquirements which scarcely any of them are found to have ob“tained to any extent on their entrance to the institution. Re“ ligious instruction, of wbich an equal deficiency is discovered, “ forms a prominent feature in their daily intercourse with their “worthy superintendent and teacher.
“ In reporting the proceedings of the last year, the committee « conceive they have solid grounds of encouragement to offer to the “ supporters of the institution. The commencement of the at“ tempt was marked by many adverse occurrences, and called for “ all the unwearied attention which was bestowed upon it by two “ or three of its early friends. Through their exertion it was “ brought to a state that has required comparatively little inter“ference from the present committee; and afforded but few sub“jects for their report, beyond the substantial one of the quiet and “ beneficial operation of the plan.
“ By the last report, it appeared, that on the 6th of October, " 1824, five boys remained in the house, behaving extremely “ well.' Since that period, there have been admitted six, making “ a total of eleven.
“Of these, eight are at present in the institution, giving every “ promise, by their contented and orderly conduct, that the wishes “ of their benefactors, on their behalf, will be realized.
“ 2 have been apprenticed out to masters in the town.
“1 has been removed by death. “ The death of the last-mentioned boy was accompanied with “ many affecting proofs of his gratitude for the kindness which he “ had experienced in the institution, and which he seemed deeply to