Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 12.djvu/454

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he admits that more women are employed in the mills than formerly, and that this is most disastrous to the training of children. Some curious figures have been published, showing the weight of children at various years of age in the factory and agricultural districts the comparison being greatly in favor of the latter.

Another cause of deterioration mentioned is that at least one-half of the boys in the mills from twelve to twenty years of age either smoke or chew tobacco, or do both—a habit most prejudicial to the healthy development of the nervous system. It was recently observed by Mr. Mundella that the lad who began at eight years of age in a mine without education, and who was associated with men whose whole ambition was a gallon of beer and a bull-dog, was not likely to grow up to be a Christian and a gentleman. We may add he would be very likely to end his days either in a prison or in a pauper asylum. It is observed in a recent report of the Royal Edinburgh Asylum that "such coal and iron mining counties as Durham and Glamorgan produce, in twice the proportion we do, the most marked and fatal of all the brain-diseases caused by excesses." It may be stated that the relation between crime and insanity, especially weak-mindedness, is one of the most intimate character, both in regard to the people who commit criminal acts and their descendants. Our examination of the mental condition of convicts, and of their physiognomy and cerebral development, has long convinced us that a large number of this class are mentally deficient: sometimes from birth; at other times their mental development being arrested by their wretched bringing up. From the reports of the English convict-prisons generally, it appears that one in every twenty-five of the males is of weak mind, insane, or epileptic, without including those sufficiently insane to be removed to an asylum. The resident surgeon to the general prison of Scotland at Perth (Mr. Thompson) gives a proportion of twelve per cent., founded upon a prison population of 6,000 prisoners.

Having referred to the bearing of the habits of one large portion of the population upon the manufacture of insanity, we pass on to the consideration of the relation between higher grades of modern society and mental disorder. It has been observed in institutions into which private and pauper patients are admitted, that the moral or psychical causes of lunacy are more frequently the occasion of the attack with the former than the latter class. This is not always accounted for—as might have been expected—by there having been less drink-produced insanity among the well-to-do patients; for in the Royal Edinburgh Asylum, where this disparity strongly comes out, there is even a higher percentage of insanity from this cause among the private than the pauper lunatics. The history of the daily mode of life of many members of the Stock Exchange would reveal, in the matter of diet, an amount of alcoholic inhibition in the form of morning "nips," wine at luncheon, and at dinner, difficult to realize by many