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a new and favourable environment to be the strongest force both to modify and to control the defects of a vicious heredity. I believe that we can alter the physical and psychical characters through the influence of the environment-and school teachers acquainted with the family history of a child may be able to guard against the bad effects of a family heredity—otherwise where does the reformer, the sociologist, and the educationalist come n ? It is the logical basis of all the ethics. I know that it is urged by Weis. mann and others that one portion of the germ plasm lies dormant in the body of
general experience tends to press one particular line of thought upon him, viz., that where drinking had begun with the parents of a child prior to its birth, and where such drinking had become habitual and had been long continued, the effects, seen in many ways in the child's organism, were necessarily permanent, and if the child is placed early enough in a healthy environment, the inherited evil tendencies and effects appear to diminish year by year. Where, however, drinking began two or three generations back with the grandparents or great grandparents, then the character of the evils was
COMPARATIVE WEIGHT AND HEIGHT TABLE.-COUNTRY versus Town.
the host, giving rise to the continuity much more permanent, powerful, and deof the germ plasm from generation to genera- teriorating tion, and that the other portion becomes the Look also at the pictures presented by Dr. new organism, and I am also aware that the Hall's experiment at Leeds already referred to. deductions of morphology, laboratory experi- Look again at the statistics of Claybury ments, and microscopical observations are Asylum where physical drill is applied to the against the transmission of acquired character- women, and farm or workshop occupation, istics, but the practical man does not coincide such as carpentering, wood-carving, tailorwith this view, and the experience of the ing, shoemaking, painting, &c., is prophilanthropists does not support it Look at vided for the men, and where both sexes the picture from Dr. Barnardo's I!ome of the are fed upon a considered and fixed dietary girls of 14 years of age, who for years have scale. During 1903, 45 patients who recovered been clothed, nourished, and trained mentally were detained from one to three months, 27 and physically in accordance with the laws of were detained from three to six months, 21 health, and yet who were received as deterior- from six to nine months, and 21 from nine to ated specimens from the waifs and strays of 12 months. Those from 15 to 20 years of age the slums of East London. Compare their gained an average of 16 lbs., those from 20 to height and weight with others. Dr. Barnardo 25 gained 17 lbs., and those from 25 to 30 himself says in regard to drink that his years of age 12 lbs. - A gain in weight indi. cates, as a very general rule, marked im- their lives. The conclusions of Booth show provement in mental health as well as physique. how crowds of people have their happiness I cannot help thinking that too much is made stified by their environment in our own city, of heredity and too little of environment. where an immense number of poor people live Whilst upon this aspect I venture to call special in small and badly ventilated apartments, with attention to the success, mentally and phy- filth and squalor in their mean streets, and sically, which has attended the application of where their children become unhealthy, drill, or a methodical use of muscular exercise anæmic and stunted from the want of pure air in the case of the female patients under my and radiant light. As to the association of treatment. Besides improving the mind and religion and cleanliness, we are encouraged to strengthening the body, this exercise has a believe that cleanliness and godliness are special educational value, for it connects characters essentially English, and that as a mental and muscular processes, it quickens people we are the most godly and cleanly race the senses, re-opens dormant paths in the upon whom the sun has the privilege of shining, mind, and, by engaging the attention, ensures but it is a rude shock to learn that the baths in a more precise and ready re-action to outward the model dwellings are osten used as recepstimula. My colleague, Dr. Ewart, and my- tacles for lumber. As to poverty there were in self, can speak in the highest praise of Swedish London, according to the census of 1891, no drill, as the system is called, as a corrective fewer than 174,500 tenements consisting of a of neurotic heredity, and a valuable addition single room, each giving shelter to families, to the treatment of the insane. It places the varying from three to 12 persons, and there nervous system in a more normal state of ten- are over a million and a quarter of people sion, the whole mind, for the time, is absorbed whose wages for an average family of five does in one task, and there is a pleasant reaction, not exceed 215. per week. In the first week of due to a new attainment. It has been wit. February, 1904, there were in London no less nessed by the Lunacy Commissioners, who than 117,307 paupers, of whom 75,085 were recommend its extension, and some pictures of indoor and 42,222 were out-door. This shows it are shown here to-night for the first time. an increase of 1,191 upon the corresponding I feel certain that physical culture is one of week of 1903, and of 6,641 over the correspondthe greatest needs for our young people of ing week of 1902, and 10,367 over that of 1901, to-day, and the matter is not too strongly a greater proportion per 1,000 of the population urged in that invaluable report of the Com- than for the corresponding period of any year missioners appointed to investigate physical since 1875, showing a definite spreading of the training in Scotland, a report which it is not dependence upon State assistance, and a too much to say should be in the hands of decline in the effective strength of individual every teacher, as well as of every father of a self-help and self-respect, which are the vital family.
