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being, the course of his thought. If she is against him,

. then she may be abusing his father, whom he at once pictures as a sadly persecuted individual. But if she exercises a malign influence over himself and father, why may she not do so over others—the neighbors, the pets, and the domestic animals about the house? The suspicion becomes a conviction. Again, if this person can and does exert so baneful an influence at home over those whom she meets, why may not other women whom he occasionally sees about the Retreat, but with whom he never speaks, do the same. This suggestion also becomes a conviction, and he at once projects the female attendants into the grand conspiracy which is now in operation against him.

The hallucinations of general sensation which affect the spinal column so vividly seem to him to be like the effect of electricity. He is aware that there is an instrument or “Machine” for the use of this in the Retreat, which leads to the suspicion that I am using it on him in the scheme which is being cnacted against him. Iis thoughts become voices which he hears from persons whom he may pass in the street, who look askance, and speak aloud about the very subject of his mental operations. Finally, the explosion of his train of suspicions and delusions finds vent in the letter which he addresses to me :

RETREAT, February 3, 18—, DR. STEARNS :

Dear Sir.-I have got one very important point for you to look into before much advance can be made in persuading father to take me home to board again. This point is the great power that Mrs. J. possesses in venting her spite whenever she will, even to the death of the victim, by the aid of your powerful electrical or magnetic machine. She intimidates father to such an extent that he does not oppose her in any way whatever, and carries the abuse to an excess in my case, delighting to torment me or put me under a ban, when with her in





public, by some of your powerful narcotic influence, or some slur produced by your lunacy abuse, as when with her in the house or cars, or in company. Now, has not this abuse been carried far enough? You spoke to me of its being unpleasant at home ;. but it is all caused by your women here at the Retreat abusing me at a long distance while at home, and by her request.

Father would have encouraged my coming home long ago, if he had not been so fearfully intimidated by her with the aid of your machine. As your women follow her so closely, and vent out her spite in any direction whatever, by terrible punishment. For example, the case of our neighbors, the Miss M., two old maiden ladies living in a quiet way just opposite to our house. They were both troubled a little with eyes, and Mrs. J. kindly agreed to bring over the morning paper and read to them the news. Well, this was kept up for some years, or until the ladies became very tired of it and hinted strongly for to give up the practice ; but she persisted, when one of them became a little saucy, which provoked her, and she swore vengeance. Well, the end of the matter was that the abusive one became almost totally blind, and finally paralyzed, and was held in this condition until she died. You may laugh at this, but it got to be quite a scandal in the neighborhood, as the maiden ladies were not at all afraid to howl at the windows that they did not want her to come, etc.

Now, it is this same thing that intimidates father. When he is inclined to give me a trial, she takes right hold of him and follows it up, and absolutely makes him keep me here. As, for instance, last summer he told me to find some employment and go to work. I made an engagement with a Mr. W., but he was absolutely afraid of her, and consequently refused to allow it. He was, and is now, very desirous of having me earn my own living, but dares not oppose her, as he is afraid of her, and your women would kill him, I am confident, to please her. Now, why can't this abuse be stopped, and he be permitted to think freely and to use judgment in my case? Again, your women are most too free in talking and posting them at home in regard to my affairs here; they howl out insulting things that prejudice my father greatly, and you, yourself, are too familiar and sarcastic there. Now, if you will order your women not to follow her whim, you will greatly benefit the male members of our house. I am very polite to her in every respect and study to please her. Now, do not call me insane for writing you this, as it is a very grievous point, but say a good word, and help us by stopping this intimidation and abuse of several male members of the community by one female. I do not want it possible when any matter of importance comes up that I am interested in, and must talk and know something, for her to have the power, by a mere thought or motion, to draw down upon me the strength of your powerful narcotics or to cast a slur upon me by your lunacy nonsense. I consider that I have been punished enough by this long term of imprisonment, and have earned an entire exemption from all your lunacy abuse. It would ruin me completely if she were permitted to abuse me while in the Probate Court, etc.

