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warm climate.” Individuals who pass a great portion of their lives in moving from one place to another, usually enjoy robust health. Among savage nations, the wandering tribes are more free from infirmities than those which remain stationary; but, respects the disorders of civilized life, particularly those of a nervous character, the mere travelling from place to place would, in most cases, be un. attended with permanent advantage—the diversion of the mind being the greatest advantage derived from travel, or from a residence in a locality where, in addition to a good climate, there are adequate resources for engaging the attention. Many nervous complaints are, in fact, not unfrequently kept up for a long period by habits, and by the patient's attention being concentrated upon them; any means, therefore, which tend to interrupt the chain of habitual thought, will be most influential in their removal. In many cases, however, the beneficial effects of travelling and mental diversion is but of short duration, in consequence of the prolonged operation of deeply-rooted causes, frequently from an early period of life; hence their intractability under all methods of treatment. The prejudicial results will mostly be found to be proportionate to the undue exercise in youth of certain faculties; while others, whose development would be more conducive to happiness and wellbeing, are either allowed to remain inactive, or their natural tendency to activity is repressed. In proportion, moreover, as individuals are endowed with a greater share of mental capabilities, and with acuteness of feeling, which has not been blunted by the necessity for active exertion, will the want of fit objects, whereon to exercise these capabilities and feelings, be more forcibly experienced. The mind, if not supplied with adequate nourishment, will often prey upon itself, inducing a disordered condition of its powers, or of its bodily functions, which not unfrequently terminate in organic diseases.


One of the most popular authors of the day repeats an opinion which has long been very generally entertained - viz., that there is a greater amount of discontent among the rich classes in England than among those of any other country, which he refers to the circumstance of eager minds being placed in a dull and insipid circle, whence arises the desultory love of travel, for which the English have long been remarkable.”* To this cause were doubtless attributable those disturbances of the public peace, formerly of not uncommon occurrence, and duly chronicled in the police reports, under the heading of “gentlemanly amusements.” In fact, the English are endowed with capabilities of the highest order, and these were never intended to lie fallow; for, as our immortal bard has well said,

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“Sure, He that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That God-like capability and power

To rust in us unused.”
And again,

“ Spirits are not finely touch'd
But to fine issues:t nor nature never lends
The smallest scruple of her excellence,
But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines
Herself the glory of a creditor,
Both thanks and use."

On account of his great capabilities, and also from the nature of the climate, the Englishman makes a bad idler, and can seldom, like the Italian

“Lose and neglect the creeping hours of time;" or exist on the far niente principle, without experiencing in one way or another the prejudicial consequences of a want of occupation. To this eagerness and mental activity, combined with resolution and perseverance, is owing the daring and the spirit of enterprise by which the British are characterised—which have mainly contributed to render them pre-eminently successful in war, foremost in the perfection of arts, science, commerce, and industry, and consequently to raise our country to the high position in the scale of nations which she has occupied during so many centuries. Hence the endowments which have tended to the formation of the national character, and which, when properly cultivated, conduce to individual welfare, but too frequently become, through neglect and misdirection, the occasion of much wretchedness and disease.

* Bulwer Lytton.--England and the English. † For high purposes.-Measure for Measure.

The author of a work of great interest observes upon this point“An honourable and serious object of activity preserves man from idleness and ennui, the source of numerous affective and intellectual disorders. Habits result from it which, excluding frivolous or guilty desires, prevent disappointment, satiety, and insatiability. Without a constant object of activity man is delivered up, body and soul, to external influences, and to the capricious appeal of his nervous organism.

“The more the object of activity is moral and elevated, the more powerful will be the action which it exercises upon the system. If it be a scientific discovery useful to society, all the sensorial and intellectual aptitudes, which may concur towards the realisation of the object, will be particularly solicited and developed in such a manner as to act with increasing energy and facility. If the object of activity be to raise up a family in the world, to adorn it with all the qualities which may cause it to prosper in the paths of virtue and honourable exertion, the care of education, and the solicitude of a profession, will divide the solicitude of the parents. If, on the other hand, the object of activity of a man or woman be the success of a drawing

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room, the attaining a reputation for wit or beauty, or the receiving flattery and homage, the result will be an existence in which the most trifling and inevitable causes will occasion unhappiness and despair.

How many persons are there who voluntarily inflict upon themselves the torments of inaction and the pains of an agitation without an object? There are some at whose feet society complacently lays the power and means of action, the instruction and the encouragement best fitted to direct their activity towards the conquest of an honourable and serious object, and whom their education gives up without pity to all the ennui, all the vicissitudes, all the torments of idleness! They can only avoid the sufferings which oppress them, by abandoning to circumstances, or to their own inclinations, the charge of giving rise to a frivolous and dangerous object of activity. It then happens that they escape for a brief period from the pains of ennui, in order to plunge into the abyss of passions, in which are often swallowed up at the same time fortune, health, honour, and reason. It is thus that a great number of affective and intellectual disorders, which are ascribed by practitioners to the empire of the passions, accuse, beyond these passions and the neglect of education, a cause more distant and more deeply hidden.” *

If this be to a certain extent the case in France, how much more must it not be so in this country, where the causes are more generally operative ?

Most persons who have at all considered the subject in an unprejudiced manner, will I think be disposed to admit, that the methods which have been pursued in the education of a large proportion of the higher and middle classes in the public institutions, are far from being calculated to attain what should be the true objects of education-viz., the due development of the moral qualities, and of the mental faculties, in accordance with that of the bodily powers—but that they have rather had an opposite tendency, by inattention to the cultivation of the moral and religious principle, and by the course of study being mostly restricted to matters in which few young people feel any interest, to the neglect of available and useful information, It is true, that on account of the improved general tone of manners, there are no longer the drinking and gaming bouts, which were of such common occurrence at the universities a few years ago; but what means have ever been taken to check egotism and self-indulgence—the very opposite of the principles inculcated by the divine founder of our religion-or where would there be found a more reckless expenditure, or a more undue deference paid to rank and wealth than at these institutions ? The effects of the system have been but too manifest in numberless instances; young men being led to regard these adventitious advantages as the chief good in life, the natural affections being blunted, if not eradicated, parents being chiefly considered as the source whence may be obtained the means of enjoyment of no very refined kind, the taste for which, subsiding as life advances, has left many satiatedor blasés—and destitute of mental resources, to which they might have had recourse, if, instead of a too exclusive attention to classical lore, an acquaintance with history, various departments of science and arts, modern languages, literature, &c., had been cultivated, which would have enabled them to resist the approaches of ennui, without applying to means of temporary excitement, which enervate body and mind, and rarely fail to induce a corresponding degree of subsequent depression, paving the way for invasion of disease.

* Des Fonctions et Maladies Nerveuses dans leur Rapports avec l'Education. Par le Dr. Cerise.

There are, it is true, exceptions sufficiently numerous to retrieve, in some measure, the character of the English,

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