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evidently arises from an irritable state of the auditory nerves. In like manner there are people who, from a diseased condition of the lenses of their eyes, see everything distorted others who see everything out of its due proportions — others who see everything in a false colour. There are cases of men seeing everything inverted, and other cases of men seeing everything double ; but, indeed, the wonder is, that we all do not see objects inverted and double, as the structure of our eyes would lead us to expect. The state of the eye in which we lose sight of half of every object at which we look is more rare and more alarming. Dr. Wollaston, who experienced this defect of vision twice himself, informs us that after taking violent exercise he suddenly found that he could see but half of a man whom he met, and that, on attempting to read the name of JOHNSON over a door, he saw only SON, the commencement of the name being wholly obliterated from his view. Dr. Conolly mentions a gentleman who, when recovering from measles, saw ob jects diminished to the smallest possible size; and a patient mentioned by Baron Larrey, on recovering from amaurosis, saw men as giants, and everything magnified in a proportionate degree. In all such cases there is no mental illusion, but the diseased organ presents objects to the mind differently from what it would in its state.
II. There are cases of illusion which originate partly in the morbid condition of mind and partly in a morbid condition of the organism.
Spectral illusions of this kind may be artificially induced. Let a person drink any intoxicating liquor till he causes delirium tremens, and he will be haunted by devils. Let him eat opium, and he will probably see visitors of a more pleasing aspect swimming before his eyes. In like manner, persons labouring under a brain fever see visions, sometimes of an agreeable, but more frequently of a horrible kind. But such spectral sights are not confined to those who are under the influence of
sons experience them almost daily when under no such influence. A few cases will illustrate their nature, and enable us afterwards to inquire into their cause.
Sir David Brewster, in his interesting letters on Natural Magic, mentions a lady, a friend of his, who was frequently haunted by spectres. At first she was thoroughly deceived by them, but ultimately was able, at least on some occasions, to distinguish between real and phantom appearances. On one occasion, when sitting in the drawing-room on one side of the fire-place, she saw a deceased friend moving towards her from the window at the further end of the room. The spectre approached the fireplace, and sat down in a chair opposite to that occupied by her. Thoroughly convinced it was an illusion, after gazing at it for some time, she summoned up courage to advance toward it, and seat herself in the same chair. The apparition remained till she boldly sat down, as it were in its lap, and then it vanished. Sir David mentions that the lady had a morbidly sensitive imagination, and that her health was in a disordered state during the period of these visitations. Her health gradually improved, and her spectral visitors disappeared.
Dr. Abercrombie, who is well known to have been a most careful and cautious observer of facts, mentions, in his interesting chapter on “Spectral Illusions," an old gentleman, who for some years before his death never sat down to dinner without the impression that he was surrounded by a number of friends, dressed in the fashion of fifty years ago. He mentions another gentleman who was so haunted by spectres that, if he met a friend in the street, he was at a loss to know whether it was really his friend or only his apparition. Dr. Hibbert tells us of a man who, having heard of the sudden death of an old and intimate acquaintance, and being deeply affected by it, went out to walk in a court attached to his house, when the figure of his friend started up before him in a dress which he had known him frequently to wear. Dr. Ferriar describes
Berlin, who was constantly harassed by distinctness. We are unceasingly seeing figures of men and women, of beasts phantoms, but they are dim and shadowy; and birds. Dr. Aldershott mentions a we know they are of the mind's creation, man who saw a soldier endeavouring and are beheld only with the mind's to force himself into his house in a eye, and therefore we are not surprised threatening manner, and, on rushing at such frequent and familiar visitors. forward to prevent him, was astonished We have already seen how the thoughts to find it a phantom. This man had of the day verge into the dreams of the afterwards a succession of visions, and night. Any one may trace the process was cured by bleeding and purgatives. for himself by attending to what passes The first vision was traced to a quarrel in his own mind when his eyes are shut which he had had with a drunken and sleep is approaching. He will find soldier some time before, and which had his sensations becoming fainter, and his made a deep impression on his mind. thoughts taking a more palpable and
In febrile diseases, such cases are very definite form. While yet awake he common. “A highly intelligent friend,” begins to see those visions which he says Dr. Abercrombie, “whom I at- sees more vividly when he has sunk “ tended several years ago, in a mild into slumber. Here, then, we have in “ but very protracted fever, without our own thoughts the rudimental forms “ delirium, had frequent interviews with of spectral appearances. “ a spectral visitor, who presented the In our waking state our thoughts have : “ appearance of an old and grey-headed a normal vividness, and, so long as it is “ man, of a most benignant aspect. so, we understand them perfectly. We “ His visits were always conducted in understand, and are not surprised at, the 6 exactly the same manner : he entered mental phantasmagoria. But the normal " the room by a door, which was on the state may be disturbed by a variety of " left-hand side of the bed, and seated causes, either psychical or physical. " himself on a chair on the right-hand Fever or inflammation, brandy or opium, “side ; he then fixed his eyes upon the may stimulate into extreme sensibility “ patient with an expression of intense the organ of thought. Violent emotion “ interest and pity, but never spoke, may agitate the mind and destroy its “ continued distinctly visible for some balance. The one cannot be affected “ seconds, and then seemed to vanish without the other being affected to. A “ into air."
