Popular Science Monthly/Volume 34/March 1889/New Chapters in the Warfare of Science: Medicine II
|NEW CHAPTERS IN THE WARFARE OF SCIENCE.|
FORMERLY PRESIDENT OF CORNELL UNIVERSITY.
"DEMONIACAL POSSESSION" AND INSANITY.
IN the foregoing chapter we have seen the culmination of the old procedure regarding insanity, as it was developed under theology and enforced by ecclesiasticism; and we have noted how, under the influence of Luther and Calvin, the Reformation rather deepened than weakened the faith in the malice and power of a personal devil. Nor was this in the reformed churches, any more than in the old, mere matter of theory. As, in the early centuries of Christianity, it was to their power over the enemy of mankind in the bodies of men that the priests of the new faith especially appealed in proof of its divine origin and nature, so now the clergy of the rival creeds eagerly sought opportunities to establish the truth of their own doctrines and the falsehood of their opponents' by the visible casting out of devils. True, their methods somewhat differed: where the Catholic used holy water and consecrated wax, the Protestant was content with texts of Scripture and importunate prayer; but the supplementary physical annoyance of the indwelling demon did not greatly vary. Sharp was the competition for the unhappy objects of treatment. Each side, of course, stoutly denied all efficacy to its adversaries' efforts, urging that any seeming victory over Satan was due not to the defeat but to the collusion of the fiend. As, according to the Master himself, "no man can by Beelzebub cast out devils," the patient was now in greater need of relief than before; and more than one poor victim had to bear alternately Lutheran, Romish, and perhaps Calvinistic exorcism.
But far more serious in its consequences was another rivalry to which in the sixteenth century the clergy of all creeds found themselves subject. The revival of the science of medicine, under the impulse of the new study of antiquity, suddenly bade fair to take out of the hands of the Church the profession of which she had enjoyed so long and so profitable a monopoly. Only one class of diseases remained unquestionably hers—those which were still admitted to be due to the direct personal interference of Satan—and foremost among these was insanity, It was surely no wonder that an age of religious controversy and excitement should have been exceptionally prolific in ailments of the mind; and to men who mutually taught the utter futility of that baptismal exorcism by which the babes of their misguided neighbors were made to renounce the Devil and his works, it ought not to have seemed strange that his victims now became more numerous. But so simple an explanation did not satisfy these physicians of souls, or, rather, they devised a simpler one: their patients, they alleged, were bewitched, and their increase was due to the growing numbers of those human allies of Satan known as witches.
Already, before the close of the fifteenth century. Pope Innocent VIII had issued the startling bull by which he called on the archbishops, bishops, and other clergy of Germany to join hands with his inquisitors in rooting out these willing bond-servants of Satan, who were said to swarm throughout all that country, and to revel in the blackest crimes. A half-dozen popes had since reiterated the appeal; and, though none of these documents touched on the blame of witchcraft for diabolic possession, the inquisitors charged with their execution pointed it out most clearly in their infamous hand-book, the "Witch-Hammer," and prescribed the special means by which possession thus caused should be met. These teachings took firm root in religious minds everywhere; and, during the great age of witch-burning that followed the Reformation—when, in Germany alone, according to the most moderate estimate, there perished within a single century (1550–1650) by an excruciating death, for this imaginary crime, not less than a hundred thousand human lives—it may well be doubted whether any single cause so often gave rise to an outbreak of the persecution as the alleged bewitchment of some poor mad or foolish or hysterical creature. The persecution thus once under way, it fed itself; for, under the terrible doctrine of "excepted cases," by which in the religious crimes of heresy and witchcraft there was no limit to the use of torture, the witch was forced to confess to accomplices, who in turn accused others, and so on to the end of the chapter.