Now, please do not make this letter in any way public, as it is for your eyes alone. I do not want any trouble at home, nor to be followed up there as S. has me here at the Retreat. Now, what I want, and it is the whispered request of father, that you order your women by a written note to them, not to follow her and avenge her little spites, and put people under a bane to please a partially insane woman, as she absolutely ignores human suffering and life. She is constantly striving to distress and injure some animal and make it suffer. We can keep nothing in this line. Your women have killed or stoned to death at her order the following list of live stock belonging to us: A little pet terrier that father valued highly; a carriage horse, two cats, and two or three canary birds. J. is sick as soon as he enters the house, and father is in constant fear of his life. She has murdered Miss M., and was the cause of the death of brother F., and is the cause of the ill-health of her mother. She torments and intimidates our family to such an extent that father was obliged to confine me indoors to save my life. The prevailing influence at home now is cathartic, with a peculiar chill that keeps father constantly in misery. Now, all this misery and trouble can be stopped by an order from you, which please give. These statements are for you alone, and are true in all respects. Please favor me, and do not prejudice me at home, as all is very pleasant and agreeable. It is only the underhanded nonsense that should be stopped.


F. A.

P. S.—This is written very carelessly, but please excuse.



The Cause of Delusions may be a Super-sensitiveness of the Spinal Cord

Tension of the Mental State-Letter— Mind-reading—Letter-Case-No Transformation after Seven Years—Intensity of Hallucinations in Some Cases-Hallucinations of Smell Most Frequent in Cases having a Sexual Origin-Case 2—Letter-Case 3, Illustrative of its Slow Development -A Large Degree of Mental Activity Exists for Many Years— The Character of the Hallucinations may Indicate a Sexual Origin-Letter -In Many Cases a Transformation from a State of Depression to one of Confidence and Partial Excitement Occurs-Persons Become the Owners of Vast Estates—Kings, Queens, Illustrative Cases— Peculiar Writing, with Translation-Cases in which the Delusions have been from the First of an Exalted Nature-Case— Prognosis-Recovery Sometimes Occurs in Acute Cases-Remissions of Considerable Duration-Treatment.

In primary delusional insanity, delusions of persecution are frequently the outgrowth of hallucinations and illusions of general sensations, and often a cerebro-spinal supersensitiveness which arises from the habit of masturbation or uterine disease is present. There exists no doubt that the patient whose case was studied in the previous lecture had been a masturbator for some time before the development of insanity. This will in some measure account for the peculiar character of the conditions demonstrated in the following letter. The letter also indicates how fully the writing of the former letter appeared to relieve him of the state of mental tension into which his mind had passed in consequence of the morbid concepts and ideas which had occupied it.

RETREAT, February 8, 18Dr. STEARNS :

Dear Sir.-I have still another complaint to make to you, and it should be done as soon as possible. My list of regularly systemized abuse is large, I know, but it is not complete until the following is added. The right side of my head is inclined to swell itself out, or to have that feeling, and to be clearer than the left. The eye upon this side is inclined to follow in this general run, and my ear is very sensitive. I should feel sorry to find some morning that this unruly side had got to be much larger than its companion, and I think this change would not add greatly to the beauty of my face. Now, can't this nonsense be stopped ? I have put up with much in this line, but am afraid that if it be continued, possibly a permanent set may be produced which would greatly disfigure my face. Please look into the matter and have it stopped. Now please do not let my letter to you Saturday in regard to this underhanded meanness at home make you nervous at all. I wrote you to let you know the conditions of things there on the sly, and to help father. Outwardly we are in perfect harmony and friendly, and unless you show it and make a disturbance, I shall be able to arrange matters with father soon, and return home with the best of feelings. Now please help me in this endeavor to make father's life more comfortable. I have written to you from the kindest of feelings toward my father, and to relieve him from a scourge, and to prolong his life. Now please look kindly upon it and oblige Yours,

F. A.

In the next letter he describes that peculiar condition which some patients occasionally are affected with, namely, that of mind reading ; they think that physicians often, and sometimes attendants or friends, have the power of affecting the brain in such a manner as to render its mental operation visible to others. Their very thoughts are read by persons whom they may pass in the street, and may become converted into voices which they hear from a

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