conditions of economic and social progress. There is an urgent need to fortify the in- There is one aspect of this class which is not dividual against any hereditary predisposition to some without comfort, and that is their to break down under the depressing effects of infertility. Mr. Alexander McDougall took town life, which acts so detrimentally upon the careful records of the antecedents of paupers poor. To this stratum-which is at the mercy in Manchester for one year, and he only of every economic fluctuation, and which is found 14 per cent. whose parents had also most prone to insanity-town life brings lack been in receipt of relief. I have further of proper nutrition, overcrowding, with unsuit- noticed this feature in regard to the insane; able hygienic and moral surroundings, poverty, many, indeed I may say a fair proportion and crime-the latter an evil worse than of married women in the asylum are childpoverty, and one bearing a very intimate less, which seems to be a wise dispensation relation to insanity.
of Providence, that the unfit should not Overcrowding leads to many and various cumber the earth. miseries, with personal discomforts which are The food of the poor in cities is deficient in humiliating and demoralising to the grown-up, quality and quantity, and the cooking for this and are a source of moral contamination to class in cities is stated, on good authority, to their descendants, in whom they cause mental be worse than that of the same class in the and bodily degeneration. In spite of the great country. It may be wondered how vegetables, efforts made to bring the poor into touch with fish, and milk can be fresh and digestible by the church, religion plays a very small part in the time they reach the poor of London, and yet there is a constant stream of 80,000 per- dulgence of the passions as physical causes of sons annually migrating from the country to insanity. The over-much attention paid to the towns, some of whom swell the ranks of personal longings and sensations by those who the unemployed, and many of whom might be have too little occupation, or whose occupation more healthily employed on the land. In is irrational and unhealthy. It has been de1876, 18 million quarters of wheat were pro- monstrated in the laboratory that the most duced at 50s. per quarter, whereas in 1901, exact nervous reaction takes place when the only 61 million quarters were produced at 28s., nerve circle is complete and in a state of and the number of agricultural labourers have healthy strain or tonus, and a life full of mental diminished in 20 years by 211,000, whereas, work and occupation is the most healthy. according to the increase of the population, The tendency of many idle men and women there should have been an increase of 300,000 ! of to-day is to gratify every passion, irrespec
The question of afforestation, reclaiming tive of the misery this may involve to those waste lands, and preventing sea encroachments dependent upon them, and so much is this the at Imperial, county, or local cost, have received case, that the Medico-Psychological Associarecent attention in another place. There is no tion, at the instigation of Dr. Mercier and doubt some need for simplification and a re- others, considered, not long since, the advisaadjustment of the relationship between central bility of calling for special legislation to deal and local authorities to remedy the grievous with prodigals, spendthrifts, and persons guilty problem of the unemployed. It is estimated that of gross self-indulgence. The judicial statisthere are 30,000 tramps“ on the road,” of whom tics (1903) show that certain kinds of lawone-third only are of the pauper class, and, breaking are on the increase, and, as indicating in addition, 61,000 able-bodied paupers in laxity of morals, the petitions for judicial England and Wales, and there is at present no separation and dissolution of marriage were uniformity in the treatment of this class. higher than in any previous year. Commercial Many of these migrants from the country to morality has declined; the business of the the towns suffer in winter from cold, want of County Courts was the largest in any year food and clothing, and in summer they endure since the Courts were established, and the a debilitating atmosphere from the reeking number of debtors imprisoned was the largest odours of dirt, decomposing garbage and yet recorded. This egotism, a characteristic noisome refuse. In cities where the population of insanity, is fostered in the poorer classes by has to accommodate itself to the pressure of the poisoned environment of town life, and competition, the tension of mind is also London alone is responsible for the production more continuous, artificial desires multiply, of over 70 insane persons per week. This unhealthy activities are created and ambition
number, high as it is, unfortunately is destined further forces the overworked brain, which unrelentingly to increase, and it is not too sooner or later results in its complete break- much to say that the more highly developed a down. The wants of modern civilised life are race becomes, the more cases of general many, but are rarely gratified, the eager hand
paralysis and other lethal forms of insanity due reaches to grasp the prize which is plucked to similar causes will occur. away by some other of the numerous com- The form of insanity named “dementia petitors, and bitter disappointment is added precox
was unknown a hundred years ago; to the strain and mental
