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some steady and difficult employment." He refers also to instances in other writers.
Dr. Haslam in his Observations on Madness has given two decided cases of moral derangement. One of these was a lad about ten years of age. Some of the traits, which he exhibited, were as follows. He early showed an impatience and irritability of temper; and became so mischievous and uncontrollable, that it was necessary to appoint a person to watch over him. He gave answers only to such questions as pleased him, and acted in opposition to every direction. "On the first interview I had with him, (says Dr. Haslam,) he contrived, after two or three minutes acquaintance, to break a window and tear the frill of my shirt. He was an unrelenting foe to all china, glass, and crockery ware. Whenever they came within his reach, he shivered them instantly. In walking the street, the keeper was compelled to take the wall, as he uniformly broke the windows if he could get near them, and this operation he performed so dexterously, and with such safety to himself, that he never cut his fingers. To tear lace and destroy the finer textures of female ornament, seemed to gratify him exceedingly, and he seldom walked out without finding an occasion of indulging this propensity. He never became attached to any inferior animal, a benevolence so common to the generality of children. To these creatures his conduct was that of the brute; he oppressed the feeble, and avoided the society of those more powerful than himself. Considerable practice had taught him that he was the cat's master, and whenever this luckless animal approached him he plucked out its whiskers with wonderful rapidity; to use his own language, "I must have her beard off." After this operation he commonly threw the creature on the fire, or through the window. If a little dog came near him he kicked it; if a large one he would not notice it. When he was spoken to, he usually said, "I do not choose to answer." When he perceived any one who appeared to observe him attentively, he always said, "Now I will look unpleasant." The usual games of children afforded him no amusement; whenever boys were at play he never joined them indeed, the most singular part of his character was, that he appeared incapable of forming a friendship with any
one; he felt no considerations for sex, and would as readily kick or bite a girl as a boy. Of any kindness shewn him, he was equally insensible; he would receive an orange as a present, and afterwards throw it in the face of the donor."
This unfortunate lad seems sometimes to have been sensible of his melancholy condition. When on a certain occasion he was conducted through an insane hospital, and a mischievous maniac was pointed out to him who was more strictly confined than the rest, he said to his attendant, "this would be the right place for me." He often expressed a wish to die; and gave as a reason, "that God had not made him like other children."
§. 358. Of moral accountability in cases of natural or congenital moral derangement.
The question recurs here, also, whether persons, who are the subjects of a natural or congenital moral derangement, are morally accountable, and in what degree. If there is naturally an entire extinction of the moral sense, as in some cases of Idiocy there is an entire extinction of the reasoning power, which although it may not frequently happen is at least a supposable case, there is no moral accountability. A person in that situation can have no distinct perception of what right and wrong are; nor can he be conscious of doing either right or wrong in any given case; and consequently, being without either merit or demerit in the moral sense of the terms, he is not the proper subject of reward and punishment. He is to be treated on the principles, that are applicable to idiots and insane persons generally.
In other cases where the mental disorder is not so great, but there are some lingering rays of moral light, some feeble capability of moral vision, the person is to be judged, if it is possible to ascertain what it is, according to what is given him. If he has but one moral talent, it is not to be presumed that the same amount of moral responsibility rests upon him, as upon another who possesses ten. The doctrine, which requires men, considered as subjects of reward and punishment, to be treated alike, without regard to those original diversities of structure which may exist in all the departments of the mind, not only tends to confound right and wrong, but is abhorrent to the dictates of benevolence. Ma
ny individuals, through a misunderstanding of this important subject have suffered under the hands of the executioner, who, on principles of religion and strict justice, should have been encircled only in the arms of compassion, long suffering, and charity.
CASUAL ASSOCIATIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE SENSIBILITIES.
§. 339. Frequency of casual associations, and some instances of them.
In the first volume of this Work, which had especial relation to the INTELLECT, we gave some instances of Casual Association, directing our attention to those that were of great strength, and were wholly caused by accidental circumstances. Reference was made to the casual associations in respect to the place of sensation, the ideas of extension and time, of extension and color, &c. It is necessary, however, to resume the consideration of the subject in this place, and to illustrate the vast power, which the laws of ASSOCIATION possess over the Sensitive, as well as over the Intellectual part of our nature.