The horrors of such a persecution, with the consciousness of an ever-present devil it breathed and the panic terror of him it inspired, could not but itself increase the insanity it claimed to avenge. Well-authenticated, though rarer than is often believed, were the cases where crazed women voluntarily accused themselves of the impossible crime; and one of the most eminent authorities on diseases of the mind declares that among the unfortunate beings who were put to death for witchcraft he recognizes well-marked victims of cerebral disorders; while an equally eminent authority in Germany tells us that, in a most careful study of the original records of their trials by torture, he has often found their answers and recorded conversations exactly like those familiar to him in our modern lunatic asylums, and names some forms of insanity which constantly and unmistakably appear among those who suffered for criminal dealings with the Devil.
The result of this wide-spread terror was naturally a steady increase in mental disorders. A great modern authority tells us that, although modern civilization tends to increase insanity, the number of lunatics at present is far less than in those ages of faith and in the Reformation period. The treatment of the "possessed," as we find it laid down in standard treatises, sanctioned by orthodox churchmen and jurists, accounts for this abundantly. One sort of treatment used for those accused of witchcraft will also serve to show this—the "tortura insomniæ." Of all things in brain-disease, calm and regular sleep is most certainly beneficial; yet, under his practice, these half-crazed creatures were prevented, night after night and day after day, from sleeping or even resting. In this way temporary delusion became chronic insanity, mild cases violent, torture and death ensued, and the "ways of God to man" were justified.
But the most contemptible creatures in all those centuries were the physicians who took sides with religious orthodoxy. While we have on the side of truth a Flade sacrificing his life, a Loos his hopes of preferment, a Bekker his position, and a Thomasius his ease, reputation, and friends, we find, as allies of the other side, a troop of eminently respectable doctors mixing Scripture, metaphysics, and pretended observations to support the "safe side" and to deprecate interference with the existing superstition, which seemed to them "a very safe belief to be held by the common people."
Against one form of insanity both religions were especially cruel. Nothing is more common in all times of religious excitement than strange personal hallucinations, involving the belief, on the part of the insane patient, that he is a divine person: in the most striking representation of insanity that has ever been made, Kaulbach shows, at the center of his wonderful group, a patient drawing attention to himself as the Saviour of the world.Sometimes, when this form of disease took a milder hysterical character, the subject of it was treated with reverence, and even elevated to sainthood: such examples as St. Francis of Assisi and St. Catherine of Siena in Italy, St. Bridget in Sweden, St. Theresa in Spain, St. Mary Alacoque in France, and Louise Lateau in Belgium, are typical. But more frequently such cases shocked public feeling, and were treated with especial rigor: typical of this is the case of Simon Marin, who in his insanity believed himself to be the Son of God, and was on that account burned alive at Paris and his ashes scattered to the winds.
The profundity of theologians and jurists constantly developed new theories as to the modes of diabolic entrance into the "possessed." One such theory was that Satan could be taken into the mouth with one's food—perhaps in the form of an insect swallowed on a leaf of salad. Another theory was that Satan entered the body when the mouth was opened to breathe, and there are well-authenticated cases of doctors and divines who, when casting out evil spirits, took especial care lest the imp might jump into their own mouths from the mouth of the patient. Another theory was that the devil entered human beings during sleep; and, at a comparatively recent period, the King of Spain was wont to sleep between two monks, to keep off the devil.
The monasteries were frequent sources of that form of mental disease which was supposed to be caused by bewitchment. From the earliest period it is evident that monastic life tended to develop insanity. Such cases as those of St. Anthony and St. Augustine are typical of its effects upon the strongest minds; but it was especially the convents for women that became the great breeding-beds of this disease. Among the large numbers of women and girls thus assembled, many of them forced into confinement against their will, for the reason that their families could give them no dower, subjected to the unsatisfied longings, suspicions, bickerings, petty jealousies, envies, and hatreds, so notorious in convent-life, mental disease was not unlikely to be developed at any moment. Hysterical excitement in nunneries took shapes sometimes comical, but more generally tragical. Noteworthy is it that the last places where executions for witchcraft took place were mainly in the neighborhood of great nunneries, and the last famous victim—of the hundreds of thousands executed in Germany for this imaginary crime—was Sister Anna Renata Sänger, sub-prioress of a nunnery near Würzburg.
