« PredošláPokračovať »
become objects of tedium and disgust, and neither religious nor secular knowledge is attained. No one can have read this treatise without observing that religious education, or, what is the same thing, education on a religious basis, is strenuously advocated in it; only a different mode, and a different order of inculcation are recommended, because of the signal failure of the prevailing method. While, in the order proposed, secular education precedes the inculcation of Revelation, it cannot be said by the most scrupulous that it excludes it. By secular education the pupil is introduced to the God of Nature. He desiderates a Creator as the author of the wonders unfolded to him in creation, and, as it were, discovers him in his works. Thus prepared, he proceeds to find that the God of Nature is the God of Revelation. Is it wise to reverse this order? Is it not impious to exclude one-half of it ?",
At page 254, Mr Simpson does injustice to Dr Bell, as the inventor of the monitorial system of education, or method of mutual instruction. He represents Joseph Lancaster as the original discoverer of that system ; and states that the English churchmen, alarmed by the progress which the dissenters were making with it in educating the people, hastily brought home Dr Bell from India, identified him with the new method, established national schools in accordance with it, and refused to acknowledge Lancaster as its inventor. Now, the fact is, that Dr Bell invented the system towards the end of last century, in India, where he practised it for years with the most gratifying success. He returned to Europe in 1797, and published in that year a full account of his method, in a pamphlet entitled, “An Experiment in Education, made at the Male Asylum of Madras; suggesting a system by which a school or family may teach itself under the superintendence of the master or parent." In 1798, the system was successfully introduced into various seminaries in England, particularly the charity school of St Botolph, Aldgate, and the Kendal schools of industry. It was not till 1803 that Joseph Lancaster first appeared before the public. In the pamphlet which he then published, called, “ Improvements in Education," &c. he states that his school was begun in the year 1798, that “ during several years" he failed in every attempt “ to introduce a better system of tuition” than the common one, and that afterwards “ the internal organization of the school was gradually and materially altered for the better." In his third edition, he admits that when he opened school in 1798, he“ knew of no modes of tuition but those usually in practice.” His first edition contains a fair acknowledgment of the priority of Dr Bell's discovery, in the following words:"I ought not to close my account without acknowledging the obligation I lie under to Dr Bell, of the Male Asylum at Madras,
who so nobly gave up his time and liberal salary, that he might perfect that institution, which flourished greatly under his fostering care. He published a tract in 1798, [the true date is 1797), entitled, An Experiment in Education,' &c. From this publication I have adopted several useful hints. I beg leave to recommend it to the attentive perusal of the friends of education and youth." In the second edition of Lancaster's book, this farther acknowledgment was added :-“ Dr Bell was fully sensible of the waste of time in schools, and his method to remedy the evil was crowned with complete success. I have been endeavouring to walk in his footsteps in the method about to be detailed ;” p. 78. It was only when his school attracted a high degree of public attention, that Lancaster claimed the merit of having invented the system of mutual instruction ; and at length, he went so far as to write, in the Morning Post of 4th September 1811, “I stand forward before the public, at the bar of mankind, to the present and for future ages, avowing myself the inventor of the British or Royal Lancasterian system.” Dr Bell, then, was undoubtedly the sole inventor of the monitorial system; but Lancaster, who “walked in his footsteps,” bad certainly the great merit of introducing it generally into practice. Dr Bell, however, had been residing in England for years, when he was called on by the churchmen to assist them in establishing schools to compete with those of Lancaster.
Mr Simpson has appended to his work " Hints on the necessity of a change of principle in our Legislation for the efficient protection of Society from Crime ;"_“ Observations on the degree of Knowledge yet applied to the investigation of Insanity in Trials for Crime, chiefly Violence and Homicide ;"_" Extract from Report of the Edinburgh Infant School Society;"“ Summary of the Proceedings of the Edinburgh Association for procuring Instruction in useful and entertaining Science ;” and several other documents, -all containing much interesting and instructive matter. Our limits, however, are now exhausted, so that the appendix, like much of what is contained in the body of the treatise, must be passed over in silence. We anticipate the best effects to the cause of education from Mr Simpson's work. Independently of other merits, the animated and popular style in which it is written, will go far to ensure a wide circulation. The extracts given above will so fully enable the reader to judge of its merits that they render quite unnecessary any farther expression of our own opinion.
PAUPER LUNATIC ASYLUM AT HANWELI, NEAR LONDON
The principles acted on at the Asylum at Hanwell are nearly these :
1. It is the conviction of its active, intelligent, and truly benevolent superintendent Dr Ellis, that insanity is almost always a partial, not a total, aberration of reason :—and, consequently, that in all cases alleviation, and in many cure, may be effected by temperately, yet steadily, exercising the sane faculties, and soothing the insane to repose.
2. He is therefore very careful so to arrange and distribute his patients, that those may not be together whose weaknesses are likely to conflict, at the same time that all enjoy the benefit of company and society. To this latter condition he attaches extreme value; attributing the small number of cures effected in the higher circles almost entirely to the seclusion in which such patients are usually kept. And his greatest ambition, he says, is to be able to bring this principle so far into evidence, as to see a similar institution to that which he conducts founded for the upper ranks, surrounded with all the luxury and indulgence to which they are accustomed, and with the necessary restraint as much as possible unseen and unfelt.
