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to whom it relates, including the ancestry of the Hebrews, were scattered over the earth as insulated hordes, and spoke a variety of different languages. If the Hebrews had enjoyed any particular exemption, and had alone preserved the original langnage of mankind, this would doubtless have been mentioned as an instance of the particular care of Providence for their nation, which the sacred writer takes every opportunity of setting forth.
The Hebrew language, indeed, has none of the characters of any ancient idioms. We have seen, in an extensive comparison of languages, that the most ancient are generally complex in their structure; that when they are mixed with foreign dialects, they gradually lose their inflections and become more simple, and afterwards supply by a number of adjuncts and circumlocutions the want of modifications of the roots. This is exactly the character of the Hebrew.
Philologists are not as yet sufficiently agreed how far the Hebrew and the old Egyptian language were connected: we know, however, that the Ethiopic and Hebrew were cognate dialects; and the Egyptians are declared by every historical testimony to have been originally a tribe of Ethiopians. Hence we should conclude that the idiom of the former, in very early times, could not be remote from that of the Hebrews. Sir W. Drummond is of opinion that the affinity between them was very close. If such were the case, we are at liberty to suppose that the twelve families of Israel, which grew into tribes during their 400 years abode in Goshen, adopted the idiom of that country, and that the Hebrew in which Moses wrote the Pentateuch was in reality a dialect of the old Egyptian. It will then be possible that Abraham, when he came from the East, spoke the ancient language of Elam, or Persia, viz. the Zend or Sanscrit, the only idiom in the world whose structure, when closely analysed, bears no trace of a rude original, and whose history reaches beyond that period when the earth was peopled with barbarous and independent hordes.
On the whole we are of opinion, that the fact which Mr. Townsend has proposed to himself to establish, viz. that one language was once common to the whole human race, must rather be gathered as an inference than proved by a direct comparison. That the earth was ever extensively inhabited by nations speaking one idiom we do not believe; but we have no doubt that all mankind originated from one family, and, while they constituted a single family, had one language. In proof of the unity of our origin there is, as Mr. Townsend has observed, no want of historical evidence. To many persons by no means predisposed to admit this conclusion, because it is favoured by our Scriptures, the evidence for it has appeared satisfactory, among whom we may number the names of Bailly and Voltaire. This inference is besides in conformity with the general analogy of nature.
The only arguments which afford a specious pretence for those who maintain that there are more races of men than one, are the great physical diversity and the insulated situation of the American and Negro nations. Many naturalists have contended, that these races form distinct species from the European; and this is the point on which the question as to the unity or plurality of races chiefly hinges. We shall not enter into this inquiry, which is strictly physiological, our present concern being only with languages and historical facts. But besides the physical diversities which may perhaps be attributed to climate, or other
causes, the native people of America are so cut off from the rest of mankind, they were, when discovered by Europeans, so destitute of those primary means and resources by which life is sustained and preserved, such as the use of the cereal gramina, of milk, and of domestic animals, that many authors have been disposed, from these circumstances, to look upon them as an indigenous race.
The contrary position, however, is every day receiving illustration. The arts and sciences of the Mexicans and Peruvians have been clearly proved to be of Asiatic origin, and in this instance, as in several particular examples, the comparison of languages has afforded useful aid. Professor Vater was, we believe, the first to announce the discovery, that the Tschuktschi in Asia speak the same language with the Esquimaux and Greenlanders. With the assistance of the materials collected by Mr. Humboldt, he has also very much extended the number of coincidences between the dialects of the hunting tribes of America and the Tungusians and other Asiatics, and seems to have ascertained the fact which Dr. Barton has the merit of having first suggested.
ART. XXII. STATE OF THE MADHOUSES IN
Report, together with the Minutes of Evidence, and an Appendix
of Papers, from the Committee appointed to consider of Provision being made for the better Regulation of Madhouses in England. [Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 11th July, 1915.] Each subject of Evidence arranged under its distinct Head. By J. B." Sharpe, Member of the Royal College of
Surgeons.' 8vo. pp. 411.' London. Baldwin and Co. Description of the Retreat, an Institution near York, for Insane Persons of the Society of Friends : containing an Account of its
VOL. VI. NO, XII.
Origin and Progress, the Modes of Treatment, and a Statement
of Cures. By Samuel Tuke. York. 1813. A History of the York Lunatic Asylum : with an Appendix, con
taining Minutes of the Evidence on the cases of Abuse lately inquired into by a Committee, &c. Addressed to W. Wilberforce,
Esq., one of the Contributors to Lapton's Fund. York. 1815. Practical Hints on the Construction and Economy of Pauper
Lunatic Asylums ; including Instructions to the Archátects who offered Plans for the Wakefield Asylum, and a Sketch of the
most approved Design. By Samuel Tuke. York. 1815. Ir is a celebrated observation of one of the most admired of the European philosophers, that in all the countries through which the traveller proceeds, he will find a measure of the civilization to which they have attained, in the condition of the roads. The circumstance, it will be owned, is characteristic; and the remark sagacious. But there is another test, far more constant and infallible, of the civilization, or barbarity, of different countries; and that is, the degree of legislative care bestowed upon the more helpless portions of our species.