indeed, it did not even find a place in the work. There is no doubt that London, Lunacy Commissioners' Report to the Lord and a fortiori, other great cities, produce Chancellor until after 1878. It attacks prein the present day a tension of the nervous maturely our most promising and educated system as baneful as it is unnatural. One youth, it is practically incurable--the majority has only to look at the living maelstrom never recover from it-and it is, of all forms. which pours into airless and sunless London the one caused by overstrain, and the mental offices, workshops, and factories every day rather than the manual worker is subject to its from the suburbs to see the strained, eager, ravages. A quarter of a century ago the type earnest, and inwardly pre-occupied faces of of insanity was different from that of to-day. the people who are compelled to sacrifice their There is now an increased tendency to melanhealth and overstrung nerves in the cause of cholia, which is less recoverable than the form civilisation. As to mental degeneration, the characterised by excitement and called mania, earlier writers laid great stress upon a dis- and it is probably a deeper reduction of nerve turbance of the emotions or the habitual in- elements than occurs in mania. Melancholia has shown a considerable rise
the through special legislation for the protection educated and the private or paying class of the of adult and child life, as also for the better insane, and I am stating a fact and not an condition of the town-dweller, much yet remain's opinion when I
recovery may be com- to be done. We must, however, advance plete after a sharp attack of mania, whereas carefully and even slowly in regard to restricthis is rarely the case after melancholia- tive legislation, for such enactments should especially in the male sex. As to the general hold the balance equally between protecting recovery rate, that of the last year recorded by the workman on the one hand and promoting the Lunacy Commissioners, 1902, shows an the industry on the other, otherwise they work actual decrease when compared with 1877, mischief. which is twenty-five years ago.
With regard to the public health : in LonAs to the increase of physical degeneration, don, insanitary areas have to some extent been there is a marked increase, within the last removed, open spaces have been increased quarter of a century, in deaths from cancer and extended, and model dwellings for the and nervous diseases. The former has in- working class have been erected, yet these creased 2319 per million persons, and the boasted improvements are merely as a drop in latter, 239'3. As to mental degeneration, on the ocean, and there is without doubt a deplorJanuary 1st, 1859, when the number of lunatics able amount of ill-health existing among the was first officially registered, the proportion of very poor. There are many who are battling the insane to the general population was i to against tubercle, rheumatism and infection, 536. To-day the proportion is over i to 293, the ravages of alcohol, contagious diseases, and a rise has been noticed in “first attacks and crime. There is among the poorer classes or occurring insanity. Moreover, the practice of London and other large towns such a marked of alienist physicians to-day reports more mal-nutrition from the want of light and air, weak-minded and backward children as being through insufficient and improper dietary, as recognised among the poor. In London to- to be a disgrace to our humanity, and among day these number 1 to every 182 healthy a considerable number of the children attending children. There is also a considerable increase schools there is an amount of bodily deficiency in borderland insanity, and there is more of and a latent degree of disease which saddens mental instability which scarcely amounts to a medical expert, and which must render the actual insanity.
sufferers absolutely unfit for the struggle of There is, further, also a larger proportion of life. At present we have no measure of what cases which exhibit what is called “psychic this may be and the first requisite is to establish trouble," cases which are not included in a standard to be a basis for further inquiry as official records and which are outside statistics, was done in the Scotch Commission. We but which with different exciting causes may
shall then know the measure of overpressure at any time add to and become the registered and the amount of departure from the normal. insane, more especially at one or other of the This is a matter which must be of moment to physiological crisis, such as puberty, child- every class of society and is of high importance birth, or the climacteric age. There is a diffi- to the nation. Teachers are unable to estimate culty on the part of people to grow old physio- the full amount of this deterioration, and up to logically. Possibly, indeed very probably, the the present it is only known in vague general high pressure at which we are living, and the terms. Teachers in conjunction with medical necessary sub-division of labour have evolve i
experts can give us the information and the a very complicated mental mechanism with investigation should be pressed upon the Goevery possibility therefore of getting out of vernment. There must be an awakening of order in a
manner unknown to a former the public conscience in regard to the elegeneration. Mental evolution means greater mentary laws of health in so far as they coninhibition or the power to say “no” and the cern the proper use of air and efficient pent-up energies of our day are fewer and ventilation, food, as to purity and cooking, of less moment than in primitive times when and drink, as to its moderation. Mothers they found a more ready exit through muscular should have been taught in their schools, as exercises.
