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627

Observations on the Wakefield Asylum.

628

OBSERVATIONS ON THE WAKEFIELD

ASYLUM.

bearing, and rich in rational entertainment | taste for beauty and ingenuity of contrito the botanist. To such an one, the vege- vance, or sharpening the powers of distable companions of a rural walk, speak a crimination. What, then, can be better language, not only intelligible, but delightful, adapted for young persons ?" to a degree not at all comprehended by To some young persons, and to females those, who are satisfied to know that a tree especially, the Linnean nomenclatute may is a tree, that a shrub is a shrub, a flower a at first sight appear a little repulsive; but flower ; in short, by those who see and this impression will. vanish with the slightthink after the fashion of Wordsworth's est familiarity; and few females, with an wanderer

average endowment of those qualifications “A primrose on the rivulet's brim,

of shrewdness and perseverance which A yellow priñur ose was to him,

generally ornament the sex, will be long is And it was nothing more!"

learning what may be called the grammar The study here recommended is one, the of the science. Nor, with the aid of fascinations of which begin to be perceived Withering's popular Arrangement of British almost in the acquisition of the very alpha- plants, or Sir J. E. Smith's elegant work, bet of its language; and herein it possesses the English Flora, would any fair aspirant in a high degree the poetical charm of to botanical knowledge fail, in the course association. There is, indeed, a species of a single season, to become acquainted of exquisite heraldry in that generic and with the name and scientific designation of specific emblazonry which distinguishes almost every vegetable within her range of one flower, and one family of fowers, daily observation.

H. from another. The detection of a single

Sheffield, May, 1829. species of plant, is generally the key to an aequaintance with whole family; the history, habits, and appearances of which, have all their respective points of attraction with the initiated; while, on the other hand, those, who have never passed beyond

MR. EDITOR, the volgar vocabulary of the rustic, or the Sir, I beg to assure my candid readers, common-places of the gardeper, are little that it is with extreme reluctance I write aware of pleasures which they miss. any thing in the least calculated to wound Such individuals act as if they either the feelings of any one; but such are my thought the most exquisite productions of impressions and convictions upon a subnature unworthy of their notice, or find it ject highly important to the interests of convenient to spurn at the application of suffering humanity, that I consider the prothe student at all events, they shut them- mulgation of them an imperative duty. selves cut from the participation of an

Some thirteen years ago, a very highly equally innocent and fertile source of respected magistrate published in the rational amusement.

Monthly Magazine, vol. 40, page 26, a It might appear enthusiastic, to assert, warm recommendation of county asylums that any great moral influence necessarily for the reception of pauper lunatics, obr. resulted from an attention to this, or, viously anticipating the greatest possible indeed, to any other purely human science; good from one about to be established in but it may be safely contended, that, in his own county. Feeling a great respect the study, collection, and arrangement of for the character of this gentleman, but Howers or other objects of natural history differing from him in opinion upon the less harm, at least, bas generally accrued subject, I wrote him my objections in a to the student, than, happily, has sometimes private letter. In answer, he invited, on been the case, in connexion with the pur- rather, as I thought, challenged me to a.' suit of other equally attractive, but more: publiQ discussion of the merits of county dissipating sources of juvenile gratifica- asylums; observing, that a measure of the tion.

kind in question should be as public as posen It is indeed, to young persons in general, sible, that it might operate as an example, that these remarks are more especially or a warning. In consequence, I wrote: addressed. To such, Sir J. E. Smith, in two letters, for the same Magazine, and in the preface to his elaborate“ Introduction reply he admitted, that he had no known to Physiological and Systematical Botany," ledge of what was required in the treate saysjuss I would recommend botany for its ment of the insane, that he and his brother own sake. . I have alluded to its benefits as magistrates depended upon the law, which à mental exercise; nor ean any study they presumed must be good and proper; exceed it in raising curiosity, gratifying a and they have now been acting under the

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Qbservations on the Wakefield Asylum,

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provisions of the county asylum daw for 1. Wakefield asylum before its advantages upwards of ten years.