The same thing was seen among young women exposed to sundry fanatical Protestant preachers: insanity, both temporary and permanent, was thus frequently developed among the Huguenots of France, and has been thus produced in America, from the days of the Salem persecution down to the "camp-meetings" of the present time.
At various times, from the days of St. Agobard of Lyons through the Reformation period, protests had been made by thoughtful men against this system. Medicine had made some advance toward a better view, but the theological torrent had generally overwhelmed all who supported a scientific treatment. At last, toward the end of the sixteenth century, two men made a beginning of a much more serious attack upon this venerable superstition. The revival of learning and the impulse to thought on material matters given during the "age of discovery" undoubtedly produced an atmosphere which made the work of these men possible. In the year 1563, in the midst of demonstrations of demoniacal possession by the most eminent theologians and judges—who sat in their robes and looked wise, while women, shrieking, praying, and blaspheming, were put to the torture—a man arose who dared to protest effectively that some of the persons thus charged might be simply insane, and this man was John Wier, of Cleves.
His protest does not at this day strike us as particularly bold. In his books, "De Prestigiis Dæmonum" and "De Lamiis," he did his best not to offend religious or theological susceptibilities, but he felt obliged to tell certain truths, to call attention to the mingled fraud and delusion of those who claimed to be bewitched, and to point out that it was often not their accusers but the alleged witches themselves who were really ailing, and he urged that these be brought first of all to a physician.
His book was at once attacked by the most eminent theologians. One of the greatest men of genius of his time, John Bodin, also wrote with especial power against it, and by a plentiful use of Scriptural texts gained, to all appearance, a complete victory: superstition seemed fastened upon Europe for a thousand years more. But skepticism was in the air, and, about a quarter of a century after the publication of Wier's book, there were published in France the essays of a man, by no means so noble, but of far greater genius—Michel de Montaigne. The general skepticism which his work promoted among the French people did much to strengthen an atmosphere in which the belief in witchcraft and demoniacal possession must inevitably wither. But this process, though real, was hidden, and the victory still seemed on the theological side.
The development of the new truth and its struggle against the old error still went on. In Holland, Balthazar Bekker wrote his book against the worst forms of the superstition, and attempted to help the scientific side by a text from the Second Epistle of St. Peter, showing that the devils had been confined by the Almighty, and therefore could not be doing on earth the work which was imputed to them. But Bekker's Protestant brethren drove him from his pulpit, and he narrowly escaped with his life.
The last struggles of a great superstition are very frequently the worst. So it proved in this case. In the first half of the seventeenth century the cruelties arising from the old doctrine were more numerous and severe than ever before. In Spain, Sweden, Italy, and, above all, in Germany, we see constant efforts to suppress the evolution of the new truth.
But, in the midst of all this reactionary rage, glimpses of right reason began to appear. It is significant that at this very time, when the old superstition was apparently everywhere triumphant, the declaration by Poulet that he and his brother and his cousin had, by smearing themselves with ointment, changed themselves into wolves and devoured children, brought no severe punishment upon them. The judges sent him to a mad-house. More and more, in spite of frantic efforts from the pulpit to save the superstition, great writers and jurists, especially in France, began to have glimpses of the truth and courage to uphold it. Malebranche spoke against the superstition; Siguier led the French courts to annul several decrees condemning sorcerers; the great chancellor, D'Aguesseau, declared to the Parliament of Paris that, if they wished to stop sorcery, they must stop talking about it—that sorcerers are more to be pitied than blamed.
But just at this time, as the eighteenth century was approaching, the theological current was strengthened by a great ecclesiastic—the greatest theologian that France has produced, whose influence upon religion and upon the mind of Louis XIV was enormous—Bossuet, Bishop of Meaux. There had been reason to expect that Bossuet would at least do something to mitigate the superstition; for his writings show that in much, which before his time had been ascribed to diabolic possession, he saw simple lunacy. Unfortunately, the same adherence to the literal interpretation of Scripture which led him to oppose every other scientific truth developed in his time led him also to attack this: he delivered and published two great sermons which, while showing some progress in the form of his belief, showed none the less that the fundamental idea of diabolic possession was still to be tenaciously held. What this idea was may be seen in one typical statement: he declared that "a single devil could turn the earth round as easily as we turn a marble."
