Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 17.djvu/103

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out, then would think she was suffocating, would open the windows and put on a light dress. . . . She ceased to conceal her contempt for any thing or any person, and frequently assumed to express singular opinions—condemning what is approved, and approving wrong or immoral things. Must this misery last always? Will she never escape it? Yet she was worth as much as those who lived happily, and she execrated the injustice of God. She rested her head on the walls to cry. She envied those who led tumultuous existences, and longed for nights of masking and insolent pleasures with all the distractions she knew nothing of and which they could give. . . . She grew pale and had beatings of the heart. . . . On some days she would indulge in a feverish profusion of boasting. . . . To these indulgences succeeded immediately spells of torpor in which she would rest without speaking, without stirring. She bought a Gothic prie-Dieu, and spent fourteen francs in one month for lemons to clean her nails. She selected the handsomest of his scarfs from Lheureux's, tied it over her wrapper, and, having closed the shutters, lay in this garb upon the sofa with a book in her hand. She thought she would learn Italian, and bought dictionaries, a grammar, and white paper. She tried serious reading, history, philosophy. . . . She had fits when she could be readily pushed to extravagances. She insisted one day to her husband that she could drink half a glass of brandy, and, when Charles was foolish enough to challenge her to do it, she swallowed the brandy to the last drop."

We seem to be far away from the demoniacs, but we are not. We can observe all the transitions between light hysteria like that of Madame Bovary and grave hysteria like that of the patients in the Salpêtrière. All the symptoms of the light form exist likewise in the grave form, but they are stronger and more durable. We need not return to them. Other symptoms, special to grave hysteria and serving to characterize it, are anæsthesia, total or partial, convulsive attacks, and delirium.


"WHAT is the good of a knowledge of microscopic creatures? What is the good of prying into the anatomy of insects? It is all very well as an amusement, but serious persons can not be expected to assent to the devotion of endowments or state funds to such trivial purposes. Chemistry, geology, electricity, if you please, have their solid commercial value, but biology is an amusement for children and old gentlemen." Such is the opinion of many a "practical man," ignorant and short-sighted as the genus invariably proves itself.