were proved, I trust he will have no ob 1 What I asserted was, that a county asys jection to publish a brief history of them lum law was very much calculated to now; and I beg to recommend the Imperial increase the evils it was intended to Magazine as the medium of such publié diminish, for that a less proportion of those cation. pauper lunaties who were visited by insa- What I have heard of the Wakefield nity would recover, than had recovered county asylum is briefly as follows; viz. previously, and that it would consequently that it was erected in a most excellent cause an accumulation of incurable pamper situation, the building quite suitable for lunatics. All this I had said hundreds of the accommodation of one hundred and times before I had any actual proof of fifty patients at a time, with every arrangewhat I so confidently assertedby merely ment and convenience for domestic ecoreasoning from the nature of insanity, and nomy. That it was intended for the res on what is required in the perfect cure ception of none but pauper lunatics; but of it.

for some time at first, being far from full, * Far be it from me to impugn the mo- other patients besides paupers were ads tives of the magistrates acting for the mitted; and that lately, there being plenty West Riding of Yorkshire; on the con- of pauper lunatics, all others are excluded; trary, I believe that they were highly and that now the average number of these honourable and humane; but it is pos- patients is two hundred and fifty, with sible that they may have mistaken the numbers waiting for admission, and num. path of humanity and public utility in this bers discharged not curred, for the sake of important particular. No one can doubt giving admission to fresh cases. And that the purity of intention in the statesman an order has lately been passed for the who framed the county asylum law, yet sum of four thousand pounds, for the pure Į much doubt his possessing any correct pose of additions to the building. Now, information on the subject of insanity, and as the magistrates had the power, and it of what the proper treatment of it requires. may be supposed the will, to order all the And as the acting under the provisions of pauper lunatics to be sent to the county this law is quite optional on the part of the asylum on its first establishment, it seems magistrates, the doing so involves them in strange that it was not full, or nearly so, in a most awful responsibility. If we justly the first instance, or that there should be brand with infamy the medical pretender, such an overflow now. The increase of who, for the sake of gain, tampers with population in the West Riding of Yorkthe lives of his fellow-creatures, and is the shire for the last ten years, can have been cause of premature death; what shall we but trifling; and the increase of fresh cases şay of a legislative measure to monopolize of insanity, we may suppose, has been the means of curing the most afflictive trifling too. We must, therefore, believe malady that human nature is liable to, if that the overflow of patients at this time is it does not provide the best means of owing to another cause, viz. that a less cure ?

proportion of those visited by insanity, The ostensible purpose of county asy- have recovered under the operation of the lums is, the providing for pauper lunatics, county asylam law, than did recover before dangerous idiots, and criminal lunatics, this institution was in existence. ... better treatment in regard to their com- A few days since, I saw the tenth annuak forts, and better chances of cure for those report of the Wakefield county asylum, thought curable. Have they answered this from which it appears that one thousand purpose ? I strongly suspect that they one hundred and fifty patients had been have not; but the world knows very little admitted; that of these, five hundred and about these county asylums. Contem- eleven had been discharged cured, eighty, plated with feelings of superstitious horror eight discharged not cured, two hundred by the lower classes of society, and merely and ninety-nine had died, and two hunas a means of security from the annoy- dred and fifty-two remained in the house. ances that more liberty for the lunatic and If five hundred and eleven have been peridiot' might occasion by the higher, they manently recovered, I can have little more are little spoken of, and strange laws have to say; well knowing, that for a few years, been passed respecting them in legislative at first, a large proportion would be ada silence. It is very desirable that the world mitted of old and incurable cases; but I should know more of them, either as exam- have my doubts whether half that number, ples or warnings, and as the gentleman or anything like it, have been perfectly þefore alluded to gave publicity to the recovered. For I find that in the last