The theological current, thus re-enforced, seemed to become again irresistible; but it was only so in appearance. In spite of it, French skepticism continued to develop; signs of quiet change among the mass of thinking men were appearing more and more; and in 1672 came one of great significance, for the Parliament of Rouen having doomed fourteen sorcerers to be burned, their execution was delayed for two years, evidently on account of skepticism among officials; and at length the great minister of Louis XIV, Colbert, issued an edict checking such trials, and ordering the convicted to be treated for madness.
Victory seemed now to incline to the standard of science, and in 1725 no less a personage than St. André, a court physician, dared to publish a work virtually showing "demoniacal possession" to be lunacy.
The French philosophy, from the time of its early development in the eighteenth century under Montesquieu and Voltaire, naturally strengthened the movement; the results of post-mortem examinations of the brains of the "possessed" confirmed it; and in 1768 we see it take form in a declaration by the Parliament of Paris that possessed persons were to be considered as simply diseased.
In England the same warfare went on. John Locke had asserted the truth, but the theological view continued to control public opinion. Most prominent among those who exercised great power against the truth was John Wesley, and the greatness and beauty of his character made his influence in this respect all the more unfortunate. The same servitude to the mere letter of Scripture which led him to declare that "to give up witchcraft is to give up the Bible and to take ground against the fundamental truths of theology," controlled him in regard to insanity. He insisted, on the authority of the Old Testament, that bodily diseases are sometimes caused by devils, and, upon the authority of the New Testament, that the gods of the heathen were demons; he believed that dreams, while in some cases caused by bodily conditions and passions, are shown by Scripture to be also caused by occult powers of evil; he cites a physician to prove that "most lunatics are really demoniacs." In his great sermon on "Evil Angels," he dwells upon this point especially; resists the idea that "possession" may be epilepsy, even though ordinary symptoms of epilepsy be present; protests against "giving up to infidels such proofs of an invisible world as are to be found in diabolic possession," and evidently believes that some who have
been made hysterical by his own preaching are "possessed of Satan." On all this, and much more to the same effect, he insisted with all the power given to him by his deep religious nature, his wonderful familiarity with the Scriptures, his natural acumen, and his eloquence.
But here, too, science continued its work. The old belief was steadily undermined, an atmosphere favorable to the truth became more and more developed, and the act of Parliament in 1735, which banished the crime of witchcraft from the statute-book, was the beginning of the end.
In Germany we see the beginnings of a similar triumph for science. In Prussia, that sturdy old monarch, Frederick William I, nullified the efforts of the more zealous clergy and orthodox jurists to keep up the old doctrine in his dominions. In Austria, the government set Dr. Antonio Haen at making careful researches into the causes of diabolic possession. He did not think it best, in view of the power of the Church, to dispute the possibility or probability of such cases, but simply decided, after thorough investigation, that, out of the any cases which had been brought to him, there was not one to support the belief in demoniacal influence. An attempt was made to follow up this examination, and much was done by men like Francke and Van Swieten, and especially by the reforming emperor, Joseph II, to rescue men and women who would otherwise have fallen victims to the prevalent superstition. Unfortunately, Joseph had arrayed against himself the whole power of the Church, and most of his good efforts seemed brought to naught. But what the noblest of the old race of German emperors could not do suddenly, the German men of science did gradually. Quietly and thoroughly, by proofs that could not be gainsaid, they recovered the old scientific fact established in pagan Greece and Rome, that madness is simply physical disease. But they now established it on a basis that can never again be shaken; for, in post-mortem examinations of large numbers of "possessed" persons, they found evidence of brain-disease. Typical is a case at Hamburg in 1729. An afflicted woman showed in a high degree all the recognized characteristics of diabolic possession. Exorcisms, preachings, and sanctified remedies of every sort in vogue were tried in vain. Milder medical means were then tried, and she so far recovered that she was allowed to take the communion before she died. The autopsy, held in the presence of fifteen physicians and a public notary, showed it to be simply a case of chronic meningitis. The work of German men of science in this field is noble indeed. A great succession, from Wier to Virchow, have erected a barrier against which all the efforts of reactionists beat in vain.
