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curled locks were thrown back from topmost bough of the oak loosened his brow, his limbs were slightly re- itself in the stilly air, and fell in soft, laxed. Had a sudden weariness over- light fragments upon the rock, upon the come the youthful hunter ? Would his leaves, upon Reuben, upon his wife and mother's voice arouse him? She knew child, and upon Roger Malvin's bones. that it was death.
Then Reuben's heart was stricken, and “ This broad rock is the grave-stone the tears gushed out like water from a of your near kindred, Dorcas," said her rock. The vow that the wounded husband. “Your tears will fall at once youth had made, the blighted man had over your father and your son. come to redeem. His sin was expiated,
She heard him not. With one wild the curse was gone from him; and in shriek, that seemed to force its way the hour when he had shed blood from the sufferer's inmost soul, she dearer to him than his own, a prayer, sank insensible by the side of her dead the first for years, went up to Heaven boy. At that moment the withered from the lips of Reuben Bourne.
The physician, in his treatment of dis- especially, to investigate their mutual ease, is too apt to confine his attention relations. He will find that in many to the mere physical machine. He cases his treatment will be in vain, and looks only for physical causes, applies his remedies prove useless, when only material remedies,-narcotics, directed solely to the body; for a dispurges, sudorifics, diuretics, powders, ease, though corporeal in its effects, mixtures, and pills, without end,-and may be purely mental in its origin. is only anxious for physical results, a Dr. Sweetser, by the testimony of his clean tongue, regular pulse, a free excellent work, has given evidence digestion, and—his fee. This is taking that he is not of those who depreciate a very limited view of his duties, and the influence of mind upon body. He is unworthy the science he professes. has brought to bear upon the subject Medicine is no mere mechanical art. much important material, the result of It has for its object the preservation of studious research and acute observathe health of man, not the mere being tion, of which we shall avail ourselves of physical parts and properties,-a
in the course of this Article. We complex machine, involving in its shall not anticipate our readers in their structure, valves, limbs, outlets, and duty, by attempting an analysis of his passages,—but thinking, feeling, and book. impassioned man:
The mind and the body, though
essentially distinct in their nature, end, -“ Noble in reason, infinite in and purpose—the former being an imfaculties;
material, never-dying principle, the The beauty of the world, the paragon of latter presenting all the properties of animals."
the material world, and therefore cor
ruptible, and temporarily existent matIt is the part of the physician to ac- ter-present in their union, which conquaint himself with the workings of the stitutes the living human being, a mind, as well as of the body; more mysterious sympathy,t exhibited by
* Mental Hygiene, or an Examination of the Intellect and Passions; designed to illustrate their Influence on Health and the Duration of Life. By William Sweetser, M. D., &c. 1 vol. 12mo. New York: J. & H. G. Langley. 1843.
The nervous system is unquestionably the medium through which the mind exerts its influence upon the body. There seems reason to believe that every act of mind is accompanied or followed by a physical change in the nervous system; but what that change may be, or by what means it produces the effects it does, we know not. The sympathetic nerve would seem to be that part of the nervous system which brings the body under the control of the involuntary agency of the mind, from the fact that
their co-operating functions and mutual earlier philosophy ; which, though relations. The mind and the body claiming an equally comprehensive exert a reciprocal control; but the dominion for the mind, held that it exinfluence of the former upon the latter erted its sway without the guidance of is more distinct and marked than the consciousness. The doctrine of the
It is, in fact, only in disease Animists has led one of its advocates that we obserre clearly physical ope- into the following absurdly fanciful rations influencing mental phenomena. illustrations of his opinions. To the The consideration of this point, how- sagacity of the anima he attributes the ever, does not come within the scope gradual eruption of the small pox, as of our present purpose.
