fruits of our dominant, high-pressure, machine system of culture that the mass of teachers and of education journals pooh-pooh the notion of overwork in school.
It is not to be expected that all teachers will be physicians, but it is a part, and a most essential part, of their business to inform themselves with some thoroughness in regard to the mechanism, normal workings, laws of endurance, and morbid indications, of the nervous system. They should read so widely and carefully upon this subject as to induce caution, and not become the heedless instruments of an inexorable policy, that takes no account of physiological circumstances, hereditary defects, abnormal temperaments, constitutional dullness or precocity, and various other conditions that ought often to qualify school-room management. Familiarity with such subjects would go far to protect from rash judgments and the various evils that are liable to follow. Parents are often greatly to blame in this matter, but teachers ought to be qualified intelligently to withstand the interferences that are due to parental ignorance and vanity.
The first number of Brain contains the description of a case, by Dr. A. Hughes Bennett, which, although it was so obscure as to baffle the physicians, is yet well calculated to enforce the cautious reserve we have insisted on, and the necessity of greater general familiarity with this class of facts. A tall, full-grown, well-developed, healthy looking young woman, aged sixteen, consulted the doctor in 1876, complaining of blindness, deafness, and loss of power in her lower extremities. She had not a very good reputation, that is, she had always been a very "naughty child," who took special delight in annoying and playing malicious tricks on her companions. She had a reputation for willfulness, cunning, and bad temper, though she could make herself amiable and agreeable when she pleased. In school her behavior was characterized by indiscretions, lack of modesty customary in persons of her position in society, and general misconduct, and from one school she was expelled. She pretended to become suddenly blind, but, as this was immediately after correction for mutinous conduct, the schoolmistress thought she was malingering, or feigning illness. She declared herself deaf, but it was found that she could hear; she asserted that she had lost the power in her lower limbs, and could not walk, which was supposed to indicate her desire to avoid the daily walks which she disliked. She had nervous attacks, and shouted, laughed, and threw herself about, striking the nurse. Physicians were consulted, who said nothing ailed her but hysterics, and ordered her to be placed under strict "moral control." Dr. Bennett ascertained that her father was of excitable temperament and had had several attacks of mania. Her mother died when she was an infant, and nothing was ascertained concerning her health, but an aunt was said to be of unstable mind. Her sisters were all nervous and hysterical, and one of her brothers seemed to inherit her father's mental disposition. She consulted Dr. Bennett April 1st, but grew worse, becoming fitfully blind, deaf, unable to walk, restless and excited; wandering, delirium, and wild raving followed, and she at length became suddenly comatose, and died on the morning of May 1st. Dr. Bennett had the greatest difficulty in obtaining an autopsy, but on opening the brain a tumor was found in the right cerebral hemisphere, about the size and shape of a hen's-egg. The cause of the intermittent blindness, deafness, muscular feebleness, and various other derangements, was now apparent. As the tumor had been growing, probably, for years, pressure was exerted upon the surrounding parts, the circulation was impeded, the nervous connections disturbed, and the disorganization of cerebral structure and functions produced insanity of conduct. It is in the high-