In America, the belief in diabolic influence had, in the early colonial period, full control. The Mathers supported it fully, and the Salem witchcraft horrors were among its results; but the discussion of that folly by Calef struck it a severe blow, and a better influence spread rapidly throughout the colonies.
By the middle of the eighteenth century the old belief in diabolic possession had practically disappeared from all enlightened countries. In Protestant Germany, where it had raged most severely, it was, as a rule, cast out of the church formulas, catechisms, and hymns, and became more and more a subject for jocose allusion. From force of habit, and for the sake of consistency, some of the more conservative theological authorities continued to repeat the old arguments, and there were many who insisted upon the belief as absolutely necessary to ordinary orthodoxy; but it is evident that it had become a mere conventionality, that men only believed that they believed it, and now a reform seemed possible in the treatment of the insane.
But, although the old superstition had been discarded, the inevitable conservatism in theology and medicine caused many old abuses to be continued for years after the theological basis for them had really disappeared. There still lingered also a feeling of indifference toward madmen, engendered by the early feeling of hostility toward them, which sufficed to prevent for many years any practical reforms.
What that old feeling had been, even under the most favorable circumstances, and among the best of men, we have seen in the fact that Sir Thomas More ordered acknowledged lunatics to be publicly flogged; and it will be remembered that Shakespeare makes one of his characters refer to madmen as deserving "a dark house and a whip." And what the old treatment was and continued to be we know but too well. Taking Protestant England as an example—and it was probably the most humane—we have a chain of testimony. Toward the end of the sixteenth century, Bethlehem Hospital was reported too loathsome for any man to enter; in the seventeenth century, John Evelyn found it no better; in the eighteenth, Hogarth's pictures and contemporary reports show it to be essentially what it had been in those previous centuries.
The first humane impulse of any considerable importance in this field seems to have been aroused in America. In the year 1751 certain members of the "Society of Friends" founded a small hospital for the insane on better principles in Pennsylvania. To use the language of its founders, it was intended "as a good work, acceptable to God." Twenty years later Virginia established a similar asylum, and gradually others appeared in other colonies.
But it was in France that mercy was to be put upon a scientific basis, and was to lead to practical results which were to convert the world to humanity. In this case, as in so many others, from France was spread and popularized not only the skepticism which destroyed the theological theory, but also the devotion which built up the new scientific theory and endowed the world with a new treasure of civilization.
In 1756 some physicians of the great hospital at Paris known as the Hôtel-Dieu protested that the cruelties prevailing in the treatment of the insane were aggravating the disease; and some protests followed from other quarters. Little effect was produced at first; but, just before the French Revolution, Tenon, La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, and others took up the subject, and in 1791 a commission was appointed to undertake a reform.
By great good fortune, the man selected to lead in the movement was one who had already thrown his heart into it—Jean Baptiste Pinel. In 1792 Pinel was made physician at Bicêtre, one of the most extensive lunatic asylums in France; and to the work there imposed upon him he gave all his powers. Little was heard of him at first. The most terrible scenes of the French Revolution were drawing nigh; but lie labored on, modestly and devotedly, apparently without a thought of the great political storm raging about him.
His first step was to throw overboard the whole theological doctrine of "possession," and to discard utterly the idea that insanity is the result of any subtle spiritual influence. He simply put in practice the theory that lunacy is the result of bodily disease.