the force of the disease is thus weakThe acknowledgment of the principle ened and the danger diminished; to its that the mind exerts a control over the cowardice, the fact of its sinking under bodily functions, has been carried to disease perfectly harmless in itself; to the extent of asserting for its dominion its love of solitude, its periodical withthe whole government of physical life. drawal to the dark obscurity of sleep; This doctrine was taught in the Plato- and to its tædium vite, its frequent nic* and Peripatetic schools of philo- retirement into the shades of eternity. sophy, and found a zealous advocate At a later day, a modified view of the Galen, the facile princeps of ancient Animists found a powerful advocate in physiologists. This was the basis of Whytt. He considered the mind a the system of the Animists, which was sentient as well as a rational agent, broached subsequently to the purely and traced all the vital motions of the physical theories of medicine,-the body to its operation, acting in its forhumoral, chemical, and mathematical. mer character. Stahl was the originator of this new The phenomena of voluntary motion doctrine, and to its support he brought present us with the most familiar the acuteness of an original mind and illustration of the influence of mind the untiring enthusiasm of a reformer. upon body. Muscular movement is He quickly observed the falsity of the the ordinary extent of the power of the prevailing systems of his day, and suc act of volition upon the physical syscessfully combated their errors and ab- tem ; but that it may be extended to a surdities. The hypothesis he attempted further control over the body, is illusto establish on their ruin, though in trated by the case of a Col. Townshend, many respects purely fanciful, had the of the British army, who had such high merit of insisting upon a broad command over his vital functions that distinction between living beings and he could suspend them at will, and thus inanimate matter. According to the to all appearance die : the blood would system of Stahl, the body, an object cease to circulate, the respiration stop, powerless in itself, with mechanical the surface of the body grow cold, and means admirably adapted to certain life seem to depart, when he thus, by ends, was under the control of the an effort of the will, feigned death. anima, mind or soul, an immaterial, This faculty is said also to be possessed governing principle. All the pheno- by a certain class of Indian jugglers. mena of organic and animal life were The physical indications of the held to be indebted for their existence mental power, while acting involuntato this power. The anima, while call- rily, afford us the richest materials in ing into action the physical agents illustration of the influence of mind subject to its control, was supposed to upon body. The various expressions be actuated by rational views, and a of face to which mental emotion gives consciousness that the welfare of the rise, afford the most obvious examples body demanded their exertion. This of this. It is thus the human countemarks the essential point of difference nance presents every variety of exbetween the doctrine of Stahl and the pression, from the grave to the gay, those organs which are especially influenced by mental emotion, as the heart, the bowels, the capillary vessels, and the secreting organs, are principally indebted to the ganglionic system for their supply of nerves.
• Lord Brougham, in his edition of Paley's Natural Theology, finds fault with his author for disregarding the influence of mind upon body, and seems disposed to embrace fully the doctrine of the Platonic school.
the lively and severe, according to the French Revolution), was instantly feelings and emotions experienced. seized with a violent palpitation, that The different varieties of physiognomy terminated in a syncope so extreme are modelled by the plastic power of that she was supposed to be dead. the mind. The intellectual face, with This apprehension, however, was errothought beaming in every line; “the neous; she recovered ; but the palpitapoet's eye,” so distinctive from the in- tion continued for many years, and she expressive orb and unmeaning gaze of at length died of water in the chest." witless idiocy; the expectant eye, and Dr. Gregory says that, “ dying of a mild, imploring look of Hope ; the re- broken heart, on some occasions, extreating face of Fear; the lengthened presses with sufficient accuracy a pavisage of Despair, which,
thological fact.” Mirabeau died of a
disease of the heart, induced by the “ like to a title-leaf, mental excitement to which he was Forebodes the nature of a tragic volume;' exposed in consequence of the active
part he bore in the Revolution. The the closed mouth and contracted brow exciting emotion of anger, by its stimuof Anger; the downcast and half-shut lating effect on the circulation, has eyes of Modesty ; and the bold, open often become the cause of dangerous front of daring Courage,-are bodily or fatal disease. John Hunter, the manifestations of the mind within. great surgeon, died suddenly in a For a striking display of the influ- paroxysm of rage.
The Emperor ence of mind upon body, we must Nerva died of a violent excess of anger regard it in its more disturbed states, against a senator who had offended him. in the “tempest and whirlwind of pas- Valentinian, the first Roman emperor sion,” when the mental equipoise is of that name, while reproaching with destroyed by excessive elevation or great passion the deputies from Gerdepression. It is but natural to con- many, burst a blood-vessel and fell clude, when we observe the blood lifeless to the ground. mantle in the face, the cheek grow Lord Byron mentions that the Doge pale, the limbs tremble, or the pulse Francis Foscari died of bleeding at the beat quick from the most ordinary lungs, in consequence of his violent emotion of the mind, that excessive rage at being deprived of his office. mental disturbance would be followed He also states the case of a young by a corresponding degree of physical lady, who had within his own expeeffect. Facts clearly prove that the rience become a sudden victim of unbodily health is directly affected by controlled temper. Sophocles is stated mental influences; that there exists an by some authors, to have died of joy intimate sympathy between the mind on being crowned for a successful and body, which renders their sanitary tragedy. Dionysius of the same emostate mutually dependent. “A man's tion for a similar reason, a fortunate body and his mind,” says Sterne, literary effort. Pliny records the death “(with the utmost reverence to both I of a Roman lady from excessive despeak it), are exactly like a jerkin and light, at receiving her son safe from the a jerkin's lining-rumple the one, you battle of Canna. Pope Leo X. fell rumple the other.”
