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the eight Regiments of Dragoons should all be armed with rifled carbines and trained to use them equally on foot or mounted, and thus without pretending to make Infantry of them, they might be rendered available for the duties we have indicated.
The officers now in the service to continue in that branch with all their existing privileges, until finally absorbed; but all vacancies to be filled up by selection from the Infantry, such nominations carrying with them Cavalry pay and allowances, and ultimately Regimental Staff and charge of troops. These appointments would, like those of the Irregular Cavalry, be considered in the light of staff employ, or would rather assimilate to appointments from the Foot to the Horse Artillery, and might be regulated under very similar conditions. The equipment and discipline to be the same in both European and Native Regiments, and the latter to be Europeanized as far as practicable. As regards armament we would suggest, as already proposed, a rifled carbine, slight curved sabre with a modification of the native hilt and with the native scabbard, as also a repeating pistol to be carried in a belt, not in the holster. The Heavy Dragoon Saddle with a numdah pad, and bits suitable to the horses. The uniform, to be exclusively of European fashion, a plain short tunic, with breeches and boots,-overalls when dismounted—– light' helmet, shoulder chains and steel gauntlets. Lastly we would suggest the substitution of jorahwallahs for single grasscutters, and thus cheaply provide a tattoo for every two horses, and allow an European Staff Sergeant to each troop.
Beyond the increase of pay and pension which would suffice to procure better men and horses than are always forthcoming at present, we would suggest no further change in the Irregulars, and would deprecate any addition to the number of European officers, which would necessarily interfere with the authority and influence of the Ressaldars, as also any attempt to over-drill or dragoon them. Remedy the one notorious and serious evil of under payment, and for the rest leave well alone.
With such a force of mixed Cavalry we should be prepared to encounter all the Horsemen that Central Asia could now pour into Hindostan, and that without actual increase of expense.
Such are our views of what the Bengal Cavalry ought to be, and if erroneous we err in good company, for we know that very similar opinions are intertained by some of the most distinguish ed members of the service.
Beyond an European Sta provide a tattoo tahs for single dy we
Art. X.-1. Report on Lunatic Asylums in the Bengal Presia
dency : Published by order of the Government of the North
Western Provinces. Calcutta, 1855. 2. Report on Insanity among Europeans in Bengal, founded on
the experience of the Calcutta Lunatic Asylum. By JOHN
MACPHERSON, M. D., in Medical charge of the Asylum. • Iņdian Annals, No. II. April, 1854.
A BECOMING regard for the insane is a charitable virtue of very recent origin. In England, until about forty-five years ago, the treatment of lunatics could scarcely be exceeded in absurdity or cruelty. Our discerning and judicious forefathers considered a lunatic to be an individual whom it was just alike to incarcerate and to torture. The calamity was deemed irremediable, and no treatment whatever, properly so called, whether of a moral or of a medical nature, was either undertaken or understood. By many indeed, the affliction was without hesitation ascribed to the agency of the devil, whose evil influence hard usage alone could overcome or dissipate. The only moral treatment therefore which was ever thought of or attempted if indeed the term can be thus applied-consisted of hard blows. The utility of medical treatment was altogether denied. It was thought that all remedies were utterly valueless. No disease indeed was suspected; and perhaps it was natural, therefore, that no remedy should have been sought.
Unlike our ancestors, the natives of India regard the lunatic with feelings of pity akin to veneration. And while nothing has been done by them, with the view to bring about a removal or even an amelioration of their condition, no cruelties have ever been systematically practised among them towards an afflicted class of beings, whose whims and fancies they almost universally consider it a duty alike to study and to gratify. Cruel as the natives of India naturally are both to man and to beast, cruelty to lunatics, is not one of their characteristics; and in a subsequent page we shall propose to use the feeling of compassion which possesses them, in a plan we have to offer, for the future advantage of the lunatic in Hindostan.
But to return to the treatment of lunatics in England. Even now medical treatment is considered, by some medical men, as altogether useless. A recent professional writer-Dr. E. Willis, on mental derangement, asks, “When one man thinks himself a king, another a cobbler, and another that he can govern the world by his little finger, can physic make him otherwise ?” And again another author, Dr. F. B. Steward, in his Practical Notes on Insanity, says “ To prescribe for the mind, while its nature remains a mystery, is to prescribe for a phantom. As well might the mechanic attempt to regulate the multifarious operations dependent upon the operation of steam, by abstract discussion upon its nature, or to repair a fractured wheel, by directing his attention to the power that gave it motion, as for us to expect a successful result from remedies applied to an object the true nature and character of which we are wholly ignorant of; or of which, at least, we can only judge in its developments.” Doctrines like these have therefore still to be overcome in our native land—and if members of the medical profession itself can be found to promulgate such notions, and deliberately to condemn and reject all medical treatment as useless, we may well expect that their opinions will give rise to the entertainment of a similar pernicious conviction in the minds of other men, to whom on a question like this they must naturally exercise the influence of guides. But medical men labor under disadvantages almost as great as the rest of mankind, upon the question of Insanity. Even at the present time the study of mental disease forms no part of the ordinary medical education. The majority of medical students never enter an asylum; and medical men generally must necessarily therefore be altogether unacquainted practically with the moral and medical treatment of a disease which they have never seen, or, at least, which they have never studied. The Examining Bodies of the United Kingdom have much to answer for in this matter. There can we apprehend be no good reason why the study of a disease called insanity should not be just as much insisted on as a study of that which is called inflammation of the liver. A healthy brain is just as essential for the sane manifestation of the mind as a healthy condition of the liver is for the formation of healthy bile. And surely cerebral pathology is quite as important an object of the most diligent research, as abdominal. A step, but only a step, has been lately taken in the right direction by the Hon'ble Court of Directors. They now require all Assistant Surgeons to attend an Asylum for a short period previous to embarkation for India. But this desultory and hasty attendance must not be mistaken for that complete and thorough study of the subject which we advocate, and which we aver should form a part of the ordinary medical education of all candidates for the Diplomas of any of our colleges. We hope and believe, however, that the time is coming when regular attendance at an Asylum and a course of lectures on Insanity will be required of the student, to qualify him for examination, though medical, like all other governments, if not slow to perceive, are slow to remove an evil.