deep mental impression must leave its Cases like these might be quoted deep mark on the mental organism. without end ; but, as the existence of Memory has its seat in the brain as we}l apparitions is not doubted, these exam- as sense, and, no doubt, has its furrows ples are enough to illustrate their there. On the other hand, any irritanature, and we shall now proceed to tion in the. organism must reach the investigate their source.
mind; for they have all things in comThe simple fact, already alluded to, mon. Any such state of excitement, that all thought is objective and picto- sensibility, or irritation, may make our rial, affords us a solution of the mystery. mental conceptions take a phantom We cannot think without thinking of shape. They have only to acquire, from something, and that something must be any cause, an abnormal vividness to thought of as outside the mind. It is stand out before us as apparitions; and, not our thoughts, but the things which considering that all our thoughts are we think of, that are present to our visions, it is only a wonder we are not consciousness; and this, our thinking, more haunted by spectres than we are. consists of a series of visions. We Our freedom from such visitants is a think of men and women whom we proof of the fine balance of the mind. have seen, and these by our very act of Almost every case of phantom-seeing thought are summoned before the mind may be traced to such causes as these
over some one taken away from us by death, if we brood incessantly upon his form and features, our thoughts will possibly acquire such force as to destroy the balance between our sensations and our ideas, and the result will be a spectral appearance of the departed. If the brain be feverish or inflamed, if the whole nervous system be morbidly sensitive, our fancies will occasionally stand out with such vividness as to be mistaken for sensations. It is very seldom that a person in perfect health is trou bled with such masterful, phantom conceptions, unless in cases of violent emotion, or where some sensation or idea has made a profound impression on the mind. A few people, however, have been so peculiarly constituted as to be able to call up spectres at their will; . but this they could do only by concen
trating their mind upon its conceptions, under which process they acquired such vigour as to assume the phantom character. “He has also the power,” says Dr. Abercrombie, regarding a gentleman who saw visions, “of calling up spectral “figures at his will, by directing his “attention steadily to the conception of “his own mind; and this may consist “either of a figure or a scene which he “has seen ; or it may be a composition “created by his imagination. But, though "he has the faculty of producing the “illusion, he has no power of banishing "it; and, when he has called up any “particular spectral figure or scene, he “never can say how long it may con“tinue to haunt him."
If spectral apparitions be only our own thoughts in an abnormal and unnatural degree of activity, we shall expect them to have such variety as our thoughts have, both when we are awake and asleep. And so it is; they come into existence according to the laws which regulate the succession of all our thoughts. There is an endless variety of them, and they often start up before the mind, we know not how; just as we frequently cannot tell how particular fancies or reminiscences spring up within us. In general, however, we can trace
under the weird-like robe of the phantom. It is the face of the deceased friend that looms upon us in vision, it is the subject which has been often and earnestly thought of which rises up before us as a spectre. The solitary old man sits down to dinner with the gallants and wits who lived when he was young and gay, for the figures of these are ever flitting before his memory, though the events of yesterday are forgotten. Luther, after praying for hours that he may be delivered from the devil, rises from his knees, and beholds the devil before him, and drives him from his presence by hurling the ink-bottle at lis head.
I have already alluded to the proofs we have of sensational influences lingering in the brain, perhaps in the mind, after the object of sense is withdrawn. We have seen how Sir Isaac Newton was troubled with the spectre of the sun. Illusions of hearing also occur, though less frequently than those of vision. Dr. Abercrombie mentions a gentleman who, when recovering from an affection of the head, for which he had been severely bled, happened to hear a bugle sound, and its notes rang in his ears for nine months afterwards, till his health was completely restored. In such impressions made upon the nerves, the brain, and the mind, we have another source of phantom sights and sounds. Thus Dr. Ferriar mentions of himself, that, when on the verge of manhood, if he had been viewing any interesting object in the course of the day, and afterwards went into a dark room, the whole scene rose up before him, with a brilliancy equal to what it originally possessed, and remained floating before his vision for some minutes. The sensibility of the nervous system belonging to this period of life sufficiently accounts for the fact.
