mainly, if not entirely, of an emotional origin. There can be no doubt that this is the fact, because not less than three fifths of those who consult me in the earlier stages recover without any other treatment than a careful abstaining from whatever excites undue emotions in the subject of the distortion." My quotations were made from memory, and I regret that this error occurred, as the distinction is an important one.
If you will kindly give me room for this correction in your columns, you will oblige,
|Yours very truly,|
|Mary Taylor Bissell, M.D.|
|New York, March 5, 1888.|
IN the present number of the "Monthly" will be found the concluding article of the very interesting and valuable series contributed to our columns by the Hon. David A. Wells. The subject which this able and well-equipped writer has so amply discussed is one, it is almost superfluous to say, of the very highest importance. The condition of the body politic is a matter to which no one with the slightest pretensions to intelligence can allow himself to be indifferent. Is it well with us, or is it ill with us, in the social state?—surely that is a question which none but the ignorant or the frivolous can regard as other than most momentous. In discussing "economic disturbances" Mr. Wells has had this question constantly in view. He has written not as a mere statistician, or as a devotee of the market, but as a statesman, as a patriot, as a friend of humanity. Our readers can not have failed to notice the large spirit of humanity that breathes through his articles. We venture to say that no similar series of articles was ever produced more free from national prejudice or the spirit of national selfishness. Mr. Wells has watched, and has interested himself in, the whole movement of civilization; and he has the happy art of communicating to his readers a similar enlargement of thought and sympathy. In the earlier articles of the series attention was called to the universality, among the more advanced nations of the globe, of a condition of economic disturbance dating from about the year 1873, and continuing, with more or less of fluctuation, to our own day. The evidence offered as to the reality of the phenomenon is, in the fullest sense, demonstrative; indeed, the leading economists of all countries are fully agreed as to the fact; divergence of opinion only begins with the discussions of the cause or causes. Without wishing to participate in the discussion ourselves, we must express our conviction that, in singling out as the great cause of the prolonged crisis under consideration the rapidity with which modes and conditions of production and transportation have changed during the last fifteen years, our contributor is essentially in the right. The picture he has drawn of the fluctuations in special trades, including displacements of labor, consequent upon the progress of invention and discovery, is striking and powerful; and it is not a matter of surprise that, when attention is concentrated upon this picture, a very gloomy forecast is apt to be formed of the immediate future of society. With displacement of labor, we see destruction of capital, financial uncertainty, and a growing feeling, on the part both of employers and employed, that they are the sport of forces that can neither be controlled nor calculated. No sooner is equilibrium partially restored, through a dearly-purchased adaptation to new conditions, than some further discovery comes to throw everything once more into confusion; nor does any one know the moment when our