It is a curious matter for reflection that, but for this sway of the destructive philosophy of the eighteenth century, and of the Terrorists during the French Revolution, Pinel's blessed work would in all probability have been thwarted, and he himself excommunicated for heresy and driven from his position. Doubtless the same efforts would have been put forth against him which the Church, a little earlier, had put forth against inoculation as a remedy for small-pox; but, just at that time, the great churchmen had other things to think of besides crushing this particular heretic: they were too much occupied in keeping their own heads from the guillotine to give attention to what was passing in the head of Pinel. He was allowed to work in peace, and in a short time the reign of diabolism at Bicêtre was ended. What the exorcisms and fetiches and prayers and processions, and drinking of holy water, and ringing of bells, had been unable to accomplish during eighteen hundred years, he achieved in a few months. His method was simple: For the brutality and cruelty which had prevailed up to that time, he substituted kindness and gentleness. The possessed were taken out of their dungeons, given sunny rooms for habitation, and allowed the liberty of pleasant ground for exercise. Chains were thrown aside. At the same time the mental power of each patient was developed by its fitting exercise, and disease was met with remedies sanctioned by experiment, observation, and reason. Thus was gained one of the greatest, though one of the least known, triumphs of modern science and humanity.
The results obtained by Pinel had an instant effect, not only throughout France but throughout Europe: the news spread from hospital to hospital; at his death, Esquirol took up his work; and, in the place of the old training of judges, torturers, and executioners by theology to carry out its ideas in cruelty, there was now trained a school of physicians to develop science in this field and carry out its decrees in mercy.
A similar evolution of better science and practice took place in England. In spite of the coldness, and even hostility, of the greater men in the Established Church, and notwithstanding the Scriptural demonstrations of Wesley that the majority of the insane were possessed of devils, the scientific method steadily gathered strength. In 1750 the condition of the insane began to attract especial attention; it was found that mad-houses were swayed by ideas utterly indefensible, and that the practices engendered by these ideas were monstrous. As a rule, the patients were immured in cells, and in many cases were chained to the walls; in others, flogging and starvation played leading parts, and in some cases the patients were killed. Naturally enough, John Howard declared in 1789 that he found in Constantinople a better insane asylum than the great St. Luke's Hospital in London. Well might he do so; for, ever since Caliph Omar had protected and encouraged the scientific investigation of insanity by Paul of Ægina, the Moslem treatment of the insane had been infinitely more merciful than the system universal throughout Christendom.
But in 1792—the same year in which Pinel began his great work in France—William Tuke began a similar work in England. There seems to have been no connection between these two great reformers; each seems to have arrived at his results independently of the other, but the results arrived at were the same. So, too, in the main, were their methods; and in the little house of William Tuke, at York, began a better era for England.
The name which this little asylum received is a monument, both of the old reign of cruelty and of the new reign of humanity. Every old name for such an asylum had been made odious and repulsive by ages of misery. In a happy moment of inspiration Tuke's gentle Quaker wife suggested a new name; and, in accordance with this suggestion, the place became known as a "Retreat."
From the great body of influential classes in church and state Tuke received little aid. The influence of the theological spirit was shown when, in that same year. Dr. Pangster published his "Observations on Mental Disorders," and, after displaying much ignorance as to the causes and nature of insanity, summed up by saying piously, "Here our researches must stop, and we must declare that 'wonderful are the works of the Lord, and his ways past finding out.'" Such seemed to be the view of the Church at large; though the new "Retreat" was at one of the two great ecclesiastical centers of England, we hear of no aid or encouragement from the Archbishop of York or from his clergy. Nor was this the worst: the indirect influence of the theological habit of thought and ecclesiastical prestige was displayed in the "Edinburgh Review." That great organ of opinion, not content with merely attacking Tuke, poured contempt upon his work as well as on that of Pinel. A few of Tuke's brother and sister Quakers seem to have been his only reliance; and, in a letter regarding his efforts at that time, he says, "All men seem to desert me."
In this atmosphere of English conservative opposition or indifference the work could not grow rapidly. As late as 1815 a member of Parliament stigmatized the insane asylums of England as the shame of the nation; and even as late as 1827, and in a few cases as late as 1850, there were revivals of the old absurdity and brutality. Down to a late period, in the hospitals of St. Luke and Bedlam, long rows of the insane were chained to the walls of the corridor. But Gardner at Lincoln, Donnelly at Hanwell, and a new school of practitioners in mental disease, took up the work of Tuke, and the victory in England was gained in practice as it had been previously gained in theory.
