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teriously communicating with their souls. The thoughts, if low and debasing, are the promptings of Satan; if pure and elevated, they are the inspirations of God.* In dreaming, a heightened degree of the same phenomenon is observable. We carry on discussions with imaginary opponents, supplying them with the arguments to which we listen, and grant or refuse our assent. In insanity the same peculiarity is often apparent. Sir Henry Holland, in his Chapters on Mental Physiology, mentions a case of mental derangement in which the patient held frequent and excited conversations with himself; in which he sometimes professed to hear the answers given him ; at other times bore both parts himself, but in different tones of voice for each of the persons presumed to be present. Other illustrations may be found to any desired extent in almost any work on medical psychology.
In all these cases, the sense of continuous personal identity, which lies at the root of coherent thought and action, is from some cause or other temporarily disturbed or permanently lost. The power
of attention is either voluntarily unexercised or completely gone, and the mind, abandoning all self-direction, is tossed about like a helmless ship.“ If," says M. Esquirol, “ we notice what passes in the mind of the most sersible of men during a single day, what incoherence shall we notice in his ideas and determinations from the time that he wakes in the morning till he returns to his rest at night! His sensations and ideas have some connection among them only when he arrests his attention, and then only does he reason. The insane no longer enjoy the faculty of fixing their attention, and this is the primitive cause of all their errors.”
* In the introduction to his recent translation of Immanuel Hermann Fichte's Contributions to Mental Philosophy, Mr. Morell has ingeniously applied the doctrine of unconscious mental states to the explanation of the phenomena of spiritualistic possession. “This doctrine, that the regions of intelligence and consciousness are precisely coextensive, has of late years," he says, come into deserved discredit. Sir W. Hamilton many years ago pointed out the fact, that there is a process of latent thought always going forward more or less energetically in the soul. Dr. Carpenter designated the same phenomena under the term unconscious cerebration. Dr. Laycock has brought them under the general category of reflex action, and shown that there is a vast variety of facts both in the man and in the animal which spring distinctly from the reflex action of the brain. Almost all the modern German psychologists, particularly Carus and the Herbartian school, have developed the same doctrine still more at large.” Mr. John Mill and Sir Benjamin Brodie, we may add, testify from their own personal experience to the truth of the doctrine of unconscious mental processes, issuing in the development and solution of difficult problems which they had temporarily laid aside. No doubt this phenomenon of unconscious mental processes is not ultimate, and may itself be referred to very different explanations;-and reasons may be shown for assigning different causes in different cases. We do not mean to deny that there are limits within which we are fully competent to determine what is due to our own mind, and what to foreign influences upon us. But a separate examination is clearly needed in each separate case.
The excessive strain of the faculty of mental concentration is, however, often as dangerous as the absence of it, or its too slight exercise. The stages by which a steady and persistent purpose, or object of contemplation, slides into a fixed idea, and then into monomania, are easily appreciated. They have often been illustrated in the career of those who, beginning as reformers, have soon become fanatics, and have ended as mad
An image or conception absorbing the mind often becomes indistinguishable from a sensible reality. The devil, on the occasion of Luther's throwing the inkstand at him; the saints and angels, and even the holy Trinity, who were revealed to Loyola's ecstatic visions; the Jewish lawgiver, to whom Swedenborg took off his hat in the streets of London,--are so many instances of the subjective becoming objective by being too much dwelt on.
We take an example of a different character, but to the same point, from M. de Boismont's work on Hallucinations :
“A young man (says M. Baudry) occupied himself in planning canals. One day when he had been thinking upon this subject, he marked down on the map the course of the canal which was to pass through his part of the country. All at once he saw a pamphlet in a yellow cover with this title: Plans for cutting a Canal through the Plains of Sologne.' On reading the plans, he found them exactly corresponding with what had been passing through his mind. He read the pamphlet for some minutes, and the opinions it contained confirmed his own; his phantom work then disappeared, and he continued his investigations.
Here we have an example both of that twofold consciousness to which we have referred, and of that tendency to substantiate thoughts into things, which are the most frequent characteristics of insanity in its several forms, and of those passing illusions and delusions which may take place without real mental derangement. To them may be traced back very plausibly the genesis of the devils of Loudun. The nuns were subject to all the conditions which are favourable to hallucination. Their minds were, in all likelihood, little disciplined to active observation, judgment, and comparison, but prone rather to reverie and to those habits of morbid introspection which the life of the religieuse and the practice of confession foster, and which Sir Henry Holland pronounces to be a not unfrequent cause of insanity. The person and character of Urbain Grandier, and afterwards, through the persistence of the priests, the reality of their possession, had become fixed ideas with them. They were a prey
* “ It seems probable that certain cases of madness depend on a cause which can scarcely exist, even in a slight degree, without producing some mental disturbance, viz. the too frequent and earnest direction of the mind inwards upon itself-the concentration of the consciousness too long continued upon its own functions.” Mental Physiology, p. 77.
to hysteria and nervous derangement. Taking these things into account, there is nothing preternatural in their state either of mind or of body.