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Observations on the Wakefield Asylum. grewşthirty easestof relapse were admitted ;| 25 Ivis too much for us to say that wershould thatósis, cases which had been previously be sure of making lunatics andsidiotsimdote #disebargedicubed;} rand ionel of the phy- comfortable in large easylums,jotham khey sicians to the institutiono told me, a short can be in the bosom of their own families, stimel since, that the calculation of cures or in their crown parish Workhouses; their was, in the proportion of lone in ten cases. comforts depending on the state of their But even supposing that these five hundred feelings and former impressions2rysm 3.lt: and elevenswere all perfect cures, they are. The pecuniary management ofothesaynot so many as I should have expected lum at Wakefields seems to have been com under the case of the): respective parish ducted upon a zetose plans of economy in apothecaries, and that too with this great some particulars, but not so in otherssd: The advantage, that many of them would have pay for the patients appears'csmall, get, the recovered without the topprobrious term saving to a great amount. The amount Yof insanity being imputed to them. But of salaries and servants' wages i liss statedi vas these five hundred and eleven cases, I am more than £800 for one yearajand the very sorry to believe, that a great propor- sums for luxuries, of which it may be pretion are either numbered with the dead or sumed the poor patients do not partake, the incurables. The list of deaths is very are considerable, while the charge for heavy, two hundred and ninety-nine, being plain food averages about two shillings more than a fourth of the cases. Lunatics and sixpence per week, or say fourpence are, generally speaking, as tenacious of halfpenny, per day each. Unfortunately life as others, after the first paroxysm of for me, I have ne experience in cheap the disease is over, which it must be with living, but I should think fourpence hallthose taken to a county asylum; and if to penny per day for adults, and many of hthe above number is added a list of those them with voracious, appetites, 9 must gsbe 9who have died since being discharged, the too little; most assuredly it is so for those is whole, we might suppose, would greatly under the process of cure, for they require o deduce the number of incurables living. an ample quantity of good nourishing food. u Death must be a great blessing to incur- An explanation of this part of the manage

able pauper lunatics; still, an unaccounts ment might benefit other institutions of the uable number of such deaths will cause like kind.

Jyr Ysboud unpleasant reflections. The great accumu- I wish to observe, however, that I have lation of incurables, being eighty-eight never heard of any misconduct or neglect discharged, and upwards of two hundred, being imputed to the managers or servants

as we may suppose, remaining in the asy of the Wakefield asylum, or indeed of any slum, besides, no doubt, many others in their other county asylum. The fault is not lin

respective parishes, seems unaccounted for any thing that is practicable in these priincif the path of the magistrates acting sons, but in the law that established them; (under the county asylum law has been and in principle nothing could, asz Irbeochitherto overmarked with deaths or incur- lieve, be more calculated to preventurestables, it may not only benefit their own covery from insanity than county asyluns.

counties, but others, if they will turn out This I have often said, and I mustri conof it into the best path for recovery. For tinue to say it, for sit prevents the admitsafter thirteen years of practical close study tance of patients tilly generally speaking, of the disease, since I so strongly recom they are not susceptible of permanent -{mend a different system, Idol still confit

cure. PUT 100 a 1o louret edi sdently assert, that insanity is in almost all .3 In the incipient or quite recent state of

that those cured may be renderedomore symptomatic disease, and the cure mainly, 3 safe from a second attack, than they ever if not entirely, depends upon the medical - could havey been previously from a first; treatment, and it would be ridiculoushto hand that the number of deaths under the suppose that the best and most skilful 9i incurables, and, medical treatment is not to be obtained, monight be greatly reduced by a judicious But such is the power of habit on the func19treatment. My opinions in detail may tions of thought, that delay alone will con

ben found anderw my name in the Monthly vert the mental affection into a idiopathic 3-Magazinez voh041) and the othreeysuc disease, and then the cure mainly depends aceeding vols., andi in Ithe Imperial Magat upon moral treatment ;(la streatment.spot Brzinècunder the head (Remarks on Mental practicable in county asylums suchlias I

Affections,'ht in voly 4, and all the succeed have seen or heard of, and the law raetuling yols, juodo 29dous id 10 isloroon s'hala ally prevents admittance in most instances,

