Black Dwarf,  1 (1817), 597–99.

Letters of the Black Dwarf. From the Black Dwarf, to the Yellow Bonze, at Japan.

The Black Dwarf, pseud.  [Thomas J Wooler] *


Regular Feature, Letter, Spoof, News-Commentary


Mental Illness, Medical Treatment, Hospitals, Commerce

    Relates that the Lord Chief Justice of England (Edward Law (1st Baron Ellenborough)) 'is now at Paris, and has visited all the mad houses and lunatic asylums, to observe the modes of treatment in practice, in order to carry home such ideas as may tend to improve that class of unfortunates in England!' (597). Questions whether Ellenborough is interested in asylum provision because he has 'contemplated the design of undertaking the care of the mad-men whose intellects have been impaired by the Law' or if he has 'more enlarged views' and wishes to 'include all the bench, and the bar, as well as the victims and their clients, in one great asylum of lunatics, under his especial care'. Suggests that, in the latter eventuality, 'the courts of the law [might] be purified from the abuses that have made so many distracted by their prosperity, and so many more mad in their ruin'. Ridicules mutual accusations of madness from 'Prince, ministers, and people'. Suggests that the nation should be grateful if someone were to 'endeavour to put us in strait waistcoats, and proper cells before we do each other a more serious mischief than railing at each other, or venting our madness on paper'. (598)

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