3. In classifying his patients, Dr Ellis professes to be much assisted by studying the minute indications of character furnished by the modern science of Phrenology, in which he 'implicitly believes; and whatever may be thought of this guide in the abstract, his tact at least seems unerring, for he has few quarrels, and in twenty years has had no accident. It is obvious, however, that this is not so much a principle as a mere method,-a means by which he attains, or supposes that he attains, a particular end.
4. He is next careful constantly to occupy his patients' minds by light, useful labour, in the open air as much as possible, and otherwise in warm but well ventilated apartments. It is a remarkable gleam of sanity which appears in all, that they will tolerate, and even court, work which appears to them useful, but no other; and Dr Ellis finds a medical benefit in indulging
• Extracted from the Atheneum of 3d May 1834, by the editor of which the following note is prefixed :-“ We are indebted for the following interesting paper to a friend, who was led accidentally the other day to visit this asylum ; and who is anxious to give publicity to the system of management observed in it, and the admirable results of that system.” We have ascertained the name of the writer,- but shall merely state, that he is a man of science, and a Professor in an English University.
this preference, as strengthening in their estimation the tie which yet connects them with the sane and usefully employed world.
5. For the same reason he encourages them to undertake long consecutive tasks, that their minds may be occupied steadily, for at least some days, with the same object. The acquisition and practice of a trade he thus finds eminently beneficial, provided that neither is urged too fast or far, beyond the strength of mind of the patient set to them.
6. His last rule is undeviating kindness, and even affectionate familiarity of manner towards them :--on which head, however, his difficulties are infinite with the sane part of his establishment. He complains much of a hard-hearted abruptness and unkindness, which seem, in this country and district particularly, to pervade the minds even of those, otherwise gentle enough, when they are brought in contact with patients of this description; the effect of which, on those recovering, is especially disadvantageous. They are extremely jealous of indignity or contempt.
Such are the leading principles on which this admirable Institution is conducted, and I must say, that in all my experi
. ence, I have never seen more interesting or affecting results brought out. The number of patients approaches to six hundred, for whose efficient guard, protection, and service, about forty sane servants, of all kinds, are sufficient, At the head of every department of work in the house, whether cooking, baking, brewing, washing, carpentering, shoemaking, tailoring, strawhat making, bricklaying, gardening, dairying, or what it may, one of these sane individuals is placed ; but the labourers under them are all patients. About sixty acres of ground are annexed to the premises, over wbich these poor creatures are thus distributed. The fences are by no means everywhere secure, yet no attempt is made to escape. And the affectionate attachment of all to Dr Ellis, and, if possible, even more obviously, to his admirable wife, appears unbounded; it is, indeed, almost distress
; ing, for in some of the worst cases it is more like the affection of a brute than of a human being, and is, in truth, no more.
Lords Jersey, Howe, Chichester, and other gentlemen about the Court, bave visited the establishment with feelings similar to mine, (as appears from their observations written in the visitors book), and it has been intimated, in consequence, that their Majesties will shortly examine it. A very celebrated lady also, (on such an occasion, I think I may name her-I mean Miss Martineau),—who was in the same party with myself the other day, has since returned alone, and passed a whole day in it, that she might study it at leisure, and undisturbed *. I mention these
This lady has published in Tait's Edinburgh Magazine for June 1834, a very interesting account of her observations at Hanwell; with some excel
circumstances partly to prove, that I have not been unduly excited by what I saw,--partly to show that there is nothing painful or oppressive in its examination, but, on the contrary, much that is delightful, while it is improving. How is it that it is generally so little known, or talked of? There is no difficulty, I believe, in obtaining admission: it is only wished that parties going should not be numerous or imposing, otherwise the patients are agitated by their presence!
A few anecdotes may, however, further illustrate the kind of reflections which a visit to this place excites. One poor woman whom we saw working in the garden, was ten years in chains, furiously mad. She has been only fifteen months here, never in chains, and now under as little restraint as the others. Her delight is the garden ; and she fancies that she has almost the exclusive charge of it. Another woman was fifteen years in the strictest confinement, and has been two years here. We saw her occupied in the pleasure-grounds; and her delight on seeing Mrs Ellis, who accompanied us, was ecstatic. She kissed her hand, leaped about and around her, shewed what she was engaged in, and so forth, with a glee which seemed infantine, but was neither offensive nor alarming. The man who shot Mr Mellish last year, and who was acquitted on the ground of insanity, is also here. He came moody and dissatisfied, az fancying that he had cause for his act, and was therefore ill-treated; but he is now comparatively cheerful and contented, working, by his own desire, among the shoemakers, where we saw him. Lastly, a lady of fortune has been treated for the last eighteen months, as much as possible, in a private house, on Dr Ellis's system, after having been many years in the strictest confinement, even to a strait-waistcoat. She now goes out in her carriage without a keeper; and so much is her intellect strengthened by being judiciously appealed to whenever possible, that when consulted, at the beginning of last winter, as to the prudence of dispensing with a guard to her fire, her reply was, that she hoped it was not necessary, yet, as a measure of precaution, she would recommend its adoption.
The great majority of cases have been preceded by habits of vicious indulgence, especially intemperance and violent passion. This deplorable malady is also a frequent termination of the unhappy fate of women of the town, especially when their maternal, as well as other affections, have been severely lacerated. The majority of cases here it is the Pauper Asylum) are among the uneducated ; but this is not, I believe, a general fact. lent remarks on the irrational treatment generally received by the insane, and the hurtful prejudices which prevail in society on the subject of mental derangement. The article is wriiten in a most pleasing strain of philanthropy, and doubtless will powerfully aid in rousing the public from their apathy and ignorance.- ED. P. J.