MY EXPERIENCES IN A LUNATIC ASYLUM Herman Charles Merivale

ISBN:

Published: in 1879.

‘Let us rise and revolt against those people, Lankin. Let us war with
them and smite them utterly. It is to use against these, especially, that
scorn and satire were invented’

‘And the animal you attack,’ says Lankin, ‘is provided with a hide to
defend him—it is a common ordinance of nature’—M. A. Titmarsh


A Part of Book
It’s a mad world, my masters.

I suppose that the motto I have affixed to the first chapter of the brief history of a singular personal experience is

Kindle Edition

70 pages


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MY EXPERIENCES IN A LUNATIC ASYLUM  by  Herman Charles Merivale

MY EXPERIENCES IN A LUNATIC ASYLUM by Herman Charles Merivale
in 1879.

‘Let us rise and revolt against those people, Lankin. Let us war with
them and smite them utterly. It is to use against these, especially, that
scorn and satire were invented’

‘And the animal you attack,’ says Lankin, ‘is provided with a hide to
defend him—it is a common ordinance of nature’—M. A. Titmarsh


A Part of Book
It’s a mad world, my masters.

I suppose that the motto I have affixed to the first chapter of the brief history of a singular personal experience is | Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, RTF | 70 pages | ISBN: | 6.72 Mb

MY EXPERIENCES IN A LUNATIC ASYLUMBY A SANE PATIENT Was Published in 1879.‘Let us rise and revolt against those people, Lankin. Let us war withthem and smite them utterly. It is to use against these, especially, thatscorn and satire were invented’‘MoreMY EXPERIENCES IN A LUNATIC ASYLUMBY A SANE PATIENT Was Published in 1879.‘Let us rise and revolt against those people, Lankin.

Let us war withthem and smite them utterly. It is to use against these, especially, thatscorn and satire were invented’‘And the animal you attack,’ says Lankin, ‘is provided with a hide todefend him—it is a common ordinance of nature’—M. A. TitmarshA Part of BookIt’s a mad world, my masters.I suppose that the motto I have affixed to the first chapter of the brief history of a singular personal experience is by this time an accepted axiom. Was it in one of Mr. Sala’s columns of gossip that I was reading the other day of the man of the pen who commented upon the imprisonment in an asylum of a brother of his craft merely by saying, ‘What a fool he must be!

For years I have been as mad as he, only I took care never to say so’? [Pg 2]There are odd corners in the brains of most of us, filled with queer fancies which are as well kept out of sight- eccentricities, I suppose they may be called. The man who is so ‘concentric’ as to be innocent of peculiarities is a companion of a dull sort.

But Heaven help us all when such things may be called, and treated as, madness. For, if all of us were used according to our deserts in that way, who should escape the modern substitutes for whipping? England would not contain the asylums that should be constructed, and might go far to deserve the Gravedigger’s description of her for Hamlet’s benefit: ‘There the men are as mad as he.’ Let me go a step further. There are few of us, perhaps, who have not seen something in our lives of the strange nervous disorders which have been generalised as ‘hypochondria,’ which are, in fact, I think, the different outcomes of a common affection—temporary exhaustion of brain.

Beyond a [Pg 3]certain point it becomes delirium, the wandering of weakness which is so closely connected with many forms of illness, both in the beginning and during the course and recovery. When the victims of delirium may be added to the eccentric members of society- when at any moment the certificates of any two doctors who may be utter strangers to the patient—acting under the instructions of friends who are frightened and perplexed, perhaps, and try to believe that they are ‘doing for the best’ (I leave out of consideration here the baser motives which, it is to be feared, come sometimes into play)—may condemn him to the worst form of false imprisonment, the death-in-life of a lunatic asylum, at a time when he is himself practically unconscious-—who is there amongst us who can for a moment believe himself safe?

Death-in-life did I say? It is worse- for it is a life-in-life, worse than any conceivable form of death. The sights [Pg 4]and sounds through which one has to live can never be forgotten by him who has lived through them, but will haunt him ever and always. Never let next friends persuade themselves that they are ‘doing for the best’ for him for whom they so do. For themselves they may think that they are. For him they cannot possibly do worse. Every nerve should be strained to save a man from that fate, if it be humanly possible, ay, even if he be mad indeed- for while there is life there is hope, till that step has been taken.

When it has, I verily believe that hope is reduced to its smallest. For the personal experience which I have to tell has taught me this: that the man who comes sane and safe out of the hands of mad-doctors and warders, with all the wonderful network of complications which, by Commissioners, certificates, and Heaven knows what, our law has woven round the unlucky victim in the worst of all its various aberrations, is very sane in



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