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tilbehewsecondo stage of the diseaseT has pears from the daws of the yconfession, stakeneplacebos 2016. macam to 9112 od where the dies dedicatidnisz or dedicatio, Yadd cannot but consider the taking charge is repeatedly discriminated from the proof the insane, and not affording them the pria festivitas sanctiy or scelebratio sancti. i least means of recovery possible, as highly They remainedo equally distinet arstilbnthe i culpable, and I am fully persuaded that if Reformation the dedication-day in 1536

the magistrates of England were fully being ordered for the future to be kept on awareliofo the importance of establishing the first Sunday in October, and the festhe besti system of treatment for cureuof tival of the patron saint to be celebrated ono cinsanity, they would never send themselves longer. The latter iwas, by ways of pre9th the worst. 02 fou rd, :)'s 11% eminence, denominated the church's holi911 The magistrates of the West Riding of day, or its peculiar festival.; and while 1dYorkshire may exercise the best system this remains in many parishes at present, zwithout additional expense to their respee- the other is so utterly annihilated in all, stiver parishes, and what would, no doubt, that bishop Kennet, says Mr. Whitaker, soga shortitime, reduce it, and, along with knew nothing of its distinct existence, and this, greatly diminish all the evils of in- has attributed to the day of dedication sanityosda gi 9,10 Thos. Bakewell.

what is true only concerning the saints'. syaiSpring Vale, near Stone, June 3d, 1829. day. Thus instituted at first, the day of 991901.30, :1)

the tutelar saint was observed, most proYlstblo **.11.173

bably by the Britons, and certainly by the q89119

Saxons, with great devotion.' And the Isd 3927 COUNTRY WAKES.

evening before every saint's day, in the IMAKES, formed from the Saxon wæcce, Saxon-Jewish method of reckoning the 9digilian excubiæ, "watch, vigils, or country hours, being an actual part of the day, and swakes, areri certain ancient" anniversary therefore like that appropriated to the a feasts, vin't several parishes 3' wherein the duties of public religion, as they reckoned people were to be awake at the several Sunday from the first to commence at the

vigils, or hours to go to prayer. They are sunset of Saturday, the evening preceding jausually observed, in the country, on the the church's holiday would be observed

Sunday next before the saint's day to with all the devotions of the festival. The 9 whom the parish-church is dedicated.' people actually repaired to the church, 1991 The dearned Mr. Whitaker, in his His- and joined in the services of it zoand they aitory of Manchester, has given a particular thus spent the evening of their greaterefesy account of the origin of wakes and fairs, tivities, in the monasteries of the northzsas 1 He observes, that every church at its con- early as the conclusion of the seventh cen. - isecration received the name of some par- turytmii

sv ):90-91 ticular saint: this custom was practised "These services were naturally denomi- among the Roman Britons, and continued nated from their late hours wacean uor - among the Saxons, and in the council of wakes, and vigils or eves. --> That of the Cealehythe, in 816, the name of the denot anniversary at Rippon, as early as the minating saint was expressly required Tto commencement of the eighth century, is ibel inscribed on the altars, and also on the expressly denominated the vigilo But that walls of the church, or a tablet within it. of the church's holiday was named

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't cyric In The feast of this saint became of course weccan, or church wake, the church vigil,

the festival of the church. Thus Chris or church wake. And it was this comtotian festivals, in the room of the primitive mencement of both with a wake, which 5 ayanac, (agapas) or love-feasts, were sub+ b has now caused the days to be generally

stituted for the idolatrous anniversaries of preceded with vigils, and the church holiIs heathenism: accotdingly, at the first intro. 1 day particularly to be denominated lithe oduction of Christianity among the Jutes of church wake. So religiously were thereve 1. Kent, poper Gregory the Great advised and festival of the patron saint observed gbwhat had been previously done among the for many ages by the Saxons, evenzas late Britons, viz. Christian festivals to be rin as the reign of Edgar, the former obeing. - stituted in the room of the idolatrous, and spent in the churoh, and employed in - the suffering-day of the martyr whose relics prayer. -,(And the wakes, and all the other on were reposited in the church on the day holidays in the year, nwere put upon the abon which the building was actually dedi same footing with the octaves of Christtocated, to be the sestablished feast of the smas, Easter, and Pentecost.When Gre| parish. e Both were appointed and ob gory recommended bthe festivals of the - seived, and they were clearly distinc patron saint, bee advised tuithe people to guished at first among the Saxons, as ap- erect booths of branches about the chwch

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1 Anecdotes of Animals..

