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during his residence at the Rochefort asylum, but only two scraps of his life before that date-namely, his vicious period at Bonneval and a part of his stay at Bicêtre.
Except this strangely fragmentary memory there is nothing very unusual in this condition, and in many asylums no experiments on it would have been attempted. Fortunately the physicians of Rochefort were familiar with the efficacy of the contact of metals in provoking transfer of hysterical hemiplegia from one side to the other. They tried various metals in turn on Louis V. Lead, silver, and zinc had no effect. Copper produced a slight return of sensibility in the paralysed arm. But steel, applied to the right arm, transferred the whole insensibility to the left side of the body.
Inexplicable as such a phenomenon certainly is, it is sufficiently common (as French physicians hold) in hysterical cases to excite little surprise. What puzzled the doctors was the change of character which accompanied the change of sensibility. When Louis V. issued from the crisis of transfer, with its minute of anxious expression and panting breath, he was what might fairly be called a new man. The restless insolence, the savage impulsiveness, have wholly disappeared. The patient is now gentle, respectful, and modest. He can speak clearly now, but he only speaks when he is spoken to. If he is asked his views on religion and politics, he prefers to leave such matters to wiser heads than his own. It might seem that morally and intellectually the patient's cure had been complete.
But now ask him what he thinks of Rochefort; how he liked his regiment of marines. He will blankly answer that he knows. nothing of Rochefort, and was never a soldier in his life. Where are you, then, and what is the date of to-day?' 'I am at Bicêtre ; it is January 2, 1884; and I hope to see M. Voisin to-day, as I did yesterday.'
It is found, in fact, that he has now the memory of two short. periods of life (different from those which he remembers when his right side is paralysed), periods during which, so far as can now be ascertained, his character was of this same decorous type and his paralysis was on the left side.
These two conditions are what are now termed his first and his second, out of a series of six or more through which he can be made to pass. For brevity's sake I will further describe his fifth state only.
If he is placed in an electric bath, or if a magnet be placed on his head, it looks at first sight as though a complete physical cure had been effected. All paralysis, all defect of sensibility, has disappeared. His movements are light and active, his expression gentle and timid. But ask him where he is, and you find that he has gone back to a boy of fourteen, that he is at St. Urbain, his first
reformatory, and that his memory embraces his years of childhood, and stops short on the very day when he had the fright with the viper. If he is pressed to recollect the incident of the viper a violent epileptiform crisis puts a sudden end to this phase of his personality.
Is there, then, the reader may ask, any assignable law which governs these strange revolutions? any reason why Louis V. should at one moment seem a mere lunatic or savage, at another moment should rise into decorous manhood, at another should recover his physical soundness, but sink backward in mind into the child? Briefly, and with many reserves and technicalities perforce omitted, the view of the doctors who have watched him is somewhat as follows: A sudden shock, falling on an unstable organisation, has effected in this boy a profounder severance between the functions of the right and left hemispheres of the brain than has perhaps ever been observed before. We are accustomed, of course, to see the right side of the body paralysed and insensible in consequence of injury to the left hemisphere, which governs it, and vice versa. And we are accustomed in hysterical cases-cases where there is no actual traceable injury to either hemisphere-to see the defects in sensation and motility shift rapidly-shift, as I may say, at a touch-from one side of the body to the other. But we cannot usually trace any corresponding change in the mode of functioning of what we assume as the highest centres,' the centres which determine those manifestations of intelligence, character, memory, on which our identity mainly depends. Yet in some cases of aphasia and of other forms of asemia (the loss of power over signs, spoken or written words and the like) phenomena have occurred which have somewhat prepared us to find that the loss of power to use the left-which certainly is in some ways the more developed-hemisphere may bring with it a retrogression in the higher characteristics of human life. And the singular phenomenon of automatic writing (as I have tried elsewhere to show 3) seems often to depend on an obscure action of the less-used hemisphere. Those who have followed these lines of observation may be somewhat prepared to think it possible that in Louis V.'s case the alternate predominance of right or left hemisphere affects memory and character as well as motor and sensory innervation. Inhibit his left brain (and right side) and he becomes, as one may say, not only left-handed but sinister; he manifests himself through nervous arrangements which have reached a lower degree of evolution. And he can represent in memory those periods only when his personality had assumed the same attitude, when he had crystallised about the same point.
Inhibit his right brain, and the higher qualities of character remain, like the power of speech, intact. There is self-control; there 3 Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. iii. (Trübner & Co.).
is modesty; there is the sense of duty-the qualities which man has developed as he has risen from the savage level. But nevertheless he is only half himself. Besides the hemiplegia, which is a matter of course, memory is truncated too, and he can summon up only such fragments of the past as chance to have been linked with this one abnormal state, leaving unrecalled not only the period of sinister inward ascendency, but the normal period of childhood, before his Wesen was thus cloven in twain. And now if by some art we can restore the equipoise of the two hemispheres again, if we can throw him into a state in which no physical trace is left of the severance which has become for him a second nature, what may we expect to find as the psychical concomitant of this restored integrity? What we do find is a change in the patient which, in the glimpse of psychical possibilities which it offers us, is among the most interesting of all. He is, if I may so say, born again; he becomes as a little child; he is set back in memory, character, knowledge, powers, to the days before this trouble came upon him or his worse self assumed its sway.
