June 10, 1893

MENTAL ABERRATIONS.Read before the Southeast Missouri Medical Association, at Charleston, Mo., May, 1893.

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1893;XX(23):637-640. doi:10.1001/jama.1893.02420500017002b

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"Man is a harp, whose chords elude the sight, Each yielding harmony, disposed aright.

The screws reversed (a task which, if He please, God in a moment executes with ease), Ten thousand thousand strings at once go loose, Lost, till He tune them, all their power and use."

Thus sadly sang one of England's purest, sweetest poets, out of the sad experience of a life of alternating light and shadow, harmony and discord, now reveling in the loftiest flights of poetic fancy, the profoundest depths of spiritual, experience; now groveling in darkness and despair, driving him to a desperate attempt upon his life, the light of reason finally going out behind a cloud of impenetrable gloom. This comparison of the human mind to a musical instrument, susceptible when attuned aright of the most delightful harmonies, but with "the screws reversed" its "ten thousand thousand strings" giving forth only jarring discord,

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