Let's conjugate the old Latin way
Let me feel your fiery declensions on my tongue
Ego amo, tu amas, nos amamus
Dead languages leave me speechless
Today, the naked sin; syntax tomorrow.
- Stephen K. Roney
A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.
“The cyclical nature of theories underscores the fact that no single theory or paradigm is right or wrong. It is impossible to refute with finality one perspective with another. Some truth can be found in virtually every critical approach to the study of reality.”
|Kingston's Rockwood Asylum, 1920.|
During our late visit to the United States, we had the satisfaction of examining ‘The CONNECTICUT RETREAT FOR THE INSANE,’ at Hartford. Having been politely favoured by a friend in New York with a letter of introduction to DOCTOR TODD, Physician to the institution, we were very kindly received by that philanthropic and intelligent gentleman, to whose skillful and humane treatment the inmates of the retreat owe a debt of lasting gratitude. The building, which is a neat specimen of modern architecture, is situated on a commanding eminence, overlooking the Town of Hartford, the beautiful Connecticut River, and the surrounding country to a great extent.
The ‘moral and intellectual treatment’ observed in the Retreat is thus explained in the annual report of the visiting committee: ‘The first business of the Physician, on the admission of a patient, is, to gain his entire confidence. With this view he is treated with the greatest kindness, however violent his conduct may be,—is allowed all the liberty which his cue admits of, and is made to understand, if he is still capable of reflection, that, so far from having arrived at a madhouse where he is to be confined, he has come to a peaceful residence, where all kindness and attention will be shown him, and where every means will be employed for the recovery of his health. In case coercion and confinement become necessary, it is impressed upon his mind, that this is not done for the purpose of punishment, but for his own safety, and that of his keepers. In no case is deception on the patient employed, or allowed,—on the contrary the greatest frankness, as well as kindness forms a part of the moral treatment. His case is explained to him, and he is made to understand, as far as possible, the reasons why the treatment to which he is subjected has become necessary. By this course of intellectual management, it has been found, as a matter of experience at our Institution, that patients who had always been raving when confined without being told the reason, and refractory, when commanded instead of being entreated, soon became peaceable and docile.’ The success of this treatment will appear from the fact, that of twenty-three cases admitted in one year, twenty-two recovered, affording the extraordinary proportion of 91 per cent.
“By 1837, Eli Todd at the Hartford Retreat had cured 91.3 percent of his recent cases, and Woodward at Worcester had discharged more than 82 percent as recovered.” (McGovern, C.M., The Masters of Madness: Social Origins of the American Psychiatric Profession. 1985, Hanover Press: University Press of New England).