should suppose he shrank from the bondage of an engagement."
Egotism and love of dominion were also dominant traits of his character, which, along with his love of independence, his almost diseased sensitiveness, and his life-long ill health, enable his biographer to give, in most cases, a consistent view of his life. But, when psychology breaks down, medical science steps in and completes the rational account of this hitherto mysterious man.
Readers of the "Monthly" will remember an article by Dr. Bucknill, in the April number of last year, giving an account of "Dean Swift's disease." We were there told of Ménière's recent discovery of a definite form of disease—labyrinthine vertigo, which is shown by conclusive evidence to have been the "cruel illness" to which Swift so often alludes in his journal and correspondence. From the age of twenty he suffered from this disease, whose characteristic symptoms are, that the patient is suddenly seized with vertigo and a feeling of nausea or positive sickness, with great constitutional depression and faintness.
"This fact," says Stephen, "requires to be remembered in every estimate of Swift's character. His life was passed under a Damocles's sword. . . . The references to his sufferings are frequent in all his writings. It tormented him for days, weeks, and months." Dr. Bucknill says that it was not necessarily connected with the brain disease which ultimately came upon him, but it accounts for the terrible anxiety always in the background, and for much in Swift's gloomy despondency.
We commend the book, as well for its intrinsic charm, as because it dispels a most painful feeling in regard to one of the greatest of men.
Herbert Spencer on American Nervousness: A Scientific Coincidence. By George M. Beard, A. M., M. D. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 17. Price, 50 cents.
The late Dr. Beard, as is well known, has for some years made a professional study of nervous diseases, and has published a book, which was duly noticed in these pages, entitled "American Nervousness." As was natural, writing and publishing much upon the subject, he came to regard himself as a representative man who had made the field very much his own; and, as was equally natural, he grew somewhat sensitive in regard to the recognition of his claims.
The present pamphlet has its origin in this state of feeling. It is put forth as a reclamation of ideas which he regards as belonging to himself, and which have been used, he thinks, without due recognition of this fact. He is of the opinion that Mr. Herbert Spencer was to a very notable extent indebted to him, consciously or unconsciously, for the distinctive ideas of his speech at the late complimentary dinner in New York. Dr. Beard does not accuse Spencer of plagiarism; indeed, he repeatedly disclaims the accusation. Yet he declares that there is a "coincidence," both of thought and language, between what he had published and Mr. Spencer's expressions, that is so remarkable as to justify calling public attention to it by printing the respective statements in parallel columns. There is here, if not an insinuation of plagiarism, at least an oblique imputation of literary indebtedness not acknowledged.
Dr. Beard is at the pains to say that his action in this matter is not entirely of his own motion; he has been influenced in it by others. He remarks: "I have not been the first or only person to notice this parallelism; it has been the subject of independent comment by various individuals. The frequency of these comments led me to make the following detailed comparison." Dr. Beard was here stereo-, both by his own bias and the bad judgment of his friends. There is nothing even remarkable in the similarity of passages quoted, letting alone all questionable implications—nothing more than that vague "coincidence" which is constantly arising when two thinkers happen to be running upon the same track. Dr. Beard puts his most pointed illustration first. He quotes Mr. Spencer as saying: "We have had somewhat too much of the gospel of work. It is time to preach the gospel of relaxation." He then quotes from "American Nervousness," p. 313, his own expression, "The gospel of work must make way for the gospel of rest," and this he offers as a remarkable "coincidence." But certainly no word is more