Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 17.djvu/96

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86
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

extra-ocular movement are inseparably embodied with ocular feelings of movement in the eye's perception even of form elements, and the former are at least equally valuable with the latter. For the rest, I attach much value to the intellectual factor in the appreciation of form—that is, the coördination of numbers of these slightly pleasurable elements under agreeable relations of unity and proportion. Taking the factors just named as the direct factor, and contrasting them with the less directly associated elements as the indirect factor, I should say that the former decidedly outweighs the latter in what we call beauty of form. Every beautiful form will, I think, be found to owe its charm in the main either to the specially pleasurable character of its elements (ocular or tactual), or to the presence of a large number of distinct aspects of variety and unity. The former is the beauty of simple forms, the latter that of intricate forms.

 

HYSTERIA AND DEMONISM.[1]

A STUDY IN MORBID PSYCHOLOGY.

By CHARLES RICHET.
I.

PROBABLY very few persons who have been in Paris have visited the Salpêtrière. A home for old age, an asylum for the insane, are not tempting spectacles, and it pleases us rather than otherwise to be unmindful of the fact that within the great city of Paris is included another city of aged women and mad people, which contains nearly five thousand inhabitants. The Salpêtrière is designed primarily as an abode for infirm old women, and would afford materials for a very curious study of psychology in the observation of the feelings and passions of its inmates to any one desirous of analyzing the effects of age on human intelligence. This study may be attempted some day, but our present purpose is different. Among the insane who are confined in the Salpêtrière are patients who would formerly have been burned, whose disease would have passed for a crime three centuries ago. The study of the malady under which these unfortunates suffer, in its present and past aspects, affords a new and instructive chapter in the history of human thought.

In pursuing the present inquiry, we shall endeavor first to describe the psychological symptoms of hysteria. The knowledge of this disease has received a remarkable development under the careful investigations of the physicians of the Salpêtrière, and it may be that some of the facts they have discovered will interest persons who are not ac-

  1. Translated from the "Revue des Deux Mondes" by W. H. Larrabee.