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on the day of the festival, and to feast and in the churches, and also on Sundays, till be merry in them with innocence. Ac- the indecency and scandal were so great cordingly, in every parish, on the returning as to need reformation.

)24. ' 'i! - __ ; anniversary of the saint, little pavilions were constructed of boughs, and the people indulged in them to hospitality and

CURIOUS ANECDOTES OF ANIMALS, mirth. The feasting of the saints' day, Birch and Sloane, MSS. Np. 4486. Anon., however, was soon abused ; and even in PLUTARCH hath a very curious treatise on the body of the church, when the people the sagacity of animals, and, among other were assembled for devotion, they began instances, he admires the considerateness, to mind diversions, and to introduce drink (if I may so call it) of ants. " For those ing, The growing intemperance gradually that have no burdens," says he, go out of stained the service of the vigil, till the fes- the way, and leave free room to pass : for tivity of it was converted, as it now is, those that have; and those things that are into the rigour of a fast. At length they too heavy, or difficult to carry, they will too justly scandalized the puritans of the nibble and tear till they have made them seventeenth century, and numbers of the more manageable." wakes were disused entirely, especially in I myself was a witness a year or two the east, and some western parts of Eng- ago to as remarkable a piece of sagacity land; though the order for abolishing them and considerateness, in that little animal, was reversed by the influence of Laud; as this of Plutarch. For one evening, but they are commonly observed in the meeting with a colony of them, I had the north, and in the midland counties. curiosity to observe their different employ

This custom of celebrity in the neigh- ments. Among the rest I perceived one bourhood of the church, on the days of that was pulling along with his mouth, particular saints, was introduced into Eng. what, for his little strength, I might call a land from the continent, and must have piece of timber; the rest of them were been familiar equally to the Britons and busy in their own way, and seemed to take Saxons; being observed among the churches no notice of him, which gave me some of Asia, in the sixth century, and by those concern. It was not long before he came of the west of Europe in the seventh to an ascent-in the language of ants, I And equally in Asia and Europe, on the presume, called a hill. But no sooner continent, and in the islands, these cele- did his timber become too much for his brities were the causes of those commercial abilities, than three or four of them immemarts which we denominate fairs. The diately came behind, and pushed it up, people resorted in crowds to the festival, As soon, however, as they had got it upon and a considerable provision would be level ground, they left it to his care, and wanted for their entertainment. The pros- pursued their own journey.' pect of interest invited the little traders of As this timber was smaller at the end the country to come and offer their wares; by which he pulled it than at the other, it and thus, among the many pavilions for was not long before he met with a fresh hospitality in the neighbourhood of the difficulty. For unluckily he had drawn it church, various booths were erected for the between two posts, as I imagine he called sale of different commodities. In large them, where it stuck. After several fruittowns, surrounded with populous districts, less efforts, finding it would not go through, ihe resort of the people to the wakes would he took the wisest method that any person be great, and the attendance of traders under the like circumstances could do, numerous ; and this resort and attendance which was, to come behind it and pull it constitate a fair. Basil expressly mentions back. I staid till he had turned it round, the numerous appearance of traders at and got clear of the posts, when I was these festivals in Asia, and Gregory notes obliged to leave him, but not without such the same customs to be common in Europe. reflections as you will easily guess at. And as the festival was observed on a Plutarch, in the same treatise, observes, is feria or holiday, it naturally assumed to that Cleanthes, though he could not allow initself, and as naturally communicated to seets to have the use of reason, yet had an the mart, the appellation of feria or fair. opportunity once of seeing, what I sup=” Indeed, several of our most ancient fairs pose, staggered the philosopher not a little. appear to have been usually held, and "A company of ants," he says, “eame have been continued to our time; on the to an ant-hilt belonging to another tribe,!! original church holidays of the places : and brought along with them a dead anto besides, it is observable, that fairs were That several ants came up out of the generally kept in church-yards, and even ground, and, as it were, held a conference

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