The resemblance between the so-called spiritualism of our own day, and the demonism to which we have been adverting, is a point which no doubt has struck our readers, but on which we must only very briefly touch. In their origin both superstitions are the same: they both begin as a worship of, or at least a mysterious intercourse with, the dead. The media correspond to the possessed of the earlier delusion. When the superior of the Ursulines states, “My name is Astaroth, and I entered into the body of this maiden through the pact of water," the state of mind indicated in this speech does not essentially differ from that displayed when an American lady sitting in her own drawing-room announces, “My name is Samuel Havens; the Pacific, on board of which I was an engineer, is lost; but I am here.” In both cases there is that duplicity of consciousness, that sense of a twofold personality, which is common in partial and complete insanity. The only difference is, that the demons of the modern spiritualism have not yet become the devils of the mediæval superstition. They are not exclusively powers of evil, ready to enter into compact with bad men for the torture and ruin of the living. Sorcery and exorcism are not yet parts of the modern doctrine of spirits. The temper of the age will probably prevent their ever becoming so; but there is nothing else, nothing in the belief itself, as now professed, to prevent its repeating the history of its prototype. Again, the signs of diabolic possession recognised in the ritual of the Roman Catholic church describe accurately the alleged phenomena of modern possession. They are the reading of the thoughts of bystanders ; knowledge of languages, and power of speaking them (generally ungrammatically); familiarity with the future, and with events of the present time occurring beyond the range of sensible cognition; preternatural physical strength, and the power of suspension in the air for considerable periods of heavy persons and things. The resemblance extends even to the evasions by which palpable falsehoods and failures are explained away. The desire to confirm the sceptical in their unbelief, or the wanton trickery of untruthful spirits, is the unanswerable, if not conclusive, defence in every case of detection.
The limitation of our space compels us to refrain from pursuing this subject any further, and from entering upon the other topics discussed by M. Figuier. We regret this the less because the most interesting of them, namely, the cases of the Jansenist Convulsionnaires, and of the Protestants of the Cevennes, are, however different in detail, yet in the essential pathological phenomena precisely similar to those of the nuns of Loudun. Insensibility and invulnerability,—not complete, it is true, and often far less than was alleged, -and that kind of double consciousness which led the subjects of it to refer their thoughts and impressions to a higher power, mysteriously in contact with and enfolding their own nature,—are common to them and to the unhappy sisters of Loudun. The Convulsionnaires and the Prophets were, like the demoniacs, chiefly women, and facts are quite conclusive as to the cause of their religious frenzy. To use the technical phraseology of medical psychology, erotomania, complicated with theomania and demonomania, is the explanation of their condition, which, on evidence which seems to us most abundant and conclusive, M. Figuier considers established. If we had room, much would require to be added, by way of illustration and qualification, to this general statement. But we must conclude, recommending the reader who is interested in the matter to consult M. Figuier's excellent chapters, and the authorities he cites. We shall look forward with curiosity to the treatment by the same author, in future volumes, of the phenomena of animal magnetism, table-turning, and spirit-rapping.
Horace's Odes, translated into English Verse, with a Life and Notes,
by Theodore Martin. London: J. W. Parker and Son, 1860. When, in our early school-days, we first begin to realise the meaning of the term “ Latin lyrics” in the varieties of Alcaic, Asclepiad, Sapphic, and the other forms of metrical rhythm which are approached through the portal of Mæcenas atavis edite regibus, few, if any, among us can form an adequate conception of the rich reward which is to be the result of the enterprise we are then undertaking. The Odes of Horace will always be found a popular lesson among intelligent schoolboys, from the comparative ease with which their general meaning can be understood and approximately rendered in construing, from their shortness, and from their variety of subject and treatment, and especially from the marked facility of retention in the youthful memory which they gain from the strong ictus of lyrical measure, in comparison with the uniform hexameters or elegiacs of Ovid and Virgil. But it is not until this first easily-gained acquaintance has been insensibly converted into a familiar intimacy, that we can appreciate fairly, either in kind or degree, the permanent
gain and pleasure we derive from a knowledge of Horace. It is only at a maturer age that we begin to translate him, except in the way of an obligatory school-exercise, or to quote him for the sake of the actual point of his lines, and not from the mere vanity of quotation. Most of us are satisfied to abandon as vain the attempt to represent him appropriately in English before we have gone very far; but the habit of quoting him does not decline, but rather strengthens, with our years. The country gentleman, the clergyman, sometimes even the lawyer and the doctor, the political or social writer, the orator and the conversationalist, all draw from the same well instances and illustrations, with the same unlimited confidence in the sympathetic understanding and approbation of whatever moderately cultivated audience they may happen to be addressing. Horace is the classical author whose words are most constantly quoted, and received with the most invariable toleration or acceptance, in the House of Commons, an assembly which, with all its varieties of individual character, literary taste, and education, does as a whole most curiously represent and reflect the intuitively critical fastidiousness of our national common sense and humour.
What is the main reason, or is there any single main reason, for Horace's enduring popularity as a victim of translation and repetition in modern days? How is it that his works, written for a small and select circle of scholarly minds in imperial Rome, should continue to fascinate one poetical aspirant after another, to serve as a perennial garden-bed of ornament to one prosewriter or declaimer after another, beyond an interval of nearly two thousand years? He might say of himself, more truly perhaps than any other Latin poet, not only non omnis moriar, but omnis non moriar. What is it that makes him at once so universal and domestic a favourite, and so recognisedly inimitable and untranslatable ?
Mr. Theodore Martin, the latest, one of the most enthusiastic, and perhaps the most genial and successful, of his English lyrical translators, gives us in the motto which stands at the head of his volume no fresh clue to the secret, while he judiciously admits the fact of the preeminent difficulty of the task he has undertaken. The words of Mr. Tennyson,
“What practice, howsoe'er expert
In fitting aptest words to things,
Hath power to give thee as thou wert?"although the narrowing of their sense from the spirit of regret for the loss of such a friend as the subject of In Memoriam to the admiration which a student feels for the work of the master he is copying may seem to savour of the genius of parody,—are