I have begun with the description of an extreme case, a case which to many of my readers may seem incredible in its bizarrerie. But though it is extreme it is not really isolated; it is approached from different sides by cases already known. The mere resumption of life at an earlier moment, for instance, is of course only an exaggeration of a phenomenon which frequently appears after cerebral injury. The trainer, stunned by the kick of a horse, completes his order to loosen the girths the moment that trepanning has been successfully performed. The old lady struck down at a card party, and restored to consciousness after long insensibility, surprises her weeping family by the inquiry, 'What are trumps?' But in these common cases there is but a morsel cut out of life; the personality reawakens as from sleep and is the same as of old. With Louis V. it is not thus; the memories of the successive stages are not lost but juxtaposed, as it were, in separate compartments; nor can one say what epochs are in truth intercalary, or in what central channel the stream of his being flows.
Self-severances profound as Louis V.'s are naturally to be sought mainly in the lunatic asylum. There indeed we find duplicated individuality in its grotesquer forms. We have the man who has always lost himself and insists on looking for himself under the bed. We have the man who maintains that there are two of him, and sends his plate a second time, remarking, 'I have had plenty, but the other fellow has not.' We have the man who maintains that
The cases cited here come mainly from Krishaber's Nérropathie Cérébro-cardiaque. Several of them will be found cited in Ribot's admirable monograph Maladies de la Personnalité.
he is himself and his brother too, and when asked how he can possibly be both at once, replies, 'Oh, by a different mother.'
Or sometimes the personality oscillates from one focus to another, and the rival impulses, which in us merely sway different moods, objectify themselves each in a persona of its own. An hysterical penitent believes herself one week to be 'Sœur Marthe des Cinq Plaies,' and the next week relapses into an imaginaryMadame Poulmaire,' with tastes recalling a quite other than conventual model. Another patient seems usually sane enough, but at intervals he lets his beard grow, and is transformed into a swaggering lieutenant of artillery. The excess over, he shaves his beard and becomes once more a lucid though melancholy student of the early Fathers. Such changes of character, indeed, may be rapid and varied to any extent which the patient's experience of life will allow. In one wellknown case a poor lady varied her history, her character, even her sex, from day to day. One day she would be an emperor's bride, the next an imprisoned statesman
Juvenis quondam, nunc femina, Caeneus,
Rursus et in veterem fato revoluta figuram.
Yet more instructive, though often sadder still, are the cases where the disintegration of personality has not reached the pitch of insanity, but has ended in a bewildered impotence, in the horror of a lifelong dream. Speaking generally, such cases fall under two main heads-those where the loss of control is mainly over motor centres, and the patient can feel but cannot act; and those where the loss of control is mainly over sensory centres, and the patient acts but cannot feel.
Inability to act just as we would wish to act is a trouble in which we most of us share. We probably have moods in which we can even sympathise with that provoking patient of Esquirol's who, after an attack of monomania, recovered all those social gifts which made him the delight of his friends, but could no longer be induced to give five minutes' attention to the most urgent business. Your advice,' he said cordially to Esquirol, 'is thoroughly good. I should ask nothing better than to follow it, if you could further oblige me with the power to will what I please.' Sometimes the whole life is spent in the endeavour to perform trifling acts—as when a patient of M. Billod's spent nearly an hour in trying to make the flourish under his signature to a power of attorney; or tried in vain for three hours, with hat and gloves on, to leave his room and go out to a pageant which he much wished to see. Such cases need heroic treatment, and this gentleman had the luck to be caught and cured by the Revolution of 1848.
Still more mournful are the cases where it is mainly the sensory
centres which lie, as it were, outside the personality; where thought and will remain intact, but the world around no longer stirs the wonted feelings, nor can reach the solitary soul. In all my acts one thing is lacking-the sense of effort that should accompany them, the sense of pleasure that they should yield.' 'All things,' said another sufferer, are immeasurably distant from me; they are covered with a heavy air.' 'Men seem to move round me,' said another, 'like moving shadows.' And gradually this sense of ghostly vacancy extends to the patient's own person. Each of my senses, each part of me, is separate from myself.' 'J'existe, mais en dehors de la vie réelle.' It is as though Teiresias, who alone kept his true life in unsubstantial Hades, should at last feel himself dream into a shade.
Sometimes the regretful longing turns into a bitter sense of exile, of banishment, of fall from high estate. There are words that remind us of the passionate protestations of Empedocles, refusing to accept this earth as his veritable home. Κλαυσά τε καὶ κώκυσα, said the Sicilian of Sicily, ἰδὼν ἀσυνήθεα χῶρον ( I wept and lamented, looking on a land to me unwonted and unknown'). Lorsque je me trouvais seul,' said a patient of Krishaber's, dans un endroit nouveau, j'étais comme un enfant nouveau-né, ne reconnaissant plus rien. J'avais un ardent désir de revoir mon ancien monde, de redevenir l'ancien moi; c'est ce désir qui m'a empêché de me tuer.'
These instances have shown us the retrogressive change of personality, the dissolution into incoordinate elements of the polity of our being. We have seen the state of man like a city blockaded, like a great empire dying at the core. And of course a spontaneous, unguided disturbance in a machinery so complete is likely to alter it more often for the worse than for the better. Yet here we reach the very point which I most desire to urge in this paper. I mean that even these spontaneous, these unguided disturbances do sometimes effect a change which is a marked improvement. Apart from all direct experiment they show us that we are in fact capable of being reconstituted after an improved pattern, that we may be fused and recrystallised into greater clarity; or, let us say more modestly, that the shifting sand-heap of our being will sometimes suddenly settle itself into a new attitude of more assured equilibrium.
Among cases of this kind which have thus far been recorded, none is more striking than that of Dr. Azam's often quoted patient, Félida X.
Many of my readers will remember that in her case the somnambulic life has become the normal life; the second state,' which appeared at first only in short, dream-like accesses, has gradually replaced the first state,' which now recurs but for a few hours at long intervals. But the point on which I wish to dwell is this: that Félida's second state is altogether superior to the first-physically