In the United Kingdom-certainly one great seat of the civili. zation of the world-eighteen centuries of the Christian era had
improvemping up anda acivilization, at, while in all were the p
nearly passed away, before the old notion, that insanity was attributable to divine wrath, demoniacal, satanic, or malignant influence, began to be doubted. So deeply fixed were the prejudices of the mass on the subject, that, while in all other branches of art, science and civilization, progress and improvement were keeping up and advancing along with time, in this no improvement was made, for it occurred to no one that any such change was called for. Our Asylums, until the end of the eighteenth century-doubtless owing to the absurd belief just mentioned—were given over to the management of the ignorant, the cruel and the rapacious. It was not until 1791, that the first step was taken in our native land to improve the condition of the afflicted and persecuted lunatic, and we are indebted to a benevolent family of Quakers for the commencement of a new system in the management of our Asylums. We are told in a recent number of the British Quarterly Review that “in 1791 a family of the Society of Friends sent one of its members to the York Lunatic Asylum, and that the rules of the Asylum forbade her relatives seeing her—that something wrong was suspected, and the consequence was the foundation of the well known Friends' Retreat for Lunatics, wherein new and enlightened principles of management were brought into action, which have at length gained general ascendancy. Yet strange to say, the York Asylum was still suffered, for more than twenty years subsequently, to remain without improvement; until 1814 certain disclosures having been made in the newspapers public suspicion was aroused, a Committee of Enquiry was formed, the most appalling, almost incredible abuses were discovered, and servants and officers summarily dismissed. From this enquiry dates a slow, and even until quite of late, very imperfect reformation of our Asylums. At the present time, however, there is reason to believe that in the arrangements for the health of the patients and the principles of treatment we are on an equality with other civilized states—those of Northern America and Western Europe.” Our largest Asylums especially, are now indeed managed with as much kindness and skill as can well be conceived, and the well earned and well merited fame of a Conolly, or of a Winslow and is alike honorable to science, to humanity, and to England.
And now let us turn to Lunatic Asylums in Bengal, the North Western Provinces, the Punjab, Burmah, Assam and Arracan, &c. &c. After a perusal of the foregoing history of Lunatic Asylums in England, our readers will be prepared to find them not very complete in India. But in India, though we are doubtless much below par in our treatment of the insane, we rejoice to say, that we have no complaint to make of in
stitutions mismanaged, that we have no heart-rending records to shew of cruelty towards the insane, or of any of those abuses which formerly gave rise to the deepest indignation in England. Our grievances here assume quite another shape. We have in India to lament the almost entire absence of Asylums of any sort or description. We are guilty in this country, not of allowing appalling and almost incredible abuses in our Asylums, but of an almost perfect unconcernedness and forgetfulness of an afflicted body of human creatures. We exhibit here an utter disregard of all except criminal lunatics; we do not recognise the lunatic who is quiet and peaceable; we afford no shelter and no treatment to those who are not dangerous to others. In one respect indeed the criminal lunatic is more fortunate than his equally afflicted but docile brother, namely in this, that his violence brings him under the influence of both medical and moral treatment. The report placed at the head of our article is chiefly valuable for its brevity and its barrenness. It is especially valuable to the writer, for it proves in a most remarkable manner the little that has been done, and the much that has been left undone by Englishmen in the East. It proves that however much may have been accomplished for those who are able to keep themselves, but very little, or almost nothing; has been attempted in behalf of a class who are entirely dependant. We have left the unfortunate lunatic to wander about diseased and destitute, and we have offered him, neither shelter nor protection, nor the commonest means for effecting a removal or at least an amelioration of his disorder.
The meagreness of the Report however is not in any measure indebted to incapacity on the part of its framers; but to the fact, that there is in this enormous empire, but little to report upon in the matter of Lunatic Asylums or of lunacy. Throughout the length and breadth of the Bengal Presidency, including the North Western Provinces, the Punjab, Assam, Arracan, the Tenasserim Provinces and Burmah, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-five, the number of Lunatic Asylums amounted to seven, and the number of patients who could be comfortably accommodated within them to 750. Here is an example of an Empire teeming with inhabitants and governed by Englishmen, in which there are fewer Asylums than will be found in seven counties in England itself. In England, we provide for our poor, for our sick, and for our insane, while in India, we find the lunatic destitute of a home, and we offer him no shelter ; unable to protect himself, and we offer him no protection; and subject to a disease for the cure of which we offer him no opportunity. The statement is not creditable to us. We have indeed been guilty of great neglect; we have failed, we fear,