By a thousand circumstances, and in thousands of instances, the feelings are wrenched from their natural position, and shoot forth, and show themselves in misplaced and disproportionate forms. Casual associations, in the shape of antipathies, fears, aversions, prepossessions, remorse, &c., are found seated in many a mind, which is otherwise unembarrassed and unexceptionable in its action; they have established their empire there on immovable foundations, and are incorporated with the whole mental nature.
If it were otherwise, how could a man, that would willingly face a thousand men in battle, tremble at a mouse, a squirrel, a thunder-shower, at the trivial circumstance of placing
other very trifling
one; he felt no considerations for sethout number.—It
kick or bite a girl as a boy. Of a was equally insensible; he " present, and afterwards thr
This unfortunate lad s sible of his melancholy sion he was conducte chievous maniac w ly confined than would be the ri to die; and g like other c' §, 338. Of
As in connection with the appetites. give a few illustrations of this interhas hitherto received so little attention. be incidentally remarked, that the Inman, which are but few in number,
to be placed, in a great measure, beyond the
wa nature of such a fixed and decided character association. But it is not so with the Appetites. autrary, they are subject to very strong influences source, as will appear by some statements.
Almost every article, which is capable of being masand digested, is made in one country or another an more of food. It is the case, at the same time, that there articles, used as food in one country, which are as food in another. This difference in the manner
of living is to be ascribed, in many cases, to some early and fred association. In some countries the people eat rats, mice, frogs, lizards, horse-flesh, dogs, locusts, caterpillars,
In other countries, in our own for instance, the associations adverse to the use of such kinds of food are so strong, that it is next to impossible to overcome them.
but so it is; that some ash, eel, or lobster; anothght of cheese, honey, eggs, exceedingly distressed, and even toad or a cat, a grasshopper or a
II. There are appetitive associations of a different kind. It is well known, for instance, that the appetite for drink may be inflamed by a mere name, or the sight of a particular building or place, or the return of a certain hour of the day. This unquestionably is the result of a casual association. And the association may have become so strong, that the appetite is rendered wholly irrepressible, whenever such objects recur. This is particularly true, when the liquor itself, the rum, gin, wine, or brandy is placed directly before
-Lives of Celebra
*Lander's Niger, Vol. I, Am. Ed. pp. 170, 179. ted Travellers, Vol. I. Am. Ed. pp. 102, 215.
nding of this important
-going drunkard. The appetite in a moment beas to convulse the whole soul. He is agitaa sort of madness; and rushes upon the obch as the furious lion seizes and rends his as accidentally seen and tasted his blood.
sual associations in connection with the propensities.
ass on from the Appetites to the consideration of that our Sentient nature, which was examined under the d of the Propensities, we find some instances of the power of association, both in strengthening and in annulling them. Among other Propensities, which have a distinct and natural origin, is the desire of society; but it is undoubtedly the case, that peculiar circumstances may operate either to increase this desire, or to annul it altogether. All cases of decided and permanent Misanthropy, for instance, are the work, with perhaps a few exceptions of congenital alienation, not of nature, but of circumstances. If a man of kind and benevolent feelings is exceedingly ill treated by one, whom he has often favored, it is possible at least, that it will result in a fixed aversion to that person, which nothing can afterwards overcome.
If a deep and permanent injury were inflicted, not merely by a friend, but a brother, the effect on the mind might be so great, as not only to break up the original principle of sociability, but implant a decided and unchangeable hostility to the whole human race. Such treatment would be so contrary from what the injured person had a right to expect, that the mind would be thrown entirely out of its original position; and with such force as to be unable to recover it.
§. 342. Other instances of casual association in connection with the propensities.
The desire of power, in the remarks which were formerly made upon that subject, was regarded as an original propensity. This principle may become disordered in its action by becoming inordinately intense, and also in connection with some casual association. Mr. Locke in his Letters on Toleration mentions the case of an individual, whose mind was so long and intently fixed upon some high object, that he be