There need be no controversy regarding the comparative merits of these two benefactors of our race, Pinel and Tuke. They clearly did their thinking and their work independently of each other, and thereby each strengthened the other and benefited mankind. All that remains to be said is, that while France has paid high honors to Pinel, as to one who did much to free the world from one of its most cruel superstitions and to bring in a reign of humanity over a wide empire, England has as yet made no fitting commemoration of her great benefactor in this field. York Minster holds many tombs of men, of whom some were blessings to their fellow -beings, while some were parasites upon the body politic; yet, to this hour, that great temple has received no consecration by a monument to the man who did more to alleviate human misery than any other who has ever entered it.
But the place of these two men in history is secure. They stand with Grotius, Thomasius, and Beccaria—the men who, in modern times, have done most to prevent unmerited sorrow. They were not, indeed, called to suffer like their great compeers; they were not obliged to see their writings—among the most blessed gifts of God to man—condemned, as were those of Grotius and Beccaria by the Catholic Church, and those of Thomasius by a large section of the Protestant Church; they were not obliged to flee for their lives, as were Grotius and Thomasius; but their effort is none the less worthy. The French Revolution, indeed, saved Pinel, and the decay of English ecclesiasticism gave Tuke his opportunity. But their triumphs are none the less among the glories of our race; for they were the first acknowledged victors in a struggle of science for humanity which had lasted nearly two thousand years.
- For instances of this competition, see Freytag, "Aus dem. Jahrh. d. Reformation," pp. 359-375. The Jesuit Stengel, in his "De judiciis divinis" (Ingolstadt, 1651), devotes a whole chapter to an exorcism, by the great Canisius, of a spirit that had baffled Protestant conjuration. Among the most jubilant Catholic satires of the time are those exulting in Luther's own alleged failure as an exorcist.
- For the attitude of the Catholic clergy, the best sources are the confidential Jesuit "Litteræ Annuæ." To this day the numerous treatises on "pastoral medicine" in use in the older Church devote themselves mainly to this sort of warfare with the devil.
- Baptismal exorcism continued in use among the Lutherans till in the eighteenth century, though the struggle over its abandonment had been long and sharp. See Krafft, "Historic vom Exorcismo" (Hamburg, 1750).
- For a much fuller treatment of this phase of the subject, I must refer the reader to my chapter on witchcraft. The Jesuit Stengel, professor at Ingolstadt, who (in his great work, "De judiciis divinis") urges, as reasons why a merciful God permits illness, his wish to glorify himself through the miracles wrought by his Church, and his desire to test the faith of men by letting them choose between the holy aid of the Church and the illicit resort to medicine, declares that there is a difference between simple possession and that brought by bewitchment, and that the latter is the more difficult to treat.
- See D. H. Tuke, "Chapters in the History of the Insane in the British Isles," London, 1882, p. 36; also Kirchhoff, p. 340. The forms of insanity especially mentioned are "dementia senilis" and epilepsy. A striking case of voluntary confession of witchcraft by a woman who lived to recover from the delusion is narrated in great detail by Reginald Scot, in his "Discovery of Witchcraft," London, 1584. It is, alas, only too likely that the "strangeness" caused by slight and unrecognized mania led often to the accusation of witchcraft instead of to the suspicion of possession.
- See Kirchhoff, as above.
- For names and arguments used by creatures of this sort, see Diefenbach, "Der Hexenwahn vor und nach der Glaubensspaltung in Deutschland," pp. 342-346. A long list of these infamous names is given on p. 345.
- As to the frequency among the insane of this form of belief, see Calmeil, ii, 257; also Maudsley, "Pathology of Mind," pp. 201, 202, and 418-424; also Rambaud, "Histoire de la Civilisation en France," ii, 110. For the peculiar aberrations of the saints above named and other ecstatics, see Maudsley, as above, pp. 71, 72, and 149, 150. Maudsley's chapters on this and cognate subjects are certainly among the most valuable contributions to modern thought. For a discussion of the most recent case, see Warlomont, "Louise Lateau," Paris, 1875.