into a fever, from which he never reThe passions and emotions of the covered, upon hearing the joyful intelmind, in reference to their action upon ligence of the taking of Milan. Colothe body, may be conveniently divided cotroni, the Greek general, the account into the exciting and depressing. of whose death has just reached us, is
The exciting emotions act power- reported to have died of apoplexy, fully upon the heart and circulation. brought on by his intense delight upon They causc increased pulsation, heat, the happy marriage of his son. Jaunflushing, and a state like temporary dice has frequently been observed to be fever. A fact quoted by Dr. Good is caused by the passions of jealousy and strikingly illustrative of the influence anger. Shakspeare, in his epithet of of the emotions of the mind upon the green-eyed” to Jealousy, avails himheart : “ A young lady who had sud- of a physiological fact. denly learned that her husband had The depressing emotions weaken the been cruelly murdered by a band of force of the circulation, diminish the muse the popular ruffians, (in the days of the cular energy, lessen the nervous power,
predispose to disease, and even cause The oft quoted case of Lord Lyttelsudden death. Fear exerts a strong ton illustrates the influence of the desedative influence on the heart, pro- pressing emotions, who, consciousmotes congestion in the larger vessels, stricken amid his career of vice and and thus renders the surface of the dissipation, alarmed by the intense body cold and pale. This emotion has consciousness of his own wickedness, not been an infrequent cause of epi- pictured to his imagination, so vividly lepsy, and other severe diseases. Ex as to impose upon his senses, the apcessive terror acts so powerfully upon proach of an angel from heaven who the system, that children have become condemned him to death at a certain convulsed from being applied to the fixed hour. The time approached ; breast while their mothers were under anxious to drown his care and anxiety, its influence. The influence of grief (for he believed himself a doomed is equally striking. Its sudden effect man), he gathered his gay companions upon the color of the hair is a familiar about him, and strove to forget his fact. Falstaff says to Prince Hal : misery and remorse amid revelry and
dissipation. Hour after hour passed, 6 Thy father's beard is turned white with the news.”
minute after minute ; Lord Lyttelton,
with the wine-cup in his trembling There is no fact which illustrates hand, and a forced smile upon his lip, more decidedly the morbid effects of cast his eye upon the clock, and as the the depressing emotions of the mind fatal hour struck, he fell and stiffened upon the body, than the occurrence of a corpse. The true nature of Lord nostalgia, the maladie de pays, home- Lyttelton's death is illustrated by the grief in the expressive language of somewhat analogous case of the GerGermany, and home-sickness accord
man student, (quoted, we believe, by ing to our more homely and familiar Dr. Abercrombie), who, depressed by denomination. This disease, which is hard study, misfortune, and ill health, purely mental in its origin, assuines imagined that he was doomed to die ihe various forms of the severest physi- at a certain hour. A friend being incal disorder.*
formed of the circumstance, ingeniously According to the medical statistics resolved upon putting back the hand of of the French army, nostalgia ranks the clock which was to strike the among the most prevailing causes of death-knell. The student weakened mortality among the young conscripts. as the time approached, his pulse beat
This affection is known to prevail less firmly, his limbs trembled, and disto an enormous extent among the absent solution seemed rapidly coming on. Swiss soldiers, when the recollection The real time, that of the imagined end of home scenes is awakened by the of his destiny, passed, his friend then music of their native air, the ranz informed him of his device, and death des vaches.
ceased to stare him in the face. 4 When long familiar joys are all resign'd,
It has been observed that times of Why does their sad remembrance haunt public calamity or depression have been the mind ? unusually fruitful in disease.
We Lo! when through flat Batavia’s willowy have the authority of Corvisart, that groves,
diseases of the heart prevailed to a Or by the lazy Seine the exile roves;
much greater extent than usual during O'er the curled waters Alpine measures the French Revolution. During the
swell, And search the affections to their inmost influence of fear, in increasing the
prevalence of epidemics, the direct cell, Sweet poison steals along the listener's number of victims, is unquestioned.