In rude and barbarous ages the attention which the miserable attract is little indeed. The efforts which, in such periods, legislation displays, are almost wholly directed towards the depression of the more helpless classes, and to the means of retaining them in a state of perfect subservience to the interests and will of the powerful. By this, in carlier ages, the powers of legislation are engrossed, and by this they are exhausted. In tracing the history of human happiness and misery, it is interesting to observe, as knowledge increases, how one thing after another is done for this more numerous portion of the species; at first reluctantly and slowly; by degrees more cheerfully and with a quicker succession; at first in the way of bounty alone; afterwards by the communication of a small number of rights, which are slowly augmented, till, at length, the ultimate triumph of legislation is displayed, in a code of laws not less favourable to the poor in reaping the fruits of their labour, than to the rich in expending the produce of their stock and lands.
Among the helpless portions of the species, there are two sorts, of whom the helplessness is to be regarded as the most complete and deplorable; these are prisoners, and the insane. It appears, from the experience both of existing and of antecedent facts, that it requires a very high degree of civilization to produce a legislative provision capable of preventing the miseries which neglect must entail upon those who are incapacitated for taking care of themselves. It is not to be expected, that the happiness or misery of persons in such circumstances, should occupy for an hour the thoughts of those who first mould the institutions of civil society. But it is remarkable, that notwithstanding the refinement to which in our own country civilization has most respects attained, the care of the imprisoned and the insane is a new feature of our legislation. The years are not many since Howard, the pride and boast of our land, a character more difficult to form than that of any of the heroes whom, from the beginning of the world, the folly of man has inshrined, first pointed out the physical and moral condition of British prisoners to the attention of their countrymen. Since his time some legislative efforts have been made, and these, with the awakened attention of the public, have rectified many abuses: it is known, however, to all, with how much difficulty, and how sparingly, the legislature has moved, and how small a portion is yet achieved of the great and beneficent work we are contemplating At the same time it is consoling to reflect, that as each successive step has been stronger and quicker than that which preceded, we may with some confidence look to a vigorous and steady progress in the time to come.
The march of the legislature has been more than ordinarily slow in providing against the miseries liable to be endured by the insane. The formation of the Committee, from whom we have derived the present reports, is nearly the first arrangement that has been made to procure information upon the subject. The act which, a number of years ago, was passed for the purpose of establishing some regulations with regard to private madhouses, was framed for the protection, not so much of those who were, as those who were not insane; that no person might be subject to wrongful confinement: and it was framed under so much ignorance of the circumstances which it undertook to regulate, that it is declared by the existing Committee of the Honourable House, to be altogether inadequate to the exigences of the case; which present an urgent and irresistible demand for
new and better provision.
The Report, presented to the House of Commons toward the close of the last Session of Parliament, commences with the following emphatical words : “ Your Committee, deeply sensible of the importance of the matter referred to their consideration, have applied themselves with great carnestness to the performance of the duty imposed on them
by the House. Your Committee cannot hesitate to suggest, with the utmost confidence, from the evidence they now offer to the House, that some new provision of law is indispensably necessary for ensuring better care being taken of insane persons, both in England and Ireland, than they have hitherto experienced; the number of whom appear to be very considerable: as the inquiries of the Committee have con: vinced them, that there are not in the country, a set of beings more immediately requiring the protection of the legislature than the persons in this state, a very large proportion of whom are entirely neglected by their relations and friends. If the treatment of those in the middling or in the lower classes of life, shut up as insane in hospitals, private madhouses, or parish workhouses, is looked at, your Committee are persuaded that a case cannot be found, where the necessity for a remedy is more urgent.”
It is of importance to adduce some of the testimonies presented in the evidence, which affirm the egregious imperfections of the existing act. Dr. Weir, Inspector of Naval Hospitals, having minutely described the treatment of the naval patients maintained at the expense of Government in the madhouse of Sir Jonathan Miles, at Hoxton, was asked, “ What is your opinion as to the present system of managing insane persons throughout the kingdom, as far as your observation and experience have gone?- From the gross mismanagement and abuses that have existed and still continue to exist at Hoxton, under the immediate inspection of the present commissioners for regulating maniacal institutions, I am fully satisfied, that nothing less than a newly constituted establishment will ever be sufficient to correct the abuses that have crept in universally, both at the public and private institutions; and to place, at the same time, those longneglected and pitiable objects on such a footing, as to ensure their future comfort, as far as is consistent with their respective maladies.”
Dr. Richard Fowler, of Salisbury, was asked, “ Are you of opinion, that the provisions of the Act of the fourteenth of the King, now in force, are sufficient to answer the purposes intended by it?-It appears to me they are totally inefficient. It has always struck both the magistrates and myself, that our visits were quite inefficient. It appeared to me that they were inefficient upon a great number of points; that they were inefficient as to ascertaining whether we had, or had not seen all the rooms appropriated to patients belonging to the house; that they were inefficient inasmuch as we had no means of ascertaining when persons appeared to be tolerably sane at the time, whether it is a lucid interval, or permanent."
Dr. Powell, the Secretary to the Commissioners for regulating madhouses, delivered to the Committee a letter, addressed by him to a member of the Upper House of Parliament, on the occasion of a proposal for the amendment of the existing law, in which it is said, “ The Commissioners propose to submit to your Lordship a very general view of the insufficiencies