- As to the devil's entering into the mouth while eating, see Calmeil, as above, ii, 105 106. As to the dread of Dr. Borde lest the evil spirit, when exorcised, might enter his own body, see Tuke, as above, p. 28. As to the King of Spain, see the noted chapter in Buckle's "History of Civilization in England."
- Among the multitude of authorities on this point, see Kirchhoff, as above, p. 337; and, for a most striking picture of this dark side of convent-life, drawn, indeed, by a devoted Roman Catholic, see Manzoni's "Promessi Sposi." On Anna Renata there is a striking essay by the late Johannes Scherr, in his "Hammerschläge und Historien." On the general subject of hysteria thus developed, see the writings of Carpenter and Tuke; and, as to its natural development in nunneries, see Maudsley, "Responsibility in Mental Disease," p. 9. Especial attention will be paid to this in the next chapter of this series—"Diabolism and Hysteria."
- This branch of the subject will be discussed more at length in a future chapter.
- See Esquirol, "Des Maladies mentales," i, 488, 489; ii, 529.
- See the two sermons, "Sur les Demons" (which are virtually but two forms of the same sermon), in Bossuet's works, edition of 1845, iii, 236 d scq.; also Dzwiecki, in the "Nineteenth Century," as above. On Bossuet's resistance to other scientific truths, especially in astronomy, geology, and political economy, see my previous chapters in "The Warfare of Science."
- See Dagron, p. 8; also Rambaud, as above, ii, 155.
- For.St. André, see Lacroix, as above, pp. 189, 190.
- For John Locke, see King's "Life of Locke," ii, 173, 174. For Wesley, out of his almost innumerable writings bearing upon the subject, I may select the sermon on "Evil Angels," and his "Letter to Dr. Middleton"; and in his collected works there are many striking statements and arguments, especially in vols, iii, vi, and ix. See also Tyerman's "Life of Wesley," ii, pp. 260 et seq.
- See Kirchhoff, pp. 181-187; also Längin, "Religion und Hexenprozess," as above cited.
- Luther's great hymn, "Ein' feste Burg," remained, of course, a prominent exception to the rule; but a popular proverb came to express the general feeling: "Auf Teufel reimt sich Zweifel." See Längin, as above, pp. 545, 546.
- On Sir Thomas More and the condition of Bedlam, see Tuke, "History of the Insane in the British Isles," pp. 63-73. One of the passages of Shakespeare is in "As you Like It," Act iii, scene 2. As to the survival of indifference to the sufferings of the insane so long after the belief which caused it had generally disappeared, see some excellent remarks in Maudsley's "Responsibility in Mental Disease," London, 1885, pp. 10–12.
The older English practice is thus quaintly described by Richard Carew (in his "Survey of Cornwall," London, 1602, 1769): "In our forefathers' daies, when devotion as much exceeded knowledge, as knowledge now commeth short of devotion, there were many bowssening places, for curing of mad men, and amongst the rest, one at Alternunne in this Hundred, called S. Nunnespoole, which Saints Altar (it may be) . . . gave name to the church. . . . The watter running from S. Nunnes well, fell into a square and close walled plot, which might bee filled at what depth they listed. Vpon this wall was the franticke person set to stand, his backe towards the poolo, and from thence with a sudden blow in the brest, tumbled headlong into the pond; where a strong fellowe, provided for the nonce, tooke him, and tossed him vp and downe, alongst and athwart the water, untill the patient, by forgoing his strength, had somewhat forgot his fury. Then was hee conveyed to the Church, and certain Masses sung over him; vpon which handling, if his right wits returned, S. Nunne had the thanks; but if there appeared small amendment, he was bowssened againe, and againe, while there remayned in him any hope of life, for recouery."
- For the services of Tenon and his associates, and also for the work of Pinel, see especially Esquirol, "Des Maladies mentales," Paris, 1838, i, 35; and, for the general subject and the condition of the hospitals at this period, see Dagron, as above.
- See D. H. Tuke, as above, p. 110; also Trélat, as already cited.
- See D. H, Tuke, as above, pp. 116-142, and 512; also the "Edinburgh Review" for April, 1803.