The facts here alluded to, as I have already hinted, are quite analogous to the familiar facts of memory. In memory, events withdrawn from consciousness appear to leave their vestiges in the brain, for any violent excitement of
cences. We have already seen that it is so in fever. In like manner, persons who have been taken out of the water in a state of suspended animation and restored, have frequently declared that, when they were in articulo mortis, their whole past lives rushed up before them with appalling vividness. Others have declared how their wives and children visibly appeared to them. If memorial impressions remain stamped upon the cerebrum, which is said by physiologists to be the seat of memory, there is no improbability in sensational impressions remaining in the sensory, which is un derstood to be the organ of sense. Any excitation, either mental or bodily, may revivify the one as readily as the other
In regard to such matters, however, it becomes us to speak doubtingly, and not dogmatically. Many things connected with mind are still wrapped in mystery. There is an unknown land here still awaiting a discoverer. Some of the facts connected with insanity, with catalepsy, with mesmerism, with som
nambulism, are very obscure. There
MANAGEMENT OF THE NURSERY.
way." How can the ruddy cheeks of
children but blanch, and their bright AIR, DIET, THE BATH, AND CLOTHING.
eyes but grow dim in such places? Drop
your handkerchief on the lawn, and let “Oh, any place is good enough for a it lie there but a single day, and, when nursery! Any room is good enough for you lift it again, you will find the grass children to play in !” Mothers are pale and dry and discoloured, because still heard to speak thus : when they it has been excluded from the light and do so it augurs ill for the health of the the air ; and yet light and air are not little ones. There is no place good more necessary to its healthy growth enough for a nursery while a better is to than to that of the little denizens of be found. Pass the ground floor, and the nursery. then select the largest, the loftiest, the Select for the nursery the best room best ventilated and the best lighted in the house, and in it let no household room in the house—the room with the office be performed : it is to be devoted largest windows, and commanding the to a purpose more important than boucheeriest prospect—and make that the doir or study-let it be kept as sacred. nursery.
Let its furniture be no more than is I have seen nurseries as dark and as actually required, and each article be close as a prison-cell ; selected avow- placed in its appropriate locality ; let
damp or dust ; and let the carpetless floor be swept and brushed, and at proper intervals cleansed and scoured until the white boards shine again. For a large portion of every day, and frequently, in our variable climate, for the entire day, it must serve as dining-hall, and school-room, and play-ground all in one. Important duties all--and it would be difficult at this period of life to say which is the most important. And the nursery must serve for them all. Therefore let it be the housemaid's first care to open its every window and door as wide as sash-line and hinge will allow, that the sweet morning air may freely enter and take possession ; for it is not sufficient merely to admit the air; it must be courted in, enticed in, wooed to enter and take full and absolute possession, before the coming of its rightful occupants.
But what is air, and in what consists its purity or impurity ? Atmospheric air may briefly be said to consist of three gases in very unequal proportions. In 100 parts 79 will be nitrogen and 21 oxygen, with a very small quantity of carbonic acid-not more than about 5 parts in 10,000. This is its standard condition, and in the preservation or nonpreservation of this condition consists its purity or impurity—its fitness or unfitness for human use. For the present purpose the first constituent may be viewed as simply retaining the others, for the oxygen is that alone which is required by the lungs of an animated creature for the use of the body, and carbonic acid that which they impart in return; oxygen being so essential to animal life that it could not be supported many moments without it-carbonic acid being so inimical to it, that death ensues whenever it exceeds a very small percentage of the air inspired. In every breath we inhale, by night or by day, we extract from the air a quantity of its oxygen ; in every breath we exhale, we give back not only the air inhaled deprived of this oxygen, but charged with a proportionate quantity of carbonic acid. The change induced
breathing makes it at once obvious that it cannot be inspired a second time without loss and injury, and this loss and injury are of course added to every time it is inspired, until it becomes a deadly poison, and life becomes extinct under its influence.
Nothing deteriorates, nothing loses its purifying, revivifying properties so soon as air. Not only is it liable to be rendered impure and unfit for use by its being the common recipient of the waste particles of every surrounding object (and hence the necessity for the systematic, uniform and frequent cleansing of the nursery), but, even when pure, it must be kept in constant motion to continue so. Fill a room with fresh air, shut doors and windows, give it no outlet, and in half an hour it will have deteriorated, and this deterioration will be perceptible to the sense of smell, and will diminish the pleasure and comfort of respiration. Air, to be fit for human lungs, must be less or more in motion, and, to be this, it must be in communication with the great air-ocean outside of our dwellings that bright translucent sea, at the bottom of which we all live, and move, and have our being. But this can be secured by the smallest channel, just as the waters of a lake may be kept fresh by the inlet of the smallest rivulet, with the outlet of the most diminutive sluice. An aperture of an inch wide along a single window will keep sweet and in healthful motion the air of a large room. This principle is generally understood and practically carried out in all house-ventilation. A permanent connexion with the external air is effected by the fireplace and its flue; the air of the room, it is calculated, will rise through the flue, where the atmospheric pressure is least, and the air outside on a level with the room will press through chink of window and door to fill its place. And, under ordinary circumstances, this calculation is sound, and the results satisfactory ; but, in rooms where fires are seldom kept, the air in the flue becomes damp and stagnant,