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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/841

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THE SELF AND ITS DERANGEMENTS.

I have already alluded to the fact that Ansel Bourne early in life suffered a sudden loss of sight, hearing, and speech, and as suddenly regained them; and in the case of Félida I also alluded to her hysterical condition and to her third state. Now, all these phenomena from the purely psychological point of view belong under the same category. The sudden splitting off from the true Ansel Bourne of a mass of states and tendencies which took a new name and called themselves a new person is precisely analogous to the equally sudden splitting off from Ansel Bourne's consciousness of his powers of sight, hearing, and speech. In my first three papers I have developed at length the conception of consciousness as a co-ordinated system capable of greater or less dissolution or disordination without the destruction of its component elements. These two cases are illustrations in point. In both the period of complete disordination or "unconsciousness" was very brief and was followed by a recombination of the elements which had formerly constituted a personality into a dist nctly new system, which in one case assumed a new name. In Félida's third state we have a third recombination of some of these elements, but it is apparently very imperfect, for it is accompanied by hallucinations, and hallucinations depend in large measure upon defective coordination. In the case of A. J. Brown the new system seemed relatively quite stable, for it was evoked three years afterward by simply disordinating Mr. Bourne's consciousness. Yet in its later occurrences it appeared to be disintegrating.

I have spent a good deal of time upon these three cases because their relative simplicity, their similarity, and the care with which they have been observed make it easy to form a conception of the way in which the successive states were related to one another. The next which I shall take up does not differ from these in kind, but is much more complex. In it we see the patient's memory-store split into at least five groups, among which the use of his sense organs and muscles is repartitioned in a most curious manner, while his character presents in each state certain distinctive traits.

Louis V—— was born in Paris, February 12, 1863, of a dissolute and hysterical mother and an unknown father. Even in his early childhood he was hysterical, had hæmorrhages from the stomach and transient paralyses. His mother maltreated him, and he became a vagabond. At eight years and a half he was committed to the house of correction at Saint-Urbain. His health was fairly good until March 23, 1877, when he was frightened by a viper, which wound itself around his arm while he was gathering wood. That night he had a violent attack of convulsions; when they passed away, his lower limbs seemed permanently paralyzed. His character was gentle and timid. Three years later he was