children, the necessity for personal clean
liness, the value of and the care for their CONCLUSION.
teeth, the elements of feeding and drinking Although I do not deny that improvements with regard to temperance, and the importance have taken place during the present generation of proper warm clothing. Our first attention should be to the children-the great national asset of the State. The upbringing and
DISCUSSION. feeding of children should be made familiar to every mother, and children should be properly
The CHAIRMAN said that as Dr. Jones had rightly and adequately fed, and they should have the
stated, what was wanted was evidence such as that joys of life brought before them. They should
which medical experts had given before the Royal Com- . have plenty of little open air playgrounds,
mission on Physical Training as the result of their ex.
aminations of the Edinburgh schools, although such exclusively for themselves, with someone in
elaborate statistics as they gave would hardly be reterested to organise their games, as in Germany. Between school time and manhood
quired in determining the question whether the stan
dard had really deteriorated. It appeared to him that both sexes should receive as an essential
if they had some system by which the children in the teaching the elements of physical training also elementary and secondary schools could be roughly in the open air, and every effort should be measured and notes made of their appearance and made to encourage, by individual philanthropy, general health, there would be accumulated in the and, if possible, by State aid, such invaluable course of a sew years some really satisfactory data by organisations as the Cadet Corps, Boys' which judgment could be formed as to how the Brigades, gymnasia and clubs with systema: nation was progressing in physical health. No one tised athletic sports. Finally, no effort should be could doubt the very serious and lamentable conspared to realise Mr. Ebenezer Howard's great
dition of a large proportion of the population ; but
in scheme of the migration of industries into the
whether the country was a proportionately country. To summarise my recommendations
worse condition than it was thirty, or forty, or I urge (1) a scheme for a health standard ; (2)
fifty years ago was a question which we could
not possibly decide. On this matter we were guided the better education of girls in the choice and
by our own impressions, and he would venture to say cooking of food, and in all domestic duties;
that his own impressions were not the same as those (3) improved physical training for both sexes ;
of Dr. Jones. He had had an experience of some (4) greater inducements for people to remain
forty years, including both London dispensary and on the land ; (5) when migrating into the hospital work, and he could not say that his own towns, better sanitary surroundings; (6) less observations led him to think that even the urban alcohol and self-indulgence generally.
population were worse than they were at the begin. We do not want to “ muddle through" with ning of that period, though certainly their condition this great question which involves the physical called urgently for improvement. In the valuable as well as the intellectual power of our people,
report to which the reader of the paper had for at no time in the history of our country has
alluded, Dr. Leslie Mackenzie showed inthe stress of ever-growing competition made a
contestibly that the degenerated or, he would greater demand upon brain power for the
say, the impoverished and ill-nourished children scientific spirit in our workshops, in all
were especially found among the poorest elements of branches of the executive, whether in the
the population, for instance, the majority of the chil.
dren in the Canongate school came from families army, the navy, the higher commercial enter
which lived in only one, two, or three rooms. It prises, or the universities. The effect of a
seemed to him that the bed-rock of the question was Royal Commission has been likened to a high
poverty, and the inability of the poor to live under class funeral. It merely draws attention to
fairly hygienic conditions. It was very hard for him the matter. It is true, I fear, that one of the to believe that the physical condition of the nation greatest dangers threatening us to-day is a was degenerating, for unless the progress of the “mental listlessness which prevents men
whole of the Victorian era a delusion and from taking more than a passing interest in a myth, we were in a far better condition now questions affecting the well-being of the com- than we were at the commencement of that era. munity. There is reason, if not for alarm, at
The people were now better housed, better sed, any rate for pause and reflection, and I hope
and better clothed, besides living under better for positive action upon this question. The
sanitary conditions. With regard to the reference to Society of Arts, founded just 150 years ago
Mr. Darwin's remark about the cartilage of the ears the advancement of British commerce among
in certain cases, he had always been under the im
pression that what Darwin drew attention to, was that other objects, has done well and acted wisely
the projection on the concha of the ear, or the little in endeavouring to educate a public opinion
cartilage which some people had got, was a sign by calling attention to a subject which deals
of reversion to ancestral conditions, but he did not with the strength, the vigour, and the vitality know that it was to be taken as a sign of degeneraof our population, and upon which our very tion. If it was a sign of reversion to the ancestral existence as a nation must depend.
type, those who possessed it ought to be physically