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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

armor-bearer to hold his sword that he might plunge upon it; Samson, for the sake of being revenged upon his enemies, pulled down the house in which they were reveling and "died with them"; and Judas Iscariot, after selling the Saviour for thirty pieces of silver, was overcome by remorse "and went and hanged himself." The examples quoted from ancient history show that the deed was the result of Stoic philosophy, and those from the Bible show motives sufficient for the act, and in all must we discard the theory of insanity.

To come down to our own times, we may take, for example, the case of Benjamin Hunter, the Camden murderer. For four or five days before his execution he made a practice of sitting over the prison register, with his legs covered by a blanket, and, under the pretense that they were cold, kept rubbing them with his hands, leading those who saw him to believe that he did so only for the purpose of increasing their warmth by restoring the circulation through them. Upon the night preceding the execution he managed to secrete a basin in which he placed his feet, and after cutting through the vessels with a piece of sharpened tin he commenced the process of rubbing, and was actually forcing out his life with every movement when his appearance attracted the attention of the keeper. His object had almost been gained, and, under the circumstances, can we say that it was an insane one? He was a proud man, who dreaded the disgrace of a public execution; he also possessed in a marked degree the desire to cheat the law of its deserts, which is a characteristic tendency of the criminal mind; in one constituted and situated as he was there were sufficient reasons to account for the attempt, and, instead of its being the act of a madman it was merely the effort of a determined will to accomplish a desired end. Cases innumerable might be cited, did space permit, where persons of undoubted sanity have committed suicide for the purpose of escaping suffering, punishment, or disgrace. In fact, a great many of the suicides of which we daily read, probably the majority, can not be considered due to cerebral disease, but must be looked upon rather as the result of social laws, combined with false training and education.

"Is suicide ever justifiable?" is another mooted question, and many writers have answered it in the affirmative. Epictetus, Zeno, Pliny, Seneca, and Plutarch were its advocates. Hume, in his "Essay on Suicide," says: "It would be no crime for me to divert the Nile or Danube from its course if I could; where, then, is the crime of turning a few ounces of blood out of its natural channels?" Rousseau taught, "To seek one's own good and avoid one's own harm in that which hurts not another, is the law of Nature." Budgel believed that, "when life becomes uneasy to support, and is overwhelmed with clouds and sorrows, man has a