The weak and unhealthy, by the elasveins, Turning past pleasures into mortal pains, ticity of their minds, may bid defiance Poison which not a frame of steel can
to a disease which finds in the fearful brave,
and desponding, though physically Bows his young head with sorrow to the robust and vigorous, an easy prey. grave." |
“For" (in the eloquent words of the
Avenbruger states that, on dissecting cases of death from nostalgia, organic disease of the lungs, inflammation of the pleura, and adhesions were frequently met with.
author of Anastasius, speaking of the ness. “ A respectable farmer in Scotplague), “ sometimes this disease is a land, when a young man, had sat up magnanimous enemy, and while it for a whole night with some companions, seldom spares the pusillanimous victim and drank ale and spirits till he had whose blood, running cold ere it is become sick and had most unpleasant tainted, lacks the energy necessary to sensations. For more than twenty repel the infection when at hand, it years afterwards, he never came near will pass him by who dared its utmost nor passed the house without suffering fury and advances undaunted to meet sensations similar to those which he its raised dart."
had experienced on the night of his Troops, when engaged in active ser- debauch.” vice and cheered by the glow of victory, Dr. Sweetser has, in the following offer fewer victims to disease than those passage, clearly stated the morbid inwhich are disheartened by defeat and Auence of an unrestrained and ill-regudepressed by conquest. În Franklin lated imagination : and Parry's northern voyages, the elasticity of a cheerful spirit was observed
“ The feelings unduly excited, as they to be the most powerful means of ward- necessarily must be, by the wild dreams of ing off the benumbing effects of the the imagination, react with a morbid in. severe cold. Lord Anson, in his “Voy- fluence on the various functions of the age around the World,” in speaking of body, and if the habits are at the same the scurvy, remarks, “that whatever
time sedentary and retired, a train of modiscouraged the seamen, or at any time under the name of nervous temperament,
ral and physical infirmities generalized damped their hopes, never failed to add will be the probable result. The subjects new vigor to the distemper; for it of this unhappy temperament are comusually killed those who were in the monly irresolute, capricious, and morbidly last stages of it, and confined those to sensitive in their feelings. Their pastheir hammocks who were before capa- sions, whether pleasurable or painsul, are ble of some kind of duty.” A case of awakened with the greatest facility, and disease is detailed in a late number of the most trifling causes will often elate the London Medical Gazette, which them with hope or sink them in despondthe writer of the account aptly terms ency. The poet, the painter, the musi" Chancery Cachexia,” brought on by cian--for their pursuits have all a kindred the anxiety experienced in consequence nature, and all work on the feelings and of the proverbial delay of the law. The imagination—are more peculiarly the subsubject of the complaint was
perfectly jects of this peculiar temperament. The free from any previous disease, but, verbial even from ihe remotest time. The becoming involved in a law-suit, in physical functions in this temperament which great interests were at stake, are almost always weak, and pass very was attacked by a disorder of the readily into disordered states. Its subjects chest, which was cured by the usual are peculiarly liable to indigestion and to remedial means. The law case at issue sympathetic disturbances in the nervous, remained undecided; at every postpone- circulatory, and respiratory system. The ment of the suit an attack of the com- body, moreover, is generally spare and plaint ensued, the patient's end ap- feeble, frequently with an inclination forproaching as the lawyers were post- wards, the face is pale and sickly, though, poning, till at last, no final result to the under excitement, readily assuming á cause appearing, he was seized with a hectic glow, and its expression is usually severe attack of his disease, and died. of a pensive character. Women who have had the misfortune tions, as epilepsy for example, have been
“ The most melancholy nervous affecto become mothers before they were
sometimes brought on through the worke wives, are more subject to puerperal ings of a morbidly exalted and ungoverned fever than the married. This circum- imagination.” stance is owing to moral causes
-the depression of mind produced in conse Thus the irritability of Pope, the quence of remorse, loss of character, morbid melancholy of Cowper, and the and desertion of friends.
restless, discontented spirit of Byron, The following fact, stated by Dr. and their several physical maladies. Thomson, in his Materia Medica, affords But the influence of the imagination us an illustration of the influence of upon the body is often more direct. association of ideas in producing sick- Diseases are not seldom incurred by